15 November 2018

It's not cold here yet, but this guy loves the fireplace, so the Spouse Thingy fired it up just for him tonight.

Granted, if we had a wood fireplace, there's no way in hell we'd have a fire in it right now. The air quality is horrific, bad enough that even as far away from the fire as we are, schools are closed and it's not a great idea to be outside for much of anything.

He might be doubly happy...that bed--and the carpet and floor all around it--is covered in catnip. I'd vacuum, as well let the cats roll around on it.

Besides. Housework. I've spent years perfecting my avoidance of it.


14 November 2018

I got nuttin'... 30 days of posting means a few days of =eh=

On the plus side, I'm over 40K into NaNoWriMo. Totally gonna get that spiffy PDF certificate this year.


13 November 2018

Sacramento 11/12/18 3 p.m.

Posted to Reddit in /r/Sacramento by u/de_struggle_is_real
We're not far from this; neither Sacramento nor Dixon is in danger from the fire in Butte County, but we're getting the smoke.

Too many people have already died in this fire, and it's not even 50% contained yet. An entire town, Paradise, is lost.

We're fine, we'll be fine, but dang...Farktons o'Mojo for the people who aren't fine.

These fires are starting to feel like the new norm.

I will freaking trade a year's worth of nice, pleasant, bike riding days for enough rain to break the drought.


12 November 2018

All right, so the Spouse Thingy and I pick a series every now and then to watch together. Every Monday is Doctor Who...because the day and time it airs doesn't work for, plus with Amazon Prime we can skip all the commercials.

We've also been watching the new Sabrina series on Netflix, and it is definitely not your children's Sabrina the Teenaged Witch. It's dark, it's borderline horror (maybe more than borderline...we're not done yet) and I have a feeling Sale is going to be a total badass.

We're only 4 episodes in, and it's entertaining enough to keep watching, but damn do I have some issues with it.

A lot of the characters are stereotypical tropes: the self-entitled, abusive foot ball team, an LGBTQ friend who is reduced to literally being nothing more than their identity, the generic white heroine who rides on on her shiny white horse to defend the misunderstood and mistreated. The teenagers are all 15 going on 40, and don't really act teenagery--except for the protagonist mooning over potentially having to switch schools and leave her boyfriend behind.

And the biggest trope of all: witches be bad, y'all. They get their magic via Satan worship. And of course Sabrina doesn't want any part of that.

I'll watch the entire season, because it's good enough to want to see how it goes, but I have a feeling my issues with it are just going to multiply.


11 November 2018

This is the typical view I get if I turn to my left while working at my desk.

He sits and stares, and every other minute or so he taps on my arm to remind me that he's there and he wants something.

He also sits on the arm of my chair in the living room and does the same thing, but it's a little less creepy when he's on the desk.

It used to irritate me when he'd hang on me like a needy toddler, but these days I take it as a good sign. He's here, he's active, he's annoying. Just as it should be.

Old men get to be annoying.

His age is showing. He's losing weight. He has times when he sits there and stares off into nothing, like he's listening for something. He twitches oddly sometimes. But mostly, he's his annoying self.

This is him just 30 seconds ago.

Bright eyed, alert, wanting me to get off my asterisk and open a can. He'll probably only eat half, but he had several steak bites two hours ago, so that's fine.

I catch some good-natured chit every now and then for how much we spoil him, but really...when you're pushing 100, as he is, you should get most of what you want. And right now what he seems to want is in the kitchen, and I'm damn well getting it for him.


10 November 2018

January of this year in the Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney...class on display.

It's kind of a tradition, me flipping the Spouse Thingy off during dinner at RFC, usually the first or second night at Disneyland. At the time, we didn't know the restaurant was slated to close to make way for a new hotel, although I don't know if it would have made a difference in how many times we went there. We had dinner there on the first night and went back the seconds for drinks, which filled me with a gallon of regret. The Blue Hawaiians were good, but I kinda forgot I can't have anything pineapple.

It's closed down now...and the plans for the hotel were scrapped. I'd be surprised if Disney can get it back; they managed to get the Earl of Sandwich back, but if rumors are correct, EoS hadn't been gutted yet and RFC has.

Granted, to food was not spectacular. It was kind of cheesy. But we still liked it, and now I don't know where we'll go so I can flip him off the next time we're there.


9 November 2018

Nearly every day since we moved the books cases into my office, he's taken 2-3 naps up there, curled up where he can't be seen.

Every day, too, when I open a can of cat food at 11 a.m., he gets up, stretches, and then stares at the cat tree placed right next to his giant blue bed. He wants to jump down, and a year ago he probably would have. But now he thinks about it, realizes it's not a good idea, and takes the long was across the four tall bookcases to the shorter, staircase-stagger cases in front of the window, he walks across my printer and then my desk, and waits there for me to come pick him up and carry him to his food.

He can make the jump from the desk to the floor easily still, but why? He knows I'll come get him. It's one of the few times I can pick him up and not worry that he'll bite me. I carry him a few feet into the kitchen, and take the opportunity to drop a few kisses on the top of his head, because that's the only way I'll ever really be able to.

Tonight when it was snack time, he waited on the desk, and I came to get him as usual, and three steps into the kitchen he pressed his head against my face.

Don't forget the kisses.


8 November 2018

Starbucks green iced tea, no water added.

Right after they make it--if it's been shaken the way it's suppose to be--there's a nice head of foam on it.

It kinda looks like beer.

When the ice melts and there's only about half left, it looks like pee.

So basically, Starbucks is serving Bud Light.

Now you know.


7 November 2018

My favorite shirt.

Mostly because it's true.

One of my other favorites says Introverts Unite. Separately. In Our Own Homes. Again, lots of truth there.

One of my friends thinks I'm an ambivert, and that might have been, way back when he knew a much, much younger me. But the truth now is that I am introverted and socially awkward, and I suspect it's the result of so many years of moving around and leaving friends behind, landing in places where I just didn't know anyone and when I did meet people, we didn't click.

Face it, I'm fairly liberal and wound up in some very conservative places.

After we left Texas--where I had martial arts as my main social outlet--I found it more and more difficult to connect with people unless it was online. In Illinois, I met, literally, no one with whom I had anything more in common than a couple of semesters at the local college. In North Dakota, we had a few friends, thanks to bowling, but there wasn't really any socializing outside that.

Ohio was a bright spot; we lived on a great street with terrific people, and spent a lot of time with them.

But that was it. We left there 15 years ago when the Spouse Thingy retired. My social life since then has been limited to online, except for one local friend who better die before dumping my ass.

This sounds whiny, but it's not meant to be.

It's really meant as more of an explanation.

I am perfectly comfortable with my introversion 99% of the time. I have a lot of friends, truly, but thanks to military life, they're scattered across the country. Or I met them through Max's blog. Or we connected way back when Prodigy was a thing and there was an active martial arts board. Some of my oldest friends--from when I was a kid--are still friends and we talk a lot, but they're way over there and I'm way over here.

There is a price to be paid for that kind of a social life.

Over time, with distance and habit, a person can lose their social skills. They forget how to engage in spontaneous small talk. There is no text-lag buffer, no taking time to edit thoughts before letting them fly. When you're conversing in person, you kinda have to talk. Like, right then.

So, sure, over the years I have become painfully socially awkward, and more of an introvert than I am an ambivert.

The topic came up recently when I was talking to a long time friend, who poked at me when she said she might be out this way and I reminded her I didn't have a guest room. I do have an inflatable mattress, and I might have a pump for it, so there was always a chance to bunk in the room where the treadmill and rowing machine live, and where Buddah and Max have barfed on the carpet approximately 4,967 times.

She declined.

And then she poked at me a little more. She wouldn't do that to me, because it would make me panic. When I denied that, she point-blank asked when the last time I had a guest was.

Um. Maybe in Ohio...? And before that, maybe when the Boy was 2?

"And if I drop in on your down time at the Pub Panel? With my entire brood?" I think that's when I told her to shut the fark up. She laughed at me again, and promised it would never happen. Too many new people at once. Too many people period. I don't do that well (Oddly, I never had those issues on the 3 Day. No clue why.)

More truth: yeah, we don't entertain at home. I have no idea HOW to entertain at home. You come over, I don't know what to do with you. I suck at small talk. If you're a talker, it works better (though not if you talk and talk and talk and talk and don't let anyone else get a word it...) because I feel like I'm more of a listener (delusional, perhaps) but really, no clue how to really socialize anymore. I'm not a decent cook, so you're probably not getting dinner here, and even if I were a decent cook...yeah, really never done that, so you're probably not going to have a great time.

Now, oddly, drop me into a party where I know a couple people, I'm okay. But you need to be okay with me sitting back and watching and listening, because I tend to not approach anyone and I still suck at small talk. It might look like I'm miserable and not having any fun, when the truth is I'm having a great time. But I avoid that, because it makes other people uncomfortable. Why is she just sitting there? Why isn't she talking? Is she just rude or what?

The weird, hard left turn: if I do the InDesign instruction at the Pub Panel, I won't have a problem with that. When I'm prepared, I can talk in front of a large group. If someone needs help with something, I can do that.

Hell, if you're a total stranger out in the wild and something's wrong, chances are I'll stop to help. I had zero issues stopping my car a few weeks ago to help an Asian guy in an Old Sac parking garage who couldn't figure out the parking exit payment. Neither of us understood a word the other was saying, but we figured it out. Never occurred to me to do anything other than solve the problem.

But that wasn't social.

I'll never see that guy again. Three or four minutes, done.

So, really, that's it. Now you know why you're probably not staying at my house on the cat-barf carpet, and why I seemed rude the last time you saw me, and why I'm pretty okay with being an introvert. It's not you. It's just how I am.

Sorry. I am awkard. Sorry.

For reals.


6 November 2018

I am feeling 62 kinds of =blech= today thanks to a headache that has all the feelings of an oncoming head cold. Last night I felt a little queasy, so I was pretty sure something was tomorrow I'll probably want to spend the day in bed begging for new sinuses and an embarrassing amount of chocolate that I won't be able to taste.

But. How icky I felt didn't really matter, because there was one thing that had to get done today.


There aren't really any reasons not to, people. Unless you're laid up in the hospital, there was an emergency, or you're genuinely affected by the current wave of active voter suppression happening in the U.S. right now, whatever comes out of your mouth about not bothering is an excuse, not a reason.

Just get it done.

It's painless. It's worth the wait in line. And when you're done, you get a free sticker.

Do it for the sticker, if nothing else.


5 November 2018

I spend a lot of time in Starbucks. I have a favorite table, some of the baristas know what I'm going to order before I open my mouth, and I recognize a lot of the regulars. I spend enough that I get a hell of a lot of freebies loaded onto my shiny gold Starbucks card, and I have been known to participate in a star dash or two or twenty.

I don't drink coffee, but I dig their tea and once in a while a Frappucino (with as little roast base as I can get, because I just never learned to like coffee.) (Also, they get a wee bit upset if you order a Frappe. That's McD's.)(Also also, learn the sizes there. It's not cute to refuse to say you want a tall, grande, venti, or trenta. No one cares if you hate the way they do it. Just make their job easier and do it the way their system is laid out. Otherwise you're gonna want a small and you're gonna get a grande.)

Yesterday Starbucks across the U.S. had a promotion: get a free red cup while supplies last, and until the end of the holidays, if you order a holiday drink after 2pm, you get 50 cents off.

People were lined up at opening, waiting to get their free red cup. Some stores received as few as 20 cups, based on (as far as I can tell) their typical sales patterns. Some got 50 or more. But within half an hour of opening, all the free cups had been given out.

Now, most people would have shrugged it off and said that it sucked, but, whatever.

I don't know what happened at the Starbucks I go to, because there's no way I'm getting there at opening. They open in the freaking middle of the night, when I'm usually offering the sleep fairy nasty things to come over and just do me. But as I surfed around online last night and read posts from the poor baristas who had to work during the cup give-away, way too many people lost their shit  when they didn't get a free cup.

We're not talking someone snapping at the poor kid at the cash register and blaming him or her. We're talking full on, meltdown temper tantrums of the unholy terror toddler scale.

One woman posted that there was a meltdown so spectacular at her store that other people in line chipped in to buy the guy a $2.50 red cup that would get him the same deal. A grown-assed man, screaming and yelling so badly that people chipped in cash to shut him the hell up and spare the barista any further abuse.

Over a cup.

A cup that, when the free ones were gone, were available for purchase for $2.50. Any real Starbucks customer realizes the potential for savings there. Five purchases and you've covered the cost. From then out, that 50 cent discount is all yours.

And then came this morning, when a bunch of the people who scored their free red cup wandered into their local Starbucks and demanded their 50 cents off...and threw tantrums because the deal is for after 2pm, not all day. And only for holiday themed drinks.

It was all right there in black and white for anyone to read.

"But y'all can't expect us to read that whole thing." Seriously, that was said, according to one tired barista.

Imagine the mindset of someone who can't be bothered to read literally two sentences. Or those who do and don't grasp that 2pm MEANS 2 pm and not before. Or someone who doesn't get what they want and screams until they damn near have a stroke.

And the thing that keeps crossing my mind: tomorrow the U.S. has midterm elections, and these people probably vote.

God help us all.


3 November 2018

I love Christmas. No secret there. I look forward to putting up the Whovimas tree and the TARDIS lights around the fireplace, and I love going around and seeing other peoples' yard decorations. I enjoy shopping for gifts, when I'm kind of -meh- about shopping any other time. I sing along to Christmas songs and every year Feliz Navidad gets stuck in my head for a least a week.

But's barely November.

I went over to Starbucks to get a little writing done, as I do most weekends, and they were already playing Christmas music. No, no, no, no, no. That chit needs to wait until Thanksgiving. I mean, start it ON Thanksgiving Day, like 6-8 pm after people have had dinner and are in a food coma, dreading the cleaning of the kitchen. Start it then and play it until New Year's Eve.

But not early November.

This early, it feels like punishment.

I got little work done in the 90 minutes I sat there. I finally gave up just as non-holiday music began pouring out of the speaker overhead, and headed for Walmart to pick something up for dinner.

Walmart felt like a relief.

That's just not right.


A writer's group I am a member of holds a "workshop" every year to cover issues in independent publishing. I put that in quotes because historically, little work gets done. The first three years it was held at Disneyland, and you can imagine how that went. The last two years it's been in Las Vegas (I did not go) and I understand it's been even less productive.

The last year it was at the Disneyland Hotel, on the night before the official start, a bunch of the attendees got together at the Rainforest Cafe, before I got there, there was drinking, there were words, and there was a bar fight.

It's the one thing I kinda wished I'd been there for.

The upcoming Indie Pub Panel will be, the organizer swear, vastly different. Individual panels will be structured. There will be an additional fee for each panel, the idea being that if people pay for it, they'll show up and do the work. There will be a dress code. It will be professional dammit.

It's being held at Disneyland again.

The person whose behavior started the bar fight was not, as promised, banned, and she'll be there again, her racist and homophobic rants surely on display. She's terrified of me for some inexplicable reason. I've never been mean to her. I've answered questions when she's directed them at me, and I've been polite.

I mean, I know what it is. She's got a pre-formed opinion about anyone with tattoos, and that I've had neon pink hair for every panel I've signed up for doesn't help.

All year, she's clamored for a panel that will teach indie publishers how to format for print using Adobe InDesign. She'll pay good money for that, because she's tired of paying other people to format her manuscripts, and there are always errors in them.

Guess who's been asked to head a panel tentatively titled: Formatting for Print with InDesign Made Super Simple?

Guess who agreed to do it?

Bets are now being taken (for real) on how quickly she asks for a refund.


I have the TV on for noise and Lottery Dream Home is playing on HGTV. It reminds me, I have a lottery ticket in my wallet I never checked. Granted, I know I didn't win the big one because 2 other people did, but there's a tiny, tiny chance I hit for something smaller. I should go check.




2 November 2018

With every manuscript, there are things that make me laugh out loud, even though I know they might not make it into the final draft. A lot of my favorite things wind up deleted...with the Wick After Dark books, sooo much got cut because it was all, frankly, way too dirty to stay in a book that wasn't erotica.

But it's the things that amuse me that get cut that I mourn.

At 3 am, this chit's funny.

With 3 Lemon Drops and 2 shots of Fireball, it's hysterical.'s an old, tired joke, but since it's coming out of a 3 year old, it just might make the cut.


1 November 2018

Oddz N Enz #874958628492.7x839/23

♦ I am so tired of political ads. So many packed into so little time, one right after the other, followed by 4 more...and I don't care what side they're on, they're all either lying or giving a minuscule sliver of truth taken totally out of context. Tuesday can't get here fast enough to that they're over.

♦ And in that vein.... If you're running for office and 95% of your commercial is dedicated to telling me everything your opponent is doing wrong, will do wrong, how stupid there are, you have already lost my vote. All that tells me is that your platform is not string enough to support the weight of your convictions, and you don't have the stones for the job.

♦ There are a couple of ad campaigns that drive me so nuts that I'm glad they're running for something in Sacramento and not here, because both major party candidates can't seem to do anything but whine and finger-point.

♦ I don't vote a straight-party ticket, so that wouldn't solve my being pissed off issues. I vote for the candidate I think will do the job the best, and there's one candidate running locally who is a registered Republican who has my vote.  Surprise.

♦ NaNoWriMo is underway, and I'm off to a decent start. 4,000+ words, so only 46,000 to go.
Favorite line from today
♦ We officially can no longer say the word "hungry" out loud because for the last million years we've asked the cats, "Are you hungry?" right before going into the kitchen to feed them. Max has known from the start what it means, but Buddah finally understands it, so now when he hears it he expects something. And he can whine like a two-year-old at ear splitting decibels until he gets what he wants.

♦ There's a farking annoying fly in the house, and both cats just watch it go by. Eat the damn fly, furball.

♦ That damned fly is going to wind up in the bedroom 5 seconds before I go to bed, and it'll spend the rest of the night buzz-bombing my head.

♦ Useless cats...