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)
The subject line is from Carrie Fisher's Twitter bio. I learned of her death when I saw "Remembering Carrie Fisher" on a TV at Liuzza's, and one of the sadder things I saw later in the week was a sheaf of WizardWorld Comic Con flyers curled behind a machine or rack in a French Quarter coffee shop. The con is going on even as I type (January 6 to 8), but without Fisher, who had been listed on the top line of guests:

WizardWorld Comic Con flyer

I also saw two murals -- one on a wall with "RIP" prominent on wall, and the other on the door of the Krewe of Chewbacchus HQ. Friday morning, we spotted kegs being delivered for the second line parade to be led by the Leijorettes ("most ... are roller derby players").

Leijorettes HQ

A post I bookmarked while mentally drafting this one: TJ's goals for this year.

Speaking of fighting fascists, here's what Penzeys Spices has to say:

The stories of cooks, at least the way we see them, super-humanize. If it looks like you, or someone you know, are going to be standing in the way of the new administration, we need your story, and a recipe or two, and this time we can't wait until July. No doubt public school teachers will once again be on the front lines of the right's anger echo chamber, but we're thinking this time it won't be just teachers, and this is why we are asking for your help. This year, the list will be long, and we would like to get a leg up on any direction it could head. Clearly this time around the targets are the environment, immigration, gender equality, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, income inequality, and pretty much anyone who is in any way a minority in any shape or form.

If you, or someone you know, is on the front lines of one of these issues and have a good recipe or two to share, please contact us at, and tell us a little about your background and your concerns. And please, don't think your experience needs to be dramatic, or that you need to have some sort of job title to participate. It's the every day decency of cooks that carries the day, not fame or celebrity.

And because you may well be first up on the block, if you are one of those pre-existing condition-havers that have had a brief period of almost normal life because of the Affordable Care Act, please get in touch with us right away. The people need to understand your experience. Once again, please contact us at with a brief description of your story, and one of our gifted and friendly writers will get in touch. Please. We all need your experience.

Speaking of cooking, last night I scooped the Meyer lemon sorbet into smaller containers, and tonight I may proceed with this recipe for grapefruit-lemon marmalade. First, though, there is cleaning to do, but before that, lunch (a bowlful of leftovers, plus coffee dregs perked up with cardamom [from Penzeys], ginger, cinnamon, and coriander, with hot water and almond milk refilling the mug).

What are you cooking or dreaming about this weekend, loves?
bronze_ribbons: knife with bronze ribbons (bribbons)
The Christmas Day service at First UU ("It's the Most Jewiful Time of the Year") included a dramatic reading of Lemony Snicket's The Latke that Couldn't Stop Screaming, led by the sabbatical minister with audience participation (congregants waving their arms and going "aaaaah!" on cue); a Dr Who reference (Rabbi Rami: I was hoping to watch the special tonight but my wife is insisting that we go out for Chinese); an extended Star Trek benediction in both Hebrew and English; and substantive theological points to consider, with the rabbi comparing closed systems (salvation-based) and open ones (hope-based). The quote I repeated to several other people later in the day : Johanan ben Zakkai's "If you are planting a tree and you hear that Messiah has come, first finish planting the tree."

Also: The thrill of hearing a professional soprano several pews behind me warbling through "Silver Bells" and other standards. The pleasure of petting my friend Victoria's therapy dog through the first half of the service. The hugging of friends and acquaintances and the talking about plans for dancing, performing, volunteering...

For champagne tea with my honorary mama, I baked potato wafers. The BYM and I heard someone very, very good playing the piano in the assisted living lobby when we arrived, and it was indeed her son, who'd brought along sheet music for several super-silly, wildly virtuosic seasonal pieces.

I was not feeling well enough to join the late-night crowd at Lipstick Lounge, but I did stay up to sort out a few things and to say a few more blessings...

second night

And, speaking of blessings, my thanks to all who responded to my Feast of Stephen appeal. I am full of gratitude. See you in 2017.
bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots)
Flint still does not have clean water, and Congress isn't inclined to do more about it.

So -- a proposal: buy Measured Extravagance or tweet about "Look at that, you son of a bitch" by the start of 26 December (CST) and I'll donate $2 per purchase/boost to the Flint Water Fund. Details here.
bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots)

People gathered from near and far,
In small groups and large,
To share their fears and grief
And the darkness in their hearts.

A year like no other, this was,
Testing us beyond what we'd ever imagined.
Day after day, week after week,
We found ourselves growing
And becoming sturdy
Because there was no other choice.

[I sang this years ago. Something I learned today: the ritual it comes from was co-written by a Unitarian Universalist and "a self-described Quaker witch" (source:]
bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots)
Just wrote a thank-you card to Kellogg's.

Used some galangal from Penzeys in the cauliflower-potato soup I made tonight. "Online sales are up 59.9%, gift box sales up 135%" since their CEO gave Orange voters a piece of his mind a couple of weeks ago. He posted an open letter to other business owners/execs today:

Bronson Koenig: What I Found at Standing Rock

Rasheed Wallace: The Truth about Flint. This is from October, but in the words of the man himself:

I've been visiting Flint for the past year, so let me tell you the truth.

Some of the folks in Flint can't take showers because their water is still poisoned with lead.

They have to boil water, pour it into the sink and then wash in it.

Yeah, a grown-ass man has to take a bird bath. That shit ain't right. It's still going on today.

And it's not going away anytime soon.
bronze_ribbons: (tentacle sex)
Seen at Target today:

'tis almost the season

Discussed at brunch today: the owner of Penzeys Spices speaking his mind about what happened on November 8. The comments section at Daily Kos is, for a change, one that does not require donning a hazmat suit to peruse.

For those of you who plan to place an order with Penzeys, there are coupon codes you may find useful.

Another way to speak with your dollars: contact your bank if it's one of the 17 funding the DAPL. Or, send supplies (including banners/sheets and spray paint):
bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots)
  • Those of you reading this post on Dreamwidth can see a pair of boots in the icon. It is from an illustration [identity profile] drew in response to my fic "Those I Can Save." The character wearing those boots participates in resistance activities. So.

  • If you would like for the House Oversight Committee to insist on obtaining the PEOTUS's financial information, here's an action to take TODAY (Friday):

  • For those of you in the habit of exchanging gifts with me around the start of winter: if your plans aren't already set, it would please me immensely if this year you were to donate to the Committee to Protect Journalists' Gene Roberts Fund for Emergency Assistance.
  • bronze_ribbons: knife with bronze ribbons (bribbons)
    Next Tuesday in Nashville:

    The Jewish community of Nashville, female and male, will join with the leaders of our Jewish congregations and organizations to pray in solidarity with Women of the Wall on Tuesday, August 6, 2013, 8:30 am at The Temple, 5015 Harding Road, Nashville, located next door to the Belle Meade Mansion.

    Since 1988, Women of the Wall (Nashot Hakotel) has sought for the social and legal rights for women to wear prayer shawls, pray and read Torah collectively and out loud at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. This group, comprised of female and male supporters, is being subject to protest and widespread clashes with police and members of the ultra-Orthodox community, most recently at last month's Rosh Chodesh (New Month) prayer service. ...

    More at
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    Quantum bunnies: My villanelle "Schrodinger's Top Hat" was selected as a finalist in the latest Goodreads poetry group contest; voting is open through April 1. (Thanks to everyone who's already promoted and/or voted!) There have been some very nice comments about both my poem and the whole shortlist; I was especially delighted to read that it moved someone to look up Schrodinger's cat.

    [My friend Elaine made my week in like fashion last week when I sent the other members of our chamber choir a copy of Hans Ostrom's Emily Dickinson and Elvis Presley in Heaven (after joking-but-not-entirely during rehearsal about how Emily was ahead of her time. I don't remember what prompted it, but there was a fair amount of wordplay and sassing going on that night). She told me after Sunday warmup that she'd read it aloud to two groups since receiving it. If I hadn't been wearing heels and a skirt, I would've done cartwheels in front of the pulpit right then and there.]

    UU ribbons: I went to the HUUmanists site to follow up on last summer's book-smUUggling campaign, and the word is that there are two projects in progress for General Assembly 2013. One is collecting banned books to supply an underground community library in Louisville; the other is a fabric art display, with panels "reflecting a theme (or cover art) from any of the designated Banned Books or children's books, or depicting any immigration rights project being conducted by a UU congregation or humanist group." It sounds like the coordinators are still accepting participants: "if you quilt, embroider, appliqué, cross stitch, or otherwise make images on fabric, WE CAN USE YOUR TALENTS."

    [Another bit of good news: the UU Congregation of Cookeville will become officially affiliated with the UUA this year! Some of you may recall that I helped coordinate around three dozen services for them some years ago -- I am so thrilled that they are now a solid faith presence on the Highland Rim.]
    bronze_ribbons: Kimiko Date Krumm fistpump @ Seoul 2009 (Kimiko fistpump)
    A gentleman I know primarily via tennis fandom is also an activist for girls' and women's rights, and one of his projects is a page on Facebook titled Stop the Worldwide War on Girls.

    There's lots there, and one of the links I followed earlier this week led to the site for Dot-to-Dot Children's Books, which features stories about endangered species; according to the website, at least 30% of proceeds go to organizations working on behalf of those species and to promote education for girls.

    (I haven't read any of the books yet, but they're on my list. Especially the one about the snow leopard.)
    bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots)
    for new monthly donors ($5 - $25) to Mercy Corps:
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (camel)
    Two things of interest to my circles, methinks:

    The Grad Life in graphs. I especially like the middle one (Michael Croxton's documentation of mood swings).

    An article about Israeli women smuggling Palestinian women to Tel Aviv to enjoy a day at the beach.
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (camel)
    Charlotte, NC, has an awesome park called The Green, across from its convention center. It includes signs in tribute to authors...

    From UUA GA 2011 (and exploring Charlotte)

    ...and one of its entrances is flanked by two tall bronze stacks of books:

    From UUA GA 2011 (and exploring Charlotte)

    ...Why am I in Charlotte? General Assembly. I enjoyed reading the start of this morning's report in the Charlotte Observer:

    First, they honored the imam who's in the middle of plans to build an Islamic center near ground zero. Then they rallied in uptown Charlotte to support gays, lesbians and same-sex marriage.

    And that was just in the first 48 hours or so after they got to town.
    bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots)
    "Paul Revere earned his living as a silversmith. But what do we remember him for? His volunteer work." - Susan J. Ellis
    bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots)
    The minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix writes:

    I am asking you to come to Phoenix from July 28 – 30th to be a part of the National Day of Non Compliance with SB 1070. On July 29th, the day SB 1070 goes into effect, Maricopa County law enforcement has announced major sweeps and raids to implement the law. Whether or not the law takes effect that day, all will be needed — particularly ministers, with your collars on — to witness and support families.

    We need at least 200 clergy and laity from across the country to come and support the human rights movement here on the ground. Thanks to a generous donation from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, we can provide assistance with travel to those who most need it. We can also help with home hospitality.

    [As always, there are many other ways to provide support and bear witness -- I'm posting this here mainly to raise the profile of the campaign, and because there's always the off-chance that this action will be the right match for someone who happens to visit this journal.]
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (yosh2 hi guys blue)

    (Sixty-volume lot currently going for $40; bidding ends for this item May 11. Other items on offer include critiques from authors, editors, and agents; one-of-a-kind annotated reading copies; Melissa Marr tattoos; etc.)

    Personal update: May 6. Since then:

    * Still a water shortage -- I "washed" my hair with Israeli talc this morning -- but plenty of bottles/jugs available at the Turnip Truck, so we're managing. It feels oddly decadent to be rinsing my knives with bottled H20, but needs must.

    * Dried floodwater = muddy, stinky flakes. Ugh.

    * Baked nine loaves of apricot bread for my church's Herb Fair. (Officially donated six -- the first three came out undercooked, which I realized only when the bottoms fell through the cooling rack. The one bloody time I follow the recipe instead of my gut...)

    * Still doing battle with the ficlet I started a week ago. I think it's a meta essay wearing a PWP costume. *headdesk*

    * Need more sleep, and then I need to rehearse / crunch numbers / copyedit 'til I drop. Onward!
    bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots) visiting the Do the Write Thing For Nashville online auction: all the offerings are writing/publishing/reading-related, all proceeds will go to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee flood relief efforts. Please visit early and visit often - new items to be added daily; bidding open for only three days for each offering.

    Thank you in advance for helping out any way that you can. As it happens, I'm typing this with black and blue fingers - the result of peeling apart and blotting hundreds of photos rescued from a friend's flooded-out house yesterday afternoon. I could wax poetic about, say, peeling apart sodden envelopes now marbled with the streaks of the images they were supposed to shelter. Or about the ghostliness of inscriptions that now exist only as mirror images of themselves, the floodwater erasing them from their original surfaces and imprinting them on the photo or sheet that happened to be adjacent to them. I could go on and on, but I was up all night and I couldn't save everything, and while I knew going in that I couldn't, and that whatever I could do would be more than would get done otherwise, it's still wrenching to know that the stains on my hands are in the end a mere fraction of what my friend has lost.

    On a happier note, my birthday is this Sunday, and the chamber choir will be singing Clausen's arrangement of Songs 8:6-7, which has been my favorite pair of verses in the Bible for nigh upon twenty-five years: ... Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.
    bronze_ribbons: three daffodiles learning left (daffodils)
    Assorted goings-on:

  • "Unharvest," a new poem by [personal profile] gretacabrel at Thirteen Myna Birds

  • Great match between Berdych and Nadal last night (Indian Wells quarterfinal). They are two of the fittest guys on the tour, and the shotmaking got crazy-good, including an exchange of smashes in the tiebreak.

  • Covering the overnight shift at Room in the Inn tonight. I love it when the guys and I can spend the evening watching sports on TV - yay for March Madness!

  • Via [ profile] lore: manga collector sentenced to six-month term; Digital Manga and other publishers/distributors canvassed for responses

  • The proceeds from BPAL's Fifteen Painted Cards from a Vampire Tarot (inspired by the Neil Gaiman short story) are donated to the The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

  • There's a poem in Alison Luterman's See How We Almost Fly called "The World Card," which begins:

    I always wanted the World card,
    naked androgynous figure striding the globe,
    adorned with laurel and lightning bolts...

    and oh, how it travels, all the way to

    I wanted to cross the sky and come back
    bearing dead stars in my hands, fossil fuel
    for poems. I wanted to inhale God's breath
    till it singed my lungs; to be used up by love,
    to hang from a tree by my heels.
    "Be careful," the old fortune-teller advised me shrewdly
    at the shop where I paid her ten bucks
    to turn the deck over in her ringed, swollen fingers.
    "It's not always a good thing, you know --"
    but I wouldn't let her finish. I didn't want good,
    good was too small. I wanted the world.
  • bronze_ribbons: Kimiko Date Krumm fistpump @ Seoul 2009 (Kimiko fistpump)
  • Yes, I nailed that high F. (All three times I was supposed to, too.) Notes about the rest of the service here.

  • A sign that one has been discussing Roger Federer far too much the past week: the Gmail ad marquee links to a recipe for "Spam Swiss Pie."

  • Then again, that exho was one of the funniest things I've watched in weeks. I understand that it's archived at espn360 and on YouTube, and if I didn't have two fics still kicking my ass (never mind the perennial List of Doom), I'd be replaying the thing over and over. (Especially since Roger whistling at Rafa's tush is now canon. As is both Nole and Kim Clijsters massaging Rafa's right thigh. You folks who don't follow tennis are missing out. *g*)

  • Mainly to [ profile] geri_chan (whose fics make me hungry), [ profile] marginaliana and [ profile] valis2 (partners in crime and dining in Chicago) and [ profile] amanuensis1 (who IIRC is also a Wow Bao fan): I was craving steamed buns last week. I was not in the mood to drive across town. Hence:

    pictures under the cut )

  • Quoted in my other journal as well, but worth repeating:

    It is better to concentrate on what can be done than to despair about what cannot be done.
      - Ella Baker, civil rights activist (1903 - 1986)
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