In which I can’t really cope today

CR-Health-AH-Supplements_ss-Drugs-11-15I mentioned a few days ago that I took a Clonazepam the night of the election because the stress had gotten too thick to operate through, and after not touching the stuff for a couple of years it’s not impossible that I’ll decide to take another tonight.  The event didn’t go well yesterday at all — or, at least, was a crashing financial disaster, although some good things are going to end up coming from it, there were literally more authors present than there were people who wanted to buy books.  I’m not mad about it, necessarily, but it was a long damn weekend.  Today was an immensely stressful day at work, and the majority of that stress was due to various acts of incompetence on my part that I can’t even pretend to lay at anyone else’s feet.  And the rest of it, that isn’t part of that majority … well, it’s bad, and I can’t fucking talk about it right now for a variety of reasons.

The books still haven’t shipped, by the way, so Amazon’s blown past the most recent of their guarantees as of today.  The site now says I’ll get them on Friday, which will be six days shy of a month since these books– which are print-on-demand, remember– were ordered.

And Stan Lee died.  And … I just can’t.  The guy was 95 and he’s been in poor health for a long time but Stan Lee cannot be dead right now.  The last few days have been too fucking exhausting; I can’t process it.

So, yeah.  It may be time for another Clonazepam tonight.  After I finish typing this I plan to spend at least an hour with a kitten sleeping on my chest; we’ll see if that works first.  But if not?  Yeah, bring the brain pills on.

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Ravioli edition

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee (and I feel like I need to point out that, unlike last time, I actually am having coffee while writing this) I would spend most of the conversation being interrupted by the kitten, who has decided that my feet are the tastiest thing in the universe, regardless of whether I’m barefoot, in socks, or wearing my shoes.  This started off as cute and endearing and now I’m seriously trying to think of a way to bash together some shame cones to wear over my feet whenever I’m in a room that she can get into because the assaults are constant and she’s too small to kick.

I could probably get her halfway across the house if I tried, though.

(I’m not going to of course I’m not going to Jesus but Goddammit leave my feet alone.)

Anyway.

We had Thanksgiving yesterday.  There have been persistent rumors that my wife’s family is planning some sort of extravagant event in Michigan for Actual Thanksgiving, and my brother and his wife just bought a new house, so we decided to kill a couple of birds with one stone and we all went up to his place north of Chicago for Very Early Thanksgiving yesterday.  We are mostly German and Polish with a smattering of English and Welsh; he married into an Italian family and brought all of them over as well, so yesterday was Teach the Polacks How to Make Ravioli Day, because why wouldn’t it be?  So we spent probably three or four hours making a couple hundred raviolis.  I didn’t actually make the pasta itself– my mom was handling that– but my brother and my dad and I were responsible for filling the raviolis and then covering them and, in general, finishing everything up.  It went pretty well:

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The darker ones are sausage and spinach, the rest are a five-cheese mix.

It went very well– I’ve actually never made fresh pasta before, and while I sort of wanted to be in the kitchen for the actual pasta-making part at least once, being the last person in the process means you get to pretend the whole thing was your doing, which is still kinda fun.  Dinner was delicious and I even managed to not pass out and die on the way home, which was also a plus.

We would probably start hinting around this election thing on Tuesday at some point and I would change the subject as fast as I possibly fucking could.  I have Tuesday off; part of me feels like this was a very good decision (there will be violence at polling places this week) and part of me is mourning the idea that I’m going to be home all day by myself to go crazy.  I’m going to spend the whole day playing Red Dead Redemption 2 just to keep from going insane.

The other thing on my mind: the Pegasus Author Expo coming up next Sunday in Lafayette:

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I am super excited about this event; I’m doing a panel on book production at 12:00 and a reading/Q&A for half an hour or so at 11:30.  I’m currently killing myself trying to figure out what to read (current theory: the prologue to Skylights and something funny from one of the Benevolence Archives books) and trying to mentally prepare for anything from a big crowd (a “big crowd,” in this context, means “any number of people that I cannot accurately count in less than a couple of seconds”) to my wife and my assistant (I have an assistant!) and no one else.  This is the first time this group has done something like this and nobody really knows what to expect in terms of attendance so I’m deciding to look at it mostly as a networking event with a chance to practice some public-speaking skills.  If I make some money and sell some books along the way, awesome.  If not?  That’s a whole lot of Indiana authors to touch base with.  Which is absolutely a good thing regardless.

You should come.  You should bring everyone you have ever met.

Okay, coffee’s cold so I’ve yapped enough.  How’re you?

OMG

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I said something about how I’d never gotten a sticker before so THEY GAVE ME EXTRA and I’m totally wearing one for each of the next three days.

In which awwwww

I came home from work, played Spider-Man for a bit, ate dinner, and since then I’ve been staring at the wall with a kitten sleeping on my stomach.

The kitten had a vet visit today.  She has ear mites and kitty lice.  Her parents were both feral and we got her from a farm, so none of this is terribly surprising, and yes, we’re still isolating her from the Great Old One until all of the various parasites are taken care of.  Apparently other than that she’s in stellar health and, luckily for us, apparently ear mites and kitty lice aren’t especially prone to being transferred to hoomanz.

I did not take her to the vet today– my wife took care of that– but she was apparently the unhappiest kitty in the universe after her ear treatment today.  Look at how pathetic and sad she looks:

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Here, these two are cuter:

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44509525_10156972018439066_5871417823472910336_oThat’s what I got.  How was your Monday?

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Guess Who’s Back edition

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If we were having coffee … well, I’d be really confused, because it’s 7:15, and what the hell are we having coffee for at 7:15 on a Sunday night when I have to be back at work tomorrow?  But I was gonna write this post this morning, and it was going to be my probably-not-actually-long-awaited return to Weekend Coffee Share, which I haven’t participated in in forever.  So it’s still a WCS post and to hell with making sense.

So.  If we were having coffee, first I’d tell you about this book I started yesterday, and the reason I didn’t get a post up this morning is that I couldn’t put the damn book down until I was finished with it.  Do you like Sherlock Holmes?  Of course you do.  So you need to check out A Study in Honor, by Claire O’Dell, which is a Sherlock Holmes story, only it’s set in the future after the Second Civil War (Watson is still a veteran, and in fact has pretty bad PTSD) and Holmes and Watson are both queer black women.

I read it in about three hours– maybe an hour before bed last night and another two this morning, and I’m already reloading Amazon over and over again waiting for a sequel.  Go check it out, it’s great.

After that we might get into talking about religion a bit, believe it or not.  One of my oldest friends was in town this weekend with her three kids– her oldest daughter is twelve, her middle child (the only boy) is eight, putting him more or less at my son’s age, and her youngest, another daughter, is five.  We went to the zoo the first day they were in town and took them over to look around on Notre Dame’s campus the next day which, believe it or not, was the first time I’d ever seen the Grotto or the inside of the Basilica despite having lived in South Bend for 2/3 of my life or so.  The Basilica is absolutely amazing even if you have my, uh, somewhat unorthodox views on Christianity and religion in general– I may be a mean old atheist with a couple of degrees in religious studies, which, believe me, is the worst kind of mean old atheist, but I sure as hell can appreciate me some architecture.

It turns out that they keep docents around to give impromptu tours to the people who randomly wander into the place, and once ours determined that the oldest of the four kids was interested in being an architect she got real interesting real fast.  And then we got to the reliquary, which contains something like sixteen hundred relics of saints, and … man, it has been a minute since I have been around seriously religious people in a context where their serious-religiousness had a chance of playing a major role in the conversation.  And I’m not enough of an asshole to start a fight about this stuff, but I’ll admit it threw me for a hell of a loop when she pointed at one particular ornate cross and stated that it contained all of the following:

  • A piece of Jesus’ manger
  • A piece of the table the Last Supper was eaten at
  • A piece of Jesus’ burial shroud and
  • A fragment of the True Cross

And I had this moment of oh, holy shit, you genuinely believe every word you just said is true, and knew myself to be wholly in the presence of someone who does not view any part of the world the way I do.  Which, don’t get me wrong, is fine.  I don’t care.  She’s explaining her faith to me and my family and my friends and she’s being very very nice about it and frankly I’m in her house and I’m not about to start being a dick about her believing stuff I don’t believe.  You do you, nice lady.  There’s no problem here.

And then my son started talking, and as it turns out Daddy’s Little Empiricist has had absolutely no religious training of any kind at all, and, well, there’s some stuff that we kinda just assumed the wider culture would take care of for us?  I mean, we didn’t tell him about Santa Claus, and he knows all about that, and …

… well, as it turns out my son doesn’t know a god damn thing about Jesus.  And I think this lady has probably been doing her job for a good long time and she’s probably been asked a bunch of stuff and she’s probably had a handful of argumentative old atheists in that basilica on a couple of occasions and she was nonetheless not prepared for my son and his we-stole-him-from-a-South-American-jungle level of Don’t Know Nothin’ Bout Jesus.

He can tell you anything about the Avengers, though.

So yeah.  That happened.  How’s the coffee?