Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

LJ reborn?

I was recently introduced to Pillowfort.com and I instantly felt comfortable there. Much more conducive to the way I want to connect with others and be social online. It definitely reminds me of LiveJournal, with it’s nesting comments and ability to write as many characters as I want, while posting pictures, etc.

So, if anyone is also over there, or interested in going there, come find me so I can find you! https://www.pillowfort.social/lddurham

I’ll be posting fic and fun stuff that is a little more casual than I feel I can be here. I don’t actually know why that is, but there it is.

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Facebook will not let me sign in. I give them my sign-in info, even the code they send to my email. But they want to “confirm my identity” via government issued ID or other forms of identification in my name. Well, that’s not happening. Not only am I bothered by the invasion of privacy, but I am also using a nom de plume and don’t have ID in that name.

So, I’m not sure what I’ll do about Facebook. I know many people love it and want to get their info there. I’m happy to oblige, but I’ll have to figure something out. I had thought I was using a business account, but I must not be.

If anyone has any suggestions, I’m all ears.

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I found this wicked cool site that will let you create lands. Well, technically islands, but since you can add land mass, it can be whatever you want, right? So I went from this:

To this:

I used this site: https://www.redblobgames.com/maps/mapgen4/ to make the base geography and did a little color changing, borders, and text with Photoshop Essentials.

If you get a chance, I highly recommend trying it out. The cool part is that I hadn’t even thought of water, like rivers and lakes, and that instantly fleshed out some of the political points in my plot.

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I was raised to be a critical thinker and a defender of people. I remember walking in my first protest when I was little. I learned about Cesar Chavez when my dad walked with the strawberry workers. My parents were 70’s hippies, in which they were part of the Peace, Love, and Kick Ass culture. Probably the punk influence coming onto the scene.

Anyway, I speak out. I always have. I’m a non-confrontational person, but I don’t shy away 8272f8d81efbb6ec9acae6e2a861c772from stating my thoughts, particularly in writing. I’ve been called opinionated, which took me a while to accept. I was called judgemental, which I soundly reject. Forceful was recently applied to me and threw me for a loop and I’m still thinking about it. So, yes, I speak my values, but I appreciate when people also state their opinions. I may not agree with them, and I may not appreciate their reasoning, but I appreciate knowing their thoughts on things.

When the Orange Nightmare won, I remember that night, not even following the election results, already knowing he was going to win. I just knew, and was already cool with it. When people were outraged the next morning, I shrugged my shoulders. I sat back and watched friends who had been a-political the entire time I knew them start taking up  the cause, and speaking out, marching, engaging. And, to be honest, I was pretty damn angry.

It took me some time to understand why I was so very angry mixed with big doses of apathy. I spoke into a room full of shoulder-shruggers for so long that I think that when people finally started to stand up and shout, I was exhausted. I was called opinionated and people would ignore me. People were uncomfortable with me because I would say, “wait, let’s examine that thing you just said.” Or when I would say the worst words people don’t want to hear, “I don’t agree with that, because…” So when the bad things I had been trying to point out for years started happening in a way people couldn’t ignore anymore, I kind of just wanted to walk away and say, “Well, you deal with it since you didn’t step up to try to prevent it!”

I realize that is kinda really dumb. Finally the masses have woken and I should join in, but my anger stops me. I still post things I think are important on Facebook and whatnot, but I still hold this ugly little hot coal of anger in my hand. Every new atrocity the Orange Nightmare and his surrogates commit, I have this urge to say, “Maybe if you had said something A LITTLE SOONER!” It’s like being Chicken Little when the sky finally starts falling and everyone is in a damn panic, like they hadn’t been warned over and over again.

I am fully aware that I am being childish and unhelpful. There is a part of me that wants to watch the world burn. The only problem is that I really kinda don’t. So, right now, I am stuck in this limbo of sorta caring, and sorta not. My saving grace may be the scientist. They aren’t supposed to be political and them standing up to protect their facts is something I can fully get behind and love. Because I need to check back in and pick up my saber. Everyone does, after all.

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Anyone who has known me for about a year or longer probably knows that my body is jacked up. There are a lot of reasons for this, from exposure to toxins to chemotherapy to radiation to bad friggin’ familial genes, my body has always had malfunctions. But, you know, I’m still here so it’s all good.

However, I just saw my most recent blood workType_2_Nation_million_beta_cells_diabetes_meme_500px.jpg and it shows that I left pre-diabetes land and went into diabetes city.

I knew I was going to get diabetes. I have endocrine issues. I have insulin resistance. I’ve been pre-diabetic since I was a teen. This was expected even if I was working to keep it away. But when I saw the numbers I have to say I’ve been in a state of odd numbness with flashes of anger and despair.

I thought I’d have more time. (more…)

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Do you NaNo?

I’m kinda getting into the NaNoWriMo excitement already. Look, I made a book cover for the story I haven’t written yet. It’s so junior grade it’s hilarious. Like early-M/M-original-stories-circa-2005 junior grade. LOL. But I adore the models, don’t you? And it’s always fun to put faces to your characters. I just came up with the title a few minutes ago.
This is a funny little story that has been rattling around in my head for years, being added onto and twisted and formed. I have no formal notes or research or anything on it. It’s just one of those that have been bubbling in the back of my head. I’m thinking I’m just gonna pants it and see where it goes.
I have an epic novel I’m in the middle of, but I didn’t want anything that heavy and dense for NaNo. It’s full of political maneuvering and the  “romance” in it is a slow burn. But this one should be a lot of fun to just play with and see what I get come December. 
I do have the first few bits written. Wanna read it? It’s rough, and written a few years ago, but here’s the first scene…


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Who Dat?

Just got back from an amazing trip to New Orleans.

New Orleans is pretty damn awesome. Much of this tourist’s activities took place in The French Quarter, but we got further afield than that.

The French Quarter is beautiful. Old and interesting and full of music. The first place we went to was Bourbon street. It was a Tuesday evening so it was pretty slow, but by Thursday it was packed and by Friday we did our best to get past it quickly. It has the flavor of the Las Vegas Strip with a bit of Southern hospitality.


About 7pm on a Tuesday. A band performs in the middle of the street.

New Orleans is very proud of its ability to drink in the streets and the tourists are happy to oblige. Each bar has live music, and there are a lot of bars. As I walked on this one-lane street, I was enveloped in music from classic rock, to jazz to Cajun. We stopped at the Bayou Club and listened to some fun Zydeco which was on my list of to-dos while in NOLA. (more…)

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Home Chef Review

I decided to try the food service Home Chef. This is where they send you all the ingredients and the recipe and you just make the food. For $9.95 per serving, I thought it would be a good alternative to eating out. I mean, true, I’m still cooking. But the grocery shopping is done and everything is just ready to go. A few meals per week where I don’t have to think as hard about them seemed nice. Besides, Groupon had a deal.


They only had one meal this week that matched my food profile, the Lemon-Parsley Fish Cakes with romaine and tomato salad. My family is pescetarian, which means the only things with spinal cords we eat are fish, and even that is pretty limited. We also don’t eat animal-based dairy in the house. (I’m also lactose-intolerant so I have to limit dairy outside the house, as well, or it gets embarrassing to go places with me.)

So my meal was shipped in a box via FedEx. It’s packed to stay cold even if you’re not at home when it’s delivered. Bonus, everything is either compostable or recyclable! (more…)

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It is always an issue when I go into Home Depot.

I’m not saying this issue has anything at all to do with that fine establishment. It’s a chip on my own shoulder. I should just go in going, “WTFever.” But I don’t. I always go in stressed out that I’m going to be looked down on.

Unless I am in the middle of a project and on my fourth or fifth trip to return a part or get something I missed and I am beyond caring about anything other than getting the damn thing done, the issues always start with what I’m wearing. See, I want to look butch. But not so butch that people think, “Of course you’d shop here.” I want to look competent. But all my butchy clothes are winter wear. And it was too damn hot, yesterday, for that. So I had to wear capris (denim, of course), a tank, but I made sure to wear real shoes even though sandals would have been cuter coooler.

I went in to buy the toy I’ve been wanting for, like, ever, omg. My sliding compound miter saw. Oh, oh, you guys, she is so very pretty. Anyway, I got my shopping cart and headed in to get her. I greatly underestimated the amount of packaging that would go into such an amazing machine, however. So struggled to get the cumbersome box into, and finally settle for onto, the cart. But I was also picking up a miter saw stand. And this was a big bastard of a box, as well. After a quick sprint to Garden to get a flatbed cart, I load those bad boys up and I am off. But see, as I am loading the stand onto my cart, an employee stops briefly to slide the end of it the last, like, 4 friggin’ inches as he’s walking by with another lady. I thanked the guy, but I also kinda wanted to say, “Dude. I got it.”

When I went to check out, the cashier helped me pull the cart along, even after I said that it wasn’t heavy, just big. But, having been a cashier, I know it feels weird to just walk in front of a customer while they are pulling a big thing. So, ok, fine. I decline the offer of help out and head to my car.

Remember where I underestimated the size of the boxes? Yeah, my 90’s Corolla probably laughed as I walked up to it. I was able to slide the stand into the backseat, all smooth as silk. But the saw itself was just half-an-inch too big to go into my trunk. As I’m walking the box to my front seat, a cart guy runs up and asks if I need any help. I say, “Nah, I’m just Tetrising this into my car.” He still helps me the last little bit. I could have done it on my own. Honestly, if it had been heavy, I would have been fine with the help. But it wasn’t a “team-lift” item, ya know? Still, the guy helped me and thanked me for my business. All the employees were being nice, as they usually are. Just because I sorta half take them as possibly maybe “helping the little lady” is my issue.

Through the whole process I wanted to tell everyone who passed me, “These are mine. I’m Toysnot buying these for some husband or whatever. These are mine. I have wanted them, and I will use them. Because this big ass saw is mine. And, man, am I gonna cut and miter the crap outta stuff!”

I have issues. I come by them honestly, of course. But still, I wish I was cool enough to not worry about what other people are thinking.

Oh, and while shopping for my bad-ass power tools, I stopped to grab some paint. I spent 5 minutes deciding which color I wanted, contemplating the different shades on the color chips. I finally took my choice up to the counter and paint guy said, “You wanted the black, right?”
Uh, no, you barbarian. I wanted Cracked Pepper.”

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A cynical person would count my foray to the gym today as a failure. But not me! Today was a, well, it was a warm up. And hey, I actually went, didn’t I?

I decided I’d try a cycle class today, my first day at the gym. Sadly, though, a long train and my new combination lock, which seems to have been made at Fort Knox, delayed me enough to make me three minutes late. “Pfft! 3 minutes?” you say. Well, I cruised past the class with that same idea and found that there was a butt on every cycle in the back and they were already in full pedaling glory. So, no.

Well, now I’m at the gym. In my gym clothes. Having learned the secret to my combo lock. It’d be a waste to not do something. So I head into the machine area. I decide to get my strength on. However, I neglected to heed Google’s warning that this was the second-busiest time of day and everyone is everywhere! What does an introvert do?

Well, this introvert acted as if she totally wanted to get this machine right here that was one of the few that didn’t have another person on the other side of it. So I climb up on it. I give a side-eye to the guy two machines over to get a clue as to what I’m supposed to do and try to work the thing. My feet are on steps but I’m going backward. As I look around I almost get hit with a swinging arm. Instead of stopping to see if there are instructions, I act as if my normal warm-up is to dodge swinging metal arms and just keep going. Backward. The dude isn’t going backward. So I stop. Stretch, to pretend I’m just getting prepped to dominate this machine, and then push my feet forward and up. Or down. Not sure. Ok! I figured the forward thing. But by now the machine has awakened and is demanding I choose a workout. I press a button and am relieved I’m not thrown off.

I work my ass off. I don’t know what that machine was, but my ass and thighs were dying. And it’s only been 25 seconds. At 45 seconds my legs are threatening me with a boycott if I don’t get off the machine. So I pause again, pretending to read the incomprehensible lights on the machine while begging my legs to just get to two minutes. If my legs had eyes, they’d have shot death glares at me. I start again. And I’m going backwards again. So I pretend that I’m just working different muscles while my thighs and butt scream that this was not part of the deal. I realize the jig is up and pretend that I got an important phone call that tells me that my friend is having her baby right now and I must leave my excellent workout early.

I didn’t actually talk out loud. I didn’t even have my phone. I just pretended my fitbit alerted me to a phone call and I came up with that cover story in my head. I keep up my cover story, pretending to be worried and a little annoyed at being interrupted all the way out of the room. It’s a damn shame no one was actually watching my amazing performance.

So, sure. I was in the gym for only ten minutes. And, ok, sure it took me twice that long to drive there. But I went. By myself. I got on a machine, I learned to give myself much more time before a class, and how to work my lock. I’m calling it a win. And bonus, my legs are still all jelly-like. I have gym legs. Score!

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