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Posted by Heather Rose Jones

Monday, October 23, 2017 - 10:00

One of the fascinating and frustrating things about the genre of "transvestite saints," i.e., women (mostly in the early Christian era) who disguised themselves as men in order to participate in monastic devotion, is how thoroughly the stories center and elevate masculinity. One of the repeated motifs is that these gender-disguised women are approved because of the Biblical injunction to "become a man for Christ". That is, they became a more perfect type of Christian by "becoming male". Other female figures in these legends generally play the role of (attempted) seductive temptress or scorned would-be admirer. The saint in question is typically removed from the context of femininity once the change of clothes has signally a category change. So in the legend discussed in this article, there's a valid confusion over whether the forbidden desire that the abbot is trying to prevent with Eurphrosine's seclusion is heterosexual desire for the disguised woman or the equally forbidden homosexual desire for the eunuch she presents herself as.

Major category: 
Full citation: 

Gaunt, Simon. 1996. “Straight Minds/’Queer’ Wishes in Old French Hagiography: La Vie de Sainte Euprosine” in Premodern Sexualities ed. by Louise Fradenburg & Carla Freccero. Routledge, New York. ISBN 0-415-91258-X

Publication summary: 

 

This is a collection of papers looking at issues in the historiography of sexuality, that is: how to study sexuality in historic contexts with consideration of the theoretical frameworks being used. In general, the approach is to dismantle the concepts of universals and essences, by which “history” has been used to define and persecute “others.” The papers are very theory-focused around how the study of the “other” points out the narrow and distorted picture of history in the mainstream tradition. One feature that these papers challenge is a clear dichotomy between a pre-modern understanding of sexuality as “acts” versus a modern understanding as “identity”. The papers cover not only queer sexuality by a broader variety of sexualized themes in history.  As usual with general collections like this, I’ve selected the papers that speak to lesbian-like themes, but in this case I’ve included on with a male focus that provides an interesting counterpoint on issues of gender identity.

Gaunt 1996 “Straight Minds/’Queer’ Wishes in Old French Hagiography: La Vie de Sainte Euprosine”

This is an examination of gender and sexuality in a “transvestite saint” legend from France. Saint Euphrosine wanted to remain a virgin and so ran away from home. To help avoid being tracked down by her father, rather than entering a convent, she disguised herself as a man and claimed to be a eunuch to enter a monastery. Sight of her inflames the lusts of the monks such that the head of the monastery requires her to live secluded to prevent sexual temptation. The article focuses both on Euphrosine’s “erotic” relationships with Jesus and the potentially homoerotic reaction of the monks to the disguised Euphrosine.  The question is left open whether this desire is forbidden heterosexual desire (because Euphrosine is “really a woman”) or forbidden homosexual desire, based on surface appearances. One of the conclusions is that even when not overtly female, female saints are still sexualized in medieval literature.

Time period: 
Place: 
Event / person: 
solarbird: (tracer)
[personal profile] solarbird

Surprise! Guess what has a Chapter 2. And a Chapter 3, already a complete first draft. I did not know about any of this until the most words I have ever written in a single day (I think) came pouring out of my brain yesterday.

[AO3 link]


[Two months later. Watchpoint Gibraltar.]

With a tooth-shatteringly loud screech, the outer wall of the medical bay peeled away and fell towards the ocean, just as Dr. Ziegler's nurse assistants finished prepping the Widowmaker's first treatment.

"Sorry, luv," Tracer shouted, appearing in the void, one pistol aimed straight at the doctor, as the ringing, clanging metal fell, its sounds fading in the distance. "Can't let y'do that. We made a promise. Back off."

"Lena," said Angela, half-deafened, clinging to her composure, thinking, this shouldn't be happening, but backing away carefully towards her staff. "You lost this argument. I know how you feel about what's going on, but it's better than a death sentence. Do not do this."

"Can't not. I keep my promises, you know that." She fired a shot over the doctor's shoulder. "And stop moving towards your staff. Can't have that, either. What's she on?"

"A twilight sleep sedative, voluntary muscle paralysis, and saline I.V., that's all. We wanted her partially responsive and were about to administer the first dose of treatment. Lena, you do not know what you're doing, this is not a..."

"Stow it. I know she didn't consent and I know this ain't right." Tracer glanced at the closer nurse assistant. "Pull her off the drip. Right now." The assistant looked nervously at Dr. Ziegler, and Tracer decided to make it less optional by shooting the saline unit with her other pistol. "I said now, luv," and the nurse moved to work.

"She can't consent," said the combat medic. "She will murder you in your sleep, and that's if you are very, very lucky."

Kestrel swooped in, a wary eye still attentive to the skies outside. "What's the hold up? We don't have time for chats."

"I have this under control, can you get her up off the table?"

Kestrel waved her gravity blade at the nurse assistant - Odion, she thought - who moved away quite rapidly. Stepping forward, she snapped her fingers in front of Widowmaker's half-closed eyes, and saw those eyes track her fingers, just a little - somebody was in there. "Widowmaker, I'm Kestrel, I sure hope you remember me, we're getting you out of here, just like we said we would, back in London." She pulled the blue woman off the scanning bed, and onto her back. "Let's go, while we still can."

"Emily," warned the doctor, as the flying agent carried the Talon assassin towards the light transport hovering outside, "reconsider. You can't come back from this."

The flying agent paused at the gap, and nodded grimly in return, watching as Tracer backed slowly towards her, one pistol still aimed at the doctor, the other at the two assistants. "Neither can you."

Buggery hell, this isn't how I wanted this to go, thought Lena. "Sorry, doc. Just how it has to be, I guess."

The flyer's loading door closed in front of her as she stepped onto the main deck. She could see Angela diving for the alarms before it sealed, and teleported to the pilot's seat as Kestrel got Widowmaker into the crash couch. "CLEAR!" the flying agent shouted, bracing herself for evac - and Tracer lit the engines up bright.

-----

Widowmaker opened her eyes, but not too much, examining the ceiling. Another Overwatch transport, she thought. Not the same one back from Egypt. Smaller. I am no longer at Gibraltar. How long have I been unconscious? Other than a deep legsrthy, she did not feel different - but then, how would she know? She compared her thoughts, and how they felt, to memories of previous thoughts, and how they felt, and they seemed very much the same, very much unlike Amélie's, her only other reference. It would have to do, for now.

She struggled with half-aware half-memories of being in a... medical unit? And being prepped for something. And voices, some unfamiliar, some... not.

"We've lost the last of 'em," she heard Tracer say. Tracer, who had not been in Egypt, who had not been at Gibraltar... or had she been, at the end? "I'm gonna keep us in the soup, but it should be smooth enough 'till we change ships at Iwik."

Change ships? Iwik? Why would they need to...

"I'm going to check on Widowmaker." Another voice, the flying one, Kestrel, who had also been missing when she'd been taken, taken again, this time, by Overwatch, no doubt to be remade yet again, if not just killed, but whose voice she knew...

"Widowmaker, can you hear me?" The assassin heard the voice, but could not see its source - keeping some distance, perhaps. She let herself smirk, internally. Even sedated, she invoked fear. Good. "You're safe, and you're unchanged. We kept our promise. We broke you out before Ziegler could do anything. You're safe."

What?! The assassin's eyes popped open, all the way open, all at once acutely aware of her situation, before her mind snapped back to promises made some months ago in London, promises she did not want to believe, but couldn't quite not. Then Kestrel's face appeared over her, and she was talking, saying, "Hi. We've kept our word. Do you remember being captured in Egypt? We got you out of the Watchpoint. You're safe. Well, as safe as any of us are, now - we're all in real trouble, but since when's that new?"

The words confused her, memory of promises or not. Is it a... no, it makes no sense, this cannot be a trap, they already have me, why would they... She did her best to move, but her arms, so heavy, why...

"Oh," Kestrel breathed, "you're definitely awake now, aren't you? Probably a little panicky, too. I'm sorry, it's the muscle relaxant. They had you pretty well sedated before we reached you, but that's all, as far as we know - they were still prepping the first course of reconditioning meds when I ripped the medbay's walls open."

Widowmaker's eyes locked on Kestrel's, and she shivered, an involuntary action, and the flying agent saw it, and reached to touch, to comfort - but thought better of it. "I... wish I knew whether you found touch comforting."

I wish I did too, thought the spider, a little dismayed by her own reactions as they span round and round in her head. You... kept... your... you... kept your... you kept your... you...

"We've just got away from pursuit craft, and we're heading towards a little nature reserve in Mauritania, where we'll be swapping ships."

"...ah..." Widowmaker managed, and she remained locked on Kestrel, Kestrel, who she barely knew, Kestrel, who'd kept her word, Kestrel, who had... saved... her...

"You're tearing up a bit, can you blink for... oh, good, there y'go. Can you follow my fingers with your eyes?" Widowmaker looked at the Kestrel's fingertips and watched them trace a rectangle, slowly, around her field of vision. They were strong hands, solid, a little square, chunky, much like the rest of the hawk. Strong, and unexpectedly beautiful. Well, I suppose I know who is more butch in their arrangement, she thought, and a "heh" popped out, to as much her surprise as Kestrel's.

"She just laugh?" she heard Tracer say from outside her field of vision. "Hey, luv, you just laugh a little?"

"I think she did, yeah."

"Well, tell her after this, we're headed towards... oh, bugger..."

"What?"

"It's official. Bulletin just went out. We're listed."

"Surprised it took this long. Can they shut down the transport?"

"Nah, I changed the codes and blew the interlock, we'll be fine."

Widowmaker grimaced. Intentionally. And it worked. She tried moving her mouth, and managed, focus back on Kestrel's face, "...liffsted?"

Kestrel sighed, and sat, next to Widow's bunk, leaning close. "Word's gone out. Our personal IFF codes have been invalidated. Overwatch may be illegal, but we had a few privileges within it to revoke... we're now 'foe', not 'friend'."

"Ah." said the blue assassin. Slowly, carefully, she looked into Kestrel's eyes, and whispered, "Je... regrette."

"Don't," replied the hawk. "If Overwatch is gonna start doing things like this, I can't be a part of it anymore anyway."

"And just so y'know," called Tracer, "Talon put a termination order out on your head once Overwatch got y'to Gibraltar. No goin' back there, either."

"...how?"

"Friend of yours let us know. We'll be seein' her in a bit."

"...big mouth...?"

Tracer laughed. "Yeah, she said you called her that."

The spider tested her arms. A little movement at the shoulder, not much yet. But fingers - yes, those, those were free. She tapped at the bed, experimentally, and saw Kestrel smile when she noticed, bright like cloudbreak. "It is, then..." managed the spider, "...us, against the world?" She tried her wrists. Yes. Wrists. More quickly, now. Almost to the elbow.

Us, Kestrel thought. Already? "Sounds like."

A louder heh, and the spider found she could move her head. "Then... a challenge. Good." She gave Kestrel a fierce look; it excited the flying agent in ways she did not expect, as did the spider unexpectedly - if weakly - taking her hand in her own. "We will destroy them both, cherie," the assassin said, with utter conviction. "We cannot lose."

-----

"As far as she knew," said the Swiss doctor, some hours later, "it was just sedation." Power had not yet been restored to the medbay, but the wall had, at least, been braced and covered, and structural stability insured. She sat at a small table in medbay's small consultation room.

"So you told her nothing about the enhanced receptivity effects?" asked the hirsute scientist sitting opposite and to her right, snacking on his favourite peanut butter, with oatmeal cookies and lactose-free milk. Hoisting girders about - that was heavy labour. He deserved a treat.

"Of course not," said the doctor, sipping her coffee. "But I didn't lie, we hadn't undone anything Talon did - and it really was a sedative, just one that leaves patients a little more..." she waved one hand back and forth, "...open to ideas, while under its influence. It would've helped with our treatments of her, helped her return to who she really was."

"Nicely played," said Jack Morrison, nursing a judicious amount of Tennessee bourbon. "Hope this doesn't come back to bite us on the ass any more than it already has."

Dr. Ziegler smiled warmly at her old friend, sitting opposite and to her left. "I'd suspected Lena might do something she'd come to regret. I'd hoped she wouldn't, or if she did, I'd hoped I could talk her down. But if push came to shove... she might as well have that thin chance." She shuddered. "I think she has made a grave mistake. I do not think that... construct... is a person or can be reformed, and I wasn't lying about being killed in her sleep, either."

"You did what you could," said the soldier. He put down his glass and rubbed at his eyes. "She's always been impulsive, but this is another level. If they come at us... we'll have to assume the worst. They might as well be Talon." He put the drink down, and rubbed his eyes.

"That will not be difficult," smirked Angela. "I am quite angry, both about being held at gunpoint, and at losing my best change to recover Amélie. And Kestrel," the doctor snorted, "she made a strongly negative impression on Gina and Odion. Gossip will insure everyone knows."

"I know their hearts are in the right place," Winston insisted. "Particularly Lena's. I think they're both being extremely foolish - but do not doubt their hearts."

"Just their judgements. And maybe their sanity," said the soldier.

The three sat quietly, for some moments, letting what happened today finally settle in as the sun went down. Morrison, thinking maybe they should've just handed the Widowmaker over to legal authorities; Winston, wishing he'd found a middle way, something to keep everyone happy, while knowing no such path existed; and Ziegler, angry, but still afraid for the two women who had, to her mind, made such a terrible mistake.

"To absent friends," Winston lifted his glass of water. "May they not become present enemies."

"I'll drink to that," said Morrison, raising the last of his bourbon.

Angela lifted her coffee cup, touching it against her friends' drinks. "To absent friends," she echoed. May they not be dead come morning.

Monday Update 10-23-17

Oct. 23rd, 2017 11:22 am
ysabetwordsmith: Artwork of the wordsmith typing. (typing)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Poem: "Feel the Might of Creation"
Lunar Tunnels
Poem: "Capable of Stretching"
Saturday Yardening
Poem: "Death Whispers at the Tip"
Today's Adventures
Poem: "To Protect the Most Vulnerable"
Thursday Yardening
What to Do About Kneeling
How to Accommodate Special Needs While Attending an Event
Wednesday Yardening
Hard Things


The half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics is now over. I sold six poems outright, with one in microfunding and two more in a pool that should get squared up later today. Most of the sold poems have been posted, I just have one left to do.


Poetry in Microfunding:
"The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies.  Stylet comes out of the shower.  "The Higher a Monkey Climbs" belongs to Polychrome Heroics.  Pips and Jules discuss what to get for G and Joshua after the fire.  "TERF Wars" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Antimatter & Stalwart Stan.  At school, Stan walks into an unexpected argument about gender issues.

It has been raining here since yesterday afternoon, off and on, and that's expected to continue through the early part of this week.  We can use the rain.  The weather had been warmer for a few days but is now chilly again. Currently blooming: dandelions, marigolds, petunias, lantana, million bells, firecracker plant, morning glories, frost asters, goldenrod.  Very few fields remain to be harvested.

Avoiding predatory publishers

Oct. 23rd, 2017 12:01 pm
thnidu: warning symbol, black exclamation mark in yellow triangle (warning)
[personal profile] thnidu
On Friday the moderator of a listserv for copyeditors (http://www.copyediting-l.info) posted this:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

In September 2017 I wrote:

>>You may find this article, recently published by the American Medical Writers Association's AMWA Journal, helpful in spotting potentially disreputable journals:
>>
>>      "Avoiding Predatory Publishers in the Post-Beall World: Tips for Writers and Editors," by Ray Hunziker; pages 113 through 115 in volume 32, issue 3, 2017
>>
>>The article (and issue) are available only to AMWA members.<<


Since then, there has been so much demand for the article that AMWA has now made the article open access, which means it's available for reading by anyone:

http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.amwa.org/resource/resmgr/journal/Spotlight/2017v32n3_AvoidingPredatoryP.pdf

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Since very long URLs can be troublesome, I've made a short link:

http://bit.ly/2y00yuK

Irregular Webcomic! #3751

Oct. 23rd, 2017 10:11 am
[syndicated profile] irregular_comic_rss3_feed
Comic #3751

What could possibly go wrong? If you're wondering how Fireballs can "get a call" without any visible means of getting a call, you might first want to consider how he can stand and walk if he's nothing but a skeleton.

Poem: "Wanton Kittens"

Oct. 23rd, 2017 02:33 am
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl and the August [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] mama_kestrel, [personal profile] we_are_spc (Fallon and Jay), and [personal profile] curiosity. It also fill the "comfort" square in my 7-31-17 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] mama_kestrel.

Read more... )
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Risk Everything for Family
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 7 of 14
word count (story only): 1932




:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, the Mercedes story set, and picks up immediately after “Popping In,” continuing from Graham's viewpoint. ::




Graham stood, blinking in surprise. “I don't feel tired, or cold, or stiff,” he explained as Aidan took the pot to put it back on the shelf. “That's pretty typical of mental 'sitting around' or visualizations.”

“This isn't visualization as such,” Aidan argued. He pointed toward the hallway. “This way, please.”

The narrow hallway was cheerful, despite the lack of daylight. The light sconces on the walls were antique, meant to hold kerosene lamps, but the delicate, faceted glass baubles hanging from wire loops threw bright, even light in hundreds of rainbows. Graham paused. “What do these represent?”

Aidan laughed merrily. “Mostly, learning the hobby of first electrical wiring, then solar batteries, and so forth.” He paused, pointing at the largest dream catcher Graham had ever seen, hanging on the wall between the bathroom door and the open door with Saraphina's name painted on it running diagonally from the top on the knob side to the bottom at the hinge side. “Don't touch the dream totem, or the eagle feathers, please.”
Read more... )

Breeding Apples

Oct. 23rd, 2017 01:06 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 Here's an interesting article about creating new apple varieties.  This was a lot easier when people bred primarily for taste and resistance to pests or bad weather.  Now they're breeding more for appearance, and that costs in flavor.

Poem: "Feel the Might of Creation"

Oct. 22nd, 2017 11:47 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the September 5, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] technoshaman and [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "learning how to be loved" square in my 7-31-17 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] mama_kestrel. It belongs to the Damask thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem is all about childbirth, in rather graphic detail. If that's a touchy topic for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. Also, hankie warning for anyone prone to crying over happy scenes.

Read more... )

Poetry Workshop

Oct. 22nd, 2017 10:07 pm
radiantfracture: (writing)
[personal profile] radiantfracture
I've been eating honeycomb, so now I'm drinking weak tea to melt the beeswax from my teeth before I go to bed.

I bought the honeycomb at the rain-walled farmer's market on Saturday -- that and bright late strawberries and a sachet of strong lavender.

Saturday was the best day I've had in ages -- the kind where you forget the good things you did in the morning because the good things you did in the evening were even better.

The best thing I did was see, or I would say witness, Tanya Tagaq perform Qiksaaktuq.

I hope to write about that as soon as the words to do so have been invented.

The next best thing I did was attend a poetry workshop. I'd been violently nervous out of mostly phantom social fears, but in the event there was much mellowness and pleasant chill and a little magic.

We did three pieces of freewriting: one based on people reading out various poems and bits of prose (the only one that comes to mind now was a Poe poem); one a letter to a friend (I had trouble with that); and one was a set of directions or instructions (the guy next to me had a lovely line: "Don't go down / go back down").

This is a second draft of my first, vaguely Poe-inspired piece (& obvs. a whole raft of Romantics are running around in there). I don't know if it can be anything, ultimately, what with its oddly formal voice, unless something speculative from a world where such a voice would fit, but I liked things about it enough to work with it a bit.




Where is my
Ozymandias?

What is buried up to its neck in me?

In this deep old desert
where all experience is reduced
to rubble, to gravel, and at last to dust

Whatever I broke, whatever I toppled or shattered,
it fell where I pushed it and lay there, decaying.

Who built these monuments? Of what materials?
I must have built them. It must have been of sand.
Statue or pleasure-dome, shattered,
fallen, sifted, heaped up,
bound with lime and water, refashioned.

Do they improve with iteration, my idols?
If inhaled, chewed out of the air,
do they provide -- sustenance? Flavour? Information?

Make up your mind: are you a ruin or a desert?
If a ruin, you must once have been magnificent.
If a desert, you must once have been
a forest full of cool vapour
or the bottom of a sea, seething with life.

Who is the wanderer?
Who is it breathes in my dust,
contemplates my ruin?

It must be me again. How tiresome.
Unless someone else can be recruited.
Unless you will do it.

Who is my Ozymandias?
It must be that man
I thought I could become
through imitation.

I must be the sculptor who captured his curled lip.
No kiss, not even of this outsized stone mouth.

Well, why not? Climb up and kiss it. As dry
as anything imaginable.

So. Home.

Oct. 22nd, 2017 11:12 pm
archangelbeth: Woman doing a zombie "braaaaains" pose (Braaains!)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Much banging on the ceiling, of course. And we're finished now, right?

Right?

NOPE.

They will be back tomorrow to work really fast and hard because there will be terrible winds Tuesday and rain Wednesday, and they ARE NOT FINISHED WITH THE ROOF DESPITE THE GIANT BEEPING MECH. (Illustration of mech: https://twitter.com/emccoy_writer/status/922141497054711808 . SO MUCH BEEPING.)

The angry yellowjackets in the ground did not sting anyone so far as I know.

Anyway, we will be woken up at first light, probably, by banging and beeping and I just cannot EVEN. (This is why I'm letting social interactions drop on the floor right now. Because. I cannot even.)

I need to get to sleep.

Plus side: last night I managed 733 words on... Dragonsmut, not CLB. *mutter* But at least I am that much closer to getting something there done.

Havva Quote
---------------------Quoted by w•••••••---------------------
Imagine that there are bandits in your house, your kid is bleeding out, the house is on fire, seven big-ass trumpets are playing in the sky, and your cat is demanding food.

The priority should be obvious.
------------------------------------------------------------
E____ says, “Yeah, you gotta feed the cat.”
E____ says, “Put the cat and the food outside, otherwise you'll trip over him as you try to do other stuff. Get the kid out of the house. Then wrap the kid's wounds.”
E____ says, “The bandits will die in the fire and if the final trumpet is playing there's not a whole lot I can do about that.”
w••••••• says, “Sounds like a decent job of prioritization.”


(It is a very good job of prioritization. Especially from the cat's point of view.)

Havva Star Trek Opera
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2i1vcPtsJk
(C******* found it.)



INwatch+Bookwatch )
s
Dragons under fold )
kshandra: The stylized 7 sigil that featured in the "New Moon On Monday" video (Duran Duran)
[personal profile] kshandra
But I can tell you, without question, that this is the Istanbul we went to.

The cats and dogs of Istanbul are its best rebels. Cats wander freely through the fences of military installations, eating and shitting and pissing where they like in between long suspicious stares at passersby. Just behind the military museum behind the big scary military apartment building you definitely should not take a picture of, a ring of statues rolls clockwise through Turkish history. There is a statue of Attila the Hun, and Timur the Lame, and then Ataturk, huge and bronze and gesturing in the general direction of a blood-red Turkish flag.

A dog sprinted across the park, circling and setting down in the grass to gnaw a bone he'd found somewhere. Two other dogs followed in tow, waiting with all the intensity of a thousand suns for the hound to drop it. He ignored the soldiers and the signs and the other dogs and everyone else, gnawing on a meal at the feet of the father of the nation.


The Istanbul Derby: Soccer, Fire, and a Game at the World's Crossroads
chanter_greenie: an older house and surrounding autumn scenery (Wisconsin autumn: smells like fall)
[personal profile] chanter_greenie
Do I bid on a pair of hand-knitted socks and take a chance that the knitter will be able to do royal blue with a pattern of silver stars, or do I not? On the one hand, squee! On the other hand, I'm worried I'll accidentally ruin them when trying to wash them, and then there's the accidental hole in the heel problem, and the 'oops, crap, I tugged a loose piece of yarn and now things are all unraveling' problem, and...

Decisions, decisions. :)

It *does* look like one pair of wrist warmers will happen, which is an absolute delight, socks or no socks. Royal blue cabled secondarily in silver, or if not true silver, then as close a silvery grey as the knitter can manage. And they will be my own commission, in my own color pair, and no one else will have had a hand in besides myself and the crafter. Assertion of my own identity, separate from family expectations and ideas, feels a little like joy and a little like righteous defiance. And it's for a beyond worthy cause, so triple score.
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[personal profile] kyburg
If I haven’t shared this before now, my bad -

Here.  Have some whack.

http://ift.tt/eA8V8J
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via IFTTT
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[personal profile] kyburg
alexanders-archives:

pr1nceshawn:

The Best ATM Withdrawal Defense

I’m here for women with powerful dogs!

http://ift.tt/2yAg8By
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via IFTTT

Done last week (20171015Su - 21Sa)

Oct. 22nd, 2017 12:11 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Not a bad week, I guess. Right now I'm feeling pretty down and hopeless, partly because of this article about Trump plus the fact that my family's economic future depends largely on Social Security and Medicare, which Trump's government seems hell-bent on destroying; and partly... I don't know what. I don't think depression and anxiety need a reason.

I did manage to figure out approximately what I should have been withholding for taxes; I also found out that the deadline for the second quarter's estimated tax payment was last month, so I'm slightly more screwed than I thought I was. Only slightly. That adds to the anxiety, of course.

N. and the kids have been away since Wednesday morning, with N and g at OVFF. It's been a bit lonely. I have, however, been getting things done, including putting up shelves and a little artwork, and setting up my desk with what amounts to a dual-monitor setup with the external monitor above Cygnus. I'm using the traditional makeshift monitor stand: a ream of printer paper. I actually did find my other Thinkpad keyboards, but with Cygnus on the desk I don't need them.

Our second week of prepared menus has worked out pretty well, though I did end up going out shopping Tuesday for some things that I'd missed on Sunday, and a little bit on Friday. It does seem as though we're spending less. I've also determined that I have to go grocery shopping alone -- it's impossible for me to stick to a list if there's someone else along. I really have difficulty saying "no" to anybody, and it's stressful.

Yesterday Colleen and I went to the Bayview farmer's market after picking up the bike helmet we'd ordered. Bought lunch (samosas) and some jam. See above about saying "no".

I did manage to say "no" to the life insurance agent. Yes, it's great that I was able to qualify for the lowest possible rate, which means I'm a lot healthier than most septuagenarians. But my financial advisor, who I consulted last Friday, pointed out that since my social security, IRA, and pension between them are enough to keep us going; unlike the situation in Seattle, we're not relying on my salary to pay the mortgage. (Colleen's SS payment is half of mine and will go away after I die; it does make a difference but the family would still get by without it.)

The thing that still scares the hell out of me is what would happen if I don't die, but simply get incapacitated, or if either Colleen or I end up needing more expensive care. Then we're hosed.

Notes & links, as usual )

Lunar Tunnels

Oct. 22nd, 2017 01:12 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 Tunnels have been confirmed on the Moon.  While these make a promising site for settlement, I would prefer to make sure there are plenty of them before wrecking the first one we've found.

Half-Price Sale in Polychrome Heroics

Oct. 22nd, 2017 12:23 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is the last day of the half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics, so if you're still planning to buy anything, now's the time. 

So far I have sold four poems.  Three of those have been posted.  "A Moment of Atonement" hasn't been posted yet.  There are also two poems in a pool, the Iron Horses entries "Come Out of the Darkness" and "Sheltered and True."  Contact [personal profile] ng_moonmoth if you are interested in contributing toward those.

Tofu, hogs, and brand-safe news

Oct. 22nd, 2017 07:00 am
[syndicated profile] don_marti_feed

(I work for Mozilla. None of this is secret. None of this is official Mozilla policy. Not speaking for Mozilla here.)

The following is an interesting business model, so I'm going to tell it whether it's true or not. I once talked with a guy from rural China about the tofu business when he was there. Apparently, considering the price of soybeans and the price you can get for the tofu, you don't earn a profit just making and selling tofu. So why do it? Because it leaves you with a bunch of soybean waste, you feed that to pigs, and you make your real money in the hog business.

Which is sort of related to the problem that (all together now) hard news isn't brand-safe. It's hard to sell travel agency ads on a plane crash story, or real estate ads on a story about asbestos in the local elementary schools, or any kind of ads on a disturbing, but hard to look away from, political scene.

In the old-school newspaper business, the profitable ads can go in the lifestyle or travel sections, and subsidize the hard news operation. The hard news is the tofu and the brand-friendly sections are the hogs.

On the web, though, where you have a lot of readers coming in from social sites, they might be getting their brand-friendly content from somewhere else. Sites that are popular for their hard news are stuck with just the tofu.

This is one of the places where it's going to be interesting to watch the shift from unpermissioned user data collection to user data sharing by permission. As people get better control of how they share data with sites—whether that's through regulation, browsers scrambling for users, or both—how will a site's ability to deliver trustworty hard news give it an advantage?

The browser may have to adapt to treat trustworthy and untrustworthy sites differently, in order to come up with a good balance of keeping sites working and implementing user norms on data sharing. Will news sites that publish hard news stories that are often visited, shared, and commented on, get a user data advantage that translates into ad saleability for their more brand-safe pages? Does better user data control mean getting the hog business back?

kyburg: (Default)
[personal profile] kyburg
“The story of Cassandra, the woman who told the truth but was not believed, is not nearly as embedded in our culture as that of the Boy Who Cried Wolf—that is, the boy who was believed the first few times he told the same lie. Perhaps it should be.”
- In her cover essay on silencing women in the October 2014 issue of Harper’s, Rebecca Solnit once again proves that she is one of our era’s greatest essayist – further evidence here and here.  (via dostevsky) http://ift.tt/eA8V8J
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A few reminders

Oct. 22nd, 2017 12:03 pm
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
When people want to restrict free speech to speech they approve of, they ought to remember that they aren't the only ones playing the game. In that contest, the victory goes to the most ruthless. Here are a couple examples I've encountered recently:

A Muslim Canadian student, Masuma Khan, is facing disciplinary action for "harassment" because some people didn't like a Facebook post of hers. She wrote, "white fragility can kiss my ass. Your white tears aren't sacred, this land is." That sort of race-baiting is ugly, but there's no reason a university should take action against a student for writing it. If you think that speech which offends anybody shouldn't be free speech, though, the university's action is perfectly reasonable.

The daughter of the owner of a Massachusetts coffee shop wrote on Facebook that she would never host a "coffee with a cop" event. The owner of the shop denounced her own daughter's comments to the police, but that wasn't good enough for the pro-police-violence crowd, which bombarded the shop with negative reviews (without ever having visited it), harassing phone calls, and threats. The owner ended up closing the shop because she couldn't take it any more. No doubt the people running the campaign are now hugging each other and declaring what a coward she is.

If you think free speech should be restricted to ideas you approve of, what you believe in is authorized speech, not free speech. So do people who don't approve of your ideas.

Irregular Webcomic! #1634 Rerun

Oct. 22nd, 2017 10:11 am
[syndicated profile] irregular_comic_rss3_feed
Comic #1634

A common trope of science fiction of the Cold War era was the arrival of powerful alien beings who proceeded to either: deliver dire warnings that humanity has to learn to grow up and get along with itself or risk annihilating itself; or forcibly intervene in human conflict with their advanced technology that renders our own puny instruments of war ineffective. Either way, the lesson was clear: get over our petty squabbling and act like a united species, or risk destroying ourselves.

Probably the most iconic such story was The Day the Earth Stood Still.


2017-10-22 Rerun commentary: And we all know how that turned out...[1] [1] If not, go read the plot summary. Or better yet, see the film.[2] [2] It's getting to the point where sometimes when I reference things that I think everyone should know, people look at me funny because they've never heard of the thing I just referenced. This seems to be a hazard of getting older in a world where other people are born after you.[3] See, in my head, everyone knows the stories of the most significant science fictions films of the 1950s and 1960s (even though they were released before I was born). So when I reference them, I expect people to get the references. And when they don't, I feel old... I guess "current popular culture" is a more of fixed-width window that slides along the decades, rather than an ever-growing extension into the future with a beginning point that everyone knows. I suppose the generation before me is appalled at my lack of knowledge of 1930s and 1940s popular entertainment. [3] Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any viable alternative choice.

The Most Dangerous Man in the World

Oct. 22nd, 2017 03:15 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
A whole lot of "water is wet" observations, but I do admire the precision of analysis in listing specific actions of #45 and why they are troubling.
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Risk Everything for Family
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 6 of 14
word count (story only): 1751




:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, the Mercedes story set, and picks up immediately after “Popping In,” continuing from Graham's viewpoint. ::




Graham's feet refused to carry him more than eight inches past the front door. He took in the shape of the space, and the archway into the dining area, the counter and hanging cupboards that marked off the galley kitchen, and the tall bookcases flanking a field stone hearth, but despite the early Art Deco touches in the woodwork, reinforced by the color scheme, the overwhelming impression was not a subdued, harmonious pastel palette. “It feels like everything is almost shouting at me,” Graham whispered. “Would one of my shielding exercises help?”

“Yes,” Aidan assured, guiding Graham to the nearest recliner. He swept his hands over the back and seat, then eased the blond man through the process of sitting down. “You know, this may explain why so many of your children have open gifts like empathy; you're aware, receptive, and observant to a degree that startles me as much as it arms my heart.”

“I'm pretty average--” Graham protested.

Aidan cut off the comment with a quick shake of his head. “No. You aren't. You have a few biases, a few bad habits and unsupported opinions, but you are nowhere near the closed-minded maze of pigeonholes and dead ends that makes up an 'average' American, even when they think they're both liberal and supportive.” He snickered. “Now, I can't say this any less indiscreetly than,” he wagged his eyebrows playfully, “your wife has got to be something special!”
Read more... )

Poem: "Capable of Stretching"

Oct. 21st, 2017 03:55 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls but follows on prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron, [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah, and [personal profile] nsfwords. It also fills the "healthy touch" square in my 7-31-17 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. This poem belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series. It relates to events in "An Atmosphere of Shame" and "Everything That Is Real About Us," so read those first or this won't make much sense.

Warning: This poem contains some intense material. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes anxiety, forboding, fear of communication, many references to Shiv's awful past, because the inside of Shiv's head is always a warning, feeling trapped, boundary issues, impaired consent, talking about scars, extreme body modesty, touch aversion, references to past malpractice in mental care, touching which is unwanted but permitted, graphic description of past abuse, poor self-assessment skills regarding physical and mental complaints, defensive lying which has become a reflex to the point that Shiv often can't tell the truth even when it would benefit him more than a lie, vulgar language, resistance to help, minor violence (not directed at a person), emotional flashbacks, overload, desperation, scary basement memories, and other challenges. This poem may be extra-stressful for people with a history of therapeutic abuse, toilet abuse, and/or child molestation. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )

2017 Pegasus Winners

Oct. 21st, 2017 09:05 pm
[personal profile] hms42 posting in [community profile] filk
Quoting the Facebook post:


We are pleased to announce the winners of this years Pegasus Awards!

Best Perky Song:
“Chocolate is a Vegetable” by Graham Leathers

Best Horror Song:
“Dear Gina” by Seanan McGuire

Best Performer:
Judi Miller

Best Writer/Composer:
(tie) Ju Honisch and Jordin Kare

Best Classic Filk Song:
“Alligator in the House” by Betsy Tinney, Cade Tinney, and Sj Tucker

Best Filk Song:
“We Are Who We Are” by Michelle Dockrey and Tony Fabris

Forgot to update yesterday. Oops.

Oct. 21st, 2017 07:49 pm
archangelbeth: Woman doing a zombie "braaaaains" pose (Braaains!)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Am in yet a third hotel. Back home, I am informed:
Main roof is all stripped, and half of front part re-shingled. That's the hard part with the dormer over the door. Most of one side of big room is cleared off. Siding is off front of house over big room; roofer said that part seemed in good shape.
Oh, and we have a large underground bee nest in the plant area under library window. They were not happy having shingles dropped in them.


I think that those are not bees, but rather the wasps that I saw the other day. Yellowjackets, probably, building underground nests for the larvae to overwinter in. Probably drove out the chipmunks, or the chirpmunks had moved out of those holes earlier.

The roofers and the yellow-jackets will just have to cope with each other.

I got some editing done, but no writing at this time. Too sleepy.

Made it to hotel breakfast, yay. Not enough sleep, boo.

So far, first hotel has been best hotel. Kitchenette suite for the win! This one is okay (beats out the second one overall, primarily by having breakfast be open till 10 and not 9:30), but the chair in front of the desk is way low, and it's kind of impossible to use a computer at it. How long do they think my torso is?? ...maybe they didn't set it up for humans.

Hotel breakfasts at mid- and upscale places have waffle-makers now, it seems. I can live with this. (This place only has scrambled eggs as the Egg Dish (well, and hard-boiled), though, and no cheese omelets, like Hotel 1 had for one day, and Hotel 2 had the day that I made it down there.)

...I am so judging hotels now. -_-

Havva Quote
Kid: "Senya, No! Your attempts to tank are interfering with my tanking! Stop Guarding me! I can't guard when I'm being guarded!"
--The kid is playing the Star Wars MMO...


I am not near my other computer that has all the book data so I can't update that at the hotel. Tomorrow e come home, though.

The most dangerous man in the world

Oct. 21st, 2017 06:46 pm
thnidu: logo of Agent Orange font (Agent Orange)
[personal profile] thnidu
From Newsweek

IN THE MAGAZINE
U.S.

'THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN THE WORLD’: TRUMP IS VIOLENT, IMMATURE AND INSECURE, PSYCH EXPERTS SAY

BY DR. LANCE DODES, GAIL SHEEHY, PHILIP ZIMBARDO, ROSEMARY SWORD AND DR. JAMES GILLIGAN
ON 9/27/17 AT 8:00 AM

After the American Psychiatric Association expanded its so-called Goldwater Rule into a gag order on mental health professionals, the forensic psychiatrist Dr. Bandy Lee organized a conference at Yale with the title, "Does Professional Responsibility Include a Duty to Warn?" to discuss the rule and its relevance during the increasingly alarming Trump presidency. While only two dozen attended physically in an atmosphere of fear, the conference tapped a huge groundswell of interest in the forms of hundreds of communications from mental health professionals: just as football players don't give up their right to free speech when they take the field, they agreed that the moral and civic duty to warn about the president's dangerousness should supersede professional rules about neutrality. This led to Dr. Lee editing a new book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Professionals Assess a President. Here are excerpts from four of the essays in the book.


read the article )

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© 2017 NEWSWEEK LLC

Saturday Yardening

Oct. 21st, 2017 03:52 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is partly sunny, breezy, and warm. 

We went out and looked at yardwork projects together.  We picked out a place to plant the big bag of bulbs, and Doug mowed that along with the paths in the prairie garden.  Since we're supposed to get some rain tonight and tomorrow, I'm waiting on that before planting them, so the ground will be softer.

I also picked up sticks around the house, since that yard will need to be mowed later.

Late monarchs are fluttering around the prairie garden.

EDIT 10/21/17: I went back out and dug up some toadstools so the south lot can be mowed.
[syndicated profile] alpennia_feed

Posted by Heather Rose Jones

Saturday, October 21, 2017 - 12:48

My brain is about to explode with the learning curve for both Hootsuite (for scheduling routine promotional postings on social media) and Mailchimp (for my new monthly author newsletter). The eventual goal will be to have a widget for subscribing to the newsletter embedded in the website structure itself, but for now, I'm testing out the html code for embedding it on a page. So go ahead and sign up if you want to -- it'll help me test how it works.

I'll post about more detailed plans and incentives for the newsletter later, but my plan is to send out a regular monthly newsletter with writing updates, information on convention appearances, reminders of forthcoming publications, and bits of "bonus content" about worldbuilding, how the series developed, things that didn't make it into the published books, and so forth. So...[I take a deep breath]...let's see how this works.

ETA: OK, that was so clearly not going to work I just deleted it. Sorry about any confusion.

Major category: 

Bugged

Oct. 21st, 2017 09:12 am
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
Lately there have been a lot of ugly insects, almost like flying roaches, around my front door every time I go out. Some have gotten in; I've found three this morning inside. It's the western conifer seed bug, which is unusually prevalent right now in my part of New Hampshire. I'm across the street from the town forest, which I'm sure adds to their concentration here.

Fortunately, they're slow-moving and harmless, just yucky. A dustbuster or paper towel makes short work of them. The weather is getting cool, and as the song says, they're "just a-lookin' for a home."

Irregular Webcomic! #1633 Rerun

Oct. 21st, 2017 10:11 am
[syndicated profile] irregular_comic_rss3_feed
Comic #1633

The Carabinieri are Italy's national military police force, and operate widely throughout the country as one of several police forces. They perform security and public order operations, as well as counter-terrorism, paramilitary special operations, and forensic crime investigation, and may also be sent overseas on peacekeeping and humanitarian missions. They are distinct from the civilian Polizia di Stato, which handles more routine law enforcement.

The Carabinieri are an example of a gendarmerie, a military force charged with civilian law enforcement. Such forces are relatively common in southern Europe, and many exist in Africa.


2017-10-21 Rerun commentary: The thing that I most instantly associate with the Carabinieri is... machine guns. Coming from a country where such things are never seen on the streets, it's rather confronting to visit a country where the police force is armed with highly visible automatic weapons. On another topic, I really should have rotated those flames in the background between each panel to give them the illusion of flickering motion. That would have been cool.

Another annoying website type

Oct. 21st, 2017 02:17 am
fayanora: Hermione not amused (Hermione not amused)
[personal profile] fayanora
The last week or two, I've run into several websites that, when you right-click on a link in them to open the link in a new tab, will open the link both in a new tab AND in the same tab, forcing me to have to click the back button. UGH! Why do people design websites with annoying bugs like that?

Alien

Oct. 21st, 2017 10:42 am
kjn: (Default)
[personal profile] kjn
Another quick new Swedish filk, but one that isn't only an instafilk. It's based on Främling (YouTube), the #1 Swedish hit during the 80's. The LP sold more than one million copies, and is still the best-selling album ever in Sweden. As comparison, for platinum a record needs to sell 40,000 copies here.

Alien, hur kommer du till mig… )

ETA: Made a change for better scansion

Poem: "Death Whispers at the Tip"

Oct. 21st, 2017 12:17 am
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls, inspired by the "teamfamily" square in my 5-29-17 card for the Pride Bingo fest. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem deals with some touchy topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features bald women, messy medical details, references to past cases of cancer, infertility, distracting visions of Amazon life, historic references to dubious consent and inane attitudes, fostering, failed conversions, frank talk about death, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Risk Everything for Family
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 5 of 14
word count (story only): 1507




:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, the Mercedes story set, and picks up immediately after “Popping In,” continuing from Graham's viewpoint. ::




Aidan shrugged. “She's a foster child right now. That means that the psychologist at the relevant office will want to observe her several more times before the adoption is fully approved and legal. I know that she will need more therapy than they have time for in a dozen years, let alone one, but… I'm hoping that the two of you will be a good match, since I doubt that she'll be ready for preschool at four without a great many hours of effort from all of us.”

Graham nodded. “Okay, got it.” He pointed at Aidan. “Just so you know, I'm a lot harder to scare off than the feeble effort you're putting in here.”

“Feeble effort?” Aidan's eyes widened. Slowly, he began to snicker. “You're even braver than I suspected.”

“Brave, perhaps reckless, but definitely focused and determined,” Graham agreed, sticking out his hand. “I am also firmly on your side and Saraphina's. Truce?”

“It wasn't a conflict, or even a full-scale test,” Aidan admitted, clasping forearms with the blond. “Friends,” he offered.
Read more... )

Today's Adventures

Oct. 20th, 2017 10:12 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today we saw the Ikebana exhibit at Krannert.  It was small, but very pretty.  It's worth going if you're in Champaign-Urbana or very close, but not worth a longer drive.  Only the demonstration is listed on the website, but the free exhibit is open Friday-Sunday.  They had many things in styles I recognized, and a few plants I'd never seen before.  Also a style I'd never seen before: bark, metal, and flowers all glued to a flat board.  That was pretty cool.  There were several of the classic spiral vases with two openings.  My favorite, however, was an arrangement which used a big silver dryer hose curled into the same spiral -- simultaneously referencing the very old spiral vase and modern Japan's tech base and love of all things robotic.  It was just SO JAPANESE.  But I bet it's like the Hokusai wave, nobody will get it for a few decades and then suddenly it will be the most Japanese thing EVAR.

I couldn't help think of Terramagne.  People there often weave their hobbies into work.  If you go into a business, you may see the owner's collection of china plates over the door.  Things like flower arranging are often done by clubs, where you can pay a higher fee to take it home to display in your house or business, but a lower fee if you just want to make something fun and then it goes to a library or hospital or women's shelter where lots of people can enjoy it.  And all that stuff gives folks something to talk about as they go through their day.  "Did you see the new painting in Burger Bash?  Carrie's son did a giraffe this time." "Yeah, he's getting really good."

We visited with my parents and dropped off a batch of poetry, already sponsored.  I don't know whether I'll have time to post this tonight or wait until tomorrow.  You can look forward to "Death Whispers at the Tip," "Capable of Stretching," and "A Moment of Atonement."



For supper, we went to a new Japanese restaurant in Danville called Fujiyama.  I am only somewhat a fan of Japanese cuisine -- I love sushi but can't each much of it -- and not at all a fan of flaming tables.  This place greatly exceeded my expectations.  First, the performance area is separate from the regular dining area, so that was a big relief.  People who want excitement can get it without bothering people who want to relax.  \o/  Second, the menu has lots of tasty things to choose from.  I picked out two different appetizers to fill up on (pork dumplings and coconut shrimp) and then had a piece of the sushi that other folks got (California Roll, Spicy Volcano Roll, and Bayridge Roll.  Where things really got interesting: they will make "reasonable substitutions" in the sushi constructions if there are things you can't eat; replacing avocado with cream cheese is a standard  substitution.  :D  I have never found a sushi place that would change anything, they all acted like their recipes were dipped in gold or something.  So if you are looking for a special-diet-friendly sushi place, check out Fujiyama.

My father sent home a bag of 30 bulbs, which at a quick glance seem to be a random mix of tulips and daffodils.  I think I will plant them in the prairie garden en masse.

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