Monday, February 20th, 2017 05:37 pm

The Death Star

Posted in full at: on February 20, 2017 at 07:58AM

Tags:IFTTT, Fauxthentic History, DWCrosspost

Tumblr post (this is likely a reblog, and may have more pictures over there)

The Marquess looks out the letters he sent to his brother and shows 'em to me. Indeed, says I, these will serve exceedingly as a foundation for a fine volume upon your travels. Sure you will need extract passages, and omit allusions to your relatives and childhood friends, for tho’ I suppose your brother was most amuz’d to hear your comparison of a certain great-aunt to a llama, or rather, that the creature reminded you of her greatly, even unto the spitting habit, I apprehend that this would best not be expos’d to a general readership.

'Tis true, he says, and the aunt is yet in life, and still spits when she speaks.

Also, says I, I am most exceeding prepossesst by the little drawings you include and wonder might one by some means incorporate 'em into your narrative. Sure I think we should desire Mr MacD- to join in our convockation, for he has a deal to do with publishing matters.

Sandy is entire delight’d to be of the party, makes many usefull suggestions, discourses knowledgeably concerning the means by which illustrations may be includ’d within a book, and also remarks that there are certain episodes that constitute detacht stories that he wonders might Lord O- considering introducing to the publick in some periodical, that would rouse interest for the complet’d volume.

Why, says I, is not Mr L- always desirous of copy? Particular at this season.

Indeed, says Sandy, would serve quite admirably, his paper becomes exceeding well-thought-of both for its reporting and for its reviews and articles on matters of more general interest.

Sure, says the Marquess, do you propose this journal to me it must be quite the highest recommendation.

We both go descant upon Mr L-'s excellences as an editor and as a journalist.

Sure 'tis extreme agreeable to be here at D- Chase and see all so happy and to be among such good friends, but I am promist to go look over the matter of T- with Belinda so even tho’ I am besought to stay just a day or so longer, I must be off.

Since Docket is not with us, but enjoying the fine sanitive sea airs of Weymouth in Biddy Smith’s company, we make a somewhat long day of travel, and arrive at the inn that Belinda and I have chose for our rendezvous in the evening.

I find her already there, having bespoke their two best bedrooms and a private parlour. We embrace very warm, and she says she has told 'em to send up a little supper against my arrival.

Sure, says I, Arabella put up a fine basket for us to take along with us, but indeed a little refreshment afore I go fall into bed will be exceeding gratefull, especial is there a restorative glass of madeira to it.

As I eat – 'tis plain fare but good and fresh – Belinda discourses of how Captain P- does, how matters go with their business, the very fine colt that Cherry-ripe bore that they have most exceeding hopes of. 'Tis pleasing to hear how well matters go with 'em.

Then she looks at me and laughs and says, dearest C-, I can see your eyelids go droop, there will be time to exchange further news the morrow.

I smile and say, indeed, a day of travel is extreme exhausting even in such a fine carriage as mine with Ajax on the box, and also would not wish to keep Sophy up, is a young thing that needs her rest.

So I go to my bedchamber, and make sure that Sophy has din’d – o yes, she says, they fed us exceeding well in the kitchen, excellent hospitable – and she goes ready me for bed, and sure 'tis a very comfortable one, and I am asleep very soon. I am woke a little by the cock that goes crow upon the dawn, but soon fall back to slumber.

Sophy comes bring my chocolate and opens the shutters and says, 'tis a pretty morning, Your Ladyship: but you were sleeping so sweet and peacefull I did not like to wake you earlyer.

I rise and go look out of the window and observe Belinda that sits upon the mounting-block talking very amiable with Ajax. But I confide that Belinda is entire us’d to be up at cock-crow.

Why, says I, I entirely confide Docket would have done the like. And I daresay that what I should wear today would be some walking-dress, not too fine, but fine enough to demonstrate my consequence to this fellow that is the agent for the estate.

Sophy nods and says, there is hot water entire ready for you to wash, Your Ladyship. So I go wash, and she arrays me entire suitable for the day’s business, saying, perchance not a parasol, but a hat with a fine shady brim?

Entirely so, says I, but will not put it on just yet.

I go into the parlour, where I find Belinda sitting at table and laughing at me as a sore slugabed.

'Tis so, says I, but I hope you had an agreeable convockation with Ajax?

Indeed, says she, pouring us both coffee and taking a muffin.

Sure the eggs they serve are nigh on as good as Martha’s. But we do not linger at table but go to the premises where the agent conducts business and take him up in my carriage so that we may drive out to T-.

He is most anxious that somewhat might be done about the estate: sure there are improvements that would be most desirable, he fears the tenant-farmers may go leave is there not attention given to matters of drainage and hedging &C, and they are good solid fellows, 'twould entire repay any outlay.

Belinda sighs, and says Chancery, alas.

The agent sighs and says, 'tis a word strikes despair, and proceeds to some long account of some local fellow that took a case to Chancery that stretcht out some several generations.

As we come along the drive, that is heavily overhung by trees, he sighs and says, sure they should be cut back, his father can still recall what a fine sight us’d to be, but 'tis a very gloomy prospect now.

We go into the house that strikes extreme chill even tho’ 'tis such a warm day. All is under dust-sheets. One may see that, was it furbisht up, would be very fine, but as 'tis, is a desolate place entire fit for some Gothick novel.

The agent says that they conduct an annual inspection and undertake any necessary repairs, does the roof leak or is some window broke, and if necessary have a ratting - sure there are fellows in the locality would pay bring their terriers to a fine ratting, lay bets upon 'em &C.

Belinda, that I daresay is somewhat of a connoisseur in the matter, says that a ratting may be a fine sight, and they talk terriers for a while.

I remark that 'tis in a deal better repair than B- House in Town before we went furbish that up. But would certainly require work before 'twas fit for habitation.

We go walk out onto the terrace, that is most agreeable after how gloomy 'tis within-doors, and one may see that at one time the gardens were most exceeding fine but now are greatly overgrown, no longer a wild garden but an entire wilderness. In the distance one may perceive the tower of the fam’d folly.

We ask about the folly and the agent sighs and says, 'twas built as a mock-ruin, as was the fancy of that former generation, 'tis now quite a real ruin that one winter storm, I daresay, will entirely bring down.

No hermit? I ask.

He says that a hermit would have to be desperate indeed to live there, the wind whistles thro’ even does the place not go tumble about his ears.

He takes us about the place a little, without we are oblig’d to walk through nettle-beds &C, and there is a fine chapel that must be of considerable antiquity, to which is annex’d the family mausoleum.

O, says I, I should greatly like to go see my late husband’s tomb and lay flowers upon it.

'Tis fortunate that Belinda ever carries a neat little knife in her reticule, that is sharp enough to cut me some roses from the untend’d bushes that overgrow any beds they were previous confin’d to, and also to trim the thorns from the stems so that I may carry them without hurt.

The agent unlocks the grille, that is exceeding rusty and creaks and squeaks mightyly when 'tis open’d.

I go in, and they display excellent ton by leaving me to the matter, as I walk in and peer at the monuments to see which pertains to the dear good Marquess I marry’d.

I find it at length, and kneel down beside it to lay the flowers at its foot, and lean my head a little upon the cold stone that is engrav’d with his name and his dates of birth and death and naught else – sure I wonder, as I kneel there, whether he might have preferr’d a fine funeral pyre in the classickal fashion than to be in this dark gloomy vault so unlike his fine sunlit villa.

I daresay he would not have car’d what happen’d to his corporeal remains after death provid’d his wishes were carry’d out. Indeed, I think, he would be proud of Marcello. I am in no supposition that his spirit lingers, and yet I whisper very low how matters go.

I leave the flowers there and walk out into the sunlight, where Belinda and the agent are talking hunting very amiable together.

The agent enquires is there anything else we should desire see? Belinda and I look at one another and sigh deeply. For indeed, 'tis exceeding discouraging to see the state of the place, and consider how much needs doing, and how much worse 'tis like to get in the time it may take Chancery to come at some decision that work might be authoriz’d.

Sure, thinks I, I had quite entirely the best part of the Marquess’s legacy.

Monday, February 20th, 2017 01:11 am

wtf, Tumblr?

Why is there a stupid confetti animation disrupting my dashboard? I guess it is because it's Tumblr's tenth anniversary?

I suppose it is totally in the site's spirit to make themselves even more unusable as celebration.

Sunday, February 19th, 2017 04:23 pm

(no subject)

dear Dreamwidth, I owe you a massive entry catching up with all my shit over the past goddamn too long forever, including our awesome photos of our awesome vacation and pics of the new cat we SOMEHOW WOUND UP WITH (don't ask, the internet was involved), but that will have to wait for when I have more time. Instead, I am making this entry to say that I started Concerta for my shiny new official ADHD (combined type) diagnosis yesterday, and HOLY SHIT IS THIS HOW EVERYONE ELSE'S BRAINS WORK? Like, thinking of one thing at a time?

(Weirdly, it has slowed down my reading speed. Apparently "taking in an entire paragraph at a time" is an ADHD symptom.)

I've had the symptoms my whole life (allllll the way back to elementary school) but was one of the generation of undiagnosed girls because the diagnosis was based on presentation in boys, and my various coping mechanisms have gone to shit in the last few years as my neuroplasticity wanes. It always seemed like way too much effort to pursue the actual diagnosis until now, but holy shit the difference with the goddamn meds.


Before I head out to the pool and then to the Oakland Museum for its Black Panther Party exhibit -- local friends, it's been extended and now closes on the 26th -- with a Berkeley classmate, here's TyreePB's tweet about the policing and surveilling black women, and my six-tweet affirmation and personal reflection on it. Not noting it because I consider myself an expert on race relations in this country but sharing it with you because some of you seem to like my ramblings about myself and my journey in this country that has me re-frame my experiences.

I don't know why, but I barely slept last night. I was up early because I was expecting a delivery, and then I tried to nap afterwards and managed maybe 45 minutes of actual sleep. Why? Why is this so hard?


In other news, I've made two attempts at lip balm in tubes instead of tins and last night I spilled two of the four tubes - they were rubber banded together, which I guess is just a way to knock all of them over at once - and today I jury-rigged a holder from the box that the roller ball bottles came in, so there was nothing tipping over, but it was still messy. I think I will stick with tins. They're cuter and they don't require a ton of clean up afterwards.


Star Wars Rebels: Legacy of Mandalore
spoilers )


The below is a wonderful review of the movie Moonlight, seen with [personal profile] thelastgoodname two weeks ago. I'll note that after watching Moonlight, I found Fun Home at the Curran in San Francisco quite upbeat and cheery. Which, you know. Tells you something.*


* They come across as extremely different Coming of Age stories -- a male perspective and a female perspective; a film and a musical; an all-Black and a White cast. But underneath, they dig at some of the same universal themes: masculinity and and how its confined construction wreaks havoc on the lives around them, in particular children. Both Moonlight and Fun Home are also, more obviously, about the journey of finding yourself, not just as A Queer but as an individual, and well worth seeing (or reading; my wife re-purchased Allison Bechdel's comic yesterday).

Sunday, February 19th, 2017 11:44 am

(no subject)

Happy birthday, [personal profile] lilliburlero

That e’en after dinner (sure Arabella shows exceedingly) we have a little dancing, with Miss Millick playing the piano for us, 'tis extreme agreeable and I see quite delights Hester to watch us about it.

When 'tis done, Sandy and I are besought to undertake a little reading for the company. I have been about the library to find some plays that are not Shakspeare, to supply a little variety, and give 'em Mrs Malaprop, that is lik’d exceedingly. There is a proposal that mayhap on the morrow, we might read some play, or part of one, together? 'Tis a pleasing thought.

'Tis also desir’d that Lord O- tells us more of his adventures, that mightily impress the company. (Sure the morrow I must convoke with him about this matter of writing 'em down.)

I sleep most exceeding peacefull and wake only when Sophy comes bring my chocolate.

I ask her how she does in the household, and she says, o, Your Ladyship, most excellent well, Lorimer and Brownlee show exceeding hospitable and they sit together about their sewing and talk of their profession. And there is no saucyness from the menservants.

I am pleas’d to hear it, says I. And as 'tis still quite early of the morn, I will go take a little ride afore breakfast.

'Tis most exceeding pleasant, and I return with a fine appetite.

Sebastian K- is also at table. He says, sure 'tis shocking ton to raise such a matter during this very agreeable house-party, but he apprehends that I go visit my lead-mine, and indeed, they, that is, he and his father, would be most interest’d in establishing a business connexion in the matter, so would desire to be beforehand.

Why, says I, those matters are in the hands of the manager, an excellent fellow, one Mr M-, but do you say a little more to me concerning the business, I will open it to him during my visit there. Do you wait but a little while while I go change, and get my little memorandum book, and we may discourse a little on the matter.

So we do so, walking up and down and around the rose-garden, and proceed from a discussion of that very usefull mineral lead to how matters go with the polish factory, and about Euphemia and Seraphine’s preserves and pickles, and how exceeding prepossessing Herr P- comes on in the matter of business in Germany. 'Tis gratifying.

He then says, sure he would greatly enjoy further converse, but has been promis’d a lesson in archery that he should not wish to miss. Seems quite the crack at present.

Indeed, says I, was very popular at the Q- house-party, and Lady Emily is quite entire Maid Marian.

He goes off to where the butt has been set up.

I see that Hester has been wheel’d out in her chair to sit beside the fountain – 'tis clear she relishes this most extreme, and would sit out in the sunlight all day.

I walk over to her. She looks at my pretty muslin and sighs a little and says, you are always so well-dresst, dear C-, but sure must be exceeding dull for Brownlee to have to deal with my dull wardrobe.

Why, my dear Hester, there is no need at all for your wardrobe to be dull, just because you do not go about in Society. Sure does it not greatly elevate the spirits to be pleasingly dresst?

O, she cries, clasping her hands, do you think I might? Is’t possible?

I consider over this for a little. I daresay that one might contrive – a fine dressmaker might I confide come visit rather than you go to her – you are able stand a little, are you not? – she nods – so you might be measur’d and fitt’d at your convenience. Indeed I cannot see why should not answer. I will go about to desire Docket to advance your interest with Mamzelle Bridgette.

I perch upon the rim of the fountain and look at her. One may still see that at one time she must have been exceeding handsome. Sure, says I, perchance you might also have your hair dresst differently? And while I daresay you should not wish to paint, there are very fine washes and lotions for the complexion.

She sighs and says, for so many years has been her only aspiration to be clean and tidy, sure she never thought to primp. But, she says with determination, so be 'tis not vanity, she will be about it.

But, she goes on, now I am quite embarkt upon a course of self-indulgence, I will open to you another matter.

Why, says I, say on.

'Tis Milly, she says – Miss Millick, that has been governess here these many years, but that will be out of that place once Lou leaves the schoolroom. And 'tis not as tho’ we yet have a new generation ready to take up the horn-book &C. And, she continues a little sadly, I am like to suppose that Tony and Nan might desire a somewhat younger person that has more understanding of the modern ways. Now, my dear C-, I was in some notion to ask you was there any in your circles that might require a governess, but indeed, poor Milly’s age is against her and these days it seems more is expect’d. And indeed one hears that the lot of a governess may be very harsh -

Indeed, 'tis so, says I, thinking of that horrid D- family in which Ellie N- was employ’d.

- and already since Nan and Em have gone into Society, she has been acting somewhat as a companion to me, to fetch and carry, read to me am I too tir’d to read to myself, play a little musick, and such. Would it be exceeding selfish in me to desire her to remain in that capacity?

La, says I, did you desire a companion I am sure Lord U- would consider it entire proper, but might suppose you would desire some younger brisker woman –

O, she cries, I am us’d to Milly, and sure I should be distresst to cast her upon the world.

Why, says I, seems entire answerable.

Comes Arabella across the lawn with a tray, and Selina at her heels, saying she doubts not that Lady N- would like a little sustenance at about this time.

Oh, she says, that is so kind. And I hope that naughty puss has not been troubling you.

Indeed not, says Arabella, bending down to stroke Selina’s head. What a fine cat she is to be sure. She and Lady N- smile at one another. She then turns to me and says, there is a collation laid in the drawing-room does Lady B- wish to partake.

Indeed, says I, this very fine air gives one a great appetite, so may I leave you to Selina’s company, my dear?

Hester smiles and says, she doubts not that Selina makes up to her for titbits and not for the pleasure of her company, the naughty creature, but indeed, do you, Lady B-, go partake.

I walk back towards the house with Arabella, that desires me to advance to Lord O- the desirability of certain improvements in the kitchens at D- Chase, for they are by no means as up to the mark as the ones at O- House.

Indeed I shall, says I, and upon going into the house make a little note in my memorandum book.

I find Lord O- in the drawing-room, that says, the archers have carry’d away a pique-nique to sit about and imitate the Merry Men in Sherwood Forest, but he is come to such an age and has spent so much time of necessity eating in such circumstance, that he prefers to sit in a chair, at a table.

I open to him Arabella’s thoughts upon kitchens - tho’ says I, I confide one might not be about improvements while you have company in the house.

Also, seeing that we are alone, I mention the Earl of I-, that was formerly Lord J-, and enquire whether he had any acquaintance with him. He shakes his head, but says he dares says there are some dubious dealings behind and there are fellows he might go sound out to discover more.

After a pause, he says, are you at leisure, Lady B-, perchance we might convoke over this matter of my writings?

Indeed, says I, 'tis an excellent time to do so.

So we go to the very agreeable room in the turret that he has set aside and furnisht as a study, that I exclaim upon considerable – has fine views and one may indeed see the archers. He hands me over some several pages and says, he can see himself that 'tis sad dry stuff, lacks that vigour that he has enjoy’d in the works of a certain Incognita Lady –

O, poo, says I, does one deal of curses and hauntings and horrid experiments the reader will read on very absorb’d.

But I con over his pages and indeed they lack that spark that animates the account when he tells it. I frown a little over the matter and sure I see points where I might present the thing more telling, just as I may when I scrutinize Josiah’s speeches for Parliament.

I then go ponder a little and say, sure I might come about to work this up, but I wonder, has he thought about who he goes address the narrative to? Did he perchance have some general reader in mind, and sit down to write as if conveying the matter in a letter, rather than as a scientifick report, just as when he tells his tales to the company he shapes 'em to their apprehension, might well answer.

Why, he says, indeed I think you hit it off, Lady B-. Sure there are already letters I writ to my poor brother, for altho’ was such a sickly fellow, greatly relisht the tales of my adventures. I had not thought of that, but indeed, do I go look 'em over – for he preserv’d 'em very carefull, the dear fellow. He sighs somewhat.

He then says, sure that is an excellent fine thought, and goes on, but indeed, should still be very gratefull might you look over my manuscript once 'tis more advanc’d, to see whether I have got the knack of the matter.

Gladly, says I.

He then makes a very generous offer of a donation to one or other of my good causes, that I am very pleas’d to accept.

I got some things accomplished today. I took all the recycling and the garbage out. I went to the bank. I went to Home Depot. I got a pedicure (Essie's All Access Pass - it seems much better to me than those reviews would indicate!). All of that before 2 pm. It's beautiful out!

Let's catch up on TV:

The 100: The Four Horsemen
spoilers )

Steven Universe: The New Crystal Gems & Storm in the Room
spoilers )

In other news, Humble Bundle has a big Star Wars games bundle going on, which is of no use to me but might be good for some of you. If only it had been books. Sigh.


cereta: Ellen from SPN, looking disapproving (Ellen)
[personal profile] cereta posting in [community profile] agonyaunt
Saturday, February 18th, 2017 12:41 pm

Annie's Mailbox: In the "This Has To Be Fake" department...

Dear Annie: Six months ago, I was fired for stealing from my job. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone, so I lied -- to my parents, my friends, everybody. I told them I quit so I could go back to school.

Then I lost my house because I didn't have the money to pay the mortgage. My parents told me that I'm almost 40 and need to stand on my own two feet. They wouldn't let me move in with them. My best friend felt sorry for me and said I could camp out in her guest room until I got back on my feet.

In that time, I've fallen in love with her husband. I couldn't help it. "Alex" is amazing -- smart, charming, kind, athletic, attractive, the total package. But it makes me uncomfortable to see him being so affectionate with his wife, always holding her hand and stroking her hair. I can't figure out why their marriage has lasted 10 years. He's outgoing, and she's shy. She's also rather plain. Alex doesn't seem to realize that he could have somebody so much better looking and smarter. He could have me.

I know his wife took me in when nobody else would, but you can't help who God tells you to love. My mother says I need therapy. I don't agree. I simply want to know how to deal with my feelings so I can be around my friend without wanting to smack that sweet smile right off her face. Any advice? -- Crazy in Love

Dear Crazy: You steal from your job, lie to your family and then try to seduce your best friend's husband. Alex is smart enough to know a good woman when he marries one. The longer you stay in that house the harder it will be for you. Get any job, maybe two of them, so you can afford another place to live, even if it means multiple roommates. Then take your mother's advice and get some counseling to understand why you keep trying to take things that don't belong to you.

Saturday, February 18th, 2017 07:34 am

At Boskone

We're in Boston this morning, with no place we're required to be until 2 PM, so we're taking advantage of the spare time to relax in our hotel room and enjoy being someplace where we're not surrounded by snow. (There's still snow in Boston, but it's not keeping us from anyplace we want to be -- it's Somebody Else's Problem snow.) And it's sunny out, too.

The drive down was all right until we hit Boston, after which it got more interesting than it needed to be for a while, because this week was the week when our GPS navigator decided to die the final death. Boston streets being what they are, all it took was one wrong turn on the way to the Alewife T stop and we were lost. We wound up phoning Twin B from someplace on Massachusetts Avenue (it's a rule; you drive into Boston, you have to get lost on Mass Ave), and he used Google Maps to get us to Alewife.

Eventually we made it to the Westin hotel, where we checked in, ordered some Chinese food to be delivered to the room, and decompressed before crashing for the night.

And now it is a bright new day.

Why, says I at length to Hester, perchance I shall go wander in the maze – am I not return’d by the time to dress for dinner, you might send one to search for me.

She laughs gently and says, she confides that Lady B- is ever able to find her way out of a predicament.

Oh, poo, says I, I do not think I have ever before contriv’d to traverse a maze. Sure I may come to crawling thro’ hedges, sure 'tis a good thing that Docket is not with me to chide me for spoiling my gown.

I stand up and follow the path that she tells me will take me in the direction of the labyrinth. I am approaching the place where one begins venture into its windings when comes quite panting up to me the Honble Geoffrey M-, that desires me very effusive to permit him to conduct me thro’ the maze, for sure, Lady B-, 'tis most exceeding confusing do you not have the trick of it.

Why, says I, that is most exceeding civil of you, Mr M-, for I am sure that you have more entertaining matters to be about the day.

He blushes mightyly and declares that naught could be so congenial as to accompany Lady B-.

I smile upon him and say, sure you make pretty speeches. But indeed, sure I am an Ariadne that would wish some Theseus to guide her (it then comes to me that 'twas Ariadne that guid’d Theseus: but no matter).

I slip my hand into his arm and desire him to lead on.

'Tis, I confide, an occasion he has long desir’d in order to unbosom himself to me about how matters go with him.

He has a thought, he tells me, to go in for law, for a fellow should have some occupation and not be an idle fribble and wastrel.

'Tis most meritorious, says I, sure one sees a deal of idle young fellows about Town, and while there are those can afford a life of entire frivolity there are many that cannot.

Indeed, says Mr M-, altho’ U- has lookt over the accounts and thinks he may increase Eddy’s and my allowances, sure a deal of high living would ruin us very shortly: but U- has very kindly said that he does not see why we should not be able to run a fine new phaeton, and while we were at A- spoke to Lord R- and Lord V- about who might be the best carriage-makers in that line.

He then pauses and says, we must take this turn, that one is deceptive and will lead us into a dead end.

Why, says I, sure you are so well-spoke of as a whip, 'twould be entire proper for you to have some better vehicle.

He blushes and says, when the matter comes about, he hopes he may take me driving?

Indeed, says I, 'twill be an entire pleasure.

And sure, he goes on, there is no harm in healthfull recreation when one is set upon a course of study.

Indeed not, says I, but tell me more about this proposition that you should study law.

So he tells me, with interruptions to determine which way we should turn, and I am not in the least surpriz’d that he has been greatly influenc’d by his conversation with Sandy as to the utility of studying law, for even does he not practise there are a deal of matters in which it comes in usefull, and provides valuable training of the mental capacities, &C.

(And of course, thinks I, 'tis consider’d one of the gentlemanly professions along with the Army and the Church, and I cannot suppose either of those particular congenial to the Honble Geoffrey.)

Why, says I, 'tis a fine thing for a fellow to have a profession to his name and a means to earning a living, and not be hanging out in hopes of inducing some heiress to marry him.

He blushes and says, sure his sisters – you must know what girls are, Lady B- - go advance Miss S-'s interest. And indeed, she is a very amiable young woman and acts very pleasing, Miss A- greatly commends the clarity and apprehension with which she speaks her lines, but really, a fellow does not like it for his sisters to go match-make for him.

(I smile to myself. Sure they are young and have not yet learnt those subtle arts by which one may prefer a lady whose interest one wishes advance to a gentleman’s attention, but I confide that they will improve in the matter. Tho’ I then collect that Lady J- entire lackt any subtle art in the matter for all her years.)

We come, to my considerable relief, to the centre of the maze with the quaint sundial. It has some motto carv’d around it, but 'tis in Latin, so I do not attempt read it.

We pause for a little, and Mr M- asks should I care for snuff. I say, thank you, o, but do indeed indulge yourself.

(I am like to suppose that he has been about practising the elegant taking of snuff, and indeed manages the matter very pretty.)

He says that Lord R- has a very pretty snuffbox, that he says I gave him?

Indeed, says I, 'twas a gift to celebrate our long friendship (I confide that Milord did not go demonstrate the hidden naughty device, that is quite out of the common, and that we both find most amuzing).

Is he not an excellent fine fellow? cries Mr M-, and goes expatiate at some length upon Milord’s virtues, his aptitude at manly sports, his apprehension of a deal of politickal questions, his exceeding nice opinions upon the theatre, and the very fine manly affection he displays towards Mr MacD- despite the difference in their stations. But, of course, Mr MacD-'s qualities are such that must recommend him very widely within Society.

'Tis so, says I, very demure to conceal my amuzement. I have quite the greatest admiration for Mr MacD-'s qualities of mind myself.

I am then oblig’d to hear Mr M- expatiate at length upon this topic as we go wend our way out of the maze, tho’ he does mind what he is about and continues turning in a direction that will not leave us maz’d.

We come out nigh unto the hothouses, within which I see Lord and Lady O- with their heads together over some plant.

Geoffrey says sure Nan becomes quite besott’d with botany, he supposes it must be to make civil to her husband that she takes interest in such dry matter.

(I have no idea whether Mr M- has read that most entertaining and instructive work by Dr Darwin upon The Loves of the Plants, that must lead one to suppose that the study of botany is not so very far from the warmer passions of humanity.)

They look up and see us and wave, indicating that we may come in.

O, says Nan, Tony was just telling me of where he found this specimen, 'tis a most exciting tale – do you tell it 'em.

The Marquess smiles somewhat doating, says he doubts not that she is entire prejudic’d but does she desire he will recount the tale over again.

'Tis indeed a most thrilling narrative and I hear Mr M- sighing in wonder and envy beside me. Sure can Lord O- tell of his adventures thus, 'tis a great pity he cannot write 'em as effective. But perchance I may come at some stratagem in the matter.

'Tis a little close in the hothouse, and I say that I should desire go tell Lady N- that I have succeed’d in braving the labyrinth and was not oblig’d to encounter a minotaur, that I should not like at all to do, for I am exceeding frighten’d of cows.

(I perceive that Mr M- greatly desires protect me from furious bulls.)

Alack, says I, that I must go to Lord P-'s, that cannot come to believe that there are none do not suppose cows the finest thing in creation, and will boast 'em the gentlest tenderest creatures.

Nan suddenly snorts and says, and are not the swans upon his lake deem’d exceeding vicious? (I confide she has heard the tale of Mr W- Y-.)

Lord O- says sure the cattle he has seen about in England seem fine placid creatures, 'tis an entire different matter in other parts of the world, and goes tell us some fine tales of wild cattle upon the pampas and the very savage buffaloes that may be found at the Cape.

Mr M- follows on by saying Sir C- F- has remarkt that even the most placid and amiable of cows in his herd will become fierce do they have a calf and fear for it.

Indeed, says I, have heard the like.

Lord O- says he confides such extreme manifestation of maternal feeling is common in the animal creation, and recounts some tales.

O dear, says I, I hope that the hinds in the deer-park do not take exception to the girls, that go walk there to see the pretty fawns.

Mr M- says, has heard that the only time 'tis imprudent to walk about the herd is when the stags are in rut, for they become exceeding ferocious and as they have those wick’d antlers, might do one a considerable mischief. But, he says, seeing my look of concern, 'twill not be until the autumn that they do thus.

And, says Lord O-, one will hear when they are, a deal of bellowing.

Mr M- escorts me to his mother, that sits among the girls that tell her about the darling little fawns, how sweet they are, how pretty &C. Mr M- remarks that they will grow up into very delicious venison, at which they cry upon him mightyly and I fear Lady Louisa may go hit him.

O, says Bess to me, will not Josh be jealous? – she turns to Hester and says, that is my middle brother, has a great fondness for animals –

O, says little Lou, sure I told you, Mama, he has a menagerie, with a wombatt and a badger and ferrets and dormice, and a mongoose that is the most inquisitive thing in creation.

Mr M- sighs and says, all they had were white mice -

- that, his sister goes on, you let escape and sure Selina manifest’d herself a mighty huntress upon 'em.

Friday, February 17th, 2017 11:51 am

Whoop! Employed!

 Just got the call offering me the contract job that starts March 1st and runs through the end of the year.  I'd told them up front that I would need time off in March for Escapade, so that's settled before I start. I'm very excited. Thanks for the good thoughts!

Friday, February 17th, 2017 08:33 am

(no subject)

DS9 rewatch:

"Our Man Bashir"

I don't know whose idea this episode was, but it's brilliant. Of course Julian imagines himself as James Bond. And of course Garak's professional pride is offended. And it gives Garak the opportunity to talk about Bashir's fantasies a lot. In his usual pointed way.

Yet again, everyone of the main cast (excepting Bashir and Odo) is on one runabout. This is honestly not a good idea, guys. Which is proved by what happens. This is also typical of Star Trek's treatment of the holodeck technology, where they do something that has huge implications for things like mortality and consciousness, but it's completely brushed aside.

Avery Brooks is pulling a full-on Brent Spiner. He's playing a Bond villain, and by god, he's gonna commit to it.

"Homefront/Paradise Lost"

Dax seriously breaks into Odo's quarters to rearrange his furniture? That's pretty shitty.

Hey, it's Brock Peters! Hello, Papa Sisko. And that's the woman who played Geordi's holodeck girlfriend on TNG. That's kind of weird. Though I guess Brock Peters was in the Star Trek movies.

See, you know Joseph Sisko's restaurant is in New Orleans because there is literally an entire alligator hanging from the ceiling. And he said "crayfish." Uh, no. They do pretty well with the setting, but crayfish is an absolute no. Okay, now they're supposedly walking to Audubon Park, which is not within easy walking distance of the French Quarter. Oh, lord, he pronounced "boudin" as "boo-deen."

I'm sure I've said this before, but the thing that stands out to me, in terms of the difference between TNG and DS9, is that DS9 usually presents moral situations that have no good choice. Changelings have infiltrated Earth and the Federation's leadership. This is obviously terrible. But is the right answer to increase security measures? How far? Do you infringe on billions of people's rights in order to find one changeling? One changeling who can do untold amounts of damage? Troops on the street keep people safe, but how long should they be there? What powers should they have?

I swear, I didn't plan for my DS9 rewatch to be so timely.

Friday, February 17th, 2017 11:44 am

one day it called it to you

Oh Star Wars fandom, you make me break all my rules about not reading works in progress because nearly every fucking thing that I'm interested in is somehow in progress, but it is making me deeply unhappy. WHY? WHY THIS?

[ profile] silveronthetree and I were talking last night, and I was saying how I don't really care one way or another if Obi-Wan and Anakin have sex in a story - I don't seek it out but I also don't avoid it? Except if you make Obi-Wan a lady. Then I want ALL THE PORN. And there isn't very much that I've found, which also makes me sad. Why would you not? (I like to imagine Anna Torv as lady!Obi-Wan, personally.)

Even though in general I feel like most characters I write are bisexual, there are a handful where I'm like NOPE, GAY. or in this case with Anakin, NOPE, STRAIGHT*. With an Obi-Wan exception. I mean, I feel like most of the GFFA has an Obi-Wan exception, regardless of general preference or species? He is very flirty. But with Anakin, I feel like the only people he would willingly have sex with (note: we are not counting Miraj Scintel, since that was not actually consensual; that also leaves Palpatine out *shudder*) are Padme, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka, where he already has a strong emotional connection. (I feel like fic bears me out on this, because I haven't run across much of him paired with anyone else. not that I've gone looking.)

*I can only think of two other characters who've ever inspired that particular reaction in me: Toby Ziegler and Frank Pembleton.

(Otoh, I still think Luke is celibate if not asexual. Luke + sex just...does not compute. At all. I'll allow it for Rey to be his daughter, and I can definitely see the Han/Leia/Luke OT3, but mostly my brain just immediately nopes out of any sexual scenario with him. I don't even know.)

Obviously, YMMV.


Friday, February 17th, 2017 08:18 am

An opportunity to convoke

We go into breakfast upon our return to the house, and find the Honble Edward and Geoffrey sitting with Sandy and Sebastian K- and all expatiating upon the very excellent swimming they have just enjoy’d, quite entire got into the habit at A- and find there is a stretch of the stream here that will serve for the purpose.

Lord U- looks at 'em and says, he hopes 'tis a well-shelter’d stretch of the stream. (I confide they go bathe in an entire state of nature, and a very pleasing sight must be, for are all well-set-up fellows: but indeed there are matters of protecting maidenly modesty to be consider’d.)

O, indeed, says the Honble Edward, 'tis well away from the footpath and willows grow along the bank. But is’t not prime sport?

Sandy smiles and says, one of the best, but sure there is no comparison to swimming in the sea. They look envious.

Come in Lord and Lady O-, that I daresay may have been about some most enjoyable indoor exercize, for they set to the fine spread laid with most excellent appetite.

I pour myself some more coffee – sure Arabella entire has the knack of it, for 'tis excellent – and say, 'tis really shocking poor ton, but might I beg an opportunity to convoke with Mr MacD- upon a matter of business? For, says I, I purpose go visit my Shropshire estate after I have been at Lord P-'s, and there are one or two little matters upon which I should desire his advice.

The Marquess says that there can be entirely no objection, and we could have the library to ourselves this forenoon, he supposes, do we like.

That is most exceeding kind, says I, if 'tis agreeable to Mr MacD-?

Sandy looks at me in some amuzement and says, how could it be otherwise? He is ever quite entire at Lady B-'s service. (Sure he sits too far away for me to kick him.)

So after breakfast is done, and I have had Sophy put me on some suitable morning-dress, I go sit in the library, that sure indeed is a very fine one, that I should desire to explore further when I have leisure to it.

Enters Sandy, saying, how now, dearest sibyl, what problem of business do you have that I may solve? – and, by the way, Mr K- is in some desire to convoke with you over matters of lead that are pertinent to their interests.

La, says I, 'twas but a plausible excuse for some private convockation without Mr Geoffrey M- bursting in upon us or Bess desiring me to tell the girls about the theatre or some such interruption. No, 'twas not about my mine, 'twas a troubling matter that came about while I was at Q-.

Sandy looks at me and says, he supposes 'tis no matter that would require G- to call out Sir V- P-, is it?

Sure, can I not avoid the attentions of an antient ram, I shall have lost all my wont’d skills. No, 'twas the Earl of I-.

I open to him the matter, and what the Contessa had told me, and the Earl’s connexion to Mr R- O-.

Sandy looks thoughtfull. I wonder, he says – sure one has the highest esteem for the Contessa and the acuity of her judgement, but is’t possible that she did not interrogate too close into the politickal leanings of a fine amuzing young fellow that was an English milord? If I am not out in my calculations, I confide that she must have known him at about the time when Naples was under the Napoleonick yoke -

Why, says I, when he might have been entire sincere in any sympathies he expresst towards rising up against 'em, might he not?

We look at one another and remark that sure one would be interest’d to learn further of his itinerary upon his Grand Tour.

And then he goes succeed as Earl and is oblig’d to live according to his rank, says I, all entire proper, but –

But indeed.

Perchance, says I, I should contrive to go make friendly to Lady I-: talk to her about charity &C. That is do I have occasion to meet her again, for sure we are not in the same circles. Tho’ I daresay she has no notion what her husband is about, might nonetheless provide some intelligence.

Another thought, says Sandy, is to enquire of Lord O- whether in his days as Lord Anthony he ever came across the gentleman.

Indeed, says I, mayhap 'tis somewhat I may raise do I go be his amanuensis.

What? Sandy raises his eyebrows exceedingly.

He goes write some account of his travels, but finds it comes not easy to his pen, that is more us’d to writing of stamens and pistils and calyxes for gentlemen that are interest’d in scientifick matters.

Why, he tells his tales very well does he so verbally. But sure there are those that go halt does it come to turning a matter into written words.

We look at one another with great fondness, for sure has been some considerable time since we convok’d. And how, says I, was the fribble-set party at A-?

Oh, says Sandy with a smile, 'twas very congenial, quite surprizing so. Sure there is nothing wrong with manly sports, provid’d they do not take up all one’s time, and exercize for the body is as imperative as for the mind. And most excellent discourse, we were quite the symposium over the dinner-table.

Why, says I, I am quite delight’d to hear it. And, I go on, all is well 'twixt you and Milord?

Sandy blushes in such a fashion that even the dour Calvinistickal glare that he puts on cannot convince me that they are otherwise than extreme happy.

I look about me and say, sure this is a library that quite exceeds, should greatly desire explore it a little.

Sure, says Sandy, are we not told that this is Liberty Hall? There could surely be no objection whatsoever. There are some fine classickal works that I daresay would rouse Lady J-'s envy.

Alas, says I, those would be beyond the reach of a silly uneducat’d creature such as I, but I daresay there may be some simple tale for children or such that would be fitt’d to my capacities.

Sandy snorts and says, perchance in antient Etrusckan.

He then sighs and says, he should go make civil – has been desir’d by both Lord O- and Lord U- to convoke over the matter of secretaries, sure 'tis entire encouraging.

'Tis so, says I, walking over to the shelves so that I may examine 'em more closely.

'Tis some while later that I emerge, having found a very fine volume of the works of Chaucer, that I go puzzle at, for have heard exceeding well of this antient work in the English tongue, but indeed has chang’d a deal since those days.

A collation has been laid in the dining-room. Bess, Lady Louisa and Dodo are about making a fine feast of it, sure indeed they are healthy young women and getting their growth. Bess goes express to me a certain resentment that they may not go swim.

Why, my dears, sure I hear 'tis very agreeable exercize, but have you not learnt the way of it, must be some concern that you would be like to become three Ophelias in the stream.

Bess sees the sense in this, and says 'twould be most uncivil to one’s host to go drown.

I ask Dodo whether they hear from her sister Lady A-?

Oh yes, says Dodo, they have gone stay at F- Grange, that is Lord A-'s fine house and estate, before they go make visits, and then join us for the Music Meetings. She has writ that 'tis all most agreeable, tho’ matters have been in a somewhat unbusiness-like way she confides. But will be time to turn a hand to that, at present she goes about acquaint herself with the place, &C.

I am pleas’d to hear it, says I, 'tis their honeymoon, there will be time enough for business.

And, says Dodo, they purpose go have a fine house-party over Yuletide at F- Grange for the whole family, will that not be entire prime?

Quite bang-up, says Bess. But, o, Lou says there are fawns in the deer-park, we purpose go look at 'em.

I smile and say I daresay one must go exceeding quiet to come up upon deer.

Lady Louisa says they are quite tame, but sure one must not fright 'em.

The three of 'em go bouncing off.

I go out with my parasol onto the lawn, where Hester sits near the fountain in her invalid chair. One has brought her a nice little plateful that she may enjoy quite pique-nique fashion. I perch upon the fountain rim and ask how she does.

O, she sighs, 'tis such a fine summer as I have never had – able to come out into the sunlight, my dear children around me, good company, such thoughtfullness generally.

She looks around and says, have I yet essay’d the maze? There is a fine maze in the gardens, had been a little over-grown but dear Tony has had the hedges clippt back so that it may be traverst.

Why, says I, not yet, but I must certainly do so. I daresay there is some trick to it so that one may not get complete lost?

She says she dares say, but alas she did not note how one contriv’d to come at the centre, where there is a very quaint sun-dial, and out again at t’other side, when U- was kind enough to push her thro’ it.

He is an excellent son, says I.

Oh, quite entirely, she says, becoming a little tearfull. They are all such good children to me, and I have been so wanting as a mother.

I take her hand. Dear Hester, says I, I do not think that one that is so belov’d by her children can have been at all wanting as a mother. Do they not all come to you quite entire as their first confidante? Sure you might not romp with 'em or take 'em about in Society, but you have, I confide, ever shown 'em a very fine affection and they have seen that.

She lays my hand against her cheek. Was there not some Roman lady said of her children, these are my jewels? Sure they are.

Friday, February 17th, 2017 05:19 pm

A couple of quick recs

Because I love a good Clint POV wiht his subpar adulting and his llama puns that don't work out loud and his tendency to imaginatively name things:

Five Things that Don't Help Clint Sleep (at Least in Isolation) (4184 words) by florahart
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Clint Barton/Phil Coulson
Characters: Clint Barton, Phil Coulson, Natasha Romanov (Marvel)
Additional Tags: 5+1 Things, Getting Together, fluffarama, shut up I like sap, Sandwiches, not quite that kind of curtain fic but there is a curtain, Clint wears hearing aids

Clint isn't that good at sleeping, and he's tried a lot of things. But well, maybe they turn out to be useful practice in the long run?


I also love an interesting story that takes a completely new twist of characters (I'm suddenly thinking of the original SV Five Things fic here and how astounding unique it was when I first read it). And this is an interesting idea done very well. With a happy ending.

When I Look in the Mirror I See Double (12110 words) by etothepii
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Sherlock (TV)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Mycroft/John/Mycroft

Mycroft and 'Anthea' are one mind in two bodies. Literally.

Friday, February 17th, 2017 12:38 am

This, that and the other thing

I am so mean to my cat you guys. Seriously, the meanest. Tonight ten minutes AFTER his dinner time I got up off the couch to go feed him. But then, not only did I stop to go to the bathroom (first rule: always pee before medding the cat), I went into Marna's room and talked to her for a WHOLE FIVE MINUTES. All while Dreadful was forced, FORCED to sit in the hall meowing his head off about my terrible behaviour.

Then I went to give him insulin and discovered that the vet ordered the wrong needles for us, so I have to take the box back tomorrow. The new needles are bigger than the old ones and only have full-unit markings. Which, since Dreadful gets 1/2 a unit if he needs insulin in the morning and a 1/4 unit if he needs insulin at night, kind of doesn't work.

In other news, today I spent several hours in chat with [personal profile] brownbetty, [personal profile] staranise and [personal profile] stultiloquentia in a wide-ranging meta conversation that started as a discussion of different modes of shipping/engaging with canon (set off by brownbetty's poll on what people mean by "I ship it" and some of the comments thereon), and then veered off into a discussion of the differences between the way fans ship characters and the way canon creators write romantic relationships.

It's probably at least two posts worth of discussion, but I'm too tired to write any of it up tonight. Hopefully I'll be able to get to some of it tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I'm reading a bunch of Chocolate Box fic. I suspect that'll be my next recs post. It's all fairly short, so I might even get through a bunch of it before creator reveals.

Because it's already too warm here to march wearing a pussyhat. 🗽🗽🗽

pussyhat inspired headband

one more )

Go here to get the free, shareable pattern. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 16th, 2017 01:35 pm

Throw-something Thursday

I've already been an adult today (set up a mailbox address at the UPS Store down the street, directed my professional mail there because I'm a Woman With Opinions and not keen on having my home address published for all the world to see, and paid essential bills). Therefore can faff around on the internet until my friend arrives for some more adulting...and perhaps also drinking. But mostly adulting: We're doing a mini-career workshop together at my house, and then I (plus her, perhaps) am going to a networking event in Oakland.

Speaking of connecting to folks, when I went to this charity event organized by a well-respected club, I met a very cool fellow professional who lives very close in Berkeley. She didn't have her business cards on her, but I had some on me, so she did write me...five days ago. Oops. But I'm trying to make up for it in my response:

this is how i relate to ppl

Did I mention the adulting? Anyway. I'm also using the above to demonstrate something wicked cool:

Dreamwidth now has image hosting!

It's true; no more hoping and praying that Dropbox won't take away the Public folder: You can just upload images to this your own blog platform.

The "CREATE" menu in DW has a new item, "UPLOAD IMAGES", but you can -- as a logged-in user -- go straight to the page for uploading an image.

Still about Dreamwidth and communicating with others; there is another cool feature I'm snagging straight from [personal profile] frayadjacent, with her permission; emphasis mine:
As you probably know, DW now has selective comment screening -- you can choose to have specific users' comments screened by default rather than having all comments screened on a specific post.

DW mainly pitches this as being for occasionally obnoxious commenters, but it seems to me there could be a different use -- for readers who might, for example, have anxiety about commenting where anyone can read it.

So, if anyone out there would like me to choose them for selective comment screening, so that I will see your comments on my posts but no one else will, feel free to PM me and I will gladly do it.

Thursday, February 16th, 2017 09:37 am


The second-hand snowblower is not to be. The significant other of the EMT buddy had already decided that they needed it up at their camp in the woods. (Which, to be fair, is probably true.)

Oh, well. Next year. Now that we've already got the snow tires.

Meanwhile, we have Twin B, and the current snow depth, as judged by the height of the snow cap on the bird feeder:

And it's still snowing.

Thursday, February 16th, 2017 09:33 am

and so I've got to push on through

Work is hectic so bullet points:

1. Last night I dreamt I was in a rooftop hot tub with Tyler Seguin. Sadly, Jamie Benn was not with him. But this morning, I texted [ profile] devildoll and she was like, I ALSO DREAMT ABOUT TYLER SEGUIN. Great minds! *g*

B. I keep forgetting The 100 airs on Wednesday now, so I was busy detangling my hair* and by the time I realized it was on, I was like, ah, fuck it, I'm going to bed. I'll watch it tonight, on Thursday, as it is meant to be.

*not a euphemism

iii. Writing is hard! When I have the motivation I don't have the words, and when I think I have the words I don't have the time, and when I have the time, I don't have the motivation. It just keeps going round and round. Which is why it's vicious. And a circle.

d. Last night, I attempted this DIY lip balm gloss, though I cut it in half, and used 1/2 tablespoon of castor oil and 1/2 tablespoon of pomegranate seed oil instead of almond oil, which I don't have on hand (and am not planning on using because of my niece with the nut allergies), plus 1/4 tsp vitamin E oil and a 1/2 teaspoon of wild violet flare mica powder, which looked amazingly trippy (sparkly and purple like the universe!) when it was liquid, but solidified into a gray waxy blah. Not glossy at all! (I unfortunately did not take pictures.) Also I could actually see it solidifying. Which maybe tells you something about the temperature in my apartment. *snerk*

Otoh, since I made it, I've got to see how it actually feels, and it feels fantastic (maybe a little waxy at first? but I didn't wake up reaching for the chapstick so that's a plus). So maybe a different color and a little more of it next time? I still have other formulations to test out, though they are all basically the same, it's just swapping around the amounts of each oil, I guess, and finding a color that works. And I guess I can always melt down what didn't quite work and tinker until it does.

V. Three day weekend coming up! And it's supposed to warm up! I can't wait!


I discover that Sebastian K- is also of the party: there is, he tells me as we gather before dinner, a collection of strange and curious stones acquir’d by an ancestor of the present Marquess, that he has been looking at and confides that Jacob would be most interest’d to examine, tho’ they are not arrang’d in that state that a modern geologist would desire.

I convey to him news of his family that I have lately seen. He says that he purposes a flying visit to Q- on his way home: but business does not go cease during the summer, alas. I commiserate. I also mention that I have heard somewhat of this project’d tour to the Baltic and that Sir Vernon H- is like to be in St Petersburg by that time, 'tis ever of use to have some personal connexion with one at the Embassy when in foreign parts.

'Tis so, he says: confides that he met Sir Vernon in Vienna so is not an entire stranger.

We go into dinner: 'tis exceeding delightfull to see that Lady N- may join us at table in her invalid carriage. Lady Louisa and her friends also join us, along with the governess, one Miss Millick. I look at her with a mind to the thought that she must be soon out of a place: but from what the M- girls have told me about their education, I doubt she would be able step into Miss N-'s shoes.

There is a very fine dinner set before us – I confide Arabella takes charge of the kitchens.

The Marquess remarks to me that, seeing the Duke read the lesson in church t’other day, he was remind’d that the local parson has somewhat slantwise come at desiring him to do the like. Sure as a freethinker he is not sure whether 'twould be a proper thing –

Why, says I, I take it as entirely a matter of politeness to do so; shows respect. And do you not desire to look particular in the neighbourhood, would be a prudent thing to do.

And, I go on, while we speak of the Establisht Church, I was mind’d to advance to you – have you not already consider’d the matter – the interest of Mr L-, that fine scholar, do you have the presentation to any living that he might adorn.

Why, says Lord O-, 'tis an excellent thought. While one cannot like the system, one might if one can use it as well as one may. However, of the three or four livings in my disposal all are at present occupy’d, but should one fall vacant I shall immediately prefer Mr L-. A very deserving fellow.

Also, says I, I am like to think he is in mind to marry.

'Tis a state I most heartyly recommend, says Lord O-, looking at Nan, that is talking to Sebastian K-. Do you never think of marrying again, Lady B-?

I laugh and say, marriage is a very fine thing, but there are advantages in being a well-left widow.

He smiles and says he dares say, for indeed there are husbands that are not at all in that fine spirit that the marriage service sets forth. (He looks down the table to where Hester is in converse with Sandy, I daresay on the subject of the poetry of Burns.)

'Tis indeed curious, says I, that the state of marriage in society as it stands differs so greatly from those very beautiful words.

After the remove I turn to Lord U- and say, I hope he benefitt’d from his visit to Q-?

Indeed, he says, what an excellent fellow is the Duke of M-. And 'twas entirely beneficial to make the acquaintance of such a variety of sorts and conditions that are known to him. What a magnificent place is Q-: there is nothing the like at Monks G-, he confides his ancestors were by no means connoisseurs such as former Dukes of M- were.

He sighs, and says, he must consider his duty and go spend some time at Monks G- during the course of the summer dealing with affairs there, but altho’ the gardens are of course exceeding fine, sure the house is a gloomy place and one might well believe Nan’s contention that 'tis haunt’d by the spirits of vengefull monks.

O poo, says I, I confide 'tis entirely because there has been no attention give to furbishing it up these some several years. 'Tis remarkable what fresh paint and resilver’d mirrors will do to liven up a room, polishing up the furniture, perchance replacing some of the more antiquat’d pieces –

He laughs and says, he apprehends that Lady B-'s understanding of such matters is greatly esteem’d: hoping to get Lord D- off the subject of everybody’s theologickal failings, he happen’d to mention that he had heard that they were having P- House done up, and heard at great length all about the very fine advice they had had from Lady B-. And of course I was already appriz’d of your assistance in making O- House a fit habitation.

La, says I, perchance I may give a little help, here and there.

He looks at me and says, alas, 'twould be improper to invite me come spend a day or so at Monks G-, for he would not oblige Mama or his sisters to go spend time there, especial as they are so extreme happy here.

Indeed, says I, 'twould do neither of us any good in Society. But let me go think upon the matter.

After the dessert the ladies of the party withdraw, and go sit in the very pleasing parlour to take tea. Hester says, sure 'tis a great imposition, but she confides that Lady B- may not have heard Miss Dorothy sing? –

Only, says I, in company with her mother and sisters.

- so, might she give us a song or two?

Dodo agrees with entire alacrity, and goes to the piano with Miss Millick: I observe that there is already musick upon it.

Sure she has a very pretty voice, in a somewhat different style from her sister Charley, tho’ perchance may develop; and of course exceeding well-train’d by Mr G- D-.

'Tis not at all long before the gentlemen come join us, perchance the time 'twould take to smoak a fine cigar.

Dodo is request’d to sing a little more, and then Hester says, 'tis perchance quite greedy of her, but she has heard so much of Mr MacD-'s reading of Burns and Lady B-'s readings from Shakspeare, that she should very much like to hear for herself.

Sandy says, it so perchances that he ever travels with a volume of the Ayrshire Bard, if we will excuse him he will just go fetch it.

The Honble Geoffrey leaps to his feet and says, he will go fetch the collect’d Shakspeare from the library.

As we sit waiting, Lady Louisa murmurs to me that sure they were brought up without accomplishments - o, Milly try’d teach 'em to play the piano, but did not take, perchance because they were sad idle creatures that did not practice, not like Meg F-. Bess, that is at her other side, says, but Lou, you are an entire centauress upon horseback, 'tis a thing to wonder at.

Sandy returns with his volume of Burns, follow’d very shortly by the Honble Geoffrey.

'Tis a most agreeable evening, tho’ I am in some fears that we tire Hester, that is not us’d to such company. But gives her such exceeding pleasure do not wish to call halt.

Sure 'tis a very comfortable bed I am in, and I do not need fret concerning night-time scratchings upon my door.

I arise betimes in order to see Docket off, even tho’ she declares 'tis entire unnecessary and I should sleep on for the good of my looks.

O, poo, says I, one morn will make no difference. Now, have you got your drops? Do you have the receipt writ out so that do you need more you may take it to some good apothecary? Docket scowls at me as tho’ she was my grand-dam and I had instruct’d her upon sucking eggs.

I also, tho’ I confide 'tis quite a supererogatory matter, tell Ajax to drive exceeding carefull.

Sophy and I go wave 'em off, and then I say, sure am I up, may as well go take a ride, Lady O- has put Elvira quite entire at my disposal.

So I go desire one of the grooms to saddle her for me, and ride off across the park.

I am passing thro’ some pretty woodland in which I catch glimpses of deer, when I hear the sound of hoofbeats behind me; I look around and see 'tis Lord U- comes catch up with me.

We greet one another very civil.

He remarks upon what pleasure our entertainments yestere’en gave his mother.

I hope we did not tire her excessively, says I.

Indeed not, he says. But, he goes on, because she has been out of Society for so very long, and sure Aunt Laetitia was entire useless as a guide to the customs and manners of the present day, I do not have that guidance in such things that a mother might supply. And while Lord O- is quite the finest fellow, has been much out of the country. Thus I find myself coming to you, that are such a friend to the entire family, for counsel - do you tell me do I become an entire burden.

Why, says I, I have the greatest fondness for your family; also matters that may seem heavy to the uninstruct’d may be no such thing to one that has a little more understanding.

He proceeds to tell me how much he admires the Duchess of M-, is she not an entire pattern of womanhood, what a very fortunate fellow is the Duke –

(I hope he does not go on to declare an unrequit’d passion for Viola.)

- sure 'tis early days yet for him to think of marriage, and yet, he now has responsibilities, and must be entire envious of one that has such a helpmeet to help him bear the burdens of rank. How does one go about to find such a woman? He finds that 'tis very hard to tell upon meeting young ladies in Society, for there is a deal of conventional behaviour -

Why, says I, 'tis indeed yet early days, but I will go consider over the matter.

Thursday, February 16th, 2017 02:33 am

Dreadful and his Squishy

Dreadful has a favorite toy. We call it his squishy. It's a small stuffed dog that came out of McDonald's Happy Meal and was given to me as part of an office Secret Santa one year. It lived on my desk until I quit that job in 2007 and brought it home along with the rest of my stuff. Dreadful immediately claimed it as his own.

Some intrepid googling tells me that it was originally a tie-in for the apparently-awful kids-movie Doogle, and I even found a couple pictures of what it originally looked like (here and here)

I don't know what they used to make this thing, I'm possibly a little scared to find out. Dreadful's been chewing/clawing the hell out of it for 10 years now and while it's rather grody looking (although it has been washed several times) it doesn't even have a single torn spot or ripped seam.

But boy does he love it. He will parade around the house holding it in his mouth and singing to it. We call it Squishy, The Opera. Sadly, we've never been able to get video or audio of this, because as soon as he seems someone watching him he stops.

I did however manage to get a few pics of him playing with it on my bed the other night.

Thursday, February 16th, 2017 01:40 am

Things Dreadful has taught me

Dreadful was diagnosed with diabetes in January 2014. It's been three years of blood draws and insulin pokes and The Tragedy Of The Kibble-Loss (gushy food is just NOT the same), and the whole routine has become second-nature.

Twice a day Dreadful gets his blood-glucose tested, he gets his two oral meds (for his gastro issues aka that time my cat got constipated and almost died), and he gets insulin if he needs it. Then he gets fed. But there has been a definite learning curve.

Things I have learned from having a diabetic cat, a somewhat irreverent list: behind a cut for the needle/blood-phobic )

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[personal profile] genusshrike posting in [community profile] vidding
Thursday, February 16th, 2017 08:15 pm

Vid: Wonderful You (James Bond)

Title: Wonderful You
Fandom: Never Say Never Again – James Bond
Music: Wonderful You, by The Dandy Warhols
Summary: ‘How reckless of me. I’ve made you all wet.’ ‘Yes, but my martini’s still dry.’  Flirting, dancing, and some amazing 80s costuming.

Download and streaming.

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 08:54 pm

Solidarity Stew

Tonight, after yesterday's lacklustre showing, I went with a more traditional offering -- beef stew with beer and onions, a kind of Ellis Island carbonade flamande using a bottle of the Budweiser we bought in honor of Anheuser Busch's Superbowl tribute to the contributions of immigrants to this country. It simmered all day in the crockpot, and we ate it with a loaf of home-made bread from the bread machine. There's not much left, either; maybe one serving that can be stashed away and warmed up tomorrow for lunch.

Beef stew and fresh bread: a good meal for a snowbound day.

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 01:00 pm

Think good thoughts!

I have an in person interview tomorrow with a client.  It's the second one I've had this month, and I would love to land something. The last two weeks have been pretty barren which I attribute to political fear.  Things are moving forward now, and I'm hearing back from recruiters, which is making me a lot happier, even though nothing has yet worked out.

Fact is, I am not committed to full time work. The odd contract, sure, but I'm not looking for a forever home. We need to finish our backyard cottage, and once that happens, we are thinking about renting it out on AirB&B / VRBO for a while.  It may be that I decide to become a hotelier and property manager, but it's all up in the air right now.  We know layoffs are coming at Lar's work (formerly my work too), and that should be completed by the end of the month; I am kinda hoping that they let him go with the package as it has become a real cesspit. Every time I have lunch or coffee with someone still working at that place, I come away knowing I got the better end of the deal. 

It really, truly, absolutely sucks to be there. I am so glad I am out.


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