Thursday, June 28, 2007

8 Things

Dayle tagged me, and since this is my second tag (first one only got posted to lj), I'll do another eight things. And I don't tag, but please feel free if you haven't done this meme. Please comment with a link if you decide to do it.

The Rules:
  • We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
  • Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  • People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
  • At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
  • Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.
1. Both of my tattoos are writing related, however tangentially.

2. I collect handmade Middle Eastern rugs. Right now I have pieces from Iran, Afghanistan, Palestine, Chechnya, Pakistan and Turkey, including a 3' x 3' rug that is a bridal piece. It was made to show the weaver's worth to her family when she married. It starts out kinda wonky but it gets better. It's also my favourite piece. I also have a piece that has very tasteful missiles worked into the design.

3. I've rehearsed and conducted a 32 piece orchestra. I've also directed a 75 person marching band. Somewhere there are trophies. I also play five instruments with some passing degree of competency, and I sing. Sometimes in funny languages.

4. I once drove from Baltimore, MD to Santa Barbara, CA in three and a half days.

5. I once petted a snow leopard kitten, a caracal kitten, and a Siberian lynx kitten, all in one hour.

6. I am mechanically inclined. I once took a vacuum cleaner apart and disassembled the motor, replaced the broken part, and reassembled it to a working state in one afternoon, with no manual, all on a bet.

7. It's not that I can't cook. I can. I just have other things I'd rather be doing. I much prefer to bake, and now that I have a proper kitchen, I hope to do more of that.

8. I tend to prefer non-fiction to fiction, just because truth really is stranger than fiction. People fascinate me. Mostly because I really don't understand them at all. Science and art, I get. People confound me.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Please watch this and pass it along. I had never heard of inflammatory breast cancer before watching this piece from Seattle, Washington's ABC affliate, KOMO Channel 4.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A prayer for the journey

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,

pray that the road is long,

full of adventure, full of knowledge.

The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,

the angry Poseidon -- do not fear them:

You will never find such as these on your path,

if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine

emotion touches your spirit and your body.

The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,

the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,

if you do not carry them within your soul,

if your soul does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.

That the summer mornings are many, when,

with such pleasure, with such joy

you will enter ports seen for the first time;

stop at Phoenician markets,

and purchase fine merchandise,

mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,

and sensual perfumes of all kinds,

as many sensual perfumes as you can;

visit many Egyptian cities,

to learn and learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.

To arrive there is your ultimate goal.

But do not hurry the voyage at all.

It is better to let it last for many years;

and to anchor at the island when you are old,

rich with all you have gained on the way,

not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.

Without her you would have never set out on the road.

She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.

Wise as you have become, with so much experience,

you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

~Constantine P. Cavafy

via MoonRiver

Name Dropper

Musecrack just got a mention in one of my favourite blogs, Le Divan Fumoir Bohémien.

Thank you Florizelle!

Friday, June 15, 2007


Ira Glass, host of NPR's This American Life, talks about story telling:

Part 1: A story, at its simplest form, is the retelling of a sequence of events (YouTube)

Part 2: Cull mercilessly. (You Tube)

Part 3:
You'll make a lot of crap before you make good work. So make it. It's normal to suck. Don't worry. You'll get better.. Just don't quit. (You Tube)

Part 4:
Ira is talking to people who want to be on video, but I really think these two common mistakes apply equally to writing: Be aware of your voice. Also, make sure your personality doesn't get in the way of the story. (You Tube)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


sweet relief.

nothing in this world quite like the sight of a yellow landrover jumping the curb and tearing great gashes in the expanse of lawn between my bldg and the parking lot. nothing except maybe a yellow landrover flanked by three humvees with sixties and a bradley. i just made it out of the bldg with the mob right behind me. he pressed an AR15 into my hands and showed me where the magazine release and the safety were. i think he said something about hugs and kisses later, tactical retreat now.

i am reunited with my beloved and nothing else matters.

and i'm pretty sure all this blood is someone else's.

just be there

stupid stupid stupid.

there's a reason i tend to be a loner. it's because other people never cease to astound me with their stupidity.

they left the flamethrower i'd built behind, and they don't want to take a risk of someone getting burned! what, you'd rather be eaten? and i don't mean to be contrary, and yes, i'm not much of a team player, as you well knew, but dude, i think your comm skills leave a bit to be desired. let me spell it out for you: if you were bitten, it probably would have been a good idea to mention it BEFORE we all huddled up in a conference room and you went all bitey on us!


man, he was such a nice guy. that file cabinet popped his skull like a grape. paperless age my ass.

wolf called. he's less than a mile away. there's a lot of them still between us. and in here too. i can hear them upstairs. i don't want to get cornered inside, but i don't have much of a choice. at least i can see the parking lot from here. i'm balled up under a desk. the others. i don't know where they went and i don't care.


c'mon, it'll be fun!

my head is killing me. i... uh... startled some folks from work. they thought i was one of the walking dead. jeezus when you write it out it sounds so banal. anyway, my boss. good man, don't get me wrong. he meant well. anyway, he hit me in the face with a shovel. i think my nose is broken.

now, you ask yourself, why on earth are you blogging this. you're injured, you're bleeding, you're surrounded by a very good impression of the end of days, and you're thumb typing?

i don't have to think when i'm typing. i'm an addict my friends. and this little box is better than morphine right now.

fuck i'd kill for some morphine right now. ah. my front teeth are loose too. great.

anyway, they brought me back to the office with them. the building emptied out pretty quick and all of the dead are heading downhill for the town. which means i'm back where i started. wolf said that's okay, he'll find me. he sounds like he's actually having fun. gods i love my husband. he gives me hope and makes it easy to be afraid and still do what has to be done.

some people are talking about taking a boat. maybe the islands are safe. and me without my sunscreen.

hey socal. could you at least have the decency to be overcast on the day of the apocalypse? ~glares at cloudless sky~

run spot run

my lungs are burning. i hate running at the best of times. it's amazing how motivated you can get when they're making that ... sound.

no runners yet. only shamblers. they can move quick when they have to. i saw a few dodge a car. the rest got mucked up under the wheels, so many the driver couldn't get through them. they dragged him out and ... gods, i'll never get the sound of his screams out of my head.

fuck fuck fuck.

i broke into the bakery here. the power's out and there's no one here. there's vats of cooking oil. oil burns. gods bless donuts. plus, y'know. carbs. for the running.

Wolf's cell died, but he got another. i didn't ask how. he got sidetracked he says. coming as soon as he can. he's picked up a few people. a guy from his work whose also ex-military. and a crew. he said they're all scared kids that thought they'd been passed over for iraq. thought they'd never see action. well, today's your lucky day kids. they're in good hands with him. 11 yrs in the guard as an mp.

he'll get me out. i know he will. i just have to be in one piece when he gets here. i had the idea to sneak over to the grocery store. looks like i missed the fun part. if you keep your head down, they barely notice you. i picked up some bbq lighter fluid and a supersoaker. and a tube of bathroom caulk. and some red bull. and one of those wand lighters. and almonds. i love almonds. anyway. caulk the supersoaker. mix 3 pts veg oil w 1pt lighterfluid. rig the lighter to the trigger. hahaha. instant flamethrower.

okay use judiciously. that was close. they really don't like flame tho. awesome. zombie flambe anyone?

also, the battery on this bberry 8100 is awesome. still at 70%.

fire is your friend

i'm crouched behind a dumpster in the alley behind taco bell. gods i thought they stank.

they smelled me in the car. i heard them before i saw them. i crawled through the back seat to the trunk and found a tireiron and some road flares. i was head down in the dark when the car started rocking. i had to go out through the moon roof. i lit the flares and threw them into the grass. the brush lit up like flash paper. turns out they burn fast too. and the smell, ugh. the car started to catch too, so i didn't have any choice but to abandon it. i have my cell, a tire iron, and two flares left. Wolf called, said he's almost here, but the freeway looks post-nuclear. the bodies only stay down for a few minutes before they get back up.

Wolf says to make sure you go for the mechanical disable. hips are good. shoot em in the head from up close. don't waste your ammo.

and torch them if you can.

my mind is strangely clear. i'm already thinking about who we need to catch up with, and where we'll go. we'll need water and food. and medical supplies. and more ammo. banzai inst is pretty defensible for an interim.

oh. that must have been the gas tank going. wow. maybe he can find me from the smoke column.


posting via bberry. the freeway is a mass of hulking twisted smoking metal. they're evrywhere.

someone had crashed into the back of my car. i had to. i had to take her car. she...i couldn't do anything to help her.

i'm here at the tree. i just drove off the road and into the high brush. i called Wolf and he answered, thank gods, said he was delayed and to stay put. happy tears, laughter. he found a gunstore and helped himself. also, a landrover. that's our joke. if the apocalypse comes, i get a yellow landrover.

gods, i wonder if its yellow.

they're in the taco bell across the street. i can hear them. sounds like wet meat in a blender with a bad porno playing in the background.

flist, spare me some mojo. i know you're probably as bad off as me, but mojo grows as you share it.


Because I'm evil. That's Why.

I just didn't want to freak anyone out for reals. Sorry if that was the case.
We now return you to your zombie apocalypse, already in progress.

It starts

I just got a call from my husband. He tried to sound all calm, but he told me to meet him at the old oak tree* in half an hour. There was shouting in the background and he told me he loved me. Then I heard gun shots and his line went dead.

He's not answering his phone now.

Guys, I'm scared...

*Where we're supposed to meet if there's an earthquake or riots or something -- what? This is LA. It happens.

Another Day In Paradise

Foggy as hell coming into work this morning, which only added to the ambience of weird that continues today. The commute was strangely light, and I saw a few cars on the side of the road that looked like they'd just been abandoned. Starting to feel like it did after the riots. There wasn't anything on the news about the stuff in the harbor last night, but then, there wouldn't be, would there?

Wolf called to say he saw a convoy of tanks, and armored personnel carriers on the freeway this morning. There was a gal manning the sixty on the lead humvee. On the freakin' 101 freeway. He said to make sure to keep my cellphone handy, in case there really is something going on.

Also, file under "Some People's Children."

ETA: Okay, this is starting to creep me out.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ha ha, it is to laughth

That sense of weird? Ongoing ... Had a nice evening at the textile guild, learning how to make bezants.

But on the way home, I took the way down by the harbor, because there was something going on. Some kind of training exercise or something, because the Navy had like six helicopters, the big Hueys, out over the water. It looked like they were doing training on an old oil derelict.

It had to be training, right? Why else would they bring something that huge in that close to shore? Anyway, I saw all kinds of activity on the beach coming home. Police cars and such, even a few National Guard vehicles. Yay Homeland Security.

And to top it off, I almost hit this homeless guy in the middle of the damned freeway off ramp. He was just standing in traffic in this ratty old coat, staring into the oncoming headlights. I almost lost control of the damned car! My heart's still pounding.

Seriously, people. Is it full moon already?

I can't put my finger on it.

Today started out really great. So great, in fact, that I didn't really want to go to work. I wanted to stay home and work on the house. It felt like a really good place to wake up to, y'know? A Very Good Thing (TM).

Got to work, sat down and proceeded to just vegetate my way through my work. Blah. Double blah. Makes me want to pull fire alarms just to wake some people up around here. Can we get some peppy tunes in here? Something? Anything!? I felt like I'd got a head full of Benadryl and an ass full of lead. Shuffling around like the freakin' undead.

And this afternoon. This afternoon is just shaping up pear-shaped. I can't shake the feeling that something's not right. Just this sense of foreboding in the air, I suppose. I can't put my finger on it, but it feels like this is all about to come crashing down. All the common everyday hassles that I take for granted, the commute, the boring little data munching job, all of it. It just feels strangely precious...and fragile. Just odd.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Not Dead.

Wow... ~blows dust off underwood no5~ Poor neglected journal.

Absolutely nothing remarkable has happened. Work on the new place proceeds apace.

Cat: Went back in for his recheck on his hyperthyroid, which is, after medication, at the high end of normal, but normal. Now there's this glucose thing going on. Cats have the ability to spike their bloodsugar when they're stressed. But his glucose was 100 points above normal... This is cause for concern. And cause for plastic pellets and a little paper tester strip. Yes, I have to get a single drop of cat pee to test his glucose levels... Hilarity ensues.

Baby watch 2007: My nephew is being fickle and toying with his mother's head, and he's not even born yet. I haven't even met him and I think I like him. She's due the 16th, but y'know, any minute now! {insert keystone cops impersonation here}

Work: I am actually in a conference call with Austria, Sweden and England this morning... o_0

Patio: Bought a table and chairs for the back patio. Which is interesting, considering we still don't have a proper dining room table. ~shrugs~ It's summer. We'll eat outside, yes? ~pulls on sweater against the fog~ Summer. Definitely. Table needs a coat of tung oil before it can go into service.

Gardening: Laid in roma tomatoes seedlings, green and gold bell peppers seedlings. In the ground, which is so cool. There was much slaying of weeds and augmenting of soil beforehand, and I've still got 5/6ths of the bed to go. Container garden now has Catnip, Spearmint, Lemon Balm, Pineapple Mint, Lemon Thyme, English Thyme, Oregano, Sage, French & English Lavender. The Canna Indica continues to bloom, although it's clearly been neglected. One of the two daisy monsters has been slain. The other wants for heavy equipment*, or perhaps an axe to take it down. Also, the compost bin is proceeding apace. I've yet to buy worms for it, but I need to build a shelter, both for the seedlings and so the compost doesn't roast in the sun. Bought a bunch of seeds (see above reference to shelter), since our growing season is so long.

Herbs: Bought stuff to make our herbal guild's famous bruise juice recipe. When you hang out with fighter types, who like to hit on each other with sticks, invariably bruises occur. This is an olive oil based infusion of herbs supplemented with essential oils and it's the most wonderful stuff. It clears up really ugly bruises in a fraction of the normal healing time. It's also excellent for stiff muscles.

It saved my ass a week ago when I finally realized that neck spasms were actually a pulled muscle. Judicious application of stretches, heat and bruise juice did wonders on the healing front. Thanks to strangestgirl@lj for sending me yoga for necks and shoulders. They help. A lot.

Craftroom: Getting a new bedroom set meant having extra chest of drawers, so one of them is being repurposed for herb storage. It got a stain and a coat of linseed oil on Saturday and Sunday, and a coat of bowling alley paste wax yesterday. (Have I mentioned how much I love my husband?) Next thing I need to find is the fittings. (Pics forthcoming) Assembled bookshelves.

Sun jar: Have all the pieces parts, just need to assemble them. Solar lights @ Harbor Freight - dissected for guts, Fido glass canning jar, need to get the glass frosting yet, but it looks like it's going to work quite nicely. I do so wish I could justify the cost of the cobalt blue glasses because those would be so pretty. I'm not sure the solar panel would charge through the darker glass, so I'm sticking with the clear glass. Ideas to supplement the jar include filling it with sea glass (superbright LED light is REALLY superbright).

Spinning: Plied off two bobbins. Wow did I learn my lesson. Ply as soon as you get done spinning the bobbin. Letting it rest on the bobbin for three months made plying a nightmare. Whoops.

Also in the fiber end of things, my sister "arranged" (trans. Foisted on me) four bags of Suffolk, which is full of shit and second cuts and is going to be a real pain in the ass, but best to practice on free fleece before ordering that merino I was ogling. But going out to see sheep in the fields was fun. The sheep dogs were Great Pyrenees and were the most affectionate, smelly wonderful dogs ever. Hell, even the barn cat thought we were pretty cool.

Also, new processing steps means I need new tools... Anyone have a drum carder they'd like taken off their hands? No? Hmm.

Writing: ~shifty eyes~ Haven't been writing as much as I'd like. Haven't been musecracking as much as I'd like either. ~makes note to remedy both situations~

* SCA/Gardening joke du jour: This is a bec de corbin. This is a bec de Howard.

Darach Bruise Juice (Recipe refined by Eleyn of Darach/Hope Martin)

Step 1: Infuse the base oil*

6 bay leaves
1/2 cup lavender
1/4 cup sage (or wormwood)
1/4 cup calendula
1/4 cup mugwort
1/4 cup rosemary
Olive Oil to cover

Combine herbs and oil in a pot and simmer on the stove for approximately two hours. You could also use an old crock pot or potpourri pot and simmer it overnight. Just remember to stir.

Step 2: make up the essential oil base.

Camphor oil 2 1/2 t
Eucalyptus oil 3/4t
Lavender Oil 1/2t
Peppermint oil 1T + 2t
Ginger Oil 2T
Castor Oil 3 1/2t

Step 3: take 3 1/2 oz of the oil from step 1, and add to it 3 1/2t of the oil from step 2. This will give you Bruise Juice. To make Bruise Balm, add beeswax to the still warm infused oil at the rate of 1.5:1 (base oil to beeswax) or use your preferred ratio.

* I use EVOO, with enough grapeseed oil to get it to my desired viscosity.