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1. Tomorrow is annual employee evaluation day at the rental company. I escaped this circus last year since I'd only just been hired and there was no point in evaluating me after less than two weeks of work, but now I have to go downtown and have a fifteen-minute meeting/interview with our local manager, whom I have met all of... uh... twice, maybe? Possibly three times. Anyway, he is making us all fill out evaluation sheets about the other people we work with, and I am really bad at this kind of feedback, okay? Tell me how to do my actual job, and I will do it. But do not ask me to pretend I am in management and do management evaluations for you! *twitches, bites nails*

2. Tonight while we were out for the evening walk, Dottie surprised and attempted to chase not one but TWO skunks. Both times I was able to yank her away before the skunk in question sprayed more than a tiny warning trickle of stink, but seriously, what the hell dog, skunks are the LAST animal you want to tangle with. (...Unless the other animal is a porcupine. In which case, go with the skunk. But generally speaking, back the hell off and leave the skunk alone.)
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)
Iiiiiiii.... kind of totally forgot to make "stuff done" posts for the past week and a half? Hmm. I am still keeping up my to-do lists (though obviously not getting everything on them done every day), but I think perhaps if I keep stalling out on posting them, that part of the project is now doing more harm than good, so.

To summarize, over the past week and a half, I did some intake/sorting/setup for my church's annual garage sale (which runs this weekend, Saturday-Monday). I also acquired a set of four white wine glasses (which are actually pink -- "white" in this case refers to the shape/style rather than the actual glass color) for my parents and put an IOU into the box since I made off with them before the actual sale. The glasses, btw, are now safely in NJ at my parents' house.

I acquired a temporary dog. :D

I bought a replacement pair of slippers and a new pair of black not-quite-dress shoes for work. (I have had the damndest time finding black shoes that both look good and have enough support that they don't murder my feet if I walk a mile. Apparently nobody in the shoe manufacturing industry thinks women are going to regularly walk a mile in office work shoes? This is very short-sighted, in my opinion.)

I think my squash are dying. I am not sure if it's just the powdery mildew, or that plus some other thing, but they are all in extremely bad shape. I may just cut my losses, uproot them all, and start over with eight new seeds. I mean, I still have a solid two months of reasonable weather. It's worth a shot.

...I'll decide on Monday, I guess.

All nineteen of the peppers are fine, incidentally! Whatever attacked the squash has completely passed them over.

I posted my WIP Big Bang fic, but because of reasons, it is still not as edited as I wanted it to be, so I think I'll hold off on actually doing a link/advertising post here until I get it fixed up a little more. *sigh*

I am starting to think it really might be a good idea to look into getting back on antidepressants, because this general malaise, while not what I think of as "real" depression, has lasted for far too long and has been seriously affecting my quality of life for going on two years now. I find it hard to work up enthusiasm/energy for things I KNOW I like, and I have been letting far too many brickspace life tasks slide because I just can't pull myself together to deal with them.

Of course, figuring out how to get an antidepressant prescription is exactly the kind of brickspace task that currently feels impossible, because depression is evil like that. *deeper sigh*

Mnrgh.

On the brighter side, I have a pretty solid idea for my remix, and some halfway-solid ideas for my NFE fic, so hopefully I will be able to get enough sleep to sort of bootstrap myself into functionality for the next couple weeks and get them written by their respective deadlines. *crosses fingers and lights a candle for good measure*
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Greetings from New Jersey!

I drove down from Ithaca this afternoon in order to kidnap my parents' dog, mwahahahaha!!!

Or, in less dramatic terms, to pick up Dottie so she won't have to spend the next two-plus weeks in a kennel while Mom and Dad are off gallivanting around Norway. (Dad is giving a paper at the 11th International Conference on the History of Chemistry in Trondheim -- his conference papers are often their nominal excuse for trips to interesting places -- but they will spend most of their time on general tourism stuff.)

We went out to dinner at Charlie Brown's, I have washed a bunch of laundry, and tomorrow I will head back north through A) rain, B) far too much roadwork, and C) god only knows how many families flooding into Ithaca to drop their kids off at Cornell for the start of classes on Monday the 21st.

And then I will have a temporary dog. Yay dog! :D
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1. Last-minute apartment cleanup before my parents' visit, i.e., I cleared and organized the piles of stuff that had collected on my coffee table, living room table, and kitchen counters over the past few months, and temporarily stashed some other stuff in my bedroom to free up my armchair for people to sit on. Also I dusted a few shelves, because reasons.

2. Collected trash from wastebaskets and took the combined bag to the trashcan outdoors. I think one more bag and the can will be ready for curbside pickup -- so, maybe early June?

3. Paid my monthly internet bill.

4. Welcomed my parents and Dottie! ♥

more items under the cut )

14. Peeled the moldy layers off my sprouting onion and sprayed the thing with diluted anti-fungal solution. Hopefully this will help more than it hurts. (It did not seem to cause any harm to my pepper seedlings when I sprayed their little peat cylinders back in March, since they'd acquired fungal spores while they sat in storage for a year.)

15. Dumped the resulting gunk and some other compost into the communal bin.

16. Baked brownies for church coffee hour tomorrow morning.

And I think that's about it! It was a very full two days. :)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Mom drove up to Ithaca today to collect Dottie, so as of about 3:30pm I no longer have a dog. Woe!

On the other hand, I have a lot more available time now. Pets are wonderful, but they eat time like nobody's business.

Anyway, we went out for lunch at the Heights Cafe, a restaurant we hadn't yet been to (discovered via a listing of pretty much every restaurant in the greater Ithaca area, which was published in a recent-ish issue of the Ithaca Time and which I duly saved and took down to NJ for Mom's use), which turned out to be both pretty easy to get to and a place we think Aunt Cara would like, and which we may therefore end up visiting again on either the Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

(We are doing Thanksgiving at my place again this year. That pattern began several years ago for perfectly sound logistical reasons, but I have a feeling that this repeated confluence of work schedules and transportation options means that I have accidentally 'inherited' Thanksgiving, whereas Vicky's the one who will 'inherit' Christmas if and when our parents get tired of hosting it. We've done Christmas at Vicky's place twice now (once in Spain, once in DC), but she's never hosted Thanksgiving and I've never hosted Christmas. I'm still gonna make Vicky do all the Thanksgiving cooking, though, while I handle the cleanup and leftover-packaging work. That split ends up making everybody happier than if we tried to split the work 'evenly' or I cooked while she cleaned.)

We also went to Michael's (an artsy-craftsy supply chain) to buy some gold paint and paintbrushes, so I can attempt to touch up the frames of some old pictures my parents inherited from my paternal grandmother. This would be by way of a Christmas present to Mom, who doesn't want to do the work herself.

...

The reason I had Dottie this time is because Mom and Dad compressed a ridiculous number of home renovations into a single two-week period and for obvious reasons could not have a dog around for any of it. (In fact, they couldn't have themselves around for the second half, and duly drove down to DC to visit Vicky, Aunt Jan, and Uncle Charles & Aunt Ji-lan.)

The first week, they had several ceilings repaired and replastered, had the massive hole in the living room wall repaired and replastered (the hole being a side-effect of a water pipe fix from earlier this year), had the hideous wallpaper in the stairwell stripped and destroyed (which should have been done thirty years ago, and I am not exaggerating that time period in the slightest), and then had the entire downstairs plus the stairwell and the main upstairs hallway repainted. The second week, they had the wood floors of the dining room, living room, staircase, and upstairs hallway stripped and refinished, because they were beat all to hell, aka ugly as fuck and a bit splintery in places besides.

So now they are slowly moving furniture back into its normal locations, and also trying to decide what they want to do with regard to carpets and/or area rugs. I think they have decided against wall-to-wall carpeting, but I will be curious to visit at Christmas and see what they've done with the place.
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Obviously I fed and walked Dottie every day; take that as read. :) Beyond that, though...

1. Confirmed the two days I am swapping with my coworker. (Hmm. Miss Cactus, maybe? Not for any personality reasons; she just grows a lot of succulents as a hobby.) Also wrote down my vacation day schedule for November and December, and passed it on to Mom for use in family holiday planning.

more items under the cut )

I also got through several chapters of rereading for my Yuletide assignment, and am noticing all kinds of layers to the work in question that I missed on my first two times through. (The first time, it's because the cover art and back cover text gave me slightly misaimed expectations of what type of story I was in for, and I was hurrying ahead to reach elements that never really appeared the way I thought they were going to. The second time I think it's just that I was relatively young and therefore lacking in a certain sense of perspective, and also that I wasn't reading with a specific eye out for details because I was not intending to use it as source material for fanfic.)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I think from now on, work is going to become one of the background events I don't bother to mention. Just take it as read that I am working three days a week unless I specifically say otherwise. :)

Anyway, the list!

1. Drove down to NJ on Saturday to pick up Dottie for another stint of dogsitting. Drove back on Sunday with the dog in tow. This time I remembered to bring Aunt Cara's present with me -- Mom had it sent to my apartment when she pre-ordered it, because the shipping date overlapped with one of their summer trips.

I have been feeding Dottie twice a day, walking her twice a day, and piddling her in the afternoon except on Tuesday when Upstairs Neighbor E took care of that for me so I didn't lose my lunch break at work.

more items under the cut )

14. Mixed a new batch of dental hygiene water for Dottie after the old one ran out today. I also made several new meal additive containers, by combining little blobs of frozen wet food with some of the pre-cooked vegetables Mom also sent along. At the moment, I am two containers short of what I will need to use before my parents pick Dottie up next Friday. I have a whole bunch more wet food blobs (Mom packed them in a large Tupperware, in layers separated by wax paper) but I ran out of pre-cooked vegetables. So I think I will buy a bigger yellow squash than usual when I go grocery shopping tomorrow evening (I have made a list) and use a few slices as Dottie-food instead of putting the whole thing into a batch of veggie sidedish.
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I got my Yuletide assignment (wow the new matching code is fast!!!) and... I think I may be writing for a fandom other than the one my recipient and I matched on, because while I can write the character and story they requested in that fandom, I am much more intrigued/excited by their prompts in two other fandoms. I hadn't offered those fandoms because the stories/characters I felt I could handle were too limited to make it practical, but these prompts happen to fall squarely in my personal wheelhouse, so. :)

*grabs one canon off my own bookshelf and makes note to hit the library for the other on Thursday or Friday*

-----

In other news, I successfully dognapped Dottie over the weekend and she seems to be settling in all right. Upstairs Neighbor E (and maybe Mini Upstairs Neighbor C, her daughter) will be taking her out for her afternoon piddle break on Tues. the 11th, Sat. the 15th, and Tues. the 18th; I will abuse my lunch break on Wed. the 12th and Wed. the 19th when she is busy with other things. And one or both of my parents will drive up on Fri. the 21st to retrieve Dottie once all their home renovations are finished.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Went to church, mostly because I'd signed up to do coffee-hour cleanup. I do not find services particularly compelling, which is undoubtedly one reason I am willing to spend almost every Sunday doing RE stuff instead of in the sanctuary listening to sermons.

While I was cleaning, a member of my old hospitality team (we rearranged all the teams this summer) asked me if I'd be interested in joining the Stewardship Committee. I said I wasn't sure I could make the meetings -- my job hours might interfere -- but barring scheduling conflicts, sure, why not.

2. Took the house's shared recycling bins to the curb for pickup. (Brought them back onto the porch the following day -- emptied, obviously.)

3. Took the house's compost bin to the curb for pickup.

more items under cut )

17. I also photographed my peppers on Monday the 19th and Monday the 26th (plus a couple times in between, to document squirrel vandalism incidents) but I haven't downloaded or posted those yet because I only have so many spoons available each day. I may get that done this weekend, or I may just spam you with three weeks of pepper photos in one go on Monday the 3rd. We'll see how I feel, I guess. *wry*

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Elizabeth Culmer

October 2017

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