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9th-Mar-2013 09:03 pm - I'm late! I'm late!
Melting candles by iconomicon
I completely blew through the last few days without stopping to wish a most happy birthday to the incomparable gatezilla. I hear that you were snowed in, but I hope it was still a wonderful day for you, my dear.
2nd-Mar-2013 11:41 pm - I was a pre-teen Shark
My favorite part by iconomicon
Oh, man. I was going to get to bed at a decent hour, but I just did a quick check of the TV line-up, and West Side Story just came on TCM. I'm doomed! I saw it when it first came out in 1961. I was all of 12 years old, but I remember it like it was yesterday. It was playing at the Hartford Loew's; Hartford was very much the big city to me back them. I was with my mom and her sister Shirley (my favorite aunt). We were all raised on musicals, and none of us had ever seen anything like this before. It was stunning. And both the music and the dancing still hold up today. The dialogue not so much. Interesting little-known fact: the original play was supposed to be about Jews and Gentiles. I kid you not. It was decided that it wouldn't play outside of a Jewish audience, so they changed the main adversaries.

The movie was a huge, huge hit. I played the soundtrack so often that my dad got pissed at me. Then he decided to go see the movie himself, and the next thing I know he's playing the album. The movie was a big hit with my classmates at St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran School. We broke into two groups: the boys were the Jets and the girls were the Sharks. Because obviously the Sharks were much cooler. We'd "rumble" with big old wooden rulers during recess. It was a simpler time.

Our class got a rare trip to NYC to visit a Lutheran missionary school in Chinatown. On the way we passed through real NYC neighborhoods like in the movie. We were stopped at a light when we spied a "hood" just a little older than us lounging against a building. All eyes were glued on him in awe. He reached into the pocket of his jacket. We held our collective breath as he pulled out a … yoyo. To give him his due, he was pretty good with it. I'll lay you even odds that none of us remember anything about that missionary school, but we all remember our first New York hood.
20th-Feb-2013 09:42 pm - Back so soon
Come again? by Lee
I really am trying to get back into the habit of posting on LJ again. sffan came to visit last weekend, and we were talking about how much we miss the old days when more people posted here. I have to admit that I'm part of the problem, so here I go trying to rectify that. Maybe I'll even work my way back to actual content :) Until then, it's just snippets. Baby steps and all that.

It snowed all day. Again. The worst part was the strong wind. I should say "is" the strong wind; it's still blowing out there and rattling around my corner of the house. Gary the farmer guy came around 10AM to blow out the driveway and the laneway, but I couldn't even move my car for him because it was surrounded by knee-high drifts. There was one little clear portion near my rear wheel, but that wasn't a lot of help. I got it backed up enough to give him room to plow me out, so that saved me an hour's worth of shovelling. Yay, Gary! Unfortunately the blowing snow built up drifts again within a few hours.

darlong was outside for over four hours in all this crappiness trying to get the doors to the girls' barn unstuck. She was doing other stuff, too, but really - those doors get frozen right into the ground in certain conditions; it takes a long time with much chipping and shovelling and strewing of ice melters to get them free. I'd helped get them unstuck just two days ago, too. This winter can end right now, please.

While Dar was out there doing chores, I was inside making banana bread. We also serve who only stand and bake. Things got very weird at the end of that. The doorbell rang. As I was going to answer it, the timer for the bread went off. Unknown young woman on porch staring in through the door pane; I let her into the hallway and rush back to turn off the timer because it beeps incessantly until it's turned off. Rush back to young woman and the door bell rings again. We look at each other and then out the door pane. No one is there. She says that she's here to pick up "the stuff that her brother ordered." I have no idea what she's talking about, but I figure that it's someone who's ordered an alpaca product from online or at the market. We both see the Alpaca-opoly game leaning up against the wall in the hallway, so I give it to her. "Is this what he ordered?" The door bell rings again. Still no one there that we can see. She says she has no idea what she's here to pick up; her brother just gave her the address. I figure that I need to see if Dar knows what's going on, so I invite girl into the living room while I pull the bread out of the oven and pull on all the blizzard-wear to trek out to the barn. The door bell rings again. She looks at me and says, in a "huh" voice, "The door bell was frozen so I really pushed hard. I think maybe I broke it." Yes. Yes, I'd say that's probably the case. Off I go, plodding through very deep drifts and completely snowblind - I'm just guessing where my feet actually are going. I catch up with Dar; she knows nothing about this, and we realize that the girl most probably needs to pick up her brother's stuff at the mill instead. Back I go, direct very confused girl to the mill (which is right there, right next to the house!) and then back inside to throw the bread back in the oven and listen to the door bell ring over and over and over and … until I finally was able to fix it.

And that was my day. Plus the usual cat wrangling.

the end
18th-Feb-2013 11:40 pm - Snow paddock sunset_0158
Open doors by alexandral

Snow paddock sunset_0158, originally uploaded by maystone1.

Winter took a while to catch up with us this year, but it's well and truly here.

6th-Feb-2013 10:35 pm - Grace_0391
Open doors by alexandral

Grace_0391, originally uploaded by maystone1.

She looks innocent here. About 90 seconds later she was hanging off that little scrap of curtain.

It's been lovely by llaras
So this was my day. Didn't get much sleep last night; joint pain woke me early, although I'm happy to say that that hasn't happened in a while. Still … not a lot of sleep. And this is on top of a week (at least) of going like an over-eager beaver. (I'd been doing more alpaca chores; there was a lot of driving and errand running; worked at the market on Saturday; difficulty sleeping always. Yesterday Dar started her chemo; that ended up being a nine-hour trip.) Our friend Skye had let us borrow her new(ish) Volkswagon for the commutes to the London hospital (Dar had appointments both last Friday and yesterday) because the weather was supposed to be snowy and my 11-year-old Mazda is not great in bad weather.

So today was the day when we were going to bring Skye's car back to her in Kitchener. It's about an hour from our place to hers. First, the car doors are all frozen solid. Dar searches out a long extension cord and goes to work on the driver's door with a blow dryer. Meanwhile, I'm shoveling the porch and steps and getting rid of the (smallish) snow drifts between us and the road. The car door finally defrosts, but I quickly discover that the car battery is deader than dead. It is wicked cold (5F/-15C), strong winds are putting the wind chill at waaaay below 0F and snow squalls are rolling through. I hook up Skye's battery with mine and let it run for 15 minutes before trying mine again. Nothing. Mess around with cables a bit, let it run for another 20 minutes. Nothing. Take all the cables off, we go talk to Deb about using her big-ass truck to jump the car, but she's on hold on the phone. She says to connect the two negatives instead of grounding mine on the engine block. I'm not happy about this because it can be dangerous, so I reattach the cables in the approved manner and hope for the best. Another 20 minutes of letting it charge. Nothing. Fuck this. I make sure Dar is nearby in case the battery blows up in my face and attach negative to negative. Ten minutes later my Mazda battery finally turns over. (Oh, and in between we were trying to affix tarps to the engine hoods to try to keep the blowing snow off the engines. Yeah, that went about as well as you're thinking it did.) Two hours, people. That's how long it took to get the damn car started.

We head out. Mark is driving my Mazda, and I'm following in Skye's car. Or trying to follow. Between the blowing snow and the occasional squall, it's white-out conditions in places. Fortunately it cleared up nearer to Kitchener. We meet up with Skye; I give her the keys to her car, and she hustles off to her dentist appointment. Mark and I slip into a coffee bar to warm up with some fancy-schmancy coffee. And this is when I discover that I have no wallet. Skye is gone, so I can't get back into her car to search around there. The last place I saw my wallet was in London the day before when I pulled into a gas station to fill up the car.

I'm trying not to panic. Maybe it fell out of my purse at home. Fortunately it was a decent drive back home. Once there I tear my room apart looking for my wallet. The same goes for the kitchen and living room. I stomped around all the snow where the car had been parked, in case it fell out of my purse while I was walking into the house yesterday. Nope. Dar hops on Google Earth (I suck at using that app), and we track down the gas station I used. No, they haven't seen it.

I am … upset. My wallet held all of my Canadian IDs. My drivers license, my SIN card (it's like Social Security), my health card, debit card (and one of Dar's, too), credit card, library cards, insurance card. All I have left is my American passport and a work visa that expired in June 2011. Yes, 2011. (Thank you, Immigration. Thank you so very much.) Trying to get all new Canadian IDs based on that is going to be a nightmare given all the bureaucratic hoops I'm going to have to jump through.

Dar cancels her debit card. I cancel mine. I file a police report with the London police online. I'm going nuts trying to find old copies of anything that can help me out. And then the phone rings.

Steven in London is calling to tell me that he found my wallet last night on the ground between a bank and a Tim Horton's. (This is so very Canadian; I can't even begin to tell you.) All the money was gone but everything else seemed to be there. He was going to mail it to me, but then he decided to call just to doublecheck. Can you say yay?

If the damn snow squalls stop, I can borrow Deb's truck and get my wallet tomorrow. Otherwise it'll be Friday or Saturday. And then I'm getting a different purse. And a wallet that gives off a shrieking alarm if it hits the ground. But for now? I'm getting some sleep.
16th-Jan-2013 11:03 pm - A meme draws me out of my LJ lethargy
Heh by bubbletheory
Ha! It's mostly right :) via malterre

Your results:
You are Will Riker
Will Riker
65%
Jean-Luc Picard
60%
Uhura
60%
Deanna Troi
55%
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
50%
Chekov
45%
James T. Kirk (Captain)
45%
Geordi LaForge
40%
Spock
37%
Beverly Crusher
35%
Mr. Scott
35%
Worf
35%
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
30%
Data
27%
Mr. Sulu
10%
At times you are self-centered
but you have many friends.
You love many women, but the right
woman could get you to settle down.


Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character am I?" quiz...

Nothing to say by iconomicon
We all know about my spotty memory, right? So this is more of an attempt at a list than a true reckoning, but I thought I'd play anyway. You'll notice that almost all of my "new" movies are old hat to everyone else. I have to wait for them to come to the movie channels.

Books
Lords and Ladies - Terry Pratchett
Carpe Jugulum - Terry Pratchett
Thief of Time - Terry Pratchett
The Truth - Terry Pratchett
The Unseen Academicals - Terry Pratchett
Snuff - Terry Pratchett
The Folklore of Discworld - Terry Pratchett & Jacqueline Simpson
(I'm still only halfway through the Discworld books. I want to work on that this year.)
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
The Walking Dead: Compendium One - Robert Kirkman
The Walking Dead: The Rise of the Governor - Robert Kirkman
The Help - Kathryn Stockett
The Lost City of Z - David Grann
The Lands of Ice and Fire - George R R Martin
Zoo Borns and Zoo Borns: The Next Generation (Yes, I'm counting those)
Drift - Rachel Maddow (but I'm still working on that one.)
Plus I reread all of Pratchett's Watch series and the first two of the witches series.

Movies
The Station Agent
The Hunger Games
Small Town Murder Songs
The King's Speech
Moneyball
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Melancholia
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (I & II)
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
In Darkness
Silent House
Hanna
The Tree of Life
The Help
Appaloosa
Hidalgo
The Bridesmaids
Dream House
God of Love (Short film, won Oscar last year. Hysterical.)
Margin Call
The Ides of March
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane
Jane Eyre
Shutter Island
2012
There are more, I'm sure, but that's all I can pull out of memory now. As you can see, there's a prominent lack of action movies, bro movies, and comedies in general.

And just for the hell of it: TV shows I loved last year.
Treme
Boardwalk Empire
Nashville
The River (yes, really)
The Walking Dead
Hell on Wheels
Project Runway
Game of Thrones
Nurse Jackie (Excellent season)
The Rachel Maddow Show
Up with Chris Hayes

Huh. Now that I see it all written out, I did pretty well for myself. Cool.
21st-Dec-2012 12:02 pm - Grace stockings_0282
Open doors by alexandral

Grace stockings_0282, originally uploaded by maystone1.

OK, let's see if this works correctly now.

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