Someone who shall not be named told me she'd borrowed both a 12' and a 16' one, and would bring them both, since we didn't know what size the room was. The supposed 12' one was actually about 9' across, tiny, with wide pathways and exactly two turns in it. The supposed 16' one was *half of a 32' one* with velcro along one side -- and since it was a Chartres-pattern quarter-turn labyrinth, it made no sense at all to have half of it. It didn't fit into the room, either. So we had to go with the smaller one, which was inadequate. If I had known about this, I would have brought two rolls of masking tape and *made* one from scratch on the carpet; it's not hard to do and it would at least have been both accurate and the right size.
But it is now So Very Much Not My Problem At All, Thank You.
Once I asked on the main Japanese language study newsgroup, which had a fair number of linguists and language professors, about how to study kanbun. Kanbun is a way of writing Japanese as if it were Chinese that gets used in a lot of historical documents. I said in my post that my Japanese level was fairly high but not so fluent that I was totally comfortable reading the test prep books for high school students.
And in a remarkable case of "I don't understand the question you asked so I'm going to assume it's your fault," people started berating me for not knowing kanji. Kanji, the part of the modern Japanese writing system that I could understand reasonably well actually.
The thing is, there really aren't shortcuts when it comes to kanbun. If you're serious about studying premodern Japanese history at that level, you learn Chinese. So even when I got the right answer, it didn't feel great. But that's the kind of thing, I think, that's influenced how I see reference service - when you think it might be the wrong question, you keep asking and keep asking until you're sure you understand it and don't end up making people feel foolish.
The "seven things most people don't know about me" meme. All these are about my childhood, because I think people probably know enough about what I've done as an adult.
1) As a toddler, I almost fell off the side of a container ship in dry dock. I was climbing the steps up to the ship, with my father holding my hand, and I managed to slip. Apparently I swung out over the abyss, with my father clinging desperately to my hand, and he remembers how his palms began to sweat with fear and he thought he'd lose me. I have no conscious memory of this, but it may explain my terror of heights.
2) Years later, my dad was in hospital, and someone bought me a newspaper-making kit to keep me occupied. There were various pieces of paper to cut out with headlines and so on. They gave you a few mastheads saying things like "The Chronicle" and "The Daily News", but I decided to call my paper The Thurman Times, and it lasted for about ten years in one form or another as a family magazine.
3) At the age of about six I made up a game where our house was a town and all the rooms were streets. This involved naming every room with a street name. For some strange reason everyone still remembers all these room names, especially my own room which is universally known as Moon Drive.
4) I also used to have the habit, which lasted well into my teens of drawing a stylised steamboat in the top right corner of my work. (I think the boat motif came from reading Swallows and Amazons, though of course those were sailboats.) The reference to Jacob's symbol in BCL is partly based on this. Also, those who have the second edition of Not Ordinarily Borrowable (with the dragon on the cover) may notice the same steamboat logo at the top left of the cover.
5) Various things were a terror to me at one time or another. In particular, when I was ten and my grandmother died she left us a framed print of a famous painting, and my parents hung it on the landing outside my room. I was already afraid of the dark, and the painting was a new terror: I would run as fast as I could into my room so I wouldn't see it, and shut my eyes when I opened the door. The worst of it was that I wasn't allowed to sleep with the light on, but there was a light at the other end of the landing, so to avoid the darkness I had to sleep with my door as wide open as possible, and lying there in bed I could see the painting's eyes through the crack between the door and the frame. Horrifying.
6) When I was five I went out into the garden to help build a path. All my life I've preferred to be barefoot,My mother held my hand and and I was that day as well. But it's never wise to carry housebricks about when you're barefoot, especially if you're five and might drop them on your toe. I did. Even worse than the pain was the horrendous hour at the doctor's where they cut open my toe under local anaesthetic in order to "get the poison out", as they told me. The anaesthetic presumably didn't work too well, because I could feel it, and my God it hurt. I squeezed my mother's hand as tightly as I could and tried not to cry out.
7) For about a month, when I was seven-ish, I had three pet balloons. I'd brought them home from a party or something, and I drew faces on them and gave them names. And I went everywhere with them, and I used to read them bedtime stories. I remember my parents were slightly concerned.
A Vision for the Future and How to Get There The alternative to global warming & environmental destruction, overt, covert and drone wars, all pervasive government surveillance, Ferguson-style racism & militarization of the police, multi-trillion dollar corporate bailouts, trillions in social cutback, women’s and LGBT oppression, mass deportations, “War on Terror” persecution of Muslim communities […]
"If we are to send people, it must be for a very good reason - and with a realistic understanding that almost certainly we will lose lives. Astronauts and Cosmonauts have always understood this. Nevertheless, there has been and will be no shortage of volunteers." -- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
Somehow in the confusion I lost a pair of boots, so I had one pair for the weekend. Fortunately, they were the Uggs, so my feet were warm. Unfortunately, they are wonderfully snowproof but not waterproof so I walked carefully.
The meditation workshop that I led went well, even though it was in a small double room divided by a non-soundproof divider. I joked afterward that it was two workshops for the price of one -- but while I was leading the narrated meditation I had to time my words not only by the rhythm of breathing (which I had planned), but also by the rise and fall of the voices in the next room. But it worked. We held the space, went deep, and it all worked out. I've been indirectly asked to present it again, at Annual Sessions. I will wait and see how the year rolls.
And just before the end of things Sunday my back muscles seized up. It took a long hot bath at home to loosen them, and I am going carefully today to make sure they don't do it again.
But I'm back, with some stuff settled that I'll talk about at another time, and feeling better.
Our snow here is not too heavy so far. We may get four inches. I will not worry about it.
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-03-20:
"Selecting your foie gras is much easier if it has already been removed from its original owner." -- Elisabeth Luard, in her book The Old World Kitchen.(submitted to the mailing lit by Mike Krawchuk)
[Happy birthday to a friend who tells Facebook a different birthday. Shh! ;-) ]
"M. Jules Verne said it could not be done. I have done it. He told me when he met me at Amiens [France] that if the tour weas made of the world in seventy-nine days he would applaud with both hands. It has been made in seventy-two days, and M. Verne may now applaud and two hands will not do; he must use four. [...]
"At many junctures since my departure I have been compelled to face what looked like failure. Did I ever give up hope of success? No, not exactly. Never having failed, I could not picture what failure meant, but I did tell the officers of the Oceanic, when success seemed very, very hazy, owing to the unexpectedly stormy weather, that I would rather go to New York successful and dead than alive and behind time."
-- Nellie Bly (pen name of Elizabeth Jane Cochrane, b. 1864-05-05, d. 1922-01-27), 1890-01-26, the day after completing her around-the-world trip in 72 days, 6 hours, 10 minutes, 11 seconds (arriving in New Jersey at 15:51 on 1890-01-25).
Fandom: Hockey RPF
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jamie Benn/Tyler Seguin
Characters: Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Jordie Benn
Additional Tags: Directedverse, Switching, Consensual Kink, Kink Negotiation, Spanking, Human Furniture, Topping, Friends to Lovers, Relationship Negotiation, Pansexual Character, Polyamory in Universe But Not In This Relationship, Alternate Universe - BDSM
"Hey, so," Tyler says when the marks on his ass have faded to a gross yellow-green. "Next time, you wanna make out first?"
I made a thing & I crossposted it here!
Two whistleblowers speak out about sexual assault and harassment in Veterans Administration hospitals, saying these offenses are pervasive in the VA system. And a Human Rights Watch investigator provides an update about forthcoming HRW reports on the problem. Monisha Rios is a social worker and veterans’ advocate; “Lisa” is a current VA patient who requested anonymity. Both are Army veterans. […]
Whatever...it would be MAGICAL.
And it'd be totally worth it just for the looks of absolute horror that would greet that mess. Maybe then...I mean, obviously we'd have to wait until after Twitter melted down from all the "Did that just happen?!?!" tweets followed by several million "Did Stamkos actually twirl for that dude?!?!?" re-tweets...but after all that settled down, maybe then we could have a discussion about why the hell something that is beyond comical to imagine going down at the NHL All Star game happens to women in professional sports.
And yes, I’ll be asking everyone and their mother to give me a twirl and tell me about their outfit...at least until Tom Brady holds another press conference...
....or until the Colts release video evidence that Gov. Chris Christie deflated all those footballs.
Until then, happy NHL All Star weekend!