Working Wednesday, June 23, 2020

Yesterday, I ended up with so much on my plate that I forgot to meet Bob in Slack at 5 to talk about character arc. Fortunately, Bob is a pretty laid back guy unless we’re talking about prologues, so he let me off the hook. I still had to get groceries, wrestle the recycling to the curb, try to fix the air conditioner and then get the same air conditioner out of the bedroom, plus the various other things that take up time: cooking, showering, trying to get all the clothes off the floor, yelling at Milton to get his butt out of the road, the usual. I was a little frazzled by the end of the day, but then I looked back and thought, “These are not problems. You have no problems.” Because work is not a problem, it just gets in the way of my reading and writing.

And now it’s late on Wednesday, and I’m rereading Murderbot and Rivers of London, and I have PLENTY of Diet Coke and brioche in rolls (because they didn’t have bread, damn it, and what’s with the lack of bok choy at TWO different groceries? Is bok choy the toilet paper equivalent in the vegetable aisle?), so I’m going to kick back and have dinner before midnight when WaPo puts up the new crossword.

What did you work on this week?

45 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, June 23, 2020

  1. I finished writing my presentation for my Italian class on the Sibyl of Cumae, a priestess of Apollo who is very famous from myth (Virgil and Ovid both wrote about her). But now I’ve got actually, you know, translate it into Italian. Right now it’s in some weird mish-mash. Italish? Engliano? I’d also really like to make some Google Slides to present over our Zoom class, but that may be beyond my technical ability.

    I’m also having a lot of fun writing “Never Have I Ever” fanfiction. Teenagers are way out of my comfort zone, so I aged them up to young adults. It’s also been a long time since I’ve even been a young adult, but it’s a little easier.

    I kind of resisted writing it, but then I got into what I like to call “taking dictation from the universe” mode, where dialogue (just dialogue, rarely any visuals or emotion) kept popping into my head whether I wanted it to or not. This is the part that is fun for me, where I just write it all out longhand in no order and it feels playful. Typing it? Figuring out what the hell to do with it? Not quite as fun, but still satisfying. I think I have figured out what the middle scene or maybe most crucial scene is. It’s somewhat inspired by Cal serenading Minnie with Elvis in “Bet Me”, so thank you for that 😉 I’ve also found the song that is going to be ‘their song’ that guides me, so that’s usually a good sign.

    It’s funny last summer, I quit most social media/internet news with the hope I’d get bored enough to clean more. Instead I discovered lots of new music (Scary Pockets and Pomplamoose) and dove into a big fanfic project (One Day at a Time). This summer, so far I’ve discovered Choir! Choir! Choir! and started a new enormous fanfic project. (shrug) It’s like I don’t even notice my creativity has dried up until it comes back. The house is still not particularly clean, but eh. I yam what I yam.

    I’d like to say that I’ve learned my lesson and will permanently stay off social media (no issue with it for other people, it’s just not good for me) but we’ll see. I’ve thought that before 🙂

  2. I got the big quilt back from the longarmer, and machine stitched the first half of the binding. I handstitch the other side, so that will take me a while. In the meantime, Wendy decided it was the perfect place to nap. I know you’re used to seeing cats on top of my quilts, but this time it is a little different.

    Meanwhile, work continues to be work. I have a temporary work space in the dining room, which has a huge window that faces east. Once the sun gets over the house across the street, that area heats up fast – and the light coming in through the unshaded semi-circular window at the top is almost unbearable for an hour or so. But once it gets past 10:30 am, I open up the shades and enjoy people watching as folks walk/jog/bike up and down the street. It’s a nice distraction.

    I bought the house from a widow who was moving in with her kids (she passed away a couple of years later – and I was still getting her mail). Anyway, I think her kids gave her plants, which then got plopped in various places around the yard. It explains the one hyacinth, and one calla lily (and perhaps the one gardenia bush) in the front garden. There is a lily in the back yard. It actually bloomed this year, most likely because we had pruned back the pear tree that is over it. So, a surprise to me – although not a surprise lily. I’ll post a picture in the next comment.

    1. What’s really different in this picture is which cat is decorating the quilt. It really gave me a start because back when I lived in Minneapolis my best friends had 2 cats, a black and white and a tortoiseshell. I have seen your black and white cat upon many a quilt, but when I saw your other “helper” this week I thought I was having a flashback.

      Lovely quilt and amazing cat.

      1. Ah. Wendy is a torti-tuxedo, while Teddy is a true tux. Then there is Maggie, the tabby, and Stanley the buff tabby. All different, but all like to help themselves to any quilt on the floor. 🙂

        And thanks for noticing!

        1. It is my pleasure. If allergies prevent me from having a cat of my own, at least I can enjoy the pictures.

  3. I was on a roll last Sunday!

    My patio had been a disaster, with a bike out taking up all the space to be cleaned (only half accomplished and tires still flat ha). So, after walking the puppers, I tackled it in the morning (and evening before). Replanted things, moved things, dusted things (whacked the rugs on the banister), watered and got rid of dead foliage. Finally called it on the gardenias and pulled out the dead twigs and rechristianed the pot and trellis for a vine I can apparently keep alive.

    After that I tackled our pantry side closet space where house hold things go to die. It now has empty space!!! I do a dance every time I walk into it!

    Then we cleaned the apartment.

    Then I napped for 5 hours to recover. 🤣

    This week, I’m trying to work on a bigger crochet blanket. I get some steam but them tire of it quickly, and I’d like to get it shipped soon with a batch of blankets to my cousins. It’s kind of close to being done – definitely past the halfway point. I’ve got 2-3 whole skeins left, but I thought I had one more than the reality so am a bit disappointed there. Hopefully there’s enough for the size to make sense.

    Otherwise, work. The balance is largely returned, but someone’s out on vacation, so we’ll see if that stays true.

    And thassit!

  4. Today we are pouring concrete. Lots and lots of concrete. Well, probably only lots of concrete but since we lost our extra helper to a real job to will seem like more. I will post pics tomorrow after it’s all in and set up a bit. Also, we are setting in some posts for the gate to the side yard. It’s not that fancy, it just keeps the dogs out of my hostas and acts as secondary prevention so they can’t get out the front gate. Then there’s some more weeding, gravel and solar lights to put in along the path (fingers crossed Fred doesn’t decide to chew on them) and maybe some string lights to hang.


      I know it’s just sidewalk but it’s so pretty!!! The yard looks like crap and there are tools and crud all over the place but I guess it’s a factor in the “it has to look worse before it looks better” thing. Today the driveway/parking pad is being lowered and fresh gravel is being put in. This is another thing that will go a long, long way to making spring less messy in our yard, the spring run-off actually running off. Also, we have told the concrete guy, Jim, that we want to refinish our concrete steps so that’s happening too.

  5. It was my son’s birthday on Saturday, and his girlfriend’s birthday on Monday. So, Sunday we celebrated both. I made a barbecue brisket which slow cooked all day, coleslaw, pickles, cheese, potato chips, and buns were the only sides. Then I made a cheesecake topped with unsweetened chocolate and strawberry glaze, served it with mixed berries and whipped cream. Yum!

    We watched the new movie, The King of Staten Island, which we all loved. It was two hours fifteen minutes in length but I didn’t notice the time. Loved the dialogue.

    Yesterday I did three hours of gardening in an attempt to work off all those calories but I barely made a dent.

  6. I envy all of you who can make yourself do yard work.

    Today I managed to get to the chiropractor for the first time in months, and it’s right next to a real Tim Hortons. I have eaten three donuts and am hiding the last one from myself. Strangely, I don’t feel like eating lunch.

    It’s a beautiful day, maybe I can get a second walk in later.

    1. I envy those of you who have yards (not that I would get any of the necessary work done for it).

    2. I feel there’s great ecological value in wilderness. Therefore, I do minimal garden work, mainly to try and keep the invasive weeds under control. Or anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  7. I got through our first long heat wave and our first large family group video call.

    And I’ve been eyeing getting onto Instagram, but hubby now tells me I can only do that by phone. Which has me rethinking taking it on because eyeing things on a tiny phone screen not so much my thing.

    So instead today, aside from writing, I’m honouring Saint-Jean Baptiste Day, the fête nationale around these parts, and eyeing this crossword puzzle thing you mentioned. Which hopefully can be done on the big screen:)

    1. You have to use the Instagram app to post (I have an iPad, so I use it on that, which makes it bigger), but I always look at Instagram in my browser – either on the iPad or my desktop. Not only does that mean everyone’s pictures are bigger and I can type any comments easily, but the adblockers I have on both browsers mean it’s a hassle-free experience. (I just leave a tab open on Instagram, so I can easily skip over and look at new posts.)

    2. I installed the DP-Instagram plug-in in Firefox. That lets you post from your computer. Much better than just a phone!

      1. Must check this out! I stopped using Instagram because I resented giving them access to my phone.

  8. I spent some time in the yard, planting bulbs, annuals and a few more herbs in the new raised bed. We dug up the dead camellia and put something new in. We have had three plants in the same spot. None have done well, if this one dies, I’m giving up on the spot and will let grass take it over.

    The yard is still not mowed, I might loose a dog in it soon.

    I have an appointment tomorrow to take a quilt in to be quilted. They are great but I need to find someone closer. Mu husband is encouraging me to do the training so I can rent time on a long arm machine.

  9. I have 29 named characters in Lavender’s Blue. That seems like a lot.

    Of course I have fifteen named characters in Lily so far (at least that’s what I can think of off the top of my head) and that’s not even going to be a book.

    Bjorn Anderson, Cheryl Frey, Dorothy Gale, Elsebet Anderson, ? Ferris, Fin Anderson, Jessica ?, John Doe, Lily Frey, Louis Lewis, Nadia, Sebastian Lewis,Trixie ?, Vanessa?, Violet?

    Sue me, I like a community.

    Still 30 . . . Well, 28 really. Two are dead and shows up only briefly in a memory or by mention. 28 is still too many. Argh.

  10. Yesterday I shredded bank statements that went back to 2008. It was about time. Was going to continue today but my husband’s kindle crapped out and would not turn on. I tried the usual troubleshooting tactics with no results, so now it is charging at the computer for a few hours and we shall see what happens. Neither one of us is technology savvy. This morning he tried to call customer service at Amazon and there were no live people available to talk to. Aren’t they all working from home? Another odd thing that I discovered today was I’m waiting for a package to be delivered and went to track it via USPS and they wanted to charge a fee for tracking services. I’m totally dumbfounded. Today is my grandson’s birthday. Of course we gave him some money with hopes that he’ll use some of to get a haircut.

    1. Amazon’s chat customer service is excellent.

      You don’t have to pay for tracking, but they do try to get you to sign up for some fancier service.

      1. After five hours attached to the mother ship his kindle is now up and running. And I’m going to check tomorrow on Amazon Chat CSR for further questions.

        In the meantime I forgot I did make something this past week. I had a pair of dangle earrings that looked better on Macy’s turntable than my ears and never really wore them. I took them apart removing the bottom dangle and adding a black pearl to each oval drop. Much better suited to my small face than than the original.

  11. Breaking down boxes and collecting recycling. Laundry — bedding. I like when it’s nice and clean, even if it’s a bit of a pain. I have two new pillows and new pillow protectors, so the bed is all comfy now. I spent time trying to corral the files and notes for my novel. I’m fine using MS Word to write in — I have since the very first version — but it’s the plethora of accessory files that makes me nuts: scenes, backstory, more scenes, the bar fight scene, words and names, three different files of notes, chapters …. I often have several of them open at once, which is also a pain. I’ve been looking at software to help, but Scrivener seems to be the one touted as the best but having a steep learning curve. Not like I don’t have lots of time for it.

    Not a super-productive week, but it’s something.

    1. I’ve never been able to make Scrivener work for me. It’s just not my process.

      So yeah, I have files strewn all over three computers. Not good.

    2. I don’t think Scrivener was that hard, but it was some years ago so I’ve forgotten the fancy bits (I wrote notes, but would have to study them again). I use the iPad version all the time for research and ideas, but am just going back to the iMac program for my big fiction project. I have a feeling I haven’t used it as well as I might have, mostly because I’ve had long gaps between the various goes I’ve had at that project.

      I think Scrivener is helpful for me at the research, brainstorming and drafting stages, when I was frustrated by Word; but on the other hand I ended up exporting my 25,000 words of garden design notes back into Word when I wanted to do a drastic edit of the whole thing: I’ve been editing books in Word since 1989, so it was just easier to go there. But Scrivener was better for the (long) time the project was organized in half a dozen different sub-sections.

  12. I’ve started a throw blanket. I bought a swift and ball winder and used it for the first time. So satisfying.

    1. I yearn for a swift and winder! Once I started using more expensive yarns — which often come in things other than balls — I found I loved using a swift and winder to make my own balls. I covet the very expensive wooden ones, but the plastic ones work, too. When I lived in the Seattle area, my girlfriends sometimes met as a big bookstore area (Third Place Books) that also had a huge seating area next to a set of food stalls. One of the things you could get at the information desk was a swift and winder! One day my friends and I wound several balls of yarn and didn’t get to crocheting or knitting that day at all. Such a wonderful thing for the info/customer service desk to provide!

  13. I purchased Electric Quilt and a beginner book a week ago and I’m using the latter to learn the former. So far so good.

    Crochet prayer shawl in progress for TV time; it could take a while. The little dog does NOT approve since the shawl takes up HER lap space. I start working on it and first it’s Big Sad Eyes and things ratchet up from there. So cute, so needy, so annoying.

  14. I was very productive this morning. I washed 4 loads of laundry because the Annual Sweater Wash consumed all but one or two of my towels and the laundry hamper was exploding. While it was washing and drying I wrote 10 postcards, which made me very happy. I had been having trouble getting back in the groove after taking some time off from that task. I think the reason I could go back to it was a long phone call from a friend in Milwaukee. We usually get together for a day playing tourist every summer, but the pandemic won’t allow that this year. And she could really use a break because she is CFO for a small charitable foundation and was responsible for disbursing millions of dollars of emergency grants while working from home. And she hates ZOOM. I guess that I figured that if she could do that, the least I could do was get back to my postcards.

    Other than that, all I’ve accomplished is some detective work on ebay and mailing out my niece’s birthday present. But I feel better abut the rest of my life because I was thinking about other people. That seems to be the key for me to cope with the increased isolation.

  15. From having made zero potholders in at least 40 or 50 years, I have now finished a total of 43. Still loving the process, even though at least 5 of that total are such disappointing pieces of unloveable cotton loops that I can’t think of anyone I would even want to gift them to. But 20 of them are so adorable I have to keep them, two groups of 7 I am going to send my sisters, and the jury’s still out on the remainder.

    I just know you are all thrilled to hear this. 🙂

  16. I took a three-day weekend, which is always good (I really fancy a seven-day weekend, in fact). I’m still writing a bit each day, and am so far sticking to only reading the news for half an hour at lunchtime, which feels much better. I’m nearing the end of my proofs (Conrad today; Arnold Bennett yesterday, which was a lot of fun). Am trying to line up a follow-on job; if I can’t, I must do my accounts.

  17. I almost finished the powerpoint for a workshop on carbon footprints, which a friend and I are leading on Sunday. It’s only the second time we’ve done the workshop, and we’re nervous. I felt much better about it, having the ppt done. We still need to do a couple of run-throughs to make sure the timing flows, but I think we’ll be okay.

  18. I finished revisions on the first cozy and sent it back to my editor at SMP. It felt like a big deal until I realized I’d already started work on the second (and was way behind) and needed to get back to it ASAP.

    Which would be easier if the roofers weren’t going to be here tomorrow and Friday. But hey, at least it will no longer be raining inside my house, which will be a big improvement.

    1. Indoor rain is never as charming as it sounded before I was a homeowner (long, long ago and far, far away).

  19. I’m currently trying to get my resume in order and working through gut-churning terror. My husband came across a possible job that would, in many ways, be perfect for me. But would probably involve us moving. And it’s been a long time since I was in paid employment. And I’m not sure if I’m just feeling resistant to it because it’s really not what I want or if I’m being a wuss. But I think I need to at least pull my resume back into working order and try to apply or I’ll regret that more. And there’s a certain freedom in writing yourself up for something you kind of hope they’ll turn you down for – it means I’m not overthinking how I’m coming across.

    1. I got two grant proposals in Tuesday. They were Group proposals with organizations i don’t usually work with and we had 8 days to put it together at invitation of funder and it was all negotiations. Small wars have been settled with less talk and strategy.
      Today I got a third proposal almost done and cooked rhubarb and made turkey meatballs and had 6 zoom calls and I feel much more rested than before.

      Of course some of that may be because my daughter decided to break up with her boyfriend of five years, a decision I heartily approve of but can’t say it to her quite like that. But it’s a a giant relief. He is a nice enough guy I guess but he never was going to pull his weight and be an equal partner in life. Or not any time soon.

      My tongue is grateful for the respite from biting it.

    2. Emily, I hear you. I’ve been struggling to find work in my field. I haven’t had a FT job in my field since 2008, and that was about 30 h/wk. Things sank and never fully rose to the top. I had some PT and short gigs for a while, but then just some retail for about 5 years. I’m getting lots more ‘bites’ the last six months and a flurry since March — which is odd —and today I found out I came in second for a government contract (this is truly a wonderful thing: 2nd out of 20 candidates is probably the best I’ve done and I’m in if the 1st choice bows out for any reason). I need to put more effort into it, but it’s so hard when I’ve been not working in my field for so long. Keep up! Do little things that boost your mood and confidence. Celebrate even just working on your resume one day, or sending in an application for a job; I often celebrate applying for a job via the Apply with your [Indeed/ZipRecruiter/LinkedIn] resume, where I don’t have to put in *any* effort. I’d be happy to be your work-search-terror buddy if you like.

      1. Thank you, Skye. That really helps, and I spent a chunk of today writing a cover letter just to remind myself of what I have done. And congratulations on second for the contract – it really is a big thing to get to that point.

  20. Pretty much finished up the end-of-spring clean-up of the front yard – pruned shrubs, pulled the last of the golden poppies, and the coyote mint that was threatening to take over everything. Now I just have to mulch and it’s maintenance, weekly weeding and light watering for the summer.

    I also added solar lights on the front walk – they came highly recommended from a home blogger I follow, and the project the prettiest star pattern onto the path!

  21. I needed to send a cheer-up photo, so I got out my inflatable moose head and did a selfie with it and DH, captioning the picture “For your a-moose-ment.”

    And I am not full of hot air.

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