twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
How is September almost over already?? And how have we veered from cardigan weather to "air conditioning on from dawn 'til dusk" weather???

I spent large chunks of the weekend feeling under the weather and headache-y. It might be seasonal allergies or it might be from the barometric pressure, I don't know. All I know is that I had to take hour-long naps on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday because I was nauseous from pain.

Here are my pictures of the day from last week.

September 18: I didn't have work materials ready, so I did various household chore-y things - making black bean quinoa salad for future lunches, doing laundry, etc. I did not photograph any of these, so here is a picture of Tammy from the previous night that was technically taken on the 18th.
Read more... )

September 19: My work materials were delayed due to a Japanese holiday, so I took some time to comb through my unreasonably large stash and try to find yarns to use for the newly-released Knitty patterns.
Read more... )

In the evening, there was a company screening of the LEGO Ninjago Movie. It was fun! Afterwards, we swung by Target (where I saw a child's t-shirt that I kind of wanted for myself) and then had dinner at Smashburger.
Read more... )

September 20: I haven't done any cute bento in ages, but I was inspired by the previous night's LEGO Ninjago movie viewing.
September 20 2017

September 21: Annual OB-GYN visit and pap smear! Afterwards, we swung by Toys R Us (where I spotted the new BIG Superhero Girls action figure dolls) and Noodles and Company (where I used my coupon to get a free HUGE rice crispy treat). Daniel dropped me off at the entrance to the condo complex, and we both went back to work.
September 21 2017
Later, Tammy kept me company in bed.

September 22: Annual eye doctor check-up! I got my pupils dilated again and got advice on what sort of frames I should try (my prescription leads to very thick lenses even with high-index magic, so the trendy half-glasses are a bad idea BUT they make frames that have gold lower halves to create the illusion of half-glasses).

The world was way too bright for me with my pupils dilated, so I ended up spending most of the day in dimly lit rooms, watching Midsomer Murders while finishing up my Lycka tee.

September 22 2017

And then I was too tired to cook dinner so we ordered in Chinese and the cashew chicken maybe made me sick, I'm not sure.

September 23: Woke up with sinus pain, continued to have sinus pain and nausea throughout the day. We briefly debated going out to either West Haven beach or downtown Manchester to take advantage of the Pokemon Go Equinox event (briefly: lots of rare Pokemon added to Pokemon eggs that hatch after 2 km of walking) but concluded that going out and walking lots in the heat was not a great idea when I was feeling under the weather. We watched cartoons and caught up on shows on our DVR, I took a nap, and we went out to Ellington to get some fresh Pokemon eggs and have dinner at the Hidden Still (a gastropub-ish place that lets you swap in tater tots for fries, and has a dazzling array of flavorings).

As we drove past two Pokemon Gyms in Ellington, we saw to our dismay that we couldn't take them over because they were currently under attack from Raikou the Legendary Pokemon. By sheer luck, though, there was a group of people at one of the gyms... and they quit their raid so that we could join them! We took down both Raikous and although not everybody caught one, a good time was had by all.

I didn't get a photo of any of that excitement, though, so here's a screenshot that I took today.
Read more... )

September 24: Woke up feeling sick again, but still made it out to the Coventry Farmer's Market for their international food festival. I was mostly there for the authentic curry mixes, but was pleasantly surprised to get a free bottle of Summertime Stone Soup hot sauce from Dragon's Blood Elixir, plus some mysterious unmarked tortilla chips from Pan de Oro that were being test-marketed (Mexican Street Corn flavour! Delicious!). Oh, and Farmer's Cow had samples of their newest Limited Edition milk (Honey Vanilla) as well as a few scant bottles of their previous Limited Edition, Rootbeer Milk!

We swung by the Hidden Still again for lunch (where I confirmed for myself that the tots really are superior to the fries), then to Big Y to do our weekly grocery shopping. I discovered that the regular price for the LE Farmer's Cow milk is $7, which means the $5 we paid at the Farmer's Market was a steal.

And then I started feeling headache-y and nauseous again. We went home, watched a nature documentary on Netflix (South Pacific, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch) and I took a nap until it was time for Star Trek: Discovery. Oh, and I worked on sewing the side-seams for my Lycka tee.
Read more... )

We opted to watch Star Trek: Discovery on CBS rather than their paid streaming service, so we only got the first episode (or the first hour of the two-hour premiere, depending on how you look at it). It was just enough to get me interested and want to see more... but not enough to pay another monthly fee for another streaming service. Especially one that has two tiers: $7 for the version with ads, $10 for the version that doesn't have ads (but still has CBS promos).

I saw someone on Twitter claim that the plan is to bring in Star Trek: Discovery (not using the acronym, thank you very much) as a mid-season replacement, once all of the episodes have gone up on the streaming service. That would be nice!

In the meantime, I'm envious of the Canadians who get their Star Trek: Discovery broadcast on TV, and the people elsewhere in the world who get it on Netflix.
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

In case you forgot, I’ll be at Borderlands Books (my favorite place in SF) at 3:00 pm this Saturday to read to you from my new book The Uploaded, sign whatever you put in front of me, and to, as usual, go out for hamburgers afterwards.

(And if you’re extra-special-good, I may do a super-secret advance MEGA-preview reading of The Book That Does Not Yet Have A Name. Not that, you know, you shouldn’t be rushing out to your stores to buy The Uploaded right now.)

I will, of course, bring donuts after my massive DONUT FAIL in Massachusetts, which I still wake up in cold sweats about. I will bring you donuts or die.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

Let Life Happen.

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:13 am
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

“I’m not up for sex,” she told me. “I’ve had a lot of medical issues lately. It’s more painful than not to even try.”

“Cool,” I said, and we spent the day going to a street festival.

I woulda liked sex. But life happens.

“I’m in the middle of my seasonal affective disorder,” I told her. “You show up, I might not be able to leave the house. I might just curl up and cry all day.”

“Cool,” she said, and I was pretty morose but we cuddled a lot and eventually managed to go out to dinner.

I woulda liked to have a working brain. But life happens.

“I’m not sure I can make it through this convention,” they told me. “My flare-ups have been really bad this season. I might not be able to go out with you in the evenings.”

“Cool,” I said, and I went out for little hour-long jaunts before heading back to the room to cuddle them, then charging out again to circulate.

I woulda liked to have them by my side when I hit the room parties. But life happens.

I’m a massively flawed human with a mental illness. I need to have poly relationships that include for the possibility of breakdowns. Because if I need to have a perfect day before I allow anyone to see me, I might wait for weeks. Months. Years. And then what the fuck is left by the time I get to see them?

I know there are people who need perfect visits. They have to have the makeup on when you visit them, and they’ll never fall asleep when they had a night of Big Sexy planned, and if they get out the toys there’s gonna be a scene no matter how raw anyone’s feeling.

But I can’t do that.

My relationships aren’t, can’t be, some idealized projection of who I want to be. If I’m not feeling secure that day, I can’t be with a partner who needs me to be their rock so the weekend proceeds unabated. And if they’re feeling broken, I can’t be with someone who needs to pretend everything is fine because their time with me is their way of proving what a good life they have.

Sometimes, me and my lovers hoped for a weekend retreat of pure passion and what we get is curling up with someone under tear-stained covers, holding them and letting them know they will not be alone come the darkness.

We cry. We collapse. We stumble. We don’t always get what we want, not immediately.

But we also heal. We nurture. We accept.

And in the long run, God, we get so much more.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
How is it Knitty's 15th anniversary already? Weren't they celebrating the 10th anniversary just the other day??

I've been knitting since December 2004, so I wasn't quite as early an adopter as I like to be for most things... Knitty had already been around for a few years at that point. But it feels so weird to know that I've been knitting for almost 15 years now (and still haven't mastered nupps or attempted steeking).

I'm writing this on the 18th, because I joined's Patreon SPECIFICALLY so I could get early access to patterns. I've already seen people on Twitter posting obliquely about how great the patterns are, so... let's see what I'll want to cast on for!

First up: Pistachio Saffron by Carol Feller is a stockinette "sweatshirt" sweater. Grey with green stripes. Loose-fitting, knit in the round, with a wide open neck... it feels very Classic Knitty. It's knitted using size 4 and 5 needles (so I'm guessing it's DK weight yarn?) I like the design but feel no burning urge to cast on.

Welcome Welcome by Teresa Yoon is cute! It's the other kind of Classic Knitty - a stylish-but-wacky stripey sweater that features a HUGE intarsia shark. It's knitted in a fluffy alpaca yarn, so it looks airy and cozy at the same time. Between the intarsia and the fitted sleeves, though, this is more of a "I wish someone would knit this for me" than "I want to knit this for someone" sweater. (plus, it's modelled by the designer in the smallest possible size - XS - with 2 inches of positive ease. I'd feel a little more confident about this pattern if I could see it knitted in a larger size, worn by a larger model.) Don't get me wrong - it's a GREAT design, I just don't know if it's one that will necessarily flatter me.

Now we head into cardigan territory, the land of the "almost certainly won't be knit by me". I'm also seeing a lot of patterns inspired by other Knitty patterns... truly a celebration of Knitty, by Knitty!

Cascadilla, A Bit of Funk, Habanero, Glaswegian, and the intriguing Turbulence )

I mistook Turbulence by Nonconformknits to be a shawl, but the designer's name should have made me realize it was more than meets the eye. It's a cocoon, knitted as a rectangle and seamed, with edges picked up. My first instinct was "naw, I don't do cocoons or kimono-sleeves or any other thing that's big and shapeless", but this is knitted using Wool of the Andes Bulky. I... I have WOTA Bulky. And I'm pretty sure it's available in a Superwash version, too. Must... check... stash...

We depart the world of cardigans to check in with some cowls and skirts.

Alicorn, Hostkappe, Cowichan Waves )

This issue has not one, but TWO knitted skirts! Both of which are adapted from other garments!

Booboo by Jeane de Caster was designed as a sweater and was converted into a skirt. It is knitted in the round and steeked, then stitches are picked up to knit center bands which are then overlapped and sewn together. The resulting skirt is pretty, but that sounds like a lot more work than I wanna do for a knitted skirt.

Wilwarinda by Naomi Eckerman is like a fusion of the Lanesplitter skirt and Nymphalidea shawl. I actually knitted the Nymphalidea, so I feel an instant affection for Wilwarinda. Interestingly enough, the garment is not sewn up so you can wear it as a shawl OR a wrap skirt using buttons and/or shawl pins. I'm... I'm really tempted by this one!

And finally, the accessories.

High Voltage and Lesula socks, Dendritic mitts )

Patterns to add to queue -

Yes, even if I have to buy new yarn:
Wilwarinda skirt/shawl (Women's L, 500 yds worsted weight, 440 yds sock-weight ombre - could use the Autumn Day Knitpicks Chroma Fingering that I bought in 2013 to make a second Nymphalidea shawl, but would need a complementary worsted weight color. Might just buy 500 yards of Wool of the Andes Superwash in Coal so I can make this? I think Coal will be a better contrast than Bittersweet. Maybe I should buy a skein of each just to be sure. The new Galerie yarn comes back in stock on the 21st or something, so maybe I'll place an order then?)

Maybe, if I have the right yarn:
Dendritic mitts (worsted weight, maybe the Cascade 220 Superwash in Wasabi? or Knitpicks Swish in that light green color that I was saving for Vineyard mitts?)

Cowichan Waves hat and cowl (bulky, maybe use the White Buffalo yarn)

Turbulence cocoon cardigan (bulky, could use WOTA Bulky Superwash - oh wait, WOTA Bulky Superwash costs something like $8 a skein and I'd need at least 9... maybe I'll go with Mighty Stitch Bulky instead, for 3.49 a ball? Brava Bulky is 1.99 a ball and is apparently a bit bulkier, but it's also 100% acrylic so :/)

Hostkappe cowl (fingering-weight/2 skeins of sock yarn, solid and variegated)

Lesula socks (two contrasting-yet-complementary skeins of sock yarn)
twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
The weekend really flew by. We got a lot done on Saturday, but then I ended up feeling headache-y and nauseous (might have gotten a little dehydrated) so we took Saturday evening and all of Sunday easy, watching Peter Pan Gone Wrong (and other bits by the Mischief Theatre Company) and also Spy and also SING.

So, here's the past week in photos.

September 11: I knew that Daniel had a rough week ahead of him, and I didn't have my work materials yet... so I spent some time hunting down a good food-processor cookie recipe, and baked a batch of S'Mores cookies (using a chocolate chip/graham cracker/marshmallow blend).
Read more... )

September 12: It's getting to that time of year when I start to crave green growing things in the house... specifically, sprouts and cat grass.
Read more... )

September 13: In the past few weeks or months or whatever, I've been making meals with fewer leftovers (1/4-lb burgers, nachos, pizza night, etc). In order to save Daniel from having to eat at the cafeteria all the time, I'm trying to make meals specifically for him to take to work. This particular day, I did some quick googling and discovered a recipe for pepperoni green peas fried rice. The recipe called itself a late-night meal (i.e. drunk people food) but I think it's decent enough for lunch!
Read more... )

Daniel had dinner with his co-workers at Bonchon, so I'm doubly glad that I got to cook a meal for him that day.

September 14: Bento of the day! Today's experiment - flavoring the tamagoyaki with Bulldog sauce and mayonnaise and aonori for an "okonomiyaki-without-cabbage" vibe.
Read more... )

September 15: Daniel and I got an invitation to an EX Raid in Pokemon Go - a special invite-only Mew Two raid, for which we got 2 days advance notice! We ended up with some 40-50 people at the raid, and after a few false starts (my game kept crashing or not showing the gym), we finally took down Mew Two!
Read more... )

Despite MewTwo having a much higher catch-rate than the other legendary Pokemon, I did not manage to catch him. Hopefully I can get another invite to an EX Raid.

September 16: We went out to the Sloppy Waffle again! This time, I was determined to try more of their Liege Waffles!

September 16 2017

...but I couldn't resist ordering the Chicken n Waffle AGAIN because it was soooo good. Daniel also ordered the S'Mores Liege Waffle, and paid extra to make it a chocolate-chip Liege Waffle.

As previously noted, I ended up feeling headache-y and nauseous and once we got home, I lay on the couch and watched the BBC presentation of Peter Pan Gone Wrong on the TV's Youtube App. I had seen a clip on Tumblr and assumed that it was just broad gags about wardrobe and rigging malfunctions; it turns out that it has a meta-story going on in the background about various dramas going on between the actors. I really liked it, and now we're looking into seeing The Play That Goes Wrong on Broadway, possibly for my birthday.

Of course, the last time we tried to watch a Broadway show for my birthday, it was Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, a different sort of Play That Goes Wrong... and it went so wrong that the show on my birthday was cancelled (I think after a performer was injured and hospitalized). So... we shall see what happens.

September 17: I still wasn't feeling 100% better, so we had an easy relaxed day of watching movies - Spy via Netflix DVD, SING via Netflix Streaming. And we picked up a pizza at DaVinci's, where Daniel made a friend.
September 17 2017
twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
The weather forecasts continue to be uncertain as to whether we're going to be significantly impacted by Hurricane Jose, which has apparently been meandering around the Atlantic in loops, getting downgraded to a tropical storm and then upgraded back to a hurricane. Every time that it gets humid and cloudy, I think that it's the hurricane, but no; apparently the current forecast is for Jose to hit us around Friday.

In other tales of indecision, I'm taste-testing's Thai black tea and Thai Chai tea. Apparently I've been looking for a replacement for Celestial Seasonings' decaf Sweet Coconut Thai for over two years, and I need to decide whether I want to go with a caffeinated thai/coconut chai, or continue my search for a decaf chai-adjacent beverage.

The Thai Black tea offers to main advantages over the Thai Chai. First, it's about a dollar cheaper. Second, it contains honeybush, making it slightly less caffeinated by volume.

Official description:
Served hot or iced, our Thai Tea adds something refreshingly exotic to your day. Blended to replicate delicious Thai restaurant tea at home with notes of coconut, cardamom and vanilla. To tickle your taste buds with a tantalizing authentic experience, prepare your own traditional Thai Iced Tea by pouring the freshly brewed tea over ice, topping it off with your choice of sweetened condensed milk or coconut milk. One sip, and you will feel as though you’ve been transported straight to the streets of Bangkok.

Blended With Black Tea, Honeybush Tea, Apple Pieces, Cardamom, Dried Coconut, Natural Vanilla Flavor, Safflower And Natural Coconut Flavor"

I don't know if it's the honeybush or the apple or the vanilla and coconut flavorings, but the first thing I noticed when I opened the pouch of Thai black tea was the sweet scent. And now that I've brewed it, the main thing I'm noticing is the combination of sweet coconut and cardamom.

...Dangit! This is basically DavidsTea's Cardamom French Toast, or possibly 52Teas' Coconut French Toast with Cardamom Maple Syrup! I think it might be a little more subtle than the DavidsTea equivalent (which has lemon peel and cinnamon and at least two different kinds of sugar) and a little less coconut-y than the 52Teas equivalent.

So now I have three containers of fairly similar (but subtly different) tea. I'm torn between using up the 52Teas (to clear it out, because it's the oldest) and using up the Adagio Thai tea (because it's cheapest).
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

I knew musicals could cheer me up, but I’d never heard of one that gave me new tools to deal with chronic illness and depression. Yet when I saw Groundhog Day last Wednesday, I was so stunned by what a perfect, joyous metaphor it was for battling mental illness that I immediately bought tickets to see it again that Saturday.

I would have told you about this before, but it was too late. The show closed on Sunday. A musical that should have run, well, for as long as Phil Connors was trapped in his endless time loop only got a five-month run.

But I can tell you about it.

I can tell you why this musical made me a stronger, better person.


So let’s discuss the original Groundhog Day movie, which is pretty well-known at this point: Bill Murray is an asshole weatherman named Phil who shows up under protest to do a report from Punxatawney, Philadelphia on Groundhog Day. He’s trapped in town overnight thanks to a blizzard. When Phil wakes up the next morning, it’s Groundhog Day again. And again. And again.

Phil goes through several phases:

  • Incredulous as he can’t believe what’s happening to him;
  • Gleefully naughty as he uses his knowledge of people’s future actions to indulge all his greatest fantasies;
  • Frustrated as he tries to romance Rita, his producer, but he’s too cynical for her and nothing convinces her to hop in bed with him unless everyone else in town;
  • Depressed as he realizes that his life is shallow and there’s no way he can escape;
  • Perplexed as he tries to rescue a dying homeless man but realizes that nothing he can do on this day will save this poor guy;
  • And, finally, beatific as he uses his intense knowledge of everything that will happen in town today to run around doing good for people.

Naturally, that’s a great emotional journey. It’s no wonder that’s a story that’s resonated with people.

Yet Groundhog Day changes just one slight emotional tenor about this – and that change is massive.

Because when Bill Murray’s character gets to the end of his journey, he’s actually content. He’s achieved enlightenment where he enjoys everything he does, toodling around on the piano because he’s formed Punxatawney into his paradise. He laughs at people who ignore him. He’s satisfied.

And when Rita, who senses this change even though she doesn’t understand why, bids everything in her wallet to dance with him at the Groundhog Dance, the Bill Murray Phil is touched but also, on some level, serene.

Andy Karl’s Phil is not happy.

We spend a lot more time in Andy’s Phil’s headspace, and at one point he breaks down because of all the things he’ll never get to do – he’ll never grow a beard, he’ll never see the dawn again, he’ll never have another birthday. Anything he does is wiped away the next morning.

Bill Murray’s Phil gets so much satisfaction out of his constantly improving the town that his daily circuit has become a reward for him.

Andy Karl’s Phil is, on some level, fundamentally isolated. People will never know him – at least not without hours of proving to them that yes, he is trapped in this time loop, he does know everything about them.  No matter what relationships he forms, he’ll have  to start all over again in a matter of hours. There’s no bond he can create that this loop won’t erase.

And so when Rita finally dances with Bill Murray, it’s shown as a big romantic moment. And in the musical –

In the musical, Rita moves towards Phil and everything freezes in a harsh blue light except for Phil.

This is everything Phil has ever wanted in years, maybe decades, of being in this loop – and instead of being presented as triumphant, everything goes quiet and Phil sings a tiny, mournful song:

But I’m here
And I’m fine
And I’m seeing you for the first time

And the reason that brings tears to my eyes every fucking time is because this Phil is not fine – he repeats the lie in the next verse when he says he’s all right. Yet this is the happiest moment he’s had in years, finally understanding what Rita has wanted all along, and this moment too will be swept away in an endless series of morning wakeups and lumpy beds and people forgetting what he is.

Yet that mournful tune is also defiant, and more defiant when the townspeople pick it up and start singing it in a rising chorus:

I’m here
And I’m fine

Phil knows his future is nothing.

Yet that will not stop him from appreciating this small beauty even if he knows it will not stay with him. Trapped in the groundhog loop, appreciating the tiny moments becomes an act of rebellion, a way of affirming life even when you know this moment too will vanish.

Can you understand that this is depression incarnate?

Which is the other thing that marks this musical. Because I said there was joy, and there is. Because when Andy Karl’s Phil enters the “Philanthropy” section of the musical (get it?), he may not be entirely happy but he is content.

Because he knows that he may not necessarily feel joy at all times, but he has mastered the art of maintenance.

Because tending to the town of Punxatawney is a lot of work. He has to run around changing flat tires, rescuing cats, getting Rita the chili she wanted to try, helping people’s marriages. (And as he notes, “My cardio never seems to stick.”)

When Bill Murray’s Phil helps people, it seems to well up from personal satisfaction. Whereas Andy’s Phil is thrilled helping people, yes, but his kindness means more because it costs him. On some level he is, and will forever be, fundamentally numb.

This isn’t where he wanted to be.

Yet he has vowed to do the best with what he can. He helps the townspeople of Punxatawney because even though it is a constant drain, it makes him feel better than drinking himself senseless in his room. He doesn’t get to have everything he wanted – also see: depression and chronic illness – and it sure would be nice if he could take a few days off, but those days off will make him feel worse.

He’s resigned himself to a lifetime of working harder than he should for results that aren’t as joyous as he wanted.

And that’s okay. Not ideal, but…. okay.

Andy’s okay.

And I think the closest I can replicate that in a non-musical context is another unlikely source – Rick and Morty, where Rick is a suicidal hypergenius scientist who’s basically the Doctor if the Doctor’s psychological ramifications were taken seriously. And he goes to therapy, where a therapist so smart that she’s the only person Rick’s never been able to refute says this to him:

“Rick, the only connection between your unquestionable intelligence and the sickness destroying your family is that everyone in your family, you included, use intelligence to justify sickness.

“You seem to alternate between viewing your own mind as an unstoppable force and as an inescapable curse. And I think it’s because the only truly unapproachable concept for you is that it’s your mind within your control.
You chose to come here, you chose to talk to belittle my vocation, just as you chose to become a pickle. You are the master of your universe, and yet you are dripping with rat blood and feces, your enormous mind literally vegetating by your own hand.

“I have no doubt that you would be bored senseless by therapy, the same way I’m bored when I brush my teeth and wipe my ass. Because the thing about repairing, maintaining, and cleaning is it’s not an adventure. There’s no way to do it so wrong you might die.

“It’s just work.

“And the bottom line is, some people are okay going to work, and some people well, some people would rather die.

“Each of us gets to choose.

“That’s our time.”

And yes, Groundhog Day the musical is – was – about that lesson of maintenance, as Andy comes to realize that “feeling good” isn’t a necessary component for self-improvement, and works hard to make the best of a situation where, like my depression, even the best and most perfect day will be reset come the next morning.

And yes. There is a dawn for Andy’s Phil, of course, and he does wake up with Rita, and you get to exit the theater knowing that no matter how bad it gets there will come a joyous dawn and you get to walk out onto Broadway and so does Phil.

But you don’t get to that joy without maintenance.

And you might get trapped again some day. That, too, is depression. That, too, is chronic illness. We don’t know that Phil doesn’t get trapped on February 3rd, or March 10th, or maybe his whole December starts repeating.

But he has the tools now. He knows how to survive until the next dawn.

Maybe you can too.


Anyway. There’s talk that Groundhog Day will go on tour, maybe even with Andy Karl doing the performances. He’s brilliant. Go see him.

The rest of you, man, I hope you find your own Groundhog Day. I saw mine. Twice.

Perhaps it’s fitting that it’s vanished.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
One of the problems with buying and taste-testing as much tea as I have is that when I encounter a tea that tastes familiar, I have several hundred tea reviews to scroll through before I can find the original. (254 posts tagged with 'tea', according to Dreamwidth.)

To this end, I just spent half-an-hour going through five years of old posts and opening them in new tabs. Does this tea remind me of DavidsTea's Cardamom French Toast, or 52Teas' Coconut French Toast with Cardamom Maple Syrup? Could it have been the Republic of Tea Gingerbread Cuppa or Cardamom Cinnamon Tea or Hi-Caf Toasted Coconut Black tea? Maybe it was Green Teahouse's Cinnamon Cocoa Rooibos

And I have discovered:

1. I was really into coconut-flavoured black tea circa 2014/2015. Possibly due to Bigelow Tea's Girl Scouts Caramel and Coconut Cookie tea.

2. The tea I was thinking of is the now-discontinued DavidsTea Coco Chai Rooibos, which I thought might make a good substitute for the discontinued Celestial Seasonings Decaf Sweet Coconut Thai.

I had been interested in Coco Chai Rooibos because it was a rooibos (i.e. non-caffeinated) chai with coconut, which made it fairly similar to the discontinued Decaf Sweet Coconut Thai... but I waffled over whether I wanted to spend $7.50 on 2 oz/20 cups of DavidsTea or just get the not-yet-discontinued Celestial Seasonings Coconut Thai Chai (caffeinated) for $5.49 (for a 20-satchet box).

It's now two years later. I still haven't committed to a substitute for Decaf Sweet Coconut Thai. But if I'm willing to put up with the caffeine, I think Adagio's Thai Chai might be the best and most cost-effective option.

Official description:
"Creamy sweet coconut and playfully floral lemongrass highlight this succulent black tea chai blend. Let the aroma draw you in and you'll swear, you hear it beckoning to come closer, just take a sip. We suggest two heaping teaspoons per 8 oz cup, sugar, cream or coconut milk if desired.

Ingredients: Black Tea, Cinnamon Bark, Ginger Root, Dried Coconut, Cardamom, Lemon Grass And Natural Coconut Flavor"

It's $8 for 3 oz, which makes it cheaper than DavidsTea. Adagio helpfully estimates that to be 21 cents a cup (I think that works out to 3 oz making 38 cups of tea? So about 12 cups per ounce? That seems about the same as DavidsTea's estimate of 10-15 cups per ounce of tea.) That would actually make it cheaper than Celestial Seasonings (but only if I ordered $49 worth of tea at Adagio and got free shipping).

I'll have to compare this to Adagio's Thai Tea, as I apparently added 3 oz of Thai Tea for $7 to my last order. The Thai tea has "Black Tea, Honeybush Tea, Apple Pieces, Cardamom, Dried Coconut, Natural Vanilla Flavor, Safflower And Natural Coconut Flavor"... it won't have the ginger, cinnamon, or lemongrass. Hrm. We'll have to see if that makes enough of a difference for me.

I last regularly ordered tea from Adagio in 2010. Their tea prices have crept up a bit since then (I see that my first non-sample order was 4 oz of the Valentine tea for $6 - current price is 3 oz for $7) but I really had forgotten how affordable their stuff is.
twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
This has been a hell of a month for weather.

Our neck of the woods has been spared the nightmare storms of Harvey and Irma (as well as the fires on the West Coast) but we've still been careening wildly from chilly "bring your plants indoors" cardigan weather to hot humid weather that's murdering my plants.

This means that I've been focusing all of my energy on finishing my Lycka tee before the weather is officially too cold for short sleeves.

WIP Wednesday
Pattern: Lycka by Stefanie Schuster
Yarn: Knitpicks Cotlin in Blackberry

I'm currently working on the front of the Lycka tee, specifically the right side after casting on for the sleeve stitches and dividing for the V-neck. I think my decision to go down one needle size and recalculate the numbers has worked out.

I need to consult my phone while knitting the Lycka tee (both because I keep forgetting the pattern, and because I need to keep track of my rows so I know when to stop decreasing). But occasionally I run out of power, or my phone is otherwise occupied screencasting shows. Yesterday, I took that opportunity to knit a little bit more of the Forest Ridge shawl. I will finish it someday! Probably!

WIP Wednesday
Pattern: Forest Ridge by Mary Formo
Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow Kettle Dyed in Pacific (probably)

I forgot to take a photo of the Wolkig cowl, which I worked on quite a bit while waiting in line for Force Friday II. Hopefully I'll be able to wear it when cardigan weather returns!
twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
I'm trying to improve my morning routine by actually getting up at the same time as my husband and doing some morning chores - emptying and washing Chester's bowl, feeding her breakfast, and so on. I still have a long way to go before I'm able to fit in a 30+ minute workout (which is kind of sad, because I seem to recall one of the reasons I got those exercise DVDs was so that I could do my morning workout while Daniel did his workout on the elliptical machine). But I'm going to try, and maybe by the time we can move into a house that's more workout-DVD-compatible, I'll actually get there.

Helping me along on the road to "being functional before 9 AM" is my morning cup of tea. I fed Chester before I had my first sip of tea this morning, and now I'm not sure whether I remembered to sprinkle PEG powder on her food (polyethylene glycol, which Dr. Licht at Tufts recommended for Chester's chronic constipation).

Today's morning cup of tea is another Capricorn-themed blend from Adagio Teas. This one is Capricorn Tea Blend by Aera Crystal, who wins my award for "person most likely to secretly be an elf or elemental mage". It's a blend of Assam Melody ("Rich aroma, more sweet starchy than malty, like roasted plantains. Rounded mouthfeel, malty without being overpowering. Slight notes of raisin. Brisk astringency and not extremely pungent. A solid, 'friendly' Assam, from the well-regarded Meleng Estate.") and Blackberry ("Bright, citrusy Ceylon black tea infused with sweetly tart blackberries is an adventure for your palate. Pleasantly sweet and bakey aroma, like fresh berry scones, floral-fruity aroma and slightly dry finish") and my beloved Hazelnut ("...the full, bright taste of Ceylon black tea with the cozy creaminess of hazelnuts. Very nutty and aromatic, slightly roasty with a rounded, sweet flavor. Toasty dryness. A mellow, very well-blended cup of tea.")

And indeed, this is a mellow sweet tea! I was a little nervous when I saw the red peppercorns that accented this tea, but I think this is peppercorn in its "slightly perfume-y" incarnation rather than "omg spicy hot chai". The Chestnut Ceylon blends well with the Assam Melody, and the Blackberry Ceylon manages to be sweet and lightly fruit-scented rather than overwhelming.

I dig it! I might get more, when I next place an order at Adagio! (Among other things, the sample tins are cute but kind of hard to scoop tea out of due to being tiny and packed full of tea leaves. The sooner I can upgrade to a 3-oz pouch, the better.)
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

As a reminder, I’ll be at Pandemonium Books and Games (which is an awesome store even in the absence of me) at 7:00 tomorrow to read to you, sign whatever you put in front of me, and probably go out for drinks and/or ice cream afterwards.

I hope to see you there! These donuts aren’t gonna eat themselves.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
September 1: We stayed up quite late on the 31st for Force Friday II, so we slept in a bit on the 1st. And once we were up, I was able to spend some time on household chores.

I set up the collapsible greenhouse on the porch, to protect our surviving pepper plants from the cold:
September 1 2017

We went grocery shopping, and also swung by some Target and Wal-marts and Toys R Us for items that we didn't manage to find at the midnight opening.


September 2nd: We decided to spend a chunk of the day pursuing the newly-released Legendary Beast Pokemon, Raikou. There are three Legendary Beasts, representing Fire, Lightning, and Water; in the Pokemon Gold/Silver games, they were maddeningly difficult to capture because they fled one square in a random direction for every step that you took. In Pokemon Go, each one is showing up in a different area (the Americas, Europe, and Japan, I think) and will shift to a new area after a month.

We went to the mall and then to a nearby park. Daniel caught one Raikou; I caught zero. I did, however, get to meet some cute dogs.

September 2 2017

The Shiba Inu kept looking away from the camera, so it took me several tries to get this shot.

September 2 2017

The Shiba Inu's "little brother", a big Akita dog, was a lot friendlier.

After the less-successful-than-hoped-for raids, we went to Toys R Us and Bonchon for a late lunch. I spotted yet another Porg Plush at Toys R Us, but passed on it due to insufficient fluffiness.

Read more... )

September 3: It was supposed to be rainy, so I begged off of further Raikou raiding and instead suggested that we open our Force Friday II toys while watching Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens with our Sphero BB-8. BB-8 has now been joined by the evil-looking BB-9E and of course R2D2; all three have a "Watch With Me" gimmick where they sync up to the Star Wars films and react appropriately to scenes.

Unfortunately, our BB-8 kept losing its focus and falling back on generic idle animations. BB-8 is supposed to have a BIG reaction to Han Solo's death, and our BB-8 didn't seem to give a crap. Alas!

Read more... )
I did not get a good Picture of the Day, so here is a photo of the Limited Edition Cookies and SCREEEM M&Ms that I bought on the 2nd to console myself over my lack of Raikou.

September 4: Monday was Labour Day, so I figured that people would be off doing Family BBQ-type things rather than hanging around looking for Raikou. Nevertheless, I kept checking the local Pokemon Go Discord channel to see if anything popped up near us as we had our fancy/quirky Omelets at the Cosmic Omelet (The Vermonster, with maple sausage and bacon and cheese; the Space Jam, with some kind of spicy bacon jam, OMG so delicious). And lo, two of them showed up at the local community college! And we got a group large enough to take them down!

Read more... )

While we were catching up on TV, Daniel checked his phone and discovered that one of our friends had passed away. It was a shock, and deeply saddening.

September 5: I took advantage of the morning light to try and take some better photos of the resin eyes from Dreaming Tree Studio.
Read more... )

And I harvested our lone Hungarian Black pepper, since I figured this was as ripe as it was getting. It was pretty tasty, but I really wish we could have had a bigger crop. I would love to have some kind of solarium where I could grow a variety of ornamental-but-edible hot peppers.

September 5 2017

September 6: The final stop on the ArohaKnits Seeker Challenge was New Zealand, where Frenchie of ArohaKnits is from. New Zealand does not have a long tradition of knitting, but Frenchie honours her Maori heritage by incorporating imagery and symbols from Maori weaving into her knitting designs.

September 6 2017

Unfortunately, I realized that I'd made a significant mistake at the beginning of the pattern when I was maybe 5 rows away from the end of the pattern. I probably should have ripped out and started over again, but I didn't.

September 7: I knew that I wasn't going to be around on Friday the 8th, as Daniel and I were driving down to Providence, Rhode Island for the first annual HasCon (Hasbro Toy Convention). So I made sure that I finished my translation project early, which meant that I got to spend some time out of the basement. Tammy kept putting her paws up on my leg like she wanted to jump into my lap.
Read more... )

September 8: HasCon! The convention officially opened to the public at... I wanna say 11 am, maybe? So our goal was to be there by 10 AM so we could line up, get in as quickly as possible and buy the HasCon exclusive toys, then rush to the 11:30 AM Transformers panel in the Main Stage.

We brought along Daniel's Love With Food snackbox along as an emergency measure.
Read more... )

We ran into a couple of our friends, which was nice. There didn't seem to be an official line, just a couple hundred people milling about... so once we had a group of our friends together, we sort of made our way to the front and waited for the doors to open (and puzzled over the fact that none of the maps we'd received showed where the Main Stage was).

HasCon 2017

The rest of HasCon: some minor hiccups, but mostly a lot of fun with good friends )

Our group of friends ended up meeting up with another friend at the Providence Place Mall for dinner. And then we parted ways (but not before I hit up the LUSH store for some of the discontinued items) and Daniel and I began the 2-hour drive home.

When we were less than 10 minutes away from home, we had a close call on one of the back roads. We were making a slight right turn, and I'm guessing that the pick-up truck headed our way was right in Daniel's blind spot, because Daniel didn't see him. I could have sworn that the pick-up truck sped up, but that was probably just the adrenaline/terror in me.

Daniel swerved into the oncoming traffic lane once it was clear that the pick-up truck was going to hit us/trying to occupy the same lane as us, then returned to our lane because there was oncoming traffic. Meanwhile, the pick-up truck slowed down and stopped, and the driver got out. Since this was happening on a poorly lit country backroad, I was briefly but sincerely worried that we were about to be the victims of a drunken road rage incident.

Instead, the driver asked if he'd hit us, and apologized for driving so fast. We assured him that we were fine and he got back into his truck as I tweeted furiously on my phone. Perhaps it was the late night exhaustion talking, but I had begun to worry that maybe we HAD been hit by the truck and were experiencing an Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge situation. By tweeting and seeing people respond to my tweets, I hoped to somehow convince myself that we were okay and had survived the encounter intact.

September 10: We usually go grocery shopping on Saturdays, so I took the opportunity to go through our crisper and fruit drawer to determine what needed restocking. And I discovered that all of our apples had gone wrinkly or outright bad...

September 9 2017

...except this one, which was pristine despite being (I think) the same age as the one next to it. I think I bought them either last fall or during the Winter Farmer's Market. Either way, yikes?

I cut up the intact apple and served it with peanut butter. And then we went to Stir the Pot for brunch, and then drove out to West Hartford to hit up the Toys R Us and the Best Buy (to get the Best Buy exclusive Kong: Skull Island in 4K and 3D) and the LUSH Store (to try and get more discontinued LUSH products).

Read more... )

Also, we checked the Disney Store to see what Star Wars merchandise they had, and they had the plush porgs that had been spotted at the Disney Parks as well as the porg mug. And a t-shirt that just said "STAR WARS" and had a bunch of porgs on it.

As I hemmed and hawed over whether to get one of the two (!) plush porgs that were left in stock, a family came in and the daughter immediately said that she wanted a porg t-shirt and one of the plush porgs. That meant that only one porg would be left in the store, and I REFUSED to potentially rob a child of The Last Porg In Stock... when a Disney Store employee asked if we needed any help, I asked if they had any more porgs in the back of the store.


September 10 2017

And that is my exciting story of how I got a porg that was beautifully fluffy AND didn't have the downside of squawking and chittering if I hugged it the wrong way.

September 10: After the excitement of the past few days, Sunday was pretty laid back. I checked on my succulent, which had gotten even more sunburned. We went out for brunch again, because I wanted to try the other two weekend specials (Chipotle Taco Omelet and Banana Pancake Dippers). We looked for toys at Wal-Mart. We came home and did some laundry and watched the documentary GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling and I cried. It was interesting seeing how certain wrestlers had clearly inspired certain characters from Netflix's GLOW series, and it made me really eager for another season of Netflix's GLOW. It also made me really sad for these women, some of whom had suffered great physical injury or mental anguish through their experience in professional wrestling... but their sense of sisterhood was so beautiful, and I hope that they watched and enjoyed the Netflix GLOW series.

Read more... )


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