the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
The day after the typhoon was calm and blue and beautiful. And then we did a whole lot of stuff! )And collapsing is our plan now!

Book recs

Sep. 19th, 2017 02:44 pm
[personal profile] ajohns
My niece is 14, queer, closeted, and deeply depressed. We're all working on getting her treatment, but in the meanwhile, I think that about the only thing she's mustering the energy for is reading. I've sent her a variety of books and graphic novels over the years (and she's read my brother's extensive graphic novel collection), and I'm running out of ideas.

She's a geek with a wide range of interests - superheroes, fantasy, minecraft, star wars... and a deep seated fear and anger around the Catholic church and the current administration. If you were her, what would you want to read that was fun, queer friendly (or at least not un-friendly), feminist (or at least not misogynist) and not too painful?

Yum.

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:48 am
kass: apples and honey (apples)
[personal profile] kass
It's one of my favorite flavors of the year, and it's one I only taste at this season: coffee-infused honeycake batter, licked off of the scraping spoon after I put the pans in the oven.

Gratitudes

Sep. 16th, 2017 11:52 am
kass: a latte in a teacup with a heart shape drawn in the foam (latte)
[personal profile] kass
1. Tasty leftovers for lunch: baked rice (lemon, cinnamon, curry leaves), topped with spicy kale (ginger, soy, and a hot red pepper from the CSA) with a dollop of chicken schmaltz just to make the whole thing richer and more flavorful.

2. Rereading the introduction to The Bitch is Back this morning and being both comforted and inspired by the existence of many smart, thoughtful, passionate women determined to wrest the most out of midlife.

3. The fact that my son, who is going on eight, still wanted nail polish this weekend and still watches Shimmer & Shine.

4. Beautiful warm late-summer day, which means I'm still wearing sleeveless shirts and sandals, both of which make me happy.

5. I'm going to give myself a pedicure this afternoon. \o/!

How are y'all?

typhoon!

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:04 pm
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
We are perfectly fine! But our plans have had to change... )

"Well, a typhoon is a quintessentially Japanese experience," I remarked to Geoff.

oh, also

Sep. 14th, 2017 09:53 pm
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
Geoff is blogging our trip at his own journal, if you're interested. He and I tend to report different things in different ways...

Hiroshima and Saijō

Sep. 14th, 2017 09:45 pm
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
I didn't realize that I would start choking up the moment we walked into the Peace Park, but on reflection I really should have expected that )

And now we're back in our ryokan, winding down and getting ready for bed. Tomorrow we'll go do the temple walk in Onomichi, I hope!

Gratitudes

Sep. 12th, 2017 04:03 pm
kass: orange aspen leaves, "zen fen" (aspen zen fen)
[personal profile] kass
1. Kitten. With his little kitten face, and his giant kitten paws, and his blissed-out kitten squinty-eyes while lounging on my desk in a sunbeam and licking my fingers.

2. Thanks to [personal profile] heresluck posting her recipe for Keralan pepper chicken last week I was inspired to get curry leaves (one can buy them on Amazon! which is useful to know if one lives in a small town as I do), and then I was inspired to ask her what else she cooks with them, and now I am making lemon, cinnamon, and curry leaf basmati rice.

3. It is warm this afternoon. Warm and beautiful and sunny and the crickets and cicadas are singing their song.

4. I have a big work deadline coming up and I am reaching a state of calm about it. As in: the really important things will get done. The things that don't get done...? Must not be that important. ::grin:: We'll see if I can sustain this attitude through the next couple of weeks (not likely, but one lives in hope.)

5. Tonight [personal profile] kouredios will come over and we will have dinner and watch some Gilmore Girls again. It's nice to be getting back to that routine.

How are y'all?

en route to Hiroshima

Sep. 12th, 2017 04:01 pm
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
arriving, and our first couple of days )

It's four o'clock and we're having a quick wash and rest before going out to see what we can of the Peace Park and then find some dinner! Contrary to the forecast I checked this morning, it isn't raining! though it's still hot and humid. Still, after some fiddling we figured out how to use our room's air conditioner, so we have respite, yay.

My brothers-in-law are okay!

Sep. 12th, 2017 08:12 am
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
They've lost power, of course, and there's property damage including a roof leak, but the house didn't flood (floodwaters reached the driveway but came no further) and the kids even slept through the worst of it. YAY.

On the plane and on the ground!

Sep. 11th, 2017 08:20 pm
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
This is a very long plane flight. Read more... )

And then we landed in Tokyo! Definitely no view of Fuji, though. )

connecting through Toronto

Sep. 10th, 2017 12:48 pm
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
and paranoically checking for updates on my brothers-in-law. They're on the east coast of Florida, so things are likely to be not quite as bad as predicted for them, but oh my god,the poor Gulf of Mexico. No news from them since a photo they sent last night of their master bath, all padded with cushions and mattresses and dogs. At that point, at least, the kids seemed to consider it all a great adventure...

As I watched the news coverage on one of the TV screens in an airport restaurant, I saw what has to be the most American headline ever: "Authorities caution Florida residents not to shoot at Irma, as bullets will not avert the hurricane."

Gratitudes

Sep. 9th, 2017 07:55 pm
kass: glasses of pink wine (rose)
[personal profile] kass
1. The tapestry of sound at twilight: crickets, cicadas, the occasional distant whistle of a train.

2. Mister Adorable Kittenface. Even if he's being a little bit bitey today and attempting to gnaw on me with his teeny tiny little teeth.

3. A glass of rosé, because rosé.

4. I finished Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate books and they are quite charming.

5. Today I wrote a work thing that really, really needed to be written. It's only a draft, so with any luck I'll manage to improve it, but worst-case instance, now it exists. Go me.

How are y'all this evening?

a couple of amazing things

Sep. 9th, 2017 07:31 pm
the_shoshanna: pleased-as-punch little girl: "Ta-da!" (ta-da!)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
The Voynich manuscript appears to have been deciphered!

And today is the birthday of Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov, an officer in a Soviet early-warning system who in 1983 averted what would probably have been "large-scale nuclear war".
Had Petrov reported incoming American missiles, his superiors might have launched an assault against the United States, precipitating a corresponding nuclear response from the United States. Petrov declared the system's indication a false alarm. Later, it was apparent that he was right: no missiles were approaching and the computer detection system was malfunctioning. . . . However, in a 2013 interview, Petrov said at the time he was never sure that the alarm was erroneous. He felt that his civilian training helped him make the right decision. His colleagues were all professional soldiers with purely military training and, following instructions, would have reported a missile strike if they had been on his shift.
Spasibo, Stanislav Yevgrafovich, and may your calm, non-military mindset be honored and taken as a model in our day.

Either I've done virtually everything I need to do to prepare for tomorrow morning's departure (except I'd like to bake a loaf of date-nut bread to have as travel food), or I've forgotten something catastrophic. Orthogonal to these possibilities, I'm terrified that the cat is going to pee on my luggage. Going upstairs to check on him now!

The Leftovers

Sep. 9th, 2017 10:46 am
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
Who among us has seen the HBO show The Leftovers? My friend, M, got me hooked - or rather, she wouldn't stop talking about the show, and introduced me to the achingly lovely score, and then earlier in the week I figured hey, why not watch the pilot and see how it is? And now it's ten episodes later and I am hooked.

If you haven't seen the show, the premise is that, without warning, 2% of the world's population disappears one October 14th. The show picks up the story three years later as everyone's still grappling with their loss. (The premise might sound sort of like the rapture, but it's not - it's never handled as that in the show, and ultimately you get the suggestion of other reasons why people disappeared.) The main protagonist is Kevin Garvey, the chief of police in a small, upstate NY town. He appears not to have lost anyone in the event, but he loses everyone just the same. His wife is in a cult-like group in town. His son is with a charismatic religious figure in the southwest. His daughter is deeply fucked up and remote. His dad is committed to a psychiatric hospital.

And then there's Matt, a local preacher, who lost one version of his wife, Mary. And Nora, who lost her husband and two children in the event. There's Patti, who's in charge of the cult, and Meg, who wants to join, and the town's mayor, Lucy, who is trying to chart a path through increasingly turbulent waters.

It's a slow burn of a show - I wasn't bowled over by it, but rather won over by it. Every episode the writers would drop a nugget of information about a character and I'd realize that meant X or Y, and then have to keep watching to see how that impacted everyone else, and before you knew it, it was episode ten and every, damn, thing in the show tied together. It was gorgeous.

Fair warning - in the first couple of episodes, as well as episode seven or eight, a dog (or dogs) are shot. If that's a deal-breaker, this wouldn't be the show for you. There's also some pretty graphic violence.

If you've seen it, talk to me about it!

so much going on

Sep. 8th, 2017 06:29 pm
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
The country has been metaphorically simultaneously drowning and on fire for months, but now it's literal for both. My brothers-in-law and their triplets are hunkering down to shelter in place in Florida, all of them huddled into the windowless master bathroom, and all we can do from up here is cross our fingers. They should be all right so long as the roof doesn't blow off...

I spent a few days in the States last week visiting friends, which was lovely, and somehow we ended up watching three Disney movies, which is not how I would have expected our evenings to go! I liked Frozen but did not find "Let It Go" the soaring paean to empowerment that I've gathered from internet osmosis many people did; I very much enjoyed Lilo and Stitch, which I'd already gotten a pretty good sense of from vids; and I loved Moana and would happily watch it again.

I also spent an overnight with my mother, during which I was reassured -- if that's the word -- that she isn't beginning to show slight signs of cognitive decline, as some recent phone calls had made me wonder; she just doesn't necessarily listen to me. Okay then!

I came back north with my stepmother, who visited us for a few days, and while she was here also went on a daylong bike ride north of the city. She's in her seventies and probably in better shape than I am, which motivates me alternately to go back to the gym and to lie on the couch re-reading The Course of Honour. (Highly recommended! if, you know, you like slash with tight plotting and good world-building and delicious, delicious angst.)

And on Sunday morning, just as the hurricane will be hitting my brothers-in-law, Geoff and I are leaving for two weeks in Japan! We'll be visiting Hiroshima, Nara, and the Five Lakes district on the shoulder of Fuji, and as usual I'll try to blog the trip but will put it under cut so as not to clog reading pages.

My cat is doing well but is scarily thin. It's possible that he won't live until we return, which is really hard to think about, but we've done everything for him that we can do short of cancel the trip; we had no way of knowing he'd be this ill when we planned it, sigh. Our cat-sitter is a tech at our vet's, so we absolutely trust her to know what he needs and how to do it, but it's going to be hard to say goodbye to him Sunday morning.

At which moment our brothers-in-law and nephews may be enduring god knows what, too. My god, this year.

Morning gratitudes

Sep. 7th, 2017 10:15 am
kass: a latte in a teacup with a heart shape drawn in the foam (latte)
[personal profile] kass
1. A latte. Because today is grey and there needed to be espresso.

2. A haircut! I have ears again! The best thing about having short hair is the delightful feeling of getting shorn again.

3. Earlier this week, [personal profile] kouredios and I watched an ep of Gilmore Girls for the first time in months upon months. I had forgotten how much I like these characters.

4. Tonight [personal profile] squirrelhaven and [personal profile] outsidetheparty and their kid are coming over for dinner, so I'm making green chicken enchiladas.

5. Kitten. Because kitten.

How are y'all this morning?
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