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The Writer They Call Tay
08 November 2018 @ 06:01 pm
I was singing a song today on my singing app, from "Crazy For You", and I was remembering back to when I saw it in Toronto when I was about nine years old. And I casually went, 'oh, yeah, Mickey Rooney was in that when I saw it'. And then I went, 'no, wait, that can't be right'. And I asked my mom and she agreed that she didn't think Mickey Rooney was in it when we saw it. And so I Googled it.

And it turned out I actually saw Mickey Rooney onstage when I was nine years old and for the rest of my life have casually filed that away as a thing without putting much thought it in until today. When I realized it was actually kind of cool to have seen a famous actor from the Golden Age of Cinema in probably one of his last stage roles. Especially cool due to the fact that it was one of only two professional live productions I've seen in my life. Camilla Scott of Due South fame played Polly, I did remember that when I started watching Due South later in life. She was really good.

In two other musical related items: I saw An American in Paris (a recording of the London cast) on PBS last week and it is probably the most enjoyable thing I have watched in, like, years maybe. Goodness me that is an amazing production!

And I randomly watched a bit of a French rock musical on youTube this morning in a 'just woke up and watching youTube' way and discovered I can now understand French without subtitles if it is spoken by clear-speaking European French people. Which is less helpful than if I understood it when spoken by rapid-speaking French-Canadians, but a step in the right direction.
The Writer They Call Tay
23 October 2018 @ 11:54 pm
Having a hot tub is really cool. I was so not sure what the point of it was because we have a bathtub with jets in it that has been my lifeline during kidney stone attacks, so I was thinking 'isn't this just a bigger version of what already have?', but no, it is actually different and better. Mum and I have been out there almost every night. It's a chilly walk to and from the house, but once you're in, it's fine, and Dad is building a cool little cabane around it so it will be safe from the elements soon, too. When I get out of there, it's the same feeling as when I've done yoga, so it must be doing good things to my body.

My body is recovering. Still passing stone fragments, so man that must have been a huge stone they zapped, but for the most part I'm no longer in pain all the time. Just really, really tired and easily worn out, but I think that's understandable. Mum's doing a lot better and been really active and I think has turned the corner in her recovery, so that's good too.

Otherwise, I'm just knitting my little heart out. I've made myself a new hat/mitts/scarf set to go with a new coat and am working on a set for Mum to go with her new coat (everything is short rows and super fun to do!), and I've sorted out my Christmas projects, so I just need to get the wool for that and I'm busy until December.

And that's all. Hope everyone else is doing well.
The Writer They Call Tay
16 October 2018 @ 10:09 am
Last year, I picked up a book from the discount rack at Chapters which was called 'The Lizzie Bennet Diaries' and I sort of knew the title as a thing that had been on YouTube, but had never seen it. But I enjoyed the book, which is standalone but also ties into the series, and ended up watching the series, and it was awesome. It's, as might be predicted, a modern take on Pride & Prejudice, told through vlog entries. The production value and acting can be a little subpar in spots, but it does a superb job of updating the story to make you feel what the original readers must have felt in the time it was written and uses a pretty diverse (and well-chosen) cast and creative storytelling.

They followed it up with an adaptation of 'Sanditon', Jane Austen's unfinished novel, which was more an experiment on their part and was a bit meh, but follows Gigi (Georgiana) Darcy on an adventure and fills in a gap until their next production, which was called 'Emma Approved' and was an adaptation of 'Emma'. I actually enjoyed it more than the first series, but Emma is my favourite Jane Austen novel. And now they're making another season of it! It just started last week, but I only spotted it last night on my YouTube recs. It looks like they are or will be folding in 'Persuasion' now. All the series take place in the same universe already, with some of the Lizzie Bennet characters appearing or being mentioned in Emma Approved.

I was very late to the party when I binged my way through the first three series, so it's exciting to be here at the beginning of this one. And they tend to be pretty short, fluffy episodes (though LBD can get a little heavy through Lydia's storyline on occasion), so it's good for my recovering self to have to enjoy. If you're interested in any of them, the playlists are below. It's best to watch via the playlists because the stories were told over multiple channels and the playlists make sure you get everything in the right order.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Welcome to Sanditon
Emma Approved

And the new Emma season can be found here. It doesn't seem to have its own playlist yet.

They've also done adaptations of 'Frankenstein' and 'Little Women', but I haven't watched either of those so I can't comment on them.
The Writer They Call Tay
13 October 2018 @ 11:22 pm
I forgot to mention in and amongst everything that's been going on lately: we got a hot tub! My aunt and uncle have moved into the neighbourhood and their house came with a hot tub they didn't want, so they offered it to us and we said 'sure'. It's been a heck of a lot of work to get it set up (pouring concrete, getting electricians in, moving the actual tub, getting it heated and chemicalled) but it was finally up and running tonight and so Mom and I had a soak, and it was quite lovely. Since she and I have so many issues with our health and pain, she thought it would be good for us, and I suspect it will be. It's pretty fancy, with lots of different jets and lights that change colour and stuff.

I thought I should post something happy on here before it turned totally into a woe is me blog. So yay, hot tub!
The Writer They Call Tay
11 October 2018 @ 07:00 pm
My stent is out! I read a lot to prepare myself for what they were going to do and there were lots of horror stories about how it was worse than the stone or the surgery and they wished they were sedated and blah blah, and I figured it wouldn’t be as bad as that, because people don’t go on the internet to post about how easy and nice it was, but wow, that was nothing. Granted, I am a woman and I imagine it’s more traumatizing for a guy, but it took about a minute from start to finish. They just stick a camera up through your urethra (burned for about two seconds) and go into the bladder to find the stent, then grab it with a grabby thing and pull it out (less than five seconds, slight weird feeling for maybe one second, then it was in his hand). I am a bit sore and having a few bladder spasms on and off, but nothing worse than what I’ve been dealing with.

My urine was a little cloudy on the screen (even I noticed that before he pointed it out), so he’s given me a few days of antibiotics to be safe, but otherwise all is well. He also gave me a few rescue meds to get through further stone attacks if and when they come.

According to the web, the spasms and pain should settle down over the next couple of days. I’m glad that it’s s over, though.
The Writer They Call Tay
07 October 2018 @ 09:57 am
I have reached the 'I hate my stent' part of recovery. OMG, I hate my stent. It wasn't too bad for the first two weeks, but for some reason, last Saturday or so, my body just went 'did you know there's a stent in here?!' and has been throwing a hissyfit about it. It's not a problem if I'm sitting in the recliner, but if I try to sit up straight or stand or lie down, everything starts spasming. I got a stern Mom Lecture last night about giving in and resting and not worrying about whether I'm helping about the house or not. But, like, last night I was trying to put left over rice away and I couldn't stand up long enough to find a lid for the Tupperware container. I'm that level of pathetic. It's coming out on Thursday, which seems like a very long way away, but is at least in sight.

In other 'let's complain about things' news, some person is robot-spamming FF.net with anonymous reviews spewing hate against "CU", which apparently is some group called 'Critics United' on there. Every day, one of my stories gets about 10-30 spam guest reviews all saying the same thing and there's nothing I can do to stop it. I guess it's been going on for a month sitewide, but I've only been hit in the last week. The owners of the site don't seem to be doing anything about it and the only option appears to be deleting the story, which feels like letting the bad guys win. Not a great problem in the grand scheme of things, but annoying.

So, I've just been doing a lot of knitting and listening to music and watching people play video games on youTube. It's Canadian Thanksgiving tomorrow, but we aren't up to hosting or cooking a big dinner, so we're going to my brother's for spaghetti and cheesecake tomorrow night. Which is fine, Thanksgiving is about being with your family, not a big fancy meal. Mom is doing a lot better and has been very active lately, which is good. Once I get this stent out, I think things will start to be back to normal. But, damn, I hate this stent.
The Writer They Call Tay
29 September 2018 @ 08:23 pm
I had a craving for Johnny Cake this week, which is a Bard Family fav. This recipe was lost for several years until it magically turned up in an old desk we were cleaning out to donate. Since we've been having trouble losing recipes of late, I thought it might be best to post it somewhere as a back-up. And to share with the world at large, in case you too would like some Johnny Cake.

Johnny Cake
(from, as far as Mom remembers, the local newspaper a really long time ago)

1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup Milk
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 butter
1/2 sugar
2 1/2 tsps baking powder
Salt (pinch)


Combine cornmeal and milk in a small bowl, set aside to let the cornmeal absorb the milk.

In the meantime, cream together butter and sugar. Add flour, baking powder, and salt to butter and sugar and mix. Add cornmeal mixture to the rest and blend together. The dough will be very crumbly and dry and look like it won't stick together, but it will when you pat it into the pan. If necessary, add a bit more milk, but you shouldn't need to.

Pat dough out into a greased 8x8 pan. Cook at 350F/177C for 30 minutes.

It makes a nice shortcake for strawberry shortcake, but you can also just eat it as is or put butter and/or jam on it.

This entry was crossposted on Dreamwidth (https://awanderingbard.dreamwidth.org/303374.html). Replies are welcome in any location.
The Writer They Call Tay
25 September 2018 @ 11:17 pm
I've been alive for thirty-two years, and the only time we haven't had a dog in the house was six weeks when I was five years old, between when Fergus, our first Scottie, died and the breeder called to ask us to take Randy, our second Scottie, as an emergency case. Not having Ascii around and not having any dog around is really weird. I had a really hard time on Sunday, I think as much of a culmination of everything I've been through lately as grief over Ascii. Thankfully, it's gotten better since then, once I had some sleep on me. But we're all having moments of 'where's Ascii? Oh...yeah'.

We've agreed it's not the time to bring a new dog in, with all of us a little under the weather. Maybe in the Spring, when we've had time to heal up and it's not so stressful here. Mom e-mailed the breeder to let her know about Ascii and she called Mom and they chatted for a while. She has lots of litters and older dogs, I'm sure she'll find one to suit us when we're ready. She's always chosen really well in the past.

Aside from Sunday, when I was a mess, I'm still feeling physically pretty good, and so much better than before the surgery. I didn't realize how sick I was. I can even sing better now. The stone fragments coming through still sucks, but I feel a lot clearer in the head and just generally more myself.

And Mom's noticed a big improvement in her ability to walk and stand up for longer periods in the last few days, so improvements are happening, even amongst the bad things.
The Writer They Call Tay
22 September 2018 @ 10:56 pm
We had to put Ascii down very unexpectedly tonight. She was very weak today and not herself and so my parents took her to the emergency vet. Apparently she had very late stage liver failure. I guess it can come on suddenly like this. The vet says we didn’t miss anything. It was probably like with Shilling, some sort of tumour that caused havoc. She was 12 years old, so she had a good long life for her breed and was a lovely, wonderful girl.

Obviously, this is another very bad thing to happen on top of everything else. Arguably the worst. Mum said she went very peacefully, but we’re all having a hard time.
The Writer They Call Tay
20 September 2018 @ 11:57 am
Hello! Just a quick update: still moseying along. In some ways, I feel a lot better than I have in months, which is awesome. You don't grow a 9mm stone overnight, so it was probably there for a while and might explain why I've felt so crappy lately. But I am still super tired, which is understandable. The stent pain is okay now, just a few twinges here and there and not noticeable unless stone fragments are trying to get by it. I had a rough night last night with a fever, but it broke and now I feel good, so I think it might just have been my body getting the upper hand in the infection battle. Or I might have overdone it yesterday. I went out for a massage and stopped to get a few groceries, which only took maybe five minutes but still knocked me on my ass. The massage was nice but meant I was awake when I might have been napping, so I think being overtired was part of it. I literally did not sleep from 6AM Friday morning to about 3PM Sunday afternoon, aside from a couple of dozy naps and when I was under for the surgery. So I have a bit of sleep to catch up on. If it gets worrisome, I'll go and get looked at, but hopefully, it was just a bad day. According to Mum, Post Op Day 3 is always the worst day. And having Mum on hand, she'll know when to be worried or not.

In other, entirely unrelated news, Family Search has updated their indexing process so you don't need to download software. You can do it right on the website. I talked about doing genealogy indexing here and it's a lot of fun, if you enjoy data entry and looking at historical records. I thought I'd let people know, in case they were interested but couldn't/didn't want to download the software previously. You can just go to the 'indexing' page (linked at the top of the screen on the website) and get started.