lydamorehouse: (Default)
The Lap of Love folks have their own memorial page for pets and so I decided to add Ms. Ball. If you'd like to see a bit more about how Ball got her name and came to us, there's a short bit of a story about her under the "about" tab: You are welcome to leave a "candle" there, if you like. (It all appears to be free.)

But, there's no need to make a special effort. I have very much appreciated all the comments left here for her and in support of our family during this horrible time.

In other news, because life goes on, I've decided to take on a rather unusual project for the next year. One of my Solstice gifts was Llewellyn's Witches' Spell-a-Day Almanac. Even though I'm getting a late start, I thought I would attempt to do each daily spell for the rest of the year. I will report on them here, probably a bit like I did with Ms. Ball's update, under a cut, in case my pagan practices aren't terribly interesting to you. But, nearly every year I vow to be "more witchy" and this seemed like a fun project to undertake. Plus, I have long followed the Tarot for Yourself practice of figuring out my personal "year" card, and, by chance, this year I have Temperance.

Aquarian Deck:Temperance

Which, according to Greer (my Tarot book author) means when applied to the year: "Developing health and haling practices, testing and trying out your beliefs and philosophy, creative combinations." (emphasis mine.) Seems like a good year, then, to try something like this.

I should probably put out there, before I begin this, that I'm very much aware that Llewellyn is in the BUSINESS of magic, and so, I will likely be critiquing some of these spells based on how much their ingredients might cost a newbie who might think they need the exact oils, herbs, soaps, etc., and will be offering cheaper alternatives (or practices that involve buying NOTHING.) I have, myself, been practicing witchcraft since the early 1990s, so I will be taking a lot of these spells with the proverbial grain of salt. If there are ones that I feel are ill-advised I will post about why I think so and see if the previous years' almanacs have alternatives that might work better.

But, even so, there's no harm in trying a project like this. I think it will be a fun away to be more mindful in my practice.Test out my beliefs, think about my philosophy. These are good things.

Spell-a-Day Project (Jan. 6) )

Spell-a-Day Project (Jan. 7) )
lydamorehouse: (Bazz-B)
Man, it's a good thing that I didn't make a New Year's resolution about being better at blogging. I would have already messed that one up. I actually didn't make any resolutions this year. I have in the past, but this year I found myself thinking that the best I might be able to hope for is "be nicer," and then I immediately engaged in a knock-down, drag-out internet fight about the new Star Wars movie on my Facebook page and I thought, "Whelp, there goes that one."

Did I read anything this last week? No, I really didn't. I mean, yes, of course, there was a manga. It was really AWESOME manga (and a long one, 21 volumes) called: Shi ga Futari wo Wakatsu Made / Until Death Do Us Part by Takashige Hiroshi / Song Ji-Hyoung ("Double-S"). It's about a blind katana-welding vigilante who ends up as the bodyguard to a girl with pre-cognition.  It's literally everything you want from a story with that kind of premise, including scenes where our blind hero slices bullets with his microfiber space-age katana.  I mean, so CHEESY that it comes out the other side into SO AWESOME, you know?

I highly recommend it, but I'm not sure it's available in any commercial venue. Oh, looks like you can consume it legally:  Well, I might have to support this, because I really loved this whole stupid story. The art is really pretty amazing and I loved the characters a lot. If you want to read my review, as usual, you can find it over on Mangakast:

I didn't manage to get any further in the other PEN award novel that I took out from the library.  That one might be a lost cause, after all.  But the library lets me borrow it for three weeks, so I'll keep it around for a while yet in the hopes that I'll feel in the mood again soon. 

How about you?  Read anything of interest this week?

Today is the first day that Mason will be a volunteer debate JUDGE of middle school debate teams. He's going to be over at Highland Park Middle today with a bunch of his colleagues from Washington Tech.  He's super nervous about it, which I understand, but I suspect it will go well (knock on wood.) But, because this is volunteering, I'm going to play chauffeur to a number of his fellow debaters, which should also be interesting. I should see what Google Maps thinks is the fastest route between Washington and Highland.... 

Anyway, the joys of parenting, eh?

lydamorehouse: (Bazz-B)
 It's several hours into 2018 and it's going pretty well so far!!  After ringing in the New Year, Mason and I stayed up until 3 am binge watching Haikyu!  There may have been tears. Such a good show.  Now I have to wait on my hands until the next season airs... or, take the plunge and read the manga.  I'm only a little nervous about joining another on-going fandom, due to how badly Bleach burned me. I would feel so much better if Haikyu! wasn't a Weekly Shounen Jump product.  I don't trust WSJ to treat its properties very well or to have the editorial spine to tell a popular mangaka that their ENDING IS TOO STUPID TO LIVE.  Lookin' at you, whoever edited Kubo-sensei and Kishimoto-sensei.

I ended 2017 arguing with people who are Wrong on the Internet (tm). Honestly, it wasn't bothersome that they were "wrong," because we were talking about the new Star Wars film, and I actually ADORE intelligent people who have serious, thoughtful criticisms of the things I love. I was raised Unitarian Universalist, debate is my RELIGION. Bring it!

But, in this case, it was bothersome because this person's strategy for arguing their point was, when they were failing to win, call people "gas lighters" and suggest that if they didn't get a 100% agreement on a point they would say people were being dismissive of them. (See, how, if I agree with you, you actually win and I lose and that's not how this works. That's not how any of this works.) 

What's particularly sad about this, is that this is someone I know in Real Life (tm), a former student of mine, whom I previously respected a great deal.  I got nothing for people who can't stand and fight, however. I mean, if you just want to shrug and say, "Meh, it didn't work for me."  I'm fine with that.  Lots of my friends fall in that category, but coming to my feed and INSISTING that I agree that it sucks? Fight me.  I mean, I presume that's why you came, right?

Before you ask, no, I didn't unfriend this person. I don't unfriend people for having a strident opinion or even for being kind of a dick about it. It's a do onto others thing for me, because OMG can I be a dick about my fannish opinions.  :-)  In fact, I think that if my fan clan had a coat of arms, its motto would be: FIGHT ME (in all caps). Let's be honest, I adore a good debate. (New caveat: so long as it is actually a debate.) Anyone of you who has ever seen me on a panel knows this to be a Truth of my life.

But, so that's how I rang out the year.  Then I stayed up too late consuming amazing anime, and this morning we took down the tree and all the decorations. The house always looks so sad and empty after the tree is gone, so we are consoling ourselves with mimosas (faux-mosa for Mason) and a nice chicken roast for dinner.

We did our traditional pagan ritual of putting silver (dimes are our metaphorical substitute) outside our house and bringing it in on the morning of the New Year. The idea is supposed to be to encourage silver (both as a monetary thing, but also general prosperity) to flow into the house. We keep the dimes in a hidden cache in the heart of our home.  We've been collecting dimes from each year that we've done this (I found a 2017 dime last minute!), so we probably have twenty or thirty cents or so built up over the years.

Meanwhile, our cat has become an Internet junkie:

buttercup (our cat) trying to cat a mouse on an iPad

He will now come up to Shawn when she's reading on her Kindle and paw at it, hoping for his mouse game. Alas, it's only on the iPads, but of course we run get it for him when he does that. He has us well trained.

lydamorehouse: (ichigo being adorbs)
 I don't know if this is a good omen or what, but the cats let me sleep in this morning.  On the other hand, as I as taking down the porch ornaments, Buttercup found a fly--a living one.

Well, the fly seems like an obvious metaphor.  There's a giant, ugly, unexpected insect in our future in the form of the PEOTUS.  Hopefully, we can all be on it like Buttercup.  (I'm pretty sure he ate the fly. He certainly was only distracted once, and I helped him find the ugly thing again.)  With any luck, that will be another metaphor for all of us, too.  We're on this form the start. We might get momentarily distracted, but we'll get this.

Fingers crossed.

I also started out 2017 writing a review for BitterEmpire.  I finished WE ARE ANTS last night around 1 am.  I actually started the book as a way to stay awake until midnight and then ended up finishing it an hour into the new year.  I have two books in the queue at BE, this one and PLANETFALL.  

I have never before signed up for the Goodreads' challenge, but this year I've tasked myself with reading 30 books. That probably doesn't seem like a lot to most of you. I notice that most of my friends regularly sign up for a book a week, 52.  With my dyslexia, 52 seems wonderful, but a recipe for disappointment. Maybe, if I were more religious about including comic books, graphic novels, and manga, I could make it, but I think shooting for 30 novels seems like a reachable goal. Having started off the year already finishing one, seems like a good start, anyway.

My parents came up for a short visit.  That was really quite lovely.  We ended up having lunch in downtown St. Paul at Sawatdee.  Presents were opened and nice chats were had.  A good time for all.  One of the things my parents traditionally give me is a hundred dollars. Normally, I put the whole thing on a coffee card at Claddaugh. This year, I split the difference and put half on a coffee card and the other half on an card.  More books! Yay!

How has your first day of 2017 been?
lydamorehouse: (Default)
 As you know, Bob, our household has to wake up at 5:30 am in order to get prepped and such in time to take everyone to school.  Over winter break, I'm happy to say that we spent two glorious weeks sleeping in until awoken naturally--either by sunlight or just plain having gotten enough rest.  Those halcyon days are gone, my friends, and OMG am I paying the price.  Particularly since, last night, I was scheduled to work at Maplewood Library.

Normally, I can't complain about my working situation.  It's utterly enviable, and I know it.  I hardly ever am required to work more than four hours a shift and I work... MAYBE once a week? Seriously, it's an awesome, awesome job with extra helpings of awesome since it is at a library and I spend my four hours surrounded by books. (So much AWESOME.)  Plus, other than the fact that I do spend all four hours on my feet, it is literally the easiest job in the world for me.  The requirements? To speak English well enough to know the order of the alphabet.  TBF, sometimes that's a bit hard for me, but mostly?  I got this. (Besides, there's this song I can sing when I get stuck on the alphabet, so you know a job is good when the hardest days are ones when you have to sing the most.)

BUT, okay, I have ONE SMALL COMPLAINT.  That is: evening hours at the library require me to stay up a WHOLE HOUR past my bedtime.  I thought  I might actually collapse from tiredness somewhere around 8:30 pm last night.  And this morning I've been almost hilariously misreading nearly every post I've seen on Facebook.  Hence, the title of this blog...  though I have to admit that I rather like the implications of "knowing is half the baffle," so that might become my new battle cry.

Speaking of new battle cries, I've decided this year that when I'm angry at some yahoo on social media, I'm going to insult them exclusively from lyrics in the Grinch song.  This morning I told Shawn that she was "a bad banana with a greasy black peel."  So, watch out, my friends.  If I'm really mad at you, you might see this in your in-box, "Three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote: Stink. Stank. STUNK."

Of course, this is going to require that I have the song either memorized or at hand when I'm unreasonably angry, so probably this new year's resolution will go down the toilet pretty quickly, like most of them do.  HOWEVER, I'm going to Do My BEST as is often said in Japanese "Gambetta!"

I think this is a Very Important new years' resolution.  I mean, everyone vows to lose weight, eat right, and exercise more.  Me, I'm going to Grinch Insult people.

Mason has vowed to memorize the Periodic Table of Elements, so that's a nicely unusual one, too.  How about you? Anything out of the ordinary?

lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I've decided that rather than say I'm making New Year Resolutions (because we all know what happens to THOSE), I'm going to simply try to be resolved to do certain things.

On the very top of my list is the toughest one. In 2014, I'm resolved to get over this writerly slump of mine and stop wallowing in self-pity.  I'm an extremely self-indulgent person, and I've allowed myself to feel really badly about my writing career's latest bump for a long, long time.  Yeah, it sucks that Penguin dropped me after Precinct 13, but publishers dump people all the time.  I may not recover from this, but what else is there to do, but try?  I let some opportunities slip by me in 2013 and I can't do that any more.

To that end, due in large part to the support of [ profile] empty_mirrors, I have a seekrit project that I'll reveal at some point.  Fingers crossed, but I think I may have finally found a way to combine the things I love about fan writing with original writing THAT WILL STICK.

The other thing I'm going to try to do this year is be a better pen pal.  Three years ago (or longer?), I put out a call on Facebook to see if anyone wanted to receive old-timey correspondence from me.... letters, delivered by post. (I know, right?  Who's even heard of this??) I got a couple of bites and I had a lot of fun writing actual pen and paper letters to people.  I'm going to try doing that again.  I just wrote a letter to my former/kind-of-slacked-off-on-my-end pen pal in Seattle, and I'm going to try to write something to her every couple of weeks--even if I don't get a response.  And, Frank, if you read this, this means you too! But no pressure to write back--I really just enjoy the feeling of pen in hand and it's nice to have an excuse to use fancy papers and buy pretty cards.

Those are the big ones.  If I happen to exercise more and lose weight or become a better partner and do the dishes more often and keep up with my blogs along the way, that'd be swell... but you know, baby-steps.

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