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~ After the lack of sleep and the loud pounding and the interruptions of yesterday, and the accompany higher-than-normal level of housework that accompanied it, I determined that last night needed to be a fun night for me. Or at least a relaxing one. That meant tea, video games, and reading.

~ Finished one book (which could have been good but needed a lot more editing), and moved on to a second, which caught my attention from the first page and promises to be a lot of fun. I hope my suspicions pan out with this one!

~ Played some Torchlight, which is fun for whenever I want to just do a mindless dungeon crawl and feel like I'm getting somewhere even if that "somewhere" I'm getting is just better equipment so I can handle a tougher dungeon crawl.

~ I currently rank a little above the 5000 mark on the Mega Banette battle in Pokemon Shuffle. That's my highest rank for any event battle so far, and I'm hoping that I don't drop below the 23,000 mark when it's all over. I want that Mega Stone! And I worked my butt off to get a team that could get that kind of high ranking, even if it isn't as high as some people manage. I like to see payoffs for my hard work. I'm strange that way.

~ It's getting cold enough that my chestnut sapling probably shouldn't stay outside any more. The grass was covered in frost at sunrise, which looked beautiful, but I want to take care of my baby tree as well as I can, and that means keeping it from getting too cold. I know that trees survive winters all the time (obviously), but this one's only been planted since June, so it's young and depending on how hard the winter is, it may not do so well staying outdoors.

So indoors it will come! Now I just have to find a place to put it where it will still get sunlight and won't be destroyed by cats. The last part is the hardest part of all; one of my cats will chew any kind of leaf within her reach, and getting munched on by a cat probably isn't any healthier for the tree than the cold would be!

~ Had a terrible bout of insomnia through the day. First I couldn't get warm, despite my face feeling like it was on fire plus me being able to feel that my skin was actually warm enough. It was like my body was filled with weird pseudo-ice, making me cold even though I wasn't cold, if that makes any sense. But after struggling through that, I started getting annoyed with every sound, every wrinkle in the blanket. A melatonin pill, muscle relaxants, and calming tea did nothing to put me to sleep. It was just one of those days when I was destined to not get any sleep.

I did sleep later, though, which is good.
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~ Update on the FitBit situation: it turns out that not only calling them out on Twitter but also sending an email expressing my serious dissatisfaction gets their attention. It took less than a day for them to reply, apologize, process my replacement, and tell me that as soon as it ships I'll get another confirmation email with a tracking number. There, now was that something that really should have taken 2 weeks to accomplish?

~ It's cold enough that I'm using space heaters now. No sense in turning the furnace on when doing so would not only heat the whole house including rooms that neither I nor any cats are in, but would also cost money because oil's not exactly cheap. So until I can justify that, space heater it is! Along with long-sleeves warm sweaters and pajama tops, fluffy socks, and scarves. And spending a lot of time under blankets while reading or playing video games.

There are worse ways to spend a night.

~ I made a shepherd's pie last night (well, technically a cottage pie, since I didn't make it with lamb), and it's been ages since I last made one, but I think it turned out decently. Normally I like my shepherd's pies loaded down with meat, essentially just a big pie of seasoned meat and potatoes, but I'm making an effort to eat more healthy food, so this time I added a peas and corn and chopped carrots. With shredded cheese sprinkled on top of the mashed potatoes. Pretty tasty!

~ For some reason, listening to Mylo's Drop the Pressure makes me think of eating candy in England. I think I must have heard it on the radio on my last visit or something, and had utterly forgotten about it until it randomly popped up on a radio station I listened to last night.

Now I just want British candies...

~ Caught up on some housework that I've been ignoring for a few days. Hauled a giant bag of dry cat food up from the basement to fill the cat food bin, did laundry, washed dishes that have been piling up.
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~ I cleaned out the kettle today. It hasn't been long since I last boiled vinegar in it, which is how I usually clean kettles, but tea started tasting weird again so I looked up the specific instructions that came with the kettle. Turns out you're supposed to mix water, lemon juice, and baking soda, then let it bubble away for about 45 minutes. So I did that instead.

And when I poured out that water? It looked like I'd just actually made tea in the kettle. It was a horrible shade of brown, and all that was apparently just from the usual; buildup of minerals and stuff that you get from boiling tap water so often. Very disgusting! I'm glad I cleaned it, because all I can think of is that the scaling on the metal and the buildup of stuff was just getting into the water I use for my tea, and I was drinking it, and ugh, no wonder my tea has tasted a bit weird lately!

~ It's very windy right now. It's blowing right at the front of the house, which always makes the door the separates the entryway from the rest of the house get squeaky, even when it's closed. When I first moved here, I thought it sounded like mice in the walls, but none of the cats seemed to care, and eventually I figured out it only happened when it was windy. Something to do with the draft because the front door doesn't seal well and the entryway isn't insulated. Just another one of those sounds you get used to after a while, I suppose. I hear it, but it's stopped registering as a sound I might need to care about.

The rustling leaves in the trees is louder, though. That sound really makes me think that autumn is well and truly here!

~ I started rereading A J Jacobs's The Know-It-All. Because I could. I decided that responsibility reading can go hang itself for a few days, and I'm going to read what I want until the end of the month and nobody can stop me. Which means I'll probably start rereading A Year of Living Biblically right after I'm finished with this one. Both are good books, and I like his writing style and his humour.

~ I made some banana "ice cream" with some cheap bananas I got recently. A nearby grocery store often has great markdowns on their slightly off fruits and vegetables, which is great if you want to be creative with cooking and use things up pretty quickly. I got a bunch of 5 bananas for $0.49 (that's the price for a marked down bunch, no matter how many are in it), and it made about 1 litre of pureed banana to freeze.

No matter what I add to it for flavouring (peanut butter, Nutella, homemade fruit syrup), that price is far less than any commercial ice cream I can buy, and is healthier for me because aside from added flavouring, the only ingredient is banana. No added sugar or preservatives, very low fat, and unless you can't eat bananas for whatever reason, it's a suitable treat for just about any diet a person could be following.

I'm not sure I did it right, though, because all the recipes I see talk about freezing the banana and then blending them, whereas I blended the banana and then stuck it all in the freezer. I guess I'll have to see. If this batch turns out okay, I'll stick to it, because there's more room to store a bunch of bananas on my kitchen counter than there is in my freezer. If it doesn't work well, I'll freeze the bananas first next time and try again.

~ I also made a slow-cooker chili, again doing the thing where I put all the ingredients in there before bed, then wake up to a delicious-smelling supper. I almost never use ground beef for chili anymore, instead using cut-up pieces of stewing beef, because I can often find better deals on stewing beef than I can on ground beef. It tastes just as good. This batch turned out milder than usual, probably because my spices are old and need to be replaced, but it was still pretty good, and now there's plenty of food that I just need to reheat whenever I'm hungry. And that always makes me happy!
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~ Happy first day of autumn!

~ I did pretty much nothing last night. I wrote a tough-to-write blog post for another blog, one that will be hanging over my head for a month. I caught Registeel in Pokemon Shuffle. And that was pretty much it. The rest of the night was spent reading old journal entries in someone else's journal, and talking with friends online. I can't give myself any points for productivity here. None whatsoever.

~ I did drag the compost bin to the curb for pickup, so, slight win? Maybe I'll give myself half a point for that. And another half point for washing the dishes. That's something, even if it's not much.

~ Also made a tough decision about my life, but I can't go into much detail here because the official announcement isn't for another month, and even though I'm pretty sure people who read this haven't linked this journal to other stuff I do, I want to keep from hint-dropping and talking about it in advance of the time I properly say what I want to say. Suffice it to say that making the decision was tough, a little sad, but I think it's the right way to go.

~ I slept until 10:30 PM. And then only got up reluctantly. I had a hard time getting to sleep, though, which is why I slept so late, but that doesn't mean I'm happy about it. I'm sure part of it is the cooling temperatures, which makes staying buried under blankets seem that much more appealing, but still!

~ I need more happy icons for this journal. All my current icons are so serious or just plain weird.
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~ Broke out the new ShopVac to take care of the flooding basement problem. It's not one with a huge tank, so it only took a few minutes of sucking up water for it to need emptying, but after 4 loads, progress was being made. Not great progress. But enough that I felt justified in stopping for the day. I'll do more tomorrow, and every day, until the basement no longer has entire sections that are flooded up to my ankles.

~ I'm about halfway done reading Ferrett Steinmetz's upcoming The Flux, sequel to Flex. Enjoying it, too, but that doesn't surprise me, since I liked the first novel in the series. I like the idea that magic is based on obsession, an interest strong enough to twist reality to the user's needs or desires.

~ Replaying Final Fantasy VII these days. Just finished escaping Corel Prison and the whole Chocobo race bit, which I was horrible at because I'm playing the PC version with an XBox 360 controller, and it looks like the old PSX controller cheat to recover a Chocobo's stamina doesn't work this time around. It took me 3 tries to win the race, when in the past I nearly always win the first time around.

~ I love that the weather's turning cooler. The mornings are really fresh, and I don't mind going out to do morning chores before I sleep. It's cool enough that sleeping under heavier blankets feels really nice, but not so cold yet that I need multiple blankets, or that I can't open the windows to let some fresh air in. Cooler weather has always helped me sleep better. That's one of the things I love about autumn.

~ Possibly as a result of this, I slept for 10 hours. And woke up with my back sore and my limbs floppy, like I'd just taken NyQuil. Can't complain, though, because I must have needed the sleep, even if I don't like being sore and uncoordinated.

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