bronze_ribbons: 18th century harpsichord (harpsichord)
So, Tequila_Mockingbird at A03 posted a new fic set in the Superstition Hockey universe from the perspective of fans tweeting and blogging up a storm (in both French and English) in reaction to a Major Event in the series. (If you haven't read the series and don't want to be spoiled, start at the beginning. I haven't linked to the title because it in itself is a spoiler.)

(1) Fandom meta is hilarious.

(2) Philadelphia has become one of my heart's cities, and I am inordinately entertained by mentions of their hockey mascot. (One of my favorite tweets of all time is this summary of the city's reaction to Gritty's debut, and then there was a wedding...)

(3) Within the fic, there's a blog post titled "the eternal continuity of ducks." And suddenly there's a comment thread on which positions various Wimseys would play.

Some days fandom is the best.
bronze_ribbons: three daffodiles learning left (daffodils)
Fic rec: [personal profile] marginaliana's Ink on Skin. Anne of Green Gables.

I have two new posts at Vary the Line, on Mary Oliver, Camille T. Dungy, and Langston Hughes.

Working on getting the vote out in Miami: So glad to see Jennifer Boysko's win in Virginia.
bronze_ribbons: yoshizumi flying off cliff (yosh37 yoshizumi off cliff)
Diana, Bruce, and Clark visiting the Addams Family = gold:

And then, of course, I had to go reread Fake Empires.
bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots)
(and yes, they're a real team)

Thanks to lomedet's rec, I gobbled up most of the Superstition hockey RPF series while on vacation last week, and have not only dipped back into it daily since then, but also scrolled through the author's entire series-related tumblr to catch bonus snippets. (Although I will confess to skipping 1.5 episodes about a supporting character whose traumatic past I don't have the emotional bandwidth for.)

I found it very, very funny and compellingly sexy/romantic in numerous spots. It hits my competency kink buttons, and my "So many ways love has" theology, with discussions about bjs that invoke "messy stats," and raunchy women rugby players, and Quebecois-Swedish swearing, and a bisexual protagonist who's Hall of Fame dudebro-jock from helmet to blade, and yet also particular about his tea (and well, yeah, a lot of other things, and do I relate to "intense enough to be perceived as incredible -- and also intense enough to be incredibly stupid embarrassingly often about how other people roll"? Um, yeah...), and believably feminist, even before but especially after he hooks up with a houseful of hippie surfers.

spoilery choice bits under the cut )
bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
[Subject line = quote from Peter Mayer's "Blue Boat Home"]

standing bow

Paddleboarding season is underway (as in, my summer pass at Percy Priest Lake). The gauge hit 96 F yesterday, and I spent most of yesterday's session in the water rather than on it, swimming and floating and enjoying both raindrops and a rainbow. Today's social included a poodle named August, pivot turns, and back flips (not by me, but fun to admire).

Since I won't be back on the water for another 4-6 days, I'd like for a soaker to soften the ground so I'm not fighting the Tennessee clay when I get around to planting the three rosebushes I brought home right before Memorial Day (instead of the straw bales I'd planned to pick up):


This week's Americans of Conscience checklist includes phone scripts (for speaking to policy-makers against discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions, among other issues, and a five-day Immigration Game Plan) and addresses for card-writers.
bronze_ribbons: (tentacle sex)
[Subject line from Saul Williams & DJ Krust's "Coded Language," via Roo's weekend jam at The Salad Bowl]

So, that suitcase I'd crowed about fixing in my last update? When I began unpacking my haul from San Francisco, I discovered that the entire pull for one of the outer pockets was missing.

I suppose I could snick a replacement pull from a shmatte past due for the ragpile, but there are so many things I would get to on the must-do and wanna-do lists before I got around to plying my pliers. I don't expect to fly again until the fall, and when I do, I'll likely just splurge on a roll of fancy duct tape, especially if I see one in the clearance bins at Michael's or Staples in the interim.

Flying was less of an ordeal back in 1998, the year of my first and only previous visit to the city. I stayed with my friend Daniel, in his apartment in the Mission. He showed me the Musée Mécanique, and we also hit the Exploratorium and a Taiwanese restaurant and Kanji by Starlight, an autobiographical show by a Japanese American magician, and he brought soup to me from a Taiwanese joint when a cold knocked me sideways. On my own, I rode cable cars every chance I could and poked around Grace Cathedral and later drew on the memories (while recovering from a cold in Japan, as it happened) when writing "Unspeakable Beauty, the Angels in America fic that was my very first contribution to Yuletide.

Last week's visit was primarily for work -- so, different lodgings, different obligations, different sightseeing options/priorities. (The one constant? Yet another cold. When I grow up I'm going to say no to enough ooh-shinies to get enough sleep so that my immune system has a fighting chance...) I was amused at the range of opinions on the Mission -- some people claimed it hadn't changed, and others said gentrification had taken over. It would have been nice to see for myself, but there wasn't time during most of the trip, and when there was time, I felt too grotty to venture beyond Union Square/SoMa, although I did walk twice to the ballet, and kayak under the Bay Bridge as night was falling:


There's more to say and show, some other night, and I did come home with notes for poems and posters. And, my friends, even when I was alone, there were reminders of things we may well spin yarns and shanties about (or at least incorporate into a drabble or doodle or ditty) the next time our paths intersect. . .

Bartlett Hall octopus
bronze_ribbons: yoshizumi flying off cliff (yosh37 yoshizumi off cliff)
The subject line's from Gemma Gorga's "It's Late," which will be at Poetry Daily for a year.

I just fixed (after a half-dozen or so sporadic attempts over the past three days) an outer zipper on my suitcase with bar soap and scissors. Go me!

Some of the dances at the February Fling I attended:

  • Ties of Love (a new dance by Jenny Beer [of "Keys to the Cellar" fame] -- "the tune may change, but here's what it is for now" [qfm] -- presented at the dance to David and Carolyn Tilove, who recently moved from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh)

  • Gotham Farewell (a recently choreographed dance by Beverly Francis, who is moving from New York to Ohio)

  • Pharmacist's Pleasure

  • The Introduction (danced with a beautifully precise partner, and oh, they are wonderful, those moments when someone who has just met me realizes, "Oh yes, this one has the timing/flirting down," and the dance blooms because you're both in full connection to each other and the music. And it doesn't hurt my ego to be sought out for dances -- particularly since I regularly and occasionally literally crash back to earth in the course of attempting other forms, including at Mostly Waltz yesterday. Though I also got to whirl through Jonathan Jensen's "Candles in the Dark") with a lovely man, and we did not stop to fix my undone shoelace.

  • The Dusty Miller

  • Autumn in Amherst (the keyboard player = composer of the tune)

  • Quite Carried Away

  • Companions

  • The Way of the World (modern dance by Jenna Simpson)

  • Farmer's Joy (Joseph Pimentel)

  • One couple showed up with elven ears (which went quite well with their finery, and they often look as though they're up to something even without pointy ears...) ... and the ears sprouted on several otherwise generally proper dancers later in the evening. I was reminded of another dancer's observation at an Asheville after-party earlier this month: "English Country Dancing is full of odd ducks, and that is a reason I am drawn to it."

    (During the course of the Princeton evening, I was reminded that ECD does seem to draw a high number of mathematicians and other scientifically minded types -- I forget why Ars Technica came up during the refreshment break, but vaguely recall trajectories and velocities being part of the conversation.)

    10 facts

    16/2/18 20:58
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    Tagged by [personal profile] xochiquetzl.

    When you get this, please post 10 facts about yourself and then pass it along to 10 followers.

    1. I've lived in my current house since 2000. During the first sixteen years, a yellow rosebush by the side of my driveway would bloom each year. Since I hadn't planted it and it didn't require any care from me, I called it my "rogue rosebush." It was paved over when our new driveway was poured, but last spring I planted a new yellow rosebush in my front yard, and it is doing well.

    2. I like my coffee black and my whisky neat.

    3. I worked for the Mondale/Ferraro campaign in high school, for a civics assignment.

    4. One of my physics classmates threatened to spit on me when she saw my button.

    5. I can be stupid frugal at times, but I did just toss an onion into the compost pail without trying to salvage any part of it. Mind, it was so old that it felt like one of those squishy stress balls handed out at trade shows and corporate seminars.

    6. I made a promise to my mother on her deathbed that I knew I would not keep. (She did not want an obituary published.) This is also the woman who yelled at me for wasting money when I brought the flowers my mother-in-law had asked me to buy.

    7. I will be flying north soon to visit my honorary mama, who turns 89 soon. She is dying from ALS but her mind is intact. There will be champagne.

    8. My honorary big brother and his boyfriend will be coming to my house tomorrow for brunch. We met 31 years ago (a number of significance because he was a Baskin-Robbins boy at the time).

    9. The first time I went ice-skating was at a rink in downtown Chicago.

    10. My household didn't have cable when I was growing up. A friend taped a selection of music videos for me to enjoy, and that's how I first encountered a-ha's "Take on Me" (amused nod at Vincent Zhou).

    Tagging: [personal profile] antisoppist, [personal profile] dichroic, [personal profile] geri_chan, [personal profile] lore, [personal profile] gramarye1971, [personal profile] kass, [personal profile] lomedet, [personal profile] rymenhild, [personal profile] wendylove, [personal profile] missizzy
    bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots)

    Tonight's letters to my senators were about how the money spent on the dictator-in-chief's golf trips could have fed thousands of homeless veterans.

    I just printed a copy of this women's march sign to mail to my honorary mama (language NSFW):

    Actions for introverts:
    Postcards To Voters:
    Americans of Conscience:
    bronze_ribbons: Image of hand and quote from Keats's "This Living Hand" (living hand)
    As quoted by Michiko Kakutani in her review back in February (

    “His mind was freshly inclined toward sorrow,” Saunders writes of Lincoln, “toward the fact that the world was full of sorrow, that everyone labored under some burden of sorrow; that all were suffering; that whatever way one took in this world, one must try to remember that all were suffering (none content; all wronged, neglected, overlooked, misunderstood), and therefore one must do what one could to lighten the load of those with whom one came into contact; that his current state of sorrow was not uniquely his, not at all, but, rather, its like had been felt, would yet be felt, by scores of others, in all times, in every time, and must not be prolonged or exaggerated, because, in this state, he could be of no help to anyone and, given that his position in the world situated him to be either of great help or great harm, it would not do to stay low, if he could help it.”

    [Looked it up because Chris Thile's show rebroadcast the segment with the author today, with an unexpectedly funny intro (on figuring out who would narrate the novel, and then "I was raised Catholic, and to me, Purgatory is, like, the DMV..."). Haven't listened or watched to the whole reading yet, but I want to be able to find both it and this quote again.]
    bronze_ribbons: cute critter with knife and ribbons (bribboned critter)
    I have a new post up at Vary the Line, featuring pumpkins and angry riffs prompted by Anne Sexton:

    Some other time, I might write about the recent day a girlfriend and I spent in Florence, Alabama, where we visited Rosenbaum House, Alabama Chanin, and FAME Studio. Good eats at the Chanin Factory, and some scribbling there as well.

    The factory also had a BIG rack of free postcards, and a stack of Doug Jones brochures right up front. So I grabbed one of every blank card of Alabama origin, and spending part of tonight writing yet more postcards to voters:
    bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots)
    [The subject's line from "We Shall Not Be Moved." A Mavis Staples recording is playing while I type.]

    Postcard to Alabama

    Election Day is Tuesday, December 12.
    bronze_ribbons: Image of hand and quote from Keats's "This Living Hand" (living hand)
    In this year's edition of "The Greats," T Magazine included essays by three Jewish American novelists. The final paragraphs of each essay -- as they should -- kick and stick.

    Nathan Englander:

    It's partially the idea of shifting identity that drew me, all these years later, to a character who is American but Israeli, who is both patriot and traitor, who inhabits more than one self, by virtue of being a spy.

    That's what I latch onto when thinking about contemporary American Jewish novels engaging with Israel, the ideas revolving around fluidity, of borders drawn and redrawn, of changing landscapes and altered realities. As for my initial discomfort with being labeled, I don't know if it's age that has changed me as much as the current climate here, in America, my home. But I'm telling you, with white supremacists resurgent and wielding power, this pulled-pork-loving, drive-on-Saturdays secular Jew has never been happier to be called a Jewish-American Novelist. One yarmulke isn't even good enough for me, these days. I'm writing this with a half-dozen stacked, like pancakes, on top of my head.

    Nicole Krauss:

    As Israeli artists, inventors and youth claimed [Tel Aviv], the culture they began to pump out was the antithesis of the one at large that grew out of a diasporic, Ashkenazi, religious, post-Holocaust idea. Instead, it was a modern, secular, Middle Eastern reality without cultural precedent. For the first time in the country's history, there was new Israeli music, food, art and humor that reflected the physical and emotional reality of a fraught and urgent Jewish existence whose context is Arabic rather than European. It's no coincidence that Israeli society hijacked the narrative of itself around the time that modern Hebrew, also forcibly willed into fresh existence, fully caught up with the complex conditions of the lives of its native speakers: For language itself is generative, and to be able to describe is to be in the possession of creative power.

    So it is that diaspora Jews find, for the first time in 2,000 years, that they can’t claim Israel as their idea, or its reality as an extension of their own. However related, it is something authentically other now, and the Jews of America and Europe, most of whom don't speak Hebrew, have only narrow access to the inner conversation of Israeli being, and can only look upon it from the uneasy position of being neither inside, nor yet entirely outside, beyond the range of its consequences. Israel, which is making sense of itself, has confused our own sense of being, and the novel goes straight toward that confusion, just as it will always go toward heat, toward what is still undecided and so most alive.

    Joshua Cohen:

    Jews in America are always being called upon to declare their loyalties--which of our identifiers do we put before the hyphen, and which do we put after: "Jewish" or "American"? This recurrent query--which Jews in America ask themselves with all the breeziness of an online test, and anti-Semites in America ask with all the gravity of an Ellis Island examination--is inevitable but pointless. Jews are more secure in contemporary America than they have been in any other country in Jewish history. This is because America is a country in which the citizens define the ideologies, not the other way around. This, ultimately, is what the fundamentalists hate: America’s constitutive capacity for change, which they regard as the evil face of self-determination. Nazis, Klansmen, ISIS--all fundamentalists resent the mutability of human life and the fact that, in a technologized world, no manner of racial or ethnic or religious or cultural purity can ever be guaranteed, as if an "inalienable" right.

    The country I dream of is a place in which all humans are free to take their indoor voices out into the streets, both as proud members of families — however myriad, however defined — and as their own liberated individual selves. America has been this country only rarely; Israel has been this country almost never. The one country I've ever lived in that's consistently fulfilled this dream has been the Novel.
    bronze_ribbons: Image of hand and quote from Keats's "This Living Hand" (living hand)
    For the second night in a row, my evening plans got borked by logistical fail, but there are worse fates than sipping rosé while listening to Mark Knopfler singing "Sailing to Philadelphia" (about Jeremiah Dixon) while writing postcards to get out the votes for Ellen Geisler (Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court): (discounted postcard-stamp combos)
    bronze_ribbons: Image of hand and quote from Keats's "This Living Hand" (living hand)
    Today's subject line appeared in yesterday's newsletter from Bill Penzey, who posted "an open letter to America's CEOs about our experiences in facing right wing calls for boycotts," which can be read here and has received 47,000 likes to date.

    Hubbard squash seeds

    I roasted some Hubbard squash seeds tonight, along with the rest of the squash, an aging potato, and a spaghetti squash, serving some mashed squash with kielbasa. Earlier today I fried pancakes and eggs and baked a loaf of whole-wheat bread. I'm sipping chai brewed with some spices from the aforementioned Penzeys.

    Another Asian American East Nashvillian who knows music and food is Alex Wong, who's donating the first month of his Patreon proceeds to Puerto Rico. Some of you may recognize him from Vienna Teng's tours.

    I was so tired this morning that I went back to bed after the pancakes, and I'll be turning in before midnight tonight since I'm singing tomorrow. I've become a tad amused at how singing and dancing -- my bolder activities, if you will (timid performances serve no one well) -- actually keep me in line, since I try to get adequate rest and am cautious about consuming caffeine and other potential inflammatories before significant gigs or gatherings.
    bronze_ribbons: yoshizumi flying off cliff (yosh37 yoshizumi off cliff)
    This NYT photo essay on wagashi is cracking me up -- elegant portraits of sweets with cats:

    Sweets as Poignant as Poetry
    bronze_ribbons: Sveta kissing her French Open trophy (Kuz kiss)

    ...Audrey had approached her husband, Grey, in the kitchen of their Ludington Lane house to say that she planned to marry Ted. She realized that "something was lacking" in their marriage; she considered Grey self-sufficient, she told him, "but Ted needs me." The cardiologist had stood silent for a moment as though he were thinking all this over.

    "Who," he asked finally, "is going to do the driving?"

    "Why, I guess I will," Audrey replied, astonished.

    "Good," he said. "I don't want any wife of mine marrying a man who drives the way Ted does."

    - Judith & Neil Morgan, Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: A Biography
    bronze_ribbons: drawing of a contented bull (cow)

    I am annoyed about being sick, but also fine with how it simplified my weekend, and relieved that I heeded my gut in refraining from making plans to head east, even though I'd looked with longing at the Old Farmer's Ball program for today (Mount Hills! Good Man of Cambridge! Picking Up Sticks (which contains sheepskin heys, which one teacher regards as proof "that hallucinogenic drugs were available in the 17th Century")!). Instead, I got up early, fried pancakes and eggs, and then went back to bed. Then the rest of the day was split between making phone calls, cleaning, tennis-watching, and catching up on some of the yardwork. Having belatedly read the full tag for the "Sky's the Limit" rosebush, I shaped its water basin and tied the two longest branches to stakes; admired the new yellow buds and the green tomatoes nearby; planted the geranium, tomato, and cactus cuttings; yanked and clipped and dug and hauled...

    The subject line is adapted from Dawn Potter's recent post about Keats. "Dirt has its beauties" also would've worked, come to think of it.

    My plan for dinner had been to make a tomato tarte tatin, but that was before I realized the box in my freezer contained not puff pastry but regular pie crust. Plus, after I finished dealing with the onions, I was feeling less inclined to follow the rest of the steps. So instead I shifted to Emeril's recipe for an onion and tomato pie, and while I didn't have most of the ingredients on hand, it provided enough guidance to get things good enough for my dinner plate. The final mash-up was along these lines:

    * Chop one onion plus a couple of slices salvaged from a chunk in the crisper. Sautee in butter until soft.
    * Defrost one frozen pie crust in microwave. Frown at soggy mess, abandon attempt to unroll it, and mash it across bottom of pie pan.
    * Dump foil and pie weights on top and bake at 375 F for ten minutes or so.
    * Chop half of a tomato. Realize the recipe probably advises slices instead. Sure enough. Slice other half. Season with the dregs of thyme-laced salt a friend had given me for Christmas two years ago, plus some black pepper.
    * Startle the bloke reading in his car just outside my driveway (I'm guessing a tourist) as I scamper out in my nightgown to snip some basil and thyme.
    * Mix one egg with the dregs (about 4 T) of Duke's mayo from the fridge. (Today was a great day for using things up; I also pitched some ancient spices into the compost bowl and shredded the iffy salted lemons in the sink.)
    * Gingerly pour pie weights (aka old beans I've used for more than a decade -- probably nearly two) into mixing bowl and collect the ones hopping onto the floor.
    * Scatter some panko over the crust.
    * Lay the slices of tomato on the crumbs, in a pattern like a quilted star. Spoon half of the cooked onion bits into the spaces between.
    * Scatter herbs and a heap of gorgonzola cheese over the veg. Drizzle with half of the egg-mayo sauce.
    * More tomato. More onion. More sauce. More breadcrumbs. Some olives.
    * Bake for 30 minutes? I set the timer for an hour, but took it out earlier when it looked and smelled done enough. And then ate half of it.
    bronze_ribbons: yoshizumi flying off cliff (yosh37 yoshizumi off cliff)
    A friend treated me to dim sum at Hei La Moon earlier this week, and amiably agreed to share a plate of black sesame rolls among the other dishes I pointed at (turnip cakes, Chinese broccoli, and har kow).

    I didn't really manage to explain how the dessert inspired a fic I wrote seven years ago, but we agreed that it was delicious.

    Also in Boston: Friendly Toast with [personal profile] marginaliana, tea with [personal profile] okrablossom, and more radish/turnip cakes at Gourmet Dumpling House and Bubor Cha Cha. Diversions included four hours of paddleboarding on the Charles and an evening with two good-with-children cats named after Jabberwocky terms (plus the children and their parents).

    Prior to Boston: a week in Plymouth. Much dancing (and paddling, and a bit of swimming, including some skinny-dipping under the nearly full moon). Much to digest. Much more to learn. But first, unpacking (and getting through more of the 350+ emails that had arrived in my work inbox while I was off the grid).
    bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots)
    First UU Nashville hosted quite the ordination this past Sunday. There were multiple quotes and allusions to Wonder Woman, including in the program:

    Rev. Robern's love of science fiction and pop culture was acknowledged and celebrated throughout the ceremony, including the charge to the minister (delivered by a colleague from Idaho with "Black Lives Matter" among the emblems on her stole). One of the readings was a passage by Octavia Butler. Her stole was brought to the with a Disney beach bag as its carrier (she and her partner had eloped to Disneyworld when they decided to make things official), and the stole itself featured Scarlet Pimpernel motifs on the front and allusions to various franchises (Star Trek, Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy) on the underside. The music included "Spirit in the Sky" (from Guardians of the Galaxy), "Turn the World Around," and "Mystery" (which the subject line of this entry comes from).

    For the buffet, I contributed a pair of dragon cakes (using a mold Musigneus had given me several years ago). Still working on my painting game, but it's improving; if I'd had more time (i.e., if it had occurred to me earlier), I would've tried harder to mix a turquoise to match Singing the Journey.

    mixing cake paint

    Because the colors were for dragons, I used smoked rum as the binder for the Pharaoh Gold powder.

    Pharaoh Gold cake paint

    And because my sense of humor is twenty kinds of inappropriate, I picked Devil's Food as one of the flavors. Hence Yellow-Bellied Dragon and Devil's Food Dragon:

    yellow-bellied dragon cake

    devil's food dragon cake


    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)

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