Shadow in Shade

•February 1, 2018 • Leave a Comment

By the light of the full moon, it was possible to see into the darkness of the alley that was usually so profound as to be opaque. Not that I had any intention of walking through an alley, visible or not. In truth, the whole neighborhood had a certain, unusual lightness about it. As I walked home, my streetlight-shadows chased me around and around on the sidewalk.

And in the shade, I found myself accompanied by a shadow from the moon.

I had to marvel at this phenomenon of a shadow in the dark. I had to wonder which was the true shadow: the ones cast by the street lights that appeared in sharp relief, but which came and went and wandered in circles around me as I walked, or this fainter, softer, more faithful companion who only appeared when the other lights were gone. Were these different shadows, or just different manifestations of the same shadow, forever changing based on the circumstances? Was there such a thing as an objectively true shadow at all? Shadows are subjective things, after all. Did I have one shadow or many? I had only one self, of course, so that part stayed the same, but the light was ever changing. Which part was more true?

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New Hire

•January 31, 2018 • Leave a Comment

In truth, the day was filled with the tedium of spreadsheets, so I hope you will forgive me if my inspiration is a bit lackluster. Now that award season is upon us, I’ve been mostly occupied with the task of creating New Hire templates: a seemingly endless task of copying line after line of personal information from W4s and I9s into spreadsheets that can then be uploaded into the new payroll system. It is not difficult work, but it is detail oriented, and requires a lot of focus lest my habit of inverting numbers gets the better of me. And I don’t mind doing it: it is good to be busy, but a whole day of details is a LOT of details. And we’re not even into the thick of it yet.

I suppose this explains why I’ve been pooping out in the evenings: I get to a certain point of the night and my energy levels bottom out leaving me numb and sad and struggling to finish even basic tasks like washing my hair or trimming my fingernails. On the plus side, though, I’ve been making it through the day without an afternoon caffeine boost, so at least I’m coming by my fatigue honestly.

I guess that’s all that I’ve got for tonight.

•January 30, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Writer’s block smells of vanilla. At least, that is what I was able to gather after breaking open the bar of Whiskey River’s Writer’s Block soap that I was given for Christmas. It was a layered concoction that was half Tiffany blue and half a shade of purplebrown that defies even my color recognition. When moistened, it was impressivly silky in texture. By the time I finished showering, I felt like I’d bathed in butter cream frosting.

It had no measurable effect on my inspiration.

I mean, it’s a bar of soap, after all. In point of fact, it’s a clever label: the soap itself was always just a pretext for commerce: something to be bought and sold and given and received, not because of it’s own merits, but because of its clever packaging. And in this it is so absurdly successful that I can’t help but marvel at the cleverness of it all.

But I still have a bar of soap so cloyingly sweet that I can’t use it.

And it didn’t help me solve the story problems of the chapter that I was working on.

So I did the next best thing: I put it down for a day, read a little bit, watched the last episode of “The Vietnam War” and generally put it out of my mind. And when I picked it up again, I focused on a different part of the plot. It worked. I picked a chapter at random and just started trying to fill in the gaps and made some unexpected progress, which was a relief. At least I’m still moving forward.

And at least I don’t smell like frosting anymore.

•January 30, 2018 • Leave a Comment

The great condiment highway.

Hard Chair

•January 29, 2018 • Leave a Comment

The office one floor down was moving. They’d opened their doors and anybody in the building could come and take whatever furniture they wanted- otherwise it was just going to get picked up by the junk guy and thrown away.

“Go downstairs,” everybody kept telling me. “Get yourself a new chair.”

I thought that the chair debate had been largely resolved a year ago after I’d stubbornly insisted, emphatically, and repeatedly, that I liked my wooden chair.

Yes, really.

Seriously.

I mean it.

It was true too: I wasn’t sure why, but I preferred the simplicity of the hard, wooden chair, to all the levers and swivels and pads and arms and foot rests of all the office chairs. I mean, it’s a chair, for Pete’s sake, not a space shuttle: all it really needed to do was keep my butt the right height off the ground so that I could see the computer screen. A hard chair makes me sit up straight. A hard chair keeps me from sitting too long. A hard chair keeps me from falling asleep.

It just strikes me as funny that my preference seems to be so far out of step with what people consider ‘normal’ that they just can’t believe that I actually like it.

Flower Bed Before

•January 28, 2018 • 1 Comment

Bed frame ready to become a flower bed.

Bed frame is placed, dug in, lined with plastic and landscaping cloth is down. Now all we gotta do is get enough dirt to fill it.

Also, I managed to pick the windiest weekend of the year to try to wrangle plastic and landscape cloth.

Queen Size Flower Bed

•January 27, 2018 • 2 Comments

We’d found the bedframe on Facebook marketplace for forty bucks. It was a wooden sleigh style bed and it looked pretty good but it wasn’t high quality solid wood furniture. And it needed some work. We figured if we stripped off the finish and gave it a good once over it would still be a good deal. 

Well, then life happened. 

I did manage to strip the finish off the side rails (after many leering jokes about sending the Curmudgeonly Lion out to pick up a stripper) but then the weather got cold and the days got short and the Holidays happened. The pieces of the bed sat out on the side patio wrapped in tarps, all but forgotten. 

And then the new year happened, and by jingo I was going to cross something off my list by getting the bedframe refinished. Which sounded great in my head until I undid all the bungees on the traps to release a deluge of standing water that had been bellied underneath. Turns out the tarps were not waterproof after all. 

The bedframe was now coated in a gentle snowfall of white mold. For a minute or two I thought it might be salvageable and then I realized that the wood was beginning to warp in the places where it rested on the saw horses. If we sanded it down enough to make it smooth we’d sand the veneer right off. It was just particle board underneath. Was it really worth it?

“Well,” I said, “we can always turn it into a flower bed.”

So that’s what we did. Or started to do. We assembled the frame in the backyard and I spent twenty minutes fiddling with the placement trying to find an angle that was attractive from several different views and didn’t look too much likea careless hillbilly had been put in charge of landscaping. Then I dug holes to sink the four corner feet into the ground and voila: a frame for a raised flowerbed. 

At present, it still does look like the design choice of a careless hillbilly, but I think once it is filled in with dirt, it will be an attractive addition to the backyard. My big dilemma right now is figuring out what to plant: do I make it a legitimate flower bed or garden, or do I cover it with sod and make an outdoor daybed for when we want a place to sit outside or watch the stars or relax by the fire pit? I’m tempted to do the latter, the Curmudgeonly Lion leans towards the former, so I’ll need to give it some thought, but hey: I still have to fill it with dirt before I can do either. 

So that’s what I did with my day. 

 
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