October 21st, 2017
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls, inspired by the "teamfamily" square in my 5-29-17 card for the Pride Bingo fest. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem deals with some touchy topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features bald women, messy medical details, references to past cases of cancer, infertility, distracting visions of Amazon life, historic references to dubious consent and inane attitudes, fostering, failed conversions, frank talk about death, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )
October 20th, 2017
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith at 10:12pm on 20/10/2017 under , , ,
Today we saw the Ikebana exhibit at Krannert.  It was small, but very pretty.  It's worth going if you're in Champaign-Urbana or very close, but not worth a longer drive.  Only the demonstration is listed on the website, but the free exhibit is open Friday-Sunday.  They had many things in styles I recognized, and a few plants I'd never seen before.  Also a style I'd never seen before: bark, metal, and flowers all glued to a flat board.  That was pretty cool.  There were several of the classic spiral vases with two openings.  My favorite, however, was an arrangement which used a big silver dryer hose curled into the same spiral -- simultaneously referencing the very old spiral vase and modern Japan's tech base and love of all things robotic.  It was just SO JAPANESE.  But I bet it's like the Hokusai wave, nobody will get it for a few decades and then suddenly it will be the most Japanese thing EVAR.

I couldn't help think of Terramagne.  People there often weave their hobbies into work.  If you go into a business, you may see the owner's collection of china plates over the door.  Things like flower arranging are often done by clubs, where you can pay a higher fee to take it home to display in your house or business, but a lower fee if you just want to make something fun and then it goes to a library or hospital or women's shelter where lots of people can enjoy it.  And all that stuff gives folks something to talk about as they go through their day.  "Did you see the new painting in Burger Bash?  Carrie's son did a giraffe this time." "Yeah, he's getting really good."

We visited with my parents and dropped off a batch of poetry, already sponsored.  I don't know whether I'll have time to post this tonight or wait until tomorrow.  You can look forward to "Death Whispers at the Tip," "Capable of Stretching," and "A Moment of Atonement."



For supper, we went to a new Japanese restaurant in Danville called Fujiyama.  I am only somewhat a fan of Japanese cuisine -- I love sushi but can't each much of it -- and not at all a fan of flaming tables.  This place greatly exceeded my expectations.  First, the performance area is separate from the regular dining area, so that was a big relief.  People who want excitement can get it without bothering people who want to relax.  \o/  Second, the menu has lots of tasty things to choose from.  I picked out two different appetizers to fill up on (pork dumplings and coconut shrimp) and then had a piece of the sushi that other folks got (California Roll, Spicy Volcano Roll, and Bayridge Roll.  Where things really got interesting: they will make "reasonable substitutions" in the sushi constructions if there are things you can't eat; replacing avocado with cream cheese is a standard  substitution.  :D  I have never found a sushi place that would change anything, they all acted like their recipes were dipped in gold or something.  So if you are looking for a special-diet-friendly sushi place, check out Fujiyama.

My father sent home a bag of 30 bulbs, which at a quick glance seem to be a random mix of tulips and daffodils.  I think I will plant them in the prairie garden en masse.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 I love this episode, especially the fanservice in the final exchange.
jjhunter: a person who waves their hand over a castle tower changes size depending on your perspective (perspective matters)
take your hands out of your pockets
touch the world
let your edges tingle
awake
primed to be

_
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
oursin: Painting of a pollock with text, overwritten Not wasting a cod on this (pollock)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 07:39pm on 20/10/2017 under , , , ,

Or, I have just been followed on Twitter by 3 people who are the same person, and I do not think there is anything holy about having 3 Twitter identities which are all touting your book/s.

I am also mildly beset by people who, having by some means or other found my website, and discovering something there moderately pertinent to their interests (sometimes, I swear, it is Just One Word in the middle of text), email me offering to 'contribute' or begging me to link to their pages, or add in their link collections, without actually considering what the various bits of my site are doing.

E.g. on my - not even this year's, several years back - listing of my Quotations of the Week, is one which alludes to [problem] - which I probably posted originally because it was neatly turned and complete in itself and not because I have an overwhelming interest in [problem]. This is really not an appropriate venue for a link to somebody's site which is All About [Problem]. Point Thahr Misst.

Indeed, more or less equivalent to, if I had the famous quote attrib Mrs Patrick Campbell re the hurly-burly of the chaise-longue, sending me their list of links to custom makers of high quality chaises longues.

And they do not give up: there is one person who has been positively badgering me, even though I have ignored their email except to mark it as junk, because, for extremely personal reasons, I have a link to a UK charity dealing with [condition], to add in their set of links relating to [condition] which seem entirely US-related, several of them dealing with issues around healthcare which are still - so far - irrelevant in the UK context.

My site is a small, personal, and carefully curated site dealing with various interests of my own and not exactly inundated with hits, except when some media outlet links to certain pages.

Y O Y?

capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Basically: I want to devote 90% of my attention to a fiction world for a month just because I need a vacation from the real world, and I can't decide on a "Destination":

  • Dark -- bordering on tragic, with lots of hurt/comfort
    • Pros: lets me process my depression by changing my stress into metaphors I can control, and lets me comfort myself by writing scenes where my characters comfort each other.
    • Cons: I'm entering a potentially dangerous space while already feeling vulnerable.

  • Light -- with Dr. Seuss-like absurdity and Piers Anthony-like puns.
    • Pros: Creating a world that is a clear alternative to the dystopia I feel my country sliding into in the real world.
    • Cons: Not my wheelhouse. Will trying to write that way leave me even more exhausted, mentally? And will Avoidance-with-a-Capital-A make it harder to "return" when the month is over?


The train is leaving in ten days, and I don't know whether I should pack for a ski trip in the Alps, or a cruise through the Caribbean...

I haven't been this much of a "Pantser" since my very first year, when I didn't even know NaNoWriMo was a thing until a couple of days before it started...
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
A library realized that homeless people were hiding books under cushions to finish later.  So the librarians designated a shelf for homeless readers to store their "in use" books.  This is a replicable solution that any library can use if they have a similar challenge.  Meanwhile over in Terramagne, this sort of thing is common.
October 19th, 2017
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the November 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] technoshaman, [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron, and Anonymous on Dreamwidth. It also fills the "drunk girl / guy" square in my 11-1-16 card for the Fall Festival bingo. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Mallory thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes confusion, indecision, college party hijinks, Whitney sneaking alcohol into a non-alcoholic event, binge-watching television, Whitney passing out drunk on the couch, reference to past alcohol misuse, reference to past rape, Mallory having a panic attack with awful flashbacks and other intrusive images, Heron calling the Student Health Center for Whitney, Mallory crying on Heron, and other angst. But there's a lot of fluff too. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. However, this is a major plot point, so skipping it would leave a gap.

Read more... )
Mood:: 'busy' busy
recessional: a cat looking at a macbook (personal; o hai internets)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith at 05:13pm on 19/10/2017 under , , , ,
Today is sunny and warm.  Birds are fluttering around.

We went out and scraped ash out of the firepit, so we can build a fire for Samhain.  Then we picked up sticks out of a big pile of leaves that Doug raked up earlier. 
oursin: Drawing of hedgehog in a cave, writing in a book with a quill pen (Writing hedgehog)

And I suspect that it is Very Much Not Done to yell 'Speak up' or 'Use the Mike' when someone is giving an important formal lecture signifying professional advancement.

Maybe my hearing is getting even worse than I thought? Or maybe that lecture theatre has really crap acoustics.

(Speaker is a lovely person who does lovely work, and I bought the book that was also being launched and had it signed, but I was really rather frustrated by the actual lecture.)

But at least there were some really lovely visuals which were entirely relevant to the topic on hand.

Also put in a bit of a strop by the young person who checked my name off the list, and said 'join the queue', waving in the opposite direction to where it turned out the relevant queue was forming.

But I did see two people I knew (besides speaker) and did a little bit of catch-up with them, so I have socialed more than I recently have.

rachelmanija: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rachelmanija at 11:12am on 19/10/2017 under
Two years ago, I meant to go to Japan in November. And then I had the most horrible two years of my entire life, and the trip was shelved.

I'm going to Japan in November! I'll be there for two weeks, divided between Tokyo, Kyoto, and Fukuoka. The last is a city further south than I've been before, with some very pretty day trips.

I'm going to use AirBnb, which I also haven't used before, but it looks pretty great. I have two lovely apartments all to myself for cheaper than a hotel room would be, and one room in a house with a lady who cooks breakfast, has a friendly toy poodle named Piccolo, and says understatedly, "I am a former hotelier who worked in the five star hotel. I think I can assist you well during your stay."

Any of you done anything fun in Japan?
aldersprig: (Viddie)
The last Finish It! before NanoWrimo: Tilden, from This Story

It had been two weeks.

Tilden had repeated, calmly but insistently, “you should let me go.” Every night. Every time Laufeia ordered him to do something unpleasant – and Laufeia had a taste for rather unpleasant things. Every time she ordered him naked. “You should let me go.”

Eleri, whose own Kept had walked into the collar willingly and who had not nearly the taste for cruelty as her friend, found herself in a bit of a tight spot. She could advise Laufeia to release Tilden – but every time she did, Laufeia got a little nastier, a little angrier. She didn’t just take it out on Tilden, either, but on Eleri and on Caetano and on their third crew-mate, Manlius, who took it all in without seeming to notice or care. Then again, Manlius took in everything. Only at dawn did you get a sense for how stressed he’d been, as the “sun rose” in his room with intense heat or nothing at all.

read on…
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
October 18th, 2017
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith at 09:20pm on 18/10/2017 under , , ,
People are freaking out over football players kneeling as a civil rights protest. As I've said repeatedly, this should be encouraged, not condemned. It is a rational, legal method of solving problems. If you block that, people will resort to less rational, less legal methods. I would prefer not to have race riots all over the place. Again. The catch is, kneeling is an effective way to attract attention but it doesn't solve the underlying problems. For that we need more. And then [personal profile] dialecticdreamer came up with this gem:

"Kneeling falls entirely under right of free expression and social protest. Anyone who tries to decry that it 'damages' the corporation a public figure works for, whether a sports team or a bakery, is an authoritarian idjit. Were I the manager of a sports team, the SECOND one of my players knelt in protest, I'd arrange to meet them, and ask what can help. Public outreach. More sports camps and mentorships for youth in poverty, who are disproportionately darker-skinned (but I'd be careful not to make skin color a requirement-- you've heard this rant before)."

Well, the famous guys are difficult or impossible to reach, for practical reasons. But it's not just them anymore; players on local teams sometimes do the same thing. They can be reached, and so can their managers. Letters to the editor of any newspaper would be another way of publicizing this idea. We can also just put this topic in blog posts. Then if anyone is involved in sports where this is happening, they have a solution to try.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Recently a friend mentioned looking forward to an event but worrying that it might be overwhelming. This can happen. It happens more often to people with special needs -- or introverts, who are a huge portion of the populace that is simply ignored in almost all event planning, thus necessitating additional accommodations. Here are some ideas to make your trip safer and happier ...

Read more... )
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
posted by [personal profile] melannen at 07:31pm on 18/10/2017
It seems like it's been ages that I've posted anything substantial and non-FMK here (which I knew was a risk; I have enough social media XP (extroversion points) to keep up with approx. 1 DW post a week, that is well-established). So here is a 5 things to break the monotony:

1. Pokemon Go will not let me install the latest update (It gives an error message that says "we hates your phone, precious" [paraphrase] and then won't install.) So instead I have been playing Magikarp Jump, which the app store always tries to tell me pokego players will enjoy. So far:

This is my fish. There are many like it, but this one is mine. )


2. Also I finally won the last boss level in Alphabear, so until I got my fish game, I was totally at loose ends for mindless phone games, and started looking for ports of the ones I played as a kid. HOW IS AN ANDROID PORT OF GODDAMP CATERPILLAR 11 megabytes? I coded that from scratch on my TI83 when I was a kid! In, like, about 100 lines of code! WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?

(I also coded a text adventure with a gender-ambiguous protagonist on that calculator, actually...)


3. I finished cleaning my bathroom yesterday! It only took me about two weeks! It is so nice to go in there and have it be clean! clean ALL the things )


4. So last November I kind of went into power-save mode for awhile, quit using Habitica and also quit a bunch of the things I had been doing on a regular basis (tag wrangling, practicing piano, working on Spanish and Icelandic, writing on a regular basis, using Tumblr...) But my sister got me back onto using Habitica again, and now that all the cat-related tasks are gone (and I trimmed some other stuff) it's a much more reasonable list of dailies.

I had forgotten how very motivating it is to get to tick the thingy. Now I am debating whether to use my Orb of Rebirth and start over or not (And whether to try to get together an active party with more than just me and my sister and a bunch of inactive accounts.)

And I'm trying to get back to doing some of the other things I stopped, too. I gave Tag Wrangling an un-hiatus notice, so I'm committed to trying to be less fail at that, and I pulled out a piano book for the first time in months (I found a copy of the very first one I learned out of, The Joy Of First-Year Piano, to warm me back up) Og ég er að læra íslensku aftur. Þótt jurtabókin er erfitt. Það er of mikið um illt kaffi í bókinni. Y yo hablé español a una clienta hoy! Un poco español, pero un poco es más que nada.

The only thing I gave up that I haven't missed at all is Tumblr. *shrug emoji* (even that's not true, I have a secret backup tumblr to which are added a couple people who post mostly personal stuff and also a bunch of nature and solarpunk and library special collections photos, and no politics or fandom, and it's still fine.)

5. One of the things on my habitica dailies is to post an AO3 comment once a day. Another one is to do something with politics once a week. I got my wires crossed in there somewhere and realized that if I don't feel up to actually engaging with politics I can just send one of my (excellent) congresspeople an email that literally just says, "Hi staffer who reads these, you are fighting the good fight, keep holding the line, thank you", just like when I want to leave an AO3 comment but don't know what to say, and it STILL COUNTS.

Also, people are trying to get public outcry going toward Congress passing the nonpartisan bill Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.) which would make it so the US President could not launch a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war. TBH I can't think of ANY reason why that should ever have been possible, but ESPECIALLY now. So write your congresspeople or spread the word to #PULL THE FOOTBALL

/me crosses off "do politics" for this week
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is sunny, mild, and breezy.  I refilled the birdfeeders.  Birds are fluttering around in the nice weather today, although I haven't seen any on the feeders.

I planted 24 Muscari armeniacum  around bushes along the driveway.  This is a classic type of blue grape hyacinth which puts up spikes of tiny purple flowers shaped like bells.

We hope to get back out later and work on the area around the outdoor woodpile.

EDIT 10/18/17: We moved a wheelbarrow of firewood from the yard onto the porch.

EDIT 10/18/17: I went back out and fertilized the bulb gardens and some places where they're naturalized.  Thanks to whoever it was that reminded me of this.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Unicorn at  fountain-4Web
[Image description: “The Unicorn is Found” or “The Unicorn at the Fountain”. The second tapestry in The Hunt of the Unicorn series, from circa 1495 -1505.

A tall ornamental fountain with lion-mask spigots is spilling water into a forest stream, where animals (a lion and lioness, a leopard, a weasel, a wolf, a stag, a pair of pheasants, a pair of goldfinches, and a pair of rabbits) have gathered to drink, while a pair of ducks swim past in the stream itself.

A unicorn is kneeling on the far side of the stream from the viewer, dipping the very tip of its horn into the water (a cure for all poisons), which makes the water safe to drink.

Behind the bushes surrounding the fountain are a dozen hunters with long pikes over their shoulders, along with their hunting dogs. They are talking and gesturing to each other, discussing exactly how to kill the unicorn, so they can bring it back to the king and queen.

The towers of the royal castle can be glimpsed in through the trees in the far distance (in the upper left corner of the tapestry). Description ends.]



When I was a tiny thing (maybe I was still in kindergarten/infant school) my parents took me to see the original Unicorn tapestries in the museum, and I got to see them ultra up close (like less than a couple feet away) -- and this one is nearly 12 and a half feet (3.78 meters) tall ... almost life sized (!).

Naturally, the experience made an impression. And the tapestry I posted here made the biggest impression of all: this is what “unicorn” means to me. Throughout the rest of my childhood, I was bitter and salty about all the “rainbow-sparkle/magic glitter” unicorns with Kewpie doll eyes that were absolutely everywhere (and well-meaning friends kept giving me, "’Cause she loves unicorns!”). ...And frankly, I still am.

Why I Wish This Tapestry Were the “Famous One”:

(Rant follows -- wherein I absolutely do spoil the story [plot wise] that these tapestries tell, and where I hope to spoil [popularity-wise] the most famous medieval tapestry of them all)

(The links behind the cut lead to The Metropolitan Museum of Art's online display of each of the Tapestries)

The story of 'The Hunt of The Unicorn' narrated -- warning: there is violence, gore, and more than one animal death )

Like I said at the beginning, “The Unicorn at the Fountain” is what “unicorn” means to me. Unicorns are wild and fierce -- able to kill you as easily as slice through butter (if they must, in self-defense). But the unicorn’s first impulse is to use their magic for the good of others -- to protect all the creatures of the forest, even though doing so makes them vulnerable to attack -- even though the powers of the State polluted the stream in the first place -- even though the powers of the State wanted to steal all that magic, and keep it for itself. Unicorns still take that risk.

With great power, comes great responsibility.

And then, with great responsibility, comes great kindness.

How is that not the most radical thing of all?
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith at 01:08pm on 18/10/2017 under ,
How a strongman solves a parking problem.  More common in Terramagne than here, but fun to see.