hannah: (Pruning shears - fooish_icons)
I've now purchased a new computer! It'll be here in two weeks or so. While there's nothing wrong with my current one, it's starting to get up there in computer years, and it's about time it retired and took up topiary as a hobby. Or the computer equivalent.

The last time I got a new computer was just about seven and a half years ago. Then, it was because there were genuine hardware difficulties - something had gone wrong with the interface and if I used the mouse, the keyboard went unresponsive for a few minutes, and even the trackpad wasn't working propery. I got used to a lot of keyboard shortcuts before I went in for the one I've got now. Which is still working fine, if slowly, and I don't want to disrupt the balance of anything right now. So, buying one before there's any pressing need.

Also, thank goodness my building has a doorman to sign for the package.

I figure that when the new one comes, and I have everything set up and working and reasonably sorted out, I can take all my stuff off this one and have it as a standby backup. Just put it in the closet with its peripherals unless circumstances arise it's needed.

The part I'm most dreading about all this is having to remember my passwords to everything. Maybe it's time I started writing them down.
hannah: (Pruning shears - fooish_icons)
It only hits me now I might have run out of time to make eclipse plans. Glasses seem to be sold out everywhere online. There's the Museum of Natural History's big viewing event, which I may well leave work early to attend. Though if it's as cloudy then as it was today, I might just walk to the nearest park and stand outside at the appropriate time rather than try anything else.

On some level, clouds in August - or all of summer, really - is just wrong to me. It makes me think it's late September, and turns every day of the week into Thursday.

So I did my best to stay active, and cleaned out and got rid of a bunch of stuff hanging around my apartment. Mostly papers, with a little garbage and no small amount of dust. Spreading it out onto my bed and forcing myself to look at everything was a big help in terms of making practical assessments. Most of it was done to Hawaii 5-0, which somehow makes for ideal apartment-cleaning TV.
hannah: (evil! - ponderosa121)
At work today, someone said he'd done medical coding himself, a long time ago.

"Like COBOL?" I asked. No, he said, nothing like that, mostly data entry.

"So not a very BASIC job," I said. And boy, once he got it, did he mean it when he laughed.
hannah: (Across the Universe - windowsill_)
I took a boat ride out to eat pie today, which is as it should be. To be precise, I rode a ferry out to Brooklyn, because New York City is an archipelago and a ferry was faster than the subway, and then walked to where I could eat key lime pie. Real key lime pie, made with just five ingredients, out in Red Hook right by the water. My brother was with me, and we ate on the grass by a miniature beach, having walked through a part of New York City I'd never been to that more than anything reminded me of San Francisco. Not exactly for the food, and not exactly for the water. More in that it was a bright, sunny day with few clouds and little wind, that where I was walking happened to have the lazy, low-horizon line architecture of the California Bay Area, small houses clustered together with the incidental empty lot left to grass and flowers and birds, funky little shops scattered up and down a main drag, a town hidden away out at the edge of a city.

Sometime after I got back to Manhattan, I realized there was a bit of sadness to the day too: I had to retire one of my rings. One of my favorites, to be honest. The little lizard pinkie ring I bought almost thirteen years ago to the day, back in August of 2004 in the Yerba Buena Gardens during a Philippine arts and culture festival just after I moved to San Francisco for college, worn until August of 2017 when the ring finally began to wear thin enough I'm worried it'll snap in two. So I took it off, kissed it, and put it away. I'm adjusting to a different one now. It's got leaves, but no little lizard face.

I can replace it easily enough - it's a common enough design that just looking up "lizard toe ring" on Google gets me the same thing right away, like right here. But it won't be the one I used to wear, and I'm hesitant to look into repair shops because it'd be so easy to replace it might not get taken seriously.

And though I wish I still had a smiling little lizard on my hand, it's not yet broken. I can take comfort in knowing it's not broken, or lost. In threat of those, but I didn't let that happen. I took it off and now it's put someplace for safekeeping. It saw me through a lot of adventures, like the one I had today, running to catch the ferry back, riding up front and feeling a bit of spray on my face and stepping away from my life to enjoy the world for a while.

So I guess, with this new ring, I start over again tomorrow.
hannah: (Perry Cox - rullaroo)
Something strange is happening with my main MP3 player, beyond bad data on a small number of MP3 files from the giant hard drive recovery - that part doesn't bother me because I can replace everything from my main computer, the original CDs, or other digital downloads. The strange thing is sometimes it'll play half a song and then skip to the next one, even if the file itself is perfectly normal. It's a fairly old player as MP3 players go, so maybe that's where the strangeness is coming from. If that's the case, I can accept it. Not that I'll like it. Just that I'll accept it.

Other than that, and work being fairly slow and frustrating in ways that had nothing to do with each other, a few really nice things happened today. I finally ate at Lupe's East LA Kitchen, which was exactly like a tiny spot of California tucked away in New York City - the second such one I've found - whose California vibes were made even stranger and stronger when the staccato sunshowers finally ended, leaving the air clean and cool, exactly like it should be. My brothers and I ate by an open window, and I leaned my elbow out and drank a pineapple mojito and felt all right for a little while.

I also stumbled over a pair of houses up the street from Lupe's that, amazingly, had backyards. Old houses, National Registrar of Historic Places old, from the early 1800s, both with open space behind them visible from the adjacent driveway-alleyway. Left to their own devices, the grass was taken by weeds and the trees loom over the house. In one, foundations of something are still visible, the erected structure long since gone; in the other, an empty freestanding wooden trellis and a dry, tiered fountain. Basically, if Ganesh walked out of one of the houses into the backyards, I wouldn't have been surprised. (He only lives a few blocks north on Crosby, after all.) Even more amazingly, they had fireflies. Fireflies, tucked away in a little forgotten spot that shouldn't be there but is just right as it is.

After dinner my brothers and I went looking for the Ghostbusters firehouse, and on the way found Manhattan's smallest museum, similarly tucked away. It was closed, so all we could do was peer through the glass.

Because I had time in between work and dinner, I wandered a bit, which included a detour through Washington Square Park, where someone gave me a little bit of birdseed that I used to attract pigeons over and entice them to sit in my outstretched hands to eat. Then I stood still so they'd stay, and more would come. And maybe it's that I volunteer with birds and they sense that, or maybe it's because I've fed them before and they recognize me, or maybe I was nonthreatening enough that more did come. Lots more. My arms are still a little scratched up. They landed and sat up and down my arms, and a few even walked over my shoulders or my chest to get from one side of me to the other. And they were so nice, and warm, and didn't think I was anything to be afraid of, and I think it was nine or ten, all told, at the height of the madness.

Rain like today's in New York City doesn't happen where I grew up. It's not something I've really been able to get used to - rain at this time of year, warm summer rains, rain that stops and starts and stops and starts instead of happening or not. There's no season for rain. It just comes when it comes, even if I can see the sun shining on a building just a block away from me. Even if I can see the sun shining in the sky. It doesn't swallow the world, just breezes on through it. And during the in between moments, before it finally left, when it was a brief moment of light mist instead of genuine precipitation, the combination of the shimmer in the air and sky caught the light to soften it, just a little bit, just enough to let you know there's always something new to see.
hannah: (Travel - fooish_icons)
Today was one of those rare, gorgeous New York City days of a clear blue sky and gentle temperatures where nobody needed to turn on the heater or the air conditioner. There's about six weeks' worth of those days scattered throughout the year, and they're always lovely. Today was also a rare day I didn't have any work, classes, appointments, or obligations, so I spent a lot of time by myself. I went to the movies, and ate lunch at a little cafe, and walked back through the park, and spent the evening writing, and it was basically the dream life. For as long as it lasted. So now I know what my ideal is, pretty much. It'll be nice to remember for later.

I thought I might take some big adventures this August, and I do plan on having real key lime pie sometime this month, but if I can get a couple more days like today, I'll be happy. The adventures can come in September. Because I'm going to Denmark in September. Denmark, and London. It's not hitting me yet and I don't know if it'll take me being on the plane to sink in, so maybe if I keep saying it then I'll accept it.

This is something I've wanted to do for years now, and it's something everyone else in my immediate family's managed to do already. I'd been feeling left out for a good long while, and now it's like I can finally join in.

Also, does anyone want to see The Great Comet in the next week or so? I'm still thinking about it.
hannah: (Reference - fooish_icons)
If it all goes well, I've now achieved redundancy with my computer files. Everything I want to keep safe is now backed up on an external hard drive that will largely live alone on my desk unconnected to my main computer. Because of this particular arrangement, I've named this hard drive The Hinterlands. Let's hope everything stays as pristine as the name implies.

I'll see if I can turn it into a monthly routine - pay the credit card bill, back up the last month's worth of important data.

I also managed to solve another irksome issue, deleting a couple of troublesome files that defied the usual methods, by following some simple directions that still made me feel like I'd just solved an eight-part math equation.

Also, I held a giant fancy pigeon today, and had birds land on my head. So on and offline, it's been a good day all around.
hannah: (Laundry jam - fooish_icons)
I threw stuff out today. Trust me when I say that's kind of a big deal. I've been trying to divest myself of things and clutter lately, little objects I don't need or anticipate any use for.

There were a lot of twisty-ties tossed out today. Wrappers, tins, boxes, papers. Some minor reorganization and consolidation that shouldn't have needed to take place, strictly speaking, but it wasn't until now I had any feeling or motivation. I don't believe in a lot of the how-to philosophy behind this sort of thing - I tend to stand behind the relentlessly practical approach - but recognizing it wasn't doing anything for me to have the stuff around helped a lot. Looking at a jar and anticipating putting lemonade in it's different than looking at a rubber band and just wondering where to toss it. And now I've got a little breathing room on my table that I hope to expand upon, and might even tackle the rug in the next couple weeks.
hannah: (Laundry jam - fooish_icons)
Just about packed for the con tomorrow; what's not yet set aside is recorded on a checklist and waiting to be collected. The MP3 player gets loaded up last.

Today at work I learned all over again just how different I am from my coworkers: they never looked inside some of the filing cabinets in the office when they got there. They've been working there much longer than I have, and today was the first day those cabinets got a proper investigation and a full cleaning. They were stuffed with all sorts of office detritus: loose envelopes with office letterhead, computer cables, takeout leftovers like salt packets and napkins, delivery menus, pens, block of staples, post-it notes, lost clothes, medical records that can't yet be thrown out because of federal regulations, shower gel, candy, perfume samples, rubber bands, paper clips...stuff, mostly. Lots of stuff. That I would've cleaned out in days of arrival if I'd been able to, because I would've gone looking to see what's around and figured out what to do with it all. Like, for example, throwing away old delivery menus.

I recognize a fair amount of inertia behind a closed cabinet door in an office where things are always busy. I also wonder why they never raided those cabinets for pens, when pens are a valuable commodity in basically any office environment.

Next week, I'm taking the clothes back with me, washing them, and then dropping them off at an appropriate fabric recycling program. I figure it's the best option available.
hannah: (Fruit - truntles)
Waking up without any major responsibilities or outstanding obligations is a rare pleasure. I finished my classwork yesterday afternoon, and I don't have work today, so the most I should get done is to pack and prepare for the con this weekend. Which won't take long. I could've gone to the movies, but since I'm all done with classes for a good few weeks, I'll do that later - since Spider-Man will be playing for a while, but the cherries in the fridge won't last nearly that long.

Baking, cleaning, exercising, packing, and if time allows, writing. I wouldn't want to do this every day, but once in a while, it's nice to luxuriate.
hannah: (Breadmaking - fooish_icons)
Today I experimented with cake variations and wandered into a neo-pagan street fair. The cake came out as a success and I bought some jewelry I'd wanted for a while. First, eliminating the crumb topping, doubling the batter, and baking it in a larger pan. Second, a hamsa of reasonable heft and weight that I haven't yet been able to find at most other open-air street markets I've managed to wander into. I don't know if I'll wear it, but I like having it.

I might have to go again next year, if they get the same jewelry vendors. The hamsa vendor had some pretty amusing fandom-based charm bracelets. I know I basically inoculated myself in terms of fandom jewelery possession with this single purchase, so I doubt I'd wear them, but it'd still might be fun to have them. Or deliberately buy them to give them away.
hannah: (Jack Aubrey - katie8787)
Now that Photobucket's gone, and most available fandom icons with it, I've gone back to looking for new ones the old-fashioned way: through people's icon pages, grabbing and saving and hoping the metadata hasn't changed since they were uploaded. It's not even that I need more - I've got enough saved to pick one or two and be fine - so much as I want to know I've looked in as many places as are left for me to do so. I'm sure everyone reading this knows how that feeling goes.

I've got time yet because the fic's nowhere near done and it'll need heavy editing on top of that, but it'd be nice to be prepared.
hannah: (Zach and Claire - pickle_icons)
Yesterday was made of petty disappointments, and today about made up for it. Yesterday things were delivered that were technically correct but improperly aligned to what I'd wanted, nothing was as productive as I hoped, all those tiny things adding up to a day that wasn't wrong or bad in any big way, just lots of little ones.

But today I ran errands, fed pigeons at two different parks, looked at buildings and murals and got rained on and met a friend for dinner at Schiller's Liquor Bar before it closes next month. We talked about work, AIs, music and mattress shopping and non-tourist vacation spots, and the fine points of personal taste and what makes different alcohols good to drink. No personal work done - no classwork or writing - but filing myself up to give it a go tomorrow.
hannah: (Marilyn Monroe - mycrime)
So. The thing. Yes. The thing. Not a thing, the thing - and not The Thing. Just a thing.

Oh, to hell with it: the book I wrote.

A coming-of-age novel that needs other people's eyes on it. I've finished all the fiddly little bits that needed me to look up specific facts and dates, tweaked a couple of parts that were bothering me, and while there's more I can do, I want to leave it alone for at least a week before going back. And I'd also like to leave it alone until I get someone else's thoughts on it.

So, this is a call for beta-readers. My alpha readers did a fabulous job of putting their hands on my shoulders, telling me I was doing fine and that I should keep going, and letting me babble on at length in chat windows. Which was exactly what I needed for the intitial drafting phase. And now I need people to read this and tell me things about it.

I need to make this as good as it can be before I start pitching it out. Which I'll do. It'd be a shame to have finished this and not try to share it far and wide. So I need help. Not so much with spelling, grammar, and punctuation, but with the story.

I need to know what's confusing about it, where things are unclear in prose or decision-making.

I need to know what throws you out of a story and back into just reading some words on a page.

I need to know what parts are boring and make you want to skip ahead.

I'd like to know what I did right, and made you enjoy yourself.

So I'm looking for seven to ten people to read just a hair over 60,000 words and tell me how well they all work together. I'd like it in five to eight weeks, to have a time limit on things and make it a bit simpler that way.

It's about a Mizrahi Jewish American boy from Saint Louis who discovers magic is real and runs away to Los Angeles in the summer of 1988. You can tell I went outside of my comfort zone because I've never been to Saint Louis. So if you know anything about life in Saint Louis, or Los Angeles, or the 1970s and 1980s, I'd be especially grateful if you could tell me what I need to change to get those bits as authentic to reality as I can. As for magic, it doesn't need to be authentic, but if there are any inconsistencies, I need to know about those too.

If this sounds fun, drop me a line and I'll send it your way.
hannah: (Interns at Meredith's - gosh_darn_icons)
Tonight I'm baking and watching TV. Tomorrow night I do laundry, and Monday night I cook. And Tuesday night, I begin proper research and editing to see to the end of the little bracketed notes - looking up suitable surnames, checking possible neighborhoods and the associated urban geography, stuff that would've bogged me down during the composition phase and the first major editorial pass. But now, it's time to gear up and get ready, because soon, very soon, it'll be as finished as I can reasonably get it myself. Well, to be fair, myself and the people I've flailed at in chat conversations. So, basically [personal profile] petra. Thanks, [personal profile] petra!

Hard cider will most likely be greatly enjoyed throughout the process.

Also, because I'm wearing one right now, I want to go on record saying that new t-shirt smell beats out new car smell. It's just better in every possible way.
hannah: (Marilyn Monroe - mycrime)
Oh my God on my God I don't know what it is that's been kicking my ass from letting me feel the actual joy of things but I hope tonight's a turning point away from that. Because tonight I realize just how much stuff I have to share, good stuff, all of it made for me, and here I am sitting on it for no good reason. It's not worth getting into bad ones, so here we go, two fics and a transformative work, three fandoms all told.

The Fifth Stage (5894 words) by Jayne L
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Dawn Summers, Buffy Summers, Spike (BtVS), Willow Rosenberg, Tara Maclay, Rupert Giles, Xander Harris, Anya Jenkins
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Comes Back Wrong
Summary:

cosmictuesdays said: "Is there a fic exploring the idea of how [Dawn and Spike] would take care of Buffy if she’d Come Back Wrong?"


A canon-divergent version of 'After Life'.



And this is generous, this is elegant, this itself is less a source of delight and more sorrow that resolves into melancholy - the promise that being here, just being here, can sometimes be enough.

That Mutual Dance of Mighty Heroism (6624 words) by Tassos
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Angel: the Series
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Faith Lehane/The Groosalugg
Characters: Faith Lehane, The Groosalugg (AtS)
Additional Tags: Male-Female Friendship, Romantic Friendship, Friends to Lovers, Friends With Benefits, Developing Friendships, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Casual Sex, Feelings Realization, Developing Relationship
Summary:

In a slightly altered canon-world where Cordelia's visions do indeed pass to The Groosalugg, Groo finds himself in need of a warrior companion and he has been reliably informed that recently returned Faith would be most excellent.

Faith's not so sure this is going to work out. But he's pretty to look at.

She wasn't expecting feelings to happen.



Okay, now this is a delight, because you can't put these two in a room together and not get some entertainment value out of it. Because they both, in their own ways, give no fucks whatsoever, but in completely different ways that makes for an excellent read. Go ahead. You'll laugh, I promise.

Curl Up With Tinsnip: a reading of cosmictuesdays's "Stubborn Mouths: Humans in Translation" (10 words) by tinsnip
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Julian Bashir/Elim Garak
Characters: Julian Bashir, Elim Garak, Jadzia Dax, Odo, Kira Nerys
Additional Tags: Podfic, Vidfic
Summary:

A live reading of Hannah's "Stubborn Mouths: Humans in Translation".



Exactly what it says on the tin, and you should see how Tinsnip reads this! Her little acting choices, the different voices - my toes were curling and I can't stop smiling. And I hope that the second part is also true for everyone that gives it a listen.
hannah: (Zach and Claire - pickle_icons)
My family's going to Denmark in a couple of months. For the first time, I'm included in the group. So I'll be going to Denmark in the first weekend of September.

It'd be easy to extend the trip for a few days, fly back to the US from Paris or London, see people I've never hugged or only met face-to-face once before. Or fly back to somewhere else! See someone in Canada, maybe, or Iowa or California, get a chance to...

But I don't think I could manage. I've got classes, for one, and dropping a full semester of them would push completion even further away and I don't want to be stuck in it longer than I need to be. My job's flexible enough I can take a good chunk of time off if I let them know months ahead of time and still be able to return without much disruption to my place there. So there's both of those things. One or the other could maybe be pushed aside for a little while. But not both.

It used to be I had all the possible time on my hands, but nobody to see and no way to visit them. Now I have people to see and the capacity to travel, but no time to see them. Seems fitting to my life, really.
hannah: (Travel - fooish_icons)
For once, it might not be geography itself getting in the way of fun.

My family’s going to Denmark for a long weekend in a few months, at the very beginning of September. Is there anyone in that country - on the European continent - in reasonable proximity to an international airport hub - who’d be interested in meeting up for an afternoon or possibly longer if schedules allow?
hannah: (steamy drink - fooish_icons)
I met a friend for coffee after work today. That's it, that's the big Solstice news. It's something new to me, and it turns out that even though it cut into my evening writing time, I really liked it, and I'll have to try it again sometime. Just not soon, given the aforementioned writing time. But definitely before August.
hannah: (steamy drink - fooish_icons)
Last Thursday, I brought some key lime cookies from Trader Joe's to work, because I didn't have much in the way of impulse control. The cookies were eaten up fast, with a lot of powdered sugar left over. So I took the key lime-infused sugar, poured it into a mug, mixed it with instant coffee, and made myself a key lime flavored latte.

Last Sunday, it was the last day of my long-standing part-time telecommuting job. It's not quite completed - I've still got one last paycheck coming - but all the work and responsibilities are now gone. Over and done with. At thirty-six months, it was the longest I've ever had a job in my life, and it'll be the new measurement for employment length. The work was sometimes annoying and petty, and I really only had to put a lot of effort into it during the first couple of months to make everything easy enough to sustain my responsibilities on an average of ten minutes a week for the rest of things. Still, I liked it well enough. On Sunday, as I've done about a dozen times in the past three years, I went to my boss' house in Jersey City, except this time it was to wrap everything up. I sent out a few emails, completely cleaned out the organization's email inbox and got it to zero, put every related file I had on a USB drive and handed it over, and that was pretty much it. She gave me tea, a mug with a giraffe on it, and the two of us and her husband went out to lunch together.

Today I would have liked to have gotten more stuff done, and I don't even have reasons for it, just excuses.
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