Jul. 31st, 2017 10:46 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
I generally don't feel old or even middle-aged (elementary-school kids are a good antidote to that, for me). But it seems appropriate to note the one time recently when I genuinely felt like an adult:

I finished T. Kingfisher's Summer in Orcus, in which Baba Yaga grants the eponymous Summer her heart's desire, and because I'm a daydreamer I set about deciding what my heart's desire would be. And after not very much thought, I concluded that the genuine wish of my heart . . .

. . . was to live in a post-scarcity society.

And that's when I said to myself, boy, I'm not even remotely a candidate to be the protagonist of an adventure novel any more. (Not that I ever was. But still.)
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
The bit in the dream I just woke up from with the giant complex of underground, underexplored, possibly-alien tunnels, that was pretty great; I especially liked the reveal that they were inhabited, after all. The car chase, likewise. But listening to a live-action Steven Universe soundtrack with Lara Flynn Boyle as Pearl? Where the hell did you get that?
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
I thought work would get better after mid-September! And it did, briefly. And now I just shut down the work VPN, a little before midnight.

So some days I manage to read DW and more days I don't, but I'm going to try to reverse that ratio.

Let me tell you, very quickly, two stories about late-night interactions with public safety officials—all happy endings:

1) The CO/smoke detector in SteelyKid's room wouldn't stop beeping even after I changed the batteries, so the nice fire fighters came and ran their detectors all around and kindly told me that the units tend to have a lifespan of 7-10 years. (She's 7. We installed the monitor shortly before she was born.) I felt alternately foolish and vindicated for having called them out on a weekend night.

The good news there is that thanks to California, you can now buy CO/smoke detectors with 10-year batteries in them, so you never have to change them. We bought three the next day and I put replacing them in my reminder program.

2) It's 2:45 a.m. on Sunday night (Monday morning) and I haven't been to sleep yet because stress and wakeful Pip and a rotten headache. And I think I hear a quiet knocking, maybe on the front door? I bolt upright, and listen hard, and just as I'm deciding I was mistaken and am lying back down, I hear it again. It's definitely someone knocking on the front door.

I freak out and wake up Chad, which is unkind of me because he has a terrible time going back to sleep and because someone with ill intent isn't going to be knocking on the front door (we live in suburbia with two cars in the driveway, so it's not like a burglar checking for occupancy), but I was beyond rational thought by that point.

Turns out it was just the cops, who'd seen that the sliding doors in Chad's minivan were open and wanted him to check if there was anything missing/damaged. (There wasn't. It was almost certainly an unlucky bump of the remote, which can open the sliding doors, and which he keeps in a pocket.) I mean, I appreciate it, but couldn't they have shut the doors and left a note?!

And that's some slices of life in Chateau Steelypips.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

Eleven Ladders in Ten Colors.

(Also an apt reference to the state of the adults in Chateau Steelypips lately, but that's another story.)

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

So, a seasonal topic: awful outdoor Christmas decorations.

Here's mine, which is new this year:

Someone in the neighborhood has three white plastic trees on their lawn. These trees are covered in lightbulbs that each flash white, red, blue, or green. The special thing here is that they flash in time with synthetizer versions of Christmas songs that are played, loudly, from a speaker attached to the middle tree.

It's like a small-scale version of those horrible Trans-Siberian Orchestra commercials.

We marveled at this for a week or two after it first went up, and then it went silent, leading us to wonder whether it broke or the neighbors complained. (You can hear it all up and down the block.) But, last night, it was back! Maybe the neighbors are on vacation.

So, for me, that wins because of the noise factor. In a way, it's a good thing it went up this year, because otherwise I'd have a hard time deciding between these two:

First, there was the helicopter. I'm serious, a helicopter. Up on the roof of someone's attached garage, a 2D outline in colored lightbulbs, with flickering blades to make it look like they were turning. This only lasted a few weeks, and probably fell victim to wind.

Second, there's one that requires a little setup. A local house has a set of colored lights wound around the front door columns. These slowly fade in and out of different colors, and then suddenly! they all flash really quickly! And then go back to fading in and out.

Then, one year, a nativity scene appeared on this house's lawn. Mary, Joseph, infant Jesus, fine, fine. Except that the nativity is another 2D creation in colored lightbulbs. Combined with the flashing lights, the net effect is, as Chad put it, like something out of Las Vegas: "The Holy Family! Three shows nightly!"

And you know, I really can't decide which is more awful. The helicopter has randomness going for it, but the Vegas display has that unintentional (I presume) effect . . .

Anyway. Tell me about your favorite awful outdoor Christmas decoration! (I'm specifying Christmas because as far as I'm aware other winter holidays don't go in for this kind of thing, but hey, feel free to prove me wrong.)

kate_nepveu: closeup of two stacks of paper (buried under piles of work)

[This used to be a to-do post, the content of which is now kept on my PDA. I'm not deleting the post because it used to live at the top of my journal and thus attracted comments.]

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

E-mail from Mom in Eastern Massachusetts this morning with a general update, which tells me that her school's fields were flooded by a river, and now they have a land-locked pond teeming with twenty-pound carp.

I'd been following the news some, of course, and relatively speaking that's nothing, but there's something about the image of twenty-pound fish in the middle of an athletic field to really make the news concrete.

(Yes, I spam LJ when I'm stressed, why do you ask?)

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

Is chocolate molded in the form of a cross really an appropriate thing to eat when celebrating Easter?

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

My subconscious apparently decided I needed a [ profile] papersky-style bio, because when I woke up this morning I had this running around my head like a song lyric:

As a newborn, Kate Nepveu was allegedly found on the steps of a Korean police station with a please-take-care-of-baby note pinned to her blanket. Since then her life has been considerably less melodramatic, which is a good thing. She lives and works (etc.).

Thank you, subconscious (I think), but next time can't you write something I need right now, like that brief due this week?

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