[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.)
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.
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.
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

Aug. 26th, 2016 11:18 pm
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.
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.
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 )
☂ 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...
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.
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.

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