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'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.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I finished another double-sided embroidered bookmark, which didn't turn out quite the way I'd envisioned, but I still like it. Playing with grey-on-grey embroidery can still end up looking good, sometimes.

(I want to list it for sale in my Etsy store, but currently the Internet is being really slow again, so that may not happen for a while. Sigh.)

I then ended up with a bunch of other designs that I want to try out, so I think it's time to settle back with some scrap fabric and see how well I can transfer what's in my head to something solid in the real world. With luck, it might even be something that doesn't look like butt!

~ I made yakimeshi again last night, only instead of using beef like I did last time, I used chicken, about twice the amount of fresh garlic that the original recipe called for, and some chopped green onions. Very tasty! But honestly, if you give me food that involves garlic, some sort of meat, and ponzu for flavour, I'm probably always going to say it's tasty.

~ Woke up to snow! Lots of snow! Not as much as if it was February 2015, mind you, but enough snow to be notable. It seems like a very good night to stay inside, drink lots of tea, and alternate between doing something artistic and reading a lot.

Shame I can't do those things simultaneously.
fandrogyne: (make tea not love)
~ I ranked high enough on the last challenge battle in Pokemon Shuffle to get a Manectite! I'm really glad I'm getting to the point where I'm strong enough to stand a decent chance when these challenges come up.

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

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

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

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

~ I finished my rewatch of Victorian Farm and have moved on to Edwardian Farm. I do love these historical recreation shows. Especially the ones that are done by experts and not just random people in an attempt to create a unique reality show (and all the associated annoyance and drama or reality shows).
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I spent most of last night either reading, or clicking around on freebie sites to see if there were any good samples that I could request. I used to love doing that, years ago. I got a lot of free samples then, usually of food or drink mixes, and it was nice to be able to try new things without any real investment on my part.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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fandrogyne

December 2015

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