Three sentences about 2017-09-14

Sep. 20th, 2017 07:00 am
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
A sleepy day after the long one yesterday, but I made good progress at work nonetheless. I think that not eating during the day helps a lot; I've noticed that I'm often very tired, and also often somewhat more grouchy and impatient, right after dinner for an hour or two. The school's annual "ice cream social" was tonight, which basically involves Richardson's ice cream, some chocolate and caramel sauce, and lots of running around on the playground. :^) It started to rain partway through, but not for long, and stopped and started fitfully after that. Junie headed out with a friend who lived partway between school and home after one drizzle, though, and she then walked the rest of the way home by herself, because she is Big. :^) Q and I stayed basically until the very end, and had a good time.

Three sentences about 2017-09-13

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:31 am
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
Up at 05:30 for some off-hours work; my only other note is that there was frisbee. :^) It was ok; we were playing against an "indie" team, of people who had signed up as individuals, and they were a pretty mixed bag of skill levels, and pretty uncoordinated as a team, which I suppose is how the indie team I played on last fall must have seemed to everyone, but there wasn't an indie team in the spring league, so I'd gotten used to playing against folks who'd been playing together a lot. Anyway, it was ok; we scored the first six or eight points, and then started to slack off somewhat, and offered to mix up the teams and play just for fun, but they wanted to practice playing together, which seems legit. I didn't play very well, but was pretty tired after the early start to the day, so didn't beat myself up about it too much. I stayed up a little too late, but more like midnight than like 02:00, so not disastrously bad on that front.

Three sentences about 2017-09-12

Sep. 18th, 2017 09:53 pm
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
Heh, I guess the last time I posted was me saying "I feel reluctant to post things". I didn't mean that to apply to Three Sentences. :^p Time to catch up!

...but I have no recollection of Tuesday, and no notes. Probably there was work! Q had his first day of basketball at ABGC -- I'm never sure what to call this, it doesn't feel like a "class", it's not a "league", there's not a "season", he's not on a "team", he's not "practicing" for anything, who knows; anyway -- and seemed to like it. (I wasn't there, but based on his reports, and Amy's.) Junie's LEGO robotics class (see, that one feels like a class! shrug) is a week shorter, so it starts next week but ends the same week as Q's basketball. That's all I got.

They All Went Through

Sep. 19th, 2017 06:35 am
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook Mina covets the ring)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
The rest of the nominations have been approved for Yuletide.

✔ Count Dracula (1977)
✔ Renfield (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Jonathan Harker (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Dracula (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Mina Westenra Harker (Count Dracula 1977)

✔ Dracula (TV 1968)
✔ Jonathan Harker (Dracula TV 1968)
✔ Mina Harker (Dracula TV 1968)
✔ John Seward (Dracula TV 1968)
✔ Lucy Weston (Dracula TV 1968)
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (Default)
[personal profile] psocoptera
First, the funerals: the Inexplicable Logic of my Life is a contemporary YA by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, the author of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Three friends and one of their dads compare paths to the dead moms club. Definitely a crying book, I kept being reading this in public places and regretting it. I liked this less than Aristotle&Dante, probably because it's not a romance, and also Sáenz' teen voices worked a little better for me when they were set in the 80s than set now. The texting in this never sounded quite right, in particular. But Sáenz writes some powerful moments, and captures some subtle and complicated feelings. He's at his most interesting to me when he's exploring identity issues like what it means to be born Anglo but adopted and raised by a Mexican-American family, interesting stuff there. The main character chooses something at the end that bothered me, but I can see what Sáenz was getting at and it made sense for the character, just, eegh.

And then, the dinner parties. A Civil Contract (1961 Georgette Heyer Regency novel) and Home Again (2017 Reese Witherspoon film) might seem like an odd pair of works to want to pair up for reviewing, but actually they're perfect, because Civil Contract is a difficult novel because it refuses to give in to the pull of wish fulfillment, while Home Again is an enjoyable movie because it's wish fulfillment all the way down, and they both involve the male romantic lead standing up the female romantic lead for an important dinner party.

Civil Contract's dude hoped to be career military, but dad/untimely death/aristocratic responsibilities, you've heard this before if you read Regencies at all. He's in love with someone, but he's broke, so he has to marry her friend, the daughter of a rich businessman, instead, to save his estate. If Courtney Milan is writing this plot, he would discover that she had some kind of awesome interest or compelling backstory, he would fall in love with her, yay. Heyer, however, doesn't let us have that fantasy - while he does come to *appreciate* his wife's comparative lack of drama, and the comfort that he gets from her catering to him, there's no real indication that he finds her attractive, or is interested in her as a person. (She's been in love with him all along, which is why she's so willing to completely shape her life around his comfort, and do all the emotional labor of managing her feelings without ever bothering him with them.) In theory, I like the idea of a romance novel pairing that focuses more on in-jokes and child raising than bodice-ripping sex, but in practice, it doesn't even really feel like a romance. I am interested in the decentering of *desire* from the narrative, but what I really read romance for is the mutual passionate admiration! That's the stuff! It doesn't feel like a happy ending to me if she's in limerence with him and he's not with her. (There is a long and excellent discussion thread here with, among others, Courtney Milan herself basically making this argument.)

Home Again, in contrast, delivers passionate admiration in spades. Our 40-year-old recently-separated mom heroine has *three* nice young men fall for her; she's only ever romantic with one, but she gets to bask in attention (and emotional and household labor!) from all three of them. It's not just a fantasy of still being desirable, although that's obviously part of it, it's a fantasy of getting to enjoy the excitement and fun of a new romance even after already having had one good marriage. (Although her ex as we see him onscreen is awful, I think we're supposed to have the impression that it was a good relationship for a long time, until it wasn't anymore.) She eventually decides that the life-stage gap between her and her young man is too big for a relationship, but they all three will still be around as part of a found family with her and her kids and her mom, yay - she may have given up the sex, but she gets to keep the admiration.

Oh, and the dinner parties? I had curiously opposite reactions to them. In Home Again, the missed dinner party is the precipitating event for the end of the relationship - it's supposed to be their first "real date" beyond their fling at her house, he's going to meet her friends, but he stands her up rather than risk offending the guy he's hoping will help them get their movie made. She decides that this means their priorities are just too different, but I found myself more sympathetic to the dude than she was - the movie pushes how these guys are these aspiring filmmakers who Really Believe In Films, and he's young and new to navigating Hollywood, and believes this is an important chance. And unfortunately it falls into her ex's pattern of blowing her off for flimsy work reasons, so it makes sense that *she's* just like "I'm not doing this again", but it didn't make *me* think they wouldn't work. Civil Contract dude on the other hand has promised to be home for his sister's engagement party but instead borrows a ton of money to gamble wildly on a military outcome so that he can have money of "his own" instead of his wife's money - it turns out he's right but, ugh, he takes this enormous risk for no real important benefit, I lost so much sympathy for the character and of course his wife is just like "that's all right honey you know best, nice work honey". It's the climax of the book and I guess the idea is that now that he doesn't "owe" her he's more able to realize that he's fond of her and doesn't resent her for having had to marry her. In a way, these stories end the same - with a friendship rather than a romance - but what a difference, coming to it from opposite directions.

One Fandom So Far, Two To Go

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:11 am
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook Lucy's throat Dracula's ring)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
My nomination list for Yuletide has partially been reviewed. So as of right now, I can confirm this one. I'll let people know when the others make it through.

✔ Dracula - Bram Stoker
✔ Golden Krone Innkeeper's Wife (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
✔ Jonathan Harker (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
✔ John Seward (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
✔ Dracula (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
calliopes_pen: (sallymn Xena life before coffee)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
I found out what my computer model is. Until now, all I knew (since what was once written was lost to the mists of time, as the sticker wore off at some point) was it was just HP Compaq, since we hadn’t found the old paperwork for it as of yet. So I’m posting this mainly for my own sake, should I lose track of where I made a note of that.

HP Compaq dx2450 Microtower. I went to the support page for HP, and found the method for determining the type a particular model is.

So how did I find out? First, hit the plus sign around the Option 2 section. Their way didn’t work for me, and we never had HP Support Assistant in this computer, for whatever reason even back when it was still XP and would have had those original files. However, figure 1 mentions System Information. Typed in that, and the window that came up had everything, including a section for System Model. And there we have it.

Judging by this press release, it came out around April of 2008, if not earlier. Granted, my model was 32 bit, not the 64 bit they’re announcing. If that’s accurate, that means that the date I previously estimated is off by a few years. Should it make it another few months to 2018 prior to it being replaced, this one’s still going to have made it at least a decade. And should it still survive, we'll have it around as a spare, should its replacement have issues, or should Dad's laptop have problems down the line.

No More HP Printers For Me

Sep. 14th, 2017 08:38 am
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook enough necromancy)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
Thanks to a firmware update from HP that was pushed yesterday, I believe I can safely cross off HP printers from my list of potential printer purchases.

Basically, the update blocks all non-HP ink from functioning correctly. There weren’t that many from HP that I had included on my list just yet, thanks to everybody's recommendations and advice (thank you for it, by the way) along the lines of Canon, Epson, and Brother.

This merely narrows the field a little more for me.

Note To Self

Sep. 13th, 2017 12:51 pm
calliopes_pen: (wolfbane_icons coffin Dracula fire)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
Next year, I will try to remember to nominate Dracula The Undead, by Freda Warrington. (Not the Dacre Stoker novel of the same name) I love that unofficial continuation of the novel, and I have a prompt I'd love to see written someday. I just never have room and/or never think to nominate it until I've already done my nominations.

The Quest For A Printer Continues

Sep. 12th, 2017 01:50 pm
calliopes_pen: (54 IJ Edith silhouette books)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
For when I eventually replace the printer that I had to toss out, I have a question for those on my reading/friends list. I’ve only had inkjets from HP up until now (I don’t know the names right now) and that last one never really worked right, while the first lasted about 15 years before it died.

Would anyone recommend any particular Epson or Brother printer models? I only recently heard of them for the first time during my research, so I don't know much about those brands. Or is HP still a good one to stick with for inkjet printers, despite that last one? I considered the HP Envy 7640, but was turned away by bad reviews I was reading for that particular model.

What I'm looking for is a reliable color inkjet printer, even if it's primarily documents I would be printing.

Is laser better/cheaper in the long run?

Three sentences about 2017-09-11

Sep. 10th, 2017 10:37 pm
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
A very good day at work today, lots of progress on Omni stuff, and some more this evening too. Shopped on the way home, and made tacos for dinner, yum. A bit of kids in the evening, including a difficult part of Hat Full Of Sky (upsettingly cruel bullying), but they kids didn't seem too upset by it, and we had some good conversation about it afterwards, so yay. Now it's gotten late and I gotta sleep.

Approximately weekly diet report )

Three sentences about 2017-09-10

Sep. 10th, 2017 01:29 am
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
Day full of playdates today! In the morning, I picked up a friend of Junie's (Cl), and took the two of them plus Quentin over to Joey's Park. We'd also invited along Quentin's friend I, but he couldn't make it, alas. I spun the kids in various combinations on the tire swing, gave boosts on the zip line (although frankly the eight-year-olds are too big for me to be pulling them back and sideways for extra boosting power), threw frisbees around, and even flew a kite for a bit. That was a little harrowing, because Cl was doing the flying, and I was somewhat distracted with Q, and before I knew it, Cl had it probably fifty or a hundred feet in the air, without having a great sense of safety about it, e.g. when it came down, the line was running across a big field that wasn't super crowded, but did have other kids playing on it. Nothing bad happened, but next time I'm gonna make sure to give the kite safety lecture before letting kids fly it, especially if I might not be standing by while they're doing it. Anyway, we dropped Cl back off at her place, and then headed home for lunch, after which Junie had a second playdate planned with another friend (Ch) at Hardy -- and, Q's friend I was also planning to meet us there. Unfortunately, Q was feeling rebellious, and managed to piss both me and Amy off to the extent that finally Amy left with Junie, and without him. He was *really* sad about that, but I managed to comfort him some, and we had a long talk about feeling like everyone's always telling you what to do, and not having enough control over your own life, and how yes this is no fun but it's even more no-fun to throw things at people, even if that is a way you can exercise some control and make people react to you instead of the other way around, and even if it's very satisfying in the moment, it's not safe or respectful, and also won't get you what you want. We eventually texted Amy, he apologized for throwing a thing at her, and she apologized for calling him a mean name and said that it'd be ok for him to come join them, so I walked him over there, and then back home to nap. Got up in time for dinner (a big bowl of spinach, and then one of carrots, to start, and then Amy made pasta), showers and bedtimes, a somewhat late evening but a good end to a pretty good weekend.

Three sentences about 2017-09-09

Sep. 10th, 2017 01:19 am
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
Happy 9/9! Today was cirus-alicious, with the kids' first day of this session of circus class at Esh -- they've done classes there before, but not since like early 2016 I think (and I'm too lazy to check). They remodeled the space somewhat, during the last session we were there, in ways that I imagine gave them more space to do actual circus stuff, but which have the side effect of not really having anywhere for grownups to hang out and watch the kids. There's a separate lobby area now, but there's only the glass door that people come in and out of, and one small window off in the corner, looking into the main room, so I didn't really get a chance o see what all they were doing. It's just general circus stuff, nothing particularly exotic or fancy, but still. I suppose they're getting to be an age (well, Junie is anyway) where they'll be off to do activities without a grownup hanging around the whole time, but we're not quite there yet, so. Anyway, we boogied out of there after their classes were over, and hustled downtown (eating a sandwich in the car) to meet Betsy & Sean, who were taking us out to Reversible, a circus arts performance by a Montreal group called 7 Fingers. It was pretty cool, not much in the way of story (which was fine), I especially liked the hoops and the teeter-totter bits, but there was a lot of other good stuff too. We then headed down the street to Fire+Ice for dinner, where we'd made a reservation this time, and that was pretty successful -- Q had only one plate and didn't eat much, but Junie had two plates that she enjoyed a lot, I had like four small ones (the better to enjoy a variety of sauces), and everyone seemed to have a good time. Home after that, where I made milkshakes for the kids -- they'd tried my salted caramel shake from Five Guys when we were in Portland, and really wanted more, and it occurred to me that I could probably make them in the cuisinart, so I tried it, and it was a resounding success. :^) Three generous scoops of ice cream plus 1/4 cup milk made two pretty full glasses (of the little bar glass glasses), for future reference. Bedtimes, including a particularly funny stretch of Hat Full Of Sky, and then a bunch of catching up after being offline all day, including all this catching up on journaling, which I am now caught up on! But up way too late, alas, so to bed now finally.

Three sentences about 2017-09-08

Sep. 10th, 2017 01:02 am
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
Successfully wrapped up the notepasser POC phase of the Omni project, huzzah. Did some planning for the next phase at the end of the day, and I'm more optimistic again than I have been for a while. One non-work-related thing that was bothering me at work is that I was having the thing where I feel cold, and especially that I have cold hands, starting in the mid-afternoon; it's not particularly unpleasant per se, but it feels weird when I'm typing, just sort of a mild gitchy feeling. I'm pretty sure it has to do with the short eating window, so I tried something different diet-wise. ) I got stuck at work a little late while doing the next-phase Omni planning, and got home somewhat later than I'd intended, but Amy had made a delicious mushroom and smoked tempeh thing, plus fresh corn on the cob, and there was time to enjoy a plate of all that before heading off to the actual first night of Fall Grand Masters frisbee. It was fun; I was involved in a couple of very good plays early, and then felt like I sort of lost my way later, being out of position on offense and not keeping up with my receiver when on defense. I was feeling very energetic early, which led me to stay on for too many points, I think -- I should've been subbing more frequently early, and ended up pushing it a little too far and then being a little too winded for the whole rest of the night. Still, it was fun, the team seems more upbeat and positive than the spring version, and I'm looking forward to the season. I then stayed up way too late, as I am wont to do, and also ate too much, in the form of like three bowls of cereal, which I probably didn't need, but which felt very good at the time. Not a big deal, but it'd be nice to find a way to resist that urge; we'll see.

Three sentences about 2017-09-07

Sep. 10th, 2017 12:54 am
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
Hmm, no notes about Thursday either. I think I finally confirmed at work that my laptop worked fine on wireless *except* at my desk, like it's the access point near my desk for some reason that's losing my packets? That's just bizarre, though, there's no obvious explanation why that would be affecting me and not anyone else. It definitely seems to be fine from conference rooms, though -- and when I walk back to my desk, with the laptop open, running a ping, all of a sudden I'm losing packets when I get within range of my desk. Actually, I think I was suspecting this strongly by the end of the day yesterday, and confirmed it as I was heading out the door -- and then today, it stopped happening, and everything was fine. Or maybe that happens tomorrow, unstuck in time a bit. Anyway, more Omni and notepasser progress, I didn't take notes on the details but things are good, and it's time to close the book on this one and get on to the next big thing. After work, it turned out that Amy and the kids had gone to Junie's shotokan an hour early due to a mixup about the time, so I swung by there to pick up Quentin, who was getting antsy and bored. He and I went shopping at TJ's, and then came home and someone did something about dinner, but I don't remember what. And then presumably some bedtimes? Gotta post every day, or at least take better notes.

Three sentences about 2017-09-06

Sep. 10th, 2017 12:40 am
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
Hmm, Wednesday, I forgot to write down notes. I think I was cranking along at work modulo ongoing firewall vs wireless stupidity. I came home early to wrangle the kids, so Amy could go to a DACA rally downtown, because Jeebus McFuck I have no words. Took Q to shotokan, ordered tasty Indian takeout because no one was home to make dinner. :^) Discovered that our usual Indian place Punjabi Tadka is now apparently Singh Saab, a fact we didn't actually find out unti the delivery driver told us. Things seemed generally fine, if slightly different in various non-essential ways. I've now found which claims that it's not a name or ownership change exactly, but a restaurant that was in Waltham, moving in to the Punjabi Tadka location. Who knows, they seemed fine, we'll keep ordering from them I imagine. :^) Oh, also, the first game of the Fall Grand Masters season was tonight, but was canceled due to rain, which was good because I didn't want to go anyway...

Three sentences about 2017-09-05

Sep. 10th, 2017 12:08 am
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
Happy first day of school! For Junie, anyway; Q has some sort of hour-or-two-long visit thing today, and then half the kindergarten class has their first full day on Wednesday, half on Thursday, and then everyone on Friday. I walked Junie to school, she found her line just as they were getting ready to head in, and it was nice. :^) At work, spent much of the day getting back up to speed, and also fighting through some laptop firewall freakoutery, they made some configuration change that somehow led to massive packet loss when connected to the wireless network. Went to TJ's and Penzeys after work, where at the latter I picked up some jerk chicken seasoning, the latest in my attempts to come up with an additional thing the kids would enjoy... It didn't work out well: It was too spicy, which meant that when I put only a little on, it was too bland, but more of it was too hot for our tastes. This was further enweirdened by the ingredient list on the bottle being rather different from the ingredient list on the web site -- "ginger, brown sugar, sweet chili, garlic, paprika, allspice, lemon grass, thyme, nutmeg, black pepper, cumin, red pepper and jalapeno", says, but the bottle actually has ancho pepper as the second ingredient, and no sugar, so my hope of a sweet-ish garlic sauce was not to be. I may just try to make a sweet garlic sauce from basic spices, rather than trying to find a blend, will see. (What I really want is the yu hsiang sauce from Dragon Garden, but recipes for things by that name seem to be complicated, and I haven't found it in a jar at TJ's or either of the local supermarkets.) Anyway, I thought the result was ok if boring, but the kids weren't into it, so cross that off the list. Finished the evening with a bunch of miscellaneous logistics, and a major breakthrough in Omni and notepasser stuff at work, giving me hope that we can actually get this thing wrapped up this week.

(Here's what I actually ended up using: 1 tsp jerk chicken seasoning, add 2 tsp water, let it sit for 5 minutes, add the juice from half a lime, add that to 12 oz of cooked chicken in a frying pan, realize there's nowhere near enough liquid there, add another probably 2/3 cup of water. Cook for a minute or two, reduce heat and let simmer for 5 mins or so, add to previously-cooked 10 oz shredded carrots and 8 oz peas. Meh.)

Three sentences about 2017-09-04

Sep. 9th, 2017 11:50 pm
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
Happy Labor Day! A pretty laid back day, I started by catching up on a bunch of finances type stuff, and then took the kids to Hardy, where a friend (I) of Q's joined us to play. Junie ended up sitting and takling to I's mom for like an hour, which they seemed to enjoy, and which I was alternately amused and annoyed by -- I was hoping she'd run around a bit and get some exercise, but she just wasn't feeling particularly energetic, and they did seem to be enjoying talking to each other, so. :^) Amy took the kids for the afternoon, and I've forgotten what they did, but I took a nap, and then spent the afternoon reading outside on the deck. :^) Not in the hammock, which I haven't enjoyed as much hung tight and low on the deck since getting a chance to use it after hanging it more properly; I'm now thinking that I would like to get a stand after all, maybe the next time we get a 20% off REI coupon, we'll see. Still, a nice relaxing day which I don't seem to have any other notes about. :^)

Except my usual approximately weekly diet report )

Three sentences about 2017-09-03

Sep. 9th, 2017 11:44 pm
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
More catching up at home on Sunday, including a TJ's run that was interesting enough that I wrote down "TJ's", but not so interesting that I remember why it was interesting. The kids watched How To Train Your Dragon 2, and I caught most of it too; I'd seen it before (as had they), and I was reminded again how annoyed I am by the ending, but it has a lot of other good things going on, so is perhaps forgivable. We then headed down to Providence to go to WaterFire, which I'd never heard of, but which sounded cool when Amy pitched it. :^) We first spent the afternoon at the Providence Children's Museum, which was perhaps less glossy than the Boston Children's Museum, but had a lot of cool stuff that the kids really enjoyed. We had planned to have dinner at the nearby Providence Place mall, but had sort of not realized that the food court might close at like 18:00, so we made it barely in time to throw together a hasty dinner, but it worked out all right. Then down to the river to watch them light eighty or so bonfires on metal dishes, and walk up and down the river while music played. ( for pics and more descriptions) Headed home, the kids fell asleep in the car, and I imagine I did too shortly thereafter.

Three sentences about 2017-09-02

Sep. 6th, 2017 07:26 am
irilyth: (Default)
[personal profile] irilyth
Oof, I really fell off the wagon here. I jotted down some notes, and will try to catch up.

It was cold overnight in the hammock, even in my sleeping bag, probably because the insulation below me gets very compressed between my body and the hammock. I put my sweatshirt and jeans back on and slept better after that. Doug lit a fire in their portable fire pit thing in the morning, and there was a nice campfire vibe to the whole thing, if somewhat jarring because we were in a backyard in suburban Portland. :^) D&S made pancakes for breakfast, we hung around and chatted, and the kids swung on the tire swing and jumped on the trampoline while we packed up the camping gear. We drove home, unpacked, took showers, read some Hat Full Of Sky, and put the kids to bed. I then stayed up way too late catching up on stuff, overate a ton of cookies, for no obvious reason that I can remember now, and watched the first two episodes of Steven Universe, to see if it was something I'd enjoy watching with the kids -- I think so, and maybe we'll pick it up this winter, when we'll have some weekend free time that we don't want to spend running around outside.


ali_wildgoose: (Default)
Go make some new disaster.

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