constance: (*observes*)
In my study, the decorations are mostly words. There's a Kandinsky print, sure, but there's also the wall of books, and the framed pangrams, and my favorites: the two little frames in the corner that most people never even see. I paste a beloved novel into wordle, generate an image I like, et voilà! A little reminder of something I love to keep me happy when I look in that direction.

Right now, it's... )

I change them up every now and then, but it's never a novel that I don't adore. I'm kind of pleased with the idea that the art in my house means something important, if only to me.
constance: (*marks*)
This slide show showcases a thing I admire in people before almost anything else -- a determination to wear their loves on their sleeves. (Pun totally intended, sorry.) Surprisingly, the one I love best is not the very one I want myself, although that one is very pretty indeed, but the one of the voyager plaque -- trippy, representative of an idea I love, and unusually designed at once.

What's your favorite?

(17) memes

Nov. 17th, 2011 07:50 pm
constance: (*steeps*)
Let's have one, shall we?

it's that one, the one you've seen all over the place in the last couple of days. )

(16) gumbo

Nov. 16th, 2011 09:02 pm
constance: (*cooks*)
It's been pissing rain all day, and trust me, what you want in such times is a roux-based dinner, hold the okra. Tonight's featured chicken and sausage and Cajun popcorn rice, and it was delicious.

I think a second bowl might be in order.
constance: (*studies*)
Today on facebook, one of my friends' friends posted an image of the famous Shakespearean insult kit. Maybe you've seen it? Maybe one of your teachers taught it in school, as a relief from the dire excesses of Hamlet? Anyway, in case you haven't seen it, or as a refresher if you have, here you go:

Shakespearean insults under the cut! )
constance: (*drinks*)
I'm not a wine drinker. I'm not really a drinker at all, in fact. I'll have one or two (never more) drinks on a Friday night, and that's just about it.

I love buying wine, though, not because I know anything about it -- I really, really don't -- but because I have so many lovely labels to choose from. One of my favorite things to do on a weekend is head up to Your DeKalb Farmer's Market and browse for never-before-dreamt-of vegetables and yummy baked goods and wine with pretty labels. I mean, I could shop for wine with pretty labels anywhere, it's true, but YDFM makes it especially satisfying for a know-nothing like me by helpfully posting wine reviews, so I can read while I look, and then not only do I have a pretty wine, but also a reasonably decent one. And then I bring it home and stare at it and dust it and sometimes pat it fondly without ever uncorking it, and have I mentioned that I don't drink much? And then a friend comes to visit and we drink a bottle or two, and I can go out and replenish, and have more aesthetically pleasing bottles to gaze upon.

Sometimes, though, I love a label so much that it doesn't matter so much what's in the bottle. Currently, I'm starry-eyed over the Two Hoots label and labels. I haven't tasted the wine yet -- it's just so pretty I don't want to spoil the bottle by opening it -- but I love it nonetheless.

Do you have a thing like that, you'll buy it for looks alone and who gives a crap how it actually performs the task it was meant for?
constance: (*relaxes*)
Is there anything as empirically adorable as an otter? Right off hand, I really can't think of anything, but if you've got some ideas, I'll be happy to hear them, and in the meantime allow me to persuade you to my point of view.

images and videos under the cut )
constance: (*listens*)
This summer, I was doing a last-minute reread of A Song of Ice and Fire in preparation for the release of A Dance with Dragons, and wound up at some point being inspired to write. And of course I know that the idea of fanfiction fills George R. R. Martin with rage and fear, but this wasn't exactly fanfiction, and besides, the only person who ever saw it was [personal profile] octoberstory, who received the first bit line by line as a series of text messages, that lucky woman.

Anyway, I texted it and then forgot about it, until yesterday, when I was doing a little hard-drive housekeeping and came across it. And why not share, right? If George R. R. Martin insists, I'll take it down, but really, there's nothing new in this one, and besides, I think it's hardly likely to change his game in any way.

spoilers for A Storm of Swords within )
constance: (*works*)
So. You're hypothetically working on a project. Let's say you're (and of course I am pulling this scenario totally at random from my head) working on rebuilding a completely hosed user profile that was probably hosed by your boss, who knows just enough about computers to be dangerous and regards every computer in the office as his personal property, and you've decided to delete the user profile completely and just start the hell over. Except that you get to this point where you can't reconnect to the server (which normally is so easy when you're working in Windows 7 that you end up feeling like you've skipped a step just because it's all over so quickly), and you know you're missing a crucial bit, but you cannot for the life of you figure out what it is, and you spin your wheels for a good forty minutes trying to force it to happen, and every time you try something you feel a little bit farther away from making it work.

But then! Then suddenly it comes to you, what that missing piece might be, and you make this one deceptively tiny change, and

free glitter text and family website at

suddenly the road is smooth before you, and the rest is just tidying up. I love, love that moment of realization, when you know you've solved your problem. In that one moment, you are amazing.
constance: (*watches*)
Me: Hi, mom, it's me.

Mom: Hey, you! Have you recovered from your phone ordeal?

Me: Barely! Now, I'm calling you to ask for another favor, and it's the kind of middlingly gross thing that you can only ask someone you love to do for you.

Mom: Oh, can't wait to hear it.

Me: Yeah, you better run! I have this sore spot on my head over my ear that's been bothering me, and I can't see it properly in a mirror. So I was hoping I could get you to take a look at it? It feels kind of like a skin tag or a mole that's just, I don't know, irritated, but I want to make sure that it's not something horrible that I should see a doctor about. Like an open, oozing sore, or a giant bloodsucking tick, or whatever.

Mom: Sure. You can meet us at the house and we'll check it out before we go out to eat.

Me: Okay, or we could just do it in the restaurant bar and let everyone watch, we'll be --

Me and Mom, together: Like monkeys grooming each other!
constance: (*crosses*)
I never used to be the sort of person who lost things. And then, I don't know, I got old, or too harebrained to keep track, and I lost my digital camera who knows when over the summer, and my phone yesterday. Two big losses in less than a year! I was extremely upset even given yesterday's free double cheeseburger with extra pickles, not just because I am very fond of my phone and would hate to see it gone, but also because I didn't want to be That Person, that person who can't get anywhere on time or concentrate on anything because she can't keep track of her life.

Hey, but then I found my phone, lodged under a packet of Armorall wipes under the passenger seat of my car. I found it because my awesome friends and family rallied together, calling my phone in different places and different times in hopes we could hear it, and never was I so happy to hear the Linus and Lucy theme as when I heard it coming from some as-yet-unspecified place in my car.

So. I have my phone back. I have proof that when things go wrong, I have people to help me out. And best of all, I have proof that I am not That Person, not really, not yet. I'm gonna be more careful from now on, I swear.
constance: (*eats*)
On my lunch hour today, I went through a Burger King drive-thru, ordered my standard double-cheeseburger-with-extra-pickles-and-a-bottle-of-water gourmet value meal, and pulled around to wait my turn at the window. And when it came, the cashier handed me a receipt and said, "thanks, and have a great day," and I said, "wait, I haven't paid," and she said, "oh, that's okay, the woman in the car in front of you paid," and I said, "wait, really?" and she said, "yes, really!" and I eyed this car I have never seen before and this woman I have never seen before in astonishment, and she waved at me in her rearview mirror, and I waved back, and she pulled away and that was that, and I haven't stopped smiling since.

Less than five dollars to make my day. Kind of a bargain, right?
constance: (*fangirls*)
I haven't posted a chat transcript (which this is actually not) in years! And I haven't posted a text exchange (which this actually is) ever! So why not start now, and usher in the beginning of the end.

[personal profile] octoberstory: It's so infinitely more fun than last season. Which, even though I agree that it improved upon re-viewing, s6 just wasn't much fun for me.

Me: Agreed on both counts. I found s6 to be really frustrating on first watch, and more coherent but not actually all that much more enjoyable on rewatch. Add to that there were no eps that I hearts-in-my-eyes loved, and it was rough going all the way around.

[personal profile] octoberstory: Yep. Just kinda...well, wow. Look at that. There sure are some interesting things happening on Show. Mostly I was just waiting for it to get fun again!

Me: Yes! Ahahahaha, and how sad that we both think that the story of two brothers (one of whom is almost certainly a suicidal alcoholic and the other of whom has the actual devil in his peripheral vision at all times) fighting horrible monsters and coming to terms with their own and each other's cataclysmic fuckups is fun.


[personal profile] octoberstory: IT TOTALLY IS CAMMY YES.
constance: (*orients*)
My father can be a difficult man on several different levels at once; it's one of his great talents in life. One of his low-level difficulties is that he's nearly impossible to please. Well, I mean, it can also be an extremely high-level difficulty, depending on what it is in particular that's not pleasing him -- his daughter's mere existence is likely to be more problematic for me, for example, than the fact that he cannot seem to enjoy a restaurant meal without finding something about it he doesn't like, the food, the company, the server, the restaurant itself.

More to the point, though, he cannot sit down to a meal he specially requested (pork roast stuffed with garlic, mashed potatoes, roasted corn, tomato salad, coconut cream pie) and that my mother spent most of the day on (and that, incidentally, was delicious), without finding something to be displeased about. And I was thinking, as I watched the small and stressful drama of his displeasure unfold around us on his birthday, that I am so fiercely glad that I've striven to be unlike him in this way.

I'm in my forties now, and I am still pleased by my life on a daily basis, and if I prayed at all, I would pray for it to stay that way until the minute I die. What happens to your life when you stop taking any pleasure in it? I never want to know, never, never.
constance: (*relaxes*)
So I have worked every Saturday for the last month, not exactly my favorite way to spend a weekend, but there's this in compensation: having worked all day on what is technically a day off means that I need not feel even a little bit bad about coming back home, walking the dogs, and then immersing myself in a book and the hottest water I can stand, for as long as I can stand it.

In case you were wondering, it takes about three hours and four hot water replenishes to work one's way through Nick Hornby's Juliet, Naked. It's always lovely to revisit a favorite author, one that you've kept pace with over the years, his youth creeping forward into middle age at the same rate yours does. And when you add in the hot water? Bliss.
constance: (*predicts*)
as seen here - beautifully detailed and surreal, with bonus flipbook action going down! Each card is a tiny work of art; I approve this concept.

(3) rain

Nov. 3rd, 2011 08:28 pm
constance: (*sloshes*)
It doesn't rain nearly as much here as it did back home, and not just because we're having a years-long rainfall deficit. It's just a different kind of climate, is all, southern rather than tropical. No daily afternoon summer rains that don't cool things down so much as render everything limp and sodden, in the air all day, progressively more humid, until the clouds get too wet to hold together and start to fall apart all over you.

That doesn't happen here, and it's surprising how much I miss that. I miss the tempestuousness of tropical storms, too, as much as the regularity of them, the thunder and lightning, the sheets of solid water drowning the world for miles around, a sort of natural sensory deprivation chamber. Here, the rain is much more mannerly. It falls politely for a while, and then slows to a gentle halt, and it's very rare to hear even a rumble of thunder, much less the crashing, flashing craziness I remember.

Still, though. I love stepping out on the porch, smelling the ozone in the air, letting the water splash on my toes. I love watching the dogs out in it -- they hate the rain, but take three times as long about peeing out in it, taking extra precious minutes getting exponentially wetter to stare dolefully and accusingly at me. And hey, I do sorta get it, because God knows that as much as I like rain, I wouldn't enjoy peeing out in it, but they're just making it worse, and explaining that the longer they're out there the wetter they'll be never seems to do any good (who knows what my neighbors think of me, trying to have reasonable conversations with a couple of dogs).

Anyway. Rain: I like it. It's raining now, and I'm on my way outside for a few minutes, to wet my toes and shiver in a demented but pleased manner.
constance: (*reads*)
I'm an omnivorous reader. I have no real literary prejudices. I take what appeals to me as it comes, for what it is, without regard to genre. I remember one of my fellow booksellers, way back in my Barnes & Noble days, remarking that my must-read list was the weirdest one she'd ever seen, and I guess that's true, if what's weird to you is that there's no real pattern to the things that strike me as interesting. They just do, and I second-guess a lot of my choices, but never question my appetite for books.

Including a latent appetite for supercheap series romance novels. I'm not talking about those thick, lushly-described epic romances, though I've read some fine ones. No, I'm talking about, like, Harlequin Lechery #4209, 200 pages of high-gear, no-nonsense softcore boy-meets-girl, folks; you're sucked in and spit back out in less time than it takes to go to the movies, and free to go about your day.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I've read some terrible ones. (Also some good ones, though, truly!) But those everlasting series of badly-art-directed covers just thrill me, and it's all due to my grandmother, who read them voraciously up until the day her eyesight got too bad to make out the words on the page. She read a couple of them every day, and I started reading them at her house at about twelve, without a book of my own and desperate for something/anything to read, and from the beginning, I was hooked. (The first one I ever read featured a hero who insisted on calling the heroine guava-nose; who could possibly resist that?) She bought them by the bushel at garage sales and used bookstores, traded them at the library, culled through and saved the ones she liked, and whenever I came to visit she had a box ready for me, and I'd take them home and read them all and do a bunch of shopping/trading/reading/culling of my own, just to have something to bring back to her.

It's something I still love about my relationship with my grandmother, that compulsive book-trafficking, and now when I hit a stash of series romances, I'm inexorably drawn to them, even though the appeal's dimmed somewhat now that I have no one to share them with. I find myself having to resist the urge to stockpile them. I mean, what are the odds that I'll happen across some shy, bookish preteen to share them with? Pretty slim, I'm sorry to say.
constance: (*writes*)
I am so out of the internet habit -- not just here but everywhere, gone on facebook, on email, on the comms and forums where I so creepily and enjoyably lurked my way through so many nights -- that I had to go check out my icons page before I started writing this to make sure I remembered which image went with which words. This will not stand, internet!

I figure that NaBloPoMo might just be a good place to start easing myself back into the groove, though; in fact, NaBloPoMo seems an especially good way to do it. I'll post every day, reacquaint myself with my peeps and their lives, and after thirty days of due diligence, I'll have redeveloped a habit. Supposedly it only takes two weeks, right?

Anyway. Hi! It's good to see you all around! It's nice to be back! And I hope you saved me a seat, even if I don't really deserve it.


November seems to get a bad rap from lots of people, but in the deep south, it's a glorious month, especially here in Georgia. The weather's finally, reliably cooled off -- no runs of 90-plus-degree days to worry about -- and the leaves are turning. The days are the kind that I love best: cool in the shade and warm in the sun, which is blindingly, splendidly sunny. And the nights! Chilly, but not outright cold, just the right temperature to put the down blanket on my bed, the oversized down blanket that I bought on ebay with such a high thread count that the fabric's practically frictionless. I rub my face on the satin trim like a cat. I snuggle under with socks on, and by the time I wake up, I'm toasty and I've kicked the socks off and I have to dig them out from the bedding.

November makes up for a lot of things. It makes up for endless work weeks and undisciplined dogs and sinus headaches and hot summers. November is my reward for sticking it out this long, and it's a good one.
constance: (*perches*)
Four months. Four months! How did that even happen?

I never feel like talking when it's hot, though, there's that. And this summer has been deliriously, maniacally hot. (102°F today, and that is pretty typical.) Most days, I have to force myself out of a blinding fog of dangerous, silent aggression, and the fact that my air conditioner can't keep up and has frozen up approximately ten times since mid-July, that is not making me any friendlier. My dogs are lucky still to be alive, I tell you what.

And! There were also vacations, two of them, one obligatory and one sheer pleasure (although honestly the obligatory one was fun too). Birds were cooed over and bear cubs were sighted and projects were completed. Long-long-long-awaited books were read. Milestone films were viewed. I drew real, hands-on, pencil-to-paper (or anyway, conté crayon to paper) pictures for the first time in I can't remember how long, which was satisfying enough for me to want to do it again sometime.

But because I was busy and snarlingly overheated, there was little livejournal, until I was readying myself to make a post last week, and I accidentally broke livejournal in my ambition. And I was frustrated and discouraged enough over breaking livejournal to back off and give it a miss for a while longer, until I happened to catch a glimpse of the date stamp on my last entry, and FOUR MONTHS. You guys, I suddenly missed this lj and everyone on it like burning, and you know that I live in Georgia: we know from burning in Georgia.

So. I have no real news to report, but I did just want to say hi, and I miss you, and other stuff like that. I hope you're okay this summer. Tell me you're okay!


constance: (Default)

March 2012

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