"When you attend a funeral,
It is sad to think that sooner or
Later those you love will do the same for you.
And you may have thought it tragic,
Not to mention other adjec–
–tives, to think of all the weeping they will do."—Tom Lehrer

This has been a strange week of changes. I had some major back patting on here, I sold some books and stuff on eBay (always nice), Suzi got a new job and I went to the funeral of a co-worker's grandmother yesterday. Today, Suzi's brother and his girlfriend are here, fleeing the potential fury of this hurricane thingy. Very strange week indeed.

I am self-employed (as a massage therapist), and business has not been good this month. Summer is usually quite bad, people are out of town, kids are going back to school and money is being spent elsewhere. This August has been particularly poor, since two of my best clients were injured, thus unable to come get massages.

I'm not panicking. My part-time job has been helping and I've made a few dollars elsewhere. I keep a box of items to sell (on eBay, the world's biggest garage sale) when I have time and I sold about 8 eBays this week. Not gonna make me rich, but $50 is at least a little money.

This has also been a rather nice couple of weeks for me as an amateur writer. I have had several people say some incredibly wonderful things about my writing. This is especially meaningful, as a few of them are people whose work on here I admire quite a bit. I have been writing on here over nine months now, and I'm still an addict. I feel like my confidence in my writing has improved exponentially, as has my ability to take critique in a gracious manner.

In other news, Suzi, my stalwart best friend and life partner has a new job. Some years back, she left the rat race of graphic arts to study floral design. She has since been working for a supermarket as the assistant florist—good experience, but not a great job. Recently, she answered a want ad placed by a small florist shop in a pretty nice part of town. The guy was thrilled by her skills and experience (Bachelor of Fine Art degree from a good school plus floral design school made him sit up and notice!). She will start in a week or so, and the pay is better, even though the drive is further. I suspect that the work will be a bit more interesting (and less grueling!) as well.

There is a world-class hurricane headed right for New Orleans, where Suzi's brother lives. He and his girlfriend packed it up and headed to Dallas yesterday. They are apparently here, staying in a hotel somewhere. We have not yet heard from them, but we might see them tonight. I hope all their belongings survive.

Yesterday was very slow at work. The salon owner's daughter got a half-hour table massage (that's about $20 for me) and ... well, that was all there was. Still, we had other things to think about. One of the hair stylists at the salon where I am employed lost her grandmother on Thursday. I never knew the lady, but I can tell from her daughter and granddaughter that she must have been a pretty cool person.

The funeral was at four pm at a small funeral home chapel near our shop. It was open casket (which, just between us, I think is seriously creepy). A kindly preacher read from the Bible and offered happy words of thanks for this neat woman's lifetime of love and joy. As such events go, it was a beautiful service. The family members who live here were all in attendance and there was a lot of crying ... A ton of crying ...

Last September my own dear mother went on that mysterious journey. This was the first funeral I've been to since hers, and that put a kind of weird spin on the event as well. Mother's death is still with me ... I mean, I guess you never get over it, never want to actually get over it, but most of the sorrow and sadness and stuff is over. Still, it is incredibly hard to watch the people you care about suffering.

Well, the Grim Reaper's an ugly customer, I'll grant you that, but you know who's worse? It's Mr. Mope ... Old Mr. Mope's got you all wrapped up in the wet blanket of his mopey!"—the Tick

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