Poem: "Death Whispers at the Tip"

Saturday, 21 October 2017 00:17
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls, inspired by the "teamfamily" square in my 5-29-17 card for the Pride Bingo fest. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem deals with some touchy topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features bald women, messy medical details, references to past cases of cancer, infertility, distracting visions of Amazon life, historic references to dubious consent and inane attitudes, fostering, failed conversions, frank talk about death, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )

Again rushed

Saturday, 21 October 2017 00:23
silver_chipmunk: (Default)
[personal profile] silver_chipmunk
Once again out to late with [personal profile] mashfanficchick and her mother, plus Theo, and another friend who I can't remember her livejournal name and she doesn't post any more anyway.

Actually the day started with therapy, which went well. Then I came home and napped since I was up so late last night.

And then I went over to [personal profile] mashfanficchick's and we went shopping and then to dinner.

The FWiB called, just for a bit.

That's all.

Gratitude List:

1. Friends.

2. The FWiB.

3. Therapy.

4. Bed soon.

5. Shopping for food.

6. Good dinner.
zesty_pinto: (Default)
[personal profile] zesty_pinto
Just a few days ago I was thinking of an artist that I guess would count as a one hit wonder nowadays. Remember Martin Page?



When I was more open to that "samey" sound you'd expect from Christian music (and don't lie, a lot of it suffered from that same music composition that made it very obviously Christian music) and finding layered harmonies was hard because internet didn't exist, I thought this was amazing.

Now? I kind of cringe at it. Don't get me wrong, it's not terrible. It is very dated and heavily engineered though. I'm still okay with that, but add the New Age sounding pipes and the lyrics that feel really straightforward but don't really tell much of a story? I feel like I outgrew a lot of this.

We've all been there with artists too. New Kids on The Block? Blink 182? Disturbed? And I will laugh about saying how Kriss Kross used to make me "Jump Jump," but if you mention this song to me, I might roll my eyes and have that uncomfortable teethy expression just thinking about it.

To make matters worse, the rest of the songs behind the titular album don't stoke a thing to me!

30 Days of Music )

Today's Adventures

Friday, 20 October 2017 22:12
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today we saw the Ikebana exhibit at Krannert.  It was small, but very pretty.  It's worth going if you're in Champaign-Urbana or very close, but not worth a longer drive.  Only the demonstration is listed on the website, but the free exhibit is open Friday-Sunday.  They had many things in styles I recognized, and a few plants I'd never seen before.  Also a style I'd never seen before: bark, metal, and flowers all glued to a flat board.  That was pretty cool.  There were several of the classic spiral vases with two openings.  My favorite, however, was an arrangement which used a big silver dryer hose curled into the same spiral -- simultaneously referencing the very old spiral vase and modern Japan's tech base and love of all things robotic.  It was just SO JAPANESE.  But I bet it's like the Hokusai wave, nobody will get it for a few decades and then suddenly it will be the most Japanese thing EVAR.

I couldn't help think of Terramagne.  People there often weave their hobbies into work.  If you go into a business, you may see the owner's collection of china plates over the door.  Things like flower arranging are often done by clubs, where you can pay a higher fee to take it home to display in your house or business, but a lower fee if you just want to make something fun and then it goes to a library or hospital or women's shelter where lots of people can enjoy it.  And all that stuff gives folks something to talk about as they go through their day.  "Did you see the new painting in Burger Bash?  Carrie's son did a giraffe this time." "Yeah, he's getting really good."

We visited with my parents and dropped off a batch of poetry, already sponsored.  I don't know whether I'll have time to post this tonight or wait until tomorrow.  You can look forward to "Death Whispers at the Tip," "Capable of Stretching," and "A Moment of Atonement."



For supper, we went to a new Japanese restaurant in Danville called Fujiyama.  I am only somewhat a fan of Japanese cuisine -- I love sushi but can't each much of it -- and not at all a fan of flaming tables.  This place greatly exceeded my expectations.  First, the performance area is separate from the regular dining area, so that was a big relief.  People who want excitement can get it without bothering people who want to relax.  \o/  Second, the menu has lots of tasty things to choose from.  I picked out two different appetizers to fill up on (pork dumplings and coconut shrimp) and then had a piece of the sushi that other folks got (California Roll, Spicy Volcano Roll, and Bayridge Roll.  Where things really got interesting: they will make "reasonable substitutions" in the sushi constructions if there are things you can't eat; replacing avocado with cream cheese is a standard  substitution.  :D  I have never found a sushi place that would change anything, they all acted like their recipes were dipped in gold or something.  So if you are looking for a special-diet-friendly sushi place, check out Fujiyama.

My father sent home a bag of 30 bulbs, which at a quick glance seem to be a random mix of tulips and daffodils.  I think I will plant them in the prairie garden en masse.

Friday Five

Friday, 20 October 2017 17:49
lost_spook: (Dracula)
[personal profile] lost_spook
From [community profile] thefridayfive:

1. What book frightened you as a young person?
I don't know. I can think of TV things that did, and books I didn't like, or that left an unpleasant taste behind, one way or another, but I don't remember being terrified of anything in a book. I was always on the wimpish side in my reading, just in case something would scare me.

ETA: If it counts, when I was 11, our class tutor read us a Sweeney Todd story, and that definitely scared me!


2. If you had to become a ‘living book (i.e. able to recite the contents of a book cover to cover upon request – reference Fahrenheit 451), what book would it be?
I would prefer not to become a living book, as that sounds very uncomfortable for me and everyone else around me, so I'll go for Love That Dog because it's about the shortest book I know. (It's also good, though, and contains bonus poetry.)


3. What movie or TV show scared you as a kid?
The BBC Miss Marple (Nemesis in particular), and I do mean Joan Hickson. She sprayed somebody in the face with insecticide. Also some random thing where a cake was poisoned that I saw when I was four, that I think was some old b&w film comedy and was the worst/scariest thing ever. Also when I was about four, I was scared of the theme music to Doctor Who and when it came on would stick my head under a cushion and yell for someone to turn it off. So, ironically, I put an end to DW-watching in my house for about six or seven years, until I got into it myself. (It only ever scared me in the good way after that.) Also probably, as it turns out, Assignment Six of S&S, and that episode of Bergerac where Alfred Burke was so good he had to murder people. And Fraggles! Fraggle Rock was pure nightmare fuel. I still shudder if I see or hear of a Fraggle. The weasels in the (stop-motion) Wind in the Willows! TV was full of terrifying things when I was small.


4. What movie (scary or otherwise) will you never ever watch?
I am very wimpish about horror! It would be quicker to give a list of things I would watch, although that would still be far too long for a meme. But nothing that's primarily a gore-fest, anyway, unless I had to for some reason. I've been learning lately to be a little less wimpish in my watching, although only a little so far, and it's paid off.


5. Do you have any phobias?
Nothing at the level of a phobia, but I am scared of the future, fish, and over-eating (and poisoned cake, see above). And shop-window dummies.

Library Accommodating Homeless Readers

Friday, 20 October 2017 01:37
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
A library realized that homeless people were hiding books under cushions to finish later.  So the librarians designated a shelf for homeless readers to store their "in use" books.  This is a replicable solution that any library can use if they have a similar challenge.  Meanwhile over in Terramagne, this sort of thing is common.

Rushed again

Friday, 20 October 2017 01:20
silver_chipmunk: (Default)
[personal profile] silver_chipmunk
Went out after work with [personal profile] mashfanficchick to a lecture at Brooklyn Brainery on Bog People. It was fascinating. Then we ate at Uno which was having a deal on burgers.

Work was busy. I taught the computer class today, introduction to the internet. It went OK.

The FWiB called on my way home and we had a nice talk.

The Kid called, luckily after the lecture. Carmina has fleas somehow. It's autumn, not summer, and she's an indoor cat anyway, so how? But she does.

And that's all the news.

Gratitude List:

1. The FWiB.

2. Friends.

3. Interesting lecture.

4. Lovely weather, not too hot, not too cool.

5. The Kid.

6. Bed now!

Poem: "To Protect the Most Vulnerable"

Thursday, 19 October 2017 21:16
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the November 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] technoshaman, [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron, and Anonymous on Dreamwidth. It also fills the "drunk girl / guy" square in my 11-1-16 card for the Fall Festival bingo. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Mallory thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes confusion, indecision, college party hijinks, Whitney sneaking alcohol into a non-alcoholic event, binge-watching television, Whitney passing out drunk on the couch, reference to past alcohol misuse, reference to past rape, Mallory having a panic attack with awful flashbacks and other intrusive images, Heron calling the Student Health Center for Whitney, Mallory crying on Heron, and other angst. But there's a lot of fluff too. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. However, this is a major plot point, so skipping it would leave a gap.

Read more... )

Thursday Yardening

Thursday, 19 October 2017 17:13
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is sunny and warm.  Birds are fluttering around.

We went out and scraped ash out of the firepit, so we can build a fire for Samhain.  Then we picked up sticks out of a big pile of leaves that Doug raked up earlier. 

b&w updates

Thursday, 19 October 2017 21:14
lost_spook: (james maxwell)
[personal profile] lost_spook
Since I was complaining a few posts ago about the lack of James Maxwell in Subway in the Sky, I should say:

a) That paid off - [personal profile] swordznsorcery pointed me to this Design for Loving campaign sheet from eBay, which has a large pic of Mr Maxwell, plus a synopsis and cast list, and then [personal profile] liadtbunny pointed out that it is up on the BFIplayer here (although only for rental, and I'd have to watch it online and not keep it and rip it and cap it, but still; if lack of JM overcomes me anytime, I could do that). Plus, bonus pic!* (It was 1962, though. I can't remember why I had 1958 in my head. I should know by now there is no 1950s JM, however much I want to make that not be true.)

And b) my other film, The Third Secret, which I will have to talk about properly sometime (it was very pretty and complicated) coughed up a satisfactory cameo. Cut for pictorial proof )


* I don't know why James Maxwell looks like he's in a threesome there, though. Don't these people know that he only ever makes worshipful love to people's hands and would be tragically in the way?

Running late

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 23:40
silver_chipmunk: (Default)
[personal profile] silver_chipmunk
I have to work at 9 tomorrow, yuck, so I need to be in bed soon.

Work went very well, I got a good audience for my program, so that worked out well. I was really quite afraid it would flop.

After work the FWiB called, and we had a nice talk, and then I went out to Carvel with [personal profile] mashfanficchick and her mother. We didn't get dinner though so I am nuking something right now.

After Carvel we went to Target, and spent rather more time and money than we should have in the Halloween section.

I had texted The kid and asked her to call and she said she would, but of course she waited til late, I missed it and had to call her back. But we had a very nice conversation.

Roadkill told [personal profile] mashfanficchick to tell me he's waiting to hear about the cats, so this still might happen.

Gratitude List:

1. The Kid.

2. The FWiB.

3. Carvel trips.

4. Got an audience today.

5. Dinner.

What to Do About Kneeling

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 21:20
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
People are freaking out over football players kneeling as a civil rights protest. As I've said repeatedly, this should be encouraged, not condemned. It is a rational, legal method of solving problems. If you block that, people will resort to less rational, less legal methods. I would prefer not to have race riots all over the place. Again. The catch is, kneeling is an effective way to attract attention but it doesn't solve the underlying problems. For that we need more. And then [personal profile] dialecticdreamer came up with this gem:

"Kneeling falls entirely under right of free expression and social protest. Anyone who tries to decry that it 'damages' the corporation a public figure works for, whether a sports team or a bakery, is an authoritarian idjit. Were I the manager of a sports team, the SECOND one of my players knelt in protest, I'd arrange to meet them, and ask what can help. Public outreach. More sports camps and mentorships for youth in poverty, who are disproportionately darker-skinned (but I'd be careful not to make skin color a requirement-- you've heard this rant before)."

Well, the famous guys are difficult or impossible to reach, for practical reasons. But it's not just them anymore; players on local teams sometimes do the same thing. They can be reached, and so can their managers. Letters to the editor of any newspaper would be another way of publicizing this idea. We can also just put this topic in blog posts. Then if anyone is involved in sports where this is happening, they have a solution to try.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Recently a friend mentioned looking forward to an event but worrying that it might be overwhelming. This can happen. It happens more often to people with special needs -- or introverts, who are a huge portion of the populace that is simply ignored in almost all event planning, thus necessitating additional accommodations. Here are some ideas to make your trip safer and happier ...

Read more... )

Day 15 - A song that describes you

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 21:27
zesty_pinto: (Default)
[personal profile] zesty_pinto
Okay, this one is easy.



The name says it all. And I love the lyrics. "Like Mexican candy/we got some complex flavor running up in here" is one of my favorite joke lyrics.

30 Days of Music )

Wednesday Yardening

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 16:00
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is sunny, mild, and breezy.  I refilled the birdfeeders.  Birds are fluttering around in the nice weather today, although I haven't seen any on the feeders.

I planted 24 Muscari armeniacum  around bushes along the driveway.  This is a classic type of blue grape hyacinth which puts up spikes of tiny purple flowers shaped like bells.

We hope to get back out later and work on the area around the outdoor woodpile.

EDIT 10/18/17: We moved a wheelbarrow of firewood from the yard onto the porch.

EDIT 10/18/17: I went back out and fertilized the bulb gardens and some places where they're naturalized.  Thanks to whoever it was that reminded me of this.

Parking Maneuver

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 13:08

What I've Been Reading Wednesday

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 09:52
lost_spook: (reading)
[personal profile] lost_spook
What I've Finished Reading

I finished up The Castle of Otranto and it continued to be delightfully OTT and ridiculous right to the very last line. I laughed a lot. Especially at the last line. The charm of it is, I think (other than gloomy castles and giant suits of armour and what have you), that it's very hard to tell if the whole thing is some kind of joke, or just bits of it. This seems to have been the question for 250 years, and, indeed, the next book I read, The Old English Baron by Clara Reeve is quite openly The Castle of Otranto, the more rational (and therefore possibly not-truly-Gothic) remix.

As Clara Reeve says in the introduction, certain elements of Otranto, "destroy the work of imagination, and, instead of attention, excite laughter." (Walpole apparently responded that hers was, "So probable, that any trial for murder at the Old Bailey would make a more interesting story." Hmm, wait, a novel featuring a real life murder...? Shame he didn't try it, heh.)

It does indeed tail off into a long, plodding fixit of everything, though. It's rather like a tumblr-recommended fixit version of Otranto where everything is relentlessly put right and all the bad people are punished or grovel and apologise to the good people. I liked the beginning with the locked up haunted wing with the murdered body in it very much, though, mixed with a more recognisable setting. Also its hero Edmund has an amusing tendency to weep over people. (The best bit was at the end where he flung his arms round both his mentors legs at once and they had to stop him and then he still had to hug them and weep over them.)

But, given that it's still only about 130 odd pages and has a haunted East wing, it was readable and fascinating to compare to Otranto. I'm glad the collection had them both.

I also read another Daisy Dalrymple (Dead in the Water), which you could probably tell because fic happened. My friend is coming to see me again this week - I have hopes she might be able to lend me some more, because the only others I've found are quite a few books on from that. (Obviously, I'm looking forward to seeing her with or without books, but with books is always better.)


What I'm Reading Now
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho, which, as promised by [personal profile] aralias, is very light and enjoyable and just my sort of thing. I seem to be okay with it, too. \o/ (The only downside is the inevitable comparison to Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which can do it no favours. It's a shame she didn't set it, say, 20 years later or earlier to mitigate that. Although, of course, I'm only 100 pages in; there are no doubt very good Plot Reasons.)

(I'm still note-taking from A Mad Bad and Dangerous People? and technically sort of reading Desolation Island, but have not progressed far with either since last time.)


What I'm Reading Next
Well, if my friend does bring me some more Daisy, there'll be that. And once I've finished Sorcerer to the Crown, I might try the next Gothic novel in the collection, which is Mistrust by Matthew Gregory Lewis (author of The Monk).

Hard Things

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 00:09
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently? What are some hard things you haven't gotten to yet, but need to do?

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