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[Administrivia: I am not good about keeping up with DW/LJ on a daily basis, so I tend not to see the Reading Wednesday (or, as my friend [personal profile] firecat puts it, "media consumption") until Thursdays, which reminds me to do them, but a day late, and then I talk myself out of posting, but I'm just gonna do them when I think of it, and I'm gonna set a google alarm to remind me on Wednesdays.]

Reading:

On [personal profile] wordweaverlynn's recommendation, I bought [personal profile] desperance's (Chaz Brenchley) Being Small. I am enjoying it so far. More about it next week.

Mostly, I've been reading trashy murder novels, most of which I instantly forget as soon as I've read them. This week was no different.

Watching:

My dad lives twenty minutes away, and we've decided to become TV buddies (we're not close, but we like each other, and neither of our partners has any interest in watching the kinds of shows we like. This week, we watched:

Another Doctor Who episode, enough to determine he doesn't like it enough to continue.

The most recent episode of Criminal Minds. It's his current fave, and I like it fine. It's a lot like the murder mysteries I read: strangely fluffy considering the subject matter, good enough to hold my interest, not good enough to do anything more. And oh, my goodness, do they hammer at the idea of how unsafe it is to be on the internet. Like, every other episode is about some cyberstalker.

Episode 2 of the thing where Alfre Woodard is the US President. State of Affairs? I think so. Anyway, meh, but I'll give it a chance.

And the first half or so of a movie called Redeye, which looks to be a schlocky intrigue thingy that will probably be just fine. Dad had to go, so we'll finish it next time.

On my own, I am watching the first season of Blacklist and finding it compelling and aggravating in equal measures, much like Lost. I have never been a huge Spader fan, but he's fine, and while I don't find him personally appealing, I do think he's a good actor. The acting, in fact, is what keeps me coming back. There's not a true dud of an actor in the whole bunch, as far as I can tell. Was the Director guy an Obama impersonator in a former life?

James and I* finished what Netflix had of Good Eats, then No Reservations, then did what they had of Parts Unknown, and a couple of eps of Mind of a Chef. We moved on to Bizarre Foods, which grossed out James too much. Then Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, which we both think is like a shallow version of No Reservations.

We are also watching what we can find of the Suchet Poirot without spending too much cash. Bought a few eps at Costco for a few bucks each. May decide to buy the rest on Google Play or something. We like it. We watched his his documentary about the real Orient Express, as well, and enjoyed that.

We also rewatched both Addams Family movies (any Addams Family movie that does not contain Raul Julia is declared by James to be non-existent, so I say "both" and will continue to say "both"). We love the love story of these films, and we see ourselves in the Addamses.

Listening:

I mostly only listen to music when I'm cleaning house or in the car, and usually only when I'm alone in the car. I hate commercials, so I listen to CDs. Someday, I'll switch to using my phone as a music player, but not yet. I just swapped out what was in there (John Gorka, Suzanne Vega, Indigo Girls, Lyle Lovett, Ani DiFranco) for a new batch (Wynonna, Linda Ronstadt, some other stuff). My Pandora shuffle has become really good for my housecleaning music. A mix of 70s folk-rock stuff, hip-hop, James's faves (disco and surf music, mostly), vocal jazz, and recent geeky music like Garfunkel & Oates and Jonathan Coulton.

I have such mixed feelings about "All About That Bass," my most recurring earworm of late. On the one hand, catchy and different and I like her voice. On the other hand... No, wait. On two other hands:

1) No, white girl pop star, YOU are NOT "bringing booty back."
2) Fat chicks are hot, yes, we get it. That does not make skinny chicks "stick-figure Barbie dolls," even though I can get the urge to disparage thinness while celebrating thickness. Let's stick together and fuck ALL the fascist beauty standards!







* I swear, the cooking shows were his idea, not mine. His current monomania, but it works for me!
serene: mmmm, MIMP! (mimp)
Food geeking ahead; feel free to skip. )
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I'm an atheist and introvert, with partners who care about as much as I do about holidays, so in general, we don't do anything for any holidays, especially since the kid left home.

The only holiday I have any love for is Thanksgiving. It's a food holiday, not strongly religious, and about gratitude, my favorite state of mind.

Funnily enough, I like approximately zero traditional American Thanksgiving foods. No matter. I love to cook, and to feed people, and no one ever minds if I add in a few side dishes I do like.

When I was a kid, I was the only one of my mom's four kids who had any interest in cooking with her, so we did T-day together. She did the meats, gravies, and stuffing. I did the sides and pies.

I'm excited that Mom is up for doing it that way this year. She's doing turkey and ham, stuffing and gravy. I'm doing the following, with asterisks by the items I don't hate:

roasted Brussels sprouts

sweet-potato casserole, which I've never made, but which James likes

*potatoes Dauphinoise (I don't care for mashed potatoes, and Mom consented to replace our traditional potatoes and corn with this)

*maybe rolls, maybe not

canned cranberry sauce, which Mom considers essential

*Mama Stamberg's cranberry relish

relish tray of celery, *olives, and *sweet gherkins

pumpkin pie

lemon meringue pie (the thing I make that Mom likes best)

*Marie-Helene's apple cake
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I am of two minds about the December meme: on the one hand, I really do want to encourage myself and others to post more here, and I LOVE answering questions about things I'm interested in, which include mememe. On the other hand, part of me doesn't want to ask people to do my homework for me, as it were.

Mostly, I am thrilled with this idea, though, so please pipe up if you feel like it and not if you don't.

I will post every day in December, about anything you suggest. I will answer every question, no matter what it's about. If I decide to filter a response, I will note that in a public post so you can ask for access if you want.

Some things people sometimes want to ask me about include the following, but I seriously have no appreciable conversational taboos.


  • atheism
  • polyamory
  • bisexuality/queerness
  • cooking, especially for special diets (vegan, gluten-free, FA, low-fat, etc.)
  • temping
  • the Green Party
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Out of curiosity, how many of my DW peeps (dweeps?) are in San Diego?

Luxury

Oct. 11th, 2014 11:12 am
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I may be a little addled.

I spent the last few hours mucking out the garage, sat down for a break with some crackers and chopped liver, and when I ran out of crackers, started eating the liver with my fingers (not the one I'm typing this with), because the bagels are All The Way Over There. The addled part is how decadent it feels.

Queer here

Oct. 11th, 2014 07:42 am
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Thanks to [personal profile] supergee for noting that it's National Coming Out Day (NCOD). I doubt there's anyone here who doesn't already know this, but Hi, I'm queer!

(I'm also a lot of other things that might freak people out, but unlike [personal profile] supergee, I don't think those things are relevant to this day.)
serene: fear the pussy (fear the pussy)
...wow, what a week.

Spent most of the week covered in dust and grime, clearing out my mom's place with James, and the rest of it seeking work. Can't decide which is harder on me, or makes me feel mightier!

Today was really good, though: interviewed for a long-term temp gig that I want, and I think I will be offered; got moved forward in the process for another two jobs; had a nice shopping trip with James; had excellent Thai food for lunch and excellent Mexican food (yay!) for dinner; bought surprise Jewish breakfast for my mom for the morning; and now, we're watching an Oddities marathon.

This weekend, we're gonna work our asses off getting the rest of the workroom cleared out. But right now, I'm not thinking about that. For the moment, it's just me, James, the gang at Obscura, and my beloved comfy chair.

Ahhhh.
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So part of the reason mom wanted us down here is to get her house in shape so that when she dies (in a long time, I hope), it's easier for me and James to either live in or sell.

I'm really clear on being, at heart, a renter.

Still, there's a certain amount of satisfaction, and even some fun, in working with James to clear and clean and strip and toss and scrub and and and, so the house can be livable. Mom is already excited because we're organizing her garage, which we need to do before we can redo the floor in the workroom, which we need to do before we can rip out the walls and upgrade the electricity in the apartment, and so on.

Once I find work, James and Chuck (the handyman) are on their own with this stuff, mostly, but until then, I'm feeling pretty mighty.

Oh, and our stuff came today, so I'm typing this from the comfy chair! Yayyy!
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...then I think these laundry-list posts are most of what I have in me. Eventually, you may hear from me on subjects other than me me me, but for now, me me me is what I have energy for. Today, in brief notes:

but there are MANY brief notes! )

I would love to hear how you've been lately. I've lost touch with folks as my job has eaten my life, but for now, no job = more life.

A week

Oct. 3rd, 2014 06:41 pm
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A week ago today, I quit my job and we packed our stuff and moved to San Diego just in time for a brutal heatwave. Our new place is up a flight of stairs, so it's extra-hot in here. Plus, it's really run down and our stuff is en route, so it kinda feels like we're camping. I don't much like camping, but the company is good, and my mom is SO HAPPY. So it's totally worth it.

Tomorrow, we'll go yard-saling with mom, take a few cold showers, and then have dinner with my dad and the Non-Wicked Stepmother. Next week, we're ripping out the disintegrating kitchen cabinets. Ikea and Lowe's and Target are starting to feel wealthy when they see us coming.

Tired and hot and missing my comfy chair, but also happy at the progress we've made already, in just five days. I even cooked three meals in my new kitchen today!
serene: liberty-justice is my femslash (liberty justice)
I've been mostly away from DW/LJ for a super-duper long time. Now, I'm not on Facebook, and unemployed, so I need reading material like whoa.

Help?

Who are five people/feeds you think I should follow? If it helps, here are some things I'm interested in:

Feminism
Queer stuff
Cooking, especially veg*n food and home cooking and food porn and -- well, cooking
Books and reading
Gardening
Lefty politics and a lot of the hippy shit that goes with it
Atheism & similar flavors of unbelief
Geeks and geekery and sciencey stuff
serene: we're having hot lesbian sex. and by lesbian sex, we mean tea. but it's hot. (lesbian tea)
...they require a playbook:

Photo on 9-30-14 at 9.26 PM
serene: I love the whole world. (love)
We drove to San Diego on Sunday. Yesterday (Monday), we cleaned and shopped and hung out with mom. I took her to the hospital for a sprained ankle she got a week ago, and we went out to dinner together. It was nice.

The apartment needs a TON of work, but we're tackling things a little at a time.

This got long, and is just babbling about our apartment stuff )All the work and trouble aside, though, we have a shower that works well, my mom is happy to pay for materials and labor to get the place in shape, and we're happy being together and working on this extensive (oh, man, very extensive) home-improvement project. When we're done, we will have a cute little apartment, a very functional project room (with a sewing machine, our exercise equipment, and the piano), and a beautiful backyard with lots of plants and places to sit and hang out in the shade.

Eventually.

Some day.

I hope.

The kid misses us, and I hope she finds a way to move down here soon. I don't exactly miss work, but I loved my job and wish I could have brought it with me.

Mom took us to dinner with her friend, who was having a birthday, and my uncle. It was fine. I don't think I've ever been to Black Angus before. Mom has been having a good time feeding us since we've been here. She doesn't cook much any more, which I would mind, except that her food safety awareness has gotten even worse as she's gotten older, and I'm afraid to eat the things she cooks, so I'm sort of glad we've been going out instead. We agreed to have Sunday dinner at her place once a week, and this week she's planning to make roast beef. There are worse ways to die than by eating my mom's amazing roast beef.

Tomorrow, applications open for grad school. I plan to apply. If I get in, I have almost a year to get ready to be a student again.
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Yesterday, we loaded the trailer. I kinda blew out my knee, but we got it loaded. Later, I'll show you the picture of all my worldly possessions. Anyway, we got it loaded and hitched to the car (silly to do it in that order, but we did) and hit the road.

It. Was. TERRIFYING. The car was of course a totally different beast. Horribly hard to accelerate, which I could deal with, but going downhill was one of the scariest things I've ever done, and they were pretty tame hills. And then the tire-pressure warning light went on.

Within twenty minutes, I knew two things:

1) I was not going to be able to drive my little car and the trailer for ten to twelve hours without having a panic attack or worse; and

2) There was no fucking way I was going to trust my car on the Grapevine pulling that load.

We were very near [personal profile] stonebender & [personal profile] loracs's place, so we pulled off the highway, went to their place, and regrouped.

I am grateful for my ability to whip out a credit card and pay U-Haul to come pick up all our stuff and deliver it to us in San Diego next week. I am grateful that I have family in whose guest house we could spend the night. And I am grateful that I was able to push past my fear of being seen as a failure and say Hey, I can't handle this.

We're planning to leave tonight, with just a car full of our essential stuff. My knee is out, so [personal profile] james_huber is out there doing the loading, speaking of things for me to be grateful about.

Delta

Sep. 27th, 2014 07:50 am
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Change is the order of the week. Yesterday was my last day at The Best Job Ever. I just realized last night that I have a voicemail on my phone from UCSD about a job. And I am moving to San Diego.

TODAY.

Whew. Cover me; I'm goin' in.

Nine days

Sep. 18th, 2014 06:46 am
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A week from Saturday, we'll hitch up the rental trailer, fill it with what's left of our belongings (not much, I'll tell you), and drive almost exactly 500 miles to our next home. I'm not exactly excited, but I'm looking forward to it. Not counting work-related stuff, I'm not very stressed at all, so that's good. I tend to like change, and I'll be moving nearer my mom and living in an apartment I like with a person I adore, so mostly, this is happy stuff.

James is a little stressed, but mainly because he spends all day home with no moving work to do. We (mostly he) started doing the work of moving months ago, and it's basically all done. Now we just wait. My last day of work is the 26th. We leave the next day.

Work will go on without me, but regardless of my expendability, I am trying to leave my stuff in as neat and take-over-able a condition as I can for the next guy, who is doing just fine in his training.

I don't have a job in San Diego yet. I'm a little stressed about that, but money will be fine for a few months, and by then I'll know if I can make enough from home to tide me over until I start a master's program in the fall. *If* I start a master's program in the fall.

So yeah. Lots of change, but a relatively small amount of stress. I'm fine with that.

Adventure!

Sep. 16th, 2014 10:32 pm
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First, there was the adventure of leaving my trainee/successor guy to his own devices today. He rocked it, so yay!

Next adventure: rescue [personal profile] stonebender from a speeding (okay, mostly stopped) train.

Adventure #3: dinner and Opinions! with [personal profile] wild_irises, [personal profile] wordweaverlynn, and [personal profile] pokershaman, followed by melon and Opinions! with the same folks, plus bonus [personal profile] starlady.

Adventuring is tiring!
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Reading:

1) Just began reading The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader. The intro is thoughtful, as you can imagine, and I look forward to reading the rest.

2) I often ask the kids to recommend books to me (partly because I like YA and partly as something to talk about with them). Right now, I'm in the middle of City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare. I have some vague notion that there was some dust-up about her in fannish communities, but I don't remember details. Anyway, the book is fine. The kind of recreational reading I enjoy, but so far, there's nothing exceptional about it.

3) And speaking of what I usually read, I'm reading Chronos, which appears to be a monster-movie-ish thing, aout a gigantic sea creature that's threatening to gobble up everyone. Not my usual thing, and that would have made me put it down sooner, but the writing is decent and I'm almost out of books that aren't packed away, so I'll stick with it for now.

4) Next up will be Hour of the Rat, by Lisa Brackmann.

Watching:

James and I cycle through (mostly) old TV series for our evening hangout time. We did Columbo, most of the Star Trek series (we couldn't bear Enterprise, so we quit), Farscape, Murder She Wrote, Miss Marple, the Suchet Poirot, Miss Fisher, and now we're re-re-watching Columbo, which is probably our favorite.

On my own, I have been binge-watching some series:

1) caught up on Orange Is the New Black, which I find to be troubling in terms of how it handles race, but also terribly good television.

2) Also watched all that Netlix has of Last Tango in Halifax, which is quiet and beautiful and soap-opera-ish. The acting is really good and the characters are complicated and engaging.

3) Then I switched to Happy Valley, which is an intense crime drama with one of the lead actors from Halifax (she also played Miss Foster in the adipose episode of Doctor Who).

4) And I've just started Awake, which I'll need to watch more of before deciding. It's got an odd premise, but it may be fun to see how they handle it.

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