Add to this that my contract is almost up, and my life is basically "Do job #1, do job #2, job-hunt."
At which point my work ethic goes YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME, LADY and I just want to nap. And play Castleville.
Also, guess how much time this leaves for writing, which is what I actually want to be doing with my life? If you guessed "basically none," you are correct.
*has small pity party*
Alright, back to work.
Yesterday, my purse was stolen when I was having breakfast at Quincy Market, because I am a dumbass. I called to cancel all of my debit and credit cards, and then, as we were just about to get me a replacement cell phone, an awesome bus driver called my Mom's phone and told us that she'd found it. So I got my purse back! Mom gave me some cash to cover me for the next week until I get all my replacement cards.
Here is where the "I am going to have an ulcer thing" comes in:
1. BoA (yes, I still have accounts with BoA, I am a bad person; I am working on it) is mailing my cards to my Jersey address, and then mom will forward them to me. This will take additional time, as well as opening us up to the possibility that they will get lost during one of their trips through the postal system.
2. My card for ING Direct checking is being mailed to me here at my Boston address, and I have so far had very little luck actually receiving mail at my Boston address.
3. For example, the clothes I ordered from piratemod on September 19 have still not arrived.
4. Just for extra aggravation, I cannot get in touch with piratemod to get the tracking number for my package so I can actually follow up with the post office on it. I had to file a sort of general complaint for a general inquiry into my mail.
5. Boston USPS also sucks at sending my mail, too. About a month ago I got a ticket; I immediately mailed a check to the parking clerk. Today I got a notice from the parking clerk saying that the payment was overdue and I would be charged extra. I cannot contact the parking clerk to ask how to deal with this situation until Monday so I will instead be sitting around for two days going GOD DAMMIT WHY CAN THESE ASSHOLES NOT GET A LETTER DOWN THE STREET NO WONDER THEY ARE GOING BANKRUPT D:< D:< D:<
So, basically, if it involves money or shipping something, it will not work. This is a bad pattern when I am supposedly having three debit/credit cards mailed to me all at the same time.
If anyone wishes to take bets on how long it will be before I have any method of accessing money at my disposal, I will put my bet on "over six weeks," but I will be betting lemon drops instead of money, since I can actually get to my stash of lemon drops.
"GPS stands for World Positioning orbiters and is one of the most heady advancements in bailiwick for some distinct reasons. GPS was developed by the Federate States Section of Denial for soldier like applications, but it has quickly grown to state misused personally by the mundane mortal."
The only explanation I can think of is that this was originally written in a different language, run through an online translator, and put in the book without ever being looked at. "GPS stands for World Positioning Orbiters"? That does not acronym to GPS!
"Section of Denial" for what I assume means the Dept. of Defense just cracks me up, though.
Today, George R. R. Martin's long-awaited fifth installment of A Song of Ice and Fire was released, four years after the infamous "Meanwhile, Back At The Wall..." author's note predicted it would be, and the very FIRST stop on the signing tour--the stop for the RELEASE DATE which is TODAY--was at the Barnes & Noble in Burlington, MA, and I went, and I got two signed copies of A Dance with Dragons (one for me and one for Pat) and a sunburn like I'd actually been dancing with dragons, or doing whatever passes for dancing in clubs these days where you've got your back to your partner like a weirdo.
I got there at about two-thirty, and there were only about a hundred people crazy enough to already be there at that point. I sat on my rather dirty fleece blanket because the asphalt was seventy billion degrees, but alas, I did not have the sense to have other useful-for-sitting-in-the-sun-for-five-
We were close enough to the front of the line that we got moved inside the store (with the air conditioning!) around 6h30, which meant we were inside to hear Mr. Martin speak. Much of what he said was stuff I'd already heard before, about the processes of writing and splitting up the novels and what took Dance so long, but he also talked about how he goes about writing POV chapters (ie, not in the order we end up reading them) and some stuff about working in TV and then having his books made into a TV show and things. Then we got shinied up for our assembly line--the jacket flaps of ADWD had to be bookmarking the title page; other bookmarks had to be removed; anything else we were likely to unexpectedly whip out and ask to get signed had to be handed over to the B&N staff; Post-It notes were dispensed to mark the title pages on books without bookjackets. Each person ended up getting about 10 seconds with Mr. Martin, which for me is the exact wrong amount of time. I couldn't think of any short questions that could be asked and answered in that time period (except "Are the words of House Targaryen deliberately adapted from the motto of the Salvation Army?" but I chickened out of asking that 'cos it's kind of a silly question) but it's too long to see one of your favorite authors and not say ANYTHING. I settled for just saying that I'd started reading and I absolutely loved the first few chapters; Mr. Martin graciously said he hoped I enjoyed the rest of them as well, and I said I was sure that I would and then I went on my way with my copies and went to the back of the line to make fun of Josh and Keen for showing up so late.
Tomorrow I have to stay late for work (to make up for taking this afternoon off) and then post blogularly about rereading the first four books, which should be interesting, and as such I really need to go to bed now.
Anyway. Last Friday, I went out to Worcester, rather late in the evening, where I watched the second half of Mirrormask at Josh & Keen & co's apartment, which is the one right above Bones & Flowers, the awesome pink occult shop. Then I slept over at Liz and Emily's apartment. Spider, a.k.a. Captain Underfoot, did not seem to care. Saturday morning, Liz and Josh and I got up early (like, same-time-as-we-get-up-during-the-week early) to don our garb. I was thrilled for an excuse to wear my Bride of Dracula nightgown again, and my beautiful red leather corset with the Kevlar panel, and all my other fun stuff that I have spent a somewhat unjustifiable amount of money on over the years considering how little of it I can wear on a regular basis. (In high school, this sometimes didn't stop me wearing it anyway, but alas, I am a grown-up now with a strict Business Casual dress code most of the time.) I also had what was intended to be a medieval-timesy sort of manicure:
Apologies if it is le blurry; it's an iPhone pic.
We did the fun ritual of going to a normal people establishment for breakfast and getting funny looks, then Liz got in her Cube and Josh and I got in the Black Pearl (I let Josh drive because I still hate having passengers for long rides) and we drove to Ansonia, Connecticut, of all places. My dad's family is from that Valley. Some of the family still lives in that Valley, namely, the ones I haven't spoken to in the longest. So I was all like "Ahhh I'm weirded out" because of voluntarily spending time in southern Connecticut, and then we found out that Liz was also going all "Ahhh I'm weirded out" because she used to perform at the other Ren Faire (that has since closed, but was trying to shut down Midsummer Fantasy anyway, and whoa is THAT a funny story) that used to be at Warsaw Park, when she was part of Phoenix Swords like eight years ago.
Pat let us in for free, since it is his Ren Faire and he can do that, so that was pretty awesome. And then pretty much the first thing that happened when we got inside the Faire was that I ran into Jacques ze Whippeur, whom I have not seen since we were in high school. Then we looked at all the shiny things the vendors were selling and starting spending unconscionable amounts of money, and ate unhealthy Faire food, and watched some (generally bawdy) performances, and were huge dorks, and general Ren Faire stuff. Jack's whip act has gotten a lot more sophisticated since MHS' talent show; it now involves fire. A bunch of other acts involved fire, too, and after the day Faire was over, all the fire-related acts got together and put on an evening show, which was an Improvisational Fire Show, which is one of the most unsafe things I have witnessed people do on stage (er, on chessboard?) in my life, but was also ten different kinds of AWESOME. (I counted.) Sadly, Liz had to leave before the improv fire show, but not before buying a chainmail thingy that goes around the shoulders but isn't a hauberk or a cowl (I can't remember the term). Josh bought a red-and-black leather pauldron with gorgeous ornate steel studding. Pat bought badass bracers from Lusty Leather, which is apparently his first step towards having real garb, which is weird since he owns a damn Renaissance Faire (which means he gets DISCOUNTS, the bastard). I bought... oh my goddess, I decided I wasn't going to buy any more articles of clothing, so I didn't; I just bought an ungodly amount of accessories--black and red, leather and iron, lots of skull patterns. A black and red leather beltpouch with skull-and-crossbones embossed into the leather. A Viking-style iron dragon ring and an iron dragon hairpiece to match my iron Thorshamar from Sweden (I also had a really awesome conversation with the blacksmith about Thorshamars [Thorshamaren?] and blacksmithing). A black-and-red-beribboned steel tiara with a skull pendant on it (to match my silver hair twist from the last Faire I went to). A boot dagger, now that I am a grown-up and no longer prohibited from spending my own money on pointy things. Between buying unnecessary shinies, food & drink, and tipping the entertainers (I tip generously to anyone willing to set themselves on fire for my amusement), I must have spent nearly two hundred dollars on Saturday. (I figure I can afford to do that... uhh... once every year or three.)
Speaking of drinks, I learned a new recipe at the pub. It's called a Beesting, and it's a shot of mead dropped in a glass of cider. It is hardcore delicious.
But perhaps the highlight of the day was the Crime & Punishment show, where I was accused of singing off-key and informed that I was to be put in the Iron Maiden until I confessed. The dungeonmaster (I honest to gods almost just wrote "dungeon maester") helpfully decided to show me how to properly get into the Iron Maiden by making the Sheriff demonstrate. Once the Sheriff was strapped down onto the one bed of nails and the other was laid on top of him, I was made to stand on top of the lot, so that I could understand exactly what was going to happen to me, but at that point the Sheriff retracted his accusation. (I suspect they picked me for this demonstration because I was one of the smaller people in the audience at that time. Sadly, I am still underweight, despite attempting to bulk up. The pictures Josh took at the Faire actually kind of worry me; I cannot tell if I have actually gotten that waifish or if the effect is exaggerated because Faire garb is so bulky, but I look like a twelve-year-old boy in my corset, and it's supposed to be a powerful corset.)
Anyway, here is an awesome picture of me standing on a dude in a portable Iron Maiden:
Yeah, so that was awesome.
Sunday I spent most of the afternoon proofreading, because I had taken work home due to the holiday, but it was actually pretty awesome, because I went down to the coffeeshop my new roomie Ellen works at and worked there while drinking chai lattes and feeling like a pretty hip artsy sort of hourly wage slave/pedantic punctuation minion, in my long black dress and iron jewelry. (I now feel compelled to wear ALL my iron jewelry ALL the time, because IRON JEWELRY.)
Monday was the 4th of July! I went back to Ellen's coffeeshop, where I actually got several pages of writing done for the story Liz and I outlined a while back, so that was productive. Then I hung out with a bunch of Ellen's friends and we ate hot dogs and drank gin and tonic before heading down to the river to see fireworks. We founds a good spot on a footbridge under the main bridge over the river by BU (sorry for the preposition overload). The rest of the group eventually split to try and find a better spot, but it's damn crowded by the river in Boston on the 4th of July before fireworks, so Ellen and I stayed where we were a drank more gin and tonic out of the tonic bottle ('cos we're classy). Fireworks didn't start til a ridiculously late 10:30 (what. the. HELL, Boston), so we ended up only staying for like the first twenty minutes, because tired and work in the morning.
Then it was back to regular work week. This week is apparently the busiest week of the year for real this time (as opposed to two weeks ago, which was also supposed to be the busiest week of the year), which is fine with me, because that means they bribe us to work overtime by giving us dinner.
I did do a very stupid thing this week, though: I ventured back onto the Internet long enough to learn that a large proportion of Like Totally Super Smart Rational Better-Than-Everybody Atheist Dudes (including, sadly, Richard Dawkins) cannot for the life of them figure out what could POSSIBLY be at all creepy or disrespectful about ignoring a woman for several hours of designated social time in a social space, waiting until she says that she is done socializing and is going to bed now, and then cornering her in a small windowless room whose doors only open at certain intervals at four in the morning and asking her back to your room for coffee. Seriously, what ISN'T creepy and disrespectful about that? Even if by coffee he actually meant coffee--can you simultaneously go back to your own hotel room and somebody else's? No. Can you simultaneously go to sleep and drink coffee? No. Ergo, SHE ALREADY ANSWERED THE QUESTION. People who continue to ask questions AFTER you've answered them are generally not my top choice of people to hold conversations with, since "able to follow speech" is my number one requirement for conversing, and I do not think I am alone in this. Anyway, apparently pointing out that this is not the #1 guaranteed Most Effective Strategy Ever for getting more girls to voluntarily decide to expend time, effort and money to attend your parties is HUGELY MEAN AND OPPRESSIVE AND IF I WANTED TO BE TOLD HOW TO TALK TO WOMEN I'D MOVE TO IRAN. (No, someone actually said that.) Like, dudes, pick a goal and stick with it. You have every legal right to be a raging douchebag. However, good fucking luck attracting anybody to your movement with "Atheism: It's Not Iran" as your fucking sales pitch. I grew up in the Catholic Church, which is one fucked-up institution, but it's not Iran EITHER. In fact, everyone who lives in the US is already living not-in-Iran! Richard Dawkins pulled some whiny "why-are-you-talking-about-X-when-Y-is-
This weekend, I am going to relax and not spend hundred of dollars. My goals for this weekend are to get at least halfway through rereading A Feast for Crows, to go to the gym, and possibly to get some writing done.
This morning, I tried an Experiment!
My Experiment was to see if I can utilize some of the time I spend on the train each day to more productive ends than just reading, because as much as I like having three hours a day to read, it is resulting in getting through a LOT of reading and having no time left to review them, or do my freelance assignments, and also I end up checking my email in the evening and then whoops, all my time is gone and I didn't do anything else I was planning to do. So this morning I brought along my netbook to see if this trial they are running of free wi-fi in the train cars is any good.
For the record: I adore the notion of free wi-fi in train cars. For some reason I always associate train use with being somewhat old-fashioned, probably because most of the rail systems in the US were built like a hundred years ago and I think most of the train cars are at least as old as I am. Trains have become sort of a second-teir mode of travel since their golden age, and the commuter rail systems very clearly reflect last century's urban-and-suburban job structure, so I always associate trains with being in some odd way historical curiosities. Even though they are still being used. But anyway, trains with wireless Internet just seem sort of weirdly steampunky to me. Perhaps I am just completely bananas, though.
Anyway. I got online successfully this morning, answered some emails, and opened up LJ to do my review of Desert Queen. I wrote the whole thing, and then, in a moment of thoughtlessness, hit the “tags” button to add tags, which causes a pop-up box these days, and the MBTA's wi-fi is basic enough that that was a really bad idea. Attempting to open the fancy pop-up window took about ten minutes, during which time the tag window never loaded, I was just unable to access the regular posting. Had to shut the window and hope I could auto-recover before getting into Back Bay; alas, it only auto-recovered the first paragraph or so. So I decided I should probably just write the things in OpenOffice and copy-paste from now on. So I started draft #2 during lunch, and finished it on the train ride home, which is where I am now. I'll post it and add the links and tags and stuff when I get back to Worcester, I suppose.
But at least I know I can do some basic Internetting before and after work!
In other news, I looked at a sublet today, and I will look at another one tomorrow, and I think I may bring my regular laptop on the train for that so I can do some of my Elance reformatting work on that trip. I am trying to talk myself into finding it possible to go to the gym first things in the morning, too. Tonight, I am going to read silly fantasy and brainstorm my Brilliant Business Idea with Liz (I am not telling you what it is) and maybe even get some Elance work done if not being Busy for ten minutes starts to wig me out, which it might. I am sorry about yesterday's stress-bomb; I got to the bank this morning so I am sure it will all work itself out. I just need to keep busy and keep writing.
Also in the past few weeks, I read a book about ambition, read two vampire books, went to see Jane Eyre, and watched the first two episodes of Game of Thrones. I will review Game of Thrones eventually, I promise. Perhaps after the third episode.
P.S. I refuse to either rant about being sick of the Royal Wedding or make a joke about not being invited to it. I will only say this: Where was our media when Kronprinsesse Victoria of Sweden got married last summer? I had to go to Sweden to hear about it. I mean, do we like fancy princess weddings or don't we? Or would having subtitles on the TV give Americans hives?
Am extra annoyed because part of my extreme cash flow crunch right now is because I had to pay sales tax and registration fees on my car TWICE. I paid the dealer in NJ because in NJ they take care of that for you. Exactly nine days into the ten-day registration window for MA, I was told that they couldn't do it and I had to go to the DMV to do registration and pay the sales tax myself. Dealer said they would refund my fees. Well, I went to the DMV on Monday, and MassDOT has cashed the check I wrote them, and my check from the NJ dealer hasn't arrived yet.
What's got me worried is that my $10 for Netflix bills automatically tomorrow. If I don't deposit literally like five dollars into checking tomorrow before that bill arrives, then my rent check will bounce should my landlord decide to actually cash it before I get either my paycheck, my refund from Nissan, or my Elance payment. Since it has been almost two weeks since I actually wrote that check, it is conceivable he may cash it soon. Transfers from savings take 2 business days, timesheets at work get submitted tomorrow but I think they send you the actual check through the mail, transfers from Elance to PayPal take two business days, and transfers from PayPal to BOA take four business days, and also tomorrow is Friday. So while I should be able to to do the five dollars because I have that much in cash in my wallet, I can't avoid getting absolutely down to the wire until at least the middle of next week.
I don't want to be complaining, because I've been in worse spots and I know a lot of other people are in worse spots--I'm fully employed at a fairly generous wage, plus the side job; I was merely underemployed and for only about six weeks before that. I have money in savings. I am doing pretty well overall, it's just that what I have immediately ACCESSIBLE is less than what I need to be immediately accessible and I don't want to pay forty dollars in overdraft to those tax-evading vampires at BOA because the Nissan dealership is too unprofessional to take a look at their out-of-state registration policies before billing me for them. BOA paid no taxes on $4.4 billion in profits last year; they can leave me my $40 so I can keep futilely trying to pay off my student loans. (I think the Dept. of Ed. actually does not actually want my money, just to ruin my credit. Otherwise they would not make it so difficult to give them money. Also, I will never forgive them for unconsolidating my previously consolidated loans and thus tripling my monthly payment. Payments, plural, now. One of which cannot be done online, but has a website anyway just to waste your time trying to register.)
Also, I am still looking for housing for the summer. I need it to be less than $600/month and I need to be able to get into the Back Bay neighborhood in Boston via public transit in under an hour. That is all. When I get this squared away I will be much less stressed. If anyone knows of anything that fits that criteria, please let me know; Craigslist is a madhouse right now. Also when I get this sorted out I can stop spending the precious few hours I have in the evening looking for housing and can do some of my Elance assignments, so I don't have to spend all weekend doing it.
Blargh. I'm sorry I'm so stressed and angry and whiny, but I have been stressed all week, and when I started this week I thought "I only need to be stressed through this week!" and I assumed that by the end of the week, either the housing or at least one form of income would have gone through. But I end the week basically the same as I started it, except with even less cash on hand. So that is frustrating. And I haaaaate living on credit, but I did need to eat and buy train tickets this week.
*stresses and is frustrated*
In good news: I like my job! And they are test running free wi-fi on the commuter trains, so tomorrow I will experiment with bringing my netbook and seeing if I can't do some of my househunting or book-reviewing during the three hours a day I'm spending on trains these days. Because that would be awesome.
If you're not mad enough already, I invite you to take note that this article is filed under "arts and entertainment." See, Roman Polanski makes movies, and because movies are so much more all-fired important than anything else evar, when he drugs and rapes a child and then flees the country after getting a lighter sentence for it than Lindsay Lohan is getting for parole violation (IIRC, his sentence was no prison time and 90 days of counseling), it's still somehow all about the movies. Because MOVIES! Movies movies movies! Movies exist, so the people involved with them are then somehow suspended from ever relating to the real world in a way not about movies. Also, if Roman Polanski were ever punished for drugging and raping a thirteen year old girl, this would retroactively cause all his movies to stop existing. Which would obviously be a fate worse than death for the whole world, and certainly a fate worse than being drugged and raped.
...And I say this as someone who really likes movies, and who even likes some Roman Polanki movies. But do you know what I hate even more than I like movies? Child rapists.