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I wrote the below sometime last year, apparently (December? 2021?) and...forgot all about it. I totally forgot that I had the draft sitting there. I just rediscovered it and decided to post, so as to clear the decks and maybe, like...write some more?

It's so weird to read this now, in October 2022.

Hi, self, it's STILL A PANDEMIC, 10 months later.

Still Omicron, but now, there's all these variants of it, each one worse than the other, apparently.

You just got the NEW bivalent booster for the Omicron variant, about three weeks ago, or has it been a month now?

The director of the CDC just announced she has Covid, and the agency is messaging about the importance of handwashing rather than acknowledging the fact that this thing is airborne and we should still be wearing masks most of the time and we need to figure out how to make the air in public spaces safe again but apparently we're just not gonna do that so we're all doomed.

You have :knock on wood, and don't even want to say it out loud for fear it'll jinx things: not come down with the panini. (You just typed "yet" and then erased it immediately, thinking, wtf, does this mean you believe you WILL eventually?! Ugh. Don't do that.)

You did NOT get a new desk or new chair, but instead you got a foot rest thingy that goes under the desk, which sort of mostly helps but mostly, you just got used to this keyboard.

And I didn't do an end of 2021 thing, obv. Will I do an end of 2022 thing? Only time will tell.

*** below written in Dec. 2021, I think ***

So, I just got a kickass new keyboard and kickass new mouse and extremely kickass new computer (lucky lucky lucky me x infinity!) and thought I'd test them all out by writing a post here. I've been thinking I should do some kind of year end thing anyway.

It's about to be 2022. It's still a pandemic. The pandemic appears to be never ending, and now we're on the Omicron variant, which is hyper transmissible, and apparently on the way to becoming the dominant kid in town with lightning speed--but I've also been reading that the effects, if you're vaccinated, are less severe?

I'm not so sure about this new keyboard...I think it's highlighting the fact that my desk is too high and my chair is too low and the only thing I can do about that is get a new desk, I think, because the chair is new.

The desk is old--literally, it's about 100 years old, I think. Not meant to be a computer desk. The new keyboard is ergnomic, split, with a built in wrist rest thing, so it's meant to put your arms and hands in the right position.

10/23 '22

I miss LJ and the way it used to be there. Here's a good article about it and about how George R R Martin, one of the last holdouts, has now left the building.


1/22 '19 43 Comments
Most of the people I loved from LJ are here at OPW.
But I do miss those days, of course, I had a lot more time to post and comment back then.
I still remember when I “met” most of them at Diaryland! 😬
I never was on Diaryland.

I’m here because of the LJ connection 🙂
I'm here because of the Usenet/talk.bizarre connection, which became the LJ connection, which became FB and Twitter. When the Russians took over, I ported everything from LJ to Dreamwidth, where my account has largely languished. Then my friend Tom (from Usenet days) rolled out OPW and, well, here I am.

As for FB and Twitter, I sometimes tweet, but mostly only silly inconsequential stuff, but it's still too easy to get sucked in and dragged under by the tidal waves of awful. Facebook, I left some time ago; I had to leave because... I just can't ignore the ethical problems and came to understand that to participate at any level was to enable Very Bad Things—and if it were just about me, maybe I could've stayed, but being on the platform also makes everyone I know and have connections with vulnerable and me complicit in that abuse. [long conversation there; maybe another time]

Anyway, I like it here, it feels good posting here. All of my posts are friends-only, but I'm easy to be friends with. :) I mostly keep things loosely locked that way because I don't want spiderbots tossing my journal entries all hither and yon. I have few subgroups for posting and almost never use them.
You know that thing where you hear a story told several times, and eventually, you start to feel like you were there - even though you weren't? usenet/talk.bizarre is that for me. I wasn't there, but there are times when I could swear I was.
Also sp//dr bot from the new "Into the Spiderverse" - which I highly recommend:
I haven’t seen it yet, but I will since both you and Archer recommend it highly.
Oh honey, the whole family jumped on that movie the minute it hit the theaters up here! LOVE.
Yeah - I've got a buddy who poo-poos just about every movie we see, and HE loved it, so...
I now declare you to have been honorarily present.
Aww - thanks!
You're not alone in missing those days - that's for sure. I pulled my LJ account over to DreamWidth.org and even still post there very rarely.

Generally speaking, though, I found a site I like a lot and gives me the 80/20 of that LJ love. Run by a buddy of mine named Tom. It's called One Post Wonder...
I also ported over my LJ to dreamwidth years ago, and never really used it. It’s sitting there unused and unloved.

Yet I still haven’t been able to pull the plug and delete my LJ even though I moved it to DW and even though I haven’t posted on it in years and even though it’s probably a bad idea to leave it up. What’s my problem? I have a hard time letting go. I started it in 2004, I think. That feels like forever ago.

Also, ha, yes 🙂 about OPW. I oughta try to broaden my horizons here...
So speaking of that, one thing I do notice is it's harder to make new connections since LJ. So.... Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy
But here's my profile, friend me maybe? ;) (Totally your choice.)

I am not as big a poster as I used to be, but I read everything and hang out in comments. Either way, nice to have met you through Tom's nifty "Network" option.
:laughs: :-)

Hello! Friended!

Oh god. You were, uh...talking to ME, right? Sometimes I can’t tell which comment was left to which comment.

(I overthink things) :-)
HA! My inner voice was doing the: "Oh great, ask someone to friend them, then disappear for three days! *aagh!*" thing. So, you are in GREAT company. Yes, I meant you. :)

It's all good, I was not worried a whit. :-)
"(I overthink things)"

Oh dear - you _really_ are in good company here. :P
Yaaay! Well met, then, fellow over thinker :-)
Hi! I found you through OPW's "Network" button. I also haven't deleted my LJ even though I ported everything over to DW. I made all of my LJ posts private so it kinda looks empty, but it's not.

My folks used to read my public LJ posts and then they started reading my public DW posts, but I've really fallen off the horse. I try to remember to x-post my public entries from OPW over to DW, but I'm laaaazy.

Oh I am too, and also too unorganized. :-)
I wonder if we could get Tom to look into working with IFTTT? (This is me assuming it doesn't already, but I suspect if it did, Jill would already be using that for cross posting purposes.)
I was trying to use IFTTT to x-post my tweets to DW but it looked like ass, but I suspect that was more Twitter's fault than anyone else's.

Not sure how easy it would be to IFTTT OPW to DW (or vice-versa), but copying/pasting isn't the worst thing ever. (I do hate losing all my formatting though and then manually fixing it, but whatevz.)
RE: "My folks used to read my public LJ posts" - yeah. I was recently at my folks' place and saw a favorite link to my LJ.

It kinda made me sad because I'm pretty sure (despite my changing the url for the link to my OPW profile) they haven't migrated.

We do weekly Google Hangouts with Ben and Josh and families, so that helps, but there was something nice about having a place that people would 'check in'.
I feel your pain. I _did_ manage to delete my LJ account, but my DW account is mostly unloved. It never caught fire like my LJ did. LJ (for me at least) reached that tipping point where there were enough of my people there to make for a good, active social network. DW not so much.
Yeah. And I was never one of those people who had a ginormous friends list of people following/commenting, but enough for it to feel like...enough, I guess.

Before LJ, I was on an email list called Tamson House, run by a bunch of fans of the author Charles de Lint (and his wife MaryAnn was involved too). We found each other on LJ after the TH list sort of dissipated, and kind of tried to emulate that sort of community and it did happen for a while, but of course LJ is/was a different thing than an email list...

And then Facebook, and omg is that a shitshow sometimes.

Well, anyway, hey there, Matt Lichtenwalner...want to be one of my OPW friends? :-)
"enough for it to feel like...enough, I guess" - That's it exactly.

"Facebook, and omg is that a shitshow sometimes" - You can say that again. And again. And again.

"want to be one of my OPW friends?" - Sounds good to me!
I just logged into my LJ for the first time in like a year and damn, my friends list appears to be a giant mass of tumbleweeds. A few people appear to still be there posting, but not many. It's makin' me sad.
Yeah. The biggest chunk of my people left when they sold to the Russian company.

Also, I heard somewhere that even George RR Martin left. ;P
Facebook, and omg is that a shitshow sometimes! ;-)
Omg I heard about that list! I was never on it, but I <3 DeLint.

Also, Matt is one of my college friends, I vouch for his goodness.
It was a super epic list, and I made friends there I still have today, 22 years later. Crazy that so much time has passed.

I've met Charles & MaryAnn, we had a great lunch and drive around town together once, and they are the most delightful people.

Good to know of Matt's vouchable goodness. :-)
D'awww shucks. Thanks, chica.
You and Shelle went to Penn State? How did I not know this?! :) I assumed everyone was a UDel-er (not everyone, of course).
Nope. I went to PSU. Shelle went elsewhere (this is a public post and I will leave it to her to out her life story). But we knew each other during college. I was a fan then, and since. :)
This is my new LJ. My people are (mostly) here. I am grateful to LJ though, if not for that platform I wouldn’t know some of my closest friends.
Pretty much this, word for word.
That’s great your people are (mostly) here.

I wish I felt like this was my new LJ. It’s not the same, though, I suppose in part because I only have a few friends here and the interactions we have isn’t the same. Wait, that’s not right. In many ways they are, and even better.

Also in part I suppose because, in spite of the fact that THIS post is public, most of my posts here are friends locked to only a few people (ya’ll know who you are 🙂). So that doesn’t help, probably.

Oh I feel this too. I so love OPW and I love the set up, but I wish more people were on it. I haven't "met" people as easily as I did on LJ and I wonder if it's just more closed posts. I am hoping to, though. For me the discovery factor on LJ was really neat. I loved the "Friending Posts" that people would do, recommending other people to follow. It was really fun.
Yeah. I can't even remember how I found you on LJ, actually--can you? I don't know if you were a "friend of a friend" or through a Friending Post. I had no idea who you were, just that I loved how you wrote and thought about things.
I can't remember! I wish I could, actually....
Me too. You know, I think it might've been Shadesong, actually. Maybe?
Shadesong! The nexus of so many people.

Today is Hug a Random Stranger Day.

How do I know this? Because I hugged a random stranger today, at the grocery store.

And on a day after a day of Yet More Unspeakably Awful Things Going On Out There, that was a nice thing, to be offered a hug from a stranger, and to accept it. I had walked up to the end of the salad bar at Whole Goats, to get lunch. A tall man, older than me, was already there at the bins holding three different kinds of lettuce, carefully picking out individual leaves with tongs.

He saw me and said, "Hello," and I said, "Picking out the best lettuces, I see?" and he said, "Yes, as a vegetarian, I like to pick out the ones that still have the most nutrition left in them, that are still firm and crisp; I figure if I'm paying for it, I should get the best ones." He kept explaining about nutrition and attributes of healthy produce as I put lettuce in my takeout container. "Trying to stay healthy," he said, and I agreed, saying it was a good thing, and that I was also trying to stay healthy.

We moved together to the the bins holding things like chunks of cucumber and celery and red bell pepper slices and shredded beets and carrots and kidney beans and I held back, waiting for him to go first because he was there first and he said, with a sweep of his hand, "Oh, ladies first," and I thanked him and started putting various things on top of my lettuce.

"You having a nice day so far?" he asked, putting various things on top of his lettuce, too, and I agreed enthusiastically that I was--I didn't say this to him, but I had just come from the gym, where I'd had an awesome workout, which felt great because I've had to pull back a lot lately in order to continue healing from my surgery and that has totally been bringing me down.

So, finally feeling more healed and like I can maybe start pushing again, and having just been pushed by my awesome trainer, I was pumped full of endorphins and virtuously hungry. He asked if Santa was treating me right and I said, "Um...?" "Not a believer in Santa?" he said, and I said, "Well, it's just that Santa time hasn't happened yet," and he said, "Yes, but it IS that time of year," and I agreed that was true.

And then he said, "Just let me know when you're done, so I can give you a hug," and I know that might sound like it was creepy or weird or like he was hitting on me, and coming from someone else or in a different situation it might have been the case, but from this particular random stranger I did not get a creepy or weird or hitting on me vibe at all. Really. I know what that feels like.

This, it just felt like...kindness. Why the hell not, I thought, so I said, "Oh, I haven't been offered a hug yet today, thanks!"

I held out an arm and we gave each other a quick strong side hug, and continued putting things on top of our salads, and after a few more moments of chit-chat as we completed our salad masterpieces, we went our separate ways.

Some people are going out of their way to kill random strangers. Others are going out of their way to be nice to random strangers and offer them a hug.

And so I say, today if a random stranger offers you a hug and if it feels right to you, take it.

12/3 '15 1 Comment
This was a great thing to read today. Thank you!

Driving back to the Mountains just now was like driving onto a Hollywood movie set, wherein the set has been lit and dressed for maximum nighttime atmosphere. Fog. Frozen fog, hanging low, illuminated by headlights. And in my driveway, I parked and walked to the mailbox to check the mail, and as I did, I heard some seriously wiggy sounds right above my head.

Crispy crackly crunchy grindy squeaky sounds. For a paranoid moment, I thought there was, like, a mountain lion or a bear or maybe even a chupacabra in the trees above, rustling, positioning itself so that it could fall down onto me and chomp me into tiny bits.

And hey, I live in the mountains, so while unlikely, it's within the realm of possibility. I was spinning around, looking for the source and meaning behind these sounds that were seriously freaking me out and I realized it was Spike, the weaponized tree, glowing ghostly white in the light of the front porch.

Spike's limbs and giant thorns are coated in frost, still, and in the breeze, they were rubbing and squeaking and grinding against each other, creating a creepy symphony I have never ever heard before. And am not keen to hear again.


11/28 '15 4 Comments
Um yeah, that would probably freak me out too.
Yup! Freaky!
I love that you named your tree. You are so in touch with your wilderness. Are you really a dryad? You look and sound like one, or at least like I like one would sound like, having never met one before.
My goodness, am I really a dryad? I look and sound like one? What a lovely thing to ask me. :-) Seriously, that's...that's so cool that you said that. As far as I know, I am not!

At the gym today, I was working out on a chest press machine, and, as you do, in between sets, was looking around. I watched a woman collect her toddler daughter from the gym daycare.

This tiny creature, her smooshy plump cheeks red, her light brown hair awry (I imagine she'd just woken from a nap), one hand held by her mother (who was bending over a lot to accommodate their height difference), spotted a Very Large Man, muscled bare arms totally inked, working out hard on a lat pull-down machine by the door to the daycare. 

And then rays of sunshine and rainbows and unicorns burst out of her face, and she enthusiastically waved her free tiny chubby hand at him, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

He turned his head to look at her, smiling. Her delight made me laugh out loud. After a moment, her mother carefully guided her down the steps toward me. The girl concentrated hard on those steps. To one so small, they were an ocean to cross. Her mother easily could have just picked her up and carried her out, but instead was giving her the opportunity to navigate those steps on her own.

I started working out again, and as they grew slowly near, I couldn't help but turn my head to watch her pass.

And she spotted me. And she unleashed those rays of sunshine, rainbows and unicorns, full force.  And I got the royal wave. 

4/28 '15 2 Comments
Just randomly read this and enjoyed it.
Hey, thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it!

Yesterday I spent $6 on a vintage 1936 cookbook I already have a copy of: "All About Home Baking", by the General Foods Corp.

But I couldn't resist this one. It's full of the previous owners handwritten recipes (Daffodil Cake, Crazy Choc Cake, for example), and also has newspaper recipes and recipes typed on onion skin paper pasted inside. 

Such evidence of a cookbook that was well-loved and used is irresistible.

Plus I always feel sorry for these orphan books, their previous owners dead and gone. They need homes, and I am apparently the sap to give them one.

Anyway, here's one of the recipes. I love the WW II aspect of this cake, as it places it so well in a specific time and place. I love how, apparently, putting the word "Victory" in front of a recipe automatically makes it patriotic and American and...good and noble and assuring of doing one's part. 

Wish I could post more than one picture here--pasted underneath this is another article with recipes, which talks about how "sugar rationing is daily closer to becoming a reality". Maybe I'll post that one tomorrow.

And damn, but doesn't this banana cake sound good? I'm actually thinking of trying to make it.

4/26 '15 2 Comments

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Indeed! Cake is patriotic and cheerful and good and right.

Damn I want to make a cake like RIGHT NOW. Well maybe not right right now, it's 11 p.m., but soon.

If I make this particular one, I shall post a picture and review.

A most fantastic lunch with Kat at Oddfellows in Seattle. Baked egg dish. With potatoes? Spinach? I think? I don't know, it was just so good.

4/23 '15

Vintage muffin tin I bought at the estate sale of Harvena Richter, the daughter of writer Conrad Richter (and herself a writer) a few years ago, and the cornbread muffins I made for Thanksgiving a few years ago. I loved the name "Muffinaire" so much plus I just love vintage kitcheny things, I had to get it. And these make "normal" sized muffins, not giant baby-head size ones like people expect these days.

4/22 '15 3 Comments

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Yep, cornbread muffins! :-)

I have always wanted to see what it looked like inside.

The Pink Building--or more properly known as the Scottish Rite Cathedral--at the corner of Paseo de Peralta and Washington has been there, thankfully unchanged, my entire life. Iconic, mysterious, pink. A Santa Fe landmark that I've driven or walked by a million times. On Saturday I finally got a glimpse of what lies behind those pink walls when the temple was opened to the public. The Moorish-Revival style building has been around as long as NM has been a state (1912), modeled loosely after Spain's Alhambra, and is home to the Scottish Rite Freemasons.

Inside it's as though time has been suspended, from the most lush ornamentation to the plebian workaday features. I'm drawn to vintage, so I noticed little things like the push-button light switches, 50s atomic-era bathroom sinks and faucets, gorgeous metal radiators. Furniture, from the 1930s era oak chairs to the 1950s era lamps and tables. The door handles. A lavish auditorium. A to-die-for costuming room. A light-filled ballroom. An enormous kitchen. Narrow staircases. Wide staircases. Closed doors. Rooms and rooms and rooms. Just...so much. It was a lot to take in.

One reason why I wanted to go, besides getting to peek inside at last, is that I hoped to learn more about my great-great grandfather, who immigrated to the United States from Latvia in the mid 1850s or so, ending up in Texas. He was a high-ranked and highly-involved Mason, according to his obituary and the newspaper articles about him that I've been able to find. Maybe if I knew more about Masons, I thought, I would know more about him. And indeed that is how I now feel. I came away from Saturday's experience (listening to an introductory lecture, speaking one on one with several Masons who were there to answer questions, wandering around the place) with a lot more than just having my curiosity about this building satisfied; I now think I know a lot about what kind of a man he must have been, and I feel even prouder to be his descendant.

I can't seem to figure out how to get my vertical photos (taken with cellphone, not The Real Camera (I should have brought it)) to post vertically. They all end up sideways. This first post of mine here is a test anyway.

So, until I figure it out, please to enjoy this vintage postcard of the outside of the building. It doesn't even begin to capture the Pinkness of this place.

3/9 '15