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October 19th, 2016

08:55 pm: speaking of tomatoes
Newt loves tomatoes. I wanted a picture of him eating a tomato, so the last time he picked one, I took it away:2016-09-11 16.41.18

And then gave it back. But the taking-away part worried him enough that he had to devour the whole thing in two bites:2016-09-11 16.41.30
2016-09-11 16.41.33
2016-09-11 16.42.02
(That foot walking away looks Seussian!)

"I am the rat terrier
Who will eat anything
I eat stuff
Like it's my job
And if you ask me
If I ate anything
I'll just tell you
That I eat anything."

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02:28 pm: tomatoes
Low of 31 degrees F tonight. After that, at least two more weeks above freezing. I have picked everything that is ripe enough. There are still some orange and many full-size green Roma-type tomatoes. Would you pick everything and call it a summer, or cover and hope?

This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/295022.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


October 18th, 2016

10:22 pm: free will astrology
Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
During the final ten weeks of 2016, your physical and mental health will flourish in direct proportion to how much outworn and unnecessary stuff you flush out of your life between now and October 25. Here are some suggested tasks: 1. Perform a homemade ritual that will enable you to magically shed at least half of your guilt, remorse, and regret. 2. Put on a festive party hat, gather up all the clutter and junk from your home, and drop it off at a thrift store or the dump. 3. Take a vow that you will do everything in your power to kick your attachment to an influence that's no damn good for you. 4. Scream nonsense curses at the night sky for as long as it takes to purge your sadness and anger about pain that no longer matters.


I'm declaring Newt an honorary Scorpio. He lost most of his incisors today, which should be good for his physical and mental health.

Aiko has a new wonder drug, Apoquel, for his allergies. $1.30 per pill. Two pills a day for 14 days, then one a day forever. If it works, it's worth it.

This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/294764.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


October 12th, 2016

05:36 pm: sales tax followup
I got a reply to my query to the science museum.

I wrote: "Science and culture are a public good, and should get some public funding. But sales taxes are regressive. They take a larger proportion of the income of people who already can't afford your tickets. If Issue 200 passes, will you do anything for the people who are supporting you through taxes but not through ticket sales or memberships?"

and the executive director replied:

"Dear Susan,

Thank you for contacting FCMoD with your question about Ballot Issue 200.

If the Larimer County SCFD ballot initiative is adopted by the voters, FCMoD would anticipate being able to increase outreach to our school partners and increase accessibility for low-income families through our Opportunity Program. You may not be aware that we have had a long-standing program that partners with local social service agencies to provide low-income families with free access to the museum. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to meet the demand, and hope that the SCFD funding will help us fill the gap."

I think that's a pretty good answer.

Tonight I can go to the classics book group, which is always interesting, and tonight is discussing Dracula. Or, at the same time, Connie Willis will be talking and then signing books. Both are in walking distance though it is quite cold. Which would you choose?

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October 9th, 2016

01:39 am: sales tax
My county is considering creating a Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, to be funded by adding 0.1% to the county sales tax. The text of the proposition is here:


Scientific and cultural facilities are public goods, and should get some public money, but sales taxes are regressive and bad. I can't decide what I should do. I didn't sign the petition to get it onto the ballot, but now that it's on, voting it down would feel like rejecting the idea of public support for science and culture.

But sales tax! Surely science and culture as a public good shouldn't take a larger share of poor people's income than rich people's.


ETA: I sent this message to the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery (a very nice science museum; I had a family membership back when they were much smaller and poorer, and my kids were smaller and lived with me):
Ballot Issue 200
Science and culture are a public good, and should get some public funding. But sales taxes are regressive. They take a larger proportion of the income of people who already can't afford your tickets. If Issue 200 passes, will you do anything for the people who are supporting you through taxes but not through ticket sales or memberships?
I'll let you know if I hear back from them.

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September 29th, 2016

01:30 am: reading wednesday
On Wednesday! But not from this Wednesday. I opened the post window to write about something else and found this.

• What are you reading?

This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki. I love the art; everyone has their own face, so real and individual that if I met these people on the street I would recognize them. What it focuses on and what it looks away from feel appropriate to that one summer when you are coming to grips with the fact that boobs apply to you -- not some future you, who will have become a woman and understood all those things that you will understand when you're older, but the real you, the you that you are.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Audiobook of Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut, read by Stanley Tucci. I just wanted Stanley Tucci to read me a bedtime story. I was delighted to find Breakfast of Champions still good! Still sexist, yeah, but 70% less annoying than Even Cowgirls Get The Blues. Maybe because Vonnegut isn't kidding himself that he understands women? The biggest change it has undergone is that thirty years ago, "asshole" and the n-word were about equally shocking.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee, for SF book group.

Checked out from the library:

This one summer / Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki.
Deathless / Catherynne M. Valente.
Six-gun Snow White / Catherynne M. Valente ; with illustrations by Charlie Bowater.
The eyes of the dragon : a story / by Stephen King ; with illustrations by David Palladini.
A man called Ove : a novel / Fredrik Backman.
The grand Sophy / Georgette Heyer.

The hunger games [videorecording]
Man up [videorecording] /
Far from the madding crowd [videorecording] /
Fortitude [videorecording] /
Deadpool [videorecording] /
Orphan black. Season three /

Dogs : a startling new understanding of canine origin, behavior, and evolution / Raymond Coppinger and Lorna Coppinger.
Dog tricks : fun and games for your clever canine / Mary Ray, Justine Harding.
Detroit City is the place to be : the afterlife of an American metropolis / Mark Binelli.
Zombie spaceship wasteland : a book / by Patton Oswalt.
Second reading : notable and neglected books revisited / Jonathan Yardley
Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail / Cheryl Strayed.
When breath becomes air / Paul Kalanithi ; foreword by Abraham Verghese.
Being mortal : medicine and what matters in the end / Atul Gawande.

Eyes bigger than my... eyes, I guess?

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September 15th, 2016

03:38 pm: go or no?
I just heard about this movie, Captain Fantastic, which is extremely relevant to my interests. It is still playing at one theater. The theater is within walking distance. (I don't have a car right now.) Unfortunately, today is the last day and there is only one showing, at 8:50, so I'd be walking home at 11:00. Is it worth it?

We saw Kubo and the Two Strings with our daughter when she was visiting and we give it three thumbs up. Its beauty is definitely worth seeing on the big screen.

August 25th, 2016

07:22 pm: Oh, you-- Mother Hubbard!
Great British Bake Off is back!

Last week, when GBBO was not yet back, I watched the Big Fat Quiz that Sue Perkins was a contestant on (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9nQPO4xwAs). She mentioned having to talk to a man who was "so boring, my eyes were double-glazing over." I think that joke is perfect. I can't decide whether it would still be perfect if Sue Perkins didn't wear glasses.

This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/293332.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

August 9th, 2016

01:38 am: a book list
A list, from [personal profile] firecat, of 60 SF books, which I have resorted into three groups:

I've read these:

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Cordelia's Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
War for the Oaks by Emma Bull
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
Synners by Pat Cadigan
Foreigner by C.J. Cherryh
Tam Lin by Pamela Dean
Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge
The God Stalker Chronicles by P.C. Hodgell
Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
God's War by Kameron Hurley
The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein
Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
The Female Man by Joanna Russ
A Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree, Jr.
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge
Farthing by Jo Walton
The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

I have not read these, but have read something else by the author:

Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear
Tithe by Holly Black
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
King's Dragon by Kate Elliott
Slow River by Nicola Griffith
Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly
Old Man's War by John Scalzi
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

I have not read these:

Grimspace by Ann Aguirre
Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro
Flesh and Spirit by Carol Berg
Chime by Franny Billingsley
Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop
The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett
Survival by Julie E. Czerneda
Black Sun Rising by C.S. Friedman
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Valor's Choice by Tanya Huff
Daggerspell by Katharine Kerr
Deryni Rising by Katherine Kurtz
Ash by Malinda Lo
Warchild by Karin Lowachee
Legend by Marie Lu
Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
The Thief's Gamble by Juliet E. McKenna
Diving into the Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
The Grass King's Concubine by Kari Sperring
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
City of Pearl by Karen Traviss

I think this says that I am old. The newer a book is, the less likely I am to read it.

Is there a book in the first group you'd like me to review?
Is there a book in the second or third groups you think I should read?

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August 7th, 2016

10:11 pm: about not writing again
The card not shown but at the center of the cross, represents the atmosphere surrounding the central issue. Daughter of Wands (Radha), when reversed: Unfulfilled potential.

The card visible at the center of the cross represents the obstacle that stands in your way - it may even be something that sounds good but is not actually to your benefit. Nine of Stones (Material Gain), when reversed: Misusing material gain. Greed.

The card at the top of the cross represents your goal, or the best you can achieve without a dramatic change of priorities. Five of Stones (Material Difficulty): Wintry times. Money troubles. Illness. Isolation.

The card at the bottom of the cross represents the foundation on which the situation is based. Two of Cups (Love): Relationship. Possibly, the need to make a commitment.

The card at the left of the cross represents a passing influence or something to be released. Six of Cups (Happiness), when reversed: The happy moment may be passing. Not recognizing happiness. Unbalanced or excessive behavior.

The card at the right of the cross represents an approaching influence or something to be embraced. Three of Stones (Work): Work. Satisfaction.

The card at the base of the staff represents your role or attitude. Two of Swords (Peace), when reversed: Disruption. Seek tranquility within.

The card second from the bottom of the staff represents your environment and the people you are interacting with. Ace of Swords, when reversed: Anger. Aggression. Distorted thinking.

The card second from the top of the staff represents your hopes, fears, or an unexpected element that will come into play. Ten of Swords (Ruin), when reversed: Troubles passing. Relief. Need to rest.

The card at the top of the staff represents the ultimate outcome should you continue on this course. Five of Swords (Defeat): An overwhelming situation. Need to hold onto principles until the time comes to make a change.

This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/292108.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


August 5th, 2016

01:01 am: accessible schoolbussing
How do kids who use wheelchairs get to school? Do schoolbuses normally have ramps or lifts? Does it depend on how rich the school district is?

Is it still common for there to be a different bus for kids with special needs? Is "shortbus" still a slur that elementary school kids would understand?

This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/292074.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


August 4th, 2016

09:35 pm: about not writing
The Shadow Truth spread provides insight into your attitudes and hidden feelings. This spread is used when you are having trouble confronting something, or fear that you are concealing something from yourself.

The card in the center represents the attitude you assume. Eight of Staves (Swiftness), when reversed: Bewilderment. Awe. Temporary immobility.

The card to the right represents the thoughts and feelings that underly your attitudes. Nine of Swords (Cruelty): Revenge. Excessive or violent response to a problem. Jealousy.

The card at the top represents how your attitude is evolving and will evolve in the future. Page of Coins, when reversed: An unrealistic deluded state of mind. Rationalizations. Pseudoscience.

The card to the left represents how others perceive your attitude. Ten of Cups (Satiety), when reversed: Emotional turbulence. Unrequited love. Family disagreements.

The card at the bottom represents what you cannot confront or are hiding from yourself. The World, when reversed: World out of balance. Incompleteness, Vain striving, Gracelessness.

Your strength seems to make some people uncomfortable. I don't want that to become a problem for you. Maybe you could get away with toning down your potency at other times, but not now. It would be sinful to act as if you're not as competent and committed to excellence as you are. But having said that, I also urge you to monitor your behavior for excess pride. Some of the resistance you face when you express your true glory may be due to the shadows cast by your true glory. You could be tempted to believe that your honorable intentions excuse secretive manipulations. So please work on wielding your clout with maximum compassion and responsibility.


Lowest common denominator

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July 29th, 2016

06:02 pm: osprey cam

Thanks to [personal profile] telophase.

The raptor rehab I volunteer at had to euthanize an osprey fledgling last week. It had gotten one foot tangled in plastic baling twine, so badly that the foot was almost completely amputated when it was brought in. Apparently ospreys love that baling twine for building nests. They also love utility poles for building nests on. The power company puts up nesting platforms nearby, to deflect them from the utility poles they build on. They will send someone up to remove all the plastic baling twine every year, as long as we call to remind them every year; the power company is well-meaning but forgetful. I think it is an institutional memory problem: you explain it to the person in the job, who remembers, but it never gets incorporated into any specific job's responsibilities, so when that person moves on the thing about the baling twine gets forgotten.

This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/291408.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

July 27th, 2016

12:34 am: regrets by proxy
I asked my cousin Vickydali, who has lived in New York pretty much all her adult life, whether she has seen Hamilton. No, she said, you can't get tickets for that for a year. I thought you might have heard of it before it got big, I said. She had, she said; her cousin on her father's side, who still lives in Puerto Rico, came to New York in order to see it. Vickydali loves musicals, and is interested in the success of fellow Nuyoricans, but -- a *rap* musical? Probably not for her, she thought.

I sent her links to Wait For It and The Room Where It Happens. I wonder whether the infatuation will take hold.

This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/290865.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

June 27th, 2016

10:45 pm: No pressure, no diamond. No grit, no pearl. No cocoon, no butterfly. All these clichés will be featured themes for you during the next 12 months. But I hope you will also come up with fresher ways to think about the power and value that can be generated by tough assignments. If you face your exotic dilemmas and unprecedented riddles armed with nothing more than your culture's platitudes, you won't be able to tap into the untamed creativity necessary to turn problems into opportunities. Here's an example of the kind of original thinking you'll thrive on: The more the growing chamomile plant is trodden upon, the faster it grows.

The card not shown but at the center of the cross, represents the atmosphere surrounding the central issue. Two of Rods (Dominion): Established power and influence over others. Setting goals and a vision for the future. Coming to grips with the impact of past decisions, considering the current state of affairs, and developing a plan of action. Responsible leadership.

The card visible at the center of the cross represents the obstacle that stands in your way - it may even be something that sounds good but is not actually to your benefit. The Magician: Mastery over word, mind, and matter. The ability to turn ideas into actions, handle problems, and control one's life. The initiation of new projects, great works, or a new way of life. Eloquent and moving communication. Arcane and eldritch technologies.

The card at the top of the cross represents your goal, or the best you can achieve without a dramatic change of priorities. The Judgment, when reversed: Procrastination and indecision. Disillusionment and the inability bring a matter to conclusion.

The card at the bottom of the cross represents the foundation on which the situation is based. Queen of Cups, when reversed: The dark essence of water, such as a deep and foreboding lake: Discomfort with the worlds of mind and matter, leading to a retreat to the spiritual. The embrace of negative relationships, driven by the desperate fear of being alone. Devotion to fantasies and daydreams, to the exclusion of practical skills or the pursuit of knowledge. Insecurity leading to dishonor, vice, and undue susceptibility to outside influences.

The card at the left of the cross represents a passing influence or something to be released. The Tower: Unforeseen catastrophe. An abrupt change, perhaps leading to a new lifestyle and enlightenment. May indicate a broken relationship, divorce, or failure in business or career.

The card at the right of the cross represents an approaching influence or something to be embraced. Five of Rods (Strife): An intense struggle motivated purely by the love of competition. A state of seeming chaos driven by endless small disputes and complications. A hotly contested race, debate, game, or other challenge. A stressful situation that brings out the best in the participants.

The card at the base of the staff represents your role or attitude. King of Pentacles, when reversed: The dark essence of earth behaving as air, such as a diamond: An unyielding businessman, with a gift for identifying weakness and exploiting it for personal gain. One well informed about material affairs, but ignorant of larger, more pressing issues. A blind devotee of business as usual, unconcerned with the unintended results, and contemptuous of new ideas. A person full of greed and avarice, easily corrupted by luxury or the temptations of the flesh.

The card second from the bottom of the staff represents your environment and the people you are interacting with. The Hierophant, when reversed: Authoritarianism. Inflexible and dogmatic thinking. A calcified old regime. Bad or incompetent advice. Inability to hear a higher or inner voice, or pretending to hear it for personal gain.

The card second from the top of the staff represents your hopes, fears, or an unexpected element that will come into play. Seven of Swords (Futility): An opportunity to withdraw from a hopeless situation and fight another day. Disengagement from a struggle you should never have been involved in. A desperate attempt to resolve a matter without conflict. The use of cleverness or outright deception to turn the tide in your favor.

The card at the top of the staff represents the ultimate outcome should you continue on this course. The Empress, when reversed: Stifling matriarchal influence. Unhappiness, selfishness, poverty and disruption of the home or family. Indecision, paranoia, and jealous rage. Sterility.

Mechanicalize something idiosyncratic

This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/290733.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


June 23rd, 2016

02:41 am: reading wednesday
• What are you reading?

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, by Claire North. I find Harry's predicament interesting, but not himself. I probably wouldn't finish if it weren't for SF bookgroup.

• What did you recently finish reading?

The Family Fang, by Kevin Wilson. Says interesting things about performance art.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, by Tom Robbins, for Tawanda bookgroup, this Sunday. I read it decades ago, but I appear not to have a copy, and neither does my library. I suspect I will find that the Sexism Fairy has chewed through this book like a colony of silverfish.

This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/290508.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


June 20th, 2016

01:02 am: mixed emotions
My dad died a few weeks ago. I didn't go. I would have wanted to forgive him, if he wanted to be forgiven, but more likely he would not have been able to resist one last opportunity to be cruel. He really enjoyed being cruel. And he never, when I knew him, ever wanted forgiveness.

Today siderea asked:
Quick poll for people who identify as geeky, engineers, scientists, and/or programmers:

Please comment:

1) How did you first get into geek stuff?
2) At what age?
3) At that time, what was your gender presentation, and if different your sex?
4) Your current age.

I answered:
My dad brought home The Hobbit, when I was five. He read me the first few pages and then gave me the book. Followed by a lot more fantasy and science fiction, and Star Trek, and Star Wars when it came out -- we didn't often go to movie theaters, but for that we did. I was a girl. I had an older brother and a younger sister, and we were all smart, but I was the precocious reader, and I was the one he shared his interests with. I am 52 now.

I loved him. I'm still angry. It's complicated.

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June 18th, 2016

11:28 pm: tarot
Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
During the next 15 months, composting should be a primary practice, as well as a main metaphor. If you have been lazy about saving leftover scraps from your kitchen and turning them into fertilizer, now is an excellent time to intensify your efforts. The same is true if you have been lax about transforming your pain into useful lessons that invigorate your lust for life. Be ever-alert for opportunities to capitalize on junk, muck, and slop. Find secret joy in creating unexpected treasure out of old failures and wrong turns.


The card represents the critical factor for the issue at hand. Queen of Swords, when reversed: The dark essence of air behaving as water, such as a cold rain: A person gifted with both keen logic and natural intuition, giving them uncanny powers of perception and insight. One who easily sees the weakness in any argument, and savages friend and foe alike with biting sarcasm. Dry and vicious wit covering a hollow sense of isolation and dissatisfaction with life.

The most important thing is the thing most easily forgotten

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June 15th, 2016

01:29 am: thumb
So Sunday I got stung by a bee, and the stinger slid all the way under my skin and I couldn't get it out. Monday the skin was tight and red and itchy. Tuesday it was more swollen and hot, so I called the doctor. She didn't have any openings, so she sent me to the Urgent Care clinic, which meant a $50 copay and more than two hours waiting, even though nothing much was going on. It continues to be the case that whenever I am waiting to be taken back to undergo a medical procedure, the soft-rock playing in the waiting room will include "Hotel California".

The provider numbed my thumb, sliced it open, removed the stinger, and prescribed cephalexin. I haven't filled the prescription, since it feels so much better now; I will if it gets worse again. I wanted to ask if I could keep the disposable scalpel for the next time this happens to me, but I chickened out.

randomdreams offers advice on not letting this happen to you: http://boxofdelights.livejournal.com/286473.html?thread=1619721#t1619721

At the taking-your-vitals stage, the nurse asked for the date of my last period. Started May 15, is still going strong.

Fucking bodies.

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June 13th, 2016

01:13 pm: What is the reality of the situation?
The Fourfold Vision spread offers a progression of different ways of looking at an object, person, or situation. It is a powerful tool for gaining deeper insight into the specific subjects of other readings. The Phoenix Tarot is one of the most strikingly beautiful decks of the 20th century. Through vibrant colors and stylized images, it breathes new life into the familiar symbology of the Tarot.

The card on the far right represents the object being viewed, be it an idea, relationship, or the self. Eight of Pentacles (Prudence): Dedicating yourself fully to a task. Learning a new craft or skill. Applying painstaking attention to detail. Industriousness and the efficient completion of tasks. Sticking with a project long enough to see it through.

The card second from the right represents the physical vision: how the object is seen at a base or mechanical level. The Chariot, when reversed: Ineffective use of force. Might turned against the weak or the righteous. Senseless violence and warmongering. Lack of discipline and poor direction fan the flames of a situation already out of control. Advance without consideration of the consequences for others.

The card in the middle represents the mental vision: the object personified and seen through a humanized perspective. Five of Pentacles (Worry): Hard times brought on by addiction, wasteful spending, ill health, or an outside event. Rejection, loneliness, and the need for comfort. May suggest unemployment, a catastrophe in personal finance, or a turn for the worse in business.

The card second from the left represents the emotional vision: how passions and values are creatively stimulated by the mental vision. Queen of Wands, when reversed: The dark essence of fire behaving as water, such as steam: The natural embodiment of passion and sensuality, who will do anything to the be the center of attention. A seducer who calculatingly dons the guise of what others desire. A cocky and domineering person, who pushes anyone or anything aside to get what she wants. One who is vengeful and quick to take offense without good cause. May indicate infidelity and contempt for a relationship.

The card on the far left represents the fourfold or mystical vision: still viewing through the previous three, we now add a spiritual element, revealing unseen aspects of the object. Ten of Swords (Ruin): Crushing defeat brought about by idle intellectualism divorced from reality. Sadness and desolation in the aftermath of a catastrophic and total collapse. A decisive conclusion brought about through the swift and merciless application of overwhelming force.

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June 12th, 2016

09:28 pm: the nice thing about grabbing a bee while you are weeding is that it makes everything else that is bugging you dwindle for a while

i say bee though i didnt see a bee it could have been a yellowjacket but i think there is a stinger still in my thumb maybe there is a dark spot not raised above the skin as far as my old eyes can tell my thumb is not going to let the tweezers poke at it

This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/289086.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

May 25th, 2016

05:18 pm: packing problem
Packing for Wiscon. One carry-on, one laptop bag, one CPAP. No checked bag. Can fit a paperback in the CPAP bag.

For signing, I could take:

All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders
The Chaos, by Nalo Hopkinson
The New Moon's Arms, by Nalo Hopkinson
Liar, by Justine Larbalestier
Magic or Madness, by Justine Larbalestier

trade paperbacks:
A Stranger in Olondria, by Sofia Samatar
Midnight Robber, by Nalo Hopkinson
The Salt Roads, by Nalo Hopkinson
Brown Girl in the Ring, by Nalo Hopkinson
Skin Folk, by Nalo Hopkinson
Sister Mine, by Nalo Hopkinson
Elysium, by Jennifer Marie

Probably not polite to ask an author to sign more than two books.

What to bring for the book swap? Here, the problem is that most of my books are still at my husband's house, and that's where most of the books that I am ready to part with would be. I've got a duplicate copy of Karen Joy Fowler's Sister Noon -- perfect. I've got White Horse, by Alex Adams, which I thought was terrible but maybe someone else won't. If I ever want to read Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World again I know that I will always be able to find a copy. That'll do.

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May 12th, 2016

01:50 am: about eyeballs
My sleep schedule is whacked again. Right now I get up at a reasonable time to let the dogs out, but I'm still so tired I feel sick, so I go back to sleep for four hours, and then I can't make myself go back to bed until the wee hours are not even wee anymore. And tomorrow I have an eye doctor appointment at 10. I accepted the time a couple weeks ago, when my sleep was not so whacked, but I should have known better.

One good thing about bad sleep is that it lets me remember my dreams. When I go back to bed, I don't usually put my CPAP back on (because I kid myself I'm not going to sleep, I'm just going to rest for a few minutes). So when I fall into REM sleep I start to suffocate, and wake up while I'm still in the dream. And then I fall asleep again while I'm thinking about the dream, and go back into REM sleep, which builds the dream up in layers. This morning, I was living in a big messy house with five children, assorted hangers-on, and a malicious shapeshifter which had been let into the house by my youngest child and discovered by my oldest companion. At first, he thought it was a neighbor child that had crawled into my bed. When he realized it wasn't a child, it changed into a piglet and ran off to hide among the dogs. (That reminds me of that great Rita Rudner line, "I think poodles are space aliens that think they have disguised themselves as dogs.") It was small, and not very smart, and easily tempted with food. My companion (who looked like Harold Finch, so that was nice) wanted to lock it in a suitcase and leave it in a Left Luggage Office. I thought that would be storing up trouble. Maybe not more trouble, but surprise trouble. We grew a plant that looked like a tomato, but the fruits were sweet and sticky, somewhat like grapes and somewhat like peppermint candies. They were green and translucent but striped green and reddish-green on the outside. I was about to taste one when I woke up. Probably not a good idea: like a tomato but not a tomato means Solanaceae and the fruits are probably poisonous. They sure were beautiful though.

Tomorrow I have to take the peripheral vision test, which I hate, because I'm bad at it, which makes the eye doctor worry that I'm developing glaucoma, except that he has enough history now to see that there is no consistency in where my misses cluster; I'm just bad at it. My left eye is weak: when I ask it to work at anything for more than a few seconds, it starts jittering, and from that point on I have to try to press the button for each real flash while I ignore the afterimages of the black dots the machine uses to center your vision, which appear every time my eye moves, which is constantly.

I went to the eye doctor a couple weeks ago because I thought my retina was detaching. I saw the arc of flashing lights in my peripheral vision. It turned out to be just an extra-sticky blob of eyeball goo, tugging on my retina as it detached itself from the side of the eyeball, to float in my field of vision for a while, and eventually settle on the bottom. After looking at my retina, the doctor wanted me to do the peripheral vision test, even though the pressure inside my eyeballs was fine. But I couldn't do it right then, because my eyes were dilated, so I have to go back in eight hours. Hope I get to sleep. Hope I wake up in time.

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May 1st, 2016

04:08 pm: too many items on the to-read list
This is what I've got checked out from the library:

A paradise built in hell : the extraordinary communities that arise in disaster / Rebecca Solnit.
Dog tricks / by Deb M. Eldredge, DVM, and Kate Eldredge ; photography by Beth Adams.
MacBook for dummies / by Mark L. Chambers.
Waterwise landscaping with trees, shrubs & vines : a xeriscape guide for the Rocky Mountain region, California & the desert Southwest / by Jim Knopf.
Better living through criticism : how to think about art, pleasure, beauty, and truth / A. O. Scott.

Watership Down / Richard Adams.
Ex Machina. Book One / Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell / Susanna Clarke ; illustrations by Portia Rosenberg.
Deathless / Catherynne M. Valente.
Go set a watchman / Harper Lee.
People of the book : a novel / Geraldine Brooks.
After Alice : a novel / Gregory Maguire.
Riding freedom / written by Pam Muñoz Ryan ; drawings by Brian Selznick.
Lagoon / Nnedi Okorafor.
We are pirates : a novel / Daniel Handler.
The good, the bad and the smug / Tom Holt.
Carol / Patricia Highsmith.
The horizontal man.
East of Eden / John Steinbeck

Deadwood. The complete third season [videorecording] / Home Box Office ; Roscoe Productions.
My old lady [videorecording] / Cohen Media Group and BBC Films ; produced by Rachael Horovitz ... [et al.] ; written and directed by Israel Horovitz.
Arrested development. Season four / Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
Labyrinth [videorecording] / Henson Associates, inc. and LucasFilm Ltd. ; producer, Eric Rattray ; story by Dennis Lee and Jim Henson ; screenplay, Terry Jones ; director, Jim Henson.
Masters of sex. The complete second / Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
The man from U.N.C.L.E. [videorecording] / writers, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram ; producers, John Davis, Steve Clark-Hall, Lionel Wigram, Guy Ritchie ; director, Guy Ritchie.
Orphan black. Season three / produced by Alex Levin, Claire Welland, Aubrey Nealon, Tatiana Maslany ; written by Chris Roberts, Alex Levin, Hannah Cheesman, Lynn Coady, Aubrey Nealon, Russ Cochrane ; directed by John Fawcett, David Frazee, Helen Shaver, Chris Grismer.

What should I read instead, given that it is less than four weeks till Wiscon?

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April 20th, 2016

10:42 pm: Harriet Tubman will be on the $20!
And they're keeping Alexander Hamilton on the $10.


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April 7th, 2016

02:17 am: bad news
I got voicemail from my mom. (Chris is my brother, Jack is my dad, Vickydali is my dad's cousin.) Mom passed on some info about Chris's kids, then said, "...and I just talked to Chris, and Jack has been in the hospital, your dad, since Saturday, and Chris doesn't know how he's going to be, whether he'll get out of it or not. He seems to have quite a bad infection. He's got a septicemia and the flu, and they're doing a lot of tests on him, and Chris is spending a lot of time at the hospital with him. So, I told him that I would call you, and that he should call Vickydali and tell her, and he's been in the hospital for about five days, since Saturday, so he hasn't been doing too well since then but he's still lucid when he's awake but he;s in quite a bit of pain. And if I hear more, I'll let you know, honey. Chris is going to call me tomorrow again I think. So call me whenever you get a chance. Bye bye, sweetie. I love you. Bye bye."

I don't even know how I feel. The first time I listened to the message I thought maybe I should go to Seattle to say goodbye. But that's crazy. I haven't seen my dad since I was fourteen. And he stopped talking to me the year before that: he said that I had been changing, that he felt like a moved in and taken over my body, that he wanted his daughter back, but until I turned back into his daughter I was not to speak to him. And I never changed back! The monster is me.

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March 28th, 2016

12:05 am: explaining. or not!
I went up to my husband's house to have dinner with him and his girlfriend. After dinner, we took the dogs out. We ran into Sharon, who used to live next door. She wanted to buy the place then, but the owner didn't want to sell, and when she moved back into town it stayed empty for ten years.

Sharon's nephew has just bought the place, and is clearing out the broken trucks and refrigerators that the previous owner left down by the creek, and figuring out whether to repair or replace the untended-for-ten-years mobile home. Sharon is staying there, in an RV.

As we were catching up on each other's news, Sharon said to R (Neal's girlfriend), "And you've certainly grown up!" Awkward!

R said, "I'm not the daughter." And we moved on to talk about what our kids and Sharon's daughter were up to.

That would have been so much easier if I had not been there! Though Neal would still have had to cope with the "Yes, this person is closer in age to my children than to me and yes, she is my partner."

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March 18th, 2016

01:53 am: blossom?blossom?

No, snow!snow!

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March 15th, 2016

10:28 pm: cake or pie?
Not asking which is better. Of course pie is better. Asking whether you think this recipe, which calls itself "Impossible Pumpkin Pie", counts as pie. It has no crust. You mix a little flour and baking powder into the pumpkin custard. It is more like pumpkin bread around the edges, more pie-like in the middle; Paul Hollywood would say it's raw but what does he know.
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March 12th, 2016

12:47 am: mean
I walked fast to get to SF book group, because I thought I would be late. I got there early and a little out of breath. James asked if I was rushing to set the book on fire. "No," I said. "Why? No!" We read The Stars My Destination this month. Yes, I can see all the sexism I didn't notice as a teenager, but I still like it.

Then we went upstairs to where we talk. First we go around the room and say what else we've been reading, and whether we recommend it. I said I had nothing worth mentioning. Jacqie asked if there was anything I particularly hated, I said yes but it wasn't SF. She said she'd enjoy hearing what I thought of it anyway, so I talked about The Whip, by Karen Kondazian, and then asked, "Do you think of me as someone who is mean about books?"

Jacqie said no, she thought I was always interesting about books, but I think "Do you think I'm mean?" is a question you would not answer yes even in part unless you were really good friends and had had a chance to think it over.

I don't mean to be mean, but I do want to be funny, and if I have to choose between "not mean" and "funny", I will often choose funny.

If I've been mean to you, though, I didn't mean to, and I will appreciate it if you tell me and give me the chance to apologize.

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Current Music: It's okay to not like things/It's okay but don't be a dick about it
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