Poem for Thursday and Citi Field

Jul. 27th, 2017 12:34 am
littlereview: (jewitch)
[personal profile] littlereview
What the Businessman Said )

I had no vehicle on Wednesday, so Alice and Avery came to visit and we spent the better part of the afternoon chasing down Pokemon raids. Despite being out many coins for raid passes, I had a fairly good day -- I caught another Articuno and won a Lugia raid that got me lots of rare candy even though I didn't catch the Lugia -- but we couldn't get enough people for a successful Tyranitar raid so I still don't have one, and Avery didn't catch any of the legendaries at the raids we won, so he was frustrated.

We may do more raiding to help Avery get a legendary on Friday. When we weren't raiding, we had lunch at Cava and watched Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea. Adam was in College Park until very late in the evening and missed all this fun. The rest of my day was chores, though I got to do some of them while Paul and I watched the Nationals make an unexpectedly impressive comeback against the Brewers, which was lovely! Here is Citi Field when the Mets did the same against the As on Saturday:

17nytr10
Seeing the Mets )

layers and layers

Jul. 26th, 2017 06:30 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
If you want to understand what is going on in DC, you have to think of it as a layer cake, one of those many-layer tortes, or maybe as layers of rock in geological strata, from sedimentary stuff at the bottom of a lake and igneous and metamorphic rock shoving up and transforming because of heat and pressure, with magma at the bottom of it all, or at the center, depending on the diagram you learned from.

What am I talking about? Stuff where Trump opens his mouth and sick toads fall out and sit on the sidewalk, blinking and vomiting. Ugly sick bloated toads, like the speech to the Boy Scouts and the outrageous dismissal of all transgender military personnel.

(My apologies to all truly healthy toads throughout the country, living their lives peaceably, eating flies and mosquitos and staying far from politics.)

I know these things are serious. I know. The president is trampling on people's value, on people's lives, in every direction, cynically and carelessly. But you cannot take them as the only thing that is happening. Horrible as they are, they are only the poisoned icing on the cake, the noxious smoke from the volcano, the peeling top layer of slate. They are *meant* to get you mad. They are *designed* to keep you upset.

Why? So you won't pay attention to what's going on behind the scenes, down there in the strata. Down there, the separation of church and state is being eroded. Women's right to have a say about how their own bodies are treated is being chipped away. The little tiny things we do not see that have huge effects, things that pile up, like permission to get past environmental checks before running oil and gas pipelines near drinking water. The elimination of much of the Congressional Budget Office staff because they vetoed Trumpnocare. I could go on and on. Often I do, and you see it here; sometimes I don't even put it here because it gets me that upset.

I am not saying not to be upset. It is upsetting. Transpeople should be able to serve in the military without comment. To say otherwise is a violation of equal rights under the law. Boy Scouts (and Girl Scouts and other young people's groups) should not have to listen to insane political harangues, should not be put into that arena. National monuments, parks and seashores should stay untouched by developers, drillers, exploiters.

But yelling at Trump, writing to him, even if it feels good to you, won't make a difference. He does not give a flying fuck about any of us -- why would he care about how any subset of us is affected? He thinks health care costs $12 a month. He probably thinks someone who is transgender changes their clothes on a train, or in transit. There is no limit to his lack of understanding and his lack of caring about anything he doesn't understand.

Keep your eyes on the small stuff, the bits and pieces that aren't on page one. Look for what's on page six or the back of a section, with a smaller headline (or in places like The Hill or Politico or other politically based newsletters. Pick one or two areas that interest you, and follow what is going on with them.

And then write your Senators and Congresspeople about them -- on their own email system. (yes, here is that contact list again.) They cannot ignore mail from their own constituents for long. If the time is short, phone and ask to talk to a staff person, instead of leaving a message. Tell them what you think, what you want, briefly and to the point. Tell them you're outraged, when you are. Tell them what you think of what Trump is doing, and (if your rep or Senator is Republican) how can any thinking person possibly agree or support this, because (up to three good reasons). And then, "Thank you for hearing me as a constituent", and give them your name as it is on the voter rolls so they can look it up. Once a week. Pick one thing a week. The staffers should start recognizing your name, your voice.

And keep an eye on the vulnerable Republican seats, House and Senate, the ones that can be overturned in the next election. Support the people running in the primaries to oppose the heartless idiots in office.

Do not be taken in by the sparkly floor show with the mouthy MC. Keep your eyes on what's happening behind the curtain, up in the lighting gallery, over in the wings. That's where things are being done. Look for possible trades and swaps -- Reps and Senators voting for things they should not vote for -- and ask them why they are making such poor, harmful choices? Who benefits from these choices? Follow the money, but also follow the influence. Who's being bought and sold here?

I trust you, all of you. I don't know you that well, but I trust you to do the right thing insofar as you know what it is, and to ask good questions when it isn't obvious. Go find the molten lava under the rock and raise hell. Go and comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, because every one of us matters.

follow-ups

Jul. 26th, 2017 04:53 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
1. Re coffee ice cream: Kineticatrue was in western NY recently, just after I wrote about coffee ice cream, and she brought me back two half-gallon tubs of Perry's Ice Cream, the brand I grew up with. One of them is Coldbrew and Cream -- stripes of good coffee and vanilla -- and the other is something like Bittersweet Sinphony -- espresso ice cream with dark chocolate chips in it. That one is more or less the precursor of my favorite Ben & Jerry's, Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz. Yum! Thank you!

2. Sometimes not doing research for a long time because of the cost of travel, and health issues, pays off.

When I started looking for information on Ebenezer Allan, in particular some information on his correspondence with Gen. Haldemand in Quebec, I stumbled across the Michigan Historical Society's annual publications from the late 1800s -- which specialize in the history of the Great Lakes region. And they have published in four volumes Haldemand's correspondence since he was assigned to this region (he had previously been in Florida, I'm sure I don't know why) from 1776 to about 1790. And it's all scanned in online now.

I have the links so I can read it on computer, but that's kind of tedious when it's 1800 pages or so -- and I want to know more about the context. So I am downloading the volumes, one at a time, to my Kindle, reading and making bookmarks; when I'm done, I can go back to the online version (which does not have transcription errors) and copy/paste or type the relevant passages with the bibliographic data (which doesn't come through completely on the Kindle).

Where I'm reading, at the moment, Haldemand has arrived, and is telling the officers running various forts that they are spending way too much money and they have to cut back, and can't the soldiers live on venison and fish they catch from the lakes? I have already read a later letter back to him from Brigadier MacLean, who ran Fort Niagara, about the problems of running out of treaty-specified gifts to Indians of various tribes -- they are supposed to get trousers and he only has shirts, and has had to borrow some from the men, which is not right, and even get some from Fort Erie -- and as I read it I can see MacLean gritting his teeth and trying not to scream because he's writing his boss -- but it comes across at times as *massively bitchy* in the best understated British sense of it. One of the references I already have is a letter of MacLean's to a friend (filed under Scottish Immigrant Papers in the Archives of Ontario) where he lets his hair down and his ire out of the bag and says exactly what he thinks of what's going on when Haldemand did not send the troops to back up the ones retreating and how angry and disappointed everyone was: "The Indians say, "The king has a fool for a general." I cannot disagree."

This is going to be *fun*.

ETA: The other places this info is available is in Michigan and in Quebec, neither of them near enough for convenient research, certainly not for the time to read all 1800 pages. So this is truly a gift.

Poem for Wednesday and NYBG Wildlife

Jul. 26th, 2017 12:44 am
littlereview: (lrpenguin)
[personal profile] littlereview
The Coal Picker )

I spent a part of Tuesday morning organizing the Tarot decks that were bursting out of the bookcase where I keep Tarot decks. Then I got a message from MoCoPoGo on GroupMe about an Articuno raid at the Twinbrook Metro station, and since I was about to go right near there anyway to get bagels at Bagel City's 14-for-12 Tuesday deal, I met up with a lot of the same people I'd gone on a raid with at Cabin John Park the day before. We won and I caught the Articuno, then we went to another raid at the Rollins post office and I caught the Articuno there too! I am really not sorry I missed all the Sunday craziness while I was out of town.

My afternoon involved getting done all the things I missed doing during the lunchtime gaming. Then Paul came home and we were about to go to Not Your Average Joe's for the lobster rolls he missed out on last time -- Adam was out with Emiliano, one of his oldest friends, who moved back to Venezuela while they were in elementary school and they stayed in touch -- but once again they weren't sure they had them! So instead we went shopping at Giant, had deli for dinner, watched the Orioles fail to come back against the Rays, and caught up on Still Star-Crossed since it ends forever this week. Flowers and animals at the New York Botanical Garden:

17nybg18
NYBG Summer )

GRRRRRRRRRR

Jul. 25th, 2017 05:42 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Senate vote to proceed toward removing the Affordable Care Act: 51-50. That's 51 votes against health care in America.

This is not the final word on the matter-- keep yelling, talking, chanting and singing at them. Keep on standing up for the health of everyone in America.
littlereview: (get critical)
[personal profile] littlereview
Travel )

I had plans to get a lot of work done on Monday, but after doing some of it in the morning, I went out at lunchtime to run a couple of errands, noticed there was a Lugia raid in Cabin John Park, and spent the next hour bonding with strangers from GroupMe and Discord while we waited for enough people to arrive to battle said Pokemon, which we defeated, and I caught!

So yes, I had a very grownup afternoon. Angela came over when she got off work, I showed off my Thor and playbills, and we ended up getting Lebanese Taverna and watching the musical episode of Once Upon a Time because she hadn't seen it and it remains the best thing they did over the course of the past four years, especially the Charmings.

We watched the beginning of the Orioles game with Adam (poor Wilson Ramos!), then Will: The Velvet Goldmine Episode (I'm sure it has another title but that's how I'll remember it -- Marlowe's coat!), then the Orphan Black we missed (I can never decide whether I feel sorry for Rachel or want her to die). Some more Chihuly from the New York Botanical Garden exhibit:

17nybg11
NYBG Chihuly )
jazzfish: "Do you know the women's movement has no sense of humor?" "No, but hum a few bars and I'll fake it!" (the radical notion that women are people)
[personal profile] jazzfish posting in [community profile] poetry
from The Creation of Éa, by Ursula K. Le Guin
(from A Wizard of Earthsea)

Only in silence the word,
only in dark the light,
only in dying life:
bright the hawk's flight
on the empty sky.

Greetings from the NYBG

Jul. 24th, 2017 12:08 am
littlereview: (jewitch)
[personal profile] littlereview
On Sunday we met my sister, her husband, and two of their daughters -- the third had to work -- at the New York Botanical Garden to see the Chihuly exhibit. It's wonderful, and I say this as someone who has seen many indoor and outdoor Chihuly installations. This one doesn't quite have the scope of the Seattle museum devoted entirely to him, but it makes fantastic use of the gardens, so for instance this is the first time we've seen one of his float boats actually floating in water rather than on a platform in an exhibit space.

We all got there later than expected, so we were ready for lunch at different times, but we sat at one of the outdoor tables and talked for a while before going our separate ways. The drive home had one hellacious stretch just past the Delaware Memorial Bridge when it poured so hard the Delaware Shakespeare Festival eventually ended up canceling its evening performance, but we made it home to son and cats who had all been fed though the latter denied it vociferously! A few Chihuly family photos, more when I'm unpacked:

17nybg1
Chihuly in the Garden )
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Every former Congressional Budget Office director has signed a letter telling Paul Ryan to take a flying leap. (And, presumably, not return.)

The Senate health care repeal FAILS the Byrd Rule, according to the parliamentarian. In its current form, to misquote Gandalf, it shall not pass.

Trump's infamous Voter Fraud Commission asked for public comment. They got it.

There's this exhibit of what is purported to be a replica of Noah's Ark in Kentucky. According to the people running it, it's a nonprofit ministry. But it's run now by a for-profit group, in order to get tax incentives from the state. So the Ark project is
now no longer eligible for the tax rebates.
How much are we talking? $18 million over the next 10 years.

Stop erasing women's presence in SFF.

The public editor's club at the NY Times, as told by the six people who were public editors. The job no longer exists.

Jeff Sessions authorizes highway robbery by police.

***

Red state North Dakota is trying an experiment in humane imprisonment for its prisons, based on the way Norwegian prisons are run. I will be very interested to see how this goes. One item in the article caught my eye:

...By 2015, Bertsch was ready to ship excess prisoners to a private facility in Colorado. In Norway, though, she learned that the farther a prisoner is removed from his home community, the less likely he is to have visitors. And that’s a problem, because multiple studies suggest that inmates who have regular visitors are less likely to reoffend later...

It makes me wonder if anyone was paying attention to the NYS prison system's stupidity in sending New York City felons to Dannemora, above the Adirondacks, or Attica. Each of those is hundreds of miles from where the violators' families are in the City. But when I look at the photo of the women in charge, it seems to me they're not old enough to remember the violence at either place -- though I have to say that much of the violence at Attica came from the police and National Guard sent to quell their requests for better food and medical care. I was living perhaps 10 miles from Attica; I noticed, and I remember it.

***
Now, you go speak truth to power, in regard to this:

From Democracy Now, a transcript of an Amy Goodman interview: Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are supporting a bill that would criminalize criticism of Israel or Israeli political/military actions. Further info behind cut )

More info here on how boycotting Israel would be considered a felony.

On free speech grounds alone this should not pass. Please write your Senators to oppose it. Here's the contact list for every Senator, with email, phones and more.

***

Teenaged girls in Austin, Texas, staged a wonderful quinceanera protest at the state capitol -- in their fancy gowns -- to protest the vile anti-immigrant law. And yes, they met with their elected reps afterward, to deliver the message in person. In case you don't know, a quinceanera is a big formal party on a girl's 15th birthday, to signify she is now an adult and no longer a child in Hispanic cultures.

Speaking of a different form of vile, the attempt to create a narrative of shame and regret for women who choose to exercise their own control over their bodies and futures, someone has come up with an abortion-pill reversal drug.

And damn right, tampons should be free for women in prison.

***

Tending tenderness and disrupting the myth of academic rock stars.

Six types of essays you should know.

heroes, part 2

Jul. 23rd, 2017 11:26 am
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
I want to suggest a mild exercise in heroism.

Look at the women you have named as heroes -- not at their actions, but at the qualities of character that propelled them to do these actions. What are the core -- deeply held -- values behind what they did?

Why do these resonate with you? What in you responds to them?

You are a hero also. Your life may not be as dramatic as theirs, but it contains heroism. Which of your own core values match those of your heroes?

(I'd love to read your comments; you need not address all of this in them.)

because it's Saturday

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:21 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Absurd vid prompt: for Arrow, clips from any suitable season, to the tune of 'Suite Judy Blue Eyes' by Crosby, Stills and Nash.

"It's getting to the point where I'm no fun anymore... I am sorry..."
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Being a fool, I have signed up to write
A tale in Stage of Fools, perhaps as practice
For the Yuletide gifting, perhaps to try
To write more now and write more easily.
I am out of practice; all that I wrote
For long months was the acts of foolish men
Enamoured of power, ignoring all else
But their wealth, their women, their greedy lust
For more, and more, and more. I hope this change
Will give me pause to think and dream again
Of a kinder life with gentler rulers
Than well-fattened boors despoiling the land,
Discouraging the people -- there, see? I need
To write something joyous or funny now,
Polish up my pentameter, employ
Wit, and play with sweet William's stories.
Where's my pen? where's the prompt? Lead me onward!

Greetings from Elmsford

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:01 am
littlereview: (little review)
[personal profile] littlereview
After an uneventful morning which I spent with Adam, who decided to work from home, Paul came home early so he and I could pack up and drive to New York. (Adam opted to remain in Maryland so he could continue to celebrate his birthday among friends.) We had moderate traffic, with a brief stop in Delaware for gas and a slightly longer one in New Jersey for dinner, but we enjoyed good weather and we saw many deer and several groundhogs along the side of the road. Here are a few photos from before the Fort McHenry Tunnel, the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Tappan Zee Bridge, and the sky over Elmsford:

17nytr1
Driving North )