Movin’ to Portland …
I’ve been thinking about this one for a while. I knew it was something I wanted to do, but I was nervous about it too.
And, yeah, there are complications: My girlfriend lives in Eugene, I have lots of friends and my writing group here and my money-job is here.
But the details seem to be working out. I’m going to work in the Eugene office Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and telecommute from my house in Portland Thursday/Friday (I might even cut my hours back a little bit so I have more time for writing.) I’ve just announced I’m going to step down as facilitator for my writing group, but I may still sit in from time to time.
But it’ll be awesome. My old house has agreed to let me stay here three nights a week. I’ll visit my girlfriend and friends Mon-Wed, I’m even excited about the train-rides back and forth (four to five hours solid writing time every week!), and I’ll be living in Portland!
On the weekends, I can take trips or I might come down to Eugene sometimes, and my girlfriend is excited to come check out goth and dance clubs up in Portland.
I’m moving into another cooperative house with some absolutely amazing people, including my friend Kerith. The new house is full of musicians and geeks and there’s an organic garden and chickens and cats and people are constatly working on projects and and and …
I’m really geeked about recording again, maybe throwing together a band. And I want to see if some of my professional writing friends want to form a critique group up there.
Anyway, I still have to arrange my moving day and other details, but … *squee!*
oh, P.S. – I forgot to give a Vitamin D update. Since I started taking the supplements, I’m feeling about a billion times better. It’s like night and day.
So, you know, yay. 🙂
Grá Linnaea, genius.
I solve problems! But first I make them!
Yeah. My house has monthly work parties so we can take care of larger house needs. The pole had rotted away on our sign and we needed it because it was another way to advertise that we have rooms available (Soon another one will be open, but that’s for the next post.)
Anyway, long story short, the old screws had rusted away in our wet Oregon weather. I said, “I’ll fix the sign, It’ll only take ten or fifteen minutes.”
One of the annoying things about community is that tools disappear constantly. I don’t think people steal them, but when you live in a house with nine other people, things tend to get moved around a lot and when people move out it’s not always clear what belonged to who.
So challenge one was finding a phillips-head screwdriver … anywhere. I could find !@#$%^& flat-heads everywhere, but apparently phillips-head dissolve in our harsh hippie atmosphere. I finally asked Dana if he had one. He said, “I’ll lend it to you, but you have to make sure it doesn’t disappear.”
No problem. I said the second I was done I’d put it on his desk in his room. He looked worried, but I smiled, much like a responsible adult would, and he was convinced.
So, we had a narrow (2 inch) hole that went down about 18 inches. All I had to do was attach the sign to the pole with three brass screws. Piece of cake.
My first problem was that I didn’t have a drill. (See above: Tools and cooperative living.) Getting the screws into the wood was a huge pain. Making it worse, the stupid screw-bit kept slipping out of the handle.
Scroll up and look at that picture again. See that blue ring? Yeah, that’s a lock that keeps the screw-bit from falling out. I figured this out hours later.
Anyway, after lot’s of painful and boring mistakes, I was almost done. I had three screws started in the pole and just had to crank on them to finish, then pound the sign in.
Now, you’d think it would be hard to drop a small screw-bit down a 2 inch wide hole, but I am extremely talented at things such as this.
I stared down that stupid little hole for far too long … and, yes, stuck my three inch fingers into it like they’d magically grow another 15 inches.
Dana was going to kill me.
Then I thought about how a host of a science program would solve this tricky problem.
So I wandered around the house asking if anyone had any magnets. The general consensus was that we used to have some somewhere, but they’d disappeared at some point. I assume they were shaped like philips-head screwdrivers.
As I walked through the house I kept passing our many refrigerators. (Yes, community house, more than one refrigerator.) Hmmm … refrigerator magnets.
I knew one wouldn’t work, but how about many?
I also found a hooked metal stick.
This was great and all, but I soon realized my invention was roughly the same size as the hole. Crap.
Once I lost the magnets off the stick, but I hooked them again and rescued them. I could only imagine the house being like, “Dana’s screwdriver is missing it’s phillips head … and where did all the refrigerator magnets go!?”
With some wiggling and advanced geometry I got the thing down to the bottom.
I’m not going to admit how many times I tried this, but eventually …
And, having only spent two hours screwing in three screws, I looked upon my fine work.
I think the stick’s too short. It looks a little low, dontcha think?
Anyway, off to do more good in the world …
Bowling, and the impact it has on my life …
It was my birthday and I was being ridiculous.
It started well. A huge group of my friends took me out to dinner. I forgot to tell people I didn’t need presents; some folks brought me some sweet things (Nina got me fountain pens! Elina got me special tea! Loreen got me a kitty eraser!)
… and then there was bowling.
I admit that I see bowling as something one does ironically. I have a specific goal and strategy:
A.) Throw the bowl as hard as possible.
B.) Look as ridiculous as possible.
Also, I once saw a bowling program on TV. It looked like those dudes threw the ball along the gutter and spun the $#!@ out of it so it hooked into the pins. It seemed like a fun tactic, so I do that too.
Anyway, I was pretty much tied with Joel. I did my ridiculous spin-throw and let myself do a 360 on one foot. When I came back around I saw the ball had inexplicably slid left at the last second and the pins went down like … well, like bowling pins hit by a bowling ball thrown by someone who knew what the hell they were doing.
C.) Be as dramatic as possible.
So I spun around to everyone, pumped my fists in the air and fell to my knees.
No one noticed. I stayed there till I got some polite clapping.
Ah well. Fine. I got up and sat down by my cake and the beer Joel bought me.
A few minutes later my left pant leg was straining from an expanding lump on my knee.
Well, crap. We discussed whether I should go to the emergency room, and decided to go have cake instead.
Oh, and I totally won bowling that night … with a gimpy knee!
Anyway, turns out, through the power of stupidity, I gave myself bursitis. The suck part is that my knee is still messed up, nearly a month later. Possibly cause I keep doing things that … are not so good for my knee. Elina and I had been dancing a lot, which I LOVE, but now that I’m gimpy, I haven’t been able to dance. (Well, okay, I’ve done it anyway a few times, but there have been consequences.)
… but I have a knee brace now, and the knee is slowly getting better. So, yay.
Sleepiness, Sads and Sunlight
Also in exciting body news …
… well, okay, I’ve been kinda depressed for a while now and I noticed that I have A LOT less energy than I used to.
I assumed it was partially life-change overwhelm and partially getting dumped last month. But it had been a while since I’d seen a doctor and figured I should get a physical.
Time passed. I got my physical a couple days ago. My doctor says I’m in perfect health. Cool. But I got my blood work results back yesterday and have been informed that I have a “Serious Vitamin D Deficiency.”
I’ve further been informed that the two major symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are … wait for it … depression and fatigue.
Oh, okay. So, cool, I’ve been given Super D Pills and my knee is getting better. Yay. And I’m still slowly chipping away at the novel and … cool.
Novel updates are on their way. Also some exciting news about where and how I’ll be living soon and other cool stuff.
Stay tuned …
A bit of good news.
Still slowly working at the novel and restarting my short story submission process. And of course time is still being fickle. It’s hard to find enough to work my money-job, read for shimmer, write, submit and make time for all the social opportunities around me (I guess it’s a pretty high class problem that there’s too many fun things to do.) 😛
Oh, and I need to find time to exercise. And do yoga. And relax. And eat. And sleep …
Anyway, before I sleep, I wanted to note that I’m feeling better and better about my writing progress, though I’m still aware of blowing out a year’s worth of cobwebs in my writer brain.
Anyway anyway, I was falling asleep when I was woken up by a notice of a nice review from Nathaniel Katz.
Of the fuller stories, most are quite successful. In his introduction to The Exit to San Breta (in Dreamsongs), George R.R. Martin says that he wanted to update the ghost story, taking the traumatized undead from gothic mansions and putting them in the middle of where modern tragedy occurred: the expressways. Taking Martin’s 1972 logic and bringing it to the 21st century, Grá Linnaea and Sarah Dunn explore death through facebook in Messages from Valerie Polichar. Over the course of the story, Valerie becomes a sympathetic character, and the way that she becomes obsessed and then is taken over by her obsession is chilling.
Standouts [of issue 2]: Sweepers, The Rat Burner, Messages from Valerie Polichar
Yay. Thanks, Nathaniel
You can read the whole review here. And of course you can still purchase a copy of Shock Totem.
Somehow, I’d missed this earlier review by Sheila Merritt, who also seemed to really like the story.
The outstanding story in the volume is Message From Valerie Polichar.
I never thought folks would go for such a quirky little story. When I read it out loud at Orycon, all I could hear was how … unstorylike its structure was. I was pleasantly shocked when “Messages from Valerie Polichar” was recommended for a Stoker Award. I guess I’ll just have to admit that some people like it.
All of which is to say it’s nice to be reminded that I can write.
Anyway, off to bed.