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[sticky post] The Two Rules of MR's LJ

1. The Dean Winchester Rule of the Road

"Driver picks the tunes; shotgun shuts their cakehole." -- Dean Winchester, "Supernatural", Episode 1.01

This is my corner of the Internet, or at least the corner I'm renting from LiveJournal, thus, people watching it/visiting it are riding shotgun with me down the Information Superhighway. I may pick some tunes that may not necessarily be liked by all, but which I hope are in good taste. I may even do things that are the equivalent singing along with experimental music. Deliberate offense is never intended, so if the singing along with experimental music is getting on your nerves, wait a little while since I'll come to the end of the song momentarily.

2. The Bill & Ted Principle of Social Harmony

"Be excellent to one another." -- Bill & Ted, "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure"

What It Says On The Tin. Treat each other with respect and civility. That includes other posters commenting as well as me. I'm tempted to insist on Jane Austen levels of civility, up to and including talking like one wandered out of "Pride and Prejudice" (or even Pride & Prejudice & Zombies), but that would unrealistic (even I have trouble replicating the speech patterns in a Jane Austen novel, and if I can't pull it off, I don't expect other people to. If you feel up to it, don't hesitate to try it.). If you're going to shoot back an angry comment to something, I insist that before doing so, that you pause, take a few deep breaths, get yourself a cool drink, do some exercises of your choice and above all *THINK* about what you're going to post.

Remember this xkcd comic?



Lotta truth in that one little frame....

Or to quote my "most righteous" friend anivad

Don't pick arguments unnecessarily. There will always be people who disagree with you, and arguing on the Internet is like running in the Special Olympics; even if you win, you're still a retard. This statement is offensively ablist, but pointing that out and fighting it is a perfect example of what not to do unless it matters in that particular situation, because that way lies nothing but angst you could do without. The world is majorly screwed up if you scrutinise it for too long. It's filled with sexism, racism, homophobia, ablism, and many other things like that. It is not a good idea to note every single instance of it. That way lies nothing but angst. Some degree of living in oblivious denial is sometimes necessary to survive and be happy. The alternative is likely to get you nowhere, and you'll just wallow in angst and be depressed about how everything sucks and it's not going to change any time soon.

Edit, May 19th, 2012 -- Sent to me by the awesome koemiko, here's

An incredible flowchart on how *not* to post when you're mad about something on ye Internet.


Edited July 16th Video found via fanficrants

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For the time being...

So... if it looks like I've abandoned this journal, in a manner of speaking I have, and I feel badly about this. I haven't had much impetus to post here. In between RP tags and writing professional fic, I haven't given this platform or this journal much thought. I haven't completely abandoned journaling or journal-keeping though: I've started writing down a running narrative of each day in a dead tree journal. I'm returning to my roots in journaling, scribbling in notebooks and bound books. It feels weirdly freeing, writing in such a private format. No one will likely see it unless I let them or leave it to them. In a time when people wittingly or unwittingly share so much of their private lives on the public forum of the Internet, it feels revolutionary and liberating - for me at least - to keep a private, carbon-based journal. I will maintain an online presence, though: I have my Author's Page on GoodReads, where I still post the odd writer's blog entry and the odd book review from time to time, and I still have a presence on Twitter and Facebook. It's just a matter of creating parameter that work for me.

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Easter 2016



Bit of a rough Easter: we three went to Mass at Mary Immaculate this morning: found out when we got their that a friend of ours passed away last Sunday/Palm Sunday. She died in her husband's arms, in the bell tower entrance of the church, just as they were walking in for Sunday Mass. We usually go to that Mass (the 10.30 a.m. Latin Mass), but we didn't last week since I had a weird chest thing/24 hour bug/tickly cough going on and we ended up going to Mass at St. Joseph's in Lowell. The pair of them are/were just about honorary grandparents to me and her husband is almost a second father to my dad, since he's about the same age, also served in World War II, European Theatre, like my grandfather, so while he certainly can't take that place, he sure does a good job filling some of the space left by my grandfather. So, this loss is very like losing a family member, especially for my dad. It happened a bit suddenly: she wasn't in the best of health and was scheduled to have but she's (was? Verbs are hard right now) a tough little gal, and they didn't expect it to happen so suddenly. But, as a lot of people including Paul are saying, she couldn't have passed in a better place, since the two of them were active in the parish, also Father H., our pastor was right there to give her Last Rites.

It gets interesting, though: this guy whom nobody had ever seen before at the church called 911 on his cellphone, then stayed with Pete (my honorary grandfather - not his real name though) while they were waiting for the ambulance. Even sat with him at Mass while the ambulance took her to a nearby hospital (their son went with the ambulance), and this gets weird. Nobody saw the guy sitting with Paul except for members of their family and some close friends. So we're wondering if the guy with the cellphone was an angel, perhaps an angel of death.

Quiet day otherwise: we three watched "The Greatest Story Ever Told" on one of the movie channels our TV antenna picks up (maybe not the best screen treatment of the life of Christ, but one of the best known). Went to Cracker Barrel for our ham dinner in the evening. I also had their crustless coconut creme pie for dessert - yum!

I've more to write about, as I've badly neglected this journal, due to life and writing getting so busy that I've had a hard time rubbing the brain cells together to spark an entry here, but I will post more in the days to come, life permitting.

First Library Event as an Author

More extended quiet: I've been hard at work on yet another new story, this time for an anthology of stories set in Salem. Oddly enough, this comes at around the time of the start of the Salem Witch Trials, though my story is set in the modern age and dealing with odd things in the old burying ground behind the Peabody Essex Museum. It's given me a devil of a time, but I think it will come out whole, if I keep plugging at it.

Also got caught up in work at the day job, and today in particular: I had a kid literally underfoot and I very nearly stepped on his torso in the process, but at the least, I realized his presence before I actually put my foot down. No idea why a kid decided to lay down right at my feet, but there I found him, his mother begging him to get up off the floor.

Finished reading a few books along the way: Edward Lee's "The Dunwich Romance" (a side-story in which Wilbur Whateley finds love and understanding from an outcast girl with no sense of smell), William Holloway's "The Immortal Body (The Singularity Cycle Book 1)" (a suspense novel in which a faith healer and a medium find their skills hijacked by eldritch forces), and Livia Llewellyn's"Engines of Desire: Tales of Love & other Horrors" (a small collection of tales ranging from steampunk to the apocalyptic and strange points in between).

Also, just ordered a hundred copies of "Lovecraft ME", preparatory to some future book events later this year, and one coming up: it's short notice (as usual, I've had a lot on my mind and thoughts kept escaping me), but I am making my first author appearance, at the Nesmith Library in Windham, NH as part of a Book and Author Festival. I may not have books to sell on the spot, but I will take orders for them and will ship them out signed and with a doodle or two to deck it out.

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Busy Writing Other Things

And not much mind for writing journal entries, I regret to admit. Life got crazy busy with work, and then I got another head cold, after working during the stretch of below-zero wind chill weather we had just before St. Valentine's Day. I did manage to knock it out of my system, and I'm back to my self again, but... it annoys me that this keeps happening, even when I wash my hands, take vitamin C, try and get plenty of sleep and do everything I can to protect myself, yet I still keep getting sick, due to people sneezing on me. I wish I was kidding. I've taken to standing well back from people and instinctively holding my breath with they cough or sneeze.

Sorry for the rant: just a bit burned up from this, since it makes it hard for me to work on my writing. Though I did manage to get another story typed and sent out, and so am now waiting to hear back from three editors at three markets, including the latest, an anthology of faery tale sequels. I've posted about it and another work in progress at some length over here. Faery tales and the ReAnimator: quite a combination. I've also started tinkering with a longer short story dealing with a monster fight in the Maine Woods, in which a family boogeyman squares off against a wendigo, as if to say, "Go find yer own humans to terrorize: these are *my* humans!"

Also been doing a fair amount of reading since my last journal entry: I finished "Kushiel's Mercy", which is in my opinion, the best of the D'Angeline novels of all, so many twists (including Actual Magic in play), also the short story anthology "Dancing With Mr. Darcy", an all Jane Austen-inspired collection, edited by the keepers of Chawton House including Jane Austen's several times grand-niece; for a change of pace, "The Thief-Lord" by Cornelia Funke a somewhat modernized take on Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, set in Venice, Italy; also "Book of Shadows", a murder mystery with horror and slight urban magical realism elements, set in and around modern-day Boston and Salem; and Scott R. Jones's "Resonator" anthology, featuring short stories inspired by H.P.L.'s "From Beyond".

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Days of Work



Back to work, the past few days. Thursday in particular proved a very busy day: the possibility of a snowstorm had people scurrying into the store. A small part of me wondered if we'd have another situation like last Saturday, where the storm tracked south of us and we barely got a dusting of snow. This Friday brought the storm! I woke up to a few inches of fluffy wet snow and a few more fell during the time it took me to go to work and finish my shift. I'd come out of the back of the store from doing overstock, when I looked out the front windows, realizing the sky looked lighter, and sure enough, the clouds had broke just before sundown and the light of the sunset had coloured everything, the sky, the trees, the snow on the buildings and the ground. Just magical to look at.

Housework today, also taking down the last of the Christmas decorations: I took down the artificial tree in my room (yep, crazy old school Catholics drawing out the Christmas season till Candlemas), and that leaves the large Nativity scene on the living room mantlepiece to take down, which I need to do before Wednesday (Ash Wednesday).

Still picking away at my faery tale sequel: looks like it might have a tragic/somewhat downbeat ending (or several endings, some downbeat, some slightly more upbeat (this in a nod to my conflating the endings of two faery tales involving people turning into swans), but sometimes these stories do. Also looking ahead to some other anthologies: I've decided to send the "teenagers summoning a shoggoth" story to one anthology, which I might drop another since the story I had in mind for it just isn't gelling. Sometimes, you just have to let yourself say no to yourself when it comes to some anthologies.

Packages in the mail Thursday: a coffee table-sized illustrated biography of H.P. Lovecraft (I think I'd seen this edition among the bargain books at Barnes & Noble), also Scott Thomas's "Quill and Candle", a collection of ghostly historical tales set in New England; this one I'm tempted to hold off till autumn to read, but the temptation to read it now has started to nibble at me.

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Annual Physical, 2016

Headed out early this morning for my annual check-up at Lahey Clinic: So far, so good, though I'll have to wait on the results of the blood work. My doctor has given me the green light on getting an adjustable adapter to turn my standard desk into a standing desk, not for any specific reason, as my heart is good, my blood pressure is normal and my weigh is within a reasonable range for my height and build, but standing more would simply keep everything in harmony.

I did excellently whilst having blood drawn for the blood test: I even managed to joke a little: "I hope you guys don't have to test adrenaline levels..." which made the phelbotomist chuckle. After the exams and all, I walked to the Burlington Mall, poked around a bit, including going to Build-A-Bear, where I got myself a Zecora plushie. As I told the gent who stuffed her for me, "I was a good girl and didn't squeak when I got my blood work done, so I'm rewarding myself with a new Pony!" Build-A-Bear clerk-folks tend to have really sweet personalities, but this guy moreso. He giggled when I told him my intent and told me, "Awwww, that's a perfect present for a girl who had to have blood work done."

Monday - Went in to work for an early shift, rather quiet in the store, so in between orders (and afterwards whilst having lunch), I managed to get some work done on a new story, this time a faery tale sequel for an anthology looking for faery tale sequels. My mind somehow conflated the Irish tale of the Children of Lir with the Six Swans of the Brothers Grimm, and so I'm writing a cross-bred tale involving the youngest son and how he adapts to life with a swan's wing in place of one arm. Hopefully I'll have this done and typed by the beginning of next week: I've got four stories due in four weeks, so I'll need all the inspiration and impetus I can manage.

Sunday - Lovely, albeit unseasonable weather today, so my dad and I decided, after Mass, to head up to the North Shore, to Hamilton, in search of a World War II tank supposedly used by General Patton, who came from that area. Quite a sight, this drab olive green behemoth parked in a park, decommissioned and sealed up, now with kids and families climbing all over it. Also did a little antiquing at a few small shops in the area, though I found nothing that particularly got my fancy.

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One Very Long Week

Still working holiday season level amounts of hours, and it has gotten on my nerves more than a bit, and has also turned posting in this blog into One More Thing That I Need To Remember To Do, and which frequently doesn't happen since I try and keep my priorities in order and do the More Pressing Things Instead. Also, not a whole lot has happened, aside from working a lot and trying to fit housework around the work schedule. Somehow, I managed to finish a short-short story for a quarterly magazine which offers the first line of a story as a prompt, and said line has to serve as the first line of your work. Wrote a little piece involving one Special Agent Spenser Matheson, who started his life in headspace as an Expy of Milton Dammers from "The Frighteners" but is turning into a more nuanced character, even with a hint of reason amidst his madness; I suspect I have more than one or two stories in mind for this guy, if he'll let me tell them, secretive and paranoid little beggar that he seems. I should be editing that, instead of writing this entry, but sic semper cum the editing process: sometimes you get yourself sidetracked because the process can get so dry.

Also still rewatching the original X-Files, though I'm generally skipping over the mythology arc eps and sticking with the Monster of the Week ones. Personal quirk, and while I hate to sound like a carper, at times even I lose track of the mythology arc; I really think Chris Carter and his team wanted to tell an interesting continuing story in the mythology arc, I just think they needed to plan it out better or had a better idea of where they wanted it to end up (I support what G.R.R. Martin calls the gardening technique of writing, and I certainly fit that mode myself, though I also support judicious editing when you've finished the thing, or chapters of the thing, including going back to see where your tale has traveled, in the case of serialized works).

Also finished reading "Cassilda's Song": awesome collection, that rare instance when every story in a collection shines, as I elaborated over here

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Days starting to run together...

This unfortunately has turned into one of those weeks where the entry title turned into a annoying reality. Wednesday through Friday, I had work at the day job and the place got really busy, which meant the doors opening constantly and the cold air coming in. Also meant that I had to rework my housework schedule (laundry, including washing the new bed sheets, a full load in and of itself) around the work schedule, which turned into a lot of juggling and using up my spoons. Friday in particular, I burned through a lot of spoons, even before I got to work. At least I had one consolation when I got home that night: one of the local movie stations showed Jim Henson's "Labyrinth", in memory of David Bowie - farewell, Starman and Goblin King and Thin White Duke, but know that you loved and were loved in return. Finally got to share it with my folks: Mum in particular enjoyed it, giggling at the goblins and their antics. Might dig out my copy of the movie novelization, which I know I have somewhere on my shelves.

On Saturday, I found an explanation for the chronic shortness of spoons, aside from the metric ton of work: That Time of the Month hit me, leaving me chilly and curled up under my covers, reading books, among them "Cassilda's Song", a collection of King in Yellow stories written entirely by female authors and edited by Joe Pulver, also Jacqueline Carey's "Kushiel's Justice", which I finally got back to reading. For some reason, perhaps because I read the first book in the series around this time of the year, I find myself returning to the Terre D'Ange and its environs when the real world turns to winter.

Today, still feel tired, but I managed to get the energy together to work on taking down the Christmas tree in the family room: a bit of a sad thing, but that means the angel tree can go up soon.

Also! with the imminent premiere of the X-Files revival (waiting for a kind person to upload the episode onto one of the various streaming sites I've made use of in order to watch currently airing things), I've decided to rewatch the original series, or at the least some random episodes that I particularly enjoyed. Should come in handy later this week, as I have pro!fic to type against a deadline at the start of next month. As always, wish me luck in getting published!

Winter is here!

Woke up Monday morning to find four inches of snow had fallen! The yard and street looked utterly magical and sparkly, as I headed out to work. My first day back since I took my mental health break from work, and it felt good to get back to the place. And I dove in at the deep end, as it were: everyone who'd likely gone north for the long weekend had come home and found their cupboards bare, and so they'd come shopping to restock. Good way to get back into the swing of things, and it felt good to be back. Likely sounds odd, but it's a good sign when you feel glad to get back: you've clearly gotten the rest that you needed!

Had a weird experience whilst having lunch at the neighborhood Dunkin Donuts: I'd just settled down to eat my sandwich, when something went *BOOM!* and the building shook. Since we had some strong winds yesterday, I thought perhaps we'd gotten hit by an especially strong gust, but as I looked out the window, I had a feeling something else had caused the commotion: no flying debris. Then the girl on the drive-through window called out, "Oh man, he hit the roof!" Turns out an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer departing after dropping off a delivery and had come too close to the building while pulling around it to make his exit. And then he bonked into it again. Very nerve-wracking.

Tuesday morning, I woke up to find a hole worn through the bottom sheet of my flannel sheets. I've had this set for several years - since I got the new mattress, and I'd gotten that before I'd started working at my current day job - and since I seem to have the flannel sheets on the bed longer than the regular sheets (about seven months of the year: welcome to chilly New England), they get more wear and tear. A bit sad, since I liked the pattern on these sheets, but I'll find a way to repurpose the top sheet, since it still has some mileage.

And so I braved the cold wind and took the bus in to the Wilmington TJ Max, since I figured they'd have nice sheets at a great price, and after a little poking around in the household stuff section, I found exactly the sheets I needed, on the clearance rack, a lovely set with a grey plaid pattern. Also found more Moleskine notebooks on the cheap, which will come in handy since I've got several stories in a row in mind, for several open markets.

Speaking of writing: I had a coupon at Panera Bread about to expire, plus I had some inspiration prickling in my head, so I popped in to have my lunch and do some writing. Got ninety-five percent of a Christmas horror story written, and it came out fairly whole, I just need to flesh out the beginning a bit and write a fake news item to cap it off at the end. I need to come up with a better title for it, but right now, it goes by the working title "Beware the Yule Cat!", since it deals with the Yule Cat of Iceland, a creature of lore who will eat you, if, on Christmas day, you did receive new clothes as a present. I tweaked this to a rich, exaggerated Paris Hilton-type celebutante nastily refusing to donate to a charity collecting clothes for the less fortunate, which causes her to fall afoul of the human-eating kitty. Since I'm still in the Christmas season, I still have some Christmas spirit inspiring me, and so I scribbled this one down (including some really tricky action writing at the end) between bites of my grilled cheese sandwich.

Library trip tonight, and I borrowed Felicia Day's autobiography/memoir, which looks really sweet, and a collection of Regency Christmas romance stories, which looks utterly delightful.

Return to antiquing



Two quietly busy days: Saturday, I finally felt up to doing to some housework about the place. Also went out to pick up a few groceries while getting my schedule for ye day job. Come to find out I got a huge amount of hours next week: no complaint here, as I find myself ready to go back to work. This week off did me some good, despite the cough I've been shaking off lately.

Today/Sunday - First time in a couple of months that my dad went antiquing, this time along the "Antiques Alley" between Epping and the outskirts of Concord, NH. Popped into a few small shops, mostly in converted barns and what looked like old general store spaces. One place had a whole slew of vinyl LPs - all for a dollar a piece - in the rear of the shop, which felt like a little piece of heaven: dug through some of the bins, found a few things, including a set of Alban Berg's "Wozzeck", also the two-disk collection of Kurt Weill songs "Berlin to Broadway", which I've had my out for after I had it out of one of the local libraries and it vanished when they culled the entire vinyl. Gotta say, Weill was one of the composers that helped inform my later teen years, for better or worse. The whole raffish decadence of his collaborations with Bertolt Brecht gave my conservative, somewhat sequestered self the jolt that it needed, and it helped me to start challenging my boundaries.

Snow falling tonight: I peeked out to find a coating of silver on the trees and the grass. Weather reports say we'll have a couple inches by morning, which I look forward to walking through on my way to work: first time to break out the snow boots I bought a couple of weeks back.

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Errands again, including ones afield

Two days of errands: yesterday/Thursday I wanted to accomplish more than I did, but I had a minor relapse with this cold; nothing major, I think I just need to swap out my toothbrush, since I did feel a little bit feverish. Still, I managed to take care of fetching my paycheck from last week, cash it and restock some of my vitamins and supplements. Thank heavens for having a couponer, albeit a far from extreme one (I have had those come through my lane at work, and yes, it's crazy if impressive) in the family: I managed to score a three month supply of supplements for less than half the full price. Came home and took a rest, curled under the bed covers, later felt better, good enough that I felt up to going out when my dad suggested going out for dinner at Cracker Barrel: I had their spiced grilled catfish, since I felt like having something fishy yet zingy - yum!

Today/Friday I felt up to going further afield to Lowell: took care of bank things, went to St. Joseph's to get the next issues of Magnificat magazine. Came back to town, intending to get some new flannel PJs from WalMart (got a gift card for Christmas, so wanted to use that), but didn't quite find what I had in mind. But I did find a Hello Kitty Valentine mailbox for my mum and for meself, a teeny-tiny plushie of Big Macintosh, from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic; best pony big brother ever, eeyup!

Also nipped into the Dunkin Donuts around the corner to download some new books onto the Kindle, including a few horror anthologies.

And! I have a website recommendation: if history and Hollywood fascinate you, allow me to direct your attention to the You Must Remember This podcast, an excellently researched and recorded production.

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Two afternoons of writing, today and yesterday, and I spent both of them at Perfecto's Cafe (the name irks me a bit, since 'perfect' is a bit of a verbum non gratum in my vocabulary, but! great food, bit of a teeny place, but cozy, too). Wonderfully productive time, and in the process, I finished the first draft of my first short story of 2016. Only the first draft, though: I hand-write the rough/first draft, then typewrite the second draft, then go over it, line by line, tweaking and cutting and rearranging stuff till I feel ready to send it off I set for myself one major goal this year, that of writing one story every other week, inspiration permitting and barring unforeseen circumstances (day job getting busy, illness - which I just dealt with; I still have some congestion lingering, but I've practically healed - knocking me into bed, other things that don't fall under those headers). Getting published will happen as it goes: I've got a half-dozen markets that I'm looking at for the next few months, and collecting a few more all the time, some with deadlines, some with continuously open submissions.

Also, running a few errands, mostly small ones: picking up tea and juice and the odd snacks, poking through marked-down Christmas items and getting some gift wrap ahead of next Christmas, also taking care of bank stuff. Yesterday (Tuesday) felt like snow, but the snowfall did not come down till well after dark and around midnight, which meant I woke up this morning (Wednesday) to sunlight shining off the inch of silver-white covering the ground and trees. Made a very lovely walk.



The table where I've worked the past couple of afternoons. The black box is a tin that held "Vampire Blood Red Hot Chocolate" mix, and now it holds my pens and pencils, with my chai tea to the far left, and my eastern omelette on an English muffin. And front and center, with a black rollerball pen (my writing tool of choice, though plain old ball points and pencils are dearly loved as well) holding it open, the yellow journal I've been using, featuring a hand-tooled leather cover with the infamous Yellow Sign etched into it, which I got as an early Christmas present whilst at NecronomiCon this past summer.

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Mental health break

So, due to my illness, I forgot to write in my hours at work for this week. At the same time, I'd had it in the back of my head to take a mental health week, after Christmas and after inventory. So to my relief, when I went in to work Sunday after Mass (noon at St. Joseph's, as we got a bit of a late start due my still not quite feeling like myself), I found I had no hours scheduled. Likely sounds strange, but considering how I've had to drag myself about the past week, and how much the holiday hustle and bustle took out of me, I needed a break like this.

Quiet day, Sunday, spent most of the day curled up and reading books. Though I did start writing a new story Saturday, based off H.P.L's "From Beyond" and partly off an odd thing I'd heard a young child say, which I've told at some length over here on the shiny new author blog which I started up on Goodreads (I admit, I'm utterly addicted to that site, such a great way to keep track of the books you've read).

Today (Monday) - A rather up and down day: I managed to get my laundry done and a few errands taken care of (ie. writing in my hours for next week). This despite the shadows that had crept into my heart, after I'd read of the passing of David Bowie. On reading the news, I initially thought, since I'd spent the last month or so hearing his 1977 duet with Bing Crosby among the Christmas songs on the canned music at work, "...Now he's singing another duet with Bing..." Such talent, and such a down-to-earth human being. Rest assured, David, you loved and were loved in return.

Also, at last, an eye exam at LensCrafters in the Rockingham Mall and a clean bill of ocular/visionary health. Even in the three years since my last exam and new prescription, my vision had barely changed, so I simply needed new lenses and new frames, while keeping the older pair as back up, in the event that these suffer a misadventure. And to my relief, I passed a glaucoma test: because of all the eye surgery I had as a wee little Ref, that puts me at a higher risk for developing the condition, but I'm in the clear, it seems.

Christmas season 2016 037

Your author, mit new eyeglasses.

No need to be afraid of getting sick...

Image in honour of today being Roy Batty's incept date, in BladeRunner (might even rewatch the movie tonight for that reason).

When you actually do get sick. Came down with a sore throat on Tuesday afternoon and I got progressively worse through the evening. Wednesday I spent curled up in bed, either resting or reading Christmas horror stories when I felt cognizant enough to piece sentences together. I felt so horrible (feverish and achy), we held off on celebrating Epiphany till yesterday/Thursday. I added the figures of the Wise Men to the Nativity scenes before we unwrapped the rest of our presents: I got a book of Japanese art designs, also some new pens (will post about the rest of the Christmas haul in another post, once I collect everything and tuck it under my own tree. I'd felt pretty good through most of the day, even felt up to taking care of a little housework, but once it got later in the evening, my fever came back with a vengeance. At least the fever broke and let me sleep well and I was able to go to work today. Short work shift today: I mostly did overstock, ended up getting sent home early since the store didn't have a lot of traffic. All week, I'd had a craving for grilled cheese sandwiches, so before leaving for home, I got myself a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich from the in-store sandwich shop. I'd be the first to admit that tomatoes aren't exactly my favourite, but this sandwich tasted utterly scrumptious (or maybe I felt just that hungry).

Then, this evening, went to the LensCrafters in the Rockingham Mall with my dad: he's replacing the lenses on his own specs, and I'm in need of an eye exam and new frames: the half-rims I've worn for the past three years have gotten a bit twisted and the lenses feel like they want to pop off, which doesn't exactly inspire my confidence in them. So! I now have an appointment for Monday night, for an eye exam and to get a new set of frames and lenses.

We also poked around the mall for a bit: It used to be almost, not a tradition but a 'thing', if you will, for my folks and I to go to the mall after Christmas when the crowds had died down and the after-Christmas sales had started. Something about the mall after Christmas speaks of the season, the hustle and bustle has passed and the decorations started to vanish till they come out of storage again the following year. One can sense a post-holiday weariness, even, and an encroaching darkness, even though the cycle of the year has turned and the days now lengthen again. I poked around the FYE shop, where they had a blow-out sale in progress. Found the DVD set of the 2014 BBC version of Father Brown, fifty percent off.

Due to the illness, I got into a between-phase on my writing. I have a few ideas in mind, but have yet to start writing them in earnest. I have a few anthology deadlines lined up on small post-its on the edge of the monitor, but have yet to start sending submissions. But soon, when I feel a little better, when my lungs stop back-firing every five to ten minutes (Unless I've dosed myself with cough syrup). I do have one or two that I might send out soon to one or two places I've had an eye on. But, I need to get back to writing, to making things, to telling stories. A break after the last rush to complete something came in good timing, but I need to come to the end of that break and soon.

New Year, 2016!

One of my New Year's Resolutions is, yep, to post more regularly in this journal. And yes, I have already had some trouble sticking to that, but I'm correcting that as you can see.

Thursday, December 31st, last day of 2015, I had to work, though since I had to work the next day, I went to vigil Mass at St. Michael's. Rang the new year in with the folks, though admittedly, I felt a bit tired due to all the work I've been doing, both at the day job and the writing.

Saturday was a quiet day, and I've been in dire need of a quiet day: curled up in bed with the Kindle, reading several Christmas collections and an audio version of Dickens's "The Chimes". Sunday was inventory day and thus I went in for a bit to help out in the front end; originally, they'd wanted me to help out with overstock, but since that task belonged to the night crew, I ended up going home earlier than expected.

Today, since I had the day off, I went out to get a much-needed new pair of winter boots: the uppers have cracked on my previous pair and while it might still handle the ice, I really wouldn't want to try tackling snow drifts in them. Went to Payless Shoes and found exactly the pair in exactly the style I had in mind. Since I had some time while I waited for the return bus, I popped into the Market Basket in that plaza to cash in a soda bottle I'd found in my travels, and in so doing, I bumped into an old boss of mine, now working as a grocery manager. Also popped into Marshall's and found a box of matcha tea bags, just the thing I'd looked for, when I least expected it.

RP tags when I came home: I've eased back into it since the close of the holiday season; I found an easy paced game for Muraki, which allowed me to keep all of his past history, and I'm looking for a home for some of the Lovecraftian characters who share his space in my head.

I'd gotten slightly away from the late night horror movie watching, partly because we'd moved away from the season of darkness and mostly since I'd run out of titles that I was interested in and were readily available, but I found one that perked my interest, "The Lazarus Effect", inspired in part by an actual 1950s experiment conducted by a somewhat cracked scientist who'd tried reviving recently deceased dogs through electrical stimulation and injecting them with various chemical stimulants (so, think a real life cross between Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and H.P. Lovecraft's Herbert West). I'd compare it to a much more serious combination of ReAnimator (there was even a bit involving a syringe full of a greenish substance) and Stuart Gordon's "From Beyond", since some of the horror involved an overstimulation of the pineal gland (only with far more subtle application of the body horror elements) and even "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" (we'll say that when you come back from the dead, you may not be alone in your own head...). I loved the interesting intersection of faith and fact that happens, definitely going on my list of stuff that fascinated me and scared the yell out of me.

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