But seriously it was what it was and it was the best.
Being born in 1951, the '50s were my childhood years. And you couldn't do better than that.
Technically, I wasn't born in Palm Springs, but my parents returned there when I was 2 months old, so for the next 25 years, that's all I knew. We moved into my childhood home when I was 2 years old (all 3 of my sisters were born while we lived there) and my 89-years old mom lives there yet. We got a big lot (sand was cheap) and my Dad was in the construction biz, so eventually we had a big house.
But the summers I remember (125 F, mind you) consisted of my mom kicking us outside (her reading time, mind you). Us 4 girls? in our panties. Why wear more? We roamed our backyard, blonde hair, blue eyes, and brown as berries every one. I invented fantastical plots (being the oldest) and we buried treasure, built castles in the mud under the cottonwood tree, climbed up the tree to escape the witch, and generally rampaged all over the backyard until Mom let us back in.
At which, of course, it was time to settle down with the latest treasure from the library and dream some more.
Do children have lives like this anymore? And what a loss that is.
Words by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 4 of 6
word count (story only): 1191
:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, this is a Finn family story which includes Shiv, Boss White and the Ebonies and Ivories. ::
back to part three
to the Finn Family index
on to part five
“Okay,” Heron patted the air lightly. “That's not what I was insinuating.”
“Insi-- what?” Shiv threw his hands up, and the momentum pulled him to his feet, balancing lightly on his toes before beginning to pace between the front door and the short wall that held both his bedroom door and the bathroom door. The young man paced, loping strides pulling him nearly nose to nose with the wall before he reversed direction to lunge toward the opposite wall.
“In-sin-u-ate,” Heron repeated blandly, though he was careful to pronounce each syllable. “it's hinting, but subtly, or jockeying for position or a favor. Like...” Long fingers curled as Heron snapped his middle finger away from his thumb. “Muuuum,” he mock-whined, “my legs hurt, and the back seat is squashed up against yours and Da's.” Another minuscule shrug followed as the faintly petulant expression faded away. “In that case, insinuating that sitting in the front passenger seat would be more comfortable.”
( Read more... )
SPIKE: I didn't mean to ... (long pause) Anyway, I know you're feeling all betrayed -- by him, not me.
SPIKE: I was trying to help, you know. Not like I made him be there, after all. Actually trying to help you. Best intentions.
SPIKE: I mean, you know, pretty state you'd be in, thinking things are all right while he's toddling halfway round the bend.
SPIKE: Oh, I'll insult him if I want to! I'm the one who's on your side! Me! Doing you a favor! (And you, being dead petty about it -- me, getting nothing but your hatred and your venom and - you ungrateful bitch!
SPIKE: Buffy ... there's something I wanted to tell you.
~~Triangle (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 5, Episode 11)~~
[Drabbles & Short Fiction]
- Faithless (Crossover, Teen) by Cancelling_The_Apocalypse
- Her Mother's Daughter (Crossover, Teen) by Grundy
- Buffy - Return of the Vampire Slayer (Tara/Willow, Not Rated) by WillowFromBuffy
- God Is Real and She's American (Crossover, Mature) by mabus101
- Taking Chances (Spike/Buffy, Mature) by sandy_s
- Finding Where We Belong (Crossover, Teen) by dragonydreams
- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Cordelia/Faith, Teen) by steeleye
- Forward Without Seeing (Spike/Buffy, Mature) by queen_insane
This is very long and detailed, so I’m going to try to put in a cut tag.
All right, I can't get that to work, not if it was ever so. I'm sorry.
On Tuesday Raphael and I went to Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. The forecast was for a sunny, almost windless day with a high of 87. The air quality was moderate. I complained about this the day before and Raphael asked if I'd prefer not to go. But Sherburne is actually a good place to go on a less than perfect day, because there's a seven-mile wildlife drive with stopping points for viewing whoever happens to be around; also a tiny oak savanna (1/10-mile loop) trail and a prairie trail with an oak grove in the middle with a bench (1/2-mile loop). And it's September; hiking season will be over at some point.
We got a late start but arrived with about five hours of daylight ahead of us. Sherburne is near Sand Dunes National Forest, and its soil is also sandy. It's a lightly rolling landscape full of marshes, pools, and prairie, broken by lines and clumps of trees. You drive through a short stretch of mature restored prairie to reach the actual wildlife drive. It was awash in blooming goldenrod and blue and white asters and rich brown grasses.
We stopped at the Oak Savanna Trail and had a sandwich, read the list of plants presently blooming (six kinds of goldenrod, four kinds of white aster, two kinds of blue aster, rough blazing star, and boneset) and then walked out on the tiny boardwalk. We examined what looked like an abandoned bald eagle's nest through one of the spotting scopes provided, and then started looking at spreadwings (yet another kind of damselfly) in the tall grass that the boardwalk runs through.
Here is an image of a spreadwing that one might see in Minnesota, though I don’t know if that’s what we did see.
A flicker of motion in the distance caught my attention, and I looked up to see three sandhill cranes landing across the prairie near the road we'd come on. "A family," said Raphael, looking through the binoculars. "See the juvenile?" I did see the juvenile, which did not have all its red in yet but was almost as large as its parents. The cranes started walking through the grass, not unlike herons stalking through shallow water; occasionally they would bend their long necks down and poke around in the grass roots, and occasionally one of them would make a sharp dart and come up with food and swallow it.
It was hard to decide whether the cranes were more awesome through binoculars or just as tall shapes against the pale road and prairie, bending and straightening, wandering apart and together again. If you didn't look through binoculars you could also see meadowhawks darting around, the spreadwings rising to catch tiny insects and settling again to eat them, the unexpected wind shaking the oak leaves and the grass and the asters. From time to time a darner moved across the larger prairie, veering after prey or just powering along.
At last a truck came fairly fast along the road, raising a cloud of dust, and the cranes paused, considered, opened their huge wings and rose up, gawky but graceful, and flew away low over the grasses. We went back to looking at smaller wildlife
I was trying to spot a spreadwing through the binoculars when I saw what looked like an animated tangle of brown grass. I said to Raphael, “There’s some kind of mantis there!” and when Raphael expressed astonishment, I added, “It’s very stick-y,” which allowed Raphael to come up with the actual name: It was a stick insect. It took a few moments for me to describe its location and for Raphael to see it, and then I had trouble finding it again through the binoculars, but it was busy clambering around against the wind, so we did both get a good look at it. It was only the second stick insect I’d seen in Minnesota. The other was at Wild River State Park. That one was much larger and was rummaging around in a pile of leaves at the edge of the parking lot. This one was fascinating because its camouflage was so great, and yet it did have to move around, so you could differentiate it from the grass if you worked at it.
We’d arrived in the deep of the afternoon when smaller birds are quiet. We heard a few goldfinches murmuring, and a phoebe carrying on, and a chickadee. We left the boardwalk, admiring the asters waving in the non-foreseen but welcome breeze, and walked around the oak savanna loop. The little oak saplings tangled among the other shrubbery were already starting to turn red. White asters poked their flowerheads through leaves belonging to other plants, to startling effect. Autumn meadowhawks floated and hovered and darted, snatching up gnats from the clouds around them. We had seen a monarch butterfly in the asters while we were eating our lunch, and also a dark-phase swallowtail wandering over the grass; now we saw a painted lady butterfly.
We made an attempt to leave, but a darner landed on a drooping dead branch of an oak tree right in front of the car. The sun was behind it and we couldn’t get a good look without tramping heedlessly into the prairie, so we didn’t, but its silhouette was lovely against the brilliant sky.
We drove on, past tall browning and reddening grasses, clumps of goldenrod, clouds of asters. Darners flew up from the sides of the road and zoomed away. We found at the turning that the refuge had reversed the direction of the wildlife drive since we were there last, which was momentarily confusing; but we found our way, and stopped at the Prairie Trail. I pointed out some thoroughly spent plants of spotted horsemint. We’d seen it in bloom, if you can call it that, at William O’Brien. It’s a very weird-looking plant. Here’s a photo:
This observation continued my inability to accurately provide the names of things; I’d just called it horsemint and Raphael reminded me that that particular weird plant was spotted horsemint. There are other horsemints, but they don’t look so strange. As we stood looking over the rise and fall of the little prairie, with folds of alder and sumac, and lines and whorls of different grasses and goldenrod, all truly starred with the blue and white asters, I said that I loved how big the sky was at Sherburne. Raphael noted that it was a slate-blue just now; we assumed that was the haze of the wildfire smoke all the way from the west coast, a somber reminder of far too many things.
We took the grassy path, startling small grasshoppers out of our way and stirring up meadowhawks from the tall plants and shrubs. We saw a monarch; we saw a painted lady. Passing through a little grove of young alders, on almost every tip of the dead trees intermingled with the living there was a meadowhawk perched. They swept upwards, snatched a gnat or fly, landed to eat again. Raphael showed me how to identify a female autumn meadowhawk: they have a definite bulge just below the thorax, which was easy to see against the sky. Darners zipped past from time to time. If it was a green darner we could usually tell even from just a glance. The others were mosaic darners, but harder to identify in passing.
I think it was as we approached the oak grove that we started seriously trying to identify the grasses. We’d known big bluestem, aka turkey-tail, for years. After seeing it labelled repeatedly here and there, I could pick out the charming clumps of little bluestem, just knee-high, with their pale fluffy flowers lined up and catching the light. We’d looked at an informational sign at the trailhead, but its drawings of Indian grass and switch grass didn’t look right. Raphael pulled up the photo of the sign about grasses at the visitor center at Wild River, which had struck both of us at the time as much more informative than other attempts to depict native grasses; and we could suddenly identify Indian grass after all. It has a long, narrow rich brown seed head with varying degrees of spikiness; some are quite streamlined and others are tufty and look as if they need combing. And we felt more confident about the switch grass with its airy spreading seed heads.
Raphael pointed out a beetle on the path, maybe a Virginia leatherwing, and then realized it was a moth. A little research when we reached the oak grove and sat down showed that it was a netted moth, and the entry even mentioned that it looked quite a bit like a leatherwing.
The bench we were sitting on was made from boards of recycled plastic. At some point Raphael had ha enough sitting and went ahead a little way just to see what was there. I’d noticed when I sat down that there were verses from the Bible printed on the back of the bench in some kind of marker. On the left was the passage from Matthew that begins, “Come unto me you who are weary and heavy-laden,” and on the right the passage from John that begins, “For God so loved the world.” These might have been written in different hands. But the passage in the middle was definitely in a different hand, and began, “We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine.” The ending of the passage was a bit smeared and I couldn’t read all of it, but at the bottom the name “hunter s. thompson” was clear enough. I followed Raphael and relayed the beginning of the passage. “Hunter s. thompson!” said Raphael, going back to the bench with me. “It’s from <i>Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas</i>.” Raphael looked this up too, and showed me the unsmeared passage on the cellphone.
Giggling a bit, we went on our way. We were now well around the loop and into the straight stretch back to the car. From the other side I’d pointed out a lovely layering of grasses, goldenrod, a narrow cleft of willow scrub, and a candy-red line of sumac. Now we came to the sumac from the other side. On the path in front of us was a butterfly. “What is that?” said Raphael. “It’s a Red Admiral,” I said confidently, but it wasn’t. It was another Painted Lady. Raphael consolingly told me that they were both Vanessa, very closely related, but the Red Admiral is very common in Minnesota and I was chagrined that I’d misidentified something else as that.
We came to a little stretch of boardwalk over a marshy area. On a shrub was a shimmery amber-tinged odonate. I pointed it out to Raphael. It turned out to be another autumn meadowhawk, though it looked as if it ought to be an Eastern Amberwing, or at least a Band-Winged Meadowhawk. It had perched on a bit of red-stemmed dogwood, just to be extra-cooperative. We went on through the cattails and willow, past a minute patch of open water and up onto the grassy path again. Raphael pointed out that where the path climbed back out of the tiny marsh there was a nice view over the rest of the open water and the winding marsh with more willow, and cattails, and a shrub we should have known but didn’t. (I briefly misidentified it as more red-stemmed dogwood, because it was my day to misidentify everything; but it had deep purple stems and leaves just starting to turn reddish.)
On our right for the end of our walk was the brilliant sumac and the cleft of alder saplings, all their leaves fluttering and twinkling in the wind and sunlight; on the left a long slope of prairie grasses interrupted by goldenrod and asters. More darners sailed by. The sky had lost its smoky cast and was a fine late-summer deep blue. We came back to the car and Raphael began to drive away, but I exclaimed at the sight of a big clump of stiff goldenrod covered with pollinators. We didn’t get out, but looked our fill from the car. Big bumblebees, a stenuchid wasp, beetles, ambush bugs.
There’s one more trail you can actually walk along, near the end of the wildlife drive, but there was a sign at the beginning saying that it was flooded. Before that we drove past long stretches of marsh, open water, and rolling prairie, all patched with clumps of trees. From time to time there would be a wider spot in the road, sometimes a formal space big enough for three or four cars, with a bench or two, or a platform over a low spot with spotting scopes and some informational signs about the wildlife; others just a metal platform with railings, where you could stand and look over the water. We tentatively identified the spot where we’d once common moorhens, which are not so common that we weren’t deeply excited. We’ve also seen muskrats and various ducks in these locations, and once there was a gigantic cloud of mosaic darners all brown and yellow – I seem to recall that some of them were lance-tipped darners, but I may be wrong. This time we heard water birds making a ruckus, but couldn’t see them. Darners came by in about the density that they had been all the while. Over one platform we saw what turned out to be a northern harrier; these guys have an amazing acrobatic flight, and they’re reddish on the underside and bluish on the back. I excitedly called this one a kestrel, which would be smaller and have the colors reversed: bluish on the underside and red on the back. We also very clearly saw a nighthawk with its white wing bars, though the sun was still up.
We also saw some cedar waxwings fly-catching from a tree with a dead top, and heard a yellow warbler.
At last we came to a stretch of water, islands, and snags so large that it had two separate viewing-spots. From the first we saw several groups of large white birds. I thought the first were swans, but they were white pelicans. There were also some swans, however. We came finally around a curve of the gravel road to an observation station in a little oak grove, overlooking the far side of this large sheet of water. This is where most of the dead trees are, and here, to our delight, we saw as we’ve seen before several times a very large number of cormorants. The sun was setting by then, off to our right. The sky was pink and the water reflected it. Many cormorants were roosting already, but some were still coming out of the water; they would land on a branch, sometimes settling and sometimes glancing off several different trees before finding one that suited them, or one in which the other cormorants accepted them. It was hard to be sure. Then they would spread their wings out to dry, looking as if they were practicing to be bats for Halloween.
We found the swans and pelicans we’d seen from the other viewing station, though it was getting pretty dark by then. Cormorants still flew up into the trees and spread their wings. Through binoculars you could see the ones that had folded their wings now preening their breast feathers. Some of them had pale necks and brown fronts rather than being entirely black. I mentioned this to Raphael, who looked it up in Sibley and confirmed that those were juvenile cormorants.
It was getting quite dark by then and the mosquitoes were starting to think about biting us in earnest. We drove past two more pools; beside one two groups of people we’d seen pass earlier, a third car I didn’t recognize from before, and a man using a wheelchair were standing and gesticulating. We pulled up and got out. The water and trees were lovely in the twilight, but we didn’t see any wildlife. The solitary man went away in his wheelchair, the unfamiliar car left, and we followed, watching the varied texture of the grass and flowers fade away into the dark.
My sleep schedule hasn't settled, though, which is probably partly my fault for not setting a consistent bedtime and thus not having a roughly consistent getting-up time. Since I take the pills with breakfast, this also introduces several hours of variability into that schedule.
Anyway, I was crushingly exhausted in the afternoons on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, which resulted in two-hour naps on the latter two days. I was not similarly tired today, and I wonder if that's because I tend to drink tea (and thus get a dose of caffeine) much earlier in the day on work days. But I do the same on Saturdays -- albeit one hour later -- so... a mystery!
Additionally, last night I could not sleep for shit. I used to have mild insomnia as a child and teenager -- the kind where you just can't make your brain shut off no matter how tired you are -- but I had some meditative techniques that mostly worked and that had largely stopped being an issue by my early twenties anyway. (By which I mean, if I had told myself stories when falling asleep as a teen, I would have been up all night, whereas for the past fifteen years such storytelling has been my most reliable way to make myself fall asleep.) Monday night felt like I was eighteen again and could not fall into more than a thin and restless slumber for love or money. It was very frustrating, and I hope that does not repeat tonight.
My mood has been neutral to mildly positive, and while my motivation and time management continue to be iffy and liable to vanish without warning, the world does not feel crushing and impossible, so there's that. I feel like I will get my list of stuff done, even if I don't get to any given task on the first day I schedule for an attempt. That is a noticeable change. :)
On the station's carapace
The ammunition drone reports to whoever is listening that it has not exactly caught a spacegoing slime mold; rather, the slime mold has clogged up its legs and it's clinging rather precariously to the station's carapace. It is requesting, as forlornly as a nonsentient drone can, that somebody repair it. Until someone does something, it's...stuck.
On the station, during Mikodez and Iawa's science tour
Pavn, having noted Iawa's interest in the question of sonciousness, adds, "If you like, the researcher is probably busy at this hour, and he's in one of the classified labs, but I think that research assistant is currently off-shift. I could introduce you to her, if you like. She's always happy to talk about philosophical questions."
On the station, during Sasha, Yehan, and Alaric's science tour
Pavn looks quizzically at Yehan during the tour. "You remind me of some of the other visitors we've had recently," he says, in a friendly enough fashion. "You may have caught sight of their ship on the way in. Granted, phenotypes can be so misleading. Where did you say you were from?"
On the station, visitor's lounge, later
Sasha and Alaric are debating over carbon-fiber sculpture aesthetics when a ping comes in from the lokwor to indicate that Sasha's program has picked up more information on Remi. [Edit: sorry, hit post too soon.] He's not in his lab, but has signed out a spacesuit and has apparently gone for a walk outside the station. The lokwor has no idea why--it wasn't able to ferret out that information without Sasha's hacking guidance.
On the station, Rahal Gerae's office
Armed with an extra slate containing information about Rahal Gerae's known black market dealings, Sulen and Virmad head to Rahal Gerae's office. [Feel free to insert any preparations you may have wanted to make beforehand in a thread of its own.] The door is neatly labeled in a peculiarly Rahal style of calligraphy, recognizable despite the drift of time. There is a potted plant outside the door, its elongated flowers wilting.
More problematically, the door isn't locked. It appears to be stuck halfway open.
On the station, Nirai Alissa's dance studio
Before Ashari can say anything one way or the other to Alissa, a short man, dark-skinned, their shaven head covered with gold mesh-tattoos, stomps out of the office. He glares at Ashari. "I always knew you would be sucking up to any 'artists' who showed up on the station," he says. "Excuse me. I'm artist-designate Kwor, and I simply must demand that you authenticate yourself."
Alissa closes her eyes and looks pained. "Ah, yes," she says, "our resident artist-designate..." She leaves it at that.
[An artist-designate is basically the station's arts & entertainment coordinator, and in particular it means that Kwor is not an Andan but sort of secondary artist hired through the Andan, because a real Andan couldn't be arsed to come out to this posting.]
[Also note that Istradez is lurking in the background in this scene, if you need to borrow him.]
On the station, bubble tea stand 4:30 Monday morning
The bubble tea cafe is already open, or maybe always open, based on its sign. Mikodez and anyone else who decides to come here will notice several people sipping their bubble tea or coffee in a small area with seats and tables and decorative floating lanterns. There are many flavor shots offered, from mango to orange creme to root beer.
The barista frowns when she sees Mikodez. "Excuse me," she says. "Where are your parents?"
- Active characters as of last post: Sasha, Alaric, Yehan, Sulen, Virmad, Ashari, Mikodez, Iawa
- Currently inactive: Ankat, Kaliyan
Inactive players should feel free either to jump in wherever it feels logical, or to message me asking for an updated storyline so they can rejoin in a graceful fashion.
I like Scott being awake and energetic in the evenings, so that's a positive for working third shift. The negative is that I have to be super quiet all day so as not to risk waking him. I'm even hesitating to make tea because of the noise of the whistle.
My left elbow is hurting a lot. Even when I'm not using the arm or hand, it sometimes hurts enough to make me mutter. The doctor recommended cold packs, but those hurt worse while I'm applying them and don't make things better after, so I'm wondering if I should try heat. That will be a bit harder because Scott moved my rice pack, and I'll have to find it. The elbow is bad enough to wake me if I move wrong, but I discovered this morning that, if I lie on my right side with a pillow between my arm and my body, the damned thing doesn't hurt. It's not ideal because I'm still feeling too warm most of the time and because the rest of my body doesn't like staying in that position, but it's better than nothing.
I have pulled out my sling. It can be useful in reminding me not to try to pick things up with that hand, but it also seems to make things worse in the long term. There's something about the angle and about how close in to my body the sling is that just doesn't work right. Possibly, I need a sling that holds the arm about three inches out from my torso.
I think that I have a solution to the problem of my c-PAP headgear sliding off-- I loosened the straps just a tiny bit, and now the dratted thing stays in place better. It's counterintuitive, but I've had it that way for two or three nights now, and it is better.
Sleep is still not great. Halcion has an effect, but it's not what my doctor said it would do. The stuff is supposed to be very short acting and hit me like a ton of bricks. It doesn't make me more immediately sleepy, but I am tending to stay asleep longer before I wake up to pee. The downside of that is that I'm getting up for that too close to when I have to get up for the day to be able to sleep again. When that's ten minutes, it's not such a big deal. When it's more than an hour... That's enough to matter.
1. Yamazaki Sousuke from Free!
2. Maedhros from The Silmarillion
3. Matsuoka Rin from Free!
4. Aomine Daiki from Kuroko no Basuke
5. Rebecca Bunch from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
6. Bodhi Rook from Rogue One
7. Steve Rogers from the Captain America movies.
8. Martha Jones from Doctor Who
9. Jason Todd from the
10. Bucky Barnes from the Captain America movies.
11. Kagami Taiga from Kuroko no Basuke
12. Victor Nikiforov from Yuri!! On Ice
13. Vanessa Ives from Penny Dreadful
14. Mary Crawley from Downton Abbey
15. Darius from Atlanta
I have so few active fandoms now that I really had to stretch back in my memory palace to find enough characters for this meme. Sad.
( Questions )
Review copy provided by Haikasoru Books.
This is one of the weirdest books I’ve read in a long time. The Bamboo, the creatures in it, are described as vampires, but they’re really more grass monsters who eat human carrion. They’re described as scary, but I’m not particularly scared by them so much as baffled by their strange, secretive, hierarchical laws. (For me, this is a feature, not a bug.) And on basically every other page, I’m left saying, “What? What?” (Again, a feature, not a bug.)
There are three sections varying widely in time, with different protagonists. Even within the sections, the timeline swings wildly, spending pages on a conversation translated lovingly to attempt to show what level of formality the Japanese conversation used (oh, a losing battle) and then going over forty years in a single line. I would say that it’s full of plot twists, but that sounds very linear, very straightforward, as though things are following one upon another with logic–it is full of plot twists the way the dream you are trying to remember from two nights ago is full of plot twists. “And then you what? Why? Okay.”
And then the grass monster reached the end of their life and exploded into flowers. What? Okay. No, different section, they ate someone who they thought was abusing a prostitute. What? Okay. If that’s not okay with you, you should probably move along, because that’s what there is here, a whole lot of angst and monsters and randomness, and some of you are saying, gosh, no thanks, and some of you are saying, sign me on up.
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