edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. I totally forgot today was the eclipse -- I plead lack of sleep and also distraction (volunteering at the final day of my church's annual rummage sale) -- but fortunately I got my two sale rooms closed down by 2pm and was able first to see several pinhole projections other church members were using out on the sidewalk, and later to get a direct look through some glasses that Upstairs Neighbor E lent me while I was out walking Dottie.

It was pretty cool to see the moon take a bite out of the sun. :) It was also vaguely disquieting, because the sky went... not dark, you couldn't remotely call it dark... but noticeably gray. The color desaturated. Also, when Dottie decided that her midafternoon walk should end with a five minute relaxing lie-down in a sunny patch of grass, the direct sunlight was not nearly as warm as it should have been for that time of day and the ambient temperature. So, nothing dramatic, probably nothing I would have noticed if I hadn't been aware of the eclipse and therefore actively paying attention, but still. Pretty cool. :)

2. I called the doctors' office about getting a psychiatric evaluation/anti-depressant prescription, but was unable to make an appointment yet because I'm in a weird limbo where they're not sure if I count as a new or a returning patient, since my last appointment was apparently three years ago. The clerk who answered the phone took some information about my insurance and has sent an inquiry to their billing department. A representative should call me later this week, after which I will be able to schedule an appointment.

3. Three of my squash plants seem pretty definitively dead. The fourth (which was worst hit by the powdery mildew but seems to have escaped the wilting sickness that subsequently struck the other three) might be in the early stages of slow recovery. So I think I'll uproot the dead ones on Wednesday or Thursday and plant new seeds.

4. My church's rummage sale went pretty well, all things considered. I worked 12-4pm on Sunday, and 10-2pm today. The sale runs Saturday-Monday. Saturday is full-price, Sunday is half-price, and Monday is free with a donation box placed prominently at the exit. (We used to have Monday be 10-cent day, but that was immensely aggravating to everyone involved, so we swapped over to "free, but have you seen this donation box???" It turns out we not only save time this way, we actually bring in more money!) Monday is also the day we do preliminary breakdown, starting around noon -- first we start taking down a bunch of the shelving, and then we box everything up and cart it downstairs to the parlor so as to make things less inconvenient for the people hauling the unsold items away Tuesday morning.

(I think the unsold books go to the Friends of the Library book sale, but I wouldn't swear to it. The remaining fabric scraps probably go to one of the local sewing co-ops. I am also unsure what happens to the unsold linens and toys, though I think again there may be arrangements with various local charities. The rest... well, most of it goes to the dump. *sigh* But hey, it was going there anyway, and the sale does save an astonishing amount of stuff from being scrapped.)

5. Cornell classes started today, which meant that last week (and specifically Saturday) were the crush days for students moving back to Ithaca. And also students panicking and realizing they've forgotten to rent parking spaces. *wry* So the rental office was VERY BUSY -- in fact, Mom Boss and Aunt Boss came in to work from ~11am-4pm so we had four people in the office (usually Miss Cactus and I cover Saturdays alone), and that extra staffing was NECESSARY.

We will continue to be busy through... hmm... early October, probably? Here is why: A) people working out the glitches in their new apartments and returning their damage deposit inspection forms; B) the final parking rental rush; C) quarterly rent payments are due; D) people hurrying to pay for internet service after the free trial period ends; D) price listings for the 2018-19 year go up and we start apartment tours; E) current tenants get a couple weeks to renew or switch apartments before open renting starts; and F) open renting starts halfway through September.

But at least we're mostly done with key returns and sign-outs, we have the nice new folders for next year's leases set up, damage deposits and summer photographs are all done, and most of the giant packages in which people ship furnishings to themselves have arrived and been picked up. So that's something!
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Took weekly Monday photographs of my vegetables, but forgot to post them online. Ah well. I will do a two-weeks-in-one post this coming Monday.

2. Walked to the Cayuga St. bridge to watch my town's fireworks display at 9:45pm Monday night. (Ithaca usually does fireworks a day or two before the 4th. I am not sure when or why that offset started, but at this point it's a tradition and continues through sheer inertia.)

3. Wrote four fic DVD commentaries. :)

more items under the cut )

21. Applied to TC3! (I mean, I fudged some dates because I don't remember the exact end dates of my association with my high school and previous colleges. I can tell you month and year, sure! But exact day? Pfff, no. I assume they will understand and cut me slack on that front.) Tomorrow I will start arranging for transcripts. I believe I can do that online for the two colleges. For my high school, I think I have to make a phone call, so that will wait for Monday.

22. Emailed Vicky about some super-secret plans we may or may not be conspiring over. ;)

And that is that!

For the record? My productivity was wildly uneven this week. Points 1 through 8 took four days (Monday-Thursday), whereas points 9-22 were all done in a single day (Friday). This is because I knocked my sleep schedule completely out of whack and did not manage to yank it back on track for several days, during which I kind of zombied around doing nothing in particular. I can't even say I was relaxing and enjoying myself; I was mostly just going through the motions and hoping some spark of emotion/inspiration would light me up.

I really need to stop letting my sleep schedule drift. That is utterly devastating to my ability to be a functional person.
edenfalling: golden flaming chalice in a double circle (gold chalice)
For my own reference, I want to make an electronic copy of the covenant my congregation voted to adopt at our annual meeting last month. I am dissatisfied with it in numerous ways, but it is a living document so I hope at least some of those can be changed.

(I also wish I had been able to attend some of the previous discussion meetings about the covenant, but alas, work and other things got in the way.)

Also, yes, the preamble/explanation of what a covenant even IS is part of the document. That is probably the part that annoys me the most. Dictionaries exist! And sacred promises should sound like sacred promises, not like assembly minutes. :(

-----

A Covenant is a set of sacred promises that Unitarian Universalists make with each other to guide and support their communities.

First Unitarian Society of Ithaca adopts this covenant to sustain our commitment to each other, affirm our connections when we struggle, and form the foundation of our respectful relationships with each other and the world.

We covenant to:

Be together in community, guided by love and respect.
Be open, friendly, and welcoming to all.
Be engaged in congregational life.

Communicate compassionately, directly, and honestly.
Listen deeply and kindly to each other.
Believe in others' best intentions.

Support and inspire each other's quest for truth and meaning
Acknowledge, respect, and value our differences.
Work to serve our community's shared goals.


-----

(The missing period in the final trio is copied faithfully from the original document.)

-----

The covenant I grew up with (and adored) is a variation of a common UU covenant, which my childhood minister introduced for communal recitation early in each service as follows:

"Knowing that neither this nor any other form of words will ever be used as a creedal test, I invite you to join me in the covenant:

"Love is the doctrine of this church,
The quest for truth is its sacrament,
And service is its prayer.
To dwell together in peace,
To seek knowledge in freedom,
To serve life in fellowship
To the end that all souls shall grow in harmony,
Thus do we covenant with each and with all."


...

I think you can see why I am dissatisfied with my own church's new covenant? It does not fill the same emotional/ritual slot AT ALL. And if you're not going to fill that slot, why call your thing a covenant? You could just as easily call it a preamble to the bylaws and put it there, where its dryness would be a much better tonal fit.

*grumps ineffectively at the universe*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Cooked the second of my three Blue Apron meals. Details in this post. Took all resulting compost (and compost from previous days) to the communal bin.

2. Boiled two eggs.

3. Deposited a check.

4. Paid my dental bill from my May 15th appointment, which had finally come in the mail.

5. Posted another tiny installment in my Narnia/HP crossover: The Test of Gold, in which Edmund and Ginny take an unusual boat trip.

6. Baked brownies.

7. Walked to Stewart Park on Sunday morning for my church's annual picnic, which is preceded by a brief service composed of a few songs, a volunteer appreciation segment, and a youth bridging ceremony (ie, welcoming middle-schoolers into high school, and graduating seniors into adult life). The day was sunny and bright with a mild breeze, the songs were fun, the bridging speeches were moving, and the food was delicious. :)

I get to Stewart Park via the Renwick Wildwood Bird Sanctuary (which is both more direct and VASTLY more pleasant than the other potential routes), and this year the cottonwoods are all shedding their seeds so thickly that parts of the path looked like they were covered in snow or swathed in a million spiderwebs.

Also three mosquitoes attempted to bite me, but I squished them all and only one got far enough into the biting process to leave an itchy welt.

8. TOOK A NAP.

9. Changed linens.

10. Outlined a fic I may or may not ever get around to writing, but the idea wouldn't stop bugging me until I fed it a little structure, so.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Dental appointment at 8:15am. My teeth are fine, yay! The office manager was out for the week because of some unspecified life crisis, so I did not pay my bill on Monday (the hygienists have not been trained to work the billing program -- scheduling yes, financials no) but I should receive one in the mail sometime this coming week.

2. Made my weekly Facebook update.

3. Emailed the DRE about summer and fall youth group plans. I have not yet heard back, but I will try to corner her in person on Sunday and chat for a few minutes.

4. Caught a bus out to the mall and watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which I enjoyed A LOT. :D

more items under the cut )

19. Bought groceries.

20. Repotted my peppers!

...

You will note that I still have not cooked the fajitas for which I did ingredient prep last week. The containers of sliced onion, pepper, and chicken have been sitting in the freezer for a week and a half now. I may try to get that dealt with tomorrow night, but give that I will already be baking brownies (church obligations), I am inclined to doubt I will manage the fajitas until Monday. *sigh*

I failed to get any writing done whatsoever -- like, I got a couple hundred words toward a prompt response, but there were aimless twaddle, totally unusable, and I haven't managed to get any of the slightly less awful ideas onto a page. Blargh.

I think, on the balance of evidence, that I have probably been stuck in a mild blue funk for the past couple weeks. I hadn't noticed sooner because I haven't felt particularly disconnected (one of my main depressive symptoms), but I have definitely been suffering from executive dysfunction (aka, lack of can-do), disordered sleeping patterns, and a general lack of enthusiasm for things I would normally enjoy. I also may have fic-binged a couple times, which is a telling symptom even without the disconnection that usually triggers it.

There is really nothing to do except try to fight the disordered sleeping patterns and wait it out. And maybe to grit my teeth and force myself to write, because that CAN be done and I do generally feel a lot better for up to a full day after completing some kind of creative work in the face of my brain's attempt to paint the whole world gray. I guess I'll see if I have any free time at work tomorrow to get that prompt response pinned down.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Put away the remaining laundry.

2. Backed up my hard drive.

3. Made an appointment to give blood this coming Thursday.

more items under the cut )

17. Submitted my WIP Big Bang snippets.

18. Checked 2D movie times for Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which I would like to see tomorrow. (I'd wanted to see it Thursday or Friday, but see above in re: the universe squashing me flat.) I think 1:15 or 3:10pm sound most promising.

19. And this is true for all the days in question: I plonked at a few bits of fiction to no particular effect. *sigh* I will keep trying tomorrow.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I am debating going to a NYS Baroque concert at my church on Saturday evening. It's relatively obscure stuff, to wit:

The Sweetest Sounds

Ravishingly beautiful cantatas, arias, and instrumental music: Bach’s cantata BWV 82a "Ich habe genug;" a new flute concerto by Vivaldi, Thomas Arne’s The Morning, a Handel concerto grosso, and more.

Laura Heimes, soprano; Steven Zohn, flute; Marika Holmqvist, Boel Gidholm, violins; Dan Elyar, viola; David Morris, cello; Heather Miller Lardin, bass; Deborah Fox, theorbo; Michael Beattie, harpsichord


Tickets are $25. If I ordered one online today or tomorrow, it would be held for me at the door. And I'd have an hour and a half between the end of work and the start of the concert to grab some kind of dinner...

Should I?

*dithers*

-----

ETA, 3/24/17: I bought them. This is a little silly from an "I need more sleep" perspective, and also from an "I need to save money" perspective... but there's more to life than just surviving, you know? And I could use a little beauty right now. *wry*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I have been wondering all evening WHAT on earth the persistent rushing noise I kept hearing in the background could possibly be -- wind? neighbors showering or doing laundry? some kind of generator or crowd watching sports at the restaurant across the street? Nothing seemed to quite fit.

And then it finally hit me just now: snowmelt swelling Fall Creek to spring flood level. OBVIOUSLY. Just like that has been the answer hundreds of times before, because I live two blocks from the freaking waterfall. *headdesk*

This is how I know I need more sleep.

(And on that note, I am going to bed.)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Did not go to church, because the weather was terrible and also it turned out to be a drama/improv program week for the high school kids, which confuses me since I am pretty sure the schedule I was given in December said this was supposed to be a regular week with drama/improv next week. As this is the second time I seem to have been wrong on my dates, I am beginning to suspect that the DRE just straight-up gave me the wrong schedule. I must ask her for the real final program date at tomorrow night's planning meeting, since that's kind of relevant for my Not the IRS availability.

2. Put away the parts of my laundry that were air-drying.

3. Continued tidying my apartment in preparation for company, which included collecting trash from my wastebaskets and taking a bag out to the trashcan.

4. Family visit!

more items under the cut )

...

And now, I think, to bed, because I am very tired.
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
1. Finished reading Darśan: Seeing the Divine Image in India by Diana L. Eck (third edition). This is a short book, only about 90 pages and heavy on photographs (for obvious reasons), but very informative! It's the kind of basic 'here is a concept, here are some things it means to the people who hold it/do it, here are some ways it plays out in practice' introduction to a foundational cultural practice/assumption that is really helpful in understanding anything higher level, but which very often seems to get overlooked and thus leaves people from other cultures floundering without a framework and misinterpreting that higher level stuff because they're using a mismatched set of cultural assumptions.

I am definitely keeping this one.

2. Shoveled the sidewalk when I got home from Not the IRS, because apparently NOBODY ELSE bothered to do that during the FOURTEEN HOURS I was commuting or working. *side-eyes neighbors, hard*

more items under the cut )

...

And now I should be heading to bed, because I have work on Saturday and I would like to finally shake my not-quite-cold rather than let it develop into a full illness. *wry*

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Elizabeth Culmer

September 2017

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