Monday, November 10, 2008

Let it Rain

It's raining. There's a first time for everything, and this is the first time it's rained since I've moved to San Antonio. It's a nice, soft, pattering rain that immediately reminded me of the frequent comments I heard about Washington state from silly people who live in non-rainy climates. "Oh, I LOVE rainy days," they'd say. "You can just stay indoors and curl up with a book."

Right. You can do that if you live in a place where it doesn't rain almost every day for nine months out of the year. If you intend to wait out the rain in the Pacific Northwest, you'd better be retired, independently wealthy, and stocked up with a LOT of books! If not, I can pretty much guarantee you will not be able to spend all the rainy days curled up in front of the fire. I think you would probably go mad, and at the very least, your muscles would atrophy. You have to go outside and live. In the rain. It gets old. Fast.

Here, however, this nice, soft, pattering rain is a lovely break after weeks and weeks and weeks of perfect sunny weather. And yes; now that I don't have to deal with endless rainy days, I like them again. I may even resort to curling up with a book myself since I'm having one of those days where I wonder if I'm not going to lose my mind.

I'm not sure how it works that I can get a confluence of events that is so maddening; I think it must have something to do with my horoscope! My cat, for example, has conceived a fatal attraction to the plant my mother-in-law sent me when I was in the hospital. It's pretty thing in a basket, and even though I'm usually a plant-killer, I thought I would try to keep it alive. Part of it is a fern and part is something else, probably poison, and apparently, Tabitha NEEDS to eat it. She has never been a cat who would jump on the table, so after noticing her interest, I moved the plant to the table, thinking she'd stay away from it. Not a chance. I walked into the kitchen this morning to find her sitting in the middle of the table, breakfasting on my plant. She was sick shortly thereafter, so I assume that whatever she ingested is not a worry any longer. I think I'll give the plant to DH to take to his office.

That was just one of the maddening bits of the day. Bowker, the keeper of the ISBNs was the perpetrator of another one. I, well, my company, owns a block of ISBNs. We paid for them ages ago. I'm ready to register two new books that we're about to publish. All very straightforward, no? Of course it couldn't be straightforward. I haven't yet unpacked all my moving boxes, and probably won't be able to get to them for a while, and I'm not sure where the paper copy of the list of ISBNs is located. I'm a registered member of Bowker, so I thought I'd just look them up online.


When I signed into Bowkerlink, they would only show me the ISBNs for books I'd already published, unless I paid them $25. Even though it is the same site I use to register the books under the new ISBNs, they hide those damn numbers unless I pay their extortion. Isn't that helpful? I paid the $25. Under protest.

The final maddening thing has left me flummoxed – sort of like Elmer Fudd trying to get the best of Bugs Bunny (never going to happen). It's so peculiar, it's difficult to even explain. The week before we went to Lake Charles, I got a call from the real estate agent who sold our house there. She said the people who'd bought it had received a box that was sent to me and wanted to know how to get it to me. Of course it's been three and half years since we moved and I couldn't imagine what was in the box, but I told her we would be in town and we'd pick it up when we were there. And we did.

After marveling over how amazing it is that we were able to stay in touch and still receive this box, we opened it. It was a box of returns. Book returns. They didn't enclose a packing slip or original invoice. They were from Amazon. GAHHHH!

Several questions come to mind. Say, like, why did Amazon order 43 copies of this book in September and return 9? Those are strange numbers. Also, if they were able to sell 32 copies, then why not hang on to the other 9? They turned around and ordered 22 copies in October! But I have to eat the shipping. That's seriously galling.

The Elmer Fudd part of this is trying to figure out how to fix the shipping address used for the returns. My God. Somewhere in "the Internets" my address is wrong and I have no idea where. I have looked at every place I can think of to change it, and none of them list my old Lake Charles address. Where in the world did they get this and how do I fix it?

I feel half-demented trying to solve this, so I think I'm going to give up for now. Instead, I'm going watch my favorite stupid movie, Les Visiteurs. I found it on youtube and I intend to justify this by telling myself that watching a French movie, even one so incredibly puerile as Les Visiteurs is a good way of improving my French.



Tess said...

Um, I like rainy days, despite my location - granted, we have an elliptical trainer, so my muscles won't atrophy *g*. AND I do NOT like rainy days in May to July.

What is it with cats? Cleo is obsessed with bags and will crawl into anything resembling a bag.

Gah with Amazon. Hope you fix your address on the internets.

Enjoy the pattering rain :)

Gillian said...

I want snow. I also want more time in every day for the next five weeks. I know: I'm just greedy. Rain would do, after all. That green stuff might grow if we had rain. The only thing growing here right now (besides my waistline) is politics.

Doubtful Muse said...

Now, now, Tess. I said a "non-rainy climate" and you KNOW I'm not talking about you. Lots of people love living in the Pac NW and I understand it completely; it's the most beautiful place I've ever seen.

What I meant was the people who live in places where it doesn't rain a lot who gave me the "What? Are you crazy?" treatment for wanting to move because I couldn't handle the weather, but without really understanding what it entails. And you have to admit, it isn't for everyone. e.g., We have a friend, a psychiatrist no less, who lives in Southern California. A few years ago, he visited in summer and totally dismissed my comments about the effects of the weather on mood because "surely, the beauty makes up for the gloom?". He decided to sell up and move to Seattle. He lasted through the middle of November before giving up and moving back to Southern Cal. Lost a boat load of money, not to mention that I now have the right to give him hell for the rest of his life.

Doubtful Muse said...

Gillian, I'll happily wish you whatever you want. I'm just so pleased to be in a place where nine months of the year, I don't have to think much about the weather, except for the odd day when we'll have a torrential monsoon accompanied by a 500-year flood. LOL!

tamsaunt said...

I can understand your frustration with the change of address thing. I have been running the bookstore for a year now and I am still unable to get some of my vendors to take the previous manager's name off and put mine on their records. When you talk to someone they assure you the change has been made and then the next shipment comes addressed to her, even though my name is on the purchase order.

Go figure!