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Thursday, December 8th, 2016


1:44 p.m. - In better news
There's gloom and doom aplenty, but here are 99 Reasons Why 2016 has been a great year for humanity.

Also, dinosaur tail, complete with feathers, found in 99-million-year-old amber from Myanmar. Seriously, people, "the tail of a non-avialan theropod (coelurosaur) preserved in Burmese amber, combining bone outlines with microscopic details of plumage and integument. This specimen sheds new light on the appearance and evolution of plumage of dinosaurs, providing a direct association between amber-entombed plumage and body fossil material." I'm not the only one squeeing out here, am I?

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Tuesday, December 6th, 2016


9:26 a.m. - Quotes of the Moment
The habit of narration, of crafting something miraculous out of the commonplace, was hard to break. Narration came naturally after a time spent in the company of talking scarecrows or disappearing cats; it was, in its own way, a method of keeping oneself grounded, connected to the thin thread of continuity that ran through all lives, no matter how strange they might become. Narrate the impossible things, turn them into a story, and they could be controlled.

--Seanan McGuire, Every Heart a Doorway


~~~~~~~~~~~~


He was, he once confessed, an actor, and he learned to play the part of the Führer--how to talk, to stand, to move, to perform. Everything in his public life, and often in his private life as he came to believe his own publicity, was stage-managed. Even the war. He wanted to play the role of a general, and when he tried writing his own script of World War Two, he bombed.

By design rather than as a by-product of his image-building, out of the cult of personality grew his cult of celebrity. He knew no other way to become dictator than by performing. Fame was more important to him than governing, although in his mind they became one and the same thing. Culture and art became politics. Even suicide was a macabre element to his celebrity, his legend and his sense of immortality, which were all irrevocably connected to the final act of his life-long drama; he would write his own ending.

--Michael Munn, Hitler and the Nazi Cult of Film and Fame


~~~~~~~~~~~~


We are who we are, no matter how that might conflict with who we think we are. Our suggestibility to manipulations, whether positive or negative, is fundamental to being human. And what looks like magic is often just our own frightened, malleable brains casting about for a way to explain what's going on around us. We are, all of us, storytellers, and the most powerful story we have is the one we tell ourselves.

--Erik Vance, Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain's Ability to Deceive, Transform, and Heal
Current Mood: hungry
Current Music: Nine Inch Nails, "We're in This Together"
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Tuesday, November 29th, 2016


2:51 p.m. - This is America, November 29
So, the person who will presumably become the next president of the United States had a little tweetstorm which included the statement that people who burn the American flag should suffer some consequence like losing their citizenship or spending a year in prison.

There are just so, so many things going on here. One thing nobody seems to be commenting on: Trumpelthinskin apparently believes that loss of U.S. citizenship is roughly equivalent to spending a mere year behind bars. Seriously? Which prison was he thinking of sending them to--Guantanamo?

Anyway, many people are responding to this. Some people think that responding to DJT's tweets at all is a mistake: Trump Wants You to Burn Flags While He Burns Constitution
But why would he choose to pick this strange fight? Here is a case where the common complaint that he is distracting the public from unflattering stories rings true. Proposing a flag-burning ban is a classic right-wing nationalist distraction, and Trump has a number of ugly stories from which to distract: his plan for massive, unprecedented corruption, the extreme beliefs of his appointees, a controversy over a recount that highlights his clear defeat in the national vote....

Trump’s flag-burning tweet is a frightening moment not because his proposal stands any chance of enactment, but because it reflects one of the few signs that his dangerous and authoritarian politics is calculated, and not merely crazy.


While there may be some merit to that argument, there's also the fact that the person we expect to be sworn in as the next president apparently wants us to believe that a proposal to strip someone of U.S. citizenship for exercising their first amendment rights is acceptable in American political discourse.

David Frum asks on Twitter: If flag-burning merits loss of citizenship, what should be the penalty for a Nazi salute by a Trump supporter?

which seems like a valid question.

Regarding flag burning, here's a bit of the SCOTUS decision U.S. v. Eichman: "Government may create national symbols, promote them, and encourage their respectful treatment," Brennan wrote. "But the Flag Protection Act of 1989 goes well beyond this by criminally proscribing expressive conduct because of its likely communicative impact. We are aware that desecration of the flag is deeply offensive to many. But the same might be said, for example, of virulent ethnic and religious epithets, vulgar repudiations of the draft, and scurrilous caricatures [all of which the Court had deemed protected by the First Amendment]. 'If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.' Punishing desecration of the flag dilutes the very freedom that makes this emblem so revered, and worth revering."

Yes, I am aware that HRC also wanted to outlaw flag-burning. I'm not a fan of the idea when it comes from her either, though at least she's never proposed stripping someone's citizenship for the act.


Also, if you were wondering if a natural-born U.S. citizen could lose their citizenship, the answer is yes, but neither burning a flag nor getting on Trumpelthinskin's nerves is enough to do it:

Section 349 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1481), as amended, states that U.S. nationals are subject to loss of nationality if they perform certain specified acts voluntarily and with the intention to relinquish U.S. nationality.

More info here.

DJT isn't even president yet and he seems intent on proving in more and more ways every day that he is completely unfit for the office. This Is Not Normal. This Is Not Okay.

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Saturday, November 19th, 2016


10:23 a.m. - 2016 as Absurdist Theater
So, Mike Pence went to see Hamilton and the cast had something to say. Which makes sense, since the theater has historically--for centuries--been an important space for public dissent (for a major example from my lifetime, I'm thinking Václav Havel, who I suspect I'll be re-reading a lot in the next few years).


How does the presumptive president-elect of the United States of America respond to this?

Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing.This should not happen!

and then

The Theater must always be a safe and special place.The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!


That's right: Trumpelthinskin is demanding a safe space.

2016, I don't even know what to do with you anymore. Maybe you need a nap?
Current Mood: morbidly amused

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Thursday, November 17th, 2016


11:11 a.m. - Let's make this perfectly clear
This Is Not Normal

The one thing authoritarians want you to do is to accept that their conduct is normal, even when it is not. They do not want you to yearn for a freer, less oppressive and less corrupt time, and they do not want you to think it odd when, say, a government agency is purged or a bunch of protesters are arrested and vanish into the prisons without ever seeing trial. They want you to think it is normal when the President is openly selling your interests out to a foreign power, or when he is using the levers of government to materially enrich and empower his family. The presumption of normality during abnormal times is one of the most powerful weapons the authoritarian has, and that is why it is so important to recognize how profoundly abnormal Donald J. Trump will be as president. So I assembled a list.





The Abnormal Presidency

I was going to quote a bit of this one as a teaser, but you should read the whole thing if you haven't already. Because, well, This Is Not Normal.
Current Music: Sting, "The Last Ship"

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Monday, November 14th, 2016


10:04 a.m. - Be good to yourself, good to your neighbors
I don't think I've ever loved my neighborhood more than I've loved it this past week. When I voted on Election Day, the line was just long enough for me to see that my fellow voters included African-Americans, Spanish-speaking immigrants, and at least a couple of Muslims. I am living in the land of Trumplethinskin's nightmares and I love it.

Of course that means that most of the neighborhood feels like our country has just voted us into our own nightmare. People have been numb, anxious, depressed. Yesterday it seemed that the shock was wearing off and being replaced by anger and a determination to stand up for each other--our fellow Americans, our fellow immigrants, the good people elsewhere on this beleaguered planet we're sharing. Here's hoping that determination lasts a good long while--because even if Hillary Rodham Clinton had won the electoral vote, we'd still have a bunch of people the worst part of DJT's campaign has emboldened to fight against not only her, but against all of us who love the diversity of our country. The number of "Black Lives Matter" signs in people's yards seems to be have increased since Tuesday, which I'll take as a good sign.

Link mostly for myself: Trendspotting from John Evans of Techcrunch, which has a bunch of links which may lead to other things I need to think about.
Current Mood: sleep-deprived

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Saturday, November 12th, 2016


10:54 a.m. - Letter from Toronto
Lessons for Americans from the city that elected Rob Ford

"Dear Americans,

"Hello from Toronto. We promise not to be smarmy or condescending.

"It's just that we have some experience electing a uniquely unqualified bigoted demagogue whose stunted emotional maturity and tenuous grasp of reality caused people to fear for things they held dear. But while we can't pretend that our late former mayor was ever nearly as terrifying as your president-elect, there are sufficient similarities that it may be worth comparing notes...."
Current Mood: cold
Current Music: rumble of distant traffic

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Friday, November 11th, 2016


9:58 a.m. - Veterans Day
Take some time to remember what our veterans fought for. Think about the things that you consider worth fighting for. Are you a nonviolent person interested in pursuing paths of peace? Good for you! There are ways to pursue what is right that don't involve picking up a weapon. If you can volunteer for good organizations that are under threat, please do so. If you have money, please donate. If you aren't able to volunteer or donate, send messages of encouragement to the people who are doing the work you believe should be done. Even a very little thing can find roots, branch out, and grow into something big.

The world is a big place. The world is your oyster. Be an irritant under its shell.

Consider the possibility that you've always been a butterfly.

Oh, just in case it might be relevant, here's a link: Autocracy: Rules for Survival.

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Saturday, October 8th, 2016


7:25 p.m. - Living
For those wondering: I am still alive, and I have lots of things to say if I ever find the energy to say them. (I am, in fact, working on finding that energy, but it eludes me so far.) I hope you're all doing well out there!

It's really too bad I can't take you all to the local farmer's market to hang out for a while. That'd be fun.

I should probably post this entry before I become completely hypnotized by the icon I'm using.
Current Mood: tired
Current Music: Howard Jones, "Things Can Only Get Better"

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Tuesday, July 19th, 2016


9:04 a.m. - Quote of the Moment
As a child of the 1970s in California, I was constantly told, "You create your own reality." But I lived in a home I did not design, breathed air I did not pollute, went to public schools I did not vote to underfund, rushed home as soon as the last bell rang to avoid the flasher who skulked in the yard across the street, ate off beautiful antique dishes I neither made nor worked for, and slept soundly between soft sheets.

I did not create my own reality.

"Ah, but that's because you hadn't yet taken responsibility for your own life," the New Agers would insist, sipping their bee pollen tonics and adjusting their crystal pendants.

Back then, as now, I understood their point: that which we water grows. But I also understood that most of them were privileged and narcissistic.

You create your own reality, they said. It's an idea that can be potent and empowering: if I can dream it, I can make it happen. But the belief has a dark side, too. Cancer patients are made to feel that they brought their illness upon themselves because of their own negative thinking. Underemployed workers are sent to career counseling, where they're taught that their real problem is their own sorry view of themselves. And I guess that folks living and dying through wars can assume that they're just not good enough at visualizing world peace.


--from Ariel Gore's book Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness
Current Mood: unreal
Current Music: Icehouse, "Surgery"
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Sunday, May 22nd, 2016


12:47 p.m. - Still alive
I keep thinking about posting and interacting more on Dreamwidth and LiveJournal; but seriously, the internet just isn't as much fun for a dial-up user as it used to be. Also, allergy medicine is making my brain even fuzzier than usual. The fact that the DC area has been much cooler than usual, making my room cool enough that I start to lose feeling in my digits unless I'm covered up in heavy layers (or unless I turn on my space heater, which I don't want to because money), also doesn't help. I mean, why get online when I can curl up in bed with a good book?

So, my social life these days is mostly offline. It's not as much of a social life as I'd like, thanks to lack of energy and limited funds, but people around town know my name and want to stop and chat with me a while, so maybe that's enough for now.

(No, it's not enough. I wanted to go out and do something this morning/early afternoon. The fact that I knew it was unlikely that I'd do anything even very late in the morning (my body is not at all the body of a morning person) didn't change my disappointment in not doing the thing I wanted to do. It's the same old dilemma: If I don't try to get out, I never will--but if I do try to get out, I'm much more disappointed when I find I need to stay at home.)

The weather's supposed to get warmer this week, which should be good for people's moods. We're not used to cold, rainy weather in May around here ("cold" being a relative term, of course). Here's hoping the pollen will be kind to us and I won't have to max out on mind-altering allergy meds again. And here's hoping that I'll be able to go shopping for those shoes I so desperately need. And here's hoping with all my overoptimistic little heart I'll be able to do something fun next weekend, and the weekend after that.
Current Mood: hopeful
Current Music: light rain and twittering birds

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Thursday, March 3rd, 2016


8:48 p.m. - Old-school LiveJournal post
Because I'm trying to get back in the habit of posting but am too tired to write coherently, I'm posting some silly quiz results.

Cut for your protectionCollapse )
Current Mood: still achy
Current Music: Tears for Fears, "Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down)"

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Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016


7:32 p.m. - Wednesday Report
Today's weather was blustery, with a high temperature twenty Fahrenheit degrees cooler than yesterday's. It was glorious.

Headache continues. I went for a walk anyway (actually a few short walks). Multiple optimistic daffodils are blooming throughout the neighborhood, though the daffodils on our street remain tightly enclosed in their buds. The two little pink cherry trees on our street have many pretty flowers on them, while most other cherry trees seem to remember that it's still very early in March.

Much to the surprise of nobody at all, I bought tea and chocolate while I was out. Somewhat to my own surprise, I was in the mood for milk chocolate rather than dark.

Eyes don't want to focus. Laundry doesn't want to dry. Brain doesn't want to come up with any better way to end this entry, so this is it.
Current Mood: need more tea
Current Music: Stephane Grappelli, "Manoir De Mes Rêves / Daphne"

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Tuesday, March 1st, 2016


7:12 p.m. - A pretty Tuesday, after all
Somehow--and don't ask me how--I managed to get just the right amount of tea today to dial the headache down to an ignorable level so I could go out for a walk. Today was a our third day in a row with temperatures in the Fahrenheit 60s, making for a wonderfully springlike stretch of days. While crocuses and snowdrops have been blooming since January, and daffodils have been thinking about bursting their buds, this week some of the earlier-blooming cherry trees have been turning distinctly pink. These aren't the famous Yoshino cherry trees tourists flock to see on the Tidal Basin in DC every year (those usually bloom a few weeks later), but they are a lovely harbinger of warm weather.

This being March, the weather prognosticators expect us to get some snow by the end of the week. Of course.

Anyway, today was pleasant and breezy and a good day to chat with one of my neighborhood friends who had just finished planting a basketful of bulbs in her yard when I passed by her house. After talking for a while about the weather and her garden (which had had to be torn up last year for various reasons, so she's trying to catch up on re-planting), she told me about a new used bookstore I'll have to check out some non-migrainey day.

I also went to the library, went grocery shopping, wandered around a little more (all while taking frequent breaks), and listened to a borrowed CD featuring jazz violinists. I have decided that I need more jazz violin in my life. I also need more chocolate, but you probably guessed that.
Current Mood: sleepy
Current Music: Don "Sugarcane" Harris, "Carlsbad"

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11:14 a.m. - A Super Tuesday?
Dear Fellow Americans:

If you happen to live in a place where there are primary elections today, could you please consider voting for someone who's not a living cartoon or actively inviting comparisons to all the actual historical Fascists? I realize this is going to be more difficult for some of you than for others, but still--please try to find someone halfway decent on the ballot somewhere.

2016: The first year I've heard a Republican talk about moving to Canada if their own party's presidential frontrunner wins in November.
Current Mood: still headachy
Current Music: Laura Love, "This Place I Love"
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Thursday, February 25th, 2016


7:10 p.m. - "Nikabrik's Candidate"
"If you ever doubt that C. S. Lewis was gifted with a prophetic voice, you need look no further for correction than Prince Caspian." Thus begins an opinion piece (which I got from the Inklings mailing list) which includes the question "Did C. S. Lewis foresee the rise of Donald Trump?"

I'm sharing this link mostly because I ended up getting sucked into multiple political conversations while I was out today; and, while I am delighted to know that my neighbors and friends all over the political spectrum--from Tea Partiers to mixed baggers and moderates to raving hippies--are nearly all in agreement that Trump should never ever be elected dogcatcher, much less POTUS, that still meant that I had to think about the clown for an extended period of time, which didn't help my headache. So now I'm sharing the pain.

Now I want more tea (no party).
Current Mood: hungry & headachy
Current Music: wind and distant traffic

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11:23 a.m. - Hello, Thursday
On the one hand, it's the start of one of my infamous regularly-scheduled, multi-day migraines, which tends to make me melancholy, angry, or both. I woke up too early this morning and quickly reached for the pain meds, wishing I had something stronger to help me deal with the start of the day.

On the other hand, as the sun was rising in the east, I walked to a window on the west and saw a high, shining rainbow.

The clouds closed back in after a few minutes, and hours later we've got overcast and breezy conditions. As long as the sun stays hidden away, it might be a good day for a migraine. It's certainly a good sky if you like to appreciate the wide variety of shades of grey.

~~~~~

Lately, the line "In some cases, despite careful and correct surgery, you discover that you still breathe flames" keeps popping into my head. Fire is useful, though. If you can figure out how to control your fire-breathing, you can do good things, maybe even great things. But you've got to know how to distinguish appropriate from inappropriate fuels. Bodies, for instance. It is unwise to burn bodies before you're certain that they're dead. You shouldn't burn bridges before you've crossed either, but everyone knows that by now if they've been paying any attention at all. Too many people still see living bodies as expendable.

I kinda wish I could breathe literal fire right now. Our clothes dryer's been misbehaving, you see, and I despise reaching into a dryer to find that my clothes are still damp and cold. It's February in Maryland, and damp and cold conditions are for outside, not in my limited wardrobe.

Anyway, at some point I'm hoping to write something, but I wouldn't bet on that happening today. I also wouldn't bet on it not happening. It's just a questionable kind of day.
Current Music: Telemann, "Divertimento in B flat major"

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Thursday, January 28th, 2016


8:28 p.m. - damn it
One of my earliest friends on LiveJournal, Nalidoll, died yesterday.

In one of her last posts, she said, "This year is for me." I don't think this is what she had in mind.
Current Mood: heartbroken

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Sunday, January 24th, 2016


5:14 p.m. - Digging out
After the busy week I'd had, I spent yesterday lounging around (collapsed, really) in the clothes I'd slept in. Watched the snow, listened to the radio, listened to the wind, watched more snow, admired the white-out conditions, read the final pages of a library book, but mostly drank tea and rested. Changed clothes in time to go to sleep again.

All the people on our little street are in agreement about one thing: We're okay with being snowed in for a while as long as we have electricity. We never lost power during the storm and we've still got it now, so it's all good.

I'm not sure which was the better investment--those new boots I bought or the chocolate. I do wish I'd bought more chocolate, though.

Today's weather has been beautiful: blue skies, sunshine, temperature a little bit above freezing, snow sparkling and slowly (very slowly) melting into fantastical undulating shapes.

Huge flocks of robins and starlings have been flying around in search of food, gathering excitedly wherever they see anything resembling bare ground. Canada geese and seagulls have flown higher overhead, apparently not seeing anything worth diving toward.

Our street has been plowed, but not particularly well. It's a one-way street now, but nobody knows which way. It's best if nobody drives anywhere, really. (Do you think this has stopped people from driving up or down our street? Have you met any humans?)

I began shoveling the front walk early this morning. About 9:30 I texted the landlord with "If you haven't maxed out on your daily pain meds yet, you're slacking. Time to shovel." In fairness to him, he did keep shoveling a path between our front door and the street yesterday and into the evening; but it was time to shovel that path again by the time I woke up. And the rest of the sidewalk? Well, I shoveled, with occasional breaks, from sometime before 9 a.m. till sometime before 3 p.m. Got help breaking up some ice from the landlord, and more useful help later on from a neighbor. Did an excellent job clearing the sidewalks in front of our house if I do say so myself, and even helpfully shoveled some grassy areas as well.

Took a shower (finally!). Took some more pain meds. Had a snack while trying to decide what kind of meal I might want. Looked outside and saw the landlord's wife shoveling our sidewalk, which confused me. "You did a great job!" she told me when I opened the door, then she continued shoveling for the next hour. I just... I don't even know.

Though I did try to follow best practices when shoveling today, my back hurts, my legs hurt, my wrists hurt, and I'm so very ow. I suspect I'll be maxing out on pain meds for at least a week. Oh, and I know I'll be sleeping a good long while tomorrow--possibly sleeping until the next farmers market, which may be this week.

I'm pretty sure I still have something else with chocolate in it somewhere. That sounds like supper.
Current Mood: hungry

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Friday, January 22nd, 2016


6:38 p.m. - Panic shopping
Why does everyone buy bread, milk, and eggs before a snowstorm?

For my part, I typically buy things I expect to want in the next few days, probably in larger quantities than usual to make sure I don't run out before I'm willing to leave the house. So no milk for me, because I never drink the stuff. Haven't bought any eggs this week because I have half a dozen now and I tend not to eat more than one a day. If anything is different about my shopping before a storm, it's that I buy lots of chocolate. I'm going to need those calories, after all!

Oh, and I bought a cheap pair of boots a few days ago. Don't know if they'll be any good for walking, but they'll provide more protection from the cold and the snow than the worn-out and well-ventilated running shoes I've been wandering around in lately.

I have half a dozen library books checked out. Decided not to borrow any DVDs. Here's hoping I won't regret that decision.
Current Mood: full
Current Music: Sting, "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You"

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Friday, January 1st, 2016


11:37 a.m. - Time for 2016
Welcome to Big-Time Television: All day and every day making tomorrow seem like yesterday.

Now, remember when we said there was no future? Well, this is it.

Right! Next up, more of the same.

--Blank Reg, in the Max Headroom episode "Body Banks"



Everyone has a time machine. Everyone is a time machine. It's just that most people's machines are broken. The strangest and hardest kind of time travel is the unaided kind. People get stuck, people get looped. People get trapped. But we are all time machines. We are all perfectly engineered time machines, technologically equipped to allow the inside user, the traveler riding inside each of us, to experience time travel, and loss, and understanding. We are universal time machines manufactured to the most exacting specifications possible. Every single one of us.

--from Charles Yu's novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe



I wish that I could be an outlaw
Riding from the laws of time
An old vigilante against the seasons
That I can't help but rewind
I'd always keep my revolver
Steady and fast at my side
And I'd rob a train bound for glory
If I thought I needed a ride

--from Jeff Black's song "Same Old River"
Current Mood: needing a ride
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Sunday, December 27th, 2015


8:22 p.m. - Hi there
Yes, I know, many of you have forgotten who I am after all this time. That's okay, sometimes I need reminding myself.

I've had two big problems with posting this year. One is that it's frequently been hard for me to motivate myself to write, because it's been hard to focus both my mind and my eyes. Haven't been e-mailing much, much less reading online the way as I used to. I have grown distant from words. But I've spent time socializing with folks at farmers' markets and other venues, so I've got that going for me.

The other big problem is that LiveJournal has become less and less dial-up friendly, not wanting to actually show me site pages after the login page. This past week I did manage to get the mobile version working a bit, but it still takes ages to load. Might manage to read my LJ friends once in a while, though, which might help motivate me to post more. We'll see.

One New Year's Resolution I'm making that I seriously need to keep: Get to the eye doctor! I have the urge to make some visual art--both digital and line-on-paper types--but I lose all motivation when I realize that focusing on my work surface hurts. Need new glasses, probably bifocals. Have needed them for a while, but each time I've made an appointment to see the doctor, life's gotten in the way. Life needs to get its act together, I swear.

On the plus side, the unusually warm weather this December has woken up the local rosebushes, azaleas, and violets, meaning that any time I go for a walk, I can actually stop and smell the roses (most of them scentless, as it turns out). The warmth has also kept heating bills quite low, which is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

2015 hasn't been the utterly horrible year for me that it has for some of my friends (offline socializing with people in the neighborhood really has been good for me), but I'm still ready to see the backside of this year. Too many good people getting sick. Too many good people dying. Too much crap going on in the world.

May 2016 be a much, much, MUCH better year for us all.
Current Mood: weary
Current Music: sounds like rain

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Sunday, May 31st, 2015


7:08 p.m. - Not dead, just sleepy
For those of you who've wondered: I am, in fact, still alive. Energy levels quite low, though, so I haven't been getting online nearly as often as I used to. I hope you are all well, and that those of you who remember me haven't been too worried. Be good to yourselves, everyone.
Current Mood: fatigued
Current Music: Charlie Parker Quartet, "Chi-Chi"

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Monday, February 23rd, 2015


8:58 a.m. - I Know What's Best
"I’m a mom, a wife, a doula, an urban chicken farmer, a life coach, an extended breast-feeder, a weaver, a kombucha brewer, a yogini, and a Therapeutic Healing Touch practitioner. But most importantly, I’m a mom. And as a mom, I know what’s best for the health of my family: magical thinking."

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Thursday, January 29th, 2015


6:33 p.m. - Oh, the Weather Outside Is Spiteful...
Today there was supposed to be a chance of rain, with rain becoming more likely as the day wore on and possibly mixed with snow. But this stuff on our sidewalks? I heard someone calling it "snow," but that is a truly nasty thing to say. I like snow. This stuff we have here isn't snow; it's pure, concentrated malice. You know how physicists sometimes like to simplify the problems they're discussing by talking about frictionless spheres? I think those frictionless spheres all decided they wanted to try to kill anyone unfortunate enough to go out walking this evening.

Fortunately for me, a friend of mine was kind enough to give me a ride home from the farmer's market. I only had to navigate the hazards of our front sidewalk (quite hazardous enough for me, thank you) rather than... no, I'd rather not think about that. Better to think about the nice Indonesian food I ate at the market as a late, late lunch while conversing with friends. And I have eggs, meat, bread and ingredients for tasty sandwiches (garlicky goat cheese and mixed microgreens!), and a small, free squash of some variety I've never tried before.

Mostly, this post exists because I needed to use the subject line above. If ever the clouds become sentient and decide to kill us all (isn't that a short story by Peter Watts?), don't be surprised if the weather looks like this.
Current Mood: relieved to be inside again

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Tuesday, January 27th, 2015


9:41 p.m. - Incredibly Helpful Link
Some wonderful days, the internet gives me an excuse to quote Shakespeare. “Is possible that disdain should die when she hath such meet food to feed it as lists of women Christian men shouldn’t marry?”


10 More Women Christian Men Definitely Should Not Marry
Current Music: Talitha MacKenzie, "Funky Bird Medley"

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Sunday, January 18th, 2015


8:25 p.m. - "But won't somebody think about *my* pain?"
"Help, My Friend Won't Stop Having Fibromyalgia At Me!"
Here's that bad advice you were hoping for.

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Current Music: The Carpenters, "Ticket To Ride"

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8:09 p.m. - let us dispatch the guide when traveling in an instant of flight
So, it's been a while since I've updated. I took antibiotics for a total of 14 days, then spent some time recovering from antibiotic side effects, then spent time dealing with migraine, and now have a mind that seems to be trying to fall apart. Not sure how to describe that last bit other than that I'm sometimes finding it exhausting to hold on to some coherent narrative related to reality. Actually, that's a really bad description, but I'm drawing a blank on coming up with anything better. I do believe I need to get to a neurologist soon, but I think that's going to have to wait till after cold-and-flu season has receded a bit. In the meantime, I'm tired and wondering why I get fever-dreams when I no longer have a fever.

Anyway, last Sunday I saw a Snowy Owl! It was high in a tree a little way down the street so I didn't get to see its face clearly from our dining room window, but given the size, shape, and color of the bird, it was either a Snowy Owl or evidence that the neighbors have been dabbling in genetic engineering. And while it's true that our neighbors are an interesting bunch, they're more likely to be Mad Artists than Mad Scientists. (Now I'm imagining what would happen if one of the artists got together with a mad geneticist. Wouldn't that be fun?!)

There was a week between then and now. The week involved some walking, some reading, some watching of DVDs (including Dead Poets Society and the Much Ado About Nothing featuring Joss Whedon directing a bunch of his friends). There was also, as usual, a farmer's market, and this time I was energetic enough to enjoy it--lots of chatting with vendors, regular customers, and summertime vendors who like being wintertime customers.

Today I took a trip to a little local grocery and chatted for a bit with one of the guys working there who timed his break so that he could keep talking with me. If I'd been more awake this probably would have been more fun, though he had enough energy for both of us (if only there were a way to share!).

Something about the conversation this evening prompted me to look up a friend from back in college. My old friend was born about the same time as the guy I'd been talking to today, was always fun to debate with, always willing to lend a sympathetic ear, was possibly the sanest person I knew at the university, and was incredibly bad at keeping in touch with people online. Since I haven't been especially good at writing e-mails the last few years, I have been completely unaware of what was going on in his life other than that he had a wife, more than one child, and a business of his own. Found his Twitter account, which he hadn't updated since last year. Did a Google search for his name and location and quickly saw links to his obituary. Before I even clicked on the link, I knew how he'd died--his heart defect finally got the best of him. Knowing what I knew about his health, it really didn't come as a big surprise... but he'll never even make it to 50, and I won't get the chance to debate him one more time.

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Saturday, January 3rd, 2015


2:08 p.m. - Relevant to *so* many people on my flist
Want a better life in 2015? Reading this and following the advice may not make your life perfect--but then again, maybe it's worth a try: "Cat Pictures Please" by Naomi Kritzer.

Hey, if I had either a cat or a camera...
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11:23 a.m. - Question about 2015
[Edit: Many thanks to [personal profile] rialian and [personal profile] musesfool, both of whom answered this question on Dreamwidth. Guess I need to re-watch the Back to the Future trilogy this year.]

What is it about 2015, anyway? Why does that particular number on the calendar seem to be triggering a massive wave of "We're living in the future now"? I could understand it in 2000, when all the numbers were changing all at once and we were somehow in or almost in a brand-new millennium, and I understood it in 2001 (a Space Odyssey!) even though I'd been conversing with HAL for a couple of years by that point. And I'll certainly understand it in 2020, which sounds more like what I want my vision corrected to than it sounds like an actual year. But for some reason, 2015 has got all the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers I know asking "What year did you say this is again?!" Why is that? Is it some pop-cultural thing stuck in everybody's consciousness but mine? Or is there something else, some deep numerological significance of which I've been blissfully unaware?
Current Mood: curious
Current Music: old Siouxsie & the Banshees songs in my head

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Friday, January 2nd, 2015


9:23 a.m. - Resolving 2014
So, back in late 2013 and early 2014, I posted a few resolution-like statements. Now it's time to look back on the year just passed and see how I did!

1. In 2014, I will read more books from the Biography section of the library. I need to learn more about other people's stories, stories of those who lived long ago or far away. It seems like one good way to get out of my mental rut.

What I didn't tell you all is that I'd only read two biographies in 2013, so this wasn't a terribly difficult resolution to keep. Did I, in fact, manage this feat? Yes, I did! I finished seven books filed under Biography, as well as some memoirs filed in other sections of the library. Not sure this did anything to get me out of any mental ruts, but at least I tried.

Oh, and if anyone's incredibly curious about which sections of the library I tended to favor in 2014, here's a list:

000s * 50, 100
100s * 3, 19, 20, 21, 25, 29, 44, 46, 61, 79, 110, 113, 118
200s * 17, 23, 63, 71, 75, 102, 109, 115
300s * 30, 32, 33, 45, 54, 78, 88, 98, 106
400s * 37
500s * 41, 95, 117
600s * 42, 47, 49, 52, 69, 70, 85, 93, 94, 97
700s * 2, 9, 13, 48, 55, 58, 83, 84, 86, 92, 103, 105, 112
800s * 8, 38, 39, 59, 72, 74, 82
900s * 56
BIO * 34, 66, 77, 87, 96, 101, 114
FIC * 5, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 36, 53, 57, 60, 91, 104, 107, 111, 116
HISTORIC * 4, 24, 27, 81, 90
MYS * 18, 40, 51
ROM * 6, 26, 62, 89
SFF * 1, 7, 12, 22, 28, 31, 35, 43, 64, 65, 67, 68, 73, 76, 80, 99, 108

Partway through the year I came up with a vague goal of averaging 10 books per month, with the stipulation that they all had to come from the adult or young adult sections of the library. I was sidetracked by various stresses and illnesses, but I did make it to 118, which isn't too bad considering I avoided the temptation to sneak in a bunch of children's poetry books.

2. Since going without television and reliable radio often makes me feel a little too separated from the pop culture of the day, I want to get some kind of feel for what's going on by reading more periodicals. Most of those periodicals should not be alternative medicine magazines, even though my housemates do get great amusement from those noises I make when I read something like "Theta healing is practicing quantum physics by using theta brain wave states." (Gah.)

After skimming a few magazines at the library last January, I'm afraid I failed at this one. At least I managed to avoid alternative healers attempting to practice quantum physics!

3. I also want to listen to more music. Music is good for the soul.

This was a success, and I really need to keep up this habit. Music is good for the soul--and the brain.

4. And I want to eat more Ethiopian food. Does this really need justification?

Another resounding success! Haven't eaten so much Ethiopian since late summer after a friend grew tired of it, but I did introduce a local farmer to sambusas. Mmmm, sambusas.

To post enough to LiveJournal and Dreamwidth to get all the entries from 2011 off my "Recent Entries" page.

I did this! Maybe in 2015 I'll push back the entries from 2012 and 2013.


So, do I have any resolutions for 2015? No. For the moment, I'm going to focus on doing whatever seems like a good idea at the time. Today, that's likely to involve drinking lots of tea and making a trip to the nearest library branch. I've been invited to a party this weekend, so I want to get some rest beforehand in the hopes that I'll be able to make it there. (The last party I was invited to was one I had to skip out on due to being miserable and feverish. My immune system seriously needs to get with the program.)
Current Mood: hungry
Current Music: sounds like distant roadwork

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Thursday, January 1st, 2015


8:57 a.m. - Happy New Year!
Goodbye, 2014! Hello, 2015! Everybody, we are now in the future!

If the year 2015 must be weird (and one suspects that it must), may it be weird in more entertaining, less traumatic ways than recent years have been. Many of us have been dealing with too much stress and feelings of being trapped. It's about time for a break, don't you think?
Current Mood: hopeful

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Friday, December 26th, 2014


6:25 p.m. - Happy Nearly-New Year!
Happy Belated Hanukkah!

Happy Belated Christmas!

For my Yuletide gift, Santa gave me that sinus infection that all the cool kids are getting this year. I can't say I'm all that thrilled with this particular gift, but since last week was the first time I've gotten a fever since buying my digital thermometer, I've finally learned what the high-temperature alarm sounds like. Yay! And, unsurprisingly, a Fahrenheit temperature of 102.2 will make me feel like complete and utter crap. At least I have a supply of tea & chocolate to help me wash down the antibiotics.

In other news, I am too tired to think of anything else to write. It's probably time for more chocolate.

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6:07 p.m. - 21st-Century Problems
Outside in the alley, a drone is stuck high in a tree. The young men who somehow managed to get it there can't figure out how to get it down without breaking it.

The drone's got blinking red and green lights, so at least it looks festive.
Current Mood: amused

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Friday, November 28th, 2014


3:34 p.m. - Today in the senses
Sight: Colors I'm craving today: Anything highly saturated. Naturally on a cloudy day in late November, everything is muted except for the occasional patch of bright blue sky. If someone would like to replace that dead tree limb over there with a collection of neon tubes, that'd be nifty.

Sound: 2 albums I've been listening to compulsively for the last two or three days:
Martyn Bennett, Grit
Nine Inch Nails, Hesitation Marks

Smell: I'm alternating between wanting the cozy scent of coffee (which I don't drink) and more herbal smells like rosemary or thyme. Right now the house smells like bacon and sawdust, which is pleasant enough.

Taste: Foods I've been craving the past few weeks:
Black tea
Fenugreek
Protein, carbs, fat--which is to say, Calories. Given how fatigued I've been, if my body tells me that it wants more fuel, I'm not inclined to argue. I'm trying to focus on high-protein foods like eggs and chicken, but I've got Peanut Butter M&Ms and I'm not afraid to use them.

Touch: There's a soft, fuzzy blanket wrapped around me.

Temperature: There's a soft, fuzzy, warm blanket wrapped around me. My fingers are a bit chilly, though, and I'd like that to change.

Pain: Mostly the usual all-over pain, with added achiness in my upper back and burning in my thighs.

Proprioception: I feel like I'm sitting in a slightly awkward position, probably because I am. I should shift to a different position soon.

Balance: Even though I'm sitting fairly still, I feel like I'm being slowly spun in three dimensions. This is probably not a good day for a walk.

Common sense: It's Black Friday in the USA and I am nowhere near a shopping mall.
Current Mood: weird
Current Music: Martyn Bennett, "Rant"

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Thursday, November 27th, 2014


7:22 p.m. - Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Turkey Day to all who celebrate! Happy Thursday/Friday/whenever you are reading this to everyone!

I know, I know, it's been forbloodyever since I last posted anything or even read anything on LiveJournal or Dreamwidth. But for those who do remember me: I am still alive and kicking. Well, I'm coughing more than kicking thanks to an infection I just can't seem to shake (probably viral, so life is all about tea, sleep, and symptom management right now). But the coughing and sneezing prove that I'm still breathing, so that's okay.

And for anyone who may still be wondering: Our little household problem went away back in mid-August. I'll try to remember to write more about that under lock at some point.

Anyway, today is Thanksgiving and I'm having a quiet one. I bought myself some cranberry orange relish after my doctor visit on Tuesday, and I bought a slice of sweet potato pie this afternoon. No turkey, but there's chicken in the fridge and that'll do just as well. More importantly, I have a pile of library books to keep me company and enough tea to last a few more days before a trip to some store becomes necessary again. Life could be much, much worse.

How are you all doing? Do you have sufficient pie?
Current Mood: thankful

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