social distance diaries: days 240-246

in which there are distractions…

Day 240, Monday

Woken at 5 by one of those horrifying weather alerts. Nothing to get you out of bed like an alarm blaring by your head. The first time I ever heard one of those, a tornado swept down the road, so I respect the warning.

Tried to get back to bed after feeding the cats, but a second alarm came an hour later. Gave up and got my hour of writing in before my energy flagged.

Had the day off from work, because storm days are South Florida’s version of snow days. TBH, it felt like the storm days when I was a kid and got to stay home from school. Obviously, I’ve been home from school for a while, but the lights are on and the flooding isn’t as bad in my town as it in others, so it was a nice break from the grind. One city reported 17 inches of rain overnight and power was knocked out for thousands; I’m grateful I didn’t have to deal with more than an alarm.

Day 241, Tuesday

Back to work and catching up on projects before meetings. Managed to get my laundry done between the rain storms.

Day 242, Wednesday

Had the day off for Veteran’s Day, but ended up having to take one of my mom’s cats to the vet. Luckily, nothing major, just a UTI, but there went my day.

Day 243, Thursday

Every fall for the last 5 years or so, I’ve hosted a high school class at the library and taught them how to do research. Because of covid, this year’s session was online and I had to adapt my resources to freebies only, since they won’t be allowed to visit the university. About 30 minutes before the class was scheduled, I started to feel the first warning signs of a migraine. Managed to keep it at bay with some advil and a cold pack, but it rebounded with a vengeance.

Day 244, Friday

Migraine all day. I took it easy because it was hard to look at a screen. Attended meetings and showed my face briefly when called, but not much energy to get involved.

Day 245, Saturday

Migraine peaked around noon and improved by 3pm. FINALLY. One of the weird side effects I get is uncontrollable hunger coupled with an upset stomach (fun), so I was starving all morning but also feeling nauseous. Good times. Anyhow, I was craving cake and went to my usual bakery, forgetting that it would be packed during lunch time because people keep eating in restaurants. It took less than 15 minutes to get to the counter, but I must admit, it felt riskier than anywhere I’ve been in the last few months. Hoping my mask/filter and the fact that I was there for less than the suggested time for exposure was enough.

Podcast recording in the afternoon, which was a real treat. For the curious, you can catch the minisode here.

Day 246, Sunday

Feeling more myself today. Caught up on sleep and spent the morning writing. It feels so good to be able to focus without pain stabbing at my head and neck.

Going to the oncologist tomorrow, hoping for some sense of direction.

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social distance diaries: days 226-232

in which a lot has happened and not much at all

Before we start…

Cases in Florida are rising at an alarming rate.

Every day, the numbers in the tri-county area are going up and Miami is getting closer to the kinds of numbers we were seeing in July and August. This gives me the same level of hopelessness I felt this summer. I hate it. Wear your masks, everyone.
And if you’re coming to Florida for the theme parks or the beaches, remember we’re open because our economy is based on tourism, not because it’s safe.

Day 226, Monday

A busy start to the week with another trip to the vet for Cookie Cat, this time to re-test for FIV. His last test was inconclusive and I need him to be clean before I can bring him home to live with my super delicate little flower of a girl kitty.

Worked on projects that were piling up now that one of my working groups is sort of done… I think. Anyhow, I’m in between tasks for that one so I get to catch up on everything else.

Day 227, Tuesday

Great news! Cookie Cat is clean! I’m not 100% ready for a new addition, but keeping him indoors is the best option for him and my mom already has one secret cat too many in her apartment. I already had a collar for him (was saddened when the first test came back inconclusive), so I ordered a tag to go with it. I need some more supplies to ready for his arrival since I retired Candy Bear’s bowls when he passed. He’s a sweet boy, so I’m hopeful that he’ll get along with baby girl (she has a grumpy face but a sweet temperament).

Day 228, Wednesday

Day 1 of an online conference… Not as enthused about this one as I was the last one I attended. And I’m on the planning committee (yikes). It’s kind of a mess IMO. The online format leaves a lot to be desired for this one. (some do online well, some don’t)

Day 229, Thursday

Underwhelmed by day 2 of the conference, so I spent most of the day writing and catching up on some much needed rest (migraine broke last night, so I was feeling good for the first time in days). Did some cleaning in preparation for Cookie Cat’s homecoming tomorrow. Fingers crossed
Also, recorded a short life update because it’s been months and I never bothered to upload the last one I recorded.

Day 230, Friday

Cookie Cat came home. It was an uneventful homecoming. Waiting to see how they react to each other.
Got my MRI results. My shoulder is fine but there was a concerning spot on the image. It’s likely a nonaggressive cartilage tumor, according to the radiologist’s report, but they recommend further study. I made an appointment for my PCP per the ortho’s recommendation but I’m feeling pretty low. Wondering if I should reach out to a specialist rather than wait.
Had the long-coming, inevitable political fight with my mom. She’s old Cuban. In Miami, that means one thing.

Day 231, Saturday

It was a rough night. Between the cats being too scared and intimidated by each other, I didn’t get much sleep. Add my anxiety about the MRI results and it was not a restful time. I woke up with a very stiff neck, soreness in my arm where the strain was aggravated by poor posture, and one heck of a migraine that made me nauseous for hours.
I puttered around the house, tidying and trying to encourage the cats to get closer. Not much luck to start. Squeezed in a 25 minute writing sprint to wrap up a scene, which leaves me with my most productive month of editing, clocking in at 30:32 hours.
It’s been a struggle to get into the headspace I need to revise this novel. It’s a romance with a heavy dose of angst leading up to a friends-to-lovers HEA, but getting to that HEA means I have to work through my own anxieties to find the mental space to write.
Every time I think I’m moving forward, something throws me off.

Day 232, Sunday

Happy first day of NaNoWriMo! I’m sort of participating as a rebel while continuing edits. Also told myself I would be more active in the community this year. We’ll see how well that goes, but if anyone wants to add me as a buddy, I’m @emperatrix.

Sleep was not had last night. The cats are still skittish around each other and Cookie Cat wants love but also runs away when I approach. Apparently, this is normal behavior for him. It’s going to take a while for him to be comfortable, but I REALLY need sleep. sigh.

All that to say, my weekend writing plans were all a bust, but I managed to wrap up a chapter.

Addendums

For the curious, I filmed a brief October recap/life update. It’s short because my connection can’t handle a massive upload, but such is the current state of affairs (I really miss the ludicrous speed of the university network). Also, filmed before the latest development in my health journey.

Finally, if you need something to listen to while dealing with the existential dread of the upcoming election, the latest episode of The Bluestocking Circle Podcast on Ella Enchanted is now available. I didn’t enjoy the book, but the movie was an experience.

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loves & latest: September 17, 2018

monday musings

Loves

Reads

Catwoman: Soulstealer (DC Icons Series) by Sarah J. Maas

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I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this series. A few months ago, I read Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu and really enjoyed it. The Icons series reimagines the history behind the characters, going beyond the usual origin story. You don’t need to know everything about the characters to enjoy the stories; this is a modern takes on classic characters that encourages new readers. To comics fans I say, “They’re worth a read.” I’ve heard doubts about the YA rating, but these are YA only insofar as the characters are young and not yet established in their roles. Selena is 17 when the novel opens, 20 throughout the rest of the story. Bruce is 19 in Nightwalker. I’ve yet to read Wonder Woman: Warbringer, but she’s next on my list. Sarah J. Maas does a wonderful job of imagining a backstory that doesn’t involve sexual abuse, which is a major win in my book. Her Selena is different, but well-developed.

Beauty

Sappho New Paradigm CC Cream in Light

The only thing that could make this product more perfect is SPF. It’s the most perfect color match I’ve found in a green beauty product, no scent, not stickiness, it dries matte and doesn’t oxidize. I LOVE IT!


Latest

Podcast

bluestocking-circle

Didn’t know I co-host a podcast? I do!

The latest episode of The Bluestocking Circle celebrates Garth Nix’s Sabriel. Minisode 13.5 announces the next work in our series. If you want to hear three lady nerds talk superheroes, give us a listen on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify.

Follow us @bluesoxcircle on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

loves & latest: August 6, 2018

monday musings

Loves

Reads

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Uprooted was one of my favorite books of 2017 and I was ecstatic when I learned that there would be another work in Naomi Novik’s re-imagining of Eastern European fairy tales and folklore. This one concerns a Rumpelstiltskin like story. It’s a dark, compelling story and one I’m intrigued to finish.

Sabriel by Garth Nix

An old favorite that I recently revisited, Sabriel is a classic and still perfect in every way. It is also the coming theme for the next episode of The Bluestocking Circle, so read up now!

Beauty

Medieval by Lipstick Queen

This has genuinely become my go-to lipstick for every day. It’s sheer and glossy with just the right amount of color to look natural and put together. I also find that the formula lasts long and does not dry out my lips – win-win!

Affiliate links provide a tiny stipend that supports the podcast.


Latest

Podcast

bluestocking-circleDidn’t know I co-host a podcast? I do! 

The latest episode of The Bluestocking Circle is on The Flash (CW). Our previous episode was on The Incredibles and Incredibles II. If you want to hear three lady nerds talk superheroes, give us a listen on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify.

Follow us @bluesoxcircle on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

loves & latest: April 23, 2018

monday musings

Loves

Reads

Finished the Veronica Speedwell mysteries and now I’m in that weird space where I can’t find a book that lives up… In the meantime, I’m trying to find the time to read Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick by Maya Dusenbery (because as a woman who has been dismissed, misdiagnosed, and chronically sick, I want all the support I can get).

Beauty

A follow-up:

A few posts ago, I gushed about how much I love the Ilia lip conditioner in Pink Moon, then I started to suspect it was causing some irritation. I stopped using it for a few weeks and wore it again last week. Suspicion confirmed, it makes my lips look like I’ve been out in the cold too long. Really dry and red around the edges. I’m debating whether I should return to Sephora or give it away. It had such promise.

Other things I’m loving:

My InstantPot! My mom gave me a mini and I’m loving the speed and efficiency it provides. Even just using the saute function speeds up my meal prep and saves me the extra time and heating costs. (Old Florida apartments were not made for climate change temperatures. My apartment is hot and the kitchen heats up like you wouldn’t believe. Needless heat? No thank you.)


Latest

Podcast

Minisode 8.5: Final thoughts on Star Wars/Spaceballs (and even Howl’s Moving Castle), favorites, and an announcementbluestocking-circle

In other news: The podcast is now available on Spotify!

You can find the episode on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts, or Google Play.

Video

April Update

All the things, and where have I been?

 

Monday Musings: Loves & Latest

monday musings

Loves

Reads

Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson

Part of reducing my consumption and learning to live simply is my desire to live a more sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle. I have a long way to go, but this book provides practical, tested advice from one of the top advocates of the Zero Waste Movement.

Beauty (aka. on my face)

Nothing new, but I am appreciating a nude pink lip now that the season is changing. Current rotation: MAC Mehr and Patisserie (obvs. not cruelty free or eco, but I’m not a purist), and Kosas Undone.


Latest

Media

Between writing and life, I shoved recording to the side, so no videos for the moment. Instead, I give you the latest installment of The Bluestocking Circle Podcast — lady nerds on popular culture.

I got to play host for Episode 7: Howl’s Moving Castle, so if you love Howl as much as I do, give it a listen. Follow us on twitter and instagram for updates and plenty of fangirling.

Monday Musings: Loves & Latest

monday musings

Loves

Reads

Howl’s Moving Castle

In preparation for the next episode of the Bluestocking Circle Podcast, I re-read and re-watched Howl’s Moving Castle and fell in love anew. It’s been some years since I consumed (hehe, Howl joke) either of these works and I adore them still.

Beauty

Ilia tinted lip conditioner in Pink Moon (Sephora)

I had some Sephora credit and decided to give this a try… it was well worth the impulse. The color is just the right amount of bright berry lip and it’s not too heavy or dramatic for a daytime/work look.


Latest

Podcast

The Bluestocking Circle Podcast Episode 6: Pushing Daisies

In which we discuss the right balance between fantasy and realism in romance, the rise and fall of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and the legal and ethical ramifications of drugged pies. All this and more as the Bluestockings discuss the TV series Pushing Daisies.

You can also listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Podomatic. Or follow us everywhere @bluesoxcircle

Videos

(so I like making weird faces…)

Moodboards

I made a board for the podcast and it is a thing of beauty 🙂

Monday Musings: Loves and Latest

I’m trying something new.

monday musings

Recent Reads and Loves

Mister Miracle by Tom King et al.

Comics that make me think, can’t get enough of them.

*affiliate links support the podcast with a teensy contribution.*

Updates

Podcast:

Videos:

podcast: Episode 4 | Persuasion

 

bluestocking-circleIn which we discuss the merits of sense vs. sensibility, consider the virtues of Austen’s gents, and have a lively discussion on “the marriage plot” and how Jane set the bar for happy-ever-after a little too high (ruining romance for all). All this and more as the Bluestockings share their thoughts on Jane Austen’s Persuasion and subsequent film adaptations.

WARNING: Spoilers galore! If you haven’t read the book or seen one of the adaptations, do so now! 

(Though, really, what are you doing here if you don’t know Jane!? – Gricel)

You can listen and subscribe on:

Reading Recommendations:

Works Referenced:

Other Readings:

Video Clips:

“Love Your Library” links will take you to WorldCat, where you will see a list of libraries near you that have the book. “Support the Circle” links will take you to Amazon, where your purchase will help support the podcast.

Enjoy! Our next episode on your thoughts on Persuasion and all things Jane, our recent favorites, and First Impressions for our next selected work will be released on December 15. 

Find us everywhere @bluesoxcircle and join the conversation.

Help us grow! Rate, Review, and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Podomatic.

podcast: Episode 3 – The 10th Kingdom

bluestocking-circleThe Bluestockings are back! And this time we’re dissecting that epic, made-for-TV fantasy mashup: The 10th Kingdom.

Where to listen:

(coming to Apple Podcasts soon! We’re working on it!)

Notes

In which inner children wage war with outer adults, the ethical implications of magic love towns are discussed, and the ladies are delighted by dancing trolls, singing mushrooms, and gossiping mice. All this and more as the Bluestockings discuss the TV miniseries The 10th Kingdom.

WARNING: Spoilers galore. If you haven’t seen the series, do so now!

Recommended reading and viewing:

Books and Comics:

Movies and TV Shows:

Other:

“Love Your Library” links will take you to WorldCat, where you will see a list of libraries near you that have the book. “Support the Circle” links will take you to Amazon, where your purchase will help support the podcast.

Enjoy! Our next episode on your thoughts on The 10th Kingdom, our recent favorites, and the First Impressions for our next selected work will be released on November 15. Find us everywhere @bluesoxcircle and join the conversation.