Monday, September 25, 2006

The News from Where I’m Sitting

I had a lovely weekend. Friday night was packed: played bodhran at the Irish seisiun at Encore (fun and cathartic as usual); saw a Japanese improvisational percussionist at Landlocked Records (awesome but there was flailing, too; his CD rawks, though); late supper/bonfire at a friend’s house to officially ring in the autumnal equinox.

I think I narrowly avoided getting sick. *knocks on simulated wood-grain fiber board*

Saturday, visited Paul in the nursing home; he’s doing much better and is getting lots of visitors now that the word is out that he’s had major surgery. Actually, the minister from his church was there ... and ... and I prayed over him. Held hands in a circle and everything. Don’t worry; no one burst into flames. Not even me.

I failed in my quest for shelving.

That night, a housewarming/equinox/back-to-school (for Mike) party at my place. Quite an eclectic mix of peoples! Even the very German German guy had a good time. Everyone seemed genuinely shocked when 1:45 a.m. rolled around.

Met another struggling poet.

Sunday, I had to get out a little and enjoy the gorgeous morning ... before it turned all gloomy later on. Saw my lady violinist friend play deedle-di with her band at the Third and High Fest. Met with the compositor of The Twig, the Sycamore Land Trust newsletter I’m taking over. Then ground away at a freelance editing project I’ve nearly completed. (One chapter and the notes to go.... What’s this? You want me to edit the index, too? Oh, all right.)

Lost the Innerwebs. Damn you, Kiva! This would explain my high productivity....

This morning was beautiful. I finished assembling chapbooks I’ll be giving away at a reading this Friday. Then over coffee, my heaping bowl of Colon-Blow Brand cereal, and muh Innerwebs (it came back), a black-capped chickadee-dee-dee perched in the sapling right outside my home-office window, mere inches from Suki, who was oblivious. Sun coming up, steam rolling down the hill.

I’m going to enjoy walking to work in this.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I did it.

I officially resigned my post at A-ho yesterday.
My last day is October 6.
I start at IU Press Monday, October 9.
"Publication Services Coordinator"
but essentially I'll be a full-time staff, in-house book compositor.
The deal just kept getting sweeter and sweeter.
No pay cut -- actually a slight raise.
Plus I get to keep the 8 years I already had in at IU
instead of starting over with nothing.
And the ultimate goal is that I will run a composition department.
Hire. Fire. Micromanage. (Right now it's a department of one.)
So yeah, I'm pretty damn thrilled.
Thanks, Gentle Readers, for all your support and encouragement.

Doing a reading with Joe in New Albany.
Small room, literate crowd, and I've got new material.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Update on Paul

I visited my learner, Paul, at the nursing home yesterday and I am really glad I took off work to do it. Physically I think he’s mending, but he looked spiritually beaten. When I walked in (unannounced) he was just kind of staring at the wall, not watching TV or in any way engaged. I guess he collapsed in his yard the afternoon after the last session I had with him (two Saturdays ago). A neighbor found him and called an ambulance, which whisked him off to B-ton Hospital, where he had surgery emergency bowel surgery. Now he’s “convalescing” at the Owen Co. Nursing Home but he’s not sure when he’ll get out. I’d say at least a couple more weeks. He’s been there since last Monday. No family nearby; and the only other visitors have been a couple of people from his church (Jehovah’s Witness), but that was early last week.

I think initially he wanted me to leave soon after I arrived -- probably more than a little embarrassed and trying to play the tough guy. But hell, I talk to him every week so it’s not as if we’re not friend-like or anything. So I kept at him and we chatted and his mood brightened significantly. His systems were pretty septic so I imagine he (quite literally) feels like shit, but by the time I left he seemed to be in much better spirits. He kept saying he wouldn’t be able to make it to our tutoring session on Saturday; not sure when he’ll be out of there. I asked if he would mind if I came back and tutored him at the NH anyway, just to keep him up to speed. I genuinely think the idea had not occurred to him. So I’m going back on Saturday.

I then ran out and got him some books from the library and a newspaper so that at least he’d have something to read. When I came back he was sleeping, and woke up briefly but said he wanted to sleep. So I got the hell out of there.

(x-posted to yon LJ)

Monday, September 11, 2006

My Concern Was Justified

Among a bajillion other things, I'm also an adult-literacy tutor for a 75-year-old guy from Gosport. I meet with him for a couple of hours a week (Saturday from noon-2p) at the Owen Co. library, and we read (me to him and him to me) and I make him write stuff and we work out simple math problems and do exercises in his workbook. Ostensibly, he's doing all this to get his GED. He has about an 8th-grade "education" (circa 1930), although he's sharp as a 75-year-old tack and works his ass off all the time.

The past two weekends, though, he hasn't shown up for our session, and he hasn't called -- and his answering machine hasn't been picking up either. The first time, I figured it just slipped his mind. He's "blown me off" before (to fix a tractor or mow a lawn for $$$) without calling on Saturday, but usually he calls sometime during the week to apologize and say hello and whatnot.

Not this time. So I called the director of the Owen Co. Learning Network to see if she knew anything. (Actually, as I was waiting for Paul to show up this past Saturday, I started browsing the obits in the local paper, just in case....)

She confirmed that indeed Paul had been hospitalized for a blocked/ruptured colon (bleah). She found this out from Burger King, where he works as a janitor. He's at the Owen Valley Health Care NH for rehab, so I'm going to go visit him this week, see what the prognosis is. I have been cautioned not to succumb to his requests for money for snuff and cola. (Damn straight!)

So at least I'm not wondering what's up with him. This makes me sad, though.

(x-posted to yon LJ)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

This just in from the Department of Duh....

I have begun scheduling not only my social/hobby activities but also my freelance gigs. Yeah, maybe I've had that backwards all this time, but I've always thought that the only way to make sure you have time for yourself is to make time for yourself.

Anyway, the freelance stuff is all hitting pretty hard. I owe at least part of it to having a rock-solid, fast wi-fi connection at home. I'm able to do so much more now (and much less of it on the sly -- uh, such as this post -- at my day job). There's a ton of it, and I'm doing more-diverse work these days, too, but I'm up to the challenge. See, it says so right on my résumé: "133t time-management sKi1z."

I haven't let anything slip yet, but a copyediting gig has gotten a little haphazard in keeping track of what they have sent me to read. So I'm taking this as a cue to nail down my "free" time so that I don't wind up having to put in five hours after working all day at a "real" job because I spaced a deadline. With any luck, all this stuff will lead to full-time freelance-dom down the road. w00t!

Also just in to the Duh Dept.: If I seem out of sorts over the next, oh, month, and perhaps occasionally neurotically touchy, it dawned on me that there's a perfectly logical reason: I've got some uncomfrotable anniversaries coming up later this month. No, not an excuse for ass-hattery, but a jim-dandy explanation. We-sa only human, right?

All right, back to work, monkeys!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Ad astra per aspera & primordium domus

I seem to have traded being brilliant for being likable.
I think I want to take a stab at being brilliant again.

Also: I'm heading up to Mom and Dad's today for a Labor Day visit. Yeah, I try to hit all the major holidays. Mom has been wanting to inflict update me on my evil sister's recent odd quickie wedding. On a Thursday. To a UK citizen. In Virginia. Announced two and a half weeks in advance. (My WTF-o-meter redlined on that one.) I think we're also going to hit an extended-family gathering for a bit, too. That should be fun. I haven't seen any of those peeps since the wedding.

Lastly, my Latin is almost as bad as my German.