hannah: (Laundry jam - fooish_icons)
The combination of freelance work and weekly class schedules means there's usually at least one afternoon where I have absolutely no obligations on my time. Not even my part-time telecommuting job, as long as I've finished all the current outstanding tasks. Sometimes it's three days, sometimes just an afternoon.

Today didn't quite count, since I had a dentist's appointment and did some errands on the side. But it counted enough, because I was able to sit in a coffee shop and look out the window for a while, and I was able to stop and look at the equinox sky. Summer ended nearly three weeks ago when the first pumpkins showed up at the market. It ended last Saturday, when the first leaves began blowing down the street. And it ended today, with the equinox. Autumn begins very slowly, and gently, in incremental stages that are easy to track if you pay attention. One of those things is a very sharp sky that doesn't happen much at this latitude. The sky is rarely empty of clouds, and the sunlight isn't often as intense as it needs to be, but when both of those things happen - as they did today - then it becomes one of the brightest, sharpest blue skies that New York City is ever capable of having. I saw it a while ago at the New York Botanical Garden, and I saw it today on the building's roof.

Nobody ever tells you about missing the sky. I guess nobody thinks of that.


Sep. 15th, 2016 10:10 pm
hannah: (Robert Downey Jr. - riot__libertine)
Working in a sub-basement where I pretty much only encounter humans means I've been paying a lot more attention to plant and animal wildlife, to the point today I tried to have a conversation with a parrot and caught a cockroach.

The parrot happened after work, when I was walking back to my apartment. I heard some weird not-quite-speech sounds coming from above and saw a group of adults and a couple of children looking up at a townhouse's third-story window, so I looked to see what they were looking at, and saw a parrot hanging out on the AC unit and chatting with a little girl. It was deliberately exchanging sounds with her, if not meaningful information, and did the same when I whistled at it. So that's something definitely in its favor.

The roach happened at work. There are a fair amount of dead roach bodies around the corridors, so when I saw a small roach-shaped object I thought it was just another one. Then it moved. Not fast, or well. Just poking around and flinging its antennae any which way. I almost wanted to squish it with something, like the paint can we'd been using as a doorstopper, but then I thought better of that and trapped it with a large roll of packing tape and a tissue box. My co-worker was duly impressed, and we agreed it wasn't going to be around much longer - it's not hospitable down there for anything in the long term. Not even cockroaches. So I nudged it out of the room and it scuttled down the corridor, and was soon gone.

Whether or not that'll count in my favor remains to be seen, but it was enjoyable just the same.
hannah: (Library stacks - fooish_icons)
If I could have more nights like this to myself - gentle breezing bowing in through the window, overhead lights off and the desk lamp on, a sense of calm and a mind open for writing that hasn't been worn down by classwork and folding laundry - I'd be a lot happier with life as I live it.

In the meantime, having nights like this for homework, with the little bubble created by the light in here and the dark outside, with the breezes bowing close, it's not so bad at all.
hannah: (Interns at Meredith's - gosh_darn_icons)
I saw someone reading a book in the steam room today, and asked her if she was concerned with the binding. Not at all; it was a favorite book she'd read many times and didn't worry about too much since it was already so worn. I asked her what it was; she said it was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

At which point the two other women in the room began talking to us - their favorites, our thoughts on the new book, opinions about live theater and travel, a digression to the height requirements of flight attendants before we all parted ways.

It's the flip side of there being no small talk in New York City. You go in right for the big stuff, or you don't go in at all.
hannah: (Pruning shears - fooish_icons)
I woke up, and it was fall. No questioning or ambiguity: the weather that happened today is the kind that only happens in fall. Cool, overcast, with rain in the afternoon - and a new moon on top of all that, too. There's going to be another one at the end of the month, and there's no telling what that Black Moon is going to bring on.

Balancing classes and work seems to be going all right so far. I've been untangling the varying responsibilities, and figuring out how to make the best use of time. Which, of course, means I need to stop waking up so late in the morning. There's just something not right about getting up too late for breakfast and going right into lunch.
hannah: (Rob and Laura - aureliapriscus)
I've been feeling weirdly shaky all this evening, by which I mean literally shaky - not quite shivering but almost there, which I'm putting down to having stood for a good chunk of the workday without taking breaks or drinking much water. Tomorrow I'm bringing a bottle with me to see if that helps.

But in any case, despite the actual shaking enough that when I sat down I wondered if there was a large airplane flying overhead, it's still a good day.

Because Stubborn Mouths is currently on the first page of the AO3's DS9 page when sorted by kudos.

It was already there by comments and bookmarks, but now it's there on kudos, too. And hot damn, this feels good.
hannah: (evil! - ponderosa121)
During a dermatologist's visit earlier today, I got confirmation that parasols are good sun protection. That what's more or less carrying around a patch of shade is a good way to keep from getting too much damage done.

I'm sure you know where this is going.

Vampires with parasols. Oh, yeah. Make it happen, fandom. I trust you.
hannah: (Pruning shears - fooish_icons)
There's a very particular delight that comes from sitting between two guys on the subway, planting my legs down and not giving up my space or making myself smaller and forcing them into taking up just one seat each - and then pulling out a volume of Jane Austen. Oh, they tried to get their dudespread back, but my book was out and I wasn't getting up for at least another three stops. Nothing doing, guys.
hannah: (Travel - fooish_icons)
I got back from Con.Txt about an hour ago...and I've been spending that time catching up, slowly, on work for my part-time job as well as filling out and submitting the invoice I forgot to send in last Thursday. Welcome to the working world.

Will do my best to get my memories recorded shortly, and add everyone on every social network that I possibly can.
hannah: (Travel - fooish_icons)
Heading out to Con.Txt. See you all Sunday!
hannah: (Dar Williams - skadi)
Having seen the first three seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the first season of Angel, I'm really in it for the long haul now. Swapping the series' and alternating the seasons' viewing was a good choice - it's an opportunity to enjoy the experience of incomplete information. It's very clear there's more going on around the edges of the story I just haven't been informed about yet, and while I've been spoiled for some things I haven't been spoiled for all of them, or the particular circumstances of how they happen.

What it really reminds me of is the feeling of reading X-Men comics in the nineties before widespread fandom wikis. I didn't read everything in order, just chunks here and there when I had enough money to get another trade paperback, so there were some significant gaps between the stuff I knew, and the stuff I had to infer and extrapolate about. With Buffy and Angel, it's kind of like that, and I'm struggling to avoid spoilers - even indirect ones - to sustain that feeling of filling in the blank spaces.

Watching the shows also reminds me of those comics in the way the casts and themes get retooled every so often. Again, the X-Men kept getting new 'volumes' and major team shifts, and sometimes it was swift and decisive and sometimes it was slowly constructed and realized over a number of years to the point where it wasn't immediately evident even while it was happening. The general ethos and drive is still generally intact, but the execution changes. The first "volume" of Buffy, which was about as neatly designed as anything Whedon's ever done, was the first three seasons, and after that it's onto volume two. Which I can understand, having seen that come through before.

Oddly enough, the first direct experience I had with any Buffy-related media - not counting vids - was the first Fray trade paperback, which my hometown library had for some reason. And from that, I got the impression every Slayer got the memories and experiences of each past Slayer. Not quite reincarnation, but certainly some form of singular collective memory. When I watched the show and found it was just prophetic and illustrative dreams, I was fairly disappointed, in no small part because it was a retroactively lost opportunity for so much good storytelling - Buffy having to maintain herself against the tide of all the past Slayers and their lives to bring more emphasis and emotional undercurrent of her struggle for personal identity and not just her rallying against her grand destiny, having the strength and the memories of the skills but but not knowing how to put them together, and the dichotomy between ageless warrior and young girl would make her relationship with Angel much more compelling. If she's both the young girl and ageless warrior, as Angel is always a young man and ageless demon, there'd be a sense of understanding between the two of them that would provide weight and resonance to their love beyond new relationship energy that first came from Buffy being sixteen which got lost after she grew up a bit and it turned into a contractual obligation.

This misconception also had me anticipating that when another Slayer showed up, she'd have all of Buffy's memories to the moment of her death. Which had me thinking - would Faith, with her copy of Buffy's life stored safe in her head, be the only person who remembered life before Dawn was rewritten into it? I know she was on another show at the time, but wouldn't that have been interesting to explore?

Also, the moment Charles Gunn appeared, "Right-Hand Man" came into my head - "You were expecting someone else?" Here comes the General - BOOM!
hannah: (Martini - fooish_icons)
During Hadestown one of the Fates gave me a cup so I could raise a toast. I was sitting close enough to the action that I could hold my hands out and receive; she gave it to me with a grin, gladly, and I smiled back. And when I drank, it was champagne in the cup.

Couldn't tell you what kind. Just that it was champagne.

I hung around in the lobby afterward to catch the stage manager and ask her what it was. And even though I know what she told me, I also know what I drank. She said it was water, and that it must have been theatre magic, but I know it was champagne. Something sweet and wonderful.

Because of course it was.
hannah: (steamy drink - fooish_icons)
I've been getting up way too early this week for reasons that aren't vacations or elections. Then again, I haven't had a cold since about this time last year, or a few months earlier, so if I keep hunkering down and drinking hot liquids, I should be able to get through it with a minimum of worry and whining and at least a little joking - yesterday at work my partner down in the stacks was also feeling under the weather, so I said between the two of us we made one healthy person, and that got her to laugh.

I've also finished the third season of Buffy, and I'm quite tempted to stop right there because Whedon managed to say so much about the point and purpose of the character he created in the last two episodes with the added bonus of a wonderfully choreographed set of battle scenes, and I wouldn't have to deal with his attempts to convince me either Buffy or Angel had any romantic feelings for each other. Not that I'll stop watching it, though, just that I'm considering it. The other day at work I once again compared Whedon to Jules Verne, who's also very good for his time, a great maker of ideas, and a reasonably competent storyteller who the world has moved past.

In any case, after viewing the polled data, I'm going to go to Angel season one, then Buffy season four, and keep switching on and off until I run out of TV. I grew up reading X-Men comics and Marvel crossovers. Two parallel canons should be just fine.
hannah: (Library stacks - fooish_icons)
I'm almost done with the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I know Angel kicks off right at the same time as season four. I'm aware there's a lot of crossover, in characters shifting between the shows if nothing else, but what I don't know is the best possible viewing order. Just going by air date doesn't seem like it'd work, since there are multi-part arcs for each show and flipping back and forth when I have everything on Netflix seems a little silly.

I found this guide, and this one - so to those who've seen both, which looks better?
hannah: (Captain Jack Harkness - darththalia)
The Wonder Wheel is a grand old Ferris Wheel out on Luna Park in Coney Island, the best in New York City. It's tall, and built to last, and rises up out of the rest of the park as the main attraction, the central feature, and walking towards it with the sunset behind, it really is the stuff tourism campaigns are built on. Tonight could have been on postcards, for all the sunset had to offer - pinks behind the clouds running jagged blue - and all the lights of the park with the day not yet gone but far enough away to whisper night had almost arrived, all the lights of the park standing bright to keep their colors and keep the strangeness and tender unreality standing through.

Also of note about the Wonder Wheel is it has stationary cars that move as the Wheel turns, and rocking cars that shift back and forth on runners when the Wheel stops and momentum kicks in. Rising up to see the park spreading out beneath you, unfolding and unfurling as the wheel slowly carries you is a quiet delight, something to hold gently. The moments the Wheel stops and the car swings out past its edge with nothing but the window of the car between you and the sky - they're quite thrilling. And if you're lucky enough to swing forward when the fireworks at the nearby baseball park are in full bursting bloom, there's nothing else like it. My family wouldn't have gotten to see that if we hadn't been so late getting going in the morning, getting held up at dinner, and waiting in line for quite so long. We did, though, and when we rode up as the sunset disappeared underneath the city skyline, and the ocean and sky darkened, and the fireworks were a matching piece of unreality to the park beneath us - when we rocked forward and for a moment were going to fly out and join them, just a moment but a rich one. The sky was dark, the air was cold, and the lights were hit. The light of day became the lights of the night, and Luna Park carried us from one into the other without noticing - sometime between stepping on and off, the phantasmagoria of the park holding us afloat and alight until we left it to return to the world.
hannah: (Dar Williams - skadi)
I didn't realize I had Monday off until my boss told us yesterday. I'm taking it as a good sign that I've gotten adjusted to working full-time, and even enjoying it. My weekends are still crammed, and I'll be doing so much stuff this Monday I don't think it'll be all that relaxing of a day, but I can still sleep in until eight and not feel bad.

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the sound of the rain, and plan out what baked goods I can bring in over the next few weeks with the fruit coming into season.
hannah: (Travel - fooish_icons)
Last night I said that for all the trouble it took me to get to Alabama and back, I might as well have been traveling to Denmark. In retrospect, that isn't strictly true, since there are direct flights to Copenhagen. It was mostly Atlanta that did it - two hours' delay both going and coming thanks to weather. Even so, it wasn't that bad. The delays were so enormous for the entire airline that I knew there wasn't any possible way I could make my connecting flight, and the airline knew it, too, so they rebooked me without me having to call them.

So if I've learned anything from this trip, it's that one shouldn't connect through Atlanta, and to always travel with some way to rebook or contact the airline. Just in case. I was lucky that I was only delayed a couple of hours and was working with flexible schedules - pretty much the only things on the to-do list were go hiking, bake bread, attend a roller derby match, and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And we saw to all of them.

While I can no longer bring a room to silence by saying "I've never seen Buffy" I think I can probably still get some strange looks when I say it took me so long to get to it. But I said the only way I'd start is on a friend's couch, and that was how I did it. I'm genuinely enjoying myself, and while I doubt there's fic or meta for the exact sort of things I want to read and discuss, the fandom's been around long enough I might be pleasantly surprised. Since I'm only midway through the second season, and plan on going concurrently with Angel once I get to that point in continuity, so maybe by the time I'm finished with it all someone will have gotten around to it.

Then again, I've always had very specific desires.

There was a lot of parallel socializing while we watched - I paid attention and made silly comments, she worked on a paper and sometimes responded - that was ideal for a pair of introvert-leaning individuals who wanted to share each other's company without getting burned out. We'd take breaks that sometimes included discussions of the fundamental appeal of AUs and the semiotics of color theory in True Detective, and on Friday I made challah in the morning, caught a tiny frog on a hike in the afternoon, and roasted a chicken with root vegetables in the evening. Alabama has some stunningly beautiful mountains, and for those alone it's worth a trip. Just bring water and wear clothes that breathe.

Saturday morning we went out to an indoor artists' market, which was full of great stuff and shiny things, as all artists' markets should be. There was a giant metal insect on a radio tower outside, and strawberry Jarritos and a great burrito for lunch. That night was roller derby, which I'd never seen before - and I'm glad I saw it live, because there's so much to keep track of I'd have been lost if I'd seen it any other way. There's always something happening in the ring, always something to pay attention to, whether it's the jammers trying to get in front, the blockers trying to hold them back, the pivoting players shifting the whole state of the bout, and this is all while it's always moving around. Nothing's static. The announcer was a fabulously dressed old woman in a giant purple hat, everyone on the track had smile lines on their face, the local team won by a 200 point lead, and I caught a firefly when I took a little walk around the building during halftime.

And coming back, I was so late I circled all the way around to arriving just in time to catch the last of the Pride fireworks on the Hudson river, which made the delay very much worthwhile.
hannah: (Travel - fooish_icons)
Discounting the time zone shift, and including the few minutes I stopped for pizza, it took at least twelve hours to get from Alabama to my apartment. I might as well have been coming in from Denmark for all the trouble it took me.

Worth it, though.
hannah: (Travel - fooish_icons)
Fighting off pre-trip jitters and worries with podcasts and checklists.

If you need me, I'll be back Sunday night.
hannah: (Zach and Claire - pickle_icons)
The sun's set now, but it took its time in doing so. I spent a little while outside this afternoon and walked through the park on the way back, stopping for some white mulberries and to notice the bees. No strawberries, though - if I'd known it was the Strawberry Moon tonight I might have stopped at the greenmarket sometime today to pick some up. Strawberries don't need reasons or excuses, but sometimes it's nice to have a deliberate occasion.

It's also that time of year I really need to accept it, give in, and turn on my AC. Every year I resist, and once again I'm left unable to focus and manage my time on account of the heat and humidity. Opening the window only helps so much - same with turning on the regular fan. It's a minor hassle to keep having to wrangle with the screen and window every time I want to turn the AC on or off, and enough of one I avoid it as much as I can. But tomorrow night I should see about that. See what writing I can get done when it's not so humid in here. I can't help it - I'm still not used to this sort of summer night.
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