Random Tuesday

I just deleted over 600 unread e-mails. Part of this is because I was the victim of an e-mail cluster bomb, and part because I just got behind and gave up. They’re all gone now, but if you e-mailed me in that 600+ cluster, I did not read your e-mail. Please resend.

In other news . . .

Alisa Kwitney and I are trying a kind of buddy writing system starting in December, and to begin I just tried to synopsize Nita into one doc. I started with the blurb, then did short bios of the four main characters–Nita, Nick, Button, and Max–followed up with a one paragraph plot synopsis divided into acts, and then broke down the supporting/minor characters and the major and minor settings. I need to go over it again, but that’s pretty much a story, right? Characters, plot, setting? There are a lot of characters in that sucker. And not much focus. IT’S THE ROMANCE, STUPID.

I’m re-reading Making Money now, having just finished Going Postal. The thing about Going Postal is that it’s pretty much a perfect book, if you ignore those two prologues at the beginning, so the sequel was always going to be a heavy lift. Also finance is not as much fun as the internet vs. the post office. Plus Reacher Gilt was a great smart antagonist and Cosmo Lavish is just nuts. Still it’s Moist Von Lipwig and Adora Bell Dearheart, so it’s a good book.

I’m putting together storage units like crazy. Bamboo for the bathroom, wood for the office, metal for the desk for the bedroom. I am determined to be efficient. And either get this extraneous crap out of here or at least get it put away. I am the Mistress of the Allen wrench and my Phillips screw driver is practically glowing at this point.

I’m trying to decide if I want to buy a new printer. At this point, printers are like gerbils, not really worth fixing, and the one I have probably still works if I futz with it, but there’s a good deal on an Epson I want. So far, I am not buying, but it’s a non-cartridge ink printer and that’s ecologically better. Also cheaper. It’s a dilemma.

Next Day: I woke up to eighteen e-mails at 11AM, after deleting the last of late incoming at 4AM. I spammed some, unsubscribed from some, answered some, paid a bill, e-mailed Krissie about something on BookBub and still have the NYT The Morning, Washington Post Voraciously (food), and Atlas Obscura, all of which can be deleted if necessary. Now all I have to deal with is Bob who took the deletions of his possible e-mails badly, so he’s spamming me. I answer every e-mail he sends, even the ones about eating my own arm, and now he’s complaining that they’re all snark. Has he met me? Look, I’m cranky about e-mail right now, okay? And I just got a Breaking News from the NYT. Fortunately those are read and delete. I’m down to one now–Voraaciously was stir fry and I skimmed AO–as long as Bob is doing something else.

Big plans for today. Finish the Nita doc. Clear up the mess in front of my front door and start to get the Christmas stuff up (no lights until after Thanksgiving, I have some class). Clean the microwave after my popcorn disaster. Fix the damn a on this laptop because it’s still sticking. Get my tax info together. Make a hat and scarf for Krissie. Throw out half my bedroom. Delete e-mails as they come in.

Oh, and I got a box of yarn yesterday that is already put away because efficiency is now my new byword, but now I have to make something with it. I’m thinking either a Frida blanket or Diego squares.

The days are just packed.

Have a bright and beautiful day, Argh People.

ETA: Oh, and this is Faking It in Hebrew. I love it.

35 thoughts on “Random Tuesday

  1. Ye gods and little fishes, Jenny! All deities know I could use a tenth of your organization here in the garage. I begin to stare around at the clutter… no. Staring at the screen is better.

    I have only one task this week. Complete and submit the retirement paperwork. Well, and the tasks subordinate to that. My old boss, who is now further up the food chain, actually called me at work (evening shift, mind) and sent me a retirement presentation to watch. He pointed out that because I’m not giving HR 90 days, I’m unlikely to see the first check until February or March. My response was that I have three months’ pay in savings and I could deal with that.

    It’s T-bird Week, so I’ve been cooking. Chicken and Turkey tenderloins and the dotter and I went shopping and for take-out last night. On our return, she proudly displayed (because the timer turned them on) the first efforts of her decorations. Class or no, a lot of the white lights have been illuminating the front porch since before last Christmas – she’s merely extended them to brighten the entire front trim. More to come.

    Be well.

    1. I just retired October 1. (YAY!)

      I have yet to receive my first annuity payment from the DOJ, but I’ve received payments from three of my other sources of retirement income. 75% ain’t bad.

      Hang in there!

  2. I had one of those email bombs a few years ago, two thousand emails suddenly showed up overnight. It turned out that someone who had stolen my credit card information, they had actually convinced the bank that I had lost my credit card and to mail them a new physical credit card with a different number to a different address (in New York City nonetheless), and had also signed me up to a hundred different spam mailing lists so the notification from my bank would get lost in the spam.

    Fortunately I tried to charge something on my credit card while it was still in the mail to the criminals and it got declined, because they had changed the number and deactivated the old card. So I was able to figure it out before they got a chance to actually make any fraudulent charges. But that was a mess and I got a thousand spam emails a day for months.

    1. That’s exactly what happened, except I keep an eagle eye on my credit cards and I went through everything and found the alerts. But every now and then, I get signed up for another dozen weird lists–one on buying guns, several in languages I do not speak, make-up sites (ha), clothing sites–and I mark them all as spam and move on. SO annoying.

  3. Announcing here since I absolutely couldn’t put this in the happiness post: Went on the “date” (apparently it wasn’t one) with the crush on Saturday. Asked him about getting romantically involved after. He said no, did not even need to think about it. Apparently he has *never* had a mutual crush on me back the way I thought for years with all the affection he’s showed me, more than anyone else. “You’re a good friend, but,” specifically. I feel like a complete fucking fool.

    So that’s over. I told him I was going to dial back our relationship since I don’t want to be confused and I know how awful it is to have to tell someone no and got out of the car and left.

    But even worse: I talked him into auditioning for the same play I did and we both got in, so now I’ll be seeing him most days per week until the end of January. Me and my biiiiiiiig mouth and my horrendous timing, I clearly decided to gamble on optimism on that one. Should have not bugged him so much to audition (and now he’s really into this show) or should have not asked until after the show was over, something like that. I just wanted to find out once and for all and I certainly did there. So yes, it’s good that I know for sure and I presumably should have asked earlier (except, y’know, pandemic, and he definitely said some things that made me think it might be promising in the future), but now I am all “how do I get over caring about him when I have to see him so damn much? It’s been a billion years since I last got dumped, but from what I recall you have to go 100% permanent cold turkey to get over someone.” Not that this went so well for most of this year when I wasn’t talking to him anyway, mind you, but I know how it’s supposed to go.

    Various people are arguing with me on this one: some people online saying he’s a selfish jerk jerking me around, people I know IRL (my mom and therapist ESPECIALLY) arguing that he’s just autistic/clueless/possibly asexual but otherwise a great person and that I shouldn’t ditch him as a friend in the way that I certainly want to right now. If not for the play, I’d just stop talking to him entirely at this point and he’d probably never notice. However, I have to stay publicly on good terms with him at least until the end of January, so total cutoff isn’t an option. Oh yeah, and it’s fucking Present Season and that’s another issue to worry about since he likes the gifting and I sure as hell don’t feel like making him what I was going to make now. I’m regretting everything I made him that was too affectionate at this point, because I thought he cared like I did.

    Meanwhile, a few days later (rehearsal last night) and he’s all talking to me like nothing happened, because everything’s fine for him? I never got this guy at all, really. Obviously I’m gonna take all the space from today until next rehearsal (Sunday), but after that, well, it’s all the quality time with him I wanted except now I have to, at minimum, dial things back and accept that I’m not gonna have the relationship/closeness with him that I wanted. I don’t even have a clue on that one. He’s not an ex but I have never been able to be friends with exes and be platonic about them later, so I don’t have much confidence in that.

    Anyway. This is the final crush update, there will be no more. Sigh. So it goes.

    1. Here’s hoping there is a really hot and interested guy in the cast of the new play so that you are fully distracted from the sins of the crush. Or even just a new interesting friend.

      1. I’m really proud of you for talking with him directly, Jennifer. You know, it really isn’t about him — it’s about You. What you want, what attracts you, the length you’ll go to make someone feel good about himself. In all your reports you have been a good friend to this guy. Applaud yourself for knowing you give to others like a true friend.

        Most guys I was attracted to back in the day weren’t aware that I was in the room. And the only time I showed my interest, the guy was polite but definitely not interested and I felt like a total fool. And he was my grad school mentor, so I still had to interact with him on a personal level.

        I think it’s good that you and the former crush are in the same production. He won’t have the place in your memory where you can torture yourself over different outcomes; instead, he’ll be his regular, uninterested self. While you work on the play with him, you can practice distancing and watching — what signals does he send to different people? What signals do you like receiving from other people? (I’m with Debbie here.)

        The only thing that worries me is that anyone from the former theater group he was with is working on this new production. I don’t like the way they left you out of things. A bad lot all of them.

        1. Our former theater company appears to be “on hiatus” these days. It’s up to the director to decide who she wants in shows and I guess I wasn’t wanted for the other online ones they did. Technically not a decision any of my friends made there.

          This kind of thing is why I normally don’t show interest in anyone! I honestly felt like we had a mutual (mostly) unspoken thing there, as he frankly was more affectionate with me than anyone else. My therapist says it could be because I was being more affectionate with him, sigh. But seriously, I would have held back a LOT more if I’d thought he wasn’t interested. I would not have given schmoopy gifts and cards, especially since he seemed into that.

          I’m all over the map on this. The Team Don’t Friend Dump Him folks are really feeling strongly at this point, but I am leaning towards no touching, no gifts, no texting, and basically only being around him at the occasional friend group meeting after this is over. The most bare and token of friendships, not trying to be close with him any more. He probably wouldn’t notice a difference anyway.

          1. I already wrote about this in another comment, but this guy so reminds me of my ex-husband. The thing with people who are really self-focussed is that they truly do think you’re great when you’re doing things for them, they want you around because you make them feel good, but they don’t want a relationship; they like the one-way street of you making them feel good, but going the other direction just isn’t interesting to them. So I’m sure he really likes you and none of that was put-on or an illusion on your part, he was honest about that. He was just genuinely surprised that you wanted him to be there for you.

            Run, Jennifer. And do not give him anything more, gifts or attention. He really likes that stuff and he’ll keep smiling at you and talking to you and doing things together that please him, and be legitimately bewildered that you’d think he might do the same thing for you. He’s not evil, it’s nothing personal, he’s just already in a committed relationship with himself and he just doesn’t have room for you.

            Of course, I may be projecting here.

    2. As far as presents go, you said you wanted space and not exchanging gifts is a reasonable outcome (if you need to explain yourself). Also the things you have displayed on Working Wednesday have been very well crafted and delightful. That amount of work means you are focusing not only on the work but on the recipient. And you just don’t need that right now.

      He may not be acting like anything changed because maybe he doesn’t recognize it has – it’s possible he thought you were suggesting friends with benefits. No big deal if he wasn’t interested. He seems clueless.

    3. This is a totally sucky situation but you should be so proud of yourself for putting yourself out there and trying. I initially agreed with you on the cold turkey approach but after reading Elizabeth’s reply that you won’t be stuck on the embarrassing memory because you’ll have made new ones, that really resonates. Either way I wish you gobs of luck with the new play and happiness in the season!

    4. Don’t let that guy take away your love of the theatre! Find your cadre and ignore him. If he gives you a gift, whatevs. You don’t have to reciprocate. You gave him affection and attention in the past, which is worth way more.

      Break a leg in this kickass show as your kickass self.

      P.S. Jenny, my unread messages stand at 13,357, which is amazing. It was over 21K before I went on a massive hunt. I’ve started to use different emails more aggressively because this is insane.

    5. Good for you for doing a hard thing. And I know that it doesn’t feel this way, but you have nothing to be embarrassed about. You behaved like a reasonable, respectful adult and it didn’t work out, but now you know and can spend energy elsewhere.

      I had a bad breakup with a friend who I worked with a few years ago. We weren’t romantic, but I felt that we were close. Then she started dating an 18 year old who came to her public classes at the library. The boy had a history of abuse and self harm and she was an authority figure in a safe place who was ten years older. She lied to me repeatedly about it until I caught her. So that went nuclear. But we still had to work together. So here is my advice: I saw a book once titled How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton world. Didn’t read the book, but the message stuck with me. Be Audrey Hepburn. Grace under pressure. Theater isn’t how you make your living, but it is your place of work too. You are a reasonable person and a professional. He is your coworker. You have a project in common. You can be polite and professional and choose the version of yourself you want to be when you look back on this later.

      And again, good on you. This would have hurt much much worse if you let it keep going indefinitely.

    6. That’s a tough one, baby. Sorry it was bad news for you. 🙁 As to “getting over” when he’s right there in your face, all I can recommend is try to look at him as if this is the first time you’re seeing him. There will be things that stand out as things you don’t like.

      Keeping friends is only useful if those friends give you something back that you value. Laugh at your jokes, make *you* laugh or feel good about yourself – that’s a level of friendship. Share a common interest, yep. But if you look at people (and how they behave toward you) objectively … it’s pretty easy to tell if they actually CARE. And life is awfully big and long. Why fill it up with people who don’t care?

      Oh, and: just because he likes getting presents is no reason to spend your emotional bandwidth on thinking about what he likes. It’s officially not your job to give him what he likes. OXO

    7. I am sorry it didn’t turn out the way you hoped but at least there is no more uncertainty. So, there’s that. And it’s worth being a fool for love every once in a while, no? I agree with Lupe that you should be polite and professional. But you certainly don’t need to engage with him or encourage conversation. This is the point where the OTHER kind of social distancing comes into play. I also agree with chacha1 that you don’t owe him a present, even if he likes them. Don’t give him anything. I know it’s easier said than done but hang in there; this too shall pass. Meanwhile this is your excuse to practice self-care for a couple of weeks by talking to true friends, rereading some good books (I hear there’s an author name of Cruisie), watching some sappy movies, and applying chocolate (or other comfort food).

    8. Rats. Thank you for sharing this journey with us, and sorry the saga came out this way. Joining all who are envisioning a wonderful new person in your life, who appreciates you.

    9. Quit the play. Do not torture yourself. Life’s too short. Then quit him from your life…clean, total break. No calls, texts, emails,…nuttin’, honey.
      Make room for the big yes!

  4. My current spam is a bunch of emails from apparently different sources offering me employment with Amazon. I’ve heard the statistical estimates that Amazon is working its way through the entire US work force as it burns out former employees, but no idea that the company is desperate enough to target ME out of the blue . . . .

    And the hearts are random, some gray, some red. If gray, the number increases if I click; if red, it decreases.

  5. I can’t perform death-defying acts like mass email deletion. I am all admiration of your bravery.

  6. Between sorting out yarn yesteday and that photo I realize that almost all my yarn is in dark colours.
    There are leftovers from when part of the present was they got to choose colour and one inexplicable skein of bright fuchsia, then dark, mostly jewel tones.
    Those light colour changing yarns at the top of the picture make me wish the labels could be seen.

    Um, second thought probably better not. Even with my plan to only buy with project in mind, and that I’ve not even been crocheting all that long I was still a bit shocked when I pulled it all out to give it a better home than random corners all over the house.

    1. It’s mostly Stroll Tonal and Hawthorne from WeCrochet, and the sale’s over tomorrow, although the good deals on those yarns were daily things that are done now. You’re safe.

  7. My favourite email filter catches time sensitive subscriptions
    (sales, “what’s going on around here”, newsletters…) dumps them straight to archive, and labels them “delete”. Things I might read even when older are left marked unread to make it easier to skim for, say, the quarterly seed catalogue.

    If I get behind, almost always, I just dump the whole folder bar the top few still current. If I’m shopping or have some free time to do something new I have them but don’t have to delete a dozen wanted, but not today, email every day.

  8. Yarn question?
    Is an undyed inner core what I should expect with hand painted?

    I bought hand painted, because it was the perfect colour range, online, because my local isn’t very.
    It is only coloured on the outside, no problem if your stitches are perfect but even a corrected split stitch shows the white core. The pattern is maybe too difficult for my skill, I’ve unraveled . . . more than I’d like to admit. So if white is to be expected I’ll probably avoid until I am more skilled. I spent much more than I usually do. The white speckles are disappointing.

    1. If it’s hand painted speckle (labeled as speckle) then yes. If it’s just hand painted, the no. But hand painted is notoriously iffy for me. In itpicks/WeCrochet Hawthorne line comes in several variations including (I think) hand paint, and it’s always been good for me.

      Trying calling whoever sold it to you and asking to return/exchange it. Y0ur only other option is to overdue it. Wilton’s cake dyes are good for that; you can find instructions on the net, but the stuff is beautiful and if used right permanent.

      1. thanks.
        the yarn is a beautiful gradient, dark to light violet. I get white only where I’ve split the yarn or where it’s untwisting from my redoing the pattern where I missed a stitch, or put one in three rows back, argh.

        I like the dying idea but I bought it for the gradient. I could have bought much cheaper yarn if I’d picked a solid color or two. Return and exchange was why I asked, didn’t want to complain if hand painted implied that it was only on the outside. It is such lovely yarn in every other way. And the shop has been great every other time.


        It’s even local, surprisingly hard to find given the sheep farming

  9. I LOVE the idea of Faking It in Hebrew! Well done, Jenny (and your agent, I assume).
    Deleting e-mails is happening at work, since I have only a month left. Hurray! At home, not so much, though it’s on the radar.
    Working on a freelance edit job along with the regular freelance work, and grateful we decided to go out for Thanksgiving.

  10. My work email is sitting at 4 opened emails, and back from lunch I’m archiving one of them. I tried setting up elaborate archiving folders, but I do better with macro – so benefits, customer emails and trash. Anything in the inbox is an unfinished CTA.

    My personal email… sits until I mad clean it every so many months. Haven’t reached the amt others have mentioned, but a respectable 2-3k before I crack and filter/delete all.

    Yarn q – your options are beautiful. But look like a ton of color changes. Anyone know how to best color change often with crochet?

    I can do it (know how), but then weaving in the tail creates fat bubbles. Maybe I am weaving in too much? I do a lot of back and forth to get it to stick for future. Sometimes I crochet with the old and new strands so it’s double thick, then crochet over the tail.

    What’s everyone’s best weave in method that holds the longest (machine washer here) while also not disrupting the texture so much?

    I think 2022 will be a no new yarn year so I can empty out my bathtub of yarn… I crochet way too slow. T.T

    Debating moving them to a bookcase for visibility, but first I have to clear a bookcase….

    Decluttering only goes so far, apparently… I setup a desk using existing material, but now it seems even MORE cluttered. Ugh.

    1. Color changes:
      Add the new color as a pull through on the last move in the stitch before the color change (because the last move forms the top of the next stitch).
      Work over the loose end/previous color if you’re carrying it along.
      Weave in the loose end in the other direction from the forward of the crochet, then again in the forward direction, so the yarn ends up worked forward, back, and forward again.
      if you’re really worried about it coming lose, tie it to the new yarn before you weave it back and forth.
      If I’m going to use that color again, I almost always just carry it under the new color unless it’s more than a full row. I hate cutting yarn.

      1. Thanks!

        So you crochet over it and then weave back/forth/back? Or choose one? How many inches you leave to weave?

        I’ve done all of those, so maybe it’s a matter of amt I’m doing, and paranoia.

        1. It depends on the yarn and the project. Some yarns are so slippery they practically frog themselves, so those I tie. Some yarns are fuzzy they’re impossible to frog, so those I just weave in back and forth because they’re never coming undone.

          I usually use about a two inch tail, but I’m yarn frugal.

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