Tues. May 10, 2022: Off To Yet Another Mechanic

image courtesy of Peter Gottschalk via pixabay.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Waxing Moon

Pluto & Mercury Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

This is scheduled to post, since I had to leave the house very early to get the car to the mechanic, and I have no idea how that will go.

I made sure I had a quiet weekend.  Friday and Saturday were all about finishing the contest entries.

First thing Saturday, though, I went to the Farmers Market. This is the last time it’s indoors; starting in June, it will be outdoors every Saturday until November. What adds a sense of festivity to the market is that you buy wooden tokens (yes, I’ve considered the wooden nickels jokes) when you go in and pay with the tokens.

The woman who made the amazing baguettes wasn’t there this time, which was a shame, since I’ve been fantasizing about those baguettes since last month! But I made a stop at Bohemian Nouveaux Bakery and had a good chat with the baker (who was a theatre major in college), and stocked up on the espresso coffee cake muffins, some cocoa bites, and a loaf of challah bread. I bought a cranberry pecan loaf from Cookies & More. I bought a big bag of spinach, a big bag of mixed Asian greens, and a lovely head of Bok choy from Red Shirt Farm. I bought a camembert-like cheese from Cricket Creek, and a bottle of maple syrup from Senecal’s Sugarhouse.

Filled up my bag with goodies!

And all through that, it was about chatting with the vendors and the other customers at the market, everyone in a good spirits and eager to share their favorite things.

It reminds me of the best of the Union Square Greenmarket, when I lived in NYC, rather than the markets in my previous location, where the vendors usually acted like they were doing you a favor by selling something, instead of it being a mutually beneficial transaction.

I wasn’t there very long, but I was tired when I got home, even from positive socializing! The joy of being an introvert. But I’m glad I did it, and I’m glad I’m meeting people slowly. Most people are still masking; everyone’s as vaccinated as they can be.

Once I put away the bounty, I took a rest, and then went back to work on contest entries.

For dinner, I used the whole head of Bok choy with the rest of the leftover chicken to do a stir-fry from one of my favorite cookbooks, CHINESE SOUL FOOD by Hsiao-Ching Chou. It was delicious. I also made more vegetable stock.

Saturday was also the Kentucky Derby. I lost all respect for those running Churchill Downs when I learned that the Narcissistic Sociopath was in attendance.

It was pretty exciting to see Rich Strike, who wasn’t even in the race two days ago, win, at 84-1. My baby Epicenter came in second. Tiz the Bomb decided this wasn’t worth the effort that day (very much like his grandfather).

When I used to cover horse racing (more years ago now than it seems), I quickly found out that the Derby was the least fun of the three races, in spite of being the start of the Triple Crown, where everything is possible. And that’s because it’s stopped being about the horses and focuses more on the audience who wants to see and be seen. The Preakness became the most fun for me. It’s raucous, less pretentious than any of the others, and there’s still a lot of Triple Crown possibility. The Belmont was at my home track, and, while I always loved the race and the site, the crowds and the tension were exhausting.

As an off-site observer, for years before I started writing about racing, the Preakness was my least favorite; but, once I started getting more involved, it was the most fun to actually be onsite of the three races, in spite of all the chaos in the infield.

Sunday was Mother’s Day. We had the espresso coffee cake muffins for breakfast. I made salads for lunch, using the spinach, Asian greens, carrot, cranberry, Canadian bacon, and hard-boiled egg, with an Italian vinaigrette. My mom asked for bangers and mash for dinner, so that’s what we had. And, of course, cheesecake.

I read for pleasure on Sunday, instead of logging entry scores, although I made a list of my top picks.

I read BOSS WITCH by Ann Aguirre, which I really liked, and CLAWS FOR SUSPICION by Deborah Blake, which I also loved. It was nice enough to sit out on the porch, so I read out there for a good portion of the day.

I went to bed very early on Sunday, because I was tired. In the third year of the pandemic, with the right wing Christofascists openly telling us they’re planning to murder us, after packing the courts so they can get away with it, and the DEMS SIT BACK AND LET THEM – it’s exhausting. Trying to live my life and also fulfill my responsibility as a citizen is exhausting, even if I don’t write about all the details of it here.

There is NO such thing as “not being political” anymore. If you make that claim, it means you agree with the rightwing extremists and think you’re safe from their hate. The thing is, they always need something and someone to fuel their hate, so no one is safe.

Up early on Monday.  Worked until 2 PM finishing the paperwork on the final category of contest entries, and sent it in. It was accepted and invoice requested. I sent the invoice at 7 PM and it was paid 39 minutes later. That’s how you show your freelancers you appreciate them!

I stress-painted the garden frog we bought when we first moved to the Cape house. I didn’t have the dark pink paint the petals on his back used to have (yes, he’s a frog, but his back is full of flowers), so I used a lighter pink, and then the yellow for the centers. He’s a bright, happy frog again who can sit amongst the plants on the front porch.

Read for pleasure (a mystery set in Venice, and then started reading a biography of Ngaio Marsh).  Spinach and cheese omlette for dinner.

Neighbors across the street are building a garden in front of the house, with all kinds of cute little plants and hanging baskets. Only. . .they plant but don’t water anything. I’m sure they will learn.

Finals at the college across the way must be done, because the students started playing music and hanging out in the street and blowing off some steam. Yes, they’re still masking. Even though they’re all vaxxed. Good for them (and us).

I am off to the mechanic. Let’s hope this guy will actually fix the car and not put me off another month. I’ve basically been without a car for six months now. I want to get it done.

Have a good one, and hold a good thought for the car and me.

Tues. May 19, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 1

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

So, we’ve moved from StayTheFHome mode to DieForYourEmployer Mode. Because that’s all this reckless “re-opening” strategy here in MA is. All the members of the Advisory committee? Employers.

Not workers. Employers. Who are whining because they can’t kill their employees fast enough to make $200 bucks and have to go out of business anyway because no one has any money to buy their stuff because 36 million people are unemployed.

Which tells us all we need to know about how messed up the whole plan is. Especially since businesses are to “self-certify” that they are following protocols and there are zero consequences for not doing so.

The weekend was up and down.

Had to go to Trader Joe’s on Friday. They are letting in more people at a time then they were, and the customers are not social distancing. The staff is burned out and exhausted – the head office has to do more for them. Had to stop at CVS to get toilet paper. The checker was so bored at the register she was reading a magazine and scanning items without looking at them. But at least it wasn’t crowded.

Came home, did full disinfectant protocols and was exhausted. Then, someone we know asked us to run a ridiculous errand that would put me smack in the middle of tourists, and I refused.

The virus isn’t “better” and it hasn’t “gone away.” This attitude people have that everything is fine now and can go back to the way it was is going to get people killed. As a doctor I know said, “The only thing re-opening means is that there’s room for you in the hospital.”

Saturday, I painted four tables, a plant stand, and a plant cart, did 7 loads of laundry, wrote, and read part of a book as background for an essay. I was wiped out by the end of the day.

I felt awful Saturday night into Sunday, and wondered if I was coming down with symptoms. But I took some liquid Tylenol and, as the day wore on, I felt much better. I’m pretty sure it was frustration and stress.

Found out a friend and her husband had the virus, and, fortunately, recovered. I was just thinking about them and planning to get in touch this week.

Sunday, I set up more on the deck. It looks festive now, and is a lovely retreat that I intend to enjoy for the summer. Because I’m sure as heck not going anywhere.

Actually slept through the night Sunday into Monday for the first time in about a week. Wrote, did client work, caught up on some admin and email stuff, got out some LOIs. Did some work on the Cerridwen Iris Shea website. It needs a lot of work.

More of the same today. At least I had a good writing session to start the day, and I slept through the night. I have a lot of work to do today. I’m grateful, and I will keep working as much as I can while there’s work, but I also don’t want to put myself in jeopardy. I want to work remotely. What I do doesn’t need to be done in someone else’s office. The LOIs I’m sending out make it clear that remote in the only option I will consider.

One of the large geraniums on the deck was blown over by the wind. The clay pot broke, and it had to be cleaned up and repotted. The damn PC took 32 minutes to boot up and “update” – I’ve had it two weeks, it doesn’t need any updates. This is why I prefer the Mac.

Now, I’m getting ready to dive into emails and admin before I switch over to client work.

Tomorrow, I have to go back onsite for a client, and not looking forward to it. Trying to change that situation as soon as possible, but not in the position where I can just give it up right now.

There’s a post up over on the GDR site, if you want to check it out.

Onward.

PS The 99 cent promotion is still on for PLAYING THE ANGLES, SAVASANA AT SEA, and TRACKING MEDUSA. You can get all the details and buy links here.

3 Firsts Collage

Published in: on May 19, 2020 at 7:48 am  Comments Off on Tues. May 19, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 1  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Wed. April 20, 2016: Writing Intensifies – So Does the Garden

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Two retrogrades, and Mercury goes retrograde next week. Can I please just stay in bed until everything goes direct?

The past few days were good, although flat out busy. Saturday, I had lots of errands, but managed to get to the NMLC Seal Pup Shower, which kicks off April vacation week. We got a lot of donations of basic necessities — Pedialite, laundry soap, etc. First thing that morning, I’d done a major run to Country Gardens. Got the fertilizer for the lawn, lettuce plants, basil plants, etc. We’ve planted pansies in hanging baskets for the front and the deck — they’re happy in this cool weather. The lettuce is repotted, and so is the basil.

We’d bought a small table at Restore, and I repainted it an apple red, and repainted one of our metal plant stands green. I painted a few planters. I still have two more tables and a shelf unit. We put some of the furniture on the deck — we tend to rearrange every year — and some of the hardier plants.

I worked on the HEART SNATCHER rewrites. I have Max’s first chapter where I want it, so I think the Prologue and first three chapters are in good shape. I worked on the following six chapters. I’m still not happy with Carey’s introductory chapter. It needs more work. But the chapters where Max and Valerie keep running into each other are working. I’m doing quite a bit of tightening, better use of language, more sensory detail. I’m also about to cut a chapter.

I started re-reading DEATH OF A CHOLERIC with an eye to its revisions. I think it will need two more revisions, not just one. I’ve had to do a major shift in some of the relationships so it makes more sense, and I need to put those in and then read it through again, and THEN do another draft before that’s ready to go out.

Did a nice chunk of work on Nonfiction #1.

Received the radio contest entries, read them, made notes. I found it disturbing that not a single entry is in correct radio format. One of them is a screenplay; another is a stage play. Some of them tried, but don’t understand the use of sound in radio.

Worked on the pages for the MOBY DICK marathon reading in which I’m participating next weekend.

Did some yard work, although not enough. Somehow, it’s never enough, is it?

Read a couple of delightful mysteries: KILLER TAKEOUT by Lucy Burdette, and, especially, THE CRACKED SPINE by Paige Shelton, which is set in Edinburgh. Enjoyed them both.

Got some submission materials completed for a major script entry I have coming up.

Baked chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and almond cookies, and made a non-alcoholic syllabub for tonight’s Tribute to Shakespeare. I’d done the programs last week. I tried to put together the Globe Theatre model, but it was a disaster. No instructions, it makes no sense, and it doesn’t work to watch a You Tube Video. I want step-by-step, well-written instructions. Will never deal with THAT company again!

Up early this morning. Worked on Nonfiction #1, and also did a bit of yard work. Today will be a ten hour day for me at work — the full day, and then the Tribute to Shakespeare tonight. It will be a very long week. So will next week, especially since I’ll be flat out every day I’m not at the library, but then, I have a much-needed vacation.

I’m so wiped out when I get home at night that I can’t get anything done in the yard, so I’m going out on nice days in the early, early morning. Even twenty, thirty minutes here and there will eventually add up.

Onward.

Published in: on April 20, 2016 at 9:10 am  Comments Off on Wed. April 20, 2016: Writing Intensifies – So Does the Garden  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fri. Aug. 21, 2015: This & That & Enough Already

Friday, August 21, 2015
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Rough couple of days. Dealing with the recent deaths makes me even less patient than usual with meaningless bullshit. The fact that I haven’t punched several people’s lights out is a testament to my self-restraint.

On the positive side, the library is repainted and looks nice, and now the work of getting everything back on the shelves is ongoing. I managed to process a LOT of books on Wednesday during the painting (once we got the books OFF the shelves), and almost all of them went out on holds. In other words, I made the right choices in ordering! 😉

Collapsed Wednesday night. Watched KINGSMAN, which was clever and fun, although I would have trimmed about 20 minutes total, making a few internal cuts here and there. Colin Firth, as usual, was sublime.

Thursday was another painting day and also trying to get things back on the shelves as they dried. Managed to get PR out for the photography contest, which had to go out yesterday or wouldn’t make deadline. By mid-afternoon, I had a screaming migraine, which only got worse as the evening progressed. Managed to watched some of the final season of SPORTS NIGHT, but that was about it.

The migraine woke me up at 2 AM, and I was not amused with people texting and calling me by 8 AM asking if everything was back on the shelves. Sorry, bubbelah, I am NOT pulling all-nighters by myself watching paint dry and then reshelving. No.

The Meet-and-Greet for NYU Cape/South Shore Alumni is all set for the 28th of September at Mezza Luna in Buzzards Bay. I’m checking out the location for the wine event next week, and I also have the HobNob Event. If I can just get rid of this migraine, it’s all good.

I work tomorrow, and then the ghost hunters are coming back in the evening to do the overnight. Sunday and Monday are writing days.

I’m also investigating new phones and new phone plans. T-Mobile sucks and my phone is already “out of memory” – which is ridiculous, because I have hardly anything on it. Good thing I’m NOT on a contract – I can find something better.

I can’t believe it’s nearly September! Looking forward to the autumn. We’ll be staying in the house for another year, so that’s all settled. I’m cleaning out a lot of stuff and getting rid of a lot of stuff.

Looks like we’re losing almost all our tomatoes to Blossom Rot, which is discouraging. Live and learn. The hollyhocks, cucumbers, lettuce, morning glories, moonflowers, four o’clocks, rose of Sharon, and hydrangeas are all doing very well, though.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Wed. July 23, 2014: This N That N Writing N Painting

Unpainted Chair
Unpainted chair

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Waning Moon
Saturn Direct
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Monday was a busy day, full of errands, but at least I got the chair painted. Thought you’d enjoy some before and after pictures. Got some research done, not much writing done, and prepped for the Mermaid Ball Meeting.

Painted chair

Painted chair

Only took an hour and ten minutes to get to Buzzards Bay (which is 21 miles from me, so it shouldn’t take that long, but . . .summer people). Good meeting. Came back, watched R.I.P.D. The film had a clever premise, but the places where it stalled felt like it did so because too many people were giving notes.

Realized an insert scene I’d written for POWER OF WORDS is between the wrong characters — have to rewrite it with Scott instead of Terrell.

Yesterday, I was up early for a Skype rehearsal with the actor I’ve been working with. He’s shooting . . .somewhere, I don’t know where, but needed a break from the angsty character he’s playing, so we worked for a couple of hours. The monologue’s in good shape, and I hope it serves him well to land the kinds of roles he wants. I went back to bed and overslept.

Mowed the side yard and did some work on the front — pruning hydrangeas and forsythia, trimming a few things. Wanted to do it in the morning, before it got too hot.

Got some reading done, but spent most of the day doing research for BALTHAZAAR. I might move the location of the book from the Bahamas to Jamaica. I set CHARISMA KILLINGS in the Bahamas, DARK ANNIE’S SECRET will be in Bermuda, so why not put BALTHAZAAR off the coast of Jamaica?

I’m keeping two sets of notes — one set consists of research notes, the actual facts I need as background for the salvage/treasure hunt. The other set of notes consist of the storyline and character ideas the research spurs. I’ll have to pick and choose from those as I write the Writers Rough and then the book, because I can’t use all of it. I’m hoping that some of the plot points I cut from this book can be massaged to work in DARK ANNIE’S SECRET.

Cooked a nice dinner last night, and then watched THE WHISTLEBLOWER, a movie about sex trafficking after the war in Bosnia, where UN employees were complicit with the American contractors. Rachel Weisz played the lead, and she was (as always) wonderful. This whole thing about foreign contractors having immunity needs to stop. If they break international laws and are complicit in something like human trafficking or murder, then they need to be prosecuted.

The coffee pot exploded this morning and made a giant mess. I bought it when we moved in, so it’s not THAT long ago — it better not be on its last perk. I’m tired of everything being built to break, so you’re constantly forced to buy again.

Nice morning’s work on POWER OF WORDS (yes, I’m playing with better titles for it). But that allows me to start the day in a much better frame of mind.

Today will be a long day at the library again. Wonder if my old computer will show up, fixed, or if the new one’s arrived yet?

Probably won’t get to mow the meadow until Saturday — by then, the front and the terraced back area probably will need it, too.

But it was nice to take all my research materials out on the deck yesterday and work.

I made my decision on the course I want to take at the conference. I’m only taking one–as a Board member, I’ll need to run around in that capacity, so one course makes sense.

I got an interesting freelance offer, and I’m debating on whether or not to accept. My gut tells me the timing is wrong; at the same time, I don’t want to blow the opportunity. I think I’ll need more information.

Have a great week.

Devon

Mon. July 21, 2014: Chaotic Start to the Week

Monday, July 21, 2014
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool
 

Friday was busy at the library, complicated by the fact that I don’t have a working computer at the moment, and different computers have different programs, so I migrated between six different computers over the course of the day, trying to get things done.

I also had to keep my phone on all day, because Iris was quite sick in the morning, and I was worried I’d have to rush her to the vet at a moment’s notice. But, she got better as the day wore on. I suspect it’s a bad reaction to the flea/tick medicine.

After work, my boss and I headed to Centerville Library, to support the dedication of the new addition. I hadn’t seen the whole thing yet — it’s gorgeous. The Community Room is huge, great for events, would be great for yoga. The bookstore is also magnificent. The renovation’s beautiful, and worth every penny. There was champagne, and there were h’ors d’oervres. Everything was lovely. Got to see some of the staff I’ve known since I moved to Centerville, and introduce my boss around. The director from Hyannis was also there, and I got to meet her, along with some other locals. It was good that we were there, supporting a fellow library. I was surprised and a bit dismayed that more library personnel from other libraries weren’t there.

We came back to the house for martinis on the deck, and then headed back to the Mills, where a sports auction was going on in Liberty Hall, the door take to benefit the library. I wound up bidding on (and getting) a wicker chair for my mom and some minor league hockey pins for myself.

Home, tired, unwound a bit. Saturday was my “on” day at the library, so I was up early and over there. Still no working computer for me, so I floated around to other computers, trying to complete paperwork and place some orders.

When I got back from the library, I cleaned, repaired, and sanded down the wicker chair. The caned seat needed to be fixed, and some of the wicker was coming unspun, so I fixed all of that. The frame is a good, sturdy wood. It’s been painted quite a few things, under the white — red, hot pink, and green.

Did some research for upcoming projects, got some reading in. Thoroughly enjoyed Ilona Andrews CLEAN SWEEP. Lori Roy’s UNTIL SHE COMES HOME is both claustrophobic and disturbing, but in a good way. Elizabeth Adler’s SAILING TO CAPRI was fun.

Watched COMPANY MEN — excellent movie. Didn’t get enough attention when it came out. What a terrific cast — Ben Affleck, Rosemarie DeWitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Maria Bello, Kevin Costner, and great supporting actors as well. Really well done, but John Wells only does excellent work.

Slept in on Sunday. It was raining off and on, so I couldn’t mow. But I did head to Home Depot. Don’t like shopping there, but I hoped to replace a lamp globe I broke and pick up paint for the chair. The staff was disgustingly unhelpful with the lamp globe. Not only did they not know how to help, they didn’t care. I found the paint though — called “Spa Blue”. Painted the bottom of the chair. Took most of the day to dry.

Had to fix my bed frame and do stuff around the house. Also cooked some Sichuan Noodles and steamed vegetables in a ginger soy sauce for tonight’s meeting.

Planned to go to a climate change lecture, but something happened and the lecturer was delayed indefinitely, and I couldn’t wait around.

Got some research and other work done, then watched PEACE, LOVE, AND MISUNDERSTANDING, which was a lot of fun.

Up early this morning. Couldn’t find the flash drive with all my work on it. Drove to the library and found it in one of the public computers I’d been using on Saturday. This is what happens when I’m constantly interrupted. Came back, started to paint the front of the chair, ran out of paint, went back to Home Depot (only because it was the only place open that early), got more paint, finished painting the chair. It’s drying.

The writing plan for this morning is on POWER OF WORDS and BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. I have to nip out to one of the libraries to get a few things done, and then pick up a cushion at Christmas Tree Shops for the chair. I need to finish a review for my editor, work on some media kits, and then head to Buzzards Bay for a Mermaid Ball Meeting tonight.

Did about 1500 words on POWER OF WORDS. Have to nail down the writer’s rough on BALTHAZAAR. I’m going in circles every time I sit down to write. Book 3 is almost fully formed, but book 2 is not. It’s frustrating, because somewhere I HAVE a detailed writer’s rough, but I can’t find it in any of the files or the drives. So I have to start over.

Have a great week!

Devon

Monday, July 11, 2011


Heritage Museum and Gardens

Monday, July 11, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Busy weekend. Saturday, I got some work done, did three loads of laundry, and unpacked about six boxes of books in the basement, slowly, figuring out where they will actually go.

Violet was sick, and I was very worried about her. I managed to reach a nearby vet and set up an appointment for this morning. Of course, once I made the appointment, she had no symptoms for the rest of the weekend! Which is a good thing, but now we have to go to the vet today! I needed to find a new vet and get their shots updated, so it’s not a bad thing. But the negative vet memories connected to Elsa’s illness are still very raw.

Sunday, I was up early, got the papers and read them, and went to over to Armstrong-Kelley Park in Osterville for a meditation walk through the garden. It was lovely. The group was small, but everyone was very welcoming and friendly. The Park itself is gorgeous, and much bigger than I expected.

When I came home, I unpacked some more stuff from the garage, which wound up being three more loads of laundry, some great finds, some things that will be ironed and go to the consignment shop, and some stuff for the donation box.

Put a coat of black gloss paint on the bureau. Dealt with the laundry. Unpacked and put away three more boxes of books downstairs. Spent time with my students.

This morning, Violet and I are off to the vet (think good thoughts for us), and then I have a lot of work to do both on the Mermaid Ball and the book. Also have to get my post written and scheduled for The Writers Vineyard. Both cats are irritated with me right now because there’s no breakfast until after the appointment.

I’m playing with ideas to offer a short story tie-in to go with ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT — something to please those who have read the book and intrigue those who haven’t yet. I’m not sure if I should set it before or after the events in the book, or deal with some of the ghost stories told in the book. Mulling over the possibilities, while other characters from other pieces squawk at me.

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books and Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.