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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Random crankiness

I am hot. No, that isn't bragging, that is complaining. I don't like being hot. It makes me very crabby. So, since I don't have one specific focus this evening, I'm just going to bitch about everything that's irritating me. Y'all OK with that?

Yesterday late afternoon, we had a split-second power outage; my computer shut down and then restarted. I held my breath, waiting to see if anything got corrupted, but it didn't. So I went on with what I was doing, and then noticed I was uncomfortably warm. Warmer than usual. When it gets up in the 90s, my building's A/C system can't keep up, so it tends to be kind of warm in here anyway. But now it was really warm.

So I stuck my hand in front of the vent. Hot air was gushing out. @#$%&!!!...the A/C must have flipped a circuit or something with that brief power blip. We go through this at least twice every summer -- the system is old. The good news (if you want to call it that) is, it affects ALL of us in the building, including the manager. So it gets attention ASAP.

I opened the windows, turned on my fans and shut off all the lights. I took a dip in the pool. I sat around naked all evening. The temp went up to about 82 degrees in my living room. Not very comfortable. I was glad this happened on a Tuesday, not a Monday.

This morning, it was blowing cooler again. Now my apartment is about 76. OK, I'd prefer 72, but I'll take it.

On to the latest with my book. I sent the cover and interior file to CreateSpace (CS) toward the end of last week, awaiting their approval. On Friday, they wrote to me, saying the interior formatting had been approved, but the cover had not. Then they gave me some vague reason about how "an element on the back cover was outside of the live graphic area and could get trimmed off in production." Well, that tells me nothing. What element? Where? How much? I couldn't see how it could be anything egregious. I know Zelle had taken great pains to follow their guidelines to the millimeter.

So I joined the CS Community, read some posts on the various forums and learned something rather quickly: CS isn't much help when you want to do things yourself. They want you to buy their premium services (help with editing, layout, designing, etc.) and they reject a ridiculous amount of covers at first submission. Fortunately, there are some very nice people on there who have learned the system and they avail themselves to the newbies for advice.

Sure enough, I started a thread about what had happened, and one man wrote to me privately, suggested I send him the PDF and he'd look at it. Within an hour, I heard back from him. He'd taken the time and effort to make a diagram for me, with blue lines and red lines and exact measurements, showing me exactly what he'd found. There it was... at the bottom left, the last line of text was dipping very slightly outside of the live area. That was it.

What, CS couldn't have told me that??? Argh. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers.

So I sheepishly and apologetically forwarded all this info and the guy's diagram to Zelle, who said she'd do the necessary tweaking. As soon as I get that adjusted file back in my hot little hands, I'm resubmitting it, and if they give me any static about it this time, I'm going to raise hell. Because I know it will be perfect and they're just giving me the business because I won't buy their super deluxe "we'll hold your hand through everything" package.

Well, I'm not alone in being hot, at least. Some of my friends on FetLife today were saying they wished they had a harem of male slaves to feed them Sno-Cones and frozen grapes. That made me think of a fun and fond memory from years ago, when I was around 40. I was at my gym, and speaking of malfunctioning A/C, theirs wasn't working well that day and the air on the top floor was still and very warm. Unfortunately, that floor was where they had the cardio equipment.

Bracing myself, making sure my water bottle was full, I got onto a Stairmaster and within minutes, felt like I was going to pass out. There wasn't anyone else on the other machines, and Tony, one of the trainers, was wandering around, picking up the newspapers people had left behind. As he approached me, he smiled, said hi and asked how I was doing, did I need anything, did I have enough water, etc.

"Well, since you asked," I panted, "how about if you just stand there and fan me with those papers?"

I was kidding. I was flirting. I didn't expect him to DO it. But he did. He stood next to me for a half-hour, fanning me with newspapers and chatting with me. People laughed when they saw what he was doing, but he didn't stop.

What a sweetie! And lord, was that boy easy on the eyes. He was in his late 20s and looked like a cross between Justin Kirk (the actor who plays Andy on Weeds) and Leonardo DiCaprio.

As I savored this memory, it occurred to me that there was probably no freaking way something like that would happen now. Bleah. Ageing blows.

Why is it that my post-spanking bliss can't last for more than a day, dammit? I mean, Monday night and a good deal of Tuesday, I was a happy camper. By last night, I was right back to Ground Cranky. When I remarked to NG on Monday night about how I felt like I spend half my life waiting for something or another, he gave me a swat and gently said, "You can't have instant gratification on everything, Miss Erica." Now I ask you, do you think that's what I expect? Really? Harrummmph. I protested that I don't get instant gratification on anything! OK, so maybe that's not true either. Christ, I really am over-the-top irritable, aren't I...

Enough already. I'll end on a positive note. I got some work today from a client I haven't heard from in months. I had a kick-ass workout at the gym tonight. I was called a "cheeky monkey" on FetLife today; that made me giggle. It's the little things, folks. I'm really not all that hard to please, despite evidence to the contrary. :-) Like I said, I just hate being hot.

Ah. I feel cleansed now.


  1. Erica, it is 72 in my house and I'm still sweaty. Is it possible to have 100% humidity? I don't think so.

    I join your cranky club.

  2. Pink -- actually, I prefer 70, but I can live peacefully with 72. I can't believe those guidelines that tell us to "set our thermostats at 78 in summer." Screw that!

  3. Great cover story... They could have explain, but if you have found the solution by yourself, it's probably better.

  4. Erica -- even when you are cheeky and ranting, you are so much fun to read. Blame being cranky on hanging out with Tops; at least it might earn a spanking. LOL.
    Good luck with the cover.

  5. Just a question, as it is something I might consider if I was in your (apparently expected) situation every summer.....

    is it possible to buy a small window unit for one of your rooms? A cheapie one, you know. To put in the bedroom or something, so when this lack of A/c comes about, you can retreat to that room and close the door and perv away on the computer in a comfy environment?

    For me, it would be worth the $100 or so to have that back up every summer. Comfort is priceless, dammit!


  6. I set the thermostat at 80. Helps us deal with the heat waiting patiently outside. ;)

  7. Loved your post Erica. Nice guy to help out with the cover, good luck with it.


  8. I'm still waiting for my damn Sno-Cone!

  9. Hi Erica, I hate to be hot too UGH it make's me cranky as well, You got called a cheeky monkey too hehehe so did i my friend from London called me that and she was right hehehe :-) I want a Sno-Cone that sound's good, That's so Cool that you have a pool at your apartment wish i had one, Good luck with your book, Love and hug's to you from your naughty girl Jade xoxo

  10. Erica,

    It is hot, here, too. Yesterday I had three of the sweats that I can get and fortunately they were mild ones. I used to love the heat, but not anymore.

    That was cool that you got some help for your book cover. I am sure Zelle (great job, Zelle, btw) can fix it up just fine! Can hardly wait, dang it! LOL

  11. Stan -- yeah, true to many Support techs, they weren't very helpful!

    joey -- I'm already in trouble for being so cranky. ;-) Woe is me.

    Sarah -- that's a valid question and others have suggested it as well. I just don't know where I'd put it so it would be unobtrusive, how the landlord would feel about it, etc. It's one of those things where one thinks "yeah, that makes sense" and then doesn't do it.

    NV -- are you kidding, 80??? Aggh! Be glad I don't live at your house.

    Ronnie -- he really was! John says he took one look at my book cover and thought, "Yeah, I'll help her." Rather cynical of him, don't you think? :-)

    Kat -- what, no birthday Sno-Cone? Boo! Well, at least you got your 500 peeves. ;-)

    Jade -- I almost never use the pool, because the chlorine level is so high. But I was desperate!

    Bobbie Jo -- she already has, and I defy those CS people to find anything wrong with it; it is perfect! :-)

  12. I know how you get in the heat and when your air conditioning is bad. Hope things have improved ever-so slightly. Perhaps the book cover helped???

  13. Nothing makes me crankier than the heat. I'm in an old building with the ridiculous invention of the "swamp cooler", no central A/C for me. Never again will I move somewhere without it having central A/C, damn the cost!

    P.S. Blogger is still bugging me. Do I really have to browse the majority in Internet Explorer but then also use Chrome for one or two blogs that I can't comment on otherwise, FFS?

  14. Craig -- well, what REALLY helped the most was when it started working again. :-) Major improvement in my outlook when I'm comfortable.

    Lea -- I've conceded and have switched to Google Chrome; I never use IE anymore. Just don't need the aggravation of switching back and forth.

    Swamp coolers suck, I agree!