Living in Captivity.

I’m working from home for now. We’ll see how this works out. I might be better off going to the office, if few people are there I’ll be suitably socially distanced there, and it would be easier. Logging in remotely is slow af, and some systems just freeze up randomly when asked to do anything. And I miss my two giant monitors at the office. My job involves a lot of GIS maps and reading drawings and spreadsheets, working between documents, and it’s really hard to work on a single laptop screen.

I’m deeply regretting putting off my eye exam, but right now close, face-to-face contact with an eye doctor is probably unwise for both parties. Even the vet’s office sent an email saying they were postponing routine appointments for a couple of weeks, but will be there for any truly sick or injured animals. So I’m muddling through with inadequate everything, trying to get something done.

And working from home might lead to a confrontation with my downstairs neighbor, she of the “I’m a Deplorable,” t-shirt from 2016. She sits on her front porch a lot. I really don’t get this, as all of these condos have very nice screened lanais in back, and ours all face the golf course so it’d be a much more pleasant view, but yeah, she sits in her front porch area and smokes. She has company staying with her, I haven’t been introduced but I’m assuming it’s her sister, because she resembles her and also sits on the front porch and smokes.

I was up early as always yesterday, was on my work laptop at 7 am, was at the office for a mandatory meeting on this work at home plan at 8, and got back home and set up in my home office by 11-ish. I walked the dogs for about 15 minutes at lunchtime, and worked from then until after 4, when I took the dogs out again around 4:30.

My neighbor called to me from her chair, “I’m going to call your employer and tell them all you do is walk the dogs!” I guess she was trying to be funny? I’m tired, stressed, struggling to get work done, and this didn’t strike me as amusing. I tried to be pleasant – I’m not sure what I said, something like, “Oh, my work day started at 7 am!” and led the dogs away.

As we were coming back a few minutes later, (Sophie has slowed down a lot and doesn’t enjoy walks as much lately) she repeated it: “I really am going to call your employer!” Har har. So funny. What the fuck is wrong with people?

Then she actually offered me the use of a computer monitor she’s not using, and before I could protest, jumped up and ran went inside to get it. I’m still trying to be polite and she’s “being neighborly” so I said thanks, I’ll see if I can use it with my work laptop – knowing I can’t. I don’t have I’ll leave it on her porch with a note this morning. I’m hoping I can avoid further contact, because seriously, one more crack about how she’s going to call my employer and I might fucking snap.

And that was just day one! This is awesome.

My new job is exhausting and stressful.

I’m sleeping about six hours a night, my stomach is frequently upset, and I’m currently sporting a cold sore the size of Mars on my lower lip – my first in about 15 years. Yeah, stress. This is both an explanation/apology for my infrequent posts and what led to Ellie losing the title of Best Cat Ever this morning.

I have had a necklace stand on my dresser for many years. I don’t really wear those items anymore and really should put them on eBay or something, but they don’t take up much space so I don’t think of it often. So this morning at a QUARTER TO FIVE, when the necklace stand suddenly crashed over with lots of dramatic jangling and tinkling noises like a brick thrown through a window, it jolted me from my rare and precious sleep. I instantly knew what had happened, and I knew the only possible cause. I screamed profanities and chased her from the room, where she proceeded to make a huge racket tearing up a cardboard box. I gave up on sleep; my jangling nerves were flooded with adrenaline and there was no way I’d fall asleep again, so I got up to make coffee.

Ellie preceded me to the kitchen and nonchalantly demanded treats. I cursed her again, and sighed and gave in to her demands. Cats.

So I went to the pantry and discovered that I AM OUT OF COFFEE. I am never out of coffee. Every time Publix has my favorite brands on BOGO, I BOGO coffee. I always have a spare bag in the pantry, until today, when I don’t.

This feels like being out of oxygen – I NEED coffee in the morning. I’m not an all day coffee drinker, I don’t think my stomach could tolerate that, but I must have morning coffee.

I had to go with tea, which means I’m both under-rested and under-caffeinated. Today should be interesting, because my plan for the day is my semi-annual pilgrimage to IKEA.

The appliance and carpet work at the rental property is done, it was huge pain but all’s well now. I have a couple of thousand bucks left over for improvements here, and in addition to replacing the disgusting ancient carpet on the balconies,I have plans for my second bedroom/home office/rarely needed guest room. I need a larger desk, better lighting, and lots of storage.

Right now, the room is where pieces that didn’t fit anywhere else went: a bookcase that once lined a living room wall with its two brethren is on one wall, there’s an old, half broken file cabinet that can no longer support actual hanging files, my printer is on a wheeled storage cabinet I plan to repurpose, maybe for the kitchen, an old futon sofa – and we won’t even talk about that back bedroom closet. And for a room makeover on the cheap, it’s hard to beat IKEA.

So today’s IKEA trip will be a scouting trip. I have to get rid of/repurpose all the above-mentioned crap before I can put anything new in that room, but I’m bringing a notebook and a tape measure and I’m going to make a plan. I will not leave the store empty handed; I am also on a mission for bath mats and kitchen storage, small items like that. I am a huge fan of IKEA bath mats; the ones I have are like new, even after being used as a rug outside Ellie’s litterbox and getting washed in HOT water frequently, they’re like new.

I may have to stop in their cafe before I start my mission. This calls for more caffeine than is currently in my system.

Speaking of being caffeinated, I’m going to try something different, blog-wise, for February, and write in the morning now and then, while consuming the aforementioned coffee. I may not post every day, but I’m pretty sure that my odds will be better than when I come home from work.