From the moment I saw her years and years ago, I knew Millie was the cat for me. She was very small, and the tag on her cage at the Humane Society said that she liked to chase moths, and I thought that made her a knitter’s cat for sure. Turns out she didn’t give a crap about moths, but she was a hell of a mouser, and regularly attempted to make short work of every animal in the neighbourhood.
It wasn’t at all unusual to have to unhook her from the front windowscreens where she hung, hurling invective at some enormous dog she felt sure she could end if she could just get through the damn window. She slept on my head every night and went on hungerstrikes when I left town. She liked to put her tail in my bath. Her favourite food was pizza, she was tidier than we were, and she taught all the girls to hang up their coats through the magic of urine… and I didn’t know just how much I loved her until today. She drove me crazy.
Millie was an old lady by now – in human years she’d be in her nineties, and up until the last few days she’d been having a pretty good run. She still made her rounds every morning to make sure that there were no squirrels that needed threatening, and she continued to raid the compost bin if the lid was left open, fulfilling a deep passion for any food that was not intended for cats. In the last little bit she’d become very skinny, and seemed to have less energy, and today a visit to the vet for what we thought was something minor became very major indeed, and we said by to our little cat just an hour after a diagnosis so devastating that there was nothing else to do. She was a very, very good cat, and we wouldn’t have wanted to see her suffer for a minute longer.
I’ll get back to knitting and fundraising tomorrow, goodness knows both need doing, but tonight I think I’ll just have a really good cry for my 3.77lbs of wee beast.
Mom came up this weekend to go to one of the local art museums, which has an exhibition of paintings from a collection that focuses on the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including a lot of Impressionists. Alas, I am just not an Impressionist type of person. The painting I liked best was Alfred Sisley's Snow at Louveciennes, and that was because it reminded me of tramping through the snow in Arashiyama, Kyoto--the small hilly village, the snow, the feeling of cold in the air.
I pretty much spent the time Mom wasn't here playing Skyrim, and have come up with an actual motivation for Murderface 2.0! That shall wait for a real post. Let's just say it's petty and completely disproportionate to his actions.
I have discovered a brand of lactose-free yogurt and have been eating yogurt pretty steadily over the past few days thanks to antibiotic side effects, the less said about which the better. But plain yogurt with maple syrup is rather addictive.
And to end it all with, I now have another sore throat, which is much more obviously a respiratory-related thing than last week's was, and I am expecting to come down with a cold Any Moment Now, given my general run-down feeling right now. Alas. (I may be continuing to play Skyrim, in that case...)
My notice that I have to pay my bi-annual registration/license plates fee also arrived, for over $120. If I could go back in time to tell former!V things... well, they'd be several things I'd want to tell her, but in this case I'd tell 2001!V that summers will be a particlarly cash-strapped for her in about six years and then for many, many, many years in the future so maybe she should wait until November 2001 instead of August to buy her car so this registration fee won't become a summer thing.
My rent is also going up in July.
David Stravitz's The Chrysler Building: Creating a New York Icon Day by Day features an amazing collection of black and white photos, discovered a week before they'd be destroyed to reclaim the silver from the negatives, that show the process of putting up the famous Chrysler Building, with some of the shots showing 1920s street life, the many low-rise brick buildings of midtown Manhattan before glass skyscrapers or even just taller brick buildings replaced them, trolleys, and the elevated Third Avenue line.
It made me want to visit the Chrysler Building in person to see the foyer in full color, but it turns out that the foyer closes at 6 pm! I arrived at 6:45, never thinking I should check first because it's the Chrysler Building, it's New York City, and it's summer tourist season. Two other people wanted to go into the foyer the same time I did and we were all promptly ushered out. Again, "City That Never Sleeps" my ass.
Fortunately, there were other things I could do while in Manhattan. One of them being dropping my jaw at all the new construction and freshly razed sections where once old buildings stood for decades. Never mind Manhattan changing since I was a child, Manhattan has changed a lot just within the last three years.
Thus, I tip my hat to a two-story, three-floor building on 42nd Street, the Nat Sherman Townhouse, not far from the famous New York Public Library. It makes me so happy to see someone holding the line that I don't even care that they sell tobacco products. Shine on, Nat Sherman. It must kill some people seeing that prime piece of real estate used that way.
The Exchange at Fic Corner is a gift exchange for fic based on children's and YA books and short stories from picture books to edgy teen novels. The FAQ can be found on Dreamwidth (and I think on LJ still).
So I had these dates ALL WRONG:
June 18th - June 27th - Sign-Ups
June 28th - Assignments Sent Out
August 21st - Deadline for Stories
August 28th - Collection Goes Live (Hmm, I need to ask the mod - it looks like they changed that date ... sometime the first week of September, at any rate)
Tag Set (on AO3)
Sign Up Form (on AO3)
Good timing for a Yuletide warmup, perhaps?
To flesh the matter out a bit further, let us just say that it's been a while coming. The reasons are many and varied - but largely due to my husband's job, which has been flying him back and forth to/from the West Coast multiple times a month...at great company expense and everyone's general exhaustion for the last couple of years. This, combined with a surprise offer on our home that we frankly could not refuse, plus a few other fiddly things that don't bear a dry retelling, have led us to conclude that we should make Seattle our home again.
We are in the process of purchasing a house out there, a little ways from the city but in a very good location (close to main arteries, nice quiet neighborhood, etc.). If everything goes according to plan, we will close on this new house on the 8th of next month.
Of course, things are not quite going to plan. There is a last-minute hiccup that has us sitting on pins and needles, because as of July 20th, we are officially homeless if this falls through. (Though in case of worst scenario, we will head to my dad's place in Kentucky until things are sorted out.) Never mind the fact that we must figure out how to pack up our existing household, and how to drive two 90-pound dogs and a couple of cats to the new digs. (No, we will not fly them. We have our reasons.)
Anyway, we're working on that, and I'm not asking for advice or suggestions.
The move will be difficult in any number of ways; but in the end, this is the right decision for us. Our Tennessee house has been purchased by a lovely woman with a deep appreciation for the historic neighborhood - and this little home, in particular. Honestly, she's exactly what the place needs next: someone with a lot of money who can finish the last big projects that we haven't been able to afford. I am proud of the work we've done on this house, and it's been a privilege to be part of its conservation - but it's time for us to move on.
Next up, something completely different: a killer mid-century modern that's been beautifully redone. It's a smidge smaller than our Tennessee home, but it has a two-car garage and some amazing outdoor spaces to make up the difference. (A bigass deck! And a massive fenced patio!)
I mean, that's what's next if everything works out. If not, Jesus. I don't even know. One way or another, we're out of our present digs by the middle of next month.
So if I've been distant and quiet on the internet, and if I'm frazzled and tired in person, well, now you know. This has been hanging over our heads for the last few months and the situation is coming to a head. It's taking everything I've got to keep from having a nervous breakdown, so kindly forgive me.
Right. Well. Thanks for reading, everyone. I'll try to keep the world updated on how things go. Tennessee, you've been good to me. Washington, here we come again...
Quitting my PhD was the second best decision of my life (the best was marrying such_heights) and has brought me so much joy, happiness, and personal fulfilment.
I think a lot, on and off, about whether there’s anything that could have helped me quit it sooner. I suspect probably not, to be honest — all anyone could do was what they did do, which was love me, support me, and welcome me back with open arms when I did finally come home.
But for my past self, the one who got on that plane weighed down with ambivalence, here are a few things I’m glad you’ll learn:
( Thoughts for a quitter )
It's been hot and really humid here recently, and since my dad hasn't found the time yet to help me open up my wall and set up my air conditioner and I'm recovering from tendinitis in my shoulders, I've been relying on fans and suffering since my room gets really hot, especially at night. Although the rain didn't come down as badly as on Monday when it poured, what we got made the humidity plus the heat in my room impossible to handle and I was feeling restless, so I went out for a night drive, something I do less now that my old car is a bit... chancy. The transmission problems aren't anywhere near as bad as they were--strange as it may seem, avoiding parking it with the nose downward made a huge difference, though it makes finding spots harder since my neighborhood is very hilly--but a joint on the front passenger-side wheel is very worn and will require at least $380 to repair it so I'm driving less and more gingerly. After the highly and ridiculously dispiriting car hunt I did for two months last year, plus the high expenses and all the other bills I face, I haven't gone back to car shopping yet so I'm still limping along with my old car in addition to limping along with my ailing laptop.
Anyway, I was restless enough that I went out for a drive at 1 a.m. despite the rain. ( A new bridge, getting somewhat lost in the dark, a newly discovered bridge, a very wet New York City, and a lot of new buildings )
I survived and my car survived, I discovered parts of Queens I'd never been before though I didn't get to really see them (Russian fan friend who sent me some WK manga images years ago and asked me to identify the New York City places in them, the park I couldn't identify turned out to be Queensbridge Park. I'm sorry!), and I miss getting to see cool window displays.
Ardor in August - LOTR slash exchange! I love this one. Signups open til the 25th.
Star Trek Friendship Fest - does what it says on the tin! Trek based gen. Signups open til the 25th, sadly nobody yet asking for Spock & McCoy.
Rarepair, for any and all rare ships, signups open til the 28th.
Exchange at Fic Corner - for children's book canons. Signups open til the 28th.
AU Exchange - a new AU scenario-matching exchange, multifandom. Nominations open til July 1.
Press Start - for game canons. Nominations open until July 1
And without any deadline except 'finish before next year'-
Hurt/Comfort Bingo! For the pleasant torturing and subsequent cuddling of favourite characters. <3
*quietly melts in the heat*
The Fever of the World (8487 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), Master and Commander - All Media Types
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jack Aubrey & Stephen Maturin
Characters: Jack Aubrey, Stephen Maturin
Additional Tags: Hurt/Comfort, Prison, Delirium, Worry, Fever
And everywhere the fire, lighting sky and sea, dappling across the small bobbing faces lifted to the heavens.
He had seen Stephen swimming, hadn't he. He had known Stephen would remember how to float, the way Jack had taught him. Feeling sure, he had floundered past, to get about saving as many as he could. After all, he had seen Stephen swimming.
It is so good! Jack and Stephen are shipwrecked, and jailed to await prisoner trading-- Perfect h/c, perfect Jack and Stephen banter, with period medicine and emotional vulnerability and rude details, and the tone and characterisation both are so very spot on. If you love these guys, give this a read. ♥