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Monday, July 18th, 2005

Time Event
7:06p
Odds and Ens
Time to catch up on the debris that is my life. With the reunion and the con over, there's no major event to look forward to in the near future. Just day-to-day living without the day job as summer stretches on.

WORK
Suddenly busy! I handed in Uptown puzzles this morning, have the usual NYT and LA Times puzzles to proofread, need to get out some ACPT at-homes I didn't have time to do before LA, have a Sterling book to compare to the originals (no test-solving, no clue checking), and my very favorite... cross sums! I was quoted in "Crossword Obsession" as saying I'd do these for free; luckily they didn't take me up on that, though it's the lowest rate I get and that's totally OK.

GAME SHOWS
I feel strangely distant from my former job, and still experiencing contentment and freedom. In other news, a major game show champion has agreed to come to Stamford and that'll be exciting if he doesn't pull a Beverly Sills/Edie McClurg no-show.

MARKET RESEARCH
I was screened for another panel on investments ($300 for 2 hours), but you needed a certain level of assets I didn't quite have. The good news is, a few good days in the market and I could be at that level. Of course, a few bad days in the market and that level will be out of reach, but that's the risk you take to participate in capitalism.

BOOKS
I'll blog more sometime on this, but I'm getting active in various book clubs and exchanges and reading more. I always have a fiction and a nonfiction book going.

Just finished:
Bruce Wagner's Hollywood novel, "I'm Losing You" (from the branch library down the street). Hated it! It reads like a drug-induced mishmash which may be the point, but when I wasn't confused about who the characters were, I didn't care what happened to them.

Next up:
"Crossworld" is still sitting here; I skimmed it, noticed I was hardly in it, noticed mistakes, and haven't gone back. You'd think I'd be devouring a description of my special world, but somehow there's no urgency. I'll probably like it... eventually.

The nonfiction with more priority (due back at the library Saturday) is "Pledged," about sororities. Not sure why this interests me, as I was never in one (Barnard didn't even have them in my era); my mother was SDT at Syracuse.

Joe Queenan's "If You're Talking to Me, Your Career Must Be in Trouble" is also sitting here. I read most of the pieces originally in Movieline magazine, and find him funny in a snide and snarky way.

Fiction is the chicklit "Jemima J" which seems OK so far, though I might not have started if I knew it was British. I tend to prefer books taking place in America, preferably New York, preferably Upper West Side, about puzzle champions... well, maybe not, but I like to keep things close to home. I'm one nerd not at all into fantasy/sci-fi; I haven't even read Harry Potter, though I have 3 of the books and will one day see what the fuss is about.

Speaking of chicklit, I heard Jennifer Weiner speak at a Barnes & Noble last week. She came highly recommended by my sister, who saw her in Miami. I haven't read "Little Earthquakes" but enjoyed the preview of her next book, and stories about filming "In Her Shoes." The author seems human and real... and, well, large.

HEALTH AND GROOMING
I took the redeye back from LA with a budding cold, and one ear was itching. Then blood came out of that ear onto the pillow. I decided to get it checked out today, and the doctor looked in and yup, saw dried blood and wax congealed on the eardrum (the other ear is fine). I'm now on prescription ear drops to melt the gook, hoping to avoid a trip to the ENT guy to scrape it up (when I last saw him in 2000, he had to surgically remove a squishy earplug that got trapped inside - a costly way to avoid complaining about a co-worker's radio). The first application yielded various gooey substances that make me hopeful it'll clear soon.

Eyes and contacts seem OK now; must have been the allergies causing discomfort before.

I need to sandblast my feet, or get one of those soaking machines. Or just sit in the tub and exfoliate.

HUMAN CONTACT
Need to stay in contact with NPL and reunion people. I'm also in sporadic touch with ex-coworkers.

BUREAUCRACY
Went to the bank, presented ID, they pushed some buttons, and the $5 transfer went though and my savings won't be turned over to the state. They had no explanation on why their computers failed to pick up my constantly transacting checking account linked to the inactive savings account.

I haven't talked about the fight I've been having with Cigna and/or New York Hospital since March regarding a claim coded as out-of-network when it should have been in-network. In multiple phone calls, each said the other was at fault and needed to fix something, but nothing happened and thugs were threatening to collect $5 I didn't owe. I finally paid it just to shut them up (karma dictates that it's the same $5 I just transferred between bank accounts). Let's hope today's office visit goes through correctly.

COLLAPSES
Castle Village is OK now, but things are collapsing closer to home. My mother called the other morning to inform me that a supermarket in my neighborhood collapsed (I'm amazed this made the news in Miami). The building is being demolished anyway. What's scary is I was just at the very bus stop (on the way to B&N) that was rained on with debris.

CLEANING
What cleaning? Let's see, I ran an orange clean wipe over a corner of the kitchen floor and black gook came up. Must overcome fear of the steamer and see if it can melt some of the sludge.

FINALLY
Despite the thickly humid weather, I've avoided drinking beverages that taste like brake fluid.

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