neadods: (contemplative)
The theme for the new year appears to be "surprise me." Or possibly I just want some nice surprises counterbalancing some not-so-nice ones.

This started with M joining one of those farm co-ops, which took me instantly from "yeah, yeah, I'll get around to cooking new things eventually" to "you gotta do something with that stuff before it goes bad."

The one I may or may not regret is joining The Fandom of the Month Club, which packages up a magnet, silkscreened bag, postcard, and some jewelry for, well, the fandom of the month. Which is a surprise. I missed the Snape memorial box, but am very curious to see what I'll get.

I hope I don't end up with a bunch of things I need to find new homes for...

In the rest of the state of the Nea, still doing virtual races, getting sucked into Zombies, Run!, and wondering how to balance taking it easy on myself with getting things done with the fact that some chores really must happen on a regular schedule.
neadods: (dw_logo)
I forget now what made me shy away from Regeneration Who last year -- something gave me the idea that it would be a trainwreck like the Discworld con -- which means I missed out on a year of a pleasant little Whovian relaxacon. By ChicagoTARDIS numbers it's modest; in comparison to Gally One it's miniscule... but then, I don't go to Gally anymore because the sheer numbers of people start to freak me out. I'm piss-poor at judging numbers, but it's at the hotel that does the Shore Leaves and Farpoints, and they top around 1500, and ReGeneration used half the ballroom. So I'm guesstimating it at the 750 range, give or take a hundred.

This weekend was triple-booked in all my fandoms - Friday and Saturday had Sherlockian events and Saturday also had a special Emma event for the Janeites, but I wanted to know if ReGeneration might someday serve as a ChicagoTARDIS substitute. It won't -- it's much lower key -- but low key is not a bad thing, especially when 221B Con is coming up in two weeks.

Colin Baker and Peter Davison are both good guests; I'd learned at a previous con that the two together are not to be missed, and they remain twice the fun when paired. Other excellent panels included the "Ultimate Dalek panel" (Nick Briggs sang "I got you under my skin" into a ring modulator) and a Second Doctor panel that included all of Troughton's remaining companions and his son.

I got to chat with Rob Shearman, but not Nick Briggs, alas. There's no lobbycon at ReGeneration, so it's "bumped into by serendipity" to have a chat, unless you pay for the fancy-dancy package. Perhaps I'll consider it next year. (Perhaps I will also get a hotel room next year, but this year I couldn't overlook that a hotel room was $150 a night, while a tank of gas merely $20, and ReGen doesn't have a masquerade.)

It's the first time I've been back at a local convention since I dropped off the con scene to renovate the house, and the first time I've been at the Hunt Valley without being concom/crew in some manner in... golly, nigh onto 30 years! So that was weird.

Perhaps I should suck up to the ReGenerations folks. :)
neadods: (csi_chicken)
Here's one for the hive mind to ponder: is there any reason why I should not start eating peanut butter and banana on whole grain sandwiches washed down with milk for breakfast? It's got grains, protein, potassium (twice), calcium, and making it requires no prep, no cooking, no reheating.
neadods: (bleh)
The neighborhood has been filling my Little Free Library to the gills again, which is lovely considering that the Book Thing is out of commission.

Unfortunately, the person who leaves hardcore BDSM porn among the children's books has been one of the generous ones. I honestly don't know which pisses me off more, the person who sweeps in and steals all my books in such a rush they get the notebook as well or this jerk. Not only that they do it in the first place, but that such a point seems to be made to nestle The Story of O or Marquis de Sade in among beginning reader books!

Fucker. And not in the kinky fun way.
neadods: (littlefreelibrary)
Last night there was a fire at the Book Thing. Russell, the owner, estimated that there had been 200,000 books in stock; now an unknown number have been either burned, scorched, or soaked. Part of the warehouse has collapsed.

And damn if this weekend he isn't planning on hauling all of the still readable books out into the parking lot so people can have them. For free.

PLEASE DONATE IF YOU CAN The website bookthing.org has a "Donate" link. (It has not been updated for the fire, but local papers have picked up the story.

I feel bereft and a little lost. I know that Russell has pledged to rebuild, and I will do everything in my power to help. But... there are 3 boxes and 4 bags of books in my trunk right now because I'd planned on going on Saturday.
neadods: (sherdoc)
So, I wrote down a list of things that I think I should do on a weekly basis to keep my life running without things piling up. Only... the first quiet Saturday I sat down to do the list, I realized with horror that I'd signed myself up for around 8 hours of work on a "lazy" weekend.

The stuff still needs doing, though, so I've tried to split it up to around an hour or two a day. Mondays are now Me-Time Monday; an hour of reading or knitting to podcasts. Today is Transcendental Tuesday.

This is based off of three things - a general acknowledgement that meditation is good, that yoga is helping me become far more flexible, and a newspaper article that meditation + mild exercise are a natural antidepressant.

And... there's an app for that. Two apps for that, from which I built my routine and which I will now recommend:

iMantra. $0.99 It's a little buggy, but for a buck you can download a bunch of different mantras or record 9 of your own. You determine the volume of the mantra v the music and how many go-arounds you want to go around. Then you can either click the beads on a virtual mala or choose "chant" and it will repeat all the times you'd chosen while you go along.

Yoga Studio. I am 98% in love with this, and I've already written the company and asked for the last 2 features that would make it perfect. It's $4, but you get a variety of downloadable classes AND the ability to create as many routines of your own as you please. I've been doing a 2-minute stretcher most mornings, and on Transcendental Tuesday I built a 15-minute set of standing stretches and a 20-minute set of sitting/kneeling stretches (which I prefer to do on a bed for the sake of my knees, if I can get the cats to give me enough room).

It's impossible to tell what the impact will be after only one day, but I did find it both peaceful and encouraging that I chose everything I "had" to do.
neadods: (disgusted)
If you want to make popcorn and watch the crazy, Malheur is the gift that keeps on giving. I just finished listening to all of both live feeds today (and those are some brain cells I will never get back.) I think the part that impressed me most was how often their paranoid fantasies of persecution went so far they freaked *each other* out and someone would have to stop and talk the others down. As soon as one martyrbation fantasy was shot down, it was off to the next one without a break in step. They're gonna shoot us in the dark! They're gonna shoot us when we surrender! They're gonna grab my wife by the hair and beat the shit out of her just 'cause!

And then we find out that their shitting all over what's actually important while they act out their delusions of significance wasn't just metaphorical.

Now, this, where the govt is being sued for 666 billion by someone who thinks that all the courts, the government, and everybody and their dog is colluding against her and her part in the occupation. The linked article links in turn to the 8-page filing and wow. Juuuuuuuuuuust... wow.

In accordance with the rules of professional conduct, the code of judicial ethics and the laws that prevent judges from sitting on cases that they have a direct interest in, I am objecting to each and every judge who is a state or federal Bar Association member from presiding over my case. I am lawfully entitled to have a fair and impartial judge, and effective council and I will settle for no less. I am reserving my right to have assistance from my "Next Friends"
neadods: (wtf)
I got nothing done last night; I was glued to the live feed out of Malheur where the last 4 holdouts were pretty much losing their hold on reality as the FBI had had enough and moved in. (No, darlings, "America" was not "rising up" to "start the revolution" to save your asses. TAKE THE HINT.)

Finally I went to bed late. Come morning, the entertaining feed was over but archived (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cOlrSain0lk) - all 4.5 hours of it.

(I kind of get why people used to tour insane asylums now. It's not humane... but it's fascinating.)

But what was even more entertaining than the feed was the news that Cliven Bundy left his armed sedition HQ ranch to "help" save the mess he and his boys started -- and got his ass arrested without a hail of bullets.

Well played, FBI! Well played!

It is done.

Feb. 9th, 2016 04:59 pm
neadods: (contemplative)
The renovations I started 7 years ago on my house are complete. Oh, there are things to do still, but the big list of This Must Change has been checked off. In that time I stopped going to conventions that had been a large part of my life (to put the time and money towards housework), the house was robbed, I got out of (and back into) debt* and the scope of the project, like any project, grew.

Still, it is done. The one thing remaining on the original list is "rehang art" and I was going to do that this weekend. After going through said art and deciding what I still want on my walls, because I've decided that I'm very proud of some of my own photos and it's time to print and hang them too.

I'm still adjusting to how my life has changed with decluttered rooms and new systems. So far, the four biggest changes in my life are:

1) Floors are much easier to clean. I loathed that boring beige carpet from the moment I first set foot in the house in a showing. It was rolled up and removed years ago, and the wood underneath it refinished. (I have a sneaking suspicion that it's the underflooring that got sanded and polished, but it looks okay.) Now it looks better and is easier and faster to clean.

2) I wash my hair in the kitchen sink. A lot. (That was likely TMI.) But the new marble kitchen counter came with an extra-deep sink and an extra-high gooseneck faucet. I'd planned it that way so I could easily wash the turkey roaster, but on nights when it's just too much time and effort to get naked, get wet, get dry, and get dressed, it's terribly convenient to shove my head under the faucet and just deal with the hair.

3) I eat at a table like a grownup for the first time in over a decade. The newly cleared out library has just room enough for a little folding gateleg table. I got it so I could open it up and have little dinner parties, but now that I have it, it's become a convenient workspace... and an actual table to eat at, instead of hunching over the coffee table.**

4) I embraced layering and completely redid my wardrobe. This was, in part, necessity: having "this season's" clothing in my room and "last season's" clothing downstairs became an unworkable concept when the temperature went from 60F to 18F in two weeks. So I got a new closet system and crammed everything within it - summer/transition on the top rod and winter/cold transition on the bottom; under layers to the left and top layers to the right. (Double-hung bright pink hangers provide dividers between things like sleeveless/sleeved and work clothes/running T-shirts) THEN I did the thing where you hang your clothes with the hanger going backwards until you wear it once, so you know what you use and don't use.

Instead of dithering for ages over what goes with what or "where is my x?" I can pull outfits together in a minute. In fact the backwards hung hangers have become a challenge for creating new outfits. I haven't worn the long-sleeved brown top yet! Oh, look, I've got a khaki sweater and blue jeans to go with it. Boom. Done.

I still need to winnow down the crammed clothing***, and there is still stuff in the basement that I have to assess if it gets clothing room. But still. That thing was worth every penny and all the angst it took to put together.

On to the next challenge. But this one doesn't get to override my entire life.



*Not credit card debt; I got a loan to have the roof replaced. As the new roof handled 30 inches of snow admirably, I'm happy I had it done. God willin' and the creek don't rise, it'll be paid back in a little over a year.

**Which still happens if there's something good on TV at the time, but still.

***And rearrange it; I'm considering underlayers on the top and overlayers on the bottom; either way, things are so much more organized!
neadods: (fandom_sane)
Next month I have to choose between being a Holmesian and a Whovian, and rather resent that fact.

On one hand: a Red Circle meeting that would let me get back into good graces after blowing off the last one, and a super-rare Diogenes Club meeting. There have only been two meetings of that one in as many years - and I missed the first one because I was committed to an open hearth demonstration for the Kitchen Guild. I promised myself the next Diogenes club meeting!

On the other hand - Regeneration Who. I shied away from that last year, but folks I know went and had a good time. Guests include Nick Briggs (who I always enjoy slightly annoying hanging out with), Terry Molloy (who I meant to fanstalk at ChicagoTARDIS when he was there, then ended up fanstalking Tony Lee instead because he'd announced it was his last ChiTARDIS) and the panels include the Peter Davison/Colin Baker show, which should never be missed. In fact, last time I saw the two of them together I promised myself I wouldn't miss that show.

The decision is made - for a variety of reasons I got a Regenerations membership tonight - but I feel no matter which way I go, I'm letting people down. Including me.

Also... that "for a variety of reasons." It's fandom. I shouldn't have to do pro/con lists and come up with rationalizations. This is supposed to be fun.
neadods: (sherdoc)
*Last* year I made the resolution to take regular yoga classes. I started classes from a couple of different teachers, only to be incredibly frustrated by what seemed like "throw it against the wall and see what sticks" courses - no sense of building up to a more advanced pose, no feeling of "today we work on balance; next week we work on flexibility" - and worst of all, constantly having to adapt moving from one pose to another or how a pose worked to cope with my bad knee.

Folks, I don't care what your yogi says, the one on the left will bear weight or it will bend, but it hasn't done both for over a decade.

I bought some DVDs and then couldn't be arsed to watch them.

So it didn't take long for me to think "fuck it." I did, however, work in a lot of downward dogs and wide stance forward bends into daily life, because they made the running easier and worked out the kinks when I've been sitting in a car for a while.

*This* year, I discovered the Yoga Studio app. (iTech only, $4.) And I am in looooooooove.

1) Your classes can be downloaded onto your phone. No driving anywhere, no DVD player required. If you know the routines you don't even have to look at the phone; a voice will prompt you to change. If you don't know the routines, a woman is demonstrating them for you in real time.

2) A variety of classes at various levels, for various lengths, and for various things (balance, strength, etc.) are built in.

3) You can build your own classes. The app lets you pick out all the poses you want from a list, lets you determine the length of each pose, and suggests linking poses between your choices if you want.

Duuuuuuuuuude! I am going NUTS with that option, just nuts. I can decouple standing and sitting/kneeling/lying routines (the latter I prefer to do on the bed to cushion my knees). No! Knee! Bends! EVER! I've got a two-minute standing "work out the kinks" routine, I have a "decompress from the day" routine, two "yoga in PJs" routines (one mine, one theirs).

There are a few features I'd like that they don't offer yet. When it ends it just cuts short - no bell, no "namaste," no nothing. I'd like to have something to ease me out of it. There's no way to link in any form of meditiation - I wouldn't mind the option of a little breathing exercises, an "om" or two. But still - excellent use of $4!
neadods: (laughter)
I have come through the snows. The power stayed on, the fridge was stuffed with food, and itinerant snow-shovellers knocked on the door at 7:30 this morning and dealt with the driveway and front walk, so I didn't have to. As M is recovering from hand surgery, I did NOT want to deal with 30" of snowfall on my own!

There have been a lot of articles written about Snowzilla. This one is the best:

The city is lost. For more than 24 hours, the sky has fallen on Washington, D.C., once considered the most powerful city in the world. Still it falls, in the form of tiny jagged ice crystals, which rain down in sheets on the capital of the free world. District delenda est.

The city is lost. Since yesterday afternoon, nature has reasserted its hold over the world of man. In a neighborhood called Cleveland Park—for that is something that human civilization once did; we claimed lands and gave them titles, we called these lands home, we called these lands ours—the fauna have returned.
neadods: (sherdoc)
There have been some beautiful tributes to Alan Rickman over the last couple of days. The Slitheryn scarf on the half-trolly at Platform 9 3/4. The single white lily at the door of the Potions room on the Hogwarts ride at the Wonderful World of Harry Potter. (I've learned a new fannish glyph: /* for "wands raised.") The wand raising ceremony also at Wonderful World of Harry Potter.

Hogwarts Running Club is memorializing the embodiment of Snape with what they do best -a run for charity. "Always," slated for Rickman's birthday, is a 3.94 miler for the line "Turn to page 394." There is no race medal, but purchases of the race shirt will be donated to Debate Mate, one of the charities Rickman supported.

Facebook event post
US purchase of race shirt
International purchase of race shirt

I am very pleased to see that in less than 48 hours, Always has pulled in over $15,000.
neadods: (Default)
David Bowie
Brian Bedford
Alan Rickman

It's been three deaths in rapid succession. Can it be over now?
neadods: (Default)
Alan Rickman will be sorely missed. 2016 is not starting well!
neadods: (sherlock)
Am about to read all comments from last night but -- I just realized that the only story actually name-checked in the special had a twin theme!
neadods: (sherlock_believe)
Legionseagle made a good start but I thought it would be fun to make a collaborative list of all the homages and shout-outs in The Abominable Bride to canon and other Holmes versions

(I'm seriously considering making a list of all the stories that were directly quoted and giving it to Sherlock fans who haven't read canon if they'd like to hunt 'em down in a reverse Easter egg hunt.)

Anyway... here's what I've got in no particular order. Sing out in comments Spoilers, sweetie! )

Legionseagle, where's the Rathbone reshoot?

I would have sworn that "regulation tread" was a quote, but I can't find it. The bit about bad/missing breakfast is also a homage, but all I remember of the original quote is "love romance" and googling "Sherlock Holmes" "love romance" gets... interesting... results.
neadods: (contemplative)
This is where I belatedly look at last year's resolutions and tot up what I've accomplished. This is where I put a new list of what I plan on doing.

This is where neither of those are going to happen. My life took several sharp turns last year, including a major derail in the last quarter that only got back on the rails just in time to head full steam into the holidays and that, in conjunction with still dealing with my friend's brother's unexpected death almost a year ago now makes me a little less interested in making a list and checking it twice and a little more interested in spending time sitting sideways on the couch, cat in lap and book in hand.

(My involvement in social media is... going to be variable. At the moment, it depends on how well I conquer the urge to reach out and punch people over the Sherlock Special, which I enjoyed and others didn't. Both of which are fine, until people start using phrases like "an important voice in fandom says..." and "the real Holmes..." etc. I haven't seen "true fans..." yet, but it's been heavily implied and I've got 30 years of handing people who gatekeep fandom their own asses rising to the boil.)

As for this year, yes of course I have things to do. If nothing else, the final, final, final stages of the renovations started years ago are so damn close I can taste them. One big final push redoing my closet and going through my clothing and it's all over except rehanging art I took down over 5 years ago.

And there are things I want to do, to learn, to have in my life. Doubtless I will be talking about them as they arise.

In the meantime, this is enough.
- All but one room on the first floor is organized and decluttered enough
- I earned the "Perfect Prefect" pin and Dumbledore's Army galleon from Hogwarts Running Club
- There is significant improvement in the overall amount of sheer STUFF piled around
neadods: (sherdoc)
There's this meme running around Facebook about how in Iceland it's traditional to read a new book in bed on Christmas eve.

...and I thought two things. 1) That's cool and 2) That is totally how I'm celebrating everything from now on - taking time to read a book!

So tonight, I start my new tradition with Tamar LeJeune's "Christmas with the Duchess." (Hey, I never said they'd be profound books!)

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate, and to ALL - a good night.
neadods: (theater)
I've said before that as funny as I find Noises Off, The Play That Goes Wrong is funnier.

Here's almost 10 minutes of why I think that: http://www.sunnyskyz.com/happy-videos/3576/These-Performers-Forget-Their-Lines-And-Keep-Messing-Up-On-Purpose-The-Result-Is-Hilarious-#8H3ofzYiy48HYJVq.01

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