fandrogyne: (reading)
~ Caught Mewtwo in Pokemon Shuffle, which wasn't at all difficult since I could use free items against it and it had a 100% catch rate. There was pretty much no way to lose that battle. But I'm happy I have it.

Now, to work on capturing Regigigas, since I already have the other three Regis captured from a previous event.

~ I finished reading Catherynne Valente's The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, and it feels like I took ages reading it but really, I started it before the weekend and just didn't actually read at all over the weekend itself. It's a short book, so it didn't take too long when I actually was reading.

But now I can move to the next one in the series, The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two. I really love this series, because even though it's written for a much younger audience, there's such a strong feel of sensible nonsense to it, that magic and wonder of childhood possibilities, and Valente writes as though children just haven't yet learned what certain things are rather than them being incapable of understanding complex or dark things. There's so much to enjoy about the series, and I'm a bit annoyed with myself that I hadn't read past book 2 for so long. This time, the first 2 have been rereads. Now I'm into pieces of the story that I haven't read at all yet, and I'm excited!

~ The snow that was supposed to hit last night kindly delayed itself until today. So now it's the night before the compost and recycling gets picked up, and I have to shovel loads of heavy snow off the back deck and driveway by only the light of the streetlights so I can get it all to the curb on time.

Have I mentioned before that there are some serious drawbacks to being a responsible adult?
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)
~ I'm pretty much finished going through my list of review copies and marking the amount of pages per book. There are some left on the list that aren't accounted for, in part because I didn't make note of the author's name at the time (I've been keeping this list for over 5 years) and the titles are too generic to find properly on GoodReads, so I might have to see if I can fill in some blanks if NetGalley's archives go back that far. But for the most part, I think I'll have a much easier time now deciding what to read based on whether I feel like reading something short and quick, or a doorstopper.

~ I had a lot of chicken breasts thawed that needed to be used soon, so I cut them into pieces, used some ranch Shake 'n' Bake that I picked up on sale at the grocery store the other day, and made a lot of large chicken nuggets. Very tasty, even cold. I love making homemade chicken nuggets like that, though usually I use a mix of panko and parmesan cheese instead of Shake 'n' Bake.

~ I finally got around to writing a letter to my grandmother, which I intended to send along with her Christmas present, and was getting ready to go out and mail it when I suddenly remembered that oh, the post office is closed on Saturday. So now I have to wait until tomorrow morning.

I'd be annoyed at having taken up time in which I wanted to do other things, but really, I'm terrible at writing letters, so it's good that I made myself do it, even if I couldn't mail it when I wanted to. I'd already been putting it off for a week, by that point, anyway.

~ The weather has been warm enough that some of the snow has started to melt, though there's still a lot of it around because it was so heavy. Also, when I thought a branch fell of a tree and knocked out the power line almost right at my front door, it turns out I was a little mistaken. It wasn't a branch. It was about half a tree. Right across the street there's a jagged tree trunk still sticking up, its top half missing, and that was what broke under the weight of the snow and came crashing down that night.

I feel pretty lucky that it wasn't bigger, and didn't hit this house when it fell. Or anyone else's house, for that matter! A downed power line is a lot easier to fix than a roof!
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ Snooooooow~! The city got about 10 cm of snow overnight, which is a little weird for this early in December, but eh, it's Canada, so you take it as it comes.

The problem is that it was wet heavy snow, and the weight of it caused broken tree branches and knocked-out power lines all over the city. I was without lights for about an hour. Fortunately I anticipated that and charged my 3DS, so I just lay in bed and played video games until the lights and heat came back.

Of course, then I had the joy of clearing heavy wet snow off the front steps, and the whole back porch. The driveway can stay covered for now, though. I don't have a car, nobody comes to visit, and it's just not worth busting my back over at this very moment.

~ Finished reading Sylvia Sprunk Wrigley's Domnall and the Borrowed Child. I thought it was a novel, but at under 100 pages, it's actually a novella. Interesting look at fairy lore, and it was a nice diversion.

I've moved on now to Daniel Polansky's The Builders. I've heard some good things about this book, and I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy it. (I wouldn't be reading it if I didn't think it was at least possibly enjoyable!)

~ My Internet connection did cooperate long enough for me to get my latest bookmark listed on my Etsy store.

~ Had stomach problems before I tried to sleep, which, combined with more exertion than I'm used to lately (shoveling so much wet snow off the back porch), had me reduced to shaking uncontrollably and being unable to get warm. The shaking didn't actually stop until I'd fallen asleep (at least, that's when my awareness of it stopped), and it took 3 heavy blankets to even start to warm me up despite not actually feeling that cold. Probably lousy hydration and low blood sugars to boot, but knowing the probably cause of it doesn't make it any less terrible to go through.
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~ I finished reading Delilah S Dawson's Servants of the Storm. Pretty good book, and I love the way it had me doubting reality by the end. Similar to but didn't go as far as Ilsa J Bick's White Space and The Dickens Mirror.

~ I spent some time organizing my list of review novels that I've received over the years. I keep a huge list in a spreadsheet, with title and author and publication date, which was very helpful in figuring out what to read when so that I could get reviews out on time. But not doing formal reviews much anymore has left me with a load of books and no idea what to read next, nor any particular guidelines I feel that I should follow. But weirdly what I can tell is whether I'm in the mood for something short or long, so I've taken the time to go through large chunks of the list and make a notation of the number of pages in the book. Between that and the other data I've collected (plus GoodReads if I'm curious as to whether a certain plot might fit my mood), I hope it'll be a bit easier to settle on reading material without as much deliberation.

~ A local grocery store had sampler trays of baked treats on for 50% off, so I bought one. $4 got me 12 pieces of various brownies, all about palm-sized, and they're so tasty! And bad foods are so much easier to justify when they're half price!
fandrogyne: (reading)
~ The Whitefire Crossing, by Courtney Schafer (reread)
~ The Tainted City, by Courtney Schafer (reread)
~ The Labyrinth of Flame, by Courtney Schafer
~ Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey (reread)
~ 397 Ways to Save Money, by Kerry K Taylor
~ The Forbidden Library, by Django Wexler

Currently Reading

~ Servants of the Storm, by Delilah S Dawson
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 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.
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~ 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.
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~ 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: (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 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.
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~ 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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~ Still trying to force myself back into the usual things I do, and to not just let myself wallow and stare vacantly at the TV because doing so takes so little energy and I can't be bothered. I need to do things, so I'm trying hard to keep busy until I get back into the swing of living and not just existing. (Whoever said that a little bird couldn't touch your life so much has clearly never had an unsinging rescue bird start singing and keep singing for almost 10 years of their life...)

~ I've gotten 2 book reviews written this week so far, so that's something. I'm aiming for 2 more by the end of the week, which shouldn't be difficult. Well, 1 book review and 1 novella review, anyway.

~ I found out that while some amazon.com reviews crosspost to amazon.ca automatically (or at least I get blocked from crossposting to the .ca site sometimes when it claims I already posted the review on .com) others don't. Or possibly they used to block crossposts and now have stopped, I don't know. Either way, I now have to go check everything I've reviewed on amazon.com and see if it will now allow me to post it to amazon.ca.

I suppose the positive side of this is that my reviewer ranking on amazon.ca might suddenly skyrocket. I wouldn't complain about that; I'm so close to the top 1000 there, which is a nice achievement (I'm close to the top 10,000 on amazon.com, which is still an achievement though not as impressive), and I'd love to tip over that line.

~ I learned to tell the difference between horse chestnuts and regular chestnuts... the hard way. Yeah. No kurigohan for me, and that chestnut sapling I was so proud of is only going to grow up to bear poisonous fruit.

I feel like there's some kind of moral lesson to be learned in this. But really, the only lesson is that I probably should have confirmed that something was what I thought it was before putting it in my mouth.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ 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.
fandrogyne: (part of everything)
~ I finished another book, hurray! This brings me up to a total of 79 books read since the beginning of the year. I'm aiming for 100, and I'm still pretty confident that I should be able to make that goal.

~ Speaking of books, I had a wonderful fangasm the other day when I found the e-book copy of Courtney Schafer's The Labyrinth of Flame in my email! I adore this series, and I've been so excited about the release of the final book in the trilogy, so now that I have it, I'm practically dancing!

I'm not going to read it right away, though. I have to get through the remaining 5 books I have to read by the end of this month, then I want to reread the previous 2 books in the series, The Whitefire Crossing and The Tainted City.

~ I caught Dusknoir in Pokemon Shuffle! I'm always happy when I manage to catch the event Pokemon, even though I know that there'll probably be another identical event in the future. I could it as an accomplishment, anyway.

~ Now's the time of year where I want to do all the cooking! Chilly weather makes me want to be in the kitchen where the oven will keep me warm, and then the tasty things I make will be even more enjoyable to eat. I'm glad that even though I was discouraged from cooking as a child, I learned how to as an adult. I can't imagine subsisting off pre-packaged stuff all the time now. I enjoy things like that every once in a while, but it doesn't take long for me to want to get some meat and fresh vegetables and make myself something good and homemade!

Guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend!
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ Finished rereading A J Jacobs's The Year of Living Biblically. Fortunately, I didn't notice as much gender stereotyping as I had with The Know-It-All, so that made me happy. Now, back to my responsibility reading so that I can clear off that backlog!

~ Compost pickup was today, but apparently my compost bin wasn't actually picked up. No notice was on the bin to explain why, so now I have to contact Island Waste Management to find out what's going on and when they'll be by to do what they were supposed to do this morning.

Of course, digging deeper into their website, it may actually be that the service costs money, that I've been piggybacking off the previous tenant's payment and their coverage just ran out at the end of last month, and at no point did my landlord ever think to mention that waste disposal cost money that didn't just come from taxes or was handled by the city directly. So far the options are me being misled on the issue, or someone making a mistake on their route.

I sincerely hope it's the latter...

~ I was bad an bought myself a donair oven sub from Greco for supper tonight. I haven't had one in about 2 months now, so I figured it would be okay to treat myself a little.

~ Is it weird that I'm actually looking forward to going grocery shopping tomorrow morning?
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I had a wonderfully relaxing no-pressure-to-do-anything night last night. I mostly played video games, messed around online, and listened to Japanese radio from the time I got up to the time I went to sleep.

~ I finished A J Jacobs's The Know-It-All. It was a reread for me, but I'm surprised at the things I picked up this time around that I didn't catch before. Greater exposure to gender politics, I guess. I kept noticing all the little jokes he would make about the difference between men and women, and when he and his wife went to get the first sonogram for their first expected child, he wanted to know whether the kid had a penis, making the joke that he wanted to know if his future kid would be a reader of Esquire or Cosmo. This didn't really stick out to me when I read it a few years ago, but reading it now, when I've become far more aware of stuff like this, the joke not only falls flat but it also grates a little raw. Just another person strengthening the divide, making a little joke that seeps into the minds of readers, along with dozens of others, until they see something actually wrong with someone reading Cosmo while in possession of a penis.

Other than the gender commentary, it was a pretty good book, though, and I did enjoy reading it. I moved right on to A Year of Living Biblically, which is another reread for me. I wonder if there'll be as many little jokes along the same vein that I've forgotten, or whether it will actually be more legit commentary on gender politics because of the subject matter. I wish I could remember more of when I read it for the first time.

~ I made a batch of iced lemon green tea, because I haven't had any in a while, and I've been both very thirsty lately and stuffed up, so more liquid is definitely the order of the day!

~ I decided to be bad and treat myself to breakfast at McDonald's. I don't eat fast food half as much as I used not -- probably even less than half at this point -- so a treat like this every once in a while is far less damaging than it was in years past, where I ate fast food more often because there were places close to where I worked and I was often too tired to make food when I got home. It was either a handful of granola bars or a burger combo, and the burger combos were always more appealing. But those days are past, and now I feel less guilty about fast food just because I eat it maybe 3-4 times a month, at most.
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