Tues. Nov. 17, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 181 – Trying for Survival

image courtesy of cocoparisienne via pixabay.com

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Waxing Moon

Neptune and Uranus Retrograde

Partly sunny and cold

There are some ideas for being creative with this year’s holidays over on Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions.

Friday was a more productive day than I expected. I revived the cooking blog, “Comfort and Contradiction: Food as Muse” with an initial post re-introducing myself and talking about the direction I see the blog taking.

WordPress frustrated the hell out of me, because the template wasn’t supported properly any more, and I had to put in a new theme and then rebuild the site. What’s up is very, very simple now, but the font is a decent size, so one can read it.

I will keep playing with it.

But immediately, it got a good response. I’m kind of surprised how good a response it got, but pleased.

It will be difficult to only write it once a week!

Wrote quite a bit, mostly food-related. I’ll be able to use the blog as writing samples when I pitch to companies to write about food. Or maybe it’s too personal. We’ll see.

Read the next book in a series I’d liked, for the most part in spite of inconsistencies. Didn’t like this one. The pace dragged, it was inconsistent to previous books in the series without explanation, and it used “witch” as a slur more than once. I’ve already ordered the next book in the series from the library, but I think I’m done.

My friend Paula and I are both semi-finalists in the Body Be Gone Origin Story Contest. The flash fiction pieces we wrote made it to the semi-finalist category. All the pieces are up for vote – blind, so we can’t say which are ours. The pieces are really fun, but Paula’s is still my favorite. She took tropes and turned them inside out.

Even if neither of us wins, we’re both in the anthology, which will be fun.

My first shipment from Atlas Coffee Company arrived, a brew from Rwanda. It’s good, but a bit mild for my taste. I guess I like the darker roasts!

Finished a third volume of this year’s personal journal, and Saturday started the fourth. I guess I’ve had a lot to say.

Saturday was clear and cold. I was up early, and loaded the car with garbage and recycling for a dump run. Everyone was masked, distanced, courteous. The guy in front of me was talking on his phone instead of pulling in to a dumpster, so I drove around him and cut off someone else. I later found the guy I cut off up at the recycling, and apologized.

He was so pleased. He was very nice about it, accepted the apology, and said, “Don’t worry, it’s early for all of us.” But you could tell it made his day that I made the effort to apologize. And it was a real apology. It was “I’m sorry” NOT “I’m sorry IF” which is a fake apology. I was wrong, and I apologized.

If I hadn’t said anything and ignored him, it would have niggled at him all day. But I apologized. His day brightened, and so did mine.

Home, decontaminated. Our numbers are well over 2000 new cases every 24 hours, so I’m trying to stay away from as many people as possible.

Did the last of the online orders for holiday.  One of my mom’s gifts arrived. Did four loads of laundry, changed the beds, basic housework. The usual Saturday chores.

Baked bread from a recipe in THE ENCHANTED BROCCOLI FOREST and it is spectacular. Just basic sandwich bread, but it’s wonderful. I kneaded it by hand instead of with the dough hooks, and it worked better. Of course, now I want a pastry board. . .

Also baked chocolate chip cookies.

Took a quick rest, then made a vegetable chili from THE NEW BASICS COOKBOOK, which was also good, and made vegetable stock with the remains.

Sunday, I didn’t do much of anything. I cleared away the brush the landlord had cut last week, but left, and ended up bruising my hand – some of that stuff was big and hard to move.

Read some of Mary Oliver’s essays. Read the book for review – it was quite beautiful. I did want to slap the protagonist a few times, but overall, I really liked the book. Ordered a couple of eBooks that were recommended.

The tablet has decided it will connect to the Internet again, so go figure. The laptop is being cranky every time I boot it up, which is annoying. It’s only six months old.

Neighbors on both sides had parties. Small ones, but no masks, no distancing. No wonder our numbers are going up so rapidly. I’m just trying to stay away from everyone as much as possible. I need to get some stuff from several local stores for the holidays, but I just don’t want to be out and about.

I have to keep adjusting. I have to let go of the rage and frustration I feel at those around me who refuse to take this seriously. The best thing I can do is refuse to interact with them.

Up early Monday. Wrote my review and sent it off; requested the next assignment.

Was at the client’s on my own for the morning, as it should be. Got a good bit done – three email blasts, social media posts scheduled, spun some holiday ideas.

Quick stop at the liquor store for a bottle of wine, and chose something for a colleague’s upcoming birthday. Curbside pickup at the library.

Home, decontaminated, played with the cats. Noodled with some ideas in the afternoon, worked on some marketing campaigns in my head, and will put them on paper and start implementing them today. Made a list of some things I need to get done sooner rather than later.

We’re eating a lot of leftovers this week and into next week, so that there’s room for the Thanksgiving leftovers!

The cookie sleeves arrived, which is good. Makes me feel better about the baking. It’s safer for everyone if each cookie is individually wrapped.

Got a letter that I can keep my health insurance next year. I am so relieved. I was scared that most of the rest of this week would be spent fighting for my insurance.

This morning, I have to do a Trader Joe’s run for a few things (not a big shop, just a little one). After I decontaminate, I’ll do more client work, and get those marketing campaigns going. I have to prepare a few shorts for re-release, and I need to get Trinity of Teasers up so people can download it and have a taste of the three different series. I need to work on Grief to Art.

I’m going to write postcards for the GA Senate run-offs over the next couple of weeks, and looking forward to that.

I’m looking for a good paella recipe. I want to make paella for Christmas Eve as something new and different, since we’re off pork and beef.

I finally sat down and started writing the Susanna Centlivre play this morning. I’ve got the balance of love and banter and connection between Susanna and her chef husband (Queen Anne’s Yeoman of the Mouth), and just introduced Mary Pix, her friend in. A few pages between them, and the antagonist, the male playwright who’s been plagiarizing  them, enters. I want to get the first draft done this week.

I’m hunkering down as much as possible and just working on survival. I’m trying to avoid as many Covidiots as possible.

Fri. July 10: Die for Tourist Dollars Day 52 – Dealing With The Inner Five Year Old

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image by Mandyme via pixabay.com

Friday, July 10, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Foggy and humid

It’s getting hot and humid, although nowhere as bad as it could be.

I got the garbage to the dump yesterday; timed well, not a lot of people, everyone masked. Then went to a grocery store that few tourists visit. Few people, plenty of room, everyone masked. Not hard to get in and out quickly.

Of course, in the tourist-centric areas, they’re acting like college students from the 1980’s on spring break.

You know what these reckless, selfish twatwaffles remind me of? Back in the 1980’s, when the AIDS epidemic was in full swing, some straight men used to pressure women for unprotected sex as proof you loved them enough to risk getting AIDS. It was a badge of –something, it sure wasn’t ‘honor’ —  to see how many women they could put at risk.

It didn’t work on me, but plenty of women I knew succumbed. Several got sick and died.

Because, as women, too often we are told we should be willing to “die for love.”

There are plenty of ways I’d do just about anything in a mutually committed, passionate relationship, but risking AIDS (or risking COVID) aren’t on that list. Not to mention if the guy actually LOVED the woman, he wouldn’t demand she should “prove” anything by putting her life in danger that way.

Toxic, all the way around.

Home. Full disinfectant protocols.

Then, my inner five year old took over and I didn’t wanna. It was triggered by something (someone) very specific and is an indicator of a lot more going on, none of which is appropriate to discuss publicly.

Eventually, I just sucked it up and got the work done. Because, ultimately, being a professional means showing up and doing the work, while holding boundaries and dealing with issues in a competent, cordial, professional way.

That didn’t stop me from enjoying cocktail hour when I was done!

I was too wiped out to do any coursework, which means I have a LOT of it to do today and this weekend.

I have the shape of the article that needs to go out next week done, and how I have to fill it out. And got out three LOIs.

I don’t work well in humidity, and there’s no air conditioning here, so I’m dragging a bit.

My mother isn’t feeling well, which is also worrying. Let’s hope with some rest and over-the-counter medications, she feels better.

I have to do some client work, including a stats report, this morning, get out some more LOIs, make a pharmacy run and a library run, and get my coursework done.

The past few days haven’t been good for fiction, and that has to readjust. But writing in longhand first thing in the morning, like I did yesterday and today, is helping get that back into focus.

I need to get some cards and letters written this weekend, too.

Anyone who remarks on “all the extra time” I must have during the pandemic is going to get a big ole smack right upside the head.

Absolutely loved Vivien Chien’s DEATH BY DUMPLING, and have started DIM SUM OF ALL FEARS.

Lilith St. Crow has been tweeting tales of her neighbors the past few days that make me laugh until I have tears running down my face (for all the right reasons).

Have a great weekend, friends.

Published in: on July 10, 2020 at 5:10 am  Comments Off on Fri. July 10: Die for Tourist Dollars Day 52 – Dealing With The Inner Five Year Old  
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Friday, April 1, 2011


Looking forward to better weather so I can walk in Ashumet Holly Sanctuary again

Friday, April 1, 2011
Day before dark moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy
April Fool’s Day

I worked so concentratedly yesterday morning, when we got back from the dump and grocery shopping, that when I stopped for lunch, I thought it was dinner time! Oops!

Went to the dump early, got rid of the garbage and recycling that stacked up. Felt good to get all those bins empty. We really only go about every 6-8 weeks, and usually only have one bag of garbage — the rest of the car is stuffed with recycling.

Went grocery shopping, worked on updating the Annabel Aidan web page, popping the cover art in wherever I could, and I’m almost finished with the media kit. Now, at some point before the book launches, I better join RWA!

Caught up on student work, dealt with piles of correspondence, tidied things up post-webinar, backed up some files. I need to do a Time Machine back-up today.

I need to decide what kind of swag to do for the book — something appropriate to the content, but also fun. I’m going to do the postcards at home, because I’ve got the set-up, but I’ll job out the bookmarks — there are, supposedly, some really good printers in the area. Time to get to know them!

Did my quarterly taxes, easy peasey, will write the checks in a few days. Still have the mountains of tax returns to sort out (amazing how many schedules you have to attach when you freelance, get royalties, and move), and figure out how much I overpaid in quarterlies last year, compared to what went out on all the other stuff! My first quarter earnings this year are way above last year’s, so I can already see how much better the move has been for my work.

I’m outlining THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY — I want to take it in a slightly different direction than originally planned. I also want to take what I’ve learned from ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT — and the other books I’ve written in the interim — and apply it to SPIRIT REPOSITORY.

Someone asked me if the knowledge that locals and students are reading my blog is going to make me self-censor. No. I’m not saying here anything I wouldn’t say to their faces, and, in fact, if they read something here, we’ve probably already discussed it, so I don’t see this is a source of Big Drama.

UPS, Fed Ex, and the mailman all arrived together — plant delivery, next assignment from Confidential Job #1, and the mail. Guess they wanted to get everything done before the storm, which hit several hours earlier than predicted.

I’m not a fan of April Fool’s Day, because so many of the “pranks” are mean-spirited, so I’m glad I don’t have to go and deal with anyone today.

We were lucky — we’re getting a lot of rain, but no snow. The rest of the state looks pretty slammed.

My back is still sore, but I’m slowly making progress. Mixing the slippery elm with echinecea and honey seems to be doing more than anything else.

The March wrap-up and April To -do list are up over on the GDR site .

Back to the page for awhile, and then some queries based on discussions we had in The Confident Freelancer.

Devon

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cold

So nice to have only one planet in retrograde! But that’ll change by the end of the week, when Mercury goes retrograde from the 10th to the 30th, so I want to get the car light fixed and the DMV kerflamma handled before then. (It’s the DMV — there’s going to be kerflamma).

The earliest the service place can take me to fix the light is tomorrow afternoon. Whatever. At least it will get done, and maybe I’ll hit the DMV, probably for most of the day, on Thursday.

Spent an hour at the post office, waiting in line. Granted, it’s a tiny post office, only two clerks, and I was sixth in line, but three of the six people ahead of me were idiots. Don’t get to the counter and dither. Especially when there’s a line of people going out the door. Know what you want, or at least ask some relevant questions. The clerks were very patient and handled them well (nice change from NY). When I got there, I had a long list of stuff, but it was all organized, so it took less time than the five people ahead of me combined. And the clerk said, since I have so much to mail in the coming week or so, maybe I need a smaller post office! I couldn’t resist: “They come smaller than this one?” Yeah, it was bratty, but, I mean, come on, the only post office I’ve ever seen that’s smaller was in a little tiny town in Ayrshire that has a postal window in the General Store.

But all the overseas cards are out, the overseas gifts are out, and one of the Hanukkah gifts is actually going to get there only the day after Hanukkah. Ran some errands, including getting outdoor lights, cable, and garland for the new trees. Spent a good part of the afternoon getting that all set up (instead of doing yard work). But they’re really, really cute, aren’t they? I’m so happy with them. Nice and simple, not too much, but gives the front a little festivity. And, with the candles in the windows, at night it has a nice glow.

Had to go back to Osterville House and Garden. I tried to get flat stops for the screws holding the tree in place so they’d actually hold it in place. I’m surprised they don’t hide behind the counter when they see me coming — but they’re always lovely and helpful. Also had to get an extension cord so the one little tree could reach the main cord. Unfortunately, all they had was orange, which kind of stands out — I was hoping for the more subtle dark green I’ve got along the side of the house. But I can live with it. It works.

Finished the assignment for Confidential Job #1; this morning, I have to write it up and get it out the door, since it’s due today. I have to do some yard work, and run yet more errands. Didn’t get any cards done yesterday, but plan to knock out a few today, along with packing up some more of the gifts.

I overslept this morning, so I’m already starting a little behind the beat.

The big event today is we have to go to the dump — ahem, transfer station. We’ve been stuffing the big garbage bin and the recycling crates in the garage. Now it’s time to get them out, and maybe find a way to maneuver in a few bags of leaves without getting leaves all over the car.

Because I have more raking to do, which means more leaves!

Playing with story ideas. There are several possibilities. I’d like to get one done for an anthology call, but don’t know if I can pull it together by January 1.

So the Republicans are “fiscal conservatives”? Is that why they forced a tax cut for the wealthy that will dig us $900 billion more into the hole? If you earn ten times more than I do, you should be paying more taxes than I do, not less because of ridiculous breaks and loopholes. Fiscal conservative, my ass. As usual, they only pander to the rich and are trying to turn everyone else into serfs, with themselves set up as “nobility.” And, of course, the Tea Party, who pretends to hold them “accountable” won’t say a word in protest, because they’re not grass-roots at all, but funded by the Party. For a group that uses “socialism” to scare people, they’re acting an awful lot like the former Soviet Union regime during the cold war. So typical of their ongoing hypocrisy.

I’m actually in favor of a flat tax of 10% on all income, split 3 1/3 between federal, state, and local, and each area has to manage their budget just like the rest of us. No loopholes. Period.

Happy that the New England Patriots (the only football team I ever really gave a damn about) whomped the NY Jets 45-3 last night.

Devon

Published in: on December 7, 2010 at 8:18 am  Comments (8)  
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