edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2017-09-15 10:25 pm

three things make a post

1. Yuletide nominations close in 6 hours. Get yours in!

I nominated the following fandoms:

-The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay - Ammar ibn Khairan, Jehane bet Ishak, Rodrigo Belmonte, Miranda Belmonte (this is my perennial request that never gets filled, dammit)

-Catherine Asaro's Saga of the Skolian Empire - Rocalisa Qox-Skolia, Jaibriol Qox III, Kelricson Garlin Valdoria Skolia, Dyhianna "Dehya" Selei (because I still want a story about Lisi)

-Daredevil (Comics) - Karen Page, Elektra Natchios, Kirsten McDuffie, Rebecca Blake (because even though I got two awesome stories about ladies in a previous Yuletide, I always want more)

I'm sure I will be able to find some other fandoms of my heart if I feel like making additional prompts, but those were the three I wanted to make absolutely sure were there, and contained the characters I want to request.

2. I have completed the hiring process for Not the IRS. Yay! (Also my base pay-rate is up from last year. Double yay!) Now I just need to complete my continuing education requirements, and take the test to jump up a level in the internal skill classification scheme. I mean, I have been doing level two and three returns since my first year -- they are not especially hard -- but the computer's auto-matching system doesn't suggest me as an option for anyone over level one, and also level two employees get a minor bonus per completed return in the totally-not-a-commission compensation scheme whereas level one employees get nothing. Hence test.

3. The rental company's renewal and switch period ended on Wednesday, and open rentals began Thursday morning. This week has been kind of crazy with tours -- I have not talked so much per day in months -- and we had people start lining up outside the office at 8:45am Wednesday morning. (We rent on a first-come first-serve basis, and lease commitments/payments must be completed in person.)

My paycheck this week was almost literally twice the usual, because I got a huge commission fee -- this happens when somebody I took on a tour rents an apartment I showed them, so opening day presumably went well. :D I also got an unspecified supplemental payment which may be a general "congrats on working here for a full year" bonus. Or maybe not; there was no explanation on the paystub. *hands* I was very surprised when I checked my bank balance this morning, but pleasantly so, and my budget will now be much less stressful over the next couple months. I might even be able to donate a little to charity!
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2017-09-07 07:19 pm

various things make a post

1. We have started apartment tours at the rental office: Wednesday was the first day, with three scheduled tours. (We do not have model apartments, so our tours go to occupied units and we therefore schedule them in advance so as to provide tenants with a day's warning.) Nobody showed up for the first tour, which was amusing since we have received phone and email inquiries about two-bedroom units. The second tour, for a four-bedroom unit, got about twelve people, and the third tour (a six-bedroom unit) got so many people we had to split into two groups when taking them in to the actual apartment. That is par for the course at this time of year -- the multi-person units go fastest because there are fewer of them, and some are much more desirable than others.

2. I had my appointment this morning and left with a one-month prescription for a Celexa generic (20mg dose per pill), which I picked up this afternoon while buying groceries. I will start taking the pills tonight with dinner. The nurse practitioner will call me to check up in two weeks, and we will do an in-person followup in a month. (That is not actually scheduled yet since the medical group hadn't created her schedule that far in advance -- she is apparently a newish hire so they haven't set a fixed pattern for her yet -- but the office will call me to set a date once they know her availability.)

3. This evening, pushing forward with my surge of "oh god please motivation again soon???" I FINALLY put in my Not the IRS applications -- one as a tax preparer and one as a receptionist -- so that process is now in motion.

4. Oh! And I got my official acceptance letter from TC3 a few days ago. So now I need to call the admissions office to see if there are any additional hoops I need to jump through, or if I can skip directly to setting up an appointment with a student success adviser to discuss the quickest way to complete an AA degree, because yay trained monkey papers. *wry*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2017-08-29 10:08 pm

two things make a post

1. Tomorrow is annual employee evaluation day at the rental company. I escaped this circus last year since I'd only just been hired and there was no point in evaluating me after less than two weeks of work, but now I have to go downtown and have a fifteen-minute meeting/interview with our local manager, whom I have met all of... uh... twice, maybe? Possibly three times. Anyway, he is making us all fill out evaluation sheets about the other people we work with, and I am really bad at this kind of feedback, okay? Tell me how to do my actual job, and I will do it. But do not ask me to pretend I am in management and do management evaluations for you! *twitches, bites nails*

2. Tonight while we were out for the evening walk, Dottie surprised and attempted to chase not one but TWO skunks. Both times I was able to yank her away before the skunk in question sprayed more than a tiny warning trickle of stink, but seriously, what the hell dog, skunks are the LAST animal you want to tangle with. (...Unless the other animal is a porcupine. In which case, go with the skunk. But generally speaking, back the hell off and leave the skunk alone.)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2017-08-21 09:31 pm

5 things: eclipse, doctor's office, squash, rummage sale, and rental office

1. I totally forgot today was the eclipse -- I plead lack of sleep and also distraction (volunteering at the final day of my church's annual rummage sale) -- but fortunately I got my two sale rooms closed down by 2pm and was able first to see several pinhole projections other church members were using out on the sidewalk, and later to get a direct look through some glasses that Upstairs Neighbor E lent me while I was out walking Dottie.

It was pretty cool to see the moon take a bite out of the sun. :) It was also vaguely disquieting, because the sky went... not dark, you couldn't remotely call it dark... but noticeably gray. The color desaturated. Also, when Dottie decided that her midafternoon walk should end with a five minute relaxing lie-down in a sunny patch of grass, the direct sunlight was not nearly as warm as it should have been for that time of day and the ambient temperature. So, nothing dramatic, probably nothing I would have noticed if I hadn't been aware of the eclipse and therefore actively paying attention, but still. Pretty cool. :)

2. I called the doctors' office about getting a psychiatric evaluation/anti-depressant prescription, but was unable to make an appointment yet because I'm in a weird limbo where they're not sure if I count as a new or a returning patient, since my last appointment was apparently three years ago. The clerk who answered the phone took some information about my insurance and has sent an inquiry to their billing department. A representative should call me later this week, after which I will be able to schedule an appointment.

3. Three of my squash plants seem pretty definitively dead. The fourth (which was worst hit by the powdery mildew but seems to have escaped the wilting sickness that subsequently struck the other three) might be in the early stages of slow recovery. So I think I'll uproot the dead ones on Wednesday or Thursday and plant new seeds.

4. My church's rummage sale went pretty well, all things considered. I worked 12-4pm on Sunday, and 10-2pm today. The sale runs Saturday-Monday. Saturday is full-price, Sunday is half-price, and Monday is free with a donation box placed prominently at the exit. (We used to have Monday be 10-cent day, but that was immensely aggravating to everyone involved, so we swapped over to "free, but have you seen this donation box???" It turns out we not only save time this way, we actually bring in more money!) Monday is also the day we do preliminary breakdown, starting around noon -- first we start taking down a bunch of the shelving, and then we box everything up and cart it downstairs to the parlor so as to make things less inconvenient for the people hauling the unsold items away Tuesday morning.

(I think the unsold books go to the Friends of the Library book sale, but I wouldn't swear to it. The remaining fabric scraps probably go to one of the local sewing co-ops. I am also unsure what happens to the unsold linens and toys, though I think again there may be arrangements with various local charities. The rest... well, most of it goes to the dump. *sigh* But hey, it was going there anyway, and the sale does save an astonishing amount of stuff from being scrapped.)

5. Cornell classes started today, which meant that last week (and specifically Saturday) were the crush days for students moving back to Ithaca. And also students panicking and realizing they've forgotten to rent parking spaces. *wry* So the rental office was VERY BUSY -- in fact, Mom Boss and Aunt Boss came in to work from ~11am-4pm so we had four people in the office (usually Miss Cactus and I cover Saturdays alone), and that extra staffing was NECESSARY.

We will continue to be busy through... hmm... early October, probably? Here is why: A) people working out the glitches in their new apartments and returning their damage deposit inspection forms; B) the final parking rental rush; C) quarterly rent payments are due; D) people hurrying to pay for internet service after the free trial period ends; D) price listings for the 2018-19 year go up and we start apartment tours; E) current tenants get a couple weeks to renew or switch apartments before open renting starts; and F) open renting starts halfway through September.

But at least we're mostly done with key returns and sign-outs, we have the nice new folders for next year's leases set up, damage deposits and summer photographs are all done, and most of the giant packages in which people ship furnishings to themselves have arrived and been picked up. So that's something!
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2017-06-09 12:06 am

stuff done: Tuesday-Thursday

1. Took communal compost bin to the curb for pickup. (I seem to be the only person in both houses who remembers to do this. I am not exactly complaining about that, but I do wonder who, if anyone, would step up to the plate if I weren't here.)

2. Sliced two chicken thighs and baked them in balsamic dressing.

3. Began summer apartment photographs and turnover inspections at work, which is interesting.

4. Called my dentist to ask when I would be billed for my May 15th appointment. Apparently the office manager has returned and sent all the outstanding bills earlier this week, so I should receive mine on Friday. It's not that I especially WANT another bill, but I was even less happy about the prospect of an unknown bill hanging over my head indefinitely.

5. Bought a zester/grater at Target.

6. Saw Wonder Woman, which I enjoyed a lot! Quick impression: vague spoilers, I guess? )

7. Bought groceries.

8. Paid my monthly internet bill.

9. Recharged my bus pass.

10. Cooked the first of three Blue Apron meals. More details in this post (poll and general comments) and also this post (pictures and recipe).
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2017-06-06 09:25 pm

wherein Liz prepares to embark upon a culinary adventure... tomorrow

Today's entry in the 'weird things I have acquired from tenants' department: a Blue Apron box.

The tenant left for the summer and did not cancel their subscription quite fast enough, so whoops, one extra box arrived. Fortunately this particular tenant is generally on top of things, and upon receiving the package notification email, promptly called us to say they weren't in town and we should just make the food ourselves.

Mom Boss and Aunt Boss were not interested, and I wasn't sure the food would keep long enough for Miss Cactus to choose any on Thursday, so I just carried the box home myself. (The whole mile and a half. Exercise is good for you! *flops*)

The recipes are as follows: crispy catfish & spicy vegetable curry (with charred lime); seared steaks & salsa verde (with fingerling potatoes, asparagus, & radishes); and Persian-style chicken & crispy rice (with zucchini, currants, & lemon yogurt).

They all claim to take only 15 minutes of prep time. Considering one of them involves mashing garlic into a paste, and the other two involve making lemon or lime zest from scratch (wtf), I call bullshit. I mean, I am game to try these things! They sound tasty! But I am pretty sure they will take about an hour of prep time each, plus the listed cooking times, plus slop time for cleaning dishes (I don't have the biggest sink, nor do I have endless counter space), so... I think two hours total per meal. Blargh.

Anyway, I have put the things that need refrigeration in my fridge, while the others are sitting in the box on a table, and I will probably attempt either the catfish or the steak tomorrow evening.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2017-06-06 12:08 am

stuff done: Saturday-Monday

1. Started making paper fruit for a new counter display at the rental office -- by which I mean I chose line art from online, copypasted it into Word documents (and resized and tweaked until I had about six iterations per page), and printed it out on colored paper. Miss Cactus already started cutting some of them out and adding detail with thin-point Sharpie pens. I am not sure whether I will arrive on Tuesday to a finished display, or whether I will get to do some cutting and coloring myself during any slow periods.

2. Acquired a new houseplant. See, a tenant couldn't bring the plant with them to their new apartment, but felt bad throwing a living thing away, so they brought it to the office and asked if we wanted it. I said yes. I then transplanted it from the dinky plastic store pot into the slightly larger ceramic pot the tenant had been using purely as decoration because apparently transplanting is hard. *sigh* Anyway, hopefully I will manage not to kill it.

3. Put three nails into one side of my oldest bookcase, to hold parts of my paperclip collection. (Context: I string paperclips in chains of ten onto keyrings, 25 chains per ring, and then hang them up for display. All the paperclips must be 'found' items -- I can't purposely buy them -- which is why it has taken me literally twenty years to collect a thousand paperclips. Well. A thousand and three, as of Saturday.)

more items under the cut )

18. Called Vicky and caught up for an hour or so. :)

19. Chopped onions, summer squash, and a large bell pepper and made a batch of veggie sidedish. Tomorrow I intend to bake some chicken.

All in all, I think it was a fairly productive weekend.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2017-06-03 07:46 pm

stuff done: Saturday-Friday

1. Baked brownies for church coffee hour. Took them in to church.

2. Coffee hour clean-up. Over the past few years, I seem to have become the 'old hand' at this particular task -- probably because every time my hospitality team is up, I volunteer for it all four Sundays -- and I end up sort of haphazardly training a bunch of more sporadic volunteers how to run the sterilizer and where to roll up the vinyl tablecloths and stuff. I like feeling useful. :)

3. Washed two-thirds of my curtains, as well as my comforter and winter coat. I still have one load of curtains left, which I will hopefully get done tomorrow along with my regular biweekly laundry.

more items under the cut )

13. Attended my church's annual meeting, where we:

A) voted on the 2017-18 budget

B) elected people to the Board of Trustees and the Nominating Committee

C) voted on various proposed changes to our bylaws (which are, frankly, screwy -- they were written less as general guidelines and more as ultra-nitpicky sets of rules that weren't even internally consistent -- and which we have been rationalizing in bits and pieces for several years now)

D) voted on whether to adopt a covenant

E) voted on whether to issue a congregational statement of support for a New York state single-payer health care system proposal currently up for consideration in the state senate.

The budget passed (an attempted amendment to it did not), the bylaw changes passed (one attempted amendment was rejected as something that needs more study in the fall; another passed because it caught an error that had been overlooked in the editing process), the covenant was adopted (albeit with reservations on various parts), and despite a completely valid technical objection (namely, that we don't HAVE a procedure for issuing congregational statements about political issues and therefore shouldn't issue any such statements until we create one) the health care statement also passed.

I then stuck around to help clean up (there was a dinner attached to the meeting, you see) since nobody seemed to have organized an official clean-up crew and, well, that's something I know how to do! So I did it. *wry*

more items under the cut )

21. Snipped Hovera (a squash seedling) at its base so that Azer (its container-mate) could live and flourish.


I have also been kind of busy at work, since this is the time of year when students are leaving town (and thus vacating their apartments), and that generates a bunch of paperwork and ancillary organizational stuff -- particularly since it's also the due date for a whole bunch of quarterly rent payments for 2017-18 leases. We are also switching to a new key-logging system, which creates a minor extra layer of confusion when you have to figure out whether a summer subtenant should pick up their keys under the 2016-17 system (manual) or the 2017-18 system (digital).
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2017-04-20 10:46 pm

stuff done: Monday-Thursday

1. Survived tax season! \o/ My last day at Not the IRS was Monday, which I worked 9am-9pm. I finished the season with five returns still 'on hold,' only one of which was somebody I actually expected to come in to finish up. (The others either weren't required to file or made clear that they didn't intend to file through us for various reasons.) I think that's a pretty good record, all in all.

2. Photographed my plants and posted the pictures online.

3. Took my kitchen compost to the communal bin, and the communal bin to the curb for pickup. (It has not, in fact, been picked up. I am not wheeling the blasted thing back across the yard while it is still full and heavy, so it can just sit there until the compost company get their act together.)

4. Watered my houseplants.

5. Called my parents with some information that is relevant to planning their visit in a couple weeks.

6. Prepped for a graduate student housing fair thingy on Friday, which Miss Cactus and I are responsible for since Mom Boss and Aunt Boss (tentative nicknames) are both on vacation this week.

7. Went to the end-of-season dinner my Not the IRS office throws for ourselves every year, which was a lot of fun. We commandeer two tables at a local restaurant, order a bunch of appetizers to share around, and drink several pitchers of classic margaritas. :)

I also accidentally acquired a succulent, which I will attempt not to kill. See, it's tradition to buy a small nice gift for the manager and the receptionists, I doubled up as a tax preparer and a receptionist again this year, and one of the other receptionists didn't make it to the dinner... so I wound up with her gift (the plant) as well as my own (a pre-paid debit card). The plant itself is housed in a glass bowl with purple fake-amethysts for its 'ground,' and since amethyst is my birthstone, I am choosing to consider this a Sign of Favor from the universe at large. *wry*

8. Not really a 'thing done,' but I have ants in my kitchen again. *sigh* I have been squishing them when they get up onto the counters, but the ones on the wall and the baseboard I am mostly leaving alone for the poison in the little plastic traps (I always have four to eight ant traps on my counters and walls, because this happens every year) to kill slowly. I will have to buy some new traps on my next grocery run, though, because the poison does eventually get used up.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2017-03-19 11:15 pm

stuff done: Friday-Sunday

1. Wrote a tiny story (742 words) as an entry in the 2017 John Mosedale creative writing contest, which is run by the Loon (the annual newsletter/directory of the Star Island Protective League). I then ran it past Vicky for approval, since although the starting inspiration was my recent obsession with maybe purchasing a tiny fruit tree for my kitchen, it then veered into some stuff drawn from conversations I've had with her this past year, and I didn't want to just throw that out for anyone to read if she'd be uncomfortable with that. But she said it was cool, so I submitted it.

2. Shoveled my front steps and sidewalk AGAIN, because when I got home from work on Friday they were buried under a foot and a half of snow and ice, which had taken advantage of the lovely sunny afternoon to depart the roof en masse.

3. Baked brownies!

4. Helped Miss Cactus decorate the rental office counter for spring:

paper flowers and leaves on a black background . paper flowers and leaves on a black background

The leaves are leftover shamrocks from our St. Patrick's Day display, which I did not bother to photograph since it was not terribly exciting. Miss Cactus and I reused them rather than cut out entirely new leaves to go with the flowers. Most of the flowers are colored paper with a bit of Sharpie marker in the centers to make them look a bit livelier and less monochrome, but a few were printed on white paper and given unique coloring jobs, because we could and because arts and crafts are fun. :)

[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]

more items under the cut )

And now I think I will go to bed, because I am kind of brain-fried for no identifiable reason, and I figure sleep is more likely to help than staying up for another hour and trying to force myself into being productive.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2017-03-14 01:53 pm

snow day

I got sent home from work at 1pm, successfully caught a bus down the hill, and walked home the rest of the way. I'm not going to bother shoveling until later -- I already did one round this morning before going in to work, and I am tired.

I think I may take a nap. :)


ETA, 9:30pm

I slept very well, and duly shoveled the sidewalk (both east and north sides of the house) upon getting up. The wind has picked up dramatically, and it's still snowing, but at least I will have less to wade through in the morning.

And speaking of the morning...

Tompkins County closed roads for all non-essential travel at 3pm, and TCAT stopped service for the day around 5:30pm. They have not yet issued statements about their plans for Wednesday.

That means I don't know if I'll be able to get a bus up East Hill tomorrow morning. I really do not want to walk up the hill. That's a pain under the best conditions, and tomorrow it will likely be a nightmare since I'm absolutely sure most of the sidewalks on Buffalo St. won't be shoveled. (College students, you know?)

Unfortunately, as far as I know, the office is currently planning to open at the usual time, which means I will have to be there to open it, so...

I guess I will just have to get up at 6:30am and see whether I will be facing a nightmarish two-mile trek to and then up the hill of doom, or only a three-quarter-mile flat-surface slog to the #10 bus stop (or one mile, if I have to go to Green St. to catch a #30 or #51).
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2017-02-16 11:32 pm

stuff done: Wednesday-Thursday

1. Went to bed early on Wednesday, in an attempt to shake the not-quite-cold that I still haven't been able to get rid of.

2. Was still semi-sniffly when I woke up Thursday morning, and reluctantly rescheduled my blood donation appointment YET AGAIN, argh.

3. Rescued a spider from my shower and let it go in my front room. I am happy to coexist with house spiders, provided they stay OUT of my bedroom and bathroom, and never touch me unexpectedly. Startling me in the shower is not good for their life expectancy.

4. Wrote a bit more of my Enchanted Forest prompt ficlet, and also figured out (I think) a way to better tie the opening into the later action, so there's some groundwork for what the unexpected ambassadors have come to discuss. I have not yet attempted to implement that, because I continue to be constantly tired and kind of brain-fried. *sigh*

5. Wrote and mailed my birthday thank-you notes, which involved finally getting rid of the last of some tiny butterfly stickers I acquired over a decade ago (I have no memory of either why or how) and almost getting rid of some free bee-and-flower stickers I got from... probably the Nature Conservancy, in one of their periodic 'donate to us again!' mailings. (I get mailings of that nature from several charities, since I used to give money yearly to, uh, the ACLU, Amnesty International, the Nature Conservancy, Planned Parenthood, and the International Eye Foundation. I also get mailings from the US Methodists' charitable arm, since I donated to them once some years ago as Susan's Christmas gift, but they didn't have a 'donation in the name of' option so now UMCOR thinks I'm their good target instead of her. *deeper sigh*)

6. Took kitchen compost to backyard bin.

7. And, of course, the reason I'm so tired all the time is that I am working stupid hours at my two jobs. This week will end up being ~53 hours all told, and then I will probably be working both Sunday the 26th and Sunday the 5th so starting from Monday the 20th that's like... three weeks in a row with no days off, yikes. (Well, I may ask for Saturday the 4th off at the rental company, but that would be so I could chaperone a youth group thing at church so I wouldn't exactly call it a day of rest.)


The money is worth it. I think.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2017-02-08 11:00 pm

stuff done: Saturday-Wednesday

1. Repotted the section of Mom's erstwhile spider plant that I'd had sitting in water since Thanksgiving. (In summary, Mom was getting rid of a plant, and I said I'd take it. Unfortunately, while they were unpacking at my house, the pot fell out of the car, tipped upside-down, and the plant's various sections got completely disarrayed and squished. I put most of them back together, but this one section's roots were a dead loss and it's been in slow recovery since then. I am still unsure how the plant will do long-term, but I am doing my best to give it a fighting chance.)

more items under the cut )

17. Photographed the heart display in the rental office, downloaded the pictures to my computer, deleted some duplicates and hopelessly blurry ones, and have resolved to get some replacement photos on Saturday. (I will post them all eventually. They're just going to take a while to organize.)

18. Spoke with Susan on the phone for about an hour. :)

19. Got myself unstuck on my Cotton Candy Bingo fill -- if having the unexpected ambassadors interrupt the picnic doesn't work, have the picnic interrupt the unexpected ambassadors instead. *wry*


And now to bed, because I have another 12-hour shift on Thursday. *headdesk* (I need the money. The money is good. I can sleep in April.)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2017-02-04 08:20 pm

wherein Liz decorates even more hearts

We did not get the February counter display put up today, for two reasons. First, Miss Cactus decided we needed more hearts, and also that we should decorate a bunch of the red and pink ones so the ivory ones wouldn't be the only ones with fancy patterns and such. So we spent a good portion of the day decorating more hearts.

I drew some designs and pictures, I did a handful of conversation hearts (BE MINE, KISS ME, SWEET HEART, etc.), I copied a bunch of love-related quotes (and drew borders and designs around them), and I wrote 'love' (or some approximation thereof) in a whole bunch of languages. In some cases that was very simple. In others, it required a fair amount of internet research (*cough* Mohawk, Nahuatl, Navajo, Cherokee *cough*) and/or attempts to copy writing systems I am totally unfamiliar with. I made one extra heart asking people to please forgive my amateur calligraphy (done in Sharpie marker, may god forgive me), because while I think my attempts at Chinese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, Thai, Hebrew, Telugu, Farsi, Greek, Tamil, Cherokee, and Bengali came out more or less legible, I think they are not very aesthetically pleasing to anyone who actually reads those languages regularly. *sigh*

Anyway, we did finally finish the hearts! Miss Cactus began taping them to the counter around 5:00pm... and about fifteen minutes later, the power went out.

In fact, the power went out all over Collegetown. When I finally got through to NYSEG in our attempt to report the outage, we learned that a power station that serves large portions of east Ithaca had gone down, cause unknown, and a team was en route to investigate and hopefully fix things as soon as possible. We spent the rest of our shift fielding a bunch of upset phone calls, and making sure nobody was trapped in any of our buildings' elevators. Obviously taping hearts fell by the wayside.

Miss Cactus said she'd finish the design Monday morning, so I will get to see it in its full glory on Tuesday. :)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2017-02-04 12:08 am

stuff done: Friday

1. Took my beef experiment out of crockpot, packaged it, and put it in the freezer.

2. Withdrew cash to pay for a haircut today and laundry next week.

3. Haircut, yay! (Then I came home and took another shower to wash out the little prickly trimmings that always get everywhere.)

more items under the cut )

9. Continued adding words to my current Cotton Candy Bingo fill/request ficlet for [livejournal.com profile] wistfulmemory. The new approach is working much better, I think, but it's still not anywhere near finished.

I think once that's done, I will set aside my remaining three Cotton Candy Bingo squares (though I have outlined and/or partially written ficlets for two of them) and work on my FandomTrumpsHate auction fic... assuming I will have any time and mental energy left over before March arrives and hopefully brings a bit of sanity before April takes it all away again. *wry*


And now to bed, because I have to be at the rental office at 10am Saturday morning. (Six days of work this week, UGH UGH UGH, for ~47 hours total. But I need the money...)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2017-01-28 11:41 pm

wherein Liz decorates hearts

One thing Miss Cactus likes to do is decorate the rental office's package counter (and sometimes our cupboard doors) with seasonally appropriate displays. This autumn, we put up a swirl of colored leaves. Currently we have a gentle fall of snowflakes. (We also had strings of paper Christmas lights on the cupboards in December.) Next week we're going to put up a Valentine's display, but her plans for the arrangement are kind of elaborate so we actually made the hearts today.

(Saturdays are very slow, which is how we get away with this much extraneous labor.)

About two thirds of the hearts are either plain red or pink, but for the remaining third, we got a little fancy. Miss Cactus adopted a strategy of drawing patterns over an entire sheet of paper and then cutting hearts out afterwards. I got a little more artisanal and decorated a full sheet individually. (We also added some individual touches to some of the hearts cut from full-sheet designs, since one pattern came out a little plain and needed some jazzing up, but I didn't photograph those.)

I find this sort of artsy-craftsy work very soothing. It's nice because you don't have to decide on any grand artistic vision -- you know exactly what you are doing, and what you are doing is decorating paper hearts -- but you can still have a lot of fun within those constraints. :)

The photos below are my initial designs, and then the final versions after I decided some of them were a little plain and added more colors.

images under the cut )

Our tentative plan for March, incidentally, is raindrops and rainbows over crocus and snowdrops. We will add more flowers as the weeks go by, which should keep us going strong through May. We may need a new theme in June, assuming we're both still working there by then.

[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2017-01-09 09:47 pm

experiments with cook-a-meal delivery services

One of the tenants of the rental company I work at forgot to cancel their HelloFresh subscription over winter break, and when contacted said the office staff should just make use of the meals instead. So on Saturday, Miss Cactus and I split the three items from that week's box: she took two (zucchini flatbread with stuff on, freekeh soup with sweet potatoes) and I took one (winter veggies and brown rice).

All ingredients except salt, black pepper, and cooking oil are provided. The instructions are basically clear, but this particular recipe really needed one additional line saying something to the effect of, "Start the pan sauce immediately after you put the vegetables in the oven to roast," because as it was, I got the rice and the vegetables to turn out at approximately the same time (the rice ran a little long), but finishing the sauce took me an extra twenty minutes. *headdesk*

As I am not a vegetarian, and wasn't entirely sure how the meal would come out, I also sliced up one chicken thigh and baked it with a balsamic dressing marinade while I was cleaning and prepping the vegetables -- I wanted to make sure I'd have at least one thing I'd enjoy eating. This proved helpful, since chicken tastes fine even cold but the rest of this meal really needs to be hot or the flavors get noticeably unappetizing; I kind of forced myself through the last few bites as it cooled off. (It was definitely tasty when hot, though!)

Other thoughts: 1) This supposedly serves two people; I think it serves three, and portioned accordingly. 2) I do not need to work with fresh herbs ever again. Yeah, they bring more intense flavor, but they are just way too much work to be worth the reward. 3) I totally cheated and did not bother cutting up an entire lemon for two squeezes of lemon juice; this is why I keep a bottle of lemon juice concentrate in my fridge. :D

pictures and some more details under the cut )

[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2017-01-07 11:47 pm

stuff done: Wednesday-Saturday

1. Recharged my bus pass.

2. Deposited my semi-annual mutual fund dividend check, which is more welcome this year than in some others.

3. Crossposted my remaining December three-sentence ficlets to AO3 and updated my fanfic directory posts through January 1.

4. Dumped a dead houseplant and cleaned its pot. I am sad about the plant, but not too torn-up -- I rescued it from Vicky about fifteen years ago, I never successfully identified its species, and it was always kind of finicky. (There was a reason Vicky was throwing it out, after all.) I figure it had a good life and that's all any of us can really ask.

more items under the cut )

13. Finished reading The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution by David Wootton, which I need to return to the public library ASAP as it's now several days overdue. The book is well-written and engaging (it could, perhaps, do with more diagrams), but slightly odd to read because it's only half the history the title led me to expect; the other half is a vehement argument against a school of thought (relativism) that I have never personally encountered in this field of study, and which seems to me self-evidently ridiculous in its strong form, but which has apparently become the mainstream in history of science over the past couple decades; hence why this history is 'new'.

I suspect I have been insulated from this debate, despite my perennial interest in the history of science, because my dad is himself a historian of science and technology and he also thinks that the relativist school of thought is barking too far up the wrong tree. I should probably go read a book from that school just to ensure I am getting both sides of the debate in their own words, though I have a feeling I will still end up thinking it's wrongheaded. The big-name text from that school seems to still be Leviathan and the Air-pump by Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, even though it's over thirty years old and has been extensively criticized on multiple fronts, so. Maybe that will be my next book to cart around and read bits of on busses and when bored at work, if I don't end up throwing it across a room in exasperation.

more items under the cut )

And now to bed. :)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2016-12-17 11:05 pm

stuff done: Tuesday-Saturday

1. Finished my NYS tax training and renewed my NYTPRIN for 2017. Yay!

2. Bought and wrapped Mom's Xmas present.

more items under the cut )

12. Finished and posted my Yuletide fic. \o/
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2016-12-15 10:30 pm

Liz's continuing adventures in the world of commercial tax preparation

As of this afternoon, I am fully registered for the 2017 tax season: I have completed my federal continuing education requirements, I have completed my state education requirements, I have renewed my PTIN (preparer tax identification number), I have renewed my NYTPRIN (New York tax preparer registration identification number), and of course I have been officially hired back by Not the IRS since mid-September.

The only thing left is the second half of the internal company skills training, which has not yet been scheduled. Sometime in the next week I should get an email telling me when the next in-person meeting is, and how to access any related online components. Then I will probably have to negotiate for alternatives, because my rental company job has long hours that are incompatible with evening training sessions, and I'm going to be in NJ for large portions of the time between now and Jan. 1st. *sigh*

Being a tax preparer is kind of a pain. But you know, I do kind of like the work (helping people! solving puzzles! doing math!) so I suppose it's worth the annoyance for now. *wry*