misslynx: (Quote - clucking bell)
Note to Dog:

I hear the people in the hall. Really. Including the maintenance guy doing fire door improvements. It is not necessary to bark and/or growl to alert me every time you hear a sound out there. Especially when that sound is a power drill, I can hear it perfectly fine.

Note to Cats:

I understand that you two do not always get along well. I appreciate the fact that you fight much less than you did when Rosalind first came to live here, and I try to just put up with the occasional spats that still happen. HOWEVER...

On the occasions when you do still get into it, and decided to chase each other around the apartment with murder in your eyes, I would really appreciate it if the designated "home free" spot where the chasee can escape the chaser (whoever happens to be in either role at the moment) was NOT MY DESK.

Particularly not while I am working at it. And particularly not when you take a flying leap at the corner where my mouse pad is, while my hand is on said mouse, and land half-on-half-off it, sending the mouse flying in one direction and the mouse pad in three other directions (being as it is composed of three parts, and desperately grabbing at my arm with your claws in order to try not to fall. Neither the mouse, mouse pad nor my arm benefit from that kind of treatment, thank you.
misslynx: (Quote - flamethrower)
  1. The e-mail problems that had been happening for the past two days ( can't recall now if I posted about that here or on FB or both) are apparently NOT entirely sorted out, or at least not for all clients. Two client have not been able to receive mail all day today, and even my own mail is coming in sort of random bunches here and there throughout the day.

  2. My apartment building is filled with nasty solventy fumes from the renovations happening on the restaurant downstairs, and when I and my upstairs neighbours both complained to the building manager, he said that the company had told him that what they were using was water-based and non-toxic and the only thing anyone should be smelling is water and sawdust. Uh, right. Because that would totally account for the entire building reeking like paint thinner. It's relatively bearable IF you keep all the windows at least partially open, but it's bloody cold outside, and now bloody cold inside as well.

  3. I have to finish uploading a ton of pictures to a magazine site within the next hour, which is going to be next to impossible, but I haven't had any bloody TIME today.

  4. I am dealing with all this on only three hours of sleep.

The only good sides I can see to all this at the moment are that:
  1. I got to know my upstairs neighbours better, and the Lynxcub was able to spend some time playing with their kids, and

  2. Having it freezing cold in my apartment keeps the hot flashes to a minimum. Now they're more like lukewarm flashes.

So, yeah. Today: fired.
misslynx: (Me - w/ Kiska (on couch))
With all due apologies to those who hate the whole idea of Valentine's Day, I had a pretty good one. This was mostly due to the fact that [livejournal.com profile] lgbtech came up for the weekend, which is always a good thing. :-)
  1. Saturday we were intending to go to a 40s-themed party, so we spent the afternoon acquiring appropriate clothing at Kensington Market vintage shops.

    Clothing squee )

    Sadly, we discovered - once we were all dressed up and ready to go - that the party had been cancelled due to illness, so, not wanting to waste our fabulousness, we went out to Volo to enjoy assorted really interesting beers. I think my favourites were one called Bogwater that was flavoured with some kind of bog myrtle, and Dieu du Ciel's Aphrodisiaque, which is a cocoa/vanilla stout with a name that seemed highly appropriate for V-day weekend.

  2. V-day itself was partly taken up with collecting and putting up some nice shelves that [livejournal.com profile] kettunainen and [livejournal.com profile] optimystik were getting rid of. [livejournal.com profile] optimystik came along to help us put them up, since it's really a three-person job, and as we were working on it, it occurred to me that happily putting up shelves with one's current partner and ex-partner, and everyone getting along, was probably not exactly the most common way to spend Valentine's Day, but it was certainly a pretty good one.

    The hallway looks a million times better now, and people are no longer attacked by random kamikaze books every time they pass through it. Later in the evening we put most of my mass-market-size paperbacks up there, and later still, after [livejournal.com profile] lgbtech had gone home on Monday, I was inspired enough by all this to actually start sorting and organizing books. Paperback fiction is now handily separated from everything else, and alphabetized. Also, I unpacked two (2) more boxes. Miracles can happen.

  3. Next up was visit time with the Lynxcub, which also enabled Kettu and Optimystik to have their own V-day outing. We took him to the sushi place around the corner from me, after some prolonged negotiation that went a bit like this:

    Sushi vs. cookies )

    Thankfully, we were able to keep the cookie component to a minimum, and he actually did eat a lot of sushi and edamame. But the most awesome thing was that he finally got the hang of using chopsticks! Granted, they were the kids' training-chopsticks that are hinged and have little finger-loops on them, but he's never managed to use them before as anything other than a projectile weapon, and this time he actually managed to successfully pick up bits of cookie food with them and transport them to his mouth with only a few accidents. Better than some adults I've seen try to use chopsticks, really. And pretty damn good for two and a half!

    Behold the photographic evidence! )

  4. After dropping the Lynxcub off, we went to see Sherlock Holmes, which was a lot of fun. Movie theatre popcorn is tastier than it has any right to be considering how horribly unhealthy it is. It's probably a good thing that I don't get out to movie theatres very often.

  5. Sadly, LGBTech was only here for the weekend and had to leave yesterday. But we have resolved that there will be less time between this visit and the next than there was between this one and the last. But all in all it was an excellent visit, even if she did end up catching my cold (or "Moose flu", as her American co-workers dubbed it the last time she came back from Canada sick).

  6. And what with all the shelf-putting-up and subsequent organizing, I am feeling highly productive. Enough that tonight I decided to finally try installing Ubuntu Linux on my little red netbook.

    The first half of the process was hell and the second half was pretty much bliss. Ironically, given their respective reputations for ease of use and the lack thereof, the homicidal-fury-inducing part was the part dealing with Windows (specifically, trying to make a bootable USB drive from an ISO file, and then induce the machine to actually boot from it), and the oh-hey-this-is-really-easy part was the Linux part. Yes, really. Installing Ubuntu - including partitioning the drive to make it dual-boot, and create an extra partition on which I'm going to attempt to install OS X - was on a par with most Mac software installations: pretty to look at it, and requiring virtually no conscious thought. I knew Ubuntu had a reputation for being a much more user-friendly Linux distribution than most, but wow! My grandmother could have done it.

    And the graphic interface of the "Netbook Remix" is really gorgeous. Colour me impressed. I'm not about to give up my iMac, but I'm pretty sure Ubuntu will be the primary OS for the netbook. It makes the Windows XP installation it came with look like something designed by the Spanish inquisition as a test of character by comparison.

    Most surreal moment: at one point during the installation, it briefly flashed the following message: "Preparing to completely remove ubiquity". I have no idea what that meant, but I can only assume that from now on, nothing will be ubiquitous.
misslynx: (Aidan & me - ravine)
So, for some while now there has periodically been a bit of water leaking through my bathroom ceiling, usually when the upstairs neighbours are taking a bath or shower. It was one of those things I kept meaning to tell the landlord about, but not quite getting around to, between work, out of town guests, getting sick, etc. But recently I noticed that a big puddle of water had started to collect in the plastic cover of the fluorescent light fixture (it has one of those big rectangular fluorescent panels on the ceiling like you see in offices). This struck me as a Bad Thing, so I did tell the landlord, on Friday, and he said he would get someone to have a look at it.

However, just over the course of the weekend, it was clearly getting worse, with the plastic cover beginning to warp and bow down in the middle, and an ever-growing puddle of nasty-looking water collecting. More than once I contemplated trying to see if I could tip the water out somehow, but I couldn't think of a way to do it that wouldn't be likely to result in scummy water splashing all over me and the entire bathroom. I also contemplated removing everything from the bathroom that I wouldn't want splattered with scummy water, in case it came down by itself, but it seemed like a lot of work, and I was still low on energy from being sick, so instead I hoped that it would hold up until someone came to fix it.

Judging from the title of this post, you can guess whether that hope was justified.

The sordid details, with bonus Lynxcub cuteness )
misslynx: (Default)
Animal updates cut for scatological content, in hopes of not squicking out my flist.
  1. Kiska update )

  2. Rosalind update )

  3. Speaking of construction, I was delighted to see a cement mixer outside my building earlier today. Not as delighted as I would have been if it had been in the act of pouring cement right there, but still... It was obviously getting ready to pour cement somewhere, and I can only hope that it was doing the road surface a little east of me, as that would mean that soon it will do the road in front of my building and then this will all be over. Or at least, the part of it in front of me will be. As far as I can see, pouring the actual road is the last remaining thing that needs doing here, other than stuff like painting lines on it, replacing the signposts and things, etc., all of which will hopefully be a little quieter.

    I am also ridiculously pleased that at least one tree on my block survived the whole construction project. I suppose I could equally well be upset that the others didn't, but on the whole I'm trying to focus on the positive. I'm not sure why they took down all but one of the trees, but it did look like the one they left was the biggest. Maybe there's some city by-law about not killing trees above a certain size or age, or maybe they just figured the smaller ones wouldn't be robust enough to survive and the bigger one would, I don't know. But I'm glad we have one left, and I really hope they replace the others.

    Also, I am very glad that the tree immediately outside my eastern windows is growing out of Filippo's patio rather than on the sidewalk, and thus not subject to any of this. I would be seriously upset if anything happened to that tree.

  4. Very happy to have finally started my Deliria game, though I had to do so with only half the players, as it turned out. One player was sick, and another (her spouse), had to stay home to take care of her. And the original opening scene I had in mind needed them. But I was able to come up with an alternate opening that focussed on the other two player characters, and kept the story on track such that I can still do the original scene I had in mind next time.

    Gaming really is an essential sanity-saving measure for me. There's something about the particular kind of collaborative creativity it involves that feeds something in me that nothing else does. I suppose it's the same part of the mind that, as a child, loves playing make-believe. Maybe some people lose that as they get older, but I don't seem to have, and I'm very happy for that. Writing fiction is probably the closest "respectable", grown-up activity to that, but it doesn't (usually, at least) involve the same kind of interaction with other people, which for me is part of what makes gaming especially enjoyable. It involves not just exercising my own creativity, but bouncing it off of other people's. In some ways that aspect of it reminds me a little bit of playing in a band, but again, slightly different.

    Well, whatever the reason for it, it really does feel like an integral part of my life -- more than just an enjoyable time-waster. When I don't have it, I really miss it, and when I come back to it after not doing it for a while, I have that satisfied feeling like an empty spot in my psyche just got properly filled and all is now right with the world, or at least my corner of it.

  5. And that seems like an appropriately upbeat note to end on, as I have to get to the gym and from thence to a Drupal Users Group meeting. Hope everyone else is doing similarly well.

Catching up

Sep. 4th, 2008 11:50 pm
misslynx: (With Kiska (on couch))
Overdue for an update, so I'll try and keep this -- well, maybe not brief as such, but at least a list of things each one of which is brief. Or something like that.
  1. My trip up north was surprisingly un-traumatic. Aidan slept through almost the entire car ride -- clearly, the night-driving approach was a good one. And [livejournal.com profile] kettunainen and I got along pretty well for the most part. She and [livejournal.com profile] optimystik retrieved the kayaks, and then left the next night, and I stayed through until Monday to have some more time with my parents and away from the city, both of which are important to me. I've really, really missed being up north -- it had been two years!

  2. I am also going to miss the kayaks. My one regret about this weekend was that I didn't have the chance to have one last kayak outing before they went away. I had discovered on the trip we initially took them up north on, a few years back, that I love kayaking. But I know there are places where kayaks can be rented, even in the city. Someone mentioned one on the Humber River a while back. I think I need to do that -- anyone else interested?

  3. Big surprise when I got back -- my apartment was almost unrecognizable! Well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it had been considerably tidied and organized by [livejournal.com profile] the_moogie, who as far as I knw had only been going to stop by Saturday morning to walk Kiska and feed all the animals, since [livejournal.com profile] forestweaver would be house-sitting the rest of the time. But apparently she got inspired while she was there, and an inspired Virgo can be a frightening thing. She even started in on staining the wooden shelves I had gotten from [livejournal.com profile] nocturnalia et al. I am in awe. Also, very grateful.

  4. Bike stuff )

  5. On the greatness of farmer's markets )

  6. Die mosquitoes die, or, the necessity of a flock of trained bats )

  7. One more thing everyone should check out if they haven't already: [livejournal.com profile] thrifthorror Really, where else are you going to read comments like "Nauseous bondage ghost for the win!"? I don't think any other community on LJ has ever made me both laugh out loud and recoil in terror quite as often as that one.

  8. I am sure there are more things I was intending to write here, but I can't remember them now. Possibly this means I should go to bed soon.
misslynx: (Default)
Tonight, [livejournal.com profile] the_moogie and [livejournal.com profile] mr_pugh, with the assistance of my stepmother's car, helped me finally pick up the wooden shelves [livejournal.com profile] northbard and [livejournal.com profile] tormenta had been hanging onto for me since [livejournal.com profile] nocturnalia & [livejournal.com profile] valgarth's move, and also a brand new NORESUND BED FRAME (AT LAST!!!)

Moogie had picked it up at Ikea when she was there getting other stuff, because it was on clearance sale prior to being discontinued(!), and offered it to me as barter for web work, which was fine by me. How Ikea could even contemplate discontinuing that most lovely bed frame, I do not now. It has spirals.

Getting everything stowed in the car was an adventure, especially the bed frame. The box it came in was too big to fit even into my stepmother's rather large car (I find it highly ironic that she has an SUV and my father is a devoted Green Party member), so we ended up having to open the box and try to fit the pieces in one by one, which initially seemed like not such a good idea when (a) one of them was almost the exact same size as the box, and (b) the little bag containing all the fiddly bits of hardware burst, scattering them all over the street.

Did I mention this was in Chinatown, on a Saturday? Very, very busy street, packed with people and cars and stuff and a homeless guy very persistently trying to help us, presumably in exchange for money. We politely declined his help, several times over, so he settled for being a backseat driver, standing back and telling us everything we were doing wrong and how we could be doing it better. The annoying part was that he was generally right. Still, we eventually got it all in, and I discovered that Moogie has a sluagh-like ability to squeeze herself into impossibly small spaces. It was very impressive -- I am almost certain her bones had to rearrange themselves.

Once here, they set up the bed frame while I mostly got in the way and/or apologized. I did try to help at one point but promptly made everything worse, so I decided that perhaps I would be better off in the kitchen making snacks for everyone. Normally I do like to consider myself moderately competent at putting stuff together, but I have my limits, and it seems like about half of what I attempt to do putting-stuff-together-wise exceeds them. Thus the "moderately competent" part.

Anyway, they did an excellent job, despite Kiska giving them baleful looks that were somewhere between "Stuff is moving around -- this means you're going to move away and give me to the pound like my first family did, right? Right?! My life is woe." and "Oh dear, strange things are happening to the bed, and the last time that happened, it ended up too tall for me to jump up onto. My life is woe." Kiska is good at woe.

But since I am not using a box spring, the bed is in fact not terribly high, and Kiska is at this very moment curled up on it, having apparently adjusted herself to the change. I look forward to joining her in the near future.

The shelves are for the time being stacked under the bed (Newly available storage space! Yay!), until I get the places they are going to go clear, and stain them to match my other shelves. I'm pretty sure I have a litre of that water-based burgundy wood stain that adorns virtually every wooden thing in my apartment left...

Anyway, MANY thanks to Moogie and Mr. Pugh for all their help, to Northbard and Tormenta for keeping the shelves at their place until I could arrange transport, and to Nocturnalia and Valgarth for donating the shelves in the first place. You all rock, and thanks to you my new(-ish) place is inching its way toward perfection.

. . .

Now, onto the second promised item. For the most part I am pretty tired of online quizzes and stuff, but every now and then I come across one that's actually interesting. This one, found chez [livejournal.com profile] kettunainen definitely fit the bill. It was an intriguing concept, and the results I got (and her results also) were kind of scarily accurate.

But I'm still putting it behind a cut, for those of you who hate all quizzes equally )
misslynx: (needs must)
I can has 36 hour day plz?

Or just stop time for a week or so while I get caught up. That would do it too...

Maybe more like a month.
misslynx: (Can't brain)
Well. There are now two partially assembled Ikea BILLY bookshelves in my entrance hall. Initially this filled me with a sense of accomplishment, until I got the part where I tried to stand one of them up (having had them lying down on their sides to assemble them.

Oh, but I'm getting ahead of myself. First thing that happened was I got all the wooden pegs in (the first step in putting the frames together), discovered this made them into sort of tippy parallelograms, and quickly started trying to fasten in the little bolt thingies that looked like they were meant to hold them more securely. Checked to see what sort of screwdriver was necessary for this, and discovered that oh wait, these don't want a screwdriver at all.

Ikea: it's Swedish for HEX KEY. How could I have forgotten?

Off I go to see if I can obtain a set of hex keys from a corner store in my neighbourhood at 11:30pm. First, this involves trying to squeeze past/over/under/around/through the two partially assembled bookcases, which as I may have mentioned are in the entrance hall. Mostly blocking it. But I successfully got out. Sadly, the one with the large-ish hardware section did not have hex keys. Happily, the one with the almost nonexistent hardware section did. Go figure.

So, back to apartment, manage to squeeze through bookcases again, put in bolts, tighten bolts with hex key. All good.

Attempt to slide back pieces of bookshelves in along grooves placed there for that purpose. Discover that backs are supposed to be screwed down. Go looking for small package of screws I bought several days ago with the (correct) expectation I might be needing a lot of them. Cannot find.

Off I go again after squeezing through bookcases again, to get screws from the same corner store. In store, am affectionately attacked by an attention-starved ginger cat that wants to play and does not know the meaning of "soft paws!". Escape with only a few scratches, and a package of screws.

Back in (clambering through bookcases again). Set about screwing on back of first bookcase. Success. Then discover I positioned it wrong and that one edge was supposed to have slid under these little holder thingies on the middle fixed shelf. Oops. Unscrew, reposition, rescrew. Discover other part of bookcase back is in upside down. Thankfully have not screwed down yet. Have to move bookcase about three feet down the hall in order to slide this part out, though, as I originally put it in from the other end, which is now blocked by the one I did screw down. Successfully remove and reinsert, screw down.

Ikea: it's Swedish for "some assembly required".

Worry a little that things don't seem to be fitting together quite right, but what do I really expect from 20-year-old Ikea bookshelves? Everything's a little warped, so it's kind of like that Lovecraftian angles-are-wrong thing.

Move on to second bookshelf. Start to slide back piece on, then realize that the top shelf is in backwards. Oops.

Consider that maybe I really don't need to get these up and finished tonight after all. Go back to computer and try to do work. Get distracted by half-finished bookshelves in my peripheral vision. Cave and go back to bookshelf assembly after about two minutes of attempting work.

Remove all bolts from second bookcase, lift off side, turn shelf around, realize it's really supposed to be the middle shelf because it has those little holder thingies for the back pieces on it, swap middle and top shelf, make sure all the shelves are actually facing the right way this time, put side back on, put all bolts back in. Slide back pieces most of the way in, blocked by clamps holding damaged part of one shelf that is currently being glued back together.

Return attention to first shelf. Decide I am now ready to stand it up and add the four movable shelves that go on with little pegs in addition to the three bolted-on fixed shelves, so that I can at least unpack half the books tonight.

Can anyone guess from the above description what was wrong with this idea?

You may have noted that I was assembling these bookshelves -- very tall, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves -- in a hallway. A long, narrow hallway. With them tipped up on their sides. The bolts that hold everything together go in the side.

Both sides, to be precise. Not just the one currently facing upward. Oops.

Manage to lift the now relatively heavy, mostly-assembled bookcase a little way off the ground. Discover what happens when the underneath side is not bolted on. Drop now-half-falling-apart bookcase back down, with muttered expletives. Everything lands wrong and one back piece pops back out from under the little holder thingies. Manage to get all wooden pegs lined up again and bookshelf back together. Discover that back piece is now stuck out in a warped position and will not go back under holder thingies. Not unless I unscrew it again, slide it out, put it back again, and screw it down again. Do this.

Stare at bookcase which is now mostly assembled again, but still lacking any bolts on the underneath side, as is its companion with the still-being-glued shelf. Try to decide how the hell to get either one of them into a vertical position, or even a turned-over-to-the other-side position, so that I can put the rest of the bolts in, without having them fall apart in the process, all within the confines of a long narrow hallway.

Am fresh out of ideas as to how to do that.

Ikea: it's Swedish for "Fuck this, I need a drink."
misslynx: (everything changes)
Many things are making me happy today, even though I still have lots of work to do and stresses to deal with and what not. Here are some of them:
  1. The side streets in my new location being so green, full of big trees and lush gardens, so that even though my apartment itself is right on the corner of a busy street and has no balcony or garden space itself, I do not suffer any lack of "green time" -- every walk with Kiska is restorative to me. (Interesting side note: there's actually scientific evidence that exposure to nature helps reduce ADD symptoms).

  2. In particular, the fact that lilacs are currently in bloom.

  3. Likewise, having two decent-sized parks very close to me, one a mere two blocks northeast, and another, about four times bigger, five or six blocks south. Also, a huge ravine about ten blocks north and another (part of the same riverbed) eight blocks east or so.

  4. And the Wychwood Farmer's Market, just a couple of blocks east -- even though I missed the opening day of it last Saturday due to DrupalCamp Toronto and will be missing the next one due to the Radical Business Intensive. But both those events are happy-making in their own way.

  5. And the fact that the Green Art Barns will be opening later this year, just a few blocks southeast.

  6. Seriously, living here is the next best thing to living in the country -- but on a street with lots of cool little stores and restaurants and a 24-hour public transit line, a 5-10 minute ride from the subway. Best of both worlds.

  7. Visits with Aidan -- I was there yesterday and will be again on Wednesday. I still miss being able to see him every day, but things could be a lot worse.

    In particular, yesterday I found myself enjoying the way that he can managed to be insanely cute even when doing something really annoying. He had spilled water all over his shirt -- for some reason he absolutely loves drinking water from a glass, but hasn't quite got the process under control yet, so there's usually a lot of spillage. So I was trying to change his shirt afterwards, and got the old one off with no problem -- he's always happy to get clothes off him, but putting the new one on turned out to be, er, challenging. He may not have good water-glass control yet, but he has excellent reflexes and is incredibly wiggly, and can get both his arms in under the shirt and push it up off his head in much less time than it takes me to pull it down over his head, all while simultaneously twisting and wiggling in about 17 directions at once.

    I think it took me about ten minutes to get that shirt onto him, but he was so cute in the way he fought it off that I was laughing the whole time and it all felt kind of like a game.

  8. I am also happy that my eating habits have changed enough since the last point when I lived on my own that my fridge is half full of fresh vegetables, because the vegetable drawer is nowhere near big enough to fit them all.

  9. And finally, the song listed in the music field of this post is massively happy-making. I was all prepared to hate the new version of Nightwish after all the drama with them publicly firing their lead singer, but when I first heard "The Poet and the Pendulum"... Oh Gods! *faints*

    It's a 14-minute epic that's divided into several parts so that it's like a number of songs blended together, or maybe the separate movements of a symphony, given the level of classical influence. In particular, there's a part about a minute and a half in where the very slow and soft intro shifts into this breathtakingly intense sort of -- I don't know what to call it -- neoclassical explosion that's equal parts metal aggression and symphonic precision, with strings and guitars and what not blended perfectly -- words don't really seem to quite be able to do it justice. All I know is that no matter how many times I hear that song, that part always makes me have to stop whatever I'm doing, close my eyes, and just listen...

    It's the musical equivalent of a really earthshaking orgasm. I kid you not. Listening to it actually tends to leave me flushed and hyperventilating, with my pulse racing... It's not the only piece of music that's ever hit me that way, but there are very few, and fewer still where the recorded version will do it -- usually that sort of reaction is more likely to happen with live music. If you haven't heard that song, and you have any liking at all for strange fusions of classical music and rock, you really, really need to. Preferably on good speakers, with the volume turned up really high.
And now that I have shared at least a representative sampling of the happy that is today, I should really get back to work. Because actually getting some long-overdue projects finished and being able to invoice for them would be another kind of happy, one which I am very much looking forward to.


May. 4th, 2008 03:14 am
misslynx: (Default)
Did I mention there are three areas of the new apartment (kitchen, washroom and entrance hall) that have those sort of tile ceilings like office buildings do? Complete with fluorescent panels?

Behold: http://www.fluorescentgallery.com/


And... their shipping prices to Canada are decidedly reasonable, despite the fact that these things must be pretty damn large. All in all, I am virtually certain that there will be three of these in my future. I just have to decide which...
misslynx: (Cat Attack)
If you haven't yet seen this, and you have any pagan + geeky leanings whatsoever, you really, really, really need to click on the following link NOW:

The LOLcat Rede

. . .

In other, unrelated but equally surreal, news, due to the crazy heat situation in our apartment necessitating opening windows (Yes. In February. In Canada. In the middle of a "severe winter storm warning" snowstorm.), it is now possible, while using the facilities in our washroom, to have the left side of your body toasted sauna-style while the right side gets snowed on.
misslynx: (With Kiska (on couch))
  1. No babies yet. Just thought I'd get that out of the way first, as it's the question everyone asks as soon as they see or hear from me.

  2. Kiska and I finally got to meet the Newfoundland puppy we've seen at a house on our usual walking route. All I have to say is: WANT! That is the softest, sweetest, wonderfulest little* dog in the world. Except for Kiska, of course. I continue to hope that we will one day get a second dog, perhaps when we're in a house instead of an apartment. I want THAT dog, or at least one very much like her. But [livejournal.com profile] kettunainen thinks Newfoundlands drool too much. And yet, she's having babies, which are also known for drooling... No consistency, I tell you!

  3. And speaking of people in our neighbourhood... In fact, very close at hand. Possibly even better than meeting the Newfoundland puppy on our evening walk was what I heard from one of our downstairs neighbours who was coming in as we were going out: they are moving out on the 31st!

    Any of you that have visited here in the past 9 or 10 months know how great a thing that is. Anyone who has not -- well, picture loud music constantly pounding up through the floor from club-level sound equipment, often until the wee hours of the morning. Loud enough to rattle the windows, and make the couch feel like one of those vibra-massage-chairs. They're nice enough when you meet them in person (usually), and do tend to turn it down when asked (usually), but they are denser than dwarven combat bread and have no idea what constitutes a normal volume for music when you have neighbours. Or even a normal volume for TV, conversation, or door slamming closing. It's like living upstairs from the hip-hop version of the Loud Family from Saturday Night Live.

    And they are moving out. Let there be much rejoicing. I only regret that we will likely not have the chance to drive them crazy in turn with the sound of crying babies (in stereo, yet), or at least not for more than a week or so, depending on when the twins make their appearance. Then again, they'd probably just turn up the music to drown it out.

  4. Some of the subject lines in today's spam harvest seem to be spectacularly surreal. Behold:

    hairy eggplant
    ghastly toothache
    pathetic mastodon
    twisted chainsaw
    mysterious bicep
    placid avocado pit

    I think hairy eggplant may be my favourite. It sounds like it should be a euphemism for something.

  5. I forgot to write, a few weeks back, about my optical revelation. I finally had the long-awaited eye exam where I thought I would have to say goodbye to contact lenses for ever in favour of bifocals, given that I am now officially Middle Aged (and that they don't make bifocal contact lenses in toric, which is what I need due to my astigmatism). But instead, my eye doctor suggested something I'd never heard of: monovision.

    What's that? )
* Little at the moment, anyway. Being as she's a Newfoundland, she is certainly not going to stay little...
misslynx: (Default)
Late last night, I blew a fuse in the kitchen. Now, that in itself is not weird, especially not in a 100+ year old house with somewhat wonky wiring. What is weird is this: after the microwave, toaster and fridge all shut off spontaneously (yet, thankfully, the lights did not, as they seem to be on a different circuit), [profile] taikakettu and I happened to look over and see that the carbon monoxide detector, which was plugged into the same outlet as the toaster, still had a little green light on it. WTF?

Kettu unplugged it. Light went off. She plugged it into the lower plug in the outlet, where the toaster had been. Light stayed off. She plugged it back into the upper plug. Light came on. That one electrical outlet is apparently split between two different circuits.

On the bright side, that meant the fridge could be plugged back in. On the not-so-bright side, who the hell wires a house like that, and what other weird shit have they done? I am reminded of when we were first moving in downstairs, and the landlord's son Eddie was trying to install a power outlet in the washroom, and while he was not successful in that, he was successful in discovering that he could now turn the hall light on and off with his power drill.

I knew this place was probably wired back in the Victorian era, but now I'm thinking the electrician may have spent a little too much time "chasing the dragon" in between jobs...

. . .

And today's (completely unrelated) question. Well, actually, it's one that's been on my mind for a while, but I just saw yet another instance of it. The most recent: someone in [livejournal.com profile] polyamory just asked "Why do 'V' type relationships always have to involved two people of the same sex sleeping together?" A couple of days ago, on one of the pagan communities, it was "Why does all pagan music have to be either goth/industrial or mediaeval?" Some while before that: "Why do so many pagans think they have to dress like [insert various styles of clothing the person didn't like]?"

What do all these questions have in common, which makes them annoy me? They all seem to react to seeing someone with whom they have at least one thing in common doing something they would prefer not to do by assuming that this behaviour has somehow just been made mandatory. Oops, didn't you get the memo, all poly relationships are now requred to involve bisexuality, all pagans must wear black and/or corsets or whatever, and all pagan music must conform to the following genres. Non-compliance will not be tolerated.

The two variations of this theme seem to be the paranoid ("OMG, if everyone else is doing X I'm going to have to do X too! Noooo!!!") and the contemptuous ("Pitiful fools doing X, clearly they think it's required of them, but of course I'm above all that..."). Neither seems to be able to get a handle on the idea that, just possibly, people do these things because they choose to, not because they have to or think they do. It's like it's inconceivable to them that another member of their subculture might just happen to have different tastes or preferences. If they someone doing something they don't want to do, that person couldn't just happen to like doing that, it's got to be that they're being compelled to somehow.

Get a grip, people. If someone else who happens to fall into some category you perceive yourself as being in happens to have different musical/fashion/sexual/spiritual/whatever preferences from yours, who the hell cares? It is not required of you, nor does this other person likely think it is required of them. Deal with it and move on, for fuck's sake.
misslynx: (Default)
Just realizing it's been over two weeks since I last posted anything, and longer than that since I last posted anything public. I think I generally post less when I'm happy with life. Which I mostly am, right now.

Part of that is just the nature of spring -- I think I must have a touch of SAD or something. I'm not necessarily depressed all through winter, but I do tend to be a little more angsty and introverted then. But when spring comes, it's like my serotonin levels skyrocket and everything seems right with the world. Little things like walking under a couple of flowering trees in front of Nikos's old apartment building on St. Clair and seeing the sidewalk strewn with pink petals, or seeing a professional dog walker walking a whole pack of various sorts of dogs on a huge multi-leash type of thing, fill me with intense delight.

And it's not even just that all seems right with the world -- all pretty much is right with the world right now, or at least the world chez Lynx. I am, overall, happier than I have been in a long time, I think. Here are a few reasons:

The Goodness )

And a pensive note... )
misslynx: (Default)
We (well, mostly my partners, actually) have caulked virtually every crevice we could find in the kitchen and bathroom that could be providing access for roaches, and the ones that were too big to caulk, like the holes around the pipes leading to the sinks and radiators, have been filled with spray-in foam insulation. And tonight, we broke out the MaxForce gel - fairly heavy duty stuff, though not as toxic as some pesticides, but apparently here it's only supposed to be sold to licensed exterminators. Thankfully, our local hardware store is flexible on that...

Details of the destruction )

In other news, the first half of my Amazon.ca birthday book order has arrived. Yes, my birthday was a month and a half ago. No, they did not take that long to ship them - I didn't order them until late March because the birthday money I got from relatives initially went to pay bills. But I am now the proud owner of David Abram's The Spell of the Sensuous, T. Thorn Coyle's Evolutionary Withcraft, and Claude Lecouteux's Witches, Werewolves and Fairies: Shapeshifters and Astral Doubles in the Middle Ages. The other three will apparently be shipped later.

I am currently reading the Abram book, and finding it simultaneously amazing and frustrating. He has some really interesting ideas, about the role of traditional healers and magicians being to exist on the boundary of human society and mediate between the human and nonhuman worlds, and the spirits and powers of indigenous societies being not necessarily "supernatural", but manifest in nature. However, he also has a few ideological blind spots that I find aggravating. If he approached the nature-as-spirit idea in a more open-ended and less reductionist way, I think I'd like it better. As it stands, he seems to be simultaneously expanding and restriction perception -- trying to open the reader's mind to the possibility of seeing the divine in nature, while at the same time implicitly denying that it exists anywhere else:
When a magician spoke of a power or "presence" lingering in the corner of his house, I learned to notice the ray of sunlight that was then pouring in through a chink in the roof, and to realize that that column of light was indeed a power, influencing the air currents by its warmth, and indeed influencing the whole mood of the room; although I had not consciously seen it before, it had already been structuring my experience.
But what if the power the magician spoke of wasn't only the ray of light? There are tons of examples like this just in the part of the book I've read so far. Abram seems to feel that by learning to perceive the spiritual in the natural, he's somehow cracked the code that indigenous people apparently speak in, and realized that it's really all just one big metaphor, that all this talk of spirits and powers is really just a different way of looking at animals, plants, rivers, rays of light, etc., and that this is a grand epiphany that western society needs to be awakened to. And it may be that in part, but by reducing spiritual experience to only a different way of perceiving nature, he also neatly eliminates any aspects of it that might be genuinely threatening to the western rationalist mindset. No actual spirits here, nothing "supernatural", nothing genuinely challenging, just a different way of looking at things.

He claims that most traditional cultures don't believe in "an immaterial realm outside earthly nature", and thus seems to sweep away the possibility that all that talk of a spirit world could possibly be anything more than a metaphor for nature. The possibility of a spirit realm that is not wholly separate from physical nature but not identical with it either; that overlays the visible world and is congruent with it, but at the same time occupies a different level of existence, isn't acknowledged. He doesn't seem to be able to conveive of any third option between the purely immanent, nothing-but-physical perspective, and abstract "heavens and hells" with no connection to nature.

Oh well. Still a fascinating read.

And yes, I am fully cognizant of the irony of reading a book on remaking our relationship with nonhuman nature at the same time as I am trying to eradicate it from my kitchen.
misslynx: (Triad)
Wow. 24 hours ago everything was normal, and now... We are moving on April 1.

We had been thinking for some while that this spring, we wanted to move to a larger place, with [livejournal.com profile] optimystik. We spend enough time at each other's places as it is that it just seemed to make less and less sense to have two separate apartments. And (late) spring is usually the best time to look for apartments as university students are all moving out then.

But we were worried about the prospects of finding a decent place, particularly with four cats and a dog, and two out of the three of us having bad or nonexistent credit ratings, and even the third being in a somewhat precarious position credit-wise. Three-bedroom apartments (as we ideally wanted, so that I could have an actual office) are rare to start with, and how many landlords can deal with that many pets, and don't do credit checks? Plus I really, really wanted to stay in the same neighbourhood, and wasn't sure we'd be able to find something suitable here.

And then, yesterday, what should we see on our own front lawn but a big For Rent sign for... a three-bedroom apartment? It's the one right above our former place, so two floors up from where we are now.

I talked to the landlord yesterday, when I went to drop off this month's rent (at the Portuguese sports bar he owns down on Dundas, which may help clarify things for those wondering about the drink reference in [livejournal.com profile] taikakettu's entry on all this), and we went up to see it today. Gorgeous place. Hardwood floors, lots of closets, lots of light, nice (though smallish) kitchen, bay window in front, working fireplace, nice bathroom with lots of space for shelves, and an actual BATHTUB (which may seem unexceptional to most, but for the last year and a half we've had only a shower stall)... not much not to like. Rent only marginally more than what we're paying for the two places now, and with all the closets we might be able to get rid of our storage unit, or at least downsize it, in which case we'd actually be paying less than we are now.

He said it was ours if we want it. We talked it over. We want it.

It's pretty much perfect, right down to the pet-positiveness, lack of credit check, staying in the neighbourhood (hell, staying in the *building*!) and extremely short distance to move. And a certain irony that we found it right on the heels of Imbolc, when Brighid is the goddess in charge of hearth and home and all that. Go raibh maith agat. We are so putting up a shrine to her in the new place.

So: moving April 1. Wow.


misslynx: (Default)

April 2011

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