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Nov. 19th, 2014 10:09 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
Since I signed up for the most recent multi-fandom friending meme, I thought I should write a little introduction to myself, just in case anyone pops over here from there.

Note 25 Sept 2015: I'm dealing with breast cancer right now, and I talk about it uncut. I'm doing well and not in any danger, but I know that many people would rather not read about it. I should be past everything but the tamoxifen by the end of this year.

Bits and pieces about me. Possibly more than you ever wanted to know. )

[sticky entry] Sticky: Sticky Post

Jun. 19th, 2037 04:56 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
I mirror at least 95% of my content on LJ and DW. Read where you're most comfortable.

My friending policy is pretty open. If you want to read my journal, go ahead. I won't mind. I don't automatically read in return. I used to, but my time's a little more limited now than it was then. If you feel like dropping me a comment to let me know why you friended me, I'd appreciate it. Sometimes I have no idea at all and wonder.

If I'm reading you, I'm interested in something that's in your journal. I don't expect to be read in return but certainly won't mind if I am. I know that I have more time for reading online than most people do, and I know that my entries about my every day life, parenting, chores, etc. aren't of much interest to most people. That's all fine.

I don't lock very much. Right now, it's just an occasional post about my adolescent daughter. She's embarrassed by me talking about her online, so this is a compromise. My book logging, DVD logging and fic announcements will always be unlocked.

Also, if you stop reading my journal, feel free to take me off your list. I won't be upset. (Though if I think we know each other well or if we're acquainted offline, I may inquire as to why.) I may or may not stop reading you in response. It will depend on what sort of content you post and whether or not you lock most of of it.

I don't post fics on LJ or DW. I don't post fic fragments on LJ or DW. My fic can be found at my website or at AO3 ([archiveofourown.org profile] the_rck) or, for those things not explicit, at fanfiction.net as therck. I mostly write for Weiss Kreuz and The Chronicles of Narnia, but I've written a fic or two in a wide variety of fandoms for various exchanges.

I don't often use cut tags. Mostly, I use them for lists where I think people will only be interested in some items and for discussions of writing that go more than a paragraph or two or that have details that I think might bother some readers.
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
I figured out how to salvage part of the section I wrote that didn’t work. I’ve got one other bit to finish that goes before it, and I think I’ll need a section to come after. I just have no firm idea of what that follow up needs to be yet.

I’m actively looking for a beta reader for a Yuletide treat that I’ve finished. The Yuletide beta spreadsheet lists three people who’re willing to beta the fandom. One is me. One is someone I won’t ever ask for a beta again. Not ever. The last person is someone I know is currently very, very busy. I’ll ask them, but I’m not holding my breath. Still, it’s a treat, so the posting deadline has a lot more wiggle room. If it has to be, it could be a NYR story instead.

Counting the two unfinished sections I mentioned above, I currently have eleven projects that I very firmly want to go on with. Right at the moment, I’m doing a lot of flitting. Two are unstarted Yuletide treats. One, also unstarted, is for a Yuletide fandom but doesn’t, I think, fit any of the requests for that canon. I’m also not sure that I can make that idea fit in a short story. Three of the other possibilities are chapters of long WIP.

One WiP is stalled because I have to decide what the various rooms in a house would look like which means making some world building decisions about who furnished the place and how the furnishings were acquired. There are two people who might have chosen the furnishings, and I can think of four or five different sources, all of which have world building implications and an impact on how the place would look. It’s a relatively minor thing, but I’m stuck on it because I realized that my original vision didn’t fit either of the characters who might have put the place together.

We got the tree decorated yesterday. I didn’t actually hang any ornaments. I was just too tired, and my hands hurt too much. Also, there’s really not room for more than one person next to the tree, not given how the living room is currently configured. Cordelia and her friend put most of the ornaments on with Scott pointing out bare spots and reaching around them to hang a few things himself.

The girls wanted to watch The Flash while decorating, so we did. Cordelia’s friend is watching season 1 for the first time. Cordelia’s friend is trying to pressure Cordelia into watching Arrow, but Cordelia doesn’t want to because she doesn’t like the level of violence there. I’m not sure how that’s going to work out.

I got a lot of stuff at the library yesterday. Basically, a bunch of things with long wait lists all came in at once. Cordelia thinks I should manage my holds better, but I don’t really see what I could have done to prevent this except never put a hold on something with a long waitlist or that’s waiting to be catalogued. At any rate, I’ve got twice as many CDs as usual, more DVDs and books, and not very much time to listen, watch, or read this week.

I slept poorly last night and ended up awake after Scott got up at 5:00, so I’m expecting to try to nap soon. I’m going to take medication that might help. I think that the problem was 80% anxiety with pain from my hands and temperature regulation issues making up the balance. I really should have gotten up and taken Ativan when I realized that I hadn’t taken it before bedtime. I just very much want to be able to deal with this crap without medication, you know? But my neck and shoulders are so tight that they out and out hurt. I’m not going to manage to sleep unless I can get them to relax.
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
I tried to nap yesterday, but I had to get up twice to pee, and Cordelia came in once for a prolonged cuddle. Given that I was in bed for two and a half hours, there just wasn’t time to fall asleep. I had trouble falling asleep in the evening, too, even after taking Ativan. Once I fell asleep, I slept deeply.

I made fudge last night, and while I did it, I coached Cordelia through making chocolate chip bars. We almost didn’t have enough sugar, but I found some brown sugar that wasn’t hard, so we got by. The fudge doesn’t look right. It’s not smooth, and I’m not quite sure what I did wrong. I followed the directions as precisely as I could.

The fudge making left my hands hurting pretty badly. Apparently that much stirring isn’t something my hands can do without consequences.

We got two loads of laundry run, too. Well, one is still wet. I will put it in the dryer after I finish posting this.

I wrote more bits and pieces of things. One was intended to add onto my Yuletide story, but I got into the middle and realized that the plot absolutely would not work, partly for logistical reasons and partly because it undercuts what I’ve done in the other sections and because it goes too far toward one of my recipient’s DNWs. So that gets cut completely. I was looking at the angst and difficulties for the character and not at the longer term repercussions.

I’ve officially signed up for my recount shifts. The organizers are assuming that the state attorney general will end up facing a judge who looks at his lawsuit to stop the recount and considers it ridiculous. Because it is. At any rate, I’ll be doing eight hours, from 9-5, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I will do four hours on Saturday morning and four hours on Sunday evening. I expect that to wreck me pretty thoroughly. What I need to do shouldn’t be physically hard (except for how my body reacts to stress), but it will require focus and attention and, possibly, assertiveness.

It’s not clear yet how I’ll be getting there and home again. I asked the organizers to see if they could find someone coming from this area who could give me a ride. I’m not holding my breath, though. It just would be really nice because taking a cab or taking a bus means probably getting to the site with a lot of time before the doors open rather than risking being late. Given the time of day, cabs will be slower to arrive, generally, and traffic will slow down getting there once the cab arrives. I could use the A-Ride to make the cab much, much cheaper ($3 instead of the at least $30 I expect), but the A-Ride tends to arrive later and take longer to get places because it’s a shared ride service and because A-Ride customers are lower priority than anyone paying full fare. I think the A-Ride would probably be okay for getting home after since I won’t have the same time pressure and should be able to wait indoors.

Scott’s aunt, his father’s older sister, is in the hospital after a stroke. We don’t know the long term damage yet because her husband doesn’t do email and can’t hear well enough to talk on the phone. Scott’s mother also thinks that he doesn’t actually understand what the doctors are saying. They’re not sure exactly when the stroke happened. She felt tired and sick (nausea) Tuesday evening and went to bed early. It’s not clear if that was due to the stroke having happened or if the stroke happened while she was sleeping. Scott isn’t sure how old his aunt is, but I seem to recall her being more than five years older than Scott’s father, so she must be at least 78.
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
I really want more sleep, but there are so many things I need to get done that it seems like a bad idea. Also, I need to take my medications at certain intervals, and some of them need food with them. I think that I may have to start taking Ativan considerably sooner than I was hoping because I’m pretty sure that anxiety over the recount and over the Social Security review appointment is the big culprit in me not sleeping.

Before tomorrow afternoon, I need to make fudge, and we need to rearrange the living room so that we can put up the tree tomorrow. Some time this weekend, I need to change the sheets, run laundry, and make bread. I need to shower, too, but that’s a bit easier to fit in (apart from the time needed for my hair to dry).

I did more writing last night. It was spread across three or four different stories. One of them is, I think, done, but I need to canon check a couple of details and tweak some things based on what I find.

Cordelia did her usual movie night with friends last night, so Scott and I watched a bunch of things she wouldn’t have been interested in watching with us, some White Collar, last week’s The Librarians, and an episode of Agents of SHIELD.
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
Orthopedics called around 6 p.m. last night to set me up with an appointment about my hands. Since I’m willing to see a PA, they can get me in on the 21st of this month. If I’d insisted on a doctor, it would have been a much longer wait. But, really, I don’t think that it will hurt me to see someone who isn’t a surgeon first. I’m very dubious about surgery for this even though my primary care doctor said it is sometimes a thing for this problem. I would want to do some research myself on outcomes and such.

I did my recount observer training online last night. Due to technical difficulties, most of us in the webinar couldn’t see any of the power point slides, so they recommended that we do the training again in order to see the examples of valid and invalid ballot markings. I’m not sure I’m willing to spend another hour and a half on the off chance that the visuals will work this time.

I haven’t figured out exactly which shifts to sign up for yet. They’re planning three a day, one starting at 9, one starting at 1, and one starting at 5. The one at 5 is of indefinite length since the local civil servant in charge will decide what time to shut down for the night. Given that the Michigan recount is running a hugely compressed schedule (it was originally supposed to start today, but Trump’s people have filed to prevent the recount, so things are currently scheduled to start Wednesday and run either until the recount is done or until the 13th which is the drop dead point for giving the official results), it’s even possible that the 5 p.m. shift will run longer than four hours in some places.

Currently, the recount is set to occur somewhere that I can get to by bus, but I’m not entirely sure I want to try that if I’m going in for the 9 a.m. shift. I might have to leave earlier if I want the bus than if I take a cab. I’m not sure. Both are difficult at that time of day. I might be able to get a ride with someone else who’s doing the recount, but I don’t want to rely on that. I’m thinking that they’re more likely to get volunteers for the evenings and weekends because those are times that people who work are more likely to be able to manage. I can’t work the 13th at all, and I’m not sure I can manage the 12th because I really think that I’ll be too stressed over the Social Security thing the next day to be able to face any sort of added stress.

I think I’ve got serious problems with muscle knots in my left calf. Painful levels of massage give me temporary relief of the 'tendonitis' pain in my Achille’s tendon. That helps for maybe an hour before I need to do it again. I managed a fifteen minute walk last night without pain, but when I came home and sat down, everything tightened up and started to hurt.

Of course, massaging my calf muscle requires being able to use my hands which hurts. ::bangs head:: I’ve tried tennis balls in the past, but I can’t get enough leverage with them to get the pressure I need for my calf muscle.

I did a little more poking at the Wikipedia article about that enzyme system that I’m apparently genetically predisposed not to have work properly. If I understand correctly, tamoxifen and singulair are both potentially issues. I’m assuming, though, that if they were serious problems, I’d know by now. I’ve been taking singulair daily for more than a decade and tamoxifen daily for two days short of a year.

I made some progress on a fic I hadn’t touched in months, but I’m now stalled out by needing to write a description, something I hate doing but really can’t avoid here. I’ve put a hold on something from the library for a potential Yuletide treat. I remember the canon well enough to have started writing, but I need to review for minor character names and a few other supporting details. I own the thing on VHS, but the only VCR we have that’s plugged in is in the basement. I’m not willing either to try to plug in a VCR upstairs or to sit in the basement for hours in order to watch.

We ended up getting pizza last night. I gambled on the teriyaki chicken pizza and was disappointed. If I say that I want them to go light on the sauce, there isn’t enough to taste. If I say that they should put a 'regular' amount on, there’s so much that it drips and makes the crust fall apart. I blotted the pizza repeatedly with paper towels and still had the sauce dripping. The crust held together, though, so I count that a win.

Cordelia decided to try pesto on her pizza. Her verdict was that it was okay but not worth the bother.

I recently bought slippers through Amazon that turned out to be uncomfortable for me but that Cordelia loves. I had been planning to send them back, but I guess she can keep them. They were really wonderful apart from a seam across the top of the foot that pressed in hard, so I guess I can see why she wants them.

But I still need to find slippers that fit.
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
I’m slowly whittling down my to do list. I keep adding things, too, but they’re generally small things. Things look much better if I don’t include my list of things I want to finish writing. There are so very many of those, and right now, I’m flitting back and forth between several different stories.

I checked last night, and the face to face training for the recount is, while technically in Ann Arbor, well outside of reasonable travel range if I have to take a cab. The bus doesn’t go close enough for the ride planner to accept it as a valid destination. They’ve set up about five online training sessions, though, so I signed up for one of those. I still need to email the coordinator and let him know that I’m not coming to the face to face session. I’d kind of rather do the face to face because I’ve never done something like this online and don’t know if it suits my learning style.

I didn’t get back to sleep after Cordelia got up this morning. I stayed in bed until she left, though, so that she could have the time to herself.

We had a game session last night. We did a little more first contact stuff, but the group is being sent on an off-planet mission next session, so I don’t know if we’ll go back to that. The npc who’ll be taking over seems only sort of competent, but I suspect that’s largely because the GM wants the pcs to make the decisions about what to try.

I made chocolate chip bars last night. I’d gotten to the point of not easily being able to delay when we discovered that we had no baking soda in the cupboard. Neither of us could figure that out because that’s not the sort of thing that we usually run out of, especially not without realizing that we need to buy more. Scott ended up making a trip to the store to get some, and I pulled things together while the game session was getting started. I didn’t want to deal with our rock hard and years old brown sugar (I know there are ways of softening it. I didn’t want to deal with it), so I used white sugar and molasses. That changed the color of the resulting bars but not the taste.

My hands are hurting a lot. I keep doing the things I need to do, but I say, "Ow. Ow. Ow!" a lot and use heat and cold and wish desperately that there was something I could take that would actually help. I need to prod my doctor. She said she was going to refer me to orthopedics and that they’d call me with an appointment. It’s been three weeks now, and I haven’t heard anything. Given that it will take months for me to get in, I really want to get things rolling now.

I have one library book due on Sunday that can’t be renewed. I’m about twenty pages into it. Finishing it is possible, but I’m not sure I will because I’m not finding it engaging. I’ve got another book that can’t be renewed that’s due in the middle of next week that I haven’t even opened and another unrenewable book that I have started and really want to finish but am not sure I can because holding it hurts a lot. The latter has a lot of full page pictures, so it’s not a long as it looks, not in terms of time spent reading words.
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
My radiation oncology appointment yesterday went well. I got there about 45 minutes early and expected to have a leisurely time filling out my paperwork and reading some of the books I’d brought with me. Instead, they took my vitals and took me back right away. I was out of there by the time of my actual scheduled appointment. I need to remember that they do this because it’s happened both times I’ve gone back for check ups.

The main takeaway there is that I need to keep massaging my breast because the lymphedema is still an issue. I knew that, but I was mostly ignoring it because it rarely hurts.

I walked over to the cancer center afterwards to ask about my genetic testing data. I talked to something like four different people before I got someone who could help. Nobody seemed to understand what I was after until I’d explained two or three times. The nurse who finally helped me told me that I will have to call the testing company in order to get what I want because the testing company doesn’t actually give them that information. Which seems really ridiculous for a cancer center that’s supposed to be at the forefront of research. She gave me a copy of everything that the testing company gave them, but I think it’s exactly what they sent me through the patient portal.

I got home to find a FedEx package on our porch. It contained the two nightgowns I’d ordered and not gotten. I’d be wondering if I’d actually ordered the purple pants if the packing slip with them hadn’t clearly said that it was supposed to be a two pack of nightgowns. I have no idea why they sent this when they said they wouldn’t/couldn’t. I’m glad to get them. I’m assuming they were shipped overnight after I complained yesterday because, if they were sent before that, it’s… well, it’s beyond weird.

I let Scott mail the pants back because they were the wrong size. Since he had to go to the post office anyway, he mailed a package we’d planned to hold onto until January.

I was up later than I wanted to be last night due to reflux. I have no clue what caused that. No, that’s not true. I’m 95% sure that it was anxiety/stress. I had applesauce, almonds, and vanilla ice cream for dinner, and those are all things that are hugely safe for me as far as reflux goes. I ended up writing on my phone for about an hour before I risked lying down again. I started a new story, so it wasn’t progress on any of my WIP. If I finish the new story, it would be the first time I’ve written a Yuletide treat, so I’m kind of looking at it sideways and wondering.

I got word from the folks organizing the recount volunteers that there’s a training session tomorrow evening and that the recount might start as early as Friday. I foresee a shitload of Ativan in my future, and I’m pretty sure that anxiety over this is what caused last night’s reflux. I don’t actually expect the recount to make a difference, but it’s the sort of thing that needs doing anyway. I’m just glad that the training session for our county is here in town. I have to email the coordinator to let him know that I’ll be there. Scott might or might not be available to give me a ride, but a cab is possible (I don’t think the bus goes out there, but I haven’t checked the address yet. I just know the bus doesn’t go very far out Jackson Rd).

The training session will be inconvenient from a family point of view because Scott and Cordelia were assuming we’d find a way to fit in tonight’s Arrow episode tomorrow before Legends of Tomorrow airs. I don’t see it happening when Scott won’t be available until after 6:00 and I’ll be gone from at least 5:30 to 8:00 (and that assumes that transportation is rapid and available immediately).

I’m on the email notification list for FDA recalls, and I’ve seen two in the last week for packages missing allergen information about crab cakes containing seafood. On the one hand, it’s good to have allergen information required for everything. On the other hand, is there actually anyone buying crab cakes on the assumption that they don’t contain seafood?

Scott and Cordelia have decided that we will put up the Christmas tree this coming Sunday. That means that I need to make fudge and some cookies between now and then. I told Cordelia there’d probably only be time for fudge and chocolate chip bars. She said that was fine. I want to do the sort of Christmas baking I’ve done in the past, but I’m not sure there’s a point. Scott’s mother is GF. Scott’s father has type 2 diabetes, and my blood sugar is borderline.

I emailed Scott’s mother to suggest that they come down here for Christmas Eve and then we go up there on Christmas Day. There are four Methodist churches around town that have services that might be possible and that I think Scott’s parents wouldn’t find uncomfortable. (There’s an AME church about three blocks away, but I think that Scott’s parents would be hugely uncomfortable and that taking Trump voters to a black church would be utterly icky. Not to mention that I feel like white people going uninvited into a black space is, in general, intrusive and rude.) We could also drive up to Brighton after dinner for a service. Scott’s parents know people there, and it’s not far for us and is on their way home.

Scott may or may not have to work on Christmas Eve. Some years, the plant runs. Some years, it doesn’t. We won’t know until right before. I like the idea of doing things down here because it means that, if Scott’s home by 4:00, we could do a 5:00 or 5:30 service with dinner after. The options for later services locally are more limited. There’s a 7:30 and an 11:00 at the campus Methodist church. 11:00 is more feasible now than it was when Cordelia was waking up at 5:00 on Christmas mornings, but it’s still not attractive for a number of logistical reasons. Scott’s parents would have an hour drive to get home after, and Scott and I would still have to do the last minute preparations for the next day.
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
I wore myself out pretty thoroughly yesterday. I’m not actually sure what I did that was so strenuous. I ran and emptied the dishwasher. I took out the recycling and gathered up the trash. I ran one load of laundry. I made brownies from a mix. I spaced it all out, but by 4 p.m., I was wobbly and pretty mentally out of it.

I ought to run Cordelia’s laundry today, and I have to take out the trash and get the bins to the curb. I don’t know, though, given the oncology appointment this afternoon, that I can manage those things.

I slept so-so last night. I kept dreaming about needing to wake up and not being able to, about my alarm not going off and me missing my (afternoon!) appointment. I suppose I should be glad that I slept without needing Ativan. I’m not feeling yet like I desperately need that, but I kind of expect that I will before I leave.

Yesterday’s compute access was helped by Cordelia staying at school until 5:00 for drama club. I’m not sure that today will be as easy. She will have a friend over after school. If they watch DVDs in the living room, I can keep Cordelia’s power cord, but if they want to watch stuff in Cordelia’s room, she’ll want her cord.

The hill near the church is very definitely a problem as far as my Achille’s tendon goes. I wasn’t hurting when I went out to hack the portal by the church, but by the time I started back up the hill, things were hurting quite a bit. I’m really not sure what to do about that.

I got a package yesterday that claimed to be something I’d ordered online. Unfortunately, the contents weren’t what I’d ordered and didn’t match the packing slip which did say what I’d actually ordered. I ordered a two pack of nightgowns and ended up with a pair of purple pants not in my size. The company that shipped them will let me send things back for a refund but says they can’t do an exchange since I bought via Amazon. This makes me pretty angry because I bought during a sale. The price was about $15 less than it would be now.
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
I was poking around, looking at Yuletide prompts, and found someone interested in crossovers between The Pretender and other fandoms. I looked at their bookmarks, and most of them were things I couldn’t write, didn’t think made sense with The Pretender, or simply don’t know enough about to write. But I spotted one crossover option that I want someone else to write— The Pretender/Psych. I want this, but there’s not a chance in hell that I could write it. Psych is way outside of my comfort zone as a writer.

I don’t know that I will ever write for any of the prompts I’ve saved off. I think I’ve only finished one story based on a prompt like that, and the prompt was about six years old when I did it, and I’d lost track of who had asked for it originally.

I managed to pick up enough points in Ingress yesterday to advance to level 9. I’m unlikely to get to level 10 any time soon as it requires a lot more points. I already have the necessary badges, at least.

The power cord for my laptop completely died yesterday, so now Cordelia and I are trading off time with her cord while we wait for the one Scott ordered as a replacement arrives. It’s supposed to arrive on Wednesday, but who knows? How long my battery lasts depends on how many different things I try to do. If I just use a word processor and my email program, it lasts a lot longer than if I have two browsers and iTunes and chat and…

So I may not be online quite so much during the times when Cordelia’s at home and wanting to use her laptop.

As if balancing out me figuring out what to do to make my foot feel better, my hands are hurting a lot more now. It’s not bad enough that I’m willing to stop using them, but it’s bad enough that I can tell that I should stop.

Oh, and I looked up that thing about the CYP2C9 enzyme system that wasn’t clear to me in my genetic testing results. I understood about half of the Wikipedia article, and everything else I found looked even more difficult to parse. My main takeaway was that I process NSAIDs differently (not clear on if I don’t metabolize them to get them out of my bloodstream or if they work less well or if they dance the polka) and that there are a bunch of other medications that I maybe shouldn’t take that don’t relate at all to psychiatric stuff. For example, Warfarin was mentioned, too.

I want to drop some stuff off at Cordelia’s school today. She’ll be staying late for drama club, so I could go in right as school lets out and take the stuff directly to her teacher rather than leaving it at the office. It’s a bag with 30 or so magazines, so I’m not too worried about being able to carry it.

I’ve got a longish to do list now. There are eight items that are going to be time consuming or stressful and eight items that will be relatively quick and/or not particularly stressful. My current plan is to get dressed, post this, and start on the things that will be quick (less than 15 minutes) and easy to do. I’m not sure if I’ll just try to power through all of them or if I’ll alternate with harder but quick things. The time consuming stuff probably won’t get done until after all of the quick things.

I ought to do some laundry, but I think that’s getting put off until Wednesday because, if I do that, I won’t do anything else. I think I’ve got enough left that I can wear that I don’t need to wash things until then. I mainly want to because of how much is in the hamper.
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
I’m up earlier than I wanted to be because I have gas that hurts horribly when I’m lying down but doesn’t bother me when I’m standing or sitting. That’s the opposite of what usually happens to me, so I’m a bit boggled.

Yesterday’s dinner at Totoro was pleasant. Cordelia got sushi and so did Scott’s sister’s entire family. Scott and I and Scott’s sister’s sister-in-law all ordered other things. Our nephew ordered udon on top of the sushi, but he’s seventeen and still a bottomless pit. Because we had told the staff at Totoro that this was a birthday celebration, they brought the sushi for Scott’s sister’s family on a big tray with decorations, mostly made from cucumber peels and including a candle that was perilously close to a sprig of parsley. I kept watching to see if the parsley was going to catch fire, but it didn’t.

The folks at Totoro recognized me and remembered that I always order a bento (I like the variety of different flavors). I only get in there a few times a year, so I was surprised. It’s not as if I’m in there weekly or anything. Service was good. The waitress kept up with refills on drinks and on clearing dishes and such. Scott gave her a generous tip ($12 on a $50 bill) which I’m glad of. I don’t know how the others did in that direction.

We talked with our nephew about his college options. He’s applying three schools, two in state and one out. He’s been putting off making his Christmas list because he can’t think of things to put on it, and all of the adults at the table started suggesting things that might make dorm life (and, eventually, living outside of the dorms) easier. I got the impression that he’s not quite ready to think about that yet.

The restaurant was only about half full, so we sat and talked for a while after eating. Eventually, we went as a group to try to find frozen yogurt. The place that Cordelia found on Google turned out to be closed, so we ended up at a place that had both ice cream and frozen yogurt (the two places were only a block apart). Scott’s sister paid for all of us to have ice cream. For some reason, Stucchi’s idea of a 'small' bowl for adults is two scoops of ice cream (which can be different flavors). Cordelia ended up with a truly small bowl and only a single scoop, so I think they looked at her and thought 'child.' I enjoyed my two scoops, but I’d probably have been better off with the amount she had, and she’d have enjoyed having more.

When we got home, Cordelia wanted to watch a movie with us. After some debate, we talked her into trying Rush Hour. She was mainly interested in that because one of her teachers had quoted it (with profanity excised), but I think that she enjoyed it. We’ve been trying to persuade her to try more of the movies we own, but she tends to assume that, because we liked them enough to buy them, they must be terrible and/or boring. Never mind that she’s liked about 85% of those she’s actually tried. We’re hoping that having seen Rush Hour will encourage her to try more Jackie Chan movies. I think she’ll enjoy the combination of comedy and action. Of course, she may not realize how amazing the stunt work is.

Scott tried to talk her into Wrath of Khan, but she’s really adamant that she will never, ever watch anything Star Trek related.

I have posted more in my Chronicles of Amber dark AU arc. I haven’t linked here because I have the impression that anyone who’s interested is already likely to see those stories and that almost everyone isn’t particularly interested. Which— It’s darkfic for an obscure fandom. I don’t expect readers beating down my door or any such thing. I’m just having fun writing it.

I will note that my Yuletide story is not darkfic. I was a little worried that I’d find it going that way, but it hasn’t. I’ve done one thing in terms of tweaking canon that some readers may not like (and I’m tagging for it), but I’m hopeful that my recipient will because I think that it fits the characters. It’s something that isn’t contradicted by anything in canon (mostly because the focus character is relatively minor and doesn’t get much backstory).

I didn’t have much Achille’s tendon pain from the walking yesterday. It was about three blocks, and I only ended up with a little bit of an ache. It was hurting more when I got up at 5:00 to take my thyroid medication, but now that I know exactly what stretch helps, I was able to to that before going back to bed. Based on the type of stretching that works, I’m pretty sure that what I need to do is to loosen up my calf muscle regularly. I don’t think the underlying problem is actually in the tendon.

I only need about 50000 points to advance to the next level in Ingress. If all goes well, I should be able to manage that today. People from the other side came through the area last night to the point that only three of the portals I have keys for are still held by our side (and none of those are anywhere nearby. Two of them are actually in other towns).
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I finished another section of my Yuletide fic yesterday. Since the three sections can stand alone and are well over the minimum word count, I’ve posted them. I’m hoping to add more yet, but this way, if I don’t, my recipient still has a complete fic.

I got Cordelia to pick out what she wants to give her father for Christmas. She kind of decided based on the fact that she wants it, too— She’s giving him the blu-ray of Antman. I ordered a couple of things for her, too, and one thing for myself.

I used the pressure cooker to prepare the turkey breast that Scott has had thawing in the fridge since last weekend. The meat comes out pretty moist in the pressure cooker.

Every time I try to play a particular song in iTunes, my entire laptop crashes. It’s a song I ripped off of a CD Scott bought for me last Christmas, and I successfully played it once, back in February, so I don’t know what’s happened with it. I’m going to delete the song and try ripping it again to see if the new version is playable. It’s just annoying to have to. But it’s a lot more annoying to have to forcibly restart my laptop because iTunes can’t crash without taking everything else with it.

I have figured out that the wall stretch PT exercise is actually more effective for me if I do it at the kitchen counter. I’m not sure why that would be, but I get a better stretch that way. The days when I do the stretch agains the wall, my tendon keeps hurting. The days when I do it in the kitchen (generally while waiting for something to cook), my tendon either hurts less or doesn’t hurt at all.

We’re leaving in about an hour for the dinner for our niece’s birthday. Scott hasn’t wrapped her presents yet. He’s better at wrapping than I am, but I think I’m going to ask if he wants help. It’ll be faster. It’s only two presents, a book and (I think) a t-shirt, but Scott is a perfectionist when it comes to wrapping stuff. I’m much sloppier about it and can’t always manage odd shaped things without taping together two or more separate pieces of paper.
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The gathering at Scott’s sister’s house was fairly laid back. Sadly, something I ate gave me reflux. I’m kind of suspicious of the sweet potatoes because they tasted odd. Everything else I ate was utterly bland— bread, turkey, mashed potatoes (which we made), fruit salad, pecan pie. None of those should have been a problem, and I didn’t overeat.

Scott’s sister’s house was chilly enough that I actually noticed it. I think she keeps the house down around 60F even when the family’s at home.

Cordelia, as I expected, was quite ready to go home as soon as we’d had dessert. Scott would have liked to stay later, I think, to play more games, but I was really drooping, both headachy and exhausted.

There wasn’t much discussion of politics. I think Scott’s sister’s father-in-law knew he was outnumbered. He drives a school bus, and a lot of our dinner discussion at the table we shared (there were two tables of six people each) centered on the logistics of getting kids to different schools under different circumstances. That was, fortunately, a pretty neutral topic. We also talked a bit about what different kinds of high schools can offer. One of the non-family guests mourned the fact that, as far as he could tell, wood shop isn’t a thing any more. He has the impression that the classes that used to lead to skilled trades jobs are just gone.

Scott and several other people played Sentinels of the Multiverse before dinner. I didn’t because they were playing in the basement. I wasn’t convinced that unnecessary up and down of stairs was going to do good things for my Achille’s tendon (which is, sadly, still hurting today).

Writing on my phone turned out not to work because, for some reason, the 'make document accessible offline' thing didn’t work the way it has in the past. I couldn’t open documents. I couldn’t access email, either, which ought to have been possibly through use of my dataplan even when I didn’t have wifi access. I could still read LJ and DW, but nobody was posting, so that didn’t fill much time.

I want to bake today, but we don’t have anything that I’m physically capable of baking. Either we lack ingredients, or trying to make whatever it is would leave me unable to do things like eat dinner later on.

I ordered some things from Amazon last night because they were suddenly much, much cheaper than they had been. Now, I’m looking at Scott’s wishlist and Cordelia’s wishlist and trying to decide what to buy. If I get books, I want to get them from Book Bound rather than from Amazon. That means a phone call, however, so I’ll probably put that off for a while. If I was just ordering for one or the other, I’d email the order in, but I need to pay in advance for the stuff for Scott and arrange it so that Cordelia can pick up the stuff for Scott and Scott can pick up the stuff for Cordelia. Also, doing it by phone lets the folks at the store look up how long it’s likely to take for them to get copies of things they don’t currently have. With a month until Christmas, I have more wiggle room than I did when I ordered things for Scott’s birthday in February a week before I needed them.

I’m trying to find all of the issues of Archaeology and Discover that are floating around the house. Cordelia’s teachers said that they might find both useful, and I know I’m not going to read them at this point. I’ve got nearly two years of unread back issues of both. I’ve gotten all of what’s upstairs together, but I think the cleaning lady put some in the basement, so I need to check that.

I just volunteered to be a citizen observer for the recount that the Green Party has requested in Michigan. I’m a bit concerned that I’ll have issues with anxiety over doing it (getting there, being out and around other people, being responsible), and I’m a lot concerned that transportation will be a problem, but I’m free when most people are working.
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So it’s Thanksgiving. I’m not really feeling it. I think, mostly, I’m tired. I don’t want to leave home right now and spend the afternoon/evening with Scott’s sister’s family (including her in-laws) and some of her friends. I really want to get Scott and Cordelia to cuddle with me on the couch to watch a movie. I’m not even picky about what movie. Maybe we can escape early enough to do that anyway. I can hope. (Scott won’t want to leave because there are people there who will play games with him.)

My plan is to make sure I have my currently active WIP accessible on my phone and to work on them if I can get away with ignoring people. I probably won’t be able to, but I can dream.

I poked at writing a couple of different things yesterday, both the third (or maybe fifth) section of my Yuletide story and the Amber darkfic thing I’ve been working on. I realized that, with the other thing, the second chapter that I’ve been writing (to something I thought was complete) isn’t the end. That kind of makes me want to bang my head against something, but I really don’t want the resulting headache.

I distracted myself by trying to come up with a title for the Yuletide story. I have some options that are okay, but nothing’s leaping out at me. I can’t tell if it’s me being tired or if it’s that I need to look further for title options.

My Achille’s tendon isn’t so great this morning. I did the PT yesterday, but I also went for a walk to hack a portal. I think that last was a mistake. I was moderately okay until I got to the hill. By the time I got down to where I needed to be, my tendon hurt. Getting home was decidedly unfun. It got a little better on flat ground but not as much as I’d hoped. The next nearest portal that doesn’t involve a hill is about three times as far away, so I’m not sure that would be better. Oh, and last night, it was cold and raining. I was not wearing waterproof shoes. I don’t have gloves because, every time I buy some, Cordelia steals them. I think she keeps losing her own gloves. It’s that or, for some reason, she thinks my gloves are better than hers.

I can’t find my rice pack, so I wasn’t able to apply heat to the tendon after my walk. I’ve been searching for that off and on all morning. I really have no idea where it could have ended up. Wandering around the house to look for it is pretty low on my list of things I should be on my feet for.

Last night’s attempt at mashed potatoes came out pretty well. I can’t taste the garlic at all, but I really didn’t want to fuss with trying to add more. I had Scott buy Yukon gold potatoes since every recipe I was seeing said to use those (he had bought the first potatoes he found when he shopped on Saturday). He discovered that Whole Foods doesn’t call them Yukon gold but just labels them as 'yellow potatoes.' Naturally, he only realized that when he discovered that Yukon gold potatoes at Kroger looked exactly like Whole Foods yellow potatoes. (He was shopping at Whole Foods because he had to be next door to pick up a birthday present for our niece. Making more stops was not something he wanted to do.)

Scott is currently making apple pie. He decided to try a gluten free crust so that his sister can eat them. She said it wasn’t necessary because there will be four pies (for twelve people!), and two of them will be GF. Scott is finding the GF crusts frustrating because there’s no way to cover the pie. He thought he could buy a second pre-formed crust and reshape it into a cover, but that didn’t work at all. He also didn’t ask anyone who might know whether some GF crusts are better than others. He bought the cheapest he could find, and I’m rather expecting them to be utterly vile.

I think Scott said that he doesn’t have to be at work tomorrow until around 9:00. I’m hoping that I’m remembering that right. It won’t mean more time together, but it will mean tomorrow will only be a ten hour day for him as opposed to a twelve hour day.
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The potatoes we tried to make yesterday did not come out at all well, so I’m going to try again today. I’m pretty sure I know what I did wrong. I’m just going to have to run the dishwasher half full because I can’t physically handle hand washing the dishes I’ll need. Cordelia and I both want to do laundry today, so I’ll have to figure out the schedule for hot water intensive stuff.

I did both Yuletide and non-Yuletide writing yesterday. I now have enough story for my Yuletide assignment that can stand on its own that it won’t matter if I don’t manage to write the rest of what I have planned (and the rest keeps expanding in scope). I think I have a better feel for my POV character, now, too.

Plans for the birthday dinner for our niece have been changed repeatedly due to scheduling problems. We had settled on Friday evening, but Scott now has to work late that night. We can’t schedule for after he gets home without running into my deadline for eating dinner. Right now, we’re looking at Sunday around 5:00. I’m vaguely peeved about the change because I actually got myself to make a phone call to set up reservations for Friday evening. That was not easy at all.

A book Cordelia had put a hold on came in yesterday, and she wanted to get it immediately. I told her she could take the bus in today and get it, but that wasn’t soon enough. I told her to talk to her father since he’s the one who drives. We ended up going to the library last night and picking up all of our waiting holds. Cordelia had one, and I had nine.

My Achille’s tendon is hurting a bit again today. I think I may not have done the PT exercises enough yesterday. I think I did them once, but I’m not entirely sure. I’ve already done them once today, and I’ve set up three dailies on Habitica to remind me to do them regularly.

I ordered delivery for lunch yesterday, trying a Mexican restaurant I’d never tried before. I like some Mexican food, but the need to avoid peppers and tomatoes makes it challenging. Scott won’t touch it at all, so I never get it unless I’m with someone else which pretty much never happens these days. Sadly, there was enough reflux inducing stuff in what I got that I was still having trouble at midnight. I think the problem was fat content more than spice.
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I’m not sure I should laugh at this, but I have to wonder what adult let the second graders put out a fancy poster advertising a 'Drive to Support Homelessnes' (sic).

Looking at the poster, I’m quite sure that a bunch of seven year olds didn’t put the thing together without adult input— The photo doesn’t look likely to have come from one of the approved image databases the school uses. There’s only one spelling error. The text and the image are balanced. The colors are neither garish nor vanishing into the background of the photo. And so on.

What they’re actually trying to do is get people to donate supplies to help members of the local homeless community survive the winter. I support that, and I’m going to see if I can find anything useful we can donate. I’m not convinced that my old sleeping bag with a broken zipper (it’s stuck halfway down the side and won’t budge in either direction) would actually help. I mean, it’s better than nothing and is Army surplus and so quite warm, but… broken zipper.
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I only got about five hours of sleep last night. I gave up when Cordelia got up because sleeping more just wasn’t happening. I think that a big part of it is that I talked to my mother last night. She told me that Social Security wouldn’t be sending me to a psychologist unless they were expecting him to give them a report that means they can cut off my benefits. She says that it means that, whatever information my doctors gave them, didn’t contain the right keywords. Mom’s been doing Social Security cases since 1978 or 1979, so she’s got a pretty fair read on what they will and won’t do.

My psychiatrist is on vacation this week and possibly next (I can’t find the slip on which her receptionist wrote that schedule), so I can’t talk to her about it and try to figure out what to do.

I wrote seven or eight hundred words yesterday. Sadly, none of them were on my Yuletide fic. I don’t know— Maybe I just need to finish this thing so that it’s not taking up room in my head.

Scott picked up some groceries on his way home yesterday but forgot the one thing that I’d have trouble getting through today without, so the three of us went out after dinner to get almond milk. We stopped at Orange Leaf for frozen yogurt, and we dropped some stuff off at the Traverwood library. (The library bag was getting a bit full, so I thought we might as well since we were in the area.)

We replaced our dead copy of Kiki’s Delivery Service, but the new DVD has soundtrack problems. Everything sounds fine except for Kiki’s voice which has a bit of static/buzz, just enough to make it sound like it’s a sixth generation copy of something from a cassette tape that was already too old to play properly. We’re trying to decide whether or not we can live with that or if we need to return the dratted thing.

I got very little of what was on yesterday’s to do list actually done. I think part of that is that the one thing I got done took more time and resources than I expected. Right now, I’m thinking that I’ll start the day with the essential chores (feeding myself, putting dishes in the dishwasher, making Scott a sandwich) and then try to make some phone calls. I need to make two appointments, one for me and one for Cordelia. I need to talk to a restaurant about our niece’s birthday gathering. I need to do some political action calls if I can at all manage it. I’d like to shower and start cooking potatoes for our contribution to Thanksgiving dinner. The potatoes shouldn’t be that difficult, but I think I will need to cook more than one batch, and I worry that, if I don’t start today, I won’t have the wherewithal to do it all tomorrow. Scott will do the actual mashing part, of course.

I kind of want more tea, but I’m not sure if that’s a desire for more caffeine or just for the warmth. If it’s warmth I’m after, lemon ginger tea will do the job more than adequately. Maybe I should just start with the lemon ginger. It’s not as if drinking that means I can’t make something caffeinated afterward. Putting the kettle on doesn’t take that much energy, and I have other things that need doing in the kitchen, so it’s not really extra walking to irritate my tendonitis.
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My Achille’s tendon almost didn’t hurt at all yesterday. It’s hurting today, though, at the levels I’ve come to consider the baseline. I did some stretches on Saturday but not yesterday, so that may have made a difference. The thing about the stretches, though, is that doing them left me hurting a lot Saturday evening and that I’m not supposed to do them to the point of pain. I’ll have to figure out how to balance that because being able to walk around the house without trying to plan each excursion for minimum steps and maximum business taken care of was really, really nice.

We didn’t go to the library until after 5:00, so it was dark when we did. Cordelia came along, just to get out of the house.

Parents doing drop off and pick up at Cordelia’s school have been obnoxious enough to the folks at the church across the street from the school that the church is no longer willing to offer parking for pick up, drop off, and school events. I think the school events thing has been going on for as long as the church and school have both been there. It’s always been a reciprocal thing with the school offering overflow parking for weekend and evening church events.

I suspect that a good bit of the difference is that our school population has changed a lot and now skews toward white people with a lot of money. From what the principal said in her email, parents were parking on the grass and yelling at the pastor when he objected. Parents have also been stopping in places where it’s not legal to (or safe to) in order drop off or pick up their kids, so now there are cops lurking around to catch them and ticket them.

I wrote about another 500 words yesterday, but I keep hitting points, in every single WIP, where I have no idea at all what comes next. I suppose it helps that I’ve got half a dozen or so different things I can switch between, but I really, really want to get this Yuletide story done. I’ve still got a good bit of time, but getting it done sooner would make me happy.

To do list )
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The write-in yesterday went well. Espresso Royale’s tables are teeny, so we had to pull two tables together in order to fit three people and laptops. One of the other people was there before me, but I didn’t realize because it didn’t occur to me to check my email after I left home, so we didn’t find each other until about half an hour after we had both arrived. The third person came in a little later. We talked TV and books in little spurts between focusing on our writing. I managed about 1500 words that I’m moderately pleased with.

My Achille’s tendon hurt a lot by the time I got home, so I guess it was a good thing I took a cab to get there. The bus would have required about ten minutes of walking. Scott picked me up a bit after 4:00, after he had done the grocery shopping.

Naturally, I am now finding things that should have been on the grocery list.

I finished the library book that I can’t renew, but I realized that one of the reasons I haven’t been reading my library books just now is that holding a hardcover novel hurts the tendonitis in both hands. If I’m at a table or in bed, I can lay the book down and read that way, but neither is a great option for other reasons. That makes me unsure what to do about the other hardcovers I’ve got checked out.

I didn’t sleep all that well last night. I went back and forth between too cold and too warm, and I had anxiety dreams about needing to pack for a trip I didn’t want to take.

I’m trying to get an audiobook from the library onto my laptop, but I keep hitting tracks that my drive can’t read which slows everything down. This is, at least, a book I’ve read before, so losing those tracks won’t be disastrous. Of course, it’s been twenty years, so goodness knows. I might still be confused.
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My laptop has died. We don't know yet if it's repairable or how long it will take. My current writing is all in Gdocs and so still accessible. My email, however, isn't, and posting on DW is difficult on my phone due to a display problem, so I may not post, comment, or answer email for a while. I will be reading.

We have everything backed up. The issue is the cost of repairs/replacement.

ETA: Scott has gotten things working again. I worry that it won't last, but it seems that the battery was loose and that that made the laptop crash every time I tried to restart it.

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