Binge Rearranging Spice Book Reading

Nothing new and yet a bunch of new stuff. I thought I had the kitchen in order. Then I thought to myself, how could I make this better, so I ordered a hanging door spice rack. The thought being to free up shelf space and make the pantry smell awesome. Unfortunately, Amazon was not able to send me one nor send me a replacement…well, allow me to amend that as I just finished a third chat with an Amazon person, now I have a new order ID and a delivery date. Crossing fingers, there are a lot of to spices to move.

See what happened is in anticipation of the spice rack, I moved all of the spices to make room for a kitchen appliance that would fit better. The spices ended up on a counter in a pile, then on a shelf in a pile, and finally today on a shelf in good order…and hopefully, Monday, on a spice rack. I tell you this, I will not be moving the spices again until I see a spice rack. 🙂

Like a butterfly flapping his wings in China and causing rain…you pick the place…moving the spice rack lead to moving games which lead moving books which lead to several days of rearranging the house.

In and around rearranging, I have been writing, as you may have read. Things are starting to take shape, especially with the compilation of notes coming along nicely. I will be continuing to post bits and pieces and revising them here; I find it fun to do and I hope that there are some people who are getting something out seeing a writing process (definitely not the writing process).

And in and round rearranging and writing I have been on a reading binge. Every so often, I get on this binge where I devour every book in front of me. This binge has been rather interesting:

Dangerous Dames: The Plutonium Blonde and The Doomsday Brunette by John Zakour and Lawrence Ganem was a pleasant surprise. A cyber-noir detective setting with Zachary Nixon Johnson as the last Private Eye in the year 2057. Fast pace, great dialog, and fun stories to follow along.

In the Company of Ogres by A. Lee Martinez is the second book I have read by the author. I did not care for the main character Never Dead Ned nor the pacing. This seemed like it could have been a shorter story.

Divine Misfortune by A. Lee Martinez however (third book I’ve read by author) was a non-stop page turner. I finished the book before I realized it, following along with Phil and Teri and their Raccoon deity of luck Lucky. This was a great book, for me not a dull moment and I wanted to know what happened to each of the characters.

At the moment I am in two books X-Men Siege by Christopher Golden and Star Wars Battlefront Twilight Company by Alexander Freed. I don’t have a good grasp on either, Siege is an older book written in an older style which is a bit disjointed and stilted. Twilight Company starts off odd and carries that forth, by odd meaning really short chapters on different characters without a chance, yet, to get to know them or care what is happening.


500 And 1 Words At A Time: The State of Life

For the first time in five years I feel like I have done right by my family. Don’t get me wrong the whole back to college thing was necessary, but for much of it I felt like my family, specifically the kids, were getting the proverbial shaft. Their interests and well being were placed on-hold so that the two adults in the place could get their shit in gear the way they “should have” years/decades ago.

20160915_162649Our kids did not go outside much for five years. There was no front yard. There was no back yard. There was no safe playground. There was no safe place to play period on campus housing. Now, they have a front yard, a side yard, a front front yard, and a small sliver of back yard. Where I used to tell them “no” when they wanted to go outside for fear of some student fucktard hopping the curb and killing them or some non-paying attention campus employee driving a vehicle (VAN) on sidewalks killing them, now I tell them “Have fun.” And I mean it. Other than some rather large sized gopher holes, the yard is far away from traffic. Plus, from any window in the house I can see them, even if they are at one of the far edges.

20160910_174714The kids are happy. The come home with smiles on their faces. Even if school sucked they know when they get home that they have a room that is more than a glorified closet with paint peeling off the walls. They know they can go outside and enjoy life without fear of some fucktard student. Want some proof of happiness, our daughter is teaching our son how to ride a bike out in the yard as I write this. 🙂

The adults are happier. We have a place where only we have the keys to the doors. We have a place that is being improved weekly by us and the realtor. We have a place where we can relax and enjoy life. Barb has a job that she likes and is wrapping up a craft room where she can work on her multitude of crafts without making a mess in another room. She also has a garage, not for the car although I suspect the car will end up in there, but for her wood working. She has not been this happy in at least 5-years.

20160915_075527Me…I am writing for myself. I am wrapping up setting up this house. I am cooking and grilling. I wake up each day with a few more mosquito bites and a beautiful view out the windows. I spend my day taking care of stuff for me and mine. I write in a space designed by me, surrounded by books. Long before I go to bed I spend time outside watching the sun set, a bat hunt, and the clouds roll on through. No, I do not have a job, but I know there is one on the horizon. Life is good.

I’m So Excited!!!!

The kitchen is open for food.

Boxtopolis continues to fall.

And is there such a thing as a fancy bar?

These questions and many more will or may get addressed in today’s issue of Adventures In Unpacking.

My kitchen is at a state where I can begin to cook regularly. I cannot express how excited and happy this has made me. I could, but I would have to use vulgarity and I am not that guy…oh who am I kidding, I had a full-on Kitchen Works Chubby once the last plate was stacked. Is everything where I want it, not yet but I know where my cooking equipment is, I know where my ingredients are, and best of all I found my spice racks.

Already I am planning the first series of meals. After the obligatory rice will be a dish of cold noodles. Then I want to…oh my I forgot to mention this, my wok. I found my wok, five years in storage because the stove at the college did not work with my wok. This stove, WOKABLE! Wok Chubby!!!! So after the rice and cold noodles, practice my woking skills. I am so excited.

Obviously, Boxtopolis continues be taken down. The kitchen alone was 12 boxes and that does not include the 3 boxes of cookbooks. Next up would be games, but I unpacked many of them first in the hope of gaming this weekend, even thought I only had a place for 5 of them. Which five, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Krosmaster Arena and Quest, Star Wars Rebellion, Rivet Wars, and Munchkin, of course. 🙂 With the kitchen table assembled we have a place to eat and game.

In a few moments I will start unpacking books and putting them on shelves. This will clear space for me to start working. Remember back when I graduated and had goals? Yeah, I don’t remember that time either. Yet, I am told I had goals as such, once the books are on shelves there will be space enough for me to put in a desk and start…what is it I do again?


Are you sure?

Why that degree does include the word write. Hmmm…I will have to take your word.

Food, Games, and some life. Sounds like things are heading towards center again. As part of that process, it took two days of sweltering muggy heat to figure out how to cool this place out. When hot and muggy apply fans is usually the answer, but that made things worse. Today, I turned the fans around, so that they sucked the air out, after I woke up from passing out from holding my breath (I didn’t want to assfixIate), I immediately noticed home is much cooler. Ahhhh.

Lastly, a friend of ours has been invited to go to a fancy bar while on vacation. The friend has no idea what a fancy bar is. I tried to explain that fancy bar was code for either place with boobs and wings or wings and banana hammocks. Our friend insists that the person who invited them to the fancy bar would not go to a place with wings. So I ask, is there such a thing as a fancy bar? Lets ask The Todd from Scrubs.



Decisions Decisions

I’ve found myself stuck watching the kids play Minecraft Story Mode by Tell Tale Games. No spoilers. The story is interesting. The characters are fun. And more interesting to me, is the thought of, if Minecraft could be combined with Minecraft Story Mode I would give the game a try. I like the idea of having a campaign to play in the sandbox world with goals to complete and items to find that you can’t craft in game.

I had heard a lot of good things about Tell Tale Game’s episodic stories, but until Minecraft had not played or watched any. Now I am wondering how much enjoyment I would get from playing. Quick Time Events annoy me, which there are a lot of, but watching the kids choose a dialog option and then seeing the results of those choices stick with them is fascinating. That is probably what gets me to sit down and give the series a try.

Prior to getting sucked into the kids activity, I spent time packing. As much stuff as I have packed, there is more to do. Although this is a diminishing activity (each thing I pack is one less and eventually everything will get packed), it feels like I am behind in packing and have so much more to do. Today for example, packing games.

We have a lot of games. A lot. The list does not cover all of the games. Games like books are heavy, in some cases heavier. Games like books have their time and then sit around a lot gathering dust. Normally, this is fine. Now is not normal, we are moving soon. How many heavy boxes full of stuff that has had its day do we want to move?

The answer is not many. Decisions on which books to keep and what to do with unwanted books are so much easier. Crap book, no need to pack. Reference book, pack. And so on. Unwanted books travel a short distance to a used bookstore where they will find a new owner. I like this circle of enjoyment for books.

Games…not so much. There are few games here that all of us agree on, stay or go. There are far more where one or more person has a fond memory of or something that keeps them from wanting to get rid of it. Its an interesting discussion, because a passionate, “We did this and that” while playing a game or a good “Do you remember that time” can sway those on the fence. Unfortunately, I do not want to move a ton of games that have not been played in a while because one or two people have a good story to tell.

What happens when the game gets to the new place? I can tell you after a lifetime of moving games, games that do not get played in one home do not suddenly become popular in a new place. And that is why I don’t want to move all of them. But the question remains what goes and what does not…for me a good chunk of what goes has already been packed, these are the games we were playing every weekend.

The rest…who knows at this point.


Ratatouille Is Not In That Box

More adventures in moving and home buying. I should write a “How to not to” guide. Not that it will help anyone else, unless they are us or unfortunately for them, have our “luck.” I feel bad for those people.

In the basement, another round of finding boxes filled with stuff. What is this stuff? Apparently, anything we could fit in the box regardless of the relation of the stuff to other stuff in the box. My favorite today, a box filled with books, porn, a smattering of Legos, and every single Jelly Belly smelly pencil and eraser I could find.

Obviously, I was reading a book (Halo series), while watching porn (free compilation porn that comes free with any purchase of an adult toy), building with Legos (five unrelated pieces) between chapters (book or porn your choice), and deeply inhaling the glorious odor* that is Jelly Belly smelly erasers. Not the pencils, those were still in the packaging. I know, I know how do I live at that speed? I couldn’t, thus I tossed all of the stuff into a box to forget about until today.

There were more casualties of packing, water damaged books, crushed toys, and a metal dump truck covered in rust. Time has not been kind to some of the stuff left in storage. I blame Ferris. I should take responsibility, but it is easier to blame the school. It is a long standing tradition around here to blame the school for misfortune.

While I packed and sorted (5 more bags of garbage), Barb dealt with the bank and the realtor. I am hesitant to mention good news, but there was some good news in the form of accepted paperwork (I am going to guess that this paperwork is accepted for this stage of the process and will be disregarded for the next phase-so not jumping for joy yet) and really awesome home owners. There were some concerns of ours from the inspection. Our options, ignore the problems, present them to the homeowners who could offer a solution or kill the deal. You can guess, I expected them to kill the deal. They did not. They offered a solution or two that quite honestly were thoughtful and nice.

At this moment, the boy and Barb are working on the ratatouille. I know I was supposed to work with him, but I felt he could work with his mother who made bread while I worked in the basement. What really happened was I worked in the basement, came upstairs to assist him, and then took out garbage. Along the way the boy learned to let the knife do the work. He kept pressing down hard instead of sliding the knife over the food. A few times of holding his knife and hand while making proper cuts later and he was a slicing fiend.

Including his palm. Some how he caught his palm with the edge of the knife. He is fine, a small clean cut, quickly taken care of; although if you listened to him his thumb was going to fall off. Having taken time to rest and eat a popsicle, they are working to assemble the dish. Looking forward to diner. Not looking forward to another day/night in the basement, but it must get done.

* It should be noted that smelly pencils and erasers are not so pleasant years later buried under tons of stuff, better than musty moldy smell.


I Dream Of A Writing Space

I have a dream of a writing space. Where I go to each day and write until I am content. This writing space is enclosed with a door that locks. The walls are decorated with things-pictures, posters, knick-knacks, and the like that I like, that inspire me, that are related to one writing project or another. This would be my sanctum sanatorium…is that the right word? 🙂

The door to my writing space will be plain and fit firmly into the frame, so when someone comes to bother me with something small and ultimately unimportant the door does not rattle each time they bang on the door. Speaking of which the door may be made out of steel to discourage banging on it at all. I’m seeing something with spikes or a really sticky contact cement, bang on my door at your own peril.

My writing desk will be like my clothing, lots of space to store things; pens, papers, files, knick-knacks, and whatever might strike my mood as needing to be stored in my desk. My desk would have a lock to keep my office supplies where they belong, in my office. A computer, not the current one I have, will sit in the center of the desk waiting for my fingers to caresses the keys. A wireless printer against the back wall with a basket to catch the reams of paper I will resume printing.

To ensure maximum efficiency and my maximum comfort a comfortable chair unlike any chair I have ever owned. Not to comfortable as I do not want to fall asleep or get easily distracted sitting and not to uncomfortable as I can sit writing for hours on end. Perhaps one of those balls that people sit on…I could see that…until I roll off the backside onto my ass. I will have to think about this.

Bookshelves to the ceiling round out my writing space. A bookcase just for my writing reference books. A bookcase for my reference books that are not about the language. A bookcase for all of the foreign languages and places I hope to visit, mostly Asian. A bookcase for the books that inspire me or are fun to read or naughty. 🙂

While I want the bookcases to be floor to ceiling the reality is that they will have space on top for more stuff. What kind of stuff? Why Lego creations and sets such as the scorpion I built or a dragon that glows-n-the-dark. Other bookcase toppers could include personal mementos, knick-knacks (I like that word), and fun stuff along with books that no longer fit on the overstuffed shelves.

Speaking of glow-n-the-dark, the ceiling will be covered in glow-n-the-dark stars. Enough stars to make reading and writing in the dark possible. Located under the printer or maybe to the left, a mini-fridge filled with beverages of my choice, to keep me hydrated during those hours of writing.

Its a dream of mine. I miss having a writing space where people did not bother me unless it was an emergency or I had been gone to long.


Two Bookstores, One Book :(

I haven’t gotten out to a bookstore in a bit. We have gone to bookstores because they were nearby where we were at, but to travel to a bookstore for the bookstore alone has been a while. I was excited to visit a bookstore. Ordering from Amazon is one thing. Being in the presence of books is another. And I wanted to relish being in the presence of books, letting the smell wash over me as I searched the shelves for something to read. Many somethings to read.

I know, we are moving soon, why would I want to add new books to the mix? Books are heavy, I wrote that not so long ago and I know from many a move. Yet, I love books. I do not care now that they are heavy. I will only care when I have to move them and much like a lover, you only care about the bad stuff when it lasts for a while. A move is temporary, the books will be forgiven. Before the move I had visions of me reading around the house, while waiting to pick up the kids, and out in public…shocking to see someone reading for fun in public, but that would be me, shocking.

On accident, as in I had no idea the used bookstore was there, we found a used bookstore. BONUS! Through the window we could see pile upon pile of used books and this place was huge. Entering the musty smell of used books assaulted us, always a good thing. Simple signs dotted the walls, bookshelves, and hung from the ceiling giving a rough layout to the store. Books were stacked, piled, and in a few cases dropped wherever they could be fit. We were in heaven.

and then….

“Cash only”

That label was on every single book I picked up. I picked up a lot of books. I had no cash. I was not thinking cash would be necessary for a bookstore. Every used bookstore I have been in up here has had the modern technology to accept debit cards. Crestfallen, I put each book back. By the time I reached the front of the store I was angry. How long had these books languished here because the owner did not have the ability to accept modern tender? Should I have brought in livestock for barter? Never mind I said to myself and probably out loud, there was the bookstore we originally planned on visiting.

I should have known something was wrong upon entering, but I was in that bookstore haze that book lovers know so well. Science Fiction-Fantasy moved. My go to section was no longer where it had been for five years. Over there, the employee pointed. Over there, turned out to be no bigger than some of the bookshelves that I paid $10 for…less than 150 books and none of them new. Why deity! Why deity? What had I done to irritate the book deities?

Very little sci-fi, fine I headed over to cooking and broke down in tears. Celebrity cookbooks everywhere. Celebrity cooks are fuck all useless to me. If I want celebrity food I will head to the nearest fast food Applebee TGI McFucksters and in Big Rapids you do not have to travel far for that. I wanted real cookbooks by real cooks and chefs. People who I knew of because I keep up with cooking the same way a doctor should be keeping up with modern medicine…something went wrong with that analogy. The point being celebrity cookbooks are good for staring fires and giving away to people who don’t know anything.

Bowed, but unbroken I slumped over to human sexuality, the last bastion.

One book.

A single solitary lonely unwanted unloved book surrounded by self-help books.

I vowed to save that book, Classic Sex Positions Revisited.

Saving that book made me feel slightly better. The look on the cashiers face checking the book out, priceless.