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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Unexpected Treasure

I've written of books before, in several different posts, including one full-on review.

But this is different.

A book showed up in here a month ago, just before Norwescon, so it wasn't there that we got it. +Laston Kirkland thought I bought it, and I thought he did, and so neither of us read it, each thinking the other wanted first crack at it.

This morning I read the first chapter. It appears to be a darkish fairy tale of the High Fantasy variety. I like those.

And I am hooked. Utterly and completely hooked, and I can't wait for the Hubs to get home so I can settle into a bubble bath with this book and read more (it being impossible to do so with children in the house unless there is another adult here).

So, curious as to where we got this book, I checked out the author's name. Hmm... R.J. Atman... now why does that sound familiar? Check the Acknowledgements. Hey, the author mentions Google Plus! Whoa, it's +Rebecca Atman! I know her!

It's not on my Orders list from Amazon though. I wonder where it came from?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Shameless, Me

I fully realize that many people believe that the University of Phoenix is a diploma mill.

They couldn't be more wrong.

I worked hard for this. Some classes were easier for me. I wept with frustration over F&^king Algebra.

And now, I'm going to brag about it.

Because I did it, people, and it was hard. I went this route because it was online, which made my schedule my own, but the work itself? In some ways even harder than in a traditional brick-and-mortar school, because it's all me. There's a reason the instructors at UofP aren't called that; they're called facilitators instead, because they are there to present the material and answer questions, rather than to hold the students by the hand.

They helped, of course, as did my babysitter mom, my spouse, and others.

But you know what? I did this mostly by myself. So there.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dragging Out my Political Soapbox


Because I really think this Congress is, well... stupid. And more importantly, they think we are.

In the past few months it's been especially evident; they would rather have a pissing contest their own childish way than to do the job we pay them for... representing us.

Government shutdowns like the one up in that link up there. Tens or hundreds of thousands of people out of work, and some of them still suffering from things like Sandy Hook or hurricane damage.

Sequestrations that cause government workers - not the Congress itself of course; they get their money no matter how incompetent they are - to lose work and pay. And people in disaster zones to have less help. And people on aid to lose some of that aid; when a person on medicaid can no longer have the medication that keeps them stable because their government is playing one-upmanship games with their lives, what happens to them?

Now, I'm not going to get deep into the gun control debate; I have used guns, I have shot them and cleaned them and learned how not to get shot by them. I'm not a fan of firearms, but I know how they work and I'm not afraid of them either, thanks to my ex-husband.

But while this Congress won't pass a law that really says nothing more than "we want to know who you are before you buy a gun," (they claim it violates the 2nd amendment, which it doesn't), they will pass a law that violates the 4th (and maybe the 1st, depending on how much of your internet use you classify as "free speech").

Because... what? Because they want to make a statement that they don't like the current President? We got that, we understand it. Move on.

It's certainly not for an actual logical reason.

My ten-year-old is more socially mature than this bunch. Sometimes even my five-year-old is.

Now I realize that this sort of crap has happened since the beginning, and people have been noting it since them. It may just be the evil Internet that CISPA is trying to regulate throttle that makes it so obvious to me in the now.

But really, guys, it's getting way past ridiculous and into the realm of farce. Stop it.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Hard Lessons

Abby's scooter has gone missing, and she's heartbroken. I feel bad on the one count (because she's heartbroken) but on the other, I have no sympathy. Maybe this will be the trigger for her learning to keep track of her things.

She's ten. She's a girl scout. She's old enough, knowledgeable enough, and (generally) responsible enough to understand that this is her responsibility, no-one else's, because she left it at a friend's apartment (outside), she thinks it was Wednesday afternoon, and now it's Saturday. Sorry, guys, it's a decent neighborhood, but that is no guarantee that unattended scooters won't be stolen if they're left outside for half a week.

She knows this, and I'm sure half the heartbreak is guilt and anger at herself, for leaving the damn thing out there in the first place.

The three girls and a couple of neighbor kids are walking down to the apartment complex office to see if it's been turned in. I doubt it, because any un-thief who saw it would have assumed that it belonged to the household outside which it was left, and leave it alone.

Lizzy's winter jacket got off a little easier; she left it in the complex playground yesterday. It's wet, and in the washing machine, and it'll be fine. Maybe her sister's hard lesson will make an impression on her too.

I doubt it, though, because she's five, and she's Lizzy, and while she is sympathetic (insofar as it is in her to be) with her sister's plight, her attention span is such that she will forget pretty quickly. And - being Lizzy - will remember three years from now.

In the meantime, we have an overnight planned for this evening, and that will, if nothing else, serve as a distraction from the woe.

UPDATE: The Scooter has been found, a bit worse for wear. It's fine but it appears that one of the bolts has been stripped and needs replacing, so the handlebars do not fall off at odd moments.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Lack of Breath Disturbs Me

But it disturbs my mom more.

Yes, I am 44 years old. I have been living on my own for about half my life. But she's still my momma, and when she hears me gasping, she gently bullies me into going to the doctor.

The doctor who says, "Yes, looks like Asthmatic Bronchitis again. Here, take these."

I used to get sinus infections several times a year, until they removed the Teeth of Doom. I have not had one in over a year and a half.

Now they all go south.

As far as the doctor knows, I don't have bacterial bronchitis, much less pneumonia (again). But when I get Abby's cold (again), and it moves into my chest (again), they like to play it safe, especially because they gave me prednisone (which apparently can make one more susceptible to infection).

But I think that breathing is kind of important, and the doctor agrees, so prednisone it is.

I likely won't be sleeping tonight; prednisone does that to me. It also causes hot flashes. Whee.

On the other hand, between the prednisone and the coffee and the nebulizer treatment, I feel very, very alert.

Again whee.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Fandom is a Funny Thing

Abby's friend - we'll call her Sara as I don't have permission from her parents to use her name - is over today. Generally Sara is quiet when she's around us, although I gather she's not when she and Abby play at her house.

But not today.

Today she's making my kids (and me) look quiet and shy and retiring by comparison and it's kind of unreal.

You see, we found her fandom.

For Abby (and me) it's Doctor Who and associated media (except Torchwood; Abby is too young for that). Lizzy has a My Little Pony fandom, we all like The Powerpuff Girls and Phineas and Ferb, even +Laston Kirkland.

Sara apparently is in love with Link.

You see, Abby and Sara are playing Super Smash Brothers' Brawl, a game where various Nintendo characters fight each other. Sara is babbling - hard and loudly - about how the costumes are the wrong color but oh that must be because there isn't a green team and green is the color that Link usually wears, so his clothes in this game are blue or maybe red depending on the team.

If she has paused for breath, I haven't noticed.

She keeps interrupting herself to remark that wow, she's talking a lot and she doesn't usually talk this much but she really (really really) loves all the characters in this game, even if they are wearing the wrong colors and oh, she's so glad her cousin recommended it and that we have a copy and she could come over every week if we'd let her, just to play.

All of this with preadolescent italics every other word.

It's funny.