How could I sneak with this fine physique?

Greetings, friends. Greetings and hello and hello and also greetings.

I find myself with a bit of time to spare this evening, so I thought it was about time I posted an update. So to all those readers who have been weeping bitter tears into their pillows at night wondering when I would return, you may now rest easy. Your prayers have been answered.

So! An update:

Life as of late has mostly involved me in my apartment alternately teaching occasional lessons to private students online and watching old TV shows that remind me of my lost youth~*~*. Today was a marathon of Garfield and Friends, and prior to that, I revisited The Bob Newhart ShowPerfect Strangers, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Frasier, and a number of others, and I would’ve rewatched The Golden Girls as well, except that I’ve watched the series through so many times that I still have the majority of the jokes memorized. And I am 100% that person who can’t resist saying all the funniest lines along with the characters, so I don’t recommend ever watching Golden Girls with me if you want to enjoy the experience.

I also watched the final season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power on Netflix, and it was amazing and glorious and so very, unapologetically gay. Highly recommended. I don’t wish to spoil anyone, so I will simply include this magnificent photo of Scorpia and move on without further comment:

In writing-related news, there was a three- or four-day span a few weeks ago when I wrote from morning ’til night every day and cranked out around 25,000 words of Chosen. 

I finally had to take a break from this manic pace because I was losing sleep and forgetting to eat, but it was fun while it lasted. :P I’m hoping to get back into writing mode again soon, though hopefully I can manage to get some writing done while simultaneously also remembering to eat, sleep, shower, etc. #writerlife, amirite?

Not much else has been going on, alas. The highlights of my life at present include: (a) finding new ESL textbooks that I can download for free on the internet, (b) episodes of Garfield that involve The Ant Song , (c) discovering that Project Gutenberg has an ebook I want and thus I don’t have to pay $100,000 for it on the Amazon Kindle store, and (d) cinnamon toast. Cinnamon toast is great. <3

It’s a wild life I lead.

If anyone isn’t already following me on Twitter and would like to add to my legions of devoted fans (Twitter persists in saying that I have only 30 followers, but I’m sure that’s just a typo), you may find me here: @tjbaerwrites.

Teacher/Editor/Writer/Anything-Really for Hire

Greetings, friends!  It’s been awhile, eh? So, anything new or absolutely horrifying happen since I’ve been gone?

Yeahhhh. It’s been…a time lately, hasn’t it?  Fortunately, ESL teaching is one of those jobs that can  be done online, so I’ve been teaching my regular classes from the comfort of my cat-filled home for the past month or so. Not so fortunately, my company is laying off the majority of its teaching staff starting Tuesday, and I am part of that majority.

In an effort to keep myself afloat for the next few months, I’m once again offering private English lessons online, and I’m also available for writing and editing services as well, should anyone be interested in such a thing.

If anyone out there knows of someone who might be interested in studying English with a TEFL-certified instructor with 12+ years of experience, kindly direct them to my recently spiffed-up site:

http://nekoschool.wordpress.com

The site is in English and Japanese, so if you or your interested-in-studying-English friend is a Japanese speaker, hurrah! :D I’ll take students of any nationality, though, of course. :P

Anyway. I hope all of you are passing this bizarre time safely and comfortably. Any assistance in finding those willing to hire me in any capacity is greatly appreciated! <3

In which I walk around the couch a lot and try to eat healthier (also, Chinese!)

So, as it turns out, working from home when it’s freezing cold outside is pretty nice. :D

Unfortunately, this pleasant new development also results in me not getting much in the way of exercise, so I’ve had to improvise. In my previous job, I was both incredibly stressed and receiving a crapton of exercise (lifting children, chasing children, chasing and lifting children at the same time, etc.), and this led me to achieve a quite low weight and the general wan look of someone dying of the plague. While I am pleased to no longer have the plague, it would be nice to achieve some sort of middle ground here, hence my **NEW HEALTH RESOLUTION** (TM).

Yes, friends, every day after my morning lessons, I have been…

WALKING AROUND THE COUCH.

While this may not sound like a revolutionary health resolution, given the shoebox-like size of my apartment and the eyelash-freezing temps outside, it’s turned out to be quite a good method of exercise. I downloaded a step counter app on my phone, and my general routine is to turn on a vegan documentary or health talk on YouTube and then walk around my apartment at varying speeds while the cats race around in front of me, confused but also at least getting their own exercise in the process.

It’s been going pretty well, and I managed to hit 10,000 steps both yesterday and the day before. I’ve also, as a result of all these documentaries, been reassessing the quality of the food I eat, and have been transitioning away from Junk Food Vegan to Hopefully A Bit Healthier Vegan. My diet wasn’t terrible to begin with, but I frequently overuse salt, oil, and sugar, and…yeahhh, I should probably not do that.

Cutting out/reducing sugar has been the hardest, so I’ve been making a lot of juices in my blender – water + fruit, essentially (this is what juice is, for those who were blissfully unaware of the process) – and experimenting with the use of dates to sweeten things, a practice made possible by the fact that Aldi now carries dates. :D

I’ve also been studying the absolute beginner basics of Chinese, because I’m teaching Chinese kids and it would be nice to have some vague sense of what they’re muttering to themselves during our lessons. Is it, “Teacher, you are the best ever and I love you dearly?” Further studies will reveal the truth, I assume.

I’m actually finding that Chinese isn’t as impossible as I initially thought, primarily because I’m starting out by learning the basic-basics: the four (technically five) tones, the general grammatical structure (which is quite similar to English, funnily enough), and the basic pronunciation rules. I still know barely anything at all, but what I am learning is actually making sense, and that’s something I didn’t expect.

So, yes. My free time these days is occupied by cooking, eating, watching documentaries, learning Chinese, and walking around my couch. Just your typical day in the life of a stay-at-home cat parent and ESL teacher. And, of course, I’ve allowed for a great deal of Cat Snuggle Time, because what is life without snuggles? Tis no life at all.