fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I won NaNo! And impressively, the official wordcount was only 8 words shy of what Open Office told me I had written, so apparently I didn't use nearly as much hyphenation as in previous years. But either way, I've finished, and I'm happy.

Oh, I didn't finish an actual story from beginning to end. I have 3 partly-finished stories in the file. But I did write over 50,000 words this month, and that's all I needed for a NaNoWriMo win, so I'm still counting it as a victory.

I want to do the same thing in December. Aiming for 50k words a month might not be a bad idea, really, at least until I finish something and can move on to the editing stage.

~ I tried playing Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure, just to see what it was like, and I suspect it's going to be a really addictive video game. It's an action RPG, somewhat childish but still fun, and best of all my computer actually plays it without crashing! (Touch wood!) I don't want to get too into it at the moment, because I still have other video games on the go and I don't want to neglect them for a load of new things, but at least when I do decide to spend more time playing it, I'll end up having some good fun with it!

~ For supper I made pork chops stuffed with apples and brown sugar (okay, technically they came pre-stuffed, but I still cooked them!), boiled potatoes, and carrots. With After Eight ice cream for dessert. This is the high life, folks!

~ I also made a trip to the library, where I got out Delilah S Dawson's Servants of the Storm. Looking forward to reading that, once I finish Django Wexler's The Forbidden Library.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I'm at the 47k mark in NaNo! I'm hoping to be finished this weekend. I could probably finish tomorrow, since 3k days aren't that difficult for me when I get really into a scene, but I can't say for sure. Still, I don't expect to be scrambling for words at the very last minute on Monday, at least.

~ My landlord has been making noises about selling the house lately. He's offered to give me first purchase chance, which is nice, except that I can't afford it because I have no downpayment saved up in order to qualify for any kind of mortgage.

And him putting the house on the market will result in 2 things happening. 1) People will come to see the house during the day, which is when I sleep, so I'll have to disrupt my sleep schedule. 2) If they want me to leave the house during the showing, there's a chance 1 of my cats will escape because 5 cats are hard to keep an eye on when you're not used to it. And even if none of them escape, they'll still be disturbed by strangers tromping through what they consider their space, and I don't want to do that to them.

So I spent tonight looking for other houses or apartments to rent. It's tough, because even places that say they're pet-friendly are only friendly to a certain point. Like, they'll let you have a cat or a small dog, but 5 cats is too many, no matter how clean and quiet and well-behaved they are.

But there were 7 places within the city that are affordable and might consider renting to me. I sent emails tonight for more details, explaining about the cats right away, so if they don't want to rent to me I won't waste my time in seeing the property and discussing anything else with them. But I've got my fingers crossed. I don't want to move again, but I want strangers in my space even less, so it might really be better to move soon and just not deal with all the crap of current landlords trying to sell the house.

And if I can find a place with lower rent than I'm currently paying, then that's even better!

~ Vacuumed the stair carpets and swept the downstairs floor. Did laundry. Clipped coupons (which I can apparently sell batches of on EBay; isn't that weird?). General adult stuff. Why can't the adult stuff do itself, anyway?

~ Speaking of adulting, I'm reasonably certain that at least some of the water in the basement is coming from outside. I thought at first it was a leaking water tank, but this past week we had some torrential rain, and now the basement's flooded with water again, and it has more dirt in it than just sitting in the basement for 1 week max would account for. So even if some of it is a leaky hot water tank, most likely a bunch of it is still coming in from a leak in the foundation.

Which not much can be done about unless the landlord's willing to put in some major repair work. Which he may have to do if he wants any chance of selling the house for even a halfway decent price in this area's housing market. Which will result in yet more inconvenience and disruption to my schedule, terror to the cats, possibly an unsafe place to live, I don't know.

So yes, after finding that out for near certainty, I really really hope someone replies positively to my inquiries about renting a different house, and that I can arrange to move in within a few months. Then the landlord can do whatever he wants to this place.

~ We out in the morning and did a fairly major grocery shop, since supplies were getting low. My favourite chore, hurray, which was actually a pretty welcome break after doing all those other things last night. I think I ended up saving about as much as I spent, since I only bought one thing that wasn't on sale!
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I got really into a scene I was writing last night and managed to write almost 4000 words. That puts me 2 days ahead of the NaNo wordcount goal, so I feel pretty comfortable with my position. I've been looking forward to writing that section for a while now, and I'm glad I got it out, and that I actually don't think it sucked.

~ In Pokemon Shuffle, I managed to catch Machamp and Latios, and now I'm working on getting to level 50 in that battle so I can get the Latiosite to make it Mega Evolve.

~ Stayed in bed a lot because I woke up with a headache and didn't want to brave the world until I absolutely had to. Which is a valid option, I figure.

...Yeah, it was a really slow day in my life. I didn't even do any cooking!
fandrogyne: (make tea not love)
~ I ranked high enough on the last challenge battle in Pokemon Shuffle to get a Manectite! I'm really glad I'm getting to the point where I'm strong enough to stand a decent chance when these challenges come up.

~ I started embroidering a Christmas present for my grandmother. It's a simple thing, really, and it shouldn't take me longer than a few days to get it all ready and mailed off. Money being tight at the moment, I thought she might understand and appreciate something I made myself, and something that she might be able to use.

I'll try and remember to post pictures once I'm done.

~ It finished raining and instead there was snow on the ground in the morning. Just a little, barely an inch, but it looked beautiful. Apparently last winter didn't make me as snow-phobic as I first thought!

~ While I was asleep I left a slow cooker chicken and bean stew to heat. I haven't had any yet, but it sure smells good!

~ I finished my rewatch of Victorian Farm and have moved on to Edwardian Farm. I do love these historical recreation shows. Especially the ones that are done by experts and not just random people in an attempt to create a unique reality show (and all the associated annoyance and drama or reality shows).
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I wrote more than I expected to last night and got a bit ahead of the curve for NaNo. I already have tomorrow's wordcount met, so anything I write over the next 24 hours is a happy bonus!

Of course, every year I've done NaNo in the past, the word count feature of my word processing program always tells me I have more words than the NaNo verification feature, so I have to write about 2000 words more than the site suggests just so I can actually be declared a winner by their counter. So maybe this is less "getting ahead" and more "writing enough that they'll figure I did it right from the beginning anyway."

~ I made a really tasty pear crumble with some pears that I got on sale a little while ago. They were starting to go a little soft, so I needed to use them up soon, and what better way to beat back the rainy weather lately than with a hot pear crumble?

It was so delicious, too! I used this recipe, only I omitted the apples and optional nuts. Really simple, and a great way to use up fruit that's about to go off, I think.

I also made slow-cooker barbecue chicken while I slept. I know I've said it before, but I really do love that slow cooker for it's ability to cook things while I sleep, without worry of leaving the stove or oven on the whole time. It's so wonderfully convenient, and it's great to be able to wake up to a hot meal that I don't have to do any additional work for.

~ I started reading Django Wexler's The Forbidden Library, a book that's been sitting on my shelves for far too long now. It's a mid-grade book, but usually isn't my thing, but I like Wexler's writing and I like the synopsis, and I do like libraries, so I thought it was about time I picked it up and read it. (There are so many books I can say that about right now...)
The Wheel of Time Companion waiting on my front porch. Now, I've made it pretty clear since ceasing my formal book reviews that any books that show up unexpectedly are books that I will consider gifts, and given that I think most of my publishing contacts have acknowledge that I've ceased book reviewing, it's fairly safe to say that they're not expecting a review from me in this case.

Though it's definitely worth giving a shoutout to the amazing people at Tor who sent it in the first place, and who sent along loads of other wonderful books during the time I was reviewing. I still feel amazingly privileged to have met so many of them, and to still stay in touch with them.

~ I plan to spend tonight catching up on the dozen or so emails that I've let slide over a few weeks, see if any new jobs are available that I haven't applied for yet, and to generally get computer stuff done that has been languishing. That will involve using my laptop in an uncomfortable way, because the Internet connection on my desktop is still lousy, but I'll manage.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ A friend and I have started to read the Twilight saga together, as a sort of "share my pain" project and so that when people tell us that we can't badmouth the books because we've never read them, we can say that we have indeed, and that they're still pretty bad.

Really, though, we're a quart of the way through the book and nothing's happened except for a load of banal conversation about nothing, Bella being simultaneously pretensious and self-deprecating, and Edward saying a lot that amounts to, "Come with me. ...You should stay away from me. We're going here together... but I'm too dangerous to be around, for absolutely no reason that you can fathom. Want to hang out with me? WELL YOU SHOULDN'T!"

I'm honestly not sure how this managed to attract an agent, because there's absolutely nothing in the standard excerpt length that would lead me to believe the book is about anything but an unhappy girl trying to cope with general life while being ignored by attractive people. You don't even get to that whole "Edward saving Bella from a car accident" bit until after chapter 3, and that's usually the limit most agents will give anything, if they're feeling generous.

Yes, it went on to make lots of money and launched the YA reading careers of a million teens, but I don't know how, because it isn't a very good book, and there were plenty of better ones already on the shelves at the time.

~ At least I've finished Arrows of the Queen. That took some of the bad literary taste out of my mouth.

~ I did play more Final Fantasy X this weekend, which was nice because I neglected it all last week. Made it through the temple at Macalania, laughed maniacally over winning the battle with Seymour, then spent most of the night level-building on Bikanel Island, because the desert is vast and full of monsters that actually give me a bit of a challenge. So that was plenty of fun.

I have the Airship now, which I think is an event that every long-time Final Fantasy player waits for in every game.

~ I got quite a bit of housework done this weekend, too! The dishes are all done, laundry mostly folded and put away, the kettle cleaned and descaled, and I made beef strips and rice one day and then chicken fajitas the next, both of which were delicious!

And let's not forget the tasty pumpkin cinnamon rolls!

I'm glad I managed to be so productive and get so much done!

~ I'm finally and properly caught up with my wordcount goal for NaNoWriMo! It took a few 3k+ nights, but I got there, and now I can just work at a normal pace for the rest of the month, provided I don't take any more days off.

Then it'll just be a matter of continuing to write until I actually properly finish something. Which for me is a lot harder than writing 1.6k words a day.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I finished Courtney Schafer's The Labyrinth of Flame, and oh holy crap, I have the world's biggest book hangover right now. That series floored me, and reading the last book has left me feeling like I'm adrift and I don't know what to do with my life anymore. The last lingering bits won't clear my bloodstream, and I don't think I want them to.

Also, I think I totally want a relationship like Dev and Kiran and Cara have. So much that it hurts.

But now I have that huge book hangover, so I don't know what to read next...

~ I screwed something up on the bookmark I was working on, and not in a way that I can actually fix, since it has to do with the length of the material. So my options now are to unpick every single stitch so that I can save the embroidery floss and reuse it later, or just give up and throw the whole thing out.

...I guess I do have plenty of free time, and embroidery floss may be cheap but it isn't free. Guess that settles the decision for me.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I spent most of last night either reading, or clicking around on freebie sites to see if there were any good samples that I could request. I used to love doing that, years ago. I got a lot of free samples then, usually of food or drink mixes, and it was nice to be able to try new things without any real investment on my part.

Now, though, I'm more likely to review the samples on Amazon than I am to just try it and never think of it again, which I've noticed lately has led to a whole load of offers for more free products. It's a never-ending cycle. I may not be formally reviewing books anymore, but it seems a lot of knock-off and tech companies want me to help boost their products by writing reviews.

And really, I'm not opposed to doing that, so long as the product's good and it's something I'll actually use. If a product is good, I like to be able to endorse it.

I don't want product reviews to take over my life, though. But there's less chance of that happening when the products aren't books. Books take a lot of time to read, and a good review usually consists of at least 5-7 paragraphs, so between writing and reading, book reviews can take up a lot of time. Small product reviews are comparatively simple. These wristbands that fit a FitBit Flex? Very comfortable, good variety of colours, work just like the official ones do only for half the price. Boom, review's done. (I flesh it out a little more than that, of course, but my point is it takes less time to test out a small product than it does to read a book.)

~ It snowed again last night. Normally I like the snow, and I get giddy and excited when the first real snowfall of the season happens, but all I can think now is how terrible the weather was last winter, with frequent blizzards and snowdrifts higher than my head and the daily work of clearing a path from the door to the road. It's not supposed to be as hard a winter this time, but I'm still a bit afraid of it.

~ I wrote over 3000 words yesterday. I think it's safe to say that I'm catching up to where I ought to be with NaNo!

~ My package from Amazon arrived today! I'm happy that all 12 bottles of ponzu arrived safely!

...If anyone's wondering why I ordered 12 bottles of ponzu at once, it's because I had a code for $10 off any order over $40, and the 12 together came to just under $40, which was actually the best deal. There were single bottles sold, but the code was only good for products sold and shipped directly by Amazon, and the 12-pack was the cheapest option they had. And none of the grocery stores around here stock ponzu anymore, so it was a choice between ordering a bunch from Amazon, or spending $18 on bus fare to another city, disrupting my sleep schedule, and having to stay there for an entire day in the hope that their Asian market had some instead. Ordering online was by far the better option!
fandrogyne: (reading)
~ I had a satisfying but unproductive night and day, which is okay by me because those kinds of nights are usually pretty relaxing.

~ I got a bit more writing done, and even though I'm still behind after leaving everything alone for that many days, I'm catching up, and the difference isn't insurmountable. I also signed up for the NaNoWriMo site, not for the community aspect or the wordcounter or anything, but mostly for the discount I'd get on Scrivener when I meet the 50k word goal at the end of the month.

~ I read more of Courtney Schafer's The Labyrinth of Flame, which I'm not reading as quickly as I normally would because I keep getting distracted by things like writing and playing video games. But I'm almost three quarters through, and if I make sure to take the time tonight, I ought to finish it and the heap the author with praise, because she's wonderful and writes wonderful books and ought to be told that more often.

(Can't tell I'm a big fan, can you?)

~ I used my slow cooker to make a pot of oatmeal while I slept, because the days are getting colder and sometimes it's hard to get out of bed when I know that it's cold outside the blankets. But knowing I have to get up because food is ready, especially hot food, makes it a lot easier.

I like my oatmeal a lot thicker than it turned out, so next time I'll add less liquid, but it still tasted okay, and was nice and warm, and that's the important thing.

~ I took a trip to the library and got out a couple of books tonight, because Tuesdays are the one night of the week the library's open late enough that I can go without having to get up really early. One book on money-saving tips, and the other on making trickle income online, combined with getting freebies to supplement budgets. Most of the info I suspect I'll already know, but even if there are a few tricks in there that I haven't already done to help cut my costs and expenses, I'll be glad to hear of them.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I've been very tempted to make 2016 an SMT year, and dedicate that year to playing all the SMT games I own. My biggest problem with this plan? I have so many, and they're often really hard games!

Let's see, as a quick tally, I have Persona (the original PSX game, and the rerelease for the PSP), Persona 2: Innocent Sin, Persona 3 (the original PS2 game, the FES rerelease, and the PSP rerelase), and Persona 4. And Persona Q. I have SMT: Nocturne, SMT: Strange Journey, and SMT IV. I have Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers, and Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs The Soulless Army. I have both Digital Devil Saga games. I have Devil Survivor (the original DS release and the 3DS rerelease) and Devil Survivor 2.

If I played 1 game a month, and only stuck to playing 1 version of each game (not playing all 3 different versions of Persona 3 that I own, I mean), I still wouldn't have enough time to beat them in a single year. And that schedule also ignores that fact that Persona 5 and SMT IV: Final are coming out next year, too. I'd need to finish a game every 28 days to play all the games that I own from the series, not including any new ones that come out.

...I wonder if I could stick to that schedule. Or at least, I wonder how many I could play through in a year, if I mostly only played that series.

~ Another of my embroidered bookmarks sold, which makes me very happy! I love knowing that I can make things that people actually want.

~ Finished rewatching all of Tales From the Green Valley. There need to be more historical recreation shows. Preferably involving Ruth Goodman. (Going to watch all Farm series now, because I enjoy them so much!)
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ On the writing front, I didn't actually get any writing done this weekend. I got too distracted by reading and video games. I should still be able to catch up over the course of a few days, but I'm still a bit disappointed that I was doing so well for a time and then let my wordcount fall by the wayside.

~ In Final Fantasy X, I got through the Djose Temple puzzle dungeon (and got the Destruction Sphere treasure this time, unlike in Kilika), had my heart broken of the failed Operation Mi'ihen, and made it all the way across the Thunder Plains and to the other side of Macalania Woods. Not bad playing, for a weekend. Plenty of plot along the way, plenty of level-building, and I still want to do a bit more level-grinding before tackling the next area, I'm pretty confident that I could do okay even if I just forged ahead right now.

~ I made a slow-cooker beef stew while I was asleep today. Or rather, I threw a pot roast and some chopped potatoes and carrots into a slow cooker, along with some beef stock gel, and let it go while I slept. It came out somewhere between a complete pot roast and a beef stew. Either way, it made a whole meal in my sleep, so I'm very happy with it.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ Went out to meet a friend the morning, to get help getting giant bags of cat litter home, and while I was out we stopped by the Granville Street Diner to give their food a try. Despite hearing reviews from locals like, "The food's not that great," or, "Don't bother going there," I found it a pretty good place. The food wasn't spectacular or anything, but it was exactly what I was hoping for, and the hot hamburger I had was really close to hot hamburgers served by a restaurant that I miss because it's back in the city I moved here from. I haven't had one in almost a year, and it wasn't exactly the same, but it was close enough to be comparable, so I was pretty happy with it.

The service was extremely fast, and I haven't yet found another restaurant that serves bottomless mugs of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate for only $2. So in all, a good restaurant when you want cheap tasty food but want something a bit more substantial than fast food.

~ Had a dream that I came out to my parents as transgender, and despite knowing I've told them such before in real life (though mostly that I don't identify with my physical/assigned sex), in the dream, they freaked out. Maybe because I'd made the decision to start living with a male appearance and was working toward that in a much more serious way than they'd ever seen, I don't know, but they were both extremely unhappy, talking about how they'd lost a daughter and were really upset and didn't know how to handle it.

I can get people not knowing how to handle it when someone comes out to them, because it's a mental readjustment you have to make, but even in the dream the whole "I've lost a daughter" bit stung, because they haven't had a daughter since I was in my early teens and decided that nope, I don't like being female, even though I'd never heard the word transgender at that point. I even remember one time, out shopping with my mother, when she made some comment about me having grown up so well but to her I'll always be her little girl, and I turned around in the middle of the mall and said to her that I am not a little girl. And I think she took it to mean that I was embarrassed by her and that I'm a grown person and not a kid, but even that hurt because only 2 days before that I'd talked to her about why I hated being female and the assumptions people made about me when they saw female attributes. It felt like she was trying to shove me back into some parent-approved box that I had just finished telling her I don't fit in.

So it's not like my parents haven't heard some of my trans issues. But I don't think they remember them very well, because we barely see each other anyway and conversations are so far apart and my issues aren't central to either of their lives. In the dream, I tried to tell them that getting so wailingly upset and making the announcement all about them was derailing and offensive, because I was being brave trying to be honest with them about a big part of my identity and struggles and they're now making it all about how hard it is to be them, having a kid with those struggles.

I have no idea why I had this dream, but wow, do I ever feel uncomfortable about the next time I talk to either of them...

~ But in happier news, I got a lot more Final Fantasy X played last night! I got through the horrible Blitzball game in Luca, and it only took me 4 resets before I actually won the tournament. I know winning isn't essential to the game progressing, but it just feels wrong to let Wakka's last game be a failure instead of a victory. I won, 1-0, and I consider even a single goal to be a good thing because I am absolutely terrible at that minigame!

I stopped playing right before the Chocobo Eater boss battle, and did a bit of level-grinding right before that so I'd be in decent condition when I fight later.

~ I did get some writing done, though I'm not caught up to where I should be by NaNo standards. Closer than before, though. I'm a bit less than a day behind now, instead of two days, so it won't take me much effort to catch back up. I just need to sit down and actually write, instead of getting distracted by fun video games.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ Did 3 loads of laundry last night, all of them blankets. Because not much feels nicer than fresh clean blankets when the weather's turning chillier every day.

~ I caught Tornadus in Pokemon Shuffle!

~ Played more Final Fantasy X. I made it through Kilika temple, but apparently my brain was too fuzzy to remember how to use the Destruction Sphere properly, so I had to skip that hidden treasure. Oh well, I wasn't aiming for a perfect game this playthrough anyway, so it doesn't bother me that much, but I'm still a little bit disappointed in myself for forgetting the right way of completing that temple puzzle.

I would have played longer, but I know the whole blitzball tournament in Luca is coming up, and I really hate that game so much, and I didn't feel like tackling it tonight. That'll be a headache for tonight instead, I'm sure.

~ And because I'm still in part of the game that contains loads of cut scenes and FMVs, I have time to do a little more embroidery while still playing the game. Double productivity for the win!

~ I didn't get any writing done last night! Not one word! But I'm not that worried, since on a normal day I can usually write 2000-3000 words without much difficulty, so long as I get into the scene I'm writing, so it shouldn't be much trouble to bring myself back to goal.

~ I'm having ridiculous problems with my Internet connection again. My desktop, which is what I use for most things, is far enough away from the router that it needs a signal boosting adapter to pick up a signal. Only as time goes on, that signal gets less and less reliable. Sometimes it drops entirely, but most of the time I suspect I'm getting close to dial-up speeds, which makes doing just about anything online extremely difficult.

I can't move the desktop, because there's nowhere else that it will really fit that's closer to the router.

I do have a laptop, which is okay in a pinch, but it's not the greatest and was bluescreening a lot before I got the desktop in the first place. And I'm not someone who uses a laptop as a laptop, exactly. I prefer putting it on a stable surface and essentially using it like a very lightweight desktop computer. But again, where it's close enough to the router to pick up a signal, there's no suitable surface, so I'm stuck using it intermittently and uncomfortably for important things before giving up and just resigning myself to another night with sporadic slow Internet connections.

So I'm really not enjoying that part of life. I'm not sure why the problem's gotten so much worse lately. It could be that the adapter is low quality and is just slowly crapping out, which is pathetic given that I only bought it a few months ago. It could be the router itself putting out worse signal strength, which I can only tell at a distance. It could be the fact that it's getting colder and I don't know, maybe wifi and cold don't mix.

But until I figure it out, I'm a mostly offline person. Post journal updates, send a few emails, update a couple of other things, but mostly exist in a disconnected state.

I suppose that's not too bad, since it does give me plenty of excuse to not be at everyone's beck and call so much, and to take more time for myself. "Sorry, can't hang around online and chat all night, my Internet connection is lousy!"
fandrogyne: (gaming)
~ Emotional self-care seems to be off to a good start. I started replying Final Fantasy X, because it's one of my favourite games and it's a comfortable and fun game to play when I'm feeling low, so it seemed like a good choice.

I didn't get too far, in between doing a couple of other things last night, but I got off Besaid, so at least I'm through the opening tutorial phase and into the story proper.

~ Despite spending a chunk of the night playing video games, I still managed to stay on track with my wordcount goals, which I'm happy about. I got some great advice from [personal profile] lassarina on writing scenes instead of a cohesive story at first, then tying things together later, and looking at it all that way helped a surprising amount to get me over what seemed like a cycle of "expository dialogue, travel, expository dialogue, travel." That's stuff's about as fun to write as it is to read...

~ I discovered the #makingwinter hashtag on Twitter, and now that just has me wanting to work on all manner of crafty projects. Big warm ones, like scarves and blankets, rather than the usual bookmarks or other embroidered things I've been doing lately. Mostly I've been working on more kogin-inspired bookmarks (all currently finished ones are listed in my Etsy store, if anyone wants to take a look at them), but seeing the tasty food and warm things that everyone's been showing off on that hashtag makes me think now might be a good time to look into a couple of other projects that might be cozier, to keep some of the winter blahs away.
fandrogyne: (Default)
I didn't accomplish much today. I mean, I made a small shepherd's pie. I washed some dishes. I didn't sleep much. But mostly what I did was feel lousy about myself.

Self-care is one of those phrases you see all over the place now, and I'm really bad at it. I've spent most of my life thinking it's better to put my own needs aside and help other people with their problems, no matter what the cost to me. I tell myself over and over again that giving in doesn't hurt me, that it makes someone else feel better, that the least I can do for all people have done for me is to do what they want for a while.

The problem is, that cycle never stops. Because I train people to expect it of me, and then when it becomes too much for me to handle, it looks like a sudden personality shift. Sudden and unwanted, by people who are used to getting their way.

Take, for instance, a friend who works overnight at a hospital, and who doesn't like being alone. And who has Internet access, and thus email access. Take me, who is awake all night. This person emails me. A lot. And because I don't want them to feel lousy, most of my nights get taken up by a combination of housework and emailing this person. No matter that I feel like going offline and playing video games, or watching a movie. I feel guilty if I do so, because this person doesn't like feeling alone, and so I keep sacrificing my own time to them.

That's just one example in a long line of examples.

So I'm very bad at taking a step back and saying, "You know what? I'm going to do my own thing tonight, and it's going to be for my benefit and nobody else's." Because in that phrase I hear the unspoken, "You have to cope with being alone and I'm not going to do anything to help you." And I start to wonder if me playing video games for a few hours is really worth it, no matter how much I'll enjoy it or how much it will revitalize me, because what's more important in the long run: frivolous pursuits or being a good friend?

Being a good friend is what it comes down to a lot, and I know I have a difficult time drawing the line between that and just letting someone else's wants dictate how I live my life. Hence the cycle. I do it, so they expect it, and me taking time for myself can come across like I'm pushing them away or pulling myself away. And I don't want to do that, because that's not what good friends do, so I push my own desires down into a tighter little ball and just keep on doing what I've been doing, heedless of the damage I know it's causing.

I need to get better at taking care of myself. It's not a crime to want to have fun. It's not a crime to do selfish things sometimes. I promised myself last month that I would make a point of taking one night a week to do what I wanted. I failed at that. I barely got other responsibilities done, because I was too busy being that "good friend" I figure people want me to be. I need to figure out ways of convincing myself that taking care of myself, physically and emotionally, is best.

I could just say that of course it's best, because if I take care of myself better, then I don't get bitter and resentful when people need or want me around, and then I can better handle what they need from me. But that's the same trap I've been stuck in all this time. Living my life for other people, instead of for myself.

That's what it comes down to, I guess. I don't feel like a player in my own life. I feel like the only thing I am is someone else's supporting character, and like I'm not actually living, but just surviving for the sake of other people. And I know that's not healthy. That's the opposite of healthy. And it's not a new feeling. I've felt like that one way or the other since high school.

So tonight, I do just that. I go offline. I do my own thing, and I have some fun, and sure I do some responsible things along the way but I don't spend the entire night weaving between chores and responsibility. When friendships becomes responsibilities, they cease being beneficial and become hurtful and unbalanced. I don't want that.

So, away I go, to see if this great plan actually does anything.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I ranked high enough on the last Pokemon Shuffle event to get a Gardevoirite!

~ Still staying on top of my wordcount goal for my unofficial participation in NaNoWriMo. Not doing it officially means I don't feel as guilty if I miss a day for whatever reason, or only write 1000 words instead of 1666, but my goal is to teach myself to write steadily, consistently. Getting to 50,000 words is no challenge at all for me now; one November I did that in 12 days, just to see how quickly I could do it.

But a big block to my writing has been burn-out, and that leads to never finishing a manuscript. I've learned a lot about writing first drafts. I've learned a lot about editing. I've learned a lot about what appeals to readers, what pitfalls to watch out for, all the things I learned from reviewing for so many years. Now it's time to give myself the lesson that I hope will be the final piece in the puzzle and allow me to complete something that can be further worked on and hopefully, with some time and luck, be turned into a manuscript that an agent or publisher might consider taking on.

~ I finished rereading Courtney Schafer's The Tainted City and moved right along to The Labyrinth of Flame, which I've been so excited about for, oh, about 2 years now. I have such high hopes for this book being amazing!

~ Taking a melatonin pill right before bed does help me sleep, but there's every chance that it helps me sleep too well, since I got about 12 hours of sleep, was in the same position for much of it and so woke up with a load of body aches and trouble moving, and had disturbing dreams in which I started to have hallucinations, seizures, and started to lose control of how my body moved. Maybe I should stick with half a pill when I need it, instead of a whole one, and see if that cuts down on the vivid dreams and too-deep sleep.

~ Sarah Chorn of Bookworm Blues wrote a great rant on the accessibility problems at conventions, and it's well worth the read. It's been a while since I've had an obvious physical limitation (doesn't mean I don't have less obvious ones), but I've still encountered opposition at multiple places when I try to tell them, "Guys, you're not mobility accessible. You need to be!" One company said they couldn't provide a ramp because they only rented a building and couldn't force the owner to put one in without good cause, and said they figured anyone coming for an interview would tell them in advance about mobility problems so they could arrange said interview off-site for better accommodation. (So they required full-disclosure from an applicant, which is sketchy, and then they'd have every reason to not hire that person if it put them in the position of having to force building renovations if that person stuck around...) One employee left that same company because of mobility issues, after the automatic doors stopped being automatic and problems with mobility due to dwarfism made it very difficult for him to open those doors and even get into the building.

I know that at some point in my life, there's a good chance that I, either temporarily or permanently, will end up facing mobility issues again. And Sarah's right: accessibility shouldn't be something that's praised, it should be standard. The lack of it shouldn't be something so frequently encountered by people who need it to be different, and who are thus excluded not only from fun extracurricular stuff (though cons aren't always extra-curricular; sometimes attending them is part of one's career), but also from getting jobs or buying groceries. This stuff shouldn't still happen as often as it does.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ Not going to start updating this weekly. I just took a week of relatively Internet-free time so that I could enjoy other stuff in life. It was totally worth it, by the way.

~ My GST rebate cleared in my bank account, so aside from treating a friend to dinner at one of the local Chinese restaurants, I also splurged on a couple of video games. Dark Souls, and Lego Star Wars. They were on sale at a local drugstore, of all places, and for a decent price, and I thought they'd provide a load of entertainment and so would be worth the price.

I'm the kind of person who thinks that video games are a pretty good entertainment investment, since I usually play ones that have a lot of story and so playtime, and I rarely only play a game once. So if I spend $50 on a game that promises me 50 hours of gameplay, that's $1 per hour of entertainment, and that's assuming I only play it once and only take that amount of time to unlock all the game has to offer. It's a lot of money to invest in upfront, but if you're the kind of person who plays games the way I do, it's worth it in the end.

~ The first batch of games in the Humble Monthly Bundle were dropped, and hot damn, are there ever some good games in it! The gem for me is Valkyria Chronicles, which normally sells for $21.99, and even if the subscription hadn't been a gift, then spending $12 for the subscription would be worth it for that game alone!

~ Also used some of that GST money to buy some cheap bags of Halloween candy from the Bulk Barn, so now I have delicious sweets to last me for a while.

~ Now that my book reviewing days are behind me, I'm able to better focus on things like writing. I'm unofficially doing NaNoWriMo this year, and so far I'm on track when it comes to wordcount, even though I keep wincing at some of the things I write. I'm trying to follow the advice I was given by numerous people: write now, edit later. Hopefully it will help me finish things this time...

~ Surprisingly, I didn't actually do much cooking. I got together with a friend to make a Samhain feast, which consisted of various vegetables, chicken, stuffing, and other delicious things, but for the most part, it seems that this break from the Internet was also a break from the kitchen.

Which is a bit sad, since I do like cooking, but I think not cooking for a while actually made me more eager to get back in there and make good food again, so maybe it was worth it.

Though I did make a meatloaf that turned out pretty well. I'd never made meatloaf before, so I'm glad it was edible, let alone good. Definitely something I'll make again in the future, because especially if I can get the ground beef on sale, it's a pretty cheap meal that's not hard to make.
fandrogyne: (Default)
Well, it's done. I closed down my book review blog. Almost 6 years of my life, and I'm leaving something behind, and that's really hard to do. But the wheel has turned, and sometimes when things become too heavy to keep carrying them, all you can do is put them down and decide to keep on walking without them.

The door may be closed, but it's not locked, though. I'll probably still post a review there every now and again, when the mood strikes me. But it was taking up so much of my time that I felt guilty whenever I took time to do other things, like work on embroidery, or play video games.

Or write. I haven't done much actual writing in years, because of the effort I put into reviewing. So that fell by the wayside, and now I want to pick it up and start walking forward with that instead.

And to that end, I'm taking a little break from online stuff for a week, to step back and enjoy some of the other things in life that got shunted to the side. Probably most of this will involve marathoning some TV shows and playing video games, going for walks, that sort of stuff. And trying to remember that I don't need to feel guilty for doing any of them.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I played the demo version of Yo-Kai Watch. It seems like an okay 'mon game. Kind of cheesy, and like any 'mon game you can't help but compare it to Pokemon, but it seems decent. Fairly engaging battles, if also very simple, but you have to keep an eye on a lot of different aspects so there's that challenge to it. I'd probably consider buying a full copy if it weren't so expensive.

(Because I don't currently have enough games on my backlog that need playing, I guess.)

~ To combat both insomnia and my annoying cold, I took NyQuil before bed. And slept for 10 hours. And feel much better. I think I can safely say that was a "two birds with one stone" situation.

The fact that it was raining probably helped me sleep better, too, since I like the sound of the rain on the windows and roof as I'm drifting off to sleep.

~ The eye on my embroidery needle broke, and I can't find any other needles right now, so embroidery has been put on hold for a little bit. I'll be going out in the morning to buy more, though, so I won't have to wait long. Which is nice, because I was making decent progress on my project and I want to keep working on it.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I seem to be at that stage of having a cold where I'm useless as a human being, much less an adult. I just want to curl up in bed with an endless mug of tea and some books, and not come out until I feel better. Unfortunately, my body seems to also be conspiring against that plan, because I'm still going through stress-related insomnia, which makes my restless legs act up, so lying in bed isn't the most comfortably thing because of pain.

Thanks, Obody.

~ Did some reading last night, watched a couple of YouTube videos, and just generally tried to rest and relax. Can't say that I accomplished much, but it's probably better that way, if I'm feeling so cruddy.

~ I did catch Ho-Oh in Pokemon Shuffle, though. I had to use a whole load of money on Great Balls to do it, because the battle was seriously annoying and I didn't want to keep doing it over and over again and hoping for the best with a low catch percentage, but I did catch it, and now I can spend half a billion battles trying to recoup some of that money I just blew.

~ Technically finished all my responsibility reading for the month! This makes me so very happy, and it's like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I still have to write up a final review, and I do want to read T Frohock's Without Light or Guide and review that on Friday morning, but after that, I consider myself free to read or not read however and whatever I want to.

That may not sound like such a big thing to most people, but when you've been running a relatively popular book review blog for almost 6 years, you start to feel the pressure of always having to provide regular content, always having to clear off the review copy pile (which never ends, and that's a blessing-curse of the best-worst kind), and so many books get left by the wayside because you don't have time or energy. I get to step back as of November first, and I think that's the right move for me because it feels like a lightening rather than a pure loss.

~ I made garlic beef yakimeshi for supper. It didn't turn out as flavourful as I'd hoped, probably because I lacked both mirin and any greens to add to the mix, but it was still tasty. Next time I think I'll add more garlic, and probably some chopped green onions, and I think that will help make it taste a lot better.
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