kaffyr: (Clara and 11 journey)
I Saw "Arrival"

And it was pretty much magnificent. Dennis Villeneuve has created an amazing film based on Ted Chiang's novella "Story of Your Life." I have not read the story, but based on what I saw today, I'll be buying it soon. 

It is elegant, intellectually clean, unsettling, and challenging. It is emotionally sonorous. It is beautiful. Amy Adams deserves so much praise for every minute change on her face and in her eyes. Every character, human or otherwise is treated with respect and, as a result, acts in ways that are understandable. The music is amazing, the message about humanity, language, love, and fear, and time, and more, are what you make of them. 

If this doesn't win a ton of awards, I will be very disappointed. 

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!
kaffyr: Keep Calm & dive behind the sofa (Dive behind the sofa)
Thoughts, In No Particular Order

I have been thinking of Leonard Cohen's music today, having been reminded of it via an add on our local jazz radio station for a one-hour remembrance of him. I only got to hear the last 20 minutes or so of it, but it's made me want to listen to his albums, both the early and the later ones. I really want to hear his last one; "You Want It Darker." I heard the title song, and it's Cohen at his elliptical, emotionally unsparing and beautiful best. I don't know what I love about his music more, the words, the imagery, the love he bears for everything he views ... perhaps, too, the past week's events beyond his death have kept him in my head. 

Facebook and Livejournal share the creepy practice of telling you about upcoming birthdays of people who have died. I got one such notification today and was reminded that we all live on, on the internet.

I completed (I think) a conversation over on LJ, in my last post; because I didn't put the post under a lock, this person wandered in and launched into a strong attack on my progressive stance. I decided to try to engage; although the effort wasn't ultimately successful, I'm glad I didn't simply ignore the person. At the very least, he challenged me to think about the best way to respond to his claims. I do worry, from time to time, about living in my own liberal/progressive echo chamber, and requiring myself to step outside that chamber, even if it's just in the tiny way I did with this conversation, is probably a good thing.

BB and I are finally getting into the latest run of anime titles. I'm extremely impressed with one that has the rather unprepossessing English title of "Flip Flappers." I'm not even going to try to describe it, except to say that if you liked FLCL, chances are you'll like this one, too. 

Last night I got the chance to hear Father Michael Pfleger speak in person for the first time. He impressed the hell out of me. 


kaffyr: (We used to dream)
Post Deluge Ruminations

Some of these are gathered from comments I've made in earlier post-election conversations here and on LJ. Others I've thought about more recently. 

All the bitterness, with none of the hope )
kaffyr: from "Spirited Away" (Duck gods)
Because You Need This

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

kaffyr: (Badly Written)
Again, I'm Trying Again

Perhaps I should stop using Twitter; my attention span has melted like snow, and my ability to think cogent, long-form thoughts has melted along with it.  Three times I've tried to write a post worth someone's time; three times I've failed. And we're not talking about the multiple days that I just didn't try to begin with, or the multiple days I didn't read my f'list, or, reading, did not comment. 

Ah, me. As we are wont to say in our house about whinging too damned much: Grumble, grumble, grumble, whale meat again.  

(Hey, it's a thing. A kaffyr and BB and FB thing. ... Ahem ... Perhaps one had to be there?)

In new TMI news, I went through roughly a week of intermittent nausea that became absolutely awful on Saturday. One doctor's visit later, I need to get a gallbladder scan, and I've been told to lose a little weight, cut the caffeine and cut my stress. Cut my caffeine? Eurgh. I already don't drink coffee much anymore. Cut my weight? Yeah, probably. 

Cut my stress?

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH—

Oops. Thinking out loud again. 


kaffyr: Doc Yewl from Defiance (yewlyay)
Just A Thought on Fights on Film or Television

It seems to me that almost any fight, particularly comic-book fights, superhero fights, action film fights, would be shorter, less flashy, and more successful for whoever undertook the final move, if the person determined to win focused almost solely upon kneeing their opponent, hard, in the groin.

(I am reliably informed by those whose business it would be to be in the know that even wearing a cup is not necessarily proof against such a move, given that kicking, punching, or otherwise banging a cup hard enough would cause painful repercussions inside the cup.)

This might not work as well against a female opponent, I'll grant you. However, having landed on the cross-bar of what was once called a boy's bike more than once myself, and having experienced the breath-stopping impact of that, I'm willing to bet it mightn't be as ineffective against women as all that. 

As you can imagine, this has lessened my appreciation of even the most gloriously choreographed fights I've witnessed on the big or small screen lately.

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 Scattershot

Tuesday, 19 April 2016 03:31 pm
kaffyr: (Bored in Porco Rosso)
These Things Occur to Me

It's bound to be a ... day ... when you start off by forgetting to put the top on the blender in which you are making your breakfast smoothie. 

A rant about age gaps in relationships.  )
My editor, let me praise her. She's a good editor. I really like her. 

The first MCU fic is edging toward 3,000 words. I wish I could wrap it up faster than I'm going to be able to. 

Have I mentioned lately that I love The Expanse? Have I mentioned how it manages to be as close to realistic hard science fiction as one can get, while still telling a multi-pronged and gripping story filled with real three-dee characters, a complicated and fascinating political plot, and thoughtful social extrapolations? I have? Well, you'll probably hear me gush over the series again. We've just watched the sixth episode in the first 10-episode season, and I am very glad that it got renewed by SyFy.

I am grateful that today I saw a cardinal (male, in all his red glory) on the greensward across the street from my window. 




Dept. of Schadenfreude

Saturday, 26 March 2016 11:37 am
kaffyr: (Sen Waits)
This Made My Day

The people, ordinary people, that could be put out of work by this potential bankruptcy are the ones I feel sorry for.  The higher-ups, and the ultimate owners?  Let's let John Prine answer that.


kaffyr: (Bacon!)
Just a Thought

What if people and corporations used to making obscene profits at the expense of other human beings could somehow be convinced to live with only slightly risque profits instead? 

I mean, yes, Come the Revolution and all that, but until then ....
kaffyr: Clara in medieval attire, smiling (Medieval Clara)
Gratitude Redux 

1. I'm grateful that today is Friday - it's always good to know I have a two day vacation coming up!
2. I'm grateful that the weather predicts a partly sunny day, and that I have a lovely sweater to wear in the March chill. 
3. I'm grateful that today is the day I'm paid, which will cover our mortgage this month. 
4. I' m grateful that an experiment I tried this week, going without my daily painkiller for three days, worked out with only a little extra pain in my foot and in my thumbs. I'm going to go back to taking my daily level, because I do need my thumbs for my work, and also because there's no reason for me to deal with extra pain, or pain at all - it's not a mark of moral strength, no matter what Puritan detritus taints our American cultural attitudes - but it reminded me that, no, I'm not either physically or psychically dependent on the painkiller. 
5. I'm grateful that tonight I will mix myself a big-ass-martini and enjoy time with BB.
kaffyr: Snark about fanfic (Adulthood? It's fanfic)
So ....

What do you call a 60-year-old who watches fanvids unironically, wonders about Transuranic Elements, has a favorite Doctor, a couple of OT3s, writes fic, has an unfinished WIP o'doom, too many action figures, an evening entertainment menu that includes 2-4 anime a night, who rereads favorite SF and fantasy books repeatedly (but who, in all truth, hasn't read much new fiction in the past 10 years - a little, not enough), who occasionally misses going to cons, and who understands everything that she just wrote despite acknowledging that some of it doesn't appear to be quite English?

Poll #17352 Let's Name this Creature
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 17


What Am I?

View Answers

fan
8 (47.1%)

fangirl
0 (0.0%)

faan
0 (0.0%)

old faan
0 (0.0%)

otaku
1 (5.9%)

age-inappropriate
1 (5.9%)

weird
0 (0.0%)

crazy cat lady (because hey, CATS!)
2 (11.8%)

Other
5 (29.4%)

kaffyr: The Polar Bear from Polar Bear cafe (Polar Bear-san)
A Day in Which I Got Gin

That's really all I can title my day, or my post (why is it that I insist on titling my posts, I wonder?) For I did little more today than a) make my holiday card list, b) rewatch the Zygon Invasion and Inversion, and Face the Raven with my First Born, who'd specifically asked me to help him catch up with the season - and go out to get some meds, and some gin. 

Note that I have, quite manfully, resisted making some sort of bad joke about meds and gin being sought on the same trip. 

More about my day under here, to save bandwidth. )
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. 



kaffyr: (Bacon!)
Things I've Thought Recently
  • This I believe: it is impossible to keep knit sweaters safe from disfigurement in a house with three cats.
  • After checking out some clips of rugby games (don't ask - it started with YouTube clips of haka from the New Zealand All Blacks and went from there to the Rugby world championship) I am now convinced that rugby is a game that requires more skill and gut toughness than any other version of sport that could be called "football." It particularly eclipses American football (Sorry, [personal profile] supergee.)
  • Also? Haka are pretty amazing pieces of theater to watch and listen to and make me want to learn more about Maori history and culture. 
  • I have gained back much (not all, but a lot) of the weight I lost to my RA/scleroderma. I find that I don't care quite as much now as I did a few months ago. Perhaps the idea that I'm exercising regularly and attempting to be a teeny bit more active, makes me feel this way. Perhaps it's because I just can't be bothered to worry about it. Hmmmm.
  • Getting anywhere at all on Chapter 26 of Hearts and Moons has proven to be very difficult. This story won't be done before the end of 2015. Bother. 
  • I really am liking this season of Doctor Who, although the most recent one had me violently swinging between enjoyment (Osgood! Kate Stewart!) and irritation (Doctor with little time in world-threatening crisis decides to travel trans Atlantic in a plane instead of the TARDIS. O rly?)
  • Exercise is hard
  • Wow. Much randomosity. 


Dept. of Memories

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

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

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

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

I miss her, though. 

Dept. of Nerves

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

Thoughts on a little brother )
kaffyr: (We used to dream)
Keeping it Shallow

I turned 60 on Thursday. I'm still thinking about that. I've always been way too obsessed with mortality, and this made me think about it even more, and about the fact that I flat refuse to think of death as the end. But that's a post for another day. It's too sunny out, and the air's too fall fresh, to go down that rabbit hole.

Today, I'm going to do all my various exercises, something I fell off on doing over the last three days; I'm going to take a lovely shower after that. Then I'm going to dress up (for varying nerd powers of "dress up") and go to my friend Rose's place with BB. We're going to eat pizza, toast each other with not-quite-champagne, and watch the premiere of S09. I'm going to enjoy the hell out of it. It's going to be a better day, by far, than the past few days at work - and again, that's a rabbit hole I intend to avoid. 

I will geek out over Twelve and Clara (and get as much of Clara as I can, since this is her final season.) I will do so among friends and family. I will get rid of the weird phantom headache that's been dogging me for days, and I will have fun. And on Sunday, I'll start thinking about the tattoo I plan to get in the next couple of months. 

There are not many deep thoughts in this post. I'm deliberately keeping it that way. 

Is it Doctor Who time yet? 

Dept. of Movies

Wednesday, 16 September 2015 07:58 pm
kaffyr: Fantasia - night and the profile of a hill (Dark and lovely)
Mad Max: Fury Road

I forgot to mention that we watched this movie Sunday night and were really impressed with it. I'd heard so many people be impressed with it, and wanted the chance to see if it lived up to the hype. At least in my opinion, it most definitely did. 

I usually judge the worth of movies on the strength of their acting - I have little intellectual understanding of what makes for the quality of a movie's visual or thematic aspects, so I tend to leave that for those who are more at ease with them - and I was very impressed with the acting; so much done, as other reviewers have said, with the eyes, with small gestures, and all of those subtleties were successfully planted in the middle of motion, action, explosion, none of which is pointless and all of which is almost balletic. 

And that motion was paired with incredible music, gorgeous color palettes, wonderful bits of world building and myth making; it was an altogether gorgeous and emotionally moving film. 

tl;dr: I liked it.
kaffyr: (Mel's on Fire)
Hump Day Survival Aids

On a day when I expect to be pretty frakkin' busy (and to be going to the podiatrist where, god willing and the creek don't rise, I'll get the word to jettison the damned walking boot), I need a little extra emotional fuel to keep me going. So here's a song from a few years ago, with Mary J. Blige and U2. It's a beautiful song, and Blige and Bono duetting make it even more beautiful. The video is elegant and, although it might not seem to be, I think it's also surprisingly understated. In a way that I don't often see in professional music vids - and more often see in fanvids, frankly - the images fit and compliment the music and words, and there are some images of Blige that still raise the hairs on the back of my neck. 



And once you're done being blown over by this song (yeah, I'm that convinced of its power), here's another more recent Blige offering. I keep forgetting how much I really like this woman and her music. What a shame for me. 
kaffyr: (Porco Rosso friends)
Lack of Labor Day

It's Sunday, and I still have another day of weekend ... oh, long weekends, I love thee ....

book and television geekery )

green card, first born, barbecues )

And less than two weeks now until Series 09 (or whatever series it would be if I counted all the way from 1963)! It's going to be my birthday present!



Dept. of In Haste

Thursday, 27 August 2015 10:28 pm
kaffyr: Japanese building w/flowers on blue ground (Blue Nippon)
Moar Stuff

1. I was unfriended the morning after I made my last post; a brief email conversation with the person in question made it appear as if my comments about the Puppies had done it, although I could be wrong. Given that this was when the Puppies and their friends were licking their wounds ... it doesn't surprise me. The person was reasonably polite in the brief email exchange; they said they were tired of reading comments about people they knew but that the commenters didn't. I understand the emotion. However, having friends myself who I am aware have been, not to put too fine a point on it, dead wrong about things, and who probably deserve to be called on those things, the argument "You don't know them like I do" has less strength than this person thought it did.  tl;dr: it was the person's loss, not mine. 

2. I finally got my Green Card renewal application done online, and paid online. That's not the end of it, of course; I still have to have a new picture taken, and the pics have to meet the rather arcane measurements required by the immigration section of the Department of Homeland Security, and I still have to get an appointment to go in and get my biometrics done (biometrics, in this case, meaning nothing more elaborate than my fingerprints, or thumbprint.) But at least the process is underway. Go, me. 

3. My current boss's final day is tomorrow. They're having a little get together for him down at the George Orwell Memorial Building tomorrow afternoon. I may have enough done to go down there, but if I don't get down there, that's OK; he's trying to set something up for his staff outside, possibly two weeks down the line. And he wants to invite my previous fantastic uber-boss; that would be fantastic. 

4. Work today sucked so very much that at one point I was in tears. I have recovered from that point. And I've been able to actually undertake a post for the first time - again - in days, and I'm listening to jazz. These things go a long way toward helping me forget Teh Suck. 

Right now, however, I'm dead tired, so I'm going to toddle off to bed, without telling you any number of things I'd undoubtedly meant to tell you but which I've forgotten. There were the Totally Unexpected Cosplayers wandering down a totally non-cosplay-type neighborhood street the other day, for example ... ah, but my bed is calling to me. All my love, my dears, and I hope you all have a wonderful Friday. 
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 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. 

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kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Default)
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