goddess of astronaut pants

the story so far...

scrawlings by...

fanfic by feldman


November 23rd, 2014

Behind the cut are 15 reviews (L'Artisen Perfumeur, House of Gloi, Conjure Oils, BPAL).  All of these are available to go to other homes.  I have a swaplist, but I'm also open to suggestions and other offers, just let me know in the comments if you're interested in anything.

It's time to ramble on...Collapse ) Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/403355.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/403355.html?mode=reply

November 11th, 2014

I've also started squatting in an empty office, which has a desk, a door, a bookshelf, and a lamp that looks like it came out of The Flintstones, but tasteful.

Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/403002.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/403002.html?mode=reply

November 9th, 2014


 ~*~ Did the first week at the new location/position, which I think went well.  I'm a tad weirded out by the clear evidence I've jumped a few rungs up the socio-economic ladder with my new batch of co-workers--and as I'm not in a default support position, I'm being treated as a professional-class peer who's simply not yet obtained all her degrees.  It's...so odd.

~*~ Had a very brief bout of dizziness this morning, stemming from the other ear this time, but I did the head maneuvers and it cleared right up.

~*~ Wish I could just as easily treat the severely impacted wisdom tooth, which is testy due to clenching my jaw from nerves, but it's buried deep in bone and not going anywhere, so I can deal with the occasional pressure-ache.

~*~ Got my internet turned back on after having to let it lie fallow for a week, that's an exciting payday development.  Onward and upward, heave ho.

~*~ Going from retail type hours to standard office hours I've had some wicked REM rebound now that I'm sleeping regularly again.  The DST shift and being hip-deep in job training only exacerbate this.

~*~ The concept of NaNoWriMo shouldn't make me angry, I mean, there are a couple worse months it could be in, like February.  It's not really a plot against those of us prone to hibernation.

Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/402831.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/402831.html?mode=reply

October 31st, 2014

Adios old job, aloha new job

 I was not expecting the weird hash of sadness, benediction, congratulation and I'm-joking-but-35%-serious abandonment issues that my last few days at the old position stirred up among my co-workers and supervisors.

As someone who has ended jobs in a variety of ways*, this one was new and quite touching.

I have also procured a starter set of dress pants to conform to the higher office clothes standard.  Five pairs of pants and a set of dressier flats for less than forty bucks, shopping at the Salvation Army in the better part of town.  While there's truth to the need to spend money to make money, I'm ramping it up slowly.  Luckily it's fall, so the sweaters will see me through until I can rebuild a professional wardrobe.

* 1. not showing up for three days (undiagnosed seasonal depression)  2. standard 2-4 week notice with optional potluck farewell  3. being escorted out of the building (bitter merger; I went to a competitor two days later)  4. flaming 20 minute tirade against horrible manager (in retail, mere days before x-mas, at a job I'd left peaceably months before but came back on school break to help for the shopping season) 5. silently walking away while being yelled at "are you coming back on Monday?!" (hint: this was her third strike in treating me terribly, so no, I was not coming back on any day).
Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/402634.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/402634.html?mode=reply

October 24th, 2014

Cocoa has the face of a startled incredulous owl, and she keeps trying to gnaw on the pumpkin stem.  Ginger is rangy like a baby giraffe or Tommy Tune, and he slept on my neck last night.  Their current favorite toy is a small flat flying squirrel with crinkle inside and a fur tail.  We've named the toy Moisty.
two sleepy kittens

They have a great relationship of chasing, playing, napping, mutual grooming and wrestling, and they seem to be quite happy to share a house with three snuggly apes. Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/402260.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/402260.html?mode=reply

October 20th, 2014

ST:TOS: Human societies will have a perennial dialogue about gender and the performance thereof, and much like the manly silk breeches of long ago, in the Federation future the smoky upper eyelid is coded as a masculine look for men of authority.  And Kirk is kinda bummed that he really doesn't have the brow arch to pull it off.

HP: After the war, after her failed political career, after her more successful efforts in social justice reforms, Hermione Granger finally writes the book that's been fermenting in the back of her head for sixty years--a tour de force treatise on the traditions and power of naming in magical culture.  It's chockablock with arithmetical equations, history, case studies, anthropology and statistical analyses, and it's the most dangerous and least read book in centuries.  To the rare mind that can grok it, it confers a knowledge that cracks the world wide open, but it's denser than Hagrid's rum raisin scones the time he mistook quickrete for bisquick.

MCU: In IM1 Pepper Potts does not get the fucking dry cleaning, she has staff who accomplish the hands-on tasks while she is the sole face Tony has to deal with in his own house.  The cheese plate Tony snacks on in IM3 is, if not the handiwork of a personal chef, likely gathered from a selection pantry and fridge items curated by one.  Jarvis can hack real-time aeronautical dogfights*, and does wicked data analysis, but cannot be trusted to grocery shop beyond restocking staples.

*By cheating with an elegant near-synesthetic tactile/haptic interface that outsources them from Tony's cerebellum.  Because Tony is the kind of guy who, when he drives, extends his personal sensorium out to the fenders and tires, and tracks the other cars like clubs being juggled.

Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/401961.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/401961.html?mode=reply

October 19th, 2014

 Since my last update I've adopted two kittens and gotten a promotion.  Neither of which I've had since the early nineties, now that I think about it--the cats we got then lived sixteen and twenty years respectively, and every positive career move in the interim has been me changing companies (sometimes with extreme prejudice) to move upward.

I'm not sure how to process the fact that I've been at this company for almost a year, and am now being actively recruited upward internally.  I've been doing a major project alongside some big wigs, accreditation stuff where we're tinkering with policies and merging two companies into a statewide entity of a national company, and when I put it in those terms it sounds more impressive than my part has been, but I can still swim the current and that's been a good thing to demonstrate.

The new position starts in November, with leadership potential, a delightful pay rise, and stable hours where I can go back to the gym again.  It marks the first time in four years I won't be unemployed, underemployed or doing some kind of temp gig I can't see a future at.  It's...weird, actually, to be appreciated with not just more work but an old-fashioned promotion with a new title and a real paycheck.

The kittens are still unnamed, a blond tabby boy who's sweet and pliable and outgoing, and a dark tortoiseshell girl with bright owl eyes and the dangerous diffidence of a ninja; brother and sister.  Personality-wise they are the April Ludgate and Andy Dwyer of cats.

Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/401679.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/401679.html?mode=reply

September 21st, 2014

Rocks fall, feldman vomits

I sometimes rib Mr. F about the tricksiness of his back injury.  When he's up for it, he can help carry a couch, but has also been known to throw his back out toweling off after a shower.

Rotational forces are wicked.

I rolled over in bed this morning and the bed started rolling me like a hungry crocodile.  I'd likely dislodged otolith gravel in my right ear.  Hence, I spent the day keeping my head very still so as not to inadvertently hit the big red vagal VOMIT button.

Bad news: there's a correlation between getting migraines and getting this kind of vertigo.  Age of onset is usually in your 50's, but for migraineurs it's around age 40.  And flipping in bed is  common rotational move that can trigger it.

Fucking rotational forces.

Good news: This maneuver helped get the rocks back into the proper place in my ear.  Go Dr. Carol Foster!!!  Harnessing rotational forces!

Of course, the first few times I did it, the last move totally punched the big red button.  But I've done it three more times so far and the vertigo gets better each time.

Rocks fall; rocks have a strange twisty journey; rocks come back home.

Yay women scientists!  Yay internets!

Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/401538.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/401538.html?mode=reply

September 2nd, 2014

So the plus side of my medications is that Bactrim so far has not totally nuked my gut or given me any weird taste in my mouth.  Pyridium, which is the little brown pill that makes your pee orange and keeps you from howling when you pee with a UTI?  Gives your urine amazing analgesic properties, which extend all the way up to where the lemonade is made.

I'm saving my last three pills for when I go back to work tomorrow, and it turns out the bareback ache is hotter and more sore than I thought it was when riding the orange dragon.  I have a follow-up with my doc Thursday.  

I also put on the big girl underpants and got a deferment on my student loans.  Now I'm going to work from home for a half hour to turn in my timesheets.  After that I fancy a spot of painkillers and drooling on the couch.

Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/401406.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/401406.html?mode=reply

September 1st, 2014

Around one in the afternoon on Thursday I stretched a little back and forth, pulled my shoulder blades back and down, and tried to ease what I thought was a muscle strain in my mid back.

At nine that night I sat cross-legged on a gurney in the corridor outside of radiology, patiently waiting my turn with the frail and the unlucky, and I thought to myself, "Well this isn't where I expected the evening to go."  Then I got another bout of renal colic and grabbed the side rails behind me, only able to produce a gasp and squeak as I felt shivved up under the left ribs.

I got to an 8 on the pain scale.  Keep in mind that my 9 is an orgasm-triggered thunderclap migraine, and my 10 is manual stretching of the cervix during a contraction during unmedicated labor.  My 7 is breaking a bone in my foot.  I can attest that if you stabbed someone in the kidney, I can totally buy that they might seize up and then bleed out before they could muster a peep.

Eventually I had my turn riding the suggestive sled in and out (and in and out) of the suggestive doughnut that is a computed tomography machine.  I always ask for a copy of any imaging.  If I could, I'd prepay my own autopsy if I could somehow watch.  Lest I get too involved in the quirks and deviations of my own anatomy, the ER doc assured me that my viscera "are perfect".  I blush, and cringe backward through another smooth muscle spasm in an organ I normally don't consciously feel.  But I'm in my early forties and have no stones in any of the secret pockets and pouches of my torso, so that's kind of a win in itself.

I do have a kidney infection, caught early enough to avoid hospitalization, which is really the best possible outcome for the symptoms.  Once the medications kicked in the slicing cramp backed off into a dull warm ache.  Four days later it feels like a sinus infection, tucked under the back of my left ribs, but today  I finally got through a day without napping twice for hours at a time.
Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/401111.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/401111.html?mode=reply

August 24th, 2014

Imp Herding

This is the system I've been using for a few weeks now, which has really helped me corral a burgeoning collection and keep them 1. organized 2. in good condition 3. from stinking up the place in a riotous perfusion of every damned thing I own.  I have a big box where I keep my imps in rows, and a re-purposed cigarette case I use to take a selection with me day to day.  Because I have quotidian perfume needs now. 
better than the Altoids tins I used to pack them inCollapse ) Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/400750.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/400750.html?mode=reply

August 13th, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy
Baby, you had me at Redbone.
It's a tossed-off snip of dialogue, but I really appreciated being told that the city was evacuated before the Tholian Web defense failed and a huge spaceship plowed into downtown.
     I'd've felt better if the folks standing around to see the final face-off were not obviously shocked civilians who should have been long gone, but hey, I'll take a few misplaced passers-by over slaughtered faceless millions any day.
          Next time, slap some Civil Defense helmets on those yahoos and pretend they're just poorly trained volunteers.
The spaceship looked like an evil twist of licorice.
I may not be able to stop from making a mixtape.  It's like a fever dream.

Donna Summer - Macarthur Park (live 1978)
I was iffy on this one, but the laser-gun fire sound effects are totally in theme.

Patti Labelle - Family (love on Soul Train)

Earth, Wind & Fire - Shining Star

Stevie Wonder - You Are the Sunshine of My Life

I'll stop now.  Maybe. Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/400602.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/400602.html?mode=reply

August 7th, 2014

It's been ten years since I read The Big Sleep for the first time.  What strikes me is the anachronisms--not in the original story, but in my recollections of the story vs. how it hits me now.

I became politically aware in the Reagan era, and I used to think that the 80's would be looked back on as a decade where the culture changed as much as in the 60's.  This was so wrong.  There were no watershed lines where deep ideas fundamentally changed in the 80's.  In fact, I've grown to appreciate how much things were still in flux when I was an anklebiter in the 70's, that a healthy portion of the truths I cut my teeth on were in fact revolutionary for many of the humans who were already here.

We're in the midst of that kind of cultural change right now.  I know, because when I read this 1939 novel in 2004, some of the lenses I was looking through have been discarded, updated, rotated and flipped like a fucking optometrist's been rearranging the optics.  Some of it is that I have ten more years of life under my belt, and some of that's been spent writing.  But culturally, I'm looking across the valley from a different hill.

I'm seeing more of what's going on in the story.  I'm also seeing some of the deep beliefs and truths in that culture that pen the story in, give it shape, compel the characters, and are also, in nascent cynical breezy form, being sketched and examined by Chandler.  There are seeds in this of the time I'm in now, ideas either timeless or back in fashion, but on the main it feels more like a historical piece at age 75 than it did at 65.

It sounds ridiculous to say, but I can't help thinking about how the Kiddo views her world, at almost eight years in, and realizing how many assumptions and broken truths are in this novel that you'd have to explain to fully grok character motivation.

Maybe I'm just floored to realize that stories I used to take in without noticing now require mental stretching to process, because the culture of my childhood  has become dated to the point of needing footnotes.  It's like when I realized that 'adulthood' no longer carried the pervasive note of cigarette smoke it did when even nonsmokers had to waft through clouds of it in every public space and most private ones.  The day comes closer when I too will mortally embarrass my descendants with anachronistic biases and neon flashing signs that I grew up in the last fucking century.

And so, I toddle off to bed.

Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/400328.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/400328.html?mode=reply

August 6th, 2014

Every quarter, like an accounting function, I get DethMetalPeriod. This is one of those times. This is not an oven going through a normal cleaning cycle.  It's the seasonal hard reboot on the system.  This feels more like an industrial kiln and a machine that turns cars into cubes have merged into a beast trying to rip itself free of my pelvis. I can feel my uterine ligaments aching, like guy wires about to snap from tension. I want to smash the shit out of something and then take a long brandy-fortified nap.

Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/399959.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/399959.html?mode=reply

August 1st, 2014

So I saw the tail end of Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" on a high-def television the other day, and aside from the bad pacing, Cruise's dated acting, and the fact they pulled the whole damned punch of the story (I don't care how anti-science this culture has gotten, microbes are not a fucking epilogue tag, they're the goddamned punchline!), what really struck me was this: crisp high-def screens break the fourth wall for me.

Maybe it's an artifact of being horrifically nearsighted, preferring the world with some of the rough edges filed down.  Maybe it's that the visuals are so present it only emphasizes the things that aren't real, the missing textures or wear and grit, the hollowness underneath the cliche suggestions of reality.  I'm there on the set, and I can tally up each feckless effort put into trying to convince me otherwise.  Or perhaps because it's shoved in my face, I expect it to carry more storytelling weight, and it often tells me more about the Industry than the Story.

Thing is, I don't demand visual realism.  Babylon 5, aside from the writing and acting which is uneven but has moments of aplomb, is very clearly happening on a sound stage: the costumes are not lived-in pieces, the lighting is straightforward, and the sound simplistic.  The walls don't have weight, the spaces don't have the proper echo, but it very rarely throws me out of the story.  Because it's not pretending to any deep layers of texture or depth, it aims for, and reads as, space opera theater.

Hell, I rewatched Star Trek TOS last fall and adored all the funky delightful ways they were using fabrics, found objects, and gels on the lights to make a handful of severe gunmetal grey rooms interestingly'spacey'.  (My) Immortal: The Web Series clearly happens on a relative shoestring in a handful of borrowed locations and is chockablock with visual characterization and commentary.

I like to pick out things like lighting, make-up, set design, mise en scene and atmosphere.  I notice when the make-up takes character into account, and it warms the very cockles of my heart.  On the flip side, I notice with disdain when every woman on a show sports the same make-up; it's as creepy and repulsive as eating in a restaurant where you can see every waitress is the manager's type.  I appreciate it when the bruising and blood after a fight are not ruggedly placed to bring out blue eyes or white teeth, but instead are the raw smeared mess that makes a person look like a snotty bawling toddler crying blood tears.  I love it when a rainy scene is followed by a scene where it's stopped raining, but the tires make a wet hiss on the street.  I notice the implied space described by the echo or lack thereof in a room.  I like seeing dust motes.  I notice depth of field and how it's applied.

There is so much more to visual storytelling than dialing up the contrast so the actor's very pores are screaming for attention underneath a trite swab of grease paint. 

Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/399814.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/399814.html?mode=reply

July 21st, 2014

I've learned that I'm open to smelling like a lot of strange things.  I enjoy a scent that's evocative, whether it's of place, character, narrative, activity, even something edible or poisonous.  I have favorite notes, and ones that work well with my skin, but I'm oddly more willing to sit through a mediocre failure of a scent than a boring movie.  
 Tell me a story, give me a mise en scene.Collapse ) Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/399576.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/399576.html?mode=reply

July 19th, 2014

~*~I can tell by the sound through the wall this is a movie I don't want to watch: twenty minutes so far of nearly identical male voices with the sole inflections of casual berating and a slight drawl. And some foley.

~*~Sad thought for the day: a twenty something young woman confessing that she has never stood up to any man in any social situation. She's always deferred, kept the peace, been nice. And I wonder, how did she get even this far? How does one deprogram that conflation of worthwhile = submissive?

~*~I forget how lucky I am to have been taught from the cradle that grit is a non-gendered quality that can be developed.

~*~I got the loveliest feedback about Little Acorns this morning...I resolve to write five such this week and pay it forward.

Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/399195.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/399195.html?mode=reply

July 16th, 2014

Trainees: I'm not a talker. Yes, I can be pedantic, but I'm in no way voluminous. I'd much rather think my damn thoughts and only engage with the mutually interesting. I don't think it's too much to ask that if I'm taking precious office time when i could be catching up on documentation to have you shadow me, you can 1. put the phone away and 2. not fall asleep while looking right at me.

Though, I'm more likely to empathize with the latter, I've certainly been that tired myself.

...testing out posting from phone with Firefox.

Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/399092.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/399092.html?mode=reply

June 30th, 2014

Updated the swaplist, for perusal.

Ten reviews under the cutCollapse ) Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/398833.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/398833.html?mode=reply

June 15th, 2014

Mood move

In the journal equivalent of putting up curtains years after you move in, I've finally shifted my mood theme over here to DW.

In other words, I finally remembered the photobucket password for that stuff.

The icons show their age; in the years since I made them I've changed my preferences for contrast vs. brightness--I remember fighting to ensure some of them were legible, and the results are middling.  I'd forgotten how delighted they made me, though, and I'm glad I took the time to dust them off.

Maybe one day I'll also finish my icon set for Beck's "Loser", since I've sketched out most of the way through the rest, but in the meantime...

 et cetera...

Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/398474.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/398474.html?mode=reply

June 9th, 2014

The cat is gone, baby, gone.  At 72 hours I'm calling it official.  Luckily we also have no sign of hidden decomposition, so let's hope that blessing holds.

There's a litter tray in the walking path by the bedroom, at the top of the stairs, that is in the way of a household without an elderly cat.  I've bent down a few times to put it away, or move it, but there are four paw prints in the fluffy cellulose litter and they catch me, and I can't even bump the tray. 

Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/398015.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/398015.html?mode=reply

June 6th, 2014

Twenty and a half years ago, I adopted a kitten with a strange sense of humor.

She'd turn off the bathroom light when you were pooping.

She'd wait until you were drifting to sleep, and press a cold wet nose against the middle of your back--and when you'd startle, "Gah!" she'd hop away with a tribble-like burble.

She'd stand on your chest and after a thorough petting, look right at you and go, "Woof."

The cat has had health issues and then rallied several times over the last four years.  She's been okay lately: affectionate, good appetite, mainly using her box.  We've been bathing her, most recently last weekend, and while she'd been normally feisty, she did pant for a few minutes afterward when I had her wrapped in the towel.

She rebounded quickly, and even gave herself some token licks in the offended manner of a affronted cat.

She was in good spirits last night, and ate with her usual gusto.  She woke me up at 5am with nuzzly kisses and a request for food, and I gave her petting and told her she'd be fed a little later.  We offer wet food twice a day, and there's always a bowl of kibble available.  At 10am, I realized that was the last I'd seen of her.

We've turned the house inside out several times, and also the yard and the neighbor's bushes.  She's exclusively indoor, but just in case she slipped out somehow.  Nothing.  The wet food we set out is untouched.  Dusk is coming, and I'll give it another round of calling in case she rouses or rallies.

If the box never opens, the waveform will never collapse.

Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/397729.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/397729.html?mode=reply

May 31st, 2014

I've been sniffing around, and here are my thoughts:

Read more...Collapse )

Next up: some of the BPAL prototypes from [personal profile] synecdochic's recent decant circle. Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/397539.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/397539.html?mode=reply

May 30th, 2014

~*~ I drew a better genetic lot than my mother or brother, who have far more frequent migraines than I do.  Mine tend to cluster when several weak triggers overlap.  I want to emphasize that I do know things could be much worse, and considering the funky sleep schedule I have with this job, I'm doing better than expected.

It's simply that, for the luxury of occasionally losing touch with the whole 'migraineur' identity, I will be chronically brutally reminded that no, the tab needs to be settled and the brain requires a chemical reboot.  And then another a few days later.  And maybe a week after that it happens twice.

Today there was too much sun, not enough sleep, and the hormonal switcheroo of ovulation.

~*~ The burrowed brindled baby bunny butts we could peek at in a shallow hole in the front yard have become brindled baby bunny butts bounding in the back yard.

~*~ How come I don't know anyone with a lilac bush I can clip a bouquet from?  I live in a bungalow neighborhood for Pete's sake.

~*~ I hate clothes shopping.  But spending $15 resale on a pair of $70 jeans that fit my dupa and don't require a belt?  I think I won at clothes shopping.  And blew all of my luck.  It's all downhill from here and in a few years I'll be wandering about in ratty underpants and wrapped in a bed sheet toga for warmth.
Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/397244.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/397244.html?mode=reply

May 15th, 2014

An interesting side note to suddenly ordering bits and bobs of perfume samples--I'm now getting ads in my gmail interface for designer handbags, microbrewery review sites, clicker training for dogs and play festivals.

Added to the business-starting ads I've been getting for label printers starting at $1k, industrial adhesive machines and high tension strapping.

I'm aflame with curiosity about the strange hash of micro-marketing categories I've been tagged with.

Originally posted at http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/396888.html * reply http://handypolymath.dreamwidth.org/396888.html?mode=reply
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