kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Default)
Pictures. Pictures Are Good.

Warning - this will be an image heavy post, so it will be going under a cut (and let's hope the cut works!)

When I got back from Canada last fall, I promised pictures. I didn't deliver. And when last fall's political events started drowning me in the deepest of depressions, I promised I'd try to rise above it, at least occasionally. I haven't truly delivered on that, either.

So, before the start of another undoubtedly stressful week, I'll be giving you some pictures that make me smile. I hope you can enjoy them!

These are some pictures taken on the day of my stepdad, Rob Stirling's, birthday. His many kids, two stepkids, grandkids, at least one grandchild, and various spousal units, took him to Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, in hopes of sailing on The Bluenose, one of Canada's cultural icons. As you'll recall, we weren't able to sail, because the boat's electronics chose to misbehave, but the Bluenose's Captain was still able to present Rob with greetings from the Prime Minister, the Nova Scotian Premier, and various other People of Importance. You'll be able to figure out who Rob is; you'll see a boat load of his family; you'll also be able to ID the aging couple (including the woman with the horrible posture) as BB and I, and one would-be artistic picture of the Bluenose's mast. 


Here is an admittedly fuzzy picture of my brother Mac and Rob, wearing Chicago Cubs sweatshirts; those were my Christmas gifts to them, along with the copy of the Chicago Tribune that the two of them are holding. I was more than pleasantly surprised to hear how happy Mac was at getting his presents; I'd thought he might roll his eyes and just be polite about them, but he was genuinely excited, and said he was going to save the paper because of its historic value. I asked him to send me a picture, and he did. Cool! It's fuzzy, but it's still cool!

And here. )



And finally, here's a picture of one of my succulents with a completely unexpected flower. The last time it flowered was two or three years ago, when I got it from my daughter of the heart. I never expected it to bloom again. So that's kind of a great omen for 2017, right? 

And here! )
 

Dept. of Sunday

Sunday, 16 October 2016 05:29 pm
kaffyr: Young Melody Pond regenerates (I can fix that)
How To Make The Coming Week Better

Actually, I don't have a recipe for making the coming week better, so that's a rather misleading headline. But I want to make the week better. So, lack of recipe notwithstanding, how do I do it?

Saving bandwidth since 2006.... )
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Default)
Today is Sunday

Tonight there will be a presidential debate, one during which hundreds of thousands of viewers will sit, waiting for the moment when Donald Trump finally, completely, mesmerisingly, permanently, unforgettably loses his shit for real, and sends the GOP into a death spiral* so complete that one could get sick on the juicy, deliciously rich schadenfreude. 

But that's tonight. And perhaps I won't even watch, because I've already shouted myself almost hoarse this weekend, in the service of something far more joyous, which you'll see under the cut. 

So today, this very sunny afternoon, I'm going to share with you two things: 

Read more... )
Read more... )

* Actually, I hope it's not a death spiral. The two-party system may not be ideal, but it sure as hell beats the one-party system. I'd just like something a little less batshit crazy than the current version of the Grand Old Party.
 
kaffyr: Animated Canadian flag (Canada!)
In (Very) Brief

Went down and visited the striking Chronicle Herald workers on their picket line, talked to several of the folks holding down their union strike office, took pictures, made a donation, told them I was hoping for the best. Come this morning, I hear that the Chronicle Herald has had to shut down its weekly edition in Cape Breton (the northern island part of Nova Scotia) because of - and they admitted this in their announcement - "a headwind of union sympathy." Good. Capers are good union folks, and this will hit them in their pocket, maybe go a ways to force them back to the table. 

Going to dinner tonight with an old friend. Going on the Bluenose tomorrow. Pics from both of those things Saturday, most probably. Boy, are the folks at Mac's local Tim Horton's ever getting to know me. (And Bob.) 
kaffyr: Keep Calm and Carry on At Length poster (Carry On)
I Am Not - Repeat, Not - Going To Give Up On Posting. Or Responding To Posts

Because all of you out there are very important to me. 

I realize that the last few months have seen epic absence from me. Somehow, each day at work has been so much more stressful than it's been in the past, that getting off work in the evening doesn't leave me with enough energy to communicate. I haven't worked out why that seems to be the case - certainly, I've posted like mad during previous periods of extremely high stress - and perhaps it's counter-productive to wonder at the reasons. Poking a stick at a dead horse doesn't do anything for you or the horse. 

Exercise in writing something longer than a tweet )
What I've seen on YouTube )
Union work, huzzah! )
Jazz! )

Nova Scotia, television, gin and hernias )
Dear lord, I'm babbling like a brook. It's time for me to cease. But I can tell you that it's wonderful actually having the time and energy to post. I'm very happy about that. 
kaffyr: A still from "Kiki's Delivery Service" (Kiki dreams)
Things, Things, Things
  • I apologize to all the wonderful people - including my own beloved BB - whose July and August birthdays I've failed to acknowledge. I hope you all had excellent natal days; I think all of you help improve my world, and you're lovely in general. I'm glad I've gotten to know all of you via the Internet. 
  • I listened to a radio interview tonight done a few years ago with a woman who translated Rainer Maria Rilke, and who was pretty interesting in and of herself; worked for the CIA in Germany in the 1950s, became a buddhist monk after meeting Tibetan refugees (including the young Dalai Lama) while being part of one of the first Peace Corps families in India, as well as being an early environmentalist. Can I remember her name? Of course not.  Now I want to read Rilke's poetry. I've only read a few bits, and loved them. 
  • I want to write about why The Goblin Emperor is my comfort food novel. I think I've read it four times already, and I think I know why. But some of the reasons might sound disrespectful to Sarah Monette, who wrote it under the pseudonym Katherine Addison. They aren't; they are, in my mind, one of the reasons I think her writing is marvelous. But still ... can I put it all together well? I don't know. 
  • Less than a month before BB and I head to Canada to celebrate my step-dad's birthday. I can hardly wait - I'm looking at things to do, like a wine-tasting at Grand Pre, maybe some theater in Halifax, dinner with friends in Wolfville ... augh; I don't know. But it's our first big blow-out vacation in years, and I want to come back to Chicago remembering it with great joy. 
  • I've taken to listening to "ancient" music - stuff from the Baroque period and before, which I've mentioned before. It's very soothing. 
  • My right hand is starting to stiffen up again, after a few years of really good recovery from the initial attack of RA and scleroderma. And my stomach is giving me rather constant troubles. Not sure what to do about the first thing, but I'm looking forward to my Aug. 25 visit with my gastroenterologist to talk about the second thing. 
  • Had back spasms Friday and some of the weekend. Kept me out of work Friday. That'll teach me to lay off my back exercises.
  • FB and Miss Emily got back from their trip; it was good to have them home, and to welcome Emily into the family with a hug. (No, they're not married yet, but as far as I'm concerned, she's part of the family now.)

And I think that's about all I can think of for now. 

Dept. of Family

Sunday, 7 August 2016 07:34 pm
kaffyr: (Hurrah!)
She Said Yes.

 photo 2877627e-07c2-4a13-bca3-30fd9be73dd2_zpspsnikwbl.jpg


And I am just about as happy as my First Born. She will be wearing a ring from my great-great grandmother. 

Welcome to the family, Emily!

kaffyr: (See the Sky)
Do You Know What's Good? Ancient Music, That's What's Good.

Well, I didn't get everything done that I needed to do on Friday, but I still ended the day feeling remarkably decent about myself. Go, me, then. 

And today, I got a haircut, I did my exercises (thereby staving off an incipient back pain), and spent quality time with one of the three men in my life (the second flew out this morning to meet his beloved on the East Coast, and the third is up in Nova Scotia being retired.) 

All of those things are good. You know what else is good? Discovering a classical music station on Shoutcast Radio that plays nothing newer than Elizabethan galliards, as far as I can tell. And, as I told BB this morning, ancient music cools me out a great deal. I tend to like classical that's Haydn and older, so I suppose this isn't a surprise. 

Tonight, steak, potatoes and spinach. Then Game of Thrones and new anime. And a hana ichigo. Yes, I think it will be a good night. 

Dept. of Success

Tuesday, 12 July 2016 08:43 pm
kaffyr: (Hurrah!)
Huzzah!

First Born's band, wellthen, has made its Kickstarter goal; hurrah!!!!  (Hey, good news and happiness from Yours Truly!)

Dept. of Don't Despair

Saturday, 2 July 2016 04:49 pm
kaffyr: Animated Canadian flag (Canada!)
Post Canada Day Report

I wanted to post something happy after my last extremely emotional rant. The world is still pretty fucking awful, but there are good things going on as well. 

Canadian goodness )

American goodness )

So, yes, good things. Good, strong things that remind me life can still be worth it all. 
kaffyr: Dancing French cracked geniuses (Sometimes you need to dance)
Wellthen

That's not a misspelling; that's the name of the band that my beloved FB plays in, writes for, and enjoys a whole lot.

He and his bandmates have been working their tails off to put together a high quality debut album. And that takes money. So, like many a millennial  band before them, they've taken to Kickstarter to get the $5,000 necessary to put it out there. 

They created a very funny video explaining what they're doing.  I get a kick out of it, even after seeing it several times (possibly because Andy wrote much of it, and does the voiceover, I'm compelled to admit.) Why not take a look, and a listen? I'd tell you to look for the good looking man with the beard, but they all have beards in most of the video, so that's no help. But at the start of the video, in the still, he's the one without a beard, in the short-sleeved purple tee. (And there's a scene in the video where you see a man and a woman talking to each other in the foreground; that's him, and his beloved Emily.)

It may not be your kind of music. And there are certainly a lot more important things to put your money into these days. But if it tickles your fancy or your funny-bone, and if you'd like to help them out, I'd be delighted. And so would they. 
 


Dept. of Sadness

Tuesday, 26 April 2016 01:25 pm
kaffyr: Rory Williams Pond cries (Rory cries)
Well, It Was My Own Fault

Got the last of my unpacking done, and found that I'd left my little carved wooden box with my four favorite pairs of earrings, including one pair that belonged to my mother, in the hotel room in Cleveland. I called the hotel, spoke with housekeeping, and of course it never even made it to the lost and found box.  

The worst of it is that I felt a completely unworthy anger at having left an extra tip when I left; not a lot extra, but enough that my room mate told me I shouldn't leave it, because she'd left a larger tip the day before.

I mean, what the hell, kaffyr? You can be mad that someone decided to take the box — and I will be oh, so glad to be proven wrong, if I could discover that I'd just pulled the box out of my suitcase late Sunday, and misplaced it in the house — but don't regret leaving the tip. You left the tip because you know that hotel workers don't get paid enough; whether or not one housekeeper couldn't resist taking the box doesn't change the fact that she or he should be compensated fairly, and isn't. And you should never refuse to give a tip because the person who gets the tip might be dishonest. 

All of that aside, I am very sad. That box had the four sets of earrings that I wear. Every other set of earrings in my house, with the exception of two, is unwearable and kept only for sentimental reasons. 
 I really should have listened to the tiny gut-voice that told me not to take the box this time (although I've taken it with me on plenty of trips before.) I didn't, and so I basically lost all of my earrings. And losing the ones that Mum used to wear is particularly hard.


Dept. of Union Stuff

Saturday, 23 April 2016 10:18 pm
kaffyr: (Bacon!)
I Adulted Like an Adult Thing Today

And it has made me very, very tired. 

Veryveryveryveryveryveryveryvery....

*snorts, wakes up*

Yeah, time for bed. 

*wakes up, remembers thing*

Oh, Good Thing: BB has his second eye surgery Tuesday, Hurrah!

Bad Thing: It's the same day I moved my rheumatologist appointment to. So I'll have to move it a second time. Because the next possible date for BB to get his second eye done? August. YeahNOPE. 

Good night all!

Dept. of Surgery Day

Thursday, 14 April 2016 08:02 pm
kaffyr: The TARDIS at Giverny (TARDIS at Giverny)
Operation Get BB Back to Optimal Ocular Outlook

It's the end of the day. BB is sleeping on the couch, one eye very piratical. I will be quite fierce with him if he does anything like bend over, or try to pick up things, both of which activities are prohibited over the next day, and highly discouraged over the next week. 

Medical stuff )

Union and work stuff )

Good things, good books )
And now I must away to bed.


Dept. of Monday

Monday, 21 March 2016 09:25 pm
kaffyr: Twelve busses River! (Happy River and Twelve!)
The Necklace My First-Born Gave Me

Ijgeoff wanted to see the lovely necklace FB gave me yesterday. It's a simple Seal of Rassilon and I think it's gorgeous. So I took a couple of pictures, and here they are!  The first one
I took on our marble living room tabletop. The second one I took on my bed coverlet. It's a little harder to see, it but it feels kind of luxurious to me. 

Saving bandwidth )

Dept. of Kwizeeen

Wednesday, 27 January 2016 08:31 pm
kaffyr: (Tired of typesetting)
I Have ...

... made a 10-pound lasagne.*

Fear me.



*With the help of my beloved sous-chef. At 8:30 at night.  

 
kaffyr: The TARDIS in snowfall (Christmas TARDIS)
Fighting Against the Dark

I'm sitting here, listening to extremely eclectic Christmas music, the Best Tree Ever bright and shiny to my right, my beloved BB and FB in front of me. It's Christmas Eve, and, as usual, I haven't gotten everything I wanted to get done today actually done. But, as is not actually as usual, I'm not too worried about it.

I got the faux mince mix done, and it's marinating now, ready to be put into a pie tomorrow morning. I got the cranberry relish made, and I made the two dressings (a sausage dressing and one that's nominally vegetarian, although it's hardly got any vegetables in it, just loads of artery-hardening yummy fat-soaked carbs, because it's my Nana's traditional sage dressing, and I should probably end this overloaded parenthetical ark right here) and they are baking now. 

Tomorrow, it'll be time to cook the goose, the corn casserole, the mashed potatoes and the Berghoff-style creamed spinach. And maybe a pumpkin pie, although one guest is bringing cheesecake, and another one is bringing a Sicilian cake. And of course it will also be time to race around, trying to make the place look a little better before the guests arrive. 

But tonight ... tonight, I'm very happy. 

I looked back at a few of my past Christmas posts, and I wish that I could replicate some of the elegance that occasionally glinted out from my prose. But this year, I don't have much that's elegant to say. 

Tonight, we will be watching The Snowman, and It's a Wonderful Life together  (if the three of us don't conk out ... it's gotten late, and we're all exhausted.) Both of these are Christmas traditions for us. 

Folks who know me know how much I love It's a Wonderful Life. It's a complicated, sophisticated, deeply realistic but ultimately hopeful little cinematic myth, and it says so much about family, love, anger, disappointment, hope, the turning of rage into joy ... it's all about fighting against the dark, and I never get tired of it, I never stop crying, or laughing, or ultimately being made that little bit happier by it. 

Years ago, I wrote three little vignettes based on the movie. It's a Wonderful Life fanfic, I suppose. I present them again here, with love. (They aren't under a cut, because I can't seem to make cuts work tonight. Forgive the word dump.) 


**************************************

The building was cold and drafty at the best of times, the high ceilings and ornamental columns of its main room conducive to nothing more than the slow leach of heat to the outside. Tonight it was, perhaps, colder than usual; he'd let the employees go early because it was Christmas Eve, and ordered the janitor to damp the furnace. He didn't care. He'd be warm enough with the fire his man had built up in the study's fireplace.

He rolled his chair closer to the hearth, and leaned as far as he could into the warmth, then looked back at his desk. The telephone hadn't rung, not for two hours. Not since that fool had banged on the window and screamed a greeting at him - crazed smile, five o'clock shadow and wild hair, no topcoat - then disappeared.

He had felt a sour glee at that point. It seemed obvious the man had lost his senses. But his  heady victory had gradually ebbed in the dark and the silence, replaced with nagging questions and unsatisfied, fearful curiosity. Where were the sheriff and the examiner? Where were the reporters? He brought his fist to his mouth and scowled, resisting the urge to send his man to find out what was going on. He tried not to listen to the clock.

The fire died, and the room grew cold. He rolled himself around and back to his desk, retrieved the envelope he'd stuffed into a top drawer.

Eight thousand dollars. Such a small thing to him, and such a large and fatal weapon - he had thought - to his nemesis. Such a poison as would - he had thought - silence the fool and bring him to ruin in the eyes of the rabble.

He had thought.

Outside, the silence of the snowy evening gave way to something else. He heard snatches of song, the tinkle of a bell. For a fleeting moment, so quick a one that he could easily insist it had never been, he thought he heard his mother's voice. The music faded, and the laughter braided through it, and the bell.

He stayed where he was, his heart not yet ripe for the picking.


*******************************

Ever since Laura (who laughed with, not at; who loved; who left too soon), the dream had been a recurring torment.

He would be walking down Main Street, a Main Street lined with people, everyone he knew. They would all be laughing. No one would speak to him. No one would let him in to the office. He would run to his home, and it would be empty, all the animals gone. He would wake, tears streaming down his face, with the memory of his brother's disapproving eyes.

(His brother had never had those eyes, of course. Nor had his sister-in-law, nor his wonderful, brave, boss of a nephew. They all loved him, and so he got through with strings on his fingers, and the occasional snootful.)

When he lost the money, it was as if he had stepped into the nightmare. He had cried on his desk, the animals around him as he tried to remember where he'd left it, and tried to forget the fury in his nephew's face.

He wasn't a praying man - none of the men in his family were - but he felt as if a prayer had been answered when she knocked softly at the door and asked what had happened. Then she asked for his help, looked into his eyes and said it wasn't his fault. It took a heck of a woman to make him believe that, but he did, mostly. And off they went, making telephone calls, and telling those they called to call others, then knocking on doors in the snowy twilight, everyone telling everyone that his nephew needed their help. And everyone answering.

It was like a festival, or a deep breath of relief, in the crazy, crowded, happy front room at their house. He proffered his basket of loose bills like a vassal to his lord. It would have been enough for him. But while everyone was singing, and she was bringing out some unexpectedly welcome eggnog, someone tapped him on the shoulder. He turned, and was brought into the tweedy, still slightly wet and doggy-smelling arms of his nephew.

The hug almost sank him, but he stayed afloat, grinning like a fool. He only had to sit down and fight the tears again when the younger man asked him - him - for forgiveness.

He forgave.
 

****************************************

She had always known there was rage at his core. She didn't know where it came from or why it bubbled through the quirky humor and the odd decisions and the steady look in his eyes.  But she never worried, because those things were the crucible through which he changed the rage, made it into something strong and good for her and the children. And somehow she had also known there was just enough fury in her own heart that he would trust her with his.

She held two secrets in that heart of hers.

The first? She had lied all those years ago, when she said she was happier home than in New York. She was only happy where he was, and if he'd given her the choice - home, or him on a tramp steamer and only a stone on which to lay her head - she'd have nicked her brother's shortest pair of dungarees, found some rubber boots and booked passage.

The second was that she knew his secret. Not the one everyone else thought he had. Everyone else thought he'd given up dreams of the world for her and for the family, for the family business. Even he still thought that, sometimes. For a few years she had thought so, too.

But she had grown to understand the truth. It was the other away around with that man. He wanted the National Geographic Magazine, yes he did, and he wanted to talk about coconuts (and she had made herself like the stuff for him), and dream about trains and aeroplanes and those blessed tramp steamers of his.

What he really wanted, though, were all those things from behind the solidity of Mr. Gower's counter, or his desk, or from under the counterpane on their bed. The look in his eyes when he'd walked, wet and angry and curious, into their leaking living room on their wedding night; that had been her first clue. Eventually she cottoned on to it.

She never told him, and when he came home this Christmas Eve in an uncontrolled panic, with the rage untransformed, she thought she had made a terrible mistake. She wasn't even sure what mistake (Him? This life? Herself?) but it seemed as if everything she thought she knew about him had been wrong.

Until she remembered the feel of his lips on her throat, the night he dropped the telephone and gave in to her. And she put aside her fear, and went to see his uncle. They would figure it out together.

And they did, and here they all were, and she was laughing and crying, and shepherding trays of coffee and eggnog to the flock that had gathered here.

She would shake later, but not in front of the children. She would do it in his arms, now that he had come back

Merry Christmas, everyone. Good Yule. Happy Bringing of the Light. 

.



kaffyr: (Clara under pressure)
Dreaming after "Hell Bent"

Very initial thoughts on Hell Bent )
More, anon, but for now - dream things!

Dreaming in Gallifreyan )Political dreaming )
Dreaming of Mum )
Yes, I know; that was all very exciting for you to read, wasn't it?
kaffyr: Animated Canadian flag (Canada!)
I Will Not Forget



 photo ldquoInFlandersFieldsrdquoPaintingbyDirkLemmens1959_zps8a818ba2.jpg

Not because I glorify war, but because I hate it.
Not because all soldiers are heroes, but because they are all human.
Not because of the generals, but because of the privates.
Not just because of the soldiers, but because of the civilians.
Not just because it is good to remember, but because it is necessary. 

My grandfather was an RAF and RNAS pilot in the First World War. He was an ace. He won the DSC. He also served in the Second World War on the home front. He was a highly imperfect and often awful man, but he was brave, and more than occasionally worth knowing and remembering. 

My mother served as a nurse in the Royal Canadian Navy, although she didn't have to serve during wartime. You know what I think of my mother.

My brother served as a police officer and a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They also serve who are always on alert on the home front. 

Dept. of Memories

Tuesday, 27 October 2015 05:14 pm
kaffyr: Amy in profile in Byzantium garden (Amy remains in light)
Oct. 27, 2013

I was doing something earlier this afternoon, when all of a sudden I thought, "It must be close to the anniversary date of Mum's death. Jeez, how could I forget?"

I didn't. My subconscious must have realized that today is the second anniversary of her death. 

I still check in with her regularly in my head. By now, I've been able to watch a video bit taken of her during our last visit, something I couldn't do until recently. Life is still very much a "before Mum died" and "after Mum died" thing, but it doesn't loom as large for me as it once did. 

I miss her, though. 

kaffyr: (See the Sky)
To My Son
My Fellow Geek )

I wrote the following on Facebook, where FB is most often online, but his birthday is an important date at Casakaffyr. His is one of the two stars around which I've circled, willingly, for decades. I am so glad that he is my son.

Dearest Andy:

Back some 31 years, just around this time, you were taking your own sweet time entering our world. You eventually did, a little later in the day, and the world has been a better place for it.

Andy, you are one of the brightest lights of my life, and I have seen how much you light up others' lives as well. You are wise in the best ways, the ways of kindness and compassion; those around you have benefitted greatly as a result. You are learning other wisdoms
 as well, which will make your light burn even more brightly.

As you enter another year of life, you can be proud of your growth. As a mother, I am proud and humble in the face of your talents, your creativity, and the life that bursts from you.

We have had our tumbles, and you have had your own; you always rose up from them, and we have always remained a team, whether that meant sitting together and watching Duck Tales, arguing over who got to be online the most in the days of one household computer, geeking out over Doctor Who, or providing shoulders for each other to cry on.

I love you more than you will ever know — and I like you more than ever. May this day be fantastic for you, and may this year be magnificent!
 



Dept. of Nerves

Monday, 28 September 2015 09:18 pm
kaffyr: (Sen Waits)
Family Visits

Thoughts on a little brother )
kaffyr: Outline sketch of Sherlock Holmes, and John Watson, BBC 2011-12 (Sherlock and Watson)
Many Happy Returns of the Day

First, to a talented writer, a dedicated fan and mother, and a wry commenter on fandom, motherhood, travel, the comedy of daily life, kitchen adventures and more - happy birthday 
[personal profile] azriona ; may your coming year be wonderful!

Second, to the wonderful daughter of my heart,
[livejournal.com profile] art_tastic, who I have been so lucky to know and love for the past 14 years or so; you are creative, caring, tough, musical, silly and sublime!


kaffyr: Nine, Rose and Jack on Game Station (Love story)
Wanna See A Match Burn Twice?

That was what Bob said to me shortly after he'd met me. He was a bartender at The Barbarossa at the time, and I was already entranced with him, despite having known him less than a week. I was sitting at the bar, late at night, after the live music had stopped. Perhaps someone had put a dime in the jukebox; I can't remember. But I remember him pulling the joke on me, much to my horrified surprise. I also remember how horrified he was, in turn, when he realized that he'd just pulled the joke on someone who didn't know enough to move her arm away in time. 

Sort of a weird thing to start a birthday wishes post with, I suppose. Perhaps I should have started with the story about him drooling beer down the front of his shirt as a piece of guerrilla bartender theater? No? 

Then let me follow with why I remember those things, from way back at the beginning - it was because he always knew how to laugh, and how to make other people laugh. And it was because his sense of humor was so sideways that it invigorated me, and reminded me not to be so sour and dour. He made me laugh, and that was, if not lifesaving for me, then certainly a priceless gift at a time when I
 wasn't too apt to smile

Over the years, he taught me about more than just when to laugh at fate.

He taught me how good and patient a man he is, as he became the full time parent to our son. 

He taught me how talented he was, and he taught me how to entertain people. 

He taught me about rock and roll. He taught me about jazz, and made me listen to A Love Supreme, and now decades later, he doesn't have to force me to do that, because I want to listen to it myself. 

He taught me about living outside my comfort zone in other ways; sushi, and foreign films (at least some of them), and anime, and long late-night talks about whether or not "Is There A God" wasn't the wrong question to ask about life. 

He taught me about persisting in the face of pain, and fear, and uncertainty, and about how important it is to talk to the one you love when you need help. 

Much of what I am today is because of him. I am so grateful to know him, and to celebrate his birthday with him. 

Love you, President of the World!

Dept. of Memes

Saturday, 11 July 2015 04:16 pm
kaffyr: (See the Sky)
Five Things That Make Me Happy

[livejournal.com profile] mack_the_spoon tagged me with this meme, and though I'm not normally very good at memes, or indeed all that interested in them, this one attracted me because it's simple - I am a simple creature - and it was a very positive sort of thing. I do love many things, so let's see if I can tell you about five things that make me happy. 

1. BB. He is, quite simply, the best thing in my life. It may seem disrespectful to call him the best thing, but what I mean by that is that he does so much for me, and has taught me so much, and has been there so often for me ... he is my best friend; he's my voice of reason when I need one, and that's oh, so often; he's the one who kills the cockroaches, he's the one who tells me I look good when I know I'm looking seedy, he's the one who knows I need a hug. He's the one who tells me, who convinces me, that things are going to be alright. He's the one who introduced me to jazz (and truly nurtured my inherent love of music in general), and Firesign Theater, and martinis. He knows my sense of humor, and puts up with my lack of humor when I'm in particularly dour moods. He is the best.

2. Personal letters that come by mail. Whether they're handwritten or typed up, getting a real letter in the mail takes me back to the days when getting news from friends who lived far away was a special treat. The days you'd wait between the time you mailed your own letter - which you'd carefully written with as much news, thoughts, meanderings, worries and joys as you could possibly do before your fingers tired or your typewriter jammed - and the time you got an answer, with any luck as jammed packed in answer, were interminable. And the day the letter arrived, oh, it was wonderful!

3. Music. I grew up with music; my Nana and my mother sang, and sang beautifully. I had piano lessons for years, and have always regretted giving them up. I love almost every kind of music, although rock and roll gets my blood flowing the most, and jazz talks to my head and heart almost as much as I've grown older. Even music I thought I didn't like, like various iterations of country, or were bored by, like whatever folk is, I learned to appreciate. Music is language I can share with everyone, and it's a language BB helped me get better at. Without music, my inner life would be an echoing, empty chamber. 

4. Cooking and writing. Yes, definitely cheating here by putting both things in the same boat, but they are both ways I can create, and I love that. Cooking is a way I can carry on my Nana's traditions in the kitchen, and those of my mother's too, so that's one reason. It's creation with short term gratification, but with challenges (as anyone who has ever wrestled with making a good pie crust can tell you.) It's also tied in with the joy of feeding family and friends, which of course is also tied in to ego gratification, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Writing is far more difficult for me, whether it's news and feature writing, or fiction writing. But I could no more stop writing, as slow as I am, than I could stop walking or talking. This happiness comes from my fiction writing, and it comes at least in part from knowing that I'm good at it, and that I can create stories that people love. I doubt that I will ever return to writing original fiction, but writing fan fiction makes me more happy than I've ever been when writing other things. 

5. Fandom. By that, I mean many things. I mean the traditional science fiction fandom that I discovered in 1977 when I went to my first World Science Fiction Convention, and which led me to a circle of music-oriented fans in Minneapolis in the 1980s and early 1990s. Traditional fandom was my first real intellectual and emotional home apart from my family. It was the place where I discovered that other people really loved the books I loved, and who didn't think I was weird, mockable, or bullyable, because of it. (Even my family, who indulged my reading, looked at it askance). Bless traditional fandom forever. And now, I am a part of online fandom, which is a child of traditional fandom, but who, like all children, has grown into a creature all its own. I have friends, and friendly acquaintances, all across this globe, people who helped me hang on to happiness, who encouraged my writing, who challenged my mind, who have been wonderful to read and to interact with for the past nine-plus years. You are all part of my life, and you enrich it so much. Thank you!

And let's see, I
 should tag people, although it's definitely a voluntary thing, especially if you've done this before. So ... [personal profile] a_phoenixdragon , [personal profile] penlessej , [personal profile] elisi , [personal profile] jjpor , and [personal profile] ljgeoff  - tag, you're it!

Honorable mentions: Doctor Who, especially Nine, Eleven, and River; Japanese curry and croquettes; Chicago; anime.

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