So, this... happened:



Went on a fridge-pickling rampage and did some tinkering to an initial recipe to rebalance it more to my liking:


  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt


Mix together and heat/stir until sugar dissolves. Pour over 2 cups cut-up cucumbers and bung in the fridge. Will allegedly keep for a month.



One notes that at current exchange rates 2 cups = +/- 1 cucumber. That big one on the left, for example, which I gave away to more responsible picklers than myself, would have been at least 3 cups.
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OK, um, well, did not mean to leave this hanging for a year and a bloody half, whether or not 2016 sucked dead celebrity balls, but at any rate here Something finally is, and I think I may even have got to some sort of a space where I can at least ignore the Brainweaselly voice pointing out that the drive towards fame and recognition is a mug's reflection of one's formative caregivers not being attentive enough to suit (and here I will redact some remarks-at-length about celebrity culture and the state of politics, because my Brainweasels are probably rabid) and just get the damn work done, even if it may well be the equivalent of deciding to enjoy the fall off the building since what's the alternative? Ahem. So:


Trevor and Jason, Vignette #59: It's the practicalities I always hate... )
Seesawing back and forth between a "fuck it, it's 80 degrees out and life is not immediately falling in on my head in this precise and specific instant" sort of brittle calm in the moment and a broader "no, nothing is remotely okay" screaming abyss in between that. I'm not sure which of the two states to be the more concerned about, given that the latter is my baseline state anyway and probably the more realistic overall...
Back to hamsterwheeling. Lately it's more or less on the subject of how long it's been since I've managed to knuckle down and write a coherent next installment of Trevor and Jason's story, whilst still not really having a damn thing to show for other distractions, and while I do have to keep reminding myself that one whole year of that inactivity was basically 2016 fucking us over with something or other every fifteen minutes, even the excuse that that hasn't actually stopped being the case does begin to wear a bit thin by, oh, around August or so. So. New Year's Resolution for... um... let's call it "calling a mulligan on 2016" is to try to get back to any sort of head-space where I can just let myself dance write like no one's watching (because it's probably true anyway at this point) and bloody well do something with myself.

Watch the computer finally break now.
robling_t: (Default)
( Jul. 18th, 2017 01:17 pm)
I MADE A BUTTERFLY.



Four, to be exact; I planted dill this year, and one by one captured and interned five caterpillars that research determined were black swallowtails:



They eat plants in the family that includes dill and, fortunately, common-midwestern-weed Queen Anne's Lace, so I was able to keep them happy without having to sacrifice all of my dill. As it turns out, they get a little restless right before Caterpillar Puberty; I came home one night to find one making a break for it into the living room and only three still in the vase of QAL, and a day or so later two more were gone and turned up some six feet away trying to abseil to freedom down my stack of blocking mats, so I built them a caterpillar Supermax facility:



And the four remaining subjects spun themselves linesmen's harnesses and pupated:



(One of these days I'm going to find a dead caterpillar or butterfly in a corner of the studio, unless it went the other way into the living room and Ren ate it...)

Naturally I was out of town when all the Butterfly Hatching Action happened :( , but Mum kindly took some beauty shots:





What she did not do whilst I was gone, however, was keep an eye on the cucumber patch:



This, ladies and gentlemen and decline to answer, is the after picture once I'd hacked a pathway to the garden faucet around the edge of the planter...
robling_t: (Default)
( Jun. 5th, 2017 05:56 pm)
I had thought that Cheratussin was the most unutterably disgusting substance I would ever be expected to stick in my mouth.

And then the pharmacy refilled the prescription with generic guaiatussin, and I discovered what true misery was.
robling_t: (Default)
( May. 23rd, 2017 03:21 pm)
Apropos of... nothingtoseehereguv, I've been thinking that there are basically three possible societal responses to variance:

  1. Society tries to help you be the best you that you can be, with accommodations intended to bring your individual functioning in line with where you want it to be

  2. Society tries to "help" you to be in line with the functional level that it expects... or demands... of any other of its citizens

  3. Society says to hell with it, if you can't keep up with the implied rest of us it's Not Our Problem


Thoughts? Thinly veiled screeds against the bureaucratic system of your choice...?
robling_t: (Default)
( May. 5th, 2017 04:16 pm)
Rolled a critical fumble on breakfast that involved two rolls of paper towels, bleach-spray, the house and my hands now smelling like bleach-spray, a load of laundry, and breaking a bowl, the good scissors, and my pants. I have really missed my calling as some sort of "finding the impossibly-worst-case scenario" troubleshooter-slash-doomsayer. But at least there was cereal to eat instead, and in that spirit, I shall enumerate some of the other bright sides that I've managed to look on lately:


  • Reported the hole I sprained my ankle on to the appropriate alderthing's office
  • Thyroid function will not be repossessed for another month despite the ongoing state of higgledy-piggledy after the pharmacy updated its systems
  • Didn't actually lose library holds after library system update regardless of what the self-check terminal may believe about it
  • New-new Upstairs has no sex-life that I need concern myself about so far, knock wood
  • I can turn the heat up to flash-fry in May if I have to
  • Flat is small enough that there are a limited number of places that a cat who still doesn't understand that he has a name can disappear into
  • Uterus still ticking over in good order
  • Lilacs. Just lilacs.


...I'm not very good at this optimism thing, am I.
robling_t: (Default)
( Mar. 24th, 2017 06:13 pm)
After about eight months plus an extra week's detour into "the problem is that the original contractors were doofii", we once again have a proper source of hot water. New Tank is actually smart enough to sort-of explain when it doesn't like something, moreover, hence the detour when the meaning of an intermittent error light turned out to be that some bright spark appears to have connected up the exhaust pipes inside the walls in such a way that the furnace was occasionally blowing into New Tank's metaphorical ear. Not an imminent danger, just very very dim of someone.

At some point during those eight months of spot-cleaning and dry shampoos, some other bright spark changed the formula of my favourite proper-shampoo, and now I have to go find another brand. Bother.

In happier news, the cats have just about arrived at a state of detente, or at least denial. What did that take, about two years?
I made the mistake of reading the recipe on the back of the Cheap Yellow Mustard this morning:


"Sloppy Joes"
(paraphrasing for copyright reasons)

package of buns
ketchup
Cheap Yellow Mustard
onions
meat

Fry meat and mix in all ingredients except the buns (emphasis added).



Umm, I'm the first to admit that I can't exactly cook, as such, but I am so picturing the product-liability-slash-test-kitchen meeting that led to them having to specify that...
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robling_t: (Default)
( Mar. 3rd, 2017 06:04 pm)
It occurred to me the other night that this is actually the longest stretch of my life that I've ever lived in one place.

Still never had that housewarming party...
I kept meaning to write a holiday episode of Trevor and Jason, but it just never came together. Have some of the spanakopita that Inner Jason stress-baked instead.

A new year means a fresh slate of Media Consumption; year eleven was firmly in the "meh" zone, with 92 books and 45 films Consumed, and I note in passing that I still haven't finished stabilising that blanket either. Onward to year twelve, assuming we live all the way through 2017:

Media Consumption List, 2017 )
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Well, dammit, I finally get a chance at something resembling a vacation and y'all go and let the final sign of the Apocalypse happen while I was out of town. Just don't say I didn't warn you.
Not dead as of yet, just feeling very very meh about what passes for my life, but that isn't News. But this is News, so I shall post it: my raspberry bushes, which are apparently fall-bearing varieties, finally produced more than a couple of berries at one go. (We put them on sugar-cookies with a lime glaze. They were delicious.)
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It struck me that a bit in the most recent installment of "Trevor & Jason" had a potentially problematic reading. So I gave it some thought, and came up with a revision that I think/hope gets to the same place that the narrative needs to go, without the detour into "um, wait, or did they mean..." of the initial version. So. Live, learn, rinse, repeat.

(And it does trouble me, on the meta-level, that I do have the power to go in and alter the available text like this, which is why I mention it; it's probably not an accident that the Sekrit Project is a high-tech dystopia where they wouldn't even be aware that they had memory-holes things could drop into... and there's a certain irony in the fact that I think I lost a high-tech physical-backup of that at a free movie in a park the other night. :/ )
Still picking away at the worldbuilding on Sekrit Project, and I think I've got a handle on the Suicide By Cop -- now all I need to work out is why the kindergarten teacher has the gun in the first place...

And now, a treat for the Readers: since this story was written with a very specific market in mind, and since today is its sell-by date in certain respects vis-a-vis finding it another home in a timely fashion, I'm just going to put this out here for my own amusement and y'all's. Enjoy?

Passion )
"Captivity enters year two. Gay line-dancing is Ren's only solace."




Now the water-heater broke. I'm beginning to sympathise with Ren's plight.
robling_t: (Default)
( Jun. 13th, 2016 08:00 pm)
Poll about dystopias over on LJ: what do you, the Reader-or-Viewer, find the most satisfying sort of ending? Possibilities, for the non-polly, are:

  • Protagonist is crushed by Society
  • Protagonist remakes Society
  • Protagonist allies with oppressing faction
  • Protagonist allies with oppressed faction
  • Protagonist evades Society from within it
  • Rocks fall, everyone dies
  • Protagonist's fate is ambiguous
  • I have no idea what I just watched/read or what it meant to Protagonist
I appear to have thrown myself wholeheartedly into worldbuilding for New Sekrit Project. Have to balance that with not neglecting Previous Sekrit Project, assuming anyone's still following that...

What I'm hung up at right now is the part where Muse, in-her-infinite-wisdom, seems to have mentally cast the Bernard Marx-y role in her Brave New World homage as Idris Elba. I suspect that it's Relevant, bordering on plot-Relevant, that he's both A, an Englishman, and B, not a white Englishman, but it would be nice for once to be able to dredge up some of the stuff that goes on at the level of subconscious intuition to where I can interrogate the crap out of it before I'm elbows deep in things and have to work back to see how I can reinforce ideas I'd half(-assedly) worked out here and there already. Because compared to that, I suspect that genderswapping most of the rest of the cast is fairly small potatoes, relatively speaking...

(Have also learned that Shaw's original ending for Pygmalion was basically going to be "Eliza punches Henry in the face and goes off to work for universal suffrage" -- I may have interpreted it in my own unique idiom. Feeling rather vindicated in my displeasure at Billy Elliot right about now.)
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