Showing posts from August, 2013
Moving today. After I got home and TOOK MY GODDAMN MEDICATION and calmed down some, I realized that the landlady would not have bothered asking me to come back Tuesday if there had been something catastrophically wrong with the paperwork, or the background check people had gotten me mixed up with someone on the Homeland Security Watch List. Since I do not look like an axe-murdering maniac in person, and I have a sensible explanation for why my "emergency contact" and "next of kin" are both people who are in no way biologically related to me, I am operating under the assumption that I will be signing a lease on Tuesday morning.

The rat for some reason has decided to flip the fuck out this time, as opposed to all the other times I've boxed things up and moved his cage around. He's elderly by rodent standards and has chronic snurfles, and he gave himself what amounted to an asthma attack this morning around 7. I woke up when he threw himself onto my feet. I as…
The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - "The Haunting of Sherlock Holmes"

The Adventures of Sam Spade - "The Dog Bed Caper"

Box 13 - "Double Trouble"
Okay, back to maybe emergency? I was told to show up today to sign the lease, but the landlady has fucked off early for Labor Day, and apparently will not be back until Tuesday morning. There is no Earthly reason why I should not qualify for this apartment, and the two roommates who already live there like me and want me to just move my stuff in early Saturday afternoon and crash there until it's official.

So I am gambling that the landlady is not bugnuts and will see that I have provided proof of more than enough income to pay her for the room in a timely fashion, and dragging my stuff out there. But if the house asplodes or the landlady for some reason demands I be able to pay the full rent for all four people by myself if I live there or something similarly bonkers... we are back to emergency.

[Edit: Northampton is lovely but seriously I do not want to move all my stuff out there for a weekend and then haul it back again.]
Further update: Found a room. It's a shoebox, but it's also cheap. I sign the lease at 10am tomorrow and can move in at any point thereafter. Now all I need is a moving crew.

I own basically nothing. I have a set of luggage and a load of tote bags, plus a bin of shoes. I am serious about being depressingly good at condensing my things and dragging them from place to place.

I'm not bothering with the furniture, other than the futon I sleep on. You want a bureau? Ping me, you can have it. Desk? Same. Might keep the small shelf for putting the rat cage on, but he doesn't seem to care that he's on the floor now, so whatever.
Update. Still an emergency. No response from most of the people whose ads I answered. One response was quite rude and denounced me for not answering my phone the very instant he called (inside a building, in a dead spot, and Unknown Number -- how was I supposed to pick up OR call back?).

I have secured a loan from a very generous patron, so I do have first/last/deposit now. I just need somewhere to go.

Like, for reals. I must be out on the 31st. This is a sublet -- I can't negotiate for more time. At minimum, I have to have a place to stay overnight, because no one else will let me move in until the 1st. I can't go to a hotel or a hostel, because I have a ton of luggage and an animal.

I am not sufficiently attached to the furniture in here to want to move it ever again. If anyone wants a desk or a bureau or the thing I've been using as a cage stand, you can come haul it off. Donations welcome, but free is fine.
Stuff I have learned in the past couple of weeks:

Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips eyeliner is wax-based. It is rain-proof, sweat-proof, and tear-proof, but conveniently not soap-proof. It's also really good at covering up the fact that you've been crying a lot if you wear it emo-kid raccoon style. Make sure you remember to get your waterline.

A surprising number of the people who write porn have PhDs. An unsurprising number of them are also rather absent-minded, and need to be emailed every few days if you want something from them.

I am legitimately allowed to charge an hourly consulting fee for skimming the first few chapters of a lot of really racy novels, so that I can figure out some non-idiotic interview questions to ask their authors. I get to read the rest of the really racy novels for free, when I'm bored on the train.

My graphic design skills do not suck as much as I thought, although I really, really miss having a Wacom tablet to work with.

My brain does n…


All right, I'm down to panicking again. Legitimately, I think.
I'm in a sublet that ends 8/31. I had to move abruptly at the end of July, about two days after I started a new job. I was literally, if slowly, starving before that. I cannot find anyone who will let me sign a lease right now, because I don't have $1500-2000 to hand over for first/last/deposit. I have no useful family to speak of, and do not know anyone who could conceivably lend me that much money.
What I DO have is About $800, come Friday's paycheckVery little in the way of material possessionsA rat Re-homing the rat is not really an option. He's old, he's not in good health, and I am the only mommy he's ever had. He lives in a cage, except when he's sleeping in my lap.
I need a place to put me that is within the MBTA local service area, so I can still get to work. Work, where I will be going today, in fact. I have no idea how I'm going to get anything done.
somebody please help.
The dance studio is closed for renovations right now. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing for my state of mind. I can't go down there and faff about in a rehearsal room if I really need to not stare at the walls in the apartment anymore, but all I ever do in the rehearsal rooms is faff about -- I stretch a lot, I do a lot of drills, and then I'm at a loss. It's choice paralysis in part; there are an infinity of things I can do, so how do I choose? But it's also a matter of cognitive dissonance.

I used to dance a lot. My mother and her sisters took a lot of dance classes when they were kids, and it was one of the few after school activities whose cost she never bitched about. My sister and I had a long string of group, semi-private and private lessons while were growing up. My grandparents had framed photos of each of us in recital costumes up on their wall -- me in a star-spangled leotard with a foofy headpiece and an enormous tulle frill on my b…

Weekend Radio Theater

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - "The White Cockerel"

The Adventures of Sam Spade - "The Terrified Turkey Caper"

Box 13 - "House Of Darkness"
Most of the best compliments I've gotten have nothing to do with what I look like. That suits me fine. I'll take credit for dressing myself well, but the rest of it is just groundskeeping on a very nice parcel of land I inherited from some people I no longer talk to -- my genes were an accident, yes I am glad I got some of them, less glad of others, but it wasn't really my doing.

The ones that gush over how well I care for my hair are especially ironic. I have hair I can sit on because I'm far too absent-minded to book haircuts, even when I can afford them, and too lazy to do anything with it on a daily basis. Or, often, for formal occasions. It turns out that when you have three feet of hair, "loose" comes off as some sort of dramatic Boho fashion statement, rather than an admission that you have never once spent money on a curling iron, because you know full well you will never, ever scrape together the motivation to actually use it.

I think have a travel-s…
Anyone want a 25% off code for Circlet Press books? I have a box of cards here, and Cecilia says I can hand them out to whoever I want...
For all my facility with languages, I am not actually magic. There are a lot of tongues in which I know scattered words, some script, and some grammar, but not anywhere near enough to understand what's going on in, say, a TV show.

Some of the music collection is in those languages. I find it annoying that I haven't stuffed enough into my brain to properly parse these things yet. My Arabic, for example, is wholly inadequate to appreciate the subtle beauty and poetry of the interlocking literary allusions in their surprisingly complex...

AHAHAHAHA. Okay, no, I can't keep that up very long, not with a straight face. Pop music is just as stupid in Arabic, overall, as it is in English. Any time you hear someone say "habibii", swap in "my baby", and you get the gist. "Youm" is day, "layla" is night. "Wa'" is the root for 'love'. "Ana kan mali?" is something like "what have I gotten myself into?" or…
There's a thread running on the Straight Dope Message Board right now, asking people to rate their own attractiveness as honestly as possible.

I gave myself an 8. I have absolutely no idea, and I said so. I have no other experience to use as a basis for comparison -- I've been treated more or less the same since the day I started looking like a grown-up. This was around age fourteen, so in retrospect, some of it was hilarious or creeptastic or both. In the defense of the guys who used to hit on me in the mall, apparently I didn't look sixteen at the time, and all of them turned right the fuck around and walked away when they asked where I was a student, and I named a local high school.

One of the other posters said that this lack of comparative experience is true for everyone. Not quite true, I think. There are plenty of women especially who have undergone some sort of radical transformation in their lifetime -- a drastic change in weight, unsubtle plastic surgery, things …

A little light forgery

Sometimes I forget to pay attention to what I'm saying, and I end up telling people things like, "Hang on a sec, I'm busy forging something."
I'm a reasonably talented forger. I do not, I hasten to add, use this for criminal purposes. Well, not nefarious criminal purposes; some of it's probably still technically illegal, but since it's done with permission, no one's ever going to prosecute. The secret is to practice beforehand, and scrawl with confidence when the time comes to lay it down for real. You've seen some of the mutations your own hand produces on those touchscreen credit card things; no one's going to question something that looks plausibly like it's been produced by a human unless the putative owner of the signature complains.
How I acquired this skill is one of those hilarifying -- that's a combination of hilarious and horrifying -- stories, of which I have collected so very many. Natürlich, it involves my mother. 
My moth…
Cracked ate my brain again today.

Periodically someone tells me I should get more friends. Usually a therapist, or an amateur who's trying to be one. Bollocks. I have plenty of friends. Squillions of them, ranging from the casual acquaintance level to people who should be my siblings, but technically aren't because of some gigantic cock-up in the cosmic paperwork. I don't stand in a corner all the time thinking, "Goodness! I am alone and unloved. I need to meet more people whose names will slip my mind, stranding my brain with the sole internal referent 'that one girl I met at the thing last month, with the shoes'." If I want to talk to someone, I just fucking talk to them. Most people are actually quite nice, or try to be.

Mostly what they actually mean by this comment is that they think I need know mo…

Weekend Radio Theater

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - "The Coptic Compass, The Half-Eaten Apple, And The Unclothed Corpse"

The Adventures of Sam Spade - "The Caper Over My Dead Body"

Box 13 - "Speed To Burn"
One of the side-effects of being hypervigilant all the time, however much I've managed to reform the meaner aspects of it, is that it doesn't take much for me to be able to make a decent guess as to why people do things.

Most people do things basically just because. Even people who are being utter dickheads in all directions are usually doing it for a lot of internal reasons they don't understand or really care about, and it has nothing even remotely to do with you. You're not obliged to put up with it solely because "it's not personal", but for me, at least, remembering that makes it a lot easier to not worry about it once I've disengaged myself from the situation. One of the other desk clerks at the studio is apparently dedicated to being a suspicious, selfish, sexist cockbite -- the panoply of comments we've gotten so far is rather astounding. Isra and I have just been ignoring him, because it's not our job to teach him to be a functional a…
A couple of you appear to think I consider myself polyamorous. I don't consider myself much of anything. I only figure I'm straight by default, frankly -- I have a list of people I would happily be banging in the nearest broom closet inside of ten minutes, given the correct opportunity, and so far everyone on it has been male. I don't think I'd think much of it if I suddenly developed an attraction to a woman, but I'm over thirty and it hasn't happened yet, so I rather doubt it's going to.

Technically speaking, by the literal definition of the word, most human beings are polyamorous. The roots are Latin, from poly-, many, and amor, love. Amor does not make the same desire vs. stillness differentiation that the Greek eros and agape do; it goes for all kinds of love possible in life. Most people love their parents, their kids, their siblings, their mate, their friends, and some also love their country, their culture, their god(s), etc. etc. etc. In the modern…

today, I am a smut peddler

Press release from Circlet Press:
The End of Summer Reading Sale has now commenced at Circlet Press! All titles will be a dollar off on all retail sites until August 31st, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the Apple iBookstore, and Google Play. A 21-year leader in erotic, fantasy/SF and contemporary romance, offering their titles in the three most popular ebook formats (PDF, mobi, and epub), the wide selection at Circlet Press takes over where 50 Shades of Grey leaves off. See for a comprehensive catalog of titles, and a complete list of participating retailers. I work for these folks now, so if'n you happen to be a writer at a book site who is interested in getting free review copies of well-written porn, drop me a line at miss dot arabella dot flynn at gmail dot com. Circlet is a an equal-opportunity peddler of all manner of literary smut -- straight, gay, mixed, transgender, magical, alien, paranormal, steampunk, etc. Seriously, you have no idea. It's like a…
[Follow up to this.]

Look, guys. I am not dissing the idea of "emotional monogamy" or whatever is the opposite of emotional infidelity. I totally understand that most people feel this way. That is why I try really really hard not to do things that strike other people as threatening to their relationship,and why I fuck off if it becomes evident that this is shaping up to be the case. I don't want to sow the seeds of chaos. I just feel about it a lot like Dan Savage feels about traditional monogamy: If this is for you, then fantastic, but if it is not for you, then the widespread assumption that it should be what you want is liable to fuck your life up seventeen different ways from Sunday, whether you try to conform or not.

I am not misunderstanding the nature of romantic relationships. If I am, then the world needs to get a much better system for determining who to ask for advice, because this is stuff I get asked about all the goddamn time and given the kind of feedback …
I had one of those nights last night. At like 3:37 in the morning, my brain began coming up with an itemized queue of everything I have ever done wrong, socially, in my entire life. When it ran out of those, it started thumbing through things that I might have done wrong, but I have no idea, because they're so far in the past I can't even check, but hell I might've screwed up anyway, so throw 'em in.

Generally, I enjoy having an eidetic memory, but these nights, not so much.

The worst part is that I couldn't have avoided a lot of them. When you're a kid, you get most of your social cues from your parents, and my parents were batshit. My mother has what I later realized was a profoundly paranoid outlook on life. She'd never cop to it if you asked, but she thinks pretty much the entire world is duplicitous, and most of it is out to get her. It was routine for her to enter into some sort of carpool/ride-sharing arrangement with some other parent, where the oth…

On magpies

Magpie: A sort of small bird, known around the world for attending to, and often stealing away with, small shiny objects. The most common is the Eurasia magpie, Pica pica, which ranges from the Iberian peninsula down through southeast Asia; other species are known in China and Japan, including the delicate azure-winged magpie, Cyanopica cyanus, and the lovely antique blue Korean magpie, Pica pica sericea
All magpies are members of the family Corvidae, a family of birds which also includes crows and ravens. Corvids are among the most intelligent of all birds, routinely beating out avians of such intellectual repute as parrots and macaws, particularly when it comes to having clever and rather juvenile senses of humor. Poe thought ravens were romantic; I think Poe was just never sober enough to get a good long look at them. We had enormous mountain ravens in Flagstaff that were basically raccoons with wings. They stole food, emptied dumpsters onto the surrounding sidewalk, had loud arg…
I am, in fact, alive. There have just been things going on. Some of them require a lot of thought, some of them probably require no thought but I've been thinking on them anyway because I like the pretty patterns, and some of them I am trying desperately not to think about at all.

I've also failed to eat anything since about ten this morning, and wossername took the microwave when she moved out, so I'm going to slog down to Porter for something that has a lot of superficial qualities in common with food. When I get back, there is a bottle of vodka with my name on it, and a lot of blank blog schedule to fill. And also a rat who will demand chunks out of my burrito, but that always happens.

Weekend Radio Theater

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - "The Gunpowder Plot"

The Adventures of Sam Spade - "The Farmer's Daughter Caper"

Box 13 - "Killer At Large"
Ye Interesting Person finally turned back up at the dance studio. Kasasaki-kun has rapidly become my favorite magpie -- if you saw him in person, you would immediately pinpoint at least two of the five or six reasons that comparison springs to mind, and if you managed to get his attention, a five-minute conversation would give you the rest. Having left Moggie back in Arizona, my life is otherwise rather lacking in people who wear weirder jewelry and carry more small shiny objects than I do.

Me, myself and I have an agreement of long-standing, mostly because of all of this, and the prevalence of people like the anonymous commenter. I'm allowed to want whatever I want of other people, as long as I also understand that what I want is well weird, and I'm not going to get it. It doesn't make me want less odd things out of relationships, but at least it means I don't need to feel guilty over not being normal, as long as I can fake it to an extent that lets other people remai…

Something of a rant, or: Love is not the same as cookies

Love is not the same as cookies. If you give someone else some affection, it doesn't mean you have less affection leftover for other people. Time and attention are finite, energy is, and sometimes opportunities are. But love is not.

Nowhere does this interfere with my life more than in dating. I don't even have to be the one doing the thing people call "dating" for this to fuck things up right quick. I have run afoul of a lot of girlfriends over the years who think that my desire to develop an attachment to their (monogamous) boyfriend -- a platonic one, as I am not an idiot and not interested in hanging around anyone who would even let someone be a homewrecker -- must mean that I have a vested interest in shattering his attachment to her. This makes my head hurt something awful. Why the hell would I do that? He's my friend, he likes you, I want him to be happy. This is a non-problem from my point of view, only people keep making it my problem, and then blaming m…
I hate moving with the burning passion of a thousand fiery suns. I sincerely wish I were either still too poor to own any furniture, or rich enough to own all the furniture I want and pay someone else to haul it around for me.

At least the rat has settled in. The first night, I left for an hour, and when I came back he threw himself at the front of the cage and went OH GOD MOMMY I THOUGHT YOU WERE NEVER COMING BAAAAAAAAACK. Last night when I came in, he sort of gruntle-sneezed at me and crawled into his nest box, ticked that I had turned on the lights and interrupted his nap.

I don't know what he has to complain about. He spends all day in a quiet room with the A/C on. I've been scrubbing bathrooms and mopping floors. He can't be too mad; the nose-part came out for some sliced ham this morning.

Weekend Radio Theater

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - "The Bruce-Partington Plans"

The Adventures of Sam Spade - "The Cheesecake Caper"

Box 13 - "The Dead Man Walks"