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The Joy of Having Coworkers Who Get You

Gift Basket Chips Rum

Gift Basket Chips Rum

I wasn’t going to do a blog post about this, but I guess it’s time to stop pretending it’s not a major milestone in my life.

Today was my last day of the job I have had for 5½ years and I was feeling pretty good about it. Over the last year, this job had started sucking the life out of me and frankly made me miserable, so this morning I was feeling relieved and ready to tell it all to ‘bite me’ before I left later in the day.

But then my coworkers (who are all great people and in no way responsible for me not liking my job) went and got me a gift basket that proves that, even though we never had much in common, they know me pretty well. Instead of getting me one of those standard nice gift baskets with wine and fancy chocolate, they took the time to put together a basket with crispy snacks and a bottle of rum and Coca Cola, because they remembered I prefer drinks over wine or beer. Personally they all enjoy fine dinners and wine, but they know I’m a basic bitch and they have never tried to change that.

So instead of feeling happily spiteful, I’m now filled with nostalgia and affection for these people who will no longer be part of my day-to-day life…

Damn them.

 

 

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It’s My Birthday! And I’m… Writing a Blog Post?

Burger Shack Cheeseburger

In case the headline didn’t give away the big secret: It’s my birthday today!

My body is turning 27 and my soul is turning 80. You will likely hear me yell at the neighbor’s kids later, before I go to bed at the usual time at 9.30 pm.

There will be no party, no cake and – thankfully – no singing of happy birthday. My plan, in its entirety, is to go get takeaway food and eat it in the park if the weather stays nice.

This is, of course, because of Corona. Denmark is slowly lifting the lockdown, but it’s still illegal to gather more than 10 people at a time and the guidelines ask you not to be around other people at all unless necessary. I’m a good girl, so for more than a month I have only been talking with my boss, my mom and the lady at the pharmacy, because my doctor keeps prescribing me new drugs (I’m old, remember?).

Obviously I’m going a little crazy.

The most engaging conversation I had in all of April was with the plumber I let into my parents’ place.

We talked about sewage sludge.

I miss people. Twitter is just not the same, though I did wake up to find that Tamora Pierce had retweeted one of my silly owl book photos. That’s kind of neat. I also had a longer conversation yesterday about the cheeseburger I’m going to have later today and it reminded me that my birthday still has its bright spot. That cheeseburger is going to be on my mind all day and anyone who tries to convince me that I should treat myself to something nicer on my birthday will be bitten.

I need that cheeseburger.

Where was I again…? Oh yeah, birthday. I’m rather disappointed, really. I don’t care that none of the two other people in the office has wished me a happy birthday, but I had expected my favorite online bookstore to at least have sent me a discount code to celebrate. I have 18 books on my to-buy list and it’s my birthday, damnit!

I should probably go on Facebook and check if anyone has wished me a happy birthday or if they all think I’m dead because I haven’t been on Facebook for 4 months… But even if I’m dead, it’s still my birthday, so they really have no excuse.

Am I rambling? I might be rambling. What’s up with you guys today? Any wild plans? Do they include food? They should include food.

Sigh I’m going back to dreaming about my cheeseburger now.

UPDATE: I got my cheeseburger.

Burger Shack Cheeseburger

 

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Get Books, Not Corona

Corona Books

Books Corona png

If there was ever a time to barricade yourself in your house with enough book to fill a library… it is now.

I think most of us had a “Oh shit, this is actually real, isn’t it?” moment last week with regards to the Corona pandemic. Until then, I hadn’t really thought much of it except to wash my hands a bit more thoroughly, but when the Prime Minister of Denmark held a press conference Wednesday night saying all schools and non-essential public workplaces would be shut down for two weeks starting Monday, I did start to pay attention.

I did not, however, rush down to supermarket to hoard toilet paper.

Perhaps because I’m a natural hoarder and had just bought three packs the day before, but still…

All kidding aside, I think everyone who starts panic-buying far more stuff than they need and empties the shelves for everybody else should be kicked somewhere it hurts. Repeatedly. I had really thought Danes were more sensible than to do such things, but apparently I was wrong. Somebody even broke into the Corona ward at a hospital and stole large amounts of hand sanitizer and face masks.

Seriously?!

While I do take the threat seriously and follow all the advice the government sends out in order to slow down the spread of the virus, I do think my countrymen need to calm down and remember that Denmark went into lockdown to prevent the situation from getting out of control, not because it already is. And rushing into overcrowded grocery stores is most definitely not the way to stay safe…

I know the situation around the world is far more serious than where I live, not only because of more people having caught the virus, but also because many people risk losing their jobs because the companies they work at bleed money, or not being able to pay rent because they don’t get paid while quarantined.

Personally I’m very privileged in that regard. Not only can I work from home, I would also still get paid if I got sick. That’s a common thing in Denmark, but I know most people around the world aren’t as lucky.

The only way I have really gotten hit by the crisis is that my trip to Poland got cancelled. I was supposed to go to Witcher School again next week, but the organizers cancelled the event just hours before Poland chose to close their borders. I’m bummed that I’m not going, but cancelling was the only sensible thing to do.

But currently both the news and social media are filled with doom and gloom, so I will look on the bright side now. And the bright side is:

Books.

Having to stay in, not seeing friends or going to concerts or to the cinema, sucks and most of us are probably already going stir-crazy. But the good thing is that it’s the perfect excuse to make a nest of blankets and read as many books as you possibly can while pretending the world isn’t going a little crazy.

Hopefully everyone have a huge TBR pile to get through. If not, we live in the kind of wonderful world where you won’t have to leave your home to get new supplies of books. And you don’t even have to rely on a working mail service with ebooks and audiobooks.

So really: Wash your hands, stop obsessing over the news, and go read some books.

Stay safe!

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Don’t Listen to Terry Pratchett Audiobooks at the Gym

Good Omens Audiobook Saxo

Good Omens Audiobook SaxoI don’t normally listen to audiobooks. I have nothing against audiobooks – hell, I wish I had the attention span to listen to audiobooks, but I’m simply too ADD to pay attention if I don’t actively have to participate in what’s going on. I will listen attentively for about two minutes and then I will start thinking about penguins or something, and before you know it, we’re at chapter 17 and I have no idea what’s going on.

However, I have recently joined a gym.

Don’t worry, I’ve not suddenly become more enamored by health than by laziness. It’s simply getting to be that time again where I’ll soon be going to Poland for another round of Witcher School, and I need to get in shape if I want to survive it with just the tiniest bit of my dignity intact. Anyway, this post is about audiobooks and not exercise.

As mentioned, I don’t normally have the attention span for listening to audiobooks. But the same ADD that makes it hard for me to listen to audiobooks on a normal day also makes being at the gym mentally exhausting. An hour of my mind being idle is far more bothersome than almost killing myself lifting weights. In the past, I have read ebooks on my phone while on the treadmill, but after I realized that the Premium membership I had to my favorite online bookstore also allowed me to listen to audiobooks for free, I figured that might be a better option (it’s hard to scroll through an ebook while lifting weights).

I looked through the selection and found Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Since I have been wanting to reread that for a while, it seemed like the perfect choice, in case I got distracted and missed parts. It’s easier to keep up when you already know the story.

But I should have considered one thing: Terry Pratchett’s books are really funny, and people who grin while exercising belong in a madhouse.

In my defense I managed to keep it together – until we got to the part where there’s Bohemian Rhapsody lyrics injected in the text and the dignified British narrator suddenly had to go, “Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?”.

To summarize: I’m having more fun at the gym and the instructors are only slightly worried about me.

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This Post has Absolutely No Owls in it

Sword books weights

I was looking over my latest blog posts and realized, “Wow… I really post nothing but owl photos these days, huh?”

I know many people will tell me that there’s nothing wrong with owl photos, but come on… even the most ardent avian fan must be feeling bored with the lack of variation by now.

So I have decided to write a post that’s not about owls.

Of course I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to write about, but I’m a writer. I’ll figure something out.

Perhaps a writing update is in order? I have been working on the fifth book in the Angel’s Voice series, and – except from a break in January – it’s been going surprisingly well. I still haven’t been able to come up with a title, though, and I really should do something about that, because I have taken to calling it ‘CSI: Var’nori’ in my head and I don’t want that to stick in my mind as the actual title… I’m already having mental images of Selissa and Orrell wearing sunglasses and making bad puns and it has got to stop.

As you might have guessed, the next book sees Selissa investigating a crime in the mage city of Var’nori. For once she’s actually on the side of the law, and she hates it with a burning passion, because that means she has to work alongside both mages and nobles, and tolerate the politics that brings with it.

I promise I will kill off every bad pun that threatens to sneak into the dialogue.

I would post some snippets and excerpts from the book if it wasn’t for the lack of a title. As I said, I can not allow my working title to stick, so there will be no posts titled “CSI: Var’nori – Excerpt (Chapter 7)”. If you have any new ideas for a proper title, the comments below this post are open, and if you solve my problem I will be eternally grateful and wish you lots of kittens and rainbows.

Let’s see, let’s see… What else do I have going on? Well, I have obviously been reading a lot of books. So many, in fact, that if I keep up this pace my TBR pile will disappear completely before long. That’s a disaster that should never befall anyone, so if you have any recommendations for books I should read – you know where the comment section is. In case you’re new here, and haven’t had my reading habits shoved down your throat for the last year, I can say I prefer Fantasy and Horror, but I’m open to other fiction genres.

Pretty covers are a plus, because it makes the book owl photos that this post is absolutely not about prettier.

Except from that, I truly don’t have a lot going on at the moment. As reported last week, I stole a plant. I signed up for another round of Witcher School in March, so I have joined a gym and now I feel like I’m dying twice a week, just so I can go to Poland and be beat up with dignity. I’m half-heartedly working on some of all those cosplay projects I started years ago and never finished, so there’s half a raven made from Foam Clay lying on my dining table, being creepy. I got a sword I still haven’t figured out how to hang on the wall.

Basically, there’s nothing new under the sun at the Louring house.

Sword books weights

To summarize: throw me a comment if you have ideas for a title for my book, recommendations for books I should read, or just want to help me procrastinate by continuing this utterly random post below.