Shanna Tova!

Sep. 20th, 2017 02:45 pm
[personal profile] marta_bee
I've been Dealing with the student loan people. Apparently a form I faxed in was never received. It was meant to renew y repayment plan (tied to my income so it needs periodic renewal), so the bills I received were way out of budget for me, and I kept calling and leaving messages after hours but never actually getting in contact with them, until they were threatening default.

Finally carved out some time and spoke to them, so that's now under control again. I think -- I'm not betting on anything until I see the next bill. But it feels under control, which has given me a bit of a mental restart on offline life generally. And the timing is really nice, too: it's Rosh HaShannah tonight, so a kind of new year starting again (or re-turning; the literally meaning of repentance). It's got me in just the right frame of mind.

A good and sweet year to those of you marking it, and a (hopefully) pleasantly chilly autumn evening to the rest of it.

Also: Here are some dolphins enjoying klezmer (Jewish jazz). It seems fitting.

Done last week (20170911Mo - 16Sa)

Sep. 17th, 2017 07:56 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Rough week. Especially yesterday, when N and I took a very sick Bronx to the emergency vet in Seattle. He had a fever of 106; apparently I can't tell at all from his nose and ears. He was also throwing up and not eating, and wasn't anywhere near his usual rambunctious self.

Note: apparently a virus. He's recovering well, and we'll be taking him home tomorrow.

The house seems very quiet and lonely without our Bronx boy. Brooklyn and even Ticia are rambuncting as best they can, but it isn't the same. Meanwhile, apparently cats really are liquids. Or should I say that cat is a liquid?

Thursday, one of our neighbor's cows got loose in our yard. One of those things that's very funny in retrospect. We've also been having a hard time finding a caregiver for Colleen.

As I said, rough week.

Two public service announcements:

  1. Breach at Equifax May Impact 143M Americans; How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Security Freeze
  2. If you happen to be on Whidbey Island next Sunday (the 24th, a week from today), drop by our house for music and food. "The usual potluck bash", as we used to say of the Starport.

I'm trying to establish a schedule, so that I actually get things done, have some time for Colleen, and don't spend all my spare time online. 9-11 on Tuesdays and Thursdays are earmarked for "Unpleasant Chores" - unpacking, cleaning litter boxes, finishing up the taxes, taking out the garbage, and so on. Tag "UC:"

Notes & links, as usual )

A Year of Four Emperors

Sep. 16th, 2017 01:33 pm
spqrblues: (Domitian forgets)
[personal profile] spqrblues
I'd forgotten I'd meant to put something like this in the printed book for Chapters I-IV. I was flipping through some printer's proof pages and remembered all the future emperors Felix stumbles across in Chapter II.

The fact that one person can meet, say, 7 emperors in a single lifetime doesn't say much for imperial longevity, does it...

Year of the Four Emperors-to-be

Done last week (20170903Su - 10Su)

Sep. 12th, 2017 07:13 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Somewhat eventful week, and I see that I didn't get it posted yesterday. Grumph. And today is a busy one, so this will be worked on only in the interstices.

This was our first week of school for both of N's kids, and in particular of homeschooling for j. N and I are taking turns, with N on Tuesday and Thursday, and me on Monday and Wednesday (when C has a caregiver in, although it's a little more hectic right now because we're between caregivers). Friday is for catch-up and projects. J also got the first weekly call from his teacher, where we were able to determine that we have a lot more freedom to choose which activities (e.g. science experiments) we actually do. It's still a bit of a scramble.

This weekend (ok, last weekend -- I'm finishing this up on Tuesday at this point) one of our neighbors, Dean, threw a huge party. He apparently does this every year for his birthday. He's 67, and has been building his house and "landscaping" his property since sometime in the '70s. It's awesome. "Landscaping" in quotes because landscaping doesn't normally include secret tunnels, grottos, and water slides. I only found out about it because I was standing behind him in line at the grocery store. Fairly large amount of music. He's a fiddler! We have a lot of songs that could use fiddle. He also repairs pianos.

The hash I made of "Wheelin'" on Saturday afternoon prompted me to finally reprint the LgF songbook -- two-sided, using my new style definitions. Worked great. There are still a few glitches, but on the whole it's a big improvement.

I made fudgies for the party. Recipe in the notes.

We hired a new caregiver for Colleen. As soon as we saw her purple hair we knew she was going to be a good fit. She'll start on the 25th, after giving two weeks' notice at her previous job.

Notes & links, as usual )

(no subject)

Sep. 10th, 2017 01:18 pm
[personal profile] marta_bee
A  story nugget I may flesh out when I'm less cold med-befuddled. It seemed like a good idea in the shower and I don't want to forget it, at least.

Meneldil (Anarion's son, Elendil's grandson, maybe 1-2 years old at time of Akallabeth) lands in Middle-earth and is promptly sent off to foster in Dol Amroth. When the Faithful first landed, their situation would be tenuous at best, not exactly the safest situation for a two-year-old prince, and there was a more-established community of the Faithful that could protect him. Maybe some of the other children, too, but certainly not his adult family members who'd be needed to build their settlement. The upshot being: Meneldil survives the storm, and then he's bundled off to live with strangers.

Enter another storm. Just a regular one, but a real howler if you're so young with that history. So he does the only thing he can think of: finds the highest ground he can think of, specifically the aviary. This is a community of Faithful who are back in Middle-earth where Manwe's eagles might actually be expected again, on top of which there was an elven setlement not too far off they'd probably be communicating with. Of course they'd have an aviary. (Though, what is it with me with stories set there?) And he finds (or is found by) another boy, maybe one of the attendants or just another child in the stronghold -- working idea is he's a very different kind of refugee, maybe from a family that escaped Sauron out of Harad who dreams of becoming a Swan Knight if he's very smart and lucky -- and they just have a bit of conversation. And the other boy shows Meneldil how high the cliffs are and how the waves are breaking not even half way up, that kind of thing.

Basically: Meneldil is sent away for his own good (though it would hardly feel like that) and makes a friend of an unexpected sort.

Arky, Arky....

Sep. 10th, 2017 02:31 am
[personal profile] marta_bee
First off: *waves* I have been thinking about you lot. I've also just been busy and tired and not really making the space for any kind of web activity that can't be managed while I'm waiting for the bus. (Which FB and Tumblr are set up for; El Jay really isn't.)

It's been a while since I've felt quite so hammered by reality. It's the weather. It's this current joke of a US presidency, and the hatred and callousness it enables. It's the fact that Angela Merkel, of all people, now shines as a paragon of liberal enlightenment, which is depressing by its own lights. But mostly it's the weather and what that represents, that people can't even have that most basic physical safety. I mean, America seems (and it's really not that much of an exaggeration!) half on fire and half underwater just now.

Still, I'm sitting pretty in New York enjoying the cooler weather and the return of pumpkin spice everything. Including the donut I just bought. (It really is good!). So whatever angst I feel is the second-hand abstract kind, not what a lot of you are dealing with in the flesh.

(Side note: if you're safe and living some place where I might worry, would love to hear as much!)

I did get a news alert on my phone tonight that the storm is changing directions toward Tampa, where I do have family. But they're used to storms, and there's not mobility issues or anything with them. So if there's a real threat to where they live they know well enough how to get out of there. Actually, the main thing the alert did was remind me of another Florida hurricane, I'm not even sure which one. Over a decade ago, I received some traumatic news and then promptly got locked down in my office at an ESL school where where I was teaching for the summer. But that's just a memory rather than a flash-back, so while I could do without the reminder, it's kind of nice to see how I've come a bit back from that.m

Fannish-wise, I'm afraid there's nothing much going on with me. Desire, drive, ideas, etc. - all there, but no real projects. Just got other RL stuff on my mind. I am enjoying consuming it a bit. And I'm rereading snatches of HP when I find the time - what a difference a decade makes, in how you read those stories!

What have you all been up to?

Testing new tech

Sep. 9th, 2017 10:28 am
spqrblues: (Antikythera hands)
[personal profile] spqrblues
I've heard wild and wonderful things about drawing comics on the new iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil (and an app called ProCreate--yikes). Maybe someday some new tech can join the art-supplies arsenal.

This test drawing is of a mishmash because I used about six different digital brushes/pens/pencils all on top of one another. I can see doing pencils and inking for the comic digitally, but I'll always be devoted to working with my actual ancient palette and its assorted exciting poisonous pigments.

In other news, any of you who supported the Kickstarter should have gotten both a backer survey and a download link by now; please let me know if you haven't received both.
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