It's in the upper eighties outside now, so I closed up and lowered the thermostat, but it's 78 in the bunker and I figured that's good enough.
* * *
Saturday I have to be in Bolingbrook at 10 AM for a pre-interview test. I expect I'll do well enough on the test, and get interviewed. Getting that job would mean a commute, but it would also mean full-time work and a fair dinkum raise over what I'm earning now and health insurance, which would be extremely helpful.
The other day I was thinking about 1998, when I worked as a contract PC hardware technician at Rockwell-Collins. I had rent, car payment, car insurance payment; credit card, health insurance, phone, cable, electricity, and ISP bills, plus (naturally) groceries and other living expenses. I made about what I expect the wage to be where I'm going on Saturday, and while I wasn't rolling in excess money I was able to pay all my bills on time without sweating it.
It sure would be nice to get myself back to that point.
In 2003, with half of the living expenses being shared by another person, I had to pay insurance on two cars, my half of the living expenses (rent, food, utilities, etcetera) and credit card bills. I was earning about what I'm making now but working full time, and managed handily--not much surplus, but the bills were paid on time.
I'd take that, too, if I could get it.
The optimum would be to get back to where I was in August of 1999. In 1999, I had a job I loved. I had that surplus money--though at the time I was using it to pay down revolving debt--and for it I was expected to come to work and do my job every day, where there was a minimum of bullshit and stupidity to contend with. My bosses were great guys, intelligent; my coworkers covered the gamut but they were all pretty nice people even with their warts and thorns--no one is perfect and these people were decent folks. I worked in a quiet office, and if I wanted music I could put on headphones and listen to it as I worked.
...of course that job rapidly turned into a Dilbert-esque nightmare after the technical publications department was converted into a profit center. In my fantasy, though, I'm working a job like that which will never, never, ever have that happen. And while I'm dreaming, I'd like this week's winning Powerball ticket delivered via unicorn.
Or pegasus. I'm not fussy.
* * *
Zero progress on the Fiero this week, of course, because I spent my days off pissing on other fires, and writing that new short story I completed last night. Took me two sessions to complete it; the entire story was in the output buffer and needed only time spent at the keyboard to get it out.
Poor Mrs. Fungus--she came home in the middle of my push to complete it, and I ended up paying only token attention to her. When I'm in that mode, it's hard to tear away from the keyboard; the words are flowing and--well, I likened it to that scene in Amadeus where Mozart is crouched over a desk or a pool table or something furiously scribbling notes while this lush romantic piece crashes and thunders in the background, and when he looks up at an interlocutor the music stops abruptly.
Not that I'm Mozart or anything; it's just that that's what it's like to stop writing in the middle of a flow. I'm light years away from home, in a small ship that's diving into the jet from a black hole, in search of magnetic monopoles, and the pilots are in a tough spot--it's hard to come back to Earth from that. I figure that if I can't tear myself away from writing the thing, others ought to enjoy reading it, at least a little bit.
Fifteen pages, near enough, single-spaced. About 8,900 words. Last night after I printed the thing I found a couple errors I wanted to fix, one big and one little; I fixed the big one this morning but couldn't remember where the little one was. It's a punctuation error, anyway, a comma after an em dash. Not a big deal. I have one or two thoughts about how to adjust the ending of the story, which I may or may not include, but those are details and overall it's a done deal.
Today I got a message from the publisher I sent it to that they're now holding it for consideration. We'll see how that turns out.
* * *
My rocking chair broke, again. A few days ago I was sitting in it and rocking, as usual, when it went CLUNK and started squeaking. Last night, after finishing the story, I had a look at it; turned out that this time it's going to take some fixing to put it right. A chunk of wood came out of the part which connects the base to the seat of the chair; the bearing is loose in its boss, and the bolt hole through the base has wallowed out (again).
I think I can use Gorilla Glue to fix the loose chunk. I need to get some decent wood screws and fasten the bearing in place more firmly, so it can't move. I'm going to need some kind of short brass sleeve to put in the bolt hole; I figure I can use that epoxy putty (name forgotten) to fill in the gap. Overall I need to do this one carefully, because the next time it breaks I'm going to have to make an entirely new piece.
I did think about doing that, last night. I'd need a couple of forstner bits, and of course I'd need to figure out what kind of wood the chair was made from. Good bet pine would be a poor choice, soft as it is.
Wonder what it would cost for a furniture repair store to fix it?
* * *
Incidentally, I am now getting e-mails from the "Illinois Job Department". Oddly enough these e-mails originate at a ".com" domain rather than ".gov".
* * *
Tomorrow is payday, finally. I'm going to be spending all my money on paying bills, of course. I might have enough left over for a box of waffles and a bottle of syrup.
On second thought, if the unicorn or pegasus is a deal-breaker, skip it. Just bring me that winning ticket, damn it all.