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Lydy's Anarchist Revival Meeting

19th May, 2016. 9:35 am. The Raven and the Reindeer by T. Kingfisher

Have just finished The Raven and the Reindeer by T. Kingfisher, also known as Ursula Vernon, and Red Wombat.

I am profoundly shocked, in that way where one is wandering a museum and is struck by an artifact or work of art that gets past the verbal mind and hits at the somatic level, or the way one can be thunderstruck by natural beauty. I may have more to say, later. At the moment, though, I'm just reveling in the shock.

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6th May, 2016. 4:42 pm. Slammed in the Worldcon by Chuck Tingle

If you don't know what I'm talking about...no I can't explain. It would take too long. But Naomi Kritzer has a wizard idea: ribbons for Worldcon that say "secretly Chuck Tingle".

I would like to see this happen. Am willing to buy ribbons, if enough people are interested in wearing them. So, some questions:

If you are going to be at Worldcon, would you wear this ribbon if I gave it to you?

Do you want a ribbon even if you aren't going to be at Worldcon?

I think the ribbons should be rainbow colored, what do you think?

Anybody have a favorite provider for said ribbons? (Also, should they be the three or the four inch? I've never done this before.)

If anybody thinks this is a very bad idea, do please tell me. At the moment, I think it's genius.

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28th April, 2016. 8:29 am. Thursday Cats with G&T

So, my work week shifted from Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights to Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. Which makes Thursday mornings the new Friday. My patient bagged it at five this morning, so I ended up leaving quite early. Too early to go to the liquor store to buy champagne, which I really should have done yesterday, but forgot to. Which means that it's Thursday not Friday, and I am drinking gins and tonicses instead of mimosas, but there are still cats.

Lady Jane has leveled up several times since I last wrote about her. She really, really likes getting petted. About six weeks or so ago, she finally figured out how to signal that she's getting over-stimulated. She has both a quick head-jerk and a warning chirrup that she's started using. This means that I can stop petting her before she feels the need to scratch or bite me. It also means that she's developed some understanding of how to communicate with humans. I've always thought that she demonstrated the desire to do so, but she has developed a vocabulary that I can understand, and that's huge. There is probably also some learning behavior on my part, although I'm less aware of it. But we are developing a rapport, and that makes me so very happy.

About two weeks ago, it was warm and I opened the window in my bedroom. I have a king-sized waterbed, and it is flush against the wall, so to get to the window, you have to get up on my bed. Lady hads been in my bedroom a couple of times, and once she actually got up on the bed, but has always eschewed it in favor of the chair in the media room. But the window... oh the sweet, sweet window. She got up on my bed, got in the window. And somehow, that changed her conceptual space, and now she gets on my bed, even when the window isn't open.

Initially, she'd get on the bed, and then loll on my laptop. One of my favorite LOLcats is a kitten sitting on an open laptop with the caption, "If not for sits, why made of warm?" I let her do this a couple of times, because I wanted to encourage her to think of being on the bed and being kind of sort of on my lap as a good thing. She would purr and roll and loll, and my screen would go crazy as she pushed All The Keys. Then I started gently rolling her off the keyboard and onto my lap. And this worked. She's at the point now where, when I get home from work, she jumps up on the bed and demands pets. If I don't pet her when she wants them, she will either oosh onto the keyboard or, if that is too much trouble, she will just reach out a paw and push a random key. It's desperately adorable. Just at the moment, she's curled up next to me, sleeping. She will sit on my lap, sometimes. And she's clearly figured out that I don't actually want her on my laptop.

The other cats are less than entirely pleased with this development. Arwen, who has always considered my bed her territory, is very unhappy about this. I do encourage her to come up when Lady Jane Grey is there, but she usually declines. She didn't like it when Naomi started getting on my bed (ten years ago?), she was completely unhappy when the little black kittens started getting on my bed, so I guess I'm unsurprised that she's unhappy about Lady Jane.

Ninja is perfectly delighted with all things Ninja, and rather unimpressed with all things not-Ninja, so he doesn't care if Lady is there or not. He often gets on my lap when I'm dicking around on the internet before work. Last night, he jumped up on the bed, and came and sat in my lap, as per normal. Lady was also there, sitting right next to me. Lady found this upsetting, and hissed at him, and Ninnie just kind of looked confused. Then Lady was confused, and left, and Ninja settled down to purr and be cute.

Naomi continues to be difficult to feed. I continue to make homemade chicken broth each week, and buy more and weirder premium foods. She continues to insist that food that was perfectly scrumptious yesterday is, in fact, not food at all today. She has recently decided that all fish is emphatically Not Food. She also doesn't think that beef is food. She is still (usually) eating chicken and turkey. I haven't tried her on the kidney food. She's so picky that I don't see the point. She has stopped crouching when she pees, which means that she stands in the litter box and pisses outside the litter box. I have no idea what to do about this, so I clean up after her. I guess if I could get a litter box twice the size...but I don't know where I'd put it, so I haven't.

Nuit is her own little personette, and continues to have petting emergencies. She isn't as aggressive towards Lady as she was, but she continues issue challenge songs and occasionally charge her for no reason. On the other hand, she was up on my bed the other morning when LJG was here, and there were no words. She also romps with Naomi, which is delightful for all involved. Naomi, at sixteen, still has a playful streak. Arwen, her sister, has never been that playful, and after Aristophanes died, Naomi had no playmate until Nuit took up the role. Ninja plays a bit too rough for her tastes, but Nuit is just right.

And that is enough cats for now. If you made it to the end, I am impressed by your patiences. Next, I will natter about Neko Atsume.

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23rd April, 2016. 3:29 am. Reasons to love my David

I am having trouble falling asleep, tonight. For reasons that I don't even pretend to guess at, my brain is rehashing old, failed relationships. Thank you, brain. At last, I woke DDB up from a sound sleep.

"I'm sorry. I'm crazy and insecure, but I need you to tell me that you love me."


"I'm sorry. I'm feeling really crazy and insecure. I need you to tell me that you love me."

"I love you."

"Are you sure?


"Why would you do such a silly thing?"

"I don't know. I do love you, though."

"Oh. Ok. I love you, too."

"Oh, good." Snores.

And the snoring, that was the most reassuring bit. Because he trusted me to ask for what I needed, gave me what I needed, and then considered it to be a successful enough transaction that he could go back to sleep without worrying about what I _really_ meant. Because, what I really meant was, "Please tell me that you love me." And he did.

I'm not asleep, yet, obviously. But David, he loves me. And I love him. And our relationship may not make sense to outsiders, but it genuinely works.

I love you, David.

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16th February, 2016. 5:53 am. I also knit

So, I wanted to teach myself to knit, again. Crocheting comes naturally, knitting I have to relearn if I leave it dormant for very long. I had another project that I wanted to do, but I needed to get my knitting skills back up to par. So I dug out my sampler pattern, and did many, many squares. It went very well, but of course, gauge was a problem. Instead of each square being about one foot square, they're more like 18 or 20 inches square. Oh, well. It was fun. It was much larger than I expected, and here it is with Nuit instead of Ninja:

Here are a couple of pictures that give a better impression of some of the actual knit-work. I really, really like cables, by the way. They're fun.

This is a practice piece, and I'm keeping it. In the first place, the roughness of my technique really shows in some places, and in the second place, it fits all right on my king size bed, so that's a plus.

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16th February, 2016. 5:43 am. I just want you to know I kept on crocheting, right on 'til doomsday morn

So, I haven't actually stopped making afghans, but my photographer has been a bit behind times, so here are some catch up posts.

This one was made for Barb Jensen, for whom I don't happen to have an email address. If someone would shoot me her email address, I would let her know that it's finally done. I think I promised it almost a year ago. There were...complications.

The hexagons will not lay flat. I've tried everything. I finally just put the damn thing together, and hoped that it would flatten in the dryer. It did, a bit, but not as much as I was hoping. It's also smaller than I had been hoping, more of a lap-robe size than a blanket size. And it has, like 181 pieces, and that's a fuck-ton of sewing. So, while I rather like the colors, and it has its charms, man am I never doing this pattern again.

Of note, the pattern was not properly copy-edited, and so they neglected to tell me what order the colors should be laid out in. So, I had to invent my own layout. It doesn't look quite as random as I was hoping, but it's not too bad.

Here it is in all it's glory:

And here is the obligatory Afghan with Ninja"

And here is a closeup of some of the motifs:

Hey, Barb, your afghan is done!

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15th February, 2016. 4:58 pm. Obligatory cat post

There actually were mimosas on Friday, but more importantly, Friday was the day that I took Lady Jane Grey to be spayed. None too soon, she'd gone into heat again, and was regularly interrogating me about where she could find BOYS! So on Thursday, right before I left for work, I locked her into the media room with no food, since they didn't want her to have any food before abdominal surgery. Makes perfect sense.

I am told that Lady Jane gave a several hour long, operatic performance on her plight. She performed the arias "Where Are The Boys?", "I Am Starving," and a truly virtuoso performance of everyone's favorite feline aria, "This Door Is Shut, Monkey!" Me, I was at work, but I gather she could be heard all through the house.

When I got home from work, I took her to the vet. This was the first time I've ever taken her someplace and left her, since she's come to live with me. I also took Arwen to the vet to have her thyroid checked to see if the increase in medication is adequate. I then came home, drank mimosas, and went to bed. David agreed to pick up Lady after her surgery, while I was still asleep. When I woke up, Lady was curled up on her chair, looking pretty pleased. David said that she seemed incredibly grateful to get home, and suggested that she may have abandonment issues. She was rather more spry Friday night than was wise or recommended; I infer from this that the anesthesia had not completely worn off. Saturday morning, she was moving a bit more gingerly, but still quite good. She's been eating, and generally doing well -- although she appears to have thrown up some food this afternoon. I suspect this was merely recreational, though. Cats!

Arwen's test came back showing her thyroid exactly where it should be, so that's fine. Naomi...is still incredibly picky about eating. I have bought another rotisserie chicken, and will be making more broth, tonight. She does like the homemade broth, although chicken drippings are better. Occasionally, if you give her food that doesn't have enough broth on it, she will give you a meaningful look.

Karen, I will try to remember to save you the wishbone.

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9th February, 2016. 7:26 am. There was a Friday, there were cats, there were mimosas

But today is Monday.

Friday, now, I had to go to the compounding pharmacy to pick up Arwen's medication. She is hyperthyroid, and truly, massively hates the pills that control that, so I have to get her a chicken suspension. (She doesn't like the fish suspension. I do not know why.) The grocery store is quite close to the pharmacy, so I stopped there for the orange juice that I needed for my mimosas. And there I was, in a grocery store, hungry and very tired, after a truly horrific work shift... I'm lucky I got out with so little.

There were rotisserie chickens. I do not know why they were available so early in the morning, but it seemed like quite the thing, so I got one. Also garlic bread, avocados, and a bunch of other things. But the chicken is the thing that's most interesting.

The chicken itself was good for three or four meals, I'm not sure which. Certainly a good number for the price. But I poured the drippings into a container (which then set up like jello), and I've been using that to enhance the food that I'm offering Naomi. Naomi really likes chicken jello. She's not so keen on the eating, still, and changes what all she'll eat on a frequent basis, but she likes the chicken jello.

This evening, I took the chicken carcass and turned it into broth. Which I then reduced into a concentrate. We'll see if she likes that, but we're almost out of chicken jello. Possibly, I will need to buy another rotisserie chicken. (Woe is me, don't throw me in that there briar patch.)

I do wonder why it is that she feels the need to piss outside the litter box. How is this connected to her kidney disease? Oh, well. She still seems to be pretty much herself, but a bit skinny. I wish I could get her to eat kidney food, but I'll take any food, just for the nonce.

Lady has an appointment with the vet to be spayed this Friday. She doesn't know this, but then, she's a cat. It would be hard to explain. She let me pet her belly this evening, and seemed extravagantly pleased with the whole thing. She has gone more than a month without accidentally attacking anyone. I'm so pleased with her. She also has this funny game she plays with David. There's an office chair in the media room which she has claimed has her chair, and she's there most of the time. It's David's preferred place to sit, also. If Lady is not currently in the chair, and she hears David coming into the room, she will leap into the chair to prevent him from sitting in it. It's very funny. She looks so smug. Then David picks her up, and moves her, so that he can sit in his chair, and she looks a bit affronted.

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30th January, 2016. 2:20 am. Grief delayed, Angela Gugliotta 1963 - 2010

I just found out that someone I loved passionately died five an a half years ago. The fact that this is old news doesn't help a bit. I am gutted.

I may write more on this later. In the mean time, her name was Angela Gugliotta. I loved her immoderately. She was a professor at the University of Chicago. She was one of the smartest, most intriguing, passionate people I have ever known. Our lives took us in different paths, and I have always regretted not being able to reconnect.

May her memory be a blessing.

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29th January, 2016. 11:23 pm. Friday with Mimosas

But not, at the moment, cats, since I am over at Steven's. Well, he does have a cat, Captain Blondbeard, but Captain is studiously ignoring me.

So, if you want a really quick, not so very expensive dinner for three upon awakening of a Friday night, I suggest a rotisserie chicken, a green zucchini, a yellow zucchini, and a package of pre-sliced mushrooms. A half an onion, if you happen to have that lying about is also useful. Saute the zucchini, mushroom, and onion with butter, oil, salt and pepper. This takes, literally, fifteen minutes from the time you start washing the zucchini in order to slice it to actually it being ready to eat. If you are smarter than I am, you will add the onion first, rather than last. This pairs very nicely with the celebratory "I survived my work-week" mimosas. It pair less well with a spectacular migraine and a need to arise at 3:30 a.m. to go to the airport, which explains why my perspective playmates are in bed asleep and I am in the living room, typing at you all, cat-less. But, you know, I have more mimosas, so it's not a dead loss, though the ability to type will degrade as the evening progresses.

OMG, OMG, OMG! Jen and Steven bought me the best Xmas present _ever_. It is the Nightvale themed hip flask, with the inscription, "IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY NOTHING, AND DRINK TO FORGET" with the Nightvale logo of the crescent moon as the iris of an eye. I am fucking and utterly thrilled. It was the one thing on my Amazon wish list I really, really wanted. And now, I HAVE it. Steven put some Jameson's in it, too. I do very much admire Nightvale, and am going to nominate it for a Hugo. Not sure which category, probably short form dramatic. The episode about middle school crushes was almost perfect.

In cat news, Lady Jane Grey would like ALL THE BOOOOYYYS. RIIIIIIGHHT NOOOOOOEEOWOWW. Yep, she's in heat. From which I can deduce at a) she is not pregnant and b) she has not been spayed and c) her health is adequate. She's still affectionate, and a solid little rocket-propeled grey missile. She is more affectionate than usual, what with the really wanting to get laid. One is inclined to say, "You do know that this is how you ended up in the trouble in the first place," but a) she doesn't understand English and b) wouldn't care if she did. Because BOOOYYYSSSS.

So, back to my mimosas. Which are second best to actual, live, playmates, but my playmates are now very much asleep.

It's Friday. Life is pretty good. Also, grocery store rotisserie chickens may not be gourmet, but they eat just fine.

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