Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Oh, writing is hard, big news

I am actually more sympathetic to my own plight than that sounds. Why so mean, title of post? Back off!

I'm starting on my Very Difficult Writing Assignment with a non-stellar 1200 words of utter malarkey that turns huge events and mysteries of my life into trite observations in an entirely inappropriate jocular tone. Bah! Suck! Fail!

So that didn't go so well.

I started reading my assigned work and got very distracted by a) random sentences in another language, b) that's definitely Turkish, c) yep, confirmed, d) this is self-edited and self-published isn't it? because wow, needs copyediting, and e) one character's job is to put dogs to sleep, how am I supposed to read a whole book about that?

But fortunately: the drugs are kicking in. I can read about that without being a sodden mess the entire time. Is that good? I don't know. It's where I am.

There are a few pictures of me from this bout of education over the past few weeks. Okay, one that I didn't take myself. But still! One! That's progress. I was better off in terms of how well I managed things. In other words, I still went ACK UGH NO any time I had to go to anything (all day every day) or be around people (ACK UGH NO) (even though I really liked 90% of everyone 90% of the time) but I was able to hoist myself up out of ack-ville and make myself go. And the post-game was better.

Do you do the morbid post-game? Where you dissect everything and relive every stupid thing you may have said and find the worst possible interpretation you can put on anything that may have happened? Me neither. Okay, I lie, I totally do that. It's what makes being around people so exhausting. Well, that and the part where I have to be around people.

All I can think from the pictures is: a) that is one big pink face, b) wrapping shawls around my already broad shoulders as I always do makes me look about four feet across, c) I have tiny little pig eyes. Really it's good there's only one picture.

Me and my giant pink face. I don't know.

Anyway. There was stupid drama where supposed professionals were just outrageously, gratuitously unprofessional to me. I can't imagine why these people still have jobs. I have the same job they do and if I had done what this person did, I'd have been fired on the spot. Honestly.

I did pour out half a cup of cold tea on a parking lot and call down the wrath of the first wrathful deity who came to mind on that person. But I don't really think that will have any effect. Still, you never know!

And I lost my giant beloved green/blue plaid blanket scarf on the plane. Woe! So I bought two more on Monday. You can't get them online, only in stores (Target), and they were already on clearance. I sort of panicked. I nearly bought three. Smart, or madness, to put one of those three back? Consider that in addition to those, I got a gray one, a white one, a red and blue one, and a thick knitted snuggly wrap about half an inch thick. Clearance, man!

There's just nothing as warm and snuggly as these great big blanket scarves.

I'm still exhausted and caught a little bit of a cold, but not bad at all so far. I'm gradually catching up with things like dishes (ran and emptied the dishwasher) and laundry (not even started) and getting my actual non-metaphorical house in order (hahahahahaha).

The best thing is that there is all this roasted veg that pre-trip me made for post-trip me, for which post-trip me is eternally grateful. Isn't that funny? I know it was me, but I feel so touched by that person's thoughtful kindness! I feel like someone did something super nice for me. Awww!

Anyway besides the roasted veg there's a bunch of cheese and some potatoes and squash and not much else, so I need to go to the store. I've been dipping into my emergency cereal and soup stash so I have to replace that stuff in case we have a nuclear war next week when the cheeto tries pressing the button on the nukes just to make sure it works.

I watched the most bananas clip of Putin today. He was explaining that Russia wouldn't have been surveilling the cheeto because he was just a rich guy back then, plus the cheeto has access to plenty of women so why would he need to hire prostitutes, but also Russia has the very best prostitutes, of course. Like...what? I thought this dude at least was relatively sane in comparison to the cheeto, but no, he is utterly bananacakes in the brainpan. What kind of logic is that? Not one single part of it makes any sense.

It's fascinating to watch someone speak when you don't know the language, though. He was obviously lying about the first part and then just making nonsense points the rest of the time, just saying stuff that seemed to be tangentially related and made sense in his mental space.

We are in deep hraka, you guys. This is like the Cold War only it's the Crazy War. The Manchurian Candidate meets Doctor Strangelove. I had better buy a lot more soup and cereal.

The hotel bed spoiled me for my busted up old mattress, which now seems utterly uncomfortable, even with my lovely animals snuggled up against me. And the time change screwed me up too. I mean, it was easy to go to sleep right away when I was going to bed at 10 Pacific, which is 1 a.m. Eastern. In both places I wake up at 5 a.m. and can't get back to sleep, which is very irritating, let me tell you.

I just downloaded an app this morning in that nightmarish still dark can't sleep wide awake time. It plays all sorts of burbly water sounds or wind through the trees or rain on the roof or whatnot, which already this morning made a huge difference. The trouble is that it's dead silent and the RRRRROOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM a semi races past at 60 or 65 mph and shakes the house, and then it's dead silent again. I could probably get used to constant noise, but this is not great. I did not miss that one bit!

At some point soon I'll have to score the various things about this house and decide what to do in April, stay or move. Positives: I'm already here, good landlord, great house, nice garden, small yard, power stays on, etc. Negatives: the road, the road noise, the trucks shaking everything, the dust from the road, THE ROAD IN GENERAL, fear of dog and road, interrupted sleep, nowhere I can walk, nowhere I can walk TO, and the rent is too high.

I think bobcats go in the positive column. Anyway they're everywhere. Ubiquitous bobcats! That's my new band name.

Tomorrow I hope to suck at writing a little bit less. Here's hoping!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Twice in two days

Shoveling, that is. Though two days ago, the landlord and his sons did the hard part, which is to say the 3-5 feet where the plow fills the bottom of the driveway several feet deep with heavy, hard packed snow.

I went out to do that part first instead of last today, and then a nice man with a plow on his pickup truck stopped and cleared most of it for me in two passes. Jeez! That was AWESOME! Thank you, nice man!

I really don't want to buy a snowblower because a) it's almost as much work as shoveling, truly, b) it's big and heavy, c) it's expensive, d) I need and want and enjoy the exercise. But the plow truck really had me thinking about whether I might not want one of those. Can you put a plow on a Jeep Grand Cherokee?

One minute of research reveals that you can but it's kind of a bad idea because of the way they're built. Good to know!

Basically I want a great big pickup truck but with a roof on it, and not a cap, either--an inside that I can move around in. I wonder what that would be? I bet the local Ford dealership would be happy to help me with that question. When the time comes!

Meanwhile I just have to resist the constant pressure to go get a snow blower. Nobody likes to see a middle aged plump lady out shoveling snow, apparently! I will just have to get less plump so nobody worries so much, jeez. Right now I'm eating the rest of the Pecan Sandies that I bought in flipping August in preparation for No Stupid Food 2017.

We shall see how that goes. Stupid food includes anything from the snack aisle, as well as anything with wheat because I'm very sensitive to it, as well as anything with preservatives because I'm highly allergic to them. I know, I know. Pecan Sandies fail on all three counts! But I'm finishing them up anyway.

No Stupid Food should be a lot of work but also awesome. I do not want to eat stupid food! But then I get super hungry and irrational and eat things I shouldn't have, which also I shouldn't have bought in the first place, so there. Anyway my apocalypse pantry is full of cans of soup and things now, so I can always go to that stuff instead of putting a whole block of cheese in my mouth. (Cheese is not stupid. Cheese is glorious. But being immoderate about cheese is unwise.)

I just packed my suitcase in a manner that I have never even dreamed about before. Six tops, neatly rolled to fit exactly and stood up on end and in a row. Six long silky white shirts that I wear under the tops, neatly rolled and in a row. I broke the pattern and laid the pants out in the other third of my carryon, though. Maybe I should get back in there and roll them. It's so ridiculously neat and orderly and it's so easy to find everything! Madness! All my things so neatly arranged! It looks like Pinterest did my packing for me.

Don't remind me that I still have to get a sweater and a raincoat in there, though. My raincoat folds up super small. My sweater does not. Outside pockets of suitcase are still empty, however! All three! There is plenty of room still available. The inside isn't even full. I can bring my giant black watch plaid blanket scarf that I can't live without.

Anyway, the dishwasher is running, I've eaten almost every bit of the food and leftovers in the fridge, except the cheese and root veg, which will keep, and I've shoveled the driveway and packed my suitcase and even moved wallet things into my tiny old Etienne Aigner wallet on a string that I got at an outlet in the 80s. I'm really really working hard on traveling light, huh? No big bulky wallet even! I usually use one of those big ones that can hold a checkbook.

Even so, I will have to dump out new purse (black fake leather from Target) and take out the fifteen chapsticks and other crazy things that have no doubt wriggled into it already.

This is a war between "but I might need it!" and "there is no room." Also "but I might need it!" tends to come with imaginary scenarios where I desperately need that one thing and don't have it. If I had my way, I'd be bringing an inflatable raft and life jacket and crash helmet, in case of tsunami, you know.

Here is the official USGS document on how to survive a tsunami. https://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/c1187/

Basically it says to get to high ground immediately and stay there, and remember that there will be a whole series of waves, mostly likely, not just one.

I really hope we don't get earthquakes and tsunami while I'm sitting right on the Cascadia fault, but it could happen.

Business as usual in my anxious brain, huh?

I just heard that the utter jackass who was so awful to deal with all fall was a complete and utter jackass to a friend of mine this week, too, and so now people believe me, which is...nice? Awful for my friend, but vindicating for me, I suppose. This behavior, it's just completely rude and aware of the rudeness and unapologetic. Like a cartoon rude guy. Like an internet troll. From someone we have a professional relationship with, who should be much better than this.

I actually seriously wonder now whether he has a brain tumor or something. This behavior has to be kind of new or there's no way he'd still be employed. Though come to think of it, they totally did not believe me when I reported it, so who knows.

I remain so very grateful that I did not let either of the jackass twins touch my novel this fall. Sheesh!

Anyway we got all kinds of new info about school when we discovered that a huge email had not been forwarded from the University's email to our regular email, for either of us. Isn't that weird? I wonder why? It wasn't in junk or trash or anything, either. I think that's odd. But now I know that I'm staying in the hotel further from the ocean (thank goodness--TSUNAMI) and I get my own room, which is awesome. The school had asked whether I'd share, so I said I would if it was my one friend, but she wanted her own room too, so we get singles, yay!

Post-shoveling exercise stupor is holding me down pretty good right now. It's such a mellowing agent. Also the hot bubble bath that follows does not hurt. My job right now is to drink water (got that going) and make any last changes or additions to the novel draft before tomorrow. Wait, before Tuesday! It's due Tuesday, not tomorrow. Yessssss! I always want one more day. I guess everyone does!

There was the bluest sky this morning when I was shoveling! It was so bright out with all the snow and sun that I kept squinching my eyes shut involuntarily. I got totally pink in the face, from exertion as well as possibly from sunburn, at least it feels like that now. My dog is so beautiful!




It's supposed to snow again Tuesday, maybe, though the weather reports keep changing from rain to snow and back again, over and over. I don't have to shovel rain, but snow is much less messy.

Whoops, I just fell asleep sitting up in my armchair, ha ha. I might be a little bit tired out, eh?