winter too

Bringing Party Favors to Hell

Nature
snowbirds
kelliem
Every morning before I go to work I put out my bird feeder, scatter seed for the ground feeders, and fill up the bird bath if it needs it. It snowed yesterday, and was extremely cold last night, but the bird bath has a temperature-activated heater so it stays ice-free. It has a sand-coated finish that's a dull brownish-gray, and when I went out to fill it this morning, I did not even realize at first that there was a little brownish-gray sparrow just sitting on the edge of it. She was the exact same color as the bird bath so she was hard to notice. If she hadn't startled a little when I started pouring in the water, I would probably not have seen her at all.

She didn't fly away but continued to sit there as I finished filling the bath, which made me suspect that she's ill or injured and the warmth of the heated bath helped her make it through the night. I didn't want to scare her so I moved slowly and put up the feeder, and as soon as it was up, she immediately flew up and started eating. Made me feel good that I was helping her. I hope she makes it.

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A mystery!
winter too
kelliem
Thank you to the anonymous person who sent me goodies off my Amazon wishlist!  Very much appreciated!

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Life this year...
bend over
kelliem
It's been a long time since I posted, so brace yourself, this is gonna be tl;dr - I won’t blame anyone for not reading on!

This year has been too eventful.  You all probably remember that in July, our old housemate committed suicide in her room in our house.  I am still angry and upset about this and though I try not to think about it, I sometimes randomly flash back to hearing the shot, and smelling the gunpowder, and feeling the dread of knowing what I would find when I went downstairs.  It’s not fun.  She was a major hoarder, and we had to clean out massive amounts of her stuff from her basement room (quite large) and her half of the garage (and as we later discovered, OUR half of the garage too).  We filled up (to the brim!) *two* huge twenty-yard roll-off dumpsters with crap, and also donated a bunch of stuff to charities. Her family helped with much of that, which was good, but I still resent having had to do it at all. 

As part of getting the old housemate’s space ready for a new tenant, our landlord decided to recarpet not only the basement, but the main level of the house as well, which meant we needed to get all of our stuff out of that level. We decided while we were at it that we’d get one of those roll-off dumpsters for ourselves and get rid of a bunch of stuff we never use, and also clean out our half of the garage. That’s when we discovered how much of her stuff was actually hiding on our side of the garage, so at least half that dumpster got used to dispose of more of the housemate’s stuff, though the rest was ours.  It was a good thing to do, and I’m happy we did it, but it was a lot of work.

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(no subject)
bleah
kelliem
OMG, so. frakkin. tired. In the past three days we have filled up a 20 cubic yard rolloff with *stuff*. Probably about half of it belonged to the former housemate- stuff that got missed when the family was here either because she had stealthily put it on our side of the garage (30 year old scuba gear, mouse-shredded tents, ancient skis, a bike, boxes of dishes...) or it was stuff we told them we would deal with like all her out-of-date food.

The rest was ours- stuff that we just never used any more, or it was something we'd replaced and we couldn't quite bring ourselves to pitch it because surely someone could use it. And lots of empty boxes we saved because 'we might need it someday', etc., etc., We've also been totally ruthless with books, I have boxes and boxes of books I have accumulated over the years but haven't read in ages. They will probably go to Goodwill or ARC because I can't bring myself to throw books away.
tl;drCollapse )
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Tour de Cure
hi
kelliem
The Tour de Cure is a series of fundraising cycling events held in 44 states nationwide to benefit the American Diabetes Association. The Tour is a ride, not a race, with routes designed for everyone from the occasional rider to the experienced cyclist. My brother is a diabetic and he is also riding in our local event.  I'm sponsoring him in memory of Betty Burch (aka Bluster) who some of you remember, and who we lost to diabetes.  If any of you would like to sponsor him too, either for Bluster or anyone else, here's a link to his TdC page. You can also view this post on http://kelliem.dreamwidth.org/242441.html
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Sunday update
skylight
kelliem
For some reason I thought it was Monday most of the day today, only to find out it is only Sunday. Don't know if that is good or bad. ;) The former housemate's family (13 of them in total) came into town and worked like demons all weekend and now Amanda's things are about 98% gone, what's left will be going to my brother and SIL's church rummage sale.We filled up TWO twenty-yard roll-off dumpsters with her stuff - much of it was just gross- dirty and unsalvageable, though we did send a lot of books to Goodwill and our used bookstore, and filled a couple of long garage shelves with stuff for my brother and SIL's church sale, including hundreds of unopened brand new DVDs - many with duplicates since in the mess she couldn't tell that she already had a copy so she would buy another one. :/  The landlord is going to need to hire professional cleaners to finish up down there - bugs, spiders, mice.  Ew.

She listed me in the will to receive 1/6th of her total estate once it's figured out.  Probably won't be a lot, but it was touching that she considered me equal to her blood siblings. She lived with us for 23 years, and was like a sister.  Her family were all really nice people. Too bad we had to meet under these these circumstances.

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Update
ephemeral
kelliem
Ten of the former housemate's family came in last night, and we spent the day sorting and throwing stuff away. We filled one dumpster (full size, not a small one) to the brim, had it taken away and a new one delivered. O.o Also took several loads to Goodwill and the Salvation Army, and set aside a bunch of stuff for the rummage sale my brother and SIL's church holds every summer. Her family did most of the work, thank goodness. They will be back tomorrow to continue, along with 3 more relatives to help. I'm so grateful for all the help- the idea of tackling it alone was daunting! Her family is a really good group of people.

Her family has found something like a year's worth of unopened prescriptions down in her room. So that makes it even longer than we'd already discovered that she had been off her meds and only using pot. x.X  Things makes so much more sense now. Also makes more sense why she was so weird during her brief stint in committment a few months ago -- she went from being on no meds except pot to double what she was supposed to be taking but wasn't.

Our kitties were incredibly unhappy when we let them out after her family's left for the night.  (We had to lock them upstairs all day) Then they seriously WTF-ed at her living room area being half clean. Poor boys. I feel bad we have to do it again tomorrow. We did have them in more than just the bathroom (where their water is, also brought their food up) but Riku being a brat pushed one of my window screens out. (The bathroom connects to my room via a second door.) We discovered he'd climbed down a pine tree and come in the front door that was wide open, which none of us noticed somehow o.O, and went upstairs to lay on his heating pad. Sora in the meantime had been hiding under my bed. "AHH, THUNDER. AHH, RIKU WENT -OUT THERRREEE-"
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Progress
green
kelliem
Thanks for your good thoughts and prayers, everyone. We're doing ok.  I think in many ways we had already mourned her - she hadn't been the person we remembered in a long time.

Things are progressing- the 'crime scene cleaner' was here last night and took all the contaminated stuff, which was a relief. It was really weird being in the house and knowing it was down there. The housemate's family is flying in this weekend to clean out her areas and pick up her ashes. They are not having a service, but we may go up to a lovely park in the mountains that she liked and remember her the way she was before mental illness got the best of her.

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Coping
calm
kelliem
I finally got a call from one of the housemate's sisters this morning- apparently they were not even notified until today! It's a big relief to know that they have her will and are planning to fly out and help us with cleaning out her stuff. In the past few years she'd turned into kind of a hoarder so it's not going to be easy. Also, the landlord is being incredibly great and is going to hire one of those specialized cleanup services to deal with the worst of the suicide aftermath. They're probably going to come out tomorrow. I did tell him we should wait on other cleaning until her family is able to come out and he agreed.

Even though I know in my head that it's okay to be angry, it still feels vaguely wrong emotionally.  But I'm trying to just let myself feel what I feel and not try to 'block' any of it, because that isn't healthy :/

I also have a call in to her therapist and I'm going to let them know how badly I think Kaiser failed her.  They kept switching her therapists and psychiatrists so she didn't have any stability of care. And when they committed her back in late January/early February they let her out much too quickly (less than 2 full days!), she needed a much longer term in-patient commitment.  They just didn't want to deal with her or the expense, I think.

Thank you all for your kindness and support, it really helps.

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Bad Night
skylight
kelliem
Our housemate committed suicide tonight. The cops & coroner just finished up and left. She'd been talking about doing it for so long we didn't really think she would do it, but when I heard that shot, I knew instantly what it was. I feel a weird combination of sad, angry, and weirdly relieved, and a bit worried about how we will cope with the expenses associated with this. We don't really know yet what's next - the coroner's office needs to contact her family before we can figure out what arrangements to make.

She broke the one promise I made her make to me years ago - that she would not make me be the person to find her if she did kill herself. From what the coroner said, it seems like she had not been taking her medications - she said the found a huge number of unopened prescriptions.
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Heh
eyes
kelliem
Y'know that very poppy song "Ula Ula" on the Target commercials? It's performed by an Argentinian group called Illya Kuryaki & the Valderramas. I am highly amused. ;D

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WOOT!
Equality
kelliem
DOMA8

Fan-Freaking-Tastic!!

As George Takei said: "Today marks a watershed moment in history and a tremendous victory for the principle of equality. The 5-4 decision by our Supreme Court striking down DOMA affirms the universality of love--the desire of all people not only to find, but to value and affirm, a lifelong commitment to another person."

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Miscellany
spam
kelliem
I don't know where this originated (I got it from [personal profile] aukestrel but she didn't make it), but it needs to be disseminated as widely as possible:
commonly misused homophones


Also, had an amazing example of great customer service recently.  A couple of years ago I bought a really nice, expensive squirrel-resistant copper cage bird feeder.  Over time (and a bear attack) one of the tension clips that holds the lid of the tube down went missing and the other one lost its tension so the lid was no longer secure and the squirrels could get the lid off, and they did, and they chewed up the tube and kept stealing seed.  I emailed the manufacturer, WoodLink and asked if they sold replacement tubes and clips.  They wrote me back and said they didn't sell a replacement tube but they did sell the clips, and they said they'd send me a replacement free of charge if I sent my address.  A few days later, this HUGE box shows up on my doorstep.  I wasn't expecting anything (other than the small clips) so I was puzzled, but upon opening the box, I discovered not just replacement clips, but an entire replacement bird feeder!  O.o  Wow.  I was NOT expecting that!  Below the cut is a pic of my old feeder (festooned with bird poop and lid held down with some pieces of wire) and my pretty new replacement.  Pic below cutCollapse )

Oh, and I finally caved and got on Facebook.  And Pinterest. 


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Dear TV programming executives
tv
kelliem
There are actually SEVEN nights in a week.  You do not have to put ALL your interesting programming on Monday night.

Yours;

Not Enough DVR Slots. 

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Costume Con - in brief
winter too
kelliem
Had a very fun but tiring weekend.  Saw a TON of people I haven't seen in decades. I mean that.  And saw some absolutely amazing costumes. The Dealer's Room was extremely dangerous- however as I was broke, it wasn't too hard to avoid buying anything.  Eventually I want to get a new corset from the fabulous corsetier that was selling at the con, but must save up $$$ for that. They have a great proprietary fabric in several shades which features gears, perfect for your steampunk needs. :)

Two pix, one of me in my new 'rustic' steampunk:

Drucilla Farnsworth, Explorer

Not entirely happy with the color scheme. In person the corset looks decidedly less yellow- it's a cross-dyed blue and gold- kind of iridescent but it photographs yellow. Bleah.  The gray over-skirt doesn't look as good with the rest of the outfit as I had hoped, so I will probably make a new one in brown. Also, must do another holster as the one from my dressy steampunk is wayy too bright for this outfit.

The other photo is Kham as Mab, the Winter Queen from Jim Butcher's 'Dresden Files' novels.  This costume came out GORGEOUS!  I swear she got stopped every five minutes for pix. 

Mab, the Winter Queen

This photo's a professional one done by an outfit called "FantaScenes" who take green-screen photos and then insert the appropriate background of your choice. The color of the dress is a bit dark in the picture, you can't really tell what a fantastic royal purple it is. Check out their Facebook for a few more photos from the Con, including the absolutely AMAZING Darth Maul Cyborg and the gorgeous Moondragon.

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Costume Con
spring
kelliem
I should have posted about this before- in case any of you will be there.  This weekend is Costume Con 31 and since it's in Denver this year, I couldn't not go.  I've spent the last several weeks working on a new Steampunk costume, a more 'rustic' one that I can wear several different ways for variety.  It involved making about 8 yards of 1.5" pleated trim for the skirt, which just about killed me, but it turned out really well.  I'm also re-wearing an old Lwaxana Troi costume which I wore at the *last* Costume Con I attended- which was CC10 waaay back in 1992.   I have also been helping the Kham with some hand sewing (trim) on a gorgeous Queen Mab from Jim Butcher's "The Dresden Files" novels. It may be the single most expensive costume we've ever made - high quality royal purple velvet, iridescent embroidered & beaded trim, iridescent chiffon lining (for the sleeves), and Swarovski crystals  (the fabric and trim were bought at the amazing Allyns Bridal & Millinery in Denver) I'll try to get some pix of us.


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Tour de force?
possibilities
kelliem
Oh, wow. Patrick and Ian on Broadway. Man, I would LOVE to see that!!
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Goldurnit!
bf-kellie
kelliem
So, I missed the 11th of March!! Argh. Stupid Norovirus. Grrr.

I'm gonna post it anyway.

They have called this day the Eleventh of March! And whomsoever of you gets through this day, unless you are shot in the head or somehow slain, you will stand at tiptoe when e'er you hear the name again, and you will get excited at the name March the Eleventh!

We happy few, we few, we band of brothers. Our names will be as like household names. And those who are not here, be they sleeping or doing something else, they will feel themselves... sort of crappy. Because they are not here to... to join the fight, on this day, the Eleventh of March!
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Counting Crows, and everything else!
snowbirds
kelliem
It's time for the annual Great Backyard Bird Count!

February 15-18

The GBBC is a cool citizen-science effort where tens of thousands of bird watchers from around the world get outside (or even just look out their windows!) and start counting the birds in their communities to help inform scientists and conservationists on how best to protect bird populations. It takes as little as 15 minutes, or you can count all weekend long. And it's fun. If you're unsure about identifying birds, the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology has a fabulous online reference site. In past years the counters were limited to North America but I believe this year they have gone global.

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How to clear the bench
d'oh
kelliem


Hee!

(Ok, why is it that it works fine when I view it on my own journal but it looks like a different video entirely is embedded when I look at it on my flist?) It's this: http://youtu.be/fAVeAjPzGxE

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AO3?
books
kelliem
So, anyone got an AO3 invite going wanting? I think that's how it works, anyway... not sure. I'm so hopelessly behind the times on everything!

eta: got one, thanks!!

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Separated at Birth?
winter too
kelliem
So, I was watching a favorite movie over the holiday weekend, and realized something. These two fellows bear a rather uncanny resemblance to one another:

Separated at birth?

I suspect most of you can ID Mr. On-The-Right. How many of you can tell me who
Mr. On-The-Left is?

Hint 1: He's Canadian!
Hint 2: He starred in a very famous film which was shown on US network TV last weekend.

If you still have no idea, look behind the cut for another separated-at-birth photo of these two, showing Mr. On The Left in a scene from that very famous movie. :)
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(no subject)
winter too
kelliem
Happy solstice to my fellow pagans.  :)

And it's 12/21/12 and we're all still here!  Well, I suppose it's too soon to assume, it's not over yet.

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La La La
leverage
kelliem
This is me with my fingers in my ears singing LA LA LA at the top of my lungs to drown out the incessant media coverage/speculation about the election. At this point, I don't want to know anything about it until it's settled. I just can't handle the stress.

So, in the meantime have something pretty to look at - this handsome bird is a Stellar's Jay (Rocky Mountain form).
Stellar's Jay at corn feeder
Just this weekend a pair of Stellars made themselves at home in my yard- it's the first time I have seen any in my yard. They usually prefer to live higher up on the slopes. I guess this year's drought and fires have taken their toll on the food supplies in their normal range- which probably also accounts for my recent sighting of a Red-naped Sapsucker, also not a usual denizen of my area.  I'm happy to have them, though!  As opposed to the bear. ;'D
A few more Stellars pix are available on my Flickr stream.

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Happy Samhain!
pumpkin
kelliem
...to my fellow pagans, and Happy Halloween to the non-pagans. :) My favorite sort-of-holiday!

As usual I wore my Steampunk to work - it's the one reliable costume I have at this point. I'm working on a more industrial-looking (and more comfortable!) Steampunk so I have some variation but didn't get it done in time for this year. I did change out the corset this year for a slightly different look. pic behind cutCollapse )

Hope all you east-coast folks are safe.

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Have you?
winter too
kelliem
I Voted Early sticker
Actually, I got my ballot on the 15th and send it back on the 17th.  I checked, and it was received the 19th.  Vote by mail rocks!
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More Avengers stuff
avengers
kelliem
I totally meant to mention that shrewreader has been doing some very fun Avengers stuff, both in her regular and her fic journal, shrewreadings .  Go read and enjoy!

And here's a screengrab play-by-play of the IM3 trailer released yesterday.

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Fic rec
avengers
kelliem
I have an Avengers BigBang fic rec for those of you who enjoy Steve/Tony.  Though most of the fic is more of a teamfic, it does have some STony in it.

Containment by D (come_feed_the_rain)

Caveat: This was written by a friend and I did a minor amount of beta on it so I may be a tad prejudiced, but I think it's excellent!

eta:  and as long as we're talking about things Marvel, the first Iron Man 3 trailer has been released.  Wow. (ganked from [personal profile] bethbethbeth )

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I love this time of year
fall
kelliem
I am not a summer person.  I hate being hot, and this summer has been that and then some!  So it is with great relief I observe the shortening days, cooler temperatures, and the gorgeous fall colors.  There's a quality to the light this time of year that feels magical, especially around dusk.  Maybe it's because I have a fall birthday, but this time of year always makes me feel-- connected-- to the earth in the way I don't normally.  I feel more alive.  

I took a few photos this weekend, some of a rare visitor to my yard (a melanistic fox squirrel, which I've never seen before!), others are just prettiness.  Look behind the cut to see them.
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Un-Bear-able?
snowbirds
kelliem
We had some excitement this morning! About a quarter of four we were woken up by loud banging coming from outside- I figured out it was something trying to get into our compost bin (which we store next to the garage behind our fence).  It was loud enough to wake up both Kham (the kidunit) and I, and we wondered if it might be a bear, since the raccoons aren't usually that loud, but since there are no windows on that side of the house we couldn't tell. About a minute after we wondered that, we started hearing noise out back, so Kham went downstairs and turned on the back porch light to find... yep.   It was a bear all right!

I could see it from upstairs once she turned the light on. It wasn't a big bear, maybe about the size of a large Newfoundland dog, but big enough to want to avoid!

It tore down my bird-feeder along with the hanger it was on which was screwed into some decorative trim on the wall above the sliding glass doors. Fortunately it doesn't seem to have really damaged the feeder, though it did mess up the trim. I hadn't bothered to bring it in, since the birds pretty much empty it by evening, but I guess I will have to start doing so!

It also knocked down my two hummingbird feeders which I was leaving up in case of any stragglers, and smushed the little decorative wire fence we have separating the flower garden from the lawn. It then went back up on the porch and Kham banged on the door to scare it off. It ran away and scrabbled noisily over the fence.  This morning I discovered that the fence seems to have suffered a bit of damage. I guess it's not meant to have bears climbing it!

Unfortunately it was much too dark for photos of the actual bear, so all I have are pix of the damage taken this morning after the bear was long gone.
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Reproductive Rights
atomic breath
kelliem
Originally posted by silme at Reproductive Rights
Originally posted by anghara at Reproductive Rights
Originally posted by redheadedfemme at Reproductive Rights
Originally posted by mountain_hiker at Reproductive Rights
A star-studded cast wants you to sign!



For US voters only, although they only ask for a zip code. I use the zip code of where I used to live and where I still vote from absentee.


The CAMPAIGN

The Bill of Reproductive Rights is an effort by the Center for Reproductive Rights to deliver a thundering statement—backed by hundreds of thousands of signatures from concerned citizens like you—to the U.S. Congress and the President that they must guarantee and protect reproductive rights as fundamental human rights and stop the attacks by politicians who want to take those rights away.


Draw the line! Sign the Bill of Reproductive Rights!


Kitchen Cupboard Meme
alton
kelliem
As seen at [personal profile] silme : Bold the ones you have and use at least once a year, italicize the ones you have and don't use, strike through the ones you had but got rid of.

I wonder how many pasta machines, breadmakers, juicers (just the manual kind), blenders, deep fat fryers, egg boilers, melon ballers, sandwich makers, pastry brushes, cheese boards, cheese knives, electric woks, salad spinners, griddle pans, jam funnels, meat thermometers, filleting knives, egg poachers, cake stands, garlic crushers (though I usually chop garlic by hand), martini glasses, tea strainers, bamboo steamers, pizza stones, coffee grinders, milk frothers, piping bags, banana stands, fluted pastry wheels, tagine dishes, conical strainers, rice cookers, steam cookers, pressure cookers, slow cookers, spaetzle makers, cookie presses, gravy strainers, double boilers, sukiyaki stoves, ice cream makers (I only recently got the ice-cream maker and haven't had a chance to use it yet), fondue sets, healthy-grills, home smokers, tempura sets, tortilla presses, electric whisks, cherry stoners, sugar thermometers, food processors,bacon presses, bacon slicers, mouli mills, cake testers, pestle-and-mortars, and sets of kebab skewers languish dustily at the back of the nation's cupboards.

I do a lot of cooking and baking, but I seem to have absorbed Alton Brown's philosophy that "UNITASKERS=BAD!" so I don't have a lot of specialized kitchen items. Plus my kitchen is woefully lacking in storage space so even if I wanted a bunch of specialized kitchen items I wouldn't have anywhere to put them. If I ever won the lottery (unlikely, as that would mean I had to actually buy lottery tickets) I would have a house built with a kitchen designed to MY specifications, which would include a pantry of TARDIS-like proportions! 

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Book Meme
books
kelliem
It's International Book Week. The rules: Grab the closest book to you, turn to page 52, post the 5th sentence as your status. Don't mention the title. Copy the rules as part of your post.

She caught sight of Lesley's masked face and took an involuntary step backward-- works every time.

(This could be seen as the 6th sentence, I didn't count the one at the top of the page that's split between pages 51 and 52.)

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Homo...something?
correct usage
kelliem
Aha! Found a new word for my "words frequently mixed up in fanfic" list. It's not exactly a homophone but it's kind of a fake visual one. We need a fancy word for that. Pseudohomooptic? Aaaanyways, here it is:

Rouge =/= Rogue.
Rouge is an old-fashioned word for a cosmetic used to make the cheeks or lips red. Or a reddish powder, chiefly ferric oxide, used to polish metals or glass.
A Rogue is a scoundrel or a scamp. Or a vagabond. Or a vicious and solitary animal. Or an X-Man (X-Woman?). ;D

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Copper
tv
kelliem
Anyone else watching Copper?  It's interesting so far.  The historical details seem good (apart from a couple of costuming nitpicks*) and doesn't shy away from the seedy underbelly of the times.  Racism, violence, child and adult prostitution, classism, poverty... it's all there.  Excellent acting as well.  I somehow guessed that it was shot in Toronto even before I looked it up on the IMDB to check.  I think it was a specific church that made me think that- well, that and the fact that I recognize some of the 40 Canadian actors in bit roles, including David Keeley and Kyle Schmid (Blood Ties). I'll definitely keep watching.  It's hard trying to figure out who the good guys and bad guys are because there's a lot of ... ambiguity.  I do wish that the actors playing Kevin Corcoran and his sidekick Francis Maguire didn't look/weren't styled so much alike though. I keep getting them mixed up.

*Costuming nitpicks: A) They need to use more petticoats.  One should not be able to see the outline of the hoops from a hoop skirt through a woman's outer skirt. B) I could be wrong about this but don't think they made a lot of men's coats in leather in those days. Not frock-coat style coats anyway.  I had a similar nitpick with Lord Blackwood's leather greatcoat in the first RDJ Sherlock movie.

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A question
avengers
kelliem
Do any of you who are Americans say 'meant to' instead of 'supposed to' (as in "You were meant to be at work" rather than "You were supposed to be at work.") and if so, what part of the country are you from? I'm just curious because I keep running across the phrase in Avengers fanfic and every time I read it I hear the phrase in a suspension-of-disbelief-breaking British accent in my head. I've run across a quite a few Avengers fic which badly needed US-picking (just as I've read a lot of Sherlock stories that really needed Brit-picking) but 'meant to' keeps appearing in stories which don't otherwise appear to need it so I am wondering if there are places in the US where that's common usage. 

Also, as long as I'm here- I have a sort of mini-rant: when did the word "important" lose it's first "T"?  Lately it seems like about 90% of the time I hear it pronounced on (US) TV, the person saying it says "impor'ant" not "imporTant". It drives me nucking futz.

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Dead Can Dance
skylight
kelliem
Finally, something not-boring to post about!  Went to see Dead Can Dance on Sunday night at the Buell Theater in Denver with the kidunit and a friend.  We got great seats, six rows back on the right side of the theater.  We had a fantastic view and the acoustics were great.  The concert was absolutely amazing.  A percussionist named David Kuckhermann opened for them (he's actually part of DCD's backup band), playing an intriguing new instrument called a 'hang' which was apparently invented only about 12 years ago.  It looks a lot like a flying saucer and sounds a bit like a cross between a steel drum and a gamelan. Actually he played three of them, each tuned differently, and also  proceeded to do absolutely astonishing things with a tambourine.  It was a great set and the audience was quiet and respectful during each piece and enthusiastic afterward, which you rarely see during an opening act.

Once he was finished there was a bit of a delay while all the people out getting drinks at the bar were herded into the theater and then the lights went down and DCD came out.  I was slightly amused by the fact that the women - Lisa Gerrard and the female keyboardist/backup singer - were both wearing formal black velvet dresses, Lisa with a golden satin stole/cape over hers. All the men were in careless casual - tees, untucked button-downs, cargo pants- it looked kind of like they were from two completely different bands. ;D   But once the concert started we forgot about everything but the sound. 

Brendan Parry's voice has really matured, and his range in startling.  At one point when Lisa was singing I thought the other woman was doing a descant in a high alto range, then I realized to my shock that it was Brendan!  He has a sort of warm, lazy, sliding quality to his singing that draws you in. Lisa Gerrard has one of the most powerful voices I have ever heard. I think she could use her voice as a weapon if she needed to!  It just soars, but not in a floaty, delicate way - more like a bird of prey. They performed a very well balanced mix of older works and songs from their new album, Anastasis (which they are offering streaming for free in full at http://deadcandance.com/ along with a free download of one of the songs) and came back for THREE encores!  They played for a solid two hours, with no formal intermission.  I did see Brendan sipping from a thermal mug regularly, and Lisa slipped offstage a few times, probably for something throat-soothing.  Our altitude and dry climate are very hard on the vocal cords.

The variety in the audience was interesting: everything from leftover new-agers like myself, aging hippies, some Goths, a few folks who looked like they walked off the Leave it to Beaver set, hipster-looking 30-somethings, and a decent scattering of younger enthusiasts many of whom, I suspect, came to DCD through their parents like my kidunit.  Like the band, there were folks in semi-formal wear and others in tees and Birkenstocks.  For the most part the audience was great, apart from one drunk girl who kept yelling unintelligible things and "We love you" and a drunk guy who kept screaming that everyone should get up and dance - unfortunately the Buell's not a really danceable venue. Oh, and there seemed to be a bull moose somewhere in the audience- at least that's what he sounded like. Fortunately they mostly restricted their inappropriate noises to the pauses between songs. The band took it all with good humor.

It was an amazing night, and if they're coming to a venue in your town on their current world tour and you like their nearly-indescribable (ambient/gothic/world/folk/tribal/celtic/gregorian/middle-eastern/african?) music I highly recommend you see them!
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Calling All Geeks!
tesla
kelliem
Found this story on the HuffingtonPost.com so I assume they did their homework and it's legit.  I have to wait until payday to donate, but I'm definitely going to.  It's about time Tesla got the recognition he deserves! :D

If you don't want to read the whole story, here's the gist of it:

Let's Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum

We're trying to raise money to buy back Nikola Tesla's old laboratory, known as the Wardenclyffe Tower, and eventually turn it into a museum.  If they can raise $850,000, the state of New York will match the amount, bringing the total funds raised to $1.7 million. As of this posting, they're at $444,555 with 44 days to go to reach the total.  The donation site is: http://www.indiegogo.com/teslamuseum

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(no subject)
winter too
kelliem
I keep saying I'm going to post more and then failing miserably to do so. I guess it's mostly because I'm just Ms. Boring McYawnypants these days, as I said to shayheyred the other day. I just don't seem to have much interesting to say. However, this video got mentioned briefly on NPR this morning and I had to go look it up when I got to work and I was very amused by it, so I figured I'd share:



Also, just to share one fannish thing- I just watched the Teen Wolf season 2 finale last night (slightly time delayed as I was doing other things on Monday evening), and I gotta say, that show has turned out to be one of the better things on TV. For something which, when I first tuned in, I figured would be lame at best, it's really amazingly well plotted and acted. Not to mention it really brings the pretty, even if I do feel a bit pervy since I could probably be the *grandmother* of some of those people!

I did feel like they rushed the finale a bit- it probably should have been two episodes because some things that happened were never really explained (I suspect they got cut for time) but over all, this season has been awesome. I love that the teens really act like teens and some of the parent/kid relationships on the show are great. And I have to give a shout out to my favorite character, Stiles, who always has the best lines. I understand that the actor who plays him, Dylan O'Brien, adlibs some of his lines, so go him! Also, props to the series for having an openly gay jock character, and for none of the other characters even batting an eye. Even when they ended up at a gay bar this season and some of the characters were getting hit on, they didn't really play it for laughs or have the characters recoil in horror. They just went with it. :D

My one problem with the finale (and presumably the set up for next season's Big Bad) was the cut for spoilerCollapse ) But I'll wait and see how it plays out next season. I understand that they've got an 24 episode 3rd season pickup (they've been doing 12 eps/season) and that the show is moving from filming in Georgia to LA. I hope that doesn't negatively affect its tone or writing!

PS: Does anyone on DW know why when I am reading my DW reading list half the youtube embeds posted all show the same thing, rather than whatever they are supposed to show? (For instance, even on this post, on my DW reading list instead of the NASA parody embed it shows one of some gopher at a Russian rocket launch facility.  ALL the embeds on my DW reading list are currently showing that dang gopher.)

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A Memo
nom
kelliem
To: Network TV Execs
Re: Season Finales

I point you to Criminal Minds and suggest you all watch this season's finale and take a lesson.  Now that is how you do a great season finale. 

You may notice that it was not a cliffhanger.

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Crappy coupla weeks
bend over
kelliem
Just FYI, yesterday I disabled non-registered user commenting on my DW account but today thanks to [personal profile] bethbethbeth  I found a different way to discourage spammers so I've reenabled it, anons just have to use CAPTCHA if they want to comment.

What follows is Adventures in Elder Care with Bonus Food Poisoning, and it's long and whiny so I am cut-tagging it so those who don't want to read it don't have to.  Feeling masochistic? Read more!Collapse )

However, I am feeling quite a lot better now and am planning to go with Kham and one of his friends to see Avengers tomorrow after first having a DVD mini-Marathon of both Iron Man films, Thor and Captain America.  I am SOOOO looking forward to that.  Hot men on screen!  Stuff blowing up!! Snarking!  Rampant homoeroticism!! Women kicking butt!  Good guys (in the non-gendered sense) saving the world!  That's exactly what I need right now.  And I promise I will post about the movie because I really must post something other than bitching once in a while!
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Grrr
peeved
kelliem
Not that I have much to say very often, but I just want to let y'all know that I have disabled commenting on my DW account from anonymous users due to being pornspammed.

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EA Signal boost
Equality
kelliem
Electronic Arts (EA) -- one of the largest video game makers in the world - is the target of a hateful boycott campaign. Why? Because they approved a gay romance story in one of their partner BioWare's most popular games: Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Anti-gay letters are flooding Electronic Arts headquarters, calling for a boycott. Without our help the company, its staff and more than 100 million registered players could be pushed to the dark side if the forces of hate get the last word.

Master Yoda wants to make sure Electronic Arts knows anti-gay haters don't win the game. Add your name to Yoda's letter urging the company to stay away from the dark side. Yoda himself will deliver the message directly to the headquarters of Electronics Arts in Redwood City, California. Petition Here

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Tony Stark ficfinder question
astroboy
kelliem
Saturday I was talking with a friend about some of the more... unusual slash pairings and stories I've read and I mentioned a movieverse Tony Stark/Jarvis-Armor story I read, and she wanted to see it. I know I originally found the story linked on a friend's LJ but I can't remember whose it was, and it was probably a few years ago, I think before Iron Man II came out. Does this ring a bell for any of you? (I don't have an Iron Man icon so Astroboy will have to do...)

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Ah-oooo Werewolves of Boulder!
hi
kelliem
So I was on my way to work this morning, and is often the case, got stuck behind the schoolbus that goes through our neighborhood. I think it's an elementary school bus, as the one that picks up the older kids goes by earlier than the one that gets the younger kids. As I sat there idling, waiting for the kids to board, I suddenly noticed that one of them looked a tad odd. At first I thought it was just a trick of the eye or something but I kept looking and it didn't change. One of the kids had a wolf's head. Seriously. A complete, rather well done prosthetic wolf's head. At least, I assume it was a prosthetic and werewolves aren't riding the bus to elementary school these days. Although, that would be pretty cool. ;D

Watched the premiere of 'Awake' last night. I had thought the premise didn't sound very interesting but I love Jason Isaacs so I gave it a shot anyway and was surprised how much I liked it. Very good acting all around (including an almost unrecognizable Wilmer Valderrama). I will definitely keep watching it.  Also, just for the record, Jason Isaacs has amazing eyes.

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RIP Davy Jones
ephemeral
kelliem
Man, I haven't posted in forever- seems like I rarely have anything interesting to say! But I did have to acknowledge the passing of one of my very earliest crushes: Davy Jones, gone at 66. Far too young!

All the icons of my youth are disappearing! Wah!
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The Saga of the Fountain, with illustrations
my boys
kelliem
Last weekend the kidunit and I were at PetSmart and saw a kitty drinking fountain that was a new design, very slim, and quite inexpensive.  We'd always wanted to get one for the cats but were stymied by the fact that all the ones we'd seen were all too big to fit in the space where they like their water dish (in the bathroom between the toilet and the wall, yes, we've tried moving it other places and they don't like it), but this one was a lot narrower and we figured it would fit, so we bought one, took it home, and it fit in the space just fine and once hooked up was a lot quieter than we'd thought it would be, so yay!

Now, both our boys are complete wusses.  They freak out at the slightest change to their environment (OMG a piece of paper!  OMG a wrinkle in the bedspread! OMG your PANTS!!  OMG the pizza guy!!!) so needless to say they were a bit weirded out by the fountain at first.  But after some encouragement they both were eventually persuaded to drink from it and we thought all was set.  Oddly, Riku (the gray one in my icon) who's normally the more skittish of the two was the first to accept the new dish.  Probably because he likes to drink out of faucets so running water was a Good Thing. Sora on the other hand was Very Suspicious of this new device, no doubt some sort of Fiendish Human Plot.  He took to sitting on the toilet staring down at the fountain like this:
Sora, lurking, tp cover down.
(You can just barely see the edge of the fountain down on the floor between the toilet and the furnace grate. And yes our bathroom is a hideous shade of turquoise.)

You may notice in the above pic that we have a covered toilet-paper dispenser. This is because when he was a kitten, Sora used to play with the TP, unrolling it and shredding it so we installed the covered dispensers in self-defense.  Once he outgrew his fixation with TP, we got a little... lax... about putting the cover down (see below).  You see where this is going, right? 
Sora, lurking, tp cover up.

We went to bed that evening thinking all was hunky dory, because both kitties had, if reluctantly, drunk out of the new fountain.  When I woke up the next morning I could hear the fountain making a lot more noise than it had been the night before.  I just figured it was low on water, and got up to go fill it.  And proceeded to step into a huge puddle. ARGH!!!!

Apparently one of us had left the TP cover up, and to express his displeasure with this new Infernal Device, Sora unrolled about half the roll into the fountain which made it overflow and clog.  The floor was wet, the bathroom rug was soaked, it was a complete mess.  I cleaned it all up, dug the wet TP out of the fountain, discovered he hadn't actually managed to break it, and reinstalled it.  Needless to say, since then we have been very careful not to leave the cover up on the TP.  Sora still spends quite a lot of time lurking on the toilet seat staring at it, but he is actually drinking out of the fountain regularly now, so we have hopes he'll eventually stop trying to destroy it.  All I can say is it's a good thing he doesn't have opposable thumbs. ;D
Sora, drinking, reluctantly
(Sora, grumpily getting a drink from the new fountain.)





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Ahahahah!
tv
kelliem
Sort of relative to my Eureka post from earlier this week, this little bit from NPR TV blogger Linda Holmes actually had me cackling out loud. No, I don't have permission to copy it here but since I am linking and crediting, hopefully she won't be too mad. ;D

Twenty Humble Suggestions For New Cable Network Slogans
by Linda Holmes

MTV: Hurry Up, Human Cloning! We've Got Plenty Of Snooki's DNA

TLC: Next To These Appalling Moms, That Time You Accidentally Dropped Your Baby Isn't Really That Big A Deal

Lifetime
: Still Trying To Fill The Gap Left By Hours Of 'Golden Girls' Reruns

USA
: Ha Ha, We Can Make Successful New Hourlong Dramas And You Can't

Bravo: Fighting The Real Enemy, Which Is Horrible Tiny Rich Women With Tans

Spike: We Really Show A LOT Of Wrestling

History
: Patriotism, Gun Safety, And Pawn Shops, Pawn Shops, Pawn Shops!

A&E: Two Of The Letters In 'Hoarders'

Food Network
: GRILL STUFF LOUD FAST CHEAP RIGHT HERE BOOM SMACKAROONIE CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT

OWN
: We're Not Here To Tell Anybody How To Live. Psych, We Totally Are

TruTV
: The Highest Percentage Of Squad Car Dashboard Footage Anywhere On Television

FX: So Gritty It Will Polish Your Teeth

WeTV
: If We Don't Have It And It's About Absolutely Horrible People Getting Married, You Don't Need It

Animal Planet: We Still Can't Believe We Didn't Think Of Shark Week

SyFy: We Specialize In Shows You Will Hate Us For Canceling

Hallmark: Everything You Need To Know About The World You Wish You Lived In

Oxygen: We Have More Yellow Than That Coldplay Song 'Yellow'

HGTV: Resent Your Surroundings 24 Hours A Day

BBC America
: We've Got Swoony Accents. You've Got Anglophilia.

TNT
: We Aren't The Ones Who Watched 'Franklin & Bash,' People
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Really?
books
kelliem
I was just perusing NPR's newly-posted list of the Top 100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books and while I have plenty of quibbles (Connie Willis all the way down at 97??) one of my top ones is the presence of "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" at #63 - or frankly, on the list at all. Seriously, that was one of very few books I ever just gave up on. I found it slow, hyper-stylized, and mind-numbingly boring. Clearly, I missed something. Check out Glen Weldon's take on the list, he has some interesting things to say.

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Rollercoaster
eureka
kelliem
So I heard last week that SyFy was going to give Eureka a shortened 6th season. Then yesterday they took it back and said nope, no 6th season, it ends at 5. Today, there's new news, apparently they get ONE episode extra, to 'wrap up.' One episode. Damn you cheapass SyFy execs.

I'm going to miss that show. Thank goodness there are still a few eps for next year.

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