usedtobeljs: (Default)
2017-09-23 09:26 am

Saturday, Post #41

Just got back from a morning walk. (I have started a workout plan created by my friend and trainer Fr, in anticipation of a walking-tour vacation next July, hurrah.) It is still Hot Soup here in the subtropics, but the light has changed, and soon, soon the dewpoint will drop to livable levels.

(I hope.)

While the weather should be changing in good ways soon, my house and backyard are about to undergo Major Updates. I foresee two and a half to three months of craziness with the house, while my contractor redoes the 1960s addition and makes it a) a rationally designed space, and b) one better suited to Aging in Place. Example: currently there are two steps down from my kitchen to the utility room/hallway; these steps lead directly, as in less than a foot of clearance, into my washing machine. To the right of the steps is a giant Nixon-era (LITERALLY) water heater. It's a cramped and slightly dangerous arrangement, and I will be so glad when it goes away. I am NOT looking forward to the construction noise and mess, but the end result should be great.

Also, I adore M the contractor, who did my other bathroom renovation, and he will do a good job for me.

The other change is that my backyard, which is sort of a mess (except with excellent treework!), is getting a proper design. D my landscape designer is doing some practical things I requested, like a Corgi-size border fence keeping Master Danger away from the proper fence, but he also, like, somehow intuited the kind of Provencal stone courtyard image that I keep pinning, and is giving me a courtyard space of gravel, flagstones, and succulents, which I'll be able to see from my kitchen window. YAY YAY YAY. There will also be some "lawn" for the young master and loads of native plants, including pollinators.

I'll keep you posted on how Master Danger does with all these changes. :)

What change are you looking forward to?
usedtobeljs: (Default)
2017-09-14 05:34 pm

Checking in, Post #40

See icon.

Anyway, so Hurricane Irma happened. I spent several days at my friends' house, being nervous (before the storm) and exhausted (after the storm). The power went out Sunday night as the winds began to howl overhead. Luckily Monday, after the storm had passed, was breezy and relatively nice even without power, and when I went home Tuesday morning, my power was restored.

But that's luck.

I live in a Tree City, and everywhere old oaks lie cracked in yards or near roadways. The neighbors behind me never do treework at all despite a yard full of aged water oaks, and as in Matthew last year, half of one of the oaks fell on my back fence. La la la.

No, seriously, la la la, because my neighbor across the street (who also doesn't have tree work done) had HER giant oak snap off near the roots, and it rests partially on her house. She is staying with church friends, possibly for a long time.

Master Danger and I are back to almost normal, except for the hum of generators nearby and roads unexpectedly closed by trees and a few local shops still not blessed with power. My current project is to buy a new mattress, because after last week's hotel stays and the weekend's stay at my friends', the inadequacy of my own bed is making itself felt. OUCH.

May you only have the best of breezes this week!
usedtobeljs: (Jeremy Northam Wind-blown)
2017-09-06 07:12 pm

Hurricane, Post #39

Hurricane Irma.

Because obviously my year hasn't been hard enough yet. (Or Freixenet's year, or, or, or....)

I will think of young Jeremy Northam instead of the variety of awful that's likely to hit Sunday. If you don't hear from me for a while, however....

Good things to celebrate:

Making it through today

May we all make it through. Hugs.
usedtobeljs: (Lindsey Big Damn Anti-hero by Linnaea)
2017-08-27 03:43 pm

Lindsey/Fred, Post #38

It's going to be a hard few days in Texas. I am lighting a candle for those in the rain and storms.

And for [personal profile] stateless82, who loves Lindsey and Fred, a little Deep Ellum tidbit about another stormy night --

Fred knows that Lindsey's wrist – the seam where another's hand was joined to his arm, still red against his tan – hurts during storms.
Read more... )


May all be safe in whatever storms are brewing for you.
usedtobeljs: (Dame Judi Dench)
2017-08-19 05:42 pm

Things of Joy, Post #37

This Saturday I am clinging to moments of joy:

*the CDs I liberated from my father's store, 50s cool jazz and 60s pop jazz and the odd bit of Afro-Cuban jazz awesomeness

*new makeup (eyeliner, eyebrow filler, highlighter, blush) with an option to buy new lippie later

*wearing my Ariat cowboy boots (3 years old now?) with a pencil skirt so I could run from meeting to meeting at work yesterday

*Bertie Carvel writing brilliantly for the New Statesman. (He talks about playing Simon Foster, who is loathsome, but mmmm, Bertie.)

*Britbox has "A Bit of Fry and Laurie"! And Campion!!!!!!

*homemade bread made by a colleague

*2 and a half inches of rain yesterday, and an almost cool morning today for Master Danger's and my walk

May your days ahead be full of joy.
usedtobeljs: (Anya Deepest Deep by Miggy)
2017-08-11 02:48 pm

Tiredness and Moments, Post #36

I am so tired.

This summer has been one where I've constantly been moving ahead of the Bad Stuff all around, the waves of Bad Stuff following me. This week I had a day where I stopped and breathed, at which point the wave crashed over me and I was inundated with all of the summer's grief and stress.

I do not recommend.

But even so, there have been some nice moments:

*a work event where I could catch up with an acquaintance from another department
*a lunch with a new colleague
*dropping off old shoes for new soles
*paying off a loan or two
*thinking about workouts and asking my trainer-friend to come up with a home program for me
*reading Jessica Mitford's Hons and Rebels, which presented Mitford history familiar to me in a very different way
*listening to Lorde's latest album

It's raining today, and I think I'll put on the album and dance a bit, to push that wave of Bad Stuff back. Or I could nap. Either would work.

May you be dancing in good moments too this weekend.
usedtobeljs: (Anya Pensive Star by Bouncy Monkey)
2017-08-06 09:40 am
Entry tags:

Things of Joy, Post #35

Right now I am looking at a bouquet of daisies and carnations that friends have sent me, and I am making myself smile. On this Sunday, let's think about things of joy:

*fresh pitcher of F&M strawberry black tea
*Master Danger stretched out at my feet (but not so close that I will trip over him)
*ticking off work done on my To Do list
*planning to listen to this Proms concert featuring Dianne Reeves with a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald
*having dinner with friends on Thursday night, in the midst of a torrential downpour
*new shoes from Shoes of Prey (the brown ankle-strap mid-heels of my dreams)
*re-organizing clothes drawers and reminding myself of how much I have

May you be reminded of your joys today.
usedtobeljs: (What Would Donna Do by Omphalos)
2017-07-14 04:49 pm

Thoughts on the Upcoming Doctor Announcement, Post #32

It's been announced that this Sunday, after the Wimbledon men's championship, the new Doctor will be introduced.

I have the following thoughts:

1) I know, intellectually, that it is time for P Cap and S Moffat to go. But I am not looking forward to Chibnall as show runner, and I am very very worried about who will be the next Doctor.

2) This worry is displacement for larger political and personal worries, I assure you. But still.

3) I DON'T WANT IT TO BE KRIS MARSHALL. He seems like a lovely chap, but NO NO NO.

4) I have a list of white boys I'd like to see as the Doctor, but really, I don't think it's the time.

5) Am sad that Adrian Lester has taken himself out of the running, but then I want him to be Aziraphale in Gaiman's Good Omens miniseries anyway.

6) I will be traveling (back to see my father, who is lingering on despite all odds) during the announcement and that is also stressing me out.

In conclusion, P Cap.

Hugs to all!
usedtobeljs: (Anya we persevere thoughtful)
2017-07-05 02:54 pm

Things of Joy, Post #31

We continue to hang fire here, so a quick few moments of joy:

1) I just got embroidered jeans from Boden on mega-sale, and they are flattering and cheery-making.

2) Just got my blue mid-heels resoled -- the local cobbler also rebuilding the toe and polishing them. It makes me happy to repair and keep wearing shoes and good clothes.

3) A huge glass of ice-water with lemon.

4) Lyle Lovett's "Flyswatter Icewater Blues" from Joshua Judges Ruth.

5) Unbuttoned French cuffs of a white shirt on my beloved Twelve. Pretty sure this is a bulletproof kink.

6) Bet I'd like unbuttoned French cuffs of a white shirt on Lyle Lovett too, to be honest.

7) All the tweed in the Chanel Autumn/Winter 2017 show.

Hope you have things of joy today!
usedtobeljs: (Default)
2017-06-28 10:09 am
Entry tags:

Joys in a Hard Time, Post #30

So this summer has not been good so far, shall we say, and at the moment we are still hanging fire, so -- let's think about joys instead.

*the beauty of Peter Capaldi as Twelve, with special attention to the third gif down on the right side, because that is some Lord Peter Wimsey tailored-shoulders nonsense right there
*rereading the Vane-Wimsey Quartet for comfort
*brewing this morning's tea (Fortnum's black tea with strawberry)
*multi-grain baton of bread from Publix, where shopping is seriously a pleasure
*payday coming up!
*the new Diana Krall album

What's giving you joy today? May the list be long, may the joys linger.
usedtobeljs: (Lorne Damn! by Bouncy Monkey)
2017-06-24 07:43 am

The other Summer of Giles fic, Post #29

A short piece but mine own, a Season Six fixit diverging from canon after "Flooded," with a guest appearance by my beloved Lorne --

"Get Happy", wherein Giles and Anya go to Los Angeles for their first weekend together. Storylines are changed, the good word is given, all for a couple of snippets of song.

Cheers to all.
usedtobeljs: (Ganya Partners in Crime from Gwynne)
2017-06-20 11:30 am

FIC: Five Times Clothes Make the Man and One Time They Didn't, Post #28

I wasn't going to do Summer of Giles again, but what can I say, I'm weak.

A little something will be coming on Saturday, but for this posting day, a little canon, a little I&A --

"Five Times Clothes Made the Man, and One Time They Didn't". Touch of Giles/Ethan, touch of canon Giles/Joyce, but it's I&A. It's about Giles, clothes, and identity.

Hugs to all.
usedtobeljs: (Default)
2017-06-15 08:04 pm

Hanging Fire, Post #27

A long time since posting, but...

The writer Henry James often used a phrase which was once apparently common -- "hanging fire" -- although I only came to know the phrase through his work. According to the Oxford Concise Dictionary, it means 'to delay or to be delayed in taking action.' Googling tells me it comes from artillery. In James' prose there was something powerful, a kind of opportunity for ambiguity, when a character was hanging fire.

In my life it makes me anxious. I don't like the ambiguous power of not knowing.

In my last post I mentioned that my father wasn't doing well. In fact he is now in hospice. The nurses have told us that they didn't expect him to make it more than a day or two after the initial illness, but two weeks later now and he is, well, hanging fire: losing weight and strength, not entirely lucid, wasting away, but still here. He doesn't want to be here, I have to say, and it is all heartbreaking.

I've been flying back and forth to see him, but this week I am here with Master Danger and subtropical rain and work. Next week -- if he is still with us -- I will fly to see him again.

There is too much space in not knowing.

I hope all is well with all of you, and may you know what you need and get it.
usedtobeljs: (Giles blue shirt LJS by Head Rush)
2017-05-28 11:03 am

Well, I'm Back, Post #26

I'm back home. Master Danger is snoozing on the linoleum, it's bloody hot in the subtropics and there's worrying news about my dad -- so let me remember my trip, which after an initial hiccup was awesome.

Rather than listing everything I did, a few moments to remember:
*unexpectedly seeing friends at the gate next to mine, and having a nice visit before I boarded (and before they went to Europe)
*checking my phone one last time on the plane out, with a glass of fizz on the armrest
*hot strong PG Tips and toast in the B&B where I stayed one night
*sitting in a cafe in a small town in Derbyshire, windows on a rainy green, with a be-hatted older woman drinking tea at a nearby table whilst her lurcher sat at her feet and sighed
*at the House Style at Chatsworth exhibit, the motto jumpers worn by the previous Duke of Devonshire Andrew Cavendish -- such as "Never Marry A Mitford". LOVE.
*green green EVERYWHERE
*a single pale rose on the bush outside my bedroom window in the flat in London; drinking wine on the garden patio of the flat
*HOT for three days, OMG. London theatres are largely not air-conditioned, either (although thank heavens for the National, which was)
*tea at the Ritz, with ambiance and sweet stuff
*some awesome theatre, including a revelatory performance of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches wherein Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, and Russell Tovey were mesmerizing and heartbreaking (okay, Roy Cohn wasn't heartbreaking); DAVID FUCKING TENNANT in Don Juan in Soho, a star to his bones, louche in slim-cut suits and charmingly repellent as the modern rake-figure; the sweet and delicious love story in Rattigan's Love in Idleness, wherein Tony Head was dashing and GORGEOUS and passionate, and Eve Best was Life Goal. [Also in LiI: CLOTHES PORN, omg: 1940s silk pyjamas for Eve Best, and a silk shirt/wide-legged trousers outfit that looked classic and still current; pinstriped Savile Row for ASH, also black tie (OMG), and a camelhair coat that was unreal in its swagger and perfection)
*visiting with friends, including Paratti
*the colors of the David Hockney exhibit at the Tate Britain
*new shoes
*my footbridge over the Thames, in afternoon and at night

Hugs to all, and may your weekend be full of good things.
usedtobeljs: (Giles/Anya holiday by Chen)
2017-05-17 10:55 am

off I go, Post #25

Finally the day has arrived! Travel! (Er, ignore the Tour Eiffel in the icon, 'cos I'm not hitting Paris this trip.)

I apologize in advance for all posts I miss whilst I'm away -- I hope to check DW every day but it might not happen, as my days will be rather full.

Happy days to all! I send good thoughts and virtual hugs to last a fortnight. :)
usedtobeljs: (Default)
2017-05-13 04:49 pm
Entry tags:

Things of Joy, Post #24

[Please insert traditional "Oh God this week" lament here. Because oh God, this week.]

So instead of thinking of that, Joy:

*rain in a time of drought, a good solid soaking not-quite-an-inch of rain
*only two three awful work things to do before vacation
*Master Danger allowing me to stare lovingly into his eyes for a whole 20 seconds
*hearing an old favorite song on the radio
*graduation day, and the adventures to come for those who are passing that milestone
*getting annoying/exhausting professional news but figuring out a way to make it slightly better

May you have joy too, and a great weekend.
usedtobeljs: (Anya not to be trifled by Melissa)
2017-05-10 01:18 pm
Entry tags:

Farewell to Sleepy Hollow, Post #23

I saw that Sleepy Hollow has been cancelled at last. Its fourth season apparently was one of Fox TV's lowest-rated shows, which was only right and proper after that bullshit the network and writers perpetrated.

I only caught a couple of bits of episodes this season, and delicious as Tom Mison is, it had no spark. The heart of Sleepy Hollow was Abbie and Crane, mishandled as the relationship was post-Season-One, and it was a great, strong heart indeed.

So much potential, so much waste.

So here's a vignette set in a 'verse where the two true Witnesses won through the seven Tribulations and are happy together. Sometimes "Waking from Nightmare" is easier than we think.
usedtobeljs: (so-not-amuzed-Flowery_Twat)
2017-05-07 01:04 pm

Don't Give Your Heart Away, Post #22

This Sunday afternoon I have a fair amount of work (although I'll need a nap first), but first, hello! I come to the blog to confess my guilt.

I have been so good about budgeting in these last few weeks before the England trip. I mean, other than the extra money for car maintenance, Master Danger's more expensive than usual trip to the vet, and the unanticipated need to pay for a refill of allergy drops (which are not on insurance and thus v.v. expensive), I have been doing okay. To be fair, I also had some breathing room because my landscape plan for the front-yard had seemingly been set aside for the year due to irrigation issues and thus I had a nice cushion in my budget....

And then, lo! The landscape designer emailed and said "Hey we have a workaround for the watering problem, want us to go ahead with the job?" I was torn, but the power of oakleaf hydrangeas compelled me, and I said Sure. [Note: the job has not been scheduled yet and may still be set aside, but as of now I can't spend that budgeted money.]

And then, lo! A work event where I was to share expenses with colleagues has lost so many contributing attendees so dramatically that I might have to pay for most of it myself!

And then, lo! While reeling from the wrecked budget, I saw a pair of trousers on one of my favorite shopping sites that I desperately want. They are unusual and classic at the same time; I can imagine at least five outfits with them and items of clothing I already have; I super-hard-core long for these trousers. They are also, and I say Alas, budget-busters at the best of times.

I haven't ordered them, fingers are twitching.

I comfort myself with a quote by Vanessa Friedman, linked by fashion blogger Disneyrollergirl, which suggests "immediate gratification leads to a lot of extraneous stuff."

Okay, it's not really comforting, because I have given my heart away, and also I'm feeling guilty. Alas. For distraction I will think on P Cap, lovely with a haircut and in his holey sweater, in last night's episode of Doctor Who.

Cheers and hugs to those who are longing for something today.
usedtobeljs: (Giles for fuck's sake from Melissa base)
2017-05-04 08:09 pm

WHATEVER, Post #21

At random moments through the day today -- exhausted by work and horrified by U.S. politics -- I thought of this old icon, which expressed my feelings exactly.

Also expressive of my feelings -- internal screaming. But anyway.

WHATEVER, evil GOP politicians. I am not a vengeance demon, nor do I play one on TV, but right about now I'm thinking that electoral vengeance will definitely be A Thing.

So let's also think of joys:

*rain, a fierce short storm, and the promise of a little more
*wearing my old, battered, once-white Converse sneakers today
*Champagne with a good friend downtown, right before the storm
*scarlet-flowered sage, spreading in its little bed
*the other morning, a hawk on a chain-link fence, turning its head to stare at me and Master Danger as we walked by
*rewatching "The Husbands of River Song" because Twelve/River forevah
*less than a fortnight til England!

Cheers, and better days.
usedtobeljs: (Anya we persevere thoughtful)
2017-04-30 08:25 am

Too Tired for A Title But Hey Joy, Post #20

This has been a week of heat, rejections, and stumbles, but hey ho, we carry on.

What are good things to celebrate?

*gardenias! Four gardenia blooms on my plant!

*a great bottle of Benziger Frank Johnson Vineyard Sauv Blanc, opened with Freixenet to celebrate her birthday

*last night's ep of Doctor Who, which was just stone-cold delightful. Also, Peter Capaldi in high collar, cravat, and Regency brocade -- in the words of Bill, "GET IN!"


*Independent Bookstore Day yesterday, and getting two books for my dad at the local shop.

*blocking out time for a nap today

May you, even in sad or hard times, find glimpses of joy this week.