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[personal profile] desperance
Day Minus Four, and this is the last of the easy days we get, this side of the countdown. Well, they're all fairly easy for me, obvs: all I have to do is shop and cook and wash dishes and keep an eye on Karen. But we've had a week of largely being in the apartment with no calls on our time; she's had injections morning and evening (when the doctors come to us), a regime of many pills, and that's been it.

Tomorrow morning, we go to hospital for a surgical procedure, to fit Karen with a port below her clavicle, a direct line into a blood vessel for both input and output. Thursday they tap her precious bodily fluids for a few hours, to filter out 117 million stem cells; then they immediately turn the tap the other way and pump in more chemo. And more yet on Friday. Saturday is Day Zero, when her stem cells are returned to her to start restoring an immune system, hopefully one with better discipline, that won't be trying to eat her hereafter.

These few days are going to be the hardest, by the doctors' own admission. After that it's a couple of weeks of recovery in more or less isolation. If you're curious, look up "neutropenia". Karen gets to eat astronaut food and/or very well-cooked meat & fish. No salads, no fresh veg, no fruits. We wear masks, and she probably doesn't leave the apartment. She probably won't want to.

And then we're done, or at least they're finished with us. We come home (and trust me, you have no idea how attractive those words sound), and spend the next year rebuilding Karen's health. Lots of home-cooked food (hah!), lots of rest. A degree of care in social contact [get your flu shots, people! Herd immunity is going to be our friend, for the foreseeable future]. An ongoing drug regime for a while, but nothing onerous. Oh, and making friends with the cats again, because we will smell of the vet.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
 This looks like another "young outcast discovers his powers" book.  Wow, is it not.   Trust me. In the very first scene, Kellen needs to fight a magecaster's duel.  

There are three requirements to earning a mage's name among the JanTep.  The first is the strength to defend your family.  The second is the ability to wield the high magics that protect our people.  The third is simply to reach the age of sixteen.  I was a few weeks shy of my birthday when I learned that I wouldn't be doing any of those things.

And we're off, into the duel.  Kellen's problem is that he doesn't have magic.   This is not a survivable problem.   But Kellep does have a very, very clever mind.  In a lesser book, Kellep would discover his magic and wipe the floor with his opponent, winning the acclaim of the crowd. 

This is not a lesser book.  Spellslinger is actually about a young outcast discovering and creating his own moral fiber.  Kellep's struggle, although he doesn't realize it early in the book, is to become a decent human being in an indecent society.  This is a far more interesting coming-of-age story than you usually get.   When the Mysterious Stranger shows up, she's not a kindly wizard mentor.  She's (possibly) not a wizard at all. She doesn't teach Kellep: she gives him opportunities to teach himself.  Kellep acquires some new resources, but they are challenges as much as gifts.

Oh, the Mysterious Stranger kicks ass.  I can't say more, because it would be a spoiler.  She is compelling and ambiguous and funny and tough.

The characters are engrossing.  The worldbuilding is unusual and clever. It's partly based around an original variant of a Tarot deck, but is in no way woo-woo; the cards do not predict your future, but (sometimes) illuminate your choices. The cards are playing cards, but are also a weapon.   The cards have nothing to do -- as far as we know -- with the magic of the JanTep.

The book itself is gorgeous, in a way that made me extremely nostalgic.  The red-and-black cover has two line drawings of the main characters, presented as a face card. (Don't look too closely at Kellep; it's a spoiler.)  Red is used as a spot color, very effectively.  There are interior illustrations of relevant Tarot cards at the beginning of each section.  And the page edges (forget the technical term) are red!  Taken as a whole, the book looks a bit like a deck of cards, which is, I'm sure intentional.

Here's the catch.  There (as of time of writing) no U.S. or Canadian distributor of Spellslinger or its sequel, Shadowblack.  If you're in North America and want to read them, you'll have to order from the, in my experience, reliable, fast, and cheap www.bookdepository.com or an equivalent.

Note: de Castell's Greatcoat books are also awesome.  If you like the Musketeers books, you should love them.  The nice thing is that they preserve the essential "three duelists against the world" spirit without either copying the plots or being pastiche-y.  The second nice thing is that the author is a stage fight choreographer and is able to communicate fights clearly to the non-fighter (me).

corm

17 October 2017 07:56 am
prettygoodword: text: words are sexy (Default)
[personal profile] prettygoodword
corm (KORM) - n., a short, swollen underground stem of a plant used as a storage organ for winter or times of drought.


Cultivated plants with corms include crocus, gladiolus, some irises, taro, and arrowhead. Different from a tuber, which is a swollen root or rhizome and can be used for propagation, and a bulb, which has layers (see: onion). Adopted in the 1820s from French corme, from Latin cormus, from Ancient Greek kormós, trunk stripped of its boughs, from keírein to cut off/hew.

---L.

gratitudes

17 October 2017 10:02 am
watersword: Karen Gillan as Amelia Pond in season 5 of Doctor Who (Doctor Who: Amelia Pond)
[personal profile] watersword
1. I went to my mentor's memorial and it was awful in basically every way possible, but I showed up and that is important.
2. I got to see my sister and my best friend.
3. Cat-petting!
4. Asian pears at the CSA.
5. Tea.

Back-to-the-office mishmash post

17 October 2017 11:01 am
umadoshi: (read fast (bisty_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
I rewrote SO MUCH MANGA this weekend (counting yesterday as part of "the weekend"). Other than a) the amount of time I spent waiting for my GP appointment yesterday morning and b) going out for ramen and having some social time afterwards on Sunday evening, I feel like rewriting is all I did over the past three days.

I also think that can't be as true as it feels, because I also finally finished reading K.B. Spangler's Stoneskin (which was wonderful, and I'm really excited for the [as-yet-unwritten, AFAIK] trilogy it's a prequel to), and [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I finally saw the first two episodes of Star Trek: Disco last night.

OTOH, I read most of what I had left of Stoneskin yesterday morning while doing the aforementioned waiting for an appointment, most of which was my own fault. Last month's appointment used up the last of the injectable B12, so I got a new prescription from Dr. Awesome and dropped it off at the pharmacy to be put on file, but then I forgot about it until I was on my way out the door to yesterday's appointment. Fortunately the pharmacy is right next door to Dr. Awesome's office, and I called in to get the new B12 as I started walking, and they got it ready as fast as they could, but it still meant I was late to my appointment (although at least I was able to pop in and say "I'm here! Sort of...").

--I've got a small heap of ST:D reaction posts from all of you tucked away in Memories and was finally able to start sifting through the early ones late last night. I doubt I'm going to do much (if any) commenting on weeks-old posts, but reading them is fun. ^_^


--I'm blanking on another detail about Yuletide logistics. I feel like in previous year's there's been a page (on AO3?) showing all the names of who requested what fandoms (but I think not connected at all to people's optional Dear Yulegoat letters?). Is that right? Am I simply missing it?


--My third year of "only read books (novels, anyway) from my bookcase of purchased TBR or things I've purchased in ebook" is almost up, and the status of the physical bookcase is...dire. I'm not literally out of room to put any more books on it (especially since the bottom shelf has binders of CDs and stuff on it, so the TBR only ["only"] takes up four shelves), but it's not good.

Between that and my wallet, I truly need to buy fewer books. (And relearn the habit of making purchase suggestions for novels with the library, not just anthologies and graphic novels, without getting back into putting tons of things on hold there. No going back to the days of juggling a 300 or 400-item holds list, self. *stern*) Emphasis on the "and my wallet" part, which means not simply switching to buying a higher percentage of things in ebook. (Even if ebooks are usually enough cheaper that doing that also technically means spending less money.)

As is usually the way, I feel like there were other things I meant to mention, but I now have about an hour before I have to throw on proper clothes and head off to Casual Job, and I need to use that hour to proofread some prose. Yes.

Pull The Football - Save the World

17 October 2017 08:25 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Via [personal profile] rachelmanija

Are you worried about nuclear war? I am too. Keep reading for a way to stop it with one simple action.

Maybe you feel small and powerless. But many snowflakes make an avalanche. If we all move in the same direction, we'll be unstoppable. We will only fail if we choose not to act.

Trump has the power to order a pre-emptive nuclear strike for any reason - or no reason at all. He's always shadowed by a man with a briefcase of codes, called the "nuclear football," to enable him to launch nuclear missiles at any time. It would take less than five minutes from his order to the missiles being launched, and no one could stop him. Republican Senator Bob Corker says Trump is leading us into World War III. I believe him.

But we don't have to stand by and let it happen. Let's pull away that football!

Both House and Senate have bills to prevent the President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war. They're both called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.) Passing those bills may literally save the world.

How to save the world:

1. Contact your representatives in Congress. Ask them to co-sponsor the bill NOW, before it's too late.

2. Contact EVERYONE in Congress who might want to prevent a nuclear war. Usually people only speak to their own representatives. But with the fate of the entire world is at stake, it's worth contacting everyone who might listen.

3. Promote the Pull The Football campaign on social media. Trump isn't the only one who can use Twitter. Get on it and start tweeting #PullTheFootball.

Share this post on Facebook or Dreamwidth. Put up your own post on whatever social media you use. Ask your friends in person. If you know anyone in the media, contact them to get the word out. If you're not American, you can help by publicizing the campaign on social media that Americans follow.

How do I contact my representatives?

1. Resistbot is a free service that will fax, call, or write your representatives for you. Just text the word "resist" to 50409 to begin.

2. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the representative of your choice.

I've contacted everyone. What now?

Contact them again. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. One water drop can be brushed away. Many water drops make a flood. Call, fax, or write as often as possible. Set aside 15 minutes every day to make as many calls or faxes as you can in that time. Relentlessness works - it's why the NRA is so successful. If they can do it, we can do it.

What do I say?

Page down for a sample script. Or speak or write in your own words.

Democrats to contact:

Every Democrat not currently sponsoring one of the bills. Thank them for their courage and service to the nation, and ask them to act now to save the world.

Thank the Democrats currently sponsoring the bills. There are 57 in the House and 9 in the Senate. Especially, thank Congressman Ted Lieu (sponsor of the House bill) and Sen. Edward Markey (sponsor of the Senate bill). Encourage them to step up their efforts to make it pass.

Republicans to contact:

The Republicans listed below are the most prominent who have voiced concerns about Trump. This is not an exhaustive list. There are more Republicans who might be receptive. For instance, all the House Republicans who just voted for more aid for Puerto Rico, and all Republicans who are retiring from their seats and so not worried about getting re-elected.

Sen. Bob Corker (202) 224-3344) warned us that Trump is setting the nation on a path to World War III. If you only contact one Republican representative, contact him. Thank him for his courage and urge him to follow through on his convictions.

Rep. Walter Jones (202) 225-3415 is the only Republican to support the bill. Thank him for his courage and urge him to get his colleagues onboard.

Other Republican senators to prioritize contacting: Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, Marco Rubio, and Bob Sasse.

Sample Script

Hello, my name is [your name.] I'm calling to ask Representative/Senator [their name] to co-sponsor the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.)

I believe Republican Senator Bob Corker when he says we're on the brink of World War Three. No one benefits from a nuclear war. But we can stop it if we choose to. This may be the most important action Representative/Senator [their name] will take in their entire life. It may literally save the world. I urge them to co-sponsor the bill restricting first use of nuclear weapons. Thank you.

Thank you for reading this far! Please share the post before you go.

Weekend Accomplishments

17 October 2017 08:14 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Sorry no post yesterday; I woke up feeling nauseated, so I stayed home from work and slept and read all day.

1. Laundry! Two loads.

2. Attended two concerts, one Friday night, one Sunday afternoon.

3. Finished watching Defenders and helped a friend out with some stuff.

4. Bought a new black rayon shirt for choir, and hand-washed it in preparation for Wednesday night's concert.

5. Laid out clothes and chose makeup and packed my bag with choir folder and such for Tuesday and Wednesday, so I wouldn't have to do it in the mornings.

Dress rehearsal tonight; am currently eating oatmeal, and hoping this stomach unpleasantness has fully gone away.

Vallista, by Steven Brust

17 October 2017 07:05 am
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa
Review copy provided by Tor Books. Additionally, the author has shown by his behavior that despite what I've said in previous review disclaimers about his books, he is absolutely no friend of mine.

However, quite often people who have made me sad, angry, and/or disgusted with their behavior write books that are too dreadfully written to bother to read, and this is not the case with Vallista. This is another entry in the Vlad Taltos series, and like the others it is not doing exactly the same things as its predecessors. It is expanding the universe of the series, it is messing with everything that has gone before and recasting it. It is definitely not an episodic "like this one, but more of it" entry in its series, and the trap-building nature of the vallista comes satisfyingly into play.

What was less satisfying for me this time around, and this may well come into reviewing the author rather than the book as I am trying not to do: everyone has tolerance limits on the First Person Asshole voice. It's no surprise that a substantial portion of a Vlad Taltos novel is written in First Person Asshole. Some people's tolerance is about a page and a half, some infinite; mine is, at this point fifteen books into the series, fraying. (I would also like it a lot if someone would write a study of how FPA voice shifts in a long series so that it always feels contemporary and therefore includes very mild contemporary phrasing that's almost but not quite invisible and ends up being the prose tic version of a long mystery series looking like it only spans two years and yet starting with the protagonist using pay phones and ending in them using smart phones. Someone who is not me should do that using several authors as reference. Thanks.) But Vallista also has, for very good plot-related spoilerific reasons, forays into other prose voices than that, which made it a lot easier to read just when some of the "look at me I'm clever" bits of narrative voice were not feeling quite as clever as hoped and had repeated the not-clever multiple times just to make sure you had a chance to not-laugh at it again. I liked...hard to describe for spoiler reasons...pieces of other prose voice, and the reasons why they were there.

There is quite a lot of Devera in this book. If you're here for serious forward momentum on ongoing plot arc and for Devera: here you go, this is the one you're looking for. Relationships among other characters in the series, a great deal less so, but there's a great deal of "can't have everything" going around in the world, inevitable that some of it would end up here.
kindness_says: (Default)
[personal profile] kindness_says posting in [community profile] yuletide
Hello, sweet swappers! As promised, SWAPS ARE HERE. SWAPS ARE SWAPPENING.

If you are new to swaps, or to Yuletide, and curious about what the heck I'm talking about, our brand-new 2017 FAQ is here! If you are old to swaps, read on!

2017 SCHEDULE! REMINDERS! SIGN-UPS! )

Questions? Comments? First check out the FAQ, and then, if that doesn’t sort you, feel free to comment either here or there, or email us at yuleswaps at gmail!

<3 K

Deleted scenes from iZombie

22 October 2017 01:35 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Liv talking to her mother and brother. JFC, we should've seen some of these in season 2. They should not have been deleted! But maybe we'll get some family closure, finally, next season, now that zombies are officially a known quantity.

Poem of the Day: Enough Music

17 October 2017 12:00 am
[syndicated profile] poemoftheday_feed

Posted by Dorianne Laux

Sometimes, when we're on a long drive,

and we've talked enough and listened

to enough music and stopped twice,

once to eat, once to see the view,

we fall into this rhythm of silence.

It swings back and forth between us

like a rope over a lake.

Maybe it's what we don't say

that saves us.



Poem copyright ©1994 by Dorianne Laux, “Enough Music,” (What We Carry, BOA Editions, 1994). Poem reprinted by permission of Dorianne Laux and the publisher.

Dorianne Laux

Biography
More poems by this author

sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
[personal profile] sovay
I am not really catching up on anything. The night we got home from New York, there was an exciting cat-related incident at five in the morning that kept everyone from sleeping until after the sun came up (everyone is fine, cats included), and this morning we were awoken shortly after eight by the sounds of construction thinly separated from our bedroom by some tarpaper and shingles. It is the roofers finally come to prevent further ice dams, but they were supposed to come this weekend while we were out of town and instead they are forecast for the rest of the week. I assume I will sleep sometime on Saturday.

1. There is a meme going around Facebook about the five films you would tell someone to watch in order to understand you. I've been saying Powell and Pressburger's A Canterbury Tale (1944), Ron Howard's Splash (1984), Derek Jarman's Wittgenstein (1993), John Ford's The Long Voyage Home (1940), and The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953). Which is hardly complete, but adding postscripts feels like cheating, so I haven't. The internet being what it is, of course, I first saw this meme in the mutated form of the five weird meats you would tell someone to eat in order to understand you, to which I had no difficulty replying: venison, blood sausage, snails, goat, and raw salmon.

2. In other memetic news, I tried the Midwest National Parks' automatic costume generator:

National Park Costume Ideas


and while I don't think "Paranoid Hellbender" is a good costume, it'd be a great hardcore band.

3. I haven't done an autumnal mix in a while, so here is a selection of things that have been seasonally rotating. This one definitely tips more toward Halloween.

The sound of a thousand souls slipping under )

I would really like to be writing about anything.

P.S. I just want to point out that if you have recently seen The Robots of Death (1977) and you open a copy of the official tie-in anthology Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View (2017) and see a pair of characters named Poul and Toos, it is extremely confusing that the former is female, the latter is male, they are respectively a senior and a junior officer aboard the Death Star, and neither of them has a problem with robots.
umadoshi: text: "Aw Rachel, don't be scared of ghosts! They're only dead people." + "I know people. That's not helping." (AGAHF - ghosts)
[personal profile] umadoshi
[dreamwidth.org profile] mini_wrimo is open for signups until October 30!


Fannish/Geeky Things/SFF

"Hero-Princess-General Carrie Fisher Once Delivered a Cow Tongue to a Predatory Hollywood Exec". [The Mary Sue]

"Carrie Fisher Insisted That Leia’s Last Jedi Arc Honor All The “Girls Who Grew up Watching Star Wars”". [The Mary Sue]

"Who are Tessa Thompson’s LADY LIBERATORS?" "The Marvel Cinematic Universe has realigned how Hollywood thinks of blockbusters, franchises, and comic book movies. Though the films have been groundbreaking at the box office, it’s been nine years since Marvel Studios began the MCU and they’re still two years away from having a solo female led movie on our screens.

But if Thor: Ragnarok’s Tessa Thompson has anything to do with it, that’s not going to stand. During a recent press conference for Taika Waititi’s much anticipated Thor film, Thompson regaled us with a rad story about confronting Kevin Feige with the possibility of an all-female Marvel movie."


A discussion on N.K. Jemisin's Facebook about the "magic system" (scare quotes hers) in the Broken Earth books. Spoilers!

Abigail Nussbaum on N.K. Jemisin's The Stone Sky.


Cute Stuff

"If You Ever Feel Sad, These 10+ Highland Cattle Calves Will Make You Smile".

September LaPerm pics from [dreamwidth.org profile] naye. These posts are always great, but I think this one is even better than usual.


Miscellaneous

"We Don't Do That Here". "I have a handful of “magic” phrases that have made my professional career easier. Things like “you are not your code” and my preferred way to say no: “that doesn’t work for me.” These are tools in my interpersonal skills toolbox. I find myself uttering phrases like, “right or effective, choose one” at least once a week. This week I realized I had another magic phrase, “we don’t do that here.”"

Brian Fies' "A Fire Story" is a short comic about him and his wife being burned out of their home in the wildfires.

"Art Inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities". (I haven't read the book, but the art is really neat.)

"Photographer Gets Bitten By A Deadly Black Mamba, Still Manages To Finish The Photoshoot". (Many beautiful snake photos!)

"Native-Land.ca: Our home on native land". Searchable map of North America's First Nations territories and pre-colonial histories. "There are over 630 different First Nations in Canada (and many more in the USA) and I am not sure of the right process to map territories, languages, and treaties respectfully - and I'm not even sure if it is possible to do respectfully. I am not at all sure about the right way to go about this project, so I would very much appreciate your input."

"Creating Gender Liberatory Singing Spaces: A Transgender Voice Teacher’s Recommendations for Working with Transgender Singers".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] dine, "Pumpkin Spice and Needles: Bookish Autumn Cross Stitch Patterns".

"Video game developers confess their hidden tricks at last".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] alisanne, "Why Do We Cook So Many Foods at 350 Degrees?" [Mental Floss]

attempting embroidery

16 October 2017 10:18 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Somehow, I don't know how, I started following an embroidery blog, Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread. And I liked what I saw, but transferring designs seemed really tedious and also fraught with the possibility of error, and it's not like I don't have enough stitching projects on hand already.

. . . and then, of course, I found pre-printed "coloring book" fabric in a craft store, very cheap. So I decided to give it a try, using spare floss from my stash.

The fabric is "Zenbroidery", specifically the Garden print. The picture has suggested stitching, but, well, check out the big version: you could see the printing through the stitching, I just couldn't make myself do it. So I dug through the Needle 'n Thread archives for ideas, picked out some floss, popped the fabric on my Q-Snaps, and started out.

It was a lot of fun at first! Not having to look at a pattern makes things flow surprisingly quickly and enjoyably. And making the vines split off and curl around was very satisfying.

Here's as far as I got before I stopped:

picture )

(click to make huge, or view on Google Photos)

I'm stopping for several reasons: I don't like the colors I picked; it's too big (10" square); satin stitch with a single strand of DMC is incredibly tedious; and worst, the fabric is just awful: it's so thin you can see the brown desk underneath it, and every time I had to pick out stitches or try to set them close together, I was afraid I'd rip it.

So I'm going to put this aside and get some better-quality (and smaller) preprinted fabric from Etsy, as my travel project. Because I have also started gridding the Teresa Wentzler Celestial Dragon, nearly eight years after I was given the pattern, and that's not a travel project in the least. (I'm making myself a ruler for the gridding, and even with that I'm still so nervous about messing it up that I'm sure I'm going to recount all the blocks regardless, because I'm planning to do as she suggests and stitch the border first . . . )

Do you embroider? Do you have a favorite pattern source or type? (I think I might try crewel at some point, because the nice soft thick wool threads look very appealing.)

Sweetheart is getting bolder

21 October 2017 06:37 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
She's been trying to get in the front door. Today she tried to slip in the back - at least until she was repelled by Callie!

Jenn referred to her being "home" the other day, meaning being on our porch.

We've got to get her moved, and fast. If we keep talking like that, she'll be our cat.

Now, last week she disappeared when it was time to grab her to go to the van. Next week, won't let her do that.

Also, Bookriot has a $500 sweepstakes to spend at whatever bookstore you like.

***************


How a Single Mom Created a Plastic Food-Storage Empire

'A New Rosetta Stone for Astronomy'

The Tomato Pill Craze

American cricket gets ready for take-off

Family dog emerges alive and happy from wildfire aftermath

Beyond XX and XY: The Extraordinary Complexity of Sex Determination

How Amish produce gets to Whole Foods—without the internet, tractors, or phones

How a Seed Bank, Almost Lost in Syria’s War, Could Help Feed a Warming Planet

Whales and dolphins have rich 'human-like' cultures and societies

Doctor's research could buy time for snake bite victims

The Surprising Problem With Star Trek’s Most Celebrated Episode (And really, why not take that character back to the future or something?)

Charlie Brown's Greatest Misses: Every 'Peanuts' Football Gag Comic

An Anarchist Is Teaching Patients to Make Their Own Medications (Sounds risky, especially if combined with self-diagnosis.)

Diwali Fireworks Are Limited In India Over Toxic Smog Concerns

Rohingya refugee influx inspires Bangladeshi aid - and worry

2-year-old denied kidney transplant from 100% match dad because of probation violation (UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE.)

How can US rapist win joint custody of minor victim's child?

Jeff Sessions consulted Christian right legal group hate group on religious freedom memo

Before You Hit 'Submit,' This Company Has Already Logged Your Personal Data

Did Monsanto Ignore Evidence Linking Its Weed Killer to Cancer?

Iraqi forces enter Kirkuk as Kurds flee

We don't need the 2nd Amendment — we need a real debate about guns

Are Millennials Moving Right on Guns?

Teddy

16 October 2017 10:47 pm
[syndicated profile] dailykitten_feed

Posted by Tom "The Kittenmaster" Cooper

Please give a huge paws up and welcome the newest Star Kit, Teddy. He is 4 and a half years old from Jasper, Alabama.

Teddy

Baby Kitty Teddy came into my life after a tornado. We found him outside on the ground. I actually thought he was a baby mole. I had raised two Kitty’s on bottles from 3 days old previously so I decided to give it a try again. I smuggled the little guy in to my job and kept him warm and fed under my desk. I watched him grow ounce by ounce. I took him everywhere with me. I had no idea how completely in love I would be. I’ve had many cats through the years but never one with so much attitude and personality. While I consider him a purrrfect lil Angel, his nickname by my family was Devil Cat. I have to mention it was 5 weeks before my boss found out about him. Mainly because he jumped out of my hands ran across the office and up my bosses leg. After the initial shock, and a scary glance from the boss, he was soon accepted as the office mascot. He really was spoiled by everyone.

Teddy

My story is in past tense because my baby is no longer with me. He went missing Sept 21, 2015. He had been neutered and didn’t roam. He was 2 and a half years old. I had no idea I would regret letting him have his way this morning. Every morning around 4 am he would insist (loudly)on being let outside. He would welcome the sun each day on the porch outside my bedroom. I would always open the door around 6:30 and he would run in, I would give him breakfast while I got ready for work. I had no idea when I let him out that I would never see him again. The guilt still eats at me even now. We searched the area, posted posters everywhere. Posted on Facebook. Had a search team looking for him. We checked with all the vets and animal shelters. My husband covered the yard and the woods. My heart still wants to believe he is out there somewhere with a new family that loves him as much as we do. I would be honored if you would consider my little love as your daily kitten

Teddy

Anita Brookner - A Misalliance

16 October 2017 08:43 am
radiantfracture: (Default)
[personal profile] radiantfracture
Lately I've started reading Anita Brookner, and the experience was a little like reading Barbara Comyns -- thinking at first that I didn't really like her novels, but then realizing they yielded more as I thought about them -- that they were less like literary gardens, already prepared for my wandering pleasures, and more like those paper seeds you drop into a glass of water, where they unfold slowly into complex blooms.

Impatient reading is dangerous reading.

Brookner's gift is for taking the humiliating social situation, the mismatch of desires between the protagonist and those she loves, and making of it something more profound. The crisis becomes an occasion for insight that rescues these books from simply being torture chambers for the extra-sensitive spirit. I find I usually have to put each book down multiple times during an awkward scene because I don't want to live through the whole agonizing experience -- and she does tell the whole thing through -- but Brookner, I've found, can be trusted, and she always makes something more of these scenes; the protagonist, no matter how unhappy, always gains from the loss.

A Misalliance
shares the arc of many Brookner novels, or at least the ones I've read so far...

Spoilers, but only if you've never read any Anita Brookner novels )

{rf}

(Cross-posted from Goodreads)

corf

16 October 2017 07:53 am
prettygoodword: text: words are sexy (Default)
[personal profile] prettygoodword
Theme week! -- four-letter words.


corf (KORF) - n., a small wagon, sled, basket, etc. for carrying coal, ore, etc. in a mine; a basket or cage used to contain live fish, lobsters, etc. underwater.


The first is primarily British usage. In Middle English this meant generally any basket, from either Middle Dutch corf or Middle Low German korf, both probably from Latin corbis, basket.

Watched Discovery

16 October 2017 03:06 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Don't remember who asked me about the tardigrade, but here's what happens )

Other thoughts: 1. Tilly needs a role other than being Michael's teddy bear.

2. We have got to learn the names of some of these people on the bridge, ffs.

3. Klingons torturing people are the worst Klingons, with or without implied rape.

4. Yay, gays!

5. Creepy scenes would be just as creepy without the dramatic "don't touch that dial!" music cluing us in.

[personal profile] rivendellrose has an interestingly plausible theory about our new character. Spoilers, naturally.

Poem of the Day: Church Monuments

16 October 2017 12:00 am
[syndicated profile] poemoftheday_feed

Posted by George Herbert

While that my soul repairs to her devotion,

Here I intomb my flesh, that it betimes

May take acquaintance of this heap of dust;

To which the blast of death's incessant motion,

Fed with the exhalation of our crimes,

Drives all at last. Therefore I gladly trust



My body to this school, that it may learn

To spell his elements, and find his birth

Written in dusty heraldry and lines ;

Which dissolution sure doth best discern,

Comparing dust with dust, and earth with earth.

These laugh at jet, and marble put for signs,



To sever the good fellowship of dust,

And spoil the meeting. What shall point out them,

When they shall bow, and kneel, and fall down flat

To kiss those heaps, which now they have in trust?

Dear flesh, while I do pray, learn here thy stem

And true descent: that when thou shalt grow fat,



And wanton in thy cravings, thou mayst know,

That flesh is but the glass, which holds the dust

That measures all our time; which also shall

Be crumbled into dust. Mark, here below,

How tame these ashes are, how free from lust,

That thou mayst fit thyself against thy fall.



some things, including fiber monday

15 October 2017 08:11 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
First (1.), a question: every sewing blog that mentions "interfacing" shows something that's essentially plastic, and the bit of fusible interfacing I've seen in person is the same. What was used in its place before polymers seeped into daily life? Something like organza/organdy?
And: it's pretty clearly a Western European-based tradition to use interfacing. Do pre-colonial-influence sewing conventions in other parts of the world do something similar---is it actually generally useful for a neckline---or does W Euro-influenced sewing assume that interfacing is necessary because it's become commonplace and unquestioned? (I have to question the casual inclusion of dairy or wheat all the bloody time now, so I feel free to question this, too.) I mean general tunic and vest shapes, excluding anything ultra-fancy for one-time wear.

2. Status: I didn't knit much this week despite ample opportunity because dry fall air and raging fires a county or two over == chapped hands, rough enough to snag worsted-weight wool, never mind a laceweight wool/silk blend.

3. After ten minutes failing to revisit Stardew Valley productively (there was a plan and I'm happy to have forgotten it), I've begun playing Torment: Tides of Numenera at last.
Current reading, btw: Axie Oh's Neo Seoul, YA with a near-future dystopian setting. I love the fact that the title is a pun: in English, neo = new, two syllables; in Korean, reading neo as monosyllabic , it's a near-homophone for English "no soul." Thank you for letting so many things stand, Lee & Low (publishers).

4. Read more... )
kindness_says: (yuletide - gotta swap em all)
[personal profile] kindness_says posting in [community profile] yuletide
Hello, beloved swappers! Don’t worry, swaps IS happening, as always! Sign-ups post will go up, ummmm, soon. I meant to kick us off around the beginning of the month, but #life #got overwhelmed by the idea of needing to rewrite this FAQ, tbh. Sorry!

This year! We have moved to Dreamwidth, because Yuletide has moved to Dreamwidth, and because it seems like most of our constituency has done the same. We will probably continue to crosspost to the Yuletide LJ community in some capacity, linking back to DW posts and providing a forum for LJ-only swappers to continue to ask questions and make contact when their yahoo emails inevitably fail. ;)

Tags will remain the same: “omnomnom” for candyswap, “who likes books” for bookswap, and “nice cuppa” for drinkswap (er, just as soon as I'm able to request their creation on DW). As on LJ, we strongly encourage swappers to track tags for the swaps they are interested in.

(Go to your DW Account Settings >> Notifications afterward, to make sure all the tags you wanted definitely took!)

And now…onward!

FAQ! )

But seriously, when are sign-ups going to be open for Yuleswaps 2017?

Soon, I swear. Tonight, I hope, but realistically, might be more like tomorrow or Tuesday. I will get it together. I promise. Swaps will happen.

Happy swapping, swappers!!!!

Kat (and sleeps, in spirit)
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
It is intensely adorable.

(Also, happy Diwali, guys!)

**************************************************


Video: The women breaking taboos in Mali to become puppet makers (I haven't watched this yet, I'm just trying to adjust my good news : bad news ratio)

A New History of the First Peoples in the Americas

From Prejudice to Pride: The Ainu

The Futurism Industry’s Blind Spot

Texas Inmates Donate US$53,000 of Commissary Money to Houston's Hurricane Harvey Victims

A Bakery in a War Zone

How a Seed Bank, Almost Lost in Syria’s War, Could Help Feed a Warming Planet

Obesity Thrives in the Suburbs

Meet The "Young Saints" Of Bethel Who Go To College To Perform Miracles

With OK From EPA, Use Of Controversial Weedkiller Is Expected To Double

Americans are moving less than ever, but that fact masks a deep divide between the affluent and the disadvantaged.

Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?

This Company Is Trying To Disrupt The Braces Industry And Dentists Are Fighting Back

Child brides in India: Sex with minors now considered rape but enacting verdict isn't easy

ISIS setbacks reported in Syria

As Xi Jinping gets a second 5-year term, Chinese wonder if he’ll be another Putin

Austrian elections: Young, conservative Sebastian Kurz's People's Party wins poll

The growing use of mandatory arbitration

California 'horror' fires kill at least 40, deadliest in state history

Despite clear risks, Santa Rosa neighborhood that burned down was exempt from fire regulations

Desperate Puerto Ricans are drinking water from a hazardous-waste site

'Katrina brain': The invisible long-term toll of megastorms

LGBT activists worry about Trump impact in Africa

Finally Something Economists Can Agree On: Trump’s Debt Talk Made Zero Sense

White House’s decision to stop ACA cost-sharing subsidies triggers strong opposition (Keep opposing it!)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte pulls out of brutal drugs war and accuses EU of plotting

Kurds say reject Iraqi warning to withdraw from key junction south of Kirkuk

The U.S. government might have been spying on attorney-client meetings at Guantanamo Bay

I am in Guantánamo Bay. The US government is starving me to death

More Than 800 People Have Been Shot in America Since the Las Vegas Massacre

How We Learned Not To Care About America’s Wars

Despite Suicides, Jails Replace In-Person Visitation With Video Screens

Yemen's cholera outbreak now the worst in history as millionth case looms

Signal boost

15 October 2017 04:59 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Both House and Senate have bills to prevent the President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war. They're both called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.) Passing those bills may literally save the world.

How to save the world:

1. Contact your representatives in Congress. Ask them to co-sponsor the bill NOW, before it's too late.

2. Contact EVERYONE in Congress who might want to prevent a nuclear war. Usually people only speak to their own representatives. But with the fate of the entire world is at stake, it's worth contacting everyone who might listen.

3. Promote the Pull The Football campaign on social media. Trump isn't the only one who can use Twitter. Get on it and start tweeting #PullTheFootball.


There is more information in the original link by [personal profile] rachelmanija.

Moomin interruptus

15 October 2017 09:54 pm
shewhomust: (watchmen)
[personal profile] shewhomust
Two panel-type events today, both in the Council Chamber, which left us well placed for a little light retail in between. But first, a technical note. Two, in fact. The first is about sound, and it returns to an issue I've already mentioned, but which is exacerbated if the event is in the Council Chamber. If you are organising an event, you need to know this: deafness is a disability, and you must do what you can not to exclude people who have this disability. Kendal's Council Chamber actually has a hearing loop, which is great, because it means that [personal profile] durham_rambler can tune his hearing aids direct to the sound system, and this gives him optimum audibility. If a speaker says "Oh, it's OK, I have a loud voice," they may well be right. But if you aren't using the mike, you aren't going into the loop. At one point this morning, I wanted to say something to [personal profile] durham_rambler and he couldn't hear me, because he was listening to the speakers on the loop. (The specific problem with the Council Chamber is that the microphones are positioned as if for a Council meeting, and we don't use the room that way, so saying "Please use the mike!" is not a simple request.)

My other technical takeaway from this festival - and I don't suppose this is going to come as a surprise to anyone) is that being able to project images is all well and good, but being able to project the actual images you are talking about is even better. I became somewhat frustrated by this morning's session on 'Telling the Truth'. Darryl Cunningham introduced his 'Seven Amazing Scientists You May Not Have Heard Of' (it's not called that, but I don't know why not), Fumio Obata talked about his (LICAF-commissioned) work in progress on the nuclear accident at Fukushima and Hannah Berry introduced her new book Livestock (which I had seen in preview at Wonderlands, of course) and each of them said something which I thought could be illustrated by one of the images that - oh, no, sorry, you've just missed it! The unending repetition of the sequence of images gave me plenty of chances to confirm my suspicion that that was indeed a rather prominent typo, which probably wasn't the intention. Not an actual typo, in that the three books all appeared to be hand-lettered, and I could have gone total geek and asked about that, but instead I asked another question suggested by the constantly cycling images, about the use of colour (and was relieved to discover that this was a good question, in the senae that all three artists and moderator Alex Fitch had something to say about it).

Commercial break: time to tour the dealers' rooms and buy things. Including Myfanwy Tristram's Everyone Loves a Puffin postcard. Because it's true. That's the only one of the things I bought that I've really had a chance to read so far.

Then back to the Council Chamber to hear Benoît Peeters explaining why Rodolphe Töpffer is the father of the graphic novel: short version, because in the first half of the nineteenth century he was publishing narratives which consisted of both words and pictures and arguing that both were equally important. For future reference, here's Töpfferiana central, and here is Töpffer's Essai de Physiognomonie (on Gutenberg Canada), a title which seems to have one syllable too many, and I noted that Peeters was having trouble pronouncing it. The Festival has published a new translation / edition with the catchy title How to Create Graphic Novels, but it's worth clicking through to Gutenberg to look at the original, just to see what the nineteenth century could achieve in printing. 'Autolithography', says the scribbled note on the margin of my programme: well, that makes sense. But I can't remember the reasoning behind: "Töpffer v. Umberto Eco - Töpffer wins!"

Time for an all-day breakfast at the Farmhouse Kitchen: [personal profile] durham_rambler is traditionalist, mine involved generous amounts of smoked salmon and watercress. Then we headed out in search of all things Finnish. I loved the Archipelagogo exhibition of mad felt sculptures by Felt Mistress Louise Evans (this always makes me think of my friend F, who claimed to have found a shop advertising 'You can get felt here!', and threatened to go inside and demand 'Feel me!' - but I digress) and beautiful, intricate watercolours by Jonathan Edwards. It seemed to me something that was genuinely inspired by Tove Jansson while still being genuinely original, and I took pictures. Many pictures.

Our visit to the Finnish village fizzled out in a darkened room. We came into the Box in the middle of a showing of Moomins on the Riviera, which demonstrates all the things I don't like about the Moomin comic strips (as opposed to the books) - and wait, what was that, right at the end of the credits? Was Mymble really voiced by Alison O'Donnell? Our - that is, Shetland's - Alison O'Donnell? IMDB is no help here... Anyway, he venue closed at four, so there was only time for the first half of a documentary about how the Moomins conquered the world, before we were sent out into the night with nothing but a piece of salty liquorice in compensation. I'd have liked to see the rest of the film. Obviously, there's an element of self-justification in explaining why it's a good thing to merchandise characters to which people have an emotional attachment; equally obviously, it's a good thing to keep the books in print, and for an income to flow to Tove Jansson's family. I'd have liked to see what the film had to say. Oh, well.

And that's the Comics Festival for another year.

pine-needle kintsugi

15 October 2017 03:41 pm
asakiyume: (autumn source)
[personal profile] asakiyume
You can see examples of kintsugi--repairing ceramics with gold, so the crack itself becomes a thing of beauty, and the object-with-cracks is celebrated and appreciated--various places online (here's one). This morning I saw pine needles doing kintsugi with cracks in the road, laying down in the crevices and repairing the road very beautifully:

pine-needle kintsugi (1)

pine-needle kintsugi (2)

pine-needle kintsugi (3)

Negative time, positive vibes

15 October 2017 10:14 am
desperance: (Default)
[personal profile] desperance
Good morning, from Day Minus Six! (I actually nearly typed Seven there, which would have been wrong. Happily I had the wit to check. These negative hours pass inconsistently, I find, and I lose my place in the calendar.)

This morning I learned in Mexico what had eluded me for five years in California: that not only does the Bay Area have an active cricket league, but that Sunnyvale has a cricket club which is a bright star in that league, and has a dedicated permanent cricket pitch a short cycle-ride from our house. I may have renewed sports fandom in my future. Ah, the crack of willow upon leather: how I have missed thee, my Hornby and my Barlow long ago!

Karen had a couple of utterly miserable days post-chemo, constantly sick and not at all interested in food. Ginger ale and water saw her through, with the aid of ginger candies; yesterday she had oatmeal for breakfast (how right was I, to bring steel-cut oats from California? *preens self*), a little soup for lunch and a little chicken and brussels sprouts for dinner. This morning I am making French onion soup and croutons, and we will see how the day plays out.

They're odd, these days. We're very detached from the world in here, and with Karen having been so sick we're a little detached from our own group as well. Everybody else had a roof-party yesterday, with real Mexican food and music; we lingered below in the backwash. We see doctors morning and evening, with Karen's shots; I go to the store as often as I can make excuse for it; otherwise we hang out in here, reading and dozing. We haven't even been watching much TV, though Netflix is a saviour and "Breaking Bad" turns out to be really rather good. I've been working on the Crater School - oh, and cooking, obviously - and I have The Count of Monte Cristo on my Kindle. An old friend, and always reliable. (Actually I think it a work of genius; our lawyer and I bonded over that, last month.)

With that first round of chemo having been so hard on Karen, we're anticipating a difficult second week, because the next round will be worse. But we're a quarter of the way through this whole process now, so that's a thing. And Karen will still be weak and immunocompromised, and it may be a year before she's fully recovered, but nevertheless. Our friends are awesome, and I'm there to do all the things, and with any luck it will all prove worthwhile. *nods affirmatively*

What we tell them and when

15 October 2017 10:24 am
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa
Friday night Mark and I took our ten-year-old goddaughter to her first jazz concert, a real grown-up concert in the atrium at Orchestra Hall, not a kids' concert, tailored to her interest in drums. It was a smashing success and I have been telling people the joyful parts of being able to share this with her, how captivated she was, how the other concertgoers were delighted by her.

There's another tiny piece I haven't mentioned, but it's the week it is, the year it is, the world it is.

When I went out to the bathroom at intermission, Orchestra Hall had the pre-ordered drinks sitting on a table completely unattended. No staff near the table, no staff even visible. People's names were under the drinks, patrons were milling around. I was appalled. And when I went back in, I mentioned this as a terrible idea, and I said to Lillian, "Sweetie, don't ever, ever, ever take a drink that's been left unattended. You always, always, always watch who has had control of your drink." And she nodded solemnly and said, "Yes."

She is 10.

I did not say "rape" or "rohypnol" or "GHB." At her age, she probably honestly filed it away as "someone could spit in that, gross." But...she is 10. She will be in high school before we know it. And you have to grab the moments you can. You have to take the opportunities. If you sit a kid down for a lecture, here is all the stuff you need to know, some of it will fly past, some of it will not go in. And you will forget to say some of it. If they only hear stuff once, some important stuff will be lost.

I was not that much older than she is when my cousin told me the same thing, always know who has had your drink, do not drink an unknown punch at a party, even if they tell you it's non-alcoholic, maybe especially if they tell you it's non-alcoholic. Watch them make your drink, keep your drink with you, do not leave it on the table if you go to the bathroom, finish your soda, get a new one after.

She is 10.

She is 10, and I hope no one has said Harvey Weinstein's name to her. She watches Big Bang Theory, and I wish she didn't, because it's full of toxic bullshit, and because Mayim Bialik is trying to tell her that if only she's good enough, if only she dresses the right way and wants to be a good smart girl it will be enough. It will not be enough. This thing I am telling her, at 10, about control of her drink, about how to hold her hand when she punches, about kicking for joints and soft places on the body and running like hell, about how she is worth it and never think she is not worth hitting as hard as she can, as hard as she has to: it will not be enough. I cannot promise that it will be. It is what I have. I can give her that my friends think it's amazing that she loves the drums, my friends want to introduce her to the lead percussionist and help her see all the cool percussion instruments. I can give her grown-ups who see a tiny pixie child intent on listening to jazz and want to give her more of the world, not less. Who say, when you go out in the world, this is what you do--not, don't go out in the world.

She is 10, and I told her, never take a drink that's been left unattended.

It will only get more like this, in the years ahead. As the adults, we always want to think it's too early to have to say the words, and by the time we're comfortable, it's too late, they needed to hear them already. We want to protect them from the words, and we can't protect them from the world. So the opportunities come in the strangest places. It's fun when it's "do you know what Cubism means?" This one was not a fun one. But you take the moments you get. She didn't have to dwell on it, she nodded and went on with her evening, which she declared to be joyful hours. It's still lodged in my heart, though. She's 10, she's 10, she's 10. I want that to be a magic incantation, but it isn't.

Update

15 October 2017 07:13 am
sartorias: (Default)
[personal profile] sartorias
I am on the island now, and relishing what is for me dead of winter weather (i.e. sixties, rain) -- in fact, it rained all day yesterday, whereas SoCal rain tends to rush in for ten minutes, then it's gone again for weeks or months.

My one day in New York was splendid, except for the part where I managed to get onto the subway going the wrong way Every Single Time. Once it was not my fault. The woman in the info booth told me that the train to our right was uptown and it was downtown. That was mean.

But I had a great dinner with the DAW team, many of whom are young, smart women, giving me the feeling that publishing will be in good hands.

A very pleasant drive through Brooklyn (which is much larger and more varied than I'd thought) and then along the coast to Wood's Hole.

Yesterday afternoon it was good to sit with tea and laptop listening to the rain as I tried to do some catchup work. Today more catchup, then the workshop begins.
sovay: (Lord Peter Wimsey: passion)
[personal profile] sovay
We are returned from our whirlwind trip to New York. Notes, because I need to fall over—

It is probably just as well that the Great Northern Food Hall is two states away, because otherwise I can see myself eating there until I go broke or burn out on the taste of rye flour, neither of which I want to happen. Not only do they make a superlative cold-smoked salmon, which if you order it as smørrebrød comes on a dense, chewy rye with thin slices of pickled cucumber and radish and generous dots of stiff savory sour cream and if you order it off the regular menu changes up the radish for celery pickle (which it seems I like much better than any other format of celery) and offers you slices of a lighter, crusty sourdough to plate it on for yourself, they serve a pink peppercorn and raspberry shrub which reminded me strongly of Fire Cider, only in a different key of flavors. Their beef tartare had too much red onion for [personal profile] spatch to eat safely, but we both liked the cubes of smoked beet and the startling green dollops of chive mayonnaise. The roast beef mini smørrebrød had a kind of remoulade on top and then little reddish-purple shells of endive. The avocado mini smørrebrød may or may not have needed green tomato pickle, but the chili oil was a nice touch. The server advised about two small plates per person; in fact three small plates at the Great Northern Food Hall was about half a plate more than either of us could handle, but it was all so delicious that we left only bread. I even got to try the sorrel sorbet because they were giving sorbet away for free, saying quite honestly that they had too much left at the end of the week and didn't want it to go to waste. It was a juicy green, vegetal-sweet, and I licked at it as we ran for the trains to Lincoln Center.

I want some kind of credit for changing all of my clothes except for socks and shoes in a stall in the orchestra-level ladies' room of the Met, especially since I had a laptop-containing backpack and my corduroy coat to manage at the same time. I had brought nice clothes for the opera and I was going to wear them, dammit. I dropped nothing in the toilet and got complimented on my hair afterward.

The opera was wonderful. The thing about Les contes d'Hoffmann is that Offenbach died while working on it—he had a complete piano score but only partial orchestration and a lot of dramaturgical questions unresolved—and as a result there has been an ongoing argument about authenticity and convention and dramatic coherence and musical feasibility for the last hundred and thirty-six years. A non-exhaustive list of variations would include: the order in which the second two acts are staged; how one of them ends; whether there is recitative or spoken dialogue in the tradition of the opéra comique; whether the four soprano roles are performed by the same singer; the degree to which the mezzo role is present in the story; which arias are performed by the bass-baritone; how the opera itself ends. Counting Powell and Pressburger's The Tales of Hoffmann (1951), I have literally never seen or heard the same version twice. Not all of this one worked for me as either an interpretation or an edition, but as a production it was oustanding. I liked Vittorio Grigolo's Hoffmann, self-destructive and feverishly hopeful and not one minute sober; I loved Laurent Naouri's Lindorf and other villains, the same dry dark amusement in his voice each act like his changes of coat, different styles, all black; Tara Erraught made the most complex Muse I have seen, a conspirator in each of Hoffmann's romantic disillusions until she begins to wonder if the eventual art is going to pay off the cost or if she's just going to break her poet instead. The mise-en-scène was generally 1920's Mitteleuropa, with excursions to a Parisian fairground for the Olympia act, a remote and wintry forest for the Antonia act, and a smoky Venetian bordello for the Giulietta act, cheerfully and non-naturalistically peppered with waiters in the whiteface of the Kit Kat Klub, carnival callbacks to Tod Browning, and Venetian courtesans in green glitter star-shaped pasties. (Rob said afterward, "That was more skin than I expected from grand opera." Then he got Tom Waits' "Pasties and a G-string" stuck in my head for the rest of the night.) And here the notes started to run away into an actual review which I had to break off abruptly because it hurt too much to type; I'll try to say more tomorrow. At the beginning of the Giulietta act, the Muse in her guise of Nicklausse the student woke up in a pile of pasties-and-G-string ladies with her vest unbuttoned and her cravat untied and I hope each and every one of those ladies went home and wrote an epic poem, or painted, or sculpted, or composed a song. I don't see what else waking up in a pile with the Muse is supposed to do.

We stayed the night with friends who live in Morristown, who had not managed to catch dinner before the opera, so at one-thirty in the morning we were at a diner somewhere in New Jersey, variously ordering things like Greek salad, Tex-Mex rolls, disco fries, and hot chocolate. This is the most collegiate thing that has happened to me in years.

Unfortunately I woke on their semi-fold-out couch the next afternoon with my shoulder frozen and screaming at me, which meant that a lot of getting around Manhattan today was accomplished by Rob carrying my backpack and me making noises whenever I tried to pick anything up, but we made it to the Strand and now I have copies of Derek Jarman's Kicking the Pricks (The Last of England, 1987) and Smiling in Slow Motion (2000) and we had dinner at Veselka, as is now our tradition. They make a borscht better than anything I can get in Boston. I always remember the Baczynski is huge, but forget quite how huge that is, although at least it means I can eat the second half some hours later on the train when I'm hungry again. Much less elevatedly, I can't remember ever eating a Twix bar before, but Rob brought one back from the café car and a lot of candy bars confuse me, but I can say nothing against a biscuit layered in caramel and chocolate.

(It is a small reason among many, but I do resent the resurgence of actual Nazism for making it more difficult to describe the shoutily officious gateman who ordered the woman next to me to drop out of line so that the business class passengers could have their own line to board first from—he kept yelling at her to move over and I along with two or three other people yelled back, "There's nowhere to move!"—as a tin Hitler.)

My shoulder is now hurting in the way it has been all week where the pain runs down my arm and into my fingers, which I suspect means I should call a doctor about it on Monday and definitely stop typing now. But it was worth it. It was a good birthday present.
[syndicated profile] poemoftheday_feed

Posted by Rick Noguchi

Steel horses nodding

In the petroleum field are beasts

That suck

The crude of earth.

They have lived here for as long as I

Remember. This moment,

 

I smell wild incense:

Heather, abducted by a desert wind.

Its growth hides

The rain-carved ribs of the foothills.

Evening swallows

The city fasting on late fall.

 

Years ago, after hearing the story

About a boy who lost

Both legs while playing on an oil pump,

I was dared to straddle one.

All my friends were there to watch

The Pacific behind me burning with dusk.

 

The brute lifted me to the sky,

Where I merged with the twilight,

A warm breeze embracing my back.

None of them noticed

The world stopped to breathe.

When I looked, they disappeared.

 

Nearby in pink-flowered bushes

Someone found

The girl who’d been missing for weeks.

They stood in awe, the body

Decomposing, while I rode

The slow bucking animal.

 

Two months later, off the same pump,

A man dove,

An imperfect swan into night.

He landed in the dirt gully

Breaking the soft, white wings

He never had.

 

Today, I catch in my hand

An insect charged with lightning.

It tickles

The obscure scoop of my palm

As I hold it to my mouth and explain

A wish so simple

 

By morning I will have forgotten it.

I release

The bug to a desert wind

That is racing toward the sea,

A brutal dryness in its wake.

Fire in the hills everywhere.

 



Rick Noguchi, "October, Remembering the Ride No One Saw" from The Ocean Inside.  Copyright © 1996 by Rick  Noguchi.  All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Source: The Ocean Inside(University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996)

Rick Noguchi

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