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On every trip home I've ever taken since 1998, the actual travelling portion of the trip has been a complete and total clusterfuck, due to my parents inability to act like adults. (also: bad luck, with things like my pilot not being allowed to fly because he hadn't slept that led to missed connections &c and iced over runways with no equipment on the ground that meant I got to spend the night in the atlanta airport.)

(I remember the trip where my mom wouldn't let me pack an extra book--I'd taken two doorstoppers with me and wanted three--and then I ended up finishing my last book ten minutes into my return flight.

And then we got a flat tire 75 miles from home, and got to wait for 4 hours with nothing to do for entertainment while AAA too their sweet time coming out. Because my mom was So Sure that I wouldn't finish my book.)

So THAT is why I'm a giant ball of stress about getting out to my folks' place on Monday.
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It's downright startling how happy a new set of measuring cups and spoons makes me.
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I've put all but one of my windows down and opened the valve on my radiators.

I am wearing a hoodie and curled under a blanket.

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In more joyous news, work surprise!brought in bacon pancakes on Friday, with bourbon whipped cream & honey butter. It was deelish. Also: New computer, which is fantastic -- I've spent the day getting used to the new keyboard, and the only thing that's still giving me trouble is the enter key, which I'd remapped on my previous machine when the original enter key stopped working.

Also, yuletide nominations go live on Monday! I'm excited about mine!


Jul. 22nd, 2014 08:18 pm
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The weather is now hot and miserable.

Dad has been released with a stint, a scrip for blood thinners, and lifestyle changes prescribed. He's back on the boat, and remains as ever the luckiest sonofabitch I know.

I made Budget Bytes Southwest Chicken Skillet for dinner, and it took 5 minutes active time + 40 minuites waiting ... basically the ideal hot day post-work meal. I used Mi Costenita menudo seasoning because that was the mixed chili style packet of seasoning my grocery store had for cheap - $1.19 for an ounce. (also apparently they are a small Chicago-local business.)

The skillet is VERY tasty overall - highly recommend. I'll be freezing 2-3 servings for lunches later, and fridging a serving or two to eat soon.

Make it vegetarian by swapping the chicken for another can of beans (pinto to kidney) or with cubed baked tofu, tempeh, or seitan.

(The best part of making shredded chicken by poaching chicken is that I get broth as a byproduct).

I want it to be the weekend so I can take a nap. As is, it'll be dishes, a murder show, and sleep for me.
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Today was the kind of day that felt lazy but wasn't.

I slept in til 8:00, lazed around the house til 10:00, and then went for a run. After recovering from that, I went outside a second time around noon, to pick up quarters (walked to the bank) and then went thrifting -- I came away with two picture frames, a dish-drying pad, and a fancy sweater that I can't wear until this fall. Then home (stopped at the nursery to check out the plants; I need to get a container garden going on the back deck railing.

I'm thinking basil, parsley, cilantro, mint, and maybe thyme if I'm brave? Not the sage that smells like gum, though. No really, it's sage. that smells like gum..)

Today I got the living room straightened, and all my laundry washed and put away. And I talked to my mom for about an hour (she texted me first, which, nooo mom don't do that I wanted to look good because I actually remembered mother's day this year), and then ... lazed around on the sofa watching Psych for a while. The dishes aren't done but there isn't many of them, and today is definitely a two-shower day, but overall ... not bad, not bad.

Salmon season hit NorCal, so the parents have volunteered to help finance my trip home this November. Which I'm no turning down, oh hell no.

Last night I made crockpot dal (does NOT require turning on a stove or oven):

Makes more than you think it will. (Two days in and I still have ~6 cups? )

chuck into the crock pot:
1 onion, chopped
1-2 tsp chopped garlic (I bought a jar of it because I don't go through cloves fast enough)
1/2" grated fresh ginger
15 oz stock
15 oz whole fat coconut milk
2 cups red lentils
1 tbsp curry powder (or to taste)
1 tsp garam masala (or to taste)

1-2 c frozen peas

Cook on low until the lentils have mostly dissolved and the onion is soft and translucent. Put in a container and mix in 1-2 c peas, which will cook in the residual heat from the lentils. Super tasty, almost no effort, and doesn't heat up the kitchen

Salt individual servings to taste.

This recipe is: Vegan, gluten free, summer-friendly, dorm-friendly, cheap (I THINK it comes out to about ~70 cents a serving/~$5 total?)
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1. [ profile] tigerbright! HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY I went and tried to make you a thing with an ADORABLY FLUFFLY GINGER KITTEN on the internet but then I couldn't find the making-thing I wanted to use and slunk away in defeat. BUT I THOUGHT OF YOU LOTS YESTERDAY, and hope your day was excellent.

2. Memes are still a thing, right?

1. Of the fic stories you’ve written, of which are you most proud?

Answering this question is highly malleable and I'm not gonna do it. I'm pretty fond of my recent run through Sleepy Hollow fandom, though.

2. Favorite tense

Simple past. Clear, concise, there is nothing you can do in any other tense that you can't do in simple past.

3. Favorite POV

Third limited. Again, nothing you can't do in any person that you can't also do in this one.

4. What are some themes you love writing about?

Family, found and otherwise; home and finding it; fighting for comfort in one's own skin; people behaving decently to one another; faith and loss thereof; faith and (re)discovery thereof; holidays; people talking to other people like adults; the world snapping into sense-making place when some new piece of information comes to a head;

5. What inspires you to write? | [ profile] rustydragonfly: "Where do you get your ideas?"

The world, and my own head. #Chiberia gave me the urge to write winter!fic; and talking to [personal profile] havocthecat and [ profile] kita0610 gave me the push to write Creatures in Human Figure and Apprentice, a lot of times I'll get an image or a snatch of dialogue and roll it around in my head for a while, coaxing it to grow.

The ideas come from all over the place, but interaction feeds them best, and sharing with the idea that someone might see makes me both more and less likely to push through til the end.

6. Thoughts on critique

Welcome when it's welcome, assholish when it's the wrapping paper around an act of bullying. Needs to be desired and consensual, which places the onus of asking whether it's wanted on the critic. Not necessarily the same as, "Yo, you need to tag for [xyz]" or "expecting us to identify with this dude who constantly talks down to his partner and makes them feel shitty is uncool, did you do that on purpose? if so it needs tagging."

7. Create a character on the spot... NOW!

Beat you to it. Second comment in the thread, final paragraph. You should probably read the not!fic, first.

8. Is there a character you love writing for the most? The least? Why?

Almost invariably the women. Like, that's the most singular constant: women, or characters who share some other distinguishing feature with me (growing up poor/unstable, intelligent but underachieving, "fixers"; I end up writing military and law enforcement characters often, because, I think, of the "chance to die honorably in service" part of the job description.

9. A passage from a WIP

Don't wanna, not gonna. Mostly because there's not a lot that stands alone well right now.

10. What are your strengths in writing?

Ah hahahah haha ha I can spin a yarn? I mean. Okay I'm not answering this one because it requires being kind to myself about a thing that's important to me, and I am still working on that a lot.

Although I'm not going to reject compliments on my writing from you fine people.

11. What are your weaknesses in writing?

All of them I am bad at finishing things, especially long things. Which is unfortunate because sometime between high school and now I turned into a novelist.

12. Anything else that you want to know... (otherwise known as Fill in the Blank)

We're open for questions if you want to hear me natter.
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Call the Midwife is kinda grim.

AND YET I can't stop watching.

At some point I'm going to write some meta/companion to The AU* on how Abbie and Katrina do not get along as quickly, as easily, or as well as Abbie and Ichabod do, but for now I am going to say that I am writing it again and have maybe two scenes to write and then revision.

*For those of you just tuning in on the tumblr channel, that would be my current big project: a virtual-season format story that swaps Ichabod and Katrina's places, so that Katrina wakes up in the cave and Ichabod is the purgatory-bound damsel in distress.
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I hate that as adult my colds have started starting in my chest and generally being awful.

Now on day 2.5 of the 2013 deathvirus and the worst is hands down the fever/chills and inability to think straight or sit up.

Also my driver license is inexplicably missing and I'm kinda freaking out about it a lot.
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Are lists an anxiety trigger for anyone else? I find that when I write a list I'm much more likely to wind up watching six episodes of Mythbusters or playing a zillion hours of temple run than I am to actually get anything done.

Not because I don't want to conquer the list, but because once I've laid out my intention I'm overcome with "supposed to" and suddenly can't because what if I fail?

(My solution is that I don't make lists for anything but groceries anymore.)

Life update

Nov. 1st, 2013 12:22 pm
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Work this week has ranged from drowning under all the things I've had to do, to scraping the bottom of the training barrel and going home early.

Right now I'm on early lunch because I skipped breakfast, regretted it, and hit the ground running (after waking up at 4:30 to beeping burglar alarm and unexpected spider on the burglar alarm. at [ profile] taraljc's house. I slept another two hours after, but I'm still falling over now.

This weekend I need to:

* call my mom so that she does not worry
* contact my drinkswap sender and recip
* head to the middle east bakery for coffee and other drinks for swapping
* clean my house including swiffering the floors
* mail my rent check (saturday, NOT monday!)

not. leave. my. house.

I would up taking a random thursday off last week because I was so emotionally raw, and I need a solid two days of introvert time or else ... or else. So tonight it's back to my house to continue my rewatch of first season mythbusters and probably I will make a small batch of stew in the crock pot.

Also, I dressed as Medusa for Halloween because my office does that, and I've stolen one of the break-room decorative ravens, attached him to my monitor stand, and named him Quoth.

Yuletide at 3,000 words. Anyone who knows the canon on my flist up for beta-reading a story that will probably top out at ~50,000+ words? I am trying, stylistically, for "original author if they had had a proper fan-beta instead of whoever wound no not really editing their books at all."
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* I miss my icons, but not enough to acquire paid time on LJ.

* The past couple of days have been unseasonably warm; this is due to We Are Expecting Thunderstorms Today/Tomorrow/This Weekend.

* Still playing Kingdom of Loathing; still enjoying it A LOT. (I'm actually solving the puzzles now instead of just going to the wiki for ~spoilerz).

* Discovered that Coworker TK and Coworker AM's Person both play, so I now feel better about my halloween costume (PASTAMANCER! in legendary regalia + mr. shirt because you are not allowed to not have torso awaregness when you are at work.). (My veeery first character was a pastamancer, although since 2003 I have played a seal clubber and a disco bandit.)

* Yuletide remains upon us; I remain filled with fannish joy.

* Agents of SHIELD is making me actively angry with how flat-out bad it is, so I'm not watching it anymore. (Okay, it is really hard to cut a show a break when you flat-out hate its two leads, so the easiest way to not get upset about the thing is to not watch it.)

spoilers probably )

So. Those are my feels.
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Highs for the next 3 days are 68, 67, 72; I've turned off my air conditioner (although it's still occupying the window, and it's less than a month before my building turns the heat on. Honeycrip apples are in all the stores!

I've made my yuletide nominations, and I'm noodling around with ideas for NaNoWriMo. Fall TV is coming back (I don't know what I'm watching.)

I'm so glad that summer is presumably over. I spent some time this year trying to figure out what my threshhold is for comfort in high humidity, and I think it's around 68 for 50-75%, and then below 50 if possible for any higher than that. (We had one morning that was 60 with something like 98% humidity, and walking outside felt like swimming in a warm pool.)

Had a good talk with my mom this past Sunday, and sent out a couple of emails to people I've been out of touch with. Made soup. Soon: Snow (SNOWMEN), thanksgiving break from work, and the vacation I'm taking in December while everyone is out of the office.
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Can you think of cultures that don't have a thin, crisp or chewy flatbread that is topped or filled with a moist or juicy, protein-rich topping?

Or cultures that do have ready access to grain/grain farming/domestication but don't have some kind of dumpling?

And in my secondary universe, the question of: have they invented the sandwich as a named thing yet? What do the utensils look like? Has someone looked at their cheese room and decided that cheddaring is a thing they can do, or been hungry enough to eat the (unexpectedly delicious) moldy thing even though all their instincts are shouting POISOOOOON?

(Speaking of: my local grocery has seven year old white cheddar that I want to taste, as well as wedges of double cream brie that I really want to turn into a sandwich with pears, arugula, good mustard, and fresh crusty bread.)

The other thing I've wanted to try is Barbecue pulled jackfruit, which I need to test-drive before our next work pot-luck (We have critical mass of vegetarians, vegans, and people who look askance at pork for this to work). I'm also thinking of bringing in a package of beef bacon (certified kosher, even!) to try around, because I've read good things and they sell it at my grocery, but I don't really want to try it on my own and then not like it and then have 4/5 of a package of beef bacon I don't like mouldering in my fridge.

Need to get rid of the storage unit. Haven't touched it since I moved; not looking forward to the task. Renewed my lease last month. Still haven't adopted a cat/kittens.

So far the longest my house has stayed maintained-clean is 4 days; I'm about 60 minutes away from full clean right now, so we'll try again next week. Flat surfaces continue to be my bane.

Work is work; I don't remember whether I'd been deputized 2IC of our AV department, but since I'm not allowed to leave the building I kindof had that happen. (we're running up onto a busy season, and I may find myself working a longer week than the 35ish I'm used to.

I continue to noodle around with cultivating more fannish activity, either by extending feelers toward the Right People forum or out into wherever it is that people are being active on LJ.
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* SO NICE TO HAVE INTERNET THAT WORKS. Can I say that enough? I can't.

* I've slept in til 7:30 every day this week, and this past weekend I didn't leave my bed til 10:00; I remember once upon a time that my normal sleeping hours meant that 10:00 was early for me, but, well: I've been waking for the first time at 6:00 and then going back to sleep.

* I'm thinking that starting Saturday, I'm going to try something new for 30 days and get out of bed at 6:00. Maybe if I am extra ambitious I will go outside and walk around in the world.

(The world: overall, an interesting place; however, it lacks central air condition and heating.)

* I finished The Lies of Locke Lamora about two weeks ago? IT GAVE ME FEELS. spoilers! )

So now I'm about 1/3 into Red Seas Under Red Skies, and rationing it so that it lasts me until the third book comes out in October. IDK if I can make it last another six weeks; I covered the last 300 pages of LLL in three nights of staying up til 1 or 2 in the morning. All on worknights, no less.

* Speaking of work: I have over the course of time passed since the last entry nearly fallen down the spiral staircase at my office, hipchecked a desk hard enough to leave a spectacular bruise, and been bitten by a leaf insect. To whom I am apparently allergic.

* To be fair on the last point above, I was harassing the leaf insect because OMG CAMOUFLAGE. Spectacular, spectacular camouflage.

* Note to self: Buy a micro SD card for your phone, and do the uninstall/reinstall tango with your apps.

* And in closing, Today marks Day 4 of Candice Keeps Her House Tidy.
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Over the last month, my house has descended into a horrible clod of mess, garbage, and floordrobe. And dust-bunnies. (The kitchen was worse: dishes hadn't been washed in a month+, and I'd bred a whole new swarm of drain flies.)

So I spent most of the weekend alternating cleaning with watching light-attention TV (That 70s Show & Urban Legends), and over the course of maybe 4-5 hours total I got the place into shape. Granted, my hands are so dry I can almost hear them crunching when I move them, but it's clean. (In the name of honesty: mostly; there's still 1 or 2 surfaces that need to be cleared and wiped, but that can happen as easily tomorrow evening.

(This past week was taken up fighting the leading edge of what might/could have been a depressive episode,and which I think I've headed off at the pass? I sort of felt it ... lift on Friday, when I thought I'd managed to somehow without touching either of them lose a mess of camera batteries and a lens, only to find that that was not actually what had happened at all. [They were in with their kit; I'd picked up our last loose camera thinking it was not the camera that it was, and flailed around a little/a lot, and then ... disaster, averted. Not even in the same neighborhood.])

I've also taken Mom off of talking-to-me-probation a day early, because I did not want to have the required hour-long conversation on Monday. Verdict: oh my god my previous phone was terrible. (I got an android phone and republic wireless services Tuesday, as noted in the phone post.) SO, between Mom's 3-year-old much-battered flip-phone and my dead brick, it's no wonder neither of us could hear or understand a word the other said. I count this as one plus in an extended column of "reasons why talking on the phone is awful"/"Reasons why talking on the phone is okay".

Fannishly, I've been a sluggish: reading at my leisure, rewatching shows I've already watched, and participating mostly by reblogging pretty things on Tumblr.

I miss being ~in fandom, but I'm also wondering whether having a job I like with people I *really like*, and friends I see fairly often outside of work, has opened a valve such that I don't really need the close-knit fannish community I melted into in high school and college.

Creatively, I've been letting my mind wander around the secondary world I built in 2005 for NaNoWriMo ([ profile] allshining for those of you who remember), and I had a specific thing hit me when I was washing dishes this afternoon: almost all of the melodrama has bled itself out of the OTP of this story. I'm kinda happy it has.

How've all y'all been?
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First: A timeline:

2007: Recession! Family stops paying phone bill. Strings Verizon along for six months before they cut our service (on the week of my birthday, no less, precipitating the first significant depressive episode I had.)

Through 2009: we make due with skype, email, and leeched wifi. I develope a terminal allergy to contract-anything.

Summer 2009: HOORAY, my mom wins a workman's compensation case against her noxious former employer. My parents procede to live well beyond their means, while I pick up the cheapest AT&T pay-as-you-go-phone you could get in 2009.

Summer 2009: My shitty phone shows up on an episode of Burn Notice as, you guessed it, a shitty burner phone.

Through 2013: I eventually change to the monthly payment contract-free phone, because texting is otherwise expensive.

February 2013: I run the old gray mare through the washing machine and dryer. She does not make it. Pick up a replacement at Target.

July 2013: I drop the replacement, mostly breaking it.

One week later: The replacement goes inexplicably missing.


Monday: Place an order for the $79 subsidized phone with republic wireless.

Yesterday: Receive and set up phone (ANDROID!!!!) during a power outage at work.

Now: (The important bit)

I have had previously a number of your phone numbers. They were lost with the demise of the Richmond Phone (c. 2009) which sim card was not salvageable after the washer incident.

Comments are screened, leave me your number if you want me to have your number and I'll text you with mine. Or email - boosette@gmail (POSTAL ADDRESSES ARE ALSO DESIRED I would like to send occasional presents and postcards and letters without having to tip you off due to I AM SNEAKY.)
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And I spent today after work getting my car un-towed.

On top of the tow, the city of Evanston ticketed me, and the tow guys managed to break the head off of my dashboard yoda.

I is now time to sell all my possessions.
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So my list is actually bigger than it was last Friday, having visited the Treehouse Cat Shelter and filled out an application:

* The two kittens I had made heart eyes at on Friday were adopted just as I was sitting in the waiting room. MY HEART.

It is probably better, because I would have brought them home tonight with no kitten supplies and a not-kitten-proofed house.

* Natasia and Natilla: Kittens. SO FULL OF LOVE. (They had been caged when I visited before, but when I got the same reaction out of these two as I had the ones from Friday, so I have faith: There will always be kittens. There will always be at least two kittens who claim me as their very own.) But ohmygosh Natasia was like I CLAIM YOU FOR MOTHER RUSSIA PURR PURR PURR (Boo there will ALWAYS be kittens.)

Other than the kittens:

Seniors (no pic/story on the site/yet?)

Quimby ("the Round", she appends in her head) is an 11-year-old gray tuxedo boy, who is shaped like a sports ball. And he circled and purred and swatted the younger cats who came anywhere near me. His family who had him for many years had to surrender him when they moved to a no-cats apartment, and omg. Just, this kitty is very, very doglike. (Which clicks in my head: I grew up with Shar Peis, as you know bob, and they are very catlike dogs. )

(Adults 6-10)

Fluttershy (whose eye is about a million times better than in the picture) hopped on my lap in the waiting room and cuddled, which has apparently never happened before with anyone. So she immediately made the shortlist.

Pretty Girl (who is pre-diabetic; I have room for veterinary care in my budget, but I want to call a pet insurance agent and see whether she's eligible if she isn't officially diabetic) remains purrsome and laid back, although she sheds like nothing else. I am still covered in her.

Of the young adults (

Cachet is still shy, but she came right over and headbutted and circled. I think that, being a lifelong stray, she has maybe not cottoned on that humans are for love. But I also think that she will come around. She's also the youngest adult cat that caught my eye, at 4, and is currently v. healthy.

There was a new one in the room, too: still in the "acclimate to the other cats" cage. He is a massive tabby named Salem (he reminds me of [ profile] q_sama's Sergei, and he rubbed up against the bars and licked me through them and purred and oh my god he is the size of a bobcat. Like, I am concerned I would wake up and think omfg BOO THERE IS A BOBCAT ON YOUR HEAD. AND YET. This might not be a bad thing.

Basically I want to take seven cats back to my house and this was not the plan.
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I'm not moving, but we do have landlord inspections tomorrow, and it got me thinking about things I wish I'd known about the place before I moved in. (Things I plan on mailing to the new tenant when I do move.)

(Also I am proud to say that the place will be landlord ready in a single load of dishes.)

Dear Person,

An incomplete list of things to know about your apartment )


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