I have finished Ursula K. Le Guin's Voices, the second in a trilogy, and have started in on Powers. Voices I powered through in a single evening. Powers is taking a lot more out of me; it doesn't draw me in as much as the first two books did. So far I cautiously recommend Powers but only if you liked Gifts and Voices.
In the doctor's waiting room I read Transplant Monthly and learned more than I wanted to know about the ins and outs of kidney transplantation.
A few more episodes of Lexx. This show is so hard to power through. End of S2 was decent enough with the musical and the two-parter, and even the first episode or two of S3 was acceptable, but by now (S3E7 or so) it's bogged down and moving slower than a 1960s Doctor Who episode. (That's slow, folks!) I find myself losing interest and playing video games while it's playing. Oh well, at least it's non-violent background noise, I guess.
One new episode each of Steven Universe, Mr. Robot and Killjoys. I have to say I saw the twist in Mr. Robot's latest episode coming. With SU returning to weekly episodes I don't expect a lot of plot development for a while, which is fine. Buddy's Book was an enjoyable bit of backstory.
For relaxation and de-stressing I put on a few episodes of Kids In The Hall this week. Always fun for a laugh.
Also saw Dr. Steve Brule Live in NYC from 2014 via the tubes. 1h10m of John C. Reilly doing his best wacky character...such devotion is hard to come by these days I believe.
No Video: Documentary this week.
More No Man's Sky and Guild Wars 2, with a bye on PlanetSide 2 this past week to complete some programming tasks for my gaming community that took longer than expected. No raid attempts in GW2 this week, but I am within 1,000 Unbound Magic of obtaining the Bloodstone node for my home instance, and have collected the Blood Rubies I need for the new ascended backpiece. Have been eyeing the updates to Subnautica (for which I became an early backer, including the commemorative nameplate) and think it may scratch the same scratch for me as No Man's Sky if I give it the time. Found that the reason No Man's Sky is running so badly on my desktop is that my video card is overheating and self-throttling down to a 500MHz clock speed (from 1100MHz). I need to disassemble the machine and figure out what I'm going to do; first thought is to remove the Crossfire setup (so few games use it anyway) and see if cooling is better with 1 card in there instead of 2.
Also a touch of AM2R and Pokemon Uranium. Contact me on IRC if you are seeking copies of either.
Have re-united myself with a jazz album from the 1980s that I really like (Yellowjackets - Four Corners) and the associated transcribed score thanks to Abebooks. I'm hoping to teach myself better (any?) drum patterns by studying the score. I'll probably attempt recording a cover or two once I feel up to it; I'm nervous about getting back into the studio again.
Have nearly completed This American Life's archive for 1997; am back thru the Valentine's Day 1997 episode with only a couple more to go. Also listened to episode 1 of The Light of September, self-described existential sci-fi starring Tamsin Grieg, Sylvester McCoy, Robert Picardo and others. Interesting enough that I'll catch up with the remaining 7 10-minute episodes, and will then decide if I'm willing to donate to help the series continue (they need to raise GBP1000 per episode, I think it is.)
- Reading, books 2016, 149.
145. New Caribbean Poetry, An Anthology, edited by Kei Miller, 2007, is a 150 page anthology of 8 poets chosen by another poet. The authors represented include 6 women and 2 men, from across the anglophone Caribbean: Marilene Phipps-Kettlewell (Haiti / US), Delores Gauntlett (Jamaica), Christian Campbell (Bahamas / Canada / &c), Loretta Collins Klobah (US / Puerto Rico), Shara McCallum (Jamaica / US), Tanya Shirley (Jamaica), Ian Strachan (Bahamas), Jennifer Rahim (Trinidad). My tastes and those of the editor don't wholly coincide but I did especially enjoy the selection of Jennifer Rahim's work, with an honourable mention to Delores Gauntlett, although my preferences might also reflect on my level of familiarity with different Caribbean cultures. (3/5)
• A Song for My Father, by Delores Gauntlett
Against the yam-vine quiet of the garden
a nightingale stirred with my father: the lift
and fall of the pickaxe, the heaving throat
of the hidden bird exacting
the subtleties of song.
This would become the memory of high grass
brushing wet against the black waterboots.
I didn’t realize I was watching him
when, as to an altar
he bent with bare hands to a sudden digging
till the head of yam surfaced
like a flowering from the earth;
the nightingale’s song perched
upon the senses, then drifted
from the dewy pimento leaves
and, like a scent, was gone.
( For Seeds That Wither, by Jennifer Rahim )
Man, I have so many feelings about Spacetrawler. The original series was just so good. A perfect self-contained story with humor and character growth and important choices and interspecies love and politics and ethics and stabbing. It had tremendous worldbuilding and laughs and moments that genuinely made me cry.
And you can read the entire thing for free online! Go go go!
Anyway, I'm really excited to see Baldwin return to it! He's been dabbling in other projects before this, but I don't think his shorter-form stuff has been quite as good--I think he needs room to develop multiple plots at once and really stretch his arms, and neither One Way nor Anna Galactic really had that. Yontengu was fun but man what a downer.
So yes. Spacetrawler is back.
'Tis almost time for Harry to take his leave and go to Leeds to learn the mysteries of an engineer. Mr D- goes with him as he desires to take the opportunity to go convoke with his friend there about certain professional matters.
I make an opportunity to go talk to Harry one day in the garden. He is looking over the wall down to the works and the town.
How now, Harry, says I, sure you are about to go out into the world and make your fortune.
Oh, he says, he does not know about fortune, and sure, 'tis a great step.
He sighs somewhat and says that he wishes that he had the chance to see Josh and say goodbye to him –
And, says I with a smile, give him serious elder brotherly advice? Do you go about like Laertes to your sisters?
Harry grins and says, mayhap he will! But, he goes on more serious, he should like to be assur’d that Josh was well again.
Indeed, says I, I think you need have no worrys on that account, he was flourishing already some while ago when I visit’d there and I entirely confide that he has continu’d to improve in health.
But still, says Harry, is my brother and I should like to see him.
Why, says I, you are not going to the antipodes and I daresay you will be seeing him at the Christmas season. But sure your care for him is extreme pretty: one does not always see such affection 'twixt brothers.
Harry blushes. He is a good little fellow, he mumbles, then adds: save when he goes running away and putting everyone into desperate worry.
I confide he will not do the like again! But, Harry, while I am sure that you will not at all be in want while you are in this fine place in Leeds learning your trade, I daresay there may perhaps be particular matters that you might like a little extra by you for –
I take out a little purse in which I have put several guineas.
- so I thought to give you this.
O, that is entirely too kind! he says. Sure I will have an allowance -
All the same, says I, a little to hand for the unexpect’d is never amiss. And should there be any service I may do you, do you call upon me.
You are very kind to us all, he says somewhat gruff.
Indeed, says I, 'tis only an entire proper return for the exceeding kindness I have had from your family. Sure, consider the helpfullness over the business to do with my mine –
Why, cries Harry, 'tis a most excellent fine enterprize: and commences upon telling me about his visit there with Mr D-. What a fine clever fellow is Mr McA-, and Mr M- is a fine tidy manager. Also his wife makes a most excellent lardy-cake. He goes on to inform me about the steam-pump, and the exceeding tall chimney that is requir’d for the smelting works, &C &C, until Bess comes join us and says does Harry have any final commissions in the town, Mama is about to take the gig to undertake errands.
Oh, says Harry, indeed there are a few matters, I will go at once. He rushes off but Bess lingers.
You do not go into town?
O, says Bess, 'tis exceeding dull, when I think that shortly we may be going along Oxford Street with all its fine shops.
She hops up to sit upon the low wall: sure I hope she does not go fall over the other side, but she sits as one that is entire us’d to such a perch.
She looks very thoughtfull and says, Aunty C-, there is a thing I should like to ask you about, but 'tis a secret matter –
(O dear, thinks I, is there some young fellow she takes a fancy to?)
Why, says I, I am quite the soul of discretion -
- Indeed, Mama and Papa have oft remarkt that –
- but there are matters in which you might be well-adviz’d to talk to your Mama.
Only, says Bess, settling herself more firmly and smoothing down her skirts, I apprehend that this business of being brought out and going about the Season &C is somewhat of an expensive matter –
- Well, my dear, your parents are not on the parish -
She gives a little smile and says, indeed they are not! but 'tis very much about being cry’d on the marriage market, is’t not?
Sure, says I, perchance you should ask one or another that has undergone the matter, I daresay Her Grace would be entire happy to answer your questions, but I confide that indeed 'tis somewhat of the Matrimonial Exchange.
But do I already know who I shall marry –
Oh? says I, in some fears that there is some local fellow goes take advantage of her youth and innocence to marry to his advantage.
Oh yes, says Bess, blushing and casting down her eyes, Mr D-.
I am struck into entire dumbness for a moment, and then rouse myself to ask, Has he gone speak to you of the matter? (for if has, I think it a very shocking proceeding.)
O no, says Bess, but indeed I have long had a very great admiration for him, and I have heard Mama and Papa express some concern that he may leave the works, and remark that did he have a wife 'twould settle him: and would it not be a most excellent sensible thing?
(I do not even need to count upon my fingers to reckon that Mr D- must be at least twice her years if not more. Indeed, 'tis a much greater gulph of years than that 'twixt Hector and Euphemia, that Hector was so put about concerning.)
(But sure – do I not know it? – young girls will take some great fancy to an older man, that seems a quite entire different species to the callow boys of their own years.)
Sure, says I, it sounds a most sensible and practickal thing, but indeed there is more than mere practickality that goes to wedlock. And were I your mama – which I am not, and she may think different – because of your youth, I would advize that you should not jump in to matrimony, and should test your affections thro’ going about in Society.
Bess scowls and says, look at Lady J-, that remain’d faithfull to the memory of her Lieutenant K- until he was an Admiral and able honourable to seek her hand. Did she not go about a very great deal in Society before she retir’d into rural seclusion at N-? (I confide that Bess has not been present upon any occasion when Lady J-'s devotion to the one Biffle refers to as that jealous hag Miss B- has been mention’d.)
Even so, my dear. But sure, going about in Society is not merely about catching a husband, 'twill do you a deal of good in other ways. For a lady that has connections of friendship with a deal of other ladies may find them most exceeding valuable to her husband’s interest.
Bess mutters that she supposes so.
And, dear Bess, I go on, 'tis entire deleterious to marry too young. Sure altho’ one talks of a girl coming to womanhood as tho’ 'twas something that happen’d the once, like passing thro’ a door, 'tis a matter that takes some years while the humours are in upheaval. 'Tis entire to be preferr’d that time should be allow’d to let the humours settle. Do you not, my dear, have sudden fits of tearfullness, or temper, or lassitude?
O, says Bess, o, yes. Sure that is sensible.
And while you are waiting for that time, you may as well occupy the interim amuzingly.
(Sure I am a strange figure to be giving this prudent advice to young women. When I was of Bess’s years I was a sad naughty minx, before I was lesson’d in the ways of the demimonde by Madame Z-.)
Bess jumps down from the wall and comes give me a hug. Thank you, Aunty C-! She runs off, and sure one sees that there is still a deal of the hoyden in her. I am like to suppose that this inclination to Mr D- is a girlish fancy, and that in a year or so her views on him will be quite different: but sure one should not teaze her over it, or endeavour to dissuade her but let it wither according to the course of nature.
I walk slowly back thro’ the garden, to where Quintus and my lovely darling Flora play on the swing, and one can hear the sound of Meg’s piano-practice from an open window. Miss N- sits on a bench with a book. I go sit next to her.
She blushes and says sure ‘tis no improving work, but a most exciting novel.
Why, dear Miss N-, I would by no means condemn you for refreshing yourself from your labours with a little light reading; sure I late met with a sad Evangelickal fellow that disapproves greatly of the habit of novel-reading and will not let his wife read them, but I cannot see the harm.
She goes on to say that we have company for dinner this e’en: Mr A- at the hospital has his sister Lavinia visiting, and they come, and also Mr D-. Mr A-'s sister has visit’d before: she takes a thought that Mr D- has a liking to her, and now he is so well-establisht and a partner in the works, perchance he may go make an offer?
Why, says I, a fellow may take a liking to a young woman without immediate proceeding to having the banns call’d –
Miss N- sighs and I daresay thinks that she and Mr L- are not yet in a position to do this.
- may find her company congenial in passing a few hours without desiring to take her to wife.
(O, poor Bess, thinks I, if Miss N- has the right of the matter.)
The photo above shows Mount Bachelor (9,068 ft or 2,764 m) in the Cascade Mountain Range of west- central Oregon. A pond choked with water lilies accents the foreground. Mount Bachelor, a stratovolcano, formed some 10,000 - 15,000 years ago atop a volcanic shield. Standing 2,665 ft (812 m) above the surrounding landscape, it's high enough to retain snow on its northern flanks through mid-summer in most years. In 1958, a ski resort was opened to take advantage of its snowy slopes. Photo taken on July 15, 2016.
Mitigating factors: he is sick with a cold this week; he hasn't been sleeping well; it's his first class of the day.
The good news so far: he's only struggling to complete his work in that one class, according to his aide. After social studies, he has P.E. and Math; the rest of his classes are after lunch.
Anxiety levels through the roof as the social studies teacher said, "I don't want to punish him, but..." Also he called me Mrs., which got my hackles up. Respect shown to women should not be qualified by apparent age or
So I spent 3-4 hours this afternoon problem-solving with Will and writing emails to the social studies teacher and the IEP aide. Then I went to bed early because fuck this. Of course now I'm awake again, but hopefully not for long.
We will find out if everything is a complete shambles when we read
The Hundred Days, Chapter Four
at the weekend.
Please keep up the lively discussions.
A reissue of Wayne's first collection of essays is now available:
--Between yesterday and today I've done a lot of rewriting, trying to get as much done as possible before Gaffney arrives on Thursday. Last night my brain was still basically up and running, but today I felt a bit foggy and this evening was worse. (The thing is--especially if I shut my browser to help with my focus--I can do a really sizable chunk of a manga volume in one day. It's just that then my brain is exhausted and feels kinda pulped [which I doubt is unusual], and I don't recover very quickly.)
--Tomorrow, barring my stylist being sick or something, is finally (finally, finally) haircut day. I have no idea what I'm actually going to come out with. My first priority is getting the last traces of red cut out, but I also have to tell her that a) my hair absolutely refuses to learn to part on the side, so doing something that parts in the middle would be a plus, and b) I keep clipping my bangs back even when a haircut is fresh, so growing them out seems like a good idea. Once I grow my hair back out into a bob those points will both be covered, but in the short term, I don't know if we can deal with both at once.
--I'm basically ready to finally post the Newsflesh fic wildpear and I have been slowly tossing back and forth for a few months. (Oh, this summer!) She gave it--and the placeholder title!!!--the green light tonight, and getting it posted before Gaffney arrives would be ideal, so that means tomorrow.
(It feels strange to be about to post something, because I got a draft on this fic so long ago and have written basically nothing since. It doesn't seem possible that I can have something ready at this point in time.)
Anyway, I think I'm really fond of this one? It's Shaun's POV, and he and Georgia are only thirteen, and my mental picture of them at that age is adorable.
--Jinksy has been having such a snuggly day, which is wonderful. *^^* He's on my lap right now, and usually that'd make me stop typing until he wandered off, but it's nearly 1 AM and bed really would be good. Besides, if he leaves because he doesn't have my full attention, maybe he'll follow me to bed and snuggle with us there...
...and yep, he just left. So I'll take the hint. Good night, all.
They live along train tracks
or at the river’s muddy edge
At midday it glints
a glossy brown, clogged
with debris and flecked
with crumpled soda cans
and plastic shopping bags
It doesn’t seem to run
to the sea anymore
It swells its banks
in a hurricane and washes
flotsam into makeshift homes
There where streets
are narrow and the light
is often dim, day
is a rope which might not
make it to the other end
Jeepneys and pedicabs
hurtle through the throng
Bravado of plastic pennants
and chrome horses clipped
to their hoods, mud flaps
lettered with the drivers’
And didn’t you hear him
call out for mercy
Should it have been
his time to die
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.
1. Worked more shifts at the church recycling sale: 9am-12pm on Sunday, and 10am-2pm on Monday. The sale runs three days, usually: Saturday is full price (subject to occasional negotiation), Sunday is half price, and Monday is bag day. This used to mean that every item was knocked down to 10 cents, but that proved inefficient for many reasons so a couple years ago we switched to a new policy: everything is 'free,' but please make a donation at the door as you leave. This both saves time and, somewhat ironically, earns us more money. :)
What staff do on Monday is sort of float around the various departments to help people find boxes and packing material, help them carry heavy loads to the door/their cars, and move things up from the floor to the display tables as items disappear. Then around 1pm, we start breaking down the tables and moving all unclaimed items down to the parlor for various disposal methods. Fabric scraps, for example, go to Sew Green. I believe books get passed on to the Friends of the Library Book Sale. Some things may go to the Salvation Army store. And a bunch just goes straight to the dump, because the cycle of reuse is not eternal.
Anyway, I floated mostly in housewares and the holiday/crafts room, I dismantled several plastic display tables and moved them to basement storage, and I helped pack and move stuff from both linens and holiday/crafts to the parlor. I also made off with the following items: two decorative cushions for my sofa and armchair, a short glass tumbler to replace the one I dropped on my kitchen floor last year, a backup Corningware grab-it bowl lid, a set of magnetic plastic clothespins for use in my kitchen, and a cheap-ass tiny electric sewing machine, complete with instruction manual. It only has the two bobbins and one needle currently attached (because somebody nabbed the box of spares that were meant to go with it), but I get really annoyed at hand-stitching hems and it's hard to argue with 'free' as an asking price. (I donated $5 for the lot.)
( more items under cut )
So now I have two transparent lenses. Whoot!
Except the left lens was not under warranty after all but since they were the ones who got confused, they found a work around that did not involve me handing over money.