Tues. Aug. 17, 2021: Frustrating Start

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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Cloudy and humid

Mid-month check-in is up at the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site.

It was a good weekend, although I had a late start to it. In the hot weather, I’ve been taking a break during the worst heat/humidity in the middle of the day and focusing on the reading portion of my job(s). But that means I have to get back to the writing in the evenings, when it’s cooler and I can actually think. I wasn’t finished on Friday until about 8 PM, which I hate. (Which is why when someone approaches me with the line, “Must work PST hours” I refuse).

Also, too much of Friday was spent trying to open the new account at Greylock Federal Credit Union. It shouldn’t take three hours to open an account, and it shouldn’t take two weeks before the account is up and running. Seriously wondering if we made the right choice. Well, if we hate it, there are a ton of banks around here, and we’ll just change over again.

Tons of email to get through; I’ve been waiting too late in the day on Fridays with the admin. Hopefully, that will change now that it’s a little cooler.

After dinner on Friday, we had the lights off in the kitchen and sat, watching the thunder and lightning roll around the mountains. It was really cool.

Saturday was heavy with humidity, and it was hard to concentrate on anything. A friend is visiting for Labor Day weekend (yes, vaccinated), and booked her train ticket. I’m going to pick her up/drop her off at the train station in Albany, which will be an adventure.

Put away the holiday decorations we brought up in this last storage run. Winter on one side of the shelves, autumn on the other. There’s still plenty more coming up, but we will figure it out. There’s still room.

Got Mother’s prescriptions transferred up to the local CVS. The one on Cape said they’d do it, but, of course, didn’t. Everything is set up – only when we came home, there was a letter from Tufts that they are dropping her from their health insurance because she moved. They supposedly cover the entire state (one reason we wanted to stay in MA), sent her four volumes of statewide doctors and a list of local ones (none of whom were closer than 18 miles away), and now they’re dumping her. During a pandemic. After raising her premiums while doing less. This is not acceptable. Hey, I’m all for her having a better health plan, but Tufts needs to be bitch slapped by Health & Human Services, Maura Healey’s office, and Elizabeth Warren’s office for this type of behavior, and I am damn well going to make sure that happens. I’d like to bitch slap the Tufts CEO myself. In person.

Wrote up my book review and got it in on time. I always drag my feet when the book is a disappointment. This one needed both a developmental and a copy edit. It was a meandering mess.

Sunday was a lovely, sunny, cool day. We checked the local Goodwill, which is huge and has a lot of stuff, but nothing we needed. Then, we headed over to The Spruces, just over the border into Williamstown. The Spruces was a planned senior community of trailer homes, begun in the 1950’s, with its own mayor and city council. It was flooded out permanently in either 2011 or 2012, and now the town owns it and turned it into a community park. It’s filled with wildflowers and trees, and there are still ghostly outlines of some of the properties. The entrance has two white lion statues on very tall pedestals. It’s beautiful and a little creepy all at once.

The news of the earthquake in Haiti is sad, and what’s going on in Afghanistan was completely predictable. It was never about independence for the country, but about how much money our military contractors could make, Of course, the same GOP who doesn’t want to support those seeking asylum are the ones screaming about what’s going on there. Not to mention it was a Republican who got us into the mess in the first place. Typical hypocrites.

Read Peter Ackroyd’s short biography of Wilkie Collins, which gave me some ideas, especially when it comes to the Victorian actors Squire and Marie Bancroft. Put aside the book of letters between Yeats and Maud Gonne – that research is not leading where I’d hoped so I’m putting that project aside for now.

Worked on unpacking and setting up the sewing room (which also doubles as a guest room. Still more to do, but we’re getting there.

Wrote steadily all weekend, and that felt good. Writing steadily first thing every morning.

Monday started as a cool, lovely day. Good writing session, caught up on email. Went to the post office to mail a stack of bills and letters. Went to both libraries.

Got Mother’s social security deposit information changed to the new bank. No luck with the insurance. The Medicare “help line” who’d sent her paperwork promising to help passed her from person to person to person, NONE of whom helped. I have to contact Health & Human Services, copying Maura Healey and Elizabeth Warren.

Only the Brother laser printer needs a new yellow ink toner, and won’t let me override to print in black and white. Staples won’t ship the regular cartridge. It has to be picked up in store. The store in Pittsfield doesn’t have it – I’d have to drive to Albany, and they won’t guarantee it’s still there, even if I purchase it for in-store pickup. I had to order, online, the more expensive cartridge to be shipped. It’s supposed to be here by tomorrow. They sent me a “driver’s release” form so the driver just leaves it at the door – but the link doesn’t go anywhere.

Can’t ANYBODY do their fucking job?

I’m so sick and tired of losing hours and days of work for stupid people. They’re costing me too much money.

Tried to fill out the paperwork so my mom’s pension goes into the new bank account. But because I couldn’t print it out for her to sign, I don’t know if they’ll accept it. She signed a statement. They also wanted a void check – only we don’t have checks, so the bank gave us a letter of authorization, stating the account was open. Let’s see if they accept that. If the pension goes into one account and the social security goes into another, it will be a hot mess.

None of this should be difficult, nor should it take days to “process.” You have the information electronically. Fucking type it in and save it, and then use it.

It was faster when NONE of it was electronic.

Read the second Wonky Inn book, which was fun. Got my next book assigned for review, so I’m looking forward to it. Read one of the scripts I have to cover – turns out it’s about an historical even into which I’ve done extensive research. So that’s fun.

It’s getting humid again.  We’re supposed to have showers on and off throughout the week. High humidity, although the temperatures won’t be that bad. I think we’ll get smacked with a bit of Hurricane Fred at some point, although nowhere near as much as the coast will.

I have to head over to the laundromat to get the laundry done. Big pile of it, since I didn’t go last week (we did the storage run instead).

Script coverage, almanac articles, starting the book for review, LOIs. Just another day in Freelance Life.

There was a beautiful rainbow stretching over the mountain, when I was on the front porch doing my first writing session this morning. The camera in the phone couldn’t capture it, but I enjoyed watching it until it faded away.

Have a good one, friends.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Lammas
Sunny and pleasant

Yes, I’m up very early, but Lammas is a very big day on my personal calendar, so here I am. I’ve already baked cornbread, done yoga, fed the cats, and am doing this before I do my first 1K of the day, for once.

Yesterday’s work day was cut short because of this silly insect bite that felled me like a tree. I went to the family-run pharmacy. They’re fantastic. We talked, they took a look at it, the pharmacist suggested we try a specific cream and some Benedryl. And I was instructed to ice it for 20 minutes every hour as much of the day as possible. He warned me, that, although the box states you can take up to six a day, I should not take more than TWO in a 24-hour period. He asked me if I’d ever taken it before — it was ten years ago, when a little kid I dressed got into poison oak and shared. So he told me not to drive once I’d taken it, and definitely not to take more than two in a 24-hour period. The good news is that, by the look of the area around the bite, my immune system is in good shape — as he said, because I don’t take antibiotics every time I turn around, so that my body actually has built its own immunities and can use them. He also gave me two lists of symptoms: If the first list appeared, I needed to go to the Walk-in clinic, insurance or not; if the second list appeared, I had to go to the emergency room immediately. And, if by last night it wasn’t markedly better, I needed to go to the clinic first thing this morning. He said the insect bites are particularly potent this year, and you can’t wait a few days to see if it gets better. You take the first steps — if they don’t work within the first day, you need to get something a lot stronger FAST.

Good to know.

I went to Staples to stock up on supplies. With my coupons and rewards and all the rest, I only had to shell out $1.36 of my own money. That’s what I call good shopping! They no longer carry the file boxes that will match the ones I have, so I have to try to order them online.

Went to Michael’s. Couldn’t find what I wanted for the harvest wreath, but came up with an idea on how to switch out flowers on the current wreath to make it more harvest-y.

Home, Iced. Ate. Iced. Put the cream on. Iced. Finished my client project and got it out the door FIRST, and then took the Benedryl. Which knocked me on my ass in about 10 minutes. Don’t drive? I could barely walk! But my arm started getting better in a little bit, and the bonus was that, because I couldn’t do much, my wrist got to rest, too.

Finished the badly written book I mentioned a few days ago. I kept hoping it would get better, but it didn’t. Hoped the murderer would kill the protag, but that didn’t happen, either. Won’t be reading anything by that author again! One of the traits that made me dislike the protag was that she felt justified in lying whenever she wanted and however she wanted, with disregard for others to get information, but got mad when others lied to her. And it was never really dealt with in the book. If she showed some growth or reason for the trait, it could have been interesting. But there wasn’t anything. She was supposed to be a likable protag, but she wasn’t.

Cooked dinner, relaxed, called the yoga studio to make sure the meditation session was on in spite of the bad weather, and was told yes. Drove the 20-30 minutes, parking was a bitch (why can’t these places ever rent space where there’s decent parking?), hiked to the center. It’s very new and shiny and hard. The atmosphere is very shiny and hard. I waited for the previous class to finish. Two guys came out of the class and tried to pick me up, while a couple of over-Botoxed women stood nearby, talking loudly and trying to move their faces into glares. Only the eyes managed to convey their annoyance — if looks could kill, there’d have been blood all over the place.

The studio emptied out, and everyone was posing in their expensive yoga clothes and talking very loudly about all the cool events they planned to attend and the famous people with whom they’d be hanging out with between now and the next class. Wonder what they’d think if they know I’ve dealt with most of those people in their underwear in the quick change booth backstage or in the trailer on set?

The workshop leader was a young woman but she, too, had a hardness about her. There were five of us and the leader in the class. It was a very different style than any other meditation group I’ve attended, which is fine, learn new things, whatever I was sitting between a fidgeter and a moaner. The fidgeter I could deal with — part of the process is learning stillness, and for some people it’s harder than others. But the moaner? I kept telling myself, “acceptance, maybe it’s a medical condition or a mental condition” or whatever. What it was was distracting and invasive to everyone else. But every breath was micromanaged by the leader, she spewed psychobabble at us, we sat for only ten minutes, and she dismissed us. Excuse me?

I didn’t get a sense of any commitment to practice from her. My sense was that she’s in this because, in a wealthy suburb, there’s a chance to cash in on all those who are trying to pretend they’re not shallow. There’s nothing wrong with making money from your business, and there’s nothing wrong with running a studio that focuses more on the physical aspects of yoga than the spiritual. But if you’re going to present spiritual aspects, do so from a place of connection and commitment. Don’t repeat what was said to you at an overpriced workshop and was simply a repetition of material pulled off the internet. Even the altar set up in the room had a cold, magazine-shoot feel to it rather than the warmth of a well-used and respected altar.

I don’t want to renounce everything and be a full-time yogi. But I’m not playing at this, either. Yoga, for me, is a way to improve my life through a balance of body and soul, by taking time to practice both alone and in community.

At the other studio earlier in the week, there was a sense of individualism, tranquility, acceptance, and, most importantly, joy. People came with baggage, but, left with huge smiles, and laughing and interacting in a centered, happy way. The leaders are great about keeping things running on time, and being respectful of everyone’s time, but there’s never a sense of feeling rushed. There’s a sense of welcome and inclusion — everyone who walks in is considered a friend one hasn’t yet met. There wasn’t the loud, nervous chatter there was in this place last night. And what struck me, when people left class, was the lack of peace, joy, and energy. Usually, when the doors to a yoga class open, people waft out, a little high from the class. They’re smiling, laughing, they’re quiet as they re-enter the world, but there’s a sense of connectedness. Last night, everyone rushed out to pose by the juice bar, brag, and gossip, like they couldn’t wait to leave class. They competed with each other, which turned me off. I wish them well, but it’s not the right atmosphere for me.

In other words, I’m not going back to the place I went last night, but will continue at the place at which I spent time earlier this week! That’s what you have to do, try this studio and that studio and see which one works for you.

It was interesting. I was very polite — after all, I was a guest in someone else’s space. I said thank you and bolted as gracefully as possible. I turned up the radio on the drive home playing death metal, and, had i passed a bar on the way and not had to drive home, I would have downed several shots!

But the drive home made up for what the meditative experience lacked — one of the largest and most beautiful rainbows I’ve ever seen curved across the road — it was almost as though I could drive right through it! I love rainbows, and I’m very fond of Iris, the Rainbow Goddess — it made my week!

Came home, did my nightly yoga session to get the bad taste out of my body and get back to center. More cream, more ice, another Benedryl, and a good night’s sleep.

Up early this morning. I’m playing today — will have lots to tell you about tomorrow!

Devon

Published in: on August 1, 2009 at 6:25 am  Comments (3)  
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