•October 29, 2020 • Leave a Comment
This isn’t one of the fonts I liked for shape, but I like what is being done with the color

I just learned the difference between a font and a typeface. Like most people, I’ve always used the terms somewhat interchangeably, but it turns out that typeface is a specific family of lettering, whereas fonts are individual styles within that family. Arial is a typeface. Ariel Black or Ariel Light are fonts within the Arial family.

I was surfing the internet looking for interesting fonts to use to mock up a cover design for my manuscript. I’m still rather on the fence about whether or not I have the design skills to design my own cover (conventional wisdom would suggest that “if you don’t know, then the answer is no”, but I might be too foolish to follow my own advice on this) so I thought I’d at least try doing a mockup on my own and see if I liked the results. I can always change my mind later.

I found a few options that I like, but I haven’t really played around with them yet. Funny thing about working full time: I suddenly have a lot less free time to be artsy fartsy.


•October 28, 2020 • 4 Comments
 Credit: PETER FOLEY/EPA-EFE/ShutterstockMandatory Credit: Photo by PETER FOLEY/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (10777967f)

The weather has finally turned cool, and earlier in the week we were abraded with high winds that managed to bring down some trees in the neighborhood. We finally turned off the air conditioning and turned on the heat and immediately the dust settled in my sinuses to give me a headache that has somewhat muted my enjoyment of the cooler weather. Everything is a trade off.

Being back at work has added some structure back to the middle of my day, which actually feels like a nice change of pace so far. But it’s only day two.

Yesterday, I had to forgo my evening run while I got used to the new schedule, but I’m optimistic that I should be able to get out for one today. It looks nice outside.

I did manage to finish reading “Rage” by Bob Woodward, as recommended to me by a previous boss. It was very well done and an interesting read: I was glad to get some context around some of the upheavals from the past four years that only made it into my awareness by way of internet outrage, which is not the most reliable of resources.

I feel like I have very little sense of where the country is heading in the coming days as the election results come in. Four years ago I felt great optimism in spite of finding myself in a world that seemed to be defined by absurdity. This time, I feel like I’m grinding forward with my head down; trying stay focused on the present. After all, there’s only a week left to go before we find out whether we have split off into the Charmed or the Strange splinter universe.

Muscle Memory

•October 27, 2020 • 2 Comments

So, the good news is: I’m back to work. It’s not a “new” job, per se, since it is back with my old payroll company where I am helping out temporarily while I search for the next full production gig. It’s not exciting work, but it’s better than unemployment.

Today, I finally got my remote access set up to be able to cut checks again. I haven’t touched this payroll system in over a year, but here I am being plunged in head first! I’m discovering (luckily) how much of the process has been committed to muscle memory: which is good, because my brain memory has been TERRIBLE. All the commands that I knew by touch are still stored deep in my mental databanks. All the commands that require me to remember, say, a password or batch name, are GONE.

It’s really interesting to see the process at work. I’ve been able to do 90% of the cutting so far without getting *too* stumped, but luckily there haven’t been any major hiccups to throw me off. Yet.

The day is still young.

The Green Room

•October 20, 2020 • Leave a Comment

At the Christmas white elephant gift exchange I won a guitar case shaped lunch box and, for reasons that remain unclear, became preoccupied with the idea of turning it into a diorama. In January, I took a field trip to a miniatures store where I picked up the chair, the guitar, the rug, and some of the parquet flooring.

Then the project sat untouched for months.

When I finally got back to work I built out the walls- this was furthers delayed while I tried to sort out lighting- I was very convinced that lighting would be a key element in “selling” the world, but I didn’t have the foggiest idea how to go about it. But once I figured out the wiring and the battery packs and so on I could install the walls and begin to decorate them.

So. Many. Stickers.

So. Much. Distressing.

My idea was that I was creating a little green room for a musician. The venue had once been a glorious 1920’s deco theatre but had since been keelhauled along the bottom side of rock n roll history in dozens of chaotic layers. A place both cozy and homey and also a place that had been completely rockstar-ed many times over.

Anyway, I’m delights with how it turned out and now it’s installed in my liquor cabinet, which feels appropriate.


•October 16, 2020 • Leave a Comment
Points for variety…

Back in March, at the start of quarantine, the LA Library elected to do away with late fees. This decision seemed to be as much for practical purposes as it was a gesture of noblesse: for several months, no one could return books, so it would have been rather shabby to charge fees for it. An email went out assuring library patrons that if you had books already checked out you could keep them fee-free until the libraries were operating again.

At the time, I’d felt very lucky: I’d checked out a stack of huge books- only four or five in total, but each two to three inches thick- but I’d been too busy to read them. Suddenly, I had plenty of time- both in which to read and in which to have read the books staring back at me from my To Be Read pile. I took my time, and enjoyed them guilt free.

Then I finished them. And suddenly I could see the table-top where my To Be Read pile once sat. The library announced that they would be opening a few select branches for a Library-to-Go program: if you had had a book on hold before the pandemic began, you could arrange an Appointment to pick it up in a discreet paper bag with the most minimal amount of human contact possible.

I did have a book on hold left over from March. Going to the library to pick it up felt like an Outing. Coming back home with a new book to read was a positively giddy feeling. I immediately went online and began adding books to my Holds list: recommendations from my book club at work, recommendations to become more anti-racist, books I saw featured online or heard about from friends, books recommended by my therapist.

So many books.

Many of the books had long wait times- several had waiting lists in the teens of people lined up for them before me. I figured I might as well put everything I was interested on the holds list and just take them as they came. Which worked out great- until they really started to come.

“How many books are you picking up?” The Curmudgeonly Lion would ask.

“Two.” I’d say.

“And how many are you returning?”


“That’s a net of +one!” He would howl in mock dismay, knowing, as he did, that there was a growing stack of books TBR on the bookshelf at home already.

“I’m TRYING!” I would protest in similarly dry tones.

My last trip to the library was the first week where I returned exactly as many books as I picked up. Today will be my first time returning MORE books than I pick up. Partly because one of them is overdue. Nothing like a deadline.

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