anagramofbrat: (47 st. paul's pl)
Lets see, what did I miss, a month and a half roughly? The past six weeks have been pretty much loaded with varying amounts of depression, health ick, stress, Minecraft (oh god, minecraft) with a smattering of noteable. I won't really get into the depression much except to note what ended up being major contributing factors (and not this entry). Or the Minecraft, because y'all really don't want to hear about the week I spent painstakingly building a glass, wood and water "hourglass" or the other one I spent digging out subway tunnels or maybe you want to hear about the scavenger hunt one I made last fortnight for the kids or the maze this week but yeah. Thankfully I AM finally starting to burn out on it some, so maybe I have a prayer of getting other things done this summer? I don't know. I feel like for completion sake I should try playing Starcraft, just to see if I get as crazy addicted to that as I did to apparently War- and Mine-. Not that any of these games are related by more than suffix.

Anyway! Starting at the beginning, I went home the weekend of May 19 to attend a mini-reunion of sorts hosted by Ruthy, for the Browne cousins. Basically, all the kids raised by Dad's generation. There are rather a lot of us.



This isn't even everyone, either. You know that bit in The King and I when you've just got done meeting the King's children (and there are like, 12 or 13 of them and they're all cute and woefully not at all Asian, let alone remotely Thai, but that's beside the point) and he's all "Someday I'll allow you to meet my others" and Anna's like "More?!" and he's all nonchalantly like "67, I think?" That's kinda the situation with my cousins on Dad's side. There were eight siblings to start with, after all.

Anyway. That party was rather off the chain, which is only to be expected when you pack a group of West Indians in an apartment with a bitching stereo system and Ruthy's Dark & Stormys. Also, look at the size of that party, and let me then tell you that the party was potluck and you might get some idea of the sheer volume of food.

I kinda wish I'd managed to write about it at the time, honestly, because there are some things I'm definitely glossing over in my haste to catch up - the whole series of text messages involving one particular trolly cousin and whether the ribs another cousin was bringing were pork or beef and how that conversation panned out (don't troll a troll being the moral of the story - and those ribs were some delicious pork sticks). There's the fact that since all of these cousins are of an age and grew up with the Valkyries and Stanley rather than me, I don't know them nearly as well as I'd like or I should (some of which being my Mom's fault, but that's another post) so a lot of them I only know from family reunions, weddings, funerals, sibling stories, and of late, Facebook. Which sucks kinda - they're all interesting, amazing complicated people. I feel like now that the elder generation is completely gone now what with the last three passing within 2 months (it was a baaaaaaad winter, y'all) maybe I should make the effort, though that would require me being less of an antisocial butt.

Oh yeah, this happened too.



The coat is Judi K's. (The one cousin from Mom's side that got invited to dinner as a special guest, lol.) There's a story about how the coat came into existence that I don't remember all the details on, but it was bizarre to the point of stretching credibility. I'll just say the coat was not originally hers and it is NOT fake and leave it there. The bag is also Judi's by way of Amanda, but thankfully that IS fake. (it was bought to match the coat.) And Ruthy quite literally has glass vases full of every single style of plastic black or tortoiseshell sunglasses you can imagine laying around her house, so I just grabbed a pair, because yes.

(There was an amusing exchange over Twitter with [livejournal.com profile] cell23 that resulted when I instagrammed this picture, but I forgot to favorite it and I do NOT want to page all the way back through to find it. Boo.)

Also Amanda finally got her silent santa present plus the Blue Rose bracelet, because why not.



She absolutely loves them and has been wearing both of them pretty much constantly since. I think I did good.

Aside from the Dinner, that was a fairly low key trip back to New York, and a really nice one for all I had been dreading it. Even being back at The House for the first time since the funeral wasn't super bad or even lonely, really, especially since Judi K was there and she has a bad habit similar to Dad's of leaving the TV downstairs blaring whether she's watching it or not. It was annoying as hell when Dad was around, but now the noise is comforting and does much to fill up the empty. Obligatory wanders through the neighborhood and trips to Sibyls were had (and for once they WEREN'T sold out of butterflaps!), as well as a moment of New York happy with a cheap slice of regular pizza DONE CORRECTLY a cup of bug juice and to finish a glorious cherry Gino's italian ice. I also managed to see the Jaicat before escaping town, whom I haven't seen since my wedding so THAT was a nice thing. (and she fed me port wine and mead, so that was Another Nice thing.) And before Dinner there was a couple of hours where it was just me and The Siblings at Ruthy's chilling and pre-gaming a bit before the party, discussing Serious Family Shit in the wake of Dad's passing, the upcoming Vineyard trip, etc. It seems like the long term game plan aside from keeping/fixing The House is for all of us to try to reduce the sprawl a bit and drift back towards the City - if not in the city itself, closer to than we have been. More of a concern for those of us further out, and it's a brainweasel for me seeing as I always had this nebulous game plan of eventually ending up back in the city. I don't even think Drew would mind coming with me once the kids are more or less grown, which'll only be about a decade from now. 10 years is not very much time at all.

But... neither here nor there at this point. Just... nebulous musing about The! Possible! Future!

Anyway. Have a pre-party Browne selfie:



Insert obligatory comments about how everyone in this picture, myself excepted, is hovering around AARP qualification age. Get used to my face, I will be wearing it, virtually unchanged from the present, for at least the next 20 years, barring spectacular intestinal 'splode or runaway buses.

Next: Part II - Old Familiar Places and Faces. I'll link it when I actually post it.

Dark

Feb. 25th, 2014 11:37 pm
anagramofbrat: (big boo)
Oh god I'm starting to become one of those people that never posts here anymore. Not good. Especially given my state of mind lately (not bloody good) you would think I'd be translating the mental ick into words. But I haven't been, which may be a little bit of the reason I've been pretty fucked up lately.

It's only a little bit of the reason though. This winter has just been... dark for me, for various reasons. I mean, I've survived worse, but I'm wearying of this ongoing depressive cycle, especially as it looks like it's just going to wear itself on into month #3. Hooray. But seriously, my silence online almost directly corresponds to my silence in other aspects as well - I've hermited up good. Hanging out and watching Movie 43 (which was TERRIBLE btw, don't waste your time) with folks Saturday evening was probably the most social I've been since... yeah. *sigh* Oh there have been good bits of course, but they're quite quickly absorbed into the ick.

I know a good part of this is me still working through Dad's passing. I went through about a month of being numb, even relieved. Now the hurt is setting in hard. I never expected to miss his monthly or so nagging to call him so much. Really his fussing in general. That old black man snicker he'd do after he'd ask after Drew and I'd reply with "eh, I haven't murdered him yet..." And I've been... afraid? I guess to return to New York and confront the true emptiness of the house. Last time didn't count, it was jam packed with relatives. Now it's just my cousin there with occasional stopovers from Ruthy to make sure things haven't exploded. Hell, even Roy and the dog are gone, since he's moved in with his mom in Indy. I keep saying I'm going to go down and then end up not having the money or the spoons or whatever. But a lot of it is just... dread. And not wanting to deal with New York in winter especially since it's been snowpocalypsing more there than here (and we've been getting hammered) but mostly just dread.

One of the big stressors this month is Moonbeam and the UTI that will not die. He's been on special food for a month and a half now and two courses of antibiotics and this damn thing just will not quit. Much like last time, five days after he finished his antibiotics course he started showing symptoms again and now I'm just at my wits end. I know on some level this is just what happens with an old cat, especially one that hasn't been cared for barely at all and has been eating the worst bargain basement kitty kibble Dad could find on sale. I could go on an extended rant on my family's attitude and treatment of animals, especially cats, but that's just going to work me into a pissed off lather and I don't have the spoons for that. But this has been a drain on my ability to can, and also on my already strapped wallet. I honestly don't know what we're going to do if it turns out we can't lick this thing, or if he ends up needing surgery or something. It breaks my heart because other than this, he's a joy - affectionate and snuggly, purrs like an idling truck and just has these big old green eyes full of all the love ever and the idea of losing him is just... not doing good things for my psyche right now. Its like, no. Not right now. Not so soon after Dad. But it's like what do we do? I was not ready to have to revisit this feeling of complete and utter helplessness in the face of possibly fatal illness again, not this soon. And then there's just this overarching sense of failure - I'm already carrying a buttload of guilt over not being there enough for Dad last year, but now I can't even do right by his damn cat.

So yeah... my state of mind is not so great right now.

Well in ways-to-escape-dealing-with-it news, Boo is progressing despite having to rip him out and start over four or so rows in. I have this bulk spool of black nylon thread that I keep attempting to use lying around and the attempts just end up frustrating failures because it's too thick for the kind of thing I'm doing, since it involves multiple passes through a weensy bead with a thickish needle. (for the craft - it's actually much thinner than a sewing needle). I can't quite bring myself to chuck it though, so I think I'm going to save it for loom stringing, if I ever go back to doing things that way. Hand weaving takes a lot longer but the resupt comes out so much better looking... anyway. Nothing majorly exciting yet - I'll take more pictures when I get down to his actual eyebrows cause right now all I got is the top of his... head? Can Mario ghosts be said to have heads?

So that's me right now. This too will pass, I know it will. I just want it to pass a little sooner rather than later.

B(r)eads

Nov. 27th, 2013 01:11 pm
anagramofbrat: (ARBT logo)
I dragged out the breadmaker last night and cranked out three loaves of bread - one for us, two to take with us to NY. And I'm not done - some whole wheat and pumpkin are also planned. There might have been cackling and repeated exclamations of BAKE ALL THE BREADS while I did so.

Drew and I are heading down to NY with [livejournal.com profile] esotericscribe tomorrow. Prayer circle for us, lol.



9955 / 25840 beads. 58.56 rows. 38.526% done!




Can't see the forest for the trees. And the glare. Taking pictures of this thing is a right bitch.

Seeing as November ends on Sunday and this weekend is bound to be nuts I'm revising my goal count down a bit - from half done to 45%. I probably could bang out 18 more rows by Sunday, but I'd have time to do nothing else. 10 seems a bit more reasonable, though what will probably happen is I'll land somewhere in the middle. I'd be ok with that. Regardless, its still going MUCH faster than the Tetris one did - I didn't hit 39% on that until February. I mean I started it a couple weeks later in the year than this, but still I'm kinda boggled that I've managed to do in a wee bit under a month what took me twice as long last year. What a difference determination and a few improvements in technique make.

Anyway, time to fill my house with the smell of baking holiday stuff.
anagramofbrat: (old school tetris)
Been a quiet uneventful sort of day, marked by little joys: picking apart and solving a thorny code problem at work, Drew surprising me with a pint of Ben & Jerry's Scotchy Scotch Scotch and having it just be the most delicious butterscotch assault on my tastebuds and pancreas ever, an actually good episode of Agents of SHIELD, teasing the husband until he tickled me in retaliation, the weird meditative thinky not quite trance I fall into while beading, kitties to snuggle.

3 more rows. I think I slightly fucked up the last row, but not so much that I actually care enough to go back and correct it. It's nothing glaringly obvious anyway.



4250 / 25840 beads. 16.447% done!

Quietly marking the passing of my Dad's sister, Aunt Doreen, or "Honeybunch," as she was known to the family. I didn't know her very well but what I did know of her I liked. She was a cheerful, funny lady who made excellent cakes and liked a good laugh, and she will be missed.

I wonder if anyone's told Dad yet. I wonder if anyone's going to. :/

I think I'm done with the Friends-only period.
anagramofbrat: (Default)
This is so weird to me. I've never in my life had a paid vacation week. Like ever. I have severe problems wrapping my head around the whole idea of "so I'm going to be about 182 miles away from work, my computer won't be on so I can't remote in... and I'm still getting paid? What is this sorcery?"

Things have been happening, like crushing, soul destroying heat not only here but pretty much the northeast US from about Michigan eastward and Virginia? northward. five days of 95+ weather, ha ha yeah no thanks. Texas come get your wack ass weather please, we don't want it. Thankfully it broke tonight; it is by comparison deliciously cool outside, and the Vineyard is not slated to get above 80F all week. Yessssss.

Today has been nuts as well, what with the Squire yard sale this morning (during which Lil'Beast tried his best to sell his sister), followed immediately by Lil'Beast's birthday party. HOW IS HE SIX. I seriously can't with how fast these kids have grown up; earlier this week I looked at one of my first albums of pictures of them from about four years ago and I mayyyyy have had a The BEHBEHZ THEY GROW UP SO FAST AAAAAGH STOP IT moment complete with tears. I blame period hormones for that one - this month's was terrible. They've been getting progressively worse; I'm wondering if this is just what I have to look forward to until this monthly stuff finally stops. But anyway. The day was hectic, but survived; we're mostly packed, and tomorrow Team Tatro West will drive out to the cape, board a huge ass ferry, and end up in Martha's Vineyard for a week at Chateau Browne, Oak Bluffs edition. I'm a bit stressed about it, but whatever, we'll be fine.

I leave y'all with a picture of Himself trying to shovel his usual square of blue frosted cake into his face all at once. Some things don't change.

anagramofbrat: (covered in bees)
I commented to someone recently that while large groups of noisy bickery people all in the same place exhausts me, I nevertheless find myself drawn to them. It's pretty obvious where THAT comes from considering the size of what I consider my immediate family, which as a group of people has the unique ability to both nourish and drain my soul all at the same time. It's come up at different points in my life since - while I need about a week's worth of sleep sometimes in between encounters, I've seemed to attach myself to small tribes of people rather than individuals and form family-type bonds. Obviously, right now the Squirekids serve that function in my life, but it's a repeating pattern.

Obviously, there are groups that can be considered family in a more traditional sense. I think I've mostly adapted to my in-laws, for example. It's funny because while I've married into that clan, there's still that degree of removal from immediate and required... embroilage? (I know, not a word, but it's late, shut up) that makes them a bit more fun and quite a lot less stressful than dealing with my own NFL team of Brownes. Then there's the other family group I've been pulled into that while I'm not knocking the acceptance at all, still on some level has me scratching my head. This would be [livejournal.com profile] cell23's gaggle of extended ex-in-laws, with whom we spent much of the day today, owing to their paterfamilias celebrating his 90th birthday.** That was interesting, fun and stressful in all the same sorts of ways dealing with my own and with [livejournal.com profile] cell23's family is, except, there is an additional degree of removal and I often find myself sitting and marveling as the dynamics flow around me. They all work remarkably similar though, no matter which living room we're currently sitting in: which cousins get picked on more and why, fights and rivalries that have clearly begun in childhood and are merely continuing two to five decades later, the clear generational tiers: the elder folks, the parents/aunts/uncles, the squabbly cousins/siblings at the bottom, and depending on the age of the family, the fourth generation of kids making their appearances. I guess what changes for me personally is how much of an observer I feel like in each situation and how much I participate as opposed to merely watch.

...I didn't have much of a greater point in this post other than to be all like "huh, that was interesting and incredibly tiring."

In other news, I'm happy to say I've gotten through my nine days of late January baby-waaaahngst more or less intact, though having my uterus decide to wring itself out like a sponge during this time was quite unhelpful. It made this year's round of pwecious widdle fee-fees about it somewhat more dramatic than usual, by which I mean I couldn't just roll my eyes at myself and just refuse to acknowledge it's even registering in my brainpan as I've done in recent years. Part of me is wondering whether it's signaling that maybe its time I unpack and deal with that shit in some constructive way finally instead of walling it off like the goddamn telltale heart, as it's now six years since the initial incident that triggered all this shit, and it's been five and three years since the subsequent events that all managed to fall within days of each other, much to no doubt someone's cosmic amusement. I suppose it's a tiny measure of progress that I've hit the point where I can be all "yep, that happened" in a public post instead of squirreling it away behind filters and walls, but considering I'm only doing it after the fact and just have been kinda stewing in angsty silence about it for the last week,*** well, that's the reason why it's a tiny degree of progress. Certainly not enough laurels to rest on or anything. And quite honestly I'm in all likelihood just going to stuff it back in its box until next Jan 19th (or at least until Mothers' Day,whee), 'cause I do not have the patience for this stupid shit. I feel bad enough for even devoting a paragraph to it.

Eh, IDK, more stuff happened this weekend (mostly cute zooey kids being cute and zooey), but it's 1:30am, I'm working in the morning, and I haven't showered yet, so...


* seriously, what I consider my immediate family is huge.

** he must be drinking from the same fountain Dad is - I wouldn't have guessed him to be more than mid to late 70s.

*** My husband has shown an uncharacteristically saintly amount of patience with me this week. Bless him.
anagramofbrat: (winter holiday)
Oh man, I hate visitng Dad when the interballs is broken. Hence the no posting - while I had Squeee with me, there isn't any point in using him with no connectivity and it's annoying enough keeping up with FB and Twitter on Dad's iThings. I hate borrowing other people's computer type devices.

But yeah, it was a Thanksgiving weekend. Had it's ups, had its downs, had its surprises and moments of pure rage.

Thursday:

  • Rode down with esotericscribe early in the morning, and took the train down from his neighborhood in Queens to The House (had about $25 worth of metrocards with me that had been sitting on my desk all year - glad I remembered them!). Dad didn't bother saying hello upon my arrival, but began fussing at me for breakfast and wedding pictures. Sigh. I made him breakfast after scolding him for being chauvinistic and lazy. I also managed to catch the last half hour of the parade so I didn't have to go into full on twitch mode, but I may well torrent it tonight and watch the whole thing tomorrow morning. Traditions must be kept however they can.

  • Dinner with the family was small (half of us were missing) and by contrast quiet and civilized. It was good though. And the FOOD. Dad's housekeeper did 90% of the cooking for us, and wow. That woman can seriously make some collard greens. And turkey. And Ham. And them heathens ate an entire loaf of the pumpkin bread BEFORE we said grace.

  • We set the table really pretty too:


Friday:

  • Spent an hour on the phone with Verizon about the internet. Hopefully they send a new router this week, because that situation in there is untenable. To me anyway. Dad has cellular service on his iPad and an iPhone so honey badger don't have to care. Bah.

  • Ruthy and I had to run some financy type errands for Dad in downtown Brooklyn. In the process I got to briefly reacquant myself with Mom's actual jewelry collection (I have a fair amount of her vintage costume jewelry). Damn Mom. That lady loved herself some jewelry. Ruthy offered to let me pick out one or two things, but honestly, I have no place to really wear any of that stuff, though if I had to pick she did have some rather gorgeous Iranian filigree pieces. Or her charm bracelet - I have pretty strong memories of playing with that as a small child.

  • Ruthy also hooked me up with this holiday deliciousness:

    Sweet delicious pepparkakor nom nom nom.

  • After dealing with that pain in the ass, we went to BAM to see Lincoln. I did enjoy the movie, but I have Opinions about it. They may have to wait until a long overdue Media Consumption Post.

  • In the spirit of AAAAGH QUIT BORROWING MY PHONE Dad straight up offered to frog march me to AT&T to buy me an iPhone5. After being utterly floored by this offer, I asked him to delay it until January when I have a regular paycheck and can support a data plan. So that's gonna be my Christmas present, which means soon The Precious can finally go quietly into her retirement. I may wipe and jailbreak it and give it to Kidzilla as a music/game player. Also, I CAN GET ME ONE OF THESE SEXY SEXY CASES. Because my wallet is my ipod case and that very badly needs to be retired as well.

  • Went to sleep aggressively snuggled by Dad's cat.


Saturday:

  • Got up early, went to the store, and got eggs and potatoes for Dad's breakfast. There was one spoiled West Indian afterward.

  • Was considering going up to AMNH to visit Alejandra's spider exhibit, but couldn't get a hold of either her nor her mother in time, so instead I went up to the Garment District.

    So glad Tohoshoji is still there!Amanda (who got me into beading) and I used to go up here and get bulk bead stuff all the time. They still have decent prices too - not as much markup for a 20g box of delicas either. So now I have all five of my main colors plus a few others in good supply for now.

  • Watched Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope) on Spike. It had been long enough since I'd seen it that watching it again was actually fun. Kinda striking how different Mark Hamill looked between Star Wars and Empire, but car accidents'll jack your face up, alas.

  • More kitty sleeps. She snores. And kicks.


Sunday:

  • I'm usually tired of being back home after two days, let alone three, so you can imagine I was rearing to get back to MA. Except that didn't happen - I showed up at Port Authority two hours before my bus was to leave expecting some holiday craziness, but not the magnitude of crazy that greeted me there yesterday wherein no tickets were being sold or printed "until further notice" police were trying to control fourteen lines of very annoyed people and apparently none of the buses were leaving on time. I later found out that all carriers had massively oversold almost all of the departures out of new york. I waited for about four or five hours, gave up and went back to brooklyn in a state of massively thwarted anxiety. Note to self - always buy my tickets ahead of time from now on. Seriously I've travelled through Port Authority for many a Thanksgiving weekend for almost 20 years now, I had never seen or experienced anything like the zoo that was yesterday.

  • Least dad and the cat were glad to have me around for an extra evening.

  • Did laundry and watched horrifyingly bad TV while doing so, including three minutes of Liz and Dick than made me run screaming like I'd seen a moldy sandwich.


Monday:

  • Took NO chances and bought a Megabus ticket this morning. Mostly becuase they only require a confirmation number to board and you can wave an iDevice at them with it showing on the screen even. Wasn't risking having to buy OR print a ticket at Port Authority. Fuck all that noise.

  • Spoiled Dad with breakfast. Again.

  • Rather more successful in making it home this time, and while Manbeast was quite effusively glad to see me, the cats are still being hard to get little fiends. They'll forgive me eventually. I was, after all, cavorting with GASP another cat all weekend without their permission.

  • Left my iPad charger in Brooklyn. Dang it.


In beading news:
No internet in the house == I BEAD LIKE A FIEND. It's also an excellent thing to do while waiting in line for a bus ticket line that's never going to move, but hey.



It's starting to actually look like something now. And you can almost read the badge on the right.

Still got a loooooong ass way to go though. And there was a copious amount of swearing this morning when I dropped a container of beads on the dining room floor this morning. Le sigh.

2550 / 25500
(10%)


And that's my weekend.

Feh

Nov. 20th, 2012 11:53 pm
anagramofbrat: (om nom nom)
Looks like I will indeed be heading down to NYC this weekend. A little later than usual (early thanksgiving morning, with esotericscribe - hopefully I won't have the AAAGH I'M MISSING THE PARADE shakes) mostly due to my own travel disorganization but also legitimately because I have a second interview tomorrow! Eeep. This works out - I can bake stuff for Thursday's feasts.

For the most part I find myself without much holiday spirit as of yet. I'm looking forward to turkey, maybe, but I'm honestly not feeling the holidays this year. I think I'm still burnt from the wedding. And the various events of the past three weeks and the funemployment have kinda sapped me of everything but beading FURY.

Speaking of which I took the 24 hours off and another 12 after that, as I didn't find it worthwhile to pick up a needle at 10PM last night. I got 2 rows + 10 done tonight while shotgunning about 8 episodes of SVU from the end of last season to the beginning of this one. Man, SVU marathons. Wanting to take 20 bleach showers should not feel like comfort food, you know what I mean? But anyway... I have clearly broken my NO MORE THAN 2 ROWS rule already. Not by much, but still. It's actually HARD to stop doing this when I get going, and 8 rows in and it's actually starting to look like something now! Feh!

But no. Shower, book, wrist rest and bed call. Rows 9 and/or 10 will still be there for me tomorrow.

1370 / 25500
(5.37%)
anagramofbrat: (sing)
Yesterday was at times awesome, sad, uncomfortable, exciting and amusing. Overall, it was busy. Lots of running around to be done.

Anyway, gyn appointment was uneventful, and hopefully will remain so after the vaginapocalypse of 2010. (Okay it wasn't that bad. But colposcopies are a bitch and I do not want another one.) Other than the fact that he has to do uncomfortable things to my ladybits every so often I really like Dr. Patton. Also man, I tell you. You mention that your marital status has changed recently and you get entire offices of people in scrubs fawning all over your ass, if yesterday's and the day before's shenanigans were any indication. Wellp.

Aside though - I wonder what inspires a man to become a ladybits doctor this day and age? I'm not trying to be sexist here, though I'm aware there's a bit of bias coming through. I suppose there are lady urologists who get the same question. Really anyone, honestly - I just sorta want to walk up to folks and be all like "so, what was the moment you decided YES I WANT MY LIFE TO BE LOOKING AT PEOPLE'S JUNK ALL DAY EVERY DAY?"

For the record, I could never be a urologist. Don't get me wrong, I love your outdoor plumbing and what it does for me gentlemen (and a few ladies) but on the grand scale of all the beauty in the natural world, the male genitalia is maybe a notch or two above the duck billed platypus.

Also picked up my meds on my way home for the first time in... wow, almost a year now? Oh, medical insurance, you are wonderful. Hurray for being back in the land of $15 for a scrip instead of ten times that, and that's for a generic. We won't talk about my brand name gut pills.

Since I was super excited about getting my test beads yesterday I found a little change purse to slip the vials, needles and thread into and actually started/made a surprising amoount of progress on my test pattern while jumping various buses to and from the doctor. Between snatching beading time on the while, a bit during the opening acts at the concert (more on that later) and a little bit before bed, I got about four rows done.



I've gotten one more done since this morning and so far seeing the colors "in action" so to speak, I'm super in-love and excited.This is going to be an amazing project. It's also going to be a mind blowingly LONG project. At the rate I'm going, the fastest I can get a bead in is 50 seconds. Even if I get my pace up, once I get up to the full sized patterns, that's going to be 2.5 hours-ish per row. Yikes. Here's hoping my usual problems with attention don't kick in once I get started on the big project.

I haven't forgotten The Witch either. Been making myself work on casting her off this week during TV/movie watching tiem. It's slow, but it's happening. There will be pictures once I get one side off.

In supply news, I heard from Northampton Beadery yesterday. The Beadery prices are about in the neighborhood I'd expect after last week's online comparison shopping. A little on the high side, even, but you have to factor in a) no shipping b) local indie business. And I like them, so I'm okay with tossing them the occasional bead order instead of popping online to do it. (I'll keep delibeads bookmarked for emergencies - I was very impressed with their order turnaround.) However I apparently won't need to be placing any bulk orders for a bit because [livejournal.com profile] harinezumi went to the fucking Miyuki FACTORY yesterday. O_o Yeah, you know what, I have awesome friends.

Midway through the day I got a text from my sister, apparently sent to all of us, reminding us all to celebrate and cherish Mom's memory. She passed away eight years ago yesterday. I had a rough few moments, but mostly of the "wow... it really has been that long" variety and not of the "I miss my Mommy" sort. I mostly shook it off and went on with my day, but it did drop my sails a little bit.

After bells, I went down to Northampton with [livejournal.com profile] cell23 to see Electric Six at the Iron Horse with [livejournal.com profile] omgwtfaninja and his Manzypants. I like Electric Six well enough - not enough to call myself a super fan or anything, but I've got ten or so of their songs on semi-heavy rotation on my iPod and most of the other stuff I've heard of theirs I like. Well. While the boys say it wasn't their best live show, I enjoyed them immensely and after experiencing Dick Valentine shenanigans in person, I can kinda see what is is on which [livejournal.com profile] omgwtfaninja and [livejournal.com profile] cell23 base their "stage personas." (Example, lol.) I was kind of expecting to not recognize most of their set seeing as I don't think I've heard any of their more recent stuff, but they decided they were going to play straight through their first album and meader around in Greatest Hits territory, so it turns out that they did seven out of ten of the songs I have of theirs and all of the ones I really like. Win. Bonus to getting to watch [livejournal.com profile] cell23 and [livejournal.com profile] omgwtfaninja (who really do have the most adorable bromance I've ever seen) rock out for the entire set ([livejournal.com profile] cell23 has been complaining on twitter about how he isn't 20 anymore and Dick Valentine broke him) and getting to hang with the adorable Manzypants for a while. (oh, [livejournal.com profile] head58, not that you read LJ anymore, but Neal says hi.) And as always I left the Iron Horse with the self-admonition that I really need to get out and see more concerts. Not only do I love that particular venue, but they have a knack for booking people I actually like. Alas, I never manage to go, for whatever reason - $$ and lazy mostly. Need to fix that. Not now, obv, but down the line. Kinda like I'm always saying I need to go to the movies more too.

Still a mindfuck to me being introduced to people as [livejournal.com profile] cell23's wife. An enjoyable one, no mistake (public recognition, y'all know I love that shit), but I do wonder when and if that "Wait, what?? OH YEAH" reaction goes away.

Bah, why is it almost 1pm already? I HAVE THINGS TO DO and I haven't started any of them. >_< BAH. Oh, well, I don't need to sleep, right? :/
anagramofbrat: (spanking the princess)
A little while back [livejournal.com profile] wrpigeek put a note up on Facebook saying he was selling his original Game Boy and a crapton of games, including a bunch that made me scream MY TWEENS THEY BURN WITH NOSTALGIA (*cough* both Castlevanias *cough*). Long story incredibly short, as he was swinging through the area a couple days later he brought the whole lot over. "Wedding present!"

YESSSSSS.

So we've recently gotten around to putting batteries in the thing and firing it up. This morning on impulse I tossed it in my purse to play with on the bus to work.

Photo by bottledgoose

I was expecting to just burn off the hour it takes me to get to work with some mindless fun, but it instead turned into the profound intersection of nostalgia and history and memory and I ended up with interesting collection of feels as I played, starting from plugging in my headphones and hitting the switch at the top. Watching the Nintendo logo descend from the top of the chartreuse and green screen, then the "boo-DWEEEEE!" startup noise. The small square wall of text that serve as credits to Tetris, listing the copyright date as 1989.

That's when I looked up. I was on the 31 to UMass at the time, and it then dawned on me that I was holding a game device that was older than 98% of the passengers on my bus + the driver. (UMass buses are driven by students.) Yikes.

The music started and the screen with the onion domes came up. I hit start, was aurally assaulted with the familiar 8-bit chirpiness of "Korobeiniki," and for the next 45 minutes I was 12 years old again, trying to meet the challenge of playing all six B games at Level 9 so I could see the little pixellated music dudes play Tchaikovsky's 'Trepak' before I got off the bus. It took more than one try, as it's been a pretty long while, but I did successfully work my way through and got all the musicians, the bonus dancers and the Space Shuttle takeoff at the end. (There might have been a "YES!" *fistpump* at the end there.)



Because that isn't the most random end screen to a game ever, and yet? Still awesome somehow.

Along the way old things buried in the synapses fired and were recognized. How one fuckup on level 9-5 tanked the entire game. How the blocks often didn't rotate quite fast enough and the resulting exasperation. The way the "bass" channel in the soundtrack briefly became louder than the rest of the music after the game was paused and unpaused. The weirdly shocking revelation that I was not playing with a device with a backlit screen so I often had to adjust either the contrast at the left side or my position in my seat so I could actually see the screen. The baleful red Hal-like glow of the battery indicator and the ghosts of panic attacks past as I struggled to finish a level/game before the light faded entirely. Remembering exactly why both my thumbs are crooked. (Controllers were anything but ergonomic back in the day.) Even the weight and heft of the machine was something - modern tech is so light and sleek and streamlined that something that is rather beefy in comparison while still being no heavier than a decent sized book felt... somehow more satisfying. A steak as opposed to a beautifully arranged salad, if you will. (Ron Swanson would approve.)

It also made me miss my mother something fierce.

Somewhere (and as god is my witness I will find it someday) in my boxes and albums and other forgotten storage of old pictures is one of Mom, lounging in a nightdress and caftan, playing Tetris on my game boy like her life depended on it. Tetris was her JAM. To the point where she she got much stricter about enforcing NO YOU DO HOMEWORK TIME NOW and YOU ARE GROUNDED FROM GAME BOY so she could have some play time, which I thought was a total douche move when I was a kid but as an adult that has two small children part time who abscond with All The Devices whenever they are here I TOTALLY GET IT NOW lol. I also remember having no one at school believe me when I told them my mother played Game Boy because these were the days when video games were something parents were more likely to believe were satanic or something so the idea of someone's mom playing one was beyond freaky. But yeah, Mom couldn't really fathom side scrollers or shooters or see what I saw in them, but puzzle games or Wheel of Fortune she was all over. It makes me kinda sad she missed things like Facebook and by extension things like Words with Friends and Bejeweled and yes, even Farmville. She would have massively enjoyed all of it.

Anyway. After experiencing the dopamine rush of clearing the last level and watching that space shuttle blast off (and level 9 height 5 remains a right bitch to this day), I had the following two thoughts: 1) I really really fucking miss gaming in general. Between the Return of the Warcrack and the brief forays back into Insert Mario Title Here my brain is all "Oh yeah! This stuff? Why'd you quit? It was good for you!" And it is - it's kinda interesting how my focus improves after sitting with some kind of game. I think its the positive feedback of achieving small goals: clearing levels, getting to the next checkpoint, getting achievements. COurse that's also where the addiction lies, because then you're all like "Just one more level/try/checkpoint/cut scene" and the next thing you know an entire evening's gone poof. But in small doses? It's a good thing for me. Games seem to provide that small degree of unbiased outside feedback I often require to continue something, and that effect often spills over into other endeavors.

2) A year or so ago I made some plans to make my next big bead weaving projects based on classic Game boy screenshots. There are several reasons why this is a doable project, the main ones being a four-shades-of-chartreuse color palette and a 160x144 image can be easily replicated on a loom. Or if I didn't want to bother with delicas, I could theoretically do it with perlers, though an entire Gameboy screenshot may take up the entire oven. O_o. Anyway I went so far as to pattern out one of the end credit scenes from Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge a while back; maybe post-wedding I'll see about doing that and a few screenies from other games as well. The Space shuttle and the full dance from the end of Tetris, not to mention the onion dome start screen would be good ones to start with. Goodness knows I'll need another creative project on the hook after this wedding is over and there will be this large void of craft projects needing to be filled.
anagramofbrat: (47 st. paul's pl)
RoyRoy's birthday is today. I'm still all WTF because I took this picture of him almost exactly 20 years ago:



This is him now:



...yeah, I'ma be over here in my rocking chair with my Geritol and my Dentugrip.
anagramofbrat: (click (2012))
Pictures being worth a thousand words and all.



I thought I had a big long entry in me about it, but I don't really. I wasn't really happy with the crop of pictures I did end up taking, but this is not gonna be our last trip up, so I'll get the stuff I missed next summer.

I had a good time... but I'm glad to be back in my Happy Valley. Even if it is hot and humid as balls.
anagramofbrat: (what is love?)
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For not having gotten my license until age 30, a significant portion of my childhood was spent in the car with Mom, from back when i was a wee bit stapped into the torture devices that passed as the first five-point car seats to a little kid passed out in the massive backseat of her land barge of a 1983 Cadillac, to finally moving up to the front seat and serving as her copilot on trips until i went off to college.

To say that Mom loved to drive is an understatement and an oversimplification. Looking back, most of my memories of her being relaxed, calm and even happy are when she was behind the wheel, letting the hum of highway under tires soothe the anxieties that constantly plagued her. It was only later when i got licensed myself (later in life and in fact, at the same age she did) that i understood her constant, well, drive to be in the car, and the near zen-like state of mind she entered after about half an hour on the road. Years later, it's become one of my more effective self-soothing behaviors, especially over long distances. I also seemed to have learned more of my pervasive driving habits from her by osmosis, seeing as while i didn't get my license until well after her death, i still catch myself copying them. Good in the defensive driving sense, bad in the family lead foot and sudden explosions of dockworker profanity at other drivers' jackassoirie senses. I swear, all my Mom's pretenses of being a perfect lady died when the key slid into the ignition, which is probably why while i knew better than to repeat any of it in her earshot, i was swearing competently and creatively by the fourth grade.

As to where we went, at the risk of sounding like a car commercial, the destinations never mattered as much as the journeys, or that unique sense of both consternation and relief that occurs after you're back home putting the car in park and preparing to return to real life. But it could have been a run as short as from Brooklyn to Manhattan to get me to school, to NJ to visit my aunt and later my sister, and when i was younger, stretches all the way to Ohio, Virginia, Michigan and Illinois. I seriously remember more of the trips there and back rather than actually being there.

Its funny... She and i certainly had our share of mother/daughter differences to the point where even on days like today i actually feel somewhat guilty for not missing her nearly as much as i feel I should. (Lets me frank, if she were still around she would be micromanaging my wedding to the point of driving me to tears.) On the road, though, is one of the few places where i do. I used to have her picture dangling from my rearview mirror, actually, with the inscription "Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly" on the back. Figure I've been her primary passenger for so many years... she'd return the favor if she could. (Backseat driving the entire way.)

Happy Mothers' Day, those of you who observe it.
anagramofbrat: (47 st. paul's pl)
Oh New York. Something special erupts out of you during the holidays that actually truly warms the hard to reach subcockles of my jaded little heart. I think it's gazing up into the face of a 30+ story high rise and counting fourteen visible Christmas trees, seven menorahs, sixteen atrociously lit up windows and nine balconies that have more lights and inflatables on them than entire neighborhoods in Massachusetts. Or maybe it's the inexplicably omnipresent tree stands every four blocks or so because some folks are crazy enough to want to haul a heavy ass genuine Douglas Fir up to a seven story walkup. No, really, I know people do it - you can tell by the garbage piles outside of said walkups the week after New Years. Or the people like our neighbors who manage to stuff lights and creepy motorized Santas in every front window, drape lit garlands from the roof and have a giant bright-ass train festooning their porch every year. (The punchline? They're Jewish.)

Seriously New York during Christmas, man. There are reasons why I'm incredibly happy to be actually home this year for it.

Needless to say I've arrived home safely. Actually the last bit of the journey was made nicer by sharing a subway ride with a Smith student I know from the store who happened to be on my bus down and who needed to get to Coney Island so I told her to ride with me since that's my line. Dad has done his requisite fussing, showing off of his new toys (he's finally replaced his giant ass flatscreen), and I in turn have teased him about catching him coming in the house from a date, impeccably dressed to the nines. The cat has not left me alone since I came in The House and is now curled up on the bed with me purring like an idling tractor trailer. I much prefer this to having a portly kitty trying knead my ass with sharp-ass feet. Ow. Stop loving me with pain. Or if you have to, take me out to dinner first! Sheesh. Also can totally hear the ghost of Mom's Bitching Past up in here because Dad got a real tree for the first time in about 20 years. It's gorgeous, don't get me wrong, but all I can hear in my head is "needles in the carpet" this and "fire hazard" that and "what did that mad fool have to get a real tree for anyway" blah blah blah. Rather than be annoying it's actually kinda making me smile. Dad always did love himself a real Christmas tree. Of course he never actually deals with putting it up or decorating it or taking it down, which is probably why. At least he got a reasonable height one and not a sticky seven or eight foot monstrosity like he used to insist on getting. If you have to get on a freaking ladder to put the angel on top, your tree is too damn tall.

I think Dad is happy to have Christmas at home as well. He's been making noise about restarting the treating the women of the family to brunch and perfume at Saks tradition again, which we haven't done since my second year at Smith because Mom got sick right around then. 'Course, I'm not a perfume or makeup person so I usually spent those trips finding about the least visibly feminine thing on the lobby floor as my treat - one year it was a teddy bear (which I still have) the next, bath gel, the next a cute Captain's hat from the menswear department (also which I still have). Not even gonna lie, I'm already scheming how to spin my girly treat into something else from the neighborhood - the American Girl Place is next door across the street (though after having experienced The Smell Of Pink last month with [livejournal.com profile] cell23, I'm a little wary of going in there) and the LEGO store is down the block. Jesus H, that's so me. 33, grown ass woman, and what do I want for Christmas instead of perfume? Toys. Le sigh. Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever gonna grow up. Maybe I should bite the bullet and actually get makeup though. I am getting some kinda married in the spring and after accompanying various folk shopping for glorified face paint for the occasion I should probably take the opportunity to not have to pay for it. And I do like M.A.C. products. Preferred brand of drag queens. Or so I've heard.

Tomorrow Dad is monopolizing my day, but since we're going downtown to the financial district and then to J&R like we used to when I was a kid, I don't mind. I won't ask him to take me to Burger King though. Even if the same one we used to go to all the time is still there. J&R though, uh oh. Taking me to J&R is like giving a small child four double espressos and turning him or her loose in Toys R Us and/or FAO Schwarz. Seriously between the computer/electronics, movies and music departments (both as in recorded music and as in instruments and accessories) that place is a block of nothing but pure retail Andee-crack. NNNNNNNGGGGG.

*sigh* it's gonna be a busy week.

11/11/11

Nov. 11th, 2011 09:08 am
anagramofbrat: (hugs and kisses)
One of the few dates where it don't matter which side of the pond you're on, it's still right, lol. Anyone who makes wishes at 11:11 in general should make a couple of big ones today, I think.

I'd like to say something big and important about Veterans' Day, but [livejournal.com profile] elf_fu not only beat me to it, she said it far more eloquently than my caffeine deprived brain is capable of doing so I'ma just link over with a resounding Hell Yeah and a reminder to self that I need to call Dad. I need to check whether he's finished those Carnagie Deli sandwiches yet anyway.

I do not have the day off, which I'm okay with. The buses, however, are on No School Schedule, which I'm somewhat less fine with seeing as getting back across the river on Fridays is challenging enough with traffic. Tonight is the Boston run; we shall return with two short stacks to entertain for the weekend (and hopefully one Hess Truck). The only thing really on my agenda is reading to Kidzilla - during the blackout I started reading her The Graveyard Book and I'd like to at least finish that, not to mention make some progress reading Eragon as well. Also I want to find her a copy of So You Want to Be A Wizard - it's an older kid book, but if she can handle Graveyard, she should be fine with evil man-eating taxicabs prowling the streets of New York. Which they pretty much do anyway.

The Secret Sqwrrl project is getting a bit big to contain within my head at this point. I may need to go through my stacks of blank notebooks and three ring binders for one to dedicate to the project. Either than or take the excuse to make a trip to Staples - I have Things to Find Out there anyway.

Other than kiddos, I'm gonna do my best to Get Things Done this weekend - between blackouts, trips to New York, lingering sick and constant tired/lazy I've kinda fallen behind on Life and Everything. Course, playing catch up when Lil'Beast is chasing the cat trying to get her to eat handfuls of kitty treats never works out well, but I'm gonna take a shot at it nonetheless. :)
anagramofbrat: (om nom nom)
My sister sent me an entire can of pepparkakor.

WELLP IT'S BEEN NICE BEING SKINNY NOM NOM NOM

ETA: Also this.

*facepalm*

Aug. 31st, 2011 01:26 pm
anagramofbrat: (seriously?)
Today is definitely shaping up to be one of THOSE days. Not necessarily bad things are happening, just, I don't know today has that certain je ne sais quoi that comes of oversleeping by an hour* and finding out amidst predictable new/returning student insanity that the still-handsome, elderly Guyanese gentleman I call Dad has joined facebook.

Oh, and I now work with a girl that counts among her summer activities swimming across the English Channel. Whut.

Yeah, I'll be over here being all "wait, what?" and seriously rethinking that whole giving up morning caffeine idea.

In yay news, Dunks is selling cider again. FALL IS COMING! In dubious lean-away-from-the-screen news, Dunks is selling cider again. That's got to be some nasty apple gel + hot water shit right there. I'll just take this as an indication to swing by Atkins Farms for some of the real stuff later. Not to mention fucking cider donuts. Mmmmmm Atkins cider donuts...


* I still made it in on time. Thank heavens for PVTA drivers willing to radio your connection and tell him to wait for your dumb late ass for a couple minutes. Oh and for being the driver cheerfully willing to idle a couple of minutes so you can get to work on time. Sheesh. Be glad when regular schedule starts up next week!

heh

Mar. 10th, 2011 08:44 am
anagramofbrat: (so meaty)
Had an interesting twist on the old dream where you show up to a final exam to a class you never went to, in that I was preparing for a trip overseas that was happening in a few days and only just realized I never got my passport. The part where it got weird is as I tearing about The House frantic about this my mother (who often shows up in these dreams alive and well) calmly told me to stop freaking out and go look in the freezer with the rest of the Important Papers. Right, okay. Not sure what all my subconscious was trying to impart to me there, but felt it was just off the wall weird enough to note for posterity.

I've never had a passport, incidentally. I should fix this. I'd like to GTFO of the US for a while someday. Still unsure as to where I'd go, but it'd be nice to go somewhere.


I have solved the mystery of why I fell out of the habit of getting up at the ass crack of dawn, seeing as I have started doing it again. Hungry cats. Lily has figured out that the quickest way to wake up her humans is to kick my glasses off my nightstand, the sound of them falling to the floor instantly rouses me. Dick. Also the soporific effects of warm glomphy bedtime companion do nothing for my early rising abilities, especially as he routinely fails to get out of bed until fifteen minutes before he has to be at work. But yeah, apparently kitty needing foodins is a far more effective alarm clock than anything else I've tried. We'll go with that.

I started watching Community with the boy last night finally. Two eps in and it is cute, snarky fun, not to mention another opportunity to ogle Joel McHale. I can't get over how old Chevy Chase is. My mental picture of him is from Christmas Vacation, what the hell happened? Oh, yeah, 20 years, right. I'm still a little O_o about that, honestly, that it's been almost two decades since a whole lot of random pop culture and music I remember loving/watching/listening to. And then I remember I was a kid 20 years ago. And then the whole "20 years ago" thing hits me and my brain just kinda melts a little around the edges. I'm not sure how/when I got old enough to say "20 years ago" and have that refer to an actual period of sentience in my life. What. Just bring me the Geritol and Dentugrip now.


Today is Stan's birthday. Also today is when Dad gets out of rehab and goes home with Ruth thereby to terrorize her for a couple months while we all finish tending to The House. Looks like phone calls will make up a significant portion of my day.

I've been all thinky this week. Some good. A lot bad, honestly. Mostly neutral. And deeply thankful for the handful of things in my life that are going very very right and keep me going through the rest of it. One of which is STILL ignoring his alarm clock and snoring behind me, lol. I should go kiss him before he lumbers out of bed.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
anagramofbrat: (squee)
on my way out of New York and back to demanding kitty, adoring Manbeast, and most importantly my own squooshy way too comfortable bed. I honestly don't know when the last time I've been this dog tired was.

Despite the complete and utter exhaustion (I kinda forgot what an ordeal getting back on the regular crohn's pills is and in light of that should probably have waited until next week to start back up) this trip was overwhelmingly a more positive one than the last, probably entirely because of the amount of progress Dad has made since the pneumonia scare and return to Mt. Sinai on my last visit. On the contrary, after a meeting with his rehab team yesterday he's been given a release date of next thursday which is awesome news. Two months of hospitals and rehab is entirely Too Much. Considering how he was when I first went to see him in the hospital in January and where he is now, which in some ways is in better shape than before the stroke, I'm astounded by his progress. The rehab center has a small coffee shop in the basement for its residents, and yesterday we went down together for a late afternoon snack. Dad was up, walking (and not slowly either) with a little help from a walker for his balance, and once downstairs he was being his usual charming pain in the butt self at the lady running the place as well as trading jokes with the nuns on staff. He still loses words on occasion and while he always mixed up the names of his kids/grandkids (and had been known to go through at least five or six names before getting to the right one) that tendancy's gotten a bit worse. Still, for someone who had a stroke seven weeks ago, he ain't looking too bad.

Still I think all of us will be glad when he's out. Well, Ruth'll be more frazzled while he's staying with her, but he'll be if not home, close to it, back in Brooklyn, and I for one will be happy if I never have to take the IRT up the upper east side ever again. Between Mom at NY Presbyterian years ago and Dad ending up in Mt sinai for various and sundry over the years, I've almost never had to be up there for a good reason, and over the past couple of months I've come to utterly loathe having to take the sardine tin that is the Lexington Ave line anywhere and personally can't wait for them to hurry up and open the 2nd Ave line, because goddamn them IRT train cars are NARROW as HELL.

Sorry, veered into subway nerdage for a minute there.

Anyway, I didn't get everything I had to do done this time around (there is just not enough hours/spoons in the day for all the shit that needs taking care of) I do come home with a grim sense of accomplishment with what I did manage to get done. There was something about finally finding, buying and delivering the four silk ascots after two days of chasing them all over Manhattan that was deeply satisfying. I often need to be reminded that I can be deeply resourceful in a weird as hell pinch. I did manage to keep up with my actual job this week as well as pick up a little extra scratch from the fam, so this week will be somewhat profitable, and I just got a notice that my moderately whopping federal refund was accepted and should be hitting my account early next week. Just in time for PAXEast, not like I'm going to let myself spend much out there, seeing as most of my money's kinda spoken for for at least the next few months. Still... kinda nice to know things are looking up on several fronts for a change.... y'all don't know how thirsty I've been for some sunshine thrown my way. But for now I'm looking eagerly forward to boy and bed tonight. Or vice versa. I don't care, it'll just be good to get home.

Gonna catch a nap now.

Ow.

Mar. 3rd, 2011 12:30 am
anagramofbrat: (whee!!)
Well I can't complain that I don't get any exercise when I'm down here, that's for sure. I just poked google and figured out that I walked about seven miles total today, and that's not counting the stairs and passageways involved in numerous and sundry subway transfers. Once again I'm kind of a useless bag of hamburger meat from the tailbone down, that's how much everything hurts. Clearly I'm not in shape for New York anymore; we're gonna have to fix that.

Other than the OW, today was a good, if long day. Met up with Tash&Winnie and actually got to meet their three cats for the first time. They were all really sweet cats, but I have to put in a mention of Spunky who is a huge, beautiful hunk of leonine boy love and just basically was all like. "You. Scratch my head. ooooooooooooooh. Okay, I like you, you may stay." And when I say huge, he is bigger than Puck, Bean or Valentino - he's very easily a 20+ pound cat, but he's not overweight, he's just GIGANTIC. Think this cat is to other cats as Shaquille O'Neal is to normal humans. Yeah. Needless to say I fell in love immediately. I'm such a sucker for big ass boykitties it isn't even funny. Pictures later, cause I took some with the phone.

But yeah, I had a good afternoon with them. It was definitely full of food, cats and conversation, and then they tagged along shopping with me as I searched Lower Manhattan high and low for reasonably priced ascots (please don't ask, it's a Dad thing). They prove elusive little beasts. Tomorrow I try again, this time a little further uptown.

Was kinda running late the entire day so I didn't get up to see Dad until well after 8, but did hang for about an hour to tease and banter with him. His team and Ruthy meet tomorrow to discuss his progress and the date of his release. It could be Friday, it could be next week, but considering how he's doing it's going to be soon.

But yes, ow. I currently lie sprawled ungracefully across Ruthy's couch trying to convince myself to get back up, shower in the hottest water I can coax from the tap, take my meds, make up the counch into my bed, and pass gloriously, finally out for the night. May possibly risk an ibuprofen as well, because I really do feel massively overdid it at the gym level sore right now. That which doesn't kill you, and all that jazz.

sleep will be soooooooooo good. Off I go.

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