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.

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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Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cool
Veterans’ Day

Already have one load in the dryer and one in the washer of the four loads that need to get done today. I have to vacuum. I have to tidy up the living room and my office. I need to get some housework done today. I’ve been working so hard that it’s fallen by the wayside.

Yoga was great yesterday morning. Big class — nearly double the size as usual, but lots of fun. The teacher helped me with a problem I’ve been having with my left hip — which is usually the good hip. It’s much better and I’m going to keep doing those poses daily to keep it that way!

Pretty much just flat out worked yesterday. Just a couple more days on the Harry Potter workshop, and I’m done with deconstructions. I’m ready. They’re starting to interact on this one, and at least they really KNOW the material, but the ratio of prep time to payment just doesn’t make sense.

Knocked out an article due for Savvy Authors and have to change the date for a live chat, because it conflicts with something I’m doing with Cape Cod Writers’ Association.
I need to do some edits in a book before I send it out — I’ve decided that the prologue isn’t really a prologue, it’s the first chapter, so that means re-jiggling everything. Time-consuming, but necessary for it to go out. I’ve also got to get back to THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, which is the big plan for next week.

Everything had to stop mid-afternoon, because I did a test run of the lasagna I need to take to Maine in two weeks. There are usually about 60 people for Thanksgiving dinner, and everyone helps out. I always make a desert for the main dinner, but the last few years, it’s become my job to make the dinner for 6-12 people on Wednesday night. They’re the ones most involved in the planning and set-up of the space, and it takes some of the pressure off them. The request, this year, was for lasagna. I’ve only made it once before, about six years ago, and it was a disaster.

I tried it again, this time from a recipe in NEW BASICS. It was awesome! Truly, a wonderful recipe. So, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I’ll cook all day — I’ve got two cakes to make (lemon for the Thanksgiving dinner, a pound cake for the Wednesday night dinner) and the lasagna. The latter is time intensive and labor intensive, but it’s worth it. I’ll prepare the elements for a salad and bring them up with me in separate bags, and mix the salad just before dinner.

This morning, I make an apple spice cake (different from the bread I often make). It turned out really well, but it would be too heavy paired with the lasagna.

If the weather dries up and I can get the lawnmower to cooperate, I need to get started on the back. The front is full of leaves again (they rained down more heavily than yesterday’s rain), but the front has had its last mow of the season, so it’s only raking from here on in.

The book is going well. A sequence I thought might be a tangent is turning out to be essential to the book. However, that means I have to end the first book of the trilogy earlier than I planned, or cut a few subplots that have become very important to the main plot.

I probably need to write the first draft of all three books and then see where it makes sense to end each one. I’m just over 70K, so I’m running out of words for book 1. For once, I’m happy with the job I did in complex plotting, but I still have to keep a reasonable word count.

Onward.

And don’t forget to take a few moments to give thanks to our Veterans.

Devon

Friday, January 28, 2011


Violet

Friday, January 28, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday, I hurt my back shoveling snow, and was down for the count all day. It’s muscular, fortunately, easier to heal, but very uncomfortable. It was too much snow for the electric shovel, so I did it the old-fashioned way, and it was heavy, wet snow. In the evening, the forecasters gave a formula for how much each cubic foot weighed. I did the math and found out that I shoveled just over a half a TON of snow. And I wonder why my back hurts!

Lying down was the worst, because in order to get up, I had to roll onto the floor onto my hands and knees and push up from there. If I bent down from the waist for something, it was close to impossible to straighten. And, because I hurt my knee a few days ago, I couldn’t squat down, either.

Not pretty.

I rested until I had to drive my mom to the doctor’s. She really, really likes her new doctor. The difference in quality between this practice and the previous one she had in New York is amazing. The doctor spent a solid block of time with her, getting to know her, talking WITH her, not AT her, listening to her, and they figured out a plan of action between them. The doctor feels she’s in good health, but wants her to get the cataracts done sooner rather than later, and promised not to force her into anything. She’ll have to go for a blood test and another visit in April to see if they need to modify any of the medications. A hundred times better than her previous doctor. Of course, the previous practice hasn’t bothered to send over the medical records. I’ve worked in many a doctor’s office over the years– two weeks is more than enough time to send medical files. They just can’t be bothered — a horrid place. The new doctor’s office just shrugged it off and said that they were sure we could all figure it out together without them. Had it been the other way around, the old place would have probably refused to continue the appointment. The staff at this new place is really sweet and friendly, they bother to get to know the names of the patients and the patient’s family, they even help patients to and from their cars if necessary. Imagine that! Health care focused on the patient — the way it should be!

Back home, my mom relieved that she actually has a responsive doctor and that the office staff is pleasant, rather than treating her like an inconvenience, the way they did in Westchester.

I went back onto the couch, with first ice, then heating pad, anti-inflammatories, etc. I tried to check in on the workshops, but couldn’t tap into the critical thinking part of the brain — I kept reading sentences over and over without being able to coherently respond.

So I put the computer aside and went back to reading just because. I read/skimmed one of the worst-written books I’ve ever encountered in my life — picked up at the library, self-published, and, let me tell you, there was a GOOD reason why no publisher touched this one. Interesting premise and location, poor execution, terrible characterization, sloppy writing, lapses of logic, etc., etc. Just awful.

It was a relief to slide into another Susan Wittig Albert book, DEAD MAN’S BONES. Her writing is good and I always learn something from her, in addition to simply enjoying the books.

To bed early, after taking some Valerian. Woke up feeling a little better, and, certainly, more coherent. Did some yoga to promote the back muscles’ healing. Pigeon pose was a challenge, but for the best. However, I couldn’t fold down into child’s pose, and, had I managed it, there’s no way I could have gotten out of it, so I skipped it for today.

Cancelled out of everything for this weekend — I was supposed to run around looking at patio furniture. I can’t sit in the car very long, and I couldn’t lift the furniture into or out of the car if I bought it, so it will have to wait. I will stay home, reading and writing. Maybe I can make some good headway on my deadline. I can take Valerian every night, which will also help my back. I only have the high dosage, so I’m not taking it during the day, or all I’ll do is sleep! Just because it’s an herb doesn’t mean you can take an unlimited amount safely! One has to be careful with herbs, and take into account weight, reactions to allergens, etc., etc. People who go around stating that because something is an “herb” or “natural” means it’s safe to take as much as you want are irresponsible. They work differently, more gently, and more holistically than prescription medication, but they are still MEDICINE, not candy.

I’ve got to wind up the workshop this weekend, too. And get some marketing done, or March will be a very lean month. A friend sent me an interesting possibility, but the way it’s worded sent up a few red flags. I have to think about it for a day or two.

I’ve also got a book to review for A BIBLIO PARADISE by one of my favorite authors. I’ve started it, but put it aside because I want to be able to really focus on it and enjoy it, and yesterday, I was only up for being entertained, not intellectual interaction.

Dishwasher’s on, and when that’s gone through, I’ve got a few loads of laundry to push through, and I have to vacuum and clean a bit.

And then it’s back to the page, back to the workshops. I’ve got a potential play deadline in March — I have to find out more about that, but it would be great to do it, because it’s been awhile since I wrote a new play.

Devon


Iris

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hot, humid, rainy, dreary, miserable

I can’t believe it’s the end of July already. Wow. This month flew — and it’s supposed to be a long month!

Yesterday was busy — caught up on quite a bit in the morning, got some tidying up and vacuuming done (the cats were NOT amused). Those little stinkers stashed my yoga block somewhere — I always keep it with my mat and it’s gone. I tossed the whole living room — it’s nowhere to be found. I’ll probably find it when we do the furniture swap. In the meantime — I miss my block!

I was about an hour later than I hoped to get out of the house, so I had to skip the whole writing-in-the-coffee-shop thing. The parking lot was full, so I may not have been able to grab a table anyway. I’ll try to get there at some point next week.

Met my friend for lunch, headed to the site job. Had a good afternoon on site, and also got a nice chunk of work done on a big client project I’m going to finish today and get out the door. Had my headphones on, and since, the iPod is synched with the computer, just used the “shuffle” on the computer and only used one device instead of two.

Wound up with eight pages of prospect leads — I have GOT to get that mailing out in the next couple of weeks. The prospect list has gotten incredibly long. Plus, as I’ve been working on the brochure, I realized that I offer some services that most other freelancers don’t (that looks weird on the page, but it’s nothing skeezy, I promise), so I’m adjusting the brochures to reflect that.

I LOVE direct mail projects. I know, I’m a freak. And I love the postcard follow-ups. I especially love it because I can do such cool designs on the Mac.

So I bought those OFF clip-on thingys — and they need BATTERIES! Really? You’d think they could have mentioned that in the ads! Urgh!

Unfortunately, because I couldn’t use it, I was bitten. Badly. On the outside of my arm, just above the elbow. It’s swollen to about the size of a golf ball. I put after-bite ointment on it, iced it a few times (it’s so hot the ice melts), wrapped it in witch hazel compresses, and took ibuprofen last night as anti-inflammatory. I don’t know if taking an anti-hystimine is the right thing to do, or if that will interfere with whatever the body’s trying to do to protect itself. It’s itchy and distracting, especially when I move my arm. And now there seems to be a rash forming and travelling down the arm. When I head out to do errands later, I will stop by the local mom-and-pop pharmacy (rather than a chain store) and show it to them. They’ve got a great holistic section as well as a good pharmacy, and they’re very helpful. Since I don’t have insurance and can’t afford to pay out of pocket for a doctor’s visit, my options are limited.

Meanwhile, the dickhead senators claim they don’t want the government involved in health care on principle. Yet they’re not willing to give up their government-sponsored health care they receive — policies which work, and work well. Medicare works well. It has nothing to do with principles, because most of these politicians have none. It has to do with financial contributions from the insurance industry to these politicians’ campaigns.

The wrist is better, but now I’m dealing with Mega Bug Bite! Always something.

I wasn’t able to participate in the Health Care Town Hall last night, but I emailed over my suggestions, solutions, and opinions.

I’ve got some follow-up to do and some more interviews to schedule. I have GOT to get to Staples today — I’m on a use-it-or-lose it day with a coupon. I need to get to Target in the next couple of days, too — more bins and also the stationery is cheaper there than at Staples.

I’m going to do some intensive Czech study today and all weekend — I let it slide most of the week, and I only have six weeks left before Costume Imp and I leave.

I’m also going to a different meditation session at another studio this evening. That will give me an idea of what’s going on around here, and I can see where I feel most comfortable.

Have a great weekend, all!

Devon

Published in: on July 31, 2009 at 7:34 am  Comments (3)  
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