eurydice james: pepperlandgirl4

Low-key Saturday

Blech. My efforts to fight this cold are failing. Today, my throat was sore on top of the mild congestion and light cough. No fever and it clears up pretty quickly when I take something, but it's just enough to drag my energy levels down. I did not want this right now.

I did get out to Michael's with Alicia this morning, though. I had a $20 voucher to use before it expired tomorrow, and I wanted to look at tabletop trees. We've decided to put our Christmas tree upstairs in the media room this year since a) we don't know Chico will react to it, and b) we don't want Chico to run into it and bring it down because he slid along the tile or wood floor (which he does more often than you'd think). I figured I'd put a small tree on our tea cart downstairs, but Alicia talked me out of it once we were at the store. I ended up getting these hanging gift tags to spell out our last name, instead. I'm not sure where I'm going to hang them yet, but they're absolutely adorable. Plus, instead of paying over $30 for it, I got all 6 letters for just over $10. Not too shabby.

It was pretty low-key for the rest of the day, with a vegetarian rice bowl for dinner followed by watching the first Harry Potter movie. Craig and Alicia are in the mood for a rewatch because she's re-reading the books. Tomorrow morning is dying my hair, going to the grocery store, then taking another stab at Craig's coffee sponge in the afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed it works out better this time.

Today's question: What is the most serious law you've broken doing something you thought was morally right, wouldn't hurt anyone, or was no one's business but yours? How bad would the punishment have been if you'd been caught and given the maximum sentence?
I'm the first to admit that I'm a goody-two-shoes. Breaking rules makes me sweat. I always wear my seatbelt. I've never gotten gotten a ticket. I've never done drugs (though now that it's legal here in California, I have to admit I'm mildly curious to try an edible). Probably the only thing I can think of was the first time I drank alcohol. I was 20, so technically underage, recently broken up with my boyfriend of two years, and at a theatre party. That's about as wild as I get.

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mood - writing is hard (arthur): kathyh

Writing Words of Wisdom

I need this right now:

“You have to write when you’re not inspired. And you have to write the scenes that don’t inspire you. And the weird thing is that six months later, a year later, you’ll look back at them and you can’t remember which scenes you wrote when you were inspired and which scenes you just wrote because they had to be written next.” ~ Neil Gaiman

Today's question: What is a character trait you despise in others, but you know you also have that same trait?
Haha, I can name plenty of traits I despise that I don't have (habitual tardiness, disorganization, manipulative), but something I have, too? That's harder. I'm going to say being pedantic. I've gotten annoyed with the kids more than once because they've corrected me on something I said or criticized me for being imprecise, but I realized about a year ago that I do the same thing so they learned it from me. Oops, lol.

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btvs - xander puppetangel: awmp

(no subject)

Another day, another schedule going to hell. I had all these plans for what I was going to get done when I got home from work this afternoon, only to get completely derailed when Alicia asked for Indian for dinner and then told me she had stuff in the way of me crossing off other stuff off my list. So instead, I chilled for a couple hours, ordered dinner, then watched Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with Craig instead of the debate. I did try to watch the debate. I lasted ten minutes before I had to give up because I can't handle Trump's constant lies. Hence, the movie. Which I didn't even enjoy that much, except to appreciate the late 60s immersion. And Timothy Olyphant. I'm jonesing to rewatch Justified, though I think I might've finally talked Craig into giving Mad Men a go.

Today's question: How would you react if you learned that a sad and beautiful poem that touched you deeply had been written by a computer?

Meh. I probably wouldn't care. I'm a really hard sell on poetry. I find most of it a waste of time. So if something actually moved me, I probably wouldn't care too much about where it came from. And my first thought wouldn't be Terminator fear. It would likely be, "Huh, somebody had a really good programmer." The problem with living with a computer guy for twenty-three years, lol.

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cooking - cookie andrew: blond_bear

Oops, where did the week go?

I've been bad about updating the past few days because I haven't been feeling great. Headaches and congestion, a little bit of a cough...enough to keep me away from the computer and curled up on the couch whenever my energy flagged.

So...catching up. I tried the coffee sponge on Sunday, and while the kids and Craig ate it up with compliments, I was dissatisfied. It was slightly overbaked and too dry for me, and I'm just not a fan of coffee flavoring outside of drinking it. I'm going to try another this Sunday, altering the recipe slightly, to see if I like it any more.

This morning, I made these orange and dark chocolate buttermilk scones for breakfast, and they turned out absolutely yummy. I definitely recommend the recipe.

But other than that...work, the occasional errand, and lots of chilling out to make sure I didn't get sick. I don't think I will. It's probably just an allergy thing, especially since it's still 90F here today. I need to get some cleaning done this weekend, especially since the kids have started pushing for me to begin holiday preparations for just us, trying to figure out what we want to do, what we want to eat, how we're going to make this special when the world is falling apart around us.

And now I have a lot of meme questions to do...

The 18th: Write the words that you need to hear today.
Nobody expects you to be perfect but you. You're adding unnecessary stress to an already stressful world by placing these artificial constraints upon yourself. What matters is simply doing, regardless of whether it turns out perfect or not. All you're achieving in your quest for perfection is inertia.

The 19th: If you had to be obsessed with money, sex, sports, religion or food, which one would you choose?
I'm already obsessed with food, so that's crossed off the list. I refuse to be obsessed by religion or money, so that leaves sex and sports. Sex is a dangerous path. So I'll go with sports. It might put me in better health if I was in love with being sports and being active.

The 20th: What do you love most about yourself?
This isn't supposed to be a hard question, but it is. I'll say my intelligence. I'm reasonably educated and quick to learn. It's made a lot of things easier in my lifetime (as well as other things harder, but it's a trade-off).

The 21st: Ignoring all financial considerations, would you rather spend the next 5 years confined to an urban mecca (e.g. New York City, London, etc) or a beautiful, isolated coastal town somewhere?
Pre-covid, this would've been urban. I love having the amenities so close at hand, and with the kids grown up, it would be easier to not have to worry about schools and so on. But now? A beautiful coastal town, far away from idiots and too much civilization, where I don't have to fight for space.

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books - reading dreaming: coloryourdream

What I'm Reading Wednesday

WHAT I FINISHED

Four books got knocked off the TBR:

1. Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merriman: Nonfiction about some of the myths we hold about child rearing. I wish I'd read this when it first came out, because other than being mildly entertaining, it's not very relevant to me anymore. It's insanely well referenced, though. There are over 80 pages of references and notes in the back of the book.
2. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes: A short novel that won the Man Booker Prize in 2012. It's the story of a middle-aged man contending with his past and dealing with his future, but honestly, not a whole lot happens. It's mostly focused on the philosophical questions both raise - how reliable is memory, of what use is regret - which bores me to tears. Plus, the protagonist is kind of an asshole, which didn't make reading about his navel-gazing very pleasant.
3. His 7-Day Fiancee by Gail Barrett: Harlequin romantic suspense about a self-made Vegas millionaire offering protection to a single mom who is convinced her abusive ex-husband is out to get her. I know what to expect when I read Harlequins, but there just wasn't much good about this at all. Too rushed and predictable.
4. Shocking Pink by Erica Spindler: Thriller about three teenagers who witnessed an affair that led to murder and how that has affected their adult lives. I have no idea why I finished with this one if only to see for myself if it would ever improve. There was no thrill - I had it all figured out by the halfway point so no surprises - and the primary girl who was the main protagonist was the stupidest psychiatrist I have ever read. On top of that, the entire first half - when they're teenagers - reeks of sex shaming because the couple they spy on are into BDSM and it's all made to look sick and perverted.

DID NOT FINISH
Two this time:

1. Hunters: The Beginning by Shiloh Walker. I got frustrated with this one early because it headhops and the author has a propensity for continuing dialogue into new paragraphs without leaving the quotes open to indicate it was the same person talking. I gave up in the second chapter.
2. I gave up on House of Whispers because the editorial mistakes started being too numerous and kept yanking me out of the story.

WHAT I'M READING

Still working on the three other books I was reading last time I checked in: Evicted, the nonfiction book about evictions in Milwaukee, The Killer Clause by Gregg Hurwitz, and The Edge of Lost The first two are slow-going. The third is my break reading at work, but I've been obsessed with a game on my phone for the past two weeks so I keep playing that instead of reading, lol.
cooking: sunlitdays

Getting it done

I woke up at 6:30 this morning, unable to go back to sleep. That's early for me. I force myself to get up at 7am on Thursdays since I have to be at the library at 9, but usually, my preferred wake-up time is around 8 since I'm rarely asleep before midnight. I put that early hour to work though, and did a ton of stuff so that my day would be productive, including making quinoa and kale soup in the slow cooker for lunch, updating two websites, and cleaning my kitchen.

All of that stopped at noon, but hey, at least my morning was productive.

I made the most amazing salad for dinner tonight. I looked around to see if I could find it online to share, but couldn't, so I'm going to reproduce it here. It's a corn and edamame salad with a ginger-lime dressing, and ohmigod, it was so yummy. I could've eaten all of it and still wanted more. The dressing is divine. The sesame oil puts it over the top.

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Today's meme question: If a movie were being made of your life, which actor would play the starring role?

I thought way too long about this question, lol. Seriously. I've been sitting here for almost twenty-five minutes, wracking my brains about who would be a good fit. All things considered, I'm going with Aidy Bryant. She's not that far off physically, and I think she could handle more serious material on top of the funny stuff. Or, if I get to idealize a little bit, Hayley Atwell. She's thinner than I am and her bone structure is way better, but hey, I'm idealizing here.

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mood - pooped puppy: angstchic

End of the week as we know it

My reflux has been awful today, but it's all completely my fault. I should know better than drinking a full glass of orange juice for breakfast. Then I had salsa on my lunch. The day has not been pleasant.

We found out today that the new manager at the library will be the children's librarian, L. She's been there the longest and frankly, she's perfectly suited for it because I think she doesn't really like dealing with the public anymore anyway unless they're under five. They're not hiring anybody to replace her. Instead, a lot of her current duties will fall onto the shoulders of the assistant children's librarian, who will likely lose the assistant part of her title. I feel a little bad for her. She already does a ton of stuff. I made sure to let her know that I'm more than happy to do whatever grunt work she wants to pass along.

I got introduced to our interim manager with the statement, "She won't be an aide for long. Frankly, she could do anybody's job in here now if she wanted." Which I thought was a really nice compliment. And maybe not too far off the mark.

Today's question: If it were the only way you could remain with the love of your life, would you be willing for both of you to wake up tomorrow as native speakers of an unfamiliar language, knowing that within a week, you'd permanently forget the language(s) you now speak and largely be cut off from your friends and culture? If so, what new language would you want to speak and why?

What a weird question. I'd do it, of course. I'd do anything to stay with Craig, and this is so easy. And if I get to choose, then I pick Spanish because neither of us speak it, but that wouldn't really cut us off too much because we live in California and most of the people I know speak it. And my family that doesn't? Meh.

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eurydice james: pepperlandgirl4

Not quite Friday

I woke up this morning to a note from Alex, asking what he needed to take out to warm up/soften so I could make another batch of pecan pie cheesecake bars this afternoon after I got home from work. I'm guessing he really likes them, lol. I left him a note saying that if he really wanted it to happen, it would mean running to the store to pick up more pecans. Lo and behold, there were pecans waiting for me when I got home from the library.

All of that means that my day was basically work, baking, then reading, and I'm about to head upstairs for a nice, hot bath.

Oh, and having a package arrive from Amazon that was supposed to be a Christmas gift but wasn't in a shipping box, just the box it came in, so Alex got it now instead of in two months. Oops.

Today's question: If, without being detected, you could spy electronically for the next month and watch anyone, anywhere, anytime like a fly on a wall, would you? If so, who would you watch and how closely? If not, why not?

I'm not sure I would, to be honest. The first people who spring to mind would just infuriate me and I don't need that right now. Creative people aren't really creating very much that I'm just dying to know about (or would be interesting to watch; I mean, come on, who wants to watch a writer sit at a laptop and stare off into space for long stretches of time before typing furiously for five minutes?). If Buffy was still on, I'd glue myself electronically to SMG so I could watch them all work, but it's not. So no, I guess I wouldn't.

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cooking - cookie andrew: blond_bear

Baking day

I don't have the brainpower at the moment to do a book update, so I'm just going to ramble a bit about my day.

I started out with baking. Always good. I made these pecan pie cheesecake bars, and they turned out absolutely scrummy. (I've been watching too much Mary Berry the past couple days.) It's a pecan shortbread base, with a cheesecake middle layer, and a pecan pie mixture on top. The cheesecake adds just enough of a bite to take away from the sweetness of the pecan pie part, and they only get better the longer they sit. I've packaged up a dozen to take to work tomorrow, but we've only got two left of the dozen I left for us here at home. That's how good they were.

I spent all my in between time preparing my fundraising report for our band booster meeting tonight, only for that to get canceled at the last minute. So instead, I called and chatted with my friend L. I've been a little worried about Alicia. Of the four of us, she's the one having the most difficulty with all the distancing, plus she's left behind the life she had started for herself in DC. I think it's compounding her anxiety. What I want is for her to take a weekend before Thanksgiving and go spend it with her best friend in Berkeley (who is L's daughter). The best friend is very cautious and she and her roommate are getting tested every couple weeks through the university, so I have no fears about Alicia's safety. Plus, I think she really needs it. Alicia, however, is fighting me on it, saying she has too much homework, etc. I'm going to push, though. I told her that her mental wellness is just as important and one weekend isn't going to ruin everything. We'll see if that works out.

Today's question: What is something you've tried but would never do again? Ice skating. Hated it with a grand passion. I could never stabilize my ankles on the blades and spent more time on my butt than on my feet. And sprained my ankle in the process.

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eurydice james: pepperlandgirl4

Don't engage

I got home from work today and spent far too much time on Amazon, shopping with Prime Day. I did manage to pick up some Christmas gifts, though, and it was relaxing, so I can't say it was a waste. And hopefully it'll save time later in the season.

I got into it this morning on FB with a Republican on a high school's friend post. She's an independent and is livid about Barrett's nomination. He started getting in her face about who she'd pick instead (he's another high school person but we were never friends; I've always thought he was kind of a jerk), so I posted to show solidarity. Basically, I pointed out Barrett's problematic votes/opinions (did you know that she ruled against a workplace discrimination case because, according to her, a supervisor saying the n-word does not create a hostile environment?). So the jerk came after me and tried to get me to say who I'd pick. I kept it neutral, saying it wasn't my job to vet potential nominees, only to research them after our elected officials did the nominating. He then tried to turn it around and said I'd disapprove of all of their choices. I should've left it there, but I didn't. I pointed out that that wasn't necessarily true, that it would depend on their record, and certain issues were dealbreakers for me, i.e. refusal to recognize systemic racism and acknowledge equal rights for ALL citizens. He then got all pissy and called me part of the problem because all I offered were opinions and no solutions.

*headthunk*

The ignorance is astounding. I should've known better. He wasn't smart in high school, so why should I think he has any critical thinking skills now, especially since he's voting for Trump again? But I had thought by keeping it civil and focusing on her record rather than her religion, without mentioning a single Republican or the process or anything like that, he just might listen. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Today's question: What is something you've never done but would like to try to do? Why don't you? How am I supposed to limit this to a single thing?!? Well, I'm not. I'm picking five.

1) I'd love to learn how to create pottery. The only thing that's stopping that is COVID since nobody is doing anything like that around here right now.
2) I'd love to have rainbow hair, but that would require bleaching my already fine, fragile hair, and nope, can't do it.
3) I'd love to do a boudoir shoot, but Craig has zero interest in having the pictures. (According to him, what's the point of pictures when he has the real thing, lol?)
4) I've always wanted to create a cookbook club, where we pick a monthly cookbook then have a get-together at the end of the month where everybody brings a dish they made from it, but that has to wait until after Covid, too.
5) I've always wanted to learn how to swing dance, but Craig doesn't want to do it and I'm not sure my hips would survive.

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