Only Mostly Dead

Sep. 22nd, 2017 11:51 am
blackmare: (artichoke)
[personal profile] blackmare
 I'm around, reading here more days than not, but life is, well, the usual. Classes, art-making, calling Senators and begging them not to kill citizens in order to give tax breaks to billionaires. You know. All that stuff. 

And I have another class in an hour so I do have to go. And then dog-and-horse-sitting through Tuesday morning. How are y'all? 

Sunday Baking

Sep. 17th, 2017 05:33 pm
nightdog_barks: (Happy Pink Stove)
[personal profile] nightdog_barks
Put together this recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cake today (from the Washington Post). Followed the instructions except for sifting the flour and spices together -- just took it out of the oven and it smells delicious. :D

We must have an opossum in residence close by -- Layla treed a youngster both last night and this morning in the backyard, scaring the bejeebers out of the little guy both times.

Currently reading Jay McInerney's The Good Life, sequel to Brightness Falls and the middle book in his "New York trilogy" (I've noticed some people calling it his "Yuppie trilogy," heh). It's a good read, but omg these characters do not talk like normal people talk. Before this I read Neil Gaiman's American Gods. I had read it once, years and years ago, but I heard Gaiman had restored something like 12K words to a new edition. It was interesting to see how the book did or did not follow the first season of the TV show, and how a few scenes had been transferred to TV virtually unchanged. I enjoyed it a lot -- two thumbs up, would recommend.

Attempting home repair

Sep. 15th, 2017 01:14 pm
zulu: Karen Gillam from Dr. Who, wearing a saucy top hat (Default)
[personal profile] zulu
Initially thought the toilet chain had come unhooked from the flapper: no prob

It came unhooked because the rubber hole on the flapper valve had worn through: boo!

Turned off water to toilet: success

Detached & extricated flapper valve (pointedly not thinking about all that gunk in there): success

Will go to store to see if they have flapper valves of the right size (will bring detached valve as reference): this afternoon

DID ALL WITHOUT CONSULTING DAD: so far so good

Yuletide nominations end in 3 days!

Sep. 13th, 2017 01:45 pm
roga: coffee mug with chocolate cubes (Default)
[personal profile] roga
Just a short PSA to nominate your yuletide fandoms before the 16th :-)

I have nominated Younger (TV), The West Wing Weekly (for gen fic but uh I want it), and Captain America (Movies) RPF, because I need more Anthony Mackie fic in my life. Reserving the right to change stuff in the next 3 days, but I think that's where I'm going.

*

I went to the beach for the first time this summer on Friday afternoon. It's a little weird that I hadn't been to the beach in over a year, but as much as I enjoy the ocean, I somehow never end up going too much; it's hot, and there are like five whole weeks when it's blocked by jellyfish, and I'm not a huge fan of going to the beach alone. But we spent some time in the ocean, and paid $5 for a chair and parasol, and I got some floating time, which is my favorite thing.

'Going to the beach' is for me, by definition, going into the ocean with 100% of my body. So like, I might see the ocean other times of the year, might even take my shoes off and stroll through the shallow waves, but it's not going to the beach unless I'm all in, which is why I only do it in the summer, when the water's warm enough. I do know from past experience that what I consider too cold is completely reasonable for others (mostly non-Israelis), and I recently looked up sea water temperatures to understand what the real difference is.

Here's what I discovered:

1. If seatemperature.org is to be believed, it's not just that the Mediterranean is warmer than the ocean, it's that Israel is located along the warmest parts of the Mediterranean.

2. I've always hated going in the sea in Eilat because the water there felt freezing. This same website's map of Red Sea temperatures felt validating for a moment - Israel is at the top right fork of the sea where it branches out at the top of that map and I thought, aHA, you can SEE how freezing it is! But it didn't quite make sense, and other websites show that the water temperature is a lot higher than that. Today for example Tel Aviv has 30c/86f degrees water, and Eilat has 25c/77f, which doesn't seen like it should be quite that big a difference. I wonder if the water in Eilat feels colder because the outside temperatures are usually so much hotter? Tel Aviv is 31c/88f degrees, today, while Eilat is 39c/103f.

I have been thinking about Eilat mostly because I was trying to plan a short trip to Jordan, which can only happen via the Eilat border crossing. My family's never been, and while Dad has no interest, my mom and sisters want to go and I was looking into options for day trips to Petra. The main deterrent were the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' travel warnings. They've pretty much had a constant travel warning to Jordan for the past... many years, but it was a medium threat level; something we were worried about but were willing to maybe brave, if not for the super special ISIL warnings that came on top. Then two days ago the government issued a renewed warning, upgrading the threat level to high, and that was the end of that idea. It's fairly futile and a lot to ask for but damn, I wish we can fast forward to whenever this whole thing is over and we can peacefully travel to our neighboring states. At least some of them.

(Researching for this trip, I was interested to learn just how much prices have changed. When I went to Petra 9 years ago, I paid around $170 for an entire day trip. These days, I assume in order to encourage tourists to spend the night, Jordan has special prices for single day visitors to the country: a $60 visa which is waived if you stay overnight, and the price of entry to Petra for single day visitors has risen to $132 - and that doesn't include any of the surrounding travel and transportation costs. It's... a bummer, but I'd be willing to give money if I could, you know. Get there.)

Anyway, here are photos from my last time there, which is what I'll have to settle for for now, I guess.

*

After putting off going to the dentist for, let's not mention a number here but just say years, I've finally started getting various treatments. Don't think there's anything gross here but I assume not everyone wants to read about dental health. )

The best advice I got from a friend who had also procrastinated going to the dentist for years like me, was: don't leave the clinic before you've already scheduled your next appointment. This has proven to be excellent advice, and is 100% the reason I've been following up treatments, so. In case anyone needs prodding: you just need to muster up the courage/energy to make that first appointment, and then don't leave until you've scheduled the next, and you're good.
tree: alice from resident evil running  ([film] i remember everything)
[personal profile] tree
what is it to make peace?
with a fact, a circumstance

the war is only between the self
and the self, the battlefield the space
in which you lie awake at night

deafened by artillery, shelling, missile whine

and then the treaty:
self and self sign, unwitnessed, a promise
in the silence of the armistice—
acceptance, resignation

(but for the wounds,
scars on the landscape,
and all human decay)

a city takes years to rebuild after devastation
better and more consciously planned, yes
but with history erased or beyond repair

all war is loss
and peace what comes after, into the space
left by fire, that hot bright destruction,
the blackened and fragile remains
of what only effort and time can reclaim

peace is the salvage of the ruins
when the soldiers have gone home;
what you form from the ashes, from
damage

the bringing into existence
of something shaped from the dirt and clay and blood
under your fingernails, beautiful not in spite of
but because

not the opposite of loss, then
but what grows from it
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