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I triumphed over the never-ending stack of leases, after which it was a slow-ish day. I showed two apartments and I think some of the people who went on the tour will come in tomorrow to rent an apartment, so that's nice.

I also got a raise! Only a small one, but even so. And what's nicer is that it's retroactive to June 1 (because our owner is an organized human being, really, I swear...) so I have a paper check I get to cash tomorrow. Yay unexpected extra money!

In news from my other job, today I finished one of my two tax update courses, and have registered for three live in-person continuing education classes, one of which is tomorrow night. The other two are next week, and I need to ask Miss Cactus whether she's willing to swap my Tuesday shift for her shift on either Monday or Friday, since the courses all start at 6pm and I work until 7pm on Tuesdays. (Failing that, I will ask Mom Boss if I can leave early that day.)

Continuing education requirements for tax preparers are 18 credit hours per year, allocated as follows: 13 federal tax law, 2 ethics, and 3 tax updates. You can, of course, take more than the minimum. I have currently finished 2 credits of tax law and 2 credits of tax updates. The three live courses will knock off another 9 credits of tax law, I have the second 2 credit tax update course ready to do whenever (probably Friday or Saturday), and the ethics and another 2 credits of tax law won't be too hard to knock off.

Then, of course, there are the New York state requirements, but I will deal with those in November. :)
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1. Yuletide nominations close in 6 hours. Get yours in!

I nominated the following fandoms:

-The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay - Ammar ibn Khairan, Jehane bet Ishak, Rodrigo Belmonte, Miranda Belmonte (this is my perennial request that never gets filled, dammit)

-Catherine Asaro's Saga of the Skolian Empire - Rocalisa Qox-Skolia, Jaibriol Qox III, Kelricson Garlin Valdoria Skolia, Dyhianna "Dehya" Selei (because I still want a story about Lisi)

-Daredevil (Comics) - Karen Page, Elektra Natchios, Kirsten McDuffie, Rebecca Blake (because even though I got two awesome stories about ladies in a previous Yuletide, I always want more)

I'm sure I will be able to find some other fandoms of my heart if I feel like making additional prompts, but those were the three I wanted to make absolutely sure were there, and contained the characters I want to request.

2. I have completed the hiring process for Not the IRS. Yay! (Also my base pay-rate is up from last year. Double yay!) Now I just need to complete my continuing education requirements, and take the test to jump up a level in the internal skill classification scheme. I mean, I have been doing level two and three returns since my first year -- they are not especially hard -- but the computer's auto-matching system doesn't suggest me as an option for anyone over level one, and also level two employees get a minor bonus per completed return in the totally-not-a-commission compensation scheme whereas level one employees get nothing. Hence test.

3. The rental company's renewal and switch period ended on Wednesday, and open rentals began Thursday morning. This week has been kind of crazy with tours -- I have not talked so much per day in months -- and we had people start lining up outside the office at 8:45am Wednesday morning. (We rent on a first-come first-serve basis, and lease commitments/payments must be completed in person.)

My paycheck this week was almost literally twice the usual, because I got a huge commission fee -- this happens when somebody I took on a tour rents an apartment I showed them, so opening day presumably went well. :D I also got an unspecified supplemental payment which may be a general "congrats on working here for a full year" bonus. Or maybe not; there was no explanation on the paystub. *hands* I was very surprised when I checked my bank balance this morning, but pleasantly so, and my budget will now be much less stressful over the next couple months. I might even be able to donate a little to charity!
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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.
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1. Laundry! Washed, dried, air-dried, folded, hung, and put away.

2. Changed linens.

3. Withdrew cash to pay for cab rides to and from the airport.

4. Bought gum for airplane takeoffs and landings.

more items under the cut )

21. Finished packing, aside from a few things I am still using/will use overnight, which I'll add to my suitcase or backpack in the morning.

The plan is to go to bed at 10pm tonight (and take a Benadryl in hopes of knocking myself out) so I will not be completely brain-fried when I get up at 4am in the morning. UGH.

I must remember to light candles to Meteora, Constructa, Constricta, Wayland, and Trilitus, to request good weather, no mechanical troubles with the planes, a smooth and timely flight, no airport delays or complications, and no taxi delays. (My pantheon of travel gods is about 85% a joke with myself. But only 85%. The other 15%... well, that's between me and my superstitions. *wry*)

And now, if you will excuse me, I have to go wash some dishes and clean my teeth.
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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.
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1. Took communal compost bin to the curb for pickup. (I seem to be the only person in both houses who remembers to do this. I am not exactly complaining about that, but I do wonder who, if anyone, would step up to the plate if I weren't here.)

2. Sliced two chicken thighs and baked them in balsamic dressing.

3. Began summer apartment photographs and turnover inspections at work, which is interesting.

4. Called my dentist to ask when I would be billed for my May 15th appointment. Apparently the office manager has returned and sent all the outstanding bills earlier this week, so I should receive mine on Friday. It's not that I especially WANT another bill, but I was even less happy about the prospect of an unknown bill hanging over my head indefinitely.

5. Bought a zester/grater at Target.

6. Saw Wonder Woman, which I enjoyed a lot! Quick impression: vague spoilers, I guess? )

7. Bought groceries.

8. Paid my monthly internet bill.

9. Recharged my bus pass.

10. Cooked the first of three Blue Apron meals. More details in this post (poll and general comments) and also this post (pictures and recipe).
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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.
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1. Boiled a dozen eggs.

2. Took kitchen compost to the communal bin.

3. Attended Easter service at church, since it's an inter-generational celebration and I therefore had no youth group to facilitate.

4. Withdrew cash, half of which will go toward the Not the IRS office 'we survived tax season!!!' dinner this coming Thursday.

5. TOOK A NAP.

6. Changed linens.

7. Paid all my monthly bills: rent, health insurance, and both credit cards.

8. Un-potted my narcissus bulbs, which I will try to get replanted outside in the coming weeks. I then washed their saucers and the rocks I use to reduce water loss through the terracotta pots' drainage holes. I will wash the pots themselves later this week.

9. Punched holes in the four plastic storage tubs I am using as squash planters. This is pretty simple: all you need is a hammer and some kind of metal tool with a reasonably small point, e.g., a screwdriver. (Note: I did not actually use a screwdriver, because I have an unidentified metal doohickey I keep around specifically for when I need a punch-tool, but I think the point holds.) Anyway, you hold your punch-tool in an open flame for ten or fifteen seconds -- I used my stove burner, but I bet a candle flame would also work if you increased the heating time -- then set it onto the plastic and hit it a few times with the hammer until it punches through.

10. Transplanted four squash seedlings to their new homes, as gently as I could. (I used two large bags of potting soil, plus the old dirt from the narcissus pots, because why not.) Time will tell whether I managed to do this without irreparably damaging their roots... and if I didn't, well, I can always plant new seeds directly into the plastic tubs and try again. *wry*

11. Made my weekly Facebook update post.

12. Suffered my first allergy attack of the year, blargh. Spring is lovely and all, but I could really do without the pollen... *hoards eyedrops and Benadryl*
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1. Took photos of gardening projects and posted them.

2. Folded and put away laundry.

3. Texted Landlord Dude to remind him that my back screen door was falling apart. He then came by on Thursday and started dismantling it in preparation for its eventual replacement. Apparently he is also getting an inspector in on Monday, I guess to check if there are hidden problems and also because Upstairs Neighbor E has been having trouble with a carpenter ant infestation. I have not seen any ants yet myself, but... let's just say I really want to know what the inspector finds. :(

4. Bought a sack of potting soil from Target. Also checked out my options for buying plastic storage tubs for the squash seedlings, should I choose to go that route.

5. Bought a new pair of black Sketchers work shoes for when my current pair dies. I expect that to be within the month, as the soles are nearly worn through and I think the tip of the right shoe is starting to separate.

6. Signed up for WIP Big Bang. I will be writing "Intervention," which is a Star Trek: AOS fic featuring the OC crew of a Red Cross ship dealing with both plagues and pirates on an isolationist colony planet.

7. Wrote my IRA contribution checks for the 2016 tax year.

8. Pruned some icky bits off the various sections of Damocles, the big spider plant I am in the process of repotting. It's currently still growing new roots in a giant container of water, but I think it will be ready to pot this weekend.

9. Bought groceries.

10. Bought stamps and promptly used them to mail my IRA contribution checks. *wry*

11. Stewardship committee meeting Thursday evening. We handed out some thank-you note assignments, but postponed a bunch of other decisions until we know the results of the settled minister search committee's efforts, which should theoretically be announced this Sunday. *crosses fingers for success*

12. Boiled some eggs.

...

That's not an awful lot for five days, is it? I mean, a bunch of that is because I am spending 10+ hours a day at work, but I am starting to wonder whether a blue funk might have snuck up on me in disguise. See, my primary depressive symptoms are pervasive mental/physical/emotional exhaustion and inability to do creative work and hey, guess what, I was already exhausted and feeling creatively drained just from overwork and lack of time. But I have noticed myself sliding into obsessive reading this week, which is another of my classic symptoms -- when I lose my grip on the world and the gray fog rolls in, reading is my reflexive method for trying to hang onto something outside myself -- and I've also been less interested in food the past couple days, so... yeah. I am kind of suspicious.

And on that note, I should probably get to bed. *sigh*
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1. Took garden progress photos and posted them online.

2. Plunged both bays of my kitchen sink, which didn't seem to do anything. Poured drain-declogging fluid down the left bay of the sink, and also down my shower drain. Washed it out fifteen minutes later with boiling water from a teakettle followed by generically hot tap water. The pipes seem to be running better now.

3. Put away my remaining laundry.

more items under the cut )

17. Gave blood! \o/ It took me three and a half months to get my health and my schedule aligned, but by gum, I finally managed it. :DDDDD

18. Did a preliminary read-through of the Small Fandom Big Bang fic I am editing. I will try to go through and leave actual comments tomorrow night.

And now, I think, to bed.

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Elizabeth Culmer

October 2017

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