hedda62: (time travel)
Collections of unrelated observations make a post.

1) One really should not wake up on Mother's Day with Vienna Teng's "My Medea" going through one's head. But anyway, it was a very nice day on which I was fed brunch and cocktails and got to blog at three of my platforms (here, here, and here, if you're interested in, respectively, kolomikta kiwis, trees, and WWII airplanes vaguely related to thoughts about writing the little people in wartime, perhaps I'd already had a cocktail by that point).

2) Tangentially, with regard to the first, I keep realizing how annoyed it makes me when people a) don't pay attention to what you've said repeatedly, b) don't investigate things for themselves, and c) don't ask you to weigh in when you're standing right there, therefore d) making either themselves or you or both look like idiots when taking something that's not really a problem to an authority over both your heads. But so it goes.

3) Oh, while we're on blog posts, ha ha I used a thyme machine.

4) On the "Person of Interest" semi-renewal (for 13 episodes in the latter part of the season, demonstrating CBS's utter lack of commitment): obviously I want the show to go on (hopefully being picked up by another network or Netflix or something), but also am hoping that the limited engagement next season will mean tighter storytelling, whether it's for the endgame or a lead-in to more. They were just all over the map this season, with pointless dead-end subplots sprouting every few episodes, and not enough attention paid to either the main through-line or the intimate character details that used to make the show so compelling. A few of the episodes were stellar (and those were the ones with tight writing and a simple plot), but not enough were even average or coherent. Just trying to do too much, I think. And it just doesn't work for me to have occasional "wow, feels!" moments interspersed with a lot of garbage - I really need to know that someone's telling a story and sees where it's going, even if I'm kept pleasantly in the dark for a while. Was waiting for all those threads to be pulled together into whole cloth in the finale, and - it didn't happen, and in fact nearly the whole season didn't really advance plot or character development much. Or, at least, it was all going on beneath the surface, which may be great for fanfic, but not otherwise. And where there was development they tended to tell not show. With the possible exception of Root, they weren't using any of the characters to full potential. (Especially Bear.)

5) Other shows: still enjoying "Elementary" and "Orphan Black" (which also has convoluted plot lines, but I don't really care if I follow it all since it's the characters who matter for me - hoping they tie Alison's storyline back in though), hanging on for the end of "Mad Men" though not caring too much about it, thinking that "Castle" should have ended for good with this season (maybe "The Good Wife" too, we will see).

6) I don't think I've said anything about the upcoming new Vorkosigan book - I guess I'm excited about it, though perhaps not so much as I should be? Very glad to be seeing more of Cordelia, of course.

7) I'm scrambling to get as much done in my mess of a landscape as possible before summer really hits with its horrible heat and humidity (a taste of it earlier this week, yuck), and we have construction on a new porch/deck going on. Then I hope to write my way through the rest of it.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Reasons I have been somewhat dispirited of late:

a) Toothache that developed last week turned out to be an infection requiring a root canal. While waiting for that appointment, I took antibiotics that dealt with a lot of the pain once they kicked in (before that I needed to take a few of the leftover oxycodone from P's wisdom tooth extraction last summer) though of course necessitated also taking antidiarrheals, because that's how my insides roll. After a lot of mystery novels and "Lost," I got back on my feet Sunday, and even went to Jazzercise on Monday (though my ambitions of keeping up regular classes and adding in some of the weights-focused classes have been postponed). The surgery was yesterday (I really have to look up root canals to see what was going on - so much drilling for a tooth that's still mostly there) and I have to go back in two weeks to have it all done over again, because my dentist couldn't locate one of the canals, suspects it's blocked, and is trying to decalcify it with some substance working away deep in my jaw. It doesn't hurt much at the moment, unless I mistakenly bite on it, but the whole process is so boring, I am not getting stuff done, and the worst thing is that I haven't been able to tolerate hot liquids (I need to test this again, but it still feels likely) so no coffee, no tea, except the iced varieties. Chewing has not been especially wonderful either. I have been eating a lot of yogurt.

b) Spent over two hours Tuesday morning freezing my ass off at the demo garden, trying to orient the new MG interns; finally gave up and went home without planting cabbages (at least they got to go for a ride). It was not too cold for the cabbages, but it was too cold to kneel down and stick my hands in the soil. We continue to have regular little spurts of freezing rain and snow; today will be much warmer (so I'm planning to get those cabbages in) but tomorrow temperatures plunge again (there is talk of nights in the teens). Realistically this can't last much longer, and I would love another cooler than normal late spring and summer (while feeling guilty that the rest of the globe is suffering record highs), but at the moment it feels like winter won't let go. We do have crocuses finally though.

c) Person of Interest kind of sucked this week. Willing to discuss in comments, but right now I only have energy to say spoilers )

d) Still no writing progress - toothache is not conducive to plot-hatching. I am hoping to push myself to get some words down this coming week, in between lots of other stuff that needs doing. Green plants in the ground will help my mood. Also caffeine in a heated form, if that becomes possible.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
I'm back. You can read about my garden visits here; otherwise, here's the continuation of the previous post.

Last Wednesday I was in St. Johnsbury VT, and did see the Athenaeum before I left (splendid!), then drove a long way by back roads across New Hampshire and Maine and wiggled my way down to the coast, where I stayed a couple of days with my uncle and aunt, sorting out books and walking on the beach and watching "The Roosevelts." Then (see garden blog) I popped up to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (lovely!) and then down to my dad's in MA for another couple of days, then (see garden blog) to Tower Hill Botanic Garden (I am forever intrigued by which gardens decide to be botanic and which botanical, and which pluralize themselves, but never mind) and then to New Haven CT to spend the night with my sister and brother-in-law and their cats. Then Monday I drove down to PA and spent the night close to Chanticleer Garden which I was going to visit again the next day until I checked the website and discovered it was closed on Tuesdays. Oops. So I drove home, stopping to outfit myself at an Eddie Bauer outlet store on the way. The end.

I was cautiously pleased by last night's POI season four premiere - if they keep that up, it'll be a good season. Spoilers )

I need to catch up on the openers of "Sleepy Hollow" and "The Good Wife." And I'm watching "Doctor Who" despite misgivings; speaking of betrayal and difficult transitions, I got pissed off at everyone being disappointed in Clara for reacting badly to the regeneration. After all, it's a shocking event if you're not expecting it, and she's the only one of the New Who companions to witness one of his* except Rose, who at least got David Tennant out of it. Not that Capaldi is without his attractions, but I'm getting a vibe of back-to-the-sexless for this season. Back to it being a rather creepy kids' show, perhaps. Anyway, I've caught up on that and am enjoying it, without huge amounts of enthusiasm, but without wanting to throw things at the screen either. (It's on my lap; there wouldn't be much windup room.) I love the new opening graphics, the new TARDIS, and the eyebrows. And Danny Pink, whose surname must be significant.

*Amy and Rory saw one, but it wasn't the Doctor's.

ETA: I did watch the Sleepy Hollow ep, and ha, still love this crazy show, although Franklin did his kite and key experiment in 1752, but the SH timeline has never made the slightest sense anyway.
hedda62: Waterfall, with the words "water metaphors" (water metaphors)
Random things:

In my continuing quest to convince others (and myself, if I could reacquire the fic-writing urge) that Rivers of London and Bryant & May are meant for crossovers, I note that not only does the latter involve a specialist London police unit that solves a mystery having to do with underground rivers, but (since I've now progressed from rereading the early series at random to reading the later books that didn't exist when I was doing the first read) also a crime apparently committed by Mr. Punch. I may manage, at some point, a conversation between Nightingale and Arthur Bryant on Waterloo Bridge; it's always tricky to reconcile magical and non-magical worlds, but Bryant is at least spectacularly open to the existence of supernatural forces. And he may not be aging backwards, but he doesn't appear to be doing it forwards either.

I wrote a short blog post on themes and moral imperatives in Time and Fevers (non-spoilery, unless you count George growing the fuck up as a spoiler) - and thanks to those who have written about and to me on enjoying Time for Tea! Slowly but surely getting somewhere…

Where I am just now is King of Prussia, Pennsylvania (yes that is a place), and I am apparently going to enjoy Chanticleer Pleasure Gardens in the rain later this morning (it's supposed to clear up for afternoon) before picking up Younger Son and friends at the Philly airport.

Much more weed-pulling in store this weekend, and buying of soft foods in preparation for Younger Son having his wisdom teeth out. Hopefully his having acquired strep throat (and amoxicillin) in Ghana will not interfere with the timing of the surgery, because he has to start work later in the week. (He was well into Time and Fevers last I heard, but his girlfriend (also on the trip) was just at the point in Time for Tea where George comes down with SPOILER EXCEPT FOR OBVIOUS IMPLICATION when he began running a fever. We made jokes, because you can't not. He missed the canopy walk and the Cape Coast Castle, but thank goodness for antibiotics.)

I managed not to blow up at fellow gardeners on Tuesday, but oh dear, it's nice to be admired and depended upon, but sometimes being in charge drives me nuts, especially when you have no office door to close but are just trying to get a few minutes to yourself to decide what needs to be done next, and are continually interrupted by people asking what you want them to do next. And then when I'd finally persuaded them to leave me alone a little, there was the one who came up and said, "Just go ahead, but say it out loud; I want to hear your thought process." NO NO NO. (I love them all dearly, but NO.) I guess I need to start trying to get there half an hour before everyone else (which is 7:30 a.m., which means leaving home at 7, while not forgetting half my stuff).

Don't think I've mentioned here how much I'm enjoying Orphan Black season 2, but I am. Having rewatched the first season recently, I can also echo others in saying there's a moment in each episode where I convince myself that each of the clones is actually played by a different actress, and my favorite moments are those in which one clone is pretending to be another one. It's also amusing that Alison is much better at being Sarah than Sarah is at being Alison. (Suburban soccer moms, whether they are in community theatre or not, are naturals at protective coloration.) The balance of humor and pathos continues to be perfect and delightful.

I have been listening to five albums of Vienna Teng on shuffle, pretty much constantly (well, no, but when it's the right time to listen to things). <3 <3 <3
hedda62: Cover of my book Time and Fevers, with Semper Augustus tulip painting. (time and fevers)
1) Got the second version of the TAF cover done and have submitted it for review. *crosses fingers* If it turns out okay I will be able to tell without a paper proof, so I can go right ahead then with uploading the ebook versions and have it all done by the weekend! *crosses legs, arms, and anything else that can be crossed*

2) The cold made me lethargic and snuffly over the weekend (and too tired to go out to see Captain America 2) but I'm on the mend now. Despite planting seeds in the rain yesterday after four hours of oh god why am I in charge here. It's really nice to be alone in a big garden planting seeds, even if it is raining.

3) I may, however, die at the hands of Person of Interest sometime in the next few weeks. If this three-part finale is good it'll be really good, in the painful way, and if it's not, it'll be painfully disappointing. *goes back to crossing things*

4) Other shows also good (not caught up yet on Elementary, but really enjoying season 2; marveling at how fine a show full of corpses in horses (and Jeremy Davies, yes!) and food-related insinuation can be; laughing at how much fun the 70s episode of Castle must have been to film; haven't seen latest Good Wife yet, but appreciating thoroughly how well they are handling this sequence of episodes after [spoiler]).

5) I am reminded that I have a Trope Bingo card and haven't written any fanfic in ages, and don't really feel like writing any, but maybe after the book is out I'll manage to at least get started on a bingo? Can't really write anything POI until the season is over, unless it's looking back. I have glanced at my Vorkosigan WIPs and nothing is leaping out at me. Perhaps something else will inspire.

6) What I really want to have time for is getting started on Book Five. It's beginning to feel ripe, in the way that pears don't.

7) However. *goes back to powerpointing*
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
I am shortly going to spend a little time sitting outside and reading the first chapter of [personal profile] yunitsa's original fiction novella, and then find something else enjoyable to do, because I have so far spent most of my day:

1) Creating the cover for the print edition of Time and Fevers;

2) Cleaning scale insect off my potted lime tree.

The grossness and tedium of the second will be familiar to anyone who's been unfortunate enough to have this problem. The first is probably equally self-induced misery, but really before I tackle cover #3 I must do one of the following:

a) Figure out how to make LiveQuartz (inexpensive image software for Mac that I got because I am too cheap to pay for Photoshop) actually exercise all the capabilities I suspect it has. Like, for example, saving a draft, instead of flattening all the layers into a final image whenever I quit, including when I am forced to quit because of spinning color wheel of doom (I was just trying to make a piece of text smaller again, and it got enormous instead, with the giant word "unanticipated" plastered across my cover image, and then everything froze. And saved that way, flattened, though I was able to rescue an earlier and less problematic draft. Still flattened but with less to repair).

b) Give up on LiveQuartz and get something that works more smoothly.

Or c) Pay someone else to create the cover. I already have an idea for what I want and I know I can't do it with the skills and software I now possess. But there's a part of me that balks at spending money when I'm not making a whole lot off these books.

I'm not going to share the print cover here, because if any changes are suggested I'd have to start all over again from the beginning, and I'm not doing that. I'll post the ebook cover when it's done (that's simple by comparison since there's only the front and I can pretty much just crop it out of the other image) - but still, no changes. What's done is done, and I am cranky about it. I'm even waiting until tomorrow to upload at CreateSpace to generate the proof, because if that goes wrong I'll cry. Sooo cranky. Though at least it's all cleaner than scale removal.

In better news, it's a beautiful day again, and many things are blooming, and though I still have approximately one million items on the to-do list, at least some of them got done this week.

P.S. if anyone does know how to save a layered draft in LiveQuartz, please let me know. And on a similar Mac note, if you've upgraded to Mavericks, how did it go? I am not planning to do this until at least June, for fear of losing MS PowerPoint creations that I really need, but I'd love to be reassured that this and other disasters won't happen.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
1) Three more inches of snow yesterday, and today it's cold and windy and whipping around white, but this is it, really. Somewhere out there a daffodil is blooming.

2) POI just average last night (I think; I was sleepy) but end of season still looks good (the finale is called "Deus ex Machina," yes they are going there). I am a bit concerned about Bear's self-discipline.

3) Also caught up on The Good Wife (for which I was spoiled, but still, a shocker) and Hannibal (less of one, and isn't that interesting?). And watching Elementary season one in downtime (rewatching, but since I fell asleep during every single episode the first time, defining it as such is debatable).

4) Up to The Ringed Castle in my Lymond reread. Funny how little I recall in detail from first read however many years ago that was, though general tone sticks very well. This one, recollected: a fair amount of bad weather, speculations on illegitimacy, and things that begin with L. On rediscovery: surprising amounts of politics and relevance to today's news. And an eagle.

5) Aside from that, it's all a blur of garden plans and powerpoints and seeds and formatting I really should get to and worrying about adult children's schedules. And taxes. (I have netted over $200 on the book so far, but all paid (or to be paid) in 2014 so nothing to be done about that at present. Except think more about marketing.)

6) I did join Pinterest, but have done very little about it so far except stick a whole bunch of Time for Tea-related images on a board. It's a mishmash of portraits and costumes and pistols and scenery and Japanese tea ceremony et cetera, and needs to be organized at some point. But I am intrigued by the idea of wrapping subject matter around imagery.

7) Have taken to spending some time each day working while standing. Looking forward to getting back to long walks when it's a touch warmer. Hope to be plotting Book Five while walking, this summer.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Things I have been up to:

1) Still working on various powerpoints. Two delivered last week, including the root vegetables one on Saturday where I passed around a couple dozen different produce items acquired at just two local supermarkets (things like lotus root and galangal alongside the relatively more prosaic carrots and turnips). Which means that I now have to cook them; it's going to be a week of, I'm sorry, getting back to our roots.

2) Thursday evening we drove into DC (unfortunately at the same time the Dalai Lama was there; it would have been a good day to take the Metro) to see one of the National Theatre broadcasts of Donmar Warehouse's "Coriolanus" with Tom Hiddleston, Mark Gatiss, and a bunch of other great people. It was at the Shakespeare Theatre (the newer location), so a bit weird to sit in a theatre watching a video of another very different theatre, with filmic closeups. But thoroughly enjoyable. Also listened to last fall's Nerdist interview with Hiddles on Saturday's drive, so I am kind of vibrating still. In a totally non-cradle-snatchy way, of course. *hummmmmm*

3) This goes nicely with my slow reread of the Lymond Chronicles, because oh yes, please do make the mini-series before he's too old. [personal profile] yunitsa will write the script.

4) Went nearly straight from the root vegetables thing (well, the whole five-hour event) to Allentown so we could watch the kid in a movement ensemble performance and the kid's delightful girlfriend in an all-female version of "The Learned Ladies," and then drive home again the next evening. Weekend, what weekend.

5) I've also had some migraine-induced downtime, which I've mostly spent watching more "Angel." Well into season 3 now, filling one of those long-needed viewing gaps (after, you know, betaing [livejournal.com profile] penwiper26's fic that uses the source material. I'm spoiled for it, but that's not the same as knowing the canon).

Need to sort some seeds now.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
So, yesterday is over and I got through three hours of standing in front of the new Master Gardener class telling them what they need to know about vegetable gardening just to be going on with, and now I get to move on to the next thing, or the next several things. Which include: speaking to teachers about container gardening (done that before, collaborative effort, no biggie); doing a whiz-bang little half-hour talk on root vegetables at the spring conference, timing being critical because my talk partner has to fit in a cooking demo and we need to end on time; in March speaking, again with a partner (though we have yet to work out who does what), on keeping animals out of food gardens (moving ahead on this powerpoint is a major priority of the coming week); in April doing a talk on edible landscaping to a garden club and/or a basic vegetable gardening talk to interested members of the general public, I wish we could get it settled which; and, looking ahead to the end of May, creating from scratch and presenting a talk I've wanted to do for a while, at the statewide MG annual training day (my most potentially critical and certainly best-informed audience). (It's called "Purple Carrot People" and here is the summary: Ever thought you might want to grow that strange-looking squash in the seed catalog, or try purple carrots even though orange ones taste perfectly fine? Let's talk about the how and why of new-to-you crops, the benefits of novelty-vegetable-seeking behavior in a changing world, and why we should banish the word "exotic" from our vegetable vocabulary.)

None of those is three hours, so should not be so completely enervating, but still I know exactly how I'll feel afterwards. I'm thinking of it as the introvert response. I'm quite used to public speaking now, and really rather like it as long as I'm talking about something I feel confident about and interested in. I also like the events where I'm standing in the garden talking to individuals as they ask questions. And I know people regard me as energetic and enthusiastic and approachable and comfortable with an audience, which is weird because I am none of those things, though apparently really good at faking it. (I can honestly respond with gratitude and acceptance to "That was really clear and well-organized." Though occasionally that's faked as well.) But I get home from an event and need to not talk to people for hours afterwards (yesterday I had food and tea and watched about five episodes of Angel, which is pretty funny in context, Mr. Tall Dark and Introverted) and yet keep having little bits of conversation and/or lecture pop up in my head to haunt me and inform me what I've done wrong (even though I know on the whole I did it right).

Ah well; I am stuck with it now. Other things on the list for the coming week include pulling together the complete draft file for Time and Fevers and starting the formatting, which this time comes before final editing. I still plan to have that out by the end of April (in the middle of Oh My God Everything but what else is new). I need to get the author blog moving again and send out reminders to the mailing list of people I know personally who have read the first book to please find it in their hearts to write a review (by the way, I am on Goodreads, and let me remind you of my website). Today, along with shopping and laundry, I really need to start microgreens and write something about squash for the Grow It Eat It blog. And I had an ominous Return of the Migraine this week, so personal fitness needs to up its priority as well.

This is all to say you're not likely to see me on Tumblr in the near future, or contributing anything substantial to POI discussion (I drifted off a little during this week's ep, but hope to watch it again at some point), and fic is a very iffy proposition, though certainly the urge may come upon me at some point. But I'll be around.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
[personal profile] wendylove also wanted to know if writing and gardening had anything in common, and… this is a question I wish to return to on many later occasions, because I think they have a lot in common, but for now (because I have a lot to do today and because it's quite enough to read on its own) I will point you to my reposted essay on Integrated Pest Management Editing.

Someday I will write an entire book on this topic, yes.
hedda62: pay phone with "green roof" (phone)
There are still plenty of empty slots for this meme, if you want to join in.

Today's request is from [personal profile] enemyofperfect: If you could wish a new fannish custom or genre into being, what would it be?

This is actually really hard to answer, since I've come to assume that fandom has already invented just about anything I could possibly think of. I'm sure there are holidays that have been missed for potential gift exchanges, but at the moment that just seems to add more burden to an already heavy weight of oh god not going to get this thing done on time, and it would be rather self-serving to say "gee, I wish there were more venues to advertise original fiction by fan writers who aren't BNFs."

But you asked me to come up with something, so… I'm not really a huge fan of changed-situation AUs or whatever you call them (coffee shop, high school, etc.), because they often lack the charge and peril of the original and tend toward cliches, but they can be really entertaining, and… sometimes I want my fandoms to cross over more comprehensively, you know?

So… the gardening AU. In some of the fandoms I've written in, this is easy or unnecessary: in the Vorkosigan Saga we already have Ekaterin, and I don't feel the need to wrap everyone else into an AU around her (and I've written a garden design story and an essay to support her profession); and Lewis is going to canonically work his allotment in retirement. I feel fairly certain I could make up some Ben/Juliet/Locke stories set in a university botany department, and I could see Peter Burke as the manager of a large public garden plagued by outbreaks of rare plant theft. And I have written my Neville Longbottom story already, as well as one about devils and heirloom locally-sourced souls.

But what would a Gardener of Interest story look like? Well, they'd have to be guerrilla gardeners, to start with. I'd keep the Man in a Suit, because discussions of what one wears to garden are always interesting. Finch would of course dress way better than P. Allen Smith, though he'd be doing little of the planting himself, instead plotting safe and strategic locations on the computer, and buying everyone ridiculously expensive gewgaws from Williams Sonoma (Reese would order a totally unneeded broadfork just because he thought it was cool; also makes an interesting weapon). Root (who is appropriately named for this AU) would insist on designing the gardens just so, and they would all be part of a larger design. Shaw would say "Shut up and dig" a lot. Both Reese and Fusco would have dark gardening secrets they don't want unearthed (well, Finch would already know all of Reese's). And Finch would have dark secrets of his own, perhaps a background in which he and Nathan had bred lovely and poisonous plants that ended up being used by the government to kill people (including Nathan). Grace, of course, would be a botanical illustrator, and Carter would be park police, slowly coming to realize the beauty of the illegal enterprise.

Well, there you have it. *waves hand* Propagate.
hedda62: pay phone with "green roof" (phone)

1) Final big garden show-off event of the season tomorrow. And we are already planning next year's events, which is cool with me; I think I'll need the lead time.

2) I have, however, failed at posting every day on the garden blog. It's hard! Not so much finding things to say, as long as I accept the inconsequential and the inane, but remembering that it is a day and I have to put words online before it's over. Oh well.

3) Both having trouble remembering/scheduling and having trouble making decisions are symptoms for me of mild depression, so I'm watching out and moderating expectations. But it doesn't take much to get me revved up again, and I think what little time I have next week I'll use for working out more book details - I've done a lot; I need to fill in gaps and make a firm schedule now. And the following week Younger Son and I will hopefully be photographing a teacup on the rocky shores of New Hampshire.

4) In the meanwhile I've been editing Time and Fevers more, so that will be ready to go when Time for Tea is out. I think a few months' gap between is reasonable, and then a nice anticipatory wait for Time Goes By. I'm still taking out words; this is good.

5) In TV World, we've just barely started Breaking Bad s3; watched the opening episode of the new season of The Good Wife, which I thought hit the ball out of the park; and of course watched Person of Interest. The first two episodes of this season were strong for character re-introduction, nice ensemble moments, and setting up interesting potential conflicts. And I'm finally watching s2 of Once Upon a Time, which for some reason I dropped the ball on last year; I'm not fannish enough about it to care about being a year behind, and hey, now I finally get all the Lost jokes. :)

6) I'm making regular visits to the library to check out CDs; what they have is totally unpredictable, but it's free music and I am doing a lot of walking and weeding and other activities that require distraction (since I don't happen to be plotting a book at the moment, though I'll need to start that in the spring). There was this great ultra-nostalgic day last week when I picked up Rod Stewart's "Every Picture Tells a Story," which we had on vinyl when I was a teenager, and REM's "Document" and "Murmur" which are uselessly on cassette tape somewhere. Also the soundtrack of "Pippin." Music insinuates itself into your brain chemistry in a way nothing else does, and the physical reaction I have on hearing songs again always amazes me, and the way it stimulates memory, and how well I recall tunes and lyrics that should be long-vanished. Oh, and yesterday: Joni Mitchell's "Free Man in Paris" - wow, I hadn't heard that in *guesses* 25 years? And it's all there.

7) Current state of the Oh, Mr. Finch playlist under the cut, just in case you're interested.

albatross, blackbird, blue jay, bluebird, buzzard, crane, crow, cuckoo, dove, eagle, goose, heron, lark, nightingale, raven, rook, skylark, sparrow, vulture, wren, etc. )

8) I have finished all the Rivers of London books that are available in the US, and am tapping my fingers with impatience for February (I mean - February??) but I'll manage. So, any guesses on how Nightingale is related to Finch? *grin* Although the crossover I really want is with the Bryant & May books.

Wow, we just had a little rainstorm. I mean, really brief, and it won't make any difference to speak of in this drought (which has been unusually hard to adjust to after all the rain earlier in the season) but at least I don't have to water things today.
hedda62: Harold Finch, half in shadow, text: Oh, Mr. Finch (finch)
So I am doing the "post every day for a month" thing, but not here: over at my gardening blog. You are welcome to follow along if you're interested, but on the fannish side all you really need to know is:

Also I quickly solved the "so many daffodils how can I ever decide" problem by (some people who know why will laugh here) choosing the ones named after birds, so I have ten each of Quail, Curlew, Jack Snipe, Dickcissel, Falconet, and Pheasant's Eye.

I like to think that is what Harold would do. If he were planting narcissi, which is vanishingly unlikely.

Otherwise I am working at a long list of random things that include mailing my son a teacup and baking a leek quiche. And I have to drive to the Eastern Shore and back tomorrow, oh joy. At least it's not a Friday.

I've put a few more words in the Henry Gale fic, but it just doesn't seem to be the foremost thing on my mind just now.

Oh, and also we are finally watching "Breaking Bad" - had seen the pilot ep last year, but it didn't grab me enough. I'm not sure it does, still, in terms of the story or characters (I think I've expressed here before how little the criminal POV intrigues me), but the storytelling is fascinating, so I will keep watching for that, plus it makes me laugh. About halfway into the second season now; please do not spoil me (anymore than I have already been spoiled by, you know, being on the internet).

quick hello

Sep. 8th, 2013 04:43 pm
hedda62: Ben Linus, well-bruised (bruised ben)
Well, ha, seems today is Martin Freeman's birthday - which means my two biggest celebrity crushes have birthdays one day apart. And both Virgos like me, which totally figures. I am glad and not surprised to see Tumblr turned up the noise for Michael Emerson yesterday.

I had a fine time wandering around the grounds of Monticello yesterday, geeking out about gardening. I've got plenty of notes on Tomatoes for the Southeast and Innovative Home Composting, and a vague pleasant impression of how awesome the Svalbard Seed Vault is, though I was getting fairly sleepy by that point. Nothing like sun and nice scenery and tomato tasting and folk music and healthy green juices to make you sleep well. I bought garlic (for planting) and fig-ginger and plum-lime jams and hickory syrup (did you know that was a thing? I really did not) and a veggie muffaletta and a lemon-ginger popsicle, and then had bacon-wrapped figs and salmon in pastry and a Dark and Stormy for dinner downtown. Charlottesville is always so great to visit.

Tomorrow I need to make lists.
hedda62: pay phone with "green roof" (phone)
I just listened to six episodes straight of "Welcome to Night Vale" while repotting dozens of baby brassicas, and so when Cecil reported that the Apache Tracker smells of potting soil and sweat, so did I.

The temperature's still not absurdly high, and it's rather less damp today; we all know it's not the heat, it's the lingering despair at the utter futility of existence. But I think I've found a mission in life: insinuating into the internet's never-ending river of kittens and infant hedgehogs a streamlet of snapshots of seedling purple pak choi and Tuscan kale. Because they are adorable.
hedda62: pay phone with "green roof" (phone)
I did mention, I think, a while back, that I was attempting to write vegetable gardening spy fic, and I finally got around to it. It's very short and far too full of puns on lettuce varieties, but if you want to read it, here it is.

(With my real name, but I figure those of you who don't already know it will soon enough when I get the book thing organized.)

AC still not fixed (tomorrow, we hope) but it's cooling off nicely at night now, so tolerable.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
About to head out to the park to walk (2.4 mile loop; yesterday I did it listening to my new Health Care playlist, which is my usual mix of jazz and blues (Dinah Washington, Nat King Cole, Robert Jr. Lockwood, k.d. lang, Nina Simone, Fats Waller), personal nostalgia (Beatles, Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, Ramones), and recent alt/indie stuff my son recommended (Florence + The Machine, My Terrible Friend, Lauren O'Connell, Julia Nunes, Black Keys), plus whatever else fits the theme. Other people can do fanmixes and stuff like that; I can only do Library of Congress subject headings, but it works for me. And "Comfortably Numb" plus "I Wanna Be Sedated" at about the two-mile mark is just right. My knee is improving, slowly).

Also will pick lettuce, probably the last time since it is July now. Having the vegetable garden several miles away is a new challenge, but it is getting me to walk more (once I drive there).

My other garden (the MG demonstration one) was shown off to the public in a big way this weekend, a fun event at which I managed to not get sunburned for once, though really I prefer standing out in the middle of it all answering people's random questions to sitting at a table full of bugs in plastic containers and talking mostly about pest control. The kids' reactions to the hornworm caterpillar made it worth it, though.

New Person of Interest writer! I lured [personal profile] pendrecarc into the fandom and she has written two lovely stories (one to my prompt) which you can check out at AO3. They are both perfect.

And I was podficced, which is a first! (I've been translated into Russian and Chinese before, but not into voice.) I have to admit my reaction is similar to what Michael Emerson said it was like watching himself kiss his wife on TV while they were pretending to be other people (squirmy) but it is also rather cool. (Probably would be less squirmy with another story; I am still a little "oh shit did I write that?" about "The Rest is Silence.")

Also, this video about the musical themes used on PoI is nice - I tend to only notice that sort of thing subconsciously, but hearing it this way I recognize them all. Especially Grace and Harold's. *sob*

And the compilation of "Mr. Reese, are you all right?" moments is also fun.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Things I did yesterday:

1) Got stung by a BIG-ASS BEE while attempting to tame the elderberry jungle that used to be my vegetable garden. I assume I disturbed a ground nest, which means not a carpenter bee (since they nest in wood), though my passion for amateur entomology was somewhat dampened by having a bee inside my shirt. (It flew into my cleavage first, while I was bending over pulling up weeds, and then kept following me around and finally stung me on the back of the shoulder. I hate not being able to see the thing that's attacking me.) I must have been an entertaining sight as I went from laughing hysterically at "Cabin Pressure" to shrieking and running up to the house, where I still had Martin and Douglas snarking in my ears as I gasped out "Get this bee off me" to my surprised husband. Luckily, BIG-ASS BEES pale in comparison to medium-size ones when it comes to venom, so I just had a small swelling along with my dose of embarrassment.

2) Went back down later to get the black raspberries I can now reach after removing thickets of elderberry, pokeweed and bedstraw. I guess I'll finish the job... another day.

3) Loaded even more "Cabin Pressure" onto my phone along with some new playlists (such as "Ambiguity" which starts out with "Do You Want to Know a Secret?" "What's Happening?" "Don't Explain" "Maybe I Will" "What'll I Do?" "I Can't Decide" with a later sequence of "For All We Know" "I Don't Know Why" "Don't Know How" "I Think You Know" "God Only Knows" "I'm Not Calling You a Liar." I have to keep myself amused somehow).

4) Went down-county to see "Much Ado About Nothing" (which, if it was a song title, would fit nicely into the above). Oh, Joss and his friends. It was lovely, if distractingly full of familiar faces. I was a bit worried I'd have trouble with Amy Acker as Beatrice, what with having seen her as Root a lot recently, but she was perfect in her blend of vulnerability and steel, and the only time I didn't believe her was in the "Oh God, that I were a man!" sequence, because it was quite obvious that she'd have no problem killing Claudio herself (though it's also a way of testing Benedick). Denisof was a pretty good Benedick; Fillion was himself; Fran Kranz (who is familiar though I don't know why, because I never watched more than a few episodes of "Dollhouse") was a great Claudio; but my favorite aside from Amy Acker was Clark Gregg as Leonato. I mean, a small part of me was saying "Look what a lovely house Agent Coulson has" but really, he belonged there, in that timeless black-and-white-and -gray world they'd created, with endless food and entertainment and scenery and glasses of wine. Oh, and Sean Maher is surprisingly good at being evil. Highly recommended, not that any of you were going to wait for my recommendation before jumping on this. (Also, theatre with enormous padded fake-leather seats almost justified $11.50 a ticket.)
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
(Recently I thought of this mini-essay I posted on LJ in September 2007 about the analogies between editing and pest management, sought it out, and decided it could stand a repost. Someday I will expand it. Edited here only to correct links and the name of our extension service, which is no longer cooperative.)

In the horticultural field, smart people have developed a set of guidelines we call IPM, or Integrated Pest Management. I won't discuss it in detail; if you'd like to read more about its sensible approach, you can get a solid introduction in IPM: A Common Sense Approach to Managing Problems in Your Landscape by the Home and Garden Information Center of University of Maryland Extension. (Our local bible; each state should have its own.) Basically, IPM is the idea that many factors considered together go toward success or failure in growing plants, that it is necessary to examine and (to some extent) understand these various factors in order to solve problems, that assuming a particular factor is causing a problem without examination is irresponsible, and that the least toxic solutions should always be tried first (though chemicals are allowed; it's not the same as organic gardening). IPM has broader implications as well, regarding the health of the larger ecosystem, but I'm not likely to address these much in this analogy.

In fact, I don't intend to make this any sort of one-to-one analogy at all, with ridiculous equations of semicolons with tomato hornworms (although there are some possible aspects of equivalence). I just sense a similarity between how I think editing should be approached and how I've learned to approach pest management. "Pest," by the way, is shorthand for anything that goes wrong with a plant, from insects to diseases to soil problems to poor siting to groundhogs to lack of water. One of the difficulties in addressing these issues is that people have been conditioned to assume that an ailing plant is being attacked by either insects or disease when it may not be, or if it is, the insect or disease may not be the most fundamental problem. In fact, the plant may be vulnerable to attack because it's the wrong plant in the wrong place, and treating the secondary infestation or disease won't save it in the long run. There is an analogy to writing here, though not an encouraging one.

Read more... )

June 2016

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