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Archive for the ‘Diary’ Category

Diary #377

Grace and Chekhov left for their last full run to Oklahoma on Friday, and barring another delay will arrive tonight; for the next two days they’ll be preparing for the return trip, which will be a marathon because they’re going to have the animals with them and we don’t think it’s a good idea to have them cooped up in the trailer for more than two days, even with the ventilation windows.  After that, I can sell the big trailer to recoup some of my costs; everything remaining will be able to fit in the bed of the truck and the small trailer that’s currently sitting in storage.  It’ll be nice for my income to start going someplace other than petroleum companies, auto repair & parts businesses and tire stores (not to mention hotels) again, such as building-material stores and the like.  But when I’m finally done with fixing the place up, it should be a lovely little country retreat for Grace to live in and me to visit when I get the time.  For those of you who are thinking about this for the first time: yep.  I’m spending all this money and effort on a place where I’ll probably spend less than 40 hours a month, if that.  But Grace will be there full-time, and friends in need of a retreat will have a place to go, and I’ll have a place I can spend holidays in when the mood strikes.  Hell, maybe I’ll even get a license & let Grace grow cannabis there; I certainly have the room (and a dear friend who happens to have connections in the industry so I can find buyers).  Well, we’ll see; the important thing is that I’m finally putting down roots, as I’ve longed to do for over 30 years.  And that to me is far more precious than money.

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Were you a little surprised that I didn’t mention my trip to Philadelphia last week, then there it was in this week’s diary?  That’s because I typically write my diary columns on the previous Friday or Saturday, and I didn’t book the gig until Monday.  Yeah, I could’ve altered the column to reflect it, but the details weren’t worked out until after publication time on Tuesday so I didn’t want to.  Though standby travel has its drawbacks (such as the probability of being bumped out of first class and the possibility of being bumped off of a flight altogether), it’s wonderfully flexible and I didn’t even bother to make my travel arrangements for this flight until the weekend.  Yes, I said “this flight”; I’m writing this somewhere over the Dakotas (I think) and I took my second Valium about 20 minutes ago.  I only wish I knew how long Zofran is supposed to last; Mistress Google tells me that the half-life in women is roughly 2 to 6 hours, but that’s pretty damned broad range so I’m not sure if I’ll need a second one for a five-hour flight after taking the first one an hour before scheduled takeoff (which was about 90 minutes before actual takeoff).  And all the literature I can find seems to assume I’m taking chemotherapy, so it contains phrases like “take one an hour before radiation treatment and another 8 hours later”.  So will one be enough?  Who knows?  Let’s hope the flight is smooth enough that I won’t find out; it was a bit bumpy until we crossed the Rockies but it’s been smooth for a while now, and with any luck it’ll remain so until I land.  Except for the landing itself of course; landings are the worst, most interminable, scariest & most nauseating part of the flight even with my dope.  Still, my discovery four years ago that pseudoephedrine will clear up the aftereffects of vertigo pretty quickly (despite being powerless to prevent it) has made a huge difference; whereas a vertigo attack used to mean that I’d need to crawl into bed as soon as possible, cry myself to sleep and then wake up hungry in three or four hours, eat a light meal, then go back to sleep for another six hours or so, now it just means hiding in an airport bathroom toilet stall for about half an hour while waiting for the evil, evil pseudoephedrine to take effect (it’s a controlled substance, you know) and then being a little woozy and unhappy until I get to a safe place and get something to eat.  I’ve also discovered that Lorelei’s caresses speed the recovery process, but she’s not with me today so I’ll have to make do.  Anyhow, this is what I write like when under the influence of 20 mg of Valium and no liquor; maybe I should try to do a story this way sometime.  If you’ve already read “Trust Exercise” from my new book, The Forms of Things Unknown, you already know what it looks like when I write part of a story under the influence of edible weed.  And if you haven’t read it, why haven’t you? Go buy it on Amazon, pretty please!  And review it too!  Maybe I’ll try a series of stories written on different drugs; the one on MDMA should be adorable if incoherent, and the one on acid should be interesting indeed.

So okay, I just came back from a one-hour diversion to Twitter since writing the last sentence, and we’re supposed to land in about an hour and a half, and it’s getting kinda bumpy again (Lake Michigan maybe?) so I’m going to wrap this up.  I’d take a picture but my phone is too low on battery & this plane has no power outlets, so you’ll just have to take this entirely-appropriate substitute.  And if this dude behind me keeps kicking my seat he’ll soon get a free helping of verbal abuse.

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Diary #376

Travel, travel, travel!  Grace and Chekhov got home on Saturday, and tell me they have two loads left to be completely done (which is good, because this is costing me a small fortune).  It looks as though they’ll be headed out again later in the week, though that will depend on how quickly they can get unloaded, how much rest they plan to take and how much money I can come up with how quickly.  One thing that’s helping is that I’m traveling today myself; I’m flying to Philadelphia for an overnight with a generous gentleman and plan to return tomorrow, but I could be persuaded to stay another night for the right offer.  That’s the beauty of this kind of travel; I can change my arrangements at a moment’s notice if I like.  And the reason I’m mentioning it, aside from just general interest, is to remind y’all that I can now see gentlemen anywhere in North America for an overnight; if you’re west of the Mississippi an 8-hour appointment may do; in LA a 6-hour; and in Portland a dinner date!  I’ll even come to Europe for a 24-hour engagement, though the rest of the world might require a weekend.  I can’t promise I’ll always be able to fly to your side as quickly as I did for the gentleman I’m seeing today (who only contacted me a week ago), but if you have the resources and a bit of flexibility we’ll usually be able to schedule within a month of initial contact.  So what are you waiting for?  There’s only one Maggie McNeill, and arranging an unforgettable rendezvous with me has never been easier!

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Diary #375

My whirlwind trip to San Francisco last week went quite well!  The combination of Valium, Zofran, a screwdriver (before 7 AM) and first class seating let me sleep through most of the flight, and my visits with my gentlemen were as lovely as usual!  Unfortunately, my return flight on Thursday wasn’t nearly as nice; the arrangements which were wide open when I booked them suddenly turned into TEN people in front of me, so I only barely got on the plane at the last minute and was crammed into a tight little seat way back in steerage.  Ugh.  But at least I got home without sickness and in time for my afternoon appointment, and thanks in part to a lovely cannabis drink I slept like a baby from about 10 PM to 9 AM the next day.  On Friday I had dinner with Jae (who, by the way, is doing very well now), then on Saturday I went for cocktails with Lorelei and Ms. Jane in a lovely hotel lounge; the singer seemed utterly fascinated with us, which we found rather amusing.  And while all this was going on, Grace and Chekhov set out on Friday for the next trip to Oklahoma, and if nothing goes wrong should be on their way back today.  All in all, a busy week but a good one; here’s to most of the remainder of them this year being comparable.

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Diary #374

While I was enjoying the eclipse with Lorelei last Monday, Grace was encountering problems in Oklahoma.  I’d rather not go into the nature of those problems, except to say that they were human-caused, completely unnecessary and painfully expensive.  I don’t mean car-repair expensive, either; I mean cost-of-a-moderate-new-car expensive, and bad enough that poor Grace (who had to deal with it firsthand) was quite depressed all week.  On top of everything else, her departure was delayed from Monday until Friday, and the rest of the moving schedule is now kind of uncertain.  But the return trip was relatively uneventful except for having to replace two trailer tires, so they arrived back at Sunset last night with the second load and the dogs, and we’ll figure out how quickly I can get them back on the road again.  It’s a damned good thing I have no more debt, because this move was expensive even before an asshole I won’t name elected to at least triple the cost of it by being entitled, evil scum.  Meanwhile, I flew into San Francisco this morning and will be here until Thursday morning; there’s a possibility I might still have room for another appointment into my schedule tomorrow, but that’s a bit iffy, so only contact me if you’re flexible.  Otherwise, we’ll have to try on my next trip.  And if you’ve been thinking about booking me, now would be a really good time; I might even be flexible about the length of appointment I’m willing to fly out for.

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Letting Go

As regular readers know, it’s always been extremely difficult for me to relax; my brain never stops and rarely slows, and if I don’t keep it occupied it tends to veer off into things I prefer it not to think about.  That means I can’t concentrate when there are distractions, and being “in the moment” is impossible without the help of drugs or other means of altering brain chemistry.  So as you might expect, just letting go and allowing someone else deal with stuff has never been my strong point, especially since most of the people in my life have always relied on my hypercompetence and therefore entrusted all the preparation and administration to me.  I’ve always been the mommy, the planner, the Girl Friday, the designated driver, the navigatrix, the detail-noticer, the problem solver, the solution-finder, the bearer of burdens.  But over the past few years I’ve been fortunate enough to find myself in a circle of extremely competent women, and I’ve learned that it’s safe to trust them to deal with things when they volunteer to do so, rather than having to take care of everything myself.  Traveling with Lorelei is a special delight; she thinks of all the details I’d think of plus some, and isn’t afraid to delegate back to me if she needs help.  On our recent eclipse trip, she did everything from booking the lodging to plotting our route, and I was happy to be her passenger and companion and help out when needed.  This whole “letting go and enjoying the ride” thing is pretty novel for me, but I’m really beginning to enjoy it; maybe it’ll even help to reduce my stress levels in the long run.

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Diary #373

With the sale of my Oklahoma rental property last week, I am now basically debt-free; I could literally pay off all the debt I owe in the world with a single overnight, and the only reason I haven’t paid that is I want to keep an interest-free buffer during the moving process (though if someone really wants to see me completely debt-free, he could book an overnight on condition I pay it off, and I’d honor the request).  Grace is on her way back from Oklahoma with the second load; she thinks there will be two more, so barring mishap we should be done before the end of summer.  And once that’s done, she can launch into the repairs and improvements necessary before I can start inviting company out there; I plan to pay for those as I go, rather than assuming more debt (because honestly, I’m done with that whole shtick).  Yesterday Lorelei and I saw the eclipse from a quiet beach after spending the night at a lovely little B&B in Oregon, and next week I’m going to San Francisco for a couple of days (and I could see one gent on Wednesday evening; let me know ASAP if you want to be the lucky man).  So for right now, I’m in an unusually quiet place for me; I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts, because 50 years’ experience tells me it probably won’t.

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