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Yarrgghhh. Where did that stressball summer go?

Let’s see:

My son is still on the couch and we are still waiting to move. What had been conceptualized as a July 1 move to a three-bedroom apartment has been beaten down by the realities of market demand and people dallying about actually moving when they tell their landlords they are. We are now looking at a damn-near-sure-thing on October 1, which would have thrown us all into hysterics had we known at the outset of this adventure. The new apartment is supposed to be bigger than this (other than just adding a bedroom, smarty-pants) and we are crossing our fingers.

But it almost definitely lacks a ferret room, which is to say a chamber which is far too small to be a bedroom by modern building code standards (else it would be marked as one and we would be charged accordingly). So in preparation, we got a new ferret cage, which has about a 3′ square footprint instead of the 10′ square they’d been in for the past several years. Nobody has come right out and said it, but this has been an epic disaster; an unheralded mustelidean misery which we are now stuck with. I’ll just leave you with the phrase, “Oh come on, they’ll figure the slide out!” and we’ll move on. (We ended up making them little fake staircases out of unloved textbooks.) But it looked GREAT online!

To add to the furry fun, the cats have fleas. So after the flea bath was the usual waste of time, my daughter ordered them flea collars, as for some reason our local pet store is in denial about cats in fact suffering from fleas just like dogs. The picture on Amazon said “flea collar.” What came yesterday was a calming collar, all covered in copious powder smelling like everything but the lavender it claimed it was. I wish they’d invented these back when I had the cat who chewed all of his own fur off because he needed to be an only kitty–but I really wish they’d just sent us the flea collar they charged us for.

My daughter’s laptop is dying and she is now sharing mine pending the probably dim hope that the guy in Dudley Square will fix it, unlike Microcenter, which smugly told us that they were only told to put in the part–diagnostics as to whether they put the part in correctly would have cost extra. (Really. Literally. I am not making that up. Never go there.) I am spending big wisdom points on not going all banshee on they ass.

Stress, stress, stress. On top of everything else, we had a personnel shakeup at work and I ended up being the only person on the team with Web skills. Such as they are. True, I was out carving out niches in HTML back when pappy was a brat, but over the last ten years, we’ve moved to the CSS Internet. So I went out and got a book which spoonfed it to me, and everything was fine, until the site which looked awesome on the Mac was broken on the PC, meaning that once again I had to break out tabling and faking a lot. But in the end my new site looks one hell of a lot better than the old one, which was put together by a committee of mentally ill people–and looked like it. (I’m mentally ill. I can say this stuff. Sort of like the N word.)

I offered to do a similar redesign for somebody else on the team, but communications broke down because I wouldn’t let her hang on the phone with me while she supervised me making her changes live. This woman, known henceforth as The Client because she flashed me back to my early agency days, is unclear on what the big megilla is making PDFs so different from Word documents and was miffy because I couldn’t edit one of her pre-existing PDF bits. (They wouldn’t spring for the $30 CSS book [“We thought you already knew all that!”]; there’s no way they’re getting me Acrobat–I’m just glad that the Mac does basic PDFs natively.)

She also put up a downloadable document in Word. And I used my nice words and everything, but no dice. Webmonkeys are webflunkies, and as soon as she realized she couldn’t micromanage the entire rebuild, she faded off to a corner. This is swell with me, as Clients get charged Real Money, instead of the we’ll-pay-you-for-a-sick-day method we use around here, and I already have *ahem* a job. THAT at least has been going smoothly, which of course now has my paranoia radar blinking.

So there have been days I’ve been holding onto my recovery with all my fingernails, and I won’t deny that there has been crying. (Crying’s OK. It’s when I start walking around randomly singing all the time that it’s time for the men with the net.)

Writing: Well, you’ve already noticed the lack of blogging. But I did *drumroll* finish the epsilon draft of Max, meaning that as soon as the beta team does this one last crawl, it’s time to figure out what to do next. I was planning on sending it out the old-school way, but I have to talk to an expert on disability before I do that–heaven forbid it actually sell for too much money and I end up shot in the foot. I might end up self-publishing after all, who knows?

Meanwhile, I’ve been plodding along on Max Draconum and lazily wondering what to feed you nice people next. I think I might just rewrite the rest of the Damascus thread after all, seeing as I’ve decided to simplify the book it used to live in and focus instead on another of its plots.  We shall see, we shall see.

But for now I wanted to pop on, tell y’all I haven’t gone back to the hospital yet, and now consider myself poked about the blog thang. Peace, y’all!