Sunday, July 31, 2016

Time Keeps on Slippin'

Into the future. Can’t believe the thirty-one days that was July 2016 is just about history.

1. First, some business.

My laptop is back up and running, and Hopper is officially back in business!

Two months logged in the new job. Have it just about down, though every day there’s something new to troubleshoot, research, fix, provide an answer for. It’s not the most dynamic of environments I’ve been in, though maybe that’s just what I need right now. But it’s helping good people (not making sleazy people richer) and it’s toward a good cause (mental health). The pay is so-so, but the hours are great for when the little ones are back in school, and after my probationary period is over I will be getting tons of paid time off.

In six weeks I start taking courses for income tax preparation. I’ve done a lot myself over the past three months, reading and studying recommended books and guides. Ain’t no expert by far, yet, but my goal is not to see anything in these classes for the first time. And the classes look like the real deal: time-intensive, homework-intensive, and hands-on. I’m looking forward to it.

2. Next, some art.

Currently finishing up Tolkien’s The Two Towers. Then I’ll move on to The Return of the King, hoping to finish by the third week of August. I’m feeling an incredible itch to return to SF, to put away a half-dozen or so of some interesting paperbacks I have laying about before I cycle back to meatier things. Paperbacks such as:

The Long Afternoon of Earth (1961) by Brian Aldiss

As on a Darkling Plain (1972) by Ben Bova

False Dawn (1978) by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (a fave from my youth)

Spaceling (1978) by Doris Piserchia

The World at the End of Time (1990) by Frederik Pohl

Also have two classics by Robert Heinlein still unread that I want to get to:

Between Planets (1951)

Citizen of the Galaxy (1957)

Plus Gene Wolfe’s whole “Book of the New Sun” cycle of paperbacks from the early 80s, too.

Writing, and blogging, have, alas, taken a back seat these past dozen weeks, to the new job, the tax stuff, and to the reading that relaxes me better than any pre-dinner vodka martini. That’s a nag in the back of the head, yet another itch that’ll need satisfying sooner rather than later.

Musically, haven’t been listening to anything really. Which is rare for me. Early in the year I experimented with new stuff, trying to find something to kindle an interest. Nuthin’. However, I have been phenomenally creative on the acoustic guitar. Riffs and songs pour out of these fingertips with a frequency I only dreamed of back in my Les Paul-playin’ days. I think I have enough material to finish a third solo album. Makes me want to get some of my little ones’ friends’ dads and launch a quinquagenarian garage band. God, I’m getting old.

Now that there’s some relative stability in my life, I need to focus on my physical and spiritual health. A year ago I was lifting weights every day and walking ten miles a week. Now, with a job, all that’s been thrown to the wayside. But the job’s just an excuse. I have plenty of time to work out, just don’t do it. And I notice the difference in feeling, energy, and drive, believe me. So I need to resume that this upcoming month before things get hectic again. Cleaning up my diet – again, no big thing, just gotta do it – is essential, too.

There’s other stuff also, but I have the sneaking suspicion I may be boring you. I promise some interesting, off-the-wall posts in the next few days (have the ideas jotted down, just gotta write ’em), and a Tolkien extravaganza when King is finished, c. August 20th or so.

See ya, July! Your grade … mmmm … lessee …. A-minus!

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