darchildre: Tiny Flash with his arms up going "yay!" (flash says yay!)

- I have gotten so bad at updating, OMG.

- I bought new boots last week. They are Doc Martens and are black with secret rainbows. In that, they are coated with some kind of oil-slick looking substance that you can only see in the right light. I love them, but we are still in the breaking-in process so they hurt my feet.

- My mom is currently in Alabama (ferrying my grandmother to my aunt's house), so Dad and I are on our own. Since most of the tv shows we watch together we also watch with Mom, we're saving them till she gets back and I am getting random movies that look fun for for Dad and me from the library. So far, we have watched Lady from Shanghai and Field of Dreams. You guys, I had never seen Field of Dreams before and it is far and away one of the weirdest stories I've ever seen. I mean, I kinda loved it but wow. That is some weird baseball magic.

- Also, I have read too much Stephen King in my life to think that strange voices in the corn are ever something you should listen to. Don't build a baseball field! Burn down the corn instead!

- Relatedly, I am currently reading 14 by Peter Clines, and Dracula, and Caligari's Chlidren, which is a book on horror film from the late 70's. (Written just before Halloween. The author talks a lot about how horror film comes in waves and I have this weird gleeful joy that he's standing right in front of another one and doesn't know it. I hope he enjoyed it.) And, y'know, I am just a fundamentally happier person when part of my brain is thinking about monsters and horror film. I suppose that's why I always reach for horror when I'm in a bad place. But I am not in a bad place right now, so basically my monsters just make me happy.

- Today, I am meeting my sisters in Seattle for brunch and we are going to the ballet. That sentence sounds like it ought to belong to someone else's life, but it is indeed mine.
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)
Good things:

The other day, I discovered that a horror author I very much like and whom I thought had only ever written two books - T.E.D. Klein - had, in fact, written a third book. Or, at least, had a collection of some of his previously uncollected short fiction published in 2006. It was a limited release and copies now are prohibitively expensive, but a nearby library system had one. So I put in an ILL request and got it in less than a week! It is in my bag right now and I get to start it on my break! (And then maybe I will reread The Ceremonies, because it's been long enough that I don't remember the details of the scary bits.)

Not so good things:

One of my first patrons of the day brought in a book that he had to return because it was on hold for someone else, but wanted to put it back on hold for himself. Which I did for him, and then told him, in response to his question, that he was now 10th in line for it and it would be a little while before he got it back. And he frowned and walked away, loudly monologuing about how sad and disappointed his wife would be that they wouldn't be getting it again sooner. 10 minutes later, his wife came up to check out and loudly told me that she was, indeed, disappointed.

People, fussing at me does not get your book here faster. I do not control the holds queue.
darchildre: children reading books in a field. (books are for adventure!)
Today, my family has been cleaning out our storage unit, in preparation for no longer having a storage unit. In doing so, we found one of my favorite childhood books, that I thought was long lost or given away - Folktales of the Amur.

Oh my god, you guys - first of all, the stories are great, and I very much look forward to revisiting them. But the illustrations are the best part. The art is by Gennady Pavlishin and it is amazing. I will give you just two examples, but I invite you to google for more, as it's amazing. pictures under the cut )

I am so excited to have this book back, I cannot even tell you.
darchildre: a crow being held in one hand.  text:  "bird in hand" (bird in the hand)
Things since my last update:

- The library moved! Our new building is big and beautiful and doesn't smell like cabbage! We have shiny new books! The designers foolishly made the carpet textured and now our carts sound incredibly loud while we're shelving! But mostly things are pretty great.

- We also have a backroom! It is amazing how much less stressed I feel at work now that I have a place that I can occasionally go and hide. Also, we can do all of the processing in the backroom, which means that I don't have to try to get it done as quickly, since it's not in the way of the patrons.

- I saw both Batman vs Superman and Civil War. The latter was great, and I am embarrassed to have spent money to see the former. Oh DC, when will you make it less embarrassing to be a fan?

- I finished a new papercraft house that lights up from the inside. I'm very proud of it, so there will be pictures later.

- While building it, I have been listening to my Dark Adventure Radio Theatre cds. Because apparently it is time for a resurgence of Lovecraft fannishness.

- I need someone to tell me that picking a short book I like and translating the entire thing into senesh is a silly project and I shouldn't do. Probably that's a bad idea, right?

- I am, in general, really happy right now. It's pretty great.
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)
So, as I've mentioned, my library is moving. (My other library is not, but I am moving from it, because I am transferring all my hours to my main library and will only be working there after today.)

This is stressful in a lot of ways. There's the normal 'oh god, we're moving!' stress, and the 'the shelves have not been placed correctly and now we have to take all the books off and move them' stress, and the 'PR is making stupid decisions about things in our new library because they are PR and not actually library staff but now we have to learn to live with them' stress, and the 'we open on Saturday and stuff still isn't done' stress, and 'I still don't have a finalized schedule for next week - could you at least decide what hours I work on Monday?' stress. I mean, also it's good - our new library is beautiful and full of shiny new books and has an actual staff room - but I may have spent most of yesterday fantasizing about the extinction of humanity and that something I really only do when I'm anxious/depressed. So that's cool.

The move and the stress also means that I haven't been online much for the past few weeks - I don't have my usual 'projects are done and I'm between patrons - time to browse the interwebs!' desk time right now, of course. And when I get home, basically all I want to do on the computer is play Stardew Valley because that is the opposite of stressful. So if you have all been very exciting lately, I have missed it - sorry.

(The exception to the lack of internet time is the fact that I'm rereading Dracula and sorta kinda liveblogging it on tumblr. Wanna come talk about Dracula with me? There or here, either's good.)
darchildre: green ultra magnified bacteria.  text:  "their habitation is even one with your guarded threshold." (what man knows kadath?)
A thought I had this morning:

So. My mother's people are part of the Portuguese diaspora, specifically that part that settled in New Bedford around the beginning of the 20th century. Which means that my family is part of the influx of 'swarthy and degenerate foreigners' who scared HP Lovecraft so much.

And therefore...

I probably really am a Deep One and anticipate growing gills any day now.
darchildre: kay caldwell looking predatory and vampiric (kay caldwell:  vampire queen)

- Thank you all for your kind wishes, but alas, I did not get the job. I am disappointed but not hugely broken up about it - there will be more opportunities in the future.

- Our old library is closed and we are beginning the process of moving to the new one! Yesterday, all the books got moved (by a moving company, not by us) and I got to go into the new branch for the first time. You guys, it is so big and bright and shiny! There are so many chairs and so many big windows and we have an actual break room that isn't anyone's office and an actual back room to do check in and processing and nothing smells like cabbage at all! I am very excited. Now we have to go through all the stuff that isn't books in the old library and decide what we need to keep. So much shredding to do, you guys. So much.

( - I do feel like we ought to do some sort of landtaking for the new library, or at least do something to invite the ghosts from the old building into the new one, but I'm not sure how to talk everyone else into it.)

- I have kinda been in a monster mood for the past few days, which is exciting because that hasn't happened in, like, a year. I kinda want to spend the day watching Dracula movies and thinking about my Marya Zaleska/Kay Caldwell au that someday really will be written down but, y'know, work. Have to do that instead.

- I should maybe find a new horror novel. Haven't done that in a while, either.
darchildre: audrey leaning back and smoking, looking confident (i'm audrey horne and i get what i want)
So, there's a new position opening up at my library and I'm applying.

I have not applied for a job in 11 years, you guys, it's super weird. There is all kinds of stuff that I've never actually had to do before. Like, okay, I realize this is going to sound incredible to most of you, but I've never actually had to write a cover letter before? They didn't require one when I first applied to the library, lo these many moons ago, and I've stuck there ever since. Also, let me tell you, writing a cover letter to an organization and person that you already work for is super weird, because a cover letter is supposed to introduce you, but these people already know me. They encouraged me to apply for this job - they already think I'm pretty cool. Selling myself to them feels kinda redundant. "Hi, I'm Sara, I work with you every day, I am passionate about my job and devoted to my community, please pay me more moneys."

Anyway. I had a phone interview this morning (it was with someone from HR, rather than someone I see every day, which is good because a phone interview with people I see every day would have felt silly). I think it went okay. ::fingers crossed::
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)
In our library, we have a combination printer/photocopier. The photocopy part is controlled by a panel on the machine itself, while print jobs from the patron computers are released via a print release terminal on a table right next to the printer. The print release terminal says "PRINT RELEASE" in big purple letters. There are instructions on the table explaining how to use the print release terminal. The panel on the copier has big letters that say "USE THIS SCREEN FOR COPIES ONLY!"

Every day - every day - I have at least one patron come up to the desk and say, "I sent something to the printer and put my money in and all I got was this blank piece of paper!" Well, sir or madam, that is because you are apparently incapable of reading even very basic, very obvious instructions.

I tell you what, I am really looking forward to our three-week closure.
darchildre: text: "i am a terrifying and imposing figure" (they said i'd be ambassador to france)
Things of lately:

- I am over my terrible cold (mostly) and my Dad is back from Taiwan. He was there for a month, that is entirely too long.

- This past weekend, I went to see Assassins in Seattle, which was SO GOOD, OMG. I'm so glad I decided to do the ridiculous thing and buy myself two tickets, because I need to see it again. I just - I have a lot of feelings about that show. It's possible that Assassins is my favorite musical, and if that's not true, it's at least in the top five. The ACT's production is really great, if you're in Seattle and can get tickets you really should, and I'm super happy that I'm going again in April.

- I have finished reading Wizard and Glass and have started Wind Through the Keyhole. I always think I don't like Wizard much until I'm reading it and then I remember that it's actually really good and that I do actually sorta kinda care about Roland and Susan's doomed romance. Plus, Cuthbert. Wind Through the Keyhole is entirely new to me, which is exciting.

- Vaguely relatedly, I decided I needed something new to listen to after getting through a large portion of Saga Thing, so I spun the dial of "Things Sara is Interested In" and ended up with old time radio westerns. So I am listening to Gunsmoke. There is a huge amount of it, it's really quite good, and the episodes are almost exactly the length of my daily commute, so I can do exactly two a day if I want. I remain astounded and immensely pleased at the sheer amount of old time radio the internet wants to give me for free.

- We are now about a week and half out from the day the Kingston library closes for three weeks so that we can move into our new building! I'm super excited about the new place, but also weirdly excited about the closure. I mean, I'll still be working, but I'll be working in a library that's closed so all the really annoying people won't be there to bother me. My least favorite patron (who only comes in when he has a hold to pick up, but has a lot of holds so that's nearly every day) came in yesterday to suspend all of his holds till after we reopen (because he refuses to go to the next closest library which is 10 minutes away), so I don't have to see him for a month! I like most of our patrons, but it's still nice to have a break now and then.
darchildre: graffiti of a crow saying, "listen" (listen)
So, I am sick. I stayed home from work yesterday, which was an excellent decision. Today, I feel a little better, but am extremely glad it's Saturday and I don't have to go anywhere or do anything at all.

(BTW, do you think that there is a law declaring that all cough-and-cold medicine has to taste nasty? Is there a congressperson or something I should be writing to? I mean, there is a reason that when you google "home cough remedies" the first one on every list is "stick a spoonful of honey in your face." That is because those people know what I have been suffering.)

But that's not what I came here to post about. I came here to tell you about the Saga Thing podcast, which I spend several hours knitting to yesterday. You guys, it is great. It's two dudes, and first they give you a nice summary-and-discussion of an Icelandic saga, and then they grade on a bunch of criteria, like "Best bloodshed scene" or "Wittiest dialogue" or "Best nicknames". And the first three episodes are a wonderful easy background summary of life in Iceland during the saga period, as well as how the sagas were written. It is educational and entertaining. The two dudes are pretty funny, in that sitting-around-with-your-friends kind of way, and clearly passionate and well-educated on their topic.

Bonus: you don't have to have read the sagas in question to enjoy the podcast - the first one they did, Hrafnkel's Saga, I had not read at all and I found their summary and discussion really interesting and easy to follow. I'm in the middle of the episodes on Eyrbyggja Saga, which I have read and which is long and very episodic, and I felt they did a great job of summarizing and tying everything together. Plus, they talked about the spectral seal head that comes up through the floor at one point and is never explained, and about the time one guy stopped a haunting by suing the ghosts. That last is a perfect encapsulation of everything great about the sagas, I'm so happy it exists in the world. They're mostly covering the family sagas, but they have done The Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok, so there may be some other genres in there at some point. (Not that the family sagas aren't great - they are. I just always want to talk about the Volsungasaga.)

So if you've ever thought to yourself, "Well, I'd like to learn more about the Icelandic sagas, but I'm just not up to actually reading one right now," this would be a great podcast for you. And if you just want to listen to two dudes talking about a bunch of people with names like Thorstein Codbiter and Thorgrimma Witch-face fighting badass duels and suing ghosts, then I also recommend it. 8)
darchildre: sepia toned, a crow perched on a gravestone (gravestone)
There have, of course, been many times in my life when I have caught a cold and not been reading a Stephen King novel but I swear to god that I have never managed to read any of his books that talk about Captain Trips without developing at least a sniffle and a cough.

(I am reading Wizard and Glass, have just gotten to the point where we encounter a whole bunch of dead people who died of superflu, and I have a cold. And, okay, on one level I kind of enjoy that level of immersion into the story - well done, body - but on the other hand, I would like to not feel sick.)
darchildre: dorothy in the ruins of oz.  text:  "beware the wheelers" (beware the wheelers!)
I mean, it's not that I'm not glad I no longer have the "you never actually graduated from college and we're taking your diploma away" anxiety dreams. It's just that I don't think the "you missed your train/bus/plane/ferry and thus will not make the connection to the next leg of your travels and also now you are stranded with no money and possibly in a place where you don't speak the language" anxiety dreams are any better.

I don't even have to do anything scary today! What did I do to deserve anxiety dreams?
darchildre: a road leading straight to a distant horizon.  text:  "path of the beam" (road to faraway)
So, I'm rereading The Wastelands - which, you guys, I have so many feelings about this series, so many. I'm always worried, when I take a long break from something I love, that I'm going to come back and find that it was visited by the suck fairy in my absence, or that I will have somehow outgrown it or something. That has not happened to the Dark Tower, I'm so relieved. It's not perfect, and it's still one of those things that I'm a little hesitant to recommend to others, because it was so Important to me that I'm not sure I can' properly gauge its actual quality, but I am still filled with the crazy love.

Anyway. Rereading The Wastelands and I'm nearly to the end and I swear to god, this happens every time I read this book. I'm all, "Wait, they're not even on the train yet, how do we possibly have time for the riddle contest?" And I flip to the back of the book (I've read it before, I'm allowed), and there's the frelling terrible cliffhanger and every time I am surprised. My brain insists that the riddle contest must be in book three, even though it has never actually been there, because that cliffhanger is just cruel.

I didn't start reading Stephen King till I was in highschool, which means that I didn't start reading the Dark Tower till after Wizard and Glass was published. And now, all of the books are on my kindle, so when I finish book three, I get to go straight to book four. Those of you who actually read the books as they came out and so had to be in suspense for five years - you have my sincerest sympathies, because that sounds awful.

(I mean, I had to wait between books four and five with the rest of you, but that wasn't nearly as bad.)
darchildre: (natasha does not have time for this shit)
We had a windstorm yesterday, which knocked out the power in a lot of places, as well as leaving debris all over. So I got to the library this morning a half-hour before opening, to find that the computers are all funny because of the outage, there's debris everywhere outside, our clock that's supposed to reset itself for DST hasn't, neither have the automatic locks on the doors, and my coworker is out sick. So it's just me and my manager, who's busy doing managerial things.

Okay, cool, so I'm running around trying to get all the opening stuff done that usually has two of us to do it, plus all the extra stuff due to the power outage and DST. And I get all of the inside stuff done, we open okay, and I run out to get the newspapers, because if we don't have the Wall Street Journal in its place first thing in the morning, the cranky guy who reads it every day will be the first person through the door and he'll crab at us.

While I'm digging through the bookdrop for the newspapers, a patron walks past me. So I put on my customer service smile and cheerily wish her a good morning. And what do I get in return?

"You need to sweep that stuff up."

Gosh, I am glad that I came out to open the library so you could get your books today, ma'am, instead of staying home to drink tea and reread The Gunslinger. It's awfully nice to know that people are so kind and appreciative.
darchildre: the seventh doctor explaining things to ace (seven explains the plot)
Recently, I have been spending some time doing seneshi translations of randomly selected passages from books I like. Would you like to see them? (Of course you would.)

Here they are! )

And that is what I did during the last few days when I wasn't working.
darchildre: roland deschain before the tower, with a raven on his shoulder.  text:  runes spelling "eiwaz" (eiwaz is the tower)
Friends, I have an important question:

Because of reasons, I currently desire to revisit the Dark Tower series. It's been about 5 years since I last did so and I have not yet read The Wind Through the Keyhole.

So. Should I start at the beginning and read through to the end with Wind Through the Keyhole as the last book, or start with the one I haven't read? Or is there another place in the order that Wind Through the Keyhole should go?

Tangential question: do you have opinions on whether this reread should be original flavor or revised Gunslinger?
darchildre: text only:  "unlimited rice pudding!" (daleks are silly)
Conlanging tip:

Maybe don't translate something that requires you to make a bunch of new words, stick those words in a random-ass document somewhere, and only decide 5 months later to put them in your senesh-to-English dictionary. Because the weird cryptic notes you made to yourself won't make sense anymore and you won't remember what gender you wanted half of the nouns to be and you'll have to figure it out all over again.

Why did you put an asterisk by one word with no accompanying note, past-Sara? What does the asterisk mean?

Also, if you put new words in the dictionary right away, you won't discover five months later that one of your new words is, in fact, identical to a different word you'd already made up and that you really can't finagle it into being a homonym or that one of them is an idiomatic usage.

This is a hobby fraught with frustration.
darchildre: a crow being held in one hand.  text:  "bird in hand" (bird in the hand)
So, my dad's off on a business trip and my Mom had been planning to spend yesterday and today in Seattle, so I took those two days off so that someone would be at home with Granny. And also, as a mental health break. It has been great

Yesterday, I did all my laundry, made bread, and built a wee paper dollhouse.

Wanna see my wee paper dollhouse? )

Today, I have caught up on correspondence. I owed four penpal letters and a birthday card to my sister, and now all of them are in the mail. (Well, not one of the letters, because it is actually a penpal journal, where we mail a notebook back and forth. That means I need a mailer, which I don't have, and need to go to the actual post office. And it is raining really hard and I don't want to go outside past the mailbox, so it will get mailed latter. But it's written, at least!)

Now I am going to go make fancy hot chocolate* and catch up on my comicbook backlog. Today is a day of accomplishments.

*Friends, have you always thought that hot cocoa wasn't rich or thick or chocolatey enough? Do you have 20 minutes free? Go and make that thing. You will not regret it.
darchildre: moody black-and-white crow looking thoughtful (crow is thoughtful)
I have had Crooked Still's version of Wind and Rain stuck in my head for about 12 hours now. Let me tell you, that's a fun song to unconciously sing around other people and watch them slowly realize what the lyrics are.

On a related note, I would like to restate my lack of objection to having my body made into a musical instrument after my death. Y'know, in case anyone wants to. I'll try not to haunt it, so that you'll be able to play more than one song.
darchildre: The lady Melisandre with a candle, looking particularly intense. (melisandre will set you on fire)
Dear library patron,

It is not acceptable to call me "Shylock" because the cash register is at my station, holy shit.

Wow, dude. Wow.
darchildre: the fourth doctor's scarft (crafty geek)
So today, instead of going to work and feeling miserable, I stayed home, sat in a chair listening to audiobooks, and made a tiny paper city.

Wanna see my tiny paper city? )

I really love making paper models, you guys. It's fiddly enough to hold my attention for a long time without being so hard that it's frustrating, it's a pretty inexpensive hobby, and I get to feel like I've made something cool at the end. Plus, when I get tired of whatever it is I've made and want to make something new, the old thing is recyclable.

And now I have sat quietly all day and feel much better, so that's two accomplishments in one.
darchildre: moody black-and-white crow looking thoughtful (crow is thoughtful)
Today, I am conflicted.

See, I am dizzy. This is often the first warning I get that I'm coming down with a cold: a constant feeling that I'm leaning to the side, slightly greater difficulty walking in a straight line, a certainty that I'm about to fall over. I went home early from work yesterday because of it, and I've still got it, and I basically feel that I would be best served by sitting quietly in a chair all day.

But! I don't have any other symptoms, and I feel dumb calling in sick to work for dizziness.

It is a dilemma.

ETA - Took a shower, still feel dizzy. Am calling in sick.
darchildre: a crow being held in one hand.  text:  "bird in hand" (bird in the hand)
Sadly, one cannot call into work and say, "Nope, can't come in today - I am listening to murder ballads and have just realized that I need to learn at least 3 different versions of Two Sisters."

(Someday, I will be in a situation where my knowledge of various versions of ballads where people die horribly is useful. I don't know what that situation would be, but I'm sure it'll happen.)
darchildre: a crow being held in one hand.  text:  "bird in hand" (bird in the hand)

- Since November, I've been trying to write in my paper journal every day. I find this leads to not writing here. Sorry.

- Earlier this week, a notoriously child-hating patron of the library came in and handed me a box of candy canes saying, "There'll be kids in here soon, maybe you can hand these out." I thanked him, put them in the office, and didn't give them to anyone. They were still wrapped, so I'm pretty sure they weren't poisoned, but you never can tell.

- I am still reading a lot of Revolutionary War-related nonfiction. The thing about reading about Thomas Jefferson is that I want to make notes that just say NERD in big letters on basically every line, which is probably not helpful. (Oh god, he was so hilariously terrible.)

- Yesterday, I told a coworker my theory about Washington having magical powers. She nodded and then asked if I had read Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and we talked about that for a while. Sadly, she works mostly at Poulsbo and was only subbing at Kingston, so she can't be my new work-best-friend.

- I went to see Deadpool yesterday and it was pretty much everything I wanted out of a Deadpool movie, by which I mean that it was full of stabbing and jokes I would feel uncomfortable about if my parents were in the room. Sometimes, that is all I want in life.

- For the past few weeks, I've been attending a Quaker meeting on Sundays. (You can be a Quaker and not be a Christian. Who knew, right?) It is immensely satisfying. Which is maybe a weird thing to say about sitting in a circle with a dozen other people and mostly not talking at all while you all think about god/the gods for an hour, but yeah, it really is. I won't be able to go next week, and I'm pretty sure I'm really going to miss it.

- The reason I can't go is that next week is my grandmother's 90th birthday and all the aunts are coming. Also my cousin and his wife. And my sisters. And while I'm super happy that they can all come to celebrate Granny's birthday, oh my god, where are we going to put them all, what are we going to do with them, I have never met my cousin's wife and will have to make conversation with her, oh no.

And that's what going on with me!


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

June 2016



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