Hello Everyone

Tuesday, 8 May 2012 20:52
fatrockstar: (Default)
I don't blog as often as I used to. Heck, if you wander around LiveJournal for a while you'll see there are a lot of accounts that haven't been updated in months -- that includes personal and community accounts. I couldn't tell you how many of those were still active on a private or friends-only level.

My last public post was in December when album #2 came out. Everything else has been under lock and key for very good reason. Without revealing too much I'll tell you this: I went through a pretty dark time this Winter. It wasn't until my birthday in March that I actually took the first step in doing something about it.

The band still practices once a week. We've been adding some covers to our songbook so we can play longer sets and maybe a few parties or corporate events. As far as new songs go there have been only a few that I think are worth recording, but I am my own worst critic in that department. Ron went through our rehearsal archives and found another album in there somewhere. To be honest I haven't had much I've wanted to write about. I am blocked by the inability to truly express myself without repercussion and a dullness in my imagination for songs that are more entertainment than art.

I still live in the house I bought with my ex back in '05. Now that I'm in a position to refinance my horrendous mortgage I'm finding myself dreaming at night of other, more interesting and charming places to live. The ex's needs chose this house. With him gone it's kinda dumb for me to stay here if it's going to make me go broke. We'll see what the refi terms are -- being able to make a few changes could make a difference.

Martha is not Grady. She does not snuggle and is afraid of nothing. She will, however, lie on the floor with her paws up so you can rub her belly. I really wish I knew what she was trying to tell me, though, because she never shuts up. I feel like if only we could get past that communication thing we'd be golden.

My hair is getting really long. It's still candy-apple red, but these days I have more pink at the temples. Once in a while the roots get long enough I can make out my natural color. Still too much silver, so I color everything red again.

I roll in waves. Some weeks I'm very content and others I just want to go on a long drive alone somewhere. My life is not horrible. There are people I miss and hope to see again. There are songs I need to write. Until then, I am still posting entries here under lockdown where the search engines won't bother them much.

If you have a blog or another web presence I should know about please tell me where to find it in the comments. Everything is screened since I have no idea who actually checks here outside of LJ anymore.

LEGO Batman

Wednesday, 28 July 2010 12:44
fatrockstar: (bunny)
Hey, I finished all the levels! This opened up a bonus round called "Wayne Manor" that requires me to find a million studs in as little time as possible. I have yet to find more than 950,000. There's a secret to it, I'm sure, but I have yet to find it. To me, the game is DONE. I am sad to no longer have it to play. Maybe I should play it again? Hm.

There is now a copy of LEGO Indiana Jones in my Wii. Sure, the Harry Potter game is out, but it's fifty fucking dollars -- I can wait until the price comes down. When it comes down to it, I am a cheap-ass gamer and rarely find it necessary to own a game the day it comes out. I might make an exception for Just Dance 2, but that's it. Even Epic Mickey can wait.

I've been out of the City of Heroes loop for a while because NCSoft discontinued its 30-day prepaid cards a few months ago. This was upsetting, because I liked the idea of paying for a month of time, then it expires instead of continually billing my credit card for a game I may or may not be playing. This weekend I found that the cards are available again (at GameStop), but in 60-day increments. I don't want 60-days, I want 30. Allow me to sit on my gamer girl butt and pout for a bit here. It doesn't matter that it's a better deal ($10 more for 30 extra days) because it's only a better deal if I actually want what's offered.

Okay, done ranting about that. In fact, skip reading that paragraph. It's a cookie dough rant* anyway.

*I'll have to explain this label in another post because there's a story behind it. Suffice to say a "cookie dough rant" is a complaint about something that is too ridiculous to be taken seriously in the first place.


Wednesday, 21 July 2010 15:33
fatrockstar: (Default)
Oh, the horrible drama that is my automobile. Around the time my last contract was ending (April, probably) I blew a coolant line. I fixed it without incident, but since then I have stopped driving to avoid getting a ticket for expired tabs. Two months of inactivity later, I fired up the engine only to have her run really rough. That can't be good for the emissions test I need to pass before renewing my tabs. I took her to the shop and they told me I had blown a head gasket. Crap.

I *just* put new brake shoes on this thing. Thank god it didn't cost me more than $70 to do so.

So the owner of this shop I took it to (Josh, the founder's son) gave me the news and what their standard procedure for head gasket leaks includes. It was thorough and expensive. He advised a few options, none of them involved going through with the repair.* I ended up doing some research online and talking to the mechanic that actually worked on my engine. I have to say, I am impressed. The mechanic's findings and explanations were almost word-for-word from my research.

I will have to do some work on the car myself if I want to drive her, and that includes the emissions test and new tabs. Until then I am still stuck walking or biking. At least it's good weather for it.

In the meantime my friend Amy wants to sell me her Cavalier for $1200, payable in installments. Her original email said it was a manual transmission -- I'd have to learn to drive a clutch all over again, unless she wrote that by mistake.

Tuesday was a cry-really-loud-and-scare-the-cat kinda day. I was very upset at the prospect of either a $2k repair bill or having to get rid of the car I'm so very attached to. Knowing I can probably fix it myself is encouraging.

It probably didn't hurt that I got email from two different recruiters with very promising opportunities in them. Close a door, open a window.

* The standard procedure included sending my engine head off to another garage to be pressure-tested for cracks. I'm pretty sure that's why the repair quote was so high. Josh said he couldn't in good conscience replace the head gasket for me if there could possibly be a crack and didn't want to see me waste my money. Finding a crack would only make the repair bill BIGGER.
fatrockstar: (madmen)
I ordered my eyeglasses on Saturday. My current benefits end at the end of this month, so I am taking full advantage of them. It's about time -- I've been with this agency through three contracts and paid for benefits without using them until now, so I don't feel the least bit guilty about the optical and dental appointments I've made now that I have the time for them.

The glasses themselves, well, I was told to go to Costco ("they have the best prices!") but they don't accept insurance. I was given a few places, really, but settled on LensCrafters. They take insurance and have a slightly larger selection of frames. I picked the most flattering nerd-glasses I could find and called it good. All in all, I paid about $150. I hear that's decent.

The only sucky thing is that I have to wait ten days for them to be finished. At this point in time my eyes are so beaten up from the poor hardware at my last job that I can barely look at a screen for more than an hour at a time. This includes television screens, computer screens, DS screens, movie screens... they all create problems, and the $20 readers you get at the drugstore aren't weak enough for the adjustment I need. I will do what I can online in one-hour increments and keep my fingers crossed that the glasses get finished early.

+ + + + + + +

In other news, my car is almost inoperable. The brakes chirp because I need new ones, and recently my engine has begun threatening to overheat unless I turn the heater on full blast. The brakes issue is the easy part. The engine temp is a tougher one to figure out -- the radiator is full and there are no leaks to be found. All the automobile knowledge in my head is no help, and until my next job I am unable to take it to a shop.

Not being able to drive is not new. A couple of summers ago I rode my bike almost everywhere and saved a fortune in gas (it was about $4/gallon then). The new challenge is figuring out how to pay for the bus to get me to the major areas where biking the entire way isn't practical. ORCA cards aren't nearly as much of a money saver as good old bus passes were.

+ + + + + + +

I was denied mortgage assistance because I could not "provide enough evidence of financial hardship." In other words, because I had $200 left over after my monthly expenses and had not missed a mortgage payment even when un- and under-employed, I'm ineligible. This sucks. I pretty much destroyed my credit for no reason by applying for assistance at all, and now I have nothing to show for it. I feel I'm justified in being angry about this. I worked very hard and made a lot of sacrifices to stay current in my payments -- this is my reward for being an honest citizen and trying to do the right thing. I shouldn't have to commit fraud to get the help I need.

+ + + + + + +

Those glasses can't get here soon enough. Seriously, they can't. I'm dividing my time between catching up on housework, taking care of band business, and job-hunting, and two of those things will require use of my eyes at 100% capacity.

The good news is that I know I will find something a lot sooner than I did the last time I was job hunting, and it will pay enough for me to catch up with everything I fell behind in during my last job.

If any of you local job-hunters find something that looks like a good fit and ISN'T at Microsoft (I'm not eligible to work there again until late August at the earliest), please feel free to send it my way.


Monday, 23 November 2009 23:10
fatrockstar: (The Man in Black)
Two weeks ago I put out a lawn waste bag with my garbage can for pickup. The garbage can was emptied, but they left the lawn waste bag, and then the crows pulled it apart. Yay. I ended up having to clean up a mess of birdseed, shredded paper, and weeds, put it in a new trash bag (that was way too small, but I made it fit), and stick THAT back into the garbage can for the next week's pickup. It took up almost the entire can.

The next week we had a small windstorm, so the garbage didn't get taken out. More garbage accrued.

In the meantime, Grady's litter box was in need of a full change -- not just the remove-the-clumps-add-more-litter type, either -- because it was beginning to STINK. There had been no room in the garbage can to do such a thing, but I was left no choice. I needed to call Waste Management about putting out an extra can.

The girl on the phone was nice and answered all my questions, but informed me that my garbage collection had been canceled at the end of August. Because I had paid my bill eight days late, online, the service wasn't automatically reinstated. Apparently it is policy that online payers have to make a phone call to get their service back. It sucks, but oh well. I had her restart service and arrange to have a second can picked up.

But how did my garbage get picked up all in all the weeks since? The girl wasn't sure, because once my service was terminated THEY REPO'D MY TRASH CAN. Suddenly things made a lot of sense. For your convenience, I will recap:

My neighbor's trash can had no house number on it, but mine did. This summer she started sending her 6-year-old to retrieve their can from the curb, and because the garbage guys have a tendency to throw cans instead of putting them back where they found them the boy would grab the closest one to him -- mine. I complained to my neighbor, who instructed her son to knock it off. A month later I came home to find that he had yet again taken the wrong can. As I had done many times before, I took my neighbor's can, grumbled, and waited for the next week.

The next week I took her can to the curb filled with my garbage. Instead of MY can at her curb, there was a new can with HER house number on it. My can was nowhere to be found.

Can you see where the mystery suddenly became clear? For the last two months the garbage men have been emptying my can and hers, believing that both of them were hers. This is the ONLY reason they have been picking up my trash. The new can was because I had taken hers not realizing that it wasn't her son that took my can, it was Waste Management. She hasn't bothered to come by to talk to me about it. If anything, she's been avoiding me, and probably because I confronted her son about the damn cans to begin with instead of coming to her first -- something that wouldn't have happened if she was ever home.

I have garbage service again, and that's all I really care about right now. That, and Grady having a spanky clean litter box.


Friday, 13 November 2009 01:11
fatrockstar: (Default)
Well, except for the hook on the back, I got a dozen santas done. I just have to bake them, figure out the backing, and bake them again.

Ken made me a signature cane out of clay. It has my initials: WCB. Now all I have to think of is a name for my Etsy store that uses those initials. So far all I can really think of are things like:

Wayward Cat Bellowing
Where Clay Bakes
Wanton Clay Baking
Whipsy Candy Boodle

...yeah, I can't figure it out. I want something a little "out there" that nobody in their right mind would name their store, but I don't want to alienate any buyers.

Wicked Clay Baubles? I dunno. I like the bellowing cat one. It reminds me of Grady.

Clay day

Monday, 19 October 2009 14:06
fatrockstar: (enVphone)
I had a clay night on Saturday with a friend. Others had been invited, but it is my curse to only have three people ever to show up at a party I plan, so I "outsourced" the invitation duties this time...

The three of us in attendance had a good time learning some basics and coming up with ideas and techniques. Eventually we made Santa Claus faces that turned out pretty nice all around. They aren't the Santa figures I made a few years ago, but they are very well-made and versatile. I may just make a whole bunch of them as brooches and ornaments to sell on Etsy. Pictures will come once I have completed a few more.

Grady joined us for a glass of icewater. He's such a good kitty.


fatrockstar: (enVphone)
It's worth $700. No. Shit.

Best damn mouse I ever owned.


It's over!

Saturday, 26 September 2009 20:34
fatrockstar: (cookie monster)
I knew I would be stressed out by the rummage sale, and was not wrong. I barely made $100 -- the big ticket items sold, as did a lot of the old wedding stuff -- and ended cherry-picking from what was left to send to St. Vincent de Paul. I wasn't going to let go of it all, like some people did. One family had a LOT of really cool stuff, but when the sale was over just had the St. Vinnie's truck pull up to their spot and load everything up.

Now I'm at home, trying to chill out after a ridiculously long day. Friday was "Legs Day" at the gym, and the workout was brutal. I thought I was sore after the workout. I thought I was sore this morning. When I got home this afternoon my thighs were screaming so loud I could barely walk a straight line. So... I may have to do some adjusting.

I will sell a bunch of leftovers via CraigsList, and deal with the spammers that want me to either send my shit to Nigeria or donate it to charity. I feel like I'm okay to do that now. Much of what got sold were pieces of my past that had been lingering in the garage for way too long, acting like a magnet for all the other shit to stay, too.

Right now I am either going to medicate or vegetate. Or both. My legs are killing me.
fatrockstar: (enVphone)
Junk in Your Trunk neighborhood sale at Juanita Beach is ON. This is my space, or at least half of it. I made $40 already! Only a few of these items won't sell or go to charity. We'll be here until 3pm.

I have m&m's. I just need orange drink (from McDonald's). It's already turning out to be a beautiful day.


fatrockstar: (Default)
Friday was spent loading up two trucks with random things I never use anymore so I can attend this sale. I will be in the Juanita Beach parking lot with a dozen or so other people from the area, selling possessions and trying not to argue with people about the prices I've set.

I really hate haggling because a lot of the time people are not very friendly about it. I sold an ergo chair many years ago at a rummage sale for $8. I originally priced it at $15, but the guy gave me a sob story. Once the money exchanged hands, his demeanor changed and he celebrated for pulling the wool over my eyes. Later in the day an old woman in a houndstooth suit argued with me over a 25 cent 3x5 picture frame. She only wanted to pay a dime. I told her it was a quarter. We went back and forth over it until I lost patience and said "you know what -- just take it." She seemed disappointed, but hey, she won, right?

Anyway, I will have Ken with me and he will be handling the hagglers. I think I've priced everything reasonably and will get rid of most of it. The rest will go to charity because I really don't feel like hauling it back and storing it again.

Come on by. We'll be there from 7 a.m. until about 3 p.m. Bring McDonald's orange drink. And ones -- lots of ones and fives.
fatrockstar: (hello)
If you donated to Grady's vet fund and have not received a sculpture from me, please do not fret -- I miscalculated and had to go back into production mode. They should go out soon. In the meantime please take solace in knowing that your generosity is much appreciated, even as Grady plays his nightly OH NO I'M IN THE WRONG ROOM game like his tail is on fire.

Next weekend is going to be a little crazy. I am participating in the town Junk In Your Trunk rummage sale at Juanita Beach this Saturday. There is so much to get rid of... I had no idea. I've been decluttering this house with a little more determination for the last couple of years and managed to fill up half of my garage with furniture, knicknacks, dinnerware, and other items I haven't used in ages AND a bunch of stuff that could only be what Garret abandoned when he moved out. The things I think I can cash in on are working their way to eBay and Craigslist. The rest will be at the JIYT rummage sale.

A while back I submitted my resume through a site called JobFox. Last week I got an email letting me know that as a "member" I was entitled to a free resume critique, no strings attached. The good news: I am a qualified program manager. The bad news: My resume doesn't express that as clearly as I think it does. According to my resume I'm a "doer" and not an "achiever." This makes sense to me, actually. I've been contracting for so long I still write my resume like a contractor. "This is what I did at my last job. This is what I did at the job before that. This is what I can do." instead of "I'm an awesome manager because I took action and made changes that people benefited from. Let me tell you how cool that is." It probably doesn't help that I'm still on the lean side of experience in my new management career and have been relying on an old resume format. I gotta get on that.

It was a nice weekend. There was a strange smell coming from one of the rooms I don't go in very often and I tracked it down and REMOVED IT. It is now in the garage. Don't ask.

I paid a bunch of bills. Now it's time to tighten the belt again.
fatrockstar: (Default)
I haven't written about this in a while, but it's time I faced facts. Will posting this where the world can see it make me accountable or give me more fuel to procrastinate with? Who knows. You're reading this, so it's open for discussion. Standard rules apply: Speak your mind, and anonymous commenters are fair game.

I am not divorced.

My husband has been gone for nearly two years and gainfully employed for all that time, probably at the same salary he was hired, while I have struggled to stay employed at a level of pay that will keep a roof over my head and bills paid.

The original agreement in mediation was to separate assets as equally as possible, forfeit claim to each other's real estate, and then he would be the Petitioner on the divorce papers. We filed in King County where the Petitioner's presence in court is required. He wanted the divorce, he lives in downtown Seattle closer to the courthouse, he can afford to take a personal day, he can show up in court and get the divorce he put a knife in my back to get. I said as much in front of Garret and the mediator, and she corrected the paperwork to reflect this.

Garret did not file the divorce paperwork with the county until months later -- March, if I remember correctly -- and then I got a stack of papers in the mail. On one page there was a list of about twenty dates, and none of them were anything we needed to deal with: Disputes over property, custody arrangements, arguments for, arguments against, and requests for extensions were included. In summary, the only solid date given was for February 2009 -- almost a year later.

I asked several people what to make of this list of dates. I only knew two divorced people, but they had filed in a county that didn't require a court date and had no answers. My dad said "call the courthouse." At the time I was so overwhelmed with grief and frustration I didn't do anything. I stupidly assumed that Garret was eager enough to break ties with me that he'd figure it out. After all, he's the Petitioner, his presence is required, right? I counted the days from the date on the stack of papers sent to me. 90 days came and went, but the King County website never posted our divorce hearing. Maybe I got the date wrong? I checked for several weeks, still grieving too much to do anything about it.


This is a public post. There isn't anything in this entry people don't already know, and if I'm wrong about that it's not going to embarrass me anymore. Life happens, and this is mine.
fatrockstar: (hello)
...I have woken up with a Grady nestled in the crook of my arm. This was after he had roused me by head-butting my hands looking for skritches, of course. But this is a big deal -- he's been sleeping elsewhere in the house for a while and I have no idea why.

His appetite has returned for the most part. I need to get him back on a schedule. The kibble bowl in the bedroom has not been refilled so I can get him used to the idea of eating in the kitchen again. So far the only wet food he's eating is the "Tuna for Cats" from Trader Joe's. He loves it to death, but I'm not sure how to get his stomach meds in him through such a chunky medium.

The cone, unfortunately, will not come off for a while. Rather than have him see his regular vet AND the internist, I elected to have him see only the internist until his tube is removed. No sense in having Dr. Sanders charge me $100 for bloodwork, only to have Dr. Vaughn do another one "just in case." Dr. Sanders is awesome, she's just one vet too many at this point. I only have so many resources.

Grady's next bloodwork is Thursday. Maybe that will lead to him getting that damn tube out. Tube out = wound healing = no more cone. My poor half-naked little buddy. He really just wants to hang out and be a cat. Instead, he's a friggin' cyborg. Merrrr....`
fatrockstar: (Default)
I am stunned and overwhelmed at the generosity of my friends. When the emails came rolling in I found myself tearing up at my desk. It has always been hard for me to accept assistance, much less ask for it. I cannot thank you enough. It's not over yet, but I'm off to a very good start. I will talk to my dad and my sister tomorrow to ask if they can contribute a little.

The vet at Seattle Veterinary Services faxed Grady's examination report and test results to my regular vet at Companion Animal Hospital last night. They called to check up on things today, and I told them I wanted to see what could be done about a feeding tube, but in the meantime I would try to feed him. Companion's will work with me on a payment plan. SVS will not. They wished me luck and said they would call again Tuesday morning.

Tonight was the first of the force-feedings. Grady (bless his damn heart) is very curious about food, and gets excited by food, but more often than not he will be nauseated by it. His "barfy face" has been a running joke for a long time since it is his response to ANY major stimuli... like, for instance, shiny things. Shiny things will make Grady gag before he will allow himself to play with them. Tonight Grady made a barfy face at a goldfish cracker before licking it and batting it around a little. I guess that's encouraging.

About an hour ago I locked myself in the bathroom with Grady, a slurry of chicken broth and a/d canned food, a syringe, and a towel. One website suggested getting him used to food in his face by introducing it with my fingers. Nope, didn't like that. I smeared some food on his nose. «yuck,» he squirmed, «not in the face!» The entire time he was cradled in my arms I spoke softly to him, telling him "good kitty" every time he licked goo off his face. When he got unruly I let him down and he lapped up half a cup of water I'd set out for him. Then he bathed. Drinking is good. Licking stray food off of fur is good. We did this two more times before I let him out of the bathroom. He is now under the bed.

We did this two more times, but wrapped in a towel. Not bad for a first attempt, but he really does need to be eating more. I thinned the slurry with more chicken broth. That should help.

I still need to figure out how to get the antibiotics into him.

It looks like it is about time to coax the little guy back into the bathroom. Neither of us enjoy this, but it has to be done.
fatrockstar: (hello)
I've been offline in an effort to break away from the internet and work on my priorities. During that time I have been journaling on paper and focusing on work, music, and my interpersonal relationships. One very important interpersonal relationship is being tested right now, and that is with Grady.

Grady is the first cat I have had since I was 16 years old. He came into my life as a talkative, clingy, barfy cat, weathered two moves, several career challenges, a divorce, and at least one major health scare, and is now a quietly suffering bag of bones at the foot of my bed. Aside from the barf, he's been a good boy.

Sunday morning I picked Grady up to give him a scritch and he was noticeably lighter. His reluctance to eat has turned into refusal, something that started to show this last weekend. He was taken to the Seattle Veterinary Services hospital in Kirkland and remained there most of the day while they sedated him and drew fluids for testing. Diagnosis: Possible liver damage, but not fatty liver disease... yet.

The veterinarian recommended they keep him overnight, give him fluids and a feeding tube, do an ultrasound, have him examined by an internist... it started to add up. The visit alone already cost me $100 when I walked in the door. Sedation, fluids drawn, and tests run brought the grand total to $402.

Grady is at home now, resting as comfortably as he can after being force-fed an appetite stimulant and antibiotics. He is NOT happy with me AT ALL --if he only knew what the alternative was, I'm sure he'd come out from under the bed already.

His story doesn't end there, though. I need to take him back to evaluate the state of his liver and get proper treatment. The tests that were run today indicate he is at high risk to develop fatty liver disease unless he starts eating soon, but it hasn't gone that far yet.

I hate that my first post back after a short hiatus is a request, I really do. Times are tough for everyone right now. I wouldn't ask if I wasn't in need of the help. If you enjoy reading Grady's stories, have met him and think he's awesome, or just love cats in general, he would appreciate whatever you can spare.

As an extra incentive, anyone who donates $10 or more will receive a small thank you gift from the both of us, hand made by me. Just make sure I know where to send it in your PayPal comment or in a screened comment below if you do.


Wish me luck

Thursday, 11 June 2009 20:28
fatrockstar: (Default)
Phone screen in the morning. When I know more, I'll say more.
fatrockstar: (Default)
However, at one time I did aspire to be one. All my eBay and CraigsList images were taken by me using tools a pro shooter would use.

Ethan is trying to move his drumkit, so I offered to photograph it for him. Thing is, the lighting in the room where it's set up is kinda crappy. I built a light box for my smaller items, so I figured I could convert an old umbrella into a light diffuser of sorts. This is easier said than done. I really need to remove some tines on the framework without putting my eye out.

I wish I had something more interesting to write, but I don't.

Now I will go get milk.
fatrockstar: (hello)
Grady hopped up on the dining room table again, this time to chew on a different piece of plastic. I guess this means he's feeling better. I put some tuna with juice on a plate tonight and he attempted to eat it. I guess I shouldn't have watched him so intently -- I may have hindered that progress.

Still stressed, still looking for work. At least now there are more bites than there were a month ago. I'm not on the short list of any manager's preferred candidates right now due to my limited experience. You'd think my 12 years in IT would speak for itself, but no. I'm trying to make a living and build a career while staying sane here. I'm told two out of three ain't bad, but in this case my money isn't worth much if I go off the deep end.



Thursday, 4 June 2009 12:55
fatrockstar: (Default)
I colored my hair last night with Ken's help. I've had the supplies for a couple of weeks now and was too chickenshit to follow through. It turned out pretty good. I probably could have left it on five more minutes, though. It still looks like I have roots, but at least the roots are cherry red and not soccer mom brown.

Grady is back from the vet. He was uncharacteristically quiet on the way there and on the way back. They gave him fluids and Pepcid, and will do some bloodwork. I'm out $133. That's without an x-ray. The vet was a good sport about Grady's shitty attitude, and remembered him from our last visit there. He has lost half a pound, but is still overweight.

I do not like PayPal.

I really want to make macaroni and cheese, but it will heat up the house like nobody's business. I'll have to wait until the sun goes down to do this. Damn.

The roasted garlic I made is almost gone. Here's some TMI for you: My bathroom smells like garlic. That's how much garlic was made and consumed in this house over the last 48 hours. We will be vampire-free for a month, guaranteed. I thought for sure the hair dye smell would overwhelm it, but no.

While I feel so much better now that the whateveritis is mostly out of my system, my voice is not up to par. I am having trouble staying on key and I still feel like I have fluid in my throat, making me cough randomly. I hope I'm back to normal by Sunday. As an added bonus, it looks like Ken has caught the whateveritis that knocked me out this week. I hope he doesn't suffer as much as I did. More garlic is in order.

It looks like we've booked another show this month. I can't tell you when or where without risking the crowd numbers for Sunday's Skylark show (because we really really really need people to show up there -- attendance == $$ == a completed album of Just My Stuff), but I will tell you it's soon, it's in a great little place with great food, and it will be easy to get to for all the people out there who complained about where we'd been booked for other shows. If we're lucky, this new show will come with its own draw, and we'll have plenty of audience.

Early this morning I got up to let some cool morning air into the house. This has worked for the last couple of summers, but this year it's a little challenging. To keep Grady out of his room, Ethan keeps the door closed (he's allergic), so that air flow is lost. We'll figure out something. So far I've been able to keep it below 80 inside, even though it doesn't really feel like it's 75-78 inside. Whatever the real temperature is, it's still much cooler than what's going on outside. I have my suspicions regarding this thermostat anyway. It went nuts after Garret moved out and I've been struggling with it ever since.

OMG DID YOU SEE L&O:SVU THIS WEEK? HOLY CRAP! I just caught it on TiVo, and man, I was on the edge of my seat...

That's about it.