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31
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on March 19, 2024, 09:18:33 PM »
Not much to update about today. I did get up about half an hour earlier than usual because I was ready. I can’t say I accomplished anything with the extra time because I’ve been so horribly depressed.

I managed to drag myself out for a walk while the weather was nice, which is supposed to change tomorrow. I’d given serious thought to hiking up to Grocery Outlet, but by the time I reached the corner where I had to choose between going on and circling back around, my motivation was all out of steam. I did make a quick visit to Petco, which appears to have stopped having adoptable cats, to see if they’d gone back to doing refill buckets of cat litter, and if so, how much it cost.

They have, and it would be slightly less expensive than PetSmart’s house brand that comes in boxes, but there would be logistical issues. Like, I don’t see how I could cover the cost on plastic from home and have James take the buckets to fill, and the alternative would be me taking the buckets and figuring out how to get them to stay on the luggage carrier, since I can’t carry that much weight for any distance. Besides, there’s something about Petco that turns me off, so I don’t know that I’d want to give them my money.

I didn't get cast in Shooter Training after all. The way the head guy’s first email was worded made it sound like he wanted me, and the only question was for which role. If I ever put myself in for another of his films, I'll know not to trust his wording. It also makes me wonder if I should believe him when he said I was a delight to work with, since apparently he's in no hurry to do it again.

Anyway, since there's now no hurry to find the feminine garment, I think I'm going to see if there's an electric can opener I can apply my coupon to. The one we have has decided that it doesn't want to work on tuna cans, and since that's mostly what we need it for, it's pretty much useless. Then next Wednesday, when I go to consult with my insurance guy, which will be most of the way to Goodwill, I'll see what they have for feminine things.
32
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on March 18, 2024, 08:34:05 PM »
I had another good night’s sleep last night, I’m sure thanks in large part to James sleeping on the couch again. His company was having their annual inspection today, and he volunteered to go in an hour early to do any needed last-minute cleanup. From what I heard, he went to sleep early last night, and I won’t be entirely surprised if he does the same tonight.

This morning I checked in with the pharmacy about my prescription refills, which I thought were overdue. As it turned out, they were in the works except for one that wasn't due until the 23rd, which they filled along with the rest because I called and asked. They understood completely that I wanted to be sure the insurance claim hit my current carrier before I probably change to a different one next week. In fact, the person I dealt with turned out to be in the same boat, but for her it's worse because she has a doctor's appointment on 4/2, and she's not sure what to do.

The weather was gorgeous again, so I took a walk and hit Petsmart to visit adoptable cats on my way to pick up my pills. The same two tabby cats were still there. This time a volunteer was feeding and watering them and cleaning litterboxes. I asked if I could go in and give the cats some love, which I wasn’t allowed to do, but we did have a nice chat. I was almost tempted to volunteer for once a week cage duty, but with my luck it would end up conflicting with future acting stuff, so I decided not to.

Today’s mail included a couple of interesting things. The first was the books I ordered – all but the first in a series of four, because I already had the first. I brought it downstairs and put the whole set on what has traditionally been my “pending” shelf. I think I might need to change my morning routine, at least until I finish the bead sorting project, which is progressing, but very slowly. Now the weather is more conducive to going back to taking walks, so I’d like to do some of that along with some reading and some sorting. If I go on waking up early and feeling more or less awake, I might actually get up earlier.

I also got a 30% off coupon from Kohl’s that goes into effect on Thursday. That happens to be the same day as the monthly Mensa breakfast, so I might just stay on the bus home and hit Kohl’s while I’m out anyway. I haven’t heard anything yet about the possible acting job on Sunday, but in anticipation I’d like to get something very feminine, since my wardrobe is seriously lacking in that area.  If it ends up getting ruined with fake blood, that's fine.

I finally heard from the folks on the production side of the movie where I’ll be playing one of the forest witches. Supposedly the wardrobe person should have contacted me about measurements, but unless she had one of the unfamiliar numbers I got a call and no message from, she didn’t. I also got contact email for the person doing the prosthetics, who has a studio somewhere in Vancouver, hopefully on this side of town. I’m waiting to hear back from her about getting together for trying out prosthetics stuff, or something like that. I’m pretty psyched about finally getting on with filming the scene, and the fact that the weather is considerably better doesn’t hurt in the slightest.
33
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on March 17, 2024, 09:42:56 PM »
Last night I had a lovely lot of sleep. Getting up was still a challenge, but mostly because of the feline presence. They’re very sweet kids, but their sense of timing is terrible. Or maybe they block me into bed on purpose because cats. In any case, their votes lose out to the one from the bladder, which always wins.

This morning’s Facebook reminded me that there was a table read of a script I might have gotten involved in except for the homeowner meeting, which made me resent it even more. From now on, if something I’d enjoy doing happens at the same time, I’ll be pleasing myself, even if I’m more sanguine about those people by next year.

The weather today was absolutely glorious. In fact, I started out wearing my green denim jacket, but by the trip home it was too warm. I ended up keeping it on because getting into the pockets I needed would have been too difficult if I’d tied it around my waist. Still, I did my best to find shade to sit in while I waited for the bus home. So far, it’s still warm enough to leave the deck door partly open, though that’s supposed to change by bedtime.

Today's improv class was the next to last in the set, and I can't say I'm sorry. I found an observation that someone on Facebook made that hits the nail on the head for why I've found these classes less than satisfying. I can't remember the exact words, but the gist of it was that improv classes can make you a better entertainer, but they will never help you go deeper into character development to make the character more real. The character development aspect is a large part of what I enjoy about acting, so it makes perfect sense that I've been less than crazy about some of the exercises we've done in these classes. I have high hopes for being able to do some real acting work next Sunday instead of going to class.
34
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on March 16, 2024, 10:05:20 PM »
Yesterday evening I had a moment of panic because James was talking about coming up to bed instead of doing his usual Friday night staying up way late and crashing on the couch. He had a physical exam yesterday, including bringing results from using Facehugger, and that part didn't go well because he only just synched the Facehugger base with an app on his phone, so he wanted to produce better numbers.

Instead, he ended up bringing FH downstairs, and apparently he had a good night because now he's planning to bring it downstairs on weekends. Hooray! I did take a look, and the hose with the mask attached are on the floor beside my end of the couch, picking up who knows what from whatever the cats have dropped, but that's his problem, not mine.

I had an excellent night, though I still had trouble dragging myself out of bed because of the depression. That and the Albus cat who decided to plant himself on my chest just when I’d finally convinced myself that it was time to get up. I was only slightly later than normal – certainly not enough to make a material difference to anything. Not even feeding the Cat, though they might have claimed otherwise.

Laundry moved right along. For the second week in a row, no sock tried to hide from me, which made a pleasant change from the several weeks one did. I didn’t have feline assistance with putting clean sheets on the bed, which also made life easier.

The homeowners meeting happened without me, and so far I haven't seen anyone who might have noticed that I wasn't there, not that I expect anyone to comment. The longer I go without any reaction, the more affirmation I'll feel in my decision to withdraw from volunteering. I’m waiting for the email looking for pool volunteers so I can laugh and delete it. I was if not the first volunteer the original guy accepted at least one of the first, and I’ve done it all but one of the 15 years since then, so I really have done my share. If anyone asks, which I don’t expect, I’ll just say as sweetly as I can that I’m sure the new board members will be happy to step up and cover Sunday mornings.
35
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on March 15, 2024, 10:55:00 PM »
Last night James had so much trouble getting Facehugger right that I almost gave up and moved to the new-cat room. For once hanging tough was the right choice because I did manage to fall asleep before it got ridiculously late. He even got his own butt out of bed in the morning, so I only lost the time it took me to get back to sleep after his alarms went off. That was good because he’d complained about me pushing him out of bed, which rubbed me the wrong way and left me intending to let him oversleep if he couldn’t rouse himself.

I’ve been almost paralyzed with depression over the whole condo board situation. I did manage to relieve some of that by forcing myself to go out for a walk. The weather has been glorious all day, and missing a sunny, warm day would have been sad. I walked north and then around and back by way of Petco, where there were no adoptable cats to visit. I did, however, get to give little bits of love to a couple of shy dogs.

My bead sorting went somewhat better. I’m finding that I can only do a limited amount at a time because it’s hard on my eyes trying to see what’s going on with beads, many of them light colors, against translucent cloudy plastic. I think I’m finally starting to see a bit of reduction in the beads that still need to be sorted, though it’s still hard to tell for sure.

For the first time this year, it was warm enough for a while for the deck door to stay slightly open. It was really nice to have some fresh air coming in, though before too long, I noticed that the blinds were moving the way they do when the heat is on. Rather than heating the great outdoors, I closed the door and went back to the stuffiness.

Yesterday James brought home a huge dinner, featuring pie for dessert, in honor of Pi Day. I ate half of my meatloaf and all of the green beans, which were borderline overcooked already and would not have benefited from reheating. The meatloaf is so good! I have the other slice and the mashed potato and gravy for another meal, probably tomorrow. For today’s late lunch/early dinner I ate the soup – chicken noodle that had cooked down to almost stew consistency – and salad, to which I added facon bits and oil and vinegar dressing. I’ll probably have the pie, which should be chocolate cream, later this evening.

It looks like I’ll be missing my last improv class. The guy in charge of the thing I did background with the keyboard on is filming another short film on the day that would otherwise be that class, and I’ll take a real acting job over a class any day. The film is called Shooter Training 2034, and involves workplace active shooter training in the year 2034, led by an actual shooter, who demonstrates on the student who proposes several ideas for how to evade a shooter why those ideas wouldn’t work… by shooting them after each suggestion. It’s meant to be very dark humor by shock value.

The day ended with the monthly general zoom chat with the esoteric Christians. There were two prospective new members, both New Yorkers and friends of a long-term member. I hope they decide to join us because they’re really interesting, and I think they can add quite a bit to the group as long as they don’t get frustrated with how slowly things tend to move.
36
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on March 14, 2024, 07:57:06 PM »
This probably won’t be much of an update because my heart and head are both not in it. Yesterday’s email included something about Saturday’s annual homeowners’ meeting that got me unreasonably upset. It was clear from a comment about meeting two new board members that I’ve been rejected again. I’ve decided that I’m not going to the meeting, and I’m also not volunteering us for pool duty. I see no reason to put myself out and annoy James for the benefit of people who reject me.

Because I couldn’t turn off all the things I wanted to say that were rolling around in my head, I had a whole peanut butter cup as a sleep aid. It made me feel a bit unwell before it kicked in, but it did eventually kick in, so at least I got decent sleep. Unfortunately I’m still stuck in fuming mode. Hopefully it won’t keep me up tonight.

I was running slightly low on cash, so I decided to take advantage of the lovely weather to walk to the ATM. On the way back, I stopped into Petsmart to talk to adoptable cats. There were only two, both tabbies under a year old. One behaved like it would have enjoyed some play time, and the other, described as shy to start, just stared at me. I thought about hitting Safeway to see if anything looked like lunch, but the whole idea was so uninspiring that I didn’t bother. I ended up having cheesy popcorn for lunch because it was the only thing that appealed to me even slightly.

I only got a little bit of bead sorting done before I was overwhelmed by Z monsters. I had a nice catnap with cat, though I’m having trouble waking all the way up now. Maybe I’ll just close my eyes some more until James gets home.
37
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on March 13, 2024, 08:42:02 PM »
Not much to update about today. I did sleep much better last night, which was quite a relief. If I could rely on that happening on a regular basis, I’d also aim at getting up earlier. Not that I need more awake time, unless I come up with more things I want to accomplish that I can actually push myself into doing.

I've decided not to go green after all. There were rational reasons for that - the age of the dye (over two years, and it's all natural, so no preservatives), the audition coming up where I'll need to look more conventional, the nuisance of actually doing it - but in the end it was my little voice screaming that I shouldn't that convinced me. I've thrown out both the rest of that dye and a spray can of temporary silver dye that was even older. Even if they were still all right, I'd rather not take the chance.

It's been mostly sunny all day, which I hope bodes well for the sunny and warm streak that's supposed to start tomorrow. Unfortunately, it looks like we'll be going back to rainy and lower temperatures in a week. Hopefully that won't foul up my seeds, which claim to need the higher temps to grow properly.
38
Aston felt a touch of relief when Collette did not flinch away from him when he reached for her. But while she did lean into his palm, he could see with dismay that she was still burning inside. And rightly so, given how everything had turned out. He was lost for words, but it seemed appropriate, as Aston had a feeling that even the words that he had spoken had done minimal to mend the damage wrought. This was pain and anguish brought forth after years of having to work hard to make her name known, triggered into a storm of emotion that was just barely out of Collette’s control.

Aston knew that he could do nothing more than be here for her in this moment, as she allowed him to be. He couldn’t help but release the breath he was holding, however, when she did quietly acknowledge that he had been misunderstood in his defense of her earlier. He could not bear the thought of Collette being furious with him directly; it pained him enough to think that he had indirectly caused all of this to begin with by introducing her to the Spanos. Aston’s fears were even more calmed when she allowed the distance between them to shrink, permitting him to comfort her in the way he felt most confident.

But the moment ended way too soon. Aston reluctantly allowed Collette to pull away, following her closely with his gaze. He listened as she went on to apologize for her outburst and then explained why she felt it had occurred in the first place.
“You do not need to apologize,” Aston replied. “You have every right to feel the way you do, Collette.”

Aston knew very well that everyone in this industry had secrets and dirty laundry that they did not want everyone to know about. The difference between them and Collette was that her supposed “issues” were on full display and could easily be remarked on, leading to such negative confrontations. If Aston’s own sexual orientation was worn on his sleeve, perhaps he too would be more frowned upon. He had a feeling that his clientele certainly would be reduced somewhat because of it as the more conservative withdrew their partnerships. Now was not the time to divulge this to Collette because it was not an equal comparison, but perhaps someday she would feel a little better knowing that Aston could relate more than she realized.

”How bad is my makeup right now?”


“Pardon me?” Aston blinked, for a moment too distracted by his own thoughts and Collette steadily recovering to process what she was asking him. To him, she looked as beautiful as always, especially now that she seemed to be feeling at least a little less hurt. Aston tore his eyes away to follow where she looked back towards the event, and the sight gave him a slightly bitter taste in his mouth. “Signora Branca would understand if we were to leave early,” Aston said in regards to her inquiry about going back inside. There was a bit of iciness to his tone, his protectiveness returning as he associated the gallery with a not-so-good time. “I can always contact her for a private showing another time. There is always time for work, there can be none wasted on…” Aston blundered for a moment, his anger leaving him mildly lost for words. “... Utter bullshit,” he finished at last with an impatient wave of his hand.

“Come, darling.” Aston reached for Collette’s hand, his demeanor shifting to be gentler. “Let’s go get cannolis and call it a night.”
39
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on March 12, 2024, 09:12:13 PM »
This isn’t going to be much of an update because I wimped out of basically everything. I even put the bead sorting project on temporary hold for lack of light. We’ve had pretty much all the weather again, including a brief period when it was both bright and sunny and pouring rain. Weird ass weather.

Last night I wound up in the new-cat room for the first time since James got his new mask. His allergies have him so stuffed up that he was unable to find a sleeping position that let him breathe freely enough not to make noises. When I found myself lying there waiting for the next noise, I gave up and moved. After that it didn't take me too long to get to sleep, though I did have one odd moment first, when I turned over and found that somehow I'd managed to place my feet so I lost the circulation in my toes. Very strange, and a bit unnerving.

The big event of the day was the bank notifying me that our income tax refund had arrived. I promptly wrote James a check for his share – about two-thirds because I figure he was responsible for about that much of what we had withheld. Hopefully he’ll turn right around and throw it at some of his debt. My share covered less than half of the property tax bill, but that’s OK. I’m the one of us who has savings, not debt. Now I’m waiting for two big checks to clear: the one I gave James and the one I sent in for my IRA contribution. That was half of the maximum I can contribute, and the other half will be going in when I build up the funds again.

I washed my hair a day early so I can dye it green tomorrow and not throw off my sense of the week too much. I wasn’t planning it this way, but going green in time for St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t hurt. My hair was also in need of a trim, so I chopped about three inches off the bottom. It was starting to get in the way when I used the bathroom. Now it won’t.
40
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on March 11, 2024, 08:23:56 PM »
Last night both James and I crashed at 10. Aside from some necessary poking both at the beginning and at the end, I got plenty of good sleep. I’m hoping for a repeat tonight because two good nights in a row would be really nice. More than that would be even better but probably too much to hope for.

My first thought when I stepped outside to go to Safeway was how tired I am of going outside and feeling cold. Oddly, when I got home and went inside, the living room felt stuffy and slightly too warm. I suppose it was all about what I'd adjusted to. I do wish it would go ahead and rain, since the high pre-rain humidity is playing merry hell with my sinuses. I ran out of snack mix yesterday (but it’s a Winco thing), bread today - happily, since I was pretty sick of it - and I probably don't have quite enough half & half left for tomorrow.

After hearing chapter and verse about why the bakery section couldn't slice a loaf of Everything bread for me, I found a loaf sliced on the "oops, we baked too much" rack. Go figure. I ended up getting two pint containers of half & half rather than my usual quart because there were about a dozen of them marked down to half price. No idea why, since their sell-by date was the 18th. I finally remembered to get the butter cooking spray I'd wanted to use on the dry and tasteless popcorn James got because he decided I wanted it, and I had buttery garlic popcorn for lunch. No one will ever accuse me of being a health nut!

I'm also trying a new brand of marmalade in the hope that it will be not sweet enough for my taste. I didn't before because it's more expensive than most of the other brands, but it's still about half the price of what I found online last night – $12+ for a jar of marmalade??? – and it's local so restocking when I run out won't take weeks. Too bad it doesn't go with the Everything bread. I’m tempted to open the jar for a taste, but I don’t want to break the seal until I’m ready to use it.

I got a little bit more done on the bead sorting project. Between the time I spent on the Safeway run and the lack of sun, I didn’t have a chance to do as much as I would have liked. Fortunately, there’s no deadline on the project, so I’ll just keep plugging away until it’s done.
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