Saturday, January 24, 2004

One Sick Queen

Here we are with yet another head-cold. I thought it might be allergies, because the acacia is blooming early and I don't feel sickly, no shivers or aches or sleepiness... just the stuffed sinuses and dripping clogged nasal passages. But it started raining yesterday, and I still feel all drippy and clogged, so I've begun to discount the allergy theory. And then to blow the theory completely out of the water, both Caroline and Grandmother are displaying the exact same symptoms, and neither of them have hayfever allergies.

I should have known it was a cold: this is the most inconvenient time to have one. I have a show to do this weekend, an important show, but runny noses and eyes and full maquillage just don't go together. So in order to keep the nose and eyes dry, I'm going to have to dose up on antihistamines, which will probably make me dopey. Drippy or dopey, those are my choices... unless of course the antihistamines don't work, then I can be drippy and dopey. A drippy dopey drag queen.

And though I haven't felt sleepy or sickly, I certainly have been sluggish all week. Last night I finally started and finished a project that I should have been doing piecemeal over the last two weeks, preparing for our annual audit. But since separating and organizing all of the bank statements, returned checks, and invoices from the last year would require a great deal of floor-space, I always put it off until there was nobody else in the office. And then when I had the office to myself, I put it off and put it off and put it off because I just couldn't make myself do something so boring and meticulous.

Fortunately, Caroline offered to help with the tedious part, since she actually enjoys that sort of thing... it's part of her job in a pathology lab to file and archive tested specimens, and she assured me that attaching returned checks to invoices and separating them by month is a walk in the park compared to filing thousands of pap-smeared glass slides and petri dishes full of organ-parts and phials of old blood. I'll take her word on that.

But even with that part of the job farmed out, there was a lot I was supposed to be doing but didn't even get started until Caroline came over yesterday to help with the files: I had to print out all of the meeting minutes from the fiscal year in question (we run on a July 1 to June 31 year), any changes to the constitution or bylaws, summaries of the distribution of salary release (people who are paid by time released from their district workload), lists of officers, and copies of all flyers and publications put out. Instead I sat around with my thumb up my ass, checking out pictures of young men on party-boats at Webshots and reading my own Mannersism archives (from the fiscal year in question, at least). I also ran errands (like taking Grandmother to the hairdresser and then to lunch, and getting my own nails done), produced and mailed off my General Service newsletter, and did some emailing and phone-answering... but not The Project. Anything but The Project!

Once I did finally get started, at six o'clock on Friday, unexpected challenges arose: most of the minutes were easy to find, I'd filed them all in one subdirectory, but I couldn't find any of the minutes from Fall 2002, because I hadn't written them, and the computer on which they had been written was gone (fortunately I found copies in JB's daily log from the semester... she really ought to do all our filing, she's a wonderful archivist); there had been changes to the bylaws during that fiscal year, but I had never updated the document after the bylaws had been passed, and so had to spend over an hour hunting for and editing in the new bylaws' text; and then it took me forever to get the release time summaries worked out because the arrangement was altered three times after the former president and treasurer resigned in January '03; and though I am pretty good about keeping my publications and flyers filed on my computer, I am not perfect, and so spent a lot of time hunting through folders for misfiled newsletters and announcements... and then I had to print everything, about sixty pages.

Caroline crapped out around ten-thirty, after about two hours of work and two hours dinner-break, but performed a job that would have taken me four or five hours (and made me completely crazy); but since I had to have all this ready for Monday morning, and had been allowed weeks to perform the chore, I stayed until it was finished, finally going home at midnight. There were a lot of pieces missing from the files, returned checks and paid invoices and the like that had been mislaid and perhaps even thrown away by accident; I can only hope that the IRS or somebody from the outside never audits us for real. But at least it's all done as best as it can be done, and I have all of this fiscal year's files organized as well (I had to, they were all mixed in together) so that next year we won't have this problem.

We are also going to be turning over all of the labor related to bookkeeping, the filing and the invoices and the check-writing, to our bookkeeper. That's the other reason I had to get all of the files from this fiscal year straightened out, so I could hand over the entire kit and kaboodle to the man who has been drawing a released salary for the last calendar year for work that I have been doing (and doing badly, too). He's supposed to be spending at least three hours a week on this stuff, and I know I don't spend anywhere near that much (though I only do it once or twice a month, and parts of it get put off for whole years, so it tends to back up into huge projects), so it shouldn't be too hard for him. He is a professional accountant, after all, as well as an accounting teacher.

Now I know I must be sick... I just wasted an hour of my life and several minutes of your time describing in excruciating detail a project that was so boring I'd rather eat glass than ever have to do it again. I'm going back to my beer-swilling straight boys on their lakes with their board shorts and tattoos and vaguely homoerotic shenanigans. Or maybe I'll just go back to bed. Caroline and I are finally going to go see Return of the King today, and I'll need all my strength for the three and a half hours of sitting.

Oh, and if you find yourself at a loose end tomorrow, drop by the Bench & Bar between four and seven for the RGDC Winter Extravaganza, you'll see a super-nifty drag show co-hosted by the wonderful and hardworking Royal Crown Count Margaret Ramirez and some big dopey drag queen dripping snot into her fur muff. There will be food, raffles, auctions, and other entertainments as well. C'mon by, it'll be fun!

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