Gratitudes

Mar. 23rd, 2017 08:25 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: glass of white wine (white wine)
1. Turns out my property taxes are, in fact, taken-care-of by the mortgaging institution and therefore not my problem.

2. My mother gave me the Hamiltome! I gave it to her last year for her birthday and she finally finished reading it and passed it along to me. I am so happy to have it and am reading it bit by bit.

3. I finally located the beeping smoke detector. (It was in the garage.) My house is no longer intermittently beeping.

4. I don't have to work tomorrow night, which is a rarity. I get the evening off!

5. I am watching the new Netflix reboot of Voltron with Zaphod, and am totally digging it. I think it's my favorite thing he's watched since Avatar. It's fun to have something that we actually both enjoy, to watch while we cuddle on the couch.

if you give a kid a sandwich

Mar. 22nd, 2017 04:57 pm[personal profile] dichroic
dichroic: (oar asterisk)

There’s a Facebook meme going around lately that’s bugging me. It says “I don’t want to feed hungry children so they’ll do better in school. I just want to feed them because they’re hungry.” I think it’s supposed to show the compassion of the poster, because they’re all about feeding the hungry instead of worrying about outcomes, or something. Like so many FB memes, it’s ridiculously oversimplified – as if you could only have one reason for feeding a hungry child.

The thing is, if you feed a child today, she’ll be hungry again tomorrow. It’s a bandage, not a long-term healing. I don’t say that to deride bandages – without them you can bleed to death before any healing occurs. Acute problems need immediate actions to give you time to ceate a systemic fix. But if you only apply that bandage, then you’ve still got the main problem – a child who isn’t getting fed at home.

On the other hand, if you feed that child today, and again tomorrow, and the next day, and the rest of the term, he’s got a reason to keep coming to school and the resources to pay attention once he’s there. If you keep feeding her as long as she needs it, she’s got more reason to stay in school.

Maybe that kid will grow up to be Ray Fields. Ray was probably the most financially successful person I knew growing up – he started a grocery store, built it into a small chain, and eventually sold the chain to Safeway. he still lived on our block because he liked it, but drove a nice car and wintered in Florida. He was a happy man, I think, with a stable marriage, a son he got along with and eventually two beautiful granddaughters. He was also a good man and a wise one; everybody on the block liked hanging out and talking to him, because he was always interesting and interested in you. He told me once that school lunch was sometimes the only good meal he got in a day, growing up during the Depression, and that it was the main reason he and his brother went to school.

Or maybe that kid won’t be Ray Fields. Maybe he’ll just be a kid who doesn’t drop out of high school, and who doesn’t have all the later health issues that childhood malnutrition can lead to. That’s still a pretty good outcome – and one that will help the kid earn enough of a living that she and her own kids won’t go hungry in the future.

So one school meal feeds a hungry kid so he isn’t hungry anymore, and a whole program of them can change lives and improve society. It’s both a bandage and a long-term solution. Pretty good for an intervention that isn’t even all that expensive (compared to, say, sending 100 Secret Service agents to Aspen and getting them skis). I agree that helping a hungry kid to not be hungry anymore is a worthy goal; I just don’t think it’s any reason to scoff at the long-term benefits of that school lunch.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

Adventures in home ownership

Mar. 22nd, 2017 06:12 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: little house; words "home sweet home" (home sweet home)
I received a tax bill today for property taxes for the place where I now live. I had been under the impression that I was paying property taxes into escrow and therefore would not get socked with such bills. I have emailed my banker, and am hoping like hell that it turns out this was in error / I don't have to deal with it. If I do have to deal with it, I will manage it somehow, but it would be a hefty hit to my finances.

I am proud of myself for not panicking; I'm pretty sure that at most other moments in my life this would have caused me to lose my cool.

I have, however, poured myself a glass of white wine. Because it is wine o'clock now.

In other household news, I did order myself a chest freezer, which should arrive by Friday. It is tiny (3.5 cubic feet, probably less than half the size of the one we used to have at the old place) but it will be useful, and I'm glad I ordered it before I found out about the possible tax bill.

And today I managed to remove the ugly wooden shutters from my kitchenette! I am already happier having them gone. (I am hoping that a friend with a power drill will help me hang a curtain rod there soon, whereupon I will have curtains, which will be both less ugly and less dusty than what was there before.)

Ladiesbingo: DONE!

Mar. 22nd, 2017 12:10 pm[personal profile] el_staplador
el_staplador: striped hot air balloon against cloudy blue sky (striped balloon)
I have got all the way around the edge of my card, and now I am done.

Here is the last piece of the jigsaw:

Under Her Skin (3500 words) by El Staplador
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice (Anime)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Mila Babicheva/Sara Crispino, Mila Babicheva & Sara Crispino
Characters: Mila Babicheva, Sara Crispino, Original Female Character(s), Michele Crispino, Victor Nikiforov, Yakov Feltsman
Additional Tags: Rivalry, Lovers to Friends, Stealth Crossover, Community: ladiesbingo
Summary:

Mila tries, repeatedly, to get the edge on Sara.



I'm going to have some lunch now.

Gratitudes

Mar. 21st, 2017 03:31 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: a latte in a teacup with a heart shape drawn in the foam (latte)
1. Mr. Kid has learned how to make his own breakfast (cereal with milk, not exactly culinarily complicated, but the point is, he can do it himself now.)

2. I have graduated from weekly allergy shots to bimonthly allergy shots. The number of sharp pointy sticks in my future has been cut in half!

3. Sushi lunch with [personal profile] squirrelhaven, followed by a massage. I am always amazed to (re)discover how much tension I carry in my body without even noticing it (because it is such a constant presence that it doesn't even register as pain.)

4. Zaphod wants to take me out for ice cream this afternoon after school, and has offered to spend some of his own precious allowance money thereon. Awww.

5. So hey, I'm forty-two today. Go me.

Gifts to myself

Mar. 20th, 2017 09:05 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: little house; words "home sweet home" (home sweet home)
I unearthed a $100 Amazon gift card earlier today when I was cleaning out my desk.

I am strongly considering getting myself a small chest freezer to put in the garage. There are a bunch of options in the $180-200 range, so with this gift card (that I didn't remember I even had), I can get one for a hundred bucks, which is hard to beat.

My indoor freezer is mostly full of Zaphod foods (frozen waffles, ice cream sandwiches, etc) and a handful of staples. If I had a chest freezer, I could do things like stock up on proteins when they are cheap, and freeze servings of soup when I make a giant batch, and go to the Asian grocery an hour away and come home with frozen chapati and dumplings and stuff like that. And I can fit one in my garage -- space is getting tight, so I can't fit much more in there, but I can manage a wee chest freezer (the 3 cubic feet ones seem to be roughly 2' x 2' x 3', and I can manage that.)

I am caught between feeling ridiculously excited that I can afford this appliance, and wryly amused that I have become the kind of grownup who gets this excited about buying a freezer.

::facepalm::

One to go!

Mar. 18th, 2017 08:46 pm[personal profile] el_staplador
el_staplador: A cheerful bird (cheerful)
Spirit Proud (817 words) by El Staplador
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: White Boots - Noel Streatfeild
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Lalla Moore & Claudia King
Characters: Claudia King, Lalla Moore
Additional Tags: Aunt and Niece, Skating, Post-Canon, Community: ladiesbingo, Grief
Summary:

Lalla tells her aunt that she's not going to be a skating champion.

+ / -

Mar. 15th, 2017 08:25 am[personal profile] kass
kass: A house on a hill; the word "home." (little home)
- I woke up this morning to a cold house

- I mean really cold -- 44 degrees F

- for the third time this winter, dammit, and my kid is all bundled in blankets and complaining and I feel like a negligent parent because omfg it's 44 degrees inside my house

+ when I texted the heating guy he replied right away

+ and his suggestion (turn it off and on again) worked

+ and now there is warm air flowing through the vents again hallelujah
kass: a container full of wooden spoons for cooking (spoons)
Today I made this harissa white bean stew with turmeric yogurt, and it is awesome.

Here's how I tinkered with it. )

In sum: A++ would cook again. :-)

Purimgifts reveal!

Mar. 14th, 2017 01:13 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: the megillah of Esther (megillah)
I had such a blast writing for [community profile] purimgifts this year -- not only because this ficathon is always super-fun (though it is), but also because the matching algorithm matched me with [personal profile] copracat, so I got to write Leverage OT3 fic for a friend. ♥ Here's what I wrote:


Trust (part one) (662 words) by Kass
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Leverage
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Alec Hardison/Parker/Eliot Spencer
Characters: Alec Hardison, Parker (Leverage), Eliot Spencer
Additional Tags: Collection: Purimgifts Day 1
Summary:

The first thing Hardison did when he went from having one partner to having two was buy a bigger bed.



Trust (part two) (620 words) by Kass
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Leverage
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Alec Hardison/Parker/Eliot Spencer
Characters: Alec Hardison, Parker (Leverage), Eliot Spencer
Additional Tags: Collection: Purimgifts Day 2
Summary:

It had not been Eliot's intention to get involved with his team.



Trust (part three) (692 words) by Kass
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Leverage
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Alec Hardison/Parker/Eliot Spencer
Characters: Alec Hardison, Parker (Leverage), Eliot Spencer
Additional Tags: Collection: Purimgifts Day 3
Summary:

She would never let them fall.




Happy belated Purim to all!

Snow day gratitudes

Mar. 14th, 2017 10:36 am[personal profile] kass
kass: a latte in a teacup with a heart shape drawn in the foam (latte)
1. I had to work late last night (9-11pm ugh) so I had arranged for Zaphod to sleep over at a friend's house. Then they announced the snow day. [personal profile] squirrelhaven and [livejournal.com profile] outsidetheparty graciously still took him for the overnight, so I am having a snow day -- with no kid to entertain. The non-parents among you may not quite be able to imagine what untold luxury this is, but omg, is it luxury.

2. I woke at 7 as usual, realized I didn't have to be up, noticed I was exhausted, and went back to sleep. Until nine. I honest-to-God do not remember the last time I slept that late.

3. There is coffee!

4. I am making this harissa white bean stew with turmeric yogurt recipe, though mine will be curry yogurt instead because it turns out I don't have plain turmeric powder. I also have a loaf of olive bread rising ([livejournal.com profile] ellinor's adaptation of Mark Bittman's no-knead recipe) which I aim to bake later today. (ETA: and I made a mango salad too, since I had some underripe cut mango from the grocery store.)

5. Did I mention the part where there is no kid here for me to entertain? :-)

OM NOM NOM.

Mar. 12th, 2017 06:15 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: The Blues Brothers eat. (blues brothers (eating))
Today I got to have birthday lunch with [personal profile] samtheeagle, and wow, the food was amazing. (Company was pretty good too. ;-)

Food porn within )
dichroic: (oar asterisk)

My birthday Friday was good but unremarkable. At work, I started doing some actual useful things and joined a small weightlifting class in the gym that was actually pretty good. In the evening there was the monthly Chardon-knitting (which is where you drink wine and try not to screw up your knitting) at my LYS. I brought Prosecco and Tina, the LYSO, provided a delicious marionberry pie. The Prosecco itself has a story; because I had the gym class at 11 in building 2 and another meeting at 1 in building 3 and there’s a cafeteria in building 3, I brought my laptop and wallet with me to the gym so I could get lunch in between and didn’t have to go all the way back to my desk in building 4 (they’re all connected, but the distances are much farther than those sequential numbers make them sound). Unfortunately I forgot to take my wallet out of my gym bag and put it back in my purse afterward, a fact I realized just when I went to pay for the Prosecco. And the woman in front of me in line insisted on paying for it – she didn’t even ask first how much it was. Luckily I had a $14 bottle, not a $40 one! Of course she had no way of knowing it was my birthday and a milestone one at that, but I promptly told her so she’d feel even better about her kind gesture. And I guess I have a favor to pay forward now.

I didn’t have any presents to open – maybe that’s just a fact of adulthood, because it wasn’t that people didn’t care. A couple of people made donations in my name to organizations I care about (which has the major advantage of not having to find house room for more stuff!); my mom is trying to get something online but seems to be having technical difficulties; and Ted’s gift will be a wine-tasting trip to McMinnville next weekend.

Yesterday I did get a good gift – I got Ted back home! (He was only gone a week, but he had business travel on three out of the previous four weeks.) And yesterday afternoon I did something I hadn’t done in a while and got out my beading supplies. So here are a selection of recent objects, finished and otherwise. All photos taken with my iPhone, a few with a macro lens from Photojojo added.

Earrings – only the spotted ones are new; the rest are pairs I’d made a while ago, where I’d lost one and have just made a replacement. (A major advantage to making your own jewelry!)

I made this treasure necklace a long time ago, but it had broken – I restrung it and added a few new items:

Then there’s the knitting. First, socks: there are the self-patterning socks, of which I knit most of the first one while helping out at the LYS during the recent yarn crawl and am still early on the second one; plus the purple two-at-a-time pair I started months ago, that keep getting pushed aside for other projects:

There’s also the Rogue sweater, which has the body and most of one sleeve done; a linen-stitch Moebius cowl made from various leftover sock yarn; and a hat I finished back in January. Not shown are two pink pussy hats I made for friends and a baby hat for a pregnant former coworker.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

(no subject)

Mar. 12th, 2017 05:11 pm[personal profile] gramarye1971
gramarye1971: a sinister shot of Senate House, University of London (Ministry of Truth - Senate House)
It's not often that I read something that makes me put the book down and get up and walk around the room because I can't process it otherwise, but this quote from the late Michael Herr's Dispatches -- his writings from his days as a war correspondent in Vietnam -- just stopped me cold. I have to retype it here in full so that I don't forget it, in the weeks to come.

It was inevitable that once the media took the diversions seriously enough to report them, they also legitimized them. The spokesmen spoke in words that had no currency left as words, sentences with no hope of meaning in the sane world, and if much of it was sharply queried by the press, all of it got quoted. )

Another Purimgifts rec

Mar. 11th, 2017 12:49 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: "Judaism is my other fandom." (judaism)
This is sheer genius.

Masechet Space Shuttle 2a (0 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Zionist Galactic Federation (Tumblr), תלמוד | Talmud, Post-Biblical Jewish RPF, מדרש | Midrash
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Additional Tags: purim torah, Masechet Space Shuttle, Collection: Purimgifts Day 1
Series: Part 1 of Torah she'b'al Peh from Yavneh II
Summary:

A Record of the Oral Law as interpreted by the great Rabbis of the Yavneh II Space Station which orbited Alpha Centauri A from the year 5887.

eeee Purim is here!

Mar. 11th, 2017 12:06 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: the megillah of Esther (megillah)
The first day of [community profile] purimgifts is live! Here's the master list.

I received the most ADORABLE Purim-themed Gilmore Girls fic, I cannot even:

Saturday Night Dinner (841 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Gilmore Girls
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Paris Geller/Rory Gilmore
Characters: Paris Geller, Rory Gilmore, Lorelai Gilmore, Emily Gilmore, Richard Gilmore, Hirschel Geller, Deborah Geller, The Gilmores' maid
Additional Tags: Collection: Purimgifts Day 1, Friendship, Family, Grandparents & Grandchildren, Mother-Daughter Relationship
Summary:

Rory and Paris' friendship grows over a potentially awkward family gathering.




Happy Purim to all!

Saturday morning

Mar. 11th, 2017 11:24 am[personal profile] kass
kass: a latte in a teacup with a heart shape drawn in the foam (latte)
I'm not working today. Mr. Kid still woke me at the dot of seven (...sigh) but I gave myself the luxury of staying in PJs for the first couple hours of my day, and made myself eggs for breakfast, because we weren't in a rush to get anywhere.

It's been a morning of small household tasks: refilled the bird feeder, started some chicken paprikash for tomorrow night's dinner, changed my sheets (from navy flannel to seafoam-green flannel), changed laundry tubs (my clothes are washing, his clothes are in the dryer for the second time), wiped down the kitchen counters with 409. (The upside of having a small kitchen: easy to clean!) Took kid to karate, ran a couple of errands, returned library books, came home again.

Tasks for the day include assembling our Purim costumes, supervising a playdate, and drinking more coffee, because coffee. :-)
el_staplador: Yuri Plisetsky from 'Yuri!!! on Ice' sticking his tongue out; caption 'makes me wanna barf' (yuri on ice)
Firstly:

Le Donne di Llangollen (1398 words) by El Staplador
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: 18th Century CE RPF
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Eleanor Butler/Sarah Ponsonby
Characters: Eleanor Butler, Sarah Ponsonby, Original Characters
Additional Tags: opera - Freeform, Community: ladiesbingo, opera synopsis, Worldbuilding, Stealth Crossover, AU - no homophobia
Series: Part 2 of Opera Over The Rainbow
Summary:

With Le Donne di Llangollen Rossini returned to the theme of young love outwitting familial opposition that had served him so well with Il Barbiere di Siviglia. He may perhaps have been recalling Beethoven's advice to him never to write anything but opera buffa. Hoping to capitalise on the success that Donizetti had enjoyed with operas set in the British Isles, and that of his own La Donna del Lago, he and Gaetano Rossi borrowed the details of a noted scandal. So noted, in fact, that nobody ever questions the fact that the Ladies never reach Llangollen within the action of the opera. It doesn't matter. We all know how it ends.



Same concept as La Forza dell'Amore, although with no reference to Yuri!!! on Ice. I have been having fun with these, and can think of a couple I might add. Both are based on real-world operas, however. There's Violetta, which is La Traviata but with hanahaki disease instead of TB (not much difference, I suspect). Oh, bloody hell, imagine Moulin Rouge. And of course Lohengrin is implied to exist in YOI. (You don't have a dark past!) How different does it look? This would take some work, as Wagner is not one of my strong points, and I think it would be difficult to outsnark George Martin on the original:

Throughout, they sing the bridal chorus. (Wagner, wherever he is, must get a laugh out of middle-class Christian America, which has taken his march to the bridal bed, with its constant reference to the joys of the body, as a suitable accompaniment for a march to the bridal altar, with its connotations of the bonds of the spirit; and the reference to the faithless Elsa is, of course, wildly inappropriate.)

There are some assumptions there that I do not share, but still, it's pretty good snark, offering ample opportunity for extra bonus meta snark. (Marriage: what even is it? We just don't know!)

But all that's beside the point. The point is, I am down to two prompts on [community profile] ladiesbingo!

I have decided that I am not going to get The Fall of Strelsau finished in March/without constant reassurance [livejournal.com profile] picowrimo and have moved it to the back burner. It's sitting at just under 7,000 words, and probably needs twice as much again, plus some plot that hasn't even occurred to me yet, and it's not going to happen. I'll return to it in June.

This has freed my brain sufficiently to produce several ideas for both Silver and Gold and The Writing on the Wall, any of which should get wrapped up in a couple of thousand words. It is going to happen!

After that I shall perhaps refrain from setting myself challenges involving writing many different stories to difficult deadlines, which inevitably end up happening in tiny fandoms that nobody reads. Perhaps.

Gratitudes

Mar. 10th, 2017 04:06 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: two lit Shabbat candles (candles)
1. Shabbat is coming! And I'm not working tomorrow morning, and if I am super lucky my kid might even let me sleep past seven!

2. Sparkling Polar mango limeade, which is my new favorite (unsweetened) flavored fizzy.

3. Speaking of mango, I splurged on a container of precut mango, which is going to be dessert when I get home from work tonight.

4. Purim is this weekend, which means that [community profile] purimgifts is this weekend!

5. It's cold today (and going to be even colder tomorrow) but the sky is blue.

How are y'all?

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