Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Just a quick note

I had a list of stuff that I wanted to accomplish this weekend. I didn't get everything done, but I did make a LOT of sets of stitch markers, which was one of the main things. Not stitch markers per se, but the store was getting kind of sparse and I wanted to get some inventory built up.

I put about a dozen sets up for sale, and I have probably another half-dozen that I need to photograph and post. And I want to make a bunch more earrings. I also made some bracelets for a friend for a custom order as a birthday present for a little girl, and those were fun to make. I want to do some more of that. Here are some of them:

Apart from the jewelry making frenzy, not much went on this weekend. Which is exactly the way I like it.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

New phone

I got a new phone over the weekend. I didn't really need a new phone, the old one still worked, but I'd had it for about 2-1/2 years, and could get a good deal on an upgrade. And I've wanted the pink Razr ever since it comes out, and frankly, I was a little afraid that if I waited much longer, they wouldn't have them any longer. Obsessive, I know.

There are three shades of pink, this is the middle one -- there's a paler pink, and a magenta one -- each of which are offered by a different cell phone provider. I'm with Cingular (now AT&T), and they have this one, which has kind of a salmony-cast to it. It's actually not as light as this picture shows.

Like I said, I didn't really need a new phone, but the camera was getting pretty bad, and while that's certainly not a vital component of a phone, I do like having it. Anyway, I went ahead and got it. The deal they offered was $100, with a $50 rebate. I could also have upgraded to a newer version for an additional $50, but I didn't feel like I could justify that, and I didn't like the color as well. Yeah, I know it's not important, but it kind of is.

And the camera is a lot better.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Vampires and monsters

A few months ago my iBook started acting weird. After I'd used it for about 15 minutes, the screen would start distorting and breaking up, and in a few seconds would go dark. Sometimes I could make it come back by closing the lid so it went to sleep, then opening it up again, but that usually only fixed it long enough for me to shut it down.

But since I haven't really been doing any traveling lately, and since I had gotten the eMac fixed, it wasn't really a critical issue, so I just put it away, trying it occasionally to see if it had spontaneously fixed itself. Unfortunately, it never did.

So I decided to take it in to the Apple store and see what they thought it was, and if it would cost less to fix it than it would cost to get a new one (which I wasn't going to do). I took it in last night, and they're pretty sure it's the logic board. The cost for repair (no matter what it turns out to be) is $280, which I struggled with. But I decided that I still like the computer enough, and it is still adequate for what I use it for, and I certainly couldn't buy anything new for less than four times that price. So I went ahead and told them to send if off and fix it.

I had made the decision not to buy the extended warranty when I bought it, because I didn't feel like I could justify the $250 price on a $900 machine. So considering that the repair would be free if I had bought the warranty, it's more or less a wash. And it will be nice to have the laptop back. I miss it. Even though I don't really need it, it gives me the opportunity to be mobile, and it's a shame to have it and not be able to use it.

I listened to Stephen King's Stationary Bike in the car this week, finished it last night, and started listening to his newest, Blaze, this morning. It isn't really a new book, it's one of the ones he calls "trunk novels," meaning that they've been in a trunk for a long time (and the last of the " Richard Bachman" books), but I figure it will be worth listening to, particularly since it's being read by Ron McLarty, who I love! I first listened to him narrating one of his own books, The Memory of Running (and his second book, Traveler, and have searched out other books that he's narrated as well. I was delighted to see this one -- lately Stephen King has been reading his own books for audio, and while I don't have anything at all against him or his speaking voice, in my experience authors don't do a great job reading their own work.

McLarty is an actor, and does, I think, a wonderful job.

I was thinking about Stephen King this morning, and how I've been reading his books for so long. The first this I read of his was an abridged, serialized version of Salem's Lot, in Cosmopolitan magazine. I had never read anything like it, and from then on, I bought pretty much everything he wrote. I've become a little more selective lately, and there are a few that I haven't (and wont') buy or read.--"Gerald's Game" and "Misery" come to mind--because I just don't enjoy that kind of psychological tension. Vampires and monsters, I'm okay with.

I bought Cell to take with me to Mexico a couple of years ago, and that turned out to be a great beach book. I really enjoyed it. And some of his are favorites -- The Stand, of course, and all of the novellas in For Past Midnight (The Langoliers and The Library Policeman especially; I loved The Talisman, which he wrote with Richard Straub, but I found Black House, its sequel, unreadable. And some I had no interest in, like the later Dark Tower installments -- too much fantasy for me.

Anyway, I just think it's interesting. I can't think of another author whose career I've felt so intertwined with; no one as prolific, certainly. And I think it helps that I started reading him so long ago, and through such an interesting way--serialized in a magazine. A nice introduction, anyway.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Random stuff that makes me happy

Having dogs at work.. On a normal day there are two -- Simon the Australian shepherd and Jojo the ... I don't know. Mutt puppy. They're both great. Simon's neurotic, as herders tend to be, I guess, and Jojo's a treat. She's taken over the couch; you will usually find her lying there chewing on a "bone." She's the princess. And lately there's Clark. He's part Lab, part Great Pyrenees. His mother was a Great Pyrenees--they're white, and he got white paws, a white bib, and the tip of his tail from her. The rest is coal black. He has the most enormous head. "The Pyrenees is not recommended for apartment living."

The library. I know it's not very supportive of writers to get books at the library rather than buying them, but I could never afford to buy all the books I read, and also, when I get them at the library, I can choose books that just sound interesting to me, and if they don't turn out to be interesting, I just have to take them back. I don't have to feel guilty about not reading them, and I don't. Life's too short.

Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Orange & Sandalwood Calming Body Lotion. They don't make this anymore, of course, or at least I haven't been able to find it. And it's not on the website, so I'm sure it's been discontinued. (No surprise there.) I found some awhile ago on a clearance rack at Bath & Body Works and bought several bottles. It's light, not sticky or heavy, and it smells wonderful.

Bath & Body Works Wickedly Hot Chocolate Body Wash. Also, sadly, discontinued. (Are you seeing a pattern here?). I don't usually like bath products that are scented like baked goods -- I can't stand "sugar cookie" scents or butter rum or things like that -- but this one is divine. Smells like brownie batter. Looks vaguely disgusting--brown and shiny--but smells amazing. I have a couple of bottles that I'm hoarding and using very slowly.

Bob's relationship with the cats next door. There are two young cats that live next door to us. They're both tabbies like Pyewacket, but quite a bit younger. They are incredibly friendly, they'll walk right up to almost anyone who walks by, and they're always happy to come over and talk to you and be petted.

If Bob sees them playing outside, he'll go outside to talk to them. That's what was happening here. I think it was Sunday morning. He looked out the window and saw the kitty in the yard, so he went out to talk to her. I love that.

The furballs:

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Wrecking my journal

I was going through Bloglines this morning and cleaning out posts -- I tend to go through the new posts really quickly in the morning, checking "keep new" on things that I want to save or read later, and seldom go back to them -- and ran across a post about Wreck This Journal. It's an "activity" book on the order of a guided journal, but in this case, the author, Keri Smith, wants you to really wreck the journal--get it wet, get it dirty, write in it with crayons, wad it up--in short, treat it as a repository for learning and artistic inspiration, and not as a sacred book that you're afraid to write in, and thus, mess up.

I have quite a few blank books that I've bought over the years that I have never--and probably will never--write in. They're just too perfect, and they're intimidating. Hard back books full of pristine creamy paper tend to make me feel that I can only write big things in them, that I need to use a special, nice pen, that I should sit down with the book and a cup of tea and ponder. But I don't have a lot of time for "pondering" lately, so the beautiful blank books stay blank.

However, I've been wrecking a journal of my own.

A few weeks ago I found some 4x6 Jordi Labanda journals at Target on clearance. They have plastic covers, and the pages have faint colored lines just the right distance apart (when I look at journals, I have to open them up and check the lines -- if they're dark black lines, and too far apart, no matter how lovely the cover is, I won't buy it, because I know I wouldn't enjoy writing in it).

It started out as being a notebook to record information--meanings of stones, suppliers and resources, ideas--for my jewelry business. Then I recorded some tarot readings in it, and I wrote down a knitting pattern in it, and I took it on our little vacation to Bennett Spring, and now I'm using it to keep my Second Life notes--places to shop, events, notes on keyboard shortcuts, notes on how to make things and import them into the game.

I carry the journal with me all the time now. I take it to the doctor's office to write down my blood pressure, I took it to physical therapy with me to write down the things I'm supposed to do, I keep it open on my desk at work to write down things I need to buy at the grocery store, Bob's work schedule, anything and everything that I don't want to forget. I skim Second Life fashion blog entries and note places that I want to check out later. I used it to take notes when I was looking for some land to rent -- I wrote down everything I found out so that I would have it to review later.

I don't try to write nicely (or even, sometimes, legibly), I don't even try to write on the lines. I don't have to write with the same pen all the time, whatever is at hand is fine. The way it's written isn't important--it doesn't have to be pretty--the information is the important thing, and as long as I can access it later, the method of getting it in there isn't important.

I have a package of stick-on divider tabs in the front of the book in a pocket that I added (actually an adhesive floppy disk pocket), a pad of small post-it type notes, and a package of Post-It flags, so that I can mark pages that I need to remember to look at later, if I don't want to skim all the pages.

When there's a page that I have to keep referring to (like the page that lists the control commands for Second Life items that require them), I put a tab on it.

This is how I used to use journals, a long time ago. I carried a notebook with me all the time and wrote down everything. That way, I knew that it was all in one place, and I could find it later. I got away from that when I started using an electronic organizer, and while I still use it, I use the organizer now more to hold records -- insurance numbers, phone numbers, addresses, appointments -- and keep all the miscellaneous detritus and minutiae of my daily life in the journal.

I don't know what my journaling will mutate to in the future, but for now I'm enjoying this freeform process.

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