bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots)
PJ O'Rourke, on not finishing Saturday or Deathly Hallows [NYT]:

spoiler cut )
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bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (feather)
A wicked fun thing about teaching a community ed course is that it's a version of getting to have my cake and eat it: everyone who shows up is there because they want to be, and I get to point them towards nifty resources and new ways of thinking about the books, the universe(s), and whatever else nudges our collective boats.

And, there's no grading. *dodges red pens hurled from certain corners of my readership*

FWIW, I've posted my exceedingly messy working notes to sessions 3 and 4 at the fandom journal ([livejournal.com profile] bronze_ribbons) (sessions 1 and 2 were ad-libbed more so than not). The posts are locked, but if you want a peek and you have an LJ account, comment below (or e-mail me) and I'll "friend" you so you can access 'em (they're tagged under "dls"). (No need to reciprocate, especially if you'd rather not cope with Whomping Willow smut showing up on your own friendslist. *g*)
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bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (feather)
Too much writing and rehearsing to whale through tonight, so I'm at home instead of out. Hydras, hydras everywhere. On the plus side, I can now see my ironing board again, and I brewed a pitcher of tea using some of the mint I'd harvested and frozen last fall. Also:

  • The New York Times reports on how the palms for Palm Sunday are being harvested more responsibly. Which I found interesting (one of my chores when I worked at Christ Church was making sure they were stored properly), but I confess I was also amused by the final paragraphs of the article:

    ....exactly what they are used for up north [of Mexico] is not always clear.

    "I know it’s used for decoration," said Moses Macal Maroukin, 69, a veteran palm chopper, who seemed somewhat mystified. He said he had no palm fronds in his home.

    But then he revealed what the people here had long believed to be the real use of the exported palms. The juices in the stems and leaves are extracted, he explained in a conspiratorial whisper, and then turned into a special mixture that is used to stain greenbacks green.

    "This is how you color your dollars," he said, waving a palm.


  • Via [livejournal.com profile] qassandra: A Little Birdy Told Me. Hee!


  • Also by Tatsuya Ishida: I Heckle You Now.


  • Over dinner, I finally read "Darwin's God", a NYT Magazine essay by Robin Marantz Henig that appeared on 3/4. Three things... )

  • Via [livejournal.com profile] mingbutterfly: a Harry Potter couple in costume. Double hee!
  • bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    Picture book rec #1: Maria's Comet - text by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrations by Deborah Lanino. About astronomer Maria Mitchell. Lyrical and nuanced story; richly colored acrylic paintings. The subject line of this post is from this book.

    Picture book rec #2: Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman, adapted from a Jewish folktale. Recommended by Chinaberry, bless 'em - it shows the transformation of a boy's beloved star-and-moon-decorated blanket into a jacket, and then a vest, and then a tie, and then... and there are side-stories going on with the cobbler on the top floor of the tenement and a mouse family under the floorboards (the classroom of little school-mice learning Hebrew in the corner of page 10...!)...

    Also of glee: during dinner with some friends (all over 30), I mentioned the Sayers-Rowling poster I'd presented earlier this summer. One of them instantly demanded, "Do you think Snape is good?" He was bursting to discuss the matter -- but three of our fellow guests hadn't read book 6 yet and didn't want to be spoiled, so they held their hands over their ears and la-la-la'd as best they could through the treacherous parts of the conversation. Later, once the topic shifted to "Peter Pan," the woman next to me said, "I always used to wonder what grown-ups talked about at their parties..."
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    I'd intended to spend the day on work, but a long-postponed non-profit chore poked its way to the top of the queue this morning. That, and not being able to stand the mess in my kitchen. *sigh* On the other hand, I'd wanted an excuse to stay home, and I've got Rameau playing in the background (Les Boreades. Weird, creepy, and beautiful).

    Other happy things:

  • Apple pie.


  • Yeah, it's over a month old, but I only now saw it and it cracked me up: Snapes on a Plane


  • I don't ship Lucius with anyone -- come to think of it, when he's mentioned in my fics, he's usually dead -- but this Jason Isaacs interview is wicked fun. (Via [livejournal.com profile] daily_snitch.) Interviewer: "Shared cell: Lucius Malfoy and Captain Hook. Who's the bitch?"


  • Also, from January, an article on Carol Ann Duffy:


    This week the judges at the TS Eliot poetry awards were unanimous in awarding Duffy the £10,000 prize. The decision, they said, marked "a rare moment of agreement between the critics and the booksellers as to what constitutes great poetry".

    In Duffy's case, however, this consensus is hardly new. Not since Philip Larkin has a living British poet straddled the commercial and critical arenas with such finesse. This has prompted several critics to seek common ground between the two authors, some thematic preoccupations to link the dyspeptic Hull librarian with his more expansive, approachable descendant. For her part, Duffy jokes that there is only one similarity. "We are both lesbian poets," she says.



  • ETA: What M'ris says, about context and sides of the coin and putting down what one picks up. Which is, not incidentally, why working on sermons is actually work. *knits brows, stares at stack of notes some more*

    ETA II: Ok, Les Boreades - Paris Opera production, 2003? Music: gorgeous. Choreography: too hyperactive for me, mostly, but it had its moments -- particularly the pas de deux during the hero's reviving of everyone around him, and Apollo's descent from the heavens. Have minor crush on Nicolas Rivenq now. Some incredibly clever staging -- am glad the director got the largest ovation.
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    [subject line = [livejournal.com profile] elisem's description of her current story-writing]

    Several of you have asked for more about "Placetne, J.K. Rowling?", the Sayers-Rowling poster I presented at Lumos, and [livejournal.com profile] _lore suggested that I put it up on my website -- which is a fantastic idea, only I'm unlikely to get around to it before next year. But, for now:

    a snapshot of the poster

    the PDF of the text published in the conference proceedings

    [If you attended Lumos, it's on the purple and white CD in the goodie bag; I believe it's file 026 or thereabouts if you're running a version of Acrobat in which the TOC links don't work.]

    The portraits on the poster (of Harriet, Peter, and Severus) were rendered by [livejournal.com profile] karasu_hime. The text on the CD contains more schtuff than I presented on the actual poster, but the actual poster had some sections I hadn't included in the CD text.

    Anyhow, I do need to reorganize and expand it all for a course I'm expecting to teach next spring, so a web-based version is definitely now on my list. In the meantime, it's back to the eels...
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    I'm caught up on neither sleep nor chores, and my laptop is in the shop yet again, so I'm a weepier and crankier Peg than usual. But I'm slogging my way back towards equilibrium line by line, and oh, the blessings, they do abound:

  • [livejournal.com profile] athenais captured a rose this morning. Gorgeous. It reminds me of Lord Leighton...


  • Lumos was fun and stimulating, and I collected all sorts of images and phrases and knickknacks to distill into poems and gifts and essays and even my next sermon ("An Orthodox Christian mystic and 'Sister Blowtorch of Pragmatic Idealism' meet in an Irish pub...").


  • I'm the featured poet in the August 2006 print edition of Scifaikuest.


  • I have a new manuscript to edit.


  • I'm wearing "The Habits of Fire".


  • George Gamow's My World Line.


  • Fresh basil.


  • My frisky, funny dog. Even if she does think hotel soap tastes yummy. *sigh*


  • And so much more.
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (uu: freedom to marry)
    The Tennessean printed part of my minister's sermon on marriage equality (which she delivered on Mother's Day) this past Sunday. Rah!

    I'm thinking of doing a Harry Potter-inspired sermon for a back-to-school service in August, in part because I think some of the points raised in a recent Lupin-Snape discussion would be of interest to non-fans (if I can devise a way to share them without being too spoiler-rific), and because analyzing perceptions of belief vs. skepticism and science vs. religion is a exercise that bears revisiting.

    In the meantime, I was browsing through my home church's newsletter earlier tonight and came across the youth group's summer schedule: they're hosting an HP book group on Sunday afternoons (including a session on "Imagining Book 7") and sponsoring Wednesday movie nights, culminating in the Hogwarts Halloween Ball on October 28. Hee!
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (feather)
    I have insomnia, I have no shame, and I'd promised to send more details about my Thanksgiving sermon to the worship committee in question by this morning... so I'm stealing my own subtitle to [livejournal.com profile] placet for my sermon title, that's how shameless I am (and because I am fascinated by the concept of gratitude and how/if/whether people wrestle with what they anticipate/expect/believe vs. what actually transpires -- and because, driving home at midnight, I'd locked into how that fits in with yet another somewhich-or-other I need to outline, and because given how many other discussions are going on around the blogosphere at any given time on neediness and feedback and reciprocity and recognition and such, I'm inclined to believe I'm far from alone in pondering the slippery beast).

    And, speaking of 'Placet'.... )

    Yes, yes, I'm babbling... )

    service details )

    Here's McTigue' s benediction:


    May the light around us guide our footsteps,
    and hold us fast to the best and most righteous that we seek.

    May the darkness around us nurture our dreams,
    and give us rest so that we may give ourselves to the work of our world.

    Let us seek to remember the wholeness of our lives,
    the weaving of light and shadow in this great and astonishing dance in which we move.
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    "Characters certainly develop as you go along, so much so that you find yourself looking in shop windows and choosing things for them." - Dianne Hofmeyr




    "Dorothy L. Sayers, who is queen of the genre said — and then broke her own rule, but said — that there is no place for romance in a  detective story except that it can be useful to camouflage other people's motives. That's true; it is a very useful trick. I've used that on Percy and I've used that to a degree on Tonks in this book, as a red herring." - J.K. Rowling, in answer to an interview question about the romances in Half-Blood Prince [emphasis mine]

    (Yes, yes, there are many ways one could interpret this. Me, I want the more interesting theories to prevail.)




    . . .There are days
    where I care for nothing but the dignity
    of these birches, this solemn green water,
    the wild geese in formation below cumulus clouds,
    days beside the river when I have no desire
    for anyone's trouble, not even my own
    or an angry child's, the one who crawled
    onto that precipice jutting over the river to scrawl
    a name and a curse onto the limestone wall.


      - Katherine Smith, "The Serpent," in Shenandoah (Spring/Summer 2005)
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    Fandom: Harry Potter
    Rating/Pairings: G / gen
    Summary: There aren't always instructions.
    Warning: HBP spoilers. Character deaths.
    Challenge: Written for le Fic-a-Feast of les [livejournal.com profile] dames_magique.

    Unwritten )
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  • Cooked a fair bit, including a variation of [livejournal.com profile] catrinella's swordfish recipe (we were out of cayenne pepper, so I just used black), as well as white eggplant with oyster sauce; summer squash roasted with rosemary, garlic, and lemon; and pesto.


  • Spent yesterday with family, at a lake. Swimming, reading, writing. It was nice.


  • There's been a flurry of HP x French poetry double-drabbles -- [livejournal.com profile] etrangere wrote Verlainefic (Tonks/Ginny) for me, Cat twined the Blacks with Rimbaud, and I did a riff on Yeats-via-Bonnefoy.


  • My arms hurt like hell. !#%%@ ragweed. !@#%@#@ trees. If reincarnation is mandatory, I swear I'm coming back as mint or mistletoe.


  • My nearest and dearest have been down with colds. I've been chomping on vitamin C, raw garlic, and Airborne lozenges with a vengeance.


  • Swamped with work and chores, but it's nice to be wanted and/or necessary.


  • I had planned not to write any fic today, but I started sketching Coals of Fire in the waiting room, and Ils s'enivrent (a prequel to Placet) outright bludgeoned me.


  • The kicker, of course, is that I ought to pull together at least 800 more words for pay before I head to bed, but it's likely to take me six hours instead of three, because I'm stupid that way. Ah, well. To the plank...
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    Buon compleanno, cara!

    Title: Placet
    Author: [livejournal.com profile] mechaieh
    Summary: Ten years after the War, there is what is believed and what is received.
    Pairings: Snape/Lupin and Sinistra/Granger; mention of Harry/Draco. Established relationships (backstories not included; HBP not referenced).
    Rating: mild R
    Disclaimer: I don't own these people; I just like eavesdropping on them. The Wimseys and Parkers originate from Dorothy L. Sayers.
    Warnings: Light bondage. More fluff than plot. 2200 words.
    Notes: Spawned by discussions here and there; the initial sketch contained just Peter, Harriet, Remus, and Severus at a Handel concert, but the damn bunny kept hopping sideways. Beta'd by the splendid [livejournal.com profile] swooop.

    Placet )
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