fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I actually acted like a real adult person and did chores last night! I siphoned out more water from the basement, washed all the bedding, and did a huge load of dishes.

~ Because the Internet was being very persnickety last night, I also spent most of it offline, and without distractions, I managed to finished rereading Catherynne Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making, and started on the next book in the series, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There. Long titles, but short books, and they're really entertaining!

~ I played some Torchlight, too, because it's been a little while since I had a good dungeon-crawl. I didn't get any Steam achievements during the session, because I got bored and wanted to read more, but I did get a little further, and got some bonus dungeon maps so I can get more loot. More loot equals more money, which equals better equipment, which means tougher dungeons.

Yeah, this is pretty much all games like Torchlight are. And yet, they're strangely compelling.

~ I managed to do 30 situps! I admittedly didn't sit up very far each time (enough to feel the muscles in my abdomen start to tense, though), and I did them in 3 sets rather than all at once, with a 30-second break between each set, but I did them! I need to get back to doing situps at night, and other exercises too. Winter's coming, and it's harder for me to get out for walks whether the weather's cold and snowy and icy, so anything I can do inside that doesn't involve special equipment is great.

I wish I still had my hand weights, though. I had to leave them behind when I moved, because there wasn't enough room to bring absolutely everything from where I lived before, and they were among the things I had to get rid of for space reasons. I'd like to get another set, someday. They were really helpful.

In the meantime, a 540 ml can of pureed pumpkin can provide some lift resistance, even if it doesn't provide much weight!
fandrogyne: (happy)
~ I made potato soup in the slow cooker, using this recipe. I didn't have any Russet potatoes, so I used 7 small yellow potatoes instead, and I think that works out to about the same amount, if I remember the size of Russet potatoes properly.

However, a friend wanted to go to a coffeeshop breakfast with me in the morning, so I ended up having a delicious chicken pesto sandwich and chai instead of potato soup. Which I'm definitely not complaining about. The soup was just as good when I woke up tonight!

~ I pretended to be a responsible adult and I emptied the recycling bin and took the bags down to the basement to await pickup day. I also siphoned more of the leak from the basement, because that problem's not going away any time soon, but I need to keep up with it or else water gets absolutely everywhere and it's a royal pain to just be in the basement, let alone do anything there.

~ I wrote 1 full review and 2 mini-reviews, all for books/novellas. The 1 big one has already gone live and have been cross-posted to GoodReads and Amazon, and the 2 smaller ones will lie in wait until the end of the month.

~ Speaking of books, I finished reading Daniel Polansky's novella, The Builders. It was pretty good. Think Redwall, but with guns and where nearly everyone dies at the end.

Now I'm settling in for a reread of Catherynne Valente's Fairyland books, because I seem to be in the mood for short-and-sweet books right now. (Probably has a lot to do with the fact that the end of the year is approaching and I want to achieve my reading goals for 2015.)

~ I went out for a walk before bed (mostly to mail my grandmother's Christmas present and letter) and discovered a pawn shop relatively nearby, with a second floor almost entirely devoted to video games. My bank account is already wincing in anticipation of how much money I'm likely to spend there at points in the future, since I saw a few games that I want (though I'm trying to use my money for holiday gifts for others, not holiday gifts for me). But it's been a long time since I've been in a store that sells second-hand PSX games, so even just being in there makes me feel good and makes me want to spend hours and hours gaming again!

~ December's Skoshbox arrived this morning, and I had fun trying out a little bit of everything before I went to sleep. Expect reviews and commentary later.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ It was a pretty relaxing weekend. I slept a lot, which was both good and bad, I guess, but I liked it. It passed too quickly, as weekends are wont to do, but it was still pretty good.

~ I finished reading Django Wexler's The Forbidden Library and started on Delilah S Dawson's Servants of the Storm, which is wonderfully creepy and I'm loving it so far!

~ I tried candied smoked salmon for the first time, which is a bit too sweet to eat on its own, but when it's between two thin slices of potato-chive focaccia, it's freaking amazing! Not something I would go out of my way to buy again, I think, unless it's on the amazing BOGO sale I got it on this week, but I'm glad I took a chance on it and tried it while I could.

~ I went to view a house for rent that looked like it would be perfect for what I needed. Same price as where I'm currently staying, 3 bedrooms (or from my perspective, a bedroom, a spare bedroom, and an office), 2 bathrooms, great location that could help save me money in cabs by being so close to major grocery stores that I could walk much more easily, attached garage, fenced-in back yard. It seemed amazing!

Then I got there and it was... less than amazing.

First off, the fenced-in back yard had a large chunk of fence missing. The garage roof leaked badly, and around light fixtures. The stove's range hood was missing. The walls and windows hadn't been properly cleaned since the previous tenants left, nor the floors from other viewings, so it looked very much like cleaning up someone else's mess would be part of the new tenant's move-in chores. The 3rd bedroom was in a finished basement, which also would have been wonderful for potential future heat waves because it would be cooled down there than upstairs, but it was hard to actually see anything because there was no power running to the building and the woman showing it to me (or more accurately, letting me wander through at it my leisure while she stood at the doorway playing with her cell phone) didn't know about that and didn't bring a light source, so I tried to get what info I could by the light of my cell phone camera. But that did reveal to me that some rooms downstairs were missing wall and/or ceiling panels.

I could understand a place like that being rented for $650 a month, with all those problems, but $800? Hell no! I could understand $700 if the fence and garage roof were fixed, but that's still not $800.

But the biggest nail in the coffin was that the house was up for sale, which means that even if the landlord was willing to drop the rent to $650 a month in light of all the damage done to the place, I might still find myself in the exact same situation I'm trying to move to avoid in the first place.

So that turned into a bit of a wasted hour on Saturday. It was interesting seeing another house to possibly rent, I admit, but nothing came of it.

Back to the drawing board where that's concerned, I guess.
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)
~ 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: (unimpressed)
~ Finally, the basement has been completely siphoned! I sucked up as much water as I could with the ShopVac, then mopped up the rest, then remopped it with bleach and water to kill any lingering mold that might have taken root after so long. It took a while, and it hurt my back bending at such a strange angle while I mopped and vacuumed, but the basement has finally been properly dealt with.

...Or so I thought, until I went back down there a few hours later and saw some water back on the floor, and heard a faint drip, drip, drip. So I do have a leak somewhere, but no matter how much I check pipes with a flashlight, I can't actually figure out where it's coming from. Short of having the landlord come in with a plumber (which will result in another sleepless and interrupted and frustrating day, no doubt), I think I might have to resign myself to just going down to the basement every few nights to mop up.

It wasn't leaky before I moved in. It got leaky when all the snow from last winter started to melt, but that's expected. But at this point? Part of me suspects the water heater, actually, which would explain why I can't find the leak if it's underneath the heater, and it might have happened due to corrosion from all the snowmelt water that ended up down there in the spring. Something I'll have to ask the landlord, of course, even though I'm dreading how much hassle it'll end up being.

Weirdly, he didn't seem too concerned. He seemed more concerned with having the front door issue brought to his attention. That issue being: it doesn't lock, has never locked, and we were never given a key for it. He claims he didn't know. I know he was told at least twice, and he ought to know how many keys he handed over when I moved in. -_-

~ Still having Internet connection problems, only now it's starting to affect other devices, and ones much closer to the router. I really don't want to have to call my ISP about this, mostly, again, because I'm afraid they'll have to send someone out and I don't want to have to deal with interruptions to my schedule. I tried resetting the router and it didn't seem to make a difference. Lovely.

~ The roofing guy showed up at almost exactly 12:15, and given that I was already nervous about getting so little sleep before I'd be woken up, I had even more trouble falling asleep and pretty much only got an hour, max, before all the thumping started on the roof. He didn't get everything finished, but he got the loud part done, and is only coming back tomorrow to clean up fallen shingles that he left on the back porch.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I bought my first binder! I'm probably a little too excited about this, but I can't wait until it arrives and I can see what I look like in it! I've tried to bind before, usually with lousy homemade wraps that take forever to put on and then may or may not actually stay where they're supposed to for longer than a couple of hours, and the hassle just wasn't worth the payoff. So I'm hoping that a shirt that I can wear much more easily than a wrap will help bring a bigger payoff for less effort.

~ Caught Giratina in Pokemon Shuffle! Now, to hope that I can rank in the Mega Banette battle and get a Mega Stone this time. I didn't manage to rank high enough to get the Absolite last time, which disappointed me, but I'll push to get the rank this time!

~ Someone will be coming by to do some roofing tomorrow, which means having my sleep interrupted, combined with the landlord coming over to do a few things to finish winterizing the house (mostly cleaning the furnace filters), so I anticipate not only very broken sleep, but also having to do a bunch of housework again to get ready for him arriving. I did a bunch the weekend before last, of course, but over a week has passed and things get messy or need doing again, so, tonight is a cleaning night.

Then hopefully he can come and do what he needs to do and then largely leave us alone for the rest of the winter. I do best when I'm largely left alone and can live and work to my own schedule.

Fortunately it's both compost pickup and recycling pickup tomorrow morning, which will mean a whole load of stuff can easily be taken out of the house and left for somebody else to deal with. I love that recycling pickup is curbside in this city!

~ Speaking of recycling, though, I'm very tempted to start making a weekly trip to the recycling depot with cans and bottles, so that I can get a little bit of money back. Curbside recycling doesn't give me a deposit back. And I don't have a car, but the depot is less than an hour's walk from my house, so it would be an okay trip in most weather, and even if I only got a couple of dollars back, that's a couple of dollars I wouldn't have otherwise, and I have a ready excuse to get out and walk more.

If I don't start doing that before winter, it's definitely something I'll start doing in the spring. But so far I hear we're going to have a mostly mild winter, not nearly as much snow as last winter brought, so even this year I might have plenty of clear weeks where I could make the trip.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I have new sneakers! They're not ideal, because I've never actually worn an ideal pair of shoes, but they're as close as I can get, and the price wasn't too high.

A combination of needing around a men's size 8.5 double-wide (or possibly an 8 triple-wide, if such a thing exists) plus having a badly ingrown nail on each foot makes finding anything to wear on my feet just short of a hellish experience. I can never find anything wide enough without it being too long, and it being too long usually means the shoe bends right over the ingrown nails on my big toes. If I find something that fits lengthwise, it's so tight that my feet start to go numb after five minutes. And neither option is conducive to actually having my toes heal properly; they've been ingrown and with on-again-off-again infections for over a decade now.

I could, in theory, get a pair of shoes custom-made for my exact foot size (one of which is slightly bigger than the other anyway), but that will cost me far more than I can afford. And only being able to afford shoes that don't fit me has, over time, made the problem worse.

But these new sneakers are decent, and I can break them in over time, and hopefully I'll be able to afford something better later on. They're a stopgap solution, which, to be honest, is what I need right now more than I need something that fits my feet well. Having shoes that aren't falling apart can help me get a better job. Which can help me make some more money. Which can, in turn, eventually let me get the shoes I need.

One step at a time. Literally.

~ For supper, I made oven-roasted root vegetables. I didn't have the greatest variety of vegetables (just sweet potato, regular potato, and carrots), but I added some chopped garlic and onion and greased the roasting pan with some saved bacon grease, which added a next extra flavour. Cheap and filling and very warm, which is just what I want when it's below 0 and rainy outside!

~ Something has gone weird with the furnace where it turned itself on randomly today and refused to turn off. I thought at first it was because it was just so cold outside that it overrode the off setting, but then when it warmed up nicely and refused to turn off... I turned it off by the emergency power switch, and the landlord is coming over on Wednesday to clean the filters, so I'll let him know then. Hopefully it's a simple fix with the thermostat or something, because I really don't want to deal with having more people coming in and out of the house, especially when I sleep during the day and most repair people don't exactly make night calls unless it's a weird emergency or something.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ As always, grocery shopping on Friday morning was fun. I took advantage of a few sales and came home with plenty of toilet paper, some ground pork, ground turkey, simmering steaks... Most of what I buy at grocery stores now is meat, because vegetables are so cheap at the 2 farmers markets, so it's better to just get meat when there are good sales and get vegetables elsewhere even when they're at regular prices.

Unless there are some good fruits or vegetables on the markdown rack. Last time I got 5 ears of corn for $1.49, which is a good price for this time of year. Most of the stuff there isn't much good unless you're going to use it within a day, maybe 2, but sometimes I can find some amazing deals on markdown produce.

~ One of the grocery stores I went to has a walk-in medical clinic, so even though I was tired and had groceries to take care of and just wanted to come home and go to bed, I sat there for an hour and a half until I got an appointment. Got a prescription for my asthma meds, filled them the next morning, and yay, I have things that let me breathe properly once again! Expensive, but I prefer oxygen to money most days anyway.

Sadly, my meds are more expensive here than they were in the last province I lived. By about $30. Which is very unfortunate, since it's not like I'm going to stop needing them any time soon, so that's an extra expense on top of the regular expense and bleh, why do I have to be unhealthy, anyway>

I also got this year's flu shot while I was there, which was cheaper than it was in the other province, but not by enough to offset the increased cost of the asthma meds. To offset the cost, the pharmacy would have to have paid me $10 to get the flu shot. They were usually around $20, before. But even then, I never paid, because my asthma entitled me to a free flu shot each year. (Pre-existing lung conditions occasionally have minor perks.) But that same allowance isn't given by this province, so I went from paying nothing to now paying $12, on top of paying $30 more for my regular meds.

But hopefully the vaccine will help keep me from getting as sick this winter, and my regular meds will do the rest to keep my lungs in decent working order. I hate that they cost so much, but I do like not being sick.

~ I earned enough points doing surveys to get a $10 payout! I have plans for this $10. Not huge plans, because it's only $10, but I'm going to have a little bit of fun with it. Money I earn from surveys like that is my fun money, money that doesn't need to go elsewhere, so I'm pretty happy earning little bits here and there to help me buy a video game or craft supplies every once in a while.

~ I finally splurged and bought a microwave, too, which, even though it was expensive (though it was still the cheapest microwave there), will help me make sure I eat more leftovers. Leftovers are a pain to reheat without something convenient like a microwave, so sometimes I just wouldn't go through the hassle, and some food would go to waste. No longer! So even if it was an expense, I think it will save money in the long run.

~ I've been having so many problems with my Internet connection lately. Sometimes it works wonderfully, high speeds and everything... for about 10-15 minutes. Sometimes less. And when it stops working, I'm left with no Internet connection for at least half an hour. I'm not sure if it's the router in the living room, or the signal booster on my computer, or something else entirely. I can't find anything on virus or malware scans, which means that "something else" isn't too likely, but that still leaves me with two options that I can't do much about. Other devices do work when they're closer to the router, but also sometimes they don't, and the router needs to be reset, so in the end I just have no idea.

I suppose I should try to see it as a mixed blessing. A sporadic Internet connection means less opportunity to get distracted by online stuff when I ought to be doing other things. The Internet's great for a lot, but it's also great for killing certain kinds of productivity, and really, sometimes I do need an excuse to step away and do other things. Not necessarily step away from my computer, because there's plenty of work I can do on it without needing the Internet, but step away from YouTube and Facebook and other distractions that I really need less of in my life.

Still. That doesn't make the lousy connection any less frustrating to deal with.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ Despite cruddy lungs, I got a lot more work done in the basement. Most of the water is gone. It's so gone that the ShopVac's not really picking much up anymore, and when it is it's being sucked in like fine mist, so it takes a while to fill the tank. Honestly, I think the best thing to do at this point is to go back down there with a strong bleach solution and mop up the rest, because some mold has grown and I want to kill it off, but evaporation can take care of the rest. And once the landlord has come by to check the furnace filters and I start using the oil heat again, I know the rest of the water will go within a day. The basement here used to be furnished and heated, but bad flooding one year forced the previous tenants to rip down a whole load of drywall and take the basement back to an unfinished state. Since then, one of the vents that used to heat a comfortable basement now just heats a basement that's not good for anything but storage.

Which sucks when you're the one paying for oil to heat your house, knowing that some of that heat is being blown into a room that you almost never go in and isn't used for anything but large tote bins, but at the same time, it does do wondered for keeping the basement dry, so I won't complain too loudly.

~ A friend treated me to breakfast at McDonald's today, which was nice, and very appreciated!

~ Mint-chocolate tea is one of the best teas ever, and I have to keep a stash of it in the tea cupboard. I don't drink as much of it as I do other teas, but since it's one that I prefer without milk, it's a great go-to drink when I want tea but forgot to buy milk again. Such as tonight.

~ I decided to give Torchlight a try last night, and so far I'm enjoying it a lot. It's very much like Diablo II, right down to music and sound effects and the way it's just a giant dungeon crawl, which suits me just fine because I enjoy games where there's not much purpose beyond getting more awesome loot. The graphics are more cartoon-like than Diablo II, though, so there's less of a dark serious feel to it right from the first moment, but it's still a fun game if you like dungeon crawls.

I think it'll scratch an itch of mine quite nicely!

~ Slept very little today. I got 3 hours of amazing good solid uninterrupted sleep... and then couldn't get back to sleep after being woken up by something. I got up and tried to watch some TV for a while, to see if I'd fall back to sleep, but it was a day where I'd planned to get up early (just not that early) so I could go to embroidery class anyway. So I went back to bed to nap, and when I woke up for class it was raining in that perfectly relaxing heavy way, which also meant that walking there and back would be slippery as hell with all the fallen leaves, and between that and being still tired, I skipped class again.

I don't feel too bad about doing so, since class was only $15, and it's really more of a meetup of people while they work on embroidery projects at this point, rather than anyone learning anything new.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I managed to get both Palkia and Dialga and beat level 50 of the Latias challenge to get a Latiasite in Pokemon Shuffle, all of which makes me very very happy! I'm not sure I'll be able to rank high enough on the Mega Absol challenge to get an Absolite, either. No matter; even if I don't manage it this time, I'm sure those levels will come around again at some point in the future.

~ Last night I got the laundry folded and put away, the recycling bagged and taken down to the basement until pickup day, washed a load of dishes, vacuumed the downstairs room and the stairs leading upstairs, and a bit of the junk cleared off the kitchen table.

I also ended up taking a nap, due to sleeping very little the night before. Completely worth it, because I probably managed to get more done after feeling rested and refreshed than I would have if I'd just tried to push through the fatigue.

~ Tried a chai latte from Starbucks. It was pretty good. Not as good as the ones I used to be able to get at Java Moose, but since there's no Java Moose here, Starbucks's is a decently-priced alternative.

I also tried their gouda, egg, and bacon breakfast sandwich. It was okay. Nothing special, and smaller than I expected, so I don't really think it's worth the price. I can spend only a little bit more across the street at A&W and get a couple of their bacon & egger breakfast sandwiches, which taste better and fill me up more.

~ Walked about 2.5 km today, which isn't spectacular, but it's more than I usually do, and it helped me get a load of steps logged on my FitBit, so yay!

~ Ended up with a random inexplicable fever while trying to sleep, one that seemed to sap me of my ability to feel like I had any body heat whatsoever, and I slept under a ridiculous number of blankets and had to take muscle relaxants to unclench enough to fall asleep in the first place. I woke up later, drenched with sweat and feeling shaky. I still feel shaky, truthfully, but I can't get away with not doing housework tonight. Fortunately I have a friend coming over tomorrow who can help me with whatever's left over, so I can go easy on myself tonight, at least a little bit.

~ Supper tonight was leftover salmon and rice. So when I do more housework later, at least I'll have some high-energy food in my belly to help keep me going!


fandrogyne: (Default)

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