stillsostrange: (Eliot)
I would have fought. The cat, ever contrary, didn't want to.

I've lost many animals over the years, but this was the first time I had to say the word and choose the hour. I would have held onto any reasonable hope, but the vet didn't offer any. Siggy has shouted every day of her life since she could vocalize; yesterday she didn't speak at all.

My heart has been stone before, been steel, been still; it will be again. It is not now.

It happened last night. I woke up this morning and the house was so quiet. There was a cat on the foot of my bed. My housemate's cat, not mine.

I miss my cat.
stillsostrange: (Bone Palace UK)
So... Last month, I spent an evening at work* trying to coax in a stray pit bull who was running around the parking lot behind the bookstore. With the help of a good samaritan with leftover hamburgers, I eventually succeeded. The dog spent the night with us, but because of some initial growling between her and Gretchen, we decided to take her to the shelter the next day. I left my number in case her owners were never found.

Weeks passed...

Yesterday, the shelter called me. They had not found a home for her, and were out of kennel space. The E word was becoming a possibility. That, of course, I would not let come to pass. So I picked her up from the shelter and brought her home. This time, there was no animosity with the other dogs. Gretchen is delighted that we finally brought over a proper dog for her to have sleepovers with. Even the cats have accepted her with tolerable grace.

My plan is to contact pit bull rescue groups, and also the internet. If anyone has any suggestions, they are welcome. Alternately, if any knows of a fat corgi rescue group, I will keep Gretchen's new BFF instead.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Our house has acquired a new mammal, and this time I'm not responsible for the addition. Our rodent friend has made a little hole in the garage ceiling, and we can hear him* scampering through the walls. Steven has seen him at least once hanging out in the garage, probably eating the cat food.

Have I mentioned we have four cats? Which means that statistically, at least one of them should be a murder cat. And yet a rat is camping out in the garage eating their food. Their shame is great.

Since my cats are abject failures at what should be both a duty and a joy to them, I see live traps and crawling through attics in my future.


* I pray this rat is male, and not possessed of a wife and children for whom he intends to send.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Today we went to the San Antonio Zoo, and I ogled king cobras and crocodiles and hippos, and saner mammals than us took naps in the shade.

The Poison Court is becoming a real book: I need to scrap my first first chapter and write it over again with different plotty bits. I've also uncovered some poorly chosen terminology used in Kingdoms that I'll need to fix in this one. Luckily, most of it is easily explained by Isyllt's bad Skarrish.*




* She's a government spy. She knows when to take the fall for other people's screw-ups.
stillsostrange: (Conscious)
Today the stork CPS delivered to us a nine-year-old girl. We spent the rest of the day enrolling her in school, buying some furniture, conducting an inventory of her clothes for the adoption agency*, and beginning the long slog toward bedtime.

Agent F, as I will refer to her until I get the foster care privacy rules figured out, spent much of the day trying to speak cat. She seems to be picking it up fairly quickly. Siggy--always glad to have more monkeys to dominate--seems to have taken her under her iron paw.

I already have many OPINIONS about the medications some genius put her on. Luckily, we see her new psychiatrist on Thursday, and perhaps he will join the litany of WTF that has been uttered today.**

I'm also very glad we only have two weeks of school left, because the hour of 6:00 a.m. and I are not friendly, but will be forced to get to know each other very well for those two weeks.

I'll probably keep further posts about this under f-lock, but if anyone has any questions about the process, feel free to email or message me. If I'm not dead of exhaustion, I'll try to answer.

* How many pairs of socks does a nine-year-old need? A lot, apparently.

** Two caseworkers, both of us, and three different people at her new school all looked at her list of meds and made emoticon faces, including o.0, O.O, and >:(.
stillsostrange: (Drop bears)
I'm doing this one out of order because I couldn't pass up this inspiration.

My dog has an ulcerated cornea. She's a supergenius! Ask her how! She's also one of a kind. I have never met another pit bull/lab/shark/sparkle pony princess mix before, and I doubt I ever will again. I can only assume she was grown in a government lab and escaped, only to be taken in by our local shelter.

If she keeps getting bizarre and expensive injuries, she may also be the only dog to live out the rest of her days in the Cone of Shame. She will be St. Gretchen of the Cone.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Fafnir and Fafnir Jr. by Amanda Downum
Fafnir and Fafnir Jr., a photo by Amanda Downum on Flickr.

When we first took in Pregnant Stray #3, we saw a large buff tomcat hanging around the house. We thought he might be the dad, and joked about his resemblance to our own buff cats. Sure enough, two of the litter (only one survived) were buffs.

We're not sure if Fafnir has been convinced that his is his kitten or not, but his feelings about his sudden and biologically improbable fatherhood are complex.

stillsostrange: (Default)

I had my signing at Dragon's Lair Comics on Wednesday, and it was a lot of fun. People showed up and bought books, and I didn't even know some of them. I eventually passed signing duties over to Aswan, the store cat. She's much better at this sort of thing than I am.

The signing and a particularly heartwarming piece of fanmail have been the highlights of my writing week. Today the low came in having to bow out of an anthology I had really wanted to be part of, due to having run out of both miracles and chocolate coating.

Next week I'll be in Boston, signing at Pandemonium Books on Thursday. When I come home I get to begin in earnest the final revisions of Dreams. Final until I send it to [livejournal.com profile] arcaedia, anyway. But that's final enough for me.

stillsostrange: (Default)
This is still experimental, since it hasn't come out of the oven yet, but after smelling the batter I'm not sure what could go wrong.

4 Hawaiian sweet rolls (mine are purple poi-flavored rolls, but any should do)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup shredded coconut
4 eggs
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup brown sugar (the recipe I based this on calls for 3/4 cup, but I figure the sweet bread and coconut should make up for it)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (or to taste)
orange zest to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Chop or tear up the rolls and spread in an 8x8" pan.
Sprinkle cranberries and coconut into the pan.
Melt the butter and drizzle over the bread.

Mix together eggs, coconut milk, almond milk, vanilla, sugar, cardamom, and zest. (Do not plunge your head into the bowl, no matter what it smells like.)
Pour mixture evenly over the bread, and mash it with a fork till the bread is soaking up the liquid.

Cook for 45 minutes.


And yes, I now have a very rough sketch of my cat Siggy dressed as Queen Victoria. Luckily for you (and me) I've misplaced my scanner cable, so the world will never know my shame.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Happy Thanksgiving, also known as Too Much Food Day.

Too Much Food Day is so much more soothing when I'm not hosting it. All I have to do is bake bread pudding and make a salad, and drive to a friend's house at 5:30. Restful! The pudding will be made with Hawaiian sweet bread--because too much of that ended up in my suitcase when I came home--with cranberries and coconut and maybe a pinch of cardamom.

I am also, Cod help me, sorely tempted to draw some anthropomorphic cats. Please have an intervention team standing by.
stillsostrange: (Drop bears)
Thank Cod almighty, the dogs went home today. I actually took them to the shelter this morning, after two days of no leads, with the understanding that I would take them in again when we got back from Hawaii if no owners had been found. But the shelter had a parvo outbreak, so the nice animal control officer asked me to keep them till tomorrow. And lo and behold, a young girl called me this afternoon. Now Crystal* and Sparkle--I know, I know--have been returned to their monkeys, and everyone is happy again.

Except for Gretchen, who will miss Crystal.


* There is another dog in our neighborhood named Crystal, who also once ended up spending the night here. She is large, fluffy, and light-colored, like Crystal 2. When I first saw Crystal 2, I called her by name and she answered. This was a little confusing when I figured out she wasn't Crystal 1. I would claim psychic powers, but I would never in a million years have guessed Sparkle.
stillsostrange: (Drop bears)
I was hoping today would be a productive day like yesterday. I would haul some gravel, then write. Only while I was hauling gravel, what should appear in my yard but two stray dogs. I called them and they came over, then got distracted by exploring my back yard. I promptly shut the gate and got leashes and a spare collar. During the time they were shut in the back yard, Brown Dog managed to break a board in the fence and get into the neighbor's yard--luckily I managed to coax her back into mine. Brown Dog has a collar but no tags; her companion Yellow Dog has neither.

Next we went for a walk, and Brown Dog and Yellow Dog dragged me around the neighborhood, but never picked one house that might be theirs. None of the people we met knew them. After the walk we drove to my vet, where no one knew either dog, and learned they aren't microchipped. I took them to another vet in the area, with no better luck. I proceeded to print some fliers, put an ad on Craigslist, and leave my number with animal control, in case anyone calls to report them lost.

Brown Dog and Yellow Dog are both very friendly and well-behaved, but Brown Dog is a cat chaser. She also hates crates and bathrooms. Currently the cats are locked in the garage and my dogs are outside. I guess we'll go for a walk again at 5, and hope someone has come home to notice their dogs missing. Otherwise sleeping arrangements will be interesting tonight.
stillsostrange: (Bored)
There were things I wanted to post while LJ was down. Now that it's back I have nothing. Well, I have to take a sad, stupid dog to the vet in a little while, but that's not very exciting. (Protip: don't bring an ottoman to a landshark fight.)

Other than that, I'm mostly sitting around staring at the book-shaped hole in my brain where a book should be.
stillsostrange: (Words)
I have not been update-avoidant the past week because of LJ ennui, but because of extreme busyness. [livejournal.com profile] matociquala was here for a week, during which time we climbed four times, danced three nights, kayaked once, drank a lot, and crashed World Horror. I managed to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] mr_earbrass, [livejournal.com profile] vegan_vulcan, [livejournal.com profile] fadethecat, the [livejournal.com profile] handful_ofdusts, [livejournal.com profile] stillnotbored, [livejournal.com profile] marshallpayne1, [livejournal.com profile] stina_leicht, Orrin, Camille, Andrew, Jessica, and many more! I snuck into the dealers room long enough to buy an orthoceras fossil pendant from Lillian Butler and a copy of A Rope of Thorns from the CZP table. Two trips to Peché were undertaken, with various companions. And I even got a little more editing done on Kingdoms.

This morning I deposited [livejournal.com profile] matociquala at the airport, dropped the boy off at work, and took Gretchen to the vet. Gretchen's inner princess nature is once again manifesting with nasty allergies and autocannibalism, so she's currently wearing the Cone of Shame and full of pills. It's a hard life when one is both a princess and a shark.

Now I will eat some of the many leftovers crammed in my fridge, and try to do more revising.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Sometimes this happens on my couch:



Also, this:

stillsostrange: (Default)
This was the dining room before we moved in. This is the dining room now. (But with a lot more clutter and cats.)

This was the kitchen. This is the kitchen at the moment.

Eventually, the kitchen floor will match the dining room. The next step will be getting rid of the green kitchen walls. I can't replace the counters, but I can paint over the crappy fake-wood cabinets. The walls will be white, but what can I paint the cabinets that won't clash with the crazy green marble counters? I want something light, to counter the oppressive counters, but I dread the scrubbing involved with white cabinets. Cream? Light yellow? An inoffensive beige? (Is there an inoffensive beige?) Brilliant suggestions, anyone?

And, because the internet is fueled by cats, Rose and Dorothy.
stillsostrange: (Santa Yelena)
Dramatic Chimp wishes you all a Merry Squidmas, and a happy New Year!

stillsostrange: (Squirrelly Wrath)
Today I got to climb into the ceiling at the bookstore to find a dead mouse. In a trap the Orkin guy claims to have checked twice in the past week. (The stench has been there well over a week.)

Good times, good times.
stillsostrange: (Revision)
Much revision progress in the last couple days. I managed a serial-killer-bird scene, and then figured out most of a fake opera for Isyllt to describe--all I'm missing is its tragical ending. And for bonus progress, in describing the opera I figured out exactly what triggers the riots I need to be happening during the climax!

Next I get to write a conversation wherein Isyllt learns a little more Awful Truth, and then the only scene that will be missing at the end of chapter 13 is some forensic necromancy that I'll probably end up summarizing anyway.


The downside to giving Steven his Christmas present (a Gretsch Electromatic Hollow Body) early is that now my husband has vanished, and been replaced by the distant sound of scales and bits of songs coming from upstairs.


And now, an updated list of Some Things My Dog Has Eaten:

4 novels--Another Life, Black Cherry Blues, one I've forgotten, and most recently God Emperor of Dune. [livejournal.com profile] tanaise thinks she thought is said Dog Emperor.

The eye off my stuffed panda.

A cello stand.

The insulation off our AC unit.

A steak knife.

A vial of BPAL's Aelopile.

The lid of the catfood dispenser.

A Kinko's CD.

The new Sonic Youth CD case.

1 comforter on the bed, 1 sheet on the couch, several towels in her crate, and her last dog-bed.

Several tennis balls

1 plastic tub that formerly served as her pool

The tips of one of my shoelaces

A million rawhide bones, stuffed animals, rubber chew toys, and various dried animal parts.
stillsostrange: (Baby bats)
The Bone Palace

Draft 1.0



431 / 462 pages. 93% done!

Goodnight, book. Sleep well. I'll likely kill you in the morning.


Today's exciting dayjob adventure was bat relocation. A lost little Mexican free-tailed ended up in the store, and was found sleeping upside down in the kids' section. (Most adorable thing ever, of which I sadly did not get pictures.) So a coworker and I gloved up and retrieved him. As we hit the doors, I found myself saying "But it's cold and rainy and we can't just dump him in the parking lot!"

This is how our chiropteran friend ended up in a box in my car. I called a coworker's friend who works with bat conservation and left a message, and tried to find a vet on my lunch break for advice. The vet, unsurprisingly, gave me the party line of Don't touch the bat. Have nothing to do with the bat. I, unsurprisingly, ignored this. (No, I did not touch the bat ungloved, or snuggle the bat, or kiss the bat. This used up all my willpower for the next month. So! Adorable!)

After that came some frustration involving the bat rescue website being down, and me not wanting to call animal control. Then I remembered [livejournal.com profile] batwrangler, who answered her phone and gave me sage advice. My coworker's friend called back a bit later, and gave me the same sage advice. So after work I took Mr. (or Ms., as the case may be) Stellaluna to one of the bat bridges in town (where many of his relatives were still hanging out, having decided not to migrate) and let him go. He was still a little dazed when last I saw him, but crawling around and starting to perk up. Hopefully the trauma of being manhandled by giant monsters will wear off soon.

I took some bad cellphone pictures for [livejournal.com profile] batwrangler, but you have to wait till tomorrow for them. Or Wednesday, depending on how long tomorrow's deathmarch runs.

I need a giant bat to sit on my shoulder while I type. That would be soothing.

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