What places make of us

Jul. 29th, 2014 06:00 am
[syndicated profile] terriwindling_feed

Posted by Terri Windling

Tilly and the oak elder

After finishing Olivia Laing's To the River, in which the author walks the River Ouse from its source to the sea, my next re-reading project is to revisit two of my favorite books about walking -- Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit and The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane -- before moving on to another first-time read: A Philosophy of Walking by Frédéric Gros.

What better time of year could there be for walkers' tales of holloways, hedgerows, green roads, ghost roads, pilgrim ways and nights under the stars? Every time I ramble through the woods with Tilly my feet want to carry me on and further on, the flag of her tail waving jauntily ahead...until I catch myself succumbing to the "rapture of the pathway," stop, give a whistle, and turn for home; work must be done and life attended to, as the clocks tick tock, and the telephone rings, and nevermind how sweetly the sun filters through the trees, nevermind, nevermind. Come along, dear girl. We must away.

Woodland path

But in my imagination, we don't turn back, we keep on climbing through ash, old oak, thickets of holly, tall stands of pine, while the little woodland grows large around us, becoming a proper forest now, and the trail and the tale wind on and the tree tops shiver and the story begins:

Once upon a time....

Woodland path

"I have long been fascinated," writes Robert Macfarlane, "by how people understand themselves using landscape, by the topographies of self we carry within us and by the maps we make with which to navigate these interior terrains. We think in metaphors drawn from place, and sometimes those metaphors do not only adorn our thoughts, but actively produce it. Landscape, to borrow George Eliot's phrase, can 'enlarge the imagined range for self to move in.'

"As I envisage it, landscape projects into us not like a jetty or peninsula, finite and bounded by its volume and reach, but instead as a kind of sunlight, flickeringly unmappable in its plays yet often quickening and illuminating. We are adept, if occasionally embarrassed, at saying what we make of places -- but we are far less good at saying what places make of us.

"For some time now it has seemed to me that the two questions we should ask of any strong landscape are these: firstly, what do I know when I am in this place that I can know nowhere else? and then, vainly, what does this place know of me that I cannot know of myself?"

Old oak

Yes, those are, indeed, the right questions....but I'm troubled by Macfarlane's use of the word "vainly." What precisely can he mean by this? That the question is a narcissistic one, with its assumption that the land gives a toss about us? Or that it's a question asked in vain, to which we will never have an answer? 

It's my belief that the second question can be answered, for it is possible to have a conversation with the landscape and to hear (at least to the degree we are capable of hearing) what the land around us has to say. Art is one time-honored way to facilitate such a dialogue; another, used by animist cultures around the globe, is through sacred rituals specifically designed to mediate between the human and nonuman worlds. The conversation requires a relationship with the landscape...and patience, time, the ability to truly listen, and a certain humility...but there's nothing extraordinary or supernatural about it. Young children talk to the land instinctively. It's only as adults that we forget.

Hiding in plain sight

"Tell me the landscape in which you live," said the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset,  "and I'll tell you who you are."

"Hurts so good"

Jul. 28th, 2014 11:20 pm
rosefox: "He realized that all this time, when he'd been saying OW OW YOU FUCKING BITCH what he really meant was I LOVE YOU." (pain)
[personal profile] rosefox
This userpic isn't applicable to many sorts of pain, but it is perfect for physical therapy.

PT is EXHAUSTING. I'd forgotten. Also, going straight from PT to walking half a mile to the subway station, sitting on the L for 45 minutes, and then driving from Manhattan to Brooklyn was maybe not my smartest move ever.

The physio thinks my lifelong right hip wackiness is the cause of the knee issues, which would make a whole lot of sense. Apparently my right ITB and quad are "astonishingly tight". "Wait until you get to my hip flexors!" I said cheerfully. Then he tried to make my right hip bend the way most people's right hips bend and I yelled a lot.

* 8 weeks of biweekly PT
* Daily exercises at home w/ Theraband: 3 x 10 @ leg press, 3 x 10 @ hamstring curls, followed by ice (have the ice pack handy before starting to exercise so I don't have to hobble to the freezer for it)
* Start taking glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM (I've ordered an unflavored drink mix version that I can mix into chocolate milk or something, rather than swallow those enormous pills)
* No more sitting with both knees pointing to the left <.<

I'm seriously tempted to just keep going weekly or every other week after my eight weeks of intensive PT are up. The physio is hands-on and terrific, and therapeutic massage is amazing. And because I'm going to a shabby little PT clinic over in Brownsville (also known as "the neighborhood that will never, ever gentrify"), it's only $50 a session. That's the uninsured rate*. O.O The physio was telling me that he moved to Staten Island because he can't afford Brooklyn--maybe it's because he's seriously undercharging his clients. At that rate I really could go just for... well, not fun, exactly, but because it would probably be good to work on fixing my hips so that the knee problems don't recur, and because it feels good, and because I'm a lot more likely to exercise if it's been prescribed by someone I have to fess up to every week or two.

* I have insurance, but my plan year just started and I haven't met my deductible yet. Insert standard "American health care system is broken and bullshit" rant here.

The drive from Manhattan to Brooklyn was because [livejournal.com profile] auntyglory is in town and she hasn't driven to our place before. Giving her directions would stress her out and navigating from the passenger seat would stress me out, so she drove into Manhattan from her cousin's place in New Jersey, and I met up with her and drove us home in her car. This was definitely the least mentally and emotionally taxing option, but NYC traffic means a lot of right-leg work, and by the time we got home I was very thoroughly done with any sort of moving around. She wants to go shopping tomorrow; I hope I'm up for it.


Jul. 28th, 2014 10:31 pm
killabeez: (Default)
[personal profile] killabeez
Tired. Frazzled. Life stuff. [fill in blanks]

Hey, does anyone remember a comm from a few years back where people watched vids in fandoms they knew nothing about, and then wrote commentary on the vids? Like, using the vid as a fandom interpretive lens? I remember that as being very amusing, and I would like to find it again. Any help appreciated!

The Leftovers...

Jul. 29th, 2014 12:42 am
lostdragonfound: (OUaT: CS Snow Drifts EF)
[personal profile] lostdragonfound
I'm not sure why I'm still watching this show. Sometimes I kind of like it, other times I kind of hate it, but mostly I just don't care.

minor spoilers...Read more... )

Giveaways, App and Music Deals 07/29

Jul. 29th, 2014 04:05 am
[syndicated profile] booksontheknob_feed

Posted by Books

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Today’s Android App Deals of the Day are 50% off Toy Story: Smash It! by Disney ($0.99) and 67% off Gravity Falls Mystery Shack Attack by Disney ($0.99). The New Release Apps of the Day are Furious Snake by Amigo Games ($1.99) and Time Connect by Happy Planet Games ($0.99).

The MP3 Album Deal of the Day are Spring Break…Here To Party by Luke Bryan ($3.99), Little Big Box :: The Passion According To St. Matthew ($0.99) and the newly released Big Violin Box ($0.99). The New Releases of the Day are 5 Seconds Of Summer (Deluxe) by 5 Seconds Of Summer ($10.99) and Nobody’s Smiling (Deluxe) [Explicit] by Common ($11.49). Today’s Music Deal of the Day is Electronic Dance Albums from $4.99.


The Long Run by Daniel Keys Moran

Jul. 29th, 2014 12:29 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
(original cover)

(original cover - full)

(current cover)

For the life of me I cannot recall who recommended Moran to me but while my mass market paperback is a first printing (I think), I know I did not find it on my own. I remember a figure – tetrapod, bipedal, endothermic, homeothermic, and tachymetabolic - raving about The Long Run in my store decades ago convincingly enough that I made a point of buying it. Having bought it, I then tracked down every other Moran book that I could – Armageddon Blues, Emerald Eyes and later, The Last Dancer. Then silence fell. Publishing is a cruel and arbitrary world and it seemed that like so many other authors, Moran had been cast out into the shadows.

Happily, his books are once again available; the link is at the bottom of this review unless, ha ha, I forgot to include it. A sensible person would add it right now; I wonder what I actually did?

Onwards to The Long Run, and if I ever sound a bit negative, do remember this book was good enough to make me a Moran completist [1]. Read more... )

so you think the world is weird?

Jul. 28th, 2014 11:38 pm
seperis: (Default)
[personal profile] seperis
In case anyone missed this:

Satanic Temple seeks Hobby Lobby-style exemption from anti-abortion laws

Thank you, yahoo news; I can state with perfect honesty that I didn't see this coming.

Release 0.9.15 (Part 9): Change Log

Jul. 28th, 2014 11:53 pm
[syndicated profile] ao3_news_feed


  • Coders: Ariana, Elz, Enigel, Sarken, Scott, Stephanie Smith
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Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


Jul. 28th, 2014 11:49 pm
archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Literal headache. Juuuuust small enough that I didn't take anything for it till recently, when it started getting meaner.

I did fix spouse's pants, yay.

This morning, Ivan was in the basement. When I brought him up, he was very... restless, agitated. I held him on my lap a bit and warmed him up, and that seemed to calm him. I think we really, really need to get some intermediate "stairs" for the treads so he has a chance of going up and down without getting himself stuck down there. (There are litterboxes upstairs. He doesn't want to use them.)

I am concerned over his vision. He will try to walk through/over things that are not immediately In His Face. I guess he's pretending they don't exist if he can't see them, but this does not work well.

I have added holding blobs of food (laced with glucosymine (...can't spell that...) treat that I crumbled up and mixed with the soft food), on my fingers, to get him to eat it. He still hasn't finished that one. He likes the powder better. So do I; I don't have to rub the gummi-fish treat in my fingers till it crumbles.

I will pretend that repairing my spouse's pants (one hem, one seam, one pocket seam) is productive.

Havva Quote
Sometimes you're trying to do something relatively simple, like get close to a tornado. Tornadoes are antisocial things, and are angered by your presumptive familiarity. they show their displeasure by hurling farming irrigation systems at your car.

INwatch+Bookwatch )
Adopt one today!
Dragons under fold )
ofearthandstars: (Unstoppable)
[personal profile] ofearthandstars
After a monstrously slow day at work, I came home and went for a tiny 1.25 mile run, followed by 15 minutes of walking. During that I finished listening to The Book Thief, which was just wonderful - it's my first ever audiobook (well, since childhood), and the story-telling style of the novel just suits it so well in audio. Allan Corduner’s voice is just amazing here. I cannot recommend it enough. It is lovely and sad and yet very full.

Last night I'd prepared a meal for the crockpot (an African-style peanut stew) and refrigerated it overnight, so today I just called L. at noon and kindly asked him to plop the ceramic bowl into the crockpot, such that I only had to add a little spinach and cook a little couscous when I got home. It was a pretty good meal, and not having to cut up vegetables = priceless. Win!

I've been working on collecting a number of canning/old sauce jars of various sizes to store my bulk-bought items in the pantry. I've been having some trouble with a pantry moth infestation (double ick), and so tonight I set out to clean up the top two shelves of the pantry (which hold all the flours, sugars, grains, and legumes). I moved almost everything that I could into a tightly sealed glass jar, with the exception of a few things that are in sealable bags, and I threw a lot of crap away. I also found a few things, like that giant bag of hemp seed that I did not know existed.

I am too ashamed to show you the bottom shelf, which is full of spices and is a gorram mess. I hope to tackle that one tomorrow night.

I really need some gallon-jars to house the larger bags of flours (those are on the top right at the back, behind the oils), but the last time I went in to buy some I dropped one and it shattered everywhere, which left me too mortified to buy one.

I also cleaned out another half-cabinet that houses the dried fruits, nuts, and seeds in smaller jars - most of my nuts/seeds are in the fridge because of spoilage concerns, and that's a huge mess because they are mostly kept in the paper bags they are bought in.

Also, I hate pasta boxes with the fury of a thousand burning suns. They just *barely* fit into my cabinet standing upright, and they never, ever stay closed, even if I tape or band them. I swear half of tonight's cleaning was brushing away broken pasta shells. *grump*

(no subject)

Jul. 28th, 2014 09:20 pm
boxofdelights: earring (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
[personal profile] telophase also linked to http://www.playbuzz.com/gregs/can-we-guess-who-you-are-in-only-20-questions

Answering truthfully, I got
Here is our best guess at who you are:
1. You are male.
2. You are still a teenager, but won't be one for very much longer.
3. You're in college and are already worried about finding the perfect job that will be both fulfilling and will pay well. Your future worries you more than you'd like to admit.
4. You have beautiful, silky brown hair and big eyes.
5. You know that if you'd only believe in yourself more, things would be much easier for you. Yet you still doubt your instincts more than you should, instead of trusting them every time.

So, how did we do? How many of these did we get right? Tell us in the comments!

Half of one. Almost. I used to have beautiful, silky brown hair. And small eyes.

They offered me Pixar characters, I picked Merida! They offered me food, I picked salad! A lot of my demographic never wears makeup!

ETA: Oh, I got Mungo's results! Except he has nooooooooooo trouble believing in himself. None.
rosefox: Me looking out a window, pensive. (thoughtful)
[personal profile] rosefox
Today I went looking for a paper I wrote for a college course in 1996--and found it. It's... um. It's not bad, by the standards of papers written by white freshmen about AAVE. There are surprisingly few parts that make me cover my face and shake my head, probably because most of it is primary source quotes. I'm amused to realize that I still write articles basically the same way: quote primary sources as much as possible, with just enough link text to provide some structure and flow.

Anyway, that got me looking through my folder of old text files, and I found a diary entry of sorts, dated December 3, 1996. If LJ had existed at the time, it would have been an LJ entry, so I posted it, backdated. It's here if anyone's curious. I find it of interest mostly because it establishes a date for my first self-diagnosis with depression and describes my experience of being depressed at the time. Also little notes about my life that are very telling:

"I've found a job that makes me almost as happy as writing for a living would, and which requires much less courage." That job was copy editing for the NYU student newspaper. I admire 18-year-old me for being so perceptive; I continue to cherish editorial work, and to choose it as a career, because it requires far, far less bravery than writing.

"I still have my writing talent, but no time to exercise it, and it's trapped in a cage where I can feel it reverting from housepet to wild animal, all the training eating itself away.... I still have story ideas, though they rarely get to bloom, and the only thing that hurts worse than the unsprouted seed is the one which pokes up a few shoots, looks promising, and then withers away because I don't have the time to care for it properly." Clearly I came into my talent for metaphors at an early age. And... yeah, this is all still true, except that I've gotten a lot better at not looking at it.

"The present never interested me; the past, the future, and the timeless are my domain. The present is vaguely repellant. The past is warm and familiar, the future softly bright and promising..." The positive descriptors are misleading. I'm not drawn to the past or future. The description of the present as "repellant" is much more accurate; specifically, it describes what I would now call anxiety. The past and the future are places to hide from the present.

"I use that word a lot these days. 'Safe.' I wonder what I feel that I need to be kept safe from. My own weariness, maybe. Or the world. Or time." These days I challenge the whole notion of wanting to be kept safe. Risk and bravery are better.

And now I'm going to close those folders before I start reading old chatlogs. That way lies days of secondhand angst and misery.


Jul. 28th, 2014 08:51 pm
boxofdelights: earring (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
[personal profile] telophase pointed to this short interesting article: The experience of hearing voices is complex and varies from person to person, according to Luhrmann. The new research suggests that the voice-hearing experiences are influenced by one's particular social and cultural environment – and this may have consequences for treatment.

It's interesting to think about the culturally-mediated experience of hearing voices in Blackstone, the Canadian TV show set in a First Nations reservation. Two of the characters see and hear someone no one else does. In both cases, it's a close family member who is dead, and the experience is distressing. Neither character thinks of the experience as mental illness, though one does ask a doctor for sleeping pills to avoid seeing the dead family member in dreams.

The second season of Blackstone is streaming on Hulu now. Have any of you watched it?

POI watchlong 3x23

Jul. 28th, 2014 09:06 pm
kindkit: Finch and Reese sitting on a bench together (POI: Finch and Reese on the bench)
[personal profile] kindkit
The last episode. My episode summary is in the post; my own reactions will be in the comments on LJ. Anyone's welcome to join in. I'm avoiding any S4 spoilers that may be floating around online, so please don't mention any.

Summary )
[syndicated profile] angry_asian_man_feed

Posted by Phil Yu

Leading man in such films as The Crimson Kimono, Flower Drum Song and Bridge to the Sun

Sad news. Pioneering Asian American actor James Shigeta, who was a leading man in such films as The Crimson Kimono, Flower Drum Song and Bridge to the Sun, died Monday in Los Angeles. He was 81.

James Shigeta, Top Asian-American Actor of Early '60s and 'Die Hard' Co-Star, Dies at 81

Handsome and charming, Shigeta was one of the first prominent Asian American actors. He made his film debut in 1959 starring as a detective caught up in a love triangle in Samuel Fuller's The Crimson Kimono, kicking off a solid two-year run of film roles, including Walk Like a Dragon (1960), Cry for Happy (1961) and Bridge to the Sun (1961). He won a Golden Globe Award in 1960 for "Most Promising Male Newcomer."

Read more »


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she of the remarkable biochemical capabilities!

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