Oddly calm

Small update! Because I am terrible and time is wibbly and I have just realized it’s March.

Maybe small. Let’s see.

Hi. What is sleep. My hallucinations have been more apparent the last few days, but the excessive paranoia is down to regular, manageable levels so I think I’m doing alright.

I made a thing!

Yknow those giant things of yarn for like “arm knitting” or whatever trend is going on? Yeah, I bought one of those on sale (omg I spent $18 on one skein of yarn and it wasn’t alpaca). Jamie thought I wouldn’t do anything with t, but I made this guy! He makes me squee. And I used like 90% of the yarn making him.

I also realized I could make brains with this kind of yarn and now I want more, but that’s not going to happen any time soon. I am happy with how he turned out. He’s like…the size of a pillow and weighs about as much as Mewkis does (so average cat, which is like…8-13lbs? I don’t know). I’ll have to weigh this and see for certain.

I have figured out the cover image for the book I’m going to do (because downtown at 5am is creepy as shit and creepy is my jam), but it makes me realize I have an issue with how I’m going to do the lettering. I know I’ve got another really great image somewhere else, so I’ll play around with those and see how it goes.

Formatting? Etc? Eh…I haven’t worked on the book for like a week. I’d blame work, but really I think I’m just burned out so staying away from it for a little bit will help. I should be on the last leg of editing/formatting. And then I’ll need to see what amazon wants and submit it there and see what happens.

Why don’t I use smashwords? Because I looked up the thing and I have to download a thing onto my kindle to tell me how to format it the way they want and…yeah no. I have a million things on my mind, work is like being in the Twilight Zone, weather is being weird so it’s wrecking havoc with our allergies/sinuses, etc.

But, I’m nearly there! Go me. I have my title, gotta finish up the editing/formatting and see if I can link the table o contents to the stories, slap in an authors note (because I don’t want people to trip over words like “Heironimus” and “Taubman.”) and I should be good to go. Got a cover image idea or two (well, some photos on a phone with a busted screen, but it still works).

So of course I’m working on the Weird Grandpa story and like two short stories instead. Is this normal? What is normal?


A small adventure

I meant to share this yesterday, but kind of forgot.

On Wednesday, Jamie came home from work with an extra bag.

“I went to that little pet store on my lunch break and then decided fuck it and went in to Ollies.”

Jamie doesn’t care much for Ollie’s, a pseudo-local “bargain bin outlet store” (it’s like Big Lots but…more cluttered) because it’s fairly overwhelming if you’re not mentally prepared for So Much Stuff and really small walkways. (growing up with selective hoarders helps me navigate unlike Jamie, who is just automatically overwhelmed by So Much Stuff)

Jamie dropped a bag and started pulling stuff out. It’s Peep merchandise. Yay! Peep stuff! I love Peep stuff. He pointed out that he found a box with a label of something like “75% off” and decided to dig through and pick stuff for me. The cashier asked if he was working on filling Easter Baskets and Jamie told him “No, my wife likes Peeps. She won’t eat them, she just collects them.” And apparently the cashier gave him a weird look.

A little while after Jamie got home, he complained that he wanted to do something, but he didn’t want to go grocery shopping because it was too cold outside (20-some degrees outside). After a while, he was like “let’s go grocery shopping.” We didn’t need much and I pointed out that he needed new shoes anyway, so off we went.

We hit the other Ollie’s to see if there was any more Peep stuff and yes, yes there was. Between Jamie’s haul and my haul, I wound up with 20 new Peep items. 2 hideous Andy Warhol color style pillows, 2 hats that sadly don’t fit because my head is too big, 1 bright yellow bag, 2 pairs of socks, 1 metal water bottle, and 12 stuffed Peeps of various sizes and colours. We did not find any books of interest at this time.

Then we hit up the Walmart that was closest to there, failed to find shoes, almost get run over by various people, and somehow make our way from the grocery section (where the most danger lies) to the other half of the store and wind up in the craft section. Jamie picks up the most hideous skein of yarn either of us have ever seen (called “blacklight,” it is a bulky yarn that is black, bright neon green, and bright red).

Jamie: That is hideous.
Me: Yes it is.
Jamie: You want it, don’t you?
Me: Yes I do!

I am contemplating buying this hideous yarn. It is soft. It is hideous. I go to pick up some embroidery floss, Jamie goes over into the paint area and looks around before coming back.

Jamie: I want to go to Michaels.

I have never dropped a skein of yarn so fast in my life.

We pay for the stuff we’ve grabbed, load up the car, and head over to Michaels. Because it’s later in the afternoon, Jamie somehow finds super close parking, and we head inside. We are immediately distracted by a display of…stuff with a small sign that states this stuff is like 50% off. I am thoroughly confused by the…apparent chalkboard with a rolling barn door above it? It’s very strange.

I look up, and Jamie is gone.

Less than 5 minutes in the store and I have already lost my husband. I go wandering around, figuring I’d see him eventually. Come across a little display of this yarn that is set up to make a child-size hat with a little stuffed head to be used as the bobble on top. Very cute. I turn my head and find there is another display for Amigurimi toys, immediately take a picture of it, and text our buddy Tessa because she’s been making a ton of toys lately.

I find a clearance rack of Giant Skeins of Yarn, squee, and fight with the rack to get the lavender coloured one. I go wander through yarn, figuring Jamie will come looking for me eventually and he knows me very well. I grab this 5-colour bundle pack of yarn that is on clearance that I really wanted the last time we were in the store but couldn’t really justify paying like $10 (but now it’s like $4).

Eventually Jamie and I find each other again, wander towards the front to pay, and make our way home.

I show Jamie the Giant Skein of Yarn and point out that it is heavy, hand it to him, and he goes “It’s like holding Carrot.” So this thing weighs about as much as our smallest cat. He asks what I plan on doing with this and I have to think fast because paying $18 for an “I don’t know, I just really wanted it” is not a good idea.

Me: An octopus!
Jamie: ??
Me: Cephalopod! It’ll be awesome!
Jamie: Why?
Me: I walked past a little how-to crochet kit for a tiny jelly fish and was like “Dude, cephalopod.”
Jamie: Ok. Sounds neat.

So I got away with buying an $18 skein of yarn (it was on clearance)

It’s looking like Spring

I don’t know how y’all’s weather goes in February, but down here in Virginia (well, the south-western bit of Virginia because NoVa is…like a whole other universe), it’s that time of year where Spring attempts to show itself and we get cold, hot, snow, rain, sleet, hot weather, etc. Sometimes in one day, sometimes over the course of two or three days. We’ve got birds chirping, the roses are attempting to show buds, trees have various buds on them, and I’ve seen cornflowers in the backyard.

Yep, we’re in that strange weather time where people are bitching about how it’s “too cold” or “too wet” and right before everyone starts complaining that “it’s too hot.”

I’ve been meaning to do even a small update for here the past few days, and here I am. So, let’s see::

+ Writing::

I have finished typing up the last bit of the last story for the book and have begun the beginning stages of formatting. Since I haven’t really set myself up for a deadline, I’m not focusing as much on it as I should. Right now, I’m messing around with font to see what seems to be the best for it (serif vs sans-serif) and Jamie’s pointed out that I should just look up what is the preferred font and size for e-books and I am tempted to do that. But, I also want to make sure that I don’t give the issue that I run into, which is wind up with black font on a black page (I have my kindle set up as a black background because it’s easier for me to read). It doesn’t happen often, but every so often I do come across a book that does it.

And, I’m afraid that everything will turn into just one large wall-of-text. So, I figure that I can play around with everything before I make it available.

So, of course, while I want to work on this, the story that I’ve dubbed “Weird Grandpa” has decided it wants me to pay attention to it. I’ve started working on it again and have redone one of the small scenes in the beginning, so at least there’s some success.

+ Fiber arts:

I am working on a blue scarf for a friend of mine. She’d asked for one months ago and I told her if she bought the yarn that she wanted, I’d make it for her because at the point I didn’t have any light blue at the time. The longer I work on it (it’s about 2ft long right now, so I’m approximately 1/4-1/3 of the way done), the more I keep thinking it needs gold stars because the colour makes me think of the Golgafrinchen jogging towels that are mentioned in one of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy stories and it cracks me up.

I’ve had a friend ask if I’d make a Ravenclaw-coloured scarf for him because he wants one for a neighbor (because he’s a sweet guy), and I told him how much it’d be because I don’t have the colours. He said he’d get back to me about it. I also had Coworker Cheese ask for a Hufflepuff coloured scarf and I told him he’d have to pay me.

This is because he got all…miffed because I had given Ajax a Gryffindor coloured scarf as a late gift and I’m at the point where I’m just going to tell people “pay me” any time they ask if I can make them something. I’ve had two people at work tell Jamie that they want me to make them something but won’t come talk to me about it, I’ve had a couple people come to me and say they want me to make them something and I’ve told them to buy me the supplies and I’ll make it for them and they have yet to procure the items (and hey, $10-15 in yarn is going to be a lot cheaper than me looking at them and going “$30 unless you want it more detailed, longer, etc.”)

I’m fine with this because this means that I can go off and work on what I want to work on instead of making stuff for other people. But, this also means that I can go off and work on what I want and add it to the tote-o-stuff that I’ve finished.

+ Work::

I want a vacation from work, but I know that as soon as I go on vacation, stuff won’t get done.

Coworker K and I are in agreement that we will work closing shifts in order to get some of the nightshift gone. It’s become apparent that some of our regular customers have stopped coming because someone on nightshift has: actively ridiculed them, been rude to them, made them cry, said some highly offensive stuff, etc. Coworker Timid has looked at me and gone “working here lately has made me want to drink.” And this kid doesn’t drink (the worst he does is slam down a Monster energy drink)

Night shift is…night shift. I told Coworker Derp that I think The Queen didn’t believe us when we voiced our complaints about nightshift until the other day when she had witnessed some of the bullshit going on. The Queen got to witness one of the nightshift straight up ignore customers, ignore the hot case, and go off to do something that they’re not supposed to do at all before complaining that they don’t want to cook because then they’ll “go home smelling like the deep fryer.”

You work in the deli. There is a deep fryer in the deli.

I came back from lunch that day and had to listen to the same person complain that they got stuck cooking because I went to lunch (like: “omg, I had to cook for an hour!”) while Coworker Timid got stuck on the cold side helping customers. This same person decided they were going to ignore everyone as soon as The Queen left the department, do stuff in the back, and then get bent out of shape when we pointed out they needed to go to lunch so Timid could go to lunch. Y’know, nope. I am not dealing with that. You don’t want to go to lunch, I’ll make sure everyone else goes ahead of you.

One coworker is pissed because they didn’t get a department manager position (because you refuse to work the last ten minutes of your shift and sit on the trash bins? maybe?) and one coworker has put in for Loss Prevention. One coworker got the department manager position and I’m happy for them (I need to figure out a good nickname for them) and I looked at them the other day and went “Come to the dark side. We have madness.” And I realized that is the best way to describe my department.

+ Animals::

Jamie told me I should be proud of him. He was looking through Craigslist (for free wood for various projects) and found where someone was trying to find a new home for two sphinx kittens. He wants a Sphinx really bad and they’re fairly rare here (although way more common than finding a Dogo Argentino, which has happened). But no, no more live animals for a while.

He texted me yesterday saying that Cricket doesn’t like carrots and thinks they’re toys, so she’s really confused as to why Hobbes keeps eating her toys. And I was like “our dog is defective.” We have a defective border collie. She’s a good dog though.

Hobbes has decided that the dirty laundry tote is his new hangout, refused to let me take his pink blanket, and spent a lot of time in his crate–I think to get away from Cricket and her crazy because she’s extra hyper right now due to the weather. Bug has…something on her, but I’m really not surprised because she is a white dog and our yard is muddy. She’s supposed to be a white dog, but most of the time she’s brown or green or, one memorable occasion: red from food colouring.

getting back on track

It’s been a fairly shitty week. I’ve been spending most of the time trying to make sure that Jamie is alright and that we do stuff to keep his mind occupied.

I’ve cleaned the house while Jamie talks about how he wants to deep clean the house. Haven’t mopped the kitchen floor yet, but he and his dad keep coming in and out so there’s really no reason to do so (instead, I have been slow-roasting cherry tomatoes). The plus side to his dad coming down yesterday and today, it’s helping him keep his mind off everything that’s happened and they’ve gotten stuff done in the way that they do. They went out yesterday to get a new putty knife, since ours somehow disappeared, and came back with a roll of linoleum to replace the linoleum that’s in the hallway. Now Jamie wants to re-paint the hallway because “it doesn’t match anymore.”

Right now, they’ve gone out to buy new bolts for a table that Fred has offered to give us that he’s somehow lost the bolts for. They’ll probably come back with something else as well (thankfully, or hopefully, not paint though. It’s too cold and too wet right now)

So, a small list of things:

+ I am on the last story to retype/edit! (page 4 of 19) I am excited. This means that when I’m done with this, then I get to format and move stories around to where I want them. I’m one step closer to the end of the project!

+ I have finished the sparkly rainbow scarf thing. It’ll probably stay a scarf because it looks pretty cool.

+ I have started working on the scarf that a friend has requested (and provided yarn for). She told me that a coworker of ours wants a scarf too, but I haven’t responded to the comment. Coworker can come to me and request and I will continue my usual pay me/buy me materials. I’ll probably just stick with the classic “pay me” line.

Getting a little bit closer

I’m a little bit closer to the formatting/rearranging part of the book, so I’m a bit excited. And then I realized I hadn’t updated in a little while (because 7-day-stretches at work tend to be mind-numbing on top of the usual soul-sucking bizarro land I work at)

So, an update! Life, The Universe, and Everything!

Well, not everything because I am a scatterbrained, exhausted turtle who finally caught whatever funk is going around work. That or I just have the usual upper-respiratory nonsense that comes with Southwest Virginia being, well, Virginia and the fuck-off attitude it has with keeping temperatures somewhat consistent.

First! Book stuff:

+ I am on the last two stories to re-type up. I always do an edit while re-typing, so this’ll be like the second or third run that the stories have had. And, they’re two stories that are posted up here as well! (It’s Haunted House and Heironimous)

+ I’m thinking about sticking with the table-o-content list I’d scratched out, so by the time I’m done with all the re-types, I can just copy/paste everything into a new document so everything is in that order, and I can do the first part of all the fun formatting (font type/size, title centering, justifying the stories) before I go into the whole “how do I get this from this Word document to an e-book format” thing.

+ And I’ve got to do the dedication page (I promised someone years and years ago I’d dedicate my first book to them and it’s one of those weird little things I haven’t forgotten about) and I’ve been thinking about doing an Author’s Note page for things like…”areas I talk about are real! You can go visit them!” because the Heironimous building is an actual building that…finally got bought by someone late last year (there’s a crew there doing some sort of work to it now). The Blue Ridge Mountains are real, Mill Mountain Zoo is a real conservation zoo, we really do have a tiny little typewriter shop. And then there’s the whole “yeah, I do base some characters off of people I know or people that I have seen (I do work retail after all), but I have changed all the names.”

And I’m thinking about putting a thing up for “where to find the turtle” within the notes, but I don’t know if I want to do it at the beginning or at the end. I might do it at the end because it’ll just be me blathering on about the weird, and wonderful, area I call home.

+ I have a title in mind, and it works great because it cracks me up to no end and I’m doing this for shits and giggles anyway. And it gives me the opportunity to continue using the title while also tacking on things like “Vol. 2” and so on.


Fiber art:

+ I finished the blanket I was working on. Did I mention that before? Did I share a photo? I’m…pretty sure I shared a photo of it on IG. Coworker Carebear wants one and I told her to buy me the yarn and I’d make it for her. I also told Jamie that I want to buy more of that type of yarn and make an afghan, similar to the one I had for years before Hobbes destroyed it when he was still a young pupper (he’s still a pupper, but he’s my old man pupper)

+ I’m currently working on another eye-bleeding pink scarf to go with the other eye-bleeding pink scarf. I don’t know why. I think it’d be cute to have two matching scarves at least once. And I’m working on this…scarf thing that is using one skein of sparkly rainbow yarn. My coworkers are absolutely fascinated by me working on these things. One of my coworkers just seems super excited that I make things and tells me he really wants to see things when they’re done. He’s pretty cool.

+ I still have to work on the owl blanket, but I need more bulldog clippy things to help hold the edges down while I put in a handful of stitches to make it straight. I still don’t know what I’ll do for the edges and I guess I’ll get there when I get there.

Other things:

+ I need to update the Things I’ve Read and the Things I Listen To pages because a) I want to get back into sharing what I’ve been reading through the year (lots of pterry) and there’s some stuff I haven’t been listening to as well as new stuff I’m listening to (like Dear Murder Street, which is a great podcast. And! I got a shout-out on an episode because I mentioned changelings on twitter)

+ I found a super simple recipe for a peasant loaf type bread and I made my first one and the crumb is perfect, but it’s a tad too salty (my fault). So I’m planning on making cinnamon-craisin bread with it as well as maybe a cinnamon swirly type bread and even possibly a chocolate bread (because I fail at chocolate bread every time I’ve made it)

+ The dogs are good, Bug is a stink monster per usual. Cricket is extra wiggly because she’s been cooped up in the house like everyone else while we have terrible weather.

+ Tomorrow is Imbolc! I don’t usually celebrate it, but I had thought about wearing one of my antler headbands. I don’t think I will though because I have a massive migraine (from sinuses mainly, but having shit on my head will make it worse)

The closest I get to celebrating Imbolc is working on plans for the garden. We didn’t do a garden last year because last year was terrible and this year we are determined to not have a bad year. So, we’re going to work on some planning. Jamie wants to do raised beds this year since we have so much random bits of wood in the garage and I think it’s a great idea. Not doing straw this year because Jamie is allergic and we didn’t really know until we used some for whatever it was a few years ago (two years ago? three years ago?)

I just hope that maybe with raised beds, we’ll actually get to keep some of the tomatoes (the dogs steal them) and maybe I’ll try my hand at corn again or something. Or, maybe, I can convince Jamie to let me get a blueberry bush even though I keep thinking about how easily it can take over the backyard. And I want pumpkins.

Screaming into the void

Have a photo of Hobbes after he stole 1/3 bag of flour, carefully took it off the counter and into the living room, and then ripped the bag open to snuffle the contents on the rug. Yep, that’s my sneaky old man.

– writing is going at a snails pace. I’ve got about 3 stories left to re type and then I get to start moving stuff around to how I want and then into the next leg of the project. Jamie and I have started discussing cover ideas.

– I pulled apart the scarf thing I’m working on to make it wider, so there’s that. I’m…less than 1/4 of the way done? Maybe? I don’t know. It’s just sparkly.

– I need to remember to update the “things I’ve read” and “stuff I’m listening to” because the Read page has been severely neglected (yay for stressful/exhausting year) and there’s just a small change needed for the Listening page.

– exhaustion is: poking fun at Jamie for saying he got me a “squishy narwhal toy” and calling it a seal when it’s a walrus.

Getting shit done

Small update:

So, I’d determined to stick with 12 stories, keeping up with the 12 that I’d already pretty much finished and printed out.

I’ve gotten 8 re-typed up after some editing, which means I’ve got 4 more stories to re-type up before I get to re-read over everything again. Then it’ll be time to move stuff around so they’re set up in the order that I want. Next is setting up the table o contents, author note/dedication page (whatever the hell I’m going to do), figure up the cover, format it, and slap it up somewhere. And then I’ll be done! Woo.

So hey, almost done! I am excite.

Also got the blanket done and it looks a little off balance because of how I had to wrap/pull/yank it around while I was working on it. I figure I’ll have to wash/dry it and figure out the best way to block it without being able to actually block it (usually throwing it in the washer and dryer helps with stuff I’ve made, so I’m banking on that).

So woohoo. go me.