lydamorehouse: (ichigo being adorbs)
 Saint Paul did not close its schools.  So guess who was up at o'f*ck o'clock shoveling the sidewalk and unburying the car?  That's right. THIS GIRL.

I was so irritated by St. Paul that my chiropractor literally pulled me aside to talk to me about my shoulder tension.  I resisted screaming into his face, "BLAME THE ST. PAUL SCHOOL SYSTEM!" Because, okay, yeah, I'm probably unreasonably irritated about having to get up early and shovel, but what made my shoulders that high was having to drive on half-plowed street with my family in the car.  Myself, alone, maybe I wouldn't be so tense.  But, with Shawn AND Mason along?  Yeah, no, that's a lot of responsibility and I really don't want to be responsible for having killed them, a pedestrian, or another driver and/or their family.  Yeah my shoulders were up over my ears. I was lucky they weren't higher.

Now the sun has come out to mock me.

I kind of wish that the skies had dumped an extra fifteen pounds of snow on St. Paul's head so I could self-righteously shout: "HA!"

On the other hand, because I was up and about early, I stopped by Whole Foods and picked something for the crock pot for dinner tonight and made myself a very early lunch (technically brunch? Maybe breakfast with lunch-related food?)

When Shawn was recovering from gallbladder surgery, a friend of ours, George, brought over his guaranteed vegan, all-the-fiber stew, which was basically: garbanzo beans, tomato chunks, and various veggies all simmered together.  It was super simple and he kept apologizing for it not even being a particularly tasty batch, but I LOVED it and now make a version of my own on a regular basis--mostly for myself, because my family is a bunch of unrepentant carnivores.  So somewhere around ten am, I stuffed my face with bean/tomato/potato/mushroom/okra/carrot stew.

Being irritable takes a lot of fuel, apparently.  

lydamorehouse: (Renji 3/4ths profile)
I'm a Minnesotan. I actually don't MIND snow, but I was not entirely ready for the snow this morning and the cold. But, this is March, right? I guess that old saying has some merit: In like a lion, out like a lamb. Only this year it was in like a lamb, out like a snow-covered Siberian TIGER.

Also, it is Monday. So far today, I've dealt with at least one school issue and my cat's prozac prescription. Next on my list is getting myself an appointment to get my own prescription renewed (for an asthma inhaler, though I wouldn't necessarily turn down prozac, if offered, ATM. ;-)

The school is maybe fixed? Thing is, Mason's school has this required after school program hour, which they call 510. It extends Washington Technical's hours to 3 PM, which is nice, and provides a stable structure for all sorts of sports and theater and other enrichments. It's an elective, so students sign up for their own things. Mason's choices this year were 1) Baseball, 2) Krazy for Komputers (which is only open to people with a A or B GPA), and 3) Chess Club. When he looked at his schedule on Sunday, however, he discovered he'd been put in something called "Science Museum." He was disappointed. I asked, "Well, so what is 'Science Museum'? It sounds like it could be cool." Well, that's one of the problems. There are many, many things I love about Washington Technical, but this is an on-going problem: there are NO class descriptions to be found anywhere (not even available to the students from what Mason tells us) for these 501s. I mean, baseball seems obvious, but what is Science Museum? A series of field trips? Something more hands-on? He has NO IDEA. We can't find any info anywhere.

Now, I'm a big fan of staying out of Mason's business at school. I normally don't even ask him what he's signed up for because it's entirely up to him. But, if we can help him navigate the system in order to get into what he wants, that's my job as a parent--to advocate.

A back and forth with Mason's counselor got Mason into baseball, his first choice. But as part of that conversation we found out who normally is in charge of 501 assignments and... it looks like MAYBE (if we remember right) the person in charge of the assignments is in fact the very person running this mysterious 'Science Museum.' When I called Shawn to tell her all this, that gave us some pause, because, okay, so if the person in charge put Mason very specifically into her program.... well, is that because it's particularly suited to his interests?

One of the things I love about Washington is that there is a lot of coordination and teamwork among the teaching staff. They figured out that Mason needed to be not just in advanced 7th grade math, but advanced 8th grade math. He's been really, REALLY flourishing there. So, for the most part, I tend to trust their choices for him.

But that begged the question for us... is this the same sort of thing?

Well, I just got an email back from the coordinator. Turns out "Science Museum" is a placeholder because they're still coordinating things like who gets to be in baseball, etc. Our sense is that baseball is highly competitive (naturally) and they wanted to make sure that Mason would have somewhere to go, if he couldn't get in.

But... Ugh, okay, this part of the process is frustrating. I mean, I will bet you money they are getting INUNDATED with calls and emails right now. We know for a fact that Mason's friend Rosemary was complaining of "mistakes" in her 510, too. I just wrote another email thanking the coordinator for getting back to us so quickly with an explanation, but also wondering if it would be possible in the future for everyone to have better sense of this process--for their sake and those of the parents and students.

Also, why is it so hard to attach descriptions to some of these courses? I get that they change and someone would have to write them and update them and that's probably a big job, but this is where volunteers are super-handy. (I know for a fact that they have student workers who could probably do something to help with this or take over some other teacher's make-work duties so that she or he might have more time to devote to this. These are high schoolers and very smart. Some of them are very eager to have things for resumes, so you know, win/win.) Also why not have a course simply called "Placeholder" so students would be alerted they are in line for a high demand 501 and will just have to practice patience until things are sorted out? If they had a 501 course catalogue this could be explained, i.e., "If you see this course, 'placeholder' on your schedule please understand that you are in line/on the waiting list for a highly competitive course. Please check back in x many days."

Ah, well. The good news is, this is mostly sorted. And we now understand how it works.

I also had to call my vet today to try to get pills for Inky, because we've been using this liquid stuff and it's not only super-expensive, but he and I both HATE it. He hates it because, from his behavior, it's clear it tastes super-gross and is generally disgusting, and I hate it because it's clear he hates it and he ends up drooling everywhere and trying to throw it up. Weirdly, he accepted pills better.

And they were cheaper.

But I think I made my vet's office mad because we're basically asking them to give their money to someone else. I tried to explain that if there was a cheap, pill version IN HOUSE, we would totally take that. But, it doesn't seem there is.

So today so far? A lot of negotiating and back and forth.

I think I will leave off calling my doctor's office for a bit.

Also... did I mention? We have snow. It's a very spring-like snow, wet and already melting, but it is there. This Monday is being very Monday.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Mason and I recorded our sixth MangaKast podcast, and it's up for your enjoyment.


I kind of wish I could be slightly more articulate about why Ao no Exorcist is so awesome. I'd love to drag more people into that fandom and there are only 56 chapters to-date, so it wouldn't be hard to catch up.

In other news, there is a "wintery mix" falling on the ground right now. That's right: SNOW. I can hardly believe it. It's not right. At least my strawberries are still mostly covered by mulch, so I think they'll survive this. The question is: will Minnesotans? Because I think a lot of people are ready to weep (myself included.)
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I haven't seen the movie "Captain America: Winter Soldier" yet, and I might not get out to it tonight because we got 6+ inches of snow on the ground and it's still falling. However, I read the review that the Star Tribune gave of it and I wanted to say that if you hated Marvel's Civil War, you're going to hate this movie.

It sounds very much like (which I had guessed from the trailer) that the main conflict is going to center around the idea of security vs. freedom, which was, in effect, the issue that tore apart the Marvel Universe in Civil War. The Tribune's reviewer seemed to think that the issue was given complexity, despite the fact that Cap is very clearly on one side of this issue, and very strongly so, from his line from the trailer, "This isn't freedom; this is fear."

Personally, I hope they deal with some of the issues that were brought up in Brubaker's run of the Winter Soldier collections (vols. 1-4) in particular the fascinating role his Bucky played in the war. I say "his" Bucky, because, quite obviously Brubaker's Bucky is a complete recast, being a lot older than the original. But Brubaker did some cool things with that, particularly with the idea that Captain America was the symbol of America during the war, so there were missions that the uniform couldn't go on, because AMERICA couldn't be involved. But, Bucky could go.

Because he was a crack shot.

And the war needed winning.

Maybe this messes with what a lot of people think of as the core of Captain America, which is to say that he's somehow always does the Right Thing and is always on the side of truth and justice and some idealistic 'American Way' that never existed anywhere in Real Life (tm). I don't know how Cap could have gotten through WWII without losing a little faith in humanity. We like to think of WWII as this nice, clean war, but that's simplistic. Of course it wasn't. It was a war. Wars are always ugly. Full stop.

So I'll be curious where they go with it in the movie. Hopefully, the roads will clear and we can get out and about soon. I'd love to be able to see this tonight, in fact. But, I actually kept Mason and Shawn home from school and work today because, as the driver, I said 'no.' Saint Paul Schools are still open and so I had to call Mason in as sick, and I'm sure the roads are more passable than they look, but why risk it? I think he'll survive a day without. If M.I.T. rejects him because he skipped school on a snowy day, well, then M.I.T. isn't worth our time, anyway. :-)

Because, seriously? This is how it looks outside right now:


Here's our car before we unburied it:


lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Susan yet lives.

In fact, she's staring at me right now, just hanging out on the substrate, as loaches do.

I'm actually beginning to have hope that maybe, just maybe the 30 gallon tank could have LIFE again.  Plus, damnit, Susan just has SO MUCH personality. Check her out:



Yes, she's "standing" on her fins in this picture, mugging it for the camera.  She does that.  I always used to wonder about that evolutionary moment of the fish crawling out onto land because I never realized JUST HOW MANY fish actually use their front fins this way.  Answer: a lot.  Loaches do it all the time.  There are others, too, who seem to prefer this method of locomotion.

I had no idea.

In other news, you may have heard that Minnesota got hit with "a little" snow.  I don't know what the final tally was, but they'd predicted 10 inches.  I'd believe we got close to that, because trying to get the car over to the other side of the street (for plowing), I managed to get so stuck around the roundabout, that I think I brought the entire neighborhood together to push me back out.

Also, who was the idiot who decided it was a good idea to try to go to work last night?  That's right: Moon-Moon, aka. me.  Getting there wasn't too bad. The roads were mostly slushy at 4:30 pm.  But, by 9 pm?  There were winds that gave me moments of intense white-out, particularly when I drove past the fairgrounds.  Worse, when we were doing "pros and cons" of ima calling in "sick," Mason "helpfully" calculated that, after taxes, I make about $30 a NIGHT.  As I was driving through the blizzard, I thought, "What? This for a measly $30??"

What was even stranger to me?  HOW MANY people looked out the window and said to themselves, "You know, I should go to the library right now and play some Grand Theft Auto on their computers."  Seriously, when I was shelving upstairs I saw easily a dozen people doing their library things, and I thought: "Really, your copy of Nora Roberts couldn't wait for a day when you might not DIE driving home???"

On the other hand, the bosses were happy to see me.  I think they expected a lot of people to bail.  I hope I get some brownie points for it, because my training days are over.  I now have to rely on need.  So I'm going to have a LOT FEWER hours coming March!

It's funny because that's already a good deal/bad deal.  I have to say it's easy to get used to the income.  Since staying home to write and take care of Mason, Shawn and I have always lived... tightly.  We have savings, but we've had to dip into it a lot recently, and with the little extra, we haven't  That makes life a lot less tense, because money is just one of those things, you know?

Plus, I actually secretly ADORE the work I do at the library.  None of it is particularly hard and I actually like helping people get library cards, renew books, and all the stuff I do at the front desk.  I also love getting a chance to see what people request, when I'm filing those, and browse through the non-fiction when I'm shelving that... I mean, I've come home with such a broad variety of books thanks to this job.  And libraries, like the university jobs I've had in the past, attract a very interesting crowd.  My colleagues are all smart and interesting and READERS.  Chatting with them is a highlight as well.

But, of course, not working means more writing... so... yeah.

They cancelled school today, which is no trauma for us, because Mason is still off school and will be for another week.  Hopefully, with all this snow, we'll get some more chances at sledding.  We also have movies to watch and games to play.  I've been working evening hours, so my days have been free.

I think that's all the news... oh, no wait.  I wanted to point people to this lovely review of Resurrection Code:

And to point out that, alas, Norwegian Press has put this book out of print.  So, if you want one, you'll have to contact me (best way?

Also, I have a lot of up-coming appearances.  Here's the list from my web site:

MARCH 2014

On Wednesday, March 26 from 6:30 to 7:45 pm, I will be the Speculations readers at Dreamhaven Books and Comics. Dreamhaven is located at 2301 E. 38th Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55406. You can get more information about the event by calling 612-823-6161 or visiting:

APRIL 2014

On Saturday, April 19 from 1:00-2:00 pm I'll be the Loft's "First Pages" instructor for "Read to Write" a program for teens at the Chanhassen Library. The library is located at 7711 Kerber Blvd., Chanhassen, Minnesota.

The program description reads: Can reading The Hunger Games teach you to be a writer? You bet it can! By reading as much fiction as you can get your hands on, available right here at your public library, you can become the writer you’ve always wanted to be! Come learn what Harry Potter can teach you about world building in fiction; what Neil Gaiman can teach you about creating memorable characters; and what Veronica Roth’s Divergent series can teach you about plot! After this 90 minute session you’ll be inspired to write your own mind blowing fiction.

For more information call (952) 227-1500 or visit:

MAY 2014

On Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 2:00-3:30 pm I'll once again be the Loft's "First Pages" instructor for te "Read to Write" program. This time it will be a little closer ot home at the Roseville Library (where I work as a page!). The library is located at 2180 Hamline Avenue in St. Paul, MN. The program description is the same as for Chanhassen. For more information call (651) 724-6001 or check out:

JUNE 2014

If students sign up, I'll also be teaching a course called "More Than the Zombie Apocalypse: Writing the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novel" for 15-17 year olds as part of the Loft's Young Writer's Program. The class is currently scheduled forJune 16 - June 20, 2014, from 1:00-2:00 pm.

The course description reads: What do Hunger Games and Dr. Who have in common? They're both science fiction! Did you love fantasy novels like Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief or How to Train Your Dragon? If writing stories with zombies, robots, vampires, fairies, (or even unicorns!) is your thing, then this might be the class for you. We’ll discuss the difference between science fiction and fantasy, learn how to build believable worlds, and make readers rip through the pages of your short story or novel. We will play story games and have idea prompts with a science fiction/fantasy edge. If one of your goals is to break in and get professionally published, we will also discuss strategies that can make that happen!

For more information check out:!

lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
A few announcements, in no particular order:

I have no idea if this is legit, but there was an advert on 'Writers for Diversity's Facebook page for "Fan Fiction Writers Wanted," which directed me here: They appear to be looking for participants in a study group, possibly, from what they're saying will be the requirements, to test out a new software/posting format. Regardless, they say they'll pay $100 - $200 bucks. In my never ending quest to legitimize the amount of time I spend writing fic, I sent them my information. What can it hurt?

Also, next Wednesday, I'll be reading at DreamHaven Books and Comics. The information that was posted by Einblatt is as follows: Wednesday, May 8, 6:30-7:30PM. Speculations Reading Series - Lyda Morehouse. DreamHaven Books, 2301 E 38th St, Minneapolis. FFI: Eric, 612-721-5959, It should be an interesting reading, as I have no new book to sell. I'm not exactly sure what I'll read from, but if people have suggestions (even if you can't attend) I'd love to hear them. And, yes, I'd totally read my slash. It might be fun to read from Fallen Host since the e-book should be coming out any day now. Maybe I'll make up postcards promoting that....

Lastly, it's snowing. I realize that as a resident of the Twin Cities, I have no right to complain. The folks south of us are dealing with 13 or more inches. Ours is only supposed to accumulate through the morning and then turn to rain. I've decided that to deal with this, I'm going to go into winter mode and bake loaves of bread to warm up the house. Our plan had been to have chicken curry tonight, but we may just have to have home-baked bread as an appertizer.

Stray thought: does any fanfic organizer do anything for National Masterbation Month? Someone should. It'd be fun to run one of those kinkbang type things celebrating all things masterbatory. If I knew how those things were run, I'd totally offer to coordinate it. I'm sure I'm not the first to think of it, though.

Right. Off to bake some bread!
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I was given a single question interview by Kenneth W. Cain:

My answer? Chickens.

My internet was down this morning or I would have posted copious number of pictures of SNOW. What I love/hate about Minnesota? School was not closed or even delayed. We got at least four inches, if not more. The plows have plowed most of the major streets, but the residental and side streets are a sloppy, dangerous mess. The sun is trying to shine today, but the National Weather Service tells us to expect more of the same: rain, rain turning to snow, snow.... I think for the forseeable future, I'm not sure.

Pictures may come, though likely the next ones will be of the grand tattooing paint project that my friend Nicki will be helping me with tonight.

Shit. I still have to decide what I'm wearing. I do have sunglasses at least. And some sexy jeans.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
A large number of Scandinavians live in Minnesota. I think the reason is that only someone whose anscestors once worshipped Thor (or who perhaps still do) can mentally cope with the fact that this morning there was SLEET, ICE, SNOW AND *THUNDER AND LIGHTNING*

As one of Shawn's friends posted on her Facebook status today: Clearly, Thor is fighting the Ice Giants today. Today is a day for the business of Gods. This is not a day for mere mortals to brave.

And yet we did.

Here's Mason helping scrap the thick layer of ice and snow off our car:
snow in April 011

And, Mason, who LOVES winter, shows off his "Tard," the Grumpy Cat, face at this unseasonable April weather:
snow in April 008

And... somehow, I got Shawn and Mason off to work and school only a few minutes late.

Now my big plan is to hunker down, plant my butt on the radiator, and write for a while until the snow slows down. Then I'll shovel the walk and the unbury the car and get a few groceries. Because... it's supposed to continue to do this ALL WEEKEND.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
You know that social experiment where there's a bunch of grad students taking a test and the room starts to fill up with smoke, but the authority figure acts like there's nothing wrong? Supposedly only a small number of people will defy authority to say, "Hey, look, there's a problem. We need to get OUT."

Well, today St. Paul Public Schools robocalled our house to tell us that they were open despite the tremendous amount of snowfall. All of St. Paul's charter schools are closed, but the public ones are remaining open. I called them back (Crossroads, specifically,) to say, "Nope. Ain't doing it." Because, you know what? No. Some of the streets are very passalbe--I know, because Shawn decided she wanted to try to get to the History Center today and I took her--but the side streets are atrocious.

Also: screw them.

I don't know why St. Paul is being such obstinant morons about this. There's like seven inches on the ground and it's still falling -- fast and furious. The plows haven't gone out because they didn't call a snow emergency last night and the roads SUCK ROCKS. Forget it. I'm not risking taking Mason in to school today. Apparently I *am* willing to risk myself and my partner, but seriously, yeah, I think that's different. Though I did tell Shawn that history could WAIT, even for the State Archivist of Minnesota. But she's an authority I can NOT defy. Plus, she can take the public bus home if the roads get worse and I can also go fetch her at any point. ;-) St. Paul Schools also have the ridiculous policy of not closing early once they've made the decision to open.

It's funny because we were kind of talking about this at MarsCON this weekend, too. A bunch of us were hanging out after the Blog panel on Sunday--a large contingent of "transplants" (though [ profile] haddayr and [ profile] naomikritzer and I should hardly count any more, since we've lived in Minnesota now for a LONG time) and a few native Minnesotans. We were talking about how Minnesotans are particularly bad at speaking up for ourselves. This came up because, while on the panel about blogging, some guy got a phone call in the front row on his cell phone and... answered it. He actually sat twelve inches from us and talked on the phone. I have to admit that my usual, "Hello? What are you DOING?" did not come out. Sometimes, I'm so STUNNED by people's behavior that I can't to react right away. Haddayr was giving this dude a healthy stare down, but he was oblivious. Luckily, the conversation was quiet and short, but, damn. I can't believe I didn't say something. None of us did.

As was pointed out in the conversation afterwards, we really should have said something because Fandom allows a lot of strange behavior and, unless people get called on it, they tend to get the message that while it might not be okay to do "x" in the mundane world, it's okay to do it at con.

Shawn, in fact, argued that I should not tell Crossroad's attendance line that the reason I was keeping Mason out of school today was because of the snow. I said that if we don't tell them, they're going to keep thinking it's okay with us that they risk our children's lives. But, we compromised. I didn't say anything at all about why I was keeping Mason out today, other than that he should be considered an excused absence to the official school line. But, I did send a private email to the school saying that I found the snow policy moronic.

So I guess that's the best a Minnesotan can do. ;-)
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I decided that I probably should let someone who knows something about car stuff actually look under the hood. So, after dropping my family off at their respective places, I took the car to the shop. I have an excellent mechanic. I use the Sinclair folks on Grand, just behind the Whole Foods. When I first started going there, the franchise was owned by a guy named Ben. Ben was my age, kind of a slacker-dude, but extremely competent and had an eye for fixes for people like me (cheap with used cars they don't want to invest their life savings in.) When I first decided I loved them was when the latch on my trunk decided to go wonky and I couldn't get it to close. I pulled in and begged someone to come out and see if they could do something quick about it. Ben shuffled out, used a tool (said some magic words, I SWEAR,) and it was fixed instantly. I tried to give him money and HE REFUSED.

Yeah, that's right: the first one was free. Now I'm hooked.

Even though, several years ago, Ben and his wife had a baby and now Ben isn't even associated with that Sinclair any more. But, they're still cheap and they're kind-of-almost-mostly within walking distance of my house. By walking distance, I'm not talking about normal walking for a normal American. I mean, two or three miles. But, I can hoof it back from there to my place in about 20 minutes if I'm talking to myself (plotting fic or fiction) or listening to music.

So, we'll see what they have to say. I have a very, very bad feeling that the words "blown head gasket" will be mentioned, as I dutifully used the Googles last night and thought, "damn, there's some real possibility here."

Ah well. This is the trauma of having only one car. It's the car we HAVE to spend money on.

The other thing I decided while walking back through the piles of snow that NO ONE SHOVELED is that fussy gay people really ought to be given the keys to the kingdom, as it were. Every house that had a shoveled walk? Rainbow flag! I kid you not. And, of course, I shoveled my damn sidewalk first thing this morning, because that's what you're supposed to do, people. Apparently, I and my fellow queers are ruining YOUR MARRIAGE BY SHOVELING MY SIDEWALK.


Sorry, but seriously, what is up with St. Paul and not declaring snow emergencies? It's because [ profile] naomikritzer now lives in St. Paul, right? And she's had to put up with me yacking on for YEARS about how awesome the St. Paul plowing system is. Well, no more! They didn't plow yesterday and there's no word about a snow emergency being called yet. ARGH. This is how an inch of snow can shut down cities. The reason Minnesota doesn't collapse when we get several inches of snow is because we have snow plows! So get out there!!

/real end of rant.

All right, back to my life now. I should probably makes myself brunch and see if I can salvage part of this day before I have to walk back and fetch my car from the shop.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
All I wanted to do now that there are twelve inches of snow on the ground is hunker down under a blanket with a cat on my lap and surf the internet/write fanfic. And, yet, somehow, the dishes have not agreed to wash themselves for me. It's an outrage, I tell you, an OUTRAGE.

Here are some pictures to get a sense of the scale of yesterday's snowfall. Before your eyes mistake this for a tree trunk, that's a ruler stuck in the ground on our sidewalk. It reads just over 9 inches, and, at that point, it was still snowing. We ended up officially getting one foot of snow:

snow 019

Here, however, is how pretty Hoth, the Ice Planet, can be:

snow 017

I also took a picture of the front of the house, but I realized, looking at it, that all it really depicts is how crappy a shoveling job I did on the front stairs. Hopefully today's sunshine will remedy some of that.

In other news, Archangel Protocol is now available through B&N:, so even though I get a better percentage if you order direct from Wizard's Tower Press (and everyone who has used them says their interface is wonderfully easy to use), you can now also order this way, if you prefer.

Sorry to be flogging this like a cheap 'ho, but it's a big deal to me to finally have this book available as "new" again.

Okay... *sigh*... can't ignore the dishes any more.


Nov. 13th, 2012 06:54 am
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I kind of suck at NaNoWriMo. I don't write the right way for competative writing, I think. In fact, I got really mad the other day when I checked in at the site and saw that someone had posted a reminder: Revise Later.

That's probably really good advice on some level. If your problem is never getting to the end of a novel or a short story, just pushing forward is exactly what you should do. But, I actually have a hard time going forward without revision, because, if the change is big enough, everything after that point is effected by it.

I also think that my mistake this year is not having an outline. I'm experimenting writing original fiction this way--without a proposal--and it's taking its toll. I stop to think. I stop because I get stuck.

Well, it's only half way through the month. It ain't over yet.

In other news, I spent a good part of the weekend baking holiday cookies. We like to get a jump on baking because Shawn loves to have cookies in the freezer to pull out for guests. So we invited our nephew Jonathan and his girlfriend Sarah over and we spent the good part of Sunday baking up a storm. We made spritzes and cut-out sugar cookies (with the shapes you decorate with frosting), "black-and-white" (which are cream cheese cookies half dipped in chocolate), and a metric tonne of pizzelles, which are Italian ainse-flavored cookies that you press with a special pizzelle iron. We also tried a new drop cookie that's pumpkin-flavored which were deemed Minnesotan "interesting" (which is to say, yeah, we won't be trying those again soon.) I also discovered a recipie from King Arthur Flour for an easy soft pretzel which the family loved so much that I've already made them twice since. The big complaint about those? Make two batches! Need more!!

We still have quite a few more cookies that Shawn would like to make, but I think she feels good we've got so many under our belt. But Shawn is one of those people who adores Christmas and loves to pull out all the stops--never mind that we're pagan.

For me, I like the community of baking big batches of things. It's fun to spend hours with family and friends around some project like food, because you spend enough time together to get past some of the awkward of not been super-close friends, you know? It's a bonding thing. Plus, you don't have to just sit and come up with things to say. You can just chat easily while focusing on other things. Works out really well.

I also applied for a job at Sixth Chamber Bookstore. I didn't get it, though I think if I'd been super-excited and less hesitent about working evening shifts, they'd have hired me on the spot. Even with my total lack of experience. The poor guy who owns the place hadn't had a vacation or a day OFF for six months. Since Thursday night when I dropped of my application, I keep mentally trying to make my schedule work so that I could go back and offer myself more sincerely, but the idea of being away from Shawn the one time we have together doesn't appeal. And the bookstore isn't the kind of job to make that loss entirely worth it. Maybe if they paid a zillion dollars and hour and came with health benefits, you know? Still, I'm kind of sad about it. I adore that bookstore and I think the atmosphere there would have suited me well. Both of the people who own it are the kind who talk to customers about books ina very overly-friendly, non-Minnesotan way, which is part of the place's charm, IMHO.

Mason is off now for Intersession until after Thanksgiving. He's super disappointed that there's probably not enough snow to go sledding--though we may try anyway. I heard, however, it's supposed to warm up enough today that our dusting might just melt. We'll have to see. Our family LOVES snow. Yesterday, however, to be fair, Shawn didn't have work and Mason had no school so we could hunker down and have a "pajama day" (where we sit around and play video games and read and do a whole lot of nothing.) We did have to bust out and go to Target, though, because Mason has outgrown his shoes... and sweat pants (which he wears to bed)... and we needed lightbulbs. So we had to make the trip to the store at some point.

I think that's all I know. How was your weekend?
lydamorehouse: (Default)
It's snowing and people are stupid.

This may not seem related, but it actually is. I'm not one of those Minnesotans who complains about snow (usually.) I was actually muttering yesterday that I was a lot less fond of the cold, damp rain of Spring than the unseasonable white stuff. So the Powers the Be decided to remind me what I despise about winter, and that is: OTHER DRIVERS!!

It took me until about a half hour ago to get home. My commute is usually only about twenty minutes of driving, tops -- and that's there and back again, as Bilbo might say.

I leave with my family to take them to work/school at about 7:30/7:45 am every day. Today we did start out a little late because I had to uncover about an inch of ice and slush from the car. I also kind of tried to shovel the sidewalk, but you can't tell any more because it's been snowing nonstop.

Anyway, I got Mason to school on time, but it turned out that today was their big 100 day celebration and Mason was supposed to have stuff for "reading camp." (One of the coolest things Mason's school does, IMHO. A day of reading! With pillows and sleeping bags and hot chocolate.) I headed back into the slush and stupid to get everything. I got back to school by 10 am (in the meantime I had to dodge the stupid in the form of a skidded/off-the-road city bus and a bunch of yahoos trying to rush the construction of University Avenue). I got back in time to discover my boy in the bathroom, sick. So, I retreived our stuff from the teacher and we headed back home.

All this before my first real cup of coffee.

The good news/bad news is that I canceled the Wednesday Women of Wyrdsmiths gathering with Eleanor, and now we have nowhere else to go until 4:00 pm when we have to venture back out to collect Shawn.

I plan to hide under blankets and write (and drink coffee).

In other news, I watched my sales ranking after my debute on the "Big Idea." Some time after lunch it crested at about 30,000 (for all five books, actually, even the ones which have been out-of-print and sitting in the zillions for years). For a science ficiton book(s) as weird as mine, I feel this is really a very good showing. It certainly attests to the power of Scalzi's popularity.

Plus, I have found a few more readers. I'm always happy about that, since one of my long standing hobbies is world domination.

Happy Yule

Dec. 21st, 2010 10:01 am
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I guess we needed more snow, eh? I'll bet we got another four inches.

And I woke up this morning to freezing rain. Sigh-ai-ai. As Shawn said this morning, "Minnesota, Land of 10,000 hassles."

On the flip side, because it's Winter Solstice the days will be growing longer from now on. Whoot!

Mason and I are at the coffee shop for a while this morning. Then, we're going to pick up Shawn and see about getting her to her hair appointment all the way in Edina at 2:00. We're going to leave at least an hour before we're due there. I hope we can make it in time.

I've got a notebook in the car that contains a bunch of scribbled notes for the next Ana book (#3). I got really excited about a scene the other day and had to quit to go get Mason. Alas, I haven't had much time to transcribe it yet. I hope it will still make sense when I sit down with it.

Anyway, I promised to post a picture of my awesome Yule present:

Jesus is knocking. Do you answer? Huh? Do you???


Dec. 13th, 2010 09:52 am
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I have to keep this short today since Mason is anxious to get home (and he's off because the public schools declared a snow day), but I just want to let people know that the Morehouse/Rounds household is mostly unburied after the blizzard of the century on Saturday. We have drifts in our backyard that are over my hips. Granted, given my height, that may not seem impressive, but, trust me, it is.

The biggest hassle involved moving my car Sunday morning. My street is a nightplow street, which means that we can stay in front of our house in the evening (after 9pm), but have to switch to the opposite side (by 8 am.) I knew that it would take time to shovel to the car and then unbury the car, so I got myself out of bed at 6 am. It took me nearly an hour to clear the sidewalk, and a half hour to get the car out from the giant ridge that the snow plow left in its wake. Even more of a hassle was actually trying to find a place to park once I achieved freedom. We had a lot of snowbirds, so there wasn't a lot of free space. But, thanks to a neighbor who came out and edged his car forward just enough for my butt to make it in, I did it. All before the 8 am deadline.

And then the plows never made it.

After coming back from our nunchuck/sang jool bong seminar at kuk sool wan, Shawn said that St. Paul had declared a second snow emergency. So, even though the plows never cleared our side of the street, we had to move the car back into the snow drifts. NOT COOL! But, I did not want to get ticketed or, goddess forbid, towed, so I jammed our car into a spot that didn't have drifts that were too hard to get in or out of. I TRIED to call the snow emergency complaint line, but we couldn't get through despite waiting for over an hour on hold.

I have a feeling this had happened to a lot of people.

As for nunchucks, Mason, believe it or not, was not that into them. I, however, left kuk sool wan thinking, "I know KUNG-FU!"


Feb. 8th, 2010 10:36 am
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Mason and I had a crap day on Friday. Well, mostly Mason, though I was mostly responsible for making his day such a bummer. First, we had scheduled his second H1n1 shot for 3:30 pm, so I had to come get him a little early. Turns out, coming early meant Mason had to miss out on "Friday Fun" (which is usually BINGO,) but Friday was SLEDDING... which they've never done before. He was a trouper and held back tears, but I felt really badly that he had to go get a shot instead of sledding with his class.

Then, there was a snafu with the gym teacher. They were doing jump roping for heart and I'd managed to lose the permission slip. We had turned in the pledge sheet on time, but the permission slip probably got recycled accidentally. Well, I spent a good part of my morning tracking down the gym teacher to see if I could get a new one. She assured me that if Mason had turned in a pledge sheet that would count. But I found out from Mason that his homeroom teacher didn't let him go. We only pledged the minimum so that Mason could jump, so I left an irrate message on Mason's homeroom teacher's voice mail demanding our money back. Once again, Mason was near tears (though he did enjoy art, which is where all the kids who weren't jump roping ended up.)

Also, since all this was happening at once, the awesome nurses at Mason's clinic overheard our hassle and found Mason a jump rope (probably meant for kids struggling with weight issues) and gave it to him for free. That was nice. Especially since he had to get poked.

We also all decided that to make up for all the hassle, we'd go out to Snuffy's -- a local greasy spoon-type, kid-friendly restaurant. We had malts. Things totally turned around.

The weekend was blissfully unhurried. We did almost nothing, except I worked furiously on the novel and Mason and Mama played video games, read, and napped. I'm happy to report I have only a couple more chapters to write, which I expect to finish today. Then I have some news articles to write... and then I get to type my favorite words, "THE END."


Today I am decidedly not in attendance at the school's African-American parent/parent involvement day. I feel guilty, but, having been at these in the past, I know for a fact that they're lame. Plus, I'm already plenty involved. I volunteer once a week. I tend to think these sorts of events are for parents who have never set foot in the school outside of "open house/orientation" day. Mason, of course, is bummed. He likes to have us there.

Hence the guilt.

Also I must report for my parents who are currently in southern Texas, it is snowing today. Great huge gobs of white stuff -- they're predicting 10 inches, which, of course, to a Minnesotan is chicken feed. But it's still a pain in the butt to shovel, so y'all can feel free to gloat.

Okay. I'm headed home to write now.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Mason and I played outside for I don't know how long this afternoon. The temperatures were supposed to reach 40 (that's ABOVE, folks,) and though I have no idea if we ever actually got there, the snow was super melty -- perfect for snowball fights and building a snow lady, such as I have pictured below. This is "Flo" (as in ice flo(w)?) She has a lovely hat, no?

We built a fire in the chiminea and threw snowballs at each other until our mittens were soaked (then we set them on the lid of the chiminea and watched them steam.) Then in a fit of complete dolly domesticity, I baked and decorated spring-themed cookies for no good reason.

Meanwhile, poor Shawn has been stricken for days with a migraine. She's alert today. After taking her to the doctor this morning, she went into work. They don't know what to give her other than good pain relievers, so she's going to be loopy on some heavy-duty painkillers until she can shake this thing. It's been rough. Anyone out there know any good alternative medicine folks we could try? Conventional medicine has absolutely zero answers for Shawn, poor thing.

Well, off to be more dolly domesticy and make dinner. Perhaps I'll wear an apron!

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