Day: July 30, 2013

Taking Care of Business

Today I am uploading the Tub of Happiness reprint files. There are 1377 images in the book, so it is going to take most of the day. Fortunately uploading is mostly a process I can walk away from. So I walk to where the sketch pages need to be trimmed and I work on that. We’re just about ready for Howard to start the process of signing and sketching copies of The Body Politic. We’ll be shipping these next week. I still need to pin down the exact days, but it’ll be Tuesday-ish through Friday-ish. Once I know the days for certain, I’ll have to put out the call for volunteers. Fortunately this shipping process is much smaller and simpler than that for the coins. The vast majority of the orders are one book into one box. we won’t have to assign people to stare at rows of coins and check them against an invoice. A few days of work and it will be done.

More of it would be done already except getting our furnace and AC replaced has proved to be distracting. I spent part of yesterday dismantling my shipping room so that they would have room to work. Today I have three men traipsing through my house carrying large things and making banging, clattering, and drilling noises. Also the house is stuffy because no AC. This afternoon or tomorrow I’ll get to reassemble my storage room. That process will be complicated by the fact that I need to sort merchandise into things that need to go to WorldCon and things that need to go to our storage unit rather than taking up space in my storage room.

Also distracting is the fact that this looks to be one of our most expensive weeks ever. The HVAC system replacement is not cheap and this morning Kiki came and showed me the amount due for her tuition, meal plan, and dorm fees. That number was not unexpected, but staring at it the same day as the other bill made the math portions of my brain kind of unhappy. Looming on Friday is the consultation with an oral surgeon about Kiki’s wisdom teeth, which very probably need to come out. It all adds up. The good news is that, as the boss of my company, I can decide that the Taylers did a really good job shipping all of those coins and perhaps they deserve a bonus. Thus money flows from the business account to the family accounts. But before I can do that, I have to sit down and do math on all the things which the business needs to pay in the next few months. I’m pretty sure it will all work out. I just need to sit down with the accounts and crunch all the numbers. This would be easier to accomplish if my work computer were not busy uploading and my house were not full of construction noise.

Three weeks until our lives shift from summer schedule into school schedule. Two weeks to GenCon. Four weeks to WorldCon. Book shipping next week. It is a lot to track and one of the reasons that I don’t actually attend any of the events. Me leaving the house adds significant layers of complication to everything. For this year I’m glad to stay home.

Contemplating My Angry Mode

Yesterday I enjoyed a twitter conversation with John Scalzi because we’re convention friends and we were frustrated about a similar problem with WorldCon memberships. Fortunately the good WorldCon volunteers resolved the problem and my last tweet was a comment that John’s situation was fixed more quickly than mine because he had the might of Krissy (his wife) on his side. John responded with:

Krissy is a mighty weapon. Mind you, I don’t want to see you in angry mode. I bet it is AWESOMELY TERRIFYING

You can read the whole conversation thread here if you wish.

I wanted to say something clever in response to John, something that would make him laugh. So I almost answered
“Very few people see me in angry mode. It usually hits them from behind.”
I even typed the words into the tweet box, but then I deleted them. Because that would be funny for those who know me. But for those who know me less well, it makes me sound like a sneaky and vengeful person, which is not who I want to be. I don’t get angry and seek to hurt other people in order to make myself feel better, even if they have already hurt me. However I will absolutely, unequivocally do everything I can to remove a malicious person’s ability to hurt me and mine. I am unlikely to accomplish that goal with a confrontational assault. Instead I would stand back, figure out where their power comes from and then undermine it just enough that me and mine are safe. I picture this like the underground water which is invisible until it creates a sinkhole under the enemy’s defensive wall.

To this point in my life I’ve never really had to do this. I am perhaps fortunate in that no one has harmed me with malice. I’ve been sideswiped by malice, but not pursued by it. If malice is moving away from me, I just let it keep going rather than drawing its full attention with my response. For accidental damage, clear communication leads to apologies and healing for all parties. I’ve dealt with that plenty. Most people do not intentionally offend or harm others. I avoid the kind of people who do. They are not worth my emotional energy. This morning I followed a link to Theodora Goss’ post about The Best Revenge. In which she says:

1. Live a fabulous life. This step is absolutely crucial. When you feel vengeful, ask yourself, am I doing something fabulous? And if you’re not, go do something! It doesn’t have to be something extravagant. It can involve getting ice cream, or buying flowers, or walking by a river.
2. Write about it. Or take pictures! Share that fabulous life, share your story. The purpose of sharing your life is not to make anyone else envious, but to allow other people to participate in it. And of course you should participate in their stories and lives as well . . . I love it when my friends are living fabulous lives too. (But Step 1 is absolutely crucial: the point is not to post pictures, but to actually have a fabulous life. The pictures come afterward.)

I recommend the whole article, but the primary point I took from it is to turn away from pain and seek out joy. This is very wise and my usual approach. I would only go angry mode on those who actively pursue and seek to interfere with my attempts to move on.

I’m actually glad to have an angry mode. I didn’t for a long time and it made me very vulnerable to getting stepped on.

And that’s all I have to say about that.