Wed. June 9, 2021: Transition Day 14 — Mounting Stress

imagimage

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Dark Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Saturn Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde

Sunny and hot

The above image is by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay. WP isn’t letting me put in captions anymore.

Another hellish day.

I thought I had the dumpster all sorted out. Booked, payment information, “guaranteed flat rate.” Then, the confirmation sheet comes through with “additional per piece charges” for the things I wanted the dumpster for in the first place. Which are double if I hauled them to the dump myself or hired a guy with a truck and rode shotgun to pay at the dump.

I wasted yet more hours trying to get quotes on dumpsters and haulers, losing precious packing time. One guy gave me a ridiculous quote, plus add-ons, and when I questioned them, smirked and said, “That’s what you get for not being smart enough to land a husband.”

Asshole. Typical Cape Cod.

I’d use Rent-A-Husband to negotiate, but there’s no franchise around here, and I’d have to negotiate with them to get them to negotiate.

I’ve contacted every agency that’s supposed to help with seniors and with housing and with budget limitations, and nothing. Most of the time, not even a response. I’m at my wit’s end. I’m already overwhelmed with what has to be done, and now there are more and more and more financial demands.

When we moved here, EVERY DAY, guys would knock on the door, begging to be hired to clean or do yard work or fix something or do a dump run at a flat, low fee.  I mean, I’m glad people are working and getting paid, so they don’t have to go door-to-door, but this piecemeal, add-on, faux-rate stuff is awful.

We’re purging like crazy, and can’t even afford to throw out the trash, because of the way the fees are structured. I looked into buying a year sticker at the dump, thinking it would be cheaper – but I’m limited to 8 bags a week. It used to be a sticker meant unlimited bags.

The landlord was here before 7:30 in the morning, sanding and making noise (he’d said it would be 8:30). I have to say, it makes me nervous to see him with one foot on the ladder, and one knee on the deck’s roof. He’s in his 70’s.

NONE of this needs to be done right now. It can wait until we’re gone.

We ran a load of stuff to storage in the morning. We didn’t get on the road until 8, so it was busier and took longer than if we’d left at 7:30. Came back, handled the  quote issues, lost more packing time, packed more, cried a lot, requested more quotes, put in more help requests to agencies who are supposed to help seniors with stuff like this, tried to get some work done, packed even more, loaded up the car again and took another load to storage.

There’s finally a dent in the storage room, and that makes me feel better, and there’s even clear space in my room (which Tessa thoroughly enjoys).

Worked on clearing the garage and rearranging areas in the garage – one for stuff that I need help moving into storage, one for stuff that’s going on the dump run/into dumpster/or I’m running to the dump myself.

It feels good to get rid of stuff.

I don’t know what to do with my old LPs. They’re not in great shape. I have 5 crates of them. It’s not a particularly impressive collection, so I’m thinking of just tossing them, although I’ve kept my record player.

Then, there are the boxes that a neighbor left with me in NYC in 1995. He was very, very sick, estranged from his family, and a friend moved him to Texas. He was going to tell me when he was ready for me to ship the boxes, and I never heard from him again. I’m pretty sure he’s dead, although I haven’t found an obituary, and no one responds from the address he gave me. I’ve carted those boxes through every move since, stored them, and never opened them. I don’t know what to do with them. Twitter pals suggest opening them and either tossing or donating.

Oh, and THAT – no one is picking up donations, so if I want to donate, I have to take it to the designated shacks at the dump – AND PAY TO DO SO. I’m paying to donate items. Which is wrong on so many levels, but typical Cape Cod.

I had to stop at one point and do some script coverage. I’ve had to take on extra work, because I will lose most of the last two weeks of this month – when I desperately need money coming in.

National Grid is being a pill about winding up my gas account here, although I did manage to get the new apartment’s electricity account in my name. Berkshire Gas was delightful. The woman with whom I set up the account was delightful, and told me I have “the best landlord around” which was nice to hear. I have to contact Eversource today about winding up the electricity here. The address change went in at the post office. I contacted the North Adams library about protocols and getting a new card when we get there and got the nicest response ever from them, with the steps, the hours, their safety protocols, and they said they can’t wait to meet me.

We are going to a really good place for us IF WE CAN DAMN GET THERE.

I collapsed from exhaustion and actually slept last night (the previous night, I fell asleep at 8:30 and was awake by 11:30). My mom hasn’t been sleeping at all, and suffering from leg cramps. She’s 96. I’m worried the move is killing her, and she’s worried I’ll collapse from the stress of all the assholes.

On top of all of that, I have to bring the car in to be repaired today. If that’s a big bill, I’m really up a creek.

So, the stresses mount. If I can just get us OUT of here, we’ll be fine.

Hold a good thought, please.

Two weeks from today, we SHOULD wake up in the new place, if we can get the hell out of here.

Tues. July 23, 2019: Physical Manifestations?

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy, hot, humid

The weekend was brutally hot. It was bad. Difficult to get anything done.

I also fretted and stressed all weekend about this week with one of my clients, which I knew would be off-the-charts stressful. It’s easy to say “don’t think about it” or “detach” — but it doesn’t work that way, at least not for me.

I worked hard in the early mornings (usually up by four) to get the fans going and cool down the place. I had to shut everything by 7 AM, and then keep fans going inside. The humidity and lack of breeze kept everything heavy and oppressive.

Of course, there were power outages. Why should Eversource actually provide the services for which they exist and overcharge?

Read a lot. Jean-Luc Bannalec’s THE MISSING CORPSE, set in Brittany, which was interesting. The way the book is structured is so different from the way an American or British or Australian mystery is constructed.

Re-read Susan Cheever’s AMERICAN BLOOMSBURY, which I enjoyed even more this time around.

Tried to stay quiet and cool, and keep the cats the same.

I’d done some research on Friday about possible article markets, and I’m working on pitches. I hope to get at least some of them out this week.

The 2020 SPELL-A-DAY ALMANAC author copies arrived. They look wonderful! My work is in there under the Cerridwen Iris Shea byline. I’ll have to do some updates on that website, and on the blog.

I’m still waiting for payment for a freelance job for a local client I did nearly a month ago. It was invoiced on July 1. On July 15, the client apologized for the delay and promised to take care of it. It’s still not here. That is not okay. That money is marked for specific bills that need to be paid.

I’m sick of the attitude in this area that paying for work is optional. That, along with the attitude of hiring the cheapest person who is also the least threatening, instead of the best person for the job has gotten real old real fast.

I got out some LOIs. There was a communications job at a theatre in Maine that looked interesting. Unfortunately, instead of accepting a resume and letter, they demand filling out a specific application that is one of the most insulting things I’ve ever read. Some of the questions are also now illegal. So I’m not even going to pitch to them.

I had to go onsite at my client’s early yesterday and stay late. Same today. It went better than expected, but was still a tough day.

I’m having terrible trouble with my back. Every movement causes pain. I’m wondering if my frustrations from the past few weeks are manifesting in this particular type of “stuck” pain.

Meditation was much needed.

Between the heat and the stress, I’ve lost some of the momentum on GRAVE REACH. I hope to regain it in the next few days.

Awakened last night by tornado alerts. Got things together in case we had to go down to the basement. Lots of thunder and lightning, but it passed.

Back to the page.

Published in: on July 23, 2019 at 8:48 am  Comments Off on Tues. July 23, 2019: Physical Manifestations?  
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Mon. Feb. 6, 2017: Holding SuperBowl Advertisers to Their Message

Monday, February 6, 2017
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Busy weekend.

Friday was mostly about research and studying. Saturday, I got some writing done, but there was more research and studying.

Sunday started out very well, writing-wise, and then the power went out around 9:30 in the morning. It had fluctuated a bit earlier, but Autosave had saved most of the larger document on which I was working. I corrected, saved, printed, and then the power went off for the rest of the day, and I lost the next 750 words of a new chapter, which sucks. Especially since I’d gone off the notes/outline and can’t recreate it.

Put a fire in the fireplace, and did what I could to keep the house at a reasonable temperature. It was sunny, so I read. Michael Connolly’s THE WRONG SIDE OF GOODBYE, which was very good.

Eversource, as usual, was a nightmare to deal with. It’s illegal in this state to be entirely off the grid; you HAVE to be connected to Eversource. Yet, when the power goes out, their lack of interest in fixing it is insulting, as is their shrug and suggestion, “Go get a generator.” If I need a generator, and add solar panels and a wind turbine, I shouldn’t have to be connected to YOU. We were okay, but I felt bad for all the people in the area who were having Super Bowl parties and had to prep.

A local newswire said it was a transformer fire just up the street, but the “outage map” showed no power outages. I emailed them and told them they were wrong. But, actually correcting an article from a source on the site is not the Cape Cod Way. Far better to have the wrong information up.

I was supposed to go to a political meeting in Brewster in the early afternoon, but there was no way I was going out on the road without traffic lights. Local drivers consider them suggestions at the best of times; no lights and many accidents. No, thank you.

And if you think a transformer fire “just happened” to occur on Super Bowl Sunday, you’re incredibly naive. Either the transformer was tampered with by someone who wanted to mess with game day, or the transformer was tampered with by someone inside who wanted the company to be considered “heroes” for getting the power back on in time for the game. However, they just looked like idiots all the way around — not the linemen, who actually do the work. They’re good, as always. But Eversource Management, which isn’t even located in New England, doesn’t understand the northeast, and doesn’t care. Although, from what I heard today, it was a pretty massive fire, so who knows?

The power went on for about two or three minutes at a time, and then off again half a dozen times between four and six o’clock. They’re lucky they got it up and running again before kickoff or they would have had a riot on their hands.

We need a smaller, local company that actually gives a damn and has an ethic or two.

I’m not a football person, so I didn’t really care about the game one way or another. Usually, I’d root for the Patriots, because, well, I live here. I rooted for the Patriots when I lived in New York because the Jets and Giants both played in New Jersey, so they can say “New York” all they wanted, but they still played in New Jersey, so who cares?

I’ve had less respect for them over the past few months because of the connection to the Narcissistic Sociopath. Hey, you stick by your friends, good for you. Most have tried to keep politics out of the game, good for them. But my respect for them went down. But my neighbors and people I deal with here on a regular basis are ardent fans, and I wanted to see them happy. At the same time, I felt they were going in with a lot of arrogance, and it was a given that they would win.

I always thought “deflategaate” was a crock. You look at the charges, at the evidence, and it was Roger Goodell wanting to give Tom Brady and the Patriots a smack down. There was nothing legitimate in it. I think he thought — and so did football fans all over the country — that with a 1/4 season suspension, even undeserved, the team couldn’t get into the Super Bowl.

They were wrong.

I also didn’t like a lot of the nasty Tweets that were going on, beyond trash talk, especially once the Patriots started pulling it out. To compare it with election night? Get over yourself. This is a football game. Decisions made no matter which side wins don’t change the direction of the country.

The Patriots had an amazing comeback. The Falcons were ahead, 28-3, and by the end of the game, the Patriots tied, and then won in overtime. When the pressure seems insurmountable, Brady and Belicheck dig deeper and pull it out. They did it. The team did it. They deserved the win. Goodell got his karmic return.

I have lots of happy, hung over neighbors this morning!

Lady Gaga’s halftime show was spectacular. Prince’s is still my favorite, but this comes very close. It WAS political, but it didn’t need to speak politics. The show itself was about the positive, the inclusive, the joy of creation. She’s a hell of a performer, and she showed it last night.

The commercials were pretty surprising, too. Corporations gave the people who reject the evangelical, white supremacist trajectory on which this country is headed what they wanted. I mean, let’s face it, Coca Cola has always been good at this. They did the whole “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” and the “world harmony” thing decades ago. They gave us our vision of Santa Claus. I was pleasantly surprised by Budweiser, Air Bnb, 84 Lumber. Good for them.

Not that I trust a corporation. Ever. They gave us what we wanted last night. It wasn’t quite a promise, but it was a message of inclusion. Now, we hold them to it. We thank them. We buy their products. We keep track of where they make political contributions. And if they’re backing people who are contrary to last night’s message, we call them out on it.

I did have to laugh at the Tweets responding to the threatened boycotts of Coca Cola, Pepsi (who did the halftime show) and Budweiser by suggesting that those boycotting individuals drink Flint’s water.

Meanwhile, Nieman Marcus (known in the wardrobe trade as “Needless Mark-up”) and Nordstrom’s dropped things in lines made by the Sociopath’s Daughter. I never bought anything anyway by any of the family brands, because I’ve practiced conscientious consumerism for years. Not spending my money on their products is not new to me. But I also didn’t buy any of the designs or products because the craftsmanship was always poor, and, frankly, I thought the designs were tacky. Very Bridge and Tunnel. (New Yorkers will know what that means). I stopped shopping Macy’s when they added that family’s product line to their stores. To me, that was a sign that Macy’s no longer cared about quality.

This morning is cold and sunny. As I said, lots of happy, hung over neighbors. I have a lot of writing to do today, I start my second week of Constitutional Law classes, and I have a few errands. Plus, research. A great deal of the next five months will be about research.

Tomorrow, I spend time in the rented office. That should be interesting.

Meanwhile, another week, another chance go do some solid work. Let’s hope I can, and that there aren’t yet more illegal Executive Orders stripping us of more rights.

In one of the pieces on which I’m working, the architecture is vital to the plot. I used a real house as the inspiration, but then I spent time this weekend drawing blueprints/floorplans to make the story work. I added a rotunda to one side, I changed a few things. My architecture books came in handy. But now, I have to think twice, when I work on the book, and when I think about the house — do I mean the real house who inspired the fictional house, or do I mean the fictional house? Interesting dilemma.

Back to the page.

Published in: on February 6, 2017 at 10:11 am  Comments Off on Mon. Feb. 6, 2017: Holding SuperBowl Advertisers to Their Message  
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Wed. Nov. 18, 2015: Not Ready to Say Goodbye

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold
Frost

Today is my colleague’s funeral. I still can’t wrap my head around him being gone. It’s incomprehensible to me. I dread going to the service because I’m not ready to say goodbye.

Last weekend was a blur — grocery shopping, errands, paying bills. Eversource should really be called “Neversource.” They keep raising rates at ridiculous levels, but heaven forbid they give customer service — especially when they screw up. They are a company that’s grown too big to serve its customers and should be broken up, just like Ma Bell was. Ma Bell was actually a good company and most companies that rose in their wake — Comcast, Verizon, etc. – -have sucked.

Most of the writing I got done was on DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. The story’s taking some good twists and turns. I’m setting up some interesting over-reaching arcs that can play out over several books without taking away interest in the central mystery of each book. I wanted to work on it yesterday morning, but got in so few words (due to a stressful situation that needed to be dealt with immediately), that they weren’t even worth counting. I’m hoping to have better luck today.

At yesterday’s Come Write In! session at the library (we had a nice group), I wrote 2002 words (in longhand) on THE TIE-CUTTER. I felt good about it, and it was fun to write in company.

Looking back on it, however, I realize that I rushed a couple of scenes and put them in narrative when they would have worked better as active, dialogue scenes. In the next draft, I’ll have to rework them. Olivia’s in Iceland now, and I have to put up the photos from my trip and get a feel for the place again. I couldn’t even remember place names properly without looking them up. Of course, even if I remembered, I would have had to look them up in order to spell them correctly!

The historical mystery is pulling at me, but I’ve written enough notes on it so I won’t lose it, and I’ve got to finish the historical play first anyway, because I have to upload it in mid-December.

The next few days will be long — lots to do at work, plus it’s my Saturday “on.” Next week, we move into the Thanksgiving holidays, and then it’s full force into Spectacle of the Trees. Not to mention my own holiday decorating and baking.

The past two days were filled with unmitigated and unnecessary stress due to someone trying to play God with me. It didn’t work, but the whole thing was very unpleasant. When someone feels powerless in their own life and then deliberately sets out to harm someone else in order to feel better, that is not okay. Not only do I refuse to be the one harmed, I refuse to let that individual harm anyone else.

Back to preparing myself, both mentally and physically, for a difficult day.

Devon

Published in: on November 18, 2015 at 5:12 pm  Comments Off on Wed. Nov. 18, 2015: Not Ready to Say Goodbye  
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