An unforeseen (but unsurprising) side effect of not doing a bunch of preparation to settle in for a long haul is that I wasn't really able to get hold of my usual "we're all gonna grit our teeth and DO THIS THING" mindset. So even though it's only been four days in the office, and not even painfully long ones, at that (at least not for the people at my level), I am fried. Which is awkward, since I still have significantly over half a manga volume to rewrite by Monday. Whee?
(I've also had a bit of a scratchy throat since this afternoon, so it's possible some of the tiredness is because I'm fighting something off, but I sure hope not.)
All that said, the only definite thing I have planned for the weekend besides finishing that script is going into the backyard with scruloose tomorrow to talk to our next door neighbor, the condo board president, and the board member who deals with landscaping sorts of things about whether or not we can put in a second lilac shrub (this kind, as previously mentioned). scruloose talked to the neighbor a couple of days ago and got a very positive response (and also mentioned that the board is hoping to find a new home for the bush we're having [re]moved, and Neighbor expressed interest in that!), so to be honest I'm not sure why we actually need to get together to discuss it before they decide, but I also don't mind discussing it, so... *shrugs*
Cross your fingers for us!
*It's still not official that Casual Job is basically done for the spring already (other than a day or two of polishing off some backlogged transcription next week, and you bet I'll work every hour they can offer me, what with the "one week of work instead of the usual two or three MONTHS" thing), but it's as good as. Official word will probably arrive this weekend.
I love all of these fandoms. Please don't take how much or how little I say as an indication of me caring more or less about a given one. I also don't tend to feel that there is one true interpretation of a given character, and I'm not given to OTPs. I'll try most pairings as long as they don't hit one of my DNWs.
I've mostly requested '& None' groupings
Past fic exchange letters can be found here: https://the-rck.dreamwidth.org/tag/
( Likes and dislikes )
( Chronicles of Narnia )
( Phineas and Ferb )
( The Pretender )
( Rurouni Kenshin )
( Sky High )
( Weiss Kreuz )
So this spring I put in a new raised bed, which Neal built for me out of 2x4s. It's in the front yard, which has more sun and less exposure to dogs, but the dog deficiency means the feral cats my next-door neighbor feeds think it belongs to them.
I didn't dig up the grass, just put down a thick layer of cardboard,
set the box on top,
soaked the cardboard, to provide all the elements necessary to decomposition,
and filled it with compost.
The white tubes are the bases of a hoop cover. I have some smaller-diameter flexible pipe, bent into half-circles, whose ends go into the white pipes. Then I can put a big piece of UV-resistant polyethelene over the top, and have a mini-greenhouse.
Next step is to mulch. Usually, when you are choosing a mulch, the first consideration is "What do I have lots of?" and then you evaluate how well those things work as mulch:
- Does it shade the soil to suppress germination of weed seeds?
- Does it keep the soil cooler?
- Does it let water get to the soil?
- Does it slow down evaporation?
- How fast does it break down, and what does it add to the soil?
- Will it stay where I put it?
And so on. But for me, the second consideration is, "Will this make my lovely loose soil more or less attractive to the feral cats as a litter box?" So the first mulch I use is a few layers of brown paper that came as packaging material.
Here it is in the rain:
Right now it is covered with snow, but I don't have a picture of that.
More about mulching and planting next time.
2. Called Susan and chatted for an hour and a half. It was good to catch up!
3. Started moving my vegetables outside in the afternoons, to get them used to direct sunlight (instead of sunlight filtered through my kitchen windows).
4. Planted new seeds in three of my squash containers, since only one of my transplants (Meeny) survived. I have put two seeds per container, and will thin as necessary in a few weeks.
( more items under the cut )
16. Trimmed the back of the lilac bush, which has to be done every year to make room for my air conditioner. (It grows right up against my front room window, you see.) I will trim the rest of the bush in late May, after it has finished blooming -- it has only just started blooming now, and while the flowers aren't very abundant, they are making a much better showing than in various years past. I definitely think the plant does better when I prune it regularly.
17. Did a smidge of editing work on "Second Chances," which I hope to finish by Monday night. *crosses fingers*
The week after next will have three appointments for me and one for Cordelia plus Cordelia's class trip to Cedar Point which will require getting up extra early. Two of my appointments that week are the same day and in the same building but at least two hours apart.
I ended up taking a cab home because I was too tired to deal with staying out any longer than I absolutely had to, not even to get myself lunch out.
And the troll has sent me six or seven new comments, still all on the same story. I haven't looked at all of them, but the ones I did were complaints about YMMV aspects of the story, specifically characterization. If those had come first, I might have assumed a genuine desire for conversation or at least no ill will.
If this goes on, these comments will contain more words than the story. It's also very clear when the troll has leisure time. The last two days, there haven't been comments before I left for my appointments but were when I got home. Two more arrived shortly after I got home today, so it seems to be a two or three hour window.
I'm kind of beyond the pointing and laughing stage. This is tedious.
So yeah, I wasn't being paranoid, he has a problem with women and doing "women's work". Nice to have validation, I suppose.
Blue Cab seems to be doing a better job of running the A-Ride than Yellow Cab ever did. Every pick up was within five minutes of the start of the scheduled time (they set a half an hour window), and the cabbies were all friendly. The policy has changed from the drivers having no obligation to help passengers reach the cab to them being required to provide assistance from door to door if it's needed. They're not allowed to go inside, but they're not dumping mobility impaired passengers in awkward places.
Today, I have what might be my last PT appointment but also might not. I rather suspect not. My current intention is to take a cab there and the bus back. I think that I'll take the inbound #23 and transfer to the outbound #22. The stop for the #22 is about 2/3 the distance from the house as the stop for the #23 and doesn't require climbing a steep hill to get home. It'll add about half an hour to my trip, but as long as things don't change, I think I can handle that.
I had anxiety issues yesterday afternoon and evening that I couldn't explain except that maybe I felt guilty for not managing to fit in all of my PT exercises. Some of those require lying on the floor, and I didn't want to do them within an hour or so after eating and really couldn't do them while the cleaning lady was here. I probably could have fit them in after she left and before dinner, but by then, I was having reflux issues that made lying down very unappealing. I did do most of the exercises that I could do sitting or standing, though.
I woke this morning with a headache, but food and caffeine seem to have gotten rid of it. I haven't done any of my PT yet because I want to have all of my energy for going out. I'm still very tired and kind of groggy. I don't think more food will help, and I don't have time to make more tea or coffee. I know there's a coffee kiosk somewhere in Taubman (or there used to be), but I don't want to do the walking required to see if I'm remembering correctly. Plus, there's no guarantee that more caffeine would do anything but make me need many visits to the bathroom which would be pretty inconvenient during an hour long PT appointment.
The GSA at Cordelia's school is doing a reading of I Am Jazz for the 4-8th grades today. It's a picture book, so the reading shouldn't take too long. They'll have a panel discussion afterwards. Cordelia's really looking forward to it. She'll be reading the book. I'm not sure if she'll be part of the panel or not. I don't know if any of the kids are out as trans, but with forty to eighty kids in each grade and nine grades, there's pretty sure to be a kid or three somewhere in the school who is trans even if they're not out. My guess is that the reason for having only 4th through 8th is a combination of space limitations and the attention span for the panel discussion and probably also that explanations that suit five year olds aren't going to work for thirteen year olds. That last probably could be dealt with by an experienced presenter, but this is all kids ages eleven to fourteen who've never done anything of the sort before.
While there's a lot I could post about, doing so won't change much - it would just add to a sea of voices that gets tuned out - or is that "drowned out" - on the regular by the minority, a Sad! state of affairs (I'm still trying to grasp how it's even possible, but yeah, somehow it is).
But after being reminded of this (the Orangado, among other things, boasting he gave the best damn Congressional speech eva!!!1!) I recalled having something to say about that. I watched the entire thing live on TV for however long it took, maybe two hours? Four? Five? It felt that long, because I'm not someone to sit around and watch him because I want to, but because I want to know.
Unlike most people, I'm nearly incapable of misunderstanding him (see word salads that flummox the world getting tossed for yourself) if only because he talks like the neighborhood one side of my family comes from (apparently the poor linguistics jumped the dividing highway more easily than the high incomes ever will - its kinda Sad! what's happened to the other side of Jamaica, Queens) so I figured I might be doing everyone a favor by tuning in, just in case I needed to go and get what he'd said again for other people's sakes.
MM the Trump interpreter, yeah. I get word salad, yo.
So, because mostly I get it, and rarely, if ever, fail to (as awful or completely bs as what I'm "getting" might be/generally is), I wanted to hear what he had to say with my own ears, no interpreting it for me the next morning thankyouverymuch. But no need to worry about word salad: he mostly delivered a canned speech from which he never once deviated nor went off-script. Which tells us a few things:
He can follow - and perform beautifully from - a script (at least, as long as S. Bannon or S. Miller aren't writing it for him. Their speeches would fall flat no matter who delivers them, because no one - except maybe a small subset of his darkest, most extraordinarily cracked followers - wants to hear all that Grim Reaper bullshit, anyhow). Yay!
I mean his performance was lush, it was gorgeous, it would make the showiest Declaration of Independence signer blush with recognition and cry over just how damn good his delivery was. It made some of Bill Clinton's most fiery speeches look like boring little fireside chats. The head Cheeto set a high bar for himself re how to perform, then blew past it and left everyone's expectations in the dust. It was, oh God... *winces as mocking tic comes on* THE GREATEST THE BEST EVER
By contrast, nothing he's said or done in the days before or since his speech has matched a single word he said throughout it. There's only a few ways to go from here:
- Cheetolini is blustery insincerity at its best. He can put on a show (likely for his daughter Ivanka, who likely had a huge hand in the wording of said speech), which should disabuse anyone of the notion he's incapable of thinking and acting deliberately or that he only knows how to react impulsively and without thought. He simply chooses not to think and plan his words and actions out most of the time, finding intellectual laziness vastly preferable to taking the time to learn the issues and act accordingly, from a place of both knowledge and principles. Or even, as he's so freaking fond of saying, with "heart".
- My takeaway: He might be willfully ignorant but he's not stupid.
- If he's impeached and eventually removed from office - as he should be - his public speaking gigs could rack up gagillions until he finally succumbs to his latest McDonald's treat - which I've got pegged as occurring no sooner than 10 years from now. Patience, peeps: I think the tears and prayers of the fundies are what's keeping him alive - it's certainly not the diet, sleep schedule, nor his stress levels.
- He has no relationship with the truth. Saying things he doesn't mean and bloviating oh-so-sincerely on topics he doesn't give a rat's ass about might be his way of jiving, maybe so the Dems - and his daughter in particular - can never accuse him of not saying something they/she wanted to hear, though what he actually thinks and feels is almost inevitably up to the last bidder against his emotional landscape or else up to his own particular whims.
I think I might feel sorry for his daughter Ivanka. He's manipulating her as cleverly as he tries to manipulate the rest of us, but because she's his daughter there's very little she can do (the rest of us can protest, make jokes, call/write/fax Congress - she has little choice but to keep quiet or lose face by admitting she's been wrong about him - which risks losing her inheritance and winning ostracization from the entire line of Cheetolini products, which I'd imagine she'd never willingly endure).
It seems Ivanka has a very fine line to walk: she can be as honest with him in private as she wants (so she says!) but if his public decisions don't even resemble the promises he's made, there's nothing she can do except shrug and move on - or else risk the loss of all she has at stake.
Luckily for her, she can afford to lose ideological battles with her dad. As a self-employed, rich, white, cis-gendered woman, she gets to skirt 99% of the problems the rest of us can often face: racism, poverty, classism, misogynistic effects upon her career and public persona, lack of health care, lack of reasonable housing choices, lack of reasonable child care choices, lack of equal standing under the law, over-taxation - her money, skin color, and apparent sexual orientation and gender identification confers 99% of the protections she needs but would not otherwise have as a citizen of her father's increasingly racist, ableist, classist, bigoted, elitist United States.
So while her dad might pander to her in private and has done so publicly with one grab-ya-by-the-collar-and-shake-ya-
You can't unbullshit a bullshitter - that's the reality all of us, including Ivanka, will just have to deal with.
Seriously, go be pedantic about a canon that doesn't contradict itself six ways about every bit of canon relating to technology and the made up history and culture. Shoo!
Note: This is about the genesis of a feint rather than its execution, but eh, details. It's set in the Death Buster arc at an indeterminate point between Kaolinite and Eudial's deaths. I'm not entirely sure what version of canon has the most space for this detour, so call that aspect indeterminate as well. *shrug* (1,500 words)
[ETA: The ever-so-slightly tweaked AO3 version is now up!]
( Camouflage the Question )
I have no idea why that fic took so long to write -- it was like my brain just jammed up every time I opened the file -- but it's done, it's cute, and I can move on to other projects. :)
My gynecologist is going to talk to oncology about my test results. Neither she nor I think that there's anything to worry about at present, but the endometrial thickening is something to monitor because it can hide things. It's just that it's not an uncommon thing for women my age on Tamoxifen. She said that I shouldn't consider this a factor in my decision about whether or not to go back on Tamoxifen.
On the assumption that I won't be restarting the Tamoxifen, I scheduled a uterine ultrasound for early August (not, thank goodness, a hysterosonogram this time). I need to set up a return visit with the gynecologist for after that.
I had lunch at Totoro after the appointment at UHS and then took the bus up to the hospital. I discovered that, if I walked really slowly, the tendon didn't start getting cranky nearly as fast. I had hoped to do some Ingress, and I did, but not as much as I'd expected. The Ingress servers seemed to be having problems so that, half the time, I couldn't see anything at all in terms of portals. When I could see portals, it took minutes, sometimes as long as five minutes, for a hack to process. I ended up taking about half an hour to walk the four blocks from Totoro to the bus stop.
My phone ended up with a reasonable charge at the end of the day, and I'm pretty sure that the slowness of Ingress was a factor. I had a charger with me. Of the two I found, one worked, and the other didn't. The one that didn't has Scott's company name on it and was, if I recall correctly, some sort of swag for days without accidents or something of the sort. Scott's of the opinion that it was very, very cheap and that the surprise is that it ever worked at all.
Scott put more memory in my laptop last night. That means that I'm going to spend some time this afternoon seeing whether or not it gets cranky when I try to run certain programs. Messages is still rejecting my AIM login, though, which is probably not surprising but is annoying. I suspect that this also won't help my problems with trying to access IRC with Adium (I don't like having to run Adium for AIM and Colloquy for IRC at the same time).
I ate a turkey (lunchmeat) sandwich for dinner last night around 7:00 and started having reflux issues around ten. Given the way my body was acting, I'd have thought I'd eaten bacon, a lot of bacon. I put off doing anything but eventually took an Ativan. That helped; the problem went away entirely, so I only lost about an hour of sleep instead of the three I'd have lost if I'd taken Tums and sat up waiting for things to resolve. I'm still inclined to make myself more black tea to see if that makes me more alert.
I've got two hours now before my cab comes for OT. Since it's Thursday, mostly what I'll be doing during that time is household chores. I want to run the dishwasher and make sandwiches for Scott and Cordelia and move all of the things that shouldn't be out when the cleaning lady comes. I should be home at least an hour before she comes, but I might as well do that now as later. Most of it takes very little time.
I'm very glad that the Not Prime Time moderators decided to make the requests public. I've seen a few things in fandoms that I wasn't planning to offer that I'm quite sure I could write. I can tailor my offers pretty carefully. If I understand the sign up form correctly, one need only offer one character grouping. I hadn't looked at those fandoms at all because I felt that the requests were likely to be entirely things I couldn't write due to the size of the canons in question. These groupings fit into corners that I know reasonably well and/or could review quickly. I need to settle on two more fandoms to offer and to figure out what I want to request. Once I know what I want to request, I can write my dear author letter and then sign up.
The Summer Without Men, by Siri Hustvedt.
• What did you recently finish reading?
Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars, by Jeff Lemire. A robot who is also an adorable little boy survives terrible and mysterious catastrophes. He may hold the key to understanding and preventing their return. The other characters and the settings are interesting. The art is beautiful. I would have loved this if I had read it when I was young. Now, I have read enough stories to notice when the plot is steered by the Rule of Cool, when the answer to "Why didn't the characters do the smart thing?" is "Because the author wanted a torture scene/a robot gladiator scene/a woman dying, gasping a slogan." Also, I have read enough stories that treat women as people to find the Weasley ratio really annoyingly noticeable. There's one female main character, one female supporting character, a few more who get a line but not a name. And only one of these female characters is human: the robot boy's dead mom.
• What do you think you’ll read next?
I've got suggestions to read or reread for my SF economics panel:
The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. Le Guin
Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson
The Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson
Walkaway, by Cory Doctorow
The Peripheral, by William Gibson
The Marq'ssan Cycle books by L. Timmel Duchamp
More suggestions still welcome!
But seriously? The complaints were all about details of Doctor Who canon which is like complaining about such things in, say, fic for Marvel comics (or DC comics). If you look far enough, you can find supporting canon for pretty much any sort of bizarre thing you want to throw in. One of the comments tried to tell me that regeneration only ever happens when a Time Lord is near death. But Romana canonically does it just because she feels like it when she goes from Romana I to Romana II. Another said that the Tardis doesn't ever get rid of rooms or move them.
So I'm now at the point of laughing. I have no idea what this person expected. Are they trying to prove that I'm not a trufan? Are they trying to humiliate me into never writing again? Do they actually think that this sort of thing is helpful and that I'll thank them and worship their wondrous grasp of canon? (I doubt it because they commented as a guest.)