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?
Oops. Thinking out loud again.
Really, folks. It isn't. It's more to say I'm alive, and that I actually intend to continue conversing with people on my last post - I'm not ignoring anyone, I just haven't had the intellectual vigor to follow up with a couple of folks.
It's not a post, because if it were a post, I'd have said Happy Birthday, gerisullivan !! You're an amazing, creative, smiling, disciplined, fannish force of nature, and I'm very glad I know you! May the 2016-2017 year be a good for you, and may we see more of each other soon.
It's not a post, because I might say a whole bunch of things about the fire-struck oil-slick that is the RNC. I've been watching it at a remove, by following Twitter. I tried watching one of the early speeches and it raised my blood pressure enough to make me turn off the television.
It's not a post because every single day seems to unleash some awful bit of violence here and abroad - on top of the unending violence and despair in Syria and Iraq, in Somalia, in other places that are just as real as my home, against people who don't deserve it. And I don't have the spoons to consider it.
It's not a post, because it's too damned hot. And the old break in my foot aches from the mugginess. And I'm worried about Alex, the senior ginger partner of our feline triad. He's been throwing up almost every day. I removed any bit of milk from his diet (we used to give him a little bit of milk as a treat on a too-regular basis.) I'm hoping that will help.
It's not a post because - wait, I can say that I'm almost done one more IOU fandom_stocking fic. Yes! Something positive!
And now I'm going to bed.
I was supposed to be at a new board meeting tonight, but I'm feeling like crap, and realized it was a migraine (and possibly a cold that started creeping up on me at a meeting I covered last night. So I'm more or less on the couch, feeling miserable, after eating supper, and I realized it's been almost two weeks since I actually posted anything here. So ... well ....
... I'm here.
I have a fic to post, which might go up tonight. Maybe. If I feel like it. Augh. I still have two more fandom_stocking IOUs to complete, but this isn't one of them.
I wanted to re-read a particularly powerful and well-written piece of fiction by ljgeoff (hi, my dear!), but my eyes and brain aren't allowing me to do that with the care I want to lavish on it. Instead, I'll send wishes for quick healing.
I wanted to tell the story of how the remarkable gerisullivan helped pass along a tradition of earrings to me, after hearing about the loss of my favorite earrings in Cleveland. Really recount the event the delight and joy it deserves, I mean, because she is such a marvelously creative and overall remarkable human being. But I don't have the spoon, except to say, Geri, you rock, and I'm still enthusing about your gift to me, all these days later.
I have emails to send out to our unit owners and renters about a water problem that needs to be fixed on Friday. I have to chase after one of the people I represented two weeks ago in a discipline hearing, to see if he can make it to his first stage grievance hearing next week. But right now, I still hurt too bad to do anything more than post here.
I want to continue reading Paul Cornell's latest dark fantasy police procedural, "Who Killed Sherlock Holmes," which is on its way to being just as good, and scary, as the two previous books. But I can't read much.
I thought I might comment on the Dems and GOPs as they flounder and founder prior to their national conventions. But I have not the heart to do so.
I may go and lie down in the dark. Or I may lie here in the living room and chat, slowly, with BB. Not sure which.
So how are all of you?
I had a wonderful evening with BB last night. I enjoyed all the lovely bubbly I had (3 tulip's worth, which probably isn't all that much.)
What I didn't enjoy is the hangover I had. From three glasses of asti spumante. I am so very, very old.
I can't understand why I don't get any kind of hangover from a gin martini or two, and suffer quite noticeably with the wine.
I did finish my MCU/Who crossover, and it's been posted to the requisite fandom_stocking stocking. I hope its recipient likes it.
Brief sort-of-detour; after this Christmas, BB and I realized we simply can't handle that kind of social engagement anymore. It doesn't make us happy to admit it, because the two of us used to love throwing parties and parts of us still do. But physically, we are simply not up to it, and emotionally it's kind of draining as well. After we (and by "we" I largely mean BB and my lovely FB) got the place cleaned up post-Christmas, we sat in the livingroom, looked at each other, and said "That's the last one."
End of sort-of-detour. For me, the damage was more immediate. the simple act of standing at the kitchen counters and table prepping, mixing, etc., is dangerously apt to coax spasms out of retirement. Even hiking our table up a couple of inches so that I don't have to bend over so much doesn't help enough. And without my exercises to keep the relevant muscles in shape ... well, welcome back, back spasms.
They've been kind of bad since Monday. I've used our teeny-tiny jacuzzi bathtub three times in fewer than 24 hours because that affords me some temporary relief, and I've gone back to doing my exercises with a vengeance. That helps too. Most drug relief I hold off on until bedtime if at all possible because I get some of it from BB and I don't want to be profligate with his largesse.
And I know I'm a fan, because the thing that bothers me most about this is that the pain is keeping me from writing, and fandom_stocking 's reveal date is speeding toward me. I've only got two stories done, although a third is in process. I want to get four or five more done. Help me, fandom godlets,you're my only hope! GAH!
I am fighting with the first mouth sore I've had in several months. I'm not overly upset, because it is, after all, the first one in several months. Still, it's hard eating or drinking anything without pain, so I am allowing myself to feel a bit sorry for myself. Bob made some of his very special winter oatmeal, with all sorts of yummy things in it, and that was my supper.
I had a reasonable week (except for the Tuesday meeting FROM HELL about which I've already spoken. I think I'm getting an idea of how to deal with my uber-boss, who's still my immediate boss. Why? Because the fellow they're bringing in from Far, Far Away, may end up being handed a different job within the company. And his arrival on our shores is apparently taking more time than was originally expected. If they have to hire someone from the vast pool of unemployed local editors, that would please me, I think. Anyhow, yes, I'm dealing with her a little better.
I have somewhere over four paragraphs of Chapter 26 written. I'm not sure these will end up being the lead paragraphs in the chapter, but they'll be somewhere in there. This will be a chapter with numerous scene and POV changes, I think; I don't want it to end up too choppy or hurried, but I think a lot needs to get done.
I went with my friend Rose on Friday to see Roxane Gay, author of, among other things, "Bad Feminist." I haven't read it yet, but based on the conversation she held on stage with her interviewers made me think I should get her book, at least from the library. She had some very interesting things to say about being a woman in academe, for instance, and about being a black, large-bodied, queer, really, really smart woman in academe.
I also liked the way she handled the Q&A session. Those can be really uncomfortable for listeners and for the person who has to answer the questions. I sat through one session after a dance recital, for instance, when the guest, the choreographer, had to endure a woman who grabbed the mic and wouldn't relinquish it, while she droned on and on, the only person in the auditorium to enjoy the sound of her voice.
Gay didn't have to endure that; she got no more than a couple of so-so questions, and the rest were thoughtful and aimed at her, rather than aimed at the rest of the audience in order to show how cool the questioner was. The audience's reward was hearing her in full-on good teacher mode: listening with respect to the questions, while still being able to show a bit of asperity with questioners, answering their question, but also giving some further information that might suggest to the questioner that they'd asked the wrong question. I love that in a teacher.
So, yeah, tl;dr: I'm going to find either "Bad Feminist" or perhap's Gay's fiction, so that I can get a better feel for her.
There's this. Again. Again.
"Now's not the time to talk about gun control, in this moment of tragedy."
"It was just a lone madman."
"If they'd only had guns, because gun-free zones are dangerous."
"Background checks will bring black helicopters to our doors!"*
"Because Second Amendment!"
"We'll keep telling our (fewer than advertised) members to shout down opposition. They're cheap."
"We'll keep doing this while the gun and ammo companies keep paying Wayne's and our salaries."
If they like guns so much, I have a suggestion ...
... and the very fact that I just wrote that uncivilized and unforgivable sentence tells you how angry and fucking fed up I am.
Fuck. The. NRA.
And no, this is my journal. This is one of the rare, the very rare, times that I will pull rank. You want to argue about this? Really? Do not tempt me.
* Yes, yes, we know. Your safe full of guns of all types is going to help keep you free from the evil government and their jackboots. In the 21st century. The government that has tanks and drones. Right. You and your camo-wearing buddies just keep on watching "Red Dawn" and wanking off to your little 15-year-old otaku mecha fantasies. Your Second Amendment wet dreams are just that. The Second Amendment - I do not think it means what Wayne LaPierre has told you it means.
While painkillers and bossanova help me forget the incipient back spasm that is, even now, trying to decide whether it will come to stay awhile, I'll belatedly try to catch people up on life at Casa kaffyr
( Under a cut, yo ) Also? I hate that I seem to have lost my ability to do cuts. Just hit'em all to see what I wrote. Gah.
A gracious good morning to you all! I am up bright and early, or at least as close to bright and early as I am apt to get up, and I thought I'd start the week by making my brain work. Remarkable things, brains; if you're willing to actually force them to think linearly, to make them create sentences that have proper punctuation and a real beginning, middle, and end, why then they're apt to get more flexible, and are much more apt to work better, than if you stare at a game of solitaire all day.And that's why I'm posting at this unusual point in the day for me.
Come on brain; you've got a lot of work to do, so let's do it!
First (but not in any particular order), I made a stew this weekend which was the first stew I've made without using a recipe. Well, to be fair, the day before I put it together, I browsed through some various stew recipes, from gumbo and beef bourguinon to cassoulet, just to get a better handle on the process, but I didn't crack a book the day I made it. And it turned out very tasty. I am pleased.
Next, I've got two fics started; one is an IOU for fandom_stocking and one was based on a prompt for a fic contest. The deadline for that contest is tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern time, so I can pretty much forecast that the story won't be entered into the contest, because I am glacially slow, but the prompt did what it was supposed to do; it prompted me. All of this activity is, I hope, helping my brain (remember my flaccid brain what I am attempting to exercise? Yeah, that brain) kick into Chapter 25 of H&M.
Speaking of which, I have begun to think that I need a new name for that story. The name no longer applies. I must think on that.
( Rather TMI on mouth/medical issues. )
I have an extremely busy week coming up, but I hope to post a little more regularly. (Yeah, yeah, I know. The same old song and dance from kaffyr .)
Oh yes, I'm also looking forward to Age of Ultron. Very, very much.
And that, I think, is the end of this extraordinarily boring post. If I can think of other amusing things, I shall endeavor to post them a little later in the day. I hope you all have excellent Mondays, and excellent weeks!
- Happy almost-belated birthday to the estimable beamjockey; I hope your day was great!
- I hate Microsoft Outlook. That is all.
- OK, three things: did you know that the art of fixing a water main is actually pretty darned interesting? No, you did not. But I know, because I learned about it today. And took pictures of a broken water main being repaired. I even got hit in the head by a small bit of rock that was being blown out of the hole by a huge water sucking vacuum. Physics, baby ....
- OK four things. Dreamwidth isn't letting me make bullet points tonight. Argh. EDIT: now it is. Yay.
- And four: my mouth hurts, Bert!
- Cold on the way out, back spasm threatening. I will threaten it back, and frighten it way the hell out away from my muscles.
- BB's thyroid biopsy came back negative for cancer. Since the tests indicate some thyroid problems, there may still be a connection to his ongoing fever, etc. We will find out when we talk to his doctor later this month. In the meantime, we are glad it isn't cancer. If that sounds less than ecstatic, it's only because we still don't have an answer to what is making his life miserable. Sometimes you can get so desperate to find out the reason for an illness that you begin to eye something definite with something uncomfortably close to approbation.
- Saw the first half of the Who finale, Dark Water. I am willing to wait to see what the second half brings; I enjoyed it more than BB did, and he didn't not enjoy it. Was not surprised by the reveal, since I (and practically everyone else) had spotted that one from, oh, the first episode of S08. I'm reasonably pleased by it although I have never had the great affection for the character in question that others have. (Fascination and appreciation, yes, and some thoughts on the character's evolution, but not affection.) Why am I being this obtuse when everyone on my list who wants to see it has seen it? Because some of them may not have, so I'm trying not to be spoilerific.
- And, out of nowhere, and thanks to posts elsewhere, all the scattered thoughts I've been having, the "I know there's a meta inside me waiting to get out" thoughts, the ones that have been swimming around aimlessly and without direction throughout this season (one I've regarded as extremely variable in quality, one I've been surprised to see viewed as a near masterwork by a lot of people I respect), have finally started coalescing. Mind you, that could be a mistake on my part. I thought they were coalescing around episode 3 and they didn't. So I shouldn't promise anything ....
- Tomorrow, I get to go down to the legendary and fearsome Tribune Tower, to meet my new owners. Yes, it's on a deadline day, but they did at least apologize for making the mass meeting a last minute thing. More, after that happens.
Yesterday was not good, for a variety of reasons. Not horrid, but unpleasant.
( pain med and prescription crap )
( bread )
( the Doctor )
On the other hand, today it is not sucking.
We went out and did a successful slipper swap at Costco (we got a new pair for me, and they were too large); FB came over briefly and played me recordings of songs he's doing with a new band he's jamming with, which was pleasant, especially since he also indicated that he and Emily are working out ways to deal with having to pay for his car repairs.Hurrah for maturity! And I got the chance to listen to Brazilian bossanova, do a couple more sentences on Chap. 24, get some prompts to do darkfic (as an exercise in doing things I'm not comfortable with) from the aforementioned and wonderful a_phoenixdragon , figured out what to do with the bread bricks, and let BB gently nurse me out of my foul mood.
So all in all? A decent recovery of the weekend. And tonight, more Avatar, I hope.
I haven't been around for several days, largely because I've been trying to keep up with my work day story minimums. Since I actually haven't been able to do that very well (I will not be surprised if I get hauled in for a disciplinary meeting sometime in the next month or so, but I'm not overly fussed about it) I figured I'd just do a bullet point list on miscellanea, just to keep my oar in.
( Under here because bandwidth )
My mother, Mary Glen Keirstead Routliffe Stirling, has died. She died this afternoon at … I'm not sure exactly when, but probably around 5 p.m. Nova Scotia time. She was 86.
She was one of my two best friends. My first memories of her were of thinking how beautiful she was. She always remained beautiful. My last words to her in person were “I love you.” The last words I ever said to her, in a short and fractured telephone conversation, were “I love you.”
( My mother. )
Things that I have done over the last day or so:
- Had a very good, sometimes intensely nerve-wracking and ultimately completely worthwhile home visit with my Mum. We picked her up at the hospital Tuesday, pried her from their clutches by 2 p.m., went out for grapenut ice cream cones (our favorites), had supper at home, which I cooked for her and Step-dad Rob, got through some sundown syndrome, got her all her meds, and got through the night. Then we went out for brunch, took another drive through the countryside so that she could drink in the blue sky and summer clouds above the multiple greens of the Valley, and took her back to hospital. I'd give the visit an 8 of 10, despite not having expected to keep having to re-tape her incision dressing four times. (Gah. I am not healer material.)
- Spent enough time on a bad futon bed, under enough stress, that I developed a full-on back spasm episode. I'm about half way through it, I estimate, which means lots of drugs tonight. More than I'm currently operating under, I mean. I really, really, really hate back spasms.
- Had some quiet time with my little brother, and will have more of that tomorrow when I spend my final night here down at his place. I'll get to have time with his current rather dynamic flame, and I'm looking forward to that.
- Other things: here in Nova Scotia, where so many fishermen fish for so much fish, I had what may have been the worst fish and chips of my entire life, when I took my brother out for supper. I was both relieved and disappointed when he didn't notice the horrible nature of my offering, and indeed thought it was OK. Heh.
I've just been a) busy; b) depressed; c) busy; d) -- oh, never mind.
But I wanted to let you all know that I miss you. So many of you have written interesting or challenging posts on fandom or life in general, and I haven't had the spoons to read, digest, or respond. Still, it's good to know folks like you are out there, writing these things. Thank you.
Things that have happened:
( All under here )
My friend Nick Katz, one of my oldest friends in Chicago, the first working colleague I had at Pioneer, who worked on the same staff with me under the same editor for years and years - one of the funniest, most intelligent, quirkiest, most wonderful, most frustrating, most unforgettable people I've ever known - is gone.
His mother, who lives in Florida, hadn't been able to contact him for three or four days and she'd been trying to get in touch with us for the last 24 hours. I finally saw her email, and emailed her back immediately, telling her I'd email Nick, call him from here, and if I didn't hear from him, I'd go up to his place. I have keys; he has had medical problems for a number of years and I've had to help out on a number of occasions.
I tried to call her, as well, to tell her I'd do this, and there was no answer. I hung up, and Bob and I were getting ready to leave the house for some chores. I'd put Nick's keys in my bag, and I was dreading the possibility of having to go up there. I'd gone through this once before, but went up and found that he'd been able to call the paramedics and he'd gotten to hospital. That was last year.
Before I got out of the house, Dee called me. "He's gone." It's really true about how time stretches out in times like this. "Gone" is just one syllable long, but I had so much time between the first part of the word and the last part of the word to think, "You can't mean 'gone.' What do you mean, 'gone'? You mean he's dead, don't you.' 'Don't mean that.' "
So I went over; the cops were still there (in fact, the reason she hadn't answered the phone when I called her was because the cops were just then calling to tell her they'd found him), and I had to ID the body. He probably died sometime between the 8th and 9th, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been, I'm guessing. Our work friend Mike called while we were there, and came over. We were a team together for so many years, the three of us. We drove people crazy.
I'll deal with HR at work, and I've worked out with Dee how much I can let her cousins out in uberrich suburban Chicago bumfuck can handle (cremation and returning him home to her), and Bob and I will clean out his apartment. We're taking all his computers so we can go through them (thank god he hadn't shut them down. I've got to figure a way to keep them on while we transfer them, because if I have to start them up again, they may require a password, and god knows how we'd get in to deal with bills and bank account and such.) I have to contact the management company for the apartment because Dee thinks he's paid up til the end of the month, which should give us the chance to clear most of it out.
No mother should have to bury her child.
I've had more fun than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick today. It's been ... I am going to miss him so very much.
And I am having a tea break in downtown Wolfville, before going back to see my mother again. I saw her for about two hours this morning. Her mind was a good deal clearer, which helped me to see what part of her confusion was definitely due to the meds, and which was not. It was a relief, a calm breath taken in the middle of the roller coaster. I'll be seeing her later tonight, but I want to get back to my stepdad, and serve him some supper. I want to bring some steadiness back into his life.
( Thoughts on family communication )
And that's what I'm thinking today, after a day of traveling, a day of surprises - and a day without that which helps me keep my sanity; y'all her on Teh Intarwebz.
First, my mother.
( Rather long and more than a little sad )