Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pig ears and haystacks

Himself, the Werninator
We have had the Wernstrom for just over 3 weeks now, and I'd have to say it's going pretty well.  He's not yet chewed up any piece of furniture to the point of irretrievability, hasn't had an accident in the house in more than 2 weeks, sleeps pretty well at night, and has met very rarely with the pointy end of either cat.

Probably because he's 1) supervised at all times that he's out of his crate and 2) crated when we're not around.  Left to his own devices, he'd likely have chewed a hole through the back door and eaten all the decorative mulch and firepit leavin's.

He's a dear, that one.

And just got $50 of new toys today, for Biff is a softie and Wern is a teething mess of puppy that needed a trip to the PetSmart this afternoon to distract him (Wern) from all the luscious not-puppy toys there are to play with at the Tiny House.

Which is why dried pig ears are such a blessing.  We should really purchase them in bulk, they are so perfect for him.  One will keep him gnawing away for over an HOUR, which means his sharp pupster teeth aren't on 1) us, 2) the cats, 3) our shoes, 4) the furniture, 5) the kitchen cabinets, 6) the carpet, 7) the gel mat in the kitchen ,8) ohyougettheidea,

Pigs to whom those ears used to belong, I salute and thank you.


Yahoo concerts last night sucked me in with visions of a human haystack trilling as nicely as a Hagridded-up Geddy Lee, and thus I watched, amazed, for fully 20 minutes before trying to figure out what on Earth I was watching besides perhaps Snuffeluppagus' human cousin IN A BAND.

Well, it was in fact good ol' Coheed and Cambria, who are it seems a rather popular band among certain segments of the population who are oh, about half my age.  Who'd a thunk it?  Here is a picture of their very talented lead singer:

I am not at all kidding.

Out of this wall o' fuzz came a Very Good Voice Indeed, an the band seemed to be having fun as did the audience who knew the words to songs I've never heard of and it seemed a jolly good time.

Some people know this band, or their progeny do, and because progeny treat this group as small gods, I will have to say they are worth a listen, even if you're not into their genre.  I was impressed by the haystack up there, and what shouldn't be too surprising a turn of events, he's actually kind of cute and approachable looking when not Cousin It'ing it up.

And cute, it never hurt a soul.


Lastly, I tied my hair in a knot today, because I did not think ahead and bring something with me to help keep it out of my face.  It might be my new go-to 'do, as the lack of clips/pins/elastics = no pulling/tugging/pain and that is a good dang thing, y'all.

Twist the hair, make a loop, shove the end through the center, pull tight.  Done.

Best for hair with 'texture,' which is to say at least wavy.  My lovely niece, for example, wouldn't be able to do this, for Asian hair is lush and thick and strong and slippery as all get out.  That knot would fall out lickety split, which is a curly girl's revenge for never being able to really fully comb out their hair due to insta-tangling and that haystack thing that's going on up there (^) if we DARE run a comb through it when dry.

Silver linings, people.

Tiff out.

Friday, September 12, 2014

A few short things

Almost exactly Eric, not at all Wern.
Wern the puppy has much more success playing with Eric the cat than he does with Mutzi the cat.  At least Eric doesn’t start OUT a play session with claws and hissing.  We’ll see how it goes once Wern loses the puppy teeth and get those big chompers; sure hope he learns to temper this enthusiasm a little bit too, or he’s going to get 13 pounds of kitty fury right in the face.

Been hanging out at home in the morning with the puppy, just to 1) bond and 2) not leave him to seriously long periods of time that puppy bladders just can’t handle.  He’s been really good about not doing his stuff in the house, and I want to keep it that way.  He’s crated, so the mess potential is confined, but I don’t want him to suffer needlessly.  Fortunately, my meeting load at work is minimal at this point, so me being at home ad not putting in 8 hours of face time a day isn’t really an issue.

More of an issue is the workload I DO have, which involves me working with a a group in India to process a metric buttload of documents through compliance checking and upload to our document repository.  Currently I’m handling the processing of 16 study reports, 13 of which contain only 4 documents for processing, the others are ‘legacy’ documents that need to be prepped for regulatory submission.  EACH document goes through a separate compliance and upload process, with individual emails sent for each stage of the process.  This morning, I received 13 review requests or requests for more information, which gets me all itchy and wanting to head for the hills.  Clearly I have a very low tolerance for this kind of thing, and I can hear many of you laughing at what I consider to be an onerous load, but I don’t care, this is ME I’m talking about and my perfect world involves me, alone, doing my thing and just handing it off at the end of the day.  All these people wanting me to actually do stuff is offputting, I say.

I’m going to a memorial service tomorrow for a former teacher.  Her husband was in the Fairfax County school system too, and used to judge solo and ensemble festivals and auditions for regional band.  He and I go back a loooong way, and they, coincidentally, happen to be good friends with one of my college roommates and her husband.  It is a small small world people, you just never know when your circles will cross and Venn diagram the heck right out of you.

In closing, let me wish you all a wonderful weekend.  Go out and do something terrific with it, even if that means lying around on your couch drinking iced coffee and reading the latest trashy novel you picked up from the dollar bin at your local used bookstore.  Because that does sound pretty terrific, doesn’t it?

Tiff out.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Well, how about weekly?

Let's try this again this week, since it was reasonably painless last week.

Microblog Mondays!


Currently I am at the 'office' listening to the following:

  • people at the coffee machine
  • someone's teleconference regarding developing future research plans
  • a 1-on-1 as to how to move forward with a series of lab experiments
  • numerous other people typing
  • toilets flushing
  • clicky-clacky high heels zipping down the 'hallway' between my cube and the 'call center' room that's in the middle of our building

As opposed to most other times when I would complain about all that noise, noise, noise, noise, I will not today because it masks the noises that my GI tract is making.

And that's all I shall say about that.

Wern pics tomorrow.

Tiff out.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

An idea I can get behind

So, Neil posted something on Facebook that made me go read his blog that was started by Melissa that  I think is a pretty keen idea, so I'm going to do it to, right here in front of you.

(drum roll, please!)

I'm microblogging.

The idea, and it's revolutionary in its potential to scene shift online interaction, might I add, is thusly: post something once a week on our blogs that we would normally do on social media.

The idea, naturally, is to get BLOGGING going again, which I'm totally behind.  More specifically, get personal blogging going again, which I can really really get behind.  I very much miss reading the rounds on a daily basis, and do miss the days of long lists of entries to pore over before hitting the day's work.  

So, I'm doing it.  Like this:

Wern has placed his wee fuzzy body (21.5 pounds as of today!)  under the table where I'm working in such a way that I can have my feet only exactly where they are and noplace else.  I love that.

See?  A tiny post!  I love this idea also.

If you choose to do this as well, do it fast and you can get your name on the blogroll of participants, and maybe a few new readers.  Who doesn't need more of THAT?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The invitation

Good times...
Hello There Fellow Bloggers!
Here's how the blog tour works. You answer the four basic questions.
1) What are you currently working on?
2) How does your work differ from others in the same genre?
3) Why do you write what you write?
4) Describe your writing process.
When you've answered them--how does this week look?--you post them on your blog with an explanation of the blog tour. I will take a day--maybe this Thursday?--and write an intro for each of you. If you could send me a picture and a short bio, that would help out in the introduction.
If this week isn't good, just let me know when is.
I'm looking forward to reading your responses.
And thanks for participating!




This kind of thing is SO 2006, and the invite came from SUCH a lovely and talented person, how could I NOT participate? A chance to turn back time at the request of someone who is lovely and talented? Heck yes I'll give it a shot!

Let's dive in then, shall we?

1) Currently I am not working on any writing project except what I get paid to do at work. But that's kind of boring stuff, so let's just say I've been letting an idea kick around for a while now that, when written, could either be a) a horror novel or b) a YA fantasy story. While I'm comfortable with horror, as those of you who have been around a while know (checkout Wordsmiths Unlimited for samples. (Good grief it's been more that 5 years since we updated that site!)), the YA thing would be much more of a challenge but I think that's where this idea is going. When I dreamed it, it wasn't scary, even though there's strong potential for it to be. So, just letting that one simmer, and bemoaning that fact that a pretty detailed outline I did of it disappeared in a BSOD episode a few years back. You can tell I'm into this idea because I actually wrote an outline, which is unusual for me because normally the things I write aren't long enough to require one (500 words = basic plots and little in the way of twisting them).

2) How does my work differ from others in the same genre? Genre? Hmmm. Do I have one of those? I'd have to go back and look at some of my old stuff, but right off the bat I'd say that my better writing has kind of a dreamlike quality in which odd things can happen that seem plausible at the moment of reading. Taking a dive fully clothed into a Russian swimming pool, for one, or that story with the novice nun and the sun ceiling. When I let my mind go wandering, I'm often surprised by what it comes up with. I usually have to force myself to NOT kill someone off, which isn't necessarily a very flattering thing to say about myself. So, deadly and dreamlike, I guess. Also sometimes more adult themes, that tend to be on the dark side. I sound like a horrible person now.

Moving on.

3) I write what I write (or DID write what I wrote, more particularly), because it's the one creative outlet I have besides cooking. I'm not good and handicrafts or other arts, and I felt like the company of other people willing to participate in a writing challenge and participate in critiquing our collective outputs was helping me write better in so many ways. Have what was a weekly challenge was a fantastic way to spend some time immersed in creativity, and even my worst efforts were generally useful exercises. I miss that. Might have to air it out and see if anyone else wants to play.

4) Writing process was alluded to earlier, but that's for really long work (which I never completed). In general, for the shorter pieces, it's cogitate, write write write like crazy for as long as it takes the story to get out, then walk away. Leave for a day, go back and editeditedit. If I'm happy with the piece, if it says what I want it to, then I might just leave it there, but typically I'll go back for a second round of editing before releasing it into the wild. If it's poetry (which I love to do but don't think I'm really all that good at), then the editing can take a heck of a lot longer or may not ever happen, because poetry is like that - sometimes what comes out first is really what you meant to say and nothing can or should change that.

All this being said, it's been a long time since I wrote creatively. If you look at the number of blog posts I've done recently it's evident that my writing has fallen off drastically in the last couple of years, which I'm trying to rectify by just pulling up Blogger and starting something. I suppose that's why I was happy to be invited to do this blog tour; it's a reason to start thinking about writing again and how good it feels to have the words flowing, becoming something that wasn't before. That's the goal of creativity, isn't it?

So, at some future point this entry will be linked from The Talented and Lovely Person's blog along with entries from other people who write things. It will be interesting to see who they are and how they work and what they produce. It's beyond time to open up the Big Box of Ideas and get creatively cracking again!

Let me know if you'd like to play along - I might just root around and find the key to wordsmiths and see if it starts up again!

Tiff out.