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: (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.
little_tristan: (Bunny)
All the library books are read and ready to be returned. I worked out a recycling system for Murphy's little tin cans, and found a great deal on his food on Amazon. They not only have the good stuff available by the case, it's Subscribe & Save eligible. And the cases are variety packs, so I can have two sent every month and get six or seven flavors.

Murphy's definitely better in some ways. He loses his balance more than ever, but the problem isn't new. He was less than a year old when the guy we were living with sprayed him with a toxic chemical and Murphy licked a lot before I could wash it off. I don't know if it's a neurological problem or an inner ear one, but ever since then he falls over when he shakes his head. Now he falls over when he tries to groom, too. The other night he wanted to sleep on my ribs and went rolling off down my back four times before he got settled securely. I love his determination.

The good thing is that he's put on a little more weight. And the skin breakdown on his rear legs, the part kitties sit on, has reversed. The little sores are all healed over and starting to grow new fur. Even his coat, which has always been amazingly glossy, is suddenly more so.

On the subject of pretty coats, Ranger's having a good winter, too. Her prior recurring problems haven't come back, so we know the meds are working. Other winters she's been having treatment instead of preventative care, which made her fur turn dusty grey and fall out. Constantly. In ridiculous amounts. This year she's as pretty as a puppy.

Willow's being extra pretty too. I wish the light had been better in that pic the other day. It didn't really do her justice. I've been spending more time on her coat, raking the fine hair behind her ears and on the backs of her legs so it flows properly. She likes to play in water and mud. We have a lot of that in the yard right now and much of it comes inside on her legs. I don't know why it's on her head.

I woke up at one this morning needing to fix my blankets. Mark is a terrible blanket thief. But I couldn't budge them because there was a cat in between us, weighing them down. I couldn't even get my hand under the cat to reach Mark. Murphy's gained weight, but he's not that heavy. He is, however, the only cat that sleeps at the head of the bed. There are rules. I got my hand out from under the blankets to feel the cat and discovered it was Big Orange Roy. (12 years old and still 13 pounds of lean muscle and attitude.) He was so happy to be petted he stood up and started licking my hand so I got the blankets. Then he curled up on my pillow and went back to sleep.

Mark says Roy can never have Murphy's place. He'll never be Head Cat of Gilead, even if that means the post stands empty after Murphy moves on. I agree that Roy and Kenny aren't Head Cat material. But I hope he lets one of them sleep on my pillow anyway. Roy's been sleeping between our feet for a decade now. He deserves some face time. If he promises not to lick our faces while we sleep*.

I finished online Christmas shopping yesterday, and the cards I ordered arrived. They're so very cute. If you've never gotten a card from me and want one, PM with your address and I'll be happy to add you to the list. If you've gotten one before, you're already on it.:) (Except maybe [personal profile] amine_eyes, because you keep moving!)

Heather's coming over soon so I need to get writing or I won't accomplish anything today. Except for all the stuff I was doing earlier, but that hardly counts.

*He'll totally lick our faces while we sleep.
little_tristan: (Puppy Upside Down Willow)
To the best of my knowledge, [personal profile] oddmonster safe. <3

As soon as Mark and I left Thursday afternoon, Russ took Willow upstairs to eat and watch tv. Ranger stayed downstairs to patrol the house and wait for me, as is her preference. She just has to be able to watch the doors or she gets really anxious.

After about an our and a half, Will started running around whining and pawing at the bedroom door. When he wouldn't get up, she jumped on the bed and grabbed a mouthful of pants leg like Lassie when Timmy's down the well.

She pulled him off the bed--it was either get up or lose his pants--and dragged on him until she was sure he was going to follow. He let her out and she ran down the stairs, through the kitchen, and down the ramps to the library. When Russ got to the kitchen she was at the bottom of the last ramp, not barking or whining, just standing in a perfect bird dog point aimed at the backdoor. Border collies point beautifully. It's weird.

Russ went down to see if there was a possum or something out there, and what did he find? Ranger, sitting patiently on the backdoor ramp, waiting to come in. We've no idea when the arch-nemesis put her out, but Willow certainly knew when it was time to bring her back.

We're not only thrilled to finally have one of those pull-you-around-by-your-pants-leg-when-they-need-to dogs, but also one that's looking after her elderly friend. Whether Ranger appreciates it or not.

This is a picture I took of Will today. She was nervous and whiny with the boys gone (there was a floor being painted at work so they didn't think it was safe to take her). But she likes to sit in the rolling chair to be brushed. When I was done, I moved it over by my desk so she could sit up beside me and get petted without jumping while I was working. She's also learning the command "get in your seat".

little_tristan: (Kitten Perpetual Pre-Pounce)
It's already a good day. We got to sleep two extra hours(!) and the boys left not all stressed and freaking out for a change.

Dinner will be tricky because they completely fucked off buying pie last night to go to Fry's and get me a new monitor. It's substantially larger than the old one and the color is beautiful.

They've taken Willow off to work, leaving great peace in Gilead. When Will's not around, Ranger pretty much sleeps all day. And I'm told that Will barks at the bosses when they drop by to see what's going on. That should be bad but it makes me happy.

My icons look different on this monitor. Better, somehow. I hope they look like this to all of you, too. It's very pretty.

Now I have a book to finish reading. Then I'm going to watch Seeking a Friend for the End of the World to see if it's funny enough for Mark. I like proof-watching and reading for other people. Also looking things up. I should've been a personal assistant.
little_tristan: (Gilead Gunslingers)
We're running low on balm. The boys are at work today, welding on their machine. At least Willow gets to go with them. It's more peaceful at home and she has a great time riding in the car.

[personal profile] valis2 has finally sucked me into jewelry making on a trial basis. I'm still collecting the findings for my project, but if the tools aren't too hard to use there might be a second one. Heather calls it bead-crack. She isn't wrong.

New books have arrived! I'm taking a break from long ones to read Yossel by Joe Kubert. My sister has always been a huge fan of his work, he's been a cartoonist and comic artist all his life, and as a teenager she wanted to go to his school in New Jersey. It's still frustrating that that didn't happen. She was truly great.

I'm still working along on my story. It's so much fun having a new thing and writing it for the first time. I've already said that. But it's still true.

The most fun thing is that the story has a set time-span of roughly three days and two nights, so I'll actually know when it's finished. A group of strangers are getting along as best they can, as usually happens in my books, but this time they're waiting for rescue, which will actually come on time.

Hopefully they'll have some fun, overcome some difficulties, and learn a few things about themselves in the process. Although there's always one who doesn't want to learn. In this story she's based on Sister's MiL. The trick will be keeping the armed guy who's based on Mark from killing her.

I really enjoy those two. I just ask myself what Mark would say/do if he wasn't married to someone who's related to someone who's related to her, and go from there. It's awesome. And he's a big help with the human behavior parts. Also firearms.
little_tristan: (Bunny)
But it's not even dawn so here's yesterday's news.

Ranger made a full recovery and spent the day reasserting her dominance over Willow. Surprising how quickly a dog Will's age can forget a year and a half of fuzzy-butt-whippings and start thinking she's in charge after just one day. But that misapprehension has been corrected and all is well.

Tammy came over and dusted, which is probably boring to read about but never fails to thrill me. Everything is so clean, and she's so much fun to have around. Really breaks up the boredom of a Tuesday.

I've been playing around with The Dancer this week, too. With Steve out of the way (he was a bad influence on one of the characters) and no deadline, self-imposed or otherwise, I might get it fixed up this winter. Or not. Depends on if it keeps being fun.

The nemesis avoided me all day, which was really nice. I kept the heat turned up unbearably high to reduce the chance of yelling, and apparently made some points. He wandered in last night while Mark and I were kicking back with a little Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (the first hour, at least--we'll have to finish it tonight) and offered to raise the rent. That's pretty standard. If shouting doesn't work, throw money at it. Well, if it makes him feel better, who are we to say no?

Today Heather's coming over. Hopefully with canning jars, or I'll have to send her to Goodwill to look for some. She also volunteered to take the old man shopping for proper clothes if he wants to go. He probably will. Hanging out with Heather is that much fun. I'm bummed that I'll miss out on her company, but having the house to myself is nice, too. There was a new Criminal Minds DVD in the mail yesterday, and I still have a disc and a half of the final season of House. Heather doesn't let me watch that stuff with the kids in the house.

Also big plans to finish reading The Dark Tower so I can start The Hitchhiker's Guide series. I haven't read them since I got them for Kindle and short books will help my numbers. (Next on deck: Anne of Green Gables series.) I think I need to read another 40 books before the end of the year to meet my goal. This has not been a good year for me and reading. Next year I'll raise my goal again and try harder. Maybe more Kindle Singles would help. They sure did last year.
little_tristan: (Christina's World)
The good news is I sold some books! I gave a box to Cousin Heather to take to a craft/rummage type sale she's doing this weekend where people rent a table and sell whatever they want. But before she could get there, a friend of hers who'd read The Bedlam Boys asked if she could get him more so his book club could read it. He bought the whole box and I had to send another with the boys so she'd have some for the sale. (Their work is close to her house, so she can sneak over there and take things from their truck during the day.:) I doubt she'll sell any more, but it's still pretty cool. And if it's not raining, they want me to come speak at the club meeting. Only in good weather, though, as I won't be able to get into the house. Of course I've no idea what speakers do at these things, so I'd love advice from anyone who has experience. Or just good ideas.

I also think I've finally lost some weight, as today I was able to cross my legs for the first time in about 4 years. That was exciting.:)
Cut for depressing shit that no one wants to read )

Oh, and the boys put up a higher door between the kitchen and dining room so Willow can't even see over it, let alone jump it. The a-n still teases her over the door until she leaps for him, but she can't get to him so he can't complain. And the latch is way easier for me to work.
little_tristan: (Puppy Upside Down Willow)
But it could have been worse. Long version of the story: The other day I was out on the front porch smoking (because I don't allow it in the house, except in Mark's man-cave office). I was gone 5-10 minutes, and when I came back in, the arch-nemesis was in the kitchen/dining room doorway beating Willow with his cane. I started screaming at him, telling him for the millionth time that that kind of behavior is just making things worse (he tries to close the half door by waving his cane around in the dining room (her territory) and hooking the door to pull it shut, which she also hates) and he went off me. There was a lot of shrieking about how I'M the one making it worse (now?) by not having trained her better from the beginning, and it's all my fault that she's a vicious bitch who deserves to die.

Sadly, Steve was out on the side steps having his own cigarette and telephone break (he likes privacy when he talks to his friends, which is totally his right) so he missed the whole thing. I took Will into my room and put up the baby gate, which she's terrified of because she hates inanimate objects that move when she touches them, and stayed in there crying like a fool until Steve came and found us. I told him what happened and explained that it's so awful because "Willow is our puppy of life and hope. Everyone died last year and Willow is the only good thing that came out of that whole God-awful mess (well, and you, of course)." Which made him go all shy and adorable, and eventually got me a hug. He said he couldn't talk to the a-n about it because it's not his place, but he would be willing to talk to the boys about the effect it's having on me (near hysteria), because that's unacceptable. I asked him not to because they know what the problem is and told me to handle it. And venting to Steve did make me feel better.

The next day, I found Doc's old Gentle Leader out in the shop and put it on Willow. She now wears in all day, until the boys come home at least, so I can keep her on a leash and not keep wrecking my arm like I was doing with the collar leash. She does pretty well with it and is with either me or Steve at all times, so she's safe. I also wrote the a-n a lengthy and rather hostile letter telling him she won't be running loose so he can just back the fuck off and leave her the fuck alone.
You can read it here if you want. )

Which brings me to my elbow. This morning when the boys left, I decided to play with Will for a while before putting the halter on. I was throwing her rubber bone and she was bringing it back, having a really great time. Right up until the fourth throw, when she brought it to me and then started playing keep away. I'd reach for it and she'd lower her head or drop it altogether, then hold it up and lower it when I reached again. It was on the third reach that I suddenly lost my balance and remembered as I fell that I hadn't put my seatbelt on. It's such an automatic action, the minute I'm dressed and sitting down I buckle up, but I totally forgot today.

Luckily Willow didn't know what was happening (is she coming down here to play with me?!?), so I landed pretty squarely on her with the right side of my body. This is good because my right shoulder is already nine kinds of fucked, so I rolled off her and landed on my left side. It was loud and scary and I hit my head. I also left my phone in its pocket on my chair, and since I can't sit up at all, it may as well have been on the roof with a dead battery. This being ten (TEN!) minutes after the boys left, and Steve being in the habit of sleeping til seven or eight, I had to make a LOT of noise to wake him up. It took about half an hour of shouting and other things (the third thing he said, after "What happened?" and "Are you okay?" was "Where did the video tapes come from?" My answer? "It was all I could reach and I was pounding them on the floor.") but he very promptly rescued me. He's a small man, maybe 5'6" and definitely weighs less than me, and has a sore back, but he refused to call the fire department for help and did an astounding job of picking up my enormous ass and getting it back into my chair. I gave him a Vicodin after and he said it helped.

So it was kind of my lucky day, even though my left elbow and knee are beautifully bruised. But don't worry, Willow is fine.
little_tristan: (Puppy Upside Down Willow)
I've achieved a sort of d├ętente between Willow and the arch-nemesis by establishing a schedule for the dogs to go outside. Actually I established the schedule over a month ago. He just never caught on to it and I finally typed it up and explained it last week. It's very simple. Dogs go out at 8, come back at 8:20, go out at 10, come back at 10:20, every two hours until they come in for the last time at 2:20. After that the boys are home and the house becomes both more chaotic and more controlled. So basically, if he's just not sitting in that one chair in that one spot at those times, they never have to meet. If he's standing in the kitchen or something it doesn't matter. She pretty much ignores him then.

The thing is, ever since I explained the schedule, he's been in the way at exactly those times. Up until then I never saw him before 8:30 in the morning. Now he's in the kitchen at 7:59 on the dot. He never used his computer in the mornings before, but now I hear him leave his room at 5 to 10. And his lunch time moved from 1:30 to 11:55. I probably should have told him that those 20 minute intervals were the only times he was allowed out of his room.
Clicky for da bitchy )
little_tristan: (Kitten Prepared for War)
The house has become sort of an unarmed camp. Since I last posted, the boys have swung around to my side, but even with three of us we're losing. Or maybe we've already lost. The nemesis is convinced that Willow is attacking him when he's sitting in his office chair in the library. (Having finally destroyed the manual wheelchair he took from me, he's now appropriated the last of the boys' chairs with working features.) She jumps on him, yes, because we can't seem to break her of jumping on everyone. But when she does it to us, we either tell her off in an appropriately stern voice (followed by sit, so she has something to do), or, if we're feeling warm and fuzzy, grab an armful of puppy and get our faces licked. Really, it depends on if she's been out in the mud or not.:)
Much complaining this way... )
little_tristan: (Supernatural sam spoon)
Willow just had her first successful leap-in-the-air-and-catch-the-ball moment. Unfortunately, she failed to complete the twist and landed on her side. The ball popped out of her mouth and Ranger picked it up, so I think the game is over. Possibly also the ball.
little_tristan: (Puppy Willow)
The weekend's Freecycling went great. We got rid of everything, even the thing that Bruder said was garbage, because nothing is garbage when someone needs it and can't afford it. I put up my first wanted post, for a larger crate for Willow, who still loves to hide in hers even though she can't stand up in it, and got a reply last night. Of course it was from someone who missed my note to call before 6 pm, so I wasn't awake for it. I'll call back in a few hours, when people who were up all night will be up again.

And speaking of Willow, Bruder just came in and told me a story that made me cry a little, but in a good way, so I'm going to share it. (I think it's [livejournal.com profile] oddmonster safe, but if not, let me know so I can adjust the definition.) He and Herr are working in the office off the library and he put the dogs out for a bit. Both of them can open the sliding door--years ago I put a handle on the bottom outside so I can open it with my feet and Ray picked right up on it--but Willow uses her head and shoulders while Ranger uses her paws. This is very hard on her defective elbows so I try to always be there to let her in before she can do it herself. But since Bruder let them out, it was up to him to watch and bring them back.

Of course Will got impatient, as border collies do, and opened it herself. She uses her nose to push on the handle until she can get her head in the door and then just shoulders it open far enough to squeeze through. But Ranger, who was right behind her, couldn't fit. She tried to push it with her paw and then sat back whining because it hurt. Willow, who was almost to the office (no doubt planning to jump on people while her feet were still good and wet), heard her, went back, and pushed the door open a few more inches so Ray could come in.

We've seen a lot of teamwork among our dogs over the years. Our favorite has always been little Doodle barking for backup before facing strangers at the door. She would seriously run to the kitchen and call down to the library, then run barking at the front door only after she was sure the big dogs were coming. But that was home defense and self-preservation. This was Willow caring that Ranger is hurt and can't open the door anymore. I've seen videos attesting to things like that (please don't comment with examples, they aren't [livejournal.com profile] oddmonster or [livejournal.com profile] little_tristan safe), but I've never seen it personally, among my own dogs, and Bruder says he hasn't, either. Not in 50 years and dozens of dogs. I guess Will was the right choice after all, even if she is 9 months old and still crapping in the house.

Now I need to get busy finishing a fic in progress, because this week I'm going to start gutting out and rewriting The Dancer, my non-Bedlam novel for 2012. I feel like a writer right now. My sister started talking about my books on her FB yesterday and it turns out that a couple of her internet friends have read at least one of them without knowing I was her sister. And now a cousin has come forward and admitted to reading, too. It seems to be stirring interest among Sister's 2nd Life followers, so I'm a little excited. And in the mood to get back to work.
little_tristan: (Puppy Willow)
For everyone who was worried about Ms. Puppenstuff, she's made a full recovery. Apparently peanut butter tummy aches are a 24 hour affliction. Thanks for all your advice and good wishes. We'll be more careful going forward.:)

*HUGS EVERYONE*
little_tristan: (Puppy Willow)
Willow loves the Kong peanut butter stuffing and I give it to her daily, packed into her Kong toys to keep her busy for a few minutes here and there. But it costs a bloody fortune and I just ran out, so yesterday I put actual people peanut butter in her Kong. Quite a lot of it, in fact. She snarfed it right out and then chewed Kong for another half hour to make sure she'd gotten every speck. It was real cute.

But then she was apparently up all night shitting giant puddles of stink in Bruder's room while he slept. She still isn't herself--she drinks but won't eat, doesn't want to wrestle Ranger, isn't jumping much, and never once attacked my feet. But the crapping seems to have stopped. Right now she's sleeping in her crate.

I convinced Bruder it was the peanut butter, which was probably too rich and sugary for her little puppy tummy. But I don't know--I've never seen it before. Has anyone else done this? Can peanut butter make dogs sick like that?
little_tristan: (Firefly Bright Kaylee)
I've decided to think of at least one good thing that happened every day during the month of September. Big or small, lesser of two evils, laughing through tears--whatever. Just 30 good things in a row!

I went to work with the boys today. We only stayed three hours and they got their machine fixed. Willow attacked the knife mechanism on an Ellegaard machine and didn't get hurt. (Lucky puppy!)
Chocolate milkshake for lunch!
little_tristan: (Bunny)
I just got the book Drum by Kyle Onstott, which is the sequel to Mandingo. Am still baffled by the fact that these books sold millions of copies and were made into hugely successful movies (although how Ken Norton managed to star in Drum after Perry King boiled him alive at the end of Mandingo I don't know; flashback, maybe?), and yet have been out of print for thirty years. It's like how they won't release Sundays et Cybele on DVD. There's no reason, with today's technology and POD advances, for great things to ever go away. And yet they do.

I've decided to take Kay a printout of this morning's entry in lieu of my actual assignment. I'm paying for this--she can't punish me, right?

After looking over the book spreadsheet, I decided to go ahead and read the first six or seven Princess Diaries books. I think I have, in the past, read seventeen or eighteen of them, soldiering on long after they really started to suck donkey. But the first few were okay, in the way that VC Andrews and whatshername, the Divine Evil woman...Nora Roberts, are sometimes okay. And I can read one and a half or two a day, which will really boost my numbers. I won't be reviewing them, though, because there really isn't any point. I'll save that for books that are worth the trouble. (Coming soon: A Town Like Alice.)

Since I have to go outside tomorrow anyway, I'm going to make a real effort to do something fun, rather than just scurrying to my meeting with Kay and home again. I want to acquire pre-shredded cheddar cheese, but I live in the center of town and all the grocery stores are at the extreme outer edges, long past the places where the curb cuts, if not the actual sidewalks, end. Do they carry that sort of thing at the Circle K? Because there's one of those on 3rd street. Is Circle K a nationwide chain? Maybe no one else knows.

Maybe, if the temperature is just right and she doesn't make me cry (she's trying to, on purpose, but I am strong--even when it's self-defeating), I'll go to St. Vincent's and continue my decades-long search for the perfect tote bag. That's right next to Walgreens, which probably has cheese. Although if it's too warm, do I want to carry shredded cheese the 22 blocks home? The thought of having to make this decision has quite overwhelmed me.

Willow is feeling much better this evening. She still can't run full speed, but she's wrestling Ranger a bit and jumping on people in greeting again. It's bizarre how fast they heal.

I think I forgot to mention that The West Memphis 3, subject of Devil's Knot, have been released from prison after 18 years. They basically had to change their pleas to no contest and were released with time served plus additional time suspended, which is still bullshit, but at least they're finally out. And free to gather more evidence and maybe get a new trial. Or at least be cleared if someone else is convicted. Anyway, it's a good thing.

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