cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (helen kane)
Recently my medication was adjusted and I had an appointment with my new psychiatrist yesterday to discuss the side-effects, and how I'm adjusting. It was weird to talk about how much better I'd been feeling:

  • I've been writing every day for a couple of weeks (~6000 words so far. I have FocusWriter set at 200 words per day as a goal, but I've been going over now although I didn't hit it at first) (Also, I'm so grateful to [personal profile] lately and [personal profile] perhael still for listening to me through it)


  • There was elevated anxiety at first and it was messing up my ability to eat for a week or two, which would have been a dealbreaker - but that has gone away completely for several weeks now and all food functions are back to normal


  • I found the strength to make a maintenance call even though for months I've been avoiding it due to anxiety about letting the maintenance workers into the flat and possibly having to speak Finnish to them, or having them secretly judge me


... because the election results sent me into a tailspin and the notion of feeling better seemed like a joke. Shock rendered me completely blank on Wednesday. I have checked Twitter briefly a few times and had to give up on it quickly, but I miss the more personal tweets that let you feel connected to your friends and community... the ones that don't seem important enough to post right now, for the most part. I made a No Twitter in the Bedroom rule, because it's too alarming.

I also talked to my psychiatrist about trying to find a non-profit to volunteer some time for, and he happened to have some links he compiled for someone else handy for me.

I saw a good post about global warming and climate change, arguing that a more organized push with a single goal is needed, and we should push for carbon tax wherever possible. I checked out the website of the organization they recommended, which wasn't bad, but their Twitter didn't really have anything concise and RTable.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
Unlike the majority of the Ubuntu user population, I preferred the Gnome 3 desktop from the beginning. I'm really attached to it and have gone through a bunch of different distros trying to find one that works correctly in all the ways I care about. I couldn't get everything I needed to work with Debian.

Now [personal profile] waxjism is running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and I'm running Ubuntu Gnome 16.04 LTS, and the differences are more apparent:

+ Ubuntu Gnome:
  • Panel indicators show up in a single integrated menu for the most part in Gnome.


  • The Calendar widget displays events from my Google calendar.


  • There's a new, native calendar app that does the same, and is more convenient than the web interface or the previous Linux apps. (The new native world clock/clock/timer is useful too, if a bit rough around the edges, and there's a new to-do app which could display google tasks and provide an indicator applet, but is neat.)


  • The top panel is easily themed with CSS and a variety of extensions let you add applications and places menus and a number of useful toggles and indicators. You can't do anything about it in Unity but adjust the opacity, where you also can't do much about how hideously ugly and unthemeable the application launcher has always been and remains.


  • The application menus display seamlessly in the top panel and native gnome programs integrate title and menubar. The corresponding function under Unity looks stupid and takes extra screen real estate.


  • Gedit is my favorite editor and it's streamlined but just as functional now, which I love (an older version is packaged with Ubuntu Unity).


  • [personal profile] waxjism is having some kind of driver issue with Unity that makes some flash videos, depending on what the site is running (eg HBO Nordic and Viaplay - so: hockey - but not Netflix), crash the entire computer so it suddenly and without warning shuts down. I had this for a while about a year ago under Gnome 3 on Debian, but apparently not anymore. Wouldn't want to switch and suddenly have this problem start back up again, though.


+ Ubuntu Unity:
  • The standard Ubuntu & Gnome file manager - Nautilus - packaged in Ubuntu Gnome is so slow it's basically unusable. A lot of changes have happened under the hood with the new versions of Nautilus apparently? Whatever, it doesn't matter how much better it would work if it never finishes doing it. Alternative file manager Nemo, forked by and for Linux Mint, mostly works in Ubuntu Gnome, but for example, it doesn't handle symlinks to folders correctly under Ubuntu Gnome (a functionality that's been perfectly fine in every Linux I've tried since like 2007), it set up Samba but not without giving me some trouble, and it doesn't look right because it's designed for another distro that has its own themes (it works flawlessly in Mint, as far as I've ever noticed). - Meanwhile Nautilus is fine under Unity, although complaints about functionality that's been removed are still germane.


  • The greeter/login/lockscreen (LightDM) is better in Unity.


  • The quicklists, which add extra indicators and right click functionalities to running apps in the launcher under Unity, can be legitimately useful. There's nothing like that in the Gnome shell dock.


  • Terminal refuses to remember my preference to not display the menu bar under Ubuntu Gnome, another thing I've never had a problem with before.
cimorene: (gr arg)
It's quite poignant to have 100 works uploaded to AO3 (although honestly, some of them are just polished comment- and chatfics that don't really belong there, but it seems even sillier to take them down now they've already been there for a while) and not have written anything in 4 years except Yuletide.

When I was a teenager, I stayed up all night writing RPF more times than I stayed up all night writing essays.

At this point writing 200 words of fiction in a day, like I did yesterday, is an infinite improvement over every day since last Yuletide deadline, but my main reaction is still "This is nothing compared to my high point in 2007-8 when 6000 words a day wasn't unusual."

I think there's a little thread of feeling chuffed under there, but it's hard to feel it.
cimorene: (call ikea)
Actually, the media I've most enjoyed consuming recently was The Prisoner, the classic British weird/genre series from 1967. I had never heard of it until an anniversary post came across my Tumblr dashboard, and I looked it up and was intrigued by the article's comments about its seminalness and aesthetics, so I watched it (it's all on YouTube, and it's only got 17 episodes).

I mean, what little [personal profile] waxjism saw she couldn't even stand, because of the changing television conventions since the 1960s - everything that old seems hokey to her. I like things from that period, though - I grew up on second wave sff that was mostly written in the 60s-70s and watched a fair amount of Nick at Nite for a while. And seeing it and recognizing its seminal quality from the bits of it I'd seen elsewhere was really cool, but it was also SO AESTHETIC (which was hilarious enough to have entertained me all on its own, but it actually was nice, too) and SO CONCEPTUAL (another thing that's very characteristic of the period, but at the end it goes even further off the rails than late season 3 Star Trek TOS, which is really saying something, and then goes even more Allegorical and Symbological in the final episode than CS Lewis) that it was fully worth watching on that basis.

My favorite part was how much the SUPER 60s interiors could have basically come right off a present day interior design blog. That, and how within the context of 60s mid-century modernism, Finnish & Scandinavian bleeding-edge modernist design from the 1930s is associated with the most sinisterly ~high-tech~ Bond villain stuff (when it's actually older than mid-century modernism, I mean).

That was more than a month ago, though. I was just thinking about it the other day when we were talking about all the things we've watched in the past few months - other than the hockey, it's been mostly filled up with [personal profile] waxjism's horrible movies and my rewatching Lewis when she's not around. When I finish that and the rest of the Morseverse I still need to finish my Poirot rewatch too.

Although! We forgot to mention that we watched Kinky Boots! It was good and I did really enjoy it, but the shoehorned in heteronormativity was very disappointing. I mean, even in a landmark drag queen film with the beautiful and talented Chiwetel Ejiofor - and a film that is about adulthood, father figures, finding oneself, and plotwise about creativity and a struggling small business - what about this said to anyone that it would benefit from, or needed, a het romance stuck into it? Or any romance, actually? Like, there were two main male roles, and they like each other and work together, but they didn't really have a dangerously romantic interaction or anything that needed to be leavened??? And it's not like the whole thing was boring and they needed another B-plot. On the contrary, there was barely time for the romance.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
It's easy to move through a big multi-pairing fandom like hockey from pairing to pairing, and I often accidentally end up with most of my reading being entirely pairing-based. Recently I sorted all the hockey fic over 10k to remove the pairings I've already read to death in order to see what else people have been doing that I've missed, and I ended up with enough bookmarks - and enough to say about them - to be worth sharing.

Thanks to the tags, AO3 headers are somewhat NSFW. Herein lie 7 10k+ stories, 2 of which are a series, by 5 different authors in 6 different rare pairings, with my sometimes-longwinded comments. )
cimorene: (yo)
TV
  • The Mindy Project: [tumblr.com profile] witchshaming has been posting stuff about this show for a few years and I kept meaning to get around to it. Noticed it was on HBO streaming recently and watched the first season. I like it a lot, although it does do some of those American Sitcom Genre things that I usually can't stand and it's not as politically righteous and emotionally healthy as Brooklyn 99, my previous sole exception. I do worry that if the 'ust' keeps up, it will get really old fast.


  • Westworld: Been over this with Dollhouse. You couldn't pay me to watch it. [personal profile] waxjism and her brother evinced interest though.


  • World Cup of Hockey: We watched most of it. I think we only skipped the games that were going to be too depressing, like Finland being crushed. A lot of knitting got done. I always cheer for the goalie - whichever goalie is onscreen at the time, so I'm incapable of actually not cheering for both teams in a match, ultimately. I'm surprised people aren't writing Auston Matthews/Connor McDavid yet, which seemed plausibly like the whole reason Team North America even existed. I'm also utterly charmed by Halak (THE HERO WE NEEDED) and Kopitar and angry that their regular teams are ugh. Halak, Price, and Bobrovsky were the real MVPs, obviously.


Movies
  • Inside Out: it was funny and enjoyable, but it was ruined for me because I just couldn't let the metaphor go, and the metaphor really doesn't make all that much sense. I kept shouting questions at the tv like "SO IF SHE'S SADNESS, IS SHE SAD OR HAPPY ABOUT THINGS BEING SAD???" and "Wait, the entire value structure of her personality was destroyed at age 8 by one unfortunate conversation????" and then Wax would be like "Stop asking questions!"


  • Finding Dory in the theater. Loved it. I cried at one point, which I haven't done in the theater since ROTK. Hilariously, it is actually set BEFORE my Finding Nemo slash fic, so it doesn't completely get jossed even, although it would need some tweaking to match up.


  • The recent remake of Total Recall. So bad that we had to pause it a few times because I was so loudly incensed. It's been a long time since I saw such an egregiously inadequate movie. Wow. Somewhat curious about the original now.


  • Wax decided to watch all the terrible movies (of the right kind of terrible) she could find so she watched a bunch of things with ghosts including the movie where Daniel Craig met Rachel Weisz, which was awful but no doubt fun to make, and one thing where Paul Bettany is some kind of rogue angel in the zombie apocalypse. And then she decided to watch all the ones she could find about the financial crisis, and one of those had Paul Bettany too.


Books
  • Golden Age Detective Fiction: Continuing my project to explore the less-well-known contemporaries of Christie and Sayers. I already tried Patricia Wentworth (thumbs DOWN) and S.S. Van Dine's Philo Vance (enjoyable but a bit airporty) and Margery Allingham's Campion (I got through 1½ books, then tried to start 3 other ones, including later and highly-rated ones, but I just couldn't keep going). Next up was Ngaio Marsh's Inspector Alleyn stuff: I read about five of them and found them very readable, but I got tripped up on the book where she introduces her detective's future wife. It's not that her writing is sexist or gender essentialist in the same way many of her contemporaries sometimes were, because the character is interesting and all... it's just I am really tired of heteronormativity and I would prefer it to not show up in the book at all. Maybe I'll be able to come back to it some day.


  • Early fantasy: I downloaded a bunch of public domain works by William Morris the textile artist, and also by early horror-fantasy writer William Hope Hodgson. Hodgson's The House on the Borderland was entertaining and amusing, a precursor to Lovecraft that wasn't quite so obsessed with race but was way way more terrified of pigs for some reason. I've started several of his others, but not really gotten into them yet. Same for Morris's - they're more Lord Dunsany than Lud-in-the-Mist, contrary to my preference.

The Itch

5 Oct 2016 01:35 pm
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (sleek & stylish)
I remember reading one time that they mapped the part of your brain that makes you want to write and it's completely independent from the bits in charge of actually writing, which explains neatly why adjusting my medication dose seems to have suddenly made me want to write something so much it's kind of like my brain is itching, even though when the feeling started, I didn't have any ideas that were approaching ready to be started.

Since then I've managed to assemble most of the concept for one and could nearly start writing, once I make a few more decisions like POV and time frame, thanks to [personal profile] lately and [profile] sandwich_armada's stints as encouraging sounding boards, [personal profile] waxjism researching a bunch of things about hockey that she didn't already know (which is really remarkable given how much trivia she sucks up on a daily basis), and [personal profile] perhael's patience in listening to several full elevator pitches about Sidney Crosby's ass even though she feels about sports like I did a couple of years ago and is full-time in Jrock fandom these days.

I went to look at the Yuletide signups, but after poking around a bit I wasn't that confident about enough fandoms to offer so decided to try to write some treats once Yuletide Madness opens instead. I guess we'll see. Trying to take a break from a WIP for Yuletide and then come back to it has historically gone awry for me in the past. You can't always find the groove again.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (working)
[personal profile] waxjism and I have a weakness for bright and bold print duvet covers, and for a while couldn't really stop ourselves from buying sets when we found really cute ones, so we have 5 cotton sets from Ikea (which don't even have top hand holes, ugh, but they have great prints)(and none of them are even similar to each other in terms of color scheme...) and then the tartan flannel ones I made last winter and a cotton sateen set that were a gift. (And a few odds and ends. Whatever, this wouldn't exactly be too many, except we don't often have overnight guests so it's unnecessary, and they don't all quite fit comfortably in the closet space, which is at a premium here.)

The problem is I was snuggling under a sateen one the other day and suddenly realized there's a significant difference in how they feel on the skin. They're not just a little harsher, like a couple of the Ikea sets that have a bit of poly in the blend, they're like... so silky and nice feeling that they actually warm up against the skin better, like they feel as much nicer as flannel even though they're the opposite, smoother instead of fluffier.

Preferring flannel in the winter is just plain natural, but preferring sateen to regular cotton is like a permanent thing and it's the worst when you significantly prefer one of something when you have five of the other kind. Not to mention the temptation to buy more, which is a horrible idea in terms of our already-overburdened storage space. (Actually getting sateen sets in appropriately bold prints isn't tough because Finnish textile design is unparalleled - Marimekko, Finlayson, and Vallila are all on the case - but they cost like five to ten times as much as the Ikea ones probably, if you don't catch them on sale.)
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (wtf?)
I think the ideal regular social event would be a combination knitting circle and Dungeons and Dragons (actually I've read some random stuff on the topic and think it should actually be Pathfinder, but I have no direct experience of either).

My sister agrees, but Dallas to southwest Finland is just too much distance to manage that. I mean, there's videochat tabletop gaming, but the 8-hour time difference would be murder.

We both don't actually know how to play D&D and have never played even though our dad was a DM when he was in high school and college. Honestly, I feel betrayed that he never taught us in person.

My sister and I agreed that the best way to set up something like this would be to find a local knitting group and then canvas it for people who could be converted to the idea, but that depends on someone else in the group knowing how to play and being happy to teach you. If the person who wanted to organize it knows how to play, it would kind of remove the difficulty.

My sister is way ahead of me here because she has actually attended local knitting circles multiple times in her life - I don't think she has one now, but she used to go to one in Louisiana. I've been talking about wanting to go to one, but been too socially anxious, since before she was inspired by my example to teach herself to knit. 😕 Of course, language and culture issues add to my social anxiety and even if they didn't raise the initial bar to Just Doing It to insurmountability, socializing in Finnish as I would then have to do would be both mentally and emotionally tiring, much more so than just doing social things that make me anxious in general. Of course, conversing regularly in Finnish would be mentally tiring because my Finnish isn't fluent, so logically the practice would be good for me, but that doesn't make it less daunting.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (face!pie)
I went to a new doctor today and she was really helpful and I liked her a lot but as soon as I got home (four hours later, after errands) the anxiety from that 15 min appointment slammed over me like a wave at the beach, the ones that unexpectedly flatten you and drag you into the water so you end up coughing, under water, with your swimsuit full of sand.

I've often been so emotionally drained by anxiety that I slept for a long time afterwards, but this time I collapsed onto the bed and sort of lay there, too drained to crawl under the blankets, for hours, too keyed-up to actually fall asleep. And when I stood up again a couple of hours later I still felt physically and emotionally drained, with those weird little post-adrenaline trembles in your arms and legs where they really want you to let go and collapse on the ground wherever you are and it feels like you're not 100% certain of your coordination (not a great frame of mind for cooking dinner).

Last Friday I met a new psychiatrist, but it wasn't quite as exhausting. I've been trying to get in to see a new psychiatrist for literally over a year now - thanks bureaucracy~! - and also, the psychiatrist was a Finnish hipster guy with a big blond bun, maybe younger than me (looked younger than me: mid-late twenties?)... so maybe he was just less intimidating, or maybe the anxiety in advance of the appointment was less because I'm more accustomed to and less wary of psychiatrists than GPs.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (domestic)
Our cats are purebreds, which means they came with registered names. The late, great The Crazy was sold as Tea-Time Tune, and earned her name by being a neurotic, weird-as-hell mess (but in a cute way).

The BB was sold as Arwen, which actually suited her since she is a genetically and visually flawless, perfect specimen cat who is also petite, dainty, elegant, graceful, fearless, and sweet. But she gradually earned the nickname "BB HBIC" (later shortened to just BB), because when we first got her, she had the adorable habit of surreptitiously following the Crazy around and copying her, but in a tinier, daintier fashion.

Snookums was sold as Russel [sic] Crowe, and when we rescued (bought) him from Crazy Cat Lady Hell where he was being bullied by his 21 overbearing relatives, seeing his name on the papers decided us for sure (the lady had been calling him "Jere", a folksy Finnish dude name that's just as laughably OOC for Snookums as the comparison to Russell Crowe). "It must be fate," we said. "We have to rescue this cat!" Later we came home and followed the real Russell Crowe on Twitter, which we have never regretted, and Snookums, who was hiding in the corner of the sauna literally under his great-grandmother when we first met him, blossomed from a shy, skinny, cringing fraidycat into the pudgy, friendly snugglemonster we know and love. His dedication to snuggling has to be seen to be believed. He ALWAYS is in the mood for snuggles, and there's no kind of squeezing or manhandling him I've come up with that he doesn't enjoy, so his name is an excellent fit.

The bunnies are also purebreds, but when we got them from our buddy pierydys, she advised that if we weren't planning to breed and show them, registering them would be unnecessarily traumatic and expensive, since you have to get their ears tagged to do it. We didn't, and so we had to pick names for them ourselves. Since their sire is named Snickers, we decided on a locally-available candy theme, and we picked popular chocolate caramel Japp bars for the tri-colored one and pink-and-white Rowan-berry-flavored Pihlaja jellies for his ginger-and-white brother. Since we speak English at home, we translated Pihlaja and call him Rowan: unlike Japp, that one doesn't lend itself to anglicized pronunciation.

Since we named the bunnies ourselves, swapping out their names based on personality seems silly, but we actually call Japp "Tiny bunny" or "Tiny bun" more often than anything else. He's just so incredibly smol that when your eyes land on him, exclamations about his smolness sort of reflexively pop out ("HAVE YOU SEEN HOW TINY THE BUNNY IS SITTING ON THIS RUG????") and it's difficult to stop them. He also looks weirdly like a little old man in the face - I think it's the shape of his eyebrow and mustache floof - but nothing pithy to express this has come to us yet.

Ro's descriptive nickname is The Majestic Floof. His personality and behavior is not at all dignified, but his fur is so beautiful and, well, majestic that he can easily fool you just by posing.

I have not illustrated this post with pictures, but this blog is completely full of my pet photos if you want to refresh your memory.

imzy

26 Aug 2016 11:18 pm
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
I have invitations. Wait, that's not all!

When I saw Aja retweeting official Imzy appealing for fandom signups, I went, "Who?" So I googled it. Google found an article that left me squinting a lot but basically conveyed that it is

  • A bit like Tumblr, except everything you follow is communities


  • Every post has threaded comments (but the threading only nests 3 deep so far. They intend to improve that in future)


  • Designed to allow "tipping" for posts - I assume the idea of this is for things like Patreon and Medium; one of their built-in post types is Podcast, so it makes sense for that too. This requires credit card info obvs. Potentially problematic fandom implications also obvs.


  • Designed to allow anon posting and linking of multiple aliases under one sign-in.


This is several of the big issues with Tumblr - communities and commenting - but maintaining the WYSIWYG interface of Tumblr; there are image posts too, although they don't look great right now.

Obviously, people are saying "What about the TOS? Are you going to start banning fandom for posting erotica?" and there's a post about that at /fail_fandom_anon over there (which seems to have some useful fandom-specific information and newbie tutorials and the like), here (viewable if you've got an account and are signed in). To quote relevant bits,

Strikethrough? Not going to be banned or deleted without warning

First, we’ve banned very few people, and only when they were explicitly and repeatedly violating our TOS. If we think you’re crossing a line, we’ll try to talk to you first. And even if you do get banned, you still have access to the entire site and all your content, you just can’t do anything new. When content is removed by a leader or staff, it is only removed from public view and is still accessible to you.

NSFW content? Erotic fanfic is okay. We don’t have a problem with this, as long as you make sure you’re still marking everything as NSFW and following the community’s guidelines. [...] Our community policy states that “we define pornography as imagery whose primary or sole purpose is sexual arousal.” Sometimes there is sexually explicit or otherwise graphic content that is a part of a story and is a crucial part of character and plot development in, say, a web comic. That should be okay. A lot of fan art I think tends to fall into this category. If you have fan art about a show, certain characters, even a romance, there will likely be some erotic art that comes up. That’s fine, in that context. This is about celebrating characters, a show, a story, a world, whatever else, and exploring them. And some erotic content just may come up as a part of that. But the erotic part of it is not the “sole or primary purpose.” A community dedicated to pornographic art, on the other hand, isn’t so cool.


This is a staffer answering questions, apparently. Not terrible, at least. It sounds like they are aiming to disallow porn spam and porn blogs, but not nsfw content when it pops up in fanwork comms (if they stick to that).

Anyway, I'm cautiously hopeful.

And I have 199 invites, because when you make an unrestricted community you get a big packet of them. So you can drop your email address in a private message to me if you want one, or you can use the request button on this page (joining the community in question is not required, it'll just get namechecked in the invitation mail)(feel free to join if you like Poirot, though).

As yet there is no major content there, but it might be worth your time to namesquat just in case.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
Exciting adventures occurred when the washing machine just made distressed noises instead of doing the spin cycle today. We had to stop it and take the clothes out but they were still soapy. If you've never rinsed a mountain of detergent-infused cotton by hand before hanging it up to dry, allow me to not recommend it! I am under no illusions that all the soap came out, but at least the laundry won't be molding until the new washer is delivered.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (arrrgh brains)
The thing about Party Cat is that I still am not sure what he actually WANTS when he wakes me up in the middle of the night.



Unfortunately, sometime last spring he realized that he could more effectively get my attention - and actually, for the first time, bully me out of bed - by concentrating his harassment on [personal profile] waxjism. To protect her, I started to follow him out of the bedroom going, "Okay, WHAT DO YOU WANT?" This became a habit where I'd simply carry him straight to the sofa, make myself a nest there and read until I fell asleep. But after a few weeks, when I dozed off, he went back in the bedroom to harass [personal profile] waxjism. He made it clear that he would do this if I didn't trail him around the flat the entire time like a bodyguard.

Then I actually tried playing with him, but he didn't really want to play any of the things he likes in the daytime. Once I gave up on getting him to play, I tried shutting him up in a different room, or just out of the bedroom, but there's nowhere in the flat far enough away to muffle the sound of his constant angry yelling and repeated flinging his body against the door - Wax can't sleep through it at all (unlike me).

Eventually I realized that the only way to prevent him from harassing Wax was to lock him away from her, and the only way to prevent him from yelling about being locked up was to be in there with him.

So now I take him and my pillow straight into the library, shut the door, and tuck myself into a cocoon of blankets on the sofa. That doesn't mean I get to go straight to sleep, though. He has to pace all over the room and deliver a dramatic monologue, and he requires signs that his audience is paying attention. Sometimes he spends a time rustling around the room, making ominous noises like he's about to start ripping books off the shelves and eating them (he's done it before), or eat the giant monstera. Typically I have to spend an hour or two reading to keep myself somewhat awake while he gets this out of his system before he comes to lie down on top of me and purr.

This is significantly better than the past arrangements, but it still involves an hour or two of forced wakefulness in the wee hours and spending half the night not in my bed.

Party Cat #3 is my life now )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (crack)
☂ I got the boxed DVD set of the complete Poirot for the winter holidays last year. I already hoard thousands of Poirot screencaps on my harddrives & Poirot blog ([tumblr.com profile] maisouipoirot), but I started rewatching from the beginning with the closed captions turned on and taking caps of my favorite lines. I got sidetracked into watching some other stuff partway through though - before I even got to the modern widescreen era for that matter - and I still need to finish.

🎜 After we marathoned the last season of Game of Thrones - "Bad at continuity and dialogue; good at production values!" - [personal profile] waxjism and I wanted to watch something else together and we watched the two seasons of Mozart in the Jungle. Apparently this is an Amazon streaming show in the US? It stars Gael García Bernal (still tiny, still radiant, now greying) as an orchestra conducting former child prodigy and the female lead is an oboist, which was the instrument I played in middle/high school (I still have partisan feelings). Also Saffron Burrows is there, which seems significant to Wax. We enjoyed it a lot, although it's not really a fannish show. Apparently Jason Schwartzman is a creator/writer/runner as well as a secondary character, and it really has a his-kind-of-thing feel to it (kinda hipster, but more specific than that).

🎶 ↳ It was nice, but it mostly made me miss playing music: I don't have an oboe anymore (I quit when mine broke in 10th grade), but I have my grandmother's recorders and her collection of medieval and folk music. I used to play the recorder too when I played the oboe, just for fun, and I kept it up for a few years - I think the fingering would come back quickly, but I shudder to think of having to start developing embouchure muscles from scratch.

🕶 We randomly rewatched Hot Fuzz a couple of days ago - I think there was a gifset. Man, so good.

👓 I'm halfway through the first season of Supergirl. I'm completely pro-Supergirl, but I still hope the writing gets a little bit better. I had to take a break because I just couldn't stand anymore of those gag-me Teachable Moments and Inspiring Dialogues. It's definitely on the children's moral play spectrum, which doesn't have to be bad - it reminds me most strongly of My Little Pony, but My Little Pony, while aimed at a less cognitively sophisticated audience, makes up what it loses in subtlety by having (a) almost no male characters and (b) zero love triangles. I would be cool with it if the plot actually had Kara mature past her infatuation and end up with Cat Grant, which is definitely what the plot inadvertently (?) is still strongly suggesting is going to happen, but I can't believe that's going to happen. Excited for guest appearances from Tyler Hoechlin Superman though! what a precious. Now put him in a cardigan.

☙ I was listening to [tumblr.com profile] septembriseur about her current obsession with Oxford Detectives - specifically with Hathaway (the lovely Mr Billie Piper). It turns out there's two series of Lewis I haven't seen - I always miss them because they come out too far apart! - and a new series of Endeavour, plus I need to refresh my memory of the previous series of Lewis, Endeavour, and even (in a few spots) Morse to get all the references. On the minus side, that's a lot of rewatching and I have a very limited attention span for consuming media in ways other than reading. On the plus side, though, the last time I rewatched Morse from the beginning, I crocheted an entire lap blanket. I could use another blanket. I'm thinking a crocheted ripple blanket... of course that would mean buying a bunch of yarn though, so maybe just an Umaro...
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (working)
We saw Ghostbusters and loved it (obviously). Everyone in the theater laughed a lot, but I and the young dude on the other side of me from Wax laughed the most.

I don't actually feel a strong push towards the fanfic (such as typically emerges in response to subtext and plotholes), but I do feel the most positive about it of anything I've felt fannish about in a while.

Except spoilers, well, potentially )

The only thing I've felt vaguely stirred to write or plan fanfiction for in AGES is the mmf ot3 in the 2013 Swedish series based on Maria Lang's classic crime novels. (Series is on Netflix in Finland titled "Maria Lang: Crimes of Passion" and is new to our streaming services, but aired previously here and in Britain at least, because [personal profile] calathea saw it a few years ago and had the same thought.) (I mean to read these and perhaps check out her other novels but I haven't got around to it yet.)

I don't have any sort of ideas or creative urges about Ghostbusters fic, just a strong sense that Yes, There Should Be More of This in the World.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (crack)
While looking for help with my Party Cat problem1 on the blog of cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy, I came upon the concept of raw feeding for cats. I read more at first out of curiosity, but eventually wanted to try it, and I was able to convince [personal profile] waxjism that it would be a good idea.

We had always free-fed our cats almost exclusively dry food, with occasional treats of wet food; but because our cats suffer from what I now know is the extremely common habit of just licking the sauce/jelly from canned wet food and leaving the meat bits, we had pretty much given up on wet foods as a waste of money.

But after talking about it and reading about it, we at least wanted to try to
  1. transition the cats to eating at specific mealtimes, which is the necessary 1st step in all the recommended solutions for Party Cats (we did it and it hasn't worked, but I guess hope springs eternal; plus, it's better, at least, and I'm not out of options) and

  2. remove most or all of the carbohydrates from their diets (we did it and we discovered that it makes their poop smell WAY better and also decreases, though doesn't eliminate, the frequency of their barfing).


We started by transitioning gradually to wet food, but this is a tall order because:

  1. All the cheaper wet foods and many of the expensive ones are bits-in-jelly-or-sauce and, as mentioned, the cats won't eat the bits, which is much more nutritionally worrisome when you're trying to make up the majority of their diet with it.

  2. The vast majority of wet cat food, including most of the really expensive ones, are so-called "supplementary" foods that aren't nutritionally adequate.

  3. The foods they like the best are the most expensive (Applaws, Canagan, Schesir, Thrive) but are somewhat too low in fat so even if we were made of money it wouldn't be good for them to just switch to those.


This is where the raw diet looks attractive, because it's fairly popular in Finland and high-quality, domestic pre-prepared raw foods for dogs and cats are easily available, and cheaper than feeding a canned diet (the drawback is that they're frozen, but it's worth it).

However, the cats didn't have the best reaction to my first few attempts.

  • Cubes of beef liver? No, they wouldn't touch it.

  • Cubes of ground salmon? They'll lick it and nibble it, but they won't eat it alone, and if it's mixed into canned food, they won't eat the canned food at all.

  • Ground turkey (a mixture of meat and organ, so not like the ground turkey you've encountered for people) today was the best result so far. Snookums eventually ate both portions of it, but the BB wouldn't even lick it off my fingertip.


The comparative cost of buying nutritionally-complete wet foods that the cats will actually deign to eat is going to get burdensome if we can't replace a good chunk of that with either raw or dry. In fact, that's why we introduced gluten-free dry foods again after initially tapering off the kibble they were eating before: we tried to just add a little of the old food back in after a couple of weeks and the sudden return to the old level of cat poo stink made us realize that while we hadn't even noticed when the stink was suddenly reduced, we can't live like that anymore.



1. I don't know if I've mentioned it here, but I mention frequently on Twitter that Snookums has a habit of waking me in the middle of the night because he's bored, and if I don't get up with him, he'll wake [personal profile] waxjism when she needs to get up early for work.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (arrrgh brains)
Friday, 2 pm, I talk to a lady with the employment bureau who tells me to wait for a callback because she's sending a note to my assigned caseworker asking them to call me.

So I look at their website and what it says about phone calls is that they come between one and four and that the bureau may not have the resources to try again, so it's your responsibility to pick up.

So I've kept my phone on me every moment of the call window Friday, Monday, and today, and still nothing. Now I'm wondering if I underestimated the time involved. The person in question might be on vacation the whole month of July... or they might have three weeks' worth of other things they have to do first in their inbox, which seems plausible when we hear of caseworkers having hundreds of clients apiece... .

The problem is that my brain gets attached to a to-do list that it has ordered by priority and if I get blocked on something that my brain thinks I need to finish first I can have real trouble making myself do any of the other things, even if it's literally impossible to do the first thing, so I'll spend weeks or even months floating around dispiritedly, marinating in increasing levels of frustration and self-flagellation (and as of recently, also shame because the self-flagellation is self-defeating and I'm supposed to be trying to have self-compassion instead).

I've done two days of sitting on tenter-hooks and not even doing dishes and laundry, which I'm confident won't last, but there's a real possibility I won't manage to make a single important outgoing phonecall until this one arrives.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (dragon)
This is my combination of about 3 different recipes.

couscous, 1 3/4 US cups (or a little over 4 deciliters)
a tiny bit more vegetable or chicken broth (or use 1 bouillon cube + water)
1 big bunch of parsley

Greek olives (recipes always want Kalamata, which I can't get here; I use green), 1 sm jar or about 1 cup/2½ deciliters
feta cheese, 1 package or about 1 cup/2½ dl
cherry tomatoes, 1 package
red grapes, ½ package
1 red onion
1 large cucumber

Dressing:
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp salt

Make the couscous according to package directions but using broth (or bouillon cube dissolved in the water), and make sure it's not dry by adding a bit more liquid if necessary. Fluff well so there are no clumps.

Wash & chop the vegetables: dice the onions finely, slice the cucumbers into bite-sized chunks, halve the tomatoes and grapes. I leave the olives whole. Chop the parsley roughly. Combine them in a big bowl, then add the couscous and stir to combine. Mix the dressing separately, drizzle it over the top, and stir again.
cimorene: (gr arg)
I was intrigued by a few recs for this book, which says upfront that the salient feature of these methods is prioritizing efficiency, simplicity and speed (the author says your goal should be for each 'zone' to be pick-uppable in 2 minutes, before a short attention span can run out), so they don't need to be adhd-specific.

Organizing Solutions for People With Attention Deficit Disorder: Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized

It's mostly actually about spatial organization of things, and unlikely to directly prevent me from losing things (which was my original aim when I started googling), but I got into it anyway.

Some of the stuff is laughable (throw out your DVDs in favor of streaming service only if you literally don't care WHAT you watch as long as you watch anything, FFS) or extreme (I'm happy to allow myself more than 5 tupperwares), but there's enough left over that was useful to have rendered the book totally worthwhile.

At one point I was so galvanized I leapt up in mid-sentence and cleaned the desk space around my computer monitor.

And later, in a less impulsive manner, I was inspired to reorganize the entryway shoe storage, the dish cupboards, the pots and pans, the tupperwares, and the pantry, all just in the last 2 days.

 

My mom is a hoarder of objects - I don't mean a clinical hoarder, in the rats and garbage sense, just a creator of hoards of things like art, salt and pepper shakers, dragon and chicken tchotchkes, antique teacups, teapots, excess tables and chairs, kitchen gadgets, tools, art supplies, broken things that might be reusable later in an art project, fabric scraps, books, magazines, spices, containers, linens... etc. My parents've been in the same house for 26 years. They have an organizational problem too, but a book whose basic philosophy is to make things easy to find by not having your storage be too crowded to see and access the things in it is not going to work for them without a few months' worth of sorting, slimming, and tossing first.

I think the advice could still be helpful to her and people like her (provided the extremity of the suggestions didn't panic them first!), although more so if she had a coach standing by to help her throw things away, because even if an exhortation to throw away 90% of your tupperware only gets you to throw away 20% of it, that's still an improvement.

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