arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
I got a new external drive and did a full backup, OS and all, of my laptop, so now if it dies it should be fairly painless to just swap in a new SSD and copy the info over. Yay! It hasn't done that weird shutting-down thing since, so maybe that was just a desperate cry for a backup. Computers are weird.

Alas, the next day I was woken up by a cop ringing my bell to tell me a neighbor had called them to report a hit-and-run. With my parked car as the hit-ee. Dammit. It was a hard hit, crunching up the entire back end. The initial estimate (on damage visible from the exterior) came in at ~$8,800 (omg) and the claims rep told me that if the supplemental estimate (after the body shop opened it up and looked for hidden damage) came in too much higher, they might have to total the car. /o\ But it's been a week, and I haven't heard that they're totalling it, so I am cautiously hopeful that they can fix it and get my wonderful little car back to me. It's only two years old, and I love it to bits, so I wasn't thrilled at the thought of having to buy something else. (OTOH, the fact that it's only two years old is pretty much the only reason that $8,800 wasn't enough to total it right out of the gate...)

Whichever neighbor it was did get the plate number of the guy that hit me, so the cops have something to investigate, but my insurance co doesn't seem to be following up on requesting the police report to get it. Which I would like them to do, as I would like my deductible to be waived, and also I would like someone to reimburse me for the rental car I've risked renting for the duration, since I'm not getting my car back for another few weeks regardless. So I think this week I'll be taking myself off to my police dept to get the plate number from them, so I can tell my claims rep directly and have her run it for me to see if the other person has insurance. (Which is likely - we're a mandatory-insurance state, thankfully.)

I'm not actually using the rental much, which seems silly, but just knowing it's there and I can get to a grocery store is a big help.

Meanwhile, today is a quiet day, wherein I am actually managing to get a little cleaning done around the house. Go me!
arduinna: a grey kitten's head snuggled into an orange kitten's shoulder as they both snooze (kitten cuddles)
Second post for today, catching me up to today...

For [personal profile] eviltammy: cats! With mandatory pictures!

Oh, I can talk about cats for days. But I'll restrain myself. *g*

My current cats are a pair of same-litter brothers that I got from a shelter almost two years ago now (wow). I dithered over their names back then, settling tentatively on Darien and Hobbes, which not only stuck, but turned out to be prophetic.

Hobbes, in particular, matches his namesake: he's a bit skittish, a bit paranoid, a lot jealous, and very cuddly.

The jealousy is the thing that cracks me up most. Hobbes wants all the attention. ALL of it. All the time. Even if he doesn't want it right then, if Darien's getting any attention, he needs to come take it away.

For example! )

For another example! )

Dari gets his own back, though. He's a burrower; if he were an outdoor cat, he'd be digging all the little rodents out of their dens. So when he thinks Hobbes is under a blanket, he loses his little kitty mind and goes full-on hunter, digging and digging. He manages to pull the blanket away enough to get a paw in under and start whapping at Hobbes, who gets very annoyed -- usually Dari is so hunter-focused that he's whapping too hard, so Hobbes winds up crying and running away.

This is all a little disconcerting when it's happening in your lap, I must say.

Dari goes all dramatic when he sleeps, like he thinks he's performing Shakespeare or something. )

Hobbes... does not think he's performing Shakespeare. Ever. )

They seem to still like each other fine, Hobbes' little jealous self aside; there's lots of chasing and wrestling most days. But they're also totally prepared to entertain themselves:

Dari contemplating how to catch the bug on the ceiling )

Hobbes doesn't want to contemplate, he just wants that bug )

But sometimes, togetherness is where it's at:

Hobbes and Dari pondering the best way to tag-team the bug on the wall )

And if not always cuddly, at least comfortingly nearby )

♥ ♥ ♥


Full request list here, still open!
arduinna: a grey kitten's head snuggled into an orange kitten's shoulder as they both snooze (kitten cuddles)
As usual, this was meant to be an errands-and-chores vacation, with a big side of "and this year, I'm going to write my entire Yuletide story before Thanksgiving!!" determination.

Also as usual, most of that didn't happen. I've been so social in the last couple of months that mostly I just sat quietly in my silent apartment, doing I don't even know what, trying to decompress. I think I played a lot of solitaire, maybe watched some mindless tv. And I actually wound up working through some of it, because of a delayed project on a tight deadline, bah. But I did get some cleaning done, and a few errands run.

One of my chores was going to be "put plastic up over all the windows"; I have to do this every year, and while in theory it's not a big job, I don't like doing it, and always put it off as long as possible (or longer). Partly it's because once it's up, that's it: my house is sealed up for the winter, with little hope of fresh air till spring. But also it always takes longer than it should, and I just don't have it in me to spend an entire day going from window to window taking care of this (I have 10 windows that need the plastic). You're also supposed to do it before it gets frigid out, because if your window frame is too cold, the tape won't adhere properly. I got the two kitchen windows done early in the week, but then never got around to the rest - until Saturday, when I discovered that Sunday the temps were going to plummet, and we'd be having wind chills in the single digits. (And holy crap, they weren't kidding. Current wind chill is 8 F / -13.3 C. brr.)

So I'm still not done -- the living room is very drafty and cold right now -- but I did the bathroom, bedroom, and library yesterday afternoon. I can cope with needing blankets to watch tv or read; I can cope less with freezing in the shower, or waking up to an icy bedroom. So woo, go me. \o/

Yeah. I woke up today to the sounds of tearing plastic. Of course. Darien didn't even let the bedroom plastic alone for 24 hours; by the time I looked over there, he'd torn through it enough to climb inside and sit on the windowsill, happy as a furry orange clam.

So I hauled him out and dumped him on the floor. He jumped up and started for the plastic; I dumped him. We repeated this about four times and then he crouched doubtfully on the floor looking up at me while I taped up all the tears he'd made, and eventually he wandered off. Then I went to brush my teeth, cranky but resigned. Most years I at least get a few weeks of clear plastic before a cat goes all "FREEDOMMMM" on me. I start putting out food for the other cat, when I hear the unmistakable sound of more plastic tearing.

I go into the bedroom, and there's Dari, happily sitting inside the plastic on the window sill on the other, used-to-be-untorn side of the window.

My rotten cat Darien )

So now his claws are trimmed way back -- which he hates, and which usually I don't have to do because he's really good about not using his claws inappropriately -- and I am staring grimly at a shoppping cart full of thermal curtains, with drapery rods to hang them on. Argh.

I've avoided these for years, because a) pricey, omg, even the cheap ones, when you figure I need to put them up over 8 of these windows (the kitchen's just going to have to be cool, I'm not putting anything heavy in there), and b) room-darkening, which I hate, because it gets so damn gloomy in here when I have dark curtains up. I'm on a busy road, both car and foot traffic, with neighbors barely a driveway's width apart on both sides, so I leave my blinds shut almost all the time, just counting on the light coming through them to keep things bright enough. So I've just done light-colored mini blinds with light sheers over them, and plastic for insulation. But clearly that is no longer enough. Beyond the obvious unwillingness to allow plastic insulation this year, both cats have destroyed one of my street-facing blinds in their determination to always be able to see out (never mind that I leave them a few inches at the bottom of almost every window; they want to sit on the back of my chair, and see out from that level on that window). Every time I fix it, one of them comes over and breaks it in a new spot. (Which is actually kind of hysterical. Annoying, but hysterical. Clearly they think this is the "compromise" we've "agreed on" -- they get this one particular window for a higher view, no matter what.)

This is why we can't have nice things, cats!

*listens to the other cat happily trying to pull the strainer out of the sink, sighs*

Oh well. If nothing else, all of this convinced me that this should be a day for a proper pot of tea, so here I sit with a teapot in a cozy (okay really just wrapped up in a towel), one of my mom's wedding-china teacups, and a sugar bowl and creamer on a salver, as civilized as can be.

... omg tactical error. *slaps paper towel and hand over creamer to keep Hobbes out of it*

My rotten cat Hobbes )

My life, ladies and gentlemen.
arduinna: A sleepy grey kitten wakes up, one eye at a time (Hobbes's eye)
Today was kind of a cranky day all around, involving a total lack of hot water at home (that eventually turned out to be something that cost me a boatload of money, rather than something my landlord would have to pay for, joy), going into work early for a meeting that didn't go as smoothly as it should (not my fault, at least, but it made for a kinda frustrating morning), staying at work late for work that never actually came in, and getting the bill for said hot-water-fixing dealio. So bah.

But on the other hand, I have hot water again, woo!

And Maru and Hana continue to make me happy as they bond in ever sweeter ways <3

And there is new Person of Interest tonight! \o/

Also, there is this boy here, who never fails to crack me up:

Yeah, that's pretty much my life. If I'm eating it, he wants some of it -- the crunchier and saltier the better. The completely crazy eyes are because he'd just spent about 20 minutes chasing Tostitos all over my living room and begging me to throw more for him, before he decided he'd have more luck if he came closer. IDEK.

I still haven't watched this week's Blacklist or Sleepy Hollow, and I'll probably miss SHIELD tonight, too; work's too crazy and I'm too tired. But I'll watch POI (yay!) and The Voice, at least. So possibly there will be more posting later. (Or possibly not. *g*)
arduinna: A sleepy grey kitten wakes up, one eye at a time (Hobbes's eye)
People you seriously do not want on your super secret kickass ops team: me.

Walking around my car tonight on a clear, dry evening, carrying nothing but a water bottle dangling from one hand and a set of keys, I managed to fall harder than I have in decades, toppling in stages (foot, ankle, knee, other knee, hand, other hand, chest). As I went down, I was marveling both at the fact that I was falling (I'm usually very good at catching my balance when I stumble), and at how it just wasn't stopping; every time I thought I was done, something shifted and down I went a bit more.

Getting up from something like that is fun when your ankles and knees are crap, but I found a way and got back on my feet, gathered up my water bottle and got the rest of my stuff out of the car, went inside, and took inventory, expecting a lot of raw skin.

Verdict: One impressively skinned knee that will probably bruise up like anything over the next few days, and scraped-feeling skin on my palms and other knee that should be fine by tomorrow, because there was no real surface damage. I'm amazed. Even my jeans never tore, so the skinned knee is reasonably clean (and remarkably, never really bled, so the jeans are safe on that score, too).

Meanwhile, if the cool air today wasn't enough of a clue, my cat Hobbes is cluing me in to the approach of fall in his own way. I had a towel over my lap while I ate dinner to protect from crumbs (and from cats who always want my dinner). Hobbes came over and was poking urgently around, so I figured he wanted some of my food. But no - he was frantic to get his head under the towel, then all disappointed when it turned out to be too short to do him any good. I actually had to haul a blanket over to put over my legs, so he could crawl under it and be warm.

(It's not cold. I'm barefoot and in shorts. He's just very blanket-y.)

I'm sure I had a very incisive, fannish post planned out in my head, before I slipped. Quite sure.

Oh, wait, here's something: Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart in two plays together: No Man's Land and Waiting for Godot, in New York City, from the end of October through the end of January. For those of a theatrical bent!
arduinna: slice of a Stargate cake, showing the Earth glyph (starcake)
So as happens from time to time I had a birthday a little while ago, and [personal profile] therienne, [personal profile] mollyamory, and I went out to a nice dinner tonight to celebrate, at the Wayside Inn, one of my favorite restaurants, where they have amazing prime rib, yum. This place is a historical landmark about an hour away from us, where you can sit in the 200-year-old section of the restaurant and soak in the atmosphere while you eat. It's also a really popular place for weddings, and when you go on Saturdays in the summer you're almost guaranteed to see the big tents set up, and more than likely the horse and carriage driving around the property, which I love. And sure enough, there it was this time, heading out of the entrance and down the road while the wedding party had their photos taken on the grounds. It was a really pretty beginning to the evening.

Other than the incredibly loud table of four next to us for the first half hour or so, it was as lovely as ever, and the prime rib cooked as perfectly. Then we wandered out, leftovers in hand, just in time to see the horse wander out of his barn and start chomping on grass.

horsie! )

He let us get close enough -- mostly [personal profile] mollyamory to pet him:

petting the horsie! )

Which really is a pretty awesome way to end a dinner!

(Oh, rats, I think those are sideways; I have no idea why, they should be vertical. I'll fix them later; I'm on a borrowed laptop that can't adjust them, and I want to get this posted before midnight.)

And then it was back to their place for Hot Fuzz, champagne (because why not), presents, and pastries.

[personal profile] mollyamory wanted to be sure that I'd know which presents came from who, so wrapped accordingly:

guess who, she said )

And [personal profile] therienne remembered how much I love the chocolate pots from the local bakery (... possibly because when she said "what do you want?" I said "chocolate pot!", ahem).

omg yum )

That's chocolate mousse, with a bit of chocolate cake in the middle of it, inside a big candy egg shell, drizzled with chocolate on top.

I am now very full, and happily looking forward to a long weekend with my new Raksura books (\o/) and Burn Notice DVDs.
arduinna: Cartoon Walter and William Bell from Fringe, with the thought bubble "how wonderful!" (wonderful)
So much for posting every day, oh well. But I have a good reason for the last few days; [personal profile] gwyn was visiting me and [personal profile] therienne and [personal profile] mollyamory, and we were busy and social and eating all the food for days, with barely a chance to check email and things, never mind post. (Then there was the traditional day-of-collapsing after all that socializing...)

The length of this visit seems to have short-circuited our usual routine; it was long enough to get in lots of our favorite places to eat instead of just having to pick one or two, but not long enough to spread them out. So where normally people come visit us and we spend a lot of time just hanging out talking and watching tv to pimp them into shows, this time we spent a lot of time hanging out talking and traveling to various meals. I think the only things we watched were POI, Elementary, and a few videos (not even vids!).

It was fun, though, with lots of good food, and [personal profile] gwyn got to see a fairly decent array of New England-y-ness, from crowded city things to spread-out wealthy suburbs. She traded us one of her favorite restaurants in return, which we stumbled over unexpectedly during our afternoon in Boston, yum.

It was actually kinda like a mini con; gwyn arrived Thursday and left Monday. We deliberately left Thursday pretty mellow, since she'd come in on a redeye flight and was exhausted. So we just spent the day being lazy and relaxed, chatting away and ordering Thai takeout for dinner.

We three locals were all very torn about Thursday evening; we are HUGE Person of Interest fans, and it was the finale, and we were so stressed out by the previous week's ep! But we were going to be very polite and not watch, until [personal profile] gwyn said she was fine with it, she'd just hang with us and be online while we watched. Yay!

(And then she said she'd seen a few eps but mostly watched with it on in the background, and didn't get x, y, and z, and had to listen to us earnestly explaining the entire show for the rest of the day weekend.)

The weather was in and out, rainy cool days interspersed with warm sunny days, but we made it into Boston on Friday, the nicest day of all, which was lovely. I almost never do the local-tourist thing, but [personal profile] therienne and I thought doing a bit of the Freedom Trail and visiting Faneuil Hall at the end of it would make for a good low-key kinda tourist day, and it really did. The day was perfect for walking around in; we saw a few historical sites and a lot of tour guides in period costume wandering around, and finished off with a fabulous lunch, a visit to the Holocaust Memorial (which I'd never been to, and barely held it together while I walked through - dear god, but that's just. very effective, and affecting.), and then a quick trip to Haymarket to soak in a little rejuvenation in the form of fresh fruits and veggies before getting back on the T to home. (Where I played the Kingston Trio's "M.T.A." for gwyn to explain the why the T's payment system is called a "Charlie card", and why the image on the cards always makes me happy.)

We kept the historical theme going that evening, taking her out to the Wayside Inn, where we ate in the Tap Room (much older -- like, 200 years older -- and more charming than the main dining room), and we even saw a horse and buggy driving around, taking passengers to see the grounds (I think).

Horse and buggy! )

Saturday we met up with [personal profile] talking_sock for brunch and then hung out with her for a few hours before she had to head home, then we trooped into the office to poke at vidding tech until it was time to go to dinner. We got to show [personal profile] gwyn Premiere for Mac, and at least a fast look at how it compares to Final Cut, and some tricks we've figured out over the years. It's already all blurring even for me, though, so hm, maybe one of these days we should do screenshots and write up some actual comparisons, while we still at least vaguely remember how to use FCP.

And then there was Mexican food and Doctor Who and more talking.

Sunday was a day of rest. And talking. And food. (When we pick a theme, we stick to it.) We had a lovely long brunch at a local restaurant, then later [personal profile] therienne grilled us some burgers for dinner. We made a determined effort that night to get sundaes to cap off the weekend, but alas the place we usually go changed their hours, and we arrived too late, then had to roam around in quest of regular ice cream instead.

Monday was a short day, with only time for one last good brunch, and a quick tour around to look at some churches, including one that had the best birdhouse ever:

birdhouse! )

Then [personal profile] gwyn left. :( She's off on a fabulous trip to London for a few days, then Cardiff for Vidukon, then back to London, and I'm all jealous.

Me, I'm back to work. This seems unfair!
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
I keep writing up posts about last week in Boston, then deleting them for an excess of rantiness. But I also don't seem to be able to move past writing up that kind of post.

So I will just say, in short: )

*deep breath*

Okay, that took five days to get down to a plus-and-minus set of paragraphs. Now maybe I can move on to fannish things. Which I will take to another post, so as not to mix it up with the RL stuff...
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
I'm fine; I don't work in the city, and I was working at home today anyway. [personal profile] therienne and [personal profile] mollyamory are also okay.

I'm just in shock. I grew up along the Marathon route, and we used to go stand on the sidewalk every year to cheer the runners on. Most years, if I'm home, I still turn it on to watch (at least in the background). I can't wrap my head around someone setting bombs to destroy that.
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
Icon particularly appropriate!

I took some random time off this week, partly just to use up some vacation time, partly to spend some time with my dad, and largely to "hermit out" and get some extended time inside my own head, which I haven't done in... years, it feels like. Since my sleep apnea got diagnosed a few years ago I've been a lot more functional (looking back, I'm horrified at how non-functional I was for years, even decades, without ever knowing it), and less desperate for total alone-time downtime. Plus I've just been busy, with most of my downtime spread out between crises, mourning, and visits from friends.

But after most of a week mostly alone, with very limited interactions with people, my head is in a better space than it's been in ages. I think I could use another week or two of this, but that's never going to happen, alas. Still. This is a good reminder that I really do need to just shut down every now and then, and play with my cats or watch mindless tv for a while, or even just sit quietly in the silence.

It helped a lot that I did what I almost never do on vacations, and actually front-loaded all my errand-y things into the first part of the week. Usually I plan to do that, and then my agoraphobia kicks in silently and I never quite make it out of the house, and the need to run those errands builds up over the week and stresses me out, even as my brain comes up with a million reasons for me not to do them. This week, though, I made advance plans for Monday and Tuesday for the crucial stuff, after which I didn't leave my house again, but that was okay because there was nothing else I had to leave it for, so there was nothing to stress about. \o/

What I did on my spring winter vacation:

Spent the whole day day with my dad, getting myself put on his bank accounts and safe deposit box in case of emergencies, and "fixing" his computer by showing him how to forward an email.

Watched the pilot ep of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, which I'd heard good things about and had bought on impulse at Costco.

Brought the cats to the vet for vaccinations.

Brought the car to the mechanic for a new headlight and spiffy buffed lenses over both headlights.

Bought all the cleaning supplies and kitty litter in the world. Or at least in my local grocery store.

Watched a couple more eps of the Lady Detective, checked the Festivids site to see if there'd been any vids made for it. Alas, no.

"Fixed" my dad's computer remotely, omg yay.

Cleaned the "pantry", really my oversized storage closet and kitty litter space. Cleaned it a LOT, down to washing the walls. Threw out seven giant bags of crap, one normal-sized bag of kitty litter, and one normal-sized bag of regular weekly trash. (This was baffling to me. I had done a massive cleanout on this room out a year or so ago, turning it from a junk dump to a functional room where I could get at everything easily. I had no idea there was still so much crap in it.)

Proof! )

Moved my car to a safe spot on a side street in the face of a rumored storm, even though from the sound of it it was mostly going to fizzle, maybe a couple inches total.

Watched another ep of the Lady Detective.

Rested on my laurels after admiring my awesome clean pantry for a while. Played endless rounds of broken-toy games with Hobbes, with Darien jumping in any chance he could.

(Seriously. Broken toy. Hobbes loves feathers on a string, but they keep chomping the feathers off. Then Dari somehow yanked the remaining feathers out of the little plastic holder thingie, which swung empty at the end of the string and turned itself into the most exciting toy EVER OMG. They've been playing with that broken bit of plastic for days. I don't even.)

Watched tons of Storage Wars, Auction Kings, and Property Wars in a zoned-out haze of relaxation. (Time to give up on Storage Wars and Property Wars, though -- I've seen enough of both to be fed up with the way people jerk each other around and bid things up just to make it harder/more expensive for other people. Bleah. Auction Kings is more fun; it's about cool stuff, not obnoxious jackasses. And since they seem to have given up on the annoying Whatever Brothers from last season, it's back to being pure entertainment for me.)

Admired the pretty weather, with constant snowfall in temps warm enough to keep the roads clear.

Watched POI. \o/ Started writing reaction post.

Got woken up by my boss, who had lost power in the storm that had decided to stop fizzling and morph into a heavy wet giant of doom. Covered for him for a couple of hours till his power came back, cranky but resigned - crappy way to end a vacation week, but he's given up vacation days for me when I've had emergencies, too.

Sucked it up and called an insurance company to request a quote for auto and renter's insurance, after years of being vaguely dissatisfied with my existing company. Dithered for a couple of hours, then actually went ahead and did it, go me!

Watched lots of Law & Order: SVU, weirdly; that used to be a go-to mindless show for me but I haven't watched it in a couple of years. Guess the burnout finally wore off. It's perfect for days when I want a storyline to follow but don't want to devote the energy to actual investment in anything that happens.

Watched Grimm, which is finally back, in its most bizarrely-scheduled year ever. (... out of two years.)

Rediscovered my deviantArt account and actually started using it a little. I still don't really get how dA works, but hey, pretty fanart.

"Rediscovered" Tumblr, which for some reason I'd stopped checking -- I think because I was behind and wanted to catch up before I... went back... I don't know, blocks are weird. And turns out Tumblr's still very time-suck-y.

Shoveled. A day behind the rest of the neighborhood, because my landlord's son told me he wasn't shoveling till Saturday morning (which for him meant 4am, apparently - his sleep schedule is even weirder than mine), so the front walk was buried until then. Surprisingly, this turned out to have been a good thing for me; I'd been resigned to having to shovel very heavy, wet snow after a warmup, but instead I got out to my car across the street and discovered that the people parked around me had done a kickass job, and left me barely any work to do. \o/

Finished and posted the POI reaction post, for a miracle. I start so many posts I never finish.

Watched another ep of the Lady Detective.

Spent lots more time on Tumblr and deviantArt.

Completely failed in my attempt to adjust promptly to Daylight Savings. Oh well. It's always a couple weeks of misery and oversleeping for me, soothed by the lingering daylight in the evening. It's going to be light tonight till almost 7pm!!

Planned for the rest of the day: roast a turkey breast, finish a more rambly POI post, finish the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series (short series), write a story, clean the rest of my house.

Hopefully I'll at least manage to roast the turkey breast. The rest is icing.

As always, there are a ton of things I'd planned to do and never did. I was going to organize my bookmarks (and sync Pinboard and AO3 bookmarks), update links on my recs pages, maybe make some new recs for the first time in years, maybe work more on my months-old VVC DVDs review so I could post it, write a story or two. I was totally definitely going to at least spend an hour every day working on things like the bookmarks and the recs pages. I was going to read tons of fanfic, and catch up on books I've been meaning to read for ages, and watch at least one vid every day.

Yeah, not so much. But that's okay. It's as important to be quiet sometimes as it is to be busy. And I forget too easily how much better I feel when I'm quiet.

*contented sigh*
arduinna: a grey kitten's head snuggled into an orange kitten's shoulder as they both snooze (kitten cuddles)
One year ago, I went off to a local shelter in search of a bonded pair of young cats, and wound up with a very sweet pair of 8-month-old brothers I named Darien (orange) and Hobbes (brown & black). *points to icon*

They're now 20 months old and in the last month or so have suddenly stopped looking like kittens; they've turned into young cats instead. And they are still so very cute and sweet. <3

So in honor of their adoptaversary, have some pics!

Lots more below the cut, because I'm still besotted and could only narrow it down so far )

Yeah, pretty much it's all fun and games for these two. <3

I can't believe they've been here a year already!
arduinna: A sleepy grey kitten wakes up, one eye at a time (Hobbes's eye)
Almost two months ago, I asked for today off from work, because I know what Vividcon deadline day is like, and there is no way a few hours in the evening is enough time. This was meant to be a day of panic and flail, with last-minute fixes to the vid (or, worst-case, still filling in black space), and then dealing with exporting and aspect ratios and tech fail.

Instead, it's day of rest*, because [personal profile] therienne and I finished our vid last night, exported it, and uploaded it more than 24 hours before the deadline.

Vidding Deadline Threat Level: KITTENS.

Unfortunately, Vidding Deadline Threat Level Adrenaline Reaction: BEARS

So we spent the next hour having little bursts of panic at each other, because how is it possible to be done and uploaded before the deadline? Vid farr is not over till the deadline passes!

Then I went home and we got on the phone and panicked at each other more. See above, re: vid farr and bears.

Then I fell asleep in my chair before I could manage to write a post. I may have been a little tired.

And now? I am home, lounging about my apartment with my cats for the first time in weeks. I can clean my pit of a place, and buy groceries omg, and maybe watch some tv, or read...

I still don't quite believe it, and am braced to find out that [personal profile] therienne has gotten word from Lum and Ian that we screwed something up horribly, and need to fix it right damn now.

But until that email comes in, it is kittens all around. Yay!

* It is not actually that restful a day so far. I got home last night after midnight to the sight of a van from my oil company pulling away from in front of the house, and the scent of oil in my apartment, but no message from my landlord's son, so I figured it was a problem with his tank that had been handled.

Then this morning I got woken up a bit after 10 by a call saying that he'd found a leak in my tank last night (just a tiny pinhole leak), which had been plugged, but today they were coming to drain & remove the old tank, and install & fill a new one.

So now the basement under my feet is full of oil-company guys yelling and banging and drilling and otherwise using implements of destruction to scare the hell out of my cats.

But still. I am not at work! And I am not over at [personal profile] therienne's! I am HOME! \o/

So have some kittens )
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
About a month ago, I finally took the plunge and headed up to a local shelter, after months of waiting for the right moment and then weeks of dithering over the cats on their website. I dragged [personal profile] therienne along with me for moral support and drivingness (she'd been there a few months ago to get her new kitten), as well as the loan of one of her sleepypods.

She heroically stuck it out with me for about four hours as I wandered from room to room in an ever-deepening spiral of indecision, despite having pretty quickly narrowed my choices down to four sets of under-2-year-old pairs (I wanted a bonded pair to keep each other company).

But in the end, I went for a pair of 8(ish)-month-old brothers. <3 They'd caught my eye when they showed up on the website a few days earlier, and they were just as cute and appealing in person.

The adoption went relatively smoothly; they were swamped so I had to wait a while, then I got an adoption specialist who told me all the things I was supposed to do (almost none of which I intend to do), down to what brand and flavor of food to buy, and how to clean the litter. *eyeroll* But I nodded earnestly along, tried to clarify the slightly confusing medical records (which took a full month to sort out), and signed where she told me, and then a volunteer brought the boys out.

They were totally silent on the way home except for one forlorn meep from one of them about halfway home, and then were still totally silent at home. [personal profile] therienne and I figured that no one had talked to them when they were small. :( Poor boys. But they were happy to eat a meal, and explore my bedroom, and by that night were already escaping into the rest of the apartment any chance they got. By the next morning, I gave up; ~12 hours' confinement in one room to adapt to being out of a cage/in a new place was going to have to be enough.

I'm terrible at naming cats; my default is LOTR names, but none of the ones available to me really quite work (or I figure the vet staff would never be able to figure them out/spell them). It generally takes me weeks, and this time is no exception. There are still some alternatives that I may fall back on if these turn out not to stick*, but for now...

Meet Darien, the lanky, flirty, ladies' man: )

Meet Hobbes, the solid, affectionate, intrepid explorer: )

Together, They Fight <s>Crime</s> Red Dots! )

♥ ♥ ♥

Hobbes has found his voice, at least a little; he'll let out little cries now and then. Darien is almost entirely silent, although now he'll let himself grunt when he jumps off of something and lands hard. I know he has a voice, though, because he started wailing in the vet's office when they put drops in his ears in case of mites. (Also, for a skinny, wiry, underfed cat, my god he is strong.) (Ahaha I wrote that before I took them back to the vet for followup shots; he outweighs his brother by half a pound now, having gained about 14 ounces while Hobbesie gained... 2. I think he no longer counts as underfed.)

We had a bit of a health scare the first week... )

But the extended incubation period is finally over, with both boys still active and hungry and therefore safe. \o/ So now it's also safe to post publicly about them.

So far, it's all working out pretty damn well.

* Okay, so maybe Legolas and Gimli are still in the running, a bit; as are Vinnie and Sonny, and Benny and Ray. But all of those have issues; Hobbes is really too cuddly to be a Gimli; Darien is waaaay too sweet to be Sonny; and I would be forever explaining to people in fandom that no, it's for Ray Vecchio, which would get annoying. And I refuse to call him RayV. So. Darien and Hobbes! (And yeah, I know -- but "Bobby" wasn't working, and "Fawkes" wasn't, either, even though Darien has a foxy face and foxy fur, so Fawkesie would be sort of awesomely punny.) back to the rest of the story
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
For the past couple of years, I've been clearing stuff out, slowly; I'm a packrat by nature, so there's been a lot to do. I've donated somewhere around 2,000 books, hundreds of CDs, bags and bags and bags of clothes, furniture, lamps, electronics... you name it, particularly over the past year.

The one thing I haven't touched is the old computers. I have several, and they've been piling up in corners for over a decade -- partly because it used to be so expensive to buy new computers that I wanted to keep a backup around in case my new computer died, and partly because recycling them was a pain in the ass.

Best Buy has a pretty good recycling program now, though, so a few months ago I asked [personal profile] therienne to remove the hard drives for me so I could recycle the systems. But the drives didn't want to come out, and we had to be somewhere, so I said screw it, let's finish this later, and that was that. The two half-pulled-apart computers took up residence in my bedroom under a blanket so I didn't cut myself on the metal edges sticking out, and I put them out of my mind till a more convenient pulling-apart day.

That day was yesterday. )

And now my apartment is that much cleaner than it was. \o/
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
I got this from my brother: an interactive map of Irene's predicted wind effects, by location, on You can either click on the map or type a zip code into the search box, and it will show an hour-by-hour bar graph of what the winds are expected to be in that location through 6pm Monday.

It lists seven cities, but isn't restricted to them. As far as I can tell, it's a U.S. national map that will show you the expected winds for anywhere (I just scrolled it around until I hit San Antonio, Texas, and got a graph for it -- for the record, if you're in San Antonio, your winds will be about 3-10mph for most of the weekend, but creep up to ~17 mph by late Monday afternoon. *g* It doesn't work for Canada, though -- sorry, Maritimers!)

Clicking one of the listed cities will change the bar graph, but won't move the map itself; you have to drag/scroll the map manually, or type in a zip code, to see the place you're asking about.

This is pretty cool.
arduinna: my kitteh (cat)
Some of you have met my cat Frodo, or have heard tell of him the years; he was small and brave and smart, and cute as could be. He lived a ridiculously charmed, and charming, life, and up to the day before he died, vet techs were looking at him and saying "he's how old??" He made it to 20, and never looked it.

But chronic renal failure can't be stopped, in the end, and this weekend was the end.

He was my cat for almost my entire adult life; I got him a few months after I moved into my first solo apartment, and we'd been together ever since. He was the best little guy ever.

pictures under the cut )

Three days ago, he was crashing around my kitchen trying to catch a mouse that had gotten in. Poorly, mind you, because he was unsteady on his pins because of other illnesses (yeah, on top of the kidney disease; one way or another, this was going to be his last summer), but he was bright and alert and ready for action. I miss him like crazy already, but I can't regret a death that came so fast and fairly peacefully, letting him live his life right up to the end.

arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
Sandy Herrold -- [personal profile] sherrold, Media Cannibal, Clucking Belle, vidder, writer, reccer, and all-around amazing person -- has been battling cancer for some time, and it's not looking good at this point.

Even if you don't know Sandy personally, odds are that she's touched your life in fandom somehow. She's been a bright light at the center of my fannish experience almost since the day I arrived, open-hearted and generous, down to flying thousands of miles for a weekend to help teach someone to vid. Even when she's snarky or cranky or flat-out pissed off, Sandy always seems to be full of joy, deep and strong, and she lights up any room (and any fandom) she walks into as a result.

If you've ever wanted to tell her that you love her, or she made you laugh or think or cry, or she taught you about vids, or writing, or fandom, now would be a really good time.

[personal profile] movies_michelle has a bit more detail on what's going on and how to send cards or flowers, and where to send donations if you want to do that.

If you want to contribute to a bouquet or get a note to Sandy, [personal profile] talking_sock is going to be printing out notes from people before she flies out on Saturday; if Sandy isn't up for visitors, she'll leave the notes and flowers.

Please consider leaving a note even if you don't know her personally/directly. She should know how treasured she really is.
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)

Romy is being taken today to a foster home that everyone involved is hoping turns out to be permanent. The woman taking him already has several animals so we're not positive how he'll adjust, but we're going to give it a week or two and see how it goes. If he integrates with the household, this is an ideal home for him; she's known (and loved) him for years and is familiar with his needs, and he knows and trusts her already.

If it doesn't work out, at least he won't be lonely in the interim, and we can start exploring more options. But I really hope it does; she's a wonderful woman, and would be so perfect for him! And it would be such a relief to know that all three cats are in good homes.
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
My family and I have been occupied with getting ready for my sister's funeral, which was this weekend. In the meantime, [personal profile] therienne did me the huge, huge favor of getting the word out about my sister's three cats, who needed homes. That post went viral in short order, spreading to places that have boggled me, and I'm grateful to everyone who read and signal-boosted her post.

I'm very happy to report that thanks to everyone's efforts to spread the word, two of those cats went to their new home today. [personal profile] mero picked them up this afternoon, and Molly and Katie are all set now. <3

Soon to be snoozing in front of a new window instead, but still together, yay!

We're still looking for a home for Romy (Romeo), the 10-year-old male cat.

He has allergies that require monthly shots and a modified diet, and those allergies have caused him to lick off most of the fur on his belly and hind legs. But he's as sweet as can be, friendly and well-socialized and loving, and beyond the allergies he's healthy and happy. He's very person-oriented, and all he wants is a person to love who'll love him back.

If you know anyone who might want him, please have them drop me a comment; I've got anonymous commenting turned on so they don't even need openID.

And seriously, thank you so, so much to everyone who's helped spread the word about this. My sister made arrangements for the cats this summer when she discovered that her treatment hadn't worked and she wouldn't have long to live, but a few days before she died we found out that those arrangements had unexpectedly fallen through, and we didn't have time to do anything about it at that point.

We couldn't have gotten Molly & Katie into their new home without the help of so many kind people, and my entire family is grateful.
arduinna: Jack and Daniel from SG1, looking interested (JD - huh)
So, a while back I had a birthday, as you do. I tend to be incredibly busy right around my birthday for various reasons, so my friends celebrate it late, whenever we all happen to have time for it.

This year, it was this weekend.

Usually it consists of going out to dinner and then back to someone's place for cake and presents. So we went out to dinner (yum), and back to [ profile] therienne's house, which conveniently is also [ profile] merryish's house, as they were the friends who had taken me out.

Merry had said she was going to bake me a cake (she has discovered her inner baker, and as a friend who benefits from this, I can only say "yay!"). She wanted to know what I wanted; I told her I'm not fussy, I just like chocolate, and she really shouldn't go to too much effort. I'm honestly happy with cake from a box and frosting from a can. But she and [ profile] therienne went looking for recipes, and pondered frosting, and all sorts of complicated things -- all of which I knew about, since they did much of it in front of me, and Merry kept asking me things like "so, do you want a strawberry ganache in the middle? Or maybe raspberry?" (Complicated things!)

At dinner, I mentioned that I'd half expected them to announce "We made you a cake... but we eated it" when I arrived, and Merry said that, well, they hadn't decorated it as much as they could, because [ profile] marycrawford had sent them some lovely TARDIS and Dalek stencils to use and they just decided it was too much work, sorry! Which, dude. They made me a cake and didn't eated it! All was well.

So we get back to the house and watch some SGA, and then it is time for cake. They make me shut my eyes (I had been forbidden to go into the kitchen at all before this), and bring out the cake to put in front of me. By this time, I am wondering what the *hell* is going on with this cake, because... it's a cake! Did they load it up with a bajillion candles, or something? What was the deal, here?

There were no candles. Instead, I saw...

can you guess? (pictures under the cut) )

October 2017

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