lydamorehouse: (I love homos)
 ...was yesterday.  

Yesterday, while I was taking a few bags of things to GoodWill, like you do, I ran into our gay neighbors down the block. (These folks are not to be confused with our now-former gay next-door neighbors, Lee and Chip, who is now just Lee, moved out years ago, but is still our tax consultant.) The new gay neighbors down the block are also an older white couple, whose names (OF COURSE!) I instantly forgot, but are comprised of a hairdresser and a lawyer.  I met the hairdresser on 11/9, when I was out raking and he randomly asked me, "How are you?" in that "I'm just fulfilling the social contract by acknowledging my neighbor" way, but I responded with a full on rant about Trump, which then caused him to lament honestly as well, us both to come out to each other, and form a 'we should get to know each other' kind of Minnesota friendship*.

That was a while ago now, but yesterday they were both walking together as I came out of my house with my donation bags, and we got to talking. I made a remark about the fact that it was National Coming Out Day, and I find out that the lawyer used to DATE one of the co-founders of NCOD. How cool is that?

His bit of information made me go look up National Coming Out Day on Wikipedia, and I discovered that I came out as a lesbian one year before the official establishment of National Coming Out Day in 1988.  Also a cool bit of information, wouldn't you agree?

In other news, Mason is off to see Romeo & Juliet at the Guthrie today.  He's basically missing most of his school day, getting to go to his two favorites: first period math and "510" debate.  He's also staying late tonight because it's the robotics team's recruitment potluck tonight, for which I made two dozen cookies (none of which were my best. I think I should always bake in the early afternoon when it's certain I've had sufficient caffeine for the job.)  Last night we went to Kohl's to buy him dress pants for homecoming, as well as some new school clothes, which he's been needing for a while. (Damn those growth spurts.)

For myself, I'm off to work at Shoreview Library in about fifteen minutes.

Anyway, here and queer in case you somehow missed the memo.  :-)

-----
* Minnesota Nice is actually not what most people would consider "nice."  We tend to keep ourselves to ourselves, as the British might say, and so there's this whole category of friends to whom you cheerfully and 'sincerely' say, "We should do dinner sometime!" but really mean, "I like you enough to offer potential future closeness, but that will actually never happen, BUT *I think* I like you enough to say you would make a good dinner companion!" 
lydamorehouse: (crazy eyed Renji)
 Yesterday was a fun mail day.  

One of the very best parts of being a member of the International Pen Friends (IPF) is that, occasionally, the postal carrier delivers FIVE personal letters, all addressed to you.  Two of them were from my regular Canadian pen friend. She's an actual friend who became a pen pal, and her letters are always a delight. We didn't actually know each other terribly well when we started corresponding, but we knew each other from exchanges in Bleach fandom.  She's a lot like my friend in Seattle, who I knew passably before we started corresponding (she was a writing student of mine) and we've become closer thanks to years of letter writing.  I got my Seattle pen friend by asking Facebook for volunteers. 

Of the other letters that arrived were:

1.  A letter from Malta.  MALTA, you guys.  The other nifty thing about my Maltese correspondent is that she got my name not from IPF, but from one of the various FBs that I've participated in.  I had genuinely never HEARD of Friendship Books until one of my German pen pals, Petra, introduced me to them. I still think they're kind of weird. Just slips of paper or homemade booklets with people's addresses in them and odd codes. Seriously, SNNP (sorry no new pen pals) and NPW (new pen pals wanted) that are passed in the mail a little like a chain letter, without the pressure, because you can always return it to the original sender. 

But, Malta, that's cool. I hope my reply entices another from her.

2. I seem to have finally snagged a correspondent from the UK.  You would not think this would be SO hard.  English/UK addresses easily make up a third of what's on offer for an English-speaker like myself on any given IPF list.  Yet, despite faithfully writing to all of them, I have only ever gotten one previous reply from anyone in England and that was a "rejection." Somehow, I seem to have passed muster with someone there finally. Fingers crossed this winning streak continues. Interestingly, in my grand experiment of "should I come out right away or not?" in the introduction letter I sent this one (Kate) I decidedly did NOT. So, I should probably return to my strategy of, "wait until they know you pretty well before you reveal that you're a big, old butch lesbian." I already took a chance revealing to Kate that I'm an otaku.  Let's see if I can weather that storm!

3. The last one was also a new IPF member, this one from France. I have a couple of other French correspondents, but they seem to have slowed down.  The thing about IPF is that it's like any kind of blind matching site.  Even when you're willing to try anyone, some people click better than others.  This is why I sprang for a half-year renewal because I wanted another list so that I could keep throwing out feelers.  

Anyway, I know all of this stuff is likely only really fascinating to me.  I have always been interested in other people's lives and this is a fun way for me to explore that.  I was writing to my Maltese pen pal last night explaining how I got into pen palling.  I have discovered that many of the people who are in IPF have been members since they were teenagers. It's a hobby that they've kept all their lives, unlike me. I hunted up IPF because I remembered being assigned a pen pal in 4th grade or thereabouts. There was a time in the 1970s when pen palling was kind of the 'it' hobby, particularly among teenage girls. At least, that's how it seemed to me back then, at any rate.  I wasn't into it then, though the idea intrigued me. I was a fairly terrible correspondent, too, when I did have the opportunity, probably because I imagined that somehow I would have an instant foreign friend, with whom I could share the secrets of my soul, etc., etc.  In 1970, I would have killed for a French pen pal. Instead I got someone from Japan. Ironically, I found that annoying at the time. Japan? Who's even heard of it?  Why is this girl sending me all this crap with a weird kitty on it??

Ah, things that are wasted on the young, eh?

I wrote a lot of letters to friends and family when I was in college.  To be fair, that was how we communicated before the internet, but I have always liked the feel of pen on paper.  There is something, too, about sharing your thoughts with just one person at a time.  Obviously, you can still do that with private messaging and e-mail, but a letter is more sensual--in that it appeals to all the senses.  

Plus, shit shows up in the mail.  I love when shit shows up in the mail.  Did I mention I got 5 letters yesterday??? FIVE!
lydamorehouse: (Renji 3/4ths profile)
With Labor Day and our very brief trip back to LaCrosse, I completely forgot to post anything.... and I'm not entirely sure which day of the week this is. Thursday? Yeah, that seems right. I guess I missed Wednesday Reading, but the only thing I managed this week was all 48 chapters of Kiss Him, Not Me / Watashi ga Motete Dōsunda by Junko (no relation, despite the fact that Junko is my fan pen name) a shoujo, reverse-harem manga that I actually really enjoyed.  Normally, I'm not a fan of either sub-genre, but this was very well done. Though I spent a lot of time having deep introspection about how much of an otaku I am, and whether or not that's actually a GOOD thing.  (The heroine is an otaku who is into yaoi and shipping her male friends with each other.)

You?

But, so for the rest. I went back to LaCrosse only for a day because my parents are in the process of moving their house and so didn't have a huge amount of time for our usual Labor Day visit. We stayed at an AmericInn, which was possibly okay--we had a kind of crappy room, right off the pool with a vending machine just outside our door (thus a high traffic area), PLUS we were the very first room off one of the entry doors, which meant when people went out for a smoke it was right outside our window. That sucked and felt deeply unfair, since thanks to our big Yellowstone trip, we're VIP AmericInn members.  Probably we should have hassled the front desk for a better room, but we were only there for one night and didn't want to bother.  

It took us forever to get to LaCrosse for some reason. We left right at the usual time (around 8:30), but didn't roll in until nearly 12:30.  LaCrosse is not that far away. We did make an extended stop at Lark Toys to play a round of mini-golf, but I would not have thought that we were there THAT long (but apparently we were.)  We went to Rudy's for lunch, which is another last-of-summer tradition, which was nice.  Rudy's is one of those old-fashioned drive-ins and still has waitresses on roller skates to bring out your food. The food is decent, but it's an experience more than anything. From there we went antique shopping in the quaint section of the North Side called Old Towne North. There's not actually THAT many stores here, but the Sweet Shop (which really does have awesome ice-cream and a fountain soda dispenser) is there, too.  It is a neat little part of town. My only disappointment is that they've never quite been able to keep a coffee shop going there, though it should be an ideal location.  

Then we went to see my folk's new place and said good-bye to the old. Dinner was at the Pizza Hut that I swear has not changed since I was in high school (1980-1985.) I was pretty exhausted from the road, so I didn't even notice all the foot traffic in the hallway outside our hotel room and promptly crashed ridiculously early.  At some point, when we visit LaCrosse again, I would actually like to experience some of its nightlife, of which there is a TON.  

On Saturday morning we had breakfast at the Hungry Peddler. My folks joined us there. The Hungry Peddler is a big nostalgia trip for me, since my dad and I used to go there a lot when I was younger.  Then my family and I attempted to do a tourist thing in LaCrosse and find the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  I have linked to a blog of someone who had a wonderful time there.  We did not. I kind of think that they could sense we were pagans trespassing, and so we only really saw the interpretative center and couldn't figure out how the heck to get up to the actual shrine.  We left disappointed.

Then we drove back in record time.  In fact, we zipped back to St. Paul so fast that I managed to miss seeing my friend Paul who was headed down to LaCrosse for a funeral.  I did managed to catch up with Paul on Tuesday, which was nice. Paul is probably one of my oldest remaining friends... that I actually make time to see. I mean, I have a ton of old high school pals that I'm in touch with on Facebook and other social media, but Paul is someone I will actually seek out to hang out with in person.

We hung out with Rosemary and her mom on Sunday because Mason wasn't sure if he was going to end up with ANY classes with his BFF, but it turns out they have Foundations (Washington's answer to homeroom) and debate together.  Mason came back from his first day of school absolutely bouncing.... literally. At one point I had to tell him to stop, I was afraid he was going to shake plates off the shelves in the kitchen.  But, he LOVES high school--as I knew he would. Things start to get interesting and challenging now and he's been kind of waiting his whole life for classes like that.  (Luckily, he's had a few, having been advanced into a couple of high school classes while he was in middle school.) He did not have to change school, which was nice, especially, as I said, he's already been doing some high school classes.  

So, that's me. I'm sure I forgot some of the things we did, but I will try to be better about posting here.
lydamorehouse: (??!!)
We spent a lot of time baking this weekend.  Shawn made pumpkin & cranberry muffins, some pecan pinwheels.  I made cinnamon swirl bread, pizza dough, and French bread.... Oh, and we both made a blueberry pie:

blueberry pie with a moon cut-out

The artist flair happened when I realized I'd cracked the pie crust. So, I decided to repeat the design intentionally around the crust and then add the moon cut-out. As my friend [personal profile] jiawen says it's sort of a reverse eclipse pie.

I do a lot of things like this when the politics suck. Remember how right before the election I spent days and days on lawn care? Well, it's been raining here a bunch (though nothing like Houston, HOLY SH*T) and so I couldn't get out to do any weeding or mowing or raking. Thus, much baking.  This current administration is going to make me gain five thousand pounds.

On the flip side, the house smells AMAZING. And there are a lot of leftovers.

The other thing that happen is that on Friday, a gift arrived in the mail! At CONvergence, I promised my friend in Oregon,[personal profile] offcntr ,  that I would send him a signed copy of Seanen McGuire's Rosemary and Rue.  In exchange, he offered pottery.

handmade poetry, looking down, with a falcon visible painted in the well of the bowl

This is what I got!  Lovely, isn't it? It is now displayed prominently in our dinning room next to my stamping things.  A place of honor!  If you like the look of this, you should check out the rest of Frank's wears at: www.offcenter.biz !!

The other stuff that happened this weekend is that Mason went to the State Fair with his friend Rosemary.  Rosemary and her mom always run the 5K "Milk Run" at the crack of dawn (sometime after 7 am?) and Mason is their official "purse holder." In exchange, they get him a free ticket to the State Fair and they all hang out together for as long as my little extroverted introvert can take it.  Mason is extroverted enough that he likes going to things like this, but he's an introvert at heart and he leaves the party early with decreased energy, if you know what I mean. When he came home he had to hide in his room for several hours just to recharge his people-battery.  We had been hoping to hit the Munchkin Tournament  at Mischief Books & Games, but Mason just could NOT any more people.

This ended up working out just fine for me, because we had planned a big Sunday roast chicken dinner, and the timing would have been difficult if we'd run off to do the tournament.  The food was amazing. The French bread and blueberry pie, both HUGE successes.  I tried a simple roasted Brussel sprouts recipe that was... okay. Both Mason and I like Brussel sprouts, but I have been struggling to find a recipe that's tasty.  I swear I make them differently every Thanksgiving. Everything else was delicious. Shawn is only moderately fond of mashed potatoes so we ended up having hominy as our other side.  It worked pretty well, but I missed having an extra thing to slather with gravy and so had to do with extra helpings of "gravy bread."  :-)

So. Many. Extra. Pounds.

Though, if they all come from such good food, I will pat my round belly and sigh in happy contentment.  


lydamorehouse: (Renji talking smack)
 We went to Whole Foods yesterday, thinking to have a nice lunch after soap shopping. It was a disappointment.

I don't know what I was expecting exactly, but Mason had been looking forward to samosas and chicken marsala, both of which he's had before at the Whole Foods deli and really enjoyed. They didn't have any samosas and their chicken marsala was watery and the chunks of chicken were so big that they didn't absorb very much flavor.  It was kind of a bust. (My sushi was good, but...)

We did manage to find some fun soaps, however. There was even a scent called "dirty hippy." Mason was surprised when I guessed that it was basically patchouli.  He didn't buy it, but I could see he was tempted just because of the name. 

Since we were out driving around, we decided to head out to the Ramsey County Library to pick up the books that had come in for me. I requested the first four volumes of Pandora Hearts, which is an anime I started watching.  I figured I might actually be able to plow through it a little faster if I read it.  I'm not very good at binge watching, alas.  Binge reading? Yes. Watching, not so much for some reason. At any rate, I picked them all up and also found a few more on the shelves, so now I have the first seven to read.

From there, Mason talked me into stopping at Game Stop and picking up "Street Fighter" because we've been looking for a game that we can play together. I really like racing him in Mario Carts, but I think he feels bad for me because I'm SO TERRIBLE at it. He'll come in #1 and I'll be dead last. The point is, even though *I* found that fun, he really wanted something we'd be more equally matched in. "Street Fighter" totally works, because a button masher like me can totally win.  In fact, I easily won half of the time.  I think we've found our game.

Because Mason really craved samosas, we managed to talk Shawn into going out to the Indian place for dinner last night. (We like "Taste of India" in Maplewood.) Mason tried vindaloo chicken, Shawn had her usual chicken marsala, and I had curried veggies.  By chance at the restaurant, we ran into our friends Sean Murphy and Katherine Carlson who were coming back from Mankato, after having, unsuccessfully, tried to get into see the Viking's training camp.  They'd also stopped at "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store" on the way back, though Katherine thought the amount of candy on display was almost "obscene." I'm not sure I disagree, but, for me, that's half of the fun of that place. (I'm guessing they managed more virtue than we did. We left with a huge bagful, which was pretty obscene all by itself, after all.)  So we kind of chatted over the booths for a while, but we'd gotten there earlier, so we left after a few minutes.  Still, it was neat to see them. It's been a while, and Sean is one of my very best friends. (I was reminded, seeing him, that we still haven't made it to "Spider-Man: Homecoming.")  

I think I fell into a food coma after that.  I read a little bit in bed, but next thing I knew it was morning.  :-)

Tonight: Twins Game! We should have good weather for it. I will take a lot of pictures.
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: (ichigo hot)
 Hello from 1998 or thereabouts.  No, I'm not actually time traveling, alas, but my computer is. I'm on a super ancient (in computer years) Gateway, which I am using as a stop gap replacement until we can figure out a cheap new laptop for me.  

So what happened to the Mac? I wish I had a story as good as the time I dropped a frozen turkey on my laptop, but, alas, I think what killed my Mac as a combination of age and... abuse. Yes, it fell off something while it was running... But, thing is, I have dropped this particular Mac from the distance of my chair cushion to the floor multiple times and it's survived just fine. This time? Alas, this time it decided "Nope. Peace out."  Can I blame it? Not really. It's lasted far longer than a lot of my computers.  I'm hard on technology, fam. I just am. I drop phones into rivers in South Dakota and I pummel laptops with 24 pound frozen turkeys.

And, until Shawn can do some research into the best, cheapest laptop, I will be without... well, mostly Skype, it seems. Pretty much everything else can still be run from the 1990s. Once I downloaded a more up-to-date version of Chrome, I seemed to be able to  function pretty well on Facebook without freaking out every time I hit a graphic bundle. I have not tried Twitter or Tumblr, both of which might be beyond the capabilities of this machine.  Tumblr, I suspect, will be too graphics-heavy, though, with the new Chrome,, this guy was able to survive the new .gif and video things on Facebook... so maybe?  Not that I've been going to Tumblr much these days, but it is nice to check in now and again.

No Skype is a bummer. But, I'm hoping to have a new laptop before the week is out. 

I lost nothing of consequence, except a bit of the stuff I was trying to do to salvage a trunk novel for my agent who, for reasons known only to her, really wants me to to try to sell another novel to Tapas Media (that place where we sold Sidhe Promised, the app that made you pay as you go).  I had foolishly started working on that in Word.  But, most everything else I do these days I do on Google Docs, so it's automatically saved on the cloud or inside the brains of Google HQ or wherever that stuff goes.  At any rate, it was not ON my computer, per se, and that's good because it means I still have access to all my works-in-progress, even my Loft course proposals.

Yesterday was just bad technology day because Mason couldn't figure out how to get his Nintendo Switch remote charger to work.  (It may just be, we discovered, that Zelda sucks more energy than the charger can recharge, so he might have to just connect to the console or whatever if he wants to keep playing that particular game.)  But, there was a lot of swearing and reading obtuse manuals, etc. 

We also tried to do our usual Skype chat via Skype on Mason's ROG laptop, but Mason has disabled cameras (for reasons of being 14 and cyber savvy) so between that and issues on my folks' end, we had to give that up after a lot of swearing and reading Skype help pages, etc.

I am hoping today will be less technologically stressful. 

The good news is that my needs are low. I like to be able to check a few social media site, read a few on-line articles, and write in Google Docs. I can do all that from here. It's slower and clunkier, but it's very do-able.  I could complain, but why?
lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
I don't remember the last time I called my congress critters.  I've been thinking it's probably time again. I don't want them thinking that we've lost faith, but I think I finally had that 'OMG I can't cope/too much' moment a couple of weeks ago. I need to pull myself back together and get back on the letters and postcards and phone calls.

The world isn't going to save itself.

The other thing I've slowed down on is my Japanese.  I didn't listen to my CDs at all while I was away in LaCrosse and, even though I've been back a couple of days already, I've not picked them up again.  I will have to throw the "Japanese: A Short Course" CDs I got from the library into the car's CD player so I can at least have something for the times when the radio sucks (which is kind always these days, I've noticed.)  

I have to head off to work in about 45 minutes.  Probably, since it's White Bear Lake, I should head off a little earlier than that, because the construction on Snelling has been a bear.  I worked last night at Roseville, which was busy (as usual) but fairly stress free.  They were still behind from Memorial Day weekend and so I spent the last two hours on the desk dashing back and forth between answering patron questions and helping the volunteers shelve the requests.  SO MANY requests.  On the flip side, I FINALLY got a copy of A Closed and Common Orbit, which I started reading last night.  I think I was #47 on the list... and I'm sure there's someone waiting for it after me.  

I watered the front and the new transplants a little bit this morning because I somehow, miraculously, have grass under the maple tree and I'd like to keep it alive.  Plus the little fuckers squirrels dug up one of the violet plants I carefully transplanted all the way from LaCrosse. So I had to replant yesterday, so I thought it could use a little boost of wet today.  It's actually supposed to be kind of HOT this weekend, so I think I'll finally be able to move my bonsai tree outside.  (*whispers* I can't believe I've managed to keep this tree alive this long. Normally, I suck at keeping anything resembling a houseplant alive....)

I'll close with a funny story from yesterday.  I have cash again because Mason bought a game using my PayPal account (he always pays me back in cash from his allowance).  As I do the moment I have "folding money" I stopped by my regular coffee shop, Claddagh, to get my morning infusion of caffeine.  The barista there said that she was thinking of me over the weekend because the coffeeshop team had a working retreat over Memorial Day.  One of the games they played was "try to name as many customers, their drinks, and one fact about them as fast as you can in five minutes."  Apparently, EVERYONE, every single barista there, named me.  They all remembered my drink and most of them remembered that I was a writer.  But, this cracks me up on a deep and profound level, because... yes, I'm THAT customer. Yet another sign that I am definitely not "from around here" was that Tim, one of the guys who is even MORE regular than me, was remembered only by half of them and most of them had trouble naming a fact about his life.  Tim is much more typically Minnesotan.  Personally, I could tell you several things about him: he plays Fall Out 4 on his phone, his son is the exact same age as Mason, loves to hunt, and has a dog named Chester.  But, see, that's because I'm THAT GIRL the one who talks to everyone about EVERYTHING.

:-)

I did joke though that I think I would have failed this quiz of theirs on their retreat because I am pretty sure I can only name about four of my barista.  I know the owner and Becky... but the woman who talked to me?  Maybe Molly?  There's a Lydia there and I know this because we talked about how I'm often called by her name and she is tattooed so I had to sing her the "Lydia, oh Lydia, Lydia the tattooed lady!" song.  But, the rest of them, even the ones who know me so well?  I would be hard pressed.

Now I have a new goal.  I need to learn all my barista's names.
lydamorehouse: (swoon)
That's not entirely true. I spent much of today working on an urban fantasy proposal for Carina Press, which is having a limited time offer of accepting proposal packages.  I've got until June 4th to turn it in, and I'm feeling fairly positive about it.  I managed to dig something up that had amused me in the past, and have been reworking it.  I had already written a proposal at one point and I had a fairly decent start on it. So all I really have to do between now and midnight on Sunday is write like a demon, because OF COURSE they want sample chapters.  

Ah, my old enemy, sample chapters, we met again!

The other part of the day I spent with my friend Naomi, catching up on news from WisCON. Every once and awhile I feel like I should consider going back to WisCON. I used to love it and it's probably worth my while to go again.  The big problem is that we've gotten into this lovely routine of visiting my folks over Memorial Day weekend and I would hate to break that tradition. Maybe I'll go back once Mason is in college. That's not actually that long from now. Four or five years?  (Hard to believe, but there it is!)

I'll have a lot to report tomorrow for "What Are You Reading, Wednesday" as I read a TON over the weekend.

I have to work tomorrow night, which is something I can't forget to do.  I say that because I spent much of today thinking today was either Monday or already Wednesday. 

Mason is in the basement playing video games and Shawn is down there with him, looming on a rug.  I'm upstairs contemplating a bath and writing to my Canadian pen pal, whom I owe a letter. The only reason I haven't gotten up to start either one of those is because I have TWO cats. One is sitting, warming my lap, and the other is perched on the back of the comfy chair, warming my back. It's tough to leave, but I suppose I'd best.

Caio.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I've been reading a lot of people's blogs lately. I don't know if this is a product of my pen-palling, but I find myself more and more drawn to the stories of people's lives and their various takes on things. This morning I ended up reading a mini-rant someone posted about a ship war in the Tokyo Ghoul fandom, and that inspired me to write my own mini-rant about the Trials and Tribulations of Being a Queer Otaku. I don't have anything particularly brilliant to say, but, what the heck, this is what blogs are for, right?

When I posted it to Facebook, a friend of mine came on and poked at the open wound that is my relationship to the ending of Bleach. She didn't do so intentionally, she just casually mentioned that she was find with Renji ending up with Rukia at the end because, for her, "it felt right." I don't even necessarily disagree, but in going back and forth with her, I realized that I might have been a lot better with that particular pairing (which absolutely had a foundation in canon, at least on Renji's part,) IF ANY queer couples had survived in tact. Read more... )

So, yeah, I might be less bitter about RenRuki--which I have always supported, even in my super gay fan fic--(I always make Renji bi), if the other queer characters in Bleach had not been so poorly treated.

But no one cares about that, but me.

In other, non-fannish news, Mason is expected home late tonight. I'm looking forward to hearing all the stories of Anaheim.  I did find out that their team did NOT place at the competition, but Mason had not expected them to, so he didn't seem the least bit disappointed. In fact, he kept say, "It was so much fun!"  I'm super-glad that we have somehow instilled in him this attitude.  It will serve him well all his life, IMHO.

We're packing to head off to LaCrosse tomorrow early.  Poor Mason will land sometime around midnight and then be bundled into a car around 7 or 8 am the next morning (or same morning, if it's after midnight, eh?)  But, as I told him, he can sleep in the car.

It's nice enough out that I mowed. I have to say that--knock on wood--the yard is looking half-decent this year.  Now I just have to keep it up, which is always the struggle, isn't it?
lydamorehouse: (renji has hair)
 Someone on Facebook jokingly said, "Since when did Minnesota have a monsoon season?"  It certainly does seem like that. I keep trying to remind myself that cool and wet are so much more normal that dry and hot.  

We had our big rummage sale today.  It was pretty much a downpour all day, but we still managed to move $70.00 worth of stuff. It helped that a couple of big ticket items--including a bicycle--sold.  Despite being wrapped in cling wrap, our signs melted. I had to replace them with ones that we put packing tape over, so I kind of spent the day in a weird loop.  Picking up signs.  Replacing signs.  Rinse, repeat.  

Given how cold and miserable it was, we thought that we might have had an even better day, had the weather decided to cooperate.  So Lisa and Shawn decided that since they had everything so nicely set up in Lisa's garage, they might as well just leave it there and try again in the morning tomorrow.  My feeling is, why not?  $70 is more than I was expecting to make, but if we could get it a little closer to $100 that feels like a nice donation.  100% of the proceeds for this rummage sale is going towards funding Mason's Wind Energy Team's trip to Anaheim. (They leave Tuesday!)  They made enough to book tickets and cover much of hotel, but not quite enough.... also currently they have no funds to cover food for all 8 kids for the three days they're gone.  Any money we make (or that you donate: https://www.gofundme.com/help-send-us-to-kidwind-nationals) will go to offset those costs.  At this point, anything helps.

Otherwise, my mood has been.... feeling my mortality.  I suppose that's not a mood, but it's definitely something that's been on my mind lately.  After Mark died, I've been working hard to stay in touch with his partner Joe.  It's not terribly hard.  He's on my mind a lot.  So it's more that I have to remind myself to go ahead and text Joe when I'm thinking about him.  In fact, we text/chatted a bit today, because he'd been thinking about bringing over some donations to the sale, if the weather had been a little less gross.

I can only imagine how lonely he must be.  It's not hard to think about "what if...?" And, life without Shawn is.... UNTHINKABLE.  And, I would have Mason to share my grief.  Joe has only friends and relatives like me.

Then, today, by chance I discovered that a Facebook acquaintance lost her husband, unexpectedly, a few days ago. He seems to have died in his sleep, probably from a heart attack. I was floored. This is not someone I know terribly well.  We only friended each other several months ago, after hanging out on Google with a mutual friend who had moved out of town.  I thought she was cool, and so I followed her, like you do.  And now... this.  

It's like this "what if...?" is stalking me, circling closer.
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)
 Why isn't it punctuated "Mothers' Day"?  That's my question.  I mean when Mason was born, I decided that I was far too selfish to share a day with Shawn and so we invented Ima's Day (December 5, the day I legally adopted him), which makes sense as a singular, since it is only celebrated by Mason, who, in point of fact, only has one person he calls 'Ima.' But, like the big Hallmark thing is supposed to be for all mothers, isn't it?

Regardless.

Shawn had a lovely Mother's Day. Facebook informed her that four years ago, we had apparently made the food of her people, aka fleischkuekle, and so she turned her big brown eyes to me and said, "Pleeeeaaaassssee." Which always works, so we spent a huge portion of the day making and frying up fleischkuekle. We now have 120 of these lovely little meat pockets. And, I spent three hours deep frying them--that was a little less fun, but, honestly, I've gotten to the point where I don't have to watch them, I can listen to the sound of the grease.  There's a particular change in the bubbling noises when they're ready to be flipped. So, I sat next to the deep frier and read. I ended up reading a lot of random manga, which I queued up for Mangakast.  (If you ever want to read my reviews of the manga I'm reading, check out: https://mangakast.wordpress.com. WARNING: I do read a lot of NSFW yaoi and yuri and I review them using the grown-up words, though I do tend to eschew writing out the swears for some reason, probably because I started this blog/podcast when Mason was still quite young.)

Today, I managed to get outside and mow before the thunderstorm hit today. I also remembered to pull the grill into the garage. We'd grilled out on Saturday, after my shift at the library.

The weather was amazing this weekend, although I'm not super-fond of actual heat, which is to say anything over 72 degrees F (22.2 C).

I didn't manage any gardening despite the amazing weather, mostly because I worked noon to 5 on Saturday at Roseville, and then cooked all dang day yesterday (don't listen to me, it was fun. There's something really soul feeding rather than tiring about making ethnic food like that, which is made by the whole family, talking in the kitchen all day, generally in community, as it were.)

I actually managed a lot today. For some reason I was convinced I'd have no time to read and review my critiques for tomorrow's class so I quick drove out to Office Max for printer cartridges for our little Jet Ink thingie, printed out stuff for class, and read some work that I'm being paid to critique this morning as well.  I did a bunch of laundry, most of the dishes, mowed, and... a whole slue of little things I'd been meaning to do forever.  I guess this is what productivity is, eh?  I'm not very familiar.

Speaking of that, I ought to get that next load in the drier.  

Ja mata!
lydamorehouse: (renji has hair)
I think I stepped into a time warp.... or maybe I was just THAT busy these last few days?  I'm really not sure. It was one or the other. At least I do REMEMBER time passing, so I'm hopeful that it was the latter.  

Monday I worked at the library.  It was a very, very short shift--only three hours, 10 am to 1 pm.  Even so, I considered calling in to cancel because Mason woke up with a migraine and stayed home from school, but, given that he spent the day sleeping it off, I figured he'd hardly notice me gone for three hours. Plus, he's thirteen and has mastered the life skill of baking a frozen pizza for lunch.  

I'm not sure how much help I was at the library, however.  I was having one of those days were doing one thing took my whole attention and took FOREVER.  Normally--and, for some reason, especially at this particular branch--I'm a workhorse.  I do all the things kind of mindlessly and efficiently. This time I was like, "Oh, a book! I love books!" and I'd read the back cover flap and somehow an entire half hour would go away and when the book finally hit the shelf I was all, "Uh, oops, somehow I still have two thirds of a cart undone...." (On the other hand, I found a memoir about two pen pals that got me curious about other books about pen palling.)

When I left they were complaining about how they'd SOMEHOW fallen behind.  As I waved goodbye, I was thinking, "Yeah, I did that. You're welcome!"

Monday was also the day it SNOWED. I took a video and posted it on Facebook actually, because: dang.  It melted almost instantly but it was briefly disheartening to see tulips covered in snow.

Yesterday I spent hanging out with a friend during the day and teaching at the Loft at night.  My class continues to go really well. As I was saying to a friend, in a lot of ways, teaching the advanced/intermediate students is easy money.  I mean I put a lot of time and effort into critiquing, but, the thing is, so do they.  Learning to think about how writing WORKS (and when it doesn't) is invaluable. At least, it was for me. That's how I learned what I did about writing an why I always structure my classes so that a huge percentage of the time is spent engaging in peer (and instructor) critique.  I mean, I think that's also something people really want from a class--you know, a chance to talk about their own work, have it reviewed, and discussed.

I left last night full of energy, too. Of course I am an extrovert, so that would happen to me no matter what. I always leave the party late, with increased energy.  But my students are also really smart and engaged, so that's a double plus good boost. I came home at 11 pm to discover that I had forgotten to pick up cat food, so I turned around and went out to Walgreen's to pick up a couple of boxes of canned wet food. I probably didn't get to bed and asleep until midnight.  Which would be fine, I suppose, if the alarm didn't go off at 5:30 am. 

But today I did that thing where I pulled myself up out from under the covers long enough to put my clothes on and then I crawled back in to snooze until Shawn yelled that we were leaving. So, I probably stole an extra hour of sleep that way.  Granted, not DEEP sleep, but I'll take what I can get.

I also heard back from Twin Cities Geek. They're interested in having me, and so I sent along bios and photos and such.  Now I'm just waiting to figure out assignments.  I don't know if, like at Bitter Empire, I just do the thing and send it to them or if I'm going to get actual "do this thing" kinds of assignments.  Regardless, I'm honored, because reading through their site they seems like 'the cool kids.' (in a good way, like those slightly cooler than you, 'sempai'-types, but with whom you really, really want to hang out, because OMG SO COOL.)

Today I've got a few errands to run and then I'm going to spend some time at the coffee shop with 'The Ladies.' (A group that started out as the female contingent of Wyrdsmiths, but has morphed into a group of cool writer women.)
lydamorehouse: (Default)
 I kept up on my tiny bit of gardening every day goal today, at least.  My neighbors at the end of the block were giving away edging rocks. I hauled all of those over to set up a title border at the top of my hill.  As I think I mentioned before, the plan is to give up on trying to grow grass there and plant a deep/dappled shade garden. If I could afford it, it would be neat to do a woodland shade garden with native plants, but that might be asking too much (both of my skill set and my pocketbook).  I can totally do ferns and such, though.

Next step will be buying some dirt from Menards.  Part of the idea of the little rock border at the top of the hill is to hopefully stop all the dirt from eroding down the hill.  

Otherwise, sent in an application to write for Twin Cities Geek.  It's not a paying gig, but they were specifically looking for women to review comic books and since that's something I'm reading, anyway, I thought it might be fun to do it for them.

You?


lydamorehouse: (crazy eyed Renji)
 Everyone deals with "big" birthdays differently.

For instance, this year, both Shawn and I are turning 50. Shawn has been very typically unhappy with her "transition through the demographic lifespan." She would like to have remained in her early 40s.  She decided this year that she's going to game-ify birthdays. So instead of wishing her a happy birthday last Saturday, she wanted everyone to congratulate her for achieving LEVEL 50--which I have to admit sounds pretty badass. Some of you may not know that I met my wife playing D&D.  (I know, she SEEMS so mundane!  But she's secretly pretty darn nerdy.)  In fact, in one of those 'if you wrote this into a novel, everyone would say that things like this don't happen in Real Life (tm)" moments, one of the last things that our campaign did was marry Shawn and my characters.  She was an assassin; I was a thief.  And for a while, our college's cafe (as opposed to their formal cafeteria) sported graffiti of a heart pierced by a katana with our character names in the middle.  This was a cafe that had decades of graffiti, going all the way back to its founding, so it wasn't quite as awful vandalism that you might imagine.  So, for Shawn to have achieved level 50 as an assassin seems fairly legit.

For the most part, I'm not terribly fussed about growing older. In fact, I have a tendency to pre-birthday myself shortly after my actual birthday. For instance, I already think of myself as 50, even though I be 49 until mid-November.  I have actually accidentally lied to reporters and interviewers because of this tendency, and many printed articles about me have me as a year older than I was at the time.  Ah, well. It's always a pleasant surprise when I realize I'm not nearly as old as I think I am.  (I do this on my driver's license, too. I always add at least 5 pounds to my weight.  I figure that way I can look at it and think, "Wow, I'm thinner than I think I am!")

But... 50 is a big one, so I've decided to think of it as going into my Hobbit years.  I'm going to accept the fact that I can comfortably rest my arms on the swell of my belly and just embrace the odd bits of hair that my body has started sprouting.  I'm going to aggressively garden and intentionally watch sunsets with a cup of tea (my equivalent of a pipe).  I'm going to make sure my larder is always well stocked in case a bunch of random dwarves show up, and, while I will complain when they do, I will lay out a fine spread and enjoy myself--because food should be a pleasure and we should *all* know about second breakfast and elevenies. There will be a  lot of jigsaw puzzles and other Hobbit-like pursuits, like gossiping about my neighbors and avoiding grand adventures--except, of course, when they come to you.  You wouldn't want to be rude, now would you?
lydamorehouse: (Renji 3/4ths profile)
 Well, apparently, there is such a thing as free photo development.

I mean, there probably is, somewhere out on the internet, but what happened to me was actually kind of cool.  As I've written before, I have a bunch of folks that I'm corresponding with as part of my International Pen Friends membership.  There are a couple of things I'm learning, one of which is that it's standard to send along a photo of yourself.  This is the sort of thing I should have been prepared for, but wasn't.  Several people have sent along theirs and so I decided today was the day I'd head over to Walgreen's and get a few developed.  Since the advent of the digital camera/iPhone, we've been TERRIBLE about having actual developed pictures around.  

Despite not yet having my morning coffee, I managed to figure out the photo printing machine and sent off my order.  A message flashed up that seemed to imply that I could pick up my photos TODAY.... in an hour?  But, the message went by so fast (and I didn't get any kind of receipt) that I waited by the photo register for a minute to see if someone could tell me if I should... hang around? Actually go home and come back in an hour? Or should I really just come back tomorrow morning or something?  A manager-type came over and said that he would "press some buttons" and then it should just be a couple of minutes. So, I agreed to wander the store (I always enjoy fondling the art supplies and pens) and come back. When I did, another person tried to help me out. At first she couldn't find my pictures, but when she did, she couldn't get them to ring up on the machine. Apparently, there's some kind of new photo package software and it EATS THE PRICE TICKETS.  They called the manager over and he handed me my photos and quoted the Monopoly game: "Bank error in your favor."  I understood what he implied, but I still stuttered, "What? You're not serious?" He nodded and said, "It's too much of a hassle for three bucks."  

Deal.

The pictures I picked for my pen pals include one of my Tate Hallaway head shots--of me by a cemetery gate. Then, I also included one of me protesting--because that is literally what I look like most days.  And... then there's a lovely one of Shawn and Mason.  

I haven't come out to all my pen pals yet.

I know I'm being silly, but I have already lost a pen pal due to the fact that I'm a pagan.  This lovely correspondent, Bianca, from Germany asked me what I typically do for Christmas and so I told her.  It involves a Yule Log and no Christ in Christmas.  I mean, I think I said it much nicer than that, but, well, that was the last I heard from her.

I find that odd. One of the boxes that I checked as an "interest" on my pen pal compatibility chart was "religion." I guess *I* presumed that meant that anyone I'd be connected with had an interest in religions, as in plural, multitudes, all of them--not just looking to talk to other Christians.  Apparently, that's not the case.  One of my Australians just asked me what I plan to do for Easter, so I told her that we already celebrated Ostara....

So, maybe I will whittle this down to one or two correspondents.  

I suspect that coming out as queer might be the last straw for some of these folks. I have mentioned Shawn and use pronouns when I have to, but I've been kind of vague. Which is weird, because normally I'm like, "Hi, Lyda Morehouse, lesbian."  Of course in person, looking at me, it's hard not to guess.

On the other hand, my Netherlander already knows because in her first reply to me, she told me about her daughter and her daughter's partner and how they have cats named after Star Trek captains.  :-)

lydamorehouse: (Default)
 I'm sorry to have been MIA, but this has been an insane week.

Last Friday (on Saint Patrick's day) our old, beloved car Steve finally gave up the ghost.  Through a series of fortunate events, we already have a new car: Patrick Bryce.

Yesterday, my (step) brother-in-law, Mark died.

Mark was Margaret's son, Margaret married Shawn's dad some time in the late 1980s. Our families never mingled terribly well. Shawn like to explain that instead of becoming a melded family, we were more like 'adjacent.' For a long time, we really didn't even cross paths with Mark or his sister Karen, not even at Pat & Margaret's place, where it would seem likely.  But, Mark lived here in the Twin Cities, and one Pride Festival (probably in the mid-1990s), I ran into him at the "Tubby Lovers" booth. Neither Shawn nor I had ever realized Mark was gay.  He's just not the sort that automatically trips a person's gaydar, and he was always pretty closeted around his mom.  It was one of those things, though, where had we thought about it realistically for five minutes we would have realized that OF COURSE Joe was not just Mark's roommate.  

Mark always had a lot of health issues, and in these last few years his kidneys had mostly failed and so he was doing dialysis. Sometime after Thanksgiving, Mark fell in the parking lot of his dialysis place.  The hospital determined that he had sepsis--which is the catch-all phrase for a body-wide infection. Likely culprit was the dialysis port.  My father had sepsis (as did Mason, actually,) and it is ALWAYS life-threatening.  Mark seemed to be doing fairly well, recovering, however.  Joe had been keeping people posted on Facebook and the news was mostly of the "I can't believe we're still doing this, but Mark is okay" variety.  This was very familiar to me, because my dad's recovery was just as long and frustrating and the longer you stay in the hospital or hospital-type settings, the more vulnerable you are to other infectious diseases. But, as I said, Mark seemed to be in the kind of holding pattern you're in when you're dealing with this kind of major illness.

Until last Sunday night. 

He ended up back in the hospital.  Joe had just left for home when he got the call to come back. Long story short (and it is a long story), we lost him yesterday.

Joe and Mark never married. They've been together for 22 years, but for reasons, the biggest one being Mark's health insurance, they never tied the knot.  I wish they had. Partner is not a word that carries much weight (even though it should). But legally, you might as well be roommates. Things worked out for Joe, but I just want to put this out there for my unmarried friends--queer or straight--GET YOUR DAMN PAPERS. Do NOT depend on he kindness of relatives to include you, because, legally, they don't have to. You might be saying, but they've always loved me. Yeah, I'm sure they do, but will that be your consolation when the death certificate you're going need to close out bank accounts and credit cards goes to someone else? It's not that hard or expensive to have a health care directive. Wills are a good idea, but they are more of a commitment. But, there's no excuse for all y'all not to be sure you have a health care directive ready to roll.

/public service announcement

So, the car. It's lovely. It's a Ford 500, metallic green, with (by chance, since it's a used car) heated leather seats. This car is, in point of fact, the most TRICKED OUT car we've ever owned. Apparently, the first person who bought it originally did NOT see an optional feature that they did not want.  So, now that it's been passed to us, we feel like we're driving around in some kind of luxury sedan.

The story of how we ended up with it is kind of funny, but not one I'm entirely up for recounting today. Suffice to say that probably the LUCKIEST part of this unlucky day was the moment when Shawn's brother Greg called up Shawn and said, "I just got your email about that car you're thinking about. I'm sitting in my car, taking a break between work sites, and I can see the dealership from where I'm sitting. You want me to go check it out for you?" This is why our car now has a second name of Bryce.  (Greg's middle name.) The car was also DIRT cheap.  Our budget for new (used) cars is under $5,000.  Also the whole thing was kind of a whirlwind. Car was pronounced DOA at 7:30 am and I drove our new (used) car off the lot at around 2:30 pm.

Other news. My Loft class is viable, so I'll be starting teaching next Tuesday night for about eight-weeks (I think.)

And... Gizmodo linked to an article I wrote for Bitter Empire.
lydamorehouse: (crazy eyed Renji)
I would like to petition the universe to change this whole superstition around FRIDAY the 13th and shift it to MONDAY the 13th.  I just looked up "Friday the 13th" on Wikipedia and the connection between Friday and the number 13 seems wholly unsatisfactory.  Apparently, there are some bits of folklore associated with Friday that are unlucky, but they seem mostly related to Christianity and the idea that Jesus died on a Friday. The vast majority of people in the world are non-Christian, so let's dump that whole thing, shall we?  Meanwhile, in the UK, more people commit suicide on a Monday than any other day of the week. And, frankly, we all KNOW Monday starts the workweek in most places around the world, and therefore is just plain YUCKY.  I think we should all agree that Monday the 13th is way, way worse than Friday the 13th, ESPECIALLY WHEN A FULL MOON FALLS ON SAID MOON-DAY.

That is my general complaint about today.

My specific complaints are as follows:

The hardest thing about the last couple of days for me has not been the time shift (ALTHOUGH THAT DEFINITELY SUCKS,) but the fact that I haven't felt like writing _anything_.  It's been true for a while that getting motivated to write original work has been daunting, but lately the well has been completely dry. I'm not even excited to write fan fic, which is *very* weird.

I'm hoping that what this is, is my brain gearing up for something. I've been finding myself thumbing through my old astrology books, because I've been toying with the idea of trying my hand at an astrological murder mystery.  I'm not sure I'm a mystery writer, but the idea of doing something creative with my half-a$$ astrology knowledge appeals to me.  Of course, I say this like I'll actually do something with this idea, and I probably won't.  

Eh, ignore my bad attitude. I seem to have caught it from Mason who woke up in a bad mood(or I have my own hormones to blame, because while I am nearly 50, I am still getting my periods... yay.) 

Meanwhile, Shawn's back is still not making much improvement--or so she feels, at any rate. This is another one of those moments where I'm sure she *is* making some, small improvements, but it's super-difficult for Shawn to sense them. The problem is that she's still in a LOT of pain, and, I remember from my own nerve pain, it's really, really hard to see past that.  What she's not remembering is that the weekend before this last one literally all she could do was lie in bed. She spent a huge amount of time upright this weekend, functioning, AND doing her physical therapy exercises.  

So, yes, I would please like to chalk today up as the bad luck of Monday 13th.  Who's with me?

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