A moment of breathless delight

I haven’t LODITEE’d in quite a while, because I’ve been fortunate not to have a lot of deep-touching life events occur in recent years. And in considering this one, and how I should write it up in my journal, I’ve managed at last to put my finger on why it is that LODITEE exists in the first place.

The reason is extremely simple: I don’t like to make journal entries about my thoughts and emotions relating to major life events because I’m saving those thoughts and emotions to use later in stories. And once you’ve taken away that aspect of the experience, what else is there to say? Might as well not make a post about it at all, right? Apparently this is how I think XD

But some things do need to be documented, and I suppose there’s even a chance someone following this archive might be interested in knowing. So my announcement is as follows: as of June 6, I am long-distance dating a wonderfully adorable and fascinating woman named Lee whom I met online.

If this doesn’t seem like the most earth-shattering announcement anyone’s ever made, just consider that I am somewhat asexual, picky as shit, and that I haven’t dated anyone in about eight years. In any case, I am very happy about it. And now it is documented.

A favorable sign in pink heels

I was leaving Wal-Mart yesterday, and there on the ground, unattended and apparently unnoticed by anyone else walking by, was Draculaura! Of course I picked her up immediately, and took her to my car, and brushed her hair. Then I brought her home to be a mascot beside my computer.

Now, this is a Monster High ghoul, but there’s an undeniable, intense significance to my finding a plastic doll on the ground and bringing it home. Additionally, as soon as I set her down inside the house and went to put groceries away, Little Cat started dragging her around by the hair. It doesn’t get much more appropriate than that, eh?

I consider this an auspice. This past Monday, just at the end of the day (in other words, just at the end of the weekend), I thought of a HoH idea (the 60’s story in Nine Decades, in case anyone’s curious) that had me so excited I was doing a sort of pee-dance all week in anticipation of working on it this weekend. And what kicks off that very weekend? A clear HoH symbol, as if specifically to bless my endeavor.

This is just ridiculously awesome.

Awesome new phone wot

18 days until I turn 36!

I loved my Galaxy S4 with a glorious passion, and will always fondly remember purchasing plane tickets to England on it at work. When it started to act a little weird and slow down a bit because it was getting older, I figured I’d get a later entry in that series and love it similarly. I was going to buy the S7 from my provider, Cricket, with whom I’d always been quite satisfied, but just then by coincidence my mom’s provider, Republic Wireless, announced they would be getting several new phones — including the S7 — on the very day I would be able to afford what I wanted to buy.

Republic Wireless is cool. You do all everything (including calling) over Wi-Fi whenever Wi-Fi is available, and, though you pay for a plan as usual, they refund you anything you haven’t used (because you’ve been mostly on Wi-Fi) once the month is up. I didn’t mind what I was paying with Cricket, but the prospect of paying less for being able to do all the same shit? Yes, please!

I’m only a couple of weeks through my first month with Republic, so I can’t actually report yet on how successful this system is likely to be for me. It’s looking extremely promising, though.

And the phone? ZOMFG I love it so much. I love everything about it so much that it’s easier to list what I dislike than go on and on about everything I adore. First of all, the speaker placement is odd; it’s right in a spot where your fingers tend to sit when you hold the phone sideways. Secondly, on the home screen, the information bar across the top is always white text with no background — meaning that if you have a wallpaper whose background is white, the information across the top disappears.

Another complaint I have isn’t about the phone itself, but, rather, a combination of circumstances. The only texting app compatible with both my phone and Republic Wireless’s transitioning-between-Wi-Fi-and-cell-service system is Google’s Messenger. It’s a bare-bones app that’s not necessarily bad, but doesn’t recognize the individual notifications set up for your contacts, and doesn’t have an in-app setting for individual notifications. Which means my phone makes the same sound no matter who’s texting me. However, I don’t really receive all that many text messages, so this is a minor annoyance.

Aaaanyway, this phone is gorgeous and takes gorgeous pictures, and has all sorts of little options that I love. I’m very happy with it. Of course, it’s shaped slightly differently than the S4, so all my darling custom cases are now obsolete. I’ma hang them up on the wall as decorations now. Dunno how many cases I’ll end up with for my S7; I guess we’ll see. I designed one to start out with, thinking it would be really cool to have a phone case entirely in manga black and white. See here:

I was going to post the original image as well, but I accidentally deleted it. Too bad. I’m super happy with this case; don’t forget that My Custom Case is freaking awesome.

So that’s about it for now! New phone yay!!

Teach me how to see your vision through my eyes

Hiko had what I believe was his first encounter with snow this past week. He previously lived in Arizona, and I don’t know his history for sure, but he was only about a year and a half old when he came to me, so I think it’s a pretty good bet.

Anyway, he ran excitedly outside like he always does, made a much-truncated excited circle that did not touch the lawn, and came straight back to the door. He gave me this look like, “Hey, something weird happened out here! What’s going on?” He was (and has remained) very interested in attacking the snow on the flagstones, but he flat-out refused to walk on the snow-covered grass XD It was so freaking cute.

So this last week (and, to some extent, the previous week) at work has been insane. Tuesday in particular was appalling. We’re short a person in general at the moment, have one tech that is great and whom we love but who is still in training and therefore has a limited range of tasks she can perform, and one gal out on maternity leave. Then another tech had to take some time off due to a convergence of illness and disaster in his life. Then the trainee called in vomitous. And then another gal sprained her ankle right there at work.

This left three full-time techs, one part-time tech, and the supervisor. I can’t even begin to describe how short-handed that is at a clinic that does 20-30 surgeries every day. I could go on for paragraphs about how difficult and exhausting this was and how absolutely over the week we were before it was even halfway finished, but that’s not actually the point I’m aiming for here.

The thing is, I’ve had other jobs where understaffing and its attendant stress and misery was a regular occurrence –indeed, where understaffing was standard practice, and if you actually had enough employees working at any given moment, you were likely to get in trouble, because even desperately understaffed you were still guaranteed not to make your labor. So I am well accustomed to being understaffed; I am so familiar with this way of life, it wasn’t even a little bit of a surprise to encounter it in this job as well.

But this job is a real job where none of those others were. Despite the fact that I’m making little over minimum wage at this non-profit business, there is such a world of difference between this job and those others that I almost can’t describe it.

At those other places, when things sucked — which was most of the time — there was an atmosphere (unspoken but oppressive) of, What did you expect, working here? Do you really think you, who took this shitty job in the first place, deserve any better than these dehumanizing working conditions? It was consistently depressing and demoralizing.

But at my clinic, we pull together. We have each other’s backs. There is a perpetual atmosphere of empathy and support and the recognition both of everyone’s suffering and of everyone’s contributions. It’s, You guys are badasses, and no other team could have gotten through this craziness as well as you have. Far from making me feel somewhat ill and distinctly depressed at the thought of going to work, this solidarity has actually made me enjoy a stressful and incredibly tiring set of long, hard work days, and look forward to as an almost welcome challenge what at previous jobs has been a barrier to continued employment. This astonishes and gratifies me more than I can express.

I’m still hella tired, though. The weekend ends in about two hours, and I’m not ready XD I’m looking so forward to some time off in December.

Aight, so, in May of 1864, the battle at New Hope Church in Georgia caused the Confederate army severe losses. According to Gone With the Wind, “No one had lost faith in the invincibility of the troops but everyone had lost faith in the General.” Soon thereafter that particular general was replaced.

In World of Warcraft, at the battle of Light’s Hope Chapel, the Scourge sustains heavy losses, and many of the Lich King’s Death Knights are freed from their brainwashing and cease following him. Light’s Hope Chapel thereafter is held by the enemies of the Scourge.

I don’t really think this is anything more than an interesting coincidence — and the similarities between the two battles aren’t even striking enough that I would have noticed if not for the names of the two locations — but it is interesting, isn’t it? When I got to that bit in GWtW, I was like, Huh, that’s kinda cool…! Enough that I had to make note of it here in my journal.

Let’s finish up with some pictures of Hiko, in the bath and then afterwards when he’s all clean. Bizarrely, these are actually pictures from today and yesterday. Yeah, I still have a million pictures to post from previous years, but I should probably try to keep up with what pictures I’m taking these days too XD

Aahh, who is just the cutest little man!!!!!!

It’s OK to believe that there’s something in nothing now

So much awesome stuff to tell about.

First of all. Back when I didn’t get to sing in the program and was just listening in the audience, a family with three childs sat in front of me. There was a boy of about seven that was playing tic-tac-toe with his sister on a pad of paper until she got tired of it and refused to play any more. At this point I leaned forward to play with him. We played many games, he often cheating (possibly without realizing it), and whenever he thought I was taking too long to take my turn, he would say impatiently, “Go, person!” We did not, you see, know each other.

Eventually he got tired of tic-tac-toe, and wanted to play the connect-the-dots-to-form-squares game. He was incapable of drawing a gameboard for it, though; he would make a row of fairly neat dots and then get tired of that tedium and try to fill in the rest by jabbing the paper at random. So I drew a gameboard for that, and we played. The initial he put in the boxes he made appeared to be a J, but it was difficult to tell with his seven-year-old handwriting. Mine, of course, was an R. And at one point, as had often happened, he thought I was dawdling about my turn, and said, “Go, person!” Only this time added, “I’m guessing your name is Rapunzel.” Probably the only R name he could think of.

The next awesome stuff is the concert brother and I went to. The main group was Sixx A.M., and Apocalyptica was going to be there too, so we knew it would be pretty badass. We only showed up forty minutes before the concert was due to start, though, and got a bad spot whence I couldn’t see almost anything on stage. Brother, significantly taller than I am, was OK.

So the opener band comes on, and I can only see the drummer and occasionally a guitarist and the vocalist when they come to the corner of the stage. And they’re all Japanese guys — this is made even more clear whenever the vocalist talks to the audience with his cute accent. Not only that, but they sound JUST LIKE L’Arc~en~Ciel if L’Arc were a little bit more hard rock. Even the vocalist sounded just like Hyde would sound if he sang in a bit more of a hard rock style.

So I’m enjoying the hell out of this obvious L’Arc clone, very surprised to find such a J-pop-sounding group (harder rock or not) at this metalish concert, and thinking, This soundalike is probably the closest I’ll ever get to seeing the real L’arc~en~Ciel in person. And when they’re done performing and the stage is being set up for the next band, I pop onto Wikipedia to look them up.

You guys. IT WAS ACTUALLY FUCKING HYDE. This band, VAMPS, is a side-project of his that I guess he’s been doing for a couple of years just for fun (demonstrating, yet again, how well I pay attention to what the artists I love are up to). The music sounds like L’arc because he writes it, and he sounds like Hyde when he sings because HE FUCKING IS HYDE.

Hyde — the actual, real Hyde of L’Arc~en~Ciel — was ON STAGE IN FRONT OF ME. IN THE SAME BUILDING. I accidentally saw Hyde — the real, actual Hyde of L’Arc~en~Ciel — without having ANY IDEA I was going to do so.

I was so shaken by surprise and joy at this bizarre and unexpected and wonderful circumstance that I kinda dissolved into tears. I’m still not over this weeks later. How could something this amazing and awesome happen to me?? I mean, I really like Apocalyptica and Sixx A.M. (and the latter’s concert rendition of Accidents Can Happen was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard), but my love for L’Arc is way way way greater, and dates to a much earlier period in my life, than my love for either of them. And HYDE WAS FUCKING THERE. I don’t even. I just can’t.

But enough of that. Moving on. The next item is MY NEW LITTLE FRIEND:

This is my new dog!! Since he is a ten-pound maltipoo unlikely to get any bigger, I thought it appropriate to name him Hiko Seijuurou XIII.

Hiko-chan, who is about a year and a half old, was rescued from a neglectful (and possibly actively abusive) home in Arizona, so he has some sad little personality quirks. Potty training has been a challenge thus far, because he is very reluctant to go in front of humans. But he’s learning other things pretty well — he already knows “out of the kitchen” and “sit” — and he sleeps in his little bed at night quite well.

He has made friends, more or less, with Little Cat, and they chase each other and wrestle and it’s freaking adorable. Waybee sulked behind the couch for several days and wouldn’t even come out to eat, but she’s finally emerged and seems to have forgiven me. She sat on my lap today for the first time in a week. She’ll never be friends with Little Dog, but all she really needs to do is tolerate him.

As far as other things that have happened in my life lately… well, my latest reread of the RK manga has left me with the usual riotous, aching desire for Saitou/Sano stuff… so even though (let’s be perfectly honest here) I’ve been in a bit of a slump all year as far as writing due to a series of circumstances that were mostly my own choice, I’ve managed to get a new story almost to linear completion. It has no title yet, and I don’t know when it will actually be finished, and its focus is not directly on Saitou and Sano (in fact, in that and several other respects it very much resembles In-Law), but some work is better than less work.

That’s all I have to say for now.