Tues. May 30, 2017: Hamster on the Wheel

Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

It was kind of a lousy weekend here on Cape, weather-wise. That didn’t stop it from having a back-up trying to get off Cape yesterday from Orleans (the elbow of the Cape) all the way to the Sagamore Bridge. Three hours for a trip that should take about 45 minutes.

It’s going to be a challenging season.

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise, so you can see how I’m using books by Claire Cook and Jeff Vandermeer on this Recalibration journey.

With the mower now working again, I got some work done on the yard before the weather changed. I got the front and the side front yard mowed. I’d hoped to get the terraced back area done, so I could start on the meadow today, but no such luck. I’m hoping it will clear up a bit this afternoon, so I can start that.

I did my first assignment from my new editor. I don’t know how long my association will be with this publication. I have some issues with contract and payment terms. Either we’ll work them out, or we won’t, and I’ll leave. I’m no longer accepting situations that don’t work for me. Especially when there’s an unacceptable time iag in payment.

Heard back last night from another pitch I sent last week — the editor wants to buy the article. So I have to get that off to her as quickly as possibly (while writing something good).

I also need to do some follow up on other pitches.

Last night, I got an idea for two flash fiction stories, on the light-hearted side. I’d like to draft them, so I don’t lose the energy.

I worked on the story inspired by the photos of the abandoned Connecticut town I came across online. I got 49 pages written, in longhand, getting all the way into chapter four. So I think the idea is viable. I like working in longhand on this particular piece. I’m at a point where I need to stop and type up the first three chapters, and also where I need to stop and write my Writer’s Rough outline.

Trying to get back into the rhythm of NOT BY THE BOOK, and trying to sort out some things for the next section of FIX IT GIRL.

Worked my way through some research books. I have a big stack to take back to the library today. Hopefully, I can get done everything I need to get done in an hour or so, and then get back to the page.

I thought I had two deadlines today for radio scripts, but it turns out that one is actually the end of next month, and the other is in a window — I have a feeling I’ll get the latter (which is further along) out the door later this week. Here, I thought I’d have to drop one possibility, and push hard for the other one. Glad I don’t.

The most important thing this morning is to dig down and get the article done, then polish the piece for the other editor and send it off.

I won’t be posting here tomorrow — I’m off on an adventure. But I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say when I come back on Thursday!

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Published in: on June 1, 2017 at 10:48 am  Comments Off on Tues. May 30, 2017: Hamster on the Wheel  
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Wed. May 29, 2013: The Challenge of The Travel

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and humid

Yesterday was certainly a challenge!

The morning started well, although I felt a wrench at being away from the garden this week. The irises are about to open. They are my favorite flower. I think they’ll have come and gone by the time I get back. The terraced back needs mowing, and I’m worried that the ants will get the upper hand while I’m gone.

But everything will rub along without me — plants were doing that for thousands of years before people started to garden!

I opened my email to find out that I’ve been contracted for 14 short articles (yes, paid) over the next seven months. I’ll do the first one next week, when I get back. I also finished and pitched another article to a different publication. Not a bad way to start the week!

The drive to Providence wasn’t bad, except for the construction work around New Bedford. If it’s the left lane that’s closed, why is that the only one moving? Because the travellers in that lane are pushy bastards, that’s why. If everyone let one person get ahead of time, and six people didn’t force their ways forward, causing the other lane to come to a grinding halt, we’d all get where we needed to go on time.

Megabus late in Providence. Turns out, the bus coming from NY broke down in CT, so they had to send another bus. However, the bus they sent was a single decker, and the Providence-NY bus was sold out as a double decker. Not everyone could get on the bus — some had to wait for another bus they were sending. Um, why didn’t anyone check the manifest for the trip BEFORE sending out a bus? We do make reservations ahead of time. There’s no reason to act surprised that there’s a line of people waiting.

Needless to say, I was on that first bus. 😉

Once we got rolling, it was okay. I ate the lunch I packed (simple– hard boiled egg, carrots, celery, radishes, a gigantic chocolate bar). I read Joelle Charbonnau’s END ME A TENOR, which was a lot of fun. I’m meeting her for a drink tonight, so I wanted to read at least something of hers!

The wifi on the bus didn’t work, and people were even having problems with cell phones, so at least it was quiet!

The problems happened from Bridgeport to New York. Should have taken maybe an hour and a half for that stretch. It took a little over three. The traffic was just backed up, it was raining and miserable.

I was glad that I packed the rain gear I wore in Iceland a few years back. It’s a light windbreaker that folds into its own pocket.

Once we disembarked in NY, we were in the midst of rush hour. Taking the escalator down into Penn Station, watching all the people scuttle around, was like descending into a colony of cockroaches. Reminded me of one of the reasons I no longer live here and have to deal with the commute.

Got the Metro Card — actually, I refilled the one I used when I was down here for Costume Imp’s birthday. Turns out they now charge you $1 for a new card, but credit you an extra $1.50 (three quarters of a ride? Huh?) if you refill. I opted for the refill.

I got the C train — I even got a seat! Headed out to Brooklyn. Humped the luggage in the rain through Ft. Greene to the place I’m staying. Imp left the key at the diner around the corner. Retrieved the key, hauled my luggage up the steps of the brownstone, and then up the steps INSIDE — tall ceilings, lots of steps.

It’s a wonderful place — and it’s the location I based the Ft. Greene brownstone in which Sophie, Fawn, and Bianca live for THE CHARISMA KILLINGS.

Greeted the animals, handed out the toys I brought, gave out pettings. The Puerto Rican street cat decided maybe I should give her some extra attention, and even climbed on the bed with me a few times. She wasn’t sure what to do next — she’s not a cuddler — but it was funny. Imp’s cats were delighted to see me and tried to convince me they haven’t been fed in at least three days. Riiiight.

Went back to the diner and had a roast chicken dinner. Yummy. Chatted with the housemates for a bit, read, waited for Imp to get back from the ballet. He had to haul out to Long Island for a photo shoot for HARPER’S BAZAAR, and had trouble getting back to the city in time for his show, too.

But we caught up, played with the cats, he lent me three more of Joelle’s books to read (and one of Pauline Gadge’s). And I lent him END ME A TENOR.

Slept like a log. I did wake up at 3 AM — like I have for the past few weeks — but got over it, rolled over, and went back to sleep.

I’m showered and dressed (although the makeup has yet to be applied). Did yoga. The younger of the two huskies and the Puerto Rican Street cat have wandered in and out a few times. Had my first cup of coffee. My run-around day bag is packed — promo materials, notebook, camera, in-case book to read, all the directions and appointments for the day.

Going to do some work with students and then a few email things — the editor of the publication to which I pitched wants to see the article, so I need to polish it and get it out. A proofreading job to which I applied says they want me, but the terms sound slimy — they want to pay by KB instead of by word or page, which sounds weird to me, and a few other things made the red flags go up.

Will foray out to get some breakfast soon, get some stuff done, and then I’m headed out for the day’s appointments, including the Indie Next Generation Book Awards at the Harvard Club tonight. I better get going!

Devon

Thurs. Oct. 4: Exciting Times and Time to Go Home!

Thursday, October 4, 2012
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and warm

Worked with my students yesterday, got some good work done on a few other projects. Got an apology from the slow-paying client with a promise to “pay next week”. We’ll see if that happens. Watched several of my Sustainability video lectures, and several of the World History lectures, and took the quizzes. This week’s lectures are useful in terms of my flood/drought project. I also did an email interview promoting both the Jain Lazarus books and ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT that will go up in late November.

Tessa is sulky and upset. She got out of the house and was difficult to catch yesterday, poor little thing. Hopefully, she will be glad to see me when I get home, and not act like Violet. Violet always does “talk to the tail” for three days before she forgives me.

I’m over at the Writers Vineyard today in my Annabel Aidan persona, giving thanks for this year’s Writing Harvest.

It’s more stressful here than it needs to be; I will be glad to go home. Although “home” will be chaotic for the next few weeks — the owner decided the outside of the house needs to be painted and a new roof put on.

I had a lovely meeting with an agent last night, and we had a good chat that ranged over many topics. We brainstormed some ideas, and now it’s up to me to see if I can come up with proposals that fulfill what we discussed. Excited about it.

I want to get the revisions on the article done before I head back today, and will try to get as much schoolwork done as possible. Well, I’d LIKE to curl up and read a good book, but that is not going to be an option until about Sunday! And that book will be something I’m reviewing!

Quick reminder — I’m over at the Muse Online Conference next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, teaching my Supporting Characters workshop. Hope to see you there!

Off we go — I hope the drive back won’t be bad this afternoon. I’m tired of driving in bad weather and dense traffic.

Devon

Monday, August 1, 2011


Both cats

Monday, August 1, 2011
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and humid
Lammas

Lammas, the first harvest and an important day in my personal calendar. I’m looking forward to a good and sacred day.

It was a busy weekend. On Sunday, I had to drive my mom to CT. What should have been a simple, four and a half hour drive took seven hours. due to traffic. We finally pulled off to eat and visit the Book Barn in Niantic, where we found a few things, one of which was an arc of Jane Smiley’s THIRTEEN WAYS TO LOOK AT A NOVEL. Outstanding book on the history of the novel, and on writing and editing. I found some good passages to share with my students.

Arrived in CT, hadn’t even unpacked, and there was a major storm with a power outage. Go figure!

To bed early, up early on Saturday to head back. Smooth sailing until Bourne. From Bourne to the Sagamore Bridge, which is about six miles, it took two hours because of the traffic. I was NOT a happy camper. And there was no reason for it, except people were being stupid. If everyone kept moving and was considerate, we would have all gotten where we needed to go on time. On top of that, some dickheads were using rest areas and lookouts to simply drive through and skip a few cars. You think you’re that important? Bite me, I’m not letting you cut in front of me! Rt. 6 was packed in both directions, so I nipped off as soon as I got over the bridge and took 6A home instead. Much better.

I don’t want to hear any crap from local businesses that they aren’t doing well. When there’s a 22 mile backup in both directions to get over the bridge, people are coming to the Cape. It’s on the vendor to make the sales. The people are definitely here.

Exhausted when I got home. Unpacked, dealt with the cats (who were not amused), opened the windows, and took a nap. Woke up, finished Jim Butcher’s FOOL MOON, which was interesting, and wound up my two classes.

Watched THE TOURIST, which wasn’t quite as bad as the reviews claimed. The Venice setting was worth it. The dialogue could have been better — with those two actors, some witty exchanges would have made it worthwhile, instead of just taking a pause and looking at each other between each sentence. And I figured out the twist about ten minutes into it (although Rufus Sewell’s cameo was fun).

Up early on Sunday, worked in the garden, and then to Osterville for the meditation walk, which was wonderful. Truly a joyful morning. Some of us are going to meet next week to continue.

Got the papers, came home, and relaxed on the deck. It was a gorgeous morning. Lovely to be out. I got the fall catalog for the local place where I interviewed to teach in person and I’m in it, so I guess I passed The Man’s background check. I wish they’d actually confirmed it all. But it’s a month of Wednesday nights in October, which should be fun. I returned books to the library in Sandwich, and stopped by both the Sandwich Herb Shoppe and Lavender Moon for a couple of treats.

Read Jeri Ready-Smith’s WICKED GAME in the afternoon — clever urban fantasy. I liked it a lot.

Did some editing in the evening, watched a little TV. Did an interview for the book. Up early today and decided to go to yoga, although I don’t usually go on Mondays. But what better way to treat myself on this special day than attending a special class?

Then, it’s back to my desk — I have a lot of serious work that needs to get done today. I got behind last week, juggling all the classes. I’ve got an edit to finish, a review to write, lots of work for the Mermaid Ball.

But now — to yoga.

Devon


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

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hot, hot, hot

I tried to consolidate the errands that had to be done before I could crawl back into bed and just let myself be sick and miserable for a day, but most of the day was gone before I could get everything done. Damn tourist traffic! Seriously, though, it’s a good thing for the local businesses here on the Cape, so I try not to whine too much.

My mom’s having health issues, and that has to be dealt with, too. Fingers crossed that everything will be okay. At least here, the doctor calls back within an hour, not the three days it always took in NY.

One of the committee women came to check on me after the concert unpleasantness, and came bearing gifts of produce. That’s what people do here, they all have gardens, and since my planting was late, my harvest will be late. Takes “late bloomer” to a whole new level!

I rested up for a few hours, let stories spin in my head. Several different sets of characters are yammering for my time. I’m making notes, but I’ve got other projects that need attention. There’s something that really wants to be written, and I think it’s a play, which is a good thing, because I was afraid I was losing my chops when it comes to script writing. But I’ve got to get SPIRIT REPOSITORY out the door first.

I managed to give my students some time. They had assignments due, and it’s not their fault I was under the weather. They were actually on time with their work!

Another good B’way friend is going to come visit in September — so looking forward to it. I’m really missing — to say I miss Broadway these past few days isn’t quite correct. I miss the camaraderie, the sense that if things go south, even the people on the show you don’t always get along with have your back. Friendship builds on time and shared experience as much as that spark of connection, and I haven’t been here long enough to build a new support system. I work hard to maintain my former one, but it’s still a case where you can’t just call up an old friend and go vent in a bar over frothy drinks or a few good shots of single malt, and say things you don’t really mean, but it feels good to say them in the moment, and you can trust that those words won’t get out there and hurt anyone.

Working on POWER OF WORDS, developing the relationships as the characters work on the television series makes me miss the positive aspects more. Each production, whether it’s stage or screen, is a shared experience no one outside that immediate production can participate in. You live lifetimes in a few months, and there are really strong bonds. There are people you stay in touch with; people you don’t stay in touch with regularly where it feels like you pick up in the middle of the sentence where you left off, and people who drift away, because they were part of your life just for those moments. It’s not like working in an office or a school or any other environment, because you are creating together, building and sharing worlds together. And when you’re away from it for awhile, it’s easier to forget the bullshit! 😉

I’m posting this Wednesday night, because I’m off to yoga on the beach early Thursday morning, and then I’ve got a local gig on site instead of working from home. I hope it won’t be as hot as the predictions!

I hope to get in a few pages early in the morning before I leave for yoga at 6:30.

Devon


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

Published in: on July 20, 2011 at 8:49 pm  Comments (3)  
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Thursday, July 7, 2011


The lake at Heritage Museum and Gardens

Thursday, July 7, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and humid

Got some work done yesterday before I had to take my mother to the doctor, only to find her appointment had been cancelled. They said they called and left a message; of course, they hadn’t. Typical.

Headed over to the National Marine Life Center to send out invitations. A thirty-five minute drive took TWO HOURS. Traffic here is worse than New York! It took me an hour to go one exit. So I hopped off 6, took 6A to the Sagamore Bridge, where there was a backup, and then there was another accident at the rotary. Meanwhile, I’m running out of gas, because my favorite gas station (20 cents cheaper a gallon than most places on the Cape, 50 cents a gallon cheaper than the station at the bottom of the road) is on the way. I chugged in there just in time. Usually, I never fall below half a tank, but I figured, since I was going to Buzzards Bay, I’d be fine.

A little stressful, but we made it!

The chairman of the Ball and I got out all the invitations, and had a good time doing it. I’d baked brownies, so we had some sustenance, too!

Fortunately, the drive back was smooth. I had some more ideas for potential sponsors, so I got to work on that once I got home.

Because I’d been up early, I went to bed early. And I’m up early today to get to yoga. Then, it will be, hopefully, a good day at the page, with work on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY and some stuff for the Ball, before heading back over for a meeting early this evening — let’s hope the traffic’s a little smoother. I also have to complete the materials for Confidential Job #1, which is due tomorrow.

The class is off to a good start. I think I’ve got a small group this time, but they are enthusiastic and lively. We’re having some good discussions.

Now — off to yoga!

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books and Amazon
Kindle.

Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Fountain, Heritage Museum and Gardens

Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and hot

I got a good writing day in yesterday, and cleaned up my computer a bit. I’ve been having trouble with Safari, and now Firefox is giving me headaches, so I’ve downloaded Google Chrome just in case. And yeah, I’ll be giving Apple Care a yelp soon!

Worked on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Once I can get through these two mucky chapters, I think I can hurtle to the end pretty well. Did some good planning work on the new book, and got an idea for a steampunk. Ideas tend to come in batches.

Am being encouraged in the direction of a non-fiction book. I may try an outline and the first three chapters to see if it’s worth pursuing. If I like it, I’ll make a list and start submitting.

I recently read a wonderful anthology called A SENSE OF PLACE, which was written by Cape Cod women writers. Definitely want to use it in any further Setting as Character workshops. Sent a quick note to the publisher, who responded and suggested I write for the site, so I’ll put together some article ideas and see if they fly.

Finished the biography of Joseph Campbell, which makes me want to go back and re-read him with a new sense of context. When I read him originally, years ago, the fact that he was revered as a demi-god made me deeply suspicious and interfered with my ability to read the actual material. I’m glad to know he was a scholar who did actual research instead of someone who made stuff up to boost his theories.

Watched the NY fireworks, then the Boston — nice to see how different they are. Some idiots in the neighborhood set off fireworks they weren’t able to handle and nearly set some roofs on fire. Not mine — they just curved away from the property! 😉

Up early this morning. Meant to work on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, but wound up started my Reading and Reviewing for Craft class instead.

Yoga on the Beach was great, in spite of the sand flies. We absolutely slathered each other in bug repellent or we couldn’t have survived. Today’s class was quite challenging, which was good. Next year, I’ll budget so I can take it 3-4 times/a week, both on a financial level and a time level — it’s a 4 hour commitment in the morning, my prime writing time, since it’s an hour and a half in each direction and an hour fifteen class, and then all the incidental traffic, et al things one doesn’t count on.

Stopped to grab an ice coffee on the way home, and thought I was being very smart by taking 137 up to 6 (6 is the Mid-Cape Highway). 6 was backed up from P-Town to the bridges, so I slid off the next exit and took 124 north to 6A and headed back along the bay side. Yes, it’s through the towns, but there wasn’t much traffic and it actually moved, so it was faster.

Watered, vacuumed out the car (I brought half the beach with me), ate a bowl of berries. Now, I’m settling in for a few hours of work before I go out and do things like buy cat food! I have a meeting in the late afternoon for a potential job in August. Yeah, I know, I wasn’t supposed to work in August, but this sounds too good to pass up.

Back to the page!

Devon

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yesterday, I learned it takes a really long time to deadhead a rhododendron bush. I worked solidly for two hours, and got about 1/6th of it done. And I have several on the property. It’s not difficult, but it’s precise, because you have to snap off the faded flower at a specific point without disturbing new growth. And I took the advice to wear surgical gloves while working, because the faded flowers are sticky. Which is good, because it means we had happy bees, and, considering the problems in the bee population, I’ll take as many happy bees as chose to visit!

I finally came in because it started drizzling, which meant I couldn’t mow.

I handled the class, some of the students put in a request that I teach a class on Donna Leon’s work, which I’d like to do, but there’s no way I can do it before next year. I’m too booked.

I tried to get the garden soil I need, and was stuck for 35 minutes in non-moving traffic. For whatever reason, the police weren’t handling the traffic around the construction that was supposed to be done yesterday, so the construction vehicles simply sat whereever they wished in the road, not leaving room for traffic to go around them, not having anyone direct traffic, and not putting up signs for a detour. It was a big “Fuck You All” to all the people who’ve had to put up with them since the last snowstorm, and not acceptable. I turned up a side street (glad I did some exploring these last few months) and found my way home. Not acceptable.

I took care of some invoicing and reading. I checked my calendar, thank goodness, because the meeting I thought started at 7:30 ENDED at 7:30 and started at 5:30. So I rushed around, scrambling to get ready, and hit the road on time. The traffic to Buzzards Bay was awful, but I still managed to get there on time (which is why I left so early).

The meeting was the Annual Board Meeting for the National Marine Life Center, an organization which I supported even before I moved to the area. Two of the tanks that can hold turtles and small seals are ready, with a third one close. They’ve got the laundry and food prep facilities ready. They’re waiting their NOAA certification to open the section of the hospital that’s done, and, slowly, are raising money for more tanks, and a section that will have pools big enough for larger seals, dolphins, and even pilot whales. They’ve come a long way since the brunch in December. Met some really nice people, and now, that I’m feeling more settled, I want to get more involved.

I wound up on the committee for the Mermaid Ball this August, which is fine, because I’ve been working on galas for how many years now? Between the one in Saratoga and the awards show I put on for the foundation I worked on in New York. Our first meeting is next week. I made it very clear that dealing with the public is not my thing, but writing for the event, stuffing envelopes, doing physical work is much more along my line, and that’s fine. Unlike some other events, whose attitude is, “Just suck it up” — um, no. I’m a VOLUNTEER. I will lend my strengths, not do that which makes me uncomfortable. The chair of this event is fine with that, and appreciates that I’m honest up-front, so I think this will work out.

It’s a costume ball, and, since I worked in wardrobe, I feel the pressure! 😉 I also have to be able to move and deal with whatever needs to be dealt with, so it can’t be anything too elaborate or restrictive.

Costume Imp’s already working on it! 😉

Up early this morning. Tried to prune the lilac, but it started raining. I’m supposed to pick up a metal plant stand early this morning over in Yarmouth. Chickie refused to give me her address — told me to “call when you leave”. Honey, if you’re pretending to protect your address, don’t give me a phone number I can trace. I do not like being jerked around. I’m tempted to call the whole thing off, but really, it’s not that big a deal. I am going to make it very clear when I call that I already HAVE the address.

Will make another attempt to get to the garden center and pick up my soil — via a different route — once I’ve gotten the plant stand. Then, I am not going ANYWHERE during this crazy traffic weekend. Let it all flow around me. I’m going to write and enjoy my garden!

Have a great holiday weekend, all!

Devon

Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 7:06 am  Comments (3)  
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Saturday, March 19, 2011


Iris is tired.

Saturday, March 19, 2011
Full Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

We are here! Tonight is supposed to be one of the fullest, most beautiful moons in 18 years, so we’re going to view it from the open expanse of back yard, the lake, and the beach.

I’ve got a post about the Flower Show up at Gratitude and Growth. I didn’t capture the wonder of it, but some of the pictures are fun.

Yesterday was fun. I was out of the house a little after 10 here on the Cape; Imp had left his place in the city shortly before, heading down to Grand Central. By the time he hit Westport, I was in Niantic; we converged in Old Saybrook.

We drove around the corner from the station to one of my favorite stores; no Adirondack chairs, but I found a pair of sweet matching flower pots, another pretty flower pot, unique brass bowl and pewter spoon, and a lovely lantern for the deck.

We hopped up I-95 a few exits to the Book Barn. We wandered around the main facility for a bit — I got a stack of books for my mom and a few books for myself. Then, we had lunch across the street at the diner, and headed to the Downtown and Midtown branches, where we found more lovely books.

Back on the highway. Traffic was bad around Providence (for no discernible reason, but hey, it’s Providence). We got home a bit after 7, had dinner, got Costume Imp settled, and visited. As we crossed the bridge and drove on the Cape, we watched the temperature drop steadily. It was 68 in CT, but in the 40s here.

The cats still aren’t sure about him, although Violet is much braver than her sister.

I caught up with some stuff online, and will spend time with student work today, once I’ve got a good chunk of work done on the play, and do some work for the tele-seminar. Costume Imp and I are going out later to the farmer’s market and maybe some bookstores.

For now, though, it’s back to work, so I can play with a clear conscience later.

Devon
Violet likes the sun

Published in: on March 19, 2011 at 7:27 am  Comments (4)  
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Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I survived! First and foremost, that’s the good news, although I’m exhausted now the adrenalin rush is over.

I got down there early and waited for the truck. It was a darned big truck. My stuff took up about a third of it. There were a few tense moments, and the manager who’s waged the personal vendetta against me for over a year wouldn’t deal with me or even look at me. Fine, as long as I get service. The employees — all new since the last time I was there — who did deal with me were pleasant and friendly (what a shock), and after a bit of a glitch about where to park the truck, we got upstairs, along with a crew of another person who was moving out not only of the same floor, but the same storage line as I was!

There were three guys. They were really friendly and really fast. I’d brought water and extra bags and face masks in case it got dusty. They had the unit unloaded in less than two hours. The other woman moving out had a gorgeous, large antique bureau. She’s moving to Iowa to go to grad school and can’t take any furniture; UHaul said they’d charge her if she left it (and then they’d make more money when they sold it). So she asked me if I wanted it. It reminded me of a wonderful old blanket chest my grandmother had promised me, and then given to someone else when she was annoyed with me for not having a “real” job (in other words, I chose theatre rather than a corporate environment). So I said yes.

I was in a cab by 11:30, headed back to Grand Central. Traffic was awful — creating pedestrian plazas in Times Square and around Herald Square is great in many ways, but it does make traffic worse in the surrounding areas. It took us 20 minutes to drive 4 blocks. Finally, my driver caught a break going cross-town, and I managed to barely catch the 12:10.

Instead of getting off at my home stop, I got off at the stop nearest the storage unit — the train station was only about 3 blocks away. I was glad I caught the 12:10 — as we got off the train a little after 1, there was an announcement about 30 minute delays for all the trains that followed us.

I picked up some more water, and my mom had, at my request, stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts to pick up a dozen doughnuts for the guys. They were stuck in bridge traffic and it was a little after 2 by the time they arrived. But my new unit was right on the ground floor, really simple to unload. They were done in an hour.

I’ve got a lot more rearranging to do in the unit in the coming week, but I am free from UHaul FOREVER. I am writing the letters to the BBB and the Attorney General’s office today to close the case file with the provision that I will only consider it closed and resolved if they do not make any more financial demands on me. Because let’s face it, past precedent shows that they might very well start charging me for an empty unit. I do want it kept on the record that I was a long-time UHaul customer who left because of irregular accounting practices and customer service that was beyond lousy.

As I settled up with my lovely moving guys (who were so happy to be fed and watered, and couldn’t believe I tipped them, too), a woman was in the facility, upset because her movers never showed up ALL DAY and wouldn’t pick up the phone. I told her my guys were awesome — she hired them on the spot to come right over to her house! I was really happy for my crew — it shows that good karma works! They were honest, friendly, reliable, skilled.

Just for the record — I used Binding Price Movers, and I highly, highly recommend them. They will be the first ones I contact for the relocation move. I’m letting their bosses know how great they are, and I’m writing a positive letter to the BBB about the experience.

I came home exhausted but happy, with plenty of things hurting. I’m not wired to stand around while other people work — I hauled my share of boxes — though I let them handle the heavy stuff. They arranged things in the unit so when we do the big furniture swap in a few weeks, I can get at everything that I need. I also found a bunch of stuff I forgot I had.

I’m going to purge a lot in the coming weeks, reorganize and repack. There’s no need to take boxes of stuff on the relocation that I’ll wind up tossing when I get there — because I bet the big move will be by pound, not by hour.

What a weight has been lifted off me! After a year of being charge late fees even when I paid on time, screamed at every time I was down there, threatened, trapped on the storage floor, and the executive office showing no interest in resolving the situation, I am DONE! Not only do I have my stuff consolidated, it’s in an ethical, friendly facility, and, once I fold in the other two units I have there, I’ll be saving money every month by carrying a single unit.

I did very little last night except take a shower, eat dinner, drink some wine and collapse. I am very sore today. But it’s a good sore.

I’ve got some errands to run this morning, correspondence to get out, some discussions to have with an editor, and then I’m spending the rest of the weekend in CT with my friend, relaxing by the pool, reading, and writing. I’m in charge of the food, so I’m packing whatever I need (have wooden spoon, will travel) and swinging by the store for some of the fresh produce on the way. I’m taking reading, writing, and the work for Confidential Job #1, but I’m not going to worry about work.

I will probably be on line — there’s wi-fi there. But I might not feel like using it! 🙂

Everyone, have a great and safe holiday weekend!

Devon

Published in: on July 3, 2009 at 6:16 am  Comments (3)  
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