Got shanghaied for another impromptu job today. Furniture relocation for a family friend who's moving to a retirement home. An entire dining room set from her apartment to our house, starting with the chairs. "I can carry two at once." The chairs were big but light, perhaps 10 pounds each. "No, no, you need to be careful with them." "I can carry two and be careful with them!" "No."

We lifted them one at a time from the living room to the hallway, from the hallway to the elevator, from the elevator to the lobby, from the lobby to the front door, from the front door to the sidewalk, from the sidewalk into the van. Then we drove the van home and carried chairs from the van to the front door, from the front door to the kitchen, from the kitchen to the dining room...

Then we drove the van back* and moved the tabletop. All I will say about the tabletop is that (1) it was delicate dark wood with a hinge in the middle and a glossy, impeccably varnished finish (2) the floor was alternating strips of carpet, raspy tile, and concrete (3) were it one foot larger in any direction, it would not have fit in the van, period and (4) ow, my back.

*it was rush hour. Joy!

I also got a talking-to from my mother about not trying to please everyone all the time. "You can't keep on giving if you don't have anything" was the overriding sentiment. Translation: "Please try to find some source of income instead of volunteering." If I didn't look out for myself, she said, nobody would (except the family, of course). I really need to get some sort of automated income - I hate having to think about earning money, I want to be able to volunteer all my life. Book royalties? Website advertising? 37 cents in interest from Disney stock every year (a birthday present from 20 years past; I own the smallest portion of Disney stock that it is possible to own). At least my housing and food are paid for until August 19. I don't know anything about this making-money stuff.

Time for a trip to the library. I need to learn, and fast.

First, however, I need to learn how to organize a conference. I'm doing so in the hardest way possible right now - giving it a shot and making all sorts of wonderful inexperienced mistakes. My "do NOT do this again" catalog is expanding exponentially right now. God, I'm looking forward to running my second conference and not making all these blunders - it's gonna be great the second time around!

'Course, it's going to be fantastic the first time too. So now I get back to my flood of emails...