I wrote three stories, and covered a fourth, which I'll have to write about tomorrow, in time for a 10 a.m. deadline. I think I can do it, but yeah, a hell of a start to the week.
I had a video chat with Andy this evening; I want to let him know that we're here for him to vent to, as he needs it. He's looking for work in all sorts of places, and waiting for his Washington Uber driving OK to come through; I knew that work and available cash was going to be their stressor really soon after they got to Seattle, but knowing it doesn't make it any easier to watch. And of course, they knew it was going to be difficult at first - but knowing it and experiencing it are completely different things. Sent them some good vibes, if you think about it, eh?
I did clear up one potential glitch in my efforts to get a new Canadian passport - I'd simply downloaded the wrong form, which was giving me wrong, and very worrisome, information about the process I need to go through. Thank heavens it was, as I found out today, wrong.
I still haven't uploaded our Seattle visit pics. Then again, I don't intend to inflict too many more of those on you, My Faithful Readers.
In less than a week, Andy and Emily will take off for their eight-day trip, u-haul trailer and all, to Seattle. They're in the last crazy days of packing, always in need of more boxes, and terribly behind. Which is absolutely normal for moving, but I feel for them. If I have any evening time this week, I'll go over and offer what help I may.
I've determined that I have another week of vacation available to take this year, and I'm going to ask to be cleared to take it the third week of September. That will allow Bob and me (wow - that's grammatical, but sounds weird) to fly out to Seattle, with their cats, Tommy and Lily. We'll be babysitting the cats while they drive out and get settled into their new place. Thank god, they found a place they could afford, 20 minutes outside the city. Emily has found a couple of part-time nanny gigs that she can handle on top of her classes, and Andy, who hasn't yet found a job in his field, says he'll Uber until he can. With GPS, one doesn't have to be familiar with where one's driving, I suppose.
Argh. I'm worried.
Today, we got rid of some medical records and such that go back mostly to 2014, but a few that go back to 2010. None of them are necessary at this point. It allows us to clear out a section of the office which we've sort of planned to make the visiting kitties' space - we have a cat tree, so the old cat tree, which Bob was able to cut down by one level* has been moved in there for the micro-cats (they're full grown and still only half the size of Phil and Opie.) That's where their litter box will be as well, oh joy. Still, it's only for two weeks.
I got my hair cut, and I'm about to take a shower to get ready for karaoke shenanigans. Why karaoke, you ask?
Because tonight, we're invited to a goodbye party thrown by some of their close friends. It's at a favorite bar of theirs, where, I am reliably told by my first born, There Will Be
Still not breathing easily, in the least. (Which is doubly weird, and not a little unnerving, since his blood is very nicely oxygenated, thanks to his nasal cannula.) He has an infection, they've decided to try to deal with it with steroids. He's extremely unhappy, and I'm worried about his inability to sleep in hospital. As some of you may remember, BB+hospital+extended lack of sleep=potential hospital psychosis.
I managed to get two stories written today, which meant my boss wasn't breathing down my neck. And to be fair, he sent his wishes along for Bob.
I'm going to crash now.
Bob's in hospital with pneumonia, and possibly influenza as well.
I took him in to the emergency room at midnight Tuesday-Wednesday; he'd developed what we both hoped wasn't flu last Friday; fever, aches, etc. He went to ground and stayed in bed all Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. He was incredibly congested, with a cough that brought up ugly stuff, and had difficulty breathing - not good for someone with emphysema - but Tuesday night, he got up and thought he was doing better. Until I noticed his breathing was even more shallow, he was unsteady on his feet, and he wasn't making any sense anymore. Not enough oxygen.
They admitted him quickly, which meant that they were still waiting for the bureaucratic crap to be completed at 3 a.m. Bob sent me home while I could still drive, and he finally got a room at 4 a.m. I got into bed at 4:30 a.m., slept like shit until 10 a.m. and have largely been at the hospital since noon. I'm back now. Took today off, but probably can't do that tomorrow. Andy and Em will keep me a little company tonight, and I'll fall into bed at 9 or so.
Wish him luck, please. He hates hospitals - they haven't treated him well, even though they've saved his life a couple of times. Hospital psychosis is not a good thing. He doesn't sleep at hospitals, which is a sure route to hospital psychosis.
I'm exhausted. I'm calling it a day. Guess I got wordy after all.
Every year, I try to write something about this country on July 4, because I love it.
(Oh sure, you do, kaffyr ... how come you're not a citizen?)
But this year, after eight months of surreality -
(What makes a country great? What makes it great again? How can it become great for the first time?)
I find that I cannot.
(Some must think that makes me a traitor. Some must think I must be spineless. Some must think it makes me a patriot. I think it makes me confused.)
I still love it.
(Can't figure out why, except that it's still got a chance to be great, and isn't that almost enough?)
So I turn to music.
This man's guitar killed fascists.
This man was prescient in so many ways, but he was wrong about the revolution. Or maybe he'll still be right. It's apparently the counter-revolution that's being televised.
This American Woman slays - and she frightens racists.
And this one ... I forgive him for forgetting that there were a lot of folks here when the Mayflower arrived, because ... because, because, because, and partly because of the beauty of their two voices. Every year this one makes me weep more.
In an effort to make Monday less apt to be the first through ninth circles of Hell, I'm doing some workday work on Saturday. I'm giving myself two hours to get some reasonable things done, (checking backgrounds on candidates, uploading a police blotter, sending emails with questions to the candidates I haven't reached yet, which probably means having to hunt up emails, and telling people they can call me on Sunday), and then I"m going to tell myself to relax again.
And, hey, I may even have something to say beyond this, later today. We'll see.
... and then the week that truly was from hell hit me. Last night I lost the last of my spoons. I went to bed without having posted anything.
Still, I have been better at posting this month than I've been for quite some time. And, hey, I'm getting back up on the bicycle, and posting now, amn't I? Which, when I put it that way, sounds extremely defensive, but then I've been feeling rather defensive for the past 48 or so hours.
I'm not going to go into all the awfulness of Wednesday through today, at least not today. And certainly, my stress is ongoing, as is the difficult time at work. But tonight, my beloved took me out to our favorite sushi place, and it was so relaxing just to sit and talk with him, drink miso soup and eat chirashi and mackerel jaw, that I don't want to think about anything else. (BB actually pointed out, when I said that, that it's the only one we go to, but that's not completely true and anyway, even if we did go out to other sushi places, this is the one I think I'd like the most.)'
It's Friday, and I am home, and I'm going to watch something enjoyable with BB, and then I'm going to go to bed and cuddle with him, put my head on his chest, and try to unknot my stomach.
What Sympathetic Magic Should I Perform to Help the Cubs?
Don't watch the game, for god's sake!
Watch the game, for god's sake!
Fingers in ears, sing la-la-la!
Sacrifice to the gods of baseball
No, better, sacrifice to the dark gods, that'll go well!
All of the above
None of the above
Again I say - cats!
1. Obsessed over every episode of Game of Thrones, without ever watching a single episode. Yes, I've watched every scene on YouTube that YouTubers can offer me, loads of reviews and responses. No, I don't have HBO, and ... it's stupid of me. But I'm going to be so upset at the end of the season next Sunday.
2. Thrown out all the Marion Zimmer Bradley books I've had on my shelf for years. I'd thought I'd keep a couple of books of hers that were important to me because of how they shaped my love for SF&F, and for the sense of wonder they engendered in me. In the end, I couldn't keep any of them. It was a decision a long time in coming, and it was the first time in my life I have ever thrown books out. I don't believe I shall ever do it again. But for me it was the right thing to do. I couldn't stomach giving them to a second-hand store.
3. Picked up the partly empty drink cup a well-made up gym rat had left on her seat as she headed out the L train door to get to a Cubs game, handed it to her (or her friend, the even more made-up gym rat) and "asked" her to throw it away in a garbage can once she got onto the platform, since "I believe it belongs to you." She did. I am ashamed of being petty about their looks. I should not be that way, since I support anyone's right to decorate their body in the way they see fit. I can only point to my upbringing and say it's hard to escape the attitudes I grew up experiencing when it comes to make-up. On the other hand, I am very glad I told her pick up her damn trash. Politely.
4. Became an employee of tronc. Yes, tronc. tronc. tronc. Mother of fucking god.
5. Wrote a little more of "Hearts & Moons." Go, me.
Tuesday: More Sinead
Wednesday: Union rep at two discipline hearings, 1 clearcut, 1 less so. Learned I'd be getting another town added to my beats, with at least 3 more beats in said town.
Thursday: Can't remember, because of Monday-Wednesday. Not enough stories written
Friday: Results of discipline hearings. Teh Suck. Not enough stories written.
BUT ... This
Also, old-fashioned jazz, and a mimosa.
And a very handsome husband.
Maybe things are looking up?
- Happy almost-belated birthday to the estimable beamjockey; I hope your day was great!
- I hate Microsoft Outlook. That is all.
- OK, three things: did you know that the art of fixing a water main is actually pretty darned interesting? No, you did not. But I know, because I learned about it today. And took pictures of a broken water main being repaired. I even got hit in the head by a small bit of rock that was being blown out of the hole by a huge water sucking vacuum. Physics, baby ....
- OK four things. Dreamwidth isn't letting me make bullet points tonight. Argh. EDIT: now it is. Yay.
- And four: my mouth hurts, Bert!
And work glitches shouldn't interfere with enjoying them
Thank ghu for good days. Even though I had to work today, and even though I hadn't realized until Thursday that I was working a weekend shift, it's still a good day today.
First, because my work day is over, and I actually managed to write two stories. Second, because one of those stories was a fluffy feature about my town's holiday parade, which necessitated me going to see the parade this morning
We-e-e-ll, I say "necessitated" ... I should say I had the great good luck to have a parade to go to.
I love parades. I have ever since I was a wee little thing. I don't believe I'll ever get too old for them, and I don't really care if they're huge, long processions or little dinky community affairs, as this one was. There's just something about the positive vibes - yes, that's pretty woo-woo, I acknowledge - about seeing floats and marching bands, hearing bagpipes, all the bright colors, waving at the participants and having them wave back - even the clowns and the Shriner mini-cars, they all press my childhood buttons of wonder and special occasion and festival. And with the tiny parades, there's an added sense of shared community; everyone's smiling, kids are generally having at least a bit of fun, even the older ones, and people are willing to let their barriers down and talk to you.
So I got to wander around and ask people if they were having fun, and see loads of people I knew - even had someone come out of the parade and give me a hug. I've definitely been on my beat long enough to say "I know this town," at least a little bit.
Once I got home, and a little thawed out - it was 42 degrees Fahrenheit, which was better than it has been over the past week, but my fingers still got numb - I wrote up the story and sent it to the duty editor. And then it was on to an actual news story that I'd done the interviews for a couple of days ago. And then I was able to end my day.
Why does this fairly pedestrian activity relax me and even make me a tad joyful? Because for the first three days of the week, I was in an unpleasantly high state of tension, for a reason that hasn't happened to me in a while.
( Non-parade, slightly crappy, you've been warned )
Ahem; this seems to have turned into a long angsty post.
But I'm happy! I've been able to do a post, and I went to a parade! And I have a glass of wine next to me, and BB and I are about to watch a movie! And I made cookies, too many of which I've ingested! And tomorrow is a day off! And Thanksgiving is coming, which I love! So there are a lot of positives! And many, many exclamation points!!
Offspring, cars, long meetings, negotiations done over the phone, stories on deadline and past it. Yes, it's been that kind of a day. I am going to go to bed now. What I'd love to do tomorrow is post something long, and thoughtful, on something in life that is, well, long. And thoughtful.
What I would not like to do tomorrow is post anything that is grumpy, kvetchy, or anything of the sort.
So, Happy Tuesday to all, even before I finish Monday. Perhaps that will give me a running start on the second day of the working week.
( Yup. That kind of day. )
It's great in one way, because I know it's leading to a long weekend. But it's not great unless you can get a lot of work done. And while I certainly managed to do one thing that's needed doing for some time - organizing my desk and finally bringing myself to throw away about three years of interview and meeting notes that I really don't need as much as I thought I did - I only got one story done today.
I am a grumpy kaffyr right now. Monday is going to be fairly long and Tuesday is going to be an absolute bear for reasons that I'm not going to talk about right now, and I should have used Sunday to prepare for it all. Even focusing on all the great clearing up I did (and I did clear through enough that my paper recycling garbage can, which was completely empty, is now half full; that's two feet thick of packed down paper, people) doesn't quite make up for it. Because I'm never satisfied, obviously.
Still - long weekend coming up, and I had a pretty darned good week to look back at in the rear view mirror.
Also, BB made corned beef hash for supper, and I made gingerbread and whipped cream for dessert. And that's not bad, either.
*signs off, trying to whistle "you've got to ac-CEN-tu-ate the positive, e-LIM-in-ate the negative, latch ON to the affirmative, don't mess with Mr. inbetween" before brushing her teeth and bedding down for the night*
Well, that's my way of saying that yes, I'm having my usual stressful life; yes, union stuff is crazy (Union Puppy pulled some amazing shit, of the Jesus, why am I not slapping your puling-infant-callow-assed self into next week variety); yes, that includes a week of hours of arbitration prep on frakkin' deadline day, followed by hours of actual arbitration testimony; yes, my workload continues to be insane, because we haven't yet triumphed over the 2.5 story per day mandate and yes, I'm not making it (2.1 and 2.4 per day appear to be my word-ceiling); yes, my body appears to be falling slowly into that less-than-gentle disrepair one occasionally sees in once-proud mansions (more than this deponent saith not, because TMI, yo) ....
.... but ....
My son and his lovely beloved have found an affordable nest in which to land; my doctor (a little to my delighted surprise) has given me good advice on how to deal with my back spasm - back X-ray, Robaxin, a referral to a physical therapist, and a directive to use a wheelie suitcase for my laptop et al - rather than look at me and say, "Oh, that's too bad, tough it out;" I may be able to do a good thing for a friend, if I can figure out logistics; there were no clouds in the sky today; I did 35 miles of backstreet Chicago in my little Hyundai to be a Union Ninja and I was only half an hour late; I am having Date Night with the best Father In the Whole World tonight; and I have wine with supper and BAMs chillin' in the refrigerator.
So ... yeah ... hi, friends! I know many of you have had birthdays, or will soon, and I want to wish you all great natal anniversaries. I shall try to do that tomorrow. I'll also try to catch up with all of you, and comment, and generally get back into posting, and the society of lovely people with whom I like to interact online.
More, anon? Yeah, we'll leave it at that, tonight.
1. My brother will have having quintuple bypass surgery Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. I'm still painfully in the dark by my lights - although not by my little brother's - and wish I could just get the fuck up there. Can't, so I'll pray down here. I've talked to Mum a bit, as well.
2. I got into this here Intarwebz fandom and far more than that, through a site called Television Without Pity. That was back in 2006. I learned ... so much from the people I met there, gained so much from them, learned about myself. It's shutting down next week. I'll write about that more later, when I'm not a scattered mess. It seems so odd that that is weighing on my mind as much as Mac's bypass surgery. The mind does weird things, doesn't it? Weird fucking things. And yes, the word "fuck" seems to be the only one I can think of using.
More. Later. Probably.
Mac won't know until tomorrow at least what type of bypass (i.e. single, double, triple) or when they're going to do it, but the test they did today confirmed that the biggest occlusion was far bigger than they originally thought.
Since Halifax is being hit by a monster winter storm right now, I was worried about his cat and dog, but friends are taking care of them. I also managed to get the name of a couple of his doctors out of him, and his girlfriend's phone number. (He asked me "why do you want those?" and I resisted saying a number of very sarcastic things and just said "For the same reason you wanted numbers when Mum was in hospital." A moment of silence followed, and I got the information.)