Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Slight return

I'm in the learning stages here so don't worry if this is all boggledy. Boggled-y. If you do that enough, it looks like Welsh. Pont-y-whatever it is. Abergavenny!

I ran into a software crisis. Yes! I did. Well, the old/new laptop refuses to get on my phone's wireless. So I couldn't do all the work I absolutely had to do yesterday. I figured some coaxing, some whacking with a hammer, some fiddling with settings, and it would work, right? NOPE.

Of course earlier in the day I'd gone out to replace my laptop, because it's not really working out at all. If anything is running, it crashes. Which kind of puts a crimp in your work day. I think it's because the software is all so old, it's incompatible with things like shockwave and whatever. Even Word, though. I don't know.

I should wipe it and reinstall. Or possibly just walk away.

I'm a leetle mystified by some Apple traits, like why doesn't hitting return twice cause a paragraph? Or does it sometimes, just not in the site I'll be using the most? Why can't I copy and paste things and have them look like they did when they started? And I do need to look up a list of keyboard shortcuts because you cannot guess.

So anyway: yay! But also: incredible thwartedness when I absolutely could not make this one file full of tables copy and paste no matter what I did. Jeez! So I ended up running out to Dunkin Donuts with the old/new laptop at 10:30 and tearing my hair out because the laptop was so slow and crashy, it did not get that ONE SINGLE DOCUMENT opened, copied, and pasted into the online site I needed. In half an hour! Gaaaaah!

I did get a donut, though.

Then I thought, aha, I'll just sit in the car and finish! Won't take long! And then the battery died. OH MAN.

Then Dunkin Donuts kid told me to go to McDonalds, open 24 hours and with free wifi. So I did that. And laptop had eighteen conniptions and crashed and hummed and paused and they had to plug it in behind the counter for me (these fast food kids are so incredibly nice!) and run the cord out to my booth right next to it. 

And while I was doing things excruciatingly slowly and trying to figure out the hard return thing (without which everything came out one big block of text, no matter how I typed it) this bunch of kids came in who I recognized from aaaaaaages ago when I taught college here in town. It totally tickled me because although we've never really spoken, we spent a whole semester hanging out like fifteen feet apart. And they saw me knitting a Jayne hat and registered what it was! And the one dude has a Blue Sun shirt.

It was also very funny because we were both doing exactly what we'd done every day back then. 

I wore my own Blue Sun shirt today in honor of the unified theory of persistence of dorkiness. The dorks abide! And I am clearly one of them, doy.

Anyway I got it all done and got home (or reasonable facsimile) by about 3, which is WAY TOO LATE.

But I got one of those little apple pies. So, yay?

I have to call up the help desk and figure things out.

But MEANWHILE I have to finish up this whole packing job here. It's brutal. It's enormous. It's hot and it smells like six million generations of mice in that garage. And it's taking longer and being more difficult than it oughta be, which means I'm worse off every day, so there's sort of a diminishing returns thing going on. Like I struggle harder each day due to tiredness/soreness/zombietude so doing a smaller amount of work is harder than a larger amount of work was the day before. Right?

It's awfully tempting to sit in front of this fan and play with my new delightful useful tablet of awesomeness! Do I call it a tablet? Is it one? I think it is one but you don't call it that. Or?

And to cap it off I had the most hilariously awesome/awful dream where Colin Ferguson and I were totally besmitten and so on, but he was getting very irritated because we were living with my mom and she kept throwing down these arbitrary directives and mandates. Ha! Also he wore his Sheriff Carter uniform so actually I suppose it was Sheriff Carter, the character, not the actor.

It's tricky because they look so much alike.

In my huge round of retail plodding yesterday, I went back to the store where I got my rings before and got another one. Yay! Yay! Yay! I constantly missed having my ring after I lost the last one. It feels SO MUCH BETTER having it back. Plus you know it's my ring of commitment to Writing And Awesomeness and not taking any crap, Starbuck-wise. It's a whole thing that makes sense in my head, I promise.

This thing has that Siri person in it. I'm sort of alarmed by the prospect, what with how white noise resolves into music in my ears anyway. And sounds can resolve into little snatches of voices. Real sounds, though. It's an interpretation thing, finding patterns in chaos, but that doesn't mean I want my actual inanimate objects talking to me, now, does it? It's a fuzzy area that I do not wish to roam.

Back to the mouse mines. Other stuff to tell! But later will have to do. I can tell you, though, the writing on this thing is FANTASTIC and that makes me oh so very happy to the point where I can hardly express. Which sounds contradictory but no! 

Let's see if this turns out one big block of text or if the real return and the slight return are going to give me conniptions.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Well, hi!

I've been accomplishing monumental tasks! And then staggering around in a bleary muddle. More of the recovery muddle than the accomplishing, in terms of time, alas.

Today for instance I'm ridiculously wobbly and could not see properly for the first half of the day. And I can't talk right. Slurring, stumbling over words, etc. It's not ideal, see?

So I did not drive 12 hours today. In fact I drove zero hours. In fact I never did put on shoes. Hmm!

I've been searching inefficiently for some bills that may or may not even exist, so I can pay them, except, yeah, they might not exist. I don't know. I'm seriously confused. I have a very bad case of zombie brains *and* body today. I know these bills are due because Quicken is my buddy, and I have vague memories of moving them into the new office space, but they are nowhere to be found.

I overdid it yesterday by two or three times what I was capable of. Or, I mean, I obviously was capable of it, since I did it, but it had CONSEQUENCES.

If I'm not better tomorrow, I'm not going again. Criminy.

I did not like the part where we were looking at the map and I kept trying to say New York and could not. Blargh. Stop overdoing it, daft loon! The mice chewing on the insulation on the wiring in my brain are laughing it up today. Whee! Chew chew chew. Zzzzzt!

Things I should not do:

lots of physical exertion
get really really hot
get really really thirsty

Oh dear.

Anyway, I'm all psyched about going north and excited to see everyone, woohoo! I found this parallel non-Taconic route, since you can't take trailers on the Taconic, but it still lets me avoid Connecticut and its terrible traffic snarls. I still have to drive the long way across Massachusetts, but oh well. I mean, I can't actually remove all the distance from the drive, can I?

I'm constantly amazed at how outrageously astounding bizarre and terrible I feel. Wow! So dizzy! So wobbly! So weak! So stupid in the brains! Wow!

I know, just like Time Lord regeneration, am I right? Trouble getting used to these feet and all.

Anyway I made a lovely big glass of decaf coffee with evap milk and abbreviated-modifier-free sugar (or it was until I said that, ack!) (wait, no, those modifiers aren't abbreviated! aha!) and in a minute I'll take all those could-stun-an-ox pills and have a shower and ideally GO TO SLEEP. If my legs don't go "Hey, cha-cha time!" and start playing triple-speed salsa.

Ooh...and I am very very psyched because I got a new iteration of Online Job to start in a week, which is just exactly perfect and awesome in every way. I got all ready for it today since I'll be on the road.

Well, due to the major storm going on right now (of course, what with how it's a DAY) the internet went out and so I'm going to have to try to hook this desktop computer up to my phone and do that tethering thing. Whoopee! We'll see if it works, huh?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Go go go go go! Stop.

Seriously, sit DOWN for a minute and stay there. I told Gawain dog to keep me from getting up for a while and he's lying right where my feet would have to go, so one way or another he's definitely doing it. Good boy!

Also I called him off a rabbit today, by which I mean, he saw it, he started to run, and I said NO and he totally stopped. What a good boy! That's because earlier he didn't listen and I threw my pink shoe at him, not that it got anywhere near him, obviously. It wasn't supposed to go anywhere near him. It went slam into the driveway halfway between us. But he got the idea, which is exactly the point.

He was pretty good the first time we ran into that escapee domestic turkey hen and her two adopted foster goslings (I SWEAR) but I think it's because the turkey was used to people and kind of just gobbled at me to hand over the corn, lady! And the goslings are half grown, the size of ducks, and not shy at all, so they ran at him with their little gray fuzzy wings outstretched and their necks stuck out and honked these cute little honks. And then the four of them kind of stood around together on the lawn.

That was totally my favorite part, where the dog really didn't know quite what to do next and they all stood around together. AWESOME.

But then later we went out and they were halfway down the driveway and he took off after them while I was yelling in my drum major voice. Not okay. At all. My mom said that it's a good thing he has an unusual name or everyone named Gawain in the county would have come running, quivering in terror. (I was a good drum major, yep. RESUME HUT.)

I'm distracting myself from the ridiculous amount of pain I put myself in by doing ten million things all in the space of about an hour and a half. OW. And also OW. In fact I'm sitting here kind of whimpering and grumphing about it because, hello, OW. Everything hurts.

Well, it was ungodly hot again today, big surprise, but then a thunderstorm rolled through and the temperature dropped twenty degrees. And since it was suddenly cool enough to move without totally dying, I moved. Shifted all the stacks of fezzes around in the garage. Found what I needed. Lugged fezzes of clothes up the stairs, put them into the blue trunk (which I brought up yesterday), lugged the empties back down. Rearranged all the furniture in my exciting new office/sewing room, pushed the very heavy filing cabinet into another room where my mom wanted it, hauled this, moved that, moved that again so I could put this there, and finally had to have a Stern Word with myself and hit the showers.

And now every bit of me is screaming bloody murder. Especially because I did it yesterday, too, when it was far too hot to do any such thing. But now maybe I'm almost done mostly? I have to organize and compact and make room for the *rest* of my stuff, oh man. So much work.

Here is why it's awesome though:

1. All my clothes are in my room, winter things in the blue trunk. How great is that?

2. I no longer have the blue trunk full of things that I can't find because I can't remember they're there. Yay!

3. Things will be in properly labeled fezzes once I regain use of my limbs and faculties and whatnot.

4. All this is done BEFORE I bring the rest of the stuff here. That's crucial to not going bananacakes crazypants.

5. I found the various Christmas presents I'd stashed so I can wrap them and take them with me.

6. And I frowned and was puzzled for a long time and then remembered that I put the things I can't find into the cedar chest in that other downstairs hall closet. Like my poster tube containing my Sarah Connor Chronicles onesheet! And my Pushing Daisies onesheet! And my Gladiator onesheet! You get one guess which studio's home video department I worked for!

So that's all good except for the excessive pain and all that. Tomorrow's supposed to be another stupidly hot day so maybe I'll have some sense (ha ha ha) (unlikely) and sit still.

Supposedly all this exercise should be making me tired so I can actually sleep. But no! Even all that hauling of stuff yesterday did not prevent me from being awake until after 3:30, and that's on top of three different drugs that should knock out a grizzly.

However, I had to be up by eight this morning to go lift heavy objects for elderly Lutherans (I should totally put that on my resume since it's a real specialty of mine) so maybe tonight I might sleep?

No sleep lately. Oh it's miserable. I hate it. It's partly the heat, partly my legs going crazy as soon as I lie down (our friend Hurricane Brain), partly doing logistics in my head over all this rearrangement of stuff and the upcoming trip, and partly generalized spazdoodle disorder. Or whatever.

Tonight I would really like to conk out, okay? Ooh, I've been forgetting to make that decaf coffee in the evenings. That knocked me flat for a while. Decaf full of milk and sugar. Wham! Out.

I'm one of those people for whom coffee is a potent sleep aid, which proves definitively that I'm from the alternate universe. Yes, we stopped with the goatees because you people were ON TO US.

Unless it's, you know, warm milk or sugar crash or that type of thing? Maybe.

The heavy objects for elderly Lutherans this morning turned out to be five cases of stuffing mix, which were very light and really not worth the production it took for us to get there and unlock the church and run up and down stairs and all that. But it'll feed a lot of people, right? Mmm, stuffing.

Yes, I also lift light objects for elderly Lutherans when required. Am flexible! And I completely pour sweat doing that, too. Goodness that's dramatic. I can feed the cat or something and it looks like I just ran a marathon. Dramatic and also quite gross! Yay!

My legs are utterly freaking out right now. Like they're having a million electric shocks. They did NOT appreciate all that stuff I did. I shudder to think what's going to happen when I have to move a ton of things and pack the trailer in Maine. Eeeeeeeee! Brrrrr.

The exercise equipment I have here is unsuited to unreliable legs, man! I have my trampoline and that balance wave thing, both of which are no good with balance problems because of the potential to fall right off onto my head. Ow. I really have to figure something out and quick. I'll bring back the wind trainer but that puts me high in the air on an unstable boy bike which makes falling on my head even yet still more likely. Nope.

Think think think.

Did I mention that before the thunderstorm the dog and I were out cutting back that path to the pond again? Those bushes, criminy. If the deer didn't keep using the path, it would be completely overgrown by now. Oh and by the way, in case you are wondering if there are things you should not do when it's 95 degrees out and 80% humidity and there's a thunderstorm rolling in and you are of iffy walking ability: go cut bushes in the bugs and the mud. And then haul lots of heavy stuff up and down stairs and move lots of furniture around. After not sleeping much. Oh and I vacuumed most of the upstairs, too, in between all that.

Am genius! Please whack on head with large mallet in manner of cartoon if I attempt something like this again.

Also if you have any idea how to defibrillate my freaking legs, pass it along. I want to run a scandisk or defrag or something. Oh. Ha. You know, that's actually the exact analog to what's actually going on. Too many glitches, running kind of buggy. Back me up on the cloud and reload the software! Get me the latest upgrade! If possible, close all programs that may be running and do it while I'm asleep. Okay!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Beverage-oriented survivalist lifesaving multi-tool!

It is TOO HOT to do anything whatsoever. But I have the most tremendous amount of work to get done. So I've been slumped in the comfy chair with the fan blasting on me from two feet away and then getting up and doing huge amounts of work and then slumping again. And reading lots of books! Mmmm, books.

I can't even list all the things I have to do. Oh man. Partly it's the overwhelmingness that makes me slumpy. Like there's this old (but technically not antique) secretary thing that was my grandmother's that I'm going to take up to my brother except it's been in the Hallway Of Moldiness for a year so it needs to get seriously cleaned. And then partially taken apart...CAREFULLY. And then packed securely and undamageably and rainproofedly on my trailer. Oh except we have to summon the neighbors to help me get it outside and onto the trailer. While it's a million degrees.

That's about what, four things? Five things? Anyway the secretary is making me very tired.

I always think I haven't done anything so here's what I did today:

cleaned out the whole car
put survival/thing-relocation items back into the car
discovered that the spare roll of string is in that weird hidden panel in the way back
set up the old/new laptop with its ancient flat plug in modem that's almost as big as my phone
configured it so it would actually work
downloaded Firefox, yay!
Online Job (more to go)
carried one million things downstairs
carried one million things upstairs
moved the trailer
moved half the stuff in the garage
emptied the blue trunk
searched half the fezzes for the other roofrack bag (did not find)
read two excellent Crusie books
drank gallons of water
ate two slices of cake twelve hours apart
and some burrito-like things, using up the rest of everything
and drank a lot of tea
found the bags I need to take
moved the lumber around
moved the blue pads around
worried about things
frowned at things
got a sunburn
burned my toe pads on the driveway
got bitten by bugs
turned completely fuchsia from the heat
got a headache
snuggled the animals a lot
got rained on

I guess that's a lot of stuff.

I need more duct tape. And packing tape. I'm just hauling my stuff back here, most if not all of it, but it's going to take major engineering. And I can't remember things like: where is my bike rack? Is it up there? Is it here somewhere? The garage here is sensory overload and tall stacks of fezzes so although you'd think a bike rack would stick out, it could be right there and I might not even see it.

Hey, it's been ages and ages. I have no idea what's where. When was I up there last? October? Who even knows?

Here are some weird purchases. I'm not sure exactly what I was thinking. Well, I really was far too hot and nearly keeled over several times and alarmed some small children, whose mothers pulled them safely to their sides. It's too hot to think or remember anything. My brains might melt and run out my ears any day now. It's even more humid than it is hot, too. By the time I'd registered the trailer (yay!) and waded through the ankle-deep melted asphalt of the parking lot, I was supremely out of it.

I went out to buy:

duct tape (nope)
packing tape (nope)
big black leaf bags (nope)
a basketball backboard or just a hoop (nope)
and a tank of gas (nope)
also potentially some food since I have none besides cake (now gone) and tortilla chips (nope)
or at least some cheese? (NOPE)

Oh right, weird purchases:

giant blue round tub intended for ice and beer I think but I'll use it for a litter box (true, and deliberate)
pistol-grip slingshot, awesome, but no shot
action figure of that elf woman from the Hobbit movie, not that I saw it (hey, marked down from $14.99 to $1.99!) (how could they ever have charged $14.99?)
square blue canoe pad/flotation device
eight or ten liter bottles of water (They have water in Maine and also in all rest areas. I have no idea.)
a combination butane lighter and multi-purpose tool (Goodness me.) (It's really cool though.)
the butane to put in it
20 AA batteries (???)
excellent loot for my brother, shhhh!
Christmas present for my brother-in-law

Wait, wait, it gets better:

not one but two little saucers that say: "Glowing with potential, sparkling with promise, shining with possibility-" I don't know what the little dash there at the end is supposed to convey. And I don't know why I felt compelled. They were a quarter each, so I suppose the damage is minor. Actually everything was outrageously dirt cheap and cool in its own way. It's just a weird collection of items, that's all.

I'm oddly fond of my 25 cent inspirational saucers. Wouldn't you be? Maybe I'll use them to feed the cat.

I had the funnest time in line in Walmart (and you will never hear anyone say that!) because there was someone ahead of me with some esoteric impossible card or something and I had to wait literally fifteen minutes, except those are Walmart line minutes, which last at least ten times that long. I might still be there, actually.

Anyway I was looking at all the odd items in the shelves by the checkout and showing them to this woman behind me who showed signs of getting impatient, so I was entertaining her and she was commenting on my choices and being very funny. And then I got out my knitting and she was like, "Man, you have me beat. What am I going to do?" She looked all around and then in her cart and triumphantly pulled out a bottle of nail polish. Then she started painting her toenails!

We were laughing so much, everyone was looking, but oh boy, it was really fun and SO much better than getting cranky and irritable, because what's the point of that? None! None at all! In fact the checkout girl thanked me for being so great about the whole thing. Awww!

So that's how I ended up with the lighter/knife/bottle opener/corkscrew/can opener beverage-oriented survivalist lifesaving multi-tool. It was there by the checkout. She totally shook her head and said, "Sucker!" Hee hee hee.

And then I went home and got caught in a huge gullywasher of a storm such that all the Amish farmers were under the trees with their horse teams instead of making hay.

Anyway I got a bunch of strange loot and inspirational saucers and no tape.

It's quite exciting to have everything all registered and with proper plates and legit and all.

I have so many old license plates at this point, it's pretty out of control. I still have the Oregon and California ones, for crying out loud.

I have no idea what I'm going to find up there in the lawyer garage. Gosh! What have I forgotten about? Besides everything? I have to bring back my homemade couch and the zigurrat and the canoe and all those uncle hatchets and hammers. My easel and bike and wind trainer. Cellos and weed whackers and all my tank tops. All those oil lamps. I mean. The mind reels.

My foot is still busted (duh) and does not appreciate all this using of it. Oomph.

Ooh, I need to download at least one more audiobook, maybe two. Not that I don't love Neverwhere, but I've listened to it or Sarah Vowell all the way across the country and for the last eight trips up or down the eastern seaboard (not counting the drive with my sister to my uncle's funeral, where I yelled to New Jersey that Sumara said hi) and I might need a change of books.

Gah! Now I have that South Park song in my head. You know, "Shut your hatchet face, uncle hatchet." Catchy!

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Oooh...you know I have an absolute embargo on purchasing after taking those panic meds, right? No base commerce allowed. Well I think I need to have a scissors embargo, too. Because my hair is experiencing a shortage. Of itself.

It looks like a boy's haircut from England in about 1930, all rumpledy on top and short around the sides. Like I should have tweed shorts and a model plane and knee socks.

I'm not actually sure what it looks like right now because I spent hours out in the hot sun (see? mad dogs and English people! though my dog was wise and stayed under the car in the shade of the shed) disassembling the frame on the trailer. Well, cleaning off all the pigeon poop and feathers and mud wasp nests and whatnot. And occasionally turning the hose on myself. But then disassembling the frame.

I labeled all the spars so I could put it together again easily when I get there. On the right with R and a number, on the left with L, see. Which gives you L1, L2, L3 and so on. Which since they're lumber ribs and not lumbar vertebrae gave me some kind of hovering pun situation that never did quite resolve. So it ended up I'd look at them and go, "L1, heh heh!" in a fairly meaningless fashion.

I seriously need to sew some violently girly garb right exactly now, I kid you negative. A daisy skirt is up first I think.

Also I just reinvented the dress, in my wisdom, because I like these sleeveless tops, and I always wear skirts, and then I was like, "It sure would be great if they were *connected* somehow!" Yes it would.

Anyway I'm parched nigh unto comatosity and I have very short and boy-looking hair and I really need to step away from the haircutting scissors at Times Like These.

This is why it needed to happen, though:

1. a couple of weeks ago I got irritated by this one chunk that kept flipping forward into my face, so (wisdom again) I cut it shorter. Hoo. Bad idea. It never really worked after that.

2. Friday night that huge bug flew into my hair aaaaaaaiiiiiiiiggggggghhhhh!!!!! I've been frantic about bugs in my hair ever since.

3. Last night I decided Just A Trim would be nice, but that shorter chunk still looked incredibly stupid. At that point it was still longish in front, like my old bob used to be.

4. But then this morning after it got washed and dried, it looked not just ludicrous but every kind of stupid and wrong. So I cut it shorter.

5. Then it was still trying to be long hair (i.e. could be tucked behind the ears) while failing to do so properly, so I chopped it off above the ears and trimmed the rest to fit.

And now I look like your great-uncle Nigel as a boy back in Thropton-le-Scroop.

I'm a bit chagrined. And also TOTALLY DELIGHTED to have short hair again. I love short hair! Shortage! Yay!!! I ALWAYS want short hair! Thrilled! Delighted! So pleased!

I just have this argument in my head always that I should grow it out and blah blah blah. Even though it makes me look repellently dorky and not quite all there when in that frizzy wavy oddball bangs and bob.

I also prefer hair to look like it's that way ON PURPOSE, even if it isn't.

Wouldn't it be fun to play with mousse and swirl it up like soft serve? Or even a fauxhawk! Hee.

I'm terrified to get the clippers out to even it up because I fear it would ALL BE GONE in short order.

There are some women on whom a very short boyish haircut enhances adorable feminine features.

On me, it makes me look like a guy. It's true.

Maybe I'll just go ahead and order that recumbent stationary bike that's been in my Amazon cart for like three or four years at this point. Because I have this logic about all that, i.e. if I'm going to look like a boy, I need to lose a bunch of weight to reduce the obvious cognitive dissonance factors if you see what I mean.

I already got the okay yesterday to put a basketball backboard and hoop on the barn. YAY! I cannot WAIT! Except I totally can wait because today's trailer workout left me not so much a limp noodle as some kind of colloid that looks sort of solid but if you leave it alone, it slumps into a pool on the floor. Like Odo! I love Odo. So sweet, so uptight.

The other thing about this hairdo is it makes me want to run around and have fun! Yay! Am reverse fun-having Sampson! Long hair = sit still, no fun. Short hair = let's go do fun stuff now now now yay!

I sure had a fun time taking my trailer's wooden frame thing apart. I had to whack it with my crowbar! Whack whack whack whack whack! I sure do love that crowbar. Do you know, I've had it since 1987? The only way I could love it more is if it were blue. It's red. Red is pretty good, though.

Time for a shower then sewing some excellent dresses, I swear.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Northeast passage

Major cake-worthy accomplishments this week: three! Three! Yes, three!

I'm so pleased. And oh so full of cake.

I make AMAZING cake, y'all. It's true. Sometimes you get these weird abilities.

And so I'm now almost all legal in the driving area. I still have to register my trailer, which costs some appalling amount of money but is easy to do.

I might go as soon as this iteration of Online Job is behind me, since I don't have another one lined up right away. Always assuming my legs are working. Today they quit for NO REASON. Well, I mean, they don't have to have a reason. Their reason is inherent. It's always in play. This bout has been especially dragged out, hasn't it? Maybe not. Start keeping proper records fer crying out loud!

Anyway the very best thing to do when you have iffy legs and fall down a lot is to drive twelve hours then spend a couple of days sleeping on the lawyer house floor (or I suppose my old couch mattress and a stack of dog beds) and heaving large heavy items around and then drive twelve more hours again. But at least it would be downhill. Har har!

I'm making lists. Things to take with, for foisting upon my brother et al. Things to make sure to get up there, like all my tank tops. Jeebus. Things to provide for eating and drinking en route.

I should also notify my siblings when I get my plans firmed up a little more.

I consulted D., who is having an utterly sucky time, such that I wanted to call and check on her, which meant walking around outside so my phone would work, while carrying a hatchet in the other hand because the one-handed clippers were inside. And intermittently yelling things like, "Gawain, run *away* from the gunfire, not toward it!" I mean, you have to teach your dog these things young, right?

Don't tell him that I'm bringing canoe paddles and his Personal Flotation Device back with me. And mine, of course. That means we're going to get on the water FINALLY, man oh man. Put me in a boat! You can paddle around while SITTING DOWN is the crucial thing.

Must also bring cello and baritone, the rest of Battlestar Galactica, and I do not even know what else. Must make lists!

List #1: things to do

1. Make list of things to do.
2. See #1.

Okay, I went shopping yesterday because I needed a prescription. But I only got a little ways into Walmart when my legs quit and I was all shaking and stuff. I ate a food in case that was the problem, but nope! And basically it hasn't stopped yet.

I got good loot, though. For example, replacement pink shoes because they were half off. I'm weirdly in love with my pink shoes even though people look at them and no doubt wonder if they are slippers.

This is a boring list of items acquired:

cans of black beans
5 lb of jasmine rice
tortilla chips
black pens
colored pens
cat food
dog biscuits
it's really all quite prosaic
the replacement soccer ball of irony

And so forth. And then I went...to the library! I know!

But check this out: I checked out a Sarah Dessen I'd never read before. That is very exciting for me! I love her books. And then I almost forgot to look in the sale book carts on my way out, but there was a hardcover Cassie Clare for $1 *and* I'd never read that one before either! Yowza!

I always have to say "check this out" about anything having to do with the library. AM DORK.

That would be a great t-shirt, huh? AM DORK. I'm in serious danger of making that this evening when I embark upon my coolish evening quilting fiesta. The iron on letters are right by the tv. Look out, t-shirts of the dresser! You may soon carry opinions not your own.

I can't remember why but I was just telling my mom about this picture. Revisiting the vacation destinations of our youth or something? Anyway they illustrate the truth of am dork as well as anything could.

I love how the person taking the picture made sure to fit her son in the frame, even though, hello, I do not at all care about your son, perfect stranger! What an odd choice to make. Habit, maybe.

Oh boy, we went totally bananacakes over these when we were little! They were easily the coolest things we'd ever seen and made a huge lasting impression. Yowza. Wait, I didn't give you the Dramatic Brontosaurus picture:


Must go work on those lists. Yep! And do some stretching or something? What wakes up legs that have decided to go on vacation? Maybe I can lure them back with cake!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pink pink pink pink, pink shoes

You know that Pink Moon song, right? I have pink shoes. Stop it, brain, I say! And brain says: pink pink pink pink, pink shoes.

I think my old laptop gave up the ghost today. Maybe not. It's acting extremely weird and not responding to the touchpad all the time. It's, what's the opposite of touchy? Stolid. Being too stolid!

Also remember how I put new Word on the old/new laptop? It's some kind of trial version and tells me I have x more uses before it will lose many useful features if I don't register it. Except...I would guess it's already been used. And there's no internet on that laptop anyway. And also, I suspect that one of the features it loses (from long experience of freshmen suddenly losing those features on their laptops a month into their first year of college) is the ability to save. Whoops!

Students! I like 'em. Except when they're drunk, hung over, talking about being drunk or hung over, or making excuses.

I always used to put NO EXCUSES in my syllabus. Do it or don't do it. Don't bore me to tears with excuses.

Yeah, that book, hmm. Seriously though, one of the best things ever is when you figure out what's wrong with a piece of writing. For me it goes like this:

write write write!
write write!

There is something bothering me but I have to figure out what it is before I can fix it, change it, or even pretend it didn't happen and go on with the new solution from there on out. Then go back later and make the first part fit.

Botheration, huh?

It works, though. Not figuring it out is seriously bad for me. Can't go on the same, can't go on differently, can't go back and rewrite.

Oddly enough it was that dreadful and terrorizing book I read that made me figure it out. I don't want grim and hopeless and miserable. Ha! That sounds so funny. WHO DOES? An awful lot of people, but we'll let them solve their own problems, shall we?

Here is what I want in a book I'm writing:

speedy chatter
fun with words
people with interesting characteristics
people finding each other
making a home
evocative whatnots that make you go "Oh! I know that thing! Yes!"
people who totally ragingly love whatever they love
finding out that this thing wasn't what you thought
food and tastes
cooking things
memories getting turned inside out
your old stuff you forgot about
cliffhanger feeling, unresolved chords hanging there
a need to know things
puzzle pieces that have to find out where to go
lots of running around like in Scooby-Doo
go go go go go!
pink pink pink pink, pink shoes
(or reasonable facsimile objective correlative)

I'm not even that worried about the story, isn't that funny? I could write one of my old DS9 or Battlestar or Bones or whatever spec scripts into a small town in Pennsylvania and absolutely love it.

Oh, phone, I do love you so. You are now playing Pink Moon on infinite repeat for me! Yay!

Today's interesting. Thinking about booking makes me do other things in a partially-bottomed manner, getting all kinds of errands done haphazardly because 98% of my processing power is used up on the book thinking.

Because of the problematic current book and what's going on with the characters in it, I was also thinking about really bad management, people who look at you and go, "You are wrong in this way and that way. You must fix what's wrong with you." Do you know, in the past I've actually had to say to those people things like: "I am exactly right just the way I am." There is no answer to that, either. I mean, honestly. You can ask people to DO this or that, but not BE or NOT BE this or that way. I'm the only one I've got, y'all. I'm okay with that!

Also that whole "You're doing it wrong" thing reminds me of Muriel's Wedding.

That song Pink Moon is only 2:03 long. Amazing.

Really? They put The Long Road on the Eat Pray Love soundtrack? That song was written for Dead Man Walking. It's about a death row inmate facing his imminent execution. Criminy. It's gorgeous, yes, one of my top ten favorite songs of all time, but gosh.

I'm kind of in love with Pandora. It has a channel for me called Eddie Vedder and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, which was kind of evil of me because they did exactly one song together and it's The Long Road. Oh oh oh, but it finds the best stuff from that starting point!

Okay, I really have to bake a cake, something else I've been approaching and bouncing off in a tremendously demi-reared manner for THREE DAYS now. I need to celebrate two excellent things: four years and another raise in Online Job, and exciting new/old job for fall. Yay! And today another iteration of Online Job, also for fall.

I just paid off a massive chunk of my horrible bills. That feels great. Stress levels seriously dropping. Now if I could just solve the allergic-to-my-thyroid-meds problem. Taking them: bad. Not taking them: bad. Hmmph! And the horrible insomnia that has me up until dawn lately. I hear the rooster wake up. That is not cool. Shush, Chanticleer.

It's entirely possible I'll have a whole month or six weeks here to work super super hard on writing, and I don't mean just flailing and flitting from thing to thing, but doing lots of serious work and knocking things into shape and sending them out into the world. Calling things DONE. I'm working for the DONE. I'm very very very excited about this possibility. I'm also going to get my new office any day now, maybe some time this week. That should help a lot too.

That and lovely Pandora.

Oooh...it just played me a song called Bunnies. Yay! (Except it seems to be about being crushed by a bear. Yikes!) Pandora seems to know me and my circumstances far too well. Anyway I have to go bake that cake. If the next song is by Cake I'm going to wig out, just warning you.

Monday, July 8, 2013


I did it again, just suddenly jumped up and went all GO GO GO and then zoom! I was slothing around then got suddenly galvanized. Like a bucket! And leapt into the shower, ran out to pump up the car tires (all the time, grumph), dealt with the dead rodents (ditto) and zoomed off down the road.

Well, there was drama even before the zooming. Because I made the dog get in the car with me so I could back it up to the garage to use the compressor, right? Then when we stopped it and got out, a big old deer mouse jumped down from the underside of the car. Gack!

I started yelling things like: "Get out of my car, you bastard mice! Get 'im, Gawain! Get 'im!" because I'm a medievalist writer polyglot redneck apparently, and then while I was pulling the air filter out (see?) to clear out any possible mouse nests (that's where they always go) Gawain, well, got 'im. He caught the mouse, he shook it vigorously terrier style to snap its neck, and he killed it dead.

Um, good boy? Well, I did tell him to. But I wouldn't let him eat the mouse when he was kind of considering it (oh lord no) so I had to get rid of the body. So to speak.

THEN I pumped up the tires.

Then I gave him dog ice cream that his grandhuman makes for him, applesauce and yogurt mixed together and frozen in a Dixie cup, and got in the car and drove away.

Yes! Because the nearest location of my bank is over 60 miles away. And not 60 miles on the interstate, either. About a third of it is, but the rest is on teeny back roads and takes forever. It was really pretty and interesting, though. I saw mystifying signs, like "Soupies for sale," with a picture of cheese and sausage and stuff. What is that?

And I found the teeny tiny town, then found the teeny tiny bank, which was a branch, according to the website, but in practice was an ATM and a drive through. I got there 15 minutes before it closed. I waited for about two seconds behind a poky guy at the ATM and then figured maybe there was another ATM at the drive through. But no! Behind the wall of glass there was a nice lady in a pink suit who looked startled to see me driving through without my car! And I was quite startled she wasn't an ATM.

But she did take my deposit and talk to me through the speaker thingy and did all the right things and PHEW that check was in the bank and no longer in my hands. I live with two critters who love to destroy paper. And I myself had already dropped it into a puddle on the table then snatched it out before it even got wet. It was stressing me out, the whole thing, including the drive deep into the heart of darkest rural Pennsylvania and going to a place I'd never been on a deadline in prime road construction season on back roads.

The pink lady, the second thing she said to me was: "Are you all right?" Because I'd raced there and searched around frantically and then of course jumped the hedge and ran to the drive through without my car. And I was apparently bright red and hopping up and down with crazy hair from having the windows open.

Also I'm a total spaz, it seems. I'm either asleep or in a tizzy. Sometimes I'm reading or writing, but otherwise, asleep or tizzy.

I need more gears in my brainbox.

Then I went to Walmart as long as I was near one, so I wouldn't have to go when I got back here, then to a McDonald's, to complete my submission to corporate domination by the soulless minions of orthodoxy. This wee little town was full of kids with mohawks. I said to the girl at the counter, "I keep seeing kids with mohawks. What's going on there?" And she said, totally deadpan, "I think it's 'in.'" Oh, right.

They have these hamburgers now with a whole stack of veggies on them, like they're supposed to be, right? The one I got had a number, not a name, so I don't even know what to call it. But it had red onion rings and it was super good.

Anyway that was pretty much all the excitement. I drove home a different way. In fact I even drove there a way that was new to me. I like making circles whenever possible to maximize fun new rural Pennsylvania experiences! Look, different corn! Actually I did come home over the gravel road over the mountain, which was totally fun because it's like a secret back road. I like it.

Yeah, I'm completely pooped, but that had to get done and NOT doing it was really stressing me out.

I've been doing endless wrangling with Online Job lately, but also just reached my four year anniversary (whoa!) and got a nice raise, so that's super sweet. I keep checking with Mounting Anxiety for the next iteration to appear but it's a slow time, I know this.

And now I have to do the math and see about the truck and whatnot to get my stuff here. I have to do lots of math. Math! It must be done!

I'm just very glad I did it and could do it and everything, the drive and all. I mean, just yesterday I had several near-falls where I turned and went whoosh, which way is up? and nearly fell (hence the name) but caught myself. And then last night I did totally fall and banged up my shin pretty bad. So if I'd had any trouble even getting down the driveway, the trip was off, but driving was fine, coordination great, vision good except I couldn't read too well, but who needs to read in the car?

So now I'm gonna sit in the comfy chair and focus on writing the things. Ooh, and I got Frosted Flakes in case of need to snack. I did walk all around this Walmart looking for soy milk until I realized I was searching a small Walmart in seriously rural PA and there was not going to be any damn soy milk, sheesh! I got garlic, though. Look out, hummus! Look out, garlicky popcorn! Oh yum yum yum.

I suspect I'll be useless tomorrow and in fact I'm sort of verging on useless right now. But! Is okay! Just have to sit there and write. I can do zat! I can do zat!

Ooh, I might try plugging the iphone into the old/new laptop to see if they can talk to each other. I wonder if that will work?

It's so nice to be dressed up in decentish clothes for once, gosh! Even if they're my falling off tan cropped pants rolled up to be shorts, which really makes me look like a teenage skate punk, sartorially at least, plus a giant black polo shirt. I kind of think I'll keep on wearing all those cropped pants that I got for work as non-work or actually work at home clothing, since I practically never get an actual day off, not that I seem to need one. It's silly to hoard my K-Mart cotton pants that are way too big and not actually dressy enough anyway. Seriously. Chop 'em off into shorts or whatever. Wear them to bits.

They're super comfortable and cool in this endless blasted heat and humidity.

I saw the oddest super tall-wheeled farm machinery chugging down the road, then later saw the oddest looking cornfield, and only later put it together that one was a corn tasseler and the other a field of corn with its tassels chopped off. Oh! Right! They do that sometimes. I don't know why, or why most don't, but it's a thing.

Nice to get the pieces to fit together that way, instead of feeling like I'm wandering through the corner of an X-Files episode. Heh heh.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Palate cleanser

That sounds unhealthily scrubby. And minty. But is cleanser of the sink variety actually minty, or is it just the colors that make me think that? Because this Comet is greenish and sometimes they're blue or white, which are all minty colors.

Anyway you don't cleanse your palate with cleanser unless you've been using very bad language and even then I believe it's soap.

I read this book that made me incredibly anxious and depressed, so I'm trying to shake it off with a mental and literary palate cleanser. Or possibly a powerful rum based fruit drink. Or both. Dang, man.

The book was fantastic in that it was so powerfully evocative, but it was using its powers for evil if you ask me. I mean, do you want to write books that make people feel utterly terrible? It's times like this that I'm so very glad I never got sucked into a literary writing school where good = makes you feel like crap. The literary novel, don't get me started!

Anyway I love the young adult books and the last two I read of those (in the last 24 hours) were fabulous. I read If I Stay, which, okay, wasn't top marks in the writing but knocked it out of the park in every other way. By which I mean the style was sometimes clunky enough to jerk me out of the story. I hate that. I get mad at the author when that happens. Poor authors! You can't win with me, can you?

Yes you can! I also read Just Like That, which utterly blew me away. It's so sparse and vivid and echoes back and does amazing things left and right. That is one fantastic book. Go read it! Go, go, go!

What else brilliant have I read lately? I read Please Ignore Vera Dietz again, possibly the best book ever. I read Paper Towns. I read The Book of A Thousand Days, which was utterly fantastic and now I want a yak. I read The Secret Life of somebody somebody, which I liked a lot. Oh, don't make me get up. Oof. Okay. The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney. It was great. It had ghosts that didn't annoy me! Amazing.

Also reread a bunch of Maureen Johnson books out of sheer liking them a whole lot.

I think I'll stay away from the testosteroney books about the coming of age of young men for a very long while if you don't mind, though.

Unless they're like that book Holes, which was awesome. I almost read another one by that author tonight but then I flinched in case of danger.

Hi! I missed the writing sprint and that totally sucks! But today it didn't rain FOR ONCE (it's been steady for about two million weeks, divided by a million) so I had to caulk this ridiculous window where the rain pours into the basement.

I already hate basements more than seems humanly possible. But when you add in the rain pouring down from the window well, and then the discovery of a cat skeleton in that same window well, which means the water is like ancient decomposed cat essence, I get VERY UNHAPPY. Especially when it rains for two (million) weeks.

I got the dehumidifier working, so that's helping. I did a drain volcano on the foundation drain to try to clear that out so that rain would go DOWN it instead of coming UP it. Urgh. I hauled the Workmate up the stairs and outside and scrubbed it down with lysol. Oh right, and I caulked the heck out of that window. There was a half inch gap at the bottom. STICKS were washing in. No longer!

Brrr, shiver. I have to go bury the cat skeleton but I experience Profound Reluctance every time I start to do it. I have no idea why. Of course it took me like seventeen years to bury the dog skeleton from the barn, but whatever.

And I need to do some civil engineering to try to make the drainage from the old logging road not all pour down directly into that window well, too. I do love the civil engineering.

Except that I still have this killer poison ivy. Today--TODAY--I just figured out why I keep getting more even though I'm not going out in the brush anymore. It got on my pink shoes that I wear every single day. So I'm going to wash them or possibly go get new ones for $12 at Walmart. The Danskin brand. They're awesome. When they don't give you a hideous rash. But that's not their fault!

Okay, so the original patch of poison ivy on my leg is now all huge and red and inflamed in that hideous way that means cellulitis, which do NOT look up because the pictures will make you barf. Actually I get intensely creeped out by every single image search I do lately. They come up with these improbably horrific pictures of I do not even know what. Google holds horrors. Safe search my aunt! Those scary faces are not safe!

So I'm supposed to go to the doctor with that because of how it can kill you, KILL YOU, even though they'll probably be like, "Use some Neosporin and stop bothering me. That'll be eighty bucks."

Actually they'll put me on potent antibiotics because of the aforementioned kill you-ness of it.

La la la. So I've been all sluggish and zombified and not going for walks or anything and it's been hellishly hot and humid and the upshot of all that is: I sure have been doing a lot of reading! Yes!

There's lightning over the ridge. Oh please do not rain again. Everything has gone moldy. It's so totally gross.

But since it was dry: caulking, washed the dog, ate a tuna sandwich (the weather has no bearing on that, actually) and scrubbed the Workmate so I can use it to make all sorts of things. What should I make? I might make my weapons chest first of all.

I need a good code name for the lousy stupid no good M.S. I was trying to think of other things that start with "multiple" and many of them were very good! Or other things for which ms. is the abbreviation. Like manuscript, that's my favorite. Or Ms. as in your title. Then I got very confused because what on earth is Ms. short for? Is it short for anything? I was thinking Mademoiselle but that's Mlle. Okay, I just don't know.

What's a good nickname for a zombifying electrical storm in your synapses? It gives you electric/noodle legs and the shaky shakes and some days you can't really see, which is the WORST, plus there's that whole feeling terribly unsafe to drive thing that kind of limits a person's outings. And I'm all out of cheese!

World War Z? Ranger hat? Dr. Lizardo? Time out? Hurricane brain?

It should be like Aunt Flo only obviously, you know, different.

Well, now I need to bake a cake because now I need to decorate a cake because of using that caulk, which is so very much like icing that I'm tempted to put an icing tip on the caulk gun and make little roses and leaves and scallops and things.

Mmm, cake.

Ha ha, no, that was not an airplane in the front yard, that was a firefly on the window screen. Scared me, though.

There was an awful part in that terribly depressing book where someone had to put a horse down and I got so upset sitting there reading (sitting perfectly still in front of a fan) that my Mr. Kitty came upstairs and crawled into my lap. How awesome is he? He's always done that. I don't really get how he knows, but he always knows, and he always comes to comfort me. Mr. Kitty! Yay! He's the best.

Mr. Puppy of course is also the best. He was all miserable during his bath and outraged afterward, but now he seems much more comfortable and he's all clean and shiny and soft.

So here are some requests I'd like to shoot out there into the ether:

less humidity
less heat
because then Hurricane Brain or whatever really backs off--heat kicks it into high gear
increased zooming around ability
decreased ravenous appetite also spurred on by the dang pills
concomitant decreased amplitude
increased ability to drive places and be functional and whatnot
concomitant increased incomeness

And that's a good start!

Toothpaste is kind of palate cleanser, come to think of it. Did you ever use that hippie Euro powder kind that really was just like cleanser? Guh, I can remember that nasty taste like it was just twenty-five years ago, give or take.

I'm looking forward to the guaranteed MUCH MORE INTERESTING next chapter of things! Yes I am! Whee! And this William Mayne book I've read a couple dozen times. Oh, it's so good, though. It's so good!

I'll be back Nano-ing tomorrow with my head all full of excellent bookery. Oh yes. Just you wait and see.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


But first, a bunny update:

There are so many bunnies! The babies are growing up fast and there seem to be more big ones around, too. Yesterday I went out in the early evening (silflay time) and it was just a bunny party, three over here, two over there, another one there, and a little one that turned and looked at me face to face when I talked to it, instead of the usual surveillance bunny side-eye.


I have a murderous headache today. By which I mean: it feels like it's trying to kill me from the inside out. Multiple bags under my eyes, can't see straight, eyes are killing me, I'm staggering around on noodly appendages, my hands seem to belong to someone else entirely, and I can't remember any passwords. It's not good is what I'm saying.

I have to drive to Harrisburg, but not today, hoo boy no! I had trouble walking down to the mailbox. And when the dog tried to eat some pretty bright red berries off a bush, I told him those weren't for little bears. Dogs. Not for little dogs! It was near the bear zone, that's all.

I want to chop back so many bushes out there, it's not even funny. But I really want a chipper to do it properly. Otherwise you just end up with an absolute mountain of nasty spiky dead bushes and that's no good to anyone. Though I did cut down some dead tree limbs yesterday. And only one fell on me! Win!

So anyway.

All kinds of good stuff is going on! Let's get excited about that!

1. I took the printer back apart and fixed what was wrong with it (which I caused the last time, when I had to take it apart to extract the tissue it ate) and put it all back together and NOW IT WORKS. So great! I love that!

2. New/old laptop didn't have a new enough Word, so it wouldn't open my files, but I found the disks and installed Word 2007 and now I can open files and write things and live happily ever after! Yay!

3. Also new/old laptop doesn't have internet capability. It's from before wifi was standard, how about that? I know it works with ethernet, though. And for wireless it has some kind of card you plug in or else you can use a USB modem but I suspect there will be drivers and whatnot needed. And anyway, how glorious is it to have a laptop that will not let me waste time on the internet, huh?

4. No offense, internet. You're awesome!

5. Anyway now I can sit anywhere and write things. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING. I want to chop up this heinous desk chair with my axe (but I won't) because it's so hideously uncomfortable. I kind of want to chop up my broken laptop collection with my axe, too. But I won't do that either.

6. Oh heck, no more excuses for not writing! Eeeeeeeeek!

7. I made this excellent quinoa salad with oranges, mango, onions, coconut, garlic, etc., and it is so very utterly good. And cold. Cold is good. It's ungodly hot and humid and I just don't function well with that.

8. I've been making outstanding progress editing the backblog. Soon narrative reunification will become a reality! Oh boy! It's so weird that having it separate and blocked off from access makes me feel like that part of my life doesn't belong to me. Or something. I don't know. It's bizarre.

9. I'm up for something that won't hire people who are in trouble with their student loans (which...hmm, I don't know) so I went and tackled all of that and they were like, "Holy crap! You owe vastly more than you could possibly pay based on your earnings, so don't pay anything!" And I was like, "Yeah, I know, which is why I haven't been." And then they were like, "Dude, we'll figure something out!" And anyway now I'm not worrying about it anymore, which is such a HUGE RELIEF it may have actually given me a migraine, if that's what this is.

10. Numbers! I did all this fancy Quicken report shenanigans to figure out how much I've spent on various categories and how much I've paid to all these medical and education bills in the first half of the year. And I learned so many interesting things. Like what I average on food and gas per week. And I paid huge sums to those medical and education bills. Mostly medical, mostly from last year, some from this year. Numbers are so interesting. I'm much better about facing numbers than in the past where I was all LA LA LA and hid my bills. Heh.

11. Mine goes to eleven! I reserved a truck to get my stuff from there to here. I still have to do math to figure out whether it would be more sensible (less expensive) just to drive up and back twice with my trailer. But the truck would be awesome because then it would be easy and DONE.

Goodness, there are many good things going on. Not to mention Harrisburg. Tomorrow seems to be the 4th of July, how did that happen? Banks are closed that day. I will make a turkey burger and wave my little flag in honor of MORE EQUALITY until it is ALL EQUALITY and other good things like that.

Anyway, I might do some desultory tidying and make tea and put on a t-shirt that is not my beloved Willamette University nightie and put the laptop on that little breakfast in bed table and sit on the bed and write things until I run out of brains (not long, I'm afraid) and then knit and read things until I run out of consciousness, then tip over sideways and fall asleep all snuggled up with my lovely dog. Mr. Kitty refuses to hang out upstairs since it's so hot. He spends a lot of time lying on the stone floor in the laundry room. He's a smart kitty, that one!

Actually I might make popcorn. I don't know why but I feel like that would help. And drink soda. I'm sure soda will help with the headache, though the thought of carbonation makes me flinch. My head hurts so much that having the fan blowing on it hurts. Ow.

This too shall pass!

Also it might well be the Migraine Of Relief. I tend to get them when the terrible stress gets taken away. Ow/yay!