I am still struggling through, and have yet to achieve work/life balance. Have a couple of weeks worth of update.
Cats: Kai is perfectly fine, if a little rounder than she ought to be.
Chaos has been revealed as vampire-cat. Or possibly vampire-victim-cat. Part of managing a diabetic cat involves glucose testing, which requires a bit of blood. THIS CAT HAS NO BLOOD. We spent half an hour last weekend repeatedly sticking him in the ear or toebean, getting a tiny drop of blood, wiping it away (because you can't use the first drop), and then getting about half as much as the glucometer needs before the stick-hole seals up.
E took him to the vet on Thursday, where they used their magic powers to extract blood from him and determined that we probably ought to double his insulin dose.
He's more mobile and more talkative since he's been on the insulin, which are both good. He doesn't seem to be gaining any strength back in his legs, which isn't, but supposedly that'll take awhile.
The discovery that I *can* juggle book + tea + Skytrain pole has improved my commute immeasurably.
Finally read all three of Ann Leckie's Ancillary books last week, which are fantastic. The first is, mm, probably the best-plotted and best-structured, but the second and third have more interesting things to say. Also, "We aren't related, Cousin" is the best line on the best page of anything I've read in quite awhile.
Also (re)read Bear & Mole's Iskryne books. I read A Companion To Wolves (AKA "the book that tackles the Green Dragonrider Problem") when it came out and thought it was great: a *very* interesting exploration of gendered roles in a warrior society, as well as just being a good read. I read the second one, The Tempering Of Men, when *it* came out, and was mostly frustrated. Rereading it now I'm even more frustrated. NOTHING HAPPENS IN THAT BOOK. There is *no* reason for it to exist, plot-wise. It is entirely build-up for the third book. What payoff there is comes in the form of an inevitable romance plot.
The third book, An Apprentice To Elves, came out last month, and I dutifully picked it up and plowed through. And... despite ToM being made of setup, the first hundred pages or so of A2E are mostly backstory, because it takes place fifteen years later and a decent bit has happened in the meantime.
The book goes on to ramble in ways that remind me unpleasantly of Neal Stephenson: too much Cool Stuff, not enough resolution. Fascinating gender politicking but that's not enough to hang a book on, not for me. Your mileage may vary.
Currently reading: Dracula Unredacted, by Bram Stoker with assists from Kenneth Hite and Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan. The conceit is that Dracula was a thinly-fictionalised after-action report of a British Intelligence attempt to recruit their own personal vampire and all the ways it went wrong, and the original novel had to be heavily redacted before it could see print. This is the "original" version, annotated by three generations of British Intelligence agents who are not entirely sure that the ongoing attempts to recruit a vampire are a good idea at all. It's really a giant prop for the Dracula Dossier campaign frame, in which the players are secret agents fighting vampires... the idea being that the players read Drac Unredacted and follow up on some of the annotations, making for a neat, complex campaign. I'll never get to run it of course but it's still excellent reading.
( 101 in 1001 update )