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lady narcissa

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    aesthetic contemplation

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  1. Oh my gosh Yellow Warblers look adorable! You know before the pandemic I was keeping my eye on outings a local bird group had. But I was beginning to suspect birding and I were incompatible because a lot of outings were at 7 AM. That is just an unobtainable hour of the morning for me no matter how much I would like to see birds! If they weren't at 7 AM they were in the suburbs which I can't really get to. I'm looking for the bird group that meets up at downtown parks around 1 PM and stops for ice cream at 3. LOL.
  2. Wow that is a great and yet depressing (for me) website. There is apparently some guy who has seen dozens of interesting birds in my neighborhood park that I have never ever seen! Why do I never see these birds???? So jealous of this guy. I consider myself lucky when I see my neighborhood cardinal once every other year or so.
  3. Gosh I just finished reading The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires and it was so bleak and awful and nightmarish for me that I went running to try to find something light and fluffy that would erase the bleakness from my mind and ended up reading one of the Stephanie Plum series I had on my kindle that I had not read yet. Have you read any of these? Not romance, although I was clued in to them by the romance community when they first came out and the debate over Ranger vs. Morelli. But can be light and fun. Most people I know have stopped reading them because there is no resolution and they are pretty repetitive. But about once a year I really need something like this and so I continue. And its perfect right now. Again not romance but romance tangent, have you read Sorcery & Cecilia: or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Wrede and Stevermer? A bit YA Regency Fantasy Jane Austen sort of thing that is utterly charming. Sorry for the non romance recs in the romance thread but I always preferred angsty heart wrenching stories which are clearly not light and fun.
  4. Okay I am all caught up. The holidays really interrupted the tv viewing. I still feel like I am finding my footing with this cast. So many unknowns. I had to watch the episodes with the Wikipedia listing of the cast so I could keep cluing myself in on who is who. I do watch Big Brother and Survivor so I recognize those but couldn't necessarily remember which show I knew them from. I've decided one of the biggest problems is everyone wearing all black. Didn't they previously give teams different colors to wear? I realize with the switching around of partners it would be hard to maintain team colors. But once everyone suits up and puts on their helmets, its really hard to tell who is who. It doesn't help that they seem to have given a grey muted wash to the video. Iceland can be so blue and green, I wish they had used brighter colors. That daily challenge on the third episode...the one on the moving truck...holy shit! At first I didn't realize the nets were on either side and I thought they were going to be throwing each other off to the ground! But even with the nets that was one dangerous challenge. I felt really bad for...*looks their names up*....Nicole and Liv with their injuries. But these daily challenges are pretty good and I do like the Iceland backdrop. I actually have Comcast and they have The Challenge available for free viewing On Demand. Maybe that is why its not listed on the MTV website? I am very old school with my tv viewing so I can't record and I don't have any streaming services, just my basic building provided cable. So I was pretty pleased to find this there. I was pretty sad about Wes being booted and considering how much I used to hate him I can only imagine its because there are so many new people and he is one of the familiar faces and I will cling to familiarity in the face of all those newbies. I'm sure I will be over it in a few episodes as I get more comfortable with the rest of the cast. If CT goes, however, I don't know what I will do. OMG right now I hate Devin. What is this show he was on? Are You The One? Is this another MTV show that they hardly ever air? Because I cannot remember ever passing it and they have somehow had 8 seasons. I feel sorry for that woman he apparently hates but has partnered with. And poor Josh. I remember seeing him on Big Brother but honestly cannot remember if I liked him then or not but maybe have some vague notion he did better than he should have on the show. But I guess just for old times sake I'll root for him over Devin. But what is up with all the guys going and telling other guys they have made the girls cry when the girls are never crying. And apparently calling another guy pussy is like the greatest insult they can come up with since they repeatedly seem to use that.
  5. So happy for all of you getting the vaccine but so jealous too! My poor 80 year old parents probably won't be able to get the vaccine for another month or two based on the last update. And even then I am not too confident they will be able to get it very quickly. Apparently in Chicago - because Chicago will be separate from however it is handled in the rest of the state - we will have to get it through our doctor's office, they aren't planning vaccination sites. I was at my doctor's office - which is part of a major medical center - today for something else and they have no clue about this. So much potential for this to be a disaster. Of course these plans could all change tomorrow. At this rate I am not planning on going anywhere this year. If I could actually see some friends in person or go into a restaurant in the fall/winter, that would be nice. But not planning on getting on a plane and certainly would not go to a convention or a theater with a large amount of people inside a windowless rooms this year. Not until a very large number of people have been vaccinated.
  6. This one? https://cwbchicago.com/2021/01/days-of-disturbing-facebook-posts-end-with-cross-city-shooting-spree-that-leaves-3-murdered-3-wounded-gunman-dead.html Yeah, that was pretty scary. (That website and their twitter feed is incidentally my go-to for tracking crime in Chicago right now. Way more informative than any other news source.) Be careful out there.
  7. For home defense...well I live in a high rise building with 24 hour doorman and security cameras on all entrances. Of course someone could get in if they really wanted to but I feel pretty safe here and there haven't been any incidents in the 20 years I've lived here...*knock on wood* I don't have any additional security on my apartment beyond locks. I do make a point to have one extra lock that my building does not have a key for. I'm actually way more concerned about fire than home invasion, however. As for self defense, well I have always lived in a city and have always been overly cautious when out and about. I just try to be careful and aware, I don't carry any mace or anything. I can scream very loudly! (Which did deter one person one time.) However, crime in Chicago has really really skyrocketed in the past year. It used to be in my neighborhood there would be occasional armed robberies - mostly very late at night and in the early hours of the morning. But now they will occur anytime, anyplace. They can happen at 11 AM on Michigan Avenue with a handful of cop cars a block away. So I have found myself rethinking some things and changing what used to be my usual habits. These armed robberies typically involve at least 2 or 3 people so I think it would be stupid to try to retain my possessions. So for now, I've stopped carrying my phone unless I really need it. I don't carry a credit card if I don't need one. If I need it, I stick it in my socks so it hopefully isn't noticed. I carry a purse with $60 in it so there is something for them to see and take that I would be fine to lose. In most instances they just take and leave. I'm more concerned about the armed carjackings which have really increased. This is mainly because I don't drive and am only in a car with my 80 year old father who I am absolutely convinced would not get out of the car and would try to run the carjackers over and would either end up dead or charged with manslaughter. There isn't much you can do except make sure the doors on the cars are locked and be aware. We did switch our grocery store as a result and now drive to one with a parking garage with paid (but rendered free with shopping) entry/exit instead of the one with the open to the street lot. No guarantee I realize.
  8. That's wonderful! I highly recommend you read the rest of the series if you enjoyed this one as you did. The culmination of the series with the last two is just a fantastic and satisfying reading experience. Because of my work schedule this week I'm unable to finish my re-read this week. But hope to finish this weekend.
  9. I developed an allergy to alcohol around the time I turned 30. Once I figured that out I just stopped drinking alcohol and have never had any since. So basically I am having a dry adulthood. Its funny because I recently found out a person who didn't know me before this change apparently just assumed I am against alcohol and another mutual friend who knew me before upon finding this out was like, Umm noo, she totally used to drink...a LOT. And I did. But it wasn't hard to give it up given the choice of getting violently ill or you know, not. Probably the only thing I really miss at times is whiskey. I really loved Oban. But Chataya, no need to throw out the champagne - although I see you did not, but just for future reference - you can always use it in cooking. I've got an easy risotto recipe that calls for a cup of champagne. You can always add it to a soup or stew.
  10. You know my initial recollection was similar to that of felice’s but I was just looking at the wikis and the publisher’s website and the author’s own website and all of them describe the Old Ones as immortal. Cooper’s own website describing them as such seems pretty definitive to me.
  11. *pulls out dusty old copy of Silver on the Tree* It says: "So the last magic will be this - that when you see me for the last time in this place, all that you know of the Old Ones, and of this great task that has been accomplished, will retreat into the hidden places of your minds, and you will never again know any hint of it except in dreams. Only Will, because he is of my calling, must remember - but the rest of you will forget even that. Good-bye now, my five companions. Be proud of yourselves, as I am proud of you." I remembered another book I read last year which had another take on children remembering their adventures and the devastating result on at least one of the children who could not handle remembering - The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth. It really made a case for them forgetting being a kindness.
  12. Yes, Will does. For he is an Old One. But the other children don't. They only remember it if ever as if a dream. Which is always such a dilemma to me for I can't imagine not being allowed to remember and being robbed of those memories after everything they go through. But then other authors have done interesting takes on children who had adventures and then the issues they face as adults with remembering and not being able to be a part of it anymore. I think Lev Grossman did a good job in his Magicians series with that. But I do think the children should have been given a choice after all they went through. ETA: Sorry brain fog due to Old Ones magic and not remembering everything...if I remember correctly I think Bran is given a choice to join his parents or stay in the present day in which case I assume he would have remembered if he went back but he chose to stay and thus forget. I was mainly thinking of Jane and her two brothers who were not given a choice.
  13. I caught up on reading this morning. You know its funny but I feel there is a little bit of Old Ones memory erasing dispersed at the end of the book on the reader. Because I have read this book...dozens of times over the years and every time I read it, its like I have a faint memory of it but cannot remember all the details and things seem fresh and new every time I reread. So its always a joy to reread and to revisit the story anew. Just to visually inspire your reread...some pictures of Dorney Court which is the real life inspiration for the Manor in the book. If you scroll to the bottom of the page you will see some images of it in the snow: https://dorneycourt.co.uk/gallery/house-grounds/nggallery/page/2 And some pictures of St. James the Less Church which is the local church to Dorney and inspiration for the church in the book: https://dorneycourt.co.uk/gallery/st-james-the-less-church/
  14. That sounds lovely! I hope it was as tasted as good as it smelled. I do love the smell of gingerbread, it's probably what I missed most about the Christmas markets this year. Walking through and smelling that smell which is to me the smell of Christmas. I appreciate everything about baking except doing it myself and I'm very glad to know so many bakers and to benefit from their enjoyment of it. My yoga instructor was joyfully looking forward to getting up on Christmas eve to make the family Irish soda bread recipe for the whole family. The secret she told me was sifting the flour 6 times. 6 times?! Yikes! I'm so happy she is willing to do that. I would happily eat it!
  15. Thanks. I've seen very mixed comments on this which has somewhat tempered my hopes for this. It's too bad because the initial trailer was fantastic and had me very excited...most especially with the use of New Order. I know trailer music is rarely if ever in the actual movie but it sounds like there is a disappointing lack of 80s music in this movie which seems like a huge missed opportunity. I'll still see it someday.
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