little_tristan: (Default)
Comes a severely leaky faucet in my bathroom. The hot tap, of course. They've shut off the water to the sink and the main hot water source is going next. I just had to squeeze in my shower first. It's too bad I didn't have enough warning to clear out under the sink, though, because the boys are deeply baffled by the sheer number of products jammed under there. And, no doubt, why there's a Dave Barry collection in the middle of it.

Not sharing bathrooms with other people is awesome.

Anyway, I'm washed, robed, and writing so it's a standard Sunday. Watching YouTube vids of live Gin Blossoms performances and marveling over how much Robin Wilson has come to resemble Steven Tyler. Could that be on purpose? Did he see how his face was going and decide to throw on a hat and glittery scarf? I guess I'll find out. Unfortunately I already found out who Ambrosia, the other act on the bill, actually is. Holy 70s easy listening, Batman. I wanted the Gin Blossoms to go on second so they'd get a longer set, and that would, of course, be awesome. But if they play first, I can skip Ambrosia, buy my t-shirt, and get home before midnight. Win/win.
little_tristan: (Kitten Perpetual Pre-Pounce)
It's that thing I said we were going to Friday night. And we did, but it's supposed to close by 10, so when we got there at 9:30 there wasn't much to do. Except run out of gas getting into the parking garage, which we totally did. Just about 40 feet shy of the parking space, too. Luckily this isn't the first time we've run into a soluble problem of this kind. Russ let me out, stowed the lift, put it in neutral, and we pushed it into the spot. A young man who was parked nearby got there in time to help the last few feet, but we pretty well had it on our own. I learned to push Econolines with wheelchairs years ago and it's come in handy a few times.

Before you all ask why we're this bleeding thick about it, I need to mention that we've never owned an Econoline with a working gas gauge. They must self-destruct after 15 years or something.

Anyway. About the turkeys. McMinnville, strangely enough, used to be one of the major producers of commercial turkeys in the US. When I was a kid all of the surrounding fields were turkey farms. The smell was tremendous, but it fed the economy. And every year the city celebrated with a sacrifice to the great god of gobblers in the form of a party called Turkey Rama. There were games and rides and merchants, not unlike the county fair. But since it was ours, not the county's, it took place downtown right on 3rd Street. I never got to go as a kid, we saved our money for the State Fair, and it's changed a lot over the years. The turkeys went away and all the farms are big box stores now. A few years ago some of the snobbier merchants petitioned to move the whole thing to the edge of town because it messed up their business for two or three days during tourist season. Of course the Turkeyfest brings thousands of people to town, but whatever.

One year they changed the name to the Downtown Festival, and when that offended too many people they tried to have both: the Downtown Festival for the snotty antique mall woman with the wine pallet educated by nine credit hours at the community college (fun game: try to keep count of how many times she says "I have an educated pallet" in any given five minute span), and Turkey Rama for us old fashioned types who actually give a shit about our history and not just selling it. Needless to say, the turkeys won and the Rama continued.

This year was dominated by a classic car show. Hundreds of deeply amazing cars reverse slant-parked down both sides of the street, from last year's Viper to 1938's Studebaker. So much shiny paint and sparkly chrome, we hardly knew where to look. Naturally I had to read all the signs on the windscreens (look! words!) to see the year and owner, but it was really scary getting that close to them. I never thought I'd have to develop a level of Wheelchair Caution above Liquor Store, but Car Show is probably higher. In the liquor store you can just say sorry and hand over a credit card. The people who owned those cars didn't look easy to buy off. (How much buffing does it take to get out a scratch? Let's use your face and find out!) Still, totally worth the risk.

Then we wandered around to the side streets where there were, surprise!, vendors! For reasons not completely clear to me, Russ insisted that I buy a switch knife of dubious legality and I've been having fun with that. It's a stiletto so the blade pops out the end instead of unfolding. I like that better because it's easier to use left handed. He kept saying it was for research, something to help me write criminals (not unlike the bayonet on my desk that crept into a fic a few years ago), but I don't completely buy it. I think he thinks I might actually have to cut someone. That's interesting.

After the weapons booth, he got bored and went to find hotdogs while I checked out all the jewelry sellers. One woman was selling gorgeous pieces made of all colors and shapes of pearls. I had no idea that pearl culturing had moved into that kind of manipulation but it makes perfect sense. If an oyster will make a round pearl out of a round irritant, why not give it a flat irritant? Or a long thin one? It was extremely cool. I bought a pair of earrings with little purple pearls hanging from silver chains. Apparently I got a good deal because someone had accidentally moved some things around and it was hanging next to the wrong price. I felt a little bad, I couldn't have afforded the right price, but she didn't show the slightest hesitation in selling them to me anyway. That was nice.

I ended up with a beaded bracelet watch and some Avon for Heather, and then went to find Russell. He was hanging out around the food street where there were benches and I took advantage of my once or twice yearly opportunity to have an elephant ear. Then it was off to see my sister!

Friday was her birthday but I had appointments. We picked up Chinese on the way into town and hung out with her for a while. I'd sent her an Amazon gift certificate on Friday so she'd have a present, but I also brought her treasures from recent adventures to Portland and the coast. And a canceled check that I found in Mom's files, given to Sister for her birthday in 2000. I think they make nice memorial pieces. It might be weird, but they're in her handwriting, with her signature, and she always noted the occasion on the memo line. Heather carries the one she got as a wedding gift (2003) in her wallet. I think it made her a little sad, though. It's hard to tell which feeling is going to dominate going in.

Anyway there was cake, and her young Maine Coon, Smokey, chased a spider across the kitchen floor and ate it. Later I offered her some icing from my cake, but I think she liked the spider better.
little_tristan: (Hamster Spaghetti)
Mostly an excuse to break out my new userpic. But I did say I would say something about the book club meeting last weekend. I still don't quite know what to say, except that it was weird. Like, hamster at a horse show weird. The women were lovely but intimidating. We met at Judy's house out in the country, but not like the country where I grew up, with farms and grain fields. This was Tasteful Country, with winding paved driveways, fishponds and fountains in the front yard, casual weekend outfits that cost more than everything I own (combined), and extremely polite horses looking picturesque along the roads. When we weren't talking about my book, they were talking about the various countries they'd visited so far this year and the places they'll be going before they return to teaching and antique store managing and whatever else tasteful, educated people do. It was hardcore.

These people read my book. They talked about it among themselves. Then they served deli food from an adorable cafe in town while I talked about it. Not being educated, I've never had to present a paper or defend a thesis, but I did get to analyze the exterior symbols of my heart and soul with people who had opinions about it. I sort of wish I'd become an engineer or a physicist. You know, something easy.

Hopefully one day I'll have recovered enough to remember what was actually said. Or maybe it's better if I don't.

The rest of the week was up and down. The weather's been great so I've gone out as much as possible. Steve's been a good sport about it and I've been letting him get away as much as possible. Thursday the boys hired him away to work on their machine and Friday he left early in the morning to go camping. The boys have been home since Wednesday so they can get lots of work done. I haven't really seen them much, but Mark let me pick the colors for his touch screen controller last night. It's terribly difficult programming and I'm very proud of him.

This coming week Steve's supposed to be finishing up at the shop. I'm supposed to go with him where I can be properly supervised, but I feel bad about it. It'd be a good chance for him to not be near me, but I think he's scared of Mark or something. It drives me crazy when people don't talk. All I can do is guess and I never guess positively.

Friday morning I got a call from the bank letting me know that they'd been alerted, either by a merchant or law enforcement (she didn't know or wouldn't say which) that my debit card number had been compromised. I assume an ATM camera caught Steve using it and reading the PIN off his hand or something but without more information I couldn't risk it. So they're sending me a new card and I just won't have one until it gets here. Whine. Except I still have Russell's from the grocery store.

The wheelchair repairman came over and explained why I have to use a crap-ass controller forever, but maybe not with an external view screen. Those are for people who can't move or raise their heads to look at the box and the salesman was just being a dick when he made me take it. And why not? He was a dick about everything else. I'm using my old chair now and it's kind of nice. Like a proper exoskeleton should be.

Last night I decided to look for my step-grandma whom I haven't seen or heard from in about ten years. She moved to CA to be near her kids and grandkids, and probably great great grandkids by now. I found her, but it turns out she died nine months ago. That was kind of a bummer. I mean, she was only technically my grandma from 1980 to 1994 (my dad stopped counting when his dad died in '87; I give her until she remarried and moved away), but still.

I don't know if I'm getting depressed again or if it's just PMS. Either way, there's a pint of Ben and Jerry's in the freezer that should help.
little_tristan: (Kitten DJ)
As you may remember, I was anxious to be able to play my mom's Bonnie Guitar 45 for [livejournal.com profile] catyah, so she could hear the songs I used in her birthday fic Meiner a couple of years ago. Well, she did get to hear them, but only because the nice man at the record store downtown played it for us. I guess we were too cute to refuse.:)

Bruder found a really nice turntable in the basement (a mid-70s Philips 212, for those interested in such things), still in the box. (We bought it at a yard sale to put on eBay and then never did.) But it didn't work. When we took the table off, we discovered it didn't have a belt. I ordered one from Vintage Electronics--the 212 being a favorite of vinyl purists--and it arrived shortly after [livejournal.com profile] catyah went home.

However, when I went to put it on, there was another surprise. The old belt was really still in there. It had just melted sometime in the last 30+ years and remained a perfect circle of black goo around the drive spindle and the edge of the wheel. It was really kind of fascinating, how the rubber was reduced to its chemical elements and preserved without hardening. I don't even have anything to compare it to. But we Gileadians aren't quitters, so Bruder put up the card table this morning and we went to work cleaning it out.

He started with alcohol, paper towels, and a steak knife for scraping, but it turned that female gear was what was really called for. Q-Tips led to cotton balls, then makeup sponges, a nail file to scrape goo without gouging the plastic, and a pair of white cotton panties for the delicate parts where cotton balls were coming apart. Easily the strangest thing to have ever been in my underwear, although maybe not the strangest use we've ever put it to. That prize probably goes to stuffing the bedroom window frame around the air conditioner. (Covering my butt is old hat. The adventurous panty wants more out of life.)

Then it was just a simple matter of hooking it up to the amp that's been sitting unused for years and years and remembering what knobs do what. But in the end, I got to play Only the Moon Man Knows. Twice.
little_tristan: (BtVS Spike Sod Off)
I'm catching up my flist and just finished reading a couple of LJ posts by an author whose books I like. But I ended up unfriending her because, frankly, I don't need anymore things in my life pissing me off. I already have the arch-nemesis, and I live in a neighborhood without curbcuts. Why invite more irritants in via LJ?

What set me off was this: She's anti-Kindle. Not just prefers not to use one, but actually hates that they exist. Although she takes the money fast enough when I buy her books for Kindle. And isn't reaching the audience the point? Anyway, everyone's entitled to their opinion, but no one's forcing her to use one, and I can't see them replacing paper books, which seems to be her big fear. (I refuse to say "real" books because I believe the book is the content, not the package.)

But what really gets up my nose is her calling them toys and fads and ridiculing the people who use them for being trendy or lazy, or just not appreciating the beauty of "real" books or the written word. As a person who uses it to get around a very real physical disability that was threatening to stop me from reading altogether, this puts her right up there with those idiots on the street who say they're jealous of my wheelchair and tell me I'm lucky that I "don't have to" walk.

Now, I couldn't say this on the author's journal because that's her space and anyway she deletes comments that she doesn't like, but this is my space so I'll say it here. STOP JUDGING AND RIDICULING ME, YOU BLIND, STUPID, ARROGANT FUCKING BITCH. You want paper? Great. Buy paper. But don't put your petty shit off on me, or anyone else who doesn't have the privilege of indulging their preferences. Not everyone is a trendy, techy show-off. Some of us just want to read a book without inflicting serious pain and injury on ourselves.

In summary, I'm sorry if this messes with your personal view of what a book is and how it should be read. fuck you.

(PS: This is in no way meant to suggest that one needs to be crippled to enjoy electronic media. It's also neat in its own right, so read how you please and fear not any judgment from me.:)
little_tristan: (Quincy Sad Phone Call)
Trying to have a conversation with Herr makes me feel like I'm destined to bore everyone in my life. Pray with me that I do something interesting soon.
little_tristan: (Writer Snail)
15. Warnings – What do you feel it most important to warn for, and what's the strangest thing you've warned for in a fic?

I personally feel that the only really valid reason for warning would be rape. Too many people are completely traumatized by the subject, and by the time it happens, it's too late to stop reading. (I don't like death warnings because that usually blows the ending, and while I do warn for violence and hate language, I secretly feel that the reader should just stop reading at the beginning of a violent act or a hateful diatribe if it's going to upset her that much.)

I don't think I've ever warned for anything stranger than that.

Rest of the questions this way... )
little_tristan: (Daria: Jane)
The publisher's website took the manuscript just fine, but it won't let me have my cover. Apparently it can't conceive of someone having a single image with the text on it. It wants me to use their cheesy layouts with added text and a small photo somewhere beneath it. They claim to have an option for doing it entirely yourself, but images must be uploaded in JPG, PNG, or GIF format, and it won't accept mine because I've only tried using JPG, PNG, and GIF, which aren't supported.

No matter how many times I read that, it never makes any more sense.

This is beginning to seem like too much trouble for a book that not even Herr could finish reading. Maybe it's a sign...
little_tristan: (Daria: Mr. D)
In all of my previous 36 years, life has followed a sort of pattern. Bad things happen, and then good things happen. Sometimes the good things come directly out of the bad things (car wreck = new car) and sometimes it takes a little perspective to see how it worked (Dad died = new improved life. Eventually.). Sometimes they aren't related at all, the monotony of misery is just broken up by random good things. (Crappy day/book in the mail) And sometimes it's just expecting the worst and being pleasantly surprised when it doesn't happen. (Thinking the IRS wanted to send Herr to prison, but they didn't.)

But year 37 is taking a decidedly different turn. It just keeps getting worse. It's like entropy has completely taken control and everything is trending relentlessly toward chaos. (Yes, I was working on the estate today. How did you guess?) I keep seeing potential bright points, but they vanish before I reach them. Everything that seemed like it might be a small compensation, a little bit of "at least this will help with...", has turned out to be just another wad of frustration. I can't even come up with ways in which things could be worse. I mean, they're pulling rugs out from under me that I didn't even know I was standing on. Soon the fates will have to trade in their scissors and strings and shit for shovels so they can devote themselves full time to digging deeper holes for me to fall in.

I fully expect my house to burn down in the next few days. But don't worry. The arch-nemesis will be fine.

Yes, I'm wallowing. So the fuck what? I can't come up with one semi-decent reason not to. Everything sucks. Suckity suck suck fuck it to hell. Damn it.
little_tristan: (Kitten Interwebs)
It's not easy. LJ is basically fandom for me, and fandom is harder than it needs to be, what with everyone having their own perceptions and all. I do wish people would stop being different from me. I've tried not being different from them, but that didn't work, so now it's their turn. Yes, I know. I'm being unreasonable again. Oh, fandom and logic. When will you meet?

I'm watching The Young Riders, which was one of my favorite shows 20 years ago. I think they intended for Ty Miller's character, The Kid, to be the star. But he's such an incredible tool, he makes me insane. Even when it was first on, I waited through every episode for someone to shoot him or beat him to death or something, but it never happened. And he got the girl in the end. She was worth ten of him, but that seems to be how it goes. Anyway, it was totally Josh Brolin's show and they should have realized it. I'm terribly grateful to the Coen brothers for giving him a movie career in the new century, while Ty Miller languishes, forgotten and unloved.

My novel is on hold for the moment while my soul is consumed by a big long fic that keeps getting bigger and longer. It's the first Riptide that I've been really passionate about in months. (Maybe because it's also populated with fun Emergency characters.) Lately I've felt like I was just going through the motions and I think it showed. I don't care about comments so long as I know I did my best, and that feeling's been missing for too long. So when I'm not reading entries, not posting, not commenting, not answering email or reviewing books, it's because I'm writing. Fabulous crossover fic of win just owns me right now. In fact, it may turn into a little series, just to keep this one from getting entirely out of hand.

But for those concerned *cough[livejournal.com profile] oddmonstercough*, I am 91% of the way through Les Miserables and will be done by tomorrow. Even if it means Johnny has to keep his pants on tonight. (Yes, I will forego writing porn to keep a commitment to you. My love is that strong.)

I'm sleeping again. We may have solved the problem of pain. It takes a few days to see if it's real, because my body tends to adapt to change and then go back to hurting, so it's kind of like trying to kill Borg. What's funny is that we did it this time with the careful placement of a variety of pillows which I already owned. One more might be needed, I'm waiting to see if the subtle knee stress completely screws that bad tendon, but if it does, I'm prepared. One of the little pillows that came with the van would be perfect. I hope we never have to travel. It now takes six pillows to put me to bed (maybe seven, depending on that knee), and three of them can't be substituted with standard hotel issue. I sure love home.

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