castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)
Dear subconscious,

No, despite the fascinating dream, the Pandorica was not built by Tolkien's Elves. (Though if anyone could build a prison that can't be escaped from even by death, Fëanor's the one.)
castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)
Dear Yuletide Entity,

First, thank you! I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

my requests )
castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)
Year in the Life Meme: [personal profile] oursin gave me 2003.

Age then: thirties

Age now: forties.

Relationship then: Recently divorced and not dating.

Relationship now: Married to Spouse.

Where I lived then: house in the unpopular neighborhood.

Where I live now: same house, but the neighborhood's now very popular. Would be great if I wanted to sell, but since I want to stay here for the forseeable, the higher property taxes are a drag.

Was I happy then: Overall, yes. As difficult as it was to be the single parent of a mentally disabled child while working full-time, my life was still so much easier than it had been while I was living with my ex. I had just discovered international folk dance and was enjoying the music and the exercise, as well as meeting new people (one of whom was Spouse).

Am I happy now: Reasonably. My income isn't keeping up with rising expenses, and the prospects for my finding a better-paying job aren't great, but I make enough to keep us fed and housed, and I have sufficient sick leave to deal with the routine ills of young children. I'm still physically functional; I have some in-person friends; my family life is decent. I'm frustrated that my writing has dried up again, and I'm concerned about my family's longer-term future, but right now things are okay.

Ask for a year in comments if you'd like one. If I happen to pick one you're not comfortable writing about, please let me know and I'll choose a different one.
castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)
In fall 2007 I bought a set of size 000000 knitting needles (metric size 0.75mm) and decided that I had to knit one project with them, just to say that I'd done it.

Nearly nine years later, it's done.

tiny sock with penny for scale

Size 12 perle cotton; stitch pattern from someone's book of Turkish sock patterns.

No, I am not knitting a second one.
castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)
Becky Chambers, The Long Way To A Small, Angry, Planet. I'd never heard of it until someone on Ravelry recommended it; I checked it out from the library and liked it so much that I'll buy my own copy. It’s not a book for people who want tight action-filled plots; it’s a more meandering story, character- and setting-focused, though there is an overarching storyline -- a spaceship with a motley crew travels the long way around to install a gate through space in a troubled system. It hits some of the same notes for me that Janet Kagan’s Hellspark did -- glimpses of interesting cultures and how people handle various culture clashes.
castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)
A poem I wrote for an online course a couple of years ago for the prompt "Be creative around the concept of ‘archaeology’s dirty little secrets’." Copying here to archive it somewhere besides my hard drive, since the course materials are being removed from the site.

Its Dirtiest Secret: A Sonnet

Not "Indy's whip is fiction"; not "it takes
A lot of patience", neither "what survives
Depends on ground conditions, weather, time,
Formation processes beyond control"
nor "look what can be learned from these stone flakes--
this darker stain--these sherds, of people's lives."
Not even "stealing artifacts is crime
Against a nation and a people's soul."

But deeper still: the strata show the fate
That comes to all. The artifacts we prize
Will crumble, fall unknown, be broken, cast
Aside; our bodies rot, our bones relate
Unfinished tales, perhaps, to future eyes.
This is the secret: we will *be* the past.


(written for the Coursera course "Archaelogy's Dirty Little Secrets", taught by Sue Alcock of Brown University; if it's ever offered again, I recommend it)
castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)
In looking for relatives of my grandmother's second husband, I have found a person whose father's surname was Weatherwax and whose mother's maiden name was Potter.

I have never wanted to fake a genealogy to show me as the descendant of someone, but this tempts me.
castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)
If I were an Evil Supergenius with Unlimited Resources, I would try to genetically engineer long-lived octopuses, just to see what would happen if their problem-solving skills and ability to learn weren't hampered by a three-year lifespan.
castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)
My new bizarre fannish theory: Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus is River Song on one of her side adventures.
castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)
After a conversation on another forum, I now plan to request Duo from Duolingo slash fic the next time I do Yuletide. (But who would be the other character? The bear who drinks beer? The rhinoceros that the man tried to play with? Other?)

(Seriously, I've found Duolingo very helpful for picking up the basics of other languages; it's not enough to make one fluent, but it's enough of a grounding to build from.)
castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)
Youngest child is very into Frozen, and middle child, while claiming to dislike it, can be regularly caught singing "Let it Go" or "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?"

So after reading some reviews of the Macavoy & Radcliffe Frankenstein, I now have "Do you want to build a monster?" going through my head.
castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)
Middle Child to Youngest Child: "Maple syrup is tree blood. So when we eat maple syrup on our waffles, we're being vampires of trees!"
castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)
Sarah McCarry, All Our Pretty Songs. A YA novel (I'd call it urban fantasy, though it doesn't fit with much of what's currently called urban fantasy) about the friendship of two girls and what happens to it when they meet a talented musician. Beautiful writing and imagery, with a lot of mythological & fairy tale references and intriguing characters. Recently for work I'd read most of Kristin Hersh's memoir of her friendship with Vic Chesnut, Don't Suck, Don't Die; McCarry's book, though fiction and in a different style, has a lot of the same feel to it.

Middle Son really likes Jeff Smith's Bone graphic novel series; I'd looked at bits of it and finally decided I should read the whole thing. It was well worth the read -- an interesting fantasy world with legends remembered differently by different groups, great characters (Grandma Ben! the Bones! the Stupid Rat Creatures! Bartleby!), interesting art. Heartily recommended. (And if you're in the U.S. and have a child who brings home Scholastic flyers from school, you can order the set through their online catalog.)
castiron: Hold still when I subject you to my opinion. (opinionation)
According to Matthew 19:9 and Mark 10:11-12, the marriage of seven years and counting between Spouse and me is an ongoing state of adultery against our previous spouses. One can reasonably question whether by Christian standards we are actually married in the eyes of God.

There is absolutely no doubt, however, that we are married in the eyes of the law. The federal government of the United States and every individual state in the U.S. recognizes our marriage as legally valid, despite its being Biblically immoral. Any given religious leader could have refused to solemnize our marriage, and any religious group can still refuse to accept us as members unless we repent and separate; that's their prerogative. But whether or not we are considered married according to the doctrines of any given religion, according to the state we are unmistakably a married couple, and we have all the legal rights and responsibilities pertaining to that state.

Application to current events is left as an exercise for the reader.
castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)
After several weeks on the waiting list, I finally checked out Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up from the library.

Summary: I can see why many people like it, but it's not for me. )
castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)
If I were a vidder, I would consider it a moral imperative to make a Doctor Who fanvid to the Belarus entry. Between the song's title and theme, and the original video's many sequences of a man running? It's meant to have a DW fanvid.

A tangential observation: Early in the video I thought "great, Yet Another Damsel In Distress". But when she started playing the violin, for me, that was when she became someone with agency.
castiron: Kermit the Frog behind Fozzie Bear: Trust me, Fozzie, the pig isn't watching.  Muppetslash. (fic)
My new headcanon after reading the first book and seeing the first four episodes of the Phryne Fisher mysteries: Constable Collins is a great-uncle or first cousin a couple times removed of Arthur Knapp-Shappey. (I considered great-grandfather, but I don't think the timeline would quite work.)

letter meme

Feb. 7th, 2015 10:30 am
castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)
Via [personal profile] oursin; my letter was S:

Something I hate: Sinus infections.

Something I love: Spinning (fiber version, not exercise version). And one of my current spinning projects is a blend of Southdown wool and silk; it's a great spin, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the finished yarn turns out.

Somewhere I've been: South Dakota, for a music camp reunion many years ago. I don't remember much about it, other than a Viking sculpture on the university campus.

Somewhere I'd like to go: Scotland. A local musician runs an annual tour there, and I'm hoping family, money, and time will converge before he stops doing them. And Salt Lake City, when I have time to spend a week immersed in genealogical records.

Someone I know: My sister-in-law, whose name starts with S, and who is an excellent scholar of post-colonial North American literature.

A film I like: Well, there's of course Star Wars, the original; several of the original Star Trek movies and the first Star Trek reboot; and the Emma Thompson Sense and Sensibility. If we're going for a less popular film, Mel Brooks's Silent Movie.

Comment if you'd like a letter!


castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)

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