reading wednesday

Oct. 19th, 2017 02:19 am
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[personal profile] boxofdelights
[This is actually from last Wednesday but I'm just going to post it now anyway]
• What are you reading?

Notes from a Feminist Killjoy, by Erin Wunker. It's a bits-and-pieces book, but all the bits are in conversation with other writers, and with reality; even its bittyness recalls how Tillie Olsen would carry a sentence in her mind, polishing it in scraps of time between interruptions, through a day of women's work, a day of no peace, no privacy, no silence, no solitude.
When I started this book, I wanted to write something unimpeachable. Something so clear and objective, it could be a little dictionary or translation phrase book for how to speak a feminist language and live a feminist life. I wanted what many other writers -- the many-gendered mothers of my heart -- had already written. I wanted A Room of One's Own, Sister Outsider, Willful Subjects, Islands of Decolonial Love. I wanted Feminism is for Everybody and The Dream of a Common Language. I wanted No Language is Neutral.

I wanted books that had already been written by people whose experiences of moving through the world are different -- often radically so -- from mine.


I got stuck.
I read some more.
I remembered that I tell my students that reading and writing are attempts at joining conversations, making new ones, and, sometimes, shifting the direction of discourse.
I sat down at my typewriter again.

• What did you recently finish reading?

George & Lizzie, by Nancy Pearl.

Lizzie agreed. "I remember reading a novel in which one of the characters, a college professor, was writing a book on the influence of Emily Dickinson on Shakespeare and how his colleagues always misheard it and thought it was the other way around. I wish I could remember the title, because talking about it now makes me want to read it again. It's so interesting to think about. Do you think we read Shakespeare differently because of Dickinson's poems?"

I remember reading that too! It was by David Lodge, I think Changing Places? I read it about the same age Lizzie did. Not at the same time: I'm maybe ten years older than Lizzie. But, like Lizzie, I grew up in Michigan and went to UM and struggled with depression most of my life and, as a young woman, tried to claim my sexuality in ways that were bad for me and for the people I interacted with. Lizzie feels real to me, is what I'm saying, and I'm okay with the fact that the people around her are kind of one-note because the problem this book is about is: if you can't stop being sad about your shitty childhood even though your life is no longer shitty, if you can't stop punishing yourself for bad choices that you made long ago, if you can't stop trying to change something that happened long ago and wasn't in your control even then. . . then how do you stop?
[Lizzie says] "They're your thoughts, right? How can you not think them?"
Marla struggled to answer. "I don't know, but people do it. I think I let go of things, or at least try to. You have to, really, otherwise you're weighted down with all those cumulative bad memories. James and I used to talk about that baby missing from our lives, whether it was a boy or a girl, whether we could find out who adopted it, whether we'd ever forgive our parents, why we didn't just say 'Screw you' to them back then and get married after I got pregnant. I mean, you know, it was so present. It was always there in our lives. But if we kept that up there'd be no place for anything else. And now we just acknowledge all that awful stuff happened, that maybe we made the wrong decision, that we were just kids. We were just kids. You have to forgive yourself eventually, right?"

Lizzie's husband George got famous by explaining that, while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional, but his explanation doesn't work for Lizzie. George doesn't seem to understand that, for some people, that's liberating, but for others, it says that your suffering was your choice and therefore your fault. I'd offer Lizzie Season of Mists, because "you don't have to stay anywhere forever" worked for me, but how a story works depends as much on the reader as on the story.

Which is not to say that we shouldn't do our best to write good stories. This one has a stupid editing oversight that dumped me right out:
[Marla:]"I love you Lizzie, and always will. And I will always, always, keep your secrets. But this, what this means to you and George, is an important secret. It's not the equivalent of a little white lie. It'd be like me not telling James about the abortion."
[Lizzie:]"But James knew about the abortion, he was with you when you had it."
"Don't be deliberately naive, it doesn't become you. You know what I mean: some other James I was involved with."

What abortion, I wondered? Was there an abortion as well as a baby given up for adoption? When?

No, it must have been changed from an abortion to an adoption at some point. Which was a good change: it's believable that Marla would find it harder to move on with her life after carrying the baby for nine months, while knowing that there was a person out there that she felt responsible for but had no ability to protect. But leaving evidence of the change in the story made me notice how flat all the other characters are, how they are the way they are in order to serve Lizzie's story.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, by H.P. Lovecraft.


Oct. 18th, 2017 03:24 pm
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[personal profile] kore
It's been coming for a long while now, but....still. Damn.

Wednesday Reading

Oct. 18th, 2017 08:44 am
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[personal profile] oracne
Captain Marvel Vol. 1: Rise of Alpha Flight was a moderately entertaining space story featuring Carol Danvers in Spaaaace with Abigail Brand and three members of Alpha Flight: Aurora, Sasquatch, and my personal favorite, Puck. One annoyance: an entertaining Latina character turned out to be an alien in disguise. Bonus points for portraying human characters of different sizes and the politics of assorted aliens.

Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! Vol. 2: Don't Stop Me-Ow remains really cute and fun and drawn in manga-esque style. Vampire Jubilee and her adopted son showed up in this one, as did Jessica Jones and Hellcat's two ex-husbands. Also there was karaoke. In contintuity, this fell into the time period when She-Hulk was in a coma, but that plotline managed to feel hopeful even though Patsy/Hellcat was unhappy.

Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human by Grant Morrison is a mixed bag. There was some insightful commentary on the history of comics from the pov of a major comics writer. There were also some memoir elements and psychological musings that sometimes got a little too convoluted for my taste. I think the book was compiled from various essays and interviews, which would explain why it sometimes looped back on the same ideas after meandering the byways.
Warning for dated but not apparently derogatory use of the word tranny.

But I enjoyed it, overall, for sections like this:

Where Superman strove for modernity in everything from the image of its hero to the kinetic editing of its torn-from-the-headlines narrative, the Batman strip reveled in the trashy aesthetic of the mystery pulps and the penny dreadfuls.

From the very beginning, Batman habitually found himself dealing with crimes involving chemicals and crazy people, and over the years he would take on innumerable villains armed with lethal Laughing Gas, mind-control lipstick, Fear Dust, toxic aerosols, and "artificial phobia" pills. Indeed, his career had barely begun before he was heroically inhaling countless bizarre chemical concoctions cooked up by mad blackmarket alchemists. Superman might have faced a few psychic attacks, but, even if it was against his will every time, Batman was hip to serious mind-bending drugs. Batman knew what it was like to trip balls without seriously losing his shit, and that savoir faire added another layer to his outlaw sexiness and alluring aura of decadence and wealth.

with heart

Oct. 17th, 2017 08:13 pm
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[personal profile] thistleingrey
Kate Elliott, Buried Heart (2017)
(and "Bright Thrones," the novella between #2 and #3)

I can say even less about Heart than about Blade, its predecessor. This is one of the rare times when I like the middle book best of a trilogy. I think that the YA-ness of this trilogy has limited (by complexity and book-space) the treatment of relevant social issues raised by the story; it is good that they are raised, but several choices in #3 make sense to me only because the book is YA and needs a relatively small number of characters. Things have fitting ends within that constraint, but I'm not quite satisfied. Still a good read.

Pull The Football - Save the World

Oct. 17th, 2017 08:25 am
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[personal profile] oracne
Via [personal profile] rachelmanija

Are you worried about nuclear war? I am too. Keep reading for a way to stop it with one simple action.

Maybe you feel small and powerless. But many snowflakes make an avalanche. If we all move in the same direction, we'll be unstoppable. We will only fail if we choose not to act.

Trump has the power to order a pre-emptive nuclear strike for any reason - or no reason at all. He's always shadowed by a man with a briefcase of codes, called the "nuclear football," to enable him to launch nuclear missiles at any time. It would take less than five minutes from his order to the missiles being launched, and no one could stop him. Republican Senator Bob Corker says Trump is leading us into World War III. I believe him.

But we don't have to stand by and let it happen. Let's pull away that football!

Both House and Senate have bills to prevent the President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war. They're both called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.) Passing those bills may literally save the world.

How to save the world:

1. Contact your representatives in Congress. Ask them to co-sponsor the bill NOW, before it's too late.

2. Contact EVERYONE in Congress who might want to prevent a nuclear war. Usually people only speak to their own representatives. But with the fate of the entire world is at stake, it's worth contacting everyone who might listen.

3. Promote the Pull The Football campaign on social media. Trump isn't the only one who can use Twitter. Get on it and start tweeting #PullTheFootball.

Share this post on Facebook or Dreamwidth. Put up your own post on whatever social media you use. Ask your friends in person. If you know anyone in the media, contact them to get the word out. If you're not American, you can help by publicizing the campaign on social media that Americans follow.

How do I contact my representatives?

1. Resistbot is a free service that will fax, call, or write your representatives for you. Just text the word "resist" to 50409 to begin.

2. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the representative of your choice.

I've contacted everyone. What now?

Contact them again. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. One water drop can be brushed away. Many water drops make a flood. Call, fax, or write as often as possible. Set aside 15 minutes every day to make as many calls or faxes as you can in that time. Relentlessness works - it's why the NRA is so successful. If they can do it, we can do it.

What do I say?

Page down for a sample script. Or speak or write in your own words.

Democrats to contact:

Every Democrat not currently sponsoring one of the bills. Thank them for their courage and service to the nation, and ask them to act now to save the world.

Thank the Democrats currently sponsoring the bills. There are 57 in the House and 9 in the Senate. Especially, thank Congressman Ted Lieu (sponsor of the House bill) and Sen. Edward Markey (sponsor of the Senate bill). Encourage them to step up their efforts to make it pass.

Republicans to contact:

The Republicans listed below are the most prominent who have voiced concerns about Trump. This is not an exhaustive list. There are more Republicans who might be receptive. For instance, all the House Republicans who just voted for more aid for Puerto Rico, and all Republicans who are retiring from their seats and so not worried about getting re-elected.

Sen. Bob Corker (202) 224-3344) warned us that Trump is setting the nation on a path to World War III. If you only contact one Republican representative, contact him. Thank him for his courage and urge him to follow through on his convictions.

Rep. Walter Jones (202) 225-3415 is the only Republican to support the bill. Thank him for his courage and urge him to get his colleagues onboard.

Other Republican senators to prioritize contacting: Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, Marco Rubio, and Bob Sasse.

Sample Script

Hello, my name is [your name.] I'm calling to ask Representative/Senator [their name] to co-sponsor the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.)

I believe Republican Senator Bob Corker when he says we're on the brink of World War Three. No one benefits from a nuclear war. But we can stop it if we choose to. This may be the most important action Representative/Senator [their name] will take in their entire life. It may literally save the world. I urge them to co-sponsor the bill restricting first use of nuclear weapons. Thank you.

Thank you for reading this far! Please share the post before you go.

Weekend Accomplishments

Oct. 17th, 2017 08:14 am
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[personal profile] oracne
Sorry no post yesterday; I woke up feeling nauseated, so I stayed home from work and slept and read all day.

1. Laundry! Two loads.

2. Attended two concerts, one Friday night, one Sunday afternoon.

3. Finished watching Defenders and helped a friend out with some stuff.

4. Bought a new black rayon shirt for choir, and hand-washed it in preparation for Wednesday night's concert.

5. Laid out clothes and chose makeup and packed my bag with choir folder and such for Tuesday and Wednesday, so I wouldn't have to do it in the mornings.

Dress rehearsal tonight; am currently eating oatmeal, and hoping this stomach unpleasantness has fully gone away.
kore: (Default)
[personal profile] kore

//just lies in bed watching it repeatedly
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[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

They walked slowly back towards the villa in silence. Lady Bexbury was conversing of novels with a well-looking fellow of middle years, that to Beauf’s astonishment spoke English with a somewhat Cockney accent though he was as bronzed as any Neapolitan. She made introductions and Beauf apprehended that this was Traversini’s dear companion. Should be entire ecstatic, said Lady Bexbury, would you stay to dine the e’en. Although Beauf felt that all he wanted to do was to return to Naples and brood in his room, or if Julius was around, tell him what had passed, he could not refuse.

Sure it was a very fine dinner, especial had they not been expecting any company. When they had finished, and night had fallen, Lady Bexbury offered that the sight of fireflies among the olive trees was most exceeding pretty, why did Flora not take His Lordship to see 'em? Flora bit her lip, then smiled and said, sure 'tis indeed the prettiest thing, let us go view 'em. And somehow, as they walked towards the olive grove, their hands found one another. Over there, said Flora, that quite menacing red glow? 'Tis the burning mountain Vesuvius: here are lesser fires.

She gestured towards the little sparks of light darting among the olive trees. Indeed 'twas a most exquisite pretty sight. He turned towards Flora and saw his own pleasure mirrored on her face. Mayhap it was the romantic setting; mayhap the excellent wine they had drunk had somewhat to do with it; but he put his arms around her and kissed her as no decent man should kiss a respectable young women before they had reached an understanding. And Flora kissed him back as no respectable young woman should kiss a man that had not already spoke to her papa.

At length they drew away from one another. Beauf began stammering an apology: oh, fie, said Flora, you must have apprehended that I too was quite overcome. She looked down at the ground. 'Twas most exceeding pleasant, I liked it quite extremely, should greatly desire to do it again: but, dearest Beauf, 'twould not be right. I hope, said Beauf, I should not take advantage of your kindness - Flora looked up with a bewitching smile and said, sure I have the greatest confidence in your honour. But m – my godmother has conveyed to me certain matters concerning the sexes –

And, said Flora, drawing herself up and looking like a small Valkyrie, I daresay there are those would condemn her for sullying my maiden innocence or some such nonsense, but I find myself in entire agreement with her that 'tis a shocking thing the way young women are kept in ignorance of matters so very material to their lives and happiness. Why, said Beauf, I fancy my stepmother would be in agreement with such arguments. And when one goes ponder over the topic, 'twould at least be prudent were young women given some warning concerning how some men carry on.

Flora gave another of her enchanting smiles and said, but she avers that young women should also be informed about their own natures: and that they should know that they may find that there is a traitor within the citadel that undermines their resistance to a siege. Beauf looked at her and considered upon this – was it a confession? – that she too felt ardours that might lead them into most improper conduct together. Indeed, Flora said more soberly, I come to an apprehension of her meaning. But she says, too, that does not always import for better for worse &C.

We had better, said Flora, be returning to the villa. She sighed. Flora, said Beauf, dearest Flora, at least say that I may speak again, when we are back in Town and not beguiled by romantic surroundings. She sighed again. You may, dearest Beauf: perchance we may find that 'twas entirely a glamour and you may go find one more apt to duchessing than I. I do not think so, he said. In all our travels have seen none that moves me as much as you. Flora made a little noise, almost a sob, and then turned towards the villa.

The coachman was mayhap a little displeased at being routed out from the kitchen and flirtatious conversation with the buxom Giulia, no hag-like sorceress. But he went ready the horses, and Beauf took his leave of Lady Bexbury and Alf, bowed over Flora’s hand. As he mounted to the carriage, and it began to drive away, he glimpsed, through a window, the fleeting sight of Flora kneeling by her godmother’s chair, her head in her lap, Lady Bexbury stroking the golden curls. Beauf thought that he would have welcomed an attack by banditti as a distraction from his troubled thoughts.

There were no untoward happenings on the road back to Naples. At their lodgings, he found Julius alone – he had not expected Bobbie to be in, but Quintus had regular habits. Is a dinner of some medical club or such, said Julius, seeing Beauf look around, that Quintus was invited to. But, dear friend, you look troubled. Oh, Julius, sighed Beauf, going to sit beside him upon the chaise-longue, indeed I am troubled, for Flora – was’t another woman I would say, goes play the coquette, but 'tis not Flora’s way – Julius put an arm around Beauf in the old way.

Beauf rested his head upon Julius’ shoulder, thinking of all the times they had comforted one another. He was blessed in having such a friend. Surely marriage, especially marriage to Flora, whose own dearest friend was Julius’ sister Hannah, would not come between? Julius remarked that he was going to see a very fine garden the morrow, would Beauf care to come? Indeed he had not seen so much of Julius lately, would be most agreeable to spend time in one another’s company. That would be exceeding pleasant, he said, do you desire my company. How not, said Julius, smiling.

some things, including fiber monday

Oct. 15th, 2017 08:11 pm
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[personal profile] thistleingrey
First (1.), a question: every sewing blog that mentions "interfacing" shows something that's essentially plastic, and the bit of fusible interfacing I've seen in person is the same. What was used in its place before polymers seeped into daily life? Something like organza/organdy?
And: it's pretty clearly a Western European-based tradition to use interfacing. Do pre-colonial-influence sewing conventions in other parts of the world do something similar---is it actually generally useful for a neckline---or does W Euro-influenced sewing assume that interfacing is necessary because it's become commonplace and unquestioned? (I have to question the casual inclusion of dairy or wheat all the bloody time now, so I feel free to question this, too.) I mean general tunic and vest shapes, excluding anything ultra-fancy for one-time wear.

2. Status: I didn't knit much this week despite ample opportunity because dry fall air and raging fires a county or two over == chapped hands, rough enough to snag worsted-weight wool, never mind a laceweight wool/silk blend.

3. After ten minutes failing to revisit Stardew Valley productively (there was a plan and I'm happy to have forgotten it), I've begun playing Torment: Tides of Numenera at last.
Current reading, btw: Axie Oh's Neo Seoul, YA with a near-future dystopian setting. I love the fact that the title is a pun: in English, neo = new, two syllables; in Korean, reading neo as monosyllabic , it's a near-homophone for English "no soul." Thank you for letting so many things stand, Lee & Low (publishers).

4. Read more... )
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[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

No doubt Lady Bexbury apprehended something of his reason for the visit: very shortly she said, I daresay you have come see Flora. At present I confide she goes walk in the olive groves – Alone? cried Beauf. La, she is as safe here as she would be at home. There will be none to come trouble her: 'tis most exceeding useful to have a cook in the place that is give out a strega and able to cast heavy curses upon trespassers &C, even is Giulia not so powerful a one as Guiseppina, that was her aunt, used to be.

Beauf blinked: he would have liked to know more of the matter – surely Lady Bexbury did not believe in witchcraft? 'Tis a useful superstition, she said smiling. But away to the olive groves – she waved in their direction. He bowed over his hand and went where she pointed. Sure olive trees were a very picturesque sight – he wondered whether there were artists had painted them – but even more delightful was the sight of Flora Ferraby, in a becoming light gown, a wide-brimmed hat upon her head, carrying a parasol. Why, Beauf! she cried, almost running towards him. Such a pleasure.

Flora dropped her parasol and clasped his hands in hers. Sure 'tis good to see you, she said. And are the others here as well? They remain at Naples, he said, looking down at her: perchance she had neglected one day to carry her parasol or put on her hat, for she was a little browned by the sun: however unfashionable, 'twas exceeding becoming. But, she said, tell me all of what you have been at, for Quintus’ letters only recount such and such an operation he saw, or some anatomical demonstration he attended. We have been here some while.

So, finding her hand remaining in his, he walked with her among the olive trees and told her of their adventures since Venice. But, he said, did she not go about a good deal in Society at Naples? He had been surprized to hear no reports of the bella signorina Ferraby and sighings over her. La, said Flora, we live here most agreeable quiet, sure I became somewhat jaded with the pursuit of pleasure, and sure these Italians are excessive amorous and given to jealousy, 'tis exceeding tiresome when they brangle over whether I go favour one more than another.

But is it not a little dull? Beauf asked. As I collect you have no great interest in painting water-colours, that one might well wish to undertake in such fine scenery did one have the skill. Indeed 'tis not, said Flora. My dear – my godmother is quite the finest company, there is an excellent fine library with a deal of English books in the place, Marcello is entire happy to escort me on excursions to classical antiquities &C – fie, I suppose I should say Signor Traversini, but I catch the habit of informality from Her Ladyship’s old acquaintance of him.

Also, she went on, there is excellent fine conversation of an e’en: Marcello and Alf are quite the greatest friends of Mr MacDonald, in constant correspondence, sure 'tis good serious discourse such as I have been feeling the want of. For from early years I was used to hear Papa and Mama and their company talk of matters in Parliament, and questions of business, and it feels home-like. And oh, have you heard? Papa goes be knighted. Entire well-deserved, said Beauf, my father the Duke holds him in quite the greatest esteem. Oh, 'tis an entire mutual esteem, said Flora.

Beauf looked down at Flora. He had seen more beautiful women, women with all the feminine arts of flirtation, but none of them had affected him as Flora did. Oh Flora, he said, I find myself in an ever-increasing fondness for you, sure I cannot suppose my father would make a deal of a fuss whosoever my choice lighted upon, he is not that kind, but I confide he would welcome a closer union with your family, there could be no objection, indeed I hazard 'twould delight my stepmother. Dear Flora, I should be honoured would you be my wife.

Flora dropped her head and gazed at the ground, and let her hand slip out of his. Oh Beauf, she said after what seemed like an exceeding lengthy silence, sure I am entire aware of the great honour you do me, and indeed I find myself in great liking towards you. But, she said, and then paused again. I know, she began again, that 'tis considered quite the highest achievement of a young lady to attach a fellow of your rank; but – oh, dearest Beauf – 'tis that matter of rank and being a Duchess in due course, gives me pause.

Why, you could not but adorn such a position, cried Beauf. Indeed, replied Flora, I hope that did it come to it I should do all that was proper: but I am in some concern that I should find it most immense tedious. There are duties and responsibilities, and sure I think some of 'em I could contrive to quite well. But I think of all the doing the polite, and making agreeable, and sure I do not attain to have my – godmother’s capacity to smile upon bores and laugh at weak jests, I entire lack her skills of diplomacy.

I see, said Beauf, that I have come about the matter very abrupt – 'twas not thus that I meant to proceed, but it has been on my mind ever since Venice, that I have seen no woman that I like so much as you and that I should desire to be wedlocked with. Flora gave him a wistful little smile and said that sure they were still yet young and perchance 'twas an entire glamour cast by these romantic parts, and mayhap did they go look at one another on a chill foggy day in Town, 'twould be another tale.

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[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Julius had always been there, from the days of the Raxdell House nursery-set. It had been Julius to whom he had disclosed, weeping, how very dreadful he had found his early days at Eton. They had shared boyish explorations of their changing bodies. But that was – according to the way of boys, was it not? not continued into maturity. And yet: had not his father spoken to him of the exceeding cruelty of the law regarding the carnal commerce of man with man? And the terrible popular prejudices that affected the ability to alter that law? So there were fellows –

It was somewhere between a joke and a proverb among their circle that, did you find yourself in puzzlement about anything that was a matter to do with people and the relations between them, the person to apply to for enlightenment was Lady Bexbury. If she did not see at once what was ado, she had an uncanny capacity to find out. He should ask her, when next he went to take tea at their lodgings: but preferably when Flora was elsewhere. Even if Flora had often snorted about the ridiculous desire of Society to keep young women entire innocent.

La, said Lady Bexbury, pouring Beauf tea, sure I have known Marcello this age, was a protégé of the late Marquess my husband, had him educated &C. And indeed he is of the disposition, that is what we say for fellows that incline to their own sex – though there are some that will incline to both - but he would not do any harm to a fellow; has a dear companion that remains at their villa near Naples. Would not force himself upon one unwilling. 'Tis entire the case that such fellows may manifest quite the finest mutual affection.

What Beauf could not ask Lady Bexbury – not yet, it might come to it – was why he, himself, should feel something very like unto jealousy at how very impressed Julius showed with Marcello Traversini? Perchance it was because he had always supposed himself Julius’ preferred friend just as Julius was his. But lately it seemed that Julius was ever about some expedition with the Italian, showing little interest in the various doings of Beauf and the others. But, he thought, we all go our own ways: sure Quintus has the entrée to dissections &C, that one would not wish to attend.

As a result of these puzzlings, Beauf had not made any declaration to Flora by the time all came to depart from Venice. Their paths lay in different directions, but all would remeet in due course in Naples. Julius showed some inclination to go with Lady Bexbury’s party, but then minded that he had the entrée to see certain gardens, and introductions to horticulturalists and botanists that 'twould be uncivil to cut. Beauf recollected what his stepmother would say about sorting her thoughts and giving matters time and determined to see how time and absence affected his feelings for Flora.

Although there were further adventures and escapades while travelling south, Beauf did not find himself forgetting Flora or dismissing their time together in Venice as a mere flirtation, inspired by the romantic spirit of the place. Rather he found himself considering that there were entire prudential arguments for the match. While the Ferrabys were not of aristocratic stock, they were wealthy, very well-thought-of, widely received in Society: Lord Nuttenford had had no objections to Harry’s suit to his youngest sister. They were quite the greatest friends of his own parents. His stepmother would delight in such a lively intelligent daughter-in-law.

It almost came to a quarrel one day betwixt Beauf and Bobbie, when the latter remarked thoughtfully that not only did one confide that Miss Ferraby would come exceeding well-dowered, surely Lady Bexbury was likely to do something very handsome for her god-daughter. They might have come to blows but that Quintus offered to take Bobbie to see some collection of medical curiosities to which he had the entrée, and Julius drew Beauf aside to walk in a fine garden that Traversini’s recommendation had opened to him. Beauf fumed to the sympathetic ear about how very vulgar Bobbie sometimes showed.

The quarrel was made up: one could not keep up a quarrel with Bobbie, he was too easy-going, but nonetheless Beauf felt somewhat of a reserve towards him for his remarks. Even had Flora herself commented so very disdainfully on Bobbie’s conversation, or lack of it. Indeed he could not imagine her inclining to him however fine a dancer she thought him. He was in some mind to endeavour to sound out the matter with Quintus, who might know somewhat of his sister’s mind, but something held him back. It was too early to put the matter into definite words.

At last they came to Naples. Beauf found himself chafing against the reception they received into Society there, the necessity to go do the polite, the asking after parents and family and old friends in Bella Londra. Sure ‘twas all most exceeding hospitable and kind, but yet he found himself in a considerable impatience to go visit Lady Bexbury at the late Marquess’s fine villa, without making it into a general excursion. Bobbie had already found a congenial set to frolic with, Quintus had savants of medicine to discourse with; and Traversini had come to welcome Julius to the city.

But in due course he was able to take a carriage out of the city and along through exceeding fine views of the bay and the volcano, to the very fine villa Bexbury. On his arrival he found Lady Bexbury reclining in a chair upon the terrace, scribbling at somewhat on her traveling desk. He dared say that she was still obliged to keep a hand upon the various philanthropic enterprizes she was associated in. La, Lord Sallington! she cried. Entire delightful! Come have some refreshment. Even in his impatience to see Flora, he could not resist that famed charm.

Pull the Football -- Save the World

Oct. 13th, 2017 02:11 pm
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[personal profile] pameladean
[personal profile] rachelmanija is launching a campaign to support and get enacted the House and Senate bills each called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. The Senate version at least was introduced on January 15th of this year, but there doesn't seem to have been much motion on it.

Here's the link to Rachel's journal entry detailing how to create that motion. Please go there to see what the bills do and how you can push Congress to act on them.

Given the current state of, well, everything, this may have a much greater chance of succeeding than a lot of other campaigns to get Congress to wake up.

kore: (Prozac nation)
[personal profile] kore
*tries blacklisting The Good Place everywhere because it stomps nearly every single one of my buttons hard, especially paranoia† and derealization and 'everything is a trick'*

Oh, apparently it ate Yuletide? Just fucking great.

(This is not even 'consistent.' I love Shirley Jackson and Philip K. Dick and other mindbending works about what is real and what isn't and how do we tell and how can we tell and so on. But every so often there's something that lines up too well with the cracks in my head, I guess is a way to put it, like the wolf sections of Kiernan's Drowning Girl or bits of Donnie Darko and my brain's like WHA HUNH NO WE'RE FREAKING OUT NOW PREPARE FOR PANIC PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR TRAY TABLES ARE IN THEIR FULL UPRIGHT POSITIONS RIGHT UP YOUR ASS. It's one of those things that is so idiosyncratic but also hits me so hard I don't really know what to do.)

Yeah I have had actual paranoia. It is not funny. Mental illness is not quirky and cute. -- Also yeah, I tried to watch some clips of it to see if I was just being silly and the effect would lessen. SPOILER: IT GOT KIND OF BIGGER

music in the air

Oct. 13th, 2017 09:10 am
kore: (Orpheus & Eurydice)
[personal profile] kore
Rhiannon Giddens, one of the winners of this year's "genius grants" performing the great Rosetta Tharpe song "Up Above My Head":

STUNNING live version on Jools Holland:

Meet Rhiannon Giddens, Newly Minted MacArthur 'Genius' (NPR)

In her recordings and live performances, Giddens has mined the history of the African American string band tradition, introducing new audiences to the black banjoists and fiddlers whose influences have been left out of popular narratives of the lineage of folk and country music. Giddens is a native of the Piedmont region of North Carolina, and she trained as an opera singer before returning to North Carolina to immerse herself in traditional American roots music through study of archival recordings and the mentorship of the octogenarian fiddler Joe Thompson. Having honed her skills on the fiddle and 5-string banjo, she co-founded with two other bandmates the Carolina Chocolate Drops in order to share this tradition with a new generation of listeners. More recently, Giddens has released two solo albums. Tomorrow Is My Turn (2015) offers riveting interpretations of songs that were written or made famous by women, spanning folk, bluegrass, country, gospel, jazz, Celtic, and other genres. Freedom Highway (2017) consists mainly of original compositions by Giddens, and the album traverses the experience of African Americans from slavery to the present. Drawing inspiration from slave narratives, early twentieth-century songwriters such as Mississippi John Hurt, and even a rap about police violence written by her nephew, Freedom Highway is at once a recuperation of suppressed voices and a history lesson. - (MacArthur Foundation)

Things Accomplished This Week

Oct. 13th, 2017 10:52 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
1. Did laundry on Monday, after my trip to CapClave, and finished putting it all away last night. Now I have another couple of loads...which I can do tomorrow or Sunday.

2. Changed my sheets! Hush, it counts. I'm even planning to fold and put away the clean sheets once they're washed.

3. Bought Piffaro tickets for the October and December concerts I want to attend.

4. Emailed initial comments on a friend's novel draft.

5. Selected some new gym songs. This was fun but also labor, right? And it keeps me interested in gymming. Also this week, my couple pairs of sale leggings from Lineage arrived, and I am very pleased with them. One pair is a purple with peacock feathers print, and the other pair is rainbow neon dots over turquoise unicorn silhouettes, from a batch that was printed upside-down, so they were half price.

Via several sources: Self-esteem doesn't work. Try self-compassion instead.
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

They looked where Bobbie pointed and observed two golden-haired ladies, dressed entirely proper and carrying parasols, accompanied by an Italian-looking fellow. Hah! cried Quintus, 'tis Aunty Clo – I mean, the exquisite Lady Bexbury, and our Flora, that attract attention. I know not who that fellow is with 'em, though. Mayhap some hired cicerone? But let us go make ourselves known to them. They made their way through the crowds to where Lady Bexbury and her god-daughter looked into a shop-window, carefully guarded by their companion. He showed some disposition to shoo Quintus and his friends away, as Flora turned smiling.

Quintus! What, not walking the wards but disporting yourself in Venice? Beauf stared: 'twas a good number of years since they were in the Raxdell House nursery-set, and having the great treat of Lady Bexbury come among 'em to play tigers. (Did a fellow no harm at all to be able to boast of that.) But then he had been sent away to school, and then to Oxford, and saw Flora much less frequently: the last time at a Christmas party at Raxdell House, he an obnoxious arrogant sprig, he confided, and she a hoyden not come to her looks.

But they collected their manners, and all bowed over Lady Bexbury’s hand, and then Flora’s, and were introduced to Signor Traversini – is’t not entire fortunate, remarked Lady Bexbury, that Signor Traversini, that looks after my estate at Naples, found himself obliged to come convoke with certain savants of agrarian reform in these parts? The Signor declared that he was entire enchanted to be able to do Her Ladyship this service. Sure, he added, scowling, there are a deal of rogues and cheats haunt this city, would endeavour go beguile English miladies. He spoke English excellent well, but for an accent.

Oh! cried Julius, Signor Traversini that has made such remarkable improvements in grafting vines? Sure I should most greatly like to have some discourse with you, sir. Traversini looked at him and a warm smile quite transfigured his well-cut features. Why, Mr Roberts, he said, 'twould be entire agreeable to me. I hazard, he went on, you are some connexion of Hector’s? Julius gave a brief outline of the relationship, as Traversini asked about Hector and Euphemia, that he confided Julius had seen more recently than Her Ladyship or Sophy had. A sudden sympathy 'twixt the two began to manifest.

Had he not been so delighted by the pleasures and distractions of Venice, Beauf thought that he might have somewhat have resented the degree to which Julius became taken up with Traversini, but 'twas somewhat of a relief that Julius had found a fellow-spirit, one, moreover, that was able to take him about various places upon the mainland. Quintus had found those of his profession that he might debate matters with, Bobbie was ever able to find entertainment, and Beauf – had offered to escort Lady Bexbury and her god-daughter to see various collections of art where he had the entrée.

Lady Bexbury was, of course, the most exquisite and charming of women, as all quite universally agreed. It could only benefit Flora Ferraby to be taken about by her and to have that example in front of her. Flora had indeed grown into a fine handsome young woman, her features a more feminine version of Quintus’s, but even with youth upon her side she could hardly rival Lady Bexbury. She was also inclined to be contentious and contradictory, though when Beauf took time to consider what she had said, he did concede that she often had the right of it.

He ought to confess, that even when he did not agree that she was entirely right, there was something in what Flora said. For it was not some puritanical Evangelical objection that she took to certain paintings – would even praise the technique and the composition &C – but why, she sighed, were there so many ladies painted in a state of nature or very lightly draped? Lady Bexbury gave her adorable musical giggle and said, La, 'tis give out symbolical, or so Sir Zoffany told me many years ago; but indeed, one might wish gaze upon some symbolical fellows as well.

Beauf and Flora did not spend all their time arguing: they were in entire agreement over the ludicrous sight of stout opera singers, while admiring the exquisite sounds that emerged from those corpulent forms. They danced exceeding well together at an immense number of balls, masquerades and parties of pleasure. And he had found insipid misses squeaking yes and no tiresome indeed. There was really no need for him to begin thinking of marriage just yet: his father in quite the finest health, two thriving younger half-brothers. And yet – there could be no objection to an alliance with the Ferrabys.

Flora even seemed to show Beauf some preference, complaining upon fellows that had no conversation, for, she remarked, telling me how fine my eyes are &C cannot be considered conversation. And neither, she added, is Bobbie telling me how well he did at the tables t’other e’en, For though Bobbie had of course found the entrée to a fast set, that included by report some very fine and accommodating ladies, he also showed some notion towards Flora. Quintus, she went on, may talk at length on some very horrid medical matters, but at least it is good sensible interesting stuff.

Beauf stood on the balcony smoking, looking out at the moonlit vista and pondering whether 'twas premature to make any declaration to Flora. He looked down and saw Traversini and Julius coming along the calle, and pausing by the entrance to the building. Traversini laid a light hand upon Julius’ shoulder; Julius looked up at him. Beauf drew in a breath. In the moonlight Traversini was of an almost haunting masculine beauty. Julius – he could not say whether or not Julius was good-looking: from childhood he had been his greatest friend, his face was dear and loved from long acquaintance.

Hippo, Birdie, Two Ewes (belated)

Oct. 12th, 2017 11:56 am
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 to [personal profile] piglet !  Hope you had an excellent time

Hippo, Birdie, Two Ewes

Oct. 12th, 2017 12:01 pm
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
to [personal profile] kalmn  and [personal profile] halialkers  ! . Hope you special day was fun!  Wishing you unmitigated joy.


Oct. 12th, 2017 09:27 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
So many terrible things in the news and I only barely glanced at it this morning before I ran away. I stayed away most of yesterday, too. I need to severely limit my news time, which is hard when it's in Twitter and Facebook, which I'm looking at for choir purposes as well as to keep in contact with friends.

I know it's not just me. At least we can commiserate?

I had a good workout yesterday; I felt reasonably strong. My day off on Monday, which included way more sleep than I would normally even attempt, must have helped. I kept the dumbbells at 35 pounds for the bench press and row, then did tricep kickbacks at 15, and struggled through overheads at 20 (I had to break up the last couple sets of 12). I did lunges again, then decided to skip planks in favor of intervals on a stationary bike.

Tonight is a book signing I'd like to attend, and I have concert tickets for tomorrow night (Tempesta di Mare) and Sunday afternoon (Dolce Suono). I'll have time for a Friday workout before the Tempesta concert.

the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

I succeeded to my uncle, explained the Duke of Mulcaster, which is why I do not sport the ancient name of former Dukes: it was always given to the eldest son, and then to his. Indeed, apart from the tradition in the matter, I am glad of it, for it was not only repetitious but somewhat quaint. He never married – devoted his life to the duties of his rank and to connoisseurship: his feeling for art was widely acclaimed. He turned Nitherholme into the showplace it is, with the aid of Julius – now Sir Julius – Roberts; now quite surpasses Qualling.

Beaufoyle, Baron Sallington, heir to the Duke of Mulcaster, lay back on the stone bench and looked up at the sky. Out of view he could hear Julius, his best friend, whistling softly as he examined the roses, which were not blooming as they should this summer, so the head gardener had gone begging to Raxdell House to see if Elisha Roberts or his son could solve the mystery. He picked up the little volume of his father’s memoir of the mother he had never known, now that he had mastered his feelings and was no longer like to weep.

He could not have had a kinder or more affectionate stepmother, the only mother he had ever known. But his father had suddenly remarked, just the other day, what a look he had of dear Kitty. He had gone to look at the portrait of her, and then into the mirror, and indeed, he was like her. He was also like her in his love for art. While lessons with Raoul de Clérault had convinced him he would never be an artist, it was admitted that he had an eye, and since childhood he had loved the famed Mulcaster collection.

A more cacophonous whistling announced Bobbie Wallace. How now, Beauf! (The family still used the nursery name of Essie; old Etonian acquaintances called him Sally. Real friends, such as the old Raxdell House nursery set, now called him Beauf.) Julius! Pa has put it to me that I might care to do the Grand Tour, and why should we not go together? There will be paintings for you, fine gardens for Julius, and I am sure I shall contrive to entertain myself. The only objection is that he makes mutterings about employing some bear-leader to keep us out of mischief –

Why, Beauf sat up, is there no older, responsible fellow might be of our party? At which exact moment came through the gate into the walled garden Dr Quintus Ferraby, to cries of, how now sawbones! How many have you put in their grave today? Just the fellow! said Bobbie, all consider him sober and responsible, an entire good influence, do you not desire undertake the Grand Tour, Quintus? Indeed, replied Quintus, greatly envy Flora that her godmother takes about the Continent. There are a deal of hospitals and asylums one would wish visit, attend lectures of learned professors –

His friends groaned at the prospect of such worthy enterprize. But it was entirely true that their families considered Quintus Ferraby to be an old head on young shoulders and therefore, was he of the party, it would be unlikely they would impose some tedious fellow upon them. Julius? said Beauf, looking round to where Julius was poking thoughtfully into the soil about the rose-bushes. Julius stood up, remarking that 'twould be a fine thing to see those famed gardens on the Continent, visit certain noted botanists, &C. The sunlight catching the tight black curls of hair struck glints of reddish-gold.

Beauf thought that he would not care to go unless Julius was of the party. Julius smiled at him and said, his papa had a fine book of engravings of gardens that Her Ladyship gave him: he was inclined to think he would approve of this excursion, as exceeding educational. O, he dared say his mama might fret, but indeed, 'twas not like going to America. They all looked at Julius and Bobbie was the first to remark that sure, one might take you for a Spaniard or an Italian, indeed, are there not Frenchmen as dark? They all nodded.

The proposal was approved among their families with amazing rapidity. There was a deal of writing of letters of introduction, as well as Beauf’s father writing to former colleagues in the Diplomatic. And a deal of advice all round. On the packet crossing the Channel they all began to wonder whether this was really such an exciting adventure, but the morning after their arrival, when they woke up in Calais and the sun was shining and there was a fine smell of coffee, they looked around at one another with cheerful smiles. Onward to Paris! cried Bobbie, banging the table.

There were adventures and misadventures across France, Switzerland, several German principalities, Austria, until at last they came to Venice. Beauf had most particularly desired to visit Venice, but it was so private and delicate a longing that he shrank from disclosing it to his friends, or from forcing on the pace of their tour. But he apprehended from his father’s memoir of his late mother, and the letters that Lady Wallace had so kindly shown him, that his mother had been most extreme happy in Venice. He had made his own memorandum of the works she had considered particularly fine.

Julius, he apprehended, was not entire delighted with the place, that as 'twere floated upon the waters, was not rooted upon soil. But there was talk of excursions inland – Padua, that Quintus considered a place of pilgrimage, Verona – though for himself, he could pass weeks and months here, would it not seem eccentrique to do so. He had introductions to certain private collections and to cognoscenti. Today, however, they all paraded in the drawing-room of Europe, St Mark’s Square, before going to take coffee at the Café Florian. Why, said Bobbie, someone over there is causing somewhat of a stir.

Dzur through Iorich

Oct. 11th, 2017 02:01 pm
jazzfish: book and quill and keyboard and mouse (Media Log)
[personal profile] jazzfish
The Great Big Dragaera Reread, part 5

VALLISTA HAS SHIPPED! *happydance* Guess I'll have to keep cracking on these. SUCH HARDSHIP.

It's interesting to move from "books I've reread so many times they're like old friends I've not seen in awhile" through "books I know pretty well and enjoy getting reacquainted with" and on into "books I like a lot but don't know as well as I could, or as I think I do."

Klava, Dzur, Jhegaala, Iorich )

Reading Wednesday

Oct. 11th, 2017 08:54 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
This week, I obtained and read a galley of Dragon Blood by Eileen Wilks, out in January 2018. The previous volume in the series, which I'd read on vacation back in August, ends on a cliffhanger, so this was a real relief! As usual with this series, the book left some plot threads dangling and opened up some new ones, but the cliffhanger wasn't as maddening as the previous one.

I've stuck with this series for so long because of the ongoing, ever-evolving relationship between Lily Yu and Rule Turner, the abundance of interesting continuing secondary characters, and the incredible depth and complexity of the worldbuilding. The series contains one of the few insta-mate-bond setups I've ever liked, because it causes more tension and complications for the protagonists rather than fewer.

For the most part, I've preferred the books in this series that happen on Earth rather than those in the series in other dimensions, like this one; that's because I love reading about an Earth where magic has returned in a big way, and has to be dealt with by people and governments. Laws and social interactions and balances of international power and even technology are all changed by magic, and the characters have to figure out what to do about it. That grounded aspect is my favorite aspect of the Lupi series. And like previous books in the series, in this one the characters consider the results of their actions, both good and bad; they must weigh necessity versus degrees of harm, and deal with their emotions about the harm they inevitably cause.

Another plus is that Dragon Blood focuses mostly on female characters, including the awesome Grandmother Yu Li Lei as a point of view character.

Though I don't think the previous book would be a good starting place for a reader new to the series, this one might be. Just be warned that the plot is driven by children in jeopardy; you don't actually see them in jeopardy until close to the end, though, and things work out okay.


Oct. 10th, 2017 08:24 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Julie Weisenberger, Cocoknits Sweater Workshop (2017): like Herzog's Fit to Flatter and its sequel, Knit Wear Love, this workshop walks the reader through an analysis of women's upper-body garment parts, offers some broad suggestions about balancing proportions, and provides customizable patterns with further suggestions for modification. Herzog brings a computer security specialist's algorithmic mentality and a few years of knitwear design to the process; Weisenberger has been designing garments professionally for several decades, and it shows in the patterns' gentle twists upon the basics. (Herzog's are already outdated, to my eye. Too much trend, not enough basic.) There's a master worksheet for gathering up stitch counts for the shoulder/yoke/sleeve.

Notably, Weisenberger's patterns use a clever top-down pickup method to shape the yoke. Read more... )

where the week/end went

Oct. 10th, 2017 02:46 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
[personal profile] jazzfish
Last week my boss Clare was in town (she's normally in London), and Wednesday turned out to be Team Outing Day. Dim sum at Kirin downtown (fancy, tasty, not the best dim sum I've had but quite good), followed by an escape room at which we did not embarrass ourselves even though we didn't make it out, followed by drinks.

That turned out to be Too Much Social for me, so instead of going to a stranger-ful munch like I'd planned I just went home. Unquestionably the right decision, even if I regret having had to miss meeting new people.

Meanwhile, on Friday I got a gum graft.

cut for potential squick )

On Sunday I caught what will probably be my only VIFF movie of the year, Bad Genius. It's a Thai film about cheating on exams, and it was fun and tense and enjoyable to watch. I'm not super fond of the redemptionist ending but I'm not sure what sort of ending I would have preferred, so there's that.

I miss complex movies. This one wasn't super complex but it kept me entertained and kept me thinking. Maybe I'll try to make it out to another VIFF movie tomorrow, or more likely Thursday.

CapClave 2017

Oct. 10th, 2017 08:22 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I spent my weekend visiting [personal profile] natlyn, and on Saturday we trekked out to CapClave. I had three panels, spaced throughout the day, which was nice; also lovely, all of my panels were all-female. I moderated the second and third.

My first panel, on Dr. Who, had a good moderator, and I survived quite well despite not being caught up on the last season. We speculated about some things we'd like to see in the new series with Chris Chibnall as showrunner.

We went to Ken Liu's Guest of Honor presentation next, which was really good; it was all about translation in general and his translating experiences in particular. We also attended Fran Wilde's and Carolyn Ives Gilman's readings.

The Wonder Woman panel had excellent panelists, including one in costume who lent me her sword to point out who got to ask the next question. The panel flowed beautifully, the audience had good comments, the moderator (me) didn't have much to do. Later in the day, someone told she'd enjoyed the panel.

I was starting to flag by the time of the Octavia Butler panel, and my pre-panel snack was not adequate. Luckily, more people had been added since the last time I'd checked the description, so we had a range of opinions and thoughts on themes in Butler's work, and her influence on the field and on readers and writers. The audience wasn't as active as I'd hoped, but the panelists were excellent and carried it, so I think it went well.

We had dinner with some of Natlyn's old friends, and spent the rest of our evening watching Vividcon DVDs.

... thanks?

Oct. 9th, 2017 09:47 pm
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
[personal profile] jazzfish
I don't even know what to say.

I'm thankful for Erin, for my friends, for having a place to live and a job that pays me and isn't destroying my body or soul. I'm thankful that I have the space to sort out what I'm looking for and what I'm doing. I'm thankful that we (I) (we) can start the citizenship application process, that the timeline has been moved up by a year.

I'm thankful that I had the day off, and that I could choose to spend some of it helping a new person pack for moving. And I'm thankful that I'm together enough that I could see warning signs and be wary of further entanglement with that person.

I miss Emily, and my kittens (*sniffle*), and a space that's mine with all my stuff in. I miss Erin though that at least solves itself every few weeks.

I guess I'm thankful that I can feel that.

I'm thankful that I'm still here, ultimately.

In Memoriam

Oct. 9th, 2017 11:37 am
onyxlynx: Some trees and a fountain at a cemetery (A Fine and Private Place)
[personal profile] onyxlynx

fiber monday

Oct. 8th, 2017 09:50 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Status: rediscovered incomplete Switch sock (tube with closing flap made from leftover sock yarn for partner's Nintendo Switch) under the pi shawl and decided to finish it. Note to self: though there wasn't enough yarn (two vaguely compatible greys) to crochet the Switch sock, the crocheted Vita sock is definitely more suitable than this knitted Switch sock; if similar objects are needed, arrange to crochet.

Also, I'd been knitting slower and slower because both my main projects are large, where progress can't be seen. Took a break to make half a toddler-sized vest. The intended recipient is only six months old, but half a vest with obvious progress made me feel better. :/ The second half awaits the next time I can't stand k,p,k,p sleeves or the fragile, misshapen beret-bag that the pi shawl has become.

Temporarily, I don't knit for Reason because she snapped my working yarn again a few weeks ago. Same consequence as the second time, since it's been three years since then: nothing for her for two months. I doubt she'll do it again, given the warning that a fourth infraction will yield a four-month hiatus. If you want to test strength, ask for scraps. Nonetheless---since the ban expires near US Thanksgiving, and since we'll be at MIL's for the holiday, I have prepared something for her as the traveling project (wooden needles, minimal other tools) because MIL is happy when I knit for other people, not for myself. :P Easy enough to intersect. MIL's mother crocheted and sewed, but MIL didn't learn.

Also! Reason and I have gone to something like a county fair. It's hosted by a town, not the county---half fiber fest, half ovine-focused livestock event (mostly sheep with a few alpacas here and there, both the animals and their detached fleeces).

Read more... )

Things done meme

Oct. 7th, 2017 10:34 am
onyxlynx: Blue bkgrd, large red 7th, words "decade of fabulous." (As in "I'm in my 7th decade of fabulousn)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 by way of [personal profile] wild_irises .

Tattoos: None. 
Surgeries: Tonsillectomy @ 13; wisdom teeth extraction; repair of broken elbow.

    Broken bones: Broken elbow.  Not pleasant.
    Shot a gun:  Toy only
    Quit a job:A few times.
    Flown on a plane: Yes; first flight on M*A*T*S With family.  Prop plane from Idlewild.
    100+miles in car: driven & ridden.
    Gone zip lining: No.  Way. José.
    Watched someone give birth: In a movie.  Eeeep.
    Watched someone dying: Held someone.
    Ridden in an ambulance: Twice!
    Been to Canada:in childhood and to visit.
    ... to Europe: lived there 3 years
    ... to Washington D.C: Disclaves!
    ... to Florida: Once.
    ... to Colorado: Changed planes in Denver
    ... to Mexico: No
    ... to Las Vegas: Yes
    Sang karaoke:  Sort of.  
    Had a pet: We had a puppy for about a week.  Mom is also phobic about dogs.
    Been downhill skiing: Voluntary exposure to snow and cold?  That's diseased.
    Gone snowboarding: No.  See previous
    Ability to read music: Sort of.  Piano lessons..
    Rode a motorcycle: On the back of one   "pillion?"
    Rode a horse:  Once.  As a small child.
    Stayed in a hospital: Yes.  Thrice.
    Driven a stick shift: No.
    Ride in Police Car: No
    Driven a Boat: No
    Eaten Escargot: I could have in Montréal.
    Seen a UFO: No
    Been on a Cruise: Not a real cruise, though.
    Run out of Gas: The lessons of '74 are in awareness.
    Eaten Sushi: Yes
    Seen a Ghost: No

Hippo, Birdie, Two Ewes (belated)

Oct. 7th, 2017 10:13 am
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 to [personal profile] supergee !  Hope it was fun!

Tweaking Store-bought Cake

Oct. 6th, 2017 09:00 pm
frith: Blue pegasus with rainbow mane, thinking in cloud (FIM Rainbow think)
[personal profile] frith
It's October 6th. You should know what that means by now.


It took me a long time to get started on the cake topper drawing. Finally, last night I drew, coloured and whipped cream, and plopped it on top of a fruit and custard shortcake cake. It wasn't short, dunno why it's called a short cake. I was taller after I finished. About half past 11 PM when I finished. The cake went into the fridge and I went to bed.


A little too tall. Rainbow Dash's head ripped off and stuck to the lid. I had to do a hasty re-connection. Just in time for morning break at work.


The dyes on the rice paper were starting to run too. Then we ate the evidence.


During the Friday Meeting I determined via a draw who won which pony item. I had taken the afternoon off to go see the My Little Pony movie at about an hour's drive away.

I go sleep nao.

some things

Oct. 5th, 2017 09:29 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
* Via Stitch in Time: when York Archaeological Trust runs out of print copies of its fascicles, it releases them as free-to-read PDFs. omg. Textile production, cordage, and leatherwork: yes, please. There's also a sizable piece upon an Anglian helmet with inscriptions, for which Reason said, "I wonder whether other kids see things like this." <3

Had the web existed in its current(ish) scope when I was in college, I would've done law school after all instead of going to grad school because I could've read to my heart's content on the side. Granted, I'd have lacked the linguistic training, teaching experience, and textual exposure/range that grad school helped me to gain, but I'm fairly sure that grad school has hurt my health more than law school or practice would have. Stereotypes of pizza/wine-drowned law associates aside, law school lasts for three years; grad school lasted me nine. The latter did afford me the chance to audit a nonstandard class at a nearby law school (legal history, natch).

* I've figured out how to get myself to watch more tv: watch something I don't really want to watch. :/ Tv I want to watch: Chef, Forest of Secrets, Kinkyū torishirabeshitsu S2, Father, I'll Take Care of You. Tv I've managed to start: Full House, the 2004 kdrama, because it doesn't matter. At the moment I can't keep track of a four-row-patterned sleeve's slow decreases or hard-to-see lace while looking up for subs; Full House is boring simple enough to follow even when I miss a subtitle or a change in camera angle and facial expression. (Undoing/redoing bits of sleeve = fine. Veering off course on the lace = Not Fine. When there's light enough, I want to work on the lace, yet just knitting is a bit boring.) Oh, self.

* Today started with an echocardiogram that had been misscheduled (so that the technician thought I'd pushed my way in, but their staff had made the mistake, tyvm) and moved through my expressing doubts, very carefully, about how much key work has been placed upon a colleague. Fall down go boom.

other literary news

Oct. 5th, 2017 02:26 pm
kore: (Default)
[personal profile] kore
As long as the Lit Nobel Prize continues to go to 'NOT URSULA K. LE GUIN,' I don't really care right now. SHE'S EIGHTY-SEVEN, PETER ENGLUND, LET'S STEP IT THE FUCK UP HERE.

(They could have given it to Italo Calvino, they could have given it to Leonard Cohen, they could have given it to Borges....they gave it to Faulkner ffs.)

(no subject)

Oct. 5th, 2017 01:50 pm
kore: (Anatomy of Melancholy)
[personal profile] kore
I didn't think I'd ever live to see the unexpurgated journals of Sylvia Plath published (for....a number of reasons, heh) and then BAM, there they were not even fifty years after her death, a complete surprise (to me anyway). But I despaired over ever getting her letters. And then BAM, not even twenty years after the Journals, here they are or volume 1 of them anyway, and I found out I could get them earlier from Amazon UK -- some brouhaha over the covers say what? I don't care, GIVE THEM TO ME, EVEN IF IT'S ONLY A DAY EARLIER. I NEED IT. So the book came and I was excited for the first time in weeks, months it felt like. T says I tore the package open on the couch and was insensate for a couple of hours afterwards. A bomb could have landed and I wouldn't have been touched.

-- Yeah yeah, the cover, the cover. I raved about it some at poor [personal profile] oursin's blog but really, I don't honestly care, except my honest and probably Terrible Feminist reaction is IT'S NOT A BIKINI FOR CHRIST'S SWEET SUFFERING SAKE. If someone's going to get something that wrong right out of the gate I don't pay attention to them. It's a character flaw, what can I say. But like I said over there I honestly don't give a damn because you open it up and the first letter goes:

Monday 19 February 1940

Dear Father
I am coming home soon. Are you as glad as I am?
Over in Frank's work room I got some ink on my fingers which never comes of! I had to rub them with a stone. And the stone took it of.
....My letter is not very long.
....Mummy likes me to wright in red. But nearly everybody likes me to wright in blue or black.

Written to her father -- she was sent away because of his fatal illness -- whose death nine months later, less than two weeks before her own eighth birthday, would haunt her until her own....about how a father-figure taught her to take indelible ink off her fingers "with a stone" and the incredible correspondences with her poetry, her work, her life-art already piling up -- The trees of the mind are black. The light is blue, "black fingers" of yew trees, the red of "Cut" and "Poppies in October" and "Poppies in July," her constant references to stones and skulls and the moon who was "my mother. She is not sweet like Mary" and Hughes's poem on how she "painted hearts" on everything -- even her posthumous reputation! with "everybody likes" either "blue or black" -- it was dizzying. Hand to god I had to put the book down for a second. And that was the FIRST letter. Talk about a telegrammatic precis of a life, right there, unfolding through all the rest of her years like a cup of flowering tea, but all right there from the start. It was like a punch.

So that made me happy. (too happy probably, but even hypomania is preferable to glum doom sometimes)

Insomnia is terrible.

Oct. 5th, 2017 08:24 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I had a good workout last night, but then I kept waking up and couldn't go to sleep for a while. My head is very swimmy this morning, and I tried to put water into my empty coffee cup instead of into my bowl with the instant oatmeal.

Normally, I'd be packed already for my trip to CapClave, but I am not. I did the toiletries last night, and picked out clothes. I need to refer to my list and make sure I didn't forget anything. I also need to make panel notes, though luckily, my panels are not hugely difficult ones, and I had some notes from previous Octavia Butler panels I've done that I can use. I also packed the newest Vividcon dvd set, in case [personal profile] natlyn and I get time to watch some vids.

Going to have dinner with [personal profile] drinkingcocoa and the Adorable Tots this evening, which thought will get me through the day.

I am currently listening to Monteverdi Vespers, since it's engraved in my brain and thus soothing.


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