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Auuuuuugh, Longwinded Man somehow got around my email filters and sent me a birthday email. UGH, UGH, UGH, WHY????

I mean, I'm going to save it as evidence in case he ever turns into a physical stalker, but ick, I felt dirty just opening it to check that it really was him and not a weird spammer who coincidentally had the same name.

And now if you'll excuse me, I need to go reset my filters.


ETA: Okay, no, the filters were working as designed; his message went straight to my trash folder. I just was unpleasantly surprised to see it there and in the rush of adrenaline forgot exactly what I'd told Google to do with his messages. And I think... I think I would rather receive and file them than block them altogether, just for the evidence factor, even though knowing he still sends them makes me feel icky. At least this way I know what he's up to.
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Okay, so, longer job post!

My schedule is for ~26 hours spread over three days: two 10-hour shifts and one 8-hour shift (less half-hour lunch breaks). I will be working Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. I have the use of a parking spot in one of the lots the company owns (we rent parking as well as apartments), but I think I will only use that on bad-weather days, or if I need to get somewhere rapidly after work or maybe during a lunch break. At the moment, I'm walking to a bus stop and then catching a bus to the neighborhood, and just walking all the way home. (I don't want to walk both directions because oh god hills and I am out of shape for that; also, I don't care if I get home all sweaty but it's bad form to start your work day all sweaty.)

cut for length and a vague approximation of discretion )

And that was my first two days at work. :)
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It occurs to me that I should perhaps talk a little about the health garage, since I've been working there for two months.

cut on general principle, though I think I managed to avoid specifics )

And that is your introduction to the health garage.


In other news, this weekend is Apple Harvest Fest in Ithaca. I went this afternoon despite the miserable weather (low 50s and constant light rain) and had a good time for a couple hours. I listened to some cool music, bought a bottle of hard cider, and bought replacements for the black dangly earrings I lost a couple years ago.

It is really hard to find silver dangly earrings with only one or two black stones and a minimum of additional ornamentation. The ones I bought are not my platonic ideal of such an earring set -- two stones rather than one, and both the same size instead of the lower being larger -- but they're close enough for government work and now I have a second pair of earrings that will go with any outfit so I won't be stuck wearing my little silver turtle dangly earrings nearly every day. I mean, I LIKE my little silver turtle dangly earrings, but they're not the epitome of professionalism and a small amount of variety is nice.

(I don't like to think in the morning, so I don't try to get clever with earrings except on special occasions; for everyday purposes, I reduce two dozen options down to only two or three. I have also used plain silver hoops as one of those go-to pairs in the past, but my actual-silver set broke and the paint on my fake-silver set has gone funny, so they're not currently an option. *sigh*)
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
1. I think I'm doing pretty well in my tax course so far. I got 90% on the first quiz (would've been 100% but I counted dependents instead of exemptions and forgot you can exempt yourself, whoops) and 100% on the first graded review. I have also not had any problems with the software, aside from the known practice environment glitches, and have played around a little to see what making random changes in the case studies' givens will do. In a few cases this has gotten downright weird since I've been messing around with credits and deductions we haven't yet reached in the textbook, but hey, what's the point of a safe play-space if you're afraid to break stuff?

2. I have two prompt!ficlets left to write, and am willing to accept more prompts until October 1 if anyone is still interested. This round has been almost entirely Homestuck, Naruto, and Narnia, but I am more than happy to write in other fandoms if you have an idea you want to see.

3. I may be dogsitting Dottie from late October through the first week and a half of November. Watch this space.

4. My dentist called me today and said it's about the time I usually have an autumn appointment, and would I like to schedule one? I haven't been to the dentist since a year and a half ago, I think, because I've been unemployed and dentists are expensive. I am apparently prone to cavities, though, so I probably should go and even get X-rayed... but X-rays are even more expensive than a basic checkup and cleaning... *weighs options, reaches no conclusion, tables the issue until next week*

5. I will be picking up some extra hours at the health garage next week when another of the front office staff goes on vacation. Yay money!

In other health garage news, we were supposed to switch over to a new computer program today, but implementation was delayed because of various issues. This is not the first time implementation has been delayed; apparently the program in question was originally meant to go live this past spring. O_o

The switch will make part of my job simpler by rendering it irrelevant, but it will make other parts a lot more complicated, because among other issues, the new program does not have any way for the front office to access clients' financial information. Do they have a copay? Do they use a sliding fee scale? Do they owe us a back balance? Who knows! We sure won't! (We do have a kludgy workaround involving manually updated tables in Word documents, but that is a gigantic pain in the neck and I am not looking forward to it. I really hope that issue gets addressed and fixed before implementation actually happens.)

6. Yesterday was Porchfest. As always, Downstairs Neighbor S volunteered our house as one of the stages, so I got to listen to some nice jazz while I took a nap after church. Later in the afternoon I went to hear Boss Lady and her band play a few blocks down my street, and caught up with Sweetheart who was also there to listen.

Porchfest has been getting bigger every year, and this year my church got in on it! We moved Sundae Sunday (which celebrates the invention of the ice cream sundae -- in Ithaca, in 1892, by Unitarians! -- and is an annual church event) from the first day of fall services to the 27th and served ice cream sundaes to anyone who walked past. We also had three musical acts on the porch of the parish house. So that was fun. :D
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Tonight I tried on all my dresses (except for the one I knew I wasn't keeping, because I only bought it for Cat's wedding lo these many years ago and I never much liked it) and it turns out only two of them fit anymore. Which is not hugely surprising; bodies change as one gets older. In particular, my boobs do not seem to get smaller even when I otherwise get my weight down to my ideal range. *sigh*

I was expecting one of the survivors -- it is a dress I bought mail order a few years back because it looked both pretty and comfortable, which turned out to be true in practice as well as theory -- but the other was a surprise. I mean, it would seem logical for more recent dresses to fit better, yes? And yet, my second surviving fancy dress is the one I bought when I was fourteen years old, for a high school winter formal dance. All hail elastic, I suppose!

I also pruned three long-sleeved shirts from my other closet, but ended up giving the rest a temporary pass. See, the reason I haven't worn some of them in ages is because they are turtlenecks and those would have left me hideously overheated at the smoke shop. And since I was out of the habit of wearing them, I forgot to see how they worked in an office setting last winter at Not the IRS. So I will give them a try this winter and decide their fates based on actual real-life performance. Considering I was wearing an outdoor scarf indoors most of the time to keep my neck from freezing, I think they might do fairly well...
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I mentioned I'd checked out some Daredevil comics from the library, right? So far that means Waid's run up until Matt moves to San Francisco (they don't seem to have anything more recent, alas), the first three collections from Brubaker's run (the fourth is on order and will be mine the moment the person who currently has it checked out returns it), and Shadowland.

Brubaker )

Moving on!

Shadowland )

Moving on again!

Waid )


I am thinking really hard about subscribing to Marvel Unlimited for a month or two. Somebody tell me this is a bad idea, please...
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Trying to revise fiction while laid low by a cold = the opposite of fun. I know my brain usually works better than this, but right now words are so. damn. hard. to put together. And rearranging words that already sort of work is even less sensical.


I think this may be the first true cold I've had since the smoke shop closed last June? It's amazing how sick I DON'T get when I'm not face-to-face with the unwashed public (and yes, I do literally mean unwashed in many cases) for forty hours every week. I'd started to forget how awful rhinovirus infestations are.

But you know, I got sick on Sunday. I've been through the "hit by a truck, give me painkillers and let me sleep forever" phase and the "feverish with a constantly runny nose" phase, and by now I'm into the "no voice, just a deep, hacking cough" phase as my lungs rebel against all the yick that's been dripping into them for the past four days, so I think I'll be fine after the weekend.

(When I say my colds are as bad as other people's mild flu, I am not actually kidding.)
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
Today I am thirty-three years old -- a palindrome year!

My parents are coming up on Sunday to attend a concert at my church and take me out for a nice birthday dinner. They will bring cake and gifts and supplies for champagne cocktails, because that is how we roll. (Mmm, champagne cocktails...) I will keep Dottie overnight, because apparently the price differences between the motel that allows dogs and the motel that doesn't are currently dramatic enough for my parents to decide that saving money outweighs the small logistical inconveniences of leaving her with me.

I got my taxes done this morning, for free -- this is a side benefit of working for Not the IRS. The hill office was crazy busy this afternoon, which I suspect is partly just that we're reaching our peak couple weeks, and partly that everyone who didn't come yesterday because of the weather came today instead.

Vicky gave me my birthday present at Christmas and I duly lugged it back to Ithaca and let it sit untouched on my coffee table for a month and a half, but tonight I got to open it. For Christmas, she got me a Talavera ceramic mug from one of her trips to Mexico, and for my birthday she got me some plum wine, some matcha chocolate pocky, and a bowl, a whisk, and what I think is a tin of powdered green tea, all purchased on her trip to Japan last summer. (The Mexico trips are for work -- she's a linguist and currently does stuff with ESL testing -- while the Japan trip was as a chaperone for her church's youth group.)

I also got ten bucks from one of my maternal uncles, and a cool metal charm with an engraved lucky horseshoe from Aunt Cara. All in all, a good day. :-)


In less pleasant news, I got an email today from...

Did I ever tell you guys the story of Longwinded Man? I don't think I did. I was too annoyed at the time, and it was a little too personal. But today's event needs context, so.

cut for length and vaguely personal details )

I just.


I will give him this: it is a shorter email than he usually manages. But it's exactly the same type of emotionally manipulative garbage and making me into an object instead of seeing me as myself that he used to do.

I'm not going to answer. In fact, I'm going to block his email address, like I should have done a long time ago.

And hopefully I will never have any contact with him again.
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I wrote and sealed twelve thirteen Christmas cards today, and clipped them out for the mail carrier to pick up in the morning. Four Three others are waiting for people to get back to me with addresses, three more are for my neighbors and will be hand-delivered (possibly with brownies or cookies) in a week, and the last one will get slipped into the package of whatever gift I mail to Susan. Twenty cards! Each with a one-sentence handwritten addendum to the printed greeting, plus a little holiday-themed doodle. I have lost some relatives off my card list over time, but this year I've added four former coworkers from the smoke shop, since I won't be able to hand-deliver cookies to them anymore.

Now I just need to get on top of the actual gift part of Christmas. Blargh. I have wish lists from my parents and Vicky, but I need to call Susan and grill her for a bit. She has a knack for buying me awesome things I never realized I wanted but which fit seamlessly into my life -- like my favorite winter scarf, or adorable turtle-themed jewelry, or the woven basket I use to collect my bills until it's bill-paying day, or... well, you get the picture -- but I have no idea how to do anything similar, so it's wish lists or everyone gets random nonfiction books. I'd grill Cat too, but she kind of swore off the whole gift exchange thing a while back, so it's just a card for her. Well, maybe some kind of paper crafty thing as an insert, but that doesn't really count.


Christmas is such a logistical tangle.
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Melodrama's birthday gathering last night was a lot of fun. We met at 6pm at Viva!, a local Mexican place. The smoke shop crew was represented by me, Sweetheart, Boss Lady, Melodrama (obviously), and Boss Lady's husband. Ms. Conviviality also showed up about an hour and a half into things, which was a lovely surprise! Two of Melodrama's non-work friends were also there, for a total of eight people. We started with drinks and general conversation, and after about an hour managed to snag a table and order some dinner to go with the next round of drinks. We left Viva! around 8:30pm, after which the others were discussing whether to go bowling or to go surprise Melodrama's boyfriend at his job, or something else, but I was tired and peopled-out, so I said my farewells and walked home.

This is the thing about being an introvert. I can have an absolutely wonderful time out with a group of people in a noisy restaurant/bar! But then I need to go be alone for a while, because I have just run myself dry -- in an enjoyable and rewarding way, to be sure, but what I get back from social interaction is never going to translate into energy or spoons.


I brought my peppers indoors again this evening, since the temperature is forecast to drop into the 30s tonight. (Fahrenheit, obvs.) I also did some yard maintenance, by which I mean I heavily pruned the tree that grows against the house and whose branches scrape along my living room windows. I probably should have cut the whole thing off at the roots three or four years ago, but I'm soft-hearted and wanted to give it a chance... but only so long as it doesn't interrupt my sleep with hideous wood-on-glass screeching noises. I must remember to stuff some more insulation into the cracks between the upper and lower window panels this coming week, since they are old and have a tendency to rattle in high winds.


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Elizabeth Culmer

October 2017

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