hannah: (Pruning shears - fooish_icons)
After I don't know how many years, my basil plant's crumbled up and died. It was a slow process over a couple of weeks, a gradual withering, but today I knew it was over. So I salvaged what was left of it - most of the leaves, some of the stems - and I'll be using it in my morning eggs for a while.

I say "I don't know how many years" because I can't remember when I got it. At least three years ago, possibly four or five. Another bunch of herbs from the farmers' market I put in water to make last a little longer that put out roots into the jar and had me buying a pot and dirt to put it in. I guess it'd reached the limits of what I could do. Nothing left but to aerate the soil, give it some time to rest, and see about trying again soon. It's always nice to have some green around.
hannah: (Perry Cox - rullaroo)
My new external hard drive is sitting comfortably on my desk, and it all looks good from here. I've named it Beverly Road.

Without playing every single file in every single format, I can't tell if or what's still not working. The problem with my last hard drive, Upper Terrace, was degraded reading heads, not a fault of the data itself - but if the heads had degraded further, even more data would've been lost. But like I said, it all looks good from here, and the one place where things stopped working seems to be going along fine now.

The one thing I can't find is my copy of "Scooby Road" which I swear I had somewhere, but it's not where I put my vids or my TV. So I guess I'll have to go email its creator again - which, while embarrassing, is something I can live with.

Also keep an eye out for future hard drive sales to prepare myself for double redundancy in the future.
hannah: (Across the Universe - windowsill_)
The vampires on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel don't have a culture. They've got traditions and customs, like not going out on Halloween, transmitted information and oral histories, like the Whirlwind's notoriety and the near-mythic Slayer, and the occasional prophecy or cult of personality, but no culture. No society as such. It reminds me a bit of childlore and other parts of children's culture, where it's only tangentially connected to the surrounding civilization. They're so bereft of anything - any connections whatsoever - that the moment someone says "I'm going this way" they've got people following them.

Usually vampire society is shown as something that's existed for thousands of years with all sorts of small details, elaborate hierarchies and aristocracies, and established protocols and rituals, like what to do if you make a new vampire. Sometimes it's completely absent and vampires are non- social solitary predators. Every so often, it's shown as something in flux and ongoing development, but I've never seen anything with vampires creating a society of their own.

It'd take an immense shift in the entire dimensional paradigm to get vampires to talk to each other long enough and consistently enough to make something which could be accurately called a culture.

And it was when I was discussing the parallels between Spike and Konstantin Bothari - two monstrous people that devote themselves to becoming heroes and take meaning in their lives from being a beloved woman's dog - that I realized the Vorkosigan Saga had the ideal framework I could hang these thoughts on.

As ever, would that I had world enough and time; instead, at a friend's request, a write-up it is.


Vampires are monotheists. They refer to their god in euphemism, by her title, because her current name isn't known and her old names aren't to be spoken aloud. They call her Slayer, as she was in life. )


It took throwing up the walls to bring every slithering and creeping thing out of the shadows and into the open for everyone to learn about them. Something suitably terrific and terrifying to push the magic and the dark creatures out into the world's eye forever. Something to get vampires to speak to each other. The realization that where you once had a huge, lush forest, you've got a botanical garden. Beautiful, but not wild. Never wild again.Never wild again. )


Spike met Taura when she was in her early 20s, on shore leave from the Dendarii. She was out with her friends, enjoying the night, and when Spike didn't hesitate at all when he saw her across the room, just came up and started talking. )
hannah: (steamy drink - fooish_icons)
I'd like to blame drinking most of a bottle of cider for why I slept until about nine o'clock this morning, which is ridiculously late by my standards, especially for a Saturday. Even if I just have one place to be, I like to be up early for it. I spent the time puttering around my apartment, but still.

The one place was NYC FanBrunch's annual park brunch, which happened to be on a tremendously beautiful day: early morning rain washing out the air, fluffy clouds in a deep blue sky, bright green leaves everywhere. I got there ahead of time, set up shop at the one free picnic table in the general area where everyone was going to meet, and ended up staying about four hours, just hanging out and talking to people. Not necessarily about fandom stuff, even - just stuff, in the intense, dedicated way that doesn't happen much outside of fandom spaces. We all knew we had something in common, we all wanted to be there, we all had shared reasons for being there, we could just share names and get on with it.

I brought blueberry muffins, vanilla cake with red, white, and blue sprinkles, sheet pan spanikopita, and coffee. Unsurprisingly, it was the coffee that made people happiest. They were curious about the other stuff, happy to eat something savory, but coffee, now that they were grateful and thankful for. Bottles of cold brew from a grocery store, not homemade or handmade but unquestionably caffeinated and cheerfully bitter. It's something I'm definitely going to have to bring along again next year, even if it won't be as much of a surprise the next time around.
hannah: (Breadmaking - fooish_icons)
I ended up deciding against making brownies for this Saturday. I'm already bringing cake, muffins, savory quiche, and cold-brew coffee - brownies are theoretically doable, but it'd be too much to juggle, even for me. Especially when I've run out of clean measuring cups.

I woke up this morning at the usual time but ended up going back to bed for about another hour, and while it's not something I want to do more than once every three months or so, there's little that makes me feel more New York City than buying an egg and cheese sandwich from a corner place and eating it on the walk to work. The corner aspect is essential to the true spirit of the moment. Which means that I should just settle on posting this and head off to bed before it sets itself up as a self-perpetuating cycle.
hannah: (Laundry jam - fooish_icons)
At a friend's request, I spent the afternoon and evening writing about 3700 words of Buffy/Vorkosigan crossover thoughts because I'm constitutionally incapable of overthinking things, and I still haven't even gotten to the bits about Beta Colony or certain metaphorical aspects of this very specific type of monster. I'd like to keep writing, but the Diet Coke with lime is finally wearing off.

Thank goodness I've got more baking to do and took some notes ahead of time, or else I'd feel guilty leaving my actual fic to lie waiting for a few more days.
hannah: (Captain Jack Harkness - darththalia)
A friend of mine who'd never been to a slash or fandom con before made a very important observation after she watched the dance floor for a while: everyone was either dancing in sensible shoes or barefoot.

That, I think, is the ethos of fan cons.

The bus rides there and back were fine, and I remembered to get the name of that one taco truck at the gas station I swear I saw last time I took the bus to Pittsburgh. At the convention, there were a good balance of fandom-specific and fandom-general panels, and I don't think I've ever been to a vid show before where it just started. No trouble or A/V fiddling required. I never quite got the hang of how to play to the judges for "Cards Against Humanity" but maybe next time I'll have some idea, and I bought the absolutely most delightful necklace in the dealer's area. Which led into probably the most intense twenty minutes at the convention discussing the source show. Which was fun.

It was such a small con this year - first year, odd time of year, plenty of good reasons and a couple of excuses - that pretty much every panel could have been a round table around a small table. Maybe a long table for the bigger fandom panels, like the Buffy one, where we ended up moving from how we got into the show and preferred pairings into how fandom platforms change, how that leads to the loss of content and fanworks, and the necessity of central archives and open communication between fans. Even Star Wars, where we talked about merchandising and the shifting of approved canon versus official discontinuity, weren't that heavily attended. Simply because there weren't a lot of people.

That didn't mean it couldn't be intense. The round table for Stranger Things had a lot of laughter, a lot of heady discussion on long-form serialized media as a storytelling platform and how it can be most effectively harnessed, and much delight over nostalgia and future possibilities. Classic ships veered into displays of emotional intimacy, and frustrations over social expectations of prescribed heterosexuality and its seeming contradictions with genuine affection. There were a lot of good murmurs around the room in "Fandom as Genre" though it was a little hard to keep the focus, and I know I should have written stuff down before the disability in media panel to help keep activity levels up. But even so. It was all good time spent in the company of fans.

I got to see new faces on old friends, and hugged people I'd never before been able to. I didn't win at arm wrestling but I put up a fight, and I made a lot of people laugh. So all in all, a pretty fabulous time.
hannah: (Robert Downey Jr. - riot__libertine)
Thanks to low traffic and a good bus driver, I got in almost an hour early, and got into my apartment at about the time the original ticket said I'd be back in Manhattan.

So tonight I go back to sleep in my own bed, and tomorrow I begin the process of a con write-up - and as promised, those Buffy/Vorkosigan crossover thoughts I've been teasing friends about.
hannah: (Travel - fooish_icons)
Just about packed for the weekend except for lunch, toiletries, and bus ride music. Which means most of the worry's gone, and all that's left is restless anticipation - and the occasional spot-check, like when I remember I need extra batteries for my MP3 player. Also writing down directions to and from the bus stop, but that's hardly making sure to bring enough socks and underwear.

It's not going to be real until I'm stepping into the hotel lobby. Until then, it's just nerves.
hannah: (Jack Aubrey - katie8787)
It's always nice getting a kudos alert from the Archive of Our Own. It's just that whenever I get a single alert with multiple people leaving kudos on the same story, I wonder if it got a rec somewhere.

I'm holding myself off from calling about my external hard drive until Monday. This weekend had better be plenty distracting.
hannah: (Reference - fooish_icons)
Tomorrow I get a new hard drive I ordered today for in-store pickup, and then I'll be taking that and my current malfunctioning one to a data recovery specialist. What this means to me is mostly that I might have to wait a couple more months before getting a new laptop, and a couple of weeks before I get to experience the full extent of my music and media collection.

This is an infuriatingly luxurious inconvenience. Because I'm not hurt, the data's probably still fine and intact and just needs someone who has the right tools and equipment and training to move it safely, and the most inconvenient part of this is worrying about all the media I've got stashed away. It's not a problem as such. It's worries, and it's inconvenient, and it's all in all quite a luxurious thing to be worried about and inconvenienced by.

I'm still mad and upset. But I'm trying to take a long view of things and cling to the hope I won't be losing anything but money and time.
hannah: (Library stacks - fooish_icons)
After seven years' good service and two months' fair work, I think it's finally time I start searching for a new computer. The media players stutter and the external hard drive is getting hit with cyclic redundancy errors and requests to format it. So my guess is that it won't be long before everything winds down. I replaced the failing internal CD drive with an external USB one a little over a year ago, which I knew would only be a stopgap measure. So it's time to face facts and gird my loins and go computer shopping.

What bugs me more than the prospect of having to transfer everything is having to adjust to a new operating system and user interface. I'll most likely just go for another Dell, since they're pretty stable workhorses and suit my needs without fuss - primarily Internet/word processing/media with only incidental gaming.

Given that the problems are media-based, and mostly dreriving from the external hard drive, I'm not worried and fearful so much as I am generally concerned. And disgruntled at the prospect of having to reinstall so many programs. It's possible that replacing the main external hard drive will fix this, but hey, seven years and two months. I don't want to push things.

It figures.

May. 6th, 2017 06:45 pm
hannah: (Interns at Meredith's - gosh_darn_icons)
I'm not sick enough I have to stay in my apartment and do nothing but shuffle around gently, but unless there's some fantastic overnight recover, I'm sick enough I won't be going to see the birds tomorrow. It won't do me, the other volunteers and staff, or the birds any good. Putting laundry into the machine and then folding it while dry is closer to the upper limits of my capabilities. And cooking, but that's mostly because I won't have anything to eat otherwise.

The timing of this means I'll be more than well enough to go to work on Monday, which seems apt.
hannah: (Robert Downey Jr. - riot__libertine)
My current pair of headphones that I found abandoned in a supply closet at my summer job from two years ago finally wore down, in the form of the left side not playing. Well, not playing unless tilted and held at the exact precise angle. I wasn't too upset, just disappointed, and two years for these things after all the banging about on commutes and vacations, from airplanes to archives, was pretty good.

Then I realized I could reinforce the wobbly tilt at the jack site itself with tape and get at least two more weeks' usage out of them, which is enough time to find a suitable replacement. I don't know if I'll get the exact same kind or something new - just that I didn't have to do it today, which I'm pleased about.
hannah: (Travel - fooish_icons)
I've got my bus tickets for ConFabCon! Thursday evening to Monday morning, I'll be back in Pittsburgh, the world's best giant small town. It's something nice to look forward to at the end of the month.

Work has gotten to be more tolerable, and I've resigned myself to knowing it'll never be fun and I'll never be able to have any solid conversations with my coworkers. But coming in a little earlier and giving myself a few minutes to settle in has been making a huge difference in how tolerable the days are. And I've even gotten new sandals for the warm weather, so I guess I really have gotten used to thinking this isn't a four-to-six month gig the way I've been doing for so long. Not my dream job, but a long-term one, and that's something to appreciate, if only for the consistency.
hannah: (Perry Cox - rullaroo)
1. Context: I'm in the break room, waiting for the electric kettle to boil, standing by the water cooler.

My co-worker enters the room for some water: "Hello, good morning, how are you."

Me: "Which one?"

2. Context: I have a question to ask that's not so urgent it can't wait a little while.

My co-worker, who'd be able to answer: "Do you need me?"

Me: "No, but I want you."

A moment later, both of us: "Ah-ha!"
hannah: (steamy drink - fooish_icons)
It's a near-inevitability that whenever I go into a coffee shop, I bring in a line. I don't mean I make a line; I mean I come into a place and there's maybe two or three people ahead of me at most, and after I've placed my order I'll look around and see there's now a line out to the door. Not every time, but often enough I'm not quite surprised by it anymore. It happened again today, and as much as I know it was my luck to get into the place just as nearby schools were letting out for the day, I also know it's just what happens.

Now, if I just had some idea how to properly monetize this.
hannah: (Castiel - poptartmuse)
Of all the media coming out in 2017, one of the pieces I'm most excited comes out tomorrow. Astro City #43, the long-promised origin story of The Gentleman. For those of you who haven't heard of the series, you're lucky you get to read it for the first time. It's a fun and delightful take on superheros that understands there's a lot of joy to be had in stories with those sorts of characters, and wants everyone to have a good time. It's full of light and color, and while there's shadows and sorrow, people earn their happy endings.

One of the greatest things about it is that it's a single universe, told with limited narration for each point-of-view character, which means there's always something more just waiting to be learned.

Which is why I'm so excited for The Gentleman, because I've got a theory I've been waiting months to find out about one way or another. I wouldn't even mind being proved wrong, because I'll know why I didn't get it right. Spoilers here on out. )
hannah: (Jack Aubrey - katie8787)
I got to cuddle the cutest, sweetest snake today. She was some sort of python, but I didn't get the species name. I just made a beeline as soon as her handler started his busking routine of offering people the chance to get a photo taken with a big snake, and took him up on the second part. She'd been moving around a lot, and I held my arms steady and close to my body, giving her something to wrap around and grip tightly, and she went calm.

I ended up giving the guy some money anyway.

I'm well aware the snake shouldn't have been out on a busy corner of 14th street to begin with. But I couldn't help it. She was such a sweetheart, and I was so happy to have her treat me like a tree.
hannah: (Laundry jam - fooish_icons)
The pair of shorts I picked up today, for free and sight unseen, somehow fit. Not perfectly, but nicely enough I'm going to keep wearing them in no small part because I haven't worn shorts in ages and the feeling of having bare legs exposed to the air is just delicious.

It helps this is the three weeks in spring where nobody needs heat or air conditioning. Summer hasn't quite set in, and the cherry blossoms - managing despite the stuttering start to the warm months - are slowly giving way to the magnolias, and all around, there's the lightest, most delicate greens just getting ready to pull the light in. And when they do, they'll shine from within. It's really quite lovely. There's a lot of things I've been missing these last few months about the Central Valley, but if I went back tomorrow, the intensity of the summertime greenery here, farther north and with far more rainfall, would be something I'd miss about this city's life.
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