Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Oh, the webs, the broken webs

I have a little time since I have to download another copy of MS Word onto the loaner laptop since the original expired several months ago. I have to have the files in order to do the labels for the ham club newsletter that I'm picking up at noon today, stamping, disking, labeling, and mailing shortly thereafter. I don't like the loaner laptop and I want my own back, but the fan died and the CD player had to be replaced because it was defective and I found it extremely difficult getting any work done since I had to shut the computer down every 15-20 minutes to keep it from overheating and shutting down on its own. Made getting the newsletter out last weekend difficult at best. I don't mind not being able to download my shows this week because it gives me more time to write, but having to use Works instead of MS Word to work on my new novel is the pits. They're not really compatible. The keyboard on the loaner is nice, but some of the keys aren't where I'm used to them and that slows me down, turns my AK-47 typing into more of a stuttering Winchester repeater. Oh, well, into every life a little rain...

The trial file is humongous and is taking forever to download, but at least it will make it possible for me to finish the job and get back into the swing of things. That's one thing to be considered at least and I am so looking forward to getting back to cruising speed. Oh, for an easy day for a change.

I'll take a little time off to help put together a big Thanksgiving party I'm helping to host here in our little corner of Old Colorado City. Several of the people who were here last year requested my presence and my cheesecake. It's going to be busy since a couple of very old friends are flying and driving here to spend the holiday with me. We've been friends forever and I miss seeing them as regularly as we once did since I moved away from Ohio, but to think they're coming all the way here to spend Thanksgiving just goes to prove that a good friend is always there when you need them and when you don't. Another old friend, Tyra Ray, called, having tracked me down through the Internet and my writing to say she wished I could come back there for Thanksgiving and spend the day the way we used to do. We had a pot luck every year and my sweet potato pecan pie with brandied cream was requested year after year. Sometimes I had to split my holiday into three days just to spend time with friends and family, but spending the day with Tyra, her family, and all our friends from work and play was the highlight of the season. Sometimes I miss those days, but not so much this year or last since we started our own tradition here. I've decided to try something completely different this year. Instead of a plain or key lime cheesecake, both of which are big hits with everyone, I've decided to make a pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap cookie crust. I'm still working on the recipe, but if it turns out as good as the key lime cheesecake (that was an experiment, too) it should be another winner.

I also ordered some bakeware since I finally got the IRS to come off the money (some of it anyway) they have owed me for the past three years and it will be here in time for the holidays. Maybe I can make some individual cheesecakes in ramekins and add a nice souffle to the pot luck dinner we're having. I miss being able to make the kinds of foods and desserts I love and to have enough of the right utensils to do it right. I didn't have enough room in the car when I went back to Ohio earlier this year or I would have brought my kitchen stuff. Books, old journals, and clothes were a little more important and I wasn't about to give up the sewing machine either.

Yesterday I received a "letter" from my mother and a whole mess of old pictures of me. I had forgotten about some of them but there I was sitting and standing and playing in a group of friends, most of whom are still close friends, smiling and laughing and having a really good time. I've made good friends since I moved to Colorado, but with work and writing I tend to spend most of my time alone -- that is until they come banging on the door and dragging me out of it shortly thereafter. It's no wonder I turn the ringer off on the phone when I'm working or writing because I'd never get anything done. And I only put the door chime in the outlet when I know for sure someone is coming, partly because it goes off when any nearby door bell rings and partly because I need to be able to focus on work and writing. I have a huge stack of books to review and a pile of manuscripts to edit, writers who know or have heard about me through other writers whose books I've edited. There just aren't enough hours in the day sometimes.

One thing I do know is that although I love being around people, especially creative people of all kinds, I prefer a small group of close friends. Popularity is pretty cold sometimes and it's hard to weed out the friends from the hangers-on and sycophants. Traveling as much as I have during my lifetime, I have made a lot of friends and most of them are still around. People come and go and even the worst of them have something to offer even if it's only a cautionary tale. I find that as I get older close friends and family are pulling closer as if they miss the way things used to be. It's as though all the things that seemed important aren't quite so important any more and lasting friendships, the ones that have survived decades and trials by fire and ice, are the one thing that remains true. I've never been the kind of person who has a friend and trashes them at every opportunity to anyone who will listen and then turn around and go back to the trashed friend like a dog going back to its vomit just to repeat the process over and over. I don't hide my feelings from my friends and they don't hide them from me. We've learned that passive-aggressive is not the way to go and that the air is sweetest when it is free of the scent of lies, innuendos, and BS. The "he said, she said" game gets really old really fast and it never ends well. It's always best to go directly to the source. Games are a waste of time and energy and provide nothing more than a breeding ground for future problems.

It's hard sometimes for people to be honest with each other but like one friend said: A white lie is just an excuse to get away with being dishonest.

That is all. Disperse.

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