cimorene: A vintage nouveau illustration of a reclining woman embracing the enormous head of a dragon (love)
Last week when we were reading in bed I said to [personal profile] waxjism, "Can you believe when we first met in person I thought you were cool?" ... and we both almost laughed ourselves out of bed.

It's actually quite a strain to remember my first impressions of someone I know so well, though they were extremely vivid and I still have a lot of sensory memories of the occasion, no doubt due to neurotransmitters and teenaged emo and stuff like that (I was 20, probably still teenaged-emo if not technically teenaged).
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (perfect)
Last night I had that type of dream where you are trying to wake up but you can't quite wake up all the way, but as a result become intermittently aware that you are dreaming. This happens to me kind of a lot - I think it has to do with my medication.

Anyway, I was trying to make a Journey Towards Wakefulness - that's how my brain chose to conceptualize this struggle - and as I did all this, crawling under half-built buildings, hacking through mangrove swamps and climbing out the windows of a haunted house while pursued by my aunt's neighbors, you know, Just Dreaming Things - I was accompanied by [personal profile] waxjism acting more-or-less in character: snarky asides, the occasional baffled question or apparently falling into an introspective daze and having to be dragged or prodded along.

So at one point me'n'Wax ran into some girls I'd known in high school and one of them was like, "Yeah, but since you're dreaming and trying to wake up, that's not the real Wax, it's just an imaginary one."

And I said defensively, "I KNOW, but I just like to keep her with me!" and clutched protectively at her arm.

Then they went away eventually and I confided in dream Wax, "It's just always nicer if you're here."

Dream!Wax: "Yeah sure."
Real!Wax, being told: (laughed so hard she threw her head back.)
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (domestic)
1. Alarums at Arrivals and the Sleep-Deprived Queasy Roadtrips That Nightmares are Made of )

2. Arrival at Cloudland Canyon and a Severe Lack of Flashlights )

3. The Lookout That Didn't Look Out, plus Finnish Delicacies )

4. Worrying symptoms )

5. Bae's First American Speeding Ticket )

Wax's mom pulled up with our box'o'kitties exactly as we walked into the parking lot with our suitcases, so we carried them up in the same trip. Snookums started shouting in the box and didn't stop for a couple of hours after we got him inside.

PS: We brought Wax's mom a bottle of Southern Comfort, which neither of us has ever tasted, and a box of her favorite duty-free chocolates, to thank her for caring for the kitties and houseplants.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (loki)
[personal profile] waxjism has a work practice placement in a non-profit for joint disorders. (She's in secretarial school so it's secretary practice.)

  • The building is old and unairconditioned.
    + On the plus side, there's also no dresscode. Her coworker was wearing jean shorts.
    - Wax wore long jeans today, though. She has an irrational dislike of wearing shorts in public, even though she also thinks that 20°C (68° F) is quite hot and 24° (75°) is basically too hot to move.

  • Wax carries her important paperwork around in a Batman folder. Everyone was impressed by the Batman folder, finding it "pretty" as well as finding Batman cool.

  • On her first day Wax was asked to enter things into a database and apparently her speed was impressive.
    - But she then found that the actual (head?) secretary was entering things with only two fingers, so it's not hard to be faster than that.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (o noes)
After returning from vacation yesterday, I was intending to go to class today, making ½ a week instead of 1/4. But I had not recovered from yesterday's return journey, I guess, because my brain was COMPLETELY incapable of performing math (logic?) this morning. I thought about when I had to leave the house to reach the bus stop by 7:25 for at least 15 minutes without ever figuring it out, and ended up reaching the bus stop at 7:29. The next bus wouldn't have come until 8:45 and I decided I should just go back to bed instead. I then slept until 4 pm, so that was probably necessary.

Yesterday we took a cab to the airport at 4:30 am in London time, and it was somehow a cab that didn't take credit cards, which was a thing that my innocent Finnish wife had previously not suspected the existence of. At Heathrow, we walked through a brief zone of free wifi just large enough for [personal profile] waxjism to learn the Hawks lost and Hossa was injured, at which point the lingering threat of lurgy coalesced into full-blown misery. She spent the rest of the trip in a little huddle, occasionally emitting moans about either a) nausea or b) I JUST HATE THE BRUINS SO MUCH WHYYYYY. Then we had a ~3hr layover in Stockholm and our flight to Helsinki was delayed, so we didn't get out of there until 14.50 local (time since waking: ~10 hours). In Helsinki, during the ½ hour we waited for the bus, it started raining briefly but determinedly - just enough to get us all wet when embarking. I think we got home around 8:30 pm (time since waking: ~14½ hours).

I actually did sleep about 7 hours last night, but it wasn't enough to recover I guess. I can't help feeling that one of the greatest benefits of being rich would be the ability to afford direct Finnair flights from Turku, which would have made the whole transit time like 5 hours, counting the time in a cab between London and Heathrow.

Oh, and Sofi Oksanen was on our flight from Stockholm to Helsinki. In first class, naturally. She's so tiny and hot and her hair is so thoroughly amazing in person. But I can't help wondering whether she is really that dedicated to sparkle motion, or whether her anatomy is sufficiently different from mine that she actually finds fishnets over back-seam stockings under knee-high Dr Martens to be comfortable for riding on airplanes.

Vacation disaster rating: nowhere near as awful as the Vacation from Hell! No flights were interfered with in a significant way, everyone was in the correct countries, no spurious charges of drug use, nobody required to visit the hospital* and no comas fallen into whatsoever.

Biggest mishap: I didn't pack warm clothes or an extra suitcase, and was freezing cold a lot because I didn't realize that "high 19°, low 11°, cloudy/chance of rain" for London was, in terms of coldness, more similar to "Windy, sun never comes out, feels like ~7° in Turku all day and all night" than to the 11-19° week we'd just had here. I should have worn knee-high Dr Martens and my lightweight wool winter coat the day of the wedding.

English houses: Still colder on the inside than Finnish ones, still not properly insulated, but the B&B was cosy and not damp at all, so only the bathroom, which was kept at +10° C and not fitted with an exhaust fan, requiring the window to be opened to out-of-doors after a shower, was actively freezing. The bed was nice. Bexless's house was lovely and no colder than the house of my brother-in-law. I can only assume that all British people would find our flat's ambient non-summer temperatures like a visit to the tropics.

London: A collection of meandering, too-narrow tracks and lanes, each approximately 1-3 blocks in length, intersecting each other in increasingly improbable manner, obviously laid out by malevolent and drunken cowherds. Like Helsinki, but 100x worse. Buildings running the gamut from tiny rowhouses to tiny narrow rowhouses to improbably tall and skinny narrow rowhouses to really large rowhouses to giant buildings that take up the entire block yet are still somewhat like rowhouses because of being built directly into the building next door at every opportunity.

Craziest stop: We had cake with the brides at an adorable cakeshop where the sole toilet dated directly from the Victorian era, and was located in a dilapidated and thoroughly alarming closet. The closet was reached through a little hallway with no other purpose, and the hallway was decorated with a giant poster that said "OUT OF ORDER", so I unwisely assumed it meant that the toilet was out of order and spent like 5 minutes wandering down and up (to an attic full of abandoned industrial kitchens??? With all the doors open. Seriously) in futile search for an alternate toilet.



* When I say nobody had to go to the hospital, I'm not lying; however, Bexless did break her 2nd toe.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (i'm an ancient! i love chiffon!)
My current Finnish course will end in March, but my Finnish isn't good enough to take any sort of further professional training courses, like the practical part of my school assistant classes, in Finnish. (It would probably be good enough to work in a shop or something.) And in general, although I feel good about my progress, I'm not satisfied (I mean, confident) with my skills yet. I need way more vocabulary and practice. When I had the work practice interview at a local daycare, I got the gist and the keywords but I had to completely give up on big swathes of phrases where I couldn't pick out enough recognizable bits to start parsing the grammar and guess at the meaning: people who are talking about real life things and not just smalltalk or shoptalk don't use the same sorts of simple, bite-sized sentences.

So I'll probably be applying to the next level Finnish class, which will mean a significant reduction in support from social services down to, I think, 300-something €/month. Right now I'm getting full unemployment with all the extra options 700-something €/month, as one does when engaged full-time in professional development mandated by the employment bureau; for the second level course you only get the regular government allowance of student support, but it's still 35 school hours a week which makes working at the same time difficult.

Wax is still going to secretarial school. After learning the Microsoft Office suite at the basic level - like she hasn't learned macros, which I can't help feeling would have been quite useful - they moved on to torturing them with Business Swedish, and the school made her study it even though Swedish is her native language. It went something like this:

WAX: But I already know Swedish because it's my native language.
TEACHER WHO IS NOT EVEN A NATIVE SWEDISH SPEAKER: Ah, but this isn't just ordinary Swedish, it's BUSINESS Swedish.


She was still made to take the exams, and in order to not have to take lengthy weekly vocabulary tests and sit through hours of painful instruction, she was ordered to write "an essay" on a topic of her choice, with no further guidelines. Obviously this should be easy, but it isn't because she's too angry about the whole thing.

So after finishing Business Swedish, they moved on to...

... Business English. Only, right, everyone in her class is competent to the basic Finnish high-school-graduate level.. except for one, so they actually started with conjugating "TO BE" and "TO DO".

Her unemployment/winter/this sucks depression has consequently spiraled to the level where she is almost entirely nocturnal and can't always force herself to suffer through her horribly painful homework assignments. Instead she is reading a lot of hockey fic and has even started reblogging things about hockey on Tumblr. I'm mostly worried about this because of fear that she might actually get further into sports. As long as it's just the players it's fine, but if she watches any actual sports on purpose, we will of course have to get a divorce.

But on the plus side, we have a lot of yarn around the house and Canonical has just announced they're releasing Ubuntu for phones next year, which is exciting because we were previously worried that Nokia's N9 might be the last Linux phone in existence, but neither of us could bear to use Apple, Windows, or Android. Sometime next month you should be able to install Ubuntu yourself on the Nexus Galaxy, though, which means by the time one of our phones breaks (they're currently 2 years old I think), the early adopter bugs should be ironed out. They say they hope to release the first manufacturer-partnered shipping-with-Ubuntu phones in 2014.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (cim'n'wax)
For months I've thought our wedding anniversary was October 6, but actually it's October 7, which I confirmed yesterday by looking at our marriage licence.

We took a roadtrip to Des Moines, Iowa when on vacation in Kansas 3 years ago today and were married by a judge. We tried to just ask my cousin who went to college in Des Moines to drive us there, and then my parents obviously wanted to come, and then my cousin told her mom and her mom told my other aunts and my other cousins and we were accompanied by 11 people, including a fetus who is now my cousin once removed.

Ever since then we've been meaning to take some wedding portraits to give to family but we haven't gotten around to it yet. Also I haven't gotten around to settling on an outfit I would be satisfied to wear in said portraits, aside from the green sequined dress Cyd Charisse wears in Singin' in the Rain.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (domestic)
  1. Wax and her inheritance: We mentioned a while ago about Wax's ancient granny-who-hated-me dying. Well, the sale of the house was finalized this week, and Wax has spent... about the last week putting in mostly-full-days emptying the house of crap. She's been exhausted, and also not at home because she's in Pargas which is 45 min away.


  2. Sick: A week ago this past Wednesday my throat swelled almost closed to the tune of INTENSE PAIN. I thought it was some sort of allergic reaction (it's happened 3 times to me before, always in response to certain perfumes in the face) until a few hours later when the flu-like muscle quakes and hot-and-cold took over. The flu symptoms lasted 1 day and the sore throat 3, but I took it easy through Monday. I seem to be okay now except for sinus congestion, but luckily I have a box of Sudafed purchased last summer in the US. (Sudafed is prescription-only in Finland.)


  3. Perry: This week he acquired a really bad ear infection: suddenly he wouldn't eat or sit down for more than like 20 seconds at a time all night. I skived off Thursday for an emergency vet appointment and now I've got to squirt slimy medicine in his ears twice a day. I think it's helping, though. Anyway, another thing that I need to get my energy together for is dog diapers. I've seen some tutorials online and I guess I can crochet the diaper cover and you can use baby diapers and cut a hole for the tail... I just don't seem to have the energy/time to determine the sizing and the budget and actually make the cover. Well, that's my agenda for next week I guess.


  4. Rupert Replacement: My mom has a big dragon collection dating from before I was born, and my favorite of these is Rupert, a 2' long tabletop Chinese dragon that she got as a wedding present. He's durable and lightweight, made of resin with plastic jewel eyes, and the somewhat rare product of a Chicago-based statuary company that was active from the 30s-60s, and which has now become rather collectible. (Most of her favorite dragons had names, and she made them talk to me in different voices, but my other favorites to talk to were one-of-a-kind ceramics; Rupert I could actually hug and play with.)



    I've been looking online for something sort of like Rupert for five years or so, but without much luck. There are cast stone garden decoration dragons, and there are ceramic and resin collectible dragons, but the latter tend to be smaller and somehow less friendly, and all of them are kind of pricey. But this week I talked to my mom about it and got Rupert's manufacturer information and I found two more Ruperts online. One of them was about $70 USD on eBay with a very ugly paintjob but one of them was more reasonable and mom's gonna try to buy it for me. Even if she can't get it, though, we talked about trying to cast a duplicate of him, or if that fails, I'm now determined to sculpt my own from papier-mache or clay, if necessary (clay's easier to work with, obviously, but more fragile and there's the problem that I don't know anybody with a kiln. But if nothing else, there's mom's kiln). Anyway, just the prospect of getting a Rupert made me happy. I only have stuffed dragons and a lego one at the moment.

MOMS :|

12 May 2012 06:36 pm
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (distance)
WAX answered the phone and it was her mom. Then

WAX: I uh... have to go?
ME: You have to go?
WAX: To drive Mom home and then bring the car back here while she's out of town. Uh, see you in three hours.
ME: But...! ... Okay. :(
...
WAX: But I don't have Trespassing on my phone.
ME: Your headphone jack doesn't work on it anyway. - Oh, you mean for in the car. Well, I'll put it on your phone for you while you get dressed.
WAX: Yeah. ... Oh well, I guess it's fine... the FM transmitter doesn't work that well in Mom's car anyway.
ME: Okay, then... I'll burn you a CD while you get dressed.


So I put the CD in and it started burning, after a brief technical problem because I had to open Brasero from the applications menu because apparently it no longer appears in the blank CD right-click menu in Nautilus in Ubuntu Oneiric.

By the time Wax was completely dressed it was only 28% finished burning, though, and she hovered over my shoulder, widening and narrowing her eyes comically at the progress dialogue on the screen.

ME: That doesn't help, you know.
WAX: But it makes me feel better.


Finally it said DONE! and popped the CD tray and I dashed over with a paper CD envelope and a Sharpie, scrawled Trespassing - NL (Wax had for some reason failed to download "Naked Love" when it first leaked and obtained it the next day, but after I'd already put the other ones on my hd, so I've been listening without it. I don't like it anyway!) on the disc, popped it in the envelope and passed the envelope to Wax, who stuffed it in her bag and basically ran out the door (because her mom's waiting in the parking lot and "you know how butthurt Mom gets").

But honestly, can you imagine a 3-hour roadtrip within a week of album release without it? D: D:
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (why is the beverage gone)
Fun, right?

Here's my related thoughts, but they aren't organized so I don't think they'll make a paragraph.

  • The starring guy, the one who plays Dirk - I can't remember his name but [personal profile] waxjism always can, but she's sleeping - (Stephen Mangan. I looked it up)... I like him already. He was the guest hero in the same episode of Marple with Martine McCutcheon and possibly the only way that an episode already starring Martin McCutcheon and Geraldine McEwan could get any better.

  • Wax found a copy of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency in dead-homophobic-Granny's attic and so I've just reread it - only the second time ever, and the first time was in middle school. Unfortunately it smelled like it'd been in a granny's attic for at least a decade. It wasn't as funny as I remembered, but I still enjoyed it a great deal.

  • Fewer laughs per page than Pratchett or Wodehouse,the two I always compare Adams to the most; it's more a kind of structured underlying absurdity. Still, it's definitely less absurd, and less Pratchett-like, than I remember Hitchhiker's Guide being, but I haven't reread it in almost as long. My dad and mom weren't giant fans and only had two of the five, I think, plus The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.

  • Dirk Gently is described as round and podgy, which couldn't be further from Mangan, but I suppose if you're going to be delivering that type of absurd-humor these days (or investigating things?) it's shaggy hair and cheekbones that are in style. For some reason. Can't imagine why (DrWhoSherlock). Anyway, it's not like I mind, precisely.


Every now and then I rewatch that episode of Marple just to stare at Martine McCutcheon. She's so lovely. Where was I?

Oh right. Other things that aren't remotely related to this new Dirk Gently series:

  • I got into that Finnish course, but all I know about it is that the first class is on May 7th: not how many hours per week or how long it lasts or anything like that.

  • I need to make a doctor's appointment but I'm afraid of calling people to make appointments so I've now put that off for a solid week.

  • Wax is unemployed, which is bad of course kind of, but good in that she got out with an excellent severance package, and she hated her job anyway so if she hadn't been laid off she probably would have cried. I'm very happy, as I was getting sick of watching that place suck the soul out of her. But on the other hand, she's been there a long time so even though she's glad, it's been a big shock and she's greatly discombobulated. So far she's mostly responding by sleeping in the least healthy pattern possible and avoiding anything and everything, which is a functional way to recover from a shock for me too, so I shouldn't worry unless it goes on more than perhaps a week and a half.

  • Unfortunately Wax is the most senior descendant of deadhomophobicGranny who doesn't live outside of Finland, so she is supposed to be responsible for estate-executor things right now, and it's the worst possible time for her to be responsible for anything. My ability to help is severely limited by incomplete knowledge of Finnish and Finnish inheritance laws and practices.

  • [personal profile] copracat posted on Tumblr about this Australian show called Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. It's got a female protagonist and it's set in the 1920s and it's a murder mystery show, so I would like it even if it were horrible and American, but it's not horrible and everyone is Australian and has cute Australian accents. So that's nice. It seems to be based on some books. I wonder if I should check them out.

cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (bang)
So, if you aren't interested in the specifics of bleaching your hair really pale and dyeing it with candy colors, you should just skip this whole post, fair warning.

Of course you never know exactly how the dye is going to turn out - how much of it will take and how it will react to whatever yellow or orangeness is still in your hair. Wax's emerald green dye totally turned a fortuitously gorgeous warm olive when put over the pale tangerine-tinted piss yellow bleach result the last time we dyed all of hers at once. And the dye that looked like those ultramarine-blue-tinted deep purple irises in the bottle turned Coraline-blue on my head and then faded to the perfect lavender.

And now we come to last night. )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (jeeves/wooster)
I love when my wife's phone rings while she's asleep, and I start thinking all indignantly, "They woke her up!" ... and then she answers it and her entire contribution to the conversation consists of faint "Mrr" noises such as those made by a cat. A typical conversation, on her end, is like:

"Mmmm?"
...
"Mnnnngr."
...
"Gm nggn."
...
"Nnnnph. Umn."

(Then she hangs up.)


(Then later someone from her family asks didn't she tell me that she agreed to X, Y, and Z and this is probably why she didn't, because the entire time she was still in Dreamlandia, urgently rescuing a goat from Adam Lambert's evil clone with the aid of Igor the snake, or something.)

thattaway

3 Sep 2011 11:38 pm
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (XD)
Oh also my wife was sleep-deprived this morning and made an lj post of all those pictures from the filming of the Avengers in Central Park last night. (That's what we're squeaking about this week. Tom Hiddleston, mostly, but also everything else about the Avengers and a side-order of Norse mythology. My new computer desktop is Scarlett Johansson and she's smouldering at us constantly from between the browser and the Twitter client. Hiddles on Wax's is covered up by the browser, alas.)

Seriously, posting pictures on Tumblr is so much easier. Every time I make a post like that in a medium like this I'm all ughhh geeeeez. And that's why we're both basically creatures of Twitter and Tumblr these days -Twittercimness & cimness, Twitterwaxjism & waxjism.

(Actually this account being called [personal profile] cimorene is the weird one. I think it's just that I was so excited to finally arrive at a site early enough to sign up for "cimorene" before somebody else did, and that has always seemed like a great injustice to me given that results about me are edging out results about Patricia C. Wrede when you Google.)
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (10000 kilowatts of stardust)
So last week I felt inspired to create this stick-figure comic portraying the course of [personal profile] waxjism's and my romance from her point of view.

The Subjugation of Wax: A Romance )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (cim'n'wax)
So now both Wax and I have candy-colored hair! I picked hers almost at random, because she was dithering and asked me to pick. And we were going to make mine lavender, so I bought an intense bluish purple per instructions at fuckyeahlavenderhair. However, I was too lazy to do a second application of bleach and I washed the first one out too soon, so I decided to just use the purple at full strength. It was more on the blue side than expected, though, so the result is almost a Coraline blue, but a little on the violet side (more in sunlight) - like the petals of an iris kind of.

Read more... )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (XD)
This is way late because I forgot I had made the video. But then I found it yesterday! (Oops. Fixed.)

9 minutes of some fools unboxing Panic! at the Disco's Vices & Virtues, the limited edition box )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (bang)
We were awakened by the postlady this morning with this package! I took a video, but it was long and embarrassing, so then I just made caps of it. It's less painful for everyone this way.




25 more darkish caps )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (cim'n'wax)
I thought it would be fun to do it with Wax, so we did.

The talking points! )

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