Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Kama Sutra of Reading


I have now successfully paid (or partially paid, in the case of the doctors' bills), all of my bills except for the one from unemployment. The Office says they "overpaid" me by $65, and they'd like that money back. During the 4 weeks I was out of work, I received a whopping $655 from the State. That's not even enough to cover rent and utilities.

At some point, you just have to laugh.

In the meantime, things around here have fallen by the wayside. There's a lot of cleaning that hasn't gotten done, and I spent much of my evening hours catching up on the shithole that has become my home. I'm so behind on Black Desert that I've had to re-forecast the completion date on my novel schedule. My writing work this year is really tightly packed, so even being two weeks behind really throws everything else off.

I've also been thinking about putting tDW back into circulation. This will require me to read through it again, and make any changes I feel are neccessary. The worldbuilding in tDW isn't as complex as in the GW books, which may or may not be a problem.

I'm also hip-dip in yet ANOTHER round of line edits for GW, the last set before it sees daylight, and they're taking a long time. A lot of this work is synching it up with what's going on in Black Desert and, you know, making the plot make coherent sense.

You know, little things.

The characters and setting are cool, tho.

I have a whopping two stories currently in the mail, and I think I'm going to sit down and work on another writing schedule - a more detailed one - in order to fit in all the writing and other activities I'd like to get in. Right now I'm having a lot of trouble staying motivated, which is probably because I'm so awash in concerns like grocery money and finding a real job (I'm covered for "catastrophes" insurance-wise until the end of March. After that, I don't know where the money will come from in order to save my ass if I get hit by a car).

I've also committed to a trip to Spain at the end of the month with David, for which I've already bought my plane tickets and made hotel reservations, so financially-able or not, that's coming up as well. Basically, the $800 "leftover" from the 401(K) check of $2000 that *didn't* go toward health insurance is going toward spending money for Spain ($300) and covering the time I'll be out of work ($500).

Getting by on a knife edge... it's like being in college again!

Only, with more debt!

One of the big things I finally did today is head downtown and buy a decent bike, a chain, a foot pump, and a tire repair kit (I was able to "afford" to pay cash for this through aforementioned creative accounting). I then road the bike from my office downtown to my place in Uptown and timed myself. It took me about an hour and fifteen minutes to go the 7-8 miles from there to here, and that was with two stops to adjust the pressure in the tires and a blustery headwind that probably made the sweltering 30-degree weather feel like the teens. But hey, it beats -30, and my hope is that now that it's March, we're going to avoid extremes like that and I can bike from downtown to home twice a day.

This does a lot of things for me. It'll save me $80 in transit costs a month, get rid of my doctor's shit about my weight (I was 204 at WFC and I'm holding steady now at 206 - 14 miles of bike riding five days a week will likely alter that), and result in me using less insulin. Insulin is fucktastically expensive, and I'll be dropping my basel Lantus insulin from 16 units to 14 a day and subtracting two units of breakfast insulin to start. I started out from downtown with a 156 number (hmmmm cinnamon dolce latte with free Starbucks card!) and an hour after getting home, I was at 68, so it'll kill the hell out of my sugar, which is great.

It's also going to go a long way toward improving my fitness level, which I haven't been happy with since I started getting sick. WisCon is going to mark the one-year anniversery of the whole "suprise, you have a chronic illness!" thing, and after a year of ups and downs and adjustments and craziness and job layoffs and bizarre interpersonal events related to my personal life, it would be nice to be at a place where I felt physically and mentally put back together again. I think I'm moving toward that place. Now that Jenn's been feeling better, I have more time to devout to fixing all of the stuff inside and outside of me that's been broken.

The last couple of weeks I've had a lot of trouble staying focused. It has to do with feeling overwhelmed: whenever I have a moment to myself, I just sort of wander around aimlessly, playing Cossaks, opening up the gaming company module, opening up story files, clicking obsessively on the Stumbleupon button, mentally noting the fact that the bathroom hasn't been cleaned in two weeks and wondering who's going to do something about that, etc.

One of the other good things about the long bikerides is that it's going to give me a lot of time to myself to think things through. At home, I'm spending a lot of mental energy helping Jenn through her rough times with school, and on the train, there are so many people you need to be aware of that you can't totally retreat, and at work, well... at work it's my job to pretend I like people and be friendly, and there's nothing more exhausting for an introvert than to spend all day being nice to people.

Since over five miles of the bike ride is actually along the paved lakefront path, I don't have to worry the whole time about getting hit by a car, and I can sort some things out in my head about what I need to do, how I need to sort through my time, and most of all, how to get myself back into a positive mindset.

You know, the whole power-feminism brutal women mindset.

I had a lot of fun doing all-weather biking in Alaska, and it did a lot for me and my moods, my strength, and getting myself sorted out in the head after a long winter hanging out with less than virtous characters. I came out of that winter and started my summer with bike rides, Clarion, some success at my actual field of study, a decision to go to grad school and leave Alaska, and etc. I had a map that got me closer to what I wanted.

I wouldn't mind having one of those again.

Not the knowing what I want part: rest assured, I know exactly what I want.

It's the map I'm having trouble with.

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