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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dream A Little Dream Of...

To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.
-Allen Ginsberg, poet

I haven't written much lately. Not since my last post anyway... which I forced myself to stay up until I finished it (took me 'til about 4am). After that, I shut down the laptop, turned off the lights, and... sat in bed in the dark turning over story ideas in my head.

The ideas that were pondered (in no particular order):
  • LEVERAGE fanficiton - a bracelet a friend gave me recently inspired an idea to be added to the story in my head that no one will ever see.
  • CHUCK fanfiction - re-writing a scene to the story in my head that no one will ever see.
  • NaNoWriMo - toying with ideas for the story that I want to (maybe) do this November.
  • Lack of Conflict - I have a scenario in my head of how two people and end up dating, but I don't have any sort of conflict for later in the story. I also can't think of any conflict for my (lack of a better tentative title) Aidan Turner Story. (I always imagine actors or people that I know in my stories which always play out like a movie in my head, and one of the characters I created for this story has "him" in it.) 
  • My Two Unfinished Novels - I really should finish those soon.
  • Kidnapped Story - just little snippets here and there.
  • Writing Contest - due by May 2nd
I dunno. My mind is all out of whack since... well... it's been a while now.

My life since last post has consisted of:
  • cooking this week's meals (which was a mutant version of mac and cheese)
  • laundry (three loads total)
  • watching Orphan Black with Kathy W
  • more room organizing adventures with Kim M
  • reading "Divergent" by Veronica Roth (me and my friend's bookclub choice this month)
  • working
  • plotting out payday (bills to pay, errands to run... pamper myself with a back massage)
  • thinking of less carby, more filling, inexpensive meals to prep for work lunches
  • plotting when I'll be heading back to the gym (probably Sunday night)
While waiting for the final load in the dryer, I could have tried to write something, but instead the media whore in me won out, and I watched the latest "Once Upon A Time". After that, laundry was pretty much done which left no time to write. After I put my clothes away, I headed to Kathy's and fit in one more episode of Orphan Black (we've watched the first two episodes now) before heading to Kim's to work on her room some more.

Working on her room is giving me ideas for my room since she and I have similar situations where we have limited space and have had to move from a 2+ bedroom house to shoving everything into one room (and a storage unit). Right now my room is cluttered, and I feel I need a paid vacation just to spend the time on it I feel it deserves. Also the ideas I have require items that I'm not sure exactly exist for what I want to do. Ideally I'd like a different dresser, but that doesn't look like it's going to happen anytime... not until I get my own place anyway. But I'll get to my room eventually.

I kind of have this idea for her closet (which has been converted to the crafting closet per her request). She bought these little three drawer things that are cool, but the two bookshelves she has in there are different heights and widths so I'm wondering what the cost would be to get one wide shelving unit to replace the two she has in there. I'm going back on Monday, and we're going to go to the store to get little sorters to fit into the drawers so I can put all her crafty bits in one bin. She sews, makes jewelry, knits, etc... so she's got all sorts of things from glues to thread to needles to pins to patterns to various other sorts of things. We've sorted a good chunk of her bins into Renn Faire, Dickens Faire, costuming bits and fabric. There are a couple bins that have been sorted to go to storage as well as to be donated. I feel rather accomplished when I work on her room. Monday I didn't so much, but she claims we accomplished some things so I'll take her word for it.

I guess it's just my mind frakking with me.

I'm behind on some things at work. I was all caught up before we started using this new system, but since the system is still (essentially) in its beta phase with us, I have to use my email and the customer service email to see what new things have come in so I can search for them in the new system and make sure everything is assigned to people and taken care of. On top of that, I have surveys and emails that my manager has assigned me that I have - for the most part - finished, but I still have a handful (compared to what I had before) to see to. At the time I wasn't overwhelmed with my responsibilities, but it's just a matter of priority. You want me to make sure "production" is current and handled, that's what I'm going to concentrate on. Emails are now being handled in the new system, but it's just... if the other mess was filtered out of it, maybe I wouldn't have to go all over the place to make sure shit's handled. Right now I'm looking in two email accounts, two spreadsheets and the CRM system so that my personal spreadsheet that my department references is current and up to date.

And totally random rant: So we had an old production spreadsheet that had hidden cells - hidden meaning the task was completed - leaving the incomplete tasks exposed. When looking through it to find when something was done or if it was even received, people only had viewing rights. So the idea now - since I haven't been told any different - is that my spreadsheet is for my department to reference. Everyone save a couple other people have viewing rights, but I created two tabs - ALL PRODUCTION (no hidden rows showing everything that has been worked on since I was asked to monitor production) and OPEN PRODUCTION (with hidden rows showing all the incomplete tasks). A week or so ago my manager asked me to help her read my spreadsheet (which she owned on Google drive by the way... and that's a whole other story which I won't be into). She asked how she was able to tell what had been completed and what was still being worked on. I had to reign in my snark when I showed her the tabs and what they said. (I also color code thing so everyone on the team has their own color and when they complete a task I've assigned them, not only is there a "date completed" date marked, but it's highlighted with their assigned color. Items not highlighted or have a completed date listed? Not done.)

Reminds me of when I occasionally get my hair straightened. (My hair naturally curly. The red dye job I have in it has grown out considerably, but I'm still essentially Merida from "Brave".) When I straighten my hair, there are people that ask, "Did you straighten your hair?" I've grown accustomed to saying "No"... which usually warrants looks and/or the comment, "Are you messing with me?"

It's just like Forrest Gump says - Stupid is as stupid does.

*headdesk*

I'm currently working on a menu revision for a restaurant that has called to let us know several times that their menu changed, that they sent a menu with the driver, and "WHY ISN'T IT REVISED?" It took almost a month (and me telling the driver MYSELF) to get menus, but when I looked at the menus and what we had, they are totally different, so it's gonna take a while. I took it upon myself to work on it, but as it is, I haven't had a lot of time to work on it since I got the menus Saturday night (and I was off Sunday and Monday). I started on Tuesday, didn't get to any of it today since the rest of production was getting a bit behind, so yeah... I just have NO idea when I'm going to get to finish it.

And it looks like additional copies of the menu are showing up at my desk. WTFrak?!?!? NOW people remember to get me menus? DO NOT MAKE ME BACKHAND YOU!!!

I need some order. I like it when I have order. That's not to say that I'm not spontaneous. I love flying by the seat of my pants and doing whatever at the moment. Or even have a tentative plan of "let's just go here and see what there is to see".

But with work, there is always talk of "prioritizing" (though I feel there's also talk of "this is how we do this" and then forgetting what was said during that conversation and me getting questioned about it...). My work day is pretty much come in, make calls for the lunch rush (it's a little quiet at the time I come in so I have a small amount of time to check email, glance at production, pray to the Work Gods to give me guidance and a good day before it starts to get busy), then after the lunch rush is a mix of next day calls, incoming calls and fitting in a little bit of production before I go to lunch (same assigned time every day), then next days calls if they haven't been done already, an hour of production just for me on Tuesdays and Thursdays after my lunch, dinner rush/calls, then home.

Saturday work nights have been the equivalent of blowing up a pinata filled with chaos dipped in Hell, set on fire and shoved up your ass using nothing but a rusty mace coated in hate Alien Queen acid.

Right now I have some random semblance of a plan at work and having the same shift during the weekdays I'm there helps, but with changes in policy and staff, the proverbial monkey wrench makes it difficult to not necessarily assimilate and adapt but merely slows that process down a bit.

It also makes me want to beat people with a hammer. A REALLY BIG HAMMER!!!

What's that prayer?

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, 
The courage to change the things I can, 
And the wisdom to know the difference. 
-Serenity Prayer

...
...
...

Yeah. A REALLY REALLY BIG HAMMER!!! *sigh*

The other night for shits and giggles, I did a studio apartment search, and of course living where I live, everything cost my soul and my first born... plus a deposit. And then there's my cat which usually tacks on another large sum of money that is just mental and totally not necessary.

I think I'd do well with my own space. I just need to find that space and be able to afford it. (Why can't I be independently wealthy? Why can't money grow on trees? Scratch that. I have a black thumb. I'd most likely kill my money tree.)

Ideally I'd like a one bedroom apartment (two so one bedroom can be my office), but I'd settle for a nice little studio. ANYTHING is better than the hovel I'm in now.

Surfing the net just now whilst daydreaming I found some lovely studios where I picked my top five... starting off with my fave of the group...
I mean... just look at the shelf space for BOOKS!!! I would have a place for a desk... and a table to eat at... a couch to sit on... oh the things I could do with this space.

Looks pretty condensed compared to the first, but the kitchen will give me enough space for baking. I can also set up a work space for myself. Also looks like there's room to add bookshelves. Joy!
This place looks pretty spacious... but I could do without the orange. Burgundy would be cool... or just white with some decorative decals of picture/art framings. Overall though not too shabby.
This is cute, too. Love the brick and the enclosed bed space. And the kitchen looks PRETTY!!!

This is a cute little setup. The kitchen area is a bit small but doable.
Right now I have to deal with my car accident settlements. (I HATE the waiting game... especially when neither of the two accidents were my fault. Plus OFF DUTY DEPUTY WHO WITNESSED THE GUY THAT RAN THE RED AND T-BONED ME WHICH TOTALED MY CAR!!! Why is THAT taking so long?) *grumble*

Who said patience is a virtue? Not feeling very virtuous... or patient. First accident was February 2013, second was June 2013. It is now APRIL 2014. I swear to gawd if this goes past a year, I'm gonna choke a bitch.

Breathe, woman, breathe. Woosah!

Okay. Baby steps, girlie. Baby steps.

Summary of goals...
  • stop being fat
  • find my own space
  • write/read more - get published
  • be financially secure
  • be happy
  • tie up loose ends
Sounds like a plan, right? Now to make the plan a reality.

Would also REALLY like to do NERDHQ this year and be a volunteer... though last year screwed me for the time off... *grumble grumble grumble*

(looks at clock)

I meant this post originally for Monday... then that plan got shot to shit so I entertained the notion of moving blog posts to Tuesday and Thursday versus Monday, Wednesday, Friday... but then work got in the way... so I thought I could get this done for Wednesday.

And now it's 1:36am... on Thursday.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's not tomorrow 'til the sun comes up, but dammit dammit dammit. I'll get back into the swing of things soon... hopefully...

(looks to the universe - doesn't seem to be laughing at me... yet)

I guess I should get to bed now. I did take a nap when I got home earlier since insomnia had me up until 3am-ish last night. It's almost 2am now. I should at least try, right? And maybe a time travel short story idea will pop in my noggin via an inspirational dream that I'll remember when I wake. Yeah?

(fingers crossed)

Later my lovelies.

Have Goodness!
Rae

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What Has Become Of Me?

I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.
-author Erica Jong

So yeah. I suck. I'm getting old, and my brain is broken.

Now that the self-non-erotic-flagellation is done.

April is here, and here I am with not much to show for it. But the month is still young, so hopefully I'll get more done than I did for March.

My March accomplishments are as follows (in no particular order)...
Didn't manage to get to the last seven story blogs. But meh, March was a bit poopy for me.

I know it's partially because I haven't gotten a lot of quality sleep lately. Credit for that goes to insomnia which has teamed up with the weather to do its bipolar thing and change temperatures rather drastically so my sinuses turn to cement in the cold and give me the WORST MIGRAINES EVER!!! I force myself to work through the migraines - mainly cuz I have to - but then I usually just head home after, collapse on my bed, and just DIE!!! I even raped my face with my saline/netty pot thing - and it didn't do shit!

Then of course there's the Elderly Man in the room next to me. He has been sleeping with his door open, and whenever it's brought up to him to shut it, he apologizes and then closes it... which HELPS since his bed squeaks whenever he moves even a little. His bed also has a vibrating setting for when his body starts to pain him. This however is the least of the noise issues that keep me up because at least it's a steady hum, something constant and never-changing like white noise. But the man also snores. OH GAWD DOES HE!!! With the door open, it's just loud and on days where I'm utterly exhausted and need to sleep... his snoring doesn't help. I think he's gone to a doctor about his sleep habits, and now as one of those sleep mask machines which turns out is like the massaging bed - steady white noise hum - but I'm not sure if he's using it as often as he's supposed to be.

And then there are the dogs.

The entourage of little furry minions she has is annoying at times. It's like the stereotypical woman with a billion cats. Add to that the dogs that she babysits as her side job... and the two the nursey-assistant-person has brought with her new - one likes me while the other is doing the "I'm gonna bark at everything" stance on my existence.

And let's not forget the people.

Landlady's Son is still with us though I'm not sure what his arrangement is just yet. Before I was told that he was trying to find work down here and that his stay would be temporary. He got work -he's in insurance or finance, can't remember which since we don't really talk - but he's still here. His kids come over for a visit, and Landlady used to be good about telling me when extra people were going to be in the house. (It's her family, but the heads up is great.) But they run around, yell down halls, have fights with the dogs.

So picture it if you will... me, laying in bed. Done reading my book or watching my shows (via my laptop since my access to the TV/cable is essentially non-existent), and I lay down, lights out, to pass the frak out. Most of the time I can pass out due to exhaustion or just plain luck, but to the left of me is Landlady's room, and at random times, one of the dogs will start to growl which then turns into a bark which starts a chain reaction that makes me want to punt each and every one of them to high heaven. Or the big one - and by that I mean the mutant Yorkie who is like the size of two or more Yorkies combined... like Yorkie Voltron or something - will attack one of the other dogs (recently she attacked the Grandma Yorkie of the bunch... not cool at all). Landlady has talked about finding her another home, but so far I haven't seen any evidence of that.

Elderly Man stomps his feet back and forth from the bathroom where he flips the lid up clanging the porcelain to porcelain, making a loud BOOM which startles me. He also talks in his sleep a bit. Don't remember some of the stuff he says... pretty sure I don't want to know. When awake, he yells for Landlady... not because he's hurt or anything, but when he thinks "I want to tell her something", he calls to her from his room... and gets louder when no one replies... and all he wants to tell you is that The Daily Show was funny or something. Landlady tries to shush him up, but he apologizes and quickly forgets.

And then you've got the people slamming doors and yelling on the phone or arguing with each other or clattering dishes around, etc.

People always suggest on me using headphones, but I'm paranoid I won't hear my alarm for work. When I remember or feel I need them, I use the earplugs that Jon S gave me and put on my mask and just tune the world out. I only get to do that twice a week, but at least it's something.

When I am awake, I find myself getting annoyed at my housemates antics. Elderly Man doesn't shower in the same bathroom as me but uses everything else... and leaves a mess of mouthwash and other stuff on the sink. Landlady's Son will shave and not clean up his hair trimmings. (This morning I found haircut trimmings in the tub.) I also have a drain cover that catches all the hair - since I have the tendency to shed a bit. The Son will push it aside when it clogs on him or not clean it out after his turn in the shower - since he and I... and his kids... are the only one that use that shower. I mentioned the hair this morning when I was about to take a shower for work, but I cleaned it up myself since I wanted to be done with it and not have to wait.

And total random rant: TOILET PAPER!

Not only do people in this house not know how to refill a roll, but they also have no idea where to look for toilet paper. Right across from the bathroom EVER SINCE I'VE BEEN HERE the extra has been in the hall closet... like TWO STEPS FROM THE BATHROOM. Landlady has told me before that she and Elderly Man got toilet paper, and I could give him a couple bucks for it, that'd be great, and I do. The past couple of times I've run errands, I bought an 8-pack of TP just as backup and put it in the closet... which has apparently turned into a void since every time the roll is empty, someone says we need more, and I point out the closet, and people say "Oh, I didn't know".

WHY NOT LOOK FIRST BEFORE OPENING YOUR DAMN MOUTH???

So here I am refilling and restocking some extra rolls in the bathroom... which then all go to the trash without anyone doing anything to replace them.

The last of the TP was used the other day before I headed out with Kathy W after work to see Ann Brashares at an author event for her new book "Here and Now". I dropped Kathy back at her car, drove to get food and headed to the store for TP. A part of me thought "Landlady got some today, didn't she?" but I didn't trust it. When I got home, I went straight to the bathroom, and I saw a roll in the cubby above the toilet and one on the roll. I looked in the closet - nothing there - so the stuff in the bathroom must be from my Landlady's stock (which of course isn't depleted as fast since she's the only one that uses her bathroom). This morning while getting ready for work, she texts me to ask if I could get some TP today, and I text her back to let her know I got some the night before and put it ALL in the bathroom. She texted back a thanks admitting she didn't look.

(Totally random, but as I write this, dogs are barking, I hear a lot of dog shushing, and Elderly Man has gone to the bathroom several times, stomping each time both ways.)

I really need my own place. (looks up to the heavens) You hear that? I need my own place.
  • a place where I can walk around and not be barked at
  • a place where I'm only cleaning up after myself
  • a place where I can cook and bake at my own leisure
  • a place where I have room in fridge and pantry and cupboards for my things
  • a place my cat can roam about freely
  • a place I can go when I want to be alone and escape and relax
  • a place where I can have friends over
  • a place where I can have a desk and sit at it and write or play games without my back hurting
  • a place for my family to stay if need be when they visit
  • a place where I can books on shelves instead of keeping them in boxes in storage
  • a place where the only snoring I'll hear is coming from my cat
  • a place where I can talk on the phone past 8pm because my cat won't mind
Okay. Done ranting about my desire for my own place.

What else has gone on in my life lately?

(insert Landlady's dogs barking here)

I've been helping my friend Kim M (aka Wifey) with her room. She rents a room in a house and has LOTS of stuff that she really doesn't need anymore. So me and my OCD are helping her purge what she doesn't need/use anymore, and we've had lots of "donate" and "get rid of" piles. (So proud of her.) There are a few things I've inherited from her - pens, small bottles of scented hand sanitizer, candles, a scarf - but most of her room has been sorted. We've been working at least once a week for the past few weeks when we both get out of work. She usually gets home around 4:30pm, and with me and my new schedule letting me escape by 5pm, I'm usually at her place close to 6pm (because traffic sucks donkey balls). We usually go to 11pm at the latest, but by the end of the first day, I found her floor. By the end of the second day, I found more of it. By the third and fourth days, I cleared out the space under her bed (she has one of those beds that's set up high, and you can put a desk underneath. In this case, she made the bottom her bed her closet.) I'm meeting her again on Monday. She'll hopefully be bringing more tubs with her back from her boyfriend's house and hopefully that's all we'll need to store/purse the rest of her crafts/costumes/faire stuff.

(Landlady's dogs won't shut up now.)

The days I help her out - which my OCD and I are glad to do - I skip the gym. The first night I was at her house, there was lots of lifting and moving and sweating and throwing the trash, etc, and as she walked me out, I commented on the gym, and she said, "You already had a workout for the night." And she was right.

Sadly the days I wasn't meeting up with her were the days my sinuses decided to give me the finger, laugh and say, "Oh no... not today." The day after the first day with Kim, I tried to go to the gym. It's a small gym, and I could see it was crowded so I parked and waited and tried to read in my car. The whole insomnia kicked in, and I got tired just sitting there so I opted to take a power nap. I woke up about 15 minutes later thinking "I'm going to the gym". The cement brick behind my eyes said otherwise. The pressure and pain was so bad, I felt nauseous. I went home and went straight to bed.

My sinuses don't do well in extreme, abrupt climate change. Lately it's been cold and then the next day - BOOM! - really dry hot. My nose will either run or spackle up. The pressure between my eyes and behind my head and terrible. Recently it's started focusing on the front and back of the left side of my head. Fun... not.

So with helping Kim and feeling off/on sick with my sinuses, I haven't really gone to the gym in almost a month. The original plan was to go everyday. 

Why? Cuz I'm a cow.

LOL! That brings to mind the Eddie Izzard quote from "Dress To Kill"...

Dear Sir,

My name is Daisy. I am a cow.

I wish to take my own life so please send me three buckets of anthrax, as anthrax is designed to kill cattle, and I want to end it all right now.

PS... I cannot shoot myself as I have no opposable thumbs.

Anyway, where was I?

My back has also been contributing to my gym absence since it occasionally acts up, and all I really want to do is go home and lay down on a heating pad. (Yay for back injuries.)

The lack of sleep as well as the other things I have mentioned are definitely frakking with my energy levels, and I'm sure my stress isn't helping either. I've also been bummed about a few things, but that's just general gloomy behavior, and I won't get into it.

But in the end, my writing has been suffering.

The lack of physical energy has made it difficult to write. In a way it's similar to my insomnia. With my insomnia, I'm all kinds of tired, I'm thinking of nothing, and I just want to pass out... but for some reason I can't. The popular theory is that my mind can't "shut off" which is causing me to stay awake longer than I'd wish, but my mind is a complete blank at the time, then it must be on a subconscious, and how the frak am I supposed to know about that and shut it off?

My "fatigue" leaves me in some physically numb state. My mind is firing on all cylinders wanting to write, to create, to put my ideas down and build a situation, a scene, a story. But when I open the laptop or try to hold a pen, nothing comes. Sure, I have moments of pure exhaustion - lack of sleep, working hard on Kim's room, trips to the gym, hard day at work or just a long day in general - and my mind knows it wants to write but those moments, it just doesn't know how to sort things or where to start or what to write.

But those moments are also few and far between.

I really hate this lack of energy/concentration. It's bullshit, and I hate it.

In another writing-related dilemma...

A few months ago, I had an idea for a scene which has been turning into something else. I keep thinking "maybe I should just write notes, outline, and prep this idea for NaNoWriMo this year"... but then the desire to write a scene, etc, hits me, and I get all frustrated. Before my first time doing NaNo, I was told by a fellow writer that I can outline, research, take notes... but I can't write a thing until midnight of November 1st. In all honesty, I dabbled a bit with one scene, but I wasn't really sure where to go with it so I didn't write anymore, but I don't know. How do you stop yourself from actually writing something you want to potentially do for NaNoWriMo?

Also looking over my story blogs, some of them just hit me with ideas, and I have ideas for them and that excite me a little.

And then there are others that I have no idea what to do or where to take them.

I'm also thinking about removing the tabs to my other story blogs and just making this blog a blog. I always tinker with that idea. I mean... I think a few of my friends read them, and a couple have actually posted on here. Perhaps I will. Maybe I'll just leave this as a blog, but the intent was to make this blog about a writing blog, but I guess it's just turning into a blog about a girl who's a writer. If I had a following, I could put the idea to a vote, but since I think it's really only me... I dunno. I'll just mull it over some more.

I want to write. I want to write ALL THE TIME. The WANT is there... I just don't seem to have the energy to do anything when I actually DO have the time.

And now to add to how crappy I've been feeling, I'm currently going through powerloss Wednesday night which explains why my back is extra achey and why I feel nauseous.

Joy of frakkin joys!

It's not bad enough that my energy levels seem to be depleting. Maybe I've been infected with apathy that is somehow manifesting into lethargy which is best friends with insomnia...

Oh dear. I'm fucked!

(and more barking and my Lanlady yelling back at them)

Okay, okay. I have been pushing myself to finish this post and get to bed. I'm still in sullen mood and my back hurts... yeah, I think it is SO time to go to sleep (or at least try). And who knows... perhaps I will find a much better world when I wake.

Later my lovelies.

Have Goodness!
Rae