lydamorehouse: (crazy eyed Renji)
 Just in under the August 11 deadline, I got my proposal in to the Loft for an intermediate/advanced adult science fiction/fantasy class.  Fingers crossed that they decide to take it.  Apparently--at least according to the front matter for the submission process--the Loft is going to offer fewer classes in the hopes of promoting them better. I would feel slightly better about my chances if the Loft had any real sense of just how many science fiction/fantasy geeks live in this town and/or how to reach out to them. But, fingers crossed! I would certainly help them find folks, if they asked!

But, I feel good for having gotten that done. It's been on my to-do list for over a week. Earlier, I submitted a workshop for teen writers, at the request of my Summer Youth Class Coordinator, which HAS already been accepted into the catalogue.  So, provided that people sign-up for that, I should have work in 2018, even if the adult class doesn't make the cut.

Otherwise, I've kind of forgotten how to Monday.  Having three days up at our friends' cabin was so blissful that I've kind of lost track of all the stuff that needs doing. Let's see, tomorrow is the Twins game against the Brewers that Mason and I decided to go to. We'd actually had tickets for last Thursday, but that was the really blustery day/night AND Mason managed to get a stomach bug.  He was pretty upset having to miss it (especially since there's really no cancellation policy and we were out $$), so we went ahead and made plans for tomorrow. Should be fun... I mean, I'm not a huge sports fan, but I've learned to enjoy baseball, as it is Mason's sport, and pro games are always kind of amazing (as opposed to amateur, I mean.)  Anyway, that's one thing on the agenda this week.  

I also reserved tickets for LATE (10 pm!) Friday night to see my friend Naomi perform in her show at the Fringe Festival.  I'm only disappointed that my other Fringe performing friend, Commarrah, has a show on the same day at the EXACT same time. (Part of the deal with the Fringe is that you have to have a day pass and I was really, really hoping that Commarrah's show would be same day, only, say, _earlier_. Alas. I may still have to contrive to see it. Her show has been getting great reviews.) But, I have never done any part of the Fringe before, so this should be... interesting, as we say here in Minnesota.  We'll see how it all goes. If any of you local folks have advice, feel free to leave it in the comments.

One of my goals for this week is to write up a nice proposal for the thing I'm currently working on and send it off to Martha, my agent.  I should probably have an outline at any rate, so writing up something like that is never a bad idea.  

Mason and I are probably going to go to Whole Foods for lunch. We've been meaning to get Mason over to Whole Foods to check out their fun soaps (something he'd wanted for a stocking stuffer, but we kept forgetting to get for him....and then we decided it might be nicer for him to pick out his own scents.) The new location has a large buffet area, so we can kill two birds and all that.

Yeah... so, that's me. How's your Monday going?


lydamorehouse: (ticked off Ichigo)
 Mason's team did not win against Capitol Hill last night (not even close), BUT Mason got a hit, scored a run, and, for the first time, got someone OUT. Ironically, a kid also named Mason. So, it was almost like he got out his alternate universe self! (See: our tangled history with Captiol Hill in the post below.)

Mason was playing second base, which is, IMHO, a tough position because you have to be constantly alert for base steals, grounders, and of course any balls coming your way.  AND it's best if you have an arm strong enough to comfortably toss to first base, in order to do a classic 'double play.'  And coach kept letting Mason play there, which is a nice change from right field.

Listen to me, sounding like a baseball mom!

The bummer is that Mason is going to be headed off to Anaheim on Tuesday, so he's going to miss the play-offs.  Well, most of them. They start on Monday so he will likely make that one, so long as the informational meeting during 510 doesn't go overtime and it's a home game (or at a field I can find quickly.)  Weirdly, I'm going to miss cheering for the team. I jokingly asked Mason if it would be alright to cheer for the team while he was gone, anyway, and he snapped a quick: NO, DON'T BE CREEPY, IMA.

Speaking of Mason's trip, a bunch of us Kid Wind Team moms are planning a last-ditch fundraiser for the trip: a multi-family garage sale!  If you're interested to see what we're selling, feel free to stop by on Saturday, May 20 (8 am to 4 pm?) 2260 Sargent Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105.  I can tell you there will be lots of unusual things, more than your standard baby clothes (although a lot of those will be there, too!)  Shawn and I have, over the years, collected all sorts of odds and ends--and a fair number of them are on the chopping block, including an old foosball table and an antique adding machine.  It'd be nice if we could raise a couple hundred bucks, so to that end, we're pricing things TO  GO.  We will be very much "or best offer" because what doesn't sell is going straight to GoodWill.

Today I have to go get cash for the cash box and some plastic tarps, because the chance of rain, unfortunately, is quite high. (Bummer.)  But, we can't delay because the kids LEAVE on Tuesday.  We may end up extending the sale into Sunday, though I think it's supposed to be rainy all weekend (because Minnesota now has a monsoon season, apparently. Though, I do feel like this is more NORMAL than the spring droughts we've had in the past, so I'm not *really* complaining, universe!)

Because it's been cold and rainy, I made myself a big pot of borscht. I am literally the only person in my family who eat this. I don't mind making  big batch, because that means I can have ready-made lunch for a couple of days.  But, the hilarious thing is that while gathering ingredients at the store today, I FORGOT THE CABBAGE. For borscht!!  This is the second time I've made borscht with everything but the cabbage, so I guess that's partly why I keep doing this, but what heck.  Next time I spontaneously decide to make borscht I need to think: beets AND cabbage.

Right, I'm off to start the pre-garage sale errands!

Ja matta!
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I just found out from the Loft that my "Not Just the Zombie Apocalypse" class which is being offered in July is ALREADY filled. In fact, they wanted to know if I would be willing to up my registration number to 20 (initially I had capped it at 15, because 15 teenagers is a LOT.)  Whelp, now I'm going to potentially have a many as 20, because i said yes.  The only bummer about this is that I usually try to make sure that the students get a chance to have their work critiqued and 20 is going to make doing that nearly impossible. MAYBE we can figure out something. I might ask them to bring in the opening page of their work-in-progress (or make one up) so that we can do a little mentor-guided peer critique.  Finding a beta reader can be an awesome thing, so maybe if we do a couple of exercises like that, people will get a sense of how critiquing ought to work.  

Twenty students, holy crap.

Anyway, normally, right now I'd be sitting outside of Mason's school waiting to pick him up.  But today he has a late-start baseball game against his old rival, Capitol Hill.  

Mason's rivalry with Capitol Hill started in pre-K.  He had a friend in pre-K called Noah.  Noah was a lot like Mason, only... bossier. He tended to mock Mason for things like not knowing how to count after 100 or how to spell Mississippi. (Keep in mind, this is PRE-Kindergarten.  Both Mason and Noah equally qualified for gifted and talented, and Mason, like Noah, was ALREADY READING. Something neither of them would really be taught for another year or two.)  Noah ended going off to Capitol Hill, the Gifted & Talented magnet school.  We chose to keep Mason at Crossroads for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that, while Mason is gifted, he's NOT a "high achiever."  Giving Mason extra busywork results in him blowing off said busywork to read more about animals and fish that live in the twilight zone under the ocean, aka the thing HE wants to learn about at the moment. (This is, btw, still very true of Mason. He has a tendency to do what is required to get the grades and not much more. Unlike his friend Rosemary, who will voluntarily do the History Day competition, even when it's not mandatory.)  

The rivalry continues into Mason's tenure at Washington Technical, because for the longest time there were only TWO junior high school math teams in Saint Paul, Washington and, you guessed it, Capitol Hill.  Capitol Hill still having mostly gifted and talented students at this point regularly wiped the floor with Mason's team at the various math meets.  Defeat at the hands of the Capitol Hill math team is something Mason's math team has now faced for THREE YEARS IN A ROW.  (Despite Mason placing among the top scorers in the region, individually.) 

Then, out of all of the students who qualified for the state competition for the National Geographic geography bee, Mason was one... as was one kid from.... yep!... Capitol Hill. THAT GUY made it into the top ten finalists, and I have to admit that both Mason and I silently cheered when he was finally knocked out of the competition.       

So, for Mason, today's game against Capitol Hill's baseball team is very FRAUGHT.  Those guys have no idea how motivated Mason is to make a run against them.  

Should be interesting.

As long as the rain stays away....
lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
 Poor Mason, I think his baseball game is going to get rained out.  It's been spontaneously storming on and off all day so far, with no sign of abating. Although it's only 10 am.  Maybe something will happen and everything will dry out before 3:30 pm.

He's been really looking forward to this game--well, any game.  

In fact, last night Shawn and I took him out to "Play It Again, Sports" and dropped a fairly decent chunk of change on a used baseball bat so that he can continue to practice and play ball this summer.  He really, REALLY wants to get good enough to be on the varsity team in high school next year.  I'm perfectly wiling to help him practice, but I have the skills of any 50 year old nerd who never played any kind of sport, which is to say: almost none.

I'm really hoping that Mason works up the nerve to ask his teammate Eh-Ku if he would be wiling to get together this summer and practice throwing and hitting and such, but I get what that might be difficult for a thirteen year old boy to manage. Hell, asking people you admire for help learning a thing you don't feel especially good at is hard for anyone of any age.  

If nothing else, we found a good batting cage for him to go to. It costs money, but not a huge amount. 

I managed to get over to Rachel Hoffman-Dachelet's place to pick up some of the shade plants she was splitting. I got a ton of ostrich feather ferns, which I put in the back border of my fake Japanese garden. (The garden is fake Japanese on two counts. One, I am obviously not Japanese and this is not Japan, but, possibly more importantly, the Zen aesthetic of clean lines is one I can only aspire to, but never achieve.  It's kind of anthesis of my basic personality which can be broadly categorized as: loud and messy.)  I also put in a whole bunch of wild ginger in a ring around the new rock border I put at the top of the main hill of our front yard.  The dirt there is root bound and hard packed, so if any of them live I will be deeply grateful to whatever Nature God(-desses) favor me.  I also cleaned up another problem area and planted hosta and some Siberian Irises.  (I may have misplaced the irises.  I think they need more sun than I gave them.) BUT the idea there is that I'm really trying to work on some areas that are "gateways" into our backyard.  Similarly, I put a bunch of stella del'ord day lilies as a border to the other exit/entrance to our backyard. 

I worked like a fiend to get everything in the ground last night, and I'm VERY grateful for the downpours this morning for MY sake.  Now, I just hope things clear up for Mason's.

We've got a projected high of 83 degrees F (28.3 C) today and I don't know how that could happen without sun.  But sun and a muddy field still doesn't do Mason's team much good, alas.

Tonight is my last Loft class. I'm going to miss this crew. They were AMAZING.  Like I've been saying, I'm not sure if you can say that I was the best teacher, but, in this case, that's beside the point because what I did for these people is facilitate their workshopping.  And, honestly, when you're an intermediate to advanced student, that's all you REALLY need: colleagues at (or above) the same level you are that can push your skills forward.  At the advanced/intermediate level the main thing to do is write, critique/get critiqued, send out, and repeat until something hits.

Often the trick is finding a good group, so that's definitely what the Loft provided.... and I happened to be there to help it happen.  So, I feel very proud of them, even though I kind of did nothing especially profound.  

It's going to be weird to have my Tuesday nights free again. I won't necessarily miss the critique load, though.  60 pages of in-depth critique every week? It's a lot, especially on the weeks when Wyrdsmiths also hands-out (although we met last time without any critique, just to have an industry gossip.... I mean networking meeting.  So that wasn't as bad as it could have been.)  

I'll have to find something to do with myself on Tuesday nights.... maybe I should try this writing thing for myself, eh?
lydamorehouse: (Default)
 Ah, it's already Monday and I have to go to work in about an hour. (I work at 10 am at the White Bear Lake branch, and it takes me a little over a half hour to get there.)  Somehow I got through the weekend without doing my homework for class tomorrow night.  I have a feeling that there will be much panicked reading this evening. :-P  

On the other hand I did manage some gardening.  I should take a picture of the amazing bleeding heart that we have in our faux Japanese garden.  (I would love a legit Japanese-style garden, but I think the closest thing I can hope for is to emulate the aesthetic of one. I'm just not that tidy and organized a gardener.) The bleeding heart is huge and gorgeous, and inspired me to pick up a couple more bleeding hearts, because: damn.  I should also connect the hose to water the new plantings.  Last week I didn't have to remember to do that because I was basically gardening in between the rain showers.  This week looks to be fairly dry and sunny, so I'd better get out there and water things. It'd be stupid to do all the transplanting and planting just to have everything croak.

Sunday, Mason's baseball team did a fundraising gig at the Cub Foods on Larpenteur Avenue.  Nine of them working as baggers raise a couple hundred bucks.  When I picked up Mason, coach made sure to let me know that Mason "had good hustle."  

Here's a picture our friend Sean Murphy (SMM Photo) took for us at last Thursday's game:

SMM Photography

Pretty good action shots.  Of course, Murphy is a serious sports photographer and you should have seen the size of his specialty lens!  Huuuuuge, as 45 might say.

Speaking of fundraisers, though, Mason is going to suggest the whole bagging thing to his Wind Energy Teacher/Advisor. His wind team still has a couple thousand dollars to fundraise to make their goal, and so they're looking for ways to make that difference up in the next few weeks.  My friend Naomi thought of a rummage sale for charity, and so we've cooked up something with one of the other moms from the team.  Gods know, Shawn and I have a ton of stuff to contribute.  We don't really have a great place to host it, but the other mom does, so fingers crossed that we can raise a few more bucks for the kids that way.  I mean, obviously, having made it past their deadline, Washington Tech is committed to sending these kids to Anaheim, but it would be nice to continue to lighten the school's burden.  (You can still donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/help-send-us-to-kidwind-nationals).  They leave on the 23rd of this month.  We're hoping to have the rummage sale that Saturday RIGHT BEFORE they leave, May 20th.  I'll post details about hours and location here and on all my other social media outlets once we have everything firmed up. 

That means we're starting to eye everything in the house with the "can I sell that???" look.  I think the cats will be lucky to escape without being tagged "$10 OR BEST OFFER."  ;-)  

Right. I should go get dressed for work. See y'all on the flip side.

lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
It's kind of grim and rainy out again this morning.  I spent almost two hours at Hy-Vee this morning.  That's the last time I go THIS LONG without doing my basic staples shopping. On the other hand, our pantry is now stocked with All The Things.  Ah, tomato soup again!

Mason is supposed to have a baseball game tonight, but I wonder if it will be cancelled due to weather.  As the person who will have to sit on the cold bleachers, I really, really hope it is.  If not, I'm bringing not only a PARKA, but also a thermos of hot chocolate.  Maybe some blankets, too.

This weekend is the March for Science.  I'm looking forward to it, because I have not been very good in the last few weeks about keeping on top of my congress-critters and local legislators. I think the last thing I did was the town hall, and there's still SO MUCH stuff to fight.  Still, I try to remind myself that this is neither a sprint NOR a marathon; it's a relay race. It's okay to hand the baton to someone else and let them run with it for a while. 

I depressed myself listening to the results from the Ossoff race in Georgia, especially the news of the midnight hour (almost literally) voting machine "glitch."  I can't help but feel that we were robbed of a straight-up win. The truth is, we'll never know, but the doubts will ALWAYS linger, especially since he had a clear lead before for the "corrupted" memory card was found. Shit like that makes me lose faith.  

I mean, yes, there was a groundswell movement. Yes, he nearly did it... but, what's that going to matter, if people start to worry that their votes aren't being legitimately counted? And, Georgia isn't the only place. We never even got a decent recount of Wisconsin, Michigan or Pennsylvania, despite best efforts.

ARGH.

So.... I've been reading a lot of comic books.  I've been working my way through the Hugo nominated graphic novels. So far, I read Ms. Marvel: Super Famous (Vol. 3), Black Panther: Nation Under Our Feet (vol. 1), Vision: A Little Worse Than a Man (vol. 1) and  Vision: Little Better Than a Beast (Vol.2), and Paper Girls (Vol 1.).  I started Montress: Awakening (Vol. 1), which has been interesting so far. The only one I haven't tried to get is Saga (Vol. 6) because I suspect I'd need to read the other 5 volumes to know what's going on. Pretty much everyone says I should be reading Saga, anyway, but I'm not and I'm being obstinate about starting it for some reason, probably the whole "eh, but all the cool kids are doing it, so it can't be that great." After all, I finally got around to trying Bitch Planet, and I could have done without.  Not at ALL what I was hoping for there and absolutely NOT worth the hype.

I have all the Hugo nominee novels at home, but I have not been able to really get into any of them.  As I was telling a friend of mine the other day, I go through these periods where I read a LOT of novels and other times when my brain can only handle shorter, graphic stuff.  I've been in that second phase lately.  Like, I'll sit down with a book in my lap and two seconds later I've set it down and wandered off.  The thing about graphic novels is that in two seconds, I've read half of it, so it's no as much a strain to continue on for however many more seconds it takes to finish the thing.

I also haven't been able to write much.  I'm THIS close to finishing the latest installment in my long-running Byakuya/Renji fan fic, but I just haven't been motivated to keep on with it.

I blame Trump.
lydamorehouse: (ticked off Ichigo)
 Mostly, Mason is everything that two "indoorsy," geeky mothers would want. He reads a lot, is a gamer, and is generally fairly nerdy, himself.

Except this one thing... his love for baseball.  

Parenting requires sacrifice and let me tell you the wind was COLD last night out at Lawson Field.  Shawn and I sat on metal bleachers and cheered on the Washington Eagles, even though they lost 5 to 8.  


Mason up to bat

Last night was also my class at the Loft, so I actually ended up having to leave Mason and his mom at the field in order to make it to class at 7:30 pm. (The game was a late start.)  But, Shawn has a Go-To card, so they hopped the bus/light rail and made it home in no time.  

Class continues to be amazing. I finally had a lecture that didn't feel entirely like babble (did Venus go direct yet??) But, whatever the reason, I was glad. We ALMOST got the timing to work out, too. I think we only overshot class by about 5 minutes, which isn't egregious, at least. I also try to be very clear that if people need to go, they should.  But, you know, Minnesotans. They'd sit there politely, make themselves late for the bus, and curse me all the way home... and I wouldn't hear about it until the evaluations.  *sigh*

I'm also volunteering to host the student reading at the Loft. I just sent out the information to my students.  Hopefully a bunch of them will sign-up or I will be STUCK WITH POETS....and I can barely think of a worse fate. (Unless they were science fiction poets. Those folks, I like.)

If was funny because normally when I ask if my student have read the assigned short story only one or two hands go up. This time, when we were dismissing, one woman said, "Wait, aren't we going to talk about the story??" It was "Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies" which I believe is up for BOTH the Nebula and the Hugo this year.  It's an interesting story if for no other reason than it is told in bullet points. There's been some unique (in a good way, not the Minnesotan way) formatting in this year's Nebula nominees.  Our first story was a chose-your-own adventure, the second was semi-epistolary.  Fascinating stuff.

Right, I'm off to hang out with my Wednesday writing group. See you all on the flip side.

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