myblackeyedfire: (Wolf of mirth)
I got a message on OK Cupid from my housemate's best friend asking if I wanted to meet up for a birthday dinner. Having replied, I wandered around and got to some section of the site related to notes and votes.

The third person listed on the site looked a little familiar. I checked my open tabs and realized that one of them had saucy photos of her from an LJ community I'd been browsing through that day.

It was a pleasant 'small world' moment but I left it at that. Getting mail from someone writing to me with "I just wanted to say you have gorgeous nipples! Have a great day." would probably be awkward as hell.

The powers of the internets are mighty and inscrutable, and very, very odd.
myblackeyedfire: (SS/HP trusting hands)
An excerpt:
Because my nephew's project, alone among all of them, was not displayed. After much back and forth with various people, my sister learned that apparently some people were uncomfortable with his conclusions. Specifically the part where he said that what he really learned from this project was that some people don't want to be called boys or girls, and that those people need an "other" option. (And also that they tend to prefer blue to green.)

(This really has been a learning experience, and not just for Z, either. At my younger nephew's birthday party, Z was wandering around showing off his survey, and many of the older kids asked why he had included an "other" option for gender. Now, okay, you have to understand - Z is the kind of kid who, if you tell him you don't want to be called a boy or a girl, he will just kind of accept it. So you are other? Fine. People are mysterious anyway, and obviously this is just another layer of mysteriousness to them. He doesn't need to understand it to be okay with it.

Most of the other kids, though, found this concept fascinating and absolutely bewildering - obviously everyone is either a boy or a girl! Obviously! - and wanted to ask many many questions. Which was the point when my sister turned to me and said, "They're your friends. You explain it." You have not lived until you've tried to explain being genderqueer to a group of suburban elementary school students hyped up on cake and candy and penguins.)

I rather like blue more than green, unless the green is a lush forest shade and the blue is a pastel hue. Click here for the rest of the story.
myblackeyedfire: (Snape: b&w sweet aching freedom nude)
There's a lot that I need to do this month and I'm slogging through it.

All I really want to do is pack a satchel with books and apples and spend the rest of the week reading in the grass. I want to eat a slowly melting ice cream cone on a park bench. I want to fall asleep in a hammock with my face touching the sun. I want the smell of dirt after a storm stuck between my teeth.
myblackeyedfire: (Default)
Yesterday evening with Sonya wherein we made a rustic strawberry galette* was pleasant. We joked, compared cooking methods, and talked of her upcoming engagement and my plans after this semester. It felt like the best moments with old friends - focused on current and coming times, while grounded in old bonds and jokes.

I was reading Alice Waters' op-ed piece about U.S. school lunch program just now, along with a blogger's more comprehensive response. And Tom Lee, mentioned in the previous link, heartily disagrees with Waters' argument while also desiring healthier food options in schools. I remember receiving reduced lunches in Brooklyn in the early 90's, with my favorite lunches being greasy Jamaican patties and tater tots because my mother would never have allowed them at home. Last semester I volunteered at a Head Start preschool and saw kids eating fried foods daily, cereals loaded with sugar, and few vegetables. When a nutrition counselor came in to talk with them her question of what was their favorite food was met with multiple replies of pizza and french fries, which they later counted as a vegetable. Waters' local-&-organic-$5-a-meal proposal would leave many low-income families in the dust, despite being the ones who would benefit most from positive changes of the program. I don't have an answer to this, of course, but it is something I've been curious about for some time.

*Like a tart or pie, but far less fussy. You spread the dough in a circle, put fruit in the center, and fold the edges inward.
myblackeyedfire: (Default) is helping.

I've spent the better part of my life watching Zoe Bell in fight and action scenes, and this has the same effect.

Sleep for me soon. I'll see what the day brings.
myblackeyedfire: (Freddy Mercury faun)
This slow bad day was exacerbated by getting on a bus to head home and finding myself sitting in the middle of a conversation between four guys. One complained about how he had to read about 'transgenders and freaky shit' in one of his classes, and others chimed in about how their classes were so gay, and their classmates were so gay, and that if one of them asked to meet up to do extra credit work together, he'd meet him carrying a shotgun. The last comment was met with chuckling approval.

Fuck them. Fuck them with a ripe jackfruit. I hope one day and one day soon I'll be able to raise my head and speak up, voice cold and clipped, and let them know that sort of fucked up posturing isn't just offensive in public, and it doesn't just come off as mere words, and that they're wrong to be presumptuous enough to think that they're hot shit queer magnets, because, oh, honey, that's just unlikely.

It wasn't a street at night, or an empty lot. I had safety in being on a public bus and, more to the point, probably sitting next to immature guys who were more prone to bluffing and braggadocio than anything else, where I was ignored. As it was, I raised my copy of Gay New York higher for the duration of the ride. I don't know if they noticed and I don't care. I didn't put the book away and while that's not the same thing as a confrontation, it's something.
myblackeyedfire: (We wear the mask that grins and lies)
At the moment I am scattered about, forgetting essential things and remembering but putting aside a lot of what needs to be done. Impatience, mixed too freely with wariness has me stopping up all potential cracks where vulnerability shows, yet increasing the chance of a spill.

I keep returning to chewed up childhood memories to not think much about the future and return to the wisps of Russia two years ago: walking barefoot in a countryside garden bulging with vegetables; squatting to piss in a squalid pay toilet; living for days at a time in a passenger car with my grandfather and silence; sleeping in a freezing hotel on two chairs put together so we could go by boat to a monastery in the morning where sour old monks chanted and glared; peering into Pushkin's library; walking through foreign gilt hallways of palaces and wondering why anyone could think the Amber Room more beautiful than the birch trees and dusty sparrows outside.

Memories to extricate myself from prove difficult to leave for the return to reality. Why think of grad school applications and laundry to fold, when I can remember walking through hills where hundreds died and a shower of crocus flowers sprang up, my great-grandfather supposedly shot on one of those hillsides in war - or decide how to present myself, when I can remember walking on the Nevsky Prospect for hours each day, filing past a city's worth of strangers who would always remain strangers.

Nostalgia hasn't made me a stodgy nationalist. Nostalgia has nothing to do with it. I'm too quick to look for escapes, and these are too beautiful and gritty to give up. But it is time to give it up, some, and focus on what needs to be done.

Perhaps some beauty will remain after those memories have been put aside.
myblackeyedfire: (Icarus)
I've got John Wayne stances, I've got Errol Flynn advances, and it doesn't mean a doggone thing.

Having failed for years, I've got to try harder to achieve brevity. This post will come closer to success than previous attempts, and fail still.

In the six years I've had this journal, the number of times I've written something deeply personal or intentionally revealing has been minimal. Either this is a reinforced habit I'm in need of breaking, or it isn't. I'm not yet sure.

Being willing to put up with shit to feel liked and wanting to be of help aren't mutually interchangeable, despite how it may appear. It is necessary to reinforce for others that I don't tend to volunteer to do anything I am not prepared or willing to do.

Taking breaks to rest and remembering to fulfill basic needs are not signs of weakness.

There's humor in realizing how likely it is that the degrees to which some people have been nice to me is because of Jeff, and not my innate sparkly amazing snowflake fabulosity. There's comfort in finding sufficient sincerity there, too.

When in charge, giving less directions rather than more produces better results.

Believing in someone's intuition and ability to use tarot cards accurately is not contradicted by questioning how much of that flows from solid people-reading skills and my own temporary willingness to bare more of myself to a stranger.

It is acceptable to feel delight and pleased surprise. It is acceptable to feel cynicism as long as its prevalence is kept in check. Fear is the mind-killer. I need to be in better control of my emotions.

I can't easily fake attentive concern, let alone common politeness, nor do I try to unless absolutely necessary. Others are less limited in their abilities.

For all that I've learned about myself, where and how I want to go forward in the last two years of pondering this, I've done little more than scratch the surface. Holding myself back for fear of rejection and difficulty is understandable and must be weeded out. Pauses are expected, and so are periods of activity or proactive shifts. This is a time for both.

Not everything is my fault. Not everything is my responsibility. I had better deal with what is on my own as much as possible. I had better be more assertive about my needs.

I'm better at being myself than I realize most of the time.

Sleep is to be taken more seriously, starting now.
myblackeyedfire: (SS/HP- Blackwhite solidity)
I may or may not be getting sick. It may or may not be a bad reaction to what I've had for lunch these last two days. I am finally certain that it's not appendicitis. I've not felt this way since I was still living with my family in Minsk, the same little-child-me constantly coughing and being mildly unwell.

If nothing else, I'm at least grateful for this mystery infirmity for reminding me of that, and how I used to lie in bed with a hoard of books and a toy cat named Meeook and a toy dog named GahvGahv (the sound of a dog's bark) and the comfort of hearing my real dog's nails tapping on the parquet. There was a constant awareness that I was sick, that the sore throat would ebb and return no matter how many times I gargled and got covered with mustard compresses. The awareness trailing after me that I was sick was a blanket, something like air so dirty it's visible, so I never stopped noticing it. There was a certain kind of peace to be found then, too - after the nurses gave me shots and left, and I spent yet another day home from preschool, I stayed in my room and listened to records, creating clay animals and reading.

Wicked Faire preparations are at the forefront of my mind now. Getting sick before Faire would be unfortunate, and I'll try eating as much garlic and honey as possible to get whatever this is to die off.

For now, I'm going to go to bed earlier than I usually do, and remember listening to one of my favorite records again and again, a story of the Black Bull of Norroway. The cover stayed on my mind long after we left it, and countless other records, behind when we moved. It was perhaps a watercolor, and most of it was full of lush grass. At the forefront stood a little figure watching something terrible and magnificent approach. The bull pierced his way out of the cover, the black sleekness of his encroaching shape easily conjured. For all other parts of the story, my memory is faulty, but I recall exactly this - a feeling, a knowing in my bones of what it must feel like when approached by the wild, and challenged to hold on while being stolen away. Few things are clearer than how I imagined it would be (smell: bovine sweat, sweet grass and trampled rich dirt; sight: a towering beast seeming so far away only a second ago; sound: snorting, soft, and small gasps on my part; touch: taut muscles underneath short fur, impossibly warm).

I remember dreaming of being whisked off by him, and riding and riding and riding through seas and plains. I remember holding on and pressing a small kiss to the back of the bull's neck. I remember wanting to keep that feeling inside me.
myblackeyedfire: (Wolf of mirth)
This video of Michael Hurst talking about is probably more enjoyable than the film.

myblackeyedfire: (Wolf of mirth)
I made soup. For the first time ever. And I cooked with mushrooms. For the first time ever. And I made a roux. For the first time ever. Because it was my first time ever, the roux kind of sucked, but oh, this is one of the best things ever. It's smooth and hearty and tastes of mushrooms and cream and just tangibly of parsley.

I've often thought it would be useful to have a few clones of myself. For one thing, there would be minimal conflict over Xena marathons and museum trips. For another, having clones for companions would do away with awkward dates.

After tonight's cooking adventure, however, it appears that I'd be using them for my sexual gratification second, and mushroom soup-making first.
myblackeyedfire: (Icarus)
Black sails upon the wine-dark sea;
Black wings that clouded out the day -
No crow or vulture flew ravenous here as they
Tell them who pay me court
Amid the drunkard brawl and glutton snort:
Gather all of your mettle to my sport
This day the bride of Ithaka makes her final choice.
Ah thus I weave the pattern bold
Athene guide me conjure him of old
Let the soul of my summons be the voice.
myblackeyedfire: (Snape: b&w sweet aching freedom nude)
I don't often post art recs. It isn't that I don't see beautiful things worth sharing. The daily posts of [ profile] rus_nature and [ profile] alienchildren and [ profile] art_links are all fantastic. Art appreciation tends to be quite personal, though, so I try not to deluge this journal with too many "I love this! Look at it! Eet ees pretty!" posts.

Easily the most sure way to leave me in a near-gibbering mess is to combine poetry with art, and do it well. Literal interpretation doesn't interest me much. That's a main issue I have with fan videos, because trying to find clips from films or shows to match exactly what is sung seems to me less of a creative challenge than taking the song and using it more as a theme or guideline.

I first became aware of this when looking at [ profile] djinniyah's art. It matches my sense of aesthetics near-perfectly and with the combination of fantastically apt writing guiding the meanings and metaphors, I find myself wanting to take her drawings and live in them. Or roll around in them. Ladle them over myself. Something. Immersion. Ahem. She draws Harry Potter characters with poise and lines and, oh, this is an icon of one of her images and I am terribly in love. The most incredible pieces are locked in her LJ, so if you're so inclined, by all means, go friend her! Otherwise, let me give you a tease.

What I meant to post about is a sixteen-part comic of an alternate reality wizarding world where Draco's actions are shown parallel to Jay Wright's poem, Journey to the Place of Ghosts. It's gritty and time-turning and better than I could have imagined. What must you change to keep what you have lost? Check it out.
myblackeyedfire: (Default)
A good friend of mine wants to get her sister a betta fish. She asked me for help and advice. My knowledge of pet care relates to many animals, but I've no experience with fishkeeping. I've done enough research to steer her away from the betta/vase situation, but do not know how to choose a betta fish or the best way to care for one, fish tank requirements, etc.

Do you have any suggestions or advice I could pass on to her?
myblackeyedfire: (Snape: b&w sweet aching freedom nude)

I took off my bow tie and set aside the dress shoes and jacket, yet the night's memories insist on lingering. It was an evening of sybaritic pursuits & beauty & art. I can ask for no more than that, and certainly no less.

That's Paige and I improvising Charleston moves with more panache than I thought possible.
myblackeyedfire: (SS/HP- Blackwhite solidity)

"What's the weirdest thing you're ever eaten?"
And so, I met my friend's new beau and we began to talk about tripe and musculature of the mouth and Aldous Huxley's less-known works, moving to religion and childhood memories. Our meeting left me craving more conversations like this, as well as Last Exit to Brooklyn and North Indian fare. He mentioned Samuel Shem's The House of God and I passed on a beloved Rilke poem. An intense, handsome fellow, he remained ever polite throughout our meal and I delighted in talking with a stranger for a few hours so openly.

I motioned to my creamed shrimp and said that a year or two ago I would never have touched it. My attempts to sample foods I have previously not enjoyed over and over, hoping for a rare moment of delight, spill over into the rest of my life. I don't like setting down absolutes because so much of experience is circumstantial, dependent upon one's mood and location and the events of that time. Of all berries, raspberries garner my singular contempt, yet I know as a child I happily wandered through clumps of raspberry bushes and picked off berries with careless fingers, staining my mouth and scratching my hands raw pink. So I keep trying to find a different, similarly good experience.

Jeff said wintertime makes him seek out light. I have been one acquainted with the night, yes, and prefer the darkling months. Still, my room is lit up by five candles, three by the computer, and I am wearing woolen socks that itch and comfort while sipping tea with dried rose petals.

I couldn't bring you much warmth or light, but perhaps with the start of this year I can share some of what I love, and dislike, and some that I hope to come to enjoy. Spiders, trees, and teapots courtesy of Flickr abound )
myblackeyedfire: (Interstices at my fingertips)
I've thoughts on the election, Prop 8, the strange blast of snow earlier this week, how inspiring or dull my classes are, various books I'm reading and the like, but all I'm focusing on at this moment is this.

It isn't true to say I want to live there. I think, much as I dearly enjoy learning about cephalopods and squirmy marine life, it's not a space wherein I would want to dwell permanently but I sure wouldn't mind frequent visitation.

And now for a brief interlude:
Mark Twain's About Barbers reminds me why he's a rather fun author, despite the best efforts on the parts of English teachers to persuade us to the contrary. It's a short piece and one I'm glad I found.

50 strange buildings of the world!

Miller's homemade soap page has more information on how to make soap than I can process right now, but that's a good thing.

This is a collection of animal sounds as they are pronounced in different languages. There is even a sound in Russian for camel nuzzling! Also included are some animal commands and a few pet names.

From the Got Medieval blog, this entry has political history, murals and genitalia on trees.

Lastly, the link I like best of all is a page with some art installations by Andy Goldsworthy here
myblackeyedfire: (Harry: ew.)
was certainly heartfelt.

elena me tebe lybim please dont upset us wear nice dress be nice gerl dont forget us kiss you babalya and grendfather

A forthcoming reply will not be gracing her inbox. Russian, while an expressive language, has in its possession no adequate way of putting forth a response to civil evisceration.


Sep. 4th, 2008 12:26 am
myblackeyedfire: (Blithe Wilde)
- Steven Steinberg owns New York Central Art Supplies. Discussion of the store and his life, along with photos are found here.
- There is some well-presented information on how to tie ties here. They've not included the Prat knot, alas, but otherwise have clear, concise information on this oft tricky endeavor.
- This post has some lovely, 'Secretary'-inspired photos. The red Sharpies on the desk have my approval.
- In case you ever wondered about U.S. copyright laws regarding recipes, look no further.
- Want to see a badass wedding cake? I want one.
- Continuing the food theme, here are some directions for making pie crusts.
- Andy Goldsworthy is an artist of whom I am deeply enamoured. Do check him out!
- I like the Wikipedia entry for soap bubbles.
- The art and biology and utterly fabulous blog bioephemera is full of weird, interesting information.
- 'Hermes and the Creation of Space' by Murray Stein, is on the website for the Jung Society of Atlanta.
- These pictures of the world as seen by children are just great!
- a softer world is probably my favorite webcomic. At least, it's definitely on par with xkcd. It's odd, observant, somewhat unsettling, and strangely funny.

Good night, you.


myblackeyedfire: (Default)

January 2016

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