On Tuesday, the Grand Dishwasher Saga came to a close.1 And thank goodness, too, because Wednesday night I came down with the stomach flu the Princess caught from her best friend, who brought it back from college in Seattle.
Consequently, a lot of bowls needed to be washed, and now that I’m on the mend (shaky, back and head aching from dehydration, but not spewing) all the cups we’ve attempted to drink from need washing as well. And linens. Gastroenteritis is a messy business, and with the sudden violent onset of this particular virus, there were a lot of linens needing some soap and water.
Thank God the washing machine wasn’t out of commission. Things could have gotten dire.
Anyway, our complement of mod cons is now complete again. I’ve lost most of this working week, though, and I was already behind. Guess we all know what I’m doing this weekend.
That’s right. Loading the (functioning!) dishwasher. And writing.
I hadn’t planned on blogging today, since I was due at a medical centre early for a friend’s PET scan. Unfortunately, the scheduler got it wrong, so it’s another half-hour, early morning drive later in the week.
I did get home in time to call the home warranty folks about the dishwasher again. The poor installers had nine jobs yesterday, mine was #9, but the first seven were builder/apartment complex jobs, which meant each. one. took. forever. The delivery/install window was 1-5pm, and they didn’t end up getting here until past nine. Then, as soon as one of them touched the dishwasher shutoff valve, well, there was a brand new leak in my kitchen.
Which often happens in older houses, I guess. The valves stay open, who on earth shuts them? Sot he rubber gasket dries out and cracks, and the instant it’s disturbed, well, water longs to be free, and will take any path it finds.
I have to confess, I closed my eyes and leaned against the fridge for a few moments, and I could sense the installers giving each other nervous looks. I had to count to seven and take a few deep breaths before saying, “Are you sure you won’t have a cup of tea or some hot cocoa?” They looked quite done in.
Poor fellows insisted on making sure the new dishwasher was settled safely in the garage, and told me several times to call them if the home warranty people got shirty.
Bless them, the poor boys. They really wanted to go home, but paused to make sure I was okay. They seemed genuinely disappointed that they couldn’t get the blasted thing sorted. I am still not quite able to laugh about the whole thing yet, though I’m sure I’ll get there in a few days.
On the bright side, I girt my loins for calling the home warranty people, only to find out they were a step or two ahead of me (many thanks to Samantha in the Georgia call centre) and already had a new repair/installer vendor ticket created. So…I just wait for the vendor to contact me to schedule a time for them to come by, fix the dripping valve (thankfully, the fellows made it so it was just dripping, not a steady stream) and finally, finally put the bloody dishwasher in. I haven’t even looked at the new one, really, beyond making sure it wasn’t dented. I suppose I should go and take a peek at it once I’ve had another jolt of coffee. My eyelids feel like they’re going to slam shut at any moment.
I’ll probably go out in the garden and check on the pea starts again, too. The snails didn’t seem to have found them when I looked yesterday afternoon. They could just be slow starters (ha) but I’m hopeful. The new tomatoes are all caged (lest they run rampant) and have taken to their growing work with a will. The dogs, exhausted from the excitement of last night and this morning (Mum was UP! and SHOWERED! and LEFT!) have both achieved liquid status, though Miss B will be up as soon as I move, determined not to let me stir a step without her if she can help it.
So…that was my morning. At least I’ll get some wordcount today, which I was pretty sure wasn’t going to be the case. Small mercies. But first, more coffee, and some time spent singing to the garden. I need a reset after the past couple days, and serenading the peas–not to mention the grapevines–will do just fine. I might even read them a little Caesar, if they still seem interested.
Got the wind knocked out of me on Monday evening, and I suspect it won’t come back any time soon. I am beginning to hate April; it’s just one thing after another this month. Not to me–I’m doing well–but people I care about are having somewhat of a rough go, and all I can do is support. I long to take a katana to the problems, but that would require enemies one could simply dispatch with a blade.
Life is full of those, but also full of ones you can’t. Plus, swinging an edge often leads to paperwork, and nobody has time for that.
So instead it’s budgeting my energy and retracting somewhat into a social shell so I can reserve enough to be an effective support and get my writing done. It’s a good thing I deactivated Facebook; one could so easily sink into a morass there.
Today marks the beginning of Atlanta Bound, Season 4 of Roadtrip Z. There’s a lot planned for this final season, it’s a real stunner. Once the road trip is over, I’m really thinking the next serial will be Robin Hood in Space, so I’d best get that underway.
The trouble is, Hostage to Empire wants to chew up all my bandwidth. Book 1 now wants to be called The Maiden’s Blade, which should make the editor happier. It’s also hit 80K and shows no sign of stopping or even slowing down. I have to write the kidnapping, the assassination attempts, and an emperor’s death. Hopefully I can get it in at least rough zero form by July; the timeline is compressed because it’s taking the place of the dead book. *sigh*
So. It’s time to get the first two chapters of Atlanta Bound prepped for subscribers, revise another two chapters of the same for next week’s offering, and get in daily wordcount on Maiden’s Blade. Also, some yoga needs to be done, because I am pushing myself hard while running and as a result, my entire body feels like one big bruise. Oh, and I should probably leave the house to fetch milk, right?
I’ve had eight shots of espresso this morning, the therapy lamp is on, and all I want to do is go back to bed. My eyelids need toothpicks to prop them open. If I’m a very good girl and get all the things on my list accomplished today, maybe I’ll plant some beans in the garden boxes.
It’s not much, but at least it’s one small unstressful something I know how to do.
Hug the people you care about today for me, please. Tell someone you’re there for them, and do something nice for yourself, too. We’re all stuck on this rock hurtling through space, and caring for each other is the only way we’re gonna get through it. I mean, life is inevitably fatal, but at least we can do some good before going to sleep.
Yeah, I’m just a bundle of cheer and optimism today. Over and out.
Snowing hard this morning. The Prince went off to school with his Yule gloves, the scarf I knitted him, his down jacket–I could barely see his eyes peering out between scarf and hood. “I’m PREPARED,” he announced, before clattering out the door.
Odd Trundles moaned, groaned, and otherwise bitched until I dragged him (and B) out for a walk. And, again, he shook his delicate paws all the way and moaned at me. Clearly, as the goddess of everything as far as his wee canine self is concerned, I deliberately made it snow in order to inconvenience him and soak his nails. B, of course, was THRILLED with the falling white stuff and singing hosannas of praise, since clearly as the goddess of everything as far as her wee canine self is concerned, I deliberately made it snow to give her something to sniff at and play in.
It’s rough being a goddess.
I dreamed last night that I was twelve, Fezzik (Andre the Giant, natch) was my foster father, and I found out I could call shoggoths from the sea and obliterate the evil people using said shoggoths for their own nefarious purposes. Woke up wondering if the shoggoths would get indigestion from evil people, then fell back asleep and dreamed they carried me away to a city just thrust up from under the waves, and my biggest worry was convincing the big gelatinous blobs to bring me fruit or flotsam involving preserved limes so I didn’t get scurvy. Apparently reading all that Lovecraft did something to my subconscious, but on time-delay.
I finished Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives yesterday while waiting to pick up the Princess at the train station (thank goodness she was safely home before this weather moved in) and was furious at the betrayal of Cesárea and of Lupe. I shouldn’t be surprised; machismo authors transacting through the bodies of woman (oh, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick made it articulate for me) is nothing new at all. Still, there are some parts of that book–like Quim’s long discussion of the literature of desperation–that have burrowed in and will stay with me for a while.
I must look like death warmed over, because when the neighbor texted to ask if I wanted anything from the store and I went over to drop off some cash, said neighbor opened the door and said, “Silly girl…are you still sick?” Thankfully I did NOT breathe on/infect my neighbors. Normally I would have scolded them for thinking of traveling in this weather, since I’ve got the all-wheel drive, but the roads are pretty clear and I’m in no condition to go anywhere. I’ll be huddling next to the heater for a while.
I had somewhere I was going with this post, but it’s flown right out the window. Time to put some laundry in and take some decongestants.
Last night’s snow is falling in melting clumps off branches and roof edges. I dragged both dogs out for Odd Trundles’s walkies, and wrestled with B’s bouncing glee at the white stuff and Odd’s “EW NO MY PAWS, MY DEWICATE PAWS! *snortwhistle*” Halfway through I started coughing and couldn’t stop, so it’s probably best I didn’t roll out of bed and into my running clothes.
I’m torn between taking today off for a holiday or just getting work done since I’m going to be stuck in a chair for most of the day anyway. I suppose I could settle on the couch and finish Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives; I knocked off a good chunk of it yesterday afternoon when the weather started turning filthy and I was filling tissues as fast as I could get them out of the box. Bolaño’s one of those authors who will induce a fever if you doesn’t already have one; I remember reading 2666 and feeling like the world was about to slip away on a greased plate, my forehead damp and my eyes gleaming. It’s the same sort of feeling I get from Murakami at his best, I remember 1Q84 and Hard-Boiled Wonderland both induced it, and Han Kang’s The Vegetarian, too. Algernon Blackwood’s short stories sometimes give one, and Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog.
Of course, there are some books one should never read while fevered. And some that one wants to read only when one is feeling a little unmoored. Kind of like Jandek‘s music is horrid the first time you hear it, then it grows on you and you end up craving it in certain conditions, scratching an itch until it bleeds. A painful relief.
*looks back over post* I suppose I’m not quite “well” yet. The sun has come out and is gilding every icy edge and corner; the dripdrops of melt are gold-tinged. The air is full of falling jewels, as if there’s damn Tolkien elves about. (At least it’s not chicken feathers, as Mia Sara once remembered about the filming of Legend.) A clear sky means a cold sky in February, so ice will no doubt make things iffy for traveling later, but for right now…well, a warm shower and some decongestant, since the cough has moved into my chest. Then, fever or no, it’s time for some work. If I don’t write today I’ll start to itch under my skin, and that’s unbearable.
If I can’t run, I must work, though of course both would be best. In any case, Odd, worn out by his morning walk, is snoring contentedly in his Fancy Dog Bed, and Miss B is likewise snoring in my office doorway. They’ll wake when I move.
So, the recent flu-and-fever had some weird effects. My dreams were even more highly color-saturated than ever, and a persistent smell of struck matches threaded all through my days. I could smell it even when my nose was partially blocked. The first few times, I went hunting for the source, alone in the house. Not finding any was…concerning, until I realized the smell didn’t have the burnt-yellow color of the physical aroma.
Now on the mend, I think I’ve also finally recovered from Afterwar. That book was the hardest on me of them all, and I want something else now. I was noodling around watching a movie with Jon Bernthal as a speechless converso in 13th-century Ireland and all of a sudden I wanted to write two things: Bone Wolves, a werewolf high fantasy I’ve been noodling on for a year or so, and a Robin Hood in Space story.
…I don’t know, I’m just wired weird. But it’s nice to have things to stuff into the cannon once I get this damn YA in reasonable draft form and start serious work on Roadtrip Z‘s fourth (and final) season. It’s nice to feel like I have the energy for a couple more projects, instead of being so completely drained by a bad-luck book (and whatever could go wrong, did, for no other reason than I suppose I was due for one of Those) that I could barely scrape together reasonable wordcount.
All the same, I launched a novella during that scraping, too, so I suppose my productivity didn’t suffer as much as it has under the current political bullshit or over the blasted holidays. Having enough energy to actually feel excited is flat-out great. There were a couple days when even eating seemed like too much trouble, and forget about washing or cleaning.
The true test, of course, will be if I get any damn laundry done today. I should wash my sheets, too, as I don’t want to sleep in sick-smell. Maybe I’ll sweat out the last of the struck-match stuff on my (very easy, don’t worry) run today. It’s not the first time I’ve been sick enough to have strange sensory issues–if the fever was worst, I might even expect it, since I tend to heat up at the drop of a hat. My body apparently decides it needs to cook every single bug that comes by.
Not that I’m complaining, really. It’s not optimal, but at least it makes my dreams interesting.
Off I go to get a YA in shape, do laundry, run, get Ginny and Lee and the gang to New York (finally), and decide just how soon I want to produce a workable zero of Robin Hood in Space. Never a dull moment, my dears.
I finished reading Karnow’s Vietnam: A History yesterday. I have the old hardback edition, picked up at a library sale somewhere or another, or maybe at the museum sale earlier this year. (I think it was this year.) Anyway, I did not find it “free of ideological bias,” since any work of history rests on bedrock assumptions that are culturally, well, biased. Like a worm in an apple–the worm eats, breathes, and shits apple, and thinks it’s air–so are historians, writers, singers, and all others in their culture. Ideology is an exhalation of culture, sometimes fragrant, more likely foul.
The next in line for serious reading–which includes reading in bed and taking notes in my zibaldone-slash-diary–is Brett-James’s The Hundred Days. I realized I have a shocking number of books on Napoleon, as an outgrowth of my quasi-obsession with the French Revolution, and it’s perhaps time I go through them. Especially the newer ones. There’s a fair amount of biographies of the man, but I’m more interested in him during the Revolution (when his “whiff of grapeshot” saves the day) and his invasion of (and subsequent retreat from) Russia. Of course, books that just scratch my little niche interests are few, and the urge to read more bracketing said interests in order to understand more deeply is overpowering.
I’m not complaining.
I have other thoughts on Karnow’s opus, but they have to sit and settle inside me before I can put them into anything resembling coherency. I’m just glad the flu is retreating so I can think in whole sentences again without each clause interrupted by a sneeze or a trip down the hall to blow my nose YET AGAIN. I got more exercise trekking for tissues than from a marathon. (That’s only slight hyperbole.)
Other than that, I finished a poncho knitted from this pattern. It’s green and stripy and lovely. The leftover yarn is going into a very long scarf instead of a hood. Stuck on a sentence? Knit a row. Watching a movie? Knit a few rows. Listening to a podcast? Knit many rows! Since the weather has turned, it’s all knitting all the time. I just don’t want to spend summer with a lapful of scratchy wool. I gorged on Fellini movies while knitting, feverish, and full of decongestant.
My dreams got awful interesting, when I could sleep.
And of course, today is for getting back on the serious wordcount horse. I’ve got that surrealist novel to prep for NaNo, and decisions to make about the next big project. I’m trying to only juggle two at a time. Trying. I think of juggling my usual four books at once and I get awful tired, which could just be the flu. I love my brain, it is a flexible and marvelous instrument, but sometimes I wish it wouldn’t eat itself quite so fiercely. I further wish my body would stop hosing off its internal surfaces with mucus and get back to the task at hand, but such is corporeal life. It’s ungrateful of me to be short-tempered with the physical frame that usually carries me so uncomplainingly.