Cue Cliche Overly Dramatic Villainous Laughter

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Life is for the living.

 

Or else those with enough caffeine to pretend they’re alive between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. That’s right! I’m a 9-5er. For another week yet anyway.

 

So much to update. Where to start? I was going to talk about my vacation, but without the proper visuals, it seems unfair so that update will wait until my roommate pays our internet again.

 

The great renting experiment is entering a new chapter or drawing to a close. I don’t know which yet. My lease is up on the first of August which means I have a month to get my ass in gear. I want my own house. Has that come up before? Because I do. I went from a three bedroom ranch style house with a sewing room and a backyard to a ten by eight foot bedroom and a storage unit. I’m tired of having everything I own in boxes in a storage unit. Mostly because every time my friend Emma comes over, I’m like, you would love this movie!

 

Only it’s packed away in my storage unit.

 

But seriously, the girl hasn’t seen Dracula: Dead and Loving it. Something has to be done.

 

So I’m on the prowl for a good place. I want land because as annoying as it sometimes is, I miss doing yard work on my days off. I miss being able to just lay down a blanket and relax in the back yard with my dog. He misses it too though he’s gotten really good at living in a town house. I can tell on his morning walks though. Le sigh.

 

I wanted to buy a place but with my income and having NO money for a down payment, that’s not exactly an option. Well it is, but the loan I could get would require the house to be in pristine condition and away from most town centers.

 

So my next option is a rent to own. And there are some cute places out there for rent to own. Decent lots, more than one bathroom. 1-2 bedrooms. Perfect for me.

 

But they are all asking for twice what I make. Which is ridiculous. If I could afford $1000 a month in rent, I’d have enough set aside for a real down payment. So no.

 

So that leaves me with two options. Find a bigger place and get a roommate to go in with me or settle with renting.

 

And I really don’t want to rent a room anymore. I miss my things. I miss letting my dog have free reign of the house when I’m at work.

 

I miss having my Kuerig out of storage.

I have to either settle for crappy office coffee which is horrible or I have to buy the good stuff and pay an arm and a leg for it. Which sucks when you’re trying to save money and stay awake at the same time. Drink the vitriol they pass off for coffee or go without. Le sigh. Again.

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Don’t You Dare Look Back

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It’s kinda sad that the most exciting thing to happen to me this week is that I made pasta salad. Okay, maybe it’s not the most exciting thing. I got a job offer and I start on Friday which is cool but it’s going to be a little crazy for a little while until things get sorted out with my two existing jobs and the third job.

Yes, I have three jobs. I’ve been told I’m crazy. It’s subject to debate.

Here’s the thing. I work one job full time. It’s an okay job but I don’t have a set schedule which is annoying. I like having a ‘day’ off. A set day where I can just focus on writing and sewing and anything else that needs to get done around the house, like cleaning. As it is, I have to do all of that piecemeal and of course by the time I get home from one job, I usually don’t want to do anything. I haven’t written more than five pages in the past week which is unheard of. I usually average about twenty pages a week. It’s not always on the same piece and some of that is updates like this, but it’s a substantial drop.

My other job is three to four days a week. It’s not great hours or great pay but it’s fun and I enjoy it.

And now I have my third job which for now is going to be one day a week, or two half days. I have to talk about it with my friend Hannah. I’ll basically be covering her day off.

So life is crazy but I’m enjoying it. Well, except for not having the full day off. I miss that. Back where I used to work, I had a full day off on the same day every week. It was nice. I cleaned the house, worked on some projects then spent the rest of the day watching TV and writing or reading.

Right now I should be focusing on the collaboration that my writing group is doing. I’m missing a lot of the information for it so it’s slow going. Plus it’s Mystery which is not exactly my strong suit. But it does help me procrastinate on finishing the thriller series I’m supposed to be finishing. It does pull me away from writing query letters which is something I was going to try to be better about this year. It’s on my list and everything.

No point regretting it now. If anyone one has a good suggestion on writing a winning query letter, please share.

Job Situations and You

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So this is where things stand in my life. I have a great part time job that I like and it’s rewarding but the pay is only just over minimum wage.

Then I have a full time overnight job that pays $10 an hour. I hate the hours and the work is stupid but it’s really good pay.

Then came Hannah. She’s one of my good friends. She worked with me at the first job until she got offered a full time position as a receptionist where she gets $12 an hour. And her job is hiring a part time receptionist.

Hannah wants me to take the job. At the moment it would only be a few hours a week, just one shift but if it was consistent, I could make it work. Also, Hannah is planning to move north, closer to her family so in a month or so, which means her full time position would be open. It’s a great offer. I would be making almost what I am now and I would have a more regular schedule.

But I’m still hesitant. With the new job, I’d have to cut my hours at my two current jobs. I don’t know if I’d get benefits and I don’t know if this is something I’d want to do in the long run. Plus I’m looking at houses which means I would have more payments and it’s all just so crazy right now as it is. I really don’t know what to do but I have to make a move. I’m not happy staying where I am right now, both financially and physically. One way or another, I have to decide.

CAR!

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So after getting pulled over for the third time because of my expired registration on my car, I decided to bite the bullet and get him registered in MD. My car, whom I have lovingly named Gunga Din, is a Subaru Outback. GREAT car. Can’t stress enough how much I love it. But it’s fifteen years old and has over 200k miles on him and was recently hit by some random car in a Wal-mart parking lot. NO serious damage but the bumper cracked. I didn’t think anything of it but a few weeks ago, I hit a pot hole and part of the bumper fell off.

Now, I can drive without a bumper. But apparently, my car won’t pass inspection without one. Where I used to live, you didn’t have to pass inspection before you could register your car and since I’m not quite an idiot, I decided to look up the Maryland standards before I treked out to the MVA/DMV/BMV or whatever it’s called.

Turns out, first you have to title your car in Maryland. No big deal, right? Just find the title, take it in, get it done. Only my storage unit seems to have eaten my car title. So I figured I’d apply for a new one. So I did but since my mother’s name is also on the title, I have to have her signature on it as well.

By the time I found out all of this, I had taken my car in for inspection because in addition to having your car titled in MD you have to have an MD inspection before you can register your car. That’s all well and good but the garage says I have to get the bumper fixed first. Which would be about $2000.

Needless to say I was like, um, no. If I had that much lying around, I could afford a downpayment on a house or a new car.

Which is when it hit me. Let’s get a new car.

So I did. Introducing my new baby, the lovely Subaru Forester. I haven’t named her yet because I’m still getting used to her quirks and I want a good frame of reference before I do.

Anyway, she’s beautiful. It’s so nice to have a car where everything works. Where the trunk doesn’t randomly jam. She’s shorter than Gunga Din so I’m happy about that because I don’t like backing up. Like Gunga Din, she has a full rear end which means I don’t have to take my trunk into consideration when I’m looking out the back window. The only drawback so far is that the driver’s door doesn’t stay open quite as well as it did on my last car to if I’m parked on an incline, the door has a tendency to swing shut.

I still have to figure out what to do with my old car but for now I’m so happy I don’t care.

Puppy Dog Update

Wow, Holy goodness. A bunch of stuff has been happening in my life lately and I’m not even sure where to start. If I were a better person, I’d update on a more frequent basis, like three or four times a week but I’m pretty sure that would get boring after a while because really, not that much happens to me in an average week.

This week was special. So instead of updating on a regular basis, I’m just going to post like five mini posts about everything that’s happened in the past week.

To start with, Ged and I went to the vet. He’s finally looking good. He’s still skinny and I want to put some more weight on him. But he’s got all kinds of energy and he’s eating regularly again. So of course that means I’m done with vet trips, right? Until he has to go in to get all his shots updated.

Which expire in, let’s see here….

April.

Son of a–

Further Adventures of the Potentially Insane

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First, if I ever do go full out stark raving mad, I don’t think I’d be one of those dangerous ones. I mean, yeah, I’d probably convince some people to jump off a building, but I wouldn’t push them and if they’re stupid enough to listen to a crazy person, then that’s just natural selection, baby.

The good news of this week is that Ged, my puppy is feeling better. Now I say puppy but what I mean is 87lb black lab. SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

This guy. (That’s my sister in the background.)

He’s adorable and he’s finally back to being energetic and playful. For a week there he was so miserable I just wanted to cry for him. But he’s back to eating normal and he’s excited to go on walks again. I have him on rice and chicken, which is what our vet suggested and I’m hoping the next time I have some time off and can keep an eye on him, I can start him back in on his regular food.

The bad news is that I’ve started looking at houses. I really want my own place and I miss having a yard. I live in a townhouse that I’m renting and it’s got a postage stamp sized yard. Like my car is bigger than the yard. I hate that yard. SO! I decided to start looking at houses. I contacted a real estate agent and a mortgage lender. The mortgage gal told me about the USDA loan for first time home buyers, which I am. It’s a great little loan. It takes into consideration what you make and it doesn’t ask for a down payment which is awesome since I couldn’t come up with anything more than like two thousand right now.

It does have guidelines though. The house has to be in a more rural area, not in city limits. As a single person with no kids, that’s not a big issue for me. I mean, eventually I’ll want to either get a job closer to where I live or move but we’ll deal with that later.

Anyway, we found some nice little properties. The first would need a lot of work. All cosmetic but still. The second was perfect. Except for the asbestos in the basement. Which sucked, because I LOVED that house. It was so perfect and it had such character. So that’s the bad news. Also, my advice for anyone looking to buy is not to fall in love. It’s easier said than done. You get in there and you can’t help but think how your couch would look here or that you saw those awesome curtains at Walmart that would look great in this room.

Also, you don’t get a good feel for a place from pictures. The internet is great because you can do virtual tours of places now but it’s just not the same. I would never recommend buying a place without doing a walk through first, no matter how good it looks on paper.

That’s about all for now. I have another vet appointment tomorrow so I’ll let you know how that goes. As far as the writing goes, if anyone out there knows any agents looking for thrillers right now, that would be awesome to know!

Definitions

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They say that the definition of insanity is performing the same task and expecting different results. If that’s the case, I’m pretty sure I’m going insane.

In the past two months, I’ve taken my dog to the vet SIX times. Each time they give me medicine for him and say it’ll be all right. I’m pretty sure they’re lying.

The Back Story

Back in late January, my dog, Ged cracked his toenail. It wasn’t bleeding and it wasn’t bothering him so I just put some super glue on it. He seemed to be doing okay then one day I saw he was bleeding. I looked at the nail close and saw he’d torn off part of it. So I took him to the vet. They trimmed down the nail, did some blood work and gave him some antibiotics.

For a week and a half, he was doing all right. Then his toe started bleeding again. After a few days, I noticed it was still bleeding so I took him in again. They were concerned with a mass on his toe and recommended a biopsy. I agreed. They gave me some more antibiotics and sent us home.

A week later we got the results of the biopsy. It was a tumor. The toe was going to have to come off. After a lot of crying, I set up the appointment. We went in and I dropped him off. (Not going to lie about this, I burst into tears when I had to leave him at the vet.)

I picked him up that night. He was looking better. I left the bandage on and followed all the instructions. Unfortunately, at that point, my landlord was freaking out about the dog waste on the property and told me and my roommates that our dogs had to leave. Luckily I had a friend who could take Ged in at that point. He stayed with them for a week, during which time he ate about two sticks of butter.

Turns out, that much butter, or more accurately that much fat is not good for dogs. In fact, it can trigger pancreatic issues. Which it did. One more vet trip and two more bottles of pills later. Ged was finally looking good. He was back at my new place and happy and perky again.

We went in for another visit to get his stitches out and his doctor even commented on how good Ged was looking.

Then I came home from work to find he hadn’t eaten anything. He was lethargic and only keeping water down. I had to fight him to get him to take his pills, even when I wrapped them up in ham. I left him with food and water and hoped he’d get over whatever this is. He did not. I came home this morning and found he hadn’t eaten anything and had thrown up some bile on the carpet. Luckily my vet is AWESOME and agreed to see him right away, despite being booked.

So now we’re waiting. They ran some tests and gave him some general pain killers. He also gets to start taking heart burn meds. He’s so lucky. Hopefully we’ll have news back from the vet today or tomorrow and hopefully it won’t be that expensive. I love my dog but I am not loving how much money this is costing me.

And Then Life Was Annoying

Everyone remembers how I moved from the frozen north of Maine to the temperate eastern Maryland. No? Well this story begins a year ago when I made the decision to stop freezing my butt off every winter and move to an area where the winters were a bit more forgiving and the summers lasted longer than a month. I’ve lived in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, just a few hours from DC and I found the area nice but I was worried about being able to easily find a job and an apartment I could afford in that area so I went with Frederick, Maryland.

It was a good choice. I had two jobs and an apartment by the end of a week and I loved the weather and the area. For a while I was going out every weekend with my dog and hiking on the Appalachian Trail or the C&O Canal.

Then winter came and around January I took a good long look at my finances and realized I was bleeding money. So I did what seemed fair. I took a higher paying job with more hours despite the fact that the hours were ridiculous and the work far beneath me. (I’m not going to say where that job is. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the job but if I’m going to complain about it, and trust me, I can, then I’m going to keep it a secret. Those of you who know me personally know where I’m working.)

Shortly after I got the new job my dog split his toenail. I took him into the vet’s and they trimmed the nail and gave him some antibiotics for infection. It was ridiculously expensive but I could afford it so I was fine with it. A few weeks went by and I realized that his toe kept bleeding which was not a good sign. So I ponied up and took him in again. They said he had a topical infection and gave him some more antibiotics but they were concerned with a growth. They said it was probably just part of the infection and that it should disappear by the time he was done the antibiotics. Still, they took a biopsy.

It wasn’t part of the infection. It was a tumor. I immediately took him in again and they set up an appointment to get him in and have it removed.

Meanwhile, my roommates and I had reached some state of cohabitation. I was never home and they usually remembered that I worked nights and were usually considerate of this during the mornings when I was sleeping. Until our landlord heard from the Home Owner’s Associate for the housing development we were living in. Turns out there was a lot of dog poop in the area and because most of it was in our postage stamp sized front yard, it was pretty much conclusive that my roommates and I weren’t cleaning up after the dogs.

To be fair, I clean up after my dog. He’s a big dog and I know how ugly it looks when you don’t clean up after them. That being said, sometimes I wouldn’t be the one to let him out.

The end result is that the HOA was threatening our landlord with fines if the dog poop wasn’t taken care of. Our landlord’s solution? Kick out our dogs.

We got a letter in late Febuary, about a week before my dog’s surgery that our dogs had to be out on the day of our surgery and that our landlord was electing not to renew our leases. Since I had taken over my lease from a friend of mine, my lease was up at the end of March. Leaving me a week to find a place for my dog and a month to find a place for the two of us.

This is what life has been doing to me. And that’s to say nothing of the fact that I still have to pay my taxes because the great state of Maryland decided I need to give them money. Also, my car is dying. It’s good times ALL around.

The good news is I still have friends in the area. My friends are keeping my dog while I get all of this figured out.

I Don’t Have the Money for This Sh–

Life sucks when you’re trying to be on a budget. My plan is to put aside some money every month so I can put a down payment on a new house because I’m going to kill my @!##%ing roommates soon. Also, it would be lovely to have a new car because my old one is such a piece of junk that I would have to PAY a chop shop to take it.

If you remember my new years resolution list, both of those things are on it. And I was going to be making progress. I got a new job that pays twice as much as my old one and put me in a position to stay on at both jobs. A little crazy for my sleep schedule but I have enough time off to work it out.

Then my dog split his toe nail. So I took him to the local emergency vet. They gave him some meds and trimmed his nail. THen his nail got re-infected. So they wanted to do an X ray to make sure the bone wasn’t infected (It wasn’t thank god). The point is, he has been a very expensive %^&*^$er this month. I’m considering selling my soul but I don’t think it will get much.

Also? I work at a fabric store and I am SUCH a fabric lover. There are about a hundred fabrics that I want for no other reason than I love how they look. Seriously, we have this beautiful fur at work that I yearn to make a blanket with. And we’ve got some pretty knits that would make adorable skirts or lounge pants or tops. Don’t get me started on what I’d do with the cottons.

Corset 001: Make the Decision

So as I’ve mentioned, I want to make a corset this year. So after much procrastination, I finally decided on a pattern and started the process to get the materials.

I chose the Black Corset with Blue Flossing from http://www.target.com/p/corsets-paperback/-/A-13926419?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=google_pla_df&LNM=13926419&CPNG=Entertainment&kpid=13926419&LID=24pgs&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=13926419&gclid=CjwKEAiAo8emBRCX_OqU4qek6y8SJACzgf8fHfJVGftGckopkZH9xLr6-WB94DxRQcefgTtRiLi3QBoC2h_w_wcB

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I picked this one because I liked the separate encapsulation for the breast. I’m a little top heavy in that regard and I liked how this looked in the pictures of it on people.

Since I made my decision, I guess that takes me to step two: get the materials. I’m still in the process of that step but I have ordered the busk and the boning (coiled steel). Now I just need to decide on a fabric. I’m actually thinking white or a lighter color, like light blue or a pale gold. As for fabric, we have a good selection of jacquards and brocades at work and I’m thinking a heavier satin for the lining. But the problem is stretch. The brocade won’t stretch, but I’m not sure about the satin. Anyone got any ideas for me?

Regardless, when my materials come in, I’ll post some pictures.