Dept. of America

Tuesday, 4 July 2017 03:38 pm
kaffyr: Mid-afternoon view from the spirit world train. (Train view)
I Am Silent In the Face of Heartbreak

Every year, I try to write something about this country on July 4, because I love it. 

(Oh sure, you do, 
[personal profile] kaffyr  ... how come you're not a citizen?)

But this year, after eight months of surreality - 

(What makes a country great? What makes it great again? How can it become great for the first time?)

I find that I cannot.

(Some must think that makes me a traitor. Some must think I must be spineless. Some must think it makes me a patriot. I think it makes me confused.

I still love it.

(Can't figure out why, except that it's still got a chance to be great, and isn't that almost enough?)

So I turn to music. 

This man's guitar killed fascists. 





This man was prescient in so many ways, but he was wrong about the revolution. Or maybe he'll still be right. It's apparently the counter-revolution that's being televised. 



This American Woman slays - and she frightens racists. 




And this one ... I forgive him for forgetting that there were a lot of folks here when the Mayflower arrived, because ... because, because, because, and partly because of the beauty of their two voices. Every year this one makes me weep more. 


Dept. of This and That

Sunday, 7 May 2017 07:09 pm
kaffyr: Hayao's realistic Pompoko raccoons yawn in our faces (Pompoko yawns)
Things What I Have Been Doing

All under here )

Dept. of Saturday

Saturday, 18 March 2017 11:13 am
kaffyr: (Bruce doubts that)
Wish Me Luck

In an effort to make Monday less apt to be the first through ninth circles of Hell, I'm doing some workday work on Saturday. I'm giving myself two hours to get some reasonable things done, (checking backgrounds on candidates, uploading a police blotter, sending emails with questions to the candidates I haven't reached yet, which probably means having to hunt up emails, and telling people they can call me on Sunday), and then I"m going to tell myself to relax again.

And, hey, I may even have something to say beyond this, later today. We'll see.  
kaffyr: Doc Yewl from Defiance (yewlyay)
I Got to 15 Days ...

... and then the week that truly was from hell hit me. Last night I lost the last of my spoons. I went to bed without having posted anything. 

Still, I have been better at posting this month than I've been for quite some time. And, hey, I'm getting back up on the bicycle, and posting now, amn't I? Which, when I put it that way, sounds extremely defensive, but then I've been feeling rather defensive for the past 48 or so hours. 

I'm not going to go into all the awfulness of Wednesday through today, at least not today. And certainly, my stress is ongoing, as is the difficult time at work. But tonight, my beloved took me out to our favorite sushi place, and it was so relaxing just to sit and talk with him, drink miso soup and eat chirashi and mackerel jaw, that I don't want to think about anything else.  (BB actually pointed out, when I said that, that it's the only one we go to, but that's not completely true and anyway, even if we did go out to other sushi places, this is the one I think I'd like the most.)'

It's Friday, and I am home, and I'm going to watch something enjoyable with BB, and then I'm going to go to bed and cuddle with him, put my head on his chest, and try to unknot my stomach. 


Dept. of Sunday

Sunday, 30 October 2016 06:02 pm
kaffyr: (Cubs!)
 Tick As Many Boxes as You Want...
Poll #17720 Cubs Fever
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 8


What Sympathetic Magic Should I Perform to Help the Cubs?

View Answers

Don't watch the game, for god's sake!
1 (12.5%)

Watch the game, for god's sake!
1 (12.5%)

Fingers in ears, sing la-la-la!
1 (12.5%)

Sacrifice to the gods of baseball
3 (37.5%)

No, better, sacrifice to the dark gods, that'll go well!
0 (0.0%)

Weep
3 (37.5%)

Cats!
6 (75.0%)

All of the above
1 (12.5%)

None of the above
0 (0.0%)

Again I say - cats!
7 (87.5%)

Dept. of Game 3

Friday, 28 October 2016 07:50 pm
kaffyr: (Cubs!)
I Am Watching

I hope this isn't a bad thing. 
kaffyr: A cartoon dog ponders reality (Subjective pup)
Things I Have Done Lately

1. Obsessed over every episode of Game of Thrones, without ever watching a single episode. Yes, I've watched every scene on YouTube that YouTubers can offer me, loads of reviews and responses. No, I don't have HBO, and ... it's stupid of me. But I'm going to be so upset at the end of the season next Sunday. 

2. Thrown out all the Marion Zimmer Bradley books I've had on my shelf for years. I'd thought I'd keep a couple of books of hers that were important to me because of how they shaped my love for SF&F, and for the sense of wonder they engendered in me. In the end, I couldn't keep any of them. It was a decision a long time in coming, and it was the first time in my life I have ever thrown books out. I don't believe I shall ever do it again. But for me it was the right thing to do. I couldn't stomach giving them to a second-hand store. 

3. Picked up the partly empty drink cup a well-made up gym rat had left on her seat as she headed out the L train door to get to a Cubs game, handed it to her (or her friend, the even more made-up gym rat) and "asked" her to throw it away in a garbage can once she got onto the platform, since "I believe it belongs to you." She did. I am ashamed of being petty about their looks. I
 should not be that way, since I support anyone's right to decorate their body in the way they see fit. I can only point to my upbringing and say it's hard to escape the attitudes I grew up experiencing when it comes to make-up. On the other hand, I am very glad I told her pick up her damn trash. Politely. 

4. Became an employee of tronc. Yes, tronc. tronc. tronc.  Mother of fucking god.

5. Wrote a little more of "Hearts & Moons." Go, me. 
kaffyr: Dancing French cracked geniuses (Sometimes you need to dance)
The Weekend. Dear Lord, the Weekend

Monday: Sinead 
Tuesday: More Sinead
Wednesday: Union rep at two discipline hearings, 1 clearcut, 1 less so. Learned I'd be getting another town added to my beats, with at least 3 more beats in said town.
Thursday: Can't remember, because of Monday-Wednesday. Not enough stories written
Friday: Results of discipline hearings. Teh Suck. Not enough stories written.

BUT ... This 



Also, old-fashioned jazz, and a mimosa. 

And a very handsome husband.

Maybe things are looking up?

kaffyr: Calvin face palms (Calvin face palm)
OH, CRAP 

Crap, crappity crap.
kaffyr: A typical day in the BSG!verse (Frakkin' Watchtower)
Why Postpone, When You Can Just. Not. Do. It....

It's a simple feature story. Why in heaven's name (or hell's, or purgatory's or limbo's) can't I just do it? 

AAAAAAaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuugh.


kaffyr: Rory and Amy having a rabbit hole day (Rabbit hole day)
 Just Two Things

  • Happy almost-belated birthday to the estimable [livejournal.com profile] 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! 

Dept. of Saturday

Saturday, 22 November 2014 05:36 pm
kaffyr: Keep Calm and Carry on At Length poster (Carry On)
Parades are good ...
And work glitches shouldn't interfere with enjoying them

Thank ghu for good days. Even though I had to work today, and even though I hadn't realized until Thursday that I was working a weekend shift, it's still a good day today.

First, because my work day is over, and I actually managed to write two stories. Second, because one of those stories was a fluffy feature about my town's holiday parade, which necessitated me going to see the parade this morning

We-e-e-ll, I say "necessitated" ... I should say I had the great good luck to have a parade to go to.

I love parades. I have ever since I was a wee little thing. I don't believe I'll ever get too old for them, and I don't really care if they're huge, long processions or little dinky community affairs, as this one was. There's just something about the positive vibes - yes, that's pretty woo-woo, I acknowledge - about seeing floats and marching bands, hearing bagpipes, all the bright colors, waving at the participants and having them wave back - even the clowns and the Shriner mini-cars, they all press my childhood buttons of wonder and special occasion and festival. And with the tiny parades, there's an added sense of shared community; everyone's smiling, kids are generally having at least a bit of fun, even the older ones, and people are willing to let their barriers down and talk to you. 

So I got to wander around and ask people if they were having fun, and see loads of people I knew - even had someone come out of the parade and give me a hug. I've definitely been on my beat long enough to say "I know this town," at least a little bit. 

Once I got home, and a little thawed out - it was 42 degrees Fahrenheit, which was better than it has been over the past week, but my fingers still got numb - I wrote up the story and sent it to the duty editor. And then it was on to an actual news story that I'd done the interviews for a couple of days ago. And then I was able to end my day.

Why does this fairly pedestrian activity relax me and even make me a tad joyful? Because for the first three days of the week, I was in an unpleasantly high state of tension, for a reason that hasn't happened to me in a while.

Non-parade, slightly crappy, you've been warned )
Ahem; this seems to have turned into a long angsty post.

But I'm happy! I've been able to do a post, and I went to a parade! And I have a glass of wine next to me, and BB and I are about to watch a movie! And I made cookies, too many of which I've ingested! And tomorrow is a day off! And Thanksgiving is coming, which I love! So there are a lot of positives! And many, many exclamation points!!
kaffyr: Hayao Miyazaki's Kiki scrubs the floor in animation (Kiki scrubs)
 It's Been Very Real Out There

So this is just a placeholder to say I'm still alive. My mother died a year ago Monday. That's weird. My company gets sold tomorrow. Also weird. I have a head cold. Not weird, just uncomfortable. More, later.

Dept. of Monday

Monday, 29 September 2014 09:33 pm
kaffyr: Rory and Amy having a rabbit hole day (Rabbit hole day)
Monday was Monday All Day

Offspring, cars, long meetings, negotiations done over the phone, stories on deadline and past it. Yes, it's been that kind of a day. I am going to go to bed now. What I'd love to do tomorrow is post something long, and thoughtful, on something in life that is, well, long. And thoughtful. 

What I would not like to do tomorrow is post anything that is grumpy, kvetchy, or anything of the sort. 

So, Happy Tuesday to all, even before I finish Monday. Perhaps that will give me a running start on the second day of the working week. 

Sigh. 
Yup. That kind of day. )
kaffyr: (Stahma)
Sunday Shifts

It's great in one way, because I know it's leading to a long weekend. But it's not great unless you can get a lot of work done. And while I certainly managed to do one thing that's needed doing for some time - organizing my desk and finally bringing myself to throw away about three years of interview and meeting notes that I really don't need as much as I thought I did - I only got one story done today.

I am a grumpy [personal profile] kaffyr  right now. Monday is going to be fairly long and Tuesday is going to be an absolute bear for reasons that I'm not going to talk about right now, and I should have used Sunday to prepare for it all. Even focusing on all the great clearing up I did (and I did clear through enough that my paper recycling garbage can, which was completely empty, is now half full; that's two feet thick of packed down paper, people) doesn't quite make up for it. Because I'm never satisfied, obviously.

Still - long weekend coming up, and I had a pretty darned good week to look back at in the rear view mirror.

Also, BB made corned beef hash for supper, and I made gingerbread and whipped cream for dessert. And that's not bad, either.

*signs off, trying to whistle "you've got to ac-CEN-tu-ate the positive, e-LIM-in-ate the negative, latch ON to the affirmative, don't mess with Mr. inbetween" before brushing her teeth and bedding down for the night*

kaffyr: A stupid comment about gender (No gender)
... And Do It With Style

Well, that's my way of saying that yes, I'm having my usual stressful life; yes, union stuff is crazy (Union Puppy pulled some amazing shit, of the Jesus, why am I not slapping your puling-infant-callow-assed self into next week variety); yes, that includes a week of hours of arbitration prep on frakkin' deadline day, followed by hours of actual arbitration testimony; yes, my workload continues to be insane, because we haven't yet triumphed over the 2.5 story per day mandate and yes, I'm not making it (2.1 and 2.4 per day appear to be my word-ceiling); yes, my body appears to be falling slowly into that less-than-gentle disrepair one occasionally sees in once-proud mansions (more than this deponent saith not, because TMI, yo)  ....

.... but ....

My son and his lovely beloved have found an affordable nest in which to land; my doctor (a little to my delighted surprise)  has given me good advice on how to deal with my back spasm - back X-ray, Robaxin, a referral to a physical therapist, and a directive to use a wheelie suitcase for my laptop et  al - rather than look at me and say, "Oh, that's too bad, tough it out;" I may be able to do a good thing for a friend, if I can figure out logistics; there were no clouds in the sky today; I did 35 miles of backstreet Chicago in my little Hyundai to be a Union Ninja and I was only half an hour late; I am having Date Night with the best Father In the Whole World tonight; and I have wine with supper and BAMs chillin' in the refrigerator.

So ... yeah ... hi, friends! I know many of you have had birthdays, or will soon, and I want to wish you all great natal anniversaries. I shall try to do that tomorrow. I'll also try to catch up with all of you, and comment, and generally get back into posting, and the society of lovely people with whom I like to interact online. 

More, anon? Yeah, we'll leave it at that, tonight.


Dept. of WTF

Thursday, 27 March 2014 04:30 pm
kaffyr: A typical day in the BSG!verse (Frakkin' Watchtower)
 Because Really .. WTF?

1. My brother will have having quintuple bypass surgery Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. I'm still painfully in the dark by my lights - although not by my little brother's - and wish I could just get the fuck up there. Can't, so I'll pray down here. I've talked to Mum a bit, as well. 

2. I got into this here Intarwebz fandom and far more than that, through a site called Television Without Pity. That was back in 2006. I learned ... so much from the people I met there, gained so much from them, learned about myself. It's shutting down next week.  I'll write about that more later, when I'm not a scattered mess. It seems so odd that that is weighing on my mind as much as Mac's bypass surgery. The mind does weird things, doesn't it? Weird fucking things. And yes, the word "fuck" seems to be the only one I can think of using. 

More. Later. Probably.

Dept. of Updates

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 03:40 pm
kaffyr: River's in light (River in light)
 The Word Is Bypass

Mac won't know until tomorrow at least what type of bypass (i.e. single, double, triple) or when they're going to do it, but the test they did today confirmed that the biggest occlusion was far bigger than they originally thought. 

Since Halifax is being hit by a monster winter storm right now, I was worried about his cat and dog, but friends are taking care of them. I also managed to get the name of a couple of his doctors out of him, and his girlfriend's phone number. (He asked me "why do you want those?" and I resisted saying a number of very sarcastic things and just said "For the same reason you wanted numbers when Mum was in hospital." A moment of silence followed, and I got the information.)

Dept. of Labor

Tuesday, 3 December 2013 11:20 pm
kaffyr: Close-up of manual typewriter (Typewriter)
It's Over. Sort Of. For Now.

Union stuff 'cause I'm a Union Maid )

In other news, I took the plunge and hung a [community profile] fandom_stocking . I have no idea when it'll be vetted and hung, but it'll be there. And I will also take the plunge to try to fill a few.

Love you all, my friends. I'm exhausted, I have plumbers coming tomorrow stories to do, a condo association to chivvy. I'm going to bed; being unconscious tonight.beckons like a sultry lover.

kaffyr: Princess Jellyfish goes to work (Reporting for duty)
Good Things, Bad Things

Good thing: BB and I finally got the clear plastic insulation up on our bedroom windows. It will be much warmer in the condo as a result, since that's the quadrant of the unit that loses heat the fastest. BB's a rock star for handling most of it.

Bad thing: The boiler room is backed up with sewage. Again. This could have been avoided, if I'd listened to BB when he reminded me that it was time for the building's semi-annual sewer line rodding. But my mind was elsewhere, the rodding didn't get scheduled, and now I have to worry about the water heaters. Again.

More good and bad beneath ... )
kaffyr: Weeping angel peers through "clock" (Time's no Angel)
What Once Was Wrong, the Inevitable Will Crown Right

When I was a little girl, I used to read comic strips in my daily newspaper. One of them was a would-be Buck Rogers strip called, if I remember correctly, Brick Bradford (which information I had to retrieve from Wikipedia. It certainly ran a long time.)

One of the adventures in that otherwise forgettable strip has stayed with me ever since. The hero sets down on a planet with a toxic atmosphere, with beings he at first thinks are unintelligent beasts. He and his colleagues eventually come to realize that this is a planet that was once like Earth, but which has become so polluted that it now has a completely different ecosystem, to which all those of the planets beings who survived have adapted. To them, Brick's obligatory scientist colleague narrates, Earth's atmosphere would be deadly.

The story fascinated me for two reasons: a) the idea that something we would consider absolutely wrong - an environment, say - would be absolutely natural to other beings, indeed necessary and non-toxic. I considered it compelling both environmentally (although I didn't think of it in those terms back in 1966 or 1967, which may have been when I read it) and philosophically; b) the idea that our world could end, that we would end, but that it might be OK, because something equally important or intelligent or what-have-you, might grow to take our place in a vastly changed world.

All of which leads me to this: Thanks to [personal profile] ljgeoff  for alerting me to this article. For all that I've just said, I'd much rather we managed, somehow against all logic, to stick around. I guess I'm not quite mature or enlightened enough to take the approach of the writer. And he's right, not me.



kaffyr: Keep Calm & dive behind the sofa (Dive behind the sofa)
Wind

We spent the first half of Sunday checking the National Weather and Weather Underground sites, weirded out by having a tornado watch for downtown Chicago. That just doesn't happen.

And then all of a sudden, it was a tornado warning and it got very, very dark outside, and they halted the Bears game and evacuated people from Soldier Field, and I watched on Twitter as the tornado tore into Pekin, Illinois, then flattened next-door Washington, Illinois, and realized that I was frightened about a tornado for the first time after decades of living at the back door of Tornado Alley, and sent out a mass email to my condo association members, reminding them that the storage basement was a safe place and to stay away from windows, and thought about how fast I could get the cats into the carriers we had close by, and realized there was nothing, absolutely nothing, that I could do to outrun wind if chance chose to have it bear down on me ....

In the end, we were extremely safe, although some torrential rain and hail fell for a short time, and the wind shoved it sideways into one of our basements, just enough to ruin some boxes of Andy's. But people are dead in downstate Illinois, and the tornadoes bounced across the Midwest and the south, and even New York City - New York City, for chrissake - had a tornado watch.

How are the rest of my friends in the Midwest?

Good thing that global warming is just a liberal hoax, she said bitterly, days after donating to help the Philippines,and considering weather-related disasters both acute and chronic across the globe. ljgeoff, you're right, you know. I just don't have the courage to plan the way you do.

I'm going to send a few dollars the Red Cross's way to help wherever they need it. I hope you all can do the same.

kaffyr: Princess Jellyfish goes to work (Reporting for duty)
 So It's Friday... 

And I'm on my way to the mother ship. It's been a while, because gah, mother ship. But I like my boss, and occasionally like to confer with him in real time unencumbered by phones or IMs, so mother ship it is.  

And then, the weekend! I only have to deal with housekeeping and figuring out where the leak is coming from into our bedroom ceiling - because that's totally better than writing news stories. Stop laughing. 

Maybe some fic writing? That'd be nice.

kaffyr: (Dalek ballerina)
Scattershot

Things in no particular order:

Family stuff )
Got back to word of four major contract negotiation sessions scheduled for next week. Again, keep your fingers crossed.

Enjoyed Agents of SHIELD again last night; not quite as good as last week's, but set some intriguing plot points up. Ward became more human, and Ming Na and Clark Gregg rocked it.

I donated to Philippine Typhoon relief and I hope folks who can will do so also. There are a lot of good groups out there: the International Red Cross, Mercy Corps, Doctors Without Borders, to name just a few. Does anyone know if there are Dreamwidth or LJ fundraising efforts extant?

And finally, I'd meant to mention this a couple of weeks back. It's word of a film by Saudi filmmaker Haifaa Al-Mansour, one I'd love to see. The difficulties she dealt with to make the film are pointed reminders of every damned thing wrong with considering women a different species - and the film appears to be a joyous reminder that the different species insists on being human. Imagine that.

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