screaming into the void

I feel that I’ve been screaming into the void and the only response I get is silence. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but it is kind of disappointing.

+ Knit hat for coworker has been in my bag for like 2 weeks and I haven’t seen him, so it’s like I’m just carrying around this lemon-yellow thing for no reason.

+ Working on another shawl and this one feels like it’ll never be completed. I’m at the halfway point, trying for a larger shawl, so I’m really not surprised that it seems to be taking forever. The more I go on, the more I realize I have so much green yarn.

+ A narrator/voice actor that I love (and follow on various platforms) sent out a call to authors for stories for him to narrate. He’d requested more sci-fi (because he mainly does horror), and I’ve been tempted to double check the word count on a story or two that I’ve finished and send one on to see what happens. Because, really, why not? The most that’ll happen is I’ll get told he can’t do it or whatever.

+ Still need a title for the Heironimus story. I mean, I could leave it called as such. I think it’d be really awesome to send it somewhere, but it’s a little past the normal 7500-word limit.

+ Started working on a fresh story and I keep having to make notes to myself within the story to look up what certain things are called or look up what the correct part for an item is. So far, I’ve mostly got descriptions of things. I texted Jamie about it, saying that I felt a bit like M R James and I’m trying to keep that in mind while I work on the idea. I have a vague idea of where I want it to go and how to end it, but that’s far on down the line.

+ I’ve got bits and bobs of stories pecked at on the computer that I need to work on, but my notes for a couple of them have disappeared so hell if I know what I was doing besides half-thought notions of “what if” and “I wonder.”

+ I’d say I’d be working on stories and such tomorrow, but tomorrow is a day for housework and seeing if the weather is decent enough for me to go outside and start cleaning up around my roses and working on encouraging them to grow. I think two of them straight gave up after last year’s well-intended flower bed clearing by other people (who mowed them down). Maybe I’ll plant a pumpkin seed and see if I can get some nice leafy growths to help maintain some cover and maybe get another Surprise!Pumpkin out of it.

But now, it’s time to wake Jamie up and let the dogs out so they can get some of their crazy out of them.




Got 3 loads of dog laundry done (yay!), so this means I’m almost done. Threw a load of human laundry in the washer so I can start it tomorrow. Dogs and cats have been fed and taken care of. Dog room has been cleaned; craft room has been swept, mopped, etc. Found a dog obedience graduation paper, a new skein of yarn, and a toy covered in pee. sigh. The cat boxes are clean, shower has been taken.

I feel like I haven’t done much of anything, but the house looks better than it has in a few days, and Jamie was able to cook a few things for dinner and work. I still have bouts of dizziness, but I’m feeling better than I have in over a week.

I had to throw away my lunch box, so we’ll have to look for a new one. I’m not worried about it. I’ll get a new one eventually (just like I’ll get a new pair of shoes eventually, we’ll get the fence fixed eventually, etc)

I opened up a Word document, intending to peck away at it or edit it a little bit. I wound up doing paragraph indents because Word made everything look like a 19-page paragraph.

I don’t know if I’m going to just post it up somewhere and share the link, get someone to read over it and help me find where it sounds wonky, or try to submit it somewhere. Everywhere I’ve been looking into submissions has a limit of 7500 words, but this is 7765.

So, it’s a short novelette. And I have no idea what to do with it.

to-do is a sad case of ta-dah

Sitting down to take a “small” break and charge my phone, so I can continue cleaning and singing loudly and off-key. I realized earlier this morning that I think I know why I sing the way I do–it’s because I grew up listening to Aerosmith and the like and being encouraged to sing along in the car. Oh well. I’m not going to win any awards and I sing for my own sheer amusement (and to weird out the dogs).

So, I’ve got a few things to do today…

  • clean kitchen
    • mop
    • dishes
    • figure out what Jamie wants to cook
  • mop hallway (cuz rain makes muddy paws and there’s mud all over the floor)
  • sweep/mop livingroom (again)
  • clean dog room (again)
    • I swear, I did the living room and the dog room 2 days ago
  • dog laundry
    • thankfully it’s not as much as it was last week
  • human laundry
    • work stuff
    • blankets
    • towels. so many towels
  • desk
    • clean off and around the desk
    • I can kind of see the surface!
    • put the yellow and purple yarn up
  • clean backpack
    • tossed lunch box (apparently an apple exploded in there)
    • re-arrange backpack
  • pick up trash
    • this is an ongoing issue with cats and dogs who like to knock over trash bins
    • take things to outside trash and recycle bins
  • shower
    • (yes, I have to remind myself to shower)
    • wash hair (I do this once a week because my scalp hates me, but it does better with a once-a-week cleaning. and I got a new shampoo to try!)
  • bathe dogs
    • bathe Bug, specifically.
    • Firefly needs her medicated bath, the Frito smell is more pungent than normal
  • Clean craft room
    • cat boxes
    • sweep, mop
    • toss anything that Carrot has destroyed
      • he may be a little shit for the most part, but he’s helping my hoarding tendencies.
      • little bastard broke my Princess House dolphin. that thing survived 20+ years! With me! only to be broken by a little shit of a cat

I’d add

  • pull grasses from around rose vine
    • because they’re dead and I’m seeing growth on my rose vine
    • and I love my poor rose vine
  • make notes for flower beds in front of house to fix, clean up, de-grass, mulch, etc
  • cut grass/elderberry from between fences (our fence and our property line fence that’s like 1.5 ft tall)

But, it’s raining. Again. And I was hoping to have decent enough weather to go out and work on it. Especially where the elderberry and unknown-vine stuff is because after a while wall crabs start to inhabit the area and I can’t get back there. Jamie can’t go back there because of the poison ivy (we kill it, it comes back. our neighbor kills it, it comes back. I think it’s because our neighbors across the street encourage it to grow around their front porch). And yeah. Neuroses, phobia, and allergies are a killer combination when trying to do yard upkeep.

And, it feels like no matter what I’m doing, I’m never going to finish. The dogs and cats are put up so I can go up and down the basement steps without having to worry about someone going through the messed up window (which we can’t fully repair until it gets warm enough for me to clean the dead leaves out of the sill and to epoxy up so we can hammer a wooden board across because I don’t know how to seamlessly board it up). Dog laundry is being ran, dishes are being found and put on the counter so they can be washed (including my stash of utensils from my backpack due to the exploded apple). The living room needs a basic sweep/mop, but I’ll do that when the kitchen is swept/mopped. Human laundry has been thrown into a tote to be taken downstairs, my desk looks better (almost as though Jamie’s cleaned it! haha), and I’m sure I’ll find socks or dishes in various parts of the house that need to be cleaned.

The cats have been fed, the dogs will be fed soon. Dogs will probably be bathed on a day when Jamie and I are off at the same time (or I have enough clean towels)

And, my phone is back to 100%, so this means I can continue the dorkiness of singing loudly off-key and cleaning

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)

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.

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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.