In happier news, the Blanket Project is still on-track, with today's swatch representing yet another completed strip, although as you can see I did hit "bugger this" after two full six-row repeats of back-to-back "p3tog/YO/p3tog again" across the WS rows and decided that I'd grasped the point sufficiently to just fill in the rest of that one with garter-stitch. I've also hit my first penalty-lap knitting of the 29 February stitch, because (appropriately enough, I suppose?) 1 April's "Bramble Stitch" is actually a duplicate of "Trinity Stitch" from an earlier swatch. I know that there's at least one more duplicated pattern coming up in a few weeks, I'll use the 31 December pattern there and then alternate between the extras if I encounter any more sloppy proofreading. *Ahem*.

Also going on in my Alleged Life, I have three weeks left to get the rest of the story I hope to submit for Long Hidden 2 together, and as of high noon an army of workmen have finally turned up to saw out the wall just outside our back door to fix a pipe that that's been sporadically gushing water back there since sometime in early-to-mid March. This wouldn't be doing much for my ability to concentrate if I were on meds...
Weasel is no longer with us.

She'd been looking increasingly frail over the winter, as cats who are somewhere around eighteen years old do, but her decline had accelerated in the past month. She was walking more and more shakily and curling up to sleep in random places. About last Wednesday we realised that neither of us had seen her eat anything since one tiny scrap of bacon on Monday; we made her as comfortable as we could, but by the weekend it was plain that she was so done with this BS. So, we did the kindest thing and took her for the last ride on Tuesday, which was the earliest we could arrange at that point and I think half of what feels so bad about the overall experience is that the timing had to put her through about two extra days of I Am Really Not Having Any Fun At This Point. I've never had a cat actually up and die of natural causes -- though for about the last two weeks we kept expecting that we'd walk in one night and find her gone -- but this is about the closest it's come, so I suppose the only regret should be that it's such a hard call to make regarding someone else's quality of life, and I can only hope that somebody would pay so much consideration to me when and if a time like this comes.





Weasel is survived by her utterly indifferent roommate, Snip.
Apparently in a few hours the clock here strikes 2015. Given that I've had to repeatedly remind myself even up to this past week that no, that thing from last April isn't still an imminent "to-do", I'd say that I've reached the point where I've definitively lost any capacity I may ever have had to keep track of such trifles as linear time. But, insofar as I can reconstruct the passage of 2014 at all, the highlight was the appearance of "Ffydd (Faith)" in Long Hidden, because it's basically the only thing I remember from the last few months that didn't involve yarn in some capacity. Ahem.

Plans, insofar as I'm any good at making them, for the coming year:


  • Continuing to plug away at the not-exactly-a-putting-on-trousers-to-join-the-army story for a submission deadline of 30th April; current status 1350 words towards minimum of 2k, and reminding myself constantly that I did manage to turn out 3k-word "Ffydd" within the time I still have remaining now.

  • Continuing to plug away on Hiraeth, hopefully with more timely results than for 2014, which I choose to blame on Inner Trevor being in thirty-seven flavours of funk about it being 2014. (He even crapped out on a post about the Christmas Truce, after I took him to the "David Bowie Is..." show and everything...)

  • The Media Consumption project enters year ten, as soon as I get around to doing the previous year's maths.

  • This year's "year of blogging something stupid" attempt shall be to knit my way through a swatch-a-day calendar. By this time next year, I should have either a very large blanket, or a good reason to say someday we'll look back on this and laugh...
Despite the part where it is now noticeably getting dark earlier and earlier, my mood is somewhat improved from the previous post by the temperature having risen back above, oh, fiftyish. Hypothesis: my seasonal blahs are a function of how many layers of clothes I have to put on rather than raw light-levels. I'd move somewhere warmer, but I rather doubt anywhere does have a stable enough climate anymore anyway.


The Muse is... ticking away in the background, not unlike unexploded ordnance; the latest problem she's trying to drag home on the side is "hey remember you were thinking about writing up Cecily's origin story there's A Thing that could be relevant to submit that to", to which end she's already dragged home a pile of materials from the library. I keep trying to explain to Muse that the problem with Cecily is that she doesn't entirely know What She Wants As A Character, which makes it kind of hard to, y'know, protag with her...

Does "umm, not to be considered property?" sound like a hook to hang a plot on? I worry that my initial 'that'd never fly here' impulse is, once again, that "that's a girl's story hence not Artistically Valid but you can't give a girl a 'rather be hung for my own damn sins' storyline, especially without it going all rapey in one way or the other", and maybe there is a story in there just because of that resistance, but... Yeah. Kind of at the "oh god how does anybody word" stage of this theoretical project. Help me think out loud, here, guys...
robling_t: (trevorpony)
( May. 9th, 2014 04:03 pm)
Long Hidden is out today.


If anyone needs me, I'll be over here listening to Inner Jason ribbing Inner Trevor mercilessly about the haircut and suspenders braces.

(I ain't explainin'. You'll just have to go buy the book.)
robling_t: No, seriously, bollocks (bollocks)
( May. 1st, 2014 03:55 pm)
It's May the first, and it's literally too cold out to do any of the items on my "yeah, that's just kind of sitting there in the way and I should do something about that" list: it's too cold and damp to dye yarn, it's too cold and damp to plant any of the plants we rather optimistically bought last weekend, and it's even too cold and damp to be sitting here now trying to concentrate on a screen much less type straight, never mind trying to knit with shivering fingers and sinuses full of mold-spores and treesex. Nor, for that matter, can I seem to keep it together well enough to read, either.

I think I shall turn the furnace up, some more, and go waste the rest of the afternoon trying to find something I can focus on on the telly, and then give it up for a bad job and go back to bed until about Memorial Day.
robling_t: No, seriously, bollocks (bollocks)
( Mar. 26th, 2014 04:21 pm)
It may tell you everything you need to know about my family that they still send me mail addressed to the name I stopped using twenty years ago, which isn't even their-side's name in the first place. To be fair, I don't know that I've ever actually brought this up as A Thing to them, but then again, that gets into some chicken-and-egg arguments about whether it would have registered anyway...
$@##% THIS WEATHER. I feel like I should be making a logbook so that future explorers will have a record when and if it ever thaws out enough to find our bodies:

23rd February, 20__: Weather continues bullshit. Cdr. Marcus raised ethical objections to the notion of eating the last of the sled-dogs, so we have eaten him instead. Have spent last six days engaged in composing filing for eventual lawsuit against Mother Nature when and if conditions ever permit another journey to the post-office...
I haven't had enough spoons lately even to address any of the do-able things that might help me to reclaim some spoons. This is, obviously, not a helpful situation. And the damn Weather is. not. helping.



In a completely unrelated I swear enquiry, does anybody happen to know offhand what culture it was that used to deal with the cold by smearing themselves with butter? Asking for a, um, Muse friend...
It's distressing to realise just how much of my long-term plan for my life has been basically 'not getting run over by a bus before 23rd November 2013'.

Perhaps I should consider piracy.
Once again I find myself in the position of having three, well, no, four things that I need to be doing in the very-short-term, and because of that, being able to concentrate on none of them well enough to make any progress. The Brainweasels are having a field day about that, you can imagine, and they've even helpfully started a tangential meltdown about a side-point of one of the tasks to burn up what few processor-cycles I might have managed to scrape together in a row.

How do "normal" people do any of this? I feel like I was out getting the snacks when the concept of linear time and breaking down tasks to do them in order was explained...
I have to write a bio for the anthology.

...Help?
robling_t: (Default)
( Nov. 12th, 2013 12:34 am)
And now the condo board is tuckpointing the roof, or some damn thing, which involved, at 7:30 this morning, workmen setting up a scaffold outside my bedroom window, at 7:30 in the morning, and knocking bits of same against my bedroom window, at 7:30 in the morning, whilst the workmen were yelling at one another in Polish, at 7:30 in the bloody morning.

If anyone needs me, I shall be over here stroking my Persecution Complex in much the same creepy manner that a Bond villain pets their cat.
robling_t: (Default)
( Oct. 24th, 2013 01:41 am)
So, altogether, the time elapsed from "BTW the gas company needs to go through your wall" to the all-clear for putting the furniture in the studio back in order so we can, y'know, work with anything in there, came out to ten days.

And y'all wonder why I have a persecution complex.
Barely six weeks into the New Stupid Job and Mum came home with her arm in a sling from tripping on somebody's wonky sidewalk and cracking her, um, the pointy bit on the outboard side of your elbow (the head of the humerus). The sling is more about the overall spraining, I gather, and she's not in all that much pain, but she's still going to be various degrees of inconvenienced-and-underfoot for possibly six to eight weeks. In the morning she's going to ring the New Stupid Job and see what her options-if-any are, since 'delivering random bulky things to people with more money than patience' is obviously An Issue with one arm out of commission, not to mention it's her car-ignition hand and she only got home by climbing in the passenger-side door to start it lefty. One imagines there's something resembling workman's comp involved here, as well as that it was on private property so possibly they're insured as a building, but GAH.

At least she might have the leisure now to make a few calls about finding out how much it would be to get the oven and the dryer fixed...
Something important apparently nearly fell off of the car. The takeaway here is the "nearly", I think, because at least Mum got it looked at while matters were still at the "is it supposed to be making that noise/smell?" stage as opposed to the far more expensive ACTUALLY ON FIRE stage. So, progress on the Dealing With Life front. (Although the oven, washer/dryer, and bathroom sink continue to be out of service.) She did, BTW, get something at least vaguely resembling another job, which is good because the last bunch did as expected just sort of wander off without making any provisions for their workers; New Job is basically the same as Previous Job, only working for people who seem to be marginally less of assholes at least somewhat cognizant of how basic physics works on this planet in traffic. Rate of pay still crap, but may improve with familiarity, and at any rate sufficient to keep beans on the table whilst further plans are considered. And far more humane hours, which also helps RE the considering further plans because part of the overall problem was a chronic lack of spoons to do anything else. Just not having to work on Saturdays has already improved Mum's outlook noticeably.


In other news, the Alleged Story is still giving me fits. It's currently 600 words short of the minimum wordcount for the thing-I-want-to-submit-it-to, with 3 weeks to the deadline, and I'm at that point of "this is complete crap even if I can connect the rest of the bits together why did I start this", which probably means that I'll wake up the morning after the deadline has passed and realize exactly how I could have fixed everything in about twenty minutes. Would it be Bad Form to ask someone to beta this before I even have a completed draft? I can't help but think that maybe the issue here is at least partly the want of a fresh eye on the damn thing...
I keep going back and forth adding and deleting about 150 words on the Alleged Story without making any forward progress. It's very frustrating, like re-knitting the same row over and over. I think I might have just wrestled it round to where the Important Point is more front-loaded than it's been previously, though, so we shall see if I can find another 1900 words scattered throughout the rest of the proceedings at hand... New Thing Learned: I am not naturally the sort of writer who writes to deadlines. (Not that this is particularly new-new knowledge, as such, but previous impressions of same have been being reinforced in some deeply unpleasant ways.)

In other news, a 'Cos-You-Never-Know Random Research Exercise yesterday involved didgeridoos, and observations regarding same from the Character Gallery ranging from Inner David complaining about his experiences with people making assumptions about the Ambiguously Brown Guy to speculation that the OMG MY SINUSES vibrations have something to do with scaring off bunyips. Note to Self: do not take Trevor and Jason to another didgeridoo concert.
Fed the cats the other morning and went out of the room for about ten minutes. When I came back into the kitchen, Snip leapt up onto the counter and began making a case that she hadn't been fed in, um, ever, and was in imminent danger of a gruesome death by starvation.

While she was licking the grease off her whiskers.

And there was still half a can of gooshyfood left on their plate.

So I told her, in all seriousness, "How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?"

Snip was not impressed.
Flood waters have receded for now, but there's more rain in the forecast. Ah well, by the piles of waterlogged basement-contents everywhere there's not much left to wreck...

As to Muse and her ongoing issues, I suppose that Proposed Story's continually getting all hung up on the question of whether female-Narrator's desires are a "legitimate" focus for storytelling could very well itself be an interesting meta-take on the anthology's brief about marginalization; I'm still not quite sure how to weld that general impression together into something that would pass for a commercially-viable narrative in the current age-slash-markets, but the idea that I'm butting my head against problematicness on purpose could be progress here, I guess. It has, at least, got to the jotting-down-interesting-imagery stage, even if that's not quite "I have enough of an idea what's going on and why that makes it a story to be confident of beginning" yet. We Shall See...
robling_t: No, seriously, bollocks (bollocks)
( Feb. 24th, 2013 05:36 pm)
Walked in after an afternoon out, went to wash my hands, and THE BATHROOM SINK EXPLODED. As near as I can make out, the water is coming out somewhere after the point where the hot and cold tubes join for the faucet, 'cos it's spraying from the same place regardless of which tap we try. I ended up having to change the catbox, and all of my clothes twice, before I even got to sit down... The expensive shit can just stop going wrong RIGHT NOW, man.
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