Under the Boardwalk

My last work-at-home day for 2022, and technically my last day of work for the year at the day job. It still freaks me out a little, or doesn’t feel right, to write 2022 on my clinical testing forms; 2023 is going to be even stranger to write. Where the hell has this decade gone already? It’s almost 2023. I certainly didn’t think I’d make it this far, yet here I am.

It got up into the seventies again yesterday–we literally went from the mid-sixties to a hard freeze back to the seventies in about a week–which is why you can never write about New Orleans without writing about the weather. Our weather affects everything here, and can change everything happening and going on in a matter of hours. It also messes with your moods and how you feel–how can your sinuses adapt to such dramatic weather changes in such a short period of time? And that’s not even taking into consideration the humidity and rain. You always have to plan your day and your life around the weather here, and you ignore it at your own peril (he said, having been caught unawares in enough flash-flooding events to know whereof he speaks). With a great HVAC system I didn’t find myself minding the cold quite as much this past weekend, but don’t get me wrong–I’m not sorry to see it gone, and good riddance to it.

I also had a ridiculous amount of chores to do last night when I finished work. Two loads of dishes, two loads of laundry, and of course I had to do something about the refrigerator, and since I was already doing chores I decided to go ahead and launder the living room comfort blankets and do something about the floors (a chore I’ve been avoiding for far longer than I dare to admit publicly, given my reputation as a housekeeper). I decided not to try for my quota for the day, which of course increased today’s quota, but thought it best to go ahead and reread everything I’ve been doing and get a better sense of things so I can figure out how to get to the end of the book from where I’m at now. Sometimes it’s best to relax and let the muscles rest when you’ve been pushing them for a while; burn out is always a fear, and I suspected yesterday that I was reaching that point and should probably rest from it for at least the night, while planning what to do next. I do have a lovely three day weekend looming, and if I ignore college football bowl games–which shouldn’t be difficult to do–I should be able to leisurely get this done and sent off Monday.

Whew.

I’m still a little tired this morning, and it’s gray outside. Ah, yes, a quick glance at the weather (I seem obsessed this morning with the weather, I know) and it appears that we’ll be having thunderstorms for most of the day. I do have to go out into the outer world at some point today–the postal service is closed tomorrow through Monday–so I won’t be able to get the mail again until after work on Tuesday. I should also spend a little time figuring out what, if anything, I need from the grocery store so I don’t have to leave the house again until Tuesday morning. That’s really turning into my biggest contest–how long can I go without leaving the house? (Along with “how few showers can I take this weekend? ” and “How long can I go without cleaning the house?” These do not speak well of me, I am well aware.) I also am going back to reading Nelson Algren’s A Walk on the Wild Side, after my break from it to read Donna Andrews for Christmas; it’s slow going because it’s an old book written in twentieth century cis-white male literary style, which is something I don’t really care for as a general rule. But I do want to read the parts where the main character (whose backstory is currently being explored) gets to New Orleans and experiences the demimonde; I’d also like to see the film, which I haven’t ever viewed. (I know, right? Barbara Stanwyck and Jane Fonda and I’ve never seen it? Bad gay, bad gay.)

After getting the chores done–Paul didn’t come home until late again–I spent some time read Bad Gays: A Homosexual History by Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller, which takes a look at some gay men in history who weren’t exactly role models for gay men or behavior–some of whom I had heard of, others I had not–¬†which is an interesting approach (usually writers and historians are always looking for positive role models, or take normal human beings and idealize them into heroes). I was a little disappointed to see that my favorite historical homo wasn’t included–Philippe d’Orleans, younger brother of Louis XIV and known as Monsieur (I’ve always wanted to write about Monsieur, he fascinates me to this day)–but the authors did include James I of England and Frederick the Great, so no complaints on royal representation in the book. (But if you’re looking for bad examples of gay men in history, choosing James I over Richard the Lion-Hearted or Edward II was an interesting decision.) I read the sections on Oscar Wilde and Bosie, Frederick the Great, and James I (primarily because the most ambitious book idea I’ve ever had involved James I’s successor as well as his last love, George Villiers Duke of Buckingham); and I enjoyed them. They weren’t very in depth, as they were only given a chapter, so they were at best slightly superficial, but it was interesting to read. I really do need to read a biography of Frederick the Great, who has fascinated me since I was a kid (again, interesting that even as a child I was fascinated by a king who turned out to be gay in the long run); I’ve read histories of Prussia and Europe and other monarchs of the period, but biographies of Frederick aren’t as easy to come by as say, biographies of any Tudor, the Wars of the Roses, or Louis XIV. (Try finding a biography of Louis XIII or said George Villiers, for that matter. There are quite a few of Cardinal Richelieu–but not as many as one would think. Americans seem to be more interested in British history than anything else, and not many of them at that.)

Lightning just flashed, and it’s getting grayer outside, never a good sign for the weather in New Orleans. Then again, spending a little time reading this morning during a thunderstorm while drinking my coffee before starting my work-at-home duties could be just the ticket for kick-starting this day into high gear, so on that note, I am heading into the spice mines.

The Last Time

I made quote again yesterday, which was nice; at this rate while I’ll be killing myself over the course of this weekend to get this finished by the end of day January 1, I should be okay. It’s 52 degrees this morning but it feels pretty chilly in the apartment this morning as I swill my coffee and try to figure out what to write here without boring the hell out of everyone. I ran errands after work yesterday and wasn’t terribly tired when I got home–but for the life of me cannot recall what I did once I did get home. I know I put the dishes away and the laundry was already done, and I didn’t have the brainpower to read anything, so I guess I must have just watched history videos on Youtube until Paul came downstairs and we watched a few more episodes of Sex Lives of College Girls, which remains hilariously funny and clever. I also got some books in the mail yesterday–the ones I ordered with Christmas money–more Ruth Ware, That Summer on Frenchmen Street by Chris Clarkson, Blackwater Falls by Ausma Zehanat Khan, and a nonfiction, Bad Gays: A Homosexual History by Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller–and have a few more on the way.

I feel a little off-kilter this week because of the holiday on Monday; I kept thinking yesterday was Monday and this morning I keep thinking it’s Tuesday. This will probably persist until my work-at-home Friday, and again I’ll be messed up next week because of a holiday on Monday. It takes so little these days to fry my brain and make it unworkable, seriously. I slept really well last night. Scooter continues to get into the bed and cuddle with me once I slip under the covers; last night I was already asleep by the time he joined me, and it wasn’t until Paul got into bed and woke me that I realized the cat was sleeping curled up with me and purring. It’s nice–he’s very particular and only likes one side, and I have to be facing that way or he won’t cuddle. I’m sure it’s nothing more than the cold weather and the bed is probably the warmest place in the apartment when someone is in it, but I’m going to continue to appreciate my cat’s affection in the meantime.

I have some errands to run today after work as well–yay–but tomorrow is the last day I have to get up super-early this week, so I am going to not mind that at all after work today. I also get to leave work early–a vagary of working hours with holidays in the pay week left me with extra time so I can leave early one day, and while perhaps I should have chosen Thursday as my day to leave early, I thought tomorrow made the most sense predicated on our appointment schedule. This week has been a light work week schedule-wise; to the point where I am not sure it makes sense to have the clinic open in the first place. Fortunately, those decisions are well above my pay-grade, and honestly, if I have to be there anyway the clinic might as well be open while we’re at it, you know? This is always a slow week; who wants to get an STI test after Christmas and before New Year’s? (Okay, granted it’s smart to get checked out for anything sexually transmitted before New Year’s Eve, just in case–but it’s already too late for the results to come back in time for treatment, so before Christmas is really the sweet spot for your New Year’s Eve get drunk/get laid plans.)

Heavy heaving sigh.

I should probably spend more time being reflective about the passing of time and the advancing of my age, what with another year turning and all this weekend, but the truth is I barely even remember the beginning of this year! I know I was supposed to go to New York in January and the resurgent pandemic at the time kiboshed those plans; yet I did manage to make it to Albuquerque for Left Coast Crime in either February or March. I traveled quite a bit in 2022, especially considering how little I had traveled in the previous two years. And as I said the other day, I accomplished a lot more this past year than I would have thought once I started thinking about it. The year was bookended by book releases, too–#shedeservedit coming out in January, A Streetcar Named Murder coming out in December–and while I didn’t spend as much time writing this year as I would have liked (which is the case for every year, let’s get honest and real for a moment) I did manage to get some writing done this year. I’d like to get even more done in 2023; one of the goals for the new year is to make writing more of a priority in my life. I want to get at least two, if not three, books written in 2023, as well as finish the novellas and some other short stories.

Ambitions. I have a few.

And on that note, I am heading into the spice mines. I feel good today, rested and relaxed and all that marvelous stuff, and hope to also have a good day. I hope the same for you, Constant Reader, as this year continues to run down like a clock in need of winding (does anyone else remember clocks you have to wind?), and may your day be as bright and lovely as you are at your best.