darchildre: children reading books in a field. (books are for adventure!)
Today, we have a class of small people from a nearby elementary school touring the library. These tours always include our backroom because a) children are fascinated by bookdrops and b) they are always surprised by the fact that we have a kitchen, because of course librarians don't eat.

One of our bookdrops is near a built-in ladder that leads to the crawlspace in the ceiling. Children are also fascinated by this and often ask about it, so our children's librarian explained its presence and also the fact that only maintenance people go up there "because it's dangerous". She then began to lead the children out of the back room.

Two boys dawdled behind, looking up the ladder. Before their grownups managed to chivvy them forward, I distinctly heard one of them whisper, "I could climb it, I don't care if I die."

Small people are pretty amazing.
darchildre: the outline of a 20-sided die over a faded rainbow on a black background (d&d time!)
So, my sister, her husband and I have started what I hope will be a regular and continuing D&D game. We had a world-and-character-building session a couple weeks ago and our first game on Saturday.

You guys, I love this game. We decided early on that a thing we all really wanted was a world that was, above all, whimsical - full of wonder and silliness, basically a good children's cartoon. We also decided to dump all the more humanoid races and stick with more fantastical stuff or animal people. So Sean is playing a cleric who is a huge shoebill stork person (a reskinned half-orc but with the ability to use his wings to glide) and I am a wee blue-tailed skink artificer (basically a kobold with a few gnomish traits).

We had a great dungeon crawl where everything we encountered was basically friendly - special shoutout to the flumph who wanted us to listen to his mixtape. I think the only combat encounters we actually had were against a Rug of Smothering (can't talk, not a person) and the hag at the end of the dungeon (had kidnapped and enslaved a beer elemental, clearly a jerk). After about the third chamber, Katie looked at the two of us and said, "I don't know why I thought you guys were going to fight any of these creatures."

NGL, about 60% of the Monster Manual is full of creatures that I would prefer to be friends with.

Now we are 2nd level, we already have our next session scheduled, and my lizard found herself a cool new flowered hat on our dungeon crawl.

This is already the best D&D game I've ever been part of.
darchildre: hawaiian shirt!harvey.  text:  "margaritas & hallucinations for all!" (kill her. then we'll have pizza.)
Also, I may have talked my manager into watching Farscape - she has recently tried to watch Star Trek Enterprise and felt extremely disappointed by it, so I decided to help by recommending my favorite basically contemporaneous sci-fi show.

Or, rather, my favorite sci-fi show, period.

Now I am sorely tempted to rewatch all of Farscape again. It's been a couple of years, after all - I'm probably due.
darchildre: graffiti of a crow saying, "listen" (listen)
After finishing The Miracle of the Mirage, I took a break from Friends at the Table proper to listen to all of Bluff City. Which is a separate...season (?) of FatT, where instead of telling the story of a group of characters over the course of various adventures, they're gradually telling the story of an East Coast casino city via various interrelated one-shot games. Today, I started on the most recent Bluff City arc and it occurred to me how very extremely fucking weird everything has gotten since the first one. Here is a general depiction of my reaction to Bluff City over the course of its run so far:

1) Oh, cool - a bird-based heist comedy!

2) ...a lot of this feels very nostalgically familiar (in that I grew up on the East Coast and have feelings about East Coast beach towns and also Art said "Wawa" one time) but what the hell is a jitney?

3) I Now Have Serious Concerns About The Coast Guard


5) There is no ocean, John. There is nothing beyond the city. The only place that home exists...is in your head.

I now kinda want to finish this arc and then go back and listen to all of Bluff City again, because I'm certain I missed stuff the first time through.
darchildre: text:  library rules 1) silence 2) books must be returned by due date 3) do not interfere with the nature of causality (library rules)
I just spent the last 20 minutes helping a woman with library books on her Kindle Fire who, when she first received the device a couple years ago, was given the exact wrong information on the easiest way to get library books on her Kindle.

She was told to install the Overdrive app and specifically search for epub books, which is the exact opposite of correct. No Kindle requires an app for downloadable library books. The Kindle reads mobi natively, not epub. You can put the app on your Kindle as an awkward kludge if you really want something that's only available in epub but that's a stupid roundabout way to do it for normal everyday reading.

And now, the Overdrive app on her device has stopped working (because it's hella old), the newer better Libby app is not easily available for Kindle, and I've spent way too much time teaching her things that she should have been taught in the first place, years ago.

I can't understand why someone would have taught her this way and I'm so angry at them for making things more difficult for her (and me). I want to find that person and bip them up the backside of the head.
darchildre: a cup of tea.  text: "tea break" (tea break)
Friends, I bought myself Unusual Honey and it came in the mail today and not only are the two varieties I ordered delicious but they sent me an entire extra third bottle I had not ordered at all!

I don't know if this is standard procedure or if I just got very lucky but I am definitely going to order honey from this place again.

...After I use the 24 oz of honey that is currently on my honey shelf.

Time to make some tea!
darchildre: rebis in a purple trenchcoat, looking enigmatic (rebis says:)
Two related things:

- So, I woke up this morning with the bit of Penda's Fen that Rebis quotes to describe itself in Doom Patrol running through my head: "My race is mixed, my sex is mixed, I am woman and man, and light with darkness, mixed! I am nothing special, nothing pure. I am mud and flame."* I remember reading that for the first time sometime back in the 90's, finding the origin of the quote somehow and thinking, "Oh, a made-for-tv British play from the 70's? Well, I'm never going to be able to see that." But today, I thought about the quote again and went on youtube on my phone and watched the first half of Penda's Fen on my lunchbreak. The internet may be full of terrible things but at least it gives me experiences similar to this on a fairly regular basis.**

- While I understand the impulse towards categorization and appreciate that the name was invented by horror people and them moved outwards from there, I wish we had come up with a different name than "folk horror" for that subgenre. I get that it's shorter to say than "movies that are about the crushing weight of history, and the land as a source of both wonder and terror, and how those things shape the people who live on that land/with that history, and also they were mostly made in England in the 70's, and maybe there are witches or the devil, but not necessarily" but using the word "horror" implies certain things that don't allow us to lump Penda's Fen into the same genre as The Wicker Man, though they clearly belong together. I tend to think of the subgenre as "70's-80's British Weird", as that lets me include Sapphire and Steel and Quatermass and Image of the Fendahl***, etc but that's similarly limiting, since we keep making more of it further on the horror side. It's a problem.

*Mood, as the kids on tumblr say.

**Other things that I assumed, as a teenager, that I would never able to see/hear/read that the internet has since provided to me: all of episodes of Suspense mentioned in Stephen King's Danse Macabre, the full text of Varney the Vampire, any number of weird British made-for-tv things from the 70's, and so many comics.

***Which is, of course, just Quatermass and the Pit with the Doctor instead of Quatermass and a slightly more upbeat ending. And extra witches.
darchildre: the master reading war of the worlds (reading)
A sequence of events:

- About two weeks ago, I remembered that the new Good Omens show is coming out soon

- Then I went and reread Ordinary People

- Then I read a huge amount of other Good Omens fic

- And started listening to the audiobook

- (Okay, and also listened to the BBC radioplay)

- And today I spent a lot of time going down wikipedia rabbit holes about angelology

- And now I have once again reached the point where what I want most of all is fiction with angels in it that isn't either trying to convert me to Christianity or urban fantasy/paranormal romance and I am having trouble finding it. (There's nothing wrong with paranormal romance, I just don't want to bang an angel. I want to know that angel's thoughts and feelings about the War in Heaven.)

Friends, do any of you have recommendations of fiction with angels in it? I am not fussed as to medium. I will also accept demons, if at least some of them are explicitly fallen angels.
darchildre: text:  library rules 1) silence 2) books must be returned by due date 3) do not interfere with the nature of causality (library rules)
A stupid problem:

I want to reread Good Omens but I am sick today and don't have the mental energy to concentrate on reading. And I have the audiobook and it's generally good and I could listen to that but listening means that I can't easily skip the bits that I want to skip*.

And so I am doing neither of those things but am also unsatisfied with other activities.

*Aziraphale-at-the-birthday-party hits my embarrassment squick incredibly hard, and I have generally quick-skimmed everything focusing on Newt&Anathema together** since the first time I read the book, lo these many years ago.

**Between them, Mssrs Gaiman and Pratchett have written, basically, one falling-in-love story that I've found interesting and satisfying and, friends, it's not that one.
darchildre: text:  library rules 1) silence 2) books must be returned by due date 3) do not interfere with the nature of causality (library rules)
Mystery Cake update:

My supervisor sent out an email to all of our staff and also the staff of the community center, inquiring about the origins of the cake. No one claimed it.

So, this morning, after consulting with our children's librarian and our manager, she threw it away. Which is almost certainly for the best because, as several of you astutely pointed out, the most likely explanation is that it was left by the Fair Folk and thus not worth risking.
darchildre: rebis in a purple trenchcoat, looking enigmatic (rebis says:)
I came into the library this morning to find a chocolate cake on our breakroom table. I had to turn the alarm off and turn the lights on, so I was clearly the first person in today. Therefore, I assumed that the cake had been left by the people who worked on Saturday.

When my coworker arrived, who had worked on Saturday, she said that the cake had not been there when she closed.

There's a note on the box the cake is in, inviting us to help ourselves. None of us recognize the handwriting. The box has clearly been opened previously, but the cake inside does not appear to have been touched in any way.

It looks like a really good cake but none of us have so much as opened it yet because it is Mystery Cake and thus not to be trusted.
darchildre: rebis in a purple trenchcoat, looking enigmatic (rebis says:)
The thing about listening to Friends at the Table while I drive to work in the morning is that most of the time it's great but sometimes Twilight Mirage spoilers )...I pull into the parking lot and have to go to work like nothing out of the ordinary is happening.

This is the worst possible timing, you guys, and it is such a long time till my lunch break.
darchildre: seventh doctor and ace, moody and muted (ghostlight)
One of my least favorite patrons is in today: this lady.

She has become a much less regular regular in the past few years and I haven't been sad to see her go, because after that conversation, once a few weeks had passed, she continued to regularly call me terrible pet names. It still irritates me but I have tried to let it go. She's an old lady and set in her (terrible) ways. I assumed that she had forgotten about that (absurdly insulting) conversation.

Today, in less than an hour, she has called me "honey", "sweetie", "love", "darling", and (a new low) "baby heart". I hate it but I've been trying hard to let all the stupid names slide off me and not let how much I hate them show on my face as I'm interacting with her. I work in customer service and I privately believe that hospitality is the highest of virtues. But I guess I let some emotion slip on "baby heart" because she looked at me and said, "You're just too young for me to call you 'ma'am', honey."

So, you know that I dislike this. You remember that I don't like when you call me terrible pet names and that I've asked you to stop. But you've decided that you can't use my name - which you absolutely know - and you can't use the terms that society has invented to speak to someone with respect when you're not using a name*, because your pleasure in what you call me outweighs my preference. And you've decided to tell me about your awful decision in a way that further diminishes me.

I am a grown adult, rapidly approaching 40. If I had chosen to, I might have adolescent children by now. I realize that I can't escape being called demeaning things by strangers entirely because I look like a woman but gods, surely there must come a time when they stop excusing themselves by mentioning my "youth".

*Even if you think I'm "too young" to be called ma'am, what the hell is wrong with "miss"?
darchildre: the outline of a 20-sided die over a faded rainbow on a black background (d&d time!)
Playing D&D for the first time in weeks. We have just killed the first Big Bad of the campaign - a bogeyman who's been tormenting us since the first session. I have taken his terrible garish coat (and all of its contents) to add to my mushroom druid's pile of bag lady layers. It doesn't match but then, none of her clothes do.

Current report of the contents of Rinn's pockets: 2 dead mice (1 zombie), 14 acorns, 1 snake skull, 9 rocks of various colors, 28 pieces of string of various thickness and color, 6 pieces of moss, one horrible rotted thing that she no longer remembers the origin of, 1 human finger bone, 2 pieces of toast, small knot of horsehair, bone ocarina (humanoid bone), purple spotted mushroom (from the corpse of a lava drake), 1 yellow gem, 1 blue gem, 14 pale blue lindwurm scales, 2 dinner rolls, 4 new mosses from the sewers (one is purple), waffle-fish stuffed with bean paste, pamphlet explaining duke el-kaiser's weapon collection, sample of a fungus that prevents the working of healing magic, a mushroom from a mushroom zombie, three pieces of fruit, one dose of drugs, handful of yellow mushrooms from the corpse of a giant toad thing, bone flute, the bogeyman's terrible top hat, a silver circlet set with four emeralds, a portable hole, a nature journal and drawing supplies, a clockwork amulet, and 17 children's teeth of various fae origins.

The bogeyman had the teeth in his pocket to begin with but Rinn is definitely keeping them. She may make them into a bracelet.
darchildre: a very sad t-rex (i do not know why i am so terrible)
All winter, every couple weeks, I have gotten what I have started thinking of as a "proto-cold". It's a scratchy throat that never quite turns into a sore throat, a slight sniffle, occasional mild vertigo, and the kind of stuffy pre-headache that I often get when I have sinus problems. It never turns into an actual cold, just lingers for a day or two and then disappears.

It is infuriating. Weirdly, I think I would rather actually catch the damn cold because then perhaps this mild malaise would stop happening every few weeks. Also, then I would have actual symptoms to point, rather than a vaguely run-down feeling and general listlessness.

I woke up with a proto-cold again this morning. I very much hate it.
darchildre: graffiti of a crow saying, "listen" (listen)
At choir tonight, I had one of those weird situations where someone gave me a very nice compliment but it was, unfortunately, a compliment that is completely untrue. I'm never sure how to deal with that.

One of the people who sits near me was talking about how she likes sitting near me because I have a strong voice and usually am one of the first people to get the part done - "You're an extraordinary sight singer."

Y'all, I am abysmal at sight singing. I am the worst. Instead, I have a very good ear and a happy facility for memorization - if I hear my part two or three times and get to sing it on the third one, chances are I will have it down.* And by the time we get to the concert, I probably won't need the sheet music anymore, which allows me to watch the director better.

So one is torn between refusing a compliment and then bragging about the things one is actually good at, or accepting a compliment that's very wrong. It's difficult.

*Also, I'm a first soprano, so I can always always hear my part at the top of the chord. Having been a first soprano all my life means that I am incapable of singing any note but the top of the chord, because first sopranos are the equivalent of that one kid who gets through high school without ever having to study and then has no good study habits in college. (I was that kid also.)
darchildre: (natasha does not have time for this shit)
While I enjoy his work immensely and am grateful to him for introducing me to the poem in the first place, I will admit to being very annoyed that when I google There Will Come Soft Rains, I invariably get the Bradbury results before the Teasdale.
darchildre: rebis in a purple trenchcoat, looking enigmatic (rebis says:)
I've been saying for years that the one comicbook adaptation I want about all other is Doom Patrol so, since DC is actually making a Doom Patrol tv show and the first episode became available last night, I was contractually obligated to watch it.

It was actually pretty good! )
darchildre: Tiny Flash with his arms up going "yay!" (flash says yay!)
Fannish things:

Friends at the Table )

Comics )
darchildre: the fourth doctor's scarft (crafty geek)
The thing about teaching myself to spin from books and articles and the occasional youtube video is that there are probably a lot of small things that, if I were being taught by a person, they would have told me in passing or I would have picked up by watching them. But since I'm teaching myself, some of those things get missed because they aren't the specific subject of those articles or youtube videos. (Also, most spinning books - not all, but most - assume that you might start with a spindle but are inevitably going to "progress" to spinning on a wheel and thus concentrate on teaching you techniques for a wheel. I am entirely uninterested in wheel spinning.)

I mention this because I've recently discovered that I've been doing something the hardest possible way. When you spin, the single-strand yarn that you make is called a singles. You can decide that your singles are finished as they are, or you can make another singles (or several more) and spin them together - that's plying. I had been spinning my singles and winding them into separate balls, then trying to ply them from those two balls. This inevitably led to them getting horribly tangled and me crying and hating the whole plying process.

But! A week or so ago, I stumbled on an old ravelry conversation about making ply balls: once you've spun your two singles (or however many), you take them and wind them together into a ball and then ply from that, from the outside in. This keeps them under tension and doesn't allow them to tangle and makes the plying process so much easier. Plus, you get a preview of how the colors in your singles are going to interact with each other.

And I don't end up crying when I ply anymore, which is a definite positive.
darchildre: sepia toned, a crow perched on a gravestone (gravestone)
My mom and I watched A Quiet Place tonight, which I now wholeheartedly regret missing in the theaters because damn, that would have been a fun time.

It was also a somewhat weird viewing experience for me because - you know that thing, where if you have a particular kind of knowledge or expertise, it's easy to become distracted watching movies that focus on that thing? Like, it's hard for doctors and nurses to watch medical shows, etc?

So, when I was fairly young - middle school-ish, probably - I read a fantasy novel that contained an assassin. It had elaborate descriptions of how silently the man moved. I don't know why that seized my imagination so much - I have never wanted to be an assassin - but it absolutely did* and I immediately started trying to teach myself to be, at will, as quiet as possible.

This is relatively easy while sitting still - just a matter of committing to actually being still (which is hard for me, as I am a fidget) and being aware of how one is breathing. I find that I consistently breathe more quietly when I breathe through my mouth. YMMV. Moving is more challenging, especially depending the clothing you're wearing and the surface you're moving across**. Interacting with other objects is the hardest thing. This sort of thing requires a good bit of concentration and effort and, of course, you can't do anything quickly.

Trying to be absolutely silent is therefore not really good for being sneaky, as sneaking requires a certain element of speed. However, I do recommend it as a sort of mindfulness practice, in the same vein as a walking meditation. One is forced to pay close attention to one's body and every way that it's interacting with the world, every thing or surface that it touches. One is compelled to take care.

I find it very calming and...centering, I suppose. If you do it enough, you develop a constant quiet awareness of your body - how your feet fall when you walk, how your breathing sounds at any given moment.
It provides a pleasing sense of full embodiment. There's also something...comforting, maybe, in the knowledge that one is going to inevitably fail at it - there's not actually a way for a living, moving creature to be perfectly silent. Eventually, a dish is going to clink or your foot is going to skid a little too much or you're going to have to swallow - swallowing is so loud! And then you recover as quietly as possible and keep going.

I feel a bit weird and self-conscious talking about this - it feels like an inherently somewhat strange thing to do - but then, it's never actually occurred to me to talk about it before, so maybe there are bunches of us out there deliberately being very very quiet. Who knows?

Anyway. I liked A Quiet Place but I did occasionally want to turn to my mom and make remarks about how I would have gone about being quiet differently.

*I mean, it's almost certainly linked to my social anxiety, right? The same reason my answer to "what super power do you want?" is always "to be able to go dim like a Stephen King character." I have a horror of being noticed a lot of the time.

**I actually started thinking about this because the first scene of the movie involves the characters moving across the interior of a store. While their decision to go barefoot throughout the film is in general a good one, on smooth man-made surfaces such as tile, linoleum, or polished hardwood flooring, one is much better served wearing socks.
darchildre: space commander travis is pissed.  text:  "please fuck off and die.  thanks." (travis says "fuck off and die")
Y'know, when I moved to Washington 18 years ago I thought, "Well, it rains all the time and there's a possibility that I may die in a giant earthquake or tsunami, but at least I am done with shoveling snow!"

On the plus side, my driveway is currently clear. On the minus side, it is snowing. Again.

Shoveling snow is the worst.
darchildre: graffiti of a crow saying, "listen" (listen)
It snowed again this afternoon and all the libraries are closed tomorrow. While I don't mind the time off - it means I have plenty of time for all the spinning I want to do - being essentially trapped inside is becoming somewhat monotonous.

On the other hand, I did manage to finish Winter in Hieron plus the post-mortem today. This is not really a spoiler but... )

And now, on to Twilight Mirage!
darchildre: scorpius and braca, apparently having eyesex.  text:  "otp" (scorpius/braca)
Ultimate Fanfic Trope Showdown:

1 Loyalty Kink
2 Found Families
3 Enemies to Friends to Lovers
Look, no one is surprised by any of this )
darchildre: a very sad t-rex (i do not know why i am so terrible)
It snowed very heavily last night - we got something like 4 to 5 inches where I live. (I realize, to people in snowy places, that doesn't seem like much, but western Washington rarely gets this much snow and so we don't have infrastructure in place to deal with it. Or snowboots.)

I don't have anywhere I need to go today, so it's not negatively affecting me yet. However, I was supposed to go into Seattle tomorrow to hang out with my sisters and unless things change drastically before tomorrow morning, I don't see that still happening.

Also, my mom keeps talking about how it's supposed to keep snowing off and on for the next week or so and, you guys, if I have to cancel my Longbeach vacation due to snow, I am going to be very upset. Every time I've tried to take a solo vacation (or even just stay home by myself) for the past year, sometimes has gone wrong and my vacation has either been canceled or filled with other people or disrupted to the point of not being relaxing at all. I love my family dearly but I also desperately need some time away from them from time to time.

Keep your fingers crossed that the snow all melts before next week, okay?


darchildre: a candle in the dark.  text:  "a light in dark places". (Default)

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