bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Oh, wow. That post the other day, when I tried once more to describe that weird thing that's happened on and off for 20 years? I went and dug up a diary entry I remembered making about it in high school, and there were a couple more symptoms mentioned in it that match the clinical description of simple partial temporal lobe seizures: Behind the cut if you are curious )

I'd forgotten about the stronger physical manifestations; they don't seem to happen anymore. Even though we don't have a family history of epilepsy and my parents confirm I wasn't dropped on my head as a child :), I really wonder if that's what's up! I will ask my doctor about it the next time I have an appointment (and will stop talking about it in the meantime because probably this is not super interesting to read about if it's not happening to you). Er, and hope that if this does turn out to be the explanation, it doesn't open a can of worms of tests or "preexisting conditions."

But I do want to say thanks for inspiring me to think this through and revisit those internet searches. Knowing you are there to talk to -- or to post to -- means a lot.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Five Festivids. Five fandoms. Three and a half months. One satisfied bironic. We'll see what the recipients think this weekend.

I've only managed to make this many Festivids once before, in 2012, but that entailed three for one fandom (Big Eden) and two for another (Dead Poets Society), so this feels like an even bigger accomplishment. Part of the key was getting started early, like October early, especially given what happened in RL soon after assignments went out, and not doing anything particularly ambitious.

That brings my seven-year Festivids total to 23 vids created and 7 received. Interesting.

*

More things I can't say about these vids: )

*

I've got to call it quits now; am behind on other tasks. (Have got to stop reading the news, too, for a little while, before I become incapable of functioning.) Good luck to those of you who are still working on treats, and hooray for everyone who's looking forward to watching the glut of new vids in less than three days!
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
First of all, thank you to everyone who posted photos or descriptions of your experiences at Saturday's marches.

After much angst, I chose to stay with my mom rather than to go the NYC rally. In the end, that turned out all right. The marches clearly had robust attendance, and while at home I was able to open my mom's eyes to the scale of the movement and the nature of the marchers' concerns—she hadn't known about the events at all and said she'd never seen anything like it, even given the Vietnam protests of the '60s—and spend more time debating her boyfriend, a staunch conservative who honest to goodness argued with TV coverage by shouting, "What about white people?" and "All lives matter!"

Not to mention that having all-day news and social media access gave us clearer access to speakers, performers and commentators and a broader perspective across the nation and the world than would have been possible while packed into a crowd.

Instead of berating myself for being on that day the sort of complicit bystander we decry in history classes, I try to remind myself that witnessing is also important.

.

Executive orders. Cabinet confirmations. Federal hiring freezes and gag rules.* Lies and distractions and tangled-up media relations. Standing Rock now, too, OMG. I only have so many dollars to donate, so one of the things I did today was ask the [tumblr.com profile] FandomTrumpsHate mods to extend an invitation to the runner-up in my vid auction in addition to the winner. We'll see if she's interested. If I can raise $210 for charity, that's another drop in the bucket of resistance. Or some metaphor that makes more sense.

I'll definitely be making a vid for the winner, though: [personal profile] deelaundry! We are discussing options.

*I worked at an HHS agency for several years; I'm very glad I'm not there right now, for both practical and ideological reasons. Friends who are Feds or contractors, I hope you know my thoughts are with you.

.

I've created a new DW/LJ tag, "politics," both for organization purposes and so those of you who want to can unsubscribe from it. That said, I still intend for this journal to remain primarily a fannish space.

.

And now for something a little lighter.

A few months back, Dee gave me a Liz Climo 2017 daily calendar. It is punching above its weight in emotional support. Today's cartoon is going to get tacked to the bulletin board:

image behind the cut )

Meanwhile, Mr. [personal profile] deelaundry gifted me a subscription to a monthly spice mix service. I had never belonged to one of those food-by-mail clubs before and wasn't sure what to expect, but the first trio of envelopes arrived yesterday and it’s a winner: four types of red chiles ground together, a cumin-oregano rub, and za'atar, with recipes curated by the head chef of the marvelous café at the National Museum of the American Indian. I have a baggie of sumac in the kitchen, but you can never have enough.

Tonight, hoping to finish the last Festivids treat. Golive on Saturday is a light at the end of the week.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I've been feeling weird these last few days. Current events? Inexplicable insomnia? Hormones? The anxiety of returning to "real life" after a 9-day break? All of the above? Who knows. I had a sort-of-nightmare the other morning and have been skirting the edge of That Feeling at bedtime, which I should write about again one of these days.

(I've done some reading since that last post and found some similarities to my experience in descriptions of the auras that can precede temporal lobe seizures, although I don't have seizures. Even if it's not the same as what's been happening to me, I did derive comfort from hearing that one of the features of the psychic/experiential components of such auras is that they're hard to describe. The only consistent trigger pattern I've been able to piece together is a combination of exhaustion and exposure to some media manifestation of raw male sexuality that elicits an attraction-repulsion response, but why the phenomenon doesn't occur every time those factors coincide remains a mystery.)

This time, it was set off by the hair of a low-budget Fabio-type guy in an, er, adult video clip. Last time, May 2016, it happened while hearing the opening lines of "I Found" by Amber Run as the long-haired actor in the music video* got out of the car and opened the front door to the house. See also: Yul Brynner in the dream sequence in Futureworld, Maman coming into the room in one particular scene in Slumdog Millionaire, Guy Pearce's face in part of [personal profile] elipie's haunting On My Way Home (Two Brothers) vid, the chorus of Linkin Park's "Castle of Glass," all the examples in the previous post…

*warning: kidnapping.

Okay, I guess I'm writing about it now and not later. :)

ETA: Hmmmmmmm, on further reading it sounds like "aura" for temporal lobe epilepsy can mean the experience preceding a complex partial seizure (loss of consciousness, twitching/lip smacking, language difficulty, etc.) OR the description of a simple partial seizure/focal seizure itself. So maybe the latter is what is going on?? How nice it would be to put a term to this.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I.

Quick reminder that bidding for the vid I'm offering for charity ends at midnight tonight, if you would like to make a pledge. Sorry/happy to report that the current bid is $110, in case that saves you a click.

I put in one bid, for a Remus/Sirius/someone fic from [personal profile] setissma, but [personal profile] thedeadparrot outbid me. :) That's only fair, since she'd been bidding before I stuck my nose in.

II.

I'm at my mom's for the week and she's doing well. Big relief. Last week was tough, being in another state and waiting for updates while trying to work. Now we are just lying around the house listening to music, watching TV and old movies, occasionally playing Scrabble* or this Star Trek trivia game** or yelling at a Banff National Park jigsaw puzzle whose pieces all look the same.

*Geekiest hand of the game

**We shuffled the trivia cards so the movies and series would all be mixed together, but then we realized we didn't know Voyager or Enterprise and by the end we just shamelessly cherry-picked TOS for her and DS9 for me, with occasional Wrath of Khan and The Voyage Home thrown in.

III.

Persuant to the above:

TV: My mom and her bf are into reality TV, so I've been introduced to shows like Wicked Tuna, Living Alaska, and Alaskan Bush People, plus many reruns of Property Brothers, House Hunters, etc., and the usual Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. Let's not talk about the news.

Movies: I brought down one of the DVDs from a grab bag [personal profile] jetpack_monkey put together, and we are two for two so far: Attack of the Crab Monsters, which featured the immortal line, "Once they were men. Now they are land crabs," and Not of This Earth, featuring space vampires and questionable transfusion practices. YouTube trailer for the double feature. Tonight we'll try the third, War of the Satellites. Maybe we'll even get to the .avi file of The Frozen Dead that's been on my computer for about three years since my coworker tried to get me to watch it.

Books: Binti was great. I haven't gotten more than a third into Akata Witch because of all the TV, but I look forward to finishing it. Then The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl vols. 1-2, which was supposed to be for book club but just got outvoted by Paper Girls vols. 1-2, which I guess is next-next.

IV.

The neighbors' college-age son has gotten into Game of Thrones, grew his hair into several inches of curl, got himself a sword at a garage sale, and now does cosplay of Jon Snow in a fur-shouldered Night's Watch cloak. It's impressive!

V.

Okay, she's out of the shower, so that's all for now. Hope you're all hanging in there.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I'm offering a custom-made vid as part of the [tumblr.com profile] fandomtrumpshate charity auction! Bidding is now open, and runs through Jan. 19.

Context: What is this? What charities are eligible?

Here is my contributor profile on Tumblr, and here is the list of vids I've made to date. The short version of what I'm offering, which will look familiar if you remember last year's Vividcon auction, is:
TV shows: Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Stargate: Atlantis, Roar

Movies: Star Trek before the reboots (especially 2/4/7). I'm a big movie fan and am open to lots of one-off possibilities. Feel free to contact me ahead of time to check something you have in mind; otherwise, probably best to have more than one idea so we can find the best match for us.

In general: If it's science fiction or if it has vampires in it, chances are good. Another "yes" is movies that involve Paul Bettany, Vin Diesel, Sarah Polley, mid-career Jeff Goldblum, Alexander Siddig, Vincent Perez or Thomas Kretschmann. You can browse stuff I've loved (& not loved) in the last few years at my movie reviews tag – maybe you'll spot your fave(s) there, including many non-English-language films. Also, here is a random sampling of DVDs I own in case it's helpful: Queen of the Damned, Bride of Frankenstein, Little Women, Care Bears Movie II, Inkheart, Inception, Priest (the one with Linus Roache), Stargate, Queen Margot, X-Men.

Dance: I'm also a casual fan of ballet and Irish dance, and it could be interesting to try to vid a performance or a ballet-themed movie if you're into that.
How bidding works

(See also What to ask before you bid)

Here is the bidding spreadsheet where you can see who has bid on my offering so far, and here is the bidding form if you want to enter your own bid. I hope at least somebody bids before the end or this will be embarrassing, heh.

Several friends with top-notch skills, including scribe (who's offering a vid), thedeadparrot (fic), stultiloquentia (fic or beta), celli (fic or beta/culture-pick), ETA: serrico, likeadeuce, monanotlisa, and I'm sure more, are also participating. You can go to [tumblr.com profile] fandomtrumpshateofferings and enter names, fandoms, or fanwork types in the search bar at the top.

Feel free to link this around, reblog the contributor post, etc.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
This general uptick in Dreamwidth activity has been great. Hello, new friending meme people! I should do an intro post soon about things I'm into these days. Tonight, though, I am packing for a trip to my mom's and more or less beta-watching a documentary by a coworker. Or—*checks clock*—possibly neither of these things. It was sort of a rough day.

Reading update: Three books came in today at the library: Binti and Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, spurred by the monthly SF/F book club I go to, and A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women by Siri Hustvedt, which I am excited to dig into but may have to return and re-request because it's only a week-long loan and I'll be out of state when it's due back. Alas. Meanwhile, I've been picking through the e-book of Speculative Fiction 2014: The Year's Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary, a collection of reprints of SF/F fandom meta. [personal profile] thingswithwings is in there!

Writing update: Need to work on an essay for a zine that's coming out in the spring, since it's due at the end of January. Details TBA. It sounds like it's gonna be cool.

Vidding update: Last fall on Twitter, I asked:

I'm happy to report that the answer is Yes. In fact, I may be able to squeeze in a fifth. It depends on how it goes at my mom's (she's having surgery; I'm making no commitments), but I've rewatched the source and started laying a few clips on the timeline. It's an idea I had a few [community profile] festivids ago and never got a chance to make somebody.

If that's not vague enough for you, how about this?

Statements I can't make about Festivids in progress )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
(-) My mom is having semi-elective abdominal surgery next week. If all goes as planned, I'll drive down to NY when she's discharged from the hospital to help with the initial recovery at home, which is supposed to be slow but smooth -- but things never seem to go as planned when it comes to her health. Wish us luck?

[Mutters to self: Positives, positives, focus on positives.]

(+) First Festivid submitted! Other drafts continue apace.

(+) I signed up to offer a vid through [tumblr.com profile] FandomTrumpsHate. They say more than 500 fan creators are participating! Bidding will run Jan. 12-20.

(+) My officemate's departure means I now get the window side of the room. I'm all moved in, and I and my spider plants are enjoying the light.

(+) I got to do lunch, brunch, Christmas light ogling and first-night-of-Hanukkah activities with [personal profile] roga, who came to the U.S. over the holidays, and [personal profile] thedeadparrot, who hosted her. We lit a well-traveled menorah and made many potato latkes and caught up on everyone's lives. ♥

(+) Saw Moana with [twitter.com profile] windtheme. Brief faves: ) Hanging with [twitter.com profile] windtheme was lovely. I have an informal goal this year to spend more time with a few Boston-area fan people I'd like to get to know better, if the feeling is mutual.

(+) Visited [personal profile] deelaundry and family, which I used to do all the time when I lived in DC and had been missing since coming up north. A lovely respite filled with friend time, good food (that I didn't have to cook myself), movies & TV, and a bit of touristing. One highlight was seeing the restored original model of the U.S.S. Enterprise at the Air & Space Museum! They turn on the blinky lights every few hours and everything.

We also watched Rogue One, which I liked fine* and which I thought really enriched the story of A New Hope; the current season so far of Brooklyn 99, good fun; and a pair of AMAZING early '70s horror-comedies, Blood for Dracula and Flesh for Frankenstein. More details, pix, fic idea )

*Except this and that and the other thing, but now is not the time.

(-) Yuletide as usual made me crabby, #UnpopularFannishOpinion, although there is a promising Grantchester fic I'd like to try. However, the universe separately provided a second fic by that Vampire Chronicles author who made me happy the other week: In the Trials of the Heart by [archiveofourown.org profile] monstersinthecosmos (10,500 words, rated M), Armand/Daniel, Daniel/Marius and combinations thereof.

...Sorry, stored up too many things for one post!
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
A work thing I expected to stress me out in December is instead stressing me out now because I am slow and there wasn't enough time to finish before the holidays, plus I kept bouncing off it when I tried to work on it over the break. :/

Also my officemate L. quit before the break, on the heels of another member of our close-knit subgroup of coworkers in October. Even though L. had many reasons to leave and we'd been braced for her to do so for nearly a year, I like(d) her a lot and am really feeling her absence.

HOW EV ER, in the midst of feeling rotten about turnover and office politics and wondering if learning how to care less about my job would make things better, it occurred to me that a gap can be an opportunity, and I started to change my thinking to something more positive: presenting a case to my supervisor that I should be promoted, now that she doesn't need to worry about stepping on the more senior L.'s toes.

I gathered my arguments and was going to make them tomorrow, but the head of the office gave me the perfect opening first thing yesterday morning and I ended up pitching it right to her. And instead of grilling me on why I deserved a new title or telling me it couldn't be done because of budget or other priorities, she said it sounded like a good idea and asked me how we should tweak our office structure to accommodate the new role! My supervisor also voiced her support when I talked to her, and now the other managers are brainstorming about how best to use me, so to speak. Long story long, basically I'm being encouraged to design my own position. \o/

It remains unclear how long this might take, whether HR will approve a revised job description, and how closely that description might resemble what I want to do, but for now I'm super pleased by how readily my request was accepted. After three years and a few months on the job, it would be nice to show progress on my resumé.

(Now if I could just finish this #$%*! assignment.)
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Previous Roundups
2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006


9 vids in 9 fandoms )

1.5 fics in 2 fandoms )

1 meta )

4 Mary Sue stories in 4 fandoms )

Favorite media & fannish events of the year )

Stats )

Quick-and-dirty fanwork goals for 2017:

- Round out the vids in progress for a proud total of 5 Festivids
- Do the "Fandom Trumps Hate" auction and probably the VVC auction again
- Try out the new [community profile] equinox_exchange (spaaaaace)
- Write more, especially Mary Sue stuff; continue rediscovering and expressing the evolving id
- Finish Jinni/Dustfinger fic
- Get back to Inkheart OT4 fic?
- Take concrete steps toward repurposing existing stories for pro erotica publications
- Meet with new "behavioral therapist" to get at the roots of procrastination, mood stuff, negative self-talk, etc. – I suspect this will help with fannish activities in addition to RL
- See also: Make judicious use of the ColdTurkey program
- Hope there is practical and mental space to do these things while grappling with next year's sociopolitical environment
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Continued from here

This looks a little silly in the middle because of Festivids-related redactions -- sources I am and am not vidding -- which I will try to remember to restore in February after reveals. ETA: Now filled in.

35 movies and many TV seasons )

As always, happy to talk about any of these. Except the redacted ones. :)

And, so, okay, this is my movies-per-year baseline count; it comes to a little less than a movie every other day, which sounds about right. Interesting.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Continued from here

26 completed, fiction and nonfiction )

48 complete books in one year: I'm calling that a resounding success. Thank you once again, bus commute.

Links go to previous book review posts. As always, happy to talk about any of these.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I passed a miserable morning yesterday procrastinating on this work assignment, but it did result in discovering a great new Vampire Chronicles fic:

Moon Above, Sun Below (9764 words, Explicit) by [archiveofourown.org profile] monstersinthecosmos. Author's description of the pairings: Armand/Daniel, Daniel/Half of NYC.

The author's summary had me at "Armand used to watch Daniel have sex with people," and the fic delivered. Women and men brought in to arouse Daniel and serve as a conduit to/for Armand, who starts to direct the proceedings before gradually becoming more involved. There's a lovely scene set in the Met, too, where Armand thinks about his past and his place in the world and Marius and Daniel. The fic is sexy and well-paced, makes excellent use of Armand's telepathic powers, and does an admirable job of getting inside Armand's head and depicting his relationship with Daniel, which I think is hard to do.


I also bookmarked Desecrating our Sanctuaries (1812 words, Mature) by [archiveofourown.org profile] morbidromantic, but I wouldn't call it a rec unless you, like me, enjoy a Marius/OFC biting vignette.


ETA: Wait, did I never rec other VC fic here? Could have sworn I did, but I can't find them. Here are two others I enjoyed a lot the last time I went trawling through the tag, almost two years ago:

Lupercalia (4812 words, Explicit) by [archiveofourown.org profile] Greekhoop. Marius/Mael. Author's summary: Marius amongst the wolves. Set during his captivity in Gaul.

Sedge and Bee (4126 words, Explicit) by [archiveofourown.org profile] Greekhoop. Enkil/Khayman. Author's summary: The first time Khayman went to war.


BTW, as usual, finding good VC fic on the AO3 is akin to panning for gold through mounds of muck like this:
The rosy nipples were still red and swollen from impetuouly sucking lips They rose from his milk white skin like two pearls of sugar. The androgynous boy's amber eyes were overshadowed by long lashes and he languidly gazed into space whilst memories came to life on the bottom of those honey filled orbs.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
- I'm glad the library only had it on 7-day loan because it pushed me to keep reading when I might have trailed off

- All in all, I'm glad I did finish it, because the last sections, unlike the rest, recaptured a shadow of what made the earlier books enjoyable

- The narrative picked up 250 pages in

- The vampires I care most about (Marius, Armand, Lestat, Louis, etc.) finally had a few small, memorable moments ~400 pages in

- The book could have been titled Vampires: Midichlorians -- or, sorry, Folic Acid and Nano-Luracastria

- The uncovered "science" of vampirism and the nature of its Core made no sense; even Lestat admitted he couldn't hold the explanation in his head, and the vampire physician-scientist Fareed threw up his hands and said he may as well have studied theology

- Let us not speak of the pseudohistory & technology of Atlantis and the surrounding human settlements

- I also don't want to read the word "mammal" for a while

- Did I mention the bird people of Bravenna? *shakes head*

- ETA: Ohhhhhh God I forgot about the part where a disembodied arm grew a mouth on its palm and crawled back over to its previous owner to suck on his nipple uggggh

- The writing needed help. The first half dragged, nothing happened without at least two people recapping it, there were too many poorly fleshed-out characters (same as in Prince Lestat), tensions that seemed like they would culminate in major conflicts instead fizzled, those climaxes that did come rose and fell in the middle of chapters without much catharsis, and Rice kept doing this weird thing where narrators repeated characters' names in their comma-filled thoughts. Here are samples from a particularly egregious few pages near the middle of the book:

Cut for spoilers )

It made sense for Derek, who latched on to Kapetria after years of trauma, to think that way, and I suppose it made sense for Rhoshamandes too, who felt Benedict was the only thing he had left to live for; but not so much for the others. It made me think of Faulkner and The Sound and the Fury: I wish Rice had had Derek think in these anxious, post-traumatic, obsessive repetitions while giving others their own distinct styles. Nor was it a consistent enough style throughout the book to be fully explained by the next point.

Where that repetition worked for me was when Rice described the linguistic patterns of Atlanteans and then, one time, had [spoiler character] slip from speaking ordinary modern English into that old language, which I thought was actually quite lovely.

Cut for spoilers )

In all: Worth having read the second half. Marius gave Lestat a fierce hug, Lestat kissed some men, and Armand showed some young-boy vulnerability, and that was pretty much what I was there for. Still uninterested in most of the series' theological and philosophical debates (In this case: What are souls? Is suffering noble, evil or a way for aliens the Church to exploit people?), even though the conclusion of this book can be read as an embrace of humanism. Equally unable to stop reading these books in search of those brief moments of character- and relationship-based Feelings.

ETA: Goodreads reviews that made me laugh: Devann, Tammy
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[warning: stress dreams involving violence]

Awake brain: I know I have work and vidding deadlines, but I feel pretty good.

Unconscious brain: Ha ha ha! Have some dreams about bears, and a horse peeing on you, and performing as Captain Kirk in a Star Trek play but you forget all your lines and musical cues so everyone has to cover for you, and experiencing people's startled reactions to your face after you lose most of it in an accident, and forgetting to buy a dress and write a speech for your sister's (nonexistent) wedding, and missing your trains to get downtown!

...Yet I still feel pretty good? Well, less good now that the work deadline looms and the time I set aside to vid keeps getting diverted to procrastination activities ranging from cooking to watching long-ago completed vids. :/ I did finish the Elf one, as you may have seen, but that still leaves the four [community profile] festivids-in-progress.

Of the good: Made it unexpectedly to most of Boston Fannish Brunch today; there will be a [personal profile] roga in town for the beginning of Hanukkah; going to visit [personal profile] deelaundry and family for Xmas; going with [livejournal.com profile] disgruntledowl the next day to a National Theatre Live screening of Patrick Stewart & Ian McKellen's latest play, followed probably by New Year's Eve hangouts with old movies.

Ah, that's the oven timer. Round one was meat for the week, round two is veg, round three will be baked apples (with much less sugar). I've been peeling, coring, slicing and baking apples with a simple dusting of cinnamon afterwards, so am attracted to this recipe that involves only coring, even though baked apple skin looks to me like death.

(Dear brain: That is not an invitation for another stress dream.)

ETA: The apples are delicious, like an inside-out crumble, although I wouldn't say they're less work than what I was doing before; maybe because I don't have a melon baller or apple corer. I used about 1 tsp brown sugar and a generous shake of cinnamon along with the oats.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Title: Me Gustas Tú
Fandom: Elf (2003)
Pairing: Buddy/the world
Music: by Manu Chao (edited)
Length: 2:59
Summary: I like Santa Claus, I like you.
Content notes: Excessive cheer, questionably un-PC antics involving Peter Dinklage.
Physical notes: I don't think any.
Thanks: To [personal profile] anoel, [personal profile] jetpack_monkey and [twitter.com profile] SerenadeStrong for beta.
A/N: Because someone nominated Elf years ago for [community profile] festivids and I never got to give them this—and because we need more happy things right now, however small.

Embed, download, lyrics )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
1. The "Elf" vid is pretty much ready to go, pending one last beta's feedback. Hemming and hawing on whether to post tomorrow evening (Eastern) or Saturday morning. Probably the weekend. I don't know anymore when the best times are to post things. Do you?

2. Friday morning's low is predicted to be 3 degrees F. Factoring in wind chill, -15. I might need to figure out an alternative plan to get to the office that involves less exposure to the elements, since telework isn't an option. By Jove, though, I'm going to book club tomorrow. It's Vorkosigan night at last.

3. Facing the return of Arctic chill and armed with expiring coupons, I went boot shopping after work. Found two fun burgundy pairs but I didn't have enough brain to decide between them so I ended up bringing them both home, where I can try them out more extensively and decide which one to keep. I was leaning toward the chunkier, more wintery ones in the store, but the shiny, better-with-a-skirt ones are calling to me now. (They're redder than that picture suggests.) Opinions welcome. They were the same price ($34), so that's not a factor.

4. Watched some TV. I don't seem to have the werewithal to review with substance, but we can talk: the newly released third season of Mozart in the Jungle, which I still don't know what to do with, and which nudged me from apathy about Hailey to active dislike; Grantchester season one, having already seen season two, both so lovely in story, pacing, setting and characterization; and The Fall season three, which might have been the best season of a very good show, or maybe that's because I especially liked all the medical procedure stuff and it didn't 50% consist of dead-eyed Jamie Dornan saying "Stella."

5. Started reading the latest Vampire Chronicles installment from Anne Rice: Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis. ~120 pages in, nothing in the text has rescued the title; the story still suffers from prose- and character bloat. Everyone is wearing very nice, very expensive clothes, all the male vamps still pleasantly go around either kissing one another and declaring their devotion or plotting revenge, and Lestat, although he has matured remarkably, still doesn't know why he does anything. BUT: conceptual spoiler basically revealed on page 23 ) Two great tastes that taste great together? Or two great tastes whose combination has been failed by the chef? TBD.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
(Aside from current events like the DAPL breakthrough. \o/)

I’m not a good sleeper, but last night, with the help of a "non"-drowsy allergy pill, I went to bed at 9:30 and slept until 7:30 and woke in my little quilt cocoon to a dusting of snow outside, feeling like life is beautiful. Why can’t every night be like that?

I found some books for gifts and for me at the twice-yearly Harvard Book Store warehouse sale this weekend: some cookbooks, a slim volume about narrative craft by Ursula Le Guin (originally written in 1998 and updated last year) and four nonfiction books I’d been eyeing for a while. That’s part of the good thing. The other part is that work is going to cover most of those because they’re job-related. Hooray; that frees up this month’s book budget for other treats.

While exchanging a defective jacket, I found a cowl-neck "tunic sweater" that fits. It was on sale and it makes me happy. I have not been feeling good about myself body-wise for a while, and a well-fitting article of clothing helps. It’s long enough to be a short dress, but I wasn’t brave enough for that today, given the chill, and am wearing it with black pants.

Since it is the Month of Capitalism, I also browsed around for stovetop tea kettles, because I’ve finally grown embarrassed enough about boiling water for guests in a battered saucepan to search for an alternative. (It was more of a small-kitchen, don’t want specialized gadgets thing than an affordability thing.) Thus was I introduced to the modern world of programmable electric kettles, where you can set the shutoff at various temps below boiling for perfect tea steeping. I think this is where my Hanukkah gift card from the stepfamily will be going.

Culinary rescue! A pre-Thanksgiving cider-braised chicken recipe came out way too sweet and I ended up sticking most of the constituents in the freezer: leg meat, barley, onion, too-firm diced carrot and celery. Yesterday I tried reinventing it as a soup and am pleased to report that it came out great.

A roasted spaghetti squash, not so much. Overdone to mush. I would turn it into soup if there weren’t already soup this week. The internet says it can be puréed into a sort of mash, with butter/margarine, salt and pepper. Any other ideas?

Friends came over on Saturday to work on various laptop projects, "alone together"; I made some progress on the Elf vid, and we experienced the first two episodes of Yuri On Ice. Waiting for the second Grantchester S1 DVD to arrive; started watching S3 of The Fall on Netflix. Was pleased to learn that it began as a medical drama! With Richard Coyle from Coupling, no less.

<3 to all of you while this good mood lasts. Later in December will be much more stressful, on top of whatever fresh hell the news brings.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Exemplary Bus Dad appeared again tonight. What a spirit-lifter. This time they talked about duplexes and possibly Jesus; she tried to eat his fingers; and when, a few times, she stood up on the seat, grabbed the rail and leaned back, he placed an unobtrusive hand or leg beneath her in case she fell, then snatched her knit hat and batted her face with it while she laughed. They say the Grinch's heart grew three sizes that day.

Oh, and he had a safety pin on his lapel. First safety pin wearer I've crossed paths with whose pin hasn't struck me as emptily and/or obnoxiously performative. ETA: But that probably says more about me and my projecting than it does about the pin wearers.

Thank you for your kind comments after our family's unexpected holiday loss. If you're interested, here are some of the pictures we put out when visitors came.

baby pix, ca. 1918; also 1950s )

Short work week, after all that. TGIF tomorrow. Gonna watch a movie at [livejournal.com profile] disgruntledowl's house and hope to work on a vid this weekend. Probably should prioritize the Elf one since Xmas is coming up before the Festivids deadline. Also need to work on an essay for a thing.

Not much notable to report, activism- or media-wise. Caught up on Westworld and The Daily Show, rented the first season of Grantchester and read a book for work. [personal profile] no_detective et al screened the Eyewitness pilot at fangirl Thanksgiving, which was entertaining in a group but I'm not sure I'll pursue it.

How are you doing?
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Thanksgiving and bereavement. )

Uh, so other than that, Thanksgiving was actually pretty good. The flight down was short, uneventful and scenic; my dad's fiancée made a sweet potato pie with marshmallows on top that we blowtorched and later had to scrape off because they melted into a charred, lumpy glaze; there were about nine hundred people at the stepfamily's annual Thanksgiving dinner, but my worst worries weren't realized: (1) no one talked politics* and (2) despite the absence of my sister, who usually serves as a conduit, I talked with many attendees and didn't need to hide in a quiet corner. Some of the older kids (high school and college-ish) even came up and started conversations.

*In fact, the total lack of politics talk slowly swung me from "whew" to contemplating the extended family's privilege and/or willful ignorance at not seeming worried by current events. It's possible they've been talking about it a lot not-at-Thanksgiving and took a break for the holiday?

In other news, that orig. fic vignette made it to 4,800 words before I left MA, I've been alternating between reading a dull book for work and acquaintances' shifter romance novels, and I still hope to see some fangirls on Saturday.

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