I also got a raise! Only a small one, but even so. And what's nicer is that it's retroactive to June 1 (because our owner is an organized human being, really, I swear...) so I have a paper check I get to cash tomorrow. Yay unexpected extra money!
In news from my other job, today I finished one of my two tax update courses, and have registered for three live in-person continuing education classes, one of which is tomorrow night. The other two are next week, and I need to ask Miss Cactus whether she's willing to swap my Tuesday shift for her shift on either Monday or Friday, since the courses all start at 6pm and I work until 7pm on Tuesdays. (Failing that, I will ask Mom Boss if I can leave early that day.)
Continuing education requirements for tax preparers are 18 credit hours per year, allocated as follows: 13 federal tax law, 2 ethics, and 3 tax updates. You can, of course, take more than the minimum. I have currently finished 2 credits of tax law and 2 credits of tax updates. The three live courses will knock off another 9 credits of tax law, I have the second 2 credit tax update course ready to do whenever (probably Friday or Saturday), and the ethics and another 2 credits of tax law won't be too hard to knock off.
Then, of course, there are the New York state requirements, but I will deal with those in November. :)
Some of her teachers have requested Kleenex donations, so I can take those at the same time.
Cordelia has an appointment at 5:45, so we won't have time to waste on the way home. I wish the bus website was actually reliable about the bus that goes between Skyline and downtown. There are two or three different route variants (I've seen the A and C. I'm assuming there must be a B).
We'll get home from the appointment just in time to have friends over at 7:00.
I need to figure out a way to get myself to bed earlier in the evening. Scott and Cordelia really, really want me to watch TV with them which pushes getting ready for bed to 9:00 at which point, Cordelia generally wants to shower. I think that what I need to do is to get a second tube of toothpaste and to keep that and my toothbrush and bite splint in the kitchen so that I don't have to wait for her to get to done to be able to deal with that bit of my routine.
I still have the problem that 8:00 or 9:00 is the point when my writing brain suddenly turns itself on with great enthusiasm. Given that I can't get my body to nap, I have a choice between sleep and writing that's pretty frustrating.
I mean, at least I will get paid for the extra twenty minutes I stayed? But holy gods, argh argh and above all, argh.
(The bathroom, incidentally, was an easy fix. All it takes is a judiciously applied paperclip! But I had to go apply the fix in person because apparently tenants are bad at comprehending verbal explanations at 9am when they really need to pee. (To be fair, I probably would be as well.))
On the bright side, I got a two-hour tax continuing education course finished before Mom Boss dumped the never-ending leases on me, so that's something.
I posted a story for weissvsaiyuki today. I still have four WIP that I would love to complete for the challenge, but I don't know if I'll manage any of them.
Title: One More Folded Sunset
Fandom: Weiss Kreuz
Pairing: Crawford/Schuldig, background Crawford/Manx
Tags: Implied/referenced rape/non-con, Implied/referenced torture, Alternate universe - canon divergence, Alternate universe - dark, Ambiguous/open ending, Amnesia
//Brad, where the fuck are we?// Once he was sure he had a connection to Brad’s mind, he opened his eyes. He felt safer that way.
//Schuldig? I wasn’t— No. That’s not true.// Brad sounded uncertain, fragmented even, in a way that scared Schuldig even more than the odd landscape and his inability to stop walking. //The hill doesn’t look that big, but it will probably take you another half an hour to get here. Things… stretch. Sort of. You’re being watched. She can’t hear when we talk like this, but she’s watching, and she’ll hear if you speak out loud. I’d come to meet you, but… I can’t. I’ll explain when you get here.//
Schuldig knew Brad well enough to know when he was lying. You’re not going to explain anything. Well, we’ve been there before. I’ll get it one way or another. He rubbed his face with one hand. Why don’t I remember anything to explain this?
The story at AO3.
- Roy Dotricehttps://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/
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I'm not sure why my body wasn't willing to sleep. Scott and I took a moderately long walk, a bit more than an hour, around north campus yesterday. It would have been longer, but it started to pour, and we had to run for the car. I need to hack ten more new to me Ingress portals in order to get the silver badge for that. I'm entirely sure that I can find those on north campus. I just need to drag myself out there for it.
Maybe later today if I manage a nap.
Scott and Cordelia are both having trouble getting their phones to charge. Scott has to wiggle the connection until the charging starts and then not jostle it at all or it will stop. Cordelia's just having problems with the cord in the living room. Scott really needs to replace his phone, but we can't afford it.
The wetness has been a pleasure to the three quiet toads who live in our garden, at least. They are Big, Middle and Little, and like to lurk under damp things - leaves or the edges of the old lily-bowl. (Garden is a bit of exaggeration - there's a small paved yard, and in the corner a quadrant of earth, about a metre/four foot in radius. Not big, but big enough for three toads.)
There was a break in the weather on Sunday, and we took advantage of it to take a walk through the back lanes, and as it happened, found ourselves passing the Water Temple complex - it's not a big complex, but one with a long history, and with two temples, and multiple side-altars and shrines. It was marking a great day of some sort - the day wasn't in itself especially auspicious in the general calendar, so I think possibly the festival ceremonies were for particular community or family occasions, such as an upcoming marriage - there was a young couple front-and-centre in the side temple - but then again it's just over a week since the birthday/translation day of Princess Steadfast Jade, who is linked (if I've got my history and translations right) to this temple, and possibly it was just her celebration happening late. (It may have been two different events just happening in both temples at the same time, too.)
Anyway, everything was very splendid, with big paper horses and paper elephants and slightly smaller paper boats with dragon prows, and multitudes of paper guards and attendants, some with swords and some with cymbals, and of course real people as well... :) Most of the horses were lined up in front of the central temple, but the side temple had one horse and one elephant and one boat; the paper attendants were too many to count (ie while behaving properly, as opposed to standing up and craning!) in both places. In the central temple there were preparatory prayers going on when we first arrived, and then later the shaman/priest began to embody different personas, with different costumes and characteristics - the Forest Princess who dances, the General who declares, with swordplay, his determination to see justice, and so on. Meanwhile, in the side-temple, a scholar/priest was reading and chanting and striking a wooden bell, while people sat quietly and listened.
And here are some photos! :)
The elephant stands proudly with eight horses in front of the central temple. Every horse has a groom, but the sage elephant stands alone. :)
Mandarins and Generals and advisors as attendants in the side temple. (The thing that looks like an airconditioning duct is a snake - snakes wind around through the rafters.)
Musicians and ladies-in-waiting and a Queen (?) stand in attendance on the left-hand side of the side-temple; the side-altar is like a cave because the Mother-Goddess devotion is very nature-linked, very much seen in terms of mountains and forests.
I think I do have to get out of bed. It's a terrible idea, but it's better than lying here, looking at the ceiling.
I ended up ordering a cup of soup and two sides, asparagus and sweet potato fries. The soup wasn't edible by me, and Scott didn't care for it either. The menu said 'butternut-apple bisque,' and I couldn't taste either apples or butternut squash. It went more toward the savory end of flavor, and I couldn't place the herbs, so I didn't force myself to eat more than a couple of spoonfuls. I was concerned that the soup contained something that would make me sick. The restaurant ended up removing the soup from our bill. We hadn't asked them to. I'd have been cranky about spending $4 on a cup of inedible soup, but I did order it, so...
I also got dessert, banana cheesecake. It was recognizably cheesecake, but even though I could see banana chunks, I couldn't taste the banana at all. Scott tried it and also couldn't taste the banana, so I'm again puzzled. I think that, when something with a particular flavor is in the name, it's weird not to be able to taste even a trace of that in the food.
Cordelia's only comment about the dance was that it was loud and that the music was terrible. I'm not sure if the latter refers to sound quality or to song choice.
Scott's parents have reserved a house for a family vacation next summer. They didn't consult with us about potential conflicts first but did consult Scott's brother and sister, so we're a bit puzzled. We won't know for at least another month whether or not Scott can get that time off, and I'm pretty sure that the timing will mean that Cordelia couldn't do choir camp even if she wanted to. (Though Scott thinks the location of the house is actually kind of near Interlochen.) Scott's parents have promised to 'help' us with the costs but want us to tell them how much we can afford to pay. Which is both reasonable and burdensome because Scott finds it shaming.
To be honest, I'm not sure we can afford anything but gas money and our share of the groceries. I'm not convinced that Scott will be able to tell his parents that. He was able to say, months ago, that we couldn't go because we couldn't afford it. Now, we can't just not do it. We have to figure out what we can scrape together and ask for the rest. I understand why Scott's parents want everyone there. They're both 75 (and will be 76 next summer), and their oldest grandchild is 18 and in college. The odds of getting him to come to future family vacations aren't really all that great. The odds of Scott's parents being up to such a vacation in three years, five years, ten years... Yeah.
Is it weird that I feel that 'tell us what you can afford, and we'll cover the rest' is more embarrassing than 'because you can't afford it, we'll cover the expenses'?
Firstly, this dark, atmospheric, wartime story with layers upon layers and stunningly good style:
J'attendrai (1479 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Original Work
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: 1940s Resistance Fighter/Glamorous Wartime Singer
Characters: 1940s Resistance Fighter, Glamorous Wartime Singer
Additional Tags: Love in a Dangerous Time
The sadness of having to wait, the sweetness of having someone to wait for...
And then this, which is just sheer fun:
The Pirate and the Mermaid (8628 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Original Work
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Original Female Character(s)
Additional Tags: Mermaids, Pirates, Supernatural Elements, Cultural Differences, Shipwrecks
"Of course," said Charlie pettishly. As if she was just a stupid kid, asking stupid questions. "How was I supposed to know? You're the first mermaid I've ever met."
"Well, you're the first woman-with-legs I've ever met!" snapped the mermaid.
Note: Three months late, but look! I wrote a thing! :D Also, insofar as this has a canon setting, it's in a happy future sometime post-Defenders.
( With Only Mild Complaining )
And now I will go eat lunch. :)
Scott has managed to repair the bathroom sink. It wasn't exactly broken, but the stopper had broken, so we had a gaping hole down the drain. Now, we have a strainer in place. There's no longer a way to seal the basin, but that's not generally something we've wanted, so I don't think it will matter.
Skyline's homecoming dance is tonight. Cordelia's going with a group of friends. They're planning to get dinner first at some place that we've not previously heard of. Scott's driving them to the restaurant and from there to the high school. He's not supposed to have dinner in the same place as they do, but he needs to stay nearby in order to retrieve them when they're done. I can't go along because there will be four kids to wedge into the car somehow. Scott plus three is comfortable. Scott plus four is... feasible. Scott plus five is impossible.
It's a pity because it would be really nice for me and Scott to be able to get dinner out together tonight. The dance starts too late for that to be feasible after it begins. Him coming home to get me or to bring carryout is theoretically possible, timing wise, but we have no idea how long the kids will take, and I think it would be good if Scott were nearby in case one of the kids doesn't have enough cash (they're 13/14 years old).
The dance is 'semi-formal,' and tickets are $28 each (not per pair but each). I have no idea what that money is paying for. Gold plated paper plates? Silk ribbons instead of paper? It's not like they're paying a band.
What should I get him, or recommend to him? The less money I need to spend, the better. (Though I assume pointing him at Amazon Music's $0.00 dramatic reading of the KJV is cheating.)
Wilson then dived off the railing and under Upstairs Neighbor E's bicycle, where he proceded to make continuous upset noises while the stranger prowled silently along the railing and scented my windowframe.
I attempted to see if Wilson wanted rescue, but he swiped at me. Then I attempted to shoo the stranger cat away, but it swiped at me in turn.
Wilson was very polite about the swiping -- soft paws, no claws. The stranger made me bleed in seven places.
I went inside to clean and disinfect my wounds, after which I returned to see if Wilson was feeling any better/safer. The stranger cat was gone, but Wilson was still on edge, and swiped at me even though I approached very slowly and never got within two feet of him. So I went back inside again and applied a bandaid to the one cut that hadn't stopped bleeding.
When I returned to the porch a third time, Wilson was once again feeling relaxed. He came into the foyer as I opened the door, meowed in greeting, and asked for petting. So I scratched behind his ears for a couple minutes, before he decided it was time to head upstairs and find his people.
I've heard similar noises from the porch occasionally over the past month, and now I wonder if this is an ongoing conflict between Wilson and the stranger...
I know perfectly well that the thing I need to do when that starts is to go and sit upright for 30 to 60 minutes before I try to lie down again. It's just very hard to get myself to do that when I'm utterly exhausted and desperate for sleep. I think I finally managed to sleep about 3 a.m., and I really couldn't get myself out of bed when it was time to get up to help Cordelia get ready for school. I have no idea what would have happened if Scott hadn't been able to step in at that point. I'd probably have managed somehow. I just have no idea how.
Scott came back to bed after walking Cordelia to the bus stop. We both slept another four hours. I'd have liked to sleep longer, but I had a horrible headache and knew that I needed to get up to take my medications. I still have the headache, and I can't tell if it's due to lack of sleep, due to menstrual stuff, due to stress, or due to something else I haven't thought of. I've taken naproxen and have had caffeine. I've also eaten. Cordelia has an appointment in two hours, so I don't think that a nap is going to be possible.
One is either T or M rated and complete, but I think the ending is weak and possibly too rapid. I'd like a second opinion on it. The story is dark. I'm trying to end with a glimmer of hope, but that's one of the things I'm not sure even vaguely works.
The second is somewhere between one third and three quarters done. I'm at a point where I have to make a story decision and can't get myself to because none of the options quite work for me. I'm pretty sure I'm missing something. I'm not sure where to put the rating on this one-- Probably T for now with the possibility of it going upward depending on where it goes from here. Right now, it's gen (but could be read as Crawford and Schuldig being involved off screen. Or not), and I'm not planning to change that, but...
The third is E rated and potentially squicky due to noncon. I think it's half done. At about 2000 words in (out of about 3400 currently), it took a sudden left turn from PWP into character development that I think is not consistent with the first part of the story. I'm just too close to the story to be able to tell for sure, and I want a second opinion on that and on whether I should axe the character development to go back to the PWP or rewrite the first part to support the character development.
Anyway, I have been absurdly exhausted this week, but as always I am unsure how much of that is the medication and how much is my generally terrible sleep patterns. However, I have noticed that I've been sleeping... not badly, exactly, but more lightly/less deeply? Also having more weird dreams, or at least more weird dreams that I remember because I'm just awake/aware enough to notice them as they happen. And I am pretty sure that part is a medication side-effect.
Anyway, I am trying a new policy of going the fuck to bed by 11pm every night. I have not had great luck imposing bedtimes on myself in the past, but I think part of the problem is that my previous bedtime attempts have been more in the nature of "if you are still up at this hour, something has gone Terribly Wrong and you must initiate Emergency Sleep Protocols immediately" and by the time I've reached that point, I am so tired I can't make good decisions anymore so I just stay up even later. I figure 11pm is early enough to avoid that pitfall, and also making my cutoff happen before midnight avoids another mental pitfall of "oh well it's tomorrow already; I might as well stay up another hour." So fingers crossed, I guess.
Tangentially, today I failed to give blood for the second month in a row, because I am a little bit under the Red Cross's minimum acceptable hemoglobin levels -- not to the point where I'm medically anemic, but still. I wonder if that might be a medication side-effect as well, and/or if it's contributing to my tiredness. I have been having some minor gastrointestinal issues that could mean I'm not getting as many nutrients from food as usual, in which case supplements might be worth looking into...