Wed. Sept. 8, 2021: I Have a Lovely Postman

image courtesy of pixabay.com

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Partly cloudy and pleasant

Yesterday was busy, but it was a good busy, not a nasty busy.

I had a good first writing session, I got out some LOIs. Still have a lot of email to catch up on which came in over the weekend. Got some administrative work done.

It was a pleasant day, so I walked to the post office to mail bills. More people are wearing masks even outside again, and the laundromat, which was busy, was full of the masked. Which is a good thing, not a complaint. But I’m a little sad we’re back that. However, I’m grateful that people are being considerate, and not fussing.

Mailed the bills, dropped off/picked up books at the library. Found some books on the free cart which looked kind of fun, and also found a bunch of information on local farms/growers/markets and local, independent newspapers, including one that has a lot of arts information and bookstore information for upstate New York, Vermont, and the Berkshires. I am relieved to see how many arts organizations are requiring proof of vaccination AND masking to attend events.

Walked back along Church Street, which is always a joy, because of the beautiful architecture and yards. Ran into my lovely postman, who introduced me to the woman who lives in one of my favorite houses on the street. She is as lovely as her house.

I’m reading the published journals of an actor with whom I was acquainted, back years ago in New York. He died, quite a few years ago now (although it seems recent). I was shaken by his death, because I had respected his work and enjoyed our conversations when we crossed paths. I kind of wish I wasn’t reading his journals, because, bluntly, he’s a selfish shit who treated people (especially the women in his life) badly. He was a parasite in his relationships, finding a woman to be the “backbone” of his career, at the detriment to her own. Yes, it was her choice, but still, that’s not my idea of a partnership. Goodness knows, enough have tried to drain me that way, having me “handle” their careers and their work at the detriment to my own. They got kicked to the curb pretty quickly, because that is not the kind of partnership in which I want to participate.

I think far less of him than I did, and yet, I can’t stop reading. Which shows what a compelling person/writer he was, in spite of it all.

It gave me the idea for a short story, for which I jotted some notes, so I wouldn’t lose it.

Got out some script coverage, read some more scripts.

I have a day out and about today, and will catch up tomorrow. Hopefully, I will be back in time to attend the Straw Dog Authors’ Showcase via Zoom tonight. I’m looking forward to hearing local authors read, although I’m sad I’ll miss Remote Chat.

Have a good one, people. We’re supposed to have some yucky weather tomorrow.

Wed. Sept. 1, 2021: September!

image courtesy of Open Clip Art Vectors via pixabay.com

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and cool

It’s September! I love autumn!

The contrasts are so different. On Cape, people put on shorts as of April 1, even if it was still snowing. They’d march around in shorts and Uggs, if necessary, from April 1 until November. Here, this week, people were already wearing jackets. It’s entertaining.

I’m pleased with the work I did on the outline yesterday morning at the laundromat. There’s too much distraction to actually write scenes, but I can read there, and now I found out I can outline. Because I’m going to make use of the time.

I like how this piece is shaping. I’m working on outlines for three very different pieces, although all in the same genre, while getting back on track with the other pieces, and continuing to work on the novel-out-of-my-wheelhouse first thing every morning. I’m getting back into my creativity.

I slept better last night, because I wasn’t reading scripts up until bedtime. When I do that, there’s too much noise from other people’s work in my head, and it gets in the way of my own. So I need a longer stretch between stopping my reading for the night and sleep. Perhaps I’ll add in a creative session of my own (longhand, not screen).  I need my own work to have room to breathe and percolate overnight as I sleep.

I can read finished, published work up until I sleep, no problem. But drafts, where I’m supposed to comment, or work for review — I need a gap, or something different, between finishing that work for the night and going to sleep. Or it interferes with my work. And protecting my own work/voice/creativity is the priority.

The rest of the morning was spent in bureaucracy. Necessary, but annoying. Lots of paperwork to do, connected to the move.

Headed out to the post office to mail the bureaucracy, then to the library, to pick up a book on hold. Once there, I discovered that I’d walked out of the house without my wallet AGAIN. I offered to go back to get my card, but they let me check out the book without it.

I leave my wallet at home too often lately. That has to stop. Once is a genuine mistake. Multiple times is carelessness and stupidity, and I don’t have room for those kinds of errors. I keep things in the same place, and have a preparation ritual to go out the door, so it is inexcusable to have left my wallet home, now, multiple times.

Headed for a big grocery shop to Stop and Shop, getting in what I need for the cooking/baking for my friend’s visit. Headed to Wild Oats for a few more things. Will have to do a trip to Big Y tomorrow for some stuff I couldn’t find, and then another swing by Wild Oats to get some stuff I want fresher than sitting around from Tuesday to the weekend.

My downstairs neighbor-one-over gave me some produce from her garden, and it is yummy! So, when I bake cookies tomorrow, I’ll make some extra for her.

Read for about an hour in the afternoon. Was supposed to attend a virtual networking event, but couldn’t get the Zoom link to work. Turned out it was a Spectrum problem – there were trucks on the street. I’ll have to send an apology to the organizer today.

I have a lot of script coverage to complete today, and a couple of writeups. Tomorrow is my last day to get anything written up, so that I have the whole weekend off. I’m looking forward to the break.

This afternoon, I’m looking forward to Remote Chat!

Wed. Aug. 25, 2021: Still Drippy and Humid

image courtesy of pasja1000 via pixabay.com

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Foggy, hot, humid

I forgot to mention something good from Monday. The Marie Corelli biography I ordered secondhand in Ohio, from the bookstore who had it at a price I could afford, arrived. The description made it sound like a sad copy, but it’s great! I’m so excited to read it.

I struggled with WordPress yesterday. It just would not cooperate.

Went over to the college library to return books and get new books. Found some eBooks that would be helpful in my research. Hopefully, I can check them out. Came home and realized the bill for the tolls for moving was due, so I wrote the check and dashed down the street to the post office.

On this walk, it was the first time the warning bells went off in regard to another pedestrian. A guy a few yards ahead of me set off those bells. Now, I lived on the Deuce in NYC a good long time, and I know to listen to the signals. And, as small and friendly as this city is, it IS a city, and I have to remain alert. Every woman who’s ever had to walk alone can relate.

Anyway, the guy was on the other side of the street at first. I didn’t like the way he stopped and turned to gaze after a woman who walked by him, like she was his next meal. He swaggered on. Then, he crossed to my side of the street, and started slowing down.

At the next crosswalk, I crossed to the other side and went into my new bank. He sort of meandered around on the opposite side of the street for a minute or two, then took off again.

I waited, then resumed my journey. The post office was on my side of the street now anyway. He was on the other side of the street. He saw me, and started slowing down. I’m thinking, “Aw, man, I’m gonna have to dropkick him, aren’t it?” hoping I haven’t gotten too rusty.

But then, a cop steps out of a doorway and the guy walks right into him. The cop talks to him, glancing over the guy’s head at me. For the record, we were all white. The guy mumbles something and rabbits off down a side street. The cop lifts his hand in greeting to me. I do the same in return, and go on my way to the post office.

Mailed my letter, walked the couple of extra blocks to the library, dropped off my book, got a Sarah Addison Allen book. I’ve read it, but I’m in the mood for her work.

Walked back along Church Street, among the lovely houses. Saw my delightful postman, and we waved across the street. Enjoyed the architecture and everyone’s plants, and how they’re sprucing up and loving these old, lovely buildings.

Whenever I see someone on their porch or in their yard, and they notice me looking at the house, I call out, “I love the (detail) you have.” They immediately brighten up, and usually tell me the story behind it, which is interesting. It’s a nice way to get to know the neighborhood. And the neighbors.

But I’m tired of the humidity.

Of course, as soon as I was home, I got an alert that a book arrived for me at the library I just left. Isn’t that always the way? Well, if that’s the most annoying thing in the day, not bad. Of course, it wasn’t the most annoying, just another mosquito of annoyance.

Frustrated by a recruiter contacting me for the same information I sent when she contacted me yesterday. Big red flag. At first I re-sent everything, pointing out I’d sent it yesterday (and the email acknowledging it). A little later, I pulled myself out of consideration. Not worth it.

I’m tired of unprepared recruiters wasting my time. I’m tired of companies demanding that the copywriter have Adobe Creative Suite experience in order to create graphics for copy. No, that’s the designer’s job. Stop combining jobs with different skills and trying to hire one person at 1/3 of the rate that ONE of those jobs should be paid. Too many companies have learned NOTHING from the pandemic, and deserve to lose talent.

I didn’t write up enough script coverage; I concentrated on reading. So today, I have to make up for it, and have a boatload of coverage to write up. In order not to get overwhelmed, I will look at the individual coverages, and do something different in between them.

But no faffing around today. I also have administrative and unpacking work to do. And I have to run a check over to the TD bank in Williamstown, because the fucking app they FORCED me to put on my phone isn’t working properly for deposits. I will be so glad when we are finished with that bank.

Feeling burned out, especially since I know I have to work through the weekend this week. But that’s the way it goes, and at least I have the flexibility to do that, so I can enjoy spending time with a friend over Labor Day weekend for the first time since before the pandemic.

I will buckle down and do the work instead of faffing around today. Hopefully, it won’t be too humid. That’s what really slows me down. I do not deal with humidity well. Hopefully, when it cools into autumn weather, my energy will return.

Looking forward to Remote Chat. Always a bright spot in my week.

Published in: on August 25, 2021 at 7:43 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 25, 2021: Still Drippy and Humid  
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Wed. Aug. 4, 2021: Appreciating the Neighborhood’s Architecture

image courtesy of hadijoyce via pixabay.com

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Cloudy/hazy and cool

It’s cool in the early mornings and in the evenings. Not Autumn cool, but cool. It’s nice. It’s supposed to get warm and humid over the weekend and into next week, so I’m enjoying this while I can.

Got some work done in the early morning. Late morning, I took a stroll down to the post office. They are now requiring masks to enter, which is a good thing. I continued up the hill to the public library, where I dropped off books and took my time browsing to pick up new books (masked, of course). The staff has always been masked, and more patrons are now masked than even a couple of weeks ago.

I took my time walking home (“home” – what a wonderful word) along Church Street, basking in the wonderful architecture and plants. There’s a roof that’s all painted tile – I’ll have to go back and photograph it, it’s gorgeous. There’s so much detail in the trim on these houses, and carvings in the porticos. Really beautiful, even in the houses that need a little TLC. The architecture in the photo at the top of this post reflects what’s in this neighborhood, even though it’s a stock photo and not of this actual neighborhood.

Drove over to Wild Oats Market to drop off my membership paperwork. Discovered that they have a Little Free Library there, which makes me like them even more. Picked up a few things at Stop & Shop. I was planning to only get oat milk, eggs, butter – but I wound up buying four bags’ worth of stuff. We’ll use it all, so it’s not a problem. I have one eye on what we need immediately, and one eye on what we’ll need, should we need to isolate in a few weeks, be it from COVID, the weather, or a combination.

I keep honing and changing the slides for Friday’s class – all part of the process. Putting the images with them will be fun, but time-consuming, and that’s a big part of today’s work.

Read two scripts, which means I have three coverages to write, and I’ll have to get at least some of that done today.

Made pizza for dinner, because I was too tired to cook.

There’s more RWA chaos going on. Makes me glad I never joined the organization. It’s got to be heart wrenching for the people who’ve put so much time, energy, and affection into it.

I haven’t commented on the Olympics at all because I’m not watching any of it. I disagree with the choice to go forward with the games, and am therefore not watching it. Which also leads to me not engaging in any discussions about it, because the only information I have is second or third hand. So I am shutting the hell up.

Slept well. Was eager to get back to the writing, but the 1K wasn’t easy this morning. At the end of yesterday’s session, I thought I knew where I was going with the next scene – which, this morning, I decided to skip, because it really didn’t drive the story or reveal character in a way that I needed. So, while I had most of it in my head, none of it went on the page, and I went on to the next scene. 

Skipped my yoga this morning, which was a big mistake, so might do a longer session in the late afternoon, before dinner.

I found out that my public library card allows me access to the Williams College Library, which makes me so happy. Between the college library across the street and Williams College Library, I should be able to do all the research I need on Marie Collier for my play. I have most of what I need for the Dawn Powell/Dorothy Parker play, but I have to re-read the material in order to form the rest of the play. I have a strong opening for it, with a good tone, and now I need the details for the rest of it.

Remote Chat is today, which is always fun.

I’ve been spending far too much time on social media lately, mostly because of the general sense of burnout and malaise I still feel, and need to cut back. It doesn’t make me feel better, just more fatigued, even though there are a lot of people whose virtual company I enjoy.

But it’s getting in the way of the work, and the work is starting to feel better, finally. Protecting the work is important; therefore, I have to make choices to support that protection.

Back to the page – well, the class slides, anyway. Have a great day.

Published in: on August 4, 2021 at 7:55 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 4, 2021: Appreciating the Neighborhood’s Architecture  
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Tues. Aug. 3, 2021: Love The Libraries

image courtesy of Foundry Co. via pixabay.com

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Partly cloudy and cool

For some reason, the weekend feels like a really long time ago.

There’s a post over on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions blog. I’m slowly gearing up the other blogs.

I didn’t manage my time properly, so I ended up writing up script coverage all weekend. I need to figure things out better, so I have weekends off from the coverage, or it’s just too much.

I found out that a new independent bookstore opened, within walking distance. My first instinct was to run right over and check it out. However, I decided to wait until I get paid, so that I can actually spend money there (not just buy one thing because I feel like I can’t go in without buying something, but buy several things and give them some serious business). I also discovered that, at Norad Mill, on the way to Wild Oats Market, is a yarn store. I don’t need more yarn – I have so much in storage. But there’s a yarn store, so you know I’m going to go there.

The list of possibilities for upcoming Artist Dates grows. And that is a good thing.

I like that there are places I can frequent within walking distance.

Norad Mill also has a yoga studio, with strict vaccine rules for in-studio work. Even with that, that everyone needs to be vaccinated, masks are welcome within the studio, I’m not sure if I feel comfortable going back into the studio. There’s another studio (near the new bookstore), but it’s online only right now. As much as I’d like to go back to class, I’m not sure, even with precautions and protocols, I feel comfortable enough so to do. I feel like I’d need a separate set of mat, blocks, props, etc. to take to class that would need to be decontaminated and kept separate from my daily mat and blocks I use at home.

But it’s nice to know that the studios here follow protocols. Unlike the studio on Cape, where, during the height of it all last year, pre-vaccine, people could be inside without masks.

I received sad news. The Broadway colleague fighting COVID, who seemed to be improving, died of a heart attack on Friday night. He was a sweet, gentle soul who is an enormous loss.

It also increases my rage against anti-vaxxers. They are domestic terrorists, walking biological weapons, and need to be dealt with as the murderers they are.

Saturday, I put the cat condo back up. It’s in a corner of the living room. Because the ceilings are so much higher here, it doesn’t dominate the room, the way it did in the Cape house. The cats aren’t sure about it yet. It has to be their idea to go back into/onto it.

Worked on unpacking/setting up my office some more. It’s better, it’s workable, but I want it wonderful, and it’s not there yet.

The new Eureka vacuum arrived. It’s wonderful. It was also horrifying to see how much dirt was in the rugs that the other vacuum hadn’t picked up. But now, we’re finally getting things clean.

When I lived a block from Times Square, in NYC, the constant cleaning was discouraging. I’d scrub everything down; an hour later, there was a light layer of soot and grime over everything. When we first moved to the Cape, a decade ago, things were a little gritty because it’s sandy (beaches have sand), but, overall, it was cleaner. However, it got progressively dirtier, as trees are cut down, and there were the constant mowing/leaf blowing/chain saws. The dirt had an oily residue from all the machinery in constant use. Even with regular house cleaning, it was difficult to get it clean, much less keep it clean. As we unpack, even though we cleaned things before the move, everything needs a second, thorough scrub.

The dirt and dust, at least so far, is a different, lighter consistency. So far, at least, it’s easier to clean, even though we technically live in a city.

Who knew there were so many kinds of dirt? Not soil, but dirt.

Sunday was about some more unpacking. There are still a few boxes in the living room that need unpacking, but it’s not stuff for the living room. And we need to rearrange some stuff, and decide what to put on the mantel. So far, nothing looks quite right. Our mirrors are the wrong size and shape. I feel as though it should be a painting. If we keep the porcelain figurines (which have been in the family for generations and keep getting hauled around) on the mantel, I feel it should be a pastoral scene with a lake (for feng shui, there needs to be water over a fireplace, even if it’s not a real one), so it looks like the figures stepped out of it. If we move the figures (although who knows where), it can be some other sort of painting, as long as there’s a watery vibe to it (but not a sinking ship type of thing; not good for feng shui).

I tried putting the pieces I brought back from Australia oh, so long ago, when my play was produced there, but they don’t look or feel right there, either. They will probably go in my office.

Monday morning, in my first writing session of the day, I passed my daily quota, for the first time in months. It felt good. I’m getting back in synch with my creativity. I’m starting, slowly, to feel like myself again. The self I was when I moved so optimistically to the Cape ten years ago (nearly eleven now), although I doubt I’ll ever feel that level of optimism about anything ever again.

Got out some LOIs, caught up on email. Worked on the class presentation. Walked down to the post office to mail a few things.

I can see the college library from my front windows. So, yesterday morning, I walked over and got a Community Card. I have permission to both check books out of the library and to work in the library (it was practically empty today and everything is well spaced, but if COVID numbers keep going up, I doubt I will). Everyone at the college – students, faculty, staff, vendors – is required to be fully vaccinated, at least. But I don’t want to push my luck.

For research, it’s a fantastic library. Lots of books I can’t find anywhere else. I only checked out two books, but they will keep me busy for a bit!

Home, tried to get back to work, had a bad case of the I Don’t Wannas. Did a little unpacking and rearranging.

Worked on some script coverage. Started the next book I have to review. Paid some bills.

An interesting call for a flash fiction submission landed in my inbox, so I’m playing with some ideas.

Spent some time on the acupressure mat, with the eye pillow on, and Willa was absolutely convinced I was dying, and it was her job to resuscitate. Poor cat. Her original human, who gave her up because he was too sick to take care of her and of Charlotte, must have been in bad shape.

At least I’m sleeping better.

As I’m roaming around the neighborhood, learning my way about, I’m meeting various neighbors. People are good about distancing when unmasked outside, and everyone in the area is vaccinated (most are connected to the college, or to other companies that insist on vaccination). The timbre of conversation here is so different than it was on Cape.

For comparison:

Topic: My life and work in New York, and it comes up that I worked backstage on Broadway for years.

Typical Cape Cod response: “Oh, so you were fired and came here? But I bet you still have connections. How soon can you get me free tickets? There are lots of shows I want to see, but I’m not paying those prices.”

Berkshires: “I bet you got to work on some cool projects and with some talented people.”

(For the record: I was not fired. I was aging out, and wanted to leave while I still loved it).

Topic: Professions. I’m asked what I do for a living, and I respond with “writer.”

Typical Cape Cod: “What’s your real job?”

Berkshire: “Can we get together one day to take a walk around the lake/get coffee and talk about how you approach character and plot? I’m vaccinated, I promise.  I’m trying a few things, and I’d love to hear how you do it.”

See the difference?

Not everyone on Cape was like that, of course. The people who became my friends weren’t like that, or we wouldn’t have formed friendships. But, at networking or Chamber Events or Writers’ Center events or art openings, meeting and chatting with new people, that same response came up over and over and over again, for years.

Not that it’s perfect here. The Town Clerk still hasn’t responded to my request to change voter registration (which, according to the Secretary of State’s office has to be done here), and the equivalent of my health organization hasn’t responded to any of my requests for information. The original requests went in nearly a month ago. The local chamber of commerce hasn’t responded to my request for information (although the larger 1Berkshires has).

But when I meet people and talk to them, I’m met with interest, rather than the hostility of “you think you’re so great because you work in the arts, but you can’t be that great or you wouldn’t live here” which I got pounded with constantly on Cape for years.

It’s not about my view of my own “greatness.” It’s the fact that this is my profession, not my hobby, I put in the work, and earn my living at it.

Up early this morning, wrote my 1K in longhand. It felt good. There’s stuff I need to research, details, but the writing itself feels good, even though the story itself is light years away from what I usually do. Stretching is a good thing.

The bulk of today’s focus will be on the materials for class: finishing up the Power Point presentation, putting together the handouts. My host is doing maintenance, so I can’t upload anything until tomorrow, but if it’s ready to go, that means I can upload, test, and troubleshoot before Friday’s class.

I also have to make another trip to the post office, and then I’ll swing by the public library to return books/pick up books. I think it’s nice enough to walk today, so that’s what I’ll do. Walking more is both a good way to learn the area, and a way to regain fitness and strength. It’s safe to walk around here, too. People aren’t idiots, and don’t roam in unvaccinated packs, like they did on Cape. Even when we’re unmasked and vaccinated, we give each other room, passing on the sidewalk, etc. None of this invading personal space and literally blowing on the backs of people’s necks that the assholes did during the pandemic on Cape, thinking it was “funny.”

Got to do a grocery run, too. I’m out of oat milk. I put cow’s milk in my coffee this morning, and that was a mistake. We need a few things like eggs and butter, too.

Time to get back to work. Slowly, I’m finding my work rhythms again. I still get tired quickly, and have to take more breaks, but taking breaks isn’t a bad thing. When I take proper breaks, I’m more focused and productive when I actually work.

And I’m soooo much more productive working fully remotely than going into someone else’s office.

Back to the page, hoping for a good day, on multiple levels.

Wed. July 21, 2021: Just A Simple Day

image courtesy of Bumiputra via pixabay.com

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Cloudy and humid

Yesterday wasn’t as productive as I hoped, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Got some work done in the early morning. Got through most of the emails, so that it’s now manageable, and I can work through the rest that need attention.

Finessed a few things in the one-act version of “Confidence Confidant” and sent it in response to a call for submission. Have a couple of other plays to send off today and tomorrow.

Dropped off/picked up books at the library. I’m not happy about the two-book checkout limit until October. If I had a history of not returning books/piling up fees, I could see it, but I don’t.

Found the Big Y grocery store, although the Google directions were wrong (as usual). It’s a big, lovely store. Still doesn’t have enough Asian or Latin foods, so I will have to hunt for other stores that do. And it doesn’t carry rye flour – I have a feeling I might have to special order that. Or maybe find an organic store which carries it. They have all kinds of other grain flours, but not rye. And I do love my orange rye bread.

Spent much more than I planned there, but now we are well stocked. Between Big Y and Stop and Shop, both of which aren’t too far away (once you know how to get there), I think we’ll make it through the harsh winters here.

The CVS is next door to Big Y, so we’ll be able to get my mom’s prescriptions set up there. We both still have to find new doctors, change our voter registration (the Town Clerk, which the State told me handles it, has not responded), and change our drivers’ licenses/car registration.

On the way back from the grocery store, swung by the post office to mail letters and bills.

Got everything up the stairs and put away. The humidity was pretty intense by then, and I ran out of steam. It was too hot and humid in the afternoon to try to find the lake, unless we wanted to go IN it, which we don’t. I wish I’d stop feeling so awful all the time. The fatigue and muscle pain should be easing up by now; if anything, it’s getting worse.

I’m enjoying QUEEN OF THE UNDERWORLD. I like the way the story is unfolding, at least so far. I’m reading it slowly, savoring it.

Pizza for dinner. Thunderstorms, lightning, and rain at night. Since there are rivers everywhere (where the mills were perched, mills that are now museums and artist lofts and studios), I worry about flooding, like we had back in Westchester. Lee and Lenox were hit badly by the storms over the last weekend, but around here, it wasn’t too bad.

I’m glad I didn’t go to Lenox for WordXWord last night. I would have been miserable driving back in the storm. I’m not yet confidant driving in the mountains.

The fire alarm went off a little after 10 PM, for no discernable reason. We weren’t cooking or anything. It does that, at least once a week. Not sure what’s going on there.

Today is more writing, more LOIs, script coverage, work on the class, prepping and sending out some plays. Remote Chat is this afternoon, so that should be fun.

I have to get back to work updating my brochure, so I can send LOIs to local businesses. And I need to get back on track with the revisions and re-releases of the Topic Workbooks. I managed to update the main Devon Ellington website a couple of days back; I need to cycle through the other sites and make sure they are updated, too.

I should unpack some more, too. There are still too many boxes everywhere.

Tues. Jan. 26, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 251 — Handling Each Thing as It Comes

image courtesy of Dzoko Stach via pixabay.com

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Waxing Moon

Flurries/rain mix/cold

If you love encyclopedias as much as I do, or wonder WHY anyone would love an encyclopedia, I have a post about that up over on A Biblio Paradise.

It feels weird to have no retrogrades, but that will end on Saturday. Mercury goes into retrograde, and I’m not looking forward to it. I always dread it, but there’s so much that needs to get done; losing three weeks to a complicated retrograde is worrisome.

I would prefer to stay under the covers for the duration, but that is not an option. So I will shut up as much as possible and keep working on purging the basement.

Got an email early Friday morning about a new editor at a publication for which I recently started writing. Sent the introductory email to her, and then buckled down to finish the article that was due at the end of the day. I got it off at 5:03 – but the editor is in California, so it was still her workday, thank goodness. I hate being one of those people, who sends things just after the workday ends on a Friday.

Anyway, I got a lovely email from her about working together. I mulled over ideas over the weekend, and sent her some pitches yesterday, although with my willingness to be assigned articles as well as pitches.

I actually had a positive experience with a recruiter! Will wonders never cease! It’s for a 7-8 month writing assignment at an excellent rate. We had a good conversation, and I signed the representation agreement for this particular assignment. He actually answered my questions, and we had a conversation ranging along several topics, which gave us a good sense of each other.

An old family friend stopped by (on his way from Foxboro to Provincetown). He’d been cleaning out his basement and found two boxes of books from my grandmother and thought I’d want them. We followed health and safety protocols – especially since he had COVID last month, although he was asymptomatic.

And the books! They include the Daphne du Maurier books (one of the reasons we went to Cornwall back in 1999, because of her books), and books by Tolstoy, and more! I’m so excited. They bring back many happy memories of reading at my grandmother’s house next to the bog and the woods, as a kid.

They’re already packed in boxes. I quarantined them, and then took a look through them. I’m just going to seal and mark the boxes, and they’re ready for the move.

In and around the contest entries I’m reading, I’m reading another book for review, and hope to have the review done and out by tomorrow or Thursday. I also read THE LOST AND FOUND BOOKSHOP by Susan Wiggs, which was recommended by Deborah Blake. Liked it a lot. I’m reading THE ART OF VIOLENCE by SJ Rozan, and enjoying that, too. Very well done.

In the book about the Hemingway-Pfeiffer marriage I read over the weekend, I found a tidbit I didn’t know, but will be useful for a play I’m writing this year. (Not that the play is about either of them). Love when that happens!

Most of the weekend was dedicated to clearing out the basement. I honestly don’t understand how a person can do it in a day. The emotional baggage alone nearly killed me, and I only got ten boxes done. Got another one done yesterday, and want to get at least two done today. If I do a little bit every day, and more on weekends, it won’t be so overwhelming. I’ll have to do a dump run later this week, though, and I have a feeling I’ll be doing so every week or two until we move.

Yesterday, I woke up at 2:48, worrying again, like before. I guess sleeping through the night was only temporary. The cats convinced me to get up and feed them at 5 (they were bothering me since 4:12), and then I curled up on the couch again for about an hour. It wasn’t sleep, but at least I wasn’t up and about.

Masked up, dropped books in the drop box at the library, went into the office. I was there on my own for most of it, but there was a little overlap that shouldn’t have happened. I blame the Governor. He’s rolling back restrictions BEFORE we’re vaccinated, which is costing more lives. We need a Democratic governor in this state. At the beginning, he seemed to be doing a decent job of things, but he’s pro-business to the point of unnecessarily costing lives.

Had to stop by the post office on the way home, because the mail carrier at the office route refuses to pick up packages when the flag is up – even when we’ve put in a request for pickup.  He just drives right by. I’m tired of chasing him down the street, and then he refuses to take the package. Not to mention his refusal to wear a mask. I want the guy back who actually did his job. So I took it with me to MY post office, in MY town, where they actually do their jobs, and are nice about it. Also mailed a package for my mom, a birthday present for a friend of hers.

Home, decontaminated, lunch. The landlord had a guy come by to give an estimate for a new septic system (this one is original to the house, which was built in 1962). But they were outside and I was not, so it wasn’t an issue. Plus, they followed masking protocols.

Heard from my new editor, who liked the article I submitted on Friday, and wants the material I had to cut for word count as a “Part 2” so I’m going to do that today, along with getting some stuff done for a client, and getting out more LOIs. And getting two more boxes purged from the basement.

My seeds arrived yesterday, from both Territorial and Kitchen Garden seeds. I was going to order some more from Johnny’s today, but maybe I’ll skip it. I might just make do with what I have, at least until we know where we’re moving and get settled there. Then, I can look around and see what we need.

Once I know WHERE we’re moving, I can get everything else organized pretty quickly. It will be stressful, but it’s do-able. It’s getting the finances in place FOR the move, which will dictate so much of it, that is the main challenge.

Busy day ahead, especially with Mercury Retrograde looming.

Peace, friends.

Published in: on January 26, 2021 at 6:24 am  Comments Off on Tues. Jan. 26, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 251 — Handling Each Thing as It Comes  
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Wed. Nov. 25, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 189 — Incoming

image courtesy of Conger Design via pixabay.com

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Waxing Moon

Neptune and Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and milder

Well, yesterday turned out to be “interesting times.”

The brand-new furnace stopped working. It’s barely six weeks old.

On one of the coldest mornings we’ve had lately.

I was so angry. Six damn weeks. But I kept my cool. I checked the breaker box. It was fine. I checked the vents outside. They were clear. I tried to push it by turning up the thermostat. Nothing.

I knew it would be difficult once I put in the call, so I masked up and did my errands as planned first. Quick run to Target, when only about six people were in the store, to whip through and pick up outdoor lights, molasses (it’s $2/bottle cheaper than the grocery store and I got the last three bottles), one final gift for my mom, stocking stuffers. There was ONE package of giant Bounty paper towels left, the only package in the store. I grabbed it.

Spent more than I meant to, but now we’re good on paper towels and toilet paper until the end of the year.

Headed to the post office. Mailed the overseas cards and the overseas package. Got some more stamps, so I can finish the domestic cards.

To the library for curbside drop off/pickup, to the liquor store, to the chocolatier, to buy the boxes of chocolate we’re sending to various friends.

Now I’m done. I have to make one more trip to the chocolatier for a couple of little things, but I’m done with the gifts and the rest.

I wanted to get it all done BEFORE the hordes descended on the Cape for the holiday.

Home. Decontaminated. Left all the bags of everything in the quarantine area of the garage. I’ll bring them in Thursday or Friday.

THEN I contacted the landlord about the furnace. He told me to contact the furnace company directly. Considering they refused to deal with me directly during the installation because I wasn’t the client, I thought that was interesting. But I called, a technician came out. The inductor motor and the furnace’s internal motherboard needed to be replaced.

On a brand-new furnace.

The tech asked if we’d had a lightening strike in yesterday’s storm. We didn’t even get a power flicker.

He had to go off and source the parts and come back. Willa, who had insisted on being in the basement to supervise, was corralled, and I stashed her upstairs with my mom to keep them away from people. Tessa stayed in my room, uninterested. Charlotte curled up in the rocking chair and napped.

So I didn’t need to herd cats, which was a relief.

I managed to get an ad live for a client, and some admin work done, but it wasn’t a very productive day. Fortunately, this year, no one expects much productivity this week.

He finished up by midafternoon, and it’s nice to have heat again. He was very nice, and masked, as required, and so was I, so it was all good.

But now I’m going to be paranoid every time the furnace kicks on or off, wondering if it will fail again.

We had the final Knowledge Unicorns session before Thanksgiving break. We won’t meet on Thursday. The kids are ready for a break, but we had fun. ALL of their grades have gone up.

When they have an assignment in a subject they don’t like, I ask them, “If you were a character in your favorite book and were faced with a problem/challenge like this, how would you  and the characters in that book overcome it? Without violence?”

That’s given them interesting paths to solve the assignments. They’ve also started sharing their favorite books with each other. And the ones who weren’t big readers for pleasure are starting to do more of that now.

After the homework session, I made a meal out of sketchy leftovers in the fridge (I’m cleaning out fridge and freezer, tossing some things that are just not worth taking a chance on to make room for new leftovers).

The turkey is thawing nicely, so all will be well on Thanksgiving morning.

I attended an NYU alumni Zoom event with John Leguizamo and the producers of the new film he starred in and directed called CRITICAL THINKING, about an urban chess team in Florida. It sounds great, and the conversation was wonderful. I didn’t realize he was an alum. I’ve known and loved his work since Spic-O-Rama in 1992. I’m eager to see the film.

After that, Jeremy Rock Smith of Kriplau did a live exchange on Instagram, answering questions for the holiday cooking. He’s quite emphatic about NOT cooking the stuffing in the turkey – says the turkey will get to dry, if you cook it enough to keep it safe. But, when I cook it at 350 instead of 325 AND use so much liquid in the bottom of the pan (so it’s more poached tan roasted), it works. Plus, when I use the thermometer, I usually get a higher temperature than the 165 needed for safe poultry. But I didn’t say anything. He’s right to advise caution. And he had some great answers for all kinds of vegetable prep. He’s just the best.

A bit of a tiring day, starting with challenges, but ending on a high, creative note. I’d gotten a little bit of writing done early in the morning, but nowhere near enough.

This weekend, around the food and the decorating, I’ll have to make up for it.

I’ve got a holiday greeting scheduled for tomorrow, but I won’t actually post until Friday again, and I’ll post over on the food blog about what to do with leftovers.

The roads and bridges were already clogged last night with traffic, people coming to the Cape for the holiday weekend, in spite of advisories not to come. You know these people didn’t take a test, nor will they follow protocols, nor will they quarantine. They’re just going to spread virus as much as possible because they’re too selfish to show a little consideration for anyone except themselves.

People were breaking curfew up the ying yang this morning. I woke up once just before midnight, and once a little after 4 (which meant I was up for the day), and there was traffic like there wasn’t any curfew.

Just people being Covidiots. I’m so sick of it.

Today will be stressful at the client’s – it’s the day we overlap. I’m hoping we can all stay safe for that couple of hours. Then, I’m in for the weekend, unless I get the domestic packages ready in time to take to the post office first thing Saturday morning.

I will be glad to be home, decontaminate, and attend Remote Chat.

Have a lovely, safe, quiet Thanksgiving my friends, and I’ll see you on the other side.

Published in: on November 25, 2020 at 6:36 am  Comments Off on Wed. Nov. 25, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 189 — Incoming  
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Fri. Nov. 17, 2017: Writing, Errands, and Amazon Delivery Fail

Friday, November 17, 2017
Dark Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Yesterday was a busy day. That seems to be the mantra, isn’t it? The Books and the Bear promotion went out for SA.VASANA AT SEA

Day before dark moon is always my lowest energy day of the month. Dark moon, I start feeling better again.

I had to contact my webhost — the book covers aren’t showing up on my website for SAVASANA, nor is the Media Kit downloadable. That’s not acceptable. The host switched over to a Microsoft Server, and, Microsoft is claiming my uploads are “double escapes” and they are forbidden for “security”. Which is complete and utter crap.

So, again, just when I have a release, and it’s vital everything work, my host lets me down. Because 1and 1 sucks.

Moving everything and/or rebuilding the websites from scratch will be a nightmare, but I really don’t see what else I can do. 1and1 doesn’t deliver on the package for which I’m paying. Every “improvement” makes it more and more impossible for me to do what I need to do, and everything that’s supposed to be included then suddenly becomes an additional monthly fee.

I need a stable webhost that lets me do what I need to do. I need to be able to run multiple domains at a reasonable price, along with multiple subdomains.

So, I’m on the webhost hunt again.

Caught up on a lot of web and admin stuff yesterday, and uploaded next Tuesday’s post to A Biblio Paradise. My guest is Patsy Collins, whose newest book is set in both South Wales and Capri, which sounds interesting. Anyway, on Tuesday, I hope you’ll hop over. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you! 😉

I set up the Questions for 2018 on a separate page on the GDR site. I figured that makes more sense than having to constantly scroll down and look for it. The questions have shifted a bit from the past few years, because, well, people change. Life changes. Things evolve.

I’m having a series of interesting small “aha” moments lately. They are adding up to the major shift that will happen next spring. Clues along the trail. I still don’t know what the ultimate outcome of it all will be, but the journey is intriguing.

Did some client work. I’ve kind of done all I can on a couple of projects for this client until they get back to me with the information I requested in order to go further.

Yoga mid-day yesterday. It was a good class. I was achy and tight all over. It made me realize that, on days when I’m working onsite with my clients, I have to come home, immediately change into yoga clothes, and do a solid, forty minutes or so of yoga or I get out of alignment and tangled up. I can’t sit for so long, especially since the desk and chair are the wrong heights for me on one particular site.

My mom’s medical appointment was moved a few hours earlier, so I dashed home from yoga, packed her into the car, drove her over in the pouring rain. While she was in there, I ran a couple of errands nearby, then picked her up, and off we went home. She’s healing well. It’s slower than she would like, and she can’t do much, which frustrates her, but the nurses assure her she’s doing well and is right on track.

By the time we got back, I was done for the day!

I’ve been expecting a book I ordered from an Amazon-connected vendor. It was ordered on Oct. 31, and supposedly shipped on Nov. 1. The delivery was marked between Nov. 8-15. Now, since I paid full price for the shipping, that seemed a bit long. But, most of the time, the stuff arrives on the front end of the estimate. I’d ordered two other books from different vendors the same day. At cheaper shipping, I might add. One arrived THE NEXT DAY with a nice note — you know I’ll be doing business with them again), and the other arrived less than a week later.

I’m still waiting for this book. The tracking said it would be delivered by 8 PM on the 15th. Well, the mailman was there around 3:30, and, no package. Then, yesterday, it’s marked “delivered.” Where? Sure as hell not to me. I was home when the mail was delivered, so it’s not like anyone had time to steal it off the doorstep. I walked around and don’t see it anywhere. If it was misdelivered to a neighbor, the neighbor would have brought it over. We run back and forth a few times a week with misdelivered mail. So where is it? And why the hell would it be my job to walk the neighborhood to try to figure out where it was misdelivered? I paid for it to be delivered in a timely fashion TO MY HOUSE.

I contacted the seller when it didn’t arrive the first time, and then again last night. I’m going to the post office with the tracking number today. Hopefully, the seller will put some pressure on it from that end, and we can figure out where the heck it is.

Not happy about it at all. On the one hand, I don’t want to blame the seller for something that happened on this end. On the other hand, I paid full price for shipping, so why wasn’t it sent via first class mail? And what good is the tracking number if it doesn’t accurately track?

Time to visit the post office. My post office people are very nice, so I know they will at least TRY to figure it out. But it’s frustrating. And it makes me not want to order again.

It’s not even holiday madness. If it was holiday madness, I’d give it more leeway, but this is basic mail delivery.

And, of course, crickets from the seller. Not even an acknowledgement that I contacted with a problem. However, it might be overzealous to expect a response in less than 48 hours. That IS the standard business response time. So I really don’t have a right to be annoyed with the seller until, like, Monday.

Enough of the cranky today, right?

I ran a ton of errands this morning. By accident, I found the turkey of my dreams on sale at a great price, so I hauled that home and it’s waiting patiently for Thanksgiving. Found the cookie tray packaging I need for my annual cookie tray event, and a couple of small gifts for my mom. And I have almost everything I need for the dinner next week – just have to pick up some fresh vegetables and the pie the day before. Picked up some yarn my mom needed, and a few other things.

Yard work after lunch, although it’s windy, and I hope my piles of leaves don’t blow into my neighbors’ pristine yards before I can bag them!

Only then will I be able to dig back into SERENE AND DETERMINED. I am determined — pun intended — to finish the first act this weekend.

A friend sent me some raw material that he’s wondering how he can shape, so I’m going to give him some advice, too.

I’m going to try to stay offline all weekend, and that includes social media, in order to really dig in to SERENE AND DETERMINED, and also, hopefully into a few other projects.

And get yard work done on any day that isn’t raining!

I won’t be able to post about the weekend’s writing until Tuesday’s post. Monday will, again, be an “intent” post.

Have a great weekend.

Published in: on November 17, 2017 at 11:43 am  Comments Off on Fri. Nov. 17, 2017: Writing, Errands, and Amazon Delivery Fail  
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Thurs. Dec. 13, 2012: Working along in the New Moon

Thursday, December 13, 2012
New Moon
Uranus Direct
Sunny and cold
y

Yesterday was a decent workday. Went to the post office to get stamps for the cards; got a few small gifts that still need to be mailed, made a library run for some of books I’d ordered. Made the certificates for the people who successfully completed the tarot workshop. Spent time with my students.

Writers Night Out was a lot of fun last night. We were at Uno’s, in Hyannis, the usual place. Food’s not fancy, but fine – in fact, the pizza was very good. We had a lively, laughing table (many of us the new board members), and ten people read from their work, which was good.

Home at a fairly early hour, unwound reading in bed.

Up early this morning to move the car, meditate, get my first 1K of the day in on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE. I’m starting chapter five now, which means I need to sit down and do the outline for the whole book, or I’ll get derailed.

Helped my mom pack gifts for Germany. Sorted out the pumpkin seeds that have been drying from Samhain. One set from each pumpkin will be put away and planted in spring. I put aside some others to make pumpkin runes out of them — will have to get a nice Sharpie and some lacquer spray to do those.

Yoga was great this morning. Stopped at Craigville Beach on the way back — on Thursday mornings, coming back, it’s now my routine to take the road by the shore and stop for a few minutes at either Covell or Craigville Beach. I live on the Cape to be near the water — I plan to enjoy it whenever possible.

Must work with students and finish the play today, along with doing this week’s coursework and following up on some pitches. Also have to get the cards done and out. Roofers still here — they’re doing good work. Cats aren’t happy with the noise, but compared to the morons who worked on the building in NY, destroying more than they fixed, these guys are angels. They’re conscientious, know what they’re doing, give a damn, pleasant to be around, do quality work, and clean up after themselves.

Onward!

Devon

Don’t miss the Delectable Digital Delights for the holidays — small stories with big laughs and ideas — two Nina Bell tales and a twist on Yuletide myths.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Imp Dog tootled down the street yesterday as I worked. I went outside to try to call him to me, for fear he’d get hit by a car, but he just shot through the yard to wherever it is he comes from. I’m really worried about him being out on his own, even though he’s a little dickens.

Wrote in the morning and then ran some errands — last of the packages and cards out, bank business handled, checked out the natural foods store near the yoga center. It’s excellent Picked up a few things.

Went to Country Garden in Hyannis, which is just an enchanted place. Lovely, lovely, lovely, and everyone is very nice. Even though one of our Christmas cacti has started to bloom, the ones they have were so pretty, we bought a small one,filled with blossoms. It’s in the window of my office now, ready to go. We also picked up some lovely ornaments for the big tree. They’ve got some gazing balls and garden statuary there, and the prices are better than some of the other places around, so I will go back in spring. I want a gazing ball, a Buddha, and a gargoyle for the back, at least to start, and I’m not yet sure what for the front. The twin oaks in front need some ornamentation.

Had lunch, read the papers. In the afternoon, we had an appointment with a local insurance person (not sure if her designation is “broker” or “agent” — Lori would know). Anyway, within an hour, we had the car insurance and the renters’ insurance sorted out. We took the paperwork to the RMV, and walked out, ten minutes later, with our new registration and new plates. Now, I’ve got to go to the place I picked out for the inspection and plate swap and get that done in the next couple of days, and I am legal in the state of MA. Bite me, Allstate. She agreed it was vital to file with the Commissioner of Insurance here in MA and the Attorney General in NY, because almost everything every person I spoke with at Allstate during this debacle is both incorrect and illegal. Since MA is very strict about what companies can and can’t get away with, they’ve got to know to make sure it doesn’t happen again. She said the three big companies who were recently granted rights to operate in the state have done nothing but ignore the law and get their customers into trouble, so it’s important to keep filing. Our new car insurance is with a company based in NH who covers New England and has a great reputation. I’m still not sure, exactly, about where the renters’ insurance is based.

The registration document stays in the car, and we don’t need an insurance card in the car, because all cars are required to have insurance (the health care law in MA was based on the auto insurance law). In NY, one had to keep the insurance card in the glove compartment, but the actual driver had to carry the registration card on his person. For instance, if I was travelling with my friend Joe, and we switched off driving in the state of NY because I was tired or whatever, I’d have to hand him the registration card. If we got stopped, he couldn’t turn to me and ask for it without getting a fine or a warning (if the cop was in a generous mood). In MA, the registration is kept in the glove compartment, because you can’t get a registration without insurance. So one doesn’t have to carry it on one’s person.

Anyway, enough about all that. I feel like a huge burden’s been lifted. Now, I just have to tell Allstate where to stick the phantom policy they were supposed to Fed Ex me ten days ago and never did and get my money back (which I am sure will be another fight).

On today’s agenda — stopping by the garage to make the appointment for inspection/plate change, at least three trips to the dump to get rid of the rest of the leaves and the recycling that’s built up, unpack some more kitchen boxes, vaccuum everything (a friend of my mom’s said she’d be in town today, but hasn’t given us an ETA, and we can’t sit around and wait all day).

I want to finish the article and let it sit for a few hours, then go over it one last time tomorrow before sending it off. I also want to get going on the mystery due in February.

And unpacking some more boxes in my office and bedroom would be nice, too. Never ends, does it?

Devon

Published in: on December 18, 2010 at 8:32 am  Comments (4)  
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cold

So nice to have only one planet in retrograde! But that’ll change by the end of the week, when Mercury goes retrograde from the 10th to the 30th, so I want to get the car light fixed and the DMV kerflamma handled before then. (It’s the DMV — there’s going to be kerflamma).

The earliest the service place can take me to fix the light is tomorrow afternoon. Whatever. At least it will get done, and maybe I’ll hit the DMV, probably for most of the day, on Thursday.

Spent an hour at the post office, waiting in line. Granted, it’s a tiny post office, only two clerks, and I was sixth in line, but three of the six people ahead of me were idiots. Don’t get to the counter and dither. Especially when there’s a line of people going out the door. Know what you want, or at least ask some relevant questions. The clerks were very patient and handled them well (nice change from NY). When I got there, I had a long list of stuff, but it was all organized, so it took less time than the five people ahead of me combined. And the clerk said, since I have so much to mail in the coming week or so, maybe I need a smaller post office! I couldn’t resist: “They come smaller than this one?” Yeah, it was bratty, but, I mean, come on, the only post office I’ve ever seen that’s smaller was in a little tiny town in Ayrshire that has a postal window in the General Store.

But all the overseas cards are out, the overseas gifts are out, and one of the Hanukkah gifts is actually going to get there only the day after Hanukkah. Ran some errands, including getting outdoor lights, cable, and garland for the new trees. Spent a good part of the afternoon getting that all set up (instead of doing yard work). But they’re really, really cute, aren’t they? I’m so happy with them. Nice and simple, not too much, but gives the front a little festivity. And, with the candles in the windows, at night it has a nice glow.

Had to go back to Osterville House and Garden. I tried to get flat stops for the screws holding the tree in place so they’d actually hold it in place. I’m surprised they don’t hide behind the counter when they see me coming — but they’re always lovely and helpful. Also had to get an extension cord so the one little tree could reach the main cord. Unfortunately, all they had was orange, which kind of stands out — I was hoping for the more subtle dark green I’ve got along the side of the house. But I can live with it. It works.

Finished the assignment for Confidential Job #1; this morning, I have to write it up and get it out the door, since it’s due today. I have to do some yard work, and run yet more errands. Didn’t get any cards done yesterday, but plan to knock out a few today, along with packing up some more of the gifts.

I overslept this morning, so I’m already starting a little behind the beat.

The big event today is we have to go to the dump — ahem, transfer station. We’ve been stuffing the big garbage bin and the recycling crates in the garage. Now it’s time to get them out, and maybe find a way to maneuver in a few bags of leaves without getting leaves all over the car.

Because I have more raking to do, which means more leaves!

Playing with story ideas. There are several possibilities. I’d like to get one done for an anthology call, but don’t know if I can pull it together by January 1.

So the Republicans are “fiscal conservatives”? Is that why they forced a tax cut for the wealthy that will dig us $900 billion more into the hole? If you earn ten times more than I do, you should be paying more taxes than I do, not less because of ridiculous breaks and loopholes. Fiscal conservative, my ass. As usual, they only pander to the rich and are trying to turn everyone else into serfs, with themselves set up as “nobility.” And, of course, the Tea Party, who pretends to hold them “accountable” won’t say a word in protest, because they’re not grass-roots at all, but funded by the Party. For a group that uses “socialism” to scare people, they’re acting an awful lot like the former Soviet Union regime during the cold war. So typical of their ongoing hypocrisy.

I’m actually in favor of a flat tax of 10% on all income, split 3 1/3 between federal, state, and local, and each area has to manage their budget just like the rest of us. No loopholes. Period.

Happy that the New England Patriots (the only football team I ever really gave a damn about) whomped the NY Jets 45-3 last night.

Devon

Published in: on December 7, 2010 at 8:18 am  Comments (8)  
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Elsa naps between the Christmas stocking pillow and the soft doll angel

Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I am extremely grateful that I don’t have to travel over these holidays, especially with the weather problems and the fact that airlines aren’t actually interested in providing service for customers, just taking as much money away from them as they can. At this point, most of the major airlines deserve to tank. They’ve been in business for enough years so that when they’re hit with bad weather, they should be able to reshuffle their schedules and planes in order to get people WHO PAID THEM where they’re going in a timely, safe, and pleasant manner. That includes providing food and hotel vouchers in bad weather, or setting up food and shelter areas in the terminals — not expecting people to sleep on the floor and continue to pay outrageous terminal prices to eat during the ordeal. The new legislation limiting time on the tarmac is an improvement, but not enough.

I didn’t have that many errands to do yesterday, but I forgot to to mail my letters at the post office. I walked right BY the post office, but I was so excited about the Buche de Noel I bought that I forgot!

And you gotta watch those clerks at CVS. The one up the street from me is dreadful; the ones a few miles out are fine. But everything I needed to do was in walking distance, so I went to the dreadful one. I bought what I needed, she rings it up, and tells me the total. I hand her a bill and say, “Give me a minute and I’ll get you the change,” and I start counting the change out.

She looks at the bill, sneers at me, and says, “That’s not enough.”

“I SAID I was getting the change.”

She rolls her eyes at me.

No, I did not haul off and bitch slap her, although she deserved it. I kept digging for my change, then looked at the total and said, “That’s not right. You overcharged me.”

She rolls her eyes again. I pull out the item and show her the price on the sticker, which was several dollars less than what she rang up. She rolled her eyes AGAIN. I put my hand in my pocket this time to keep from slugging her and said, “So, you see, now YOU need to give ME my change.”

She voided the price, re-entered it, handed me the change with this “uh!” noise, and I said, “Cut the attitude, chickie, this is your job.” The manager wandered by and asked if there was a problem. I said, “If you won’t hire the competent, at least hire the polite” and walked out.

We all have bad days, but when you are dealing with customers, it is your job not to take it out on them. I’ll always start with politeness, but if you push me, I WILL push back, and if you start something with me — especially when you’re wrong — you WILL be sorry.

Remember when I said I couldn’t remember if a Mars retrograde made me stand firmer or stand down? Obviously, it makes me stand firmer. In other words, do NOT get in my face for the next two months, until it goes direct again! 😉

On the flip side, the staff at the French bakery were absolutely delightful. I walked in, and it was like entering a Wonderland. Turns out all the ex-pat French, French Canadian, and Brits in the area hang out there, so I’ll probably start spending more time on site! Anyway, I get in and see that they’re offering the Buche de Noel by the slice — and they’re lovely. The woman behind the counter asked if she could help me and I asked if I could buy a whole Buche. She said, “But of course!” and proceeded the delicate task of rearranging everything in the glass cabinet so she could get at it, packing it beautifully, and making sure the box was in a convenient bag. I admitted I was buying one because I was too much of a coward to make one, and she said, “And that’s why we’re here.” Totally lovely people. If they had eclairs, I’d be there every day.

I will still frequent the Salzburg Patisserie (which is only two blocks away as opposed to five), because it is wonderful, I’ve gone there for years, and I love their quality. But I will ALSO go to this French bakery.

And yes, I’ve scoped out bakeries in the areas in which I plan to relocate! A good bakery in the area is as vital to me as a good bookstore!

I have to do an errand for my mom and then pick up the turkey for Christmas Day dinner. I marinated the pork roast this morning, so by the time I put it in the oven tomorrow, it will have marinated for 30 hours. Just perfect.

Excellent writing day yesterday. Really pleased with the progress. The piece I’m working on has hit just the right tone — it’s funny and a little scary and a little sweet. Wish that had happened, like, three weeks ago!

We received the final packages we expected, and got confirmations on all the stuff that’s shipped. One more big box will be delivered to the family in Maine on Christmas Eve. Wolferman’s has been my go-to place for food gifts this year. Their quality is terrific, prices reasonable, and they are completely reliable. Great quality and great customer service means I’ll keep coming back. And no, they didn’t give me anything to say that! 😉 Actually, I’m about to shoot an email to them thanking them for their lovely service.

Guess what? The bookstore in town that was supposed to close in January has been saved. There was such an outcry, it’s staying open. It’s tiny, it’s not very efficient, and it rarely has what I need — but it’s there, and I do use it, so I’m grateful. Christmas miracle, anyone?

Violet says that we have to have play time RIGHT NOW, so I’ll play with her for a bit before going back to the page.

Happy day, all!

Devon