(no subject)

Aug. 23rd, 2014 12:44 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
I was outside a few hours ago, clipping some of the roses that we've been growing to bring inside and put in a vase, when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head, expecting it was one of our bunnies (we have four or five who visit us regularly and help mow the lawn for us, although they're also why we've had to invest in chicken wire for the vegetable garden and the first-year roses).

It was not one of the bunnies; it was the fox who lives on the golf course across the street. He was just chilling out about three feet away from me, on the edge of the driveway just by the back lawn.

Looking at him was apparently enough to spook him, because he trotted down the driveway, head held high, then waited for the oncoming car to pass before darting out and walking along the side of the road for a few feet before dashing into our bushes by the sidewalk and loping off across our neighbor's front yard. I told him I hoped he had a good night and took my roses inside. :)

(It's kind of awesome living on the edges of the city but with such a great expanse of space across the street from us: the country club's been there forever so we know they're not going to sell to a developer and have McMansions turn up across the street in a year or two, and all that green space attracts all kinds of wildlife.)

[poem] (This is a) Love Song

Aug. 23rd, 2014 01:05 am
kaberett: curled decorative end of curtain rail casts a heart-shaped shadow on a wall (heartfruit)
[personal profile] kaberett
If the highest calling is utility
then show me I am useful
by using me.

Make of me a book,
vellum of my skin,
a vessel for your stories and your selves.

(art is good if it arises from necessity
ein Kunstwerk ist gut, wenn es aus Notwendigkeit entstand
I am good if I am necessary--
or at least I am sufficient)

(fill me with your breath your hope
your need
your dreams of being as sufficient
as beautiful as necessary as all
that we must be)

(o please gift me belief)

(no subject)

Aug. 22nd, 2014 10:39 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Midafternoon nap times three:
Read more... )


Aug. 22nd, 2014 06:12 pm
ghoti: cartoon version of the author: pigtails, glasses, and a striped shirt. (self)
[personal profile] ghoti
sick with a stupid end of summer head cold. left work at lunchtime
yesterday. came in today anyway because i had too much to do. got dizzy and
wobbly around lunchtime today -- not sure if dehydrated or decongestant +
coffee, or what.

i was told yesterday they were going to stipulate my testimony for a case.
imagine my surprise (or, you know, not) when the ADA called at noon -- can
you be here in an hour and a half? so i killed an hour and a half at court
this afternoon.

it's after 1800 on a friday, and i 'm still at work. probably another 20-30
minutes to go. fnaaaaargh. whine. etc.
desperance: (Default)
[personal profile] desperance
There. I have finished the proofread, and tumbled through the doorway thrust the manuscript at its anxious recipient with my final gasping breath, and fallen dead at her feet as is only appropriate, and they shall call this mad dash a Brenchley and I shall go down in memoriam, unless they call it a Sunnyvale and everybody forgets the man who ran it.

And now I am cooking a lunch of sossidges, with broccolini and mushrooms and onions on the side; and then we are going to Go Out. And Have Fun. At a matinee of Guardians of the Galaxy. Because We Can.

(no subject)

Aug. 22nd, 2014 11:36 pm
marina: (pretty boys)
[personal profile] marina
Let's talk about things that are not how my life is falling apart.

Outlander. You are all fired for not properly introducing me to this show.

go to your contracts and leave the orgies to me )

Friday's Unscientific Poll

Aug. 22nd, 2014 08:52 pm
nanila: YAY (me: abby)
[personal profile] nanila
Poll #15822 Pseudonymity
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 21

I am comfortable with connecting my "in-person" physical identity and my online identities.

View Answers

Never or hardly ever. I prefer to keep them separate
4 (20.0%)

Conditionally by topic, e.g. only with respect to things I've posted about publicly on my journal
3 (15.0%)

Conditionally by sphere of interaction, e.g. only in person or only online
4 (20.0%)

Conditionally by individual, e.g. only with those I know well
10 (50.0%)

Conditionally by venue, e.g. only my Twitter identity but not my Tumblr
10 (50.0%)

0 (0.0%)

Here is another condition I apply to connecting my online and in-person presences:

(Inspired by a LonCon3 panel writeup from [personal profile] kaberett. I'm still thinking this topic through and the poll hasn't come out exactly as I wanted to phrase it but it's a start.)

Love-rat boogie

Aug. 22nd, 2014 08:49 pm
oursin: Brush the wandering hedgehog dancing in his new coat (Brush the wandering hedgehog dancing)
[personal profile] oursin

Okay girls, let's put our handbags in the middle of the floor, and dance round like we're dancing on these specimens of poor stuff:

Finding a good man girls is like finding a Needle in a Haystack )

He's likely to turn out like Nathan Jones )

Or that Honey Chile )

So, be Too Strong to Be Strung Along )

And if necessary, say Bye Bye Baby )

Remember to Shop Around )

Because there's Too Many Fish in the Sea )

and so it goes

Aug. 22nd, 2014 10:45 pm
marina: (Atia sad)
[personal profile] marina
Well, it seems my life was destined to fall apart around this time of year after all.

Two years ago in September I moved into an apartment in the city, all on my own, for the first time. At the same time I fell and dislocated my shoulder, and almost immediately after that my grandfather died. It was a busy, hectic, depressing, miserable period.

Last year around the same time I got suddenly kicked out of my apartment, with barely a month to find something new, while doing grad school exams and trying to plan a month-long holiday in a foreign country where I'd be traveling alone. It was... unspeakably stressful. I looked for apartments every single day for nearly 5 weeks and then had to pack and move in a matter of days. While doing exams, working full time and trying to plan a trip abroad.

This year, I've spent a month in limbo, living in a miserable arrangement with my roommate because she decided to leave the lease early, then at the last minute we found someone to replace her, who 10 days later told me she won't stay to sign the year-long lease (she'd been technically subletting for the month). We talked, I made arrangements, started trying to frantically find someone new, and then this girl told me that no, she's staying. She wouldn't do that to me, she'll sign the lease and give me a few months, at least.

This this morning she called me again and said she won't be staying after all. The reasons don't matter, I think she's a grade-A asshole but that is utterly useless either as data or as an emotion. There's nothing to be done. In a week I won't have anywhere to live.

As usual around this time of year, I'm also trying to arrange travel. (I'm very, very grateful for the ability to travel, but planning it always seems to fall on an already stressful period.) So for the next week I'll need to pack all my earthly belongings, try to sell my furniture (which I only bought in the first place because this girl assured me she'll be signing a lease), and then... move into a life of terror and misery.

I'll move back in with my parents, and try to crash with [personal profile] roga during the week, to minimize how much living with my parents is going to fuck me up physically (my body can't handle 3 hours of driving a day) and mentally (not a single weekend has gone by in the last two years when I didn't think thank god I no longer live with my parents). It's going to be an utter, miserable mess. 3 weeks into September I'll go abroad, come back in November and start apartment hunting again. WHAT JOY. I have not had enough of that over the last two years, definitely!

I just... I don't even know how I'm going to make all of this happen. My parents are still on vacation in France, which sucks pretty bad. It's not even that I miss their emotional support - though I am sorely lacking that as well lately - it's that my mother would snap me out of it somehow and help me be practical and do things instead of sitting here mostly consumed with shock and sadness.

I know this isn't the end of the world. These things happen, people survive and move on. But I just feel... incredibly upset, in this bone-deep way. In a way where all of this is making me have feelings and thoughts that even I know aren't really rational. Like, how am I such a loser that this keeps happening to me? Am I just incompetent, or incapable of making friends, or just fundamentally unsuited for living on my own? Am I asking the world for a beating by daring to live this life I'm not meant for? Immigrant girls like me don't get to have apartments in the city while working low paying jobs. 90% of my friends and cousins live at home, certainly none of them moved out when I did. Am I trying to have something I don't deserve?
desperance: (Default)
[personal profile] desperance
This is just to let you know that - in Chazdreamspace, at least - there are fonts called beets, drakes and eyeslash. I know this, for I used them in a poster. I rather like it, that my dreams still have text that matters.

Also, I think it sounds like a question in Round Britain Quiz. "London team: what connects a source of sugar, the male component of skipping stones, and a dog from Andalusia, with an authorial fantasy about bookmaking?" (I used to love RBQ, in its original incarnation. Alas, they remodeled after Irene Thomas' death, and I stopped listening; it's no fun when you can actually answer half the questions. I always wondered actually how it was fun for her, given that she could actually answer all of them.)
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

I met a cute girl the other day – although using the word “cute” to describe her covers her beauty in the same way that tossing a napkin on the ground covers the Appalachian Mountains.  The quote I could not stop muttering to myself when looking at her was, “It is a body bred for one purpose – to destroy the world of men.”

Happily, we exchanged numbers.  And after a few brief chats, she confessed to having Googled me.

Who the heck does that? I thought, followed by the answer of Probably everybody, because frankly if you meet someone new in any context, looking them up online to see whether they’re, I dunno, winner of the East Coast Aryan Dog-Eating Competition.  And if you’ve got a crush – I get crushes, you may have noticed – then you can see whether they hold any particularly interesting opinions.

(And particularly if you Google me, whoo boy does a Pandora’s box of my interests come spilling out.)

But I grew up in the age of BBSes and modems and AOL 28.8 was the absolute shiz, and so my reflex to Google all the new people never formed in the womb.  Hell, one of the most fascinating people I met over the weekend is a game designer who writes her own text adventures, and have I looked up her games?  Of course not!  We’ll find out the old-fashioned way, through the grand conversations we’ll have as we buggy-whip our horses down the cobblestone lane on the way to talk to our milkman!

Some days I look at myself, Mr. Internet Hipster, and am reminded that I am creaky and cranky and old.

But I’m still flirting.  So there’s that.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

Dear Discovery Channel:

Mythbusters is my favorite surrogate TV family, my comfort watching, my friends.  And with your firing of Tori, Grant, and Kari – a.k.a. “The Build Team” – from the show, you have just plopped an ugly divorce in my living room.

I am not happy.

But since this move smacks of a budget cut, allow me to demonstrate my fiduciary credentials: every Christmas, my wife buys me the latest season of Mythbusters, often from the Discovery Channel store.  That’s stopping this year, unless the build team is brought back.  I’ve also bought Mythbusters DVDs for friends to spread the word.  That’s also stopping.  As are my purchases of the Mythbusters T-shirts and Behind The Myth tours and the museum exhibit.

I won’t tell you I won’t watch the show; I probably will.  But you folks have probably gotten $1,000 in merch sales from me over the years, and that?  Is gone.  My blogging about Mythbusters?  Is also gone.  After this, I’m not providing any more PR for a show that has made a grievous error.

In particular, the firing of Kari Byron is inexcusable, as there aren’t enough prominent women out there doing science, and the removal of one from perhaps one of the sanest ambassador shows for science sends a very uncomfortable message to girls.  But even aside from that, part of the joy of the show was watching Tori injure himself, watching Grant build a robot, watching the collective joy they exhibited when something went haywire.

The show is an ensemble cast now, whether you like it or not.  And to remove that means that I will remove my wallet from your merch funds until that is rectified.  So I sincerely hope you do an about-face on this ASAP, because I’m one of your megafans.  I’ve been loyal, and more than that, profitable to you.

I hope that soon, I will be again.

Ferrett Steinmetz

(If you’d like to write the Discovery Channel, incidentally, I’d suggest you use their form here.)

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

Cool Stuff Friday

Aug. 22nd, 2014 09:30 am
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I have no idea how it’s Friday again already. I’ve spent the past week in the Book-Finishing Time Vortex. Everything was so spinny and colorful…

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Loncon Roundup - LONG

Aug. 22nd, 2014 12:01 pm
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
It occurs to me that I might as well do my Loncon roundup post before I forget (also, despite my insistence that the cold was getting better during the con, it's returned with renewed force, so I'm working from home/sleeping today).

A client needed my presence in Woking on the Thursday morning, so as a result I didn't get to ExCel, and at that to the wrong end of ExCel until about 13.45 (ExCel has two DLR stations. The more convenient (and how!) is Prince Regent; the one that's a good ten minutes walk down the central spine of the building is Custom House. Taxis (I'd got a taxi from Waterloo in the mistaken hope it would speed things up; also my feet were being cut to pieces by the Good Shoes For Seeing Clients In) appear to have difficulty with the concept of "drop me at the east end" even though the taxi rank is there.

Read more... )


Read more... )


Read more... )


Read more... )


Read more... )

After which things gradually melted away around us as packing away took place. I just managed to catch up with @ehorokova and @actuallyaisha on my way out and was lured back into the fan bar to discuss Stalky & Co, North and South, how Elizabeth Gaskell could look at GRRM and say, "A song of ice and fire? Pah! I see your Game of Thrones deathcount and I raise you - Cranford" and various other things before I worked out I really, really had a train to catch, and caught it.

Interesting Links for 22-08-2014

Aug. 22nd, 2014 12:00 pm

Lets talk about me - state of mind

Aug. 22nd, 2014 11:22 am
hunningham: Linocut man on bus (man on bus)
[personal profile] hunningham
Okay, this is hard. I’m trying to be analytical about myself & state of mind & depression. So lets do a list.

I spent last weekend sleeping. Seriously, Saturday was a morning lie-in and a long afternoon nap all to give me the strength for a proper night’s sleep. I felt like a cat. And Sunday wasn’t a lot better, or rather, (turn that thinking around) it was just as good.

New medication. I am not good at remembering to take pills (especially in the morning), so again, H. is stepping in here and remembering for me.

I have spoken to people about being depressed (my mother, my father, my sister, friend Barrie, friend Ian). All went well. My mother was delightful; she read me a little lecture about how depression should be treated as an illness like any other, and how I should look after myself.

I’ve slept well this week and had no great urge to take naps. Still tired & headachy, but not the same desperation to just sleep. But it’s been hard to get going in the morning and I’ve been knocking off work early. Basically, I’ve gone part-time and I am not fighting with myself over this. I’m not quite sure what I have done with the extra time (posting on dream width, looking at cats on tumblr, online shopping, some exercise, day-dreaming?)

I’ve found a new workspace. Some local game developers have gotten together and setup a not-for-profit organisation to run a local co-working space. It’s a converted railway arch with workbenches, wi-fi and twenty-four computer chairs. The loo and kitchen area are better than a lot of companies where I’ve worked. (This matters; I hate working somewhere where I can’t dry my hands properly or where there’s no hot water for washing up.) Anyhows, I’ve signed on the dotted line and have been taking myself down there to work. Working away from home helps focus and I think being around other people is good as well.

I was meant to have a project meeting in Manchester next week, but this has been cancelled. This has a lot to do with the better state of mind this week - it's taken some of the pressure off and saved a couple of unpleasant phone-calls. Because this is the project I should have been working on and wasn't, and it had turned into my personal Project of DOOM.

I’ve been talkative in the evenings, and bombarding H. with random chat.

I now feel as if I have been exaggerating and making an unnecessary and unseemly fuss about being depressed. I rely on H. for a reality check here, and he says not.

Circle of Fire nattering

Aug. 22nd, 2014 12:49 am
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Sexual orientation vs. the MythBusters

Read more... )

(no subject)

Aug. 22nd, 2014 07:56 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] elisem!
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (farthing party 2007)
[personal profile] redbird
[livejournal.com profile] shweta_narayan has posted some useful and interesting thoughts on category structures and oppression, starting with the idea that, for most people, a robin has more bird-ness than an albatross does. Weirder, apparently people think that an albatross is more like a robin than a robin is like an albatross; intuitively, I would have thought that "A is like B" was reflexive. And if you ask people
"is this a bird?" they'll say yes faster about a robin than about an albatross or an emu.

That's interesting when it's robins and eagles and albatrosses, or whether 4 is a "better" even number than 4,278, but it extends to different groups and kinds of people. And it may be part of why people "just happen" to think of white men more often than nonwhites or women when they're looking for contributors to an anthology, or speakers at a conference, or candidates for city council.

(no subject)

Aug. 21st, 2014 07:26 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
Today I did a lot of dishes. I feel virtuous. I also secured a new cat tree for Emily to the wall to make it more stable. This required one L-bracket and two screws of different lengths, and that left me in such a to-do of constantly changing bits and drilling and reversing and anchoring and forever losing what I needed, despite having specifically obtained a tupperware to put all my hardware in. ADHD is a pain in the fucking ass.

Vancouver Island is magical. There are PLUM TREES and PEAR TREES that are PRODUCING FRUIT!!! In Alberta the only fruit trees are crabapples, so the roadside turnouts in summer are thick with "BC Fruit" vans.

First this, then that: now what?

Aug. 21st, 2014 06:20 pm
desperance: (Default)
[personal profile] desperance
Time comes in blocks, apparently, today.

This morning I was solidly at the coffee shop, eight till noon, with Jeannie and later Karen, getting work done.

This afternoon I was solidly in the dentist's chair, one thirty till three thirty, getting work done in a wholly different sense.

Right now I'd rather be lying on the sofa - my fainting couch, Karen calls it - with a book and a glass of wine, but lo, I have discovered a dreg of virtue and am proofreading against a deadline. As the deadline's tomorrow, this is probably a good thing. *sighs*

Dinner will be leftovers, if anyone wants dinner. Mostly I intend to flump in front of the TV and murmur "Pity me, kind people?" at anyone who happens to pass by. The degree of pity this actually engenders may be measured by the angle of the sneer on a cat's lip.

Not Trying

Aug. 22nd, 2014 12:54 am
aphenine: Teresa and Claire (Default)
[personal profile] aphenine
While I was in Berlin, I had some time and space to think. One of the things that struck me then, and which has struck me in the weeks since I've been back, is just how much the period I was at work was marked by me not doing a whole bunch of stuff that I've learnt to do to cope with being in certain situations.

I find this weird, because when I look at that period, a lot of the problems are things that I have already solved. It's just, for some reason, I stopped trying to do so. It's like I gave up and stopped trying. I don't really know why.

Read more... )

Yahoo! continue! to! astonish!

Aug. 21st, 2014 11:54 pm
lovingboth: (Default)
[personal profile] lovingboth
There's a Yahoo group I am a member of using a new Gmail account. It's a closed group, so it needs a mod to approve the membership. OK, no problem...

.. until you want to do something in relation to the settings. In this case, I want to set it so that the email account gets no email from the group (and, ideally, no email from Yahoo at all!) while remaining a member of it.

But you can't do that via sending an email, as you could with any decent mailing list. You have to do it via a Yahoo account.

OK, let's look at the welcome email: "Your email address has been added to the email list of a Yahoo! Group. To gain .. easier control of your message delivery options, we highly recommend that you complete your account by connecting your email address to Yahoo account (sic). It is easy and free. Please visit: (address)."

Oooh, perfect...

.. except that link 404s.

OK, let's create a pointless Yahoo account*. So I do that, and then set it up so that the Gmail address is verified as belonging to that account...

.. but Yahoo groups doesn't think that account is a member of it.

OK, let's create a second even more pointless account via logging in with the Google account that is a member of that group. That's done...

.. but Yahoo groups still doesn't think that account is a member of it.

I've emailed the "help", but what is the way to alter your own settings for a Yahoo group you're a member of via being joined other than via an existing Yahoo account?

* Yes, I know the word 'pointless' is redundant in this context.

August 14-20, 2014

Aug. 21st, 2014 05:07 pm
[personal profile] dsgood
Thursday August 14, 2014. Adult Children Anonymous -- got my eight-year medallion.

***On the bus home, a large group which included some with cat whiskers painted on their faces boarded. Turned out they were returning from the International Cat Video Festival.

***The August issue of Chess Life has an article on Fritz Leiber's chess-related sf and fantasy stories.

***Friday August 15, 2014. I usually wish the classical music announcers on KSJN talked much, much less. However, this was Leon Theremin's birthday. Turns out he was a Soviet spy, along with his other work.

***Saturday August 16, 2014. Mnstf (Twin Cities sf club) meeting at Scott and Irene Rauns. Good meeting.

***Sunday August 17, 2014. Reread Melissa Scott's Conceiving the Heavens -- a book on writing science fiction, published in 1999. Included was a bit of speculation about electronic currency. I suspect Ms. Scott didn't expect it to arrive just ten years later.

***MinnSpec (Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers) meeting at the Uptown Lunds supermarket. Topic: Emotional Manipulation of the Reader. I suspect the topics brought up could be used for at least six panel discussions.

I brought the (not(yet?)) official MinnSpec Library for its first outing. The library was, so far, six books on writing which I hadn't read in a while. One got taken out.

***Wednesday August 20, 2014. Birthday of H. P. Lovecraft and Jacqueline Susann.

LonCon panel notes: What's in a name?

Aug. 21st, 2014 10:30 pm
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
Brief - hands didn't like me much!

Aaaand that's me done, because I'm not posting my notes for What is I?, because I gave up in disgust and left early it was so bad.

Read more... )
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
This was great, but again my laptop ran out of battery power partway through. The thing that really got to me about LonCon in contrast with OSBridge (... aside from the bit where OSBridge was actually better at inclusivity, by and large) was that unlike OSBridge LonCon3 didn't have extension cables everywhere so people could charge during talks.

Read more... )
kaberett: A drawing of a black woman holding her right hand, minus a ring finger, in front of her face. "Oh, that. I cut it  off." (molly - cut it off)
[personal profile] kaberett
This is one where I got bored of everyone being white dudes and rapidly stopped typing.

Read more... )
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Today Chad & I went with some friends on a bus tour to Newgrange and the Hill of Tara. The advantage of taking a bus tour (or possibly just this particular tour, I'm not sure) is that (a) you don't have to drive there yourself—major advantage, twisty narrow narrow roads; and (b) reserved time for a tour of Newgrange (again, I don't know if all buses get this).

Newgrange is really fascinating. It's a passage tomb that's over 5,000 years old and that's aligned so that the burial chamber in the center is lit by the winter solstice. The passage in is very narrow and low (we had at least one person decide that they were that claustrophobic after all), but being inside this vaulted chamber, that has stood water-tight for all this time, that was decorated by the builders (and then, alas, defaced by vandals over decades before the site was properly excavated and controlled), well, it's kind of hard to describe how amazing it is. The art of the interior and also the exterior kerbstones that circle the base is also mesmerizing.

Here are a few pictures of the exterior:

Chad outside the heavily-carved entrance stone

the reconstructed front wall—this is controversial, because fairly early in the tomb's history it stopped being used and the stones and earth on the top slid down and covered everything, and so while the big dark stones on the bottom were in place when it was excavated, the white quartz stones were on the ground. Wikipedia says that critics think the technology to put a retaining wall at that angle wasn't available at that time and that a plaza/path is more likely (Chad heard someone describe it today as kind of a classic 1970s over-reconstruction). The reconstruction is very visually striking, from a long ways away, and I'm sure a plaza would have been likewise.

Carved kerbstone roughly a third of the way around to the back.

Then we had basic sandwiches & soup, and rather good pie (there's a caramel and banana pie which is apparently very good if one likes banana) at a farm just down the hill, and then we piled back in the bus and went to the exhibition center that's been built to control visitors to Newgrange, which is 1/2 mile directly but our bus had to go the long way. This did a nice job of context, though its reconstruction of the passage is way too wide and its reconstruction of the chamber leaves out the left-side chamber that opens off the main one, which was the biggest and apparently most-important (two basins instead of one). I also bought some art from a local artist who was part of a craft fair that's held there for a few weeks in high tourist season.

Then we went to the Hill of Tara. Considering it's relatively low, the view is amazing; I can absolutely believe you can see 20% of the island on a clear day (which we did NOT have) and that it would be hugely symbolically important.

We had a tour guide meet us there and heard about the church & the Rath of the Synods, which is a very lumpy area that was a ringfort, a circular fort surrounded by walls or embankments, which was dug up by a bunch of unscientific types hoping to find proof of some religious theory I can't remember the details of now, and it took about three years (?) to rally public opinion enough to get the means to stop them. We peeked into another Neolithic passage tomb, this one much smaller, called the Mound of the Hostages, and heard about the full skeleton of a teenage boy that, unusually, had been buried there (cremation was the norm) with grave goods suggesting high status; the guide said that he was believed to have been a visitor who was being accorded an honor?

And then we went over to the Forradh (Royal Seat) which is the current location of the purported Lia Fáil, or Stone of Destiny, where the High Kings were crowned. (At this point the rain, which started over at the Mound, was blowing sideways and we got pretty soaked, but it didn't last long.) What particularly fascinated me about this is that the stone was moved in the early 1800s allegedly to mark graves of Irish fighters in the Battle of Tara in 1798, but our guide said that that part hadn't been excavated so it wasn't clear whether those burials did take place. That was not that long ago! Anyway, we were able to admire the view with clouds but at least without rain before we squelched back to the bus.

We went back to the tapas place from last night for dinner because it was only 5:00 and we knew they'd be open and would be good for a group, and shared round many dishes and enjoyed it very much. Then Chad & I came back to the hotel so I could drop off my art and change into dry socks, and we walked around some more.

First we went to Merrion Park, which is near-ish and which has some very nice public art, some colorful and some quiet. There's also a great Jester's Chair that's a genuinely fun tribute to Dermot Morgan, an Irish comedian and actor (Chad will be uploading pics of both of us in it, I think) and a monument to Oscar Wilde that shows him lounging on a big rock, with choices quotes hand-written (etched) into two columns that have statues on top.

Then we discovered that the National Gallery of Ireland is open late on Thursday nights and went in for a half-hour wander. I took a bunch of pictures which I briefly put up on G+, but I was able to find them all on the Gallery's website, so I will just link directly:

"Banks of a Canal, near Naples," Gustave Caillebotte, c.1872. I find this weirdly compelling.

"The Castle of Bentheim," Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael, 1653. I'm fairly sure I've seen this cover art before, and I mean that in a good way.

Things that need to be captioned by the Toast: "Bathers Surprised," William Mulready, 1852-1853; and "Saint Mary Magdalen," Felice Ficherelli, c.1640 (which made me want to bust out laughing).

"The Artist's Studio : Lady Hazel Lavery with her Daughter Alice and Stepdaughter Eileen, 1909-1913," John Lavery. It's a huge work and the photo can't convey how creepy the looming dark space over the actual people is.

"The Cottage Girl," Thomas Gainsborough, 1785. Chad says this is the face of "They gave me this puppy but I really wanted a cat."

"Ophelia", Margaret Clarke. An extremely good Ophelia from Hamlet.

"The Taking of Christ," , Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1602. It's stunning.

And tomorrow we'll do another museum or two here and then fly back to London, and then Saturday morning I head back to the States (and SteelyKid and the Pip! I miss them so much. No delays for weather, volcanos, or other disasters, universe, please.).
lethargic_man: (Default)
[personal profile] lethargic_man
It's been a while since we've had any adventures with the rabbits; what have they been up to? Well, same as most of us: same old, same old, most of the time. Bar Navi's been continuing to study Talmud:

View piccy )

...and daven in a chareidi shul:

View piccy )

(This is not a photomontage; I really did photograph him there!)

However, in amidst all that, he did have time to pose for a third birthday card for my niece:

View piccy )

The little rabbit we haven't seen here before. His name is Arnie the אַרְנְבוֹן (rabbit).

Jane again got Bar-Navi a present for Tu BəĀv this year. So what do you get for the frum rabbit who already has capel, tallis, tefillin and Talmud volume? Answer: A Sefer Torah!

View piccy )

([livejournal.com profile] aviva_m, on helping Bar-Navi open the present: "Oh, you didn't!" (even though she originally suggested it). Actually, the scroll has been sitting on my shelf in Newcastle, largely ignored, for twenty-five years; I thought Bar-Navi might get more use out of it than me.)

View piccy )

Getting possessive about a city

Aug. 21st, 2014 09:46 pm
swaldman: Cosy table lamps, in a row, outdoors (lights)
[personal profile] swaldman
I was in London last week, mostly for Worldcon, and I was travelling around the East end... the area that I used to inhabit when I lived there..... I went past the Dome on the DLR, on the other side of the river, and noticed that I could barely see it between tower blocks... I reminisced about the time that I'd gone to look at the Dome when it was new, with a friend, and had had to trek across wasteland and clamber over heaps of rubble to get to the same viewpoint. That was 14 years ago. Wow.

As I walked through streets late at night, between buses, I remembered how much I like London, and remembered why I miss it so much while I'm away... there's a feeling of being connected to things; of being part of a vast whole.

Visiting London for me now is really nostalgic. But also, something that's almost the opposite of nostalgic. Something possessive is there... like I am jealous of the city doing things without me.

"Half of my city is gone. The other half is yet to come"
- 1000 Revolutions per Moment

As I travelled on the DLR last week, I kept seeing things that had changed - new building sites, or changes to things... and I didn't like it. This is my city, how dare it change without me. Cities change, of course they do, that's in their nature and a large part of their appeal... but I should be a part of that, I should see it happen, I should build that knowledge into the tapestry of layers that the city occupies in my mind....

It was very nearly a feeling of jealousy - like finding out that a lover was busy with somebody else while my back was turned. I found it surprising. And I guess it means that I'm right to still think of myself as a Londoner.

(no subject)

Aug. 21st, 2014 03:14 pm
[personal profile] dsgood
Happy Birthday, wildrider!
oursin: Painting of Dr Johnson, overwritten Paging Dr J (Dr Johnson)
[personal profile] oursin

Okay, my dearios, my dr rdrz will know that the words 'hidden' or 'secret' in a headline pertaining to libraries or archives or, really, a lot of other things, will set the peeves into a frenzy.

'Secret' does not mean 'O, I've never heard of these, they are new and strange to me, someone must have been withholding information!'

'Off the beaten track'*=/='secret'

Secret Libraries of London.

I am hedjog, hear me *SIGH*.

*And honestly, can we consider Westminster, trendy Clerkenwell, the London School of Economics, Aldermanbury bang in the middle of the City of London, the Royal Festival Hall, or Bloomsbury, 'off the beaten track'? I'm only surprised he doesn't include a certain institution slap bang across the way from Euston Station, but perhaps that's near enough to the BL to be considered on the beaten track?

We Now Live In A Simpsons World

Aug. 21st, 2014 03:14 pm
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

So FXX is holding the marathon we’ve all been waiting for: Every Simpsons episode, in order, constantly, for twelve days.  It’s pretty amazing to think that the Simpsons has been around since the late 80s.  In fact, some significant portion of my readership – living, breathing human beings who fuck and vote and eat filet mignon – are younger than the Simpsons.

And yet I just watched an episode which showed how crazily the world has mutated since the Simpsons began.

That episode is the tenth episode of the first season: Homer’s Night Out.  In it, Homer does a sexy tabletop dance with a bellydancer, Bart takes a picture, and it goes viral.  The next thing you know, everyone in Springfield is talking about the picture – people laughing and cheering Homer on, Mr. Burns asking Homer for lady advice, bars full of men admiring Homer as their Playboy-style hero.  Eventually, Homer does a pratfall-landing in the middle of a stripper nightclub during the emcee’s act – and the emcee, instantly recognizing Homer, uses him to draw in new crowds.

And it took me like fifteen minutes to remember that at the time this was written, this was fucking satire.

Back in the days before the Internet – hell, when faxes were still clunky and kind of high-tech – there is no way that a Xeroxed photo would be passed around that quickly.  The idea that Bart could just make fifty copies and post them around town and catapult Homer into ludicrous pseudo-stardom was, actually, something audiences at the time found absurd and funny.  Of course Homer wasn’t going to wake up one day to find that, while he slept, the entire town had passed around his antics.

But… today….

Shit, that happens all the time.

We now live in a world where the most comedic exaggerations of the Simpsons are now actually dwarfed by what can really happen.  Because if that photo goes viral, well, Homer could be worldwide famous.  They wouldn’t just cheer him on, they would make fan videos, cosplay as Sexy Dancing Homer, show him on networks, and Jesus if you think of what’s happened to Grumpy Cat or Chris Crocker, the reaction of Springfield – Springfield! – seems positively sane in comparison.

We have entered a time when the parody of twenty years ago actually cannot encompass the reality of today.

I’m not sure whether that’s scary or exhilarating.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

rachelmanija: (Naruto: Super-energized!)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Yes, it’s another post-apocalyptic series opener, but it’s infused with a generous spirit—call it a utopian dystopia.

The small, walled community of Las Anclas bears little resemblance to Los Angeles, whose ancient ruins sprawl nearby. To Ross, a badly wounded prospector fleeing a powerful enemy, it’s paradise compared to what he’s used to—to its residents, not so much. Yuki misses the freedom of the wild ocean and dreams of escaping with Paco. Engineer Mia loves blowing things up, but she feels socially awkward. Felicité, the daughter of the mayor and defense chief, knows precisely what she wants: to make half of a power couple with Indra, Jennie’s boyfriend. Jennie herself is delighted to be chosen as a Ranger, the town’s elite defense corps; she’d feared that prejudice against the Changed, people like her who’ve acquired strange powers, made her a long shot. Mia and Jennie, best friends, find themselves attracted to secretive Ross. Characterization is rich and stereotype-free. For gays and lesbians, sexual orientation is neither more nor less a defining characteristic than it is for heterosexuals. Equally exceptional is the depiction of conflict. The confusing adrenaline rush of war is followed by PTSD, its lingering afterimage. The five dynamic narrators and action-packed plot deliver thrills while slyly undermining genre clichés.

A first-rate page turner that leaves its own compelling afterimage.

I'm Going to Portland!

Aug. 21st, 2014 11:59 am
forestofglory: (ship)
[personal profile] forestofglory
I'm going to Portland, OR in few weeks. A friend has work trip there with a weekend free. Since she normally lives in the UK, I'm taking this opportunity to hang out with her. Anyways I'm posting to asking for recommendations for things to do and places to eat. Anyone have advice?


Aug. 21st, 2014 08:22 pm
falena: Wonderfalls: Jaye leaning against mirror; caption: help! (help!)
[personal profile] falena
SOLVED thanks to [livejournal.com profile] silviarambles and [livejournal.com profile] jillwise - I'm going as River Tam from Firefly and F will be Simon Tam (thus honouring the crazy space incest theory that was all the rage in my early days in this fandom :P). An honourable mention goes to [personal profile] syderia who cleverly suggested recycling my wedding dress...I could have been Donna as the Runaway Bride from Doctor Who!

Original dilemma under here )

Worldcon III: the rest of Friday

Aug. 21st, 2014 07:07 pm
hilarita: trefoil carving (Default)
[personal profile] hilarita
 III.i What's in a Name?
Quite a fun panel on pseudonyms. It wasn't massively deep or anything - there weren't any new reasons I'd not encountered. I was a little bit surprised about how much of it was driven by marketing, but then by how much authors would identify with the marketing pseudonym and use it to drive certain aspects of their writing. It's just a bit depressing that in the 21st century, authors in whatever genre need to use a name that codes a particular gender (or one that deliberately encodes as little gender information as possible, to allow readers to write their own prejudices across the space). Gah.

III.ii How to find the most distant quasar.
Episode I in What Is My Day Job Really Helping to Do? Since I am now involved in building a radio telescope, I thought I'd find out more about astronomy, since this is what the radio telescope will one day do (though often at a different wavelength). This was fun stuff about quasars, black holes and how far away == old, so you can look back in time. 

I had dinner at an excellent Chinese restaurant, then listened to ISIHAC, Loncon-style. I was extremely glad that Seanan McGuire did not die of her plague, but seems to have survived unharmed. Some of this had set pieces, but Paul Cornell was extremely good at real-time wit. All the panellists were good, though. It was an excellent end to the day.


Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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