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Ren Faire Time!

Kathy and me in Ren Faire togs. (Kathy's wearing part of her steampunk wardrobe, since hers isn't done yet.)

Costumes!Collapse )

I've got a few more additions and modifications to make on mine, but it's mostly complete, and I'm pretty happy with it.

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Preview time!

OK, guys, normally I try not to publish things which are this rough, but fuck it, it has been YEARS and I feel like I owe the six of you who are still hoping to read the rest of POM someday something. So here is the crappy first draft of Ch. 14, scene 1. (If you feel like leaving critical comments, please do. It needs savaging.)

Spoilers, if anyone still caresCollapse )

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I finally have a version of the first scene of POM Ch. 14 that I don't hate! I mean, it's still a rough draft, but for the first time, I feel like it's a scene that goes somewhere and accomplishes something, rather than just being "And then Buffy said this and Xander said that and Dawn said this other thing." Now if I can just get the rest of the scenes to do the same thing!

So last Friday I noticed that my left knee was sore. I am no stranger to sore knees; I have had a number of falls that resulted in soft tissue damage. This felt different. On Saturday, it got worse. By the time I went to bed, it was so painful that it hurt just to lie on that side, and I could hardly bend it. Sunday the outside of my knee and upper calf was tender and swollen, I could barely walk, and under the swelling I could feel a definite painful lump on the outer side of the upper calf, just below the knee joint, that wasn't there on the other side.

Monday I called my doctor, and of course as soon as I did that, it started to get better. By the time I got in to the doctor's on Tuesday, it was much, much better. Today it's still a little sore, but I can walk and bend it with no problem, and the swelling is gone. My doctor had me go in for an xray, which turned up nothing other than that I have mild arthritis (which, given that both my parents had very bad arthritis by the time they were my age, is surprising only in that it is mild). She had originally suspected that I had a Baker's cyst which had burst, but apparently the x-ray didn't show anything like that. (Though if it burst, would it show?) Anyway, she's having me schedule an ultrasound to make sure there were no vascular issues, and suggested a knee specialist if things didn't improve. Since they have improved, I'm dithering on that (assuming the ultrasound shows no vascular issues.) The acute swelling and tenderness are gone, but I can still feel that lump, and the knee and my upper calf have some funny twinges to them that Don't Seem Right. Guess I'll wait on the ultrasound and see.

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83AOUN5 to you too

So, anyone going to Whedoncon this year? If so, are you interested in going in on a room?

Last night I was awakened untimely by some kind of cat shenanigans. I was too sleepy to actually get up and see what was going on, but too unsettled to fall into really deep sleep, so I dreamed a lot for the rest of the night. In one dream I was standing on a street corner, trying to read the street sign. The letters on the street sign kept changing, showing random strings of letters and numbers, including some Greek letters (I distinctly remember a theta) until I thought, "Oh, right, I'm dreaming. I can't read things while I'm dreaming."* I glared at the sign and forced it to settle on "83AOUN5," which I memorized, because it seemed terribly important at the time.

Then things segued into a long, frustrating sequence in which my mother was recovering from her broken hip, but we'd never sold her house, and she was insisting on recuperating at the house instead of going back to assisted living. So I was worrying about her, and worrying about paying for an assisted living place she wasn't using, and trying, with my brother's help, to clean out her house and sell all the things in the hopes it would encourage her to move out. Except for some reason, the back yard was the back yard of my grandmother's house, with the Big Spooky Garage (for reasons I never understood, the garage in my grandmother's back yard was built up on a huge slab of concrete, three feet high at least. There was a very steep ramp from the driveway up into the garage, and several steps leading up to the side door. Grandma didn't own a car, and it was full of boxes and old furniture that she'd brought from Connecticut when she moved to Arizona in the 1950s. I honestly have no idea what all was in there, but we were not supposed to go in unsupervised, and Kid Me always vaguely believed that there were ghosts in the back.)

Some variation of the Mom Dream seems to have become my go-to anxiety dream. I suppose it's a change from "Oh no, I forgot to drop this class and I haven't studied for the final!" and "Oh, no, I got a new job but I forgot to tell the old one I'm quitting so I have to work both!" and "Oh, no, we bought a new house but haven't sold the old one, so we have to pay two mortgages!" (Are you sensing a trend here?)

All that aside, I did get a few things accomplished this last weekend. I cleaned up the office room and took the very last box of estate junk that I hadn't been able to sell on Ebay to the consignment store. I finished the new skirt for my steampunk costume (I took some pictures, but fair warning, they are pretty crappy). The leather overskirt is put together from four leather skirts and a pair of leather shorts I got second hand, plus a few leather scraps and trim things I had on hand. It's not quite finished; I need to get two or three frogs or fancy hook and eye closures for right below the waistband.

I also made a skirt for my Ren Faire costume. Several years ago, we had a pair of very nice silk curtains in the dining room, and unfortunately, when we first brought Ma-San and Little Bit in, the curtains got ruined. However, I really loved the material (it was gold and dusky rose stripes). So I cut off the stained parts on the bottom, and kept the still-good upper parts, figuring that I would find some use for it eventually. They were floor-length curtains, so it was a fair bit of material. I pulled it out when I started work on the steampunk skirt, thinking it might work for an underskirt. I ended up using something else for the steampunk underskirt, but it struck me that the dusky rose in the stripes was a decent match for the dark red Puffy Shirt I bought at the Ren Fair last year. And the material was already lined and hemmed, and there was more than enough on the cut end to trim off and make a waistband, and so I did.

It came out really well -- I will have to get pictures of that too. The leather corset I have (the brown one) looks much better with the Ren Fair costume, so I have to think about getting another one for the steampunk outfit, one which will match the black leather overskirt better.

Next weekend we're going to go look at roses. The Don Juan we planted by the front porch many years ago has been doing poorly as the fig tree has gotten larger; it doesn't get enough sun anymore. This year it's finally given up the ghost, so we want to get another red rose and plant it somewhere sunnier.

*I used to think that I could read things while dreaming, but then I read an article about how that was impossible, and once I started to pay attention, I realized that I wasn't really reading; I was just sort of absorbing the dream-books by osmosis like Dark Willow (and as often as not, 'reading' a book would morph into acting out the story.) However, it always annoys me to be told that something is impossible, so from that point on, any time I started to dream about reading, and I was aware that it was a dream**, I would concentrate hard on forcing the text to stand still and actually reading the words. It's quite difficult to do this, as dream-print really does squirm around like that animated Batman episode, even as you're trying to read it. But I have got to the point where I can pin down individual words and numbers and sometimes even short sentences and make them sit still.)

**I am often, though not always, aware of being in a dream, or can force myself to become aware of it.

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How old are you?



None. Pain is not my friend.

Ever hit a deer?

No. I did hit a cat once – a dog chased it right in front of me and I couldn't stop in time. :(

Ridden in an ambulance?

No. I probably should have the time I fell off my bike, but head injuries have the interesting effect of making you forget that your insurance covers ambulances.

Sang karaoke?

Yes, once. I didn't do very well.

Ice skated?

I tried once or twice in my teens, but I literally could not stand up in them.

Ridden a motorcycle?


Stayed in hospital?


Skipped school?

In college, yes, a few times. Before that, no.

Last phone call?

Uh... I think it was to the contractor I was talking to about replacing our hot water heater.

Last text from?
An autotext reminding me of an appointment.

Watched someone die?

If pets count, yes. I've always been the designated "person who takes them to the vet when it's time" in my family.

Pepsi or coke?


Favorite Pie?

Blackberry... or maybe strawberry-rhubarb...or maybe pear-cheese? How can you have only one favorite pie!?

Favorite pizza?

Pesto, chicken, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, arugula, and sliced tomato.

Favorite season?


Broken bones?

I probably broke a toe once, but I never got it x-rayed, so I don't know for sure.

Received a ticket?

A few speeding tickets.

Sunset or sunrise?


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Quiet bitching and moaning

You ever go trawling for fic and find one that's like, please, PLEASE get off my side and stop making my ship look bad? Sigh. It's really hard for the best of writers to pull S2 Spuffy off convincingly, and this was unconvincing in all the worst ways. It had Buffy LETTING Spike kill Ford, because she was too much of a wuss to fight him, and then CRYING ON SPIKE'S SHOULDER afterwards. Reader, I cringed. AND THEN I HAD TO REBLOG IT FOR THE HERALD :SOB: Sometimes I yearn for the Olden Days when we were elitist snobs. XD

But then I found Unexpected Cangel Promptfic on failfandom_anon which was quite good, so things balanced out a little.

I have GOT to get off my ass and start working on Parliament of Monsters again.

(Note: Pls don't link as Herald meta, this is just me whining.)

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As things turned out

I was indeed getting a cold, which I am just now kinda-sorta getting over. It never got bad enough to call in sick to work, of course, especially as I work from home and there was no question of my infecting anyone else via Skype. But it settled in and made me miserable for a good long time.

I did manage to get the little stone pine Kathy picked up over Christmas planted over the weekend. It's been rainy-ish for the last couple of weeks, which means we've been pulling a lot of weeds. There's a lot of snow up in northern Arizona, and I'd kiiiind of like to drive up for a day and look at it, but I don't know if I want to get that cold just coming off of a cold. Besides, we should be saving our money, because we're going to have to replace our hot water heater in the next year or so. The old one was a bottom-of-the-line model, and it's gotten super flaky. We had a guy in to look at it, and it can be fixed, but his opinion (backed up by what I've found online regarding that model) was that it would probably fail again in another year or two, so how much money did we want to sink in it?

We'd like to replace it with another tankless heater, but the newer models are larger than the dinky little thing that the contractor used twelve years ago, and won't fit in our tiny laundry room without unduly crowding the washing machine. So the new one would have to be installed outside, which means we'd have to run new water and gas lines to it, which is more expensive. Sigh. The joys of home ownership. We're going to have to nurse the old one along until we can pay off a few other things.

I did use my quasi-convalescence to do some light reading, and I can recommend the Shadow Campaigns series by Django Wrexler. It's military fantasy very loosely based on the Napoleonic wars, with an interesting and unusual way of handling magic. There's a huge cast of interesting and diverse characters, lots of politics and battles, and the prose, while not elegant, is always clear and descriptive. The pacing is excellent, and the story seldom drags. Normally I'd be wary of a lesbian main character and her relationships being handled by a male military SFF writer, but Wrexler pulls it off. I hope that the author intends to revisit the world, if not the characters, at some point, because there are a lot of unanswered questions about the nature of demons by the end of the series I'd love to see explored.

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Threat Level 9000

A while back I saw a post which was kinda-sorta bagging on Thirteen, or fans who like Thirteen, I'm not sure. The gist of it was that people who were comparing Thirteen favorably to Ten/Eleven/Twelve/whatever were doing so only because Thirteen was "non-threatening," with the implication that she was non-threatening because she was female, whereas previous Doctors had been Unstoppable Badasses(TM) presumably because they were male.

I can see where this comes from. Thirteen does not project the air of menace that some previous regenerations have. However, it's doubtful that this is solely because she's female. There have been plenty of non-threatening male regenerations. Two was the absolute epitome of non-threatening. As was Five, and to some extent Eight. Four was aggressively weird, but not threatening.

And as a counter-example, we have Missy, who was as threatening as all hell.

Frankly, it's only the post-Time War, Oncoming-Storm-Lonely-God-type regenerations who could really be considered threatening. It seems to me fairly obvious, particularly given Thirteen's pleading in the finale for reassurance that she had tried really hard to be a good person, that she is not unthreatening because she is female. Thirteen is unthreatening because she's sick and tired of being seen as a threat. Being the Unstoppable Badass(TM) for multiple regenerations fucked her the hell up and wore her the hell out. Which is a completely different vibe.

Outside of the story, I'm not sure if Thirteen is non-threatening because the writers see a female Doctor as unthreatening by nature – given that she has issued threats on occasion, I'm guessing not, but Who writers and showrunners have tended to be cringily regressive at times, so I reserve judgement. It's also possible that Jody Whittaker just isn't very good at (or lacks experience with) playing menace. Or it could be that we, the audience, are just conditioned to see a perky blonde white chick in a goofy outfit as non-threatening, and maybe that's something we should take a look at in ourselves. Or bits of all of the above.

I've got some quibbles about the most recent season. But name a season I don't have some quibbles with. Overall, I like Thirteen. Just as I've liked pretty much every regeneration, for vastly different reasons. Come at me, bro.

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I forgot to mention

I noticed a handful of kestrel feathers in the park on Wednesday -- several primary wing feathers, and some of the coverts, I think. There are a pair of kestrels that live in or near the park, and we see them there often. I'm not sure what could have happened to make one lose feathers like this. Possibly they ran afoul of a larger hawk (there are also Cooper's hawks and redtails in the neighborhood of the park) or maybe even some mockingbirds. Mockingbirds can be vicious bastards when they're protecting a nest. Or possibly someone shot at them, though I hope it wasn't that.

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