Dec. 10th, 2016 12:55 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: white cat; "kass" (Default)
1. Services this morning really helped me. I was in a tough headspace / heartspace before services, and I felt better when I came out than when I went in.

2. I am experimenting with slow cooker fish chowder. Like so. )

3. The first load of laundry is in the dryer.

4. There are clean flannel sheets on the kid's bed, so when he gets home tomorrow night it will be cozy.

5. I am having fun with the parts of my work that involve singing. Yay.

How are y'all?


Dec. 9th, 2016 06:55 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: two lit Shabbat candles (candles)
1. Tasty Oregon pinot gris.

2. Homemade fried rice, which tonight includes carrots, celery, red bell peppers, and bits of leftover Chinese takeout beef, as well as stale basmati rice and eggs from a friend's chickens.

3. Friends, for whom I am endlessly grateful. Yes, this means you.

4. Fairy lights strung around the curtain rods in my living and dining rooms.

5. Fresh flowers on my Shabbat table.

Hope all is well with all of y'all this evening. *hug*

more holiday stuff

Dec. 9th, 2016 11:19 am[personal profile] dichroic
dichroic: (oar asterisk)

Pursuant to yesterday’s dilemma, I returned the expensive beeswax candles and told them why. The guy I spoke to didn’t seem to be unduly concerned. He told me they rarely carried “petroleum-based” candles, but that the reasonably priced ones I’d bought there last year probably were petroleum based. Meanwhile, I note that Amazon prices for similar candles are more like $11$16 – Whole Paycheck is living up to its nickname. (Amazon’s are not marked as being discounted from a higher price – I don’t think they’re undercutting prices here, because if they were they’d brag about it.)

Of the other local stores I frequent, I forgot to check whether Fred Meyer has any Chanukah candles, but if they do they won’t be the nicer looking ones. Meanwhile, New Seasons has done away with their Jewish and other “ethnic” sections – they still have the same products, just integrated with everything else. For instance, if you want kasha, you need to look with the other grains. I can see advantages to this – for one thing, it normalizes eating Jewish, Mexican, or Asian foods. On the other hand, it makes it harder to figure out where to find specialty or seasonal products like Chanukah candles or Passover matzah. If I see candles there, I might buy a box for next year – just to establish that there is a demand.

I’m about two-thirds done my share of our holiday cards. This has been a very boring year for us, so much so that our holiday letter was a very short one this year. Sad when you can’t think of much to say about a whole year!

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

dichroic: (oar asterisk)

Tin soldiers and Trump is coming,
We’re finally on our own.
This winter I hear the drumming,
More dead in Ohio.

I think it’s time for Neil Young to do an update. When I was in college, I had a button that read “Pro-abortion … or amateur abortion?” with a picture of a coathanger. I stopped wearing it because it grossed out even my most pro-choice friends, and I probably wouldn’t wear it now on the theory that wearing buttons doesn’t do much good anyway, but I wish I still owned it.

In other annoying news, today I spent $26 (!) to buy Chanukah candles at Whole Foods, the only one of the local supermarkets that reliably carries them (or used to; I had to ask for help finding these, as they were tucked in back of a display full of other kinds of candles. I haven’t decided whether I should return them and buy cheaper ones from Amazon, or keep them to demonstrate there *is* customer demand for them out here.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

kass: The Blues Brothers eat. (blues brothers (eating))
I adapted a recipe for chicken tagine with green olives and preserved lemons to my slow cooker the other day, and it came out amaaaaaazing, so I am preserving it here for my own records.

Here it is! )

Also, yesterday I made this steel cut oats recipe -- I omitted the sugar, added a handful of raisins and a handful of currants and some dried apricots and a diced apple, and used coconut milk in place of whole milk. Cooked it for about six hours on low. It is divine and I will be eating it all week long huzzah.
gramarye1971: exterior of the National Archives at Kew (Kew Historian)
I've seen the recent Tumblr post going around where people mention what their drink and subject of choice would be if they were to narrate an episode of Drunk History. I started to think about what my selections would be, and I honestly can't decide which idea appeals to me most, so I'm opening my options up to a vote:

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 12

Choose my Drunk History topic and beverage!

View Answers

Single-malt whisky and the SL-1 criticality accident
2 (16.7%)

A bottle of Rioja and George Orwell
1 (8.3%)

A bottle of Niagara icewine and the Battle of Queenston Heights (with digression into the rest of the War of 1812 if a second bottle is on hand)
1 (8.3%)

Gin rickeys and the Cambridge spy ring
4 (33.3%)

Green tea with soju and North Korean politics
0 (0.0%)

A Brief History of the Soviet Premiership Set to the Music of Vodka
4 (33.3%)

Some other combination that I haven't thought of (mention in comments!)
0 (0.0%)

I'm told that I can be fairly amusing when I'm tipsy, but to be perfectly truthful I'd ramble on about any of these subjects without the aid of intoxicants.


Dec. 3rd, 2016 12:10 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: white cat; "kass" (Default)
1. Leftovers. I am just now finishing the end of the chicken tetrazzini I made last week.

2. Slow cooker. Which is now slowly cooking a chicken tagine with potatoes, green olives, and preserved lemon, spiced with ras el hanout.

3. Showing my kid The Wizard of Oz last night. Wow, is that movie unlike what gets made today. The dialogue is faster and the pacing is slower. It's still a delight, though, and I loved getting to introduce it to a third generation of my family.

4. The episode of Magic School Bus where the kids go inside the body of a classmate who is sick, and thereby learn about how the body fights infection.

5. The fact that my kid still wants to cuddle with me, even as a big grown-up boy of seven. :-)
el_staplador: (Default)
I think it must be all those Yuletide vibes floating around. This is much less stressful than Yuletide.

Something of no value (1164 words) by El Staplador
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Zenda Novels - Anthony Hope
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Princess Osra/Original Female Character
Characters: Princess Osra, Original Female Character
Additional Tags: Community: ladiesbingo, Pastiche, ruritania

The Duchess of Olmeda admired Princess Osra; she pitied Princess Osra; she despised Princess Osra.

And she loved Princess Osra.

Now it's card navel-gazing....

NSFW Dec. 3rd, 2016 01:33 am[personal profile] lore
lore: (Writing Woe)
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So not "The" Voice....

NSFW Dec. 2nd, 2016 11:49 pm[personal profile] lore
lore: (Let me 'splain...)
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nearly ready

Dec. 2nd, 2016 02:39 pm[personal profile] dichroic
dichroic: (oar asterisk)

It feels deeply weird to me to have Chanukah so late this year. It’s also harder, because my mom and brother have birthdays in Early December, so though I generally try to give separate presents for each thing, I can usually do them all at once. This year, I need to handle them in two lots. Ted’s birthday is always right near CHristmas, but I’m not sure that’s good either. (For one thing, I don’t need to ship his presents!)

Still, I’m in decent shape holiday-wise. I have the ‘thing’ part of Mom’s gift and just need to figure out what to do for the donation part (I don’t usually do both, but a) it’s a milestone birthday and b) this year it feels particularly important to support charities that support those who will be hit hardest by the recent US election. I’m trying to decide between Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, (International Rescue Committee, or maybe something Jewish. The Chanukah gift for her and my brother’s family is tickets to go see a musical aimed at kids (Elephant and Piggie) in the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia – I think they’ll all enjoy that.

My brother is accounted for – I knit him something last year that took way longer than expected, so he’s getting it this year plus a few other things. He’s got enough enthusiasms to be easy to shop for. (His wife is much harder!) I just need to get his box packed up and shipped this weekend.

Ted’s becoming harder to buy for, because we really just. don’t. need. more. STUFF in the house!! But a friend had recently asked if I’d mind if she painted a picture based on a photo of mind, and sent me a photo of the finished piece yesterday. I loved it and hope he will too, so I asked her if I can buy it. Luckily she was businesslike about it and just quoted the price she normally sells for, so we didn’t have that awkward friendship dance – I prefer to pay what art is worth, if I can. (Though it’s true that we have three other paintings in the house needing to be better displayed. One was a gift from another friend – it’s displayed but just sitting on a bookshelf, unframed; the second was a gift someone gave Ted when we left Taiwan – not someone we were close to and I don’t love it; and the third Ted painted himself at one of those painting group events. The first one of those, the gift from a friend, is the only one I really care about, and we probably should protect it with a frame.

He takes care of his side of the family (aside from some socks I’m almost done knitting and a couple dishcloths I need to do), so a couple things for friends and one knitting gift exchange, and I’m about done.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.


NSFW Dec. 1st, 2016 11:41 pm[personal profile] lore
lore: (Questionable Content- Marigold Yaoi Zone)
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BloMo30: Nothing special....

NSFW Nov. 30th, 2016 11:55 pm[personal profile] lore
lore: (BPAL - Blue Moon)
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el_staplador: (Default)
For [community profile] ladiesbingo again:

Hand in Hand (0 words) by El Staplador
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Anthropomorfic
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Writing/Editing
Characters: Writing (anthropomorphic), Editing (anthropomorphic)
Additional Tags: Fanart, Community: ladiesbingo, anthropomorfic - Freeform, Ink, Red pen

Writing and editing go hand in hand. Art.

This is the first thing I've made a serious attempt at drawing in several years, and I'm reasonably pleased with the way it's turned out.

Had I But Known (994 words) by El Staplador
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Comfortable Courtesan - Madame C- C-
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Miss A-/Madame C- C- (unrequited), Miss A-/Miss M-, Miss A-/Lady J-
Characters: Miss A- (The Comfortable Courtesan), Madame C- (The Comfortable Courtesan), Miss M- (The Comfortable Courtesan), Lady J- (The Comfortable Courtesan), Mr J- (The Comfortable Courtesan)
Additional Tags: Diary/Journal, Unrequited Love, Theatre, Gratuitous wombatt reference, Community: ladiesbingo, Melodrama, Irony

Some extracts from the dramatick notebooks of Miss A., the early period of her career.

Miss A- is great fun, but rather exhausting to write, and not only because of all the underline tags.
dichroic: (oar asterisk)

One of the books I’m recently read is Fallen Into the Pit, by Ellis Peters. She’s best known for Brother Cadfael, but this one is an Inspector Felse mystery (contemporary, published 1951). Lately I’ve been reading a lot of BritLit from WWI to just after WWII (DE Stevenson, Angela Thirkell, Elizabeth Cadell), and in the past I’ve read lots more from then and earlier: Miss Read, Sayers, Christie, Tey, Conan Doyle, R. Austin Freeman (Dr Thorndyke mysteries), Gaskell, Dickens, Trollope, etc, etc. I can only conclude that English writers up through the 1950s or so just really don’t like Jews. At best, you get a Jewish character who is not too bad, or alien-but-really-a-decent-person, like a couple of Dr. Thorndyke’s clients or the jewel dealer Lord Peter Wimsey works with. This book is really about the only one I can remember that has a completely sympathetic portrayal of a Jew.

She’s a German Jew, a Holocaust survivor who had made her way across Europe, ended up in England, married a farmer and lived a very quiet life. Her whole family were killed by the Nazis. Peters does a remarkable, sensitive job in imaging what her inner and outer life would be like, how she might think about her past, how she could be able to reach toward happiness again. It’s also good to see that she is completely accepted by not only her husband and their shepherd but all the locals. There is some anti-Semitic ugliness, but it’s from an intruder, a German POW still in England, and Peters means it to be ugly and intrusive – it’s not shown as ‘normal’ or OK in any way, and it’s not accepted by her family or the neighbors. Even Felse, the local police inspector, offers his support once he finds out she’d been harassed, though it’s too late at that point.

It’s a very pleasant change from having to shut your eyes and hurry past the icky bits in Sayers and the rest of them.

Only problem is, I liked this book a lot but now I’m not sure I want to read the read of the Felse mysteries, because from reading reviews I get the feeling she switches focus to other locales and to a grown-up Dominic Felse, and doesn’t really develop this setting or these characters further.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.


Nov. 30th, 2016 10:37 am[personal profile] kass
kass: white cat; "kass" (Default)
1. My bird feeder is now hanging outside my kitchen window! The birds haven't found it yet, but I trust that they will.

2. Hot tea in a favorite mug, warming my hands.

3. I just learned that not one but two people I love will be visiting me at the end of the calendar year, and I am happy about that.

4. Although it is gloomy and rainy outside, my little home is warm and bright.

5. Last night [personal profile] sanj and I watched the first two eps of the new season of The Librarians, and the episodes were exactly as charming and fun as I had hoped they would be.

How are y'all?
lore: (Snape on a plain)
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el_staplador: (Default)
I thought of something to do with 'Suriname', the prompt I shouldn't have had.

First in Half the World (579 words) by El Staplador
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: A Company of Swans - Eva Ibbotson
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Galina Simonova, Masha Repin
Additional Tags: Rivalry, Community: ladiesbingo, Ballet

Prima ballerina Galina Simonova has returned in triumph to her native Russia from the Brazilian tour. Masha Repin, pretender to her crown, calls to congratulate her.

lore: (Rainbow Strike)
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