A Frustrating Day

Maybe not excruciatingly frustrating, but rather one of those days that makes you wish you had just stayed in bed. Except – here’s the punchline – I’ve been in bed all day.

Since I work from home, and my home is a rather small apartment, my work day is conducted from either the couch or the bed. I could sit at the dining table or desk, but neither allows me ability to sprawl out in comfort, surrounded by warm blankets and snoozing cats. It’s finally starting to get cold here in Louisiana, and the house was a humid 61 degrees all day today, which means that along with staying under the blankets, I also stayed in my pajamas.

That’s nothing new, either, though. I rarely get out of my pj’s anymore if I plan to stay in the house. Today I’m wearing what The Man calls my Owl Pants, purple pajama pants with a colorful owl design that my cousin sent me last year for my birthday. I love them, and wear them often. To go with these, I’m also wearing a purple hoodie & black cozy slippers. I’ve worn this ensemble throughout this long and frustrating day, and it’s probably one of the reasons I’ve managed to maintain my sanity.

You see, today was all about putting together an acronym. Well, no, that’s not right. Today I had to force 7 primary concepts to become 10 primary concepts, starting with letters of a pre-arranged slogan. Basically, what I was doing was taking a slogan, for example “We Love You!”, and taking a pre-existing set of concepts (Kittens, Monkeys, Stationery, Motorbikes, etc.) and making each letter of the slogan = the first letter of the pre-existing concepts. Damn luckily, most of the letters match up in my business’ slogan. However, we’re missing a few, which is where things get hairy. In order to make up those extra letters, I either have to cut concepts down into pieces and rename them, or else invent new concepts to join the existing bunch.

Since my boss has already been selling these 7 concepts to our clients for a year and a half now, and even when you align the 7 concepts up with the acronym, it’s still a lot to remember, I believe making up 3 more concepts for people to remember is a foolhardy venture. The point of an acronym is to help people remember a few things – not two hands-full. There’s a reason why acronyms are typically kept to between 3 and 5 letters. It’s not that people can’t remember – it’s that the modern consumer just doesn’t care to be bothered with that much work.

But that doesn’t really matter. It’s my job to do what the boss asks, and in this case, it’s to create an acronym that consumers will find confusing, bulky, and ultimately ignorable. It will be a learning exercise either way, and who knows, maybe it will be a huge, awesome concept that everyone on earth can’t possibly get enough of. Probably not, though. I just don’t see it working.

Hence, a very long day of sorting out words, wearing owl pajamas, and wishing it was Friday again. How was your Monday?

Made of Stars

Sorry that the last post was private. There are two reasons for that:

1) I needed to vent about a problem I’ve been holding inside for the last year or two, a problem that has become more intense since my move. I wanted to share without making my musings public, something I have tried to do in my private journal in the past, but found unsatisfying. I’m a fast typist, and it’s nice to be able to see many full thoughts come out of my head and start to live and work themselves out on the electronic page. Maybe in the future I’ll share my thoughts with the world. For now, however, if you really wanted to read, I wouldn’t mind, I think. The post is password protected, and I’ll share if you’d like to write me for it.

2) Since the problem concerns another person, I didn’t want to air something I really should be able to talk to them about in person. Since this person’s demeanor makes it virtually impossible for me to share real thoughts without getting laughed at for “thinking too much,” and this in itself seems to lead to a much darker future path in our friendship, I didn’t think it good to air grievances quite as publicly as I would like. My few readers know me well enough by now, I think, to know that I really don’t mind telling all about myself. There’s not much about my life that I don’t find is made richer by sharing, but this is one of those rare times when I believe the problem might come back to bite me in the proverbial ass if I let it live outside of my head and one protected blog page. I haven’t even been able to tell my best friends. Another interesting way the internet has changed relationships forever.

But enough with that. I’ve already written a major post on it today, and now I’m tired of letting negativity into my borders. From now on this afternoon, only positive thoughts. The most positive? I’m back with my band again! I have some photos I’d like to share with you of the band’s practice space, so I’ll save more musings on that precious topic for another post, but let it be known that I’m insanely happy about getting to sing again, and also to hang out with dear old friends that I haven’t seen in years, and love, love, love collaborating with.

Also in my personal news? I’m taking two free online courses in pagan studies at The Pagan Campus. I know I told you about these before, but I’m having so much fun that I had to mention them again. One class is in Numerology, and the other is in Sabbats and Esbats. I’m learning a lot, but also learning how much there is to learn, and that I’m only touching the tip of the iceberg. I love it. I’m so excited to spend the rest of my life honing my craft, and following the right path for me. Having grown up in super heavy-duty Christian country, where people believe that the devil ‘planted’ dinosaur bones in the earth to fool the weak-minded (lol, btw) into believing that the earth is older than a few thousand years, among lots of other weird, backward-ass thoughts that make very little sense, it’s so nice to get to meet people who believe in something that makes all the sense in the world, and find a religion where appreciating and honoring Mother Nature is the common thread. I don’t care to separate the Universe into multiple gods and goddesses, as many pagans do, but I also love the fact that for once I’m being given the right of way to practice what the Universe keeps proving to me every day is real and right and logical, and to finally see and embrace the abundance of love and energy we have at our fingertips, just by opening our eyes to the possibility of being proactive healers instead of sheep. Like Moby says, “We Are All Made of Stars“.

What else? Well, I made 100 overall in my last marketing class, which is good. I think that this next class is going to really kick my butt, so I should probably actually be doing homework right now instead of writing a blog post or two. But that leads me to the next interesting bit…

I dreamed a book last night. Not a short story, not part of a storyline, but an entire book. It’s not an earthshaking novel or anything, something more like a Harlequin romance, but hey, a book’s a book, and now I’m going to start putting it together. In all, I have three books in my head now that need to be written. One’s about an old haunted house in NC, one’s about ghosts and voodoo in New Orleans, and this last one is about a centuries-old curse on a New England family. I have got to get a routine developed. This is just getting silly. Think of the money I could be making, or at least the ways that I could be so much freer in my life if I just got some kind of order mapped out. With three books and the idea for a very strong small business in mind, I believe the only thing that’s truly holding me back right now is not procrastination, but rather fear. And for the life of me, I have no clue why I should be afraid of success. After all, I want so much to be self-sufficient.

So I’m sitting in bed on a rainy Saturday afternoon, listening to The Man curse at the pieces of a bench he’s been trying to build from scratch all day, my beloved Miss Isabel cat curled up beside me, thinking of this new book, the many paths of my life stretched out before me in my mind’s eye, trying to choose the right one, trying not to hurt anyone too much, or disappoint anyone too much, but trying most of all to be true to myself.

Esse Quam Videre.

I’m trying.

 

The Reluctant Lock

Key in Door

I just moved back to New Orleans from a long stint in Chicago.  I did not want to.  I moved back to the city mostly because it was time to put more effort into my relationship after 3 years of long-distance dating.  The Man believes that I’m a little bummed to be back in my old stomping grounds, but that I’m mostly OK.  In reality, I’m a lot bummed to be back in my old stomping grounds, but OK enough now to realize the experience will most likely grow on me.  It just didn’t make sense to relate my despair to him when I knew there was a high chance for me to turn it around.  I’m pretty resilient, and I did mostly have a great time living here the last time (1999 – 2008).  I have sweet memories of what it’s like to be a New Orleanian, even just a transplant.  There are quite a few people left in this town that I’m proud to call ‘friend’, and it’s the kind of city where it’s incredibly easy to make new friends with just a tiny bit of effort and a bit of social lubricant.

The Man and I have moved in together.  It’s not the first time.  The first time was in Chicago, though it was somewhat of a disaster since he was having a hard time finding a job and the resulting mood around the house was less than zen.  We lived there for two years, though by that time he was working in New Orleans again during the week and only home about twice a month for a couple of days at a time.  We moved into a second apartment in Chicago, as well, but again it was mostly just my apartment that he visited every few weeks.  Our newest place is our second attempt at living together full time, and it’s going pretty well.  There are only two problems.

The first problem is the amount of time I spend in the house.  I work from home now, as the marketing director for an interior design firm in Chicago.  From 9 to 5:30, Monday through Friday, I sit on my couch (or bed), typing away on the computer and chatting on my cell phone.  By the time the afternoon rolls around, my back and hips are screaming in pain, and I’m a bit stir crazy.  By the time The Man gets home from work and wants to enjoy being home, I’m absolutely mad with the need to leave, to be anywhere but home.  Last week I had the most amazing moment of overwhelming joy while shopping for a loaf of bread at Winn Dixie.  That is so not normal; I’ve made the resolution to get out of the house much more in the coming week.

Which leads us to problem number two:  our front door lock doesn’t work for me.  My key doesn’t turn in the lock.  “Easy,” you say, “just get a new key cut.”  I did.  Eight keys, in fact, most of which work for The Man with just a little jostling.  In general until yesterday, it took me no less than 10 minutes to lock or unlock my own front door.  For a woman who 1) works on a tight schedule, and 2) REALLY needs to leave the house when it’s time, this is a sophisticated form of torture.  Of course, for the first week, The Man regarded my complaints with that bemused look men tend to get when dealing with members of the opposite sex who obviously aren’t clever enough to use mechanical items.  It didn’t help that in general I’m not the greatest with mechanical stuff, and I also couldn’t turn the key in my own car last week (in my defense, it’s only been my car for a week, and I didn’t know there was such a thing as a wheel lock mechanism).  But then on Friday his key gave him a bit of trouble and he realized it wasn’t all in my head.  Finally yesterday, when all three housekeys on my keyring AND the two he possessed failed to get us into our apartment, we reached a point of agreement.  He realized how utterly frightening and frustrating it is to neither be able to get into nor leave your own house, depending on the whims of a shitty deadbolt.  Eventually we got in again, but again I’m trapped in my own home until a solution is reached.

So.  Here we are.  It’s noon on a Sunday, and The Man, along with our landlord (who thankfully lives upstairs and saw our key plight) is attempting to install a new deadbolt.  I say ‘attempting’ because the first lock the landlord bought locked with a key on both sides, and once they got it installed, it was realized that wouldn’t do.  The landlord has run back out to the hardware store for a proper deadbolt lock, and The Man is having a smoke on the front porch.  There’s a dishrag stuffed in the hole where the reluctant lock once lived.

Someone with a bigger imagination could probably see a world of inferences in this story.  Perhaps this is a chance for a new life, free of boundaries.  Maybe this small change will help truly ignite larger changes in my personal life.  Right now, all I can think about is how frustrating it is to be locked away in your own home, complaints as to quality of stay only believed when indisputable proof is received.  I guess I also think about how this house has become an extension of my distaste for this move; I feel like I was trapped into moving here, there was no other choice.  Maybe now that I can leave whenever I want to, I’ll stop feeling like this entire move is a form of imprisonment.

The Man says that I’m never happy.  Maybe that’s true, but I remember times when I was happy a lot.  It’s just that for the last few years, everything has felt like such a struggle, like life is all about working hard to not go under, not working hard to rise above.  I’m so ready for that to change.  As much as I’m sad about moving back here, I want to start living with joy again.

While I’ve been writing this, the new lock arrived and was installed.  I’ve tried it out and it works smoothly, without a hitch, nothing but a velvety click when I flick the key back and forth.  Maybe that’s the first sound of happiness as it returns.  I’d like to think so.

The Reluctant Lock

Key in Door

I just moved back to New Orleans from a long stint in Chicago.  I did not want to.  I moved back to the city mostly because it was time to put more effort into my relationship after 3 years of long-distance dating.  The Man believes that I’m a little bummed to be back in my old stomping grounds, but that I’m mostly OK.  In reality, I’m a lot bummed to be back in my old stomping grounds, but OK enough now to realize the experience will most likely grow on me.  It just didn’t make sense to relate my despair to him when I knew there was a high chance for me to turn it around.  I’m pretty resilient, and I did mostly have a great time living here the last time (1999 – 2008).  I have sweet memories of what it’s like to be a New Orleanian, even just a transplant.  There are quite a few people left in this town that I’m proud to call ‘friend’, and it’s the kind of city where it’s incredibly easy to make new friends with just a tiny bit of effort and a bit of social lubricant.

The Man and I have moved in together.  It’s not the first time.  The first time was in Chicago, though it was somewhat of a disaster since he was having a hard time finding a job and the resulting mood around the house was less than zen.  We lived there for two years, though by that time he was working in New Orleans again during the week and only home about twice a month for a couple of days at a time.  We moved into a second apartment in Chicago, as well, but again it was mostly just my apartment that he visited every few weeks.  Our newest place is our second attempt at living together full time, and it’s going pretty well.  There are only two problems.

The first problem is the amount of time I spend in the house.  I work from home now, as the marketing director for an interior design firm in Chicago.  From 9 to 5:30, Monday through Friday, I sit on my couch (or bed), typing away on the computer and chatting on my cell phone.  By the time the afternoon rolls around, my back and hips are screaming in pain, and I’m a bit stir crazy.  By the time The Man gets home from work and wants to enjoy being home, I’m absolutely mad with the need to leave, to be anywhere but home.  Last week I had the most amazing moment of overwhelming joy while shopping for a loaf of bread at Winn Dixie.  That is so not normal; I’ve made the resolution to get out of the house much more in the coming week.

Which leads us to problem number two:  our front door lock doesn’t work for me.  My key doesn’t turn in the lock.  “Easy,” you say, “just get a new key cut.”  I did.  Eight keys, in fact, most of which work for The Man with just a little jostling.  In general until yesterday, it took me no less than 10 minutes to lock or unlock my own front door.  For a woman who 1) works on a tight schedule, and 2) REALLY needs to leave the house when it’s time, this is a sophisticated form of torture.  Of course, for the first week, The Man regarded my complaints with that bemused look men tend to get when dealing with members of the opposite sex who obviously aren’t clever enough to use mechanical items.  It didn’t help that in general I’m not the greatest with mechanical stuff, and I also couldn’t turn the key in my own car last week (in my defense, it’s only been my car for a week, and I didn’t know there was such a thing as a wheel lock mechanism).  But then on Friday his key gave him a bit of trouble and he realized it wasn’t all in my head.  Finally yesterday, when all three housekeys on my keyring AND the two he possessed failed to get us into our apartment, we reached a point of agreement.  He realized how utterly frightening and frustrating it is to neither be able to get into nor leave your own house, depending on the whims of a shitty deadbolt.  Eventually we got in again, but again I’m trapped in my own home until a solution is reached.

So.  Here we are.  It’s noon on a Sunday, and The Man, along with our landlord (who thankfully lives upstairs and saw our key plight) is attempting to install a new deadbolt.  I say ‘attempting’ because the first lock the landlord bought locked with a key on both sides, and once they got it installed, it was realized that wouldn’t do.  The landlord has run back out to the hardware store for a proper deadbolt lock, and The Man is having a smoke on the front porch.  There’s a dishrag stuffed in the hole where the reluctant lock once lived.

Someone with a bigger imagination could probably see a world of inferences in this story.  Perhaps this is a chance for a new life, free of boundaries.  Maybe this small change will help truly ignite larger changes in my personal life.  Right now, all I can think about is how frustrating it is to be locked away in your own home, complaints as to quality of stay only believed when indisputable proof is received.  I guess I also think about how this house has become an extension of my distaste for this move; I feel like I was trapped into moving here, there was no other choice.  Maybe now that I can leave whenever I want to, I’ll stop feeling like this entire move is a form of imprisonment.

The Man says that I’m never happy.  Maybe that’s true, but I remember times when I was happy a lot.  It’s just that for the last few years, everything has felt like such a struggle, like life is all about working hard to not go under, not working hard to rise above.  I’m so ready for that to change.  As much as I’m sad about moving back here, I want to start living with joy again.

While I’ve been writing this, the new lock arrived and was installed.  I’ve tried it out and it works smoothly, without a hitch, nothing but a velvety click when I flick the key back and forth.  Maybe that’s the first sound of happiness as it returns.  I’d like to think so.