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Showing posts from March, 2012

Keys, Wallets, and Other Objects

Things matter to me. I cannot explain why, but physical things provide comfort and security. Sometimes, simply knowing where my things are is enough to calm my mind. There are days and nights, though, when I have to find something and see it to relax. My pens, notebooks, and favorite pencils are like that. Some nights, I have to check to make sure my writing materials are nearby and okay. I'm not sure what would happen to them, but after the flooding in the last house and this house, I worry about my writing being safe and secure. Last weekend, my wife and I planned to run errands. I wanted books on local plants, local birds, and I am still searching for a good Art Deco history text. When we were at the bookstore, I realized I didn't have my wallet. It wasn't a need — my wife had her keys and wallet — but I couldn't relax without having my wallet. It makes no sense, but I couldn't focus on the book quest or anything else. We ended up driving back to our house so I

Overwhelming April, Moving Day Approaches

The next 60 days or so are going to be extraordinarily busy for us. My calendar is cluttered with a mix of school, household, and personal project deadlines. Hopefully things settle down substantially by the end of this summer — just in time for the next school year. Classes end on April 19, followed by finals week and grading. Because we get the keys to our new house on April 13, I'll be balancing the end of school against the need to get the house ready. The day before we close on the new house is packed with events, well into the evening. I am presenting a special seminar on the future of publishing during the day and attending a literary journal reading in the evening. The entire month is filled with such days. I'm hoping my wife and I will be able to move into the new house by mid-May, before renovations start on our current house, and before summer school starts. On April 18, I'll be attending a tribute to artists with autism at the Pittsburgh Center for the Art

Returning to a Schedule

You probably noticed I took something of a leave from blogging much of this month. My wife and I took turns being ill with the flu, which upended our schedules, including our writing projects. Because work had priority, we had to delay website and blog updates while we attempted to recover the lost two weeks. Recovery has been a little slow, at least for me, since I was already dealing with some minor physical issues. In the coming weeks, I hope to return to my normal schedule of posting to each of my blogs at least once weekly. Ideally, I will manage to post on some of the ideas I've jotted down and you'll see two or three posts a week the blogs. Unfortunately, as I'm recovering we're getting ready to move into a new house. I'll be ending the school year, moving, and preparing to teach summer school. At least I know where my hours go each day: they are consumed by a dozen things other than my writing. I do keep telling myself that sleep should be optional, yet

Social Network Overload

To promote this and other blogs / websites I have created LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ accounts, pages, groups, and so forth. Years ago, I also used Friendster, then MySpace, LiveJournal, Yahoo 360, Google Orkut, and maybe a half dozen other social tools. The only online space I use daily remains Facebook. Maintaining the loose, weak connections of online acquaintanceships is demanding. It takes time to send Tweets every day or to post to Google+ and LinkedIn. It requires planning and effort, especially if you are using these media to promote your "brand" in this age of freelancing. It is too demanding, it turns out, so I usually find myself checking Facebook because that is also where some of the news sites I follow post links. Facebook is sort of an "all-in-one" even if it is far from perfect. The other Internet options are more flawed than Facebook, so it wins by default. I'm not sure how long ago I last logged on to LiveJournal or any Yahoo

A Day of Errands

The bad news / good news: my wife is recovering from the flu. It has been tough on her, and she's still exhausted. The semi-good news, for once I didn't get sick and was able to help around the house. I hope I did okay when she needed someone to take care of the house cleaning and cat care. When she's sick, I feel lousy. I want to do whatever I can for her. If there is an upside to the last few days: we've both continued to lose a little weight. Today she felt a bit better so we went to run a few errands. The errands were a mixed-bag. We went with three goals: I thought I needed new pants, I wanted to find some ice skates, and we were going to look at Art Deco design books. 1. The pants quest was a bust. While my waist is down an inch or more, my thighs are not getting smaller and probably won't. Years of walking, cycling, racquet sports, and skating have a side effect. Even a tailor at Men's Wearhouse commented on my legs, asking what exercising I did. W

Iron-less Man

I've been dealing with anemia for a few years. To help, I take an iron supplement, ferrous gluconate. I cannot take ferrous sulfate, which though more common has unpleasant side effects. You'd imagine an iron supplement would be a simple purchase. But, we've also thought it would be easy to locate a half dozen other items, too. My wife reminds me that these stores only carry the items that sell to 80 percent of customers. Anything in the unlucky 20 percent is a special order. Apparently, I'm in the 20 percent. A few months ago, I couldn't fill a prescription meant to reduce my blood loss. It was a "special order" that never arrived. Walmart called twice to apologize. I never did fill the prescription. Friday, the only local store with the over-the-counter iron I take was Kmart. Not even the two "drugstores" carry the iron pills. We will probably order online in the future. The old corner drugstore is a memory in most places. I remember go