Well, there goes that

This morning Yesterday morning (whee insomnia) I went to take a photo of this drink that had appeared on the counter. Canada Dry Blackberry Ginger Ale (it’s purple!). I immediately dropped my phone into a bowl of soggy cereal.

sigh.

I wiped off what I could, shrieked, and grabbed our canister of rice. Shoved the damaged amount of phone into the rice and realized there’s a dead moth in the rice. gods damnit. Well, Jamie wanted to buy a new bag of brown rice anyway, so this works out.

The phone would cut on, off, on, off, so I pulled the battery out after about 20 minutes and just left the battery and back casing on the computer desk while the main part of the phone stayed half-buried in rice on the counter. I deep-cleaned the bathroom while Jamie worked on the office. I worked on laundry while Jamie cooked chicken. I did dishes while Jamie cleaned the living room.

Hours later, I decided to check and see if it’d cut on, already resigned to the fact that I’d be needing to buy a new phone on payday and that the photos I have on there are gone forever (while Jamie is telling me that maybe our buddy E can find a way to get the photos off because he’s a wizard with phones). Cut it on and, hey, look at that. My screen pops up (it’s a picture of Snooch in a birthday hat). The screen lock unlocks! And I immediately get a bunch of text messages from Rhonda asking if we’re alive. Apparently Jamie didn’t tell her my phone died.

Texted Rhonda, played around on the phone a bit, got the peice of rice out of the aux/earbud jack, and spent time texting a friend about random stuff.

Thanks to not being able to sleep, I’ve hand written the numbers (excluding one or two) onto giant owl-shaped post-its and then realized that, even though I have it hooked to the computer, the computer is not registering the phone and I can’t make a quick photo dump so I don’t lose my photos.

fuck.

But! It could be the charger. Jamie stole my good charger for his kindle (apparently Fire 8 is crap with charge? Or he’s just been playing Cookie Cats a ton), so I’m using one that has been kind of iffy. At least, on the plus side, the phone is on, it is working, and it is charging.

Woo.

I’ll steal the good charger cord from Jamie after the alarm goes off.

…in like 15 minutes.

Oh! And I renamed the cooking story (to “Family Dinner”) and submitted it to NoSleep’s slush pile. I’m going to try to pretend I never did it and see what happens. Paws crossed, yo.

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Ye (short) Saga of Dog

Yesterday, Jamie busted into my department saying that he got a voicemail from Animal Control saying they had our dog.

What.

I listened to the voicemail and called them back, Jamie talked over the robot voice so I had to hang up and wait until I could hear well enough to go through the keypad list and get a human on the phone.

“Hi, someone called and said they have my dog.”

(request of what the dog looks like, etc)

I describe the dog and get “Oh! L wants to talk to you, hang on a sec.”

Oh thank gods. L is there and she knows us, she knows we’re obsessive over our dogs. She kept in touch with us when Hobbes had been stolen. L is awesome.

L gets on the line and tells me that yeah, they have Hobbes and the neighbor was able to get the others in the yard.

What.

So I tell her that Jamie is on his way and send him to go talk to management about leaving for a bit due to family emergency. (it is our family and this is an emergency)

I text Jamie to make sure Firefly is there because if the neighbor has gotten the dogs in the backyard, Firefly has undoubtedly gotten out (because she is an old woman who doesn’t believe in fences nor rules). Jamie gets to Animal Control and finds that it’s not just Hobbes that they have.

They have Firefly, Cricket, and Hobbes.

They tell Jamie that “the other dog, the one with the disability, stayed in the yard.” Jamie told them to not believe Bug because Bug is a tank. (it’s true. If she had 4 paws, she’d be able to take over the world). Stuff happens.

Jamie gets them inside and just lets them roam the house. Cat boxes, cat food, dirty dishes (not many, just like breakfast bowls and such from before we left for work) be damned. Let them pee on the floor, we’ll clean it up when we get home.

Jamie comes back to work, texts me that he’s back, and we continue the day.

We get home to find that someone has found the sunflower seeds and has pooped them out. There is poo and explosive poo in various spots around the living room and kitchen.  Jamie walks back into the living room, where I am coming through the door, and tells me that “it’s bad.”

They’ve knocked over the trash can and have strewn trash all over the kitchen. There is peices of trash bag mixed in. All I can do is use the broom and dust pan and just dump everything into the bin (sans bag) and tell the dogs to not do it again.

Jamie tells me that the AC officer was telling him that they found where the dogs got out of the backyard and that we need to fix the fence. Jamie wound up having to explain until they understood that we don’t have dog doors, the dogs were in the basement (not crated because I wanted them to have some roaming time) and that they must’ve gotten out via the basement door or the window.

Check the basement: someone (probably Hobbes) hit the plexiglass window that I had epoxied up last year perfectly and broke it free of the epoxy. We have a 14″ high, 20″ long open window leading out into the back yard. They stayed in the living room over night until the morning when I could find the super awesome duct tape and tape the window back on so I could crate them. Now, I am going to have to look for a non-dull saw so I can saw part of a pallet apart so I can nail bits of pallet across the window so a certain old man can’t break out again.

Jamie also told me that the AC officer told him that normally dogs are very timid when they go to let them out of the little holdy thing in the trucks, but not Cricket. Cricket jumped out (aiming for the face, of course. stupid dog) and was all wiggles and play bows.

Today:

I duct taped the window and put the half-door that Jamie made for upstairs but didn’t fit up against the stairwell that leads to the backyard. I also pulled the extra pallets we had, that were tucked up, and put them against the hole that was caused by the nice person who mowed the ditch beside the fence, the hole that was patched, and the hole that apparently Firefly made when she realized Hobbes had gotten out.

These are our dogs. They’re sweet, they’re loving, and they firmly believe that fences are for other people.

writing, creating, and new job

I don’t remember if I mentioned I got a new job. I’m back at Store that I left a year and a half ago (honestly, I kinda missed the place), but I’m in a different department. The only time I’ll be back in my old department is on Thanksgiving and I’m fine with this (the department will need it and I want to be near where I’m sure someone will get punched for ridiculous reasons because all those Black Friday Shoppers are fucking crazy)

I’m enjoying my new position. I like most of my immediate coworkers, I get to bother some managers, I’ve made a handful of old regulars really sad that I’m in that department instead of my old one, and there are a small handful of immediate coworkers that I really just want to slap upside the head. Instead of physical contact, I’m going to have a nice long chat with my manager about things that have happened while he’s been on vacation. Like yesterday, I was supposed to clock out at 9. The “closer” for that department decided they were going to call out, so we wound up starting the shut-down process at 3 instead of 5 in hopes of giving me the opportunity to actually leave on time. The one coworker who was there until 7 was trying so hard to help me out, despite having a pulled muscle in her back, and then found that a very vital part of the night-time closing duties wasn’t done. This caused an extra 1.5-2 hours of work that screwed me from doing a lot of stuff, even with the extra pair of hands we were given (who was mainly thrown to clean up the problem)

Eventually, it ended up being the Extra Pair of Hands (a good kid), myself, and Jamie (cuz Jamie and I work together now! huzzah) trying to clean and get everything done. Thanks to my idiot coworker, I wound up clocking out an hour and a half past my time, Jamie clocked out an hour past his time, and Extra Hands got extra hours cuz he’d been asked to come in and help a different department  altogether before getting sent over to me.

I didn’t get everything as clean as I’d prefer it, but I did also find where things have been ignored (and we’re getting High Up the Corporate Ladder Person in early next week and we’re doomed, plain and simple). The manager that had to deal with me and the whole fiasco said that it was good enough, he didn’t expect us to do as much as we did, told me to not do a handful of closing duties anyway, and that it could be dealt with in the morning.

At one point, I had cut on NoSleep (season 5, episode 4) to listen to while I clean, so every so often I’d hear a snippet or two. The Long Pig story, the one after Mummer Man, was playing and the manager and Extra Hands had heard a snippet of it. Manager was like “what the fuck” and I went “Oh, I’m listening to NoSleep. Right now it’s the story where James Cleveland is narrating about murdering a guy so he can carve out his tasty ribs.”

Manager went “Well, ok then.” while Extra Hands just gave me this horrified look. I told the kid that it’s a horror podcast and it’s great. I kind of wish that they’d heard part of Mummer Man instead, because that story is awesome.

Last night also proved that I am no longer used to working 10+ hour shifts (something I had done before I left Store the first time)

~*~

So, creative things

Jamie asked me when I was going to submit to NoSleep (because they have a submission thing open right now!) and I told him: when I finish something that’s the minimum wordcount requested. He told me that I should give myself a deadline, “Like, December,” before continuing that he’d bug me until I submit things. He also pointed out that I should just start submitting things until something sticks. I told a friend about it and she agreed with him.

Yesterday, Jamie asked me if I was going to participate in NaNoWriMo and I told him no. I like Ursula Vernon’s idea more (NaNoFiMo, national novel finishing month) and reiterated that I hadn’t written in days.

Seriously, I haven’t written in days. I don’t know if it’s because I wasn’t feeling well, then got the job, and then we’d been working long hours (plus commute) and instead of jotting down ideas or notes, I’d just been sitting around reading or scrolling through stuff online.

I told Jamie how I wanted one story to go, in large, broad strokes, and he seemed to enjoy that. But I don’t know how I’m going to write it. I jotted down some notes about a fucked up dream I had that was narrated by Peter Lewis–I told Jamie about it and he went “Y’know, if it’s narrated by Peter Lewis, you gotta write that shit down and make it a reality.” So, I have almost a page of notes of what I remember. If I can work it, it’ll be a fun story to do.

But, I don’t know where I’m going with anything.

“Weird Grandpa” (working title) has been stagnating since that first initial burst of writing. Attempted Novelette has been in limbo since I realized a) I need a list of all the named characters I put in already and 2) I completely forgot where I was going with this. Downtown Novelette still doesn’t have an ending and I changed the characters names from the stand-ins (friends names) to their names (what they’re going to be called from now on). “Retail Weird” is like 3 pages of growing unease with no real plot or idea of where I’m going besides “I’m basing this on all you fucking weirdos.”

There’s other stories that I have no idea what I’m doing with. They’re all fleeting ideas and…the fuck I know what I’m doing.

various things

+ I made…3 shawls in the last couple weeks of September. I’ve completed one so far now and have started another one because I found a skein of yarn I forgot I had and it’ll be fun to see how far I get and compare it to the “Neapolitan Shawl” that I made a couple months previous (they’re the same brand so it’ll be neat to compare).

I’ve been sharing photos of it on Instagram.

+ I decided to do Inktober this year. I found 2 different prompts and decided to do both: the one from the Inktober website and one called 31 Witches. So far I’m keeping up with it–granted it’s only the 4th, but hey, that’s 8 sketches done!

I’d decided to do non-serious 2-minute sketches and see if I can just use pen/ink instead of my usual pencil-then-ink process. I’m posting them to the comic-blog that I started if you’d like to check them out. I’m having fun with it.

+ I found that there is a limit to how many times you can apply to Bath and Bodyworks, and that number is 5. I find it hilarious. (there’s a local B&BW that has a number of various positions open)

+ I started reading The Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories By Women and…yeah. Totally not for me. (the title page has the “by women” part italicized and I found it hilarious). Skipped the first story (not a fan of Anne Rice), read the second one and went “WTF” and was about to skip the rest of it when it ended. Started on the 3 story and got a couple pages (via kindle) in and noped out of it and now I’m on story number 4, it’s about an established character that the author has and…I don’t know. I’m finding myself less and less interested in it.

I like vampire stories. I like different takes on the vampire (from rotting corpse to bored, non-sparkly “teenager” determined to find someone to spend eternity with), but I could really do without the descriptions of a vampire-like creature molesting a kid (yeah, that happens in story number 2). I have more enjoyment out of the half-thought paragraphs that show up on my tumblr dash involving vampires than this book.

+ Jamie threatened to get me a cat yesterday. A few short hours after Carrot, one of our youngest cats (one of 2. He and Beric are about the same age) decided he wanted to lick the bowl of waffle-mix from the night before and broke a plate and one of Uggs’ ceramic cat food dishes. This happened two days after I found that he’d cracked my glass pitcher and my “eat, drink, and be spooky” mason-jar glass.

I swear, that cat gets into everything.

I told Jamie we can’t have more cats because Carrot and Mewkis are like having 4 cats on top of the cats we already have. He agreed, saying that if he were to pick another cat, he’d end up with another one like them. He’s the one who picked Carrot (well, he picked the other orange kitten and we wound up with Carrot), he picked Mewkis, and he’s the one who picked Faustus. I got conned into adopting Beric (my foof-monster) and I’m the one who conned Jamie into letting me keep Snooch.

They’re a weird bunch of cats, but they’re ours. And, for the most part, they live pretty well together. Uggs isn’t thrilled by it, but now he’s been staying in the bedroom and likes it that way, even if all the other cats are up and the door’s open. He’ll stay in the bedroom and sleep the day away.

We survived September

Now we need to survive October (and beyond)

The Saga of Car

Jamie was gifted a car, a little non-descript Kia (which we described to people as “the perfect serial killer car if it didn’t sound like Claptrap.”) the day that his truck had died. We’d ended up having problems with it ever since, replacing the battery and alternator twice, the belts at least four times, the water pump, and something else. We dumped a lot of money into this little car.

The car died a block and a half away from our house, on train tracks. Thankfully we had just enough inertia to roll to the side of the road, after the tracks, and annoy drivers/traffic for about 20 minutes until the tow truck could come. We had to call a tow truck because we couldn’t push it up the hill.

We were able to borrow Jamie’s mom’s car, it made a weird noise, and died in our driveway. Come to find out, the battery was 2 years overdue for a change. We walked to AutoZone, with the battery, and were stopped and given a ride by some really awesome people. Battery was completely dead, we bought the cheapest battery we could, and trekked back (and a guy insisted on taking us the rest of the way, it was super awesome). Replace the battery, it runs for a day, and dies again in the driveway (thankfully). Alternator’s dead, battery’s dead. The windows are half-rolled down and the next day it rains, of course (but! I was able to figure out a way so that none of the electrical stuff got ruined)

Jamie ends up having to ride the bus to work a couple of times and get rides home from his mom before his dad brings his step-sister’s car down so he can use it. The car works and we’re back in action. Woo!

Until last week.

Jamie left for work, in the step-sister’s car, and an hour later, I hear this loud thump-thump-thump on the back door. It’s Jamie. The car has died on the way to work, thankfully he was able to pull into a parking lot and the guy who owned the shop he pulled into helped him troubleshoot the car. It might be the pump, we’re not sure. So he walked home, started the Kia and the Kia worked. Woohoo. He had called work to say he was running late because of car troubles and gets to work an hour after he was supposed to be there.

When he gets off, he decides to not go on the interstate, but by the truck route. 30 minutes after he’s gotten off, I expect him to walk in the door any minute. 45 minutes, I figure he’s run into some traffic. An hour later and I’m wondering where the hell he’s at.

His phone had died and turned into a paperweight, so he had mine. My phone didn’t have any service on it because I had to wait a few days for payday to be able to buy a service card and the only way we could talk to each other was through wifi on the phone and FB messenger. Two hours later, he stomps into the house, saying he can’t stay and he’s only here for a change of clothes, toothbrush, and deodorant. He’s going to be staying at his mom’s place so he could get to work in a few short hours.

Jamie continues to tell me that the Kia died on the truck route and is in an abandoned parking lot. He had to walk from there to his mom’s house and he was pissed.

The next day, he gets a ride home from his mom and I’m texting our friend T to see when she gets off work and if she can run us to the step-sister’s car and put gas in it because I think it’s out of gas (the guage is messed up so it’s probable). She agrees and soon we find our way to the lot. Jamie puts gas in the car, it turns on, and we go to Sheetz (closest gas station). T and I are talking about various things and Jamie asks her to drive behind him just in case the car dies, she agrees.

We get the car to the house and she goes home. The next morning, we decide to do much-needed grocery shopping and the car works. We get up to the store, shop, put everything in the car and…it won’t start. Jamie’s frustrated, I’m frustrated, and I call a cab to go home. We got the non-huge items back into the buggie (all the meat/cold stuff and everything that wasn’t cat/dog food, toiletries, flour, and fabric softener).

We get home. Stuff happens.

The next day, Jamie wants me to ride the bus to work with him and I do. We’re standing at the stop and a guy slams on his breaks and waves to us to cross. I’m scrolling through my phone-turned-mp3-player (it’s an old Verizon phone) and Jamie’s texting a friend of ours on my phone. The guy behind the car goes around him and the car tries to hit him and then starts screaming obscenities at the truck, screaming that he was trying to be nice and whatnot.

We get to the stop we need and go off shopping for a handful of things that I can shove into my backpack and a canvas bag so I can ride the bus back home. Jamie finds a phone he can use and he goes off to work while I finish shopping. stuff happened.

A few short days later, Jamie had the day off so we got a cab ride to the Honda place on Peters Creek. We weren’t able to get a car there, so we started walking up the street to the First Team. We ran into our buddy Matt, which is fucking awesome and a random occurence. He offered us a ride for the rest of the way, because he was waiting for his testing time to start, and telling us that he’s being shipped to South Korea at the beginning of the year. He dropped us off and we agreed to have dinner with him one night before he leaves and goes to the next base he’s been assigned to for a few months.

We end up not being able to get a car at the First Team place. I call a cab to pick us up and have been told it’ll be 35-45 minutes. We go across the street, where I asked them to pick us up at, to wait, and waited an hour and a half. No one showed up. We walked across the next street to the Kroger so I could use the restroom and we could get some bottled water. Jamie’s super irritated by now, but he’s found a small used car place about a 10-minute away from where we were.

He calls a cab (a different company) to come pick us up and we wait outside. Cab picks us up and the driver is like “are you sure it’s up here?” and 2 minutes later, there it was. He dropped us off and Jamie is determined to get a car, saying we are not leaving until he gets a car.

We walk around the dusty lot (it’s this little lot in Botetourt that’s all gravel, of course it’s going to be a little dusty) and Jamie finds the two cars he saw on the website. We go to talk with the guy and he tells us that the first choice, a little ’95 jeep, is not for sale because there’s something wrong with the engine. Ok, that’s cool.

He gives the keys to the little Nissan that Jamie saw and just says if Jamie’s interested in driving it, just drive it up to the door. I gave the guy Jamie’s license so he could make a copy of it and soon Jamie comes walking in. The power seating is dead in the little Nissan and Jamie can’t reach the steering wheel.

The guy tells us that there’s nothing he can do about that and to walk around again and see if there’s anything else we’re interested in.

Eventually, we found 3 more potential cars and come back to the guy. Jamie’s first choice is the keys that the guy hands us, so we walked to the car and Jamie sets the alarm off. (of course the one car that isn’t locked that we’ve looked at has an alarm on it). He gets the car unlocked and can’t get the alarm to stop for a few long seconds (it felt like 5 minutes but was probably 30 seconds). We get in, drive up to the door, and Jamie’s like fuck it, I’m getting this car.

He fills out the paperwork, calls the bank to approve the amount, and we drive home with the car. The next morning, we go up to his dad’s house and his dad checks out the car, admiring the honesty of the guy who sold us the car and the fact that they didn’t try to hide anything. There’s a patch of rust on one of the back doors, little aesthetic things that can easily be fixed. But, it’s a good car and so far has worked.

After we got back into town (it survived the trip of Roanoke to Dublin and back, a huge plus), we went to the store where his step-sister’s car is and got everything out of the car that we needed and got home. Jamie’s dad thinks that it’s a pressure thing going on with one of the caps in the car and that’s probably why it’s acting up. He said he’ll be able to look into it when he recovers from feeling like shit from being sick.

This was September.

small victory

Bear Hat finished! Woohoo

A post shared by Amanda Lovecraft (@alovecraft) on

As you can see, I finished Jamie’s Bear Hat. I like how it came out and I know he’ll wear it when it starts to get colder than it is now (because cold rain at upper-50s is still “too hot”)

So yay, at least one thing done.

I’m 36 rows into the latest shawl (which means I’ve got 264 more rows to go. boo), so I’m hoping I can get a bit more of it done today. I don’t expect to get a whole lot of rows in, but one or two would be nice.

The 2017 Inktober Prompt List showed up in my tumblr feed last night, so I wrote down the prompts so I can start working on some ideas. So far, I’ve jotted down ideas for 19 of the 31 prompts. The downside is, they’re not in order. They’re just the ideas that have come around while I look at the words. I’m still hoping to use them as part of the comic stuff, but as a “hey, here’s a not-so-clean ink sketch of an idea I had” because I’m not taking this thing seriously.

I’ve added a handful of words to the story I’m working on and…ugh. I just want it to be over so I can work on something else for a little while. I’m near the end, so stopping and working on a different idea just makes me think that I’ll leave it and never come back to it.

Groovin’ along

I’ve gotten 590 words in today so far. Woo, go me.

omg I want to be done with this story. I am at 6983 words. I am ready for my last-minute throw-in character to be eradicated and another character pulled away at the last minute, but dude. I’m stuck 10.5 ft away from salvation. A page and a half is what I’ve gotten done through and my narrator has made one large step to freedom. Now they’re approximately 8 ft from the doorway and I’m at the point where I can’t tell if I’m just being a wordy bastard or what.

I’m hoping that soon I’ll be done with the first draft. I asked Jamie if he’d skim through it to see if at least it flows well enough before I go and work on edits for it because I like the idea for this story (but omg why is this part taking so long).

An old idea I had years ago is poking my brain with “what happens next” so hopefully I’ll finish this one and go piddle around with that one.

I talked with Jamie about doing Inktober this year and he thought it was a cool idea. I thought it’d be a fun idea since I’m finally working through the comic and posting it on tumblr. I figured I could do a sketch, take a pic with my phone, and post it to the tumblr blog and probably even instagram and see what happens. Never know.

I found some con panels that talk about how to pitch to an agent and how to send query letters. I’m using them as background noise while I write and not really paying all that much attention to what they’re talking about. A few things pop up every once in a while and it’s pretty funny.

On the other side of the creative spectrum, I have made it through a grand total of 4 rows on this damned shawl.

It’s hard to work on the loom with a very determined cat who wants your lap and does not want to move for anything.

I ended up looking at some of my stash earlier this morning and realized I’ve got 3 skeins of this weird rainbowy yarn, that I re-rolled because the skeins were being a pain and I’m kind of a nut anyway, and thought that it’d look fun as a shawl. wtf, manders.