nebroadwe: (pic#1047247)
I emerged from another writing fit this evening to notice that:
a) the ants are back; and

b) they brought a friend, probably named Mickey.
Whence follows the ritual scrubbing of the countertops, the liberal application of Ant-B-Gone, and the baiting of the mousetrap with peanut butter.

Ye gods, I hope those were just really large, really odd looking ant corpses and not mouse turds, but I have very little hope.
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
Things are still rotten here: the downstairs landlord, having installed the best filter Home Depot can supply on his furnace [HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER], refuses to do anything else, says I should negotiate with the smoking tenant [MORE HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER], and declares his readiness to rent to smoking tenants in future [OKAY, I'M CRYING NOW]. I've had another talk with my HVAC company and finally got a tech to come out and actually look at the situation under the guise of writing me an estimate for a solution I was pretty sure wasn't going to work. He agreed and suggested a cheaper alternative that probably won't solve the problem, but might go a little way toward mitigating it. I think I have no choice but to sell and move now, but I'm going to try to stick it out till next fall when the current tenant's lease expires, in the hope that a) he might leave; and b) a nonsmoker might move in after all. Who's the patron saint of good neighbors?

That said, I'm still enjoying How To Train Your Dragon and ponied up for an iTunes subscription to Dragons: Riders of Berk which is less complex but cheerful and charming (and, for a weekly cartoon, surprisingly well-animated; Green Lantern should take note, except they've been cancelled, boo hiss). "Fifteen Kennings For 'Woman'," my Astrid-centric drabble sequence, is fourteen-fifteenths drafted and seven-fifteenths posted up to and AO3, where people seem to like it. Yay! Also, Hotel 13 came off winter break this week, which means only one more week until I get to see what comes of the cliffhanger from which our heroes were left dangling back in December. From the promotional stuff, it looks like this is going to be a fun ride.

And I, too, fear this is only the beginning ...
nebroadwe: (pic#1047247)
Just got word from a doctor friend that the clinic she works at -- the one that serves the poor, the immigrant, and the disabled of a major city -- is being shut down by its parent institution. This leaves my friend out of a job and her patients out of luck. Grrr.
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
At least, they sounded angry to begin with. Now they sound as if they may have settled their differences in order to plan ... something. Perhaps another assault on my patio tomato plant, which they previously stripped of fruit. I moved it inside and it bloomed again. So it's currently sitting on the porch under my watchful eye for an interval long enough (I trust) for the local insect population to cross-pollinate it. A hopeful spider has already hung a web among the leaves.
nebroadwe: Write write write edit edit edit edit edit & post. (Writer)
Natural disaster #3: minor flooding. Not as bad as what came with Irene, but still pretty annoying. (I hope [ profile] kanja177 isn't stuck on a train somewhere -- things started getting bad up by her yesterday.)

Got my [ profile] fireandice2011 prompts. I signed up partly because I've written some stuff I really liked for this contest in the past, but mostly to give my muse a reason to get back to work. As y'all will have noticed, I haven't written anything for months. I can count on the fingers of one hand the workable ideas I've had in that time. I have no yen to sit down and write. (I blame this on both my own lack of discipline and the ongoing, soul-grinding difficulties that have overtaken a local voluntary organization in which I have participated, at various levels of leadership, for the past twenty years.) So when the prompts arrived I stared at them and thought, "What in blazes am I going to do with these?"

But I did have the start of an idea for one of them (thank you, Al!) and have been hammering away at a plot to house it. Now I'm at the point where I'm paranoid about repeating myself -- I don't want to keep writing the same story, but my comfort zone for romance is ... narrow. So I decided to set myself a challenge that's frequently considered orthogonal to romance and see if I could create an Ed/Win piece that ... well, you'll see, if I pull it off. All my characters are talking to each other, which is a good sign. I just hope I can plant myself in front of the keyboard long enough to get the thing finished by deadline. Now, off to do research!
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
First an earthquake; now this. It's enough to make one question the fallaciousness of the Gambler's Fallacy.

My immediate neck of the woods escaped serious damage -- I think most of the marginal trees and tree limbs came down in last year's windstorm (though my friend C lost power when a 100-year-old tree toppled onto electrical lines in his neighborhood) and, being on high ground, we didn't have the trouble with flooding that lower-lying areas did. My perceptions of the event are seriously skewed, however, by the fact that, during the height of the storm, the local fire siren sounded just as the TV began bannering a tornado warning for my county under the Patriots-Lions game. Twenty seconds later I was in the basement with my little weather radio trying to get more information and figure out how best not to die in the absence of anything sturdy to crawl beneath. As it happened, the siren had nothing to do with the warning (mixed reactions of phew! and why, in the age of the cell phone and the pager, does the company have to run its [redacted] siren every time they get a call?) and the tornado passed well to the south. But when the next warning indicated possible tornadoes a hop-skip-jump to the north, I realized I wasn't getting any sleep until the watch was lifted at 5:00 am. So I made myself a bed in the hallway next to the bathroom, on the assumption that a) if I had no warning of impending doom I was at least in the hallway away from the windows; b) if I had very little warning I could dive into the bathroom; and c) if I had sufficient warning I could get myself to the basement again.

But fortunately, as Ray Bradbury so eloquently put it, "Nothing much else happened, all the rest of that night." Amen.
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
So I just experienced my first earthquake -- a thankfully brief and nondestructive event locally. The floor underfoot rolled a bit and the cubicle warren vibrated, but it was all pretty low frequency (the DVD in my player* didn't even skip). A few heads popped up to inquire, "Did you feel that?" -- but given that the construction crew upstairs twice dropped something enormous this morning that shook the building much more violently, several of my colleagues admitted to thinking it was just more of the same before the news reports came in. I'm betting my parents will have slept through it. Hope all is well nearer the epicenter in Virginia.

*Justice League, season 2. I'm just listening to the voice work as a I catalog. No, really!

ETA: USGS predicts possible aftershocks. Just in case, I'm taking the bus home rather than the subway/elevated. An ounce of prevention ...
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
Good news:
For the past two nights I have been able to sleep with the windows open and the fans on. Whee! (Though that did mean I was startled straight into wakefulness by the neighborhood fire siren going off at 1 a.m. this morning like Gabriel's trump. Shut windows dampen the noise noticeably. I hope the Apocalypse happens in the dead of winter.)
Bad news:
I haven't been able to log in to my LiveJournal account since the DDOS started, which means that several friendly conversations about Avatar: The Legend of Korra were rudely interrupted. Boo on you, annoying hackers. May the local fire siren wake you up every two hours nightly until you recognize the error of your ways.
Will now attempt to cross-post this to LJ ...
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
I was on my way to the trolley stop this morning when I saw black smoke billowing up about a block west. That, I thought uneasily, cannot be good. Then I saw people running into the street, exhibiting the unmistakable signs of panic, at which point I hauled out my cell phone to call 911. I had just hit the first number when the fire sirens went off, so I put the phone away and got myself out of the way.

By the time the trolley arrived, about ten minutes later, the smoke was greyish and far less prominent in the sky. The local paper is reporting that there were no injuries. Phew.

ETA: The house's sole occupant jumped out a second-story window after a couple of passing Good Samaritans noticed the fire, called 911, and began pounding on the front door and shouting. God bless 'em.
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
I arrived home yesterday evening to discover my kitchen swarming with a sub-Biblical plague of ants. I drowned some (ants in the sink!) and Lysoled others (ants on the countertops and running along the baseboards!) and squished the rest (ants on the cabinet doors! ants under the kitchen mat! ants in the rice cooker!). Skin crawling (literally: ants on MEEEE!), I bolted a quick dinner and then headed out to the hardware store, where I bought some Mom-recommended ant bait (my parents have ant problems every summer). Home again, I Lysoled and squished some more ants before setting out the baits. Then I cleaned everything the ants had touched, walked past, or even glanced at, because I'm a little "Graah! Sterilize!" like that whenever I have a pest infestation. I also put all the food in my cupboards that wasn't in sealed containers into sealed containers.

I got up this morning and squished five more ants (two in the rice cooker, which I subsequently washed, sealed into plastic bags, and boxed. I haven't been eating much rice lately anyway.). I don't know what I did to earn the wrath of the Lord of the Ants, but I'm hoping that the great slaughter I've perpetrated upon his myrmidons will give him pause. Or perchance I shall hereafter think it meet to put an ant-ic disposition on. If you can't beat 'em ...
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
Dear Subconscious,

      Can you please be a little more proactive about waking me up when I get a foot cramp? I don't need the extra dream time to fall out of a tree in the woods down by the creek while shrieking for help ("Mom! Ow! Mom, mom! It hurts! MOMMY!"); what I do need is to awaken immediately and STRETCH MY FOOT.


PS Oh, and a dream about driving [ profile] kanja177 to Denver (mysteriously just a hop-skip-jump down a 2-lane country road narrowed by snowdrifts) to a hotel filled with weather refugees for a job interview, all the while fighting the inability of the car's defroster to clear the windshield? I SEE WUT U DID THAR.
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
Dear Subconscious,

      Please do not schedule any more dreams involving my graduate school friends awakening an eldritch horror in the basement of my childhood home. Even with most of my higher neural functions in sleep mode, I knew that my previous pastor's cavalier attitude toward laying said horror to rest did not bode well, but I did not appreciate being left alone to poke it with a stick while reciting prayers in a hoarse whisper because my voice (as usual in these situations) had given out.

      I'm also pretty sure the basement of my childhood home is not contiguous with the downtown mall's eastern subway stop. And if it were, I wouldn't need to use the Peter Pan/Trailways bus station to get to work -- I could just stay on the subway. I guess it's just fortunate for me that the eldritch horror's power to cloud men's minds doesn't work on local transit workers ...

nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
I hate being sick: my sinuses ache, my mouth tastes like snot, and the least worry sets me panicking. Also, I have no energy to write with, and it just occurred to me that I've never written EdWin as comedy of manners and I should. Bleah. Must make notes and hope inspiration outlasts this [expletive deleted] virus.

ETA: Hey there, self! Please do not attempt to cough the inflamed parts of our throat up. It won't work and annoys the people in the neighboring cubicles.
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
... or, Why I Need to Find the Dustpan and Brush Now, or, Great Oaks from Little Acorns Grow, But Not on My Porch, Please.

On Thursday afternoon, a little before half past three, I was sitting in my living room, listening to a ball game and watching the sky darken, wondering whether my team (playing at home) would finish off its opponent before the rain started. The wind picked up first, as it does, lifting the branches of the oak next door and flipping the leaves on the jungle of ivy, maple saplings, mulberry bushes and random weed trees beneath it. It was a pretty stiff breeze, but nothing unusual. Lightning lit the clouds a ways off, judging by the delay between the flash and the thunder.

And there was nothing unusual, either, in the tappity-tap-tap-tap of rain that began to fall a few minutes later. I was curious about the occasional interspersed tick, though, and went to the window to squint out. We don't see much hail around here, but sure enough, the odd pea-sized chunk of ice bounced off the panes and onto the porch.

No, wait, make that blueberry-sized.


And then Mother Nature gathered the entire storm into her palm and slammed it against my house.

Read more... )
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
Nothing gets your blood moving in the morning quite like jogging to work in a streaming downpour while cloud-to-cloud lightning strikes burst like artillery shells directly overhead. Eep.

This, my children, is why I keep a complete set of clean clothes at work.

And what's up with the faint smell of sewage in the downstairs staff corridor? Ewww.


nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
The Magdalen Reading

August 2014



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