tsaiko: Brown cat in brown box staring at camera with the word "What?" above him. (cat in box)
I have the galley for my book to review which means I only have to read this story ONE MORE TIME before it's published. I'm sure I'll find some minor typo. They seem to multiply when I'm not looking. I am so sick of reading/rereading this story at this point. But! It will be published May 1st and then I'll be done with it. If I don't write a couple of short scenes about the characters afterwards. No promises.

I have the option of doing a dedication. I'm seriously thinking of doing one to Editing cat, who so helpfully sat in front of my screen every time I had to work on the book. Thanks cat.

The book can be preordered here. Which makes me nervous. I don't know why. The point is for people to buy the book and yet I am nervous about people buying the book. Sigh. Anxiety, why you gotta be like this?

There is the possibility I will not bake bread today. I didn't realize how low on flour I was, especially given the baking I did yesterday. I do have bread flour though, so I'm looking to see if there's a good recipe using bread flour. I have a possibility so we shall see.
tsaiko: Gif of a lemming falling off an edge (Default)
I decided that I wanted something sweet in the house, and found out that Miome could have pound cake. Of course, I had to make pound cake. Although really, it should be called 1/2 pound cake since I halved the recipe in order to fit it in one pan. The only thing I did to the traditional recipe - equal weights butter, sugar, eggs, and flour - was add 2 tsp of almond extract and make almond glaze. It is delicious.

For dinner tonight I'll probably make biscuits so we can have it with ham and veggies. Then I need to make bread tomorrow for the next week. So much baking.


Sunday, April 14th, 2019 12:01 pm
tsaiko: Gif of a lemming falling off an edge (Default)
I hate doing taxes. Especially since I switched jobs, got unemployment, and was self-employed all in the same year, so I knew they were going to be complicated. So what have I done? Waited until the day before they are due to do them. I R SMART!
tsaiko: Gif of a lemming falling off an edge (Default)
Why yes, 4:49pm on a Thursday is the perfect time to start cutting a large chunk of asphalt out from the middle of my street. I am absolutely sure you will be done cutting and repairing that piece of pavement by 5:00pm when you decide your workday is over and go home. You certainly won't leave a big hole surrounded by orange traffic cones to be dealt with tomorrow. Or possibly Monday. Not at all.


Sunday, April 7th, 2019 03:47 pm
tsaiko: Gif of a lemming falling off an edge (Default)
And we managed to lock ourselves out of the house. $175 later we're back inside our own property. Yeah.

(no subject)

Monday, April 1st, 2019 08:18 pm
tsaiko: Gif of a lemming falling off an edge (Default)
You know, when I took my current job, I never knew I would be explaining how rounding works to a lawyer. I guess you don't need to pass basic math to get a law degree.
tsaiko: Gif of a lemming falling off an edge (Default)
We have a couple of local political races going on, which means we frequently (and by frequently, I mean about once a week or so) get people coming to the door either to drop off flyers or chat about the candidate. Our town has a no soliciting policy. There is an exemption for political candidate and their volunteers though.

A mom and her son (I'd say maybe 7 or so) were putting flyers on everyone's door. Mom let the kid go up our neighbors stairs to put something on her door. I saw that much. Neighbor came to the door and starts yelling at them about how they can't solicit in town. Mom tries to explain they are with a political candidate. No dice. Then neighbor takes offense that the kid must have stepped on her lawn because she starts yelling about how mom needs to control her kid, this is her property, they need to keep walking, etc. Mom leaves after about few minutes to continue putting flyers on people's doors. Neighbor lady then stands on her stoop and continue to yell down the street at the woman and her kid for a good 10 minutes. I can hear everything because I have the windows open due to the nice weather.

Then she proceeds to stare from her stoop at everything going on in the neighborhood for another several minutes. We decide to leave for lunch once she goes back inside and she comes back out to stare at us as we leave.

We dodged her yesterday, which I'm pretty sure she was not happy with. Too bad. The local storm sewer company is doing construction right in front of our next door neighbor's house and parking has been... tight because of it. I'm pretty sure she wanted to talk about considering she parked her car almost (but not quite) blocking our driveway. I called out that we were heading to dinner and we left.

I'll be so glad when construction is over. I wish she would just go back to ignoring us.
tsaiko: Gif of a lemming falling off an edge (Default)
The bread I baked last week was gone by Tuesday. Which is to say, Miome was so glad to have good tasting bread she could eat that she devoured the loaf. So this weekend I went with the recipe I usually make because it makes two loaves of bread. Hopefully this will last us the whole week.

I also met with a financial planner through my job and was able to lay out all the retirement stuff I've been doing on my own. He was impressed. In fact, he told me "You seem to have this figured out and thought through. What do you want me to do?" Um... be an extra set of eyes? He gave me a few suggestions, but overall said I was in a good place. Considering I've had 5 jobs in the last five years, yeah me? It was nice to hear that I'm doing OK though.

I did ask him if he had any advice on getting a parent to make a will. I love my mom, but she's being stubborn about this. My sibling and I have gently hinted, but she seems to think we'll just split everything evenly. Well, yes, we will, but now I know that in the state she lives in, there's a good chance it will need to go to probate court before we can do that. Which is a pain. I got some advice, but it looks like I'll just keep chipping away.


(no subject)

Sunday, March 17th, 2019 06:10 pm
tsaiko: Orange and white cat in a shark shaped cat bed (cat in shark)
My author profile is now up at LT3, and holy shit, I was in a mood when I wrote this thing. If I remember right I had been laid off from my job a month earlier, the unemployment office was being a pain, and I was going nuts sitting in my house every day. I just went full tilt with my weird sense of humor.

For those curious, author profile here.

Baking bread

Saturday, March 16th, 2019 11:07 am
tsaiko: Gif of a lemming falling off an edge (Default)
Miome has had to go on a special diet for medical reasons, and can't eat preservatives. Guess what is chock full of preservatives? Bread. Luckily, I enjoy baking bread and am good at it. So today is going to be split between finishing edits and baking bread.

I was going to use one of my go-to recipes (Walter Sands' Basic white bread if you were wondering) but I am out of dry milk. I wound up doing the this recipe instead. I much prefer Walter's recipe because I can use honey instead of sugar. I usually use buckwheat honey, which is very strong, so it gives it a more complex flavor that ye old sandwich bread. It's still not my absolute favorite recipe, but I honestly didn't feel like dealing with soaking oats or making two loaves instead of one today. Besides Miome wanted white bread.

Work was super, super busy all this week so I have not had the brain for anything else. I've hit a wall on writing the worse thing I have ever written. I was expecting that. I was not expecting to get 58,000 words done on it before I hit that wall though. I am impressed with myself.

I have reviewed the cover and blurb for a book that got accepted last year. Need to review the author's bio, a few other things, and then get the edits done. May 1st is the drop date for it. I'm still a bit in disbelief that it's happening.
tsaiko: Brown cat in brown box staring at camera with the word "What?" above him. (cat in box)
Best comment I left for my editor during the last rewrite of this story:

“Decided that I hadn’t stabbed enough people in the feels so I reworked this section."

Also, editing cat has reported for duty now that I've put a blanket on the desk. He was very unhappy that it was not already in place. He also keeps trying to steal my chair every time I get up, because cats.

Not again...

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 05:21 pm
tsaiko: Gif of a lemming falling off an edge (Default)
Some of you who followed me since LJ might remember I had an issue with my email address. Basically, it boiled down to some lady in Indiana (which was weird, because when it started, I lived in Indiana) had a very similar name to me and kept using my email address when registering/purchasing things. This led to me knowing about her vacation in France, when she ordered pizza, and (most disturbingly) her kids Little League baseball schedule. I was finally able to reach out to the Little League and get them to ask her to PLEASE stop using my email as I now knew way, way, way too much about her life.

Guess what? It's happening again. Except instead of the email using my real name, it's for my Tsaiko gmail account. I now have a reservation confirmation from Japan Airlines for a Japanese lady in my inbox. It's all in Japanese. There's another email associated with it that I could forward it to, but I don't speak Japanese. I don't know how to tell this lady that she had accidentally used my email address.

I just... I can't believe this is happening again. In the exact same way. The last multi-year email problem started with receiving a confirmation email from the airlines.

My life.


Monday, March 4th, 2019 08:59 pm
tsaiko: Orange and white cat in a shark shaped cat bed (cat in shark)
The worst thing about being in a relatively specialized field, is that when there's a job released to recruiters, every Tom, Dick, and Harry reaches out to me to see if I'm interested. I have been emailed, messaged on LinkedIn, called, and even texted by no less than seven recruiters for the same job. A contract job, I might add, with no benefits and requiring about 6 years less experience than I currently have.

No, I'm not interested and no, I will not pass on your contact information if you won't give me a salary range.
tsaiko: Gif of a lemming falling off an edge (Default)
It appears neighbor lady is back to believing we should be the best of neighbors, despite our attempts to keep her at arms length. The husband (who is a nice guy) has a vehicle. Said vehicle has an alarm on it. This alarm goes off regularly, usually at 2am in the morning. Yesterday, it went off mid-afternoon. And kept going... and going... and going.

Miome decided to go over and let them know "Hey, you're vehicle alarm is going off." First, because she thought maybe they didn't realize it was their alarm. And second, because she was hoping to shame them into not just letting it go off for 15 minutes at a time.

Well, neighbor lady decided to come knock on our door today and caught me (Miome was in the bathroom). She went on this long tangent about how she knew it was neighbor kid who tried to break into her husband's vehicle the day before and to thank us for telling so that she could go to the police. In fact, it was neighbor kid that tried to break into our cars a few years ago (an incident we never could confirm actually happened).

Couple issues with this:

- Neighbor kid hasn't lived here in years. He use to hang out with his group of friends in their yard and cruise up/down the street. No more. I'm not sure I could pick him out if my life depended on it. I do now know that neighbor lady was always annoyed by the teenagers because she mentioned about five times how they were always getting into trouble.

- We didn't see anyone around the vehicle. In fact, Miome looked out the window before she went over and confirmed that it was just going off with no one around.

- Miome never said anything about anyone touching the vehicle to neighbor lady. I asked and she was baffled where this came from.

Yeah. She also went off about how this is why neighbors should look out for each other. Over. And over. So, it looks like we're back to being on speaking terms with neighbor lady.

I'm thrilled. Really. -_-


Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 06:29 am
tsaiko: Gif of a lemming falling off an edge (Default)
My office is closed because of the impending snowstorm. Only, I'm awake and... there's no snow? Like none? Not even a artistic flake falling from the sky? I'll be teleworking today regardless because the office is closed. But I feel a bit cheated and a bit uneasy because my brain is like "Why are we not in the office? We could be more productive in the office. There's nothing out there." I have to remind it that just because there's nothing now doesn't mean it will be fine in an hour.

Also, the birdening has begun. I woke up this morning to a bird singing outside my window. I hate this time of year so much. Even knowing that the only reason the birds sing so early in the morning is because they live in an urban environment and human noise masks their songs if they don't sing early doesn't lessen my rage towards them.
tsaiko: Gif of a lemming falling off an edge (Default)
I have crossed the 50,000 word mark on the worse thing I have ever written. So I'm half-way done. I expect writing on this to slow down (and have, in fact, planned on such a thing). There are 18 chapters outlined so far. My original plan was for 20 chapters. That's what the goal word count (100,000) is for, with each chapter consisting of 2 scenes. So far I've been sticking to that template in the initial draft. I think I know how this is going to end. I might go ahead and outline out those last two chapters before too much longer.

Once I get to about April, I expect I'll start using my daily word counts to go back in and start editing. I often edit before I finish the whole work. I'm holding off doing it here because I want as much of the main story line done as I can get. At the same time, as my daily word goals decrease, I'll get frustrated if I can only write a couple hundred words at a time on the main story line. I'm still working on where the balance point is. That's why I'm doing a terrible story for this. Who cares if I never make it something good? That's not the point.

Also, I have discovered that all the years of reading fanfiction have really influenced how I write sex scenes. I have to say its for the better. I can tell the difference even if no one else can't.


Thursday, February 14th, 2019 05:53 pm
tsaiko: Gif of a lemming falling off an edge (Default)
Managed to dodge across the street neighbor while leaving the house for dinner. She was waving like she wanted us to stop and talk, and I waved back like I thought she was just saying "hi." I'm kind of hoping that she doesn't come to the door. I just do not have the mental bandwidth to listen to her ramble about something (I'm sure it'll be about how we're not neighborly enough or possibly about how we're not doing something to our house up to her standards) for an hour tonight. I have neither the time nor the patience to deal with this woman on the best of days.

(no subject)

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019 08:56 pm
tsaiko: Brown cat in brown box staring at camera with the word "What?" above him. (cat in box)
Miome has put "Videos for Cats to Watch" on her laptop and let it running. It's a video of various birds coming up to eat a pile of seeds in front of a camera. My cats are fascinated. Every time a bird flies away, they look around the room to see where it went. The youngest cat stepped on the keyboard trying to get to the birds. I had to restart the video.

The cats are entertained and so am I.

(no subject)

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 07:28 pm
tsaiko: Gif of a lemming falling off an edge (Default)
No writing tonight because I am baking a cake for a potluck at work tomorrow (because I didn't go to the store this weekend and felt like crap on Monday). I'm hoping I got it in the oven soon enough so I'm not up at 11:30pm waiting for this thing to finish baking. I think I did. I hope I did.

The cake shall not be a lie.

(no subject)

Saturday, February 9th, 2019 02:09 pm
tsaiko: Gif of a lemming falling off an edge (Default)
The work on the WORSE THING I HAVE EVER WRITTEN continues. I am now almost 44,000 words into this and it is hilarious to me how bad it is. I'm still enjoying writing it and will definitely recommend the software I am using to track the pacing. It works really, really well for my style of writing. I don't know what I'll do at the end of this story. Revise it? Cannibalize it for scenes/ideas? Its so bad.

Dinner tonight will be homemade chicken noodle soup. Right now I'm making the stock from a bag in the freezer full of what I so helpfully labelled "chicken bits." It's basically skin, spines, and those little bags of giblets from the last 4-5 times I spatchcocked a chicken and roasted it. Added to it were some tiny carrots from the CSA and the leftover bones from the last roasted chicken. I threw in some bay, salt & pepper, some dried onions, and the few cloves of garlic we had left in the fridge. Bring to boil and then simmer for two hours. Homemade chicken stock! I'll add the dark meat chicken, egg noodles, and chopped up celery/onions/carrots when I cook the noodles in the broth to make soup.

I also pulled a bag of corn I froze from when the CSA gave us an abundance of sweet corn in the summer and put that in the fridge. I'll probably have it with some of the chicken next week and a salad for dinner.
tsaiko: Brown cat in brown box staring at camera with the word "What?" above him. (what)
So... my cats.

Surgery went fine. The two older ones were dopey and wobbly most of the rest of yesterday. I was supposed to feed them many small meals. Which I tried to do. Except I had the youngest cat's food out (see icon for cuteness), covered it, put it on a table where I figured the two dopey ones couldn't get to it, and went to the bathroom for 90 seconds. I'm sure you can see where this is going? When I came back out the older two had managed to uncover it and were eating it like starving wolves. They are back on their usual feeding schedule today.

The problem is that because they went to the vet, they smell funny. So youngest cat is all "Why did you bring these two strangers into my house?!?!" Creamsicle cat, who doesn't always get along with youngest cat on the best of days, is like "Why is this young upstart being so nasty with me?!?!?!" Meanwhile, anxiety cat (aka the tuxedo) is anxious because OMG FIGHTING IS HAPPENING. SOMETHING MUST BE TRYING TO EAT ME.

Which means we've had to separate them temporarily. Youngest cat is in the master bedroom. Creamsicle cat is in the hall. Anxiety cat going between the two places. I've moved a blanket with youngest cat's scent that I know the cats love out into the hall and sure enough Creamsicle cat is on it. I've also got the door cracked so they can see/smell each other without trying to commit murder. We'll do this for the next few days as I go through the motions of "introducing" them to each other.

It's ridiculous that I have to do this every time one of them goes to the vet, but there you are. They've lived with each other for three years now. You'd think they would remember than for longer than 24 hrs when separated, but no.


(no subject)

Friday, February 1st, 2019 03:22 pm
tsaiko: Orange and white cat in a shark shaped cat bed (cat in shark)
Cats have been retrieved from vet. They are wobbly right now, but doing well. Neither had to have teeth removed. Just cleaning. Somehow creamsicle cat (as seen in my icon) still managed to cost more even though they both had the exact procedure done.

Youngest cat is completely baffled by the older two's wobbliness. He's retreated to the top of the bed to watch with concern.

(no subject)

Friday, February 1st, 2019 09:12 am
tsaiko: Orange and white cat in a shark shaped cat bed (cat in shark)
It was not supposed to snow this morning. So of course, what does it do? Snow.

I had to take the cats into the vet's office for their scheduled dental surgery this morning. It was the two older ones. Neither was particularly happy, but we a) used the soft sided carrier which is less stressful for them and b) gave them anxiety medication before hand. That helped tremendously. Little fuss.

Now I get to wait around at home until I can go retrieve them. I'm glad now I took the day off. After a week of being social at the conference, I need the break.

(no subject)

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019 04:20 pm
tsaiko: Gif of a lemming falling off an edge (Default)
Going to the conference today reminded me that I really, really suck at small talk.

Except for the lady who sat next to me at lunch. We got in a great discussion about bird banding, using outdated software to handle millions of records, and how we both feel like you half-way need to be a programmer to do thing in GIS these days. She was awesome.

I would have stayed longer, but I seem to have developed a migraine. Yeah. On the bright side, I came home just in time to miss the worst of the snow.

We'll see how long I can stand the light coming off the monitor before my headache gets too bad for even that.

Who am I?

tsaiko: Gif of a lemming falling off an edge (Default)

April 2019

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