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March 27, 2014

And then things got strange

First, vision.

Stable, I'm told. In truth, it hasn't changed much since that post-surgery week. I still need 1.5x reading glasses for the computer and 2x reading glasses for playing games or reading. Aside from sleeping, 90% of my time is spent looking at a computer or reading/playing games.

The things I can do without corrective lenses? Driving, looking at the television, taking a shower. I drive, maybe, once a week. I listen to the television often but rarely look at it. And I know where my parts are all kept, so being able to see them clearly in the shower isn't important. (Also? I would rather not see it so clearly when the shower isn't as clean as it should be.)

Basically, I can see really, really well when it comes to things I don't do or don't need to see. For the things I do all the time, I traded wearing $1,000 corrective lenses, perfectly adjusted to my eyes, for cheap "reading" glasses.


And then last week was bad. For no real reason, things were just--a little off all week.

Starting with Monday morning when I stepped into the (dirty!) shower, turned on the faucet, and got a lifeless trickle of icy water. Turns out the building's water was "off for maintenance" and no one I was able to contact could give me any idea (An hour? A day? A week?) of how long the situation was going to last. Since the water and/or hot water had been off intermittently the Friday and Saturday before, this made me cranky.

Coincidentally, an email arrived in my inbox asking me to "review" the apartment complex and asking for permission to publish my review. Like I said--a bad day. I unloaded all over them about a whole list of things I think they should be dealing with around the complex. I never let myself send emails when I'm mad but this time I was just too pissy to be sensible. (Yes, of course I sent an apology later.)

And I sent out a profusely apologetic email to eight people on Tuesday, telling them how sorry I was that I'd missed the scheduled monthly client conference call. After a criss-crossing of responses it was finally revealed that the conference call was scheduled for Thursday and that everyone thought I was crazy. (In my own defense, the subject line of the email scheduling the call did say Tuesday. And showed Tuesday's date.)

I took the time to leave some book reviews on Amazon (because I rely heavily on reader reviews myself) and since 90% of everything published is dreck--a statistic that may be underestimating the percentages since the advent of "self-publishing"--some of my reviews were not that complimentary.

As I discovered, people can comment on your reviews and people took exception to my criticism of one book. Including the author.

But I stood by my critique. Learning the craft should not be too much to ask if you're going want people to pay you money for what you write, okay? If you don't understand what POV, pacing, and narrative structure are? Go. Learn.

Also? Auto-correct? Not your friend.

Someone commented that I was "picky." Ever since, I've been fighting the urge to post back and say, "No, not picky. Just educated."

And then I posted something to a professional forum and made a couple of errors. Nothing traumatic--linked to a comment instead of the main article I was discussing & credited the commenter for the original post. When someone pointed those errors out, I fixed them within 10 minutes of first posting but the "someone" who found them is one of those types who are always lurking around, desperately trying to prove that everyone else is wrong. He jumped all over this mistake, up to and including reporting me for "abusing" the article's actual author. And it turned into sort of a kerfuffle.

And then, on Friday, I completely forgot about a lunch with some old co-workers that I'd been looking forward to for a week. I contacted them, I arranged it all, then I didn't show up. So lame.

I was not sorry to see last week limp to an end, I can tell you that.


This week, I'm happy to say, is going much better!

One, then two, then three potential clients I'd pitched to have decided to move ahead.

Granted, it might have been simpler had they not all decided on the same day, but I'm much less dangerous when I'm busy than I am when I have too much time on my hands. Anyhow--here it is, only Thursday, and all three of them are already up and running, so, productive!

I still need to do research for a fourth, but that's just an additional initiative for an existing client.

And my old coworkers were forgiving and we're trying for lunch again tomorrow.

Today, I stopped by the post office to pick up a parcel (Pratchett's newest book) and then swung by the bank to deposit a check I've been tripping over for a week.

After which, I stopped by the gas station and got hit on by a drunk guy waiting in line at the cash register

So, you know, a better week. But still a little weirdness going on.

posted by AnneZook on 03.27.14 at 03:19 PM


Yeah, but was the drunk guy at the gas station cute? *g*

posted by: Dail on 03.28.14 at 09:28 AM [permalink]

Actually, yes, he was. :)

posted by: Anne on 03.28.14 at 10:33 AM [permalink]

Glad your week picked up!

Last week was fun: we did Spring Break by touring Kansas: Atchinson, Topeka, Mt. Sunflower, and Dodge City. Our version of Spring Break also involves getting to the hotel early enough to get some D&D in, which we'd not done for a while.

This week was one stupid thing after another: two stomach bugs (and one low-grade fever that didn't develop into anything else), a sewer line backup that took roto-rooter *and* plumbers to straighten out (and which I had to clean up after the overflow, which was substantial, disgusting, and hiding behind large appliances and under sinks).

I have a small stack of grading for this weekend, which is not only overdue but Monday is the last day to Withdraw....

I have Pratchett's "Dodger" on my 'bought becuase I love them but haven't gotten to read them yet' pile. Also several Murakami Harukis, a couple of food history books, Philip Pullman's trilogy... comic books I read right away. I really need to actually read more for fun, though. I realized recently that I'd gotten out of the hab it of listening to music while I work, and it's actually helping me with focus.

Well, that and the reading glasses.

posted by: Jonathan Dresner on 03.28.14 at 08:13 PM [permalink]

I guess if you came from Hawaii, then Kansas seems exotic enough to want to take a tour. :)

Sounds like the Week of Weirdness karma behaved like storms do--took a path eastward from Denver until it hit your area? I especially regret the plumbing yuckiness. Not enough sanitizer in the world.... (That's one area where my concern for the environment takes a back seat. I wear a face mask and rubber gloves.)

I've read all of Pratchett's Discworld books, of course, along with a fair amount of his juvenile fiction. He's an amazing writer. I haven't opened the latest volume yet--I'm savoring it, in the knowledge that it could be the last. :(

I looked up Murakami Haruki and I may add his name to my list of "writers to try." Pullman, I--tried. Just couldn't get into his stuff.

For me, comic books are like manga. Tend to get read first because they're faster. I have my own stack of "to be read" books, mostly mysteries and SF, that are waiting for me to be done with some library books that are waiting for me to finish a series I d/l to the Kindle that is waiting for the pressure of work to ease up. :)

Reading glasses....

posted by: Anne on 03.31.14 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

I never know whether to recommend Murakami to people: it's such odd stuff. His later work is definitely more subtle, substantial in some ways, but I'll never forget the shock and pleasure of reading his early stuff in Japanese (back when I could leisure read in Japanese). Wild Sheep Chase (In Japanese, "The Adventure That Involved Sheep") is still one of my favorite books: seriously weird, and weirdly serious (more so now that I have a better grasp on the history/politics which he's addressing. He's often considered kind of apolitically literary, but it's really not true), and a real piece of World literature, rather than just Japanese literature.

I'm taking a leap with Pullman; I haven't tried yet, but the bits I've read by people who've taken it seriously suggest that it should be my kind of stuff.

And you're right: the quickness of comic/manga reading definitely adds to it. I've been getting into more web-based stuff recently, which is interesting. Not sure how I feel about the pace of it, honestly: I like to know that an author has a plan and when I start I'll be able to finish. But sometimes the payoff is fantastic: Nimona is one that I just found recently and is coming (it seems) to a serious conclusion shortly.

posted by: Jonathan Dresner on 04.01.14 at 12:48 PM [permalink]

Well, I'm going to leave the name on my list but probably won't get around to it any time soon. When I'm busy at work, I need to conserve brain cells :) the rest of the time--don't have that many to spare these days.

I tried Pullman. I honestly expected to like Pullman. Just--didn't happen. I was surprised.

Have to also admit that it's been a while since I had time for comics/manga, either. I have NO problem with people being paid fairly for their work but the speed at which I read means these aren't really a good way for me to spend $$. Comics aren't enough entertainment "bang" for my buck, considering I'd need fifteen or twenty issues to make up one reading session and manga is almost as bad.

posted by: Anne on 04.01.14 at 04:26 PM [permalink]

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