Jun. 27th, 2013 10:13 pm
home_and_away: (Pan)
"Well, kid, how d'you like Naruto so far?"
Dae drops to the floor, tosses himself into Boat pose, and points both thumbs, both toes, his tongue, and his eyes at the ceiling.
"That good, huh?"
"It's as good as SEVEN thumbs up!"
"Oh baby, if eyes were as good as thumbs, crows could cause a lot more trouble. But I'll tell your Faery GodMatt that you thoroughly approve of his show."
"Yay! Wait, what?"
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
Swear to every god I've ever met, I am glad this year's half gone...

If you've got good vibes to spare--prayers, lit candles, crossed fingers, claps of belief, you know the drill--I'd appreciate it greatly if you'd send that hum out into That Which Is on behalf of my mother-in-law. She's been feeling short of wind and weak for a couple of weeks now, and so tomorrow at Oh God thirty she's got an appointment with a doctor to have her lungs (and hopefully heart) looked over.

The back of my head keeps showing me pictures of bicycles, basement stairs, and Rock Band; I really really hope the heart look-over happens if not tomorrow then *soon*.

~slow breaths, wry smile~ I know American culture's got a Thing about mothers-in-law, but the fact of my matter is that mine is wonderful. I'd like to keep her around, you know?
Crossed fingers and warm hearts...
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
I WOULD like a very productive week.

Especially one that involved an intentional half-hour of sunbathing.
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
I think I've found an analogy to work with for a little while.

Life=outdoor music festival.
Sometimes the show sucks, sometimes something unexpected knocks your socks off. You never really know which act will do which, so be willing to be pleased, and keep paying attention.

Usually you're pressed in close to a hoard of strangers, everybody eyes forward on the show.
Sometimes you get lucky and the strangers you're among look around at each other, too. Edges the kid up nearer the fence so she can see; makes a wall around her so nobody crushes her. Keeps the will to make a space for you if you need to run to the head; has faith that when you get back, you'll do likewise for them. Hears you complain about hair down to your thighs in a crowd like this and offers to braid it for you. And then braids your forever-long hair without pulling or behaving in any skeezy way, and ties it off with an elastic from their own ponytail. Sees you drawing something pretty on a friend and asks for a turn, then sits still so you can have a steady canvas.
Sometimes lucky just looks like two people giggling apologies for falling on each other through the haze of somebody else's smoke.

Sometimes, though, you wind up beside people who're so far gone in their own private party that this one doesn't notice that her headbanging gives you a mouth full of hair on every two and four, or that one doesn't care that every time he hoots at the musicians he does it rightthisclose to your ear, or the other is totally cool with the fact that every time she lunges toward the stage she braces her weight on you.

There's a subset of luck that lets These People, when you tell them about how their joy is infringing on yours, apologise and begin to keep an ounce of awareness for you. And you in like wise, keep an ounce of awareness for them so you don't become one of their These People. Everyone enjoys the show. Maybe you trade e-mail addresses so you can send 'em phone-camera recordings later.

Then there's the subset of luck that gives you These People who, when asked not to hairwhip/deafen/climb you, behave as though you're asking them to give up all that is right and good in their world and either ignore you completely or treat you like their mortal enemy. It's *their* show; to hell with yours or anyone else's.

(Every now and then, the former subset becomes the latter over the course of a show. The band playing only has so much to do with how good a festival is...)

There're a few ways to manage that kind of luck.
But if you're not keen to skin your knuckles on somebody else's teeth, the fastest way is to gently ease to a different part of the crowd.
The Lunger thinks the cost of her ticket entitles her to climb strangers like a jungle gym?
It's General Admission, honey; you're allowed to shuffle a little and slough that chick off. Let the bodybuilder behind you move forward some; maybe he won't mind a stranger on his shoulder as much as you do. Then she can lunge to her heart's delight and you don't have to carry her weight.

It's nobody's fault; both of you have the right to enjoy the show your own way.
But if your way and her way don't jive, for the gods' sake, don't stand adjacent.
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
TV Ad: "Now you can talk AND surf on your iPhone!"
Me: Mm. And be a boor to two people instead of just the one.
Mark: Eh?
Me: The person standing next to you with whom you HAD been chatting till the phone rang, and the person on the phone whose call you'd been taking till something inspired you to look at the 'net.
Mark: AH! Three people, then.
Me: Oh?
Mark: And the person you walk into while you're ignoring two people and surfing the web in public on your phone.
Me: That's a powerful machine, the iPhone.
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
I am never going to give Mel grief about agonising over "Do I have enough food for this party? Maybe one more roast..." again.
She wants fingerfoods. I'm hunting fingerfoods. I have no idea how many little plates full of veg and dip or chips and guac or roasted Brussels sprouts or phyllo-wrapped godsknowwhat twenty people require.
(I mean, that little box of spinach-dip-in-puff-pastry-bites? I could go through that MYSELF if nobody else was interested. Between Paco & Seamus's daughter, that's a pound of sprouts, easy. How do you gauge?)
And twenty people...half of whom are omnivores (a few of that set, almost militant carnivores), the other half of whom are on the vegetarian/vegan spectrum. And some don't mind chicken but can't eat cheese, and some won't touch honey but love them some cheese, and some are actually reading the same definition of "vegan" that I found and are easy to cook for...except are you allergic to anything?
~facepalm and laugh~
I don't think I ever gave Mel MUCH grief, but sweet gods, after this, I'm shutting my hole and cooking what I'm told to and in the designated amounts. The cooking itself is the easy part. Planning this thing, OY!
home_and_away: (moonbathing)
I rather like Mriss's idea, but don't feel I know her well enough to play with it in her sandbox. So I'll bring it to mine! The beauty of an idea is that spreading it doesn't halve it--it doubles it.

SO! As the lady says: "Three questions:

1. Tell me one thing you like about yourself, as a trait.

2. Tell me one thing you've done recently that you're proud of or glad you did.

3. Tell me one thing you appreciate that someone close to you did recently."

*Little things count just as resoundingly as big things.
*Feel free to abstain; kindof defeats the purpose if one feels gloomy about finding merry things to share.

Today started bright and is slowly clouding, but that's what the monsoon season in Alabama is for. I walked in sockfeet through mud to photograph the Japanese Magnolia growing in my back yard. (Pause to hug the thought of this places previous tenant: Thank you, Lady, for eschewing the benighted crepe myrtle shrubs! Even though you succumbed to boxwoods in the front, you didn't do the typical Southern landscaping thing otherwise. I'm so glad. :D )
Yeah, remember the monsoon season thing? Black squishy mud all up in between the toes of my muppetty socks. Cold black squishy mud.
But you know what?
Totally worth it.


Jan. 26th, 2013 05:45 pm
home_and_away: (Default)
Listening to Maiden's Soundhouse Tapes. After the third repetition of the first track's first verse, I check Grooveshark to make sure I haven't got that track set on loop or in the queue twice. And no, we're just in the next-thing-to-a-punk song's third minute. "What the fuck? They dragged that out to four minutes?!"

A bark of laughter from the back bedroom.

Oh, that's where Mark went.
home_and_away: (Default)

I was thirsty so I drank
And though it was salt water
There was something 'bout the way
It tasted so familiar
Time, love
Time, love
Time, love.
It's only a change of time.
home_and_away: (Default)
I just took a swing through my profile here for the first time in a long while, and I noticed that when I tanked my Flickr account, I also jacked up a little of the trading card code that I'd been using as a bio.
And when I went to make another with a more durable image, Lo! the net has eaten the generator, too.

So in the spirit of this shirt, I'm asking my fine viewing public (all five of you? ~blows kisses~) if you'd do me the kindness of a bio-blurb. Just a dustjacket one-liner, if you would. Because I've no idea how many new strangers look at my profile anymore, but its sitting there blank vexes me almost as much as its sitting there with a chunk of broken code. Meanwhile, I just don't have the oomph to attempt to describe myself to folk who haven't already met me. I'm sorry, but we can't send a search-&-rescue team into Plato's Cave.

Many thanks!


Nov. 28th, 2012 07:38 pm
home_and_away: (Default)
We've taken to eating meals at the kitchen counter--a decent compromise between Mark's "EATING AT TABLES IS WHAT SEPARATES HUMANS FROM ANIMALS!" and my combination "Where the fuck are we going to fit a diningroom table?"/"Lounging on the floor & eating with their hands was good enough for the Romans; it'll do fine for me." He's happy because now the boy attends to where his food is in relation to his mouth (instead of attending to the tele, as had been the case at the apartment). I'm happy because I don't have to give up bookspace for a piece of furniture destined to become nowt more than a kippletrap.

Its proximity to electrical outlets, though, means the counter is also where the household laptop has come to roost.

So Mr. Tables Good/Screens Bad occasionally winds up eating dinner while reading something on the 'net.
... Wry eyebrow lift goes here, just above affectionate smile and quiet sigh. Because let's be honest--I'd do it too, if I got the stool nearest the computer.
Tonight, Mark & Dae were settling in to eat their tacos while I waited for my taquitos to crisp. Mark cuts his eyes over at the boy and smiles a little, opens a Mouse Guard comic as if it were his evening reading.
"What's that?" asks Dae.
"Comic called Mouse Guard," Mark answers. "Comic because it's a story told in pictures, not because it's funny."
"Yeah, yeah." (The boy is apparently savvy to the notion that sequential art might not have a punchline. Shiny. :D ) "So what IS it? What's it about?"
"Oh. Um. World full of mice, no humans, everything's still its usual size. And the mice have kings and countries and well, guardsmice."
"Cool! Can I read too?"
"Yeah, come on..."
And Mark angles the screen so Dae could see it too. Dae gazes at the story, rapt. Mutters "ready" to Mark when he's finished a page. They talk about what's happening in the story. They eat dinner.
(I also eat dinner, watching all this unfold and thinking of Penny Arcade.)

"So," Dae asks, having finished the story, "Is there a Mouse Guard game?"
Yep, called it.
"Yes there is!" Mark answers, grinning. "It's not a video game, though. It's a roleplaying game."
"You play with paper, dice, & imagination," I fill in.
"You know how you and the kids at school play Power Rangers and stuff, pretending you're different characters and imagining a scene together?" I ask.
"This is like that, except there are rules in place for 'I shot you!'/'No you didn't!' moments, so you don't have to argue about it so much. You roll dice and see what the rules say about the die rolls and go from there."
We have a winner. Dae is continually vexed by the kids suddenly developing MegaUltraShields a split second after he says ZAP. He hasn't yet realised that he also develops those shields. They're eight. Everybody's bulletproof. Everybody's the Red Ranger (except my kid, who's the Green Ranger, because THAT guy used to be a villain, and plus, his Zord's a dragon. If there was any doubt Dae was mine, it just fell over dead).
"And we could maybe play it?"
"Maybe," Mark says. "I'd have to do some reading before I could run the campaign, but yeah, it's entirely possible."
Puzzled boy face.
"Mark would be like the narrator; you and whoever else is playing would be the characters in your story. Mark would run the characters you're not playing, and use the same rules, but otherwise it's an interactive story that everybody makes together. He'd have to do some research to learn how to shape it well."
"Okay, cool!"
Dae finishes his dinner and looks at the clock. Time for the TV show he's been waiting for. He shuffles off to the TV room while Mark and I look at each other smile.
"Nicely done, husband," I say, offering a fist to bump.
"I figured he was about the right age," he replies, touching his knuckles to mine. "He isn't sold yet, but he will be."
home_and_away: (Default)
"So what drove you two apart? Man, job, failed sapphic dalliance? (Fingers crossed for that last one.)"
"He's got a form of Tourette's."

(I do love living in the future. When you watch TV online, you get to pause the show to cackle and not miss any of the useful bits that follow Watson jerking Holmes up short.
Yeah, yeah, if I were *really* living in the future, I'd have one of those DVR things... No. When the TV's on, it's because I'm using it as a clock--thirty minutes or an hour will pass, and I will know which by the show. When it matters what's playing, I go to the 'net--the captions are clearer when there are captions, and I can pause to look up anything I don't grok. Or laugh. Whichever.)
home_and_away: (creatrix)
So... A couple of Tuesdays ago, Mark found a house in a cozy school district that WASN'T trying to crawl off its mountain or fall off its foundation. And lo, it had a vasty stone wall around its fireplace and a yard with a pointy little nook in the far corner and a bright red door! All it didn't have was a garage. But it was within hailing distance of our price range, so he asked me to ask our Realtor about it.
"Ooh, that's a cute one! Why haven't I already sent that to you...oh. No garage. Really?"
"Swell. Want to look at it Thursday?"
"Yes please!"

And so that Thursday we went to look.
The walls are Van Gogh gold. The kitchen is a cozy little TARDIS with so many more cabinets than should really fit in that space, and it has this interesting impasto-thing happening with its drywall-mud, over which more of that lovely wheatfield colour is painted. And the bedrooms are a little small, but after this apartment, EVERYTHING is going to feel a little small. There's currently a king-sized bed in the master suite, with a giant dresser AND armoire. Mark and I can fit our queen-sized bed and two sanely-proportioned dressers in here. It will be fine.
The garage door is still there and functional: it slides in above the now-a-diningroom's drop-ceiling, revealing a "closet" just the right size for a lawn mower, maybe a potting bench.
I am not the only person who looked at the colours the previous owners slathered on their walls and thought, "This needs a crazy Dutchman's touch." Whoever staged the diningroom hung a print of Wheatfield with Crows above the wine cabinet. It works so perfectly, I believe I may have to get a print of my own.
And the neighbourhood. Heh. :D Put a strange car in the house's driveway and all of a sudden everybody's got business on the sidewalk. Lady of the house next door needs to sweep her front step. Two-doors-down needs to walk round to two-doors-down-on-the-other-side to converse with that neighbour. Across-the-way needs to check her mail. Next-door-on-the-other-side sends her kids out to play. And every single person is studiously NOT looking at the house or the car...but they all carry this affable, "Hey, stranger, can we help you," face--equal parts friendliness and Get Off My Lawn. Meet their eyes and smile, state your name & business, and they'll introduce themselves. All of a sudden, you belong there. The dogs stop barking. Folk go home.
We could walk to the elementary school.

So yeah, we made an offer.
And the sellers took it with no debate. No counter, just, "Sweet! It's yours!"
So we called the house inspector back for another round.
He looked it over this past Tuesday, found some fun jackleg plumbing--what is it about Huntsville that will not hire a professional plumber?!--but otherwise, nothing dire.
So we put in a request for repairs.
And the sellers said, "Sure! We'll get right on those!" Even the things our Realtor didn't think they'd bother with. No waffling, just poof.

And our Seamus's sister--who is also our loan-person--has our paperwork in hand for that, and our numbers if she needs clarification....
And now... Now we coast.
And. And clear all the extraneous junk out of the apartment so that when we start packing, we don't have to weed AND pack, we can just pack.
I just.
~slow grin~
It's happening.
We've got dirt!
Holy everything, we've got dirt!!
home_and_away: (Bear)
Pinged my Realtor this morning to ask whether we should worry that we haven't heard anything since Tuesday about the paperwork from the house's seller's agent officially accepting our recent offer.

Her response: "You are not allowed to worry until I tell you to," and then wishing me a happy solstice.
<3 It's the little things. <3
home_and_away: (Pan)
Particularly when they embed music in digital conversation. Because YES. You could say "I like the way you think," and that conveys some of they joy you feel at having your conversational tics not just accepted but folded in with glee.
Or you could link to this thing with no prefacing.

And there it is.
"So many other people give me glassy eyes or shake their heads at me or walk off midsentence, but YOU! Rolling thunder and merry goat feet, HOW GLAD I AM TO HAVE MY GIBBERISH GROKKED AND GROK YOURS LIKEWISE!"

~relieved sigh~
And there I was, just beforehand, having a green little couch session with myself over the thinness-on-the-ground of people with whom I don't feel I have to measure every word.
And then this.
home_and_away: (Default)
Nothing says "Why yes, I've got my shit TOTALLY together," like discovering you've mislaid your keys--like, ALL of them--three minutes AFTER you needed to be leaving to get the kid to school. ~facepalm~

Thank the gods for friends like Mel, who pull U-turns in the nearest parkinglot so's to come rescue me and then let me buy her breakfast by way of thank you. While we're at it, thank the gods for Mel's boss, who, when told why Mel's a touch late, will understand completely and be okay.

But... ... Where did I put my keys?
~adjourns to tear the apartment to bits, like an eight year old searching an owl pellet for rodent bones~
~yeah, just like that, since I mean to quit the second I find the skull, er, keys...~

Alright, yeah. I don't particularly care whether asking the landwights & housespirits for help actually gets me help from noncorporeal roommates or just focuses me on listening to my own intuition. It doesn't matter--it works.

Whiskey for the housespirits, birdseed for the land, and coffee for the rose out your front door, and we'll help you find your keys.
Good. Now go calm down. Look at pretty pictures of the mountains, go to the head, behave as though this isn't a problem.
Look down. See that tangle of thread on the carpet? Look to the left of it.
Whiskey, birdseed, coffee.
You got it.
Good human.

In the Air

Aug. 25th, 2012 11:48 am
home_and_away: (Default)
So much for seeing the house and land today: the resident and Alabama's change-of-season pollen count weren't getting along at ALL well, and ze was laid too low by allergies to let the house be shown. Poor love. Turns out that's why ze's selling the place--so ze can go back to Arizona and its much more salubrious climate. Explains why the place is going for a song.

So yeah, the Realtor and I have exchanged contact info, and when the seller's on zir feet again, the Realtor will give me a ping.

Nothing's shot down yet.
Everything's in the air.
home_and_away: (Default)
Hold crossed fingers and warm hopes for me, this weekend, will you?

I've finally got Mark on the same page with me that a mortgage could be less expensive than rent, that my mother is only carrying on a generations-old tradition of seeding the downpayment on a first house for the kids, that paying the parents back over the course of many years is also part of the tradition, and that a little five-acre plot in BFE is a potentially lovely thing.

Which means I've also got the Dominus Ominus to call the five-acre plot's Realtor and request to be shown the house thereon.
And, having made that call, an appointment to see the place tomorrow.

If it turns out that everybody likes the looks of the house, and if the wights of the land the house is on seem like we might make good neighbours, and if a handful of other ifs come up right, then we've got an incredibly busy next few months coming.

But at the end of it, possiblypossibly... DIRT! <3

In other news, my week-long stasis on a couple of jewellery projects has finally begun to move again. :D So huzzah for that!
home_and_away: (Default)
"You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you'd hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you'll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they'll be comforted to know your energy's still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you're just less orderly. Amen."
--Aaron Freeman

Seconding a friend: Assuming there's some variety of funeral for this shell of mine, when the time comes and I'm done wearing it? I want it noted in the log that I requested THIS sermon. Gods know there're enough physicists in Huntsville; sure as gravity you can find SOMEONE to work this one up.
home_and_away: (creatrix)
Essay's called "Drowning in Milk".

I think I've got a quiet crush building.


home_and_away: (Default)

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