Monday, May 28, 2018

Dumb dog.

So.  Yesterday, we got up as usual on weekend mornings, and found that the kids had let the dog out (also like usual on weekend mornings).

What wasn't like usual was that either the imp or pixie had messed up.  The gate was ajar.

And the out.  And vanished.

We looked for her, ran the mower (partially because it needed it, partially because we thought it'd bring her out of hiding), looked for her again, left a message with the humane society.

Found out from the neighbor that the dog catcher had been just east of us, very early yesterday morning.  So I checked the Humane Society's page again, where they post pictures of lost pets.  Sure enough--she was there.

They're closed today.  Sad dog in doggie jail's gonna have to wait for her bail-out until tomorrow afternoon.

And then, directly following, she's getting a bath and shorn like a kid going into boot camp.

Maybe not a dumb dog...maybe she planned it?  Because the bath and haircut were on the schedule for yesterday. 

Update:  Dog has been bailed out, and is home sleeping on her patio.  She rode home in the back seat of the Subaru, alternating which child's lap she was in at any given moment.  Lots of giggles and doggie kisses.  

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Pens! And Ink! And Paper!

I've been craving new pens for a while.  And new, pretty inks.  It wasn't helped by Odysseus suggesting that the next volume in the Liquid Diet Chronicles (to be written after I finish the current project of the 4th, but CLEARLY not last Modern Gods book, at this point in the writing process) should be done in a burgundy or dark crimson.

Anyhow, I resisted the temptation...and then I gave in.  Odysseus told me to go ahead and make the order I was considering from Goulet Pens, and I did.  I ordered a Platinum Preppy because I've heard a lot about the silly little $4 pens (yeah, they're cheap, and kinda ugly, but damn do they write well), a TWSBI vac mini (it posts, was a little bit less than the full sized one, and something I'd been really wanting for a while, now), a sample of Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses (gorgeous, water-resistant red burgundy), and a full bottle of their Red-Black (which looks like you wrote in blood, and it dried).

I hadn't ordered pens or ink for myself in about a year.  And Odysseus told me that this was my early (but not by a lot) anniversary present.*

I also ordered a set of Jinhao shark pens for my imp, who held his grades to all A's and B's (with the exception of his handwriting, which is still better than his daddy's).  My imp, who loves snitching my fountain pens, and requests a few inked up with his favorite colors every so often, gave me one of his set of seven pens, and gave the pixie another.  And the dumb little things are absolutely spectacularly nice writers.  The little black shark in Chinese fine (finer than European fine) is incredibly smooth.

In any case, my fingers are ink-stained a bit, I have spatters on my left shin from where I dropped an ink syringe that I was using to fill a converter from a sample vial for the pixie, and I couldn't be happier.

In other news, my local Walmart had finally restocked their smaller Pen+Gear brand smaller 5-subject notebooks.   Hadn't happened in a while, and my current favorite is that particular notebook that I'd written out the rough of Bite Sized in (I'm excited--that book has eight reviews, more than any single one of my other books, and all are 5-star), and am working through drafting Gods and Monsters in the second section.  Walmart had three left.   


I now have those notebooks in mint green (my old one), royal blue, red, and black. 

I also snagged a package of their top-spiral memo books and mini-comp-books (same size as the little spiral books)--at $0.88 cents a pack (three in the comp book pack, four in the spiral memos), it was worth a try.  I'm shocked and thrilled by how well they stand up under fountain pen ink, and am now questioning my choice to give the kids one of each out of the two packages to go with their new composition books.

Hi, my name is HH, and I'm a pen and paper nerd.  And I share the voices in my head with anyone who wants a listen.  

*I've already collected part of his Father's Day gifts, and know what I'm doing for his anniversary presents. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

So glad I'm so far down the alphabet list as an author

I don't think I'm going to be targeted any time soon by cry-bullies. 

It's a damn good thing, too--I have a strategy in mind that I can't afford to use, yet.  Maybe (probably) not for a very long time, assuming I ever get there. 

If I ever get targeted by cry-bullies, and I can afford to hire a lawyer, I'm going to sue for three things:

1. A public, written apology, published at the instigator's cost in at least four "reputable" national publications (NYT, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and Time, for example).

2. Said apology will include a detailed retraction of the lies (i.e., what was said, what the truth was, and an analysis of the difference between the two) as well as a statement explaining their motivation (to silence someone they disagree with), and that they're a failure at life in general so feel inclined to attempt to ruin others' reputations.

3. All court costs are their responsibility. 

Honestly, I think all authors who run into this kind of terrorism should sue for something similar (not money, because they frequently don't have it). 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Woah, the burns...

To quote Han Solo, I've got a bad feeling about this

Basically, several states have decided to work on legislation to hand the state's electoral votes to whoever wins the popular vote nationwide. 

This is what is known as "a very bad thing." 

What this does is ensure that whoever wins the East and West Coast votes wins the whole shebang, no matter who wins the vote in the states passing this.  It silences the voices of the state's voters. 

That's gonna end badly for absolutely everyone involved.  Really, really badly.  As in, CW2 badly. 

I don't want that.  I don't want that for my kids.  I don't want that even for the idiots who haven't the sense God gave a domesticated turkey that are pushing for this.  Because they're the ones that are going to die first, and they're going to die ugly, in ways I don't want for even child molesters. 

It would be far quicker and more humane to start enforcing the laws about sedition and treason written into the Constitution, and executing those working against the direct best interest of the nation in favor of failed political ideologies that would see the Constitution scrapped. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Huge load off my mind.

Last fall, I was let go from my teaching position. It was, overall, a good thing, but...

My income had been going straight to savings to pay tuition for the kids to go to private school for the past four years. 

This year, tuition went up by about $500 for the both of them.  It's still relatively low, but I wasn't sure it wasn't going to put it out of reach.  I talked to the business office, and they said there's financial aid through the school available. 

So, I applied.  I've been squirreling money away like we'd have to pay full tuition.  I currently have their full tuition bill in the savings, and have had for a couple weeks.  That, and Missouri just changed the rules on the education savings accounts to permit payment to private schools from that. 

We do have the money, even without financial aid, but we'd go from "can weather an emergency" to "can maybe keep the money market account open."  Maybe.

I applied for the financial aid in March, when it opened up.  I've been watching my email like a hawk.
The announcement didn't go to my email.  It went to Odysseus's.  We only noticed because his mom emailed something to both of us, and he wanted to read the details.  We found the email from the kids' school, then.  

We got it.  The school has granted us a good-sized tuition reduction, over the sibling discount that the pixie was already getting. 

That puts us from "can maybe keep the money market open" to "fully funded emergency fund." 

Yes, we're going to celebrate somehow.  Haven't decided just how, yet. 

No, I'm not going to stop squirreling money away like crazy.  In spite of the fact that our tax refund check next year should be bigger, partially because of tax code changes (thank you, Mr. President, for pushing the extra child tax credit and decreasing taxes a little bit in other areas for most workers), and partially because the EITC will be a little bigger without the $9K/yr pre-tax that was my salary for teaching college classes, I'm not going to stop squirreling money away.  Because insurance is coming up in October, then taxes in December.  And tuition next year.  And I want a fully funded emergency fund, plus all of the rest.

But for now, I'm just basking in the relief that our current load is going to be far less than I'd anticipated. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

I don't miss it.

It's the end of the first semester I haven't taught since I started teaching in fall of '03 as a graduate teaching assistant. 

When I first started teaching, I loved it.  I loved helping students go from terrified of writing to kind of taking for granted that they'd be able to do it, and do it well.  I didn't think I'd ever stop loving it.

I was wrong.  I don't know exactly when it happened, but at some point, I just...stopped enjoying it.  I'm not sure when, so it had to have been a gradual process.  I can't even put my finger on where I started to hate it, even. 

It wasn't just the grading.  I always hated that.  I came to hate student attitudes toward classes, professors, and each other. 

I am glad to be off campus.  Literally the only thing I miss about teaching is the paycheck.  And I may be able to eventually replace that income by writing (even if I'm not holding my breath). 

This post was brought to you by Facebook's ridiculous "your memories" suggested posts, and the post about turning in final grades last spring.