House of Entropy

1. The kids finally declared that they want separate bedrooms. Fair enough. But because our house is TINY, this necessitates us remodeling half the basement.


We’ve been getting bids for a week, now. (And by “we” I mean J has called all the contractors, made all the appointments, and talked to each guy when he shows up. You know. “We.”) Step the first will be to put in drain tile and a sump pump to stop the annual spring leakage in that corner. After that the contractor of our choosing will frame out two rooms, insulate, and drywall the spaces.

They will be odd little rooms, but perfectly suitable for the storage and pet space we need.

2. I spent some time this week cleaning the garage and the shed. Neither of them was in a particularly usable state, and I was tired of it. Now they are each 80% clean, and we have a plan to get rid of a number of items.

3. We got a new dishwasher this week. Our house does not have an in-cabinet dishwashing machine. We instead use a rolling, portable, half-size dishwasher. We … we rather abuse the poor things. In nine years, we’ve run two right into the ground. They are just not MEANT for a family of five! So, we’re on the third.

Eventually, at some long-distant future point, we will have the kitchen remodeled. I fully intend to put a dishwasher in at that time.


Minnesota State Fair!

The Minnesota State Fair starts today!

I have grown to love the State Fair. As a younger adult, I didn’t see the point. I thought it was hokey and fake, full of smarmy self-righteousness and provincial smug superiority.

In hindsight, that opinion was entirely about me. About my feelings of not fitting in of being judged harshly, of my suspicion that friendliness and kindness were set-ups for crual pranks, about my conviction that I couldn’t accomplish worthwhile things.

These days I love the State Fair.

I’ve grown into understanding that it is some of humanity at our best. It truly is the Great Minnesota Get-Together. People from all of the state and therefore from all over the world are at the fair. People of all ages participate in the fair, children to the elderly. There’s a genuine joy in the traditional and the modern, a celebration of continuity of place that looks forward to the future.

Yeah, I’m kinda a fair booster these days.

It’s raining right now.

We’re going to the fair anyway.



Hey, White Americans. We Need To Talk.

Ferguson from my timeline.

Photojournalist Ryan Schuessler’s Twitter.

Ferguson reported by Al-Jazeera.

Ten Things White People Can Do About Ferguson Besides Tweet.


Couldn’t have lost to a better work, aka, the Hugo Awards

The 2014 Hugo Award Winners were announced last night.

Queers Dig Time Lords lost for Best Related Work to Kameron Hurley’s utterly fantastic We Have Always Fought: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle, and Slaves’ Narrative.

I really couldn’t think of a way to be more pleased about losing than this.

Overall, women, queers, and people of color basically ruled the Hugo wins.

Vox Day lost his category completely, ranking below No Award.

Our genre fiction is not changing; it has changed.

Here comes the future.


No one talks about injury rehab

So, about fifteen months ago I started working on prepping to run a 5K. I signed up for one, I registered, I worked on my running four days a week. I did shorts runs in my hilly neighborhood, I did a longer run every ten days or so. I actually DID run 5K, in my neighborhood. I was also lifting weights two or three days a week. It was the fittest I’d ever been in my entire life.

And then I had massive hip and knee pain. I couldn’t run. I could barely walk. Sitting hurt, standing hurt, lying down hurt. I stopped all my exercising and just did gentle stretches. I swam a couple days a week. I saw a PT, and got some helpful exercises to do. I worked on them.

And then the nonsense with my throat started. I had two surgical biopsies. I was on tendon-destroying antibiotics. I was having trouble eating, swallowing, and sleeping. Working out was not super-high on my priority list.

But I missed it. I really, really <em>missed</em> it. I <em>like</em> exercise. It makes me feel good. It helps me sleep better. It makes me less high-strung. It helps make up for the terrible hours I work and the lack of sleep in my life.

In the last few months, I have been trying to get back to working out. It’s hard. None of the fitness and exercise books TALK about this. No-one talks about how fucking depressing it is to be unable to do things you could do a few months ago. No-one talks about reasonable progressions back.

I mean, sure, physical therapists do. But we have this idea that PT is for “real” injury, or disability. And we stigmatize it.

Also, PT COSTS MONEY. And time. But mostly money.

Anyway, I am cautiously saying that I am off the injured reserve. I have been lifting weights twice a week. I have been walking a little bit each day. I have been doing yoga and stretching a few times a week. I ran a half-mile last week in my neighborhood, and a half-mile this morning.

I think if I am not stupid, and don’t overtrain again, I should be able to sustain this level of exercise.

That makes me really happy.



In memoriam, Nick Postiglione

Nick Postiglione died this past week. His funeral is this morning. I’m at work, and can’t go. But I sent a letter to his family.

Always go to the funeral. If you can, always go to the funeral.

I was acquainted with Nick through his job at The Source Comics and Games. Nick welcomed me. He welcomed my kids. He treated my toddlers with grace, friendship, and respect.

Nick was an ambassador for comics, for fandom. He was also, as far as I could ever tell, a genuinely good human being.

My condolences and sympathy to his family, friends, and co-workers.


Adulting Achievement Unlocked

This weekend I changed a flat tire!

I was driving home from work after midnight, and all of a sudden it sounded as though a helicopter was flying low over my car. I saw a gas station up ahead three or four blocks, and pulled slowly in.

Yep. Tire totally flat.

I set the jack and raised the car, then tried to get the nuts off the wheel. I … could not loosen the nuts. So I went into the gas station to see if they had the number of a tow company who could come help. The gas station attendant did not, but, lo! Inside the station was a state patrol officer. He walked with me back to my car to see if he could help. He was a strapping man, 6’4″, young, visibly fit. With great effort he loosened the nuts on the tire.

A half-hour later, I was on my way again.

As far as adulting goes, this was easy. It was summer, not raining, not freezing, I was in a gas station parking lot and not on the side of the highway, and there was a person there to help me. I got home around 1:30 in the morning, and all was well.




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