reading wednesday

Sep. 14th, 2017 11:29 pm
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[personal profile] boxofdelights
• What are you reading?

Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World, by Emma Marris. Marris's prose is just pedestrian, neither delightful nor efficient, but it covers the ground she wants to cover, which is intensely interesting to me.

Coincidentally, I just read two links from [personal profile] forestofglory on this topic:
http://edgeeffects.net/uw-arboretum-prairie/
Knowing Prairies, a short graphic essay (like graphic novel, but nonfiction and short) about prairie restoration: what it means, how possible it is, what it is worth. "When I visit the first restored prairie, I don't see a time machine nor a fake nature. Instead, I see a place altered by people negotiating their relationship with the natural world."

and http://uncannymagazine.com/article/packing/
"Packing", by T. Kingfisher, a short story about choosing which species we're going to save.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Beloved, by Toni Morrison, for Classics book group.

I thought this would be a bit easier to read the second time, but it wasn't. It was good to talk about at book group though. I really like the faculty sponsors and the grad student who lead this discussion.
She shook her head from side to side, resigned to her rebellious brain. Why was there nothing it refused? No misery, no regret, no hateful picture too rotten to accept? Like a greedy child it snatched up everything. Just once, could it say, No thank you? I just ate and can't hold another bite?[....]I don't want to know or have to remember that. I have other things to do: worry, for example, about tomorrow, about Denver, about Beloved, about age and sickness not to speak of love.
But her brain was not interested in the future. Loaded with the past and hungry for more, it left her no room to imagine, let alone plan for, the next day[....]Other people went crazy, why couldn't she? Other people's brains stopped, turned around and went on the something new, which is what must have happened to Halle. And how sweet that would have been[....]

I'd like to reread The Fifth Season and think about how it relates to Beloved.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

March, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, for Graphic Novel book group.
rosefox: A man's head with a panel open to show gears, and another man looking inside. (examined head)
[personal profile] rosefox
I don't want to write another huge long entry tonight, because last night's took 90 minutes and then I went to bed super late, but I do want to leave myself some quick notes on a thing. When Kit was off from daycare for a week, I was up and dressed by 11 every morning so I could do childcare. I put on real clothes and left the house every day. I did social things and I did actively fun things (not what I'm coming to think of as enjoyable sloth things, like playing video games or hanging out on Slack). My body and brain were engaged. I felt GREAT. I enjoyed every day and ended the week feeling like I'd been on vacation—like I'd gone on a holiday to New York and done all those things I'm always too busy or tired or whatever to do. And I did it while working (at night) and staying totally on top of my deadlines, even the ones accelerated by the holiday.

So I need to figure out how to do that more. I hoped a week of early rising would reset my body clock but of course I'm right back to going to bed at 5 a.m. (or later—Monday morning I went to bed at half past nine, which is not okay and has set me up for feeling like crap all week) so I will have to work on that part because I think it's pretty essential. Having something fun to get up for really helped, a thing that has been true going back to my childhood; I would be late to school every weekday morning for months but happily get up at dawn on a weekend to go to the Stormville flea market with my mother. Even more crucially, I would care enough to go to bed early—a thing I did during Kit's week off too—so that getting up early didn't wreck me and wreck the event I was looking forward to.

I don't think I can get up before 10 on a regular basis, but if I got up at 10 or 10:30 to be out the door by 11 for a ~12:00 thing someplace, that sounds doable. It just has to be a fun thing. I have an OT appointment at 13:00 and I genuinely enjoy OT in addition to it being kind of vital for my health and well-being, but it's not the exhilarating kind of fun, so going to bed early and getting up early and getting there on time are all challenging.

What are exuberant fun things that could happen around noon? I think I need something where I'm making a commitment to someone else, at least at first; I've tried setting schedules through sheer willpower before and it's never worked out. Lunches with friends? Classes of some kind? (Ideally free or cheap ones.) Swapping language lessons with someone who wants to improve their spoken or written English and help me learn to read kanji or sign ASL? A teaching or tutoring gig? (Maybe the local library needs volunteers in their adult learning center. I've sent them a note.) A crafting meetup? A chorus or other singing group? A walking club? Doing storytime or otherwise helping out at Kit's daycare? It doesn't need to be a big thing or a long thing or a very structured thing. It just has to start at around the right time of day and get me out of the house and engage my body and mind and bring me real joy. Nothing will do that as well as time with Kit, but some approximation should be possible. Suggestions are very welcome, keeping in mind that I used to write the learning section of the nonsense nyc weekly events newsletter and already know about basically every source of free and cheap educational experiences in the city. :)

Which Steven Universe episodes

Sep. 12th, 2017 12:10 am
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[personal profile] boxofdelights
...to show someone what makes this show so great?

My daughter doesn't watch much animated stuff and had never heard of Steven Universe, but was intrigued by my description of Amal El-Mohtar's Wiscon GoH speech. If you were to pick a few episodes from the first season to help someone decided whether this is the sort of thing she might like, and you were really hoping she would decide yes, which ones would you pick?

(no subject)

Sep. 10th, 2017 07:45 pm
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[personal profile] coraline
[personal profile] flexagon said she'd encountered a tasty "people chow" type food in the cafeteria, and it sounded like something I might like, so I found a recipe and tried it.

How can Serious Eats and Ottolenghi go wrong? Well... )

"That's rather nice, actually"

Sep. 10th, 2017 02:45 am
rosefox: Autumn leaves on a wet sidewalk. (autumn)
[personal profile] rosefox
What a lovely week it's been. What a lovely thing to be able to say that!

The weather has been 100% autumn and I am HERE FOR IT. Today I wore my hoodie! And zipped it up! While it was still light out! I've had my window open for three nights running. So much delicious aaaaaair.

J and I had a real date last Saturday (we went to a friend's BBQ for a bit, which doesn't sound like a date but was amazingly nice to do as two adults with no child in tow), and X and I had a real date today (we went to Coney Island for the first time in ages), and we even got a real family date last weekend where we snuggled up in my bed and watched Pacific Rim and ate popcorn. There have been lots of cuddles and hugs and smooches lately as we all savor finally being healthy. The week Kit was off from daycare was splendidly vacation-like and I came off of it feeling rested and relaxed and happy; now they're adjusting well to being back in daycare, and eating and sleeping like they're being paid for it, which means they should have a big growth spurt pretty soon. I'm having lots of fun writing fanfic for [community profile] crossovering and I just nominated fandoms for [community profile] yuletide for the first time in something like 12 years. J has been cooking a lot, and tonight we axed our towering tottering basil and made pesto, which was easy and delicious; I threw in some macadamia nuts on a whim and didn't bother measuring anything and it worked out great. [twitter.com profile] schanoes came over on Friday and we had lunch and talked nonstop for three hours. I figured out how to comb my hair while it's starting to grow out. The meeting for Kit's IFSP went extremely well and all their PT services have been renewed. They're starting to play with their food sometimes, which is a big improvement on being wary of it. It's just been a nice week.

I have to keep the focus pretty tight to write about things this way, because the land is being destroyed by fire and storm and a great many people we care about are having a really hard time right now. But that makes me cherish our little oasis all the more. We're able to offer other people shelter and support again, after months of barely being able to cope with our own stuff, and it feels so good to be able to help our friends and to have our feet on stable ground. For however long this lasts, I plan to bask in it and store up good memories to get me through the next round of challenges.

Tattoos, Hair, and Books

Sep. 8th, 2017 04:47 pm
thesarahscope: (Default)
[personal profile] thesarahscope
Untitled

So since we've chatted, I've been a blonde (below) and am now a redhead (above). In the span of a week, no less. I got inspired while watching Game of Thrones (I'm on Season 4 so no spoilers, please) by all the beautiful reds, particularly my favorite, Melisandre. I'm also growing my pixie cut back out so that's fun (insert sarcasm). I thought trying to grow a pixie out was bad but growing out a buzzcut is pretty awful, too.

Untitled
Side note, my new favorite treat is Orange Sherbet and Sierra Mist

I had a wonderful 36th birthday last week. It was wonderful as in the best birthday I've ever had. I was showered with sugar treats, pumpkin everything, two cakes, a massage, concert tickets, and a new tattoo. Speaking of, I went back to Shannon at Black Arrow, and she blew me away again. I had her do the Woodruff-Fontaine House in Memphis which is where Kelly and I were married. It's so beautiful, special, and itchy right now. Hah. I want to go back and see Shannon again in October.
I can't stop, and she does the best work.

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Embracing my fat girl arms and planning on having them eventually partially covered with half sleeves if that's a thing? I just want both upper arms covered.

Kelly and I are getting ready to spend a night at the
Lemp Mansion in St. Louis next week (we've got a doctor's appointment). I'm really excited. We're staying in the Lavender Suite which looks beautiful. It's supposedly haunted, but I don't believe in that kind of thing unless I have an experience. I'm more excited about the history and how beautiful it is. I was talking to my Grandma recently, and when I mentioned the hotel, she said every Sunday after church, her and my Grandfather would go to the restaurant in the basement for their fried chicken dinner. They still serve it there family style, but it won't be a Sunday so we won't get to try that.

The weather has been ridiculously amazing lately here. It's been fall like, and I'm loving it. I got to wear these Hush Puppies for the first time that I found super cheap at the thrift last year. I love them. They make me feel ass kicking and feminine. They also remind me of the 90's. I found the same style in red that were on sale s
o I will soon own them in red! I want them in every color and pattern. Hmph. I'm going to have to eventually invest in some more. Does anyone have any sworn by suede protector that I should use?
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In other recent, consumer news, I finally found a Halloween banner and ordered it! I really have wanted one for my kitchen to leave up year round because, hello, it's always Halloween in my heart. I thought this one was perfect from
Bedlam Supply Co., and they had a sale going on, too. 

hallloweengarland







 
 
  • I just recently remembered when that when I was a kid in St. Louis, I would get crazy excited eating on the floating McDonald's boat down by the Arch so I googled it and found this article reminiscing.  I then started thinking of how excited I would get to go to Famous Barr for Breakfast with Santa.  I have to get this book , this one about lost St. Louis treasures (which features the McDonald's boat), and maybe this one too that looks like a Roadside America book on St. Louis. I consider the south my home now, but I do still have a lot of deep memories of the city I was born/have spent so much time in.
  • I have a massage scheduled for tonight for the first time in forever, and I can't tell you how excited I am about it!  
  • Hair Chronicles:  I always have hair chronicles, you all.  I want to keep the top longer/grow out my pixie, but I'm about to shave up the sides. I'm stewing on it and staring at pictures of bad ass women with short hair to inspire me, as always.  Stay tuned.  If someone doesn't like my hair, I always say, "Wait a week."  
  • I finished Twin Peaks.  Overall, I loved it, but the last episode I had feelings about.  I wasn't really a fan of that last episode (last five minutes especially), but I'm sad Twin Peaks is done forever.  It will always be one of my favorite shows.  


reading wednesday

Sep. 6th, 2017 07:54 pm
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
• What are you reading?

Borderline, by Mishell Baker, for SF book group. I am enjoying this although it does have a Mary Sue problem: the narrator is very important to everyone she encounters, for no reason that the reader can see. Also it is very talky.

• What did you recently finish reading?

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, by Emil Ferris. Interesting and beautiful. I would have like a warning for the child sexual abuse.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

Beloved, by Toni Morrison, for classics book group. Reread.
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