Wed, Jun. 28th, 2017, 04:31 pm

[i]scaramouche: Book Log

It's been a subdued Eid this year, which is a kinda fitting wrap-up for a subdued Ramadan in general. It's probably a combination of things -- my grandmother's heart attack, work stress, the sweltering weather, plus general happenings that made the festivities somewhat less shiny than usual.

I did manage to get quite a bit of reading done during the trip down, thus catching up on the reading I'd missed during Ramadan itself. I finished Sara Cockerill's Eleanor of Castile: The Shadow Queen, which is about Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I of England.

I realized about halfway through that pretty much all the books about royal women I'd read before that point were about women who were notable for being "troublesome", i.e. women who made things difficult for their husbands and/or children and/or birth families. Eleanor of Castile, as argued by Sara Cockerill, was one of those women who didn't rock the boat in any overt way, but instead had (at least visibly) an excellent personal and working relationship with her husband that was (also, at least visibly) free from big drama. The question may be posed then, what is the value in examining this queen in a biography? Cockerill argues with a deft hand that a working marriage is notable in itself for how relatively rare it is, and that Eleanor would've been a remarkable woman to be able stand by Edward Longshanks and against his mother Eleanor of Provence, the latter of which went and outlived her daughter-in-law, which must've been stressful as hell.

Cockerill also puts forward an comprehensive argument that Eleanor had a tremendous role as a property manager and business woman (another necessity, when there are two queens to rely on what was then a single dower), and with a temper to boot. The book is structured a little differently from most other biographies I've read, with a really interesting middle segment which stops the chronological retelling for a hollistic view of Eleanor's personality, habits and relationships as a whole. You'd think it'd set everything grinding to a halt but it doesn't, I found it clever and useful in developing my mental image of Eleanor as a person.

It was a nice read overall, and really interesting in how Cockerill frames her argument convincingly. I also really like Cockerill's snide jabs at other authors who argue that Eleanor was uninteresting or just incomprehensible because of the different reports on her temperament, arguing what should be an obvious point that women are complex.

On a lighter note, I had my mind blown a little at the bit about how Edward had physical crosses (monuments with a cross on top) erected all over England in tribute to Eleanor after she died, and one of said crosses was put up in Charing, making it the... Charing Cross. SURE the one that now stands there is a Victorian replica since the original was destroyed, but I KNOW THAT CROSS. I didn't know it was even called a cross! I'd only ever thought of it as that vague triangular monument in front of the train station. LEARNINGS. (Though I reckon that even if I did read up before on what that cross is, it would've still had less resonance since I did not yet know who Eleanor of Castile was.)

Wed, Jun. 28th, 2017, 02:03 am

[i]ed_rex: Farewell, Mr. Adams, I sorta new ye (Or, we'll always have "Shut up and reboot!")

One of the things LJ has that I don't think DW does, is feeds from such things as Scott Adams' Dilbert. I can't much abide Adams' politics, but his comic still makes me laugh more than most, and so when reading my LJ friends' page, I have for years clicking the link that would take me to the latest installment of his comic.

But, I've been ridiculously busy of late; keeping up with my reading has been a matter of desperate baling while the waters pour over the gunnel's at best.

And so it was that, maybe four or five weeks ago, I decided to just skip a Dilbert as it came down my feed. And then I skipped another, and another, and another. And cetera.

Three weeks into the experiment, I realized that I hadn't missed his cartoon at all. And a week or two after that — tonight — I said to hell with it. If I'm not going to read the damned thing, I might as well unsubscribe.

And so I did. Farewell, Mr. Adams!

Tue, Jun. 27th, 2017, 11:34 pm

[i]kjata: love your mama’s Cadillac, had it since the dawn of crack

My mother brought home a two month hold puppy this afternoon. Infested like whoa with ticks, so attacking blood-sucking insects with tweezers is now a thing I've done. Just finished bathing her in tick shampoo like an hour ago, planning on doing another round tomorrow afternoon.

Her temperature is up, so if she doesn't cool down after she's been debugged, I guess to the vet I shall go. Again. Ahahaha.

I posted pix of her here and here if you want to see what a smol german shepard, great pyrenees mix looks like.

Got more shit on the Summer Sale, and have refunded two games already. The first was Dominique Pamplemousse which I played 17 minutes of and realised when I exited that I will never ever open that game again, and the second was The Witcher Adventure Game because learning how to play was like trying to decipher an alien language that consists solely of charts of hieroglyphs and a set of sticks that emit raspberry noises when rubbed together.

On the other hand, I now have Dragon Age: Origins and Baulder's Gate queued to download, so heeeeyyyyyyy. Gonna get my RPG on, yeah boyz.

Was supposed to write tonight. Oh well, guess I'll go play a game and cuddle the damp and upset newbie instead. Gotta figure out a name for her, cos jokingly calling her Gozer doesn't cut it. Before long that actually will become her name, and then what. What is left then. Other than getting another dog to name Clortho to join the ranks of Zuul and Gozer, oh my god I don't even like Ghostbusters that much what is this madness.

Wed, Jun. 28th, 2017, 12:53 am

[i]sineala: Happy birthday to me.

It is now my birthday! Go me!

Tue, Jun. 27th, 2017, 08:57 pm

[i]rahirah: The nighthawks are here!

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Tue, Jun. 27th, 2017, 07:35 pm

[i]ysabetwordsmith: Epic Dessert

Today, in Reasons Not to Hurl the Planet into the Sun, I discovered that Cracker Barrel has a new dessert for summer: Campfire S'Mores.  This consists of a graham cracker crust, warm fudge brownie, roasted marshmallow, and melty chocolate bar accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with dark chocolate sauce.  *DROOL, SLOBBER*  It's harder than it looks to translate recipes across different cooking modes, such as bringing a campfire classic into the kitchen.  I've had several attempts at indoor s'mores, including the pretty good s'more dessert pizza at Brixx, but nothing that compares to this.  So if you like s'mores and you're near a Cracker Barrel, go try this.  \o/

EDIT 6-27-17: Someone has thoughtfully posted a copycat recipe.  This will be useful after the special concludes in August. Meanwhile go throw money at the people who invented this, in hopes they will make more awesome food.

Wed, Jun. 28th, 2017, 12:03 am

[i]trobadora: FIC: The Question (ACD Sherlock Holmes: Holmes & Moriarty) [PG-13]

[community profile] holmestice reveals have happened! And the whole fest has been so much fun, I can't wait for the next round. I've even already made notes for my next sign-up! Any other Holmes fans around? Because you should absolutely join, it's a blast. :D

(Though I'll really need an ACD icon, or at least a more general Sherlock Holmes one. Not that I haven't been looking ...)

But first, here's the story I wrote for this round:

Title: The Question
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes - ACD
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, Professor Moriarty (with appearances by Lestrade, Watson, and Moran)
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: none
Summary: Of all the unanswered questions I had collected over the course of my career, none weighed upon me as much as that posed by the inexplicable inaction of Professor Moriarty.
A/N: Written for [personal profile] graycardinal during the Holmestice 2017 Summer Round. Many thanks to [personal profile] fluffyllama and [personal profile] wojelah for all their help!

Originally posted at the Holmestice comm and at AO3.

The Question )

Tue, Jun. 27th, 2017, 04:12 pm

[i]ysabetwordsmith: Tuesday Yardening

Today is beautiful, cool, and sunny.  I trimmed brush around the purple-and-white garden, finishing that round.  \o/   

EDIT 6/27/17: Round 2, I watered plants.  Then I hauled 4 garden carts full of brush from previous projects to the brush pile in the ritual meadow.  I have not yet picked up the giant ring of trimmings around the purple-and-white garden though.

EDIT 6/27/17: Round 3, I sprayed week killer in the old raspberry patch and in the streetside yard.  In some places there is poison ivy as far as the eye can see.  >_<  I expected that, because it is a "bandage" plant that appeared in disturbed earth, but I do not want it here.  I have firmly suggested that Gaia patch the ground with something else, such as the grass I spent two weeks planting there.  Some of the grass has grown in beautifully, but other areas remain stubbornly bare dirt or noxious weeds.  Ah well, it's a work in progress.

Tue, Jun. 27th, 2017, 09:40 pm

[i]tree_and_leaf: The bespectacled wizard grimaced....

In Potter related news (is it really twenty years? And how many friends would I not have made were it not for Potter?), Stephen Bush of the New Staggers has done a director's commentary of his ancient Harry Potter fic, and it's one of the funniest things I've read in ages.

(He had an LJ aged 12? Precocious or what?)

Tue, Jun. 27th, 2017, 01:29 pm

[i]ysabetwordsmith: Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, July 4

This is an advance announcement for the Tuesday, July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "gender, orientation, and identity." I'll be soliciting ideas for QUILTBAG folks, queer allies, homophobes and other identity bigots, boomerang bigots, gender scholars, the oppressed, the misunderstood, ordinary people, outcasts, abuse survivors, the women that men don't see, questioning, debating labels, losing everything, looking in the window, taking people for granted, surviving oppression, hiding in the closet, coming out, upstanding, speaking truth to power, punching up, protesting, telling your own story, bedrooms, classrooms, counseling offices, churches, government buildings, libraries, cities, alleys, bars, parades, liminal zones, self-discovery, self-awareness, QUILTBAG pride, pride flags, other symbols of identity, birth control, reproductive freedom, sex toys, assumed male gaze, same-sex marriage, alien sex/gender dynamics, unpaid labor, self-sacrifice, emotional labor, disruptions, subversive education, humility, humiliation, social evolution, appreciation, identity literature, and poetic forms in particular.

I have a linkback poem, "The Emulsification of Humankind" (14 verses, Torn World). 

If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week.  (If you're not available that day, or you live in a time zone that makes it hard to reach me, you can leave advance prompts.  I am now.)  Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog. 

New to the fishbowl? Read all about it! )

Tue, Jun. 27th, 2017, 10:49 am

[i]dine: I can't stay young forever, but I promise I'll be immature for the rest of my life

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Tue, Jun. 27th, 2017, 06:57 pm

[i]reijamira: The slow demise of Livejournal. I'm outta here.

Whilst looking for a new and shiny layout for my Dreamwidth, I stumbled across this interesting article: "The demise of a social media platform: Tracking LiveJournal’s decline".

LJ sure treats its userbase (especially the fandom part) really shitty. I remember the Strikethrough of 2007, but I forgot about the Boldthrough that happened just three months later. The article only covers events up to 2012. Too bad they haven't touched on recent incidents, like the current fiasco with the new TOS.

Well, it really feels weird, but I guess I will delete my LJ in the near future. Come to my Dreamwidth if you want to stay in touch: [personal profile] reijamira. :)

Tue, Jun. 27th, 2017, 05:14 am

[i]ysabetwordsmith: Water-Powered Robots

These robots crawl or grasp based on humidity rather than a conventional power source. 

Mon, Jun. 26th, 2017, 11:58 pm

[i]ysabetwordsmith: Garden Photos 6-26-17

 I posted garden photos from today.

Mon, Jun. 26th, 2017, 09:34 pm

[i]the_shoshanna: today is my birthday!

It's been a lovely day. I slept in, for moderate values of "sleeping in," and then had as brief exchange with the person at the press who is managing my current editing job, which ended up with me basically being told to take the rest of the week off while they try to catch up to the work I've already done on the manuscript. Okay then!

Then I had a long phone call with my best friend, whom I hadn't had a chance to catch up with in a while. I got on the treadmill for half an hour of the first real exercise I've gotten in weeks; I'm just getting over a wicked cold that settled in my lungs, and before that I was crazy busy for a couple of weeks.

And then Geoff and I went round to the local independent canoe and kayak and general boating outdoorsiness store and picked up our new kayaks! Geoff's been wanting to get them for a couple of years; he grew up sailing, and we went kayaking when we visited his brother and brother-in-law a couple of years ago, who live on a waterway. Now we have kayaks and life jackets and paddles and a roof rack for the car, and we took them all down to the edge of Lac Saint Louis (which is really just a wide spot in the Saint Lawrence River near us) and launched them! We spent about an hour paddling around, seeing ducks and making jokes about playing pirate on the occasional sailboat and just rocking gently in the waves. I expect my shoulders will be achy tomorrow, but we calculated we have to go out about twenty times before buying becomes cheaper than renting, so we will keep it up!

We came home, figured out how to get the kayaks off the roof rack and into the back yard, and -- after showering the river water off -- went out to dinner, because by that time it was almost seven. And when we came home I sacked out on the couch while Geoff made a loaf of banana bread with not only extra bananas but a good half cup or more of rum. It is hot and moist and delicious and we may eat the entire loaf before we get to bed, I'm just saying. (Not all the alcohol seems to have cooked out, but since Star Trek: The Final Frontier is on TV, that may be a good thing.)

So far, this year of my life is going pretty well!

Mon, Jun. 26th, 2017, 05:58 pm

[i]ysabetwordsmith: Garden Photos 6-24-17

 I posted pictures from Saturday.

Mon, Jun. 26th, 2017, 05:31 pm

[i]ysabetwordsmith: Monday Yardening

Today is beautiful, mostly cloudy, breezy and cool.  :D  

Round 1, I took pictures and planted morning glory seeds.

Round 2, I transplanted some wild morning glories and started clearing weeds and brush around the purple-and-white garden. 

Round 3, I sowed more grass seed in the bare patch.  There is a chance of rain tonight.   I also cut more brush around the purple-and-white garden.  It's about half done now, I think.

Round 4, I cut more brush around the purple-and-white garden.  It's about 3/4 done, although I'll probably need to go back and touch up parts later.  It already looks a lot better though.

Mon, Jun. 26th, 2017, 09:15 pm


It occurs to me I've been on twitter a lot the last two months, but nowhere else. So - hi. Still here. Grieving, but here.

Comments disabled as I think I've had as much sympathy as I can handle (it's much appreciated, just A Lot sometimes).


Mon, Jun. 26th, 2017, 02:49 pm

[i]ysabetwordsmith: Monday Update 6-26-17

These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Poem: "Uncertain Miracles"
Sunday Yardening
Saturday Yardening
Garden Photos 6-22-17 Flowers
Garden Photos 6-22-17 Nests
Thursday Yardening
Poem: "One Familiar with Self-Defense"
Hard Things
Garden Photos 6-19-17 Flowers
Garden Photos 6-19-17 Birds

This week's half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics had only modest participation, despite having the quarter-price option. However, I do have one donor who's still picking out poetry for funds already sent, so there will be something more.

Poetry in Microfunding:
"A Hope and a Promise" belongs to Polychrome Heroics and has 15 new verses.  Aidan and Mrs. Ozenne talk more about Saraphina as she interacts with another toddler.  "Essential for Human Survival" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Cassandra and has 11 new verses.  Groundhog and Cassandra encounter one of the monks. "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies.  Valor's Widow finds out what Stylet has in his backpack.  

Weather has been cooler and pleasant here.  The nest of baby robins fledged!  :D  The cardinal nest lost its egg.  :(  Currently blooming: dandelions, carnations, marigolds, petunias, lantana, million bells, snapdragons, zinnias, firecracker plant, torenia, yarrow, white and red clover, penstemon, daylilies, rose campion, coreopsis, morning glories, aster, spiderwort, echinacea, golden rain tree.  Mulberries and black raspberries are winding down.

Mon, Jun. 26th, 2017, 08:41 pm

[i]trobadora: from the department of random

Oops, where did the last month go? I seem to have fallen out of the habit of regular posting again, so let's make an effort to change that. Some random things I neglected to post about recently:
  1. Wayward Daughters is actually happening! Well, it's called Wayward Sisters, but still – I never thought this would actually happen. Here's hoping it takes off, I really want this show.

  2. Bizarre yoghurt flavour of the day: coffee/orange/chocolate balls. Not bad, actually!

  3. [community profile] holmestice: the anonymous period is nearly over, and I actually managed to read almost everything I meant to read, yay! Some lovely fic in there, including my own gift, an ACD Holmes/Moriarty fic about the early period of Holmes becoming aware of Moriarty's existence. Fabulous! ♥

    And here's a guessing post, if anyone wanted to take a stab at guessing what I might have written. Not that it's any great mystery if you know me at all, or have been listening to my Sherlockian ramblings for the last few months. *g*

  4. Doctor Who: MISSY MISSY MISSY. I'm so in love with her, and with the show, and I really need to write a proper post, but the suspense is killing me, and I really need to see the finale before I can properly sort out my thoughts. In the mean time: OMG MISSY!!!!!1!!11!eleventy!1!

  5. Over on [community profile] wintercompanion, we're busy preparing for Summer/Winter Holidays, which will start on the 1st. Some really fabulous entries again! And we're still waiting for more.

  6. My [community profile] everywoman fic still needs some editing, and then I need to spend the weekend focusing on my NPT fic. Why is everythin so busy at the moment, including work? *hides under blanket*

There, that's a start, right? Here's hoping I'll manage to post more frequently again!