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I share most things publicly on Google Plus, so I think that you'll be able to see everything if you want to by clicking below:

Photos of the backyard and what's already there, before I put the new plants in. Also, bonus kitty photo.

Video tour of the yard, with narration by me.

And here, have a photo of my counter at work:

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Dusting off my Growstuff account and getting ready to put things out in the garden. I don't have an especially green thumb, and I know nearly nothing about gardening, but I so want to grow food. And pretty things.

Yes. Food and pretty things. My life story.


At work, I have a pot of paperwhites, a pot of amaryllis, and two mystery pots of stuff. At home, I have an amaryllis that's almost spent. And I love having things growing around me.

Last week, there was a plant sale at work. I bought two salvias, a jade of some sort, and another succulent with spikes. I'll take photos later. Need to take them outside to harden off before I put them in the ground, which gives me a few days to plan where they'll go. I should probably make a diagram.

My seed order came yesterday. I limited myself to one 36-slot seed-starting kit; any more is silly overkill for a starter garden. The backyard is huge, but I need to limit myself to a small space in it at first. I bought seeds for zucchini, fish peppers, cilantro, onions, basil, and a bunch of pretty flowers. In March, my tomato starts will arrive. So that's plenty for now; maybe more than I should've gotten, but I'm sure gardeners know how that is.

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Ten, Nine, Eight... )
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Reading: Just a murder mystery called Two Graves. There are a bunch of other things I'm ostensibly reading, but literally the only time I'm not too tired to read is during lunch at work.

Listening: I have a musical game I play with myself that I don't think I've talked about here. I'll put it under a cut to spare your reading list )

Watching: Hmm. Have I watched anything this week? I don't think so. New job, tired, etc. And James has a new game he's playing, so he'd rather play that than watch TV with me. So yeah, nothing, I think, unless you count (and I guess I should) watching my "videos that make me happy" playlist on YouTube, which I just created and which I'm really enjoying building. Recently added the Neil Patrick Harris opening of the 2013 Tony Awards. When he starts talking about inspiring young theater geeks, I lose it. Every. Time.

Playing: I uninstalled Two Dots and reinstalled it after I won the final level (which is currently 135, I think). Also still playing my other stuff. I really want a new puzzle game for android phones (hint, hint), but with the tired and all, haven't gotten around to it.
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Just a quickie today. First week of work went well, but I'm tired and trying not to stay up too late. We had to go buy a mattress after work, and I just got home at 9pm, so yeah. Tired!

Really liked The Martian. A lot. More later, perhaps, but honestly, there was almost nothing I disliked about it, and that doesn't happen much. (Some casually bigoted language. Otherwise, I really liked just about everything.)

Listening to the same stuff. Playing the same games. About to finish reading Pride and Prejudice.


The List

Jan. 20th, 2015 08:39 pm
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Been making this list for more years than I can count. It often helps my mood.

Five things that are good about me:

I am enthusiastic
I am highly optimistic
I like working and being useful
I readily admit when I'm wrong
I am nearly always kind to myself

Five things I'm grateful for:

My amazing family.
My new job!
Finally being near my mom.
I currently have THREE cute/comfy pairs of work shoes. A personal record, I believe.
I wrote to ask three of my professors to recommend me for grad school. I got instant yeses from two of them, so I'm two thirds of the way there.

Five people or animals who love me without reservation:

My kids.
My partners.
My mom.

Five times in recent memory when I was happy/joyful/contented:

When this guy spoke at the new job's opening day.
When one of the interview committee sought me out to tell me I had interviewed so well that zie wanted to come get interview tips from me.
When I was sitting under the jacaranda tree, sipping water and reading The Martian.
When I got this job.
When I found great shoes at the store that fit and look good.

Five things I'm good at:

Enjoying my own company without being bored
Getting multi-item dinners to all come out at the same time
Admitting when I'm wrong
Cooking eggs (it's an odd thing since I can take eggs or leave them, but almost everyone I've ever cooked eggs for says I do a really good job of them)
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The Governing Board at the new job meets on Wednesdays to approve new hires, so I started on Thursday. World's easiest first week: spent Thursday observing the others doing the job; spent Friday at all-day staff-development meetings, with free breakfast/lunch; and now there's a three-day weekend.

I can't get complacent, though, because I work in the admissions and records office, and this Wednesday is the first day of classes, so shit's about to get real.

Anyway, some good stuff about the new gig:

* It's at the community college I went to, and I loved the school when I was there, so that's really cool.

* The hours work for me, though they're odd (10-6:45 M-Th; 7-3:45 or something like that on Fridays; I have to look in my book) and it's ten minutes down the street (almost exactly four miles, no freeway required).

* I got to run into one of my two fave teachers on Friday, and it was SO nice to see he's still there and super-successful in his field. I got to tell him how much his example meant to me and how it really did change my life (no exaggeration), so that was cool.

* The co-workers have been super-sweet and welcoming to me:

Welcome sign at work.

* There's a nice breakroom with an outdoor patio under a jacaranda tree. I think I found my new writing spot.
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This gets super-long; hoping cuts will help. Not sure how good I'll be about this once I start work on Thursday, but I set myself a calendar notification for Tuesdays, so I hope I'll keep it up.

Reading )

Goodreads reading club; recs sought )

Listening )

Watching )

Playing )
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Okay, how cool is this? Someone at my interview on Wednesday came down with the flu, and the department emailed me to let me know I'd been exposed! I have never had anyone be that thoughtful about this stuff before. (I've had my flu shot, and feel fine, but still. Awesome.)
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I am in the last pages of Connie Willis's Doomsday Book, and I don't feel like stopping to make a proper post. More later tonight, or in the morning.
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This is the first in a series of short posts about what life is like for me as a polyanorous person. Just slice-of-life stuff, because I still see people assuming it's all about love-ins and group sex.

I'm reading a book whose protagonist is a tall, dark, hardworking, stoical man who doesn't run from difficulty, takes himself a little bit too seriously, and lives a quietly ethical life despite doing a lot of unethical things.

So much like my first love, the person I call TOTGA (the one that got away).

In this case, polyamory means for me that:

A) I never stopped loving him, so I have an irrational love of this character, who is not the usual type of character I like

B) Even though we're not in contact, I wish I could tell TOTGA about how much Jack Reacher reminds me of him.

C) I can tell my current partners about this and no one will think I'm being unfaithful or obsessive just because I am having loving thoughts about someone who left me fifteen years ago.
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This will be brief. I was sick enough yesterday that I slept sixteen hours in a row, and today I've barely done a thing.

Except read.

Finished City of Bones, which was readable but nothing special.

Finished Jonathan Kellerman's Killer, which was a standard Alex Delaware thing.

Started Lee Child's Never Go Back, a standard Jack Reached thing.

Also checked out a bunch more stuff at the library, so I'm set if there are more sick days coming.
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So, it's probably pretty obvious that I'm having a rough time lately, but there's still LOTS of good stuff!

In no particular order:

1) My mom and I are having some good times together. She's having a rough time herself, rougher than I am, and we make each other laugh, which in itself is enough to validate my decision to come here.

2) There are farmers' markets here, and we've gone to a couple of them. We're going to my old favorite one later today, which apparently has grown to be huge. Should be fun, but might be too much to handle on a regular basis. Might get a CSA box instead of chasing farmers' markets all week.

3) James and I are going to opt out of Christmas stuff this year, and I've booked us a Christmas Day whalewatching cruise! (I snagged the idea from a tweet by [ profile] seanan_mcguire.)

4) I am having some luck with jobhunt stuff and expect that I'll be working by January.

5) The apartment is ready for the guy to come tomorrow and rewire it, put up walls, etc. James did an AMAZING job ripping out all the walls and fixtures and disposing of all the drywall, etc. I took some photos on his phone, and will share some later.

6) I'm eating better, so I'm feeling better.

7) My family love me.

8) The refinery fire that was making it hard for my kid to breathe wasn't worse.
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Me: I'd like to change doctors, please.

Kaiser: Okay, but then you'll have to have an appointment with the new doctor.

Me: Okay.

Kaiser: Okay, what did you need to see the doctor about?

Me: Um, nothing. You just told me I need to see her.

Kaiser: But I have to put a complaint down here.

Me: Fine. Put [random choice from my short list of chronic conditions].

Cut to today, when I show up for this doctor-change visit and a different doc (neither my current one nor the new one) is listed on my check-in sheet.

Me: I am here to see Dr. A and you have me with Dr. B.

Kaiser: Oh, yes, Dr. A called in today, so we switched you to Dr. B.

Me: Okay, well, I want to cancel this appointment and make a new one with Dr. A.

Kaiser: Oh. Okay. Then you don't need to see anyone at all?

serene: we're having hot lesbian sex. and by lesbian sex, we mean tea. but it's hot. (lesbian tea)

I picked up a book by someone I like and respect, and it just wasn't my cup of tea. Not badly written; just not the sort of thing I go in for. I gave it around thirty pages and moved on.

Next, I'm on to Chang-Rae Lee's On Such A Full Sea. Not very far into it so far. Seems futuristic, but can't tell; that's not a bad thing, as I'm only perhaps ten pages in. Writing is so far is lovely, as expected; he wrote one of my favorite pieces of creative non-fiction. Will report back soon.

Edit: I'm also reading Connie Willis's Doomsday Book. Liking it a lot so far.


Got Wynnona and Indigo Girls and Linda Ronstadt (What's new? How is the world treating you?) on in the car. Also have an old Karen Carpenter that mom picked up for me at the yard sales, but I disliked the first song, so I skipped it. May give it another shot later. When I'm alone in the car, I play my game where I stop on the first thing that's actual music and not a commercial, so I'm hearing lots of new stuff: mariachi and rap and classical and pop and so on. I enjoy most of it, and dislike very little of it. I continue to have mixed feelings about "All About That Bass," which continues to be my most persistent earworm.

Also, I don't think to mention this, usually, but we listen to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me every week.


I didn't care for Plants vs. Zombies 2. Not only because it requires a camera (anyone know why?) to download, but because there's just too much going on. If a game gets too frantic and fast, I start mashing the keys and lose interest.

Still playing PvZ1, Dots, Two Dots, and Royal Envoy 2, along with a thing called Dropwords that makes me long for Bookworm, so I may go see if they have an Android version. Are you playing anything fun right now?


Checked out a couple of discs of The Saint from the library. Really sexist -- he slaps women All. The. Time! Definitely not going to get more of them, but to be honest, it's the kind of show James and I tend to watch: intrigue/mystery that's not challenging to the thinky bits.

Netflix has some more seasons of Suchet's Poirot,  I still really like it, and it's been long enough since I've read any of the stories that the only one I knew the ending to was the Orient Express.

Disney re-released Sleeping Beauty, a childhood fave of mine, after years of not making it available, as part of the whole Maleficent thing, so we bought Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent both.

I will not give you the feminist commentary on Sleeping Beauty today. You can probably find it online [Jezebel | Tor] | Feminist Fiction | etc]. But I loved that movie as a child, and I was especially enchanted with Maleficent, who intrigued me and sent a frisson of dread/exhilaration through me. I thought she was beautiful and fascinating and interesting.

So why did I fall asleep watching the Jolie piece? Dunno. Will try again, because there certainly is a lot of interesting alternative story going on, and it's right up my alley, but the pace was slow and Jolie's accent was driving me buggy, and I fell asleep about halfway through.
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I have always had lots of interests. I have enjoyed and developed some amount of skill in a few areas. I have made money doing a lot of things.

This is not always a benefit, not entirely. I mean, it makes me happy and I don't want to change it, but sometimes I want to do things WELL, not just superficially. I am decent at writing and cooking and editing and singing and math and a handful of other things. I'very been paid for most of them. But I tend to flit. Mostly, that's okay. But reduced energy and maybe some depth that comes with age means I kind of want to try to focus on something.

But what?
serene: I love the whole world. (love)
The days of the week blend together when you're not working a set schedule, but I had a job interview Friday and I have another one tomorrow, so this really feels like a weekend, which I haven't really had in a long time. This morning, I made waffles. At 1, mom and I are going to the library to return our books. At some point, I'll toss another bag or two of expired pantry foods. And James and I may watch the third Mummy movie, since we watched the first two last night, and if you know James, you know he likes to complete watching something once he's started.

Not a bad Sunday, all in all.
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I haven't done these in a few years, and I'm not sure why, because I love them. Thanks to [personal profile] jae for posting hers so I would remember to do it:

the year in questions, 2014 edition, with a couple of jae's answers stolen, as well )
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On [personal profile] wordweaverlynn’s recommendation, I read Being Small, by Chaz Brenchley ([personal profile] desperance). I’m still deciding how I feel about it. Spoilers behind the cut. )

Last weekend, I bought two Georgette Heyer books at a secondhand bookshop. Yesterday, I checked out a bunch of books from the library. Right now, all I’m reading is a magazine of vegan recipes.


James and I are almost done rewatching Monty Python. I checked out The Saint from the library, so we’ll probably do that next. I also got out the first disc of Orange is the New Black, because my dad hasn’t seen it, and I think he might like it. I have huge problems with how it treats race. I also think it’s very good television, and the acting is among the best on any show ever.


I’ve been mostly on Pandora lately. Mix of country, hip-hop, seventies rock, disco, surf music, recent pop, not so recent pop…


Still playing a lot of Plants vs. Zombies, Dots, and Two Dots. Also a little of my standby, Royal Envoy 2.

Dec 6: Home

Dec. 6th, 2014 10:09 pm
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Lately, we are in a kind of limbo on the issue of home. I mean, we're living with our family, which means we have a home, but we're in their space, which means we don't always feel at home. Partly because of this, or perhaps mainly because of this, we go out driving a lot. If we lived someplace walkable, we'd probably be out walking a lot.


This morning, we got up, ate, got showered, and drove an hour or so to Julian, a local mountain town famous for its apples. They have an apple festival every year, and their apple pies are an iconic San Diego treat. We wandered their main street, checked out their antique shops and other stores, had kick-ass barbecue (the best smoked ribs either of us has ever eaten), and bought some pie and raw cider to take home. I also bought two Georgette Heyer books to take home, from a little bookshop with a chatty owner.

We got there at 10 to a very sleepy town. A little after noon, when we left, it was clear they were just beginning some kind of holiday street festival or something. We happily skedaddled out of there.

After that, James wanted to do some more antiquing, so we went to Ramona, another local town that has lots of little antique malls and shops. They were also having a holiday craft fair in their town hall, which was delightful. I bought TARDIS hair clips and we got some old-timey candy from the antique store. We talked and laughed and admired pretty women and held hands and discovered things.

And I was far away from the place I live, which itself is a temporary lodging.

And I was home.


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