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February 3rd, 2011 01:44 am - Victorian crossdressing
I would say the unifying themes of this post, to the extent it has any, are Victoriana, costuming, and crossdressing. Also, Things I Have Scanned. So let's get on it, shall we?

First, people wanted to see the pictures of the 1890s silk dress I was fixing last week, so here they are. )

And while I was scanning those I went ahead and scanned a few other things. )

Meanwhile, I have acquired another supply from my secret-source-of-free-comics-in-return-for-reviews! And they seemed to fit the theme, so, hey, since I have read them all already,a here are scans and reviews:

ADELE BLANC-SEC by Jacques Tardi. )

The CBLDF 2010 Liberty Annual )

Scarlett Takes Manhattan )

And, okay, the other comics that didn't fit the theme. )

(20 comments | Reply)

November 25th, 2010 08:36 pm - In preparation for family gatherings
How To Be The Cool Cousin/Aunt* in Five Easy Steps That Anyone Can Do )

*or elder relation of other gender or connection

(3 comments | Reply)

September 20th, 2010 06:11 pm - Notes & queries
I've just come back from my second family reunion in seven days, so it seems like it's the time of year when genealogy-type stuff happens.

Thus, genealogy stuff under cut; feel free to ignore. )

(11 comments | Reply)

April 6th, 2010 01:09 am
So, you will have noticed that there was none of the planned posting this week.

This is (in large part, though not entirely) due to the fact that I have spent much of the past week watching my grandfather dying. It's not really unexpected - he is very old and has well outlived his own expectations; and he's been losing functionality at an increasing rate for the past year. He's been ready to go, and while I don't think anyone can ever be ready for a loved one to go, we've all known it was coming, sooner rather than later. But it is still far from easy to watch it happen, and watch what it's doing to everyone else in the family, and if I am being even flakier than usual for awhile, this is probably why. (And yes, it did take me most of a week to get to the point where I could say, yes, this is actually a real reason to be getting less done, it is not just that I fail as a person.)

It seems like half my reading list is going through something similar at the moment. It is hard, and I have been sending good thoughts your way even when I haven't been writing any; I am no better at dealing with the expected courtesies and emotions and sympathies when it's me who's grieved than when it's someone else, so I would just as soon take good wishes as read, and move on.

I'm leaving comments open, though, because there are a couple related things I wanted to say, since I seem to have a little bit of an audience here, I might as well use it. One of them is, thank God for advance directives (also known as living wills.) Pop-pop having one is the difference between him living on for maybe futile years while under, basically, torture, and him dying comfortably and naturally the way he wanted to.

So, PSA: Look up your goverment's rules on Advance Directives, and get one for yourself, and talk to your loved ones about getting them, too. Even if you don't have the resources to do the legal paperwork, figure out who your next-of-kin/power-of-attorney would be in that situation, and at least talk to them informally about what you would want if you could no longer make your own end-of-life medical decisions, or put a letter in with your other important paperwork. Just knowing whether or not something is wanted can make so much difference.

(And on a related note, thank God for socialized medicine, even the stunted and handcuffed system we have in the US. If we didn't have the assurance that Medicare/Medicaid would cover everything? If we'd been jumping through hoops for a private insurance plan that many of the providers weren't familiar with? If we hadn't been able to put him in a wonderful and well-funded hospice without worrying about where the money was coming from? if we hadn't already jumped through all the stupid hoops to make sure medicare *would* pay when my grandmother was dying - it would all suck so much more. )

(24 comments | Reply)

April 1st, 2008 10:57 pm
Some characteristics that the women (and some of the men) of my mother's family have been known to share:

The ability to find four-leaf clovers whenever they feel like it. (also sometimes five- six- and seven- leaf clovers.)

The *in*ablity to keep an electric-powered wristwatch working for more than a few months.

A fascination with fairies, elves, trolls, or other little people.

A tendency to pick something and hoard it.

The ability to put out streetlights by passing by them.

Also that grandmother saw a UFO once (like, close-enough-to-see-the-whites-of-their-eyes saw) and her father disappeared when she was a baby, leaving only a cryptic note about being chased by government agents. And her only full brother was in on the ground floor of the space program (like well-before-NASA-right-after-Roswell ground floor.)

Mind you, it is perfectly easy to explain away all of these things, starting with the fact that tales grow in the telling, but sometimes one wonders.

This post brought to you by the three separate streetlights that went out while I was under them tonight. Clearly my qi is out of balance or something, which would also explain why I've been feeling nonspecifically miserably sick the last couple days.

(Also my other grandfather, on Dad's side, was a medium. He and his friends used to hold seances and he would always be the one to tap the table and channel because it always worked for him, only he swore it off for life after he correcty predicted that one of the friend's husband's ship would go down in the Pacific theatre, and decided it was too dangerous to mess about with. He also used to cure warts - he'd buy them off the local kids for a couple cents each and it worked every time.)

Anyway, I missed cat pictures yesterday (due to being dead) but here's today's set Adventures on the Balcony. )

Current Music:: polecats - rockin' on the Mary Celeste

(2 comments | Reply)

November 23rd, 2007 12:59 am - Over the Bay Bridge and through the cornfields...
So this was the first time in *years* - possibly since I started my LJ - that we've had a proper old-fashioned Pop-pop's house Thanksgiving instead of just going out. Featuring Pop-pop, me, mom, sister, uncle, aunt, aunt's brother, Pop-pop's sister, and Dog. And everyone Pop-pop knows in town calling him at some point. :D (Pop-pop's kitchen has been a local social centre basically since my dad was in high school. I know this because we got him to haul out Mom-mom's first family album, featuring the pre-war photos, for the first time in years.)

For posterity, menu:
Turkey breast (nobody ever eats much of this, honestly. They just cook it, so we have a lump of hot, juicy, nearly-tasteless chemically grown white meat. yay.)
Home-made gravy (YAY!)
Mom's stuffing (YAY!!!)
Great-Aunt's macaroni and cheese bake (best macaroni and cheese bake ever. mmmm. She unexpectedly didn't bring it to the reunion this year so now she's been told she has to bring it to every family gathering for the next three. Just to make sure we all get some.)
Real mashed potatoes (the instant stuff is better aktully. Or if you do it by hand instead of a processer. Blending it just makes glue.)
Family recipe candied yams (I have reached the point where I will eat sweet potatoes sometimes. Just not these ones. They just sort of sit there in chunks and sulk in this thin brown liquid. These ones are possibly *why* I only eat sweet potatoes under very special circumstances. Other people seem to like them though.)
Cold mashed turnips. (Pop-pop makes these just to see Mom make yucky faces at them. I try a spoonful - they aren't gag-inducing like the sweet potatoes, but they taste like soap. Very strongly flavored soap. yum.)
Lima beans. (Um.)
Green beans (Aunt made these. She's one of those people who actually *uses* the recipes out of lifestyle magazines, so they always have like almonds and orange juice or something instead of good proper Campbell's mushroom soup and fried onions. Still, yum.)
Cranberry jelly out of cans (best part of Thanksgiving dinner!)
Home-made cranberry salad (...not as good as the canned stuff)
Dinner rolls (these horrible storebought pallid ones that Pop-pop loves)
Pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, pear-mince pie (one by each aunt. Too bad I was too full to try them all! Great-aunt's sweet potato pie is better than Mom's, even though Mom uses great-mom-mom's recipe. don't tell.)
And two bottles cheap wine. (yay!)

Also, I managed to not have to help cook *or* wash dishes. So over all, an excellent thanksgiving! (Also, the only thing me & my republican uncle can agree on about politics is that slot machines in Maryland = dumbest idea ever. In fact, pretty much every Marylander seems to think that - until they get elected to the state government. Dear state government: shut up about slots already.)


January 10th, 2007 11:23 pm
Okay, have to say, as much as I adore the Bones crew, Eppes ain't got nothin' on Luther Lee Boggs.

No, you want to hear something *really* horrifying? They just ran a commercial for Napoleon Dynamite, and Mom said, "Hey, I went to college with a guy who looked just like that! His name was Henry, but he made all of us call him Butch!"

... I knew there was a reason I've been running scared from that movie.

(12 comments | Reply)

August 15th, 2006 11:29 pm - "The poor girl had to stand in the same place three times to make a shadow"
I haven't updated in awhile - I've been busy trying to cram all the stuff I should've been doing all summer into the last couple weeks of August. And I don't foresee it slowing down much, either - Thursday to Ocean City, the weekend camping with family, the next week to Ohio to visit family, who knows what else.

Today, we went to my grandfather's house for a family picnic - all his descendents except one were there, along with his two favorite sisters and various inlaws. It reminded me more than anything of the picnics we used to have at my other grandfather's house, except there were a lot fewer people there. And also, I'm now the Cool Older Cousin instead of the annoying baby! Yay!

More about Pop-pop's house, with links to pictures, under the cut. )

And then we packed up and came home. And then we stopped at my Aunt's house to drop off all the stuff they'd accidentally left behind at Pop-pop's.

Oh, and on the way home, Mom drove by the old family farm, that was established by my grandfather's great-grandparents (I think I've got that right), and still owned by his oldest brother's widow and farmed by her kids. I've never been inside, but it's visible every time we drive down Route 50 on the way home.

Thumbnail gallery of the pictures is here. And here's a picture of me and the cousins at my aunt's house on Sunday, mostly to show off my hair.

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December 23rd, 2005 08:44 pm - eating candy out of old socks
Ah, stale cigarette smoke, catnip, and rank goat: the inimitable scents of Christmas.

Have some nativity poetry, reeking of 1950's domesticity and Sunday school:
The Watch )

Current Music:: dahoo doray

(1 comment | Reply)

November 6th, 2005 01:38 pm - I am a leaf on the wind.
The trees have all turned over the past week. We have four maples in our yard, and it's so *pretty* that I have no motivation to rake the leaves yet, so the whole yard is the approximate colors of this icon. I have this image in my head of Arisia and Hal Jordan under a green pavilion, the roof covered with red and orange and purple maple leaves, the yellow ones drifting through and around them like sakura petals in anime ... alas that my art skills could not do it justice.


I signed up for [livejournal.com profile] yuletide t'other day; wish me luck. I'm just waiting anxiously for my assignment. Cryptic doublespeak and random enthusiasm and terrified burbling: Yuletide is like a chance to suddenly get more of all the books I loved as a kid, without having to write it myself; whlie at the same time I get to write the same thing for somebody else, only in fandoms that aren't so dear to me that I can't write them. Whee! Only now, I'm afraid that I volunteered for a few that I won't be qualified to write, o alas! Everybody is posting their proclamations about what you *must* be willing to do ion orer to volunteer for a fandom. Me? While I'd be overjoyed if somebody wrote a perfect story tailored to my tastes, personal history, and corpus of work, these are fandoms that are mostly virgin territory for fic, and I'm satisfied with anything that mostly fulfills the request and is well-written. If I get actual Lucky Starr fic or Riddle-master fic? I'm happy, man.


I found it interesting that when we went to see Serenity, all of the previews, and the movie, were about a scrappy band of rebels trying to overthrow a supposedly beneficial tyrrany which maintains power through lies and propaganda. Well, all of them except Narnia, and I don't actually remember how the White Witch kept power, althought the revolution theme is the same. It's an interesting trend, after a stretch where most of the big SF epics were about either maintaining the status quo or fighting off an outside evil.


We've just got home from a visit to my aunt and uncle's to play with my little cousins, the Duchess and the Kangaroo . If I'd stayed home, I would have gone outside to play in the leaves, so instead I went out in my uncle's yard with the Duchess. We played with leaves and jumped and looked at trees and pulled apart acorns (I have been noticing acorns a lot more this year. The road behind the train station is covered with bright orange scars from acorns being crushed; it looks like pumpkin meat. I tempted to try acorn flour someday) and picked up an entire skirtful of pinecones, which Grandma put in a plastic bag to take home. We also looked at a big Marbled Orb Weaver. The Duchess had an eww response but when I refused to act scared she came up and looked at him a little. She wouldn't sing Eensy Weensy spider with us, though. Or I'm a Little Teapot. And I got to meet the Kangaroo for the first time! )

Speaking of that, I need to stop being a coward and accept one of the many special-ed sub calls I get every night. But I just want to get in a few standard jobs first. I have another one at a high school tomorrow, which means getting up at o-dark-hundred again. I should post a subbing update tomorrow afternoon, if I survive.

Current Mood:: [mood icon] cold
Current Music:: John Williams - Leia's theme

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June 22nd, 2004 12:03 am - Oobleck fell over Georgetown once in the 1960's.
So we're back in Maryland. I've typed up and backdated three entries I wrote on the trip. They are rather whiny because I wrote them when I had time-- generally when I was bored and tired. But I *did* have fun. Mostly. The most exciting thing that happened was when we stopped at a little gift shop at Sunset Beach and this black cat with lighter dapples poured himself out from the crawl space under the building and I swear he looked just like black oil creeping over the ground.

And we stopped to see Pop-pop on the way back on Father's Day, and he and Aunt Carolyn swapped artifical knee stories, and that reminded me of the last time we were there with someone with a bad knee and Pop-pop was making a huge batch of sausage balls so I asked Mom if we had the recipe and that inspired her to go out and buy all the ingredients and make me make some for the pot-luck church ladies' meeting tonight, so I did, and then she made me go to the meeting, where I explained viruses and defragging to Miss Jerry, who is annoyed at her computer, and thinks you have to take it to the shop in order to wipe the hard drive.

There has been a funeral every week this summer. Mom's going to another one tomorrow for one of the church ladies.

Aunt Carolyn said I should get a part-time job at the church this summer like she did when she was a kid. I told her I'm there three or four days a week anyway, and Mom said no I'm not, I'm exaggerating, this week I'm only going to go to quilting and the meeting on Monday. And church on Sunday, of course. And oh yeah, Game Night Tuesday night. Oh. She supposes that is four times. I keep asking Mom what inspiration I have to get a job when it seems like every day she comes up with something else we can do this summer "unless my daughter gets a job." We can go to NJ-- unless I have a job. We can go up to RI to see Sister-- unless I get a job. We can go on a long camping trip-- unless I get a job. We can go to Ohio to party with her sister-- unless I get a job.

Not to mention I took a long nap in my hammock this afternoon because it was so nice out that I couldn't bear to do anything else. I dreamed that [livejournal.com profile] stellar_dust was still home and she was teasing me about fic and she thought my current idea was really stupid. Well. Just because Mom got me thinking about childrens' books this weekend and I started thinking to myself:

Mulder and Scully and the ABCs )

Today I learned: It isn't "Always a little and never a lot,/ or something may happen, you never know what."
It's actually "Never feed him a lot./ Never more than a spot!/ Or something may happen./ You never know what."

Current reading: A Fish Out of Water, by Helen Palmer, illus. by P. D. Eastman

Current Mood:: [mood icon] rhyming
Current Music:: otis redding - sittin' on the dock of the bay

(34 comments | Reply)

December 26th, 2003 10:14 pm - She's looking to believe
I'm back from Christmas in Troy. Um, I did mention I was going, right?

So, deep breath, the news from Miami County, Ohio:

Uncle Paul put up Christmas lights that read 'Bah Humbug' as usual; unfortunately it was drowned out by the other thirty strands or so he had up, visible over several square miles of cornfield. Unle Mike gave us another box of old sf novels; Uncle John gave us the complete set of Star Wars Rumpf mugs; Uncle Richard gave us sets of good knives and multitools and [livejournal.com profile] stellar_dust a bottle of Bailey's. Aunt Ginny and Uncle Jerry and Norton brought the best cookies. We decided that Aunt Carolyn is, indeed, a hobbit (her windows aren't actually round, but you couldn't tell that from all the mathoms and genealogy stuff and family artifacts), and Uncle Larry is still Santa Claus, which I guess makes him an elf. Aunt Sandy and Uncle Dave are thriving as grandparents, although Aunt Bev and Uncle Raymond outrank them on number. Cousin Justin and Nicole are engaged; so are Cousin Trina and Scott; Cousin Julie and Jack aren't; Cousin Sherry's current is still married; Cousin Nikki went to four homecomings with four different guys; Cousin Phlip didn't show, and thus officially forfeited his presents. Cousin Lisa wants to know when we all got grown-up and boring. Cousin Erica is talking and Cousin Hope is walking and Cousin Jason likes Bob the Builder and Cousin Corey never once took off his new headphones. Cousin Jenny and Steve played Mary and Joseph in their Christmas pageant. Grandma-and-Grandpa-in-law Boze are still making it on their own, and Great Uncle Paul is no worse. Cousin Denise and John seem to be doing SCA full time now; Cousin Pat still puts up with Tim, who is still a girls' softball coach in every way; Cousin Mickey has a Grinch sweatshirt for every day of Christmas and Dave is now a sports radio personality. Cousins Derrick and Dustin have a new x-box, an overly affectionate dog, a psychotic goldfish, and a polydactyl cat with one folded ear. Cousins Lori and Heather both think PotC is the greatest movie ever; Cousin Ryan still doesn't understand how anyone could think Captain Jack Sparrow is hot. Cousin James, back for a few months from driving an AT-AT in Iraq, has wrecked his car 14 times already and believes that ULTRA (the UFO report, not the Axis code) is actually a cover for a secret federal mind control project. Everybody asked after [livejournal.com profile] reclusivewaffle, except the ones who didn't meet him, and they're jealous they didn't get to try to scare him away.

Three cheers for ridiculously big families!

Have not actually done any shopping yet, but got everything I could have hoped for for Christmas already, from rum-flavored cocoa up to [livejournal.com profile] stellar_dust. She made us go see RotK in the only movie theater in Troy; more on that later maybe. I got the DVD player on her laptop working and have watched 45 x-files episodes in five days. Willingly, believe it or not. Have started writing CSM/Teena wedding fic because Mulder's mom is awesome; have secreted file somewhere on sister's laptop where she can find it unexpectedly. XF is like a breath of fresh air; am writing people of my own class who live in my hometown. Oh, and my While We Tell Of Yuletide Treasure fic should be up; feel free to try to guess which one it is (not you, stellar_dust, you already know.)

Anybody know where I can get a red hat or a Pippin cheap and fast?

Current Mood:: [mood icon] tired
Current Music:: Trans-Siberian Orchestra - The Ghosts of Christmas Eve

(1 comment | Reply)

December 19th, 2003 04:41 pm - There is no honor without pie!
If I get highest grade in the class in Geochemistry, and something miserably low in Chemistry, we will take it as given that the fault was neither the material nor the student, as they were exactly the same in both classes.

That is-- Finals: Done.
Yuletide fic: Mostly done. Debating whether to add a lemony bit, or whether, given the characters I have to work with, that'd be cruel and unusual punishment.
wam account clearout in preparation for trip home: Done.
Packing: staring at me.

'm off to winter holiday. Plans consist of: get dragged to RotK, drag sister to the Pirate Movie, steal sister's x-files dvds. Oh, and possibly start my christmas shopping.

Leaving the dorm I will miss two things: my ethernet connection is one. It will probably be good for me to be without, mind, but it shall be frustrating all the same.

And the noise. On the dorm, if I leave the door cracked, as I usually do in my only concession to sociability, I can almost always hear music. Somebody's stereo, someone noodling on her flute or picking at a guitar, somebody strolling down the hall singing Memory at midnight.. It's one of my few favorite things about living with other people: you can be alone but still feel that life around you.

And it always used to remind me of home, those threads of faltering melody that filtered through the wall. Dad practicing his hand-scored clarinet medleys downstairs, Dad whistling Bizet, Dad playing the piano in his personal fake-book-and-two-chords style or trying to pick out a melody when he'd forgotten half the words. It could get annoying at times, but nobody else played like him and it always sounded like home and love and safety. I don't even think we ever made any recordings of it.

Home will be quiet, this Christmas. I will need dvds and movies to have on.

Current Music:: Bizet - L'Arlesienne Suite
Current Mood:: [mood icon] melancholy

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