(no subject)

Jun. 23rd, 2017 03:59 pm
yam: (Chubblies)
[personal profile] yam
My shoulder is (mostly) better and so too is my state of mind, having gone from AW FUCK I NEED TO QUIT AGAIN AND FIGURE OUT HOW TO LIVE ON DISABILITY IF I CAN EVEN QUALIFY FOR IT EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE OH GOD I HOPE I DON'T HAVE TO SELL _THIS_ PLACE TOO NOOOOOO to OKAY I CAN KEEP WORKING IT SUCKS SOMETIMES BUT THAT WAS JUST A TEMPORARY TROUGH OF BLECH. That's a lot of capslock! It was exhausting. I am exhausted.

I got to see a friend being ordained, and it was so moving and wonderful. I cried and I laughed and I smiled and I prayed. And accidentally played a crow-trick on her by getting my head shaved while I was killing time before the service. (Sorry not sorry.) There was a huge, full, gratuitously beautiful double rainbow outside, just as the service ended, and Juli was framed against it, wearing a lei, and listen I would buy that postcard. (Instead I bought a postcard of the organ in St. Mark's, which is very handsome! Also a postcard of the cathedral hiding behind CHUBBLIES.) I had never been to an Anglican service and I am a bit in love.

Me, buying postcard: Chubblies!!!
Sisterofjuli: What?
Me: *points at cherry blossoms*
Sisterofjuli: Is that what they call cherry trees in Canada?
Me: YES!
Sisterofjuli: How interesting!
Me, ashamed: ...no, it's not what they call cherry trees in Canada.

BUT IT SHOULD BE, OBVS.

Well, cherry blossoms, anyway.

Me: What time-o-clock is it?
Scruff: 5:30.
Sisterofjuli: Is that how they ask what time it is in Canada?
Me: YES!
Sisterofjuli: How inte--
Me and Scruff: NO IT IS NOT

There is an eagle nest in one of the power towers along the highway from the border to the ferry! And it has adorable ginormous probably going to fledge soon eaglets in it right now and I saw one!

My sister

Jun. 23rd, 2017 01:18 pm
serene: serene (ooh)
[personal profile] serene
If you and I are close, you probably remember first hearing about my sister and being kind of surprised that my feelings for her range from deep apathy (almost all the time) to raging anger/hatred (during any of the crises in my family that she caused or precipitated over the years). Mostly, once the kids I helped raise were 18, she hasn't affected my life in any direct, practical way, but her fingers are in most of the shitty turns my family's lives have taken, for as long as I can remember.

She's in ICU right now, unlikely to regain consciousness, unlikely to live out this day, and I'm sorry that she had such a mean, small, painful life, but I'm not at all sorry that she'll be gone, because it's hard to cause fresh hurt and injury once you've died. Not impossible, but hard.

I'll go with my mom this evening so she can say good-bye. For myself, I don't find it necessary; Barbara's been out of my life since my kid turned 18 (gosh, almost 8 years ago), and for the last couple years, she was in prison, so there's nothing to say good-bye to. For my mom, this is so so so fraught. She blames herself for my sister's mental illness, dissipation, and alienation. She feels like if she'd been a better mother, it would have gone better.

Honestly, my mom was a better mother to my sister than to me -- children who act up often get more attention and effort than the compliant, goody-two-shoes ones. I haven't made any secret of my sorrow over my mother's mistakes in parenting, but they're not the reason my sister is who she is. Not saying none of it was ever a factor. Just that picking one person as the cause of another's bad deeds is pretty much never the way to bet.

Anyway, I'm totally fine, emotionally. I'm just feeling pensive about the ripple effects we all have on the people in our circles, even years after we have any contact at all, and I'm feeling a renewed desire to be a positive force in my loved one's lives, instead of a negative one.

All the cool kids are playing Bingo

Jun. 22nd, 2017 02:11 pm
jesse_the_k: Macro photo of left eye of my mostly black border collie mutt (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
on twitter & FB...but I'd rather do it here.

I made this card at
http://myfreebingocards.com
Then I download others' cards, use a photo editor to check off shared interests, and repost.

Jesse the Kingo card

Jesse the Kingo card described )

bingo card meme

Jun. 22nd, 2017 02:11 pm
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Personal bingo meme that people are playing on Twitter and elsewhere!

You can google "bingo card generator" and fill one out with your interests. Then you can use a photo editor to check off interests that you have too.

My card is also at Flickr:
https://flic.kr/p/VL1xcd

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 2.37.46 PM

transcription )

(no subject)

Jun. 21st, 2017 11:10 am
gfish: (Default)
[personal profile] gfish
I'm reading Wittgenstein's On Certainty, and he mentioned that no one feels surprise when mathematics proves itself consistent. Except I do.

Basically every time I do some mental arithmetic, I do the problem multiple times, coming at it from different directions. For example, maybe I need to find half of 47. I'd immediately take half of 46 and add 0.5, getting 23.5. But then I'd also take half of 50 and subtract 1.5, also getting 23.5.

(Sidenote: I know not everyone does this, as demonstrated by how outraged people are over Common Core. It just makes plain good sense to me. Mathematics shouldn't be the blind application of fixed algorithms -- you need to choose the approach that works best for you. And to do that, you need to see the different options and really understand how they're all the same thing, fundamentally. But most people don't really understand that. They can only solve problems in a single way they memorized 30 years ago. Then they feel dumb when their kid asks for help with their homework, and lash out.)

In part I do this to provide to a checksum on the original answer, but also because I always feel a small thrill of surprise and delight. Math is internally consistent, and every problem has an infinite number of ways you can solve it. It's just so neat -- and also staggeringly impressive. Imagine writing an operating system with no bugs. Imagine being able to design a legal system without any need for judges, because there was a single, obvious, undeniable verdict for any case. Imagine a taxonomy with no edge cases, no "miscellaneous" categories.

Math is quite literally inhuman in its perfection.

Take that, Wittgenstein.

Fads of youth

Jun. 21st, 2017 09:25 am
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
I was thinking last night of fads. In the 70s I had an official "Pet Rock" which I loved. The manual on care and training of Pet Rocks was very amusingly written (at least to my 7 year old mind). Pet Rocks were particularly great at learning to "stay" and "play dead". It came in a little carton full of straw with the manual and I think, a leash.

My dad was a good model for how to gently enjoy human absurdity and I remember him being super entertained by the pet rock and playing along with it super well.

Uuuupdates

Jun. 20th, 2017 07:35 pm
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
(1) I am a bit groggy and out of it post Minor Medical Procedure for Mystery Menstrual Symptoms; A was v good about shunting me around the hospital when I was too sore to particularly want to push myself/bringing me things/etc. Everything looked healthy; I was a Model Patient; biopsy results are unlikely to show anything concerning, so ??????????

(2) House viewing this morning was VERY CONFUSING. It has a garden! That contains a well-tended hydrangea, and rose bushes, and fruiting apple and plum and probably-cherry (there's definitely a cherry, I'm just not sure whether it's ornamental), and maybe a crabapple, and a vegetable patch, and a patio. And a nice kitchen. And the conservatory would be dining room/games room/music room and would be lovely esp. in the rain. So now I'm just trying to convince us (... myself) that we'd actually be able to fit the furniture into it, which is currently proving Difficult; I am intending to ask to have another viewing and actually take a tape measure this time. (Wider wheelchair just about fits in the front door. It's rampable. I should be able to get a powerchair in. There's an airing cupboard for letting dough rise in. Etc etc etc...)

my political sentimentality

Jun. 20th, 2017 11:50 am
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
From "An Excerpt From My Definitely Not a Presidential Campaign Book" by Alexandra Petri, Washington Post, June 5, 2017:


People always ask me what I'm passionate about, and I tell them the following story: When I was a little kid, my grandmother took me to see an injustice. I got so mad! I threw my red white and blue popsicle down on the ground. My grandmother picked it up and said, "Winner, these colors are sacred. Never let them drop." And I said, "I know, Grandma, but I don't like to see injustice!" and she said, "That's just the world we live in. Unless you grow up and devise common-sense policy solutions to do something about it. And don't forget the men who died to give that right to you, and proudly stand up to defend her still today."

....

I think sex is bad unless it falls into one of the five categories below that also conveniently align with my policy proposals:

-- you are thinking about tax reform during it
-- other people are having it and you are vocally disapproving of it
-- at least one of the people involved is committed to being a great dad
-- it involves one willing participant who is a male celebrity
-- it is binding Americans together and serving to restore our common values


So one way I know that I am hopelessly sentimental about civic virtue and so on, and that part of me is an utter sucker for "common-sense policy solutions"/"binding Americans together"-type rhetoric, is that even this parody makes me mist up a little bit. Also I have literally cried (albeit on an airplane) at a Doritos ad that championed bipartisanship.

(As a young'un I came across a copy of Art Buchwald's I Never Danced at the White House and read it and thus learned about Watergate. Art Buchwald was a political humor columnist for the Washington Post. I am imagining some twelve-year-old girl in 2039 reading a Petri collection, getting about 30% of the jokes and enjoying it a lot.)

(Also I should look up whether there is critical scholarship discussing Alexandra Petri, Alexandra Erin, the Toast work of Mallory Ortberg, and whoever else is doing .... this kind of thing in this era. *handwave*)

(no subject)

Jun. 19th, 2017 11:36 pm
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
[personal profile] kaberett
hello everybody I know I owe a lot of you replies various and am working on it, my life should get a little less hectic for a while as of tomorrow morning unless we do make a snap decision to move house (~250m, positive reasons) once we've viewed a thing tomorrow morning, thank you for bearing with me, love meme is still open and is still getting a trickle of comments and I am working on responding to y'all, especially the folk I want to say thank you to for making me cry in a good way <3

only halfway through the month

Jun. 19th, 2017 03:24 pm
solarbird: (tracer)
[personal profile] solarbird
Finally put up the pride flag, only halfway through the month XD

Book review: Darwin

Jun. 19th, 2017 09:31 am
gfish: (Default)
[personal profile] gfish
Some scattered thoughts on Origin of Species and Descent of Man, which I listened and read over the last month.

I knew the basic story that Darwin, upon hearing that Wallace was about to publish something very similar, rushed Origin of Species into publications after sitting on it for years. Given that, I was surprised how openly this was acknowledged in the book itself, and how often and generously he credited Wallace's observations. It was still a bit hinky, using his famous naturalist connections to beat Wallace to publication, but it made me feel a lot more kindly towards him.

One thing that surprised me was the explicit uses of Lamarckian mechanisms. The common story puts Darwin as rejecting all that, but in fact he very frequently included it in lists of inherited traits upon which natural selection would work.

Darwin's understanding of inheritance is, of course, quite terrible. It makes me even more surprised that his ideas caught on at all at the time. There is no hint of thinking of genetics in a quantized manner (except, of course, for sex), which would fatally wound Darwinism from the very beginning. Analog traits just couldn't spread in the way needed. But I suppose the general lack of real genetic understanding prevented that flaw from being properly understood as well?

It's interesting to note that Mendel was publishing in the 1860s, but it was basically ignored by the scientific world, and Darwin never even became aware of it. It's not hard to imagine that evolutionary biology and genetics would have been fully accepted decades earlier if that synthesis had been made. And there was absolutely no good reason it didn't happen, just poor communication. Remember that whenever someone starts talking about "steam engine time" or similarly naive theories of history!

I thought it was fairly charming how Darwin often phrased sexual selection in terms of the appreciation of beauty. As in, at what level of development are animals advanced enough to appreciate beauty, and thus self-select for ornamentation?

Overall, I thought the first held up quite well. If you ignore everything it says about inheritance, it seemed decent as an intro to the concept of evolution. Descent of Man was a bit rockier, involving a lot of very uncomfortable "maybe humans are actually multiple species?" speculation. For his time, though, he still came across as a decent, humane guy. Someone I'd like to hang out with. And that's not an impression I often take away when reading the works of important scientists!
solarbird: (tracer)
[personal profile] solarbird

Remember that novella I’ve been writing, On Overcoming the Fear of Spiders? It’s finished. 32 chapters, a bit under 35,000 words (there is a canon digression linked at the appropriate time, but not contained within the primary volume, that boosts the word count), and I’m rather pleased to hear from a couple of readers who do not know anything about the Overwatch world that it makes sense even to them. They know there are emotional beats they’re missing, but it still works as a story.

I wasn’t specifically trying to do that, but I’m really quite pleased that it happened.

If you don’t know the lore at all, but are interested, here’s the original animated short introducing the world of the game, and here is the animated short “Alive” that featured Widowmaker. You’ll see the latter story in short form in Chapter 10, but in the cinematic, the chemistry between Amélie and Lena is absolutely smokin’, which spawned a lot of ships.

(If you really find yourself getting into the lore, here’s the official site, including the comic that confirmed Tracer – the literal face of the game, she’s on the cover of the box – is a lesbian.)

Also, you should know that in canon, in-universe, we ‘know’ that Amélie Lacroix was kidnapped by Talon and recovered apparently well but in actuality neurally reconditioned to assassinate her husband, the head of anti-Talon operations at Overwatch. After that, she went on to become a supposedly-emotionless assassin who feels only satisfaction at the success of her kills.

We are also given a lot of clues in both lore and game that this is at least in some parts a pile of lies, and that we are supposed to figure that out.

Anyway, this has been an experience like few others for me – it is literally more fiction than I’ve written, combined, before, in my life, and I actually tried writing fiction for real in college. I even got published once, in a little Ontario small-press magazine for a token $20 payment. But it was always like pulling teeth, whereas this was more like just trying to stay afloat on top of the tsunami as it carried me forward. I’ve had that feeling for individual songs before, but never for fiction.

I really liked it. I hope it happens again.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Heat regulation

Jun. 18th, 2017 07:36 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
First super super hot day here. If tomorrow will be like this I need to find the fan in the garage.

I just shaved about a pound of side hair off (it is thick) and have put it in the worm bin. Good compost aeration! And, felt happy I had cleaned and organized the closet weeks ago as I easily found my little box of house dresses.

I'm wearing this amazing reversible soft linen sleeveless dress, with a pocket for my handkerchief, that I got from Flax on skud's recommendation a few years ago (converting me fervently to linen) And my hair has been up in a top of the head ponytail all day (now much more effective with the side hair shaved off.) I think of skud affectionately whenever I wear this amazing dress (maroon on one side and lavender on the other). The pocket handkerchief is daintily printed with violets. I ironed it the other day, as I enjoy doing.

Now you know everything. All my secrets. Dresses, ironing, and the fact that I have that chicken yodeling song stuck in my head.
solarbird: justice rains on your face (pharah)
[personal profile] solarbird
I saw some nice enemy Junkrat play last night, while playing I was Pharah in Illios.

So the first round, we'd lost badly, because I didn't get Pharah, and whoever did wasn't good with environment kills (at the Lighthouse, even, which makes me sad) and we get scrubbed. We win in the Ruins, though, because I can D.va the shit out of the Ruins.

So at the beginning of the third round, our Pharah changes to somebody else (becoming more effective, I might add) and I grab Pharah. And we're crushing them. It's the well, they can't even really get onto the point.

And I'm flying 'round the back of the well's lighthouse, to bombard the entry to the point from over the sea, which is what I should be doing if I can. And I see Hanzo and Junks on a second-floor balcony facing the ocean.

So of course, I boop 'em, because environmental kills are my dearest love as Pharah. The archer flies directly into the ocean, and so does Junks - at first. Then he spins round, throws his mine directly in front of himself, detonates it...

...and gets blown ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE LOWER LEVEL OF THE LIGHTHOUSE, making it safely to land.

I was all like "Oh, well done. I almost hate to kill you."

Of course, we promptly three-on-oned him and he died, because he had no team behind him. But I just gotta say: enemy Junkrat from last night? That was some damned find junking. Quick thinking and well done, whoever you were.

Experimental notebook transfer

Jun. 18th, 2017 01:40 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
So out of the habit of blogging. The back injection was harder to take this time than usual (I think) Thursday is very fuzzy - I barely remember it after I got home. Dossie brought me to the pain clinic and I do remember them giving me an extra dose of whatever it was into the vein, as I was cussing and had trouble staying still for the needle. The clinic is trying a new thing where they play you music on request during a procedure so I asked for Bach. How do you spell it? Nurse very puzzled. Then the one thing I remember other than Dr. Pham telling the resident, You have no idea what is about to happen here and me laughing and then cussing my head off. In the middle of it as I got calm, exclaiming, "Oh, Brandenburg Concerto number 3" and feeling clever to have any brain cells at all.

I can't actually remember getting in the car or getting home at all but I believe Dossie must have got here and then Milo was here as well so.... ?

Not sure if it is worth it. Some times I feel better immediately but this time I have been in an annoying (semi incapacitating) level of pain at the injection sites from Thursday to Saturday. I had to skip a nice board game birthday party and a punk rock history movie. Very quiet weekend alone. Rosa came over for tea and to pick up some things - I haven't seen her in a while. I am somewhat functional but in small bits and without bending over much. The quiet weekend has meant I am more than caught up on tidying up after myself and other people. When that happens I can make inroads on the accumulated disorder. We need to get rid of some books. Also, I think the anesthetic and sedative and steroids together made me feel strange, brainless, aimless, exhausted.

Today has been better. I went up the hill to Pinhole cafe and went through some bits of 3 different notebooks. I tried to copy any worthwhile bits out of the big black moleskine one from December into the 2 new ones, especially working on the Andromeda and Venus poems. I am fairly happy with the first bit, have lots of the 2nd, some of the 3rd but it is not quite coalesced and something to #4. Nothing on 5 (Maybe?) But the structure is more clear to me. I wrote some new snippets and copied over other parts. Found the notes I took in my lap at the actual dance performance that it's about.

Horrors when I was on my way to Dossie's office Tues. evening and realized there was NO NOTEBOOKS WTF. I got a substandard one in the walgreens (nothing else open) So here is my entry from it before I tear out the pages and pass the unsuitable notebook on. (I am too fussy, but I don't like a yucky feeling cover, or a size too small with binding too tight, as I can't think on paper well without wider space)

>>> Lovely jcab driver named Yosief from Eritrea a poet who used to write for the newspapers. We talked about the route and the pleasure of driving around to random places following where someone else wants to go (better than seeing nothing in a 7-11 as he was at first and no one would talk with him) It is other people's choices. We admired Glen Park Canyon as we drove up the street alongside.

His family's place in Eritrea is very beautiful with trees with fruit of all kinds, grapes, plums, and their neighbor had cows so they would trade for milk. The family thought of expanding the house but it would have meant cutting down some of the fruit trees so they had a big family meeting and decided not to. He feels like trees with fruit almost have a soul. You have to respect them. I added you feel connected to the land when you eat something you know comes right from it that you grew and picked.

He described how Trump is just like the dictator in Eritrea , how they fought for independence but then got a dictator for 26 years no better than before. America is supposed to be for disagreeing and discussing anything you want without hate. He has a picture he cut out from the paper of Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner kissing each other on the cheek and shaking hands which he framed and put on the wall as it is the spirit of America that they completely disagree but can at least act friendly. But now maybe things are going bad and we can't think that we are immune from society falling apart. It can happen here, and the rich and greedy are the same everywhere, they only want power and they don't care what happens otherwise. He has to call up his family and tell them everything about politics, and they try to protect him by telling him it will be OK... because they know he's sensitive.

In case you can't tell this was all completely charming and I told him how I am also a poet and translator and about Carmen's book and said we should email and send poems. I went to write down my email and realized NO NOTEBOOK and not a scrap of paper on me. This never happens! How embarrassing just when I claimed to be a writer! He put his email into my phone but then i accidentally thought i lost it when I closed the email app. But! Found it! Now, he wonders if I will help him translate a poem? I may do this (counting on no misunderstanding about a meetup)

>>>
My plan was to hang out in pt. reyes town and write and work on poems while D. was at her appointment but no notebook. I can likely buy a decent one there in the bookstore.

Middle section of poem cycle as visual play across page with form? In a cleft or split going vertically for the structural supports. Too much? Or better have it underpin every page or some pages running through the whole thing as the supports should be 100% visible. Rodin's anatomical studies for those guys in the village (aldermen?). So, either that or 3rd section would be ramp/cleft/structure and 4th would be naiads.

Thinking of the free play across the page that I admire. The comical woman crossing the atlantic communist poem, Elvira H. Carta de viaje - more free and far-ranging. That space & far-ranging wide freedom has to underpin the entire Descent cycle. Consider also American Air (together with carta de viaje, atlantic, ibarbourou atlantic poems, in its own little book?)

Note, add Florentino book to ebook list for Burn This Press. Nearly forgot it.

>>>
Punchline of this is that a day later I found one of the 3 notebooks at the very bottom of my big backpack. So was able to work after all, with notes.

lego harry potter

Jun. 18th, 2017 03:47 pm
sasha_feather: sirius black from harry potter films (sirius black)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
I bought a used Xbox 360 at the thrift store a few months ago, which has opened up to me the world of gaming. My roommate and I have been enjoying Lego Harry Potter. We started with years 5-7 which I found in a bargain bin, and then moved on to years 1-4.

The game is easy for us to learn, whimsical and funny. It's just plain fun to run around Hogwarts and revisit the story. There are a few parts that are tricky / fussy, especially timed jumping. I realize that platform jumping is a gaming tradition going back to Frogger and Donkey Kong, but it is not friendly to people with arthritis or dexterity issues. I wish games would rely on it less, or have easy jumping modes. Last night I spent way too long trying to jump over a required barrier and got frustrated.

Lego HP requires little to no reading and no listening. Information is conveyed through pictures. So, you can play with the sound off and you don't need captions. There is one game aspect where it's helpful to distinguish red from green (Parseltongue cabinets), but not strictly required. The parts where you fight a "boss" (often at the end of levels) tend to be much easier with two players. This game can be played with one player, but seems designed for two players. Levels are not timed-sensitive-- in fact you're rewarded if you spend more time looking around and exploring. You can't save mid-level, though, so if your game freezes or you have to leave for some reason, you will have to replay that bit of the story.

For my roommate and I--we are novice newbie gamers-- Lego HP has been a really great entry point. I definitely recommend it.

(no subject)

Jun. 18th, 2017 02:23 am
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
[personal profile] kaberett
I am grumpily insomniac; I have given up on sleep for the time being and have curled up in a blanket with some hot chocolate and a book; and probably this would be working better if The Fifth Season (which I am belatedly reading for Hugo purposes) wasn't Wrong about both geology and horses.

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tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Tim Chevalier

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