Thursday, December 29, 2011

Something a little bit lighter

I'm taking a break between planning. I've got the big stuff done, now it's onto boring stuff like the grocery shopping list. Boring, but necessary. So something that made me *giggle!SNORT*

The Bloggess has started watching Doctor Who

Okay, back to getting stuff done.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Goals for 2012

Lessons learned from 2011’s Goals: I need to find my doable point before I can stretch beyond that. While I like the yearly plan and will keep it, I’m going to break it down to what I can accomplish in a month. Carrying the metaphor of Big Rocks, the monthly goals are my Boulders, things to finish in a week are the Big Rocks, and daily chores become the Pebbles. I’m also crossing fingers and hoping that the monthly focus will change some things into daily habits.

The big topics this year: Monetary concerns, taking health seriously, spirituality practice, incorporating writing into my life more fully, and getting non-anxious over submissions.

Monetary Concerns
  • Specific: Follow the budget set up by the CC Fairy.
  • Measurable: Update Quicken every day.
  • Action-oriented: Do the exercise assigned by the CC Fairy. Due on January 20th: a spending diary and reports on my spending habits.
  • Realistic: Prioritize spending:
    1. Food
    2. Gasoline
    3. Utilities
    4. Mortgage
    5. Chase Student Loan
    6. Family Loans
    7. All other loans
  • Trackable: Update NetWorthIQ badge every month.
    • Update the zero-balance budget spreadsheet each month.
Take health seriously
  • Specific: Follow Primal guidelines on food and exercise
  • Measurable: Weigh every morning
    • Take body measurements once-a-week
  • Action-oriented: Exercise every day.
  • Realistic: Lose 4 pounds by next check-up with Dr. Miller
  • Trackable: Keep a food diary and measurements at FitDay.com
    • Fill out the workout log book every day I exercise and show progress at Joe's Goals
Spirituality Practice
  • Specific: Carve out sacred space in my house where I can store the tools and conduct rituals.
  • Measurable: Read 365 Goddess.
  • Action-oriented: Create a new Book of Shadows
  • Realistic: Celebrate the Sabbats.
  • Trackable: Journal exercises and Sabbat rituals in the Book of Shadows.
Fiction Writing
  • Specific: Finish Stellar Gift of Death
    • Edit “Words of Parting”
    • Edit “Blue Man on the Porch”
    • World building for the steampunk mystery
    • World building for Piper of Shadows universe
    • World building for Zy’s universe
    • Edit Forget the Sun for Mez’s 2012 project.
    • Write 2000 words a week and pick out a new project once Stellar is finished.
  • Measurable: Post the weekly total at DUF using the Writertopia progress bar.
  • Action-oriented: Dedicate at least 30 minutes on a writing project every day.
  • Realistic: Write what I feel like I can’t not write.
  • Trackable: Each story has a marathon tracker of its own, and metrics are posted every day at DUF.
Submitting more stories
  • Specific: Submit to three markets.
  • Measurable: Enter submissions into Sonar 3
  • Action-oriented: Look for 12 markets.
  • Realistic: Look for email markets.
  • Trackable: Note how anxious I am about the submission in Sonar3.
So now to break down to what Boulders I want to do in January.

January Boulders
  • Due on January 20th: a spending diary and reports on my spending habits.
  • Start reading 365 Goddess
  • Research for Imbolc celebrations on Feb. 2
  • Self-assessment for exercising.
  • Take measurements on Jan. 1st
  • Finish Stellar Gift of Death
Changes to make on my Pebbles list:
  • Write 15 minutes x 2
  • Exercise every day and track what is done
  • Update Quicken every day
Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Results For My Lofty 2011 Goals

How do I think I did with all the SMART goals I outlined for this year? Truthfully, I don’t see any progress on all the fronts I tried to attack. Some I ignored completely, which carried over to how I ignored writing this post over the holiday break. My willpower petered out for doing anything on my list and I ended up watching BBC series of Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries made in the 70’s (and 90% accurate to the books).

Let’s see what I managed to accomplish.

Show progress on paying off debt load
  • Specific: Follow budget every month. I tried, but picking myself up when I fell off the rails proved to be a barrier. I’m too close, I want to take care of the here and now annoyance, and usually go off the rails due to frustration. 2012 tweak: The next exercise the Credit Counselor and I will do is to set up a budget I can live on and make headway with. I’m hoping it’ll trigger I’m-getting-graded-for-this behavior in me.
  • Measurable: Update Quicken every day. Now this I think I have finally beat. As long as I don’t go over 15 minutes a day, I haven’t shoved it aside as the dreaded chore and let it build up until I have no idea what’s going on. 2012 tweak: Maintain this progress.
  • Action-oriented: Find a part-time job to increase income. We all know how well that went. First, I helped Mom with housework for my grandfather until the S.O.B. did something that Dad put his foot down about and got us fired. I was surprised by how long it lasted. Second, the sales job with no demos that I quit in November. At least I did get my parents a vacation out of that. 2012 tweak: As mentioned above, I’m seeing a credit counselor to find a new plan for tackling my debt and budgeting issues. I’m going to be referring to her a lot so she is now dubbed the CC Fairy. I also put in an application but I don’t expect anything to come of it.
    • Bring all bills current by Jan. 28, 2011. I got them current and now they’re not current. It’s a merry-go-round chase. 2012 tweak: Girls Just Want To Have Funds: Four Reasons to Stop Scrambling To Feed Your Creditors Before You Feed Yourself: I have to remind myself of this every time they call to harass me. I Come first. Granted, one of the steps with the CC Fairy is to restructure my debt to what I can afford, but I’m a few months away from that step.
    • Put the budgeted amount into savings out of the first check every month. If there is overdrawn issues to pay for, it comes out of what should be saved. I never got to the point where I could budget savings. 2012 tweak: Find some money for savings and keep it there.
  • Realistic: Pay off what I owe Mom, Dad, and Republic Finance using the debt snowball method by Dec. 31, 2011. *Hysterical laughter* Okay, that’s not really fair. It was doable with more income and more income never materialized. 2012 tweak: I’m working towards taking out a loan with my credit union to pay everyone off with a note I can afford to pay. The CC Fairy is one of the steps I have to work on to make this happen, and one I’m rather gung-ho about because I can’t see the forest for the trees at this point. So far we’ve discussed hypothetically refinancing my mortgage to do this, but if I take that route, I’m getting enough money for a temporary roof too.
  • Trackable/Time-based: Update my NetWorthIQ badge and show the progress. Or lack there of. I haven’t updated it since June. 2012 tweak: Update it only a monthly basis.
    • Save $1000 emergency fund by March 25, 2011. *Blink* I don’t even know how the math said that was doable. I did set up an ING Direct savings account and have $12.50 out of each paycheck going into it. However I had to raid it twice to try to reach my monthly expenditures. So I’m $944.50 short of the goal as of today. 2012 tweak: Budget in savings. My credit union is also running a savings challenge that I’m looking into. The Balanced Money Formula recommends 20% Savings (which includes retirement accounts, emergency savings, and debt repayment). I would be happy to set aside 10% each paycheck, but I can’t afford it yet.
Take health seriously This is the category that fell into the black hole of can’t-concentrate-on-this-with-bill-stress. Once I have a grocery budget, I’ll be concentrating on this in 2012.
  • Specific: Follow Primal guidelines on food and exercise
  • Measurable: Weigh every morning
    • Take body measurements once-a-week
  • Action-oriented: Exercise every day. Use outside play with Atticus
  • Realistic: Lose 4 pounds by next check-up with Dr. Miller
  • Trackable/Time-based: Keep a food diary and measurements at FitDay.com
    • Fill out the workout log book every day I exercise and show progress at Joe's Goals
Write 182,500 fictional words between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011
  • Specific: Write at least 500 words every day. I didn’t write every day and it stresses me out to see me not working by quantitative standards. 2012 tweak: Count by projects, not daily word count (unless I’m in a challenge that requires it).
  • Measurable: Post the weekly total every Saturday at DUF using the Writertopia progress bar. This year I’ve been fairly good with keeping this updated. 2012 tweak: Continue with this progress.
    • Keep track of daily progress with a marathon spreadsheet. This year I’ve been good at keeping this updated too. 2012 tweak: Maintain this progress.
  • Action-oriented: Finish Stellar Gift of Death by March 20, 2011. I’m still writing this story. 2012 tweak: Finish it already!
    • Finish a 5000-word short story for Triangulation submission by March 31, 2011. “Words of Parting” I actually finished and submitted. 2012 tweak: Use the helpful feedback and revise it!
    • Finish steampunk mystery Never started.
    • Finish another story in the Piper of Shadows universeNever started.
    • Finish the "Blue Man on the Porch" Never started. 2012 tweak: All of these projects should be listed under “Specific” and “Action-oriented” should be write every day.
  • Realistic: Finish four original stories before any fanfiction. *Snort* I so didn’t follow this 2012 tweak: Write what I want to write. Yes, it would be nice to have a stack of stories to throw at the markets, but if I don’t have the how-will-this-turn-out itch, I drag my feet.
  • Trackable/Time-based: Each story has a marathon tracker of its own, and metrics are posted daily at DUF. This has worked out really well. I have remembered to do this, even if I’ve been a few days late on the postings. 2012 tweak: Continue with this progress.
Submit enough stories to get rid of the anxiety over it
  • Specific: Submit to six markets by Dec. 31, 2011. I submitted to two markets before I got bogged down with Stellar Gift of Death. 2012 tweak: Submit to three markets, which means I have to get three stories ready for submission.
  • Measurable: Find a tracking method that I can update without fuss. Sonar3 is fitting my needs at the present. 2012 tweak: Get some data to put in it.
  • Action-oriented: Look for 12 markets. *Snort* Stellar Gift of Death has been quite the distraction from this. 2012 tweak: Do it.
  • Realistic: Send out at least one story in February, April, June, August, October, and December. So this wan’t realistic for me at all. 2012 tweak: Base the submission deadlines off the markets I fine.
    • Have conversations with the Fear Monger; it helps. Ole Fear Monger has been distracted from my writing by the debt crisis.
  • Trackable/Time-based: Honestly note the anxiety over each submission on tracking method. Sonar3 lets me keep whatever notes I want on each submission. 2012 tweak: This is a valuable tool, so use it!
Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Some Weeks Should Have Warning Labels

Computer, commute, tire--hey, I'm off the C's! Well it deals with the car so maybe I haven't left the C's at all. let's add crying to the list. I spent a good chunk of yesterday's free time in a depressed funk because of what I have to pay out of the next check. Then I spent this morning working on a debt consolidation list on loan paperwork--namely confirming that the totals nearly equal to one of my take-home paychecks each month.

I didn't want to take out another loan to consolidate, namely because I can be the poster girl for "you can't borrow your way out of debt." And there's no guarantee my credit union will give me one, but if they can get the three biggest albatrosses off my neck for a lower amount that can come out of each paycheck, I may get some breathing room. Breathing room especially important since a second job is not happening.

So I did that math and left for the paying job. After commute hell yesterday, the drive in was smooth and I was ahead of schedule, up to the Capitol building. That's where my tire blew. I managed to get into a parking lot near my building. Roadside assistance changed it to the donut so I didn't lose any time, but buying a new tire was not in the budget!



At this point, I am beyond ready for this week to end. And I think my car got jealous that I wasn't planning to spend any money on it beyond gasoline. Right now, it's been half the day and nothing has blown up, maybe I can work on Stellar Gift of Death.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What now?

Yesterday was computer, today was the commute. Interstate 12 Open Following Early Morning Wreck. Luckily, I left home late, otherwise I would have been under one of those pipes. But I got caught in the snarl to find an alternative route into Baton Rouge. There's only thee ways to cross the Amite River and also the huge reason why we need the loop project that idiots keep killing, and I was stuck on the north of I-12 side. When I finally reached Magnolia Beach Road and it wasn't moving either, I called in that I was going home.

I had plans of catching up on chores, figuring out my budget for the next paycheck, and writing. Writing didn't happen. Mom co-opted me for a couple of hours, and budgeting the paycheck put me in a funk that was not conductive to fighting with the manuscript. I'll make up for it tomorrow.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, December 12, 2011

You Better Believe It's Monday

After months of being used to my paying job's computer being frozen and wiped a certain way, someone decided to "fix" it for me and changed how it wipes. Now all the tabs I had open in Firefox on Friday are gone; Outlook doesn't want to work right because a certain archive file must now be hand deleted; and between programs freezing up on me, trying to find that damn file, and etc. I'm still fucking 30 minutes late getting anything started!

Before I was thirty minutes late waiting for the computer to finish dealing with the other wiping program and saving changes. Aggravating, sure, but at least once it was done, it worked.

IT keeps going through contractors like Kleenex, which doesn't help. I got the new kid, explained what I knew had been done to my machine and what I thought was going wonky now. He did some remote fixes and they didn't stick. We tried it again, and I decided to test it the next time I shut down over the weekend since it took him over an hour to get through it the first time.

Needless to say, most of what little I got done on fiction was rough draft stuff.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

I'm Crashing Hard Tonight

No more shows running until 10pm so I'll probably crawl into bed at 7 tonight to catch up on the sleep I have missed. Though I can't regret seeing the Christmas episodes of Eureka, Warehouse 13, and Haven.

Other good news, Haven IS getting a season 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The season 2 cliffhanger was downright EVIL, and I really didn't want to stalk the makers for a resolution.

In other geeky news, my confession made it to the Once Upon a Time Confessions Tumblr. If you're not watching it, I can explain my reasoning. But tomorrow after I'm not so droopy.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, December 05, 2011

So I'm Officially Second Job-less

So the Public Awareness gig didn't come through and I turned in the demo kit for HDP because I wasn't getting any demos. What's going to happen to my cut to the bone already budget? For starters, I'm ignoring all creditors I can't afford right now. No more letting them guilt me into payments that I can't afford when they want it. All money I can spare will go into the emergency fund because I'm tired of the car breaking down and there's no money to fix it. And family debts move to the front of the line, mostly because I feel the worst about it and if Mom takes up bill collector tactics, I'm screwed.

2012 will either be the year I make writing pay for me and can apply those funds to my personal debt crisis or the Mayan Apocalypse happens and I won't have to worry about it any more. I'm working on the first part.

Onwards happier subject matter, I watched the first half of the Neverland miniseries last night. What I liked:
  • Bob Hopskins as Smee: if Disney ever has to rerecord the audio to the animated Peter Pan, Bob Hopskins must play Smee instead of the guy who played the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.
  • Captain Bonnie!: "There is no us!" I will be buying the DVD so I can have a reference for her wardrobe. But her character is filled with such SMART piratey goodness, I'll be clapping to bring her back to life. Screw Tinkerbell. She had me at the astronomy lesson.
  • Robert Halmi Sr. strikes again: Virgina got wet in The 10th Kingdom, DG got wet in Tin Man, Alice got wet in Alice, and now Peter got wet in Neverland. He's the producer in common on all four, so I'm considering it a scripted Easter Egg.
  • Minority casting department: Indians played by Native Americans and given something to do besides be colorful background of exotic Neverland.
What I'm iffy about:
  • the Alchemist figured out holograms: well, I don't think it's a factor in part two and it looked cool, so I'll let it slide
  • Tinkerbell glows brighter than the other fairies: somebody forgot to tell the CGI department because she looks the same as the rest
  • Hook is actually Peter's father: *YAWN* I'm so bored by this trope that the antagonist turns out to be the protagonist's missing parental unit. Why can't Hook be Peter's maternal uncle instead? Or another suitor of Peter's mother who took non-related Peter in for her sake? Do I care enough about the rest to fix this issue with fanfic?
  • Peter the Responsible: For ending up as the poster boy for irresponsibility and lousy memory, this Peter is choke full of responsibility for his crew who will be the Lost Boys, for the Indians, for the orb, for Jimmy. Maybe's there's a moral lesson here? Too much responsibility at too young an age will make you crack so you never want to grow up?
If Bonnie wasn't in it, I don't think I would be buying it on DVD or putting it on my to buy list until I have funds.

Added after Part Two: Okay, the second half completely redeemed all the stuff I was iffy about. :D

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

My baby sister is hosting this year, so after today, I'll probably be offline until Sunday. Have a great holiday everybody!

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Movies!

Tor.com is having Muppets Week in honor of the new Muppets movie coming out, which I want to see so bad it hurts. But that's not the subject of today's post. Today's post is why don't I have these movies already inspired by the reviews at Tor.com?

The only Jim Henson movie I have is Labyrinth. None of the original Muppets trilogy nor any of the later ones. I really don't know how this happened, but if I ever get a chance to rectify it (which means I have disposable income for entertainment again), I won't be buying the movies in order.

First up, Muppet Treasure Island. Second up would be A Muppet Christmas Carol.

The third movie in the list is something I'm willing to rent before I buy Detective Dee and the Phantom Flame because I had no idea it even came out last year. To explain, Judge Dee was an actual Chinese official that a Chinese novel was written about. A Dutch diplomat translated that novel and then wrote more stories with the same character. Now a Chinese film has taken back the character for an extravaganza movie like Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes (which I ADORED). Oh heck yeah! I must see this movie at least once.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What World Championship of Jousting?

So last night, Dad asks me, "Do you have National Geographic?"

"Dad, you know I can't afford any magazines."

"No, the channel. They're starting a new show on jousting tonight." He even found a glossy full page ad for the show Knights of Mayhem.

Against my better judgement, I managed to get through an hour and a half of the premier and second episodes. By the first commercial break, I was also Googling to find back up of their claims.

My thoughts on the show: Where's is the armor for the HORSES?! I lost track of how many times the cast reiterated how dangerous full-contact, heavy-armor jousting is breaking lances of solid hemlock. You can put an eye out with a BB gun has nothing on lances. So where is the protection for your most valuable asset!

Knights of Mayhem

New Riders of the Golden Age

Not every troupe armors their horses, but not every troupe shatters solid wood lances either.

I'm glad I'm not in Faire business any more, because I wouldn't hire that foul-mouth bully ever. Which is a shame, because the show they put on at Sherwood Forest Faire looked really entertaining with only relying on jousting. But the "behind-the-scenes" footage with almost every other word being bleeped out and Adams' stances of I'm pissed off let me blow a rookie out of the saddle to feel better is what made me turn the show off before the second episode was done. Tom Conroy's review Knights of Mayhem: jousting jerks sums up this portion of the show.

Charlie Adams: "I'm the world champion in heavy-armor jousting." Another member of his troupe: "I placed fourth at the world championships." Another troupe member Brian: "I didn't get to go to the world championships because of shenanigans!" (He is also flying home between shows which was another WTF moment for me.) Me: "WHAT world championship of jousting? Who's judging? Where is it held? Why all the emphasis (every other bit of dialogue) on making jousting an accepted sport if there is a world championship already?!"

This is the question that drove my Googling. Putting in the phrase "world championships of jousting" was less than helpful. So the I went to Knights of Mayhem's website, think that maybe they listed what they never bothered to say on the show. Charlie Adams' Bio:
California native Charlie Andrews is the World Champion of Full Contact Heavy Armored Jousting. Charlie is not only the current reigning champion but one of four founding members of the Sport. He helped pioneer and evolve the sport into the fierce competition it has become. He co-founded the UJC (Ultimate Jousting Championship) in 2010, it is the premier organized venue for the rising sport. Aside from being the strongest and fiercest jouster in the world Charlie’s unique background makes him the ideal candidate to lead the sport. Charlie has set a new standard for modern day knights, stating “most effective knights are 200 plus pounds and know their way around a horse, it is this barrier to entry that makes this sport tough, not only do you need a trained horse to ride, but you need $5000 worth of armor and nuts the size of the Lone Star State”.Charlie and the sport he co-founded is fast becoming a part of contemporary vernacular, with segments airing on ESPN and the New York Times proclaiming it as the next extreme sport. National Geographic formally announced the airing of 6 episodes focusing on Charlie’s Jousting troop (The Knights of Mayhem) in conjunction with a cross promotion from Nat Geo’s sister company FOX sports. The TV show titled “the Knights of Mayhem” combined with UJC’s live event circuit will soon make Charlie Andrews a household name.
Little things like dates and places for events makes someone feel that you are not talking out your ego's butt. Compare Knights of Valour Shane Adams's Bio
Below is a partial list of some of the major titles won and held by Shane:
  • 2010 - Grand Champion
    Light Armour/Games Champion - World Championships, Long's Peak Scottish/Highland Festival
    Estes Park, CO
  • 2010 - Grand Champion
    Heavy Armour/Games Champion - Gulf Coast International Jousting Championships
    Pensacola, FL
  • 2009 - Grand Champion
    Heavy Armour/Games Champion - World Championships, Long's Peak Scottish/Highland Festival
    Estes Park, CO
  • 2008 - Grand Champion
    Light Armour/Games Champion - World Championships, Long's Peak Scottish/Highland Festival
    Estes Park, CO
  • 2007 - Grand Champion
    Heavy Armour Jousting Champion - World Championships, Long's Peak Scottish/Highland Festival
    Estes Park, CO
  • 2006 - Gregor’s Crossing International Heavy Armour Champion
    - Grande Prairie International Heavy Armour Champion
    - Longs Peak Scottish Highland Festival International Light Armour Champion
  • 2005 - Canadian National Heavy Armour Champion
    - WCJA Heavy Armour Champion and Grand Champion
  • 2004 - Canadian National Jousting Champion
    - WCJA International Reserve Grand Champion
    - Sonora International Heavy Armour Champion
  • 2003 - Canadian National Jousting Champion
    - WCJA International Light Armour & Grand Champion
    - Sonora International Heavy Armour Champion
  • 2002 - Canadian National Jousting Champion
    - WCJA International Light Armour & Grand Champion
  • 2001 - WCJA Grand Champion
  • 2000 - Canadian National Jousting Champion
    - WCJA International Jousting Champion
    - Dragon's Lair Heavy Armour & Grand Champion
    - Calgary Stampede International Jousting Champion
  • 1999 - Canadian National Jousting Champion
    - Longs Peak Scottish/Irish Highland Festival U.S. International Jousting Champion
  • 1997 - Canadian National Jousting Champion
    - Longs Peak Scottish/Irish Highland Festival U.S. International Jousting Champion
From Shane's bio and details listed in other Knights of Mayhem's bios, the world championships of jousting is held by the Longs Peak Scottish Irish Highland Festival. I'm assuming this is where Charlie has proved himself, but there's no evidence of it that I can find.

Sherwood Forest Faire looks nice and is near Austin. Actually, it's only a little over an hour from my sister's and runs from Feb. 11th through April 1st. At some point, I will be able to do fun things again financially, so its best to be prepared.

It is the best training method to skip getting these guys with little horse experience comfortable with riding and go straight for hitting each other with lances, really? If you believe that, I have a sword in the stone you can pull out and be ruler of all England too. Granted, I'm not the target audience for this show because I do know the history and training that went into making a medieval knight. For all the footage concentrated on a training dummy set up in the joust arena in the first episode, the rookies never used it. Grabbing the rings with the lance is the most boring game to watch ever (and yes, I have seen troupes perform it while explaining why i.e. EDUCATING the audience), but it still teaches accuracy and how to hold the damn lance without splinters ending up in the eyes. Same thing with the training dummy. Actually one rookie seemed to disappear between episode one and two. I hope he came to his senses and ran far away from the Knights of Mayhem and not ended up in the hospital and the producers decided to skip that.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Full Week Ahead

Of the paying job at least. No funeral time nor holidays until Thanksgiving. I haven't heard back from my interview last week, so Candi's comic today feels like an accurate kick in the gut. I'm calling for an update at lunch. And at some point today, asking my supervisor to change my hours to 7am - 3:30pm. Even if I don't get that job, it can only help with my commute.

We successfully got through my grandfather's funeral without an incident which would end up on the evening news. Celebrate the little victories in my family, folks. I got a three day weekend thanks to Veterans Day, which I spent on housework, writing, and confirming that I have no money. I haven't had any work to earn money in two weeks.


At least I finished Chapter 15 in Stellar, dived into the first scene of Chapter 16, and finished Chapter 2 of Tin Man: Prince. Oh and somebody sent me a link where Tin Man: Pirates of the Nonestic was recommended with a nice review. Nice to know I'm doing something right in someone else's unbiased opinion.

Interview: Still reviewing things on their end. *Crossing fingers*

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, November 04, 2011

Friday of Fun

A few days ago, I saw a bald eagle on the way home. I thought it was portentous at the time. All raptors are bit of a luck charm, but a bald eagle, WOW! But now I'm wondering what the sighting is portentous of.

Family: my paternal grandfather died this morning. No, condolences necessary. This has been coming for a while and I'm not looking forward to how my father will be screwed over with the settling of the estate.

Second job: I'm looking again and feeling more peeved than panicked. Why when I haven't had any demos all this week? Because I asked about needing to generate leads and was assured I wouldn't have to do that. What actually happens? The only work I got this week was registring people for about an hour and a half for no pay. I got two contacts, but the odds: you need ten contacts to get one demo.



Everybody has been nice, it's a cool product, and it still feels like a great company to work for. But not for me right now with my need for cash NOW! Landing it was a good shot of self-esteem boost that I was in denial that I needed.

So my plans? I'm calling about an interview today and hoping to hear back from a medical test. I need to finish Chapter 15 and start Chapter 16. Taking more vitamin C so I don't catch a coworker's cold. Nearly everybody else in the state is obsessed over the LSU vs. BAMA game, but my only wish is that I could have had a free ticket to resale for a couple of grand.

Overall, it doesn't look like I'm suffering from procrastination as much, which is funny since I just found the perfect description of the whole cycle in Hyperbole and a Half.

Damnit, BMI is still too high for the medical study.

Interview set for Monday. Yeah!

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, October 28, 2011

Crazy Week

I might get home before 10pm tonight. Training for the second job finished last night, I did really well, I get the demo kit today and go out to canvas a neighborhood for people to demo to. Marketing then takes the names and phone numbers and sets up the actual appointments. But the canvasing only lasts until dark and then I can go home. The end result will still probably be me crashing as soon as I change clothes while Mustard is telling me I'm a bad cat mommy for staying out so late and not letting him outside at all, but I'm not complaining. Mustard would probably tell me I have nothing to complain about.

Those who have met my cat know he's not very vocal. Usually he only does it demanding to go outside by a door. So I know it's bitching at me when he's in the hall herding me toward the bathroom meowing the whole time.

Writing took a hit with all this. I've only managed to eek out a page in the rough draft. The scene isn't giving me any trouble, so I think it has been a matter of focus and concentration getting used up. I only have to schedule three to four demo a week for part-time (I initially thought it was ten) so my fears of decreased writing time are gone. The only drawback I've found is the second job's no jeans policy, which I do understand. But it looks like I forgot today was Friday at the DOI.

Demos are scripted, but they let me tap into my improv skills that I haven't used since I hung up my cutlass. So any time the Fear Monger tries to twist me up to anxiety-addled-me my response is a laugh. "This is no different from renfaire, only I have a lot less crap hanging from my waist." Seriously, I should weigh my belt of renfaire gear if I can find all of it again. Fear Monger gets huffy and drops it. I'm also positive Dug-In-Heels Defender has been activated over the whole second job thing. "Mom is acting weird about it. My supervisor flat out told me 'you won't like doing that.' I will prove them WRONG."

Plus I'm broke enough to make prostitution of my mind look like a good idea. How far before I contemplate prostitution of the body? If this job keeps me from thinking that they are viable options, I'm in a much better place. Last plus, I can walk away once I've paid things off. Unfortunately, because of how crazy this week has been, I haven't developed my timeline estimate for when that will be yet. Four of my Big Rocks for this week deal with the Budget and I've only gotten one done so far. I've got a busy weekend planned making up for what I've missed.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Naysayers Already

Janine Melnitz: Do you believe in UFOs, astral projections, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trance mediums, the Loch Ness monster and the theory of Atlantis?
Winston Zeddemore: Ah, if there's a steady paycheck in it, I'll believe anything you say.


Financially, I'm so close to the edge, I'm hanging on to a root with my fingernails. So my attitude is totally Winston right now. I've got good vibes about the company, I'm asking questions to make sure it's not a scam to blow up in my face, and overall feel very relieved over the opportunity to earn some money.

My mother who has been spending at least the last six months silently fuming whenever I have needed to borrow money and can't pay it back is now suffering from I'm not saying anything because you're so excited but something ACK! is going to happen to my baby on this new job! I'm not sure what bad she is expecting and really don't want to ask and invite the drama into my head.

My supervisor doesn't think anyone should have to work a part-time job. I asked for my annual work performance raises back. Today she's convinced that I will hate a demo sales job, to which I responded, "If there's a steady paycheck in it, I will sell whatever they want me to."

I am not going to plop my financial statements on either's desk. No one needs the dirty details but me, and hopefully they'll be more in the black this time next month.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, October 21, 2011

Political Feel Free to Skip It

If you really feel Obama hasn't done anything while in office, please read this post from the Daily Dish.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sitting Next to “Peter’s Laws” Poster is a Sign

I have an interview with a potential second job in less than an hour, and the Fear Monger and the Perfect Girl have ganged up on me. The Perfect Girl is freaking out that I don’t look professional enough, that I didn’t grab the reams of paper supporting items on my resume, and when I tried to wing it from memory, I only filled half a page of the resume. The Fear Monger is focusing on how I can’t afford this meal at Raising Cane’s and what will I do when I get rejected. Not “if” but “when;” the Fear Monger is such an optimist.

The decorating scheme of Raising Cane’s concentrates on framed movie posters and other pictures of pop culture significance along with some stuff for the town or university. I picked this booth to be out of the sun and sat down before looking at what was on the wall. Next to the Easy Rider movie poster is one titled “Peter’s Laws: The Creed of the Sociopathic Obsessive Complusive.”

1. If anything can go wrong, Fix It! (To hell with Murphy!) The audacity of that statement shut them both up and I nearly laughed out loud. When I got to #5 Do it by the book… but be the author! I am convinced I need this poster in my home office.

15. Bureaucracy is a challenge to be conquered with a righteous attitude, a tolerance for stupidity, and a bulldozer when necessary. Maybe a copy for the office cubicle too.

16. When in doubt: THINK! 17. Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing. I’m ready for the interview now.

8:00pm Update: I got the job! *Snoopy Dance*

Snoopy Dance taken from this page of Penny and Aggie.


Read Free!
The BookWorm

Did we just skip autumn all together?

Temperatures dropped into the thirties overnight and is STILL 36 degrees according to my desktop weather gadget. The DJs this morning keep saying "coldest day so far this fall." This is too damn cold for fall!

Rizzo has shoved my second job search to a new urgency. Last night, I spent two hours fighting traffic jams to get out of Baton Rouge. I finally reached Denham Springs and got back on the Interstate at 6pm. Then, just past the Juban exit, one of my tires goes flat. And by goes flat I mean it had a blowout but stayed on the rim. A nice trucker helped me put the spare on, but now I have to go buy tires, which I have no money for.

I don't know what else to do. I'm looking at a medical study for compensation, but I was over the BMI they were looking for. Convergys rejected me. The home based businesses that I bought this computer for rejected me. I walked away from Craigslist last night seriously considering selling my papers to a site that will sell them to plagiarizing students. I'm telling myself that I'm not desperate enough for that or street-walking yet.

Yes, I was stupid for the last two paychecks. But all the math adds up to I have to get more income in order to keep my head above water. I have a few more ads to check out. Cross your fingers for me everybody.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cleaning out opened tabs

I will eventually type up the blog posts I have written. But probably not today.

John Scalzi gives out writing assignments based on sci-fi films. If I actually needed a prompt to get me writing, #4 intrigues the hell out of me. But I don't, even if Monday's fire drill at the paying job and Tuesday's power outage at the paying job really knocked my progress off its feet.

Appalachian Prison Book Project Seeks Donations. Admittedly, why I don't weed out my books more often is I want them to go to a good home. Shipping charges may bunt this worthy cause out of my league though.

This year is going to be a pull the costume out of the closet Halloween. So I'm leaning towards Joan of Arc. More likely Joan of Arc taking a rest day, since I don't have a full-plate suit of armor in the closet.

Oh and cruise around Take Back Halloween for more costume inspiration. Their inspiration is to give women more options than just "Sexy whatever" for Halloween. And they gave me a source for Christine de Pizan's hat. Whenever I get to the project again, I can buy the damn thing rather than figure out how to build it.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It’s a Lovely Idea But...

My house has a front porch and a back porch and to accuse me of not using them to their fullest potential would find me guilty. I’ve lost count of the years Mom has been storing the furniture that wouldn’t fit on their garage after she closed shop on my front porch. The carpenter bees have been feasting on the roof joists and ceiling and it’s not screened, so that limits the time one can spend on the front porch without becoming a blood donor.

The back porch is the laundry room and storage shed for my tools and yard equipment. I’m nearly convinced it will cave in and take the back half of the house with it. Remodeling is on my bucket list at this point.

The weather is crisp this weekend, so I put bug bombing my house on my to-do list, which means four hours and thirty minutes out of the my house. So I relocated current writing projects and part of my old desk to the front porch. I had a lovely idea of making myself a writing desk on what space I could carve back for myself on the front porch.

But there’s no way to sit at it with the desktop surface propped on sawhorses. All I have to sit on are rocking chairs and I’m composing this on my knee. Not comfortable at all.

I still love the idea for those times when you have to get off the computer. But I’m afraid I will have to get legs and make a table out of it. The last time I tried that the results were less than pretty. With this piece—formerly the leg of my L-shaped computer desk—I have screw holes already created in it. I’m considering some premade table legs or stair banisters that I can screw in to make it stable and give me leg room. When I get some money.

Second job hunt hasn’t gone so well, so I’m reopening my account at Freelance.com. I had luck there before, hopefully I will again. Now if my true side hustle is writing fiction, I’ve got three and a half hours to make a dent in Stellar’s rough draft.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Friday, October 07, 2011

Things to Share

Please stand by for a demonstration of relevancy.:
I can't make this shit up -- Why not researching who you are talking and then name calling is a BAD IDEA. But funny for us watch the Internet unleashed.
"Surprise! Meet the Internet. It’s kind of pissed." John Scalzi's take on the situation.
And now Wil Wheaton's.

OneLug recreates the Last March of the Ents from the movie Two Towers DUDE! I didn't know that many black Legos existed. Ssh! Don't spoil it for me if they could use paint, okay?

Why Steve Jobs Matters I don't own any Apple products and I don't use iTunes, but the world is better for having had him here and we should all be mournful of his loss.

Can't decide what to read? Use this flowchart to find something. ;)

Okay I think that cleans off this group of tabs.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, October 03, 2011

Project 333

Posting daily metrics at DUF saps my inclination to post here. Something to bear in mind if you feel I need checking up on.

This weekend ended up being a lazy one for me. The crisp autumn air we have been blessed with didn’t give me any drive towards housework. All I managed to do was switch out my closet. Since the end of June, I’ve been following Project 333 and now is time for a progress report.

I haven’t seen a drastic reduction in the clothes I own in total, but only being able to wear 33 items is reducing the number of shoes I have: two pairs wore out and another pair I’m discarding because they hurt my feet.

Another thing that struck me as I continued reading blog posts on Project 333 was the complaints about the neutral basics. Just change up in the next three months was my conclusion until I had an epiphany. I can’t pinpoint when I had it, but I still remember: other people didn’t keep enough clothes to completely change over their wardrobe every quarter. I’m not ready to throw out more clothes than I already have, but it’s not a bad goal to have in mind.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Almost Doing It Again

I’m considering a weekly schedule, mostly for “hello, I’m breathing” sake. Posting daily at DUF takes out much of the oomph to post here too.

Lee ended up being much alarm about nothing really. But if I hadn’t prepared for no electricity, the power would have gone out. Only lost one tree on the border of the lawn and the woods and it didn’t hit anything. The enforced quiet time to work on Stellar was a boon I’ve missed in the weeks since—especially this week.

Last weekend I spent with Eric and Suzanne and the break was worth the havoc on my sleep schedule.

This week the home computer is being a pain in the butt. McAfee Security Center developed a tick that I had to contact tech support over (the program came free with the new computer). The fix last night doesn’t seem like it held and now the computer is freezing up the first program opened. Before leaving for work, when I should have been working on budget stuff, Quicken froze up so I told the computer okay, it could reboot and examine the RAM. An hour later it was still logging off. I have no idea what I’m going to find when I get home, but I’ll be running Malware Bytes or something else to see what I’m missing. Unless some of the RAM died, I should have issues with it this soon.

Paying job: 312 lawsuits to go before the backlog of paid for dismissals will be finished. I’ve promised myself the day after I finish them is a vacation day and now it’s easier to slough through them.

Project 333: There’s fifteen days before I switch my current closet for the October, November, December set. So I should probably analyze what isn’t worth saving in this set. I already killed one set of sadals. There’s a skirt I never wore once. Thinking about this reminds me of the formula developed by What Not to Wear for putting together an outfit: “love, like, plus bling squared.” I’ll have to use that as a fine tuner for the next set.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Tropical Storm Lee update

Haven't lost power yet, so maybe we won't. *Knock on wood* But the storm is going nowhere quickly, hovering on our coast and in sending feeder bands of rain. They issued tornado warnings yesterday, but I never saw weather that bad at my house. The center is around Morgan City, but it is very undefined there. The feeder bands are now stretching from Tampa, FL to Louisiana.

The back bedroom leak has nearly filled the bucket, so I need to use a lull and dump that. The kitchen had a few drops when I woke up yesterday morning, but since I spent most of yesterday writing at the table, I never saw more water pour in. The back porch yikes. Even the light fixture had water running over it. I need a new roof, but I can't complain too bad about the water. We need it to put out a marsh fire near New Orleans and my yard is soaking it up like a sponge.

I finished crushing all the cans to get a little exercise during the lulls and to make sure the porch wasn't going to sling junk at my parents' house. I got my words done for NPI and have reached Chapter Eight in the rewrite of Stellar Gift of Death. Today's plans: laundry, dishes, Stellar Gift of Death rewrite, vacuuming, any other housekeeping chores I've put off, paperwork, cleaning up the book list project that I put on hold, and I think that is enough.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, September 02, 2011

Don't Know Why I want to Remember This

On the old saw that “relationships take work”:

I think of this in terms of maintenance vs. repair.

All relationships take maintenance, just like cars. For a car, you have to put gas in it, and change the oil, and wash it, and get the engine checked, and rotate the tires. If you don’t, your car will stop running, no matter how good a car it is.

For a relationship, you have to treat your partner with respect and kindness (even when you’re tired and stressed, or mad), consider their needs and wants as well as your own, pay attention to how they’re doing, speak up, respectfully, when you have a problem, and listen honestly when they do the same. You have to make time and energy for you as a couple — date nights, pursuing mutual interests. And if you pay attention to maintenance, when a serious problem does come up (and it does), you have the foundation to weather it.

On the other hand, “relationships take work” should not be used as an excuse to do the relationship equivalent of buying a 20-year-old beater with faulty brakes and no floor, and pouring all of your money and energy into trying to get it to run, because you’re never going to get a reliable car out of it.

If your partner doesn’t care about whether you are happy, doesn’t regard you with respect and doesn’t think there is a problem (or vice versa), all the work in the world isn’t going to make a healthy relationship out of the two of you. If you have to work to put up with them or enjoy their company in the early stages of the relationship, it’s unlikely to improve.

As a corollary, sometimes it’s a great car, just not one that serves your needs. If you have four kids and live in a snowy climate, you’ll regret buying that sports car, no matter how good it looked.

J. Carolyn Hax Sept. 2, 2011 Column


Read Free!
The BookWorm

Really, it’s Friday

Blogger is trying to roll out a new interface. I tried it, got aggravated, and told them my complaints. So I’m not rehashing here but it is a good opportunity to make sure all my labels are more appropriate to the titles before the old interface goes away. For example, “Zy’s Novel” is now “Stellar Gift of Death” and I decided on “Zy Universe” for a series title (as far as DUF in concerned—this is no reflection on what the books may have).

Already getting rain from Lee as I drive into work.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Tropical Depression for the Weekend



Looks like I better cancel my weekend plans and bunker down. Craptastic, I better ask what are the contingents for NPI.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Love Affair with TV Monitor Over Already

I didn’t think I would be disillusioned over hardware before the sore feet. Well, I was wrong. The whole reason I used the TV is I didn’t want to deal with moving the monitor and its sensitive cord and I was hoping to transition to watching things on the computer more. I thought all the kinks were ironed out.

This morning was a whole new kink. The margins of the desktop moved off screen on all sides. I spent an hour tweaking everything and researching what could cause this. When I finally stopped to get dressed, I had managed to get the taskbar back (except for the Start Button) and the highest screen resolution, which is too high for the recommended setting.

So tonight’s project will be shifting the monitor and seeing how to kink the cord so it won’t put the images on the monitor in the green spectrum. It’s like viewing everything with Emerald City sunglasses when that happens.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Haz Standing Desk!



It's nothing pretty, but it's a functional experiment. My uncle found out you don't clean that type of screen with Windex the hard way and gave the TV to me because I don't have a thinner TV yet. So I figured using it as a monitor was less hassle than trying to set it up in the living room and deal with my old TV. The milk crate and shelf brings the keyboard to the exact height it should be for me, but without being permanent. If the experiment works, I'll look into creating a permanent standing desk.

So far all I accomplished Sunday was making my feet sore. but the only sitting I did was thirty minutes story writing, putting the can crusher together, eating, and the thirty minutes soak I had in the tub to stop the feet from hurting. Adds up to roughly two hours, maybe?

Can Crusher: It's a cheap one Harbor Freight offers that is prone to breaking, but it works with gravity (crushed can falls into the container below it). I haven't killed it yet or tore it off the porch post--which seems what will happen first since mounting it was less than perfect. Anyways, I'm all about consolidating the storage of the cans since I sell them quarterly during the year.

Stellar Gift of Death: Saturday was a planned day off, but Sunday I got distracted by everything else that needed doing. I never got a chance to type anything and really test out the standing desk setup. So the plan shifted to finishing Chapter 7's edit. I got thirty minutes done on that. In theory, concentrating on the revision part on the weekends is not a bad plan, provided I don't have a gazillion chores to yet at my monkey brain and distract me.

Captain America: Finances improved enough to free up the tickets. Oh how awesome it is. It's on my to buy it list.

Dum Dum Dugan: I didn't know you spoke German." Gabe Jones: "Two semesters at Howards before I switched to French because the girls were cuter."
I'd be thrilled with a sequel on just the Howling Commandos, but Marvel thinks there's more money with Iron Man and friends.

Rich's Newest Project: The guy who brought us the Ten Doctors, Forever Janette, Stalker of Norfolk, Outrage of the Zygons, and Seeds of Destruction (Written by Landry Walker) has started a new story.



Have you got the theme music handy?

Why so silent? I haven't posted here since July 21st and August is almost over. What have I been doing? A lot of writing if you look at DUF, and other stuff that I can pinpoint since I'd write out a blog post but never type and post it. Which is a variation of "trying not to think about it." (Hatter in Alice). So don't be surprised if some out of date posts pop up filling in that missing time. I thought about adding it all to this one, but it's long enough already.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, August 15, 2011

Finally Got to Test Out the Brilliant Idea

It’s probably late in the game on a technology scale and it’s late to my game since I meant to experiment all last week with it but failed due to oversleeping. The copier at the paying job can scan papers as a PDF file and email it. I have a box full plus a shelf-full of binders of class notes I cannot just throw away. I also have a scanner but it doesn’t have a paper feeder, so making PDF files at home is such a chore, I haven’t finished the project in years.

Brought a binder to work and was done in ten minutes—including two paper jams, me not sorting out the two-sided from the 1-sided pages so I had multiple files, and me having to scan one set over again because I got my work email addy wrong. Ten minutes.

TEN MINUTES

I’m a little boggled right now, thanks for asking. This project just went from I’ll-never-finish-it to could-be-done-by-the-end-of-the-month before I finished breakfast.

So now that’s my plan: bring two binders to work, scan, and save the PDF files, and put the papers in the recycle bin. When I’m through with the binders, I’ll figure out a way to transport the box full of papers in smaller chunks.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, July 29, 2011

Another Month Gone

Alt. Biker Mice Site and The BookWorm’s Library are back up and running. Hope you guys appreciate that I’m not watching Harry Potter, Capt. America, or Cowboys and Aliens. I’m not upset much. There’s no way to justify spending nearly $20 on entertainment when I have to pull money out of the meager emergency fund to buy gasoline and groceries.

Being a grown-up sucks.

It’s not all doom and gloom. I haven’t projected budget for August yet, but it doesn’t look as bad as July and June have been.

Side Hustle: I like this way of describing what I’m trying to do with a second job. If the hours spent and effort, etc. isn’t strenuous, I’d like to keep it until I can pay for the house remodel. Writing fiction is the ultimate side hustle, but I have a lot of work to get there.

At the same time, I need to figure in this equation: website earns money – expenses for websites = nothing out of pocket. I haven’t gotten any further with this idea yet. I still like the last idea I had but it needs a lot of scrubbing and a complete overhaul before going forward.

To be honest, I have no idea how to fit it into my schedule either.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Schedule Changes

I mentioned briefly that I had cleaned off the schedule in What a Week It Has Been. It was to clear more writing time, I decided to try it even though I shifted to looking for a second job. Daily tasks went from # to 5: make bed, wash dishes for 15 minutes, work on budget for 15 minutes, write 500 words, and set out stuff. Weekly chores went from # to 8.

Today was my first oops because I didn’t go to bed on time last night. Some tasks I’m fine tuning, but shifting the budget work down to 15 minutes is working wonders on staying on top of finances. It’s enough time to update Quicken (as long as I’m sure to do it every day) and to start a more involved budget project like making a spreadsheet to detail my net worth or figuring out how to break down the next paycheck. I do need to update my list of those projects so I can remember what to open the next morning. Hopefully, I’ll remember to do that tonight.

Second job: maybe have a lead on a work from home. Need to apply tonight.

All my Sallie Mae loans are consolidated with the Direct Loan program with an income-based repayment plan. I still didn’t have enough money to pay that, so now it’s in deferment until 7/28/2012. It’s not the best solution since interest is accruing, but I don’t have the cash until I get rid of other creditors. I still need to see how it affects my monthly budget and potential snowballs.

Note for DUF: It puzzles me how quickly I can lose track of what I’m supposed to be doing.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Job Hunting

  • Look for Staples call center
  • Look on Craigslist
  • Look at North Oaks
Wanted: a part-time or full-time night/weekend job.

I haven’t hit the full-out depressed funk stage of job hunting yet. Mostly I’ve been glaring at myself in the mirror. “Why isn’t anything ready to publish? Hmmm?”

There’s no answer.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Should I Lie?

I heard back from Convergys today.
Thank you for taking the time to submit your resume to Convergys. Your qualifications have been updated and reviewed against our openings. Unfortunately, we have identified other candidates who more closely meet our requirements at the present time.


This is why I hate job hunting. I understand really a desire to hire someone unemployed first as opposed to me who has a steady job, but I need to WORK! And the first thing that hit me, is should I lie on the damn application?

I probably won't; I'm too honest for my own good. And I don't want to get slammed with a "you lied on your application" problem. But I could use some good news soon.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sympathetic Magic

There are spell components waiting to be used in the back bedroom. Don't remember why I didn't actually perform the ritual, but I think I should take some time for magic. Especially after this beginning of this week.

First there was my sobering weekend over the state of my finances. I applied to the position at COnvergys online, but didn't know if I counted as a rehire from 2003, so I didn't call the rehire phone number. I resolved to go see them in person and beg if it came to that, but not on Monday.

A deadline for our tax department was on July 15th and we're in the middle of the assessment season. I didn't get to leave until 6:30pm, stopped for supper, and finally made it home around 8:30pm. So much for rewarding myself with Warehouse 13.

Tuesday's work at the paying job started at 7:00am. I didn't have any time for writing with the work left over from Monday to get out. Don't cheer for my overtime. State workers are compensated with K-time, not money. Now if I don't use any of the K-time to take time off (it is used before annual leave time) for the next few months, they will exchange it for cash, but I have no idea how long I have to wait or how big a balance I must have. If and when, it'll be a nice surprise.

I got to leave at my normal time and on the interstate, Rizzo's engine started making a new noise. "Okay, I have to get that checked out, but nothing's changed with the performance so maybe I'll make it home." Then the air from the AC isn't cold any more even though it's still blowing. I start watched the temperature guage to make sure Rizzo's not overheating again. The needle doesn't move.

Right after I passed the O'Neal exit, the battery light comes on the dashboard. I turn off the AC and the radio, but it stays on. I got off the Interstate and went straight to Denham Springs Tire Kingdom. Verdict: tensioner was making the noise, the AC compressor stopped, and the alternator was dead. Fixed the tensioner and the alternators because I could afford that before the labor. Now I owe Dad more money and didn't get home until 8pm.

"I miss my Hyundai. I never had any trouble with my Hyundai up until I wrecked it."

"That's what my mom said about her Hyundai," the Tire Kingdom clerk said. "No problems until she totaled it."

I left before finding out how much more me and his mother had in common. I also resolved to go to Convergys and not leave until I got a job or ran out of lunch break.

They weren't seeing any walk-ins, but the security guard told me I would be a rehire, so I left a message and found a short cut back to the office today.

Disappointing, especially considered how I screwed up my courage to go out there and make results happen. Even more disappointing is when I got home on time (despite the road construction on Pumpkin Center Road) and saw my answering machine beeping with a message from the governor's reelection campaign. :p So why does all this remind me of the gathered spell components?

They're for a spell to attract money.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What a Week It Has Been

It started last Monday July 11th with fretting about money. Then because I was fretting without the figures in front of me, I went into denial period where I thought I could earn enough to get over the hump by writing articles for Helium at $2 an article. That at least got me to overhaul my daily schedule, which it needs periodically to combat my tendency to keeping adding to the To Do List.

When I got home Friday, payday, I stuck the figures in front of my face to pay the bills and the results were a bloodbath.

Assets = $41,462
Debts = $153,111
Net Worth = -$111,649

The one piece of good news I had was my Direct Loan consolidation package came through and my repayments are now based on my income. And I still don’t have enough income for that. *headdesk*

Faced with the ugly truth, I filled out an online application for the Convergys call center again. It’s a full-time position, just like the one that sent me into sleep deprivation back in 2003. This time I will insist on a saner schedule (I’ll work all Sundays without arguments if I can set Fridays and Saturdays as my days off to sleep. Heck, Friday is even negotiable, how about Wednesdays and Saturdays?). And I will use vacation time to catch up on sleep. Because all my spreadsheet calculations done on Saturday have convinced me it will take longer than four months to accomplish the four goals I came up with.

Second Job Goals
  • Service car
  • $1000 Emergency Fund (849.77 to go)
  • Debt snowball and pay off my highest interest rate debts and everything I owe to Mom, Dad, and Uncle Scott
  • New temporary roof
In theory and from previous experience, this will keep me so busy, I won’t spend money on other things in my budget and can probably snowflake more cash towards these goals. But I also won’t be surprised if I have to keep this job until after Christmas.

Now I’m going to go work on some fiction while I still have time to do that.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Home again

Finally got home a little before 4am this morning from Austin, Texas. Ridiculous high heat. It's hot in Louisiana but it's not the same kind of heat.

So my websites are down because I can't pay hosting fees until next paycheck. Doubt it's a big concern for anyone but if a download of mine doesn't work, that's why.

My sister's surgery went fine. But she also developed pancreatitis and had an inflammed liver by the time she got to the hospital with the gall bladder. She stayed in the hospital nine nights and was finally released Thursday on the 8th. The fever didn't spike back up and she's restricted on lifting, but since she wasn't having any other issues, Mom came on home with me.

Now I have to go catch up on everything.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Commentary post

Sister made it through surgery without complications! Me and Mom are still on track to head over there and help.

The rest of the post is some interesting things that came up during my blog crawls.

The Daily Dish: When Did We Become Rome, Ctd. "As for me, I believe in this country, and sometimes surprising even to myself, I believe in the ultimate decency of the American people. We can be late imperial Rome, or we can choose not to be. It is that simple. The difficulty lies in what we do after we stop whining." I heartily give that writer an "amen."

BEST Doctor Who shout out EVER! And I though the USB hub TARDIS is pretty darn cool.

EW made Rick Castle their number one dad Every review I do of Castle starts with "Rick Castle is the best father on TV since Bill Cosby. And he really is ruggedly handsome."

That's all I've got for now. Enjoy the links.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Impromptu Time Off

My sister in Texas is undergoing emergency gallbladder surgery tomorrow. We don't have a time yet and it has gotten to the point where her pancreas and liver are also inflamed.

Current family plans: I'll be taking off Thursday, Friday, and probably a good chunk of the week after July 4th to drive Mom to Austin. Whether Mom comes back with me depends on how things go post-surgery.

So just a heads up if it seems like I've fallen off the grid.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Focus, don't have it

I remembered to turn on Bedtime Helper, went to bed on time, and STILL couldn't wake up this morning. I've had my caffeine fix and still want to curl up and go to dreamland. Usually by this point in the morning, my body has grudgingly accepted that we are going to stay functional and lets go. It's not working this morning.

There are too many lawsuits for me to play hokey. I haven't had a chance to work on them so far this week, thanks to other job duties. Same thing can be said for writing too. I think I'll let myself have one more can and then stay on water for the rest of the day.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Summer Solstice

Remember when I said I couldn't count on extra time in the morning? That's because I'm not going to sleep until 10pm and not waking up on time since I haven't had eight hours of sleep.

The aggravation is my fault because I should be using the Bedtime Helper program on my computer to shut it off. If I had more sleep, I'd probably remember to turn it on. :p But nope, I've been relying on the office window cue and the sun hasn't been setting until 9pm.

So I'm celebrating the fact that we start losing daylight from this point until Winter Solstice. Happy Summer Solstice everybody!

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, June 20, 2011

Good Start to this Week?

We got called into a meeting early this morning, my computer turned on needing a reboot, and two of coworkers are out sick. Not a particularly auspicious beginning.

I didn't get as much done this weekend as I had planned, typical. So typical I should make that sentence a macro or something and plug it in with the push of an F# key. :p However getting the closet cleaned out and the clothes I don't want/don't fit out of the house was HUGE. Especially since that project has dragged out so long. But I think it deserves its own post with pictures. Which reminds me I still need to write up the sink project that also took much longer than it should have. :p

The other thing that dragged down productivity was my dental appointment Saturday to take off one of my bridges and see what was causing the gum irritation. I didn't need a root canal but my mouth is still sore on Monday. I'm taking prescribed pain killers which is a first for me after dental work. So being off my game should be expected.

"It only took the end of the world for you to finally grow up."
Took Dad to see Green Lantern for Father's Day and was entertained. It's no Dark Knight but given that I'm not a Green Lantern fan, I followed the logic of the film and enjoyed supporting Hollywood South. The set designer did a fine job making New Orleans look like California.

What I didn't get done: chores and any work on Stellar Gift of Death. Then, surprise of surprises, I got to the paying job early this morning and marked up the next two chapters for edits. Now if I could only count on it everyday.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Apropos

Lat week Mom gave me three boxes full of clothes to sort out what I want. It aggravates me, makes me feel like I must be looking like a rag muffin for her to give me so many, and overwhelms me. Then I have to feel o grateful when it really makes me want to bite.

I still haven't finished the job because I decided to clean out what I already had in the closet and remembered what I had packed up last winter (only about two months late to start wearing summer gear). Here it is Wednesday and I STILL haven't reorganized my closet. Or finished the laundry because IT'S TOO MANY CLOTHES! I'M DROWNING IN FASHION CHOICES!

So Unclutter dropped a fashion idea I hadn't heard of before S.W.A.P. (Sewing With A Plan) or building a capsule wardrobe for those who are thread and needle challenged. And when I did a Google search on those terms, I found this site: Project 333.

They are my new best friends. I'm printing out the rules and starting a month early on the next 3 months (which I think should start July 1st).

When I get home today, since everything is out both winter and summer, I'm going to divide everything according to season and for the 3 month divisions. I'm actually excited about facing the clothes again. That feeling disappeared once I pulled everything out of the back bedroom storage. What ABSOLUTELY does not fit and I don't have a sentimental attachment to, is leaving the house.

Hopefully I can follow tonight with the post of what wardrobe pieces I'm keeping.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cute Things the Internet Threw At Me Today

DC Universe Year 1000

IKEA Hackers: Yummiest Bed hack

Maybe tomorrow I'll have time for actual posting.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

On-going Situation

Evangeline Today: Stand Off on Court Street

Everyone here at the Department of Insurance were just told that two of our coworkers with the Fraud Division had gone to serve cease-and-desists to this agent or company and were shot a killed. We don't know anything about the shooter yet.

This didn't happen in our main building where I work, but we're all pretty shook up about it. Remember their families in your thoughts and prayers.

Update June 8: http://www.wafb.com/story/14862919/agent-in-fatal-la-shooting-had-been-cited-on-multiple-fraud-allegations and http://www.evangelinetoday.com/view/full_story/13903778/article-Stand-off-on-Court-Street-in-Ville-Platte-ends-after-six-hours?instance=home_news_lead

The shooter committed suicide and they've released the names of the DOI employees.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Weekend over... what?

I thought I'd be posting about the nice new sink I spent two days putting together. Problem is it's still NOT together. 4 trips to Lowe's and I STILL don't have the missing proper part to keep the drain pipe from leaking. And the only reason I'm not going back to Lowe's right now is that they close early on Sundays.

*repeated headdesk*

Tomorrow morning will be spent cleaning up the construction mess. I'm too pissed off to do it without taking it out on my tools right now.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wake up and pay attention

CNN: Abortion debate trivializes rape

There is so much to scream about with this whole situation, I can't sum up. You cannot legislate morality. We tried it with the Prohibition, so go study it and learn how it was a failure. And if they don't stop legislating what I can do with my body, I'm going to start a campaign that men have to carry the precious fetuses that they don't want aborted.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, May 30, 2011

Two for two

Thank you to all our fallen heroes who paid the ultimate price. Happy Memorial Day to the rest of us enjoying the holiday.

It's been an interesting weekend, like a mild version of the Chinese curse. :p Friday, it finally dawns on my parents that they need to tell me what my paternal grandfather had done Wednesday that FINALLY made Dad put his foot down and tell Mom she wasn't going down to his house to help his father any more and consequently I don't have a second job any more.

It lasted longer than I thought it would.

By Sunday, the senile old bastard (and before I hear any grief about that, my great-grandparents and my step-grandparents were the ones who loved me and my sisters like grandchildren should be loved and they're all dead.) cut Dad out of his will because Dad wasn't jumping up to go help him. I don't feel sorry for him; he has spent a lifetime building up this karma.

Second not-good surprise: my aunt by marriage tried to arrange a blind date for me. I nipped this in the bud, but the real irritation--besides the why don't you believe me that I'm HAPPY single, damnit! feeling--was I told her that's not how I want to meet this guy. Mom and I outlined a plan that wouldn't put my on display and make all my self-conscious freak-out flare up, and she completely ignored it for a group thing with her church who I've only met two other members of! So who would have my back if it totally flopped? Bueller? Anyone?

So far, my weekend clean-off the project list task has been having the best progress. I cleaned up the outline for Stellar Gift of Death, put a door draft guard on my front door, found out that I can't put off dental work any longer and scheduled it for June, watered the big plants in the yard, cleaned the fridge and freezer and rearranged the shelves, cleaned out the pantry and rearranged the contents slightly, caught up on dishes, and have dusted 2 rooms. I still have 21 items on my list to do on top of my usual chores, but if they don't get finished, they'll be ready to pick up next Saturday. If I don't have a new second job by then.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, May 27, 2011

Too Cute!



Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday again

Yesterday, I thrust my foot into the computer battery under my cubicle desk trying to push back my chair. My foot failed to get friction against the carpet and I wasn't wearing my shoes at the time, so my toes took the brunt of it. The pain is down to my second toe but it still hurts enough today that I'm limping. There was no bruise this morning, but that status may change by the time I get home.

I have finally caught up on my Google Reader's backlog! That has been feeling like an impossible task lately.

So weekend plans: it's a second job day Saturday; I need to catch up on laundry, dishes, and pay bills; and I'd like to get some editing done according to the feedback I got for "Words of Parting."

If I get the editing done, the next task is to research more markets. I have three stories to shop around and I have an irrational fear of the process. yes, darlings, I know it's irrational and it will only get better as I confront the Fear Monger. But I only have so much free time.

Currently in Stellar Gift of Death, I'm handwriting Chapter 15 totally before typing again, hopefully to forestall the short-circuit my brain has every time I reach the end of the longhand notes. It's really annoying and screws with my forward progress.

Pirates 4 is not on the list. Money is still that tight. The next movie will probably be for Father's Day and then crossing fingers that I will find extra money for Captain America and the last Harry Potter. I want to kill off the debt, but those movie experiences I'm not willing to sacrifice. But who knows, the budget may surprise me and I may get to see my cutlass and cannon-fire goodness next weekend.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rembered the camera

But the batteries suck at holding a charge and I need to get new rechargable ones. So I apologize fro the crap quality, my camera usually takes better pictures than this.

That swatch of blue with the boats on it behind the buildings and the trees is the Mississippi River as seen from the third floor straight out our lobby windows at about 6:45am this morning.


If the camera had been behaving better, I would have tried for a shot of the Hollywood Casino's paddlewheel casino. Under normal river conditions, it is blocked by buildings and you can't see it from our parking lot. Today you could see portions of it.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Sunday, May 15, 2011

More River news

For my international friends, Wikipedia: the Mississippi River. They do a much better job of showing just how big the Big Muddy is, and how many states have been affected by this flooding.

WAFB's River Watch Page: one of the Baton Rouge news stations, the CBS affiliate, with the best online coverage IMHO.

CNN: Evacuations ordered in Louisiana as Mississippi River spillway opens CNN's latest report.

Map of Louisiana: the purple pin is Hammond, where I live. I work in Baton Rouge, and you can see where Alexandria and New Orleans are relative to me. Unexpectedly, you can also see where Natchitoches (where I got my B.A.) is, and the town at the top left corner whose name got cut off is Shreveport where my baby sister lives.


With that clear map in mind, here's an image of where the Morganza Spillway will flood (courtesy of WAFB).


Courtesy of WAFB, this is what it looked like ten minutes after one gate of the Morganza Spillway opened. They ended up opening two, and two more will be opened today.


Courtesy of WAFB and NASA, this image of the Bonnet Carre spillway was taken April 29th with only a portion of its gates open. All of its gates should be open by the end of today.


I'm off to go work on my fiction, so I can drop my fret levels.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, May 13, 2011

I keep forgetting my camera

But the view of the Mississippi River from my office building is pretty awesome (in the quake in your boots way). I keep forgetting my camera even after I tell myself to bring it, hopefully Monday I'll remember to pack it.

Luckily, I live in Hammond. My house isn't in any danger from the Mississippi flooding it or from the measures the Army Corps of Engineers will do to save New Orleans and Baton Rouge. However, I work just a few blocks from the Big Muddy. As you can see on this map.



I want the levees to hold because our disaster plans relocate the Department of Insurance to Alexandria, and despite what those in charge of making the disaster plan think, it is NOT a commutable distance.

Here's a link to a PDF file the Advocate put together showing the spillways they are discussing on the news on a map. I need the visual. Speaking of visuals, here's CNN's Open Story iReporters and regular citizens sending in their footage.

I don't know if the true scope of this is felt yet because it is so slow. The Red Cross will need money to operate shelters that people will be depending on for months. So if you can spare it, think about all the communities from Illinois to Louisiana along Old Man River's route.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, May 09, 2011

Reading Quiz

Via jeymien. *Snort* My online handle is "KLCtheBookWorm" and my signature phrase is "read free!" Is anyone really surprised at the results?

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader
 

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
 
Literate Good Citizen
 
Book Snob
 
Fad Reader
 
Non-Reader
 
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz


Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, April 29, 2011

Something laugh about

30 Nerd Wedding Cakes

For the record, I've got issues with hacking into Jabba the Hutt. If the characters can come off the cake and aren't part of the cake, I'm not nearly as bothered.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Pondering Shaking Things Up

It's Friday. Watched the royal wedding, have plans for this weekend, and I'm already thinking about Monday.

Yeah, I think there's something wrong with me too, but I'm still going to do it.
  • Monday April 25th - Handwrote, 0 typed
  • Monday April 18th - Handwrote, 0 typed
  • Monday April 11th - Handwrote, 0 typed
  • Monday April 4th - Nothing
  • Monday March 28th - Plotted work
  • Monday March 21st - Nothing
  • Monday March 14th - Language creation
  • Monday March 7th - Language creation
If it was just Monday with the zeros, it wouldn't be so bad, but the zeros don't go away until Wednesday. So I'm losing quite a lot of the week, made worse if I have a crazy weekend and don't get to write. I don't have any excuses for Saturday and Sunday and Mondays is always swamped with starting-the-week crap. Should I mess with it. After all I'm puttering along with some progress.

Then I look at the marathon spreadsheet for Stellar Gift of Death and it bluntly tells me at this current rate, I'll finish the novel on my birthday in 2013. Ouch.

Looking at the schedule, I gave myself permission to work on a reward project on Sundays, provided I had been diligent about working Monday through Saturday. I have been diligent about not rewarding myself.

Bright idea: work diligently Tuesday through Sunday on Stellar Gift of Death and spend Mondays on the reward project.

The only fear I have about this bright idea is getting pulled into the reward project all week, but if that was going to happen, I think it already would have. I'm willing to try anything until a better idea comes along. And here I am at the end of one month ready to try something new in the next, with a bright idea to recapture Mondays for writing. So I'll switch Mondays to playing with the reward project for May and take notes of improvements.

The Royal Wedding: Trees in Westminster Abbey! They can fit potted trees inside that cathedral. And invisible cameras; I'll have to rewatch the footage to see if I can find them. And Kate's wedding dress suited her perfectly (thus proving I am female and can go oooh! over a frock).

I probably wouldn't have it on if my schedule didn't already have me up at the time. So I got in a little royal wedding research and I wish them a happy marriage.

Plans for the weekend: Spending it with friends in Lafayette for Festival International de Louisiane.

Have a good weekend everybody!

Read Free!
The BookWorm