fandrogyne: (Default)
~ A huge package arrived in the mail, not stuff for me to review but instead one of those scanning devices that's connected to a "scan everything you buy and send us the info" thingies. Which takes very little time out of my day, and apparently will get me $15 a month plus chances to win gift cards, so I figure if I have the time, why not go for it. Hence the package arriving. Now I have to set it up and start scanning barcodes.

Which will probably take all of, what, 2 minutes a day. Maximum. If I've bought anything that day.

Total that up and it means about an hour a month of doing stuff I wouldn't normally do. $15 an hour is good money!

~ Went out in the morning to finish up some last bits of holiday shopping and to pick up some groceries. Stuffed pork chops were on sale again, so I definitely had to get them! A package of 2 pork chops stuffed with brown sugar and apples is normally $8, but they often go on sale for half price, as they did today, so yeah, I wasn't passing up that delicious deal!

~ Having to soak gauze off a wound because pulling it off would be very bad is just not a fun experience. Even less so when infections are involved. I could really do without this right now.

For the curious, I have 2 badly infected toenails. And they've been this way for years. A podiatrist treated them at one point by cutting off parts of the nail, but they grew back badly again, and the infection never really went away, and honestly, I'm so used to dealing with it that I don't even think about going to another doctor about it most of the time.

Though I probably should. If it takes removing half the nail on each big toe to make sure it can't go ingrown again, that would hurt like crap but admittedly be better than the alternative. Antibiotics would be great, too. (I kind of like being prescribed antibiotics for other infections, because my toes improve while I'm taking the pills.)

~ Spent a while talking on the phone to my dad tonight, which was nice. He woke me up, but it was still nice to talk to him.
fandrogyne: (Default)
~ I finished another embroidered bookmark, and once again listed it for sale on my Etsy store. This one was more complicated than the last rainbow pattern I did, but the complexities make it look even better. At least, I think so. But I'm a bit biased.

~ I managed to hurt my back even more by doing more water siphoning in the basement, because of all the bending over I had to do. Sigh. I'm taking it easy tonight, no matter what, so that I don't end up in horrible I-can't-move agony later.

I did, however, find more embroidery floss that was packed away in a tote bin down there, along with some notebooks, some canisters of tea, some aloe vera gel...

I've lived here for almost a year and I haven't really finished unpacking/going through everything I packed to see if it even needs unpacking. Every dig through a tote bin is like an adventure!

~ Wrote a blog post that I originally was going to set to go live next week, but I changed it at the last minute and just let it go live today. It doesn't matter much since it's a blog I don't update that often now, but it still counts as doing something, and I do miss blogging more often. Sometimes I wonder if I made the right decision to cut back as much as I did.

But with other projects on the way, plus burnout, it probably was best. Only now I find myself wondering when would be the best time to start it up again. Not for months, I'll bet. Probably not until summer 2016, and that's if a few other things take off properly in the meantime.

I guess I'll just have to do my best and see where it all goes. And then hopefully I can stop being so very vague about everything, too.

Anyway, I was inspired enough after writing that post that I decided it was a great time to write up a second post and schedule it for tomorrow!

~ Saw my friend to the bus this morning, so they could head off the the funeral. Not the best situation to send off a friend, but it was better than them going alone, even if I was only there to wish them a safe trip and wave a little.
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?

On death.

Dec. 15th, 2015 12:09 am
fandrogyne: (reflection)
Had a hard time tonight, finding out that a friend's aunt had passed away. It wasn't unexpected. She'd had two bouts of lung cancer followed by severe COPD, and was on oxygen almost constantly, afraid to leave home in case something happened. She apparently took a bad attack and was rushed to the hospital, where they thought they'd gotten her stabilized and she was recovering, but less than an hour after declaring that, she just took a major downturn and didn't come out of it.

I met her more than a few times. I didn't get to know her particularly well, not like some people, but she was already ready with a hug and fond wishes, even though I was only the friend of her relative. You'd never know it by the way she treated me. Full of kindness, she was.

She loved butterflies.

It's tough. Like I said, it wasn't unexpected. She's never been in the greatest of health, she's never weighed more than 100 pounds, and two bouts with lung cancer is bad for anybody, let alone someone with no reserves. Her lungs were already lousy from a life spent smoking, and then after the cancer came really bad COPD, and she had a hard time dealing with all the setbacks and restrictions that so much illness placed on her. My friend has been half expecting the call for a couple of years now, especially after the cancer came back a second time.

I don't want to say, "It was her time." That makes it all sound preordained, which hurts worse because that means somebody planned all this pain. I don't like thinking of it that way, because even if somebody takes inspiration from what happened and chooses to quit smoking or take better care of themselves or whatever, there are better ways to inspire someone to that than setting someone up to fail so they can be an example to others. Whatever deities I believe in, I don't believe in ones that would be so cruel.

So I won't say that it was her time to go. But I will say that I don't think she had any more in her to give. She went through a lot, more than many, and when it all piles up, sometimes the fight goes out of a person and they have no more reason to keep hanging onto pain just for the sake of life.

So it's a little comfort to know that she's no longer suffering the way she had been. That the ordeal for her is over.

The rest of us? We carry on. I'm not the one in the most pain over her loss. I think that dubious honour goes to her son, who lost his mother before he was even 30 years old. Or her two older sisters, who just lost their youngest sibling.

But I do feel grief and loss over this, and I'm going to allow myself to feel it and not feel bad for mourning someone I wasn't especially close with or related to. I'll do my best to be there for my friend, and I'll grieve in my way, and, callous though it sounds, life will go on, even though it lacks a certain something for some people now.
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)
~ Got the tree all set up and decorated, which was fun, so now my house smells like evergreens, which is always nice. Handmade wreaths at the farmer's market were almost as expensive as the tree itself, so I'm passing on a wreath this year. Still, I'm pretty happy with what I have, and that's the main thing.

~ I spent most of the weekend working on embroidery, and while I probably should have spent a little more time reading, it was kind of nice to just watch TV and play with needles and thread. I finished my rewatch of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and made more progress in my rewatch of Supernatural, finished another bookmark and listed it on my Etsy store, and finished almost half of a different patterned one, so I'm considering it all a win, even if most people wouldn't consider all that to be very productive.

~ A little luck was nicely on my side this week, and I won $23 off a $7 lottery ticket! So for fun I spent some of those winnings on a couple of scratch-card games, and won another $25 from those!

I probably used up all my luck for the coming year on that, but hey, it was still pretty cool.
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: (Default)
~ I didn't post a Daily Grind entry last night because I did absolutely nothing, and thoroughly enjoyed it. But saying, "I did absolutely nothing and thoroughly enjoyed it" doesn't make for a very interesting entry when there's nothing else to accompany it.

~ Had a great phone call with my dad, in which we talked about our usual wide variety of things: sex toys, hoverboards, transgender issues, the state of Islamophobia in the US. Really, this is actually a pretty average sampling of the topics we discuss when we talk. We bring up everything and anything, and it's usually pretty enjoyable. It was nice to hear from him again.

We did have a fun conversation about what I might like for Christmas, and he asked me to browse Amazon and send him a couple of ideas. I know roughly the price range he'd be looking at, so that helps narrow it down. The two biggest things I want in my life right now that I don't have are an affordable vlogging camera, or a manual treadmill. I miss vlogging, for one thing, and I also think that a manual treadmill would help me get more exercise when it's really cold or stormy outside.

The downside is that most manual treadmills have weight limits of, well, less than what I weigh. So I don't even know if I should be considering that as an option until I've lost more weight... Ironic, seeing as how I figure that it would help me lose weight...

~ Turkey burgers for supper. Nothing special, unless you count me adding a bit of smoked gruyere cheese to them (which goes so nicely with turkey, by the way).

~ My reviewing certainly seems to be taking off even more these days, with some of the products people are offering. So far I know I have 2 smartwatches and a wireless speaker coming my way, and a probably partnership to be a long-term regular reviewer for a plus-size clothing seller. All of which thrills me probably more than it ought to. Even though these aren't big brands that I'm being offered, I like that I managed to garner enough attention over the years to make people think I'm worth pitching stuff to.

~ Went out before bed to get some holiday shopping done, including a charity gift for a local senior citizen, a pork shoulder for Yule, and other assorted goodies. Then went to the library for a variety of new books, because books! I ended up walking over 11,000 steps today, which made my goal and then some!
fandrogyne: (food)
I didn't end up reviewing everything I received in the past 2 Skoshboxes, because a couple of the treats didn't leave me with much of an impression, either positive or negative. But I did write up things for most of them, and here they are. (May they help you with all your Japanese snack needs!)

Sakupan-Land Almond Cream-Filled Choco Biscuit - Bite-sized little cookie balls that are crisp on one side and chocolate-coated on the other, and filled with a really tasty almond cream. The flavours blend together really nicely. The almond cream flavour comes through strongest, but it's still balanced really well by both the small amount of chocolate and the general sweetness of the cookie part.

Also, each little cookie ball has a panda face printed on it, and there are so many unique faces that part of the fun is looking through them all and seeing the variety of adorable pandas!

Sakuma Ichigo Milk Candy - At first they don't look like anything special. Little hard candies that are a light pink, and you expect them to taste like the usual mild fake-strawberry flavour you get from a lot of hard candies. But I honestly have never had a candy that tastes more like a high-quality strawberry milkshake that this! They're so delicious, and I love to have a little terta-pouch of them in my pocket, so I can get that flavour again whenever I want.

Goma-Dango sesame mochi chocolate - This is the sort of flavour combination you don't see very often in North American snacks. First you've got a surprisingly touch chewy mochi in the centre, then the strong flavour of sesame seeds, all coated in white chocolate. It's a unique snack that was interesting to try but I don't think it will ever be one of my favourites, but that has less to do with the mochi and sesame combination and more to do with the white chocolate coating, which I've never been a fan of. I found that overpowered the rest of the flavours and ruined a bit of the experience for me.

The packaging is pretty cute, though, with either Japanese writing on it, or else a panda face, both done in a pattern of black and white sesame seeds. Definitely a snack that sticks out in your mind.

Blueberry Collon - I was surprised by this, because I'm not a big fan of blueberries or blueberry-flavoured things. But the blueberry flavour is so mild that it's more of a vague aftertaste than anything else, and all that really comes through is the flavour of crispy cookie and cream. So, not something that I suspect people who really like blueberries will enjoy much, because they may find themselves disappointed by the lack of stronger flavour, but otherwise it's an okay snack.

Pejoy Cookies & Cream - These things look like nothing so much as twigs from a tree! But don't let the appearance turn you away, because they taste really good! They're chocolate cookie sticks filled with a mild vanilla cream, similar to a sort of inverse Pocky. They're really good, with the cream being just a little bit richer than the chocolate of the cookie stick, so they're a great light snack with a classic sweet flavour. It works well at any time of year, but I've always associated cookies-and-cream flavour with the December holiday season, so I definitely have some good associations going with this appropriately-timed taste-test.

Bisco Cafe au Lait cream filled biscuits - I'm not a fan of coffee, and I rarely like coffee-flavoured things. And these little two-bite cream-filled cookies smell so strongly of coffee that I really expected to dislike them as much as I dislike a load of other coffee products. But I forged ahead and tried them anyway, and I was actually pretty surprised at how tasty they were.

The coffee flavour is nowhere near as strong as the scent, balanced wonderfully by the flavour of the biscuit it's layered between. So don't let the strong smell disuade you; I can see these appealing to coffee-lovers and non-coffee-lovers alike!

Pocky Demitasse - Shorter than your average Pocky stick, Pocky Demitasse comes in a fancy gold-and-black box with a black package on the inside, very classy and making me think of a very fancy high-quality product. The sticks are chocolate rather than the usual plain cookie that Pocky normally has, and the coating is a rich dark chocolate that hits hard and fast, just riding the edge between bitter and sweet. The chocolate is dark enough that it's hard to eat many of the sticks at one time, making it actually a really good long-lasting snack that can last you all through the day, not just something you eat all of at once. And despite the fact that the cookies were also chocolate, I found that I could taste the dark chocolate coating more than anything else, so I wasn't instantly overwhelmed with a "too much chocolate" sensation. Very nice, and I want more of these around the house for future snacking!
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.
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: (Default)
~ 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: (Default)
~ Wrote a short book review and 3 product reviews and posted them all to various sites.

~ I can't believe it's December!

I can't believe I only have one more month left of my Adam Lambert calendar hanging on the wall.

This upsets me probably more than it ought to...

~ I've been feeling oddly motivated to really make a push at losing weight and getting in better shape lately. Possibly because I'm struck more and more by how "a better shape" involves me looking considerably less gender-specific. I feel like I should be sticking aspiration posters on my walls.

Though my aspirations posters are less, "I totally want to be hot and thin enough that you could count my ribs," and more, "If I met some of my idols tomorrow, would I want that first meeting to involve me looking as I am now? No? Then work on becoming the person I'd want them to meet!" So my aspiration images are the people I want to meet, so I have that goal in mind.

~ Now that it's December, my few days of rest from NaNo are over, so it's time to get back into the writing groove and get back to work on one of the ideas I started last month.

Go figure, though; I wake up after a freaking amazing story-dream that had enough detail that I know there's a novella in there. And because that's fresh in my mind, I want to write that more.

Thanks, brain. You're so wonderful at giving me reasons to stay on target...
fandrogyne: (cooking)
~ I made salmon and rice last night, and oh, it was so good! I love getting fresh salmon fillets, pan-frying them shredding the fish into small pieces, and then eating it mixed with white rice. The fish oils give everything a fantastic buttery flavour, and I always go back for seconds. And one of the grocery stores I go to often has 50% off various fish fillets on Friday mornings (they have a lot of marked-down products on Friday mornings, actually), so it's definitely worth getting delicious salmon then.

Shame I was working on more of a budget than usual last week, or I might have splurged on trying swordfish, and buying a tuna steak, both of which were also 50% off. Oh well. There'll be other times.

~ I also made strawberry cream cheese brownies, which were absolutely amazing! The chocolate flavour overpowered the strawberry a bit, but the cream cheese gave it a nice zing that I really like. I'll definitely be making more of those in the future!

~ Experimented with another couple of drag king makeup tutorials, which might have turned out better had the mascara I used for the facial hair not been quite so waterproof. When I messed up, it was difficult to correct, so it didn't turn out very well in the end.

Plus I had to scrub my face almost raw just to get the makeup off, which wasn't the most fun. I think I removed actual hair with that facecloth!
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.
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