lagilman: coffee or die (meerkat coffee)
One short story has been handed in, awaiting editor's response, one short story under sail - or would be, if there was any wind - and one novel due in 15 days and we're going to make it, one way or another, by dog. And a client manuscript on the desk, and another one on deck.

Busy days.

Meanwhile, it is unseasonably, unregionally HOT in Seattle, and it being Seattle, my apartment building doesn't have A/C. What I do have is a fan and a balcony that picks up an ocean breeze, so we're cranky but surviving. Even if I did have to ice the cats on Saturday.

(relatedly, anyone want a nice, spinnable pile of carded cat hair?)

And this week being a holiday one, I also have three shifts at the tasting room. There is uncertainty if it will be busy, as people seek to escape the heat, or if it will be dead, as people refuse to go out into the heat. Busy is to be preferred, for many reasons, but quiet would equal more time to work on deadline-driven projects...
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)

  • dying

  • tank top

  • long-sleeved tee-shirt

  • hoodie

  • hip-length leather jacket

  • ankle-length cashmere-blend coat

  • down-filled blanket

We may have achieved coat status today.  Brrr.


On the plus side, I actually remembered to buy everything I went out for.  Cold = sharpened memory?


(the coat is a remnant of my commuting-in-the-winter days.  It is a gorgeous coat that may well now last me until I die, since it gets far less use these winters...  If you ever get the chance to own a good-quality cashmere-blend coat, TAKE IT.)

lagilman: coffee or die (meerkat meh)
This heat wave can FOAD.


Yes, I have AC, but a) it costs a lot of money to run an ac unit continuously to keep the temps under 80 when it's 95+ outside [and only cools down to around 75 at night] and b) by the third day the air quality when it's this hot and still is, in a word, sucky.

And yes, I have places I can work where someone else is paying for the AC, but I can usually only stand to be there 2-3 hours before I have the need to get up and do something else [I tend to break my day up into 2-3 hours of work, the an hour of not-work chores, then work again]. And once you go to the library or a cafe, doing something else becomes more complicated (and leaving = dying of the heat the moment I step outside).

Also: CatofSize's need for constant company is starting to fray my nerves. I love him, and I'm willing to stop and cuddle, but he needs to SHUSH while mom's working....



/whinge
lagilman: coffee or die (MEDIC)

Like most of the US, I’ve been watching the news coming from Oklahoma over the past 24, and wondering what the hell the rest of the storm season is going to be like, between tornados and hurricanes and…

Based on the increasing severity of storms (thank you climate change) and the idiotic cutbacks in aid (thank you, governors who say “no money for FEMA”…until it’s their state that gets hit, as though disasters respect human-made borders), we’re going to see a lot more calls for help.

I went through superstorm Sandy.  I saw my home states devastated.  And I saw how people came forward to help, after. Even the smallest amount, the most basic gesture, means more than you can imagine.

If you want to help in Oklahoma (or any disaster scene), start with groups already in-place, with an established reputation. That way, your donations can be put to use immediately. And check to see what they need, before you donate.

We all know about the Red Cross (text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a donation), and Doctors without Borders, etc. And if you don’t know about Red Rover Animal Rescue, you should check them out (as well as Animal Resource Center). But one of my favorites is Loads of Hope. It’s backed by Tide (yes Tide the detergent), and they bring massive washing machines to scenes without water or electricity, to make sure that people have clean clothing to wear.

Trust me, if you’ve ever been displaced or suddenly made homeless, something as simple as a clean pair of socks and underwear can make the difference between hopeless and hopeful.

Can’t give money? Give blood. http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood

(And yep, just made an appointment to donate blood myself. O-type & good veins… phlebotomist’s delight. 0.0 )

lagilman: coffee or die (just sayin' - Nate)
Normally my dreams are of the "ok, ok, thanks brain, I get it" sort. But last night involved, among other things, being part of an archeological SAR team (yeah, I don't know either) jumping (with a zipline, not a parachute) into France. But because I dithered about actually jumping out of the plane (until they gave me the zipline option), I ended up miles south of the target, and had to make my way back through an od mix of historical site and modern hotel.  I dodged around a wedding party set-up (including someone I knew playing in the mini-orchestra, and a small yipping dog that didn't like the music) and went through service tunnels carved of stone, before ending in a broken lader over a gorge - I could SEE the monument that was my marker in the distance, but no way to GET there.

And then someone I knew (my brain wants to say it was Steven Gould, but I can't swear to that) showed up on a side rung of the ladder an starts giving me advice.  The only part of any of this that makes sense is that yesterday I was deeply irritated by a (non)action of the current SFWA board, and Steven is running for SFWA president, so I guess that's why he showed up?  I wish I could remember if the advice he gave was any good...

(I did eventually make it to the site, but I don't remember how, or what we did once there.)

Yeah.  Brain, I'm sorry, but I've got no clue.

Woke up to last night's storm still blowing wet and fierce, and my desire to head downtown to the co-working site is very, very low.  But there is.So. Much. Work to be done....
lagilman: coffee or die (truth to power)
http://www.lauraannegilman.net/why-i-wont-be-at-boskone-this-weekend/


Normally, a local convention is high on my “I’ll be there” list. But I’m missing Boskone this year because I will be in DC for the #ForwardonClimateControl march (blizzards permitting) on Sunday February 17th.

Everyone knows that if you want to change something, if you want to influence legislature or push a positive social change, it’s important to speak up, it’s important to sign petitions and call your congresscritters, and incredibly important to rouse the vote. But for sheer impact, there’s nothing quite like making some noise.

So, this weekend I’ll be gathering with thousands (tens of thousands) of people outside the White House to say “NOW!” with one loud (and media-visible) voice. NOW is the time for our government to (finally) take real action, to acknowledge what scientists worldwide have been telling us, and realize that the damage isn’t going to be in someone else’s back yard – it’s at our front door.

If you’re in the area, or feel strongly enough to get on a bus and join us… c’mon down!
lagilman: coffee or die (NYC)
Snow has stopped. I haven't poked my nose outside, but it looks like about a foot of the white stuff out there. Compared to the folks in New Haven and north, who are reportedly looking at 30+ inches (!) we barely had a storm....

(basically, because some of it decided to be rain/sleet earlier yesterday. Had it stayed cold, we'd be looking at 2x the snow, I suspect. Not that I'm bitter or anything... Sadly, the penalty of being an adult is having to think "okay, good, it didn't hammer us with three feet, so it's not going to cost a large fortune for the cleanup." Easier to be a kid.)

It will probably all be rained/melted away by Monday, so I intend to get out and play a bit today!

(there are no pics because after 5 years snow-is-snow and snow-covered-cars are still snow covered cars, etc. We'll see if things are more interesting after the sun rises)
lagilman: coffee or die (NYC)
Today involved me hauling downtown for a Sekrit Business Meeting (it went well, thanks), and then hauling back home again before the storm AKA Nemo turned to full-on snow.

We won't get hammered the way southern NE will, but da Bronx looks to be taking its fair share. Earlier today there was a beagle doing the OMG HAPPY Snow HAPPY! dance outside my window. A little while later a Yorkie was doing the OMG HALP RESCUE ME! dance.

The next 24 hours are all about nesting and holing up. I am doing the traditional storm carb-loading, with pasta and a bottle of Lion' Whisker, which is a SA red blend I recently discovered and am quite fond of. I probably should not drink this entire bottle of wine my ownself. But when watching snow falling and reading innnnteresting research materials, it's hard to keep an eye on the bottle level....
lagilman: coffee or die (NYC)
Under the theory that, if you're prepared, the storm won't be an issue:
  • eggs? check
  • bread? check
  • leftover chili? check
  • booze? check
  • enough cat food and litter? check
  • fuzzy socks? check
  • down blanket set up on the sofa? check
  • tech charged up? check
  • analog reading material? check
  • enough fruit juice to get me through until monday? check

Yeah, we're all set.  The storm shall therefore be a non-event.


EtA: just in time for them to officially set a blizzard warning for NYC.  *sigh*  So I will go to this damn meeting in jeans and my cowboy boots, and they will judge me as they will.  At least I'll stay warmish and dryish, if not stylish.

EtA2: and the meeting was just moved up to the morning.  It still won't be pretty, but I'll be home by the time the worst hits, hopefully.
lagilman: coffee or die (just sayin' - Nate)
Yes, I KNOW I've been grousing about the lack of snow. Yes, I KNOW we have a snowpack deficit, and that's bad (third or forth year in a row, I think, we're going to have a significant deficit). And yeah, I KNOW I like snowstorms.

But having one scheduled to arrive the one day this week - this MONTH - I have to be downtown for a meeting (in Grown-Up Clothing) that can't be rescheduled?

That's just Not Nice, Universe.


(can we at least hold off on the Significant Weather until after 3m? That seems like a reasonable compromise, no?)
lagilman: coffee or die (oy)
Three days of the internet going in and out like a cat, and I finally think "ok, holiday's over, time to call them and set up an appointment to fix this." So we have an appointment for tomorrow morning.

And then this afternoon I looked over and thought 'huh. ok, cable's out, too.' So I called Cablevision...and was informed that there was a weather-related outage and they were working on it.

So...yay?

And just now, both cable and interent came back on. And I get an email from Optimum telling me "You may be experiencing a loss of Optimum service." No shit, really? And you send me an EMAIL to tell me this? *facepalm*

So it the Internet holds overnight, do I call and cancel the appointment, or do I have the repair person come out anyway, JiC? Because you KNOW the moment I cancel the appointment, the Internet will go out again... And it's already gone out again, so there's that question answered.

Meanwhile, it's Boxing Day, and in the tradition of freelancers, well, in this household, that means it's time to start sorting old files and prepping tax records. Boxes & booze are involved....


Meanwhile, it looks like all we're going to get out of this storm is a few inches of snow and a lot of rain. And wind. I am sulky.
lagilman: coffee or die (NYC)
And so the storm moves away, inland, leaving us with wind, rain, fires and a long, painful, and expensive cleanup. I feel a little numb.

Have been out this morning, looking around (and helping the super's wife move some of the larger limbs out of traffic, for - eventually - the city to come around and collect). Not too many miles south and east of where I sit, fires rage out of control in Brooklyn, leaving thousands homeless, floods have taken out more homes and structures, much of Manhattan is still without power...


Sandy was everything we were warned about, and then some. Every precaution was in place, and we still took massive hurt.

For all the damage here, we were immensely fortunate in our small area, and we know it. Even the trees seemed to fall AWAY from homes and cars, over and over again. Trees can and will be replanted. Even my beloved Office Tree, now doomed to become wood chippings.

Also: Romney wants to defund and decommission FEMA? He'd better be willing to tell that to the residents of the FIFTEEN states (at least) that have been affected by Sandy. Because yeah, a disaster that covers 1/5 of the country, and will cost billions to clean up, can be handled on a state-by-state basis, sure....


DSCN1293
Had this tree fallen the other direction, it would have taken out the local dentist's office. Had it fallen at any other angle, it would have blocked one of three roads. It fell exactly where it did no harm.

DSCN1297
Four inches off, and the owner of this car would have been having a Really Bad Morning. We heard a a lot of stunned but pleased "Oh My God" and "How the Hell?" as people came out to find their cars intact....

DSCN1305
Some weathered the storm less-well than others...


More photos are up at the Flickr set. They are mostly of the tree-down sort, and nowhere near as dramatic as other photos taken during the storm, but I can't find it in myself to be sorry about that...

And so yeah, by sheer coincidence, I actually have the fixings for French toast. That's a post-disaster moral imperative, right?
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
My plan right now is to run updates on Twitter, with occasional forays into Facebook. Not that I don't love y'all on LJ, but I suspect it will be quick bursts, and that's what Twitter excels at.

https://twitter.com/LAGilman

The current ETI for Sandy is 4am Monday morning. The city is going into safe-run mode. No mass transit. No school in session. Mandatory flooding evac for Zone A (and if you're in zone A and need a place to crash, CALL ME).

Right now, I'm as well-situated as possible: out of the evacuation zones, in a sturdy building, on a hill. I have food, water, and clean clothing, working flashlights and a cement-walled interior hallway with no windows, in event of the Worst Case Scenario in terms of wind. I fully expect to hunker down and come out of this safe and dry.

In the meanwhile, there's work that still needs doing....
lagilman: coffee or die (sky dragon)
Storm update, summarized:

GFS predicts the center passes over NYC; Rhode Island and Boston are all gonna die. ECMWF forecast says landfall in Jersey; NYC and CT shoreline, maybe Rhode Island are all gonna die. National Hurricane Center's forecast agrees with ECMWF, but suggests maybe we're all gonna die.

Also: hell yes this is at least partially because of climate change, grow up and deal with facts already, because they're here.


(and yes, the "all gonna die" comment was tongue in cheek, and yes I am aware of the deaths already reported due to Sandy, there is no need to call out the Tacky Joke police on me. This is called Dealing in the face of Oh F*ck)

Remember, kids: if they send Jim Cantore to your neighborhood, it's already too late...
EtA: guess who's in NYC?

At this point, we have no idea how bad it's going to get, but short of Sandy utterly collapsing, there's no way it's going to be not-bad.  I've spoken with my folks and made sure they've cancelled and rescheduled all medical appointments for the next week, and they have supplies properly laid in.  They're not in an evacuation zone either, and they're on the 12th floor of a 13-story building with excellent staff, so all will be well there.  If Mei-Chan needs to go out when the rain or wind is particularly bad, the doormen will make sure she gets walked (the building staff are all fans of Mei-mei, and rightfully so).  

I went out last night to have dinner with friends, and then spent some time hanging in Manhattan, so I've got enough people-time to  keep me sated for a few days. I've got pretty much everything I need here, and a metric load of things to get written, edited, and otherwise beaten into shape, so my plan is to settle in for five days of intense work.  And some baking.  Popovers and cookies are on the agenda for today...

As for other plans... all I can do is hope that the storm blows out before we're supposed to leave for WFC.  So far, the predictions say all will be well...
lagilman: coffee or die (bigger boat)
So by now, everyone on the US East Coast, at least, has heard about Frankenstorm, the combination of Hurricane Sandy, a full moon, and another existing storm front that's bearing down on, well, the northeast corridor between Philadelphia and Boston, and then up into the Mainelands.

Yeah, I'm smack dab in the middle of that corridor.

The last time this sort of alarm went up, it was for Irene, which was... well, it was really bad just north of us. But not here, where NYC seemed to dodge the slap. Do I think we're going to dodge it again? I have no idea. Experience says yes, but my gut's saying no. And since the so-called "Perfect Storm" of legend came from similar ingredients... I'm not taking any chances.

That said, my idea of "not taking chances" does not involve a French Toast alert, or any other kind of lunacy. My New Englander bloodlines would rise up and strangle me if it did.

So, the things I have learned, over years of buckling down for Nor'easters, blizzards, and hurricanes?

Yeah, have lots of bottled water and civilian MREs, and fresh batteries for your flashlight, absolutely. But also:

* Run the dishwasher just before the storm hits. You don't want filthy dishes sitting around for days, if you lose power.
* Make sure you have clean laundry. Clean socks and underwear can really make a difference to your morale.
* Have cornstarch on hand. No, not for cooking: it doubles down as a dry shampoo, if you lose water.
* Make sure there's enough dry pet food. Trust me on this.
* Make an extra pot of coffee and put it in the fridge. The last thing you want to deal with if the power goes out is a caffeine withdrawal headache.

So what tricks and must-dos have y'all picked up, over the years?



(and yes, I am well aware that this storm is supposed to be happening when many of us were planning to leave for WFC in Toronto. We'll worry about that particular potential disaster NEXT week).
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Saturday:

Day Off. Slept in. I mean, I didn't get out of bed until 10am. It was silly-nice, and I probably could have lazed about all day except there were Things To Do. Two craft fairs, wherein I fell in love with but with common sense and moral guidance (thanks, BF) did not buy a $650 hand-smithed ring of silver, orange garnet and diamond (not my usual thing at all but lovely), but did buy maple syrup, maple sugar, a wooden carved spoon, a (replacement) down quilt, pillar candles, and cornbread. And since it decided not to rain, walked many miles along the UWS, taking photos.
window detail


Also, I saw a dragon.
dragon

(more NYC2012 photos here)

Sunday

CLANG THUD BANG CLANG Cats, wide-eyed & fluff-tailed: WhatTheHell?! Me: "It's just the Beast waking up for winter, relax."

Yep, the PowerCenter, aka the Beast, aka the furnace for my building, was waking up, a bit at a time, stretching through the pipes and radiators.  A little early by my standards, but we have old folk living here, too...  I note that ElderCat is getting plushy again.  The Catalmanac suggests a hard winter.

The rest of the day: editing, cooking, cleaning, footballl.  In other words: an Autumn Sunday.  Finestkind. Giants won. Sesame-maple ribs for dinner.   Not enough work done, but enough that I feel ok about the day.  Suffice until Monday the evils therein.

And, via the Twitterverse and a discussion of "aspiring author" as a non-useful phrase... I call myself a writer.  I write.  "Author" is a label other people put on me after the fact.  However, some folk seem to think that "writer" isn't enough, that "author" is the longed-for and preferred title.

Discuss?

(I'd love to hear from published and unpublished writers, and also readers-who-don't-write)
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Today is the day of Weird Weather. It was warm and overcast this morning, and then a Massive Storm Blew In, and we had drumrolls of thunder and sheets of downpour, and then the sky cleared and it got HOT and the evil daystar was evil and tried to crisp my skin off in the ten minutes I was outside, and now we're being warned of potentially dangerous storms again tonight.

Wheeee.


On the plus side, today is also the day I (ok, Bonnie) is featured over at RT Reviews's Law & Order: Paranormal Style, talking about what makes her tick...

Also, for those of you in NYC, there are now signed copies of DRAGON JUSTICE at Posman's Books (in Grand Central Station). Go on support a local indie!
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Reportedly, one last day of over-90's heat, and then we're back to reasonable seasonable. I plan on spending all of next week in various stages of Outdoors, to celebrate.

[hopefully, everyone has come through their heat, excessive rain, or quench-already-you-damn-fire, and can relax a little now, too.  Why can't we send the rain to the fire, anyway?  Science, get on that, stat.]

Meanwhile, revision work on Heart of Briar continues. It feels like a good book, if somewhat different than I've been doing. Fixing things that were broken, making sure to lay down the proper details for book 2, making notes for book 2.... I really wish I'd time to write both books of the duology and then do the revisions, but my publisher wants to release them both in late 2013, so that's not going to happen.

Once this revision is in the can, it's back to "Miles to Go," and all sorts of digital production work, and some editing, and.....

oh yeah. There's this book coming out in a few weeks, isn't there?  *nervous glee*
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Depending on your choice of forecaster, it will either be 99 degrees in the NYC area today, or 105 degrees, or somewhere in-between. And humid. They're all agreeing on the humidity.

Day 6, I believe, in the current heat wave. It's still equally bad or worse elsewhere in the US.

People, seriously, even if you think you like the heat? This is bad. Stay cool, stay hydrated, and don't forget to eat!

My plan is to hole up in the bedroom with the A/C cranked to HIGH, and get as much work done as possible in-between heat-naps. I've already laid-in a supply of soda, sorbet, and sandwiches, so there is no need to turn on even the microwave, OR make a delivery person go outside in this heat.

If we lose power, I'll be down in the local park with a cooler of ice and the aforementioned sandwiches (and you're damn right I'm charging ALL the tech right now, JiC).

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lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Laura Anne Gilman

August 2017

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