moderate_excess: (Consciousness)
[personal profile] moderate_excess
Greetings from the Ghost in the Machine. I'm still here, still alive, and still reading LJ faithfully. Still, obviously, wrestling with the ability to update.

So. a series of brief updates:

1) I have a new room-mate. She's great. She's one of the first people I've had living here who really wants to make this her home, too, and we have been working together to create space for her. To that end, we tackled the storage area in the laundry room. OMG, y'all.* I threw out a huge stack of empty boxes that once contained a variety of products from popcorn poppers to printers, hauled out Mardi Gras beads by the bag (and bag, and bag...), sorted out all the obsolete electronics I'll never use and don't need, found the boxes of old St. Nicholas Magazines and took them out and put them on shelves, cleaned out all the old paint cans and other chemical detritus left on the shelves from the previous owners, put all the boxes of National Geographics on those shelves, sorted out all the odds and ends I don't need that could go to charity, pulled out several boxes of old Playboy magazines I'm hoping someone might pay for, went through the packing supplies in my box room and transferred a healthy proportion to the laundry room, and cleaned and swept and re-stacked what was left. All in one day. The transformation is amazing. I'm wishing we'd taken "before" pictures. The plan is to shift more stuff from the box room to the laundry room so that it becomes a use-able space for her to store her own things.

I should point out that my room-mate worked tirelessly along-side me, taking stuff as I handed it down (the storage space is at the top of a ladder), helping me decide whether it went or stayed, did the bulk of the cleaning after the paint cans were gone, and put most of the boxes on the shelves. She is a hero of the revolution and I couldn't have done it without her.

Yesterday, I took an entire car-load of beads to The ARC of Greater New Orleans, which works with developmentally disabled adults. They use the proceeds from the sale of Mardi Gras beads to fund some of their programs. Then I took a car-load of donations to Bridge House, which is a center for helping people with substance abuse issues. They are not religious, and do a pretty good job. I put all the computer stuff on the front porch and contacted someone on Craigslist who said he wanted old computers. He was supposed to come yesterday to pick it up, but didn't. I'll contact him again today to see if I can get rid of it.

2) The cat situation had a little set-back the other day, when Beamer jumped up on my lap and proceeded to pee on me. It was a nice, steady stream, so it's not a bladder issue. I surmised that she was having difficulty getting to the litter box because Spot and The Moo Cat like to chase her, so (after I put my clothes and lap towel in the laundry), I filled a plastic bin with litter and put it down in my room and closed it off to the other cats. Beamer used it immediately and seemed quite pleased with it. I've brought in cat food and water for her and continue to keep the other cats out and she seems much more relaxed and calm now. She even played with a toy yesterday! It's a little tricky at times keeping up the segregation, but I think it's good for her. I may consider allowing brief, supervised visits by The Moo Cat at some point, but they are adolescent males and don't understand that they shouldn't chase the elderly cat.

3) I had an amazing WisCon and the Tiptree Auction went very well. I spent some time at home taking care of things around the house for the folks, and having serious discussions about the future. In the interests of my being able to drive up to see them instead of flying, and because my old Camry wagon is now 19 years old, they bought a red 2006 Prius with 146,000 miles on it for themselves to drive around town and gave me their old  2005 Prius with 47,000 miles on it to drive long-distances. I drove it home (through an amazing storm that hit just north of Blytheville), and it's great. I'm heading back to Madison tomorrow for my high school re-union (33 years!) and it will be nice to not have to worry about the car falling apart or bankrupting myself for gas.

4) While I was gone, my landlords finished remodeling my bathroom. They had started two weeks before, and I had to make do with using the powder room and taking sponge baths, with the occasional shower upstairs in their apartment. When I got back, I had a beautiful new bathroom with marble tiles on the floor, new sink and bath-tub and subway tiles, and a gorgeous purple and white paint job (I picked out the color to match my towels). They really did a fantastic job, and it was all finished before my room-mate arrived.

5) I'm still working at the French Market, but Sunday we had temperatures in the mid 90's and I had a terrible time. Yesterday the heat index was 105 and I was glad I had the day off. With temperatures today scheduled to top that, I canceled the market for today, too. I suspect I'll be down there fewer days during the summer, but I kind of expected that. I still have work to do on a glass job, and I'm putting in a bid for another.

6) I designed the Readercon souvenir book again this year, and I think it came out rather nicely. I'll be driving up for the convention, which should be fun.

OK, that's enough for now. Keep writing, and I'll keep reading, and who knows, every once in a while I'll open up a window here and let you peek through the curtains.

*Yes, I really did just say that. It seems appropriate. Live with it.
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January 2014

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