hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
I don't know if it's a New Year's resolution exactly, but I am trying to see the beauty in things more, so here we go.

Serious bummer of a week, with David Bowie going and now Alan Rickman - the latter more difficult for me because I actually met him for, you know, a minute once, and because Snape and all that - but it is great to know that they left so much beautiful work behind that we can enjoy. Still, waah.

Finally listened to the "Hamilton" soundtrack on Sunday (a day before Alexander Hamilton's birthday, which I know about because J. went to Hamilton College and we have a calendar from there which of course lists it, though I'm sure it was all over Tumblr too), and (of course) it was just as wonderful as everyone said, clever and wordsmithy and heartfelt and tuneful, and I'll be returning to it many times.

Had a grand jury session yesterday which finally after all these months brought out the "Oh my God why can I not tell anyone about this?" response, when an otherwise slightly interesting but repetitive investigation suddenly turned into film-worthy drama, oh it was fantastic and made me happy about people and their beautiful crazy instincts.

I posted my old Aubrey-Maturin crossover fic on my author website for Twelfth Night, and then inevitably started rereading The Far Side of the World, which is one of my favorites and O'Brian at top form, full of glorious words put together beautifully. Here is a bit where Stephen is in Brazil with a new Peruvian friend (the scene where he's first introduced to coca leaves):

In the event Lopez needed no hints. He spoke Spanish only with difficulty, and seeing that both his guests were fluent, even enormously fluent, in that language and that they agreed very well, he excused himself on the grounds of early work to be done and bade them good night, leaving them on a broad veranda with a number of domesticated creatures on it, marmosets of three different kinds, an old bald toucan, a row of sleepy parrots, something hairy in the background that might have been a sloth or an anteater or even a doormat but that it farted from time to time, looking round censoriously on each occasion, and a strikingly elegant small blue heron that walked in and out. Two bottles of white port stood between them, two hammocks hung behind, and Lopez returned for a moment to beg them to use the mosquito-netting. 'Not that we have mosquitos in Penedo, gentlemen,' he said, 'but it must be confessed that at the change of the moon the vampires do grow a little importunate.'

They did not annoy his guests however, since the vampire really needs a sleeping prey and these two (though eyed wistfully from the rafters) never went to bed. They sat talking all night, watching the sliver of the new moon go down and the procession of great glowing stars pass across the sky: bats of a more amiable kind, two feet across, showed briefly against their light, and in the river only a few yards below could be seen the star-twinkling wake of turtles and the occasional alligator: the lion-maned marmoset in Stephen's lap snored very gently, sleeping on and on despite the continual flow of talk.

Just to show that it is not all blue-water sailing in these books, glorious as that is as well. As an aside, which I may need to expand upon at some point, I am always bemused by the people who tell me that they tried O'Brian and couldn't manage him because of not understanding all the sailing terms - which, a) I still can't follow all of it despite multiple rereadings, b) neither can Stephen, c) why the heck do you have to understand every word of fiction that you read, instead of letting it wash over you in a beautiful haze? But this is perhaps one of those substantial personality differences that I will never get, even if I substitute me reading nonfiction and try to work from there.

Anyway, and finally. Not to locate myself in the next paragraph from Patrick O'Brian, but I am working on getting Not Time's Fool out (I need to force myself to do formatting and cover work this afternoon) and I did put up the teaser chapters if you are the sort of person who reads them. I am fascinated to see what people will think of this book - I am very pleased with it, in the end, but it is deeply weird in places (like when most of the characters sit down in the middle to start telling fairy tales) and all the book-long and series-long and otherwise-partial arcs tangling together make the structure a bit wonky, not to mention the chapter that covers seven months. But there are bits that I think beautiful. Hope some of you will too.
hedda62: (tea whisk)
Things that have happened lately:

1) Saw Vienna Teng perform on Saturday night! Just so lovely and perfect. I got the tickets way back in December, ended up asking a MG friend to come along because I thought she'd like the music, and indeed she loved it, so that's good; the venue (the Hamilton in DC) was very nice (table seating, with food), even if a slightly late arrival meant that we basically couldn't see Vienna's face for most of the show. But she sang one after another of my favorites, everything from the generally appealing "City Hall," "Landsailor," "Whatever You Want," "Grandmother Song" (to close, which was great), to the personal WoT soundtrack items like "Eric's Song" and "Augustine," and so much more. I'd expected more emphasis on "Aims," but I guess she did that tour already, and it was wonderful to hear her reaching far back into her catalog.

It was a solo show (she had a NZ duo, the Bollands, opening for her on the tour, and they were pretty entertaining, but none of her usual backup group), so pretty much just Vienna, a piano, and technology. The last of which was a fascinating addition - probably old hat for those who go to a lot of live shows, but for me it's all happening mysteriously in the background usually, so it was fun to see her setting up tracks and letting them play in parallel. I'd seen the magical voice-splitting thing for "Hymn of Acxiom" on video before, but it's cool in person.

The between-song patter was interesting, too, with some details about where the songs came from and what she's doing (real corporate job now, which apparently she was working from the passenger seat of the van on tour, conference calls and spreadsheets and the like). She didn't have a set list, and was taking requests; the funniest moment was when some deep-voiced guys at the bar called out "Lullabye for a Stormy Night!" and she turned and said, "Are you from Boston?" (because apparently either they or someone just like them had come to both her Massachusetts shows and shouted the same thing).

Anyway - wonderful wonderful, made my week. More details on request.

2) And then we got up early the next morning (I got almost no sleep, due to mistimed insomnia, if it's ever timed right) and drove up to Allentown. Awards ceremony (P. got a prize for history) and then "Romeo and Juliet" that evening, which was done as a tribute to Ferguson et al. with the Capulets being rich (for inner city) black and the Montagues poor white, and lots of police barriers (marked VPD) and Catholic schools and dirty streets and Mercutio in full punk mode. It was very well done, even if the story doesn't quite map right to the theme (family rivalry doesn't tidily broaden to state oppression and societal prejudice, if you stick with the text instead of going all "West Side Story"), but I give them full credit for trying. For saying something. (And P.'s girlfriend E. did a lovely job in the small roles of Lady Montague and the Apothecary (as legless Vietnam vet drug pusher).)

Interestingly, Chesapeake Shakespeare in Baltimore is also doing R&J right now, with apparently the same casting decisions (just going by the website photos), and has had to cancel several shows due to the unrest.

3) I keep meaning to do a catchup post for book and TV consumption (I have read all the way through Lev Grossman's "Magicians" trilogy, finally, for one thing), but for now I'll just say, wow, "Person of Interest," good job ramping the tension up at the end of the season. I am wondering about the timing of this "Correction" on May 6, which is the day after the finale airs next week, but not at all congruent with the snow they were (literally) digging through in last night's episode. Are we going to skip through time, or are they just going to prevent (or perhaps not prevent!) something that's scheduled for months in the future? Anyway, very curious to see how they're going to pull all the plot threads together, if they do; I think the season's theme of separation is still pretty relevant, and the two teams (of villains and heroes and ambiguous figures) that have been making distinct circles all season still seem to be doing so. Though there are some points where they touch, so maybe that'll be important. The Machine is playing some very big game (and talking!).

I need to take care of plants now. Have a good day!
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
I may have not mentioned here yet that I have tickets to see Vienna Teng in DC in April! Hurray!

I got two tickets; I don't know who's going with me yet, but I'm sure I can persuade someone.
hedda62: Harold Finch on ecstasy, dancing (drugged finch)
Just to catch up, things I have been doing recently (including at Thanksgiving):

Performances attended:

Messiah with the Handel and Haydn Society, which I'm embarrassed to say I knew nothing about before (I've never lived in Boston, but I have visited there a lot). It's their 200th anniversary this year!

It's a Wonderful Life with the visiting Immediate Theatre Project. This was great fun! The concept is that the employees of a financially-stressed radio station have to improvise to put on a live performance of IAWL while the regular actors are kept away by a snowstorm. Four actors doing all the parts and sound effects. Check it out if it comes to your town (which, er, would be a few places in Ohio and Wisconsin at this point, but I'm sure they'll do it again next year).

Museums visited:

The Harvard Art Museums, all nicely joined together now by a new atrium. Lots of well-known works here.

National Museum of Women in the Arts, for the Picturing Mary exhibit. I liked the division by concepts, and they've acquired lots of beautiful paintings and other artworks, though I agree with the critics who say they should have extended the time frame to include modern works and perhaps those with critical commentary. I went upstairs as well to see the 20th-century exhibits, and discovered Remedios Varo, who I'd never even heard of before but is now a favorite, at least as far as Surrealists go. This museum is great for that - so many women creating art over so many centuries, and being ignored even though the work is as good as that of their male contemporaries.


Greatly enjoying Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries as a fun and escapist treat. Missing most of the other shows that are on hiatus. Looking forward to tomorrow's POI episode, even if they are then going to stretch out the midseason three-parter into January, and waiting for Hannibal to return.


No, there is no reason I put this right after mentioning Hannibal, why do you ask? (I did just check out the NBC page to see if there were airing dates yet, and saw a section labeled "Episodes and Recaps," and thought it said "Episodes and Recipes." WTF. Though it seems there will be an official cookbook out at some point.)

But yes, me. Squash, mostly. And trying to get to some of the WPost's cookie recipes; I made Spicy Smoked Tea Pecan Crisps, although the dough was sooo sticky even before I spilled the egg whites onto it, and disaster pretty much ensued, although the result was perfectly edible and yummy, just not at all tidy. I'd add more flour next time, making sure that the dough could be properly rolled out. And I will be making my usual chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds for the party we're going to next weekend.


For reasons of Italy, I've been dipping back into Michael Dibdin's Zen series, but after I finish the one I'm on I am finally going to read Code Name Verity, and then maybe one of the Christmas books.


Not at all, dammit. But maybe soon?

We have the Christmas tree up and no cat has yet climbed it, but the ornaments aren't hung yet, so temptation is not at its highest. We'll see…
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
1) I almost have a cover! I need to work on balancing the color (or lack thereof; it's all sepia-ish) but I think I should be done today, and then very little is stopping me from getting the book together and uploaded. This time around I'm pretty sure I'll have a different cover for the ebooks than the paperback, because the print cover uses a wraparound background image with another image covering most of it on the front cover, and not enough of the background shows there to be comprehensible alone. So much as I hate to lose the planes-that-look-like-birds, I think the ebooks will just have the broken violin. Will post on the blog when it's done. (I am still not sufficiently talented with image software (using GIMP now) to make it what I want, but IT IS GOOD ENOUGH SO THERE.)

2) TV catch-up: a) Need to stop dozing off during POI, but that's my fault not the show's; I especially loved Root's turn as French Mary Poppins; b) speaking of which, Doctor Who had some spot-on moments during the season finale, and I have decided that it's not worth dwelling on the places I didn't think they quite made their points, because the misses were fairly close (by the way, has anyone written the story where spoiler )?); Castle, WTF? though I suppose you get the "it was only a dream" pass.

3) We will be getting the polar-vortex-whatever during the day today, though at nothing like the power the center of the country has been experiencing. Our local weather gurus have predicted some "mood flakes" tonight, another term for "conversational snow." I have been a little too occupied with cover-building and the like to do as much outdoors as I should have been doing; maybe I'll manage to go pull out the pepper plants today at least.

4) Music recs. First, my son and a friend, together known as Red Wheelbarrow, have a little album out which you can listen to (and pay what you want to download) here, if you should wish to. As Patrick says, it's a bit rough around the edges, but hey, the price is right, and new artists should be supported, and I think they do a splendid job: Helen has a lovely voice and Patrick plays multiple instruments well and I am not prejudiced at all. Album is original music; you can listen to their covers here.

Second, on a more experienced and professional level, a friend sent me the latest of Zoe Mulford's CDs, "Coyote Wings," and I am now interested in getting her others. Excellent songs, very personal and yet universal, great lyrics and themes and thoughtfulness. And, as I figured out soon after glancing at the liner notes, she is the sister of one of Patrick's directors/teachers/now-colleagues at the theatre camp he attended for many years and now works at in summer, and in fact one of the songs, "Acrobats," which you can listen to at the "music" link on her site, was written to celebrate her brother's wedding (to another employee of the same camp as well as of the commedia troupe they both belong to which I think I have referred to here before). So that is cool.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Miscellany: writing, cats, TV, etc.

1) I wrote the first sentence in Book Five last night:

The muffled oars whispered secrets to the river as the boat slipped downstream, returning Major John André to the safety of the Vulture.

Which should alert those familiar with the incident that something weird is going on, but never fear, I will explain what and why and how very quickly. I haven't written any more yet, but perhaps I'll get time to do that today; I do know how it goes on. For a little while, at least. And am very glad to get started, and impressed that I've written something considering my mental state a couple of weeks ago.

Also got a laugh when I reviewed the history and saw what the name of the sloop was. Birds, I tell you: following me around.

(The next line in the "How to Suppress Women's Writing" litany goes: She wrote it, and then she wouldn't shut up about it. Sorry not sorry.)

2) Cats! I said I'd write about cats, and I haven't done an update in ages. We still have Lancelot and Hotspurr, and they are well. Hotspurr is now an indoor-outdoor cat - I swore this wasn't going to happen, after losing the last cat (plus others, previously) to outdoor threats, but he had other ideas, and as soon as spring arrived he began scratching and whining constantly (I mean, for hours at a time) and shooting out the door whenever we opened it, and we eventually gave in. (Tried the leash thing first - nope, not going for it.) He's five years old, so he had fully-developed habits before we adopted him, and clearly no one ever denied him anything, including access to the outdoors. He's also refused to wear a collar (he lost six of them outdoors before we stopped putting them on) but he does have a chip at least. And he's smart about what's out there, though I'm reconciled to the possibility that some of it will eventually kill him. He'd just be miserable inside all the time; some cats just are The Cat Who Walks By Himself, and that's how it is. He's done two all-nighters out so far, and been caught out in several thunderstorms, though he tends to curl up on a chair and sleep the whole next day.

Lancelot is still an indoor kitty, because I don't trust him to avoid danger outside, and because the only reason he seems to want to go out is because Hotspurr's there. They bonded nicely in the winter, but while Hotspurr is fond of Lancelot, Lancelot loves Hotspurr, and now he spends days waiting by doors and windows for his friend to come back. We are seriously thinking of getting a third cat, if we can find one guaranteed to prefer the indoors.

3) I'm kind of liking the break from TV in the summer (though the POI preview clip from ComicCon looked awesome), which we are filling desultorily with episodes of "Borgen" - it's a Danish political drama about a female prime minister in a coalition government, and it's intriguing and fun and poignant in a way that's more "West Wing" than "House of Cards" (or "Yes, Minister"), and blends the political and the personal in a balanced way. We're about halfway through the second season. In Danish with subtitles - which means I can't watch it if I'm sleepy, because my eyes will close and I'll have no idea what's going on, but it's been interesting. Neither of us speaks Danish, but I know a little German and J. used to be fluent, so some of the roots are familiar and occasionally we'll pick up a word here and there. We concluded pretty quickly that a lot of sounds get seriously elided, because when there's something you know they should be saying (because it's in the subtitle and not likely to be a mistranslation) you still don't hear it. And then occasionally there will be phrases in English - there are whole scenes in English, I mean, when they're talking to people from other countries, but also just little bits of jargon or idiom that apparently have been adopted into Danish parlance, which is kind of weirdly endearing and startling. Only available here on DVD - which, wow, when was the last time we watched one of those?

4) Subject line is one of my favorite bits of Vienna Teng, from "In Another Life":

In another life
I was married at thirteen
You were killed at twenty-one
On a minor battlefield

which I just think is genius in the "adding insult to injury" way. Minor battlefield, ha. It's the sort of thing Rinaldo would like, and since that's his POV up there in the first line of Book Five (which still has no title) I am particularly inclined to attach to it. (Last book used all female POVs; this one will be all male, which makes it the first book without Olivia's interior perspective, though possibly I'll give her the epilogue.)

5) I've been having shoulder panics. When you've had two frozen shoulders, any lasting pain or stiffness in those joints leads to worry (which probably doesn't help in terms of loosening up) about the possibility of losing most of your range of motion, plus any ability to exercise (because of extreme pain on jarring), for a year or so. I am just back in the swing of things where exercise is concerned, after the frustration of the knee problem, and having that go away again would be devastating. But I'm hoping it's just the temporary result of doing too-speedy hand-weight lifts in Jazzercise. Lots of stretching is in order.
hedda62: Waterfall, with the words "water metaphors" (water metaphors)
This is mostly a for-myself feel-good sort of entry (still rather desperately needed, though I am doing better mental-health-wise than a few days ago), though the betas may enjoy it too, and anyone who's a Vienna Teng fan or wonders why I am listening to her so much these days.

So, under the cut, all the VT songs that are in my "book party" playlist (the only one I have left, since it was on my phone; I'll have to recreate the others as desired), and who/what they remind me of in my writing. (With not so much spoilers for books 3 and 4 as lots of ???.) Links if you want to join in!

an old world made new on the same holy ground )

And that is all - so far! Others may very well work their way in.
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: my cat asleep (Default)

1) Wow, Hannibal finale, way to earn your content warnings. Also… what? What?!!! (I suspect the Hamlet-like bloodbath is by way of saying "hey, network, this is what you get for not renewing us till after we'd written it" but holy shit.)

2) I am, alas, not nearly so intrigued by Castle's Downton-Abbey-esque season finish. Because come on now.

3) Hoping to catch up on other things besides obsessive weed-pulling and powerpoint-polishing after I give the Big Talk this Thursday. It seems likely I'll be defaulting on Trope Bingo, though, because despite wanting to write something (probably the POI hiatus fic that all of us must write) I don't see it happening this week.

4) I've been listening to lots of Vienna Teng and picking out Waters of Time-related songs; have decided that "Antebellum" is totally Sam and Olivia's song, and "Nothing Without You" is Wilfrid and Beatrice's (despite their fervent arguments against the title). Or alternatively "Augustine." (And "Harbor" is - ideally at least - George and Olivia's, and I could go on, but I'll spare you. Funny that on the whole I tend to find the non-romantic-pairing songs first, though.)

5) Oh, and the POI hiatus fic may borrow a title from "Goodnight, New York."

6) The trip to Texas went well, and we got Younger Son packed off to Ghana via Albuquerque, and he's sending happy-sounding texts about fufu and power cuts. I pick him up in Philadelphia a week from Thursday.

I suppose I should do more weeding now. Or organize my resource list.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Oh god exhausted, but such is the nature of first demo garden workday of the season. I will sort of get used to it again. (And, by the way, we had another inch of immediately-melting snow on Sunday. Today feels like spring, though.)

Since this has been such a gardening-intensive couple of weeks (I have a talk on edible landscaping to give tomorrow evening, and then I can not exactly relax, but space out the duties a bit more) I've been holding back on stuff like creating the cover for Time and Fevers, and instead have been doing an editing pass through Time Goes By, probably way too early except for one factor discussed under the cut, and mostly just because I want to and it has to be done sometime and it's happy-making. long discussion of song lyrics and copyright issues )

I'm through The Ringed Castle in the Lymond reread, and trying to decide how to write a review that focuses on romance without making it seem like I am shallow enough to read the books only for those aspects (which would be an exercise in frustration, really). But I appreciate deeply how it's handled, as a minor development that's tremendously central, I guess, and it fits nicely into my observations (which should have been more formal) of POV use. (Which is the only relevance of the subject line, sorry; but I can hear Francis humming "oh no, not now" at the end of the Revels scene, I really can. Except that it would be under copyright.) Anyway, perhaps I'll just wait till I'm through the last book.

Oh, crap; I guess it's frozen pizza for dinner.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Random update:

Thing One: Trying to write my Irrelevant Gift Exchange story in a few days (with absolutely no guidelines, since I never heard from my giftee, so going with "what pleases me"). It will be fine, I'm sure, if I can just get myself to put down words.

Thing Two: Watched "The Time of the Doctor" the day after Christmas, and was distinctly underwhelmed. It all felt unoriginal and… I'm not sure "unrealistic" is the right adjective, considering the framework, but yes, that. Alas.

Thing Three: Went out with Younger Son to see The Hobbit Part the Second last night, and found it great fun, viewed as an action movie with occasional Brooding Dwarf. I reread the book quite recently, and noted how very uncinematic it is, at least by today's standards, so I have no objection to the changes made, though really it was pretty much all changes. I especially enjoyed minor spoilers ) It's also tremendous fun that they get to reference and foreshadow Lord of the Rings, adding both dramatic tension and little jokes (wee Gimli!).

Thing Four: Also, played some Vienna Teng in the car on the way to the theatre, and ha, how great is it that I can now be the Cool Mom sufficiently to introduce the nearly-20-year-old to music that is not really old and that he likes.

Thing Five: So thanks again for that to [personal profile] raven and also congrats on being Really Completely Married Now. :)

Thing Six: It is almost the end of the year and how did that happen? At least I got one big thing done that was on my list, heh.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
I've been enjoying - nay, exulting in - Vienna Teng's album "Aims" this week - thanks to [personal profile] raven for pointing it out. (She has a lovely multi-fandom vid to one of the songs. Go watch!) I note that both "The Hymn of Acxiom" and "Goodnight New York" are good POI songs (especially the former, considering the themes of this season ("Someone is gathering every crumb that you drop, these mindless decisions and moments you long forgot: keep them all, let our formulas find your soul…")). Anyway, you can listen to the whole thing here (and read the lyrics here).

I woke up this morning with "Flyweight Love" from the album in my head, which goes with the lightweight fluttering snow we're still having (though it looks to be slowing down, at far less than the five inches predicted). Teng's "The Last Snowfall" (from an earlier album) worked perfectly in the Winter playlist I use for walking in snow (Simon and Garfunkel, Mumford and Sons, Rod Stewart, the Moody Blues, the Staves, etc.). Second snowfall in three days, this one nicely coordinated with Older Son flying home from Texas, though I think the weather should have settled by the evening. I see, looking ahead, that they're predicting more snow for Saturday, which is drive-back-from-Allentown day (I'm not going up this time, so I get to worry about the others - but hopefully it won't amount to much). In any case, it's beautiful outside, that fleeting moment when an inch of pure white snow is clinging to every branch and looks shiny and edible.

Right now playing "A Chanticleer Christmas" which I hope is the right music for creating a PowerPoint about root vegetables...
hedda62: Harold Finch on ecstasy, dancing (drugged finch)
This is of no interest to anyone but me, but it's a nice procrastination technique (also. You have to understand, people. This whole "listening to my own choice of music while I walk and drive" thing did not exist when I was young, nor until recently for me except for sliding CDs (previously tapes) in and out. So it's still fun and exciting, and at least I'm not here telling you where I was when Kennedy was shot. In a stroller, probably).

I've been throwing together a playlist called "Book party" which is songs tied in my weird imagination to my novels, probably never to be played at an actual book party (I'd probably play classical music) but it will do nicely for the drive to Allentown tomorrow. (This is why all my playlists are so long; they need to last between rest stops.) So, for that one, and then for all the rest: first song, last song, fairly arbitrarily chosen old favorite and new favorite, and worst earworm.

Book party. 75 songs.
First: "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," Nnenna Freelon.
Last: "Jump (For My Love)," The Pointer Sisters.
Old Fave: "Tea in the Sahara," The Police.
New Fave: "Praying for Land," Randall Williams.
Earworm: "Free Man in Paris," Joni Mitchell.

And the rest mercifully under the cut )

ETA: If you're curious what got stuck in my head after all that… Talking Heads wins. My building has every convenience; it's going to make life easy for me.
hedda62: my cat asleep (laura hobson)
Just for fun while I'm waiting to leave for the airport: the Body of Work playlist. A work in progress, of course, though I've been building this one for about a year. (I'll happily take suggestions, though really there are only so many songs about hearts and eyes one can deal with.) With YouTube links to a few of my favorites.

I hardly ever play it in order now, but it's kind of amusing that way. Apologies for a couple of the transitions.

body and soul, but mostly body )


Nov. 1st, 2013 04:54 pm
hedda62: pay phone with "green roof" (phone)
Current earworm is Laura Marling's "Ghosts," so my brain is emitting, on repeat:

the ghosts the ghosts the ghosts the ghosts the ghosts the ghosts the ghosts that broke my heart before I met you

It could be a) worse, b) less seasonally appropriate, but… arghhh.

*tells self to go back to researching anthocyanin pigments*

the ghosts the ghosts the ghosts the ghosts
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 on ecstasy, dancing (drugged finch)
I decided I'd do this meme again, and since I have about five times as many songs as I did last time I tried it, it seemed reasonable to limit things to one playlist. So - Geography, which has 84 songs in it currently, all with names of places or types of places or geographic features or just place-related ideas. The meme goes:

1. Open up your music player. Hit shuffle.

2. Record the first few lines of the first thirty songs that come up that do not give away the name of the song (note: I interpret this as "skip the songs that have the name in the first few lines"). Skip instrumentals, but don't skip the embarrassing ones.

3. Make hapless flist guess the song names and artists (where artists are not multiple in possibility). Google is cheating.

So if you'd like to guess, chime in. Some of these are really easy and some I'd be surprised if anyone got, but who knows. [Editing to add correct guesses as they come in.] [Now edited to reveal answers.]

1. Some folks have the same song and dance, downtown bars and cheap romance, getting off not getting far alone. "Ohio," honeyhoney.

2. Take to the highway, won't you lend me your name? Your way and my way seem to be one and the same. "Country Road," James Taylor, guessed by [personal profile] ailis_fictive.

3. Well, east coast girls are hip, I really dig those styles they wear. "California Girls," The Beach Boys, guessed by [personal profile] arduinna and [livejournal.com profile] penwiper26.

4. Down the way where the nights are gay and the sun shines daily on the mountaintop. "Jamaica Farewell," Harry Belafonte, guessed by [personal profile] isis.

5. We lived our little drama, we kissed in a field of white. "Stars Fell on Alabama," awesome version with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.

6. Up in the highest of heights, O'Hara blinks and fights, this land is yours, this land is mine. "No Man's Land," Sufjan Stevens.

7. Start tearing the old man down, run past the heather and down to the old road. "Omaha," Counting Crows, guessed by [livejournal.com profile] yunitsa.

8. I come from the moor and the mountain, from the waterfall and stream. "The Plainsman," Fairport Convention.

9. It was a cold and wet December day when we touched the ground at JFK. "Angel of Harlem," U2.

10. I want to run, I want to hide, I want to tear down the walls that hold me inside. "Where the Streets Have No Name," U2.

11. I sold my piano, it couldn't come with me, I locked up my bedroom and I walked out into the air. "Washington Square," Counting Crows: another of those "makes me think of Person of Interest" songs.

12. Those mountains in the distance might be our salvation, if we could just get through tonight. "Guatemala," Randall Williams.

13. Alabama, Arkansas, I do love my ma and pa, not the way that I do love you. "Home," Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, guessed by [personal profile] arduinna.

14. When you were a child, you were a tomboy, and your mother laughed at the serious way that you looked at her. "Home Life," Shearwater.

15. You were so smart then, in your jacket and coat; my softest red scarf was warming your throat. "Goodbye England," Laura Marling, guessed by [personal profile] raven and [livejournal.com profile] yunitsa.

16. Brooklyn, I'm broken, I'm breaking apart; Greenpoint pins down my hand, Red Hook pierces my heart. "Tourniquet," Hem. Oh, this is gorgeous, people. Makes me wish I lived in Brooklyn.

17. As a young girl, Louis Vuitton, with your mother on a sandy lawn. "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa," Vampire Weekend.

18. Sitting in a park in Paris, France, reading the news and it sure looks bad. "California," Joni Mitchell, guessed by [livejournal.com profile] kivrin.

19. Flew in from Miami Beach, BOAC, didn't get to bed last night. "Back in the USSR," the Beatles, guessed by [livejournal.com profile] penwiper26.

20. Along the trail you'll find me loping, where the spaces are wide open, in the land of the old AEC. "The Wild West is Where I Want to Be," Tom Lehrer.

21. I believe, I believe, I believe I'll go back home; I believe, I believe, I believe I'll go back home. [sorry!] "Western Horizon," Robert Junior Lockwood, and anyone who thought "probably a blues song" scores here. :)

22. Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you; Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama. "Kokomo," The Beach Boys, guessed by [personal profile] giandujakiss and [livejournal.com profile] penwiper26.

23. To lead a better life, I need my love to be here. "Here, There, and Everywhere," Beatles (or Paul McCartney in this case). I mean, come on, people.

24. It's over, hang your gun down and eat this simple fare. "Walk Your Valley," Indigo Girls.

25. Away with the buff and the blue, and away with the cap and the feather. "The Hexhamshire Lass," Fairport Convention.

26. Looking at the world through the sunset in your eyes, traveling the train through clear Moroccan skies. "Marrakesh Express," Crosby, Stills & Nash.

27. The circus is falling down on its knees, the big top is crumbling down. "Raining in Baltimore," Counting Crows.

28. Often she has gazed from castle windows o'er, and watched the daylight passing within her captive wall. "Fotheringay," Fairport Convention.

29. Summer journeys to Niagara and to other places aggravate all our cares. "Manhattan" (Rodgers and Hart), sung by Ella Fitzgerald.

30. Alabama's got me so upset, Tennessee made me lose my rest. "Mississippi Goddam," Nina Simone, guessed by [livejournal.com profile] nnozomi.


Aug. 19th, 2013 04:39 pm
hedda62: Harold Finch, half in shadow, text: Oh, Mr. Finch (finch)
I meant to say that I did some of my editing on "This Rough Magic" to this compilation of the Machine's musical themes. And I downloaded that together with Finch's themes and Reese's themes and did my walk to it yesterday. If I can trust MapMyWalk's accuracy, which I know better than to do, I did the first mile in exactly Finch + Reese, which was amusing, and pretty fast (Reese's theme is great for powering up hills).

The same person has a comparison of the themes for Ben Linus and Harold Finch, which is interesting.

And someone else pulled together a bunch of Lost theme music via actual clips (spoilers, natch). Yes, of course there's a Ben one. :) I am also quite fond of There's No Place Like Home. (God, the music on that show. Serious heartstring-tugging.)

While I have you on YouTube, do watch the two new great POI vids: When I Ruled the World by astolat, and Some Nights by pureflummery. Oh, the feelings.

*dusts hands*
hedda62: Harold Finch in his HAT (hat baby)
Truly my relative absence here has nothing to do with the plan to entice most of tumblr into obsession with Ben Linus's striped shirts. It's really more that I've been trying to kick myself into getting this story written (the Harold one, not the Alys/Simon one, although that one's formulating in the back of my head and should *crosses fingers* be ready by the deadline). I hope to get a rearranged and better version of at least part of it to my exceptionally helpful betas today. Also I have been enjoying this ridiculous weather, and walking a lot, and doing a bit of yoga (lots of twists this morning; I'm beginning to accept this "getting rid of the toxins" thing. Not so much the chemical ones (I'm eating reasonably well, aside from the occasional pretzel binge) but hopefully the writers-block ones).

Speaking of tumblr, there was a post floating around yesterday asking one to reblog if one liked an actor twice one's age. I was sorely tempted to come back with "Find me an almost-102-year-old actor, and I'll see what can be done," but I don't think that's in the spirit of the thing. (And then, inevitably, I start imagining Michael Emerson at 102, looking a rather attractive 80, and... oh stop me now.) When I was in high school, there were several actors twice my age or more that I was rather fond of, so yes, I totally get it.

Speaking of being fond, I spent most of last week with "La Vie en Rose" stuck in my head, because my adorable son was working (over the internet) with his musical partner (Helen) to put together a version of it for the birthday of his romantic partner (Ellen, and yes, this was confusing at first). By some miracle considering his schedule they got it done in time, and she liked it, and now I never have to hear it again. No, I'm kidding, but just not constantly.

Speaking of earworms, this is the current one. Nothing like intent to murder murmuring in your head, really.

Speaking of which. *flits away with, I assure you, other intentions*
hedda62: Harold Finch, half in shadow, text: Oh, Mr. Finch (finch)
Things that are pleasing me:

1) Apropos of nothing other than that I'm listening to it a lot, I now have 42 songs in my "Oh, Mr. Finch" playlist, covering the following: albatross, blackbird, blue jay, bluebird, crane, crow, cuckoo, dove, eagle, goose, lark, nightingale, raven, rook, sparrow, vulture, and wren; also chick in the sense of female human; also generic birds and flying; also occasional airplanes. :) I need to add "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" but I keep saying "it's on an LP, I will mp3-convert it" (because I'm not going to buy something I already have, am I now) and then not getting around to it (the process requires that I click a button at the end of every song, which means not straying far and not doing anything too distracting. ("And the bitch of it was, I only had 108 minutes to bury the poor bastard.")).

2) The weather is altogether lovely this week, just what summer should be and what it so seldom is. I can actually take a walk in the afternoon.

3) I did a thing today on Tumblr that people liked. I'm not sure what else I will do there (quote of the day, maybe?) but it is certainly an entertaining place and I must stop myself from refreshing the page all the time, dammit.

4) I had a POI story idea that might work and have started writing it down. Also must work on Vorkosiverse promptfic that I know the beginning of but little else. Also yes I know the book; I'm giving myself another week to make decisions.

5) I am really enjoying "Orphan Black" and, in small doses, "Welcome to Night Vale."

6) Also I continue to be very appreciative of the existence of Michael Emerson. (And colleagues.)

I think that's enough to be going on with.

June 2016

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