hannah: (Robert Downey Jr. - riot__libertine)
Having reached a good stopping point in the ongoing fic, I've now stopped. For the moment. So I can go over the prose on this other thing I wrote, and when I'm done with that, it's back to the fic to forcibly unwind and give myself a project with which to focus my imagination and waking hours.

Besides getting exactly the right fandom icon. But that's always an ongoing quest.

I think at one section a night, I can stay clear-headed enough to keep momentum and be strong enough to cut what's not working. So there's the rest of the editing, some background research, a little time considering certain bits and pieces, and then I guess I'm off to market.

Tigers.

Mar. 21st, 2017 07:14 am
hannah: (Library stacks - fooish_icons)
When I was in second or third grade, possibly fourth, I read a story in one of the classroom’s textbooks - a collection of short stories with illustrations, lesson plans, and investigative questions about the themes. And this one specific story won’t leave me alone.

It was a story about tigers. All I remember from it was that it was about tigers that sing in the jungle at night, and that one of them learned that a long time ago they were cruel, dangerous animals, and had to learn how to be peaceful creatures that could all sing together at night.

I know I didn’t hallucinate it or dream it, but I can’t remember enough specific details or keywords to track this thing down. I know the textbook was published sometime before 1996, but that’s not much help either.

By chance, does anyone here know what I’m talking about?
hannah: (OMFG - favyan)
Yesterday I gave a chicken a bath. It was the highlight of the day, and might possibly be one for the week too.

Her name was Tiffany.

What I'd intended to do, and what did end up happening, was give her an Epsom salt foot soak for some sores on her feet. But Tiffany's a small chicken - a rescued broiler hen who's going to be moved to a country estate in Westchester somewhere as soon as the Wild Bird Fund has the means to move her - and it was also a small soaking container, so when I filled it up enough to cover her feet if she was standing, I didn't think what might happen if she sat down. In comfortably warm salty water.

Turns out, she'd get a bath. She got some quality petting, and one of the staff members blow-dried her belly off after she was done. Her feet got re-bandaged, and she'd been polite enough to wait to poop until after all that was over and I put her down on the floor. You could hardly ask for more from a chicken.
hannah: (Winter - obsessiveicons)
Today was, in effect, the first snow day I've had since grad school. I've had work canceled before because of weather, but not because of snow.

I spent very little of it doing anything of value, which I'm given to understand is how these things are supposed to go.
hannah: (Rob and Laura - aureliapriscus)
Very rarely I get a full moon on my birthday. But sometimes, it's not just around the same time as Purim: this year, today, it's Purim and my birthday together. So I didn't feel bad about taking a couple extra hamantashen, especially when they were poppyseed, which is objectively the best filling in the known universe.

Besides the night's holiday, most of the day was spent strolling through the woods. I'd thought of the Botanical Gardens, but instead it was the Teatown Lake Reserve. Which might even have been better, because with the lingering snow and wind chill, it was freezing, and so there was basically nobody else around. It wasn't anything close to heavy hiking, just a nice heavy walk. The trees creaked in the wind, and the ice crunched underfoot. Bridges crossed back and forth over streams and through a little frozen swamp. I spotted a pair of swans all the way across the lake and because they hadn't flown away by the time we got around to them, I was able to get a closer look at them. They made the Canada geese look small. Between the ducks, geese, and swans, it was pretty much all major waterfowl groups accounted for in a single day.

There were turtles and snakes and a couple of salamanders in the visitor's center, and a Flemish giant rabbit in one of the outdoor enclosures. One of the non-releasable crows seemed interested in what I had to say, but ended up paying more attention to the stick we offered it.

On the drive back, we missed the turn-off to the main south-bound road we needed - but in continuing on in looking for an alternate route back, we found a gas station and stopped to fill up the tank, which we'd needed to do anyway. And we managed to get onto that first road eventually, so it was a case of one mistake canceling out another.

So, you know. Not a bad way to become 31.
hannah: (Winter - obsessiveicons)
Today I learned I can't use almond meal when the recipe calls for either almond powder or flour. I'm almost tempted to buy some powder and see if I can fix my mistake tomorrow, but my parents aren't going to any Purim parties that I know of, so I'll just foster the sad examples of would-be holiday cookies off on my siblings. Seriously, that dough wasn't in any mood to be worked into something as fine as a pinched-up cookie. You need a really fine hand for those.

And the very precise kind of flour.

I also figured out that my birthday's the day after tomorrow, and I'm not quite sure what I'll be doing. It's Purim, so there's the Megillah reading, but that's at night. As for the day, I've got no plans. I might head up to the Botanic Gardens for the orchid show, which is always a treat. That it's entirely possible there's going to be snow this weekend makes it all the more appealing.
hannah: (Perry Cox - rullaroo)
I know my new fic is serious because I've begun looking for new icons. I've already got a couple of fandom-adjacent ones, but they're not quite precise for what I need to express in a hundred by a hundred pixels.

Yes, that Buffy fic I threatened is coming along. Which means I'll soon need accountability readers. Not beta-readers, not yet, just people who'll let me send them a draft every five thousand words, reading optional. Small milestones to maintain ongoing momentum, telling me I'm doing fine even when I'm not feeling it, that sort of thing. Checking character voices and plot pacing comes much later.

Anyone up for it?
hannah: (Laundry jam - fooish_icons)
My building's laundry room runs on quarters. The washers cost either a dollar-fifty or two dollars for a cycle, depending on the model, and the dryers give a certain amount of time for each coin put in. When things don't work, it's usually either gross mechanical failure, or the machines eat the quarters and you're out that money.

Today it didn't work in the opposite direction: the dryer thought I'd put in twice as many quarters as I actually had. It failed positive.

But as nice as it was to have that free time, I didn't need it. So I passed it onto the woman who'd finished her washing just as my towels were done.
hannah: (Dar Williams - skadi)
Buffy and Angel are both leaving Netflix streaming in April.

Also, it's my birthday next Saturday.

It's possible there's going to be another licensing renewal, but you can't be certain about these things. And I don't have other safe, reliable methods to watch the show, and I was hoping to start a related project soon.

As such, would anyone like to appease the universe, and myself, and hook me up with some digital copies? I'll provide the relevant external hard drive, if need be.
hannah: (Rob and Laura - aureliapriscus)
It took less than a year. Just under nine months, May 28th to March 1st. The first pass of the first draft, start to finish. Beginning, middle, and end. I'd wrestled with two unsuccessfully attempts at something else, started this one, restarted it, found a groove, and now I have the beginnings of something I can work with. Not quite a manuscript yet. But I've reached the stage in a project where I'm not sure where to go next, which is always a nice place to find yourself. It means you're moving onto something else.

The surveying is completed. Next up comes the mining. And after that, the carving the angel out of the marble.

Also thinking of a title, but that's signing the bottom of the statue, which is way off in the future.
hannah: (Robert Downey Jr. - riot__libertine)
The other day, I felt something odd in my hair, and after some maneuvering around past where I could see, I ended up pulling out a wooden shard. From a hairstick.

It's not the first time my hair's eaten a hairstic, and the fact that this means it's setting a trend pleases me deeply.
hannah: (Library stacks - fooish_icons)
Is anyone interested in seeing Logan this Friday afternoon or evening? I was planning a late afternoon showing right after I get off work, but I'm flexible for time and place if I'd be seeing it with someone else.
hannah: (Martini - fooish_icons)
Tonight, people thought I was part of the show. I didn't intend for that, and it's still how it came out. I don't know if I broke any rules, and I don't regret doing so.

Tonight I'm two-for-two with New York Theatre Workshop productions on getting a drink of wine during the show. First was some champagne during Hadestown, and tonight was a couple of sips and the end of a bottle of South African Chenin Blanc at The Object Lesson.

People thought I was part of the show because when the bottle came out, I said, "Please pass the wine." And the whole theater laughed at the fine joke I'd made. And the main actor laughed, too, saying we'd been in here for minutes and she should have a drink, and shortly after asking if the lady had gotten to try the wine yet. He'd been unearthing memories of his time in France, eating bread and goat cheese and drinking wine, and all those foods were pulled fresh from a box and passed around the audience. Because you can do that, when you're putting on a play.

The Object Lesson is, in and of itself, an object lesson in the full understanding of the nature, constraints, and possibilities inherent within a given medium and the power that comes from embracing all of those: the main theate space was transformed into everyone's waking dream of an attic-garage-basement-back closet storage space, a card catalog, lamps and found objects, boxes upon boxes stacked four and five and six deep from the floor to the ceiling, every one of them containing something - one was labeled "air guitars" and had tennis rackets - with a boat and a bicycle and bolt of chairs and a canoe hanging from the ceiling. The story, such as it was, consisted of one person's examination of a few memories, a handful of moments, and a contemplation on life as it goes from beginning to end. Not much to it, really. But it was the use of space that stood out.

Pulling objects from around the room and out of boxes to create a little living room-type speaking-space. Climbing up the boxes to unearth a traffic light and turning off everything else in the room to let the audience watch it go from red to green to yellow and red and through again. Two audience members on different sides of the theater space each naming objects they'd brought with them, pulled in as part of the show. A strange dinner date with someone else from the audience, tap-dancing in ice skates to make a salad. And finally, channeling the spirit of Harpo Marx to pull a bathroom, an office, and a lifespan from a single small cardboard box. There were some astonishing things done with light and dark, and sound. And space. Because the actor ran around the room, climbed up and down, tossed stuff around, and in some very controlled movements he managed to fold time into itself: being very careful, recording himself and people around him as one half of a conversation, then playing it back to provide both halves at once.

To have that unfold in front of you, the craft and honest trickery of it, was nothing short of amazing.

If you have the ways and means, go see it.

And don't forget to ask to be passed the wine.
hannah: (Zach and Claire - pickle_icons)
I can believe it's less than three weeks to my next birthday, but not that I don't really know what to do for it.

Also, that I've got a free Friday night in a couple of weeks and no idea what to do then. Usually they're scheduled well ahead of time, but this first Friday in March is wide open in a nigh-unprecedented way.

So, anyone in the area interested in going out for something then? I'm usually game for most anything if someone else is coming along.
hannah: (evil! - ponderosa121)
The Tesla showroom in Manhattan offers free Keurig cups to visitors. It's the most apt thing I could ever have hoped to see, because they both strike me as things that are simultaneously very much in keeping with the future we're creating and very wrong about how we're going about it.

Electric cars aren't a new thing; the technology predates gasoline-fueled engines by a few years. Instant coffee and powdered drinks are well established. It's the precise application of these creations in these particular fashions. Keurig cups are inefficient and unsustainable and frankly make a poor cup of coffee, and Tesla cars' design and form seem less emphasized towards practicality and widespread applicability and more on unreachable luxury. It didn't feel like the future as it should be, either from fantastic leaps or organic development. It felt like what the past thought the future was going to be like.
hannah: (Captain Jack Harkness - darththalia)
Walking up Riverside Park today, I looked up at the sky as I always do. There's always stuff to see, whether it's clouds or just the blue of the sky. Today there were birds, and an airplane, and a temporary UFO.

Temporary, because after half a block I could tell it wasn't flying, just hovering. Too small and too close for a helicopter and totally the wrong shape for that - the right colors for a seagull but again, wrong shape. Then it moved a bit, and I could see it against objects and buildings and not just the sky, and that's when perspective set in and I realized I was looking at a drone. Coming down just off 79th street and West End Avenue, down into the street. Into the park. With the light to cross the street turning green.

So I set out to meet the pilot.

A very charming fellow, the kind who reminds me - and I should declare it here to remember - that I need business cards with my contact info for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is letting strange men I randomly talk to in public parks come find me later. He'd been a little confused over why I was headed right his way, especially after spotting his drone from a couple of blocks away, but softened up when I explained I was more curious than anything else.

I didn't know drones had such good GPS they can't take off on the Eastern side of Central Park because that's within five miles of one of the big airports, and he didn't know who Frederick Olmsted was, so we each got to be one of today's lucky ten thousand. We talked about the applications of drone photography, how he doesn't know his drone's name yet but he knows he's got a girl, how to narrow down UFOs into IFOs, and we soon went our separate ways, both of us crunching through the snow. I didn't get his name and he didn't get mine, but we had a good few minutes together just the same.
hannah: (Marilyn Monroe - mycrime)
Oh my goodness, The Lumineers.

Oh my God, I needed that catharsis.

And oh, my God, there was this moment late in the show when Jeremiah Fraites took the stage alone for "Patience" that I couldn't even hear because the backdrop behind the stage that'd been playing all these abstract images suddenly materialized into real pictures, California bridges and a dandelion and geese, these lovely geese migrating in their urge for going - I can't remember the music to them or where it was in the show but I know just how stunning it was, seeing those geese, up behind that stage.

I'd been in the nosebleed section because I waited until the last minute to buy a ticket for a sold-out show. Seriously, it was my seat and then the roof. But it wasn't totally sold out, because sometime in the first third one of the ushers came up to me and said there were better, unsold seats if I wanted one. A better, unsold seat five people up from the dance floor, on the other side of the stadium, perfectly positioned to see the whole place light up when people held up their cell phones like fireflies for songs like "Charlie Boy."

The Lumineers is a great band for the "hit the lights" aesthetic.

Also a great band for getting onto your feet and dancing, even from the stadium seating.

I didn't cry at "Charlie Boy" but I did for "Cleopatra" and "Gun Song" and Andrew Bird's revised version of "Tables and Chairs" and it struck me how Andrew Bird is an artist who'll use whatever he wants and whatever he can get to create the sound he wants - effects pedals and xylophones and whatever he's got around. In contrast, the Lumineers use exactly what they need and nothing else. They've got a richness in their feelings, a precision in their sound, and utter sincerity in their efforts, and together it's all a potent combination.

(Speaking of sincerity, another usher I met kept saying "step right up" to ticket holders coming into the stadium - and yes, he loved saying it. Another was happy for the chance to talk about her job and the shows she's seen since she started working there.)

I jumped, I danced, I clapped, I laughed, I sang, I wept. I cheered hard for the Andrew Bird-aided cover of "Subterranean Homesick Blues." I feel better than I did before I went. And I'd better head off to bed.
hannah: (On the pier - fooish_icons)
Someone asked me what my current writing project was about, and the word I used wasn't the first one I thought of.

What I thought was, magic.

What I said was, "Responsibility."
hannah: (Toast and butter - obsessiveicons)
An impulse purchase of a rare object at last Saturday's greenmarket became today's labor-intensive breakfast. Because you can't just smash a goose egg's shell. They're too beautiful for that. Too rare and lovely. So I did the trick I read about in a picture book decades ago, making a small hole in each end and using a long needle to scramble the white and yolk inside the shell and then blowing the contents out to save the shell.

It felt like I blew out my jaw, but it was worth it.

As for how it tasted: like a chicken egg, but wider and deeper. The higher fat and protein content translated into a richer, lighter flavor that still tasted like egg and was hearty enough the last three bites were almost too much.

Then, tonight I made this, without the crumb topping and a half-cup of dried cranberries mixed in, to be brought into work tomorrow.
hannah: (Sam and Dean - soaked)
The realization that I have an idea for a fic that I don't trust anyone else to write, that I feel an urgency to create because there's almost a need for it to be there, that feels the same way I did about Stubborn Mouths, probably means I'd better roll up my sleeves and give it a shot.

After I've finished the shitty first draft of the thing I've already got going, at least.
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