Tags: anime niece


A Week Off (and On)

Actually, a little over a week. This week, my family returned to our little timeshare in Florida after the beast of 2020 kicked it off the agenda. This year (as I have in years before) I left early to spend some time with Britpoptarts (this was her name on LiveJournal. Her journal is now a Russian spam farm, so I won't link to it) in Savannah. She lives in a beautifully decorated apartment with a pair of hyper ferrets near the cool part of town. We were roommates together for many years and we spent the evening of my arrival drinking lemon drops and talking and laughing as if no time had passed.

Friday, we went out to experience the American Prohibition Museum, which was a great deal of fun. They used exhibits of actual Prohibition-era stuff, wax figures (Carrie Nation and Al Capone, among others), and films (such as Billy Sunday ranting about the evils of alcohol). The tour ends in a speakeasy with pictures and words about the end of Prohibition and the celebrations that followed. And, of course, it had a full bar, so we both ordered some Chatham Punch to top off the day.

I learned from the Criminal Records Instagram feed that Saturday was Record Store Day, which was perfect timing as we were already planning to go out record shopping.

I barged into Britpoptarts' room. "Happy Record Store Day!" I exclaimed.

"Yes," she said, "Today will be our record store day."

"No, seriously," I replied, "It's Record Store Day."

We made it to two record stores, one hot and cramped, the other cool and spacious. The hot, cramped one had a dollar bin out front and we both pawed through it. I found a Patrick O'Hearn album (I've heard good things about his stuff) and Britpoptarts picked up a few things including a Pete Townsend album that it turned out she already had, so it got added to my spoils. At the cool, spacious record store, I picked up a couple of limited edition Record Store Day releases--one was a Miles Davis album I was curious about (outtakes from a soundtrack he was working on for a documentary about boxer Jack Johnson) and the other I couldn't resist--Live at Budokan by Duran Duran. Britpoptarts set about replacing some of the Beatles records that were stolen from her when she was in a less secure living situation.

We used Labyrinth Locator to find a labyrinth by a church not too far from where we were, which we both walked. We found a rusted, twisted nail in the center. I kept it. We had enough time for me to take care of my Catholic duties with a vigil Mass at a rather odd church (not the church with the labyrinth, she adds firmly). The priest had an odd cadence that it took me a while to figure out. He was e-nun-ci-a-ting e-ver-y sin-gle syl-a-ble he spoke. The stained glass windows also weirded me out a bit. Instead of one image taking up the whole window, there were a series of dinner-plate-sized circles with images that were linked to saints (Saint Jude had a boat, Saint John had a wine cup with a serpent coming out of it) and to virtues (one with a picture of a shirt that said "Clothing the Naked") And there was one with a picture of a cat-o-nine tails (or, rather, a cat-o-five-tails) with spiked balls at the end of each tail. The image had a single word on it:


I left right after I'd taken communion. (Sneaky Catholic trick--you can do that and still get credit as long as you get there in time to hear the Gospel reading.)

We had hopes of taking the ferrets out to the beach after dark (they can't handle temperatures greater than 75 degrees) but Britpoptarts looked at the weather and determined that the temperature wasn't going to get that low until 1:00 AM. So we hung out on the balcony for more hours than I'd planned and I showed her the modest house I'd built for myself on Second Life.

The drive to St. Augustine Beach from Savannah was relatively uneventful. (Don't get me started on the drive from Atlanta to Savannah.) I got there in time to have dinner and go on a beach stroll, which was a good start to the week. The routine is quite steady at the beach, but one of the elements has had to be abandoned--the afternoon suit-up-and-sunscreen session on the beach now lies in the hottest part of the day, and what was once merely hot is now unbearable. Instead, we take a stroll on the beach around sunset, when the weather permits. (It does not always permit.) We have been able to get down to walk along the shore in the mornings, and it's been lovely. It would have been nice to have been able to sit and watch the waves when we got back from our walk, but my bladder, and my freelance gig, kept me from that.

Ah, yes, the freelance gig. I'm currently doing work for a business I shall hereinafter refer to as the International Marketing Firm (IMF). It's a strange kind of hybrid of employment and freelance work. I have a company email address, but I also have to invoice them for services rendered instead of letting HR handle it. Last week I had a meeting with a client and we set up the follow-up meeting for Monday. I told them "I can do that if that's the only way we can do it.", which they interpreted as "Yes." So I had to cut short my morning time on the beach to trundle back inside, shower off the sunscreen and get ready for a Zoom call. The appointed time rolled around and there was no call to Zoom. It had never gone on the project manager's schedule, so we rescheduled for Thursday and my dream of a relaxing vacation free of adult responsibilities was shattered.

Thursday morning arrived and the Zoom call actually happened. The client had largely liked what I'd done, but there was one particular paragraph she wasn't feeling right about. Said it felt "incomplete." I nodded and hmmed and agreed with her and generally kept myself away from pointing out that she was the one who actually wrote it. After asking a few questions and taking a few notes, I finished the call and knocked out a revision in about 15 minutes, then another 10-15 polishing it and sent it on its way (it wasn't a very long paragraph). I may master this gig yet.

Thursday night, I had a nicer Zoom chat with the Gentleman Caller. I spent much of the call adjusting myself in a quest for the most comfortable position with best lighting. I don't think I quite managed either. I told him about my adventures in Savannah and he told me about some hopeful news (not quite at the stage of good news just yet) he'd received. Once I get back to Atlanta, we'll be making plans to watch Dark City with a mutual friend of ours (a friend who will be hereinafter referred to as "The Eccentric").

But for now, I'm looking at the pool from my window and savoring this time left. Tomorrow, I take Anime Niece to Jacksonville to meet with Movie Niece and maybe check out the movie theater that she runs. Maybe I can recruit Anime Niece to handle the stack of CDs I burned while I was packing to go down and then realized that CDs are a bad music strategy for highway travel.

I could take a nap right now, if I wanted. I might.

Today I took pleasure in the view from the balcony.
Today I learned more about cataract surgery than I ever wanted to know.

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