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Apr. 30th, 2016 07:49 am
sraun: birthday cake (cake birthday)
[personal profile] sraun
Happy Birthday [livejournal.com profile] dlacey, [livejournal.com profile] kd5mdk, & [livejournal.com profile] naominovik

Serendib garden journal: topiary

Apr. 30th, 2016 12:30 pm
[syndicated profile] mamohanraj_feed

Posted by Mary Anne Mohanraj

Our local garden club had a topiary workshop last week — super fun. You start with a form, stuff it with damp moss, wrap more damp moss around the frame and tie it on with fishing line, which disappears into the moss. Then you use a dibbler (bulb planter) to poke holes in the moss, pull apart a small pot of ivy into separate smaller plants, plug them into the holes, and use garden wire shaped into little u-shaped pins to secure the strands of ivy where you want them. That’s it! Soak every two weeks or so, either in the sink or with a hose, give it a trim as needed, and your topiary should last for years (the moss will dry, contract, and darken over time). I’m a little teapot…

There are lots of pre-made forms out there, but they’re pretty expensive. But I know how to bend wire and using a soldering iron, and I admit, I’m a little tempted to make a dragon topiary for my garden. Or an alien. Too busy right now, but maybe someday… 🙂

IMG_4672 IMG_4675 IMG_4677 IMG_4682 IMG_4684 IMG_4716

Serendib garden journal: Panorama

Apr. 30th, 2016 12:10 pm
[syndicated profile] mamohanraj_feed

Posted by Mary Anne Mohanraj

It’s usually difficult to get a full pic of the house and garden because there are cars in the way of where you’d want to stand, but yesterday, a space actually opened up. So here’s about the best moment of the year in my garden — it was just a little better a few days ago, because now the Thalia daffodils are starting to go. But still, splendid. I think my spring garden is pretty well established at this point, a strong weekly progression from March through May; time to start working more seriously on summer effects.

IMG_4729 IMG_4731 IMG_4735 IMG_4739

Breadbox

Apr. 30th, 2016 11:54 am
[syndicated profile] mamohanraj_feed

Posted by Mary Anne Mohanraj

Jed is visiting. Last night’s cutthroat game of Hedbanz, basically a kid-friendly version of Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral. Harder than you might think! Am I bigger than a breadbox?

IMG_0650 IMG_0651 IMG_0653 IMG_0659 IMG_0665

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[personal profile] sunnymodffa posting in [community profile] fail_fandomanon
Insert your own marijuana joke here, followed by your own choice of wank over the discovery that drug slang and implications are very different in different communities.

Meanwhile the Bunny has been sent out to get foods for the inevitable munchies. Wank really requires proper snacks.



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The Weather Gods Have Been Teasing Us

Apr. 30th, 2016 12:43 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
This is Arthur's Seat, as seen from the end of my street, yesterday morning at 9am:


This is Arthur's Seat, as seen from the end of my street, yesterday evening, around 8pm:


The reason this is important is that around 30 of my friends will be performing in the Beltane Fire Festival (awsome pics) tonight, and I'll be up the hill watching it, and frankly that latter picture looks like a lot better weather to be up a hill in (particularly considering the state of undress of some of the performers). Side note - I never, ever get bored of seeing that view every morning on the way to work.

Thankfully, the weather is now showing that any rain will have fucked off by 6pm, and that it will be about 8 degrees, so nobody should die of hypothermia.

I'm looking forward to it - haven't been in several years. And also to the afterparty, which I have managed to get myself a ticket to, not least because it's a de facto friend's birthday party too.
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
XXL leather jacket or laser gun, anyone happen to be able to lend?

Interesting Links for 30-04-2016

Apr. 30th, 2016 12:00 pm

The Blood is the Life for 30-04-2016

Apr. 30th, 2016 11:00 am
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[personal profile] miss_s_b

QotD

Apr. 30th, 2016 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Red tape sticks on both sides, Director." -- Dr. Engelbright, in Skin Horse by Shaenon K. Garrity & Jeffrey C. Wells, 2016-03-25 (and yes, I knew literal red tape that the idiom springs from isn't sticky, as a commenter pointed out -- but metaphorcally, this works)

The day seems very long

Apr. 30th, 2016 10:21 am
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Sure Mr W- Y- was put in a pettish sulk when the company show'd more desirous of hearing the Bards of Avon and Ayrshire than his new poem, that I suspect he has some intention of reading to me in private. Sure I think there was scratching at my chamber door during the night. I also confide that Sir V- P- has some notion towards tupping me.

I rise somewhat early and see that a mist lyes over the grounds. I daresay this purports no ride this morn. Nevertheless, I go out to the stables to bid good morn to my sweet Jezzie; and also to see does Ajax have any matter to communicate.

I give my dear girl an apple and the little scritch at her head that she likes. Ajax informs me that Mrs K- has been poking around my sweet Jezzie's stall and he confides is eager to do me some ill-turn, as mayhap a burr under the saddle or a loosen'd girth, but she will not get past him.

Indeed, says I, I surmize she was most put about to discover me in the company, for I think she casts eyes at His Lordship, tho' from all I hear of the pair of 'em, I am in some supposition that 'twould be a matter of her husband breaking in upon the scene and threatening to bring a crim. con. action.

The mist is turning to a nasty drizzling rain as I go back to the house. 'Twould be no pleasure to ride in it.

Not that I can anticipate much pleasure from a day spent indoors in this company.

I go into the dining room where a fine breakfast has been laid out upon the sideboard, fine enough to give me some appetite, that I did not have beforehand. I am also cheer’d to see my best darlings already seat’d at the table, at a considerable distance from the K-s, that look not on the best terms with one another. Mr B- I see – 'tis most charming in him – goes about to tempt his wife’s appetite by offering to fetch her whatever she fancies from the sideboard: will she not take some of this – sure he does not know exactly what 'tis, but 'tis most extreme tasty - or at least try one of these fine muffins?

I take a little of the excellent fine kedgeree and go sit next to Eliza, saying that 'tis most disagreeable weather the morn.

Eliza looks about the table – Sir H- Z- is addressing a plate of devill’d kidneys with a gloomy expression – and says, o, indeed 'tis.

Josiah says that His Lordship takes this opportunity for all the gentlemen to convoke in the Library. He sighs. We look at one another and can think of a matter we would very much rather be about, but alas, 'tis not possible.

My dear, says Eliza, would it be consider’d extreme poor ton did I go gossip with Seraphine?

Indeed not, says I, it might well be that you had some business concerning R- House to discourse of with her: whereas I should have no such excuse. I will go fetch my embroidery and go sit in the drawing-room. Sure there are other matters I would rather go undertake.

So I go fetch my embroidery but return the long way around, so that I may look into the cabinet of curiosities, where Sandy and I have found a place to leave messages. There is indeed a little note, writ in cypher, that tells me that Mr D- K- goes about to lead the conversation into ways that might end in seditious talk; but that he confides that the only member of the company fool enough to be beguil’d is our bad poet.

I am like to suppose that Mr D- K- is in hopes of remuneration for laying information, if he cannot get some other reward.

I hide the note within my sewing box and go out into the Long Gallery, where I see Mrs B-, walking up and down and wringing her hands in agitation.

Why, Mrs B-, what’s ado? Have you bad news from home perchance?

O no, Lady B-, she replies, but sure this is not what I anticipat’d in good society. And as I cannot go outdoors and walk in the garden, I came here where I might walk up and down and try to calm myself.

Has someone been insulting to you? I ask, for indeed I would not put this past Mrs K-, and Lady T- can make her adverse feelings known while still remaining within the bounds of apparent civility.

O, no, but I was just so shockt - she looks at me and I see her blush somewhat – but indeed, I would not like to repeat it to you –

Mrs B-, says I, 'tis sad but true that I am not unus’d to being the subject of adverse remark, and sure I have seen that Mrs K- has taken me in great dislike, so if 'twas some slander I had rather know. Here, let us go into the cabinet of curiosities and be somewhat private.

We were sitting in the drawing-room just now, she says, and there was Mrs K- and Lady T- and oh yes, Lady Z- had just come in, and I was there, and Mrs K- said did we not wonder how the gentlemen decid’d which should go to Lady B-'s bed, did they cut cards or how was it done.

Well, I did not know what to say, but Lady T- bristles up very haughty and says, whatever Lady B-'s antecedents, she is a deal better-conduct’d and prettier-behav’d than some other ladies in the party, and is quite an example of good ton that might be a model to others.

That was very civil of her, says I, for I daresay she disapproves of me considerable.

Indeed, Lady B-, one can see that the gentlemen of the party admire you very much, but why should she say such a dreadfull thing?

'Tis fairly well-known, says I, that before my marriage to the late Marquess I was a demimondaine -

O, cries Mrs B-, really? She looks at me in amazement. But you are so widely receiv’d in Society.

I have good friends, say I. I do not say to her that I daresay Mrs K- fancies she would like to be a courtesan but thinks 'tis all a matter of gentlemen making themselves very attentive, and does not reckon upon the hard work necessary. 'Tis not in the least like playing the w---e as a marry’d lady receiv’d in Society. Also she is, I suppose, us’d to being the belle of the company, but in this assembly she is outshone by Lady Z- - and would be by Viola were the latter not increasing and in mourning that suits her looks not well – as well as myself. She is not getting those attentions from gentlemen that I confide she considers her right, which is perhaps not entirely surprizing when, apart from her husband, Sir V- P-, and the bad poet, those gentlemen that are not of the brotherhood are most devot’d to the ladies to whom they are marry’d.

Indeed you do, says Mrs B-, for I see that Her Grace the Duchess and Lady W- and Mrs F- all think extreme highly of you. Sure I confide 'twould not be the case were matters as Mrs K- claim’d.

Indeed I know the difference 'twixt the conduct expect’d of a courtesan and that expect’d of a dowager marchioness! says I. Tho’ indeed one hears that there are ladies in Society who – but sure I should not go talking scandal.

Let us, I go on, go into the drawing-room.

Eliza is absent from the drawing-room, and I sigh inwardly to think that she is doubtless having a cozy gossip with Seraphine, perchance with Julius and Hannah playing around, that must be quite infinite more agreeable than the company in which I find myself.

Lady T-, however, nods to me quite civil and goes so far as to say that Mr MacD- has given her some most helpfull intelligence about the lace.

I am pleas’d to hear it, says I.

Viola asks her about lace and she unbends sufficient to describe the long tradition of ladies in the T- family making lace, the fine collection there is, the delicacy of the work, &C.

Mrs K- continues to play patience as if casting spells.

Lady Z- and Susannah are in low-voic’d conversation about embroidery. I take out my own embroidery, that is the same piece that I have been working on these some several years, for there are many occupations I had rather be about. But I quite apprehend that 'twould not be in the best of ton to sit scribbling at some horrid tale and getting ink on my fingers and even my face.

It seems quite an eternity that this house-party has last’d, and yet more to come: 'tis a relief when a nuncheon is announc’d.

It still rains, but 'tis suggest’d that the ladies might like a visit to the hot-houses. Lady T-, Viola, Lady Z-, Mrs B- and Susannah all declare that this would be most delightfull. Eliza and I were able to see them without such a crowd, so we decline. Mrs K- says she has the headache and will go lye down a while. 'Tis usual, does a lady make such a complaint, the other ladies will all come forward with their favour’d remedies: there is a silence. I offer her my smelling-bottle which she rejects very uncivil.

O most patient and tactfull of C-'s, says Eliza, let us go sit and coze in the small parlour.

We do so. Eliza says Seraphine says that Roberts saw Mrs K- in one of the hot-houses yesterday, looking as if she went about some covert matter.

I shrug. An assignation with – oh, Mr W- Y-? But let us not talk of her, my love.

We enjoy a pleasing gossip about the other guests – Mrs B- is a fine woman tho’ very shy and self-conscious, we must take her up and bring her out. Sure 'tis no wonder Lady Z- is discontent when her husband treats her with the civility he might accord a chance-met stranger. Does not Lady T- remind us somewhat of dear Lady J-? I disclose my suspicions concerning Sir V- P- and the poet. 'Tis all quite entirely agreeable.

We return to the drawing-room as tea is serv’d and hear a deal of praise of the hot-houses.

Comes in Mrs K- looking like the lady in the Scottish play, saying her necklace has been stolen – this was a fine if old-fashioned piece that was said some family heirloom.

What, thieves have broke in? cries Mrs B-. We all make haste to go see if our own treasures are safe, which they are.

Back in the drawing room, Mrs K- is making wild accusations upon the servants.

fred_mouse: crystal mouse, looking straight out at the viewer (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
Disclaimer: This book was one of many I read as a judge for the 2015 Aurealis Awards. This review is my personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of any judging panel, the judging coordinator or the Aurealis Awards management team.
 
Score: 4.5/5
 
Quick review 1: Somewhat formulaic horror/dark fantasy, but (nearly) every story grabbed me. The twists are good genre tropes, handled well. Consistently competent, nicely varied.
 
Long review:
Nomarhas is not an author I was previously familiar with, and there is no visible publishers imprint in the ebook, so I was all braced for this to be a little on the dreadful side. But four reprints in a single author collection (of eleven) stories went a little way towards reassuring me, as did the rather striking cover. As did the first two stories, which I was somewhat surprised to discover were not (either of them) included in the reprints. From there, I was pretty much hooked. Other than one story that I found a little thin, a reprise of an author's conceit that I felt really only works once, and the bookending with a couple of too thematically similar stories given the range of the rest, everything worked for me. 
 
For me, the highlights of the collection are "Of Bone and Dust and Hide" and "Bernie's Mother". The former takes the terror that dust and heat and distance can create for those who are not familiar with them, and creates a landscape that devours. The latter follows the career of a wanna-be serial killer who just needed the right impetus. 
 
Of the others, some interesting explorations of identity, of the creation of reality, and the illusions that keep us sane. A number of classic horror tropes show up - the serial killer, the vampire, the predatory middle-aged villains, the lost girl, the revenge fantasy. There is the odd twist in the tale, but some really are just the story that they look to be. For example, the vampire story - nothing unusual, just a good, solid, 'suspicion of vampire' trope, played with all the beats in the right place. And, without spoilers, there is one story, where my story summary includes the phrase "..Almost Lovecraftian, without the dodgy bits". Across the darker of the stories, the author does a fabulous job of showing a range of deeply unpleasant people without beating the reader over the head with the details of the protagonists' awfulness(es). 
 
As for the book as a collection, it works well. I've already flagged my issues with the bookending of two thematically similar stories, both reflecting the ideas of a slow apocalypse. The bringing of the collection around to its start works well in this case, with the final story providing a gently icky finish for a gently icky collection. The afterward is nothing startling, but does give a little of the author (and it is blissfully brief, a feature I have started looking for when author's write about their own work). This collection is not going to set the world on fire, but it is rock solid, with reasonably consistently strong stories with a good range of ideas/tropes
 
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Posted by der Mädchenmannschaft

Dieser Text ist Teil 315 von 315 der Serie Kurz notiert

Deutschsprachige Beiträge

Am 3. Mai, dem Geburtstag von May Ayim, findet in Berlin eine Gedenkveranstaltung (Facebook-Veranstaltung) zu ihrem Geburtstag und 20. Todesjahr statt. Vor 6 Jahren stellten wir May Ayim auf unserem Blog vor.

In der taz gibt es ein sehr kluges Interview mit Yasemin Shooman zum Berliner Neutralitätsgesetz, ĂĽber Religionsfreiheit und gesellschaftliche Ausgrenzung: „Genau wie man aus feministischer Sicht gegen Zwangsverschleierung sein muss, muss man auch gegen Zwangsentschleierung sein.“

Die Charité in Berlin schreibt Tarif-Geschichte: Erstmals wurde in einer Klinik ein Tarifvertrag unterzeichnet, der Mindestbesetzungen auf den Stationen vorschreibt. Die Universitätsklinik wird nun nach heftigem Streit mit den in Verdi organisierten Beschäftigten mehr Pflegekräfte anstellen.

Die eingetragene Partnerschaft gab es in Kolumbien bereits, jetzt ist die Ehe nicht mehr nur Hetenpaaren vorenthalten, hat das Oberste Verfassungsgericht in Kolumbien angeordnet.

In der ARD Mediathek gibt es zur Zeit eine Dokumentation ĂĽber den Mythos der so genannten „TrĂĽmmerfrauen“ , welcher sich als NS-Propaganda entpuppt: „Frauen, die in der NS-Zeit zwangsweise TrĂĽmmer räumen mussten, sind jedenfalls nicht gemeint, wenn heute von TrĂĽmmerfrauen die Rede ist.“

Gert Schramm, Schwarzer Überlebender von Buchenwald, ist vor wenigen Wochen mit 87 Jahren verstorben.

Folgeempfehlung auf Twitter: @abilitywatch (Selbstvertretung behinderter Menschen in Deutschland), wo aktuell das Bundesteilhabegesetz kritisch besprochen wird.

Der Monokini 2.0! Auf einer Fashion Show in Helsinki im letzten Jahr wurde der Monokini von Brustkrebs-Ăśberlebenden vorgefĂĽhrt.

Englischsprachige Beiträge

Wer ist die 28-jährige Dichterin, die BeyoncĂ© in Lemonade zitiert? Meet Warsan Shire! Und wer jetzt genervt mit den Augen rollt und sich eher ĂĽber BeyoncĂ© aufregt: No Lemonade for you! DafĂĽr gibt’s T-Shirts, denn BeyoncĂ© verkauft nun auch „Boycott BeyoncĂ©“ Shirts :)

Termine in Berlin und Hannover

9. Mai bis 4. Juni in Hannover: Feministische Veranstaltungsreihe „Rabatz macht Terz“ u.a. mit einem Vortrag von Hengameh Yaghoobifarah zum Thema „Kulturelle Aneignung“ und einem Vortrag von Magda zum Thema „I’m Fat, Let’s Party! Interventionsmöglichkeiten und fetter Aktivismus“.

10. Mai in Berlin: Fachgespräch zum Thema „Reproduktive Rechte stärken: Queer-feministische Forderungen an ein Fortpflanzungsmedizingesetz“

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Daily Happiness

Apr. 29th, 2016 11:10 pm
torachan: john from garfield wearing a party hat and the text "this is boring with hats" (this is boring with hats)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Today was one of those days at work, but despite a bunch of people calling out and a bunch of crap going on, I got out of there only an hour late.

2. Tomorrow I can sleep in!

3. Earlier this week the forecast was predicting temps in the 80s this weekend, but it's actually been in the 60s and low 70s. I hope that continues for a while.

4. We had a nice walk this evening and stopped at Pollo Loco for dinner.

5. Look at this fluffy kitten!

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