What I’ve been doing

Moving downstairs turned out to be a lot more strenuous and involved than even I expected. I still have tons of stuff to sort out. Well, it seems like tons of stuff to me. The major things are done, though, at least on my side. The roommate still has his giant collection of scholarly books and opera dvds and so on to finish sorting, and he can’t finish until certain things are done to the apartment, and the landlord is dragging his feet a bit. I don’t believe the upstairs has been rented yet, but on the up side the landlord said I did a good job cleaning up! I wasn’t too happy with my efforts, but really the place needs a team of professional cleaners, and things like floor-sanding and replacing that isn’t in our control.

On the writing front, I haven’t done much. I’ve been working on and off on a scifi thing for some years now, and decided that key elements have to be rewritten. It won’t disrupt the general structure that much, but the first draft of chapters one and half of two will need significant reworking. Let’s just say some of the setups and tropes I drew on that I thought were just fine now seem stale and clichéd, at the very least. For one thing, having my MC be able to bring a musical instrument, albeit a small, portable one (a viola, basically) across light years from space, and that voyage on prison ships where he was usually in stass, was unrealistic beyond the boundaries of science fiction. (It’s not some sort of virtual creation, it’s a real viola made of wood. My Used Future dystopian government would not by any means let a prisoner they were sending into exile across the galaxy take such a frivolous item with him.)

I’ve also been working out in my head a story or series of story set in a kind of alternate Earth though not really, where there are different countries and empires, and the level of technology sort of corresponds to the Victorian period (with a bit of steampunk for pretty, and also airships! for pretty), and one where wars and political intrigue and inequality is not unknown, but one where so far the scourge of colonial adventuring and conquest hasn’t destroyed large swathes of the population. However, into this other-Earth a disruptive, and as it turns out alien element will be introduced: one that aims to start yet another war of conquest and destruction and looting. Only things don’t go as planned… for one thing, medical science is more advanced than was true for our own history, because the history of this world did not produce situations and modes of thought that caused ancient medical knowledge to be lost here for a long time. (For one thing, none of the religions of this world produced the sort of mindset that called women who knew of healing herbs and so on “witches.”)

Anyway, that’s some of what I’ve been doing.

A New Home

Part of the radio silence around here is due to the fact that my roommate and I were offered the opportunity to move to one of the downstairs apartments in this place. Like the other units in this old Victorian (there are six in total) it’s old and wacky and has weird nooks and crannies. Unlike the one we’re leaving, it’s a one-bedroom (and I’ve got the bedroom!), but unlike the one we’re leaving my bedroom isn’t also a pass-through to other parts of the apartment (my former bedroom had three doors, one to the bathroom — which had another entrance from my roommate’s bedroom at least — and also the only entrance to the sun porch which is where we store(d) all sorts of needed things).

Anyway, this place is just different, but it has some things we like better about it. One, almost a whole wall of built-in shelves in the front room (the roommate has about a thousand books); two, the kitchen is awesome; three, I get a real bedroom, and the closets are better. The roommate has claimed the “dining room” as a bedroom etc., and it has two closets with good shelving. Also we have a proper back porch so we can sit outside and get some fresh air, instead of a useless sunroom with a weird sloping floor and windows you can’t see out of if you’re sitting down, and can’t open anyway because they don’t have screens.

I had to get rid of some things, but I love getting rid of things. I made up for it by purchasing this awesome teacher’s desk made of solid wood. Unfortunately it was an inch too wide to fit through the weird tiny hallway to my room, so it’s in this alcove between the dining room and the kitchen. That will be my official “office.” Well, half mine — some of the roommate’s furniture has to be squeezed in there.

The place came with an air-conditioner in the “dining” room, and I wonder if it’s powerful enough to cool down the whole place. I’m not sure, as it’s just a window unit, but we have two others. (I bought one of my neighbor’s units when she moved out and it’s been so cold this year that it’s still on the floor of my old room! Go figure.)

There is the usual lack of outlets, and the fun of finding out how things work (some of them don’t, like the shower — either I’m stupid, or it’s got some sort of problem that needs to be fixed because the thing that I thought switched the shower on did nothing; and the toilet runs). And there is bringing the cat to the new place — she is freaked out, of course, because  now she has to smell a bunch of new stuff and figure out where the enemies are and find new hiding places and so on. She hates moving, like all cats.

As usual I’m at that point where “okay, I like the way everything looks right now” and then realizing I have ten thousand more things to move. Technically I wasn’t going to actually be moving anything because I said I’d clean the old apartment, but of course I had to move things — I couldn’t just sit there. So I’ve been up and down the stairs five hundred times, and my feet and legs hate me.

That’s all I can think of to write now. Stay tuned for more exciting news about my life.

Resolutions for the coming year

How’s that for an unoriginal title. Well I’m all out of fancy titles. This is just going to be a list of all the things I need or want to do in the near or far future. I’ve already done two of them: cleared out my Gmail (where my main email is) and finally shut down my old hosted blog, Spleenville.com. Now for the rest:

  • De-clutter. I tend to get seriously cluttered with crap, and then go on big tossing-out sprees. It’s time for another, but this one is going to (I hope) be more methodical than “I can’t stand everything send it all to Goodwill!” Obviously some things will have to go to the trash instead.
  • Put a real curtain rod up and get some decent curtains. It’s not a priority but the cheap one I sort of rigged up is not satisfactory. I’m going to have to move furniture, get the ladder, probably do a bit of hammering and screwdriving.
  • Refurbish my wardrobe. Most of my stuff is cheap or old, and it’s all starting to look rather worn out. Time to seriously consider a minimal, simple set of outfits that are well-made enough to last a while. That will probably take more money than I’m used to spending, so this will probably have to wait a while.
  • Finally figure out where I want to roost on the internet. I have several sites scattered all over, and the big mess that is the hosted stuff. I need to get my act together and decide what my “presence on the internet” will consist of. I do like blogging, and would like to be able to blog. I’m tired of certain situations and setups, though, and the hosted site in particular is like an odoriferous basement apartment that I’ve lived in way too long.
  • Buy a real mattress and bed. I like a simple platform bed, but they are pricey. But I need something sturdy and non-moving so I can get a good night’s sleep. I may wait on this, though. I don’t really feel like getting something so permanent right now. (Currently I have a futon on top of a crappy old guest cot mattress on a cheap folding metal frame. I was sleeping on the floor but I have too much stuff around me for that to be comfortable.)
  • Go through my belongings and start packing anything I don’t currently use, or just get rid of what I really don’t want. I think that means good-bye to the television. I haven’t used it in two years or something.
  • Trade in my all-in-one printer-scanner-copier for a compact laser printer. I hardly ever use the all-in-one: aside from a few photos I should scan I’m mostly done with that, I never use the copier, and I hardly ever use the printer because the inkjet cartridges get used up so fast. I really only want to print text (who prints websites any more?), everything else goes on the internet or the hard drives of one of my computers. Right? Right?
  • When it comes to that… gather together all my scattered digital photos and cram them all into one place, like on a flash drive or something. And then start figuring out what to do with my film photos. Buy negative sleeves and notebooks? Toss the prints? I do have that cheapass film scanner I got, which does an okay job but I can send out for any prints I want professionally done, so… might eventually get rid of the film scanner, it’s not been used all that much.
  • Decide what to do about that camera collection I amassed. I can junk the junkie point-and-shoots, or maybe just pack them away for I don’t know, reasons. I already have half of them packed away. Also I need to decide if I’m going to keep on shooting odd-sized film (110, 127, 120) or just stick w/ 35mm. I will probably keep using 120 as the Holga was quite an investment, I love the photos and the huge negatives, and it’s still not that expensive. I do like 127 film though. And the new availability of 110 is fun. Okay I guess I’ve answered my question there. But I will definitely not be buying any more APS film. The cameras are cute and easy to use, but the photos aren’t of so great a quality to put up with the extra expense and trouble (fewer and fewer places are willing to develop it). I’ll just finish up what I’ve got.
  • Get my books in order. That will mean packing most of them away.
  • Get my room in order in general. See “de-clutter” above.
  • Get my finances in order. The ongoing saga.
  • Actually blog.
  • Actually write.

Okay, that’s all for now. I might update this post if I think of more things.