"Home away from home"

Sep. 22nd, 2017 03:07 am
rosefox: A bearded man in a yarmulke shouting L'CHAIM! (Judaism)
[personal profile] rosefox
Selichot )

Rosh Hashanah )

It's genuinely disorienting to encounter all these spaces where I don't have to educate anyone or fight to be seen for who I am. Other people have already done that work, and leaders have clearly been receptive to it. (Rabbi Lippman is queer, but I don't assume that cis queer people will be welcoming to or understanding of trans people, especially nonbinary trans people.) I get to just show up and be a human being in human community. What an immense privilege. What a gift. Honestly, that might be the thing that gets me to stick with this—just the pure pleasure of being in a place where I didn't personally have to claw out a space for myself.

Josh met me and Kit in the park and we walked for a while (GMaps Pedometer says I walked 3.2 miles today, most of it pushing a heavy stroller with a heavy toddler; my feet and arms are very tired). I teased him that he should be glad I didn't make him meet the rabbi. But this is my thing, really. Maybe it's my latest three-month hobby. Maybe it'll be more than that. We'll see.

Today's Mail, on the Other Hand...

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:38 pm
malkingrey: ((default))
[personal profile] malkingrey
...was Capitol One trying to sell me a credit card. And the Collin Street Bakery trying to sell me a fruitcake, and a men's clothing catalog for my brother.

Wow.

(Not that I have anything against Collin Street Bakery, who do in fact make the world's best fruitcake. But I order my stuff from them online.)

Sometimes It's the Little Things

Sep. 19th, 2017 02:36 pm
malkingrey: ((default))
[personal profile] malkingrey
It doesn't take much to improve my mood, a lot of the time.

Today it was a surprise short story royalty check in the morning mail.

Not a large one . . . given that most short story payments are lucky if they make in into the low three figures, most short story royalties tend to be in the exceedingly low two figures. If that. (If a short story payment is a tank, maybe two tanks, of gas, then a typical short story royalty check is maybe a couple of quarts of motor oil.) But still, a royalty check is a royalty check, and not yet another piece of junk mail from Capital One, trying to sell me a credit card.

As they say back where I come from, it beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
malkingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] malkingrey
And then there are days like this.

This afternoon I decided, for good and sufficient reasons, that it was time to use one of boxes of brownie mix that I've got in my pantry stash. (Every so often, the grocery store puts them on sale for a dollar, and when they do I stock up.) This process, let it be known, is not rocket science: Prep the pan, empty the box into a bowl, add the oil and the water and the two eggs, mix, pour into pan, and cook. Even a functioning maladroit like me on an off day can manage it, and get chocolaty goodness at the end of it.

All went well until it was time to mix in the two eggs. I took the first egg, and tapped it on the tabletop to crack it, as one does . . . only this egg must have had a super-thin shell, because it didn't just crack, it burst all the way open all around and left me with a raw egg lying on the tabletop and dripping onto the floor.

Cleanup operations ensued.

Once the floor and the tabletop were egg-free again, I went over to the refrigerator to take out another egg, in order to replace the one that never made it into the mixing bowl. And yes, I know I should have taken the egg box all the way out of the refrigerator, instead of merely lifting up the lid and reaching into it, but in my defense, I've performed the same move dozens of times without having the egg roll in my fingers and slip off them onto the refrigerator shelf . . . and then evade my fingers a second time and crash onto the floor. (Yes, maybe I could have grabbed faster, but the way things were going, I would just have ended up with a fistful of liquid egg and broken shell.)

More cleanup operations ensued.

Then, finally, I was able to finish mixing the brownies and get them into the oven. From which I have just removed them, and they are done and awaiting cutting. And the oven is now heating up the half-ham I bought last Wednesday, which will be tonight's dinner. Probably with raisin sauce, because raisin sauce is dead easy.

(But then, I thought the same thing about cracking eggs.)

Unbelievable.

Sep. 13th, 2017 01:00 pm
malkingrey: ((default))
[personal profile] malkingrey
Hotel reservations at the Westin for Arisia opened up yesterday.

This morning, they are already sold out.

Isn't That Always the Way It Goes

Sep. 13th, 2017 12:45 pm
malkingrey: ((default))
[personal profile] malkingrey
I found a recipe the other day for slow-cooker ratatouille that comes out properly thick and not like soup.

Because I like ratatouille†, I made it for supper last night, and it came out just right and was delicious.

So of course, I'm the only person in the house who really liked it, which doesn't make it a contender for the regular-rotation list. Maybe the Fridays-in-Lent list, though. (I've got a number of veggie recipes on there, since I kind of agree with the guy who commented that given the price of seafood these days, fish for Lent was less of a fast and more of an indulgence.)
When I first left Texas and came north to Philadelphia for graduate school, I spent my first night there at the house of the rector of the Episcopal church on campus -- I knew absolutely no one in Philly at that point, so in a fit of desperation I'd written to the campus Episcopal chaplain, who was at least a co-religionist, asking for advice on where to stay -- and the rector's wife made ratatouille for dinner, and it was the first time I'd ever had it. So ever since, the dish is associated in my mind with travel and adventure and kindness and new beginnings.
rosefox: A man's head with a panel open to show gears, and another man looking inside. (examined head)
[personal profile] rosefox
I don't want to write another huge long entry tonight, because last night's took 90 minutes and then I went to bed super late, but I do want to leave myself some quick notes on a thing. When Kit was off from daycare for a week, I was up and dressed by 11 every morning so I could do childcare. I put on real clothes and left the house every day. I did social things and I did actively fun things (not what I'm coming to think of as enjoyable sloth things, like playing video games or hanging out on Slack). My body and brain were engaged. I felt GREAT. I enjoyed every day and ended the week feeling like I'd been on vacation—like I'd gone on a holiday to New York and done all those things I'm always too busy or tired or whatever to do. And I did it while working (at night) and staying totally on top of my deadlines, even the ones accelerated by the holiday.

So I need to figure out how to do that more. I hoped a week of early rising would reset my body clock but of course I'm right back to going to bed at 5 a.m. (or later—Monday morning I went to bed at half past nine, which is not okay and has set me up for feeling like crap all week) so I will have to work on that part because I think it's pretty essential. Having something fun to get up for really helped, a thing that has been true going back to my childhood; I would be late to school every weekday morning for months but happily get up at dawn on a weekend to go to the Stormville flea market with my mother. Even more crucially, I would care enough to go to bed early—a thing I did during Kit's week off too—so that getting up early didn't wreck me and wreck the event I was looking forward to.

I don't think I can get up before 10 on a regular basis, but if I got up at 10 or 10:30 to be out the door by 11 for a ~12:00 thing someplace, that sounds doable. It just has to be a fun thing. I have an OT appointment at 13:00 and I genuinely enjoy OT in addition to it being kind of vital for my health and well-being, but it's not the exhilarating kind of fun, so going to bed early and getting up early and getting there on time are all challenging.

What are exuberant fun things that could happen around noon? I think I need something where I'm making a commitment to someone else, at least at first; I've tried setting schedules through sheer willpower before and it's never worked out. Lunches with friends? Classes of some kind? (Ideally free or cheap ones.) Swapping language lessons with someone who wants to improve their spoken or written English and help me learn to read kanji or sign ASL? A teaching or tutoring gig? (Maybe the local library needs volunteers in their adult learning center. I've sent them a note.) A crafting meetup? A chorus or other singing group? A walking club? Doing storytime or otherwise helping out at Kit's daycare? It doesn't need to be a big thing or a long thing or a very structured thing. It just has to start at around the right time of day and get me out of the house and engage my body and mind and bring me real joy. Nothing will do that as well as time with Kit, but some approximation should be possible. Suggestions are very welcome, keeping in mind that I used to write the learning section of the nonsense nyc weekly events newsletter and already know about basically every source of free and cheap educational experiences in the city. :)
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[personal profile] famira posting in [community profile] finalfantasy
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