Sep. 25th, 2016 05:22 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: white cat; "kass" (Default)
1. I am making this chicken makhani recipe for dinner and the kitchen is fragrant. (Also, I am totally sold on this slow cooker thing omg. Best tag sale purchase ever.)

2. I'm also making these spiced greens (kale, in my case) -- though I didn't have peas or dried coconut on hand, but the spice profile sounded good, and sounded like it would go well with the aforementioned.

3. Beautiful sunny day. I got to spend a little bit of time outdoors this afternoon.

4. Honeycrisp apples.

5. It looks like I might get to see my parents at Rosh Hashanah. I was not expecting this, and it is happy news indeed.

How are y'all?

Wow. I. What.

Sep. 24th, 2016 07:47 am[personal profile] kass
kass: Ray Kowalski ponders. (RayK thinking)
My mother just sent me this link: Parenting by the Books: ‘On The Banks of Plum Creek’. All her email said was that it was an interesting footnote on Laura Ingalls Wilder.

(I was obsessed with those books as a kid -- I read and reread them endlessly. Mom used to joke that if they named a title and page number I'd be able to tell them what was on that page.) (And yes, in hindsight I'm horrified by the racism and colonialism that I know now is all over the books. Mostly as a kid I was fixated on Laura herself, and her journey.)

So first of all -- go and read the essay; it's an amazing essay about parenthood and how we think of Ma Ingalls and the dynamics she was facing.

And secondly -- I do not know what to make of the fact that my mother just sent this to me. Is she trying to connect with me because I used to love the books? Is she asking me, obliquely, to consider the challenges she faced in being a parent? Is she acknowledging, again obliquely, that I face some difficult stuff as a single mother?

Yuletide Letter 2016

Sep. 23rd, 2016 04:08 pm[personal profile] gramarye1971
gramarye1971: a meteor-sized plum pudding slamming into Earth, from a cover of The Economist (Pudding)
Dear Yuletide Writer,

First of all, thank you for signing up! I'm looking forward to seeing what we've been matched on (or what you've selected to write, if you choose one of my other requests), and am very happy to receive whatever you send my way. To see the sorts of things that I scribble in my spare time, my main fic journal is [personal profile] bookofgramarye, with alternate archiving at AO3. Previous Yuletide letters are here (2015, which contains links back through letters to 2007) for reference, but I hope that this one gives you enough to go on for this year's requests.

What I like best: Backstory/pre-canon fic, missing scenes, alternate perspectives on a scene, fics that show a nice bit of historical research if required. Gen-fic, by and large, unless otherwise specified -- I am a gen writer myself.

Things I'm not fond of: Character-bashing (especially for shipping purposes), pair-the-spares, issue-fic (see [personal profile] sailorptah's post for thoughts on this concept), mundane/nonpowered AUs. I'd also appreciate the use of the AO3 Archive Warnings if the story happens to contain one or more of the major ones, and I like having content notes for distressing situations or themes (primarily for on-screen character death or graphic violence, and discussions of suicide or sexual assault).

And now for the actual prompts:

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! )

Mouretsu Pirates )

Natsume Yuujincho )

Night Raid 1931 )

The Schoolgirl's Diary (2007) )

Kara no Kyoukai (in progress) )


Sep. 22nd, 2016 04:52 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: white cat; "kass" (Default)
1. I've started a batch of preserved lemons. By the time I get through the Jewish holidays, they'll be ready to go in tagines. (Yes, Virginia, there will be Life After the Holidays.)

2. Spectacular sunny day. Blue sky, bright sun, trees still mostly green but some are starting to redden and yellow around the edges. I'm not ready for fall, but I will try to accede to it as gracefully as I can.

3. This morning I had a reminder that I am really good at what I do. \o/!

4. I've started watching Avatar: the Last Airbender with Z and it is charming as anything.

5. I transplanted the wee miniature rose bush that [personal profile] kcobweb gave me this summer (into a bigger pot) and it has a couple of buds; I think it might bloom again!

high-tech sleeping

Sep. 21st, 2016 04:38 pm[personal profile] dichroic
dichroic: (oar asterisk)

Sleeping is getting way too high tech lately. Yesterday I had an especially hard workout – 11km, including a warm-up followed by 2 sets of 2km at aerobic threshold, then 3km at marathon pace. So I actually headed up to bed a little early, and slept until the alarm went off, unusually for me. (Usually if I have an alarm set, I’m beginning to wait up a quarter hour or so before it’s set to go off.

I’ve been playing with my electronics; here’s the current set-up: Bedtime is at 10, because we get up at 6 (actually a few minutes before, mostly because the old iPod was a little fast and by the time we realized it we were used to it). At 9:25, the bedside lamp comes on. At 9:30, my iPad dings a bedtime warning – the first few notes of a lullabye – and switches to a warmer shade of light. (I’m more likely to be mostly reading on the Kindle at that point, so I only notice when I go to check something on the iPad.) Somewhere between then and 10, I head upstairs and clean the litterbox, if it’s my turn.

Then it’s time for better living through chemistry: I brush my teeth with a toothpaste that makes them less sensitive, take a multivitamin and my one medication, wash my face, and brush my teeth again with a special prescription toothpaste that has lots of fluoride, and floss.

I get into bed and plug in my phone, Kindle and iPad. The light goes off at 9:55, so I have to turn it back on if I’m not in bed by then. I put a biteguard made of high-tech molded plastic in my mouth so I don’t wear down my teeth, because I tend to clench them in my sleep.

My fitness tracker keeps tabs on how well I sleep all night.

At about 5:55, my phone lights up and wakes me with a soft sound that gets louder untim I shut it off. I get up, check the fitness tracker app on my phone to see how well I slept because I’m curious, get up, take out my biteguard, and take off my fitness tracker, then shower and get ready for the day. (I could shower in the tracker but it seems like an unnecessary risk.)

It all seems like an awful lot of stuff to do just to sleep. So far, my main conclusions are:

1. I have been healthier since I started taking a multivitamin (Ted’s influence, back when we moved in, so that step is useful.
2. I know there are studies saying flossing doesn’t help, but my dentist seems happier when I go in if I’ve been doing it regularly – I mean, they like the condition of my teeth better – so that’s useful.
3. I don’t feel any better or worse when I take my thyroid meds, though the test numbers are better. Inconclusive.
4. I’ve just started having the light turn itself on and off, so I still haven’t decided if that’s helpful.
5. This morning, because of the heavy workout, I slept all the way until the alarm, and this soft one did indeed wake me more gently. Helpful.
6. Bedtime warning chime: I just started that too – it’s iOS10’s new Bedtime app, along with this soft alarm – but I think it will be good for getting to bed on time. That’s also what changes the iPad’s color; I’m not convinced it makes any difference.
7. The biteguard doesn’t keep me from clenching my teeth- so I can still wake up with a sore jaw, but at least it doesn’t harm my teeth.
8. When I track how well I sleep, it doesn’t really correlate at all with how well I think I’ve slept. Academically interesting, not terribly useful.

My Apple Watch arrived today; that means one more device to charge, but I probably won’t be wearing the fitness tracker any more, and likely won’t bother to put it on just to sleep. (I can’t wear the Watch to sleep, because it needs charging every night.) More on the Watch later, when I’ve had it longer than a couple of hours.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.


Sep. 20th, 2016 05:59 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: orange aspen leaves, "zen fen" (aspen zen fen)
1. My son's glee at discovering Pokemon XY: Kalos Quest on Netflix. A whole new season of his favorite show!

2. Laurie King's Mary Russell novels, which I continue to really, really enjoy.

3. Beautiful sunny day. Which I mostly spent at work, it's true, but I did get to hang out at a playground for a bit with Mr. Kid after school today, and that was a happy thing.

4. The prospect of kale, sautéed with sesame, ginger, garlic, and soy.

5. The glass of vinho verde I am about to pour for myself, huzzah.
dichroic: (oar asterisk)

The notes app I’ve been using for years, since I got my first iPhone, Fliq Notes does not seem to be playing well with iOS 10 – and as far as I can tell, they’re not supporting it for iPhones any more at all. I can open notes, but I can’t edit or even copy the text in them. Fortunately, the whole reason I was using that app instead of Apple’s own Notes was the fact that Notes didn’t let you sort items into folders, and that capability seems to have been added now. I am managing to port notes from one app to the other by going into each note I want to save, clicking the email button, copying the text in the email that comes up and then deleting the draft, then pasting it into the Notes app. (This is stuff I really need, anything from gift ideas for next holiday season to meal plans for the week to details of health issues I was trying to pin down to my Dutch social security number in case I ever need it again.)

The only fun part is coming across things I’d forgotten were there, like a poem I wrote last month in the Galapagos:

When Was the Time Before Fear?

Yesterday a sea lion
rested her head on my foot –
a sweet surprise but a small one,
here in these islands
where fear was never conceived.

How far back, I wonder
would you have to go
for that to happen
in places less remote?

Before there were billions of us?
Before there were millions?
Before the first hunters learned
that, banded together,
they were more formidable
than those who hunted them?
Before spears?
Before fire?

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.


Sep. 17th, 2016 02:10 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: "Judaism is my other fandom." (judaism)
1. It is a spectacularly beautiful day omg.

2. Services this morning were really sweet.

3. Then I went to my borrowed painting studio (thanks [personal profile] squirrelhaven and [ profile] outsidetheparty!) and worked some on the paintings I'm working on, which was totally satisfying.

4. I am going to sit on my mirpesset and enjoy a coconut popsicle in the sunshine.

5. And then I am going to tidy the house and have the satisfaction of a house that feels cared-for.

How are y'all?
gramarye1971: Canada from Hetalia in RCMP uniform (Hetalia: The True North)
Because a [community profile] fail_fandomanon prompt for 3 to 5 lines about food happened to intersect with the memory of a personal experience from earlier this month, when emergency substitute maple dip was required.

In which Canada arrives ten minutes early with, Tim Hortons and BURNING RESENTMENT.... )


Sep. 14th, 2016 06:26 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: glass of white wine (white wine)
1. Homemade fried rice. Best ever use of leftover stale rice and assorted refugees from the vegetable crisper drawer.

2. The comforting hum of the dishwasher at work. (For that matter, having a working dishwasher.)

3. This tasty glass of Oregon pinot gris.

4. Purple blooms on the weeds wildflowers in the garden bed outside my kitchen window.

5. [ profile] seanan_mcguire's latest Toby Daye book.

How are y'all this evening?

(no subject)

Sep. 14th, 2016 10:05 am[personal profile] gramarye1971
gramarye1971: Fakir looking up from a library book (Princess Tutu: Fakir)
Still working on fic prompt post responses -- most of which I think will be on the shorter side, possibly about 500 words each -- but in the meantime I'm tossing out this writing meme borrowed from [personal profile] krait to keep myself thinking. Leave a number (or two!) in a comment!

26 questions about fic writing below the cut. )

EDIT: Now with links to answers across DW and LJ.


Sep. 13th, 2016 05:30 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: orange aspen leaves, "zen fen" (aspen zen fen)
1. Clean sheets.

2. Bright yellow flowers -- on sale at the grocery store, so there are some on the dining table, and some in the living room, and a few on the dresser in my bedroom too.

3. I have a dresser in my bedroom now! Came to me secondhand, via Craigslist, and I really like it.

4. I got some writing done today! It is not perfect yet, but it does not need to be; what it needs to do is exist, and it fits that bill.

5. Pomegranate juice spritzer on the mirpesset at the end of a long day, and the promise of vinho verde to come. :-)


Sep. 12th, 2016 07:57 am[personal profile] dichroic
dichroic: (oar asterisk)

This latest thing with athletes kneeling during the US national anthem confuses the heck out of me. I support anyone’s right to protest peacefully, of course, as a form of free speech; it’s just that I’d have thought that kneeling was a deeper expression of respect than standing.

  • I grew up in a religion that stresses not kneeling to anyone but God (as have other religions including parts of CHristianity). Hebrew school included stories of martyrs who were executed for not kneeling to various kings.
  • I also grew up in a city that stresses US Revolutionary history because so much of it happened there. It was a big deal, establishing protocol in the infant US government, and they specifically rejected kneeling before his Majesty the President, because free men do not kneel.
  • But I’m not sure how much of all that these athletes know. Are they just trying to attract attention? Or are they saying symbolically that they’re still slaves?

And all that is even ignoring the more basic question of “How is the Star Spangled Banner” even suitable for a national anthem? Canadians pledge to “stand on guard” for their country; Brits express allegiance to their ruler. The French call themselves to action; others hail their homeland express hope for the future of their country. How does “Hey, the flag didn’t get shot down on one night of a battle 200 years ago” work as an anthem? (It’s too bad we can’t use America (My Country ‘Tis of Thee) instead, because that DOES have an appropriate message, but the ENglish got to the tune first.)

On another topic, speaking of free speech reminds me of Jim Wright’s 9/11 post, that got pulled down from Facebook, which made me think of what I was saying the other day about math and mortality – only a different sort of math. Wright pointed out that 3000 people were killed on 9/11/01, and to avenge them we spent the lives of 8000 of our own and killed 300,000 or more in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Side note: it’s hard to see how anyone can claim the US is a Christian country while so thoroughly forgetting “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord”.) It doesn’t seem like a very good deal in terms of pure numbers. Maybe it would have been worth it to make an important point, just as men volunteered for WWI in the hopes that it was a war to end all wars. Unfortunately, we seem to have succeeded about as well as they did.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.


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