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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 08:20pm on 08/07/2012 under

I hope it was/is glorious! :)
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 07:36pm on 24/05/2012 under
Jack Schrodinger Fowler, Lord Fluffington the Third (2006-2012)


I found him by the smell. He seems to have been dead since around the time we discovered he was missing. I had been through the crawlspace last week, shining a flash light and calling to him, but he had to have been gone already. I found him in a hollow near a brick house support. He was under our living room, so i like to think he could hear us when he passed.

He was a terrible chewer of plants, and I'm certain he got out and ate something poisonous, then crawled under the house and died. It has been unseasonably temperate the past week or so, and rainy part of the time. The space under the house was quite cool, so it took a while for there to be a smell, but he had obviously been gone some time. We buried him in the back yard.

My BIL and girlfriend Wendy are over with adult beverages, and we're having a sort of wake for him. I had forgotten how much this hurts.
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 07:54pm on 17/04/2012 under ,
Friday night, I watched The Woman in Black with my boys and my youngest's friend Jake, who was over for a sleepover.

That is an extremely atmospheric film, and a fairly scary one. Not scary, maybe, to people who require/expect monsters or Saw levels of gore, but for an old coot like me, pretty tense. My Beloved refused to go to the theater to see it, because the trailer scared him so much.

In any case, the boys and i had plans to watch it, and we had been under the impression that Jake had several other offers for the night and would not be coming. But, he came over anyway. Robert and I told both him and William not to talk during the movie, but you might as well tell water not to be wet. Jake's a talker.

"There should be monsters. Monsters are scarier than ghosts. Ghosts aren't scary..."

Robert and I, together: Shhhhhh!

And so on. Eventually, he excused himself to William's room. I figured he'd just get his laptop out and wait for William to join him. But no.

A few minutes later, this black thing jumps out from behind the couch onto William, making a strange, blood-curdling noise. It's Jake, who had excused himself to change into a black morphsuit. He then sat down and watched the rest of the film through te mesh of his morphsuit.

Jake is a bit of a character. He is a very good actor - he's very expressive and loud, and also makes some amazingly, atmospheric noises. He and William get on very very well, partly because William is just socially impaired enough not to exclude Jake for his obvious eccentricities. Not that there is anything wrong with Jake. He's actually amazing enough that if he were a grown man, he'd probably already have his own TV show. Part of his amazingness is how little he cares about fitting in, when most twelve-year-olds think that is their full time job.

What amazed me was that, when packing for a sleepover, he brought a black morphsuit, just in case.

He got us all, good.


The movie was creepy enough that my creepy old house -- to which I am largely accustomed -- once again became old and creepy. I hung a dress over my mirror just to sleep. (It is positioned such that when trains go by a lot of the light that makes it in the window gets cast about by it, making my bedroom full of writhing black shadows.)

Also, Dan Radcliffe grew up kind of hot. I feel a tad dirty-old-woman-ish just saying that, but... yeah.
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 07:34pm on 17/04/2012 under
I drove back home on Easter Sunday, and stayed up past 1am to get my hours in. I was a zombie on Monday, but I managed. I didn't have to get groceries because I brought bread and lunch things with me.

Tuesday morning, I called the school to find out when my meeting with the guidance counselor was (to explain the "4 year plan" paperwork, because my dear son was not articulating it to me very well). They didn't have a record of the appointment (I had put it in my Outlook calendar just before my laptop died - I saved most stuff but not that), so they said they would put me down for one on Wednesday. Which meant I could not go into the office on Wednesday. Since there was a doctor's appointment for the Big Boy that I had been waiting for for three months on Friday, and Thursday was my day off, that meant I had to go to the office basically as soon as I got off the phone with the school.

It went well. I talked to my boss about the summer break, and she said that other people in QC also have kids who will be home from school in the summer, so it was no big deal to waive the come-in-once-every-two-weeks thing for the summer. So I can go to New Orleans.WHEE! I stopped for groceries on the way home. I arrived before the younger boy but just after the big boy.

Made the other appointment on Wednesday and still managed to get in most of my hours. I knew I would be working on my day off because I would need to make up the hours I was going to miss on Friday for the long-awaited specialist appointment, which I did. I also chaptered.

Then I realized that I had accepted an appointment that was almost 50 miles away, because it was the first available and it was kind of important. I cried, because i was certain I'd never make it in time, but we did. AND I managed to work more than enough afterward, so I let both boys invite friends over for part or all of the weekend.

I did, too. I made a huge dinner and asked some good friends that I have not seen much recently because I've been practicing becoming reclusive and weird. :D Made a cake and everything. Beverages were drunk, games were played.


Somehow, I feel relatively like a competent human again.
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I'm not even sure how this happened, but I've spent a few days spending time on YouTube listening to interviews and discussion programs with Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher and Penn Jillette. Basically a rotating mish mash of delightfully smarmy atheism, and sometimes some very interesting and impressive discussions with people of faith.

I was especially impressed with an Australian show called Q and A.

I think the most impressive thing about it was the lack of yelling and the fact that they seemed, for the most part, to be genuinely having civil discourse. On Television. I had forgotten that was possible. I mean, I knew it was possible as a sort of hazy theory. Of course it could happen. But it was a bit like seeing an albino alligator in the wild when I actually saw it happening.

It filled me with longing, and an almost bone-deep weariness.


Spent the day today visiting with pals from the homeschool group. The weather was fabulous. The rain had left some temporary swampy areas in the green of the park, and many water birds had moved over from the lagoon to reap the surprised insects from the waterlogged areas. It was just lovely.

I spoke a bit with the lady whom I always liked, but who went a tad crazy on me on Facebook before I left, and found it very easy to be nice and positive and loving toward her. She's been trying to conceive for six years, and just found out she's pregnant, so it was easy to share her joy. Also, I had read and copy-edited her daughter's submission to the NOCCA Creative Writing program, and I was very anxious to encourage her. (The daughter had approached me independently of her mom.) She writes well. Incredibly well for a twelve year old, and she has the disposition to write and read quite a lot. I get that fluttery feeling from her work that I got in the past from writers I worked with who have become really successful. All the elements are there, and I'm really quite antsy to support and nurture them in her, in any way I can. But I'll let her come to me, if she wants.

If I have a superpower, it might be that I can see the greatness in others. That is, at least, the superpower I hope I have. :D


Visiting with another one of the moms was also great fun. She was always very encouraging to me, and always remarks on how nice I am to everyone, and how diplomatic she's seen me be under stress. That's encouraging, because that is who I want to be, surely.

I ended up speaking with her very passionately about some things, without even realizing it until she pointed it out. I'm usually a thinker, a muller-over-of-things, but for the first time in a great while I spoke out loud of things that are very important to me.

Which kind of gave me an idea about something I might just have to do.
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So, Big Boy had a different idea for his "book trailer" but they said it should have a cliffhanger and make people want to read the book, so he went for the ultra-creepy Man-Jack-coming-to-kill-Bod-as-a-toddler intro. I think it's effective.

My friend Anne provided the vocals. The song is from the book, and serves as an outline for the plot. She sang it for me twice, once to All the Pretty Little Horses and once to Fear a Bhata. My son liked the first half of one and the second half of the other, so I cut them together for him, but he did all the editing. (I consulted occasionally, when he needed help figuring out how to do something, or find a particular clip.)¤t=RobertsGraveyardBookTrailer.mp4

That is my son as The Man Jack. He's 6"1' and fourteen years old. THIS is what happens when you make babies with a Viking. :P


Now for the profanity. What. The. Ever-F**King. F**K.

My list of People Who Must Be Kicked In The Gonads on Sight just KEEPS growing. So, there's this Georgia Representative who compares a law that would force women with anencephalic babies to carry them to term, to his experiences with livestock. See, fetuses with anencephaly have no brains. They have a brain stem, generally, which means their heart beats and they can grow to term. Once they are born, though, they invariably die because they can't breathe on their own (or do anything else) without a brain. This law makes abortion for any reason after 20 weeks a crime, but often this condition (among others) is not diagnosable until at least 18 weeks. So women would be forced, by lawmakers, to carry babies to term that would have no chance of living, in the process risking their ability to have healthy babies later and, yes, even their lives.

What the hell?

Watch the video at that link, and if you don't want to kick that man in the gonads so hard that his prostate deploys out his ass like an airbag, you can just unfriend me now.
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So, Big Boy had a different idea for his "book trailer" but they said it should have a cliffhanger and make people want to read the book, so he went for the ultra-creepy Man-Jack-coming-to-kill-Bod-as-a-toddler intro. I think it's effective.

My friend Anne provided the vocals. The song is from the book, and serves as an outline for the plot. She sang it for me twice, once to All the Pretty Little Horses and once to Fear a Bhata. My son liked the first half of one and the second half of the other, so I cut them together for him, but he did all the editing. (I consulted occasionally, when he needed help figuring out how to do something, or find a particular clip.)

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So, I basically told them I would move to Inquiry if they offered it to me, and spent the weekend regretting it. I LIKE only going to the office once every two weeks, and going in almost every day would effectively be hefty pay cut, in gas and time spent just getting there that I would not be paid for.

So, I was much relieved to get the email this morning saying that they thought I would make a good Inquiry specialist (I would) but they decided to give it to the newest hire who basically doesn't audit much yet. I audit a BUNCH of stuff, and they need me. So, yay. I don't have to give up my walking desk or anything.

So I'm quite relieved. :)


In other news, I am in New Orleans with my family. This is great. I got to go for a run in my favorite park in the world, and eat at one of my favorite restaurants. Also, we went to see The Hunger Games, which I really enjoyed (despite not being able to tell the white blond boys apart unless Katniss was actively kissing/saving one of them).

Tomorrow, we go to lunch with one of my favorite moms from the homeschool group (and her kids, whom my kids love), so that will be fun. Thursday we're going to visit with another family and then Friday we're going to the West Bank (sometimes called The Wank) to play Nerf War with a entire old gang. (Including Crazy Woman, but she's pregnant now, so either she'll have mellowed or she'll have a better excuse.)

I love this stupid city. I do. My buddy the folk artist has some work in an installation at the Jazz and Heritage... place. I must go see it and also go by her home and get some video of her work. I've been wanting to get it on video in a very specific way so that I can use it (with her credit and permission, in something I want to make.

I have the one she made me, but it isn't as creepy as the ones I want to use. )

The bad news is, there is not a lot of time for the writing I wanted to do, but even that has been going well up to spring break. So, I can't complain, really.

At some point I'm going to meet a bunch of my Beloved's new friends from work, too. He says things like, "We need to go for drinks with Bob and his Horrible Wife. She will glare at you disapprovingly for not having accomplished as much as she thinks you could have." This is hi way of encouraging me. LOL. Oddly enough, it works. :D
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 07:38pm on 30/03/2012 under ,
So, okay. The department I work in is QC/Inquiry, in which QC means Quality Control. I edit reports and check them for consistency and compliance. That means I copy edit the text, make sure nothing in the report directly contradicts anything else in the report (I also ask questions to clarify if needed) and make sure that the person filing the report followed guidelines.

I Inquiry, if the client has questions about a report, they investigate the details and make decision based on some of the same criteria, but they have much more time to do it. People in Inquiry are paid hourly and at the same rate of pay as Auditors, but they are not timed.

Today I was asked if I would be interesting working Inquiry. I would be working a problem client, so there would be pressure from that, but Inquiry would play to my strengths. As an Auditor, I constantly have to battle against over-thinking, which slows you down. In Inquiry, my natural tendency to over-think would actually be an asset. It would also put me in a position of contact with clients, increasing my FUBAR potential by about five points. So, not timed editing, but other stresses are involved.

It comes with fewer weekend hours and slightly more office time after I'm trained. (During training I'll be back to driving in to the office every day for 4-6 weeks.) I told them I was interested, though I am of two minds about it because of having to go in every day again. Even though... well, working from home every day has made me feel isolated and weird, some days.

There is only one opening and I am not the only one interested in it, so there is no telling whether they will pick me. That's fine, because I am basically content with what I'm doing. So I guess I'm good.


Now I guess I'm going to go get ready for a road trip. Heh.
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 06:19pm on 28/03/2012 under
The end of the month is usually slow at work, so I volunteered to take on some database maintenance tasks. In a way, it's mind-numbing busywork, but in another way, I just made the entire state of Connecticut my beeeyotch. :P

It seems like especially good work for the Walking Desk, which I am now truly enjoying.

The QC supervisor who is not my supervisor emailed me at the end of the day and asked if I could come in to meet with herself and the Boss of QC, because they want to talk to me about "an opportunity for growth." *shifty eyes* So, I'm going in for that, and maybe I'll get my badge done while I'm there. I've been a "real" employee for a month and a half, so I really can't imagine... no, I think I can. It will be asking me to do more stuff than I do already, for the same pay, I bet. I'm game, though. I get paid by the hour, and if every day was 8 hours of straight production auditing Id probably want to kill something, so diverse tasks are good.


Cumberbatch fans on my flist, please enjoy an eyeful of this:

Makes me wish I was still all arty. It sort of reminds me of a Tarot Card. Wouldn't that be something? Sherlock Tarot cards. Heh.


Oh, and here's a link to Husbands, The Series starring Cheeks. It's kind of a hoot and Nathan Fillion has a cameo in the third episode.


I need to go get my elder boy to film the shots he really wants for this project he's doing. He seems intent on NOT doing it unless I ride him. If I'm going into the office on my day off, time for editing his footage will be cut down significantly. It's due Friday. :P

I'll post it here when it's done. I bet it's going to be really neat.


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