kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
and SteelyKid, playing black, has a very specific defensive philosophy she's imparting to the Pip:

dunno if this image will permanently embed )

(or view on google photos)

Edit: over breakfast, literally all they did was move pieces back and forth behind their defensive lines. I mentioned that at some point, someone would have to attempt to threaten the other's king, but they just shrugged at me. I find this hilarious.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
The Pip rediscovered his camera today (the kids both have real ones, though old, because made-for-kids cameras are terrible) and took 241 pictures, mostly at the fire station for a Girl Scouts tour [*], three of which I thought I'd share, plus one I took.

[*] Without SteelyKid, perversely, because I assist with Girl Scouts and Chad assists with Odyssey of the Mind, which had its first meeting today, so they both needed to be at that, and so the Pip needed to be at one of those, and was much better off rampaging the fire station than sitting at a meeting.

First, a pair of portraits of me: one I took because, for some reason I was never entirely clear on, a social media circle elsewhere was doing selfies in hoodies. As I said then, I don't wear hoodies, but I stopped to take this before I headed out into the rain. I rather like the severity of it and the slightly mysterious air the raincoat's hood provides:

hooded figure selfie )

Next is the one the Pip took today, because it's nice to be reminded of his literal POV (lots of pictures of my belly in the full set) and because it demonstrates his breathtaking lack of personal space. Also, my hair is very shiny in this.

portrait in extreme closeup )

And while we're doing selfies, the Pip's first attempt, which is extremely blurry because it's an old camera and thus doesn't have a flip screen, but amused me:

super blurry Pip )

Finally, one arty picture worthy of his dad, a fire truck's shiny hubcap (also a portrait of us):

selfie in hubcap )

(Probably you want actual pictures of the Pip, too, and Chad's got you covered: leaping into a leaf pile, leaning over a book that SteelyKid is reading him, with said book on his birthday, and sitting in the driver's seat (SteelyKid too). Also, SteelyKid in her taekwondo sparring gear, because I found it while looking for the rest of these.)

And he barely objected to taking his amoxycillin (he got strep a week and a day after his sister), so on the whole, a good night.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Because if you need a preschooler dressed like a superhero being photobombed by a first-grader, well, that's a very specific need and I've got you covered:

right behind the cut )

And now, to eat the breakfast I haven't yet in order to get them out the door on time, walk the dog, and do all the housework that I comprehensively failed at last night. Also go to work.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

And in case FutureBaby was waiting for the nursery decoration to be complete, today we picked up the framed little dragon cross-stitches and put them on the walls.

Pictures behind the cut; not great ones because they were taken without flash (reflection off the glass) and then color-corrected, but they give the idea.

three pictures )

(I'm currently trying to finish this ten-year-old kit, slogging through 5-strand satin stitch for the big diamonds on sheer stubborn—not only do I hate multi-strand satin stitch, but I don't particularly like the design any more, either. But I'm trying to be virtuous and complete this before I start experimenting with evenweave.)

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

Chad's put up a post with day-by-day pictures of the garage remodeling. Note the enormous frickin' hole in the front, where two egress-sized windows will going. (The contractors are just coming in and out through that each day, and bypassing the actual doors completely.)

The rest of the house is to the left in these pictures. A new door into the living room has been cut just out of frame in the front (as seen from the living room). A door to the outside on the right, also just out of frame, has been removed; there's a picture on Flickr of the nice job they did matching the siding (cedar, apparently—who knew?).

And if you want to see the existing door into the kitchen (roughly where these pictures are taken from), plus the dog and doggie dialogue, Chad's got that too.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

I've finished the first of the cross-stitch projects I'm making for FutureBaby! Of course I picked "Butterflies" to do first because it looked the simplest, but it still went surprisingly fast (just a little over two weeks). And I'd forgotten how addictive crafts can be—look! My fingers producing tangible colorful designs right before my very eyes!

(The finished version is even cuter than that picture, which is a little over-exposed or something, if I do say so myself.)

Now I will let it rest for a couple of days while I, err, hurry up and finish kicking a recalcitrant brief into submission, then I'll look for visible errors, wash it, press it, and tuck it away to be framed once I'm done with the other two. At this rate I may even be able to do that dragon alphabet—have to see how my energy holds up, but really, cross-stitch is great for when I don't feel like I have the brain cells to read or write . . .

I am so ridiculously excited about this.

While I'm posting, have a mixed-bag links dump, because they've been accumulating:

baker's dozen of links )

ETA: one more link: pregnancy mug shots. (ETA 2: pre-emptive comment: I am wicked tired of people discussing the size of my stomach, so please just assume I've heard it if you're moved to say something in that vein.)

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

Finally, a bunch of birds.

14 pictures )

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

An extreme miscellany this time: tigers, lemurs, Amazonia exhibit, wolves, and a beaver.

15 pictures )

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

Orangutans and the reptile and amphibian house.

19 pictures )

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

Some big mammals, and a bunch from the small mammal house.

23 pictures )

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

I, uh, kinda went crazy with pictures at the National Zoo earlier in the month. I've whittled them down to 92, and you can see them all in this gallery, or behind this cut and those in subsequent posts.

Here we have giant pandas, Asian small-clawed otters, some big cats, and some other random other things. As usual, click through for big versions.

Note: indoor pictures were taken without flash, so are sometimes dark. Sorry.

20 pictures )

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

I've pulled out 32 pictures from our visit to the Freer and Sackler Galleries in DC, almost all Asian art, and posted them in this gallery or behind the cut, whichever method of browsing you prefer.

For almost all of these, I took pictures of the labels and so have more information; if you're curious, just ask.

32 pictures )

Zoo pictures next.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

Besides picking carpet for the new library and making appointments for HVAC maintenance and tax preparation (exciting, I know), the concrete parts of last week were mostly FutureBaby stuff (daycare visits with religious digression; echocardiogram) )

All these ultrasounds do make me wonder how difficult it was to get medical ultrasounds started, because many of what the doctors and techs call really clear pictures are, to me, grainy blurry blobs. Obviously medical science knew a good deal about anatomy, but it would have no way of telling how any given heart was constructed and thus what, precisely, an ultrasound of said heart was showing—right? And the 2D view of a 3D thing is so odd, especially when the depth changes with a little shift of the wand . . . anyway, learning how to read ultrasounds must've been an interesting process.

* * *

Between the workshop earlier in the month and the brief I drafted after I got back, I've been thinking more than usual about my writing process. There's generally a point when everything suddenly falls into place and the whole case crystallizes into a couple of sentences—which almost always comes later than I'd like [*], but from there, writing is easy (or, at least, no longer like pulling teeth).

Thing is, I think of this as "breaking the back of the case," which I picked up unconsciously from David Henry Hwang's afterword to M. Butterfly. Which is a pretty nasty metaphor, and not that accurate for me either, but it seems to have stuck. Do you all have different metaphors? Does this happen to you when you're writing nonfiction? Fiction?

[*] I wish I could consciously monitor this process, and could therefore determine how much of the time leading up to this moment is actually needed and how much is just plain old procrastination. I'm planning to experiment with consciously shifting my focus from one thing to another, to see if my backbrain will process things in parallel.

* * *

Since I was in the office on Sunday, I took pictures, because I find people's work spaces interesting (also I never got around to posting the ones I took earlier and things have changed slightly since):

eight pictures and more detail than reasonable )

Anyone else want to post pictures of their workspaces?

* * *

Finally, a few links:

Oh, okay, really finally: we got forty minutes into Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal on Saturday night before turning it off. Even if we'd realized that it was an OVA edited into a movie, rather than a series, it was violent and choppy and just not what we were in the mood for after a nice dinner to celebrate the good news about FutureBaby.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

On one hand, it's almost reassuring to try on maternity jeans that are so long that I could use them as footie pajamas, because at least it's clear that they are meant to be altered, rather than the manufacturers having peculiar ideas about the length of women's legs.

On the other hand, I should not have to have jeans altered just because I'm pregnant! Especially not when it's Saturday and I'm going out of town Tuesday morning.

And now, having wasted most of my afternoon on this, I'm going off to do some work. Whee.

(To make up for whining: have some new Emmy pictures, in the last half or so of this set.)

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

Perfect snowball snow as seen from our back door, behind the cut:

picture )

And since inanimate objects hate me and don't want me to get any work done tonight, I'm going to bed.

kate_nepveu: small black cartoon creature with unevenly-sized eyes and thin smile; effect is meant to be friendly but odd (slightly crazed)

Leading up to the holidays, I spent much more time than I expecting putting together the Japan albums for my grandparents, so went into all the travel feeling rushed and unprepared. Fortunately, we visited our respective parents on consecutive weekend, not back to back as we did last year, so there was a little time for breath-catching in-between.

Also to recuperate, because Christmas Eve dinner was attended by twenty-nine people. Crowded and noisy hardly begins to describe it. But, for all that it was trying for introverts, it was still fun. The high point was the newest adult standing up and singing the Polish national anthem, which new guests tend to be told is a requirement but no-one has ever done. She brought down the house and wins everything forever.

She also knitted us these cephalopods ("from spun awesome", as Chad said):

picture of knitted squid, octopus )

who would be fabulous even if their tentacles weren't posable.

We got lots of welcome, useful, and unexpected things, but not many of them lend themselves to pictures—I mean, we really needed a roasting pan after the liquid turkey episode, but do you all need to see it? No. So just one more picture, of this . . . guy . . . who I'm using as a holder of my business cards, from Chad's sister (whose partner did the knitting and singing):

picture of cardholder guy )

Isn't he great? Indescribable, but great.

(I took a bunch of other pictures of my office at the same time, and will post them eventually.)

Anyway, twenty-nine people on Christmas Eve, early dinner on Christmas Day and then the drive home, Chad's folks up for dinner on Boxing Day, collapse for a day, then drive out to my parents' on Friday night ahead of a small storm. We had a nice quiet visit and, at the family party on Sunday, got lots of advice on home improvement stuff (we're contemplating converting the garage into a library/office. Built-in floor-to-ceiling bookcases, baby!). Came home on Monday to find eight inches of new snow on the driveway, which the dog sitter had valiantly waded through. After naps, we went to a neighborhood New Year's party, at which I bowled a 189 on their new Wii. New Year's Day I basically sat around in a stupor of screwed-up sleep cycles and watched more snow fall.

Then we had a couple of bitterly cold days, which meant that the snow slid off the garage roof veeeeery slowly, as seen on Friday afternoon:

two pictures of our garage glacier )

It warmed up this weekend, and I ran more errands than I should have (among other things, replacing my iPod—sweet music, mine again!) and watched more football ditto (go, Giants!). And since I am badly abusing parentheses, I think it's time to go do something else.

kate_nepveu: cartoon of octopus holding up one arm with end balled into fist (pow!)

The rest of the Japan album we made for my grandparents, thirty-three pictures with captions.

If you'd prefer to click through the album picture-by-picture, here's the Scrapbook gallery. All of Chad's pictures are on Flickr, and mine are in another Scrapbook gallery.

33 pictures from Japan, with captions )

kate_nepveu: sign showing a white fox in profile (guardian fox)

As a Christmas present, Chad and I gave my grandparents albums of our trip to Japan. Though the pictures were chosen, and the accompanying text written, for a pretty specific audience, the sixty pictures we ended up including are a decent sampling of our many, many pictures from the trip, so I thought I'd share them here. This first post has twenty-seven pictures; click on the pictures for larger versions; the second post has thirty-three pictures.

27 pictures from Japan, with captions )

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
I'm finally going through all our 1500+ Japan pictures, and Chad reminded me that we saw a really great exhibition of modern Buddhist art at Kodai-ji in Kyoto, of very lively anthropomorphic animals, plants, and temple fixtures being drawn toward a Buddha and demons fighting to get away. There weren't English labels and we weren't allowed to take pictures inside, but we do have a picture of the poster that was outside:

Read more... )

Anyone able to get any useful identifying information out of that? Thanks.

ETA: a commentor at Chad's translates the poster as identifying Toriyama Sekien.
kate_nepveu: headshot of German Shepherd mix dog against snow (Emmy)

Over at Chad's blog.

Bonus bookshelf in the background, though I'm pretty sure it's been in other dog pictures.

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