Dept. of Argh

Monday, 8 April 2019 08:38 pm
kaffyr: The llama from Polar Bear Cafe (Llama-san)
Pearls of Wisdom

God, adulting is hard. You'd think that, at 63, I'd have gotten it figured out. 


*Goes back to watching YouTube coverage of newborn kittens and retrospectives of Seasons 1-7 of Game of Thrones.*

Then again,
I posted twice today. And got some questions answered about cremation pre-planning. And yes, that is rather grotesque, but necessary. And I'm going to watch some new anime. And I'm going to hug my Bob, because he is absolutely the best thing in my life, closely followed by my son, who I can't hug right now because Seattle. 

Shut up, 
[personal profile] kaffyr . Go watch anime. 

Dept. of Tuesday

Tuesday, 19 March 2019 11:47 am
kaffyr: Princess Jellyfish goes to work (Reporting for duty)
Undefinable Ailments Are Us

Late Sunday night I started feeling less than physically optimal. On Monday I slept in too long, and then got hit by a massive wave of nausea in the afternoon. I thought it stemmed from my daily codeine, which has been happening more lately, but it soon proved to be something else. I retired to my bed for much of the balance of the day, although I tottered up to have some supper. The upside of yesterday's inactivity was that I found some material that will help me answer one of the questions you folks put to me. That should be coming later today, I hope. In the meantime, I've got a crock put to get going, and I need to see if I can get in to get my nails done/first world ladies who lunch problems.

Dept. of Resurfacing

Tuesday, 5 March 2019 07:10 pm
kaffyr: A happy smiling superintelligent Corgi (Ein is happy)
Hello Again.

So what have I done lately?

Read more... )
And here - have two pictures of Vincent:
Underneath )
kaffyr: Kitty from "Kiki's Delivery Service" (kiki cat)
What We Did on Valentine's Day

1. Took an extremely constipated ginger cat to the vet. 
2. Cleaned the carpet, bed, blankets, etc. to the best of our ability thereafter (because constipation in cats comes with liquid matter that squirts out around the blockage as kitty attempts to expel it and yes that is indeed TMI, but hey, you've read this far and we're past it.)
3. Did three smallish but smelly loads of laundry as part of the cleanup. 
4. Cleaned another section of rug that I discovered our other cat had, sometime in the past two weeks, used at least once, as a secondary litter box. Two applications of baking soda and vacuuming have made it better. Unfortunately, the location included some extremely important audio/visual wiring. I'm amazed none of it went out. The wiring has been very carefully wiped down with Lysol. Fortunately, the area hasn't been used as a loo recently, so I assume it got used prior to our installation of the new litter-loo. Go, us.
5. Ruminated unhappily on our vet's comment that changing dry food to wet probably wouldn't help minimize constipation and its concomitant problems, because cats who eat wet food drink less, which defeats the purpose of switching the food types. Sigh. 
6. Fought headaches all day. 
Made our bed up with fresh linens
8. Had some whisky
9. Loved the fact that BB and I got through this and were able to make jokes occasionally. Go, team kaffyrbb!

kaffyr: (Joe Hill)
Waiting For the Plumber or Someone Like Him. Oh, and Advanced Policy-Wonking

I'm actually waiting for an actual plumber, who's set to come between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to evaluated our leaking garbage disposal unit and determine whether it can be reset in place to eliminate the leak, which would be the case if it had somehow been jarred loose enough to create an opening at the top for water, or whether there's an actual un-repairable physical crack or hole near the top. The guy said he'd bring a new disposal unit "just in case," so BB and I are set to question him sharply in an effort not to be talked into a new unit that we don't need. Wish us luck. 

I have actually tackled something that I've been avoiding for some three weeks; writing up a draft report on recommendations for possible changes to the Chicago News Guild bylaws. We got a start on that, as I said, three weeks ago, when I and another Guild member appointed to the task got together an did a rather rudimentary review of our existing bylaws.

The true wonkishneth begins hereunder )
kaffyr: (NaruOMG)
Cat Tales

Sitcommish heck commenceth hereunder )

Dept. of w00t!!1!

Friday, 1 February 2019 04:52 pm
kaffyr: (Hurrah!)

I'm dead tired, about to watch some anime with my Best Beloved, and enjoy a whisky, so I'll keep it short. 

We have a thawed pipe! We have hot water! Things are ever so much better than they were this time last night!

For $675, they'd better be, mutters the dour, money-watching part of me. But I'm just paying attention to the happy hot-water me right now. 


Dept. of Cold

Tuesday, 29 January 2019 09:14 pm
kaffyr: (Bridge in winter ukiyo-e)
Sweet Lord, It's Cold

Right now, Weather Underground's nearest amateur weather-watcher puts our temperature at -5F, but with no wind. The NOAA forecast out at O'Hare, says it's -6F out there, with -26F windchill. Being by the lake obviously has some positives for us. Still, I suspect the wind will pick up, and our windchill will drop. 

I love living in Chicago, but the cold, while I acknowledge it as an important formative pillar of the overall personality of my city and its environs, is sub-optimal. Certainly sub tonight. 

Our furnace has been running more or less steadily since about 3 p.m. I donated to an on-the-ground group that provides blankets and food for at least one of the tent cities Chicago's homeless have created. I realized I have some hats and scarves that we no longer use, so I'm going to call around tomorrow and see if there's a place we can drop them off. 

If the cold hasn't deflated our little orange car's tires, which is a real possibility.

And of course, speaking of orange, the Orange Splotch is making massively unfunny jokes about how we could certainly use some of that there global warming now, hyuk-hyuk, and his base undoubtedly is lapping it up. 

Learn the difference between weather and climate, you massive piece of unusable nightsoil. 
kaffyr: An ostrich holding a Christmas tree decoration (Christmostrich)
As It Says on the Tin

I'm still here. And I want to post again on a number of things, including getting back up to speed in writing fic again; my deep need to comment on other peoples' posts, many of which have intrigued me, or made me want to share a thought or two; learning that my childhood home has been saved from teardown by being moved slightly; my ambivalent thoughts on the holiday season this year; the wonderful smell of the Christmas tree we just brought into the livingroom; and my inordinate happiness at sending out 59 hard-copy holiday cards, with some electronic cards to follow ...

... but I can't get my brain to cooperate. 

Still decompressing, and still trying to figure out the whole "retired" thing. 

Back shortly, I promise, she said, more or less confidently. 
kaffyr: An ostrich holding a Christmas tree decoration (Christmostrich)
Just Call Me a Yule-ish Capitalist

I have done all my Christmas and holiday shopping. Two days of research, an hour of checking with my Best Beloved for agreement on choices, one text, one frenzied 20-minute stretch online. 

Oh, and weeks of guilt over abandoning brick and mortar stores and the living they grant their employees. 

Go, me. 

How do the rest of you handle it?

Dept. of Contentment

Saturday, 27 October 2018 06:05 pm
kaffyr: Clara in medieval attire, smiling (Medieval Clara)
Saturday, With Spanokopita

I'm sitting here, with a glass of good Japanese whiskey, listening to Nat King Cole, while our friend Josh Allard makes spanokopita for us. All we had to do, he said, was keep chatting with him. He brought all the ingredients, the lovely lad, and so we've kept chatting, and watching him make spanokopita. In a bit, after we've put that in the oven, I may have a Big Ass Martini (tm), or a drink I learned about last weekend, the Turf, which is made with gin, sweet vermouth, orange bitters, and angostura bitters. We'll talk into the night, and every muscle in my body, every molecule, will relax. I hope your Saturday proceeds, or at least ends, with something as satisfactory. 

Dept. of Miscellany

Thursday, 11 October 2018 09:41 pm
kaffyr: (Sen Waits)
Things, things, things.

The Affair of the Dog in the Night )

Next - I truly loved "The Woman Who Fell to Earth" and want to talk about the kindness I saw in Thirteen, but  right now is not the time for me to do that.

Third - I realized that I've never liked the phrase "I'll love you 'til I die." I've always preferred "I'll love you forever." I don't know whether there's something beyond this life, but there may be, and the people I love, I fully expect I'd love beyond the gates of death. And if there's nothing beyond those gates, then I will still have loved them forever. 

Solsbury Hill )

Dept. of Seattle

Saturday, 15 September 2018 07:34 pm
kaffyr: Kitty from "Kiki's Delivery Service" (kiki cat)
Cats Safely Delivered, Humans Recovering

Lots of words and huge pic )

Dept. of Monday

Monday, 10 September 2018 07:56 am
kaffyr: (See the Sky)
Good Morning, All ...

... or good afternoon to those of you outside of North America. I hope your Monday, and the rest of your week proceed well, with no untoward surprises, no toes stubbed, no lost keys, no family tension, no water heaters misfiring. Here's to a week with pleasant happenings, even the unforeseen ones, with time spent doing what you want to do, with the people you like and love. 

Here's to a week with some real happiness in it for all of us.  

kaffyr: Hayao Miyazaki's Kiki scrubs the floor in animation (Kiki scrubs)
Write In Haste, Repent at Leisure Hope for More Leisure

I haven't posted at all for a few days, and only once during the Labor Day weekend, which was probably a terrible use of my labor-less time, but I plead stress on all counts, your honors. 

I've been fighting back spasms and general pain for the last five days, and for some reason it has refused to go away. I've gone back to my exercises (did I mention this in my last post?) and have taken many, many trips to our tiny bathtub jacuzzi, but the usual cycle of the pain going away doesn't seem to be repeating properly. We'll see if the weekend helps. 

We'll be flying out to Seattle with Tommy and Lily, Andy's and Em's cats, on Friday night, and will stay there until Tuesday. I'll have five days to completely rest, so I'm hoping that will help lay the back pain to rest, if I haven't gotten it properly under control by then. 

This isn't much of a post, I know, but I wanted to keep an oar in. I'll try to respond to other people's posts (I hope) tonight. 

Dept. of the Weekend

Saturday, 18 August 2018 09:58 am
kaffyr: Still from Arakawa Under the Bridge (Arakawa afternoon)
Hurrah! Time Off!

I've come to treasure the weekends even more than I once did, largely because of my boss, but this weekend is particularly sweet as a remedy for the crazy week I had. And I'm about to make good use of it. I'm just about ready to take off and get an oil change for the car, then dash up to get my nails done, and then, with luck, attend an art fair with a friend. 

Lord, it makes me look positively Middle Class White Lady. Try to forgive me for that, eh?

kaffyr: (Bored in Porco Rosso)
Ack. Or Possibly Gack. 

My back hurts, which is Same Old Same Old. And yesterday, which is when I started this post, suffered as a result. I've been told I really should start my exercises again, which ... tell me something I don't know, you know? I'd just really, really like to know why this happens, rather than "it's the stress." Hell, I had lots of stress when I was 35, and I didn't suffer this kind of back pain. Therefore, I wince, grumble, whinge, and reluctantly decide to go back to at least some of the exercises. As I do every time, and then gradually forget, so I suppose it's my own damn fault.

The only respite I had yesterday watching 
[personal profile] thisbluespirit 's lovely S&S videos, and reading an inordinate amount of The Goblin Emperor fic. I'm somewhat bowled over by the sheer amount of pornfic for the fandom, although I shouldn't be; what is it, Rule 34, 36, or 39? At least one piece is pretty darned good and emotionally satisfying. The rest ... not going to look, because The Goblin Emperor is my comfort novel, about a young, honorable, truly good person, and seeing noncon or outright rape fic concerning him ... that has me noping on out of there. YKINMK, I know, but ... nopity-nope-nope for me. 

I know that the back pain wasn't the sole reason for my unhappiness; I simply couldn't get anything done, and that stressed me out enough for my hands to go painfully numb. 

As for thinking? "Brain and brain — what is brain?"
kaffyr: Dillons illustration of Nix's Abhorsen world. (The Old Kingdom)
Still Here

Just a quick drive-by to say that I'm still here, that I've been reading others' posts and not commenting, which is ... bad me. I have things to say, but right now I'm spending time with my sweetheart on a Saturday night. 

More, later!
kaffyr: Dream Lord quote (Poke a stick at the Unknown)
Wow. Such Inactivity. Much Inarticulate. Wow.

I've been completely AWOL over the past couple of weeks, at least in terms of posting. Getting back to work, dealing with My Boss, The Douche, has taken too much brain power for me to be able to say anything intelligent. 

I've been at creative loose ends since completing "Hearts and Moons." I'm working on the last of my fandom_stocking IOUs, but I find myself thinking, "Oh, I've got to work on -" and then come to a complete stop. Oh. It's done. It's finished. What do i do now? I'm beginning to think that I need to have a novel-length piece to work on constantly, or I'm not happy with my writing.  That's a little weird. More than a little, especially since I don't have much of an idea about what I could make into a full length story. I feel like I want to do something with Twelve, but I don't know what. Or possibly Clara and Me. Again, I don't know what I could do. 

In far more superficial and silly news. I've decided that I like having artificial nails. I got french tip acrylics (Wow! She knows the lingo!) for the wedding, and I loved them, although it's been difficult to type with the length I chose. So Friday, I went to a local nail salon that had been recommended to me; I had the nails "filled" - having the hard acrylic gel ground down and reapplied to cover the section of nail that was freshly grown out - and I had the tips ground down. They aren't quite as elegant now, but it's much more easy to type. And they still look great. The only downside is that the nail technician actually uses a Dremel tool to grind down sections of the extremely hard acrylic finish. And no matter how careful the technician is. the tool also occasionally grinds portions of the actual finger. Yes, it's painful. 

I've spent most of my life biting my nails to the quick. On those occasions where I've let them grow, they've been thin and so sharp that I've actually cut myself with my own nails. And they've split and been pretty ugly. So getting fake nails that look lovely and are hard as, well, nails, without being uncomfortably sharp? It's wonderful. 

(I did think, while the nails were really long. of how much of a class thing having long nails is. It's basically saying to the world, "I don't need to work with my hands, so I can have really unworkabley long nails."

kaffyr: Two elegant dancers (Dance)
Forty-Eight Hours

You'd think that Bob and I would be relatively dispassionate about Andy's and Em's wedding, since they're handling it themselves, paying for it, organizing it, etc. No such luck. It may be only indirectly ... crazy by osmosis ... but, since Andy's and Em's heads are ready to explode, so are ours. 

That's part of the reason why I haven't been posting. The frenetic pace of the wedding's approach has reminded us that positive stress is still stress. And part of that stress is just the all encompassing nature of this oncoming event. We wake up in the morning thinking about it, and it's the last thing we think about at night. Just imagine how Andy and Em feel ... I think their heads are ready to explode.  

Having one's head filled with nothing but weddingweddingWEDDINGauughh means that my ability to chat about anything was severely straitened. 

My brother Mac has arrived from Canada in advance of the wedding, and it's lovely to have him here. I'm surprised at the ease with which we've conversed thus far. I think Bob's reminder to me not to get too tense around Mac was very helpful. 

OK, that's enough - we leave for the wedding venue tomorrow morning, the wedding's Saturday afternoon, and we'll be back sometime mid-Sunday. I promise pictures when I get back, and I promise my head will be considerably more communicative. 
kaffyr: (Clara under pressure)
I Can't Smell Anything

It's making me jittery-crazy. In all the years that I've experienced head colds, I've never experienced such a complete lack of smell. As a result, I can only sense sweet, bitter, and salt, which means I can't taste much at all. Is it stupid for me to be obsessing on this? Probably, but much of the positive sensory stimulation I get in this world is olfactory, so it's like I'm living in film, not real life.  I don't know why this particular ailment has done such a number on me, and I'm afraid that I'm a little obsessively worried that it might be permanent. (I'm telling myself that that's really silly, but I can't shake the fear.)
kaffyr: (Stewart facepalm)
Post Weekend Fun Roundup

As Elvis Costello said, welcome to the working week - know it don't thrill you, hope it won't kill you. 

As weekends go, this past one was less than optimal. That was due to the preceding week also being less than optimal. Still, there were glints and glimmers of better things hiding in both. 

First, the most unimpressive part of the weekend. Bob's back in hospital. He started developing what we both fervently hoped was a chest cold back last Wednesday. Fervent hopes, as they often are, weren't worth the aether upon which they were wished. After increasing chest congestion, and a Saturday night during which, Bob admitted in the morning, he managed to scare himself by being almost unable to catch his breath after walking to the bathroom and back, we headed for the emergency room. The good news: it isn't pneumonia, according to the x-ray. Also good, he got admitted and into a room in only 4.5 hours, rather than the slightly more than 4.5 hours last time. Sigh. I'm hoping that he'll be sprung today, but I really want the infection (yes, they've decided that's what he has. Viral? Bacterial?  \_(' ')_/ So, more antibiotics that he might not actually need. Argh.)

This all took place against a background of, well ... my back. It's in what I think of as "moderate pre-spasm" mode. I know, as sure as the sun rises in the east but doesn't warm Chicago up, that it's stress. Last week was a better week with The Boss from Heck, and we even had a weekly meeting that was almost pleasant, but the underlying low-level tension and irritation finally presented as back fun. I'm attempting to keep it at bay, because I'm going to try to work today. 

Jerry Minkkinen's memorial was Saturday; one of my newsroom and Guild friends, Mike, came with me all the way to Farthest Schaumburg for the memorial. It was almost like old home week. A lot of hugs from Guild folks I hadn't seen in years. We agreed it sucked that we had to see each other for this reason, but it was good to see each other, nonetheless. And we got a chance to tell Jerry's son and brother how much Jerry meant to us. In fact, the president of the national News Guild flew in from D.C. just for the memorial, and he spoke, telling the family that Jerry had sacrificed much of his family life to the union. "I want to tell you that I'm sorry for that," the president said, before going on to say that their sacrifice had helped untold numbers of people, but that the apology was needed. I thought that was spot on, and not something a lot of uinion folks would have said. 

Alright, it's back to work/hospital. We here at Casa Kaffyr sure do know how to have fun. 

Dept. of Mondays

Monday, 16 April 2018 08:53 pm
kaffyr: Animated Canadian flag (Canada!)
Today Was ... Not Bad, Eh?

That's a phrase from My Home and Native Land, and it suits today. I only got one micro-managing email from The Boss From ... uh ... Heck. That's not bad, eh? I didn't eat healthily today, but I didn't go overboard on chocolate, as has been the case in recent weeks, so that's not bad, eh? (Yes, I know that chocolate is always On Point, but man, have I ever been eating a lot of it.)

I'm getting out of my awful meeting before 9:30 p.m., which is not bad, eh? 

And we're getting more than $2,000 back in overpaid taxes. That surprises me, because I was certain we'd end up owing. So ... not bad, eh?

Dept. of Long Weekends

Thursday, 5 April 2018 07:07 pm
kaffyr: The Polar Bear from Polar Bear cafe (Polar Bear-san)
I Am On (Mini) Vacation

A long weekend. I start tonight, hurrah! We've ordered in some very good Chinese (sweet and sour squid, orange beef, and other stuff), I've had my first big-assed martini of the night, and we've been enjoying some hot club swing before we catch up on old and new anime. 

Hurrah for somewhat middle-class debauchery!

Also? More than 2,000 words in the last chapter!
kaffyr: (Neal & the news that's unfit)
I Still Exist, Part Deux

I note that in March, I've been able to post only on the weekends, and not much at that point. I am truly eaten up by my work, since my new boss is precisely the humorless micro-managing anal-retentive not-quite-nightmare I'd been afraid he would be. But, apart from one point this past week where I was almost in tears, I've survived. Only 30 more months! Yay!

But I do still exist. And I may even have, at some point, something more interesting to say than various iterations of "I hate my boss." 



kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Default)

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