Digging Through Fandoms For Yuletide

Sep. 25th, 2016 11:03 am
calliopes_pen: (chomiji Yuletide Narnia)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
I’m sifting through the tag set for Yuletide, now that it has been revealed.

I’m surprised someone out there nominated Exit Sherlock Holmes, by Robert Lee Hall. I’m delighted that someone else out there actually read it. I still have a copy. I read it again for the first time in 20 years a couple months ago, so I’m amused. That book was insane.

Looking through the characters nominated for Dracula, I see someone out there nominated Sister Agatha. (The nun that wrote to Mina about Jonathan being adored by everyone…even in the midst of his insane ravings of vampires and blood and death. Those nuns must have seen far worse.) It didn’t take too long for a prompt to be born after I spotted her. Which…I’ve come up with quite possibly more than a dozen prompts that I really need to narrow down when it comes to that novel.

Other nominations of note, which interest me, as I scroll through (and this is more so I don’t have to keep going back to look—as others have done, an asterisk is beside what I nominated):

Anno Dracula Series - Kim Newman
Carmilla - J. Sheridan Le Fanu
*Dracula - Bram Stoker
Exit Sherlock Holmes - Robert Lee Hall
James Asher Vampire Series - Barbara Hambly (I read the first novel earlier this month; just located the second)
Poems - Edgar Allan Poe
A Study in Emerald - Neil Gaiman
The Turn of the Screw - Henry James (massive thanks for this nomination!)
Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë (I’m about to start reading this)
The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
American Werewolf in London (1981)
*Crimson Peak (2015)
Dracula (1931)
Fright Night (1985)
The Haunting (1963)
Horror of Dracula (1958)
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)
The Watcher in the Woods (1980)
Dark Shadows (1991)
Dracula (TV 1968)
Galavant (TV)
*Penny Dreadful (TV)

I guess the theme of this year for my interests is supernatural/ghost stories or vampire stories or just good old fashioned Victorian horror. And Sherlock Holmes. I’ll be posting my Dear Yuletide letter sometime in the next few days.

I also wonder if it’s worth watching the Dracula (2013) tv series, since it’s on Putlocker and was nominated.

(no subject)

Sep. 24th, 2016 10:19 pm
zvi: (barcode)
[personal profile] zvi
I hate being sick. Friday, I woke up and didn't feel bruised and beaten, so I went into work. (I had been out of the office four business days, so there were some things I really need to get done.) I only made it until about quarter to two, and then I left work to get lunch, walk around a nearby shopping center a little bit (I was sort of hoping to buy a purse big enough to hold my 10" tablet, but I didn't see anything I really liked), until I could catch the bus home.

Today, I put away about six loads of laundry, including schlepping an ironing board up and downstairs, and I was wiped out. My breathing got fucked up so that talking made me cough, and I still feel quite subpar. (I can't tell if it's the impact of the laundry or if it's just me feeling shitty from the flu.)

Anyway, also today, I decided against reinstalling Ubuntu on my computer. (I was dual booting Ubuntu and Windows, but first my Windows partition got too small to be usefully updated, then my Ubuntu partition got too small to be updated, so I took it to a computer shop to be repartitioned, but they were kind of freaked out by the idea of installing Ubuntu, so I ended up having them wipe the hard drive and install Windows 10. I actually really like Windows 10 and One Note, and almost everything else I do, I do online.

So, I'm going to restore the data from my backup, but not Ubuntu. I'm pretty sure it's going to be easier, once I eventually get everything backed up. (Getting everything backed up is going to take forever, though. I'm doing it in chunks, as I'm trying not to download stuff that was saved multiple times on my hard drive. For some reason, nearly all of my podfic had been saved twice, for instance.

I feel a little sad about it, but also like it will make my life easier. I was never very political about free software, and dual booting is kind of a pain in the ass. It's the end of an era for me, though. :/

Which celebrities do it right?

Sep. 24th, 2016 12:16 pm
yourlibrarian: Don't mess with my world turtle (OTH-WorldTurtle-toraloodle)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) I'm not on Facebook or most social media accounts, but I do have a read-only Twitter account and I follow (goes to check) 9 accounts, 7 of which are celebrity accounts. I went to update it today to add Joss' new account and started pondering what I really want out of a celebrity twitter. Read more... )

2) Although I'm not as prone to motion sickness these days, I was extremely prone to it as a kid. Traveling with me was not fun. I found it interesting to discover that 70% of that may be genetic. Read more... )

3) In a recent grocery store run I saw that Halloween costumes are out. Interestingly the boys had superheroes from Marvel whereas' the girls were from DC (Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl). I was just glad they had any and not just princess costumes. Read more... )

What I was not expecting to find on that rack was this:



In case you can't read it, what they have included is 1 Serape, 1 straw hat. and 1 large black moustache. Although there are 2 adults in the picture the sizes looked like they were for teens.

Given the protests that have gone on at college campuses (and we're a college town) about ethnically themed parties you wouldn't think a store's buyer would be stupid enough to include something like this for Halloween. But clearly I would be wrong.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Windows 10 has its own EXIF remover, which I came to discover only after I tried and failed to use EXIFStripper on the photos I posted tonight. Windows (or the program itself, I'm not sure which one dropped the ball) won't let me drag and drop images into the tool anymore.

I found this extremely odd so tried variations on where I dragged from (Downloads, Pictures, OneDrive, the Photos app itself) and variations on how I ran the tool (both as Administrator and not as Administrator) only to find failure all the way through. At which point I Googled and came upon 3 Ways to Remove EXIF Metadata (and yes, whoever wrote it needs an editor on that title, STAT) only to see Windows 8 and 10 have their own built-in stripping utility that works pretty well.

I say "pretty well" because certain metadata like F-stop, exposure and other clueish items get preserved, but at least dead giveaway stuff gets stripped out, not that it really matters - I keep geolocation turned off, anyhow.

Raw food and other one-offs

Sep. 24th, 2016 12:54 am
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Because why would I post normal things?

Uncooked vegetables for shrimp curry

Raw ingredients for shrimp curry in a cast iron pan on the stove.

Uncooked but fully assembled pizza

Raw ingredients on uncooked pizza dough, all in a pizza pan about to go in the oven

Some foods look better raw than cooked - that's just how it is. Both meals came out tasty but not as good-looking as they were raw.

The pizza was a treat Other Person made tonight with Publix pizza dough, shallots (we get 10-15 for just $1.49 at the local Asian market), fresh basil from the back porch, garlic crushed in the stone mortar and pestle (which I snagged for just $10 at the Asian market because the pestle was broken, but some super glue set that right real quick), thick shredded mozz, thin-sliced cherry tomatoes, Barilla spicy marinara, and Boar's Head pepperoni, which I was grateful for after taking a survey asking if I'd like to buy bags of crispy pepperoni slices like you get on pizzeria pizza. Well, yes, I would, enough to rush out in my nightclothes right now, where are these crispy little delights you speak of?

Talk about sudden cravings.

The pizza was delicious. Never tried Publix's pizza dough before but as I commented to OP after a few bites, they must've stolen the recipe from some Italian restaurant back in NY, because it did taste authentic.

Some weird flea medicine

My neighbor's big spray bottle of flea medicine

My mom's dead spider plant

My mom's dead spider plant, as seen on the back porch

The weird flea medicine is my neighbor's. I took a picture to Google it when I got back home (but still haven't Googled) but then I thought I'd post the pic to ask the rest of y'all, has anyone tried this? Is it any good? Her entire apartment smells of peppermint from spraying her cats (she's got the two black kittens I never took and some others) and her rug.

The Activyl flea medicine came today. We applied it to all five kitties while the pizza cooked. I was surprised it came so quick, but glad, because in the last few days I've picked a flea off Bowie's face and OP's picked one off of Pip, and I've come to see flea dirt everywhere (yes, even in my dreams, where our entire living room was coated in flea eggs this morning) so it couldn't get here fast enough unless someone airdropped it even as I clicked "Add to cart".

The last one's called "My mom's dead spider pant" because she said it would die before she did, so before May of 2012. I hate to say it lived - I wish it'd been the other way around, and the plant died just days after her prediction while she went on to live forever, but alas, it was not so. As crazed and really no longer myself as I was by then, something about her saying it would die - at all, much less before she did - was the proverbial flag in the bull's face.

Mom got too sick to know or care if the plant lived but I wouldn't give up on it. It had maybe a tiny handful of half-dead leaves when she passed but by then I'd kept it alive single-handedly and nurtured it back to glowing health by that fall so it looked mostly like the picture above. Then a frost killed it at the house out in the woods about two years ago.

What you see in the picture above? Is not the plant she predicted would die two years before it actually did. It's one of the children it had. Just one.

I have four more pots holding them, and between those there are dozens more babies hanging off those, so her dead plant lives on. I'd keep it going forever, in memory of her, if I could.

Planning. It's like exercise really.

Sep. 23rd, 2016 11:13 pm
zvi: Warrick Brown, looking fine and sexy (Warrick Brown)
[personal profile] zvi
So, I've been watching these Bullet Journal videos and Planner videos for, like, two weeks, and, even though I have no intention of starting my own physical planner (I use a notepad to write down my daily tasks at work, because I had to confront the fact that writing must do stuff on post it notes and attaching it to my monitor made me feel dumb, but EVERYTHING ELSE IS DIGITAL.)

Part the first: The only good planner is the planner you actually use. Things that make you stop using a planner are extremely idiosyncratic and extremely real. If you don't use your planner because it's too big or too small, because it's not pretty enough, because the pages are hard to turn, because you never have your planning pens with you, or whatever it is that's giving you grief, change your setup until you are willing to use your planner consistently. Like exercise, planning is for you to make your life better, so if the planner you have is not one you're using, it's not doing you any good. If any of the advice you get from me or anyone else makes you less likely to plan, ditch the advice. You do you!

That being said, the opinions.

Part the Second: Bullet Journal opinions
  1. Start your bujo in a notebook you already own. This is gonna feel weird for maybe as long as the first 3 months and it may end up not working for you. Don't throw out cash to begin with, just pick up an old spiral-bound and get started. If you find that a bujo is kind of working for you but you want something prettier or smaller or larger, you'll figure it out. But to give it a try, just use the notebook and pen you have on hand. The first three months are seriously you just trying the system.
  2. Page 1 should be your key. Leave a blank page on page 2 for changes you make to your key, a color code, or a pen test.
  3. When you do buy a journal specifically for bullet journaling, you want dot grid paper. (You don't have to buy an expensive Leuchtturm1917 to get dot grid paper.) It's much easier to draw boxes and grids freehand if you have the dots to guide you. If you really can't get dot grid paper, you can get quadrille notebooks from any office supply store.
  4. Your bullet journal should be the largest notebook you will happily carry everywhere with you. Feeling cramped is a problem lots of people have, feeling weighed down by too big a book is a problem people have. Find your best compromise, which may be tiny!
  5. Index. To make it easier to index, you should either write the page number on all of the pages as soon as you start your journal, or make adding a number the first thing you do when you start a new page. Adding a page to the index should be the second thing you do when you start a new page. Index.
  6. After you've figured out your preferred monthly or weekly spread (maybe you don't need a monthly and a weekly. Maybe you do.) consider turning it into a printable and just printing and pasting the spread to save yourself some time. (Unless you like drawing your layouts. But consider creating the printables for a really busy week. Just keep it in your back pocket.)
  7. Think about how you're going to archive/transfer your permanent collections. Evernote and Onenote are options.
  8. Planners have a bazillion neat tools for planning. Stamps, stickers, printables, binder clips, paper clips, magnetic bookmarks, tabs, stickynotes, paper flags, washi tape. Don't feel limited to highlighters and colored pens and pencils for making your bullet journal work for you. However, the tools you pick should probably be the tools you feel happy to carry with you just about everywhere. So your bujo is with you, and your tools are with you, and you can always update your bujo.
  9. Skipping weeks or days in your bujo is fine. Pick it back up when you have time. It's just blank pages. Figure out what kept you from using it, and if you can simplify, eliminate, or switch, wrote you're busy. But if you wind up putting things down and picking them up, it's fine. Honestly, maybe you just prefer a different method.



Part the third: Planner opinions
  1. Consolidate in as few planners as you can. The more planners you have, the more opportunities you have to not have the right planner to take the note or make the appointment you need to do at the moment.
  2. If you have to modify the layout all the time, create a printable or find a stamp to make the change you need.
  3. If you don't care about bulkiness, a disk system offers maximum flexibility and ease of change. If you want something relatively slim, get a bound planner, but pick your layout carefully. If you don't know exactly what layout you want, your best bet is to wait until December (or even January) and buy several different discounted planners at a bookstore.
  4. Carry your planner supplies with you inside of your planner.




Part the fourth
Are you sure you wouldn't be happier doing all of this on your phone? They make quite large phones, nowadays.

(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2016 06:39 pm
zvi: Reclining silhouette of a black woman: Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety (zvi)
[personal profile] zvi
If you stumble, make it part of the dance ¿source?

Podcast Review: Sawbones

Sep. 23rd, 2016 11:51 am
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Basic: Science)
[personal profile] lea_hazel
Medical history can be fascinating, depressing and hilarious in more or less equal measure. A few of my smarter teachers have touched on it here and there, and it always helps to contextualize the material. It also puts things in perspective, when you’re learning about historical beliefs that represented the best medical thought of the time, alongside the best modern understanding of certain scientific mysteries. Makes you feel like maybe we know as little about the human brain as our antecedents did about germ theory. Someday, future podcasters will laugh at us.

Read more... )

"Sawbones" is a Maximum Fun podcast hosted by Dr. Sydnee McElroy and Justin McElroy.

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.

Princess Love♥Pon!

Sep. 22nd, 2016 06:09 pm
zvi: self-portrait: short, fat, black dyke in bunny slippers (Default)
[personal profile] zvi
I bought Princess Love♥Pon at Small Press Expo this year. Today (second day of staying home sick), I read the first two published chapters and the in progress Chapter 3.

Review in multiple parts:

Part the First: The story
Do you like things that are cute? Do you like magical girls? Do you fondly remember Sailor Moon or Card Captor Sakura? Do you have positive feelings about love and negative feelings about sadness and despair? This comic is relevant to your interests.

Adorable Lia Sagamore, her bestie Rachel Martinez, her "um…friend" Luis (a college freshman!), and her magical mascot Hunnie are involved in the battle against evil. The story has not advanced very far, but so far the points of interest are, this comic is extra adorable. It is made of cream puffs and lollipops and kawaii and ALL of the pink. Lia and Rachel are black. Rachel and Luis are Latinx. All you need to fight evil is love and an open heart.

Things I love: It's cute. I love the relationship between Lia and Rachel and between Lia and Luis. (Chapter two is all about how you should tell people how you feel about them, instead of building up your FEELINGS until they burst all over everybody.) It is darling and all about handling your feelings.

Things I'm not sure about: Something's up between Luis and Rachel, though, and I'm not sure how I feel about that! I'm not interested in love triangles or secret dating/breakups that went bad. Also, no one has any parents? I'm always a little bit dubious about stories about high school which feature zero parents. And lastly, our enemy is the dark queen. I think the association in American/Western culture between dark and bad is not good for black people, and I find it a weird choice to make in a magical girl comic, i.e. traditionally heavily color-coded, about black and brown people. Can the evil one not be an ice queen? Or the vast, white empty? Just sometimes? However, it's relatively early days. Maybe this queen will turn out to be dark like Nightmare Moon.

Part the Second: The physical copies
These are stapled, about digest size, and were sold to me in plastic protective sleeves. I can't figure out anyway to buy them over the internet. They appear to be four colors, dot printed sort of like an old newspaper. The paper is slick and just faintly reflective, but not really glossy. My copy of volume 1 is printed much more darkly than volume 2. I don't know if that's an artifact of when they were produced in the print run or if they deliberatley changed the saturation value on volume 2. I much prefer volume 1, because the brown comes through more strongly and you can really see that Lia and Rachel and several of their friends are black.

Part the Third: The webcomic
This is a tumblr. The links in the header work, but not the ones in the footer. The tumblr contains just the comic itself, but no extras or fan interaction. Each page/panel links to first, last, next and previous, but there's no archive to specifically direct you to the beginning of each chapter. Only Lia and Rachel are listed on the cast page and the About page is still coming soon.

Basically, what I am saying is that [tumblr.com profile] ngoziu has set a standard for navigation and fan interaction with [tumblr.com profile] omgcheckplease that all other webcomics on tumblr fail to live up to, and I am perpetually disappointed.

Anyway, I am greatly enjoying this comic, it theoretically updates Tuesdays and Thursdays (last update July 19), I am mad I never heard of it before Yuletide nominations, and I recommend it to you, provided you like cuteness and pink. If you want to support her, you can use Shaunadraws @patreon. (I include this link because it is weirdly not on the comic website, the personal website, or the personal tumblr? I think I saw a tweet mentioning it?)

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Just got done reading The Politics of Pockets. You know how sometimes in school you'd listen to a classmate run on and on to answer the teacher's question, and want to raise your hand or interrupt so badly, sometimes/especially when their answer was clearly incomplete or wrong? (You didn't do that back when I was in school, or you got the hand you raised cut off, and your mouth duct-taped shut for the rest of the year. Times might've changed.)

That's how I felt reading this article, because you know what's sexist? Insisting you need a certain look for fashion, then deciding the fact that you're stuck with it is sexist, is sexist. Pockets make your pants hang more saggily in the front. They add weight and heft that can mess up how fabric falls against against your skin - again, especially in the front. And that's just the short list of Reasons Why Pockets Suck.

On the backs of pants, pockets can be problematic: set them too low and your backside might seem too low; set them too far apart and your backside might seem too wide. The opposite of both states also holds true, though I've never heard anyone complain that their ass looks like it sits too high up on their body. For these and many other reasons women's clothing designers long ago chucked the pocket in favor of more slimming and often more flattering, pocketless designs.

I can't help but envision the uproar in a world in which women were pocketed and men pocketless by virtue of a different set of values in place hundreds, if not thousands of years ago. "Only the oppressed must carry so many things around", the reasoning might go. "Look at men with their flat-fronted fashions, using human reticules to carry everything around for them - yes, using us! Is this not slavery? Why do I have to carry this entire kitchen cookware set in my pocket? Men just don't understand how badly we want to be lightweight and free like them."

This isn't a case of being unable to make feminists happy - this is a world in which pocketed or pocketless, we simply never will be happy.

I have my own relationship with pockets. As a child I didn't need them. As a teen who grew up reading fashion magazines I understood why they were The Enemy of high fashion and my figure. As an adult I've want them for work - dozens of pockets covering everything I wear, along with the ability to grow more, as needed - but away from work I have problems with them.

I have an otherwise gorgeous pair of dark denim shorts I don't wear because the back pockets sit too low. I've tossed or donated many pairs of pants and jeans over the years because the back pockets sat too far apart or the front pockets were too thick and bunchy for comfort or style. I can't say how many a) pajama pants, b) jeans, c) dress pants, and especially d) shorts I've taken scissors to and cut the front pockets out of because they crumpled, billowed or bulged, making for a bunched-up and sloppy look. Not to mention in the heat of summer I'll do nearly anything to not sweat just short of crawling into my freezer, and the more pockets you remove, the lighter your clothing becomes.

But I also see an intersectionality between pockets and economic issues. Rich US women, for example, don't wear clothing with pockets; they also don't carry their own purses or cell phones because they have handlers to do those things for them. I need pockets at work only because I'm at work. Elsewhere pockets come in handy only because of what I need to get done or to hold things I need to get through my day or survive. But if I'm rich then I don't need pockets, though I might want them for more non-essential things, so I'll likely go without pockets more often - if not altogether.

Posting on a keyboard to post with

Sep. 22nd, 2016 12:34 am
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

It came in the mail today. I asked Other Person to install it only to be told, "Oh, yeah, sure, that's easy!" Ten minutes of scattered, "Oh, my GOD"s later, I took it it was not that easy, but he got it done (after the Scroll Lock key literally jumped off the keyboard as he pressed the keyboard in, and after he found he couldn't lock the keyboard because the locks aren't moving, and might be there just to make it look like the keyboard it's supposed to look like but actually isn't).

The keyboard, now that I'm typing on it, doesn't feel too great. I don't know if it's the unusable locks but it looks and feels too "springy" and the space bar and letter "a" tend to miss unless I consciously pound them. I tend to pound on keyboards, anyhow (yes, I'm The Most Annoying Typist, ever) but apparently I'm not pounding on the "a" or space bar hard enough.

It's also missing the joystick, or whatever the little doohickey's called between the "g", "h", and "b" keys, as seen in this picture. It came in handy when my touchpad malfunctioned - which it still does at least a few times a month, usually after installing Windows updates. The joystick would work even when my touchpad went nuts, so I'd use it to restart my laptop until the problem fixed itself, or else to find and uninstall the driver when it wouldn't quit fucking up.

Besides that, the delete, insert, pause, escape and left arrow keys were set inside the keyboard crooked and off to one side by the manufacturer. This keyboard's mostly solved the problem of the bubbled-up from beneath look of the last keyboard, but there's still a slight rise above the upper right side that we can't quite figure out.

Once it was in and working, we decided it was mere aftermarket lookalike crap that will probably need replacing within six months. I'd replace it right now if I could, as the springiness is getting to me. Unfortunately, I can't figure out how nor where to order an HP-certified replacement, plus I'm thinking it might cost too much be feasible.

(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2016 07:52 pm
zvi: self-portrait: short, fat, black dyke in bunny slippers (Default)
[personal profile] zvi
I stayed home sick today (because I really am sick. I'm pretty sure that I have flu.)

I ended up folding about three loads of laundry, doing a modicum of office work, and crossing several things off of my todo list (of the sitting at your computer variety) while I watched large numbers of bullet journal videos and one and a half episodes of DS9.

What I really wanted to do was read comics all day.

I have got to stop watching bullet journal and planner videos. I'm 100% not going to use them because paper planners don't work for me and I've figured out a digital system that mostly works.

Ok, I'm going to go off and read comics now.

(This entry brought to you by the need to continue my 12 day streak of writing in journal.)

Saving the Day

Sep. 21st, 2016 03:18 pm
yourlibrarian: ArthurStairFight-ninneve (MERL-ArthurStairFight-ninneve)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) So that's what Joss has been working on lately (though I'm also curious about the new screenplay he mentioned, as it's been over a year since he finished with Ultron and he's usually a fast worker).

For those who haven't read the Hollywood Reporter or BuzzFeed articles, he has founded his own SuperPAC and recruited a bunch of actors (familiar faces included) to do a series of 25 comedy videos trying to get people registered to vote and, clearly, not for Trump. There's also a behind the scenes video at the end of the HR article. (And this is the project's YouTube page)

Kind of interesting because I'm sure I read RDJ is a Republican but he'd hardly be the first deciding to vote for Hillary this year. Then again Mark Ruffalo was a major Bernie supporter, and he's in there too. My favorite bits of the video were the ones they gave Tom Lenk :D

2) Speaking of the Avengers cast, I rewatched Civil War now that it's out on DVD and something I hope won't happen is Read more... )

3) A study focuses on the benefits of shared media use for close relationships. "[S]haring media with a partner can expand couples’ shared social identity by allowing them to integrate social connections with media characters and narratives into their social worlds."

4) A few months old, but interesting report of one gaming company's efforts to instill more civil behavior in players. It would be nice to a program like that for social media.

5) I got the flu shot today, for the first time, and it is definitely not agreeing with me. I just want to go to bed or to sleep.

No fleas, please!

Sep. 20th, 2016 11:52 pm
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

'Twas just a matter of time. The kittens came to us with no issues - no worms we knew of, no fleas, maybe some runny litter box issues now and then but otherwise seemed in good health. It was kitten paradise, a kitten Disney World, a near-perfect kitten utopia. I've never had such seemingly healthy kittens! They're nice, too! I've never had such seemingly nice ones! If you gave me flash cards of kittens in the past I'd speak of flattened ears, blackened pupils, broken lamps and endless smashing up of everything, because kittens.

Don't get me wrong: our kittens run endlessly, battle constantly, and play unendingly, they just aren't as crazy as almost every other kitten I've had. I guess I've never had such sweet and relatively sane kittens before who also happen to not want to destroy the place.

Kitten utopia began winding down with the discovery of worms last week and concludes this week with the discovery of fleas. Flea dirt, to be precise. I've seen dark gray bodies darting around Pip's white fur for a few days now but they're so healthy, like the kittens they're running around on, I can't catch them. And Bowie can hardly stop scratching but until it gets bad you're more likely to win Lotto than find a flea - he has no undercoat and his fur's so short and sits so close to his body there's no pushing your hands or fingers through it to find anything.

I keep the place clean, usually vacuuming twice a day, keeping countertops disinfected, staying after litter boxes, dusting/wiping down everything at least a few times a week, and so on, so I'm thinking I might keep it too clean or else I would've seen the evidence I've been looking for by now. I was making my bed today when I realized the top half of the fitted sheet was full of flea dirt. I put my glasses on, bent down to look closer, and saw some tiny, swirly little black poops along with dozens, if not hundreds, of little black blood specks.

The fitted sheet is a light eggshell/almost beige color so there was no seeing if there were flea eggs or not, at least not with my eyes, even with my glasses. But! Sweeping off the dresser across from my bed the other day, I saw what I suspected were flea eggs, so now I'm thinking they most likely were, indeed.

After a hellacious time on the phone with at least a half dozen local vets ("Hi, I have five cats - three are kittens, I think they all have fleas, but I can't afford to bring anyone in right now") I gave up and decided to get what I needed online after three vets told me they wanted at least one cat or kitten, all wanted to do rabies shots, one said I could do the "cheaper" shot for just $5 less because the shot might kill it, and one wanted all five animals in STAT for around $500 worth of work, while yet another "strongly advised" me to bring in as many as possible.

A few insisted on heartworm tests to prescribe Revolution, which they also insist upon because "nothing else works" (biggest load of crap ever), a few insisted upon feline HIV tests, and the one who wanted all five in STAT wanted 1) heartworm testing, 2) FIV/FPV/F-everything, 3) five stool samples to "make sure" about the worm situation, 4) would only prescribe one vial of flea medicine per cat, and 5) wanted to run tests for all the common kitty maladies - this after I told them I don't have the money to bring anyone in. I was ticked because this place is so close I could walk, but it was the one place reading me the Riot Act, so oh, well.

The other reason I went with online ordering was I didn't like the doctor's choices. One was jumping up and down about Effipro. What the hell is that, even? I mean, I googled and still can't figure it out (ETA: googled again - it's Effipro, not Fellipro - thank you, dyslexia. It's like Frontline and Sentry, which are pretty "meh" bad as far as efficacy goes). Another went gaga over Cheristin. Works great - kills not just the fleas but even your cat, according to some terrifying search results I saw. Revolution's nothing, Capstar is crap, Advantage isn't made anymore and people seem pretty down on Advantage II - so I searched my memory for the best stuff I'd used in the past and finally hit on Activyl. I used it during 2013-2014 2015 (found a post I made after writing this in which I wanted to order it, but hadn't yet; there's no follow-up but I found an email confirmation on the order; the same post discusses at length how Frontline was not just "meh" efficacy but didn't work at all - "maybe six fleas died", I wrote) and don't recall cats dying or fleas living, so I looked it up - rather strenuously - and while it didn't get 100% good reviews (nothing does) it got more than any other flea med. So I ordered it.

Before I could even do that, I had to sit down with Win10's calc for a spell because a) I'm broke so b) how the fuck will I do this? After picking out what I could afford - five vials sold separately after the bulk prices came in at $5 more than what I had in PayPal and checking, combined - I ran the numbers; doing it in separate vials would leave $5 in checking after my laptop keyboard comes due on Pay After Delivery at the end of the month.

Buying in bulk isn't so hot, anyway - though the combined total would've only been $5 more than what I spent on separate vials, the smaller bulk sizes (a 4-pack for the kittens, a 3-pack for the adults) would've left just one adult and one kitten vial after treatment, which meant I could only treat one adult and one kitten next month without buying three more vials to treat all five. That still would've saved money when it comes time to re-order, but I was $5 short, so I payed my poor people's poverty tax and moved on.

The kitten and adult vials are shipping from the same vendor sometime before this weekend, so I guess I'll just have to try to keep things as clean as I can until they get here.

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