Tuesday Random Thoughts: Just a few.

  • I almost didn’t write anything for the blog tonight. I wrote a lengthy e-mail earlier which almost made my usual word count. Besides, I almost didn’t have enough energy to write that. I’ve been very tired and sometimes drowsy in the afternoons lately. I have to wonder if the amoxicillin I’m taking for my abscessed tooth has anything to do with it. But I’ll still jot down a few thoughts as I’ve already been too lax with this blog this year. I really do want to get back in the habit of this writing exercise. Besides, I’m feeling a little more energetic now. That’s a little worrying as it’s getting closer to bedtime, but after all of the sleep I’ve been losing lately, what’s a little more?
  • My tooth is getting better. The swelling went down by Sunday morning, and the pain is largely gone now, barring sensitivity to pressure. I’m just glad that the prescription of the antibiotics ends before New Year’s Eve. There is definitely bar-hopping on the agenda this year.
  • I’m largely taking the rest of this week off from writing. I have some chores at home and errands to run over the course of the week. I imagine that I won’t have much time to do these things on the weekend. Besides, I’m tired every afternoon evening lately, and I don’t see how the next few days would be any different. That and it’s the holidays. I’m definitely not going to be productive on Thursday, known as Mickmas (my birthday, of course).
  • I’ve been watching a few episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation tonight as I couldn’t focus on too much else. I have come to hypothesize that Data isn’t as emotionless as he believes he is. Rather, it seems like the writers and Brent Spiner treated the character as having emotions, but not being able to recognize them as such. The episode Data’s Day seems to support that idea. Of course, this could be approach versus the final canon of the show. But it’s an interesting idea to have in mind when watching.
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Tuesday Random Thoughts: On antibiotics for a tooth, yes, again.

  • I almost skipped writing tonight’s blog post. In fact, I may end up having to cut this one short. Despite my hopes from earlier this year I still have been having pain with a lower left tooth. It turns out that the tooth next to the one which had the root canal therapy (and then subsequent re-treatment) also now needs the same procedure. I went earlier this month because the sensitivity wasn’t going away but had to put off the work on it until January for insurance reasons. I figured that it would be no problem as it wasn’t constant, piercing pain like the last time… yet. This weekend it really started becoming more constant. Fortunately, my dentist already said that he would prescribe antibiotics should the pain get worse.
    I didn’t want to take antibiotics this time of year, seeing as both my birthday and New Year’s Eve (which is on a Saturday this year) both occur before my appointment with an endodontist. I didn’t want to take anything that would prevent me from having alcohol, at least on those two nights. But the pain got so bad that I figured I would have to put off any special celebration. Fortunately, the supply is for ten days, which end on the day before New Year’s Eve. My birthday’s on a Thursday and I can’t get time off that week, so it’s not like I was going to drink that much, anyway.
    The pain was so distracting that I couldn’t concentrate on getting any creative work done, even writing a blog post. The pain eases off periodically, and I did take a couple of ibuprofen pills… although they haven’t seemed to help too much. Right before writing this blog post, however, I took the first of the amoxicillin. The pain seemed to have disappeared entirely. I have to think that it’s psychosomatic, right? I don’t remember it working that quickly last time I had to use it. I thought I had to take it for a few days first. That’s why I said I thought I might have to cut writing this blog post abruptly, should the pain come back.
  • Likewise, I haven’t been getting any writing done as I couldn’t focus on what I was doing yesterday and today. It may be tough over the next couple of weeks for me to write on every single day, but I will get to it as much as I can. I still should have a writing progress blog post, however, as it would be a continuation of the one I had for last week.
  • Okay, I don’t really have many other thoughts, or are the ones I had tonight that random as it’s been the focus of my last few days. I’ve been productive at work so far this week. There, is that something?

Tuesday Random Thoughts: Upcoming book reviews, automating my reading habits (as well as waste), screenplay ideas.

  • I just got a couple of books for the next two weeks’ book reviews, A Natural History of Hell by Jeffrey Ford and Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton. I plan on reviewing those books for the next two Mondays before I take the following two months off from book reviews. However, I forgot that Christmas was on a Sunday this year, and I was going to be busy the day before. I typically try to read books for my reviews in their entirety the weekend beforehand. I’ll try to get to it but I may have to postpone the later review until some weekend in January.
  • I’m thinking of cancelling my Netflix subscription and signing up for Amazon Prime. It’s not just that I’m annoyed by the selection (or lack thereof) on Netflix, but I’m very enticed by the unlimited e-books. I don’t know what the selection is going to be like but it’s worth looking into. The only problem is the cost. The cheapest option for Amazon Prime is 99 dollars a hear. That comes out to just a little more than Netflix for a lot more stuff. In other words, I’m spending about the same amount every year anyway. But my brain is stuck on “99” (a year on Amazon) versus eight bucks (a month on Netflix, roughly). I don’t usually have that much at once. Maybe I’ll sign up for the free trial this month anyway, and then pay the one-time fee come January. Of course, there’s always the library.
  • One of the reasons I wanted to try the Prime plan for reading on my Kindle, however, was so I wouldn’t have to go to the library once a week for book reviews. If I could stand the selection of books available to me on Prime then I would be able to cut out one more errand. That’s why I’m looking into getting trash pickup for my apartment instead of taking trips to the dump every few weeks. I think my neighbors in the downstairs apartment already do that. Perhaps I should ask them if we could split the cost and I’ll throw my stuff out with theirs. Now, if only there was somebody out this way that would automatically deliver my groceries every week I’ll be all set. We sell food where I work but not enough of the the stuff I get.
  • I had the idea of going through some drafts of older work and turning them into outlines for screenplays. I forgot how many of these drafts were really scraps rather than fleshed-out pieces. I got some ideas, especially some weird ones that I might be able to stitch together into a sort of surreal piece. I also have some novels and short stories that I wanted to keep as novels and short stories, but maybe I could rework them into screenplays as well. I think I’ll explore that idea in tomorrow’s writing progress post.

DELAYED POST FROM TWO MONTHS AGO: “Random Thoughts: I’m out sick today.”

For some reason this post that I wrote two months ago didn’t get published. Instead, it’s been sitting in the drafts section of my WordPress account the whole time. Seeing that I don’t have a writing progress blog post to write for today—that’s not to say that I don’t have any progress to report, but nothing interesting enough to write about—I’m going to publish this old post instead. For a point of reference, I wrote this Random Thoughts post on a Monday when I normally write a book review. By the way, I may not publish a Friday Flash Fiction tomorrow. I fully intend on writing something but by hand. I’ll publish it online the following day. I plan on going to a concert in Cambridge tomorrow night and I’d rather take a notebook and pen with me instead of my computer.

  • I’m swapping the Random Thoughts post with this week’s book review. I’ve been so sick today that I can’t really focus on something that involved. But I didn’t want to let a day go by without a post, and these Random Thoughts posts are a little easier for me to write. At least this way I’ll get some writing in. I’ll try to also start working on revisions on the screenplay, but it would involve me getting up and taking my laptop to my printer. I’m feeling better as the day goes on but I still get a bit nauseous.
  • I was so sick this morning that I had to call out from work. I never do that. But I got very little sleep, especially as I was up vomiting throughout the night (you wanted to know that, right?) so I took that as my clue that I really shouldn’t try going in to work. I’m still not feeling very well as I write this in the middle of the afternoon, although I probably could go in at this point. But what would be the point of that, when I have to go back at seven in the morning tomorrow? I already have a lot of work to make up, I’m sure, by the fact that I took some time off from work last week. I’m used to having to make up work there anyway from time to time. What’s one more day?
  • The one thing that I did miss that I feel kind of bad about was that today we were having free lunch paid for by the company, and they were going to make sure that they would have vegetarian food on hand. The store was also combining the free food with a pot luck. I don’t know what I would have taken but it would have been some sort of dessert. Granted, I wouldn’t have been able to keep anything down, anyway. But I’ll take in doughnuts or something tomorrow to “make up” for it. Honestly, I’m not a fan of pot lucks but now I’m worried that people might think I was just trying to get out of it. They probably won’t, but once the thought is there in my head it sticks.
  • Soon after I called out this morning I did manage to get some sleep for a few hours. That definitely helped me feel better. I’m still a little queasy. I’m going to risk something spicy for dinner. But I think I might throw out the bagged salad that I was going to have with it. I’m 95% sure that that wasn’t what caused me to get sick, it was more likely something else I had last night. But I’ve had bad luck with it before. I don’t know—I’ll just have to see how it smells.

Tuesday Random Thoughts: Book Reviews (or lack thereof),old routines, root canals.

  • I’m going to make another announcement when it comes closer to the actual time, but I decided that throughout January and February I’m going to put a hold on book reviews. I have too much reading that I want to get caught up on and this will be easier for me to do so. For one thing, I feel ill-equipped to review the likes of Dickens at Twain right now, and I have complete collections of both on my Kindle that I’d like to read through. This will also help me have the time to read as I sometimes have to read at a slower pace for reviews than when I read for pleasure, especially when I take notes as I go. In February I’ll also be taking part in the RPM Challenge again, so I won’t have time to read much anyway. I’ll continue the book review books for the next three weeks (aside from possibly this next Monday, although that’s up in the air still).
  • I found that I’ve gone back to some sense of my old routine, involving guitar practice (mostly classical) right after dinner followed by a writing session, reading regularly, my old grocery shopping habits and keeping up with all of my podcasts. I tried taking up jogging again but it’s hard when it’s cold and dark this time of year. My father’s treadmill, which is in the basement of my apartment building, is broken for good, and I can’t afford to go to a gym right now. I also haven’t taken up meditation again yet. I wanted everything else to settle into place first. I really want to add both back to my regular schedule, though.
  • I just had to make an appointment next January for another root canal treatment. This time it’s for the tooth that they’ve been working on for the past couple of years. The dentist did say that he was watching that tooth, unsure if it was also infected or not. It turns out there’s an abscess in the gums underneath. Because I’ve nearly maxed out my insurance, I have to wait until next month in order to pay for this. The insurance pays half. Considering the bill is going to be over $1,500 I’m willing to put up with the pain for a little bit longer. After all, I haven’t been able to comfortably eat on that side for years anyway, what’s a few more weeks?

Tuesday Random Thoughts: worrying about yesterday’s blog post, work thoughts, file conversions.

  • I’m probably worrying about this more than I should (as I often do with things) but I’m concerned about the way I ended yesterday’s book review. I was trying to add a personal touch to a review this time in order to show how much impact the book had. But then I wonder if I made it sound like I’m repressing some guilt over committing sexual harassment lawsuit or something when I was younger. I only meant that when I was growing up I had a hard time learning reading signals from other people and made some advances the wrong way, but nothing ever stronger than a rare, unwelcome arm around the shoulders that were quickly rejected. I’m not proud of these moments nor do I justify them, but I learned from them. Nonetheless, the book served to bring those feelings of dread and guilt to the surface, especially as it forced me to get into the mind of the character. That’s what I was trying to get at; that the book was well-written enough that it jarred me.
  • A woman came up to me at the service desk at the store I work at yesterday (while I was ringing through another customer, incidentally) and asked where Circuit City was. I don’t name my current employers on this blog but I will say that the building I work in was where the Circuit City near me was until they closed. I told her that they went out of business years ago. She asked what moved into their place.
  • Also at work we’re collecting donations to buy food to donate to local food banks in the Northeast. It’s okay if somebody can’t donate or doesn’t want to at that given moment. I don’t blame them, really. I always say that I’m willing to donate to a charity if I research it when I get the chance, and I honestly mean it, but as soon as I walk away I forget that I was going to look it up. But what gets me are people that try to give excuses so they don’t feel bad; the worst are the people who say that they already gave through their church. Some woman said that to me today and I almost said “Yes, but here there’s a guarantee that all the money will go to charity.” I didn’t say it, of course, plus I have no proof that her particular church doesn’t do the same thing. But it irks me that people use the “I already gave” excuse as if that means I’m supposed to assume that they can’t give anymore, not even a dollar to a worthy cause.
  • I have plans on Saturday to go to up to Portland to see a performance of Start Making Sense, a Talking Heads cover band and one of my favorite live bands. They play in Portland all of the time (they’re coming to the same place later in the month). However, this is before Christmas and I haven’t even started my shopping yet. The show is relatively cheap but I always end up spending money while I’m in Portland. I can easily budget my day but I have to be careful. Hey, maybe I can get some shopping done while I’m out. I don’t always have to drive to New Hampshire to save on sales tax.
  • I had plans this week to spend my writing time after work going through some older works to maybe work on them while I wait for some feedback on my screenplay. The only problem is that my current laptop didn’t come with Microsoft Works like my older ones did, and I didn’t pay for a license to use Office when I got the thing even though it would have been cheaper then to do so. I knew that I was going to use Final Draft for screenplays. I also intended to look into other word processors down the line. I didn’t realize that Final Draft can work for other documents as well. That’s all well and good, but I can’t open .doc files in Final Draft. It can, however, open Rich Text Files. That would be fine if I had software that could open the original files. I don’t want to try one of those online conversion tools as I don’t entirely trust them. I may be able to use my other, somewhat working laptop to open the files just so I could convert the files. Even if it works, though, it’s going to take a while. I think I see what tomorrow after work is going to be like. It’s too bad I don’t have an easy way available to network the two computers. Oh, well—it’s not like unplugging and plugging in a USB drive is that difficult.

Tues… Wednesday Random Thoughts: Vampire audio books and post-election Proopcasts.

  • I’m currently borrowing the audio book version of Prince Lestat from the library. I wanted to get caught up on The Vampire Chronicles as quickly as possible, so I figured that once I finished Interview With a Vampire I would try to borrow them in audio form as much as possible. Of course, by this point fans of the series probably know the mistake that I had made: the second book in the series is The Vampire Lestat, while Prince Lestat is the most recent book in the series. I guess I lost “Goth points.” But it’s not that bad a mistake. After I realized my mistake and looked up the series online to research it more, I discovered that while it’s a continuation of the series, Prince Lestat acts as a sort of a beginning to a new set of books, and the next one comes out this coming Tuesday. In that case, it’s probably good that I listen to this one now so I can pick up a copy of the new on next week, and maybe I’ll write a review for it for this blog.
  • As I borrowed this book I had to wonder about the legalities of copying it onto my computer and then onto my iPod in order to listen to it. I would have no intention of keeping those copies, even once I’ve returned the discs. But it’s easier for me to listen to audio files on my iPod than on disc these days. That’s what my alarm clock connects to in the morning, as well as my shower radio. I have no portable CD player for when (well, currently, if) I go jogging. But it isn’t like I’m copying one of my own CDs. These discs belong to somebody else and the copies wouldn’t be on their computer. (Never mind the fact that there are ways to legally borrow audio book and I couldn’t find this one through those means.) Would it be legal, and either way, would anybody care? So far I’ve been good. I’m just starting disc four without copying anything so it really isn’t that hard to do. And I’m not going to announce what I decide here either way, just in case. But I have to wonder what the possible legal ramifications would be.
  • I didn’t write a blog post for Tuesday Random Thoughts last night because I was listening to this week’s The Smartest Man in the World podcast. Not only am I trying to keep up with podcasts but this one was nearly three hours long. It was the first one Greg Proops, an avid Hillary Clinton supporter, recorded after the election. I knew that even though I enjoyed it, I wanted to listen to it and get it over with. I’m sure he’s not leaving the subject alone but I imagined that this one would be the hardest to listen to. Besides, I don’t like breaking up podcasts when I can. I’m willing to get behind on them, but not breaking them up. I started listening to the show when I was practicing guitar yesterday, so I stuck with it. I knew I wasn’t really going to have anything for Writing Progress Wednesday this week so I didn’t mind putting this one off.
  • Speaking of which, I’ll probably do another one like this tomorrow, if I have the time. I’m working a later shift than usual because of the holiday store hours, and I’m going in early the next day. I have to try to get to sleep early tomorrow despite the late start.