. . . and then, of course, I found pre-printed "coloring book" fabric in a craft store, very cheap. So I decided to give it a try, using spare floss from my stash.
The fabric is "Zenbroidery", specifically the Garden print. The picture has suggested stitching, but, well, check out the big version: you could see the printing through the stitching, I just couldn't make myself do it. So I dug through the Needle 'n Thread archives for ideas, picked out some floss, popped the fabric on my Q-Snaps, and started out.
It was a lot of fun at first! Not having to look at a pattern makes things flow surprisingly quickly and enjoyably. And making the vines split off and curl around was very satisfying.
Here's as far as I got before I stopped:
( picture )
(click to make huge, or view on Google Photos)
I'm stopping for several reasons: I don't like the colors I picked; it's too big (10" square); satin stitch with a single strand of DMC is incredibly tedious; and worst, the fabric is just awful: it's so thin you can see the brown desk underneath it, and every time I had to pick out stitches or try to set them close together, I was afraid I'd rip it.
So I'm going to put this aside and get some better-quality (and smaller) preprinted fabric from Etsy, as my travel project. Because I have also started gridding the Teresa Wentzler Celestial Dragon, nearly eight years after I was given the pattern, and that's not a travel project in the least. (I'm making myself a ruler for the gridding, and even with that I'm still so nervous about messing it up that I'm sure I'm going to recount all the blocks regardless, because I'm planning to do as she suggests and stitch the border first . . . )
Do you embroider? Do you have a favorite pattern source or type? (I think I might try crewel at some point, because the nice soft thick wool threads look very appealing.)
I did finally get back to sleep this morning - at 7:30. Then I had to wake up at 9:45 for Tara, but when I did that she texted me that she was going to be here at 10:30, so I went back to sleep for half an hour. She finally showed up at 11 talking about how her cats had worms and she was up all night dealing with it. I did notice she answered my text very late last night, so yeah. Anyway, she cleaned Kevin's office and worked some in mine. Kevin's office looks amazing. Mine still needs work. The bedroom still needs to be done, too. Hopefully she can make some progress on that on Wednesday.
Tara saw that today was trash day, and took all the trash including the sofa cushions up to the street. Apparently our trash guy was rather rude to her when he told her you need an appointment to pick up more trash than will fit in a trash can. Then he left it all there, including the actual trash can, and recycling bin. What an ass. And what a stupid rule. Tara said hopefully her husband will come and pick up our trash and take it to his storage unit's dumpster so it's not sitting in front of my house. I don't know what I'm going to do if he doesn't come.
I practically had to chase Tara out of my house at 2:30, which I had warned her about when she asked if she could work today. This is probably why she forgot to tell me I had a package, and the package was left on the sofa. Unfortunately, the package was a box of chocolate bars, and the dog got into it and ate about 3 snickers bars. So far he shows no ill effect (I'm not sure if I want effect or affect there. I have sent the question to my grammar guru, AKA Victor lol). I'm keeping an eye on him and will rush him to the vet if he starts puking or having diarrhea or something. Also, the dog bit me when I tried to take a snickers bar away from him when I got home. It didn't break skin, but it hurt, and there's a bruise.
But anyway, the reason I had to rush Tara out of my house is that I had to go meet Addie for bat mitzvah tutoring. We talked for a little before we got started because she said she knew nothing about me and thought that was weird - I guess it is. Usually she knows the kids she works with for years, some of them she even tutored their parents for their bar/bat mitzvahs. We learned the 3rd set of cantillation marks, which I really struggled with. She says she's going to make me a recording of herself chanting my Torah portion so I can practice with her, which will be good.
I stopped by my parents' house to make sure their pool was still full since last time they went on vacation it was sucking in air for a while. It was still at the dirty line on the edge of the pool, so I was thankful (since I didn't have a book to read while I waited for it to fill if I had to do that), and came home. I made us a pizza for dinner, which was tasty. Then I cleaned up everything Tara left on my chair in the office that she wasn't sure if I wanted to throw away or not (it was mostly empty boxes from buggy's boxes, and I threw most of it away but my bow was also there (?) and one or two other things I actually did want to keep).
So it's only 8:30 now, which is pretty early for me to write an entry. I think I'm going to figure out what's going on in NaNoLanta chat which has been beeping up a storm the entire time I've been trying to write this, and then maybe read something, or something.
He's been prescribed liquid antihistamines. Even though they're fish-flavored, he's still refusing to eat if I put them on his food. I tried to out-stubborn him for several days, but this morning I decided I should try giving him the medicine directly.
The usual technique is to force open the mouth at the back of the jaw. I did a web search for other options, and found this link that suggests picking up the cat's front half by the scruff of the neck to make the mouth open slightly. It worked great! Basil didn't even fight me, or turn his head away. (Granted I had a pretty good hold on his scruff...)
"Very successful Artisan/Collectables MARKET on Saturday" says the Rochester City Centre Forum (apparently a joint effort of the council and the High Street traders) on their FB page.
To which I replied: "Very successful, except for those of us who are wheelchair users and find ourselves barred from the footpaths. What you can't see in that top picture is that it is the exit from the disabled car park and the pavement is blocked in both directions, as is the kerb-cut directly in front of that stall - to use the kerb cut safely a wheelchair user needs to start/finish at least as far back as the orange box visible in the picture. In fact it was significantly worse than that when I was in Rochester about 4PM on Saturday as the stall had boxes down the side that meant there wasn't even space to squeeze a narrow wheelchair like mine between the lamppost and stall, taking the unsafe approach down the side of the kerb-cut. For anyone in a wider chair or a powerchair, forget it. Remember, the space in front of the stalls is going to be occupied by customers, so there is even less space available. I ended up having to hop off the kerb, which nearly threw me out of my chair and didn't even try to use the entrance on my return, despite that being my normal route back to the car.
The steep camber of Rochester High Street makes it difficult to wheelie from road to pavement without risking tipping - I can't do it at all if I have the anti-tip protection deployed on my chair - and many people have chairs, powerchairs or scooters which are completely incapable of kerb-climbing. The reality of the choice of stalls which block the full width of the pavement is that they completely block wheelchair users from accessing the shops between them, or even safely exiting the disabled car park.
Rochester High Street is an obstacle course to wheelchair users at the best of times due to paving, camber, and cobbles, but these stalls leave it completely inaccessible. I raised the issue with the Council after their previous appearance, and was assured my concerns, particularly with respect to the kerb cut would be passed on, but this time things were even worse. To use the space in front of the disabled car park, blocking wheelchair users from exiting, really shows a careless contempt for the needs and rights of disabled people."
I had a reply within about an hour from the chair of the Forum. He did promise to do something about the kerb-cuts, but did not impress by first launching into a rant about cyclists on the pedestrianised High Street (why yes, I did know it's pedestrianised on Saturday, that's beside the point, the road doesn't help if I can't get from road to footpath) and then protesting "It's only 12 times a year," and "it's for the community". Do I not count as a member of the community?
Grrrrrrr!!!!ETA: there's now a nebulous "this problem will be addressed", so I asked them to make sure they got a wheelchair user's input as to whether it did fix the problem or not.
- Roy Dotricehttps://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/
16/obituaries/roy-dotrice-dead-veteran- actor-and-tony-winner.html?hpw&rref= obituaries&action=click&pgtype=Homepage& module=well-region®ion=bottom-well& WT.nav=bottom-wellhttps://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/16/ obituaries/roy-dotrice-dead-veteran- actor-and-tony-winner.html?hpw&rref= obituaries&action=click&pgtype=Homepage& module=well-region®ion=bottom-well& WT.nav=bottom-well, actor.
Lauren’s collection also includes modern-day poems with related concerns and love for the people they portray.
I'm finding that part of my resistance is contributing to the resistant, creative efforts of others. And then I get the occasional surprise in the mail when projects are complete!
Preorder at https://www.finishinglinepress.com/
Art saves lives, we say. Yes and no: nothing rescued the children of Terezín, though the drawings they left behind preserve something of their inventive play, their hopes, terror and questions. Lauren Rusk is an extraordinary observer; she brings to these artifacts a profound ability to discern in marks on a page the human complexity of the ones who made them. The great majority of these children went up in smoke in the absolute moral zero of the chimney stacks. But we can bear witness to them, still, in the precise, empathic and beautiful interventions of a poet who knows that what she can save is sometimes all we have, and never enough.
–Mark Doty, author of Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems (National Book Award winner), Deep Lane, and other collections
Lauren Rusk resurrects the imaginations of children whose inner lives shine through contraband paper and color in artworks found when the labor camp Theresienstadt was liberated. She manages to re-create the works themselves, which often reflect a Chagall-like combination of lyricism and dissociation, and also to bring the children to life in their moments of vision and their persistent, subversive reach for beauty. Rusk serves as their transparent medium, selective and convincing, in this gem of a collection.
–Leslie Ullman, author of Progress on the Subject of Immensity (poems), Library of Small Happiness (essays), and other collections
The impressive number of you who said Glee was the best fringe event, and the smaller but still impressive number who said we were the best thing about conference full stop, and the hardy few who said the best way to improve conference would be to have more Glee, and the one dear sweet soul who said Glee was their main reason for coming to conference?
I am genuinely touched and I love you all. Thank you. It makes it absolutely worth trying to chair a debate with a hangover and a sore throat first thing in the morning after. You guys rule.
Then I went to one that included a heavy police presence as part of the conversation, and also got really busy with my tech job, and stopped going. The police presence was ostensibly friendly, but felt so oppressive I didn't want to go back. I do understand that it's a privileged position to be able to avoid them, and that Black folks are a lot more oppressed by police than I am.
I've thought of it since then, but figured surely it must have petered out by now.
Then last week I was paging through https://pdxactivist.org/ and noticed that Race Talks was coming up on the second Tuesday of the month as always! So I went. The topic was "White America: Become an Ally through Education & Dismantle Racism." Unsurprisingly for that topic, the crowd was mostly white. Looks like I missed some other good topics in past months! (Note to self: I could watch the videos...)
The panel discussion got sharp as Cameron Whitten (a Black man) confronted Randy Blazak (a white man) about microaggressions and reparations.
I was glad to see that Donna Maxey has gotten a lot firmer about asking for donations. I happily left a check for my October contribution.
I had planned to donate to Puerto Rico relief efforts for this month. I'm noting https://somosonevoice.com (via Shakesville) for next month.
I want to get more connected to communities of resistance. I plan to continue attending Race Talks, and I sent an email to P'nai Or, Portland's Jewish Renewal congregation. I need to be around more folks like me, where I don't feel too big too much too loud.
1. Kitten falling asleep on my lap at lunchtime, warm and purring and paws splayed in complete relaxation.
2. Takeout Chinese for lunch with sanj on the spur of the moment. With bonus kitten sitting on the chair at the head of the table, and periodically sticking his head up over the edge of the table to see if we would let him eat our chicken. (Which we wouldn't.)
3. The new mini-season of Voltron went live this past weekend! Kiddo and sanj and I watched half of it last night, and it's delightful.
4. Yesterday I roasted some delicata squash (seasoned with salt and pepper and curry powder) and then roasted the seeds (boiled briefly, then seasoned the same way.) It pleases me to have turned something I would ordinarily have thrown away into tasty snack food.
5. Dinner for tonight is already made, so when I get home from work around 5:30 I can mostly relax. There's work I need to do, but if I don't do it tonight, nothing will catch on fire.
How are y'all holding up? Be gentle with yourselves.
( Excerpts from an essay, a video and an interview )
Riva in midair holds a marionette control high with her left hand. The strings attach to actual rivets in her left elbow, both knees and ankles; she wraps some strings around her left arm and grips them in her teeth. She wears calf-high black leather boots with very large, asymmetrical soles, a pink and purple tutu to mid-thighs, her nipples just visible through pink gauze laced vest. She's a small woman with hair dyed red except for a shock of white hair shielding her brow. A background of soft blue-green is both the floor (with Riva's shadow) and the wall: it makes the detailed life-colored painting pop out at the viewer.
Impatient reading is dangerous reading.
Brookner's gift is for taking the humiliating social situation, the mismatch of desires between the protagonist and those she loves, and making of it something more profound. The crisis becomes an occasion for insight that rescues these books from simply being torture chambers for the extra-sensitive spirit. I find I usually have to put each book down multiple times during an awkward scene because I don't want to live through the whole agonizing experience -- and she does tell the whole thing through -- but Brookner, I've found, can be trusted, and she always makes something more of these scenes; the protagonist, no matter how unhappy, always gains from the loss.
A Misalliance shares the arc of many Brookner novels, or at least the ones I've read so far...
( Spoilers, but only if you've never read any Anita Brookner novels )
(Cross-posted from Goodreads)
I missed a lecture because there were no fucking buses for 40 minutes. I know I could've turned up late but I was all wound up by then, and I can catch up because the lectures and slides are recorded.
We got the orange sun around lunchtime, it's clear and sunny here now (though still with particles of dust in the air hurting my eyes) but it's gone down south where a million more people are tweeting about it, and a million freaked-out status updates on Facebook and bad-joke tweets haven't helped somehow. That we feel such a sense of impending doom at such a minor change in the quality of the light makes it easy to see why humans had to invent religion.
I didn't feel doomy but I was also pretty sure it was something to do with the hurricane, and the hurricane is because of climate change and that make terrified and so miserable. My anxious brain told me "One day we'll look back on these as the good old days, weather-wise," because my anxious brain hates me.
I slept awfully last night. Went to bed early, woke up after midnight and didnt get back to sleep until five in the morning.
Andrew emailed while I was out saying the washing machine is broken, he thinks he can fix it but I'll need to help. But when I got back home he's out, so I'm sitting here writing this instead. I hope the washing machine's okay, we can't afford it not to be. Don't know where he is, but I think he was going to buy food. And I thought of something on my way home that I wanted but I forgot to tell him to get.
The people next door are having building work done on their house, and the loud whine of the drills makes it hard to concentrate or relax.
I need a hug or a cry or a sleep or a vacation. But none of those things seem like they'd be enough really.
There has been the most ominous-looking light over north London for several hours now - a sort of copper colour. The sky is covered by a greyish cloud with wisps of whiter cloud drifting across it.
No rain, a bit of a breeze wafting through the trees in the street, but so far, nothing stronger.
The effect is somewhat John Martin-esque, or possibly requiring figures to run through the pocket park behind the house crying 'Heathcliff!' 'Cathy!'. Or at least, the foreshadowingly brooding overture to such.
I assume this is something to do with Hurricane Ophelia, even if so far this part of England is not supposed to be affected. This morning when I went shopping it was sunny and unusually warm, but I put that down to the Little Summer of St Luke.
Anyway, the weather was unseasonably mild and sunny and we were sat in the stands next to a lovely group of Brive fans. They tempted the children to cheer for their side with flags. We accepted gracefully and offered them Haribo, which they took, so I'm counting that a win for Anglo-French relationships. Especially since Worcester won, which was definitely not a given considering (a) their early performance, including some dire kicking and (b) the fact that they're pretty much always near the bottom of the Premier league table.
The children loved it, although keeping them engaged did involve bribery with Lego and chips (not at the same time). Afterward they opened the pitch to the children to run around, and then the players came out. We got the Worcester players to sign one of the Brive flags which they did without rancour. It was a superb day out and we were all pleasantly worn out at the end of it.
[L to R: G. Milasinovich (prop), me, Humuhumu, Keiki, P. Humphreys (wing)]
( +3 )
In this case, there were some failing tests and I was trying to debug some of them, and the result was the same every time, but only when I ran a failing test by itself and it passed did I realise that the tests weren't actually independent. They weren't actually non-deterministic in that the same combination of tests always had the same result, but I hadn't realised what was going on.
And in fact, I'd not validated the initial state of some tests enough, or I would have noticed that what was going wrong was not what the test *did* but what it started with.
I was doing something like, there was some code that loaded a module which contained data for the game -- initial room layout, rules for how-objects-interact, etc. And I didn't *intend* to change that module. Because I'm used to C or C++ header files, I'd forgotten that could be possible. But when I created a room based on the initial data, I copied it without remembering to make sure I was actually *copying* all the relevant sub-objects. And then when you move stuff around the room, that (apparently) moved stuff around in the original copy in the initialisation data module.
And then some other test fails because everything has moved around.
Once I realised, I tested a workaround using deepcopy, but I need to check the one or two places where I need a real copy and implement one there instead.
Writing a game makes me think about copying objects a lot more than any other sort of programming I've done.
This means that paperwork from the three meetings I have remaining to attend this year will need to go in a new file. This displeases me; I wanted to be all neat and do a file per year.
* grumpy face *
At both places, people said to me, "What are you doing here on the day after your wedding?"
I would have thought the answer was obvious: Doing what was important to me.
( more details )
I'll be going along with my big Film Premiere coat :-)
It will be made public on vimeo the next day and I can post it here if anyone's interested.
Dish Life (short with children being stem cells in petri dish) has made New York Times' Ten Things To Do In NYC This Week list (For Children section) - the director and scientist are over there now and having a great time.
Mara is trying to provide a place to send scrolls when you die so you can will them to her if no one in your family would value them. Someone in Atlantia was trying to argue that scrolls belong to the kingdom and must be returned when you die, and then in the same breath argued that they belonged to the scribe who made them and should be returned there when you die. Mara agreed that returning the art to the scribe, if the scribe was still active, alive, and wanted them, was a good thing to do, but failing that, someone might need something to do with their scrolls. What she's doing is a last ditch effort to keep scrolls out of landfills. I think it's commendable.
I came home to a text from Donna cancelling walkies because she had insomnia. So I took a shower, and ordered dinner, and went to bed. Seriously, I was asleep at 7pm, and slept until 2am. Now I've slept 7 hours, and I'm not sure I can sleep more, but it's only 2am. Tara comes at 10, so I may be in for a long day.
Hurricane/ ex-Hurricane/Maybe-Still- a-Hurricane-but-predicted-to-be-a-
I'm not actually expecting trouble tomorrow, there isn't even a severe weather warning for the south east as far as I can see, Ophelia's due to hit entirely the other side of the country, in fact entirely the other side of the next country over, but it needed doing before we get much further into autumn, so it's a good excuse.
Of course the problem with leaving it until the last minute and then deciding to do it is I hadn't gotten around to painting/weatherproofing the wood, and I do want to do every side, not just the exposed ones, because the wood I'm replacing had rotted from the back. So it's all going to have to come off again for a quick paint job once the winds have died down.
Adding to people's concern is that it's 30 years since the 1987 Great Storm, which did hit the South East. There were multiple trees down at the end of my road, one of them on top of a friend's car (though I didn't know her then), but I managed to sleep completely through it, bar the five minutes at god-awful o'clock in the morning when I stumbled downstairs to slam the front door, which had been blown open. I'll settle for sleeping through Ophelia as well.