Lesson learned

Apr. 24th, 2019 11:24 pm
sasha_feather: dog looking over a valley (dog and landscape)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
I definitely made an error in judgment when I agreed to dog sit a young golden retriever. He's gone home now, and Abbie and I are both very relieved. It could've been worse-- he was an essentially good-natured dog-- but he was very high energy and had separation anxiety. My roommate described him as a "needy boyfriend".

I'm enjoying watching "The Expanse" which I have out from the library. Tonight I watched disc 2. It's gripping and I like the focus on working-class people.

The weather has been nice for a few days and it certainly makes life easier. We're in that moment of Spring where tiny flowers bloom under trees. Willow trees have a yellow glow.

Pounding in the breeze.

Apr. 22nd, 2019 11:42 pm
hannah: (Laundry jam - fooish_icons)
[personal profile] hannah
This was a day without whack. Not in a good way. I woke up past nine, and couldn't do much of anything. I'm in a position where being out of whack like that - can't get to the gym, can't be productive, can feed and clothe myself and that's about it - isn't so debilitating. It's mostly frustrating and disappointing.

It's not without any signs or portents. There was the Gala last Wednesday, and the Seders were Friday and Saturday nights - plus adding having to stay up late finishing laundry on Sunday, it all makes sense. Not that staying up late right now is of much help in the grand scheme of things. But I want to say that I did PT, and I've got herbal tea, and I'm feeling closer to having my feet underneath me for the first time in a few days. So I'll do what I can to keep this feeling going.

Reptile tongue.

Apr. 21st, 2019 11:42 pm
hannah: (Laundry jam - fooish_icons)
[personal profile] hannah
It's the end of an era: I need a new laundry hamper. The one I've had since grad school ripped its last handle's stitches. What I'm left with is a wobbling tube without any genuine means to move it around. I could keep it for another couple of months before the last of its seams go, but that wouldn't do me much good. So, instead, a declaration I'll get a new one before my laundry is nothing but mismatched piles around the floor.

It's also the start of spring: my window's open with the screens put in. The window isn't shut tight with a towel as a DIY insulator anymore because it's more pleasant to have the airflow now. Soon it won't be. But for now, it is.
sasha_feather: Nux running (mad max) (nux running)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Friends I am so sorry about The Magicians. I haven't watched season 4, and probably won't now.

It feels like the 100 all over again and it sucks so much.

I want better for us.

Come and gone.

Apr. 17th, 2019 11:27 pm
hannah: (Martini - fooish_icons)
[personal profile] hannah
Standing around in Central Park, waiting for the shuttle to take us from the Boathouse to Fifth Avenue, we chatted about how we were doing at such a late, tired hour. I said I was going to crash when I got back to my apartment - "Don't say crash," someone else told me. I laughed, and said I was okay. I explained, I'd had a couple of drinks and then some coffee, some water too, and I was at a good balance of everything to keep coasting for a while. At least until I got back to my apartment, after which, I said, I won't say anything more.

I got driven out of the park, and I got driven into the park. My brother had the time and willingness to drive me and the Gala's baked goods to the Boathouse, and took deep pleasure in doing so - as he said, it might be the one day in his life he drives in Central Park. It was a good day for it, too: that brief time when both flowers and leaves are new and everything is fresh.

I got there early, almost too early, two and a half hours to spare. I walked around the park some, enjoying the people and sunshine. I set up everything, and watched it go into the kitchens for safekeeping until it was time for the after-dinner coffee. I hung out with a couple raptor people from New Jersey, and met a Barred Owl named Mitzi and a Red-Tailed Hawk named Ruby. Both of them got a lot of attention from the birds nearby, with the jays and blackbirds - of course it was the corvids - being the first to start shouting about them, with the sparrows and cardinals joining in. So I joked they should do bird walks with raptors as bait. Bring out the other birds and let people listen.

Things were being set up and arranged up until the last moment before the doors opened for the guests. As it's been said, the show doesn't go on because it's ready, the show goes on because it's showtime. And what a show it was! There was a cheese table, a specific table for cheese, with seven different kinds and someone who'd cut small slices off the logs and wheels when someone wanted a piece. I've been to weddings that aren't as fancy as that.

This is the Flocktail's first year in this space. Far more expensive than other years - the previous locations were all provided for free - and also far nicer. Not just for the catering. It was an airy, open room, with a tall ceiling and windows all around, plus a view out to the Central Park boating pond. When someone got up onto the small stage, everyone could hear them, and when someone got onto the floor to perform, everyone could see them. It wasn't huge, just a couple hundred people. Enough you couldn't meet everybody, and enough you could feel comfortable with just about anyone.

Sometimes the party picked up, sometimes it slowed down. A lot of it was standing or sitting around, eating fancy food and talking to people. It was an open bar, but I've learned since college, and just had two drinks, counting the prosecco they were handing out on trays at the door.

The moments of picking up were numerous, though. There were three dance numbers. There was a short performance by Nellie McKay. The live auction had a professional auctioneer, the kind that talked at fifteen miles a minute and whipped the audience into clapping every time the bid hit another hundred dollars, do I hear sixteen hundred, sixteen, seventeen hundred, eighteen hundred, he's bidding the boat, nineteen, twenty, twenty-one!

It ended up being over twenty-one hundred dollars. I think it went for thirty-one hundred, outbidding the two all-access passes to the Tribeca film festival and the tickets to Hamilton. That one was for a walk in Central Park with the director of the Wild Bird Fund. And Bill Irwin.

It takes a particular audience to get whipped up about Bill Irwin - who would, in fact, be sailing a little boat he'd brought with him out on the Reflecting Pool during the walk. And I was so, so happy to be in that audience.

I approached him near the end of the night, told him I loved how he moved on stage and shook his hand. I did the same for Nellie McKay. But I didn't give her my card. I gave Bill Irwin my card.

As part of the preparations for this, in addition to baking so many cupcakes several people took about a dozen each home with them, I got business cards. So yes. I have cards. Do you want my card? I have a card, drop me a line. I can send you something, here's my card. You need my name, it's on my card.

Though I have to say, much as I loved casually offering out my card, much as I adored exchanging meaningful words with Bill Irwin, glad as I was to attend this sort of thing where the full cost of ingredients was much less than a ticket, what I liked most was being there at the start and the end. Seeing what goes into making it possible, getting it set up and taken down. The stillness before and after all the dancing, when it's open and ready for the night, and when it's just a few people left out in the night, ready to be home.

the Nightstand Project

Apr. 17th, 2019 09:45 pm
sasha_feather: Person in old-time SCUBA gear on a suburban lawn (Tales from Outer Suburbia)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Inspired by a post Jesse the K made about "the Nightstand Project"-- a gallery of photos of the nightstands of people with chronic illness-
(see https://jesse-the-k.dreamwidth.org/293658.html), I am sharing pictures of my nightstand and my "day stand" (the small table that sits by my recliner).

DSCF5866

Nightstand. Top drawer is open showing medications and a wrist brace. The top of the stand has a blue lamp, a bottle of lotion, a glass of water, a folded handkerchief, and some meds. My iPod sits on the edge; I use this for an alarm clock when needed, and for listening to "rain sounds" on youtube to help me fall asleep.

DSCF5868

Day stand. Contains: My phone, a box of tissues, Icy Hot cream, Lidocaine cream, a glass of lemonade, and 3 little microfiber rags that I use to clean my glasses. Also a pencil. Stuff accumluates on this table and I have to clear it off regularly.

Trace your hand.

Apr. 16th, 2019 11:12 pm
hannah: (Sam and Dean - soaked)
[personal profile] hannah
I spent a brief, intense few minutes this evening coordinating logistics between four different people, myself included. It was something that would've been simpler if everyone was in the same room, or at least reachable by phone, but at least it's reasonably completed now. Making sure that a car can take me and the masses of baked goods over to the party location tomorrow afternoon shouldn't be so tricky, but when it's in Manhattan, it needs a lot of checking assorted regulations. Like if privately owned cars are allowed in Central Park. Turns out, yes, for a small number of reasons and if they follow specific rules.

In more pleasant news, I finished the rough draft of the Gunn/Wesley fic. Outsider POV, keeping in the everyone's-human-and-the-demons-don't-matter setting, probably not to everyone's interest and something I enjoyed the experience of writing.

Also the Cordelia/Phantom Dennis thing.

The first one's about 2000, the second about 3000. It's kind of odd to write something so short after getting used to taking at least 20,000 to tell the story, but these didn't need to be all that long, either.

I know they need to be better than they are right now, though, so if anyone's open for beta-reading, feel free to drop me a line.

Stay a hundred days.

Apr. 15th, 2019 11:34 pm
hannah: (Pruning shears - fooish_icons)
[personal profile] hannah
I got woken up this morning by rain. Well before dawn, wind and thunder and hail, heavy drops pelting against the windows. Far beyond a downpour, lighting flashing through the curtains a couple of times, though after I turned my face towards the pillow I couldn't see it anymore. Just the sounds of what came through.

This morning, I got caught in a brief storm. Nothing strong, nothing long, just a few minutes of rain falling straight down. It ended by lunchtime, and the next few hours were the echoes: hard breezes, gray clouds through the sky, dampness suffusing everything. Spring chill, not winter cold. The blossoms are coming down fast, but the buds have some promise of color left in them yet.

By the time it was over, by the time I was on my way home, the air felt new. The only clouds were the nonthreatening kind, the ones that slipped in front of the sun just long enough to make its reappearance that much more brilliant.

The wind's come back and the rain's left. There's a strong chance it'll return soon - it's never far gone here. But on its own time. Rain doesn't come in a hurry, even when it comes in hard.

"Shrill" and "Special" - Netflix

Apr. 14th, 2019 02:15 pm
sasha_feather: Leela from the 5th element (multipass)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Netflix has two new shows that are so similar to each other that they seem to be in conversation, or part of a genre that I’m not sure how to name. Shrill and Special are reality-based, short form comedy shows centering on marginalized people. Their particular kind of comedy is one where situations can be awkward and somewhat cringe-y, and people make bad choices, but the characters have heart and are trying. Sometimes situations aren’t resolved to satisfaction; in this way they are unlike old-school sitcoms.

Both shows take place in LA and are about 20-somethings trying to navigate social relationships, jobs, and parents. In Shrill, Annie Easton (Aidy Bryant from SNL) is a fat woman who is struggling with her self-esteem. In Special, Ryan is a gay man with cerebral palsy (and is actually played by a gay man with CP, show creator Ryan O’Connell). Both characters have jobs at blogging websites that seem to be similar to XO Jane-- their assigned stories are confessional, personal posts. Both shows even feature pool parties where their characters struggle with being near-naked in public. Both have terrible bosses, although Ryan’s boss did grow on me a bit by the end of Special’s 8 episodes. Both characters have fat women of color as their best friends, and those characters are more likable and charismatic than anyone else around them. (This is possibly problematic: a fat woman of color as truth-teller or guide.)

Annie’s journey is one where she is learning to stand up to people and value herself. She starts writing blog posts about being fat. She stands up to her mom and her boss. She struggles with trying to break up with her no-account boyfriend, but keeps going back to him. I found the relationship with the boyfriend uncomfortable to watch. She seems to like him but it’s hard to understand why; but then, I’m a lot farther in my self-acceptance journey than Annie is, and I’m also largely not attracted to men.

Ryan is trying to get out in the world and have a life, after being in a co-dependent relationship with his mother. He gets a job and an apartment, and makes a friend at work, Kim. In the sweetest episode of the series, Kim encourages Ryan to hire a sex worker to help him get past his virginity. The sex worker is played by Brian Jordan Alvarez, an actor I know from a youtube series called “The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo.” This scene was funny and sweet and normalized the idea of visiting a sex worker. My heart grew three sizes.

Some parts of “Special” were uncomfortable to watch, because they relied on people lying and keeping secrets and having conflict with each other. The series ends with a bit of an emotional cliffhanger between Ryan and his mom. Ryan starts this show with no friends, and just starting a job, and it’s not clear what he’s been doing all day. It seems like if he’s living an insular life, he should at least have online friends. But he isn’t connected to community and it’s not clear if he has any hobbies or interests. There are probably plenty of people living this way, but it’s a bit painful to think about.

It is just so ridiculously refreshing to watch shows about fat people, queer people, disabled people. This particular genre is perhaps not to my taste, but I will keep watching for the representation if nothing else. These people have sex and fight with their parents and, put simply, get to be the main characters.

Content note for Special: the end credits feature bright colors that rapidly change and bothered my light-sensitive eyes.

Taking it on foot.

Apr. 13th, 2019 11:40 pm
hannah: (Pruning shears - fooish_icons)
[personal profile] hannah
When I left my apartment this morning, it was cool but not cold, and damp but not wet. There wasn't any real alert that it'd switched over from March, but that came in its own time. Specifically, by midafternoon.

Two weeks ago it was orchids; this week it was magnolias and cherry blossoms. I got off at the 50th street stop, thinking I'd do an errand and head right back onto the subway, but then I saw how close I was to Central Park and decided to walk uptown the whole way. It was the right call. As I was heading up, the sun broke through the clouds, so by the time I got to the park, there was enough sky to not feel any wintertime want for it.

The trees weren't in peak blossom, such as it's measured by hashtags and official botanic garden websites, but they were the first I've seen in full and proper bloom. Not just buds or tender petals. There were sparrows singing from the branches, in between the flowers bigger than they were. Pigeons were taking outdoor baths in big puddles, fluffing up and looking pleased. I saw other birds flitting around and watched them gather grasses and twigs for their nests, tucked up high and hidden unless you saw the bird flying right there. The grasses haven't yet covered the ground, but there's steady encroachment speaking well to May. Sometimes April has blizzards to show she doesn't care, and sometimes she's generous with herself.

I zigged and zagged through the park and up the blocks, taking in the warm air on my arms. I did my errands and then some, and I came out of it feeling ready - if not eager - to take on some work ahead. Whether this will continue into tomorrow remains to be seen. But today, at least, gives me hope it might.

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