stuff about nothing in particular

Sep. 1st, 2014 08:51 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
When my parents left the Camry with me, back in early August, they also left some vegetables -- a couple carrots and a bunch of celery, mostly. I didn't manage to do anything with them before I went on vacation, but when I came back I made, in fairly rapid succession, a batch of pot roast, a batch of my standard chicken soup, and a batch of garlic-chicken-noodle soup, which was intended as a potential base for dumping cheese into. (The garlic was provided by a Lipton's recipe secret mix, because I am a lazy cook.)

I left one two-serving container of the garlic-chicken-noodle soup in the fridge rather than the freezer, and tonight I tried grating some colby jack into it before reheating in the microwave. I hereby report the experiment a success, though next time I think I will double the amount of cheese. :-)

-----

In other news, Dottie seems to be settling in fairly well. She has not been enthusiastic about late evening/night walks either today or yesterday, even though she does need to go out at least once after her afternoon/early evening walk to pee. I also forgot to brush her teeth before breakfast this morning. (She has had several teeth removed in the past couple years, so Mom has become very concerned over her dental health.) I will try to remember that tomorrow, though I am not cognitively at my best immediately after getting up... particularly not when I'm getting up before 9am. *sigh*

yes good

Sep. 1st, 2014 08:05 pm
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
[personal profile] kaberett
1. I woke up surprisingly easily, especially given how late I got to bed, which is always pleasantly astonishing when it manages to happen.

2. Some of the post waiting for me at work was more rocks! I was delighted, and expressed this delight to a colleague in the lift, and everyone else in the lift just looked... baffled. Which to be honest I found a little surprising given where I work, but mostly? Mostly it was amusing, and also I have lots more rocks. Plenty enough to keep me going until the new year!

3. I got heaps of labwork done today, including lots more tidying up than I normally manage, including making some sensible judgment calls

4. As I was leaving, having tidied up, the skies opened, and it was brilliant - I walked down the middle of the almost-entirely-empty pavement on Exhibition Road in the warm rain with my clothes rapidly getting plastered to me, and oh, it was glorious.

5. I finally settled in with Scalzi's new novel Lock In today, and to my surprise I am genuinely enjoying it. (Why surprise? Because much as I like the guy I didn't expect him to do it well, and so far he is. Also, I'm a fifth of the way through and the protag's gender hasn't been mentioned yet, which is pretty much the reading experience I want.)

6. I got home to find warm couscous left on the table for me, because I have the best housemate <333

7. ... and for afters there is leftover strawberry trifle in the fridge, brought me yesterday by [personal profile] sebastienne and my useless ex when they rocked up to feed me lunch, badger me into wearing clothes, and drag me to a film festival & concert (which was pretty great once the first short was over; Did Not Like). But srsly though, a. CN Lester wrote a song for you and then made a music video, and (b) I got to curl up in a big comfy chair and watch an entire hour of people talking mostly in German about queer & trans stuff, and -- that's not something my inherited language does, we're rural Austrian Catholics, I got to listen to people speaking about queers in German, which was a kind of homecoming even though it was the wrong flavour. (By which I mean: the Berlin accent is not the accent of the stories and the prayers and the songs of my childhood, but nonetheless it is German and therefore soothing.)

8. My counsellor got in touch yesterday about arranging a session with an apology for having dropped off the face of the Earth (bereavement), which saved me doing the reaching out and means we are Working On A Date probably sometime next week.

9. An Elementary fic showed up in my head while I was finishing up the washing up at work; specifically, a story that begins "The first time Joan surprised Sherlock..." with reference to some dialogue from (very!) early season 1, though I suspect I am going to have to wait for the beginning of season 3 to make sense of where it's trying to end up.

10. I really am surrounded by fantastic people, and I am so, so glad of all of you <3 (And I am aided in appreciating this by the bit where I seem to be starting to pull back out of the brainwrong I've been in for the past little bit: hurrah discontinuing the anti-histamine!)

wherein Liz has company!

Aug. 31st, 2014 05:22 pm
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae in a silver dish (ice cream sundae)
[personal profile] edenfalling
I have a dog!

...For the next two weeks, that is. I am dogsitting Dottie while my parents are off in Cambridge and Casablanca. Dad is giving a paper in Cambridge (he's only mostly retired, you know, and historians can keep on writing without formal jobs), and Casablanca is the site of this year's Meteoritical Society meeting, which of course includes the presentation of the award Ardis established in my Grandpa's name.

Mom drove up with the dog and her supplies -- food, toys, bed, leash, toothbrush, etc. -- and left after what was either a belated lunch or a very early dinner. I am typing this post with Dottie on my lap, which is slightly awkward but very warm and companionable. She's a little confused, and a little sad, but I think we will get on well together, as we have in past dogsitting incidents.

And hey, it will be nice to have an external structure imposed on my life, since I'm demonstrably bad at imposing one of my own volition. Plus, I'm getting paid. That is always a bonus. :-)

...

Maybe someday I will be able to afford a dog of my own. *wistful*
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon against a background of foliage (raccoon)
[personal profile] edenfalling
Summary: The Pevensies can only take one child with them to America. Mary is the logical choice -- she's the eldest, and the only one who has any interest in Father's work -- but she's not sure that's a good idea. (Part of the As the Morning and the Night genderswap AU)

Note: This fic was written for Cotton Candy Bingo Round One in incredibly belated response to the prompt: unexpected love. It's also in response to a prompt from asphodelimago: Narnia, Peter finds a hobby. Seems like his characterization is all about duty and great earthshaking deeds, especially in Narnia. It’d be neat to see him back in England, finding something quiet and ordinary that still matters, even after all those great deeds. (I am admittedly still smitten with As The Morning and the Night, and Mary or Stephen would also be fascinating for this, but I know you haven’t been back to that AU for a while. It got stuck in my head so hard, and it’s never quite left.) (4,200 words)

Come Close to Your Own World )

---------------------------------------------

This story is very rough! I am posting it now because I have been working on it too long to retain any sense of perspective, and I doubt that stepping away for a couple days would do anything to help. I think my mechanics (spelling, grammar, etc.) are probably okay, but I am very unsure of the thematic arc here, I suspect the points where I got utterly lost and did a subdued version of "and then ninjas break down the door!" narrative focus shift trick are not hidden very well, and I kind of threw up my hands in despair when it came to period-accuracy.

If you have any suggestions for improvements, please tell me.

Getting things out of my system

Aug. 31st, 2014 06:18 am
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
[personal profile] kaberett
If eyes are the window to the soul, volcanoes are the window to the soul of the planet - or at least to the Earth's interior, which might very easily be the same thing, depending on your definitions. Very well: I define planetary interiors, with their various motion and stillnesses, their complex simplicities, their confusions, as souls.

Brought to you by "ways I am not in point of fact permitted to open my poster"...

[Fic] "For Science!" -- Homestuck

Aug. 30th, 2014 07:28 pm
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon against a background of foliage (raccoon)
[personal profile] edenfalling
Summary: Jade is a scientist deploying an experimental satellite around a neutron star. Karkat and Dave are the pilots of the ship she hires as transport. Together, they... don't actually have sex on-screen, but you know where I'm going with this. ;-) (550 words)

Note: For [personal profile] askerian, who asked for DaveJadeKat meeting on a space station AU.

[ETA: The AO3 crosspost is now up!]

For Science! )

---------------------------------------------

So yeah, that happened!

Um.

Aug. 30th, 2014 09:22 pm
kaberett: Photograph of clementine with perplexed face drawn on. (clementine)
[personal profile] kaberett
Can people, like, talk to me about the economics of doing a PhD part time? Because I think I need to at least consider doing this part-time rather than full-time at least temporarily (witness the last month, the majority of which I have spent asleep and incapable of sitting upright for more than about 5 minutes without noticeable impact on brain function), but I'm terrified because I have no idea which of ESA, Housing Benefit etc I'd be eligible for, and how much of my savings I'd go through before they arrived, and if they'd even make up enough of the shortfall.

[Fic] "Excelsior" -- Homestuck

Aug. 30th, 2014 01:40 am
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon against a background of foliage (raccoon)
[personal profile] edenfalling
Summary: It's hard, having an egg for a lusus. But Terezi has no regrets. (375 words)

Note: I wrote this with the vague intention of participating in #protect terezi pyrope week, because I am all in favor of giving Terezi things to be happy about. This is part of my Alternian Nights series. It's a little hard to place since it's a character study rather than a specific single incident, but there are references to the Team Charge Flarp disaster and its aftermath, so it's currently the last in the sequence.

[ETA: The AO3 crosspost is now up!]

Excelsior )

---------------------------------------------

So that's my tiny finger-exercise for the day. :-)
kaberett: A series of phrases commonly used in academic papers, accompanied by humourous "translations". (science!)
[personal profile] kaberett
It was once, several years ago at this point, my intense displeasure to be party to a conversation in public space in the house I was living in at the time, where I was doing housework -- and actually, I say "conversation", but what I mean is "a middle-aged white guy who was a guest of one of my housemates was holding forth about his expertise in child language acquisition".

Astonishingly enough, he was wrong about everything. In particular, he literally claimed that children should be taught Esperanto instead of a natural language like French, because it's completely unfair and unreasonable to expect children to memorise tables of irregular verbs before they can have a conversation with their friends, and Esperanto doesn't require them to do that! It is, he said, ridiculous -- you give five-year-olds recorders, not bassoons.

(1) That isn't even how child language acquisition works (very different to language acquisition post-11, and third & subsequent languages are much much easier than the first couple),
(2) The reasons you don't give five-year-olds bassoons are that (i) they are extremely expensive, (ii) they're twice the height of most five-year-olds, and (iii) five-year-olds do not have the lung capacity because unlike violins where it is possible to make 1/8th-sizes at standard pitch by changing the tension of the strings the same cannot be said for a wind instrument,
(3) Actually giving 5yos recorders is preposterous, because while they're very easy to get a sound out of they're very hard to get a nice sound out of, see also "why on earth do we teach children to draw with wax crayons",
(4) There is absolutely no benefit from teaching children a constructed language rather than a natural language, especially not one that is not only so heavily based on Indo-European but the Romance family while claiming to give people an introduction to ~every language ever~,
(5) ... dudebro you just claimed Mandarin and Cantonese were IE languages I am so done with this conversation, please stop mansplaining linguistics to me and please for crying out loud stop encouraging schools to teach children Esperanto.

If you have ever heard me loudly exclaim bassoons are NOTHING like irregular verbs, you now know why.
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
[personal profile] kaberett
The point of language is to communicate; if communication's been achieved, everything else is window-dressing and point-scoring. Who defines "accuracy" and "what (forms of) nuance matter)s(" is a case of privilege. Rich white folk not caring to understand Englishes (written or spoken) other than "Standard English" also means that communication loses accuracy and nuance, but oddly rich white folk (of which I am one!) don't seem, by and large, to be as worried about that. Taking the time to understand multiple Englishes (or multiple forms of any language) doesn't impoverish us - it makes our engagement with language richer.

See, e.g., linguistics blog Languagehat on the topic; I feel I should clarify that I'm Cambridge-educated and upper-middle class and I speak RP - but English is my second language and I speak a really weird hybrid of dialects in my first language, that combines the "standard" form of the language as legislated in the largest country in which it's spoken with forms of dialect that were definitely spoken in one very specific geographic area in the 1950s, but might well not have been since then. In my first language, spelling things the way I do is absolutely a political statement and will be interpreted as such, even though what it is in practice is "that's how my grandmother taught me to write". Just because the politicisation of Standard English is largely invisible to people for whom it is their first or primary language doesn't mean that the choice to use it (never mind attempts to enforce it) aren't political.

(Questions about the specifics I'm referring to re German etc welcome from you lot!)

How Are You? (in Haiku)

Aug. 29th, 2014 07:47 am
jjhunter: Watercolor of daisy with blue dots zooming around it like Bohr model electrons (science flower)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Pick a thing or two that sums up how you're doing today, this week, in general, and tell me about it in the 5-7-5 syllables of a haiku. I will leave anonymous comments screened unless otherwise asked; feel free to use this to leave private comments if that's what you're most comfortable with.

=

Signal-boosting much appreciated!
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
Warning: this is a long and very image-heavy post! I am therefore putting most of it behind cuts.

---------------

First, the Better Bell pepper that Mom gave me, hereinafter referred to as Mom's pepper. You may recall it was decapitated by a marauding squirrel back in late June, but managed to recover from the shock enough to grow new leaves and even put forth some slightly misshapen flowers.

Well, around midafternoon on August 11th, it got beheaded again. :-(

This time I held onto the severed leaves and dropped them in the empty pot (which was empty because another pepper had been completely murdered earlier in July). Then I went away on vacation for a week. When I got back, the leaves were inexplicably not dead. O_o I think they may be in the process of dying now, but they’re acting as a squirrel distraction so I guess the sacrifice is not in vain?

Also, the roots and remnants of Mom’s pepper are trying to regrow from ruins a second time. I doubt the poor plant will make it to the flower stage again, let alone produce actual peppers, but even so. I am VERY impressed by its tenacity!

Mom's pepper )


---------------


Next up, my bonsai pepper!

I first put it outside around July 25th, whereupon it was promptly mauled by a squirrel. I got it rerooted before it could dehydrate and shrivel, and brought it back indoors to recover. Then I put it back out in early August.

It survived my vacation in style and continues to grow despite some incidental scuffling with the local squirrels. It’s still tiny, and still running behind the other peppers -- it’s at least a week or two away from flowering -- but hey, it’s cute. :-)

bonsai pepper )


---------------


And the rest of the peppers! Generally speaking, the ones in the terracotta pots have done better than the ones in the plastic pots. The one in the squarish gray-blue pot, however, is doing excellently, and the one on the far left just in front of the onion seems to have been badly affected by the pesticide I sprayed back in early July, since its leaves went all funny at the top and it never developed buds at all. (And it was bent in half by a squirrel last week; I’m not sure it’s recovering well from the shock.)

As you can see, some of the plants have begun to bloom, and a few of the flowers have even dropped off to reveal the beginnings of actualfax peppers! There would be a lot more of these, but, as always, SQUIRRELS. In fact, the tiny baby pepper in the final photo is no longer with us, having been chomped off sometime before this evening. *shakes tiny fist of rage*

I have purchased some animal-be-gone spray and will attempt to apply it tomorrow. The trick is, I can’t spray it directly on the pepper plants since they are meant for human consumption. But I can spray the mulberry tree, and the porch railing, and the porch floor, and the garage roof, and so on. Hopefully that will be enough to set up a perimeter of safety.

all of the other peppers )
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
[personal profile] kaberett
1. Two poems finished up, for the time being, which means I've completed all prompts from the last round of mass spec theatre - one tiny little love poem for [personal profile] jjhunter, and Pyrrhic Failure, around which prompt crystallised something I'd been trying to say for a while (or, looked at another way, which prompt gave focus to some lines that had been trying to happen).

2. Preposterous hot chocolate. ("Gingerbread hot chocolate" - dark chocolate with misc spices; it's fab.)

3. Always and always and always, Mia's art, which is always and forever a blessing. (I have some siblings to that piece on my wall, one of which has hair of autumn trees and bluebirds; I should tidy that section of my room a little and give you all photos. It is the wall that contains art from Mia and art by [personal profile] elisem and other bits and pieces I've collected along the way, including a bundle of bay leaves from my mother's garden tied with a piece of gold-edged white ribbon, blessed by a priest on Palm Sunday, because Austria. It sits next to a photograph of the Moon and a scattering of rocks and my tiny sun and my most extravagant aloe vera, and I try to remember to incline my head before it every morning and say I will try to make good choices.)

4. I have read a small heap of short stories today, including Nghi Vo's Tiger Stripes and Song of the Body Cartographer (the former author I was introduced to via Long Hidden; the latter I hadn't come across before LonCon3, but she ended up being a deciding factor in whether I felt like attending a particular panel because she is that good).

5. I have Scalzi's Lock In now on my ereader, and I am looking forward more than quite makes sense to Ancillary Sword (which is still like a whole MONTH away, wow). Also super-endeared that someone's already started predicting that AS is going to be on the Best Novel Hugos slate for 2015!

6. My household. So many good things about it, including the general stream of amazing queers who do not give any fucks about any of the things. (Housemate's guest tonight was completely cool with me wandering out of my room wearing mostly a blanket, acquiring a plate of food from the hob, and disappearing back into said room having mostly gone "I AM WRONG NEW MEDS ARE NOT AGREEING WITH ME". It was pretty awesome.)

7. I am pretty damn stressed at the moment but my reaction seems to be "I need to grit my teeth and pull through this and This Too Shall Pass", rather than anything more... histrionic? Which, given my history, is an achievement of which I am very proud.

8. aaaaaaaaaaah mine's a size 40 (why are these classified under "Swimwear" WE SHALL NEVER KNOW) (on which topic, I only in the last few weeks realised that the "beachwear" vs "swimwear" distinction is one of function - one of these is not expected to actually be useful for anything involving physical activity beyond stretching picturesquely on a towel...)

9. I have been pretty good about Just One Thing-ing today - I got laundry put away, I got a significant amount of stuff moved through to recycling/bins as necessary, watered the aloe (which after nearly 2 months without was starting to wilt a little in places) etc.

10. More reading, I suppose - I have finally today got around to reading several poems I'd had open in tabs for ages, including a thing by Borges the title of which is translated as You Learn/Learning, and a thing by Rilke. (I am, I swear, going to get around to reading all my Rilke ebooks one of these days.) Nom, poems.

And now a tiny bit of python, I think, and then attempting sleep...

A penultimate bit of WorldCon tidying

Aug. 28th, 2014 07:27 pm
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
Specifically, copying up the various flyers and business cards I collected as Looking Interesting Enough To Warrant Further Investigation. (My final bit of write-up will be the list of authors I'm intending to check out as a direct result of panels etc, and is distinct from the list of people I picked up flyers by coz they looked vaguely interesting.


... and there was definitely someone else - a small press who do books of poetry and also books of creepy and lots and lots of female werewolves? AUGH I seem to have lost their flyer that is DEEPLY irritating. If any of y'all can identify them for me I'd be super-grateful!
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon against a background of foliage (raccoon)
[personal profile] edenfalling
Back in 2013 I had a story idea for the Ladystuck Dark challenge, which I called "The Time-Traveler's Kismesis." It was born from a couple stories I'd seen that had the Demoness tracking the Condesce through her life, and hating her passionately. And I thought, yeah, that works... but the thing the Demoness would hate most isn't casual entitlement. It's hope. And the person who has that, the one who tries to change the world for the better, and most particularly the one who also has personal experience with slavery, is the Dolorosa. The Demoness knows nothing is ever going to change. Nothing will ever matter. And the Dolorosa, despite being caste-bound into a form of servitude, and having her son killed in front of her and his movement destroyed, and being mind-controlled and raped, keeps on going.

I never did write that story. But this is one of the scenes that would go into it: shortly after the Dolorosa flees the brooding caverns with the Signless, she meets the Demoness for the second time... at least from her perspective. (825 words)

[ETA: The slightly revised final version is now up on AO3!]

The Time-Traveler's Kismesis: Counterthesis )

---------------------------------------------

Now I want to outline and write the rest of the story properly. Stupid plot bunnies!

I am *so* discontinuing fexofenadine.

Aug. 28th, 2014 04:43 am
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
No noticeable improvement in breathing, and my sleep is even more disastrous than normal. On the plus side:

1. I have my desktop working again, and even looked up some more arguments I can apply to redshift for better screen colour temperatures.

2. While I did not learn as much about MySQL as I wanted, I have learned some.

3. I have made a tiny tiny dent in the towering pile of terrifying PhD work, which makes the future a little less scary. (I made it into work during normal working hours for the first time in three weeks yesterday. I barely made it out of my room today, but hey, so it goes. Have I mentioned round these parts that I'm a bit wrong at the moment?)

4. The necklace arrived in the post: it is deliciously heavy and does all the right things with body temperature.

5. I have dealt with the washing up. (Hello lovely housemate I hope the 3am washing up didn't bother you it seemed like the best option at the time.)

6. I have read a whole pile of book - finally got around to Long Hidden, and have several authors to follow up as a result (and have already read more Nghi Vo, who I think I am hoping to nominate for something Hugo-related).

7. Lock In arrives in e-book format tomorrow, entirely breaking my rule of "don't buy books, especially not books by straight white cis men, while the in-ereader to-read pile is over 50" (the exemption for "unless you're going to read it straight away" is only really supposed to apply to people who aren't... white men), but do you know what there's a fair chance I'll find it pleasing escapism, so.

8. In more "spending money will totally make me feel better, right?" news, I have Dealt With My Lack Of Post-It Notes, Thank You eBay. (The yellow gingko-leaf-shaped-ones are probably going to be for writing nice notes to myself and sticking up places; the pale blue square ones are for work when I want to use the whiteboard for three things at once.)

9. I am enjoying the rain.

10. I have not yet finished the pear-and-apple juice we have in the house, but the blueberries we finished earlier continued delicious.

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