Tag Archives: TYG

The art of the long-playing record

As I think I mentioned a while back, TYG and I are now one of those couples who schedule regular date nights (or date days depending on the event). Between the pandemic and the brutal demands of her old job, we’d gotten out of the habit of doing stuff together and we both want to change that. So our date a couple of weeks back was to hit Whole Foods — we usually go to a closer supermarket — and then visit a couple of thrift stores. It was fun and I came home with several books and DVDs.

I also stopped to browse the vinyl for sale. Not that I have a record player, but I do love the art on the old album covers. So here are some photos.#SFWApro. All rights to cover images remain with current holders.

Leave a comment

Filed under Miscellanea, Personal

Surrounded by pets, but missing my angel

So last Sunday, TYG headed out of town for a business trip, leaving me as a single doggy parent until she returned this morning. Quite aside from missing her, it was a weird adjustment.

Our dogs aren’t the independent type: when we’re home, they expect to be with us. Snuggled in the lap is, of course, the ideal. Or being in the kitchen hoping for a delicious treat.We usually adjust to their wishes. So I’d wake up, go down and make tea, come back up and drink it in bed while I read. Then I’d do some work for a couple of hours. Then we go down and begin the morning dog routines and walkies.

At least that was the theory. The practice proved erratic. Tuesday morning Plushie wanted very badly to go downstairs. Thursday and Friday I made sure to give him extra snuggles in the bed — he doesn’t always come and ask the way Trixie does — and he liked it so much he squirmed into my lap in a position where I couldn’t write (I’d have had to rest the lap desk right on him). I did not, of course, remove him.

As we walk the dogs separately that meant twice as much time devoted to walkies. Fortunately it’s beautiful out this week, chilly-to-cold but I can live with that. And as I didn’t exercise other than walkies or do my yoga — dogs take it as body language for Snuggle With Me — I guess the time balanced out.

Things did get more complicated when Wisp or Snowdrop showed up and I had more pets to deal with. Still it’s great to see Wisp coming in more and even napping on the back of the couch again.

Snowdrop began meowing plaintively when she met up with me and the dogs in the yard. I think he missed TYG — we’ll see how he reacts now that she’s back.

As TYG went off with a lot of her ingredients unused I postponed my own cooking plans and worked on using up the leftovers: rice and veggie bowl, frittatta, apple tart, roasted grapes with rosemary. Good stuff.

Oh, work? The week started off well but bogged down. When I take care of the dogs for this long, there’s something about the constant lack of space that sands down my ability to think. Thursday I was working slow; today I got nothing but the bare minimum done, even after TYG came back.

I completed almost all my promotional work for Questionable Minds. I’ll wrap up the rest Monday.

I got another chapter done for Impossible Takes a Little Longer … and promptly decided to revise it. It’s a slow, character-centric chapter which would be fine except it’s following another one. So once again, I’m moving up catastrophes originally scheduled for later chapters. I’ll get onto that next week.

I also had an insight how several disconnected ideas might work together to create one novel. But that’s for later … well, maybe.

And I got another accounting article done. While I fell several hours short of my hourly goal for the week but under the circumstances I think that’s acceptable. Hopefully the multiple appointments we have next week won’t derail me further.

Oh, plus I got paid for the upcoming reprint of Happiest Place on Earth, plus one book sales of Undead Sexist Cliches, plus someone checked out Atlas Shagged on Hoopla (a library service that pays a little per checkout). Whoever my two readers are, I hope you liked the books and I thank you for investing the time on my work.

#SFWApro.

2 Comments

Filed under Atlas Shagged, Impossible Takes a Little Longer, Nonfiction, The Dog Ate My Homework, Undead Sexist Cliches: The Book, Writing

Reflect on this!

TYG and I went to the North Carolina Museum of Art, which reopened after its recent remodeling. And the first new thing we encountered was this outdoor exhibit:It’s like Lady of Shanghai, where Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth have a shootout in a hall of mirrors! Only, you know, not.

#SFWApro.

Leave a comment

Filed under Miscellanea, Personal

A tale of two cats

Cat the first: Snowdrop.  While I was off on vacation, he stopped showing up for food. Or possibly, as I get up earlier than TYG, he just showed up in the wee hours, found nobody was responding to his presence, and gave up for a bit.

Either way, after five days had elapsed without his presence, we were worried. We talked about how maybe some family had found him, trapped him in their garage and stuffed him with treats, but we both assumed he was more likely in a coyote’s stomach. But Saturday morning I came down early and he was there. Very hungry and a little needier than usual, very happy to come in for breakfast.We’re happier too.

The second cat was my anniversary gift. It’s 11 years this month, which is supposed to be jewelry or steel. While I was at ConCarolinas, I bought TYG some earrings and a couple of pendant stones she can play with in her crafts room (lapis lazuli and lanzarite). As I’m not a jewelry person, she decided to make my gift non-traditional.

As a small child I’d had a stuffed cat, Stripesy (he was, yes, striped) that I’d taken everywhere with me. When I was six or seven, we were on vacation and I lost him. Or my parents decided they’d had enough of Stripesy and “lost” him for me (that’s a guess, based on nothing). Anyway, TYG found me another striped cat and gave him to me for our anniversary. So here’s Tigsie:He’s not a lookalike for Stripesy but I still find it a very sweet gift.

#SFWApro.

Leave a comment

Filed under Personal

The cooking mojo is temporarily gone

Normally I love cooking and baking. Bread in particular.The past month I’ve been surprised how little I’ve been cooking, compared to usual. Not that I’m switching to junk food or takeout — fruit on cereal or yogurt, veggie sandwiches, scrambled eggs with this or that are all easy and they all provide me with healthy, or reasonably healthy, meals. Plus TYG’s been cooking for herself and I often wind up eating her leftovers

I think it’s that this has been a very hectic couple of months. TYG was dealing with some heavy work stuff in early April, then she began the transition to a new job at a new company. Being the awesome person she is, she negotiated to give five weeks notice to her current employer so that she can prep her former subordinates in everything she does that they’ll need to take over. Trouble is, she knows a lot so it’s been intense. And that leaks over to me in the form of more dog care, more running errands, etc. Which is perfectly reasonable, but it does leave me rather wiped by the week’s end.

So I wind up doing a lot less of anything on the weekend, relaxing as much as possible. It’s definitely the right choice but it feels strange. I look forward to getting back to normal next month.

#SFWApro.

Leave a comment

Filed under Personal

Spousal shelfies

A couple more shelfies, this time mostly TYG’s books.By my standards they’re insufferably disorganized but when I tried putting them in alphabetical order she couldn’t find anything. We put them back the way she likes them.

#SFWApro.

Leave a comment

Filed under Personal

The tin anniversary

So a week ago, TYG and I celebrated our tenth anniversary, the “tin” one. I suggested she buy me some tea for the various empty tea tins I keep around (I know I’ll eventually fill them again). And so she did.

Wimey Keemun is a really good tea I enjoy as my first cup of the day (I don’t have the tea-tasting vocabulary to articulate what makes it good, sorry). Darjeeling Superba 6000 is just a very good tea. And 8 ounces of each will keep me going for a while, though I intend to buy some other varieties down the road.

My anniversary gifts weren’t tin-centric (“diamond” is the alternative but neither of us likes either diamonds or baseball, so …) but they were welcome. Toffee bars for a desert, zucchini lasagna — thin, baked zucchini slices substituting for noodles — for a meal (several meals, actually). Both her favorites.

We also went out Saturday to one of our favorite restaurants, Sage, a vegetarian place in Chapel Hill. They made it through the pandemic, though with a smaller menu. Food’s just as good as always.

Unfortunately last weekend also involved some Plushie problems which I’ll get into in my second post of the day.

#SFWApro.

Leave a comment

Filed under Personal

Everything in motion but nowhere near the finish line

On the whole this was a frustrating week, though part of that’s the cabin fever I was talking about this morning. However it did have one huge upside, which is that yesterday, TYG and I celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary. This is, of course, a cool thing in itself, especially in the current crisis: I’m not alone and we don’t drive each other crazy, even with all the extra time we’re spending together. Plus I actually went out and got takeout from a local restaurant last night. We haven’t been out to eat since Valentine’s Day; my birthday and TYG’s were both spent safe at home. I’m a good cook so I don’t mind eating at home usually but it really felt good to indulge in a large pizza last night, followed by cheesecake (chocolate flourless torte for TYG).

So not such a bad week after all. And I did pet Wisp.

But things were still frustrating. For one thing I got two short stories back today. One was just a form-letter “no” which didn’t surprise me — I wasn’t at all sure my story was a good fit but I didn’t want to self-reject (as they say). The other was a disappointment: they’d told me back in December that I’d been shortlisted and I hadn’t heard since; I emailed them today to check and they wrote back (with apologies for not doing so sooner) that no, while they liked the story quite a bit, it just (drum roll) didn’t fit their needs. In some ways it’s more frustrating to come close and miss, though it’s happened to me quite a bit (nine times out of 10 getting shortlisted turns out to be the kiss of death).

The other source of frustration is that while I worked on several projects this week (plus some Leaf articles) and it was mostly productive, none of them are anywhere near finished. I’m editing the final draft of Questionable Minds but only part of the way through. I fixed the footnotes of the first two chapters of Undead Sexist Cliches and put them into a standardized format, plus starting the final draft but it’s barely a fraction of what has to be done. And I worked on redrafting Oh the Places You’ll Go! and I like the changes, but again, it’s slow going.

The biggest accomplishment was that I did some replotting on Impossible Takes a Little Longer and fixed, I think, a number of problems.

So not a bad week, but it would be nice to wrap something up or, you know, sell a story. Still, I’m better off than whoever lived here, so that’s something.

#SFWApro. Photos are mine.

1 Comment

Filed under Impossible Takes a Little Longer, Nonfiction, Personal, Short Stories, Undead Sexist Cliches: The Book, Writing