Tues. Dec. 29, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 223 — Trying To Hold On, These Last Few Days

Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020

Full Moon

Uranus Retrograde

Fourth Day of Christmas (Four Calling Birds)

Fourth Day of Kwanzaa (Day of Cooperative Economics)

Sunny and cold

There’s a post over on the GDR site to make you feel better about the year and the turn of it.

I hope you had a lovely holiday weekend, whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

If you haven’t read the fun pieces in the Weird Christmas anthology (including mine), you can read or listen to them here.

It was stormy here, but we were tucked inside, with blankets and cats and candles and books, so all was fine.

Christmas Eve, I got some admin done and some LOIs out. I got out my review, and received the next two books for review. I played with some ideas.

For dinner, I made cod paella. Talk about a Cape Coddish version of paella! The cooking wasn’t bad at all, but the chopping – let’s just say I should have started far earlier! But it was the christening of my new paella pan, and it turned our really, really well. Dessert was chocolate and lemon mouse, layered.

While I prepared the paella, as I listened to Christmas carols on the radio, a particularly passionate rendition of “O Holy Night” gave me an idea for a short story, set in NYC.

We burned our bayberry candle for prosperity and good luck as we opened presents. I think it’s hilarious that one of my friends and I made each other potholders. Because we both bake so much!

Settled in, Icelandic-style, to read.

Up early Christmas Day, thanks for Charlotte. We did stockings, and I made scrambled eggs with smoked salmon for breakfast. Usually, we have scrambled eggs with Panettone, but I couldn’t find one that looked good this year, and I used up the only fruit peel I had in the stollen.

I noodled with the story idea I’d had the night before, and worked on another piece, too, for something I’m looking ahead to do next year.

Mostly, though, we read and played with cats. I didn’t want to be on the computer, because I expected the power to go out any minute.

I made Cornish hen for the big, midday meal. Somehow, an entire 5-pound bag of potatoes disappeared in the last few days. But we had enough left over from the other bag to make mashed potatoes. However, I’ll need to get more before New Year’s. I don’t know how 5 pounds of potatoes could vanish from the kitchen, but, somehow, they managed. I also made the carrot-parsnip-mushroom dish, which was good.

Stollen for dessert.

We cleaned up the kitchen, put away the leftovers, and I cooked down the bones from the Cornish hens for stock.

One of the books I read was Christina Baker Kline’s THE EXILES. What a sad, beautiful book.

Got a notice from Amazon that they lost my package. So – when I’m looking at the print books I wanted to buy (and give my acquaintance her few affiliate cents) – they GURANTEE it will be here by Dec. 21. Once I actually BUY the books, it changes to “estimated” by Dec. 21. On the 21, it was “delayed” and would arrive between the 22-24. On the 25th, they tell me it’s “lost.”

That’s what I get for breaking my vow not to buy anything except eBooks from Amazon. They really are a vile company.

If I ask for a refund, they’ll just double-charge me, like they did last time.

I’ll wait a few more days to see if the books show up. Fortunately, they weren’t anything I counted on in time for the holidays.

Meanwhile, the velvet fabric I ordered on Christmas Eve – shipped on Christmas Eve.

Up early Saturday morning, thanks to Charlotte. Who, of course, promptly went back to sleep as soon as I fed her.

Noodled on a short story for a bit, then got the laundry and usual Saturday household chores started. It was nice out – I put the outdoor decorations I’d taken inside during the high winds back out.

Read a lot. I’m reading Laurie Cass’s bookmobile cat mysteries. They are fun. She captures the way cats behave well, and it’s nice to have an upbeat, positive protagonist instead of one all angsty all the time.

Worked with Tessa and Willa for a few hours, so they get used to having good experiences in the same room together. Willa wants to be friends, but Tessa doesn’t trust her, because sometimes Willa forgets and plays too rough. But we will get there.

Leftovers on Saturday night (yum), and more reading.

Up early on Sunday, again thanks to Charlotte. Baked cranberry-chocolate muffins. Wrote a short story, just under 1500 words, start to finish. It will need a lot more work, but I like the bones of it.

Did an early morning Target run. The holiday shelves were bare – they already removed everything instead of marking it down. I searched for bins – there were only two bins left in one of the sizes I needed, so I grabbed them. They were sold out of all the other bins I need, and one can’t order them to ship. Which is why I sucked it up to do the Target run in the first place–because I couldn’t order the bins online. So I am SOL for bins in my budget. Picked up a few other staples, and checked out. Risked going across the street to Kmart – again, no bins. The store will close soon and it’s just. . .depleted and sad.

Home, decontaminated. I was out and about early enough so there were only about 5 other people in Target and two in Kmart, so I could stay far, far away.

Read, worked with the cats. Depressed myself looking at rental listings. Too many are overpriced crap. Allowed myself a quiet day. Leftovers for dinner.

Up early on Monday. Worked on a short story. I’m trying to do a short piece for each of the 12 Days of Christmas. They’re linked, but each stands alone. It’s an idea I have for next year. It’s also a way to get the creative juices flowing properly again.

Worked on the ghost ship story. I SHOULD have finished a draft over the holidays so I’d polish now. But I gave myself a rest.

Went to the office for a few hours. I was there on my own, as it should be, and got a lot done. Had to chase down the postman to take the package. Most of the post office workers around here are great, but this one guy on the office’s route – he’s arrogant, won’t wear a mask, and tries to get out of picking up or dropping off mail to us all the time. I can’t stand him.

Had dropped off books at the book drop in the morning. At least 3 dozen people wandering around on their “walks” – no masks, no distancing. It’s disgusting.

Home, had to take my mother to the doctor, which meant I had to put off the writing and editing planned. But she’s better, and that’s what matters

This morning, up early, worked on a short story. Went to the dump to get rid of garbage and recycling, so we don’t start the new year with a garage full of garbage. Stopped at the grocery store for a few things – everyone’s sold out of leeks for the past two weeks. The world will not stop because I can’t make the leek and cheese pastries for New Year’s – I’ll make them later in January.

I’m getting ready to do some writing and editing, to catch up on yesterday, and then some client work in the afternoon. I started the day feeling pretty optimistic, but that melted away pretty quickly, and I have to work to get it back. I hope a good writing session will help.

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Tues. June 2, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 15: Our Cities Are Burning, and They Laugh

Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It’s so cool around here that the heat’s kicked on the past couple of days.

Where to start? This country is burning to the ground, to the glee of the GOP. This is what they’ve worked toward since the Reagan years.

Reading Edward Robb Ellis’s diary, he writes about his anger when, in a news conference, Reagan says, “Facts are stupid.” The seeds were planted all the way back then.

I have felt my age a good deal these past days. There’s so much I can’t do to make things better; I’ve been focusing on what I CAN do, including working with my elected officials, doing what I do well (write) and using it in a context that can help, not harm.

I still feel useless, and then I feel guilty for feeling that, because it’s not about me. It’s about all of us. All of us with brains and hearts, anyway.

But there are things I can do. As with my view that true philanthropy is anonymous, I also don’t feel like I need to talk about every detail of everything I’m doing as a citizen to try to make things better. In spite of the pressure to “prove” oneself on social media. There are things I can and am doing (legal things) that I don’t need to report in minute detail. I do what I’m doing, work with my elected officials (many of whom are, at least, sane). I need to do what I can where I can, while keeping my eye on the bigger picture.

Riots were inevitable. While the Sociopath dances and claps and rage tweets and his (redacted) pulls her Marie Antoinette act and the GOP pats each other on the back, what the hell did they think would happen? People have nothing left to lose anymore. No jobs, no plan to control the pandemic, and getting murdered for existing. Especially since white domestic terrorists are allowed to do whatever they want without consequence.

It was inevitable that, in trying to force us into being serfs, there wouldn’t be revolt.

All the government has ever had to do was treat everyone as decent, valuable human beings.

It’s not difficult.

But they CHOSE not to. It has been a deliberate choice for my entire existence, and certainly long before that.

I will never forgive people like Senator Susan Collins, who could have done something to prevent this, and chose not to.

We will become the fascist enemy against whom the world will unite and fight. We will become what we fought in World War II.

The Sociopath using tear gas to clear his way for a photo op (where he looked like an idiot anyway, as usual) and threatening to use the military against citizens –egged on by Tom Cotton and his pals – is unacceptable.

On a more personal front, I just plugged along all weekend. I did some client work on Friday. A site had to go live yesterday at the business owner’s insistence, even though it’s not ready. So it is what it is and I just keep working on it.

A post went up yesterday on the GDR site about not having a To-Do list this month. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot that needs to get done; it means I’m not setting myself up for failure by putting up a list that would have to change by today.

Saturday was a big housework day: loads of laundry, changing the beds, vacuuming, mopping. The tree pollen is falling, so there’s a thick coat of yellow pollen on everything. I’m going to have to hose down the deck in the next couple of days.

The iris are blooming. I love that flower.

Got to spend some time out on the deck, although the neighbors and their constant use of power tools, all day every day, seven days a week, makes it impossible to sit outside and enjoy anything. The damn illegal fireworks don’t help, either. Like we don’t have enough to worry about, now illegal fireworks have curbside pickup, too? A couple of years ago, one of them almost caught the roof on fire. Not to mention how it hurts the animals and vets who are suffering from PTSD. But those morons believe their right to be destructive is greater than anyone else’s right to live peacefully.

Tessa didn’t want any part of the playpen, but Willa had a good time in it.

We have a pair of big brown bunnies in the yard (which probably means we will have little bunnies soon). Che Guevara Chipmunk argues with the robins, but leaves the bunnies alone. It’s pretty cute. Che is getting bold. He comes right up to me on the deck. Because Tessa isn’t there to chase him.

Grab moments of beauty when we can. It’s the only way to survive right now.

On Sunday, I re-read what I’ve written so far on THE BARD’S LAMENT, and I re-read and did some revisions on both THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE and DAVY JONES DHARMA.

I’m happy with the way BARD is going. Now, I have to dig deeper and make it happen. BALTHAZAAR and DHARMA are both salvageable, which a few weeks ago, I thought they weren’t. So I have to get back on track with them, too.

I’m not sure how I will juggle all of this, especially with stresses of the client insisting on me being back in the office.

But I’ll have to find a way.

Yesterday was a decent first morning writing session on THE BARD’S LAMENT. I’m getting back into its rhythm, which is nice. I know where I need to go with it, I have a deadline, and I’m doing my best to meet it, and then move back to edits on THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE.

The 99 cent promotion on the first three books is finished, and I’m deeply grateful to all the people who liked and Retweeted and bought the books during the sale. I hoped to get into an Overdrive promotion for June, but it doesn’t look like any of the books were chosen. So I’ll work on the teasers download, that’s the first three chapters of each of these three series, that I want to do as a free giveaway to hopefully, entice people to buy the full books.

Went onsite for the one client for whom I’m willing to go onsite. The other colleague and I staggered hours, and the client wasn’t in, so it was fine. Got done what I needed to; will do some more work for that client from home today, and then go in for a few hours again tomorrow.

Came home, changed, and went through another box from the basement. This one was all fabric. I’d thought it was old clothes that I have to give away, but no, it was actual fabric. The good stuff, from NYC. I sorted it and washed it. Some is apparel fabric, and some is décor fabric. Everything’s washed, and I figured out what I want to do with most of it. Now, it’s a case of building time into the schedule to get it done.

Turned in a book review and got another book assigned. I hope the reviewing picks up again. I can use the money. That money can pay for the lawn mowing all summer!

I was exhausted because on Monday, I’d been up since 2:30 in the morning. I was up just after 5 today.

Had an excellent morning writing session on THE BARD’S LAMENT, and feel good about it. Wrote about 7 pages on it. If I can keep steady on it, I think I can make my deadline.

I have to turn some of my writing time to the Susanna Centlivre play, too. I want to get that drafted by the end of the month.

No LOIs out the past few days, although I got some out over the weekend.

Tracking the virus cases in the state, watching the numbers fluctuate. They are still too high, in my opinion, to warrant the way re-opening is being handled. Deaths and new case numbers flowed up and down. Yesterday’s numbers were considerably down; there may be a bump in the numbers over the next few days because the state is also counting “suspected” cases, not just confirmed, which should give a better view of the real numbers. The consequences of Memorial Day Weekend won’t be seen for another week or so.

It would be good if I’m wrong and the numbers keep going down.

But I can’t see that happening, with so much reckless behavior going on.

Focusing on what I can do, and where I can have a positive impact, and trying not to get overwhelmed.

I am, though, angry. Very, very angry.

Peace to you, friends.

Published in: on June 2, 2020 at 6:53 am  Comments Off on Tues. June 2, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 15: Our Cities Are Burning, and They Laugh  
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Tues. March 6, 2012: Sunshine Sets the Mood

Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was one of those days when everything takes longer than it should. Got my materials out for Confidential Job #1 — and the next assignment showed up at my door that afternoon! Ran an errand in the morning, then made arrangements to get the car fixed. Thought it would be a quick in-and-out, but you know how that goes, so I wound up missing my friend’s talk out in Dennis. He said it went well — 100 people showed up! He’s a great speaker, so I’m not surprised.

Had more errands to run in the afternoon, which included a button hunt. Something I miss about NY — the button shops in the garment district. However, I finally managed to get to Tumbleweed’s Quilts, which is right up the road. What a magnificent shop! They didn’t have the buttons I was looking for, but I found some gorgeous material — a kind of an underwatery batik that I’m hanging over the fireplace instead of a mirror (feng shui — needs to be fire and water to make steam for best results in that space). Yes, it’s cloth, so one could argue earth, but it represents water. I also found some other beautiful pieces there that I’m using for this and that, and some humorous Day of the Dead fabric that compliments my Day of the Dead decorations and tiles.

Then, it was to Dennis (about three hours after my friend’s talk) to Ladybug, a great little knitting shop, where I found the perfect buttons for the current project — they look like silver snail shells. It will look nice against the pale blue yarn. And I rummaged in the discount bins and found some good stuff.

Worked with students, started Sensory Perceptions, wound up 5 in 10, worked with the year-longs and the private students. Sent off the article due. Comcast is being a bunch of lying, cheating dickheads as usual, so I will have to deal with them — again — later today. On my way to meditation now — lovely day to go up to Cobb’s Hill. A little cold, but that’s okay. Trying to get my feet back under me after last week, and preparing for my mom’s surgery on Thursday. But the sun is shining, and I’m looking forward to a good day.

Devon

Published in: on March 6, 2012 at 7:30 am  Comments (3)  
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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hot and humid

We’re finally getting the summer weather, but it’s not anywhere near as bad as it could be.

I’m on retreat this weekend. Yay!

Yesterday was a hit-and-miss day. I went to Home Depot to pick up wood glue so I can work on the 1950’s couch and the 1950’s chair that also needs some help. Don’t you love it when there’s a whole aisle worth of stuff, and one individual purposely blocks anyone else from looking or choosing merchandise because “I need to look at it all as a piece so I know what I want.” Honey, this is a pubic store and you are not the only customer. Get over yourself. Literally, this guy was spreading his arms and dancing back and forth not letting any of the half a dozen of us or so who actually knew what we wanted and were reaching for it and then clearing out actually put hands on product. Get a life, bub. And learn some basic courtesy.

After Home Depot, I drove over to White Plains (looking longingly at the turn off to Target) to Verizon, where I wanted to talk to someone about upgrading my phone, the phone plan, and the problem of the forwarded calls (got a barely polite message frm the doctor’s office stating that “we didn’t do anything; you better call Verizon.” Um, what do you think I was doing on the phone with Verizon for an hour and a half? They INSIST the problem originates in the doctor’s office. Frankly, I don’t give a damn where it originates. It is VERIZON’S responsibility to fix it, and they’re just shrugging it off. It’s not surprising, but it’s annoying.

Anyway, the place was really busy, and after waiting around for a half hour, I was done. Plus, they only let you check in with one type of issue, and I had three. As usual, they try to put people in boxes instead of dealing with individual issues. So I left. They’re perfectly nice there, it’s just that the way they’re set up doesn’t meet my needs. And since I am paying them to meet my needs, we need to negotiate a bit more.

Continued to Hartsdale to the fabric store. Searched for bobbins for my Viking Hvesquenhana — which I bought there. Got a song and dance because they decided not to carry them there and have no idea what other bobbins are compatible. Found thread to fix a skirt of mine — and got a lecture on thread from one of the clerks. Honey, I’ve been in wardrobe for over 20 years. I KNOW what kind of thread I need for this repair. Don’t lecture me and damn well don’t condescend to me. Went downstairs with a swatch I’d gotten from them awhile back to actually purchase the upholstery fabric to recover the 1950’s chair. They didn’t have it, they’d never heard of it, etc., etc., even though I had the swatch and all the details from the last visit. I looked at the fabrics they had in stock — none of them were what I wanted for this chair. So I left, only purchasing thread, and with a bad taste in my mouth. They’ve always been a little eccentric, but, in the past, they were friendly and funny and it was worth putting up with the eccentricities. Not with these particular employees. I doubt I’ll go back.

Stopped at Michael’s — they have a variety of bobbins, but until I talk to Viking and find out which bobbins are compatible, I’m not buying them. The same packages are also half the price they were at the fabric store.

I really need to find a new fabric store, but there’s a dearth of them in the area. I think I’ll have to go hunting in CT, and, whenever I’m in MASS, I’ll have to add stops at fabric stores to my list. I don’t want to haul into the garment district in NYC every time I want some fabric. Although the silks at the fabric store are now three and four times more expensive than they are in the garment district, and not as pretty or as high quality. Well, maybe in fall I’ll make a list and do one big trip to the garment district with a wheeled suitcase and get everything in one haul.

In other words, it wasn’t a very good shopping day! 😉

Diane, the bureau isn’t the one I “inherited” at storage — that’s too big for this space. I’ll use it when I move. The one I’m bringing in is a smaller one. When I lived on the Deuce in NYC, right off Times Square, I went to a huge Salvation Army store on W. 46th St. I found a bureau there painted an ugly shade of green for about $25. I loved the lines of it. I took my little folding airport luggage cart, strapped it on, and wheeled it home. I stripped it and painted it a glossy black. Topped with a red silk scarf and some pretty little candles, stones, and other pieces, it had pride of place in the bedroom. It’ll fit in this space, once I clear out some other stuff, and I need the extra drawer space.

The 1950’s couch will go into storage once I re-glue it, but I won’t refinish it/make the new cushions until I move. I will recover the cushions in the 1950’s chair, however, over the next few months. That’s still here and will stay here. I’m getting rid of the black, broken recliner (which was delivered the day Bobby Kennedy was shot) and I want to replace it with another reading chair, yet to be found. The oversized reading chair that I love, stashed in storage, won’t fit.

Anyway, I came home to find some yoga/writing clothes I ordered arrived. I tried everything on; all but one piece fit and look good. They were on sale (like 60% off), and they’re a great, soft, organic cotton. I feel like I got a good deal. I’m returning the one piece that didn’t fit if I can catch the post office open. Since I can’t drive until the wrist heals, I either have to catch the post office up the street when it’s open, or wait. Or have someone drive me.

I ordered the new couch that will take the place of the 1950’s couch — it’s a light, simple piece that flips out into a sofa bed and works better for the space. Poking around on the internet, I found some promotional codes, and got a nice chunk discounted off that, too. It will be delivered in about ten days. Which means I have ten days to finish packing stuff up in the apartment and hire the guys to do the furniture switch. Provided the wrist heals quickly, it’s do-able.

I got some client work cleared off, caught up on a few things, read a bit I rested the wrist — icing it, taking some ibuprofen (since I want to remain on speaking terms with my liver, I’m being careful). Diane, great suggestion on the witch hazel compress — that made a big difference. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions — I’m implementing as many as I can to get this resolved as quickly and healthily as possible!

I thought I’d have to modify my yoga practice, but, for some reason, the poses don’t aggravate it. If they do, I’ll modify.

The cats didn’t like the thunder and lightening storms last night. They huddled under the blankets, watching the lightening strikes, and demanding that I make it stop. I enjoy a good thunder storm, especially if I’m inside!

This morning, one of the window shades spontaneously popped out of its fastening and shot across the room like a missile. I’m lucky it didn’t hit the mirror and smash it. The cats dived for cover. I managed to fix it and replace it. It seems to be working fine, now.

I had a good morning’s writing session. I’m off to the post office now to make that return,and then it’s back to a day of writing. I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of it. I’ve got some ideas to work on, and some projects to get back to. I’ve also got a novel that looks like a lot of fun to sink into when I get tired of writing.

I had a great morning yoga session and I plan to do one more this afternoon and one tonight. No packing or client projects this weekend — just doing what I want and need to do for myself, getting refreshed both mentally and physically.

The landlords are being scumbags again, but I will deal with them on Monday.

And I answered someone’s question on a forum about my opinion on mill content sites (and one in particular) — I’m sure several of the “writers” on the forum will take issue with it. Too damn bad.

Devon

Published in: on July 25, 2009 at 8:40 am  Comments (3)  
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