22. I done a book! \o/ (In other news: waiting rooms are boring.)
I read Selected Poems by C. Day Lewis. I usually avoid collections in which the author has been allowed to choose and arrange their own poems but Lewis' preface indicates that he understood what he was doing (although I don't know enough of his work to accurately judge whether or not he achieved his intention well). Lewis' reputation as a poet has declined with time and this volume doesn't include many poems I'd want to quote at people in their entirety but Lewis' deliberate choices of lyrical language mean there are many images and phrases that will stay with me:
"a brown mare / Drinks her reflection." From The Double Vision
"Then I turn the page / To a girl who stands like a questioning iris / By the waterside, at an age / That asks every mirror to tell what the heart's desire is." From The Album
O Dreams, O Destinations, sonnet 2, by C. Day Lewis
Children look down upon the morning-grey
Tissue of mist that veils a valley’s lap;
Their fingers itch to tear it and unwrap
The flags, the roundabouts, the gala day.
They watch the spring rise inexhaustibly -
A breathing thread out of the eddied sand,
Sufficient to their day: but half their mind
Is on the sailed and glittering estuary.
Fondly we wish their mist might never break,
Knowing it hides so much that best were hidden:
We’d chain them by the spring, lest it should broaden
For them into a quicksand and a wreck.
But they must slip through our fingers like the source,
Like mist, like time that has flagged out their course.
"To settle like a bird, make one devoted / Gesture of permanence upon the spray / Of shaken stars and autumns;" [...] "Her home is soon a basketful of wind." From O Dreams, O Destinations sonnet 9 (You can hear Lewis read the whole sonnet sequence on youtube.
I am especially fond of his lyrics Jig and Hornpipe, and also very much appreciate what he was trying to achieve in Two Songs (and hit what he was aiming at although I think he missed a perfect bullseye because his middle class, male perspective was too skewed to see his subject with complete clarity).
It seems fitting that one of Lewis' best known and poetically most successful works, from which the epitaph on his gravestone is taken, is a lyric about love and death (written for his lover Rosamund Lehmann in 1944, when there was too much death and not nearly enough love).
Is It Far To Go?, by C. Day Lewis
Is it far to go?
A step - no further.
Is it hard to go?
Ask the melting snow,
The eddying feather.
( Full text of Is It Far To Go? )
I've been enjoying the slow disconnection from everything. I'm not completely disconnected yet: free wifi hotspots are everywhere so I get online in the evenings and while waiting to check in or board...
But I've not been following along or catching up to scrollback or trying too hard to catch anyone :) just... Letting things flow and catching whatever comes my way.
Tomorrow will be completely disconnected (or so I hope) for a week. Wouldn't have believed it five years ago or maybe even two... But I am actually looking forward to this (with a few crucial exceptions where I hope email will tide me over).
So, tell me about what happened the past three months, please? I really want to know. And I will share my news with you all soon. Missed you.
Lilith's Brood, Octavia Butler
Where Angels Fear to Tread by Thomas E. Sniegoski
I switched from audiobook to ebook for this series because I wasn't loving the writing style enough to want it read to me. I found the beginning annoying. But I've only read a few pages so far.
The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution by Sean B. Carroll (audiobook)
What did you recently finish reading?
Dangerous Mourning by Anne Perry, #2 in the Inspector William Monk series, set in the mid-19th century. Audiobook well narrated by Davina Porter, one of my favorite narrators. Although it's called the Monk series, this book's main protagonist is Hester Latterly—she does the primary footwork for solving the mystery. I really liked it for its attention to class and women's issues, and for character development. I also think Perry does a good job with dialogue.
Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire, the fourth book in the October Daye series. Liked it a lot. McGuire does a great job of pacing and reveals and drawing out the story arc.
What do you think you’ll read next?
I'm going on a trip without much Internet access, so I downloaded several ebooks:
A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. King (#3 in the Mary Russell series)
Larger Than Death by Lynne Murray (#1 in the Josephine Fuller series)
Cranford by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
The Vampire Files, Volume Two omnibus by P. N. Elrod (contains books 4–6 in the series: Art in the Blood, Fire in the Blood, and Blood on the Water)
Ventus by Karl Schroeder
Welcome to Saturday.
First: Look! A video interview with me from RT Book Reviews, taken during the Booklover’s Convention a couple of weeks ago in Kansas City. I talk about The Human Division, the RT convention and some SFWA matters:
Second: Jamie Todd Rubin reviews The Human Division in Intergalactic Medicine Show, and has nice things to say about the book. For example:
The Human Division is not just John Scalzi at its best, it is science fiction at its best.
Yup, that’s a jacket blurb right there.
Third: Nebula Weekend fabulous so far. Wish you were here.
( Elementary 1x22/23 )
* Likewise file under Huh? with regard to this Elementary experience: A middle-aged dude next to me on the sofa at Shutters on the Beach tried to hit on me by grinning excessively and bending forward in a rather...forward manner to ask me what it was that I was watching so intently, whether it was that movie (the name of which I have already forgotten). I had to turn 90 degrees and take my headphones out to answer his question. That said, I was German – read: blunt and unimpressed – enough that he backed off, literally. Did he really expect this young lady would relish the chance to talk to his less than inspiring and much older self? Probably. But while privilege -- read: money and societal status – can get you a lot of things a lot of the time, it can't pry me away from Lucy Liu's freckles and Joan Watson's delightful cases.
If I'm not focusing, I will notice when someone shows up at my cube. If I am focusing, and I'm dwelling within the Headphones of Oblivion, anything that succeeds in getting my attention will probably also make me startle.
My co-workers always seem chagrined at disturbing me, but that is in fact my job, to be disturbed to do random things, on basically every other day but the 2nd Thursday of the month.
I've been wanting to rig up something, because the best way of getting my attention is visual (even though that can fail if I'm really in the zone). I'd been poking around, but most of the cubicle doorbells I'd seen (no, fingers, not "doorbees") had been too noisy to be neighborly.
Then I was at Fry's the other night looking for a slightly exotic battery, and wandered into the security section, and they had wireless doorbells. One of them lit up. It was inexpensive enough, and claimed its volume was adjustable enough, that I thought it might be worth a try.
Turned out that the volume had two settings, loud and louder. That's all right for a doorbell. I started thinking of how I could fuck up the speaker enough to be cubicle-friendly, then chided myself for not thinking like an engineer. I unscrewed the unit, and discovered to my delight that the speaker wire plugged in. When unplugged, it just blinked.
My cube now has a doorbell button, and the blinking unit is set right below my monitor, where I'll probably see it. I showed it off to the Stage Manager, who has been running around like the proverbial chicken in the past few days. He has been delightedly using it. I'm not sure if I've missed it yet, but I've found myself turning around without really realizing why I just decided to turn around, and then seeing the flashing light out of the corner of my eye, finally coming to my notice.
One of those times, he asked: "Do you have a highlighter color in something ... other than yellow?" and brandished his yellow highlighter with some disdain.
"What color do you want?" I asked, digging through my desk. (The recent ZOMGAAAAAAUGH has resulted in complete confusion on every available surface of my cube except the keyboard, my syrup rack, and Beyoncé Jr.'s place of pride.)
"Any color, really," he said. "It could be pink, or ... what colors do you have?"
I located the packet, under a notebook and three boxes of badge fixin's. "Every color," I said, and whipped it out.
"Those are highlighters?" the Stage Manager said in covetous disbelief, and went into what I can only describe as "ferret shock", fingers twitching towards one marker, then towards another, making little incoherent sounds.
"Or if you want you could borrow the whole packet," I said. It's not that I'm against watching my managers in a state of twitching indecision, but it's unfair to take advantage of a guy who's clearly in no fit condition to make unnecessary decisions.
This was the right answer, as he snagged the packet and ran back off to his office, clearly planning to color-code the ever-living daylights out of next week's schedule.
2. I did get quite a bit done at work today and should be able to get even more done tomorrow, since there's only a handful of new invoices on Saturdays, most of which are bakery ones which don't need anything done except to be filed.
3. I got some free hiyashi chuka from work. I don't know why, but there was a big box in the fridge of noodle packages and sauce packages and a sign that said to take some, so I did. And then I had some for dinner. :D
- Friday, 0101: My fitbit #Fitstats for 5/16/2013: 3,583 steps and 1.5 miles traveled. http://www.fitbit.com/user/23LLYD
- Friday, 0231: @nadyne I see the Entries queue is still standing at 3. http://www.dreamwidth.org/support/faqbr
owse?faqid=186 has the Common Stuff; xmlrpc failure = lj b0rked, retry
- Friday, 0233: http://archiveofourown.org/works/44
8050/chapters/767262 she blinded me with political science - thingswithteeth - The Avengers Darcy fixes the Avengers' PR. Darcy is a...
- Friday, 0235: Maybe Uhura has magnetic implants so her headset doesn't fall out of her ear. Or maybe there's bioglue. Hope it has adequate anti-moisture.
- Friday, 0240: @semanticist You can have a lot more fun with materials on two mated inanimate surfaces. But maybe that gecko-foot microvelcro. ( read the other 7 )
Follow me on Twitter.
( details )
So she's back home, but I have no idea for how long. The prognosis is pretty damn poor. And all I can really do is love at her.
(all the love, pretty girl. All the goddamn love in the whole goddamn world.)
Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Phil Coulson, Clint Barton, Natasha Romanova, Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Hulk, Steve Rogers, Betty Ross, JARVIS, Bucky Barnes, Nick Fury.
Warnings: Mind control. Inferences of past child abuse and other torture. Current environment is supportive.
Summary: A mission in Russia introduces the Avengers to the Winter Soldier. Steve wants Bucky back and will stop at nothing to make that happen. Everyone else helps however they can.
Notes: Asexual character (Clint). Aromantic character (Natasha). Asexual relationship. Sibling relationships. Fix-it. Teamwork. Canon-typical violence. BAMF!Avengers. Vulgar language. Drama. Rescue. Hurt/Comfort. Emotional whump. Survivor guilt. Friendship. Confusion. Mind control. Memory loss. Slow recovery. Nick Fury makes stupid-ass decisions. Fear of loss. Fluff. Nonsexual ageplay. Making up for lost time. Tony Stark has a heart. Games. Trust issues. Safety and security. Howard Stark's A+ parenting. Obadiah Stane's A+ parenting. Food issues. Multiplicity/Plurality. Sleep issues. Non-sexual touching and intimacy. Yoga. Personal growth. Family of choice. ALL THE FEELS. #coulsonlives.
Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7.
( Read more... )
This is a highly abridged version of the story, which is the fictional biography of a storm over the twelve days of its existence and the effects it has on the humans unlucky enough to be in front of it. Effects range from the possibility of professional embarrassment to death.
Storm is a novel written by George Rippey Stewart and published in 1941. The book became a best-seller and helped lead to the naming of tropical cyclones worldwide,[...] .
Aside from the historical importance, it is a nice picture of how weather forecasting worked before modern technology like satellites became available.
New World Part 2
In part one, a dissatisfied young Bernard Marx, a member of the elite, comes under fire because he does not like the world of rigid castes, promiscuous sex, drugs and stultifying conformity in which he lives. It happens that he works in Hatcheries and Conditioning where lectures about how the world came to be one of rigid castes, promiscuous sex, drugs and stultifying conformity, which is jolly convenient for Mr. Huxley. By pure chance, Marx discovers his boss has a biological son named John, families being unheard of and unacceptable in this day. It is easy enough to convince John to come back to civilization with Marx and in so doing expose his boss to disgrace.
Except, of course, that doesn't fix Marx's real problems with the society he lives in and it exposes John to a world for which he is badly adapted.
Excellent sound quality on this. The story is a bit thin (but then, it's an anti-utopia and utopias generally a bit thin) and I have to admit while I don't see the world in 632 A.F. as a wonderful place to live, in the context of what was considered acceptable practice when Huxley wrote this I cannot buy into the lip-smacking disapproval of Marx's world the way Huxley wants us to. Oh, probably should have mentioned Huxley has a speaking role in this.
Fans of Cannon and other fine shows may be interested to know William Conrad is in this.