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Nostalgia, Post #47 - Laura Wise

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October 29th, 2016


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01:41 pm - Nostalgia, Post #47
I cannot explain how run off my feet I've been (and will continue to be for a while), but Lord, Lord, it's been crazy.

So I've been thinking about nostalgia, in part prompted by mental exhaustion that means I'm rereading older works rather than trying new ones, and in part because this should be my cool-weather favorite time of year. (It's too hot.) Also I've been wanting a Bunter or Jeeves of my own, except that somehow women don't get to have Bunters or Jeeveses which seems profoundly unfair, but anyway. One nostalgic thing and one that is more mixed emotions than straight nostalgia:

1) Grey Fox has posted about an amazing auction of a British-made safari suit made for Rudolph Valentino. It's so cool. :)

2) A couple of days ago I was looking for a recipe for a dried-fruit quickbread, and I found "Evelyn's Cranberry-Orange Bread" in the 1956 Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book I inherited from my mother. The recipe was fine -- I adapted it for the ingredients I had on hand -- but I was struck by the small paragraph which introduced the recipe: Mrs Richard Kranz, busy modern mother of three little boys, still has time for gracious hospitality. This fruity, attractive bread is a favorite of hers to serve when neighbors drop in for morning or afternoon coffee.

I don't know anyone who would drop in for coffee (or tea) without an express invitation, nor would I ever just show up at a friend's house like that. What about you? Do you ever "drop in" at a friend's?

Cheers to all, and may the traditions we keep be positive and inclusive and possibly hand-made. :)

(21 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:mamculuna
Date:October 29th, 2016 07:01 pm (UTC)
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Our new next-door neighbor "dropped in" the other day and found my house in complete disarray--me lying on the couch with the cat draped across my body, working on the computer with all my writing/working junk around me, and the cushions on the floor. It looked worse than that sounds.

I would dearly love to have a very good friend drop in without warning, but strangers should let you know! She did have the business of a mutual fence to transact, but I would only be serving tea cake and coffee with at least 24 hours lead time. Of course, I had previously gone over to introduce myself while they were in the midst of totally-gutted remodeling, so I guess I saw her in a worse state of unpreparedness...

Jodhpurs! I would love to have seen those on the man himself, indeed.
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From:laurawise
Date:October 30th, 2016 01:56 pm (UTC)
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I have neighbors who do drop by for questions about the neighborhood, etc, but since Master Danger is generally at the door doing his best Big Bad Wolf impression, I go outside to talk to them. But alas for your recent drop-in.

Cheers in advance for your NaNoWriMo!
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From:stateless82
Date:October 29th, 2016 11:52 pm (UTC)
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I've just read two of Margery Allingham's Campion mysteries, and am about to try Christianna Brand's Inspector Cockrill series for the first time- 'Green for Danger' has been on my to read list for years. Not re reads, but a definite retreat from this century.

Also, while a Jeeves or a Bunter would be lovely, I don't believe I would want Campion's Lugg.

I remember dropping in as being a thing when I was little (and around the dorms in college, of course)- but not so much anymore.



























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From:laurawise
Date:October 30th, 2016 01:58 pm (UTC)
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Campion novels are about where I am right now. I concur about Lugg not QUITE being the delight and joy and ease that Bunter and Jeeves are, too. :)

Yes, in dorms the drop-in seems easy and right. I could see it in a swank apartment building too....

Hugs hugs!
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From:anne_d
Date:October 29th, 2016 11:59 pm (UTC)
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[hugs and hopes of better weather and better days]
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From:laurawise
Date:October 30th, 2016 01:58 pm (UTC)
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[hugs and joyous celebrations for your life landmarks this weekend]
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From:desdemonaspace
Date:October 30th, 2016 03:23 am (UTC)
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On the 4th anniversary of Frank's death I wrote a ficlet in which Lady Peter "inherits" Bunter. (They're both gutted by Peter's passing). It's a wee morbid thing, but mine own.

No, no-one should drop in EVER. But the recipe sounds wonderful. I'm more apt to bake it, and invite someone over to share.
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From:laurawise
Date:October 30th, 2016 01:58 pm (UTC)
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Yes, absolutely -- bake and invite! Or invite and bake. :)

Cheers and hugs for your Sunday!
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From:freixenet
Date:October 30th, 2016 06:42 pm (UTC)
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I'm always struck by the cultural norms of older days. As a child, I was never in a home that was located close enough to a neighbor that they could just drop by, so I have no experience with this...some of my older neighbors here in Florida used to take it for granted that of course they could knock on the door, and one scared me half to death some years ago by coming in through the back yard gate and knocking on the back door...because she felt it was more neighborly! However, I know that my brother in law, who is78, doesn't even bat an eyelash if people unexpectedly knock on his door. He appears to thrive on it, and more often than not he DOES have something to offer them to eat. Not as good a quickbread as you made, but always cookies, or tea.

Generational, I suppose.
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From:laurawise
Date:November 3rd, 2016 12:16 am (UTC)
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I only lived in one place where people just dropped in on each other -- an amazing neighborhood in Calgary, when I was in elementary school. But I think my parents had drop-in friends after I was in college and beyond...

It's so interesting that your brother-in-law is comfortable with drop-ins!

Cheers to you. :)
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From:gwynnega
Date:October 30th, 2016 08:44 pm (UTC)
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When I lived downstairs from my best friend, we would drop in on each other, but I can't recall doing so in any other circumstances...
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From:laurawise
Date:November 3rd, 2016 12:17 am (UTC)
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Yes, I think in grad school my friends who all lived in the same apartment complex did do the drop-in thing. I lived elsewhere so didn't participate.

Cheers to you!
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From:janus_74
Date:October 31st, 2016 02:41 pm (UTC)
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We had a good friend who would drop in on Sunday afternoons. The kind of friend who you don't clean up for anymore, so I didn't worry about the mess. But he was the only one and was always a little left of center.
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From:laurawise
Date:November 3rd, 2016 12:17 am (UTC)
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Oh, that's interesting!

Cheers for your mid-week, T.
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From:roguedemon
Date:November 2nd, 2016 09:16 pm (UTC)
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No drop ins, not since grad school and dorms -- the dorms at Princeton were really nice, and the dinning hall quite good as those things go, so a lot of us lived in them. And I lived in dorms all through college too. But now it doesn't happen. I have friends I would welcome for drop-ins. Once people have seen my house cleaned up once, I am okay with them seeing it messy if they are close enough to me that they understand my health problems -- crippling fatigue does not lend itself to regular housecleaning.

I've felt the need for nostalgia lately, I've reread old books and stalled out on consumption of any new media. Strangely enough I have been watching old episodes of Buffy. Then I reread all the transcripts of S7 because I literally forgot what even happened. I just closed the door on the show and never rewatched that season, I didn't buy the DVDs. My conclusion after some distance was that in some ways it wasn't as bad as I thought. I've now learned never to go into a season of a show I love with set expectations as to shipping, etc. But it was still bad. The potentials were just an annoyance that sucked time from main characters and issues that needed attention. The writing for Giles was flat and shallow the entire way through. I liked seeing Anya get some resolution and closure with both vengeance and Xander -- but once they had they final break up sex that door should have remained closed. It was like Joss needed everyone to have a hookup buddy for the apocalypse so he forced it. After that Joss simply wrote Anya as too immature. Gah. Willow's issues with a Magic were just glossed over -- that needed a much deeper exploration. Tara should have appeared on the show -- as everyone else had their greatest loss appear to them in the form of the First. Willow wasn't given time to really grieve Tara and throwing her into a fixit relationship with Kennedy was awful for a lot of reasons, and boy was Kennedy a nothing character played by a meh actress. There was no time to develop her into anything but a potential comfort sex buddy for Willow -- it should have been something akin to Spike and Anya, instead of insta-love. Spike and Buffy -- it turned out I was okay with where they ended up, separately and together. The biggest mistake made with them was the rape scene in S6. Boy, that's one of the biggest fuckups I remember seeing by any writer/showrunner on any show. It was wrong and just plain stupid on a number of levels, and ultimately it couldn't be written around. And you know, looking at it now, using a women's sexual assault as a male character's motivation is just so, so, problematic. Hmmm, another thing that seemed to take up way too much time and wasn't really amusing at all was Buffy's job as the most underqualified and inept school counselor ever. There just seemed to be way too much time spent on side characters and dumb plot devices and lame jokes that went nowhere and sucked up time. None of the other seasons were like that -- all of Joss' weaknesses as a showrunner and writing came hone to roost, I guess.
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From:roguedemon
Date:November 2nd, 2016 09:30 pm (UTC)
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So to finish my nostalgic ramble, I was okay with where everyone else ended up. I mean, a lot of Xander's plot line was annoying because of the reunion with Anya, but otherwise he was fine, I don't care as much about him. Ditto Dawn. She was fine, had some good moments but to tell the truth I could never work up much interest in her on her own, outside her relationship with Buffy. Faith and Robin were both enjoyable. Andrew was very funny at times and also problematic. And the "plan" that led to Anya's death was so stupid. You know, I can live with characters dying if they get a worthy death. That wasn't it. :(((( But well, preaching to the choir here. ;)

So in conclusion, it doesn't fill me with firey rage anymore, but it was ultimately a pretty lame season. It had some good moments, but it needed an editor with power to tell Joss that he was fucking up. I have closure. At this point, I basically look at Joss and say, he has these serious flaws, but he has also created some works that I loved, with characters I still love, and that's worth something to me. I generally enjoy everything he does to a greater or lesser extent except for when he trips over his issues with women. And that's pretty much the majority of TV and film creators, so...I guess I'm over it. In this instance, nostalgia was a good thing. :)

This was brought to you by my desperate need for distraction. :P
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From:laurawise
Date:November 3rd, 2016 12:19 am (UTC)
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That's an interesting take on the season I hated. Since Giles and Anya were the only reason I was watching by early Season 7, it was much worse for me.

Cheers and yay for closure and distraction!
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From:roguedemon
Date:November 3rd, 2016 02:00 am (UTC)
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Okay, wow, I should have proofread that before I posted it. In my defense I was writing on a tiny screen and I just didn't sleep last night (antidepressant withdrawal is a real bitch if it involves serotonin). But, yeah, the writing for Giles was awful all the way through, and that's one thing I was furious about when I was watching it. And you know, I'm fine with Anya getting some closure with Xander -- breakup sex is a thing that happens, even with bad relationships (okay I confess that I've been there and I remember how it works. ;P). I thought it would have a been a good way for her to say, yeah, okay, this was a stage and It's actually not that great, I'm past it. I feel it was reasonable for them to make some sort of peace, but not the way it happened. I liked getting some Anya backstory and seeing her go through some sort of process whereupon she decided how she felt about being a vengeance demon and what she wanted to do with her life, what side she wanted to fight on and why, etc. But you know, the writing was just clumsy. And as the season went on, the writing for Anya was just really childish, imo. There's a part where she's hanging out with Andrew, FFS. I mean, c'mon, Anya is a mature woman. She's been through so much, She's lived for centuries...well, you know all this. The characters she would really relate to are Spike and Giles. Willow and Buffy have both been through a great deal but I'm not sure they could ever push aside the barriers for them to really be friends. But eh, Xander got left behind when it came to development. And that's a Joss problem, because characters like Xander and Andrew are his surrogates. As in, Joss should get therapy for that. ;)

So, that's what I mean about all the secondary stuff being a distraction from the main characters and their emotional journeys. Giles didn't have any kind of emotional arc, he was just there, dealing with these dumb girls. There was all this wasted time, time spent dealing with throwaway characters and dumb plot devices. Like, did we really need to create that stupid preacher role for whatshisface after Firefly was canceled? Of course we did, because Joss was pouting. They could honestly have had the same general plot line and had a good season if they gave less time to the potentials, cut way down on Kennedy's importance and screen time, cut down on Caleb and possibly hired another actor who didn't chew scenery so egregiously, gave way less time to Buffy's stupid job, cut off the Anya/Xander thing after they made peace with each other, and possibly killed Andrew partway through, heh. They could have totally tightened up a lot of the stuff with Spike wandering around babbling as well -- Joss needs to be hit over the head with a psych book, I have grown to hate the whole pseudo crazy thing he writes for characters more and more. The would leave room. I just got the feeling the entire season that we were standing around wasting time. I also think that a skilled writer could do a better job with making a few of the potentials into distinct individuals with a minimum of screen time -- they took up so much space, but there was nothing interesting about any of them, they just whined a lot.
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From:roguedemon
Date:November 3rd, 2016 02:19 am (UTC)
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So, yeah, there's another stream of consciousness ramble. in conclusion, if there is one thing I have now learned from fandom is that you have to hold back from having set ideas about what you want to happen if you want to protect your heart. I'm at a point where sure, I get irritated by things but I look to fanfic to give us satisfying shipping, friendships, and character development. I've also come to enjoy meta, as in writing it, in a way I didn't then; I look at fandom as a launching pad for analysis now in a way I didn't before.. TV and Film tend to have to focus on having entertaining action while skimping on deep exploration of any emotional issues. I think I've become more resigned to that. If I watched this season now I would still be very disappointed but not as utterly infuriated.

And I just wanted to give you more hugs over Giles/Anya. You know, I always loved Giles, but now I'm in my forties, the same age Giles was during the show, and I find I watch the show a lot differently now. I identify with Giles a lot more, and the shitty writing he got in S7 stuck out even more to me when I read those transcripts. I've also gone through a lot more darkness, and that changes things too. That also made me way more annoyed at the way Joss missed the boat with Anya and wrote her as a child. The older you get, the more you really understand how life experience makes you grow and damn, Anya had so much experience and so much potential that Joss did not capitalize on. ((Hugs)) to you, and thank you for letting me ramble. I have successfully avoided polls for, um, a few hours today and this helped! Peace to you. This is too ramble to turn into any kind of polished writing, so I am going to just post it and go to the gym. ;)
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From:mobile_alh
Date:November 3rd, 2016 06:22 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, in California dropping in was certainly a thing well into my 20s, but not for "tea or coffee", and not the neighbors,just to say hi...now that we live someplace farther from other homes, even B's sisters and children call before they come over, because it's a long drive, comparatively speaking and it isn't on the way to anywhere else they'd be likely going.

Re-reading comfort mysteries again, most recently Edmund Crispin and Dorothy Dunnett's Johnson Johnson series. So soothing....
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From:laurawise
Date:November 13th, 2016 10:20 pm (UTC)
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Comfort mysteries sound like just the thing.

Hugs, and if I were closer, I'd be calling you for tea. :)

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