hermionesviolin: young black woman(?) with curly hair and pink sunglasses, facing away from the viewer (every week is ibarw)
Former-coworker-Michael's parting gift to me last August was a 2x3ft dry-erase board to live in front of my desk at work (to cover up the "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" sign my coworkers had so kindly put up, which I was starting to get sass about having left up for over a month). Coworker-Holly had been changing the poll every week, but she left the end of May. Mallory changed it once after that but then left for a new job. Holly will be back the last week of June to train her replacement, but in the meantime I made a new poll question -- and was really bummed at how little I could actually fit on the board (I guess maybe I should have written smaller?)? [Wiki links included in this online poll for your educational convenience.]

Poll #18487 female superheroes
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 9

Now that we finally got a Wonder Woman movie, who should get the next female-led superhero movie?

Black Widow
4 (44.4%)

Oracle/Batgirl
2 (22.2%)

Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan)
2 (22.2%)

X-23 (Laura Kinney) the Wolverine clone
2 (22.2%)

Wasp (Janet van Dyne or Hope van Dyne)
0 (0.0%)

She-Hulk
0 (0.0%)

Spider-Gwen
1 (11.1%)

Dazzler
0 (0.0%)

Jubilee
1 (11.1%)

Ironheart (Riri Williams) the 15-year-old Black girl Iron Man
2 (22.2%)

ALL OF THEM (literally all of the women)
5 (55.6%)

Other - nominate your faves
1 (11.1%)

Captain Marvel (coming 2019)
1 (11.1%)

Kitty Pryde
2 (22.2%)



This afternoon, my boss stopped by and commented that he liked the poll and would have to think about it (I said he could pick more than one) and he didn't know who all of them were.

B: "I don't know who Spider-Gwen is."
me: "Peter Parker's girlfriend Gwen Stacy gets spider superpowers in one iteration, and giving that we've gotten a ton of Spider-Man movies, I figured we should get a Spider Girl movie."
me: [does not say: "I shouldn't say Spider-Girl, because that's a different character -- who I also considered including. And maybe I should have included her instead because there are no Latina superheroines on this list..." (I was thinking of Anya Corazon, because [personal profile] musesfool, though Wiki informs me that apparently that's not the main Spider-Girl.) Okay, Logan-verse Laura is probably Mexican.]

B: "Is Ironheart a real thing, or did you make that up?"
me: "Really a real thing. Invented ... last year, I think? So very new. Initially it was just 'black girl Iron Man,' and they hadn't decided on a name for her, but then they decided on Ironheart."

B: "So Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel are different?"
me: "Yes, Ms. Marvel is Pakistani-American and has a very popular comic book series running currently. Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers, is getting a Marvel movie in a couple years."
me: [doesn't explain that Carol Danvers used to be Ms. Marvel and that there are other people, like Monica Rambeau, who have held the Captain Marvel title, and I seriously considered including Monica because Black woman superhero -- but there is only so much room on this board.]

B: "I picked Batgirl. I love Batman, and I think we need a Batwoman."
me: "Excellent."
me: [does not say: "There actually is a Batwoman, that's Kate Kane. I considered listing her, especially because she's a lesbian, but I would really be into an Oracle movie 'cause she's a brilliant superhero and also a wheelchair user, and having both Batgirl and Batwoman seemed excessively confusing for lay participants." And while I was writing this, I remembered that if we're doing Oracle, we maybe get Birds of Prey."]
hermionesviolin: (Aslan)
I woke up at like 6am this morning and got to go back to sleep :D I got up around 9 and had a leisurely morning.

Saturday bff phonecall had an intermission on account of when my available slots for a "I would like a haircut tomorrow" were, but we still possibly broke our record of longest phonecall (2:21:01 + 6:23:33 = 8:44:34).

My hairdresser asked me if I'd biked (as I had the last time). I said no, that I'd been on the phone with my best friend and I knew I could keep talking to her if I walked but not if I biked.
Hairdresser said, "You'll have to call someone else you like on the way home."

I continued to acquire new projects -- like liturgical dance Sunday and adding hymnals to hymnary.org

+

Someone on my facebook feed posted: "I'm so proud of our massachusetts ucc churches. We just voted to make sure Open and Affirming churches welcome transgender people and people of all gender identities and gender expressions!"

I look forward to our utilizing non-binary gender language in e.g. liturgy, our not assuming people's pronouns, etc. (No, I don't actually have any optimism on this front, but it does give me more grounds from which to push for that sort of stuff.)

+

Poll inspired by conversation with la bff (which was in turn inspired by a book she's reading):

Do you believe in the resurrection of the body (of people in general, not Jesus in specific)?

I'm mostly interested in responses from people who identify as Christian, but I'm not gonna stop anyone from filling out the poll.

[Poll #1847424]

***

"Joy Sadhana is a daily practice in the observation of joy."
-[livejournal.com profile] mylittleredgirl [more info]

Thus says God to these bones: "I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am God." (Ezekiel 37:5-6, NRSV, alt.)

Read more... )
hermionesviolin: (grey)
Inspired by the conversation here:

[Poll #1561015]
hermionesviolin: (self)
[Poll #1394975]

***

"Joy Sadhana is a daily practice in the observation of joy."
-[livejournal.com profile] mylittleredgirl [more info]


"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.  You wait and watch and work: you don't give up." --Anne Lamott

joy sadhana )
hermionesviolin: image of Kitty Pryde (comics version) with text "Ravenclaw. It's not that we're smarter than you. Except it totally is." (Ravenclaw)
This morning as I was leaving the weight room, I heard Dana say, "You learn cursive in elementary school and then you never use it again." I turned around and laughed 'cause, hello, connected letters are so much easier/faster. Joe (one of the other trainers) was all *fist-pump of victory* He said that everyone's been telling him recently that nobody writes in cursive, that it's "old-school," so that's his question of the day that he's been asking everyone -- "Is cursive 'old-school'?" I said, "Well, you have my vote as a random 25-year-old." Dana laughed and was like, "Okay, you two win; I lose."

So obviously I am asking LJ :)

[Poll #1348120]
hermionesviolin: (self)
gym )

I was hoping to get on Y!M and actually chat with mjules today, but again I was busy. I'm not sure I could even tell you what I did all day. My biggest chunk of downtime involved reading B's Al Dunlap case (and teaching note) as I'd been meaning to since econ class last week.

Today, B was asking me if I'd be interested in helping out with writing stuff, and I said yeah and mentioned how Alyssa and I had helped edit Max and Deepak's book. He said I must be really familiar with that book then. I said yeah and told the story of being in young adult church group discussion and finding myself using the phrase "parasitic value creation."

He said I'm really good at my job, that he would love to keep me for the next 30 years, that my organization is great and that it's appreciated not just by him but by the whole Unit. I'm sure this is true, but I thought, "Does anyone actually make a point of explicitly telling you that?" -- though Ian has thanked me and Katie for our help with Recruiting in multiple mass emails.

Trying to find dates/times to get anything scheduled with faculty takes forever, but apparently we FAs are ridiculously indecisive about picking things like, oh, a restaurant to eat at. Flist wanna decide my vote for me? The links go to the official websites, but feel free to check out Yelp or whatever. (Department is footing the bill, so normal concerns about price don't so much apply.)

[Poll #1283679]

***

Rest and Bread ("Community")

Psalm 122

Sacred Text: Romans 12 (v. 8-12). I was struck even more so than I was when it was a Scripture reading in church recently by how bad the parallelism is.

Keith did the Reflection. He opened by talking about "community as context for vocation," though the bulk of the reflection ended up being about community sort of more generally. He did end by saying, "as we have received, so let us go and give."
hermionesviolin: (self)
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
-1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)
It's easy for me to get indignant bordering on self-righteous about how self-professed Christians don't act with love, but I'm totally a misanthropic self-centered h8er, so it's good to be reminded that I, too, am called to act with love in all things.

***

Off friendsfriends a while back I saw an excerpt from Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet (translated by Stephen Mitchell), which I am further excerpting here:
How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.



Unexpected good things from today:

I ordered a used copy of the CD "Home" by Blessid Union of Souls so I could rip the tracks (I already own it on cassette from back in the day, but the local library network doesn't have it on CD) and when it arrived, what was inside the case was "Walk Right Back: The Everly Brothers, on Warner Bros. 1960-1969."  I sent an e-mail informing the seller of this, but didn't feel optimistic.  However, I got a very prompt reply: "Hello Elizabeth, Sorry about the mix up! I've got another copy of the cd. I'll send it tomorrow, if that's acceptable to you. I apologize for the inconvenience."

Around 10pm, OriginalRoomie said she knew I'm often heading to bed around then (ha ha, I wish) and did I want to use the bathroom before she hopped in the shower.

***

fryadvocate says: "This is the Trufax meme. You leave your name and everyone can comment with true facts about you. Including true facts that are... not true." I'm here.

***

[Poll #1170736]

story behind the poll )

***

My hair's hitting my shoulderblades.  I've been considering growing it out, but I think that's probably a bad idea.  Jessie's hair looks super-hot, though I'm not sure I could pull off hair quite that short with my round face.

I'm also considering getting new eyeglasses -- thick dark rimmed rectangular frames.  I'm really no good at discerning what kind of stuff looks good on me.

And I need to look into summer shoes, because Thursday reminded me that ankle boots are not good summer wear.
hermionesviolin: (hipster me)
[I had intended to post last night, but opted for sleep instead. Yes, I know this combo post is lengthy. You can just skip down to the poll at the end if you'd like.]


On Friday, I saw Layna at Harvard Square T Station, though I only paused long enough for a brief greeting and hug since I wanted to get to South Station to get the 5:40 commuter rail home.

However, once I got on the Red Line, it was stop-and-go, due to a slow-moving disabled train ahead.  (I don't know why they couldn't just have another train pull/push it or something.)

I got on around 5:20 and 5:55 I was still at Charles.  I couldn't stay sitting waiting any longer.  (I was reading a book but no longer focusing on it.)  I been thinking I'd get out at Park St. and walk to South Station, but I got out there and walked to Government Center, hopped on the Green Line to Park, and then ran to South Station.  Arriving at 6:19, which meant I missed both the 5:40 and the 6:15 train and had to wait for the 7:35.  (So if I'd gotten out when we arrived at Charles I probably would have made it.  Le sigh.)  ABP was out of mac&cheese, so I went to McDonald's for french fries and a fruit&walnut&yogurt.  I was gonna go back to ABP and get a lemonade, but McDonald's had a mint milkshake, so I got that.  I may have eaten too fast, or McDonald's fries and/or shakes do not agree with me, 'cause I felt unwell for a couple hours after.

I actually had two positive interactions with strangers, which was a pleasant surprise since usually I just want other travelers to get out of my way (especially now that school's back in session and students travel in slow-moving packs even more than tourists do).

1) At South Station I sat down at a table with a woman who had also missed her commuter rail due to the Red Line delay (plus she had intended to leave work early but then her company called a meeting at 3pm).  She works at Kendall and lives out in Zone 8 (two-hour commute), has a daughter who just started working at MGH a week ago.  The daughter's being really picky about apartments and one time said, "But it'll be at least a 35-minute commute" (the daughter has an entry-level position, so the places she can afford aren't right in the city).  Her mother thinks the commute will start to wear on her and she'll get more motivated to move out.  She hopes.  ("If she's not out by October One, I'm charging her rent.")

2) A man and a woman boarded the commuter rail at Back Bay and sat down on the aisle seats of a table, so I was a couple seats away but facing them.  I was enjoying listening to them talk, and then they got talking about kids and the woman was all: how can people spend all day with someone who can't even talk? and so on, and it was interesting, because that is totally me, but I've come to understand better the appeal, so I actually felt somewhat distant from the woman's railing.  The guy was saying that when kids are so young and they're learning about the world and growing and all it's just so magical -- and told the story of how one time when his kid was just a year or two old, he was talking over a hedge to a neighbor and saying how this time is so magical, and the kid was playing some plastic golf clubs and hit his dad "in the sack" and he literally couldn't talk for like ten minutes, so he was like, "It's such a magical," in that whisper kind of voice you do when you can't talk.  I laughed, and the guy said, "See, you understand."  I said, "I have no intention of ever having children, but I believe you."

***

First Singspiration of their 10th season.  I was present for like 4 songs 'cause I came in late [it starts at 7:30] and then helped Mike F. count the money.
The few I was there for were classics I'm actually familiar with -- "O Jesus, I Have Promised," "His Eye Is on The Sparrow," etc.  Someone requested "In the Garden," and I always think, "That's gonna be at my grandma's funeral, Why do you request this song? Is my mother going to cry?"  I forget that it is actually a nice song -- though I don't entirely understand it.  (1) "And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known."  For serious?  Jesus has never done this with anyone else in the history of ever?  *eyeroll*  (2) Okay, I admit that I was primed to think of it as a funeral song, but it still throws me that in the third and final stanza, the speaker is sent out of the garden -- like he just met Jesus in a dream or something and now has to go back to his "real life."

(My mom jotted down on her program the hymnal numbers of all the requested hymns.  Proof that she knows and loves me.)


Don asked me about my "Ask. Tell." and I said it was from Boston Pride this year, protesting the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy in the military.  "But everyone deserves the chance to die," he said (because he's just that classy).  I said that yes, I actually supported gays being allowed in the military, but the "Don't ask, don't tell." policy is a ridiculous halfway measure.  Mike F. overheard Don's "But everyone deserves the chance to die," so when we headed out to count the money I explained that Don had asked about my "Ask. Tell."  So we talked some about that.  Read more... )


After Singspiration was over, I hung out in the kitchen with my mom and grandma and people.  At one point, JoeF. came in and said to me: "Your momma's told me all about your trip."  Haha.  (As all my mother had told him was that I had gone to Europe.)  He said my mother was very proud of me and rightfully so, as were they.  He said he really appreciated my letters, said they were well-thought-out and my points were always well-taken, said he'd rather get one critiquing letter like mine than stacks of praise.  He literally said "I love your letters," and I said, "I love that you love them."


Later, one of the women (whose name I really should know), asked, "Did anyone listen to Focus on the Family last night?"  I did not look at my mother.  It turned out to be about overcoming adversity, so I did not have to deal with a "fight or flight" response.

***

Saturday, we had 11am pancake brunch.  Yay my mommy's sourdough pancakes.

Ginny came over and I showed my abbreviated photoset slideshow.

My grandma said she didn't recognize any of the stuff from Bangor (it was 54 years ago) and said most of what she remembers was the hospital (she gave birth to my uncle while she was there) and said Wales was nice.  I boggled, because all I used to hear about Bangor was how they had no heat and no one spoke English and the language sounded like chicken scratch and so on.  I mean, I'm pleased to hear vague nice things rather than the same negative things I've heard many times before, but still.

I got asked not only what my favorite place was and whether I would go back, but where I was planning to go for my next trip.  Uh, I just got back from this trip two weeks ago.  So I talked about how there are rumors that the people who work at the library in Norwood will do a 9-day cruise to the islands off the coast of Portugal next summer and how if they do I totally think I should get to go.  (I doubt this trip will happen, though, so all I'm planning on for next year is WriterCon.)

My mom have me a card with a dog on the front wearing a party hat with his nose up.  On the inside, it said: "Do I smell birthday cake?" under which my mother had written: "Isn't that why you're here?"  So true.  I always forget quite what my mom's cake (vegan chocolate cake with cream cheese [and almond flavouring] frosting) tastes like, but it continues to be delicious (and to give me this good memory feeling, because it's the birthday cake we've always had).

***

Thursday night, Eric e-mailed me (but to my HBS address, so I didn't see it until Friday morning):
Dear Elizabeth,
    Didn't know if you responded to Mike's message the other day about Saturday,let us know.  Also, if you could bring the DVD's i lent you in I'd appreciate it.
I responded: What time on Saturday are you planning on going?
Eric: Does it matter?  Would you really pass up a chance to see me belt out power ballads like a pro?
me: *cracks up*  Okay, fine, I'm sold.

He came up later (in part to say he was going to some boring mortgage talk for a free lunch) and said he'd call me, would be probably be around 8pm because that's when it was last time.  He also said I had to go onstage, because last time no one did except MaryAlice and he was pissed.  Uh . . . right.  I don't so much sing.

Saturday night, 7:40 text message from Eric: "I don't think were going out. Been a hectic night and everything seemed to go wrong..."

Which is unfortunate for him.  But in this heat, I was really fine with staying home.  (I had gone grocery shopping around 6, and there was some thunder and maybe lightning and I kept hoping for those predicted thunderstorms.)

***

The syllabus for my Introduction to the Classics of Western Thought I is up.

Book list
Plato, Plato's Republic, Grube, trans. and ed., Hackett
Aristotle, The Politics of Aristotle, Barker, trans., Oxford
The Bible, Revised Standard Version [Looking at the syllabus, the assigned readings are: Genesis, Exodus 1-23, Isaiah 11, Matthew, Romans]
Augustine, City of God, Pelican
Aquinas, Aquinas on Ethics and Politics, Sigmund, ed., Norton
Hillerbrand, ed., The Protestant Reformation, Harper Torchbook
Machiavelli, The Prince
Descartes, Discourse on Method/ Meditations etc., Hackett
Hobbes, Leviathan, Pelican
Spinoza, A Theologico-Political Treatise
Locke, Second Treatise on Government

***

Heather told me about Zanna, Don't! -- "straight/gay reveresed musical fairy tale" in her words.  I'm intrigued, though undecided as to whether I think I'd actually like it.

***

[livejournal.com profile] lunabee34 made a poll, and I thought it was a really good idea, so I'm stealing it.  Talk to me about my fic reccing. )
hermionesviolin: image of Jewel Staite (who played Kaylee on Firefly) with text "Jewel" (jewel)
I had my 4th/final pilates-on-the-ball class yesterday.  Wasn't excessively challenging, which I was glad of.

Heh, my Free Will horoscope (which I almost never look at these days, despite its amusement factor) is about facing fear.

I had a good conversation which helped me deal with the irrational anxiety I have around one of the parts of my job.  (Amnesty is a good thing.)

Prof.B. wants me to check in every 3 days while I'm in Europe -- text message or e-mail or whatever -- to confirm that, y'know, I'm not dead.  He's more solicitous than my parents ;)

He also suggested wearing a hat and said something about my being fair-skinned.  What is up with that?

[Poll #1036062]

***

You know how there are all those stories of people on the 9/11 hijacked flights who called their loved ones to say goodbye?  I was idly thinking about this last night, and then telling my parents today when they came to retrieve their Harry Potter book this afternoon.  Of course my thoughts included instructions.  I expect this will viewed as morbid, but really it's just pragmatic.  (And okay, possibly the tag for this should be something like "the cat is on the roof.")

I forbid Pastor Bill doing my funeral (I'm not gonna bar anyone from attending, and if you wanna open the floor to anyone to say nice things about me, fine, but he is not officiating), but I'm not necessarily opposed to having it at UCN.  My mom thinks having it at UCN would be uncomfortable.  Conveniently, I'm attending a multiplicity of congregations.  CWM meets in an upstairs room rather than an actual sanctuary, but CAUMC has a sanctuary (and also a smaller chapel area adjacent).  CHPC also also has a sanctuary, but I feel more connected to the CWM/CAUMC world.  It would be kind of amusing to do it like Trelawney and Eric's wedding, with multiple officiants, but I think I want Tiffany to do it.

Just in case anyone is still misconstruing this: I have no desire to die, and in fact a strong desire to not die.

***

At lunch, Katie said, "My pickle is leaking."  It went downhill from there.

Sidebar: I said the verb rather than the noun is the problem.  Eric said "is" is the verb.  I said it's a gerund phrase.  He said "is" is still the verb.  I said okay fine, the gerund portion of the verb phrase is the problem.

wikipedia says:
In linguistics, "gerund" is a term used to refer to various non-finite verb forms in various languages:
  • As applied to English, it refers to what might be called a verb's action noun, which is one of the uses of the -ing form.

Oh, and I was still meeting with Prof.B. when Katie left for the day, so she left me an adorable note on my desk.  How do I surround myself with such good people?

***

I knew Ari wouldn't mind if I didn't finish it until after Europe, but I felt guilty on behalf of the comm, so I finished my femslash_minis fic.

When I was first starting writing it, the structure helped me a lot since initially I had absolutely no idea for plot.  By the end, though, it became more hindrance than help, so the flow is somewhat uneven now.  However, I am not a good enough writer to go back and rewrite the whole thing, so there it is.  And I'll stop myself now before I end up listing all of the abundant flaws of the fic.

And yes I really did wanna come up with a better title -- like one that didn't begin with a number.

***

P.S. I know the source of my Subject line, but out of courtesy for my parents (and anyone else), please no Book 7 spoilers in comments.

***

Oh, man, bahletegate keeps getting worse and worse.  Some of this is making me want to go back to working on the entry I started back during the incest round, but I'm kind of glad I'll be away (though it's not like that will be stress-free -- I will have to be on the 'net at least some this weekend to finish my travel plans).

And on that note, I should go back to packing.  (Yeah, finishing that fic took way longer than I had expected.  Though having ideas was kind of cool.  Even though the ideas didn't always work with preceding structure plans.)  I need to be up at 5, so I may do that all-nighter thing and just sleep on the plane (which will of course fuck me up since I arrive at 8:30pm local time; sigh).
hermionesviolin: Boston skyline at sunset with the word "Boston" at the top (Boston)
I skipped strawberry festival and Sue's women's potluck for gay baby animals (to use Amy's phrase).

I woke up on my own after only about seven hours of sleep, showered, got dressed, had breakfast, bought groceries, and headed out.

I stopped at South Station to buy a 12-ride.  (I have two round trips left, but I like restocking before I run out.)  I hadn't realized that with the Charlie switchover the commuter rail 12-rides would also be printed on shiny CharlieTickets (since as far as I know, the commuter rail hasn't yet implemented equipment to read the electronic cards -- hence why you still have to buy monthly rail passes rather than recharging a CharlieCard like you can do for Subway/Bus).  Do they still punch these?  Do they have handheld scanning devices?  The only information I can find from MBTA.com is "CharlieCards for commuter rail, commuter boats and inner harbor ferries are planned for 2007. In the meantime, continue to use single and multi-ride tickets or a CharlieTicket T-Pass or cash."

Oh, and as opposed to the old method of stamping the expiration date (six months from the date of purchase) on the back which no one ever checked, this one has it clearly printed right below the 1-12 boxes.  I expect what with Singspirations and holidays I'll have it nearly used up by then anyway, but this still bothers me.

Sidenote: When did Charlie on the MBTA become "This blog is open to invited readers only"?

***

Yesterday I was talking to Eric, and neither of us had ever been to Franklin Park, which is in Dorchester.
He said, "Those poor animals."  [Here I thought he was gonna go into an anti-zoo spiel, so I was prepared to just nod.]  "All those drive-by shootings."  So wrong, and yet so funny.

I took the 45 from Ruggles and watched out the window, as I've never been in Roxbury/Dorchester before.
* There is a bus stop: "Malcolm X Blvd. at King St."  Hee.
* Madison Park High School is huge and looks so institutional -- like Cutter-Ziskind, but with smaller windows (and possibly there are two or three schools all next to each other?).
* I saw a sign for "Law Offices of Mark E. Salamone"!  Oh, nostalgia.  (Those commercials were on all the time when I was younger.)
* I saw so many churches (Baptist, Catholic, mission, etc.), which wasn't surprising when I thought about it, though it then got me thinking about parsing the appeal of organized religion to disadvantaged populations and then (since it's a recent pet issue of mine) the issue of reconciling experience of suffering with belief in a loving God.
* I was struck by how much Spanish language signage there was, as I think of the area as predominantly African-American, which population I think of as English-speaking.
* There was condo development.  I boggled.
* There's a shopping plaza labeled "Grove Hill's mecca" which is, y'know, an interesting name choice, especially since I saw a "Muhammad's Mosque of Islam" sign v. nearby.

Looking at GoogleMaps, I'm amused that Milton -- which I think of as v. wealthy -- abuts Dorchester.  I'm also just generally amused by the proximity of (West) Roxbury and Dorchester to the quiet white-bread suburb I grew up in, where I grew up feeling like that was this distant "inner-city" Boston thing.

Kind of annoying that http://www.sec.state.ma.us/cis/cispdf/ma_city_town.pdf just gives me BOSTON, flanked by [counterclockwise] Somerville, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Needham, Dedham, Canton, Milton, and Quincy.  So it's no help in ascertaining where Allston-Brighton, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, Dorchester, etc. are -- ooh, Wikipedia for the win.

I don't drive, but I've really gotta get a better grasp on the geography of Greater Boston and environs.


***


I arrived at the zoo before Amy&co. and while I hadn't actually expected the zoo to only allow in folks with a gay discount pass (nor would I in fact want them to do so) I was thrown by the number of male-female couples I saw with children.

I walked around a bit (including the butterfly tent) and then got in line for some food.  I got $6 quesadilla and $2 fries and $4 frozen lemonade.  I was actually kind of impressed with their restraint in price gouging.
My "Cheese Quesadilla" was a problem, however.  The menu said, "Made with three kinds of cheese, mild salsa, sour cream, and fajita seasoning."  So I at first thought the white chunks in it were a kind of cheese but grew increasingly certain.  Sigh.

By the time Amy and [livejournal.com profile] pirateygoodness arrived, there were more folks with HRC stickers, so as we wandered the zoo we were also keeping an eye out for somewhere to obtain "gay street cred" (Amy's phrase).
We got to the other end of the park and saw a big set of tables with banners.  There was an actual schedule of events -- who knew?  Okay, people who read the link perhaps -- "Activities will include face painting, scavenger hunt, zookeeper encounters and sidewalk chalk drawing."  Shut up.  It was by this time 2:30, so we'd missed most everything, which was fine.  We realized some time later that there was in fact an entrance to the zoo there and perhaps it was in fact the main entrance.  (Looking back at the discount ticket I got -- "Join us for a memorable day dedicated to the LGBT community -- our families, friends, and allies." -- it does in fact say "Giraffe Entrance.")
(Oh, and I was wearing my flamey shirt.)

The entrance to the snake area actually said "SlitherInn."  No lie.  There is photographic evidence.

Highlights of the zoo (as far as I'm concerned) included: peacocks, black swans, and a white tiger.  Yeah, I clearly go for the glammy over the fuzzy.  We also saw lemurs, a tamarind of some sort (not golden lion, sadly), a pygmy falcon (me: "It's like Amy -- cute and tiny and could take your eyes out."), a gorilla and two young'uns, red kangaroos, a lion, tapir (reminiscent of a hippo), capybara (someone said it resembled a chipmunk :) ), sheep, camels, etc.  Jane's usually useless superpower is apparently being able to spot a zoo animal in its exhibit almost immediately.

We also watched the zebras a lot.  There was one pair that we weren't sure if they were fighting or prelude to mating (or, y'know, picking off fleas or something -- "There's a lot of biting.").  I joked that if any of us were in SGA fandom we could claim we were doing research.
    There was also conversation about what zoo fic in the Firefly-verse would look like.
    There was assorted other fannish talk as well as discussion of cultural touchstones from our childhood (Amy, I was right that it was "[something] Acres" and you were right that it was "Orson's Farm" -- "Regular segments featured both Garfield and U.S. Acres, a lesser-known comic strip created by Davis. The latter was retitled Orson's Farm for foreign syndication.").

Apparently Dippin' Dots are a zoo tradition.  I had barely even heard of them.  We all ended up ordering some (I got Banana Split) and they're not bad, though it's still such a weird concept.

***

Riding the Red Line home, reading my book, I noticed my dogtag had flipped over, as it is wont to do, so I flipped it back (so the text was facing out), and this older guy across from me said he had been wondering what my dogtag said, so thank you for turning it around.  He said he had thought of a lot of possibilities, but none of them were that.  I was tempted to ask what he had thought it might say, but just said it was from Boston Pride this year.  He said that regardless of where one stands on the issue, something that's "that clever, that in your face [...] it's very clever," and he said it was "very elegant."  I thanked him and said I quite liked it, too.  In retrospect I should have engaged him about the issue, but I was tired and wasn't used to being engaged about the dogtag in quite that way (though it still made me happy).

***

At one point at the zoo, in conversation about the steep prices, I mentioned Pride, and Amy suggested we bring a picnic lunch to Pride next time.

So because I actually enjoy Planning Ahead, here's the running list of things to remember for Boston Pride next year:

* better advance planning regarding meeting up (both for parade watching and for post-parade meeting up at Festival -- most likely possibilities are HRC booth since it had a banner, or BayWindows blimp; though I'm inclined to just say Govt. Ctr. T entrance as that's a constant ... assuming it ends at City Hall again, of course)
* picnic lunch
* signs, possibly referencing LJ in some way

Also: I need to figure out when I'm having my birthday party here.  I've asked about this before, but poll:

[Poll #1008955]
hermionesviolin: silhouette of a figure holding an umbrella while rain falls (rain)
Meh, zombies bore me.  Though it's kind of fun watching this pseudo-RPG play out on my flist.

OriginalRoomie did not in fact leave our potential new roommates hanging, and there is a plan for cleaning the house a bit and showing the apartment on Saturday.

I mailed packages today.

I ate well today:
* FA luncheon: I had bits of pre-prepared salads (mushrooms, mozzarella, sliced almonds) but then they also had spinach lasagna and poh-tay-toes.  And there was chocolate mousse cake for dessert.
* Siobhan brought back Swiss chocolate for Ranjan and Clare, and Ranjan shared.
* Family dinner at Firefly.  I thought about getting the "Baked Brie with french bread, apples & grapes" starter, but since I had decided on pizza (Roasted Garlic with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, shredded mozzarella) as my main dish I (rightly) suspected that would be quite enough.  I was tempted by the White Sangria but got the Almond Joy martini instead.  I had one sip and felt dizzy; wow, I hadn't realized my alcohol tolerance had gotten that low.  Oh, and we shared an eight-layer (v. tall but not v. wide) chocolate mousse type thing for dessert.

Poll courtesy of Greg:
[Poll #1002870]

Also:
* [livejournal.com profile] thistlerose is going to be hosting a Dawn Was Here All Along ficathon ([livejournal.com profile] dawn_all_along).
* [livejournal.com profile] xanphibian is polling in preparation for a "boywhores" (cf. Kaylee in "Heart of Gold") ficathon/fest.
hermionesviolin: close up of a violin, with a bow in the background (violin)
Tonight I went to the Girlyman concert (with adrianne opening) with [livejournal.com profile] hedy.  I obviously didn't know the opener and had heard of Girlyman but really didn't know their music (I turned out to have one mp3, which I quite liked) but I figured why not.

Both acts I felt somewhat like the New Pornographers/Immaculate Machine concert I'd gone to with [livejournal.com profile] trijinx -- that the songs sounded pretty though I didn't really understand what was going on in the lyrics.

I particularly liked these Girlyman songs:
- "Easy Pearls"
- "St. Peter's Bones"
- "Reva Thereafter"

For their encore they did two covers, one of which was a queering of Loretta Lynn's "Fist City."  Hee.

***

During one of the anecdotes they were telling, Nate mentioned the Muppet on Sesame Street who played the piano and would say in exasperation, "I'll never get it," and bang his head against the keys.  He asked if anyone in the audience (besides his parents) knew the name of said Muppet, and I thought, "Amy would know this!"  (No one in the audience seemed to know it, so he told us.)  He also said that apparently that Muppet got pulled because kids were banging their heads against piano keys in imitation -- and that upon learning this his immediate reaction was, "I did that;" the other band members did that as children as well.

Obviously this is cause for polling.

[Poll #953215]
hermionesviolin: black and white photo of Emma Watson, with text "hermionesviolin" (hermione by oatmilk)
I left my house this morning and there was a definite coating of snow on the ground.  At first I thought the snow in the air was just loose snow blowing, but at least some of it was definitely falling fresh.  Had a beautiful six-pointed star on the lapel of my coat for a while.  ♥

One of the guys on our floor took an extra fifteen minutes walking to work this morning, stopping all the time to take pictures.  ♥

*

Alyssa and I have been proofing a book our profs are co-writing, and she was thrown by the use of the word "lest" (phrase: "lest you think").  I think it's common.  So,

[Poll #912845]

[Edit: I heart LJ. I post a poll at 9:50pm on a Tuesday night and in the first hour get 13 responses -- all of which agree with me even :) ]

*

links from today:

A Kitten's Guide to Nigerian Tuna Spam (v. v. funny)

cap of Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion in the film Waitress

today's Dinosaur comic: HAPPY "TELL YOUR BEST FRIEND WHAT TURNS YOU ON" DAY the holiday for people with Not Enough Problems (the syn feed allows you to share with the world if not your best friend)

*

I caught up on Heroes schtuff today.  (Eric was mysteriously absent, so I didn't get to chat with him about last night's episode.)

Thoughts on comic #12 "Super-heroics"?
"Wireless" is interesting, though that kind of story doesn't ping me.  Adds interesting info to the HRG story.  I disapprove of that silhouette in Part 3, though.  nbc.com's "Wireless" clip won't load on my computer, but [livejournal.com profile] athene proffered the YouTube link.  That was what really pulled me in.
#17 "How do you stop an exploding man?" also has some interesting stuff.

*

When I got on the train at Harvard to come home, there weren't any convenient open poles, so I actually took a seat (something I rarely do).  I'm reading Octavia Butler's Fledgling and apparently got more absorbed in it than I thought 'cause I got off the train and oops, I was at Alewife.  I've actually never been inside Alewife T Station, so that was kinda neat.  If I had a more solid idea as to how to walk home from there I would have just gone out and walked, but there are a bunch of highways around there and I don't really know which direction to go in, so I just got back on the train.

*

Um, just a little while ago I went to turn on the hot water and nothing came out.  Turn the cold water faucet and water comes out, but nothing when turning the hot water faucet.  Er, note to self: set alarm for early, so if this persists I can take a shower at the HBS gym. [Edit: I did indeed get a hot shower at home the next morning. Yay.]
hermionesviolin: black and white photo of Emma Watson, with text "hermionesviolin" (hermione by oatmilk)
O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
-"O Little Town of Bethlehem" (Phillips Brooks)


Friday cold snap, Singspiration, etc. )

Saturday library visit, a poll, shopping, etc. )

Earlier this weekend I was feeling grinchy for not having participated in most anyone's holiday card polls and lo, I picked up my mail when I got home and it included one from [livejournal.com profile] pandorasboxes which filled me with ♥.

I'm feeling somewhat overwhelmed/inadequate. The idea of writing this Joyce paper, of writing an exam, when I have no thoughts; plus the cleaning I should do before I have visitors this holiday, plus etc.

Sunday

I woke up at like 5:45 or something -- or dreamed I did -- but went back to sleep and didn't end up getting up until about 9 (which means ~9hrs of sleep/night two nights in a row).

I also had weird dreams.  Read more... )
hermionesviolin: animated gif of Buffy standing on the balcony of the Bronze, Spike coming up behind her, and Buffy looking turned on, with text "I'm not saying that I'm a saint / I just don't want to live that way / No, I will never be a saint" (not that innocent [purple_smurf])
I saw Mr. Carver on my way to the library this morning; he asked me if I was looking for a place on my own and I said I wasn't eager to move again anytime soon, that I got along with my roommates, and he interrupted and said he hadn't realized I'd moved in to an apartment.  Oops.

Usually I'm visiting MML on a Saturday, so I'm lucky if I see Marcia.  Today was a Friday, however, so I saw Michele, Mary K., Margot, Shelby, Harriet, and Jane.  And Terry, of course.

He walked me down to Perks (where I was meeting Jonah for lunch) and bought me a hot chocolate.  Jonah said we were cute together.  ::smiles::

Lunch didn't last as long as I'd expected, so I went back to the library to hang out with Terry some more.

When I was working on my previous post, I was thinking about what I would say as Affirmations for people who don't read this, and I was thinking that one of my favorite things about Terry is that I can ask him anything and he'll answer me, and be very matter-of-fact about it, and I don't feel awkward in the asking.

I was thinking about how much I value honesty and wondering if that's part of the appeal of people like Eric -- their bluntness even when obnoxious is a form of honesty (and openness), which I so value.  Of course, saying obnoxious shit one doesn't really believe grates on me.

Eric once complained that all we do (in human interactions) is tell each other stories, and while I could argue that statement (though one could argue that any discourse is a form of story-telling), my primary reaction was to not see this as a bad thing at all.

I'm sure a part of this is that I'm so nosy and also so into telling people about myself, but isn't learning each other's stories so core?  Last week's Ulysses chapter included the Nausicaa chapter, and a good chunk of class was spent on the parallels in it to other lit (ways to make me happy), so now I have The Odyssey in my head and want to say something here about the tradition of inviting strangers into one's home and asking them to share their stories, but Homeric-type lit isn't my strongest subject.

I was looking up the full Evelyn Torton Beck quote I have in my LJ Profile that I'd been trying to quote from memory to Jonah ("Why is the possibility of 'passing' so insistently viewed as a great privilege [...] and not understood as a terrible degradation and denial?"), and on the preceding page she writes, "In order to feel fully safe I need to feel known."  I think I may edit the quotation in my UserInfo to include that bit (though of course it's complicated; and in thinking further, part of the safety of my relationship with some of my close friends is knowing that they love and accept me without having to know all the details of my life/history/etc.).

***

<cryptic> I have some memory of winning an argument last time, but I definitely won the argument this time.  This actually makes me sad, because if you believe something is "not okay" then why do it?

I really dislike the "men can't help themselves" defense -- primarily because it's so insulting to men, though of course it's also problematic in placing all the responsibility on women.

So we were having this conversation and I didn't have a dataset on hand but obviously I thought of LJ.  Poll answers viewable only to me.  I'm not screening comments, but anon commenting is on (as always) if you want to utilize that.
[Poll #874847]
Terry rejected my "It depends" answer, hence it is denied to you for the purposes of this poll.  I know I'm also being unfair in making you pick a gender binary identification; just work with me here.  (Or leave a comment instead of a poll answer if you must.)

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hermionesviolin: an image of Alyson Hannigan (who plays Willow Rosenberg) with animated text "you think you know / what you are / what's to come / you haven't even / BEGUN" (Default)Elizabeth (the delinquent, ecumenical)

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