I went in to work yesterday and remembered one of the reasons I find working a regular job quite strange... People seem to have an odd relationship to food. Of course, it's Halloween and so people brought in food & we could graze & maybe even surreptitiously bring some back into the library with us. Here's what we had: doughnuts, doughnut holes, seven layer dip, chips, red pepper hummus, crackers, pumpkin-Kool-Whip something, candy, some other beige cake and more candy. All the while, people are eating it and saying things like "Oh, I really shouldn't...". The Leniency of the Special Occasion.
It is my opinion that creating the office as a space free for the occasional cake and ice cream [but not, in my case, safe for the occasional political poster] is a way of creating the illusion of a free and relaxed workplace [don't get me wrong, I love my job, it's jobs in general and their rigid structure that I object to] out of what is not a particularly flexible situation hour-wise and pay-wise. In a big enough office, you can wind up getting cake almost every week!
I have been trying out text to HTML editors. I've been trying to help a friend of mine convert some back files for his web site. The Word converter is unsurprisingly sucky. I don't have the Netscape plug-in that will make HTML conversion as easy as toast. I settled on something tiny and free and I love it.
P/Zesto attacked me as if I were a predator today -- hissing and spitting. I think she's a bit jumpy because the tomcat has been hanging around outside and cats [or maybe just P/Zesto] don't seem to understand the absolute solidity of things like doors.
Speaking of terrorization by the animal kingdom [no wait, are insect animals? I mean, they're not vegetables or minerals, but that's not a scientific distinction, right...?] my kitchen is filled with fruit flies ever since I stepped up my orange juice consumption to avoid the grippe. No amount of cleaning or hand waving will make them go away. If only I could train P/Zesto to eat them.
I am painting kids' faces this Saturday. I think every kid has a pumpkin face in them just begging to be set free. I hope none of them want to be something goofy, like Batman.
Yesterday I spent the first half of the day dressed up like Clifford the Big Red Dog while kids pulled my tail, insulted me, and tried to steal my watch. Well, some kids did that, others just grabbed onto my leg and wouldn't let go for love or money. This was at the Northwest Bookfest, a very worthwhile giant event supporting literacy. I volunteer there every year. The costumes range from the fairly comfortable [Clifford] to the complicated [Miss Spider with her eight legs] to the downright unbearable [Cat in the Hat, whose head is on a harness you wear strapped to your torso].
Then, I went home for a quick change of clothes and headed off to this month's Rent is Theft event, Whirly Ball! It was a real mixed group ranging from people I've never met, to old college buddies. We all got in our bumper cars and played a sport that seemed kind of like five-on-five Jai Alai.
Now is it any surprise I have a cold?
I have had the crud that is going around. I am a bit wheezy, sniffly and ootchy. I got up at 8 this morning to open the hall for the Loyal Order of the Golden North. On my way out of my apartment, I ran into a few of the drunks who sometimes live in my alley. One of them took one look at me and said "Shit sweetheart, you look like I feel!" I thought that if I even looked like he looked I was in big trouble.
Do you see what I'm trying to say here?
People sometimes think that because I don't have a regular full-time job, I don't actually work much. Actually, if you add up all my mini-jobs, they add up to one respectable part-time job...
|Odd Fellows Hall Caretaker||~10/week||free rent/utils + stipend|
|Shoreline Reference Librarian||6/week||don't let the hours fool you, this job rules|
|freelance researcher||2-5/week||headhunting business research, pays well|
|web site designer||varies, ~3/week||Dutch Treat, Bungee Sexperience, Allan|
|basic computer skills instructor||2/week||leftover family center work|
|Encyclopedia Article Writer||8/month, maybe||Encyclopedia of Corruption up next|
|web basics instructor, SPL||4/month||volunteer, but regular hours|
According to my earnings statement I received today from the Social Security Adminstration, I have earned just over $60,000 in my entire life. This would be from about fifteen years of working, not including babysitting which always payed like hell anyhow. This only includes income that was earned above the table -- stuff I paid taxes on -- but I don't think I've ever had a lucrative under the table job. According to the SSA, if I continue at this rate and retire at 67, I can expect to receive $150 a month from them. At the rate things are going, that may cover my phone bill in 2035.
Spilled Kool-Aid in my digital camera today. Actually, me and P/Zesto spilled it. Actually, my attempt to get the cat off of the table -- where she is usually allowed to be and thus dug in to the placemats to resist being removed -- caused the spill. The photographs that were on the table are pink and sticky, as is my phone bill, agenda to my meeting, and the table itself. P/Zesto isn't even suitably contrite, but then again she isn't pink and sticky, the little fucker. I think the camera still works.
I just finished polishing my shoes. [bored with this journal yet...? winter's just starting, look out.] Seriously, it's a household project that I must have been putting off for upwards of eight years. I can tell because the can of shoe polish I have says Spags which was the Costco of my youth in Massachusetts, only cooler. You know, isn't shoe polish just paint? It sure seems that way when I try to get it off my hands. Smells that way too, I have quite a head rush.
This weekend I saw Citizen Kane and The Wedding Singer in the same day.
It's that time of weather when a not-so-young girl's heart turns to thoughts of... stew. Today I made stew. Vegan lentil rice stew. It goes something like this. Brown lentils, add veggie stock, cook, add rice, add more stock. Cook some more. Add vegetables [potatoes, peppers, celery, carrots]. Correct the seasoning [cumin, curry, cloves, ginger, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaves, italian seasoning & whatever else is lying around]. Cook forever, which is about how long it will take you to do the dishes. Basically, most of my cooking is an attempt to find the perfect food to go with English muffins and [tofu] cheese. This stew is pretty darned close.
I think I have won the Battle of the Journals [farm boy vs. hermit boy vs. chatty girl] but I don't think it's cuz I have so terribly much to say. Not like any of us have jobs anyhow...
The Billediub party has gone from crazy wild-hair-up-my-ass notion to a real-deal, full-fledged plan. I think I will even attend. RSVP to reserve your scrap o' floor now.
I have been working a lot this week. Mostly helping friends out on their various web page schemes. It's a weird thing about doing work for friends.. Hard to determine where the boundaries of doing favors ends and doing work begins. My favorite deal was my friend who just took me out to lunch every time I helped him work on his web site. He even learned his own HTML and learned to use the scanner as we went, cool.
I went camping this weekend. Me and some friends headed out to Port Townshend to hang out, get out of town and commune with nature, such as it is. We found a free place to camp in the woods, walked down by the beach and spent Saturday noodling about and watching the kinetic sculptures which are huge racing vehicles that must traverse land, water and mud. Many of them were transformer-like contraptions that had many different incarnations. Others were simply bicycles with pontoons. The winner of the race is not the person who crosses the finish line first, but rather the one who's time is closest to the average time for all finishing participants. This and all the other convoluted rules and costumed participants and officials made this a good place to be this weekend.
Oh yeah, for all you doomsday types who have been asking me all your Y2K questions. My answer is: "I don't really know how dangerous it is, but maybe you should spend New Year's Eve in a remote location just to be safe." With this in mind, and because I have no true talent other than giving reasonable parties, I am inviting anyone who wants to over to my place in VT next New Years. I may even be there. It's remote, there's no elevators or anything else run by computer [except the computer itself which will be off for the duration] and I don't even think it's in the flight path of any major airport -- hence no planes falling on you. Since all these damned parties have names, mine will be called the Billediub, since it's not really the millenium anyhow.
Are you one of those people that mixes up August and October? Do you write 8/1 on your checks sometimes instead of 10/1? I often do, although I can't always be trusted to tell the difference between left and right. I think it has something to do with the old time calendars, before July and August were forced into being, when October was the eight month [why do you think it starts with "oct"]. Some kind of vast collective unconsciousness perhaps.
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