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The hubby was home for three weeks. It was great. He did all kinds of stuff and really took the pressure off me. We had Robert's BFF who now lives in WA. come for two weeks or so, too. And now school is back in session.

I am hopeful that I'll be able to get my final revisions done on the novel a little more easily since the kiddos will be in school during the day.


Politics. Oh God.

My husband's middle brother visited from Florida last week. It was GREAT because I got to see my wee nieces who always greet me like a rock star. They are so cute and funny! They got me laughing so hard I almost wet myself. :)

But it was also bad because I always wonder what crap my in-laws are going to start spewing from Fox News. This time it was the Muslim Brotherhood Menace. It came up because they were talking about how Canada is doing better with jobs than we are, and wondering how hard it would be to go to Canada for a job. (My husband's youngest brother just got his degree, so, you know, it was relevant.) I said I knew it had been hard for my doctor friend to sort out her employment up there, but mostly because of special rules about certain positions which are funded by the government, and all countries are careful about giving certain types of government jobs to foreigners. But evidently our government is now overrun with Muslim Brotherhood infiltrators. Because Michelle Bachman said so. I don't think they knew that John McCain had basically told her off about some portion of her unsupported fear-mongering. I found somewhere else to be for a bit, with "Exhuming McCarthy" playing in my head. :P


I think the next few months may kill me. I was relatively indifferent to Romney (he's changed his policies often enough that it's hard to say what he'll do for sure if he wins), but I think Paul Ryan may have been grown in tank by a right wing extremest/mad scientist, his soulless flesh nourished to adulthood on a slurry of Ayn Rand novels and impoverished children's tears. Good GOD.


Someone on Tumblr made this and it found its way to Facebook, where I fell in love with it:


I may just have to leave FB and stare at this image until mid-November. :P


My sweet Stefano had some sort of recurrence of that infected tail bite from June. I took him to the vet and he had a fever. He's on antibiotics now and his fever is down. Poor woobie. It happened right after his neutering, so I though the swelling had to do with that. The bite had healed over and the hair had grown back, even. Now his tail is shaved and I have to push medicine down his throat, but at least he seems to feel better. He stays with me all the time, so I don't get lonesome and can pet him frequently.


While my Beloved was home, he bought me some new Nike Frees and upgraded my phone. It's all shiny now. We took the gang to see the Batman movie.I also got a haircut:
picture below cut )

It was about time for something drastic, and I'm happy with it. Also, probably lighter. It looks good with my glasses, too.


In general I'm grumptastic. I guess that's normal with the hubby having gone and all. A cool friend from work and I are having lunch Thursday, so that is something to look forward to. I've just got to push through this ennui. I bought groceries in the rain. It was fun.


Watched a bit of True Love, which I think would have been more appropriately called Variations on Romantic Misery. Not the best diversion for me at the mo. :P


I'm up for any Sherlock fanfiction recs you guys want to throw my way, if you think of some. It would be diverting. :)
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 05:17pm on 08/09/2011 under , , ,
I know that my shampoo is in Seattle and my son's music stand and violin book are in Texas, because i have the tracking numbers.You probably shouldn't ask why my shampoo is being shipped from Canada. Just FYI.


My hours are still short for the week, but I'm actually getting a feel for this quality control thing. I suspect that I'm uniquely suited to the work by temperament and inclination. However, this X hours in the morning, X hours in the afternoon, X hours in the evening, plus X hours on teh weekend thing? Getting really old. Gives the impression that I'm always at work, or about to work. Or thinking about work.

But I think that will be better when I start just coming in on two days a week. It will remove the hour and half to two hour commute (45 min on a good day, one way). Though it has been nice to hear my radio plays and things on the trip, especially these last few days with the weather cool enough that I don't have to change and roll down the windows for the drive home.

Fun Boss was in today, and she will be coming back every so often and after her Current Project is over. She's training people for Inquiry, because the Inquiry department is empty and swamped.


So, this one Amazon Marketplace store refuses to give us a refund or replacement for something they sold us that we never got. It was just a thumb drive, but it's annoying. It's in arbitration with Amazon now. *sigh* I gave my thumb drive to the Big Boy because he needed one for school, and I needed one back up my writing. I also use Dropbox, but I'm old and I like to have something tangible to point at and say, "My work is there." Just give my thumb drive I paid for or give me my money back. Is that so hard?


The automated attendance at Big Boy's school has sent us two attendance alerts today. One said he'd missed seven days and one said he missed ten. He registered three days in, because they wouldn't see us before school started, but he has been there every day since then. The hubby will take care of it, but Oi.
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I have chosen my clothing and stuff, so that is out of the way. Still not sure what I'll do with my hair. :P

I also applied for a job closer to me, but likely with more stress and less flexible work hours. My applications for three possible jobs downtown have not been decided yet. Didn't get an interview for the one in New Orleans, which is just as well under the circumstances. *snicker*


My review stats on my opening chapters are holding steady at 4 out of 5 stars on average. Though the genre fans have been slightly more positive, the overall stats are exactly the same on average. I now have 7 reviews and I only need 8 to qualify for the contest, but they have to be assigned by the system and I have to have them before the last week of the month... or something. I'm not really sure about that. I read their explanation, but it wasn't entirely clear.

Honestly, I think I'm just focusing on this contest so I don't run around in tight circles shouting, "Fuck, oh fuck, oh holy fuck." That wouldn't be good for my employment prospects, I suspect. *grin*

It's not that things are bad, mind you. Just incredibly stressful, and this contest is my displacement activity.

But what I really need to do is finish the second draft. :P


The boys seem to be doing fine with school. Neither one is over the moon, but things seem to be going well. The big fella rode the bus today, and that went okay. We got them each keys, so that they can get in when we're working and not here. That's going to be a huge change for them, because I've almost always been there when they get home from school. But they are big fellas now.
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My vehicle blew a hose on the trip, before we had even made it out of Louisiana. Seriously, the border with Mississippi is less than an hour away from New Orleans, and it broke down before I got there. Popped hose, lost water, overheated. BUT I pulled over right away so no major damage was done.Cut for the disinterested. May include details of the move, plans for the weekend and my putting-the-kids-in-new-schools angst. )

In other news, my friend Andrina had convinced me to join and enter an opening chapters contest, so I I did. Your piece has to have 8 reviews to qualify for the contest. You earn reviews by reviewing other people's stuff. I've done six or seven so far, and gotten two reviews in return. (So far they are quite positive.) It's a spot of work, and I'm somewhat pressed for time at the moment, but I'm going to get 8 reviews by the end of the month if it kills me.

So, if anybody would like to read the first two chapters of my second draft, you can find them here:

The site makes you register, but it is free. If the direct link doesn't work, you can find it by a title search for "Form and Void." If you see fit to review it, I would appreciate it a lot. :)
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Due to various life-related hiccups, I'm not finished with my re-write yet. Twelve days is a fairly short time in which to do a re-write of the magnitude I was attempting, so I don't feel bad about it. It was kind of impossible on the face of it really, considering the other obligations I had this week that I couldn't wriggle out of.

The thing is, the attempt was very exhilarating. I think attempting things we don't already know how to do is a fabulous way to learn to do them, provided we shake off the societal stigma and grant permission to fail. I mean, I don't think I'd have attempted it in the first place if I was still truly afraid of failure.

So, now I have a new schedule, one that should work for me, even in the context of me taking care of everybody else and teaching Wee Boy at home. (The first week of my two week odyssey, both boys were on Mardi Gras break, but this week I had to teach Wee Boy, who still seeks a lot of guidance with his work. I think it comforts him to have me watch over everything, even though he is fully capable of self-directing.)

They held the Lusher lottery this week, and Wee Boy did not get in again, though he once again qualified with a high score. Boo, but also Yay. Because I suspect he would no longer be a good fit for a traditional school anyway. I signed him up for the k12 public virtual charter school program, and am hopeful he will get in. I also signed Big Boy up for it, though he seems to want to stay at Lusher. He's just coming out of another period of forgetfulness (doing his homework and forgetting to TURN IT IN) and we had to have a talk about that. All of his teachers talk about how brilliant he is. Most of his work is A work, then he deliberately drops the ball on something simple, sabotaging himself. His History teacher was pulling his hair out, because he failed an open book test. "THAT boy should not have made THAT grade," he said. I had to agree. But if he really wants to go to Lusher next year, he has to do better this quarter, and I told him so.

In any case, I'm still digging through the manuscript and doing the mommy thing at the same time. Should be interesting. I'm right at the part in the MS where all my notes say things like "Condense this" and "This is pointless." So it will be generating new material to get through this spot where the MS really flounders. I've learned so much so far, I know I can do it. About 25 pages a day is a bit more do-able than fifty. To arms!
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 03:50pm on 01/09/2010 under , , ,
First off, BoingBoing is crowdsourcing The Funny. That is awesome, and very amusing.

Jezebel reviews a book that makes me happy. Turns out all that 'women's brains are better/worse at X' is not supported by science.

Crazy video that my youngest is totally infatuated with but sounds a lot like conversations at our house sometimes. *snrk*


I've been reading Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics, and "Brief Lives" made me cry. My experience of comics is limited, I admit, but that never happened before.


Big Boy had a better day today. Yesterday he was monosyllabic and grumpy. Today he's just grumpy.


I'm losing weight. I started paying attention to what I eat... maybe a month ago or longer, and I've lost six or seven pounds. The first three or so came off quickly, but I think I'm averaging about a pound every ten days or so now. I think that is slow enough that my hair shouldn't fall out. (When Big Boy was weaned, back in the day, I dieted and worked out to lose my baby weight, and lost 40lbs in two months. Three months later, my hair was so thin it couldn't hold a clasp at the nape of my neck, and I had to cut it all off while the brand-new baby hair came in. Aside from being kind of dumb and unhealthy, it was darned inconvenient.)

I have not noticed a difference, but my Beloved says he has. *shrug* I just want to get back in my sexy clothes. ;) The good news is that it does not appear to be coming off my bust. *snork*


I had a great idea today, but it may be next week before I can make my idea a reality. I have to develop a process, see. ;) It may not have great results, but it will be fun. :)
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 12:14pm on 25/08/2010 under , , , ,
Just trying to keep all my balls in the air! That sounds naughtier than it is, sadly.

So here goes!

Nightsky shared a Clip from "Rex Is Not Your Lawyer"! which we loved to bits.

Then we had a great review by Sweet Clementine, The Expendables: Explosions? Yes, please!. Mea culpa for the delay in getting it up on GC. My life is a tad... interesting at the moment.

And today we have Mv2.3's The Dow of Mouseloaf, which I confess I did not really understand at all.

But life is like that sometimes.


I finished the basic, 'Tetris' edit of what I had of the novel yesterday, so today is all new ground. I'll let you know how that goes.


Last night I went to a book club called New Orleans Books and Booze at the Columns hotel. They had read the book Babylon Rolling and the author, Amanda Boyden came by and was grilled by uninhibited bibliophiles for more than an hour. It was an *awesome* thing to behold, and she held up pretty well, probably because they bought her drinks. ;)

It was funny because, not only had her editor made her dial back the annoying, transliterated patois of her African American teen drug dealer ( TWICE, so I can only imagine that his POV sections had to be unintelligible as she first wrote them) but they also demanded she use an English title, instead of the French one she wanted to use. I think both were good calls, saving her from her own pretentiousness (and probably some cries of racism). I still don't get why she wrote that one character in such a marked patois when it was written in third person. First person, I would get, but third? Aaaanyway.

I did like that the title was a reference that New Orleansians would get. Babylon is the Mardi Gras parade that runs just before Chaos. Since it is set just before Katrina, it's an oblique reference that chaos was not far behind. Clever.


Big Boy seems to be handling school well, which is the best I could hope for. I guess we'll see what happens as time passes.


We went over the weekend to do some clothes shopping. It was lovely. Big Boy shows all the signs of growing out of everything before Christmas.

I had to take him to see his endocrinologist, who was impressed by his size. He's as tall as his doctors, or taller, now, and above 99th percentile for height for his age (and 90th percentile for weight, the string bean). Have to take him for blood work next month.

Basically, between running around doing errands, various meetings and appointments and generally meeting my obligations, I have had little time for anything else. I have tried to keep up with you guys and see how you are doing.

Maybe things will settle in soon.
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 12:17pm on 13/08/2010 under , , , ,
The weather here is terrible - rain, thunder, some street flooding.

This does not bode well for the 48Hour Film Project this weekend. The light is going to be terrible. Oh well.


In GC news, KitchenJedi has posted Review - Gaming Paper with tests and pictures and all. Almost makes me wish I played RPGs. Almost. (No TIME!)


Writing continues much as it always has, scraping out snatches of time here and there. At least things are taking shape better than I had expected.


Big Boy starts school Monday. This weekend we need to get him some school supplies. Also, we have a social engagement for Saturday and Sunday afternoons. One is mostly with my husband's employees, and teh other is a farewell to a couple of homeschool group moms who are leaving town as The Green Lantern wraps. I may well miss the Saturday one because of the 48Hour Film Project, but it's the employee one, which could be a buffet of awkwardness, since the one employee I got on with has just decided to leave. (New baby, long story.)

It's like the world is trying to cram everything into one weekend.

On top of that, I'd really like to work on my Secret Project for GC, and sneak off to mail a few things without getting blown away.

I guess I'll just have to wait and see how it goes.
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 02:41pm on 03/08/2010 under , , , , ,
In GC news, so far this week we've had Pearce's ....okay, Predators?, in which she comes to the whole Predator thing fresh and contemplates a ripped Adrian Brody.

AND! Nightsky's exciting breakdown of Comic-Con! which was evidently Femme-Geek rich in content, so much so that there are hopes of more next year. WOOT!


I'm finally back from der hinterland, and boy, was that a trip. It was great to see friends and family, but in my absence the hubby, who had insisted that he would 'cherish the silence' got all weird and grumpy and isolated. I came home earlier than planned.

Then Big Boy got homesick, and the in-laws brought him back earlier than planned, and spent the weekend. It was fun. We got to go to the WWII Museum, which was great. It was also very traumatic for me, because going through the part of the place and the film that dealt with the Pacific, I couldn't help but think of my Grampa Robert, who was on Iwo Jima and other places, and traumatized to the point that we were forbidden to ever ask him about the war. Once he got lost in Atlanta, and forgotten who and where he was. In his mind, he was back in the war. I don't know what happened, whether a mugging or something set it off.

The only time he ever mentioned the war was in the 80s, when the famine in Ethiopia was all the news. He said there were children starving, everywhere they went in the Pacific, and he got in trouble for giving them his food.

So, yeah. I was affected by what I saw at the museum, but I could not help but think about how the same media that helped me understand what he went through could have been very destructive to him had he seen it.


In other news, I got nothing accomplished on my novel while traveling -- too many people to see and too much to do. I did not escape several calls from writing group people wanting to talk about stuff. Seems they have staged a sort of revolution to set up new rules and not listen so much to the organizer. At least I was out of town for the fireworks.

I like the group, but I suspect they are all too kind to me when it comes to critiques. I suppose I have some decisions to make.


Soon my oldest will be going to school, and I'm all tense about it. He's not. I know he'll be fine, it's just... being a parent is tough. I mean, we all have our defenses - people strike out at us, and we can take it. Our kids can take it, too.

What they don't tell you (or maybe they try, and you just don't get it) is that having a child is like having your tender bits hanging out there, defenseless. When Big Boy was six weeks old, I realized that I would be capable of killing to defend him, and not even think about it until afterward.

He's a teen now, and I'm trying to keep the Mother Bear on a short leash, but it isn't easy.


So now I'm back and I'm feeling behind on everything, like nothing is getting done. But that's not true. I have stuff going forward. My novel is still almost complete, though no closer than when I left. I'm in a better place to tackle it.
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Earlier this week, Nightsky posted about the Comic Con Documentary: Casting Call over at GC, and I totally spaced on promoting it. My bad.


School is essentially over. I guess I'll be putting attendance and stuff, but that is pretty much it. It's done.

I still haven't decided on camps and things for teh boys, yet. I may just let them do whatever and not do the camp thing unless there is one they really want to go to. It might be more fun to travel with them, honestly. I'm considering going places by train. As expensive as gas is and as cheap as some train tickets are, it might be the thing.


As soon as I whined about the writing group not being rescheduled, it was rescheduled. Like, I posted the whinge here on LJ, and *ping* came the email notice that we're back on for next week. This one is just a get-to-know-you type of thing, so I can save my writing sample for later. Still considering just starting my own group, but we'll see.

Speaking of writing, I'm making progress on the novel. It feels slow, but progress is progress, I guess. I feel good about it, and I guess I just need to get it through my head that everything I want to do does not have to be done *immediately* or I've failed. Some things take time, as hard as it is for me to admit that.


Just finished IWGP, sent to me by the lovable and insidious [ profile] micehell. Weird and squicky and pretty and cool. *sigh*


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