Working Wednesday, April 12, 2023

This week Bob and I argued about antagonists and motive (he likes vengeance, I hate it) and tried to figure out what our antagonist in Rocky Start is doing, and why there are all those Russians running around North Carolina. The discussion got heated but we got through it.

What heated you up about work this week?

64 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, April 12, 2023

  1. Painting. Which means prepping.
    So I sanded, and wiped down, all the kitchen cabinets. In the process I discovered that the tops of the three doors were among the things the cleaners didn’t do. And they’ve never been painted. Washed, sanded, wiped: tops and bottoms because if no-one painted or cleaned the tops then they didn’t do the bottoms either.
    Today I paint!
    Though I’ve been saying that for three days now, I had no idea how long this would all take.
    But at least I have a deadline now. My cats arrive May second. Since they need a room to settle in, must finish kitchen by then. Including the week long trip to Paris I committed to months ago. And doing Something about the floor….

    Cats! Yay!

      1. It’s a week long trip to Paris _in April_
        Paris in spring, so Audrey Hepburn
        I just don’t want to be there while thinking about renovations here.
        Focus, finish (enough) and go with joy in my heart. That’s the plan.

  2. Vengeance if one can get away with it but probably not. Many years ago I wrote a short story about death by poison thus getting rid of the bad guy who did very bad financial ruin to innocent people. It was hard to write a hardened, totally detached and hateful woman, most likely bc it was a first person story and I kept getting in the way of the character. It was a study in; could one go through with it and walk away and never be bothered with regret and fear of a perfect get away with it and getting caught bc it was not a perfect crime. Detectives detect. Rewrote this winter. Still a no. It is a very suspenseful story according to the writing partners. Maybe will revisit while everyone writes poetry and I man a booth on Saturday morning.

    Back to tax preparations after unknown not covid sickness this past week. First time sick in years.

  3. I’ve been trying to figure out how to best use ChatGPT to develop training. It’s an exciting tool. I totally feel like I’m in a future universe.

    1. ChatGPT is one of the dozens of things I do not have time to explore. (Mastodon, I hear you calling….) Training, since I don’t do much of it, and all of it is physical, is not one of the uses I had considered. Form letters, yes.

      1. These days we are using it for almost anything that requires writing. For example, I asked it to provide a 50 word overview of a gay hockey player romance in the style of Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer and here’s what I got: “In “Slap Shot Love,” Alex, the burly yet sensitive hockey player, and Ryan, the snarky and resourceful sports journalist, find themselves in a hilarious and action-packed romance. When Ryan accidentally uncovers a plot involving stolen hockey mascots, they embark on a madcap adventure, chasing down thieves, dodging slap shots, and narrowly escaping zany mishaps. Along the way, they share witty banter and sarcastic quips that only serve to fuel their undeniable chemistry. As they race against time to unravel the mystery, their feelings for each other intensify, leading to steamy encounters amidst the chaos. Can they solve the case and score a winning goal for love, or will their romance be checked into the penalty box? With laugh-out-loud moments, heart-pounding suspense, and a love that’s too hot to handle, “Slap Shot Love” is a rom-com with a slapstick twist that will leave readers in stitches and swooning for more!”

          1. Tammy below: surely you aren’t suggesting I give up reading books to find time for this? There’s free, and then there’s “free.”

  4. I had leftover cream cheese so I made pumpkin cream cheese muffins, which were wonderfully moist and had a great texture and crumb but were utterly tasteless! Haha they’ve got cinnamon, powdered ginger, allspice, and nutmeg in them, so I suspect my spices are just old.

    1. Zoe, can you smell and taste other things? That problem could mean Covid, not old spices. I hope it’s the spices.

      1. Thanks for your concern! I definitely can so I’m pretty sure it’s the spices. Also, as far as I know I haven’t had covid this whole time (I tested any time I had any kind of respiratory symptoms, so unless I had symptomless covid or a false negative test, I should be in the clear — fingers crossed anyway!). Hoping to stay covid free!

  5. I’m still dealing with post-Covid fatigue and headaches (you know, as opposed to my regular fatigue and headaches), so I’m not getting nearly as much work done as I’d like. But I keep plugging away at it.

    1. Hope you feel all the way better soon! I don’t have the fatigue/headache combo, but I fight something similar, and when I’m feeling low about it I tell myself- look at what I’m accomplishing anyway. People who feel fine most of the time could never get anything done under these conditions.


      1. Yup. I always have that stuff, between the fibro and the migraines, and I just plug away and do the best I can. I tell people that if they woke up one morning feeling how I feel on an average day, they’d freak out and go to the emergency room 🙂

        1. I use the hangover example for people who don’t get migraines-if you woke up feeling hungover most days, how much would you get done?

  6. I ran errands like a madwoman, now that my truck is back. I still didn’t refill the tank, because the Costco station where I shop was hit by lightning during the big thunderstorms on Monday, and they were waiting for someone to come fix it. Just the idea of a gas station being hit by lightning is scary.

    I deposited the check from closing out my small investment account in the bank. When that money is available, I will send a check to an online bank that pays 4% accrued interest per year. The investment account lost money over two years. The funds I deposit will be insured. These are my emergency fund savings, and I need them to be available, and stable.

    The humidifier is cleaned up, and boxed up, and waiting by the basement door to be put away. There is coil of AC drain hose in the same spot, waiting to replace the old one. The little garage heater is also boxed up and ready to be stored till next winter. It kept the garage fridge running when it was so cold, it didn’t think it needed to run.

    The batteries for the mower are charging, since it looks like that will be the next chore. The outdoor chairs are sitting in their places on each patio, now. I am getting my summer haircut today!!

  7. I’m hosting a farewell party for a friend moving across the country, after she lost her apartment to frozen pipe disaster, then got laid (layed?) off the next day, then got Covid, then her cats died. She doesn’t want to go: like the sailors in the book of Jonah, we just don’t want her bad luck to infect us. (No, OK, she wants to go and we’ll miss her a lot.)

    Trying to be focused on job searches and trying to be realistic on what can be done from home with elderly parents needing attention.

    Planning the wild flower field, figuring out how to fight the overwhelming gazillion lupine aphids that have eaten the thousands of blue lupines that bloom every year.

  8. While I was in Texas, my niece asked for another baby blanket for her toddler son. Apparently, he loves the first, and only ever sleeps with it. So on my return, I ordered some yarn (what can I say – I love my niece and if she’s asking, I’m doing). The yarn arrived on Friday with no candy or bears, so I started to work. I’m probably about a third of the way through at this point. It’s a corner to corner pattern I’ve made often – probably 2-3 a year for the last 20 years – so it’s easy for me to go at hyper speed. No pictures yet, but hopefully soon!

    I sent the makings of Easter dinner down with DH to his mother’s house, since I was obligated to services here in town. He took the point on making sure his mom had a lovely Easter meal – ham, green bean casserole, potatoes. It was lovely to come home, be by myself and not have any pressure to do anything.

    Jane had shared her pictures of violets several weeks ago, so I posted a picture of one in my lawn
    It’s on the north side of the house, so gets reasonable shade, and it’s pretty wet on that side too. There are several that come up every year. I’ve attempted to move them into the front garden, so they won’t get mowed, but between the full sun and the rabbits, they haven’t done too well there. So I enjoy them where they are.

    1. All the north and west (shady) parts of my grass are full of violets, and being mowed doesn’t slow them down a bit. I must go pick some more this afternoon.
      My one surviving (out of two) cherry tree, planted as a year-old sapling four years ago when I moved, is blooming for the first time in two years, so I have hopes of a handful of cherries. It bloomed the spring after it was planted in spring, three whole flowers, and then has not bloomed again. I pruned it this winter. It’s four feet tall now. I want to buy a replacement for the one that died, but when I bought them they were $30 each, and now they’re $70 and up, and I have so many more fruits and vegetables (asparagus! If I can ever decide where to put it!) to buy, not to mention ornamentals.

      1. I don’t know whether you have silverleaf over there, but here we’re strongly advised only to prune Prunus trees (cherries, plums, apricots, etc) between May and August in order to avoid exposing the tree to it, since it’s liable to kill the tree, especially if it’s still young. Happened to my mum’s plum tree.

          1. Wikipedia’s not so sure. It says, ‘Geographically it is roughly just as widespread as its hosts; it is common in woods, orchards and tree plantations in temperate climates.’

          2. A web search returned mostly Silverleaf Resorts (apparently several places), Silverleaf Electronics, Silver leaf maple, Silverleaf (leucophyllum frutescens) “useful in hedging and in seaside plantings”.

            Searching the University Extension Service website returns lots of papers on silverleaf whitefly infestations on various vegetable crops. So it’s probably not a problem in Kentucky.

  9. I delivered unto DH the bits I owed him for the tax returns (he’s taking an extension, but I wanted it off my desk!), balanced my checkbook, polished the short story again, finished the next re-launch revision (3K+ in outtakes, about 2K of new words) and formatted text for the pb edition, reorganized and decluttered more Ballroom Dancer stuff. I had grooming & styling miscellany in four locations. Now the reduced-size collection is in two locations, both logical. The gleanings can go to the dance studio later (dancers can never have too much garment tape or too many hairstyle ornaments), along with the yoga mat that I never use.

    At Day Job, I had fifteen foreign patent filings to get done this week and the order letters have all been sent. There is follow-up to do on two of them today; cross your fingers that the client did their part so we can send the final application documents.

  10. Glad you and Bob have come to agreement, Jenny.

    I finished revising the last of the meditations and also a piece of freelance work. Yesterday I started the next freelance batch. Picked up taxes from the lovely people who deal with numbers so I don’t have to.

  11. It’s a busy crazy week. First of all, I’m still doing peoples taxes and a lot of people waited till the last minute. then yesterday two clips from Jury Duty, the show I am part of which dropped last week on Amazon prime and Amazon freebie trended on TikTok. It is weird to see that 52,000 people loved my character Barbara and more than 1300 commented.
    I am feeling very blessed.

      1. I just received an email from Cameo, which is a Place were actors and famous people do messages for other people for money. And they asked me to be on it. I’ve got to figure out how to parlay this current theme into some thing for my writing. It sure is fun though.

  12. Blah blah revenge, blah two graves.
    Blah blah best served cold.
    Blah blah living well. That’s it! That’s the one. Live long and prosper!

  13. Mixed messages heated me up this week but they weren’t about work.

    As to writing work – I started my wip AGAIN looking to solve issues brought up in critique. Actually this start is more fun as far as writing is concerned.

    I tackled several loose end paperwork type things last week. Now this week I need to tackle my taxes.

    Happy to hear that you and Bob came to an agreement. That means a plot is afoot that will eventually lead to a good book for me to read.

      1. D’oh! I guess I knew that, but the unconscious level was very very deep. Thank you, Tammy!!

    1. Sorry! Thanks for the concern. I am training someone at work, so no time to noodle about on the internet while on the job… Can’t teach the trainee bad habits and I am not often on my computer at home.

      Louisville was awful and we were all shaken and upset about it. The 911 call from the shooter’s mother was the worst, I think. She was trying so hard to save him and it was already over. I don’t know. My husband got all kinds of death threats when he was a manager at our public library. No where feels safe anymore. But physically I am fine.

  14. Jenny, the Wisconsin Historical Society magazine had an article that made me think of you and Bob and Rocky Start—about Harden’s Star Fire Grenades. Or Google “glass fire extinguishers” if you want a more benign search term. They look like an interesting variation on pretty bottles.

    Hope all Arghers are feeling better, getting things done, and enjoying life.

  15. We saw our insurance broker to see if we could get a better deal than with our current insurance company. We could not. We did, however, get a good discount on our 23-24 house insurance for being mortgage free.

    We also did some admin work for the company so the trip wasn’t a total waste.

    We decided that we want to go to one of the formal nights on our cruise so now we have to get some fancier clothes. I will need shoes which is more trauma-inducing than bathing suit and bra shopping combined.

    Also, there was some yard clean up and plans made for extending some garden beds.

  16. I gardened to a full stop – turned out a fourth day when it had turned too cold to enjoy being out was a bit too much. So I finished the Lightroom book instead, and am now typing up my notes – intending to produce a much shorter how-to manual than the old one. My brother and sister-in-law visited today, and I also went to three house viewings with a friend, two of which looked possible – although she’s not clear if she’s buying alone or with friends, so I’m not optimistic.

    This next week I want to finish my Lightroom manual, sow a load more seeds, and start looking at the Photoshop Creativity free online classes I signed up for next week. Not sure they’re going to be helpful, but thought they sounded worth a look. Also want to sort my car insurance, which is always a battle, since all insurance companies seem intent on ripping off their customers.

    1. I had this horrible moment when I thought you were moving again after all the good work you’d done on the house. ARGH.

      1. No, absolutely not! In fact, I’ve avoided getting too involved with my friend’s search because I don’t want to go back there.

  17. I worked. As in it was the first day of term 2, for this school year. So back to work for the first time since 31 March.

    I went in blazing with a new attitude. We are going to do many, many, many fun activities, we will listen to the radio. We will learn to since a lot of songs. ONLY thing that I need to make this work is that the class listens and stops interfering with others to elicit reactions. I made PB and B sandwiches. Yup, 🥜 peanut butter 🧈, bread 🍞, and banana slices. Used the slices to show rows and columns; then how to do half. Half of 18 slices = 9, on which we will put banana. Other half of 18 = 9, one which we will put peanut butter. This recipe and lesson exists in the texts, but we always read the story and answer the comprehension
    I never do it. Today I did and said that we can all start to do more, this time helping me, instead of watching. But only if I can stop reprimanding children for things that they. An focus on bettering weak areas. Gotta sleep y’all. Nearly midnight here.

  18. Nothing heated-lukewarm and blah. I just couldn’t get started on writing up those Board notes. Finally had to just buckle down and do them. Now I can relax.

    I planted a few pansies where I can see and enjoy them.

    Tomorrow I have a partly overlapping reproductive rights rally and my local township board meeting. I’ll stop at the rally and duck out for the meeting. i really like keeping on eye on what’s happening in my municipality. What’s really surprising is that people run for commissioner but never attend the meetings. Needless to say, they don’t get my vote.

  19. TnT rehearsals: we’re doing the opening and the wedding this week. This weekend will start the dance numbers. This year I’m a “Snake Girl” (don’t ask me why the bridesmaids are called this…?). Working on the song. Also possibly figuring out where to go shop for bridesmaid’s dresses. I also actually have some lines in the wedding scene this time in which I’m supposedly reading from Ecclesiastes. However, I attempted to “look up” this “Bible verse” and lemme say, it ain’t from the Bible in this script and I think the bridesmaid was paraphrasing. Comedically. For dirty effect. Ahem. So that’s another thing to rehearse.
    I may squeeze in one tap class tonight since I (surprise) have the free time because we aren’t having as many rehearsals because of not being able to get rehearsal space.

    Other than that: my therapist has been about 90% AWOL due to various death/health issues for the last six months (note: her mother died, it’s the therapist’s health issues and she keeps having random ones happen), those situations are not getting better, and after the third cancellation in three weeks I um, really need some damn therapy. Between work constantly writing me up and trying to work out my emotional shit regarding you-know-who, because I’m apparently likely to run into him a few times in the next few weeks and that may be awkward since I think at this point he’s deduced that he’s no longer knitworthy, and I’m not sure how to handle run-ins. So my work offers temporary therapy and I’m gonna take advantage of that. The temp therapist today was a wonder and really helped me work out my shit with regards to confused feelings, a game plan, me being more of a jerk to him than I would normally be and feeling like an asshole about that, etc. It was really great and helpful.

      1. You know, keeping your distance is not being a jerk. Choosing not to spend your time making things for him is not being a jerk.

        You are behaving just fine and should not feel any guilt.

    1. Getting a different point of view on a long standing issue can be a lifesaver. It helps to separate where you are now from what you’ve been dealing with for years.
      I remain impressed and hopeful.

  20. Most work recently has just been plugging along on my manuscripts, but today was all about errands, the first of which was to go to the locally owned appliance store and order two dishwashers (one for me and one for the tenants’ unit — we have identical non-standard dishwashers that seem to die on the same schedule). I could have ordered them online a week ago, but I like to support local businesses, and they usually match online prices or come close, so even if it’s a little more, it’s worth it to know that they’ll warn me away from bad models, and their service guys are great.

    They closed two years ago.


    So I did my other errands and came home and ordered the dishwashers online for delivery surprisingly fast (so I won’t be surprised if it’s delayed) — this Saturday! And they were (each) fifty bucks cheaper than when I last checked, so it makes me feel better about having waited a week to do it in person, only to have to order online anyway.

  21. I’ve spent a lot of this week on tax related stuff. Fighting with the bank that holds my dads trust because they for the second year in a row got the tax documents wrong. Starting the process of moving the trust to an organization that knows how to do it right. (My dads IRA is owned by my dad’s trust and therefore all RMD is paid to the trust not the trust beneficiaries. This is apparently completely confusing . I have been trying to resolve it for a month and now have daily conversations with a very nice lady who then tries to get her tax department to understand the problem.) Setting up a system to track our health expenses in 2023 because for the first time we will be able to deduct them. Discovering that somehow the insurance company failed to make the automatic credit card charge for our February premium.

    In more fun news I weeded the garden and cut daffodils, narcissus, giant snowdrops and tulips for the house. Every day new bulbs are flowering.

    I’m also still trying to write comments on the proposal to update how the US collects and reports data on race and ethnicity. As you can imagine this is fraught. The only thing I can say for sure is we have to change the process because right now the second largest group after white is “Some Other Race” and when 50 million people pick that as their race you know we are doing a bad job of identifying people’s race.

    This is in large part because we ask separately about their ethnicity (are you Hispanic/Latino) and it turns out a large portion of the Hispanic Latino population considers that to be their race . (Also people from Middle East and North African countries generally pick it instead of white or black.)

    I will say my job consistently takes me into new territories.

    1. Is there any hope you can deal with this problem before (I hope) I get hired as a Field Representative? No, I didn’t think so.

      1. Well, the comments are due April 28 but OMB is expected to make a final decision mid 2024 and then it will take time to implement …. So , no. Sorry.

  22. I went to see my new doctor again and he ran a new set of blood tests. I got along much better with him this time and started to think that maybe he was beginning to understand me (and my idiosyncratic body). That lasted until I read the note that he sent with my test results tonight. My AIC and blood sugar are up and he asked again if I wanted to see a dietician. This time I sent him a note stating that the problem was not ignorance on my part, but lack of will and that since dieticians get little or no training in cooking I didn’t think that they would give me a diet that I, a retired professional cook and baker, would be able to stay on. I informed him that the last time this was an issue for me, his predecessor gave me some guidelines and I created my own diet that resulted in a loss of 51 pounds and lowering my blood sugar by 90 points. Since he informed me that he had read my chart, I wonder how he missed that little detail. Especially since I was seeing my doctor every 2 months at that time. Sigh. I wish I could send my now retired doctor a Thank You note for insulating me from this crap for the last 28 years or more.

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