In which things are not quite as they seem

10 ceirt
The contractor arrived this morning right about 9am, when he was supposed to. There is a big hole in the bathroom ceiling, all plastic tarped over so that the room is usable. Contrary to what the initial guy from their company had said, the leak upstairs is current and not good. The insulation in the ceiling was soaked, not "bone dry" as previously reported. I can only conclude that the probe the guy was using was not working at all for some reason. At any rate, yes, they are definitely going to fix it, but they have to also go in to the place above me and fix the leak in the bathtub in that unit that has been causing this damage. The contractor will be back again next Saturday, but might also have time earlier this coming week to come in and work on it. He said he would keep me posted if he was able to come earlier. The project should be done by the end of next Saturday if all goes according to plan.

I'm not entirely certain everything will go according to plan but, regardless, I don't have to pay for the repairs so I'm okay with the situation. The contractor will probably tell me more next time I talk to him.

Today I sold the cargo bike! A couple came up from Seattle and had a look, reinflated the tires for a test-ride around the parking lot, and declared it a good enough deal that they didn't even try to haggle on the price. Finally, success! I knew I was pricing it reasonably and that it was only a matter of finding the right buyer. Apparently somebody down in the Seattle area is selling something similar for $900, so they saved several hundred by driving up to Everett and buying from me.

Through the suggestion of an online thread, I found a link for a form for what appears to be the invitation letter my brother needs to send. It looks like a thing that will have to be filled out when I actually have an appointment with the consulate, as it has an expected arrival date blank to fill out. It also apparently declares that he would be responsible for me for time eternal or something like that, if it's accepted. He knows I wouldn't be a financial burden on him because I have enough to take care of myself quite well over there, so with any luck he won't have any issues with the document.

I am beginning to wonder if the possibility of getting my brother over here to go to the consulate with me for my appointment (when it happens) might be a good idea, as several people noted that the consular employees tend to be more inclined to talk to "the man of the family," if you will. I don't have a male traveling with me, obviously, but if my brother is going to invite/sponsor me over there, then perhaps having him at the appointment with me, as well as his paperwork, might be useful. It certainly couldn't hurt that he would be able to talk with them in Italian and he'd have a better understanding of the generalities of the system than I do. Anyway, I sent him the link for the form and asked him to check in with his friend at the town hall to see what comments she had about it and what to say on it if this is indeed the proper form. I'll email him later and ask him about the possibility of coming over for a couple of weeks while we get that worked out, once I'm ready and have an appointment.

Another box got packed and hauled out to the garage today. I sorted through the box of photos and photo albums and reduced the volume considerably, getting rid of duplicates, blurry photos, over/underexposures, extraneous pics that no longer have meaning, and the like. I think I cut the volume of actual photographs down by more than half, which was a very good thing. The actual process was a bit emotionally rough, as going through the photos dredged up a lot of memories, some of which were not the best.

A note to my friends on Capitol Hill - the Sherlock Seattle con is coming up the weekend of October 4-6, to be held at the Broadway Performance Hall at SCCC. Is there any chance one of you might be willing to let me crash at your place on a couch or something the nights of the 4th and 5th so that I can walk to the con and not have to cadge a ride down and back every day? I'd be happy to buy you dinner or something in return. I'm quiet and pretty self-contained, and I'll be at the con probably until late-ish in the evening, so I wouldn't be cutting into your personal space all that much, I hope. Even if all you have is floorspace, I can bring my backpacking air mattress (tiny but really effective) and a sleeping bag to sleep on for two nights. Anyway, if you're willing, please let me know. I would greatly appreciate it.

Nice things that happened today

kermitflail!
Today one of gra_is_stor's bandmates came over to get some things out of the garage that she will be storing for GIS. Since I can't keep anyone's things in the garage anymore (eventually not even my own), it was good to get her stuff moved; her bicycle is still in there, and we're trying to figure out where to keep it, as she hasn't got enough space in her apartment's storage locker. Anyway, a fair few things went, which means I can get to other things that need to be sorted through and cleaned up, then sold or otherwise dealt with.

The bandmate took all the plant pots and the tomato cages that I'd had from when I was gardening on the lanai, so that was great. She also had been looking for a new king sized mattress, so she bought the mattress and box springs, as they have a frame at home and didn't need the one I have. What this means is that once the mattress is gone (they'll come get it in a few days), I can take photos of just the frame, list that on craigslist, and probably sell that fairly quickly -- several people have asked if they could buy just the frame and I didn't want to do that, as getting rid of the mattress would have been the hard part, generally speaking. So yeah, things are continuing to move along quite well, despite my feeling like everything is crawling.

I have given it a lot of thought and will not be selling the computer desk. It's solid wood, it's sturdy as hell, it has a fair bit of storage in it, it's really nice looking, and it cost me about $3,000 when I bought it and moved in here. If there's any chance it will fit into wherever I'm living when I move out of here, I'm keeping it. I think I would have a hell of a time trying to find anything as nice that I could afford later.

When I spoke to the real estate agent today he said not to worry about trying to pay off the second mortgage - it wasn't going to make that much difference, and if the lender did want to collect later, we could deal with that when it came up. For right now, I will hold onto the money I've been saving for moving expenses instead of trying to pay the loan off.

Tonight ingvisson, gra_is_stor, and I went over to Central Market for some grocery shopping, then we stopped at Fred Meyer, where I picked up a bunch of cleaning stuff so that I will have ample supplies for this weekend. I have a few people who might come by to help out, but there's no way to know unless and until somebody actually shows up at the door.

And now, I'm going to try to get some sleep. I'm doing better today; only a really mild headache, no migraines, and the huge cramp in my back is doing a little better as well. Overall, I'm pleased with how things are going, despite all the anxiety this whole situation is producing. I'm doing my best.
01 beith
Next Friday, August 2nd, the real estate agent is going to be here taking photos for the listing; I really only got confirmation of this date this morning. This weekend (and into this coming week) I am going to need help with cleaning and packing. gra_is_stor posted a couple of FB events with details (you can see the info without having a FB account) at these links:

Here is the Saturday event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/222225734596472/?context=create

Here is the Sunday event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/551466594891324/?context=create

Essentially, if you can come over this weekend, preferably between 2-7pm, I will be happy to provide pizza, booze, and the beverages of your choice in return for some help with cleaning and packing so that the place is presentable for photographs. The nature of real estate sales being what they are, this means that I have to have my altars pretty much all packed and put away so as not to offend "sensitive" potential buyers.

If you're able to come by, please let me know. I shall sing your praises to all the gods and spirits for your aid. And feed you. And give you things to drink.

Thank you!

Tags:

A billion pages of paperwork

Writy enochian keyboard
Yesterday I went to shrinkage, not feeling very well. I had a headache that got progressively worse as the day went on. By midnight it was one of those stake through the eye things that was just not getting better, no matter what I did. I called and cancelled my VA group and the attorney appointment I had, and rescheduled with the attorney. I spent today at home, dealing with the migraine hangover (not too awful, but I did feel kind of off), filling out and signing probably 60 or so pages of paperwork, and producing three letters that I needed for listing the condo. I did a two page letter explaining why I needed to sell the place and asking for permission to sell the condo, one explaining why I have not filed tax returns (none of my income is taxable, so it isn't required by law for me to do so), and one explaining why there is a lot of money right now in my savings account (I'm selling everything and saving up for moving).

That took most of the day and was pretty emotionally draining. What it does mean, though, is that we'll be listing the place for sale very soon. Their market analysis suggests listing the place for more than I thought they would; the more they get for it, the less of a loss the lenders will take on a short sale, so that was good. I've got some questions in with the real estate agents that I imagine I'll receive some answers to on Friday or Monday.

I spent a little time just resting and reading after that. Late this evening I went for a walk over to Safeway to pick up some things - I was nearly out of half and half for my tea, and wanted to get a few snacks and things. I stopped by gra_is_stor's place to see her and get my hair re-braided. She's got a cold and isn't feeling too well; she'll be coming over tomorrow and I will make her some food. I promised her golden beets, which she really likes. Circumstances have conspired against her and she's not going to be going to the Irish immersion week in Portland, though ingvisson is still going, so she won't have the car. This does, however, mean I won't have to look after her cats for her.

The real estate agent wants to come over on August 2nd to look at the place and take some photos. If anybody wants to come and help me do some cleaning and packing things this weekend (I need to get packing material), I would greatly appreciate it. I'll provide pizza or other food items and beverages. I need to get rid of a bunch of stuff in the garage, as well, which can either go in the trash or the recycle, and I've promised gra_is_stor the flower/plant pots, gardening tools, and whatever potting soil I've got handy for her patio. That will need to get moved from my place to hers in a vehicle.

I had yet another person come to look at the bed and then not buy it. I've got the craigslist ad renewed yet again. I'm going to list the TV and the bicycle this week, I think. I'm hoping I'll have better luck with them.
The Pupulator
I’m passing this along for a fellow member of Veterans For Peace. If you’re able to help out even a little, that would be fantastic. Please pass the word, this is really a worthy project. Even a few dollars will help.

Hi! My name is Genevieve Gaea. I’m a female disabled veteran with PTSD, TBI related, and mobility issues from military service. I’m also a member of VFP nationally and of our local chapter VFP 099 here in Asheville, NC. The VA has discontinued their service dog program and so I am looking to my community for assistance.

My current service dog (god bless her little heart) must retire. She has Arthritis and just can’t keep up like she used to. She’s been working now since around Katrina… hard to remember the specific date but that’s a really unforgettable milestone. We moved here from New Orleans about 1.5 years ago because I never ever wanted to see another hurricane as long as I lived. LOL

Anyway, the new dog is going to be ready to pick up in Florida in March but they need compensation for her expenses and I’ll have to get together traveling money and a companion to make the trip with me because I hate just driving 20 minutes across town to the VA hospital. It’s too much with my anxiety. But with this motivation of being able to come and go again somewhat more freely with the new dog, I have to figure out how to do it even if I have to drive from one telephone pole to the next until I get to Florida, right? LOL

Lexi is the new dog’s name and she comes from a reputable trainer and breeder. She’s a German Sheppard which is also a benefit to me since my mobility issues are getting progressively worse I need a taller bigger dog for balance and helping me up when I fall which is unfortunately happening far too often for a 41 year old. I tell people when they ask what is it like to have a brain injury “it’s like being eternally drunk, but without the fun.” Anyway, I’m really excited, and I’m doing what I can to fund raise.

It’s going to probably be around $2000. Lexi’s medical cost is $1000 and I will have to outfit her with gear and make the trip plus stay in a hotel to make the adjustment. Usually they make you train with the dog for 2 weeks on location but since I’ve had a service dog before and I suffer from such bad anxiety they have promised I don’t have to do the whole ordeal. Otherwise, I bet a hotel would cost a lot more. I don’t know I haven’t stayed in a hotel in years. But I’m doing my part. I just need some help from some people willing to assist.

It’s only been a couple of days since I found out I had been chosen to match up with Lexi. Lexi was previously trained for two autistic children but she had to be returned so that’s why she can be trained for my specific problems in such a short time. She has the basics already. So far I’ve gotten my Step mother and my dad to donate $50 each. Some of my friends have promised to donate but those haven’t arrived yet. The manager at Kmart is promising to allow me to sit out one weekend in front of the store in January but I have to get volunteers to help me do that too. It’s going to be a trial to be exposed publicly for hours like that without moral support. Still waiting to line up the exact day so I can try to find companions.

People have been really supportive. I’ve made dozens and dozens of ribbons to pin on donaters. Some of them say “Service dogs Rock!” But my arthritis started acting up so I guess I’ll just tell people what they are for. I think people like to get something for their donation and I want people to be proud of the help they give because they are doing something really great. Service dogs do rock!

I don’t know what you can do but friends have suggested to me that if I could get my story out to more people that more people would help because if people knew the trouble I was having they would want to help. I don’t expect any one person to help more than they can but if everyone helped a little I’d get to my goal faster. Thanks for your time and consideration, GG

PayPal donations can be sent to gennagaea@gmail.com

My day, and a request

asclepius rod
Today was the last session for the VA group I've been going to. This means that my Thursdays will be free, so it's one less thing I have to worry about while I'm preparing for the trip. I'll miss everyone, but I won't be back with the group until I return home in August.

At Travelers today, I spoke to Leon, who was on his way out the door. Apparently his partner Allen has been in hospital for the last week, and had finally been scheduled for surgery. They are barely holding on with the business and the restaurant (which is doing better than the shop, but it still has a way to go yet), and that means that their health insurance is minimal, if it exists at all. Folks in the community have put together a fund on ChipIn to help pay Allen's hospital bills. I hang out there all the time. I've known Leon and Allen since I moved to Seattle in 1988. They are awesome people and I've sent what I could afford to try and help them out. Please, if you go to Travelers, or if you just enjoy hearing me talk about hanging out there with the fabulous folks who also hang out there, send what you can. Even a dollar or two will help. I know it's hard right now for everyone, so if you can do anything at all, please do, and thank you, and if you can't, at least keep them in your thoughts or send healing to them. I'd hate to see them lose all they've worked for over the years because of hospital bills.

I also did get a chance to catch up with D today, and we were joined by gra_is_stor for a while. We caught up on everything that's been happening since he went to NYC for work a few months back, and the project he's doing -- a documentary on indie musicians -- while we had some chai. A little before 7, B got off work so he went down to pick her up and we reconvened at the B&O, where we had dinner together. I'm hoping we'll be able to get together again before he has to head back to NYC in a week or two.

Tomorrow I'll be over at the AFK in the evening for Munchkin. My guests will be coming about 2pm, and I'm going to try to get a little more work done around here tomorrow. I didn't really have a chance to do more laundry (or dishes) today, but they do need to be done. While I was at Travelers waiting for D, I got a little work done toward pilgrimage stuff, deciding on which ogam letters would be useful meditation themes for the different days and destinations. More of the shape of the exercises and rituals are coming together in my head. I got email from vyviane about the packing list for the trip, and I need to add my input tomorrow when I have a chance. I don't have a lot to add, but I do have a couple of suggestions for stuff for the rituals.

martianmooncrab, the thingie arrived today, along with the book you sent. Thank you! I'll try messing with the garbage disposal tomorrow, when I have a little light and some brain to work with.

And now, back to the mines.

Multiple frustrations, but an okay day anyway

Failure TRex
I had Comcast come in and do an installation again. The modem I bought didn't work so I'll take it back to BestBuy and get a new one that should. I'm currently using the Comcast-provided one for a few days. The installer called and was able to come a couple of hours early, but that was unfortunately overshadowed by the fact that I CANNOT SEND SEANET EMAIL FROM MY COMPUTER over Comcast. I spent two hours on the phone with Comcast tech and half an hour or so with Seanet's tech, and nothing is working. I can still happily send emails over the AT&T wireless, but I can't send anything out either hardwired into the Comcast modem or via the wireless router. I'm extremely frustrated by this.

The Comcast tech is supposed to call me back on Saturday (the first day that he's there and I'm actually home while he's in the office) to see about doing more troubleshooting, but we have tried everything. I'm not at all angry with him; he went above and beyond in terms of trying different things in order to help me figure out what the hell is happening here and nothing was working. He was awesome. Sadly, it is definitely a Comcast issue, because I didn't have any trouble sending out email until the Comcast internet was installed. We shall see what happens. If it doesn't work, I'm going to be getting something out of them as a concession for having to use a different wireless account to send email from the email account I've had since 1995 that has never failed me before.

Because of all the time I spent with tech support today, I wasn't able to go for my walk around the lake. It was raining most of the day, though, so I'm not too awfully perturbed, but I do want to make a habit of it.

At about 6:40 I headed over to the AFK and hung out there. One of the Air Krakens came by for a little while, but I spent most of my time talking with Drew and one of the cooks. It was a really pleasant evening, and I must say that on a stressful day, the application of a little alcohol sometimes helps. I do feel much better having had a couple of drinks and will dive back into stress and stupidity on Saturday.

Yesterday's research netted me a street view of the entryway to the campsite I'll be staying at on the Isle of Man, as well as a view of the location for the web cafe in Douglas. I'm feeling more confident being able to have a look around before I go there. While, on the one hand, satellite surveillance is awfully creepy for a lot of reasons, the ability to have the same view as someone standing in the street to look at the entry of a business or the driveway of a campsite half a world away before I actually go there is so immensely helpful. It's weird how tech can be at the same time both wonderful and terrifying.

gra_is_stor is here for the evening after her band practice. She's got to pick up an out of town friend tomorrow at the airport at 11, so she'll be leaving before I do tomorrow. She did say, though, that since I picked up the tab for Saturday's showing of Metropolis, she would be willing to spring for tickets to the 70th anniversary showing of Casablanca on Thursday. It's showing at 3 or 4 cinemas around the area, but it's being shown nationwide Thursday evening at 7pm with commentary and behind-the-scenes stuff, sponsored by Turner Classic Movies. It'll probably be pretty cool. She thinks her friend might be willing to come with us, so that would be really nice to see it with them.

Tomorrow, along with shrinkage, is Irish class and there might be further pummeling from Patrick. If that's the case, I hope it doesn't do a number on my shoulder again, like it did last week.
d'oh!
I spent most of today dealing with computer issues. Some of them required getting down into actual *nix level commands to deal with, sadly. It is a very good thing that my dear lwood was available via text and Skype (with viewing of my computer screen) so that things could be fixt and dealt with. Although it took hours, we have FIXED ALL THE THINGS! Everything is working as it should, though I will need to get a new and much larger backup drive to deal with the new and much larger computer. The new drive is about 250gig and I'd want to get something larger so as to not have this happen for quite a while again. If anyone has recommendations for a good, stable brand, I will be completely composed of aural appendages.

I am in a very brain-hurty space. This sort of work comes with some pretty extreme stress for me, and I'm aching in my shoulders as I'm trying to relax from it, so the tension headache isn't even slightly surprising. I was briefly contemplating taking anxiety meds to calm down after all was said and done.

Things started with a trip to the AFK for an ethernet connect. I wasn't sure how long it would take, and they had a group reserving the Red Room (where all the ethernet connects are) for 90 minutes from when I arrived. I said I'd do what I could with the time I had and see what needed to be done. Software updates were downloaded and the system rebooted to give me a clean install of OS 10.6.8 - it took me about 50 minutes, all told. I created an admin account with an identical name and password to the old machine.

Once that was done, I did a restore from the backup drive. Which didn't want to copy my Erynn user account onto the new computer. I told it to overwrite the one here and created an admin account known to some as Tim so that I had an emergency backdoor if needed (it was), and the restore from backup simply didn't transfer anything for the Erynn account at all. I had to transfer those files entirely separately once the original Erynn account on this machine was zapped. Then began the permissions and passwords problems. Big ones. They rivaled the Titanic in size and scope in pretty much every sense, including taking on water and sinking. That took a few hours to resolve, but resolution was actually achieved; this included resorting to sneakernet to move my old keychain passwords file directly from the old computer to the new one via USB drive and then taking time to Fix Things manually and by brute force. I may not be a haxx0r, but I am at least clueful and can follow instructions Reel Gud.

Tim is still on the computer and if all is okay for the next couple of weeks, I shall no doubt excise him. Epic meta was achieved when the computer's random user icon assigned to Tim was... LIPS.

I should be able to completely zap the old computer and hand it off to ingvisson sometime soon.

For a happier bit of my day, I spent time spamming the intertubes with info on the upcoming Ireland pilgrimage. Please feel free to pass the word along. We need a minimum of six to get this off the ground. We're looking at purchasing plane tickets next week, with my departure from Seattle on July 9th to Dublin, and return to Seattle from Venice on August 15th, so that I can spend the sib's birthday with him.

Now I just have to figure out how to stop the touchpad on the laptop from responding while the bluetooth touchpad is connected. That, however, is a task for another day.

In which a few things get done

Writy enochian keyboard
I've finally got a start on the Brigid & Sarasvati presentation. I cracked a couple of books and have about a page and a half of notes so far. It's nowhere near an actual outline as yet, just NOTES and notes and more notes and I'm barely started. On top of this, I am in my usual pre-PCon ZOMFG*flaily* phase where nothing is ever going to work right and I'll have too much material and won't know what to cut, or I won't have enough material and will hem and haw through the presentation, or I'll mangle the little bit of Sanskrit that I'll be using (and the Gaelic), or... or... well, you get the idea. Happens every year without fail. The brain knows I'll be fine. The adrenal glands, not so much. I have no idea why I do this to myself every year.

At least with the CR ritual thing, I can pull two rituals from the group's repertoire and deconstruct them and say "this is where we got these elements, this is where we're quoting from, this is why we did it, this worked, this didn't, these are things I might suggest for other groups" and it won't go over too badly, I think. I'm figuring one of the warrior rituals (return probably, as I've actually been through it) and the Imbolc ritual we'll be doing this weekend. It'll offer a good spread of material, a variety of sources, and different things to consider about the hows and whys of ritual.

There was some cooking today, but aside from that and catching up on the intertubes, not much. I'm glad I've finally got started. It's always the hardest bit, I think.

I got a replacement cd of my photoshoot from a few months back, and this one doesn't work either. I'm certain it's my computer, as fullcontactmuse burned the cd on her Mac, so we know it should work on my machine. Except I'm still running a fairly ancient (relatively speaking) MacBook at the moment, and there could very well be something wrong with my cd/dvd drive. If anyone has both a drive and fast internet access, maybe we could get together and I can upload these puppies somewhere so that I can access the high-quality prints by a massive .zip file or something?

Tomorrow I have an appointment at the VA with my new meds doc. I'm always a little nervous about dealing with a new doc there. No idea how they will treat me, as always. I got on really well with my last meds doc and she actually listened to me. Some of them don't, and that would be problematic, given how I often have weird reactions to medications and need to be more careful than some people about them.

In summation, stressy Erynn is stressed out. This is normal. Carry on.

Help! German language stuff?

Failure TRex
I want to order a couple of compilation CDs from this website:

http://www.consequence-records.com/Arcana_Obscura/Arcana_Obscura_-_Gallery/Shop/shop.html

I have no idea how mail order works from a site in Germany like this, and I need to have someone help me write an inquiry letter. If you are someone who speaks German, can you please help me?

Thanks.

ETA: Got it handled, thanks!

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