Mar. 31st, 2019 11:06 am
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My least favourite day of the year, when me and the sun are late for everything and everything disintegrates into a jumble of temporal confusion.
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Stage fright, as usual, stopped when the audience was in and the lights went on. Read more... )
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Tomorrow, our small choir (12 singers) will be performing in a church. Cut for whining )
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I did make that vacation, even if it was shorter than planned.
And I did make it back.
And did to lot more stuff.
Just, no writing.
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I am very bad at planning vacations. I want to get away, and then I am worried that planning won't work out. So I plan last-minute, if at all. Like, today.

Brain is catching up. I played the guitar today until my fingers hurt (did not take long, as I am so out of practise), slept in, brushed the cats, found a shiny book that made me mutter "we wants it, my preciousssss", and had a very lazy day, all in all.

Except for, that is, getting a sim card into my new smartphone after breakfast. I feel as if I have paws like a bear, and the phone is controlled by mad dark powers out to get me. I mailed flederkatz a lot, first with questions, than with incoherent whining. Oh, well. Smartphone seems to be working now. I need to remember how to load more money on it. Someone told me, but I forgot.

Anyway. Off to bed now.
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I put new strings on my classical guitar today. The old ones had been on so long, that the lower strings had become black and stained my fingers. The cats looked at me strangely. I don't think they are familiar with the guitar, or with me singing at home, except under my breath, when doing housework...

Also, vacation! Still working on having my brain catch up. The last week at work saw me attempting to finish three big months-old topics, and if I had not had brain break on Friday (woke up with the headache from hell, called the boss I would be late, checked in at 10, but it took until 2 p.m. until I could do a simple three-step action without forgetting what I was doing three times. So I only finished two and a half. I would have succeeded without that stupid lost half Friday!

Autumn is here. Hard to believe how long and hot the summer was, it's nice and cool and a bit chilly in the mornings now. It's still dry. Ceridwen was at a Middle Ages event over the last weekend, and I watered her garden, because it looked like it really needed it.

Last Saturday I bicycled to the city and spend far too much money on clothing (I bought only three items, but only one of those was cheap), and a bit on comics. There is a new "Strangers in Paradise" series (XXV) with Tambi having to deal with the Parker Girls involvement in the events in "Echo", and is sending Katchoo for clean-up. I also got the fist volume of "Monstress", which I has first seen as part of the Hugo Voter's package a year and a half ago, had meant to buy, and forgot, until I saw it in the comic shop. It's actually very good, if gruesome. European style with Japanese elements. And cute cartoony cats explaining the world.

I'm reading. Solving difficult Sudoku. Getting the cats to allow themselves being brushed. Check off items on my To-do-List. Ride my motor scooter for fun. Think about going hiking but cannot be bothered to prepare.

Life's OK.
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... or, How Stupid Can You Be, to play with fire on a giant heap of peat in the middle of the worst drought in decades?
Answer: If you're the military, that stupid and then some.

Link in German

Summary: Military tests rockets in a peat bog during a headline-making months-long drought. Fire happens. Military fire truck breaks down, no replacement available, so they let it burn. Two weeks later, still burning. Storm now threatens to spread fire into inhabitated areas.

If they are damned lucky, the storm will bring serious heavy rainfall. And even then, peat bog fires are *so* much fun to put out.

Because, hey, our fires won't set dry peat alight... quite different from some stupid kid's campfire, because that is strictly forbidden when there are wildfire warnings all over the place.

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I had one day each of comp time the last two weeks and managed to whittle down my ToDo-List to about half its length. And read two doorstoppers.

Cut for list )

If I had a day off every week, I could take over the world. Or, maybe, get enough sleep.
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The most annoying thing about my bad eyes, I feel, is that they are making me stupid. cut for whining )

And? Feeling stupid makes me afraid, and, well, then the whole "leads to the Dark Side of the Force" sequence. And they don't even have cookies.
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So that's the story of the best science experiment I ever ruined. (it's twitter, so strange narrative rhythm, but worth it).

via [personal profile] siderea


Also, back from the wedding. There could have been more cookies. But OK. More later. Maybe.
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Ever since it got that hot in late July, my freezer has been acting up. Cut for probably dead boring )

I really needed that bit of technical/housekeeping success, because work )

Anyway, it's the weekend, the heat broke (it will come back, and it's still not raining, but the air outside was wonderful today), the freezer is humming happily. Wednesday at ensemble practise I was my usual confused and insecure and passive-aggressive self (I don't know what's driving this and I can't seem to stop it) but I could play "everything you can sing I can sing higher" with the first sopranos. And the cats are very cute. They always are.
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We (Gwydion, Ceridwen, and I), watched last Friday's lunar eclipse from R___s place. It was a last-minute-idea. I had considered the top of a non-public parking garage, 16 metres high above the river plain, but I was worried that security had been expecting something like that and locked the place. So instead I called R___ "Hey, can we come over in, like, three hours? We can bring food! And a guitar, and howl at the moon!"

R___ said, "Sure, great", and there we were. The trees had grown, so we had to walk to the end of her yard occasionally, to see if the moon had yet risen over the low clouds in the east.

Finally we found it from the second-floor window, sitting on the steeple of the village church like the ghost of an orange. Later, when the sky got darker and the moon rose higher, it was quite impressive. The clouds were mostly gone, so we had a good view on Mars, too, and we saw the ISS crossing the sky like a slow-motion shooting star.

In between we drank beer, ate sweets and strawberry yoghurt, and sang old songs while lounging on the couch and the living room carpet.

When we left around half past eleven, a small sliver of moon was catching the light again, and the whole celestial body looked amazingly three-dimensional.

Apart from it being too damn hot, this was a lot of fun, and much better than last time.


The heat is going on for 10 days now, every day well above 30°C, up to 36°C sometimes. When I ride my scooter home, even at top speed the air just feels like a hair dryer set on "high". Weather forecast says, at least 7 more days of this.

I have started to return flederkatz's boxes of books to her. This creates space in the cellar, which will allow me to tidy up the junk room, which is sorely needed. Other than that, home improvement projects are stalling, because it is not possible to get the craftspeople to do it.

Oh, well. At least I am making progress moving boxes.
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I have an old story and a promising new one in the same story cycle. Both WIP, as everything is, these days. :-S

Both stories involve the same cast of characters and the same big trouble. They happen 7 very eventful years apart.

In the new story, which happens at the ramp-up of the conflict, the characters involved work out a strategy, and the sketch of a fall-back should the strategy fail for lack of resources or unity.

Of course, the resources are unavailable, and lack of unity delays implementation of the fall-back plan -- it should have been set in motion after two years, but they cannot get the pieces into place…

... until the old story, which happens seven years after the first, and marks the turning point of the conflict. As in, the fall back plan will now be set in motion.

And -- major inconsistency -- many of the characters are shocked, shocked to the point of rebellion or just walking away, that they are going to have to do something so crazy, reckless, counterintuitive and (possibly) evil. It's one of the points the plot hinges on.

But, if I write the earlier (newer) story as planned, they were the ones who agreed on it before, or even came up with it!

20 years ago I'd have scrapped the earlier story for being beyond repair from the get-go. Today, knowing more about people, politics, and self-delusion, I feel that even with competent and fairly wise characters, this kind of selective failure of memory is more likely than not.

But the readers, of course, will notice. So, what makes the characters react shocked about the implementation of a plan they themselves helped make (and how those who stay "on track" appear a great deal crazier than those who do not) will have to become a central underlying theme in the narrative.

I wonder (and I would be glad for pointers) if this particular, what, heel-face-heel pirouette is on TV Tropes, or if anyone has examples where this has been done in fiction, well or less-so. (Real world -- not so much. Truth is stranger than fiction, because fiction has to make sense.)


Jul. 22nd, 2018 10:23 pm
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It's amazing how long a busy weekend filled with nice things can feel.

Role playing games

Last weekend, we were playing one of our SF RPGs. Read more... )


This Friday, our choir had the most relaxed performance of the year at a village party. Read more... )

Other stuff

Saturday morning, it was raining (very good thing). I had some friends over for breakfast (one of them was visiting from the Hamburg area), we talked (mostly about role playing games, as usual), and after breakfast, I met with K__ and mad_freddy in the boulder hall. I feel as if I'm not progressing much (it's always harder than it seems, and my strength does not last as long as I feel it should), but I actually see that I am progressing, as the difficulties are colour-coded, and I have now made first attempts on green (medium easy) and can to most orange (easy).

Of course, in the night, everything hurt and I couldn't sleep. *sigh*

So I went to the pool later today than I should. The rain had stopped and it wasn't quite as empty as it could have been, but OK.

Other than that, I also read a few Silmarillion fanfics, which I might link to in some future posting, and made a chocolate-cherry cake and should write down the recipe... but not right now. I read a lot of kid's comics from the 70s, mostly French ones, and enjoyed it more than I would have expected, and now I'll be off to write a small scene inspired by the comics, about a hellish boat ride which fits just fine into a story that I really should pick up again.

To bad that even a longish weekend ends!

Also: There is a lunar eclipse next Friday early in the night. I need to find a good space to watch it.
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Yesterday I sat down to write. Wrote a scene. Spent the rest of the evening designing stairwells. In a planetary station. On Mars. Which had been stolen by pirates.

Which would be better if I hadn't already kind of finished the story before wondering, "If the station is a half-dome, how can the stairwell be straight? Won't that look weird? And can you fall down the stairs the way I wrote it?

I went out of my flat with a ruler to measure the stairs in the hall.

Oh, well. It was fun. I learned stuff about stairs.

In the end I decided that it's an action scene, no one has time to measure or describe the stairwell, and of course you can fall down the stairs, that is not a very safe universe.


Jul. 9th, 2018 09:18 am
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mad_freddy triggered me to register for stadtradeln.de this year.
One day after I registered, their web site failed. According to Gwydion, it works just fine if you use the app.

Rational me says, "SNAFU"

Paranoid whiny me says "If you do not have a smart phone, you are obviously not part of their target group", and goes on to rant about preaching inclusion and doing exclusion. (Yeah, I know, even - especially - the poor and the elderly can't live without their smartphones these days. How else would you talk to the grandkids or know when your shift starts tomorrow? Only, I, having no grandkids and a traditional paying job, can live with out a smart phone... and without political action for better cycling infrastructue, actually.)

Paranoid whiny me should shut up now.

It's Monday morning. Hopefully they will fix the website some time today. Or tomorrow. You never know with software.
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Friday a week ago I had bought new plants for the balcony (they never survive long. I'm not good with plants), and today I have finally got around to planting them. Balcony looks nice again. I hope they survive.

Saturday after getting back from the boulder hall, I met with R___. We bicycled to the nature preserve with the wild horses, and walked around half the area, but the horses stayed hidden. Too hot, probably. Still, it was nice. There were still some very large puddles from Thursday's rain, but the strong sun kept the biting midges away.

And now it's Sunday evening already.

I feel that my life is going in circles, weekly, and yearly, and while that sounds nice and harmonic and it not actually bad (things happen, work gets done, I keep a hair's breadth ahead of entropy), I am not sure that it's good. I feel precariously balanced, as if I was sitting in an apple tree on top of a crumpling cliff. There are apples, but still...

I feel that something should happen, and that it should be good, and I don't know what, or how to make it so.
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Wednesday my new scooter had its first inspection. Cut for boring diary entries )
Rain, flooding, and general dampness )
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Not unexpected, my right shoulder was very unhappy with me today. Oh well...

In other news: I've tried for two years to find a cabinet maker who could fix my old dining table. Today, one actually called back and said he might call next week to schedule a look a the table for the week after! I do not yet dare to believe that it's actual progress, but it's hope.
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So many days, so few entries.

Bouldering )
Other sports, and a motor scooter )
Moving -- not me, but stuff )

Things are going well. Books are read. Some stuff is written, also not the amount or the quality that I wish. The cats thrive, mostly. The job is doing OK. The choir stays a tiny bit problematic, I'm getting used to it. Money's fine. Health is OK.

And in the meantime, the world is going to hell in a handbasket, and I am more worried, scared and furious than I've been at any time since 1989. I still have not learned to do anything useful. About anything. <sigh>


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March 2019



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