I’m trying

+ I’m trying. Trying to get things done at work. Trying to get things done at home. Trying.

+ Yesterday, I wound up so mentally and physically exhausted that I ended up dozing off on the bus. Not for long periods of time, just a few minutes here and there. But, on the plus side, I didn’t miss my transfer. So yay.

I got home and immediately went to sleep. I got up about 6.30 this morning. I’m still feeling exhausted, but I’m doing things.

+ I’ve decided to go through my scraps of yarn to make shawls. I’m calling them “Scrap Shawls” because, well, that’s what they are and I think they’ll turn out pretty neat.

+ I still need to finish that review for William Dalphin. I’ve been so busy that by the time that I sit down to get on the computer, I just…veg out and read things.

+ I have given the impromptu-commission to the person who will be giving the gift to a friend of theirs. Person is thrilled with how it looks, so woo (and it used up one of my balls of yarn so hell yeah!)

+ I have made my immidate manager, the assistant manager over him, and another assistant manager super thrilled with my work. Manager Happy told me to “keep” my overtime, but speaking with my ASM, I have to kill the extra time. I’m cool with that. The store is cutting everyone’s hours back and I don’t want to get anyone chewed out for me being over (at least I was working while getting the OT instead of standing around and shooting the shit with my coworkers)

+ I wound up having an…issue with someone the other night and went to management about it. Jamie’s pissed, Ajax hasn’t gotten to hear the whole story yet, and Coworker Derp (I love him, but he’s also derpy, like me. he’s a good kid) keeps telling me he’ll back me up if anything happens.

I wound up becoming so mad over the issue that I sobbed while screaming about it (at home and in the car on the way home) to Jamie, who listened and comforted me when I needed it because he is the best Bear ever.

+ I was thinking about a story I wrote in a notebook (that’s somewhere) yesterday and wondered if I’d ever typed it up. While I had the computer searching for part of the title, I hit up Twitter and Vincent V Cava (his stories are awesome) was like “hey, if you’re interested in having a story published, go to this website.” and I’m like “Dude. What a coincidence.”

Now that the computer has been searching, I have found that I never typed the story up. Which, in a way, is a good thing because that means I can add onto it and take stuff out of it…if I can find the story. I gave a super basic rundown of what it is to Jamie and he just went “What the fuck. That’s goddamn creepy.” so yay. If I can creep one person out with the idea, then I did good.

+ The laundrypocalypse continues, but at least I can see the floor. It is in various piles (one pile for blankets, one pile for towels,  one giant pile for dog stuff, two piles for human laundry). I am terrible at keeping up with laundry. But, we’ve also been doing a lot of extra work for work and being out of the house causes large messes (and we have Carrot. Carrot is why we can’t have nice things)


A list of things (to do)

I’m a little overwhelmed. 2017 knocked on the door last night, so now I’m waiting on a callback to fix it (because, despite repeatedly stating “you have to find the paperwork so I can mail in the information” since middle October still didn’t do anything, we got a nice bright yellow notice saying we’ve been warned that our dogs are not registered. Not. Registered. godsdamnit)

3 of the 4 dogs are now registered and I have to get Bug’s rabies vaccination updated so we can get her registered with the city. I’ve called the number on the paperwork, which leads to a non-emergency number, and am waiting on a callback from the poor sod who got stuck with filing the notice. My plan was to sit, eat, and rest a bit before tricking Bug into the bathroom and giving her a bath so we could call the vet’s office and go and take her to get the shot so we could register her later or tomorrow, but no. Now I’m stuck waiting for someone to call me back and I can’t risk being sudsy from the elbows down.

So, let’s make a list of things that need to be done, feel free to ignore this, I don’t care. It’s mainly so I’ll be less overwhelmed by the time Jamie gets home.

  • Laundry
    • human
    • dog
    • blankets
    • gather any other laundry in the house
  • Dishes
    • search house for dishes
    • dog bowls
    • cat bowls
    • Uggs’ dishes
  • cat boxes
    • all 3 need to be cleaned completely
  • bring trash and recycle bins into the back yard for easier access
    • take out any trash/recycling accumulated
  • rip down that stuff between the privacy fence and tiny fence
  • continue jury-riggin’ the fence
  • the usual sweep, mop, etc
  • search craft room for anything else that might have been damaged by cats
  • clean office and craft room
  • change out dog bedding
    • see how badly destroyed Hobbes’ pillow is
  • make grocery list
    • cat litter needs to be added
    • and dog treats because I think we’re out
  • keep an eye out for phone-turned-mp3-player as it’s still missing
  • work on review for William Dalphin’s book
  • peck away at story ideas
    • work on editing that one story so it’s more believable
  • look up that artist that was mentioned to me the other night (Elijah Cortez), as I haven’t had a chance to do it yet
  • clean off the desk
  • Bathe Bug, get her up-to-date on vaccine, and re-registered with the City
  • work on knitting (I’m down like 4 little yarn balls while working on this one shawl. I am excited)
  • find recipe for Danish Wedding Cookies (as we promised them to someone as payment)
    • mini chocolate chips are going to be needed
  • look into how much it’s going to cost to get a replacement spare tire (ours is dry rotted. surprise!) and get fix-a-flat because we’ve got a screw in one of the tires (oh joy)

And…I don’t know what else. I’m a little less overwhelmed right now, now that I’ve written this all down. But it’s still kind of there. Last year was…survivable but really stressful. While we’re trying to fix everything that accumulated from last year, it’s still setting stuff back.

I’m becoming resigned to my fate of just having to throw almost everything out of the craft room and just…restarting from scratch. As someone who hoards things, this hurts physically and emotionally, but it’s also helping me realize that I can’t have such an attachment to things. I’ve gotten a lot better about it since Jamie and I moved in together, but it’s still not as easy as it should be. It hurts to have to throw out sketches, notes, etc, but it’s more of a “godsdamnit, those were notes for a story/comic” and not “I was going o use that to make something and I bought them 4 years ago and haven’t touched it since” kind of hurt.

Well, I’ve sat here long enough. Even though I can’t bathe the dog just yet, I can get a fresh load of laundry started, take the dogs out, and whatnot while I wait on that phone call.

trying to find the funny side

Yesterday was a day of pent up anger and irritation at stuff that’s been happening in my department. I wound up getting a breif talking-to by my ASM about it (not the “you’re in trouble” kind of talk but the “I have a business to run and you all are acting like kindergartners and I’m tired of it” kind of talk). The plus side is, I’m not in trouble. He knows I rarely complain to upper management unless something that I or another person couldn’t handle (and now it’s unless my department manager can’t work around/through).

Manager Creep went from trying to troll me about never having seen me smile (a lie) to trying to fuck with my head by having a little plastic babydoll leg/foot taped to his badge and swearing that nothing was there. And my department was one irritating mess after another.


I was handed cake (woohoo, free cake!) by a manager asking if I want cake. (if you stick it two inches from my face, yes I will take it). I got a kick out of my buddy M talking about how the PC version of Ark glitches and he got eaten by a gigarex.

Grossed out coworker C by grabbing the part of the drain that comes out with my bare hands (because I’d already taken my gloves off after picking up liquified black goo and telling her it was like cleaning up after Bug when she has a bad accident. she gagged). I texted Jamie and went “I smell like a sewer.” He told me I don’t, and I told him “yeah, I really do.” because I had to get on my knees, in dirty ass water, to pick up the drain peice that comes out so I wound up covered in nasty shit from the knees down.

I bought a bit of fabric and wound up looking like I’d punted a fluffy pink bird because apparently it had started shedding on me as I was walking to a register. I found it hilarious. And, I got to see my buddy D (a former coworker from a previous job) and that was awesome. I wound up making a department manager near her snort-laugh because I’d said something kind of terrible and he wasn’t expecting it.

Right now it seems as though part of work is pushing me to just continue to be a stressed-out, angry little turtle and I need to remember to remember the funny shit that happens so I’ll stop dwelling on the not-good parts of the day.

This morning, Jamie got up and caught Mewkis and Carrot in the pantry knocking stuff into the floor so Bug and Hobbes could eat it. There goes the candy Jamie’s dad got us. Crazy cats. I’ve also learned that not only can Hobbes open the microwave, but he’s started to learn how to open the oven door. He’s not supposed to be that smart, but I guess because he’s an old man he’s decided he can do what he wants.

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.