a garden in riotous bloom
Beautiful. Damn hard. Increasingly useful.
fresh cuttings 
16 January 2014 01:23 - "Rose, Inc."
Fun things, Jan 15: wrote a PHP script to generate my PW timesheets, and sent a $3300 contract to a new client. :D

By comparison, I made $4382--total, pre-tax--from freelance work in all of 2013. This is mostly because the first half of the year was eaten by Readercon (unpaid) and the second half by Long Hidden (a small up-front payment plus hypothetical future royalties), punctuated by #24MAG (unpaid). All were labors of love, and all taught me a lot. I particularly regard doing Long Hidden as equivalent to taking a masterclass without having to pay for it. I knew going in that the payoff would be in learning and enjoying and making connections and building my professional reputation rather than in money. X and J unhesitatingly recognized the value of this and supported me in it, for which I am deeply grateful.

But now I'm much less involved in Readercon things, and Long Hidden is nearly wrapped up, and the last issue of #24MAG is done. This leaves my freelance schedule wide open. And since there's this notion that we're going to have a baby sometime soon, I'd like to start padding our bank account. So in December, I declared that 2014 would be the year of paying work.

Cue a few weeks of sitting around staring at my empty inbox and wondering whether taking what amounted to a six-month vacation meant I'd never get another client. (I haven't actually gone out hunting clients in years. They generally find me through the EFA. That listing more than pays for itself.) I advertised a special discount for NaNo authors. I asked friends to recommend me. I joined a bulletin board for self-published authors and said some helpful things in various threads, with my business URL tastefully displayed in my signature. Nothing.

And then this week three inquiries came in at once. All three were projects I'd be happy to take on, and at least one of them is turning into a gig. I guess I can stand down. :)

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trees, spring
I'm using my "spring" userpic because it is finally spring, snow notwithstanding. On my walk to the train today I saw multiple fully open daffodils, and lots of violets, and of course the crocuses that have been around for a while, and leaves on the forsythia, and the beginnings of buds on the rosebushes. And snow. But eventually there will be no more snow, or so I'm told (though this might be one of those years where we still get occasional freak snowstorms into April). Eventually I will be able to go outside without a coat on. In the meantime, every time the clouds part and sunlight hits the window, I have to stop myself from licking it off. LIGHT AND WARMTH GIVE ME IT.

Spring is also a state of mindCollapse )

Obligatory cat update: Sophie is very slowly relaxing and getting used to being around the other cats, and they're likewise getting used to being around her. There's still occasional hissing and growling, but she's pretty comfortable with Java being up on the loft now, even if there isn't a person around. Java has been stealing her food, so the other day she came out and stole some of his. (It's all the same type of food, so this is just a territory/pecking order thing.) She had to have five teeth pulled a couple of weeks ago, poor thing, but she appears to have recovered very well, and not being in pain from rotting teeth and sore gums is no doubt contributing to her improved disposition. Java eagerly awaits the day when he finally gets to lick Sophie's head. Sam mostly avoids her. As far as I can tell, Sophie has not actually gotten into any kind of a physical altercation with either of them (though at one point she did freak out and jump directly down from the loft, startling the hell out of me and X, because she couldn't make herself go past Java to get down via the bookcases; but she landed fine, so we're mostly trying to pretend that didn't happen). So far, so good.

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Moneystuff yayCollapse )

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14 February 2013 01:14 - "Money falling out of the sky"
Via inahandbasket, what I would do if $N dropped into my lap in some legal non-taxable (or post-tax) way*:

$10: Buy myself lunch or dinner out on a day when I would otherwise have eaten something homemade.
$100: Save it for when my weight stabilizes and then buy new jeans that fit, if I can find any.
$1000: Pay off 1/40 of my debt.
$10,000: Pay off 1/4 of my debt.
$100,000: Pay off all my debt. Splurge a bit on fun things: a new laptop, some bespoke suits, travel. Divide the rest between investments and a rainy-day fund.
$1,000,000: Pay off all my debt. Invest, cautiously and ethically. Seriously consider buying a home. Go to Japan for two weeks and bring along every friend of mine who's ever said "We should go to Japan together sometime" (I think the list is at least a dozen people long).

Things I would not do: quit my job, move out of New York. But I might take a sabbatical and spend a few months in London or Paris, if I had the funds for that.

* Depending on where the money comes from, for me "tax" might include keeping to an age-old agreement with my brother that we would split any sum >$100 acquired in a lottery or game of chance.

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18 November 2012 01:05 - "Money doesn't buy happiness"
Posted as a comment in a friend's locked entry, something I've been thinking about:

I realized recently that the classic "I want my kids to be wealthier/higher-class than I was when I was a kid" American dream doesn't seem to be a big thing for most of my friends who have or want kids. Instead, they're focused on "I want my kids to have a more emotionally healthy/stable home life than I did when I was a kid".

Obviously that sort of thing can only be a priority if one has a certain degree of financial stability, but it's interesting to me that I hear it so clearly and frequently articulated in a way that feels very 21st-century to me. I hear much less about wanting class mobility for the next generation, and I'm not sure whether that's because class mobility happens much more rarely now--in other words, that it's easier to imagine teaching kids to be happy with what they have than teaching them to strive for better--or because happiness is generally more valued than money among my friends or what.

Is this true for you and/or your friends? Related thoughts?

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25 August 2012 16:42 - "Ask me anything!"
spark, aha!, insightful
BackgroundCollapse )

I hereby inaugurate the Ask Rose Anything service. Via email, Skype, IM, or face-to-face conversation, you lay out concerns and ask me questions, and I do my best to answer them in ways that are useful to you and your particular situation.

I know a lot about:

* writing and analyzing books
* freelance writing and editing (including the financial and business side of being a freelancer)
* troubleshooting romantic and platonic relationships
* exploring New York City
* cooking and baking (especially for people with many or unusual dietary restrictions)
* SF, fantasy, and horror books, old and new (and if you tell me what you like I'll tell you what to read next)

I know a fair amount about:

* running events (from dinner parties to conferences and conventions for thousands of people)
* publishing magazines
* eclectic genderqueer fashion
* romance books published in the past three years

I'm a good listener and researcher, and if I don't know the answer to your question, I'll do my best to look it up or point you to someone who does. This won't just be a friendly chat, even if we're already friends; for the duration of the time you've paid for, you will be my client and I will be 100% focused on putting my skills to use for you. Pricing is $30 per half-hour, payable by cash, PopMoney, or Dwolla. (No PayPal, please; their fees for business transactions are too high.) If you're interested, drop me a note at rose@copymancer.com.

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20 June 2012 02:25 - "Peace and quiet"
candle, birthday
My birthday was exactly what I wanted it to be this year: low-key and lovely.

Yesterday was #madsqlunch, as usual for a Monday, and I was completely surprised when Emily showed up with a homemade paper crown for me and then Nina and Lindsay brought two little dairy-free hazelnut chocolate cakes from Eataly. I'm very wary of surprises, and especially of surprise gifts, because I hate being put in the situation of saying "That's very thoughtful of you, but...". But there was no awkwardness at all, just an adorable crown and delicious safe-for-me cake. I was very touched.

Today I went to work for a few hours--still getting used to this office work on Tuesday thing--and then hit Home Depot for curtains and lamps. Both J and X were feeling under the weather, but they rallied for an excellent dinner at Kasadela with my mother and her fella and my brother. My ear and my stomach behaved themselves; I think I have the same cold that Josh has, so my right ear is predictably congested, but the ringing wasn't too bad, and I was able to eat a proper dinner and even have a couple of the cookies my mother made (since I'd requested no fuss with a cake). I also gave everyone books because it just felt like the sort of birthday where I give other people gifts.

Then we came home, and the others collapsed while I cleaned up cat pee (oh, kitty) and hung curtains and emptied the dishwasher and filled the dishwasher and generally enjoyed feeling well enough to potter around the house. And I got in a bit of time cuddling the kitten, which I hope will remind her that she is loved and safe and therefore should not pee on the floor. Then I did a bit of Readercon stuff--it wouldn't be my birthday without that!--and I played a round of Spaceward Ho!, which is apparently my currently digital drug of choice. Slowly I wind down.

I checked my PayPal balance today and was pleasantly startled by how much has been donated to my strength training fund. There's definitely enough for at least one additional session. Thank you all very very much!

Digital trends: I got lots of Facebook "happy birthday!" messages and a bunch of tweets, but not a single LJ/DW post (that I saw). It used to be the thing to put up "happy birthday [whoever]!" as an LJ post, and every year I'd make sure to read my unfiltered friends list to catch them all. This year it didn't even occur to me until just now that I might want to do that, because I haven't seen anyone make an LJ post like that in ages. They all go on Twitter and Facebook now.

Now I'm going to go to bed on time, what a shock. V. tired, and tomorrow is l*undry pickup day, which means no wake-time leeway. Then KGB. I'll have to figure out what to do for dinner, since I don't want to risk triggering my Grand Sichuan allergy just as I'm recovering from last week's stomach ick. I wish I knew what it is they cook with that makes me ill! Maybe at some point I'll do another round of allergy testing and see whether anything turns up. I suspect it's something weird and obscure, though (Josh's latest guess is allspice, of all things!), and the standard battery of skin tests won't tell me anything. Anyway, will manage to eat one way or another. In the meantime, sleeeeeeep.

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26 April 2012 02:56 - "Like watercolors in the rain"
ear, overheard
Didn't need vertigo meds at all today, woo! The Dyazide made me very slightly dizzy, but I'm learning to stand up a little more slowly after I've been sitting for a while, and otherwise I'm feeling pretty good physically (not counting the right ear hearing loss, which has been consistent for nearly two months now, so I've stopped thinking of it as a thing to mention). I feel like I have a year's worth of sleep to catch up on, but I've felt like that for weeks so I don't think I can blame it on the meds.

I'm frustrated by this low-sodium diet business. All the advice I can find on Ménière's diets is basically "Eat fresh vegetables instead of canned ones! Stop going to McDonald's! And cut out all that caffeinated soda and coffee!", none of which applies to me at all. The most useful info I found is in this chart, which actually lists some foods I eat. I think my worst enemies are going to be breadstuffs (though I can eat hummus on celery sticks instead of pita chips), cured meats, and restaurant meals. Once I figure out good alternatives, getting into the habit should be easy enough.

Josh hit a stress-wall this evening, so I talked him through it until he was feeling a bit better and able to sleep, and then I went into the living room and cried all over Xtina. (Polyamory is pretty awesome.) I know, crying wasn't on the calendar until Friday, but I hear there is sometimes value in being spontaneous. As predicted, the anxiety is greatly lessened now that I've had a good cry. I took some taurine just to be on the safe side.

The main downside of crying is that blowing my nose blocks my ears, and then yawning pops the left ear but the right stays blocked despite making appropriate popping noises, which feels very peculiar.

Oh! In unrelated-to-illness news, we got back fully half of the security deposit on our old apartment, with something resembling an explanation of what they used the other half for. Sure, fine, I will take it. It is, almost to the dollar, the amount I still owe on my 2011 taxes (we'd dipped into the tax savings account to cover moving expenses, and if our ex-landlord had gotten his act together sooner... oh well, never mind, I will just send NYS another check). Works for me.

And now, sleep.

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manic, manic-good
I think I am still somewhat manic, but it's useful productive hypomania and cheeriness, which is a very pleasant change from the rage and insomnia. Yesterday I worked 13 hours to make up for taking a sick day on Wednesday. Today I went to the therp and then sold some yarn to a Ravelry person who needed it to finish a shawl and then did a great deal of shopping for household things because I needed retail therapy to help me feel better after difficult emotional stuff coming up in therping. Digging around in my psyche is hard. Maybe I should schedule it for later in the day so I don't have to try to be productive afterwards.

The buzzing in my head undoubtedly contributed to the urge to shop. At least I was careful to mostly shop for stuff we had all already agreed that we needed, like coat hooks (leading to this picture of my "nice rack") and a bathmat, and things that are not vital but very useful, like a toothbrush stand to replace the cup that kept developing an icky puddle at the bottom. I got a few small extraneous things, but the big money was spent responsibly. And I didn't buy anything just for me. And we have the money for it. And I think I should stop trying to justify this even though it feels like I was overindulgent and should have held off. I kept all the receipts in case J and X thought I was overdoing it and should return things, and they didn't, so it's fine and my anxiety about being responsible with money and not giving in to crazy manic urges can shut the hell up.

I keep thinking about the doctor saying that I should go in for a psych consult if the mania doesn't ebb. It's very tempting to take him up on it. I've never been officially diagnosed as bipolar or even cyclothymic. I don't know how my life would change if I were. I wonder what mood leveling medication would do to me, or for me.

In the meantime, hooray for taurine, which is gradually bringing me down from "I want to run around the block a few times" to "Going to bed sounds like a good idea".

Today's therp recapCollapse )

X apparently caught a bit of my buzziness; she was home sick from work today, and used that downtime to finish painting the living room. It is now DONE and looks terrific. She also assembled the china cabinet and washed a bunch of the china. This means that tomorrow I can build the two unbuilt bookcases and start shelving books. This is extremely exciting. I'm really looking forward to a day at home of just doing at-home things.

I'm yawning hard now. This is excellent. Time to put the computer away (I'm leaving it in the living room so I don't stay up all night playing PvZ), goop the cat, maybe take some more taurine, and get some sleep.

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28 February 2012 14:43 - "Made sure the tariffs fell"
Nearly two years after I filed a belated 2005 state tax return and set off a completely ridiculous chain of events that took me through several rounds of appeals and eventually to both the IRS and the NYS taxpayer assistance bureaus, I just got a call from Chris Smith (518 453 4949) at the New York State tax processing office, who says they will accept my return as filed.

The only snag is that when I sent in a payment with my return, the payment was applied to my 2009 taxes instead of my 2005 taxes, so I still owe them money. But I do not owe them nearly as much money as they originally claimed I did, and also I won't have to take them to court. So this is good. And I bet that I can get them to waive the penalties that have been accruing on that "unpaid" payment, since it's not my fault they incorrectly applied the payment I sent them, nor is it my fault that they have been dicking me around on this for two years.

I will be so glad to get this done and never hear the words "tax year 2005" again.

Dear everyone: File your taxes on time. And if it's anything more complicated than a single W2, hire a tax preparer. The peace of mind--and the knowledge that you won't have to spend two years fighting the state's attempt to get you to pay them thousands of dollars that you don't actually owe--is worth every penny.

(This reminds me that I only have until the end of the week to get my 2011 tax stuff together for my fabulous accountant. I should get on that. Incidentally, fellow NY freelancers, he specializes in working with people in the arts, so if you have weird freelance taxes, do give him a call. Tell him I sent you.)

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20 January 2012 16:17 - "Cash on the barrelhead"
Rent at the new place is cheaper per person than our current place. We'll be splitting utilities in three rather than two. Josh got a raise. I'm doing pretty well freelancing. Xtina living with us means I don't have to save up for trips to visit her anymore, which of course I was always happy to do but is also a tidy sum to take off the balance sheet.

If I did the math right--and I'm pretty sure I did--we are going to have substantial unallocated funds to play with once we move. Enough to make me go O.O and triple-check my numbers.

We get that money two ways. One is in monthly income that's greater than our monthly outgo. The other is in two "extra" paychecks; we get paid every other week (26 paychecks a year), but I calculate our monthly income based on two paychecks a month (24 paychecks a year). So my theory is that the excess of monthly income should go toward credit card balances, and the extra paychecks should go to fun things. If we go that route, we get an excellent vacation each year and still only take three and a half years to pay off all our debt (which is mostly my debt from the days of the dot-com bust in California, when credit was a lot easier to come by than income, and I will forever be grateful that Josh was willing to shoulder part of the burden).

If we were to put the extra paychecks into debt repayment, we'd kill it dead in two years. That sounds great, except that we've spent the past three years counting pennies. Our house move is being funded by my savings account, which technically is intended for paying my 2010 taxes. (I am very glad that I decided to save up all year rather than making quarterly payments the way I'm supposed to. Fortunately we're going to be able to pay it all back before April.) What little fun money we've saved up has gone to conventions, except that all those conventions have been work, so the trips haven't been as relaxing as we might have liked. I put a good chunk of change into buying online ad space that didn't do as much for my freelance business as I'd hoped. Josh was unemployed for most of two years; then he got a job at a great start-up that has only recently started paying something close to market value for the amount of skill he has and effort he puts in. It's been hard. We are both really tired of having to check the bank balance every time we want to spend $25 on a hardcover book or a nice bottle of port, never mind traveling. Our 2010 summer vacation was almost entirely put on credit cards, canceling out years of painstakingly paying down balances; that was a hard decision and maybe a foolish one, but not being able to use our vacation time on anything remotely resembling an actual vacation was driving us both crazy. Another two years of that? No. I know it would save us money on interest. I know having the debt paid off would be a tremendous weight off of both of us. But no.

Which is all to say, look for us at Chicon and London-in-2014, and other places in between; and expect big cheers from this direction in three and a half years.

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6 November 2011 02:20 - "You will perish in flames!"
contemplative, pensive, thoughtful
Xtina: Nyquil jokes are the best jokes! ...no.
Me: No.
Xtina: Hey, you're not supposed to agree with me on everything.
Me, deadpan: Oh, okay.
Xtina: ...I give you these lines because I love you.
Me: And because you're on drugs.
Xtina: And because I'm on drugs.

I do hope she feels better soon, even though it means she'll have the strength to kill me for blogging her illness-induced hilariousness.


Now that it's cold out, I've been reminded just how much of my winter gear has worn out over the past six years. My snow boots are in bad shape; I can probably patch the leaks with sugru and waterproofing spray to get them through one more winter, but the lining is wearing thin and there's not much space in there for insoles. My rain boots are cheap and ill-fitting and chafe at the ankles even when I wear thick socks, and I should really just get rid of them. I've had my beautiful beloved wool coat relined at least twice; the lining is in tatters again and there's a growing hole in the back of the shell, thanks to my fondness for backpacks. I generally spend four months of the year wearing turtlenecks, but most of them have been washed and heat-dried so many times that they've shrunk to the point where they expose two inches of wrist and I can't tuck them into my pants (and I have a short torso).

The boots are really the most urgent thing to replace. In a perfect world I would get these beautiful objects for snow and these for rain. Then I'd hit a bunch of thrift stores for turtlenecks, men's shirts if I can find any in my size, and a nice androgynous wool coat, since I try to avoid funding sweatshops by only buying used clothes other than underwear for obvious reasons and footwear because I walk so much that I have to invest in quality. (Even when I get good sturdy shoes I usually need to replace or resole them every year or two.) Total outlay: probably around $300, since I have a coupon for Timberland (20% off plus free shipping) and LL Bean shipping is free and I expect I can find a pretty decent coat for under $70 at Monk or the spiffy 8th Street Goodwill or the slightly less spiffy but very large East 23rd Street Goodwill or maybe Housing Works if I get very lucky.

Now I just need to figure out where the hell I'm going to get an extra $300. In theory I could save it up over six weeks of never spending more than $3 per lunch/dinner or spending any money on anything else. In theory that shouldn't be difficult as long as we do a lot of low-cost cooking for dinner and I have sandwiches (homemade, not deli) or dumplings (Prosperity, not Rickshaw) or hot dogs for lunch. In theory I can skip post-KGB dinners and #MadSqLunch and haircuts with no difficulty or stress at all. Why does reality never conform to these theories? (Because cooking every night is exhausting, is most of why.)

Or I could try to sell 60 origami bookmarks for $5 each or something, I suppose. Does anyone even use bookmarks anymore? I should probably save my arms for work and cooking, anyway.

This is me trying very very hard to ignore the voice in the back of my head that keeps telling me I'm investing in years' worth of winter gear and I should just put it on the credit cards, it makes sense to pay off this sort of thing over time, and what's an extra $300 compared to all the rest of our debt... I am going to live within my means, dammit! Willpower, I can has it!


In happy money news, according to my freelance work spreadsheet, I have just passed $120,000 in cumulative earnings from freelance work since June of 2006.


The clocks have changed, so I have changed my alarms. My plan is to stay on exactly the same schedule I've been on, with the only difference being that according to everyone else I'll be doing everything one hour earlier than usual. This time I will be clever and not officially adjust my work schedule; I will certainly try to get there by 11 and leave by 18, much as I have been trying to get there by noon and leave by 19, but leaving my official start time at noon gives me a lovely hour of leeway.

...so of course I'm still up at the 2 that used to be 3. But I am very sleepy! So I will go to sleep, and I'll probably wake up around the 10 that used to be 11, and it will be fine.

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6 September 2011 04:53 - "What size is it?" "Mediocre."
depressed, cranky
Today started with dreams so bad I woke up two hours after I'd gone to sleep in order to escape, only to fall back asleep into a second bad dream and then a third. (I no longer remember any of the details, except that in the third dream I was wandering around my aunt and uncle's house and missing my grandfather terribly.) I had hoped to wake up feeling fully well and able to get work done. Instead I felt in some ways worse than I had when I was sick. So that was not as pleasant as a night's sleep might otherwise have been.

Eventually I asked Josh to make me some toast with fake cheese, and when I got up to get it, I noticed a lot of dead roaches on the kitchen floor thanks to the poison I'd put down the day before. I have already shared the horrific details of the subsequent hour with Twitter, so you all get a pass. Be thankful. The very short version is that the corpses pointed the way to the nest and Josh cleaned it out and scrubbed the floor spotless. I helped some but he really did the heroic work. Afterwards we clung to each other and shuddered for a bit and then he took a very, very long shower. So that was not as pleasant as a bit of fake-cheesy toast might otherwise have been.

We snuggled for a while, which was nice; he was on call, but it's possible to check one's email one-handed while snuggling with the other arm. Then we started talking about the stupid ridiculous tax bill that showed up on Friday, which was less fun. This is, I note, entirely separate from the other enormous tax matter that I have not heard anything about in months. They claim I owe $216, which apparently is within my "Oh for fuck's sake just pay it even though we could contest it and win" range but outside Josh's, and he's probably right, so I will call them tomorrow and explain very patiently that an HSA is non-taxable, that's the whole point, and I will fax over whatever forms you like but please stop trying to tax it and also please stop sending me certified letters with words like DELINQUENT in them because really that's not very nice. So that was not as pleasant as snuggling might otherwise have been.

I was too muzzy-minded to work or even to knit, so I sat around like a lump while Josh got work done. Eventually his work day ended and we went out to get dinner, which was nice and would have been nicer had I not chosen a 9% ABV beer for us to split and then started drinking it before the food arrived. I realized belatedly that the piece of fake-cheesy toast and a Clif bar were the only things I'd eaten all day. I do not like being intoxicated, at all, but apparently six sips of serious beer on an empty stomach was enough to do me in. After dinner we went for a walk in the park and I complained about the beer and the bugs and PMSing and money and Josh listened very patiently, and then I apologized for complaining so much, and he said it was all right, but it was not as pleasant as a really tasty dinner out and a walk in the park might otherwise have been.

I got an email from a prospective client who now has money and really wants to hire me, and zia_narratora made those wonderful ad graphics for me, and there was more snuggling after dinner, and I got up to make another piece of toast and do a shot of Coca-cola so I could work and when I turned on the kitchen light there was no sign of any wildlife, and the cats have been very cuddly, and I found SuperDuper! which is backing up my computer much more efficiently than Time Machine ever has, and I did eventually get all my work done, so today: not a total loss. But not as pleasant as it might otherwise have been.

Dear tomorrow: I require you to be an improvement. It won't take much.

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8 July 2011 06:24 - Dear Diary: July 6 and 7, 2011
exhausted, spoons
Two work days. Stayed late at work both days. I will be able to stop doing that once I stop needing to spend half my workday dealing with Readercon stuff. But the schedule is really officially done! and proofread! and done! so that is a good sign.

Our neighbors in 5D gave me fancy thank-you chocolate for feeding their cats. I thanked them graciously and didn't mention that I probably can't eat any of it.

The budget is happy this fortnight (even though Josh's paycheck came in a day late due to the holiday) so we went out to the 46th Street Grand Sichuan for dinner on Wednesday. Service was incredibly slow, only two of our eight soup dumplings actually had soup in them (fortunately we got one each), and the gamble on dessert did not pay off. V. sad. But we walked up to 59th Street in the warm summer night and somehow that made everything better.

Tonight Josh got home just as I was leaving work. Usually it's the other way around. I let him know when I was heading home, and when I got in he'd just finished frying up turkey burgers, because he's awesome. We had them on toast made from my latest batch of homemade sandwich bread, the ends of which are drying out so I can turn them into breadcrumbs.

I don't think I ever posted the revised sandwich bread recipe here, actually, so here it is:

150 g milk equivalent
150 g hot water
65 g olive oil
265 g white flour (you can replace up to 25 g of flour with any one or combination of wheat germ, ground flax seed, dried herbs, etc.; my standard is 20g flax seed, 5g caraway seeds)
240 g wheat flour
30 g sugar
5 g salt
7 g (1 packet) active dry yeast

Put in bread machine on dough setting. Once dough is kneaded and risen, shape it on oiled board and place in 9.25" x 5.25" loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Let rise until top is 1" above edge of pan. Bake at 350F for 35 minutes. Note to self: put the rack in the middle position because the bread keeps rising for a bit after it goes in the oven, and if the rack is in the top position you get bread that's flat on top from being pressed against the top of the oven. Oops.

It's very tasty, though I tend to let it rise too much (easy when the weather is so warm and humid) and it ends up maybe a little too fluffy and tender for sandwiches.

We got in ARCs of Maureen McHugh's new collection. I stole one and have been reading it when I get the chance. It is delicious.

I bought our Readercon bus tickets. Six days OMG. Trying not to think about it more than absolutely necessary.

If there is further news, I'm too tired to think of it.

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Hello! I am not dead!

Monday June 20: Lunch in the park. Sunburn. First lace dress of the summer. ("I have that dress in blue!" "I have it in blue, black, red with long sleeves, red with short sleeves, sparkly blue, white, slutty off-white...") Work. Birthdayish dinner with a few friends at Roberto's. Two people couldn't make it due to food poisoning; the remaining four were respectively cranky, shy, distracted, and served insufficiently palatable food. Good time anyway. Went home. Worked on Readercon stuff. Worked on book for a bit. Went to sleep at 4:30.

Tuesday June 21: Miriam and Alex stayed over in the loft bed and got up at 7:30. I went back to bed after they left and slept until 11 or so. Dove into working on the book and got all the screencaps done for chapter 6 (the last chapter!). Set the computer to convert them while I was in the shower. Packed up the laptop and OCR'd them on the train. Edited for a bit in a Starbucks and then met Miriam and Alex for dinner. Thence to dancing, where I mostly iced my arm and sat out. Alex was headachy and also sitting out, so we went and sat in the park instead, and eventually Miriam and Nina finished dancing and joined us, and there was much discussion of politics and cute puppies. Eventually we split up and headed home. I finished populating the Readercon schedule with panelists, hooray! Then I passed out.

Wednesday June 22: Work. Bread from Eataly + homemade tomato sauce = lunch. Aggravation over the marriage equality bill not coming to a vote. Aggravation over an error on Josh's paycheck (not in our favor, of course). Aggravation over hormones making my breasts intensely painful despite a sports bra. Prosperity Dumpling for dinner with Josh. I could eat there every day and be happy. Home and snuggles and snuggles++. Josh went to bed. I baked bread and fiddled with the Readercon schedule. And now the bread has been sitting in front of my a/c for a while (I feel like I'm letting down generations of women who cooled pies on windowsills) and I really need sleep, so I'm going to wrap it up and go to bed.

As much as doing three jobs at once is driving me crazy right now, it's also feeling really good. Whenever I go to the office or work on the book or poke at the Readercon schedule, I'm immediately totally into what I'm doing and confident of my ability to do it and happy to be doing it. I don't remember the last time I felt this consistently energized and engaged by work. Yay. *)

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29 May 2011 03:54 - Dear Diary: May 28, 2011
depressed, cranky
I woke up at 10:30 from a strange and awful dream. My mother and I and several people I know were on a ship that was also a house, meandering down a big river. We were sort of temporarily living there, I guess? The cats were there, but I don't remember seeing Josh at any point in the dream. There was a magical library in some of the cabinets on board the ship, and we were attempting to organize it, even though the further you reached into the cabinet, the further back the books went. We beached the ship on the bank of the river and decided to have a big party outdoors, since there was a grassy park there, but just as we started to relax and look up at the night sky, we noticed a huge glow on the horizon. We couldn't figure out what it was--a nuclear power plant melting down? aliens?--but it was scary. Then it got closer and turned out to be a massive cruise ship that was on fire, heading down the river at an alarmingly fast pace. I ran back on board our ship, screaming for my mother, but she was okay and the ship was okay. I said that if our ship caught fire we could hide in the magical library, since it was so huge that there would presumably be lots of air in there, but she pointed out that we might not be able to get out if we closed all the doors behind us. We stood there and watched reports of the fire on TV, exhaling in relief every time we saw quotes from friends of ours who were bystanders because it meant they hadn't been killed.

Needless to say, when I woke up from this, I was quite upset. Fortunately Josh hadn't yet left, so he gave me lots of hugs. I eventually went back to bed and he headed off to his mom's place.

I woke up again at noon, feeling greatly refreshed, and hung out online for a bit before starting work on the book--except that someone mentioned that Courtney Milan's new novella was available on All Romance E-books for only $0.99, and I started clicking around to see what other books they had, and the next thing I knew I'd spent four hours reading erotic romance and eating Oreos. Oops.

Josh called and we chatted for a bit, and then I wandered into the kitchen and assembled lunch out of the lettuce and tomato and bacon that hadn't gone into the other day's BLTs, with a poached egg and some EVOO and balsamic. It was superb, though perhaps not quite enough food given that it was 7 p.m. and I was just breaking my fast. I kept planning to get work done and then getting caught up in online things, and then Josh called to say goodnight, and then I realized I had nothing in the house to have for dinner and it was nearly 11 and all the restaurants were closed. So I went out to the deli and got ham for making quiche, which I figured I could have for both dinner and breakfast. It was lovely out and I felt all bouncy and happy.

When I got back in I checked the mail and found YET ANOTHER letter from New York State's department of taxation, this one claiming that Josh has owed them money since 2009 and if we don't pay right now they're going to start with the wage-garnishing. Guh. Good feeling gone! So I lost an hour to kind of freaking out over that; Josh had gone to bed, so I called Danielle, who was lovely and reassuring and got me calmed down enough to write him a sensible email about it. Fortunately it's under $600 and I just signed a new client, but fucking hell, can we please get a break from the tax claims at some point?

Eventually I pulled myself together and made a crustless quiche, which taught me a few things:

1) Freshly ground black pepper is more potent than white pepper from a jar. Much, much more. Also, 40 grinds of pepper from our peppermill ~= 1 tsp.

2) Nutmeg from a jar is less potent than freshly grated whole nutmeg. Much, much less. Wish I knew where that whole nutmeg Josh was using for his coffee had gotten to.

3) Crust absorbs a lot of liquid. The quiche took an extra five minutes in the oven to really set, and when I got it out of the pan and flattened the silicone-coated parchment, liquid came seeping out. I poured off rather an astonishing amount of it. Note to self: for future crustless quiche, reduce the liquid in the recipe by at least half a cup.

4) Half a pound of ham is exactly the right amount.

I also washed all the silverware and learned that just fifteen minutes of my hands sweating inside my dishwashing gloves can make my eczema flare. (My skin is super-sensitive to sweat for some reason.)

While I was waiting for the quiche to cool so I could finally have dinner (at around 2:30 a.m.), Josh woke up, saw my email regarding the tax thing, and IM'd me to have his own freakout about it. He swears he never saw a single bill and thinks he may even have gotten a refund for his 2009 taxes, so I'm wondering whether we should hold off on sending in the check until we call the tax people on Tuesday and confirm that the bill is legit. It sure looks legit, though. Augh. But either it is not legit or we will send them a check, and that will be the end of it.

Work done on the book today: nil. And I was fine with that as long as I was having a nice relaxing weekend day, but then it got less relaxing. On the bright side, I have accomplished a quiche.

I have had my dinner (it was very tasty, despite too much pepper and not enough nutmeg) and now I am going to go to bed and hopefully have much nicer dreams.

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17 May 2011 02:52 - Dear Diary: May 13-16, 2011
exhausted, spoons
Has it really been that long? I guess it has. I have not been sleeping much, so everything is kind of foggy and my recollections are sparse. Sorry about that.

Friday I went to work to make up for my sick day. I edited things until 8ish and then met Josh at Nyonya because neither of us was in any way interested in cooking, and also I'd been craving cendol. Then we walked from Chinatown up to Times Square, which was lovely. Yay for my super-comfy new sandals. We came home and I stayed up until 4ish.

Saturday I slept until noonish--the first time in a week I actually got seven or eight hours of sleep--and then got up and showered and dressed and ate so I could be presentable when Angel the angel showed up to clean the apartment. While he was scrubbing the kitchen and bathroom, I got my room as neat as it's been in recent memory so he could come in and vacuum up all the dust rhinos. He mopped the floors in the entire apartment! We left shortly after he did and headed to Brooklyn to help Lee move house, and then met Virgil for dinner and went to a party full of gorgeous hot trans and genderqueer people. My haircut was not just unremarkable but actually part of the local fashion trends. When we played the name game, people were asked to state not only their names but also their preferred pronouns. I felt sublimely at home. We stayed until a bit past 2 and got home right around 4, and eventually I wound down and fell asleep.

Sunday we got up rather earlier than we wanted to, given the late night, and got ourselves down to Chinatown for Mother's Day (Observed) dim sum at Red Egg. It was some of the best dim sum I've ever had, and the service was superb. My mother was really worried that something would trip her garlic allergy, but the server and the kitchen conspired to keep her plate completely garlic-free. We walked back to her place for dessert (the aforementioned cheesecake), and she and I played Boggle and Set while Josh and Dick talked politics. It was a very, very good time. Afterwards we walked over to the Hudson and up to 23rd Street, which was mostly lovely until a chance comment got me really stressed out about money. I don't have any gigs lined up for after I finish the book, and we're trying to save for Reno and for paying my quarterly taxes but it's hard because I keep having to dip into savings for money to live on. I've mostly been keeping this to myself because it's very easy for Josh to fret about money, but I was exhausted and it all spilled out. He was very patient and sweet with me while I got cranky and tearful, and he stayed patient and sweet while we bought groceries and took the train home, and then he tucked me into bed with my laptop, brought me cold leftover dim sum for dinner, and otherwise let me drown my sorrows in Reddit. Which of course then kept me up until 5 a.m.

Today I woke up at 10 with that sort of calm, resigned feeling one gets after most of a week of being sleep-deprived. I actually got a fair amount of work done at work. I also asked #madsqlunch people to recommend me to any writers they meet who are looking for an editor and then got two unrelated emails from prospective clients, because the universe likes to remind me that I really do always find more gigs and more money. Thank you, universe! I had to stay at work until 8:30 to finish everything and lock up, and then I came home and went out again to shop and came home again and made quiche and ate Josh's delicious chicken soup and hung out with Josh and Bonnie and bustled around doing things like throwing out expired medicines and rearranging my bedside shelves because I knew that once I stopped moving I would not be able to start again. Now, having finished bustling, I'mma go pass out. I just hope I can strike the right balance between catching up on sleep and sleeping so much that it fucks my body clock up again.

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13 May 2011 04:19 - Dear Diary: May 12, 2011
noisy brain, agitated, manic-bad
To bed at 5 a.m. again. Or maybe 5:30. The sky was getting lighter, so probably closer to 5:30.

Got up at 11 and went to work anyway. Got in a little late. Spent the day guzzling iced chocolate and finishing Sekrit Projekt DD. Eventually looked up and hey, it's 8 p.m., I should have left an hour ago. Oops.

Came home and made potato salad while Josh was getting cat food. Also reorganized our financial scheme again; I think I finally have it set up so I can use cash and be happy, he can use the card and be happy, and all the bills get paid with a minimum of fuss. Now I just have to make $16,000 a year from freelancing. Anyone need an editor?

(An ad came across the EFA list today: Harlequin is looking for line editors. Curse you, conflict of interest!)

After dinner, I had a long, lovely call with Xtina. Then I played Cursed Treasure a bit, but it lags awfully once you get to the higher levels, so I gave up. Thence to Reddit, which was a mistake, and now to bed. It's only 4! Hooray!

I am so sleeping in on Saturday.

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11 May 2011 01:57 - Dear Diary: May 10, 2011
pleased, turtle
How did we get 1/3 of the way through May already? Astonishing.

I went to bed late, so I let myself sleep in until noon. Then this article on the word "faggot", spun off of a Twitter conversation I had with a neighbor, popped up on my Twitter mentions, so I had to go write a long comment correcting some misapprehensions, and a friend IM'd me to say she was so stressed out by work that she couldn't eat, so I spent some time comforting her and encouraging her to get a protein smoothie from Jamba Juice so she didn't faint. This was all time well spent, but of course it ate into time I'd planned to spend working.

I firmly shut off the internet at 2, put a pork chop in the toaster oven to warm up, showered, dressed, ate, and settled down to work at 2:30. By 3:30 I had done all the screencaps for chapter 1, and by 4:30 I'd completed an editing pass to fix all the OCR errors. I can't believe how quick and easy that was!

Since I had achieved my goal for the day, I packed up my laptop and headed south. On the train I did more editing and got the chapter down to a comfortable 5200 words. (Not bad for starting with something like 1300.) Then I hit up the spiffy new upscale Goodwill on 8th Street with Nina, Lindsay, and Alex. It is FULL of bridesmaid dresses and samples from major designers. I had set myself a budget of $15; then I tried on a brand new strapless black ballgown with a train and actual boning that keeps the bodice up and turns my "pear" figure into an hourglass, and it fit me perfectly and was priced at $40, and that is not an opportunity one passes up. I borrowed $25 from next week and now I have a smashing dress. Once I'd decided to buy it I refused to look at other clothes and instead helped Nina and Lindsay with zippers. Apparently I would make an excellent lady's maid.

Once we'd paid for everything we headed to Washington Square to meet Miriam. Alex and I ducked into Mahmoun's for quick cheap food and then joined everyone else in the park. We scarfed dinner, said farewell to Lindsay, and went up to the dance.

dance maunderings cut for those who couldn't care lessCollapse )

On the train home I formatted the manuscript for chapter 1, rearranged the sections a bit for better flow, and did a bit of trimming to bring it just under 5000 words. When I got in I sent it off to my co-conspirators. I was still a little dance-buzzy, so I also moved some stuff off the couch that had been there since Saturday, showed off my new gown to Josh and Bonnie, and otherwise bustled around a bit. Mid-bustle I stepped on Sam's tail, and she very reasonably freaked out and scratched my ankle, but she forgave me fairly shortly after. After Bonnie went to bed, Josh and I cuddled for a little while and then I took myself bedwards to write this and maybe get in just a few minutes of Sekrit Projekt DD. Hopefully I will actually make myself stop at a sensible hour and get plenty of sleep so I can have enough energy for the lindy hop class, assuming my feet can handle dancing three days in a row.

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5 May 2011 00:49 - Dear Diary: May 4, 2011
noisy brain, agitated, manic-bad
Okay yes definitely hypomania. I am losing punctuation. And contractions.

It's very early in the evening for me to be starting a diary entry but I am unbearably fidgety and need to be doing SOMETHING. I just spent most of an hour folding little origami envelopes to hold various amounts of money so I can allocate my cash at the start of the week and feel as though I've spent down to zero even though I haven't actually spent anything yet. There is an extra-pretty one for savings so I feel bad about depleting it. Under the current scheme I have $60 unallocated every week; if I can actually save that it will be an average of $260 a month which would be very nice indeed. Of course this week I will be dipping into that money for socks, but the sock situation is kind of dire and if I'm going to be dancing three nights a week I really need more socks.

Maybe I should go run around the block a few times.

Today was a work day, so I worked, and I got two $1 burgers at Goodburger, and I attempted to write up the list of everything I need to do, and I got overwhelmed, and I came home and made a spreadsheet for Bonnie and ate the dinner that Josh cooked up from our leftovers and did my origami envelopes thing. On the train home I first wrote myself little agitated notes and then fell asleep and almost missed my stop, which kind of summarizes this particular state of mind.

Crap, I'm out of things to write about. Maybe I'll pull up Reddit and go strafe it with comments.

Okay, that helped a bit. Of course, now it's midnight-thirty. So much for working on Readercon stuff tonight. I guess I could take taurine but then I'd just fall asleep, since I was up late last night. (I don't even remember why. Oh wait, yes I do: I realized as I was going to bed that I'd forgotten to do something I'd promised to do, so of course I did it instead of being sensible and emailing to say "It's 3:30 a.m., I'll do this tomorrow".)

Stupid brain.

Okay. Bed now. Maybe I'll get up early and get downtown early and get my hair cut and buy socks before lunch instead of after. If I'm going to have all this energy I might as well use it.

Today's fun:

GOOD NEWS! I have LOWERED the price of rosejasperfox.com!

rosejasperfox.com is now available for purchase.

I have lowered the price to $66.00.

This includes outright ownership and one-year of registration.

Next year, the renewal fee is only $10.00.

NOTE: This price reduction is only good for seven days.

Please go to our secure order form at rosejasperfox.com to purchase it with a major credit card or PayPal.

If you like, I would be happy to assist with the purchase process and can answer any questions that you may have.

Hi Miranda,

I'm delighted to know that you're authorized to reduce the price on this domain name. As soon as you reduce it to $10 I will be happy to purchase it from you.

Rose Fox

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merry, brave, giddy, daring, transition
Yesterday was a typical Sunday: Josh gamed, I lazed, he made hash for brunch and I ate a lot of it, and eventually we walked up to Riverdale and shopped and came home and cooked. We roasted a rosemary chicken and had that for dinner along with some steamed green beans with fake butter and salt and pepper, mmm. We also baked two sandwich-size "baguettes" that are complete failures as baguettes but very tasty if you just think of them as heroes or hoagies or whatever, and steamed up some broccoli that I should put into omeluffins along with the ham we got at the store.

*pauses to make omeluffins and wash the dinner dishes*

Ham & broccoli omeluffinsCollapse )

We had some good talks about money while we were shopping, poking at our various psychologies around financial things. We think about money so differently! I like looking at the numbers and creating elaborate systems of money management; Josh hates checking balances and gets confused by my accounting schemes. I struggle to reduce my spending, and I'm prone to impulse purchases; he has well-ingrained habits of frugality. I'm happiest taking out my week's money in cash because then I have a visual reminder of how much I have left; he'd rather use a debit card and keep a mental running total of expenditures. I love having no money left because then I know where I stand and there's no question of "should I spend?" to wrestle with; he really needs a cushion in the bank or he stresses about being broke. Finding a system that works for both of us is tricky. Fortunately we are both good at one thing: being temporarily frugal for the sake of saving towards an indulgent goal. I like the challenge and the extra incentive to stay away from impulse purchases, and he likes having a positive reason to reduce spending rather than the negative reason of having no money to spend. So every weekend, we're going to aim to buy about $70 worth of groceries, cook for the week, and spend minimal money out in the world, and everything we save will go toward Reno, where we will enjoy spending as much as we want. If that works, we'll pick a new goal to save towards (probably a trip to Europe sometime in 2012). If not... we'll keep trying new things, and working on earning enough money that we don't have to worry about all this quite so much.

After the cooking was done, we watched the second episode of Game of Thrones and then some other stuff happened that I discussed in my earlier entry. I stayed up feeling sad and lonely for a while after Josh went to bed, and eventually I made myself get some sleep.

This morning I packed the last of the books for the rare book dealer, a chicken sandwich on one of the "baguettes", and my dance gear. I went to work, where I got some interesting news that I'm not sure I can share and then got a fair amount of work done. I also went to #MadSqLunch, where I ate half the chicken sandwich rather than spending money on deli food. Meredith came by with brownies, so I ate a lot of those as well.

After work I headed to my first class at DanceSport. Turns out they LOVE it when women lead, because they always have more women than men in the class. Hooray! And the hustle is fun! I think of myself as being lousy at doing dances that require actual steps, but so far it's working pretty well. I came out of the class all floaty and buzzy on dance-endorphins and walked up to Times Square in the very slight drizzle. A bit of neon-bathing helped to settle me down a little. I love this city so much.

I took the train home and babbled at Josh a bit until he went to bed, and then I made too much pasta and packed up the leftovers and started writing this entry and also baked omeluffins and washed dishes and petted the kitten (who deigned to sit in my lap) and I think I'm slooooowly coming off the high. Man, I remember when ECD made me feel this way. It still does, sort of, sometimes, but there's no substitute for New Dance Energy. I wonder what I'll do at the end of the month. I could sign up for more classes, but it's $90 for four and $150 for eight. That's a lot of money right now. Maybe I'll wait until one of us gets a raise.

Now it is bedtime. I think I'll be able to sleep. Guess we'll find out.

EDIT: My computer needed a security upgrade so I figured I'd wipe down the table and then I swept the living room floor and scrubbed it in some spots where it needed scrubbing and now I think I might actually be done.

Endorphins are amazing.

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29 April 2011 03:10 - Dear Diary: April 24-28, 2011
exhausted, spoons
Hello. I am not dead. It has just been five days of little sleep and nightmares when I do sleep and neck pain and gut unhappiness and hormones and annoyances and getting way too upset over little things and ennuiiiiiiiiiiiiiii and I have been too busy or too mopey to write. Sorry, Diary. I will try to get back on track.

Also I went to a gastroenterologist, who was very nice and said that five bouts of "food poisoning" in 14 months could be basically anything, and now I have blood tests and an endoscopy scheduled for early June and a colonoscopy scheduled for late June, which is about as much fun as it sounds. Maybe less. But maybe then anyone will have any idea what the hell is wrong with me, which would be an improvement over things as they stand. IV squick warningCollapse )

On the bright side, I finished a freelance project early, which I hope means I will get paid early, and I'm on schedule with Readercon stuff, and a rare book dealer bought a whole bunch of my books for $1300 so the tax bill is taken care of (and my thanks again to those of you who bought books from me directly!), and I redid my website and I'm pretty happy with it, and lots of nice people have left me nice LinkedIn recommendations, and my loved ones love me and the cats are healthy. And there was lovely thunder today, albeit thunder that woke me up early. And we didn't get hit by a tornado. And I said helpful things to people on the Reddit SuicideWatch community, which apparently actually cheers me up rather than making me even more despondent.

And maybe things will look better tomorrow after I sleep.

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15 April 2011 21:58 - "First come, first served"
aspiring, hopeful
I'm sticking a fundraising thermometer here, since I do have the goal of raising enough with this sale to pay this year's tax bill:

fundraising progress

Thanks to Goodreads and the barcode scanner on my phone, it was much easier to compile the list of books for sale than I anticipated. A large table follows. The books are sorted first by genre and then by author's last name; they're about half food-related (cookbooks and food writing) and half SF/F, with a smattering of nonfiction. I included the ISBN-13 for all the books that have them so you can easily look them up on Amazon for more info.

For new books in print, I went with list price; I looked on Amazon and used book sites for the rest, adjusting depending on the condition of the book. Shipping is free within the U.S. If you're outside the U.S., email me or leave a comment and we can sort out shipping options. I'm quite happy to deliver books in person at Readercon or Worldcon, or to anyone who's in New York or willing to come to New York to pick them up.

To purchase a book, just leave a comment with the title, on either LJ or DW, or email me at rose@tocotox.net. Of course it's fine to request multiple books in one email or comment. Once I confirm that you're the first to request a book, please send payment and your mailing address by Paypal to rose@tocotox.net. I'm also happy to take cash payments for books that I deliver in person. If neither of these is an option, email me and we'll sort something out. I will cross books off as they're purchased.

Almost all the books are in new or very good condition, but a few are old and potentially slightly mildewed. Our apartment contains two cats and a lot of book dust. However, some of the Subterranean Press titles are still in unopened plastic bags, as they were sent from the warehouse; the bag will be allergenic, but the book itself should be safe. I'm happy to answer any questions about a particular book's condition.

Please share the link around, and thank you so, so much for helping us get through this rough patch.

71 booksCollapse )

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10 April 2011 18:07 - "And taxes"
Despite my best efforts, I didn't jigger my state withholding quite enough last year, so I owe New York state about $1250. This is slightly mitigated by an IRS refund of $200, but only slightly. Josh hasn't done his taxes yet, but we assume he'll owe as well, since last year most of his money came from unemployment insurance and there's no withholding on that.

We have a lot of books. In fact, we have more books than we have room for. I have hundreds of books piled up at work, waiting for me to take them home--but I have no space for them at home. We have bins of books that we would love to donate if we could find a place that would take donations, but our local libraries don't and there's no charity shop within easy book-hauling distance.

Putting two and two together makes a book sale!

Before I start putting up listings, a question. If you think you might want to buy books from me, which of the following would interest you?

a) Single-book listings with a fixed price.
b) Single-book listings with an auction in the comments.
c) Grab bags (where you know how many books you're getting, and maybe a genre, but no titles) with a fixed price.

All the books will be finished copies; I consider it a breach of reviewer ethics to sell ARCs. The grab bag idea is mostly to save me the labor of making individual listings. It's going to take a lot of books to make $1000.

Now is also probably a good time to remind you all that I do freelance book editing, with prices starting at just $300 for a detailed manuscript critique (up to 50,000 words). If you're not a writer but you know someone who is, you can always purchase my services as a gift! I'm always happy to edit manuscripts destined for self-publishing or to help polish a draft before it's shopped around to agents and publishers. Fantasy, SF, horror, and romance are all fair game; I’m fine with explicit sex, explicit violence, main characters being killed off, unhappy endings, and just about anything else you might think to warn a potential reader about; and I’m equally at home with novels and short story collections. Leave a comment or email me if you think you might want to send some work my way.

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8 April 2011 03:03 - Dear Diary: April 7, 2011
I have already forgotten this morning. It's been that kind of day. I did sleep, I think. And I woke up a bit groggy and then was suddenly Awake and had the good sense to get up once that hit.

Went to work and made up for my headachy unproductive day yesterday. Brought in leftovers for lunch, a habit I am trying very hard to get into. Went out after work for drinks with a favorite ex-colleague and didn't buy anything because I had $3 left to last me through the end of the day. Felt very proud of my self-control and then spent $2 of the $3 on a bag of potato chips that wasn't worth nearly that much. Oh well. Came home and had more leftovers for dinner. Continued feeling virtuous.

Had a nice phonedate with Xtina where we mostly sent each other links to Android games and silly jewelry. Eventually got too sleepy for phoning but apparently not too sleepy for futzing around with my phone. Downloaded a bunch of NetGalleys that turned out to be PDFs, which of course are unreadable on my tiny phone screen and of course can't be converted to epub because of the DRM. Emailed the publisher suggesting that they switch to epubs.

Called T-Mobile and switched to the unlimited data plan, since apparently downloading lots of apps fairly rapidly puts one over the 200MB limit on the limited plan. Also added unlimited international texting so I can keep harassing Graham when he's not on IM. (Today I texted him to complain about the Doctor Who episode I was watching on the train home, which reminds me to put more of those on my phone.) They were nice and backdated the change to a month ago, canceling the overage charges. I updated the budget with the new phone bill amount and Josh's expected raise.

And now I should leave my video encoding processes to run overnight, and go get myself some shut-eye.

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