Proud Grandpa

Oct. 23rd, 2017 08:59 am
poliphilo: (Default)
[personal profile] poliphilo
My five year old grand-daughter asks me if I know about the Star of David and I say yes and can she draw me one? She says, "It's two triangles" and draws it freehand- and it's perfect.

She also draws me a Kiddush cup and tells me what it's for.





 

Rediscovery

Oct. 23rd, 2017 05:51 am
[syndicated profile] book_view_cafe_feed

Posted by Diana Pharaoh Francis

My son attends an early college high school. What that means is that he’s in his junior year and is now taking all college classes. He’s always looked to me for help with his writing courses and writing assignments. Since I used to be a university English professor, I’ve a pretty good handle on essay writing and academic writing. His midterms for his English classes have been in-class essays. He’s a slow writer–he’s a science kid, and so he likes to write very carefully and slowly to be sure it’s right. I’m working on helping him learn the drafting/revision process. Anyhow, he’s got a midterm coming up. He likes to do a practice prewrite before so he has his head wrapped around the subject and what he wants to say. He can’t take it in, but it helps him cement his ideas for the exam.

His topic is on Orwell’s 1984. I haven’t read it in years. Years and years and years. So I’m rereading it now and it’s really surreal to encounter all the stuff that has become so central to today’s world. Not just Big Brother, but newspeak and doublethinking. It also represents a lot of what I wrote about in my dissertation–a system of social surveillance/self-patrol that’s built on Jeremy Bentham’s concept of prison.

I like to go back and reread books. Some people don’t. My son doesn’t like to. My daughter reads and rereads and rereads again and again and again. A few years back, I went through my shelves and took off all the books that I wouldn’t be rereading. I probably got a lot of them wrong, but decided that I was doing a little too much rereading instead of attacking my TBR mountain.

I did not get rid of my most favorites, or the books in unfinished series. I tend to reread series books with every new release. The problem is that none of that helped. I only acquired more books and my mountain kept rising. Making matters worse is the fact that I’ll buy books that sound good, and then when I get them, I’m not in the mood to read them. I find myself craving comfort-reads. Books that I know will satisfy and make me happy and don’t offer a lot of upsetting surprises.

That’s weird.

I decided it’s because the world today has been too surprising and sad and difficult. I like reading books with a happily ever after, or a good triumphs over evil theme. I also like some of the comfort reads from when I was much younger, although some of those don’t hold up as well as I’d like. But the Riddle Master of Hed series is one I love. Robin McKinley’s Sunshine is another. Anything Jane Austen. Roger Zelazny’s Amber series. Lee and Miller’s Liaden books. There are a lot more.

I like Christmas romances a lot, and now’s the season. But so far, those I’ve been reading aren’t all that pleasing. I’m trying to decide if it’s something with me and figure out what I can do about it. I’ve been having some issues writing, too. But that’s a story for another time.

What are your favorite comfort reads? When do you go to them?

And I’ve a non-BVC book coming out in a couple of weeks. It’s the fourth in my Diamond City Magic series.  Check it out on my website and read the first two chapters.

Share

Poetry Workshop

Oct. 22nd, 2017 10:07 pm
radiantfracture: (writing)
[personal profile] radiantfracture
I've been eating honeycomb, so now I'm drinking weak tea to melt the beeswax from my teeth before I go to bed.

I bought the honeycomb at the rain-walled farmer's market on Saturday -- that and bright late strawberries and a sachet of strong lavender.

Saturday was the best day I've had in ages -- the kind where you forget the good things you did in the morning because the good things you did in the evening were even better.

The best thing I did was see, or I would say witness, Tanya Tagaq perform Qiksaaktuq.

I hope to write about that as soon as the words to do so have been invented.

The next best thing I did was attend a poetry workshop. I'd been violently nervous out of mostly phantom social fears, but in the event there was much mellowness and pleasant chill and a little magic.

We did three pieces of freewriting: one based on people reading out various poems and bits of prose (the only one that comes to mind now was a Poe poem); one a letter to a friend (I had trouble with that); and one was a set of directions or instructions (the guy next to me had a lovely line: "Don't go down / go back down").

This is a second draft of my first, vaguely Poe-inspired piece (& obvs. a whole raft of Romantics are running around in there). I don't know if it can be anything, ultimately, what with its oddly formal voice, unless something speculative from a world where such a voice would fit, but I liked things about it enough to work with it a bit.




Where is my
Ozymandias?

What is buried up to its neck in me?

In this deep old desert
where all experience is reduced
to rubble, to gravel, and at last to dust

Whatever I broke, whatever I toppled or shattered,
it fell where I pushed it and lay there, decaying.

Who built these monuments? Of what materials?
I must have built them. It must have been of sand.
Statue or pleasure-dome, shattered,
fallen, sifted, heaped up,
bound with lime and water, refashioned.

Do they improve with iteration, my idols?
If inhaled, chewed out of the air,
do they provide -- sustenance? Flavour? Information?

Make up your mind: are you a ruin or a desert?
If a ruin, you must once have been magnificent.
If a desert, you must once have been
a forest full of cool vapour
or the bottom of a sea, seething with life.

Who is the wanderer?
Who is it breathes in my dust,
contemplates my ruin?

It must be me again. How tiresome.
Unless someone else can be recruited.
Unless you will do it.

Who is my Ozymandias?
It must be that man
I thought I could become
through imitation.

I must be the sculptor who captured his curled lip.
No kiss, not even of this outsized stone mouth.

Well, why not? Climb up and kiss it. As dry
as anything imaginable.

Loving Vincent

Oct. 22nd, 2017 09:40 pm
osprey_archer: (art)
[personal profile] osprey_archer
This afternoon I popped over to the theater to watch Loving Vincent, which is an animated movie about Vincent van Gogh which was created, the first titles helpfully inform us, by over one hundred artists working in oil paint. It is the first animated movie ever done in oils, and quite possibly it will be the last - I imagine the costs involved were tremendous - which is too bad, because I would love to see oil paint animations based on the works of, oh, Monet perhaps, or Renoir. I could easily imagine some sweet dreamy fantasy set among Monet's works.

Also, although the animation is gorgeous, I do think they were still working out the kinks of the animating-in-oil-paint process and it sometimes gives the film a distracting jerkiness. But perhaps it's just that it's quite unlike anything else I've ever seen, and that in itself is distracting? Only more films would give me the opportunity to tell...

Anyway! The film is set about a year after van Gogh's death. Armand Roulin's father tasks him with delivering a letter that Vincent wrote to his brother Theo but never mailed - only for Armand to discover that Theo, too, has died. So Armand heads to Auvers, where Vincent died, in the hopes of asking his doctor where he might find Theo's widow - which somehow metamorphoses into an attempt to recreate Vincent's last days, and answer the question of why he killed himself. If he killed himself.

I must confess I felt skeptical when the film took this turn. I went through something of a van Gogh phase in college (his doomed friendship with Gauguin hit me where I lived), and nothing in my reading suggested that there was any controversy about how he died. He shot himself in the fields where he was painting, using a revolver that he brought along to scare away the crows, and then dragged himself back to the house where he was staying and died there two days later after telling everyone that he shot himself.

HOWEVER, upon repairing to Wikipedia I have discovered that in 2011 (in short, after my van Gogh interest waned) two academics published a book in which they argued that maybe van Gogh was accidentally shot by a rich spoiled teenage hooligan who liked to run around Auvers dressed as a cowboy and menace people with a gun - and van Gogh said he did it himself to... shield the miscreant, I guess? I don't know, I think this kind of theory was slightly more plausible when someone argued that Gauguin was the one who cut off Vincent's ear (in a fight, not just for funzies, I feel I should clarify), and Vincent said he did it himself to cover for him. At least we know for a fact that van Gogh was unhealthily invested in his friendship with Gauguin. Why's he going to cover for the random cowboy kid?

But I did like that the structure allows the filmmakers' to show Vincent from multiple angles (through the eyes of his paint dealer, his landlord's daughter, his doctor...) and forces Armand to think more about his own attitudes toward van Gogh - whom he didn't give a damn about in life. He saw Vincent as weird and kind of alarming, and now he wishes that he had seen his loneliness and understood and befriended him.

I have read other stories where the main character learns more about someone after their death (Olive's Ocean comes to mind) and goes, oh, I wish I'd known they were so lonely, we could have been friends - but I'm not sure that actually works; I'm not sure you can force yourself to be friends with someone just because you know they need a friend. I would think there needs to be something else there beyond just sympathy - some kind of esteem or respect or something - to make it a true friendship rather than just pity.

Also, I think that when people learn this sort of thing about someone who is still alive, their reaction is rarely "Oh, we should be friends!" - because the person is alive, that would demand a real investment of time and emotion and energy. This is why sadness makes fictional characters mysterious and fascinating but can be off-putting in real people: a fictional character is never going to stop speaking to you for three months because you said the wrong thing that one time and touched off a downward spiral and how dare you be anything less than a constant wellspring of undemanding support.

TL:DR, this movie hit me in a weird place because when I was younger I invested really hard in the importance of Being There for your friends during their mental health issues, which might have worked out better for me if I were better at setting boundaries, or had fewer friends with mental health issue, or knew when the fuck to just let someone go. I burned the fuck out and now when I watch Armand having this "Why didn't I see that he was in trouble? Why didn't I try to help?" crisis I want to shout at the screen, "BECAUSE YOU HAVE SENSIBLE BOUNDARIES, ARMAND, DON'T GUILT YOURSELF OUT OF THAT."

fiber monday

Oct. 22nd, 2017 07:38 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Status: resorted to ___Sand's endless icord bindoff because a half-cotton yarn doesn't care about chapped hands. (Fires to the north, general windiness, then the sudden onset of rain plus temperatures chilly enough for the furnace.) Squeezed in a bit of pi shawl with today's good light; began binding off the toddler vest. Finally acquired hand balm for this winter, with thanks to partner. Also, I've bought a woven linen/cotton jacket on deep discount after reading that several reviews complained of ...exactly what I want clothing to accommodate for me. Fits great. It needs every buttonhole reinforced, but then it'll be a solid summerweight jacket that's fancier than I could ever devise for myself. Jacket + ___Sand cardigan = summer layers, check, and nicer than the random buttondown shirts I've used till now.

That's my Slow Fashion October moment for the year: don't buy petroleum-derived clothing anymore (minus waistband elastic/similar and bras, though I'm working on the latter---I mean polyester/nylon/rayon fabric blends; nylon in sock yarns can instead be silk, alpaca, or mohair; even tencel is better in terms of poisoning fish with every laundry load or handwash). Mend things, buy durable things I can't reasonably expect to make if replacing things I've worn out, don't support expensive-for-its-own-sake unless it actually translates to good wages for those in the labor/production chain. I couldn't handle making all my clothes even if I had no outside job time-wise (exacerbating joint pain is a valid limitation), but I'm moving in a direction I prefer. (In a poorer situation I would need to be part of a larger group where it'd be viable to trade intangibles for others' help. I've been pondering this piece alongside this one and the fact that till recently, I haven't had clothes nice enough that mending made sense: when they wear out, they're crap enough that mending would mean substantial remake and/or dyeing.)

The week was upside down due to after-effects of the mild back/pelvic sprain and a new cold, so let's ignore knitting's dismally slow progress in favor of something speculative.

Read more... )
kshandra: The stylized 7 sigil that featured in the "New Moon On Monday" video (Duran Duran)
[personal profile] kshandra
But I can tell you, without question, that this is the Istanbul we went to.

The cats and dogs of Istanbul are its best rebels. Cats wander freely through the fences of military installations, eating and shitting and pissing where they like in between long suspicious stares at passersby. Just behind the military museum behind the big scary military apartment building you definitely should not take a picture of, a ring of statues rolls clockwise through Turkish history. There is a statue of Attila the Hun, and Timur the Lame, and then Ataturk, huge and bronze and gesturing in the general direction of a blood-red Turkish flag.

A dog sprinted across the park, circling and setting down in the grass to gnaw a bone he'd found somewhere. Two other dogs followed in tow, waiting with all the intensity of a thousand suns for the hound to drop it. He ignored the soldiers and the signs and the other dogs and everyone else, gnawing on a meal at the feet of the father of the nation.


The Istanbul Derby: Soccer, Fire, and a Game at the World's Crossroads

Better(-ish)

Oct. 22nd, 2017 11:33 pm
davidgillon: Text: You can take a heroic last stand against the forces of darkness. Or you can not die. It's entirely up to you" (Heroic Last Stand)
[personal profile] davidgillon

I seem to be back to sleeping during the day and being awake at night, which is a pain, and tiring, and I need to fix it, something which usually leaves me even more tired.

OTOH, after very little writing since summer, this week has produced:

First draft of a 5,500 word short story - 'Wheeler', which is deliberately structured to spin a novel out of, and is looking at the idea of whether a wheelchair user can be a space fighter pilot (which I've been noodling over for a while). I'm using Ehlers-Danlos as the disability, so it's very much write what you know. The short story is the Pearl Harbour equivalent, the novel would add the training montage and probably Battle of Britain and/or Doolittle Raid equivalents.

Plans for redrafting 'Titanium Witch', an existing 6000 word short story that targets people's behaviour towards disabled people and how wheelchairs can shape perceptions. The protagonist is a vent-dependent quad, with the SFnal element being exoskeletons as a way to move beyond that. The original plot was a fraud by her deputy, which she stumbles on while having exoskeletal problems, but I've realised I can make the story much stronger if the exoskeletal problems are actually a murder attempt (plus allowing me to deploy an EMP weapon as a plot maguffin). It will become longer as a result, I'll need several extra scenes, but I'll want to keep growth controlled. I want this rewrite done before the end of the year, but may work on it much sooner.

And finally, after a year of sitting on them with writer-brain running in panicked don't-wanna circles, I've figured out how to address Yoon''s beta notes on 'Graveyard Shif't (my Pitch Wars novel). The motivational weaknesses on the bad guy necromancer can be addressed by making him Russian, not Haitian, and tying him into the family backstory of Aleks, the Russian-American protagonist. At the same time that solves my ever increasing discomfort that the bad guy is a stereotypical bad voodoo witchdoctor, even if I do counter that with a very empowered Voudoun Mambo consulting for the good guys. And I can address Yoon's suggestion I drop the third PoV character to concentrate on the interplay between the two leads by rewriting his scenes from Aleks' viewpoint, even the one she definitely isn't there for - teleconferences are a thing, and she's sitting in a business jet while things are happening (idiot! how did you not notice that?). And all of this means committing myself to a complete rewrite in between a month and six weeks, because I want to throw the completed re-draft at  the Angry Robot open submission window.

That's a lot of writing to do between now and Christmas, so I figure talking about it here is a way to keep me on track and logging process, which is something I've stopped doing over the last year or so.

I have become a podcast addict

Oct. 22nd, 2017 04:02 pm
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
Apart from everybody's favorite (right?) comedy/D&D podcast "The Adventure Zone", I mostly prefer history. 

There are a lot of bad -- and beloved, in some cases -- history podcasts in which the author postures, makes bad jokes, and assumes you don't know much and only want to know a little more.    Two exceptions to this are "The History of the Mongols", which is excellent and clear and takes a fair amount of concentration, and "Revolutions",* which takes an in-depth look to various European revolutions starting with the English Civil War.   I've just gotten to Charles I leaving London for the last time (although he doesn't know it).

If there were ever a more shining counterexample to the Divine Right of Kings than Charles I, it has to be one of the monarchs who was actually insane or intellectually disabled.

* Revolutions' podcaster, Mike Duncan, is known for an earlier history of Rome, which I haven't listened to but hear is excellent.

If you like true crime that is dispassionate rather than overblown, I highly, highly recommend "True Crime Japan".   The podcasters are gaijin living in Japan, and they do an excellent job of explaining Japanese customs and cultural aspects that are relevant to how crimes took place.   These are not crimes that have been rehearsed over and over in English-speaking media -- no Ripper, Bundy, Lizzie Borden -- which makes them all the more engrossing.

All of the above are, of course, available on iTunes and other aggregators; I'm linking to the authors' sites.

Word Wars?

Oct. 22nd, 2017 04:09 pm
muccamukk: Diana as a child, riding her horse through a field. (WW: Horse)
[personal profile] muccamukk
Does anyone know a place to have word wars/sprints that isn't irc (which I can't get on) or Discord (which I'm avoiding)?

I have write or die, but some how the other people factor is really better for my productivity.

ETA: Holy shit! Irc is letting me back on! NEVER MIND!

recipe weekend

Oct. 22nd, 2017 12:18 pm
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)
[personal profile] kindkit
1) Something I've cooked recently

Yesterday, inspired by a pie that somebody (I can't remember who, Wikipedia isn't helping, and I'm too lazy to go back and rewatch) made on this year's Great British Bake Off, I made a butternut squash and blue cheese pie that turned out fairly well. The flavor is great, but I had some Onion Issues. details under the cut )

Today, inspired by a craving for soup, a craving for veggies, and a feeling that I should really use my bag of bonito flakes that is three months past its sell-by date, I'm cooking a soup of vegetables and eggs simmered in dashi. Right now I'm simmering the eggs in some dashi flavored with Japanese light (light-colored) soy sauce and some sherry (I didn't have mirin or sake). When the eggs are ready, I'm going to simmer yellow squash, some butternut squash chunks I didn't roast yesterday, a sweet potato, maybe some regular potato, and some Chinese cabbage in plain dashi and then add the simmered eggs--I'll keep their simmering liquid to eat with noodles another time--and some miso paste at the end. No tofu, alas, because I forgot to buy any, but basically this is a cross between a Korean soybean paste stew and a Japanese oden, and to further disrespect both traditions I'm probably going to eat it with soba noodles. I expect it to be deliciously wrong.

The last sweet baking I did was this upside-down pear gingerbread. I mostly followed the recipe, apart from adjusting the spices (more powdered ginger, no cinnamon, and a little nutmeg) and using blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap is the kind that recipes advise you not to use, because it's less sweet and more bitter and mineral-y than normal molasses. But I had some that needed using up, and I actually really liked the result. If, like me, you tend to find cakes too sweet, that's the way to go. The cake freezes quite well, by the way.


2) Something I have concrete plans to cook in the near future:

This fantastic apple cake, probably next weekend.


3) Something I vaguely intend to cook someday:

More apple things, such as apple dumplings, which I have longed to make for years but never have because I did not own an apple corer. But I do now!

I need to figure out some kind of way to use the peach-and-cherry compote that's taking up space in my freezer. And I should make a pie with the jars of sour cherries I bought a while back because they were cheap.

Plus I want to make all the soups and all the savory pies. I'm feeling enthusiastic about late autumn and winter cooking.

Frankfurt Book Fair 2017

Oct. 22nd, 2017 05:38 pm
selenak: (Claudius by Pixelbee)
[personal profile] selenak
Buchmesse 2017 photo 2017_1015Buchmesse0070_zpsvqqgdgqu.jpg



Two thoroughly exhausting (but mostly in a good way) weeks are behind me; first the Frankfurt Book Fair, then a workshop (in a splendid environment, but still, it was work from morning till night). Hence no posts; I could only get online very briefly.

Macron, Merkel, Rushdie, Atwood et all under the cut )
strange_complex: (Vampira)
[personal profile] strange_complex
Yesterday I travelled all the way down to London Town to see a play - or, more precisely an immersive theatre experience - in the company of Andrew Hickey, [twitter.com profile] Extinction65mya and [twitter.com profile] karohemd. While my book and film reviews are both backed up to the tune of at least a year each, which is incredibly frustrating, no such self-imposed tedium applies here, so for once I can have the job of writing about something I have experienced fresh from the delights of the thing itself. Hooray!

So basically The Soulless Ones is the latest venture from the new(ish)ly revived Hammer company, and consists of a play about vampires which takes place across multiple rooms in a mid-Victorian music hall. Opening and closing scenes book-end the story, and are played out to the full audience in the main music-hall space, but for most of the evening different actors play out their own story-lines in an extensive series of parallel scenes, all happening simultaneously in different parts of the building, and moving around from one to the other. It is up to the audience to follow the actors according to personal preference, or simply wander around the building at will, meaning that each individual audience member will see and experience different things depending on where they went.

Given this expectation, of course, the story is deliberately constructed to ensure that no one scene (apart perhaps from the opening and closing ones) is utterly crucial to the production. So the experience is more about seeing the different characters unfold than about a plot in the traditional sense; and indeed about exploring the richly-dressed settings and soaking in the atmospheric sounds and smells. It's also important to understand the difference between immersive and interactive theatre in this context: this was the former, rather than the latter, meaning that the audience occupied the same spaces as the actors but were 'invisible' to them and instructed at the start to take it all in silently. No-one watching was going to find themselves a victim of the vampires, and nor were we to try to speak to them or join in on the story.

There is various documentation of the play around the web, of course. The official production page is here, and I also found useful reviews from Den of Geek, The Guardian and The Telegraph. I've used those, along with my own experience and what my friends reported having seen after we came out, to compile the following overview of the story, characters and settings as I experienced them. I'll also be sharing this with said friends, and would very much love them, and anyone else who has seen it, to comment with anything extra that I didn't catch (I know there were some characters I barely saw all evening), or correct anything I've misremembered or misunderstood (hey, there were cocktails...). Obviously, it will contain spoilers, so I have used cut-tags with a view to both that and length.

The opening scene )

The characters and scenarios which unfolded from there )

The various settings )

The closing scene )


What I actually thought of it all

In essence, I absolutely loved it. A huge amount of thought must have gone into constructing it all so that the different scenes fitted together effectively, with characters coming in and out of each other's storylines at the right times, even from completely different ends of the building, and all of the disparate parts adding up to a coherent whole no matter how the audience experienced it. The set-dressing was particularly wonderful. I wish I could have had the chance to walk around it all without the story unfolding at the same time, so that I could scrutinise every single detail at my leisure, but then again I certainly had more control over what I was looking at than is the case when watching a film or play, in that I could go into any room I chose, stand wherever I liked it in and look at whatever I liked while the action went on. I could sit on one divan while Mara was bewitching St Clair on another, feeling the tickly softness of the white animal fur draped over it between my fingers, or peer closely at the satyr-herm in the graveyard which made me think a lot of The Marble Faun. It was very exciting.

Layering the story on top of all of that really did feel immersive, as though I were standing inside the world of a Hammer film. I'm sure regular readers will realise how amazing that was for me! The story really did feel Hammer-ish, too - suitably gothic in content and atmosphere, and with nice little nods to their back-catalogue such as Carmilla being the last of the Karnsteins. The characters themselves seemed well-defined, with just the right amount of back-story and conflict between them for the audience to take in across the two hours of the show, and the acting solid throughout: sometimes (necessarily) a bit projecty and theatrical, especially in the larger scenes, but impressively naturalistic and intimate when the smaller scenes allowed the scope for it as well. I think a lot of credit also belongs to the behind-the-scenes team handling the music, lighting etc. in each room, and indeed quietly staffing the corridors to make sure people did not get too lost or confused or wander into places they weren't supposed to go.

It looks like the production has been a success: it's certainly garnered lots of media coverage, the performance we attended looked to be sold out, and the official production page is currently bearing a banner proclaiming that the initial run has been extended for an extra week. The fact that it is presented not just as a play called The Soulless Ones, but as an individual production by 'Hammer House Of Horror Live' also rather strongly suggests that they are hoping they will be in a position to do more. Certainly, I will be keeping my eye out for further productions, and strongly urge any fans of Hammer, gothic horror or immersive theatre experiences to catch this one while you still can.

Misc. linkspam

Oct. 22nd, 2017 12:21 pm
umadoshi: (wolf 01 (nomnomicons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
"How to Help the Hurting". [Coffee Shop Rabbi]

"Leonard Cohen’s final book of poetry to be published October 2018".

"Let's Settle The Hand Sanitizer Vs. Hand Washing Debate, Once And For All". [Buzzfeed]

"No Hollywood Ending: How Do I Grieve When I am Estranged From My Family?"

"IKEA Just Launched A Pet Furniture Collection, And Animal Lovers Want It All".

"Exquisite Wooden Heels Hand-Carved with Ancient Vietnamese Pagoda Techniques".

"50+ Best Wildlife Photos Of 2017 Were Just Announced And The Winning Pic Is Making Everyone Angry And Sad".

"How I Came To Understand My Adult ADHD" has popped up in multiple places over the past couple of days, despite being from 2016.

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] muccamukk, "Death of a Modern Wolf". "Once feared, vilified, and exterminated, the wolves of Vancouver Island face an entirely different threat: our fascination, our presence, and our selfies."

"The Case of the Small Shoes —a.k.a. Survival Bias: No, people were NOT 'just smaller then.'".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] havocthecat, "The Kosher Salt Question". "Prized for its purity and flaky texture, kosher salt has been a home-cooking standard for decades. But the two major brands, Diamond Crystal and Morton, are very different products. Your ruined meatballs can attest."

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] hunningham, "Pretending to be Batman helps kids stay on task".

"African Artist and Japanese Designer Create Stunning Kimonos By Mixing Cultures".

"The father of the American shopping mall hated what he created".

Definitely NSFW but an interesting read: "A decade of sex blogging" at Hey Epiphora.

"Rat Race". "Whether you see them or not, rats are usually around. They could be right under your feet, just above your head, or spelunking in the walls that separate the rooms in your home. The worst part is you would probably never know. Let’s look at what a day in the life of an average Halifax rat looks like.

Surprisingly, it’s not all that dissimilar to a day in the life of an average Haligonian human."

Reasons To Be Wistful

Oct. 22nd, 2017 10:48 am
poliphilo: (Default)
[personal profile] poliphilo
 A thing I forgot to mention about the house we're hoping to buy is that it's got a sea view. It's a distant sea view and you have to peek through the gaps between the houses on the far side of the road to see it, but there it is. 

I love the sea. I don't enjoy bouncing about on it in a boat but I like to look at it from the security of dry land. I also like to paddle. Ailz has always wanted to live beside the sea.

The house has been on the market for a long time. The seller attributes the failure to attract buyers to it being on a busy road. For us that's more of  a selling point. I want to be able to walk to the shops- and the nearest ones are five minutes away- and have access to bus stops. One of the things that's frustrating about living on the farm is that you need a car to get off the premises- and I don't drive. 

We've had a good look at a number of seaside towns. For a while we were sold on Margate and then we discovered Bexhill, but we keep coming back to Hastings.  It's a handsome town. It has cliffs and old buildings and quaintness and character but also a bit of that jolly, pass the salt and vinegar vibe of the popular seaside resort. It has an excellent art gallery and a long history of bohemian raffishness.  And it still operates as a fishing port- with the largest beach based fleet in the UK.
[syndicated profile] book_view_cafe_feed

Posted by Jill Zeller

Leaving M.C. Escher in Het Paleis, Hannah and I asked for directions to the Mauritshuis, The Royal Cabinet of Paintings, home of Dutch golden age art. It was always “Well, you walk across there and take the first right.” Or, “You walk across there and take the first left”, always with a vague wave of the hand pointing across a square toward a canal.

We passed a cello-maker. Since my husband once played one, I took a photo for him. The canals—of course there were canals—glistened like steel under the gray skies.

Hannah’s gift of navigation paid off, and we found ourselves entering a broad plaza bordered by straight-up Dutch structures housing Holland governmental bureaus. The only problem was, there was no indication of which housed the museum. We wandered through a gate toward a church, reversed directions, and going through an iron gate we asked a security guard standing in front of a lavish, mustard-colored mansion.

Of course, this was the Mauritshuis. (Maurice House is the English translation, according to Wikipedia.) It was originally the house of John Maurice, the Governor of Dutch Brazil. Imagine the Dutch in Brazil. They did get around back in the day.

The entry was to the side, down stairs that sank below the level of the canal. Through a gap in the wall we could look on the water dotted with bits of trash.

After purchasing our tickets, and having our purses scrutinized by a guard, we took the stairs up to the museum. My Belgian colleagues had called out the jewel of the art museum: Vermeer’s Girl with the Pearl Earring.

The Flemish school of painters flourished on and off from the 15th to the 17th Century in the Low Countries along the North Sea. Vermeer, Rembrandt, Rubens, Brueghel and more. The best known works are Girl with the Pearl Earring, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp (Rembrandt) and Rubens’ Night Scene.

These were all astonishing, but what I found myself obsessed with were the still lifes.

In the dozen or so I studied, all floral arrangements that the Dutch painters were admired for, I discovered an interesting similarity. There was a central vase loaded with oriental lilies, tulips, peonies, roses. On the table top on which the vase was placed, were more objects. As you face the painting, there was always an insect on the table to the right, and a fallen stem or bloom on the left.

The arrangement was the same, but the content differed. There were always flowers, but the insect prop could be a beetle, lady bug, butterfly, honey bee. The fallen stem may be a flower, or a leaf, or fruit, but the composition rules were always strictly followed.

Tired but pleased with our trek, we walked back to the train station. The interior of the Den Haag cafes were jammed with folks in the late afternoon. I wished I had stopped in one for dinner, since the Hilton restaurant was getting tiresome. Next time I stay on the train into Amsterdam and find myself a beer hall. Although my Belgian friends tell me Belgium has much better beer.

Share

umadoshi: (tomatoes 01)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Today's main accomplishment: getting a decent amount of manga work done despite being drained enough to wind up taking two accidental naps this afternoon. >.< I got close enough to a draft on the chunk of script due Monday that I expect that deadline'll be fine even if doing some garden work (planting bulbs and bagging up the tomato plants for compost pickup, mainly) takes up more of our time than expected tomorrow.

There are theories at the office about how much longer this stint of Casual Job will go, but what have we learned about attempting to make predictions? We'll see how it plays out.

[dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I have now made it as far as episode 3 of Star Trek: Disco, and we're also up to date on The Good Place. Given my work schedule(s), I'm counting it as a partial win. I really want to start in on The Gifted, though.

I haven't watched any of the anime for The Ancient Magus' Bride (either the OAV or the recently-started TV series), but in the last several days I've seen it mentioned quite a few times here and on Twitter, and that delights me. The manga series is fantastic--definitely one of my current favorites of the things I'm working on. (The other being Yona of the Dawn.) In theory I really want to watch the TV series, but realistically, I said that about the My Love Story!! anime too, and like so much other media I ~really want~ to consume, it keeps not happening.

For the longest time it felt like there weren't anime versions of any manga titles I've worked on, but it's never quite been true. I mean, Sgt. Frog had a (pretty long-running!) series and movies and all, although I gather the plots rarely adhered closely to the manga (and with that series, there's no need for them to, really); also, DN Angel got animated in some capacity (TV series?), but as I only actually worked on the final two volumes that Tokyopop released (vol. 12 and 13, I think?), it never sank in and felt like "my" series. And X has been animated twice, but I actively loathe the movie and am deeply grumpy about the TV series...

...and then there're the newer things that I keep wanting to see, but not finding time for: Arpeggio of Blue Steel, My Love Story!!, Yona of the Dawn, and now Magus are all out there. (Okay, no--I did see an episode or two of My Love Story!!, and that was wonderful.) (I feel like I might even be missing one. And now I suddenly really want someone to animate Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer.)

Will I ever make it as far as checking those shows out for real? No idea. (I even have an ongoing Crunchyroll subscription, but I don't exactly make use of it. [Terrifying media-to-consume list, etc. etc etc.])

Last night was my fourth aerial silks class, so we're halfway through. It wasn't *bad*, but I also don't feel like I managed to do a whole lot )

[dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I are so utterly out of the gardening habit at this point. We don't have anything planted specifically for autumn, and we gave the tomato plants up for lost a couple weeks ago when I kept hearing that there was an overnight frost warning and last-ditch tomato harvesting should happen. So we did that, but since then I've been seeing local photos and stuff from gardeners carrying right along with harvesting their tomatoes etc. Next autumn we won't be so quick to say, "Oh, I guess we're done now."

A lot of the tomatoes we brought in at the abandoning-them point were still very green, but those all seem to have ripened up nicely. There's just one left now; [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose has been working his way through them. The plants did produce some more fruit, but [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose's experiment in eating one of those post-final-harvest tomatoes wasn't tasty, for whatever reason.

As a result of wandering off from dealing with the tomato plants, I should admit we've also completely slacked on dealing with the flowers. >.< Which isn't so bad for the potted annuals, because they have an expiry date, but we really need to double check what to do about the perennial bed and the potted raspberry shrub.

And whatever else happens, those bulbs need to get planted. *determined*

Profile

ewein2412: (Default)
EWein2412

September 2017

S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 23rd, 2017 08:02 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios