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.

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Interlude: Basic Chinese phrases and some whining in Japanese (and English!)

INTERLUDE! In which I demonstrate some truly awful Chinese and a brief whining tantrum in both Japanese and English.

Also, to give this the authentic feel of a Chinese film badly dubbed into English, I have arranged for my video editing program to randomly refuse to sync my lips to my words. So very much to enjoy in this video…!

Vegan Vlog 21: Vegan Thanksgiving, The Good Place, and Darla vs. the Christmas Tree

Today, I discuss such riveting topics as my failures at time management in online ESL lessons, what I ate for Thanksgiving, queer representation (or lack thereof) on “The Good Place,” and Darla’s new gnawing target, the Christmas tree. Also, I talk about grocery shopping, because I work from home now and grocery shopping is apparently a major highlight of any day.

Bonus (?): Photos of my Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner~~

Trader Joe’s Turkey-less Roast, cooked up in the oven with veggies and veggie broth.
Ma meal: Salad, stuffing, corn, roasted veg, turkey-less loaf, baked potato, and cranberry sauce.

 

Pumpkin pie mush with runny coconut whipped cream. :D

VEGAN VLOG 18: Sadness in the Japanese Food Court and a review of the Beyond Burger

In which I venture to the Japanese supermarket and experience Great Sadness, then discover a wealth of vegan items closer to home + try the Beyond Burger. Also, miso ramen and vegan tonkatsu! Kind of.

In which there is a new cat, new digs, and general fawning over Jodie Whittaker

So…yeah. It’s been a while.

To all those impatiently tapping their feet, looking at their watches, and saying, “What kind of time do you call this, then?” I can only offer the excuse that I’ve been buried under piles of crazed and lovable children, struggling to complete my MFA, and spending the rest of the time sleeping.

The good news, however, is that I’ve actually managed to complete my MFA with a Hermione-worthy GPA (insert smugness and general academic fatigue here), and my tenure as a teacher of preschoolers is wrapping up in favor of shifting gears to writing, editing, teaching, and (hopefully) recovering somewhat from my eternal and unceasing state of exhaustion.

In any case, because so very much has happened since my last update sometime in the Mesozoic Era, I offer you updates now in the form of a handy list:
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In which I return for a brief moment to share news of my continued survival

Greetings, friends and tumbleweeds. As it seems my last post was in the bygone days of September 2016 (a simpler time), I thought it might be a fine plan to make another post just to assert the fact that I am still among the living (just not among the living who have time for frequent blog updates).

So, yes. I LIVE!

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Not much else can be said of the last year or so, except that I’ve been working hard imparting knowledge and sarcasm to the two-year-olds in my class, making my way bit by bit through an MFA program so I might one day aspire to my dream job of Cool College Professor With Old-Timey Blazer (or Roger Radcliffe-style vest), and fighting off various bouts of bronchitis and other ailments granted to me by my lovable but germy students.

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I’ve also, it must be said, been making incremental progress on my gay fantasy epic, Chosen, restructuring and rewriting and cramming as much glorious gay into the story as I possibly can. Lucas in Book Two, for example, now has two moms (both of the awesome variety), and his major love interest is a gangly, awkward guy from school instead of Random Pretty Girl #5. Lucas has always been bisexual in the land of subtext, but it’s nice to bring it firmly into the realm of the textual via a dorky/awkward school romance that simultaneously enriches his life and puts it in horrible danger. (That’s the way we do things in Chosen-land.)

And, of course, the main character in Book One is trans, which has been fascinating to explore from the perspective of a society where (a) being LGBTQ+ is no big deal due to the existence of queer gods and goddesses in their primary religion, and (b) magic exists, so it’s technically possible (though highly difficult/expensive) to alter one’s body to better align with gender identity.

So, yes. Life at present consists of work, school, and sporadic bursts of writing, hopefully culminating in eventual financial security + a finished and not-awful manuscript. And until then, I’ll try to check in here from time to time, hopefully with something interesting to say (though no guarantees on that front).

Until next time~~~~~!

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Regarding Pima County and where I’ve been all this time (hint: not in Pima County)

So, I’ve just discovered that my second book, Following Grandpa Jess, is available to borrow from the Pima County Public Library in Pima County, Arizona:

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Pima County Library: Following Grandpa Jess

It’s not available in Chicago, sadly, or anywhere else that I’m aware of, but Pima County residents, enjoy!

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In other news, regarding my lengthy and unexplained absence from the interwebs, I’m afraid I’ve been somewhat distracted as of late due to (a) getting a new job, and (b) finally beginning to completely bankrupt myself pursue my MFA in Creative Writing. The good news is that both endeavors are going well (though the compensation received for one in no way makes up for the bottomless pit of debt the other is going to plunge me into), but the bad news is that I’m sadly left with very little time or brain for the composing of blog posts, hence my silence in recent months.

I’ll do my best to pop in from time to time and offer up rambling and borderline incoherent gif-filled posts, so you can at the very least look forward to that. I’ve also been doing a lot of work on Chosen as of late, and I remain confident that it may be ready for publication at some point between today and the end of time, space, life, the universe, and everything. So. More things to look forward to.

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Right. So. On that note, I must return to my teacherly duties. Wishing you all a pleasant first day of September, and I hope our paths will cross again~*~*~*~*~

 

Star Trek, sexism, and my time travel wife

After another lengthy, unplanned hiatus, I have returned~~~!

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To the millions upon millions of clamoring fans demanding to know what I’ve been doing with myself these last two months, I offer the following:

1. I’ve been spending much of my time working, performing my duties as a Financially Challenged ESL Teacher by teaching my students valuable lessons about life in America, drawing stick figures to illustrate grammatical points, and answering questions like, “What does ‘be’ mean?” “What’s the difference between ‘underway,’ ‘ongoing,’ and ‘in progress?'” and “What is circumcision?”

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In which the dreadful consequences are revealed

It would seem that my six-hour journey yesterday was not without consequences.

Yes. For you see, the sad truth of the matter is…

I’m sick.

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On the plus side, at the moment it’s just a bit of a sore throat plus a general overwhelming feeling of you’re sick you’re sick you’re sick just in case you forgot for a minute HEY you’re sick…but as I just took three sick days last week due to a stubborn bastard of a migraine, this is less than good.

Teaching, alas, is one of those professions where the ability to speak is somewhat integral, and in my current state, I can only talk for three or four minutes before my throat turns into a gritty stretch of desert highway and I suddenly start sounding like a pack-a-day blues singer on his death bed.

In addition, being self-employed, I’m perpetually only one paycheck away from financial ruin, particularly around the holidays. So, naturally, my body decided that now would be a hilarious time to come down with a nasty cold, because my body is kind of an asshole sometimes.

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Seen above: My body, being an asshole. Or Vader-somebody. I’m always getting those two mixed up.

On the plus side, I had the whole day today to rest and recuperate, so perhaps a Glorious Miracle will occur and I’ll wake up tomorrow 100% healed, HALLELUJAH!

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Or, more likely, I’ll wake up tomorrow and still feel like death, but I shall keep an optimistic attitude and trust in the power of positivity – as well as the gallons of Emergen-C I’ve been drowning myself in since my symptoms began this morning.

Think fondly of me, my friends, and should you have any spare healing vibes, do send them in my direction. If anyone needs me, I’ll be wrapped up in a sweaty cocoon of blankets, watching I Love Lucy and dreaming of a day when I no longer feel crappy, world peace is achieved, no one goes hungry, universal equality is the way of things, and each and every one of you goes and likes my Facebook page.

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For more on why doing so is in your best interest, check here. And then go like my Facebook page, because why not?

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Why not indeed.

/questions for the ages

Because procrastination isn’t just for weekends.

Good morning, friends. I have only a limited time between finishing breakfast and needing to be on my way out the door, so naturally I’ve chosen to use this time to write a blog entry. Is this a good idea?

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Yeah, probably not. Let’s do it anyway.

So, as it happens, I don’t actually have much to say, which I admit may make writing a post somewhat challenging. I’ve never let that stop me before, however, and today shall be no different…!

So. Yeah. Stuff.

1. Still working on the editing and rereading of Chosen. It’s going well, though I do find myself devising a Chosen Drinking Game as I go through it. For example, if Kaine frowns or scowls, take a drink. If Mr. Defrin puts his hand reassuringly on someone’s shoulder, take a drink. If Silas is a little shit, take a drink. Etc. Helps pass the time (and increases bathroom breaks by approximately 500 percent).

2. The weather in Chicago has finally decided to cooperate and have a go at not being awful and depressing, which I’m enjoying.

3. Preparations for my mother’s visit have come to a bit of a standstill, and predictably, I’m leaving most of what needs to be done until the morning before I pick her up at the airport (i.e., tomorrow). Why deal with cleaning and tidying and prepping when Future Me can take care of that in a stress-filled tornado in the wee hours of morning?

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And, on that note, I’d better be off. Time to get ready for another day of teaching folks to speak Amurican. ‘Til next time, y’all.