Random Events In My Life, Or: Ferrett's Too Tired To Think

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 3.618% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

So just to keep y’all up on the events in the McJuddMetz Household:
1) I’m Getting Handier.  
Folks on Twitter will recall my Woodworking Wednesday photos, wherein I get together with two friends and build stuff in my garage.
And I’ve hit a tipping point: I can just build stuff.
Which is to say that Gini and I have an informal collection of Blanton’s corkstoppers.  Blanton’s is a (delicious) small-batch bourbon that has eight different bottle tops, one for each letter in their name, each showing a horse at different stages of a race.  And we had six bottles up there, and I thought, Hey, I could build a shelf for the stoppers.
So, this Sunday, I spent about two hours and devised a shelftop to hold the corks:
Woodworking!
Which is weird.  I didn’t wait for my Woodworking Wednesdays crew to help me; it was just a trivial thing I did, like programming a web page.  I can just build minor stuff, which means I’ve acquired a raw level of skill.
And when I was out in the back yard having drinks and a cigar with Gini, I looked at the workshop we’ve built over the last year, and it’s actually looking like a real woodworking shop:
Woodworking!
And I’ve also figured out the way to finish my projects, which was a huge issue.  The first time I stained a bookcase, it looked like a diarrhetic mess.  But thanks to my sweetie C’s father, who is a Master Wood Finisher, I figured out that a spraygun is the way to go when finishing wood, and so the table I’ve built for my friend Heather actually looks pretty decent:
Woodworking!
So yeah.  I’m a guy who can build simple furniture.  Had I a character sheet, this skill would now be listed as a reasonably solid percentage.  It’s a good feeling, but a bit weird – “building things” is not what I consider to be a core talent, and in fact I’ve considered it a literal weakness for three decades, so it’s a pleasant feeling to go, “Oh, yeah, I can do that now.”
2)  I Am Bereft Of Bees. 
I mentioned this on Twitter, but I don’t think I mentioned it here: Shasta got stung, and had a seizure, and almost died.  Turns out she’s allergic to bees.  So we had to get rid of them in the spring, which was probably for the best, as we hadn’t really taken care of them in years – Rebecca’s sickness really took the wind out of our beekeeping, and we never recovered.
We gave them away to a guy on Craigslist, who seemed very happy to have his new bees.  He promised he’d take good care of them.  I hope he does.  I’m a little worried because the last thing he told us before he left was how Big Pharma was causing cancer and we needed all-natural solutions, but he was taking our bees and he seemed friendly so I let it slide.
I think of them periodically.  I’m sure they’re fine.  They were hardy little suckers.
3)  Counting Calories Is Weird.
On Saturday, I said, “Fuck it, I’m going to eat whatever I want this evening, just go berserk on Chinese food and sweets.”
Then, because I’d been eating so much less, I got bloated, and I went for a long Pokewalk with Gini to gear down, and wound up only 200 calories over my limit.  Which would be offset by the day before, where I’d wound up 400 calories under without thinking.
I’ve been doing this for two weeks as of today, and we’ll see how it goes when I get to WorldCon, which is not the home of healthy eating.  But speaking of which….
4)  I Am In Slow, Continual Panic. 
So I’m going to WorldCon this week, arriving on Thursday night, and I’m in my usual pre-convention mode of “This will be a disaster.”  I’m sure it’ll be okay, but my brainweasels are telling me that this will be three days of me wandering through an endless lunchroom, looking fruitlessly for people to sit at a table with.  Which is ridiculous; I’ve had some folks offer to buy me drinks, and I still have to shoot my number to a couple of folks who’ve offered to hang out, but still.
(Also, if you wanna hear a sneak preview of the new ‘Mancer book, show up to my reading on Friday.)
And oh yeah, my book is coming out and I’m having the usual heebie-jeebies about it being a huge failure where, paradoxically, nobody will read it and yet everyone will hate it, which is my broken brain shouting, but it’s hard to tamp it down.
I remember going to my doctor before the book release last March and saying, “I need a large prescription of Ativan to alleviate stress.”
“Well,” said my doctor, “I don’t like prescribing pills like that randomly.  Can you do anything else about your stress?”
“I have made this the best book I am capable of writing.  Everything that has been done can be done, the book is typeset, it’s printed, and now all I can do is wait for the reviews and the sales numbers.  There is literally nothing I can do except stress the fuck out.”
“Maybe you could try…” he said, before discussing various stress-reduction techniques I’d tried.
“Look,” I said politely.  “I’m coming to you because I want someone professional to track my usage of anti-stress medication, because addiction runs in my family. If you don’t prescribe me Ativan, I will go down to the liquor store where I can get all the legal, free stress relief I need, and no one will be tracking that, so I’d really prefer your method.”
“I’ll get you some Ativan,” he said.
So these next few weeks will be an Ativan-frenzy, as the book looms closer and the book tour impends and the conventions loom and the impostor syndrome goes crazy.  I’ll handle it, I always do – but I have this weird dance between “Not revealing my mental health issues,” which makes me look really cool and leaves people who suffer from stress thinking “Nobody else goes through this, I’m a freak,” or putting it out in public and letting other people see how a neurotic, socially-anxious person functions and looking like a freak to some people.
So I repeat: I’ll be fine.  But if you wanna hug me at WorldCon, or say hello, or come to the book tour when I visit Seattle, Portland, San Diego, and San Francisco (or even Cleveland), well, I’m happy to see you.
And I will be so happy when the book is out for a few weeks and I know whether it’s a success or a failure, because god damn, the worst thing about the book industry is uncertainty.  I dislike failure.  But I can at least look that in the eye.  Unknowns are like a strobe light, flickering between GREAT HOPE and DISMAL FEARS that induces seizures.
Anyway.  I’ll be cool.  But yeah, some people have tremendous anxiety and still do this stuff.  Somehow.
I handle it by building shelves.

1 Comment

  1. Sandra
    Aug 15, 2016

    I wish I could be there in person, but since I can’t, I’m sending you loads of virtual hugs. Anyone who doesn’t want to save you a seat at the lunch table doesn’t know what they’d be missing out on. And your books been on pre-order for months. Hope your brain weasels settle down enough for you to enjoy everything. Wishing you everything good.

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