[Stories] Magician's Feast

Sep. 2nd, 2014 05:49 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
For [personal profile] cohomology. Prompt: recursive pepper. (Okay, so maybe it's a bit of a stretch...)

(Spork of fooding, not spork of sporkiness!)

Once, in a far land, there lived a magician whose great passion was not her studies but her food. In her youth she had applied herself passionately to her studies, but her particular school of magic emphasized asceticism and long hours of meditation. However, once she left her teachers and founded her own tower (she was enough of a traditionalist to prefer a tower, and humane enough to call it out of the earth's bones in a remote location where it wouldn't trigger seismic disturbances or ghost-plagues), her discipline began to slip. Away from her teachers and her solemn fellow students, it was not long before she began dreaming up feasts of custard and roast goose, couscous and eggplant, quail eggs and minty lemonades.

Traders soon learned of the new tower from far-wanderers and dream-seekers. The first ones brought the usual goods favored by magicians: whirring jeweled orreries, dried plum petals gathered from cloud-veiled peaks during the new moon, crystals brimming over with their own iridescence. Although the magician was too kind to say so outright, none of these tools of her trade interested her much. She bought some of this and that so that the traders would see some profit for their journey, and bid them come back next time with exotic foods.

The traders went away well-provisioned and laden with the kinds of small gifts that only a magician could provide, such as charms of trebuchet-warding (very useful in certain siege-ridden parts of the world), bat-binding, and may-your-sewing-needles-never-break. And then the magician settled back into her existence of meditations broken by the occasional galloping thunderstorm, and the even more occasional fantasy of chicken stuffed with rice, jujubes, and chestnuts, or tea-of-quinces.

The magician was not entirely idle during this time. Her mechanical servants gathered rarities such as firefowl eggs (the yolks had an unfortunate tendency to overcook) and mistfruit and the milk of dragons. At first these foods pleased her, but after a while her palate grew jaded and even these palled.

A year passed and the traders returned. This time there were three-fruit marmalades and rose liqueurs; a herd of plump, comically nearsighted goats ready for the slaughter; kumquat pickles in jars painted jewel-bright. The magician took in the goats but did not have the heart to roast them.

The traders had yet one more surprise for the magician: a jar of chopped dried pepper, piquantly red and to be handled only with gloves. (The magician had plenty of those.)

"A pepper?" the magician said, a little dubiously. It wasn't that she disliked spicy food--she liked it very much indeed--but she wasn't sure how far a single pepper would go.

"Its taste is very subtle," said the oldest and wisest of the traders. "But chop it fine and sprinkle a little of it over each meal you wish to make special, and someday it will reward you." More than that they would not say.

Years upon years passed. The magician experimented with the pepper, and found its taste so subtle that she could not detect it at all. Nevertheless, each year when the traders stopped by, she made use of it in preparing the welcome dinner so that they would not think her unappreciative.

At last illness came upon the magician, and she knew that death would overtake her before the traders came again. Moved by whimsy, she made herself a simple meal and seasoned it with the mysterious pepper. But this time, when she ate, all the memories of those previous dinners came back to her: not just the savor of roast boar or rare slices of beef alternating with candied ginger, but the traders' convivial stories of seas where squid danced paeans to the kelp-gods, and the way they had laughed at the antics of her mechanical servants, and the pleasure of company after long months alone. And so it was at the end of her life that the magician finally understood the true value of what the traders had brought to her in their yearly visits.

give a book a home!

Sep. 2nd, 2014 04:41 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
Anyone want my extra contributor's copy of The Mammoth Book of Warriors and Wizardry, ed. Sean Wallace? It includes my story "Effigy Nights," as well as stories by N.K. Jemisin, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, Aliette de Bodard, Saladin Ahmed, and more.

Leave a comment (or email me at yoon at yoonhalee dot com) if interested. I will decide by (pseudo)random generator at some point. Shipping's on me anywhere reasonable in the world (so, bottom of the Mariana Trench, not so much).

(Unrelated note: [personal profile] cohomology, I swear I'm working on your flashfic right now.)

relief

Sep. 2nd, 2014 11:08 am
[personal profile] thistleingrey
I did get the second sock to resemble the first one, and they are work-compatible (insofar as one may wear dark red socks to an office at all; mine is relatively casual for its ilk). small photo )
Lesson for me: adjust stitch count freely. My bony ankles are larger around than average and my heel a good cm taller than any pattern I've met so far expects, although my bony feet are slightly narrower than average. (Not narrow enough to fit into a narrow-width shoe, but enough to slide around awkwardly in average-width ones. I pine sometimes for the five widths in which German shoes are sometimes sold. The US has three.)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Golden Witchbreed

The Earth of the near-future has faster-than-light travel of a particularly powerful sort; the entire Milky Way is just 90 days from Earth. Habitable worlds are common enough [1] and much to the Dominion of Earth 's surprise generally inhabited. How to adapt when there are millions of alien civilizations on the Dominion's doorstep?
Read more... )
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
and I haven't missed it, either.

Geoff just sent me a link to a drawing KLM is doing for a luxe trip to Amsterdam; we always enter things like that when we see them, though we've never (yet) won. (It's at destinationamsterdam.ca, but you have to be a Canadian resident.)

The entry form requires you to choose a courtesy title, and the options are:
• Mr.
• Mrs.
• Miss

I mean, seriously, what the fuck.

(I still entered, but I'm cranky about it.)

...Huh, it belatedly occurs to me that it's probably an artifact of translation from French, which is the primary language of the contest, and in which the difference between "mademoiselle" and "madame" these days has more to do with age/maturity than with marital status. Nonetheless, I deeply resent not being offered the option in English. En français je suis 'Madame,' but in English I am not 'Mrs.'

the dice were loaded from the start

Sep. 2nd, 2014 09:58 am
[personal profile] musesfool
August 2014 writing roundup:

break loose of loss and longing (@ AO3)
Captain America; Steve/Bucky; pg; 3,510 words
"What do you think of the speculation that you and Steve Rogers were lovers?"

"What? Who thinks that? I don't think about that. Why would I think about that?"


Be my ticket back home (@ AO3)
Winter Soldier (Comics); Bucky/Natasha; AU; pg; 2,375 words
The one where Bucky makes better decisions in the wake of Natasha's memory loss.

*

Meme via [personal profile] sage: What are my recurring themes:

1. REUNIONATING/RECONCILIATION. I love first times, I do, but I also really really love first times that are actually second times, where the characters are older and warier and more broken but also able to take advantage of the unexpected/miraculous second chance.

So many of my favorite pairings have a lot of history together, and have undergone long - and occasionally acrimonious - separations often due to tragic circumstances - Remus/Sirius, Dick/Jason, Steve/Bucky, Bucky/Natasha, (Sam/Dean, even though I didn't really ship it the same way; even Danny/Rusty in a much less angsty way) - and there's often a period in which they have to forgive themselves (and each other) for what happened, AND ALSO, in the other sense of the word, they have to reconcile who they are NOW with who they were THEN and how their relationship has/hasn't changed (if there's anything there that can/should be salvaged/can they start over or even if they were never romantically involved before, could they be now? is this finally the right time/do they still feel the same? etc.), and if their memories have been messed with - Jason clawed his way out of his own grave and took a dip in a Lazarus pit, Sirius can barely remember happy things and he's not real functional after 12 years in Azkaban, and of course, there's Bucky and his decades of brainwashing and memory wiping and being treated like a thing - so how can they put themselves together and have a relationship (should they even try?). I feel like this is the basis for a good 80% of the fic I've written.

2. EQUALIZING POWER DIFFERENTIALS. This is one of my favorite tropes for het fic, especially when I'm writing about an older man/younger woman - Logan/Rogue, Mal/River, Nick/Cassie - these are very often about the young women finding their power and leveling the playing field with the men, who always think they are too old/broken/etc. and don't want to take advantage etc. (I think this is also why I really love pairings like Tony/Pepper and Josh/Donna and Donna/Harvey - because those are also about assistants becoming indispensable, and eventually - in fic if not on the show, in the case of Donna/Harvey - becoming an equal and no longer being a direct report/subordinate. Say what you want about the post-Sorkin era of WW, but Donna would never have gotten that wonderful arc where she moves out of her role as Josh's assistant and ends up the First Lady's Chief of Staff under Sorkin, and that's the only way she and Josh could be together.)

This isn't a theme per se, but I also like role reversals in the power differential - Remus was the poor werewolf and Sirius was the handsome and wealthy heir to the ancient and noble Black family and then 13 years later, Remus is a mostly respectable Hogwarts professor and Sirius is a wanted fugitive; Steve was skinny/sickly and Bucky was his protector, and then Steve is Captain America and Bucky is his sidekick/righthand man.

3. PLAYING THE HAND YOU'RE DEALT. I feel like this was theme of most of my Firefly fic - sure, life is kind of crappy, but it's still better than the alternative, right? And some of my Dark Angel fic is about this, too, I think (though I think Max and Alec both have to do a lot of reconciling the things they've done with who they want to be now), and a lot of the SPN fic I wrote was about Sam and Dean muddling through.

4. YOU MIGHT HAVE TO DO IT, BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO IT ALONE, aka, the POWER OF FRIENDSHIP/PARTNERSHIP.

At least, I feel like these are the things I return to over and over. What do you think?

*

*cough* *snorfle*

Sep. 2nd, 2014 09:11 am
[personal profile] oracne
I think I hate the sinus draining, ticklish coughing, etc. part of a cold the absolute most, because it's impossible to sleep through it, and also it's much harder to sing through than when you're just stuffed up.

I brought stuff so I can take a quick hot shower at the gym on my way to rehearsal tonight, in the hope that will clear out some of it.

It's hot and humid today, and our rehearsal room has no air conditioning.

But there will be Rachmaninov.

New fic!

Sep. 2nd, 2014 08:59 am
[personal profile] kass
I come bearing new fic!

SPOILERS for The Winter Long, the new Toby Daye book by [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire which just dropped today. (The book is fantastic. Go and read. And then come back and read this.)

For [personal profile] geekturnedvamp. With thanks to [personal profile] kouredios for beta.


They sought the remedy (1303 words) by Kass
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: October Daye Series - Seanan McGuire
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Toby Daye/Tybalt
Characters: Tybalt (Toby Daye), Toby Daye, The Luidaeg (Toby Daye)
Additional Tags: Post-Book, The Winter Long


Putting the summary behind a cut-tag because it's spoilery )


Coming soon to my website. Enjoy!

Morning edition

Sep. 2nd, 2014 08:02 am
[personal profile] kass
Last night Yao and I watched 3 episodes of S5 of Breaking Bad -- we've just finished "Rabid Dog," ep 12 of 16. I had trouble falling asleep afterwards; my mind wouldn't stop racing and neither would my heart, and ultimately I took a benadryl to help me get there. (I suspect some of this had to do with staying up later than usual -- after the second ep I felt my body sliding toward sleep but I stayed up for a third one, and it felt as though I'd missed my window. But some of it was probably just the adrenaline of the show.)

It's a phenomenal show. As soon as we finish it I want to go hunting for good essays about spoilers, sweetie )

Now it is Tuesday morning, the morning after a three-day weekend so I'm feeling already behind the ball somewhat, but that will pass. For now I have an iced coffee, and a baguette with cheddar cheese, and I walked my 25 minutes on the treadmill this morning, so life is good.
[personal profile] sovay
I sent the following by e-mail to [livejournal.com profile] derspatchel and he responded favorably, so I am transplanting it with minimal edits to the internet before I fall over and desperately try to sleep for a few hours. Not being able to breathe through my nose at all and my throat feeling swollen closed is a bad combination for my breathing comfort. (Yes, I saw a doctor. No, they didn't have anything helpful to say. I'm on antibiotics for the sinus infection, but they're not kicking in as rapidly as I would like.)

Background: Ian Sales does not like where science fiction is heading.

I started excerpting sentences to mock and critique and then I realized I was just copying every other paragraph. He longs for a kind of science fiction that (a) was never the only form of science fiction, witness all the horrible apocalyptic stories that clustered around the Great War and in some cases preceded it as people became afraid of the political and military developments that seemed inevitably on the horizon (b) excluded a great many people who lived then, live now, and are definitely going to be around in the future, failing to understand that the world wasn't simpler in the Golden Age of Science Fiction, it was just more narrowly sliced (c) was not invented by Hugo Gernsback; he coined the term that developed into the contemporary classification, but the first historically defined works of science fiction existed in the eighteenth century and the nineteenth century only accelerated the trend until the 1850's had to invent "scientific romance" to describe all the speculative novels springing up like weeds. Edgar Rice Burroughs publishes his first Barsoom novel in the 1910's. Gernsback doesn't get Amazing Stories off the ground until '26. He's also talking strictly (puzzlingly) about American sci-fi; the British tradition is and always has been either more pessimistic or more realistic, depending on whether you like that sort of thing or not. Richard Jeffries' After London was detailing the post-apocalyptic deterioration of society in 1885. There is no Great Man in The War of the Worlds (1897) unless you really feel warmly toward the common cold.

"I wish it would go back"

Sep. 2nd, 2014 04:43 am
[personal profile] rosefox
It's been 16 weeks since the injection.

Saturday and Sunday I had a weird sort of sensation that felt like static in my head, which may or may not be related to the ear stuff. I was also massively underslept and think that's more likely to be the culprit. But I note it here just in case.

Yesterday and today, my right ear hearing has been occluded slightly; I blamed the storm system that's been squatting over the region giving us all pressure headaches. Today I had a three-hour bout of vertigo, from about 18:45 to about 21:30, mild enough that I had to keep checking to make sure it was still going on but definitely vertigo. Symptoms )

I took two taurine and had substantial food, and it cleared up pretty quickly after that, but I'm quite certain it was neither anxiety nor hunger-dizziness; it was vertigo, and I didn't miss it at all.

I really hope it's just the atmospheric pressure and will go away when the weather breaks. If I need to get an injection in my ear every four months I will be Very Put Out.

"Bait and switch"

Sep. 2nd, 2014 12:03 am
[personal profile] rosefox
Three comics crossed my browser in sufficiently short order that I sat up and took notice. (In all cases, click the image to view the original.)


Transcript )

"You think I'm transphobic... but all I really care about is accurate costuming!"


Transcript )

"You think I'm transphobic... but all I really care about is fashion!"


Transcript )

"You think I'm transphobic... but I'm just mad about you lying to me!"

The punchline in all three cases is that the cisgender authority figure could be an asshole, but is choosing not to be... and they want to make sure the person with no power--the child or employee, the trans* or GNC person--is aware that it's a choice. It's a statement of power. I could make your life miserable, but I won't! Ha ha!

And I want to focus especially on the reaction shots, first distress:



And then elation:



These people are so upset at what sounds like scorn, and then so grateful for what turns out to be (or look like) respect and acceptance, that they don't even notice the way "respect and acceptance" have been recast as gifts rather than as simply what they deserve for being human. The children are particularly vulnerable to this, because few things are more devastating to a child than the threat of a parent's love being withheld. The relief on Sarah's face is heartbreaking.

If respect and acceptance are gifts, rather than a person's birthright, they can be taken back, or bargained for. That makes for a very unpleasant dynamic when it's combined with the dependence of a parent/child or employer/employee relationship. And the emotional weight of that combination is what the creators of these comics are drawing on when they write these jokes.

When the power differential is removed, friends can come out to friends and have it be no big deal:


Transcript )


Transcript )

No tears or glowing relief there--just a brief awkward moment of "So what do we talk about now?".

Or they can talk and argue and say foolish things and learn from each other as equals, as in the Irma/Irving arc from The Princess, which is too long to quote here but is really excellent.

But add the element of power and you get gripping emotional tension. And comics creators are choosing over and over to use that tension to fuel a joke, without really thinking about what it feels like when someone who has a lot of power over you, someone you respect very much and possibly even love, has just said something that sounds a lot like a condemnation of your identity and/or self-expression. That moment is devastating, and no table-turning additional context can redeem the thoughtless cruelty of an authority figure saying something like "Take that off immediately before the neighbors see you!" or "No one will take you seriously" to a person who is in a tremendously vulnerable place.

I will give some leeway to the creator of The Princess, because so much of the comic is about Wendy and Sarah's relationship, and Wendy slowly coming to terms with Sarah being trans. The very first strip was Wendy yelling at Sarah to stop wearing a dress. The comic up there, where she says she's going to donate Sarah's boy clothes, is strip #500. So their relationship is a lot more than a one-off joke, and full credit for that! That said, the ellipsis between panels 3 and 4 is massively unfair to both Sarah and the reader, and so is Wendy's angry tone. Sarah has no happier expectations of "Go straight up to your room and open your closet--" than James/Batgirl has of "Take that off immediately before the neighbors see you!". Her face in panel 3 makes that clear.

As a bonus, in the first two comics we get cis people being experts on how to be trans*/GNC correctly. "You don't want to be wearing the clothes you're wearing! You want to be wearing these other clothes that follow the rules. Poor clueless person who doesn't know how to gender. Since I am fortunate enough to have a lifetime's experience in being exactly one gender, I will help you to learn gendering, for you are like a newborn lamb tottering about on wobbly gender-legs." I'm the first to acknowledge that cis men have provided me with a tremendous amount of useful advice on menswear and I'm very grateful for it, but you know, if someone's first reaction to seeing me in a men's suit was to tell me that it was out of date and also my haircut sucked, I would find that really goddamn rude. So even the "respect and acceptance" isn't, really. What if the employee's tie was his grandfather's and it means a lot to him to wear it? What if Batgirl hates wearing yellow and enjoys walking around in impractical shoes? Why does being accepted mean being pressed to conform to particular dictates of fashion?

Well, because this culture sucks and its notions of gender are inescapably about conforming to gender norms. But perpetuation of that is not acceptance. Especially when it comes to GNC folks, and to people who are just starting down a new path of gender expression and have to maintain two separate wardrobes and are low-level employees who can't afford a lot of new clothes, and to people who have their own fashion sense, and to people--both children and adults, but especially children--who need room to play around and experiment and explore and figure out what they like. That newborn lamb needs to totter about on its own for its legs to get stronger so that it can leap off to wherever it pleases.

Accepting someone as e.g. male doesn't mean crushing them into a tidy little packet of 100% Grade A Extruded Maleness. It means saying "Oh hey, nice haircut, and I like that tie" the way you'd say it to anyone else who cut their hair and wore a tie. It means treating them like an individual person who gets to make individual choices.

I'm not criticizing people for laughing at these strips. I laughed at the Batgirl one, which was the first of the three that I saw. It's very easy to fall into the cultural pattern of thinking this sort of thing is funny, of sharing the trans*/GNC character's relief at not being stepped on like a bug and turning that relief into laughter even as the "respect" comes in the form of a backhanded insult compounded by social pressure that makes it nearly impossible to decline what crumbs are offered. (If the employee really liked his tie and didn't want to change it, do you think he felt free to say so to his very vehement boss? I don't.) But in actual real life, it's not funny. In actual real life, it hurts a lot. In actual real life, it's incredibly unpleasant to have people act like the only two ways to treat you are to either reject you or force you to conform. And the repetition of it really got to me.

I know pain is the root of a lot of comedy. But when this particular pain is made into a punchline over and over again, I have to ask why, and to challenge creators to do better.
[personal profile] metaphortunate
I've been trying to expand my musical horizons lately: break out of my rut, not be that person who only likes the stuff they liked when they were 17. I mean, I will always love me some butt rock, but why stagnate? So I've been trying different things, on the child feeding principle that you have to try things three or four times before you really know if you like them.

It turns out I enjoy opera! Quite a bit! I guess that's not so surprising considering how much I have always loved prog metal. And I have started listening to country, and discovered that there is a lot to like. One thing about country that especially speaks to me these days: there's a lot of country songs about kids and childrearing. Everything from the sentimentality of "There Goes My Life" or "He Didn't Have To Be" to the bitter humor of "One's On The Way".

And I have also been listening to hip-hop, and before anyone brings up the ~misogyny~ of hip-hop let me tell you a little story about Ray LaMontagne. Because Spotify served me up a Ray LaMontagne song on my country radio - Spotify, by the way, is fantastic if you want to listen to new music! - a quiet, beautiful song called "Like Rock and Roll & Radio" that I immediately fell wildly in love with. I must hear more of this, I thought. So I pulled up the album, started from the beginning, and on the first song the singer expresses his intent to beat his ex-girlfriend like he says her father should have. Your sensitive white people folk music, ladies and gentlemen! It turns out that I am completely used to a certain level of misogyny in my music, that I just grimly live with, and staying under that level, well, it's not hard. Plenty of rap music turns out to easily clear that bar.

But because I'm sort of off sausage fests these days anyway, I went looking for female hip hop artists, and that's what I've been listening to lately. And I've learned a couple of things.

One:
I can get into Angel Haze's flow or Rah Digga's energy as much as I like, but I can never, ever, ever sing along with any of their music. And some of that shit is catchy! This is a problem! This is worse than the time I found myself singing "Uncle Fucker" under my breath at work! And it is, to me, a KEEP OUT sign placed all over the music.

For which I do not in any way blame the artists, mind you: considering that the entire history of music in America is the history of black people coming up with musical forms and white people coming up with ways to take them over and make money off of them, if I were a talented black MC, I would spraypaint THIS IS OUR SHIT, EVERYONE ELSE KEEP OUT all over my work in any way possible.

And, again, I'm totally used to spending all my time playing in other people's sandboxes. For example. Prog metal. Completely infested by the kinds of guys who, as Neal Stephenson wrote, sincerely believe that they are way too smart to be sexist. Let's take a moment to revisit Queensryche's classic concept album Operation: Mindcrime, musically a work of genius, lyrically an unintentionally hilarious celebration of manpain which reaches its nadir when the main character finds the dead body of his beloved, his only friend, the ex-hooker nun who's been providing him social services, and tearfully, rhetorically asks who's going to fix his meals now. …Yeah. Well, that was the soundtrack of my adolescence, so I'm totally used to enjoying music that has enormous IT'S NOT FOR YOU signs plastered all over it. It's not a dealbreaker. I'm happy to live with it. But I don't stop noticing it, either.

Two:
I know hip-hop deals with as many subjects as any other musical genre, but the playlists I am checking out, they seem to be hitting the high points. And the most popular songs in the genre, by female artists, seem to overwhelmingly be about: 1) being sexy at the club; and 2) triumphing over other bitches. And that's not speaking to me. I'm lucky enough to be at a point in my life where I don't really have any bitches that I need to triumph over. Like, not personally. There are lots of people I wish would just die, but that's more for political reasons. And as far as being sexy at the club, I can't remember the last time I was at a club; and I can remember the last time I was sexy, and it was right around when I got pregnant with Rocket, and that was a pretty long time ago in terms of that sort of thing, and I'm not sure that I'll ever be sexy again. And it turns out that listening to all these songs about triumphing at sexy are making me feel worse about myself, in the way of "don't read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly."

Hey, speaking, of which, I have a question: how do you deal with the end of sexy? If you are a member of the sex class, that is the person in the relationship whose body's power of attraction is meant to create desire not only in your partner but also in yourself ("I have to imagine he is fucking you just so I can climax"): how do you deal with it if your looks, your power of attraction, such as it ever may have been, is gone, but you are in what is meant to be a sexual relationship and you would kind of like it to continue as such? Do me a favor and leave aside completely the question of whether this is relevant to me at this very moment. No, I'm serious. If we're lucky enough to live long, if we're lucky enough to have lovers if we want them, it will become relevant if it's not now. I'm not gonna age like Helen Mirren or whoever, I'm gonna age like an ordinary person without massive amounts of plastic surgery, and that means I'm gonna age more like those mysterious things you eventually unearth with horror in the back of the fridge. So how do you have a sexual relationship when your body contains all the sexual magic of old Gorgonzola? Do you decide that it's the other person's turn to be sexy? Can you both just decide that? Do you keep the lights off forever now? Do you try to create a sexual narrative that doesn't include sexiness? How do you do that? Help me figure it out, y'all, I found a white armpit hair in the shower this morning, I need some damn songs about that.

Me at the FASS weekend

Sep. 2nd, 2014 12:44 am

Hmmm.

Sep. 2nd, 2014 12:19 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
"Books people recommended to me that I am still bitter about having read" could be a whole series.
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
September is still the beginning of the year to me.

Labor Day

Sep. 1st, 2014 10:47 pm
[personal profile] batwrangler
Shine and I headed up to a neighboring town's Labor-Day bash this morning. They have a rummage sale, the fire dept. sells lunch, the library has a book sale, the historical association opens its museum, there's a small juried craft fair and a parade, all of which take place basically along the street in the middle of town and is very dog-friendly. It was so hot, though, that we walked around for only about forty-five minutes and came home before the parade.

One cool thing: I saw a dog named Willow that I recognized from 2008. Considering that she's wolfhound/mastiff mix and was three when I met her previously, I was really pleased to see her again. No pictures because I decided that adding the camera to the puppy and the event was going to be too much work, but she looks great.

Rest in Power

Sep. 1st, 2014 08:56 pm
[personal profile] phi
I didn't know [personal profile] delux_vivens well, but even so, she was so important and influential in my life. Here are some of the things she taught me: how to give not a single solitary fuck about the opinions of people I don't respect, to accept nothing less than the best from myself and the people closest to me, to value my existence in this world for the precious thing it is, to never ever be ashamed of afraid of my sexuality. She was strong and funny and smart and had the best collection of manflesh images of anyone I knew. For a long while, seeing a chat window from her pop up on my screen -- she always greeted me with a bright "Yoohoo" -- was the highlight of my day. We hadn't chatted just for the hell of it in a long time; I'd gone through a period where I just wasn't responding or interacting with anyone at all. I kept meaning to reach out to her again, to tell her I missed her and ask what was new with her. I wish I had. The world is a poorer sadder place without Delux in it.

Tell your friends you love them. Do it now. Don't worry about looking awkward or mawkish or whatever, just make sure your people know how much they matter.
[personal profile] musesfool
I had a lazy day today, which was nice. I went out on a grocery run, and ugh, it was disgusting out. Much more like August than August actually was. I can't believe it's September already. Summer ending makes me so sad.

Yesterday was long - I went out to my sister's and then my brother showed up to take me and my dad to his house for dinner, and I didn't end up getting home until almost 10 pm (I left my apartment at 9 am), and I got my period right before I left for home, so I was wiped out when I got there.

I haven't written in more than a week and I'm in one of those stages where I feel like it just doesn't matter if I ever do again. *hands* I'm sure it will pass eventually.

***
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Been a while, but I've been amusing myself, as well as intermittent low bits. Turned my back on Facebook, abandoned Twitter after the SDS conference, spending way too much time on MetaFilter, which is beginning to annoy me in useful ways, as well as doodling away a happy hour on Tumblr posting nothing. Reading actualfax books—paper as well as e—and fanfiction, of course. Here's a sprinkling of things I've stumbled across. Ask me anything (as they say) in the comments and I'll bloviate.

I've worked as a freelance calligrapher, typesetter, and graphic designer. This cartoon beautifully, and painfully, captures the continual teeter-totter between "being true to your own self" and "getting paid"
http://the-toast.net/2014/08/13/a-cartoon-about-book-design/

I've been having more difficulty understanding speech, especially at noisy places like cons (use your mics!) and restaurants. I've also had a strange two-tone mechanical humming in my ears for the past year or so. Okay, time for a hearing test. Mostly painless: put on these headphones, play noise in one ear and words in the other, parrot back the words. But then there was
non-consensual penetration of body cavities )

That was a lesson in how to alienate prospective patients. It makes me wonder what in hell medicos mean when they say, "this will be uncomfortable, but let me know if it hurts"? Is there some level of pain which reliably causes a reflex response in humans, and therefore docs can ignore unreliable information like "Oww! That hurts! Stop that! NO."? I know that enough pain makes me pass right out. Or say if I vomit, does that mean I've crossed the line from "uncomfortable" to "hurts"? How about if I curl up on cool bathroom tiles? Or maybe when I sandbag myself with microwave hotpacks? I'm just working back from the "pain behaviors" I've demonstrated when it's hurt too much for me at home.

Anyway, the exam result is: I have

  • excellent hearing in optimal conditions (cool)

  • difficulty "hearing in noise" (yeah, that's why I was there)

  • tinnitus (Checking just now at HearingLossHelp druglist (PDF), I'm taking three meds known to cause tinnitus in some people. Huh and

  • Hyperacusis



She says wearing 29dB earplugs only makes the hyperacusis worse. (I wear them swimming and when I'm on the bus.) She's making "musician's earplugs" for me which dampen all sound equally across the noise spectrum which should "take the edge off" of the loudness of things.

disturbing things

Sep. 1st, 2014 05:57 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
1. Since we bought a box of truffles from Godiva at the mall (it's one of the few places at the mall that is worth stopping in, the place doesn't even have a bookstore) we got a free "trufflata" (sp?). It was so chocolatey that I tried it 3.5 sips' worth and each time my mind blanked out at how chocolatey it was. I could not actually remember the chocolate level after I swallowed because my brain wouldn't deal. Even the lizard, after drinking down half the trufflata, gave up and declared that she was never touching one again because it was too much chocolate.

(Poor Godiva! I still enjoy their truffles--I'm not a chocolate connoisseur but they are reliably tasty. And not as spendy as Vosges, which is probably special occasions only.)

Also, I should maybe have remembered that while I do drink hot chocolate now and again, by some quirk I am unable to handle (cold) chocolate milk. The last three times I attempted to drink chocolate milk, on three separate occasions, I threw up. I don't know why, but I find the stuff nauseating. (And yet the artificially flavored banana milk we got in Korea was fine.) At least this time I had the good sense to give up early on in the enterprise.

2. It is not so much that the lizard spoiled the ending of Van Helsing for me, since I had no intention of seeing it, but that she had seen it (with, whom else, Grandpa) and said, "It's good! I recommend it."

3. I found my Fox Tarot deck hiding behind the Manga Tarot deck. I'm not sure what this portends, but probably something.
[personal profile] sovay
Courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks: a perfect photo. This is A.L. "Whitey" Shafer's submission to the inaugural Hollywood Studios' Still Show in 1941, incorporating all ten elements of violence, sex, and sin banned by the Production Code.



I kind of assume everybody wants to see that movie.
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
But it did make me realize nobody wanted me to read this (yet) and technically it just falls within the parameters of the Tears reviews.

The Many Coloured Land

Except I only read it because one of my profs was nuts about it. Me, not so much.

social hubs and social spokes

Sep. 1st, 2014 03:42 pm
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
I don't know where I first saw this metaphor (it was years and years ago), but somewhere I saw the idea that some people are social hubs, and others are social spokes. Hubs are people with tons and tons of connections to others; they sprout connections like breathing, it seems, and they're at the center of this amazing network. Whereas spokes are people who kind of rely on others to form the network, rather than being at the center of their own or forming one easily themselves.

I've always thought of myself as a spoke; I like being connected to lots of people, but I don't naturally grow such a network myself. I'm often more likely to stand back a bit and hope someone will reach out to me.

Geoff, on the other hand, is a hub par excellence, which is one of the reasons he's a great person for me to have in my life. (Except, of course, that his fannish network is almost totally unconnected to mine, heh.)

some things

Sep. 1st, 2014 11:17 am
[personal profile] thistleingrey
* The Joseon annals (sillok, 실록) are on the web. So is some material in the Kerala State Central Library Rare Books repository.

* I also hadn't known that bayrische Tanz exists in Chile (I knew a little about Argentina, but not Chile). Note the presence of two female dancers for each male dancer, and the locally influenced scarves pinned to the women's shoulders. The leg-slapping part looks especially familiar: I've no idea about regional nuance to the patterning, but my father showed me something similar once that he'd learned before ~1950 in the next province over.

That time, I was trying to find a representative clip of polka dance for Reason.

* I've watched Lee Michelle's debut song thrice in a row. It's titled "Without you (위드아웃 유)" (the hangeul is a phonetic rendering of the English); English subtitles are available there if one turns on closed captioning.

One ought to say more than that about the video. It has excellent use of color, if a bit unsubtle for those who have been living for the last little while. (Lee is b. 1991.) Someone snappier than I could discuss Lacan here; I donwanna.

Graveyard Dust, by Barbara Hambly

Sep. 1st, 2014 10:51 am
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Benjamin January # 3! This one was way less grim than Fever Season. I realize that's easy to say, so I will give it an independent grimness rating.

Grimness of content: Medium. Racism and other isms, slavery, murder; child abuse is discussed but not shown.

Grimness of tone: Low. The subtitle is "a novel of suspense" and that accurately describes the tone. It's a very atmospheric mystery with some excellent action and really great characters. I loved everyone in this book, except for the villains and racists, obviously. Also, it contains a number of fun tropes, including hurt-comfort, creepy pottery, courtroom drama, spirit possession, and dodging alligators in the bayou. Plus Marie Laveau. The plot is very well-constructed and entertaining. And there's some very funny banter, plus a number of dramatic, alarming, and/or hilarious courtroom scenes.

Benjamin January is a devout Catholic and regularly prays for the soul of his sister Olympe, a voodoo practitioner. When Olympe is railroaded into jail for poisoning a man, mostly due to prejudice against voodoo, Ben gets on the case.

I really enjoyed the portrayal of voodoo. Hambly has an afterword discussing her research (she's a historian) and interviews with current practitioners where she gives a sense of how varied the practice and history is-- as is the case in any religion. From Ben's outsider/insider perspective, it's simultaneously alien and disturbing, familiar and enticing. It was a great way to convey how any religion is sustaining and ordinary for its followers, and exotic and weird to outsiders who don't understand it. Marie Laveau is one of my favorite characters in the series, and she naturally has a big part in this.

For the first time, supernatural forces appear as a (possibly) real force. The vivid scenes of spirit possession can be interpreted as simply the power of belief, but they make more sense if the Loa are objectively real. I liked the delicate balance of deniability at play through the whole book.

Since my favorite thing about this series is the characters, I'll do a check-in. Augustus Mayerling, the sword master who was one of my favorites from the first book, re-appears. Poor Hannibal is so sick with consumption that it was a relief to know while reading that he's still alive ten books later-- he spends most of the book either in bed or helping Ben with various tasks while trying not to pass out. (Someone said he's based on George Alec Effinger? Can you enlarge on that?) Rose makes some satisfying appearances, though I wish she was in the story more. Ben's awful mother Livia is still hilariously, deliciously catty. Olympe and her family have nice big roles-- I really like her, her husband, and her son Gabriel. And Ben has a really satisfying character arc.

Graveyard Dust

family things

Sep. 1st, 2014 11:55 pm
[personal profile] jhameia
I had dinner last night with cousins from my dad's side, who we don't often see. Growing up, they were just as far away from us as cousins from my mom's side, but we saw them less often. Which bugs me. I asked my dad once, why don't we have meals with them more often? He said, "well, it's kind of hard to eat with them, since they're Muslim." Which made no sense to me, because we live in a Muslim country, and you actually have to look for the NON-halal restaurants.

Anyway, it was a great dinner. My cousin graduated from an interior design diploma a few months ago, and then finished her piano exams, and thus now qualifies as a teacher, so that's what she's been doing. She's also twenty-one, and tiny. I mean, like, 4' 8" or something. Cute as a button.

I saw her again today; her friend got her to her job interview this morning (she got hired, obvsly), then they swung by to get me out to Shah Alam. My family doesn't go out there too often; it's an unspoken thing that Shah Alam is predominantly Malay, so it kind of makes a lot of middle-class Chinese people uncomfortable.

Anyway, my aunt, cousin, cousin's friend and I went out for a Nyonya lunch (fried siakap and inchi-kabin, nom), then we went fabric shopping. It turns out my aunt and cousin also sew! I got to try out their Very Old Sewing Machine, even. It's so old it's not even electric. Takes a bit of doing though; you gotta get it going first before you start pedaling. It's fascinating.

We went to Jakel, which is a five-storey fabric store. I mostly wanted to get some stuff for a dress for my friend's wedding in December. I got a nice mint-y green thing, with a matching darker green songket material. Merdeka sale day means bopping an RM33/m price down to RM25/m. I also got myself some lycra material, and even lycra lace! Yay! That stuff should be able to make some ten pairs of underwear XD

We meant to go to Nagoya, but they had to go home to pray first (my uncle converted to Islam when in Saudi Arabia, so his family is Muslim with varying levels of piousness), and we rested instead. I showed Ray (my cousin) pictures of our aunt-cousin in Portland, who also sews, and explained bra mechanics to her (Ray, being so small, will probably had to start making her own stuff).

So, yeah, a good day. I'm hoping to get up to Penang sometime, and take Ray along, because she's never been to the columbrium where our grandparents' ashes are held.

Twin B is Off to Seek His Fortune

Sep. 1st, 2014 10:18 am
[personal profile] malkingrey
Or a job in Pittsburgh, at any rate, since jobs there are thicker on the ground than they are in Colebrook (where the basic options are farmer, logger, and bagger at the IGA.) He'll be staying with the Elder Son, who has a spare bedroom in his apartment and lives near the public transit lines.

And this means, among other things, that Himself and I have actually done the thing where we successfully get four kids through college and out into the world.

My brain, let me show you it.

Sep. 1st, 2014 08:45 am
[personal profile] kass
How you can tell I am steeping happily in fannish love: even when I try to write RL things about RL stuff, what I write winds up being about the Doctor if you squint. *grin*

I've acquired the second ep of the new season but haven't watched it yet -- my sweetie does not share my love of recent iterations of the Doctor, and it is no fun watching something I adore with someone who I know is not enjoying it -- I'm saving it for tomorrow night when I will watch with [personal profile] sanj, who has graciously agreed to come share my squee.

Meanwhile I'm gleefully hunting for things to reblog on tumblr, such as a whole post devoted to the Doctor's fingers. One of the many things I love about fandom: people who share my fixation on beautiful competent hands. ♥

Today's a holiday in the States, which means no preschool for Mr. Kid. I've scheduled a mama/kid playdate at our house for later this morning. For now, we're lounging in the living room watching Toy Story 2 for the zillionth time. And I have iced coffee. So life is good.
[personal profile] sovay
So I am not at the HFA's all-night Joan Crawford marathon tonight. Instead, [livejournal.com profile] derspatchel and I went to dinner with [livejournal.com profile] saira_ali, M., and Saira's sisters who were visiting from out of town. We went to Journeyman.

Wow.

I had never eaten at Journeyman before. I had the vague belief that I had once eaten at a restaurant with a tasting menu, but mostly because I remembered being served tomato granita as an amuse-bouche. As I wrote to my mother when I got home, to the best of my ability to recall, over the course of four hours we ate:

Pickled sea bass with beet granita and crème fraîche. The sea bass was densely savory, the granita vegetable-sweet, the crème fraîche astringent. It was an astonishing start and everything that followed lived up to its implications.

Clams on yellow watermelon with pickled cucumber and corn, tiny mushrooms, some finely diced stone fruit (best guesses peach or yellow plum), and what looked like sorrel to me. My favorite for the combination and scope of textures and flavors. The clams were sweet clean brine.

Heirloom tomato terrine with jalapeño-and-cucumber sorbet and rabbit rillettes ("gefilte rabbit"). It was extremely beautiful to look at, like millefiori glass or a non-terrifying version of Jell-O salad. I loved the little slice of striped green tomato like a miniature watermelon.

(Probably between two earlier courses, the server brought us bread, which was dark and very delicious, with butter and olive oil. I kept using bits of it to mop up leftover sauces, purées, and reductions.)

Grilled octopus over a kind of mole with thinly sliced radish and a sweet corn reduction (i.e., Things Made from Corn). There were chopped pistachios on the other plates, sprinkled attractively between the three stations of octopus.

Deep-fried egg yolk over a sweet pepper sauce with little croutons and bonito flakes on top. It sort of imploded juicily if you ate it in one bite. No grease.

Tiny buckwheat pancakes topped with rolls of duck breast and a sweet onion purée. My favorite for sheer deliciousness and the fact that, due to Rob needing a replacement without onion, I was lucky enough to eat two. They were garnished with anise flowers.

Locally caught sea bass over French lentils with salmon roe on top and a lemon sauce underneath. I am fairly certain I ate the delicious leftover fish skin off the plate of someone who didn't want it.

Loin of mutton and mutton shoulder over soft-cooked sunflower seeds, pickled corn, and cumin-spiced carrot purée. The loin was a meltingly rare slice, the shoulder a shreddy, savory cube. I left no sunflower seeds and am still surprised.

(This was the last of the savory dishes; there was a break for coffee and tea. There was also a lot of alcohol going on, but I didn't take notes on it. We were allowed to order off the Backbar menu, so my last drink was an avocado mocktail with coconut milk. Would buy from seller again. Frequently.)

A cheese plate with eight kinds of cheese, including two splendid goat's milk cheeses and one sheep's milk which I kind of hoarded, a cheddar so sharp that Rob was the only person who loved it and happily ate it all to himself, and one soft cheese that tasted like socks and everybody left on the plate. We all felt bad about that, but not bad enough to eat it.

A sweet tea gelatin that I could not eat because it was black tea, but admired visually, tannin-amber and dotted with a savory whey reduction.

An assortment of custards, ice creams, and sorbets; mine was plum sorbet with condensed pear and slices of fresh peach. Rob had a buttermilk sorbet and hay custard with crystallized apple. Saira had an extraordinary sour plum ice cream that I mooched.

A plateful of tiny little cookies and pastries, including olive oil macarons and shortbread with ([personal profile] yhlee alert!) cherry blossom jam. We drank Saira's flight of chinato and ran out of room.

Somehow, after that, we walked home.

Rob took pictures. I'll link if he posts them. [edit] Behold! It was an incredible gift of an evening and some of the most beautifully prepared as well as uniquely delicious food I have had in a long time. Company delightful, drinks ridiculous. I walked back into the conversation on the phrase "hug a cactus" and I really feel that was the best possible entry point.

Rabbit, rabbit. Yay.

"A little butterball"

Sep. 1st, 2014 03:43 am
[personal profile] rosefox
I just weighed Sam and she's up to 11.2 pounds! Hooray! That's actually slightly more than she weighed at her last annual checkup (10.9 pounds). I'm so relieved that the weight loss was caused by an environmental/social thing that we could correct, and wasn't a sign of a dire health issue. When we feed her high-protein kibble in a place where she doesn't feel she has to compete with the other cats, she happily chows down. It's splendid to see her in such good appetite and back to her normal healthy size.

For weight maintenance, the kibble bag suggests feeding her 1/4 cup twice a day. I might give just a little more than that, since Alex sometimes sneaks in and gets a bit of it, but that should be enough to keep her happy.

Weighing her means weighing myself--she doesn't stay on the scale when I put her there, of course, so I weigh myself alone and then holding her and do the appropriate subtraction--but so far that hasn't bothered me. I just have to be careful to only do it once a month. Otherwise I start thinking about my body shape in numerical terms, which I really don't like doing.

In cat drama news, Alex has taken to chasing Sam out of her litter box when he sees her using it. This is Very Not Okay. He also chases her around at night if they end up in the living room at the same time. If I leave my door open at night he sings the "I killed it! Look, look!" song just outside until I wake up and stagger out to see whether he's killed a bug or a cat toy, and sometimes he skitters in and paws under my closet door at imaginary critters. We took him off the Prozac because he seemed to be doing well and getting along fairly well with the other cats, and I'd rather not put him back on it just because he's a rambunctious young cat full of energy, but Sam is nearly ten years old and was never really interested in playing the way Alex wants to play, and I need to be able to sleep through the night.

I tried keeping her in my room last night, and shutting Alex out. That worked okay, since she has food and water here and would be happy to snuggle me until the end of days, but she woke me after about seven hours to ask to be let out to use the box. Tonight I moved her box into my room (to the spot where she peed when she had the UTI) and hopefully she'll make use of it in a fairly quiet way that doesn't require waking me.

Poor Alex. When he saw me today after being shut out all night, he was SO loving and purring and nuzzling and love-biting. I hate locking him out. :( But he can handle it better than Sam can, by which I mean he doesn't howl at my door when he's separated from me for a few minutes, and I'll make sure to give him lots of love and access to my windowsill during the day.
[personal profile] troisroyaumes
Hello all! I just got back from spending a week in Singapore, where I got to hang out with [personal profile] dozing_dreams, [personal profile] readerofasaph, [personal profile] lacewood, [personal profile] delfinnium, [personal profile] issenllo, [livejournal.com profile] harumi, [twitter.com profile] m4gur0, [personal profile] jhameia (and briefly, a few of [personal profile] jhameia's friends, [personal profile] jolantru, [twitter.com profile] monkeygod, and [twitter.com profile] halleluyang). We ate a lot of amazing food (and had our fill of durian!), and hopefully, I will actually post up photos and write an account!

But before I get around to that, I wanted to briefly signalboost: Perfect Copy, a remix challenge for Kuroko no Basuke, went live this past week.

[personal profile] qem_chibati has posted up a useful index to all the fanfiction and fanart submissions at [community profile] kuroko_no_basket. Please go take a look!

Here are some recs: Perfect Copy recs )

Also, a group of my friends worked together on a project to write five school swap AUs, and those fics went up last week at Kuroko no Basuke Divergence Week. Obviously, I am biased but I still wholeheartedly rec all of them!

Full list of fics )

Excellent zine

Aug. 31st, 2014 10:47 pm
[personal profile] badgerbag
Back from the zinefest etc.

I am reading the three issues of an extremely good zine, Moonroot, some of the best writing I've seen in a while. It's great. I highly recommend it! fucking excellent!!!!

http://moonroot.tumblr.com/

Wish I'd had more time to talk with the folks at their table but I had to scoot off and go to the panel/discussion.

OK.

Onwards.

Apparently I got someone arrested

Sep. 1st, 2014 12:41 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
On my way over to catch the bus, noticed a guy sleeping on the edge of the bus lane, next to the wall that defines its edge. Safe where he was but one roll away from being where bus tires pass. Pointed him out to a security guard on the grounds being crushed under a bus is not restful. Found out this evening a very drunk guy was arrested at the terminal about the time I pointed the fellow out, so I guess that is what happened.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Aug. 31st, 2014 10:52 pm
[personal profile] telophase
I have counted at least 23 mosquito bites on me. 14 of those are on one leg.

On Saturday we went over to the new house of my brother-in-law and his girlfriend to help them and Toby's parents lay sod and do other work in the backyard. Twice, I saw mosquitos on me, but didn't realize how bad it was until this morning. (I did put mosquito repellant on, but not until after I saw the Mosquitos...oops.)

Driving me crazy, of course. I think I may resort to Zyrtec tonight, even though it knocks me out and makes me fuzzy-headed the day after I take it.

My legs remind me of the way they were when we lived in Tanzania. I was always eaten up with bug bites, and you can still see the faint network of scars on my skin from it.

And now I know

Aug. 31st, 2014 09:52 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Ibid has a meow for "Put me down so I can run over and groom Groucho."

ARGH

Aug. 31st, 2014 08:32 pm
[personal profile] telophase
Latest Wordpress update broke the way the theme I made displays category posts (i.e., the list of categories gets a 404) so guess what I get to spend Labor Day doing? Yes, that's right, recoding a *&^*^& theme! Because now the ConDFW website doesn't display a nice list of guests when you ask it to, instead it displays a 404 page.

It's definitely fault of the child theme I coded--I've checked all the plugins and its not them, and it works when I deactivate the child theme and stops working when I re-activate it. Man, I don't even know where the hell to start looking to find the problem. :P

Two pictures

Aug. 31st, 2014 07:37 pm
[personal profile] telophase
Remember how Sora feels about the white fluffy carpet in my office? (If you don't: he hates it and does his best not to step on it.) It's not just that carpet--he doesn't like our brown bathmats, either. We recently got a cat mat, which has two different surface textures and a ball attached to it. He's adopted the mat as his own, but...

cut for Sora pic )

Also, our first harvest!

cut for photo )

WTF?

Aug. 31st, 2014 07:12 pm
[personal profile] kass
Is there seriously no boxed set for all five seasons of Leverage? How can this be?
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll



I mostly made this post to address this Daily Dot article that went around earlier this week (How The Growing Generation Gap Is Changing The Face Of Fandom) The basic premise was that NineWorlds = good and inclusive because it’s a young con run by young people! And WorldCon = awful on the diversity front because old white men.

Well. I attended both cons as a young queer Asian woman and I think that’s a pretty unfair assessment of what the cons were actually like.

This pleases me

Aug. 31st, 2014 03:46 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
IMG_00000236

It's squirrel footprints preserved in sidewalk concrete.

High summer at the farmer's market

Aug. 31st, 2014 12:29 pm
[personal profile] mme_hardy
It's a glorious summer day, not hazy nor nastily hot -- at least not by American standards; according to THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE-OFF, 25C is sweltering.

Our very favorite lily vendor, who moved to Texas because he couldn't afford land here, then moved back after the credit crunch killed his greenhouse business, was set up.  He recognized me and we must have talked for five minutes.   He's now mostly selling vegetables with some buckets of lilies for old times' sake.  We got his dry-farmed tomatoes, including a deeply-ridged variety he said was Mayan, a head of buttercrunch lettuce, and an armful of fragrant lilies.

Other than that?  3 pints of Lucero dry-farmed strawberries, small, intense, and with a shelf life of about 15 minutes;  3 pints of blackberries and raspberries; big-as-my-fist yellow nectarines that were the best  at the market but will have to be cut up for dessert tomorrow, tonight being reserved for strawberries; gorgeous fat leeks; fresh red onions on the stem; Chinese greens of various sorts;  one perfect sunset-colored dahlia the size of a newborn's head; a bunch of yellow dahlias; two messes of haricots; a 3-pound grass-fed London broil, the last of the season from that farm, on sale for $10 off because it was thawing; 1/2 pound of roasted salted almonds; piopparello mushrooms;  and (!!!!) fresh ginger leaves for steaming fish in.   

I wouldn't live anywhere else.


off to the zine fest

Aug. 31st, 2014 12:40 pm
[personal profile] badgerbag
Leg not too good, ankle also, painkillering up to cab to the zine fest. I am on a panel at 3pm.

Not sure if I can make it to Oakland today but I will give it a good try.

zach came by to show me his new scooter hacks, which are amazing, and brought me a really big comfy foam cushioned seat back with a wood panel backing, for my travelscoot, which will be really good if I hack it down to half its size and bolt it nicely on. Or maybe a large amount of velcro backing and some sort of clip. It needs to be as portable as possible. i am super touched he brought it. The new hacks are a big power converter so his huge 35 amp hour batteries can now charge a car charger port mounted in the scooter side. There are also new speakers which he scavenged from noisebridge and mounted on the back in older looking cases so no one will steal them. they fit perfectly! soon to come, a microphone (xlr) jack so he can plug a mic straight into the scooter speakers.

hannah's board game party was fun yesterday. i feel glad to hold my friends close.

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