Saturday, May 31, 2014

Could be an iffy week

I was awake until after eight this morning. Yes, you read that right. I went to bed, but not to sleep. At all. And then I slept from maybe 8:30 to 1:00 pm, which is just about as dysfunctional as a sleep pattern can get.

Normally I sleep from 2:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., which is the second most dysfunctional your sleep pattern can get. 

So since I did not take my go to sleep pillage last night (two benadryl and a melatonin) and demonstrated rather effectively that sleep will not occur until morning when I do that, I'm just not going to take them anymore. NO MORE. It's dumb. I think they knock me out so deep that I sleep forever, once I finally get to sleep. It's dumb, she said again, for emphasis.

This could be an iffy week.

I look and feel like someone punched me in both eyes simultaneously. Fabulous! I'm running around getting stuff done, though. Work, most importantly. Though I still have more to do. And yard work. I committed various types of agriculture, including irrigation. I'm a fan of the agriculture, I tell you what.

I have a million grapes coming in back there, oh boy! Grapes! They are teeny tiny infinitesimally small little green nubbins right now. The potato plants are gigantic and thriving and about to have flowers. I did not know about potato flowers but it stands to reason. The onions and shallots look beautiful. The two boughten tomato plants are covered with flowers but I'd really rather see them get taller before they come in. But that may not happen. And ten million baby roma tomato plants came up from the seeds from last week's pizza, planted in pots. Yay! And this week's seeds got planted directly in the barren patch where the strawberries never grew.

Agriculture! I told you! Yesterday, or possibly the day before, I hoed. Hoeing is awesome, especially if you've been bending over and pulling up weeds. The hoe is an invention of someone who thought, Heck with this, I'm sick of bending over and pulling up weeds! Like, thousands of years ago. I love that.  And it's still a total delight every time I remember, Oh yeah, our species invented agriculture a long time ago, with useful tools and stuff, and also I own them, so let's go crazy and be a tool-user!

What else have I been up to? Hung the big mirror. I actually put in the hanger (one of those fancy three-nail kinds) weeks ago, but it wasn't feeling sturdy enough for me. It wasn't in the stud. So I just leaned the mirror. But now I hung it up. Living on the edge! It would suck if my grandmother's mirror fell and smashed. It would suck worse if it did it while I was asleep. These hooks (probably the exact hooks, come to think of it) survived holding that same mirror up through a six point something earthquake so maybe it'll be okay.

Several more things still to hang. Why so slack about this, home-renter? Hup hup.

Well I'll tell you why! Because this house is kind of random as to placing of the studs! It is pre-building code, is all I can figure, because they're at set intervals now and have been for a long time. Before that I guess you could just do whatever. And so it's hard to find the studs. Unpredictable studs!

Which reminds me that I also set up my Bourne Identity shotgun shells in the desk drawer. I have no idea why this is such a compelling image to me but my brother gets it too. Where are the shells? In the desk drawer. And I got out the oldest, most analog shotgun, the one that actually takes those shells, see, and put it somewhere. There! Now I can stop thinking about it! It will never ever ever ever be used. 

I also need to hang up the beautiful Winchester that doesn't work. Objet d'art! It's been on the quilt rack for months. That is sub-optimal because guns can rust on your quilts, see.

I've been arguing with the imaginary therapist type person in my head about the guns. Therapist type people are adamant that having guns in the house increases the risk of suicide enormously. There is absolutely zero risk of suicide, let me just tell you right now. And near-zero risk of defensive use of them either, to be honest. I wouldn't say exactly zero because who can really say, but as close to zero as makes no difference. 

In the exceedingly unlikely event of a scary dude breaking into the house, my dog would bark his head off and scary dude would flee. I mean, come on. In the even yet still more unlikely event that the imaginary scary dude did not flee, I'm infinitely more likely to whack someone with a frying pan. Like Rapunzel! Or one of the many axes, hatchets, and machetes scattered around the place. Jiminy, this place is full of edged weaponry, through no fault of my own. I did not buy any of them except the one that's a saw (unsharpened) on one side and machete (also unsharpened) on the other. All came from uncles or my brother.

Anyway, I continue arguing to the imaginary therapist in my head, the thing that is most dangerous to keep in your house is an actual man. You're much more likely to be injured by a domestic male human who lives there than by anything else. Hazardous! It's true, check the statistics. So I think not having one of those should totally cancel out the assorted weaponry. There!

Oh, I have to hang up the super dull ancient crappy dress sword over the mirror that also isn't hung up in front of the front door. Jeez! Or I need a troll's leg umbrella stand to put it in. 

I did vacuum a small portion of the house. The foyer, to be exact. I used the hand held vacuum, which means bending over exactly like when you pull weeds when you forget about the existence of the hoe. I took the real vacuum apart last night and installed the new belt, which promptly broke. Whoops! Fortunately they come two to a package. So I put the old one back in. And it made that horrendous rattling noise again, like a machine that is eating itself. This means either a) I take it apart much more than you're supposed to, which is none, and try to fix the actual motor, hoping that some random loose piece of plastic broke off in there somewhere en route between Maine and Oregon, or b) I take it to the vacuum repair shop, where they will remind me it cost $45 new six years ago and fixing it will probably cost more, or c) I go buy a new vacuum, which will also be blue like this one is. Was. May or may not be. It's blue, but it may or may not have a continued existence in my household, is all.

Wow! I feel dreadful! Yes!

I can stay awake essentially forever. It's true. I don't have that thing where you get sleepy. Not usually. It's rare. 

I'm going to try very hard to enforce official bedtimes in the normal awake/asleep person time frames. It's an ongoing project. It's very quiet here at night (yay!) so that helps an awful lot. I'll probably sleep better when my neighbors on both sides get back from their vacations. Also I'll wake up a lot earlier because boy do they get up early and get out there and start doing things six feet from my sleeping head! At perfectly normal times of day--nothing wrong with it. Wakey wakey!

Are you so excited that I'm getting television? And internet? Decent internet with lots and lots of ability to watch streaming video and whatnot? I KNOW!!! I'm deliriously excited! I'm planning my World Cup knitting with great anticipation. Maybe I'll even build the arms back on the couch! And the back! I brought all the taken apart pieces. Could be a good idea! Who can say?

I wish I had a recumbent exercise bike, though. Boy is it hard for me to sit still all that time. And also it's unhealthy. I'll keep checking Goodwill and those kinds of places. I would accept an elliptical instead or in addition to a recumbent exercise bike. Remember that spring and summer I watched the entire run of Buffy while riding my bike and got all svelte? I know!

Alternatively, and much more likely, I'll move my real bike and the wind trainer out by the tv for the duration.

I'm so excited, I'm considering altering and moving furniture! Wooooooo!

2014 World Cup! Last time I got tv: 2010, in Maine, last World Cup. Time before that: 2006, in L.A., World Cup before that. Time before that: when I lived here before, 2002, the World Cup before that. Before that I watched it with my heinous ex for the very first time! I know! Historical! Memorable! Locational!

Oh boy!

Do you know how long it takes to vacuum a square yard of carpet with a hand-held vacuum that has a two by 3/4 inch opening? I wouldn't care, except for internet/tv guy coming over. And the untidiness does bother me some. Just not very much.

The giant sewing mess in the living room bothers me much more. Got to pack that up! And then, I strongly suspect, go the heck to sleep. Oh my giddy aunt. 

Do you realize that June is tomorrow? It's already June where Sumara is! Aaaaah! June! Already?

I totally have to start knitting those chain mail tunics for the niece and nephew, and, now that I think of it, for my incipient great-niece or great-nephew. Must also acquire "World's Greatest Grandma" mug and/or appliqued sweatshirt for my 49 year old sister, accompanied by wicked laugh. She is much younger than her kid's dad, and is not the biological mother, as you may have guessed. It doesn't make me enjoy the wicked laugh any less, though! Mwahahahahahaha! 

I'm about to be a great-aunt! I have always longed to be an eccentric great-aunt and now I get to be one! Hurray!!! I am sure the child's parents will appreciate the tiny knitted chainmail tunic for their new offspring! With its tiny tabard! The sheepy sweater is all packed up and ready to drop in the mail as soon as we have touchdown, have no fear. Proper baby presents are essential. But wacky ones are fun. Ooooh, I have to knit the baby one of those winged Viking hats I knitted everyone else! Yes yes yes!

Right, back to work, more to do. But fun times ahead!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Adulting a little bit at least. Which: yay!

Though actually the mailman did not pick up my rent check that I put out last night, so I have to go drive in a car (!!!) to hand it over. Or maybe walk over with the dog? It's just the other side of the park. But there's a wide busy road over there, and do I want to bring the dog into the office?

I'm doing much more dithering than adulting. Par for the course!

I did finally overcome my major reluctances (several) and got in touch with the nice cable guy who stopped by when I was unloading my big yellow truck, LO these many months ago. He gave me his card and a paper about a deal I really should have taken at the time. But I didn't know! Now I know. Alas.

Anyway he set me up with excellent deals and I'm getting internet and tv on Monday. Dude! Amazing! I canceled Netflix and the gym which I was not going to anyway because of psych issues, mainly, and I'll reduce to nothing the stupid wireless internet I have through my phone, because they keep upping the price and lowering how much you get. And I'm not using any more than any other time in my life, but it keeps showing up that I'm using about ten times more. No, nobody else can get in, it's just...getting stupid. So I'm out!

Point being it'll cost less than I'm paying out now. Which: yay!

I totally want that on a t-shirt.

I have to get going to the office to pay the rent. And also need to walk up to the vacuum store and get a new belt for the vacuum. Especially if someone's coming over to put in the internet, huh? This place hasn't been vacuumed since I did it right before Easter. 

I have backups. I always have backups! It's me! I have the shop vac, which sort of does the trick, in a difficult way, but the thing is, you actually have to use it. I know! And there's the little baby vacuum I had in L.A., called a scorpion or something. It looks like a little dustbuster but plugs in. Very good for small areas. Not practical for a whole house. 

On the real vacuum, the motor runs but the rotor doesn't turn and there's a smell exactly like a belt burning, so I took it apart and cleaned it and took the belt out and honestly there's no earthly reason why I haven't walked the ten blocks or whatever to get a new belt. 

I may have issues. Issues! I also need to call up the Issues doctor but haven't done that yet either. Nor the dentist, even though both are covered under this excellent health plan. Nor the regular doctor to get my bloodwork done. 

Okay, I admit I'm having generalized Failure To Cope. I'm doing my jobs, though. Work work work! And cooking of the vegetables and things! And doing laundry all the time! Laundry is an anxiety indicator, though, as is buying socks and shampoo beyond reasonable necessity. 

I'm making pizza tonight, woohoo! Unless I don't! Then I'll make it tomorrow. I need to buy cheese, see, which involves going to the store. Which means I just need to get in the car and drive on my three teeny tiny errands and come back home and make pizza. Or! Start the dough first! Then go run errands!

We were up all night because of some animal crawling under and possibly into the underneath of the house. The dog and cat were running all over the place, sniffing the floors. This morning, the dog is still running around sniffing the baseboards. It seems to be underneath my desk at the moment, off to the left, against the wall. I wonder what it is?

I will tell you what it isn't: a skunk. I'd know! It's most likely that possum we saw before. How it got under there, I do not know, but on a hot day, that's a great place to be. Except for how the dog was up all flipping night long barking his head off. Every time I got to sleep, bark! So when I actually did get sleep, I had terrible nightmares.

Thor was in them. I can't figure that guy out. I think the character is entirely undeveloped, actually. He hasn't had a single character moment since the first Thor movie. And what is his character, anyway? He's not a straight arrow gung-ho guy like Captain America is. He's sort of just big and buff and fighty. Likes to hit things with his hammer. Doesn't make personal connections. You can't build a character on Fights Bad Guys. I think he's the weakest link as far as characters and that's why he worries me enough to show up in nightmares. Because he's not a full person, which to me reads as: sociopath at minimum, psychopath more likely. 

You know how in real life they appear to be sort of two-dimensional, right? The various -paths? Their drives don't fit into the patterns we understand. Like a regular person wants things like a comfy couch and a superhero movie to watch, they want friends to hang out with and they like cheese, they are lazy or energetic and are smitten with their little niece and nephew. They get excited about stuff and dislike other stuff. Maybe they have some issues, like they're scared of heights or dislike corn!

With a -path you feel like a lot of those are missing, leaving blank space, so it's like a cardboard cutout with big gaps in it. And in place of the cheese and stuff there is some big drive that goes counter to the way the rest of us do things. And vast quantities of sheer self-orientedness. 

Like I'll go around the park picking up trash, because I recently read a compelling argument that people are much more likely to throw trash on the ground when there's already trash on the ground, because that says: this is a place where it's okay to throw trash. So I pick it up. All the time. Every day. Right? I want the park to be nice! I like it nice and clean and pretty. I pick it up and throw it out.

Your -path isn't even going to see it, think about it, notice it, or understand why anyone would ever care. There's an empty space where social responsibility goes. There are a lot of empty spaces.

That's kind of how Thor feels to me. I find the various -paths deeply unsettling to be around. And I've known a surprising number of them, though I didn't have the language or tools to describe the phenomenon until the last few years. 

This is why we're going to have trouble getting along with aliens, which come to think of it, Thor is, after all. But eventually we'll figure out what matters to them and vice versa. Thor doesn't have any of that. He cares about his brother, but that's not a whole life, you guys. Actually both of them are seriously sociopathic. Give me a powerful, selfish guy with no responsibilities and I will run away fast.

I'd love to hear what Joss Whedon was thinking about Thor in the Avengers movie. The man has no arc! Stop Loki is not an arc. Anyway everyone shares that goal. 

Hi!

Last night I watched Pirates! Band of Misfits, which is an animated Aardman movie with a ridiculously famous bunch of people doing the voices, though of course I didn't recognize most of them until the credits gave it away. Like, Hugh Grant is the Pirate Captain and Martin Freeman is his first mate. That kind of famous. The only one I recognized was Salma Hayek, because she has a very distinctive voice and accent. What a lovely movie! And full of constant visual jokes, so you have to watch every single thing. I'll have to watch it a couple more times to even approach getting all of them. David Tennant does the voice of Charles Darwin, just to give you an example. 

Nope, didn't catch any of them. We'll talk another time about how I never recognize men's voices unless the faces are there with them. On the phone, I will have no idea who you are. Ever. No matter how often we talk. Unless you have a particularly distinctive accent that I'm rarely around, like Nashville (Lars) or Mumbai (this doctor I worked for.)

I never identify the voices in animation. Once you tell me, it seems incredibly obvious, but otherwise, nope.

Right: rent check, vacuum belt, cheese. Oh boy. Going places! Doing things! Maybe! If I can just get out the door, I'll be fine. 

There's a recipe I want to try for deep dish apple pie with cheese pastry crust. Doesn't that sound fabulous? Of course I'll use pepper jack rather than cheddar. Deep dish just means there's only a top crust. Lovely! 

Must make t-shirt that just says Lovely! And of course the one that says:

Which: yay! 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Holiday internet

Is so boring! Where is all my stuff to read and pictures to look at and all that?

And I already spent a lot of time today reading up on how to convert a school bus into an RV. So cool! This family converted one and documented it from the ground up. At least, the guy took all of the pictures and did the majority of the work from what I can tell, but he says "we" all the time, so it's hard to say. 

Anyway! It looks like the most tremendous amount of work if you want to make it into an RV-looking RV. But if you just want to clear out all the seats and make it weather-tight and neat and clean and put stuff in it, then it's probably 1/100th the work. 

I don't know, this guy did a huge amount of unnecessary and not even that aesthetically appealing woodwork, especially all kinds of what do you call it where you put edges on everything. Like he would make a built in cabinet and then put rings of different colored wood around the edges by the wall, along every edge, and around every door and cabinet. I don't think it looks good and it's an insane amount of work.

Also he built in these bunks that look like coffins, with no ventilation, just where you crawl in. I would never do anything like that. And taking out every piece of dash and building in wood cabinetry? Again, seems daft, does not look good to me because it's all flat surfaces with those darker edges all around everything.

But I definitely got some good ideas and bookmarked a bunch of pages. Not that I'm at any point in the buy an old school bus and convert it process beyond thinking about it. I guess I'm slightly further along the thinking about it process now that I'm looking at how to do things.

I can tell you this: I could totally do it. I would need help with a) wiring, especially to make things run both off the alternator and off a generator and off an outside plug. No idea how to do that. And help with b) setting up propane-run appliances like the water heater and stove. But this guy takes you through all of the rest of it, so I was able to see that it's all perfectly doable at my present state of knowledge. Though not my present state of no funding.

You know what else I don't like? This insistence I've seen throughout most of these retrofit sites on built-in blocky furniture. I would want flexibility and also to be lower down. Keep me far away from any kind of built-in dinette situation, yucko! With the benches! Hate it! I'd rather sit on a pillow on the floor, I am not kidding. Or put in a regular table and, like, folding chairs. Flexibility! Options! 

I'm having strong feelings about windows, too. I have a complicating mixture of Must Have Air Access combined with Must Be Invisible to Outsiders. Honestly, it's complicating my regular life in a house right now. 

This is kind of funny, actually. I was doing some sewing and hung a bunch of shirts and things on the back of my heavy oak music stand, which is where my ipad lives when I'm reading, writing, or grading. That's where it is right now, for instance, as I type this. The shirts make a wonderful curtain so that as I'm sitting in the big mossy chair, nobody outside can see me. Not that they're there. And nobody is looking. But I don't like being able to be seen.

In fact, I love the effect of it even right now, when all of the curtains are shut and it's 11:30 at night and the street is completely deserted. I just like hiding. But with lots and lots of fresh air.

The back room, aka the canoe room, is becoming my very favorite place (next to this gigantic mossy chair) because I sit in these very low lawn chairs. There's a screen door opening onto the deck, which is covered on the far side by a wooden fence. It's impossible to see in from anywhere. And the windows are higher up, so I can just see sky. The other door faces onto my shed. Fresh air, quiet, sky, and invisibility. I love it!

This street is very full of people all day long and they really do look in the windows all the time, in case you think I'm being paranoid. I get very tired of making eye contact with strangers while I'm in my living room. Would you like that? No you would not!

But I have to see the sky. So. Like I said. Complicated!

Today I washed the car and mowed the grass. So suburban! And there were soap box races all day long, which meant a nice lady on a loudspeaker system narrating the events from early until six p.m. I think they start at 7 a.m. actually. I saw a sign in the park today that said 7 - 6. There isn't really another 7 - 6 that they could be talking about!

We went for a walk about forty minutes before sunset, my favorite time! I am just outrageously in love with the park. I don't know if I've mentioned that lately. We go every single day. It's extremely rare that we miss a day. Often we go later in the day, around horizontal sunlight time, something I absolutely adore. 

It's because this spot is on a spur of land with lower land on all sides because of the river and the major creeks. The river cuts just west of here--I could hit a baseball that far, in fact. We could walk there except the river park is on the other side of the river, oops! I've actually thought of taking the kayak down there by hand. I have that little rolly cart thingy and it weighs nothing. 

Point being, there's a time of day where the sun is basically below the ground level and still shining on us, which means that in the park you get this amazing horizontal light streaming through gigantic oaks at least two hundred years old and lush grass and it's just the most beautiful thing ever. And it happens every sunny day! I love it so much! It's one of the things I wanted when I wanted to come back here. 

Today we caught the sunset, with some purple clouds making it extra beautiful, plus we went through the giant municipal rose garden, which at that time of day just about makes you drunk on the gorgeous smells and the colors all glowing in the light. Everything is in bloom right now. It's also glorious to see all the people going through there silently flipping out over how fabulous it all is. It's like we all can't believe how lucky we are to be alive and be right there, right then, in the most beautiful spot on earth.

I take the dog all kinds of interesting twisty routes every day so he can have maximum sniffage and constantly changing locations. We have so much fun. We also go walking around the streets nearby because I'm utterly in love with the Craftsman houses and all the beautiful gardens blooming their heads off. 

I'm not sure where my old friends and neighbors are, but the one is (I think) in Canada and the other, I'm not sure if she still lives there, but recently I've seen a lot more activity in her gardens, so maybe. I should go knock on the door! Duh! 

That's a funny thing. Yesterday I saw a car with a license plate that had three numbers and then the letters DUH. And this young guy got out, his hands full of stuff, just as I walked past, so I said, "I like your license plate," and he laughed and told me that he didn't even notice when he got it, and then later his friends pointed it out. I love that! DUH. What a great license plate to have!

I can never think of clever things for a license plate when I'm actually getting a license plate--something I do more than the average person, I think. 

I kept my cute otter plate from PA, by the way. I have it hung up on the wall. That otter is just too cute to let it go!

I'll have to get my old loon ones and the rest when I'm back in PA. I was hoping to visit this summer but I don't know. Money! Money is why I don't know! Yes. 

Well holiday weekends in the summer mean I have to have hot dogs, so I got some, yes! Hebrew National with no noses or anything. At least, don't tell me otherwise, because I need my illusions intact, and they cost so much they better be pure awesomeness inside. I will get more for 4th of July and again for Labor Day. 

My friends are having me over tomorrow so I baked that ridiculously good Mississippi Mud cake today. The dog is quite adamant that he should be allowed to lick out the bowls etc, while I'm even more adamant that chocolate is not for dogs. But he keeps thinking that I just don't get what he means, so he goes hurrying in there and looks pointedly at the dishes and then gives me his meaningful stare. And then I'm like, "Not for dogs!" and he looks reproachful. 

We have a lot of conversations, as you can tell. What a good boy!

Hmm, yes, car wash, or rinse, really--it's not like I even got a rag and used soap--I just hosed off the thick yellow layer of pollen that was all over it. Yucky! This is why this area is so bad for allergies. Well, and agriculture is going on everywhere you look. Right in plain sight! Yes! But also there's this giant park full of trees outside the window and that adds a lot of stuff to the immediate vicinity. 

Mowing the lawn is a great way to snuffle up the very most possible pollen, as it turns out! Gack. Oh, but it looks so nice when it's done. Tomorrow I'll rake it up and snort up more pollen, whoopee! Soon enough everything will dry out and the air will be clear again, and also it'll be so dry the lawn will croak (or go dormant I guess) and I won't really have to mow for a while. 

I am totally living in paradise here so it's good there are things like pollen and passersby to remind me that it's not utter perfection. 

Today the neighbors' cat came over and looked at me through the window so I would feed him. His people are out of town. I would imagine someone is taking care of him, though? Like the neighbor on the other side? Anyway I gave him a bowl of dry food, which no doubt will go to feed the local wildlife shortly. Just in my own yard I've seen possum, skunk, and raccoon, all of which adore cat food. Which actually might explain what's happening to his own food, come to think of it. 

I like that even other animals come by to communicate with me. My own do a whole lot of talking in their own way. They are excellent communicators. My dog tells me so much stuff, I actually had to train him to raise a paw to tell me he has to go out. He's always running over to me and flipping out about something, a noise, a person walking past, a possum in the yard, the neighbors talking, etc. So I have to say, "Give me the paw," and raise my own paw, and then he's like, "Oh, right," and raises his paw, and then I take him out. 

I just realized that raising your hand when you need to be excused is a very classroom kind of thing. Well, I'm a teacher, what do you expect. 

Also, isn't it cool that my dog can identify my hand and his paw? I think that's cool. We're totally different species and all that. I mean, we're kind of laid out on different blueprints. There are definitely things he does not identify as analogous to himself, namely my tongue. The first time I stuck out my tongue at him he actually jumped backward and stared, and then crept closer to see what that weird thing was in my mouth. He was entirely grossed out and alarmed. He would look at it, then look me in the eye, all worried, like there was something wrong with me, then look back at it. It was very hard not to laugh myself silly when he was being so serious and concerned. 

Oh, he's such a good dog. What a good little buddy. 

We have once again signally failed to watch Iron Man 2 or 3. Oh the humanity! I'm going to cancel Netflix soon so I'd better get on it, hup hup. And I really have to figure out television in the sense of someone piping it into the house very soon, since World Cup is coming up fast. I don't even remember when it is. Must check. I have the card for the nice cable guy right on my desk. I should also get internet at the same time, thus reducing the expensive stranglehold my cell phone company has on me, along with not nearly enough bandwidth to do anything much. I mean, limited gigabytes per month or you pay big overage. It was good in rural Maine where it was the only option, but it's dumb here. 

Big decisions like this completely flatten me, though. I get this hunted look and start doing housework vigorously as a distraction. It's a big commitment! They want a two year contract! It's a big decision and I have to worry about it a lot before I can commit!

I'm pretty excited to have tv again, though, especially since there's all this on demand stuff that they didn't have last time I had it. Mmmm, soccer. Mmmmmmmm. And other things. But, you know: soccer!

Right, chapter to write! I'm in love with my book and of course writing it gives me these enormous bursts of serotonin or something, just utter bliss baths in my brain. It's partly AM BEING GOOD and partly AM CAUSING RESULTS I WANT TO HAVE HAPPEN and partly some kind of brain chemistry thing, I don't know, but it always happens and it's extremely addictive. I'm wishing I hadn't struggled with the miserable rewrite for so long before starting a new thing, but hello, you have to rewrite things. But rewriting doesn't give me the rush. It just makes me feel overwhelmed and wretched. I don't know, it's something to figure out. But not tonight!

Happy Memorial Day weekend or whatever thing you may be having right now! Wooooooo!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Patreonization!

I am doing a thing! It's exciting. It's so exciting I practically had a panic attack and had to go lie down. But first I started writing a thing!

It's not a new idea, but I never started working on it until, er, yesterday. Yesterday, when I learned about Patreon and decided I really wanted to do another serial novel and went to the IDEAS folder and dug around until something yelled ME.

I love this idea. Oh boy! It is bursting with things to do. Sometimes an idea looks good and then you dig in and it's one of those oranges that looks great on the outside but inside it's all dried up and miserable. Not this one!

This one is like the nectarines I have right now. They're like water balloons, all sweetness and juice. Mmmm.

Anyway, you can go to Patreon and find me under ohmygiddyaunt, which I would include here as a link except what the hell, I can't? That is unacceptable. Just a moment while I switch platforms. Jeez.

Right! This is better. Look, here's the link!

I'm writing a serial novel. The title is Cedar Flats Portage and Supply. It's awesome! I'm in love with it so far. I can actually smell the hotel/casino where I worked for a while. How do places like that have a particular smell? Probably it's the floor wax or something, come to think of it.

I'm posting it daily on a blog. You get access by subscribing on Patreon. It's a dollar a week. I went all over the place on that, not just back and forth! But that's what I came up with in the end. If it takes the amount of time it should, it'll end up costing what a book costs. And I'll send out the week's writing in a file every Sunday, plus one big file at the end.

I wanted to do all kinds of rewards and loot and stuff! But they all cost money and I am not having the money! So that makes me slightly grumpy, but oh well. I can always add in rewards later, or just up and give people stuff, whee!

I did have a very fun time playing with my Cafe Press bootstrapville shop, where there is just an incredible array of stuff with my old boot logo plastered on it. My favorite is the 3"x3" sticker. In fact, that's why I set up the shop in the first place, LO these many years ago. I like the mugs, too, though I think I need to rejigger them so they have the logo on both sides.

Both sides of a cylinder. Oh, the humanity. Back and front, is what I mean, to the person holding the mug's handle.

They have invented all these new items since I was on there last. Teapots! Tea infuser thermos type things! I know!

I have hitherto unsuspected strong feelings about what pieces of merch I will and will not allow the logo on. How bizarre! No underwear--I deleted all of it. No key chains. What are key chains for, anyway? I don't get it. Keys themselves are large enough to carry out the function of a key chain. Truly I am mystified. What else? I deleted the curtains and duvet covers and things, though it was very funny the way the system took my one little square image and stuck it directly in the middle of a queen sized duvet, like a postage stamp. That might almost be worth having for entertainment value. Except not.

I really want to get myself a t-shirt, though. I'm curious about the level of quality, for one thing.

Anyway! That's my big exciting news! I'm excited about the book, obviously. And went all utterly blissed out after writing yesterday, as usual.

Book! So great!

I admit I'm pretty excited about these nectarines, too. Yum.

It's the most gorgeous day out! I have to go get a prescription and visit the library for many many books. I'm also sorely tempted to visit Target and see if they have Rainbow's cardigan, because I'm like that.

Lately I keep getting overwhelmed by how fabulous things are here, like I've somehow managed to set up my ideal life where I work from home in a happy little house on the park, where it's all sunshine and green grass and my puppy and kitty are always snuggling me and there's knitting and cups of tea and no basement and a garden and it's utterly quiet at night! I know!

Obviously there are a few tiny issues like isolation (near total) and insufficient income, but I feel like those might be manageable. And now that I am WRITING A DANG BOOK again I am very very happy indeed.

Produce, in case you were wondering, is the difference between Holy crap I am going to starve and die and everything is horrible, versus the aforementioned green grass and sunshine and happy furry animals. Produce! As in, nectarines, bananas, apples, pretty colored bell peppers, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, green beans, yellow summer squash, butternut squash, sweet onions, roma tomatoes, and so on!

Yum. Produce. It makes me feel like there's all this promise and possibility and also deliciousness. Also of course produce makes you full, while everything else that seems like it would make you full only makes you endlessly wanting more. Your mileage may vary.

I have not managed to get to the Market de los Farmers yet, but I'm working on it. Saturday I was about ready to go and the homeowners offered to come by and fix things, so of course I stayed for that. But surely there's somewhere in the six hour span this Saturday that I can get myself down there. For, you know, produce!

I can't believe I'm still eating food that I brought with me, but it's true. I have odd things left, like these rice cakes, and I just finished up some prehistoric Nutella.

This weekend I have great plans for MORE PIZZA like the amazing, astounding, heavily laden pizza I made last weekend. It had hot italian sausage, pineapple, sweet onion, and roma tomatoes, so it was kind of more like a salad on bread. I don't do sauce. I put down some olive oil and dice up tomatoes (none of the seeds or liquidy part) with basil and oregano and salt and pepper. Okay, so it's basically sauce that hasn't been made into sauce. It's all insanely good and there's provolone on top, oh boy!

I'm really hoping for More Online Job to start Tuesday or the next Tuesday, because that would take a lot of pressure off. I'd be okay without but I'd be so utterly relieved with! So yes please, universe!

What do you think about Patroen, eh? Good idea, bad idea, terrific idea? I wanted to be accountable and make sure the daily writing gets done.

I haven't even gone on and on about the Avengers movie, which I've watched possibly ten times in the last five days. Including zero watches yesterday, which tells you something. There seems to be an awful lot to get with each rewatch, that's the thing! And I'm fascinated with the characters. I like how uncomfortable and dorky Captain America is all the time, like he feels ridiculous in his suit. I love Black Widow and how she's actually the one who gets every single important thing done in the whole movie. She really does--she gets them together, sorts them out, figures out Loki's deal, knows that the solution is to turn off the wormhole machine thing, and actually turns it off. And I'm completely smitten with Bruce Banner and Agent Coulson.

I like how most of them aren't actually any kind of superhero. That's cool. Even Captain America is pretty normal, just amped up a bit. And the ones who are superheroes aren't *being* that superhero self most of the time. They're scientists and inventors, come to think of it. I love that. I love how human it all is. Even Thor is just kind of tall and awesome and long-lived.

Okay, I guess I *did* go on and on about the Avengers movie a little bit, but it's just the tip of the iceberg, believe me. And I'm stopping now.

Here is what the landlord guy fixed: the heater that didn't work in the sewing room; the doorbell, which I wish I'd never mentioned because I hate doorbells; the motion sensor light that wouldn't turn off all night outside; and the hole in the roof. Yay! He turned out to be a super great guy, which I had not picked up on before. And he really did things right, like, got out the paint and painted the area around the new doorbell because it was smaller than the old one. How great is that?

Old landlord in Maine was a nice guy but OH what a terrible landlord.

I keep thinking about that one time his two dogs showed up in my yard and ran up onto my deck, and I was like, Ack, ack, oh no! because of the busy road, so I ran outside and said, "Let's go for a ride!" and opened the back door of my car, and they went, "Oh boy!" and jumped in, so I drove them home. I think that is such a great thing from beginning to end.

Whoop! Stuff to do! Alarm! Places to go! Hup hup! Go go go!



























Sunday, May 18, 2014

Cyclical things are cyclical

Imagine!

Also forgetful things are forgetful, something that I always, er, forget. So it took me a couple of days here to figure out why my right arm and leg have gone numb and invisible and why walking is strangely difficult since last week and why my eye keeps spazzing out and stuff like that.

It's very fortunate that I write this here blob so I can look back at a year ago and get reminded that cyclical things are cyclical and also what it means when your leg goes invisible and your arms keep you awake all night by not being there.

See this thing here for details. Also, Harch turned out to be a mama deer barking at her twin babies, a boy and a girl. That seems like MUCH longer ago than last year, doesn't it? I had to keep looking at the dates and thinking, wait, this really is just 2014 and that really was 2013 and I guess it really was a year ago, holy crap.

Things are niiiiiiiice here. I keep getting all blissed out. It's quiet (mostly) and gorgeous, in my definition of gorgeous, which includes wet cold rainy days much more than hot dry sunny days. I will also accept cold and sunny, and warm and rainy. I can do without the hot, though.

I did get through the heat last week just fine by strategic closing of blinds and doors and windows and sitting in front of fans. I was perfectly comfortable except when I washed the dishes. And I've been ungodly boiling hot today, when it's about 57 degrees out. And raining, come to think of it.

Well, I'm having a lot of trouble with the arms at the moment, keeping them where they can reach the keyboard. They're going all jiggle jiggle let go of us.

Stupid boring old M.S., you'd think it could manage to go away since I'm clearly capable of forgetting that it exists! I can't remember if it came around again last fall--I'd have to read back--but yes, it hit me just about a year ago, and apparently hits me around this time *every* year, so I ought to try to remember that, but then again, why? It doesn't affect it at all. It does what it wants!

Good movies, good books! Well, some bad movies, some mediocre movies, and some good books. The movies are Thor and Thor 2. The second one was exceedingly bad. The first was kind of okay. The whole thing with the heavy metal Vikings standing around in absurd, poorly designed CGI sets left me super cold, however. Even their dumb armor was idiotic. It all looked like some teenagers who watched Lord of the Rings way too many times got hold of some money and told their production teams: "Majesty! Grandeur! Vistas!" and nobody had any real design sense or whatever. So it kind of all looks like 70s record album covers.

But the first Thor movie was mostly on Earth, so that was okay.

Everything in Asgard was people Speaking Angrily or else Gazing Meaningfully, which is just teenage boy movie direction though possibly also terrible writing? I mean, there are other emotions out there, you guys. Boys! They do not know! There was not an iota of complexity in anything. Oh well.

Meanwhile I've been reading glorious books. Rereading in some cases. And in one case, this book that was a YA paleography mystery treasure hunt turned stupid, so that made me sad. It could have been awesome but instead it turned into these big mysterious religious secret societies duking it out with each other while our heroine--no joke--cowered on the floor, bleeding.

How do you writers not realize what you're doing to your heroines? How? Your heroines need to MAKE THE DECISIONS and MAKE CHOICES and not just get buffeted around by the winds of change. Jiminy. I really hate the helpless heroine. And I don't think it's possible for them even to exist in the real world. People make choices. That's inevitable! Your choices determine what happens to you. Even when you're faced with improbably awful situations, your choices are the most important thing.

The Book of A Thousand Days is one of the best examples of that ever. The heroine gets into these awful situations but she makes her choices each time and that's what drives the story. I swear I divide books into CHOICE and STUPID these days. I got really mad at the paleography book once it went from choice to stupid. She did this thing, made a choice, and it got someone killed, which makes absolutely no sense to the rest of the story, once you know the situation--there's no earthly reason for anyone to kill that guy. NONE. Which is another irritating thing about that book, I tell you what.

Anyway, good books? The Dust of A Hundred Dogs, which has an awesome pirate in it, and a horrible man I wanted to kill so bad that while I was reading it and making banana bread, I said out loud, "I want to kill this guy."

It's probably not ideal that my window was open and my neighbors were on the porch next door. I mean, we can hear everything the others say. Our dogs keep hearing each other and saying "Woof!" then "Bark!" then "Bark!" then "Woof!" They have the same barks because their two are Corgis and mine is part Corgi. At least he has an absolutely Corgi bark.

Must learn to include context when talking to myself. Say things like, "I want to kill the guy in this book!" Though neighbors are an ex-cop and an ex-district attorney so presumably they would be exactly the people to handle it if I were to declare murderous intentions in the kitchen.

Hi!

Things have calmed down a bit! I had triple Online Job for a while but now it's back to two for another bunch of weeks. I keep doing intensive math in Quicken to figure out how much I'll get paid and when. It's not as easy as you'd think to figure it out! I had to start a whole Works calendar with all of the dates entered to be sure of the cut-off dates and pay dates and things. SO COMPLICATED.

Intensive math reveals all is well, though, if not abundant or whatever, and all should be even better if more and more iterations show up in the current gap. I need maybe two more to pop up in the next couple of weeks and all will be glorious.

I managed not to get any of that phantom furniture, though my friends got upset because they felt like I had been screwed. All of my efforts of saying No no no, I don't want it, I'm fine, and they still feel bad because they think I'm just saying that.

People. I am never just saying that. I won't say it unless it's true.

I am quite relieved not to have a house full of this furniture I didn't really want. And would have to move, right? I know!

I've read The Dispossessed far too many times in my life to take on a big weight of stuff I don't want. I can't even remember who says it in that book but someone says that if they take what they don't need, they won't get what they DO need. And I feel very strongly about that.

I don't think you should have stuff you don't love. Period. If you have to have it for a while so you have somewhere to sit or sleep, that's one thing. But if you don't need it, criminy, don't have it! It weighs you down and fills up your space with badness.

Did I tell you I got these ridiculously awesome things at the Anglican yard sale? Or are they Episcopalians? Where is my memory? Ah, right, full of worm holes right now, all fritzing sparks and fizzling wires with bad connections.

Anyway I got a satchel full of awesomeness. This outrageously nice and no doubt incredibly expensive marble font, basically a shallow bowl on a pedestal, but it came unglued from the pedestal and so looked like a wobbly bowl and a candlestick. The glue part looked like an old candle in the base. So they were selling it for $2.50. So obviously I had to buy it! And one of those butler tables that folds up on all four sides and lifts up off its stand of legs. Have you ever looked at the hinges on those? I have been lusting after these hinges my whole life. They fold utterly flat when the sides are folded down. It's all luscious deep dark wood and those gorgeous hinges. Oh oh oh.

Also some knitting needles, because I still haven't found mine, which is an ongoing tragedy in my life though it doesn't seem to have slowed down the knitting any. A length of navy blue pinwale corduroy and one of the exact navy blue synthetic moleskin I make skirts out of. Oh! And a first edition Stephen King hardcover, though I haven't checked the listings to see how much it's worth yet. I need to send it to my contacts in the rare books world, honestly, to get the best dealer price. Awesome.

One day, if you come over, I'll put water in the marble font and let you tip it around and look at how it moves like a blob of mercury. I've never seen water move like this! Something to do with the shape of it and the slickness of the finish. The water sort of sticks together more, like a ball, not a puddle. Hard to explain. Come on over! I'll show you!

It's on the mantelpiece now with sewing pattern pieces in it.

I cannot even deal with the way my eye is twitching.

Gosh, I've been reading constantly, but I haven't even mentioned all these great books. Rereads of The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven. The Raven Cycle, of course, amazing! There are two more to come in that series, yay! A new (to me) Sarah Dessen, as a borrowed ebook from the library. Something about the moon. Wait, I'll go check. Keeping the Moon! Good book. Also a new (to me) Robin Brande, called Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature. Excellent. Makes me want to read Fat Cat again. But I'm not rich enough to be paleo these days! Also I don't think it's good for the neuro whatsits, but of course I CAN'T REMEMBER.

And finishing! I have major urges to finish everything! I finally finished the most beautiful sweater in the world, made of a million kinds of blue and green and purple yarn all knitted together, two strands at a time. It's enormous and oh so beautiful. I even pulled out the original collar I'd put on and reknitted it so it matched the cuffs, and so it wasn't, you know, completely hideous. Hurray! It's drying on the rack over there <-- all="" but="" can="" done.="" i="" it="" p="" s="" see="" swear="" when="" you="">
I've knitted nine hats for Afghans for Afghans and now I'm working on mittens, because I don't do worsted weight hats. There's a ton more bulky yarn for hats but I dunno, I just felt like switching over. Mittens are fun. Fast rounds, visible progress. Trouble with my hands lately slows me down a bit though. I just have to put it down and rest a lot.

Previous years suggest that this will last somewhere around three weeks or a month. Hopefully I won't wind up unable to drive this time around, like last year, gosh! I don't think I'd drive today, actually, given the invisible state of my right leg.

I suppose I should try to get seen by the doctor type people now that I have the state insurance and all (thanks, Obama! No, really!) and also, hello, my prescriptions seem to be free! Whee! At least the last one was. I was thrilled. I am living very low on the hog these days, actually maybe downstairs from the hog, with very little margin, so that was amazing to find out.

Hmm, I was thinking in the most not-leaving-the-house kind of way about going to see The Winter Soldier because you know I love Captain America (another movie I just watched!) because he's all Mr. Boy Scout and the straightest arrow and all that Apollo kind of stuff that I adore. And this one is even kind of about that. Yay! But given a) the hog and b) the missing leg and c) the generalized unwillingness to leave the house for any reason except to walk the dog and hardly even that half the time, I'm probably not really going. Just so we're clear!

I do have The Avengers from Netflix, though, which should make a lot more sense this time around, now that I've seen most if not all of the previous movies. I haven't seen Iron Man 2, have I? Maybe? A long time ago? I really don't know.

Oh, Mr. Puppy really wants to go for a walk in the park. It's a little twilighty and rainy so maybe it'll be okay. Not on my account--he tries to murder other dogs when he sees them. It makes walking in the park completely terrifying and Fraught With Peril. Yes, walk your dog in a park full of dogs when your dog treats all other dogs as mortal enemies he wants to tear limb from limb. Fun!

Okay, the part where we keep dashing off at right angles upon seeing other dogs must be kind of funny to outsiders. I admit it. Walk walk walk shoot off at a ninety degree angle! Suddenly turn around and go back! It probably looks like our remote control device is malfunctioning.

Right, twilighty rainy walk with vicious killer dog and one invisible leg. Plus don't forget the violently twitching eye! Okay!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I was! It's! Over there, look!

Are you sufficiently distracted to fail to notice that I've been gone for aaaaaaages? Or, like, a week, I guess?

Hi!

It's been a zany up and down roller coaster of a week, boy howdy! Yes! Zoom, drama, laughs, weird beverages, squirrels in the roof! All of those are true. Though the squirrels left after I banged on the ceiling a lot with a broom. It's like a big plywood board or something up there, made a very loud satisfying boom. They scarpered. 

My neighbors are full of ideas and offered to lend me ladders and wire mesh and this and that, but I don't want to go on the roof and I don't want to go in the crawl space, and guess what? I don't have to! It's not my house! I told the owners right away when I saw the hole in the roof (where the old roof meets the new crappy additional roof at an angle) and so My Work Here Is Done. Except possible future pestering to get them to come fix it. 

Usually landlords are good about fixing things that materially diminish the value of their investments. Huh!

What else? Phantom furniture! My friends bought a condo full of furniture, I guess I mentioned. They were like, Hey, want some free furniture? And I was like, Okay! And then this week it transpired I'd have to rent a truck or trailer myself and go get it. At which point I stopped wanting it. Not because I'm cheap. Though I am. But because I'm utterly flat broke. Free furniture is great unless it means you don't eat for the next two months. Hey!

It's hard to explain things like this to people who just bought a condo. I mean. At the beach. They don't get that sixty bucks is a very large proportion of my actual cash at the moment.

Personally I don't care whether I get the furniture or not. I'm so ambivalent about it that even having a sore back this week (busted it edging the lawn, I guess?) is enough to say nope, forget it, don't want it. I don't need it, that's for sure. Oh, I mean, my couch is ridiculous, basically a twin bed covered with dog beds (with a dog on top) but so what? Who sits there? The dog, that's who! Nobody else! Maybe I'll sit down and snuggle him sometimes. The cat mostly hangs out underneath it. 

Don't need a couch until I have more than one human bottom to place on furniture. Don't need a kitchen/dining table either, same reason--I eat at my desk, which happens to be an old table, come to think of it. And so on! I'm not bothered.

My lifestyle is a little bohemian for some apparently. Dude, if the sewing machine table being in the living room worries you, we have some fundamental differences in what we care about, that's all I can say. And I like my weird fish sculpture! Wait until I make a Flying Spaghetti Monster out of those rope Christmas lights. I have to knit it some meatballs first, though. 

Hi! That's my phantom furniture saga. Here's my third reason behind 1. no money and 2. don't care: 3. I actually don't want to fill my house up with stuff I don't absolutely love. Take this chair. No don't! Mine! Mine mine mine! My big mossy armchair! I loved it on sight. I went to look around the rest of the store and got into a panic in case someone came along and bought it before I got back to it. I ran back there to my chair! And I can't imagine giving it up, ever. You would have to pry my cold dead butt off of it! Or something!

That's a piece of furniture I love. Even though it kind of broke the bank, heh heh. 

But that's just it. That's a chair I'd eat lentils for! I wouldn't pass up a cheeseburger for all that other furniture. It's perfectly nice, and there's nothing wrong with it, and they are SUPER NICE for offering it to me, but I don't love it and I never will. 

That's what I'm saying. Stuff is so utterly burdensome. You shouldn't have it unless you loooooooove it. Or it used to be awesome and now is hanging around for no good reason like that broke-down couch thing with the dog beds on it. 

You should see the fixed side of it, which is pushed against the wall. Ooh boy. The wood utterly split and splintered so I had to bolt a whole new piece on it all Frankensteiny and hillbilly heaven. It's thiiiiiis close to being up on cinder blocks. If I had had any cinder blocks when it broke I probably would have put it up on them. At some point I'll take it apart and break it down for lumber. 

The part where I sat on it and it crumpled and splintered all askew was hilariously dramatic. I give it points for putting on a good death scene.

So! Apparently I can dither about furniture THAT ISN'T EVEN HERE for quite a long time! Hurray!

I'm super insanely busy this week, three iterations of Online Job at once! Which is awesome! I love it! Let's keep doing this all the time so I don't have to live on lentils!

It's fabulous that I'm managing to scrape by all this time, though not as fabulous as it would be without the freakouts of the last two weeks when I had no money at all to pay any of the many and various bills that will be coming in this month. At least I assume they will. That's a funny thought. Trash and electric, surely they're monthly? Is water monthly? The problem with only having received ONE set of monthly bills is that I'm not sure how often they arrive!

It would be hilarious if they only came every three months or something. 

Also my insurance, dang them. They got my address wrong. They put NE instead of SE, which is a whole different part of town and apparently makes a difference in insurance. Ha ha! Here's a bill. So that was a sudden and unexpected shock and they are idiots. That's why I was like la la la things are close to the bone but okay but then suddenly GAAAAAAAHHHH dooooooom!!! Sudden onset of enormous bills. 

Once I have a better sense of the periodicity of things, it'll be less stressful, surely?

Anyway I am IN LOVE with the new way of doing the new thing in the latest two iterations of Online Job! It's awesome! It's infinitely easier and less annoying! The only odd thing is that it utterly crashes in Windows. Well, some days. It crashes my XP laptop and desktop, at least. Hangs them up in midair. I have to work on the iPad or iPhone, which works fine for me, until I have to do some editing in Word, which I do not have. Will cross that bridge when I come to it. 

My ancient laptop is just tottering around, dying a slow death. The battery holds no charge. You get like twenty minutes. If I have a web page open and walk away, when I come back the screen is black and nothing will wake it up, including unplugging and taking the battery out and plugging it back in again. Nope! Comatose beyond the reach of restart! This is a problem for me.

And the desktop seems to be having some sort of Alzheimer's too. The whole time it's like, Wait, what was I doing? You can double click things and it takes literally minutes for the thing to happen. 

I do not have that kind of patience, man!

Ipad it is!

I've been editing this book, you know, and got to the end to discover that AAAACKKKK this isn't the latest version! There's a whole complex resolution thing that isn't in this file! Gaaaaaack! So I have to go dig around in my Windows Old Folks' Home and see if I can find the right file. Holy macaroni. 

The dog has been doing great, though, speaking of things with subpar operating systems. I switched him to this no-grain fancy dog food from the happy hippie store and stopped letting him wear his collar unless we are out. So far so good! And we've been doing less of the mandatory two mile round the park march march march, which I miss but he doesn't. He likes the stop and sniff, whereas I like the aerobic hustle. So we do the stop and sniff around the trees and bushes and flowers and I stand there looking straight up at the newly leafy trees with the expression of someone who recently walked into a door. They're so gorgeous though! You know they say things are stunning? I'm stunned! I look like it, too. I'm all agog at the beautiful new baby leaves, so bright green, and all the different shapes of the different species of trees, oh oh oh!

There are some gigantor ancient oaks out there. And all kinds of trees. Bush Park, they make an effort beyond what anyone could possibly expect, so there are just dozens of species there, in addition to all the massive old oaks and Douglas firs and cedars and things. 

I dragged the dog over to look at the flowering dogwood and tried to get him interested as it's part of his culture, but he was way too busy sniffing. Come on! Cultural heritage! Dogwood! He was having none of it. There were squirrels within a mile radius so his attention was elsewhere.

Then we went to look at the crabapples as part of *my* cultural heritage. Which reminds me, I should call my mom. Just kidding! Totally kidding! I've been enough of a crab on my own lately to merit the crabapple!

I have a dream/fantasy/hope that every week I'll get another new iteration of Online Job so that I always have a bundle of them going at all times and can achieve Some Measure Of Security. Alternatively there could be Day Jobbery but that seems to be ridiculously hard to come by out here, I wonder why? 

Well anyway. I'm sure I've accomplished other things I should tell you about. I sorted out the closets and stored the things that I will never look at but absolutely cannot do without on the top shelves in the spare room. Hey! Like all the written-out orchestral parts to my first symphony! People said I was crazy to write out all those parts, but then along came an orchestra that wanted to play them and I HAD THEM. NOBODY ever has all the parts to their symphony written out! Nobody! It's a huge undertaking. But by golly, I undertook it.

So there are things like that. And every assorted piece of mail I saved for who knows why. And my vinyl records. And my model of DS9 that I need to build again since the last one got all smashed up and broken. Oh, and I sorted out and alphabetized all my CDs so that I could finally play The Pogues, which I wanted to do on St. Patrick's but didn't manage until, er, yesterday. But now I can do it any time I want! Pogues on demand! Yay!

I've been working on the gardens more, back permitting. All this sitting at the computer is wrecking my back, unless it's all this yard work, which is more likely, come to think of it. Edging the lawn, that's right. I didn't do very much so I don't see why it should get to have such an impact! Jeez! But it did. Or else it was when I dug out the bare spots of the back yard and plugged the edged pieces in there. It worked great, they're all growing, though they look a little lumpy and patchworky. 

The purple potatoes are mostly up, but no sign of the rhubarb or the strawberries. It's quite likely they croaked because I waited too long to plant them. Could be! They came in those bags, not flats or anything, so they should have had a good long shelf life, and I only waited a couple of weeks, but still. No sign of them. Though the strawberry bed turned up a vertebra today. I'm afraid it's from a cat but I'm really not sure how to tell. Let's hope it's from a chicken or turkey or something, right? No, I'm sure those are probably quite different. Aren't they?

Sum total of my growing season so far: shallot sprouts, six purple potato plants, three onions that sprouted in the fridge, and a vertebra. Hmmmm.

Let's not even talk about all the things I still haven't found from the move. Like three tiny enameled chests that I adore, a pie plate, the lime squeezer/reamer thing, nearly all of my circular knitting needles which were all together in one bag in my carryon luggage, that reddish tapestry with the teal, the last half season of Battlestar Galactica, my middle funnel, and that Ursula LeGuin book of essays with her letter in it. I did finally find all the cello and piano music, though. And I think my soap dish is in my gym bag in the car. Which I never, ever drive, certainly not to the gym, which I could throw a rock and hit, if I used a baseball bat instead of throwing it. I mean it's like eight blocks.

I'm sure there are other things missing, like Apollo's broken foot, but I can't remember what I can't find, which at least takes the pressure off.

It's probably time to go eat the last piece of cake (don't worry, I gave nearly half of it away) and contemplate watching the next disc of Orphan Black. The last thing I saw was (tremendous spoilers obviously) the little girl getting hit by a car, so I'm a little scarred by that and unwilling to let such alarming imagery back into my head. Mostly the show is just incredibly freaking awesome and stressful and hilarious with that dark humor like Battlestar had, where things are so dark and awful and terrible and yet you find yourself laughing. And the actress is just unspeakably brilliant so the whole time I'm agog and in awe, like with the trees, and I catch myself wondering who plays Allison, then remembering again that it's the same actress. Holy wow! She's AMAZING. And looks exactly like Maureen Johnson but I'm not sure anyone else has noticed that. 

It's the kind of show that I think about all the time after watching it, days of thinking about it. I have ideas about what scary directions I might take it if I were in charge. But I think again like Battlestar, they always manage to come up with something eighteen times farther out and more harrowing. Genius! So far their one and only flaw has been Ontario plates on the car which was supposedly in New York. It doesn't look like New York. It looks like Toronto. Recognizably Toronto. But that's okay! Having it be Canada is almost a relief from the tension because it makes it less real to me. If that makes sense. 

It's not real! It's Canada! I realize now that this will make no sense to anyone but me. Oh well!

No one else can taste the cake, either. Mississippi Mud Cake, so insanely good! I've been going around the park saying One Mippippippi, Two Mippippippi, Three Mippippippi, like D'Argo in Farscape. Yes. That and my stripey shirt and purple highwaters and pink shoes and the staring up into the trees like the last scene in Orlando surely are causing the admirers to flock to me from all directions! Plus the full on mad scientist hair, now that it's long enough that I don't have to wash it before leaving the house. Awesome. 

I did get to dress up Saturday and wore my SUPER FANCY BOOTS that I hardly never ever wear, practically knee high, make my already super long legs look about sixteen miles long. Oh boy I love my boots! We went out to dinner and of course ran into the ONE person I know from the present, the nice trainer from the gym who kept telling me I was doing a good job. Yay! Details like that really make me suspect the validity of this environment, you know. I mean, how hokey is it to put the one person I know into that scene? Makes me start looking suspiciously at the extras. 

I mean! 

Clearly we need to get casting other characters for this show. Hup hup, people! I do know my neighbors, and a couple people from the gym, come to think of it. I might recognize some of the librarians. 

I wonder when I'll start running into people from the previous series, though, right? At the restaurant one of my friends' neighbors stopped by and we got talking and of course we know the whole English department in common and she asked my full name, so maybe word will get around that I'm here. Or, if I were less of a spazzy hermit who stares at trees, I could call them up, or walk over and visit. I can practically see the place from here. If I stood on the roof to fix the squirrel hole I could. Which I won't.

Maybe I will. Maybe I'll just meander on over there, pretending that I'm not, sneaking up on myself. I drove past that one day! Give me some credit! The nearest Safeway is on the other side of campus so a motivated person would hup hup on over there on a bike. Hmmmmmmmmm. 

I'm weird about meeting up with the past in the form of people who are from it. Or being the past for people who are in the present without me. Or something. I don't like it and avoid it. It's true. So.

At least I'm pretty much mostly a functional human type person now, unlike last week, wooooo! Let's not do that again! Dude! Perfect storm indeed! That was less than ideal! Sub optimal indeed.

Nearly time for The Writing Show at my house! Better make some herbal tea! Close the curtains on the night! And it'll be all right! Happy week, bunnies!