fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I replied to half a dozen emails that had been piling up. Nearly all of them were regarding products for review, and some of them will likely come to nothing because the companies are all Stateside and their Amazon pages say they don't ship to Canada, but when that happens I always at least ask if there's a Canadian shipping option. Most don't even bother to reply to that, but eh, can't hurt to ask, especially when it might result in some new products to try out and write reviews for.

~ After all the snow that had fallen, I had to clear off the back deck, the front steps, and the driveway at least wide enough that I could haul the compost bin and 6 big bags of recycling to the curb. Because of course it would all fall the day and night before garbage/recycling pickup, so I couldn't delay on clearing any of it.

It was wet, heavy, and very icy, too, so I think my back's going to hurt for a week after this. Ugh.

~ I caught Regigigas in Pokemon Shuffle! That didn't take nearly as long as I expected!
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 caught Landorus in Pokemon Shuffle. I missed catching Thundurus, but I at least got 2 of the 3, and I'm sure an event with them will come around again in the future, so I can complete my collection.

That's the thing that keeps me playing Pokemon games, really. The driving need to complete collections. The games are definitely fun, and they've gotten much more plot-heavy and dark over the generations (compare the first generation having enemies that primarily want to use Pokemon for profit, which later generations wanting to reshape the entire world for what they see as the benefit of nature, and the most recent game set dealt with the punishment of immortality, for crying out loud!), but mostly it's the collector aspect that really keeps me coming back for more.

~ This area is forecast to get over 10 cm of snow twice in the coming week, which not only means more shoveling, but it also means that if there's a thaw, the basement's going to leak more because the ground won't be frozen. So I'll have to siphon more water off with the ShopVac and send it down the drain.

But the basement issue is only one reason I dislike winter here. The other reason is the position of the doors on this house. The wind during storms nearly always manages to blow snow right up against the back door, so sometimes it won't open (I had to leave the house through a window once last winter, to start clearing snow off the deck and away from said door), and it does the same around the front door too. Lousy piece of luck that I managed to find the one house that desperately wants to keep me trapped inside. And you know, if money wasn't an issue and I had a stockpile of food and other products, plus a wood stove or generator in case the power goes out, and if money wasn't an issue, I don't think I'd mind much being stuck inside for a few months of the year, especially the winter when I want to stay inside anyway.

Because I have books and video games and sewing supplies and when it's really cold and snowy, the only reason I want to go outside is on the mild days, and even then it's mostly because there are things I need to do outside, like pick up groceries. If I had a stockpile, I wouldn't need to do that. I could just hibernate, essentially, until spring.

Maybe some day, when I own my own house and have work I can do from home that will pay all my bills. That would be a wonderful dream come true!

~ I made a beef vegetable stir fry with bean sprouts and rice for supper, which I haven't done in a long time. I love stir fry. For a while, I took stir fry and rice to work every shift for over 3 weeks, and didn't get tired of it. And the only thing I alternated was whether I used chicken or pork; the vegetables and rice and sauce always stayed the same.

Just one of those meals I can eat a lot of, I guess, and as far as meals go, it's not a bad one. A little high in sodium, maybe, from the sauce I use, but other than that I'm getting lean meat and plenty of vegetables and rice to give me some long-lasting energy. While I was eating that every day for weeks, I also felt pretty healthy and had plenty of energy, didn't get fatigued as easily.

Maybe I ought to start making stir fry again more often, then.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I played some more Torchlight last night, since relieving stress by killing virtual monsters is quite effective with me. I ran through a couple of side-dungeons, upgraded a piece of armour and both weapons, and gained a level, so not bad for just a little bit of casual play. I've definitely had less productive sessions.

~ I spent most of the night watching videos on YouTube while working on embroidery projects. That sort of productive. I think.

I feel like I got some inspiration for some projects out of watching all those videos, at least, so I suppose that's something. Inspiration can be a productive thing too, yes?

~ I went out today to pick a tree for the holidays. I don't celebrate Christmas (being pagan, I'm more of a Yule person than a Christmas person), but I love the smell of evergreens, and there's something that remains really festive about having a tree, even if I don't associate it with Christmas traditions so much as pagan ones.

And more specifically, my traditions. Which I guess is the most important thing.

~ I deleted a whole bunch of old Wordpress blogs that I've been sitting on for some time. If I haven't used them in months, and there wasn't much content there to begin with, I don't need to squat on the name anymore. Goodbye, old useless random blogs for projects that never really got off the ground.
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 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 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)
~ 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'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 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.
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~ 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.
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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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~ I made a turkey chili last night. I didn't have as many of the usual vegetables that I typically put in a chili, so it's mostly beans and tomatoes and meat, but it's still tasty, and after a weekend of not eating anything that resembles healthy food, I think my body was craving something with even a small amount of vegetables.

It wasn't as good as the usual chili I make, but it was pretty good anyway, especially with garlic naan.

~ I played Final Fantasy VII to distract myself. Got Vincent in my party, and started heading through Mount Nibel. For some reason I've always loved level-grinding in this area. I'm not sure why. Maybe because this is the area you see in the story Cloud tells in Kalm, when you see Sephiroth be awesome and have level 3 spells, so it feels like the kind of area that can make you strong. Either way, I've never minded spending a while getting lost on the twisty paths, because the battles are good and I get quite a bit of experience.

~ Caught both Celebi and Lugia in Pokemon Shuffle. Now I have almost 2 weeks to work on catching Ho-Oh before that event disappears. Fingers crossed that I can get strong enough, because so far it's a tough battle and I haven't managed to defeat it once, let alone catch it.

~ Fully caught up on Once Upon A Time now, right up to this week's episode. I have my theories about what's going on, but I can't tell if that's because I'm so used to the way the show pulls twists and turns all over the place and I'm getting used to thinking how the writers think, or if I'm just falling for the hints of misdirection. Or if I'm just hoping something will happen even though it never will. I guess I'll have to wait and see, really. At least now that I'm caught up, even when I don't have TV anymore I can watch the most recent episode on the CTV website, so I can stay caught up instead of waiting for this season to appear on Netflix.
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