(no subject)

27 Jun 2016 06:56 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
We had a generally good anniversary yesterday, with a few blips. I spent most of the morning trying desperately to jump start myself somehow. I was kind of mentally hazy, and physically, I felt like I’d already pushed my muscles to the point where they couldn’t do anything more.

Scott and I ended up getting lunch at McDonald’s, partly in hope that that would wake me up (whether due to being out of the house or due to the calories) and partly for nostalgia. We went through a McDonald’s drive-thru pretty much immediately after our wedding reception because there hadn’t been much food there that I could eat, basically just plain bread and the wedding cake. There had been supposed to be food I could eat, but Scott’s mother misunderstood what my parameters were and decided, without telling me or Scott, that the special arrangements weren’t necessary.

Scott and I did the grocery shopping after eating at McDonald’s (the Kroger and the McDonald’s share a parking lot). I’m not sure I should have done that because my ankle really ached by bedtime last night, but it was nice to spend the time together, and it gave me the rare opportunity to look for things that appealed to me in terms of canned soup and such.

We went to the library an hour or two after we got back from shopping. Cordelia came with us (she had two interlibrary loan holds that she was very eager to start reading), and we got bubble tea afterward.

Scott and I listened to about an hour and a half of Furiously Happy. He’s bothered by the amount of swearing and references to genetalia, but he does find it funny and worth going on with.

About 6:30, we got in the car to go get dinner at Palm Palace. They were very much not crowded, but it still took forever for our meals to arrive. We had soup (me) and salad (Scott and Cordelia) and bread, hummos, and garlic spread pretty much immediately, but the meal proper didn’t arrive until late enough (7:56) that I really shouldn’t have eaten any of it. The server was pretty attentive and brought us more bread and more water whenever we needed it, but the hour long wait for the main course was frustrating.

When we got home, Scott and I watched part of season three of Teen Titans, Go! The library had it, and I thought that something silly to watch might be a nice break. And it is really, really silly. I miss the old Teen Titans show which was much better, but I can still enjoy this very, very occasionally.

Scott realized, right before bedtime, that he needed to wash his uniforms or resign himself to wearing dirty clothes to work tomorrow. I was having enough hints of reflux that I thought staying up a bit longer was a good idea anyway, so I told him I’d stay up and put his stuff in the dryer. I got to bed a little after midnight.

I had dreams that there were things wrong with the world that I needed to try to set right, and for some reason, that involved sleeping in a particular (and uncomfortable) position and getting rid of the pillow under my knees. I was just awake enough to do all of that but not enough to be puzzled by what on earth my sleeping habits could have to do with— I don’t even remember what. Discrimination of some sort? Global warming? I think I remember Miss Marple, played by Joan Hickson, being involved somehow (I watched some of that on Saturday, so I guess it was in my head).

I’m a bit worried about the idea of dreams that make me do real physical things. In this case, it only resulted in back pain that made walking difficult for about ten minutes, and I don’t think that I could actually get out of bed without waking up fully enough to question what was going on, but… I’ve had dreams for months, going back to radiation, about needing to sleep on my left side or not on my left side for fear of terrible (unspecified) things happening. That seemed trivial enough because it’s just a matter of rolling over in bed. Are things escalating? Do I need to, for example, put my meds somewhere more difficult to get to when I’m mostly asleep? My meds come up in dreams pretty regularly, mostly in terms of anxiety about running out or about forgetting to take them. This is new territory for me.

I’m awake now because my legs ache. I’m not sure how to address that. It’s something I lived with during my high school, college, and working years, but it’s been about fourteen years since I consistently had trouble with it, and I no longer know how to sleep with it. When it was a constant thing, there wasn’t anything that I found that would help. Painkillers never did. Massage helped while it was going on but not after.

My hips, knees, and ankles want heat pretty constantly, and the rest of me, including the other parts of my legs, wants things to be on the chilly side. It’s the sort of thing that has me constantly shifting my legs around in search of a bit of bed that’s cooler than where I’ve been. Of course, that coolness only lasts a few seconds.

Right now, I’m applying heat to my bad ankle and a cold pack to the insides of my thighs. I don’t know that that will help when I go to lie back down, but I’m quite sure that I can’t deal with today on less than five hours of sleep.
starlady: Holmes and Watson walking around New York (springtime in new york)
[personal profile] starlady
# I'm increasingly thinking that I will be effectively leaving Dreamwidth at some point soon. I may start a Wordpress; I may absorb some kinds of content into other venues. No firm decisions have been made, but entropy is running.

# I had a lovely time at CrossingsCon and want to give the staff kudos for pulling off a first-time con rather well. As for me, I am old and jaded and I know for a fact that tumblr didn't invent everything, but I did nonetheless have a lovely time and would happily attend again.

# The Brexit horrorshow is nauseatingly horrific from across the pond, and I am so sorry to all my friends in the UK and the EU who are living it. I've been trying to write a condolences email to some non-internet UK friends, and quite honestly I've found it much easier writing emails to people after terrorist attacks asking whether they or anyone they know are dead. Hopefully somehow the situation may yet be pulled back from the brink. (And if that happens, will people one day say that David Cameron managed to redeem himself in the end, by poisoning the Article 50 chalice a la that one Facebook comment's analysis? Gross.)

Gon Freecs, writing failure

26 Jun 2016 02:29 pm
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
[personal profile] branchandroot
So, I'm re-watching HunterXHunter, and remembering exactly why I /hate/ the Chimera Ant arc, or at least the Gon parts. It's because that was the most smashing writing failure ever, and it could have been fixed so easily.

Because, see, as written, Gon is a filthy, selfish little traitor. We've spent the whole story seeing the bond between him and Killua grow, seeing what it's based on, seeing how iron-clad it is, and then we see Gon turn his back on Killua, deny him, lash out at him and ignore how selflessly Killua is supporting him, all for the sake of a man who, as written, means next to nothing. An old buddy. Someone who gave him hunting tips. That's all we're shown. And for that, Gon drags Killua, Killua who has repudiated his whole previous life for Gon's sake, through hell and finally tries to kill himself in front of Killua.

And it would have been so easy to fix! Just a sentence here and there, creating a persistent thread, about how Kite is Gon's only living connection to his father, stood in his father's place, taught him things like morals and ethics, is the one who made Gon who he is (the person who could pull Killua out of the darkness like he did). Just some subtle reinforcement of that, at key points, and this whole fiasco could have been fixed!

But no. We don't get shown any of that. All we get shown is Gon betraying the one relationship we have actually seen developed in depth. Total. Writing. Fail.

Fuck's sake, it's enough to make a person start shipping Killua with fucking Hisoka.
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

To my UK friends - including my fellow Dreamwidthians and deep inner Dwirclers - I have news you might not like. According to US media, there has been a vote in favor of a Braxit - that is, a total brain exit of vast numbers of people in the UK. While our media has found no source of possible infection that makes this complete exit of a brain from Great Britain possible, the contagion does seem confined for now to the "English countryside" and whatever part of Ireland which does not face North.

I will stop far short of calling the disease vector being somewhat confined by mere location "a relief".

I think everyone who voted in favor of brain exit supports Trump and is a racist xenophobe. Am I making myself clear? The brain exit is driven by the same thing driving whatever remains of Trump's disastrous popularity: refugees. The word "refugees" is the bogey man who represents: 1) blacks, 2) Muslims, 3) women, 4) the poor, 5) people taking our guns away, which is ALL the people who are not like "us" and 6) any other group the racists tend to dislike (and believe me, with racists, there are HUGE overlaps; you're never "just" a bigoted jerk).

That said, the send up y'all are getting across the pond is sort of hilarious. I'm not saying I support the overall mean and sniffy tone, but it has given me a few pauses as I consider how a country stupid enough to even allow Trump to run for President can dare to suggest the population of any other country might also be sort of ignorant and uninformed. So much so, that many of you are even calling for a do-over. Seriously, the last time I heard of doing anything over was when I last begged (yes, this happened more than once, clearly because I'm a jerk) my mom to speak to me again because my mouth? Can work waaaaay faster than my brain, sorry about that, so yes, can we do that moment over, please? I didn't know this was also a legitimate form of politicking.

But I gotta say it: if you read these articles in the order I'll present them in, which is pretty much the same order I found them in on my MSN News app, this does look a bit more like a Braxit then a Brexit, for the following reasons...

Your Googling.

The British are frantically Googling what the E.U. is, hours after voting to leave it. From the above link: "At about 1 a.m. Eastern time, about eight hours after the polls closed, Google reported that searches for "what happens if we leave the EU" had more than tripled". Have you folks considered researching this stuff BEFORE you leave? Or is it just that important to flounce off in a (totally uninformed) huff? Please stop making my country look maybe not quite as stupid in comparison. (It is just as stupid, perhaps more so, so the last laugh's definitely on us: half the people over here just don't Google because "the media lies" and they KNOW they're right, so why bother Googling?)

Your polls.

We can screw up some polls over here, OK? Mistakes were made. Polls were screwed up. Of course it's never any specific group's or person's fault because that's how lack of accountability actually works. I'm a member of YouGov, Ipsos-Mori and other national polling institutions so I've got some background on this. But what the UK can do to some polls is fucking breathtaking.

Your Prime Minister.

This guy had the balls to bluff the entire UK but to his surprise and probable eternal mortification, enough border-loving xenophobes called him out on it to lose the bet he made on you. Then he sent himself packing, apparently because he lost his mandate. He didn't lose his mandate. He lost his fucking bet. I'm not sure if I should give him mad props for sheer cojones or chalk him up to an idiot. He felt pressure from a minority political party to prove, mostly to them, that no one else wanted what they did. And he lost. I'll bet he never in his wildest dreams could see that coming, but I can only wonder why.

Your referendum.

It is, after all, just that. But now that a tiny majority of you have voted to leave, at least some brilliant or at least quite efficient exit plan will immediately go into place, right? You don't have one, you say? Wait. What? Oh, that's right, you...don't.

OK, what the fucking fuck? Invoking Article 50 - the only thing remotely resembling a plan you folks ever had? Isn't something Cameron wants to do now, though it was his own idea, because it will hurt the UK far more than it will hurt the EU in a ton of myriad ways.

Seriously, this is from my heart...

Hold a second referendum to nail down the first one. You've all reacted - and voted - rather brashly and don't understand what's going on. FIND OUT before you vote again, should you be given the chance to.

You don't want your country to turn into what we've got over here now that Trump has risen. He doesn't need to get elected to have already turned the US into a dark and dreary place. It's a mood - and it's not going away, because most of us against him imagine if his tyranny does take effect in November our country as we know it will be over with. You folks don't want this. And as much as I've teased Cameron, I do think he made an honest, genuine, unsuspecting mistake, which just happened to be, like, a huge freaking mistake. Hold him accountable. Vote again. Don't let him resign if Remain wins this time; hold a recall vote if possible and get him back, too.

OK: why do I feel so strongly about this? I've seen the world going down around issues of race, tribe and xenophobia since the much-vaunted and totally disastrous Arab Spring. If you really want to call it, I've seen it going down since my country "freed" Iraq from its tyrannical rule, which I hate to say was much less awful than what it must endure now thanks to our, um, help.

We had no plan in place for Iraq to carry on successfully, so we should have left them alone. The Arab Springers thought, "Ah, freedom, democracy" but with no plan in place what they wound up with was war, displacement, millions of refugees and whatever is going on in Syria. You folks in the UK? Shout, "Ah, freedom from tyrannical EU rule" but again there's no plan in place, and if you think I'm being "ridiculous enough" to quite frankly suggest factional and regional infighting will result in YOUR country from this Brexit, then please roll your eyes - first toward the southern tip of Ireland, then over to Scotland and then back around to the entire city of London, and get back to me on that.

Y'all scare me.

Birthday Girl!!!

25 Jun 2016 11:30 am
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
[personal profile] edenfalling
[personal profile] marmota_b said: Can I claim "adventure/quest" and ask for more of Susan and Lucy's Interesting Times? Please? 'Susan only went to fetch a few jars of jam. Meanwhile, the daring Captain Lucy, aged nine, accompanied by her loyal crew of Otter pups, set sail to the Port of Pantry.' (2,550 words)

Note: The problem with this story is that in my head, Susan and Lucy's 'interesting times' are BIG adventure-type things -- shipwrecks! kidnapping by magical birds! surprising a group of invading soldiers! etc. -- not two people (and a group of young Otters) crashing into each other in the kitchen. So I tried to work up some big thing that the pantry chaos could lead into, and that kept turning into an irretrievable mood clash that made me flinch away from the story every time I went to add another hundred words.

(I do still intend to write the big thing I came up with, but without the comedy and incidental Otters. Also it will be about half story and half academic textbook, because reasons, and involve all four Pevensies instead of only Susan and Lucy.)

Anyway, the upshot is that I ditched the long 'interesting times' story as unworkable and instead wrote a small fic about a minor domestic accident and slightly differing interpretations of how to be a responsible queen. Which is probably what you wanted all along and I'm the one who tripped over myself and made a lot of unnecessary bother for three weeks. *wry*

Continuity notes: The weather problems Susan mentions are detailed in Dedication. Mrs. Grubbins is the castle healer who previously appeared in Liminality.

Responsibility )

This concludes the latest iteration of my mini-ficlet prompt meme, with a third bingo. :) (I still have six Cotton Candy Bingo squares to fill, so I may run this again, but not for a while. I have other things to work on first.)

(no subject)

25 Jun 2016 10:31 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Cordelia is coming home today. She texted last night, demanding to know when we were coming to get her. Scott was too exhausted to manage it last night, and he’s working today. We offered this evening or Sunday afternoon. Cordelia asked Scott’s parents to bring her home (I don’t know if she asked directly or hinted until they offered) after the sale ends today. Cordelia thinks that will be noonish which seems silly to me given that I’d expect more people coming to the sale today than yesterday or Thursday, but whatever. It will be a big help for us not to spend three hours or more on retrieving her.

I ended up doing some writing last night, on my phone and after we’d turned out the lights so that Scott could sleep. It was, of course, not on the story that I need to and want to finish. Still, I wrote for a solid hour.

I’m trying to figure out how to turn off smart quotes permanently in Google docs. I’ve been trying to figure that out for a couple of years now because preferences option for unchecking the use smart quotes box doesn’t actually do that. Basically, I can make all of the changes I want to in the preferences list, and they vanish as soon as I close the preferences window and don’t get applied to my document. Highlighting text and changing things doesn’t make it work, either, nor does making the changes before I put anything into the document. I have the problem in both Chrome and Firefox. I haven’t tried it in Safari.

This was a huge, huge problem when I was doing Meta News because it screwed up every single link I added. We could address it with a find and replace, still in Gdocs, but it was a PITA to try to remember to do that each time we were preparing to post. It beat hand correcting every single quotation mark and apostrophe, but…

Right now, I’m experimenting with using Gdocs for tracking what I read and watch so that I can add comments during free moments when I’m not at my laptop. Unfortunately, because of the smart quotes problem, I can’t format things the way I want them to be in Gdocs— all of the cut tags and links end up broken. It’s very frustrating.

I already knew that something about Gdocs on my phone means I can’t insert the html tagging I’m used to as I compose because it changes '< /i >' to '< I >' without telling me that it’s doing that. It’s happened very consistently, and it’s frustrating. I use tagging for italics a lot when I’m writing fiction.

Our dentist is transitioning from selling Colgate’s fluoride gel, Gel-Kam, to selling a similar product called Fluoridex from Sonicare. The price and the amount of gel are the same, so I didn’t see much difference. Sadly the Fluoridex tastes a little bit nasty, not enough that I can’t use it but enough that I spend the time wishing I weren’t. Fluoridex has two variants. The first is just fluoride, and the second is fluoride and potassium nitrate. The latter is a key thing for treating sensitive teeth which I have huge problems with, to the point that stopping using Gel-Kam for three days (as I did when we went to Florida five years ago) results in about three months of pain.

We can buy Gel-Kam without a prescription, either online or at Kroger (special ordered by the pharmacy). It costs $3-$10 more a tube if we go that way, so buying from the dentist is preferable from that side if not from convenience. Fluoridex requires a prescription (at least, the box says "Rx only"), so we’d have to get that from the dentist if we want to buy it somewhere other than her office. The hygienist said they’d be willing to order Gel-Kam for us if the Fluoridex doesn’t work for whatever reason. I think, though, that, if we go back to Gel-Kam, we’ll just get it from Amazon.

Tomorrow is our 23rd anniversary. We have a lot of things that we have to do that have nothing to do with that and that we will probably both be annoyed by, but groceries are kind of necessary, anniversary or not. I will probably still post tomorrow, but I may not. We don’t currently have any solid plans.

Brief update

25 Jun 2016 12:38 am
umadoshi: (kittens - Claudia - pensive)
[personal profile] umadoshi
--Friends in/from the U.K., I'm so sorry for the horror show you're facing. ;_; What a fiasco.

--I went from yesterday morning until nearly midnight tonight without checking Dreamwidth. I realize that's not actually all that long, but I can't remember the last time I didn't manage to at least skim my reading list quickly at some point in a day.

--A quick link: the audiobook of The Raven Boys is available for free for a couple of days. Info here.

--Toronto is fun, as usual, but I'm feeling more worn down by all the scheduling and whatnot than I generally am. :/ (It's a little hard to tell how much more than usual, because I don't particularly enjoy the schedule-wrangling part and I always find it stressful, although the payoff is worth it.) The obvious factor (not necessarily the only one?) in feeling more drained is a lingering cold, which at this point is all in the throat: my voice is shot (and being in Toronto isn't helping, because I talk a lot while I'm here), my throat is a bit sore and a bit scratchy, and I have a hacking cough that comes and goes. >.<

--I miss the cats desperately. They're fine, and we're getting regular updates, but...yeah.

Brexit

24 Jun 2016 10:10 pm
jetsam: (sherlock blanket)
[personal profile] jetsam
This is a bit of a strange post to write, not least because I didn't dream, even as I went to bed last night, that I would be in a position where it was even an option. That said, I feel like I need to say something so here goes.

- This is historic. It's not something that's happened before (the closest I think is Greenland leaving the EEC, which relatively speaking much simpler). We don't know what's going to happen next, but we have some idea about where to start. It's pretty scary all round, and most Millennials are spitting mad right now.

- Nothing is legally going to happen overnight. It's most likely a 2 year process under the Lisbon Treaty, and our Government is probably going to try very hard to avoid activating that clause of the Treaty for a couple of months, while they work out what's happening. So, short term, we're still in the EU. (I can't believe it's going to take less than the maximum time for them to get anywhere on the negotiations - it's a bit complicated).

- That said, there's obviously an awful lot of uncertainty out there, and that's reflected in the markets, and I would bet it's going to hit the labour market too. I'm not worried for myself - change is probably actually good for me in the short term - but I feel for the new graduates and school leavers, the unemployed and the people in precarious employment. Particularly those that didn't understand the situation as well as they might, and have potentially shot themselves in the foot.

- Prior to the vote, economists thought that Brexit would be a short term slow down (not a recession, even, though worse than the double dip of 2012), but that we'd be more or less back at 2% growth in about 5 years. Hopefully that's the case!

- The campaigns were shocking on both sides. I'm reasonably well informed (had to study some EU law for professional exams, have seen more at work, and have researched through the past few months), but the sheer number of untruths coming from both sides were appalling. It was like trying to make a decision completely blind, with no idea of who to trust. I feel like it's damaged trust in all of the political parties, possibly irreparably. It's a long way back now, and I suspect the worst is yet to come (the tragic thing is how fast the Leave campaigners are backing away from some of their earlier statements).

- The vote itself was stark. London, Scotland and Northern Ireland voted remain. Young voters voted remain. Voters with degrees voted remain (though this would match the age profile as there are many more younger graduates than graduates of my parents or grandparents generations). The atmosphere in London was pure shock this morning - I have never heard the office quite so quiet, or the tube. The disconnect between London and the rest of England, in particular, is painfully apparent now that it's been dragged out into the open.

Until we can work to mend this, I'm not sure what else will be able to achieve. There's a lot of resentment out there for London, and there's a lot of more recent resentment at the pensioners who overwhelming voted out but won't necessarily be around to see the consequences. The fact that London subsidises the rest of the UK and may not be able to afford to as much in the coming years is not really out there - London survived the financial crisis rather better than most places and that's been noticed.

- As far as the actual vote itself, I'm relatively Eurosceptic but I voted Remain, mostly for economic reasons, because Brexit more or less guaranteed some years of recession or near recession and I didn't believe that we'd get an acceptable trade deal at the table from the rest of Europe.

That said, regardless of where we've started from, we have a chance to reform some of our systems and it's an opportunity that we shouldn't waste. We've got a lot of fixing to do in the system.

Nowhere else to go from here but forward.

(no subject)

24 Jun 2016 02:29 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Fruit of the Loom has apparently stopped making bras. This is unfortunate because the four front closure bras I have that fit are from them and don’t seem to be available anywhere in my size. Hopefully, by the time these fall apart, I won’t need them any more, but it would have been nice to be able to get more.

I just ordered four shirts from Blair. These have high enough collars that I’m not worried my bra will show, but they cost five or six dollars more each than the others did. I really do need them, though. I’ve got five short sleeved shirts now that don’t show my bra, and two of those bunch up at the waist. Doing laundry twice a week isn’t terrible, but I’d like to have more flexibility about when to do it.

I have eighteen emails to answer, and I really need to work on my WIP Big Bang. I think I’m awake enough to do it now (after four cups of coffee). But part of me wants to do something— anything— else, even basement cleaning. I’d try going for a walk to see if that might help, but I’ve been having intestinal issues and don’t quite dare leave the house yet. And I’m not absolutely certain that taking a walk wouldn’t be just a procrastination technique. Well, I suppose that, if it were, it would at least be something that I ought to do today in addition to writing.

(no subject)

25 Jun 2016 01:26 am
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
[personal profile] issenllo
I thought it might happen that way. (Also, I had the impression that most polls were around 50:50.) Even though I hoped not - but I've sort of given up on expecting people not to make decisions out of anger, fear and spite.

***

The Rules Saga, Atobe/Ryoma, WIP, Prince of Tennis, by psiten. It might be WIP with what is likely a long wait for updates (if ever) but this is, hands down, one of the nicest PoT fics for this pairing that I've read.

The Reaper and the Flowers, Seishirou, Tokyo Babylon/1999, by 定 (Hikarinimichitasora)

(no subject)

24 Jun 2016 11:21 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I slept pretty soundly last night. When my alarm went off at 9:00, I really didn’t want to get up, but I knew I needed to.

Scott and I went out and did some Ingress last night. I wasn’t sure how I’d do with that because I had been nodding off while sitting in the living room. I managed okay, however, and we ended up also going out to Plum Market to get half price baked goods. We put half of the loaf of bread and half of the rolls into the freezer because we know that we won’t finish them before they go bad otherwise. We also got a chocolate cake.

There are two portals accessible from the Plum Market parking lot. We captured both, but by the time we captured the second, someone from the other team had arrived and taken back the first portal. We considered attacking it again but decided against it. The person from the other team didn’t try to take the second portal right then. Scott’s theory is that they assumed we were in the restaurant right there and would be for a while.

I’m not sure that I will get myself to watch The Daily Show and/or The Nightly Show at this point because watching requires that I use my laptop for it and not do anything else while I’m watching (because doing something else would cover the window where I’m watching). Scott has been watching on his laptop, so I’ve heard bits and pieces. I’m kind of peeved with him about that because it seems kind of selfish to me.

Right now, I’m trying to get myself to eat something. Everything I look at feels like more work than I can manage, even something like instant oatmeal or toast. I probably ought to make the instant oatmeal because it has protein and might help me wake up.

I’ve been searching online, trying to find out what a particular VHS tape of Scott’s is worth, and I can’t find any record at all that indicates that the dratted thing exists. If I didn’t have it in my hands, I’d think it was mythical. Neither Amazon nor eBay have any record of someone offering the thing for sale. A Google search for the full title in quotation marks with VHS tacked on, outside of the quotation marks, only brings up twelve links, none of them useful.

There’s a book of the same title that was published at the same time— Both were put out in association with a Smithsonian (U.S. Space & Rocket Center) traveling exhibit on space travel. I found the website of the folks who made the tape, the Finley-Holiday Film Corp., but they don’t list it anywhere on their site as a thing that exists. At this point, they mostly do DVD and book sets about various national parks. They have seven DVDs on space and space travel, but none of them are this one.

So we have no idea if the dratted thing is worth selling (or how to price it). It’s hosted by Alan Shepard, so Scott thinks that it might be collectible from that angle. I don’t know.

I want to write a nice thank you message for Cordelia’s ELA and social studies teacher. Cordelia had her two years in a row, and she and her family are moving to Colorado this summer. She just sent out an email thanking all the kids and parents for a good two years. Cordelia likes her, and she was really very good about responding to email questions from me.

The local school district is trying to recruit families to host high school students from China for the upcoming school year. I really wish we could, but we have nowhere for such a person to sleep. Cordelia’s floor, the living room, and the basement are not realistic options for anything longer than about three days.

Our cleaning lady cleared the stuff off the top of our entertainment center yesterday. The amount of dust was appalling. We’d known that that was likely the case because we hadn’t moved anything off of them for many, many years. Right now, I can see the wall behind it, and I’m trying to figure out how I can reach it to wipe off the dust there. The entertainment center is as tall as I am and about three feet deep, so reaching that wall is not going to be easy.

I’m trying to read a bunch of poetry in translation. The book is an anthology of works by women from throughout history and the world. I’m frustrated by it because I don’t seem to be able to look at translations as art. I keep looking at them as cultural artifacts and wondering about the translation choices and the allusions and the context. There are also a lot of sensory referents that I don’t have that leave the poems at a huge remove. Reading in translation also loses the sound of how the words fit together which I tend to think is the heart of poetry.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
Aha! I have resolved my Hilarion-Lamion-Ion confusion!

Near the end of KoA, in the scene where Attolis ruins his bedroom after receiving news about Nahuseresh, he explicitly orders Cleon and Ion to come help him change while the other attendants clean up the mess. Both Lamion and Hilarion participate in the conversation after the king leaves, which means Ion must be a separate person rather than a nickname for either of them.

(That remains, of course, an incredibly trivial issue, but I like to have things clear. Next I want to see if I can turn the described geography of our three focus countries into any kind of coherent map...)

Raven's Prophecy Tarot

24 Jun 2016 10:43 am
sevilemar: Rock On, Dean Winchester! (Default)
[personal profile] sevilemar

Gestern ist es angekommen, mein Raven's Prophecy Tarot. It's weird, because when I opened it, I felt the need for some form of ritual or something, so I sat down on the ground beneath the open window, and did everything I did very consciously. When the cards were in my hands, I looked at each one, keeping an open mind. I have no idea what most of them mean, so I let myself associate purely on what I was seeing. I also wanted for the cards to get to know me a bit, see me as I saw them, and I think it worked.

 

Then I read the introductory chapters of the book... )

 

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

Someone asked me the other day what my goal was. I'm 45 years old and long past the point where I think it's sensible to have one, owing to my lack of education, money and opportunity. I mean, time does march on, and in at least a few obvious ways, I'm not better for it. So asking my 45 year old self is counterproductive because the more jaded, cynical eyes I view life through now don't have a good (or achievable) answer to that question. Ask my pre-teen, teenaged, or younger adult self the same question, though, and the answers look quite different.

I think I've attempted to gather my thoughts on this into one post in the past but not been happy with the results long-term, so any such posts are long gone. As anyone who reads me regularly might know, most of the answers to this question have been scattered throughout my comment sections over the years so loosely there is no easily piecing it all together.

Long-term best answer: if I just turn the radio or any sort of music player on I know what I wanted to do all my life: sing and dance. I think it made my mom a bit wistful during my early years that I knew what I wanted to do since shortly after I was born. It's not something I'd have to work at because I have plenty of raw, natural talent and tons of almost boundless energy for it. It's simply something I'd have to hone and refine and always try to improve upon.

Two problems interfered, with one that persisted until my early 30s, and one the result of childhood injury. Working from latter to former, I injured my right leg when I was 11 dancing on Christmas Eve to Christmas carols shortly before bedtime (I took a flying leap off the floor, twisted in mid-air, and landed in the Christmas tree. This sounds much funnier than it was, because it permanently injured me). This was a nightmare of tears, nerve-wracking, endless pain so severe I couldn't even sleep through the night for weeks on end and a completely ruined Christmas holiday for everyone involved. I had been planning on asking my dad to pay for for me to go to school at the NYC School of Performing Arts but then this happened and that whole dream was over. It never healed right.

The other limitation was I was such a high soprano I wasn't able to hit the lower notes and registers until my early 30s. So with the ability to dance the way I wanted to (which was more ballet than modern or other traditional forms of dance) gone with my leg injury, I knew I'd have to be more of a vocal than dance performer to carry any sort of career but with my voice limitations, and what I was hearing on the radio through the 80s and 90s when I was having such ambitions, I knew my voice would need more flexibility to carry against the Mariah Careys and Whitney Houstons of the world. And yeah, I was that ambitious, so I did feel it would have to.

I was still in high school when I realized my combination of high voice and physical injury (I also had a bad right arm as a result of being assaulted in junior high; it never healed right, either) would limit my musical career and I wasn't too stupid to see that, but by then I was excelling in a Business Law class that no one thought I'd even survive a week or two of (I was at or near the top performing student throughout the course, and actually enjoyed pouring over the study books and case law it involved every night) and I knew I had a law-practicing grandfather on my dad's side (long deceased) so I aspired to it, so before the school year was out, asked my dad to send me to school for that, instead.

But I wasn't going to college if law was going to be my major, minor or anything else. When I asked why I was told my dad did not want me to be like his father, who he hardly ever saw in his worldwide travels as an international lawyer. Which I thought was too damn cute considering I never saw him, either, thanks to his travels all over Long Island and NYC running his businesses. I mean, total, blatant hypocrisy much?

Regardless, I was told to pick another major. But I was so pissed off about the whole thing I went to work in retail instead and have been working similar jobs ever since.

While writing is still something I enjoy ("writing is like breathing to me" was one of my earlier online taglines) I'm not any good at it (one of my few regrets about not picking another major like Dad said, and avoiding law, is minoring in English Lit probably would have helped me become a better writer). I have zero interest in novel writing after trying to write a few in my early 20s - which taught me long before there was a name for it that I'm sort of ADHD. I can't focus on the inner workings of longform-writing long enough to get it fully fleshed out in a way that works - not before I get bored, impatient, or frustrated. Realizing my limitations, I tried outlines, chapter summaries, endless drafts and even relaxation techniques in order to better focus (but I'm wound up, high strung, energetic and slightly nervous, so such techniques have at best a placebo effect) and every other trick to get around my brain's unstoppable mutiny, but soon realized I'd probably never enjoy trying that hard to focus. So I stopped trying.

If I stop right here and look at the above paragraphs I know I'd still choose singing and dancing over all of it. It's the one skillset that comes naturally, and quite joyfully to me. Writing might be my preferred form of breathing but singing and dancing are my preferred form of living. Which tells me, innately, that I was meant to do it; there is no conflict between doing it and how I feel.

But reality steps in, uninvited, every time. So for every Mariah Carey there might be 100 more just as capable singers who won't get the chance to shine because right place/right time didn't line up for them. So when someone asks me what my goal is, this is what I think about before answering: "Well, my goals are not achievable, so what I'm really being asked is what else do I want to do, because I'll never do the things I want". And that's what makes the question almost too painful to answer.

I mean, yes, *ho-hum* God knows I can probably do web design. I might have a future in gardening or landscaping if the right opportunity should present itself: I enjoy plants and flowers and landscaping, working outdoors and have a good eye for placement and color and so forth, so yeah, yeah...this could be an awesome diversion. I enjoy activism and advocacy, so if I could find a paying position which happened to gel with any of the causes I support, I suppose that could work out well, too.

Outside of that, I feel like I ought to ask permission - of myself, of others - to not have other ambitions, if it's alright not to have one, because the goals I do have seem so out of reach.

(no subject)

23 Jun 2016 06:23 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I didn’t end up napping this morning or going for a walk. I lay down for two hours, but my brain wouldn’t stop spinning, and I got a fundraising call from some sort of environmental group exactly halfway through.

Then, when I got up, I had to force myself to eat and ended up with some dry cereal and a protein bar of a flavor I quite thoroughly dislike. I might not have eaten anything at all if I hadn’t known that the cleaning lady would come at 2:00 and that she’d be fasting for Ramadan. I knew I needed to eat, and her arrival gave me a deadline which I (just barely) made. I just wish I’d managed something actually useful.

I didn’t go for the walk I’d intended because I thought I should eat first so as not to fall over in the middle of things and then because I didn’t want to leave the cleaning lady on her own. I trust her, but when we leave her here alone, she’s prone to pulling things out of wherever we’re keeping them in order to put them where she thinks they should go. Sometimes, it takes us a very long time to find those items.

I have run and emptied the dishwasher and washed a load of towels. I’m not sure if the towels will be dry by the time Scott wants to shower, however, because I spaced out and only put them in the dryer at 4:00 even though I could have done it two and a half hours earlier.

Cordelia texted me around 2:30 to say that they’d made $9. Scott’s parents were expecting today to be the busiest day of the sale which makes me puzzled as to who they’ve been talking to. I would expect more of the type of people likely to be interested in what they’re selling on Saturday because those people are pretty sure to be working today and tomorrow. I mean, yes, the really dedicated bargain hunters and the professionals looking for cheap antiques and collectibles probably came today, but the stuff Scott’s parents have is not, any of it, in that category. In terms of what we took up there, there’s my paraffin bath. There’re four blankets and some old sports equipment. There’re a couple hundred things— books, CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes— going four for a dollar. Oh, and there are two pictures and a CD playing alarm clock.

I’m currently watching a travel DVD and having a lot of trouble following it. My brain keeps wandering off, fading in and out. I’m tempted to lie down for a while, but it’s really time for me to eat dinner. I’m trying to answer some emails, but I can’t seem to get very far with that.

whois

kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

March 2015

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