Tues. Sept. 28, 2021: Goldenrod Season (Achoo)!

image courtesy of MrGajowy3 via pixabay.com

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Waning Moon

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

Cloudy and cool

Yup, Mercury went retrograde yesterday, and will go direct on October 18. So buckle up, buttercups, we have seven retrogrades until October 6, when the planets start turning direct again, and we get some relief.

Yesterday’s post on the GDR site is about how I’m trying to form a better perspective on things.

The weekend was pretty good. I had to finish one last script coverage early Saturday morning. Once that was done, I attempted to put together the shelving unit. But that was defective, too. So I returned those units. Only got a partial refund, because they’d given me a gift card as part of the last purchase. I offered to return the gift card, but that was “too hard.” So, in other words, I paid for the gift card. To a store in which I don’t shop often.

Headed to a thrift store nearby, just in case, to see if they had shelving. They didn’t, but they did have a train case. In blue. It’s a Featherlite, sold by Sears back in the day. I have wanted one of these for decades. It was only $7. Because they were having a sale on certain items, it was only a little under $4.

The same style of case sells for $58 on eBay.

It’s a lovely condition. I was so happy, and it more than made up for the shelving issues.

I went through some of the art books from the college library. There was more good Canaletto information; I may be done with the play about his sisters, but I’m interested in writing something about his family and the Bibiena family and their stage designs.

I paged through a volume of AMERICANS IN FLORENCE, about the ex-pat artists community in Florence around the time of the Impressionists. That got me going on a few different ideas: the Fabbri family interests me, and I might pitch a play about Ernestine and Cora to 365 Women at some point. I was also interested in William Morris Hunt, and the female students he took on, called “Huntites.” That gave me an idea for a steampunk piece, and I spent some time writing a few pages of notes.

While I was doing that, an idea that’s been niggling at me for quite a few years decided it was time to spew forth enough information for a few pages of notes on that, too. It takes place starting after WWII, and running as long as it wants to run, about a couple who marries right after the war, the husband remaining in the military, and how they have to navigate their relationship through the huge changes that came after the war. Originally, I was going to have the wife be a quiet, smart, dedicated homebody, making her home a work of art wherever they live. I’m keep those aspects, but adding in that she was a ferry girl during the war, flying planes within the US. And that she misses flying.

A chance sentence in a book inspired an idea for a short story set in the afterlife. Made a few notes on that, too.

It feels good to be creative again. It’s nice that the Idea Fountain is turned back on again.

I needed to relax, so in the afternoon, I started reading CASE HISTORIES by Kate Atkinson, which was recommended to me. It’s a very different type of mystery, stylistically, and I enjoyed it, because it was so different.

Puttered around and managed to put away some more Winter Holiday decorations. I need the shelves in place before I can really rearrange things. But I also have to take my time and find the right shelves. Or, possibly, build them, if I can get the lumber at a reasonable price.

I’m getting a little tired of the cats getting me up at 4. 5 is fine, I like starting my day at 5, but 4 is just too damn early.

But I was up way too damn early on Sunday. I got in an excellent first writing session the novel. Saturday’s was okay, steady progress, but Sunday’s was actually good.

Cooked a salmon Eggs Benedict for breakfast.

I opened the train case to give it a good clean, inside and out. To my surprise, I discovered three decks of cards and a hunk of modelling clay inside it. All of which had price tags on it. I wondered if someone had put everything together and meant to come back for it. But wouldn’t they have left the case behind the cashier’s desk?

I went through the decks of cards. One deck has all but one card; but there are several cards that have been marked, so that deck was used, somewhere, to cheat. The other two decks were intact.

The modelling clay was something I had planned on buying over the next few weeks, so it made sense.

I contacted the store, when it opened, to tell them what I found and offer to pay, but they said it was their mistake for not checking when I paid, and I shouldn’t worry about it. Which was kind of them.

I gave the case a good cleaning, and am using it to store the extra Ipsy bags I’ve accumulated. When I travel, you can be darned sure I will use it; and I’m sure it will turn up in some of my writing.

I decided to pack away the summer dresses and shirts from my closet, so that I had some room for fall/winter stuff. I ended up unpacking six boxes still in my room. I found a bunch of stuff, including winter shoes and boots.

In other words, I don’t need to shop for clothes this autumn. Which is a good thing, considering how many carloads of stuff I donated before the move. I have plenty of pieces I like, that look good on me, in which I feel comfortable.

I rearranged some stuff in my room, too. I’m keeping some of my summer shoes in the moving boxes, until I can either bring up the shoe rack, or find a pretty bin for them. I still have two boxes of stuff to unpack, and then the bedroom is basically unpacked. I still have to figure out how to fit two more large suitcases in the room. They were in the closet in the sewing room, but I removed them so I could put in the decorations, and now I need to figure out where to stash them.

I’m adding one Samhain decoration to the porch/living room windows every day this week; then, on Friday, October 1, I’ll do the big decoration for the season.

I’ve been having a terrible time getting my tablet to charge. It’s my preferred way to read the scripts for coverage, because it’s easy to enlarge the font; with the amount of reading I’m doing at the moment, my eyes get tired. But the tablet wasn’t charging beyond 53%, even when I had it plugged in all day.

Just for the heck of it, I plugged it into my phone charger, and it charged. We’ll see how long that lasts, but every day helps. Never buy a Linsey tablet; it’s crap.

Yesterday, I was up again, way too early. I couldn’t get as much done as I wanted on the novel, because I have to do some research that will directly affect the structure and information in the scene. Can’t use placeholders.

The coffeemaker had a hissy fit. Every Mercury Retrograde, there’s an issue with the coffeemaker. Maybe I’ll stick to the French press during the retrograde.

I had to go to the college library across the street to drop off books. I looked for information on William Morris Hunt, but didn’t see anything. I did get a book of some of Bernard Berenson’s diaries, which should be interesting. My allergies were acting up, so I didn’t stay to search the academic network library catalogues.

I went to the public library to drop off/pick up a book. The book came highly recommended, but it’s in present tense, so it goes back unread. I loathe present tense in novels, and will only force myself to read it if I’m being paid so to do.

Contacted Berkshire Health Systems to see if I could take my mom up the street for her Pfizer booster. The woman I spoke to was very nice; they were having their meeting that day to figure out how to manage the boosters along with the regular vaccinations. She asked me to call back by the end of the week. I thanked her and said I would; she was surprised that I didn’t argue. Why argue? They’re doing the best they can.

By this time, my allergies were out of control. I’m not usually a mucus machine, but this was bad. For a few minutes, I wondered if I had a cold, or, heaven forbid, the plague (COVID). But I could smell and taste, and, if anything, my appetite had increased, so I figured I was okay.

I took some Benadryl (that I bought in Europe, not any of the milquetoast US stuff). It started drying me up. I wrote up the two script coverages due, and went back to reading the book for review before the Benadryl knocked me out. I took a nap for about an hour and a half, then staggered into the kitchen to reheat some pasta. I felt dopey from the nap, but definitely better.

The Tamed Wild box arrived, and it’s lovely. It also has a booklet of herbs used in medicine, which is good, since all my herbals are still packed in storage.

Read two scripts after dinner, then went to bed early. Slept through the night, although Tessa woke me at 4 again. Fed them all, tried to go back to bed, but they weren’t having it, so I took the featherbed and moved to the couch, and everybody settled down.

By breakfast, Tessa and Charlotte were both on the couch, buffered by the featherbed, in temporary peaceful co-existence.

We’ve started closing the door to the porch, so it doesn’t get so cold at night. Pretty soon, we’ll have to put on the heat.

Decent morning’s writing session on the novel. I realized I hadn’t done the research I needed to do for the next scene, but the conversation took an unexpected turn, so I bought myself some time (even if I cut that conversation in a future draft).

Lots to do today, especially since I’m behind on emails, and on the short articles. The allergies are starting to act up again; let’s hope it’s not as bad as yesterday. Benadryl knocks me out, and I can’t afford to lose a few workday hours again.

I had planned to do laundry this morning, but didn’t feel up to going to the laundromat, so that’s been pushed off until tomorrow. I’m hoping to play a little with ideas on the short story, too.

Have a good one!

Tues. May 12: StayTheFHome Day 48 — Tech Woes

Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

If this Saturn Retrograde continues the way it’s started, I’m done. There’s no way I can do this every day for months.

The tablet isn’t working properly – and I’ve only had it a month. Neither Staples, from whom I bought it, nor does the manufacturer. It MIGHT be a Comcast issue, since suddenly, the only device that’s connected to the Internet is my laptop, and neither the tablet nor the phone will connect anymore. Comcast, of course, couldn’t care less. When I try to troubleshoot, I get a message saying they will only answer my question if I upgrade my plan.

As usual, Comcast is out to screw their customers. I have lost tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of income/assignments because Comcast refuses to give customers like me the promised service, and I have to go far afield for basic connectivity, because Comcast is my only choice here.

I lost half my workday trying to get things sorted out. And it’s not anywhere NEAR sorted out.

Then, I’m setting up a Square Store for a client. Only the video tutorial has very little to do with how the store is actually setting up the store, and the specs for photographs look grotesque, so I had to figure out a different way to edit them.

Not a good technology day for me. I suspect that my phone is about to give out, too.

On top of that, a delivery that was supposed to arrive on Friday is – well, no one really knows. According to UPS, it went to Shrewsbury by accident, and is still there.

Considering that the weekend was pretty darn good, yesterday was an unpleasant shock.

The cat tree arrived on Friday and is, well, much bigger than I expected. I expected the height, but not the breadth. Once it was built (which took two hours), we had to rearrange the furniture in the living room to accommodate it. The cats are sort of curious, but not making it their favorite spot yet, which I expected, but has deeply disappointed my mother.

I got the printer set up on Saturday – it’s amazing. Truly amazing. The laptop arrived, too, which I didn’t expect, on Friday, and I got that set up. It works well, although I have to learn my way around it. I miss having a Macbook. But this laptop is sleek, and I’m sort of figuring it out.

I went to pick up a curbside delivery on Saturday (for which I tipped 20%) and the employee who answered the phone when I let them know I was there gave me a hard time about it being a curbside pickup. When I placed the order THE NIGHT BEFORE, that was the only option. But I got a lecture about how now they’re open and I should just come in if I’m wearing a mask. No.  I was given curbside pickup as an option, and that’s what I chose. This is the same employee who scolded me for coming into the store before the Stay at Home was issued. I’m trying to follow protocols AND support a local business, and they give me grief. Meanwhile, the asshats running around without masks spewing on people get to go anywhere they want and behave anyway they want, and no one challenges them. I know the owner of the store, it’s one of the reasons I wanted to spend my money there and not somewhere else. She’d never condone that behavior. At the same time, I know employees are under a lot of pressure, and don’t want to get anyone in trouble. Fortunately, the guy who actually brought out my delivery was delightful. I hope he’s the one who got the tip.

I scanned the article from THE WRITER magazine and sent if off to the people who contributed quotes, and they are all very excited. It’s a good article; I’m glad I had the chance to write it, I’m glad I did a good job on it. Especially since that was the week I was in and out of the hospital before my emergency surgery.

Speaking of surgeries, on Saturday I got a completely tone-deaf and inappropriate letter from my health care provider berating me for not having the surgery that THEY cancelled due to the pandemic. I am so going off on them. As a writer who creates this type of material, if I EVER had written something so callous, unresearched, and tone deaf, I would have been, deservedly, fired.

I had good writing days all weekend. I’m juggling projects, some of them are percolating along nicely, and I’m in the planning stages for others. Now that I have the new laptop, I think I can get back to some that were languishing, more due to a lack of hardware than anything else. My Llewellyn editor is sending me a contract in June to write for the 2022 almanacs.

I’m doing some reading for a couple of upcoming essays/articles and planning a Great Big Project that’s a little on the overwhelming side, but, I think, necessary. Parked my domain, now have to look at how to build it.

Cleaned up the Fearless Ink website a bit. Added the extensions for the 99-cent sale for PLAYING THE ANGLES,SAVASANA AT SEA, andTRACKING MEDUSA to the websites, and also to the Facebook pages. I need to schedule some posts for promotion.

So, until yesterday, I felt pretty optimistic about getting back on track work-wise, especially remotely. Now, Comcast is literally going to put my life in danger because they can’t be bothered to provide promised service.

Comcast isn’t the only one to blame. Our Town Mis-Management is bound and determined to get us all killed by opening up to tourists for Memorial Day. We will have 250,000 deaths by July 4th weekend in this country with the way they’re planning to open. Wearing a mask doesn’t mean you can go back and do everything like you did before. That’s not how this works. I mean, for Mother’s Day, my neighbors had the extended family all over, convinced that because they were all shivering outside in the wind – unmasked – they were fine. Again, that’s now how it works, people.

We need UBI NOW and until we have a vaccine. We need a WPA-style program, that’s more technology-based, in order to put people to work and get the economy back up and running. We need to change the way work is viewed and done.

I’m seriously fed up.

It was goo cold to plant, although I made biscuits for Mother’s Day breakfast, got her a cheesecake, and roasted a chicken.

I am tired. I have no idea what today will bring. Hopefully not more technology frustrations. At least I had a decent, if not brilliant, first writing session of the day.

Peace, friends.