kaffyr: (See the Sky)
Sunday After the Deluge

It took me far too long after my last post to get back online. In part, that's because I last posted the night before the local elections that I had to cover on April 4.

Local election verbiage under the cut ) 

If you've gotten to this point in the post, you'll deserve a pat on the back. Also, you'll have figured out that I was completely wrung out by Wednesday night. I was. I barely managed to drag myself through Thursday and the first half of Friday. By 2 p.m. Friday, I was done. 

The weekend has been a time of getting things done that have nothing to do with my weekday work. I even cleaned the bathroom floor, getting down on hands and knees with a brush and getting into the (eurgh) corners. Yes, it made me happy. Yes, I took a shower after cleaning the bathroom floor. 

Now, my beloved husband is making a late dinner for us, and that is a more than reasonable way to end the weekend. 

Dept. of Sunday

Sunday, 26 March 2017 09:50 pm
kaffyr: (Porco Rosso friends)
Things I Learned This Weekend

1. I'm really not Buddhist, not in the least. I tried to read a book I picked up at the library, which had been recommended by a friend. It was written by a Buddhist nun, and it was about how to try to approach, or in some way deal with, difficult times. It's something I need to learn how to do, so I wanted to read this book, this very slim little book.

I managed about five pages of it and ended up yelling at the book. There was no way I was going to make it to the end, slim or not. The language made me roll my eyes, I kept arguing with individual sentences. Individual sentences, people; I was arguing with words on a page.

BB, who has a much more Buddhist nature than I have had read a bit of the book; when I told him the book made me extremely angry (and that's the thing I'm trying to deal with), he sighed and said "This isn't the book I'd have suggested for you to read." He was right.

And more generally, I was reminded that I'm not Buddhist in the least, as I said. I know that the dark is part of this world; I know that death is part of this world, but I'll be goddamned if I have to like it, or accept it.  I'm with Dylan Thomas; I'll rage against the dying of the light.

2. I was reminded, once again, of how much I love BB. 


kaffyr: Animation of a Ghibli film scene, water rolling into shore. (Anoesis)
Today I Made Pumpkin Pie

And I successfully used up some leftovers in the fridge to make a decent fettuccine dish for supper. These are both successes. And I realized that something I thought I had to get done in three days was actually something I don't have to get done for 9 days. That's lagniappe. 

I also listened to a lot of Joe Hisaishi music. And now I'm going to bed, knowing I don't have to get up early in the morning. That's the best part. 

No, perhaps tomorrow will be the best part. 
 

Dept. of Mittwoch

Wednesday, 22 March 2017 08:52 pm
kaffyr: (Maia airships court)
Wednesday Observations

1)  I was driving home this afternoon, and I noticed one of those little bobbing-head dogs in the rear window of the car in front of me. Then I realized it was a real dog. A little mop dog, with a little sweater-thing on, poor thing. It was somewhat bigger than the bobbing-head toys, but not that much. His or her head wasn't bobbing. The little thing had its head on its paws, and it looked as if it wanted to be somewhere else. Or perhaps it was just enjoying the sun. I'd like that to be the case. 

2) I'm trying to figure out a way to feed Alex canned pumpkin. All the veterinary advice (from his vet and from Teh Intarwebz) on what might be his particular problem states that feeding a cat canned pumpkin provides much needed fibre and - wait, what? 

Yeah, send me the addresses of cats who actually willingly will eat mashed up vegetable gourds, and I'll show you ... nothing, because, no, there are no cats - No. Cats. Ever. - who will willingly eat pumpkin. I am as sure of this as I am of my own soul. I like pumpkin. I really like pumpkin. But I am not a cat. My cat is a cat. He looked at me with as much disdain as a cat can muster when presented with this. And cats do disdain very well. He actually moved backward to get away from the pumpkin. And, asyouknowbob, cats find it very hard to back up. "Back up" is not in their lexicon. 

Except when they are presented with mashed pumpkin. 

We already know he hates all the various petromalt-type goos that cats are supposed to love. Hah. He eyes that with the same extreme distaste with which he eyed pumpkin. Possibly because we've taken to rubbing the goo on his paws and/or muzzle in a desperate attempt to get it into him by forcing him to clean himself ....

Maybe if I put catnip in the pumpkin?

3) To all those in the world today dealing with war or terror attacks, from Syria to London - my thoughts are with you. 

Dept. of Sunday

Sunday, 19 March 2017 06:29 pm
kaffyr: (Maia airships court)
Observing the Oncoming Storm Week

I'm almost afraid to say this, kinehora, but I'm feeling better about myself than I did at the end of last week. That took working some self-imposed non-paid work-related overtime this weekend (about 11-12 hours over two days), which has caused BB to side-eye me a bit, but ultimately he understood that, if it took that to stop me beating myself up about the work situation, then it was - barely - worth it. As a union rep, I should be reading myself the riot act, but mental and emotional self-care trumps the contract - something I wouldn't tell many of my younger colleagues, who routinely let themselves be coerced into working hours and hours without putting in for the OT. They're getting coerced, though, so I have to stand behind them and give them the strength to resist doing that. What I'm doing is, as I've said, quiet self-care. 

Yeah, sure, whatever, dude. So long as you believe it.  

We're having corned beef and cabbage tonight, two days too late, if one believes strictly in holiday-centric menus. I used to dislike boiled cabbage with a great and adolescent hate. As I've gotten older, I've discovered that I like it every so often. Today is "every so often."  

So tonight I'll spend a little time with BB and go to bed early so that I can get up and take a running leap at the week. Wish me luck - and may your week be a good one!

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: (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 Saturday

Saturday, 30 April 2016 06:30 pm
kaffyr: Hayao's realistic Pompoko raccoons yawn in our faces (Pompoko yawns)
Finally, Some Relaxation

I'm sitting on the laundromat, washing the coverlet that one of the cats puked on (which is too large for our home washer), trying to dry off - it's been pouring cold rain much of the day - and recovering, not only from my earlier trip to Costco,but from two weeks of nonstop activity. 

I slept past noon today, which I apparently needed to do. Last night I went to a gathering of former (and current, of course) Pioneer people. It was a good evening; I ran into a woman who'd been an ad rep back in the first years I'd been with the company,back in 1983-84. We were both hired by Rocky, and we realized we probably went back further (farther? I can't remember) than anyone else there. I'd always liked her, and it turned out she'd always liked me; something that's always good to learn. 

I had to tell her about Rocky and Nick, while she had to let me know about the recent death of another old original, Lou Rubino, who'd managed our back shop. Getting old rather mandates those jobs, but it's always sad. I was very touched when she said she'd always thought of Nick and I as a team - perceptive woman - and that she'd respected what she called our passionate dedication to journalistic ethics. We didn't think "ad side" noticed. Silly us.

As I sit here, BB is going over the MCU/who crossover I just finished as a delayed fandom_stocking story. It topped 4,000 words because I can't do short, apparently. 

And tonight is steak, bubbly, BB, and more relaxation. 

I am grateful.



Dept. of Saturday

Saturday, 2 April 2016 07:28 pm
kaffyr: Kitty from "Kiki's Delivery Service" (kiki cat)
Don't Like the Weather? Wait 5.25 Minutes ....

Over the past week, I've noted that Chicago weather has been tremendously unsettled; the old joke that's usually ascribed to whatever location the teller is in - as mentioned above - was bewilderingly accurate. For the last six days, we've had 15 minutes of sun, followed by 15 minutes of extreme thunderstorm, followed by more sun, followed by high winds and scudding clouds, followed by sun, followed by dark grey overcast, followed by, yes, more sun.  And it's left me unsettled; I like having weather that's easy to predict. That's just how I roll. 

And today was weird enough to get noticed by more than me, at least judging by Twitter; blowing snow, followed by sun, followed by a full-fledged 15-minute snowstorm, followed by blue, blue skies and sun, followed by yet another snowstorm, followed by wind and scudding cloud, followed by sun ... lather, rinse, repeat. 

So, rather than focus rather unhealthily on the weather (really, 
[personal profile] kaffyr , it's weather), I decided to salvage whatever salvageable tomatoes from amongst the many unsalvageable ones slowly decaying in the vegetable crisper (and was there ever a more misleading name?) bin in the bottom of my refrigerator. 

The end result was pretty decent, although I had to augment my tiny bit of sauce with a can of diced tomatoes, so it's not completely from scratch. I was surprised and disappointed that I didn't find a single recipe for making tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes in any of my recipe books. Not even Joy of Cooking, for heaven's sake! All the recipes made use of canned tomatoes. That ought to tell you something about the evolution of Western cooking ... So I just winged it. It's been years since I actually made a basic tomato sauce, as opposed to many of the other sauce-y things I make, but I'm pleased. Dehydrated onions, ground celery (as opposed to celery salt), salt, garlic, pepper, Italian seasoning and fresh-ground fennel, they all go together so well. 

What's that you say? That I was supposed to be writing today? 

Ahem. 

Well, actually, I did do some editing of existing words and paragraphs. Does that count? And I think I managed to move our heroes further along their  way. 

Yeah, I got nuthin. Maybe better tomorrow?

Dept. of April

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

As 
[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: 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!
kaffyr: (Badly Written)
Or Perhaps, the Floor Hitting Something Else ....

Fun with flooring )
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 Weather

Sunday, 2 August 2015 05:07 pm
kaffyr: Umbrella's, figure rise in a field; from Magritte? (umbrellas rise)

Books, Candles, and Hand Held  Fans

We've been without power for more than two hours now; I wouldn't mind so much if I didn't have a half cooked chicken dish sitting in the slow cooker, and if it wasn't 85-90 degrees outside now. We still have some cool, because we've pulled the curtains and some of the AC coolth remains, but neither Bob nor I do well with heat, so I'm rooting for ComEd to fix whatever transformer blew out with the intense storm that took down trees and, sadly, killed at least one person in the greater Chicago  area.

Hmm. I guess being without power for a measly 2.5 hours is no big thing, compared to at least one family's tragedy.

But I hope it's still OK for me to hope strongly for the return of power?

if not, we have lots of candles, and books. And if we get too hot, we can always head for a library or a restaurant.


Dept. of Chemistry

Saturday, 18 July 2015 07:29 pm
kaffyr: The Polar Bear from Polar Bear cafe (Polar Bear-san)
Ah, the Magic of Cookery

Well, I was feeling rather glum a little earlier today - quite momentarily, I assure you, but glum nonetheless. I started a post that was gazing drearily on humanity's apparently matchless ability to bring an end to the Anthropocene ... and then I remembered that I meant to make an Apple Harvest Cake today. It's a recipe of my mother's and grandmother's that involves apples and cinnamon and far too many eggs and a great deal of sugar and oil (it's a Second World War-era recipe, for all that it was profligate with the eggs, so oil it was, rather than the fats that were necessary for the war effort, or the dairy goods that were needed for Our Boys at the Front) ...

The result is that, while it baked, filling the house with a perfectly wonderful aroma, I exercised, and then we had an excellent supper of leftovers, and the cake came out just as we finished supper. We will have cake and ice cream after the first hour of anime watching. 

And the idea of monologueing about the end of the Anthropocene just flew out the window. At least for now. 
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: A picture of the Eighth Doctor (Eight in time)
Listening to Radio

Well, not quite; listening with BB to Pandora ... big band music, early jazz, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington, occasional Sinatra, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, even some Scott Joplin. 

It was simply lovely. An evening just listening to music and chatting, while I put a few more words together on Chapter 25. How lovely. 


Dept. of Cats

Sunday, 14 June 2015 11:28 am
kaffyr: Kitty from "Kiki's Delivery Service" (kiki cat)
Opie Update

Well, the twins are now in the hands of my lovely daughter of the heart and her sweetie. I am so grateful to them, and I will check in regularly, to see how the twins are treating her and her own two kitties. Their place is much larger than our tiny condo and that should, in theory at least, give all the cats room to be away from each other. 

TMI stuff )

And there you have it, the Neurotic Cat Report for Sunday. As for the rest of the day, I'm going to make some salsa verde, do my exercises (which have been upped to some very challenging ones, which is why I'm hanging around online and not doing them, augh, and go Costco-ing. Because that's my idea of a fun Sunday. Heh. 
kaffyr: Animated rain falls on the bathhouse from Spirited Away (Bath house in the rain)
Well, We've Decided

If the young lady who originally offered to take Tommy and Lily is still willing, and if FB is OK with it, we're going to move the twins over to Sarah's place. Poor Opie can barely move from one place to another, and he's peeing and defecating at all hours of the day now. And he's clearly miserable. The twins have taken to following him around - I'm fairly certain it's not because they're sadistic little twerps; I think it's more that theyr'e noticing something off about Opie. 

Ultimately, it doesn't matter. I want my Opie to stop being so miserable. 

Sigh.
kaffyr: Kitty from "Kiki's Delivery Service" (kiki cat)
Cat Problems: Answers? Anyone? Bueller?*

I love my cats, for a multitude of reasons. Alex, the senior partner, is an impressive blend of leonine gravitas, dog-like generosity, and impressive lolling ability. Philip, our sidewalk rescue, is easy-going beyond all belief, trusting, and happy to sleep with one. Opie ... well, Opie is a huge ball of insecurities, nerves, largely un-repressed desires to become a mother, and other quirks. He also has the loudest purr of any cat in my recent experience, he's a cuddly round ball of need who makes you want to pet him and tell him everything will be all right. 

Opie was rescued from a cat hoarder, and I think his quirks are directly or indirectly tied to that experience. At least one thing I tie to his living in an apartment with at least 7 or 8 cats as a kitten is that he gets very upset when new cats (beyond Alex and Phil)  show up. However, the last two times FB's kitties were fostered with us, Opie eventually reached a nervous detente with them.

We thought this was what would happen when FB and Miss Emily dropped Tommy and Lily off with us for the summer. Nope. This third visit apparently tipped Opie over the edge.

During the day, he's more or less OK - just hiding and growling, which by Opie terms is at least a B- in socialization. However, starting about five days ago, things have gone to hell once deep night falls. 

Icky problem ensues under the cut )

* I use that line, or a bastardization of it, so often that it comes as a shock,even to me, that I've never seen the movie. Since this year marks the 30th anniversary of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, I really should take the time to watch it. 
kaffyr: (I create myself)
Progress Report

In my first week back at work, I've successfully made it to two physical therapy appointments, and usually done two sets of PT exercises at home each day as well. I've fallen down on that a couple of days, but I'm still keeping the end goal in sight, that of having a healthier back - a healthier self. 

I've handled work fairly well; when I start feeling anxious, I step aside from the perceived problem that's causing the anxiety and try to look at it from the outside. That's helped me control it; I've also been able to write slightly more easily than I was writing prior to going on vacation. 

We still have things to do in the condo association; I'm having a meeting with the treasurer tomorrow; on the agenda - the special assessment, the need to crop our courtyard greenery, and the necessity of completing the insurance claim and starting to pay me back. But I feel more in control than I did previously. 

All of this may be due in large part to a partly refilled reservoir of energy, but my hope is that I can manage that energty and make more of a renewable resource, thus providing me with the strength to tackle my own anxieties, and to stick to a new regimen. 

I've been gearing up for the next Hearts & Moons chapter; I even dreamed about writing fic last night; in my dream I'd gotten about 3,825 words written on something - while I supposed to be doing something else - and I wasn't worried at all about doing the fic instead of my proper tasks. I think my subconscious is pushing me back to the keyboard. 

The only thing I haven't done yet is get to a pool and swim. I shall do that this coming week.

This very boring update is brought to you by responsible 
[personal profile] kaffyr  - fannish me will be reporting in shortly.. 


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. 

kaffyr: The Third Doctor goes into action (Action Three!)
Ticked Off the To-Do List
  • Set up an initial physical therapy review session for Tuesday
  • Set up an appointment with my shrink on Saturday,
  • Bought a three month lap-swimming membership with the Chicago Park District ($40 - a real deal, compared with buying a Y membership.)
  • Enjoyed another hot shower. MMMmmm, hot water.
  • Got more done on my IOU fic. 

I think Monday went well. 

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