little_tristan: (Rat)
Mark wanted to get up at work time so we'd be tired enough to go to bed early and get up on time tomorrow. It worked. I'm really tired. Being out of bed has its perks, though. Mark's washing the bedding. And yesterday I had my first shower in two weeks. Being clean is fun.

My shoulder hurts but that's not Mark's fault. Murphy slept on it funny. I don't much mind. It's better than not being slept on at all. How do people sleep without furry creatures being furry all over them? I used to know but I've forgotten.

I've decided to tweet DJ Qualls after every Legit ep, just in case they're factoring in viewer responses in deciding whether or not to renew it for next season. He didn't tweet back this week, but he did favorite it. Maybe it's a good tweet to show the network.

Still trying to sort out my feelings about this Michelle Shocked thing. I've admired her for so long, as a person and a musician, and now she's come out as a born again homophobe. One of the things I always admired in her music was the blend of modern life and old style Christianity. Of course I also kind of assumed she was gay. Nothing I've read about her, or in her newsletters, implied otherwise. But here she is with her hate the sin, love the sinner rhetoric, and we're in the end times because gays are getting married.

Anchorage was always one of my favorite songs. It reminds me of my dad. Now it's probably always going to remind me of outdated hate.

The rest of my day is all paper work. Yesterday we got five pieces of mail. One of them wasn't from Kaiser. We're trying to get on their financial aid program to help pay Mark's hospital bill. It only covers his expenses at their hospital, which aren't too bad, but we need every penny to pay what they won't cover at ours.

And I'm late for paying bill, just 'cause of the zombie state. Also, I have an appointment to do our taxes next week, and while I have all the stuff, it's nowhere near in order. I hate tax time. I never know going in if we'll get a refund or have to pay more. And my accountant goes to what used to be my church and is always asking when I'm coming back. I just can't sit there in her office full of angels and explain that I'm not. It's a very stressful event all around.

But good to have over. All the H&R Block and Turbo Tax ads on tv have been wigging me out since January.

Yet I remembered just now that I haven't done Russell's yet. I use Turbo Tax online for that, but they didn't send the eight or nine email reminders that I usually get. Hope that's not going to be a problem.

I'll find out soon. First Russell and I have to go to the store and hunt up food that Mark will eat.
little_tristan: (Kitten Simon's Cat)
♥ I slept last night.

♥ Mark called a few times from Portland and sounded okay. He liked the ambulance guys and they had a really interesting conversation on the long, long ride. Also, he could probably have survived a fall from a helicopter in that stretcher.

♥ Heather went and saw him really, really late so I got a secondary report. She said he was coughing and sleepy but okay, as of 10:30 pm PST.

♥ Digging through my treat box last night, I found a whole gram of some sweet forgotten bud. Don't know what I'd do without my evening atomizer treatment (except not eat or sleep.)

♥ A friend told me a secret that I'd been secretly hoping to hear.;)

♥ The nemesis, who is still my nemesis, let's not get all sentimental in these confusing times, but still, has promised to chip in on Mark's hospital bills.

♥ Der Kaiser, while fucking about in a most ridiculous manner about not giving me one of my meds, actually sent a bottle of narcotics that wasn't due for a refill for at least 2 weeks. Small gain which is based on their stupidity, but I have to take what's offing.

♥ Heather's coming to take me up to see Mark. I might have time to sneak in a tiny nap first.

♥ Yesterday I had a really good brownie. It was from one of Mark's meals but he didn't want it. Hospital food has come a long way.

♥ I just cut my really long fingernails while wearing a nightgown with crescent moons on it and now I can't find the clippings. That's just funny.

♥ A book I'm reading on my phone (The Blythes are Quoted) is not really a good book in most ways, but I'm enjoying it hugely.

♥ Pop up chat friend is making my scary lonely morning fun. *hugs*
little_tristan: (Otters Significant Otters)
He's not okay, but he's a little better than yesterday. The insurance debacle got bigger and stupider and in the end we were forced to cave. Remember back when we decided to buy the plan that we couldn't afford so we could go to our own hospital? There was a misunderstanding. When Kaiser said we could choose hospitals, what they meant was we could choose to go to theirs and be fully covered, or go to ours and pay fully half the total cost out of pocket. (With a deductible of either seven or eighteen thousand; I never did get that figured out.)

Last night's post was written in a state of denial, after we made the bold decision to stick to our guns and do what was right for Mark. Today there was a lot more information dumped on us. With actual numbers. In writing. Bad, bad numbers. And by the time the ambulance arrived, it was so late Russ and I couldn't go, what with him having to be home in bed an hour ago.

The most hateful, hurtful part of all of this is that the doctors here all say the same thing: he really isn't ready to be moved. There's still a chance of decompensating on the 205. But Kaiser says no. They hear pneumonia and breathing without a vent and stamp him good to go. But since we had to make the ultimate decision about whether to go bankrupt or not, and therefor whether to put him on the road, he also had to sign a goddamn fucking waiver absolving them of responsibility in that very event. Or any other, really.

I'm having a very Ted Quinlan Catbread Underwater moment here. Every time I think I've met my limit of hateful, hurtful, downright goddamn hard things--my life just kicks in again. Mark's alone and scared with his lungs 1/3 full of fluid, and yes, he'll almost certainly get well, but I promised I wouldn't let them take him away, and now I have to find away to get out of these clothes (which I've been wearing since yesterday morning) and go to bed alone and I can't stop crying because if something does happen I'm two hours away.

It barely matters at this point that I won't get a shower this week. But it still kinda does.

I wish I had one of those best friends who comes running when things go to pieces and hugs me until the world makes sense.

I'll see Heather tomorrow. She'll probably hug me. That'll be good.

I'm sorry I didn't reply to any comments yesterday. They made me so happy, in a hugged sort of way. I might not reply to any comments here, either. Tomorrow's going to be a mess. But any offered hugs will be gladly accepted and deeply felt.

Last night I didn't sleep, but a few times I was sort of half awake and suddenly felt Mark lying beside me. He used to do that when we were dating, when he was too tired to drive home. He'd go to sleep in the living room but I'd wake up in the middle of the night to find him on the bed, fully dressed, just watching me sleep. It seemed like it should have been creepy but it never was.

All day I've been feeling him, a warm, skinny arm across my back, a little shiver of tobacco and geeky t-shirts.

He called as I was writing that sentence. I knew I felt something.
little_tristan: (Rat)
The last two days I've been watching Legit on the DVR. I recorded it because I will, quite honestly, watch literally anything with DJ Qualls in it. I've seen Road Trip. Twice.

But I didn't watch Legit right away because I hate getting hooked on first season shows that might go away. And I didn't want it to be bad. Or be really good and then run out. It's hard.

Imagine my surprise when I put it on the first time and found that the actor I was watching it for played a character with muscular dystrophy. And not only does he do it really well, except for lacking a couple of the telltale deformities that can't be faked, all of his plot lines address some aspect of being a young adult with MD that people just don't talk about. Things that I've been trying to explain since I was about fifteen that make normal people narrow their eyes and say either Huh, I never thought of that, or, if they can't fathom it, That isn't right, why don't they just [thing that immobilized, non-autonomous person could never do].

And here it is being portrayed on a really funny show, by an extremely talented actor who happens to look the part (remember when Rob Lowe was dying of AIDS on Life Goes On? not like that), and I seriously hope everyone is watching.

If you're not, some highlights:

♣ Young men with Billy's condition usually die without ever having had sex. Usually. As in the majority. Because they're immobile by the age of eighteen, they generally never leave home and remain under their mother's care for life. Mothers rarely encourage or facilitate their sons getting laid, especially the religious ones.

♣ Billy is 32, which is pushing the new outer limits of his expected lifespan. The majority die around 27, a significant increase over 20 years ago when the average lifespan was 18. I personally know one young man of 33 who is married with children. Of all the boys I knew growing up, he's the only one to accomplish any of those three things.

♣ One of the major improvements in this show over others that have prominently featured wheelchair using characters (to my knowledge three: Stevie on Malcolm in the Middle, Damian in the last season of Rescue Me, and Joe on Family Guy; I don't count Glee because the ridicule heaped on the handicapped child by actual school faculty was too painful to watch) is that it's very real. Even Billy's power chair is high tech and operated correctly, rather than treated as a prop. (See Rescue Me, where the kid is obviously in a power chair, but it has no control box, no push handles, and is never seen to move. He may as well be in a freaking Barc-o-Lounger.)

♣ As mentioned before, DJ is the perfect actor for this role. He's skinny and adorably funny looking and can do more with his voice and ability to cry at will than most actors can with their whole bodies. When he screams at his hoarder mother to for god's sake throw out the crutches from when he was ten, he'll never need them, even if they find a cure tomorrow it's still too late for him, all of disabled America heaved a sigh of relief. Enough with the goddamn unrealistic expectations, okay? It's not something we can fight. Just help us out or let us be.

And when he gets evicted from his care home and can't be returned to the aforementioned hoarder mom because the state said so, and his battery dies on the bridge and he finds he can't even kill himself, I cried. He was around for the next episode because an asshole wanted to be known as a good guy. Billy's not only an object of charity, it's for a shitty reason. And that's what will keep him alive.

♣ But the best part? As long as he lives with his brother and the charitable asshole, he will get to be a man, not a child. A man on oxygen who has a magnificent cock but not the ability to jerk off, yet still a man nonetheless.

A man who might make it possible for me to say I have muscular dystrophy and, instead of hearing oh, MS? My aunt had that (it's always an aunt), hear Oh, like that awesome guy on Legit.

And I will be proud to say, Yes, like him.

I'll probably cry when I do.
little_tristan: (BBT Sheldon WTF)
Since the Linus Pauling lecture series ends in May, I decided to look for something to do during the summer. The interweb is not helpful. Both papers, The Oregonian and The Statesman Journal, are fully online now, except for the comics, I think. Neither has a science section, and the Events calendars only list book, art, theater, etc. events.

A search of The Oregonian site for "Linus Pauling" didn't return an notice of this week's lecture. Or even the existence of the series. There were some nice articles on his collected papers at Oregon State University, but it can only be seen on weekdays.

OSU also has an amazing lecture series on archeology. On Friday afternoons. The scheduling conflicts with the paleoanthropology series at Willamette, but that's obviously a moot point.

There are environment sections in both papers, where they tell us to recycle and do articles about kids planting trees. That probably used to be in science.

The Mommy Blogs, seven divisions of Pets (including 2 forums and 3 blogs), and three different places to argue interactively about religion are most likely new.

Obviously I can read bigger papers, I have an online subscription to The New York Times for the arch-nemesis, but that won't tell me what events might be happening over here. Which is possibly the only thing the NYT has in common with The Oregonian (whose top headline today is a piece on a pack of feral cats at a community college campus).

We don't have great museums, either. I didn't really notice until I started searching today, but all we have are local cultural stuff, and children's hands-on science. (Play with bubbles! Mold clay!) There are a lot of small town historical museums, which are awesome, don't get me wrong, and the requisite tractor/heritage clothing/covered wagon museums.

What we're missing is at least one place in the state where you can go to see a dinosaur bone. There might be an egg in one of the mineral and gem museums. I like those. It's just not exactly the natural history museum of my dreams. Even Albuquerque has what I hear is a really good one.

I didn't mean even Albq. Except I do.

We really need to take that trip to DC.
little_tristan: (Gilead Gunslingers)
For some reason Mark woke me up at three this morning. He gets up early, I get up early? That was not in the vows.

Ebay has been kind enough to throw me a couple more pairs of jeans that Mark can wear. Man thing: I didn't know he needed pants because there are at least 5 pairs lying around the bedroom. Draped over the heater we don't use, sticking out from under the bed, just kind of everywhere. I don't dress him or do the laundry, so how was I supposed to know he only considers two of them wearable?

Other man thing: Russ has been letting me buy him socks that are too small for, I don't know, ten years. Why would he not tell me he needs bigger socks? Are big feet an embarrassment for big men? Is he a girl? Commune Purchasing Officer is a hard job enough without all this disinformation re: socks.

Heather is learning the second hardest way why people don't let toddlers play with their Kindle Fires. I gave her an Otterbox to save her the hardest lesson, but the little boogersnot--the same kid who tells his mother in complete sentences that he has to poop and then hides in a closet to do it in his pants because he wants privacy--has figured out that hitting certain buttons makes the games better. By buying upgrades. Which are then charged to me.

Am I the only one who thinks Amazon should require a password when buying apps and upgrades within apps? iTunes does, and it's not nearly as good as Amazon in most other ways. I wouldn't mind if Heather was buying them. She has good sense. Her son, otoh, thinks nothing of billing me $7 so he can have a wider variety of Angry Birds.

Maybe there's a way to turn off One-Click on certain devices. That can be my project for the day.
little_tristan: (Puppy Upside Down Willow)
I'm watching a lot of documentaries lately. America the Beautiful, which looks at American standards of female beauty, is very good. Preschool University, on the difficulties of getting into elite Manhattan preschools, is probably more interesting if it's relevant to you. Like, if you live in Manhattan, have a two year old, and can afford fifty grand a year in tuition.

The Billionaire's Tea Party, made by a Brit trying to figure out what the loving fuck is going on over here, makes me sad. No, Tea Parties, you're not a grassroots organization. Poor dude in Walmart clothes who built the website for free? You got hosed. The guys backing your barbecue are worth over $20 billion and that shit just ain't trickling down. Know what else? It's never going to.

Also, if you want to call the president a communist/socialist/Marxist/whatever, please learn what those words mean. 'Cause someone might ask you to defend the accusation and that shocked, stupid look, followed by orders to "look it up" is not helpful to your cause. Because I know what the words mean. I just don't know what you mean.

Tammy was just here dusting and fighting off the dogs because I forgot and scheduled the lawn guys for the same day. But she appreciated the seahorses I stamped on my thumbnails this morning. Probably no one else will notice, so that makes me feel better.

I'm supposed to be paying bills and doing financial stuff, but it's Mom's birthday and I'm taking the day off. It's also Willow's birthday. Dog's never give you a day off, but at least I don't have to bake her a cake. She's perfectly happy just chasing her rope.

The catbox experiment is working well enough that the cats are behaving. Kenny not so much, but I still think that's mostly obesity. That's not exactly news. It's more of a progress report.

Work is still up in the air and the insurance company is still a pain in the ass. They had a meeting yesterday with an agent to answer questions. I gave Russell a list. Most of the questions revolved around prescription copays and my curiosity as to how I'm saving money by paying more. Our last insurance had a three tier system, $15/$30/$45. The new one is two tiered, $15/$30. Yet when Mark picked up my last prescription, which used to be $45, he had to pay $60.

I realize this is a significant savings over the $233 and change that the drug company wants (is Cymbalta shit by California condors or something?), but there's still a lie in there somewhere. I'm so sick and tired of these guys lying to us. And the whole defense of the massive premium increase is that we'll save so much everywhere else. Yet everything costs more. The only thing we haven't tested is hospitalization. I shudder to think what the radical markup and ensuing justification on that would be.

Of course Russ went off on the guy in the meeting, showed him the receipts, pointed out the numbers in the handbook, called them liars and thieves, the whole bit. Dude had no explanation whatsoever and said someone would call me to clear it up.

Ask me if that's happened. Go ahead. I dare you.

They're just lucky I got my Cymbalta or shit'd be a lot crazier right now.



Here's Murphy Sloane in his exoskeleton, looking a little bit crazy, too.

That platform he's on? Is a piece of plywood laid over the bathtub. It doesn't work as a tub, but it's good for storage. And Murphy. Also, true fact: the bar of Irish Spring in the soap dish behind him? Came with the house.

There's a new sea urchin in the house. This one's a cute little spiny critter from Africa, dating back about 50 million years. I haven't gotten a new urchin in a long time, but I was on ebay looking at chondrites and it popped up.



This is the new urchin, along with a thumb for perspective and seahorse showing off.

The chondrites are coming from Germany. I don't know when they'll be here. It's very exciting. For some reason we don't have any. I've never even held one before. But I read about them in Scientific American and it said the slices are gorgeous under a microscope. I love microscopes.

I also love The Hunger Games. I'm going to go read now.
little_tristan: (Bloom County cutter john)
The boys are back at work. I love that the bosses "allow" them to do their own work there on their own time because they know they'll reap all the benefits. The only way the orders get filled is with out machines but the royalty is such a small fraction of a penny that even Russ can't quite figure out what we're actually getting. It comes down to something like a dollar an hour at top speed. At that rate, it'll take about ten years just to break even on the machine.

Awesome.

In better news, I may have a new home for Mom's power chair. Heather called this morning to ask if I still had it. Her mom's fiance at the time of her death is dying slowly of liver failure and needs a little help getting around. He's been a family friend forever and he and Heather are still close.

It's been hard to give the chair away because I let the batteries go flat for so long that they won't take a charge. Batteries are expensive. I didn't want to buy new ones and then send it to Goodwill or something, and no one else will take it since I can't prove it works. The batteries I get are $300 each, and of course they need two. But I get the really good ones that last a long time. I put a lot of miles on my chairs and our insurance only buys them once a year, no matter what kind you get.

But there's usually a fairly cheap option that gets cheaper still when you pay cash. Maybe $50 or $75 each. It depends on the make and model of the chair. I'm going to call the shop I like best and find out how to get them. It'll be nice to get the chair out of the library (it's in the Fiction Closet--YA to the left, horror to the right, literature straight ahead) and back into useful service. I wish the next owner was a little bigger, though. It seems like a waste giving a 600 pound weight limit to a 200 pound guy. But I understand he has a puppy now. Puppy will probably enjoy rides on the extra-wide seat.

And a grandkid is all lined up to take puppy home when Uncle D passes so no worries there. (He's not really an uncle, but Heather's always called him that. If he'd married her mom, I'd have called him cousin.)

I'm bidding on a piece of Billy Martin's--Poppy Z. Brite as was--jewelry on eBay. It's not only beautiful, I really want to own something that was owned and worn by the person who wrote the Liquor series. It breaks my heart, as a person and a writer, to see him selling his little treasures to make rent when his books are so great. And there are so many of them! How can someone so huge and famous and wonderful be forced to suffer this much? Does good writing really pay this badly?

I'm really torn between wanting to get it at a good price and not wanting to disappoint him or rip him off. Maybe I'll be outbid by someone rich. Then I'd be sad, but I'd be happy for Billy.

That's hard to write. I want him to still be named Poppy. But it's not up to me.
little_tristan: (Default)
Mark got sick. He does that when he gets stressed and stops eating. He stayed in bed yesterday while Russell went to work and attended the new insurance meeting. Short version: we're getting fucked.

Long version: they're switching to Kaiser next month. There are no doctors in our county that accept the regular Kaiser plan, which costs about what we're paying now. We'd have to drive an hour to Salem or Tualatin to see a doctor. Or go to an ER. An ambulance trip to a participating hospital would not be covered due to the ridiculous distance and would cost a fortune. We made that trip once last year, to take Willow to an emergency vet in Tualatin on a weekend. It was a nightmare just with a sleeping puppy. With a sick person--I can't even imagine.

Not to mention that I refuse to switch doctors because, you know, I'm all fucked up and I have a great guy here who can handle it. Who has been handling it for about 15 years now, thank you very much. I've never even been to a different practice. Like, literally since birth. My mom's doctor was there. He delivered me and turned me over to the pediatrician I saw for the next 18 years, who then handed me over to the guy before this guy. The triage nurse used to be the pediatrician's nurse. She always squeezes me in somehow.

Of course changing wouldn't matter much because I can't take a bus to those other cities and Mark couldn't drive me over after work. No one stays open that late. Just getting a med check would mean taking a whole day off. And if Mark or Russell were sick it would mean both of them stayed home. Either can drive the ten minutes to our doctor if they have to. (Even that time Russ had the inner ear thing. He drove staring straight ahead and I checked traffic at intersections and lane changes. Teamwork, y'all. It's the heart of Gilead.) If one is really ill and it's an hour/hour and a half, the other would have to drive.

There is another option, and it's the amazingly sucky one we have to go with. Pay twice as much in premiums. Well, twice as much for Mark and me. Seven and a half times more for Russell--from $20 a month to $152. Just to go to a doctor in our own town instead of an hour away. He said he'd take the cheap plan and just not go to the doctor anymore, but he can't do that. He hardly ever gets sick, but when he does he always ends up in the hospital. (When Russ does something, he does it BIG.)

Of course the bosses know all this, but since we're the only ones outside the service area, they don't care. It saves them money, and so what if my boys are the ones making most of it for them? They've acted like whipped dogs long enough, I'm sure the bosses assume they'll put up with anything. I almost said pay cuts would be next, but guess what? That's EXACTLY what this is. Another $500 less in their checks every month.

I canceled Tammy yesterday so the dogs wouldn't bother Mark. It was nice and quiet for reading, at least. I've suddenly lost the urge to write. That happens when I need a word-infusion. But it's dusty. Maybe I should get used to it. We probably can't afford her anymore.

At least Mark is better today. He feels so guilty when he sleeps that he doesn't do it enough. Also, the atmospheric pressure was weird. It's eased up on our heads some now. Russ is at work again. They're both going tomorrow. Mark's catching up on laundry and making a crock pot of beans for the week. Soon it will be shower time. It feels like Sunday. Tomorrow will be extremely confusing. I won't know what day it is forever.
little_tristan: (Maus)
I'm sort of begging everyone to watch this. It'll be worth it.

little_tristan: (Default)
I wish Protestants would stop using the term Immaculate Conception. It's peculiarly Catholic doctrine and they don't know what it means. It sounds good but they're really just perpetuating the confusion.

I also wish Supernatural had come up with a different word for what they call purgatory. Purgatory is a real word. It has a long history and a well-defined meaning. The place they're talking about is not it. So far as I can tell, their purgatory is purely an invention for the show--given that the monsters who go there don't exist--so they could have made up a name for it rather than appropriating an unrelated word.

These things don't offend me as a Catholic. They offend me as a student of the English language.

The atmospheric pressure is changing. It's killing my sinuses and I want to go to bed. This is the only time I still miss Steve. But I don't miss being lifted at arm's length.

There was another dust-up with the arch-nemesis this morning. He got all petty about the amount of stuff I had cluttering up the counter in "his" bathroom. (A bottle of body wash, a bottle of hair oil, a razor and a box of replacement blades.) I was taking the dogs out and found my things in a box of trash he'd gathered up and left on the shower chair in the hall.

He said of course I could put the important stuff back in the bathroom, but where? Not on the counter. He just cleaned it! And the medicine cabinet is too shallow and the shelves too close together, and he just cleaned the windowsill, too, and his stuff is under the sink, but I can put it anywhere else if I just tell him where!

I assumed it was a rhetorical question. He did suggest that, since I use those things so rarely, I should just leave them on the chair. In the hall. That gets knocked over at least twice a week by me or the dogs (or Russell, in the dark).

That seemed to be the one last humiliation that it was still possible to avoid, so I took my stuff to my room and am trying to figure out a way to transport it back and forth easily enough that Mark won't get pissed off every single time I take a shower. Or worse, put it back in the bathroom (where it belongs) so I can pick it all out of the trash again in a couple weeks.

In less cranky news, stamps came today so I'm going to mail holiday cards tomorrow. It'll be a good project while I wait for Tammy. This week I'm going to ask her to do the stuff I felt too guilty to ask for last week, since I felt too guilty to ask anyone else, either.

There were two Discover magazines in the mail. I just subscribed a few weeks ago and recently got the November issue. Today I got December and January/February. I forgot they do that, use up as many of the issues you've paid for as they can with ones already printed. It's cost-saving without being a complete ripoff. At least to me. I like missing out on as few as possible.

Sort of on a whim, I subscribed to Mother Jones yesterday. I wasn't even sure what it was until I saw it on Amazon. If asked, I'd have guessed newspaper. I've seen it sourced in a lot of really interesting articles on the web and their information generally holds up. I'm hoping it's less pretentious than The New Yorker. The a-n makes me read some of the articles and explain them to him. He only knows what about half the words mean. It takes forever.

(Off, crankypants! Get back!)

Hours later, my headache is mostly gone and there is promise of food soon. Not food that I love, but certainly edible and nutritious food. If Ranger steals another pork chop right off the broiler pan, I'll try to get a picture.
little_tristan: (Book Reading)
I've thought about this a lot and it's the best answer. Bookstores have to be busy and profitable, and librarians are bound by all sorts of actual laws and bullshit local politics. I wouldn't be good at either of those things.

But if we were rich and could afford to run a business at a loss (or arrange it as a proper tax shelter), I'd run a private library. It would start with my books, of course. Most of them would be available to check out but a few would be for reading on the premises only. The antiques and the ones that are already falling apart. Some would be in display cases and not touched at all.

Really, it would be a book club. Not like a group reading the same book book club. A club of book people. Like a wine club, or the reading room of a country club. There would be yearly dues collected to buy new books and replace lost or damaged books. But I'd screen the members carefully and try not to take any who would lose/steal/damage my books. Repeat offenders would be kicked out.

It wouldn't replace the public library, where they have ten of thousands of books and millions more available through the CCRLS system. It'd be more the kind of place you'd go after you hit the public library to read your new books without the distraction of a hundred people going in and out. The furniture would be comfortable, the lighting plentiful but understated, and there might be a fireplace with a dignified painting over it.

Also, as a private entity, I could probably have resident animals without all the legal hassles that public businesses deal with. But it would be ridiculously accessible. The restroom would be huge and there would always be a very polite and dignified employee to see that everyone's needs were met. A library butler.

There would also be a room that members could reserve for private book clubs or writing workshops, whatever they needed a space for. So long as it was quiet and related to the purpose of the club.

The club might sponsor a discussion group or have guest writers visit, but I'm not sure. Perhaps once there was a certain number of members we would vote on that. I'd consider one discussion meeting a month and one or two guest speakers a year.

I like going to those things sometimes, but it also seems that talking about books and writing eventually supersedes actually reading and writing. We couldn't risk alienating the people who joined to have a place to go and read when they can't do that at home. It must always be a place to escape to, never from.

I've been thinking about this off and on for a good ten years, but always more in the winter. And when the arch-nemesis is being especially awful. Yesterday was one of those days when I just wanted to go somewhere and be alone with my books. And at least half of a really good chocolate cake. Homemade. With possibly lemon frosting between the layers.

I would serve things like that at the library club. Members would eat for free.
little_tristan: (Default)
The boys got home early. The machine works so they're happy. Mark has to write some more software to make it do a few more cool things, but that's okay. He'll complain about the hours, but he loves writing software--which he taught himself to do--and applying it to his own robot. Also he can do it at home.

I thought of a scene for my new novel today but I'm being slow about writing it because I don't know what the next scene will be. Or the ending. The character who sort of resembles Sister's MiL and that other terrible woman who's a lot like her is being difficult. Partly because I'm so angry at the MiL that it's hard to write the character without her being a total caricature, and partly because the only way people like that can take over a situation and implode it is if you let them.

If I can't imagine something, I can't write it. And I literally can't imagine letting that happen. I also can't imagine being one of those people myself. So it fails from both sides.

I've spent years observing both those women, one as an adversary and one as a friend-turned-adversary, and I still can't figure it out. In my stories people tend to get along. That's what I understand. That's what makes sense. If they hate each other, they shouldn't live together.

I know, arch-nemesis, but it's different. He's just old and selfish and stupid. He doesn't have a medical history that reads like the DSM-IV.

She might disappear in the second draft. It might turn out that the story needs someone not so hopelessly evil.

I've cheered myself up with a Ding Dong. Now there's one left and I'm saving it for a day when absolutely nothing else will do. There will easily be at least one of those before I hit the expiration date on the box.

This is the stamp I pre-ordered for next year.


I enjoy the added poignancy of it being a Forever stamp.

little_tristan: (Haunted House)
I was just rereading my early drabble experiment, Peaceful the Knives, and found that I never credited the guy I stole the title from. It was Julian Cope, and the line's in here somewhere.

little_tristan: (Apple Pie)
The boys are still at work. That part kind of sucks. But if they get it all sorted they won't have to go back tomorrow. Then we can watch DVRed Supernatural and The Big Bang Theory. Also, if they're tired enough tonight, I get corndogs from The Used To Be Crackpipe Store for dinner. I can't remember what it's really called. The last owners kept getting busted for selling crackpipes. It's really nice now so we couldn't keep calling it The Crackpipe Store.

I could learn the real name, but the boys probably won't and then they wouldn't know what I was talking about.

For breakfast I had apple pie.

I took a break from writing today to celebrate not being accountable for writing. It opened up a lot of time for reading. If tv keeps being awful, I might finish Mostly Harmless.

Mailing Christmas cards is being a problem because I'm out of stamps. Russell tried to get some this morning but the PO was closed and they don't have the machine he knows how to use anymore.

The first place I always go to buy online is Amazon. They sell stamps. And they suck. You get Prime shipping, but it's still $17 for $9 worth of stamps. How can that even be legal? The USPS site has them for actual face value. I ordered a bunch and the shipping was $1.75.

Next month they're issuing stamps with the Emancipation Proclamation on them. Not all of it, of course. But enough. I ordered a year's supply. That might've been a mistake, though, as I understand there will be more Civil Rights stamps coming out during the year. Probably I'll end up with a lot of stamps.

I don't have tags for any of these topics.
little_tristan: (Kitten Monster)
I spent the morning in chat with [personal profile] valis2, who designed the most beautiful jewelry for me to give as Christmas gifts. If you haven't visited her shops, you probably should. If you wear jewelry or like beads, that is. I'm terribly excited about giving these pieces to the people they were made for. Custom jewelry is the best.

NaNo and its unaffiliated Mini Challenge are over so I'm going back to writing in my random, haphazard way. Never having worried about word counts before, I'm interested in seeing if I do more or less work without the mild pressure.

Self-imposed goals might be good. But feeling like a failure because the muse wasn't there and I didn't reach the goal, or I wrote badly for the sake of getting more words on paper, would be bad. Feast or famine, it's a fine line.

I've pretty much given up my book goal for the year. I'd have to read a book a day from now til the end of the year and that's not going to happen. Unless I read all the Star Trek: TOS novels on the shelf. I could probably do two or three of those a day. But they aren't what I want to read right now. Quality tops quantity once again.

Yesterday I saw a Criminal Minds ep from S5 that I've never seen before. 4 to 8 episodes a day on two different channels and I'm still finding new ones on the DVD. It's fun trying to guess why certain ones aren't aired. This one is about an outbreak of suicides among high school kids in neighboring towns. Is it the teen suicide angle? The identity of the unsub? Garcia's hair? (I adore her, but does she start getting ready at three to be at work by eight?)

It'll never be one of my favorites, though, because they're all mean to Reid on the plane going home, listing things they hate about him. He looks so sad and no one even apologizes.

I can't wait to get to S6. I know I'm missing a lot there. And one that I have seen is one of my favorites.

We stayed up a little late last night, since we were sleeping in a bit this morning. But I ruined it by getting sick after about 3 hours' sleep. Lately I've been haunted by a mild, lingering sense of nausea. Possibly from smoking so little pot this last week. Mark dragged me out of bed so I could throw up for a while and smoke a bowl, and then we went back to sleep. It was very strange.

Possibly the strangest part was that when I first woke up, Big Orange Roy was catloafing on my ribs and shoulder, in what has always been Murphy's place. Murphy was on the pillow when we went to bed, but he decided not to stay. He doesn't move to my side very often anymore, probably because of his balance problems.

What's weird is that no cat besides Murphy has even slept on me like that before. Roy's lived with us for 12 years and I never would have guessed that he even wanted to. Maybe he doesn't. Maybe it's just a status thing.

People are supposed to like animals because they look up to us like gods. I've always found that rather awkward. I wonder if that's how God feels when people fight over religion. I'm big enough for all the cats to sleep on, but they don't want to share.

And the dogs are even worse.
little_tristan: (Gilead Gunslingers)
I'm off to bed on this, the last day of November, so I leave you with my final MiniNano totals for 2012. It was a lot of fun, even though I didn't actually sign up for NaNo and won't get a prize or anything.

I did the Mini challenge with my new friends (hi everyone!) to get past the holdups in the final draft of The Dancer, which should have been published months ago and wasn't, due to not being finished. The support and encouragement were a huge help, as was the low word quota. Some days it would only come 500 words at a time, and it was great to be able to say I'd done my work for the day and just let it go.

But the book was finished in under two weeks, and then there was a new idea that came all in a rush, fresh and happy and begging to be written, so I decided to see if I could do 50,000 words of it by the end of the month. Or even if it had that many words in it. (I think now that it will have about sixty-five.)

Now that you're all caught up, here's how it ended:

Today words: 2,985

Total words of new untitled novel: 50,657

Total words of The Dancer written in November: 18,132

Total MiniNaNo words: 68,789

Thanks again for all the love! I couldn't have done it without you. <3
little_tristan: (Gilead Gunslingers)
Still working on the new novel. Hope to have a title soon. It's going so well that even though the month's half over, I'm going to see how close I can get to NaNo's required 50,000 words. Just this novel, not counting the rest of the MiniNaNo words.

Today words: 5,165

Total words: 47,672
little_tristan: (Default)
Not my kind of service, though. She should be a hearing dog for the Deaf. I've never seen a dog react so consistently to such a wide variety of sounds. She's always right here to tell me when my phone rings or a programmed alarm goes off. And she loves dragging people to investigate strange, tiny noises that we don't hear until we're right on top of them.

She's an excellent fuzzy friend, but her talents are wasted here. If she didn't have kids to herd once or twice a week she wouldn't get to use her skills at all.

Too bad she hates the arch-nemesis. He could use an attention getting dog. His sister's calling me three times a week trying to reach him. He never hears his phone when she calls him. He tells me the problem is she's old and doesn't know how to work her cell phone. That makes me laugh. If he could work his phone, he could call up an iron kettle and tell it that it's black. But he can't. Lucky kettle.

I'm watching the Flight of the Phoenix remake. The writers didn't know much about pilots. It has a lot of weirdly bad scenes designed for high Hollywood drama but only one really bothers me. After the crash, when the girl is trying to talk the captain into being strong for his passengers, he says it's not a Girl Scout troop and he isn't there to hold anyone's hands.

Okay, it's not Girl Scouts. If it was, they'd have cookies. But those people are his responsibility until they arrive at their destination, not just until the plane hits the ground in some random piece of desert. He's still the captain, he's still in charge, and if hands need holding, that is his job. Unless he officially delegates it to another employee, but he still has to supervise.

In the end, he gets his own airline because he's such a famous hero. In reality he'd likely be unemployable after treating his passengers with such disdain. In the original, Jimmy Stewart just hauled cargo. He was good with people and knew his job. This guy needs to go back to flying metal pipes around.

Oddly, the designer who shoots the wounded enemy in cold blood could probably still get on with NASA. Fewer public relations issues there.

If you're wondering why I own the dvd and watch it repeatedly, I have a two word answer: Hugh Laurie.

The longer answer is that I just love the story. The book is excellent and I'll probably own every movie version they make during my lifetime, even though the 1965 will almost certainly never be equaled.

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