Me 2012

Car, Cancer, General Stuff Update

I've been a car owner for 15 days now. My car's name is Ardent Purr the Adoracar, because decision is for other areas of my life. As of the 14 day mark, I'd driven her about 500 miles. This seems like a ridiculously high number. I checked and it's below average for an American driver. Americans are crazy about driving.

Lut was supposed to be moved to a rehab facility today, but I just called the hospital and he hasn't been moved yet. Given that it's 4:30 now, I don't think it's happening now. Assuming it happens eventually, my miles-per-day will go down, because the new facility is a little closer. It's about the same time to get to, though, because it's all street driving instead of a highway option. If he does well in rehab and can come home, my average driving will go down a lot more. Please pray for us, things are not looking great. v_v

I am tired all the time now, even when I get a full eight hours of sleep. People keep saying "don't forget to take care of yourself" and I wish I could. I'm eating as much and as well as I did before Lut went to the hospital. The main thing I gave up was exercise. I do not have time to commute 90 minutes a day and work full time and see Lut for a few hours each day and still exercise.

I am still editing. I've hacked about 12,000 words out of the manuscript now. I am startled by how much of that is just "saying the same basic thing more concisely". I still need to add a few things, but I'm just changing stuff as I get to it at this point.

I've written a little fiction, but only a little. I miss the #PollRPG -- I was thinking about it when I did the first title poll this week -- but I am not sure what to do with that. Writing a story where people shape the results as I go means I can't build a buffer or plan out the story that much, and "write when I feel like it" doesn't work that well if I want an audience to follow it at the same pace. Editing and writing at my own pace works okay with the cancer lifestyle. Not so much on a schedule. :| Maybe I will do a poll about it at some point.

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studious

The Naming of Books, with Bonus Serialization Question

I am still poking along with final edits on Scales, aka my Great Unnamed Fantasy Duology. I am, oh, 60% through what'll be my second-to-last editing pass. The last pass will be to see if I added any mistakes on my second-to-last pass, because I'm still doing fairly significant revisions. Mostly taking out words. I've chopped out about 12,000 on this pass, a few thousand by deleting whole scenes, and the majority by rephrasing things more concisely and trimming unnecessary descriptions and such. A few words here, a few there, it adds up. I am long-winded, y'all. You knew that.

Anyway, I am still indecisive over book titles, so I am going to use my time-honored resolution method of LET'S DO A POLL.

Also debating whether or not I want to go to the trouble of serializing it, so I'll throw that in here.

Also, by "which title do you like?" I mean "which title would you be most likely to remember/look at the blurb for if you saw it?" Not being familiar with the story is no impediment to voting. :) If you don't have an account to vote in the poll, feel free to leave a comment, they're open to anonymous.



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content

"Ask" and "Hint" Cultures

I had a long online conversation with some friends about "Ask" and "Guess" cultures (link is to a random article on the subject for those who aren't familiar with the concept). I'm going to use "Hint" here, because one person pointed out that (a) "Guess" is a misnomer because most people who grow up with people who do this are not guessing, they know and (b) "Guess" makes it sound objectively worse, and this is not an objective subject.* I don't know if "Hint" is a lot better, but I'll run with it for now.

* In the clash of another cultural concept: I prefer to refer to people by name when I'm talking about things they said. But I'm not doing that here because I don't know if the individuals involved want to be quoted by name or not. I also don't have convenient Twitter or LJ handles to refer to, which makes credit more complicated.

There are some things I've thought about this concept since I first heard of it. Like most dichotomies, it oversimplifies. Most people may lean one way or the other, but they are not going to be pure "Ask" or pure "Hint" about all things. Also, people vary in what they are Ask vs Hint about. You might be Ask-culture when it comes to visiting friends: "Would you like me to come over so we can play games?" but Hint-culture about birthday gifts: "I love Scharffenberger chocolate!" Or you might be the reverse: "It's always so much fun when we play games at your place!" and "Here's my Amazon wishlist!" You might feel it's unreasonable to ask directly for someone to email but normal to ask them to call, or the exact opposite, or that both are appropriate, or that neither are. People's inner rules about "this is too much to ask so I can only hint about wanting it" vary a lot.

My family is probably more "Ask" than "Hint": we are good with words and somewhat oblivious in general. But there are lots of things that I won't ask for. For example, when I realized that I needed a car, one of my friends pointed out that shipping a privately-bought used car halfway across the country was cheaper than the premium for buying a used car from a dealership. My parents have two cars and they basically don't use the second one: my mother almost never leaves the house without my father. It occurred to me that I could ask to buy their second car, which is a nice car in excellent condition because it's rarely driven. But I didn't, in part because asking for their car -- even asking to BUY their car at full market value -- felt like an unreasonable request. I told them I was planning to get a car and if they had offered to sell theirs, I'd've taken it. But they didn't, and I didn't ask, and that's fine.

One of the reasons that I am aware of how much I am not "Ask" culture is that I know someone who is. This is the person who inspired Wisteria, my character who is congenitally unable to take hints. And once I start thinking about all the areas where I expect hints or try to interpret them, I realize how much I rely upon them. For example, I was working with someone on a project where I hadn't heard from them recently, so I checked to make sure I'd responded to their last request and I had. But I hadn't gotten a reply, so I wanted to make sure now that they'd seen my email. We were still well-within the agreed-upon time frame so it wasn't a problem yes, but if spam filter or something had claimed my email, it would become one. I reached out on a different channel and said: "Oh hey, just wanted to make sure you got my email from [X Date]. No worries if you're busy and haven't gotten to the next step in the project yet, just making sure my email got through. :)" I included the second sentence specifically because I would react to the first sentence as "I expected to hear from you by now and I am deeply disappointed that you haven't finished the next step yet, what is your problem?" So even though the first sentence is at most a Hint, I still want to make sure that it has the right Hint-culture connotation of "I really do just want to make sure you got the email and are not waiting on me. I am not resentful or rebuking either your work or communication rate."

"Ask" and "Hint" cultures both encourage different failure modes. The failure mode of "Hint" is "passive-aggressive". Properly-done, Hint culture is designed to save face by giving both parties a graceful way out of a request. If you are eating chocolate, and I say "I love chocolate", and you say "Isn't it great?" and finish your chocolate without offering me any, then I can think "well, I didn't ask so you probably didn't realize I wanted some" and you can think "she didn't ask me for my chocolate so it's okay that I didn't share." If I simmer with resentment that you didn't offer to share your food when I Hint that I want to try it, or if you simmer with resentment that I Hinted that I want you to share, then we are Doing Hint Wrong.

The failure mode of "Ask" is "abrasive". This is the person who is "just being honest". The person who responds to "should I wear my blue dress or the red dress?" with "Those are both ugly". "Ask" culture is not a license to say anything because it's just words, and it's not a license to keep making the same request after being refused because "it doesn't hurt to ask." There is a point in Further Arrangements where Wisteria asks Justin to explain his reasoning, and Justin's reply amounts to "...because I'm an idiot." Wisteria doesn't accept this response: "My inability to follow your reasoning is my failure, not yours." This is an important facet of Wisteria for me: she can't properly participate in or understand Hint culture, and it frustrates her a lot -- but she doesn't believe Hint culture is innately inferior. It works for other people. It just doesn't work for her.

I have a lot of sympathy for people across the spectrum. I tend to assume the best about people, so if someone makes a request that I find too blunt, I think "they probably don't realize how it sounded and are not being pushy." If someone misses my hints, I assume they didn't notice them, because I know how often I miss hints. If I notice something that look like a hint to me, but I don't want to accede to the implicit request because I think it's unreasonable, I assume the hint was unintentional. Yo, guys, I am so bad at humaning. I'm gonna assume this is just as hard for the rest of you.

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Me 2012

July in Review

Health/Fitness
I stopped exercising in July. The time I used to use exercising, I now spend commuting to the hospital twice a day. There's a really stupid quote that goes something like 'if you don't make time for exercise you will find yourself one day making time to be sick'. I find myself thinking instead "since I used to make time for exercise it's much easier to find time for sickness by giving it up". -_-

I'd rather be exercising, to be honest.

Lut is a little better physically and somewhat worse mentally than he was when I took him to the ER on June 30. He is still at the hospital, and in a regular ward instead of the PCU, where he was all last week. So that's an improvement. If he continues to improve, the hospital will try to place him in a skilled nursing facility again. I don't know when or if they'll succeed at that.

Writing
I wrote, I dunno, a thousand words of Demon Hunter in July. It's not really on my priority list any more but sometimes I do it anyway. I kept my #4thewords streak by using up my stockpile of stempos (in-game items that allow you to skip days) because I forgot or didn't have time to write on several days. I also wrote a lot of stuff about Lut and health care that I'm not going to share.

The Business of Writing
I cut about 9,500 words out of the first half of Scales. I am pretty much done cutting words out of the first half, although having cut that much stuff I really need to read it again to look for editing artifacts. But at this point I'm comfortable saying "I just want to fix things that are actual errors", I think. For the first half.

I am still looking at trimming the second half, and also making some more changes based on feedback. Work on it hasn't ground to a halt despite health crisis, but I'm not dumping any deadlines on myself at this point.

Socializing
I haven't socialized much outside of the hospital, but I have seen Corwyn a couple of times and we did hang out for an hour or two after I took him to test drive the Corolla. Also, I went out for a couple of meals with Lut's family when they visited, and I talked to them. So less hermit-like than usual, really.

Goals from Last Month
I had "help Lut get better" down, which in retrospect was unduly optimistic. I visit him at the hospital before and after work during the week (this is why I got a car) and I spend several hours each weekend day with him. I still go home to sleep, because I have a cat and also the one time I tried to sleep at the hospital was traumatic. I am trying to help him. I don't know what I can do that actually would help, though.

I looked into buying a car, and actually bought one on 8/3 so good job there.

Card benefits services sent me a document saying they'd settled the claim and that Enterprise had acknowledged it was settled, so I think that's finally over. Four months and many emails later. Meh.

Goals for coming month
Get adoracar registered and real license plates put on her.
Visit Lut in hospital or wherever else he goes, until he can come home.
Upload The Moon Etherium print edition (this is basically done, but I found another typo to ask Alinsa to fix. Bleah, typos)

Everything else is extra.

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smile

A Brand New Car!

I have acquired New Car. Many thanks to everyone who offered car-buying advice!

It is a 2017 Toyota Corolla LE, chosen for its combination of safety features, size (Lut does not fit well in a subcompact, which is what I'd've bought otherwise), reliability, and price. Telnar offered to walk me through the process of car research via Consumer Reports. I made sad pitiful noises at him, and asked if I could just turn the puzzle upside down and see what the answer was instead. So he did the research and gave me a few options and the reasoning behind them.

After settling on a car, I did go through Consumer Reports myself. Dealing with dealerships online was surprisingly painless. There are three Toyota dealerships in my area.

Dealership # 1: "We have two Toyota Corollas in stock. Call us to find out about pricing."
Dealership #2: "We have three Toyota Corollas in stock. We want over $1,000 more for them than Consumer Reports, which we know you were just looking at, thinks they're worth."
Adams Toyota: "We are researching what we have on the lot and will get back to you shortly!"

Based on this, Telnar formulated a sophisticated gameplan for pitting dealerships against each other to get the best price, which included "broaden your scope to other near-ish cities as necessary." While we were trying to get a price out of dealership #1, Adams Toyota emailed me:

"We'll sell you a Toyota Corolla LE for $500 less than what Consumer Reports says is fair, and slightly less than the average price for your area."

At that point, I just said, "That sounds good and they didn't make me dicker for it. Sold."

I called my local friend Corwyn and asked if he would come substitute for Lut in a test drive of the car: that is, sit in the passenger seat and make sure he fits. Corwyn is taller than Lut and of a similar build, although obviously Lut, with two compression fractures in his spine, has more flexibility issues. Still, he could give me an idea.

The Corolla is snug for Corwyn, but he does fit. I told Charly, the salesman, that I would take it. I picked out a black one, because they had several colors and if you could get black why wouldn't you get black?* I could've saved seventy-five dollars or so by getting a white one that came with cheaper floor mats**, but I decided I was willing to pay a slight premium for black, after all.

It's possible that if I'd been more dithery, or if I'd waited a month or two until they were more desperate to make room for 2018s (they had a lot of 2017 Toyota Corolla LEs in stock), I could've gotten a better price, but I am content.

I made the decision to purchase on July 27, and requested a 401(k) "loan" the same day. Name notwithstanding, this is not an actual loan. There is no approval or qualification process: I ask for it, I get it. In effect, it is me taking the money out of my 401(k) and formally promising to pay myself back (at 3% interest). It's not like a margin loan, where I'd pay interest to a third party while my money remained invested. I'm paying myself. If I failed to pay myself back, then I'd have to pay the government the early withdrawal penalty and taxes for the money I took out of the 401(k), but there's no collections process involved. It's all my own money.

The next day, the 401(k) people told me it would take 3-5 business days to fund it. I emailed this to Charly: "So I should be back between 8/1 and 8/4, depending on whether or not yesterday counts as the 1st business day."

At 9:30am on 8/2, Charly emailed me for a status update. I hadn't heard that the loan had been funded yet, but I work at my bank so I checked my account.

The funds had arrived 30 minutes prior. I went to the teller line to get a cashier's check (they would've taken a personal check, but I don't know where my checkbook is -- who writes check? -- and I work at a bank so cashier's checks are easy and free) and emailed Corwyn to get a ride. By 10:30, we were on our way to the dealership. Having made the decision, I was really impatient to finish the whole process.

Which still took like two hours, even though I was paying in cash. Buying a car is complicated.

I returned the rental that evening, with oddly mixed feelings. Yes, it is cool to finally have my own car, but I've been renting from the same office at Enterprise for eight years or so. They all know me. And up until now, when I need a car every day, it was a very cost-effective way of handling my transportation needs. I am kind of sad not to be doing it any more. Even now, I wonder if I should've gone with a short-term car lease, or some kind of arrangement where I'd have a car for several months, until Lut is stable and at home, and then go back to renting a car as needed.

But owning a car does save time, vs going to the rental place and picking one up, and returning it afterwards.

And the Corolla is beautiful and I love her. As soon as I purchased her, I stopped being practical about her and became immediately sentimental. I may end up as one of those people who washes their car every month. I'm sorry.

She is a much fancier car than I would have acquired, left to my own devices. She doesn't have any extras (beyond the pricer floor mats), but lots of things come standard on a Toyota Corolla LE. The standard things that made me pick this model of car are safety features, like pre-collision detection and automatic braking.

Some things that I thought were just safety features turn out to be nice features for general driving. For instance, its cruise control is coupled with a radar system that detects when a car is in front of you and slows down accordingly. This makes cruise control so much more useful. Even when the road is crowded, I can leave cruise control on and the car will automatically adjust the speed whenever someone pulls in front of me or I catch up to someone moving slower. I use cruise control for the nine-mile highway drive from my home to the hospital, which I've never bothered doing on any other model of car. It's nice.

It also has a USB port, so I can plug in my iPod for music without needing any intervening doodads, which is convenient. And I can charge devices off of it with just a USB cable.

Those are the main extra things that I routinely use. It has a bunch of other doodads, like it syncs with my phone to take phone calls. I am honestly not sure this is a great feature, since even hands-free phone calls are a distraction when driving. But Charly set it up so it's there for when the hospital calls while I'm driving. Until the bluetooth thing randomly fails, which is my usual experience with bluetooth.

Of course, I took pictures of her:

Shiny New Car

With lens flaaaare

I want to get decorative magnetic decals for her, but it may be too much effort to find/make the kind of thing I want. I'd like a trim design similar to City of Heroes' "tribal" pattern, to curve along fenders and the bottoms of the doors. I haven't seen anything like what I want. A bunch of die-cut flowers, though. Maybe I will bling her out with those.

I haven't settled on her name yet (of course she is going to have a name). I am debating between Purr (after one of my black dragons in Flight Rising) and Ardent (after The Moon Etherium protagonist.) So I'll put in a poll for her name!



* I may have been ruined for other car colors at a young age by K.I.T.T.
** I don't know why car floor mats are expensive, but they are.

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Me 2012

Novella Reviews: "A Queer Trade", "Rag and Bone", and "Provoked"

A Queer Trade and Rag and Bone, by K.J. Charles:
I'd thought that one of these was a short that was the prelude to a book, but it turns out that they're both shorts, maybe novelette or short novellas. They share a setting with her Charm of Magpies books, but involve new protagonists and a new romance. Like most of the Magpies books, there's a fantasy-action main plot and an M/M romance subplot. Because these are short, the romance is underdeveloped, especially in A Queer Trade. It's more about sexual attraction than connection. The second story, Rag and Bone, felt more convincing romance-wise. I did like that (a) it's a mixed-race relationship and (b) this aspect is understated. Another thing that I liked: it didn't give the men stereotypical sex roles based on relative size. A common trope in M/M romance is to have one protag be tall and muscular and one protag short and pretty and the tall guy is the top and the small one is the bottom and I am SO OVER this. SO OVER. And in this one you have a gay couple that doesn't like anal sex so they do other stuff and it's fun and I liked seeing some variety in preferences. Anyway, I enjoyed reading them overall. 7.5

Provoked, by Joanna Chambers
This was marketed to me as an M/M historical romance, but it's thin on romance and doesn't have an HEA. The main plot is the impoverished attorney protagonist helping the brother of a convicted client track down the government agent that entrapped him. The "romance" subplot is a couple of sex scenes between the attorney and a rich sexy Scottish lord he barely knows. Both men intend the sex to be a one-off, both times. Their few conversations are light on romantic connection and focus more on a kind of resentment of each other over the mutual attraction. The attorney is the only PoV character and at least half the chapters don't even have him interacting with his "love interest". As a romance, it was severely lacking. The entrapment plot was all right but didn't really engage me . Also, the main and subplots were linked together in a contrived way.

There are some sequels starring the sexy Scottish lord and broke lawyer, and I'd guess the last of these has the HEA one expects of a romance. I dunno, since I kinda regret getting the first one and am not getting more. It was okay, I guess. Competently written. I liked the attorney when he wasn't being boringly self-loathing. The attitudes on sexuality felt ahistorical. There's this notion that standard 19th-century attitudes should be "like Fred Phelps only more so" and it's not true to the period. The idea that sexuality is something you are, not something you do, is a 20th century one. Yes, sodomy was illegal and sinful and having people be horrified by it is reasonably in-period. Having people assume that someone who has a same-sex sexual encounter, ever, can never be attracted to the opposite sex, is not in-period. Anyway, Provoked made the KJ Charles stories look much better by comparison, though. This is like a 5.5.

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worried

Lut Health Update: Still Stable

Lut is still at the hospital. He's in a regular room now, and he's off the IV and the monitoring equipment, which is nice (no more wires to worry about every time he moves). He's been eating on his own. He gets up a couple of times a day, with assistance, and sits in the hospital room recliner or stands by the window for a little bit.  Other than that, he mostly sleeps or tries to sleep. His back hasn't been hurting as much and he hasn't been needing a lot of pain meds, which is good.

His mood is good under the circumstances. He knows where he is and he's polite, patient, and appreciative. Conversations with him don't work very well. I can't tell if he's having delusions or just trying to tell me about a dream or a game he used to play or something. Physically, he's better than when I took him to the ER 3 weeks ago, but I don't think the hospital is really helping his mental state. And he's not reading or playing with a computer or any of his normal activities, because he's too tired even for things he can do while lying in bad. At most, he'll watch a show, and he doesn't have attention for even that most days.

Case management at the hospital is trying to place him at a skilled nursing facility. He is to get rehab there and then he'll be able to come home when he's better able to take care of himself. Placement at a skilled nursing facility is hard, because of some combination of insurance, Lut's particular needs, available space at facilities, and probably some other things I'm not thinking of.

I have some lists of good car models for my needs and the probable prices for them. I have not gone shopping for one yet. I should probably do that this week. I kind of have the feeling I will go with the first dealership that has a reasonable car on the lot and doesn't seem like total scum. I do not have high expectations.

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worried

Lut Health Update: Stable

Lut's siblings came in last weekend, all four of them. I suspect I appreciated this more than Lut did. Bone marrow cancer causes a lot of fatigue: it's not just "he's in pain so he doesn't sleep well so he's always tired", as I thought before I brought him to the hospital. He just doesn't have a lot of energy. Maybe five or six spoons total for the day. Interacting with someone for a few minutes takes a spoon. It's hard.

On Saturday, I asked them to look at skilled nursing facilities for me. They ran all over the city, looking at the ones on the printout the hospital had provided. They were kind of horrified by most of them. They got to the last one on the list too late for a tour, and they told me I should look at it because it looked nice based on its website.

I went to that one and it looked good in person too: clean, well-lit, cheerful, good facilities. I went to the one his siblings liked the best of the ones they saw, and thought it was pretty good too. It was a hard choice for me, because the facility the siblings hadn't toured was a newer, nicer building with better grounds, but the rooms were smaller and most of them were "semi-private": they'd share a bathroom and a little foyer-hall with an adjacent room, and only a curtain separated them from the little foyer. It wasn't as a bad a shared room: there was a real wall between the two rooms. But a curtain is not nearly as good as a door when it comes to blocking sound. The more run-down facility had larger rooms and they were all private.

I tried to consult Lut on it on Monday, but he was too exhausted to give an opinion and the hospital wanted one in the next few hours. So I picked the nicer facility. I can hope he'll luck into a private room? I don't know how this will work with insurance. They are crazy expensive without.

At the hospital, they moved him from the ICU back to the regular ward last night. He doesn't seem to me like he's ready to be discharged to anywhere, but he's off the IV and they've detached all of the other wires they've had him hooked up to. They didn't even have him on a heart monitor when I saw him this morning. The case manager in the ICU thought he might be discharged this week. I don't know how long he'll be at the skilled nursing facility, except that it is short-term care, not long-term. The idea is that he gets rehab there, and then he can come home.

He doesn't seem to be in as much pain now, but he is exhausted every time I see him. Even when we get him sitting upright in a chair, he dozes off in a matter of minutes. If the chemotherapy works, he'll regain some energy, but I don't think rehab on its own is going to get him any more spoons.

I don't know what to say. People keep asking me how he's doing and it is exhausting to try to answer. Badly, but stable? He's better than last week but not better than when I took him to the ER. The oncologist is optimistic about the chemotherapy. He gets his second treatment today.

Prayers and well-wishes still appreciated. Thank you all for the car advice, too. *hugs*

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studious

How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

When I was in second or third grade, my teacher gave us an assignment: write instructions on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for someone who's never made one or even seen what one looks like.

After we turned in our assignments, my teacher then followed our instructions, one after another.

If you've never seen this lesson, it is mainly a lesson in assumed knowledge. The teacher's goal is "if there is any way to do it wrong, do it that way." If the instructions tell you to put peanut butter on one side, bear in mind that bread slices have six possible sides. If the instructions don't specify to take the bread out of the bag, try to make it with bread still in the bag. If they don't say to open the jars, put the entire jars in between bread slices. If they don't tell you to pick up a utensil, try using the utensil without picking it up. Etc.

The lesson works best if the person assembling the sandwiches is very creative about what they can imagine getting wrong. It is hard to cover all the possible ways one could get it wrong, because we are well-trained on how to do it right.

My workplace decided to do this as a team-building exercise: remote associates would write instructions, and those as a main location would assemble sandwiches. I wasn't going to participate: I remembered how hard it was to do when I was seven. But another associate asked to partner with me, so, okay.

I wrote instructions.

These are not perfect instructions. I could find ways to mess them up. (I really phoned in how to open a bag, sheesh. And I didn't explain how to hold a knife or spoon, although at least I specified 'in hand".) I was personally a little disappointed that partners in the exercise were not incentivized to screw up the directions. Anyway, I did win the contest with these. For maximum entertainment value, imagine what one could mess up following this anyway, or why I'd need to be this specific.

How to make a PB&J
  1. Make sure the following items are assembled within easy reach, on top of a counter. (If you do not have a counter available, substitute a table throughout these directions): Table knife, Spoon, Jelly in jar, Peanut butter in jar, Loaf of sliced bread, Dinner plate
  2. Set plate directly in front of you on counter.
  3. If bread is in a bag, open bag. How to open bag will depend on exact bag, but may, eg, involve untwisting a tie from one end and pulling the plastic apart at the top of that side so that it is open on one end.
  4. Remove two slices of bread from open bag.
  5. Place slices of bread on plate, side by side.
  6. Close bag for loaf of bread.
  7. Hold peanut butter jar by its body, cap-side-up, in your off hand.  (ie, in left hand if you are right-handed).  Your fingers should curve around the side of the jar and your thumb curve around the side in the other direction.
  8. With your free hand, take hold of cap.
  9. Unscrew cap from peanut butter jar by turning the cap counter-clockwise.
  10. Place peanut butter jar cap upside down on counter.
  11. Pick up knife by its handle in free hand.
  12. Insert blade of knife into through the opening in the peanut butter jar created when you removed cap.
  13. Use blade of knife to scoop out a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter jar.  Quantity does not need to be exact.
  14. Put peanut butter jar down on its bottom on counter.
  15. Pick up slice of bread in your free hand.
  16. Hold slice of bread so that one face is against your palm and the other side faces up.
  17. Place the side of the knife that has peanut butter on it against upper face of the bread slice in hand.
  18. Slide the side of the knife with the most peanut-butter on it over the bread in such a way that the peanut butter is spread over one face of the bread slice in hand.
  19. If there is significant peanut butter on other side of knife blade, repeat step 18 with the other side.
  20. Cover upper face of bread slice in hand evenly with peanut butter in a thin layer, 1/16th to 1/8th inch thick, depending on how you like your sandwich.
  21. When almost all peanut butter from knife is on bread face, place base of knife against edge of bread, with the rest of the blade above the face of bread that has peanut butter.
  22. Drag blade down along edge of bread, from base to tip of blade, to scrape off any remaining peanut butter onto the face of the bread that already has peanut butter.
  23. Repeat #22 for other side of knife blade if there's still peanut butter on it.
  24. Replace slice of bread in your hand in an empty space on the plate, with the peanut-butter-side up.
  25. Put knife in sink, dishwasher, or other spot appropriate for dirty utensils.
  26. Pick up peanut butter cap in your dominant hand.
  27. In your free hand, hold peanut butter jar by its body, cap-side-up, in your off hand.  (ie, in left hand if you are right-handed).  Your fingers should curve around the side of the jar and your thumb curve around the side in the other direction.
  28. Place cap right-side-up against top of peanut butter jar.
  29. Screw cap onto peanut butter jar by turning the cap clockwise.
  30. Place peanut butter jar bottom-side down on counter.
  31. Open jelly jar, using steps 7-10 but with jelly jar instead of peanut butter jar.
  32. Pick up spoon by its handle in free hand.
  33. Insert bowl of spoon into through the opening in the jelly jar created when you removed cap.
  34. Use bowl of spoon to scoop out a tablespoon of jelly from the jar.  Quantity does not need to be exact.
  35. Put jelly jar down on its bottom on counter.
  36. Pick up the empty slice of bread in your free hand.
  37. Hold slice of bread so that one face is against your palm and the other side faces up.
  38. Place the bowl of the spoon against upper face of the bread slice in hand, with the jelly in the bowl of spoon facing the bread.
  39. Slide the bowl of spoon over bread so that the jelly approximately covers the upper face of the bread slice in hand.
  40. Use back of spoon to finish spreading jelly neatly over upper face of bread slice in hand.
  41. When almost all jelly from spoon is on bread face, place base of spoon bowl against edge of bread, with the rest of the bowl above the face of bread that has jelly.
  42. Repeat 40 for back of spoon if there is significant jelly left on it.
  43. Put spoon in sink, dishwasher, or other spot appropriate for dirty utensils.
  44. With free hand, pick up slice of bread with peanut butter on it so that the empty face is against your palm and the peanut butter side faces up.
  45. Align slice of bread with jelly on it against the slice of bread with peanut butter on it, so that the sides covered in peanut butter and jelly face each other and the two pieces of bread are lined up into a single square. If the instructions worked, this is your PB&J.
  46. Put PB&J on clear section of dinner plate. 
  47. Follow steps 26-30, but with jelly jar instead of peanut butter jar.
  48. You are now done.
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