little thought exercise

I’m enjoying making shawls. They’re light enough to be either a shawl or a scarf, they use up a bit of yarn that I have laying around, and they’re fun. I decided, while listening to some M R James, that I’d knit for an hour and see how many rows I got done since I am starting up a new one.

Including the 1 lonely row I did last night, I got 10 rows done in an hour.

1 hour = 60 minutes
10 rows in 60 minutes = 6 minutes per row
300 rows needed per shawl (times 6 minutes per row) = 1800 minutes
1800 minutes / 60 minutes = 30
30 hours = approximately 1 complete shawl

This does not include the fact that the longer I work on the shawl, the more rows I get done because I decrease every-other row. But, for the sake of this thought exercise, we’ll keep it at 1 row takes 6 minutes.

If I were to go by the “charge how much you believe you should be making per hour” bullshit (the whole notion that, as an artist, you should charge a per-hour rate or have a finished rate that you can break down to a per-hour rate if need be.)

Let’s start with the Federal Minimum Wage, $7.25 an hour:

7.25 X 30 = $217.50

Let’s see how this looks if you were to charge $9 an hour:

9 X 30 = $270

The higher we go, the more ridiculous this gets. $12:

12 X 30 = $360


15 X 30 = $450

And this is just for labour. This is if I were to charge “how much I believe I should be paid” for a dinky little shawl I’m having fun making and using up parts of my stash. This doesn’t include “materials,” which kind of irks me anyway. What if I were asked to work on another Tom Baker Doctor Who scarf?

If I were to buy brand new skeins of yarn, let’s say Red Heart because it’s the easiest for me to get in the colours I think look the best for this scarf, that is $2.98 per skein.

2.98 X 7 = $20.86

2.98 X 9 = $26.82

Both numbers because there is always at least one skein I run out of if I don’t buy the Super Saver.

$5.98 X 7 = $41.86

That’s more than I charged the last time I made one of those scarves, and that was even after I met the person who insisted she pay for materials and we spent like an hour going through trying to find the softest yarns because her kid is tactile-sensitive. $41.86 is more than I charged a person who was using the scarf in a web-series. (granted, I did agree, afterwards, that from then on I was charging people more than what I charged him because these scarves take for-fucking-ever to make).

And I don’t get the whole “pay for materials” thing in my case. In other people’s work, it makes perfect sense. You might not have the exact materials you need to build what someone wants and you need to go out and get them.

Me? I have a stash of yarn (and fabric). There is a reason why “I’m like a dragon, but craft things are my horde” is my personal tagline. Unless it’s a colour I normally don’t have (like pink), sure I’ll probably be like “I don’t have this colour so it’ll be a bit.” Unless I randomly get a box of pink yarn on my front porch (like I did over the summer because my friends know I’m a yarn hoarder and will take whatever they want to give me).

And really, why would I charge $100+ for a shawl or whatever when someone can just as easily go to the mall or online and buy something approximately the same style/weight for like 1/4 of the price or less?

That doesn’t really make much sense and it reminds me of back in high school when a girl I had a few classes with decided to paint these circles on a canvas and put a price tag on them (average size canvas, acrylic paints, done while in art class, so it was a ~50 minute class per day) of over $250 during an exhibition of stuff that was pretty much “hey fam, come look at all the stuff we do in art class!” (the MLP chess set was awesome, done by some other kid who I don’t think ever put their name to the peice)


Maybe I’ll get a short break

I like to tell myself that now that the holidays are over (for me at least because I’m off tomorrow, so ha-ha), maybe there’ll be…less stress? at work. A few less hours, a little…less in general.

But, who am I kidding. One of the new-hires for my department won’t be back for at least another week, despite being on the schedule (I’m still trying to figure out how that one happened. I don’t know if it’s because she’s on break from college or if she’s out on medical or what. I want to say college, but I haven’t really heard much). One of my coworkers put in for almost 2 weeks of vacation, despite knowing full damn good and well how the schedules are made/posted (we see them as: the week of plus 2 weeks in advance; then there’s the already-made-but-waiting week, and management usually has another week that they’re tweaking/working on during the week of that we see. so it’s like 3-4 weeks minimum that’s already taken care of with a hint of the 4th or 5th week in limbo). I don’t know what’s going to happen with it, but I know I’d already been approved for one of the days she requested off, so it’ll be pretty hilarious (to me, at least) if she’s denied the day I got approved back in October.

One of the new hires spent time complaining about how “closing” is a shit show if it’s not me or Coworker K working with them and how Manager Creep won’t help for shit. And other new hire has apparently decided that I don’t know what I’m doing nor can I handle being by myself for five damn minutes, yet complains if they have to stay one minute over their scheduled time.

And apparently the whole “shit show” thing has gotten to the entirety of the store. Supposedly the loss-prevention person up and quit (I didn’t even know we had a regular LP person. I thought it was just the “LP Manager” who refuses to come out of their office for anything), 3 high-dollar items walked out in one day, one department manager just up and left mid-shift and no one realized until they needed the person. I don’t know if it’s the whole we work retail and it’s the holidays thing, or if it’s just a “our store has gone to shit and we’re going to get shut down if people keep fucking up like this” kind of vibe.


enough about work.

It’s supposed to get down to 8 degrees on Monday. I hope it doesn’t. I’m cold enough as it is by the time it hits the 40s and cold weather makes my joints hurt.

Still going through William Dalphin’s book. I hope to be done with it soon (I’ve got…10ish stories left to read? something like that) and then I’ll work on an in-depth review (including links to various episodes of NoSleep Podcast and Chilling Tales for Dark Nights, along with any creepypasta narrator who did one of his stories I can find, but there are some narrators I don’t listen to, so it’ll probably be like Be.Busta, MCP, Natenator, CreepsMcPasta, CreepypastaJr, Dr Creepen who I’ll comb through on their youtube channels to see if they’ve done any narrations.)

I was thinking about posting the weird/speculative/semi-horror story I had finished up about a local building (because I am enjoying using Roanoke as my background for stories) a while back, but realized that I should definitely change up one part because it really detracts from the story and I want to make it better (basically, no officer is going to trust some random dude to grab him while he’s on duty) and hopefully I’ll have a nice ending or something.

“Weird Grandad” story is currently at a standstill. “The Yellow Sign” is still currently at a standstill, but needs to be read over to see if the low-grade mania can be seen before I continue

I finished a shawl and got the stupid idea to make a blanket out of the little yarn balls I have lying around. I may put the blanket idea on hold and use some of the yarn balls for shawls. I don’t know yet. The shawl is gloriously hideous in shades of brown (the skein was called “Centaur” and it cracked me up). I have yet to take a photo of it.

Jamie bought me a new sloth toy and dropped it on my face to wake me up. Thankfully it wasn’t like The Giant Sloth he dropped on my face last year (omg it’s been a year since we got the Giant Sloth).

We currently still have The Houseguests (Prada and Thor, two adorable puppies [although Thor is like the size of a miniature horse] who lost their home before Christmas) and we haven’t heard anything from their owners since we agreed to take them in (they were supposed to be looking for dog-friendly housing and get back with us like three days later on an update, but we haven’t heard shit). We’re in the process of looking for new housing for the dogs because they deserve more attention than we can give them right now (yay for overtime)

And…I don’t remember what else I was going to say, so back to working on cleaning the house for me. I’ve spent enough time screwing around on the computer for now and should get back up and do more things (before I park my butt back in front of the computer again)

Did I get trolled

I’m pretty sure my mom trolled me.

She stopped by the house last night after “spending time” up at my grandmothers (she said that the first hour wasn’t bad, just loud. and she was thrilled she “only had to spend half an hour” dealing with my cousin and her little brood. She called them the brood, and I am highly entertained by this)

Mom didn’t spend much time here, because it’s like 20-25 degrees outside. She hung out in the car, handed me a giant gift bag, and told me it was towels (wooohoo towels!). Dad was playing on his Nintendo DS while we chatted a bit and after a couple minutes Maggie (mom’s dog) started howling–probably because she’d been shaved again and she hates wearing sweaters (she’ll tolerate it when it’s super cold or when there’s snow, but grudginly). We said our goodbyes and I ran back inside while they left.

A while later, Mom called me and asked if I’d “found the surprise.”

What surprise?

She tried to give me shit for not finding the card-surprise. I told her that she pointed out she only got us towels. She laughed while I pulled towels out of the bag (4 huge bath towels).

Money. She gave us money.

Now we can get gas so we can get to work this week and now I can buy cat food.

I love my mom, I think she’s super awesome and I wish I could do more for her. But I’m still pretty sure she trolled me last night, the sneaky shit.

I’m peopled out

Happy Hogswatch, Happy Christmas, Happy Saturnalia, Happy whatever you celebrate, Happy Day.

Christmas is a day where I am peopled out and don’t want to see someone face-to-face. It’s not because I don’t want to see people, it’s just…I have had to deal with so many people on Christmas Eve that I don’t want to physically be around anyone the next day.

Granted, I’m no longer a front-end manager. Pushing customer to hurry up, ring them out, and pull all the money out of the registers before the money-machine shuts down for the holiday (it’s a weird Corporate decision). I’m no longer a front-end manager having to deal with telling people that the store is closing in 10 minutes at the front door.

I was walking around looking for my ASM (assistant store manager) and had another manager tell me “please hurry up in your department so you can help me do returns.” I had to tell him I was scheduled to work til 4, but I’m here trying to help out. He went “noooo” and did a sad face.

Why was I working over? Well, Stoner Them (of the 3 Thems–Stoner Them, Other Them, and Girl Them–the three…coworkers who are putzes (can putz be like this? fuck it, putzes is a multiple, I wrote it, therefore it works)) decided…2 or 3 days before Christmas Eve that he was going to call out because, and I quote:

“I’m going to spend time with my grandparents. I only have a limited amount of Christmas Eves before they die and family is more important.”

I told Ajax (my department manager) about it and he got so aggravated. I told him I would stay til at least 6 to help out. 2 days before Christmas Eve, another coworker (he’s adorable yet frustrating) stated that he couldn’t work his schedule. He had to be out by 1.30. He was scheduled to work 12 to 7…that’s an hour and a half of work. He was told to come in at 7.

Stoner Them wound up quitting the day before Christmas Eve, which has thrown everyone for a loop scheduling wise. We’re a small bunch of people, some trying to be a team and some that are just…there.

I spent time running around trying to do everything with Coworker K and S as well as working around grumpy new coworker and guy coworker (kind of a new guy, he was here 3 weeks before we got 2 more people). Grumpy new coworker spent the entire time complaining about how they didn’t want to be there, this is fucking bullshit, fuck this, etc.

I had told them my personal goal was to have us out by 6. They flipped going:

If we’re supposed to be done by 6, why they ax me to be here til 6.30. Why I gotta be here til 6.30?

Sigh. They couldn’t understand that the ASM wanted everything done by 6.30 and my goal was to beat that timeframe. I was out a little after 6 with them only having to do the last 2 things (sweep/mopsqueegie).

Jamie’s mom brought us food, which was awesome. We’ve been snacking on it off and on since we got home. I called mom (my yearly “I love you, but I’m not coming to see you. If you feel up to coming to see me, that is awesome because I miss you. Please tell Granma happy christmas, I’m not coming up because I am tired and there are people there.” she finds the whole thing hilarious). I told her we were heading home instead of stopping by her house–she was fully understanding. So, mom will be making dad drive up here so we can see each other after she makes him take her to granma’s (I find it hilarious, but she can’t drive any longer)

I feel like I’m running on fumes. We got up at 2am yesterday morning and didn’t stop until we went to take a nap at about 7.30 last night. The alarm went off at 12 and 1, and the 2am one was the one that got us up. I feel like I haven’t slept, my ankles feel like they’ve got weights wrapped around them. The kitchen is nice and clean (until Hobbes does something–he can open the oven now. wtf dog). My craft room is decent, the office looks good, and the living room is decent enough to have guests.

The laundry continues. The basement smells weird, but it’s mainly from where the washer is off kilter. I feel like if I take a nap, I won’t wake up until morning


+ I’m working on a shawl I started a couple of months ago. I keep looking at my yarn stash and I want to do something with most of them. I’m…kind of tempted to make a blanket with all the little balls of yarn and use the S-loom I have. I could get a lot of little yarn balls out of my craft room. I find the shawl to be fucking ugly, but I’m sure someone will like it.

I decided I’m going to give the sparkly brown/tan shawl to mom. It makes me think of Beauty and the Beast and I think she’ll enjoy it. It’s soft and not scratchy, so it may work for her . I have to be careful what yarn I use for her. It’s not like she’s allergic to wool or whatever (which sucks and I feel terrible for anyone who is allergic to things in yarn and other fabrics), but it’s like she gets super itchy with some of them.

She wanted me to make her a Doctor Who scarf a couple years ago and she wears it almost all the time now.

+ I’m working my way through William Dalphin’s book, making notes and everything, because he asked for reviews on GoodReads. Normally, I can read fairly fast and get a book like this done in a couple of nights. But, he asked for a review and I want to do a nice, comprehensive review. So, every story has a basic note to it. I figure if it doesn’t go through on GoodReads, I’ll do the review here. I plan on adding all kinds of links with it.

+ I’m currently not writing (working through William Dalphin’s book, working overtime, etc), but I don’t know what I’m going to tinker around with next. The “Weird Grandpa” story is currently on hold because I don’t know what happens next (it’s a great motivator, but sometimes you need to step away from it)

+ I’m still waiting on a rejection from the slush pile that I submitted a story to. It’s been a month, but I don’t want to email just now asking if anyone’s gotten to my story yet. I figure I submitted to a pile that’s at least 1,000 or more ideas. That shit takes time to get to, so no worries.

I figure, if it gets rejected from them, I’m submitting it to Apex or Shimmer (I don’t know if Uncanny is accepting submissions right now). And then, if it gets rejected from them, I’m just going to throw it up here and leave it there.

A friend of mine told me of a story idea she had and told me I had to write it. It’s a horror-based idea, and she doesn’t really write horror. She’s more…erotica than anything.

I have approximately 70 more rows on this shawl to be done. I should really work on the “Weird Grandpa” story, or even the “Yellow Sign” one that I began whenever ago.

Is the season over yet

When I was a kid, I enjoyed this season. Arthritis didn’t really act up as much as it does now (and I could still use the “oh, well I’ve been crafting a lot lately, so that’s why my hands hurt) and I could look forward to seeing family, not having homework (or having homework and putting it off), and being able to just hang out and read or play on the computer. Now, this season is: ugh, pain; ugh, people; the realization that stress makes people fucking crazy (or assholes), and the rehashing of “that’s awful you have to work on a holiday” while people buy things on said holiday or the day before (yay commercialism). Now, everything is cold, people are stressed the hell out, tensions are high, and part of my family is mad at me because they don’t understand that this is the holiday season and I work overtime (because the store is crazy, some of my coworkers are dingbats, and honestly, sometimes it’s not planned) and I don’t want to see any damn body on my day off. My mom thinks it’s hilarious, but Mom is awesome and understands what it’s like to have a job where you don’t get paid under the table and have to be responsible for stuff.

The closer we get to this holiday, the more stuff happens. I get people demanding to know where stuff, or people, are and I’m like “dude, I work in a hole.” and sometimes point them in the right direction (or, if they’re demanding people, point out whether or not I’d seen them in the past 10 minutes). I’ll just be glad when the holiday season is over (one week! yaaaaaay)

And, because we’ve been so busy with work, nothing has gotten done. Laundry-pacolypse is looming again (every time I have a day off I’m doing laundry because it just keeps getting piled up. I’m stupid behind on dog laundry too), but at least it looks like it’s about 5 or 6 loads instead of like 10-12 (because our washer has decided it’s going to revolt). I feel like I’ve washed the same dishes every day for the past week and still haven’t gotten to the cookie sheets Jamie used to make Challah bread. The dogs have decided they’re going to attempt to eat everything they can.

The other day, I caught Bug eating half a bar of beeswax (she’s fine) and then like an hour later, Firefly tried to eat a peice of beeswax (chew chew, spit out) but she didn’t care for the taste. They’ve broken 2 plates, a bowl, 2 mugs, my big Pyrex measuring cup (how, I don’t know. I’ve seen that thing fall on the floor and bounce and be fine), chewed the green plastic water dish we have for them (it’s a giant mixing bowl), and steal various foodstuffs. Someone found the pot of beans I had on the stove and I still can’t find the pot (dutch-oven style pot too).

I found that not only can Hobbes open up the tater-box to steal sweet potatoes, he can open up the microwave. Well, that explains why every time I go to open the microwave and the glass spinny thing is all off-kilter. Someone (probably Bug) opened up a bottom cabinet drawer so the girls ate 5 containers of cup-noodles (not the containers, just the noodles) and pulled out all of the ice trays and handful of tupperware containers that were in there.

We’ve got temporary houseguests (dogs: Prada and Thor) while their owners/parents try to find dog-friendly housing (because nothing says Merry Christmas/Happy Whatever Holiday You Celebrate like having your house condemned over a gas leak and your landlord kicking you out) while they stay with friends who are allergic to dogs. Prada is this teeny tiny pittie and Thor is this horse of a dog, seriously. He jumped up on me and was able to wrap his front paws around my shoulders and look me in the eye. We think he’s pit/mastiff mix because of his size, paws, and facial shape, but he is this super adorable squishy baby of a dog. Prada is a teeny tiny talkative wiggle butt. They’re both super adorable and probably not even a year old (yeah).

And the cats have been destroying stuff. They decided to pull all the notebooks and folders out of one of the bookshelves and cover the floor, and then someone peed on the folders, but at least they were the empty folders I was going to use to see if I could build me some thin, plastic armor out of instead of the manilla folders that had notes, comics, sketches, patterns, etc in them. They broke one of my glass containers containing knick knacks (quarter machine toys, yowies, tsum tsums, etc) and a food dish. I had to remove a  bunch of stuff and wound up mopping the floor for like an hour (I didn’t realize it was an hour, but the craft room smelled like comet for a while).

And in all this, have I worked on anything? Not really.

I went to go peck away at my “Weird Grandad” story, because I had met up with a friend and we went to a book sale (because we’re nerds and we love books. I found some awesome old books) and wound up telling her the basic plot of the story. She thought it was odd, but intriguing, and we both wondered how it was going to end (I still don’t know). And I looked at the “last updated” part and found that instead of it being like a month or two since I worked on it, it had almost been a year (no fucking way). So I ended up putting 1,000 words onto it. I wasn’t intending on adding 1,000 words on it, maybe like 200 or so, but it just happened. I still have no idea where I was going, nor where I am going, with this peice.

And it kind of cracked me up because I was kinda listening to an episode of This is Horror podcast and the author they were interviewing was talking about how “two people stuck in a room is boring” (sic) and I got a kick out of it because that’s what the “Weird Grandad” story is: two grown men, sitting in a room, talking. It’s either going to bore someone to tears or it’s going to keep their interest. Hey, Hard Candy (film) did an awesome job of “it’s two people in a room for 90 minutes” so who’s to say reading a story of two people in a room can’t be awesome as well.

I haven’t worked on knitting or anything like that. I have gotten most of my fabric together, including the flannel shirt I can no longer wear (due to a giant hole at the wrist) that I want to use for making little toys and a dress a friend gave me because it’s a hideous pattern and she was like “dude, make something out of this.” I haven’t done any comics, I haven’t played with the tablet (we’ve lost the pen that goes with it…it disappeared like two days after we plugged up the tablet to the computer).

And…yeah. It’s mainly been: work, sleep, take care of pets, and oh yeah go get some groceries because we need to remember to eat too, but mostly work.


what day is it?

semi coherent post in pseudo bullet form, woo.

+ I have no idea what day it is. It’s…December.
+ I’m going to be practically approved for overtime because two people in my department got fired and we have two new people on top of New Coworker S, who is still trying to grasp how to do most things.
+ I have no idea what my schedule is going to look like. Ajax had Jamie call me and ask if he could change my schedule due to issues (people being fired)
+ Something is broken in the craft room and I am too brain dead, tired, and headachey to deal with it right now.
+ Jamie said he figured out what’s wrong with the washer…I have my doubts. (it runs, it just has water coming back into the basin)
+ I have moments where I wish I had my grandmother’s old washer (it was this old 40s/50s washer that still worked and was pretty awesome)
+ We’ve been at work so much this week that the house is a disaster and there are no clean pans.

+ Bug got excited and gave me a Bug-Hug last night and then smacked me in the face. Usually, if I get smacked in the face by her paw, she just gets me in the cheek or nose. Not last night. Last night, she got wiggly and wound up hitting me in the eye. No damage seems to be done to the actual eyeball (beyond being pushed by a dog), but it looks like she was able to scratch the inside of the eyelid, which explains why my eye itches and feels like it’s got an eyelash in it. Every so often my vision goes blurry and I’m just glad I’m off the next couple of days so I won’t be fucking with my eye while at work. And, at least, I didn’t get hit in the eye by her nubbin.

+ Creatively…I haven’t done jack shit.
+ I haven’t sketched/drawn anything
+ I keep forgetting what day it is so the comic is floundering (I feel bad despite posting a note that work is crazy because we’re in the holiday season and updates will be sporadic)
+ I submitted a story but haven’t heard anything back yet. I’m not surprised because I’m sure the amount of stories submitted is crazy high
+ I haven’t written anything and I feel kinda crappy about that. I was kind of hoping to do a self-imposed deadline of Yule/Christmas, like I did for Thanksgiving, but I haven’t done shit
+ I told a friend about a story I’m working on and, despite wanting to work on it, I have not opened the file in gods know how long
+ And this is why I am not a professional writer. I am terrible at keeping up with writing

The past…week or two I haven’t really even been reading. I think the last book I actually finished was Paperbacks from Hell (which is an awesome, fast read). I’ve started like four books (Where Nightmares Come From, Masters of Horror, Gated,  Hunted In the Woods) not including any that I’d started and have yet to finish (like House of Leaves and The House of Small Shadows)

I don’t know if it’s all from just a feeling of general “blah”-ness or just being overwhelmed by everything that I haven’t done much. I did make some rice krispie treats (with pumpkin spice marshmallows mixed with marshmallow fluff) so I guess that’s something.