Silver Lining

Today there is an evil red light on the septic pump monitor, an indicator that there’s something wrong with the pump. So we have to strictly limit the amount of water going down the drain, lest the septic tank contents back up into the house. This is an unfortunate situation. It means no dishes, no laundry, no flushing the toilet, etc. On the bright side, this is a Get Out of Cleaning Free Card. I have literally been told not to do any cleaning. So no dishes, no laundry, no cleaning the toilet, etc.

See, every cloud does have a silver lining.

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Finally Done

Post written in March:

Inheritors of the Earth by Chris D. Thomas

I finally finished reading Inheritors of the Earth. I chose to read this book because I needed some bright side. Without going back to verify that my feelings are justified, here is how the book hit me.

The author kept talking about how introductions of new species often don’t lead to competition that kills the native species and how the total diversity of the area instead tends to go up. True, perhaps, but the total diversity of the earth goes down, at least temporarily. And he glossed over the invasive species that kill so many other species, failing to talk about how invasive insects and pathogens have created huge swaths of destruction that take decades or more to recover from (chestnut blight, Dutch elm disease, the white-nose syndrome that’s killing bats, not to mention the winter moths and gypsy moths that are destroying my woods).

Though he mentioned global warming often, he never seemed to grasp the enormity of it. Global warming could negate all of his arguments about how diversity will go up as the species develop differently in their different new homelands, because they’ll die out before they can.

The book became repetitious. The last 100 pages were a struggle to read. Though I agreed with many of the things the author said (that evolution is taking place faster than most people give it credit for, that we cannot make the earth the way it was before we changed it, and that in many cases “the way it was” was not necessarily better than the “way it is now,” so we are fighting some futile battles), it all just seemed like a sad attempt at sugarcoating.

Overall, the book bored me more than it cheered me up. That may not be the author’s fault. Maybe I wanted more from the book than it could give. Maybe I shouldn’t have expected that anything regarding the environment could cheer me up right now.

Grade for premise: A

Grade for execution of premise: C

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One of My Many Collections

I recently hit the Latin trifecta by using three Latin terms in one day: “ad nauseam,” “redux,” and “deus ex machina.” I wonder how many other Latin words I’ve got stored away in my noggin. I think there must be a lot. There are legal terms (e.g., “pro bono”), scientific jargon (e.g., “felis catus”), and mottoes (e.g., “Semper Fidelis”), not to mention “e.g.” itself (“exempli gratia”). Like any other collection, I rarely get the chance to show it off, but I enjoy keeping it anyway.

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Sorry, Not Rich

I would like to see Hamilton. And when I say that, I mean I’d like to have a seat in the theater where I could actually see the stage well, but $800+ for two tickets? Come on.

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Pronunciation Fail

Earlier this year I looked up the pronunciation of the word Taoiseach (the leader of Ireland). My best guess was “Tay-sik.” I was way off base. It’s “Tee-shuk” (and really less of a hard “k” sound and more of a guttural “ch”). Irish words are so tricky!

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Health Insurance Woes

I just renewed my family’s health insurance. It put me in a very bad mood. In the last two years we’ve gone from 100% coverage to only 80%, plus a higher deductible. We shouldn’t have to roll the dice like this. One big health problem and we’re seriously screwed.

That’s not how it should be, and it’s not how it would be if Republicans weren’t such heartless, greedy bastards. For me, for now, it’s just money. But for other people, lives are at stake. So, if there is a Hell, the entire GOP is headed for it, and don’t expect me to feel sorry for them.

As if I weren’t spending enough on health insurance myself, I’m horrified by how much my employer is paying on my behalf. So much money being paid “just in case.” What if my employer gave the money to me instead, and I added it to what I pay, then put it all in the bank? In four years I’d have enough to handle almost any emergency. In 10 years, I could buy a vacation house in which to recuperate from the stress of worrying over these things.

The health insurance system in this country is broken. It’s destroying the middle class and worse, people are dying from lack of coverage. I don’t know what form the solution should take, but we need it ASAP. 2020 can’t come soon enough for me.

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The Exceptional Flamingo

Marshall did not eat his lunch one day last week. When I asked why, he said, “Because you gave me Livia’s lunch container.” The food was exactly the same. He just refused to eat it because the container was pink. Arg! It drives us crazy that he’d rather go hungry than touch a pink container. His father took up the conversation.

Dad: So let me get this straight. You won’t drink from a pink cup, or eat from a pink container, or wear pink clothes.

Marshall: Yeah.

Dad: So what about your blue hat with the bright pink bird on it?

Marshall: It’s a flamingo! I can make exceptions!

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What I read is what I feel. Sometimes that’s good, other times not. Just reading about poisonous mushrooms today made me feel as if I were about to become sick and die from liver failure. Similarly, reading the news made me anxious. The world sounds like such a dangerous place, full of racists and rapists. I think tonight’s book will have to be light and fluffy, all sweetness and froth, to counteract the scary things I read earlier.

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Writing More

There were over 150 comments in my spam filter today. I did not read them before deleting them. I have finally convinced myself that it’s pointless, so I don’t waste my time that way anymore. Hooray for me.

But part of the reason there were so many was that I haven’t been here to delete them. I should blog more often, and I will. Promise.

I wrote my morning pages today. That’s good. I’d skipped it for weeks, and my mental state had started to slip a bit. I don’t think the two things are unconnected. I must keep writing.

My novel is about to take another hit to the word count, because I found more old parts that need to be removed. It’s going to bug me when the count goes down, especially since I’m getting close to 50,000 again. That’s just the way it has to be, though. There’s no point in holding on to words that don’t fit anymore.

Letting go of baggage that’s holding us down is always a good idea. I’m working on that in all areas of my life, not just the novel. That’s yet another reason to keep writing. It encourages me to state my goals and helps me stay on target to meet them.

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I got out of bed this morning, and I fed the children their breakfast, and I packed up their lunches. That was 100 times more than I felt like doing, so I’m going to declare this morning a great victory. I am the champion, my friends, and I’ll keep on fighting ’til I climb back into bed…

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