Tuesday, January 4, 2010

Tuesday, January 4, 2010
New Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sun still down, and it’s cold!

New Year’s Day was an exercise in frustration — the Command Hook I moved tore a chunk out of the wall — “damage free hanging” my ass. However, they responded to the complaint with in 24 hours, so kudos for response time, and we’re at least trying to figure out a solution. In the meantime, I stuck the hook back up to cover the missing paint and will hang something festive from it. But now I’m worried about all the other Command hooks I hung up so blithely during the holiday season. Will I be able to remove them without doing damage?

I’ll probably hang seasonal festivities upon them instead.

And the shelves I was so excited about for the basement? The Geelong shelves are crap. The directions have nothing to do with what’s in the box, and the drawings are so unclear you can’t tell which way the pieces go together. K-Mart’s response was ridiculous –thanking me for feedback and then sending me a survey asking if the customer service rep fixed the problem — I had a few choice words! And the head office of Geelong in Hong Kong has, of course, ignored the complaint. If you say “easy to assemble” and that all I need is a mallet, I should be able to do it by myself in twenty minutes or less. The directions should be relevant and the drawings should be clear. Period.

Up at 4:30 Sunday morning, on the road by 6, to CT by 10. Unloaded, got my mom settled, headed to Costco, stocked up on a few things, back to CT. Spent the afternoon reading magazines and doing some writing. Shopping at stores I’ve shopped for years felt like I’d never left.

Up early on Monday, yoga, meditation, etc. Packed up what I needed to. Costume Imp texted me when he was on the train, off I went to my old hometown. It was on time (oh joy, oh rapture). Picked him up at the station, we swung by Salzburg Patisserie to get coffee and chocolate croissants, hit the road.

We had to drive by my former building so to do. It looks even sadder and in more disrepair than when we left. It made me sad — I grew up there, and it used to be a charming, late 1920’s Art Deco building. Now, it’s just being “improved” to its detriment, making it look like a cheap Queens hotel that rents by the hour.

We hit the Book Barn in Niantic hard. I bought so much at the main branch that they packed it in boxes and helped me get it to the car. Yeah. That much. A LOT of gardening books, but some writing books, critical essays, biographies, etc., etc. The colony of cats was happy to see us, played with us, and nudged us to shelves where we’d find what we needed — and they were always right. The big black cat who hangs out in the “Haunted Bookshop” where the mysteries are kept is particularly bossy. But he’s always right.

Of course, their big sale happens later this month when neither Imp nor I can get there!

We hopped across the street and had a lovely lunch at the Niantic Diner, then visited the two downtown branches of the Barn to peruse more fiction. Yeah, we both bought a lot again, but at least this time we could get it to the car ourselves!

Back on the road, feeling the weight of the books in the back every time we tootled up a hill. We drove to Mystic and popped in to Mystical Elements to pick up a few things. Deciding which few is always the challenge.

We figured if we got stopped by the cops for speeding or whatever, we could attempt to bribe with books or a nice amethyst. 😉 Actually, I was pretty careful. I have to remember that I no longer have NY plates and can’t act like I’m driving a yellow cab!

Back on the road. Stopped in Rhode Island where I always do for gas, then it was a straight shot back home. Of course, a 4 hour trip took eight, but stopping at book stores is always worth it.

It was dark when we got back, but we put on the trees at the front, he got the tour of the house and got settled. We had beef stroganoff and a nice bottle of Washington State wine. I’m not that familiar with the state’s wine, but this Pine and Post bottle of cab sab is very nice. Hung out by the tree with a variety of desserts and Vandermint-flavored coffee, chatting and catching up.

The cats are horrified — first that they were left alone overnight with no bedtime snacks, then that this STRANGER is walking around the place, and he smells of other cats! They stare at him, then flee and hide. They’ll get used to him.

Up early today, back to teaching. I thought Tuesday’s lecture took last night, but it doesn’t seem to be posted, so I’ll go re-post.

Most of the snow’s melted in the yard (and, more importantly, the street). Imp can take a good look at the yard today and we can talk about possibilities. We also plan to head to Sandwich and Plymouth for awhile — he came all this way, he has to see Plymouth Pebble.

But first — my students.

Devon

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010
New Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury — What the Hell?
Rainy and mild

Today is Writers’ Worth Day, and go check out Lori Widmer’s blog. You should read it anyway, if you want to make your living as a writer, because she knows her stuff. You need to learn how to value your work and yourself, and, most importantly, if you think writing for content mills constitutes a “career” you need to get a clue as to what it means to be a professional.

So I’m in a Mercury muddle. I hadn’t thought it was retrograde, and then an astrologer friend said it’s retrograde until May 18. My calendar does not say that. In the back of my calendar, I just saw that it said Mercury was retrograde from April 18 until May 5. So now I’m completely confused. I think my Mercury is just in perpetual retrograde right now, so I’ll have to sort it out this weekend with some alignment work.

Drove up to Westabrook, CT to the Tanger outlet center. Shopping is not my idea of fun, unless it’s books, but I had a list of things I needed, figured I could knock them all out in one spot, and, since I mistakenly thought Mercury was retrograde – – –

Let’s just say it was not fun. Couldn’t find anything I wanted and/or needed in THE ENTIRE COMPLEX. Since we’d driven an hour and a half and it was only 7 more exits to go to Niantic and The Book Barn, that’s what we did.

Gorgeous day to wander through the books. I’d crafted a detailed list of everything I planned to look for there, but, of course, since we weren’t planning to go, I had it at home. I kinda sorta remembered, and picked up the works of John Donne and the works of William Blake, both of which I need to read over the next few months for various reasons. I also picked up Anne Lamott’s BIRD BY BIRD, a book I enjoy, but isn’t on my writing shelf. I got a couple of novels, including Tim Powers’s DECLARE. I am rabidly wild about Tim Powers’s writing — I still think his book LAST CALL is one of the best books I ever read in my life. I’m going to read it over the weekend — it’s too big to take with me when I travel at the end of next week, and, once I sit down and open a Tim Powers book, the world falls away until I’m done. So it’s my Sunday treat, since tomorrow will be caught up in the Preakness and the pottery class. Once I’ve finished and submitted my Preakness wrap article to my editor on Sunday, I get to read the book. How’s that for a carrot? I also picked up an anthology that sounded interesting, and it happens to have a novella by yet another of my favorite writers, Sharon Shinn, in it.

Was in the mood for a burger, and, on the recommendation of the staff, tried The Niantic Diner, which is across the street from The Book Barn. The burger was good and hit the spot. I rarely eat red meat anymore because I feel better when I don’t — but once in awhile, when I crave it, it’s exactly what I need.

Drove back — way too much traffic on both I-95 and the Merritt. Still a lot of infrastructure work going on from the stimulus money. It’s a pain in the ass, but the parts of the road that are finished are wonderful. I’ve been driving these roads for decades, and it’s the first time the bridges feel secure and the pavement doesn’t rip up the tires. Yes, this is one of the few places I want my tax dollars! 😉

Couldn’t find Iris when we got home, and nearly had a fit. She’d made herself a nest tucked down amongst a pile of cushions and ignored us when we called. I should have trusted that, since the other two weren’t worried, there was nothing to worry about.

Heard from the vet. We’re going to add an olive leaf supplement and then a homeopathic nasal treatment, as though she has the feline equivalent of a sinus headache. If she responds well to that, we’ll also switch the cats’ drinking water to an alkaline water because Elsa’s pH is too acidic, and that could also contribute to the problem. We’re switching her from the synthetic steroid to a natural one, and, in about a month, will see if we can wean her off it or if we need to continue. The natural steroid has fewer side effects than the synthetic, so it’ll be better to use long-term, but we’ll eventually want to get her off it. We’re adding and subtracting things one at a time to see how each bit affects her, and kind of breaking new ground here. She’s definitely responding well to the first portion of treatment — she made quite a bit o forward progress just in the last two days — so let’s go with it.

I have to handicap tomorrow’s race card and get that up, then drive up to South Salem to get her additional medication. Hopefully, I can get some writing done, too. Thought of another issue in the screenplay — we know what all the older characters do and what got them where they are — the mainstay caper that broke them apart — but what do Lucas and Jimmy “do”? Are they still in college? Do they have jobs? Are they unemployed due to the bad economy? I need to figure that out, even if it’s not a big deal in the story. Lucas’s girlfriend has a job, so why wouldn’t Lucas? I can add in a line about him having a bit of bereavement leave, but then, what about JImmy? I have to figure it out. It can be solved in a short line, but it needs to be addressed.

I better get going — busy day leading into a busy weekend.

Devon