kaffyr: (Thin Man Christmas)
I. Am. On. Vacation. 

Which should give me a chance to:

1. Decorate the tree that's been standing, nude, in our livingroom for the past two days. Late start, anyone?
2. Finish my holiday cards. I got 19 out this week and if I can get the same number done tomorrow, people will get them before ... uh ... New Year's? Maybe?
3. Tell the story of Andy's tale of woe - stolen guitar, smashed car window - which then turned into an honest-to-god Christmas tale of loveliness.
4. Wrap presents.
5. Cook a goose. 
6. Write ALL THE FIC for 
[community profile] fandom_stocking . (I have a stocking up myself, and here it is, but that's not quite as important as WRITING ALL THE FIC.)

More, later, after I've decompressed into holiday cheer. Oh, and a martini

ETA: Huh. I can't get through to LJ, ("Bad Gateway") and it's not cross-posting. Anyone else seeing those problems?. 

Dept. of Thanks

Thursday, 24 November 2016 01:50 pm
kaffyr: The TARDIS at Giverny (TARDIS at Giverny)
Thank You All

This world is a horrible world. But it's also, as Louie sang, a wonderful world. 

There are children dying in the Mediterranean. There are families starving in Aleppo. There are indigenous Americans and their allies being injured and frozen in North Dakota. There are black men and women, fellow citizens, who are being shot and prisoned here in a country that pretends it wasn't built on the backs of black men and women. There are people who wish to know nothing, and wish us to share their ignorance, at gunpoint, if necessary. There are slightly different versions of this horror across the globe. There is death, and starvation, and dying, and hate, and hate, and hate, and bitter tears, and the silence of apathy.

But there are sunrises. There are unexpected sperm whales greeting delighted underwater oceanographic nerds. There are lives saved. There are lives lived fully and fiercely with full and fierce love. There are rockets and tiny, tiny starships carrying bits of us into the icy dark, not caring one whit that there might not be anyone out there to meet. There are wonders, and children who may still save us. There are beautiful books, there are lovers, there are people who we love and who love us back.  There are angels unawares, dressed just like us. They are, in fact, us. 

And you are there, my friends, in that latter. 

Thank you. 

Any support I can give you, I will. Any love I can send you, I will. 

I love you all. 



Dept. of Thursday

Thursday, 17 November 2016 06:56 pm
kaffyr: (Happy Kyouso Giga daughter)
Cauliflower, Capons, Early Deadlines

I have just roasted cauliflower florets after tossing them with coarsely chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and olive oil. It is really, really good. I don't know why I didn't think about roasting cauliflower before the age of 61. (Me, not the cauliflower.) I have a new side-dish for Thanksgiving!

I was playing around with the idea of having a capon rather than a turkey for thanksgiving dinner. After some thought and reading, I've decided not to do so. I'll just go with a smaller turkey and slow/moist roast it. 

Can you tell I'm going into Thanksgiving dinner mode? Doing so makes me happy. We're having FB and Em, our friend JT, Drs. Gonzo and Bob (not my BB, a different Bob), and maybe a couple of others. BB has asked that we don't talk about politics. Knowing our friends, that may be impossible, but we'll try to minimize the talk. As he says, he'll even be willing to watch football if it stops the political talk. "I want to be thankful," he says, and I understand. 

Early deadlines, early deadlines, early deadlines. Lord, what a pain. And I signed myself up for a Saturday evening assignment, which is also a bit of a pain, although it'll be an automatic 6 hours of pay. 

And now, to sit with my beloved and watch anime!

Dept. of Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016 09:25 pm
kaffyr: Snark about fanfic (Adulthood? It's fanfic)
So: [community profile] fandom_stocking 

The reason I haven't been posting over the last few days is that I descended into full on Writing For Stockings mode. I'm a dreadfully slow writer, but I actually managed eight relatively lengthy fics, did a few graphic greetings and ... and I may have time before the slightly-delayed-by-moderator-migraine Friday stocking reveal to do more. I am, for a wonder, happy!


kaffyr: from "Spirited Away" (Duck gods)
Christmas Has Been Had 

It was good. The dishwasher broke. I have an extremely sore back that doesn't allow me to bend over. 

And it was still good. 


(The four hour clean-up tomorrow? Perhaps not so great. But that's expected.)

I hope everyone who celebrated had a good day. See you tomorrow. Sometime, while I hunt for an appliance repair man on Boxing Day. Or I could just wash dishes by hand, the way god intended ....)
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. 

.



Dept. of Still Here

Saturday, 19 December 2015 12:32 pm
kaffyr: The TARDIS in snowfall (Christmas TARDIS)
Still Here, Redux (Christmas Planning Edition)

Today is sunny and cold, probably one of the last cold days we'll have before Christmas.

I awoke in an odd but positive mood, very early (for me, on a weekend), got up and did my exercises, after two days of not doing them. It felt good. I watered the still undecorated Christmas tree and the plants, listening to instrumental Christmas music all the while (oh, Shoutcast Radio, I love you!)

Bob got up, and we decided what we were going to have as our Christmas dinner, changing the menu a bit, since he can no longer eat fibery things. No brussel sprouts, damn it. But goose! And two types of dressing, and creamed spinach and a corn casserole, and a (quick and dirty) mince pie, because I miss mince pie, and pumpkin pie, and cranberry relish and Green Slime ... yes, that's what it's called, and I'll probably tell you more about it later.

I am happy about hosting Christmas, and I want to make it a good place for our friends whose wife and mother is in what is essentially hospice care, something that happened relatively recently, and both the son and husband are overloaded and still in emotional shock. They want to come, and we need to provide them a resting space, so Christmas dinner is good. 

But dinner requires planning, something I'm not very good at, usually. Today, however ... planning occurred. I am somewhat suspicious of my subconscious, but I'll let this bit of unusual efficiency run as long as possible. That'll include cleaning, vacuuming, washing the duvet ... yes, hurrah for efficiency, let it last as long as possible!

Tonight? Decorate!

I have three more working days before 9 or so days off. I am looking forward to time to write for 
[community profile] fandom_stocking , and to relax. 

Ha. Relax. Ha. 

I've sent out 38 or so Christmas and Holiday/Turn of the Year cards, and the sun is shining (as I believe I mentioned previously), and I'm about to go on a goose hunting trip. Hurrah!

Dept. of Holiday Fun

Thursday, 3 December 2015 05:55 pm
kaffyr: The TARDIS in snowfall (Christmas TARDIS)
[community profile] fandom_stocking !!

For many people it's 
[community profile] yuletide . Others have other online gift, fic, and everything else exchanges that they love. But for me, [community profile] fandom_stocking says Holiday Fun like nothing else. Consider this my invitation to join me by hanging your own stocking up.  

Here's the sign-up sheet - and I hope loads of people on my f'list sign up — because that way, I can fill your stockings, which gives me a great deal of joy. 

I really want to emphasize that hanging your stocking in no way mandates that you fill anyone else's stocking. That's not what this is about, at least not for me. I guess that I'm being a little selfish, because this is the time of year that I love to write in, the time of year when I hunt down recipes I think people might like, or look for pictures that I can make into greeting cards with my incredibly tyro graphic abilities, the time I pore through peoples' wish lists to see if I can fulfill any of those wishes. Over the past four years, in fact, fandom_stocking has come to mean something very special to me in this holiday period. 

So ... if you used to take part and haven't for a while, consider starting up again. If you've never done 
[community profile] fandom_stocking , consider doing it, even if it's just to shut me up. 

If you don't have the time or inclination I do, all my urgings to the contrary, understand. Consider this my one effort to pimp for what I think is a lovely little community. 






kaffyr: A Santa cap on the TARDIS (Tardis Christmas toque)
Season's Greetings 

Now that (American) Thanksgiving has passed, I am revving up to start my Season of Reaching Out. I would love to be able to send out holiday cards at this, the darkest time of the year, to everyone who's helped brighten my year. If you'd like a card from me, please PM me with your address, and it will make me very happy to send you a card - anyone, from anywhere!

ETA: be sure to let me know if you'd like a particular kind of holiday card, or would prefer to not get any particular kind of holiday card!
kaffyr: (Bored in Porco Rosso)
It's Friday!!!!

So, first off? The Best Friday Song EVARRRR. Which I will probably intermittently re-post because it always makes the end of the work week particularly wonderful. 




Second: I hope everyone is doing well, as November gets ready to start its slide toward December. I'd love to hear what folks are doing.

Third: Much to my own surprise, I actually was able to buy two little Christmas gifts for two friends, and that pleases me inordinately. I bought them from a small independent store, and that pleased me even more. Most of my gifts this year will be donations in peoples' names to various charities, but it's always great to find a little something personal. 

Fourth: I was, for the firs time this season, truly disappointed with a Doctor Who episode. "Sleep No More" was, for me, boring, despite a lot of sound and fury; both gormless and formless (something that I've found to be the case with most other Mark Gatiss scripts) and a waste of a lot of nice background world-building. To take an intrinsically interesting idea (lack of sleep and what that does for individuals and their society) and squander it so completely ... it would be a shame in any Dr. Who season, but this season has been, for me, so uniformly good that "Sleep No More" is particularly unsatisfying. Mediocrity, thy name appears upon too many occasions to be Gatiss. I still like "The Unquiet Dead" and "Robots of Sherwood" though. 

I am fighting a slightly upset stomach, and gearing up to do my exercises; the stomach might not be a good thing for the exercises - we shall see. 

Onward, to Big Ass Martini time!

Dept. of Oh, Canada!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015 09:40 am
kaffyr: Animated Canadian flag (Canada!)
 






Happy Canada Day!!!

kaffyr: (Thin Man Christmas)
[community profile] fandom_stocking  lovelies

I had some delightfully varied gifts this year, and I wanted to acknowledge everyone who was kind enough to stuff my stocking. You guys rock!

People took me at my word when I said I loved recipes, and I'm so glad they did: [personal profile] bonnefois  linked me to numerous recipes for sweets (and I am going to try the Nutella cheesecake recipe, and probably die happy.) [personal profile] wendymypooh  covered both sweet and savory, with a pasta primavera recipe and one for chocolate cookies. I love chocolate cookies, so thanks especially. One of the most intriguing recipes was one I got from [personal profile] james , for barbecued peaches. marginaliana gave me a vegetarian recipe for sweet potato enchiladas with a spinach sauce. This is something that will send BB screaming for the exits, but I adore sweet potatoes, so I will make some up for myself. Heh. [personal profile] kerravonsen  not only gave me access to her recipes (Apricot ice cream! Asian chicken noodle soup! Lassi!) but linked me to a really lovely piece of stained glass-style Idris/TARDIS art.

I got a plethora of holiday wishes, and each of them brightened my day - thanks to [personal profile] knowmefirst , who also offered a list of possible IOUs ... I'm eying their offer of a banner for my journal with something close to avaricious joy, so beware! Thanks, also, for greetings from sjh2009 (I love fireworks), from [personal profile] tarlanx , whose greetings and art are always beautiful. [personal profile] twinsarein  provided me a Happy New Year gif that was cheerful and silly, while [personal profile] trobadora  made me squeal in OT3 joy, with her greeting card featuring Rose, Jack, and the Ninth Doctor. Oh, she knows how to please a 'shipper. Heh.

[personal profile] clocketpatch  wrote me an IOU for art or story, and you'd best believe I am going to enjoy whatever comes my way, because I love her work. *puts on thinking cap*

[personal profile] hamsterwoman  not only provided me a sweet greeting with, yes, a hamster wearing a Santa hat, which just made me grin all over my face, she gave me Vorkosiverse icons. Vorkosiverse icons! Ekaterin, and Miles! And links to more art! Thank you so much! [personal profile] redfiona99  added to my visual lovelies, with links to MCU-inspired art (you should really go over there and view them), a kawai Who art piece (!) and one bit of inspired Guardians of the Galaxy/Batman crossover art. Thanks! And [personal profile] falcon_horus  provided me with a beautiful TARDIS wallpaper that even now graces my screen. That was a lovely thing to find in my stocking.

And then there were the stories - thank you all so much for writing things that made me smile, or shiver, or cheer. I was especially gifted with Sapphire and Steel goodness, but let me start with a big thank you to [personal profile] merryghoul , who wrote a cute drabble-ficlet, "We Are Not Going to Cheem."

Thank you to [personal profile] ljgeoff , who wrote me one of the sweetest Donna fixit stories it's been my pleasure to read recently, (now you have to name it, so I can rec it to people, dear!) Go over and read it, and smile, if you're a Donna fan like me.

[personal profile] liadtbunny  gave me a short Silver/Steel/Sapphire adventure that was not only clever, but ended on a joyous note, making it an especially wonderful gift for the holiday season. Thank you so much.

[personal profile] annariel  wrote an S&S/MCU crossover, "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze,"  which manages to capture the S&S sense of active, surrealistic danger, with the kinetic fun of Hawkeye and Natasha, and make it work. Brava!

And the lovely [personal profile] lost_spook , who first introduced me to Sapphire and Steel gave me some striking recommendations. I'm still reading "Daisy Bell" and being incredibly impressed. I quite adored  "All at Sea" andI can hardly wait to get to "Assignments and Enquiries."

Thank you, one and all - and if I've missed anyone, know that I enjoyed your gift, too!





Dept. of Friday

Friday, 9 January 2015 09:09 am
kaffyr: Riddell, from Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, Doctor Who (It's a challenge!)
Getting a Start

As you can see, I've already fallen down on posting every day. But I can endeavor to endeavor.

I can say something positive today. Last night, BB found my great-great grandmother's tree ornaments, the ones I was a little worried had somehow been thrown out last year. They normally sit high atop our tree each year, because they are extremely fragile. They're made only of wire and a sort of cloth and tinsel covering, plus tiny balls and bits of gold thread. I hope to pass them on to FB so that he can have something from one side of the family that goes back well over a century. When BB discovered the little box we'd stored them in, and somehow failed to open this year, it brightened my entire day.

Another positive; people seem to be liking the 
[community profile] fandom_stocking  stuffers I provided for them, which tickles me.

And finally, people were particularly good to me this year. I got loads of wonderful recipes (including one for barbecued peaches, which means I want to go out and get peaches right this minute to try it out) and a couple of lovely cards, and stories. I'll thank everyone more personally a little later, but to all of you right now - thank you so much!

BB and I have watched the first two episodes of Agent Carter (apparently they were initially shown as a two-hour, two-episode presentation, but we watched the separate hours on two consecutive nights), and we are both very, very impressed with it. I like Peggy, I like the care shown with the period (certainly more than many television shows offer), although, as a consumer of old-time radio drama I have to say they overdid it with the camp. I can tell you that most radio dramas, even during the 1940s, even when they dealt with heroes or superheroes, were usually a lot less awful than that. Still, that's a minute cavil.

In considerably grimmer thoughts, I am still torn up about the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, (I may not be a fan of that kind of journalism, but they were journalists, so it hits even harder than it would otherwise) the horrific and stupid subsequent attacks at mosques or businesses near mosques, and the cornering and hostage-taking at the kosher delicatessen. I understand and support both #iamcharlie and #iamahmed, and I fear for further violence. I'd say that god must be weeping now, god and all their prophets and angels, but I don't think they have stopped crying for a long, long time.



kaffyr: (Side-eyeing Coulson)
 Winter Freeze, Brain Thaw (I Hope)

It's been far too long since I posted anything, and, as a sort of resolution for 2015, I'm going to try to post something every day. Yes, yes, you in the back, chuckling into your beard, you heard right. What's more, I'm going to try to post something worth reading. And I'm going to try to interact with people on their journals — so what do you think about that? 

Ah, still chortling. 

Well, I don't blame you. 

It's true. My ability to maintain a healthy posting habit has not been stellar in the past. But I swear I'm going to try. Just as I'm going to try to find something positive to say about my life. It probably won't be daily, but I am going to try to do it regularly. I think I read something, possibly on one of my friends' journals, which speculated that forcing one's self to actively think about positives can make one eventually feel more positive. Using externals to force a change in the internals, as it were. 

So: what have I been up to?

New Year's Eve and the Christmas tree )

Writing and fandom_stocking )

Being union mom. Gah. )
kaffyr: Rory and Amy having a rabbit hole day (Rabbit hole day)
Several Things Make a List
  • Medical stuff )
  • Work: things are still crazy. Still making a deliberate and considered effort not to be freaked the fuck out. Vacation transition madness continues. Still focusing on fuzzy kittens with all my will.
  • Christmas Day: Successfully pulled off dinner for nine. Enjoyed the company; the company enjoyed us. Loved giving out the presents - partial shares in water buffaloes (and a couple of shares of goats) through Heifer International. Plus book store gift cards, because everyone needs something more than a water buffalo. Got some neat things; the Doctor Who Book of Monsters from one of my friends who is a proto-fan, a book about British Kings and Queens, Gerald Durrell's A Zoo in my Luggage, which I've loved since I read it as a child. Oh, and BB's going to get me my first tattoo ... yesssssss! Got a back spasm.
  • Writing: Trying to work on [community profile] fandom_stocking  and thus far I have one story finished up, just about half an hour ago. With maybe three days to go before it closes, this is as unproductive as I've been in years. We shall see whether writing what I did today may have loosened the log jam in my brain at all.
  • BB: in bed all day with a cough and a temperature that got to about 102.8 before falling a little. I am worried.
And now, to bed, with heating pad and extra pillows because, yes, the back is still wonked. 
 

kaffyr: Keep Calm & dive behind the sofa (Dive behind the sofa)
Whiplash and such

My Christmas season, my holiday season, has been rather schizophrenic, in the non-medical sense of the word. The first couple of weeks were actually pretty good. I've mentioned that we got most of our Christmas presents purchased early on, and that they were things that made us feel good to buy. I also got out almost two dozen cards, something I haven't done in several years. All of those were good things.

Family Christmas )

So, all of those things were to the good. So was the fact that I found a small goose and a small turkey that I plan to cook for Christmas dinner.

But other things have started dragging me down, and I'm struggling to fight them off.

old overlords, new overlords, wtf )

And last night I had a minor dissolution into tears because I abruptly really, really didn't want to host Christmas dinner. I didn't feel as if I'd have the time to put it together, I didn't feel as if we have the space to make it enjoyable for nine people, I didn't have what I consider a clean place to host it in ....

AAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaauuuuughh! My Brain Isn't Being Logical, and I Am Disapproving of It!

So right now, I'm going off to the home office to see if I can get myself turned around. If I can't do that by the end of the day, I am going to risk my friendships with at least two or three groups of people and tell them that, with many very honest apologies, I can't do Christmas. It's a bit unforgivable (wait, that's like saying "a bit pregnant," isn't it?) but I think it may be a realistic mental-health option for me. I shall know before 6 p.m. or so.

Also, BB has another appointment with the endocrinologist today, and I'm going with him. The last visit was less than optimal and, although we think we'll have better results this time, I'm not looking forward to it.

Also again - nothing written for [community profile] fandom_stocking  yet. My brain isn't working. This is bad.

Fluffy bunnies, I'm just going to think about fluffy bunnies. And kittehz. Must think of kittehz.


ETA: LJ just sent me a message telling me that this post made its top 25 posts of the day. LJ is clearly lying or dying, I'm not sure which.





Dept. of Relief

Sunday, 14 December 2014 05:14 pm
kaffyr: A happy smiling superintelligent Corgi (Ein is happy)
So It's Sunday

And I can say I'm ambiguously relieved (because I'm never completely relieved. Never, ever. Because of my dour family history. Because it's me).

 I've purchased nearly all the Christmas, Yuletide and other holiday gifts I hope to get. The one exception is BB, because he is very difficult to find gifts for. He's given me at least one suggestion, on which I'll take him up, but I want to find something else.

I got through our Sunday condo association board/membership meeting. It took less than an hour, every one who came (and I think we only had eight of our 18 units care enough to send representatives) supported the budget and the 25 percent assessment hike. The one person I thought would come and cause more problems didn't. Yay, us, and go, me!

I've gotten my [community profile] fandom_stocking  "to-do" list done. (I'm a little disappointed that not everyone who once got involved in fs got involved this year, but that's life, I guess.) Note that I didn't say I've gotten any stocking stuffers completed. That would be too much to ask for. I shall do those at the last minute, fueled by the adrenaline rush of deadline-induced fear.

I still haven't sent out holiday cards, although a pile are sitting on the table, waiting to be written and addressed. BB and I have to go out later, to attend FB's and Ms Emily's latest radio play, so I'll try to get at least 10 done in time to drop them in the mail by the time I walk out the door.

BB and I are all caught up on the animes that we're watching together. Tomorrow, he goes for his radioisotope uptake thyroid test (think I got that phrase right), and we'll see where that leads us.

I also got an Internet advent calendar, and I've decided that if it's not the best thing ever, it's certainly one of the best things of this month.

We probably won't get a tree until Thursday or so, which is four days later than we normally get it. Normally, "pick a tree" day is on the 15th, but that's tomorrow, and I have deadline crap all day, and an incredibly boring school board meeting to attend at night.

Oh, and I'm reading the second in the Rivers of London series, and enjoying it. Thank you, Paul Cornell, for getting me into supernatural British police procedurals through your two London Falling novels (London Falling and The Severed Streets).  The Rivers of London stories are much less intense, and a lot funnier, than Cornell's works, but both series are worth it. Cornell's two novels are definitely full of both terror and horror, and I'm waiting for the third in the series.

Dept. of Holidays

Sunday, 7 December 2014 01:05 pm
kaffyr: The TARDIS in snowfall (Christmas TARDIS)
Hey There, Online Friends!

The year is turning, and we have the prospect of lights and color, and gift giving and lovely things like fandom_stocking - and this year, I have the chance to send Holiday, Yule, and Christmas Cards. I would love to send one to as many people around these here Intarwebz as possible. So I'm asking a favor of all of you.

I know that some folks have indicated they want to send cards - but I was too disorganized to note addresses and such, and now those posts are days in the past. I assume those folks, and others, also want to receive cards.

So, if you'd like to give and receive cards from me,. just PM me with your address, and I'll PM you back with my address.

All of which will make me inordinately happy, so thanks for considering it!

kaffyr: Mid-afternoon view from the spirit world train. (Train view)
Thank You

In the past, I've written some pretty lengthy essays, monologues, meditations and such on Thanksgiving. Some of them were pretty eloquent (I know; I just checked, because I roll that way.)

This year, it's not going to be all that eloquent. I'm older. I'm more tired than I have been in previous years. My ability to find a verbal hook on which to hang the rest of my commentary has rusted, along with my facility with words. 

However, along with my advanced age, I've become wiser. At least I've reached the age when I realize it's not egotistical to say, "I've learned from all these years on earth." And I've remembered that one can be brief without missing the point - which is this.

Thank you.

Thank you, online friends, for being out there. My world has not shrunk to the social pinpoint it could have, thanks to you. I am not chained to work and sleep, and fear of going out, thanks to all of you. You show me the world through your words - you show me many worlds. You reach out to me from across the globe. You let me share a little bit of your life. You let me cheer you on; you let me wish you happy birthday (usually late); you let me give you electronic hugs. You allow me to care for people beyond myself. Thank you for that.

And you care for me. Whether we know each other just a little, through fanfic, or shared fandom interests, or know each other a little more intimately, you have soothed my cares, lightened my loads, and reminded me that life can be good. You've hugged me, helped me dry my tears, put up with my seemingly endless bouts of depression.

You are all treasures. Remember that. Each and every one of you.

Today, my son came over; we baked a pumpkin pie together. I finally made some more bread - and it turned out beautifully! I got housekeeping chores done; washed our comforter, kept the kitchen neat and clean despite all the cooking. FB and BB and I laughed together and listened to music (FB introduced me to Fugazi, and I introduced him to Caribou, and we both listened to Joe Hisaishi's orchestration in the soundtrack to Princess Mononoke), and I had a glass of wine and remembered to do another recommendation over at [livejournal.com profile] calufrax. The house is warm and fragrant with baking. I am surrounded by family, something that is more important to me than I can ever explain in words. A little later, we're going out for Thanksgiving dinner with good friends.

The world is in a terrible state. There is heartbreak out there; there are injustices crying out for reparation; there are struggles to be maintained; there is an environment to be saved.

But right now, right this very moment? I am blessed. And I hope that the love that surrounds me will energize me, and allow me to go out there tomorrow and fight a little harder for this world.

And I owe so much of my blessings to you.  It all comes back to people, to shared hearts and minds, to all of you.

Again I say it. You are all treasures. Again I say it - remember how precious you all are.

Thank you.


Dept. of Many Thanks

Saturday, 18 January 2014 01:07 pm
kaffyr: A light-limned portrait of Donna Noble (Luminous Donna)
Final [community profile] fandom_stocking 

Life being as life is, I haven't gotten around until now to talking about all the lovely things people put in my stocking over on [community profile] fandom_stocking . Everything was wonderful, and brightened my days more than once.

Recs are the gifts that keep on giving: From [personal profile] bonnefois  I got some excellent recipe recommendations (I'm looking forward to trying out the vegetable soups, since I have a slow cooker.) [personal profile] fuzzyboo  took note of our mutual love of the Vorkosiverse and recommended [personal profile] shimotsuki 's "Theory and Practice" over on AO3. It's delicate and emotionally accurate and I'm glad I read it. [personal profile] sapphire2309  provided me with a trio of music recommendations (my first!)  I love one of them, I like another, and I'm looking forward to the third.

This year, I received a cornucopia of icons - [personal profile] thisisteal  responded to my love of Gaius Baltar and Six (and she managed to find nearly all the Sixes, which was especially wonderful), while [personal profile] ghanimasun  made me icons with the formidable Aeryn Sun with folks she loves; John and Pilot. [personal profile] angelus2hot  gifted me with more Farscape icons, paying special attention to one of my favorite twosomes, Chiana and D'Argo

[personal profile] tarlanx  took note of my Agents of SHIELD love, and made me an awesome wallpaper with Coulson and May. It's up on my computer screen right now.

[personal profile] sahiya  wrote me a story about the friendship between Neal and El that was sweet but not saccharine - just like el. If you like White Collar, or even if you don't, you should go over and read Tuesday.

[livejournal.com profile] eve11 not only gave me a holiday wish and comment that humbled me and warmed my heart, she provided me an elegant and heartfelt story, "With All Certainty", again about the Doctor, his life in the town called Christmas, and the TARDIS and priestess who cared for him during that time.

[personal profile] yamx  continued her award-winning stocking tradition of writing me DW/myth mashups with my favorite OT3, and this one was just a bit brilliant. It wouldn't be fandom_stocking without her work. You should enjoy it at my stocking.

[personal profile] clocketpatch  gave me a fic about the Doctor, "Softer Than Before", a missing scene from The Time of the Doctor. My eyes got suspiciously moist as I read this sensuously-written (in the truest sense) piece.

[personal profile] lost_spook  gave me a drabble about Ian and Barbara that explores the people they have become once they return to Earth; it's moving and memorable in only 100 words.

[personal profile] gala_apples  took note that I said I'd welcome stories that explore gender identity, and gave me a totally unexpected White Collar fic, Spend Your Whole Life Thinking This Way, that was an excellent example of how fanfic can push erotic envelopes and do "what if"s well.

Never underestimate the smiles that good wishes can generate. [personal profile] wendymypooh  provided some, as did [personal profile] twinsarein  and [personal profile] sjh2009  (and I really loved her picture of St. Nick and the reindeer taking a break at Kings College.) [personal profile] sharpest_asp  not only gave me good wishes, but provided a card good for one true drabble in a mutual fandom. Woo-hoo! Not only did [personal profile] leesa_perrie  wish me Happy Holidays with a lovely picture, she gave me a shaggy dog joke/pun  (and it happens to be one of BB's and my favorites, so that's a bonus.) And [personal profile] st_aurafina  made me smile with her kind and hug-filled wishes.

Thank you all!



Dept. of Wiscon

Friday, 24 May 2013 08:30 am
kaffyr: Dancing French cracked geniuses (Sometimes you need to dance)
It Could Get Loud

With apologies to Jack White, the Edge and Jimmy Page, I think we're going to get louder.

"We" being me, [personal profile] a_phoenixdragon , and[personal profile] ljgeoff , as we sit in my livingroom, preparing to go to Wiscon.

My beloved has told me that I must go - and the chance to interact with these remarkable women is going to be a breath of fresh air, a drink of cold water, a needed spot of spiritual nutrition, in the middle of a 2013 that can go the fuck away right now.

With any luck, we'll all be posting from Madison.

Oh, my goodness, this should be interesting!



kaffyr: Amy and Rory from "Let's Kill Hitler" (Ponds on wheels)
Title: Walking It Out
Author: [personal profile] kaffyr 
Rating: PG13
Edited by: the resplendent [personal profile] buckaroobob 
Characters: Amy Pond, Rory Williams, the TARDIS
Summary: When she had that hollow feeling inside her, it didn't always mean that she was sad, especially not when she was in the TARDIS.
Author's Note: This was a 2012-13 [community profile] fandom_stocking  effort written, with affection, for [personal profile] ladymercury_10 . She loves Rory, Amy and the TARDIS; this makes me happy, because I happen to love them, too. I hope I've treated them with respect in this story of finding one's way inside a dimensionally transcendent friend.
Disclaimer: as much as I wish it were otherwise, no Whoniverse characters are mine. They are the sole properties of the BBC and their respective creators. I intend no copyright infringement, and take no coin. I do, however, love them all, and thank the BBC for letting me play in their sandbox.


____________________________________________________

Amy woke up with the hollow feeling ... )
kaffyr: The TARDIS in snowfall (Christmas TARDIS)
Oh, wonderful fandom! Oh, wonderful [community profile] fandom_stocking !

This Christmas season (yes, it's a time of year when I believe in stories that are true even if they never happened, because we all fight our battles against the dark in the way we were raised) is normally extremely good for me.

This year, it was ... not. Not Christmas, certainly. No tree, no lights, no Christmas dinner to cook and present with love to those I love, something I missed despite having lovely dinners out with people I love. FB was gone, BB and I were still intermittently dealing with health and lack o'wealth, and this year I was engulfed in deadly serious battles at work and about work and on behalf of work, and all around I saw this old world being bloody and brutal and stupid and futile.

Goodness. As you can see, I stood in danger of getting all wrapped up in everything grey and second-year-university-sophomoric-certainty-of-doom.

What helped keep me going, despite initial certainty that I couldn't write anything, was [community profile] fandom_stocking , and the pure joy of writing for folks; of finding neat recipes for people and getting out of the RL part of my head for awhile, whilst diving into the kick-started creative annex in my head.

So thank you, everyone for whom I wrote, or to whom I gave a recipe; you made me feel better, every time I tucked something into one of your stockings. Woo-hoo!

But Wait! There's More!
And all you wonderful folks are here - thank you! )
kaffyr: The TARDIS in snowfall (Christmas TARDIS)
Short, Sharp and Stockinged

I'm tired, wired, and my son was mugged last night (OK except for a big bruise across the side of his face; he won the fight for his phone, and was a little chagrined at the fact he apparently tackled the other guy to the ground and went to town on him, because he was so angry about being attacked. I'm ambivalent about his reaction, although I might have done the same; I am glad the guy was stupid enough to do it in front of a police substation, I kid you not.)

But ... but I finally hung my stocking for [community profile] fandom_stocking . Should you so desire, it's here.  I'm trying to work on some things to stuff other stockings, because it's become one of my holiday delights. Holiday delight is much to be treasured, and I want to make holiday delight instead of whinging.

And I need to call my son to see how he's doing.

love to you all,
a very hurried [personal profile] kaffyr 

kaffyr: A happy smiling superintelligent Corgi (Ein is happy)
Turkey. I Can Haz Nao.

Yes, yes, I can. And I did. Back when we had our very wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at the elegant restaurant with our wonderful friends, I think I mentioned that I discovered to my slight bemusement that I missed cooking the dinner.

Well, I decided that there was absolutely no reason I couldn't have another Thanksgiving dinner any damned time I wanted it. Bob was amenable, so I went out and got a small bird (just 12 pounds), then proceeded to make sage stuffing and sausage stuffing/dressing (one type for each end of the turkey, plus enough of the sausage dressing to cook in a separate casserole), plus BB's wonderful horseradish-infused mashed potatoes, loads of gravy, green beans, and - since I didn't have it in me to make pumpkin pie - home-made applesauce with super premium ice cream for dessert. Oh, and I made my first cooked cranberry sauce. I usually make the no-cook cranberry orange relish, but the cranberries had been in my freezer for a while and didn't thaw well so - a new adventure! It worked out very well.

But the best part of it was that we decided  we needed a guest to help us eat the turkey, since even a 12 pound bird is a bit much for two people. FB is out of town, so we looked at each other and thought immediately of FB's high school girlfriend, who is the daughter of my heart and just the wonderful young lady around. And yes, we keep hoping they'll take another look at each other, but they''re now bosom friends and I wouldn't want to screw that up.

She came over and we had a wonderful day with her, topped off by a meal that couldn't be beat.

Thanksgiving. It comes in all shapes and sizes. And dates. Heh.

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