Family.

17/8/17 14:28
azurelunatic: A red apple with a bite out of it, captioned in Star Trek font "What no-win scenario?" (what no-win scenario)
I am scared of my family right now.

My immediate family are largely good people who generally behave with kindness to all, and abhor the concepts of white supremacy and fascism like any decent person.

My aunts on my father's side are pretty awesome. Hippie Uncle is great, and Woodworking Uncle has good intentions and maybe a few distortions due to assorted experiences of privilege, but he does not appear to go out of his way to fuck other people over.

My aunt-by-marriage scares me. She's a doctor, and things she has said about transgender people, and gender in general, make me feel unsafe around her.

My uncle who is married to that aunt has good intentions, but does not appear to be in a position to temper his wife's attitudes.

"Racist Cousin Anna" has said some things about Mexicans that made me turn away from her. She's married to the older of that uncle's kids.

Both those cousins have posted things about guns and Muslims on Facebook that make me scared, like they wouldn't hesitate to support laws that would marginalize my friends, or might use one of those guns on someone.

I don't have the scariest family in the world. And I'm still skittish of saying anything that might prompt them to stop seeing me as their tame cousin and start seeing me as Other.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Saturday: very quiet, stayed at home, a certain amount of chat with partner.

Sunday: went to my aunt's to gossip and watch GBBO and Frasier. This was put on pause when Infamous Cousin, his girlfriend, and two friends showed up to pick up Boat.

Boat is a dog. She's a German Shepherd (perhaps a mix?) with one constantly upward-pointed ear and one ear that mostly flops but sometimes flaps and points when she's doing radar-ears about something. She is 70 pounds of complete love, love that wants to hug you without your permission and share your peanut butter. She's also dog-reactive, got separation anxiety, and has recently learned how to climb 8 foot wooden fences. (Her rear legs were off the ground and front legs were over the top, according to my aunt.)

My aunt very much misses the poodle.

Monday: also quiet, wrestling with sleep schedule and preparing for Fishie's visit and chatter with partner (always). Plus some undignified laboratory homework.

TMI )

Today: whooooo boy. Aforementioned lab drop-off, then I picked up [personal profile] quartzpebble and we went all the way out to the back of beyond to talk with the sleep neurologist who wasn't Dr. Asshole.

Appointment went okay. This doctor wasn't at all sure what to do with a patient whose depression is rapidly and *extremely* worsened by sleep deprivation (she inquired with some urgent concern whether I was feeling like that now, as she'd have to report that; I was not; she recommended that I see my psych crew to get that taken care of, which MISSED THE POINT ENTIRELY, that if I follow her instructions I'd probably need to be taken inpatient, and if I don't try to fuck with my sleep schedule, I'm pretty much all right except pretty fucking disabled due to the level of difficulty I have maintaining a modern business type schedule), and whose AD(H)D interferes with any and all "sleep hygiene" things that amount to "just get fantastically bored and you'll go to sleep", and whose budget does not presently include a CPAP. (Also, the mouth appliance thing costs more than a CPAP, and stuff in my mouth when I sleep is a hard limit after the misadventures of 1996/1997.) And there's some advice (not all of which can be followed and keep me sane), and there's a CBT class (cognitive behaviour therapy, not the other one), the contents of which I will be running past my Top and perhaps also my morail, as they are among the safeguards against me putting stuff in my head which needs to not be in there.

I only cried a little.

Soooooooo... compared to the appointment with Dr. Asshole, this went astonishingly well.


F and I had a few misadventures in finding a place for food. We settled on a diner. Lumpy's was closed already, since it was a Tuesday. Digger's was astonishingly difficult to find. I refueled, then we finally located it. The sign is not night-friendly, and very stylized.

Food was good. One of the great things about a diner that plays oldies and classic rock -- very little chance of getting the Wham!


The drive back was pretty much uneventful. Except now [personal profile] quartzpebble smells enough like Purple that I kept getting the "Oh, there's Purple!" pings in my brain. THIS IS WEIRD.

My partner called when I was on the way home, and we talked about stuff. Logistics for some things are difficult.


I talk to my (prescribing) psych tomorrow, and I'll probably poke Purple for dinner. Whee!
azurelunatic: Scissors cutting film. NaNoWriMo 2004 (Home Movies from the Cutting-Room Floor)
I was Feeling Not Quite The Thing into the afternoon, and fell over for a nap sufficiently substantial that I had nearly no time to run the errands I'd planned to. I was going to meet up with Guide Dog Aunt for a movie this evening. (Wednesdays are no good: she has Boat that night. Boat is her granddog. Boat has enough German Shepherd to be a terror.)

I started having what may have been hot flashes over the weekend. Small ones. (Mumble) did the responsible-and-helpful thing (genuinely) and poked me to poke the doctor's office about it. I emailed. (They called me at fuck o'clock on Monday morning, left a voicemail saying I should call them, but just in case because I'd said that the phone was "hard" -- I'd said that the phone was the worst way for contact, in fact -- that they'd email too.) Their return email said that I should take my temperature twice a day, and if anything hit above 100F, to take my temperature an hour later, and call them immediately if it went over that.

FRIEND NURSE, I ASKED YOU ABOUT HOT FLASHES. THIS IS THE FEVER INFORMATION YOU HAVE GIVEN ME.

Also, since I haven't had a child living with me in ... ages, I did not in fact have a functional thermometer.

It turns out that iPods do not like playlists with All The Stuff on it. And that turning off podcast syncing will in fact empty the iPod of all podcasts. This means that re-syncing takes about an hour, if it's the old-style thing and you've got about 5-6 gigs of audio to get back on the thing.

So just as my aunt was finding a parking space, I rolled in with my new thermometer and some cold groceries to put away. We then zipped off to the library to find some movies of mutual interest.

On the way, I gave her the update on the Latest Information On My Social Life. This included a super awkward conversationsecurity: filtered about a delicate topicsecurity: filtered, lasting basically until we got through the library doors, and commencing again once we left. *facepalm* Family, gentlefolks. Honesty can be helpful. Honesty can also be utterly embarrassing.

I had not, in fact, seen Pride and Prejudice, though I have certainly read the book. Guide Dog Aunt thinks Matthew Macfadyen resembles a young Dylan Moran, and I can see the resemblance.

IRC on the iPad, and a keyboard in my pocket, kept me moderately chatty with the usual suspect(s) during quieter moments of the movie.

The house is in moderate chaos. The solar panels are on the roof; tomorrow's the day when all the electricity gets shut off in order to hook those in. (I registered a charger for some electric vehicle or other. I think Woodworking Uncle may have a new toy.) Guide Dog Aunt's kitchen is getting renovated hardcore. There are boxed-up appliances shoved in the parlor, and the two big chairs have been replaced by something a little less murderous on the back.

As I headed out, I saw a familiar black-and-white striped rump and tail disappearing under the porch. My aunt had thought that the underside of the house had been rendered sufficiently inaccessible to skunk-kind. Apparently not. And she's got Boat (the shepherd with no chill) tomorrow. Fortunately she's got about a gallon of skunk-wash on hand...

Next doctor's appointment is Tuesday morning, in Oakland. [personal profile] quartzpebble plans to meet me there, for backup.
azurelunatic: the Golden Gate bridge.  (san francisco)
That was a really nice birthday!

There was stuff on the internet when I woke up. I love the Marmalade Fish, and my fishchildren in particular. I had put blue dye (and a touch of purple) on my bangs before going to bed, and had covered it with a scarf. I put more blue on the ends of my hair for a while, then showered it all off before heading out to party.

Guide Dog Aunt & Woodworking Uncle had been helping Infamous Cousin & his girlfriend paint. The girlfriend has some very definite ideas about color, and is implementing them full-steam-ahead. I showed up first, then my aunt and uncle, and after a little while (and I was nervous as hell) there was a knock on the door and the top of a very familiar head visible! It was Purple!!!!

Purple asked if he could help out; Guide Dog Aunt mentioned retrieving some folding chairs from upstairs, and proceeded to give some directions which even I (and I know the house) couldn't particularly follow. Purple looked super confused. "Cousin the Younger's room or Infamous Cousin's room?" I ask. "Infamous Cousin's." So we went up together. "I wouldn't have found it based on those directions," Purple confirmed.

I curled up at the far end of the couch with my crocheting, and Purple took the other end and stretched onto one of the nearby chairs. There was conversation and laughter. Guide Dog Aunt was very concerned with Not Being A Jerk with the food, and had gone out of her way to unnecessarily avoid dairy products. (My level of lactose intolerance means that I should not drink a whole cup of milk without the pills. I can add milk to coffee or whatever without having a noticeable problem. I can definitely have most cheeses without pills. Guide Dog Aunt decided that we should not have pizza because I am lactose intolerant and I shouldn't have to tolerate the cheese on my birthday.) Guide Dog Aunt somewhat guiltily said that even though I didn't deserve to have tomatoes shoved in my face, she had put out tomatoes anyway, because they were so delicious. I allowed as how yes, they were delicious, and I had no problems with food that I couldn't eat being present as long as it stayed in its lane -- now, if the tomatoes were exploding and getting all over everything else, I'd have a problem. "Or a bell pepper juice fountain," I mused. "Or walnuts."

Guide Dog Aunt zipped out of the kitchen and quickly reclaimed a large mason jar. She'd forgotten about the walnut thing, and had put some particularly fine and delicious walnuts in a jar for me, in addition to the chocolate she'd gotten for me, because the walnuts were great and she wanted to share the love -- having forgotten which nut I can't have. Purple snickered at that, and allowed as how his friends also forgot which nut he couldn't have, and would sometimes proudly go "We made sure there were no almonds in this for you!" ... which, thanks for the thought and effort! ... but almonds are delicious to him, and it's the wrong nut???

"Oh, which nut do you have problems with?" Guide Dog Aunt asked.
"Walnuts," he said.
"Matching nut allergies! A match made in heaven!" Guide Dog Aunt chirruped, and spirited the walnuts away from our end of the room.

In addition to Dazzle the now 10+ year old blue poodle, my aunt was guilt-dogsitting Micah-from-next-door, who is this ancient and somewhat malodorous foxy-looking medium-large dog. Her people were off out of state for a thing, and the last time she was at a kennel she refused to eat, blundered into things, and nearly died. So my aunt feels like she kind of has to watch her when her people leave...

R and JD showed up next, in fairly quick succession, I think? R was delighted by the pleasant temperature in Pacifica, as the South Bay had hit over 100F by the time she'd left.

Woodworking Uncle drifted in and out for a bit, but eventually wound up upstairs away from the assorted chaos.

Little bits of internet kept filtering in. There was an email from Darkside. "Ooo, email from [Darkside] in Arizona!" "What's [Darkside] in Arizona up to?" Purple wanted to know. I read the email quickly. He's gone from phone goon to bench guy, restoring the laptops of his co-workers to working order. Yay!

I told R the grim tales of Fishie's internship misadventures. R was super sorry to hear about it, but also, Missouri ("Misery", Purple chimed in) and certain types of terrible tech dude. Alas. :( Though I have given my Fishmumly Approval that Fishie should perhaps mention to Certain Terrible Dudes that she goes to judo classes to help with "her problem" with "accidentally punching" people who get in her space and startle her...

JD had brought games (I have decided that I am in favor of the kind of party where you ask people to bring games that they might like to play) and we played a round of Taboo before dinner. There was general hilarity, and it turns out that cards that were produced more than a decade ago have not blocked some of the modern helpful synonyms. ("Cable" involved me saying "last mile, internet, not optical older than that, xfinity, comcast")

There was dinner, followed by cake. Guide Dog Aunt had decided that with the number of people confirmed, there would need to be two small cakes, so there was a key lime cake and a chocolate cake. JD had the task of placing the candles. Everyone who was not me or JD had the task of lighting. Guide Dog Aunt had matches, and she and R lit candles to use as igniters. Purple had the bbq lighter, but had some troubles with it. JD was filming it all.

They sang. One of the slightly awkward bits with someone who has a complex name situation is, what name do you use when singing? Purple sang "dear Azure", quite correctly. :)

And then there was cake. Mmm, cake.

Gaming re-commenced. When he arrived, Purple had handed me a very small silver bag with silver snowmen and blue tissue paper, with a gentle apology for the wrapping, but it was what he had. I had giggled and put it aside. Read more... )

Guide Dog Aunt had said that there was a hard end to the party, because bedtime, so after the round that had started before 10pm finished up (after 10pm, of course), I mentioned bedtime. And so we started trying to get cleaned up. It had not been a particularly untidy party, so there wasn't that much to do.

Everyone seemed pleased to have met everyone else, and the refrain seemed to be "glad to finally meet you, I've heard so much about you." Purple apologized to JD for not having been able to make it to Eurovision. The Eurovision party had been more low-key than JD had been figuring on, as it's often balls-to-the-wall glitterenthusiasm.

It turned out that JD was on [personal profile] quartzpebble's way home, so that carpool worked out. Purple consulted the map on his iPad to figure out how to get back the way he'd come. Guide Dog Aunt sent the bread home with me, and I got my stuff (bread, games, bag, flowers, crocheting) loaded up in my car, and had a last round of chat and hugs with Purple before he leaves for a month.

Even though I've been making sure that my place is tidied to at least Purple-safe, the "I have to still do laundry and finish packing, but I guess it's mostly under control" moment is not the time to say "hey, do you want to afterparty at my place??" but I was just pleased as hell because omg he came, he had fun, and everybody got on. Everybody else, it would have been sad but okay if they'd not gotten along with my family. But Purple? Purple is super important.

I was home just about at 11, as my watch nudged me with the "hey, it's 11!" update as I was walking down the path.

I think Guide Dog Aunt thinks Purple and I might be dating? It's ... not a bad assumption, just incorrect in a few particulars.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Perhaps Doctor Mrs. Uncle Davy is not my favorite person in the world. (She made a point of telling me that my nice black lacy party skirt was "girly", and upon my dubious look, insisted that "lace is girly!" I found something to do which was out of the RV.)

Uncle Davy has a tiny mop-dog, as if Gabrielle had been hit by a shrink-ray and had rolled in some spilled coffee. The dog has a Tile chip on her collar, and a bell, because she will crawl into remote corners of the house (Uncle Davy and Doctor Mrs. Uncle Davy's house) to take a nap and no-one can find her. Uncle Davy's keys are likewise Tile'd. The Tile only tells you the rough geographic area, so the bell is necessary so you can hear when she moves.

Read more... )
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Eldest Aunt (Aunt-Fayoumis) is turning 70 ergo there is a family reunion at her place.

Guide Dog Aunt decided we would drive down (after some hesitation due to not knowing how her new meds affected her after coming down with Bell's Palsy on Monday) and therefore both of us overpacked but we got the gear in her car and drove.

We swapped off. She took the first bit, I took some afternoon, she took LA rush hour, then I got us the rest of the way there.

Between us, we packed 13 cucumbers.

We stopped to chat with [personal profile] sithjawa and meet Gabrielle, who is the best behaved small-to-medium-sized dog I have met. She is unfailingly courteous and asks before eating your snacks.

Purple told me to remember 10 & 2. I told him he was an asshole. (When I tell him this in person, it's typically accompanied by a fond smile and a shoulder bump. Lacking this in email, "lol", ":-P", and "<3" became involved.)

If you run into a book called Florence of Arabia, don't fucking bother. The only person I didn't dislike intensely within the first 7 chapters was the heroine, and I didn't much care for her; the person I hated second least was a now-dead drunk driver. The fictional politics of the imaginary Middle Eastern countries smacks of smug American reductionism and flaming liberal Islamiphobia of the worst kind.

We arrived first. Getting through LA took a while.

Mama and my dad are here now.

The water tastes strongly of iron and sulfur. It in fact tastes like the water at the babysitting job from hell from 1996. Hello flashbacks! Happily they are no longer super damaging, just surreal.

I asked for the wifi password before anything else.

I will do laundry in the morning. (Lost home apartment laundry room keys. Oops.)
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azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Wednesday and Thursday were both fuck o'clock meeting mornings. I went. I took notes. Parking at work has been wacky lately due to the neighbors sharing the lot by my building.

Thursday evening was a party at my hackerspace. I went first in search of a fake knife suitable for my costume. The Halloween shop was super super crowded. They had a couple knives but none quite suitable. Then I went in search of toilet paper, as I was nearly out. (Things that make me glad to be an adult: not looked at with suspicion for buying toilet paper the day before Halloween.) I looked for a knife there, but again, no luck.

I showed up at the hackerspace. Parking was not a problem. I ran into a bunch of people I already knew (from online and off) and had several delightful chats. There was someone dressed as Deep Dream, and an awesome Clipper Card.

There was a paper circuits station, and a buttonmaking station. I helped a few people learn the button maker. I then tried my hand at combining the little light and the button, and learned a few practical considerations.

Eventually it was late and the cleanup was nearly over; the key member in the R2D2 dress was a little stressed about getting people to leave. A few people had just gone upstairs to examine the library, so I gave them a few minutes.

Then I clapped my hands very loudly a few times. In my third-best carrying voice, I thanked everyone for coming and declared it a delightful evening. And if they were not actively engaged in cleaning up, I added, they could please feel free to make their way towards the exits.

I figured out the knife problem while I was at the hackerspace. Read more... ) I dressed in full-on pajamas: curlers and a kerchief, a pink nightgown top, fuzzy South Park pants, and bare feet in my sandals. I carried my iPad for illustrative purposes, and kept a helpful big plastic wine glass as well. Losing a knife fight to YouTube: terrible experience, hilarious and alarming costume.

Friday was the work party. I showed off my costume to my team and random other people.

Eventually it was party time. I wandered over to the emergency tent with my emergency kit. I helped keep the fort held down. Eventually Purple came in. Eventually I wandered up to join him, and located him, and shortly located Mr. Zune as well (in town again briefly; he moved up to the Seattle area). Mr. Zune finally met the Chicken Guy. I snagged some of Purple's cotton candy.

There had been a DJ. We decided to go in to the concert area on the big lawn. The security guys were demanding to see badges and wristbands. I made to present mine; the security guy said "I know you!" and waved me through. "Oh no! You have a knife in the arm! Call the emergency response team! Wait, you're the emergency response team! Help yourself!" A real cut-up, this guy. ;)

We found a place at the top of the slope with half a view of the stage. It had a great view of the steepest part of the slope, which was inhabited by a tiny Darth Vader, several stormtroopers, and countless Elsas and Batmen. They started out running around; eventually they would all start tumbling down the hill. It was adorable.

We mostly chatted; the musical act was not terrible but also not super compelling. Mr. Zune promised to let us know if he thinks a ducking is imminent, so we can attend. In the event, he will have to be back in Silly Valley so his team can do the ducking promptly, as otherwise they will try and get it done in some other way.

Purple and I ditched out shortly before the set ended, and did one last sweep of the food stalls to see if there was anything else we wanted. I got some chicken and cornbread and a snowcone. Purple got some questionable cherry popcorn. I claimed one piece. That was quite enough. We watched the crowds stream past and out.

The DJs were still going strong as we walked past, and were throwing Jonas Brother and candy themed pillows to the enthusiastic teenyboppers moshing on the lawn. The song involved going down and doing shots; I felt it was somewhat incongruous with the tiny children bouncing around enthusiastically. Purple and I watched the fun for another few minutes. He didn't register the song as being as incredibly inappropriate as I did. (Google and I eventually tracked it down: it is in fact "Timber", Pitbull feat. Ke$ha. Ahem. Read more... )
azurelunatic: Parental Advisory: I Say [animated changing curse word] A Lot (fuck)
Guide Dog Aunt threw a game night on Saturday. It took me a little longer to get ready than I'd hoped, but I did get over there. There was a Cards Against Humanity game in progress, and I was dealt in.

My aunt is all about the house rules that say that the purpose of the game is to have fun, so there were a few un-fun cards quietly put in with the used cards. Another common house rule is that if you don't know what it is (or don't admit to knowing what it is) you don't have to play it. Some people chose to ask things like "Who's Michael Bay? What's 'queefing'?" and many people were enlightened. "I didn't know there was a word for that!"

"What's Harry Potter erotica?"
"Well, when someone loves the Harry Potter books a lot, and writes little stories..."
"Oh! ... How do you know these things?"

One of the people who was new to the game was enticed in to play just one round, for the second go. By the second time we had got around the table, she was gleefully choosing a slightly weaker card, out of kindness to the current czar.

I won one hand by pairing "In this world there is nothing certain but death and ____" with "Soup that is too hot." Guide Dog Aunt agreed mightily.


It came time to cease partying, and everybody went home. I stuck around to help clean up all the fun, and with three people working at it, it was fairly quick. I caught up with my aunt, and then went home and went to bed.
azurelunatic: White capslock text on black background: AS OF 0700 GMT, OPERATIONS HAS DECLARED CASE *CAPSLOCK*. (case capslock)
So! That was an eventful Christmas!

Christmas day: First I chilled out at home, and also slept. Then I went over to my aunt's for dinner. She had decided to have a sausage festival, wherein her loving family would taste different types of sausage, olive oil, and vinegar. In theory it was a good plan! In practice, the sausages were all a little more spicy than anyone else was planning on. The habanero sausage was a bit much for everyone except Infamous Cousin and me, even cut into small chunks. I made a little sandwich of it with some of the nice sourdough, and found it spicy but good. (Infamous Cousin was waiting for me to run wailing for the milk, but bread was sufficient.)

All the kids got the same thing: frying pans. I introduced my aunt to my sister's and my word for "hit upside the head with a frying pan" in our private childhood language before unwrapping. (It is a language of few words, but we had a word for that specifically.) Very nice nonstick ceramic frying pans, it turned out upon opening, and money. I was deeply touched by the unexpected generosity and need to write a proper thank-you note.

Read more... )

I'd planned to get together with JD, and perhaps Purple, on Boxing Day. I picked up JD; Purple was otherwise occupied (friends needing help moving, most likely, or maybe not wanting to go 40 miles one way to see a movie even if it is with friends). We saw Into the Woods (the new movie adaptation) and had a great time.

Having realized that a deposit on an apartment in a cheaper part of the Bay Area was unexpectedly suddenly within my reach thanks to the generosity of Aunta Claus, I floated the possibility of being roommates to JD. He'll discuss the idea (and the proposed location) with Ryan. I dropped him off and then scampered to a bank location which I hoped did co-branching with my credit union, as a quickly-deposited check clears faster than a tardily-deposited check, and gathers more interest besides.

I was crossing the street when my phone rang. I had been expecting Nora, as she'd called earlier, and I'd called back, and we'd missed each other, but it was a number not in my phonebook. I debated not answering it. Then I peered at the screen as I got to the other side of the road. 907. Alaska. My parents' emergency cell. "Is everything okay?" I asked Mama.

Everything was not okay. My father was in the ICU, Medical details. ) By this time, he had started to become a good deal more cantankerous, which was a good sign.

Read more... )

They released him on Monday. Mama was a bit later than she might have liked to be and did not get to chat with the cardiologist herself, because she and some neighbors were busy moving the god-damned bed down the fucking stairs. Certain stubborn old coots have been braving the stairs, which haven't the slightest hint of a railing, through back problems, ankle problems, and various iterations of the heart problems, but this was Quite Enough. I gather that Mama made an executive decision, and lo, it was done.

We'll see what happens with the plumbing, also.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Read more... )
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Nora had been going to drive down to see her parents today, but the weather was ass so she stayed in, writing.

Arrived at work at a more reasonable hour. Wandered by Purple's office to deliver chocolate (and see whether his half-hour AFK was because he was busy, or because he'd called lunch early). He'd been over in a teammate's office, but upon learning that my mission was chocolate, and that it was about that time, they decided that since the thing was taking forever to run, it might as well be lunchtime.

The cafeteria was very quiet. The selection was limited. Lunch was nice. There was chatter about heating, and insulation, and the difference between the climate in San Jose and Pacifica.

I thought I was the only one in from my team, but one of the former interns was in for a bit. We were both working quietly, and then I was the only one. I had put a candle arrangement up on the big screen, and unplugged my headphones and played instrumental carols.

It's the time of the year where I get the chance to make sure that things are in order, and that's what I am quietly doing. Purple is busy being Unit Test Jesus, and also occasionally Yoda. He bounced some wiki off of me and I tried to be helpful.

We also discussed when we were headed out for the day. He proposed a time. I counter-proposed based on the Costco holiday hour schedule. I had brought some cake, which I termed "troutslap cake" after Purple's analogy: chocolate cake and chocolate frosting, so you're getting troutslapped with chocolate. Purple came over a little early. I cleared off the couch and we nibbled and gossiped. Then I gathered myself together and we wandered into the parking lot. I put my gear in the car and got off-balance again (drat these sloping parking lots).

It was of course a good thing that I did not fall and clonk my head on the asphalt, as that is Not Soft. Concrete is less soft. By comparison, plywood is positively springy. That led to the summer that I decided I was going to sleep on plywood rather than my mattress (I was a difficult teenager) and that led into some of my teenage adventures with surprisingly vigorous and energetic depression. I have always been capable of carrying an intense grudge. It hasn't just been the helldesk software. Sometimes it's been myself who I hate with that blazing intensity, not just a glum depression. Various items of schoolwork have borne the brunt at various times, like cursive. It's a thing that runs in the family. I did some compare/contrast: when I wish to please my team, perhaps I bring in a small cake. When my father particularly wished to please the office, you get a situation involving a sarong, a great vat of mulled cider, and eight floors of conch-blowing.

One of the major things I am thankful for this year is having someone of such a similar background to talk to. I mentioned one of the major patches of unexplored landmines in my brain, one which does not come out around people who are likely to troubleshoot me in ways which could wind up setting one off. I don't think this set got discussed with Darkside at all.

I remembered the grapefruit video which I'd forgotten last night, which I described with great care for the surroundings. Micro-cuts are not an excellent thing to introduce to citric acid.

I did make it to Costco before it closed.

Yuletide opened early! I shall be reading quite a bit tonight and tomorrow.


Thursday: sleep, reading, and headed over to my aunt's now.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Wednesday afternoon, it was made abundantly clear by my workplace and department that everyone who could stay home Thursday, should. Plus it was not the greatest money week, and I needed to refuel before another 60-mile commute. So home I stayed.

I am a little uncomfortable with being considered indispensable in the running of an event which is supposed to be infinite and not tied to any particular person. I suspect that in my absence, people could bumble through my notes about what we did. I still want people to be aware of this better.

That said, the meeting about the thing was good, and I called into it. Yay.

Helldesk software is being helly. Thursday was the day when my quasi-helpdesk-level access to the thing went away. I tried to follow the instructions to subscribe myself to arbitrary tickets, during the course of trying to sort the tickets from lb's Overlady's list. The process drove me nearly to tears.

And then, of course, I discovered that the high winds had at some point in the past 24 hours knocked out the pilot light on my gas fireplace. As a matter of course, I do in fact keep my patio door open a few inches and have an exhaust fan running while I'm at home. I didn't smell gas near the fireplace, nor did I smell a difference when poking my head outside, nor did I have a headache, nor had the CO alarm gone off, nor was my skin any redder than it ought to be. So I opened the panel under the unit, looked at the control, Google image searched for something similar, followed it back home, did some further search refinements, and eventually got it first turned off and then re-lit. Which was excessively exciting.

By the time that was done, I was no longer feeling up to the emotional ordeal of beating myself against the docs until I was in High Dudgeon and then calling helpdesk in that state. I had also had a conversation with Tay which in retrospect I should have seen coming, but the alternative was not taking her at her word, and I'm really bad with certain kinds of evasiveness. She'll be headed back to Seattle imminently. I'd been getting used to the idea of having her around, and I'll miss her.
azurelunatic: A cartoon bee flying. Captioned "that'll give you, er, BEES."  (bees)
It turns out that the timer set via NFC chip on my phone does not go off when I'm on a phonecall. So I was later than planned to the family Thanksgiving thing. I brought:

* a box of Trader Joe's turkey gravy, in case my aunt was not in a gravy-making mood
* a jar of IKEA lingonberry sauce, in case no one else had thought about cranberry sauce (both Tay and Aunt-Fayoumis did)
* Sparkling cider, Costco-size
* Cards Against Humanity (and Crabs Adjust Humidity), the Bigger, Blacker Box

The turkey took quite some time in the oven. Dinner was going to be around four-ish, but the turkey had other ideas. There was food!!

Read more... )

It was at Guide Dog Aunt's house, so she and Woodworking Uncle were there. Aunt-Fayoumis had come up from SoCal. Tay and her Young Man came down from the city. Hipster Cousin was at home in Portland, and while Infamous Cousin had spent the night, he had several things to go to -- cooking at Mom's in the morning, helping his girlfriend with her cooking in the morning, going to another party in the afternoon, and then heading back to his girlfriend's.

It's been 14 years since Woodworking Uncle was at my erstwhile Overlady's new gig, so it's doubtful that many people there will remember him now.

My sister had been threatening to make cricket and earthworm flour cookies. She brought them. They were the little round gingersnaps, made with whole wheat pastry flour, coconut flour, and of course cricket flour and earthworm flour. They were mostly insufficiently gingery and sort of dry gingersnaps, despite Tay's Young Man drizzling more molasses on them. Tay said that they smelled sort of like dog food, and that it was the same scent from the cricket flour. I tried one. It was not terrible, but one was enough.

There was cooking and chatter and fun. The poodle is still in the Cone of Shame: he has five more days in it, for a total of 30. He seems much more energetic than the last time I was over. Kit, aka Sharkface, remains glossy and ever so enthusiastic. She was out in the yard; Guide Dog Aunt went to bring her in, but she was too wound up. So they played very energetic games in the back yard for a while before bringing her in. She got tucked in her kennel with a kongful of kibble and then a chewie, which she very enthusiastically demolished.

The table centerpiece was a fairly large squash, flanked by pomegranates and tangerines. Aunt-Fayoumis had polished the tangerines, as they hadn't been up to her exacting standards.

Everything was delicious. (Except, perhaps, the cookies.)

I mentioned the rule against me blowing bees in the courtyard to Tay, and then we were suddenly reminded of one of our dad's stories. I sent two emails: first, Purple, advising him that there was apparently a family history, and then Dad, to ask about the exact story (as I didn't want to get it wrong). This morning, he'd remembered it:
I was eating lunch outside [in Berkeley] with some friends, I noticed that an uninvited yellowjacket was cutting out a piece of meat, eating my lunch! It was positioned such that thumping it away was unreasonable, but I had a straw! I pinched near the mouth end of the straw with my thumbnail because I didn't want a yellowjacket down my throat, and placed the suction end near the backside of the miscreant glutton, sucked hard, felt and heard the insect hit the pinched part, and blew it into the bushes! Table companions showed astonishment behavior.

I don't believe that I had this consciously in mind on that lovely late summer day when I bounced the yellowjacket off Purple's arm. (The version that Tay and I remembered was slightly more embroidered and had ended, Shawnlike, in him spitting out an astonished and angry yellowjacket. The real version is still great.)


After dinner, we played Cards Against Humanity. It was the first time for Woodworking Uncle and Tay's Young Man. There was some joking that Tay and her Young Man might be cheating, because of how often Tay chose her Young Man's submissions. And apparently when Hipster Cousin and his girlfriend played Balderdash, you could tell which was Hipster Cousin's because of all her giggling.

My eternal Cards Against Humanity house rule is: this game is for fun. If there is a card that is not fun and is actually terrible, it should not be played; if I think it's terrible too, I am open to throwing it out; if I don't think it's so terrible it should be thrown out, it should nonetheless be withdrawn from that game, marked on the front, and perhaps not put in play in future games; cards which continue to be flagged as terrible should be permanently removed from my deck even if I don't personally object, because enough of my friends won't have fun with them. I have thrown out several so far, and will probably continue to do so into the future.

The best card )


Tay packed me a very full bag of "creepy cookies" to take to work. I will, of course, tell everyone what is in them. I may make some ginger-lemon frosting, to improve the taste.


I slept through most of Black Friday, though I did accidentally help blow up [twitter.com profile] LikeALiar's phone during a meeting, woops. She'd asked for recs! And then we all got in a very intense discussion of The Magicians.

I kind of loved it, because both Harry Potter and Narnia lied to me, and I was that kind of very bright student. Quentin is also a little shit, and both Quentin and the author don't give women a fair turn. I can't think about Quentin as a man, rather than as a person, or I get too stabbity. Seeing Quentin helped me move on from being Quentin.


Tomorrow there is going to be something going on at Guide Dog Aunt's. I hope I'll be awake. And then Sunday, I'm planning to meet up for coffee and fibercraft with [personal profile] quartzpebble. Yay!
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
23:13 Sunday, 23 November, 2014
Purple also knows "The Humans Are Dead", so we sing/reference bits of it at each other every now and then. I think the latest was "no more unethical treatment of elephants".

I told Darkside that he was the best $HISNAME. And that I wasn't very good at being a $WALLETNAME. He pointed out that based on some of the more notorious instances of my walletname, those are some epic examples to live up to. Also, that death by religious persecution is unpleasant.

(Then ensued me mentioning the meeting in which everyone was saying "Azure", and I kept twitching...)


01:42 Wednesday, 26 November, 2014

Monday: slept late because I had a hard time getting to sleep, and unsettling dreams once I did: missing a technical interview because I'd slept through it, and being at a lunch counter in the 2nd-floor hall of my elementary school (well, 1.5th floor) where nothing looked like food I could eat and then things kept disappearing as I tried to make up my mind.

Naturally when I got to work, the cafeteria had decided to close a half-hour early because of the holiday week, and it was just by grace of other people in the grill line that I was able to get food at all. I checked in with my manager for our 1:1 (at one of the lobby couches because her room got poached).

Later, after the building was well on its way to ghost town status (early) I realized that traffic was not ass, and beat a hasty retreat home, via the gas station. Even after chatting with Nora, there was still time to go soak in the hot tub. I knelt and faced the ocean and had some thoughts. Then I relaxed. About when it was almost time to come in, I saw some grumpy cats with ringed tails climbing a nearby tree. So I watched them for a bit.

Tuesday:

Went to bed early, woke up early (before my early alarm). Came in to work early. Worked on stuff. Hit up the shipping & receiving office with some international outbound shipments for Carmageddon. Came back with a few things as well (they'd just checked them in and recognized me at the door).

Madam Standards saw my coffee mug with the initial A. I mentioned a few things. (Not my full name, however.)

I sent an IM to Mr. Bananas to see if he was the same jacket size as the jacket.

Had lunch with some of my teammates: Madam Standards, the Dogesitter, and the Norseman. There was, of course, hilarity. After the Norseman wandered off, the topic of 50 Shades of Grey came up. And Twilight.

"Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob? Our friendship may hinge on your answer!"

I, of course, am perpetually on "Team Bella goes the fuck to college", and I said pretty much that. We then discussed the pros and cons of Jacob: Bella wouldn't have to change in order to be with Jacob, and helloooo werewolf abs! I pointed out that Bella wasn't actually that into Jacob, and I dated a dude with his exact personality in high school, and hooo maaaaaaaaaaan was that not a great experience. So Bella should by no means be dating Jacob. Madam Standards pointed out that she had to change to be with Edward. Plus, werewolf abs. I reiterated: team college.

I saw in my email, as we were discussing these weighty matters, that there was a set of missed IMs from Mr. Bananas. For context, Mr. Bananas and Purple have known each other for approximately a decade, through two companies, and three offices. They were officemates at the last company, on a team that Purple was on prior to moving around, and now on their current team. I don't know what Purple's opinion is of Mrs. Bananas, but it's possible that their friendship has seniority timewise, at least, to Mrs. Bananas. They ask for each other as officemates when that's an option. They are, in short, good buddies.

Mr. Bananas: Hi Azure, how are you doing? my jacket size is M.
Mr. Bananas: so Purple told you that I have been eyeballing his jacket, huh
Mr. Bananas: to be clear.. i was just touching the jacket that happened to be on him
Mr. Bananas: no intention to touch him at all

I cracked the hell up, and found myself having to explain this to my lunchmates. It wasn't the most coherent explanation in the history of ever. I returned to my desk.

ajlunatic: Purple did mention that there had been some jacket envy
ajlunatic: alas, I only have the one spare one, and it is the same size as Purple's: XL
ajlunatic: I'm in no position to have any opinions about who is touching Purple ... unless of course he takes exception to it, in which case I am chivalrously obliged to back him up

StPatience in #adventuresofstnono provided a link. I cheerfully went on to share it with Steph, #VirtualH, the chatfish, and [off-topic].

http://imgur.com/gallery/fe7YCFt <- please enjoy this Cthurkey

I attempted to recruit Purple and/or Mr. Zune to come to the Seanan/Mira thing, but alas. Purple was becoming one with his couch, and the thought of heading to contend with San Francisco was just not on. I called Purple. He called me back from his landline (as his reception from his place is absolute ass) and we chatted a bit.

He also found the comments from Mr. Bananas amusing.

We also discussed the Cthurkey, particularly the tentacular aspect. There are reasons why I cherish my friendship with Purple. If he actually started a [hentai-turkey] list, I would probably have to hide under my desk in mortification. (We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.)

Then I had to get on BART to head to the Mira book release party for Symbiont. So I did that. And I got the book. And I started reading, stuffing reactions in [twitter.com profile] squeemachine, with page citations from the hardback. I found myself hissing the villain, as being me when I read is an interestingly interactive experience. I was not done reading when it came time for the party to start. It being a weeknight, it was a very small party. The peak may have been 11 people, not counting bookstore/cafe staff. Weeknight party attendance has nothing to do with how well the book will sell. It's a lovely book so far. I can't finish it tonight.

She did a reading from "Rolling in the Deep", which is what happens when they ask her to do a Mira story about mermaids. SPOILER ALERT! )

There were more prizes to go around than there were people present, because weekday. Yay books!

Tif was also there. Yay!

I like to have handcrafts at parties like this. This time, I worked assiduously on my loon shawl, continuing the process of loonembellishment. It's looking very nicely loony.

One of the questions was about LGBTQI...* representation. One of the challenges with Seanan's October Daye series fae is that with their effective immortality, most of the fae do average out to bisexual -- even a 95% straight fae is likely to run across those five exceptions -- but that can be a challenge to represent. (The audience member asking the question was pleased by the consistent way that people with these identities and experiences were sprinkled visibly throughout most of her books, which is rarer than it ought to be in the genre, and Seanan had many things to say. Among other things, she expressed that visible representation ought to be the bare minimum.) So that was how the topic of asexuality amongst the fae came up to start with. And the difficulty of expressing asexuality in a character without running the risk of screeding. And someone asked whether a particular character was not perhaps ace. Cue Seanan channeling said character for a brilliant few minutes about bodily fluids, and stickiness. Hilarity, etc.

When the questions were all answered, the books and shirts were all given away, and the books were all signed, it was time to wrap up. Tif and I popped across the street for burgers, and talked about a great many things, including social shenanigans (a specific fashion community's CAH supplements), cats (her cats, and the cat-buttering vaporware app), shoe woes, and the social difficulty of writing minutes for a meeting during which the local equivalent of Dr. Pulaski is not present, and therefore the entirety of the meeting is complaining about Dr. Pulaski.

I had a dodgy feeling about the 16th St station, so I walked back to 24th St. It was not as ultra sketch as 16th tends to be, but there were still things which I would identify as sketch. Including the dudes who were smoking up and then spitting on the floor inside the station while we were waiting for the train.

When I came home, lb had shared the following: http://betabeat.com/2014/09/this-is-maker-faires-secret-wall-of-animatronic-3d-printed-dicks/

Tomorrow will be Wednesday.

Thursday will be US Thanksgiving. Guide Dog Aunt is hosting; the other aunt will be joining us. Tay and her Young Man will be coming. Not sure how many cousins, if any. I plan to bring CAH, as this subgroup of family seems to be compatibly terrible with each other. (I am entirely willing to play CAH with my aunts and sister. When extra siblings from my aunts' generation come in, it may be Apples to Apples time.)
azurelunatic: California poppies, with a bright blue sky and the sun. (California girl)
Yay family!

This weekend has involved some pretty wacky sleep schedule things, although I have also managed to catch up somewhat on dishes, take out some trash, do some laundry, get a little bit of vacuuming in, and modify a skirt which really required a slit up the side in order to be wearable.

There was also the S-themed family dinner, featuring Guide Dog Aunt, Woodworking Uncle (who has located a distinguishing hobby in addition to the fishing, skiing, and tangoing), Tay, Tay's Young Man, and a cameo appearance of Infamous Cousin. The poodle and Sharkface also attended, with the guinea pig wheeping from his enclosure. The menu wound up including, among other things: salmon, strawberries, sourdough, soft cheese and savory snacks, squash, salad, soba salad, and satsuma marmalade. (No soft meat crowns.)

Since dinner involved cooked salmon, Infamous Cousin scrammed before it went in the oven, but not before happily bonding a bit with Tay's Young Man about delicious sushi.

Tay has been back in town about a week, and is happy to have hit at least the end of tomato season, though sad to have missed the local avocados.

I realized that Tay has not yet met JD and Teshi! At some point we must fix this. I also mentioned that a few of my #cupcake crowd from work are musical and it would be nifty if they happened to get along with the musical members of my family. Purple is a synthesizer kind of guy. phone does computer stuff and plays live bass. At this, Tay's Young Man did a bit of a double-take. Apparently there are not that many people in the world who go by phone. They are vaguely acquainted. And I realized that I sort of register #cupcake as family now.

Guide Dog Aunt let in Sharkface, who was very happy to see everyone. Since everyone did not make much of her (as we'd been warned) she kenneled up and settled down quickly. After a while she came out and flopped on her mat next to the couch.

The evening's entertainment, after dinner, was baking crackers. Guide Dog Aunt had mixed up the dough before dinner, but hadn't prepared all of them by dinner time. So there were shenanigans involving the pasta-roller, which is also useful for crackers. I sang the roller song, which surprised Tay. (There are a lot of little songs from our childhood, and shared context makes them hilarious. Perhaps I will get around to recording some of them at some point, just for history's sake.)

Sharkface decided that my hand was delicious and licked me and my cardigan sleeve all over. Sharkface is a guide dog puppy. This means that her come-when-called is a little different from most dogs. Most dogs will stand in front of you and look at you expectantly. A guide dog needs to do something else to make sure that their person will realize they're present and waiting. A guide dog sticks their head between their person's knees, generally. One of the things that Sharkface will grow out of is the tendency to wallop people in the crotch a little bit. This head-knee training also sometimes results in a phenomenon that Guide Dog Aunt calls "up-skirt nosing". That was about when Sharkface decided that the backs of my knees were delicious. Since she was not sharktoothing me, this was fine, if tickly.

Next time there will be another lettered theme, which should be delightfully wacky. At some point I'm to hang out with Tay and Tay's Young Man up in the city. He'll let me know when they're playing the tavern, also.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Work was work, and scheduling rooms in Outlook still sucks.

My aunt invited me over for bomb-testing the guide dog puppy. Sharkface is still adorbs; Sharkface is indifferent to the bright lights, but the loud noises had her quite determined to Be Elsewhere. Not in a particularly rude or noisy way, but she was trying to Hide Behind and mostly Leave. Which is a sensible reaction.

The neighbors came over with sparklers, which are the new and sort of wimpy kind that involve less red-hot metal and more difficulty in lighting. My aunt had gadget envy over the neighbors' nice long bbq lighter.

Before that, R had proposed Happy Hour with some of the guys. After figuring out what that meant in terms of timing and placing, I was amenable. It wound up being R, the Other Guy, Purple, me, and the Tennis Manager, an old buddy of most of the rest of the gang who was fairly recently promoted. The Tennis Manager showed up more than an hour after everyone else, manager-time being what it sometimes is. The Other Guy has some more things to not google. (Purple and I are the people who know about Horrible Things From The Internet. The Other Guy is the one who we tell to not google it. R is happier not even knowing. Sometimes Purple knows terms that I don't, but usually when I google them, I knew about the concept but not that name.) R shared pictures from her trip to Canada to hike on glaciers. Purple and I made terrible jokes and jostled each other in mock protest.

If I do hit up the Berkeley shenanigans tomorrow, I'll text R, who will be there with a friend who has Small Children.

My aunt had a bag of cherries for me. Om nom nom.

There is a bag of peanut butter eggs lurking on the little shelf by the comfy chair. I am ignoring it for now, although I am curious where the next one (I assume there may be a next one) will show up. It will be a fun search!

It's rare that I'm able to use Ev's Mom as the good example anywhere, but in the case of Andythanfiction, Ev's mom is the good example (I think). Mostly because Ev's mom doesn't seem interested in starting a cult and scamming the whole damn internet, just controlling her whole family.

Puppy

26/5/14 00:26
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
So Guide Dog Aunt took Deacon for his last trip to the vet last spring. It has been very quiet, and rather lab-less, around her place since then.

Meet Kit, aka Sharkface.

Sharkface is a female black lab guide dog puppy, currently about 35 pounds, with her feet currently nearly in proportion to the rest of her. She has hobbies that include wagging her tail, upskirt nosing, launching herself face-first into people who stare at her and coo about what a good little puppy she is, chewing on things including rope, rawhide chews (hers and the poodle's), hair, and cane tips. Also she occasionally makes a noise that is close enough to a meow to utterly delight and confound my aunt.

The poodle is jealous and will steal her rawhide chews given the opportunity.
Read more... )

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