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! )
 

kaffyr: The TARDIS in snowfall (Christmas TARDIS)
The Sky is Full of Stars

Most of them we will never know. God alone knows if we'll ever make our way out there. And God alone knows whether we're worthy of getting off this ball of mud, this little jewel. 

So here we sit, turning our world to bloody red, dirt grey, despoiling the place, and ourselves, body and soul.  We take pearls, and become swine - or worse than swine, because pigs are pretty damned smart animals, and we, with all our great big brains, are small and petty, dumb in a way that beasts never are, and unworthy of pearls. 

And yet. 

Somewhere, a father cradles his child and prays he can protect her; a mother hunts for something to make her son's eyes grow big with joy. 

Somewhere doctors fight death; somewhere men and women tear aside bomb-broken walls, in death's way themselves, to rescue their fellow human beings. 

Somewhere, a girl creates glorious art, a boy makes music that makes peoples' hearts glad. 

Somewhere, someone gives up being selfish and cowardly, even as she is frightened to death of being good. 

Somewhere, someone is reaching out to her, giving her the strength, because he knows what it's like to take that step.

Somewhere people are cleaning up their messes, and our messes, too, helping the sky stay blue and the earth still verdant.

Somewhere, someone is standing up to a bully, and maybe even reaching into the bully's heart and starting a sea change.

Somewhere, an old man gives wisdom to a young fool, and a young fool gifts the old man with joie de vivre. 

Somewhere, one scientist pulls aside the sky of stars and looks into the infinite, while her colleague peers into the microscope and finds the cure for Alzheimer's. 

Somewhere, hearts yearn for love, and are rewarded. 

It isn't much, against all the death, and filth, and despair.

But perhaps it's not us doing the judging. 

We have always excelled at beating the odds, we fearfully arrogant humans. And perhaps, says the woman who isn't even sure one exists, except at the darkest time of year  when she needs one, there's a God out there, forgiving us our arrogance, loving us for it, saying, "Alright, you beloved cheeky monkeys, another year. I can't bear to give you up. I love you."

It's a gift I'll take. 

And to all of you magnificent people out there, here's a gift I've proffered before: my riff on "It's A Wonderful Life."


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. 



kaffyr: from "Spirited Away" (Duck gods)
Because You Need This

I have never heard porcupine vocalization before. It is adorable. 

Dept. of Oh, Hell

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 11:08 am
kaffyr: (Clara didn't ask for this)
 I Think My Laptop is Dying

And my company is deliberately not responding to my questions about my phone.

I do NOT need this. 

Must think of fluffy bunnies. 

Actually, thinking of the gorgeous day, and the fact that I'm gonna drop down to see striking Chronicle Herald workers this afternoon before heading up to the Valley to visit with my step-dad again. (We visited for awhile yesterday, and told him we'd take him out to have ice cream this afternoon.)

So, that's good. And laptops can be replaced, or fixed (preferably the latter.)

Huh - I actually feel pretty good now! Vacation magic ....


kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Default)
In My Brother's Back Yard

This is what we saw when we looked out the bedroom window this morning. 
 photo IMG_3199_zpsjidipaxb.jpg




And from the sublime to the slightly ridiculous; this is at Wolfville's water front park yesterday, showing why the town was first called Mud Creek. But in the background you can see Cape Blomidon, so only slightly ridiculous!
 photo 209294bf-a9e1-42f4-a58c-1500aa92cbc5_zpsgtdg6ldx.jpg

Dept. of Monday

Monday, 22 August 2016 05:40 pm
kaffyr: Hayao's realistic Pompoko raccoons yawn in our faces (Pompoko yawns)
A Coyote on Lawrence Avenue

On Saturday night,  BB and I were returning home to Chicago's North Side from some friends' barbecue on the far South Side. As we drove east on Lawrence Avenue, we saw a huge and beautiful coyote walk out into the street, then retreat back into the line of parked cars on the south side of Lawrence, opposite the cemetery at Clark and Lawrence.

More, under here )
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 Don't Despair

Saturday, 9 July 2016 01:57 pm
kaffyr: The ninth Doctor (Pink Doctor)
It's Been A Long, Hard, Heart-Shredding Week

So I'll just leave this here.

The pictures are all pretty cheesy, but the song Todd wrote isn't, not in my opinion at least. 

Dept. of Independence

Monday, 4 July 2016 04:30 pm
kaffyr: (Joe Hill)
A Plea

Every Independence Day, I try to write a post that tells friends and acquaintances what I feel about Independence Day in America. This year, my post is a plea to everyone in this amazing country - and, frankly, to any of my friends and acquaintances around the world. Because what I'm about to ask all of you is something that I think is necessary. It's a plea from my heart, asking you all to help maintain democracy in a way that goes beyond love and duty, to action. 

Read newspapers. 

Read newspapers that you agree with, read the ones you're pretty sure are wrong-headed. Compare their stories. Continue reading them. Read newspapers from other countries if you can. 

Pay for those newspapers.

If you read them online, and there's a way to subscribe to a digital version of those papers, think hard about which ones you think are doing a good job - not necessary the job you like, but a good job - of trying to inform their reading public. 

If you read them in hard copy, subscribe. If you can only afford to get weekend delivery, do that. If you can afford seven-day-a-week delivery, do that. It'll be more expensive, but it's worth it to you - after all, you won't have to worry about your access to news dying with a recalcitrant laptop or aging tablet. And you'll have something to line your birdcage with eventually. More importantly, you'll be able to turn a page and find news you hadn't expected, hadn't looked for - and you might learn something important about your world. That's another benefit to hard-copy. When you read online news sources, they tend to conform themselves, via algorithms and other marketing magic, to what they think you want to read, or hear. Voila, instant echo chamber. 

So, yes, if you can, read newspapers, and pay for them. 

Most of you know I'm a reporter, so you may assume this is my biased, and slightly panicked, plea to my friends and acquaintances to help keep my source of income alive. Well, of course it is. 

But there's also this: this is what The Nation wrote most recently about the public's decreasing access to news that men, women, and children need to know, in order to make informed decisions about what's going on in their neighborhoods, their towns, their counties and provinces and states and nations and world. 

It's nothing new, as even the author states. But it's frightening in the extreme. 

They call journalism The Fourth Estate. I consider it one of the important pillars of democracy, along with informed voting, and continued informed involvement in democracy before and after voting. In fact, if you don't know what is happening around you - what businesses, governments, individuals, corporations, courts, et al, are doing to and for you - you cannot vote in an informed fashion. 

Newspapers are dying. And I'm not sure that live media is doing much of a job providing the news that people need in place of newspapers. Reading heavily targeted news that agrees with what you believe (something of which I'm equally guilty) will not tell you what's going on in this world. Newspapers, general circulation newspapers - small, medium, large, weekly and daily, neighborhood and national -  are what will help. 

They need money to keep going. So pay up. You're helping pay for democracy. 

Will keeping newspapers alive keep news alive? Probably not, in the long run, or at least in the way we once thought of news and newspapers. But it will help. And I can't think of a more patriotic thing to do on this Independence Day, than to check your wallet, figure out which two or three newspapers to support (remember to make one of them one that you don't agree with, but which you think has half-way decent reportage), and put your money into a subscription. 

Nor can I think of anything more patriotic for Canadians, for Brits, for Australians - for anyone whose country has a half-way open society - to do. We don't have the excuse of personal danger when we subscribe to good news sources that many folks across the world have. Let's use that freedom. 

Thank you, and here's a little something from Robert Reich that says other good things about democracy.

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. 

Dept. Of Hope

Monday, 25 April 2016 10:36 am
kaffyr: (See the Sky)
A Monday Thought That Strengthens Me

Do not commit the error, common among the young, of assuming that if you cannot save the whole of mankind, you have failed. -Jan de Hartog, playwright and novelist (22 Apr 1914-2002) 

This was thanks to A Word A Day,
Anu Garg's wonderful site.
It made me feel better, because the error is not simply common among the young. We oldsters suffer from that misapprehension as well.

It's like the Doctor said (although I wildly paraphrase); just because you can't get rid of the big pile of bad things in someone's life, doesn't mean you can't add to their pile of good things.

If you can't save the world, you save one person. If you can't save one person, you try to make their life at least a little better. And when we do those things, we triumph, even if we don't always win. 

So there you go. And I may find some other good things to think about throughout the day because I think we need to remember good things as much as possible. 


Dept. of Stuff

Monday, 11 April 2016 05:41 pm
kaffyr: Mid-afternoon view from the spirit world train. (Train view)
So ... Gratitude. 

I am grateful for these flowers. They bloom for a very short time every spring in Chicago, just a breath ahead of the forsythia bushes. To me, they are spring. There are some stretches of Ridge Road in Evanston where lawns are blanketed in the bluest blue for a few glorious days. I've always told myself I'd take photos of the flowers, and I finally got around to doing so. No enhancement needed for this picture.  Happy Spring!

 photo dd7a05e1-b6c6-45ae-b5a5-a02746e5f73a_zps3victt9v.jpg


Other things for which I'm grateful: 

I'm finally fic writing again. Three separate things (Chapter 26 of H&M, and two MCU tales) all at the same time. I'm not complaining - you go with what works, right?

I'm going to try to be grateful for the surgical team that will be working with BB this Thursday, but I'm not grateful to the "support" team at the surgeon's office. Incompetent twits. But this is a post about gratitude, so we'll leave that alone. 

I'm grateful for the clarity of mind that descended on me this afternoon, and which has convinced me - or nearly convinced me - not to run for Chicago NewsGuild local president. Being acting president is bidding fair to convince me to run the other way. Screaming. 

I am, as always, grateful for BB, and grateful for all of you. I hope your weekends were good, and that your week began well, and will end well. 

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 )
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Default)
Sunday Going on Monday

I'm tired and definitely wary about heading into the week, because there's word coming down that the very few of us reporters who have a single town beat, or a two town beat, are going to be shuffled around, given new beats, and generally upended because the company undoubtedly won't replace the six reporters who took buyouts and will simply try to stretch us even thinner than we are. I don't look forward to that - but sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof, eh? I'd rather focus on things I'm grateful for.

1. I am grateful that I got to spend a delightful evening with one current colleague and two former colleagues, having dinner at a Nepalese restaurant, catching up with each other, and laughing a whole lot. Laughter and friendship; absolutely necessary to one's spiritual health.
2. I'm grateful that I raised a fannish son, particularly one who is a fan of Who. I came home from dinner, to find that FB had spent one day at C2E2, the Chicago version of Comic Con, and while there, he'd bought me a lovely necklace, featuring a black and white pendant with the Gallifreyan symbol on it. I'm wearing it now. It's lovely. 
3. I am so glad I finally got around to making coffee jelly with unused coffee that had been sitting in the kitchen for a bit (luckily, coffee lasts a long time before it's unusable).  Coffee jelly is a wonderful dessert from my childhood, (and is a also a big dessert in Japan, which I find amusing). I've made it before, but I wasn't sure I'd get around to making this time, because procrastination is one of my big problems these day. But I made it, and I am very pleased with myself. So I'm grateful that I didn't procrastinate.
4. I'm grateful for a burst of energy that has allowed me to almost complete the fic that had been log-jammed for so long, and for whom I'd written a paragraph last week. It went from about 390 words this morning to 930 tonight. That makes me very happy. 
5. Finally, I'm grateful that I was able to take a picture of this sign, as BB and I did some shopping chores this afternoon. 

 photo 4e588d5f-d488-426c-b818-276c026f6b09_zpsxyrcm6mj.jpg

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: Mid-afternoon view from the spirit world train. (Train view)
Grace and Gratitude

I had an odd thought recently. 

I wondered if Thanksgiving wasn't in actuality an incredibly smug holiday. Leaving aside the feel-good story of the first Thanksgiving, and all its worrisome aspects, wasn't there something just a little unpleasantly self-satisfied about saying how thankful one was for whatever great or small riches one might have? Was that something I wanted to do, I wondered, when this world is full of people who have nothing, nothing at all, for which to be thankful? Wasn't my being thankful for my life just rubbing my luck in the metaphorical faces of those people?

I don't think I would have had that thought a few years ago. I think this past year has tired me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I know that the world has always had too much of hell in it -  I've always known that, I am no naif -  but this year seemed particularly awful, with hate, fear, and ignorance nurturing every bloody proclivity toward barbarism that we humans have, and smothering all of our tendencies toward love and grace.

As I said, an odd thought. A weird one. 

But I decided that I was looking at it all wrong, that I was allowing my spiritual weariness to curdle into cynicism and hopelessness. Like the boy whose heart bore a shard of the Snow Queen's shattered mirror, which turned his every thought to darkness, I was looking at the holiday with the hard, half-blind eyes of the hopeless soul. I was a fool to do so, when I was surrounded by so much for which to be thankful. 

Being grateful for the people who I love, and who love me, isn't being selfish or self-satisfied. Being thankful that I have a little home that I love; that I have a job which still, amazingly, means something to me; that I have medical help to wield against the physical and mental illnesses I scuffle with; that I can still write about things I love; that I have Bob and Andy in my life; that I know all of you, my online friends and acquaintances - none of that is wrong. 

Let me now try to work on behalf of people who have less than I have. Let me try to pass on the love with which I am graced. Let me try to help others into a life for which they can be thankful. 

Thank you all, for being who you are, and for being in my life. 



Dept. of Birthdays

Thursday, 22 October 2015 01:33 pm
kaffyr: (Clara and 11 journey)
Two Beautiful People

It's not often I get the chance to wish Happy Birthday in one day to two people as uniquely lovely as elisi and a_phoenixdragon.

[personal profile] elisi  is the person I look to for incredible meta on Doctor Who. The thought she puts into our shared obsession, the acuity of her observations, her ability to see patterns, the breadth of her knowledge and her ability to address those patterns with that knowledge and, what's most important, the joy with which she attacks the challenge of meta, are things to which I aspire. She writes damned fine fanfic and general fiction, too. What makes her even more lovely to know are the glimpses I see of her personal life with a wonderful family with members as lively and intelligent as she is. I'm happy for so many reasons that I got to meet and interact with you. I know your family undoubtedly honored your birthday as it should be honored. Please take my wishes for a fantastic year!

[personal profile] a_phoenixdragon  is one of the online friends I've been lucky enough to meet in three-dee life. Mandy grabs at life with both hands, wrestles with it and generally takes it two falls out of three; then, to mangle my metaphors completely, she'll cook it dinner, have a beer with it and basically have fun with it. That's all while dealing with life's less savory aspects. She's tough, funny, unstoppable, she can talk up a storm - and have all of it be fun to listen to - she's curious about the world, loving and patient with her boyos and her own Best Beloved, unwilling to give up, and delighted to enjoy the good things. And I haven't even mentioned her incredible output of Extremely Good Fanfic. She's the mistress of atmosphere and emotions, and it's always a treat (albeit more than occasionally a dark treat) to read her work. May you have a great day, Mandy, and may you have an even better year - and we'll find a way to get you up here for some Japanese curry and a night of geeking out, OK?


Dept. of Books

Wednesday, 21 October 2015 10:24 pm
kaffyr: Close-up of manual typewriter (Typewriter)
Between the World and Me

I've wanted to recommend Between The World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, for some time; well before I reached the end of this very slim volume, as a matter of fact.

Folks may know of Coates' work at The Atlantic, with his trenchant, unyielding, and often strongly poetic writing about race and America, among many other things. He was named the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" grant.  (He's a fan, by the way; he's going to be writing The Black Panther for Marvel!)

But this book ... it's rare that I can say "A book changed my view of the world." This one did. It is written as a letter to his teenage son in the wake of the Trayvon Martin murder trial verdict. He speaks to his son as a black man, with a young black son he loves, in a country that doesn't love either of them. Within the first 10 pages of this letter, I was treated to more wisdom, and more hurt, and more righteous anger, than I've read in a long time. 

I'm a middle-class white woman, and reading this was sometimes brutal for me - but it was brutal in all the good "you need to learn this, to understand it, to accept it, " way. Coates is that rarest of combinations; a writer with reportorial skills in equal measure to his command of language, pacing, heart and mind. He made me listen. 

Between the World and Me has been short-listed for the National Book award. You should read it.

kaffyr: The ninth Doctor (Pink Doctor)
The Sun Is Shining 

And that's a good thing. I'm going to appreciate the sun today. 

Idea: tell me about what you're appreciating today - I'd love hear about it!




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.

Dept. of Lovely Things

Saturday, 4 July 2015 04:38 pm
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Default)
Oh Beautiful, For Spacious Skies

This country is a mess. We are a mess.
We are a fractious, miserable, small-minded people. We fight with each other, over stupid things. We cheat each other, for shameless reasons. We kill each other, for shameful - unforgivable - reasons.
We despoil our land and air and water, because it's easier to do that than to change our ways.
We eye other nations with suspicion and disdain, even as our power impacts those nations. 
We are, inescapably, a mess. 

But this country is also wonderful. We, as a people, are also wonderful.
We are wonderful for one simple reason. 
We hate being a mess. 
We fight ourselves, we battle our worst impulses.
We refuse to let our government screw up without at least trying to hold its collective feet to the fire.
We march in the street to say that black lives do matter.
We insist that anyone who chooses to marry in the eyes of the law have the lawful right to marry.
We fight in the courts so that women have the right to choose their reproductive destinies.
We reach out to each other, despite our fear of difference. We struggle past our fear of hijabs, yarmulkes, crosses, Darwin, you name it.
We look to other nations with curiosity, respect, a desire to help.
We try to clean up after ourselves.
We try to love each other as we love ourselves.

We fail much of the time. We despair.
But we don't give up. 

This country may be a mess, but it's one of the most beautiful messes it has ever been my honor to try to clean up. 

Happy 239th birthday. We'll try to do right by you. 
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 Haste

Wednesday, 24 June 2015 10:23 pm
kaffyr: Animation of a Ghibli film scene, water rolling into shore. (Anoesis)
I aten't dead, I'm just busy

Things I've done: been irritated by editors; had stories I didn't think were worth it be highlighted approvingly by said editors; managed to get my exercises done at least once a day; seen a faun on the side of a lake bluff, where I never would have expected it; written almost 900 words on H&M; and ... well, let's go with that for now. 

More, later?
kaffyr: A light-limned portrait of Donna Noble (Luminous Donna)
 When One is Feeling A Little (Just a Little) Down ...

... why, then, one finds something to make one feel better. 



Thank you, 
[personal profile] such_heights ,  for this. It never fails to make my heart ache, swell, break and soar, or raise the hair at the back of my neck - always in a good way, always making the day a little better!

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