hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
"I’m a mom, a wife, a doula, an urban chicken farmer, a life coach, an extended breast-feeder, a weaver, a kombucha brewer, a yogini, and a Therapeutic Healing Touch practitioner. But most importantly, I’m a mom. And as a mom, I know what’s best for the health of my family: magical thinking."
hummingwolf: Part of a julia fractal in colors of fire and smoke. (Fire-flavored fractal)
Today there was supposed to be a chance of rain, with rain becoming more likely as the day wore on and possibly mixed with snow. But this stuff on our sidewalks? I heard someone calling it "snow," but that is a truly nasty thing to say. I like snow. This stuff we have here isn't snow; it's pure, concentrated malice. You know how physicists sometimes like to simplify the problems they're discussing by talking about frictionless spheres? I think those frictionless spheres all decided they wanted to try to kill anyone unfortunate enough to go out walking this evening.

Fortunately for me, a friend of mine was kind enough to give me a ride home from the farmer's market. I only had to navigate the hazards of our front sidewalk (quite hazardous enough for me, thank you) rather than... no, I'd rather not think about that. Better to think about the nice Indonesian food I ate at the market as a late, late lunch while conversing with friends. And I have eggs, meat, bread and ingredients for tasty sandwiches (garlicky goat cheese and mixed microgreens!), and a small, free squash of some variety I've never tried before.

Mostly, this post exists because I needed to use the subject line above. If ever the clouds become sentient and decide to kill us all (isn't that a short story by Peter Watts?), don't be surprised if the weather looks like this.
hummingwolf: hummingwolf in front of brick wall with flower drawn on it (Wallflower)
Some wonderful days, the internet gives me an excuse to quote Shakespeare. “Is possible that disdain should die when she hath such meet food to feed it as lists of women Christian men shouldn’t marry?”

10 More Women Christian Men Definitely Should Not Marry
hummingwolf: animation of green and gold fractal, number of iterations increasing with time (Iterations in green and gold)
"Help, My Friend Won't Stop Having Fibromyalgia At Me!"
Here's that bad advice you were hoping for.

(Link via [personal profile] supergee)
hummingwolf: (two)
So, it's been a while since I've updated. I took antibiotics for a total of 14 days, then spent some time recovering from antibiotic side effects, then spent time dealing with migraine, and now have a mind that seems to be trying to fall apart. Not sure how to describe that last bit other than that I'm sometimes finding it exhausting to hold on to some coherent narrative related to reality. Actually, that's a really bad description, but I'm drawing a blank on coming up with anything better. I do believe I need to get to a neurologist soon, but I think that's going to have to wait till after cold-and-flu season has receded a bit. In the meantime, I'm tired and wondering why I get fever-dreams when I no longer have a fever.

Anyway, last Sunday I saw a Snowy Owl! It was high in a tree a little way down the street so I didn't get to see its face clearly from our dining room window, but given the size, shape, and color of the bird, it was either a Snowy Owl or evidence that the neighbors have been dabbling in genetic engineering. And while it's true that our neighbors are an interesting bunch, they're more likely to be Mad Artists than Mad Scientists. (Now I'm imagining what would happen if one of the artists got together with a mad geneticist. Wouldn't that be fun?!)

There was a week between then and now. The week involved some walking, some reading, some watching of DVDs (including Dead Poets Society and the Much Ado About Nothing featuring Joss Whedon directing a bunch of his friends). There was also, as usual, a farmer's market, and this time I was energetic enough to enjoy it--lots of chatting with vendors, regular customers, and summertime vendors who like being wintertime customers.

Today I took a trip to a little local grocery and chatted for a bit with one of the guys working there who timed his break so that he could keep talking with me. If I'd been more awake this probably would have been more fun, though he had enough energy for both of us (if only there were a way to share!).

Something about the conversation this evening prompted me to look up a friend from back in college. My old friend was born about the same time as the guy I'd been talking to today, was always fun to debate with, always willing to lend a sympathetic ear, was possibly the sanest person I knew at the university, and was incredibly bad at keeping in touch with people online. Since I haven't been especially good at writing e-mails the last few years, I have been completely unaware of what was going on in his life other than that he had a wife, more than one child, and a business of his own. Found his Twitter account, which he hadn't updated since last year. Did a Google search for his name and location and quickly saw links to his obituary. Before I even clicked on the link, I knew how he'd died--his heart defect finally got the best of him. Knowing what I knew about his health, it really didn't come as a big surprise... but he'll never even make it to 50, and I won't get the chance to debate him one more time.
hummingwolf: Snowflake-like kaleidoscope images (Kaleidocoolth)
Want a better life in 2015? Reading this and following the advice may not make your life perfect--but then again, maybe it's worth a try: "Cat Pictures Please" by Naomi Kritzer.

Hey, if I had either a cat or a camera...

Question about 2015

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015 11:23 am
hummingwolf: (My world is askew!)
[Edit: Many thanks to [personal profile] rialian and [personal profile] musesfool, both of whom answered this question on Dreamwidth. Guess I need to re-watch the Back to the Future trilogy this year.]

What is it about 2015, anyway? Why does that particular number on the calendar seem to be triggering a massive wave of "We're living in the future now"? I could understand it in 2000, when all the numbers were changing all at once and we were somehow in or almost in a brand-new millennium, and I understood it in 2001 (a Space Odyssey!) even though I'd been conversing with HAL for a couple of years by that point. And I'll certainly understand it in 2020, which sounds more like what I want my vision corrected to than it sounds like an actual year. But for some reason, 2015 has got all the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers I know asking "What year did you say this is again?!" Why is that? Is it some pop-cultural thing stuck in everybody's consciousness but mine? Or is there something else, some deep numerological significance of which I've been blissfully unaware?

Resolving 2014

Friday, January 2nd, 2015 09:23 am
hummingwolf: (two)
So, back in late 2013 and early 2014, I posted a few resolution-like statements. Now it's time to look back on the year just passed and see how I did!

1. In 2014, I will read more books from the Biography section of the library. I need to learn more about other people's stories, stories of those who lived long ago or far away. It seems like one good way to get out of my mental rut.

What I didn't tell you all is that I'd only read two biographies in 2013, so this wasn't a terribly difficult resolution to keep. Did I, in fact, manage this feat? Yes, I did! I finished seven books filed under Biography, as well as some memoirs filed in other sections of the library. Not sure this did anything to get me out of any mental ruts, but at least I tried.

Oh, and if anyone's incredibly curious about which sections of the library I tended to favor in 2014, here's a list:

000s * 50, 100
100s * 3, 19, 20, 21, 25, 29, 44, 46, 61, 79, 110, 113, 118
200s * 17, 23, 63, 71, 75, 102, 109, 115
300s * 30, 32, 33, 45, 54, 78, 88, 98, 106
400s * 37
500s * 41, 95, 117
600s * 42, 47, 49, 52, 69, 70, 85, 93, 94, 97
700s * 2, 9, 13, 48, 55, 58, 83, 84, 86, 92, 103, 105, 112
800s * 8, 38, 39, 59, 72, 74, 82
900s * 56
BIO * 34, 66, 77, 87, 96, 101, 114
FIC * 5, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 36, 53, 57, 60, 91, 104, 107, 111, 116
HISTORIC * 4, 24, 27, 81, 90
MYS * 18, 40, 51
ROM * 6, 26, 62, 89
SFF * 1, 7, 12, 22, 28, 31, 35, 43, 64, 65, 67, 68, 73, 76, 80, 99, 108

Partway through the year I came up with a vague goal of averaging 10 books per month, with the stipulation that they all had to come from the adult or young adult sections of the library. I was sidetracked by various stresses and illnesses, but I did make it to 118, which isn't too bad considering I avoided the temptation to sneak in a bunch of children's poetry books.

2. Since going without television and reliable radio often makes me feel a little too separated from the pop culture of the day, I want to get some kind of feel for what's going on by reading more periodicals. Most of those periodicals should not be alternative medicine magazines, even though my housemates do get great amusement from those noises I make when I read something like "Theta healing is practicing quantum physics by using theta brain wave states." (Gah.)

After skimming a few magazines at the library last January, I'm afraid I failed at this one. At least I managed to avoid alternative healers attempting to practice quantum physics!

3. I also want to listen to more music. Music is good for the soul.

This was a success, and I really need to keep up this habit. Music is good for the soul--and the brain.

4. And I want to eat more Ethiopian food. Does this really need justification?

Another resounding success! Haven't eaten so much Ethiopian since late summer after a friend grew tired of it, but I did introduce a local farmer to sambusas. Mmmm, sambusas.

To post enough to LiveJournal and Dreamwidth to get all the entries from 2011 off my "Recent Entries" page.

I did this! Maybe in 2015 I'll push back the entries from 2012 and 2013.

So, do I have any resolutions for 2015? No. For the moment, I'm going to focus on doing whatever seems like a good idea at the time. Today, that's likely to involve drinking lots of tea and making a trip to the nearest library branch. I've been invited to a party this weekend, so I want to get some rest beforehand in the hopes that I'll be able to make it there. (The last party I was invited to was one I had to skip out on due to being miserable and feverish. My immune system seriously needs to get with the program.)

Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 1st, 2015 08:57 am
hummingwolf: animation of green and gold fractal, number of iterations increasing with time (Iterations in green and gold)
Goodbye, 2014! Hello, 2015! Everybody, we are now in the future!

If the year 2015 must be weird (and one suspects that it must), may it be weird in more entertaining, less traumatic ways than recent years have been. Many of us have been dealing with too much stress and feelings of being trapped. It's about time for a break, don't you think?
hummingwolf: Part of a julia fractal in colors of fire and smoke. (Fire-flavored fractal)
Happy Belated Hanukkah!

Happy Belated Christmas!

For my Yuletide gift, Santa gave me that sinus infection that all the cool kids are getting this year. I can't say I'm all that thrilled with this particular gift, but since last week was the first time I've gotten a fever since buying my digital thermometer, I've finally learned what the high-temperature alarm sounds like. Yay! And, unsurprisingly, a Fahrenheit temperature of 102.2 will make me feel like complete and utter crap. At least I have a supply of tea & chocolate to help me wash down the antibiotics.

In other news, I am too tired to think of anything else to write. It's probably time for more chocolate.
hummingwolf: Gold starlike kaleidoscope images. (Gold stars)
Outside in the alley, a drone is stuck high in a tree. The young men who somehow managed to get it there can't figure out how to get it down without breaking it.

The drone's got blinking red and green lights, so at least it looks festive.
hummingwolf: (two)
Sight: Colors I'm craving today: Anything highly saturated. Naturally on a cloudy day in late November, everything is muted except for the occasional patch of bright blue sky. If someone would like to replace that dead tree limb over there with a collection of neon tubes, that'd be nifty.

Sound: 2 albums I've been listening to compulsively for the last two or three days:
Martyn Bennett, Grit
Nine Inch Nails, Hesitation Marks

Smell: I'm alternating between wanting the cozy scent of coffee (which I don't drink) and more herbal smells like rosemary or thyme. Right now the house smells like bacon and sawdust, which is pleasant enough.

Taste: Foods I've been craving the past few weeks:
Black tea
Protein, carbs, fat--which is to say, Calories. Given how fatigued I've been, if my body tells me that it wants more fuel, I'm not inclined to argue. I'm trying to focus on high-protein foods like eggs and chicken, but I've got Peanut Butter M&Ms and I'm not afraid to use them.

Touch: There's a soft, fuzzy blanket wrapped around me.

Temperature: There's a soft, fuzzy, warm blanket wrapped around me. My fingers are a bit chilly, though, and I'd like that to change.

Pain: Mostly the usual all-over pain, with added achiness in my upper back and burning in my thighs.

Proprioception: I feel like I'm sitting in a slightly awkward position, probably because I am. I should shift to a different position soon.

Balance: Even though I'm sitting fairly still, I feel like I'm being slowly spun in three dimensions. This is probably not a good day for a walk.

Common sense: It's Black Friday in the USA and I am nowhere near a shopping mall.
hummingwolf: Snowflake-like kaleidoscope images (Kaleidocoolth)
Happy Turkey Day to all who celebrate! Happy Thursday/Friday/whenever you are reading this to everyone!

I know, I know, it's been forbloodyever since I last posted anything or even read anything on LiveJournal or Dreamwidth. But for those who do remember me: I am still alive and kicking. Well, I'm coughing more than kicking thanks to an infection I just can't seem to shake (probably viral, so life is all about tea, sleep, and symptom management right now). But the coughing and sneezing prove that I'm still breathing, so that's okay.

And for anyone who may still be wondering: Our little household problem went away back in mid-August. I'll try to remember to write more about that under lock at some point.

Anyway, today is Thanksgiving and I'm having a quiet one. I bought myself some cranberry orange relish after my doctor visit on Tuesday, and I bought a slice of sweet potato pie this afternoon. No turkey, but there's chicken in the fridge and that'll do just as well. More importantly, I have a pile of library books to keep me company and enough tea to last a few more days before a trip to some store becomes necessary again. Life could be much, much worse.

How are you all doing? Do you have sufficient pie?


Thursday, August 21st, 2014 12:13 pm
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (one)

You create the world by your belief in it, so it's important to believe this: There really is a path. It takes you not back to your old life but onward to the new one.

--Laurence Gonzales in Surviving Survival


Friday, July 25th, 2014 07:16 pm
hummingwolf: Part of a julia fractal in colors of fire and smoke. (Fire-flavored fractal)
Three quotes from Eric Hoffer's The Passionate State of Mind:

The world leans on us. When we sag, the whole world seems to droop.

Add a few drops of venom to a half truth and you have an absolute truth.

The hardest thing to cope with is not selfishness or vanity or deceitfulness, but sheer stupidity. One needs the talents of an animal trainer to deal with the stupid.

I was going to say something like, "All three of these are altogether too relevant to things going on in my life right now." Then I remembered certain recent news stories and various commentaries about them, so I'll just go with: All three of these are altogether too relevant.

Edit: It turns out that Eric Hoffer was born July 25, 1902. If I'd known it was his 112th birthday, I might have posted more!
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
I don't get out much. Sure, I go to the library, a supermarket, an organic/natural-type grocery, and at least one farmers' market per week, but compared to most people? I don't get out much. Even those of you who feel like you have no life probably have more of a life than I have.

After being so stressed out lately, I realized early today that if I didn't get out somewhere I don't ordinarily go and hang out with people I don't otherwise know, there was a good chance I might stab somebody--and I'd really rather not commit any kind of violence if I've got better options, thank you very much. So then it became a question of where I should go. I had more energy today than I've had in the past week or so, so that was a good start. Not much money, but not broke yet either. I thought maybe what I wanted was to go to Eastern Market, yet a part of me kept saying, "Gosh, it's been a while since I've been to Ben's Chili Bowl." Reminded myself that this is a weekend and Ben's is a popular and historic tourist destination, but I ended up getting off Metro at the U Street station anyway.

After the escalator brought me up to the street, I promptly crossed to Ben's, but I didn't go inside. Outside on the sidewalk there was a steel pan ensemble playing a free concert for anyone who happened to be in the area, music ranging from old classics to a song from Miami Sound Machine (and if "Conga" is considered a classic now, I don't want to hear about it). Tourists and locals and occasional restaurant employees were hanging out, taking pictures of the kids playing the music, taking pictures of each other, dancing on the sidewalk. It was fun. It may not have been the kind of event that could help to bring about world peace or even a slight reduction in carbon emissions. It was simply the kind of thing that brings people together for a little while. It was a reminder that sometimes humanity is worthwhile. It was a good thing.

And then the concert was over and our bellies were grumbling and we got in the long line and I told anyone who wasn't sure what to order that they needed a half-smoke with chili, because of course they did. Inside, tourists were taking pictures of each other standing next to pictures of famous people, because that's the sort of thing tourists will do. The jukebox played "When Doves Cry" and people sang along, because that's the sort of thing you have to do. Hours later, my hands still smell a little bit like mustard and onions.

Afterward, at the usual organic/natural-foods-type store, the grinning cashier wished me a good night. For a change of pace, I'd had a good day, and I rather hope he did too.


Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 07:28 pm
hummingwolf: (My world is askew!)
So in the dream I was living in something like a good hotel or a particularly nice dormitory--large building filled with other residents (many of whom live in my general neighborhood in waking life), but not at all spartan accommodations. As I was taking a shower, I felt what seemed to be a mild earthquake. I quickly dressed and went to a large window facing the street, where I saw Chinese soldiers advancing. The Chinese had, rather unexpectedly, taken over the USA. As far as we in the hotel/neighborhood saw, there was no violence.

The dream went on, with a group of polite, pleasant young people patiently trying to indoctrinate us, or at the very least get us used to their way of doing things. We residents weren't exactly cooperative, but we did try to be nice to the young people since they were gentle with us and were, after all, only doing their jobs. Then suddenly they all stopped in their tracks as new orders came to them through the earpieces they were wearing. One of them told us: "According to the latest computer simulations, the American army defeats the Chinese army. The new simulation is more accurate than the previous simulation, so we must accept our loss. We will leave you now." And so they did.

I have no idea what my subconscious mind was trying to communicate last night. The best I can come up with is this: Resistance Is Futile. You Will Be Simulated.

Hello, world

Saturday, March 29th, 2014 05:06 pm
hummingwolf: A heart curve and a cosine curve fell in love. (Heart 3)
I keep meaning to get online and keep up with LJ and Dreamwidth the way I once did, but I keep finding myself thinking of it as too much of a hassle. Not the keeping up, but the actual act of getting online and signing in to things. Why? Well, part of it is that if I do want to use the computer, there's a lot of stuff on my desk to clear away these days. And part of it is--I don't know, fatigue? depression? both?--whatever, it just seems like so much effort to be here. But all you lovely people won't come to my home and whisper your stories in my ear, so maybe I should make it a priority to move those piles of paper to a better place so it doesn't seem like getting online requires so much energy.

As for that fatigue/depression thing, I don't quite know what to do about it. I think that part of it may be that the latest generic version of my anti-seizure medication wasn't giving me an adequate dose, so my brain's been fizzling and not letting me think or feel quite right. That's probably a big part of the problem, so I've been thinking of asking the doctor to check that "Brand Name Medically Necessary" box next time she writes out a prescription. Fortunately, that won't increase my co-pay too much! One of these days I need to find a way to find the energy to get to a neurologist again.

In other news, I'm still here, still going to at least one farmers' market every week, still reading books, still drinking lots of tea. Been reading very, very slowly, but I've managed to finish 32 books so far this year in all that time I've spent offline. Have also gotten a bit better about listening to some of the old podcasts I've downloaded, so that's a good thing. I have eaten Ethiopian meals three times this year so far, and every time I've gone out to that restaurant there's either been snow on the ground or snow in the air. I've been enjoying the snow, waiting for daffodils, admiring the early-blooming pink-flowered cherry trees in our neighborhood, hoping that snow wouldn't hurt the early pink blossoms on those cherry trees, and admiring the resilience of those early-blooming pink-flowered cherry trees. I've been keeping an eye out for the neighborhood fox, occasionally spotting the cute li'l creature in the alley or in the woods. I've spent entirely too much time deciding which kind of tea to buy. I've eaten more than my fair share of spiced almonds. I've been staring at pretty rocks. I've been hoping that you're well.

For the record

Monday, March 3rd, 2014 10:27 pm
hummingwolf: Snowflake-like kaleidoscope images (Kaleidocoolth)
I love snow. I do. Snow is beautiful and the chance to watch it fall and drift still fills me with childlike glee. But I'm also a big fan of crocuses in all their shades of purple and yellow and white, and I enjoyed seeing them spring up around the neighborhood last week. So can somebody please make this snow go away now so we can see all those lovely crocuses again? I'd appreciate that and I believe that 99.99% of my neighbors would as well.

More realistically, tomorrow should be a good day to go out looking for fox tracks in the snow. (A fox was playing in the alley this evening before running to a nearby field.)

At least I was prepared for today's storm, having stocked up on kefir, chocolate, and kim chee. (It's just possible that I have different priorities than most people, storm-preparation-wise.) And I went into DC to pick up my indulgence of the month on Saturday--the new Suzanne Vega CD! There are other new CDs I'd love to have too, but it's still cold and we still have astonishingly high oil bills to pay. (Good thing I still have chocolate.)

I'm tired & a bit headachy, so I should get to bed soon. Here's hoping that the furnace continues to work through the cold. (Even though you all don't know it, every single one of you is glad that you weren't in this house Saturday morning. Trust me on this.)

Good night, all. Please tell spring that we're ready to welcome her with open arms.

Hello, World!

Thursday, February 13th, 2014 11:57 am
hummingwolf: Snowflake-like kaleidoscope images (Kaleidocoolth)
Just when it seemed I was getting into the swing of things, posting regularly and all that jazz, my dial-up modem decided that it didn't want to let me online for a few weeks. The modem did begin working again, but since it's done this sort of thing before and I really do like to be able to get online reliably, I probably should get it replaced soon. ([personal profile] hasufin has a modem for me; we just need to get it working with the computer at some point. It'll happen eventually!) After getting back online, I was again back in the mood to not say things, which is why you haven't seen me lately (except for the one or two of you who have).

So anyway, here I am. It's been snowing. You may have heard about it on the news. Forecasts prompt deluge of D.C. haiku! Also, appropriate xkcd is appropriate.

And because tomorrow is one of the great chocolate holidays, here are a few non-snowy links:

"4 things I learned from the worst online dating profile ever" (link via Slacktivist).

Relevant to a few folks on my reading lists: Activist Pickup Lines (in case you haven't already seen the Twitter hashtag (I hadn't)).

Relevant to folks with twisted senses of humor: The Cap'n's Unfortunate Valentine's Cards.

Relevant to me: There's supposedly a farmers' market today. I rather suspect I won't be going--it's raining out there and there are several inches of ice and slush on the roads! Bleh. One of these days I need to find myself a pair of snowboots that fit. [Edit: Market canceled today! Good, now I have no excuse to go outside when I really have no business going outside. This is a day to stay indoors and enjoy some quality chocolate.]

Anyway, how is everybody else doing? Are you staying sufficiently warm/cool/otherwise comfortable out there?


Thursday, January 9th, 2014 09:57 pm
hummingwolf: (two)
Tuesday: It was as bitterly cold as they'd predicted, and I was as inactive as I'd expected. Spent most of the day either reading in the dining room (much warmer than my bedroom) or napping under cozy layers and layers of covers. Had fun looking out the windows watching squirrels chasing each other around and around in an apparent effort to keep themselves warm. It was a pretty pleasant day overall, if uneventful.

Miles walked: Zero, nada, none.

Music of the day: J.S. Bach's Brandenburg concertos numbers 2-6, from I Musici.


Wednesday: Still tired enough to spend much of the day napping, I did think about going for a walk later in the afternoon. After going about thirty feet, I thought again and came back home, thinking that was all the walking I'd do for the day. But later in the evening, a smell reminiscent of improperly burning fuel oil or diesel drew me out of the house to wander around the neighboring streets in an attempt to find out where the smell was coming from. I didn't locate the source then and I was too unhappy about the air quality to continue the search for long, but I determined that at least it wasn't coming from our house. Came home and took a shower to get the smell of that gunk out of my hair. Half-wished that I were still coughing as much as I was last week, because it would have been nice to have expelled that stuff out of my lungs.

Aside from the napping, I spent my time reading or listening to music. Oh, I also got the chance to laugh at the landlord climbing over appliances like a monkey. Good times.

Miles walked: Half of one, maybe less.

Music: Toto's first self-titled album, more than once.


Thursday: Farmers' market day! Bought bread and apples at the market, then spent a good while listening to various conversations, occasionally joining in. Other than that, I did a fair amount of reading and walking. Sometime I should talk about what I was reading, but I'm too tired to go into that right now. Also started to do some daydreaming, but a major character in the daydream told me, "Stop thinking about me!" Kind of bossy for a fictional character, but I wasn't in the mood to argue with him.

Miles walked: Roughly 3.5, which is something of a minor miracle. I don't expect to be doing much of that tomorrow.

Music: Mr. Mister's third album, Go On..., and Christopher Cross's self-titled debut.
hummingwolf: Snowflake-like kaleidoscope images (Kaleidocoolth)
...and we don't even have the full force of the Arctic blast yet. Right now the main problem is wind (and I'll be turning off the computer shortly so nothing gets fried if the power goes out (please please please don't let the power go out tonight!)). As a general rule, I would rather be too cold than too hot; but when you're talking about wind chills below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, it's time to accept that Mother Nature wants to kill you. Folks in colder climates may take pride in the fact that they survive anyway, and that's understandable. But that doesn't negate the basic fact that such weather isn't made for human bodies to enjoy.


A couple of silly linguistic links via the Slacktivist:

OED Birthday Words. Mine is "megastar."

New York Times Dialect Quiz. My three cities: Baltimore, Arlington (Virginia), and Raleigh. Not bad, considering I'm from the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. I wonder why DC itself isn't on the list. (Least similar cities: Providence, Detroit, Milwaukee.)


Miles walked today: Roughly 3.5. I don't expect to go very far in tomorrow's chill.

Today's music: J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 1. I was going to listen to all six concertos, but got distracted by the desire to go out while the weather was still semi-reasonable. Maybe tomorrow.

Loads of laundry done: Three. And that, my friends, tells you all you need to know about how exciting my day has been.

2014, Weekend 1

Sunday, January 5th, 2014 10:46 pm
hummingwolf: hummingwolf in front of brick wall with flower drawn on it (Wallflower)
Well, on Saturday my recent activity caught up with me and I spent most of the day in bed, either napping or reading. I did finally find the energy to go to a local grocery store, where I found masses of throngs of people who all had the same idea for no apparent reason. Everyone had a reason why they were shopping on that particular Saturday evening, but no-one had a clue why everyone else in the area was in the store at the same time. People were asking each other if perhaps there were some massive winter storm coming our way that they'd somehow managed not to hear about, but no. Maybe we were all just hungry.

Music of the day: Sheila Chandra's albums Roots and Wings and Weaving My Ancestors' Voices.

Miles walked: Two.

Today (Sunday), I spent even more time sleeping. Achy and utterly worn out. The only music I've listened to today is whatever was playing in my fitful dreams. In the evening (beautiful evening of mist and smoke) I walked a few blocks, just because I was suffering a severe lack of chocolate which needed to be remedied quickly. Now that my belly's been satisfied with sale-priced chocolate along with a sensible meal of ground beef, sweet potatoes, and enough garlic to repel a dozen Buffyverse vampires, I'm about ready to collapse back into bed and dream some more.

Somehow in the past two days I managed to begin and finish reading my first book of 2014: The Office of Mercy by Ariel Djanikian. A decent dystopian novel with characters I cared about and an interesting enough setting, but something about the prose irritated me. Maybe I was in the mood to be irritated by something and that style was the most convenient irritant around.

I hope to have energy to go walking for a bit early in the day tomorrow before the vicious cold air hits our region. I have a feeling that I won't be wanting to leave the house on Tuesday. Good thing I remembered to buy tea while I was out. Winter days are easier when you have tea.

Three in a row

Friday, January 3rd, 2014 10:17 pm
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
I keep thinking that if I get in the habit of writing here again, maybe I'll start to write something worth reading. I don't believe that's likely to happen tonight, but you're more likely to write something good if you write rather than not writing, right? Write. So I'm writing. As I recall, most of my first dozen or so LiveJournal entries were attempts to post quiz results, so it's not as if I have any history of being interesting all the time anyway.

Today was the third of January in the year twenty-fourteen, and I almost but not quite got eight hours of sleep last night. After waking up, I dithered around a bit, listened to a CD of Gustav Holst's The Planets, and eventually made my way outside where I tried to be useful by helping to clear off the front sidewalk. Fortunately most of the work was being done by a hardy Midwesterner who laughs at what passes for cold around here, as I quickly lost my usefulness after I lost the feeling in my fingers.

I did a little work on one of my little semi-resolutions by going out to eat at an Ethiopian restaurant, where the vegetarian lunch special proved to be marvelous comfort food. Free of animal fat though it may have been, I don't believe there was anything low-calorie about it, so it's a good thing that I managed to walk about two-and-a-half miles today. As far as I can tell, I never got frostbite, so it's all good! (If anyone's wondering: I don't plan on eating out more than once more this month, unless someone else wants to pay! Eating other people's cooking is expensive, dudes. I'll have to eat lunch quickly after my next doctor's appointment since I'll be ravenous by then, but I do need to save money for the heating oil... bleh.)

Also did a load of laundry, which isn't exciting at all. And then I re-watched The Adjustment Bureau, about which my one complaint is that the film credits should not say that it was based on a story by Philip K. Dick. Loosely inspired by "The Adjustment Team" perhaps, but certainly not based upon it. It's a good comfort-food movie for me, anyway, since I've got a weakness for stories of somebody fighting against their fate, particularly when they get to meet the agents of that fate and get into arguments with them.

Right then. It's about time to post some quiz results. )


Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 10:09 pm
hummingwolf: A bouncing penguin. (Bounce!)
The day began shrouded in fog, and now it's snowing! It's snowing! It's snowing!

Yes, there are days when I'm easily pleased. It's a good thing, too.

I had plans to go out and do something this morning or early afternoon; but as so often happens, I decided that that was a bad idea. Mostly it was my body deciding this for me, really. I did get out to a local farmers' market, though, where I bought apples and eggs while chatting with the few people there. Walked less today than yesterday, maybe a little over a mile, but a good part of that mile was while it was *snowing*, so that was worth it.

Tomorrow's expected to be bitterly cold, which means I'm not likely to go anywhere exciting. Drinking lots of tea and reading books in bed sounds like a good plan. If sleep interrupts that plan, I won't mind.

Still coughing. I'm rather tired of that. I'm rather tired in general, since I keep waking up in the night and not getting back to sleep. Been having odd dreams too, most of which I forget in the morning. Sometimes they come back to me in the middle of the day, teasing me with hints of meaning and clues I never understand. Maybe I'd understand my dreams better if I could get more sleep.

Music of the day: Music from the Motion Picture Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World, a CD I've listened to twice today. Right now the bit of music from Boccherini is playing in my head. That could be a good soundtrack for my dreams.
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
Now Seeing: My computer screen with the Dreamwidth update page open in one window, a text file open in Notepad, a bunch of icons, and wallpaper with an aerial view of some dramatic arid-looking landscape somewhere.

Now Hearing: Computer fan, hum of kitchen appliances, rumble of the furnace, a distant train.

Now Feeling: Somewhat achy and congested, but not yet ready to fall into bed.

Now Smelling: The minty freshness of Candy Cane Lane tea.

Now Tasting: Salt.

Now Wearing: Black sweater with sort of a v-neck, dark blue jeans, white socks, a worn-out pair of white athletic shoes I use around the house instead of slippers, old glasses that still need to be replaced, and multicolored flowery underwear.

Last Meal Eaten: I splurged on crab & shrimp fritters and a bowl of harira at Busboys and Poets. For those of you who don't know them, Busboys and Poets is a DC-area restaurant chain known for their progressive politics. They support the poor with their politics, but not with the prices of their food. I don't go there much. (The food was reasonably good, though, and I needed to be around people today.)

Other Purchase of the Day: A small kitten calendar, because our kitchen needs a kitten calendar. It just does. (Kitchen kittens!)

CD of the Day: Prokofiev--Cinderella (Suite), performed by the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Leonard Slatkin, who assembled the suite himself out of bits of Prokofiev's ballet score. I suppose it must be good music to start the year with, because I've listened to it twice already.

Animal of the Day: Red fox! There's one that's been living in our neighborhood for over a year now, and we hear him often but see him rarely. This morning was the fourth time I've seen him, and I wouldn't have seen him then if I hadn't heard him first.

LEGO Minifigure of the Day: A few days ago, I bought one of those minifigure packages with random characters in them with the intention of opening it up on New Year's Day. So the New Year minifigure is the Welder. Theme of the year: Joining things together--with FIRE! I'm remarkably okay with that.

Last Book Finished: The book cover says it's Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy. In reality it's more like a book of poems adapted from or inspired by Rilke, mutated by the aesthetic preferences of a couple of late-20th-century American Buddhist activist women. It's not a bad collection, but I'd still like to read a translation of Rilke.

Number of Books Finished in 2013: 131--and only 28 of those came from the children's section of the library! Of course, some of the books for grown-ups I checked out were pretty fluffy. Still, that's the most books I've finished in one year since I began keeping track in 2007.

Miles Walked Today: About two.

New Goal for 2014: To post enough to LiveJournal and Dreamwidth to get all the entries from 2011 off my "Recent Entries" page.


Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 05:22 pm
hummingwolf: Mathemagical animation made out of string. (Incredible String Thing)
1. In 2014, I will read more books from the Biography section of the library. I need to learn more about other people's stories, stories of those who lived long ago or far away. It seems like one good way to get out of my mental rut.

2. Since going without television and reliable radio often makes me feel a little too separated from the pop culture of the day, I want to get some kind of feel for what's going on by reading more periodicals. Most of those periodicals should not be alternative medicine magazines, even though my housemates do get great amusement from those noises I make when I read something like "Theta healing is practicing quantum physics by using theta brain wave states." (Gah.)

3. I also want to listen to more music. Music is good for the soul.

4. And I want to eat more Ethiopian food. Does this really need justification?
hummingwolf: animation of green and gold fractal, number of iterations increasing with time (Iterations in green and gold)
And I'm so very ready for it to be over.

2013 hasn't been my worst year ever--it's not even in the top five worst years ever--but it has been the year when I've needed to use the widest variety of antibiotics I've ever used in a single year, which must count for something.

Infections are exhausting. Antibiotic resistance is a huge problem. And 2013 is almost (thank God!) over. For all of us, may the arrival of 2014 bring more good things than 2013 and far fewer of the bad.
hummingwolf: Gold starlike kaleidoscope images. (Gold stars)
Have a beautiful Wednesday, everyone!

Chinese Ink Painting by Yu Jia-de
(Asian Christian Art Association)
Note the lion mask. Aslan!
hummingwolf: Snowflake-like kaleidoscope images (Kaleidocoolth)
It is Christmas Eve, time once again for the classic holiday traditions! As some of you may recall, one of my favorite traditions involves the mutilation of a classic Christmas poem. Back in 1999, I ran an old favorite by Clement Clarke Moore (or possibly Henry Livingston) through Babelfish, translating from English to German and back again. Even after all these years, I find myself muttering some of these old lines throughout the holiday season, and I hope that you, too, will treasure them in your hearts. Enjoy!

An attendance of STR Nicholas

' Twas the night before Christmas, when by the house a creature did not agitate itself completely, a mouse do not smooth; The socks were hung by the fire-place with Obacht, in hopes that STR would be Nicholas there soon;

The children nest LED quite comfortably in their beds, while sights of the sugar plums danced into their headings; And mamma in their ' kerchief and I in my protective cap, had agreed upon even down for the hair of a long winter,

When on the lawn such developed out a Geklapper, I rose from the bed, in order to see, what the material was. Away to the Window I flew like lightning, tore opened the shutters up violently and threw up sash.

The moon on the chest of the again-pleased snow )
hummingwolf: Part of a julia fractal in colors of fire and smoke. (Fire-flavored fractal)
Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans! I hope it's been a good one for you.

Happy Hanukkah to all you who celebrate!

Happy Thursday and/or Friday to all the rest of you!

Today's been a quiet one for me, but that seems to be what I need right now. I wish for a deep, restful, healing sleep to all of us who need it.
hummingwolf: Part of a julia fractal in colors of fire and smoke. (Fire-flavored fractal)
Thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday all those weeks ago! I had planned to post earlier in the month, but there was a week when my computer and modem were not communicating with each other (I'm still not sure what happened there), and then after that I was just tired. I'm rather tired now, actually, but it seems to be time to check in with you all.

Now wearing: A fuzzy purple sweater I've never worn before, a pair of dark blue jeans, warm beige socks, black athletic shoes with bright pink trim, boring underwear, and that pair of glasses I've been saying for years need to be replaced.

Now seeing: Too much dust in my room.

Now feeling: Warm. We just turned on the furnace for the first time this year last night, and the thermostat had a little issue after it lost power earlier today, and now the house is about five degrees warmer than we had planned to heat it to. Nobody's really complaining about the warmth, but we do want to avoid spending too much money on heating oil this year...

Also feeling tired, sniffly, and achy. There's a good chance I'll be sneezing soon.

Now smelling: Garlic, for some reason.

Now tasting: Mint from the toothpaste I just brushed with.

Now hearing: Computer fan, clacking keyboard, and muffled sounds of distant traffic.

Last meal eaten: A "Buffalo-style" blue cheese burger followed by somebody else's french fries.

Most exciting thing done today: Well, it's Thursday, so I went to a farmers' market. Hooray!

Song in my head: Siouxsie & the Banshees, "Kiss Them for Me."

CDs in my CD player:
1. The Nine Inch Nails album that came out last month, Hesitation Marks
2. A Nine Inch Nails EP from more than 20 years ago, Broken
3 & 4. My Fabulous Plum and My Lemonade Stand, two children's albums from Peter Himmelman

Just a little bit of contrast there, I suppose. Needs more flugelhorn.

Number of books read this year so far: 105. Just don't ask how many of those were children's picture books.

Items purchased at farmer's market: Rome apples, the season's last field-grown tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, unpasteurized lacto-fermented sauerkraut, and something else I'm forgetting. Y'know, once I start blanking on food, it's probably time to go to bed. Good night, world!
hummingwolf: (My world is askew!)
Proposal: Name hurricanes after politicians who deny climate change.

But maybe you'll think twice before signing that petition: some folks wonder if the NSA's surveillance program is really meant to spy on environmentalists. Now, that may sound like excessive paranoia to you, but as Paul Bibeau says on his Goblinbooks blog: "The NSA Is Beyond My Ability To Satirize It."

In other news, the olinguito is rather cute. Also, lobster baby!
hummingwolf: Part of a julia fractal in colors of fire and smoke. (Fire-flavored fractal)
In some cases, despite careful and correct
surgery, sterility does not speak--
words of a butterfly's wing, the
fully formed, but immature, offspring is born.


I keep thinking I ought to write down what I'm thinking, but if I see what I'm thinking and hear what I'm thinking, I might know what I'm thinking, and I think I don't want to.

I think, therefore I'm scared.

You feel the fluttering in your chest, in your belly, barely noticed at first, barely there. Soon, though, it grows, it's a heavier beating, wings beating from the inside, centered on the solar plexus, making it hard to breathe. You like to tell yourself it's butterflies. Then you start to wonder if it's dragonflies. Then you begin to believe it could be dragons after all.

If I'm not careful, I might breathe fire.

I try to gather words the way a dragon gathers treasure, build up a word-hoard of jewels and gold and royal purple to dress up my thoughts in. But maybe they have no wish to wear those fancy clothes. Maybe they would tear off the clothes I would like to see them wearing, rip and claw and bite at the clothes that would make them pretty, fit for public display. Naked thoughts are invisible, of course, but there's always something around for them to dress up in. Maybe they would rather cover themselves in dust and ash and earth.

It isn't seeing immature thoughts that bothers me. It's the possibility I might find them fully-formed. Words of a dragon's wing, casting aside the clothes of polite society and showing their true selves to the world.

In some cases, despite careful and correct surgery, you discover that you still breathe flames.

[Originally posted January 2006]
hummingwolf: animation of green and gold fractal, number of iterations increasing with time (Iterations in green and gold)
One thing that puzzled me was, how do microbes always seem to show up in extreme environments ready to carpe diem? When new hydrothermal vents open on the cold, dark, ocean floor, where do the hyperthermophiles come from? Are they floating in some dormant state waiting for a gush of boiling sulfuric acid to wake them up or are they already down in plumbing systems below the seafloor in the crust and do they just happen to be ejected through new vents? What about the bacteria, archaea, and fungi colonizing the Titanic? How did they find the Titanic when it took us more than 70 years using secret navy technologies? Were the iron-loving microbes already at work on the new steel before the ship set sail? Were they already present in the ocean scratching out a meager existence from molecules in the bottom sediments? [Charles] Pellegrino pondered whether microbes from the toilets on the Titanic and the throats of passengers survived and mingled. When I posed the question to [Roy] Cullimore he quoted Dutch microbiologist Baas Becking:

"Everything is everywhere. The environment selects."

--from Tim Friend's book The Third Domain: The Untold Story of Archaea and the Future of Biotechnology


hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)

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