alexxkay: (Default)
2017-10-09 10:45 pm


I am reading the autobiography of Yakima Canutt, a stuntman and violence designer from the Golden Age of Hollywood. He spends a little time talking about a producer he worked with, one Nat Levine.
Nat Levine was not only a sharp operator, he knew how to handle people. He could get more work out of a crew than anyone I have ever known. Sometimes he would come out with the kind of impossible order that would ordinarily send people into tantrums. However, with Nat's crews and actors, it would have the opposite effect. They would laugh it off and Nat would laugh with them. He was a shrewd businessman who had a keen appreciation for what people were going through.
I have to wonder if this Nat was an ancestor of the Ken Levine I worked with. Eventually, Ken could no longer get insane amounts of work out of *me*, but his general skills in that department were impressive. If only he’d used those powers for good…
alexxkay: (Default)
2017-08-27 06:01 pm
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Kestrell's new tattoo

Was done yesterday, at Good Faith Tattoo. The artist, Victor Kesinger, also turns out to have done the mermaid picture I liked so much.

Tattoo pics behind the cut
Read more... )

alexxkay: (Default)
2017-08-15 12:41 am

Bat Number 4

‘Tis the season for young bats to get lost. And find their way into my room. It’s actually over a year since the last time this happened – that was early July. Suppose I’ll see about a rabies booster. Sigh…

On the plus side, I’m getting more skilled at getting rid of them using the Shorts of Bat Entanglement. Although I did think for a while that I had activated the Portal function again, as the bat appeared to have completely vanished in the attic stairwell. However, just as I was coming back upstairs from reopening all the inside doors, I spotted the little bugger resting on the floor in a dim nook behind a couple of Kestrell’s books. With patience, care, and ruthless ignoring of the offended shrieking noises, I managed to fully entangle the bat in the shorts. It was then a relatively straightforward manner to bring it out to the backyard and release it. After a moment to recover, it flew off into the jungle, and I returned to a (hopefully) bat-free house.

In the silver lining department, everyone else seems to have slept through this.

Oh wait -- it just occurred to me. I can blame April for this! Her birthday gift of a (metal) bat to Kestrell yesterday clearly summoned this live bat through sympathetic magic! :-)
alexxkay: (Default)
2017-07-28 01:23 am


 On my way back from Poke-hunting tonight, at half past midnight, I saw a pack of four or so critters crossing the street about a block ahead of me. Two more stragglers crossed a minute later, by which time I had gotten close enough to positively ID them as raccoons. As much as I love squirrels, it's nice to occasionally spot something bigger in the wild.
alexxkay: (Default)
2017-05-10 09:26 pm

Garden Report

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)
2017-02-22 08:51 pm
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Kestrell's latest literary project

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.

(And there's a Patreon attached, so consider that, if you want to encourage more such writing.)
alexxkay: (Default)
2017-01-31 06:44 pm

Alexx’s January Patreon Update

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)
2017-01-30 11:57 pm

Still Got It

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!
alexxkay: (Default)
2017-01-22 10:06 pm


I was at the March yesterday. I posted lots of photos on Facebook (, 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)
2016-12-26 05:48 pm
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Christmas roundup

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)
2016-11-29 01:19 pm
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Signs of the times

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)
2016-11-27 01:40 pm
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November update for Alexx’s Patreon

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.


  • 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.)
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
2016-11-09 09:41 pm
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Hob's Hog

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)
2016-11-07 07:35 pm
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An anciente mappe of Fairyland : newly discovered and set forth

[ 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.
alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
2016-10-27 07:54 pm
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Fifteen Years

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)
2016-09-21 10:38 pm
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Alexx update, September 2016

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)
2016-07-22 11:55 am
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Another Airborne Intruder

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)
2016-07-14 01:22 pm
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Dramatic Irony Dept.

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)
2016-07-06 02:08 am
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Alexx three, Bats zero

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.