It's overcast and I'm grumpy. Also: Nightcrawler #80 on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes list? Beaten by GAMBIT and BEAST?? WTH?
Today, at work, a lady asked me if we had lens cloths. I told her that last time we did, they were down in Electronics. She shook her head.
"NO," she spat. "They're for cleaning GLASSES".
"I know," I said, "but they're also for camera lenses and stuff. I bought some, myself!"
"No. Forget it. That's a stupid place to put them."
To be perfectly fair, she was using a walker and might have felt miffed she had to walk all the way down to the end of the store? Still.
Btw, the lens cloths in question look like condoms in their square little wrappers. I always love pulling one out in public.
Other than that, I have been cranky. I dunno.
- I randomly found a blog post with an adorable little girl. It was her birthday party and it was all a big success (even though she had ordered a blue cake and got a green one instead - blue food coloring's hard to find in Sweden, I've noticed).
- Markus the Cat is a smooth, conniving little sociopath! We feed our two cats separately, due to Busy getting crystals and needing a special diet. Markus is overweight, so he gets a small amount of diet food twice a day. Busy's a snacker with an overactive metabolism, so we've taken to feeding him several times a day. Sometimes Markus happens to be in the room when this happens, even though he's not supposed to be. Like today. He was aware, of course, that he wasn't allowed to eat out of Busy's bowl, and keenly aware that we were right there, watching him. So he sat himself down next to Busy, staring at him snacking away for a while. Then he very, very gently and politely stretched out a paw, and fished out a piece of food onto the carpet, where he devoured it. While we gaped, he repeated the process.
He got into trouble, alright, but it's hard to be mad at someone that cheeky.
- Oh! Easter baskets! I got a huge Easter basket with candy from my hubby! He also included sugar snap peas and chips with guacamole dip! I got him one, too, with smoked oysters and cream cheese and Trisquits and candy and a chocolate bunny with a little storybook where you can read the tale of the bunny you just bit the head off. <3
- And I made stuffed game hens! (Take a look at Elsa's blog, btw - it's mainly in Swedish, but she and her blog is gorgeous. Someone even started a tumblr for her!)
Tired. Nap now.
- I just ordered these! My left foot has been swimming in rain water for too long. To add insult to injury, the shoe stores have decided that real ladies don't need boots at this time of year while the weather says that yes, you really do. So, online I went. I never ordered shoes online before. I'm a little nervous, but hey, free return shipping!
- I'm also on AO3 now! Maybe there will actually be more than one story there at some point, who knows? Seriously, my output is pathetic. I need to stop wallowing in my own inadequacy and start producing.
- My cat Busy has started stinking these past couple days. It started as a cloying, musky-sweet smell and turned fishy-cheesy after that. I suspect there's something wrong with his anal glands, so off to the vet he goes as soon as the next check rolls in and here's hoping it won't ruin us again. Sigh.
- I've gained weight and had to get new pants.:(
- I sniffed B&BW's new perfume Country Chic and now I want it. I want it bad. Although I wonder how they managed to cram "bright spring woods" in there.
- I just got Carla Speed McNeil's Finder graphic novel "Voice". It's a strange, dark, but absolutely fascinating coming-of-age tale and you all need to get it and read it. That is, if you're not allergic to being confused now and then, because the Finder world is so rich and detailed, Carla's in the habit of adding footnotes for every page at the end of every volume. But the pay-off is so worth it. Nothing in Finder feels predictable or cliched. It's a bizarre world that also makes a frightening amount of sense, and at its core is a bunch of well-rendered, believable characters. Read it, please. Support good work! She has an uncompleted sequel to Voice up on her site, un-inked, but very readable.
Here's how my cooking experiments turned out:
Shredded carrots lightly fried up with ginger, sweet chili sauce and some cream and served with chorizo: good. There was something a little lacking, though. Maybe I should have used fresh ginger instead of dry. Maybe I should have added something more. I will work on it.
Shrimp salad with turnips: meh. Not because shrimp and turnips isn't a smashing combination, because it is. But with "salad", I mean the kind that has a mayonnaise-and-sour cream base, and it tasted bland despite the addition of tabasco and sriracha, up until I finally got the kick I needed by adding lemon juice. Problem was that I couldn't taste the turnips after that. So maybe I should just shred turnips over a regular salad with shrimp on it? There must be a way!
Fennel- and pear salad: good! Just a little bit dry, because I just added the fennel and pear to spinach. I love the fennel-pear combination, though. It's light and fresh. I just need to think of some kind of dressing that won't overpower it.
Ground beef fried up with peanuts, peas and sourcream (with sweet chili sauce and sriracha added for kick) : heck yes! Too bad it's not my idea, though - My dad used to make it.
Tilapia baked with tomatoes, onions, tarragon and cream: good, but I think my hubby wanted a little more flavor to it. I come from the land of bland food, I'm afraid.
Potatoes and onions fried up with dijon mustard and served with roast beef: YES! Sometimes it doesn't need to be more complicated than that.
I'm trying to start another fic, but don't know what to write about. I do know that I want it to be a continuation of The Quiet House, exploring where their relationship goes after that, but I can't have it be just about their relationship or I will bore myself writing it (I'm not sure why, but there's quite a gap between what I like to read and what I like to write). There needs to be a plot, I'm afraid. And I'm kind of no good at plot.
Hubby will be too occupied to cook the coming week, so it will be up to me! Meaning, lots of vegetables. I have so much I want to try! I fried up some carrots with ginger, sweet chili sauce and some cream the other day and had it with Polish sausage. Yesterday I discovered that turnips go well with shrimp. I want to make a fennel salad with pears and...something! Green beans with something lemony! Bake tilapia with tomatoes and onions and cream! Make these mashed potatoes! I want everything to be magnificent!
Also: I got a 25 cent raise and a very good work review! The standard raise is apparently 20 cents. I called hubby and he greeted me with flowers after work, as well as two napoleon pastries and strawberries covered in chocolate.<33
Title: The Quiet House
Characters: Arthur, Eames, a few OCs.
Genre: Gen, Drama, Angst
Rating: PG-13 for violence.
Word Count: 8504
Warnings: Death of a parent. Someone has a stroke. Also, some violence.
Summary: Arthur has a very good reason to be back in his hometown. He has a very good reason for inviting Eames there, too. Probably.
Author's Note: Post-Inception. A friendship fic, disguised as a background fic for Arthur.
( The Quiet House. )
Message not to self:
I have today off, y'all. It will be spent right here, in a haze of caffeine-induced creativity.
Also, I bought a watch at work yesterday for $4. A co-worker deemed it "badass". It is.
Been working on fic. Yeah. This playlist with relaxing music has kept me from going mental. I recommend it to anyone who feels like they're going to pieces. Incredible visuals, too.
Sweetest game premise ever? Tiger and Monster had a fight and you must bring them back together by removing the blocks in the correct order.<33
( Fluffy love. )
I took a nap, and within five seconds, Markus was there, digging at the blankets, narrowly missing my face with his claws, and he didn't stop until he was safely nestled under the covers, pressed up against me and purring like the little cuddle machine he is. When I had to switch position, he pressed up against my back instead. With a little sigh. I shouldn't love a creature that annoying so much, but he's irresistible.
Aren't you, sweetie? Yes, you are.
Yeah. That's all I've got. Now: pain killers.
Had a bit of a nervous breakdown the other day, inspired by a leak in the garage ("leak" might not be the word, actually - water is welling up from this...thing sticking out of the floor, whenever it rains heavily), complete with wailing and crying and clinging to hubby while saying melodramatic things. A little odd, but then the thunder broke out and it all became clear. I am so in touch with nature that I always get cranky during thunderstorms. Special, huh?
Maybe that's why I don't find this soothing at all.
Anyway, the fic. It's...*sigh*...almost done. The question is how long it's going to keep being "almost done". I keep finding faults with it. The prose is just MORPHING before my eyes, reading as awkward one moment and flowing the next. I change one detail and then realize that just rendered another scene, or piece of dialogue, implausible. I'm not sure when to describe and when to just hint. This is why I so rarely write or draw or do anything creative, OK? I never get to the point when I can say "It's done" and just put it out there. Even after my hubby's beta round, I keep finding errors or things that seem like errors and they all sting. God.
The devil's in the details, I guess. Maybe I should just put it out there and edit it afterwards, if needed. Maybe? That's the perk of the Internet, after all.
1. Reply to this post and I'll assign you a letter.
2. List (and upload/link) 5 songs you love that begin with that letter.
3. Post them to your journal with these instructions.
sharpest_asp gave me a "g" , which turned out to be surprisingly difficult, but I prevailed!
An alarming amount of these are in Swedish. Sorry. Or actually, no, not sorry, but...sympathetic, perhaps?
First out is Andreas Johnson's "Glorious". Because that's exactly what it is. Simple and magnificent.
Second is Helen Sjöholm's "Gabriella's Song". There's a story behind this one, as it's basically the pivotal point of the movie "Så som i himmelen" ("As it is in Heaven"). I wasn't very impressed with the movie itself, from what I remember, but Helen Sjöholm herself plays Gabriella - a victim of spousal abuse - and this performance is her standing up to her husband and finding new confidence. I think that's all the context needed to appreciate the scene.
I'm really just a Helen Sjöholm fan. Here's the studio version for those who are interested.
Next is "Gravitation" ("Gravity") from the early days of Kent, when they were young and still somewhat indie pop. They sound so charmingly rough and yet the melody's as beautiful as they always tend to be.
And, finally: "Glory of love" with Peter Cetera. Because when I was a kid, I would always bring my walkman on car trips (and, later, wherever I went, to the annoyance of anyone who wanted to communicate with me). My uncle had given me two Peter Cetera cassette tapes that I would listen to obsessively, way past the point when they were frayed and tangled. I loved this song. I would try to figure out what the lyrics meant, singing along in fake English (I was eight!) and imagining all sorts of epic adventures. I still love it.
And today we got a check. Not the big one we'd been waiting for, but a smaller one that will come in handy while we wait.
As soon as that check comes, we're finally going to celebrate Valentine's Day.
I, naturally, said yes, and she went:
"My idea. Of customer service. Is that if the customer wants something... you give it to them."
She went on to explain that she had intended to buy a piece of furniture in our store. "I do not want to assemble it myself," she said firmly. She had talked to the furniture manager, who had kind of shrugged and said that maybe, if some of the guys had time (though at the moment we were speaking, the only floor workers left in the store was me and another girl, tasked with cleaning up the entire store, so I don't know if she just came in earlier in the day or if he meant that she should come back the next day...? She didn't specify), they could maybe put it together, but it wasn't likely and it wasn't policy.
She fixed her eyes on me. "What do you think?" she said. "Do you think that's good customer service?"
I hummed and hawed, of course, said I was really not in a position to comment and so on, as politely as possible. She rolled her eyes. "OK. Fine. Whatever. You know, that's the problem. No one has an opinion." She waved at me dismissively. "And you're young." Then she left. I didn't tell her I'm thirty.
To the cashier, she launched a tirade about how she was raised in a high-moral family and been taught that the customer should get what he wants and if SHE ran a business, she would be putting together furniture all day long.
The piece of furniture in question was a $79 dresser that she apparently wanted just for her jeans.
In less irritating news, I found an online interactive documentary about Pine Point - a small Canadian mining town that was erased completely from the map after the mine closed. One of the ex-residents - a man who used to be extremely athletic, but now sits in a wheelchair because of MS - has built a memorial website about it, using only voice commands to his computer.
I was so taken by the idea of the place you grew up in just not being there anymore. The whole thing is just really engrossing and fascinating and well-done. Check it out!
Oh yeah, I also locked Busy in the closet today before I left for work. Thankfully, the hubby noticed his little scritchings and scratchings and saved him.
He's turning 21 in two weeks, which is madness. When my hubby first met him, he was 11 and he and his friends were running around the house playing James Bond, chanting "I haf license to kill" over and over again. It CAN'T have been ten years ago.
When hubby came home last night, I treated him to waffles the Swedish way (Dad thinks it's both borderline offensive and hilarious that you just pop them ready-made in the toaster over here) - with whipped cream and jam.
I want to bake key lime/white chocolate cupcakes. I also want to make semlor. And smörgåstårta.
I also want to go watch more West Wing, which I am about to do now.
Russian Bento - I lack words.
Nora the Piano Cat - she's so adorably enthusiastic!
I watched Iron Man with hubby the other day. The best parts were all the times he (hubby) got this big grin on his face, pumped his fist and went "awww YEAHH", his eyes shining like a twelve-year old's.<3
( Some Iron Man spoilers )
I need to go to work.
We bought a $4 bedside lamp and stocked up on stuff in the food shop, where they DIDN'T GIVE OUT BAGS. The. What?? The lady was nice enough to give me a stocking piece of cardboard to carry the stuff in and we DID have a backpack, luckily, but geez.
But anyway, we got delicato balls, mazarins, chocolate, more chocolate, chocolate-coated wafers (kexchoklad!) and fläderdryck in tetrapaks.
We unfortunately could NOT get Kalles Kaviar, gooseberry jam, cloudberry jam, lingonberry jam or frozen princess cakes. Next time.
The experience could have been bettered if we both hadn't felt under the weather. I don't know what's up with me - I've felt like I'm coming down with a cold repeatedly these past few weeks and it's always been false alarm. It was false alarm yesterday, too, but then my stomach grew roily on top of it and- nevermind. Anyway, I'm better! For now.
Did I have anything important to say? No. No, I guess I didn't.
My hubby will look over my fic. This freaks me out a little, because while it's gen and I've tried not to make it very schmoopy, it's still...fangirl material and he's a guy with a guy-ish point of view and while he's promised not to snicker even on the inside, some reactions just can't be helped. But I've reached a point where I CAN'T proceed with the fic until I have someone else's input, so it must happen.
I would have thought that, at this age, I would have been more secure and confident in myself, steady as a rock and completely comfortable with who I am and what I do. But I almost feel more insecure now than I was as a teenager. It's baffling.
And then I'm like "But. I mean. Syntax! Logic! Spelling! Characterization! *wrings hands* "
I'm going to need a beta sometime soon. Uhm. Any spontaneous volunteers?