December 5th, 2013
I think you can see the ice rainbow in this picture. It's right there by the church spire.
It's really, REALLY cold out today.
December 3rd, 2013
News! @ 06:49 pm
I forgot to mention! I just got the page proofs for Messiah Node from Wizard Tower's Press. So I'm going to be spending the next couple of days re-reading an old favorite. I have to say, after all this time, it's a lot like reading a brand-new book written by someone else. Sometimes I'm not even sure I remember how things end...
I spent much of today running around. I had to go off to the Ramsey County Library's administration office in Shoreview and prove my American citizenship. I had quite the adventure getting there. Google maps gives very Spartan directions and I wasn't aware that Hamline Avenue intersects Snelling THREE DIFFERENT TIMES. Turns out? I was supposed to follow the LAST time it intersected... I went around in several circles. Luckily, I built in a lot of "get lost" wiggle room because, well... I do this. So, I kind of expected to spend a lot of time circling the target, as it were. But, I got there and filled out all the forms and now the next thing I need to do is schedule training. Then, I will officially be a sub/page.
It's actually been a busy working week for me. I did this running around today, but I've also been trying to give the Wolves (aka SofaWolf) some of my time, as they try to wind down their kick starter for Digger. So, I put in a couple of hours yesterday in between doctors appointments for Shawn, and a few more today, after administrating at the library.
Tomorrow, I'm going to be doing dog walking, which I'll be doing pretty much every day until next Tuesday while my boss at Friendly Face Pet Services in on vacation. So, busy-busy-busy for me.
November 26th, 2013
As of yesterday, I officially passed the background check and accepted the job as itinerant Library Page (as I said on FB, this makes me feel a little bit like a nomadic scholar from the Middle Ages.)
So, after a ten year hiatus, I'm officially gainfully employed again. Of course, I have mixed feelings about this. But, I'd never truly thought (only secretly hoped) that my writing would ever support me forever. Shawn, Mason and I just aren't in a position where we can afford to keep me at home if I'm making zero money from writing... and well, the nice thing about this job is that, if a book contract should fall in my lap again, I'm not working so many hours that I couldn't write. And, TBF, the majority of writers (including myself, once upon a time,) write novels while holding down full-time jobs.
Plus, as I said about this the first time I mentioned I applied, this is a perfect job for me. I get to see a lot different libraries and do a lot of different work, many of the shifts aren't very long. As long as I don't have to re-shelve anything very quickly, I do KNOW the alphabet and how to order numbers, even if I have a mild problem keeping them in perfect order in my head. I'll just have to sing the alphabet song a lot. Maybe they'll put me in the children's section and it'll be a win-win for everyone!
Next steps will be employment forms on next Tuesday (wherein I prove I'm a citizen) and then circulation training! (which will be the toughest part.)
November 18th, 2013
It's my birthday. I've turned twice 23. The best thing? Shawn is still buying me basically the same things she bought me half my life ago. She bought me art supplies! Only, because Shawn LOVES me, she bought me, very specifically, manga art pens. These are made in Japan and are sold to
artist like me who want the mangaka experience.
First thing I drew? Renji.
And there was cranberry-upside down cake with too many candles. Shawn only put on HALF, but that's still twenty-three.
So far it's been a pretty good birthday. I'm getting to feel old as I struggle to understand the new Mac, but we're going to head out to the bookstore in a little bit and see just how many manga I can buy with the money I got (thanks Mom and Dad!). I'm thinking more than one (fingers crossed.) Then, I may spend the day either cursing the new machine and/or drawing some fan art. Either way, it's bound to be fun.
November 17th, 2013
Pooh Bear has been banned from the internet. If you haven't been following along, Pooh Bear is my PC laptop. It's a crappy Toshiba that I bought because I liked the way the keyboard clacked and it was amazingly cheap. I'm not normally a high end user, you see. Novels, no matter how sprawling, just don't take up that much space. So, I've never needed anything fancy. Except.... Pooh, I mean... so sad.
Yesterday we got a call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft who wanted to tell us the Pooh has been hosting hackers. I say claiming because, even if the guy *was* legit, what he wanted was to sell us a cleaning service. Things were going along swimmingly until he started talking prices (in excess of a hundred dollars) at which point I said, "No, thanks. If things are really that bad, I'll just take Pooh to Chip Heads or one of those places and just wipe him clean and reinstall everything." The guy on the other end of the phone tried to convinced me that wouldn't work, that the problem was, "with my network."
This was where I got suspicious because we connect to the internet via our wifi hotspot. We don't have a router or cable or anything tangible, not really, and even if we did that still didn't make sense to me. I asked him to explain what he meant. He'd been saying all sorts of Microsoft programs were turned off, which I could believe, but I had no idea how this could have somehow corrupted anything outside of Pooh himself. The wifi doesn't run any programs independently and certainly doesn't run on Microsoft. He tried to tell my other computers would be infected, to which I said, "Not if it's a Microsoft issue, because they're all Macs and or Apples, iTouch and iPads. The only other computer in the house has to dial-up."
Then he told me that I was "too smart for him" and hung up.
I think so. Or too stubborn. Regardless, I told him that I might be a moron in terms of my protection of my PC, but I'm not so much an idiot that I would give my credit card information to anyone, even Bill Gates himself, OVER THE PHONE.
However, it seems very, very clear to me that Pooh has been hacked to the highest degree. So, I disabled Pooh's wifi connection immediately and am now attempting to move all my information over to the Mac that I got as part of the Unseen World project. Also, as a precaution, I changed every single password I had stored on that computer.
The only problem continues to be user error. I've been trying to download Skype to the Mac and I'll be damned if I didn't completely mess up changing my password (twice) and now I have to wait twenty-four hours before trying again. This is only a bummer because I use Skype a lot for its text function. But, it's not the end of the world. At least I have another computer to run this stuff off.
Here's where I wish I were Mouse from my books.
Anyway, I've got to run because I'm working for Sofa Wolf today, finishing up some of the kickstarter work I've been doing for them.
November 14th, 2013
I just got back from the interview for the Library Page job and, you know, it's so terribly hard to judge these things from the inside, so I have no idea how it went. The thing I wanted to relate, though, was that, at one point I was talking about how familiar I am with that particular library, and I said, "My son and I were just here Sunday taking out a ton of books. We cleaned out your YA section; he took out about forty books." And, one of the two interviewers perked up and said, "Oh! That was YOU?"
Now, he could have just be kidding around the way you do, but I got the sense that... well, that maybe our reputation proceeds us, because Mason does this semi-regularly, too. We get all of the books back in time (for the most part) and we don't do it very often, but when we do, it's a BIG haul....
At any rate, I thought that part was awesome. The rest--I'll have to wait and see. I should hear in the next couple of weeks. The hours would be pretty perfect for me. Their average shifts are really quite short, 2 to 4 hours, which is super-duper ideal for me. Plus, it sounds like you have a chance to pre-schedule some shifts and take on others spontaneously.
Fingers crossed, as they say.
When Mason was wishing me luck this morning, he was trying to come up with an analog to the theatre superstition, "Break a leg," and so, out of the blue, he said, "Burn a book!" and I was like, "GAH! What are you saying?!!!" But, then we decided maybe a better one was, "Break the Dewey Decimal System!" Which, in retrospect, sounds like some kind of subversive battle cry: "Fight the system, man!"
Can you tell I'm still a little giddy from having an interview? It's been a lot of years since I've had an actual job interview. They're nerve-wracking. I don't know how you kids do this on a regular basis. But, you know, I'm trying to just relax and remind myself that it'll be what it will be. I feel like I've also put out the energy into the universe that says, "Hey, I'm up for this" which is good too, you know?
The other thing that was cool was that one of the interviewers looked me up. I'd said on my application that I'd been a writer for the past decade, so she checked and sure enough they have some of my titles in their holdings. I think she was surprised that I wasn't making that up. We ended up talking about libraries and how much I love them BECAUSE I'm a writer. Not only because they're a great source of research, but really more because they're a great place for readers... who then buy my books.
I used both the word "symbiotic" (to describe that relationship) and "squee" (when talking about my enthusiasm for Mason's school) in the interview. I wonder what that says about me?
Also? I was picking up books that Mason and I'd had interlibrary loaned, and so I was sitting there with a small pile of manga. I'd gotten ATTACK ON TITAN for myself and more TORIKO for Mason. I must have looked like a World-class otaku. I did notice one of the librarians checking out my reading material. And, I couldn't have pretended they were all for Mason because when I was waiting to go in, she found me reading them....
Well, at least she knows I'm honest about being a reader/library user.
So, that was my big excitement for the day. Now I think I'm going to go collapse in a corner for a while, maybe try to get some writing done.
November 13th, 2013
In a couple minutes I need to get up and do the dishes. These days that means watching a little "Samurai Champaloo"
while scrubbing. Hulu+ did the weirdest thing with this show, though. It started with the show dubbed, which I was suffering through, and then suddenly, at about the fourth episode, it randomly switched to subbed (which I prefer.) It was almost like a test: Still watching? Okay, you get Japanese!
The only other interesting bit of news I have to share is that I got a call for an interview for a job I applied for. Yep, I kind of need gainful employment, alas. Writing isn't paying at the moment. However, this job required zero experience, so I figured I might be qualified. It's as an itinerant library page for the Ramsey County Library system. I go in tomorrow morning. Wish me luck.
Hopefully, between this, the odd dog walking and other work I can pick up here and there, we can make ends meet. That would be lovely. Money might be the root of all evil, but you kind of need it (which is why it's evil, in part.)
In happier news, I recorded more podcast on Monday night and spent a good portion of yesterday editing it. There will be another one up on the 29th, which is apparently our publication date (since that was when the first went up.) I'll post a link here, too, if you're curious and want to check it out. I have no idea what I'm doing with these, but I'm having fun and, as far as I'm concerned, that's kind of the point. This month we talk Torah with my friend Sean Michael Murphy (you were expecting something else with a name like Sean's?) The thing is, of course, is that Torah is one my fandoms, so I have no idea if anyone else will get as geeked-out excited as Sean and I. Because: angels (and we touch on satan, too. note small 's'.)
If nothing else, I may be inspiring myself.
November 11th, 2013
Last night my friend Rachel took some friends and I out to a Japanese restaurant in Minneapolis' West End called Raku. We had sushi and sake. Our sake had an awesome name: onikoroshi
, which the menu translated as 'demon slayer.' It was really tasty. I have to say my sake experience previous to this was very low. I bought a bottle once at a grocery store in ValParasio, Indiana, and it was, in point of fact, nothing to write home about. This sake might not SLAY any demons, but I could certainly see it creating a few... because tasted like floral scented water. I could have had way too much to drink very, very easily.
Luckily (and unluckily), Shawn stayed home last night because Mason was feeling under the weather, so I had to stay sober to drive--and, in case you didn't know this about me, I'm the lightest lightweight ever. Two sips of anything, even something most people don't think of as terribly potent, and I'm under the table muttering about 'dim shablows' and telling people 'I love ya, man.' Plus, as fun as that may sound, I'm actually one of those people for whom alcohol actually works as a depressant. I'm a very sad drunk.
At any rate, what I really want to post about was our sushi. Particularly this:
Naruto sushi! Weirdly, it did not contain ANY RAMEN....
It was a nice night. I handed off what I hope to become a 'seekrit project.' So... fingers crossed.
November 6th, 2013
It's Minnesota, all right.
Here's what we woke up to:
November 4th, 2013
On Sunday, my long-time friends Gerriann and Barb got married. They pulled out all the stops and had a very traditional wedding ceremony and reception. The whole thing was held at the Como Zoo, with the wedding in the sunken garden and the reception in the Interpretive Center's Education building.
They'd asked me to be a reader, so our family showed up early to get instructions about where, who, what and when. I was so excited and nervous that I actually missed the turn off Horton and ended up near the wolf exhibit. I'd never seen the elusive gray wolves out before, but they were up near the gate.
We spent a long time watching this big guy and his white-haired companion until it was time to turn around and get to the Conservatory.
The venue was... stunning.
And here's the bride:
And the happy bride:
And Mason doing what he does at events like this (reading):
The ceremony itself was really rather delightful as such things go. I mean, for myself, I'm not a huge fan of all the pomp and circumstance, but Gerriann and Barb did all the things right. The readings were all personal and meaningful and the minister didn't go on too long about the things ministers usually to blather on about during these things. Their vows were wonderful, though as I told Barb afterwards they were kind of intense, as they promised to, "Love her as she is," which I thought was kind of hardcore. I mean, we all WANT to love everything about our partner, but sometimes it's hard to accept that the person you picked leaves wet towels on the floor or other little annoyances, you know?
The reception was nifty because, this being the zoo, you can chose to have "animal ambassadors." Gerriann and Barb picked a penguin and a hawk:
The penguin, for REASONS, made me smile and think of a certain swimming anime:
This is the look I got when I asked the hawk, "What dinosaur were YOU?":
Then, we ate and we danced, as you do (Shawn and Mason):