katallison: (Default)
So I'd pretty much decided that this year I'd give VividCon a bye. Money issues, partly; while it appears likely that I will be keeping my job, it also appears absolutely certain that my already-feeble income will be going down (furloughs are in the offing...). But also partly a feeling of disconnect from the fannish mainstream, and like I don't deserve to be taking up a space that could go to someone more actively engaged.

But then today I started thinking about all the people that I really only see at VVC, how much they really do mean to me, disconnect be damned, and how stupid it would be to miss this chance to see them; I examined the old bank account, lips pursed; I cancelled my gym membership, which is something I'd been thinking about doing anyway, since I can work out at home pretty much just as well with the kettlebell and the yoga tapes; and then at 9 p.m., I hit "Refresh" frenziedly a few times, and then typed in my reg info at top speed, momentarily forgetting my goddamned APARTMENT number, but then recovering.

I may be driving out instead of flying, and car-camping along the way (which, truth to tell, actually sounds like a bit of fun *g* and if fuloughs come down the way they might, I will for damn sure have the TIME); if worst comes to worst, I may have to cancel. But I appear to be registered, YAY, and with luck I will see various beloved folks out there, and some cool vids as well.
katallison: (Default)
So -- not too long ago, [livejournal.com profile] laurashapiro had a cool idea, as she is wont to do, being Large of Brain.

When she was out here for a visit, she brought it up to me, and I said, "Dang, that's a cool idea, and sign me up!"

[livejournal.com profile] prillilar and [livejournal.com profile] ladyjax joined in as co-mods. Proposals were written up, edited, sent around. An exploratory post was made, followed by a poll.

And now -- [livejournal.com profile] fenopause is live. As Laura describes it, "your community for discussions of aging, fandom, and the ways they intersect," and I couldn't say it better myself.

Check it out!
katallison: (Default)
A post at MetaFilter that ... I don't even know how to describe it, except perhaps possibly When West Wing Meets Due South, In A Way You Never Imagined...
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What I loved about Obama's speech was that, while eloquent, it didn't seem to me to be beautiful speechifying for its own sake, or overly fascinated by its own rhetorical flourishes, or trying to blow sunshine up our collective asses, but was rather on the bleak and harsh side, speaking plainly about hard work and responsibility, buckling down and getting real, setting aside childish things and growing up. I've seen it described by others as "wintery" and "muscular", and yeah, I'd agree with that. More to the point, though, I was struck by the fact that ... well --

"What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task."

...by the fact that Benton Fraser would have found this speech entirely admirable. Yup.

(And, on an entirely different and far lower note, the crowd singing the "Na na na na, hey heeeyyyy, goodbye" song to Bush's departing helicopter cracked me the fuck up. Because I am not Benton Fraser, yo.)
katallison: (Default)
The inevitable weather-related stuff: Some footage of the Pacific NW flooding, linked here because Snoqualmie Falls, shown in the early section of the first video link? is the waterfall that you see in the opening credits of Twin Peaks. Yowza...

And stuff that is just *awesome*: A surpassingly cool, I-don't-even-know-how-to-describe-it-or-how-they-did-it video, here.
katallison: (Default)
It's been raining hard and steady here for, oh, two days or so, which means that, on top of the remnants of Snowmageddon!, we are now having --

"...a memorable flood event," according to some guy from the National Weather Service who apparently thinks flood event somehow captures the ongoing emergency-disaster-AOOOOGAH-RED ALERT! vibe more eloquently than, y'know, flood. Because this is an EVENT we're having here.

Flood events are a time when it is good to be living on a hilltop (as distinct from Snowmageddon! events, or ice storms, when hilltops are not so great).

I-5 appears to be closed both north and south of here; my co-worker K. may be flooded out of her house tonight (poor woman, she just moved here from the high deserts of Nevada and I think is already regretting the change); and I am sending worried thoughts of love and concern out to [livejournal.com profile] arallara, whose house is right next to a river in a seriously-flooded city.

(ETA: "Record historic flooding" happening in eight or nine rivers in the area, according to latest news. God, this is painful--last winter's flooding, miserable and destructive as it was, is apparently now being surpassed.)

I am hunkered down, watching SGA reruns, drinking white wine, eating rye crackers, lighting candles, and listening to the wind lash the rain against the windows. If I make it through the next two days, I will have survived yet another First Week of the Quarter (and man, that gets harder every year, as I get older and more tired and jaded and fed up with tearful student freak-outs in my office).

And (I say this tentatively, with some fear) this weekend I may open up a piece of writing that's been in abeyance for a couple of years, and start typing words in. Because last night, after a couple of years of near-silence, the voices in my head started murmuring quietly again, and -- yeah, OK, maybe something will come of it, maybe not.
katallison: (Default)
I've put up a few photos from SNOWMAGEDDON '08--DAWN OF THE FINAL RECKONING OF DOOM.

Annnnd -- the new forecast is for four more inches this afternoon. I give UP.
katallison: (Default)
NWS: "A MAJOR WINTER STORM IS ON TAP THIS WEEKEND... "

Wunderground: "Heaviest snow will occur on the Kitsap peninsula along Hood Canal... Other locations within this area should get 5 to 12 inches of snow. ... If more precipitation occurs in the form of freezing rain than snow... then an ice storm would be possible with ice accumulations in excess of one-quarter inch. ... Ice storms are capable of causing power lines and large tree branches to snap and cause major travel disruptions."

NOAA: "Ongoing threat of sustained winds 50 to 60 mph with gusts to 75 mph or greater ... Structural damage, road closures, downed trees, and power lines ... "

Brad Colman, chief meteorologist for the Weather Service in Seattle: "This has the potential to be a notable and historical storm for some areas. ... This will be a major winter storm that will be life-threatening and disruptive to transportation and power for significant parts of Western Washington."

Oh, brother.
katallison: (Default)
Quickie update: By sheer luck, I managed to get my car home (just barely) yesterday afternoon, slewing and fishtailing the last few yards up the hill, and then slid-skid-jammed it into the last open parking space by the entrance to the apartment complex parking lot, where it is now reposing under a blanket of yet MORE fresh snow.

This apartment complex is a large one and sprawls down the side of a very steep hill -- steep enough that even the roadways running parallel with the hill's contours are aslant, so that in conditions of 7-8 inches of snow (my best guess, since our crappy local paper has at no point given us actual info on total snowfall or anything), cars that try to go anywhere will--eventually, slowly, inevitably--slide sideways into the backside of someone else's parked vehicle. Me, I am leaving my car lay where Jesus flang it until we have some significant melting. Which might not be until after Christmas, given that we have yet ANOTHER big snowstorm coming in over the weekend.

This is tiresome. I am lucky I did not get hit on the road, or slide into a ditch; I am very lucky the buses are running nearby, and that at worst I can walk the two miles to the shopping center and grocery story; I am revelling in my good luck that the electricity has not gone out at any point (although if we catch the gale-force winds predicted to come with the next storm, that could change). But still; tiresome.
katallison: (Default)
I started a post of Epic Whine last night, and ended up deciding to only post the condensed version, as follows:

Setting the Scene: Around five inches of snow fell here yesterday, which would be a yawn-inducingly normal occurrence back in Minnesota, but is DEFCON TWO RED ALERT PANIC NOW levels of unheard-of in the green and mild little city on the Puget Sound where I now reside.

Of The Good: My college decided to close around 3 so we could all get home before dark.

Of The Bad: We were the only educational institution of any sort, K-12 or postsecondary, private or public, in the entire county that was silly enough to even open yesterday.

Of The Good: They do, apparently, have actual snowplows here in my city. (The local paper alleges five, but I think that is a gross exaggeration.)

Of The Bad: The people running roads maintenance don't quite grasp that while plowing a snow-covered road is a good first step, you need to follow that up with sand and salt, or what you have is a clean-scraped, tightly-packed, highly-polished surface of glaze ice.

(The story continues within...) )

In conclusion: This is the kind of nonsense I moved here to get AWAY from, dammit. But at least I have heat, and power, and internet, and am (so far) unsmushed. Avaunt!
katallison: (Default)
OK, I may be in a somewhat inappropriate frame of mind from fatigue and burnout, but this entry at the Fuck You, Penguin website had me crying. with. laughter.

Now I totally have this fantasy where RayK also finds this funny as hell, and he forwards it on to Fraser, all snorting with laughter and hey, check this out. dork., and Fraser, who is having a very trying day and is in a pissy mood, sees nothing whatsoever humorous about it, and sends back a snippy terse e-mail, and then later there needs to be makeup sex or something. After which Ray fucks with the afterglow by giving Fraser this weird toothy grin, and Fraser (who had actually started to relax) squints quizzically at him, and Ray says moooooooooose in a hooting mooselike undertone, and then I think there is perhaps a pillowfight.

Hello, it is cold here and I have been in training sessions all day. The red wine beckons me, and then bed.
katallison: (Default)
Item #1,342,654 on the list of Reasons Why I Love the Internet:

Cute Things Falling Asleep.

I tell you what, if somehow these could be concatenated into a continuous video loop that could be projected onto my bedroom ceiling, I would never suffer from insomnia again. Also, my mental health would probably take a sharp and enduring upturn.

And this one is for [livejournal.com profile] brooklinegirl. Just because.
katallison: (Default)

So, I spoke a little too soon about the YAY of having heat back, because an hour later ... Yeah. Down again like a trick pony in a cheap Western.

Richard the Really Nice And Sorta Competent Maintenance Guy came back and re-re-set the power, which involves shutting off the main circuit at the meter. Then he came back in and told me nervously that when he'd done so he'd heard "sparking" noises in the circuit box and he thought I should maybe call the electric company. Who, after checking, said that THEIR service looked fine and it had to be something local. Upon which Richard advised me that I probably shouldn't, like, actually have the heat turned on, or not much, or use the stove, on account of how I probably didn't want to burn the place down. And he is going to get the electrician on it tomorrow and I should just hold tight for now.

Which -- OK, fine. Except for the part where my broadband and internet ALSO chose tonight to crap out -- and the amount of ice on the roads means I'm pretty much stuck at home.

But! All hail the iPhone! From which this is being posted! One laboriousl- tapped letter at a time!

(And, yeah, first-world problems for sure; and a salutary reminder of just how unhealthily reliant my entire life is on the power grid. Gnargh. Wrapping up in many blankets and going to bed now...)

katallison: (Default)
I tell you what, for sheer unadulterated Good Times, there's little to match having the heat in one's apartment go out at the start of what's being billed as the coldest week in 20 years hereabouts.

(Not that it ever actually gets COLD here in the Pacific NW -- I have not yet gotten soft enough to think the 20s above zero are COLD, nosiree -- except that in an apartment which is [a] not really "insulated" in any meaningful sense of the word, and also [b] currently unheated, it does get a bit -- chilly. Yeah.)

So, while Richard the Somewhat Competent Maintenance Guy fiddles with my heater (and with the dryer and stove, which have also stopped working in some sort of appliance sympathy strike) (which, yeah, I know, means the problem is in the wiring/electrical service, and hence will be longer and more complicated to fix, damn it), I thought I'd post that meme -- you know, the one that's been going around. Not that I do such things usually, but the incomparable [livejournal.com profile] kormantic tagged me, and so, self-indulgent natterings ho! )

Update: Heat! We have heat! At last!
Plus, for a bonus: It's snowing like a SUMBITCH out there!
I think I'm just going to wrap up in a blanket, and watch Slings and Arrows...
katallison: (Default)
I have just, with some lingering residual anxiety about counting the unhatched poultry, opened the bottle of champagne I've been saving up in the fridge, poured a glass, pivoted slowly around my study raising a toast to the four quadrants of this terrestrial sphere, and proceeded on my mission of getting joyously shitfaced. Which is oh, so very much pleasanter than the getting wretchedly shitfaced that was happening four years ago. (And eight years ago. And in 1988. And oh god, 1984, and 1980. And 1972, the first election I ever voted in. And 1968, the election where I first seriously got involved with politics.)(Though I wasn't getting any kind of shitfaced then, being as how I was fifteen years old.)

A huge amount of verbiage, much of it eloquent and moving, has been generated about this election, and I don't really have much to add to it. Just ... I really thought, after '04 and in the bleak years following, that something in our civic life was fundamentally, irrevocably, unfixably, broken. And now I don't feel that way so much. Which is good.

Big love to everyone who's posted their hopefulness here, and their anxiety, and their optimism, and their panic, everyone who volunteered, or donated, or just got out and voted. I am alone right now in my apartment, me and my bottle of champagne and my TV on mute (because OMG I cannot STAND the pundit-blather at the moment) and my seventeen tabs open in my browser. But I can feel everyone's happiness humming along on the ether-waves, and I send my little vibe to join the chorus.
katallison: (Default)
Of the various things that have been absorbing me during my LJ hiatus, the most completely absorbing is now, officially, finally, Ready For Her Closeup.

Everyone -- meet my newest family member.



Much much dog babble within )

Here, have some more pictures! )

Also! A very important poll! )

And, oh my GOD. I CAN HAZ DOG. My life is never going to be the same.

Updates to follow . . .
katallison: (Default)
So I just woke up from a prolonged and scary dream featuring zombies, which is weird for several reasons:

1. I never have nightmares;
2. Zombies are not on the (lengthy) list of things that scare me particularly;
3. I have never seen a zombie movie, nor (to my recollection) read any zombie stories (apart from Shrift's hilarious Firefly one). I am not what you'd call zombie-conscious.

(O HAI everyone, btw. Yeah, I've been on hiatus for quite a while now, not for any bad reasons [life has been excellent] but just for reasons of ... remoteness, or something.)

Anyway, there was also some fannish overlay to the dream. E.g., at one point, in one big room (the dream was mostly set in one of those multi-winged, many-storied, winding-corridored dark grim Victorian buildings of one's bad dreams) -- in one room, as I was saying, there were two guys who either were, or looked exactly like, Jim and Blair (I'm having SENTINEL ZOMBIE DREAMS now??? *covers face*). And the Blair guy suddenly transformed into a zombie (zombiehood was kind of a delayed--but-abrupt-onset condition, in this dream, making it scarier), and messily chomped either the Jim guy, or some adjacent person, or someone, until he was killed.

Also, various people I know from fandom drifted through from time to time, though the only one I can remember is [livejournal.com profile] vagabondage, who was a crafty and powerful anti-zombie warrior.

And hello, fandom. I will be trying to catch up on people's LJs now, and sticking around a bit more, and, it is to be hoped, bringing you something of more substance than zombie dreams. (I can't even blame the latest SGA for this one, since I only watched ten minutes before I was ded of boredom...)
katallison: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] otw_onlinecon is hosting a series of challenges, today's being "Blast from Your Fannish Past," in which participants are encouraged to "Write/vid/create art for your first ever fandom"--or, alternatively, "Crossover your First Fandom with your Current Fandom."

This started me thinking nostalgically about Twin Peaks, which I could make the case for being my first fandom--at least, the first show about which I was obsessional--and then about due South (in the "current" category, for lo, I am a stick-in-the-mud). I started thinking, "Hmmmm -- somebody really needs to write that story where Agent Cooper, in following up his investigations of One Eyed Jacks, runs into one Constable Benton Fraser, who is also investigating related evil weirdness, and stuff ensues."

And then I thought, "But you know -- aren't Cooper and Fraser really kind of the same person, sort of, in some respects?"

And then I thought, "No, here's the deal, Cooper is what you'd get if you smooshed Fraser and Mulder together in some kind of unholy brain-meld. Kind of, sort of. Yeah."

Yeah. The thought pleases me, anyway. Just as it pleases me to be posting, even if briefly and inanely, on matters fannish and entirely unrelated to moving, unpacking, household chaos, and other tediosities.
katallison: (Default)
Holy crap, has it been a Weekend of Productivity in these parts. Since my rather frazzled entry of Friday evening, I have:
--gotten all the boxes out of the living room and dining room;
--assembled the dining table;
--moved bookshelves to other side of the study;
--unpacked, dusted, and shelved all books;
--got my internet and cable TV connections WORKING AT LAST THANK YOU LORD;
--sorted and hung up/stacked/put in drawers three big plastic trash bags full of clothes;
--returned the broken ironing board (tooling down the freeway with it hanging out the trunk);
--vacuumed the entire place;
--and -- the one thing I didn't think I could manage myself -- assembled my bed frame. This is not only physically demanding (it's queen-sized, made of iron, and heavy as hell) but also mentally taxing, since the assembly process is rather complex and I had of course lost the instructions. But! I triumphed! I have a real bed!

(On the other hand, the washing machine in my unit is acting up, so I may not have any clean sheets to put on it. *sigh*)

Now that the living room is emptied of boxes, it is borne in upon me even more forcibly that I really need some furniture. As it is, the only thing I have to sit in is my lawn chair, and I'd prefer something a bit more upholstered. I did some shopping around this afternoon, and looked at/sat upon many sofas, all of which fell into either Group A: affordable and repulsive, or Group B: really nice and insanely expensive. The search will continue...
katallison: (Default)
Here's the thing: If I tell myself I can't post again until I make *some* attempt to reply to the backlog of comments, I will--uh--probably never post again. /o\ So I'm just (for the time being, at least) going to grovel and plead for a general amnesty in that direction, so that I may use my thimbleful of time and energy to WAVE MY ARMS AND RANT about the OMG state of MASSIVE CHAOS that prevails in my apartment at this point.

To recap: everything was moved in last Thursday, where "moved" = "guys hauled it in and dumped it." Last Friday was my first day at the new job, and crazy-busy, but I intended to spend the weekend unpacking, organizing, and getting everything generally set up.

Instead of which, I spent the weekend making 39675 trips to Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Linens 'n' Things, buying stuff like lightbulbs and toilet paper and cutlery drawer-divider thingies, and above all, innumerable storage-y/shelf-y contraptions to put inside of kitchen cupboards so as to maximize the *incredibly* limited storage space. Which--wow, was I spoiled by my former abode. The kitchen footprint here is actually about the same size, but this one has maybe a fourth of the storage; it's not *bad*, mind you, nice and clean and with shiny new appliances, and would be a pefectly fine kitchen for someone who doesn't actually cook much.

So, anyway, I got little done all weekend in the way of actual unpacking, though I did finally get the kitchen set up enough to be useable; and this week has been a time of utter exhaustion and overwhelm, partly from starting the new job, partly because I am majorly sleep-deprived on account of the dickwad who lives in the apt below me running his GODDAMNED television in the bedroom RIGHT below me all FUCKING night long. (I finally bought a fan, and run it all night as a white-noise generator, which does work, but I still sort of want to kill Mr. Downstairs.) All of which meant that I did no unpacking whatsoever all week, instead staggering home from work and collapsing. I have not yet put the bed together, mostly because I can no longer remember how it GOES together, and instead have the mattress and box spring sitting squarely in the middle of the bedroom floor, surrounded on all four sides by heaps of t-shirts, underwear, socks, and sweaters that have been dumped and strewn. My dining table, too, remains disassembled, because the dining room is still too full of boxes to fit another thing in, and hence I have been eating my meals (such as they are, largely featuring chips, string cheese, and beer) off my little deskside table, with my laptop perched alongside.

(Oh, and thank god that someone close by is running an unsecured wireless connection, because I have been having merry hell with Comcast [which, on the scale of predictable phenomena, is like saying the sun comes up in the east and sets in the west].)

My hallway is largely obstructed by the goddamned piece-o-crap ironing board I bought from Target, which I opened up, experimentally, and have been unable to get closed again. I'd turned it upside down to try to fiddle with the mechanism (something's broken in there) and, in a fit of rage, just left it there, lying on its back with its legs in the air like some huge dead cockroach. (Christ only knows how I'm going to get that sucker *back* to Target, short of tying it to the roof of the car.) And I have not unpacked and shelved any of my boxes of books, because I've decided I need to shift the bookcases over to the other side of the room, and I'm not quite strong enough to move them myself over the carpeting, so I need to go to Home Depot at some point and buy a hand truck/dolly (which is, I am firmly convinced, something every single woman needs).

I keep opening boxes up and finding things like: my globe, which no longer fits in its spot on top of the bookshelf on account of how the ceilings are lower here; three dozen crappy old t-shirts which for some reason I was unable to make myself throw away when I moved; a little stuffed animal that my co-workers gave me when I left and which I was also unable to yadda; and the champagne bucket, and the martini shaker, and picnic cooler and galoshes and extension cords and the Roomba and the Cuisinart and decorative little bowls for strewing about with potpourri or some damn thing in them, and napkins and placemats and candleholders and seven different changes of bed linens and SWEET CHRIST WHERE THE HELL AM I GOING TO PUT ALL THIS STUFF??

It is boggling to me that this nice 885-square-foot two-bedroom apartment does not seem NEARLY big enough for all the crap I moved out here with me, and this is after I got RID of about two-thirds of my crap. Thank god I didn't bring my sofa, because the space where the sofa would fit is filled with boxes that are in turn filled with yet MORE stuff that I'm going to have to put someplace.

So -- this shall be my weekend. And it is supposed to be 90 degrees tomorrow, which is the kind of nonsense I moved here to get AWAY from. (*sigh*)

I should add that, despite all this ranting, I do really like the apartment, and I shall soon take and post some photos of the amazing views from here on my hilltop. And I want at some point to write up the post of Oh my god, my new job is so incredibly, marvellously wonderful that I hardly know how to talk about it. Basically, I am indeed the most ridiculously lucky and blessed person on the planet (a fact which I shall no doubt appreciate more fully when I can figure out which pile my clean underwear is in...)

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