lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
Ugh, we're supposed to hit 95 F/35 C today.

Luckily, a couple of days ago, Shawn and I performed the annual wrestling of the air-conditioner into the bedroom window ritual. This annual event is always such a huge chore, partly because the air-conditioner is heavy and awkward, but also because we have a HUGE king-size bed in a room that pretty much fits the bed and not a lot else. Oh, and of course the bed has a cast iron frame. So there's always this moment when I have the air-conditioner in my arms and I have to shimmy between the bookcase and the cast iron frame (pulled out as far was we can get it) that results in swearing and bruised and scraped arms (because? This may be a surprise for you to learn, but air-conditioners are less malleable than arm flesh. When something has to give, it's NOT the air-conditioner. I swear I rediscover this fact EVERY. YEAR.)

But we managed the job, so we should be ready when the temperatures start soaring.

Yesterday, I met a friend of mine at Ax-Man. Ax-Man is one of those uniquely Midway businesses, the way Porky's used to be, before it was demolished. Luckily, Ax-Man has hung on through the light rail construction, etc.. Technically, they're nothing more than a surplus store, but they specialize in really odd odds and ends. There is, in point of fact, an iron lung for sale there. They have a sign on their window that says, "Admission: FREE!" and Ax-Man is totally the sort of place where you could just go for the experience--though I'd bet you money, you'll be hard pressed not to come out with at least one trinket or curio. Yesterday, I was only going to hang out with Anna while she shopped, but I ended up buying a little turtle keychain light, because, when you press the light button the TURTLE says, "ribbit, ribbit!" I also found a HUGE BIN of really, really, ridiculously CHEAP (we're talking about 2 dollars a piece!) reading glasses in all of the strengths. Reading glasses are something I lose a lot, so it makes no sense for me to have expensive ones. Plus, these came in all sorts of pastel colors. And why would I not want a pair of hot pink reading glasses, I ask you!?

My friend was specifically looking for props for her You Tube series. She does show about various crafts and goodies she finds at the dollar store. Here's a link to her first show:

This trip she was specifically looking for props that would work as a science-y background because she attempted to grow crystals from one of those cheap crystal growing kits and, a bit of a spoiler here? One of the things we were looking for was a hazmat suit. (And, yes, Ax-Man had them.)

That was a lot of fun. I'm going to go through her videos, too. I mean, this is kind of a neat idea for a show, I think.

Mason is officially a 9th grader!  As of Friday, he is finished with middle school/junior high!  Whoohoo!  In celebration, I made him a steak dinner with all the fixings and he got to stay up as late as he wanted.

Tonight, I'm thinking about going to the Little Mekong Night Market on University.  This is their forth year, and my FB friends describe it as basically a block party, but it looks like they'll have lots of food and entertainment. The friend of mine who lives in Taiwan turned me on to the idea of night markets, and since I probably won't be able to be in Taiwan for a while, this might be the next best thing.  Here's an article I found that describes it:  Tonight is a night that we host Mason's friend Rosemary, so I'm thinking that after dinner, I might jump on the light rail with the kids and check it out.  If we go, I will be sure to take a lot of pictures and write up a full review!

Hope you're finding ways to survive the heat (if it's hot where you are!)

lydamorehouse: (Default)
Not that I expect y'all to remember this, but I just booked my Uncle Hugo's gig for Saturday, May 9, 2009 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Hope you can make it. Save the date and all that. (Though I promise to send out my usual postcards to those of you who are local.)

Oh, and thanks for all the congrats. Today, in the sober light of day, I keep thinking: how am I going to make all these deadlines. Yeesh!

But, as promised, here is my darling Ms. All Ball discovering she has, of all crazy things, a TAIL!! She then gives it a good pouncing on, and quickly (and very cat like) decides the whole thing is SO not worth all that effort:

lydamorehouse: (Default)
High-Brow: I was invited to participate in a conversation about gender bias in the SF/F publishing industry and what to do about it. The conversation is archived here: Please check it out and join in the conversation (there are a lot more interesting and articulate people than me participating.)

Low-Brow: Also, check out the very silly YouTube video promoting the mega-author signing my alter-ego had last night in Woodbury: The signing, btw, was actually a great deal of fun, not because I signed a lot of books but because it's always so cool to hang out with other awesome romance authors (and collect industry gossip.)

In other news, I'm quite sunburned. Mason and I spent the day at the beach yesterday (from about 11:30 am to 3:00 pm). Yes, I DID remember sunscreen. The funny part is you can see where I hit my shoulders with the spray (there are dotted lines), and the rest of my skin is beet red. Mason, however, is unscathed, luckily, and desperate to go back to the water. Lake Josephine in Roseville is our favorite. It used to be a kind of white trash beach (complete with over-weight bikini clad chain smokers sunbathing in half submerged in lawn chairs in the water,) but they've since done a lot of revamping (a new beach house, life guards, smoking ban, etc.) and its more family friendly. I should note that we were quite fond of the beach in its trashier days as well, but it is a lot cleaner in terms of actual garbage now and I do appreciate that.

Then it was off to the signing which was fun. There are a number of Tate signings coming up that I've neglected to put on any calandar (including the official one at home), so part of told is going to have to be organizing my life a little better.

Good luck with that.

The only issue are the piranah. Okay, so obviously these aren't real piranah, but there are fish there that love to nibble on me. They don't seem to bite anyone else -- Mason can be sitting in the water right next to me, and the fish will circle me and bit at my under arms or legs. I thought I might just be kind of tasty, but I really think it's my swim suit. I noticed yesterday that I have flashing sliver threads in the suit that probably look exactly like bait.
lydamorehouse: (shark)
The subject line pretty much says it all. I've written almost nothing in the past few days, after a really good start on the month of March. I blame my class and my friends. But, the truth is I've been kind of out of it for the past couple of days. (Don't tell Cap, but I also haven't been to the gym in over two weeks.)

Not writing and not excercising makes me weird. Not in the fun "oh, hey, look at that crazy chick snowboarding down Summit Avenue" kind of weird, but the grumpy, snarly, weepy, "am I PMSing?" kind of weird.

But, in exciting news, I nearly killed Joe and Fergus our goldfish on Monday. I was going through my usual cleaning routine -- I'd just put in a new filter full of activated carbon, when I go to dump out the waste water in the downstairs bathroom sink. I come out and, lo, the entire tank is BLACK with charcoal. I can't even SEE the fish it's so black. The only thing I can figure is that I must have torn a hole in the filter bag. Whatever caused it, I quickly pulled the broken bag out, and started siphoning off water. Luckily, I hadn't filled the tank up with new water yet, so it was a half capactiy (about 15 gallons.) After taking out what I could without leaving the fish gasping at the bottom, I filled it up.

It was still pretty black, so I half-emptied and filled it again.

That seemed to do the trick at least, but I watched them carefully over the next few days. As my friend Sean M. Murphy pointed out, the worst damage I probably inflicted was killing off a large percentage of the bacteria with all that activated carbon. No surprise, yesterday afternoon I noticed a moderate white cloudiness -- a bacterial bloom -- no doubt the beneficial bacterial trying to regain equillibrium.

Today I changed South Africa's tank, Johnny Giant-Girl's (and I added a bubbler), and Bob[2] and Kenya's. Bob and Kenya still have two GIGANTIC (okay, big for them, anyway,) shrimp living there. Sean and I noticed them last night. But, while we we showing off the shrimp to Shawn (who was thinking, no doubt, "uh, cool... BUGS,") she pointed out the gross algea growing on the faux Roman ruin. I took that feature out today and cleaned the beejesus out of it. I only spoted one of the two shrimp, but those guys are see-through so I suspect the other one just stayed in hiding.

I'd be cool if they were a mating pair. I mean, I know there was a lot of heartache and trauma with the last set of aquatic arthropod parents, but... well, I'm fascinated by the process, what can I say?

Oh, and Johnny/Giant Girl the Wonder Betta is a bonafide YouTube star. Last time I went to YouTube, I noticed he had 900+ hits. I realize that in the world of YouTube this isn't really a sensation, but give that it's a dull little video of me talking to my fish, I think it's kind of cool.

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