kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)

1) Updating my stupid profile on stupid LinkedIn counts as job searching, right?

2) It is rumored that at my current job, there will be extra hours next week so that we can catch up from how behind we got due to so many hours being cut this week. *headdesk* (It has to do with the end of the fiscal year, apparently.)

3) I'm trying to generally unfuck my life. This includes a new approach to cleaning. I hate having a dirty apartment, but I also hate cleaning. So I'm trying a daily 10-minute clean. My place is small enough that if I do this most days, it should stay in reasonable shape. And somehow it's easier to cope with "I just have to clean something, anything, for 10 minutes, and today I'll spend that time working on the bathroom" rather than, "Oh, god, I have to clean the bathroom, there's my day ruined."

4) Have accomplished filing my taxes (the first time in years that I'm not doing them a week or less before the deadline) and switching to a cheaper auto insurance company.

5) I have to work tomorrow. Only a very short shift, and I need the hours, and I didn't work Tuesday or Wednesday. I am nevertheless annoyed, mostly because the store will be ridiculously busy and there will only be two of us there. And the other person will be the store manager, who is bloody useless most of the time and will undoubtedly get on my case about something that isn't my fault.

Oh, here's one thing that's not boring!!!

6) The BBC has started releasing old episodes of Round the Horne on the iPlayer, so anybody anywhere can listen to them for free. Once an episode is released you have a month to listen to it before it goes away again; right now it's still on the early episodes of S1.

Round the Horne gave the world Julian and Sandy, awesome fictional gay men played by awesome real gay men, and so it's worth listening just for them, but I love (almost) the whole show. However, there are sometimes the -isms you would expect from something made in the 1960s, so be prepared.

ETA: Now with paragraphing fixed, because apparently I have to do that by hand now. Still waiting to hear back from Support about WTF is up with that.

kindkit: Rupert Giles drinking a mug of tea and reading (Buffy: Giles and tea)
I ended up making plans for Christmas. I asked a friend of mine, who's been having a hard time lately and who I don't think should be alone on Christmas, to see a movie with me. We'll be seeing Molly's Game, which seemed like the best of an uninteresting lot. (I know everyone loves The Last Jedi, but I have not seen a Star Wars movie since Return of the Jedi and I have no intention of breaking my streak.)

I confess I'm not feeling all the enthusiastic about the business--it would help if there was a movie I actually wanted to see--but on the day, I'll probably be glad for some company too.

To accommodate tomorrow's plans, I'm having my very simple Christmas dinner today: ham (leftover from Thaksgiving), roasted potatoes, brussels sprouts with chestnuts and boursin cheese. I have some no-effort-required treats for tomorrow as well (smoked salmon! elderflower and rose lemonade!), and a rather shocking excess of sweet things, so I'm set for the holiday. Also possibly for nuclear winter.

I have some m/m romance novels to read (K.J. Charles's An Unsuitable Heir and a couple of Whyborne and Griffin books by Jordan L. Hawk). I'll listen to some Christmas tunes and to the Cabin Pressure Christmas episode ("Molokai"), which has become a tradition for me. I'll have eggnog with brandy in it. And there will be Yuletide fics to read at some point!

I'll be warm, and safe, and well fed, and hoping you are too, and wishing everyone was.

To those who celebrate it: a merry Christmas! To those who don't: at least it's almost over and soon everyone will shut up about it for another ten months or so.
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
1) This is my eighth Christmas working retail (*sigh*) and the first one in which I've hardly gotten any extra hours. The company is disappointed with sales levels, it seems.

2) Not unrelated to point 1, I've started selling blood plasma to help make ends meet. The process is less seedy and degrading than I had feared it would be. Still not the most fun I've ever had in my life, but money is useful.

3) I'm having one of those spells of feeling generally tired and unwell while not actually being sick. I don't think it's related to point 2, since it was already happening before I started selling plasma and hasn't gotten worse since I started. But it's a serious motivation killer and part of the reason I haven't been around much.

3b) I will have health insurance starting in the new year. Hooray for Obamacare while it lasts! (This is definitely a thing I should have done earlier, although it would have been more complicated at my old job, where employees were offered health insurance but it was expensive and terrible, than at my current job where part-timers aren't offered insurance at all.)

4) Definitely related to point 3, I haven't been doing much cooking and probably won't do much for Christmas. The limit of my ambition is to maybe buy a nice steak or pork chop and accompany it with some easy pre-made sides from Trader Joe's.

5) I did, however, cook a nice lentil and sausage stew yesterday. Browned some garlicky sausage plus three cloves of garlic, took it out of the pan and cooked an onion and an orange bell pepper in the remaining fat, added Puy lentils, chicken stock, bay leaf, and water to pan, simmered until lentils were about half done, added chopped mustard greens and radish tops, simmered until everything was almost done, put sausage and garlic back into the pan and simmered another 5 minutes or so. Oh, and at various cooking stages I reinforced the flavor with a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, a few drops of soy sauce, and a bit of ham dripping from my Thanksgiving ham, which has since resided in the freezer. (Seriously, if you cook a ham, pour out all the cooking juices into a shallow pan, refrigerate overnight so that you can skim off the fat, and then cut the lovely flavorful gelatinous dripping into bits and freeze it. It adds tons of flavor to soup stocks and even to vegetable dishes that would benefit from hamminess and saltiness.)

Variations of beans + sausage + greens are some of my favorite things in the world to eat.

6) The two shows I was currently watching, The Exorcist and Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, both had their season finales this weekend (and both were very good). There's no word yet on whether either will get another season, and The Exorcist's situation is now even more fraught because of Disney buying Fox. Though The Exorcist's executive producer has said he'll try to take the show to Hulu or Amazon if Disney doesn't renew it.

Anyway, I feel like I've got OMG nothing to watch until The Good Place comes back from hiatus. It isn't actually true, because there's tons of stuff on Netflix, but I'm attached to those two shows and want to see more of them. There doesn't seem to be any good fanfic for The Exorcist and I can only find one good Dirk Gently writer on AO3 (it's Lavellington and I've already read all their fics).

Am I just nostalgically imagining that there used to be tons of great fanfic and now there isn't anymore? Or am I unlucky in my recent--by which I mean the last ten years or so--fandoms? My first two fandoms were Buffy and then due South, both of which had a high proportion of excellent writers, so maybe my experience since then has been regression to the mean.

7) I should go to the laundromat but I really really don't want to. I may end up hand-washing something and trying again tomorrow.
kindkit: Sailing ship at sea. (Fandomless: Blue ship)
The kitty has gone to the shelter. It ended up being a bit of a production. Cut for emotional distress, both the cat's and mine )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
I currently have a cat clawing gently at my rug and playing with a vitamin bottle. He showed up outside my window at 6:30 this morning, meowing urgently, and ran inside like a shot when I opened the door. I don't think he's just a curious outdoor cat, because I've tried to let him back out and he won't go, plus he's pretty distressed. And he's not feral, because he's clean and not starving--though I gave him some water and a little tuna and he gobbled up both--and because he clearly likes human attention.

No collar, and he's un-neutered, which doesn't speak well for his people.

But anyway, I'm biding my time until 9 am when the animal shelter opens, and hoping he doesn't have fleas that will get into the carpet. Also hoping that he doesn't spray and won't need to go potty. I've made him a box lined with torn paper but I don't know if he'll accept that as a temporary litterbox.

There's also a cardboard box he's going to have to go into so I can take him to the shelter. I put his plate of tuna inside but so far he won't go in. I might have to grab him with a towel.

And now he's resumed prowling around and meowing at me for help, help, help. Be patient, guy, and I'll take you to where your people can, hopefully, find you.


Oct. 11th, 2017 05:16 pm
kindkit: Images of Mycroft's tie, eyes, and cane. (Sherlock: Mycroft is proper)
Some years ago, on another National Coming Out Day, I came out as trans to all my online friends. Today I just came out to everyone I know on Facebook, including some members of my family. (I don't really have any close family left--nobody I felt I needed to tell in person.)

It was time, but I am really nervous. I have almost no experience of coming out to people who know me in person, plus I have a friend who's said TERF-y things and I have no idea how my extended family are going to react.

Well, anyway, it's done now. I may never dare to look at my Facebook page again.
kindkit: Man sitting on top of a huge tower of books, reading. (Fandomless--book tower)
I eventually found my keys, so I'm very very happily back home. I may post the full and exciting saga tomorrow, but right now I'm too tired.
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
Yesterday it snowed off and on all day, but the snow didn't stick. Here's what I woke up to this morning.

it looks a bit wintry )
kindkit: Medieval image of a mapmaker constructing a globe (Fandomless: Mapmaker)
I live at roughly 36 degrees north latitude. That's farther south than the southernmost point of Spain; the 36th parallel crosses Algeria, Tunisia, and Pakistan, among other places.*

Today is the 28th of April.

It is snowing.

*Okay, it also crosses Tibet, which although twice as elevated as where I live, is probably more comparable. I bet it's snowing there, too.

It's not that I like hot weather. In fact I hate it. But I don't like snow either and felt the need to complain.
kindkit: Medieval image of a mapmaker constructing a globe (Fandomless: Mapmaker)
1. Have you ever been to Ireland?

Twice. I have been to Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Ennis, Lisdoonvarna ("Oh, Lisdoonvarna," as Christy Moore sings; the town had three very musical pubs and one hostel with a peat fire and no electricity), Doolin, the cliffs of Moher (walked there from Doolin, including a bit where the path was uncomfortably close to the edge of the cliff), Inis Mor, Spiddal, Gleann Cholm Cille, Cushendall, Belfast (where I lost track of the number of people who said to me, "We're not like what you see on television"--this was over twenty years ago and the ceasefire was new and shaky-- and also where I went to a Christy Moore concert), and Derry.

2. According to Facts about Ireland, 73% of Americans are unable to locate Ireland on a map bereft of country names. Whether you are American or not, can you find it on a map?


3. Are you or do you know a natural redhead?

*sigh* Fetishizing red hair is creepy. I did date a redhead once, but not because of his hair color.

4. Will you be celebrating St Patrick's Day?

I have a bottle of Smithwick's in the fridge and will probably drink it tonight at some point. I don't care for St. Patrick's Day; back when I was most involved with Irish/Irish-American cultural stuff, we all took it deeply seriously and disliked the green beer and shamrocks and goddamn leprechauns and all that begorrah shite. (Heh, all this reminiscing has made me apt, like Laurie Odell, to become Irish.) My Irish-language teacher, a drinking man who loved a party, used to get a stern look about him as March 17th rolled around and would say, "St. Patrick founded no taverns, only churches."

5. Do you even know who St. Patrick is and why we celebrate his day?

He converted Ireland to Christianity, thereby doing it no great favor, although Irish monks did help keep learning and art alive through some rough centuries.
kindkit: Rupert Giles drinking a mug of tea and reading (Buffy: Giles and tea)
1) The first episode of Buffy aired twenty years ago. Buffy was my first fandom, although I didn't start watching until the summer reruns before S7, and didn't connect to the actual fandom until the summer after that. In some ways it's still the greatest fandom experience I've ever had--such excitement and interest, so many smart people writing smart things--and in some ways it was the worst. But fandom changed my life, and I wouldn't have found it without Buffy. Also, the show was, despite some failings, wonderful, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise.

I feel like I should watch an episode, but I can't decide which one. I've been contemplating a re-watch, so I guess I could start at the beginning . . .

2) I finished the Aubrey/Maturin re-read some time ago, then I re-read most of Jane Austen, and now I've moved on to some new stuff. I can recommend Lyndsay Faye's The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, which is the best professional Holmes pastiche I know of. Faye stays essentially true to the canon, without any of the tedious innovations (Holmes in America! Holmes solve the Ripper murders! Holmes was Jack the Ripper!) that many other writers perpetrate.* The things she brings to the canon are good things, such as a subtle and never preachy concern for the rights of women and the poor and some reasonable attempts at resolving canonical contradictions. What she brings to pastiche is what's so often lacking: emotion. Holmes and Watson's affection for each other is central. My favorite stories are the ones set during and after the Great Hiatus, exploring Watson's grief and then, after Holmes's return, his anger and hurt. There's nothing explicitly queer here, but the stories from Holmes's POV make it abundantly clear, I think, that Holmes is in love with Watson in some fashion beyond friendship. Watson, alas, is shown as even straighter than canon makes him--he's constantly noticing women--but his love for Holmes is deep and enduring.

*She does put Watson in America in one story, set before Holmes and Watson meet. It makes nonsense of Watson's timeline and isn't a great story, but I forgive Faye because the other stories are so good.

Faye is also the author of the excellent Timothy Wilde series, set in New York in the 1840s when a professional police force was developing, and the country was moving inexorably towards civil war. The books are beautifully written in a distinct, fascinating, slangy voice, there's an amazing sense of place and history, and there are canonical queer characters in important roles.

3) Right now I'm reading the late Oliver Sacks's autobiography, On the Move, and enjoying it very much. Things I didn't know about Oliver Sacks: he was gay, he was into motorcycles and bodybuilding as a young man, and he found lasting romantic love for the first time at the age of 75. Cool stuff.

4) I've started doing Duolingo again, on my phone this time, learning German and brushing up my French. I'm trying to read some French every day, which I haven't done for years . . . also on my phone. I never thought I would be someone who would use their phone so much, but it seems I am. Some stuff is just easier that way; I don't know why. I'm staying much more aware of the news, too.

Lest you think it's all SRS BZNS, I admit to spending a lot of time playing Atomas. It's fun and complicated in just the right way for me, because the rules are simple but the nuances are endless. Plus it's completely nonverbal, and since I'm a highly word-focused person, that helps me relax, whereas Scrabble makes me tense.
kindkit: Picture of the TARDIS, captioned "This funny little box that carries me away . . ." (Doctor Who--TARDIS)
I'm back! With real internet that doesn't rely on stupid unreliable hotspots. Or using my phone's data allowance.

*hugs all of you*

*hugs Netflix streaming as well*
kindkit: Finch looks thoughtfully at the computer and so does Bear (POI: Finch and Bear thinking)
I went to the eye doctor today, got an exam and ordered new glasses. $$$OMGSTICKERSHOCK$$$ It all cost about twice what I was expecting to pay, largely because I now need bifocals and apparently they are not cheap. I also need a strong prescription generally, which means either buying fancy ultra-thin lenses or wearing the proverbial Coke bottles, which I'd rather not.

Getting old is expensive!!!

(Luckily--for some value of luckily--when I lost my old job I had the option to take cash from my retirement account, and I did so specifically to get new specs, get my car fixed, and a few other not-small expenditures I'd been putting off.)
kindkit: A blurred, ominious image of Hannibal Lecter under a tree. (Hannibal: Hannibal red)
I'm at home, not feeling very well--I was just getting over a cold and then I got kicked in the head, almost literally, by what seems like a sinus infection. But I have eaten some fancy cheese, and now I'm drinking something bubbly (cherry lambic, perhaps not the height of sophistication but awfully tasty). I will probably go to bed quite early, especially if I finish the bottle of lambic.

So, goodbye 2016, year in which David Bowie and Alan Rickman died*, Donald Trump got elected president of the US, and I got laid off. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, horrible old year. (*All too many other gifted artists also died, but they were closest to my heart.)

Tomorrow I will cook tripe for a Spanish-style stew that also features chickpeas, chorizo, and ham. I will force myself to go to the laundromat. A new year will begin.

I don't normally make resolutions, but in 2017 I resolve to be here more often, to keep in better touch with all of you (because you're important to me), to post even if it just means talking about cooking, to try to participate fannishly again in some way. We have all lost so much, one way and another; I want to hold on to the friends I've made, amazingly, all over the world.

Much love to you, and wishing all of us a better 2017.
kindkit: Second Doctor looking throughtful. (Doctor Who: Second Doctor thoughtful)
So, I'm thinking seriously about getting a cat. I love cats and I've wanted one for ages and ages, but my life and especially my finances never seemed stable enough. They still don't, but I will have some money coming in because of stuff to do with my old job, and I would be able to afford the adoption fees, the nonrefundable pet "deposit" my apartment complex demands, and all the equipment I'd need.

But I have doubts. Or at least I have a great ability to worry and consequently, a lousy ability to make decisions. What if I get the cat home and then I don't like it? What if it does something horrible like pee everywhere? What if it climbs up on everything and breaks all my stuff? What if it gets sick and I'm stuck with enormous vet bills I can't afford? What if my apartment (an efficiency) is too small and the cat feels caged up and bored? (It's not too small for me, but then, I get to leave.)

What should I doooooooooooo?

I should note that I specifically want to get an adult cat, not a kitten, and that I'll be looking for one with a fairly mellow personality who's used to being an indoor cat. I'm hoping that will help with the getting restless and climbing and breaking everything issues.

All advice welcome. I'm particularly worried about peeing/spraying. How common are these problems? Do neutered male cats mostly not spray, or should I only consider female cats?

And the real deepest worry: is it ethical to get an animal even though, if it gets, say, cancer, I wouldn't be able to afford kitty chemo and I'd have to have it put to sleep?

Damn it, I've made myself cry. This is why I need advice from people who are not as anxiety-ridden and prone to think of worst case scenarios as I am.


Nov. 4th, 2016 11:29 am
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
1) I saw the movie Denial the other night. It's about the trial of Deborah Lipstadt, a history professor who was sued for libel by Holocaust denier David Irving after she called him a Holocaust denier. The script created a surprising amount of suspense and tension from a story to which most people know the ending (Lipstadt was acquitted on the grounds that everything she said about Irving was true), and the acting was great. Rachel Weisz may have overacted a little bit in some scenes, but it's hard to be sure because she was playing a brash American among a bunch of restrained middle-class English people. Andrew Scott was great as Lipstadt's solicitor, Tom Wilkinson marvellously nuanced as her barrister, and Mark Gatiss imbued a small role with a quiet, mysterious charisma. Anyone who thinks Scott and/or Gatiss can't act should see this film.

The script, by David Hare, is a delicate balancing act. The plot trajectory is almost that of a feel-good film, in which truth wins out and the bad guy is reproved and shamed. But the truth that wins out is one of the greatest atrocities in human history. The film, especially in the final sequence, sharply restrains our celebratory reactions. In the end, that's what I liked most about it.

2) After seeing the film, I read Lipstadt's book on the Eichmann trial (I haven't been able to get hold of her book on Holocaust denial yet, but I want to read it although it's well out of date by now.) The Eichmann book was disappointing. This gets a bit long )

3) In (somewhat) lighter reading, I've been thinking about re-reading Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad books so that I can finally read Secret Place and then the new one. I need to be reminded of the characters' backstories and interactions, but I'm not sure I can take that much concentrated bleakness in one big dose.

I'd like to know why so many contemporary mystery writers think the only story worth telling is one that makes you wish that whole human race would be wiped out in an asteroid strike.

4) Work post-mortem gathering tonight. I'm going, because I want to try to maintain relationships with people, but I can't say I'm eager. Hopefully the people I particularly want to see will be there, and not too many of the ones I don't.
kindkit: Two cups of green tea. (Fandomless: Green tea)
Sorry I haven't posted for ages. At first I felt there was nothing interesting to say, then there were too many things to say and yet I still wasn't sure any of them were interesting. So I'm just going to post, regardless.

1) I keep reading everybody's Yuletide posts with envy and ruefulness. I'm not doing Yuletide this year, because I defaulted last year and I haven't managed to finish a story in a painfully long time. I'm looking forward to reading a bunch of new stories come Christmas, though.

2) Still not king feeling very fannish about anything. I continue to love most of my more recent fandoms (e.g. Hannibal, all the world wars-related stuff), but it's not an excited, "I want to write and read all the fic" sort of love. I guess this is just a fallow period for me. I'm trying not to worry about it.

3) The Great British Bake Off has got me baking again (the onset of autumn and cooler weather has also helped) but I don't feel the same intensity of interest in the competition as I did last year. Those who've made it to the semifinals all deserve to be there, but I'm not as impressed by their baking as I was by last year's semifinalists, and I don't feel the same attachment to any of them as I did to Ian, Nadiya, and Tamal last year. Still, it's fun to watch.

4) What have I been baking, you ask? In recent weeks I've made a (semi-successful) Victoria sandwich filled with strawberry jam and lemon curd; a rather good apple, walnut, and raisin cake; a savoury sweet potato pie; some very nice pumpkin cream cheese muffins (brought to work for potluck--I want to make another batch to keep for myself); some anadama bread made with cornmeal and molasses (horrible--I ended up throwing half of it away); and some proper cornbread with bacon, cheese, chipotle chiles, and no fucking molasses, which was delicious. Today I've got the dough for a four-grain pot boule resting in the fridge, since I want to start baking my own bread again instead of buying it like I did over the summer.

5) much, much more food talk underneath, including discussion of past weight-loss attempts, body shame, and disordered eating )

6) I've been reading Mark Billingham's series of mysteries featuring Detective Inspector Tom Thorne, and just finished the most recent one today. It's a series I like a lot despite often wanting to give the protagonist a very hard slap. The early books are fairly standard serial-killer stories, but they have enough character development that they kept me interested anyway. The later books are much more driven by the characters and by an interest in the social and personal aftereffects of violent crime. My favorite, The Bones Beneath, features no detective work at all. Don't start with that one, though, because it refers heavily to things that happened in earlier novels.

There's a recurring queer character who gets good development, and a number of interesting women (though I'd note that the two women Thorne has romantic relationships with during the series are much more compelling when the relationship stuff is backgrounded and they're doing their own things).

7) I acquired the first two series of Penny Dreadful for very cheap ($6 for both) and will probably start watching today.

Comments are welcome, unless they're concern trolling about weight/food issues, in which case I will delete them with extreme prejudice. I'd love to hear what you've been cooking/eating/watching/reading or whatever--we almost all seem to post less these days, and I miss you!


kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)

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