Answer for question 4292.

Would you say you are generally a good or bad influence on other people? Why do you think that? What's one time that someone was a particularly good or bad influence on you?
Huh. I don't think I've ever been in a position to influence anyone. I mean, I try to be a good person, but I don't have kids, my younger siblings were never in any particular awe of me, and I was certainly never a leader of men (or women) as a teenager. As an adult I've been in charge of various things at various times, but I don't think I've ever been an influence.

And outside of my parents, I can't really think of anyone who influenced me all that much -- I've admired or been impressed by a lot of people, for being good at what they do or for being generally good human beings, and some of them probably influenced me without me realizing it. But I don't think I've ever consciously patterned myself after anyone.

ETA: Oh, wait! When I was in third grade, another girl in my class came to school wearing a Boy Scout t-shirt. Me and another kid started teasing her about it. My teacher, Mrs. Baltz, heard us, and dragged us both off and gave us both a very stern lecture about how some kids were not as well off as we were, and how wrong it was to tease someone for what they were wearing when they might not be able to afford anything else. I loved Mrs. Baltz and was devastated to have disappointed her, and I was incredibly ashamed of myself for being a bad person -- it had honestly never occurred to me that I was actually hurting the other girl's feelings. Her speech made such an impression on me that I could never bring myself to wear the dress I'd been wearing that day ever again, and ever after I tried really hard not tease anyone. (I did not always succeed.)

(The ironic thing was, we were not terribly well off ourselves. The only reason I had reasonably nice clothes was that I had fourteen older cousins, and twice a year Mom got boxes and boxes of hand-me-downs that her sisters' kids had outgrown. The only things we got new were Scout uniforms and shoes, because Mom's feet had been ruined by wearing hand-me-down shoes as a kid, and she was determined that wouldn't happen to us.)

Mostly about furniture

Last week the furniture restoration place returned the dressers and washstand I got from Mom. They are the remnants of a set which belonged to my grandmother (and likely my great-grandmother before her, and maybe even a great-great grandparent.) Grandma got them when her mother died, and used the set from (I think) the 1920s until she went into a nursing home in the 1970s, at which point Mom inherited them. She used them until she moved into the assisted living place this year, at which point I inherited them. Mom says they go back to the 1860s. I don't know if that's accurate, but they are quite old, solid maple with birdseye or curly maple accent panels.

In short, they've been in continuous use for the last 150+ years, and they looked it. Because they're fantastically well-made, the damage was mostly cosmetic – lots of little dings and scratches in the finish. There were a few structural issues. Originally, the low dresser and the washstand had marble tops, but when my grandmother moved out to Arizona from Connecticut, she thought the tops were too heavy to ship, and left them behind. (The bed which went with the set was sold or abandoned at that point as well.) The tall dresser was missing some decorative scrollwork on one side and had a big crack across the top, and the washstand was missing its door.

The restoration place replaced the door and the missing scrollwork (actually they replaced both sides, probably because they couldn't reproduce the remaining one exactly) and put new tops (wood, not marble) on, and cleaned and refinished all of them. They look GREAT. (The guy who brought them back said that everyone at the shop was really surprised at how beautiful they were under the grunge. I am not surprised, but I'm very happy with the way they turned out. It was not cheap, but it was far less expensive than it would have been to buy furniture of similar quality new.

Saturday we spent the morning clearing out our old dressers (which are considerably younger than our new dressers) and re-arranging all the bedroom furniture. In the process it was borne upon me once again just how big a piece of crap our bed was. It's a Frankenbed: the shelf/headboard of an old waterbed bolted onto the top of an old frame we got from Kathy's mother when she moved out of her place in Tucson twenty years ago. It wobbled and creaked and threatened to fall apart every time we moved it, and it was ugly, and looked even worse next to the shiny, shiny new dressers, and we'd just gotten our tax return, and to make a long story short, I decided that it Was Not To Be Borne Any Longer.

So we went over to Maple House, a place near us that sells really nice solid wood furniture which I have lusted after for decades. Lo and behold, amongst all the things we absolutely could not afford, there was a plain rock maple bed with a finish that was pretty close to the dresser set, for half the price of everything else because the company that made it had recently gone out of business. It was meant for us, and I bought it and a matching nightstand for Kathy on the spot. They delivered it today, and I'm thrilled with it.

So I've spent all Saturday and Sunday moving furniture and books at our place, and then all yesterday and today moving boxes at Mom's old place as my brother and I set up for the sale, plus disassembling and removing our old bed this morning, and I am so freaking tired. Hank and I have made a pretty big dent in sorting through the stuff at Mom's, but there's just no way we can lay it all out in the space we've got. This is definitely going to be a multi-weekend sale. There's still about a room's worth of things to sort in the house, and all the stuff in the shed.

Anyway, pictures:

Dresser, highboy, and nightstand, Before:
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It's a little hard to see them because these were taken right after we unloaded them after transporting them from Mom's place, and the drawers are all out and the highboy is still laid flat. But you can get some idea of how beat up they looked.

Dresser, highboy, and nightstand, After:
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(These pictures are way yellow, and I don't have Photoshop on this computer to correct them. The one of the wash stand is closest to the true color.)

Kathy's new nightstand and the Bed of Maximum squee:
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And a bonus picture of Little Bit, who will not hold still for the camera:


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Seasonal Spuffy is here!

Sign-ups here!

Go there! Sign up! Write/draw/vid/etc. something with our favorite vampire and Slayer in it! Come, on, you know you wanna! The recent issues of the comic features Spike and Buffy cuddling in bed with KITTENS! If I do not see fluffy Spuffy kitten!fic this round, then fandom truly is dead! Or if you prefer your Spuffy angsty and messed up, just wait a few issues, I'm sure Joss will oblige! Either way, go! Fly like the wind! Sign up now!

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Fic: Imperfect Happiness, PG, Buffy/Spike

Imperfect Happiness
Barb C

Characters: Buffy/Spike
Rating: PG
Notes: I... I wrote a comics-compliant Spuffy drabble. That doesn't end in bitterness and angst. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

When it comes to her, Spike's still got no pride. He tells her he loves her. Again. She just kisses him. Again. Because actions speak louder than words, or because those particular words don't apply to Spike? Even she's not sure. Either way, for all his speeches about doing the right thing, he's kissing her right back.

It's going to end in tears. That's what her love life does. But she's tired of waiting for the perfect man at the perfect moment, and Spike is so gloriously flawed. Maybe if their happiness isn't perfect, it'll be strong enough to last.


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Mar. 14th, 2015

I dreamed that we'd been given an all expenses paid trip to Disney World, but when we got there, I realized I'd forgotten to take time off, and had to buy a plane ticket back home immediately so I could run the Report of Doom on schedule. I told my boss about it, and we had a good laugh. Apparently when he related this to Grand-Boss, she felt it was a sign of incipient burn-out on my part, and has decreed that I have to take a break from the Report of Doom once a month and let someone else run it. Fine by me, though I'm fairly sure that if any problems arise I will be the one who has to fix them regardless.


Got up. Alternated playing Minecraft and futzing with Chapter 13 until Kathy got up. Ate banana bread with peanut butter for breakfast. Started laundry. Walked dog. Kathy tripped and fell on the way back home from the park, and banged up her knee. Boo. Got home, hung up laundry. Ran out to pick things up for Mom and then dropped by her apartment for a short visit. Ran back home, fixed lunch, then ran out to the old house and spent most of the afternoon setting up tables and sorting through the boxes in the front storeroom. Got it mostly cleaned out and vacuumed. Tomorrow we'll go back and set up more tables in there. I found yet another little stash of pre-1964 silver dimes and quarters, probably not enough to bother calling the coin guy about them. Took out several bags of trash/recycling. Fed her cats, cleaned their litter. Ran over to Trader Joe's to pick up salad fixings. Came home to put dinner together. I made salad to go with Kathy's chili.

Then the gang came over for dinner, bearing pie (for Pi Day!) and we watched Horns, which was OK, but I've kind of had it with beautiful pure girls who exist only to love the hero unconditionally and die tragically.

The house is a mess. Once we're done with Mom's we really, really need to clean all the things here. But for now I'm going to take a hot shower and go to bed.

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Snippet from POM Chapter 13

Just to prove that I really am still working on it. This is a VERY rough draft of the first scene.

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Things and stuff

Last week I had someone come out from one of the auction places and look at Mom's stuff, and they bought a few dozen things outright, but said that it would take so much work to go through everything that they wouldn't be able to offer a decent price. He advised me to do a yard sale or eBay things myself, as I'd get a better deal that way. Since this is the second outfit in a row to take a look at Mom's place and basically blanch and back away slowly, I'm going to bite the bullet and do just that. Last weekend we started to clear out the living room in preparation for putting up tables, took photographs of most of the furniture to go on Craigslist, and bagged up all her remaining clothes to go to Goodwill (unless it's baby clothes, clothes usually don't sell at yard sales around here.)

I also got the yard trimmed. Yay me.

Work's still a madhouse, but for reasons utterly beyond me, my insect overlords seem to be pleased with me. My boss's boss sent me a bottle of wine with a thank you – for fixing the mistake I made quickly, I guess? I'm baffled, but I'm not going to argue about it. We'll be finding out about merit raises in the next couple of weeks. We've been warned that not everyone who's eligible for a raise may get one, due to the ongoing financial situation, but today we found out that our chances are slightly better than some of the gloomier prognosticators would have it. I'm still not holding my breath.

Little Bit has settled in pretty well. She's wandering all over the house now, and while she still avoids Bo and Churro, she's not panicked about them. She and Cairo mostly ignore each other. That's about as good as I could hope for in the relatively small amount of time she's been here. Not looking forward to the next attempt to capture Ma-San. :P

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It's been a weird couple of weeks. I feel like I ought to write something about my sister, but I also feel that anything I write will be completely inadequate. And I feel like... Ok, my sister had a whole life that I was mostly not a part of, and the people who were a much bigger part of her life that I was have a right to their grief, but I don't. I'm the stranger at the funeral. Which makes it embarrassing when I do things like having to put myself on mute in a conference call because I'm randomly bursting into tears. We had a crisis at work the day after Belle died, and the whole week after, so I had zero chance to take time off to process the whole thing. (I feel presumptuous saying 'to mourn,' because of the above not feeling as if I have a right to be all that sad.)

And I think about things like jelly. When I was a kid, we almost never had store-bought jelly, because Mom made all of ours. Ever summer, she'd mash and strain and boil down vats and vats of Dad's plums and grapes, and sometimes pomegranates or pyracantha berries (which no, are not poisonous) and melt paraffin (because we didn't have fancy schmancy canning jars, just repurposed glass jars from pickle relish or mayo or something) and put up dozens of jars of jelly. Mom stopped making jelly when we moved away from my childhood home, but when my sister moved up to Washington and got a place with a big garden, she started making it. Every year or two we'd get a big box of jelly: blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, everything. She hadn't felt up to making it the last year or two, so we're running low.

Now every time I make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I think, "I only have three (two, one..) jars of Belle's jelly left."

There's going to be a memorial service in April, which I will go to.

The crisis at work was partly my fault, which made everything so much better, she says in her sarcastic voice. One of those things where someone pointed out a problem with the REPORT OF DOOM, I did some experimenting and put in a fix, and the fix had unintended consequences. Which I caught and fixed. Except... I missed one place. So when the report went out, all hell broke loose. Everything's fixed and working now, but I screwed up big time, and that made my yearly review hell – not because I was getting chewed out for it, no, because it was unbearable listening to my boss tell me how well I'd done last year when I'd just made such a huge public error. And on one hand I feel like screaming, "Well, my sister was dying, I had other things on my mind!" but on the other, I feel like that's a cheap, manipulative thing to do.

I was saddened to hear about Leonard Nimoy's death, too – like so many of us, I was a huge Star Trek fan as a kid, and Spock was always my favorite character.

I gotta stop reading Tumblr meta. There is nothing (on a fannish level, I feel the need to qualify) that annoys me more than people who co-opt social justice language to justify their ship-bashing. Especially when they extend that ship-bashing into bashing the people who ship it. Especially when they ship equally 'problematic' things themselves. (And no, this has nothing to do with Spuffy; I'm tempted to go white-knight for Drusilla/Angelus shippers because A Well-Known Tumblr Fan is being such a sanctimonious dick towards one of them. And I don't even LIKE Drusilla/Angelus.)

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Life goes on

For some of us, anyway.

Work has been hell this week, which in some ways is good because it kept me occupied, and in other ways was not good, because, well, work has been hell. At home, Little Bit is adjusting, slowly -- the last few days she's emerged from her hiding place in our closet (where she repaired as soon as we let her out of the cage) and has been exploring a little. She still runs and hides the minute Bo or Churro moves, which of course makes them chase her, but she is at least coming out.

In fannish news, the sky has fallen, cats and dogs are living together, and the apocalypse is nigh. In other words, SpoilersCollapse )

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Dear Pixel Pal,

This is my journal, which I use to rant about fandom, complain about life in general, and occasionally post fanfic. If you want to friend me, feel free. If you don't, just back quietly out the door and we'll pretend like this never happened, 'kay?

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March 2015



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