Shawn, Mason and I had a nice weekend. We spent a good part of Saturday morning estate sale/rummage shopping, which was a blast. There were a couple of church basement rummage sales, including a really awesome book sale at St. Olivet's, which is this beautiful Congregational church close to the Merrim Park Library. In fact, Mason and I were done early and we just sat an admired their gorgeous 'gymnasium.' Shawn and I joked that we were tempted to join the church just for the building.
St. Olivet's was a stark contrast to the house we stopped at that was just down the road from Stepping Stone Theatre (behind the law school). It was... straight out of a Stephen King novel, not only had it suffered HARDCORE neglect (on a squalor level), but, you know how most of the time you can feel the good strong bones of a house underneath all the grime and disrepair? Yeah, no. This house had been born with a mutated, malformed skeleton. Because, even though people had 'remuddled' it over the years, there were pieces that were clearly original that were just... odd. Like the second story... prayer alcove? It looked like people had been using it last as a closet, but it had been built with a stained glass window and a little buildt-in kneeler. The rooms were also all off at odd angles, which were perhaps originally meant to be 'charming' or even 'eccentric' but came off as cramped and wrong after time had worn the beauty away.
Mason, who has a very low threshold for bad vibes, walked in and instantly said, "Oh, no. Let's just go." Shawn and I pushed through with sheer curiosity and, much to Mason's chagrin, we both brought something home from that house. (Shawn got a roll of rope and I found a leather wallet.)
That house was one of the ones that all the sale-rs had to stop and chat with strangers about (which, if you aren't from around here, you might not realize what a BIG DEAL that is in Minnesota.) I would say something to Mason like, "My god, look at this, the original builders didn't even finish off these floor boards..." and the person passing by on the way up the stairs would feel compelled to stop, look, and then comment about some other odd feature they'd seen in the garage or elsewhere. The estate sale workers kept trying to sort of reassure people by saying, "This house is old. It was built in 1913." To which, I replied, "Our house was built in 1911. It doesn't look like this. Something more than time happened to this house." To which, they had no other response than, "The workers are coming back on Monday."
The other thing that pissed off all the estate sale-rs that came through was that, possibly to fund the remodeling, the prices were jacked up. There were things there that should have been marked ten bucks (generous) that were set at SEVENTY.
Mason shadowed me through the whole house saying, "This place is like a HOG (Hidden Object Game)." Because on top of all the weird angles and decrepit-ness the estate sale workers had just piled all the goods in boxes and in tables in a way that just made it all seem that much more chaotic. Even the back yard garden was a mess.
It was kind of amazing, really. It was the sort of place that sticks in your head, and it may have to work its way into a novel, because it's too good to waste, you know?
Sunday we spent doing some housework, baking cookies (for real! I made chocolate chip!) and playing some board games. It was that kind of day because we woke up to a rain that beat down steadily all day long.
During some of my housework, I started a new anime series. I'm now watching Witch Craft Works. I'm not entirely sure I can recommend it. It's weirdly compelling, though. The story is about "an average high school boy" who, it turns out, has a witch guardian who considers him her "princess." A lot of the humor in the story has to do with a shounen reversal. She gets all the power-ups, is popular and aloof, and he's just kind of a pretty/handsome load she constantly has to rescue. Weirdly, that kind of works for me. All the villains and side-characters are female, too, so it's very much a conscious 'see, this is what you look like!' in terms of reversing all the gender stuff.
I'm watching it on Crunchyroll, so it's a new anime, only just having aired this year in January in Japan. There are 12 episodes, and I'm just about to start #4 with today's load of dishes. I suspect that if this anime follows the flow of most 'new-ish' anime, the real action will start now that they've set up the characters and the situation. I feel like it was right about episode 3 or 4 that Rei was introduced in Free! Iwatobi Swim Club and that's when things really started rolling.
At any rate, I'm enjoying that.
Today my plans are to get a good start on my new UnJust Cause installment. I have to say that given time, the serial thing on WattPad is starting to work better for me. I've decided that I'm not allowed to look at my statistics, which helps, and only concentrate on the comments. I have one really faithful reader (who is not actually someone I know outside of this context), so I'm kind of writing this for her. She leaves comments at the end of each chapter and is even starting to try to guess at the plot, WHICH I TOTALLY ADORE AND HAD BEEN HOPING FOR. So, that's working.
More importantly, having the publishing deadline of once a week on a Tuesday afternoon, means I'm writing forward every week. This is a very, very good thing.
Plus, even though I hate it, it seems like my social media blast about the updates are getting re-blogged (at least a friend saw it happen once), so that's kind of all I can hope for.
I really do think this is the sort of thing that might become a THING given enough time. For now, I'm along for the ride... and it's keeping me writing on a project.