Tues. March 17, 2020: Finally Some Serious Action Around Here

Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Waning Moon
St. Patrick’s Day

I’m sure a lot of people are disappointed at the cancelled St. Patrick’s Day Festivities. But hey, better safe than dead.

Gotta reach all the way back to last Wednesday to catch up. Wednesday was my birthday. Wrote, got some client work done, and we did the birthday gathering via Skype rather than in-person, for safety’s sake. We each had nibbles and drinks in our own spaces and laughed and talked and lifted our glasses. Virtual party. Not bad.

When I worked for The Interactive Telecommunications Department/Alternate Media Center at NYU as part of my work/study, way back in the 1980’s, we had one of the first virtual videoconferencing holiday parties with our counterparts in China. It was fun — and technology’s come a long way since then!

Read in the evening, got some writing done, did some more cleaning.

Got a fabulous birthday gift from a friend — his original art work! I’m looking forward to finding just the right frames for it and hanging it up.

Thursday was the big cleaning day. I made one quick run to the library to drop off/pick up books, and the rest of the day was spring cleaning. Finished washing the windows, at least inside. Polished furniture, including the front door (which is wood). Scrubbed down everything, including doorknobs. Vacuumed — the two and a half hour detailed vacuuming, not the usual weekly 90-minute vacuuming. Scrubbed floors. It gave us a jump start on the spring cleaning, while also giving us the chance to do some deep cleaning/disinfecting, in light of everything that’s going on.

Friday morning, our landlord arrived early, but stayed out in his truck and/or talked to us from halfway across the yard. The Energy Guy came, complete with gloves, gear, etc. We weren’t sick AND we’d disinfected the whole house the day before, AND we were his first stop of the day, so it was all a pretty decent scenario all the way around.

The guy was really nice. He was pleased that all our bulbs are energy efficient already. He checked the insulation, and wants to add a little in the attic, and more in the unfinished part of the basement. He also said they’re going to replace both the fridge and the washer. The fridge was switched out last summer when the other fridge died — this one is original to the house, which means it’s about 50 years old. The new fridge will have the freezer at the bottom, which is much easier. The washer will be a front-load — my preference. The washer/dryer were replaced about six or seven years ago, and I’d hoped it would be with a front-load, but it wasn’t, and this top loader’s been eating clothes ever since.

I said that since I was just the tenant, the landlord had to be okay with all these choices. The energy guy said, no, since I AM the tenant, I make these choices. The landlord is the one who wants the loan for the new furnace. That means he has to comply with/allow all these upgrades from this company — which are FREE to him — in order to get the loan. On top of that, he can’t raise our rent or sell the house to anyone but us for at least a year after the work is COMPLETE.

Good to know.

Especially since none of this hoopla was necessary, because our rent more than pays for a new furnace.

But again — I have to take off work for the construction. I have to take off work for the appliance deliveries — do they not understand that people here WORK for a living?

Anyway, he was very nice and done in an hour, so it was all good. Left us more light bulbs and a fridge thermometer and all kinds of swag. — emphasizing again, it was for US, not the landlord.

Once he was done, I headed to CVS to pick up my pre-op prescription. Which CVS refused to fill. They shrugged and said, “We don’t like your insurance, it’s not authorized, there’s no way it can be fixed.”

Which, of course, is all B.S. — and it’s not up to them to “like” my insurance. I realize they ate AETNA insurance, but that doesn’t mean we all now have AETNA. Bite me, assholes.

But I was still overwrought and burst into tears in the car.

Pulled myself together, did a little grocery shopping. Trader Joe’s was plague of the locusts. I got the last loaf of multi-grain bread. I only needed about 10 things — everyone else had shopping carts FILLED and the shelves were practically empty. You mean they’re actually starting to take things seriously?

Swung by the library to drop off/pick up. They’re taking precautions, I’m taking precautions. I’m not doing any work there, just switching out books and DVDS. They’re wiping everything down, and so am I when I get them home. They’ve cancelled all programs until the end of April.

Falmouth, Mashpee, and Sandwich closed schools until the end of March. NYPL is closed until the end of March. West Dennis Library is closed for the next few weeks. Broadway is shuttered for awhile — let’s hope the unions are stepping up to help their members out of work right now, because I seriously doubt the producers will.

I keep expecting my surgery to get postponed, but they’re trying to get me through it before it hits crisis point here.

Talked to the office of the specialist doing next week’s surgery about the prescription. They will sort it out. I can pick it up today, supposedly. I’ll believe that when it happens. CVS sucks.

Home, tried to recover, showered, headed back to the first specialist for my follow-up appointment. We all kept safe distances in the waiting room, and the doctor and I spoke across the room.

I didn’t need to go through an exam because all the pathology came back clean, my blood work is good (except for the anemia), my vitals are good, and I’m healing. He’s very pleased. He said he’d only need to see me every 1-2 years from here out, and he doesn’t believe I’ll EVER need the more radical surgery, and that I’ll be healthier for the rest of my life because I didn’t have it. I’m grateful for that.

He believes the pathology from the upcoming surgery will come back clean, too, based on the tests. I hope he’s right.

Relieved. Won’t be time to pop the champagne cork until the pathology results come back from the next surgery, but let’s hope for the best. Had he not fixed the problem that led to the first surgery, there’s a good chance I’d be dead; however, since he was able to fix it and it wasn’t part of a bigger problem, things are looking up.

Provided I don’t get COVID-19.

So that was a happy relief.

Worked on books for review. Also read the first book of a new series, HERE COMES THE BODY by Maria DiRico. Hilarious. Absolutely loved it. Set in Astoria and Manhattan by someone who actually knows the area, with smart, engaging characters, it was a ton of fun.

I’ve ordered the first book in her other series (under a different name). She’s a damn good writer, and I look forward to more of her books, under whatever names.

The cats got me up way too early on Saturday. Fed them, wrote. Made a quick library run to drop off/pick up. Put some gas in the car, just to be safe.

Stayed in and read most of the day. Got some writing done, but not much. It’s tough to concentrate with all this going on. Did laundry.

Hearing from friends and acquaintances who are bored and home and want to talk. Well, honey, that’s lovely, but: A) I have hyperaccusis and the phone is not an option; and B) MY schedule isn’t all that different. I’m still working. Most of my work is remote. My schedule’s still packed, except I’m not going to co-working spaces or working out of the library. Some projects for small businesses are cancelling because they’re closed indefinitely. I need to replace that work and meet the deadlines of the work I still have. Just in case the work dries up. And then there’s C) which is that I have yet more surgery coming up this week, so I have to work ahead (again) and prepare myself both mentally and physically for that. Nattering is not on the menu right now. It adds more stress, not less.

Email me. Most of you haven’t been in touch for a few years anyway. There’s this attitude (again) that your time is more valuable than mine. It’s not. I can’t drop everything because it’s finally convenient for you. We can catch up by email. I’ll answer when I can. But I’m not losing what work I have because you’re home and bored! Nor am I repeating the same information over and over again because you can’t be bothered to check the blog or social media. I’m using technology to keep in touch, here, people! Twenty-first century and all.

Waiting for a payment from one of the radio plays that’s now nearly two months after the fact. Reviewing is remote, and I’m upping the reading to up the income as much as I can, while still being thorough and responsible. Plus, I still have contest entries to work on, which I will focus on more, especially if one client in particular pulls the plug or insists on putting us in danger. I might end up unemployed from that gig, but at least I’d be alive. As would my mom. I’m more worried about her, because she’s in her nineties.

I have some money coming in over the next few months, but I count on the part-time regular gig to make up the difference. And the decent money’s not until at least May, and some in June/July, so that doesn’t help right now. Waiting to hear back on a few article pitches, and prepping a few more. Fingers crossed that they hit the right sweet spots. All of that can be done remotely and safely.

Let’s just say I have no faith that we’d actually get paid sick leave, no matter what the House of Representatives passed. Companies will wiggle out of it, and since McConnell’s priority was a three-day fundraising weekend with Brett Kavanaugh of all people — who, as a Supreme Court Justice shouldn’t appear at ANY fundraiser — let’s just say I have my doubts anything will happen.

Universal Basic Income for the next three months would save a lot of jobs and lives, but they’re more interested in giving the money to Wall Street than to anyone who, you know, WORKS for a living.

People are dying because the government is more interested in personal profit. I mean, this is not new. I noticed it during the Reagan years and since. But it’s completely out of control.

Didn’t sleep well on Saturday night. Too worried about everything. I mean, we have plenty of supplies. I might not be able to cook exactly what I want at this very moment, but there’s plenty of food in stock, for us and the cats, and cat litter.

The cats got me up at 4 AM Sunday. Fed them and went back to bed, but they weren’t having it. So I was up early, did some writing, worked on reviews.

Worked ahead on some blog posts for Ink-Dipped Advice. I want to schedule them to post over the next few weeks, since who knows what will be going on.

Did a little bit of work in the yard. The yard is big enough so I’m not putting anyone at risk by working out there, especially if no one else is in their yards. Of course, the men who are quarantined/isolating use this as an excuse to destroy everyone’s peace and quiet by using the noisiest leaf blowers and power tools possible. I realize they’re trying to quiet their anxiety, but ruining everyone else’s quiet and upping the anxiety around them isn’t the right choice. Do the work. QUIETLY. Have some respect for your neighbors.

Wouldn’t it be nice if I could actually ENJOY my deck and yard this spring and summer? Which I haven’t been able to do for the last few years because it’s AS noisy around here now as it was living on the corner of 42nd St. & 8th Avenue in NYC across from the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Read, wrote, yard work, pretty typical Sunday.

Up early Monday. Wrote. Got some client work done. Had to go to the grocery store to pick up some pre-op prep (special diet on Thursday). The library has closed until further notice. Home, scrubbed down, rested, read, wrote.

Today, more client work. Hopefully, more books to review come in electronically. Any day the weather’s nice, I’ll also try doing some work in the yard. Will also see if I can lift enough to go back to purging the basement.

It’s more the worry about what’s out of my control. My actual schedule is pretty steady —  after all, most of my work is remote. There are a few things about which I worry, and I’m taking extra precautions. The big worry is the Fox News viewers (of which there are too many) who are deliberately going around putting others at risk. Trying to avoid them can be tricky.

Fingers crossed (and washed) that we get through this.

 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and mild

The sun is out, the birds are singing, it’s warm enough to only wear shirt sleeves – could it be that spring really will start this week?

Thanks for the St. Patrick info, Lori. I didn’t know how much I didn’t know about him. I only know I refuse to work in the city on St. Patrick’s Day because Metro North allows the drunks to harass the commuters on the train, and it’s not worth it.

I’ve got an article on The Scruffy Dog Review called “Where’s the Work?” Stop by and leave a comment if you get a chance.

I’ve set off AIG comments, so if you don’t want to read them, skip down:
More AIG madness, with one of the best articles in yesterday’s LONDON TIMES (a reliable source):

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article5926545.ece

Thank goodness we have Andrew Cuomo. He’s not waiting around while Congress drags its collective feet.

Abby, the reason these (word deleted because it was beyond rude) weren’t fired as soon as they started losing the company money is because Reagan began the deregulation that created the environment to allow this financial rape. Pay is not connected to competence, but to the amount of paperwork generated; the execs saw the opportunity for millions in personal profit and to hell with everyone else. United Auto Workers are told to take pay cuts or else. The AIG execs get a million dollars apiece for doing far worse to their companies – running them into the ground – whereas auto workers actually made cars, created something tangible. It’s not the auto workers’ fault that they were instructed to make gas-guzzling behemoths that couldn’t be sustained in an economy. Auto workers don’t make the decisions as to what’s built at a plant. But it IS the fault of the execs for writing policies that they knew couldn’t be sustained. Again, it’s an example of the direction towards medieval feudal society this country headed over the past years: If you’re rich and corrupt, you are rewarded; if you work for a living, you’re kicked in the teeth. NO MORE.

Lori, thanks for your comments. For those of you who don’t know, Lori has enormous experience writing about the insurance industry. She knows of which she speaks.

We need to remain outraged and keep pressure on those elected to represent us. If all we do is bitch and moan at home, nothing will happen. TAKE ACTION. Or shut up. Whining doesn’t solve the problem. Doing something does, and yes, we as citizens have the power to fix this, if we choose to use it. Believe me, I’ve been shooting off the emails every day. And, we need to call out the hypocrites who now pretend outrage for measures they allowed in the first place. We need Edward Liddy out, we need all those executives banned from ever working in the financial industry again (and those who knowingly wrote policies that couldn’t be covered, which, I’m sure, is all or almost all, jailed), and Hank Paulson punished. I want the list of the executives who received the bonuses MADE PUBLIC. It is our money; we have the right to know where it went.

Back to my daily life:
I forgot to comment on Monday’s episode of CASTLE in yesterday’s blog. Guess that’s how much it impressed me. 😉 Again, I like the leads. I could tell the production moved back to shoot in LA, rather than continuing to shoot in NY, and that turns me off. Got ahead of the story most of the time, and there were a few places, especially near the beginning, where you could see the actors working too hard to make the material pass. I was pleased that, in the Big Reveal scene and the final scene, they avoided a couple of cliché traps, although, early in the episode, they walked right into a few. I’m still very much on the fence with this show. I like Nathan Fillion’s work a lot (as I mentioned last week, it took awhile for him to win me over with his work, but now that he has, I’m loyal). I’m becoming a fan of Stana Kavic’s work, and I like them together. I’m not entirely satisfied with the writing, but again, I wonder how much of the script is watered down by the network. Fillion’s definitely on the list of people I’d like to work with someday – the odd details he puts into the work make me want to throw some unusual material his way just to see what he does with it. Of course, we’d need to find a context where we’re both paid! 

Computer troubles curtailed some of yesterday’s work. That was frustrating; I’ll make up for it today. My Microsoft decided I’m not longer “allowed” to create new folders in which to save files on my flash drive. Even though I’m only using half the drive’s space.. Microsoft can BITE ME.

I was worried I’d lose the revisions of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, so I sent backups to the three different accounts to which I always send backups.

Rewrote “Ris an Abrar” – I thought I found a spot for it. I see why it was rejected from the anthology to which I originally targeted it – there were some stupid mistakes in it. Hopefully, I’ve fixed most of what’s wrong with it, and I have to take a couple of scenes farther. Going over it again, I see that it IS the first chapter of a novel, whether I want it to be or not. There’s too much story to fit into a short story, so I’m going to put it aside and deal with it when it pulls strongly again.

I came up with an idea for the slot into which I planned to stuff “Ris an Abrar” into – now that it won’t fit, no matter what. I need to percolate it for a few more days, but the deadline for this anthology is coming up quickly, so I need to buckle down and do it or pass on it.

Got my next assignment from Confidential Job #1. I’m glad – it looks interesting. They’re definitely sending me the more challenging material crossing their desks lately. I don’t mind – although yesterday I was definitely more in the mood for brain candy!

I’m learning how to utilize Twitter. I’ll never be Uber-Marketer – that’s not my style. And I don’t go on and off it all day. I check it once or twice a day, tweet if I’ve got something to say or need to ask a question, catch up on tweets for a few minutes, and I’m done. I’ve met some interesting people with whom I might not have otherwise crossed paths. We’ll see. I’m cautiously optimistic.

The other anthology story’s percolated enough so I’m ready to write. Again, there’s a lot of story there, but I’m pretty sure I can pick and choose what’s strongest for this particular piece.

By the weekend, I hope to get back to both The Big Project and ANGEL HUNT.

We’ll see – a lot will depend on how the computer runs and how much client work I can clear off.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on March 18, 2009 at 7:48 am  Comments (5)  
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