Monday, April 28, 2008

Weekend follies

I spent the weekend in bed, mostly, and I wasn't alone. The weekend was an orgy of food, men, women, cultural discussions and electronics. There were also games and exchanges of ideas. My guests are still in bed with me now but soon will have to move so I can get up and get moving for another week of work before my vacation next week, which will be another week of work getting ready for the move. Yes, it's almost here. Even with the hot bed of activity here this weekend I managed to get a lot done, like the ham club newsletter.

One brand new ham demanded I send him the edited version of his article, which is something I usually do not do. I edit. I publish. You read. That's the way it works. I thought I'd be nice for a change (it's always good to try something new) and sent him the edited version. He added another paragraph to clarify things, which was more of the same and not very clarifying, and then asked me to change his photograph because he was recovering from the super flu in the previous photo. I didn't see much difference, other than a bigger and more detailed shot of his head. I explained that by the time he sent the photo I had already sent the file to the printer and he'd have to be satisfied with seeing his head shot only on the web PDF version. He didn't respond to that email. I don't expect he will.

One regular columnist sent in his article and said, "Try to get my callsign right this time." I emailed back that I would do my best without telling him that I cut and paste and edit but I don't write the articles and that the error in his callsign happened because he sent it that way. I did resent his tone, but didn't blast him the way I initially intended since I'm not going to have to deal with him or any of the rest of them much longer. I have two issues to go before I step down as editor and they still haven't found someone to take my place, which is a shame since I won't stay until they find one. I know how that game works and I'm not falling for it. This morning, after much deliberation, I sent off the PDF version to be emailed and uploaded to the web site. I'm done, except for picking up the printed copy of the newsletter, printing labels, putting on said labels when newsletter is picked up, attaching mailing disks and stamps and putting the rubber banded issue into the mailbox. At least I'm getting it done two weeks early this month.

You probably wonder how I worked in all those men and women while I futzed with the newsletter. Well, I'll tell you. In between downloading and watching Moonlight, Doctor Who and a few episodes of Firefly, which I adore, I plunged into a house of secrets and lies in Victorian England during the time Scotland Yard and the police were trying to decide whether to use dactylography or anthropometry as the tool of choice in discovering and unmasking recidivists. Well, I had to use the words eventually and this is as good a place as any.

Dactylography is fingerprinting and anthropometry is measuring a person from head to toe because supposedly a person's measurements, including distance of eyes, size of nose and ears, lips, fingers, etc., is unique to each individual. The French police during this time period had a department dedicated to anthropometry and were very successful in detecting career, or repeat, criminals (recidivists). The big argument between using fingerprinting versus body measurements is that it was easier to retrieve the data from measuring and nearly impossible to catalogue and quickly retrieve fingerprints data. I guess they hadn't heard of the computer and visual recognition scanning, but they are both rather backward countries. Anthropometry was the tool of choice in England for eight years before fingerprinting became the detection source in 1901. I was particularly impressed that the author managed to find an even more compelling story to weave in and around this bit of scientific trivia. I'll write and send my review later today and then you can read all about it.

That's one of the best things about reviewing books, being introduced to all sorts of writers and stories that I wouldn't have been drawn to in the first place. It has certainly broadened my horizons, although there are quite a few clinkers out there, and one or two near clinkers, like the book about a fiction class. I'm still not sure how to review that one because it is as much a fiction class as it is a story and I'm not sure I'd have paid cold hard cash to be taught by the protagonist. She's a whiny, self involved shrew that at times makes me want to punch her in the nose and I'm not even related to her. However, the fiction class was basic but interesting and helpful. More about that later.

Then I dove into the Indian Mahabharat told from a woman's point of view, for a change. So far, it's fascinating and I find the mythology very different from anything I've read so far. I always wanted to read the Mahabharata and now I can, although I'm still holding off on Mose Tolliver, folk artist. I need to get that one done this week.

In between writing, editing, dozing, watching a little TV on the laptop and reading, I also found out that I can connect my laptop to the TV to watch my shows. There are only three right now, which amounts to about 2.25 hours per week of time that I could be writing but choose to fritter away laughing and sighing over antics and hot guys with and without fangs. As a middle class American, it should be no surprise that in these times of stress and economic uncertainty I would cling to guys with guns, like Malcolm Reynolds, captain of the Firefly class ship Serenity. Go figure.

As for my staying in bed over the weekend, I confess I have a problem. When I sit too long, like the hours I spend chained in my chair at the work computer typing operative reports, my feet and legs swell and the best thing I've found to relieve the pressure is keeping my feet up over the weekend and getting some rest. The swelling is a result of pressure edema, which is a result of my backside turning to lead and forcing all the fluids from my brain and blood to pool in my trapped hips, thighs, calves, ankles and feet after sitting for 10-14 hours a day. I do get up to empty my bladder fairly frequently and get more water to drink so it, too, can pool in the tissues in my lower extremities, but it's a job and it pays every two weeks, so if I have to spend a weekend in bed reading, writing and editing, then that's what I'll do. It's severe punishment, but I've had worse -- and liked it almost as much.

Now it's Monday morning, 5:39 a.m. to be exact, and the birds are rioting outside. The midnight blue sky is lightening just a bit between the budding and leaved branches of the trees and the glittering gems of the lights across town are beginning to look less bright and twinkly. I could turn off the light, close up the laptop and slip back under the covers for another hour or two or I could dive back into Indian mythology for a while. Then again, I could drag my lazy butt out of bed and take it to the shower and get ready for another grueling day of operative reports, punctuated by a trip to the new landlord's office to pay the first month's rent ahead of time and see if he won't let me begin moving a few things in early, and maybe have lunch at Coal Mine Dragon for some soft noodles and shrimp or scallops and vegetables with a side of jasmine tea and fresh orange. Then again, Nel's taking a shower next door and I'm averse to having my warm shower go cold on me right when I get to the good parts. Choices, choices.

That is all. Disperse.

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