[sticky entry] Sticky: About This Journaler

Dec. 8th, 2018 12:24 pm
dragonlady7: black and white photograph of a woman holding a goose looking at it (mabel)
 It seems trendy to make introduction posts for yourself, so I'm gonna, because I goddamn love talking about myself. I even looked up how to make it sticky. I'm super-fancy y'all. (Seriously the FAQ on here is great.)

Most people call me B and I tend to do that when I talk about myself. 
About Me Online and IRL and where else I am and what I do )

I will make a good-faith effort to use tags intelligently and conscientiously, and beyond that, will attempt to put anything I think is upsetting or distressing or just boring under a cut, well-described. Do, please, feel free to let me know if there's anything you specifically need cut, tagged, warned for, or whatever (a lot of things I'll definitely cut and warn for by default but probably won't discuss often enough to tag for, the way tags work on this site). I can't promise I'll always remember, but I will do my darnedest. I'm also habitually foul-mouthed for effect, though for some reason I find myself censoring that more here, maybe Tumblr just brought out the crudest in me. 

Tags I will absolutely use that you might want to blacklist (and here's a post on how that works on Dreamwidth): 
  • for discussion of farm work involving livestock interactions that may be not for the faint-hearted, I will use the tag animal slaughter
  • for discussions of drinking, with which I think I have a healthy relationship but many don't and I get it, I will tag alcohol 
  • for discussions of my writing, I'll use my writing
  • for personal posts about me, I'll use about the author
Generally speaking, I don't post many locked entries at this juncture? But if I do they'll probably be locked for personal whining rather than anything else. At this point I grant access pretty indiscriminately, and subscribe back pretty liberally, but that might change in the future.

I am not particularly a Dreamwidth veteran but I cut my teeth on Livejournal in the early aughts so I'm more fluent with the culture of this kind of site in general than many other Tumblr refugees, so I have both an insider and outsider perspective on the weird culture of this kind of place and most importantly, on the fun shit you can do with the HTML coding and such, so. Hit me up if you have questions, I like people, but if I don't answer back promptly, I do go through not-very-talky sort of depressive phases, and when I'm at the farm my online time is super limited. 


Feb. 17th, 2019 10:22 pm
dragonlady7: An image of a hand-engraved sign nailed to a birch tree, reading "Don't Insult The Witch" (witch)
We have a whiteboard in the kitchen that is mostly covered with old notes we don't look at and haven't erased (including my recipe for margaritas, in Dude's handwriting, under the slogan "El Año De Las Margaritas!" and as near as I can recall, the Year of the Margarita was circa 2010 or so), but one corner says, cheerfully, "Grotzrees!" and is where we write down stuff we're out of that we must remember to pick up next time we go shopping.

I did the grocery shopping today, but Dude felt well enough that he came with me for the first leg of it. He generally does the shopping, as I am normally engrossed in laundry (sometimes spelled "lawndjree" but there's no whiteboard for it), and he goes first to the co-op and buys what he can there, and then goes to the big Wegman's and gets the rest. I meant to get out the door first thing, to beat the crowds, but as we were preparing to leave, I realized I couldn't find my wallet. almost worse than the damage it's done my career is how forgetful ADHD makes me )
And then I went to the grocery store and it was a fucking mob scene and I nearly got killed in the parking lot and had to crowdsurf through the junk food aisle and did three laps of the megastore trying to find fucking white vinegar for laundry (it's with the salad dressings, but where are the salad dressings? who fucking knows) and it was awful, but I lived.

I got home at like. 1pm. It was exhausting.

I took a really indulgent hot shower, trimmed my hair, took a nap, went out to dinner, and only then did I sit down and...
square up my rag quilt squares, and then begin to sew the quilt! I decided not to fuck around and figure out how many squares I need yet. I'm just going to start it, and then we'll see from there.

So I attached six squares together, and then two more to each other, each a separate little sandwich and all the seam allowances to the front where I'm going to slash them and get them to fray, and I'm going to sit and hand-quilt the squares I have so far and maybe tomorrow I'll go down and make the separate pair into a separate trio, and maybe add it on, and I'll quilt all that and then decide how many more squares I need, and by the time I finish with all that, it'll be nearly the end of winter and I'll have had a project to work on whenever I'm sitting on the couch. So we'll see. Anyway, it's progress.
An Photo )Also I nicked myself on three different knuckles with the rotary cutter, and then stabbed myself twice with the needle, so there's rather a lot of blood on this quilt and we'll just see if it washes out. If it doesn't, well then it'll be an even more special quilt.
dragonlady7: self-portrait but it's mostly the DSLR in my hands in the mirror (Default)
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I almost never use that warning. Chose Not To Warn. 

I’ve considered it, though. I’ve had a few experiences where I wrote something, devoted a lot of thought to the tags, pointed out everything I thought could be problematic, and still wound up with a nastygram in my inbox because something triggered someone, something I’d thought was pretty well-explained within the text (drug use, but it was a prescription drug taken as prescribed; noncon, but it was consensual, just one of the characters had a drink to fortify himself before he went for it; underage, but both characters were of legally consenting age in the relevant jurisdiction and I just hadn’t specified enough, I guess?)

There have been a couple where people weren’t mad about it, but let me know that I triggered them severely, because I described something really vivid that happened to be something they’d experienced. But it was so specific– I’d put on a general warning, but short of having summarized the fic in detail there’d be no way to realize– even then, it was a descriptive detail I’d used that gave them a flashback, in one case, and they wouldn’t have known to brace for it, and I certainly wouldn’t have known to warn for it. It’s not possible; some triggers are so idiosyncratic, that if you just tell a vivid story, you’re going to risk setting someone off. 

And even if the person wasn’t mad at you, it’s still upsetting. You tried your best, but you still upset someone, and that doesn’t feel good.

I write pretty straightforward stuff; I’m kink-adjacent, but not really very kinky, and my shit is generally pretty vanilla; I go in more for emotional self-torture than anything else, and it’s usually pretty obvious that I’m gonna fall short of the dark side of fic, even in the darkest stuff I publish. 

And even I sometimes have trouble tagging my stuff. I’m a person without any triggers, but with some pretty serious squicks, so I get how serious it is, but just enough really to understand that there’s a lot I don’t know. 

If I wrote more complex stuff, I’d probably use the CNTW tag. Like, I can’t guarantee that I’m going to get everything tagged correctly. Proceed with caution. I’d prefer a wider audience, so I’m gonna try to use the archive warnings and tag as specifically as I can, but it gets to a point, sometimes, where you’re just sure you’re going to miss something, or you’re just not sure how to tag it.

That’s why the CNTW tag even exists. That, and some people just don’t really understand the warnings system. If you haven’t spent eight years on Tumblr reading the various discourses, if you haven’t had much experience reading up on how fandom specifically handles this shit, if you’ve never been to therapy and you’re not entirely sure what any of that means, how the hell are you going to know how to properly tag your shit?

That’s why that option exists. Some stuff, you can’t warn for. Other stuff, you don’t know how to warn for. CNTW is a big general-purpose warning flag. If you are the sort of person who’s going to be triggered by something, if you’re someone whose entire day could be ruined by an untagged major character death, if you’re someone who’s going to go into a horrible anxiety spiral over something too vivid, then please, for the love of God, take care of yourself, and steer away.

It’s not a “fuck off, we’re too good for your kind here.” It’s a “I’m so sorry, we don’t know how not to hurt you, and we want you to be safe.” Maybe it’s a “we don’t understand you,” or maybe it’s a “we have to take care of ourselves and the way we do that is by creating painfully cathartic content that we know hurts other people but our own compass for that shit is so broken we don’t know how to tag it anymore”, but either way, it is a big, bright, sparkly “this is not a safe space!” neon sign, and it is really important, and it is there on purpose, and it is there so you can take care of yourself.

You can take care of yourself. And that is really the only way to guarantee a safe space: giving you the tools you need to make it safe for you. That’s what all warnings are, what all tags are. But you need to use them. You need to curate your own experience. You need to understand that other people have vastly different requirements from their fictional escapes than you do. You need to arm yourself. You need to empower yourself.

That’s how it works. 
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Checked Baggage - Kindle edition by Valentine Wheeler. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.:

This is the next thing I read, on my embarrassment-of-riches Kindle. This was an impulse purchase because it’s one of y’all, but I won’t @ you because I’m not sure whether the Tumblr streams cross with Twitter or not. But anyway! A real live published work from a real live Tumblr mutual. 

It’s actually a Thanksgiving holiday short story, none of which I realized when I impulse-bought it– and this is an annoying thing about ebooks, because it’s so difficult to gauge how long a thing is when you pick it up. But! It worked out really well because I was about to have to put it down when I came to the end anyway, and I didn’t want to.

It’s a sweet little love story, with one of my favorite fanfic tropes, but instead, of course, of the fanfic shorthand character study structure, you’ve got to meet a character and get to know him and also his potential love interest, and there’s not much time to get sucked in and find out everything you need to know. Fortunately, there’s plenty of character in this brief study, and you get what you need to root for him to not be an idiot by the end. It’s a sweet, elliptical little romance, and very hopeful, and very Thanksgiving-y. Do recommend!

Unexpectedly, there is a lot of loving detail about Lebanon in it. Also, inflatable yard turkeys. 
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lady-knight-keladry asked: I just watched Stargate Atlantis for the first time with my sister and I just wanted to let you know just how much your fic made the the whole experience a million times better. It colored the whole experience, and whether you write more or not, you've made this fandom so much more enjoyable for me and my sister, so thank you!

Awwww thanks!!!!

I recently got a jerky comment on one of those old stories along the lines of how dare i leave it incomplete, but at almost the same time, I got a little mini-thread of nice comments too, from a person who was delighted to take them as they were, even unfinished, and another person who saw the first comment and agreed. And it made a ton of difference. 

I’m sorry I drifted out of the fandom before I could tie everything up, but I’m glad I made what I did, took what spoke to me and turned it back outward to speak to others. And I’m glad it found you and spoke to you too! That’s the curious thing about fanworks– how they’re about what meanings people bring to those stories, and tease out of them, and not really at all about what the stories’ commercial creators may or may not have intended, or thought through, or had time to explore. 
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dragonlady7: self-portrait but it's mostly the DSLR in my hands in the mirror (Default)
I haven't actually had a long weekend in forever-- there's always something going on, or I take advantage and travel, or most commonly, we don't actually get that day off at the camera store so I have to go in.
So... Dude hasn't done anything useful around the house but he also has not needed any help from me, really. I fetched him a couple things a time or two but he's pretty much recovered, for the most part, and doesn't need me to tend to him.
So I've been doing my usual puttering around in high anxiety and poking things all over the house but not getting a single blessed thing done, for two days now, and finally today I think I'm actually making a little bit of progress, so that's good. That's the thing that kills me-- I just need so much time to decompress from work and then unspool my mental to-do list and then rediscover my inspiration, and it's a huge waste of time, and the vast majority of my life does not have enough leisure time for me to ever complete that process and get to the point where I can proceed on literally any project.
I can shortcut it a little by having someone assign me a project, sometimes, but even that doesn't reliably work.
So. Having Friday off means maybe I'll actually be able to use my weekend? We'll see. I squandered yesterday basically in pacing anxious circles about what to do, but today, well...
Anyway-- I've begun to hand-tack the all-white crumb quilt section to a backing piece of fabric, and once I've done that I think I'll be able to do some fun crazy quilt embroidery on it, finish it up and square up the edges, and then I'll do a proper quilt sandwich with at least some salvaged batting scraps or something, I'm not sure. It might wind up a cushion cover or a curtain or something, I'm really not sure. What matters is that it was bits of trash and I've now assembled it into enough of a thing that I'll probably eventually make it into something.
Here it is, with Chita supervising. she is extremely helpful )
And here, for good measure, is the breakfast I bought myself this morning. There's a wonderful donut shop a mile or two from my house, and I think of it often but never go there because it's not in a direction that's on my way anywhere, and this morning I resolved that I was going to go there and bring us back a treat. So I did. mint chip frosting! )

So here's to actually making myself do a couple of things, instead of obsessing over how I ought to.

I made dinner last night, Cuban baked beans in the Instant Pot, along with rice and some quite good chorizo. Today I'm making meatloaf and baked potatoes, and I had the bright idea to get a handful of mushrooms to throw in the blender and add to it, so I'm looking forward to however that turns out. (Also I substituted some gochujang for some of the ketchup the recipe calls for. I looked at both my mother's recipe and the Joy of Cooking recipe and did not use any measuring implements, so we'll see how that turns out.)

Also I bought gesso at Hyatt's last weekend, thinking of all the canvas signs I've painted for the farmer's market booth, but currently have no signs in my request list, so I just... coated a couple of pieces of canvas I cut up a while ago and never made anything out of, so that maybe tomorrow I'll paint some signs. I need ideas. I'm taking requests.
(It's the same canvas I painted the "let's get this travesty started" quote from the last Raksura book on, a while ago, so it should be in a series, but I can't think of any other fictional quotes I really want to add to that series, at the moment. Clearly, I need to ponder it more.)

And I cut a bunch more pajamas up into squares, and am not sure yet whether I'm going to do quilt-as-you-go or a rag quilt with them. Or whatever it is where you turn all the seam allowances upward and try to get them all to fray. I don't know if that will work but it's more likely to work than the quilt-as-you-go is, if I don't trim in a disciplined fashion, but IDK man, IDK.

Aight gotta get that meatloaf out of the oven. Dude is recovered enough that he went and fetched me a beer, so that's a good sign.
dragonlady7: self-portrait but it's mostly the DSLR in my hands in the mirror (Default)
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All those people posting their pennywise clussy hentai will still get into internet heaven ahead of the people tweeting that Elliot Abrams is a good guy.

This some kind of parable. Go and do likewise, I think.

In the cold, sober light of morning, I am still correct about this. 
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Witchmark (The Kingston Cycle Book 1) - Kindle edition by C. L. Polk. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.:

This was a giveaway– I think it’s still currently ongoing via tor.com– and so I downloaded it for free, not knowing anything about it. This morning I was stuck in a doctor’s office waiting room (everything is fine, it was a scheduled thing!) and so I got to read it.

It’s quite good! I almost don’t want to tell too much, because I went into it knowing absolutely nothing, not even having read a summary, guessing it had to be spec fic of some kind since, y’know, Tor– but I’ll say it features magic, possible government conspiracies, and some supernatural stuff, set in a slightly steampunkish fantasy setting, with a same-sex will-they-won’t-they romance at the center (wellllll towards the middle, anyway; it’s both a romance and a mystery and it’s hard to say which is more important) of it, and some deliciously complex sibling and family relationships spinning around the plot. There’s basically no infodumping, so you’re just pulled along in this world and you just have to catch up; there are no extraneous details but it’s nonetheless extremely vivid. 

Five stars, would recommend! Tor.com does a monthly free download of a novella, and I suppose this one was also novella-length– the problem/bonus with ebooks is that I have no idea how long they are, I just read until they’re done. It felt novel-sized, but again, there was nothing extra in here, it was all vivid and directly in service to the tale. 

There appear to be two books in this series, and I’m contemplating buying the second one; this one does wrap up entire, with a satisfying resolution, but I wouldn’t mind getting to know the world a little more.

I’m not doing, like, a regular Book Reviewin’ Thing on this blog, I just thought you know, I ought to review some of the books I read and like, and since I’m currently spinning in the deep currents of trying to write an original work, and have consequently spun pretty free of any fandoms, I’m in a position to read some more books. I’m going to try to read like a normal person instead of in addictive binges. We’ll see how well I do. 
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it is done

Feb. 15th, 2019 11:39 am
dragonlady7: self-portrait but it's mostly the DSLR in my hands in the mirror (Default)
I have an embarrassment of riches on my Kindle, currently-- things I've downloaded for free from Tor.com or snagged during Kindle promotions, things I've seen on sale, things I've impulse-purchased. I figured out how to transfer things to the Kindle via email (they hide it, but there's a way to do it from within your Amazon account), and so I got a bunch of fics I'd long ago downloaded up on there, including some ones I know are gone off AO3 now, so that's nice.
I took it with me when I took Dude to the doctor, and so I was quite sucked in during my time in the waiting room. I read Witchmark, by CL Polk, and reviewed it on Tumblr so that should crosspost here-- it might still be free on tor.com, you have to give them your email address but they only seem to email you a couple of times a month, and one time each month is to offer you a new free novella to download. That's how I got The Only Harmless Great Thing, which is really a staggering work of heartbreak and genius and I know that phrase is from a cliche, but it's true in this case. After reading it, I bought the other novella Bolander has for sale on Amazon, No Flight Without The Shatter, and haven't yet had the courage to read it.
Her shit is intense, ok.

Dude is recuperating in bed, held there by the cat, and I am dutifully bringing him an ice back every 20 minutes, then taking it away after another 20 minutes, to the letter of the doctor's instructions. Ironically enough, he seems to be in no discomfort, and I meanwhile have been suddenly saddled with a terrible headache that I think is due to a sudden shift in the weather-- it was sunny, but now it is very blustery and cloudy, and I can barely see straight. I'm typing with my glasses off, so I can't really see the screen, but i can see the shape of it and that seems to be enough.

Last night at banjo lessons, we came in and stood awkwardly in the kitchen, as usual, while he finished the lesson ahead of ours, and the banjo teacher's wife has a little table in a kind of nook off the kitchen where the basement steps come up into a landing, and there's a microwave tucked in there, and this little table-- well, today she had sewing supplies spread out across it, and was clearly working on a quilt, entirely by hand, made out of small hexagons. I asked her about it, and she pulled it all out to show us-- it's based on the hexagon thing from Catan, but she's discovered that hexagons are perfect for hand-piecing because the surfaces all interlock perfectly. Sometimes with squares, she said, you wind up getting a little off, then a little off, then a little off, and it compounds-- but with hexagons, you have such short surfaces, they have to keep each other honest.
And she was right-- it's brilliant! And you can do repeating little patterns easily, and use up oddball scraps easily, and...
Maybe since none of my fucking sewing machines will properly work for shit, maybe I'll just take to carrying piles of hexagons around with me and hand-sewing them together any which-way. Sigh.

I am trying to think of how to tell the banjo teacher that his wife is super awesome. (Last time we were there, she appeared suddenly from the basement steps, brandishing an antique power outlet clearly wrested recently from its fittings, and explained to us how hard it was to patch plaster walls. She's alarming and amazing, and possibly some sort of witch.)

ooogh my eyes kind of feel like they might explode, I'm such a wimp about headaches. Ibuprofen didn't work for this one, and it started like half an hour after I'd just had breakfast and coffee, so I'm gonna try not staring at a screen for a while and see how that does. I bet it's just the weather, though, and it's the warranty on this body expiring. Blech.
dragonlady7: Comic book panel featuring Poe Dameron saying "You know what, man? You're sort of a drag." (drag)
Ha I have committed a new-to-me social media faux pas courtesy of Dreamwidth being a bold new world-- idly read a bunch of link roundup style posts, opened the links in new tabs to read later, read some, decided to engage with them, and then went and thanked the wrong OP for one of the links. LOL. It seems faux-pas-ish to pass on links without acknowledging when you saw them, but it's so easy, with tabbed browsing, to forget why you have a tab open?
Anyhow, one thing that's better than any other social media site I'm on is that if I go back to my Dreamwidth reading page and scroll back, the things that were on there will still be where I left them. I get that some of that is that I just don't follow quite the number of posters as on Tumblr (and also, most people don't post more than two or three entries in a day, if even that; many do one a week or so, while most do one a day, instead of Tumblr where some people turned out to just shotgun-blast a dozen or more posts a day, often all within an hour) but Tumblr did love to just refresh my dash without my asking it to so I could never find what I was just looking at, and on Twitter the timeline reshuffles constantly and displays me things it thinks I want rather than actual content from people I follow-- an astonishing proportion of the shit I see on Twitter is from people I neither follow nor interact with-- and Instagram is super into forcing me to look at every single photo in a multi-photo posts so it'll reshuffle people's posts back up to the top, and not show me things I want to see, and lately I find I'm following people I never clicked on, so that's fascinating and by that I mean I hate it...

Anyhow. I'm adjusting, still, but I drastically prefer Dreamwidth to anything else. And i'm trying to remember to leave comments on posts I enjoy, and we'll see how I do with that.
dragonlady7: self-portrait but it's mostly the DSLR in my hands in the mirror (Default)
So they installed the water heater today, and dude kept texting me updates. it took basically all day. but i arrived home to find dude, wet-haired and freshly shaved (he keeps a goatee and moustache but shaves the rest uhhhh infrequently; he'd been complaining that he was overdue but wasn't going to do it without hot water), doing dishes.

so i got in the shower and yes! yes it works! and it doesn't run out! and it's actually hot! and i hadn't realized how much low-grade attention i was spending to working around the old water heater, which sort of didn't... reliably... get the water... very hot... or refill very fast once it had been emptied. (if it had been sitting a while, the water was ehhhh lukewarm. if someone had just washed a whole lot of dishes or had a shower before you, but like... twenty minutes before you, then you were good. but that first shower in the morning, not so great. and if you took a shower right after someone had just been doing dishes or something, you'd run out. but if you got it just after the tank had been refilled and had gotten back up to temp, sweet spot!)

Kind of... a missing stair of my life, I guess. Anyway.

I am going to go to bed in a minute. i was just waiting for it to be 9pm because if I fall asleep before 9 I'm up at like 3 or 4 and I want to sleep a normal amount tonight. please don't be too windy, please let me sleep tonight, please.

wish me luck! me and my clean hair are going to give it a shot. i am so tired. all y'all with serious insomnia, i really feel for you.
dragonlady7: An image of a hand-engraved sign nailed to a birch tree, reading "Don't Insult The Witch" (witch)
So the water heater installation guys' other job for today was on a rooftop, and given the sustained winds of 30mph with gusts up to almost 60, and the three-inch layer of impenetrable ice frozen from slush on every single surface in the world, they opted to do our nice safe basement job instead.
I can't imagine doing a rooftop ANYTHING in the winter, but ESPECIALLY not on a day like today; I almost got blown down the driveway when I ran out in my clogs to move Dude's car so I could drive mine. Clogs got no grip, and so when I planted my feet not to get blown over, the bulk of my whole self kinda caught the wind like a sail and I was like welp here I go. I didn't fall, I seem to have really good balance despite all of *waves hand at self* this and my inability to consistently remember that I live in a physical reality, but that's mostly just practice and muscle memory. I definitely traveled down that driveway at a clip I had not intended.

(I was glad not to be walking, an hour or so later.)

(As I had anticipated, I dozed off on the couch at about 5:30, and then Chita woke me up at 6, 6:15, and 6:30, so I got up and moved the car and made coffee, and I'll be a fucking zombie today.)

Dude and I discussed it; he slept a little better last night because he's sort of burned out on being anxious about the wind, but I apparently have an infinite capacity to be fucking anxious. He was like "yeah I worry about things blowing away" and I was like "I have formless heart-racing anxiety about everything and the only relief is that it's so bad I don't actually have time to worry about the things I normally constantly worry about [social injustice, nuclear war, my own economic precariousness, mean things someone said to me in fifth grade, that sort of thing] so honestly just panicking constantly about nothing is kind of a relief" and he was like "gurl" so. I did get a hug this morning, at least, though i wasn't expecting it because that's not his style but he was clearly quite tenderly concerned for me. Aw. (I was in the middle of something and did not understand what he was trying to do and nearly smacked into him and it was the most awkward hug ever but it was very sweet.)

Oh speaking of getting a poor night's sleep, yesterday my coworker came in and confessed he'd slept very little because he'd been up half the night in a Wikipedia spiral. Guess what it was about! You'll never guess.

Did Jim Morrison (of the Doors)'s Father Start The Vietnam War? The answer may surprise you!

That's the closest I've come to a shitpost all month and it's not even properly a shitpost! Though, sometimes I feel that's really the thing that distinguishes a stellar shitpost, when the absurd nonsequitur turns out not to be.

ugh wind

Feb. 13th, 2019 05:01 am
dragonlady7: self-portrait but it's mostly the DSLR in my hands in the mirror (Default)
I went to bed at 10pm, exhausted and ready to finally catch up on sleep after a couple of not so great nights-- mostly, it's been windy, and I don't sleep well in noisy wind. As usual it took me like an hour to fall asleep, but that's normal and not unpleasant. (I do a lot of story composition in that time.) I was cold, but I've been too cold in bed lately, and I don't know what to do about it-- I'm too cold until I fall asleep, and then I wake up at 4am sweltering, even though the house temperature is the same. Why the fuck does that happen? So more pj's or more blankets won't help. Annoying. At least I can tuck my feet under the prewarmed blankets on dude's side of the bed, if i'm sneaky and avoid kicking him.

At 2am a big gust of wind woke me up. The house is being buffeted so hard that you can feel the pressure changes inside the house. I lay awake about two hours, and then at 4am a dish spontaneously fell off the dish rack in the kitchen, possibly from the pressure changes. NOAA's website informs me that sustained winds of 27mph with gusts up to 57mph are currently ongoing in my area. That's... not nothing.

Dude woke up at the dish falling, and went to see if anything was broken/spilled-- the cat's food bowl is near there, so broken crockery would be an issue if she wanted a middle of the night snack, which is within the purview of her normal behavior. Apparently nothing was broken, so he came back to bed, and pulled me in to snuggle, and then fell asleep and began to gently, sweetly snore into my ear. Chita also came and lay on my outflung arm and purred for a while, but the wind scared her and she slunk back under the bed after a little bit. And then I was too sweaty to be snuggled anymore, alas.

I finally gave up at 5am and got out of bed. It's just so loud, and the gusts make me so anxious my heart pounds. No way I'm getting out of bed.

(You can imagine how well I sleep when it's windy in the yurt. Answer: I don't. But somehow it's not that much worse when the walls flex and sometimes pull open in the wind than it is indoors when the building shakes. I don't know; guess I'm just contrary. A contributing factor there is that in heavy wind or rain I wouldn't hear anything approaching the yurt. I don't know what my brain's excuse is, indoors with doors that lock.)

Chita came and discovered me on the couch, and had to knead all around and fluff up the blankets. IDK, man, she's just real cute.

Today is going to suck, with yesterday's slush frozen solid, and me on two or three hours of sleep. You know what'll happen, it happens every time-- I'll finally get sleepy around 6, and drift off at 6:30, because my normal wake-up time is 7.
C'est la vie!

Here's hoping I get a new water heater so I can have a nice long hot shower tonight after my shitty day where I can't stay awake at work. (I'd call in but I'm off Friday already for Dude's surgery, which I haven't discussed on here at all but it's very minor and he should be fine but I'm not going to leave him at home alone on Valium and in pain, I'm going to dote on him because why not?)

hot water

Feb. 12th, 2019 10:23 pm
dragonlady7: self-portrait but it's mostly the DSLR in my hands in the mirror (Default)
There's a chance, a slim chance, that we could get our new water heater as soon as tomorrow. Apparently... if the weather is too bad... they won't be able to do a bigger job they have... so they'll pop over and do ours instead?? So like?? I don't know. I don't know what the chances really are.
(It's going to cost $3700, by the way. Yes! Well. Great! Hey, we set aside $10,000 to spend on the house this year so honestly we're still ahead of the game. It's only February though and we have a lot more to work on.)

So we went down and hauled a bunch of junk out of the basement. I found a box and realized it had all my papers from childhood in it. Some of them were water-damaged. I found the card my grandmother who died in 2002 wrote me for my Confirmation. Her handwriting was so familiar still. It was badly water-damaged but I did not throw it out. I threw out some other very old papers I decided very quickly not to care about, like ripping a Band-Aid off. i don't need the tourism brochure from when I visited the Guggenheim in Bilbao in 1998. No, I don't! I don't. It's gone.
But then I put the box away, carefully, on a surface so it won't get further damaged by the water heater leaking.
(It's leaking all the time now, not just when it's on. Alas.)

I did dishes and cleaned the disgusting sink too, by boiling water in the kettle, and it worked fine, but I wanted to take a shower and didn't dare turn the water heater on. It's not worth it. Not if I'm getting a new one tomorrow.

I pointed out that there's no electrical outlet anywhere near the proposed site for the heater. Dude was like "they're pros they'll figure it out", and I was like, "they're going to run an extension cord across the entire basement and charge an arm and a leg to do it". I'm envisioning having to run down there and plug it back in because the cat tripped over it or something. Ugh.

Dad and I installed a circuit down there, since there were literally no outlets in the entire basement, but that was in probably 2005. I don't remember how to do it, or I would have run out and gotten the stuff and quick put in another outlet over there. (I think the rule of thumb is that a normal circuit can run four outlets, and we only put in two.) But I don't remember nearly enough. If they don't install the thing maybe I'll look it up and try... no, I'm not going to do that. it's been like twelve years since I did the one job of wiring I ever did, I would burn the fucking house down. It's so easy to do, though, I remember that it was easy, and I remember the rough outlines of it. If I'd known, I'd have asked Farm-BIL to help me do it when they were here last. But I didn't know, of course, so I didn't.
(Having an outlet over there would be super handy because it's not that far from where I have all my sewing machines plugged in just now, and those are powered by a sketchy power strip strung along the floor joists above and hanging from a shoelace because the power outlet Dad and I installed is too far away.)

My hands have been cold all damn day, I'm going to take my greasy gross self and just get in bed and hope I get some decent sleep tonight.


Feb. 12th, 2019 03:06 pm
dragonlady7: the thonking emoji (a poorly drawn version of the thinking emoji) (thonking)
I am wearing a floorlength skirt, which is far more dramatic than I have any right to be. I keep hiking it up. I'm not really cut out for floorlength skirts.
I have a semi-controversial point to make, though, which is that Women of Yore who wore skirts to the ankle and below had two advantages: #1 petticoats, which tend to hold the skirt a little stiffer, and #2 the skirt wasn't jersey knit, which is designed primarily as a slinky drapey marvel of tripping-the-fuck-out-of-you. This is at least nice heavy jersey knit, but it's still jersey knit. I should have worn a slip but I don't own any nice ones anymore. (They're still a thing, right?)

The dress with the floorlength skirt does match my shawl nicely, though.

It is freezing in my office, which, waah, cry me a river, I'm not doing anything about, but I am having another cup of tea. I slept poorly last night, not just because the wind was bonking shit around, but also because Chita needed me to Notice Her. She kept climbing over me, finding a spot, digging at the blankets, then when I finally petted her, trapping my hand and standing on my arm so I couldn't pet her anymore. Which was bizarre, because why get my attention to pet her and then prevent me from petting her? Normally this happens a couple of times in a night and then she settles, but she never settled. She just. kept. doing. it! Argh.
She has been Needy, of late, and I think it's because she can't go out in the yard like she's used to, and she's getting stir-crazy and so wants All The Attention. and I just can't carry her around 5 or 6 hours a day like she'd prefer.
(I do not know how her morning conference calls have been going, lately; whether she and Lt. Col. Haze have attained any of their business goals, and so on. No information has been forthcoming on that front lately, though I do frequently ask her.)

I don't have a headache but my sinuses are bothering me, so there's that.

I drove to work in the sleet, and it snowed quite hard for a bit, but it switched to rain so now it's one degree above freezing and there's fucking slush everywhere. My family are all snowed in, back over Troyward, though, so I guess I'm glad not to be stuck here. Not that I'd be stuck, it's An Mile, but still. I'd rather not have a weather emergency ongoing.

As I have nothing more of merit to say, besides whining about being tired and feeling poorly, I leave you with a photo of my hairstyle that I took to send my bestie, who was discussing possible very-long-hair styles. She's got braids she can sit on; mine is juuuuust almost to my tailbone and has been at that length for numerous years so it's safe to say that's my terminal length. I'm probably due for a trim. Maybe once we get hot water back I can take a nice shower and trim my hair while it's wet.
i guess i'm ash blonde? never noticed before )

Oh yeah, we still don't have hot water, but we finally got a second bid and think we're going with the cheaper one since they're also way lower-pressure as salesfolks. And we noticed that the water heater is leaking whether it's on or not, just leaking more if it's on... but it means I could probably turn it on and take a shower tonight with a pretty clear conscience.
I can live pretty well without hot water day to day, I can even bathe without it, mostly, but I'm not gonna wash my hair without it, and it's grinding me down.
dragonlady7: an image of a snowflake (snowflake)
Dude had to run over to his mother's last night to bring her some paperwork or other that she needed. He went on foot, as it's slightly under a quarter-mile and it was dry and in the mid-20s F last night. (Though it was unpleasantly windy; I had a miserable walk home because the wind was in my face, which is unfair because the prevailing winds are such that they're in my face on my walk in, and had been, so I got to be wind-blasted both directions and it's not fair.)
He came back and said, "She tells me to beg you not to walk tomorrow, as the weather's going to be awful."
"It is?" I looked it up. 25 degrees, snow-sleet, windy, warming to 30 and becoming sleet.
I mean. That's not great, but it's perfectly normal?
I moved Dude's car this morning, so I can get mine out, so I could drive if I wanted to-- that's really the limiting factor. There's no on-street parking overnight in the winter, and so whoever parked last is the only one who can get out. Moreover, our street gets parked solid at 7:30 sharp every morning, as students arrive to attend the high school across the street. So if I want to drive to work, I have to either pull my car out before Dude arrives home, and then pull in after him, or I have to go back out because the street is still parked solid and so when he arrives home I have to move my car while he waits to pull in so that I can pull after him, or I need to get up before 7:15 and move his car to the street, or I need to roust him from his work (he wakes up and logs in to work immediately and some days is actually quite absorbed in work before I leave; since he works remotely, he does this, then takes a long break to get dressed and shower, then takes another break to commute in at midmorning, etc.) and make him get in his car to pull it out while I leave, then pull back in.---
at any rate, it's very complicated, and a large amount of the reason I walk to work is that my car is just fucking inaccessible. And if I'd known this was going to happen perhaps I should have lobbied for us to put a pull-off or turnaround in the front yard when we had the driveway redone last year, but at that time I worked so far away that I left before him and arrived after him most of the time, so it wasn't important? Anyway.

I'm still wondering if I should really bother to drive in! But I'm feeling poorly, of late; headaches for two days now, and they're mild but noticeable and i'm not a headachey sort of person? (I say that because I know so many people with chronic headache conditions and my sympathy goes out to you because even the tiniest headache is so fucking debilitating, I can't imagine how you poor folks suffer and I'm so sorry for it!)

It's just snowing, there's almost no accumulation, and it's not slippery at all, but I sort of hurt all over and it's really fucking windy out there, so. I'm going to be a wuss and exercise my privilege and just fucking drive to work because my mother-not-in-law said so. Sigh.

why do i have so much guilt over this? it's goofy is what it is, but that's how I'm wired.
dragonlady7: self-portrait but it's mostly the DSLR in my hands in the mirror (Default)
via http://bit.ly/2SMwcu2

lolll farmsister just sent me a snippet of one of my stories from AO3

i mean i guess it was inevitable. she’s known what my handle was for a while, i think, but she was just on a big stucky kick.

i wrote back, “jsyk i am a terrible and chronic wip-abandoner so check for completion status before you click something”
(Your picture was not posted)
dragonlady7: self-portrait but it's mostly the DSLR in my hands in the mirror (Default)
i’m such a dumbass i’ve had a headache for seven hours and i tried changing my hairstyle, eating something, drinking something, eating something else, drinking a bunch more water... i finally just took an ibuprofen and bam 10 minutes and the headache’s gone.


I did get to a tiny bit of sewing! I'm going to just. Make squares of quilt out of these old pajamas. That's all I got for a plan. Might as well practice hand-quilting on this basically-no-batting project, so that I'm good at it by the time I make something pretty.
dragonlady7: Two black-eyed susan flowers against a backdrop of yarrow flowers (flowers)

I worked on learning this song a little, today. I can find the melody notes on the banjo but have no idea how it ought to be arranged. The notion of instruments that play more than one note at once is still pretty new to me. I actually started singing to myself while Dude was out grocery shopping because the cat wouldn't stop yelling (she wanted me to sit down so she could sleep on me and I was too busy) and I figured I should yell back. Chita did not care for any of my selections. (I also sang The Green Linnet and The Bonnie Bunch Of Roses O, or as much of each as I could remember the words to. I don't sing as much lately as I used to; I don't get any singing done in the car and it's a shame, but I don't sound too rusty, now that I don't seem to have a cold anymore. But I'd like to learn Bread And Roses because it's pretty and topical, as laments for Buonaparte are not so much-- I mean, they're pretty, they're just not topical. If there was ever anyone so thoroughly undeserving of the beautiful songs written for him... might be a tie with Bonnie Charlie, now I think on it.)

I thought of it because I baked bread today-- I defaulted to Joy Demorra's recipe (bibliosphere on Tumblr, but her Patreon is a better archive since Tumblr keeps flagging the bread photos as sinful, and it's unlocked there), and she used to just call it Peasant bread but I see the title's gotten upgraded to Communist, now. I've no insight into which label suits it better but there's some novelty in using a mug to measure. I'm not the target audience for that, but my favorite recipe is the no-knead one (I hate getting my hands so sticky) but I wanted to make little boules and I don't have suitably-sized baking pans for that, so something kneaded and hand-shaped it was. For some reason it was horribly sticky, and I had to chip it off the cookie sheet at the end because it had adhered so much, and I think I used too little yeast so it didn't rise all that well, but it will suit to put the stew into, I'm sure. Probably wound up super dense but whatever.

I also have boeuf bourgignon in the Instant Pot, and I made biscuits to use up the last of the milk that was going sour, so I also defrosted some frozen strawberries and made Dude buy vanilla ice cream, so we'll have strawberry shortcake for dessert. I thought a proper Sunday dinner was called for, as we won't be celebrating Valentine's Day really.
(Well, we will probably, as we usually do, sitting at home together, but less festive than normal because Dude's going in for some very minor surgery the day after, but surgery nonetheless, so.)

I've had a headache since about noon, so that's annoying. It's the most minor headache anyone's ever had, but I'm a big wuss about headaches, so I'm grumpy. It's fine, I've been cooking and cleaning in the kitchen all day so it's not like I have to look at screens or things.

I wanted to do some sewing today and have done none, and won't do any if the headache doesn't ease.

I had a thought, that it might be fun to do big painted banners a la suffragette-era protests. Nicely quilted ones. Bread & Roses for sure, but also "DEEDS NOT WORDS". Taking suggestions for more. I think they'd make beautiful wall-hangings, especially if I did them up super retro with like, fabric cutout letters, and beautiful finishing, and fringe on the bottom, and such. (I suppose I could do a BLACK LIVES MATTER one in the same style because an unfortunate relic of the suffragette era is how fucking racist they all were, in that early movement, and it would be wise to just... head that off. Maybe I could do "my feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit".) I don't know where these wall-hangings would even go, but let's not get ahead of ourselves, it'll take me decades to make them, so what the fuck ever.

I've also been dying for literally years to make one of those triangle-hangy-letter-banners? I made one that says "Welcome" that I gave my sister for a party at the farm, and I fucked it up so it's not reversible even though I went to great lengths to make it reversible-- the secret is, paint the letters the other way on the other side, but somehow I totally fucked that up. I want to make another one but I don't know what it should say. I might do another one for the farm that says something like Farmland Forever. But I'd quite like one for the yurt and I just don't know what it should say.

on tropes

Feb. 10th, 2019 08:52 am
dragonlady7: black and white photograph of a woman holding a goose looking at it (mabel)
Sometimes I think I'm not really very good at blending into the fannish community. I like it, it's nice, but I don't... work like that.
I've seen a lot of people doing this thing where they're... is it a generator? One of those Buzzfeed-style personality quizzes? (Or... those were the first memes I remember on LJ, and you'd do one and it would give you a chunk of HTML to post your result with a picture in your blog. What Kind Of Doc Martens Are You etc. Why doesn't anyone get HTML results like that anymore, hm?)
Anyway I'm not sure, but you do something that helps you rank the tropes you like best in fiction from most to least.
I've been looking at the lists they come up with and I'm like... I have read both good and bad things in those examples? There are a couple things that are mild squicks, for me, so I'll avoid them if I see them called out because they almost always gross me out or make me uncomfortable, or ruin the story for me because I feel the author didn't really consider the fundamental ways in which such a dynamic would genuinely function, but that's usually more a mechanism of the story than of the trope itself.
(Like, for example, 7 or 8 times out of ten, if there's a wedding scene, it grosses me the fuck out, and most of those times it's because the wedding is a substitute for an actual character resolution and super often weird rituals that are highly specific to our culture just get transplanted wholesale into the fic's culture without any questioning and it's bad worldbuilding guys*, and some of the times it's because I'm a bitter old harpy who has never managed to get anyone to wife me and so is twisted by jealousy, and yet! People don't call out weddings as a trope and generally don't tag for them, so I just deal! Also, i have written wedding scenes, so clearly this isn't bulletproof for me!)
*(This is based on 0 specific examples for the moment so please do not think I'm vagueing about anyone in particular, please, because I'm not, this is like 35 years of reading distilled, here, and not anyone I actually would be able to remember the name of.)

I've read amnesia fic that was awful and unredeemable, but the very best SGA fic I've ever read, long before I ever watched the series, was about amnesia. (It was on LJ and I don't remember the title or author and it was probably 2004 so.) I fucking love meet-cutes except about half the time they make me want to barf. I cannot fucking stand soulmates/soulmarks any of that stupid bullshit, except sometimes people write them and it's weirdly compelling. (That's not how love works! And yet sometimes fiction's not about how love works and is good anyway!) A/B/O is gender essentialist and super gross, and yet sometimes people write it and it's super hot so just don't think that hard. And so on, and so forth.

I think this is similar to sexual tropes, too. Like, some people are just super into reading about specific sex acts, and that's never really how it's been for me. Like-- cunnilingus in a sex scene is probably a good sign that there are specific dynamics going on between characters and so I'm going to overall enjoy the rest of the scene, but that doesn't mean that I'm super into reading about cunnilingus (and it has no bearing whatsoever on whether I enjoy giving or receiving that sex act in real life with my actual real life body!) just for itself. (And like, it means there's a woman in the story, which I generally like, so. But it doesn't necessarily, y'know?! And sometimes it's written super gross so there's that too.)

So like. I might love bedsharing in a fic, but I might not. I might really enjoy a snowed-in kind of story, or I might not. The tropes are often a good shorthand for the shit that's going to happen, but sometimes they're not! (So many of them are just ways to put specific pressures on characters to overcome those characters' boundaries that make them the character they are, so that they can do things they'd never normally be permitted to do without going OOC, but because of this external force, they're squeezed into a place where they can do super vulnerable things. So those are kind of redundant tropes, but the different shapes the squeezing takes can give the vulnerability different forms and so that's interesting, and yet. well. i never was good at reducing fractions, so someone with a more analytical mind might have a better go at figuring out how distinct all of those really are.)

It might be an interesting writing exercise sometime to go through various of the tropes in that list and distill out the thing about each trope that is actually what people are looking for to get their specific dopamine releases, and then write a series of ficlets where those tropes happen without the specific element anywhere in them. Or, alternately, write a series where those specific elements happen totally independently of the tropes. But I don't have the patience for that sort of thing anymore, really.

I get why the tropes are a useful shorthand but my brain wiring doesn't really seem to work that way. Or, at least, isn't currently.


Feb. 9th, 2019 06:04 pm
dragonlady7: self-portrait but it's mostly the DSLR in my hands in the mirror (Default)
Got home yesterday to find a package crammed between storm and kitchen door. I opened it to discover that my mother had knit me a shawl! Uncharacteristically for her, she had actually included a note: apparently, she had hesitated to make me a shawl because one of my sisters had bought me a cardigan for Christmas?? What?? but had been unable to resist trying out a new technique. Apparently it's called "entrelac" and it looks quite complicated. "Forgive the errors," she signed off breezily.

What errors???
Chita approves.
Unusually, she also did not append the yarn label with washing instructions, so I don't know whether I need to hand-wash this. I might anyway!!

(To any who don't know me well, I sew and embroider and have just learned how to spin, and I do hand-lettering and signpainting as well, but I do not know how to knit or crochet, it is sorcery and also off-limits to me because I have Too Much Crafting Shit in my house. Also my mother and two of my sisters and my best friend and my mother-not-in-law and my sister-not-in-law all do yarncrafts, and so I own more hand-knitted belongings of exquisite beauty than I do stuff I've sewn, despite that being the thing I do.)

In other news I've decided to make a quilt-as-you-go lap quilt to go on the couch made out of all my hoarded discarded pajamas, with the flannels on the outside and the fleeces as batting, and it's probably going to be hideous as shit but unlike sorcery yarncraft, sewing still functions as the intended thing and is approximately the right size and structural integrity even if you fuck it up ridiculously.
I've started off with, uh, eleven-inch squares, because that was what the fleece pajama pants I was cutting up went neatly into? So I'll just be... trying to make that a thing. I don't know what size a lap quilt is supposed to be. I feel like 44" is a good start. If I have 16 11" squares, I get a 44" square, right? And then if I want to make it a rectangle I just add uhhh four more on the end and that's 20 squares? Maybe?
Shit, I don't know how to make that math problem work. Some of this shit I can do in my head, some shit I can't do full-stop even with a textbook and someone holding my hand, and I just don't know which category a math thing is going to fall into until I stop and think about it.

Well, I have eight squares, so I'll just start with those and make them and then see what they look like and how many more I need.
I would like to make the flannel scraps into a pattern but I think I'm gonna just. Not. In the interests of fucking finishing this thing, ever.


dragonlady7: self-portrait but it's mostly the DSLR in my hands in the mirror (Default)

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