(no subject)

Aug. 29th, 2016 08:35 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
We ended up going out for dinner last night. We tried the new place near us. I don’t think we’ll go back. The food was excellent, but the prices were high and the portions tiny. The assumption is that a single person will buy two or even three dishes that cost between $10 and $20 each. Scott got lamb meatballs. There were four of them with a fancy sauce and crushed hazelnuts and nothing else. I had salmon pate with four tiny bits of bread. There was a lot more pate than I could fit on those. That was $13. Cordelia had a fancy omelette with goat cheese. She wasn’t impressed. She ate it all, but she wasn’t pleased. I’m not sure how much that cost.

I think it’s a restaurant that might do well in downtown Ann Arbor or in a different neighborhood, but this location is fairly far out from downtown and located right on the edge of the engineering campus. This is not a high end neighborhood, so they’re only going to do well if people come in from elsewhere. The other restaurants in the area are things like Subway and Panera and a low price Chinese delivery place (the only place I could order food on Christmas when I was stuck at home).

Service was middling. The waitress paid attention to allergies, but she also left us alone for quite a while before taking our orders. I think we waited ten to fifteen minutes for her to return to take our order. She also assured me that what I ordered would come out fast because I was getting very close to my 8:00 can’t eat more time, but my food came out more than ten minutes after Scott’s and more than five minutes after Cordelia’s. Also they were out of indoor seating, so we were outside. It was kind of unpleasant. I found the table unpleasant to touch but kept trying to rest my arm on it.

We ended up going by McDonald’s so that Scott could buy a sandwich. Cordelia felt she’d had adequate food, and it was late enough that I couldn’t eat anything else anyway.

We didn’t make it to the library before it closed, so I put a bunch of things in the outside dropbox. Either I’ll go in by bus in the next couple of days, or I’ll get Scott to drive me down there to pick up my hold.

The only solution Comcast could come up with for the tangle their system had made of our request for service was to cancel absolutely everything and start over. They said we should have service this evening some time. I’ll believe it when it happens.

I’m looking at my wishlist on Amazon, and there’s a book I put on my private list because it was out of print and far too expensive to consider buying, especially given that I haven’t read it before. (It wasn’t anywhere in our ILL system.) It was about $150 for a used paperback copy. Right now, there are three copies, from different sellers with good ratings, all priced between $15 and $22. That’s a lot of money for a new to me book by an author I don’t know much about, but it’s a lot less than it was. I don’t know. I don’t remember, at this point, where I saw the book recommended, so I can’t judge based on that.

I’m drinking chai with stevia this morning. I don’t know that that’s what I’ll do long term. If I want to, I’ll have to have Scott stop and buy more because I’ve only got three bags left. I need him to pick up a couple of prescriptions tonight anyway. There was something else— possibly more than one thing— I wanted from the store… What was it? Well, I’ve got a few hours to remember.

Tsuwano : Wet.

Aug. 29th, 2016 10:33 am
[personal profile] swaldman
Yesterday morning I got up early, hoping to catch the Great Torii at sunrise. In the event there was no real sunrise, due to cloud, but I was able to enter the temple-on-stilts when it opened at 0630 and tour, and photograph, it without too many crowds. Sadly this wasn't the right state of the tide for the famous "reflecting pool" effect - instead I captured lots of sand - but still, it was nice. Then I lugged by bag back to the ferry port, crossed to the mainland, and got on a local train for Hiroshima. 

The local train got stuck - I don't know exactly what happened, but there was along delay - so I bailed and crossed to the parallel (but normally slower) city tram line, and used this to take me to the main line station via the "Atom Bomb Dome". Looking at it from the tram I saw many crowds taking pictures in reverence of the building that (sort of) survived the blast, and I wondered whether it wasn't slightly missing the point as a memorial. I'm sure it fits better as part of the overall peace park, museum, etc., though, than it does when seen fleetingly from a window.

I reached Hiroshima station, had some early lunch, and boarded the "Super Oki" express for my destination. This was an odd train, combining old and new. It was an aging, noisy, rattling and shaking DMU, with fluorescent lights that flickered in time with the engine and loud, lurching mechanical direct-drive gear changes... and a tilting body. The rail company's website describes it as a "high speed DMU", although the maximum line speed appears to be 75mph. Anyway, it was a pretty journey, heading into the interior hills - all lush, green and forrested, and with their tops lost in cloud to give that wonderful layered effect.

Tsuwano turned out to be a small town nestled amongst these hills, in a valley about 220m above sea level. It had the feel of an old place that's slightly harder to reach than the big sights, and is struggling a little to stay relevant to modern tourism. It also had a very damp feel, for it started raining before I arrived and, 20 hours later, it still hasn't stopped. Adopting an attitude of "might as well get on with it" I walked to the Inari shrine, which (of course) is half way up a mountain. I slogged my way up the steps, which were improved somewhat by the tunnel of hundreds of torii over them, and arrived at the top to find... the coach park. I assume my route is the original one, but it turns out that a 2-lane road has been built up there from slightly further out of town, at great expense - I mean massive concrete viaduct levels of expense - which perhaps gives an indication of how important this place is.

The shrine was in a spectacular setting, even in the prevailing weather, and I spent a few minutes wandering there and watched a service before descending. Allegedly, one of the nearby peaks had the remains of a castle on it, which was supposed to give spectacular views. However, all I could see when I looked up through the rain was cloud, so I thought better of the chairlift and caught a taxi the 2.5km to my inn instead. I checked in at 1530 and spent an afternoon watching a movie and reading a book.

With the lower temperatures of the hills, plus the rain still falling outside, this was my first night's sleep in 6 weeks that didn't involve air conditioning, which was nice. Of course, without the drying effect of air conditioning some of my clothes were still damp this morning... but I packed them up and walked the 2.5km back to the station. The kind innkeeper, having seen the soaked-to-the-skin state I had attained yesteryay, gave me an umbrella. That served well to protect the top half of me (which had a waterproof jacket on anyway) but didn't help my legs. This helped me to discover that the khaki shorts that M&S sells branded as "Stormwear" become mostly transparent when wet. Dark underwear prevented any arrestable indecency, but nevertheless this seemed to be enough to get Looks and smirks from the groups of schoolgirls I passed on the way to the station...[1]

On arrival I discovered that due to heavy rain (possibly a landslip?), the express that I was due to catch is cancelled. The slower local trains are running, but at a lower speed than usual, and on this little rural line the next one of those is in two hours... so I'm here in the waiting room, mostly dried out, writing a blog post! Today's two-hour journey is likely to end up being a 4-6 hour one, so I will have to skip one or two of the things I had planned at my next destination, but as I'm staying there for two nights it shouldn't have any knock-on effect.


[1] Incidentally, cultural norms on visible skin are different here - not in quantity, but in location. One never sees cleavage around Japan, but girls' shorts can be as short as they like - which makes me wonder which way round the cause and effect is between this and the stereotypical manga/anime leggy woman. Knee-length shorts are occasionally seen in casual contexts on men in their early 20s, but any older than that and it's long trousers all the way, even when the temperature is in the high 30s, making my attire (even without the transparent legs) unusual. I don't know whether this relates to age and status, or whether it is simply a generational thing.

[stories] The City of Hungry Trees

Aug. 29th, 2016 06:59 am
yhlee: a sewer cover in Kyoto (I am not making this up) (Kyoto)
[personal profile] yhlee
For [personal profile] cheyinka. Thank you for your patience--I know you've had a longer wait than the others for your story.

Prompt: "mail-in libations." This is a follow-up to "The City of Cherry Blossoms."

The City of Hungry Trees

A long time ago, a great famine struck the Land That Once Was Two. Just the winter before, two nations had become united when a councilor's son and a general's daughter were wedded to each other. The grapes withered on the vines, however, and the grasses grew wan and weak, and dust blew through the parched fields. People took to gathering the eggs even of wrens and sparrows. Some died eating mushrooms that they didn't recognize. Others sold their smallest children to the flesh-traders so the rest of the family could eat.

One such child was sold from her village before her parents gave her a name. In that part of the country, the tradition was to give healthy children mockery-names like "Long-Nose" or "Clubfoot" until they reached their twelfth birthday, so that evil spirits would think them deformed and pass them by. In this case, however, the parents had simply named her "One-Arm," for she had, indeed, come into the world with one arm.

Her parents had not received much money for her. One-Arm did not dwell on this. She was child enough to miss her parents, but pragmatist enough to realize that she would not be welcomed if she ran back home. She did, however, take advantage of the fact that her shackles were too large--she was small for her age--to escape in the night. After all, the missing hand didn't impede her ability to run. And she guessed, correctly, that the flesh-traders would not look too hard for someone worth so little coin.

She passed through towns and begged for spare rice and water. Few people had anything to offer her. But she sang as she went, and shared what little she had with the magpies that chattered in the streets. What she could not have known is that magpies are notorious gossips, but they are gossips with good hearts. Soon all the birds of the Land That Once Was Two knew of One-Arm, and they, in their turn, began to bring her small berries, or dandelion greens, or sorrel.

The townsfolk muttered that she was a witch, and she fled their torches. But there was one place yet for her to go. One of the cities in the Land That Once Was Two had a curse upon it, and only the poorest and most desperate lived there. Because she had nothing to lose, One-Arm headed there.

So it was that One-Arm came to the dark gates of the City of Hungry Trees. In years past the trees had devoured the city's attackers. For a time, the city's people had poured out offerings of rice wine and honey at their roots, in thanks for their service. But as generations passed, people came to fear that the trees' hunger would grow, and it became more and more difficult to convince anyone to bear the libations, until at last no one fed the trees. In this time of famine, the trees' leaves hung brown and yellow upon the branches, and they showed no sign of flowering.

Here, too, were magpies, and they told One-Arm the old story of the trees. One-Arm looked at the trees and thought of how beautiful they must have been when blossoms crowned them. And she decided to bring an offering of her own.

One-Arm went from door to door in the City of Hungry Trees, and asked for offerings that she might bring them to the withered cherry trees. Some turned her away, and some laughed. But others remembered the old story themselves, and while they dared not brave the trees themselves, they were willing enough to give her honeycomb or dried persimmon or flasks of old sour wine.

It took One-Arm many trips to make her offerings, for she could only carry so much at a time, even with the basket that one particularly thoughtful person had given her. But she persevered, and as she fed the trees, each one straightened, its leaves greening; and each one brightened with pink buds.

She was dismayed, at the end, to discover that she did not have enough to feed the very last tree. The spirit-of-the-tree woke and emerged in the shape of a thin youth. It asked, "Did you bring nothing for me?"

"I did not mean to leave you hungry," One-Arm said. "Eat my name, then, for it is all I have left."

"Keep your name," said the spirit-of-the-tree. "You have borne it well. Your kindness is nourishment enough for me." And the spirit-of-the-tree vanished, but the tree itself was the only one in the city to blossom fully.

Post of more random

Aug. 29th, 2016 10:59 pm
china_shop: Neal faceplanting on the floor, from 1.10 (WC Neal faceplant)
[personal profile] china_shop
1. Kubo and the Two Strings is gorgeous and magical and great. Also a bit scary and a bit sad and often funny. I really enjoyed it and want to own it on DVD.

2. [livejournal.com profile] runthecon is having a quicky, PWP-themed round. Sign-ups close August 31.

3. There's a movie coming out about Barack and Michelle Obama's first date. It's called Southside with You, and the trailer had me grinning. SO CUTE! Such great RPF!!! ♥ I don't generally go out of my way for American biopics, but I love a good romcom, and if the reviews are okay, I'm in line for this one.

I tracked down the trailer after reading this short NPR article about the movie and the general lack of black screen romances (an article which I found via [community profile] as_others_see_us, which lists media references to fanfic each week).

4. The boy and I are two-thirds of the way through The Get Down. I kind of want Baz Luhrmann to get out of the way of the story sometimes, but it's still great (and wow, SUPER-slashy). Set in the Bronx in 1977. No spoilers, please!

I'm hoping it'll get lots of attention during Yuletide.

5. *waves goodnight*

GenEx Pinch Hits

Aug. 29th, 2016 09:45 am
[syndicated profile] yuletide_feed

Posted by genexmod

Pinch hit 1 is still open, for Pawn Stars, NASCAR RPF, Airwolf, SGA, and Crossover Fandom. In addition, there are also four new pinch hits. If you are able to claim any of these, please email me at genexmoderator@gmail.com or leave a comment on the pinch hit post. Please include your AO3 name and pinch hit number.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I’m pretty sure I actually did four miles today, but 3.84′s pretty good, I won’t quibble. Also I caught two Goldeens, and saw the most awesome bag ever in the That’s Our Bag store display window. I kinda want to get it; I could keep my charging cords in it, since they’re starting to outgrow the pencil case I bought for them at Old Navy. 

New playlist! I’ve now got a playlist where I start with a .75 mile run every time. Bold is songs I run to, normal font is songs I walk during. 

Fiona Apple - Good Defense
Smash Mouth - Then The Morning ComesTom Lehrer - Werner von BraunWalk the Moon - Anna Sun
Steve Miller Band - Take The Money and RunVan Vuuren Bros - ActivewearWalk The Moon - Shut Up and Dance
Big Boi - Backup Plan * Toren Atkinson - Too High Up HereViva La Vida - Coldplay
The Kinks - Catch Me Now I’m Falling * Tom Lehrer - The Vatican RagThe Killers - Mr Brightside
Bad City - Fight as OneTom Lehrer - National Brotherhood WeekHall & Oates - Rich Girl
Michael Penn - Walter ReedBlood What True - Say Wat It Do

Asterisked songs were edited down for time, so they run only 1 ½ to 2 minutes. 

I actually need to replace Say Wat It Do with a shorter song, it’s too long an interval between running. 

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2c2M2cl
via IFTTT

Culture Consumed Monday

Aug. 29th, 2016 08:21 pm
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
[personal profile] vass
Books

Les Mis: finished Marius. Am hoping I can knock over the Idyll in September and Jean Valjean in October. At the rate of 10 pages per day, I have 52 days left of this book.

Read Laurie Marks' Fire Logic. The first four chapters were SO GRIM (and also kind of dry in a tell-not-show way) but then it picked up a lot (fortunately I'd read a review by [personal profile] skygiants and was warned about the grim start) and I read the last 100 pages or so at 5am, unwilling to stop even though it was REALLY REALLY bedtime. It was an interlibrary loan, and I think I'm just going to join the relevant library system and borrow the next two books from them directly. They're not that far away.

spoilers )

Just checked my holds at my regular library, and it looks like they bought the copy of Max Gladstone's First Last Snow I asked them to, and it's in processing. :D :D :D Libraries are the best. And someone in acquisitions at my local library is really cool.

TV and Movies

I cannot get my head around the ncurses version of VLC and how it handles playlists, which is frustrating since I really love having VLC in a terminal window, and would like to watch TV and movies that way sometimes.

Games

Played some more Dragon Age: Origins, notably 'The Stone Prisoner'. I love Shale. It's so mean, and I love having a canon non-binary character in this mainstream computer game. (Even if no one involved deliberately framed it as non-binary in those words, they did include dialogue about Shale's lack of gender and insistance on the 'it/its' pronoun set, and made the effort to autotune the voice actor's voice to make it read more ambiguously gendered.) Bought and downloaded Dragon Age II, but have this terrible temptation to finish the current DA:O game and use that worldstate for DA2. Currently Ducky and his asshole friends are having fun storming the Circle Tower. (I sided with the mages, I could not face siding with the templars, but Ducky's still looting everything he can get his hands on, and doing every ill-advised ritual he happens on instructions for.)

Installed and played a couple of levels of lbreakout2, which is a bloody difficult Breakout (Brickles, Arcanoid, etc) game. It's a nice game for when I need something fidgety to do on the computer, except that it comes up in a floating window drawn over the others, which means I can't tell i3wm to put it in one quarter of the screen and have an irc window and my email and a music player in the other three quarters.

Still playing Pokemon Go. Am at level 9. Saw a beautiful Growlithe at [personal profile] fasangel's place, over 300CP and also a fucking Growlithe, but despite all the razzberries I threw at it, it kept breaking out of my pokeballs and eventually ran away. *makes fisher-like "it was THIS BIG" gesture*

Music

Listened to Jonathan Coulton's Artificial Heart for the first time (yeah, I'm a little slow) and also Iggy & the Stooges' Raw Power.

Crafts

Finished [personal profile] fasangel's belated birthday present: a rainbow keyboard and mouse. I bought a Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse set on special, taped off the parts of the keyboard I didn't want painted, and then gave the rest a fine mist in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple spraypaint, in vertical stripes overlapping so the result was a gradient with the letters showing through. Then I did a topcoat of clear paint. The mouse was trickier, since it's much smaller. I used tape to get stripes, but the result was less gradient-y and more discrete stripes with muddy edges. I think it looked okay, though. The keyboard turned out great. It was my third such keyboard: I did a trial run with a $4 one from Savers, then my own keyboard, then the one for [personal profile] fasangel.

I also had my first go at stenciling with spraypaint, on a wired mouse. (Wireless mice are SO MUCH easier for this. Pity I hate wireless input peripherals with the sort of deadly loathing and mistrust I normally reserve for printers.) I taped off the bottom and the cord, as usual, then gave it an even coat of yellow. When that dried I cut out some paper stars and gently stuck them to the surface (using a little bit of painter's masking tape doubled back on itself. I think stencil glue would work better, but I don't have any.) Then I did a topcoat in dark navy blue, for a night sky effect. The design looked good, but the execution was messy, fuzzy around the edges. I still like it.

Spraying is addictive. The next project I want to do is storage boxes for my bedroom and kitchen. I figure that if I trim the boxes diet Coke cans come in and give them a good coat of white as a primer before I do anything else, they should work great for this once I figure out what colours and design I want. I've already been using the boxes like that in the kitchen, to organise my dry goods containers, but not decorated. If I decorate them effectively, they might graduate from "why do you have RUBBISH in your KITCHEN CUPBOARDS" to "I meant to do that."

Still trying to decide where I want to put the DOOM letters. Stick magnets on the back and put them on the fridge? Kitchen door? The mantlepiece seems a bit much.

Garden

The tulips bloomed. The broccoli is trying to bolt, despite the tininess of the heads to date.

Style

Dorian decided to update my look for me. (Well, more that it was already -- a week ago I showed the barber a picture of Krem from Dragon Age and said I wanted that haircut. It's not a huge change from my usual haircut, but it's enough of a change, plus a gigantic genderqueer stereotype. Side note: anyone want to discuss personal grooming for men in the Dragon Age games? I mean, I know there's a canon thing about Dorian's makeup and Cullen's hair product and Bull's horn balm. But what about shaving and haircuts? Yeah, Krem probably doesn't need to shave his face, but his hair always looks freshly buzzed. As does Dorian's. It's mostly only dwarves who have full beards, the one style where I feel like it's realistic for it not to change much when they've been five days in the field and spent most of that time fighting and never returned to camp... apart from the whole thing where they get covered in blood and this has no appreciable effect on all that hair. This is without even getting into Zevran (who tbf it'd be totally in character for him to carry grooming supplies around with him, except that we have no indication that he does, and this is a setting where they have mostly mediaeval level technology, yet strangely use glass flasks as if they were single use disposable items.) And Sten wears cornrows, which is lower maintenance than a lot of styles except that once it does eventually need maintenance, he's unlikely to be able to do it himself. And no one has a hairbrush or a comb in inventory, and a lot of them have long hair, and when your beard goes down to your nipples you're gonna need a brush or comb for that too... and seriously, what about shaving? Do they use Yusaris or what? /digression)

Anyway, yesterday Dorian (the kitten, not the Dragon Age character) was standing on what from he might consider "the human attention landing pad", or what I would consider "a book I was reading" and I picked him up and he squirmed and now I have a scratch on my right cheek, ending just below my eye. It looks very dashing, like I fought a duel. I'm not going to try to stop it healing, of course, but I admit I would not be heartbroken if it scarred that way.

Beatrice sometimes gets nicknames related to what she's doing at the time. Biterice is the one I've talked about most here. When she's standing in front of me, facing away from me, tail rampant, I say "Hi, Buttress." And right now she's flomped on my lap and I've been combing through her coat, which around her tail has some matting that needs attending to. So now she's Mattress.

(no subject)

Aug. 29th, 2016 10:51 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] lilysea!

Company begins return to Town

Aug. 29th, 2016 10:15 am
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Is deliver’d to me from my acquaintance in the Diplomatick at Naples a letter from Marcello that has come by this covert route. I break the seal in some anxiety to see what he has writ.

'Tis no worrying news. He quite apprehends that 'twould be a beneficial thing to make improvements concerning my mine, 'tis quite the like matter with what he intends concerning agrarian experiments. Has already had letters from two or three savants on the matter that he surmizes are acquaint’d with the Contessa. Confides that the late Marquess would have quite entirely approv’d in the matter.

He would also desire to be reassur’d that Reynaldo di S- has no immediate intention of return to Naples. But sure the Contessa is quite greatly misst.

I laugh somewhat immoderate at this.

Hector at this moment shows in Sandy.

Dearest C-, I am delight’d to hear you mirthfull for indeed your mood has seem’d a little sombre of late.

I disclose the matter to him. We both laugh somewhat immoderate.

Sure, says Sandy, the adherents of the Cause in Naples should get up a testimonial to Lady Z-, that keeps young Reynaldo in agreeable exile.

Comes Celeste with coffee and shortbreads.

He sighs and says he still goes about to get Mr D- K-'s creditors to settle: points out that 'twill create a most adverse impression do they go sue a recent widow. Tho’ is like to suppose that a deal of his debts were not matters that might be su’d for in court, so may be given the go-by.

But alas, the relative that falls heir to his estate shows some reluctance to make the accustom’d portion over to the widow, claiming that he lent the late Mr D- K- large sums of money that were never repay’d.

Sure I am a silly uninstruct’d creature, says I, but I daresay that is not in entire accord with the letter of the law.

Indeed not, but 'tis entire in keeping with all one knew of the late D- K- that his affairs are in a tangle and he continues troublesome beyond the grave.

We both sigh, and then I say, but indeed I have some more chearfull intelligence concerning that mysterious new poet - I am in some concern that Mr W- Y- has some intention to render her as it were his protégé, but I confide that we may do better for her. Have askt her to send me fair-copies of her best work that one may be about publickation.

Sandy smiles at me and says, sure 'twill be entire better for her to be the protégé of Lady B- -

- and to have the imprimatur of that stringent critic, Deacon Brodie!

We look at one another with great affection: sure I have greatly misst these visits: 'twas entire not the same to have snatcht moments while we were in other company.

I then say, o, would you ask Milord if there is any on-dit concerning Lord Geoffrey’s capacity as a whip? Has offer’d to take me driving.

Sandy sighs a little and says he is pleas’d to hear that Lord Geoffrey is about anything that is not writing him exceeding long letters full of questions about his reading.

I say that they intend pursue amateur theatrickals with the assistance of Miss A-'s kind instruction; perchance that will distract his mind somewhat.

Sandy sighs more deeply and says he confides that this will go to bring about yet more questions and longer letters. And solicitations for a meeting.

What harm in a meeting?

Why, I daresay no harm, but - Indeed, one can see that he is entirely susceptible to the charms of the female sex, and yet –

O, says I, indeed there are those that will incline to both, or may be surpriz’d in some particular case –

'Tis known, agrees Sandy. And given his rank, I am like to think that caution would be adviz’d.

’Tis indeed most prudent. Has spoke to me of you as if you were in some uncongenial place, that I daresay he would wish to rescue you from.

Sandy groans and says he had not wisht to bother G- with the matter, but he confides that he should know of it.

Why, says I, does Lord Geoffrey have ambitions as a whip, I daresay he would be entire delight’d did Milord go take him up a little –

Tho’ indeed he has qualities beyond most in the empty-head’d wastrel set –

- he would gain some understanding of Milord’s excellent character and how much he values yourself.

Supposing, says Sandy with somewhat of a grimace, he does not then go cast himself at G-'s feet in hopes of a kind glance.

I laugh and say, sure, a year or two should bring him to a less volatile state: is not Miss A- become quite the image of prudence and sense of late?

Sandy says, but Miss A- had the benefit of quite the wisest of mentors –

Hah, says I, you take advantage of my neglect to provide myself with a fan to apply to flatterers.

I pour him some more coffee, remark that it has become cold, and ring the bell for Hector to desire some fresh

When this has come, Sandy tells me that he must not omit to inform me that he has very pleasing offers for the new novel, and for the tales I have contriv’d to write in the midst of my other business.

'Tis gratifying, says I. But another matter that I should open to you is that there are those that greatly desire to convoke with Roberts upon horticultural matters. Lord N-, that is such a friend of the V-s, greatly wishes to speak with him about, I apprehend, matters of breeding of flowers; and Jacob S- seeks advice on the gardens of the Admiral’s fine property. I daresay 'twould be civil to communicate the matter to Milord.

Why, says Sandy, does it not give consequence to a fellow to have in his employ one that has become so renown’d as Roberts? He and Seraphine need only hold out a hand to be offer’d the most eligible of positions.

'Tis true, says I. But I confide that they are well content’d as they are.

He sighs and says altho’ 'tis quite the most agreeable thing to engage once more in converse with one that quite misleading describes herself as a silly creature, 'tis a thing he has greatly misst, he dares say he should be about the deal of business that he has upon hand.

Indeed, 'tis most agreeable to convoke with the bello scozzese.

We part on entirely renew’d terms of amiability.

In the afternoon I determine that I should most probable be at home to callers, and indeed, once I am sat with my embroidery, that comes on most exceeding slow, there are several come call, including Mrs V-, Mrs P- and Miss W-, Mrs O- B-, Mrs D- that is the mother of Danvers D-, and Lady D- and Miss S- (she and I do not allude to our informal encounter).

The latter pair are still seat’d in my parlour when Her Grace of M- is announc’d, which falls very happy.

Comes in Viola looking most exceeding well, and extreme well-turn’d-out. O, she says, we are only just return’d to M- House, but I thought I should go about and leave cards &C.

I make introductions. I see that Viola collects that I mention’d these ladies to her and that I was in particular hopes that she would befriend Miss S-. The latter shows somewhat timid and shy but I lead the conversation around to German literature, and before Lady D- and her sister depart Viola has solicit’d Agnes S-'s interest for a German reading group.

As there are no more formal callers at present Viola stretches out in her chair and says, have you seen Lady J-? – I indicate that I have – Is this not a remarkable development? She confides she is with child! Biffle does not know what to think.

Why, says I, is she not a marry’d lady? Has she not been visiting her husband aboard his flagship?

Viola rolls her eyes and says, sure 'tis hard to imagine, even tho’ she saw them marry’d, Lady J- and a gentleman.

I laugh and say, ‘tis most certain unexpect’d. But how is His Grace? and Lady Cathy?

After she has gone I confide that there are unlike to be any more callers, and go walk a little in the Park, accompany’d by Timothy.

There is still not so much company as there will shortly be, but I observe Fraulein H-, that is with a fellow who on closer approach I see to be Herr P-, that must still be staying with her family.

I go greet them. Herr P- looks in some horror at Timothy and says something in German to Fraulein H-. She looks shockt. I make out the word sklave and am somewhat surpriz’d that a philosopher of democratick principles like Herr P- does not know that slavery is forbid on English soil. I apprehend that Fraulein H- is explaining this to him.

I ask Fraulein H- how she is, how her brother does, did her mother benefit from her sojourn at Weymouth, &C. She answers these questions, and then says, Herr P- comes lodge with 'em, as he desires to be in Town where he may find fellows of like mind. Also, she says with a dimpling smile, Mutti greatly wishes to feed him up.

I fear she looks upon him somewhat doating. Sure I daresay he is not the kind of scoundrel that her former affianc’d was, but he is not the kind of fellow that I should greatly like any young woman I had a concern for to take up with. I am in some supposition he may return to the notion of a simple life in the American wild woods and desire a helpmeet that would accompany him.

However, even if Frau H- is feeding him up he still looks quite unfit to undertake such an enterprize.

But sure, this is not my trouble to worry about.

Daily Happiness

Aug. 29th, 2016 01:37 am
torachan: (Default)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Day off tomorrow!

2. I had a long day at work today, but I got a lot of stuff done. And we finally got everything sorted to transfer a problem employee to another store, so I'm really glad about that.

3. Carla's mom seemed much improved by this evening and might be released tomorrow.

4. I've been getting some great shots of the kitties lately.

Book Log

Aug. 29th, 2016 04:29 pm
scaramouche: Brian May holding his Red Special Gibson guitar (brian may red special)
[personal profile] scaramouche
Just finished Leonie Frieda's The Deadly Sisterhood: A Story of Women, Power, and Intrigue in the Italian Renaissance, which follows the intertwined lives of the noble Italian women of Renaissance: Lucrezia Tornabouni, Caterina Sforza, Isabella and Beatrice d'Este, Isabella of Aragon, and Lucrezia Borgia as the main ones among others. Reading this one immediately after Elizabeth Lev's biography of Caterina Sforza, it's immediately obvious where their interpretations of history differ, with Frieda being a bit more sensationalist yet less critical than Lev in looking at the same events. Cut for mention of historical rape. )

Although the tone from the start put me on guard in general, I was still a little surprised by that section, which made me more suspicious about some of the more dramatic events recounted in the book, especially Frieda's depiction of Isabella d'Este, whom she makes sound like a selfish, manipulative harpy, which is a bit surprising considering how her book about Catherine de' Medici was so sympathetic in analyzing many possible reasons for her controlling behaviour.

That said, this book provides excellent big picture context for the lives of the various women in this era of the Renaissance, tucked between the end of the Middle Ages and the rise of nation-states. Although I enjoy specific biographies I also like looking at the patterns and changes of the era, and this one does that, analyzing how the roles and expectations of women changed over the century, with full context of the wars that were going on around them (instead of glimpses of those wars only as when they were relevant). The book by necessity had to go back and forth in the chronology as it switched focus from one location or lady to another, but on the whole it easy to follow, though it wasn't helped by a surprising amount of errors in the text (missing words, grammatical errors, mispellings) which was weird.

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hradzka

November 2014

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YOU NEED A BOOK

A POEM EVERY DAY

The collected poems from my descent into madness year spent writing daily poems are now available from Lulu as the cheapest 330-page book they would let me make ($16.20). If that's too pricey, you can also get it from Lulu as a free download, or just click on the "a poem every day" tag to read them here. But if you did buy one, that'd be awesome.

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