So I'm stuck trying to figure out... are there songs I associate with the racist sexist step-uncle in Arkansas? With the kids who harassed me for being terrible at sports? With the teacher who gave me detention for reading in class? (I wasn't reading what everyone else was, because I'd finished it.) With the evil ex?
Wait, yes! There's a song that I like very much, that is so tangled with the evil ex (it was on one of his mix tapes) that I can't listen to it without unpleasant memories. :( Which is as close as I get to "a song that reminds you of someone you'd rather forget," I think.
( This song is far too mellow for the associations I have with it. )
WARNING: This poem contains topics that many readers may find disturbing. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. Patches and Rampart help Buraq find Haboob to use miracles to make him stop being a supervillain. This includes a manhunt, terrorist activity, Buraq getting shot, messy medical details of a serious bullet wound, flashback to prior injury, the bad guys fragging their own sniper for violating medical neutrality, taking items from a corpse as a point of positive etiquette, teleporting while injured is no fun for anyone, kidnapping Haboob and fixing him by force, when you apply miracles to a terrorist it kind of sounds like you're torturing him, and not everyone is comfortable with this, dubious consent once Haboob starts to regain some sanity, distressing inability to pray in the customary manner, but Buraq is creative with solutions and it works fine in the end, another overwhelming prayer experience ending in a faint that scares the team healer, traumatic guilt, renaming, radical forgiveness of a divinely repaired terrorist, miracles have a blest radius of extra healing, loss of homeland, austere living conditions, feeling unclean, but fortunately Buraq knows how to fix that, uncertainty, and other challenges. On the whole, however, everyone is better off in the end. Because this poem contains a major plot development in world politics, skipping it would leave a gap, even though it doesn't fall into main storylines. Please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether this is something you wish to read.
( Read more... )
We checked the firepit after yesterday's Litha bonfire. It had burned down almost completely, just a double handful of stubs to pick out. Then we shoveled up the loose ash and wheeled to dump in the prairie garden.
Round 2, I watered plants. Then I picked up sticks in the savanna.
Round 3, I sprayed weeds.
It's getting dark now, and the fireflies are coming out, so I'm done for the night.
This is the first of our rose plants to flower.
The plant's name is Sheila.
I've been growing roses all my life.
I wear a necklace of rosewood.
In many ways, I am a rose.
Roses aren't naturally climbing plants, like bindweed or grapevines. They must be cared for, and bound to a structure. And I've learned that I need to give myself a structure, or I can't naturally climb.
I am a rose.
Roses need work. They must be pruned. The pruning is painful, but without it they won't flower.
I am a rose.
Nobody cares about dog-roses, nobody notices them, but they grow wild wherever they please. The popular roses that everyone admires are sterile and can't spread: they survive because they're grafted onto a dog-rose root. The roses nobody cares about are the roses that keep the others alive.
I am a rose.
I grew up near one of the biggest rose nurseries in the country, so everywhere there was me, there were roses too. I fell into many a rosebush while I was learning to ride a bike. I carefully grew one up the side of the house, a yellow rose with a mind of its own: soon I had to leave it to its own devices because it had grown taller than my arms could reach.
I am a rose.
When I was about six I had a dream of a concentration camp. I had been imprisoned, along with many other humans, by gaseous aliens who lived on methane. The armed guards would float around our cabins and the parade ground, terrifying us as much as they intimidated us.
Of course when you're sent to the camps, they take everything away from you: all your property as well as your dreams and your name. But I'd smuggled in one memento: a small twig of rosewood. I kept it in the pocket of my grey uniform and squeezed it tight whenever I was homesick.
One day I realised that roses have thorns. And that was the day I used the rosewood to burst and kill the guards at the gate, and run free into the outside world. One small piece of reality had torn a hole in the nightmare.
I am a rose.
"Notes on Norway or, A Brief Journal of a Tour made in the Northern Parts of Norway in the Summer of 1836"
Dude liked drawing the peasants even though they ugly,
"Unprotected Females in Norway or, The Pleasantest Way of Travelling There, passing through Denmark and Sweden, with Scandinavian Sketches from Nature"
Dudes think the landscape is lovely and peasants even more so, but also that they ugly.
"A Cruise on the Hardanger Fiord or, Six in Norway with a "Snark", by One of Them
Dudes be sailing round Norway enjoying nature, and think the peasants be pretty. Also, the way the costumes were described made me think of the handmaid's red dress/wimple thing in The Handmaid's Tale.
All in all, upper class travellin' toffs be patronising and smug. And overly verbose vis a vis titles - was it a rule back then that you had to offer two?
During the week, baked a loaf of the Shipton Mill 3 Malts and Sunflower Organic Brown Flour.
Friday supper: Gujerati khichchari - absentmindedly used ground cumin rather than cumin seed but I don't think the effect was disastrous.
Saturday breakfast rolls: the adaptable soft rolls recipe, 2:2:1 strong white/wholemeal/dark rye flours with maple sugar and sour cherries.
Today's lunch: redfish fillets rubbed with Cajun seasoning, brushed with milk and egg and coated in panko crumbs, panfried in olive oil, served with steamed samphire tossed in butter and baby leeks healthy-grilled in avocado oil and splashed with gooseberry vinegar.
However, ng_moonmoth has a pool going with primary interest in "The Place Where the Journey Begins" and "We Are All Related," and secondary interest in "Uncertain Miracles." If you plan to sponsor anything today, I recommend checking there first to avoid duplication.
All previously sponsored poems have been posted.
Quitting my PhD was the second best decision of my life (the best was marrying such_heights) and has brought me so much joy, happiness, and personal fulfilment.
I think a lot, on and off, about whether there’s anything that could have helped me quit it sooner. I suspect probably not, to be honest — all anyone could do was what they did do, which was love me, support me, and welcome me back with open arms when I did finally come home.
But for my past self, the one who got on that plane weighed down with ambivalence, here are a few things I’m glad you’ll learn:
( Thoughts for a quitter )
I'd never visited Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire before and t'interwebz assured me there was a "Heritage Trail" around the town so I came, I saw, and I flanned. Indeed, I committed June challenge flan II(c) "local council walk" twice over because the same Historic Tewkesbury leaflet also included an Alleyways Trail and as I've never done an official alley tour before I managed to fit that in too. I walked the Heritage Trail first but out of order and breaking off in the middle to extend my walk to a memorable sculpture on the outskirts of town. I then completed the Alleyways Trail backwards but failed to find one alley so I did some of the zig-zags by zagging when I should've zigged and zigging when I should've zagged. The order of the day was 1, 2, 10, 12, 13, 14, 11, 9, 8, 7, 8, [diversion to Margaret's Camp (medieval moated site named for Margaret of Anjou), The Arrivall (sculpture), Bloody Meadow (1471 War of the Roses battlefield)], 5, 6, M, L, 4, 3, K, [couldn't find J], I, H, G, F, 16, 15, E, D, C, A, and lastly B. A less casual navigator than myself could combine both trails in a single walk. The leaflet is unusually well written, with a brief paragraph for various points of interest, and made the walk much more enjoyable. My favourite discoveries were the many odd signs, some historic, some artistic, and some comedic, although it's occasionally difficult for an outsider to determine which signs belong to which categories. I was clueless about whether the several cat themed plaques in the alleys were history or art or both, and which of the Shakespeare family signs were truth or fiction, and whether a railway heritage plaque was in the correct place, but even I recognised that parts of the "history" celebrated on a Victorian obelisk varied between unlikely and impossible, lol. In conclusion: I found Tewkesbury charming, quirky, and not quite what it might seem.
Ye Olde Black Bear Inn was reputedly Gloucestershire's oldest pub... until it closed recently, although Tewkesbury has many other historic pubs in the town centre including a Wetherspoons which combines full disabled access, through the old coaching doors, with ceilings inside so low that tall men have to duck their heads.
( 10 more small images. )
The Arrivall is a monumental sculpture created to commemorate the Battle of Tewkesbury, 1471, one of the decisive battles of the Wars of the Roses, which took place nearby including on the aptly named Bloody Meadow. This half is called Vanquished.
Second (and last, I think) book in Hamilton's Chronicle of the Fallers sub-series of his Commonwealth books (now up to about N, maybe N log(N), sub-series).
We follow a few main viewpoint characters, some of which were present for the previous book. It's eminently readable and while there's some on-page sex, it's at least pretty much down to "sex happens" rather than stroke-by-stroke descriptions, which is better.
Would I recommend this? I am in two minds, if you've read a bunch of Commonwealth books, this is likely to evoke the same feeling. If you haven't this really is not where to start.
We all struggled with the heat this week. This house does a good cross-breeze when such a thing is worth doing - this week that was usually from approx 9pm to 7am, so a lot of opening and closing windows and doors according to temperature and people being awake. We acquired a standing fan to help. I did a lot of waking up about 5am to open things and then droop back on my bed waiting for the breeze to help. I think I'd be a lot less resentful of the lost sleep if I'd been able to be productive with the time, but no.
I went out to a PARTY yesterday and enjoyed catching up with people, and being introduced to Subjective Guess Who? This is played using the standard board game set, but you can only ask questions which have no objective answer - some memorable ones from last night included "Have they ever played World of Warcraft?" and "Are they a morning person?". The kibbitzing from the audience is the best part.
Going to the party was utterly self-indulgent given the state of my studying since the election. Today will probably not include much studying either, as plans already include: taking C to see Transformers: The Last Knight, attempting to get some sandals beforehand, getting in my weekly call to my mother before she gets on a bus to San Francisco, and making the cheating version of Tudor costume for C's class trip to Kentwell this week.
Cotton Jenny | I'm Gonna Hire a Wino | Out of the Frying Pan (And into the Fire) | Delta Dawn | Lady Takes the Cowboy Every Time | Cruel Summer | Stay Young | Good Vibrations | Nobody | Boys of Summer
( And one I associate with summer both because of how I first heard it and the contents )