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6th June 2013
The Soggy Will See You Now
Goodness, we have got some rain! I'm not complaining, exactly, since it's worse, elsewhere (sending good thoughts to my Floridian friends). Just, wow. :
We want this rain to drown all the ticks; is this likely? I had to go out last night at 11:30 to get tweezers and rubbing alcohol, because somehow I had mislaid both pairs of tweezers well and truly, and as long as I was at the grocery store, the isopropyl seemed like a good idea.
Also, a slice of chocolate caramel cake. And then Netflixing several episodes of the new season of "Arrested Development", because not only was I freaked out by that little tick so firmly attached to Tiny Dog, but had a large helping of self-loathing over the fact that I could not keep track of two pairs of tweezers. So, you know, chocolate cake. Heh. I worked hard to let the cycle of self-loathing end there.
FYI, the new eps of "Arrested Development" (well, the first 3, so far) are so complicated and non-linear I am actually going to have to see them more than once to understand wtf is going on ... not that this is one's top priority with AD. I'm just sayin'.
Okay, also? I have been watching the hell out of ST:TOS on Netflix; it feels slightly like crawling back into the womb. I'm okay with that -- it's interesting to see all the stuff I didn't see when I was 10, and OMG, what a shallow child I was, watching Capt. Kirk to the exclusion of everyone else. I haven't thrown him over, or anything (more's, perhaps, the pity) but I sure do appreciate the ensemble in a whole new way.
However, if I should bring up "Bonanza" in any future post, in a way that suggests I might be spending quality time with the Cartwrights, please someone come and intervene. That there would count as a cry for help, OMG.
::HUGS:: and hope there is some good weather where you are, if not now, then soon.
3rd May 2013
The Spring of our Discontent
I'm not dead y'all. I ain't even sick. I am massively discontented, disgruntled, dismayed, and some other disses ... all of which I should probably just get over, but I am a big baby, turns out. :
But, I have a couple things to offer:
1) it's 45 years since the student uprisings in Paris -- it was whole big thing that started, sort of, on May 3 at the Sorbonne. And here's a sprightly little video with striking images:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lbar529zc9Y
I apologize for the French earworm that is vaguely derisive of the whole business.
2) Richie Havens has died, a couple weeks back; wizard of open tunings, with the voice of a sage, he was also a deeply kind person. Most of his well-known songs are covers, but he always made them his own.
Here, try "Peace Train"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T_bowzT8tw
Here's looking toward a glorious summer!
13th February 2013
Is this a Mondegreen? A Brief, Shining Moment, H_P Style
As I was skipping merrily about work and play on the internets last night, the SOTU address was on the radio in the living room. Listening with one ear, I felt vaguely comfortable with what I was hearing, when suddenly the audience began to roar. "They deserve a boat!" I heard the President saying, with conviction. "They deserve a BOAT!" : Wow,
thought I, this is the greatest SOTU address ever!
Because, gods know, somebody
deserves a boat!
My unconscious sometimes paints a much shinier world than the one to which I must reconcile myself.
25th January 2013
Ice storm, and final weekend before Spring Term starts (we're having a pilot January Term, and since I didn't *have* to teach in it, I didn't. haha). :
And, trivial news, but apparently JJ Abrams will be directing the next "Star Wars" film. Of which I did not know there needed to be one, but, okay, whatever. And what I feel about it, is, the fact that he would even be game for that -- for doing Star Wars as well as Star Trek -- is somehow an indication that he really shouldn't have helmed the Star Trek films...
That's uncharitable, esp. as the Reboot thing has breathed life into the "franchise", but, well, I'm with David Brin that these are two very different overarching narratives, and two different methodologies, and JJ Abrams just wants to tell an entertaining story with cool explosions.
ah, here it is:http://www.salon.com/1999/06/15/brin_main/
Yeah, so, I'm disgruntled? but kind of retroactively.
Also, get off my LAWN!
14th January 2013
Classic Trek Brings It: There's a Million Things in the Universe that You Can Have ...
... and a million that you can't. :
I've been watching some Classic Trek, streaming on Netflix, for a little bedtime familiarity during a stressful time (more to follow, I predict), and decided last night to visit "Charlie X" -- originally titled, if I remember my Blish novelizations correctly, as "Charlie's Law", which really was a better title (as Blish noted).
Aside from noting just how young and beautiful everyone was (Robert Walker, Jr., man! did you nail that!), I couldn't help but think about school shootings, mass shootings. These boys and young men, mostly white, mostly middle or upper-middle class seem, from my admittedly limited point of view, to be doing just what Charlie Evans did in that episode: using the horrific weapons that have come into their possession to cause pain to others because the world doesn't always mold to their wishes.
I'm not saying that this is the only
relevant thing in any of these cases, but it seems so clear that mass shootings, so much violence against women, and even, occasionally, foreign policy decisions come down to this basic sense of entitlement, plus the power to make ugly things happen more or less at will.
I'm sick of it. And so when Captain Kirk -- no stranger to this feeling, obviously -- told Charlie that he was just going to have to accept that he wouldn't always get his way? I wanted to start renting billboards. (because I'm old school that way.) T-shirts. "Sorry, guys, you can't have everything you want. Don't kill anybody over it, okay?"
A little flip, I'll admit. BUT I MEAN IT.
The day here is grey, and wet, and moving far too swiftly nevertheless. Hope you all have some good Classic Trek, or its equivalent, to keep you company.
16th December 2012
Automatic for the People
Hell is freezing over, and I am posting. Look! The posting page has changed! And now I shall forget all of my html, since apparently I no longer need it. (Way to catch up, LJ.) :
News is horrible all over, and I am grading. Here's what's fun: our "Learning Management System" (who came up with that?) is called Moodle, and I use it on a PC. So when my students upload a paper they've written with Apple's Pages? I can't open it.
Well, sometimes I can. By downloading, saving, renaming, then opening. Or something. I mean, this is not the world I thought I would be living in. I should be saying "Computer, open document", and it should happen! Preferably, the function would be accompanied by Majel Barrett Roddenberry's (wow, I've never typed that before -- what alot of doubled consonants!) voice saying "OPENING", in that friendly computer voice.
The clumsiness of my computer interfaces, of course, is the tiniest portion of the way this world is not my world, but there it is.
In conclusion, REM's "Automatic for the People" is very, very comforting, "Nightswimming" and "Find the River" in particular, after this long weekend of Bad Things. So I'm listening to the album on repeat, holding New Town, CT, Syria, Egypt, and a thousand other places in my heart, and I'm grading.
How are you?
::hugs for them wot needs 'em::
18th October 2012
You couldn't find no share of gold...
I was out running (sort of) in the fall wind and leaves today, and this song came on my teeny!MP3 player, sung by Shawn Colvin on her latest (I recommend it), but written by someone called Mick Flannery, go figure. :
Anyhow, it spoke to me, so, maybe it'll speak to some of y'all.Up On that Hill
The blood that runs your veins
Of all that you are made
It didn’t start with you
As much as you would like it to
The path they set you on
Your battles lost and won
The fakin’ and the show
And all you thought you wanted
All them things you think you wantChorus
And in the land where all are mourning
You hear the band you hear them call
You can be happy
You can be happy
You stood up on that hill
You thought you’d had your fill
Didn’t want no pedestal
But mark my words you will
You heard your story told
You felt you were getting old
You thought it time to go
But you couldn’t find no share of gold
That set you back on down the road
So take your hopes and woes
Take your bruised ego
Light a fire here
Where the air is clear
Or take your sorrow, man
To your selfish land
Run your poor mouth there
See if they care
May there be blowing leaves for everyone ...
16th August 2012
Better Now than Not at All?
Time just moves swiftly all the time, now ... another school year is beginning at StupidCollege; somehow a financial crisis results in a higher number of VPs and a lower number of low-paid staff and dwindling benefits of all kinds. :
This is that thing where we run Higher Ed like a private sector corporation now, isn't it? I remain unimpressed.
Meanwhile, I've had a lovely summer, return with better perspective on what I care about, as well as a reminder that I really do have good, solid, lovely friends. Many of them are in California, but hey, one is privileged to have friends at all, isn't one?
Speaking, more or less, of which, today is Robert Culp's birthday; he would have been 82. And I've had this fic lolling about on a very, very back burner, turned way down low. I've done a bit of playing with it this evening to get it ready to post, because, wtf, yes? so it's possibly worse than it was earlier today, but it does have the virtue of being done, and posted, so there!
About 10K words, sappy and gen and ... well, not really the kind of story I'm qualified to write, but dang, it was fun to play with! Many thanks to sarahenany
for a long-ago beta, now thoroughly bollocksed, and much encouragement.( Read more...Collapse )
May we all find the rule that helps us through difficult times.
::HUGS:: to all wot needs 'em.
[Edited because I no longer know how to code. Or post. Or edit entries. There is a downside to disappearing all the time, turns out.]
1st August 2012
If You Can't Say Something Nice...
I should have been blogging this all along ... but here is a brief summary of My Life These Days, so I can keep track of where I am right now. :
Right now, I'm in San Francisco. It all started last summer, when I was in SF to visit friends old and new; I felt so at home (I grew up in CA, for those of you playing at home, and spent significant portions of my adult life in the L.A. and Bay areas, and yes, I like them both a lot!) that it was hard to go back th NC, and I began dreaming of ways to get back out here. Because, I reasoned, if I were somewhere Not Miserable, I would be more likely to get some writing done, which would make me more marketable as a scholar.
So, last Fall, I signed up to each a short but intensive summer course, and then I did it. Meanwhile, I made reservations for a couple "long-term" vacation flats, one in L.A. (one week) and one in SF (2.5 weeks). By July 1, all the teaching and grading was done, and I got myself packed up to head west.
The drive cross-country had highlights and lowlights, for sure, but did not sour me on the idea.
And now, I'm within 5 days of having to head back. Perhaps I'll have more to say about the trip... for now, it's enough for me to remember the quality of light and air in CA; it hangs less heavy, and asks of me simultaneously less and more.
Yesterday I took Vinne to North Beach, and he basked in the sun on the park in front of Sts. Peter and Paul Church, and chased pigeons, and a good time was had. Really, what more can one ask?
6th June 2012
: Dandelion Wine
was my favorite of his, for a good long time; in fact, I had a long-standing tradition of re-reading it every summer ...
Then when I was in law school and studying Critical Race Theory, I happened to pick up The Martian Chronicles
, having avoided it for along while (figuring it was "hard" scifi, which was not My Thing).
Good lord. "Way in the Middle of the Air" -- the Black community in a Southern town emigrate en masse to Mars. It was such a gut-punch, and felt so smart
. I understand it's not in every edition ... some (white) editors probably thinking it's either too controversial or no longer topical.
All of the stories in that book were amazing, but that one stuck w/me (oh, and what happens to the Martians in one story as soon as the humans set down).
Anyway, thanks, Ray, for some of my best summer moments.
3rd June 2012
Not Quite Sure What This Is All About
My sleep schedule is well messed up, I'm lonely yet reclusive, and I'm not doing any of the things I pretty much really need to be doing... :
... on the other hand, fresh blueberries and good yogurt is a fine way to start the day.
That is all.
26th February 2012
Waving, Not Drowning, Mostly
'Round here these days it's imperative to talk about the weather during any exchange. so: :
Sunday the 19th was a cold grey day, then it started to rain, then it started to hail. then rain again. then snow -- about 3 inches of it.
luckily, the next day was sunny and 60 degrees
, and the snow melted (except for the large snowball testicles that some students helpfully created and placed in front of the seriously phallic work of art on the quad).
By thursday it was in the 70s, and Friday it was in the upper 70s, until the near-tornado storms moved through, and by nightfall it was in the 50s.
My sinuses do not love this.
BUT, here is something to love -- I'm really just doing a LOT of grading for the past/next few days, and here's some spellcheck fun from a midterm:
"</i>Sandra Harding outlines a way to create knowledge or theories:[that makes explicit] Epistemology, Methodology, Method. Episiotomy refers to ...</i>"
I AM SMILING SO LARGE RIGHT NOW.
Here's to unexpected smiles all the way 'round!
4th February 2012
Signal Boost for Book Lovers (I mean, you know, books made of paper)
Maybe you've not yet heard about World Book Night ... : http://www.us.worldbooknight.org/about-world-book-night
Wouldn't you love to have 20 copies of a terrific book to just give away to people who don't know about that book? I would.
And the book selection is far better than I expected. In general.
Octavia damn Butler. Junot Diaz. Barbara Kingsolver.
If only they'd passed on Orson Scott Iamagod Card, it's be a pritnear perfect notion.
Anyhow, time's awastin', so check it out -- you may be a winner!
ETA: Yes, I have
been a terrible friend, lately; things are looking up, though. Nothing in particular, just, recognizing that life really does have its bright spots.
::HUGS:: to them wot needs 'em.
1st January 2012
Just In Case
Wotthehell! I've got a DW account, just in case ... :
Now you know: heron_pose=allthinky, but only for some values of allthinky. I promise!
18th October 2011
So Far Behind I'm Out Front Again
Seriously, y'all, every plan, every obligation, every good idea I've ever had, every love relationship -- all of it! -- they've all lapped me, and now are gaining on me from behind. :
Well, I'm on Fall Break (we didn't have this in California, but now I'm completely addicted
to the idea) so ... I hereby resolve to take my lumps and move on. Not the end of the world, is it?
I'm hoping to do a lot of reading and writing over the next several days .... but SillyTown is having it's own Occupy events, and doing pretty well, given how small we are. I'm just on the fringes, but I'm proud of our anarchic youngsters. This here is one of the most clear images for me of why they/we are out there:
Particularly chilling, to me, is how much corporate tax rates (and those on millionaires) have dropped since the Reagan era. Remember the Reagan era? That was supposed to be the height of American meanness. Turns out, "we" were just getting started ...
Why the "job creators" have any traction on these issues is (not) a mystery to me; the jobs are not exactly coming fast and furious with tax levels and deregulation all lined up in support of corporate heads. Time to try something different. Only it must be scary to be a legislator (or even a President) who owes so much to the corporate lobby.
La la la. We do what we do and we see what happens next.
Meantime, my friend ljs
has offered a gorgeous fic that leaves me all warm and fuzzy, even as it touches those cold, edgy places...(you can find it on the I Spy comm if you haven't, yet) and I'm looking forward to the first birthday I've had since the Major Split with hope that I'm building a life that speaks to me, all by myself.
Here, let's go out on a beautiful note, shall we?
::HUGS:: for them wot needs 'em!
14th September 2011
Y'all, I live in the great state of North Carolina, the only Southern state that does not have a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. :
Thank goodness for the state legislature, controlled by Republicans since November, which has just voted to put such an amendment before the voters in May. Tell us, Carolinians, shall we go out of our way to cast into relief just how very, very little respect we have for the lives of people who would like to set up housekeeping with a lover of their same sex? I fear we shall. (The kicker? We already have a state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman; that's just not mean enough.)
Let's have a little John Stuart Mill on the subject:The will of the people, ... practically means the will of the most numerous or the most active
part of the people; the majority, or those who succeed in making themselves accepted as the majority; the people, consequently,
may desire to oppress a part of their number; and precautions are as much needed against this as against any other abuse of power.
[Mill, On Liberty
Even in a democracy, some things should be beyond the power of the majority to decide; you just cannot trust the majority always to get it right. These days the majority seems so *extra* mean, as if the *only* inherently valuable life in this country is that of the fetus. Those of us who had the temerity to actually escape the uterus and make our own way in the world just don't have the same cache.
On the other hand, there's this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsPfM1teJN8
Oh Tony Head and Nicky Brendan, never change! (I don't think they want to get married, but they sure like each other!)
::HUGS:: for them what needs 'em.
15th August 2011
Really, You Might Have Seen It Coming (especially the parentheticals)
Tomorrow is Robert Culp's birthday ... the second since he died, and it makes me contemplative and a little melancholy. (Yes, I know, you are shocked, shocked! at this admission.) :
Tomorrow is ALSO the opening meeting for employees of StupidCollege (except for those many who deal with students who have returned early for one reason or another, and thus is vaguely weird since some of those most responsible for student happiness and success always miss the meeting, but I digress), which always makes me irritated and a little melancholy.
AND, I'm trying to get a couple of writing projects ... not done, but let's say in less-complicated postures before the breakneck pace of teaching begins on the 22nd.
So, I've not been posting too much, or commenting too much, esp. because I spent the second week of August in San Francisco (which I highly recommend; the weather was smashing) -- where does the summer go anyway, and blah blah.
BUT. I have a few nearly-done stories tumbling around hard drives and also my mind and The Culp's birthday seems like as good a time as any to see if I can release any of them into the wild.
This one was produced pretty quickly, for fun and no profit, and was beta'd originally by sarahenany
. I've since changed some stuff, which might make her grouchy, but the beta was terrifically helpful and all remaining weaknesses are down to me, and me alone.
So, intended for your divertissement
, I give you the following story ...
About 2500 words, sadly entirely safe for work, or even the nursery, but I dare you to figure out whether it's gen or slash. And ... it could be a postscript for any number of episodes, or you can make up the appropriate prologue for your own self.( Stand the HeatCollapse )
Comments welcome, esp. typo thingies and lack of clarity thingies ...
::Hugs:: to all what need 'em, and may this week be ever so much better than any of us expects it to be.
Current Mood: anticipatory
18th July 2011
Where Are Those Brownies??
Not the chocolate kind (although I -- literally -- wouldn't kick them out of bed), neither the tiny little girl kind (what are they -- Girl Scouts in training? do they even exist anymore?) but the very old little faerie kind. :
Maybe they're not faeries, and I worry that they are of some racist derivation, but in any case, they are supposed to cobble all the shoes and clean up the house whilst one sleeps, and they have been slacking.
Here I am, living the life of the mind (and the broken heart, I suppose), writing what I'm supposed to write and reading what I am supposed to read, and NO ONE is cleaning my place.
So, I have a choice: revel in the dust and disorder, or put stuff on hold to vacuum, dust, do dishes and laundry.
I wonder what will HAPPEN?????
::HUGS:: to all, and I hope you are having better luck w/your brownies.
13th July 2011
Where Have I Been?
I've been really remiss about reading and commenting ... well, commenting. I've been reading, desultorily but with interest, because y'all are interesting! :
Just ... in that place where there doesn't seem to be a point to writing or commenting, because who cares what I do? And everything's a chore, and overwhelming, and ....
What's dismaying is discovering just how far I still have to go in terms of psychological health -- the Tall Man's defection has re-opened the old sense of unworthiness that, I guess, was still there all along.
But! Things keep changing every day! There are things worth doing! I'm good enough, and smart enough, and darn it -- yeah, like that.
In other news, yoga is still good. I keep forgetting.
Disabling comments, cuz, this is just like a little bookmark for me, mostly. But also I'm sending very best vibes out to everyone, because I know I'm not the only one feeling battered by time and circumstance. (I would ask "when does it end?" but I have the feeling that the answer is not actually that comforting. :-))
Current Mood: Trying -- in both senses
Happy Belated Birthday, Bill!
So, yesterday was Bill Cosby's birthday ... he's 74. I wonder if he's having as much trouble with that notion as I am ... :
I've just finished watching Season One (on DVD) of the first (and best?) "Bill Cosby Show", which ran for 2 years on NBC, and was then cancelled because NBC got tired of fighting with Cosby over stuff like costs and the absence of the dreaded laugh track.
Great things about "The Bill Cosby Show": The set for his "apartment", his character's relationship with the school's guidance counselor, played by Joyce Bulifant -- cute as a bug!; the guest stars (Cicely Tyson, Henry Fonda, Moms Mabley & Mantan Moreland OMG, and many others!); the theme song and incidental music (hullo, Quincy Jones!); occasional amazingly cool direction (hullo, Melvyn Van Peebles!); the arc of the first season -- introducing the character, his job, his family, etc.
There's nothing bad about the show, so don't look for the contrast, here; some of the "high school kids" are played by 30-year-old actors, yes, but they are adorably gawky nonetheless. Also, the fashions that I would've dreaded 15 years ago are quaint to me now, or even cool.
Fascinating, to me, is how much I picked up about the world from watching this show as a tyke; because of Cos, I learned:
1) there was a game called handball, and how it was played;
2) there is something called a 'blind date', which has nothing to do with visual disability;
3) what a bachelor is;
4) that ladies could fall in love with someone and still not want to get married, and that is just fine (thank you, Cicely Tyson!);
5) that families can argue LOUDLY and still love each other.
I want to say I also learned about scat-singing ... but truly, when Cosby scatted his way through the theme, I thought I was just misunderstanding what he was saying. :-)
In conclusion: thanks, Bill!
9th June 2011
Just Give It a Little Snaky Lick ...
The monsters have come to Sillytown, starting with 2 or 3 or more young male black bears that are doing their usual late spring "looking for my own territory" thing ... right through the middle of Sillytown. I don't recall this happening in past years, or at least, not so close to the center of town. Mostly, they cause a stir and lumber on, in search of nuts and berries, let us assume. :
A couple of weeks ago, there was an aggressive fox that bit a dog and the man who was walking it; the man managed to grasp the fox by the throat and dump it in a trashbin sitting at the curb. I didn't hear whether it had tested positive for rabies, but I kind of hope so; cuz why else is a fox attacking dogs and their men? (by all accounts, man and dog will be fine, even if it is rabid; i'm not totally insensitive!)
So on my nightly walk with Little Dog through the National Military Park near my place, I've been keeping my eyes peeled for bears and foxes; so far, only deers have been bounding through the undergrowth, but there's always a chance.
And then there's the snakes. I grew up in California, where the poisonous snakes we shared terrain with were polite enough to wear rattles. (The poisonous spiders were also quite clearly marked; what a civilized desert that was.) In the above-mentioned National Military Park, there are copperheads; they give no warning, but at dusk disguise themselves as branches on the ground ... so I'm also keeping my eyes down. Up, down, all around. And in my head, Cosby's snake routine plays on endless repeat -- so it could be worse.
Little Dog is not awfully fond of National Military Park; too many dogs, too many people saying "oh, how cute!" when he would prefer to be left alone (or is that me?), and entirely too many oversize bronze horses on pedestals. Okay, there's only one, but it's *terrifying*, let me tell you! He's not awfully fond of big bronze men or stone spires, either, but at least they have bases that are good for peeing on. The Giant Horse cannot be trusted to stand still while little dogs pee on it, if you know what I mean.
It strikes me that I don't really need these external monsters; I'm perfectly good at plaguing my ownself with every manner of threat; maybe the bears and horses and foxes and snakes have just come to help me keep it all in perspective.
In other news, June is turning out to be my month of changeability: I think everything's fine and I get caught up on everything, and then a week later I realize I was supposed to keep doing things, but didn't, and now I'm behind again. And in between is a rollercoaster like WHOAH! of "it's great to have all of this freedom" and "please tell me what to do!" and "James Garner, why so excellent?" [There may have been some Netflixing; you may need to hear more later.]
No, what I really meant to say is, I'm sporadically here, reading and commenting, but I'm constantly thinking good thoughts at y'all, and hoping for all of us only the very best monsters.