wendyzski: (Default)
clicky for picky )

I *think( things are going OK with them - a bathtub date over hay had tiny signs of snuggles (or at least sitting head-next-to-head).

She's still trying to push him around, but always by nipping his flank - to me that seems disciplinary rather than attack-mode. Every time she did this I separated them and held her head down briefly like a dominant rabbit would, to indicate that this is not acceptable behavior.

Lasted about 20 minutes and then everyone went home
wendyzski: (Default)

Eeks - I came home to find Winslet had somehow gotten inside Izzy's* pen.  I have the pen set up in a small foyer behind my front door, and she somehow shoved her way along between the pen and the wall to find the section at the back where it overlapped.  I had been gone for just under 4 hours, so I don't know when it happened.  There were tufts of fur all over the place, but no obvious signs of injury to either one.

The first thing I did was to get her out of there, and I have put screw-eyes into the molding (2 on each side) and ziptying the corners of the pen to it.  Pretty sure THAT won't happen again!

Then I cleared up the fluff and poop - Izzy was visibly tufty-looking, but most of the fluff scattered around seemed to be grey Winslet-fur.  I checked them both over and didn't find any wounds or bald spots on either one.  Both have had pellets, thorough sessions of soothing pettins, and a few bits of craisin.

I am planning on sleeping on the couch in that room tonight, in case she figures out some other way in.  I was already going to wait a day or so before any actual bonding sessions (in the bathtub at first) but now what.  Should I push that up so they don't have time to develop a good sulk, or wait a few days more so that everyone calms down?

He's still a bit thumpy, but she's relaxed and chilling porkchop fashion in the living room - about half a room length from where he is but where she can still see him.

Any advice for a freaked-out bunny momma?



*Irving was found on Irving Park Road, but I'm not enamored of the name.  Winslet kept her shelter name but becane Her Grace Duchess Winslet vonThumpington.  I'm favoring Isidore Irving Fitzroy for him - Isidore was Irving Berlin's middle name, and since he's a mini-Rex but not show quality, Fitzroy is the traditional name given to the bastard son of the king.  Since he's still young, he'll be Master Isidore (Izzy) until he grows into an "adult" title

wendyzski: (Default)
Last night was date #3 for Winslet and Irving. 



Read more... )
wendyzski: (blackout)
is streaming on Netflix, and you should watch it.
Not for the reasons you think... )
wendyzski: (winslet)

It was back to Red Door this evening for my little bunny-girl, and a second round of dates.

She sulked in the back of her carrier when we arrived and didn't want to come out, but when I eventually scooted her butt out she seemed to settle down some.

First up was Irving again.  It seemed to go really well.  They spent about half an hour in the same pen, alternately ignoring and sniffing.  They had LOTS of competent supervision, which helped keep them both on their best behavior - she blocked him from sneaking up on her from behind and pulled him away when it looked like he was trying to crowd her a bit.  No grooming, but both were content to spend time facing one another and being petted.  So this looks very promising.

Then we tried her with Thor, who was shedding like a crazy thing. We wanted to try her with a slightly older bun - he's about a year old as opposed to the other boys that are all from this year's crop of easter dumps.  He's a little jumpy for her tastes, but there was some mutual stress-snuggling when a rabbit downstairs got its head caught in the bars of the pen and started screaming.  (They got her loose and rushed her to the rabbit-saavy emergency vet - hopefully it's just a cut face and broken tooth but she's in good hands). It could work, but since we seem to have some better options that's probably it for him.

Then we brought Harwood back. Since my bonding coach had to go rush the injured bun to the vet, I had to manage this date myself, and I was not terribly confident of my skills.  They spend a lot of time sitting face to face and being petted, though a few times she turned and looked at me like "Mom?  I don't know about this..."  He did get a little pushy and she nipped off a tuft of fur, which sent him off in a tiny fluffy huff.  He's definitely still in the running, but slightly in second place.

We gave her a little time with a bun that just came back today - he was one of Blossom's babies that was born at the shelter last year.  He was adopted with one of his brothers, but about a month ago they decided that they hated each other and their adoptive mom just can't handle it any more.  She feels awful about it, but it's probably best to break up that pair and maybe try them with some girlbuns.  He wasn't settled, as he just came in this evening, and they just never connected.  Maybe once he settles in we could take another look, but tonight was just too much strangeness for him to take.

All in all, things went better.  I still feel that she kind of likes the idea of having a companion, but isn't quite sure about the actual details.  We're taking next week off, because it's the quarterly Spa Days (where they do grooming, ear cleaning, nail trims, and/or glamor photos with all proceeds going to the shelter).  If things continue to go well with Irving, we might bring him home on a trial foster at that point, or maybe take one more date-night to make up our minds.

UPDATE - word is that the injured rabbit (Peony) has several fractures but is being well-cared for, has lots of pain meds, and should be well in 2-4 weeks.

wendyzski: (winslet)

Now that I have gone back to work, Winslet seems lonely.  Unlike my previous Pepper The BunnyBitch, she is social and affectionate, and she misses not having pettins on demand all day.  She's feel climbing all over me every morning at breakfast looking for attention, and when I come home in the evening she jumps right up on the couch to be fussed over.  So last night, we went back to Red Door to see if we could find her some companionship.


We settled in to a pen in an upstairs room to get comfy for a bit first.  She came right out of the carrier and began her mission of CHIN ALL THE THINGS!!!  She also pooped in all the corners, just for good measure.  Since I have no experience with bonding, I was happy to defer to Toni, the adoption coordinator, to be the one in the pen with them. I stood outside nervously, feeling like I was watching my little girl go off to prom or something.

First up was Irving, an affectionate little minirex boy. (He as well as all of the others she met are from this year's crop of Easter dumps. so they are all about a year or so younger than her).  He had been found under a car in a parking lot on Irving Park Road.  There seemed cautious interest on both parts.  There were ignorings, and then sniffings and investigatings, and more ignorings.  It seemed to go pretty well.  I think at some point she lost patience with him - I think she wanted to be groomed - so there was some scuffling and he lost a bit of fur.  Still, all things considered, not a bad start.  

Next up was Blackbeard, another MiniRex boy.  There really just didn't seem to be any interest at all on either side.  He was a little ADD bunny - hey another bunny ooh look hay what's that I'm going to chin that hey another bunny....". We're thinking that's a miss.

Then we took a little break, and brought in Harwood, a little Harlequin lion head mix that isn't on the website yet.  This also had positive signs, with sniffings and ignorings, and more sniffings, and munchings, and even little bunny-bunny kisses from him, but eventually she got a little shovey and he went back.

Another little break, and the last was Chestnut.  He was another short-attention-span bunny, more interested in running around than meeting a pretty girl.  He did a little sniffing, but she wasn't impressed with his manners.  I also think that by this point she's had about enough of this, and was ready to go home.

So the signs are generally positive.  She is receptive to the idea of other bunnies, but I think that she needs some more time to get used to the idea before anything else.  She was pretty stressed-out by the time we were done.  When we got home, she ran straight under the couch and not even a craisin could tempt her out.  After about an hour or so, though, she was back to her usual bunny-self, chowing down on her pellets and doing her best speed-bump impersonation in the hallway.

So either next week or the week after, we'll try again.  There is another boy bun, Thor, coming back from foster this weekend so we'll see if she likes him.  We'll also probably try again with Irving and Harwood if they don't get adopted first.  That's about it for the current crop of boy buns there - we've got mostly girls this time around.  

wendyzski: (blackout)

After nearly a week of temps well above 90 and several days of over 100, I woke from my nap to find outdoor temps in the 80s. 

I'd been really dragging since the hell-gig T-W. I stayed well-hydrated and well-electrolyted, but it's still a strain and I've spent the past several days feeling like someone turned up the gravity on me.  But after napping most of the afternoon, I think I'm finally over that.

All the windows are open, the AC is off, and I've even scrubbed the tub and sinks, soaked the litterboxes, and washed the kitchen floor - all things I didn't want to make the AC deal with when it was so ghastly hot.  I even cooked!  OK, Macaroni and cheese shaped like little bunnies, but it still involved turning on the stove...Tomorrow is the rest of the errands I've been putting off because of the heat, like laundry and grocery shopping.

I'm currently ensconced on the deck in my swingychair with my laptop and a tall glass of iced tea.  Winslet is enjoying the evening breezes and trying to work her way around the various barriers that I put up to protect the young plants from anything worse than an occasional stolen leaf.  So far she likes oregano, is iffy about dill, prefers the younger and less-woody catnip, and wasn't too fond of lovage.  There were some very happy bumblebees buzzing about the blooming catnip and oregano earlier.  I can hear the Navy Pier fireworks in the distance. No sign of nastyneighbor.  All is calm.  *yawns*

Ugh

Jul. 5th, 2012 10:40 am
wendyzski: (blackout)
We've done some pretty awful gigs in the past - most spectacularly the Mansfield Renaissance Faire ("Mansfield MO, just say NO"!).

But these last two days were definitely in the top 10 worst gigs ever.

Who on earth books "strolling musicians" at a festival where the main stage features hard rock and heavy metal cover bands over-amped on speaker-kits the size of cars!?!?!?  Even the small stage in the kids' area where we were had to be miked out of sheer self-defense.  And we were supposed to play against that?  There were times when we couldn't hear each other standing only inches away.

Then add the temps of over 100F and heat indices above 115 and you have a recipe for pure misery.    AND the fact that they wanted us in faire garb ("So that it's clear that you're entertainers, and not, you know....normal people".  I resisted pointing out that being mistaken for normal people isn't a problem that we've had very often) didn't make things any easier.

Its also a bit of a problem to find your way around a military base when no one will give you a map and where everyone who is giving you directions seems to forget that not everyone lives there!  "Are you over by the main gate?  "Umm - I have no idea.  We came in gate 5, where our parking pass said we should go.  We're kind of next to the ferris wheel - does that help?"  Eventually we found out that "Go up there to 1A - there are signs" actually means 'Go up a ways, ask 2 different people in uniform, get lost once and finally discover that what they mean is that lot over there that not only has no signage at all but actually has both entrance and exit blocked by orange traffic cones that you are going to just have to move yourself, since there seems to be no one stationed nearby'.  It took us 20 minutes to get off-base that night, partly because we got 3 different sets of directions from the 3 people that we asked, and partly because half of the roads people sent us to were blocked off.  We eventually found our way out by driving through a parking lot.  Wednesday was a little easier, as when we came to the new roadblock, the rather apologetic young man explained that there had been a "little misfire with the cannon this morning" and that we should just park "over there".

Wednesday we brought spare fabric and blankets and just set up a quiet space in the shade and played for anyone who wandered by.  Some of them even sat down.  We did each have to go into one of the buildings with AC for a bit on Wednesday to cool down a bit, but we kept well-hydrated and electrolytes.  The ventriloquist went down from the heat, so they replaced one of her shows with a muffin-eating contest.  Who the hell wants to eat muffins when it's 110 degrees out?

Musically,  we did pretty well, all things considered. The people who took the time to sit down and listened for a while loved us, and we could have sold quite a few CDs had we been permitted to.  It's just that what we do was sooooo ill-suited to the demands and requirements of the space and the rest of the event. The Morale & Welfare folks really didn't seem to know what was going on  and hadn't the faintest idea what to do with us.  Ugh.

Busy busy

Jul. 1st, 2012 07:59 pm
wendyzski: (Default)

The new job is going well - enjoyably challenging and nicely casual.  Lots of respect from the boss, and I'm learning a lot.Creating a lot of processes and procedures, so I can work out the easiest and most efficient way to do stuff.  The biggest challenge is working in a Mac environment.

Picked up a second p/t job on Fridays only, doing books and assorted office crap for an old faire friend (Bristol Fight Cast 92ish).  He has his own quite successful computer business, but his bookkeeper.etc just kind of stopped showing up.  He needs just enough help to keep things going, and my other job won't go full time until at least fall, so it works out great. Being paid in cash doesn't hurt.

A couple of band gigs coming up - Family Fest up at Great Lakes Naval Training Center on the 3rd and 4th, and a private party on the 14th.  Had some more nibbles, but the numbers didn't work out.  But at least we're getting calls.

Winslet does not approve of my going back to work - she seeks out pettings and attention when I am home, so I am trying to juggle the numbers to get her a husbun.  I'm taking her bunny speed-dating in a few weeks. She is much more social and sweet-natured than Pepper was, so I hope she'll find a companion that she'll tolerate

No real progress on the bankruptcy front - getting all the ducks in a row and making the last few payments so that we can file.  Applied for the access programs for the pharmaceutical companies that make my FloVent and Singulair. My doctor wrote me a prescription for double-dose on my anti-depressant (which is part of WalMart's 90-day-$10 program) so I spent an evening cutting pills in half and have that med set for 6 more months.  A friend had some "spare" singulair, so I've been able to go back on it after a month without it - I'm hoping that this will mean that I'll stop waking up with asthma attacks at 3AM.

My downstairs neighbor is a real ass, and recently he started complaining that my garden drips on "his deck" - mind you, he has complained to the property manager and monologued to the skies about it, but never actually talked to me.  I replied to one of his nasty texts that I would water every night between 9-10 PM, so he would always know when it was coming.  Apparently his response was to come up and poison most of my plants.  I left for work with everything all green and lush, and came home to a collection of dead plants.  Looks like he poured bleach and/or some cleaning chemical over everything.  I filed a police report, but there doesn't seem to be enough proof for the police.  I've spoken to all of the nieghbors in this tier, and everyone is pretty sure who did it.  I decided the appropriate response was to have a garden party, and many of my friends donated plants and dirt so that I could replant.  I'll post photos in a few days once everything recovers from transplant shock.

Haven't done much sewing of late, but I finally treated myself to a few Truly Victorian patterns during the recent sale, and I'm looking forward to playing with them.

Recent good reads have included the last of Mira Grant's Newsflesh books (Blackout) and Jenny Lawson's 'Let's Pretend This Never Happened'.  I had a chance to see her at the Printers Row Lit Fest, and she is funny and witty, even on major drugs for her crippling anxiety.  She did an online reading, for which I had to log in with my Twitter account.  I've mostly used that to play a browser-based game and to stalk some of my favorite authors/  So now I have actual followers and I'm not sure why.  I'm wendyzski on there as well.  I'm also on goodreads, though I haven't actually put anything in there yet.

wendyzski: (Default)
I have accepted a position as the administrative assistant/office manager at Good Steward Building Management in Chicago, starting Monday.   GSBM specializes in condo buildings of 20-100 units. 

It was started by the guy and his wife out of their home, but they have grown to the point where they need a real office, and she wants to stay home with the kids more, and their current p/t assistant is moving out of state.  The signs just went up at the office, the phone and networking wiring was being laid yesterday and today.

Basically, they were looking for a me.  They need someone to run the office, do AP/AR, file all the paper trails, deal with condo boards, take work orders, handle the ramp-up to the new web portal software, and generally do pretty much everything I've done before - just on a Mac instead of a PC.

It starts out at only 32 hours a week but is anticipated to go full-time with medical after 4 months.  Not too thrilled about that, but they had originally planned a much longer ramp-up period.  I had expressed my concerns about medical at the interview, and they basically met me halfway so I can't complain too much.  I'll be working M-Th generally 9-5.

Honestly, I'm just looking forward to getting off the couch, and this should allow me to get some bills paid and get the bankruptcy case funded and started relatively soon.
wendyzski: (blackout)

There will likely be spoilers for all 3 books so be warned.


That said... )

wendyzski: (gorey)
A day of resting and cleaning for me. Motel Z is quite busy the rest of the week, so I need to have clean towels.

 Th-Sun I signed up to host a couple of Occupy protesters coming in for the NATO summit. You couldn't pay me to get within a mile of downtown the rest of the week, but I'm a big supporter of peoples' right to go and peacefully make noise about things they feel are important. The kids have signed pledges to be respectful and not to use drugs or alcohol while staying with their hosts. I've got Alex coming in from Lancaster CA Th-Sun, and Dan from I-forgot-to-ask Oregon for Saturday night only. I might have one more for a few of the nights, since I have the foldy-couch and a cot to offer. Told them I can't do much about feeding them, but I have comfy sleeping space, hot showers, and wifi to check in with mom.
 
I am a little nervous - it's definitely stepping outside my comfort zone, but I think it's important.  It's not the Occupy folks I'm worried about - it's every asshole with an axe to grind who is coming to town looking for an excuse to set shit on fire that worry me. Most of these people are idealistic young people who really believe in trying to change the world through non-violent protest.  Possibly getting arrested for trespassing is likely the most provocative thing they will do.  But there are always be idiots using protest as an excuse to act out in public.  I just hope that the peaceful folks don't get caught up in too much of the chaos.

I've met a couple of the Occupy "Street Medic" squad. They've organized peeps who either have or will take first aid training, and gotten them radios and visible insignia. If someone keels over from the heat (or CC forbid some of the anarchist groups infiltrate and cause a ruckus), it's these peeps job to take care of anyone who needs it. I'm torn between admiration for the volunteers and fears for their safety.

As part of the leadup to NATO, a lot of progressive groups are doing stuff around town. One of these is an actual old hippy-style Free Store in my neighborhood for the week, so I signed up to work a few shifts this week. Did my first shift yesterday, and it was certainly interesting. (They did try to recruit me into some more of their "alternative economy" events, but were polite when I said that really, this was all I was comfy doing now). I greet peeps, re-fold clothes, generally neaten stuff up, and unpack and sort donations. I brought over a small table I didn't need and took home some arm warmers, candles, and a wok.

It's interesting to watch people as they realize that no really, everything is free. Some people immediately start stuffing bags with anything they might possibly be interested in, and others come up to me to ask if it's OK to take more than one videotape. One of the other volunteers is a terribly earnest young vegetarian with an infant in a sling as she works, while her older daughter excitedly greets visitors with "Hi! Thanks for coming! Everything's Free!" (although she is also happily working on a small collection of toy dinosaurs as they come in).

 So, in my own limited and middle-aged way, I'm contributing. Feels good.
wendyzski: (gorey)

UPDATE - UNLOCKED 5/21

INTRO:
  This entry is Friends-locked because Barnes & Noble seems oblivious to the concept of "release dates", so I received my pre-ordered copy 2 days ago despite the release date being 5/22.  As Seanan/Mira is rather OCD and had a total flipout when her last book 'Discount Armageddon' released early, I notified her webmaster but left it up to them when/whether to tell her.  As far as I can tell she is still blissfully unaware, and I think that it is better that she remain so for now.  She will find out eventually, but for now let's let her have at least a few less-stress days and good nights of sleep.

WHY DOES THIS MATTER?  From reading her blog, I've learned that the book industry has become increasingly more like the movie industry.  First-week sales really matter, especially when it comes to hitting numbers like the NYT lists.  Since I really like her work, and want companies to give her more money to write more lovely books, I want to do my part and make my purchase count towards those numbers. Since this was The Year of Three E-Readers, I had lots of Barnes & Noble store credit left, so I pre-ordered both Discount Armageddon and BLACKOUT in January.  (Ashes of Honor, the next Toby book, is coming out in September but wasn't available for pre-order at the time).  Stores like pre-order figures, as they are a great measure of the "buzz" for an upcoming release.   My copy of DA wasn't too early, but BLACKOUT was.  Usually when books ship early like this, it ends up diluting those critical first week's sales numbers.  So from now on I plan to actually go to physical stores and buy books whenever possible - especially for Seanan's work.

So this is why this is F-locked - because I don't want this to be cross-posted or found by her little electronic spiders yet. 
Please respect this.

UPDATE:  Seanan's lates blog entry says "If you somehow get an early copy, please don't tell me. There's nothing I can do about it, and it'll just raise my blood pressure. But feel free to post a review. Reviews are awesome."  So we're still not telling her and I'll unlock this entry on 5/22

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


THE SETTING:  For those unfamiliar with the Newsflesh books, they are a trilogy of works that take place after The Rising - that summer of 2014 when two genetically-modified viruses with the best of intentions combined in the wild and began bringing the dead back to life.  20% of the world's population died that summer, and while the world didn't end it was profoundly changed in a lot of ways.  Some obvious and some less so.  During the early days of the outbreak, while the government tried to cover up the story and the traditional media reported stories about student pranks in bad latex makeup, it was the blogoshpere that came into its own.  Starting with a CDC researcher who violated security by posting the complete details of 'The Walking Plague' on the only unmonitored place he knew of - the blog of his young daughter Wendy.  Bloggers shared the stories of "No shit - dead people are getting up and eating their relatives!".  They posted survival tips culled from a score of Romero movies, and the ways that people were trying to protect themselves.  Many of them died, but their last posts remain on The Wall, am online memorial to everyone who died trying to save the world. 

The best science fiction has always been about people - it uses the tropes of spaceships or zombies to tell us important truths about ourselves.  So while yes, there are zombies in these books.  They are not the real monsters.

In FEED, a team of bloggers wins the chance to follow the presidential campaign.  They encounter a lot more than they bargained for, and discover that there are truths that some people don't want to be told.  Not all of them survive.

In DEADLINE, the surviving members of the team - very much 'walking wounded' - are handed what seems like the keys to unlocking the vast conspiracy.  But not all is as it seems, and strings are being pulled on both sides.

Since it's impossible to discuss BLACKOUT without revealing some fairly important spoilers about the other two books, this is where the LJ cut comes in.  No spoilers for book 3 here  - just the other 2.


Don't say I didn't warn you... )

Alive or dead, the truth won't rest.

Rise up while you can.

wendyzski: (Default)
wendyzski: (Default)

Someone posted on one of my Steampunk communities today.  He is undergoing cancer treatment and has a tube in his throat which prevents him wearing a regular necktie.  He was looking for a source for soft cravats, several of which were posted. 

My response, though, was "I would totally collaborate on making something that actually incorporates and shows off the tube, because it's proof of how badass you are!"

I posted a reference to it on my wall, and quite a few people agreed with me, for one reason or another.  So I started thinking about why that was my immediate response.

 For me, it's kind of like those women who get beautiful tattoos that incorporate their mastectomy scars, or losing your hair from chemo and getting your scalp tattooed.  It's taking something negative and making it into a badge of honor.  I believe that you shouldn't always hide what you've been through - though I do understand that sometimes it's nice to put on a wig and just feel "normal" and not have "cancer survivor" painted on your head for all the world to see.  That would be a much-needed break.  But I also think that it's important both to yourself and to other people to be honest about what is happening and if possible to embrace that. 

If I lost a limb I would use a regular prosthetic of course, but I would also want to do faire with something like a hook or a peg-leg and TELL people about it.  Especially kids.  Because that way it becomes not something scary or weird or to be shunned - it's just something that people deal with, and that they have always dealt with it, and isn't it much nicer that we now have wheelchairs and custom-fit prosthesis and buildings that have ramps... Because those kids are then less likely to park in a handicap space, or ignore someone who needs a seat or the bus, or say cruel things about people who use the carts at WalMart.

I admit, I also like rattling people's cages, and it would be unexpected.  People get complacent, and sometimes they need to get a bit of a smack in their preconceptions. a "That's a cool appliance"  b "It's not an appliance.:   a "Oh"....  And you know what, A might feel uncomfy, but they're much less likely to make an assumption about someone based on the way they look.  That's a good thing for BOTH A and B.

Shit happens.  You can pretend it didn't happen, or you can deal with it and make morbid jokes.  Someone posted "Laughter will keep you off the roof - with or without the rifle" and she's not wrong.  When I spent half a season at KCRF on crutches, I realized fairly quickly that no amount of burlap was going to hide the fact that they were big honking aluminum crutches and I needed them to get around.  So I chose to decorate then with brightly colored ribbons and bells, and hung my chalkboard around my neck with snide comments written on it.  You know what?  NO ONE said a word about them.  They laughed, gave me thumbs-up, or rueful grins of agreement.  Because shit happens, and you deal. 

Years ago at Marcon, I saw an older woman who built her Hoveround into some kind of cool SF looking tank out of mostly cardboard and hot glue.  It looked amazing, partly because it had a clear dome that opened up and she was wearing a crash helmet - but partly because of her attitude about it.  She had the most manically gleeful expression on her face when she "floored it" down the hallway!

One of my favorite steampunk "costumes" is the Steampunk Wheelchair that Noelle made first for Windycon a few years ago and has updated several times.  It's awesome - most of the mods are from a $5 secondhand ceiling fan.  It's got lights, and a working smokestack, and it was her first real con costume (she's a model-painter).  You bet I figured out a way that she could show it off and compete in the Masquerade with version 1.0.  She's gotten well-enough known for it that you can probably find her on Google without much effort, and I'm cheering all the way. 

You can mope around and pretend things didn't happen, and there is certainly a time for that old Egyptian river.  But I also think that it's healthy to make your pain into art.  Make people laugh.  Make them stare.  Make them think.  Make them question.

wendyzski: (Default)
Dear XXXXXX,
I am in receipt of your alleged "documentation" of this debt.

While the first page listing the car rental information is correct for the orange Kia that was rented and then damaged in 2009, the attached damage report is for a black pickup truck. I respectfully submit that someone in your office needs a bit of a lesson in what the words "verifies our clients' claim" mean.

I also enclose a copy of the check from my insurance company which paid this claim amount in January of 2010.

Please immediately correct your records and update the credit bureaus, and then please go away.

Sincerely,
..............

(Mind you, I have been getting demand letters from these clowns for just over 2 years, and this is the first time they have actually produced any "documentation".  I already filed a complaint with the FTC about them doing this and putting it on my credit reports without providing me with any proof)
wendyzski: (Default)

Really.  Work with me here...

I was recently reading The Secret of Chanel No.5 (an interesting idea but kind of a lame book, with confusing time-scales and purple prose), and of course they talked at great length about the complexity and construction of "modern" perfumes.  I was reminded of how little I like "modern perfume". 

We all know that scent and memory are very closely entwined.  My mother wore Arpege when I was young, and then switched to Opium.  My father wore Old Spice and then switched to something else - I remember the bottle but forget the name.  I will always associate Jean Nate with my grandmother slowly dying of Alzheimers, as they doused her with ever-increasing amounts to hide the smell of urine.  Suddenly-reappearing-ex-fiancee wore Grey Flannel, and to this day now it makes me vaguely ill.

I don't wear any of them.  In fact, I don't really wear "perfume" at all.  I usually wear a variety of single scents (what were called soliflora) or comparatively simple blends of 2-3 different scents - all recognizably plants or flowers.  Jasmine, rose, and lilac most of the time.  I occasionally like patchouli, but I'm mindful that a lot of people don't.  I have some herbal blends that I wear when I'm in the mood - a lemon/lavender/fir blend is nice when I need a wake-up call, for example, and lavender/vanilla is a great pillow spray scent.  But I generally hate the scents of most commercial perfumes.  I'm not sure whether it's the primarily synthetic ingredients I object to, or just that "my nose gets confused".

I got thinking about this the other day, and realized that a LOT of the things in my life are the same way - I like things simple. 

I don't have much appreciation for "fine cuisine" - because I want my steak to taste like steak, not marinade or sauce.  Most sauce (unless it's cheese) usually gets in the way. So I don't cook much.  I like one or maybe 2 extra ingredients on my pizza.  I hate chicago-style hot dogs, and eat my burgers with lettuce, cheese, and ketchup only.

I also don't like most combined/contrasting flavors. Take chocolate-covered potato chips, for example.  (please - take them, I don't want them).  My mother adores them, and I find them confusing.  If I want something salty, I'll eat something salty.  If I want a sweet I want a sweet.  Not some weird combination of the two.  I have very reluctantly accepted "chicago-style popcorn' (mixed butter, caramel and cheese) but at least that I eat a nugget or two at a time, of the same flavor, so I am experiencing them sequentially, not all at once.  I'm not one of those weirdos who has to eat all my veg, then all my meat, etc, or has to have the foods not touching or anything like that.  I do occasionally eat 2 differently-flavored jellybeans at the same time, but that's on purpose - it annoys me when it happens by accident.

Then I looked in my closet.  I own less than 10 items made of printed fabric.  One was a gift, and one is a small floral on black that was bought for a specific occasion.  Two are plaid, and three have stripes.  The other is a black-lace-pattern-on-white T-shirt and it's been sitting in the bottom of my shirt drawer for over a year.  I do own one long-sleeved shirt that is a tiny windowpane plaid that looks solid from more than a foot away. That's it.  Even costume stuff  - the only patterns I've used in my Steampunk stuff are woven stripes, and even my Elizabethan gowns are solid velvet for the most part, with occasional simple geometric woven patterns in no more than 2 colors.

Then I looked in my living room.  Aside from the curtains (an Indian print in blues and greys) all of my furniture is solid-colored, and/or wood.  Aside from one set of tone-on-tone woven pattern duvet cover and shams, all of my bedding is solid colors.  I have 2 throw pillows that have stripes, but I got them for free.  Bedroom curtains have a bit of beading on the top, but are otherwise solid colored.  Shower curtain plain, and bathroom is decorated in 3 colors.  Yes the office curtains are a brown Indian floral print, but that was probably accidental.  Aside from the ones that I got for free, all of my dishes are white, black, or clear.  Silverware is plain metal with no detail.

I just found this interesting, as I'd never thought about this before.

wendyzski: (Default)

Been rather under the weather all week, so I've been passing the time watching a lot of anime.   I'm no otaku, but I do enjoy much of what I've seen.  Some of it is from my Netflix queue (which is usually a bit older), and some from the Crunchyroll Roku channel (which features some shows currently airing in Japan) .  Some of the ones I've liked are:

Black Butler (Netflix) - fantasy/occult Victorian.  The young Earl of Phantomhive swears revenge on those to killed his family and destroyed his home, with the aid of a demon butler.  Sebastian ("One Hell of a butler") will use his powers to aid the Earl until his revenge is complete, in exchange he will devour the boy's soul.  The interaction between the two is well-done, and the story arc develops slowly in the background before the last few episodes roar to a rather strange but emotionally-satisfying climax.  I found most of the supporting characters rather annoying but the setting and action are superb.  There is a second season not yet on Netflix, but from a look at Wikipedia I don't think I'd like it - too much "oh wait, that didn't actually happen" for my tastes. 

Bodacious Space Pirates - I prefer the translation of "Miniskirt Space Pirates", which fits the high-school girl turned privateer captain story a bit better.  This is currently airing in Japan, so I get the eps about a week after they air.  It's a bit of a mush, but enjoyable mush.  There are flashes of really nice storytelling, like the evening shortly after Marika learns that she is heir to the captaincy of the Bentenmaru, when her mother (formerly known as 'Blaster Ririka") takes her out to teach her to shoot weapons.  It's a nice bit of "girl-power", when they talk about the fact that being willing to use a weapon is the real power, not the weapon itself but the choice.  But there are SOOO many supporting characters - the entire school "space yacht club", the bridge crew of the ship, members of a system's Royal Family - so no one except Marika is getting any character development.  It is nice that she is getting most of her guidance from two crew members, one male and one female, so it mostly steers clear of the older man/young girl dichotomy (see 'Gunslinger Girl' below) that so many westerners find rather skeevy.  Still, not sure where this one is going.  I'm up to ep 12.

Gunslinger Girl (Netflix) - this was on a list of "x anime series to see before you die".  Set in vaguely-Italy, it's about the 'Social Welfare Agency' which is actually a secret government program to train your girls as assassins.  Each girl is cyberneticly enhanced and has had her past erased, and they each have an adult male "Handler" responsible for their conditioning and training.  I like that it takes that older male/young girl dichotomy and actually addresses it.  How do these girls feel about they handlers?  How do various handlers treat them - as children, as adults, or as tools - and what does that do to the girls.  It's actually quite disturbing at times, as we watch one of the main characters struggling after injury to go back to work because she is so eager to please her handler, and especially when we learn that one girl actually killed her handler and then herself after a failed mission.   There was a second season as well, also available on Netflix, but it didn't really grab me and I dropped it after 2 episodes.

Inu X Boku Secret Service (current)  Another older man young girl one, but in this series everyone is part supernatural and living in a secured luxury apartment building.  She's a half-demon schoolgirl, her godyguard is the reincarnation of the evil nine-tailed fox, and her marriage has been arranged to a flamboyant masked older man who defines everyone in S/M terms.  I'm clearly missing out on a lot of this show by not being Japanese, because there are a lot of times when I just sort of stare at the screen going "buh?".  OK, right - he shape-changes into a levitating rug.  That "bodyguard' has bunny-ears and communicates mostly by flashcards.  Whatever.  I keep watching hoping it will make sense.  As of ep 11, it hasn't.

Ozuma (current) - this one just started airing, but it looks like fun.  Set on a desert world where the genetically engineered/cloned Ideal Children rule while the Naturas scrabble for a living.  A mysterious girl is rescued by a boy from the crew of a Natura ship.  Ships look like planes or spaceships but can travel under the sand by using some technobabbly stuff.   Who and what is the mysterious Maya?  What does she want?  What is the Sand Whale?  Whatever happened to Sam's brother?  Looks like a good old-fashioned space opera, except it's on sand instead.  (Sand Opera?)  Which makes sense as the guy behind it was also behind Captain Harlock and Yamato.  Apparently slated for 6 eps, 1-3 are available now.

wendyzski: (Default)
I just had the following exchange from the e-book writer I've been copy-editing for:

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Author
- Excitement! "Level Up Your Love Life" is fresh back from my awesome copy editor. Get ready, gents. I know where the geeky ladies are hiding.

Me - ‎*blushyface*

Author -  The difference between "violet" and "violent" is the difference between looking like you fell on a keyboard while drunk and looking like a professinal writer. Editors deserve more love.

Me -  ‎"professional"      ;p~
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(The reference is to the first book I worked over for her - a drinks book in which one recipe called for "candied violent leaves")
wendyzski: (gorey)
This is going to get deep and require a fair amount of explanation.....

very long and very personal )


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