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things that are making me happy this week

C is home (for now). it's good.

i signed up for the comiXology Unlimited trial Tuesday  night, and promptly read three trades (two i knew about, one that was a new discovery). where Marvel Unlimited is narrow (Marvel only) but deep back through the Silver Age, comiXology Unlimited is broad (pretty much every publisher other than Marvel and DC) but shallow in that it only seems to offer first volumes. i found out about the service because Paul Constant instantly bitched about it being terrible for creators.* having used the app, it's as terrible for creators as Baen Free Library (i.e. not at all) with a side order of consumers being able to instantly buy the issues that aren't included in the subscription. seems like a money-spinner to me - i'm going to have to come up with some rules about spending. it definitely beats the eternal waits for library copies of trades (especially when my local branch is closed for renovations).

seriously, Sex Criminals and Trees! <3 <3 <3

I got caught up on the finale of The Flash.

*comiXology is owned by Amazon, so it must be the devil's tool. i'm sorry the book store you worked for went under. it's been like, 20 years man. i admit that i still hate Lowe's for fucking over the hardware store i worked for in college, but i don't write a doomsday screed every time Lowe's sneezes. i ignore them.

C is coming home for two weeks, starting Thursday.

it's only two weeks, but i'll take what i can get.

he was so cute on our video call tonight. *muppetflail*

no, let me sum up

on Thursday, i had ice cream for dinner.

i had a draft post about how well my routine has been working, that Leela super-loves daycare, that i miss C but everything is suprisingly okay.

this is all still true.


Wednesday night buhrger and butterflydrming met Leela for the first time. and she would not calm the fuck down. she just stood under the table and made her siren noise: roorooroorooroo. i took turns with mimerki sitting on the floor with her. she does react to new people entering the house, but it has always subsided quickly. not this night. she stopped being noisy eventually, but it was easy to set her off again and i had no idea why (other than the basic "you people aren't C, get out and send C in").*

that night she woke me up repeatedly with these horrible gagging noises. and i'd swim up enough to think that i needed to get her to the emergency vet, and then she would curl up and fall fast asleep, breathing normally. so we stumbled along until the regular vet opened in the morning, and they did a phone consult and assured me that nothing life-threatening was going on and they could see her Friday. having slept for shit, i called off and kept her home, where she eventually started to hawk up phlegm. so yeah, the vet saw her and confirmed that she has kennel cough (basically a doggie cold) and she'll get over it on her own. but she's very contagious, so she really shouldn't interact with other dogs for 10 days.

no daycare. no playing with her neighborhood friends. oof.

since she's so skittish with people, i can't have a dog walker come in. i need to figure out this weekend how to plan my work schedule. the next couple weeks are also the viaduct closure (traffic doom in downtown Seattle) so traveling between home and the office will have additional challenges. i think i'll probably just do shorter office days and log on from home in the evenings.

D starts weekly radiation soon, on top of the chemo. i told C about the dog drama (because in his position i would have wanted to know) and the dumbass told his mom. therefore D, who is retired but will never stop being a cop, has figured out that not everything is okay here and is fretting about disrupting our lives and making noises about how C doesn't have to stay.

i want to yell at him for that.

but i understand. i want people in my life to understand that stuff is happening, but that i also need to be treated mostly like i am a normal person on a normal day and not some fragile glass thing. i got a haircut this week, and my stylist V who i love for NOT being an incessant small-talker and cutting my hair in a businesslike fashion while i sit quietly and enjoy having her hands on my head, asked how i was doing...and i told her. she then talked about cancer stuff the entire time. which was really very sweet. but what i want when i see people is to NOT talk about cancer or how living without C feels like a rehearsal for life after he dies.

it's like wearing a backpack. the weight is distributed pretty well and my conditioning gets better all the time. some days it feels heavier than other days. this week i had to rebalance the load. i'd say that eventually i will get to take it off, but the truth is that it's only the weight and how well it's fitted that changes. everyone is carrying their stuff all day every day.

it's a beautiful day. i'm going to go see the sounders probably lose. My hair is cute, Leela's coughing less and less, The Blue Sword came out as an ebook, and last night pirate A brought me Twizzlers. i am, in spite of everything else, reasonably happy.

*i wish it worked that way. if yelling at everyone who enters the apartment would magically produce C, i would do it too.

put the hinges in the hands

thanks to my influence, the chatbot at work now randomly quotes DJ Khaled when you type ".wisdom"

which gets you things like:
You smart.
And another one.
And another one.

i am afraid to watch the new Powerpuff Girls. but i am delighted to powerpuff myself.

i had an interesting thought recently, when some people were wrong on the internet. i think of myself as having grown up in the least racially and culturally diverse place possible, and i should be even more of a clueless asshole than my WASPy cousins. but that's not actually true. i grew up with visible religious minorities woven into the fabric of my daily life. it was just so normal i don't think about it at all. i'm not frothing at the mouth about those scary Muslims and their different habits because i grew up with the Amish :D

i'm on another Marvel Unlimited binge. i was trying to read Secret Wars, but wow, beyond the Last Days of Ms. Marvel* i can't make myself care. instead i'm reading all of Civil War. it isn't perfect, but much of it is good.

reading Civil War definitely makes the Mr. Impossible storylines in the Venture Bros richer.** man, this season was a real return to form and a pleasure from beginning to (too-swift) end.

*Kamala and Carol Danvers work together, and Kamala's family is awesome. it's the sweetest. <3 <3 <3

**the great thing about Venture Bros is that everything works on its own. you don't need to know anything other than the text. if you can see the references and echoes, then there's another level to appreciate.


We are out of furniture

this morning C started singing Ana Ng while we were walking the dog. it's remarkable what a deep and continuous groove is worn in my head - i'm pretty sure that i can sing all of the songs on Lincoln and Flood in order. (They Might Be Giants get progressively less awesome for me after Flood. Apollo 18 was uneven, and once they brought in the band i really lost interest. we had grown apart.)

i don't know if TMBG made me or knew me. it's indistinguishable now.

lemony crack

i am addicted to Ellenos yogurt with lemon curd. while the flavor is quite tart, it actually has more sugar than their other fruit flavors. yogurt is great breakfast food for me, but the sugar isn't. (and a cup of Ellenos is expensive enough that it should be a sometimes food.)

after confirming that commercial lemon curd + Fage scratched the itch, i could move on to getting the sugar out of the lemon curd. it turns out that a)sugar is not the thickening agent in lemon curd b)lemon curd is remarkably easy.

low-sugar lemon curd
based on David Leibovitz's improved lemon curd.

Makes 1 very generous cup

1/2 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons SugarLeaf (this is a sugar/stevia blend. sweetening equivalent to 1/2 cup sugar.)
2 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

i used a double-boiler made from a saucepan + shallow metal mixing bowl.

  1. half-fill saucepan with water. heat on low.

  2. in the mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks, eggs, and salt.

  3. add the butter cubes and set the bowl on the saucepan, whisking constantly until the butter is melted.

  4. increase the heat to medium and cook, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens to the texture of hair conditioner.

i had to restrain myself from just eating it with a spoon. a test with yogurt nicely replicates the flavor and mouthfeel of the Ellenos lemon curd.

  • for this test i used bottled juice. i have fresh juice in the freezer, i'll use it next time.

  • i have plenty of SugarLeaf and i like it. i'll try a sugar-free version with erythritol eventually.

  • the unused egg whites went in the freezer for later.

  • the original recipe and several others called for straining the mixture when it's complete. i couldn't find anything to strain out, and i don't think i would do it for rogue pulp from squeezed juice.


who is a Bad Feminist?

i don't love Hillary Clinton.

i think it started with her name.

When she came to me and said she wanted to change, I could see in her eyes that she had made the decision to do it. And I said, “I do not want you resenting me. I would a lot rather lose the election than lose you.” She said, “I’m not going anywhere.” I said, “I know, but I don’t want you to resent this for the rest of your life. You made this decision when you were a child. I like it. I approve of the decision. I don’t care about it.” And she said, “Look, Bill, we cannot—this is stupid! We shouldn’t lose the election over this issue. We shouldn’t run this risk. What if it’s one per cent of the vote? What if it’s two per cent? You might win or lose the election by two per cent.”

i remembered this as being something that happened when Bill was running for president. it actually happened when i was in elementary school.

  1. in 1992 she was getting picked at for something she had done ten years before, and that something was in response to some loser who couldn't find something more substantial on her husband.

  2. she was willing to give up her identity for a lousy 2%.

item 1 is part of the treatment she gets as an uppity woman.
item 2 is how her political brain works.

i don't like how her political brain works.

i'm aware that the media is ridiculously hard on her. i know that there are shitheads in both parties that openly use gendered slurs in addition to the dogwhistles. that's all wrong, and i call people on it whenever i can.

i've spent a lot of time checking myself about this. i'm aware of my internalized misogyny and the various ways that it manifests.

so i've done the work. i've compared the actual votes and i've read policy statements and i've taken the various platform tests where statements aren't attributed until the end and there are several places where i genuinely don't agree with her.

i can tell that many women in my life are Disappointed With Me. i'm sorry. i'm not rejecting you. i'm rejecting the Patriot Act and the Iraq War and doing anything to win.


no one on the Republican side this time is remotely acceptable. of course i'll vote for her if she's the nominee.


better late

scarlettina asked me five questions. the answers are below. if you would like five questions (and to perpetuate the best meme), let me know in comments. if you have comments about my answers, let me know in comments. in general, commenting is encouraged all around.

  1. You were without a dog for about a year before Leela joined the household. What's the hardest thing about not having a dog?

  2. ...i really choked on this one. maybe the answer is "having had a dog". we clearly survived somehow before. but we gained a great deal that we didn't entirely know we were missing. mental health stuff mostly. dog *is dog* and makes you feel good just by being around. dog makes you exercise. dog makes you put on pants and talk to your neighbors. dog provides an external focus for anxiety.

  3. You and C haven't taken a big trip in a while. If you could go anywhere and money were no object, where would you go?

  4. space. the ISS would be good enough. (IIRC the Russians aren't doing this anymore.)

    my other powerball fantasy is a cruise around the world. i collected some huge brochures for it about ten years ago. this actually exists, including a trip through the Panama canal. it takes a year. you can bring your dog.

  5. As a knitter, what's your favorite wool to work with and why? Is that a question it's even possible to answer?

  6. favorite wool is more of a spinner question, i think. but my answer is similar - i like wool that is more bouncy and elastic than drapey. i don't have a firm answer yet; i like wool that is related to Downs or Merino (this covers a lot of sheep breeds) better than something like Wendsleydale or Icelandic. (that said, i have a bunch of breed-specific samples to try. i could be wrong. i like exploring this stuff.)

  7. For so many of us, the life we have isn't the life we expected or planned for. If you were living that life, what would it look like?

  8. which one? there have been several. the husband and dog and city of moderate size were always in the plan. the expected life for a very long time included having children. the planned for life (the aspirational life, let's be clear) would be approximately Kurt Beattie - artistic director at a respected regional theatre of moderate size.

  9. Two part question: Is there a Star Trek character you admire most and if so why? If you were a Star Trek character, which would you be? Would they be the same one?

  10. no. "admire" is a word that i only apply to real-life people. i can say that of the Star Trek actors i most admire Patrick Stewart, both for his body of work (Royal Shakespeare Company did several teaching videos that i studied in college) and his charitable causes which include domestic violence and PTSD. honorary mention to Wil Wheaton, who i loathed on the show, but figured out how to create a life on his own terms and a steady income (all while dealing with anxiety and being open about that).
    i'd be Bones - influential and trusted, in charge of his own domain, but not interested in being in charge of all the things. he's brave when needed, occasionally quippy, and can't help saying what he's thinking or at least showing it on his face.

Overthinking it

i read Flex and The Flux over the holidays. enjoyed the heck out of them.

i was thinking about why i liked them better than Ready Player One or His Majesty's Dragon, since they're falling apart in similar ways as soon as i examine them .

let me back up.

Ready Player One was enjoyable, but it annoyed me with its obsessive reliance on references,and using them in ways that didn't serve the story. (it annoyed me even more that the dead character was too young for the content he was obsessed with.) the references got intrusive and painful and masturbatory and overrode the otherwise interesting worldbuilding and story.

His Majesty's Dragon failed on its premise. somehow, intelligent dragons have always been around,and somehow, world history and culture is almost entirely unchanged. oh, and Napoleon is the first person to think of using dragons as dropships for ground troops. complete and utter bullshit. i kind of hate-read some of the sequels, not sure why at this remove, because the writing style annoyed me - i know that she considered Patrick O'Brian to be a major influence and *shudder* she is no Patrick O'Brian. i just kept hoping the world would get better, i guess. (i do HIGHLY RECOMMEND Novik's unrelated book Uprooted. i don't know how they come from the same person.)


in the 'Mancer books, magic is powered by obsession. so you get powers based on fire, or art, or paperwork, or video games. every time you warp the world with your obsession, you have to deal with a flux of bad luck. magic is illegal because it's stupidly dangerous. Europe is a no-man's land post WWII.

the books hinge on an AU where technology and popular culture are basically exactly the tech and culture we know today. one of the main characters is a video game 'mancer who uses familiar console tech and game characters and mechanics to manipulate the world.

if you think for five minutes about how a chunk of the industrialized world disappearing 70 years ago would change both the economy and art, the soufflé deflates. (and that doesn't even address MAGIC,or what happened in the Pacific...Japan must be fine because there's Nintendo and Mortal Kombat. but why? why? why?)

Steinmetz wears his influences on his sleeve. but he's very clever with them, and it so happens that i like his influences.* there was a moment where i literally pumped my fist in the air. (there was also a moment where i stopped and said, yes, Ferrett, i also liked that scene.) but the key here is that the characters are great, their motivations and actions are organic to those characters, and the cultural stuff is almost entirely crucial to the plot and integral to the action instead of "look what i did there".

will you love it if you have never played a video game? i think it's quite possible. and it's pretty hard to be a nerd without having been exposed in a general cultural way to the stuff used in the books. there's certainly enough friendship and adventure to make up for all the Mario. (and there's a fat female nerd with a sex life. *sparkly heart emoji*)

*well, okay, i really really wanted to like Breaking Bad but was blocked by the stuff with his inlaws and his wife. ironymaiden: loves making drugs, killing people,and becoming a horrible person. can't stand mundane family conflict.


I am aware of a monster backlog of questions and answers and experiences to catalog. I just haven't touched the computer at home very much, and this mobile app sucks.

Leela has suddenly started to shed. No wonder she's been itchy lately. Her entire undercoat is going in one big blow. We have a furminator; there's no resistance when you stroke. Like some kind of magic wand that produces superfine fluff. (Yes, I'm collecting it to spin, but I might need a support spindle to make it work since the staple is so short.)

she is having fun

The Beatles hit streaming services today.

the digital revolution shooed me away from The Beatles. their best albums were made without track breaks; i can confirm that the break imposed in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/A Little Help from my Friends still makes me scream and curse. between that and the way releases dribbled out over time and under various restrictions it was easier to enjoy all the other music out there.

i have all the feels.


once upon a time, videodiscs competed with VCR for the home video market. my family lived beyond the reach of cable tv lines, could get a whopping four tv channels over the air (and ABC was always snowy), and couldn't afford one of the giant satellite dishes of the day. it took an hour+ round trip to get to a video rental place. enter Columbia House.

we developed a pretty extensive collection of those heavy plastic-cased discs.* and the club thing meant that occasionally they would throw in random documentaries for free. so The Compleat Beatles arrived at our house unbidden. no one in my family was particularly into The Beatles (mom was too old, dad was into new folk, my brothers loved heavy metal, and while my sister owned The White Album and the red & blue compilations, she passed them to me without a backward look.) the doc hooked me with its exhaustive soundtrack and excellent storytelling. i watched it over and over, and in retrospect i can credit it (and another freebie, Girl Groups: the Story of a Sound) with both the formation of an independent taste in music and my love of documentary film.

The Beatles, with their evolving sound and differing writing styles, set me up for appreciating a variety of music. they had songs for when i was happy, songs for when i was depressed, songs for when i was angry, songs for whimsy, and songs for being rebellious and horny. songs that were basic, songs that were baroque. Sgt Pepper on my walkman was the soundtrack of the constant car trips to care for my declining grandmother. i wrote lyrics from White Album songs all over school notebook covers. the soundtrack of my first kiss was American Pie, but that boy used to sing Michelle to me.

so i played Sgt Pepper this morning when Rhapsody offered it to me. how it aches. i raged against that stupid track break. i shed a tear in memory of fellow fan markbourne. and i thought about how She's Leaving Home set me on the road away from the farm.

*we even got a custom cabinet for them. my parents still have them, although i don't know that they hook up the player much since my niece and nephew have outgrown Thunderbirds and Goofy Sports. i still know exactly where to get up and flip over Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Things that are making me happy this week

  • i'm in love with The Great British Bake Off. (that's "The Great British Baking Show" to PBS viewers. no links, wikipedia and pretty much everything else online is full of spoilers.) if you loved the Japanese Iron Chef for its combination of food porn and a window into another culture, and you also enjoy the human interest segments during the Olympics, then you just might love this show. (they even have little segments where they visit food historians! food. historians.) yes, it's reality tv where there are challenges and people get eliminated. but it's a clean competition - no inducing of conflict, no creation of rivalries or villains, no nasty judges. the people competing actually cheer for each other and help each other along.* they hug the people who get eliminated at the end of the episode. one of the judges totally teared up talking about the awesomeness of the 2015 winner. it is sweet and soothing comfort tv. the 2014 season is on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
  • this gif of a penguin being tickled
  • this article about livestock protector dogs keeping fairy penguins safe from predation
  • C has been listening to Rivers of London books on audiobook, so i can finally burble at him about them! (he's only a couple in, so that one thing hasn't happened yet and it's killing me.) these might be books that the buhrger would like? for me they scratch the same itch as the Laundry.
  • today is Tuesday. for some reason, i was convinced that it was Thursday,and cubemate B believed that it was Friday. we have been making jokes about this all day. meanwhile, cubemate J is really excited about the computer he's building for himself, and is going to make an alicorn mod for the case. i am pretty thoroughly delighted that a guy who is older than me and really into sports is also unabashedly into Twilight Sparkle.

also, i have a dog. she is energetic and exasperating and ridiculously cute and affectionate. dog.

*i don't recommend any of the regional clones that i've tried. there's something very specific about Brit culture plus these judgesand these hosts. GBBO is where it's at.

I still love seeing signs for Flanders St

had a nice jaunt to Portland with mimerki and joyful_storm this weekend. (i did not pine away without C and Leela, although i probably did talk about them too much.)

i love the train.
i love the hostel.
it was generally an easy experience.*

i did not attempt to be social with anyone else in Portland. i didn't end up with any yarn, but i did end up with a nice scotch. gifts were acquired for C's giftmas and birthday. Powell's yielded two more classic knitting books, and a treat for knitta D. i am wearing my fancy new vertically striped over-the-knee socks today. (i knit enough socks that i rarely buy them any more. but the likelihood of me knitting over-the-knee socks for myself is vanishingly low. that's way way too much work.) there was also the discovery of the Columbia outlet store.

i knit a good bit on the train, but not while i was there. i didn't really have enough energy after travel or on Saturday to be doing a charted pattern. but man, lace is so much FUN. i feel a real sense of accomplishment as the pattern starts to emerge in my project. i have made my peace with not hitting gift deadlines this year. i've compromised in the past, ditching the thing i wanted to make in favor of the thing i could make on time. screw it.

i don't think i actually ate anywhere that was new to me on this trip, but i finally had my first pumpkin pancakes of the season.

i was in transit home while MLS cup happened. that was good; i would have been sad if i was in Portland, i think. (my team didn't make it that far. their team won. they're rivals to my team; it both makes me sad and not sad. in general i wish them well. shhh.) as it was, i was charmed to see people lining up for a viewing party hours before the venue opened. i saw some people in gear, but in general Portland seems to have less in the way of signs, posters, and banners. maybe it's a legal thing?

when i got home, there were effusive greetings from Leela at the door. she then proceeded to keep me in sight for a few hours, which was fine by me :)

*i did have a touch of indigestion after eating what was probably the richest food i've had since starting antibiotics, but even that fit pretty well into the day - i was near the clean and friendly public library when it first struck, and was able to rest quietly while the others went on a lunch date. more annoying was getting to experience a missing Zipcar for the first time. no, dude in India, i am not in Seattle, and the car i reserved *may* be in Portland, but it sure as hell isn't in its parking space. (the transport problem was solved with Lyft, and it was fine. a whole 15 minutes were wasted.)

as mentioned previously, my Friday game group has been playing the Fantasy Flight version of the Star Wars RPG. saying "the" in this case is a bit of a misnomer, as they have taken one ruleset and made several different games from it. each game functions independently, or you can do a full crossover (kind of like World of Darkness, but with less hiccups). the time span is basically that of the original trilogy. our regular game is Edge of the Empire (smugglers/scoundrels in the outer rim), but we use content from Age of Rebellion (rebel alliance) and Force and Destiny (force users). they're basically milking you for all the book purchases they can - the three base books, plus lots of splatbooks.

it uses custom dice, which turned me off on the game in 2012 when it came out. i have a freaking piece of furniture with drawers full of dice. like i need more dice. and they're not even fun to collect - they use proprietary symbols and they're color-coded, so it's not like i can buy my own set and have it be different from my friends' sets.

i'm still not crazy about the dice, but it creates a mechanic for flavor. you have success and failure.* you also have advantage and threat. dice are almost always additive - the GM adds dice for difficulty (that only have failure and threat on them) and you can improve your dice class or get dice from allies. you roll your pool of dice. failure cancels success, threat cancels advantage. whatever is left over after canceling is your result. this means you can, say, succeed but have threats: you escape the stormtroopers, but into a garbage compactor...

on Black Friday, we did a special event, where we created high-level Jedi for a one-off. it turns out that we were playing out past events that had happened in the ruins our regular characters were starting to explore. (I got my ya-yas out with a character designed to choke people and shoot Force lightning. I crushed people so quickly and effectively that I never did get to try the lightning.) our actions determined the contents of the holocron our regular party discovered.

my regular character is a Gotal, a horned race who can sense emotions and therefore speak with no inflection. she's a folklore student, knocking around the Galaxy looking for cool stories and avoiding paying off her student loans. (who knew a university on Alderaan would have offworld debt collection. I mean, didn't the records get destroyed?) being enthusiastic and curious with a flat voice is still not old.

it's a nice way to ease into that movie coming out.

*when you're really good or the stakes are large, you also have triumph and despair.


*is dog*


Seriously, that adhesive was amazing

I had a Very Seattle dog walk yesterday.

We were in a part of the neighborhood where most yards are behind a retaining wall a few feet above street level. Leela had sighted a squirrel on the wall, and i was letting her run back and forth at the end of the leash (it's very efficient exercise - i act as a fulcrum, the dog rapidly multiplies distance traveled). Somewhere in there i put a foot wrong and went sprawling, took the skin off of the heel of my left hand, and terrified the dog.

  1. squirrel on retaining wall

  2. heaved and broken sidewalk with secret patch of slick mud hidden by drifted leaves

  3. capable team of passerby who lifted me up, produced water to wash my wounds, took control of the dog and soothed her, then busted out their large first aid kit and disinfected and bandaged my hand.


The rest of the walk passed without incident and when i got home to do a thorough clean and trim off dangly skin, i was sad that i had to take off bandages that were way nicer than the ones i had at home.

i'll take it

i found out i had a couple more days of PTO left than i thought...just in time to break a tooth. so i took Wednesday off, but it included a dentist appointment, and there will be more dentistry in the coming week. feeling glad for magical spare time off and my pleasant dentist and the fact that i'm not currently in pain and could eat my Thanksgiving dinner just fine.

we had a nice afternoon/evening yesterday with friends, wherein we ate too much food and watched a bunch of Thanksgiving tv (Buffy, Friends, How I Met Your Mother) and Leela was a good girl the entire time. she basically had a dozen people worshipping her, and she loved it. (she would have loved it more if we didn't have to ride in a car. she doesn't get sick, but it takes coaxing to get her in, and she shakes a bit.)

every day with Leela is pretty much amazing. i'm still dealing with the fact that she isn't Molly, but it's a good pain. she is learning so fast: dropping the ball to get us to throw it again, how to jump on the bed, sitting inside the elevator, coming when her name is called. she will merrily nose a treat-dispensing ball all over the apartment.

she isn't a perfect angel: we've been keeping chewables out of her reach since she has already nommed my bootlaces and the carpet fringe, and she hasn't been left alone for more than five or ten minutes yet. i'm positive that we can't leave the garbage bag sitting in the kitchen before we take it out like we used to with Molly :D

she adores other dogs and they seem to like her too, but this means that she wants to greet every dog she sees, even if they are across the street or in the middle of pooping. she hunts rats and squirrels, but doesn't seem to have figured out that squirrels escape upward. we had to get a safety light for her harness since she's nearly invisible at night.

we start a training class in December. Leela has a natural "shake" and i'm pretty sure we'll be able to get a "high five" too. those will probably be easier than "down" and "stay" and "leave it".


I welcome our new pickle overlords

End the cruel tyrany of cucumbers.

Behold, pickle cat!


What is best in life?

buhrger asked me five questions. if you would like me to ask you five questions, request them in a comment, then post with the same offer so that the best meme may roll on.

1.if ten-years-ago you saw your current level of engagement with Sounders FC/MLS, how surprised would she have been? (asking because ten-years-ago me would have been a little surprised.)

i think she would be more shocked that i could afford to be a season ticket holder than anything else. but perhaps sad that i couldn't escape sports - in 2005 i didn't have to know anything or pretend to care about any sports. the only time i saw any game of any kind was southplains's annual Super Bowl party.

but there's also a certain inevitablilty. my family has always watched sports. while i never was thoroughly passionate about any of them, i always liked the in-stadium experience of football and basketball (and to a lesser extent, baseball).* my brothers played football when they were in highschool (and i was a charming toddler). my family had Penn State football tickets. i was in marching band, which meant that i was at all the football games when i was in high school. i always loved the crowd dynamic and anything involving singing or call and response.

there is part of me that is hardwired to love night games in crisp cool weather. the boiling hot summer day games? 2015 me is still surprised that i can stand that.

2.do you have a memory of first realizing that you are a dog person? or has it always been part of you?

no. there have always been dogs, or an aching hole where the dog should be.

i have no memory of learning to love dogs. (my father had a well-trained black Lab when he married mom. so when i was born, Buck was already there.) i have memories of being told to be more careful, that not every strange dog is my friend. i also remember a time when mom suggested that i give the dog some of the cookie i was eating: i held it out and let the dog take a bite, then i finished it. no dog ever bit me (other than puppy nips) or chased me or gave me a bad experience (other than dying in my presence). in this i'm pretty lucky since i accidentally mostly did things right - i only really started researching the science of dog body language and behavior when we were ramping up to adopting Molly.

3.if, for reasons of notional security, you were required to move out of ballard to some place on the east side (the horrors!) where would you go? money is no object. notional security, yunno.

security? like, i'm building a fortress? The Snoqualmie Tunnel as a starter tunnel for my hollow mountain fortress. it has two defensible access points and a lovely view. (hey, we should do that hike some August.)

4.regarding star wars the force awakens, where do you fall on the spectrum from "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY" to "it better not suck"? (to, i suppose, "i'm not even going to bother")

i fall solidly in "i've been hurt before". C and i occasionally say "hey, we should buy tickets for that sometime" and then we fail to go order them. i have avoided most spoiler chatter and i suppose i will need to see it before Christmas if i want to visit the internet. Pirates A and E are passionate about it and we *are* playing the Star Wars RPG right now, so it's more of a social obligation than an actual desire at this point. i don't need more Star Wars at all, but it would be nice for it to be good.

5.while we both read charlie stross, we seem to prefer different books of his. which are your favourites, and which are your least favourites?

favorites are the Laundry books, but i think they're most successful as shorter stories. so i love The Atrocity Archives, and the short about working over Christmas, and the short with the unicorns.

i adored the start of the Merchant books, but for me they fell off the rails when <redacted /> died and i think i gave it one book after that and then walked away.

i liked Singularity Sky.

thought the ones with the crime in the MMORPG were already dated when they were published and terribly twee. "Web 3.14" *rolls eyes*

loathed Accelerando. the reviews were so good, and then it turned out to be a collection of short stories that i didn't like when i read them the first time in their magazine publication. (i was really into reading short fiction magazines at the right time.)

*hockey was something i watched on tv sometimes. i think Penn State had an ice rink? i know i tried ice skating indoors approximately once somewhere and my ankles were too weak to function. i actually had an Edmonton sweatshirt at one point - it was in a bargain bin and i loved the colors. i had a passing interest in the Pittsburgh Penguins, who were very very good when i was in high school - i loved the mouth-feel of saying Jaromir Jagr (for the uninitiated, it sounds like yommer yagger. yommer yagger yommer yagger yommer yagger!)


Queen of the Surface Streets
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