bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)

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.


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.


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.


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!


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)
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 [ 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.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)

I keep thinking I've updated recently but it's just placeholder vid posts for Vividcon. I ended up making a third vid at the last minute for Premieres. It is a simple little thing for the animated movie Ferngully: The Last Rainforest. Anyone else of a certain age remember Chrysta and Batty Koda and Tim Curry as the smog monster? I got the song idea when someone nominated the source for Festivids, but then no one requested it, so here we are.


Got back last evening from 5 days on Long Island -- well, 3 1/2 plus driving -- where to my disappointment there wasn't time to connect with my city fan friends nor a contingent of Brit fanquaintances on account of I spent most of the weekend with my childhood friend A. (who now lives two time zones away) & her family, who were in town for a wedding, plus dinner with my also-in-town-from-out-of-state cousin, boat ride with my mom and her bf, combo high school graduation/birthday party for various stepfamily members, visit with my remarkably old yet mostly lucid grandparents, visit with my dad & his fiancée, etc.

The beginning of the trip involved too much driving around and socializing, but by the end I had relaxed. It was a relief to eat meals prepared by someone else, and tasty meals at that, like Dad & E.'s grilled skirt steak with summer corn and bruschetta. My mom and I came across reruns of some TV shows we hadn't seen since my childhood (Night Court) or hers (George Reeves Superman). Dad & E. & I settled in for some of the Olympic trials in swimming, diving and gymnastics. I swam a little. Helped my dad organize some bookshelves that had been disturbed after a burst pipe, and then we squared up a six-foot-tall PVC cage around his pea patch that is the latest escalation in his battle against vegetable-swiping chipmunks.

I slept well the last two nights. I never seem to sleep as well anywhere else as I do when I'm in that bedroom where I lived from age 9 to 18 and college summers and a few years after that.

Packed a few more boxes of books and my old stereo to bring up to Boston. Sat for a while after I had gotten back and unpacked, looking at the new-old books on the shelves and thinking about who I was when I collected and read them and who I am now and strengthening the connections between the two. I've been slowly shedding books that I will never read or that I read and didn't like. These aren't going anywhere.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
(It is raining.)

Doing: Just returned from a five-day trip to my grandparents' in Florida, with my dad. Some ups, some downs, as happens when one's family is dealing with age-related health issues and dwindling ability to remain independent. Or codependent, as the case may be. In any event, it was good to see them, they appreciated the visit, and my dad and I did make it to the beach one beautiful morning. Two hours of swimming and of resting in the shade of an umbrella: divine.

Watching: A collection of Turner Classic Movies with the grandparents: Bringing Up Baby, With Six You Get Eggroll, Anna and the King of Siam (with Rex Harrison, not Yul Brynner), and 15 minutes of The Man Who Would Be King before I quit in distaste. Oh, and we caught the last 20 minutes or so of Transcendence, because apparently Paul Bettany movies now follow me wherever I go.

On my own, beginning of season three of Gilmore Girls, with the occasional ep thrown in of season three of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Haven't yet started the new series of Doctor Who.

Have also been getting together once every couple of weeks with [personal profile] thedeadparrot to alternately heckle and admire Project Runway, which is great fun.

Reading: Re-read of Ancillary Justice complete; Ancillary Sword half complete. Still wonderful. The series works for me on every level: concept behind the main character, basic plot, worldbuilding, personally and societally relevant themes (schisms in identity, class conflict, racism, suppression/absorption of minorities, social justice, police brutality, white male privilege, love and grief and revenge), favorite sci fi tropes (artificial intelligences, alien contact, awakening after centuries in cryo freeze), subtle and indirect emotions that sneak up on you, use of "she" as gender-neutral pronoun so that the universe feels filled with women. Not least, I relate to and envy the main character in numerous ways. Today's delight: remembering how Translator Dlique sounded a touch like Luna Lovegood as well as Delirium of the Endless. Can't wait for Ancillary Mercy next week.

Ummmm also I mentioned this on Twitter but I discovered last week that Ann Leckie recced Starships! in August and I retweeted her and then she replied to me and I may have died a little.

Before that, read Saga vol 5--excellent--then finished The Book of Three and barely started The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander, in the Chronicles of Prydain series, for book club. Eh. So far it is template fantasy; I found myself playing Spot the Comparison to things like Lord of the Rings, The Once & Future King, Earthsea and the Fionavar Tapestry. Young Eilonwy is a hoot and the prince whose name I've forgotten is written to be nice and sexy in a kids' book sort of way--in fact, young male protagonist Taran reads as though he's in love with him without really realizing it--but the books have not grabbed me so far. Gwydion. Will try a little more and see how it goes. Favorite line so far: "She is the only oracular pig in Prydain."

Vidding: Submitted my most favorite source ideas to [community profile] festivids (who will make me a book trailer for Ancillary Justice???) and am trying to think of whether there are any more. Glanced really quickly through the list of nominations and spotted something that soon after generated an idea, woo.

Also we will see if a vid gets generated for Halloween, my most successful vidding holiday to date. Have a bunch of source already ripped for one potential project. Unfortunately, have a bunch of RL stuff in October, too.

Writing: Not a lot outside of work. Adding some words here and there to that Marius/Mary Sue story. Speaking of posts that met with crickets.

Meeting: Got to hang for a couple of hours with [personal profile] such_heights and [personal profile] happydork last weekend when they stopped by Boston Fannish Brunch on their way across the country for their honeymoon; that was a treat.

Eating: Culinary highlights of September included a lobster roll from James Hook & Co., which lived up to its reputation of understanding that mayo and bun should take a backseat to the lobster meat, and a scoop of Noodle Kugel ice cream from JP Licks, which was cinnamon-spiked vanilla ice cream studded with cooked-then-frozen egg noodles. Because how can you pass up a specialty Rosh Hashanah ice cream flavor?

ETA: Wait, I forgot the other two excellent foods. First, following some nutrition advice, I tried broiled mackerel from the local Japanese restaurant and it was fantastic. Savory and salty and firm with a crisp skin. Will attempt to make something like it at home one of these days and see if the resulting oily-fish smell is worth the meals it produces. Second, I discovered the cayenne-mango flavored almonds from Q's Nuts in Somerville and cannot get over the perfect blend of spicy and sweet. Nom nom afternoon snacks.

Dreaming: of autumn. It's still 80+ degrees out, and nearly October. Come on.

Also I had a dream the first night in Florida that Chief O'Brien showed up to try to save me at the end of a godawful tennis match and I was disappointed (but also relieved) that Bashir wasn't there. And then that I had to explain to Tony Stark how I was feeling after a traumatic event, so I phrased it in relation to his life: "imagine if the Iron Man suits were all destroyed, and Pepper was hurt, and Rhodey'd been killed..."

Whew. Okay, let's return after this to normal-sized, focused posts.


Dec. 26th, 2014 11:14 am
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Winter break: the joy of working for an academic institution. Chilled out at my dad's for a few days for the end of Hanukkah, which was nice. Survived a 30-person Hanukkah party with extended family. Then he and I made a beautiful wooden cutting board.

20141223_104636 <-- partway through the process

Currently chilling out at my mom's for Christmas, which she apparently now celebrates. There were more family dinner parties. Now, Star Wars jigsaw puzzle complete, a cranberry-orange-cinnamon-cloves mix is simmering on the stove, filling the house with a wonderful spicy cider scent, and we are watching TV.

(Me: So you're finally able to watch Mythbusters again, after we showed you James Bondage?
Mom: Ehhhhhhhh. It's... definitely different.)

Later, flying down to see [ profile] synn, whee. It's been almost a year and a half.

And on the plane, I expect to finish Ancillary Justice and perhaps start Ancillary Sword. Ohmigosh, Ancillary Justice is so great. It is just as Pop Culture Happy Hour and a couple of friends promised. Such an interesting concept for universe and protagonist. It took a couple of chapters to get into, but then she won my heart on, what was it, page 26? -- singing with three mouths -- and there was that one chapter in the middle where everything happened, and I honest to goodness made noises at the book, I was so invested in the character. Couldn't tell you the last time that happened.

Giving gifts has been satisfying. And receiving some! My sister gave me music files on a flash drive and my mom found a Deep Space Nine clock for me on Etsy that is fantastic. Also a teacup that says "Potions Master."

Have bookmarked a handful of Yuletide stories to try. We'll see if there's any intersection among canons I know, canons I like, canons I'm interested in reading fic for, and good stories. Definitely want to try the Imperial Radch ones after I've finished the books.

Hope those of you who are observing winter holidays have had a good week, and hope those of you for whom the holidays are difficult have made it through all right. ♥
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Just back from 10 days in NY with family. Tired. Glad to be home.

The first weekend was fun. Caught up with my dad, took a fantastic boat ride alongside Manhattan with my mom )

pix )

Surgery went well )

I brought podcasts and stuff to read out loud, but she couldn't concentrate on them. We watched/listened to/napped through a lot of TV. Mostly unengaging cooking and real estate shows, unless you count HGTV Bingo (stainless steel appliances! granite countertops! open concept kitchen! I can't buy this house, I don't like the interior paint color!) but by the end we did manage some good stuff IMO. Like Galaxy Quest, which we'd all seen enough times to know everything that was going on without needing to actually see it, and the second half of Jurassic Park and the first half of The Lost World. They hadn't seen The Lost World. I reminisced about reading the book back when I was a teenager mooning over Ian Malcolm and delighting in the suspense of the trailer scene in particular. I remember re-reading it on a day trip tour bus while on a family vacation in England. My dad probably kept elbowing me to put the book down and look out the window like he'd been doing on trips for years.

Also caught part of a Jesse Stone movie marathon. My mom liked Magnum PI Tom Selleck. My sister liked the golden retriever. My ears pricked up when commercials promised a new one at 9 p.m., but it turned out to be the "cable premiere" and I'd already seen it on Netflix. Alas.

And a Harry Potter DVD marathon from Prisoner of Azkaban to Deathly Hallows Part One. That was great. My mom got really into Deathly Hallows. I… thought I would have more to say here about HP, particularly regarding the experience of rewatching after so long away, and also about the Marauders generation on film, and also also how nifty it was to see the films for the first time since going to visit the sets in Watford, but either that was wrong or it's too close to collapsing-into-bed time to collect ruminations right now. TBD.

At some point I'll catch up on Doctor Who etc. Just have to get through four workdays, a networking event and an Atul Gawande book reading/signing first. Then a holiday weekend and a Vin Diesel movie night at [ profile] thedeadparrot's. Woo.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
- Working on festivid. Nothing fancy (yet?) (or am I lying to throw you off the scent?), but I think I like it.

- Chicken stock cooling on the counter. Smells lovely.

- My mom came to visit this weekend. On Saturday I took her to Nordstrom for a lingerie fitting; she hasn't had an easy time finding things she likes since her lumpectomy left her a bit mushed a couple of years ago. After a rocky start (our fitter was 45 minutes late because of traffic) it went really well and she has gone home with three bras that made her smile, no insert required.

- We saw Ender's Game. Even though it rushed a few important developments and turned the only two female characters besides Valentine into emotion-soaked stereotypes who get pushed around in a man's logical world, given that it kept the themes that really mattered at the end, I'll call it a decent adaptation.

- Before the movie, the I, Frankenstein trailer showed. Oh, dear God. I'd already resigned myself to seeing the movie in January because a) Frankenstein and b) Aaron Eckhart, but seriously, could they have made a more ludicrous contemporary Hollywood version? I don't think so. It looked like a parody. I wish it were a parody. I will enjoy it as though it were a parody. Frankenstein's creature punches a gargoyle monster mid-air while drums crash and orange bursts against teal. Nothing more needs to be said.

- Who knows how these things happen? I've been getting into these Jesse Stone TV movies, with Tom Selleck. Anyone else tried them? He plays a police detective in a small town who solves A- and B-plot crimes each episode. Sometimes it's just nice to watch stories about decent people trying to do decent things. I mean, aside from the mobsters and murderers and domestic abusers and stuff. The piano music is lovely. Viola Davis, also coincidentally in Ender's Game, should get more lines. Stone's sidekick Suitcase, who looks like Alexander Skarsgard with his guileless face on, makes me smile. "You're on to something, Jesse. I feel it in my cells."

- It gets dark so early these days. Tomorrow they're saying it may snow in the morning. Let the Game of Thrones quotes commence.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Thank you, everyone who took a minute to offer advice for the Great Basement/Attic Cleanout. Your voices were in my head as we worked last week. ("Resist the urge to move piles around!" "Only keep items for people if you have someone specific in mind." "Take this chance to model letting-go for your father." "Don't just throw everything away.") After six 12- to 14-hour days in NY, a day at the office, a holiday, another day at the office, and a day to recover, I'm feeling together enough to tell you that it went well and to share some pictures.

Before and afters )

It was tough in several ways. It was exhausting and filthy, and decision fatigue set in each day before I was done. There are some things I'm remorseful about, including the way I treated my dad a few times.* Bringing my notebook was an excellent idea, although I didn't leave much time for thinking; it's a defense mechanism, keeping busy. I was also reminded in more than one way why I don't live there anymore. And there is so much more to be done. But I'm glad we tackled our portion, I'm glad my sister was there most days to join me—we hadn't spent that much time together at once in years—and I think we accomplished what we set out to.

*He was up and down in his handling of the mess, the dust, the hubbub, the idea of letting us let things go. Sometimes he'd hover or pick through our piles, then sometimes he'd volunteer to shed some of his own stuff. Sometimes I'd ask him a question about what to do with a particular item and he'd freeze up. E. had to take him out of the house at least once.

I enjoyed two breaks: dinner Saturday night with my dad and E., and brunch Sunday with [ profile] ignazwisdom, who braved two trains to come visit from Brooklyn. Hadn't seen Iggy in ages and that was great. As was brunch, mm. We are going to try to re-watch some TOS eps long distance, so don't be surprised if you start seeing posts about them around here.

Some fun stuff we uncovered, incl. fannish and baby items )

Thanks for reading. ♥


Did manage to sign up for a Kink Bingo card, which I started brainstorming for when I had a chance to breathe on Thursday. There should be a picspam soon. Watch this space.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
My dad is what you could affectionately call a pack rat. Or non-affectionately call a high-functioning hoarder as you side-eye the stuff crammed into the attic, crawl spaces, rafters, basement, garage and shed of the otherwise lovely house he's lived in for more than 20 years and now shares with his (understandably distressed) fiancée, E. More on that. ) So it is more or less a miracle that E. has convinced him that something needs to be done before the place spontaneously combusts. And it was with a sense of relief that I accepted his request to spend some time up in NY and start clearing out the basement as a Father's Day gift. I'd always figured it wouldn't happen until he'd passed away.

The catch, if you can call it that, is that he wants me (and my sister) to tackle "our things" first—the 30 or so years of stuff stored in boxes and bins about which he's always said, "You'll want it when you're older." Well, we're older, we still don't want most of it, and finally he is ready to hear it. And if he isn't ready, then he is going to be banned from the room while we sift through everything and decide what to do with it all. What you don't see can't hurt you.

As the date draws near, however—am taking the train on Wednesday—I'm fretting more about how I will react to digging up the past. Because it's always easier to toss someone else's stuff, and I don't know what we'll find. )

In a way it would be easier to toss everything without looking at it. It would have been easier if we'd made these decisions back when we or he packed up another batch of who-knows-what and stuck it in the crawl space to begin with. But a trip down memory lane also sounds like fun. Nostalgic, possibly teary, alternately joyful and depressing, fun.

So, friends. I come to you to share a plan of attack and to ask if any of you have dealt with similar situations and might have advice. Questions and tactics )
All that being said... the whole thing might be fine. It might be fun and done quickly, with the bulk of work falling on the donation/sale side.

We'll see.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (turkey pin)
Happy post-Thanksgiving/post-weekend. Long time no entry. (Again.) I spent a week or two finishing an extracurricular job and generally being too busy, and then one week in New York visiting family and remembering how to slow down.

The Thanksgiving trip turned out to be really nice. It provided an opportunity to reconnect with my mom, dad and sister as well as a chance to get to know better the people who are basically stepfamily now: dad's fiancée and her extended family, mom's boyfriend's son who is living at home for a while. Sometimes it involved troubling late-night conversations—more common as I grow up—but for the most part things were lovely. There was a day trip on a boat, some shopping, bonding time in the kitchen, ceiling painting, box packing and old stuff chucking, some couch lounging...

I also got to show my friends A. and Mr. A. around Long Island for a day, attended my other friend A.'s baby shower and spent a long afternoon at the company that used to employ me/destroy my will to live. You may recall stories if you read this LJ up until 2008. I hadn't been back since I quit to go to grad school five years ago. The visit was actually great. About a dozen people I'd worked with were still there, somehow, and there may be contract work in my future. The worst (aside from the fact that the office relocated from 25 miles/60 minutes away from my old house to less than three miles) was that one of my favorite former coworkers, who'd also left and for whom I'd done some freelance jobs, died of a freak intestinal issue over the summer. He was only 28 and had a brand-new daughter.

After driving back to D.C. with Pop Culture Happy Hour podcasts for company, I unpacked a bunch of boxes of books and CDs and assorted other things I'd never moved down here. The Vampire Chronicles! Sandman graphic novels! Poetry! School yearbooks! Old writing now on a Flash drive! Seder plate! Wine glasses! &c. &c. It's nice to have the books in particular. *hugs them* Three and a half years later, my little studio apartment starts to look well-furnished.


What else. I told you about the Dracula ballet. [ profile] synn and I went to the annual Crafty Bastards fair a few weeks ago and played Hipster Meme Bingo with the merchandise, keeping an eye out for moustaches, zombies, bacon, robots, T-rexes, tentacles, owls/cute baby animals, cupcakes and narwhals and stuff, with bonus points for combinations of the above (t-shirt with UFOs abducting dinosaurs! prints of UFOs abducting penguins! tote bag with Obama punching out a zombie!). So that was amusing. Not that I am immune to all of those tropes. No cephalopods this time, but I did get a greeting card with a tiny penguin.

'Tis the season for gift shopping/making/giving. And Festividding. (Half a draft done.) And snow. And sweaters and blankets. And maybe finally acquiring a TV stand that will hold my hundred-pound CRT as well as a shelf of DVDs. Dear vendors: giving load capabilities in flatscreen inches is not universally helpful.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
- A cold
- Two Festivids done and submitted
- Newfound love for the group Tinariwen
- New familiarity with BBC America's daytime programming
- A mouse problem
- Fear of what is happening with "digital piracy" actions (an informative article about the Megaupload takedown)
- A dresser/chest of drawers, at long last
- A silly project just announced at work that could go very right or terribly wrong

More about the cold, which is tied to complicated emotions involving family relationships. )

Um. But we did have a pretty good time going to the big mall, putting together the dresser, chatting, looking through photos, etc.

In a happier conclusion: [ profile] festivids goes live tomorrow! Barring yet more unforeseen technical difficulties like, say, Megaupload disappearing and Viddler rolling out non-functional site changes and deleting suspect files. Poor mods. Vids! And a movie to watch tonight! And I don't have to get up early tomorrow!
bironic: Fred reading a book,looking adorable (fred reading)
Just returned from a week in New York with my mom, who had surgery on Thursday. (Other than a little drug allergy incident and a head cold, she's doing fine; she went back to work today.) Her bf and my sister were there as well, so it turned out to be a nice family bonding experience. We shoveled the 8" of snow that fell on Tuesday night, ate a lot, fielded phone calls from friends and relatives, played board games and watched too much TV. Come to think of it, it was the longest continuous period of time I've spent with them since I left NY to go back to school.

This weekend was also coincidentally my first high school reunion (11 years—don't ask), so I skipped out one day to see my dad and his gf and to go to that. It was about as awkward and enjoyable as I'd expected; surreal to look up every now and again and re-realize that I was surrounded by faces I'd known when we were 6, and nice to see that people were talking to or at least knew most other people, regardless of what cliques they'd been in at the time. Only two of my good friends at the time were there, though, and one of them was the one I went with, so it wasn't an especially moving night.

In any case, the vacation-of-sorts included a small epiphany about how football works, a documentary about Jeff Bridges, Up, a chat with someone I worked with at Hell Job, my mistaking a photo of Margaret Thatcher for Albert Einstein (it was far away and one inch tall!) and conflating Kate Bush and Kate Moss during a game of Trivial Pursuit, and showing my mom thingswithwings' Mythbusters vid James Bondage (which, uh, I hadn't remembered having such explicit lyrics). Post-surgery it would have been fully relaxing were it not for the TV, which hampered reading and writing.

I did finish Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, though—450 pages of relentless relocation and massacre still so condensed that there was no room for discussing cultures, languages, women's stories, current states of the tribes and reservations, etc.—and most of a 1985 David Bowie biography, which is not well-written on a sentence level but is nonetheless clear and fairly engaging, plus sprinkled with fabulous quotes about his sex life (most of which involve the casual use of the word "fucked"). Also, there are some pictures I hadn't seen before. Good God, that man was (is) beautiful. And so much ahead of his time with his fluid identities—sexual, musical, celebrity. It's been fun to turn the book into a multimedia experience by listening to songs on YouTube with each chapter.

2011 is going to be The Year of the Return to the Book. I love fic—you may have noticed—but I've been reading too much of it and not enough of anything else for the past year or so. Time to ease in some more print literature, absorb more style, more knowledge.

Then arrived back in DC last night in the middle of an ice storm. Some guy next to me at a traffic light this morning in a car coated with rippled ice rolled down the passenger side window and punched out the sheet of ice left behind. I wish the sun had come out today; the trees would have been gorgeous.


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