Dept. of Birthdays

Sunday, 9 July 2017 04:20 pm
kaffyr: (Porco Rosso friends)
Natal Felicitations to [personal profile] masakochan !

It's always so much fun to know someone online that shares not one, but many of my particular affections, and 
[personal profile] masakochan  is one of those people. She's a fellow traveler in the Whoniverse, and she knows and loves anime and manga; she shares many of my real world sympathies, and can therefore put up with my intermittent rants about the world. 

She loves animals as well as anime, is determinedly making her way through life even when it gets rocky; she's really a lovely person to know, and I'm glad she's part of my online world. 

I hope your birthday has been good so far, and I hope it signals a good coming year for you. And one of these days I'll rope you into a discussion about Shingeki no Kyojin's second season. You don't have to spoil me about what's coming, I just want to squee with you over the art (which has gotten even better this season), and the pacing and ... and ... well, this is a birthday wish, not a fangirl squee, so forgive me - and Happy, Happy Birthday!
kaffyr: (Clara didn't ask for this)
Things I Did This Weekend

Saving bandwidth, because that's how I usually roll. )

My vacation begins Friday. I can hardly wait. 

Dept. of Music and Joy

Wednesday, 17 May 2017 08:46 pm
kaffyr: (Sen Waits)
 July in May

The last couple of days in Chicago have been in the mid-80sF, although tomorrow is supposed to be only in the 70s.  I didn't mind it; I was able to drive to an assignment, and to a doctor's appointment, with the windows down today. (Yesterday was warm enough that I had to put the car's AC on - and I have to get the AC refrigerant topped off, probably when I'm on vacation week after next, because it wasn't very cool.)

I spent four hours yesterday being trained on the new editorial program the Trib is using. Our trainer said we'll have to get trained on yet another system later this summer; apparently they had to go to this interim system first, but it's a lot of training for very little return. 

The newspaper company I used to work for, the Chicago Sun-Times, is about to be swallowed up by the newspaper company it sold my chain to back in 2014. I have very conflicted feelings about that, none of them good, but they're complex enough that I'm not going to go into them now. Maybe later. 

Another thing I may want to go into at another time: how impressed I've been with the second season of Attack on Titan. 

But for now, have this Bob Mould song. It's gorgeous. 

Dept. of Friday

Friday, 10 March 2017 10:03 pm
kaffyr: (Rabbit Mom 2)
Gintama Is Weirdly Addictive When It Turns Serious

I'll just leave that out there.  

Dept. of April

Friday, 1 April 2016 07:24 pm
kaffyr: Japanese building w/flowers on blue ground (Blue Nippon)
This and That

[personal profile] selenak  says, April's Fool Day is a bit pointless in a world where Donald Trump has a serious shot at the White House, isn't it? In slightly better news, Bernie stands a chance of winning the Wisconsin primary next Tuesday, and appears to be closing the gap between himself and Clinton in New York, supposedly her home territory. I await those primaries with great interest.

I am so very pleased that  Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū is getting a new season. This anime, which sort of re-introduced me to the Japanese art (some consider it a minor art; I don't) of rakugo, is for me the best anime of the past season, and it may just be a tiny masterpiece. So, hurrah!

Got through this week, and I'm grateful for that!

I developed a new drink for the weekend, involving a frozen strawberry in a martini glass, over which I pour .75 shot of Sayuri brand nigori sake and 1.25 shots of gin.
I call it a strawberry blossom, and in my un-Japanese that comes out as hana ichigo. I'm having one now.

I did some more work on Hearts & Moons, but need to sit down and do more serious plotting (with a map of my setting) than I normally do. I have an ACTION! SCENE! at the heart of this chapter, and I need to know just what I'm doing - and more importantly, what each of my characters is doing - to make it read believably. I am, however, very pleased to have come up with the winning stroke for our heroes. So it's buckle down this weekend, 
[personal profile] kaffyr . (I won't let the oven cleaning come between me and my writing, although I swear to god, I'm going to get that damned oven cleaned.

kaffyr: Hayao's realistic Pompoko raccoons yawn in our faces (Pompoko yawns)
A Good Weekend

With the exception of my sore left foot (short version: did something to it back on June 27. It's not a stress fracture, but there's some sort of cyst on one of the bones, I'm going to a podiatrist too many days from now, my body, what a laff riot, blah-blah-fishcakes), this weekend has been a good one. Spent time with Bob, got a few hundred words more done on Chapter 25, made a blueberry pie and entirely too many stuffed poblano peppers for supper today. Well, we have lots of stuffed peppers for lunch, etc., on Monday and Tuesday. Watched some more anime, and came to the sad determination that this latest season's offerings are not nearly as strong as last season's. Watched two more episodes of Defiance and continue to love it. 

Tomorrow? I have an appointment with my gastroenterologist; the next day, I have one with my rheumatologist. I am such an old fart. 

Still, the weather was lovely, I got to listen to an album of piano rolls created by Scott Joplin, and that was lovely, too. I guess I'm going into the week as refreshed as I could ever be. 

kaffyr: Mid-afternoon view from the spirit world train. (Train view)
Well, The Bread May Not Rise ...

... but, based on previous bread making attempts, I know it will be good-tasting brick bread. Given that I've not made a loaf in months, I'm quite satisfied that a) it's my own fault, not the fault of materials or tools and b) that people will enjoy it (and also c) that once I get back in the swing of bread-making, this problem will disappear.)

In the meantime, while the bread is sadly, not rising, I'm making peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, whilst sipping on a lovely chilled champagne tulip of asola prosecco. It's the last day of my mental-and-physical-health vacation, and the sun is shining outside. Afro-Caribbean Latin music is filling the house with very danceable rhythms, and a tulip of frosty prosecco is definitely called for. 

Oh, and later, we'll enjoy more of a very nice chicken and biscuit stew I made yesterday, before enjoying (for very skewed values of "enjoying," I'm willing to acknowledge) the final few episodes of Attack on Titan, and perhaps something else.

I'm enjoying AoT far more than I expected to; then again, I enjoyed Kill la Kill more than I expected to. I think it presses a couple of specific buttons I have. One is the button of "living in the shadow of imminent war," specifically "living in the shadow of imminent war in which I, as an active combatant, stand a better than 50 percent chance of dying." I often have dreams about such scenarios. I have no idea why, but I've had them for years. They are not positive dreams, and it's not a positive button, at least not positive in the commonly-held way. But it's a very intense thing, a very alive thing.

The other button is Zombies! Mindless Zombies! Mindelss Zombies With Beatific Smiles! Fourteen-meter Tall Mindless Zombies With Beatific Smiles .. Who Eat People Because They Like To, Not Because They Need To! Did I Mention Mindless? Zombies With No Brains? Yesssssss!

It's a button that's key to a roiling stew of complicated fear and attraction to scenario that takes my Zombie Button reactions, force feeds them steroids and yeast, then puts them in an oven to watch them grow like the unholy beasts they are. 

Put the two buttons together - and then introduce Intelligent Fourteen Meter Tall Zombies Who Might Be The Cure For The Other Ones ... yeah, I'm hooked. 

So there's that. 

Now I need to get back to the peanut butter cookies, and back to getting the pans ready for the not really buoyant bread-to-be. 

All in all, not a bad way to head into the working week. 

Dept. of Awesome

Thursday, 16 April 2015 10:55 pm
kaffyr: (NaruOMG)
 OMG You Guise ....

Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood!!

kaffyr: (See the Sky)
 Just A Few Things

We finished watching Shigatsi wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April) tonight. It's been a while since an anime made me cry at the same time it made me happy, at least in the way this did. The key scenes, where Kousei plays the Chopin (I think it was Chopin) were inspired visually, audibly, artistically, in every possible way. This one jumped to my all-time top-whatever; it jumped to BB's list as well. Damn. Now I have to go looking for icons. 

A passing )In completely happier new, I am panic-stricken to realize that I have forgotten to wish a happy birthday to [personal profile] james_davis_nicoll  back on the 18th. Is there some portmanteau wherein we can mash up "laconic" and "loquacious"? No? Then [ profile] james_nicoll will have to do. 

And dear lord, [ profile] minnehaha K - you are another year wiser today, no? Yes! Many happies to you, with much travel, enough rest when needed, lovies, reading, historical societies, good food, plants and plantings, friends and life lived in full!

Also, Agents of SHIELD continues to be, as far as I'm concerned, awesome.

Dept. of Positivity

Tuesday, 17 March 2015 10:16 pm
kaffyr: (Porco Rosso friends)
Good Thing for Tuesday

The Girl Standing in the Light of the Dawn, aka Akatsuki No Yona.

The anime is pure, unadulterated pop melodrama history, with a mystical kingdom standing in for, as far as I can see, Korea. That in itself amuses and/or impresses me, given that it's a Japanese anime. The story is so full of anime tropes that I should be bored out of my gourd, but I'm not. I love the slow (oh, so slow) unveiling of the real story, which is Yona's growth as a person and a leader, with the added fun of unexpected chibiness when it's least expected or, probably, appropriate. The art style isn't even one that I normally go for. In fact, everything about this signals that it's the kind of anime I should just yawn and avoid. 

And yet, it's the one I wait for every week. Tuesday is a big day chez Casa KaffBB, because it's Agents of SHIELD Day.  And it's Yona day.

Someday, I should examine why I love this thing so much. But for now, I'm just going to love it. 

(Well, one reason I love it, is some of its music. Its first opening musical theme, and its second closing musical theme, are so very unlike most anime themes, and kind of glorious. At least, I think they're glorious. Here - have cheesy, glorious anime music!

Oh, so wonderfully cheesy .... )
kaffyr: Hayao Miyazaki's Kiki scrubs the floor in animation (Kiki scrubs)
 A Good Monday, and a Busy Tuesday

Yesterday I kept meaning to sit down and post, because I had exciting news to tell you (well, for various pedestrian powers of exciting.) Remember my tale of pedal woe regarding winter boots, and the supposed loss of the one that didn't need to be fixed, just after I got the other boot fixed? Well, I found the other boot, hiding in a dusty corner of our rear stairwell. You have no idea the amount of rejoicing this engendered. Or perhaps you do, if you know my ability to be chuffed with the slightest positive happening. 

snow and more snow )

kitchen stuff )

In more fannish news, we watched more Korra last night.

We're in the middle of the third season; both BB and I are wondering at the lack of closure from the end of Season 2 ... strike that. Argh: just discovered that we didn't watch the last episode of Season 2 because we somehow didn't acquire it. That explains a lot. How embarrassing. 

We're also well into Durarara, and I can say with certitude that I have never disliked a character more, never solemnly yet feverishly wish for a character's downfall, more than I do Izaya. (I do occasionally remain amazed at my ability to become emotionally connected to 2D characters, but only occasionally. It's me, and that's that.)

And now it's back to the kitchen, although I'm going to move my laptop to the dining room so that I can post throughout the day. And I hope to trawl through my friends' list to find out what y'all have been doing. 
kaffyr: The TARDIS in snowfall (Christmas TARDIS)
Snowmageddon? Or Snowpocalypse? Hmmm ....

Not compared to the mugging Mother Nature performed on the East Coast just a few days ago, but Chicago and the rest of Illinois are making a valiant come-from-behind effort. We've got 13" 16" on the ground, with more than five hours to go before the blizzard warning is lifted, and we just hit white-out conditions in sections of Cook County. Chicago's apparently the center of this weather system. And also the epicenter. Yay, us!

I'm enjoying the second true day of vacation (my first days of vacation, Friday and Saturday morning, were spent trying to get one last story into my boss on the new NewsGate editorial platform we're using. I shouldn't do that, but I have a new editor - again - and I felt bad not getting as much in to him as possible for while I was gone. So, yeah, real vacation didn't start until Saturday afternoon, although I did escape from the house on Friday.)

Ruminations on cooking )

2D fun )

kaffyr: (Big Barakomon grin)
I Can Haz Japanese Curry!

Which I made myself, with home-made Japanese curry roux that took about 25 minutes to properly make (butter and flour cooked very slowly, constantly stirring, over low heat for about 22 minutes, and then curry, garam masala and cayenne pepper dumped in and mixed in. I can see why Japanese cooks make extensive use of ready-made curry roux (and I've used it myself), because making it from scratch is time consuming. But I've done it, and I know how to do it now, and that makes me very happy.

Sort of food porn )
Hmmm. Also, in non anime news, BB and I have started watching Legend of Korra. We are greatly impressed, and FB tells me it just keeps getting better. Woo-hoo!

Also, we finally took down the tree and got it to the park district for mulching. Less about what I truly think was about a quarter-pound of needles. That was a very, very, very dry tree by the time we took it out of the house. A vacuum full of needles. I even had to get needles out of the toaster. (Don't ask.)

Off to have a BAM and watch more anime. Because that's how I roll. (Did I mention that I made the curry while dancing around to Brazilian bossanova? I didn't? Well, that's what I did.)

kaffyr: Hayao's realistic Pompoko raccoons yawn in our faces (Pompoko yawns)
Positivity and Me

Many of my online friends have been having fun with the ultimately wonderful positivity meme, and it makes me smile to read the things they read (even as I, sadly, am monotonously predictable in my lack of response.) Thank all of you for having fun with the meme. It's more than fun, actually; it's a fine and necessary exercise in fighting everything from the mild greys, to the ordinary blues, to the goddamned Black Dogs. So, yes, it's good to see others do it.

We got the condo building basement cleaned up by about 80 percent, and I am very, very happy with that.

I' finally posted the MCU fic that has been bouncing around my head ever since I first saw the movie way back in 2012. Wrote it in one day plus an hour or so - for me, these days, that's fast. The only time I've written faster, or even as fast, is during Fandom Stocking, and I am reasonably pleased with it, as unedited and self-indulgent things go. Now, back to the other story.

Enjoyed reviewing two anime movies that BB and I watched over the past couple of years; Welcome to the Space Show, and Summer Wars. If I wasn't battling a bit of an uncomfortable headache, and was not, therefore, heading to bed in order to have any hope of a productive Monday - I'd talk about why I like them so much. I hope the links are at least a bit informative, although they don't really capture why I truly like the movies.

Going to bed now - have a wonderful Monday!

Dept. of Brainzzz

Wednesday, 16 July 2014 09:19 pm
kaffyr: Two elegant dancers (Dance)
Scattered Thoughts

I haven't been around for several days, largely because I've been trying to keep up with my work day story minimums. Since I actually haven't been able to do that very well (I will not be surprised if I get hauled in for a disciplinary meeting sometime in the next month or so, but I'm not overly fussed about it) I figured I'd just do a bullet point list on miscellanea, just to keep my oar in.

Under here because bandwidth )
kaffyr: Doc Yewl from Defiance (yewlyay)
Good Things on a Weekend

  • Knights of Sidonia has been renewed for a new season. For my money, the best recent straight up drama anime I've seen. Complicated story, interesting world, computer art that fits with the story. Yeah, good news.
  • I cleaned my tub and toilet. Yes, that's good news, and no, they weren't horrible to begin with. Well, the jets on the tub needed to cleaned a whole lot ... and I finally got my act in gear and did it.
  • We will be down to three cats in three or four days. I'll miss Tommy and Lily, but I won't miss the second cat box, and everything that goes into it. And my poor little Opie cat will be able to relax, once scary Lily (who is maybe half his size) is no longer around to make life miserable.
  • And of course the reason that Tommy and Lily will be departing after being fostered here for a year is because Andy and his lady-love are moving in together. And that's a good thing. Emily is bright, confident, openly in love, and in like, with my son; and she is comfortable around BB and me. That last is one of the biggest reasons I think this relationship has a strength and potential for growth that simply wasn't there in the previous situation. Why? Because family interaction is very important for BB, FB and me. If someone isn't comfortable with that, then one isn't going to be comfortable with any of us.
  • Defiance continues to be damned good. I am a happy fan. (Right now, I'm not doing much reviewing or talking about it, but I'm happy that Doc Yewl is on my screen once more; although (gah!) as of this week there seems to be less of her to be on screen. Yet another reason to despise the E-Republic.
  • I got shopping done, I got cat boxes changed, the sun is, unexpectedly, shining. I listened to lots of Brazilian music today, and now I'm listening to lots of The Mambo Express, all of which serves to ease me back into the week. And the week is only four days long. At the end of it? Fireworks, and a birthday party.
So, yeah; not too bad, by my lights.


kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Default)

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