lydamorehouse: (crazy eyed Renji)
On Saturday, after taking Mason to work, Shawn and I decided to check out the ReUse Center of the University of Minnesota. That place is kind of a trip. Check out all the--I assume, abandoned--bicycles

an ungodly number of bicycles hanging from an industrial ceiling

There were all sorts of other things, too, like all the weird old science equipment that a mad scientist might want:

microscopes

And, of course, books that had been culled from the University libraries:

books!

We didn't find anything to take home, alas, but it was really fun to see all the stuff. We had much better luck at our earlier thrifting spot, GoodWill. Shawn found a few baskets, including a big wicker basket for laundry (something she always covets.) Also, she found more of a set of dishes that we'd picked up earlier. We swear that GoodWill has the whole set, but it only putting out a few pieces at a time.

So, while the rest of you fools are decluttering, Shawn and I are digging through your castaways.

Why? Because it brings us joy.

Saturday was actually a very good day all around. Mason came back from work and we had a lovely dinner. Shawn and I watched "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" (2018) which we had on DVD from Netflix (because we still get DVDs from Netflix.) I... didn't hate it? Shawn seemed to enjoy it, but woke up this morning to inform me that she'd had epiphany: "They should stop making sequels of these." I mean, she's not wrong? But, as I pointed out, DINOSAURS. Like, how else are we going to get a dinosaur movie in the future? Pretty much anything you do is going to seem like a rip off the Jurassic franchise. So, let them keep making them? I honestly love any movie where I can root for the dinosaurs. But, I will say that "Fallen Kingdom" had some moments that made me VERY SAD. Spoiler )

But, at the end of the evening, Shawn turned to me and said, "This was actually a *good* day." I had to agree.

Today, Sunday, was pretty good, too. We didn't do a lot, played Smash and hung out. I've been writing a lot of fan fic, some of which I posted today.  Then, we were going to have pot stickers for dinner tonight, but Mason's GF had to cancel last minute, and so we randomly decided to have fried chicken fingers and onion strips a meal we make while literally sitting in front of the deep fat frier.  Such a terrible meal. SO GOOD.  

I still need to do my spell of the day tonight, but, otherwise, I'd say it was a lovely weekend. 

How've you been?
lydamorehouse: (crazy eyed Renji)
 I'm NOT the best Duolingo user.

I don't always respond to guilt-trips, so their "Hey, you know you can only learn by constant practicing!" reminders get ignored by me nine times out of ten. They are also pushing me to learn new words/units, but I keep circling back to previous ones because f*ck if I can remember the kanji for 'inu' from one day to the next. 

Obviously, I'm not supposed to be using Duolingo as my sole source of language study, and, yet, I sort of am.

I mean, I legitimately have flashcards at home, but do I use them?  I bought a subscription to Japanpod101.com, but do I listen to a lesson every day, like I should?  I have Pimsler CDs in my car, but do I pop one in the player instead of listening to news that makes me want to pull my hair out?

No.

Also, if you can't tell from the above, I am a 100% auditory learner (thank you, mild dyslexia), which may be another part of my general problem with Duolingo. However, I do need to be able to read/sound out words in Hiragana, and Duolingo is the ONLY way I have learned any of that consistently.  So, for that, Duolingo has been good.

Probably what I need is a routine. I should have some set time, every day, where I sit down and do ten minutes of study there and follow that up by listening to a podcast and make Mason do flashcards with me. My brain resists foreign languages though, I swear.

Anyway, that's just me complaining. I know what I need to do. I'm just lazy. And, it's not like I have some kind of deadline. I'm learning Japanese just because I want to.  There is no trip planned for the future. I'm sure that's a big part of why I haven't managed to actively carve out space for study.  

Today, I'm going to go to the coffee shop and hang out with a bunch of my writer friends. My friend Eleanor has been trying to get me to commit to another day during the week (Mondays?) where we get together and actually write, since Fridays have become more about socialization than actual writing.  It's a good idea. I have a project I need to start working on, as I got a invite to an apocalypse themed anthology. It's a small press deal, but an invite is still an invite, so I'll take it. My deadline is April 2019.

I've been writing a TON of fan fic, but if you're a follower of junko on AO3, you're probably thinking, "No, you haven't, you big fat liar." But, actually I HAVE. I just haven't posted anything yet, because it's a collaborative project with Josey (cestus) that's an Aizen + Ukitake/Kyouraku (Bleach) epic. Unlike me, Josey doesn't like to post WIPs while they are in progress. So, we are waiting for more to be written before we post. She has given me permission to post one of the pieces because it's nearly a standalone in that it tells some of the origin story of how Aizen discovered Kyoka Suigetsu's shikai.  But, in the last few days I've been kind of struggling to put word on paper at all, and I have no idea why.  Normally, winter is my best writing time.

Last night I went to Tumblr just to see what was happening there. I scrolled quite a ways down my feed, and my personal feed now almost entirely consists of memes about Tumblr's implosion/random explicit tagging policy AND porn bots. Seriously, I hit three porn bots with live-action porn happening right in front of me with all the female presenting nipples being groped in a way I actually don't find very hot, and YET when I go searching on the #yaoi hash tags....

Tumblr's "oops nothing is here screen"

It's possible that all the NSFW yaoi artists and reviewers and text posters decided to go through their entire user history and delete the #yaoi to preserve their work, but somehow I doubt it. I would much rather be able to read someone's review of the latest yaoi post than see an actual, real life dick on my dash, personally--not that I have anything against people who want both (or neither.)

Sigh.

lydamorehouse: (yaoi)
 Every other weekend, Mason goes over to his girlfriend's house for dinner and a movie. (On the opposite weekend, she comes to us.)  Shawn and I decided to make a big ol' batch of chili for dinner, while Mason was away, because he's not overly fond of oniony things.  I made my French bread, which turned out amazingly crusty.  Just as I was getting ready to take Mason over, Shawn unthawed the hamburger and detected a funky odor.  Rather than risk it, I agreed to stop and get fresh meat somewhere between here and there. I was a little grouchy, because our usual grocery store, Kowalski's, was just a tiny bit out of the way.  Shawn suggested I try a mom & pop place that's right on the way to the GF's house, Widmer's Super Market.

Turns out, that Widmer's is actually FAMOUS for its butcher shop!

Since I was right there (and the prices were good), I decided to pick up the fixings for Scotch eggs.  I used to make Scotch eggs all the time when we lived over in Uptown because there was an amazing butcher just down the street, and Scotch eggs really are just giant meatballs (normally, traditionally made with very few, if any spices) so the meat really has to "be the star" as Chef Gordon Ramsay might say on one of his multitude of cooking shows.

Of course, just as I was starting THESE, I noticed we didn't have quite enough eggs... so off to the store again. (It was like that old joke about house projects: can't be done without several trips to the hardware store, only in this case, grocery store!)

Once home, I dragged out my copy of Modern Ways with Traditional Scottish Recipes by Rosalie Gow, which I bought at the MacAlister Scottish Fair and my deep fat frier.  They turned out pretty darn well. I added seasonings to the meats (turkey and pork), but I should have added a lot more, since it's the meat's show, as I said.  Still, with a little Coleman's, these were delish~

Homemade Scotch Eggs on a plate

Otherwise, today is a slow day. It's cold outside and we are all very much still in hibernation mode, even though the snow outside has melted.  So, there's been a lot of video game action and Internet reading. I think, had I not had to get dressed to go to the store, I would have stayed in my PJs today.

Basically a perfect Sunday, even with the time change.

lydamorehouse: (Default)
So the weekend in Siren was awesome. We did very little that would constitute work. There was much floating in inner tubes/on "water noodles" (despite wind and sixty degree temps... What?? The WATER was warm!!), sitting on the beach making sand castles, rowing out to "sea" in the inflatable row boat, and, of all CRAZY and wild things, reading. I actually finished a book called "Go To Hell: A Heated History of the Underworld." It could have had the subtitle: A Brief, Humorous Survey of the History of Hell, and was actually quite full of fun little tidbits of Hell related trivia that I wish I'd known when I was writing the first of the AngeLINK book -- like, for instance, apparently there is a town in Florida whose mayor, during her tenure, banned the Lord of Darkness from her town. I got the book at HalfPrice Books, and, should you find a cheap copy of it, I can enthusiastically recommend it (which is to say, it's not entirely worth shelling out the big bucks for, but it's amusing enough to spend a few bob on.)

Now it's time for reality to come crashing back. I didn't get much writing done -- okay, none really -- so now I have to knuckle down and get going.

Sigh.

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