Five good things

My last post was super-negative (because that was the theme for November...), so I'm jumping into this December thing on a better note. Here are five good things:

1. Cats.

This is the older of my roommates' two cats. Both cats are nuts. The older one is fluffy/fuzzy and loves attention, but she's way dominant and hates the other cat. So she's kind of an asshole cat, but she's good for a cuddle. The other is neurotic beyond reason (probably because she's been living with asshole cat since she was tiny, and it's made her twitchy). But I have officially been accepted onto the short list of people allowed to pet her (maybe once a day for five seconds or so, longer if I'm extorting the idea with food).

Why are asshole cat and twitchy cat at the top of the good things list? Because they're good cats. They're really lovely, flaws and all. Soft, wacky, lovely cats.

2. This thing I found on Pinterest!

I first saw this the other day and I was really into it. Headcanon accepted. The Puritans, man. Yeah! But I was thinking about it on my way home from work today, and I don't think it's necessarily why Newt was the only one not using nonverbal spells...

They said in Fantastic Beasts that Newt Scamander was kicked out of Hogwarts, so he never finished out his seventh year, possibly his sixth year. I assume he finished his fifth year and his O.W.L.s since they seem to be the very basic qualification for walking around with a wand. (So Hagrid getting kicked out aroundabout his third year never took his O.W.L.s and therefore had the pink umbrella, while Newt took his O.W.L.s before getting kicked out so he gets to keep his wand. Yes?) Anyway. He was kicked out before he had been trained to N.E.W.T.-level spellcasting, a major part of which seemed to be mastering nonverbal spells.

Following that thought through to the end, the Americans in Fantastic Beasts were all adults, most of them working a Aurors and whatnot, so they're well-trained. Whereas Newt Scamander never finished studying/practicing/etc for his N.E.W.T.s and therefore isn't so well-trained that he uses nonverbal spells all the time. And that follows through to the Harry Potter books, where it's students and Death Eater thugs shouting spells, while those older and with more experience/training cast silently.

What about the teachers, you say? They are rather good at magic and yet they say their spells aloud all the time. Of course they do; they're teachers. They have to say the spells aloud to teach them, and saying them aloud even outside of class time is a good way to teach students new spells/remind them of spells they already knew/demonstrate spells in everyday life/whatever. So that would be a habit for them when it came to dueling.

I probably spent too much time thinking about that, but the drive gets a bit dull without a bit of geekiness to fill it. Usually, it'd be imagination time for whatever I'm writing, but I'm not actually writing right now.

3. The world's largest rubber duck.

It was in Duluth this fall and that's where I took the picture. I find it hilarious that it even exists. I mean... why? (Why not?)

It was hard to capture the scale. It was pulled into the harbor by a normal-sized tug boat if that helps. On that note, wouldn't that be an excellent guy to invite to dinner parties?

"Oh, hi, hello. What do you do?"

"I drive a tug boat."

"Really? What sort of stuff do you tow?"

"...a rubber duck."

"A what now?"

"A really big rubber duck."

4. Westworld.

Oh my god Westworld! It's on HBO. The season 1 finale was this last weekend.

I wasn't sold on this one at first. It's a lot of seemingly gratuitous nudity/sex/violence... but it's not. Through the first few episodes, I was thinking that I really wanted to like the show, but it seemed like the thing they put on the docket since it's the off-time for Game of Thrones. By the end of it, I was hooked. There are plots and sub-plots; things that didn't make sense at the beginning came full circle at the end; if you let it, the show really makes you think.

5. I got off work at noon today. I thought I worked until 3, and then I walked by my supervisor just after 12 and she asked why I hadn't clocked out yet. Um. Yes, please.

November was shit

Not the shit. It was shit. As in shitty. As in... you get it.


Work has kinda sucked. (It is retail, I know it sucks as a general rule, but I managed fairly well up to this point.) And the job hunt hasn't even yielded a response beyond the "we received your application" email, let alone an interview, all month. I've hit the point where I might just apply for different retail and hope for the best.

And then there was the 30th, when I had to stay late at work, got stuck in traffic, got lost, almost got in a fender bender, got lost again, then finally made it back to the house to have my roommate tell me the plumbing's gone to shit (really, it was already shit its just that we know just how bad it really is now). It was icing on the cake. I did get to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (and it was spectacular), but it was on the way to the movie I did all that getting lost and almost getting side-swiped by minivans.

And on top of that, I haven't been writing. It's part of the problem since that's kinda my outlet when things are crap. Just can't do it, though. I sit down to write and... nothing.

So yeah. November was shit. Here's hoping December is better.

Still not dead

Just an update for you: I am still not dead. In case you were wondering.

I went on vacation, and it was wonderful. We did London, Dublin, Edinburgh and Keflavik. (Though Keflavik hardly counts because the we had less than 24 hours and the weather was so bad we didn't leave the hotel.)

The highlights: the museums in London, the B&B in Dublin, the bus tours in Edinburgh. Really, all of it was great. The only bad weather day we had was the one in Iceland, which was unfortunate but also a really great opportunity to lay low in the lounge area of the hotel/B&B (it called itself a B&B, but it felt like a hotel...) and recuperate a bit from the go-go-go of trying to cram it all in during those last few days.

It was very hard to come back. I still wake up a bit disoriented, thinking that alarm might be going off so I can squeeze a shower in before we have to jog down to the Tube instead of, you know, so I can eat a bowl of cereal before the usual commute from one suburb to the next for work.


I had an idea

I have many, many documents on my laptop that are bits and pieces of stories. Beginnings, endings, random scenes that just haven't fit into anything else I've written, etc. There's this one beginning in particular that I came across again tonight, and, as usual, I wished there was more to it but I can't ever seem to think where to go from where it's at. I have a general idea of where the characters are at and the vague direction I'd like to point them in, but it's been stagnating for awhile now.

Essentially, I have this mad thought that I'm going to tell this story (Synchronicity) more-or-less by prompt, including as much of the feedback as possible without making it into something entirely absurd.

Whaddya think?

Story is on, here.
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Trending on the drawing, apparently

I can't think of much to write at the moment, so I'm going to use the good ol' fallback of sharing a drawing... Here's Snape from the epilogue of MWHD (the real epilogue, not the alternate one):

I even got to play with it a bit. My printer is all hooked up now, so I was able to scan it in instead of taking a photo with my phone... and the computer has all these fun things for contrast and saturation and stuff. (Woot.)
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I did the thing!

We officially have wifi at the new place (yay!), so I'm slowly trying to get back into this whole fandom thing again... "Slowly" being the operative word, because I'm prettysure I missed the actual deadline on this art challenge thing no matter what time zone we're going by.

Sharing it anyway because I did the thing!

tea art challenge.jpg
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Ah, nostalgia

Okay, so I'm moving in a little over a week. I'm sorting through stuff, boxing and binning, and I'm finding all sorts of the weirdest things I didn't know I still had. For instance: I went through a poetry phase from 5th grade to 7th grade-ish. (Maybe not even that long.) Anyway. In middle school, I had this notebook full of "poetry" and the very last one was added probably my senior year of high school, which was about when I last unearthed said notebook. That last poem goes:

There once was a man from Nantucket
who spent all of his time in a bucket.
Then came the day
when he filled it with hay,
set it on fire and said, "Fuck it."

Eighteen-year-old me is hilarious.