So yes. Blood donation successful! Slowly but surely working my way toward my 4-gallon pin, 56 days at a time. :) If doing every darn thing I can in the week preceding an appointment to make sure my iron passes muster is what it takes, and evidently that's the case lately, then that's what it takes. It is entirely worth it.
Donating blood on Earth Day seems right, somehow. I can't entirely articulate that one as yet, but it does.
No one has yet recognized my Franklin (as opposed to Watson and Crick, the thieves) shirt for the reference it is, alas. Wearing it today feels like a tiny dual victory just the same.
This is a very disjointed post. :)
The BEST part of attending Celebration Orlando was being in real space with members of my third Internet cult, my fellow Reylo Fanfiction Anthology mods. Going to a con is fun, but going to a con with fans who are as excited as you are? EVEN MORE FUN.
( All four days... with pictures! )
- It definitely needs to be strained, more so than standard homemade pudding, because of the matcha powder. I was lazy and did not strain, and the lumps are noticeable.
- The amount of sugar is just right (though roommate said it needed the sweetened whipped cream that I did not make). Any more would make it taste like a Starbucks drink; any less and there wouldn't be enough contrast with the bitterness of the matcha.
- A better topping would be tsubuan, which I think would have a nice chunky/smooth contrast.
Not bad for using up 500 ml of milk. I'm tempted to make this again and do something with it and a store-bought castella.
It turns out it takes less than 18 hours for me to start seriously considering how I could move back to Chicago. I relax into such a happier person here. The streets look right, the apartment buildings look right, the trains look right... the orange lamps, the wider streets, the laid-backness of the people, the incredible, unironic civic pride. I spent a little bit in Andersonville, particularly in shops that exhibited local artists, which were heavy, of course, on city iconography. I am overwhelmed by how sterile New York feels in comparison. All these institutions and communities that I love -- iO, the Old Town School of Folk Music, the comic shops, the bookstores, Schubas -- I don't know how to find those in New York, and I suspect that they're impossibly spread out at that. When I think about what my rent could get me here...
There are some pretty surprising things that are different -- huge monstrosities have actually been built in those empty lots, at last. A few stores are gone, a few restaurants are still around, but for the most part, I'm so comfortable, in the best way, and I haven't even gone back to my fondest neighborhood yet. (That's tomorrow.)
Surprising no one, I have bought some things today. I've also got some real thinking to do about other art I found and dearly want (but could neither carry nor afford right now, tbh). ( Pictures of pictures! )
Well, no matter what, Improvised Shakespeare's performance of The Narcoleptic Prince tonight was fabulous. ♥
I saw your ghost today.
It was unexpected, both in time and place. I walked into the gym, as I do most Wednesday nights, and there you were. Or, rather, there she was. She had your build, your hair, and she was talking to the women at the desk when I walked in and I stopped, shocked. And then she turned. Oh, it wasn't your face she was wearing, but it was close enough that she could have been your sister. The shape of her face was the same as yours. Her eyes, the same color. The chin, close enough. Her smile was different than yours, though. And her voice, also not yours. I don't know who she is. I never saw her before. But for that one instant, she was you.
I saw your ghost today.
I knew, intellectually, that you couldn't be here, that you wouldn't be here. You'd have no reason to be here. You're far, far away, safely at a distance. But for that one instant, before my head could speak, my heart twisted into knots. The anger, the fear, the hurt. Watching something I cared for stripped away from me. Not taken by you, no, but taken by you all the same. The image stayed with me all through the gym. Each time I looked up from the rower, each time my gaze went the wrong way in the mirror, there was your ghost, as if to say, "You will never be free."
I saw your ghost today.
I've been at peace since then. You've never come up, not once, and time, like Omar Khayyam's moving finger, moves on. But deep down, deeper than even I knew, I still want to scream at it all. I want the ghosts to leave me in peace. I want your ghost to fade back to the distance where I left it, among the shadows and shades of the past.
I saw your ghost today.
Let it stay at rest.
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose
or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
-- >E. E. Cummings, 1894 - 1962
I'm heading out with a friend, and I'm hoping to get out hiking at least every other weekend this summer. There aren't all that many places I can get to by T, but I'll go explore what I can get to, and get my hiking legs in practice.
I was thinking about getting to the convention in San Juan this summer, but that's a good week of vacation time, and I think I'd rather ask Mom if she wants to go see a national park somewhere. She does day hikes, not overnight, but she's a great hiking partner. My brother and the kids are going to be in France for a month, so I don't think getting down there and finding hiking routes that are kid friendly is going to happen, but maybe in a year or two when L is older? It would be fun, and I think D would have a blast.
( Swiped from the kitchens of Yu-topia.... )
On the whole, I like it a lot. Wasn't all that expensive for imported merchandise, either. Will probably use it to make myself a celebratory katsudon fairly soon!
Chicago tomorrow! I have to do laundry and clean out my fridge (and Betta Barnes' tank) and all sorts of other things, but I'm happy to report that I'm feeling generally good about myself and my prospects these days, if only from a "okay, putting myself out there doesn't paralyze me right now" place. People have been sharing guidelines for submitting to BuzzFeed Reader (personal essays) and Broadly (Vice on women's issues) and I'm considering approaches rather than just dismissing the possibility they'd take me out of hand.
Side note on someone else's interesting potential project: staranise has proposed "A Guide to the Land of Lost Children. Completely nonfiction, except where clearly delineated; a book about and by people who used books and rich fantasy lives to cope with their shitty childhoods." Lots of people jumping in with interest in the comments. I just love this idea and hope someone really does pick it up.
Not much else at the moment, but I feel like it's always good to note when you're feeling good.
Fandom: Original Work
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Original Male Character/Original Male Character
Additional Tags: Romance Novel, Paranormal, PTSD, Hauntings, Kid Fic, Drug Use
A house full of ghosts is no place to fall in love.
Malcolm Carmichael has been coping with his post-war trauma by taking lovers, teaching art to schoolboys, and trying to ignore the ghosts he sees everywhere. At the death of his mother, he realizes he wants more than just to coast on by, and leaves the exclusive school in search of something more.
Caleb Thibodeaux was so traumatized by the death of his parents in a fire that he hasn't spoken a word since. His uncle Noel hires Malcolm to be his tutor, and Malcolm discovers that Caleb is not the only Thibodeaux son with secrets. The plantation house Fidele is beautiful but haunted, and Noel is much the same.
Soon Malcolm is absorbed in protecting Caleb and Noel from threats both living and dead, and in uncovering the story of Fidele.
Read at AO3 or at jennalynnbrown.com
I've tried teaching myself how to crochet, with mixed results; there are just a few too many finely-tuned variables in play -- tension, size of the loops, etc etc etc -- that push it out of "relaxing" and into "frustrating" for me. It's something I do want to learn eventually, but...not when 75% of my mental bandwidth is taken up by putting one foot in front of the other.
So I splurged on a Subversive Cross Stitch starter pack a couple weeks ago.
And cross stitch? Turns out it has a ten-minute learning curve, at most. It uses a lot of the same muscle memory as my day job, and it is extremely hard to fuck up what's essentially a giant connect-the-dots game with embroidery floss. No joke, I spent almost my whole weekend on the couch with my cat, working on this, watching season six of RuPaul's Drag Race (I FINALLY UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT FOR "NOT TODAY, SATAN") while I contentedly stabbed a little piece of cloth over and over. Like I said on Twitter, I guess I'm training to be the Cool Great-Aunt for whenever the hypothetical niblings and grand-niblings arrive.
So fair warning, friends, y'all are probably going to get lots of cross-stitched gifts for your birthdays and assorted holidays. (My mom's already requested I make her the "Nevertheless, She Persisted" sampler for Christmas. Twist my arm. :D!) And I guess this sorta counts as my monthly "still here, still alive" check-in, so I'll close with the usual sign off: love you all, and take care of yourselves. <3
I got through and, as it happens, had a fairly decent time with family over Easter, and frankly, I just feel like throwing this one out there again. So! Before my smoke alarm goes off in mistaken reaction to the candle I just blew out, and distracts me...
Time for a round of ye old cliff, shag or marry meme. Give me three characters, preferably from fandoms I'm at least passingly familiar with (familiarity via Milliways counts here) and I'll tell you who I'd a) fling off a cliff, b) get... ahem, entangled with, or c) marry. Let's pretend that my various orientation variables don't apply here, shall we?
My entries are still importing because everyone and God's brother who hadn't already left LJ is doing it now, so the poor DW servers are slammed. Once they come in, though, if you can't see entries here on DW that you once saw on my LJ, it's probably because I failed to grant you the same access rights that you used to have.
Just let me know, and I'll fix it.
I don't really know how much I'm going to use this site, since I haven't journaled in the past few years, but I figure at the worst, I'll have a backup of my old journal someplace safe.
Thanks for signing up and offering my requests! You can check out my yuletide tag to see my requests and wants/do not wants from exchanges past. I've been doing this since 2003, and it's been a blast every year. I am mtgat/Merlin Missy on AO3.
Basic likes: bright stories for the dark of the year, feel-good apocalypse fics, 1000 words of my OTPs chatting over coffee, madcap casefic adventures with the whole ensemble, drabbles, longfics, poetry, filk, magic, romance, angst with a happy ending, non-traditional holidays, and/or food porn. (Regular porn always welcome.) Tropefic of all varieties makes me happy.
Basic dislikes: noncon/dubcon, character/actor/writer bashing, A/B/O and mundane AUs, focus on original characters, harm to children or animals, harm to heroic characters which is not made better by the end of the story. (I realize this is harder with apocafic. Don't kill off my faves or the kid or the dog, and you're probably okay.)
( Read more... )
Based On A True Story, Girl Waits With Gun kicks off when stoic six-foot-tall Constance and her two sisters (Norma, congenitally disapproving adult pigeon-fancier; Fleurette, theatrical teen fashionista) have an unfortunate street encounter with a band of local toughs, who are practicing Reckless Driving. Constance attempts to Demand Compensation. Local Toughs Retaliate by setting up an increasing campaign of threats and harassment, specifically targeting Fleurette. Constance and her sisters switch their efforts towards attempting to get local law enforcement to take all this seriously enough to do anything about it, which is unsurprisingly as challenging in 1914 as today.
Meanwhile, all this excitement starts Constance off on a course of introspection and reinvention regarding the sisters' struggling finances, their deeply retired and isolated life - a course of action taken to protect a family secret decades before, and never altered - and the possibilities open for women in 1914 to find an existence that's both self-sufficient and satisfying. Some inkling of the outcome of all this can perhaps be gleaned from the fact that the second book of Constance's adventures is titled Lady Cop Makes Trouble.
Teen Girl Shakes Off Convention stories, while often enjoyable, are not particularly rare. Adult Woman Re-Evaluates Life And Makes More Satisfying Choices is a different subgenre and one I always appreciate on the occasions that I find it, especially when it revolves primarily around her relationship with other women.
The sisters do have one Law Enforcement Male Ally, Sheriff Heath. He is progressive and ethical and he and Constance clearly have kind of a pining mutual respect Thing going on, and also he is married to an unsympathetic woman who does not approve of his choices or enjoy the Mrs. Sheriff lifestyle at all. I made some faces about this in the first book. Lady Cop Makes Trouble starts to complicate this, and make it clear that Mrs. Heath has some legitimate reasons to be deeply unhappy and dissatisfied; I'm hoping this is a trend that continues in future books.
My ham radio goal for this year is to do 80% of my operating in Morse code. April is really killing my stats so far but of the 4 contacts I got today, 3 were code and 1 was voice. Of the 3, 2 were in responses to calls that I sent out and one was a station in Brazil that I responded to.
The weather is going to be good this weekend, which means I can get out and do a little WWFF. If you're licensed, follow me on twitter to know when I'm on!