I am experimenting to see whether, if I write this down, it gets it out of my head and lets me focus on the things that need doing more urgently.

To-write list, in very rough order:

1. Post on 80 Days for Tor.com.

2. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (both parts), a.k.a., I see what story you've chosen to tell and I guess that's legit but I don't love it?

3. Yuletide 2014 recs. (75! Eek!)

4. Steven Universe, a.k.a., catch up now while it's on hiatus, because it's just loaded with satisfyingly complex characters, relationships, and worldbuilding, plus the occasional song so good that it can displace Hamilton in my head. (Post title from "Strong in the Real Way", which will make no sense out of context but is the current earworm.) Also, very queer.

5. Brooklyn Nine-Nine, a.k.a., fluffy fun if you can accept the NYPD as a workplace comedy (and there are some episodes, especially early, where this is harder). Also, mildly queer.

I think that's it. And now, law.
So it's taken me way too long to realize this, probably after everyone else in the world, but all the miserable hours I've spent looking for shoes and clothes has finally paid off, thanks to online shopping.

I figured this out first with shoes, since Zappos has a way better selection than any store around me: right, from trying on a million shoes that don't fit I know I need a strap here, a toe that shape, a sole of this composition; videos suggest this bends well, and reviews say a narrow heel that your foot doesn't slip out of? Awesome, and returns are free so there's no risk if I guess the size wrong. *hits purchase*

But it never occurred to me to try this with clothes until just very recently. And for work clothes, I tend to make do with whatever's reasonably fitting and venue-appropriate, regardless of whether it's also flattering or makes me happy, because if I held out for that then I'd never buy anything. Then I bought a necklace from [livejournal.com profile] elisem, didn't have any suitable shirts to wear it with, and had to resort to online shopping to find one, because apparently brown is not an In Color this year. When I went to pick up the shirt from Macy's, my eye landed on a dress that yelled out, "I will be comfortable and flattering and work-appropriate, buy me!" (The listed price is definitely not, by the way, what I paid for it.) And I guessed at a size and it fit perfectly and I went home glowing.

A day or two later, I went looking around the manufacturer's website and discovered that they were having a sale and that a third-party merchant was having a free trial period on free return shipping, so it would be no risk to assume that their sizing held constant. I ruled things out based on my extensive experience of "no, that will look awful on me" and ended up with three summer work-appropriate dresses, which arrived today and all fit great and now I will be happy to get dressed to go to work, go figure.

The morals of this story are: free return shipping is awesome; having shitty luck finding stuff in stores at least can teach you what to avoid when you're narrowing things down; and finding something that fits you from a manufacturer with consistent sizing is a really great stroke of luck.

This has been a less than stellar week, particularly today (Dad's birthday; very tired on many different levels; not nearly as productive as I need to be), so let me borrow something from [personal profile] rivka: ask me something that has nothing whatsoever to do with pregnancy or children. I may decline to answer, or may not have time (see: not nearly as productive as I need to be), but the very fact of the questions may well help.

I'm quite happy living in suburban upstate New York. We have a house with a fenced backyard, to the delight of the household's helpless mammals, and live more than comfortably on the salaries of a college professor and a government lawyer.

But every so often I need to go to an actual city: walk the streets, eat in new-to-me restaurants, watch the people, look in the store windows, listen to the street musicians and the conversations and the traffic, check out the billboards and the subway advertisements and the named street corners, maybe get in a dose or two of high culture.

This weekend I took advantage of SteelyKid and Chad being away and popped down to New York City to visit some friends. Saturday mid-day I walked up to the Fashion District, admired bolts of fabric in hues that you just don't see in the Albany area, wandered briefly through stores with more kinds of buttons and zippers and whatnot that I could shake several sticks at, and picked up a few useful things for my current stitching projects. Then I headed toward Bryant Park, where I gave a couple bucks to a street musician drumming the hell out of an assortment of buckets, and enjoyed stretching my legs in the sun.

Of course, and I promise I'm not making this up for dramatic effect, just as I was thinking how nice it was to get my city fix, I turned the corner and found someone being sick at a payphone stand. (I didn't look to see if there were actual payphones there, under the circumstances.)

And today I came home to a delighted SteelyKid who taught herself to do somersaults while she was away (!!) and collected two rocks, an acorn, and some leaf-buds on our first walk of the season. I've caught up on my e-mail, done various necessary Con or Bust things, and when the laundry's done I will gratefully collapse into my extremely comfortable bed.

It's good to have been away, and good to be back.

Consumer roundup:

  • Holiday Inn on W. 26th: new furniture, digital cable, switched my room type without fuss or rate change, but not particularly comfortable beds and, most significantly, mold in the shower that was not removed after I mentioned it Saturday. (Maybe it was particularly persistent mold, but I'm not sure it was even attempted, and regardless.)
  • Gaetana's: we had a thin pepperoni pizza and pumpkin ravioli with brown butter and sage, both of which were perfectly what I want when I order those items.
  • CafĂ© Zaiya: quite inexpensive Japanese baked goods (extensive) and meals (a few basic). I didn't have any of the baked goods but they seemed well-received, and my udon and tempura was just fine. Not designed for extensive hanging out, but they didn't kick us out, either.
  • Meskerem: it's really weird to have Ethopian not served family-style, but we just all ate off each other's plates. And it was tasty.

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