PSA + tatting

Feb. 26th, 2017 08:00 pm
yhlee: I am a cilantro writer (cilantro photo) (cilantro writer)
[personal profile] yhlee
My website now has a section for Appearances; the one that's up there is a reading/signing at Borderlands in San Francisco on April 15 at 3 p.m. It would be lovely if anyone who's not my sister showed up. XD I may even make hexarchate cartoon handouts for people who show up; we'll see!

Meanwhile, I have taken up tatting!

So the weird twisty helix-looking part of the beginning of the strand is because I had forgotten that you have to do two half-hitches in opposite directions to get a tatting double stitch. Then the light dawned (I'm slow, okay?) and the straight-cable-looking section is where I figured it out and practiced that for a while. It's hard to see in the photo, but I'm using two different colors of thread (yellow and orange, both colors I hate [1] so I don't mind using up lots of it making ugly practice tatting, I'm weird) so that I can tell what the working thread is.

[1] My favorite color is black. Which reminds me, I need to write up The LEGO Batman Movie, which Joe and I saw together.

I was introduced to tatting by [profile] lshelby, who generously set me up with basic supplies and some instructions. I struggled with it for a while (to master the double stitch, you have to figure out how to "flip" a loop, which is apparently the big stumbling block when most people try to learn tatting) then set it aside. The kit didn't survive the flood but I remembered how intriguing it was (also, she sent me the most GORGEOUS tatted dragon pendant, which also didn't survive the flood, and I want to make some of my own! she has the pattern online), and it's cheaper than knitting. Tatting thread is, like, basically thread, so it's much cheaper than fancy yarn. (Also I divorced knitting because I can't knit lace to save my soul.)

I use two shuttles to do tatting, although there are other ways. I picked Aerlit shuttles because they seem to be reasonably well thought of and were reasonably priced [2]; some people like the tiny crochet hooks for unpicking stitches gone wrong, some people hate them for catching in thread. I don't have a strong opinion yet. There's also a kind of tatting you do with needles, but I don't know how that works at all.

Also, the shuttle doesn't come with a cat sticker on it, I just stuck it on for decoration and to help me tell the two shuttles apart (because you have a working thread and a non-working thread). The smart thing to have done would have been to buy shuttles in two different colors but I didn't think of that. Whoops!

[2] You can even make your own tatting shuttles out of cardboard or plastic. But at a few bucks apiece I figured I'd rather have the kind with a bobbin. There are super fancy shuttles carved of the bone of unicorns or whatever the hell, but I'm not making that kind of investment in a new hobby I don't even know yet if I'll stick with it.

Le Tarot d'Ambre: Vers la Marelle

Feb. 26th, 2017 05:22 pm
yhlee: Amber Tarot Knight of Swords: Benedict (Tarot d'Ambre: Benedict)
[personal profile] yhlee
Le Tarot d'Ambre par F. Nedelec, cont'd

Toward the Pattern

Now with bonus numerology! And Douglas Adams references! And chess!

Read more... )


Feb. 26th, 2017 08:46 pm
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
[personal profile] oursin

During the week, the Blake/Collister My Favourite Loaf, wholemeal/white spelt/khorasan flour, a shake of mixed seeds. Nice one.

Saturday breakfast rolls: adaptable soft rolls recipe, 2:2:1 strong white/wholemeal/buckwheat flour + sour cherries.

Today's lunch: dried ancho chiles stuffed with black turtle beans and baked in a tomato sauce - this time I toasted the chiles and soaked them and then deseeded them, which I think worked somewhat better; served with buttered spinach, chicory quartered, healthy-grilled in avocado oil and splashed with elderflower vinegar, and padron peppers.

Bread tomorrow, I think.

different points of the V

Feb. 26th, 2017 01:00 pm
zirconium: photo of squeezy Buddha on cell phone, next to a coffee mug (buddha and cocoa)
[personal profile] zirconium
In Jen Hoffmann's post on responding to difficulty, she uses a V-formation analogy to distinguish between different states: "Back of the flock tired," "Middle of the flock flapping," and "Lead goose energy."

This brought to mind Havi Brooks's 2010 post on safe rooms, which speaks of different versions of ourselves taking turns at the front of the V.

Which in my mind ties to marymary's "I'm doing the best I can not to lose myself over my limits," which accompanied her photo of two tall, cool drinks at And to conversations I had during yesterday morning's horseback ride (a belated birthday present to a friend) and yesterday evening's shindig (a neighbor's birthday celebration).

My ride was on a rescued paint horse named Punk. (Birthday girl was assigned to one named Duchess.) There were a few feisty moments -- I got "Good cowgirlin'" from the lead guide after one contentious turn -- but it was a sedate ninety minutes, for the most part. There were brilliant green patches of moss along a creek bed and swaths of daffodils in the middle of the woods. The guide riding at the rear of the line regaled the stylish women behind me with tales about life in New York, as his day job for most of his life has been styling hair for A-list celebrities.

The party guests included a bloke who looks fine (both health- and attractiveness-wise) but cheerfully reminisced about how a tree practically trepanned him a few years ago -- skull exposed, neck broken, vision permanently compromised. By that point of the evening, I very much wanted to go to bed, but I also wanted to keep learning more about everyone in the kitchen.

Some notes to myself, typed back on November 24, 1989:

next week: just meet all of the bloody deadlines, including the poetry. no matter what [writing workshop professor] thinks.
if you love it enough, it will get done. better imperfect done than perfect unfinished. reflection in the mirror, interviewing myself. black sweater and stretchies, dark green skirt, hair almost schoolgirl back--straight, scarved in black, lips firm together. ... Peggy Bevington and her long gray hair in a braid. ... when you talk to her and D. both you sense a joyfulness--in her more quiet, but an enjoyment. In D. a theatricality, a pleasure in reading the lines in front of other people--assured, no apologies for not being du Maurier.

In bed until two p.m., then cake and corn grits, if only because their middles kept sticking to the middle of the pan. Sigh. Asked J: "Well, which would you prefer, a good body or a good cook." Smiling: "You can always learn the cooking."
white_hart: (Matilda)
[personal profile] white_hart
It's probably 35 years since I first read what was, at the time, Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea Trilogy. Although I've counted the first three books among my favourites ever since, and Le Guin as one of my favourite writers, somehow even though I bought copies of the updated "quartet", Tales from Earthsea and The Other Wind when the last two were published in the early 2000s I had never got round to reading any of the later books until now (I did try, about 14 years ago, and hit a bad patch of reader's block halfway through The Tombs of Atuan which put me off trying again in case it was just that I couldn't read Le Guin any more, though I think now it was stress and depression and tiredness and this time I certainly didn't have any problems reading all four of the "quartet" in a week).

A Wizard of Earthsea was much as I remembered it from multiple re-readings, though I was suprised at how short it was, how few words Le Guin used to evoke the world of Earthsea, and how vividly she did it. My sensitivity to setting, rather than plot, and my visual imagination have both developed a lot over the years since I first read Le Guin, and even though it's always been such a favourite I still found myself amazed at just how good it is.

I think The Tombs of Atuan was my favourite as a child, because although Ged, the wizard of the first book, reappears it's as a supporting character, and the central character is a young woman, and I liked that it was a book about a girl. It's a bleaker book, set in a harsh desert landscape and the darkness of the Labyrinth beneath it. I was struck once again, re-reading, by how atmospheric the writing is; there were elements of the plot and nuances of character I hadn't necessarily understood as a child, but overall it was still the book I loved when I was eight years old.

On the other hand, I had very little memory of The Farthest Shore, apart from a sense that I hadn't liked it much. In fact, I had so little memory of it that I felt as if I was reading some bits for the first time, although others were familiar. It's a beautiful, sad, complicated book; not really a book for children, though I suppose that in 1972 when it was first published books with wizards and dragons in them were just automatically assumed to be for children, and it is partly a coming-of-age story like the first two, although it's also (and, I think, more) a story about aging and accepting the inevitability of death. It felt very much like a critique of modern consumerism in places, as well as a wider exploration of the societies and cultures of Earthsea (Le Guin's fantasy world is not the usual one based heavily on medieval Europe; most of the people of Earthsea are dark-skinned and seem rather to have their roots in a variety of non-European cultures, and to set a direct challenge to the perception of those cultures, or any culture that doesn't share the same "values" and desire for "progress" as "primitive"*). It's not a comforting book; although on one level the ending is one of the traditional happy endings of fantasy, it also shows very clearly the huge cost of victory. I can see why I didn't like it as a child, but now I think it may be the best of the original trilogy.

And then Tehanu, which didn't exist when I first read the trilogy. Tehanu is a much more inward-looking novel; where the others, beyond their personal narratives, were concerned with high deeds, quests, bringing peace to a troubled world, Tehanu is concerned with the small thing, with domestic life, and with the position of women in Earthsea. It feels as though Le Guin, looking back with the hindsight of a decade and a half of the women's movement, realised that for all Earthsea's racial diversity and non-violence, for all its emphasis on balance and wholeness and acceptance, realised that she had created a world that ran along patriarchal lines, where high magic belonged to men, where there were kings and all the leaders were male, and where women were wives and mothers and village witches only capable of working minor charms, or priestesses serving the powers of darkness; and instead of shrugging and saying "that was a different time", she set out to deconstruct it, to re-examine Earthsea from a female, and explicitly feminist, perspective. And it's brilliant. It's done with care and subtlety; the language is simpler, more everyday, but no less beautiful or carefully chosen, than in the earlier books, and I loved the way this gave me the opportunity to understand what it might be like to live within the society of Earthsea, rather than simply passing through, aloof and untouchable, as the wizards do. Even though it's a story of small things, it's still just as much a story of big ideas as the earlier books were. And a fantasy novel about a middle-aged woman is a rare delight, and much to be treasured.

*I felt that Dorothy Dunnett did a similar thing with her portrayal of Timbuktu in Scales of Gold.

(no subject)

Feb. 26th, 2017 12:50 pm
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
LiveJournal has unblocked and whitelisted our webserver IP addresses, so importing, crossposting, and feed accounts should work properly again! Thanks for the quick fix, LJ.

Two quick things

Feb. 25th, 2017 09:42 pm
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance


We've had people ask us about the Cloudflare leak reported a few days ago. We are Cloudflare customers, and it is possible that login cookies or passwords may have been exposed as part of the incident. We believe the risk to you is relatively low -- it was a small percentage of Cloudflare's requests that were involved over a relatively short period of time, and we haven't found any evidence that anything from us was among them. This is not an absolute guarantee that none of your accounts were affected, but we don't think the likelihood is very high.

Because we believe the risk to be low, we aren't automatically expiring everyone's session cookies and requiring you to log back in and change your password -- whenever we do that, it does lock some people who they can't remember their passwords and no longer have access to their confirmed email addresses out of their accounts, and we believe that will affect more people in this case.

Still, it's always a good idea to change your passwords regularly, and now would be a good time to do it, especially if you want peace of mind. We have a FAQ on how to change your password. If your browser logs you in automatically and you don't remember your password, you can reset it. If you've forgotten your password and no longer have access to your most recent confirmed email address, you can have the password reset email sent to any email address you've confirmed on your account by entering both your username and your old email address at the Lost Info page.

Unfortunately, if you've forgotten your password and no longer have access to any email address you've confirmed on your account, you probably won't be able to reset your password. In some cases, if you've previously paid for your account, we can validate your payment details to confirm your identity and reset your password. If you can't reset your password, but think you may have paid for your account in the past, you can open a support request in the Account Payments category and I'll check into it for you.

LiveJournal imports/crossposts/feeds

LiveJournal has temporarily blocked about 2/3rds of our webservers from contacting their site, presumably because they feel that we're requesting data from them too often. This affects the ability to import your journal, the ability to crosspost entries from your Dreamwidth account to your LiveJournal account, and whether syndicated feeds of accounts on LiveJournal will update on Dreamwidth. Those features will fail when they're unable to contact LJ because of the block.

It isn't every one of our webservers, so things will work intermittently -- if you crosspost two entries one right after the other, one might succeed while the other fails. Unfortunately, there isn't much we can do to resolve this other than contacting them and asking them to unblock us (which I'll be doing right after I hit 'post' on this entry).

EDIT 2249 EST 25 Feb: We appear to be down to zero unblocked webservers, so imports, crossposts, and feeds will all fail until LJ unblocks us.

EDIT 26 Feb noon EST: LJ unblocked and whitelisted us this morning, so all is working again!

(no subject)

Feb. 25th, 2017 04:05 pm
yhlee: Alto clef and whole note (middle C). (alto clef)
[personal profile] yhlee
Fantastic video takedown of why the Marvel movies have terrible scoring and, more generally, the problem of temp tracks in film scoring [Youtube]. Particularly scathing was the analysis of one scene where the music was basically compared to room tone. Ouch! But I cannot argue the point.

Also, film composers ALL hate temp tracks, haha, but that's not news to anyone at this point!

(I can't figure out how to embed this, sorry! The Youtube "share" thing confuses me.)

(Thanks to Seth Dickinson.)


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