It's been hard for me too. I have gotten sick a lot, and most of my part-time contract work has run dry. Two ended. One stopped paying me. One vanished, and another won't return my calls. So I have been as poor as a church mouse, and to top it off, I got a Visa card. Very, very bad. Credit cards and me are cursed to create horrible accidents where they get maxxed out, like vet bills, sudden hotel visits to sick relatives and such. It's been that kind of month.
I tried to start writing again, but I am sadly out of practice. Not only is my writing kind of dry lately, but I spent 5 hours one day on what was my best piece in a while, and the computer crashed. I forgot to save it while writing it, something I usually don't forget. I have "autosave" on, but that file was corrupted. My whole computer's acting up, and it isn't a virus or bad hard drive, just a lot of conflicting DLLs and such. I'd do a complete format and reinstall, but since I only have upgrade CD's and disks, it takes almost a day to install DOS, then Win 3.11, then Win95, then Office 5.0, then Office95, then Office97... you get the idea. Then I would have to download all the installers again for Netscape, PSP, etc...
Good news is I have a new phone line. Although Reston C&P said it was impossible, Bell Atlantic installed it, but it took them 5 hours since Reston insists on underground cabling. Work paid for it, isn't that nice? And if I leave my company, all I do is pick up the $19/mo tab. Pretty cool. So now I can browse the web and get phone calls at the same time.
We have squirrels in the roof. They were here last Winter, and now they're back. They scrabble in our "attic" (crawlspace, really) and create messy squirrel pellets. We thought they left in the Summer, but they returned. See, the house we are living in was abandoned for three years until our landlord bought it, and he fixed it up from ruin. Well, all kinds of wild beasties got used to claiming it as THEIR house, but some Combat Bait Traps and clean living took care of most of them. But not the squirrels. Oh no. Not them, and despite putting in a noisy ultrasound repellant, shooting them with water guns, and blocking their entry way with wood, they just chew a new hole and make rude noises. Actually, I don't care if they are up there, but a month ago, they chewed through an attic fan wire and caused it to short out, almost causing a fire. So leave they must, but squirrels are stubborn creatures, and vastly intelligent.
On a final note for this rainy Wednesday, this diary has gotten so big for this year, I split it into two parts. So if you want to see anything before July, see The First Half of 1997.