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desperance July 23 2014, 02:01

The young visiter

"Karen?"
"Yes?"
"There's a little baby fledgling bird hanging out on the patio, and I don't know what to do..."

IMG_20140722_185146

The domestic consensus is that we should do nothing: not interfere, certainly not handle it. It may just be hangin' out after a long flutter. And if it is the child of mockingbirds, then at least one of its parents knows exactly where it is, because the bloody bird has not stopped making a ruckus all around our yard. It even threatened me this morning (tho' I do not think the baby was there this morning; I think I would have noticed), never mind the poor cats who wander through.

I dunno; of course I dunno, what do I know? We'll see. If you want to bubble over with advices, feel free - but as soon as two advisors start contradicting each other, I shall stop listening, because elves.

[Update: and it's gone, five minutes later. Yay! I wish I'd stayed to watch, but alas, I had to post...]
sovay July 23 2014, 01:43

I was raised with the knowledge of slamming gates

First half of today: insomnia, work, dentist's appointment, ongoing hassle with insurance, canceled appointment; sucked.

Second half of today: handful_ofdust posts some Leslie Howard and Peter Lorre for me and derspatchel and I broil salmon and scallops for dinner, our first attempt at seafood (a) together (b) in a house with cats. We may have cheated slightly by shutting the cats in Rob's office while we cooked, but they don't seem to be holding it against us—I have two sacked-out, softly purring cats in this basket chair behind me as I type. They seem to like sleeping on my clothes. Hestia used to curl up on my sweater until I moved it, after which she started curling up on my leather jacket. If I'm sitting at my desk, Autolycus drapes himself across my knees and dozes off as I work. Rob thinks the way we smell is familiar to them. I have difficulty expressing how protective I feel toward these cats. Djavvy and her children were the cats of my childhood; I grew up sleeping in the scent of their fur and the sound of their purring, but I was never responsible for them. These are the cats of my adulthood. I take care of them. And they did not interfere with any of our very delicious, buttery, crisp-skinned salmon and the sweetest scallops I have eaten in years. Second half of today sucked a lot less, is what I am saying. There was even a lemon.

Postscript, because I was finishing up this post when I followed the Facebook link. It happened in April, but I just found out that The Shondes—a queer Jewish activist punk band of which I have been quite fond since discovering them in March—were banned from the Washington D.C. Jewish Community Center for their political views on Israel and Palestine, i.e., for being pro-Palestinian. See this interview, comments, and open letter by the band. DCJCC, what the hell. Problem of which this incident is the microcosm, ditto.
quirkytizzy July 22 2014, 22:17

No subject

I deliberately kept the pace slow. An hour at walking at 3 MPH. I was like "Fuck it, I don't wanna go balls to the wall. Screw burning calories, yer doing this shit cuz it's gonna make you feel better."

I do feel better. I feel - well, actually, a little non corporeal? Like lightheaded, but everywhere in my body.

Note to self: Exercising when you've eaten nothing but a batch of brownies all day probably isn't the best idea. Eat a fucking banana or some shit first, Teressa.

But I do feel better. And with some water, something like human and not light-headed.

Gonna go meet Pat for lunch. It's fast food, but I can snag a salad or something. Wendy's has a cranberry and pecan one, no crazy cheese or buckets of ranch dressing.

Seriously, those brownies were gross. WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES?!

Fairy, Syntax - thank you guys. Really, I mean it. Thank you.

And GONZO SO LOVED THE COIN! It's like a physical representation now, of those gold coins we talk about. Thank you!

Gonna try to do this again in a couple of days. Thursday. It's not like it's gonna kill me.

This entry was originally posted at http://quirkytizzy.dreamwidth.org/798819.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
xiphias July 22 2014, 22:11

To what extent is Weird Al's "Fat" body-shaming? Personally, I like the video.

Over the past couple days, as Weird Al was releasing his new stuff, Lis and I were going back and watching his videos back-to-back with the things they were parodying. He stopped doing as many direct parodies after MTV stopped playing videos: during MTV's heyday, everybody would be familiar with every source video shot-for-shot, so people would appreciate a shot-for-shot parody; since then, he'll riff off of images in the original -- the flaming Pac-Man in "White and Nerdy", the "Weird Al Has a Big Dictionary" balloons in "Word Crimes" -- but there's not as much point in trying to re-create the original as there used to be.

So we've been watching his earlier stuff. I'd actually never seen the video for "Living With a Hernia", especially not back-to-back with "Living in America"; I highly recommend it. I hadn't realized just how much Al looks like James Brown. (Hint: not very much. But he makes it work anyway.)

As far as we can tell, his closest parodies are "Living With a Hernia", "Smells Like Nirvana", "Eat It", and "Fat".

And so, that brings me to my question. Is "Fat" an example of body-shaming?

Because, to me, it doesn't really feel like it. Nowhere near as much as I expected it to. Yes, there are bits where they have all the dancers getting out of breath. Yes, there's the bit where they get stuck trying to jump over the turnstiles. But, I dunno. They don't feel mean to me. It doesn't feel like the same kind of "laughing at the fat person" that really bothers me. Emotionally, the message of "The whole world knows I'm fat and I'm proud/And I tell you once again -- Who's Fat?" actually feels like the real message.

But I'm not as fat as some of my other friends, and I'm male. We males don't tend to get as much body-shame thrown at us. So I'm curious as to what other people's experience of the song is.
hawkwing_lb July 22 2014, 21:51

Books 2014: don't judge a book by its title, apparently

Books 2014: 136

nonfiction

136. Thomas F. Bonnell, The Most Disreputable Trade: Publishing the Classics of English Poetry, 1765-1810. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008.

It's my habit to keep a book in the bathroom to read while cleaning my teeth... and doing other things... a book I don't mind reading three and four pages at a time. By this means, I've learned a little about a large number of historical things. I seized on this particular book because of the interesting - dare I say alluring? - title, and because I'd read a history of the illegal book trade in prerevolutionary France that was quite frankly fascinating.

Well. Don't judge a book by its title. Quite frankly, I expected something more... lascivious? Disreputable? Something more scandalous? But nope. No scandal! No disrepute! Not even any really juicy bookselling feuds, for crying out loud. It's a fairly bland history of the creation of a publishing canon of English poetry by printers and booksellers in Britain. Apparently, the "most disreputable trade" part refers to what one London publisher thought would become of the publishing trade after a copyright decision went against them.

I was seduced by a misleading title, and now I know more than anyone really needs to about collections of English poetry in the late 18th century. Doubtless I will forget it all with great promptness, and remember only that there is a book in which information about it may be found.

This entry was originally posted at http://hawkwing-lb.dreamwidth.org/615770.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there. Comment where you like.
oursin July 22 2014, 21:21

No, I don't get this

Someone asking about the current location of a particular collection that was obliged to find a new home, via the FaceBook page set up at the time of the threat to its existing home a couple of years back.

The first four hits (including the relevant Wikipedia entry) if you google for 'The - -' refer to its current location.

I don't even.

ETA Also, people who post conference CFPs without giving the date of the actual conference.

This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/2123946.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.

oursin July 22 2014, 21:14

No, I don't get this

Someone asking about the current location of a particular collection that was obliged to find a new home, via the FaceBook page set up at the time of the threat to its existing home a couple of years back.

The first four hits (including the relevant Wikipedia entry) if you google for 'The - -' refer to its current location.

I don't even.

This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/2123946.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.

quirkytizzy July 22 2014, 20:41

No subject

I went to the lab and got blood drawn. I'll know in a couple of days. I came home, exhausted. I'd only slept four hours, but my nap just made me more tired.

The nurse was so wonderful. She always is.

Had to pass a freshly dead cat on the road on the way out to the clinic. I cried. In my truck, trying to swerve away from the kitty corpse, bawling.

I bought a brownie mix on the way home, intending to eat the whole thing in one shot. I made it halfway. Woke up, ate another quarter, and now feel absolutely gross.

Sugar binging is seriously just not as easy to do as it used to be. And it's sure as fuck not anywhere near as FUN.

I want to go for a walk, but in the apartment gym, on the treadmill, because it's like 85 degrees and 70% humidity outside, and the apartment gym is temp controlled. But that means leaving the apartment.

There's exercises I could do IN the apartment, but I want to walk.

Like, shit, even a fucking hour a week of walking has got to be good for my mood. It might not drop weight, but it's gotta be better for me.

Thought about quitting smoking. Lit up a cigarette. Lols.

Fuck it. Gonna go to the treadmill. They leave the blinds open so there will be sunlight. I'll feel better.

I fucking know I feel better, even if all I do is drag my tubby but definitely depressed ass over the treads for a while. I can do this.

I can totally do this.

This entry was originally posted at http://quirkytizzy.dreamwidth.org/798651.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
kateelliott July 22 2014, 20:30

Update on Melanie Rawn’s EXILES 3, The Captal’s Tower

Melanie has asked me to post the following, received from her via email.

 

Yes, I will write Captal’s Tower. I’m very sorry it’s taken so long. My sincere thanks to all of you who have been so patient. I’m currently writing the fifth book in the “Glass Thorns” series, and after that my plan is to get to work on Captal’s Tower. If anything about that plan changes, I’ll post on my website (www.melanierawn.com).

Mirrored from I Make Up Worlds.

hawkwing_lb July 22 2014, 19:50

get out, and get gone: this town is only gonna eat you

Today began at 1000, after five and a half hours' sleep, when my mother bounced into my bedroom and said GET UP IT IS WARM AND THE TIDE IS GOING OUT LET'S GO SWIM, or words to that effect.

(It was emotional bouncing, even if no physical bouncing actually occurred.)

This is how I came to be standing thigh deep in the Irish Sea before 1030, awake for less than a half hour, my entire bodily frame much less enthusiastic than usual about this whole cold, wet business. A mist was rolling in, and a group of regular strong swimmers were also about in the water - water clear and grey-green when you open your eyes under it.

I swam even more weakly and pathetically than usual, but I swam.

Then I went to town to spend the afternoon in the library, chasing citations, before hitting the gym for a good session.

Gym:
Benchpress: 1x5 @65kg, 1x5 @67.5kg, 2x5 @70kg, with a spotter.
Assisted pullup: 2x5 @25kg assist.
Unassisted pullup: attempt x5, nope.
Squat: 2x5 @20kg
Military press: 3x10 @4kg/arm
Shoulder fly: 3x10 @6kg/arm
Leg press: 3x10 @80kg
Treadmill: 0.5 mile in 05:00, constant running; 1.00 mile in 13:00, intervals.
Exercise bike: 35:00, in excess of 12km
Second treadmill: 3 intervals of 00:40 at 12.5kph, rest intervals 01:00.
Rowing machine: 1km in 05:30
Third treadmill: 02:00 incline, slow jog.




Now my knuckles hurt, but at least I've had an exercise. Benched more today than I did last week, which is something.

This entry was originally posted at http://hawkwing-lb.dreamwidth.org/615425.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there. Comment where you like.
ceb July 22 2014, 19:44

Available to people who can conveniently collect

I have about 50 glass demijohns available, most are we think gallon size but a couple are smaller. They have been in a friend's cellar for over a decade, full of unidentified homebrew from the previous owners of the house. They're now empty but will need a good clean inside and out. (I also have some bungs but not enough for one per demijohn.)

Available to anyone who can conveniently come and collect them from me, just let me know how many you'd like.

comment count unavailablecomments at Dreamwidth
bart_calendar July 22 2014, 19:30

It's Montpellier Darling!

Since my most awesome friend/sister Hedgehog  has chosen to talk about drunken rollerblading I feel like I should give you a sense of how weird and drunken this town is to put things in perspective. Prepare for the weird.

A few years back my friend Miss Darling was running a bar. In the first few weeks it did not have that many customers (though it would eventually become very popular.)

One night it was just Miss Darling and I knocking back Jack shots like they were water. Then a dude who was about 22 (she and I were in our late 30s at the time) came in.

He was gorgeous and charming and someone new. So we did what we could to get to know him. After a couple drinks he said that he'd always been curious how to pull a pint from an actual bar keg and Miss Darling invited him behind the bar to show him.

At that point I went to the bathroom. When I came back the dude wasn't there so I thought he'd left.

Miss Darling and I continued to talk until suddenly she grabbed her side of the bar, moaned and crashed to the ground.

At that point the missing dude stood up. Turns out the entire time I'd been talking to Miss Darling he'd been on his knees eating her out.

Her left quickly and Miss Darling and I did more Jack and giggled about it for about an hour.

That's the kind of town this is.

atyhhy88obk9cc8znice
desperance July 22 2014, 17:50

Totally fake tagine

In this new dispensation, it was fairly clear early on that no yogi were coming to bend last night, so I was only cooking for Karen and myself. Why in the world should this stop me having fun?

Back in the UK, I used to have a tagine. Lovely thing: red-glazed, almost too tall for the oven, with those splendid proportions that allow the conical lid to do its magic drippy thing and steam the food below. I doubt if I used it once a year, but it looked grand on the shelf there.

Out here? No tagine, and I'm not in active pursuit of one, because see above under "once a year". Granted it might be more often here, because I cook more dinners for numbers of people, bendy or otherwise, but even so.

Still, I am fond of tagine-type dishes, Moroccan spicings, that sort of thing: so last night I totally faked it.

Boneless chicken, sizzle-sizzle in olive oil to get some colour on. Chicken out of the pan, sliced onion in, sizzle-sizzle. Garlic, ginger. Ground ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon (less of the cinnamon, because a little is plenty). Fresh mint leaves. Chicken back in, sploosh of chicken stock, squeeze of honey, handful of dried apricots. Simmer simmer. Lots of chopped cilantro, scatter of toasted almonds. Done.

With herby saffron rice and roasted brussels? A feast fit for m'wife.
lilairen July 22 2014, 17:44

The thing I'm pondering hard.

The thing about the missing stair people that always gets me is that I have never been confident of being sufficiently in the in-group to be one of the ones who knows.

This is not why I never leave the house if I can help it but it does kind of sour me on lots of social groups.... Large gathering? What do I need to know that nobody's bothering to tell me? Don't know. Can't know. Better stay home.



(If you think you know what I'm talking about, it's more than that. No, more than that too. And that.)
mrissa July 22 2014, 17:26

three Fairyland books by Catherynne M. Valente

Review copies provided by Macmillan.


This is the series that starts with The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, goes on to The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, and finishes off with The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two. I say “finishes off” because that’s where we are as of the writing of this blog post, but it looks like Valente has stated publicly that there will be five books in this series. It’s an interesting thing to know, because the ending of soared is one I would want follow-up to but would not automatically assume, with my experience of its sub-genre, that all authors would want to provide follow-up to. So hurrah for not ending here.


This is the story of September and her adventures in Fairyland and the friends she makes there. Friends are very important to these books. Crucial. These books are very conscious about being a told story–the narrator is right there talking to you, personally, holding your hand and sometimes squeezing your shoulder, and if that bothers you, if you are attached to prose transparency, these are more decorative stained glass than clear, and these will not be the books for you. You can find out very readily what the voice is like just by reading a little bit of the beginning. They continue like that. If anything, the narrator gets chummier, more up close and personal, as the three books progress.


These books are not slaves to the cult of originality. In recognizing that they come from a long and beloved tradition of tales about trips to fairylands, they honor their past while allowing room for the places that Valente is genuinely original to shine through. You can simultaneously see how September is spiritual kin to Dorothy and Alice, that there are bits that remind you of The Phantom Tollbooth and Haroun and the Sea of Stories, while noting that really, a wyverary (a wyvern who is part library) is not something you’ve seen before or are likely to see again. There are bits and fragments of familiar tales woven throughout, but usually with a sideways joke. The serial structure of the original publication of the first book encouraged a new element, a new adventure each chapter, and that carried through into the non-serialized second and third, though they went into the underworld and up to the moon instead of through the lands of Fairyland proper.


The weak spot for me is the connection to our own world, and I think it will be weaker for me than for most readers because of exactly what that connection is. September is from the Omaha area in the time of WWII. I know the Omaha area well, and one of the relatives I grew up with was a schoolgirl at that time, so I am more likely to spot where those details are off than most readers. But the real world is a very secondary setting indeed–an anchor for September’s adventures rather than the source of them–so even for someone with an Omaha connection, it doesn’t ruin the tale.


These are the category of books for young people that are all-ages books. No book is to everyone’s taste, obviously, but some books are spoiled a bit by having read another one of those and knowing what’s coming around the corner. Having read dozens of trip to fairyland books will not tell you what’s coming around the corner. Having the plots told in the titles and in the chapter titles will still mostly not tell you what’s coming around the corner, since the title plot is a tiny fraction of what happens in each book, and either getting there will be most of the fun or no fun at all, and you will know which from reading just a tiny bit of the style of the telling. I have been careful not to burble about the wrench and the tapir and the Quiet Physickists and other favorite bits, but on second thought I will mention the wrench and the tapir and the Quiet Physickists and like that after all, because just saying those things can’t really spoil them; that’s not the kind of books they are.


Oh, and: if three points make a sub-genre, Ellen Kushner and Mike Ford now have a sub-genre for Authors Who Are, Despite Their Differences, Apparently Obsessed With Awesome Coats. There has been worse company to keep.




Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux

ravingglory July 22 2014, 17:17

Other Writing

[personal profile] calissa asked about what writing I do other than here.

The main thing I write other than here (and of course my thesis) is correspondence. There are a couple of friends who I write and email to once a week. This is a pretty good way to stay in touch with people who don’t do LJ/DW. I think my ideal would be to write physical letters, but I’m not as good about them as I am with the email. I think the once a week format really helps me stay on tract. I also have one friend who I send a postcard once a week. Plus I sent other friends postcards at odd intervals when I feel inspired. Postcards are so short they don’t really count as writing but I like the physically of them. It is nice to think that the other person is going to touch something that you touched. I’ve been buying interesting postcards when I travel or go to a museum so that I have collection of postcards from which to choose.

I also have a small research project that I could potentially work on. While I was starting to look for primary sources for my thesis, I just kind of looked at everything I could find online. So I have couple of journal articles from the 30’s about birds and pesticides sitting on my computer that maybe I will try to find out more about and turn into a paper. I do not really want to do more academia after I finish this degree, so it would just be for fun.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/153852.html

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