wednes: (Santa?)
So, we had Xmas. It was also H's birthday on the 20th. This means that at the Webster-Friday abode, there was much materialism, indulgence, and slothery. Why slothery? Because I made a commitment to watch #Arrow in its entirety, and I'm now about half-way through season three. Lots of shenanigans to be called on that show--but it's still a fun watch. Apparently it takes a mere 5 years and a death in your family to become a world-class assassin. Unless you're a girl, or a poor kid, then it takes even less time than that. Some things never change though, by which I mean John Barrowman is hot as fuck, and Ra's Al Ghul can kiss my ass (not literally of course).

Anyway...
For H's birthday, I got him a super cool book about the Whovian universe.
Plus a T-shirt with the Planet Express logo on it.
Plus some high end super spicy corn chips from Paqui. I wanted to get him the One Chip Challenge, but they were out of them for the season.
I made H's favorite cake, which is Frangipan (a buttery white cake made with marzipan). He loves it, but it's expensive and massively unhealthy so he only gets it once a year.

For Christmas, we made our usual holiday lip balms.
Coconut lime, because that's everyone's fave--including mine.
Cherry cordial (which is chocolate, cherry, hazelnut, and almond flavors)
Cinnamon Bun (cinnamon and vanilla). This was a new flavor and I didn't love it. But always nice to have something different. Think I might bring back the chocolate orange next year. That was good stuff.

H and I didn't give many gifts outside the family. We got H's sister a set of knee braces that she wanted, because she's been working super hard to be healthy. She has more discipline than anyone I know, seriously. My brother is getting a batch of Aztec brownies, because he loves them.

H's stocking was filled with a 2-pack of Reece's cups that weighs a pound. Yes, that means he got TWO half-pound Reece cups, which is the very definition of holiday indulgence. He also got a small jar of Jif cookies and creme with hazelnut spread. It's like a swirl of cookies n creme filling with nutella. He loves it, but it's not to my taste. He got an assortment of hot sauces and a huge vinyl decal that is the Crack in the Wall from Doctor Who, plus some jalapeno cashews.

Gift wise, he got a Blu-Ray of #Interstellar, which he loves and I have not seen. Plus a TARDIS pillow since he loves to lie on the couch with pillows. And finally, I got him an Attack on Titan hoodie, that even comes with a cape. He loves it. So that was great. I was pretty stoked to be able to afford it, since when I first saw it it was $75.

H got me a fancy assortment of foodie food. This included 2 types of Zingerman's bacon (1/4 pound each), some nice bread, fresh mozzarella, a tiny box of palmier cookies, and a fancy lemonade. H's mom got me the study bible I've been wanting, and H's sister got me a White Walker fig from Pop Funko. Speaking of Funkos, H got me a Weeping Angel, which is awesome.

H got me the Master's pocket watch from Doctor Who--which is pretty cool and which I have also wanted for a long time. Plus a DVD of Pink Floyd The Wall, which I hope to hang onto by not letting anyone borrow it.

We got a sweet box of cookies from Bre and the kids, and some assorted sweets and cards from family. The Overstreets gave us the Pop-Up Game of Thrones map, which is badass, the 3rd Walking Dead Compendium, and the Hannibal Lector cookbook. The Lector cookbook is pretty amazing, as it's written by the food stylist for the Hannibal show and has tons of cool pics and trivia. Not sure I'll be making those recipes since they require crazy ingredients like calves head, lungs, or of course, Gillian Anderson's left leg. Bahahahahhaa. So yeah, we got gifted up good.
wednes: (Go Crazy?)
H and I decided to get Amazon's Subscribe and Save service for groceries we use often, stuff that's bulky to carry, and stuff that's cheaper or offers more variety than we get at our regular grocery store.

Our first box arrived with a 12-pack of canned ravioli on top of a smashed 30 ct box of 1oz bags of chips. Here's video evidence:


Contacted Amazon and they refunded the whole thing. No need to ship it back, they said. So that was cool. It was only $8 and some cents. But here's the thing--they raised the price on the chips without saying anything--by $4 a month. I thought that sucked, but whatevs. So after two deliveries I'd have paid for all those broken chips anyway. But hey, prices change. Subscribe and Save is probably still okay, right?

I was checking on my items for this month, mainly because the ravioli I got is ghastlier than a thousand ghouls. Accidentally ordered italian sausage rav instead of beef. Ew. Totally my fault though, so no big whoop. I can donate them to a food bank.

But I looked at the box of Fruit Leather I ordered. I planned to get a box two months in a row, and then every other month after that. Plenty fruit leather, right? Except the price was missing on the list. Odd, all the other items had prices listed.
Turns out--the price on the new shipment WENT UP TEN DOLLARS IN A SINGLE MONTH. So not only did they jack up the price by like, 65%, they went out of their way to hide that from me. The difference between $14 and change and $25 and change is significant to people who are actively trying to save money.

Listen, I get that Amazon is a business, and that businesses exist to turn a profit. But dammit, ripping off loyal customers is not remotely the way to do that.

It's bad enough that they charge for Prime while offering fewer perks every year--and then charge more for items that have "free" Prime delivery. I can live with that. Then they offer you a dollar digital credit if you choose standard shipping instead of 2-day. But there's no way to know how much credit you have before you buy a book, song, or movie.
Not only that--but a lot of the digital content you "buy" is really just permission to stream the shows from the website. No downloading allowed. Come on--that's just bullshit. And that's without the Subscribe and Save shenanigans.

It has since become obvious to me that Amazon's Subscribe and Save service is designed to lure you in with low prices, then hope you don't notice when they charge more every month. If it's an introductory price--just say so. We all have cable TV and know how that hoosefudge works. Gotta talk to H about it tonight, but chances are--our use of Amazon Subscribe and Save is going way, way down. Like cat pads only.

I'm sad about it too, Amazon's fuckery makes me look like an idiot since I defend them always--even in the face of other authors who say Amazon doesn't record all of their sales. Seriously Amazon, you done messed up.
wednes: (Wizard or the Skull)
Disclaimer: Medical pot is legal in my state. Even if one doesn't have a medmar card, getting caught with pot in my town is like a traffic ticket. If the laws are different in your town, for fuck's sake, don't smoke any pot. This post is not meant as a substitute for medical or legal advice. Drugs are bad, mmmkay?

As many of you know, I switched to vaping a few years ago. After about 2 months, I lost my perpetual pot cough and my vocal range returned to just about where it was when I was in college. That was awesome. I also tend to go through less herb, and H says smooching me is hardly like licking an ashtray at all. So that's nice too. ;-)

I've been using the Magic Flight Launch Box. I'm a fan. They're pretty inexpensive, and they come with a lifetime replacement warranty. I end up getting a new one about every year since they just kind of wear out. The screens rip after a while, or a flaw in the wood gets bigger, stuff like that. The customer service at MFLB is outstanding, I've literally never had a problem. I also bought the AC adapter, which also has lifetime replacement and am on my 3rd one. Always awesome, they are.
But you know, I work from home now and have a rather robust vaping schedule. If I'm not working or asleep or on my way out, I like to be at least a little high. The MFLB seems to be more for casual partakers. Apparently, I'm partaking at expert or advanced level. An aficionado if you will. I needed something better, but didn't remotely have the scratch to spend on a volcano.

So a year or so ago, I did a bit of research and saw that Snoop Dogg (AKA Snoop Lion, AKA The Guy I'd Love to Toke With) endorses a line of vapes with a company called Grenco. They had these amazingly inexpensive dealies, and offered a discount for my first order. Why the hell not, right?

I got a couple of these, called the G Slim Vape Pen. I got one for daubs, and one for "ground material." I do enjoy that ground material, you know. Apparently the part called a "tank" goes bad after a couple months, so you have to keep replacing them. They cost half as much as the entire pen. Ditto the bottom (the part that isn't the tank) because that's the battery. If I stuck with those vape pens, I'd be basically buying a few each year. Lame, but not bad if they worked well. Their tagline should totally be, "Fuck it, they're cheap."

Whelp, I couldn't get either device to vape properly. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. It combusted no matter how hard the draw, how little heat I applied. Combustion. Every time. I had that problem with the launch box, but with practice I got better. That was not the case with these. Did Snoop Dogg steer me wrong? No...that couldn't be.

I contacted Grenco Science. I explained the problem I was having with the vape pens and how vaping isn't supposed to taste like eating lunch out of a used fireplace. See, if you stop smoking and only vape, smoke tastes super rank to you within a short amount of time. I hate smoking now, even joints. Gross...I imagine the way a non-smokers feels about cigs. Besides, if I wanted to combust, all I'd need is a bic. The Grenco rep I talked to basically said yes, the vape pens always combust.

I said, "Well, then they aren't really vape pens, are they?" No, they aren't. But that doesn't stop Grenco from putting Snoop Dogg's name on them and selling them as such.
The rep explained that I'd need to spend at least $90 to get one that wouldn't combust on me--which is two models more expensive than the ones I bought (which I got a few of, since I thought it was my fault they didn't work right).
They assured me that this other unit would be fine. No parts that need to be replaced (except screens, such is life). No combusting. Snoop Dogg endorsed.
Note: Yeah, I'm a grown-ass woman who shouldn't be motivated to purchase something because a famous person put their name on it. But dammit, this isn't some greedy loon. Snoop Dogg isn't an asshole or a fake, so why would he put his name on a sub-par product? If I ever meet him, I'll ask him. The vape also came with a Snoop Dogg album called "Bush." It's a good listen.

Having used this product for a few months, let me say a few things:
--It doesn't combust. So that's great!
--The setup is such that the screen clogs with each draw. Bad.
--It takes over 3 hours to charge, which gives about an hour of use. Bad.
--You can't use it while it's charging. Bad.
--It takes 1.5-3 minutes to heat up all the way, depending on the battery. Bad.
But all that is just luck of the draw, right? After all, it retails for less than $100.

Then after two months, the goddamn mouthpiece (made of cheap plastic) cracked in two places. I wasn't even touching it. It was just hot. But...they told me this wouldn't need extra parts, I worried. What if they didn't sell the part separately? Well, they DO sell the part separately. Because see, they know it's a cheap plastic part that would need to be replaced often. Yet they told me to my face (well, a chat window) that I wouldn't need to keep replacing parts.

To add insult to injury, the goddamn part--which you can't use the fucking thing without--was out of stock. So again, they know that this is a problem, and advised me to buy it anyway. The whole point of talking to customer service first is to find out things the website doesn't say. This was the opposite of customer service--and I've worked in sales and customer service for over 20 years. I can't imagine lying that boldly to a customer about what they should purchase. Seriously, I hope the commission was worth it.

I explained all of this to *another* rep, who didn't appear to give half a fuck about all the money I'd spent with them to STILL not have a working vape. In fact, I was informed that their BEST vape (which costs roughly twice what the last one did) doesn't have any of those problems. Had anyone bothered to tell me that in the beginning, I wouldn't have spent so damn much money on vapes that don't vape and parts that don't last. I would have just bought the good one--that I now cannot afford.

So yeah, I are sad.
Grenco Science can kiss my ass.
Snoop Dogg, we're still cool.
I gotta say though, maybe put some more thought in where you let people put your name. They're making you look like someone who doesn't take weed seriously.

The Cameo

Apr. 1st, 2016 05:54 am
wednes: (Wizard or the Skull)
A year or so ago, I bought myself a cameo necklace from Etsy. It was one of those super cheap dealies where the item ships from somewhere in Asia and takes 6 weeks to arrive.

It wasn't a face cameo, it was of a human heart. Lots of veins, plus those giant arteries that lead out of it on top. It was awesome. But see, when it arrived, the heart was upside down.

Bummed, I wrote to the seller to explain and ask for an exchange for one that was assembled correctly. But the language barrier was insurmountable, and I decided it wasn't that big a deal. I tossed it in a drawer and didn't think about it.

Last week, I was cleaning out said drawer and found the cameo. At that moment, I was suddenly very taken with the upside down heart. For the rest of the afternoon I tried to come up with some reason why it would be appropriate to have an upside-down cameo of a human heart.

I didn't think of a reason.
Ultimately, I decided that simply liking it that way was enough.
The proper term for that is, I think: Wabi Sabi.
wednes: (Eclipse)
Weather wise, in-between seasons are my most hated times of year. It's hot in here, 76 degrees in fact--with the door wall slightly open (we can't open it a lot, because JoJo goes through screens like I go through Nature Valley cashew bars). I turned the fan on (the one that connects through the heat/air) and it's still 76 friggin degrees in here. Plus it's humid. I loathe humidity.

I ordered us a fan from Amazon. Amazon Prime used to offer overnight shipping for $5 more. Now it's $7 more. Not only that, but Saturday used to count as a business day. But today, I ordered a fan and with two-day shipping, I won't have it until Tuesday. Still, it's cheaper than getting a cab to the store and back. That would actually cost more than the fan itself.

So, whine whine, complain complain...because my brain refuses to function when it's this hot.
wednes: (Eclipse)
As you know, my fiction writing has been minimal since I started writing for a living. Not that I would change anything, but I feel decidedly unmotivated after a few hours of work-writing, to sit and write any fiction. But that's lame. That's stupid. And I need to do better.

Still, I'm in a new anthology that you can (and totally should) buy Right Now! It's called "Not Your Average Monster" and contains stories by plenty of up and comers. For only $2.99 it's an utter steal.

My story, "Raja" is one I've written years ago and that can also be found in audiobook form as a podcast. That's got a pretty excellent cast and some great music too.

In other news, being a book producer is a pretty cool gig--or would be if it weren't for needy clients. It's allowing me to do cool things and buy cool stuff. With that in mind, I invested in a fake Pandora bracelet and some fake beads. Obviously, the Pandora bracelet thing is a huge scam where you pay $40-$120 for a plain bracelet and between $20-$300 for each friggin' charm and bead. I got the bracelet for $8 and a slew of beads and charms that totaled about $35. Some from Amazon, some from etsy. Will post a pic when I get it put together. Yeah, I'm a chick. You wanna fight about it?

We finally went to Secretary of State to renew my "driver's" license. You should all be frightened by how easy it was for me to convince the state that I'm cool to drive. An eye test that literally took 15 seconds. No driving test (I took one of those in high school, then never again), not even a written test. They asked me if I had any blackouts or memory lapses, and took my word for it. Really?
I mean, really?

Loot

Dec. 25th, 2015 12:25 pm
wednes: (Santa?)
I gave H a Kindle Fire for Christmas. Its low price allowed this to be the first time in 15 years together that I've bought H any electronics. However, I didn't keep the secret very well. Five minutes after he opened it he went into his office and returned with a case.
Me: "Oh, it came with a case? That's awesome, I didn't realize..."
Him: "No, it didn't."
Me: "But that's a case right there."
Him: "I know. I wanted to make sure it was protected."
Me: ...

I also gave H a ton of candy from the vintage candy store. Funny, because the candy is new and old all at once. Most of it is either sour or hot. He also got an Agents of SHIELD pin, which is awesome, and a Matchbox batmobile, because I was in a mood to buy people batmobiles this year. No reason.
JoJo got a new cat bed that's shaped like a shark, and a heating pad for the inside. Pentelope is too cranky to celebrate Xmas, but she did get some tuna treats that look like tiny steaks.

What did *I* get?
Well, first H and I both got a new vacuum. It's a Dirt Devil that promises to stand up to the hair-nanza that is our cats.
H's mom got us a humidifier, which I'm pretty sure is a passive-aggressive gift. After not acknowledging my birthday last month, she got us something she knew I would hate. I told her at our wedding (before she walked out in a huff before the ceremony) how much I hate humidity. Ah well...

H got me some movies:
Deep Red (Profundo Rosso)--a fave of mine that I lost years ago in a tragic loaning mishap.
Jane Eyre (the one with Mia W. And Michael Fassbender). My 3rd version of Jane Eyre on DVD. Sweet!
The Strangler (starring the great Victor Buono)

He also got me some fancy food:
Salt and Vinegar kettle chips
old fashioned shortbreads from Zingerman's
Zingerman's "magic" brownie (but not 420-magic)
marcona almonds (hilarious, because of the Specific Store on Family Guy)
And a deck of Harry Potter playing cards (or minor arcana tarot, if you prefer).

I'm told that one of my gifts will be late. Not sure what's up with that.
We also got an impressive haul of cards, but no cookies.
That's right, not a single person sent us homemade holiday cookies, and I didn't bake any. Oops. And here my doctor has been begging me to work more cookies into my diet. Not.

Okay, time to make pancakes and sausages.
wednes: (Handfasting)
H's birthday is more fun for me than my birthday.
For my birthday, I throw a party. I clean everything and cook a bunch of food and stress out about invites and reminders and every silly detail. Then the party happens and it's somewhere between fine and awesome, and then it's over.

For H's birthday, we don't really have people over. He's even less fond of other people than I am. So I cook him a nice meal, get him some cool pressies, and do all the other *ahem* stuff a good wife does. ;-)

This year, he was taken to see Star Wars, which he loved. His mom sent him the very grown-up gift of a humidifier with some kind of whiff that goes in it. Ryan got him a combination birthday/Xmas gift. Since it's not Christmas yet, H has decided to wait to open it. Where he gets his self control, I do not know. Hope it's not a puppy, because he'll be mighty hungry by Friday. LOL

I got H the following:
An assortment of classic, hot, and sour candy.
He loves that shit.
A replica of the Lawkeeper badge from Defiance.
A book called "The Science of Doctor Who" which is cooler than most similar sounding books. Not really an examination of what they got right or wrong. Rather, it's about how actual RL science could give us the kind of events seen on the show.
Coooooool.
I also got him a graphic novel version of the teleplay "City on the Edge of Forever," which is from Star Trek TOS in case you didn't know. Ellison FTW, amirite?

Later, I'll be making H some nachoes, because that's what he wants. Also, some cookies. He likes Alton Brown's puffy cookie recipe with Reece's chips instead of chocolate.

Okay, I'm off to do some child-care, which I'll actually be doing at home.
That means kids movies and Ninento Wii for the bulk of the day. Better than what I had planned, which was SEO articles.
wednes: (Eclipse)
I think I have shingles. I developed a really painful rash on my back. Now it seems to be spreading. I don't know what else that could be. And I have had chicken pox as a kid. Luckily, H has had chicken pox too, which means I can't give it to him.

Thanks, WebMD.

I've been doing work, looking for more work, and watching TV. Kind of a lot of TV. The fall shows are back and the summer shows are drawing to a close. I think the finale of The Strain is on tonight.

Honestly, I don't want to spend time online as much. Don't want to read the news. Can't take all the bullshit commentary and wish Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz would just crawl into a ditch and stay there with their phones off and their mouths closed.

I did come up with a fantastic short story idea recently. Even better, when I reread the idea a few days later, sober, it still sounded good. I love when that happens. After I'm caught up with work for the month, Imma get on that. It's about a piano.

I wish I had a piano. Once I have a house, if I ever have a house, I'm gonna get one. They have them free on Craigslist all the time. I'd just have to pay movers to pick it up and bring it to wherever my house is.

I never realized it before, but the similarities between Tom Baker's Doctor and Peter Capaldi's are many. Many.
wednes: (The Horror Within)
The new site for The Horror Within is almost ready. Now that the foundation has been laid, it's just a matter of adding final graphics and organizing everything the way it needs to be. Then getting all the staff accounts ready. Oh, and I'll need some fiction to share with readers. Sad times, because I can't pay anyone yet. We'll be accepting reprints and actively seeking new authors. Plus I want to have novel chapters and interviews with up and coming writers and artists. That'll be good stuff!

My blood sugar has been kind of high. I was gonna buy an exercise bike, but found out that it's way cheaper to just buy the pedals and use them with a regular chair. I'm not really one for the fitness training. But something about having a sitting down job and sitting down hobbies has made me lazy as hell. So I'll be working on that, now that the pedals have arrived.

Going to the glasses emporium tomorrow to get an exam and new spectacles. I hope they have some I like. Our insurance went from awesome to lame, so the out-of-pocket promises to be hefty. I'll be sure to post a pic.

Having family visits next week, and some in July too. I hate having new people over to my apartment because it's such a filthy shithole. I really need to shampoo the carpets, but that's kind of a major and expensive undertaking. Plus, our vacuum, which we've had less than a year, is already making a terrible smell and not picking anything up. Fie!
wednes: (Wut?  JoJo)
JoJo went to HVHS (the vet) today. It was a relatively painless ordeal for all concerned. He's been licking so much that now the inside of both back legs and the bottom of his belly are both largely bald. But--no scabs, no infection or redness. Just a whole lot of licking for no good reason. Also, tiny patches on the back of his front legs.

I managed to get him in the carrier all by myself. This is kind of a big deal. He howled like the world was ending. We joked that he might actually be turning into a werewolf he was howling so damn loud.

HVHS was super nice and easy to deal with. They loved how beautiful and chill he was. I mean, he was loud and nervous, but with that in mind he was very good. They gave him fancy food and trimmed his nails for the lowest price because he behaved so well.

They think he has contact dermatitis. We need to shampoo our carpet and look into what's different about his litter. They took a skin scraping from him but didn't notice anything unusual. They're gonna call us back later with test results, but his health seems otherwise very good.

He's home now. We could have given him a steroid shot, but decided against it. They were really great at HVHS, and everything was only $77. I gave an extra $20 for donation because it was less than I was expecting, and because they were great. I'm relieved that there's nothing seriously wrong with my little man, but really wish he'd stop all that damn licking.
wednes: (Sow the Seed)
I've mentioned that we get Door to Door Organics delivered every other week. This means we have fresh produce for the week when we don't go to the grocery store. It's pretty awesome. Right now we have peaches and nectarines. Plus we got garlic, a lemon, green beans, capsecums, and beets for roasting, plus some bananas. It's $23 for Door to Door Organics to deliver it to my door. When they show up, they actually knock instead of just leaving it somewhere. And they take the box, cooling packs, and packing materials from the previous week away for recycling. If a piece of produce is ever bad (or like recently, there is a recall) they refund in full if you let them know via Email.

Nature Box v Graze

I wanted to get more snacky stuff around so I'd be less likely to eat chips (my fave) or baking cookies or brownies for snacks. I ordered Graze because it was cheap and seemed to have yummy choices. And they do. The deliveries are easily recognizable, which means I have to watch for it so my neighbors don't steal it. The snacks are varied and pretty tasty. A lot of dried fruit, nuts, and trail mix type stuff. They offer tiny bags of microwave popcorn, but I've never gotten the knack of those. The problem? A box contains four portions, and they are one small single serve for one person.

My sister-in-law hipped me to a special with Nature Box where you could get their $20 box for $10. One Nature Box contains 5 bags of snacks. Each bag is supposed to contain 4-5 servings, but I'd say it's more like 3 for a reasonable person who is actually hungry when they snack. The choices seemed about as good as Graze. They arrived promptly, and the bags were indeed, bigger. The problem? They weren't that great. Everything was salty and heavily flavored, which attempted to mask sub par ingredients. Some of it was downright rank. Chocolate quinoa granola sounds awesome, doesn't it? I assure you it is ghastlier than a thousand ghouls. The good stuff, like dried pineapple, came in a 3oz bag. That's not very much IMO.

I wasn't sure how I wanted to proceed. I wasn't wild about Nature Box, but Graze just wasn't getting the job done. I decided to cancel Nature Box, since there's no reason to pay for something I don't love--remember, later deliveries would have been $20 each. I went back to Graze's website to get one delivery a week, instead of every other week. That's when I saw that Graze is about to start larger delivery boxes much more akin to what Nature box is doing--with their usual higher quality of food.

They haven't started yet, but I'm on the list so they'll tell me once the new boxes are available for order.
wednes: (Milk & Cheese)
Livejournal has taken it upon themselves to supercede my carefully chosen colors and layout and replaced it with some bullshit that looks like Twitter merged with Wordpress then incorporated Facebook's advertising policy. It's hideous, and I honestly don't know if I'll be able to read my feed there with any sort of regularity. God DAMN it's ugly.

While I'm here, congrats to [profile] absinthofheart on the new addition to their family. It will be fun for me to know there's another baby around that I can see for an extremely short time before handing it back to their rightful guardians.

JoJo is still licking himself like mad, and still has bald patches between his legs, and on the backs of his front legs. It upsets me to see it, and upsets me further that there doesn't seem to be anything wrong. It seems like if he had a rash, or (Zod forbid) fleas, that both cats would have them. I plugged in one of those expensive Feliway diffusers. After five weeks though, I'm not seeing an improvement. His demeanor is fine, maybe a little more chill (which I think might be the diffuser). He's eating and eliminating fine, and his nose is chilly and damp. A vet-tech couldn't find anything wrong with him. So I don't know what to do. Fie!
wednes: (Doctor Literally Too Stupid)
Operation New Computer continues.

I went from a 2008 macbook (not a Pro, the student one) to a mac mini with 8g of RAM and a 2.3 quad core processor. The terabyte drive has given me room to download Homicide: Life on the Street in its entirety. I also have a 24" monitor, up from a 13". So that's all very nice.

Was really bummed to see that Mavericks has done away with my beloved Spaces, and replaced it with some homely crap called Command Center. It sucks. H found me a Spaces emulator program that only costs $20. I'm loving the trial so I'll surely buy it after I get paid. My bank account is actually overdrawn right now. Why I'm being charged almost $20 a month in fees is beyond me. I guess the bank has a system where they charge you money for not having enough money in your account--just one more way banks are not really for poor people.

The extra stuff I needed for the computer was supposed to arrive today. After waiting up for over 6 hours for the UPS man, he showed up during the five freaking minutes I was in the bathroom. So...no dice. Hopefully he'll try again tomorrow, which the text they sent me says will happen. But tomorrow is Saturday, so I wouldn't be surprised if I had to wait all weekend now. Just some cables and the Time Machine drive, plus speakers and a camera since a mac mini is basically BYOeverything. I thought I wouldn't bother with a camera, and then immediately had to postpone a conference. Oops.

On another topic, does anybody really think it's a good idea for us to go back to Iraq? It sounds like this is just a ploy to keep up the illusion that we were there to help the Iraqi people. Does anyone actually believe that? I don't see how. Normally I don't give much credence to the idea that we should help "our own" people over those in another country. In this case though, I'd really like to see veteran's needs, welfare, unemployment benefits, schools, green energy, and job creation addressed before we engage in another goddamn multi-billion dollar war over nothing.
I know we talk a good game about soldiers fighting for our freedom. I can't seem to recall our freedom ever being in jeopardy, at least not in my lifetime.

In TMI news, I'm having the sort of cramps that could kill a small child. Time once more for my annual Nightmare Period. I can always tell it's coming because I want nothing but red meat and coca cola for several days straight. It's also the only time I'm likely to crack out on caffeine Of course, I can't drink regular coke anymore. I also don't keep chocolate around the house anymore. *sigh* These healthy shopping habits will be the death of me...
wednes: (Default)
Have you heard? Racism is over! Hurrah!
I heard a while back that there was no more racism, because they changed the voting laws to make it easier to pass racist (anti)voting laws...which of course no one would pass, because there's no more racism.
Except...within hours of hearing that racism was over, a bunch of racists passed a bunch of racist bills to prove how unracist they are now that there's no more racism. Get it?

In my home state of Michigan, we learned recently that no matter what happens in the rest of the country, Michigan is racism free. That's why Affirmative Action is no longer needed at U of M, which must mean that college admissions are more or less evenly split among the races, or directly proportional to the racial makeup of the applicants. Wait, what? They aren't? Gosh...who could have ever foreseen that?
Except, you know, everyone.

I admit freely that I'm not 100% on Affirmative Action. I'm not sure counting and quotas is the best way to go about achieving social justice. Despite the douchebaggery of the speaker--I do think placing more focus on class than on race makes a lot of sense. Plenty of studies exist that show that the number 1 and 2 indicators of a child's educational success are the education of the mother, and poverty.
What is it about being underfed, getting poor nutrition, and having parents who are always tired, worried, stressed, or not home at all that keeps these kids from excelling in school? They must just be lazy, amirite? *eyeroll*

Moving on, The Internets are a great thing, because they get information to The People. Social networking has been a force for social change and even political upheaval. But see, the Internets also give a voice to the most hateful sort of paranoid dickbags. Sure, free speech means avoid the comments at all costs. It means that Nazi sympathizers, holocaust deniers, pedophiles, and Glade-huffers can find kindred spirits and know they aren't alone. Free speech means everybody gets to talk, even if ultimately we have to scour every news story for hints of satire--because gag news looks and sounds so much like the preposterous REAL news that it's hard to tell them apart. Hunger strikes against gay marriage, pro-slavery cattle ranchers, and anti-black-guy basketball profiteers sound like they should be made up.
They aren't.

So...we've got an internet where anyone can say anything, and any opinion no matter how destructive or horrible can be found and read by anyone who wants to find it. No type of legal consequences for willfully spreading lies, even with the express intent to cause anger, injury, whatevs. Amid all of that, we have the impending demise of Net Neutrality. I maintain that Net Neutrality is about a lot more than who'll get the fastest Netflix streaming.

Notice how the same half-dozen people own almost all the newspapers and TV networks? How long before those same assholes are controlling the entire internet? Cutting access to sites that check facts, point out lies, or present alternate points of view? What if FOX "news" loaded in seconds but CNN (or maybe a good news network) took 3 minutes. What if we had to pay extra to get BBC news or anything outside the US?

We like to pretend we're so awesome with our technology and our freedom. We aren't. Our crushing economy is well, crushing us. Many people are using all their energy just to keep their families fed and housed while others are amassing insane amounts of wealth on our backs.
I think it's awesome that rich people tried to buy Mitt Romney an election and weren't able to. But how long is that gonna last? Our current oligarchy is far worse than if we had elected a true despot. Even Kim Jong Un doesn't want his entire country to be 99% slaves to industries who continually fight for the right to not pay a living wage.

This Conservative Cabal is clearly plotting to slowly remove the laws that protect the weak and disenfranchised. They're doing their damndest to cut education and welfare so kids will grow up sick and stupid. They abhor family planning, and while they say they don't approve of working moms--they've cleverly arranged an economy where it's damn difficult to raise kids on a single salary--and it often means going without owning a home. The Conservative Cabal fights for the right to pay paltry wages while raking in billions in profits, all the while pretending that they hire workers based on what they can afford--rather than on what they need. Then they get angry and accusatory when someone is smart or brave, or fed-up enough to call them out on it.

*sigh*
Girl-H's (H's sister) food stamps were taken away this week. Budget cuts. She works part-time, but can't be on her feet for more than a few minutes due to an injury she can no longer afford to treat or medicate. Her ACA application was "lost" so she had no healthcare at present. We found all that out last night. I was saving up to take H to see Godzilla but now it looks like we're going to send that money to her so she can eat. Because 'Murica & Freedumz.
wednes: (Neville)
H and I took a look at Good Day to Die Hard. We didn't watch it, per se, just took a look. It was super explosiony and lacked any sense of why people liked Die Hard in the first place. Anyway, the movie takes place in Russia. McLean is pissy because everyone is speaking Russian--in RUSSIA. He actually punches a guy at one point because he's mad that the guy is speaking Russian. That's basically a hate crime--and he's the goddamn hero. Lame, and John McLean is just cartoonish at this point. That especially sucks because we know he's capable of so much more.

Speaking of actors who give us more, film and theatre fans were collectively punched in the dick this weekend with the untimely death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman I won't belabor the obvious loss to his medium, and to all of us who enjoyed watching him do his thing. In a dream world, he would have played Mikey Goretti in a film version of Kiss Me Like You Love Me. I can't begin to imagine who I'd cast now.
Anyway, it's clear to me that the more intuitive a person is, the more difficult it is to deal with what they know. This probably sounds douchey, but I hate the kind of understanding I have of my fellow humans. I further hate that seeing people has not helped me to be more empathetic, though it does lead me to make excuses for keeping people in my life when I know intellectually that they shouldn't be there. In the end, using intuition, empathy, and understanding to communicate something vital? Awesome, practically the meaning of life. But what's awesome for society can be excruciating to the individual.

So, I read the Hunger Games trilogy in less than a week. Cut for spoilers and swears ) Imma check out the first two movies when I'm caught up on work. I hear the first is not great but the second is better. Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments.

Still having a tough time with the mag conversions. Getting closer though. I'm told that Under the Bed's layout is complicated compared to the other mags. I didn't really think it was--I'm just trying to make it look nice and have a good vibe. I had a bunch of ideas for stuff I want to do when I'm better with the program. If you've checked it out, I'd be grateful for your input on the layout.
Maybe I should get better at cutting myself some slack.
I'm behind with work in general, as are a few of my bosses/editors. I think the cold is slowing us all down.

We watched a horror movie called The Colony, mainly because it was a horror movie and contained Bill Paxton. He didn't look so good in it, and he was a jerk, and he died. Not a bad movie overall, just really ordinary.

I've been buying stuff lately. Got a few pieces of inexpensive jewelry ($13 for both things including shipping!!) that I love. One is a Dumbledore's Army pendant that looks like a scroll, and the other is a glass egg that looks like there's a tiny dinosaur embryo inside. It's badass, and made by one of my fave etsy jewelry chicks. I also had to get a new Logitech Marble Mouse. I swear, it's the greatest mouse in the world--except that they're practically disposable. I don't think I've ever gotten more than 2 years out of one. But they're cheap and work great...until they don't.
I also got us a living room lamp because it's damn dark in here with just one. I have a bunch of crafty projects I want to do--many of which are thinkin' frogs. But I can't do them because there isn't enough light. I also got a piece of wood I'm gonna make a ouija board out of, and a cool planchette I found on etsy.

Movie Talk

Jan. 17th, 2014 06:45 am
wednes: (Default)
Dude, Where's my Car? is a cheap homage to American Grafitti.

House of 1,000 Corpses is a better remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre than the actual remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Most horror remakes are shitty.  A few are great:
Dawn of the Dead
The Fly
The Hills Have Eyes
13 Ghosts
Red Dragon (original title: Manhunter)

Some are pretty good
The Hitcher
Psycho
Salem's Lot
Halloween
Last House on the Left
Night of the Living Dead (Savini)

I wouldn't say these are definitive list, but those are the ones that come to mind.  I also really need to have a lot more Pixar movies.  As I was thinking that, Disney sent me a thing to join their movie club.  H doesn't have a copy of Avengers, which he totally should.  I need a copy of Up, and would like to have Monsters Inc and Wreck it Ralph.

Found out tonight that the head writer from The Daily Show has left to work on John Oliver's new show.  This bodes well for Oliver, and HBO, and us viewers.  I imagine TDS writing staff is solid enough that this won't be an issue that makes it all the way to us.  

Discovery

Jan. 11th, 2014 03:58 am
wednes: (Diamonds)
Furbies are one part amazing, one part annoying, and one part confounding.
I've seen three personalities so far (since Weds eve) and two of them burp and fart constantly. At least it's not whiffy.

JoJo is utterly terrified of it.

I'm chalking this up as a win.

Videos to come, methinks.

"New Year"

Jan. 6th, 2014 04:24 am
wednes: (Wut?  JoJo)
I still think it's dumb to start a new year in the middle of winter. Where I am, there's literally a foot of snow on the ground, and even seasoned Michiganders (NOT Michiganians though, because fuck them!) are losing their shit. It's dangerous out there, folks. I predict that H and I will have a spirited argument when he goes back to work Wednesday night. He'll insist that it's perfectly safe to walk a mile to the bus stop. I'll disagree strenuously and end up envisioning stoned Ann Arborites sliding their Volkswagons off the road and right into H.

*sigh*

Otherwise though, all is well at Chez Wednes.
I decided to by myself the damn Furby (*Zoidberg voice* Why not?) since I was rolling in gift certificates and totally wanted one. Sadly, the accompanying app will not work on my iPod. I've been thinking about getting a new iPod touch (or probably a newer refurbished one), since I need a way to take credit cards at events. After I figure out a new computer, that will be my next fanciful tech-want.

Been looking around to pick up another writing gig. I'm amazed at how little some of these places are offering when they want people who've been published in national magazines. Two dollars a page. Really?

Technical issues at the mag continue to vex me. I'm told that the EiC will be more available this year, so that will be good. There's a lot of great fiction coming up. Artists continue to be awesome in letting us use their work. The Feb cover is creepy cute, while March will be downright gruesome. Working with authors continues to have its challenges. Who knew customer service skills would come in so handy working with pushy authors and their fragile author egos? Oh wait, I did. ;-) Anyway, the January issue will be available on Amazon soon. If you've been readin' the mag it would be awesome if you could take a mo' and leave a review. If you'd like a review copy to check out (you'll need to leave a review at Amazon and Goodreads to get a freebie), hit me up.

Been actually writing the screenplay instead of just talking about it. For now, Final Draft is the software that's working best for me. I really only like Word for stuff that's full of paragraphs. It's not as funny as it should be yet. After I lay out the story, I can go back through and punch it up.

Did I already post about Stoker? OMG it was fucking incredible. The cast was pitch-perfect--Matthew Goode is one of the creepiest guys in the world--except usually he does romantic comedies. Ew, right? Stoker was truly exceptional. Scary, sexy, suspenseful, and damn surprising. Loved it.
wednes: (Dark Side reflection)
The Furby saga finally comes to a gripping end.

When we last left our Furby saga, some jackassy Amazon vendor was refusing to sell me a Furby at the prices they advertised on Xmas eve. They asked me to cancel my order. I didn't. Then they asked me again, and again I said no.
Then I left terrible feedback for both orders that were cancelled. THEN they asked me to remove my negative feedback. And I was all "How 'bout No?"

Today I heard back from them, and they offered me a $25 Amazon gift card for each order that was cancelled. This will be enough money that I can buy the girl the stupid Furby (from another vendor), or thereabouts.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
And with Zod as my witness, I am that wheel!
wednes: (Handfasting)
H and I celebrate Christmas the old fashioned way:
We buy each other stuff we wouldn't normally buy.

I got H:
A spinny top that works with a string
chinese finger trap
Star Trek Next Gen Pez dispenser box set
Alien T-shirt
Tee fury T-shirt with every Doctor on it.
Onion hardback front page collection
2 pr satin boxer shorts

He got me:
Doctor River Song sonic screwdriver
box of dark chocolate hazelnut truffles
hazelnut milk
Whole Foods hazelnut coffee creamer
smoked hazelnut gelato (outrageous!)
organic choco hazelnut spread (that is NOT nutella)
ventresca tuna
2 packs of Nathans hot dogs because we love them and only one store in the area actually sells them. Woot!

So yeah, that was nice.
Most of our peeps got cards and homemade lip balms.
Always well received and appreciated, so far.

We also got a big tin of cookies and a pumpkin bread from my Aunt, and another bag of yummy treats from my old college pal who visited today.

We also watched Doctor Who, which I haven't reviewed yet but will.
wednes: (Handfasting)
H and I finished the last of the lip balms today. Awesome.
He doesn't really have to help, but it goes so much easier with an extra pair of hands. We did chocolate orange, coconut lime, and cherry cordial. Two of these we also did last year, but they turned out a bit different anyway.

I love that I'm not baking this year for Xmas. H is getting cookies for his birthday, and my brother will probably get some. That is all.
For H's birthday dinner, he wants bacon double cheeseburgers and fries.
This totally works for me. I didn't used to be good at making double cheeseburgers because my habit is to make thick burgers so they can be nice and pink on the inside but a bit charry on the outside. But then I figured out the right way to do really lean, flat burgers that sit nicely atop each other.

What presents is H getting?
So glad you asked:
--A T-shirt with all the Doctor (Who)'s on it
--Some PS3 game called Kingdom of Amalur
(Todd MacFarland worked on it)
--The best covers from The Onion

For Xmas, H is getting:
--Two more T-shirts (one Doctor Who, one Alien)
--2 pair satin boxer shorts
--Another Onion collection
--Star Trek Next Gen Pez collection
--Stocking stuffed with candy and small toys
wednes: (Queen of <3's)
Last Halloween, I was looking for cool costumes in my size. My size is pretty large, so it's no easy task. Even so-called plus-size costumes are not always prepared to meet the awesome power of my ass. Curse you, fashion industry!

Well, I happened to find footie pajamas that are also a costume of Max from Where the Wild Things Are in my size. IMO, this is the greatest book by one of the 3 greatest picture book authors (the triumvirate being rounded out by Shel Silverstein and Dr Suess). The themes are classic and timeless--I won't bore you by going on and on about how awesome it is. I've met exactly one person my entire life who doesn't like this book, and he's a friggin' mental case.

Max would be a great costume for me. But then, it's not very scary and I didn't actually end up doing anything for Halloween that year. I didn't see any reason to spend the money, especially with money being sorta tight.
After a while, they went on sale. They still had my size, and I thought about it again. I also learned that in addition to being a costume, it is also comfortable knit pajamas. But no, it really is a silly thing to spend on. I refrained.

As you have probably guessed by this point, the Max costume (which is actually pajamas) went on double-secret-crazy sale, and became roughly the cost of a hardback book. Inexplicably, almost creepily, they still had them in my size. I'm beginning to noodle exactly what sort of non-me person would want grown-up size Max pajamas. Hmmmmm...

The important thing is, they'll be here by next week.
Pics?
wednes: (Elephant on Trampoline)
Xmas came and went. We talked to relatives on the phone and/or online, exchanged gifts and had a friend over for breakfast-dinner. Pancakes, sausage, and a nice frittata. I don't get to make frittatas much because H doesn't like eggs.

H got me the Marauder's Map and the cool frame for it that opens up. It's whomping huge when you unfold it. I got him a bunch of books and T-shirts and miscellany. He also got me three different kinds of bacon from Zingerman's. Tonight we had the back bacon cut into hunks and tossed with whole wheat pasta--so we can pretend it was a healthy meal. Ha.

The various balms I gave away as gifts this year were well received. I'll very likely do this again. I thought I might do a bunch of Zom*balms if I ever have a book release party. No idea whether or not that's on the horizon.

Still feeling unmotivated and sad about writer things. I just don't have the marketing budget to punch through the wailing cacaphony of shitty writers out there. It pisses me off that one of my (very, VERY few) reviews says that The Finster Effect had "a lot of typos." It doesn't. As far as I can tell, it has one. And that wasn't actually a typo, it was an editing error. I don't know why I care--except that I'm tired of no one knowing who the hell I am. Plus, I have no idea how to set up a marketing plan and budget, because I have no idea what's going on with any of my work. Come to think of it, I'm only assuming my book sales are low. I haven't actually heard one way or the other.

The only thing I'm sure about is that not letting that other creep cut out the animal chapters was a good idea.

I was angry and sad all day, so I didn't get any work done. That means I'll probably be up until noon trying to work. Fie. I really hope I don't end up writing advertising for the rest of my life.
wednes: (Tyrion)
The fake apocalypse was basically the same as any other. I didn't actually meet anyone (except H's mom that one time) who believed it was real. I heard from dozens of Christians who leapt at the chance to mock the beliefs of others--as if mayans foreseeing the apocalypse is more absurd than virgin births, reanimated non-zombies, and . Nice, eh? I presume tomorrow we'll once again hear all the terrible things people who DID believe it was the end of the world actually did. Let's hope they kept the murder to a minimum.

Toward the beginning of November, my cousin Victoria sent me an Amaryllis bulb that was supposed to grow into a flower if I didn't kill it in the mean time. I read the instructions, and watered it a few times--fully expecting it to die long before it grew anything. A few days ago, H asked me if I'd seen my flowers (we keep plants in the only animal-free room we have--H's office). Sure enough, there were two giant flowers on it. A few days later, there were twice as many. Can you even imagine in? You don't have to, because look:


Amazing, no?

I put H's stocking gifts out last night. Only then did it occur to me that I didn't buy him any candy this year. Now I have to decide if I want to go out and get some. I'm pretty sure I don't, but we shall see. He's already getting some cool stuff. I got him a Bugs Bunny T-shirt, and another shirt from T-fury which is of the 10th Doctor Who. Plus a bottle of hot sauce and a 11th Doctor Who screwdriver that is an actual screwdriver. His stocking has new earbuds, paperback replacements of Alien and Aliens, astronaut ice cream, and some sticky notes with the TARDIS on them.

We got a juniper bonsai from Team Wilcox. If we can keep JoJo from eating it, it will be awesome. It's really cool looking, but I don't want to post a pic yet in case we kill it. Treated myself to a gift in the form of this highly recommended gadget for aromatherapy. What? It's therapy. It's aromatic. You wanna fight about it?

Dexter Retrospective should go up soon. I'm reviewing the first season of The Following (if it lasts a whole season, fricken FOX), and Ripper Street on BBC. I somehow managed to secure Game of Thrones reviews in March as well. Depending on my schedule, I may see about reviewing Bates Motel as well. So that will be fun.

Happy Solstice, kids!
wednes: (Wednes Poison)
Got up today, prepared to do my last 8 articles for the week. After that, I was gonna be free to work on Stig and the Puppetman, which is due at the end of the month. After that, would have been Millicent Mixter. But I got hit up for some emergency work, and had to do six articles today on subjects I knew nothing about. So it actually took longer than the 8 I was going to write--and which I now have to write tomorrow. Boo!
I don't know when I'm gonna have time to work on the trailer. Tomorrow is already Wednesday, plus I'm not going to get anything done Saturday as I have a thing I'm going to. Yikes.

On the plus side, this is the last week I have to do three reviews a week. In the future, I'm not going to do more than two, though one is preferable in addition to what I do for ZZN. I need to pitch the sex site I'm writing for, though they haven't put up my last article yet. Any topics you want to see? They seem to like lists. Damn lists...fun, but kinda lazy and fluffy, ya know?

Picked myself out a new knife. It's supposed to be here tomorrow. A box of stuff from Amazon came today, which turned out to be stuff for me, from H. We have a $40 budget for birthdays, so he got me some stuff from my wish list. A replacement copy of Raving Rabids to replace the one I loaned Cindy. This one has more games on it though, so Yay! We have a riot playing Wii--usually on Sunday afternoons. Also, the original Clash of the Titans and a DVD of Tommy which I love. And Twilight Zone: The Movie which is both famous and infamous.
Poor Vic.
And finally, this glorious thing. I've wanted this zombie book for some time now, and it's even better in person than it looked online. I loves it!

For H's birthday, which is 25 days from now, he's getting the 11th Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver. It makes the right noise, and lights up, and is an actual screwdriver. Badass, right? He's also getting a Bugs Bunny T-shirt and a crazy hot bottle of hot sauce. He gets a new hot sauce from me every year.

Made a batch of chocolate peppermint lip balm. Well, I attempted to do that. I actually made an oily mess that had to be discarded, along with $16 worth of blank tubes. Drag. I had a bum recipe, and have done a bunch of research. This weekend, I'll buy new blank tubes and try again. We shall see... I also want to do a batch of cherry, and some cold balm with eucalyptus, lemon, tea tree, that sort of thing.
wednes: (TV!!!)
First up, I'm still giving away a book every day until the end of the month. And why the hell wouldn't I? It's All Hallows Read!

New Reviews for this week's Dexter and Boardwalk Empire are up! I'm sort of bummed that all the discussion about my reviews seems to take place on the social network sites where they are posted, rather than on the article itself. I've chosen to pretend that's because my fan base is too internet savvy to read the comments. ;-]

Thunderstorm tonight. I approve.

Trying to decide what device I'm going to buy so I can use PayPal-Here at events and book signings. I don't really want to get an iPhone because the data plan is a large and needless expense. I work from home and I rarely travel, so Wifi is fine for me 98% of the time. I'm looking at the iPad mini, but I'm also wondering if an iPod touch with Wifi wouldn't be enough. I need to check the specs of everything. I want to do this as affordably as possible, but I really need to do it.

Haven't heard from the new publisher in a bit, but I'm hoping to get KMLYLM back into print soon. Sadie edits are behind since I have so much freelance work to get done. Also gonna try to do a new Stig and the Puppetman by the end of the month. Kind of relieved I'm not doing a bunch of Halloween stuff this year.

Decided to buy myself a new hoodie. My favorite hoodie finally got too many burn holes and cat claw holes and had a broken zipper and a frayed hood. It had to go. The next season, I bought another hoodie that was too thin and short, so I gave it to my friend who had no hoodie at all. The winter after that, I got one that was thicker, but still too short. So, the next year I got one I was sure would be long enough, but it was also far too thin. This one is both long and thermal lined. And it's navy blue, just like the one I lost. I'm stoked.
wednes: (Stabby Rage)
I am feeling better.

Had a work meeting with my boss (at my own behest). It was open, honest, and I left feeling much better than I did when I went in.

Meds seem to be evening out.

Got a nibble on a gig making those silly lists that people pass around on Facebook. The site looks like it's more pictures than words--and I frankly find those to be a pain in the ass. Still I'm gonna look it over and see if it's something I'll want to do. If the pay is okay, I could certainly create some funny lists. I'm the Egg McMuffin of pop culture and tend to be witty as fuck.
And I've always wanted to be professionally opinionated.

The sushi delivery place will be the end of me. If I had it, I could spend hundreds of dollars a week there. So much eel...

Mark was here for lunch today. Hamburger Pie.
Mmmmmm...

Well into the Matt Smith Doctor Whos (Ha! I almost wrote "Doctor Whose" which would be laughably ungrammatical.) They're pretty good. I asked H if the next two-parter was going to be emotionally draining--you know how they can kick your ass sometimes? He said I don't think so, no. Right. Because at the end of the two-parter Spoiler here, obiviously )

And lastly, I got a haircut. I had all the bleached hair cut off. My hair was normal brown for about 4 days. Now, not so much.

The blue is a lot of fun. And with just the one color, it's not really that weird. Besides, as a writer, I get to be eccentric even though I'm not rich. With that in mind:

There's a wee bit of pink as well.
wednes: (Wednes Logo)


If you wouldn't mind hipping every literate, Kindle using person you know--I'd be much obliged. FREE. One. Day. Only.
wednes: (Elephant on Trampoline)
Picked up an extra shift at the day-job this week to cover for someone attending a funeral. What am I gonna say? No, I don't feel like it even though my plan was to stay home, relax and dick around on the computer? Possibly, but I didn't. I could use the scratch. I need to order new magnet bracelets since my good one broke (after over a decade) and my pretty ones aren't really strong enough. I got another pretty one that is stronger, and a super-dooper-uber-strong one that will top out at around 4000 gauss. Mmmmm...gauss. I realize that I am a great believer in a few medical things, like magnets and EMDR, that a lot of people assume are bunk.
Magnets, for example, are sold as being miracle cures. They aren't. They don't lower your blood pressure, stress level, or give you an enhanced state of being. But they have helped me through some awful pains. I first used them to take down the swelling in an abcessed molar. If you've never had the displeasure, it's like a throbbing kidney stone in your mouth. Magnets did the trick--I didn't even care how absurd they looked taped to my face. These days, they curb the carpal/cubital tunnel pain.

The "ENTER" key on my keyboard at work sticks terribly.
I find it irksome.

This weekend I'm hanging out with my new buddy, a little kid I'll refer to as G-man. G-man is the child of a chick I went to college with. His family is Mormon. He is a certified genius and a huge fan of all things horror. He came out to Ann Arbor a while back to record a short story for me--and was great. I think he's 9, though he might be 10. Anyway, he's coming over on Saturday and sleeping over in H's office. We're gonna talk horror, maybe record some more fiction, and watch whatever horror I have that is swear-free and hopefully won't scar the kid for life. I'm thinking of showing him Night of the Living Bread, maybe a few original Twilight Zone eps, and either the original Dracula or Frankenstein.

I'm also taking suggestions on stuff that is quality horror but can still be shown to a kid with religious parents. The original JAWS should be fine if he hasn't already seen it. Apparently, he loves megalodons.

Still chipping away at this med situation. Doubling my dosage tonight of the Celexa. Here's hoping it won't make me more tired than I already am. My appointment with my regular doc and psyche doc together is supposed to be next Thursday, but I just found out I have to work. I'm hoping I can get that figured out, since I can't get another refill until I see both docs together. I do feel a lot less tense, angry, and worried about stuff. But I'm tired and not getting very much work done. It's so hard finding a balance...

And finally, this Friday the 13th is the giant, enormo, FREE Kindle giveaway for A Stabbing for Sadie. ONE DAY ONLY, BITCHES! I don't have H's fly graphic with me at work, but please do tell everyone you've ever known. Graphic will be up by tomorrow. Honest.
wednes: (Zombie B&W)
Been selling a LOT of books lately. I don't discuss numbers or money specifics publicly, but more people have bought or downloaded my books in the month of February than they did all of last year...by a WIDE margin. That knowledge is helping me get totally stoked about making edits to The Finster Effect and keeping up on all the other marketing crap I have to do. I had two (out of three) of my novels make it to the top ten in horror and/or contemporary fiction. I'm not exactly sure why Contemporary Fiction is its own category--but whatever.

Was thinking again about getting a table at Motor City Nightmares this year since I'm not having a book release party after all. But just the table is $300. Plus at least that much for books, and then transportation, hotel, and I might want to eat or buy something while I'm there. As much as I'd like to meet Tony Todd and have him sign my Candyman doll, I really cannot justify that kind of expenditure when I still haven't paid for my CPAP and pretty much gave up ever going to the oral surgeon for the $200 consult. (I was going to go, but got new glasses instead)

Having said that, I bought a slick bit of jewelry from someone on etsy that I think is great, and who also had some emergency vet bills happening. They didn't want a straight up donation (which is what I offered. People were so kind and generous that time that Clarence got sick.) but invited people to buy stuff from the etsy store. Soon I shall be sporting a truly unique and badass pendant of THE CRAWLING EYE. Yeah, just when you thought my horror cred could be none more better, it gets even better still.

Had lunch with my brother yesterday. We checked out a couple of low budget zombie screeners that I'll be reviewing soon for ZZN. Also hard at work on my treatise about the how and why I HATE the Evil Dead movies so much. It's going to be tremendous fun. Maybe it will be the beginning of a series of articles on why I hate stuff. You know you're all dying to know!

Checking In

Feb. 8th, 2012 09:31 pm
wednes: (Dimitri)
I've just arrived on DW to see that my posting page has a weird new format that is smaller and doesn't look as good. Let's hope this does not continue. I like shit in the center of the screen whenever possible. This is WAY too left-justified for my taste.

Way too many people are taking Rick Santorum seriously. Even if it is just republicans, it's still insane. The anti-gay bigotry is bad enough--but banning birth control?
He's batshit, plain and simple.

Having a swell time watching haters defend their hate in re: Prop 8. It's irritating how many people bash gays and then ask YOU not to judge THEM for being bigots. Guess what? Your stance is not a valid one. It is hateful, ugly, and completely based on your own misinformed fears and biases rather than logic, reason, or facts. If you insist on believing that shit, I can't stop you--but PLEASE stop pretending your being oppressed if absolutely everyone doesn't join in on your world-wide hate party.

Ordered my first vape for um...aromatherapy purposes. Should arrive tomorrow. Looking forward to giving it the ol' college try.

Doctor Who is the best thing ever. It's my dream come true--where they drop the expensive FX and pay some REAL goddamn writers. David Tennant has actually replaced James Purefoy as hottest Brit at my house. Nothing against Purefoy, but he doesn't seem like he'd be nearly as much fun to hang out with. Also, I really need to own Fright Night.

EDIT: IMDB says David Tennant was born in Scotland. Mister Purefoy? As you were.

So...ladies of Etsy, who wants to make me some custom 10th Doctor jewelry? Pendants, earrings, or a bracelet that includes a therapeutic level of magnetized hematite. Yeah!
wednes: (Kiss Me Like You Love Me)
In case you've not read it, Kiss Me Like You Love Me is a damn good book. In the hopes that more people will hip themselves to it, this is happening:



Anybody who helps me spread the word gets my undying gratitude.

Let me be clear, this is a bloody, creepy, stabby book for GROWN UPs.
No sparkly shit, heroes saving the goddamn day...none of that happy crap.
wednes: (Santa?)
Thank goodness. Christmas is here and soon we can all stop correcting each others well wishes. That will be nice. I'm still complaining because I worked the day-job Friday, and am in again tomorrow even though NO shippers are actually shipping. We won't be able to do anything for anyone, yet we still have to show up at 9 freaking a.m. But I digress...

Girl-H has been staying here for over 2 weeks. I love her. She is great.
Still, it'll be nice to be able to walk around in my underwear again. And to eat meat.
I like meat.
Anyway, we're pretty festive:

H hates when people take his picture.

I got H a new book by C.S. Lewis called Boxen. I also got him Ghostbusters on Blu-Ray, a Superman cartoon DVD, some sour freezer pops, the 10th Doctor's screwdriver, Astronaut Ice Cream, and a few little trinkets for the stocking.
Girl-H got a Kindle with warranty (which she loves, Yay!), and some random coolness from Thinkgeek: 20D of Destiny, cupcake mints, breathable chocolate, edible flowers, miracle berries, etc.

H got me this amazing thing:

Not Slytherin...Not Slytherin...

My stocking had a bunch of pens from the Dexter store that look like syringes. They even have red liquid inside. I look forward to a cop hassling me over them. *snerk*

Apparently, H got me something else cool, but it arrived broken so I don't get to know what it is yet.

H designed a badass card for us to give out. I'm putting it under a cut for hugeness, (EDIT: it's smaller now, but still easy to read) but I swear it's H's crowning card achievement. Do give it a read! )

We're not really doing anything fancy. No big meal, no visiting, though we'll likely watch H's new copy of Ghostbusters. I made rolls, some with blueberry, and some with nutella. I think I'm going to stop writing to you chumps and go have some.

Happy Holidays to every last one of you.
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
At work.
Ugh.

My coworkers are awesome, we know this. Morale is high...thusfar.
Free cake def helps.

I'm answering a lot of customer Emails and helping people out via chat.
I beg of you, if you're bad with English, have someone help you. At the very least, try not to go into a rage because I honestly can't figure out what you're asking. And the swearing? I'm telling you people, you don't really want to engage in a swear-off with me. I'm pretty good with words, especially in my native language.

Also, we're a store, not a school. I'm not here to teach you all the differences between acoustic and electric. I can try to talk you through changing a string, but watching a vid about it online will take less time and be more clear. I'm not going to be able to tell you the difference between our student line, and every other student line being sold in the US. That requires research and is something you do for yourself. Yes, you actually have to try to find the information you're looking for. But it will be so much more rewarding when you find it. And finally, if you make me type out a long explanation about something, for the love of Zod, read my answer thoroughly before you ask another question.

As for me, my birthday party was awesome. Lots of great people showed up, I got enough gift cards to get any Kindle of my choosing (and then some). Yesterday I ordered a Kindle Touch (not the fire) with some accessories and warranty and stuff. I was stoked to see that the good warranty covers accidental damage. That totally sold me. Thought long and hard about the Fire, but in the end, I just didn't want to order a 1st gen anything. Besides, I'd probably just end up mad it isn't an iPad. Party pics to follow after the book is turned in.

The book is due to the publisher on December 5th. We've pushed back the late April release date to an early May one. I've got a lot of work ahead this week, but am confident that everything will turn out awesome. The new publisher is pretty hands-on, which I am not used to. I'll almost certainly be asking writers for support on how to handle making changes per the publisher or editors request.

Dexter: Called it!
Boardwalk Empire: Love it! Also, sad times...
Tonight: Terra Nova and Last Night's The Walking Dead.
wednes: (Ouija)
So...I'm in the market for a new desk chair. For those of you who don't know, I'd been using a 75cm exercise ball to sit on. I got it at the fat chick exercise emporium (okay, that's not its actual name) less than a year ago. I was just sitting on it, typetty typing, when it popped like a fucking balloon. I landed on my tailbone, and then hit my head. I am generally unhurt--as evidenced by the fact that I went to sleep and then later woke up. Coccyx is a bit on the sore side, but otherwise fine. Pissed though, as the ball had a weight limit that was more than 200lbs greater than what I actually weigh. Sad times...
But H is buying me a new desk chair as soon as we find a good one.

Day job is mind numbing. Slooooooooooooow, as we haven't hit the busy season rush yet. One of my good work friends gave her 2 weeks. I'm happy for her that she's leaving, but sad that she's leaving because she's tired of being dicked around. They are actually dicking her around way worse than me.

Going to see the new Planet of the Apes thingy this week. Reviews have been excellent. And I dig Franco and Felton, so I'm stoked about that.

Tons to do this weekend. Hitting my head sort of queered my productivity for the day. Have to edit, mix, and post a new podcast ep, edit prose and pics to post a new interview for ZZN. Have an AC article due and want to work on that short story I keep putting off. Hope to have all that done by the time I hear back from my Beta Readers. I have 6 of them, and so far, one has already given me some great feedback.

Ugh. Just had to talk to a customer that I have special permission to not talk to. He's super sick and has to talk about it constantly. Today he told me about the violins he's fixing up for his nieces because he won't live long enough to see them play. For fuck's sake, I am confronted by enough mortality in real life--I don't need it at the day job too.

And finally The Reef was much, much better than I thought it would be. Scary, good performances, and a few shark shots I would really like to know how they got.
wednes: (Home Movie)
Had a pretty busy week of visiting and socializing and doing work stuff. My dear friend Miss Grete was in town last week, so we hung out Saturday and then again on Weds. Had an awesome time.
Last night an old college classmate came by for a visit. Considering how nervous I get when I hang out with churchy types, it was a fun visit. I have, as you might imagine, a very poorly calibrated filter for what I say or do NOT say. I seem to have 2 settings: work, and free-for-all. That doesn't always sit well with religious types seeing as how part of my background inner-monologue is that we'd all get along better if we didn't blame our weaknesses or bigotries on supernatural shit. Last night, for example, I asserted that if somebody is Christian, they should at least be aware that the men who wrote the gospels did not live at the same time as Jesus. Sadly, the person I was with had learned it differently.
D'oh. But I digress.

This weeks ZZN interview was with the guys at Zombie go Boom! which is an awesome mythbusters-style YouTube series testing out different anti-zombie weaponry. Good stuff!

Today I'm at the day-job until 5pm. Then home to make a quiche with a mashed potato crust. I've never done a potato crust before, but one of tonight's guests can't have white flour. I also have to change the catbox before everybody arrives. Tonight's party is for one of my coworkers who is moving to London soon. If I don't make him a nice party, he might not send me anything cool from merry old England. LOL Considering how many friends and fans I have out that way, it's kinda surprising that I don't get more stuff. ;-]

Speaking of stuff. Me wantee Kindle. In fact, I'm sick to death of not having one, and am boycotting the buying of giant books until I get one. Hear THAT, George RR Martin? How about YOU, Stephen King? I have a hardcover of Under the Dome, but trying to read it exacerbates my carpal tunnel. Kindles are cheap now; about $140 for one that isn't constantly running ads. And there are TONS of free classics I am dying to read. Hello Project Gutenberg!!!

Wrote another article for Associated Content. People seem to like it, but I'm still not sure how to get strangers to find it, see it, read it, etc. It doesn't do me much good to write awesome articles that are only seen by a couple hundred of my closest friends. Applied for another writing gig, then did some research and found out that tons of writers complained about not getting paid. I need a writing gig that would actually allow me to quit this gig.
No dice.

A note about the Economy: Bill Clinton left office with a record budget surplus.
A RECORD. BUDGET. SURPLUS.
Dub-ya raised the debt ceiling 8 times to fund his crazy-pants, they-tried-to-kill-my-Daaaaaaaaaaddy war.
But somehow the current debt crisis is the fault of Obama?
Really?
Can anyone explain this mindset?
Anyone?
Bueller?

And finally, Livejournal, you suck. Could you at least wait until this latest DDOS attack is under control before telling me (again) how much I might enjoy a paid account?
I'm not paying you another damn dime, LJ. You've ruined yourself worse than Mtv.
Okay, I take that back. LJ is not as bad as Mtv, but it's still ruined.
wednes: (NaNo Runner)
For someone behind on deadline for a new novel, I've certainly been doing a lot of frivolous shit lately. The novel is fully outlined (by "fully" I mean, all the way to the end with no expected major changes. May add a chap from a character I wasn't expecting.) and the redraft is coming along well. I don't really have much farther to do, it's the first pass of editing that will make me want to die inside...a grandiose punching up if you will. That's when a passable story and some tolerable characters magically morph into people you adore and don't want to die--and then we watch many of them die horribly while the survivors suffer through it.

My paid account finally ran out at Livejournal. I swear, if LJ had been what it is now when I joined, I probably never would have started blogging in the first place. Seriously. No wonder nobody fucking uses it anymore, it's nothing but ads. Slow, page filling ads about shit that I could not possibly care less about. Cars? Really?

Ordered that Fantasia box set I've had on my wish list. Those stupidheads at Disney are putting it back in "The Vault" at the end of the month. The Disney Vault, in case you don't know, is what they call it when you have to start paying collectors prices for movies within 6 months of release if you don't buy them when Disney tells you to. It's also where they keep Song of the South, I imagine. Anyway, the set is very pretty and sounds awesome, even if it is edited. I do think they should not label something as "original" if it is, in fact, edited to take out racism.

Watched The Social Network finally. It was pretty good, though not terribly factually accurate. Dug the soundtrack. Dig Justin Timberlake. I can't help it.

Was given a book about the making of Psycho, which most of you know is one of my top-three fave movies of all-time (the other two being the original Night of the Living Dead, and the first remake of The Ten Commandments). The book was garbage. It began with a whole chapter on how Ed Gein was this huge "mass murderer" and killed all kinds of women. False! It went on to say that Robert Loggia played Sam Loomis in Psycho 2. Double False. There is virtually no info on Anthony Perkins, and 3 chapters that go on and on about how they covered up Janet Leigh so she didn't have to be nude in the shower scene. Like I care. So...feh on that.

Working the day-job until 9pm. Then home to make H and I some stir-fry with a yummy peanut sauce. Then, Daily Show and Colbert, then, back to work. Aside from a few short visits, it's gonna be all writing all the time for the rest of the week.
wednes: (OMG!!!)
It appears that I have recurring kidney stones. I deduced this after the most physically painful night of my entire life to date, last night. I have broken bones, gone through TWO abcessed molars, another (what I thought at the time at least) bad kidney stone, and some other gruesome shit I won't detail here. Point is, this was by a WIDE margin the most excruciating thing I've ever experienced. Wailing, screaming into a pillow agony. For serious.

At first, I convinced myself that I had a fatal bowel obstruction. Curses, half-assed Internet research! Took a while for me to actually figure it out, I was hurting so bad I literally couldn't think straight. My whole body felt weak and shaky. I contemplated calling an ambulance for over two hours. When I took an ambulance 10 years ago, I got a bill for $700. Zod only knows what it would cost now.

I actually called H and asked him to come home from work after 2 solid hours of screaming pain. We decided that I could take a cab to emergency (They will drive you to Emergency as long as you can enter and exit the cab by yourself--honestly, I was not sure I could) It took 3 hours for H to get to me because he was working alone and a manager drove in from an hour away to cover for him. I seriously thought I was dying until I realized that it was just a goddamn kidney stone. I didn't go to emergency as spending a couple hundred bucks to ultimately be given some painkillers and sent home with a follow up appointment--it just didn't seem financially prudent.

By 5am, it was over and I felt more or less fine. Exhausted and somehow dehydrated, despite drinking 2 litres of water and at least 12oz of aloe juice since midnight. Thank Zod I had some in the house.

Presumably, this will mean tests and more tests. Expensive tests. As such, I will not be able to take time off the day job to finish The Finster Effect. I'm gonna do my damnest to finish it on time anyway--but who the hell knows?
Once H and I determined I was not about to die, I took some more midol and a sleeping pill and went to bed around 5:30am. I'm exhausted and frazzled, and am not doing fuckall today except going to see my buddy's band play. I hardly ever go out to do things that aren't a meal or a movie, so this will be nice.

Shit. I was also supposed to put up the Bear McCreary interview last night. Guess I better try to do it today.

In better news, the Miraculous Bed Swap of 2011 is tomorrow, provided everything goes according to plan. A nice family is taking our old bed, along with a mattress cover I got but never even took out of the package. And we're buying a $2800 Tempurpedic King for $500.
Score!
wednes: (slow death)
Oh, Happy Day!
For my custom jewelry from Etsy arrived. As some of you know, the discovery of Etsy has led to me not wanting any jewelry if there's a chance that someone else has the exact same thing. Everything is either one-of-a-kind or made in small runs. I'd been waiting for a particular piece to arrive; and today--it did!



Here are two more, including the back )


This other pendant I got actually contains a pic of the artist herself. Hence these are the most amazing bits of collectible hoo-ha that I have ever owned. I never thought anything would be cooler than those NotLD graphic novels with the sweet pencil drawings. Because I don't drive, am poor, and hate crowds, I don't go to the cons like most other fans. So I've never met Kyra, or George, or Savini, or Ken Foree, or any of the other cats that do cons all the time. Lucky for me, many of these peeps are on the Facebook now. ;-] Kyra is funny and friendly, so that's awesome. She also offered to add me to her links page on her site--which I am quite over-the-moon about.

Someone told me recently that they had "No idea" that I was a fan of Night of the Living Dead. They didn't know that NotLD and Psycho are two of my top three movies of all time (the other being Cecil B DeMille's remake of The Ten Commandments--but I don't always make it a point to share that with horror fans). Needless to say, I was shocked by this. It's only on every bio and profile page I have on the entire Internet. I've been watching NotLD at least every-other month since I was a wee Wednes. I've had a zombie defense plan complete with marked-up maps, minor weaponry, and wind-up radios since I was in jr high. My overall lousiness with guns makes me uneasy at times. I'm the kid that non-horror people think of when they see anything zombie related. Zombies have always been my thing--which is why it's weird that zombies are the subject of my 5th novel (though 4th published one) and not the first. I started a zombie novel in 1995 but never finished it--I wasn't really a writer yet, just a wannabe.
If I'm being completely honest with myself (and the all of you's) I have to admit that this jewelry is extra, extra cool because the artist is the most iconic female in all of horror (Well, MAYBE after the Bride of Frankenstien).
wednes: (slow death)
As you all probably know, there is some amazing original craftiness happening on the etsy. After connecting on the facebook, I became quite enamored of one artist in particular for pewter castings. I recall years back that she was selling trowel necklace charms and I really, really wanted one. Was too poor though. Fie and Sad.

Fast forward to today, the artist is making her own interpretation of my kickass logo.
Soon it will be a pewter necklace, the baddassery of which will blind asshats and haters the world over! So I'm pretty stoked. H is too, which is good since he designed the logo.

My logo:


The wax sculpture:


B&W so you can tell what it will look like monochromatically.


Of course, I am also getting the trowel. ;-]
Better still, it sounds like it's going to be done in time for my reading next month.
wednes: (Wut?  JoJo)
At work today on my day-off to help out a coworker who is taking a cooking class with his gal. Isn't that just adorable? Cooking class? Yes, it is. I've been way far down on my day-job lately as most of you know. This week though, the company prez showed me some love and then asked me what is making me anti-day-job. I'm debating how honest and forthright I should be with him, and on what will be productive and just not sound like a bitch-fest.

Found out that I will be reading and selling books at Detroit's Love Your Body fundraiser. I talk a lot about fat issues and my own fat fairly often. But it is unheard of for me to go out and talk about fatness in public. At the core of it, I am sad when people say mean things to me about being fat. I am afraid of how I may react when I hear something shitty said about my size, my perceived habits, my so-called self-indulgence, and all the other bullshit people think they have a right to say out of "concern." I feel like I need to justify what I eat, how often I exercise, what meds I take, etc.
So yeah, I am going to this event, and speaking (reading actually, some fat-related passages from S4S) and also hoping to sign and sell some books, and meet a lot of awesome new people. I really think it's time to put my money where my big fat butt is, and be more active in a movement that I obviously feel strongly about. And yet, I'm pretty fucking terrified.

My new Nike's came in the mail today. I cheaped out and got trainers instead of running shoes. Guess I'll find out if there's a big difference.

I'm not going to link to the article about the 13-year-old boy facing LWOP for a shooting he did when he was 11. I am gonna talk about it a bit though. I am opposed to capital punishment for anyone. ANYONE. And dammit, telling a child that he's gonna die in prison is indeed, capital punishment. I've heard people go so far as to call this premeditated. The kid didn't buy the gun, he didn't teach himself how to shoot it. Is he disturbed and in need of mental/emotional help? Probably. Do we write him off as unsavable before he's even in high school? I gotta vote No.
The idea that a kid is suddenly an adult because society is really, really offended by what he did is abhorrent. It's nonsensical. It doesn't help anyone, deter anyone, or solve anything. The ONLY thing is does is allow some people to feel vindicated. If revenge is the goal of our legal system, *claps hands* I'm out. Screw you guys, I'm going home.
wednes: (Dark Side reflection)
Finally called U of M hospital to find out why they keep sending me bogus bills for a thing I already paid for. Sadly, I learned that there are two different bills you pay when you go to a hospital. The doctor part, which was the $140 I already gave them; and the hospital part, which is a further $222. Nice, square number.
So I learn this on the same day that I learn that the GOP supports Universal Health Care for Iraqi's with a single-payer system. That's right. Our supposedly not-with-us-you're-against-us pals get better health care than those of us who pay the people who actually made that call. Yeah...thanks. Obviously, I have no problem with Iraqi's, or anyone really, having good health care. I think everyone should have it--absolutely everyone. And guess what? That includes me.

H and I ordered out from what is currently our favorite restaurant for non-falafel delivery. Both of our burgers were way too rare, and I got pretty violently sick. I mean, I love a rare burger but this wasn't even heated through. Didn't make it to work on Tuesday, which sucks because Return Hell is going on right now. Talked to the manager who was really apologetic and nice. She was the co-owner and gave me the whole run down on where they get their meat and that it shouldn't have made me sick and they're going to talk to the cook from that night. Anyway, they're a good restaurant and I feel fine now. Back to work tomorrow for one long shift before a 3-day weekend. Then...the drudgery of winter and the beginning of my quest to find a new day-job.

Went shopping for a couple different gauges of jewelry wire today. Had ordered some online but it was totally not the gauge I wanted. Turns out the wire gets thinner as the gauges go up. Who knew? Well, probably a lot of you did but it didn't occur to me to ask. Anyway, now I have a variety and can begin the long task of making myself a lovely Deathly Hallows charm to wear around my elegant swan-like neck. *snerk* Beats paying the Noble Collection $50 for one that won't even stay silver.

Thought I might be seeing some family over the holidays. Schedules just aren't meshing though. Sent out a few cool packages and got a few neat cards and gifts. Not really planning anything for NYE. Might be staying home. If so, locals should feel free to pop by, maybe bring a snack or whatever. But check, because if I get invited someplace cool, I just may go. H will be around this year too. We might actually *gasp* go someplace together. I'm not sure that's ever happened before on NYE.
wednes: (Santa?)
If you're curious to know how our holiday was, this is where you can find that out. )

And then, this happened:


Back to work tomorrow for a 3-day week. Dropping down on the hours so I can get some real work done. Have to finish The Finster Effect by the end of summer, which means I'll be working my ass off on it. New podcast ep this week, and new ZZN article and ParaBlog article too. That's right, no more dicking around. Back to the REAL work! Apparently the main difference between being somewhat talented and actually being successful is a metric fuckton of hard work. My new desk setup is awesome, so I really have no excuse for not getting everything done that I need to do. Well--unless that new HDMI cable that lets me watch downloaded vids on my big TV counts as an "excuse." I'm hoping not...but there is an awful lot of Bugs Bunny here.
wednes: (Work)
Imma bitch about my day job for a minute, s'okay if you don't feel like hearing about it. ) So when I found out that this year's holiday party is just another time when every department except mine gets to feel appreciated by the company--I was a tad disappointed. They are once again having the party at a time when my department is open and working.
Once I get my teeny tiny, bonus (seriously, last year's bonus wasn't even enough for H and I to go to a movie) my day-job humiliation will be complete.
My response to all of that is to be here as infrequently as possible, which for me will be 3 days a week as soon as the holiday return rush is over. That should give me enough time to finish The Finster Effect in time to get it to the editor for a 2012 release date.

This weekend I'm starting my new ParaBlog series, finishing my interview questions for the director of Opstandelsen, recording the new podcast ep, and working on one of the short stories from my fundraiser. Thinking about a ghost story, as I don't do too many of those but need to keep this one on the tame side. I'm behind on basically everything, so that's a bummer. Also have 3 batches of cookies and 1 batch of breads that needs to be done *gasp* by next week! Shit, I just realized that and I'm so not ready.
Most of my new work space gear has arrived. I'm bidding a fond farewell to the Global Command Centre that's been with me since 2003. New desk, ergo ball for sitting on (actually, the one I got is too short, so I'm getting a taller one), and a kickass USB hub that looks like a hollowed out skull. Neat, eh?

Pretty disgusted with the State of the Union these days. Obama is letting greedy fuckwits walk all over him. Rich people bitching that they're getting shafted because they have to pay taxes while 9/11 responders can't even see a doctor. Assange being treated as if exposing dicketry is high treason. And the usual How DARE you insinuate that people celebrate other holidays than CHRISTmas bullshit that seems to permeate the dialog every freakin' year now. I'm just so tired of all of it.
I am excited for Christmas if only to see the look on a few faces when they get the awesome stuff I bought them. H's birthday is the 20th, so I always like to make sure he gets separate gifts for both occasions. We set spending limits, but I always seem to go over. I mean, how can I not get H a Left 4 Dead T-shirt when it has a health pack right on the back? I know, right?
wednes: (Kittens)
Still no sign of JoJo. My neighbors thought they saw him, but there is actually another black cat running around the complex without a collar. I suspect that's who's been eating the food I've been leaving out. I am sad, and quickly running out of hope. He's been gone since Monday night. It's freakin' Friday now. I can't stop thinking that something terrible has happened to him even though I know it's just as likely that he's out there having a swell old time. Fucker.
Everyone I know has a story about a cat being gone a long-ass time and coming home once all hope was lost. I imagine they all also know 3 or 4 stories when a cat runs away, never to be seen or heard from again. I will presume he was taken in by a new family if I don't ever hear anything. I've called all the vets and shelters in the area, and have an ad on Criagslist and a few local places. Plus I put a ton of flyers on people's cars.

Going out of town tomorrow for a book signing at my alma mater, Olivet College. I haven't been on campus in, I think, about 10 years. Maybe a bit less. Facebook keeps me in touch with several classmates, some of whom I'm stoked to see this weekend. Plus I'm hoping to sell a lot of books, hype the podcast, and get people fired up for my big Kindle release at the end of the month. We're leaving A2 at 6:30am in the hopes of being there by about 8:30. We'll be hanging out at Longman House for a bit--I predict we'll split outta there early as my assistant will not really know anyone.

Just found out that the anthology I'm in is going to be available in hardcover. Fancy! I don't expect any of you to pony up $23 for a hardcover book just to read one of my short stories--but you should feel free to do that if you want to. The publisher on this is a pretty nice guy.

Finished season 4 of Dexter and hope to catch up on season 5 this Weds. Whoa, you think it's gonna be the same formula they've been doing all along--and then BAM! A thing happens. I can honestly say that while it was logical and utterly plausible, it was totally unexpected.

New South Park. Meh.
We also gave up on The Event. We decided we just didn't care.
Caprica premiere was great though. It's a really strong show.

Holiday shopping is underway. H is getting some kickass stuff once again this year. I know people rail on about making the holiday too commercial, but it is well established that I think it's fun to buy cool gifts for people I like. I also enjoy baking food and giving it away. So there.
wednes: (Default)
My iPod has magically transfigured itself into a piece of crap. This is disappointing since I was hoping it would remain an iPod for a good while longer. Granted, it was my own folly to buy a refurb (from Apple, I'm not crazy!) and not get the Applecare. I was light on funds and really wanted the classic instead of the Nano. Now it is possessed of a problem. If I forget and restart my computer while the iPod is plugged in, it creates a database error that makes it so I can't get into any of my files--except the ones I dragged and dropped there for safe keeping. The only solution is to restore it, which erases the whole goddamn thing. This happened last month and it took me weeks to redownload and format everything. iTunes doesn't let you redownload stuff you've already bought (anymore--dicks!), so I was just out that $80 or so. Then last Saturday night, it happened again. Fie and frown. I burned some stuff onto discs, but as I only have a combo drive and not a super drive, I'm limited that way. So I just have to be really careful or risk losing everything all over again. I really do need to invest in some hard drive space.

Am supposed to be working on two different short stories that I wanted to submit, like...yesterday. I have two great ideas that I should be able to bring in within the proper word limit. I just don't have any goddamn time. Plus all this rapid mental cycling is making it difficult to focus. Plus I'm working and doing the podcast and a few other random projects. I can't even express how much I'd like to quit my day job. But I'm no where near that point financially. But you know, money-wise, I've always been a complete failure. It's a good thing I've got a swell personality.

And now, for your daily cute:


These are cracking me up at the mo' so I thought I'd share.

Got the coolest present from [livejournal.com profile] uterdic and [livejournal.com profile] smarbaby, who just got back from Harry Potter Land, or whatever they're calling it. SIRIUS BLACK'S WAND!! I know, right? And I'm telling you, it's badass.

I haven't taken any good pics of my hair, but the stripes are in. They turned out more like swaths, actually. Lots of blue on one side, and plenty o' hot pink on the other. The blue is already coming out of the bottom of my hair, presumably because that's the part that's been processed the most. I'm taking that as a cue to get a haircut. I was kind of inspired by [livejournal.com profile] thehula's new 'do. I prolly won't go quite that short, but almost.

Will have new glasses pretty soon. Picked them out today at the new eye doctor. Spent $60 finding out I don't have macular degeneration or glaucoma. Hooray for the gift of sight! The news specs are a bit more understated than my current pair. I figured I'd dial it back a notch since I have clown hair right now. I don't want to do the full-out Penelope Garcia. Then again...I kinda do.
H thinks I make a lot of "gaudy" choices regarding hair and accessories. He also points out that I never buy anything beige, brown, orange, gold, tan, or any mottled color aside from gray-blue. That's mainly because I'm a winter. But I'm sure the fact that my parents couldn't get enough of those gross 70's Earth Tones and splashed them all over our old house is a contributing factor.
wednes: (Default)
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For the love of God, HELP ME!!
I've been held in a fortune cookie factory for over 30 years.
Your lucky number is 420



I'm not going to finish the JulNoWriMo.
There, I said it.
I've never lost a monthly WriMo before, so it's new to me.
I have decided though, that I'm going to write 50K, I'm just stretching it out to two months. That way, I'll stay motivated and writing but not stress myself out or flake on things that are important. Like today, I have to record the vocal for tomorrows podcast, and cook a big rigatoni for me and H.
Speaking of Take a Stab at This! I've had lots of traffic. Not much in the way of feedback, but a lot of people are looking at it. A couple hundred every day, so that is good news. Sent my lead actor a refurbished iPod which he should be getting today. Might make my life easier to send him the new Zoom H1 recorder my work will be carrying soon. Maybe I'll be able to afford it soon. I still have to buy some copies of my books to have on hand, get new glasses, and then it'll totally be time to work on my Halloween costume, then Christmas and every jackass I know has a birthday in either November or December--the jerks!

Our organic food delivery is coming tomorrow. We're getting spinach (Stop. Omlette Time!) and chard, two pounds of red grapes, and some other stuff. Not exactly sure who is growing grapes in Michigan, though I guess there are wineries here. St Julian's has been around forever. I used to love their sparkling juices as a kid. I ordered a bottle of dressing to go with the great lettuces, tomatoes, and cukes we are getting. I've never been so excited for a salad in my life!

Finished season one of Dexter. Even though I guessed who the bad guy was almost immediately, I thought it was a very well written show. Jennifer Carpenter annoys the hell out of me, but whatever. I'm stoked to get going on season two, and bummed that there's a season 4 spoiler on the cover of the CD set. Thanks, Showtime. You're still not HBO, so just get over yourself already. I do love how so many networks have figured out that people will watch shows if you bother to make them good--and that plenty of people really do know the difference between Art and Product.
wednes: (Default)
Off work today and tomorrow. Good thing, as I have tons of work to do. Haven't been able to stay up late and work these days. All but one day last week, I was tired and had to go to bed by 3am--even when I had the next day off work. Usually, I only go to bed early because I have to get up early the next day.

I want to go Detroit Zoo. Someone should take me.

Catching up on the JulNoWriMo today, and probably tomorrow. I'm only at about 5,000 words and should be at twice that as the first week is almost over. This is my last month with extra writing time, so I need to make it count. New ep of Kiss Me Like You Love Me podcast hits tomorrow. I still have to record the opening and mix the whole thing. As soon as my patty melt gets here, and I eat it, I'm going to get started. The book itself is coming right along. I seen to have very good luck when it comes to characters taking over and doing their thing. Colleagues decided they hate each other, compassionate people murder out of necessity, and the dog POV intro chapter turned out so wonderful and moving--it actually made me cry.

Scrubbed up my white macbook with a Mister Clean Magic Eraser. Awesome. Finally got my decals from Mac Styles. They were late, despite my paying extra for shipping so they'd get here last week. I sent them an Email and they refunded my TOTAL shipping, not just the extra charge. I thought that was swell of them, plus I love their products. I mixed them with a decal I got from this chick on etsy who has tons of great stuff. Apparently, she makes decals so she can stay home with her kid while her husband is deployed. Anyway, I think they look great:

Inside Front



New hair color should be here soon, bright black. It will be bluish at first, then fade to a deep black. I'm going to bleach some hair out and do some blue and pink Manic Panic. I've never done it before, but I'm stoked.

I've been using Puppy Training Pads on my bathroom floor because Pentelope likes to pee there. Hahaha! Success! Yes, she still pees there, but I don't have to mop 3-4 times a week. Yay.
wednes: (Default)
Fourth of July reminds me of the BBQ my Aunt used to have at her place. And how my Grandpa was the fireworks king. Man...he always had tons of illegal fireworks, which as a kid, was AWESOME! There would be swimming and volleyball, and every year I came home covered in mosquito bites.

Other than that, I'm not exactly delighted that we're "free" from a country that has better music, health care, journalists, TV, and John Oliver. I hear the food across the pond sucks. But something tells me that just beyond a foggy London moor or whatever, there's a McDonalds around there somewhere. By the time I shuffle off this mortal coil, there'll be McDonalds on the goddamn moon.

This is a comic.
It will make you laugh:

Clicken to Embiggen.
Have a nice day.

I finally conquered the dog POV chapter for the new book. I think I have set a decent tone. I'm barely caught up with the JulNoWriMo so I still have to write at least 1,700 words tomorrow, and every day hence until the end of the month. I haven't done much productive at all. Godfather and Godfather II were on cable today, so I watched them both in a row while I went online and did various lazy Saturday activities.
Tomorrow is grocery shopping. We're trying to both spend less money and eat healthier. I'm anxious to see how that goes. I'm also going to get some very dark hair color. Woot. Pics to follow.

I'm thinking about getting a new lunchbox to take my lunch to work in. Not sure yet if I want to invest in one. I have a few around here, but they seem too nice to put food in.

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