alexxkay: (Default)
The strawberries are in bloom, which means it must be weeding season. Progress is happening at a goodly rate. Nonetheless, the project is eternal. Estimating from both my progress and observed growth rates, I should have the spider wort vanquished by approximately 2020. And by “vanquished”, what I actually mean is “cut back to the point where I can keep it away from the strawberries with ONLY constant vigilance”. Slow and steady wins the fruit.
alexxkay: (Default)
Kestrell is, at long last, starting to write up some of her vast accumulated knowledge (and opinion) about Umberto Eco's wonderful _The Name of the Rose_. Recommended to all bibliophiles. http://kestrell.dreamwidth.org/263842.html

(And there's a Patreon attached, so consider that, if you want to encourage more such writing.)
alexxkay: (Default)
I spent most of December with a cold, and thus got very little work accomplished. I did watch a large amount of Western movies, leading to significant additional annotations for Cinema Purgatorio number seven (see earlier comments about Art never being finished, only abandoned).

January, thankfully, has been significantly more productive. Notable accomplishments since last time:
• Annotated chapters two through five of Voice of the Fire.
• Helped annotate issue 11 of Providence.

Plus a lot of miscellaneous bits here and there. Still lots more to do, and a new issue of Cinema Purgatorio is due out tomorrow. Thanks for your support!
alexxkay: (Default)
Earlier this evening, I did some public storytelling for the first time in roughly a decade. I was kinda nervous. I was going with my favorite material (Astolfo and Giocondo), which is generally a crowdpleaser – but which is 30 minutes long. A flop at that length is a really big flop.

I am happy to report that I’ve still got what it takes, and I knocked ‘em dead :)

Seems like a fun group of people, and they’ve liked my material so far. I’m definitely going to try and make it to next month’s event also. April, thanks again for letting me know about this. And Doria, thanks even more for making it happen!

March

Jan. 22nd, 2017 10:06 pm
alexxkay: (Default)
I was at the March yesterday. I posted lots of photos on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/alexx.kay/media_set?set=a.10210486821740239.1073741848.1035714672&type=3), but it occurred to me that I should document it here as well.

I got started a little late, and only arrived downtown around 11:45. From the moment I exited the T, the crowds were impressive, and only became more so as I approached the central location. In fact, I didn’t get all THAT close to the center, as my crowd-phobia kicked in well before that point. There were so many people, I didn’t even get close enough to be able to hear the speakers. But I felt I was still participating by circling around the fringes, offering encouragement, and taking pictures of things I felt were noteworthy.

The March proper started late and was clearly going to go on for a long time, and remain packed throughout. So I didn’t technically march. When my spoons were running low (about 1:45), I headed home. I hadn’t seen anyone I knew in person; unsurprising given the scale of the event.

Surprisingly little in the way of counterprotest. Well, maybe some folks showed up but were intimidated by the crowd size and left without making a fuss. There were a few groups of “orthogonal” protesters (largely for socialist groups), but only one of these appeared to actually have any problems with the March, per se. I saw a grand total of one Trump T-shirt; the young man wearing it had it on over a chain mail tunic, was holding a medieval-style helmet in hand, and had a fake-looking sword stuffed down the back of his shirt. When I spotted him, he was already walking away.

All in all, a hopeful day.
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Weirdly mixed Christmas this year. Kes and I were both getting over colds this year, so we didn't make it through a full reading of _A Kes-Mas Carol_ on the Eve. Kes has pointed out, though, that there are 12 days of Christmas, so I still have time in which to get my full dose of Xmas Ham :-)

Loot included: A book of Cerebus covers, a rare Fredric Brown collection, a nifty-looking co-op time-travel board game, and more. Loot I gave seemed well-appreciated, especially the zombie dog toy for Kestrell's Wolluf, and a Squirrel Girl travel mug for Andrea.

Dinner was good. Mostly conversed with the younger Salazars and April. Got to see Andy for the first time in ages, and meet his Anandi; she assures me that she is fun even when she *isn't* hilariously drunk :-)

Helping clean up from dinner, I discovered that the dishwasher is semi-broken. Not enough to take it out entirely, but it's running at reduced capacity, and will need repair.

Woke up this morning with super-scratchy throat, fever, and sniffles. So, rather than trying out new board game, went back to bed :-( Very much hoping I can recover enough to get to the folk-tale event Thursday night.
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Last night, I spent more time comforting my psychiatrist than vice versa. But then, I can pass for a member of the dominant classes; she’s a black woman with an Arabic name…
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Since my last posting, I have had an increase in productivity. Not enough to be employable yet, but I have done a great deal of Alan Moore annotation. If my new working methods prove stable, I’ll be pushing the button[1] on this Patreon more often, possibly as much as monthly, but more realistically every other month or less. As always, if this makes you rethink your pledge amount, feel free to change that.

Accomplished[2]:

  • Annotations for Chapter One of Voice of the Fire, “Hob’s Hog”, including a complete translation into modern English. This was probably the second hardest chapter I will ever annotate[3].

  • Annotations for the Moore story in Cinema Purgatorio #6, “A Night at the Lawyers”. This was another extra-difficult job, with nearly every panel requiring individual research and notes.

  • Annotations for the Moore story in Cinema Purgatorio #7, “After Tombstone”.

  • Miscellaneous other notes and maintenance on sites.

[1] “Push the button, Max!
[2] The perfectionist in me is forced to add “to a solid first draft state”. Art is never finished, only abandoned.
[3] I am looking forward to / dreading tackling the Lucia Joyce chapter of Jerusalem.

(Copied from Patreon, since y'all might want to know.)

Hob's Hog

Nov. 9th, 2016 09:41 pm
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Managed to spend at least some of today following Neil Gaiman's advice for what to do when times are bad ("Make Good Art"). Buckled down and finished a first draft of annotations for Hob's Hog, the first chapter of Alan Moore's Voice of the Fire.

Being the perfectionist I am, nothing ever quite counts as "done", but I'm legit proud of what's up there. This is probably the second-hardest chapter I'll ever work on. Taking a break for social media, then back to the note mines :-)
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
[livejournal.com profile] teenybuffalo and I saw this at the Boston Public Library today. It's pretty nifty in person, but in some ways better on-line, because you can zoom way in and linger over the details.
http://maps.bpl.org/id/19828
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
About fifteen and a half years ago, I decided to ask a question. That remains the best decision I ever made. And a few months after that, Kestrell formally said "I do." I look forward to at least fifteen more years!
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
So, it's been a while since I did one of these. On a new (ish) antidepressant, that seems to be helping. All eager to get progress going on my various projects. Only to be held back by my chronic pain issues.

Physical Therapy continues to be partially effective, but not to cure me. Currently on a break from it, waiting for more insurance authorization. Sadly, my current (best yet) therapist is getting booted upstairs to management, so even if I get more visists approved, I won't be seeing him any more.

My (mental) therapist suggested an experiment, which I am now in the midst of: spending a month with minimal keyboard interaction, to see if extended rest makes a difference. Please be patient with typos, as I'm using mobile devices to post. At first was very frustrated, as work on my front-burner projects had to be back-burnered. But now I'm working on some previously back-burnered stuff that I can do via mobile.

(Also, am helping Kes with a 'close reading' of Stranger Things, that she is thinking of turning into a thesis.)
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Last night, at 2:30 AM, I (semi-) woke up to go to the bathroom. Wandered down to the second floor without turning the light on, as is my habit.

Wait a minute. Is there a sound coming from the bathroom… a flapping sound? Yes, yes there is.

Okay, step one: go down and use the first floor bathroom.

Next, return to the third floor to get my glasses. Can still hear flapping as I walk by the second-floor bathroom.

When I get back to the second floor for the third time, now thoroughly awake, I no longer hear any flapping. I turn on the light and look in. Thankfully, there is no bat. There is, however, a moth that is very nearly the size of a bat.

I decide to adopt Meredith’s moth hunting technique, and return to the first floor to retrieve a broom. When I get back to the second floor, however, the moth is nowhere to be found. After some searching, I conclude that it was bothered by the light, and got out however it got in in the first place. I return the broom to the first floor and myself to bed.

It is, however, some considerable time before I can fall asleep, as I am listening intently to the darkness…
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Arriving at the hospital for a rabies shot due to bat exposure, at the very front door of the hospital, I catch a Zubat Pokemon :-)
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Once again, the aerie has been invaded. And yet again, I have valiantly returned the airborne intruder to its outdoor habitat. Not without considerable effort and frustration. On the other hand, eventually the fabled Portal Shorts of Bat Stunning actually worked in the way I had initially envisioned for once. I managed to get the bat tangled in them to the point where I could pick it up without getting bitten. It squeaked in an affronted manner, but that didn't stop me from bringing it to the front door and letting it go.

It's going to be a while before I can get back to sleep after that, so I thought I might as well post about it. Tomorrow afternoon, off to the clinic for rabies test. Almost certainly negative, but it's not the sort of thing to leave unchecked.

Good Days

Jun. 6th, 2016 04:37 pm
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
I often come here to kvetch when things are going poorly. It seems only fair to share with you all when there's an uptick.

When I visited my GP last Wednesday, she gave me a referral for a psychiatrist, apologizing that it would take a while, and I'd have to go out to BMC, because Codman Square was shorthanded just then. But then, I got a call on Friday asking if I could meet with a psychiatrist at Codman on Monday (today)! I could, and did, and it was a pretty good first visit, though it will be a while for tangible results, if any.

Another result of my GP visit was my decision to stop taking a medication I've been on for quite some time, that was theoretically supposed to help me sleep, but which I hadn't noticed any useful effects from. Two days later, despite my sleep in fact being somewhat worse, my energy level and affect were both dramatically improved. (Still, you know, disabled and with lurking depression, but better than I'd been for some months.) And this improvement has even lasted! Yesterday, I even joined Kes and April for a rainy road trip to Salem, and came out okay. Yes, I was totally wasted by the time we got home, but I bounced right back today. Here's hoping this continues…
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Well, I finally got the decision from the judge. It goes on at great length, revealing that he really did spend a lot of time working on it. It concludes that I am not disabled. Dammit.

As best I can translate/summarize the legalese: since my chronic pain does not have an "objective" source, they assume I'm lying about it.

Thank you to [livejournal.com profile] siderea for her recent post about objective/subjective in the medical realm; it helped prepare me for thinking about this result.

Tomorrow, I have an appointment with my GP. I was already planning on asking for tests that could lead to an official diagnosis that was more convincing to bureaucrats. This plan's urgency has skyrocketed.

Thursday, file the actual appeal, and start the process of seeking (free) legal counsel.

Tonight, cry, hug my wife, eat comfort food.
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Spring having finally put in an appearance, I’ve been allocating much of my “productivity” spoons to the garden. For the last two years, the weeds have been seriously crowding out the strawberries. So I have been attacking them.

Now, it’s important to note that THOROUGH weeding is actually counterproductive. When the strawberry plants have no nearby competitors, they spread out rather than up. This leaves the strawberry fruit lying on the ground, and much less likely to reach ripeness intact. With competition, the stems stiffen, lifting even heavy fruit.

That said, I am doing my damnedest to genocide the spiderwort.

When it first showed up, several years ago, I was like “Those purple flowers are really pretty. I wonder what they are?” Some Internet research revealed a plant that went by several names, the most evocative of which was spiderwort. It also seemed to be widely regarded as a pestiferous weed. Knowing that “weed” is a subjective and problematic term, I left the spiderwort alone, due to the beauty of its flowers. This was an error.

Spiderwort starts out looking like a patch of unusually wide grass or reeds. By the time it flowers, it can reach a height of 2 to 3 feet. In late summer, after the flowers have had time to pollinate, the strong stems holding them up… relax. THWUMP! Suddenly, a 2 foot radius of the garden is completely covered in limp spiderwort, stealing all the sunlight. And it puts down new seedlings at the perimeter. If you leave it alone, you will soon have a LOT of spiderwort.

The enemy is well dug in, in multiple senses. But, day by day, the front moves back. I shall not rest until they have been driven back to the sea! Well, okay, not quite that far. But I am gonna get them the hell away from my strawberries.

Dream Argh

Apr. 30th, 2016 05:43 am
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Dreampt that I got news from the Judge. Convicted to time on a Chain Gang. Luckily I was lucid enough to force myself awake from that. Woke in significant pain. Decided to write it down in hopes of getting it the fuck out of my head. Back to bed now...

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Alexx Kay

June 2017

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