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Dept. of Weekend's End

Things I Did This Weekend

Saving bandwidth, because that's how I usually roll.Collapse )

My vacation begins Friday. I can hardly wait. 

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Dept. of Music and Joy

 July in May

The last couple of days in Chicago have been in the mid-80sF, although tomorrow is supposed to be only in the 70s.  I didn't mind it; I was able to drive to an assignment, and to a doctor's appointment, with the windows down today. (Yesterday was warm enough that I had to put the car's AC on - and I have to get the AC refrigerant topped off, probably when I'm on vacation week after next, because it wasn't very cool.)

I spent four hours yesterday being trained on the new editorial program the Trib is using. Our trainer said we'll have to get trained on yet another system later this summer; apparently they had to go to this interim system first, but it's a lot of training for very little return. 

The newspaper company I used to work for, the Chicago Sun-Times, is about to be swallowed up by the newspaper company it sold my chain to back in 2014. I have very conflicted feelings about that, none of them good, but they're complex enough that I'm not going to go into them now. Maybe later. 

Another thing I may want to go into at another time: how impressed I've been with the second season of Attack on Titan. 

But for now, have this Bob Mould song. It's gorgeous. 




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Dept. of Mondays

Today Has Been a Difficult Day for Me

For various reasons that are pretty much all work-related, today found me weeping at my desk. Only for a short time, and I'm back in control now, but my spirit still feel a little leaden. 

Rather than dwell on that, or write something that sounds like a plea for sympathy, what I would love to hear from all of you out there: 
  • Something really nice that happened to you today.
  • Something funny that happened to you.
  • A lovely picture you saw that you could describe to me, or that you have and could share with me now.
  • A song or piece of music that lifted your spirits recently, and that you think I might like.
  • A joke. 
  • Cats, pictures or gifs thereof. Those always rock.
  • A gif that might make me snort with laughter. 
  • Any reminder of good things in the world, human or otherwise. 

Thank you all - and I'll try to do the same thing for any of you when I'm less of a fucking wet-blanket. 
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Dept. of Mother's Day

She's Still Here


Mum and me, 1955 photo CopyofImage2.jpg

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Dept. of Birthdays

Hurrah for People Who Have Birthdays!

Back on May 5, the most estimable 
[personal profile] jjpor  had a birthday, and I hope it was well celebrated. There are certain people that you wish you could meet in real life, and he's one of them. He's also one of the best writers of Who fanfic it's been my pleasure to read.  (And I'm sure he'll finish "Battlelines" Real Soon Now *cough*pleaseohpleaseohplease*cough*) I hope your birthday went well, and that the coming year will also go very well for you!

Moving forward a bit, to April 9, many delayed returns of the day to 
[personal profile] calapine , whose stories I've enjoyed and who's now occasional posts have also made me smile over the years. I'm glad to see you an Dreamwidth, and hope to interact with you from time to time. 

On May 10, 
[personal profile] deathpixie , a fellow Canadian celebrated her birthday. I hope the coming year includes travel, if you want it; friends, happiness at work and at home, and I hope to see you occasionally, here on the Interwebz. 

Finally, today is the birthday of the lovely 
[personal profile] lost_spook , another of those people who I would love to meet in real life (and you'd best believe that once I've come into my fortune, I shall cross the ocean and take you out to tea!) You are a delight to know; you have a delicious sense of humor, both sharp and gentle; your writing is top notch; your love of all things old television opened up worlds to me - and, in line with that last, you gave me Sapphire and Steel (and Silver!) for which I can't thank you enough. Many happy returns of the day!

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Dept. of Everything Is Just Fine

No, Really. Everything Is Just Fine

For when laughter and screams of terror are just what the doctor ordered.
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Dept. of Monday

I Swear I'm Gonna ...
  • Be a more cheerful person for the rest of this week; 
  • Comment on posts about Who episodes ([personal profile] promethia_tenk  and [personal profile] elisi , I feel like I'm missing out on all kinds of chewy goodness, because I'm so spoonless. So, yeah, soon.) 
  • Say things of import. Perhaps not vast import, but at least a modicum of import. 
  • Get more fic writing done - although here, I can say that I've gotten the first half of Chapter 27 of Hearts and Moons completed, which means I"ll soon have two completed chapter to post, and only 1.5 or 2 more chapters to go. If I can just get past the Zeno's paradox of never being able to get to the end because one is always half-way there, that is. 
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Dept. of This and That

Things What I Have Been Doing

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Dept. of Music and Joy

For Your Listening and Dancing Pleasure

I haven't been around much lately, which I'd like to correct, if for no other reason than how much fun I had in March, posting as often as I could. But work and the world have conspired to numb my mind to the point where I can't think of anything worthwhile to say. I can't even muster witty 140 character aphorisms, much less substantial essays (or even frivolous diary entires.) My online activity has been confined to playing online games or watching YouTube videos. 

Today, as I was browsing YouTube, I ran into some Peter Gabriel videos. Two of them just made my heart leap, and I have to share them with you. 

I've always liked, and often loved, Gabriel's work, although I have none of his albums. His writing, his voice (from clear in his youth to rough and husky now), his life choices and his beliefs, all resonate with me. For all that, however, I know very little about his full body of work. I wasn't aware of the tour from which these two videos were taken, but they drew me in immediately. I love how much he integrates dance and motion into his performances here (and, having checked out a few more videos out of curiosity after having seen these two, it's pretty clear to me that he has long done that).

And the joy that emanates from everyone onstage is absolutely infectious. Sure, it's a performance and sure, it's altogether possible that everyone was just acting. But I don't think so. 

(Also? Tony Levin! And Paula Cole has a voice that doesn't quit.)

ETA: I'm not sure the first one will show up in this post for some reason, but you can watch it YouTube if it doesn't show up here. 











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Dept. of Birthdays

 Happy Birthday, [personal profile] sunnytyler001 !

May this year have more joys than sorrows, may your dog be gentle, may life be easier for you, and may you look back on the next 12 months and smile. I'm glad I met you on the internet, and I hope to see more of you in the coming 365 days. 
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Dept. of May Day

The First of May

"The bosses gave us Labor Day. May Day we took for ourselves."  

I took this from a friend's Twitter feed, because it's certainly the truth in the U.S., where Labor Day, in September, is celebrated, and not International Workers' Day, on  May 1. And by "celebrated" I mean "The working class/political origins of Labor Day and May Day? La-la-la I can't hear you!"

(The reasons for Canada and other countries going with the fall holiday may differ, so I'm sticking just with what might be reasons in this country.)

There's some interesting suggestions out there about why the United States chose September and not May. Some people believe that Grover Cleveland signed the September date into law to help turn peoples' attention away from the troops he sent in to kill workers in Chicago during the Pullman strikes (sorry for the Huffpost link - not a fan of aggregation sites, me - but it's late and I'm too lazy to seek better links. I hope you'll forgive me), although that doesn't completely address the choice of date. Other sources say that the country's determined rejection of May 1 stemmed from general American government/capital mistrust of connecting American labor movements with international labor movements that had already coalesced around that date.

It seems fairly clear to me that whatever the specific source of the American disconnect from International Workers' Day, the general establishment dislike of an empowered working class had a great deal to do with the blindness to May 1 and the watering down of the September Labor Day from a celebration of workers to a picnic-oriented long weekend.

This year, though, more people in America paid attention to May 1. I hope the trend, if not the reasons for it, continue.


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Dept. of Spring

It's Still National Poetry Month

McCormick BoulevardCollapse )
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Dept. of Remembrance

Treblinka

It's almost the end of National Poetry Month. I'd meant to post this on Yom HaShoah.




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I Am Bemused, As One Might Expect

I've been blogging on LJ and/or DW for more than a decade.

I've been online for far longer - BB and I figure we've been sailing the sea since 1996, well before the Web. Back then, my connection with fandom was Old School, and Usenet was my lifeline. RASFF*, of blessed memory, kept me busy well into the night every night, back in the days when we couldn't be online and get phone calls at the same time. (I still recall the song of the modem, something you youngsters might not recognize.) Today I can't even access Usenet, and the last time I did, RASFF was shell filled with spam. 

Getting involved with online fandom, first via TWoP and then through LJ and (eventually) Dreamwidth, more than filled the void. It introduced me to some amazing, talented, kind people. It was where I picked up a pen and started writing fiction again. It was where I learned to be less self-congratulatory in matters of this world - politics, identity, and other issues - and at least a little more willing to learn, to stretch beyond my comfort zone. It has been truly far more rewarding than I ever expected it to be. Thank you all for making that the case.

I don't expect to maintain my LJ after a few more weeks, but I'm so glad I came here in the first place.

*rec.arts.sf.fandom 

Saving bandwidth since 2006 ....Collapse ) This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/659312.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here, but prefer to read over on DW. You can comment there using open ID if you don't have a DW account.

Dept. of Mittwoch

Pictures of Neat Things

Because I'm so tired tonight that I'm not able to focus on any one thing for very long. (Jazz, Thomas Merton, how they intersect; union stuff; stories I have to chase tomorrow; my brother; my Nana's paintings; A Love Supreme ... yeah, my brain is pretty much some kind of oatmeal. Or gumbo. Not sure which.)

Caveat: I took terrible pictures, fast, so these are fast, and kind of terrible.

This is the male Cardinal that lives on our street.

Under hereCollapse )

This is his mate. You'll see her if you look carefully. I think the fawn and tan and green and gold-yellow of her coloring is very pretty, but it doesn't show up very well against the ground.

Under hereCollapse )

And this is my not very good picture of the blue flowers I love so much that bloom in the spring. Their blues were darker this year. I checked this shot, which hasn't been enhanced in any way, with the shots I took last year, which I admit I slightly enhanced - and these are the richer colored blooms.

Under hereCollapse )



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Dept. of Birthdays

Delayed Natal Day Well-Wishes 

With everything that's been helping keep me away from being a regular poster, several birthdays got lost in the mix. 

Way back on March 28, 
[personal profile] sensiblecat  had a birthday. I don't see this lovely individual around all that often these days; when I do, I'm always happy, because she's always had thoughtful and wonderfully chewy thoughts about Doctor Who. I hope her birthday was extra-specially good this year; perhaps we'll see more of you as the year progresses. 

On March 31, 
[personal profile] merryghoul  celebrated a birthday. She works hard on behalf of Doctor Who fans, helping put out Who Daily. She's a devoted fic writer, and someone who, like me, is a fan of both Clara and River Song. I hope your birthday was everything you wanted it to be!

On April Fool's Day, 
[personal profile] sarah531  and [personal profile] purplefringe  — two people who definitely aren't fools — had birthdays. sarah531 loves several worlds within fandom, and I always enjoyed what she wrote. I hope to see her around as 2017 progresses. purplefringe is a gifted vid maker whose work never fails to satisfy. I hope both of them enjoyed their natal days. 

On April 4, mizzlaurajean celebrated. She's smart, determined, a loving mom and wife, a citizen activist and a fan, all of which means she's an amazing person. Happy belated birthday to you!

Finally, on April 8, a long ago friendly fandom acquaintance, 
[personal profile] mishalak (who took one of the loveliest snapshots of me ever), had a birthday. I hope it went well for him.  This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/658794.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here, but prefer to read over on DW. You can comment there using open ID if you don't have a DW account.

Dept. of Back Up On the Bicycle

Sunday After the Deluge

It took me far too long after my last post to get back online. In part, that's because I last posted the night before the local elections that I had to cover on April 4.

Local election verbiage under the cutCollapse ) 

If you've gotten to this point in the post, you'll deserve a pat on the back. Also, you'll have figured out that I was completely wrung out by Wednesday night. I was. I barely managed to drag myself through Thursday and the first half of Friday. By 2 p.m. Friday, I was done. 

The weekend has been a time of getting things done that have nothing to do with my weekday work. I even cleaned the bathroom floor, getting down on hands and knees with a brush and getting into the (eurgh) corners. Yes, it made me happy. Yes, I took a shower after cleaning the bathroom floor. 

Now, my beloved husband is making a late dinner for us, and that is a more than reasonable way to end the weekend. 
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Dept. of LJ

Any Thoughts on the New Live Journal User Agreement?

Right now it looks as if I can't sign in unless I click "agree" - or more accurately, as if I'll be signed out if I don't click "agree." And from what little I can make out of the new agreement, it's looking less and less like I actually would want to click "agree." Still, perhaps it's not as dire as it seems? I'd love to be pointed to anyone's review of the new agreement (which, per the notice, doesn't appear to be binding in English. When you're redirected to what is referred to as the binding agreement, you discover it's in Russian Cyrillic.) Does anyone have more information that I can view while signed out? Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

ETA: AAAAAnd I can't crosspost unless I click "agree." So there's that.

ETA 2: I signed the agreement so that I could fully access my own account. However I will probably post an announcement letting people know that as of a date certain (possibly April 30), I'll be importing everything from LJ and deleting that account. If folks want to stay in touch, I'll provide an email account, and I'll also urge folks to sign up for, at the very least, a free Dreamwidth account. Any comments I may have made on other peoples' LJ, any deathless prose that the world might lose forever when I disappear ... will, well, be lost 

ETA 3: Reasons for my proposed plan of action? 

For one thing, the English translation isn't trustworthy, by TPTB's own admission; they state that the only "valid" agreement is one that's in Cyrillic Russion. For another, it appears to contradict itself on whether the new Russian Federation laws apply only to people with free accounts or to people with paid accounts (now rechristened Professional Services Packages). 

For yet another, it doesn't make clear the difference between the entity that owns the entire blogging platform, which is now under Russian Federation law, and the entity that supposedly will handle paid users accounts, still referred to as Live Journal Inc. I suspect there's really no difference. 

And another problem? If you read through the non-official English version of the user agreement one thing becomes clear: they state they can censor anyone's journal for political activity or for things that the Russian Federation considers 18+/stuff. Such as anything that mentions the very existence of gay people as, you know, people. 

I know a number of people have pointed out that those laws will probably only be applied to Russian bloggers. A) Just because I'm not affected doesn't make it any more palatable to me, and I'm not interested in even passively supporting the censorship of other people. B) "probably" is a weasel word in these circumstances. 

I think this is the last straw for me. It's a shame, but not a tremendous one. I've been slowly moving over to Dreamwidth anyhow. 

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Dept. of Questions

I Am Binge-Watching "Stranger Things"

Is this a good thing? I mean, I think it is, and now I'm trying to convince BB to watch it so that we can talk about it. But I'd love to hear from any of you who have seen it (I'm on the 7th episode and will probably just go through and watch the 8th today before I do ... you know ... housework or sewing or stuff *cough*).






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Dept. of Alert the Press

Based On Something BB Said

A search was conducted. 

I can now more or less confidently tell the world that there is no Huntley-Brinkley fanfic. 

I am disappoint.

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Dept. of Fanfic Elation

Achievement Unlocked

I've finished Chapter 26 of Hearts and Moons. After *thinks* more than a year. 

I'm writing this with as few exclamation points as possible, in order to be as maturely pleased with myself as possible. But please imagine the entire post littered with the little things. 

w00t111

I'm not going to post it yet. I'd actually like to get another chapter done, so that I can post them consecutively. 

I'm so close to the finish I can taste it, folks. 

Ten years. GRRM levels of slowness (at least in the realm of fic. Don't worry, I'm not comparing myself to him.) And maybe the end in sight? 

As I said. 

w00t!1!

(OK, two exclamation points. That's still mature, isn't it?)

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Dept. of Thursday

One Day Left...

....before the weekend. And boy, do I need it. On the other hand, 

On the other hand, I made onigiri with and without umeboshi, and they made a great supper for BB, FB and me. Not bad for a true first attempt.
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Dept. of Union Maid

Union Migraines

I don't know why I leave union meetings of any kind with upset stomachs and headaches. 

Oh, wait. I do. 

Luckily, my bed is awaiting me, and my beloved is giving me tender loving care. He is a jewel among men. 
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This Is Me Today


 photo buffalo_zpse5f92fdf.gif


I'm sure I'll be a nicer mammal tomorrow.

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Dept. of Sunday

Things I Learned This Weekend

1. I'm really not Buddhist, not in the least. I tried to read a book I picked up at the library, which had been recommended by a friend. It was written by a Buddhist nun, and it was about how to try to approach, or in some way deal with, difficult times. It's something I need to learn how to do, so I wanted to read this book, this very slim little book.

I managed about five pages of it and ended up yelling at the book. There was no way I was going to make it to the end, slim or not. The language made me roll my eyes, I kept arguing with individual sentences. Individual sentences, people; I was arguing with words on a page.

BB, who has a much more Buddhist nature than I have had read a bit of the book; when I told him the book made me extremely angry (and that's the thing I'm trying to deal with), he sighed and said "This isn't the book I'd have suggested for you to read." He was right.

And more generally, I was reminded that I'm not Buddhist in the least, as I said. I know that the dark is part of this world; I know that death is part of this world, but I'll be goddamned if I have to like it, or accept it.  I'm with Dylan Thomas; I'll rage against the dying of the light.

2. I was reminded, once again, of how much I love BB. 


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