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Posts Tagged ‘Presents’

Last week I wrote about how much I appreciate my readers’ generosity, and I got ample proof of it again before the week was out.  On Wednesday I drove into Seattle as I do every three weeks, and I discovered this collection waiting for me (along with Vangelis’ last album) from a reader who often gets me nice things (and the note he included gave me an extra smile).  Then the next day, I published a request for help with travel funds (because the skyrocketing price of fuel and everything else has really exacerbated my typical summer & travel anxieties), and within hours I had received about 70% of what I estimate the trip will cost me.  And let me tell you, there is nothing as good for anxiety as feeling supported and cared for!  As I sit at my desk writing this, there’s a dramatic difference in my emotional balance from when I wrote the request just a week ago; I feel calm and I’m looking forward to the journey, whereas last week I was trying to decide whether to rethink the whole thing.  So thank all of y’all for being so amazing; it’s no exaggeration to say that y’all saved my whole trip.

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Every so often I like to remind my readers and patrons how important your support is to me.  In these uncertain times, it’s really reassuring to know that my writing is important enough to many of you that you choose to do more than simply throw a compliment my way now and again.  For some of you, support takes the form of a subscription, money you send every month to help me pay my bills; in lean times (such as right after tax season) those small amounts add up and keep me in the black.  Others prefer to send me nice things from my Amazon wishlist; I try to keep it populated with lots of things I really want, rather than just expensive trinkets and designer gewgaws.  Take this book a reader (who prefers to remain anonymous) sent me a couple of months ago; it’s a collection of early comic strips from one of the creators of the genre.  It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time, but since it’s out of print I couldn’t justify the rather steep price, but since one of my admirers sent it as a present I could enjoy it without guilt (as I’m currently enjoying the second volume, received from a different reader just last week – you know who you are, and thank you!)  So whether you prefer to send me practical help to put food on the table, or to send “hyacinths to feed my soul”, please know that “appreciation” is far too mild a word to describe my feelings of gratitude to all of y’all.

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Diary #621

When I arrived at my Seattle apartment on Sunday, I found a package waiting for me from Amazon, courtesy of regular reader & gift-sender Robin Aguilar.  It contained Joe Satriani’s latest disc, plus the DVD of the space vampire movie Lifeforce (1985) and this set of a 1977 TV show most of y’all have probably never heard of.  Those who weren’t born yet then may find it hard to believe, but before the debut of Star Wars that same year, science fiction had been very out of fashion since Star Trek went off the air in 1969.  And in those pre-home video days, that meant often the only science fiction shows available for viewing were Trek reruns and old movies in syndication packages broadast mostly on Saturday afternoons and late at night.  There were certainly a few adventure shows featuring sci-fi elements, such as The Six Million Dollar Man, but new straight-out sci-fi series were rare and generally short-lived.  This one lasted only ten episodes, but I liked it very much and had a bit of a crush on Katie Saylor, a leggy blonde who played the Atlantean woman Liana.  Given that I haven’t seen this show in 45 years, I have no idea how I’ll appreciate it through adult eyes, but thanks to Robin I’m going to have a chance to find out!

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Diary #616

I think my Amazon wishlist probably confuses some people, because I only put things on it that I actually want, and my tastes can be rather eclectic.  I know that some sex workers put a lot of stuff on theirs that they think guys want to see (expensive lingerie, shoes, sex toys, etc), and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.  But as I’ve pointed out before, I’m not actually very good at marketing; I’m mostly only good at being myself, and the idea of getting people to send me things I don’t actually want or need just does not compute in my brain.  So though the juxtaposition in this picture may seem strange to you, they’re both presents recently sent me by generous gentlemen from the aforementioned wishlist.  Now, in real life there’s no way I would wear a beautiful new cashmere sweater to use my beautiful new chainsaw, but it makes a lot better picture than the shabby old clothes I’d really wear when using it, and it drives home the point about the eclecticism of my list.  Right now, it consists of four movies, three music CDs, two TV series, three discs of cartoons from Croatia and a medieval riddle book, but it often contains much stranger things than that.  Which, given that I’m pretty strange myself, makes perfect sense.

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Diary #610

One of the things that makes going into Seattle worthwhile is knowing that I might have a gift or gifts waiting for me.  My landlord and I have a very good relationship; he shows his appreciation for my being an exemplary tenant by helping me out in little ways, such as keeping an eye out for packages that arrive while I’m gone.  He then texts me to let me know something has arrived and asking what would be a good time to put it inside my apartment.  Of course I don’t usually know what has come in, so there’s a nice surprise on my coffee table when I arrive.  This time, I’m sending a big “Thank you!” to a reader who has enjoyed my Doctor Who and Blake’s 7 reviews who was delighted to discover I’m also a horror fan, and therefore sent me this double CD from my Amazon wishlist (there are still several other horror-movie-related items there, and a set of DVDs of a delightful animated series I loved as a child, but only recently discovered was available).  Plus some more music and other goodies, so there are lots of choices if you’d like to get me something nice, and most of them are quite reasonable.

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Diary #607

As anyone who’s ever looked at my Amazon wishlist can attest, I don’t generally have expensive tastes.  But as anyone who’s ever looked at my Amazon wishlist can probably guess, there are a few exceptions to that; one of them is anything that’s going to touch my skin.  I started cutting the tags out of my tops (right down to using a sea-ripper to get rid of the edges) when I was about 12, because their rubbing on the back of my neck irritates me so badly, and it has only become more of an issue as I’ve aged.  My preference is for 600+ thread count pure cotton bedsheets and cashmere sweaters, and I even tend to be persnickety about my work gloves.  So even though I always love getting presents from my readers and clients, it’s always especially nice when somebody sends a cashmere sweater.  I found this one waiting for me when I arrived at my incall last Thursday, sent by a gent who has sent me a number of nice things over the past year, but prefers to remain anonymous.  So this is to let him know that I really love the sweater, and to encourage the rest of y’all not to hesitate whenever you see one on the list.

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Diary #605

Probably every bibliophile suffers from that syndrome where they buy books and then take a very long time to get around to reading them.  I’m certainly no exception, but I also do it with DVDs, both movies and even entire TV series.  In the latter case, it’s because I don’t actually devote a lot of time to video (the two-hours-before-bedtime viewing Grace and I have practiced for some time now is the most time I’ve invested in video entertainment since the late Oughts) and I really need to be in the right mood for any given show.  But since we recently finished Blake’s 7, I wanted more late ’70s British sci-fi and we decided to watch this show.  I put it on my wishlist years ago due to the presence of Louise Jameson (who played Leela in Doctor Who from 1977-78) and a reader bought it for me seven years ago, but I somehow never found the right opportunity to watch it.  Well, now I have and I’m sorry I waited so long, because it’s excellent; the series is only ten episodes long, and wasn’t renewed because it attracted the attention of the self-appointed TV watchdogs who were so common in the late ’70s and early ’80s (the kind who raised a huge public stink about any show that might be too intense for a timid 6-year-old with a nervous disorder).  If you enjoyed The X-Files, you’ll probably enjoy this as well because it has many similar elements (members of a government agency investigate paranormal events and uncover a huge and sinister conspiracy); unfortunately, it has dramatically increased in price on Amazon since it was on my list, but sometimes that’s a temporary thing so you may want to keep your eyes on it in case the price drops.  It’s spooky, engaging, well-written, well-acted, often intense, and doesn’t assume its viewers are idiots.

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Diary #601

With the weather making it impossible to do any work on our bathhouse project, I’m putting more energy into inside projects.  And since I got two new cookbooks for Christmas (and my existing cookbook space is both overfull and not all that great), I decided to build a new shelving unit.  We already had all the wood, so last week Grace helped me design it and I installed the backboards and footing, then made a shelf pattern.  On New Year’s Eve I got Chekhov to cut out the shelves and braces, then on New Year’s Day I put it all together during those periods where things were cooking, so I needed to stay nearby but didn’t actually have to do anything with the food at that time.  Jae is supposed to sand and stain it for me, so perhaps I’ll be able to get it loaded before I leave for my conference on Sunday; it’s more space than I actually need for cookbooks, so I think I’ll use the bottom shelf for potatoes & onions, and maybe some of the higher shelves for other small things that don’t presently have a good home.

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Diary #599

Because I like showing my toy drive donors what I did with their money, behold!  These are the results of the shopping trip I mentioned last Tuesday; since the trunk was already full, I didn’t want to leave them in the back seat overnight.  Immediately after taking this snap, I loaded them in the car and left my incall to return to Sunset, stopping by Olympia on the way to drop them off.  Those with sharp eyes may notice I got two copies of “Sorry”; that’s because it was one of my favorite games as a kid so I buy at least one every toy drive. In general, I try to avoid duplication within a batch, but since each drive requires several trips I sometimes forget what I’ve already bought, and I reckon it doesn’t really matter anyhow as long as I maintain a rough balance of boyish toys, girly toys, unisex toys (including games) and toddler toys.  Not in the picture: several books and DVDs (and a bottle of my favorite perfume) from some of my lovely gentlemen, which I found waiting for me when I arrived.  And while I was in Seattle I also did the last of my own Christmas shopping, so now I can just concentrate on the last of the preparations for our celebration this weekend.

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Diary #596

When I arrived back in Seattle last week, I found the 7th season of Afred Hitchcock Presents waiting for me, courtesy of Antonio Lorusso.  And a few hours before I left to return to Sunset, the postman dropped a copy of Cabin in the Woods into my mailbox, courtesy of Mike Siegel.  Thanks so much for the birthday presents, guys!  Both of them arrived a few weeks after my birthday because both came from the UK, despite both being American productions (this is especially weird in the case of Alfred Hitchcock Presents because every season but the seventh is available in region 1 DVD).  As for Cabin, I’ve heard a lot of good things about it, but have somehow managed to avoid spoilers for the past 9 years, so I’m quite looking forward to viewing it for the first time; after half a century of horror viewing I’m pretty hard to scare or even surprise.

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