luciab: (Default)
I did okay on my cataloging test-- at least I'm satisfied. Mother did one of those things that indicated that a B wasn't really my best, but if I was happy, she was happy, at least out loud. I was surprised that I did less well on the definitions than I expected, but maybe better on the actual cataloging part. And it was a high-ish B, too. I'm good with that.

Today's been another weird one. I was originally planning to go to KY this weekend and come back on Tuesday, but realized that the migraine I had all last week (I'm still fighting off the dregs) had left me exhausted, plus I need to work on a paper for one of my classes, and driving up there would cost me two full days. Not such a good plan, so I called Mother and said I'd come up when school is out, which is only a little over a month from now. With that out of the way, I was more comfortable going out for sushi last night, and yum! It was good. I'm delighted to find out about half-price sushi, especially when it's good stuff. Heh, I tell you. Last night I went hog wild and got so much that I had more left over than I wanted to eat for lunch today. Wow. But I tried a bunch of new things, so now I won't stick with the same old, same old every time. (Now I'll wind up with a NEW same old, same old, probably.)

The only remotely time-sensitive thing I was looking forward to in KY was getting Daddy to make me a bed/lap-table/tray thingie so I can work in bed more comfortably. (How do you like that for a precise description?) Mother got a kick out of my telling her how the antique four-poster bed makes me feel all secure, too. (I was trying to explain what I have in mind for the table, and wound up explaining why I want to study in bed.) I don't want to send drawings and have him make something before I get there-- he has a tendency to "improve" things in unexpected ways. Of course, if I'm standing beside him in the shop and he tells me how he could "improve" it, I'm not sure I'll be able to say no, anyway. He gets so excited I can't bear to hurt his feelings. Anyway, the only reason that was time sensitive was that it'd be nice to have it while I'm working on this paper.

Anyway, I did a bunch of practical things this morning. I actually got up all excited about working on the paper, and started doing some reading. Then something I read reminded me of a book I got via ILL and I realized I hadn't seen it for several days, and where was it? So I turned on the laptop to make notes when I started reading again, and went looking for the book. Then I found bills that had to be paid, and realized that I hadn't sent in my taxes, and I needed to do that... When I looked at the laptop again it hadn't booted up right, so I fiddled around with that for awhile, and for an hour or so thought I would be buying a new laptop after all. Technology has not been my friend lately, or at least it's been a very cranky friend. PMS, maybe.

When I got back to the taxes, I was surprised again.... for some reason I thought that if I took the standard deduction, I couldn't claim business losses, but the Turbo Tax did that. Both of those things, I mean. Is that right, or is it going to get me audited? Lord knows we don't want that.

Miss Molly has even been feeling teh weird this AM. She was sitting there, looking all matronly, and all of a sudden attacked my backpack, rolling around fighting with the strap ends, and finally curling up on top of it to sleep. Awwww....

Okay, now I have the laptop going fine, and the taxes done, and the bills paid, and lunch eaten, so I guess I need to get back to the paper. Again.
luciab: (Default)
It's been a quiet day here in Lake Wobegone... maybe I shoulda made some Powdermilk Biscuits to get things moving, instead of my usual yogurt with fruit. I practiced some calligraphy this AM in preparation for doing the Ten Thousand Villages invitation. Most of it will be a Word font, but the front will have some real live calligraphy from mine very own hand.

There was a pleasant -- surprising, but very pleasant-- moment this morning when I woke up. Miranda jumped on my chest en route to the side of the bed where Molly was sleeping, and then curled up next to Molly. Nobody hissed, swatted, or otherwise made rude gestures at anyone else! In fact, they washed each others faces a little bit. Wow. I was stunned. I just sat there for several minutes, wondering if I was really awake.

This afternoon I've been doing some preliminary research into a suggestion Nia made-- that I consider getting a Masters in Library Science. Kinda out of left field, huh? I'd been sort of mulling it over in my mind, and today I went online to check out the programs at UNC and NCCU. The results were interesting. I haven't had any problem picturing myself doing what I know librarians do, but I haven't had a good idea of what they do when they aren't at the desk, preparing books for circulation, etc. The class descriptions were thus kind of a shock. I couldn't even figure out what some of them meant. The really sobering realization was that I've never seen a more boring group of classes in all my life. That doesn't bode well... surely there should be something that makes me say, "Wow! That looks cool! I've always wondered how to do that." Many of the classes sounded so esoteric that I couldn't figure out what they have to do with the daily functioning of a library. So now I'm wondering, DO they have anything to do with what goes on daily? I was also reminded of the guy who wanted to be a surveyor because he thought it'd be fun to used one of those gadgets on a tripod. What a gap between the perception and the reality.

The big question, of course, is what do I want to do when i grow up? Or at least, what do I want to do until then? The single thing I enjoy most is painting. However, just sitting in my little corner painting won't feed me or shelter me. Some business acumen-- and a fair amount of luck, as far as I can see-- are required to actually make a living from painting. I'm not so good with the business stuff, and the idea of marketing myself leaves me thoroughly intimidated. I'm much happier with the idea of just going to work, doing my job, and letting somebody else figure out all the business stuff. I'm really burned out on the whole take-charge, figure out what to do, be responsible (especially for someone else) thing. That's a pretty good indicator of how much I look forward to getting another architecture job and having liability issues, too. If I could go back to drafting, I'd consider it. I like drafting. It's just been a few years too many since I did it, is all. I told you before, I have no ambition. I wasn't kidding.

I think I'm going to work on the Villages invitation for a while before turning in. That's one thing I know I can, and want to, do. Night, all.
luciab: (carmen)
I went to Kentucky over the weekend, and boy, was it a trip. Lately my trips up there have been swift and relatively uneventful. I'm happy to report that this one was completely uneventful, but geez. It took me a half hour longer than usual to drive-- and that's each way. It rained all the way up on Friday- mostly just a drizzle requiring the wipers, but interspersed with downpours. Traffic was also unusually heavy, and there was construction scattered throughout Tennessee. I thought coming back would be easier, because I didn't expect rain. Silly me. It hit just the other side of Asheville, and was so heavy that there were cars pulled off the road. At least it wasn't that heavy for too awfully long.

This was even more of a family reunion event than these trips usually are. My brother came down from Akron, and his son brought his ten-week-old daughter over. (Her mom was going to a funeral in her family.) Holy shit, my baby brother is a grandfather!! Alexis, the infant, was a beauty. Her hair is bright red, and I do mean a light shiny copper color. She is also an extremely happy baby, generally speaking. Unfortunately, the night before, she'd not slept well, so her dad didn't sleep either, and we made him go take a nap while we got lunch together. In the meanwhile, Alexis needed to be fed... and if you've ever given a baby a bottle, you know what happens on the other end of the equation. Yup. I got to change a dirty diaper. (That's as certain as having the cats come running when I scoop the litter box!) The last time I changed a dirty diaper was for her father, I realized to my amusement. For some reason I didn't have any trouble this time; last time I had to abandon the task to a parent to keep from being sick. Watching my brother and his son gaze adoringly at this tiny infant was both amusing and sweet. I was delighted that Jacob is of the new breed of father that takes care of a baby and enjoys it. Boy, is THAT a change from the bad old days. I won't go into grisly detail, but take my word that my kids' father didn't lift a finger.

The odd thing that happened was that my brother (yes, the new grandfather) reverted to ten-year-old-brother mode and spent the entire first day we were there picking on me. That caught me completely off guard; he doesn't do that any other time I see him. Just something about being all four together as a family must have flipped some switch somewhere. The second day he acted more normal, which was good. I'd hate to have had to kill him, right there on Mother's living room rug. I'm sure it would have made quite a mess, and there's no way I could have disposed of the body.

I mentioned the idea of starting a business to Mother, and got a more negative response than I expected. Then it turned out that she thought I was going to open a store front. Yikes! When I finished explaining my plans she decided they sounded sensible, and even touted them as such to Daddy. Whew. I'm glad that I don't have to look forward to not-so-veiled comments about it for the next year or so. I do expect she'll start sending clippings about running a small business. Clippings are her stock in trade, but they're less stressful than the constant commentary.

The cats were most unhappy that I was gone, particularly since I was gone last weekend too. The first couple of hours they ran from me like I was going to beat them or something. Miranda made up to me the quickest, and has been washing my chin and giving me love nips all day. Some of them have been more nip and less love, I can tell you. At least she did a reasonable job of letting me sleep last night.

I got a killer headache this afternoon, and it came on rather suddenly. I was only vaguely aware that it was even starting and all of a sudden it hurt to even try to turn my head; it took over an hour for the meds to work, too. It took a while for me to figure out that it was from the storm that came through this afternoon. Man, I hope I don't get these every time it rains all summer! This was quite a storm, though, so I'm hoping the headache was directly related in intensity. The cats were freaked out by the thunder, and there was one lightning strike/thunder clap that nearly had me under the bed, too.

Tomorrow I hope to get started on that mental list of things-to-do that I was adding to all the way home yesterday. Today I just needed to bond with my kitties and sit around like a vegetable, and I did an exemplary job of it. I did finish reading The Knights Next Door, which I bought as a download. I enjoyed it a lot. Ah, tomorrow.....
luciab: (Default)
It’s been a nice little week. I haven’t had a headache for about ten days now, and that’s the first time in a long time I can say that. Like, a long time. Now if I just knew what has made the difference I could patent it and put it in a bottle. Heh.

I’ve been working on a court scroll this week and it has gone amazingly well. Gee, you suppose no headache had anything to do with that? I also got a commission to design an invitation for Ten Thousand Villages for an event in September. I needed to have a rough draft ready for them to look at last night. I had put it off and put it off, and finally couldn’t put it off any longer. I started to say that I don’t have any idea why I didn’t want to start it, but I think actually it was because I’ve never done anything exactly like that before and I was intimidated. What exactly did they want me to do? Yesterday I remembered that the woman I talked to mentioned using items in the store as inspiration, so I went over to see what I could see, notebook and pencils in hand. I saw a couple of things I liked a lot, and sketched notes on several other small potential details. It was fun—I haven’t done that for a long time. I finally got on the stick and put together two options. One is a tree of life, from Indian inspirations, and the other was also Asian, from some Vietnamese pottery we have. This one was some leaves and a dragonfly. I took both ideas to the meeting last night and they really liked both of them. They were all teasing me about my warning that these were rough drafts—they thought they were great. Wow, it feels so good to be complimented instead of belittled. Not that I expected this group to belittle me, but my most recent work experience tended rather much in that direction. Anyway…. It was funny—everyone liked the dragonfly better visually but we all voted for the tree of life because of the symbolism…. though none of us knew exactly what the symbolism was. Amusing. I’ll be able to make a nice invitation from it, though.

Catching up

May. 3rd, 2005 10:07 pm
luciab: (Default)
It’s been too long since I posted… time sure slips away. I’ve been busy and kept thinking of things I wanted to write but I was getting so much done I hated to stop work to write. When have you ever heard me say that? And now I’ve forgotten too much of it. Sigh.

Brigida came over Saturday last as planned for our white dinner, and we had a really good time. It’s been so long I can’t remember everything we fixed, but the main dish was shrimp with mushrooms in white wine sauce, served with rice. We cheated and had brown rice, but that’s still pretty damn white. Dessert was angel food cake with vanilla ice cream and a kiwi/mango topping that was delicious. Don’t blame me for all the color in the fruit—Brigida did it. Since the whole white theme was her doing, I just went with it, and it was might tasty, too. She was feeling in a mood to spoil us, and got white roses for a centerpiece. I was delighted to be able to provide a few low-drama hours in her life. I’ve had plenty of drama, and I’m just mighty damn glad I’m not having any right this minute. It’ll be back, I’m sure of it. Wait, am I supposed to knock on wood or something now? Throw salt somewhere?

I’m working on a backlog scroll, so it isn’t even a secret. It’s been fun—lately I’ve been doing mostly court scrolls, so I’ve gotten into the habit of being secretive about what I’m working on and not letting the recipient know. This is Gisele’s AoA, and I’ve had to almost force myself to ask her questions about preferences. I’ve got the calligraphy done. It actually went better than usual, which was a vast relief. Practice! I’ve got to practice more. Duh. I know I’m always amazed at the difference it makes but I still don’t do it.

I was hoping to have Gigi’s scroll done by the time I go up this weekend for Crown, since I’m staying at her place. I don’t think it’s going to happen, though—at least not if I go up early to see a museum or two as I’d planned. I’m going to blame it on Nia and Nikulai, okay? They’ve been concerned that I’ve been too hermit-like, so they’ve kept me busy the last week or two. I mean, busy. Last week I was Out Doing Stuff three nights in a row, which is unheard of for me, at least the last few years. It was great fun, and I wanted to do every bit of it. Except… I wasn’t working on Gigi’s scroll. I’m good, but even I can’t be two places at once. I admit, it wasn’t ALL their doing. They were just too damn proud of themselves, is all. But on Wednesday night I found out that hot fudge cake is absolutely delicious with champagne, (Heh! I say, and Yum!!) and on Thursday night Nikulai fixed an email thing for me before we all went out for Mexican food, and on Friday he took me to Hillsboro to the opening of an art show and then we went to dinner again. He particularly wanted me to meet some other artist friends of his.

One of the things that has had me a bit distracted is the whole question of starting a small business out of my home. This has come up before, and I’m still scared witless by the concept. Read more... )

The headaches and their effect on me have been really erratic. Read more... )

I’ve had a lot more energy and gotten a lot more done lately. For example, I’ve been on a cleaning kick. First I did the kitchen, then the bathroom, then night before last I was putting away laundry and got annoyed because the linen closet was a mess, so I rearranged everything in it. Wow. What’s up with that? Most days the scroll work has been equally efficient, too. Not that I’m complaining, you understand. I want to work on the apartment as much as I want to find out about the business stuff, so I’m going to be bi-i-izzzzy.

I have been reading an interesting book by a woman who has had chronic migraines for several years. The book is called All in My Head and the author’s name is Paula Kamen. It’s both entertaining and informative.Read more... )

The fiction I’ve just finished reading is With No One As Witness, which is the latest in the Thomas Lynley/ Barbara Havers series written by Elizabeth George. That sucker has depressed the hell out of me. It’s slightly less depressing now than before I knew how it ended. Still, I hated the ending, which is just … awful. Hated it. So there. She gives you one hopeful thing in the last paragraph, but I’m afraid to read the next one (whenever she writes it,) for fear of what she’ll do next. It only makes it worse that she’s such a good writer, because then you really care what happens to the people in the book. I might make someone else read it first (like Ysolt—she’s the one who got me hooked on the series) and tell me if it’s safe to read.

I was very disappointed yesterday to find that Amy had mailed me a complete set of CDs of the music from their wedding over a week ago, and I haven’t gotten it. Oddly enough, I had been thinking I’d like to have the music. I was probably thinking that about the time she mailed it. (Let’s hear it for that mother-daughter connection…. Ooooh weeeeeeoooooh…) Anyway, that’s the second item mailed to me in less than a month that I didn’t get. I knew our mail isn’t real secure but I’d never been aware of a problem before. Amy said the package was just a plain CD mailer and was obviously nothing special, so she can’t imagine that anyone would bother to take it. It’s just weird, though….

I'm going to call it a night, and hope I'm back in go-get 'em mode tomorrow. And I'll take some light reading to bed with me. A mystery that is entertaining and doesn't make you get all engrossed in the characters and then... oh, nevermind.

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Susan Arthur

February 2011

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