larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Default)
2025-12-31 10:00 am

Stickie introductory post

Characters frequently appearing in this drama:

  • I - your humble narrator, sometime writer and poet (preferred pronoun: he/him/his)

  • Janni - spouse and writer (preferred pronoun: she/her/her)

  • TBD - nom de internet of our child, not yet a writer (preferred pronoun: they/them/their)
larryhammer: a wisp of colored smoke, label: "softly and suddenly vanished away" (vanished)
2017-10-16 08:05 am

"The dead are sad enough, in their eternal silence."

For Poetry Monday, another ghost story:

Hotel Window, Edward Hirsch

Aura of absence, vertigo of non-being --
could I ever express what happened?
It was nothing, really, or next to nothing.

I was standing at the window at dusk
watching the cabs or the ghosts of cabs
lining up on the other side of the street

like yellow ferryboats waiting to cross
a great divide. All afternoon the doorman
whistled through the shadows, Charon

slamming doors and shouting orders
at traffic piling up along the curb.
People got into cars and disappeared --

ordinary people, tourists, businessmen --
while fog thickened the city's features
and emptied out the color. I don't know

how long I stood there as darkness
inhabited air itself, but suddenly,
when it happened, everything seemed dis-

jointed, charged with non-existence,
as if a vast, drowned lake was rising
invisibly- permanently- from the ground.

At the same time nothing really changed,
footsteps still echoed in the hallway
and laughter flared up the stairwell,

the passengers flinging themselves into cabs
never noticed they were setting forth
on a voyage away from their bodies.

I felt within a sickening emptiness --
intangible, unruly -- and I remember
lying down on the floor of the room ...

Then the phone rang and it was over.
Nothing happened -- it took only a moment --
and it was dizzying, relentless, eternal.

Hirsch was born in 1950 and is still writing and publishing poetry, criticism, and guides to reading poetry.


Subject quote from Maurice Ravel, responding to criticism that "Le tombeau de Couperin" wasn't somber enough.
larryhammer: Yotsuba Koiwai running, label: "enjoy everything" (enjoy everything)
2017-10-13 08:04 am

"a moment's thought is passion's passing bell"

Links, links, links -- always with the links. Have to keep myself entertained somehow. It's that or post origami:

Why we can't just throw all our trash into volcanos. (via)

Why didn't I know The Toast did summaries of Byron poems? Behold the accuracy of "On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year." Bonus link: Portaits of Byron rated by how Byronic they are.

Get to Know Your Japanese Bathroom Ghosts. (via)


Subject quote from "Lamia," part II, l.39, John Keats.
larryhammer: Yotsuba Koiwai running, label: "enjoy everything" (enjoy everything)
2017-10-12 08:02 am

"The game is more than the player of the game / And the ship is more than the crew!"

Crowdsourcing one's con panels is, of course, an old tradition. The panel in question, SF/Fantasy for Preschoolers, isn't for a month -- but that's not a lot of time to review new material.

So -- any recommendations?

Picture books and early readers preferred -- shorter chapter books and age-appropriate comics are good, of course, but the focus is on rec'ing genre books for kids who are not quite reading or just starting to read. As for the genre, we'd like to exclude anthropomorphized animals/vehicles/objects as a class, at least when that's the only unrealistic element, as generally the animal/vehicle/etc. is a stand-in for the child reader rather than one element of a fantasy. Thus Adam Rex's School's First Day of School is out, regretfully, though his Moon Day is very much in.*

Feel free to signal boost this post.

* If you have a picture book consumer in your life who has not been introduced to either of these books, rectify this. Both are TOTALLY recommended.


Subject quote from "A Song in Storm," Rudyard Kipling.
larryhammer: a woman wearing a chain mail hoodie, label: "chain mail is sexy" (chain mail is sexy)
2017-10-11 09:29 am

"But when two hares are bounding side by side, / How can you then tell female from the male?"

Time for another installment in that intermitant feature, a Reading Wednesday report. Aside from a backlong of Yuletide fanfic, I finished one book:

Batgirl at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee, which is book #3 of a series of YA tie-in novels for the web-based animated series DC Super Hero Girls (which frankly amazes me: it's an officially produced high school AU focusing on female supers, including future villains). We've read with TBD some of the younger-suitable material (early readers and comic books) but this is definitely too old for them. Enjoyed it as escapist fluff reading by a good writer. FWIW, I now have #1 from the library, but haven't gotten into it yet (partly because the opening, in which naive Wonder Woman first leaves Themyscira, skirts embarrassment humor).


As far as the Big Brick aka Minford & Lau's Classical Chinese Literature v1, am a little short of halfway through (I'm up to the Six Dynasties period of disunion between the unified empire of the Han and Tang dynasties) but am a little more than halfway through all my available renewals from the library. Oops. I may jump to chapters covering topics I'm less well read on (that is, skip the High Tang poets).

Poems Dead and Undead ed. by Tony Barnstone and Michelle Mitchell-Foust, which is yet another Everyman's Library pocket anthology. I want to like this more, but it hadn't really engaging me. This may be me -- I think I was expecting something with more monsters, but that's another anthology by the same editors. Certainly the idea of poems grouped into corporeal undead / incorporeal undead / devils+angels strikes me as a good thing, and I'm meeting new stuff that I like. And yet. Have picked my way about halfway through.

Plus boning up on canon for my Yuletide assignment, but I can't talk about that oops.


Subject quote from "The Ballad of Mulan," Anonymous tr. John Frodsham.
larryhammer: a wisp of colored smoke, label: "softly and suddenly vanished away" (endings)
2017-10-09 07:53 am

"the sea's listless chime: / Time's self it is, made audible, / The murmur of the earth's own shell"

For Poetry Monday, another bit of nature versus urban life.

Subway Wind, Claude McKay

Far down, down through the city’s great gaunt gut
    The gray train rushing bears the weary wind;
In the packed cars the fans the crowd’s breath cut,
    Leaving the sick and heavy air behind.
And pale-cheeked children seek the upper door
    To give their summer jackets to the breeze;
Their laugh is swallowed in the deafening roar
    Of captive wind that moans for fields and seas;
Seas cooling warm where native schooners drift
    Through sleepy waters, while gulls wheel and sweep,
Waiting for windy waves the keels to lift
    Lightly among the islands of the deep;
Islands of lofty palm trees blooming white
    That led their perfume to the tropic sea,
Where fields lie idle in the dew-drenched night,
    And the Trades float above them fresh and free.

McKay was a Jamaican-American poet and novelist of the Harlem Renaissance.


Subject quote from "The Sea-Limits," Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
larryhammer: Yotsuba Koiwai running, label: "enjoy everything" (enjoy everything)
2017-10-06 07:53 am

"Lilac and star and bird twined with the chant of my soul, / There in the fragrant pines"

Some links about people:

John McPhee finally let someone profile him, and it wasn't published in The New Yorker. (Has McPhee ever written about being a fire lookout? I don't think so, yet it feels like it'd be a natural subject for him.)

"Ten years as a lookout on a fire tower requires a particular aptitude for idleness."

That Awkward Moment When Your Twin Brother Is a U.S. Citizen at Birth, But You’re Not. (via)


Subject quote from "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d," Walt Whitman.
larryhammer: drawing of a wildhaired figure dancing, label: "La!" (celebrate)
2017-10-05 09:42 am

"watch the pattern take form / children your time is done / if you say it's done together"

In lieu of the usual monthly TBD report, which I haven’t pulled together,*** a single anecdatum:

TBD found the pilot of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic so scary they didn’t watch another episode until a week later, and only after parental prescreening confirmed it's much less dark.* The ponies nonetheless immediately became part of pretend play, with scenarios being routinely interrupted by everyone turning into My Little Ponies for a detached adventure, before turning back into whoever they were beforehand. Rainbow Dash is definitely Favorite Pony—right after watching episode 2, I was told TBD wants to be Rainbow Dash for Halloween next year.**

* The pilot is darker than either Frozen or Moana. Surprisingly so.

** We already have his year’s costume, Batgirl.

*** I'll double up next month.


Subject quote from "Watershed," Vienna Teng.
larryhammer: a woman wearing a chain mail hoodie, label: "chain mail is sexy" (chain mail is sexy)
2017-10-03 08:20 am

"Napoleon turned his charger’s head and fled from the field, / With his heart full of woe, no doubt"

Given Yuletide 2017 is upon us, I should post recs from last year's collection, as I somehow never got around to it. Hmm -- I wonder why. 'Tis a shame, as there's lots of good stuff -- and that's with barely scratching the vertices.

The best poetry fic of the season is Second Chance, an Ancient History RPF that slashes Scipio Africanus/Hannibal Barca in rhyming quatrains. Yes, really. Takes place long after Zama, thankfully (during battle would … not be my thing). The competition: Fragments from a Lost Manuscript, giving Greek lyric snippets of a retelling of the Iliad (which I liked for obvious, entirely personal reasons). Yeah, only two this year. Time to step things up here.

My favorite ancient history RPF, though, is Say to Them, based on a 1750 BCE letter to Ea-Nasir, a copper merchant of Ur, sometimes described as the first complaint letter.

The Dead Authors Fanfic: Christopher Marlowe and Walt Whitman is a silly fic for a silly conceit, in which H.G. Wells uses his time machine to interview other authors. Excellent use of Whitman at his slashiest.

Working over to traditional materials, The Tale of Rasul and Rawiya is an original story in the manner of the 1001 Nights, based on an illustration in the manner of same. Tight fairytale writing.

Merrily in Springtime convincingly explains why the Sheriff never sees through any of Robin Hood's disguises: prosopagnosia. Good character writing all around.

Moving on to modern fandoms, there were a couple excellent post-canon Earthsea fics: The Empty Sky is Ged and Tenar post-canon observing Sunreturn, which is absolutely lovely, while The Ending From the Beginning is Penthe as a grandmother learning of the death of Tenar a.k.a. Ahra-that-was, which brings up interesting Earthsea theology.

My favorite Lord Peter Wimsey fic is the missing story of how Miss Murchison got married and left the Cattery: Prelude and Fugue on the name of B.A.C.H. (spurious?). And yes, Bach organ music is involved. Honorable mentions, though, for A Brief History of the Patronage of Beatie Wilson, about the oldest daughter of the villain of Gaudy Night, and Like As the Hart, a slice of Harriet the week after the end of GN.

My favorite fic on Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief is On Political Murder, giving us young Heiro's start at running Attolia's domestic espionage department. It does get a run for the money from The Dolphin's Promise (ETA: link fixed), about Helen of Eddis' experiences with pirates in the islands of the Middle Sea.

My fave Tamora Pierce fic is A True and Honest Thought, a retelling of the first two-thirds of Sandry's Book from the POV of Niko, focused tightly on his relationship with Tris. Well-told and well-characterized.

My fave Imperial Radch fic is Make Some Tea, Lieutenant Seivarden, a post-canon study of Mercy of Kalr, who is still getting used to using she.

My fave Vorkosigan fic was The Huntsman's Reel, in which Lady Alys Vorpatril helps Simon Illyan thwart Cetagandan assassins at an Imperial reception, while dancing together.

I actually liked one of the His Dark Materials fics (I often don't): Selected Moments in Introductory Symbology -- which is basically Lyra, After, organized around the symbols of the alethiometer.

In the Kipling side of things, I liked the story of The Bisara of the Hills, which is a tale of Strickland (from some of the Plain Tales from the Hills) with crossover appearances by Lisbeth, Stalky, and Kimball O'Hara. The telling, though, didn't manage to nail Kipling's voice/manner, alas.

(And speaking of Kipling, an older Yuletide rec from 2014 that I somehow never got around to posting: The Impressionists - Part Two is a Kim + Stalky & Co. crossover, narrated in good Kiplingesque fashion by entirely different characters with agendas different from those they describe. It did better than the above at catching the Kipling voice as well as structure. Canon knowledge strongly recommended, given the slantways framing.)

And the prize for most excellent weird thing goes to Linguistic Assignations, for the fandom Languages (Anthropomorphic). You know that quip about English lurking in dark alleys to rob other languages for spare vocabulary? This is the backstory, going all the way back to Proto-Indo-European.

And that clears out my bookmarks. At least for now.


Subject quote from "The Battle of Waterloo," William McGonagall. I should nominate a McGonagall work for YT someday -- maybe the Tey Bridge trilology?
larryhammer: topless woman lying prone with Sappho painted on her back, label: "Greek poetry is sexy" (mythology)
2017-10-02 09:28 am

Dear Yulemouse 2017

(Context: Yuletide is an annual fanfiction gift exchange for fandoms with relatively few fics, notable for its large number of participants and the high average quality of stories. I'm participating again this year, once more offering and requesting only public-domain fandoms.)

Dear Yulemouse,

Thank you for offering to write in at least one of these fandoms. They are awesome, and you are too. I can only hope you enjoy writing a story as much as I will reading it -- for certainly, there will be squees ringing off the mountains when it arrives given, dude, it's in a fandom I wanted.

The best way you can please me is if you have fun. Wit, sex, dramatic irony, and cracktasticly silly rom-com are all possibilities, but go with whatever floats your boats. Gen, het, slash (including femslash), and poly are all great. As a limited guide to the sort of things I like, my stories on AO3 is as good as anything. Turn-offs (do not want!) are humiliation-based humor, sadism, and torture in general. Find something and make it your own, the thing you love writing, and it's easy odds I'll like it.

The rest of this expands a little on my Optional Details Are Optional, with comments on possible resources.

Tang Dynasty RPF )

Tale of the Bamboo Cutter )

The Ballad of East and West )

Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio )

larryhammer: canyon landscape with saguaro and mesquite trees (cactus)
2017-10-02 08:13 am

"faith is both the prison and the open hand / bells on low on high / ring for Augustine tonight"

Missed Poetry Monday last week because I was in the hospital waiting to have a kidney stone removed. So here's a belated High Holiday poem:

Yom Kippur, Taos, New Mexico, by Robin Becker

I’ve expanded like the swollen door in summer
        to fit my own dimension. Your loneliness

is a letter I read and put away, a daily reminder
        in the cry of the magpie that I am

still capable of inflicting pain
        at this distance.

Like a painting, our talk is dense with description,
        half-truths, landscapes, phrases layered

with a patina over time. When she came into my life
        I didn’t hesitate.

Or is that only how it seems now, looking back?
        Or is that only how you accuse me, looking back?

Long ago, this desert was an inland sea. In the mountains
        you can still find shells.

It’s these strange divagations I’ve come to love: midday sun
        on pink escarpments; dusk on gray sandstone;

toe-and-finger holes along the three hundred and fifty-seven foot
        climb to Acoma Pueblo, where the spirit

of the dead hovers about its earthly home
        four days, before the prayer sticks drive it away.

Today all good Jews collect their crimes like old clothes
        to be washed and given to the poor.

I remember how my father held his father around the shoulders
        as they walked to the old synagogue in Philadelphia.

"We're almost there, Pop," he said. "A few more blocks."
        I want to tell you that we, too, are almost there,

for someone has mapped this autumn field with meaning, and any day
        October brooding in me, will open to reveal

our names—inscribed or absent —
        among the dry thistles and spent weeds.

Disclaimer: I am not Jewish, but I live in a Reform Jewish-observing household. Also, I am not in Taos, but I live in the state next-door. And yes, doors do swell and tighten during the summer rainy season.


Subject quote from "Augustine," Vienna Teng.
larryhammer: text: "space/time OTP: because their love is everything" (space/time otp)
2017-09-29 02:48 pm

"Rocks upon rocks in dire confusion hurl’d, / A rent and formless mass, the rubbish of a world"

Some scholarly links. Feel free to school them as appropriate:

You can download free PDFs of all 21 volumes of the University of Chicago's Dictionary of Akkadian, with bonus link to a recording of part of Gilgamesh in the original. (via)

"In a breakthrough that disproves decades of conventional wisdom, two mathematicians have shown that two different variants of infinity are actually the same size." (via)

A very meaty article about the relationship between laws of physics and axioms of mathematics, and how they are selected. (The horrible title does not accurately represent the actual content.) (via?)


Subject quote from "Mador of the Moor," Canto I, James Hogg.
larryhammer: a woman wearing a chain mail hoodie, label: "chain mail is sexy" (warrior babe)
2017-09-20 08:28 am

"E'en now the west grows clear of storm and threat, / But midst the lightning did the fair sun die"

On the agenda today are owls, big ships, and valkyries:

The 100 Greatest Owl Pictures You'll Ever See is not inaccurately titled. Content warning: not actually a Buzzfeed listicle. (via)

Timelapse of 30 days on a container ship at sea, including unloading/loading at various ports. Content warnings: pretty thunderstorms, lack of owls. (via)

Famous Viking Warrior Had Two X Chromosomes, No Y Chromosome. At least, that's what the headline should have read. Content warning: lack of owls. (via)

And in conclusion, owls!


Subject quote from "The Earthly Paradise, introduction to July, William Morris.
larryhammer: a wisp of smoke, label: "it comes in curlicues, spirals as it twirls" (curlicues)
2017-09-19 08:23 am

"For arrogance and hatred are the wares / Peddled in the thoroughfares"

Bits of languages:

"Most of the time, I feel a little bit sorry for people who make horrendous translation mistakes. This is not one of those times." (via)

Finding lost languages in palimpsests with bonus library geekery. Note that these aren't previously unknown languages, but new texts for known lost ones. (via)

Inside the world of professional poetry plagiarism. (via lost)


Subject quote from "A Prayer for My Daughter," W. B. Yeats.
larryhammer: canyon landscape with saguaro and mesquite trees (desert)
2017-09-18 10:27 am

"all the signs read no gringo / but somehow we'll find our way"

For Poetry Monday, something a little different:

A Quarrel of Crows: A Villahaikunelle, Bruce Pratt

A quarrel of crows
glean treasure from torn trash bags
on a rural road,

strut and cakewalk with
raspy-throated posturing.
A quarrel of crows

strip away limp gray rind
like coyotes feasting on doe.
On a rural road,

coon-toppled barrels,
bequeath uneaten orts to
a quarrel of crows

who caw, grateful for
this dessicated banquet
on a rural road.

On the first Friday
of the last month of the year,
a quarrel of crows
on a rural road.

Needless to say, I approve of this formal variation, and want to see more done with it. Possibly something more imagistic.


Subject quote from "No Gringo," Vienna Teng.
larryhammer: Enceladus (the moon, not the mythological being), label: "Enceladus is sexy" (enceladus)
2017-09-15 08:27 am

"Stretch forth your open hands, and while ye live / Take all the gifts that Death and Life may give"

In honor of today's end of mission, here are some Saturn flyby movies using Cassini photos. (via)

ETA: Animation of some of Cassini's last photos, showing Enceladus setting behind Saturn.

The world's oldest known trigonometric table is a 3,700-year-old cuneiform tablet. It is, to boot, highly accurate. (via)

Rocket Man, Elton John (Official Music Video), directed by an Iranian refugee. (via Janni)


Subject quote, also in honor of Cassini, is from the "The Earthly Paradise," Introduction to March, William Morris.
larryhammer: drawing of a wildhaired figure dancing, label: "La!" (celebrate)
2017-09-14 08:00 am

"it's the crowded room that breaks me / everybody looks so luminous, and strangely young"

Because I had something better to do, I checked the number of AO3 fics for TV shows TBD has watched more than a couple trial episodes (that I can remember):

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: 0
Tayo the Little Bus: 0
The Wonder Pets!: 0
Peep in the Big Wide World: 0
The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: 0
Hurray for Huckle/Busytown Mysteries: 0
Chuggington: 0
Space Racers: 0
WordWorld: 2
Curious George: 4
Peppa Pig: 5 (all crossovers)
Dinosaur Train: 7 (half written for Yuletide 2012)
Blue's Clues: 8
Caillou: 11
Bob the Builder: 16
Dora the Explorer: 24
PAW Patrol: 46
Thomas & Friends: 80
Transformers: Rescue Bots: 270

The Thomas franchise has been around so long and Rescue Bots crosses over so much into the rest of the Transformers franchise, I don't it's fair to compare them to the others. OTOH, the large number of PAW Patrol fics speaks to just how engaging the show is: TBD interacts with it more enthusiastically than with any of the others, even those, like Blue's Clues and Dora, that invite viewer interaction. (Rocky is their favorite pup, because he fixes things.) Not to mention, has acquired more merch for it, not counting books.*

I'm most disappointed in the first number.** But there's still all the other zeroes. That's a lot of children's media filled with all sorts of fic-able holes that aren't getting filled, despite being co-watched by caretakers. Someone get on this, 'k?

* Books, it's the Marvel comics universe, hands down, with DC and Busytown not far behind.

** And that's even aside from how little Daniel's Dad, the original Daniel Striped Tiger grown up, has an absurdly sexy voice.


Subject quote from "Nothing Without You," Vienna Teng.
larryhammer: animation of the kanji for four seasonal birds fading into each other in endless cycle (birds)
2017-09-13 09:31 am

"and in their palaces, / Where luxury late reign'd, sea-monsters whelp'd / And stabled"

Reading Wednesday, with a few things to report --


Poems of the Sea ed. by J.D. McClatchy, another Everyman's Library pocket anthology, which I snorked down like wahoo. I especially appreciate the songs and chanteys section. And ending with Whitman. Not quite as good as the seasons one, but close, and scratches a different itch anyway.

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, which I greatly enjoyed, despite stalling a few chapters from the end for a week -- it's been that kind of reading time. Ragtag crew of a wormhole boring ship heading into a recent civil war zone on the prospect of a very well paying job, but unlike much space opera, the politics are downplayed to focus entirely on the crew and their relationships. I like the ways generic and individual characteristics are handled, and the whole crew in general. Want the sequel, even though it focuses on the character thread I'm least interested in.

In progress:

On Wings of Song ed. by J.D. McClatchy, yet another Everyman's Library pocket anthology, this one all about birds. My main complaint here is that there are too many very short sections, with title pages that take up space that could have been devoted to, yanno, poems. Am about halfway through, having just finished reading about owls.

Classical Chinese Literature v1 ed. by Minford & Lau -- crunching to about ~¼ in, having reached the Han dynasty. (One advantage, albeit a dubious one, of volume 2 being existentially challenged is not having to cross the Ming Dynasty without a camel, which is never fun.) I do like the editors' focus on how translations have been handled over the centuries, highlighting how western understanding of China and Chinese has changed -- as well as making sure ALL the modes are covered in reasonable depth. I think I very much need my own a copy of this.


Subject quote from "Paradise Lost" book XI, John Milton. Yes, I know, him.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Default)
2017-09-11 07:57 am

"it's desert ice outside but this diner has thawed my ears / hot coffee in a clean white mug"

For a Poetry Monday in a September that remains hot (highs still reaching 40°C):

Sestina d'Inverno, Anthony Hecht

Here in this bleak city of Rochester,
where there are twenty-seven words for “snow,”
not all of them polite, the wayward mind
basks in some Yucatan of its own making,
some coppery, sleek lagoon, or cinnamon island
alive with lemon tints and burnished natives,

and O that we were there. But here the natives
of this gray, sunless city of Rochester
have sown whole mines of salt about their land
(bare ruined Carthage that it is) while snow
comes down as if The Flood were in the making.
Yet on that ocean Marvell called the mind

an ark sets forth which is itself the mind,
bound for some pungent green, some shore whose natives
blend coriander, cayenne, mint in making
roasts that would gladden the Earl of Rochester
with sinfulness, and melt a polar snow.
It might be well to remember that an island

was blessed heaven once, more than an island,
the grand, utopian dream of a noble mind.
In that kind climate the mere thought of snow
was but a wedding cake; the youthful natives,
unable to conceive of Rochester,
made love, and were acrobatic in the making.

Dream as we may, there is far more to making
do than some wistful reverie of an island,
especially now when hope lies with the Rochester
Gas and Electric Co., which doesn’t mind
such profitable weather, while the natives
sink, like Pompeians, under a world of snow.

The one thing indisputable here is snow,
the single verity of heaven’s making,
deeply indifferent to the dreams of the natives,
and the torn hoarding-posters of some island.
Under our igloo skies the frozen mind
Holds to one truth: it is grey, and called Rochester.

No island fantasy survives Rochester,
where to the natives destiny is snow
that is neither to our mind nor of our making.

I don't think I could pull off using the name of a city as an end word in a sestina. For foreign context, the city in question is on the south shore of Lake Ontario, and northern winds pick up lake moisture and then dump it on the city as snow. all. winter. long.


Subject quote from "Homecoming (Walter's Song)," Vienna Teng.
larryhammer: drawing of a wildhaired figure dancing, label: "La!" (celebrate)
2017-09-05 08:07 am

"she faded into that newborn crowd / like a warning of what could be lost"

TBD is four years + four months old. Not as much noted down this month because life.

Achievements unlocked this last month: concentration-style games, a magnifying glass, twist-ties, recognizably writing own name (by copying letters from a model), rock paper scissors, camping, scrambling eggs.

Apparently Lunchbox Squarepants is the official headcanon name. Other media recently consumed eagerly include Paw Patrol, Space Racers, and Dinosaur Train -- as well as several Mandarin learning games, in part because we allow extra screen time for those. Which we do because TBD has started weekly Mandarin lessons at the local Chinese Cultural Center. As well as biweekly Hebrew school. Added to the occasional First Day School at Quaker Meeting, we have very full Sundays -- we'll see if this works out.

The camping trip was greatly enjoyed, as was hiking a mile without having to be carried (though we had to talk them into finishing the last 100 meters). TBD was disappointed we didn't do it again the next, holiday weekend. We're hoping this Friday night -- it's clear getting up the mountain is good for TBD, in many ways.

Lots of work at school and home on writing and drawing skills -- copying letters is only the start. One key skill I noticed: when coloring in an area, trying to color along the edge instead of stopping a line from crossing it.

Another key development: TBD is starting to volunteer more details about things that happen when we're not around.

Speaking of which, there's a few bits of talking, talking:

(while playing at camping, a campfire story was needed:)
"Once upon a time it was Halloween, and there were a lot of monsters, and a lot of ghosties, and a lot of zombies, and a lot of robots, and it was very spooooky. They all went out in the street, scaring people, and they went trick-or-treating because there were people inside, the end."

"If you smush a bug by accident, that's okay?"
"It's okay. It's good to try not to, but it happens."
"Mommy, you be the bug."

"Rock, paper, scissors, poop!"

"I wish we had a baby. Because I get lonely here."

Because sometimes, alas, the grownups have other things to do than play.


Subject quote from "St. Stephen's Cross," Vienna Teng.