A Cat With A Mouse

My kitty got a new optical mouse (as well as his new Kindle) and he has been so happy with it.   I actually had to buy him the new mouse and a keyboard,  after spilling coffee on his laptop.   Ron was so mad,  so we bustled off to Target and bought him the mouse and keyboard.   He didn’t really like the keyboard and we were both thankful when the lappy dried out and it’s keyboard resumed working.   But the mouse has been a real hit around here.

It’s been a stressful couple of days for me.   On the spur of the moment I contributed a guest post to my friend Holly’s blog and it appeared at approximately the same time as I published The Bet Mr. Everything Didn’t Take.   These two posts between them have over 200 comments as I write this.    I tried very hard to reply to almost every comment,  though I know that I missed and skipped a few.     It was a whirlwind of chat that left me both tired out and deeply satisfied in refuting Mr. Everything’s claim that conversation is just for Facebook.

Then I hosted a tweet chat with my friend Jenn Thorson,  author of There Goes The Galaxy.   As I made clear in my review I adore Jenn and think that her book could be huge.   But my first experience hosting a twebevent chat was one of those occasions where everything that could go wrong goes wrong.   I did not know when I set it up that Jenn would be accessing the chat from her phone,  since it was scheduled at 8pm her time and at home she has dialup.       Had I known that the featured guest was going to be on a phone,  I would have done something differently.   As Susan, Tom and I have come to know, while it is possible to access a twitter chat on a phone,  chances are it will be slow and flaky.    I also learned that while Empire Avenue missions are a great way to get a large number of folks to tweet something for you,   having thousands of tweets sent does little to get lots of interested book lovers to show up for an author chat.   #soNOTmyday

Despite the technical problems  (I was not surprised that Jenn’s battery died and she had to get hooked up to her charger  and poor Susan who had a horrible headache but gamely participated)   it was fascinating to hear a bit more from Jenn about how, when and why she wrote her book.     And I do plan to edit from the chat a  bit of questions and answers that can be published somewhere.    I’ve stated before that I am about half way through the ten years of hard work that will be required to become an overnight success.    And when the day comes that I have my pick of authors who are thrilled to have me promoting their books because  Libdrone has become this generations’ answer to the old Playboy interview,   I know I will look back on this little fiasco and laugh.    Heck,  come to think of it,  I’m laughing now.

That Darned Asterisk (OR Of Lions and LIONS)

I never really liked footnotes.   Sometimes instructors could be quite picky about them and more than once I came almost to tears over a style guide trying to figure out just what details about the information source needed to be typed in at the bottom of that page next to the superscript number (created by turning the typewriter platen half a line down).   I am not in fact techno butch enough to know how to place superscript numbers in a blog post.   Though every now and then I do place an asterisk if I have some little tid bit to add at the bottom of a post.

One of the most frustrating mistakes one could make in the footnote category,  back in the days when one typed papers on typewriters  (largely obsolescent devices which used embossed metal strikers to imprint ink on paper,  one letter at a time), was to come to the end of a page and realize that you have forgotten to include a footnote.  You might be able to get away with doing end notes instead,  particularly if you had not previously on any other pages inserted a footnote.   But if that was not an option,  it would in fact be necessary to type that entire page over again to fix the error.    Current technology that made typewriters obsolete,  and brought about such improvements as the Backspace key,  automatic footnote entry and automatic pagination  robs me of any excuse for omitting a foot note to correspond to the asterisk I placed next to the term LIONS in yesterday’s post.

My huzband is in fact “a lion”.     I honestly don’t fully understand myself exactly what that means.   If you’re curious I’m afraid you would have to ask Ron yourself.   When I mentioned that my friend Holly is NOT a “LION”  I meant that she is not a  Linked In Open Networker.    I don’t use Linked In.    I never liked it and when it was pointed out to me that my profile on that site  (upon which I had never expended any great effort) kind of, well,   really sucked,   I thought about it for all of a minute,  then removed my profile from Linked In.   It goes back to the discussion I am having with Michael the last few weeks.   I don’t think it’s possible  for anyone to be on every social site out there.   And I definitely think that not having a profile on a particular site is infinitely preferable to having a lousy profile.  (see Hello World)   Linked In LIONS are known around social media as the original instigators of the Open Networking movement,  which pretty much prescribes connecting with everyone you meet on every network you’re on.   Honestly,   I get tired just typing about it.

In any event,  I hope you will forgive me for first omitting this footnote from yesterday’s post and then for turning a one sentence explanation into a 500 word blog post.    (A free form journal really is a lot easier than a blog that tries to stick to a precise niche.)   I hope that this finds you having or having just had a good Hump Day Wednesday.    And thank you so much for stopping by.

sunday

It is hot today but I feel so lucky to be at home and relaxing rather than at work, where I have only very rarely not worked on a Sunday since beginning my current position in July 2007. We are only open for four hours each Sunday afternoon but my Sunday shift is often the busiest, most demnanding and most stressful five hours in my schedule. I have also continued working every Sunday longer than anyone else at our branch. There have been three different BA’s (err Senior Branch Assistants) who have been the every Sunday opener and closer these two+ years. I definitely believe that if I am able to transfer to a smaller branch that is not open on Sundays that would do a lot to decrease my overall stress level. (As would somehow coming up with money to replace our oldest currently working puter– a six or seven year old Toshiba lap top with broken hinges. Basically I have the old boy hooked up to an old but still working fine flat screen monitor. It would also help if I had (And had room for) a separate keyboard. After all those years of hard travel, this old keyboard is not as well, reliable as it once was and it is just very different from our newer lappy’s keyboard, making it considerably harder for me to type. The fact that my computer desk is also a storage facility for everything from kitchen utensils to photographs to Ron’s used insulin syringes in empty plastic Diet Pepsi bottles and various other emphemera as well as our large collection of plastic shopping bags (which we hold onto in order to re-use; we do seperate out our recyclables into plastic bins– which are also crowding me in a bit in this corner of our kitchen. We seperate out aluminum cans from everything else because a local recycing company pays us 50 cents per pound and a several month accumulation can be a financial lifesaver if we are dead broke two days before payday.)

I mentioned in an earlierpost that my current mental health crisis has been very hard on my spouse, Ron. In our ealiest years together, I was mostly able to avoid stress and keep myself on an even keel without most of my meds since I did not have health insurance from Jan 2004 when I was laid off from the outsource customer service center (wages half my earthlink salary, very similar work and I kept it cuz like the library it provided great health insurance at no charge) until I got hired on at PCLS in July 2007. At that time Ron’s cyclthymia and other mental health problems had also been untreated for many years and he was a pretty bitter “rage-a-holic”. And part of why I loved him so much is that I could see so much of myself in Ron’s frequent and often incredibly vehement outbursts of extreme anger. Folks, I’ve been there. When I met Joel incidents as minor as someody cutting me off in traffic could set me off on what I can only describe as an insane murderous rage. I consider myself incredily fortunate that I never had a horrible accident or got arrested or killed during those years. I honestly can’t say how Joel saw the person I was beneath all of that mis-directed or perhaps even psychotic rage, let alone just how he taught me to let go of the rage and learn to manage my illnesses by taking my life moment by moment and continually telling myself that while I am completely unable to control what life or the world throws at me I can Always choose how I will recat to it.

I don’t by any means claim that I am always able to put this theory or belief into practice but these are two ideas and strategies that have enabled me to go from being a rage-a-holic most of the time to being calm and “laid back” most of the time. And since I got hired at the library (gaining me again free gold standard health insurance at no cost), my new income increased our household budget to the point where Ron was able to afford to sign up for a Medicare suppemental insurance policy so that now both of us to use Group Health and pay only nominal co-payments and receive comprehensive care for all of our various mental and physical heaolth issues. Since that momentous development (both of us getting mental health treatment from psychiatrists and therapists) we have both made much progress in coping with our various issues. And when I went into crisis the Friday when my boss was so hostile and threatening when I called in sick, Ron as been my rock of gibralter doing everything in his power to see to it that I got the treatment that I needed and went very much into NURSE-mode (Ron is a highly experienced RN) to take care of me as I recovered from what my shrink called ‘the precepice of a nervous breakdown’.

Today Ron cycled from the manic to the depressive phase of his illness (VERY breifly cyclthymia is a kind of rapidly cycling bi-polar disorder and in ron the manic phases to me seem happy, contented and agreeable and the depressive phases, hostile, angry and bitter rather than the more conventional definitions of ‘manic’ or ‘depressed’). It seemed to me this afternoon during the heat of the day we were having “one of our Old fights”. Based on our history together the fact that his mental illness is getting worse at the moment, almost certainly foreshadows mine getting better so that I can handle his symptoms and problems. With all my heart I am terribly sorry that my poor sweetie is suffering today. Even though his cycling fills me with hope that I will soon be getting back to my version of normal.

rambling thoughts

“You’re going to shoot your eye out!”

An odd message to see tweeted on Twitter, but instantly recognizable to fans of the movie A Christmas Story, based on the book In God We Trust, All Other Pay Cash by Jean Sheperd. So some of my Twitter friends (egad I first typoed that as fiends) have been tweeting that line this morning, reminding me that Ron and I really want to stay home and watch that movie on TBS on Christmas day, rather than drive down to Portland to spend Christmas at my horrid cousin’s house where my mother and my aunt and uncle will be visiting.

Ron initially flaly refused to go down there at all this year. I initially told my mother that we couldn’t possibly come on Christmas day itself, because I have to be at work at 8am on the 26th and there is no way we would be home before midnight (my cousin’s dinner is inevitably a fairly Late meal, as opposed to the early afternoon meal we always had when we were growing up). Ron eventually caved and agreed to go down with me, but I have yet to e-mail and co-ordinate a plan with Mom. (Ron says he actually Likes my mother okay, but finds my cousin as insufferable as I do, and not being related to her sees no reason to subject himself to her company.)

And the _reason_ we need to stay home and watch it when it is on is because the DVD of that movie is among the HUGE number of things that I either sold or just walked away from after Joel died, and my very old, still partially unpaid student loan prevented me from receiving any further tuition assistance to complete the one year certificate in Accounting that I was pursuing at my local community college, causing my unemployment benefits to suddenly stop, leaving me jobless, incomeless and on the verge of homelessness when, in a bit of good timing that makes me beleive in God, I met, fell in love with and moved in with Ron in a matter of days.

(If only I had been Sensible at age 19 and borrowed $2500 to blow on gambling and high living, a debt which would have long since been written off and forgotten, rather than borrowing this amount to pay for a year of college, which I never Did finish, and which, it appears will haunt me to my dying day. SIGH)

In other news here in Seattle we seem to be having very Boston type weather lately. Yesterday was our second big snow storm of the season and a third is due in a few more days. We have plenty of food and no plans to venture out in the snow and ice today. (Having lived in Boston, where weather is NEVER an excuse for being late or missing work, I do know how to drive in it but most folks in these parts have no clue, making it Much more dangerous.) It looks hellacious on tee vee.

I have also been trying for several hours, with zero success to write a post about Harry Turtledove’s alternative history novel, The Gladiator, and have jumped at every possible distraction. Ah well. Here’s hoping you are warm, dry and snow free today.