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Man vs Machine

In case you’ve been wondering where I disappeared to, let me explain that I have sold myself to a curmudgeonly folder/stuffer machine at the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit for $10 an hour, about 9 hours a day.  When you battle wits with machinery for that much of your day, the right brain is so bored that it’s fallen asleep by 5:30 (the general time I’ve gotten home since I began work, though this week has admittedly been better).  Also, since a majority of that time gets spent standing (something I hate doing for too long) or skimming through hundreds of stacks of one hundred letters and surveys to see if there might be an accidental blank sheet or misprinted page, the physical body and eyes tend to weary of the process as well.

HOPEFULLY, somebody’s coming soon to fix the machine so that it’ll stop jamming every three letters.  I’ve seen this thing fill 100 envelopes in three minutes before, but usually it takes about half an hour because of how many times it jams.  It is malignant and actively trying to destroy us!

That darn machine is exhausting to the point where, when I get home, all I’ve been able to handle most nights is checking out entirely for a few hours.  On the nights that I do end up with a level of energy, I funnel it all into power cleaning places in my house (both bathrooms and the kitchen twice have been hit, as well as the main stairwell).  Perhaps you’re asking why I would pair one daunting task with another.  The answer is that I don’t know why I’m trying to tackle the house.  I get burnt out easily and it’s a never-ending battle against the ultimate forces of chaos.  My house needs its own personal Marduk (I wonder if we’d get our own mini-Tigris/Euphrates combo, too).

SO, that’s where I’ve been.  I’ve been locked in epic battle with the folder/stuffer during the day and an equally epic battle with entropy and the laws of nature acting as if under the influence of illegal stimulants within my house during the evenings and weekends whenever I can handle it.

Coming up this summer:

  • Posts about cleaning my house!  For each step I take, I’m trying to chronicle it photographically (so the entire interwebs can see how messy we are).  I will NOT be advertising cleaning products, so if you are looking for branding, go to a cattle ranch.
  • Posts about work!  I have a legitimate job, y’all!  And all I needed to do to get it was rely on nepotism 😉 .  Family rocks, guys.  Especially when they get you awesomely paying jobs that don’t leave you to your own procrastinatory devices.  Despite the hassle of that darn folder/stuffer, it’s a great job to have for right now.  And it’s entertaining to listen to people talk at the TIU.
  • Posts about the ILP!  Less than a month now until I’ll be in Lisbon for the two-week long writing conference.  I AM STILL IN NEED OF FINANCIAL HELP FOR THIS PROJECT, and my entire salary after taxes is going toward it.  Hopefully I’ll get posts up while I’m there, but if not during at the very least before and after I will write about it.
  • Posts about Ruth!  Remember the small handful of posts that I wrote last fall about our favorite Bible heroine from the questionable country of Moab?  I never did finish that series, so I am planning on doing so this summer.  Everything I read about Ruth (both the girl and the book) is entirely the same ad everything else I read about her.  Therefore, I’m going to write something different.  Don’t know what yet, don’t know when, but it’ll happen eventually.

Other Writing Projects:

  • I used to write poetry and do spoken word a lot, but quit it entirely during the fall as part of an emotional crisis (had a lot of those that semester).  I need to rekindle my poetical abilities this summer.
  • Fantasy novels.  I have three of them (two unfinished partner novels, one finished 70% satisfactory novel).  I’d like to have at least one of the unfinished ones much closer to finished by the end of the summer.  Heck, it’d be cool if I could get them all done to 85% satisfaction, but alas–I have neither the time nor the patience.
  • I want to write a novel that doesn’t involve a fantasy world!  Though admittedly, that is what I enjoy writing most of the time, I also want to take a crack at a lengthier work of fiction that doesn’t have creatures similar to Tolkien elves flitting about.  I kinda want to grow up (or at least prove that I can grow up while still indulging in adolescent lit).
  • Short stories!!  I have a mess of them from the semester (thanks to McDuffie and Reynoso) that need to be revised, plus a couple of ideas to play with.

All of this writing is, of course, assuming I don’t lose my soul as well as my body to the folder/stuffer machine.  That thing might be the death of me.


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