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It's funny how quickly a week goes by. It's also funny how, over the past 8 years, the beats of my weeks have gotten so totally screwed.

I started working at the hotel in February 2004. I started in housekeeping before moving to front desk in May. But I never had a standard 8-5 Monday-through-Friday schedule; I worked when I was needed when in housekeeping, and when I moved to front desk, it was usually Monday morning shift, Tuesday Wednesday evening shift, Thursday off, Friday Saturday overnight shift, Sunday off, Monday starts again. No real weekend there.

Read more... )

See you next week.
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We started moving furniture at work this week, because we wanted to. I shifted my desk 1' forward. Woo-hoo! Considering my back was to a wall, it gives me a surprisingly large amount of new space. And a disturbing, worn circle in the carpet where my desk chair has been for the past six years. It never moved; I'd sit down and turn the chair to swivel under my desk, and turn 1/4 turn back again when I was ready to stand up.

Read more... )

And I'm still playing Skyrim. It's fun.

Still nothing more from John Gilmore to put into his book- I'll be doing this one at the last minute, I know it.

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It's Sunday morning, 1 a.m. I'm working the hotel and I have drunk wedding guests that I've had just about enough of; the next time I have to talk to them it will be with a local sheriff at my side.



Jinx surveys his domain.

Read more... )

Crap, it's late, and i have work to do. Gonna wrap this up for now.
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Where white tornadoes go to die


My house is messy.

Well, that depends on who you ask. I am perfectly fine with the state of my house. My grandmother would probably be appalled, however. Her house was always immaculate. 

I don’t clean with any kind of frequency. As long as my feet don’t stick to the floor too badly, I’m fine. So far, no one has really complained, probably because I don’t invite anyone to my house. It’s just easier that way. Plus, I don’t like most people.

I usually start cleaning when I come home and realize I’d be embarrassed to see my home on an episode of COPS. This is something I’ve only developed in my recent adult years; in college, I only cleaned when I moved. Sometimes, I cleaned when I moved in, which just goes to show there are some people out there worse than I am (I once used a putty knife to clean the wall beside the toilet in an apartment I rented. Because it’s true - men have trouble aiming). I usually stop cleaning when I’ve achieved a level of sufficient cleanliness that if anyone does stop by, I can say, “Oh excuse the mess, I didn't have time to clean!”

In my own defense, I’m not a dirty person, really. No more than anyone else, I think. Or maybe I’m just accustomed to my own filth and can’t see it any more. I do have a bad habit of generating clutter and not allocating enough time to eradicate the collected detritus. I tend to stack things, and when the stacks get out of hand, I put the stacks in boxes; and when the boxes get out of hand, I put the boxes in storage. I have boxes in storage that I have not looked at since I moved six years ago. I was too busy cleaning to unpack them. Empty houses are easier to clean. Except for those people moving out, apparently.

These days, I don’t always have enough time to clean. With my schedule, I’m lucky to find time to run the dishwasher when the dishes pile in the sink high enough that I can’t reach the faucet to get water for the coffee maker. This is known as an emergency. In an emergency situation such as this, the tub can be used to fill the coffee machine, and the jelly jars in the back of the cupboard can be used for the coffee.

Like you’ve never done that.

What’s strange is that I love cleaning products. A different kind of spray cleanser or scrub brush makes me actually look forward to cleaning, but the novelty wears off quickly. The solution for my lack of excitement for cleaning is probably to always start with a brand new, different kind of mop. Or to have my grandmother move in. She’d like that; there are lots of different cleaning products from which to choose. All barely used.

Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to get a day off, usually (maybe) on a major holiday. Frequently, this will coincide with my home being in a reality-show state of disarray, and so I will start at one end of the house and clean until I reach the other end, usually becoming progressively less thorough as the day passes and I become more tired and less interested in the latest neon-colored bottle of goo (Chemicals clean better when they look like nuclear waste, apparently). These cleaning sprees mostly involve wiping off surfaces and shuffling around stacks and boxes in a bizarre floral-scented game of mancala. There have been times when my home has ended the day cleaner, but even messier than it was before. And I can’t find anything.

The cat enjoys these days, because I also often go on marathon laundry sprees as well, meaning he can sleep on one of his favorite locations - the top of the running clothes dryer. It’s warm, and gently vibrates, and lulls him into a sleep deep enough that one can almost pet his tummy without feeling pain. Almost. He probably just doesn’t want me to use him to dust.

I’ve made some discoveries over the years, like how well toilet bowl cleaner removes black soap scum from bathtubs; that sprinkle-powder carpet cleaner never really vacuums up all the way; that streak-free shines only matter to TV commercial people; and that freshly mopped floors can be explosively nauseating to dogs. And they don't care which end explodes.

I’ve also discovered that the more likely an item is to be either machine washable or dishwasher safe, the happier I am and the more frequently it will be cleaned. Surprisingly, there are many, many things that are dishwasher safe that aren’t advertised as such. I really think marketing companies are missing out by not addressing the very important demographic of Busy Bachelors. 

I’ve put car parts through the dishwasher as well as trim from my house; computer cases and lamp shades; hand tools and shaving razors. Heck, even my toilet seat is detachable for cleaning, and it’s the perfect size to fit in my dishwasher. If only the selling company had had the foresight to market this much-used household item as dishwasher safe, I’d feel less guilty when the time comes and I finally do run it through my machine.

Because, someday, I know that I will. No matter how hard I fight this urge, I will inevitably succumb.

And I’ll use the pots and pans setting, no less.

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Dad is ok. For now. He's at home.


Jan. 9th, 2012 09:54 am
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Column's finished; by the time I left work Sunday morning, the raw lump was all there; when I got into the office this morning I was able to shape and polish it into a finished product. Not one of my best, I think, and probably reveals a lot more about my home life than is necessary, but meh.

Dad's in the hospital and has been since last week. He's on heavy morphine sedation and I finally got him on the phone Sunday afternoon. He didn't know what day it was, and I'm not sure he knew who he was speaking to. The oncologist is seeing him today, and I'm waiting for the phone call to tell me if I need to make an emergency flight back to the east coast.


Jan. 8th, 2012 02:11 am
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After three hours, I have 290 words that I hate.

ETA: 2:50 A.M. Up to 510 words. Just used mancala as a metaphor. Brought the cat into the storyline. Obviously, I need to toss some coke at my brain for energy fuel.

ETAA: The brown, sugary soda kind of coke.


Jan. 7th, 2012 03:00 am
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I need to write a column this weekend, and once again, I'm terrified that the well's going to be dry when I get to it.

When does this fear of failure go away?

In the past, I think I've run up against this before in various creative endeavors, and instead of trying to work my way through it, I gave up and let it win: I became so terrified of failing, that I refused to even make an effort. This has happened with photography, painting, poetry, performing ... about the only thing it hasn't happened with is graphic design, probably for two reasons- I don't see it as an artistic endeavor, and I've always been mediocre at it, at best. With so many of the other things I've listed, I started out and very quickly reached a high point that I felt unable to sustain, let alone rise above. So I took the easy way out and cowardly labelled it "quitting while I was ahead."

I don't want that to happen this time; I refuse to let that happen this time. I doubt I'll ever get over the fears of creative endeavors, but I'm trying not to let them cripple me any more. So, tomorrow night, I'll write a column. Right now, I don't know what it will be about (as always, there's a lot o random possible topics swirling in my head, from Cleaning House to Dogs I've Known to Why I Like Ties) or how well it will turn out or how long I'll stare at the keyboard before I actually make some words do things that will hopefully make me laugh and therefore make someone else laugh as well.

As long as there is a result, I will not have failed. Even if it's crap, I suppose.

ETA: And just went through a few minutes of inner mockery, along the lines of "Ha-ha, you think you're a writer. REAL writers laugh at your petty fears!" Yeah, thanks brain, I needed that. :|
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As usual, I didn't really meet my resolutions this year. However, I did accomplish two important goals: I have been smoke-free for one year now, and I have written at least one column per month this entire year. I'm happy with that. The book collecting them all together is now 15 chapters of 76 pages.

Some other highlights of the year-

-Winning the WPA awards in January of 2011.

-I got a bear that holds a stick of deoderant inside.

Not so great things: Dad getting diagnosed with cancer.

Ambivalent things: I did not go on my yearly date this year.

Mostly though, 2011 just left me feeling exhausted, and in a rut more than ever. 2012? I'm not going to predict anything, or make any new goals. There's still enough from 2011 I have to work on; may as well as carry them over.
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I've finally dragged myself away from rage comics and Star Trek reviews and made it to LJ. So, where to start?

The paper office was closed today, although my "day off" was, once again, not much of one because I still have my Friday night shift at the hotel. I spent my waking hours working on Bonnie & Clyde photos, played a smidgen of Skyrim, sorted some Doctor Who videos I've been meaning to watch, and now here I am at the hotel. To catch up ...

Remember the deal with the medical clinic and the Check That Has Never Been Cashed? Yeah, still hasn't. This is really pissing me off. If I didn't need the clinic for getting my meds filled, I think I'd be done with them right now. As it is, I think the next time I have a medical issue, I'm going somewhere else, and I'll just have them take over my general care. Depends on how it goes Monday when I go back to the clinic for another talk.

On Christmas Day, I asked Andy what he would like for our Holiday Feast. I gave him two options- baked ham and pie, or a bucket of hot dogs. He choose the hotdogs. I also made a graham cracker cake.

Read more...and there's pictures )

So. While it's now technically New Year's Eve, I think I'm going to wait until my next shift to write up a recap of 2011 and what I hope to get out of 2012.

As for the title of this entry, when I woke up at 6 pm, it was 34F outside; it's now 40F after hitting a high of 50F around midnight ... the snow and ice are melting furiously outside!


Dec. 30th, 2011 12:15 pm
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I am listening to Short Trips - Volume III by Big Finish, and Peter Davison reading as Peri is a scream!

(I originally wrote "Peter Davison doing Peri" but luckily re-read it before posting.)
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Finally got the package of information I need from John Gilmore so I can progress on his book layout. It's like receiving a spy missive- a priority mail envelope, taped to make it difficult to open. Inside, a beat up pocket folder, faded purple, held closed with masking tape. Inside, grainy photocopies of photographs marked with magic marker, a data cd, and a typed letter of instructions.

It's work, but it's fun.


Dec. 24th, 2011 12:18 am
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I opened up an account at that other blog place ... um, dream something. Mostly, I'm hoping to back up my LJ entries over there, in case LJ goes kablooie. I doubt I'll use it much for anything else (unless LJ goes kablooie) because I don't use LJ much any more. The near immediate feedback of Facebook has seduced away much of my time. However, for longer, more in-depth postings, LJ still rules.

So, hello December.
Read more... )

And then, today. The paper office was closed today, but I had to keep much the same schedule, since I'm working at the hotel overnight, as usual. So, no tmuch of a day off, and next week, I get to do it again. Hopefully, by then, I have a working steering column.
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Well, here I am.
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Once more, I present to you my favorite holiday story- the story of How Kenny Loggins Ruined Christmas.
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Winter is here.

It doesn’t matter what the calendar says; nor does it matter that the suggestion of an early winter was instead followed by weeks of weather refusing to put any wintery winterness in the world at large this year. Winter has come, and I have become grumpy at the sight. (OK – grumpier.)

Read more... )


Dec. 17th, 2011 03:42 am
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When I was on vacation in Albuquerque in October, I noticed that my ears were plugging up and I was having a heck of a time hearing people talk. I chalked it up to allergies, starting taking some medicine, and waited for it to go away.

It didn't.

After a month of dealing with this to varying levels of severity, I went to the medical clinic and saw a physician's assistant who immediately diagnosed me with an ear infection, gave me a script, and sent me on my way.

(My doctor is no longer at this clinic. My doctor is on a medical "time out" as he put it when I ran into him at the grocery store. Politics at the clinic, where he is a part owner, led to incredible stress and frustrations for the man, a recovering alcoholic. You can guess where this is leading- he was picked up for DUI over the summer, and went on various medical leaves from the clinic before finally leaving. He was refreshingly frank and upfront with me about this, which I respect, but then we've always had a good doctor/patient relationship- the guy is great. The DUI is not why he is no longer at the clinic, he reassured me, and once his medical time out is done, he told me he will probably be opening his own private practice, and I told him to let me know, because he's still my doctor. As I told him, I live in too large of a glass house to ever throw bones.)

I finished off the medicine, and nothing changed. So back I went. Got a different prescription, and one for steroid ear drops as well. This time, my ears go worse, especially the left one- the pressure and pain built up until I was ready to scream like a child and jam a sharpened pencil in my ear canal, just for release and relief. The pain spread down my jawline as well. But, I toughed it out, and after a day or two, it slowly began to subside. The ear drops did very little but run down my neck when I least expected it, and by the time I was done all the medicines (one week) I was right back where I started.

While our friends from Albuquerque were visiting last weekend for Andy's 30th birthday party (They drove up to surprise him, and boy, did they ever!) we went up the mountain to Sinks Canyon. I was in a lot of discomfort, as my ears would not pop and equalize the pressure. And I couldn't hear again. So, Monday, I went back to the clinic. The same PA saw me, and immediately referred me to an ear, nose and throat specialist in town, as by now, he was at a loss of what to do next. This took two minutes. I waited nearly one and a half hours to see him.

The ear, nose and throat specialist saw me Thursday morning. She ran some tests, had me go for a hearing check (92$ but I got to flirt with the hunky receptionist. grrrowlllll .....) and then told me my Eustachian tubes are inflamed and need exercised. She proscribed an inhalant for the next eight weeks to help the inflamation, and a simple exercise to help build up the tubes' muscles again.

I'm exercising my ears. Fabulous.

What's really interesting is that the hearing test showed that my hearing is actually slightly better than normal. Which is remarkable, because I have a horrible time hearing anything when there's background noise. If the dishwasher is running, I can't hear the tv, etc. Granted, I wasn't tested for hearing with background noise (that I know of.) But that lack of hearing ability, coupled with my years of working in radio when I was younger and the big giant headphones I was required to wear, has had me believing for the longest time that my hearing was impaired. I'm glad to know it's not.

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I was hoping to finish Universe in the Red this weekend. However, it turns out that while I've made a number of books in QuarkXpress, I've never actually built a book in QuarkXpress. There's an entire new world of functionality here for me to learn and explore, and I'm getting lost in the wonderfulness of it all, and taking this as an opportunity to learn how to do a book properly, instead of my way.

Which is good, because after three months of silence, John Gilmore just got back in touch with me to start working on the layout for his Bonnie and Clyde book. We've been working on that thing for years ... I hope it finally is going to see print. Granted, there is always the chance (as has been done in the past) that he will decide in the middle of working on one book to suddenly switch to a different book entirely.


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