starlady: the cover from Shaun Tan's The Arrival, showing an aquanaut in suburbia (i'm a stranger here myself)
I have nothing to add to what so many people have already said on Twitter and tumblr and elsewhere about the murder of Mike Brown, and I wish I could be out there with everyone at the protests. I will be at the Tokyo march next Friday. Black lives matter. No peace without justice.

It is Thanksgiving, and I did want to take the time to express my profound gratitude and appreciation, this year in particular, for all my friends around the world. I flew the better part of 100,000 miles this year and didn't find it stressful at all, because no matter where I went, there were people there to hang out, grab a meal, let me crash on their couch, and generally make me feel much more welcome than I would have otherwise. Some of you I've known for years and some of you I'd just met for the first time, or hadn't seen for aeons, or whatever--none of it mattered. The hospitality and kindness people showed me, from the biggest ways to the smallest, was profoundly touching, and I'm very grateful to have all of you in my life. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who's celebrating, and I hope it's far fewer years until we all can meet again. ♥

starlady: The Avengers regroup in Midtown (Natasha, Steve, Clint, Thor) (more legendary and more desperate)
Two hundred thirty-six years ago, a bunch of people gathered in Philadelphia to hear a guy read out a document a bunch of other guys had put their signatures to two days before. I can tell you from experience, everybody concerned was sweating more or less to death.

It has been an unusually awesome Fourth of July so far!

# The European Parliament voted against ACTA!

# A Higgs particle has been discovered by CERN!

# My friend had her baby!

# And today is Steve Rogers' and Malia Obama's birthdays.


All in all, as [personal profile] epershand said, it was definitely a day that justified drinking at one p.m. And later I am going to fireworks.

If you're celebrating, I hope you have a lovely day.

starlady: (sora)
Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating. The sun is shining, I just got back from a very nice run, I'm about to make pie crust and sweet potatoes and do some work before going over to a friend's house for dinner.

Among many other things, I'm thankful that my biggest problem with my family is that we're separated more often than we're together, and I'm thankful for my extended family who don't quite understand us but love us anyway, and I'm thankful for my position in my graduate program (still the best ♥) and I'm thankful for my friends on four continents and in many more timezones, both those of you on the internet and off, who have made my life so much richer in so many ways. So, thank you. ♥

And of course, because it's me, some links:
[personal profile] copperbadge, untitled Thanksgiving post
[personal profile] wintercreek, Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal by Naomi Shihab Nye

starlady: (always)
It's Thanksgiving in the States; and a Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating.

The ignoble origins of the holiday ought not go unacknowledged, but I am equally interested in being grateful for what I do have: my family, by blood and by choice, scattered across three time zones as we are; my friends, including all of you, on the majority of the continents; and my position in my graduate program, which is the place I want to be, and is still a very good place indeed.

I have no idea what Thanksgiving dinner tonight will consist of (though I've already had pumpkin pie), and ditto for Thanksgiving dinner #2 tomorrow, but in the end it's less about the food than about being together, and I'm glad to be here in Portland with my sister. Happy Thanksgiving or Happy Thursday to all of you.

(And Happy Birthday, [personal profile] ellen_fremedon!)
starlady: (xmas penguins)
Maybe someday I will have a consequential post again. Actually, I just remembered one I meant to make, but in the meantime, an extremely consequential poll.

Okay, so. Have you ever heard that song "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"? I always used to think that the song is a joke on its child narrator who doesn't get that his/her father is Santa Claus, but in light of other versions of the song, which feature a (male) child saying that he's going to tell his dad about his mom kissing Santa Claus, now I'm starting to wonder if the song isn'tin fact an expression of patriarchal norms keeping women oppressed in the home (in the 50s, when the song was written).

[Poll #1494145]
starlady: (xmas penguins)
Maybe someday I will have a consequential post again. Actually, I just remembered one I meant to make, but in the meantime, an extremely consequential poll.

Okay, so. Have you ever heard that song "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"? I always used to think that the song is a joke on its child narrator who doesn't get that his/her father is Santa Claus, but in light of other versions of the song, which feature a (male) child saying that he's going to tell his dad about his mom kissing Santa Claus, now I'm starting to wonder if the song isn'tin fact an expression of patriarchal norms keeping women oppressed in the home (in the 50s, when the song was written).

Poll #1822 Holiday mystery #229.3, "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 7


The song is...

View Answers

A joke on the kid
3 (42.9%)

Patriarchal collusion between father & son in action
2 (28.6%)

Annoying
5 (71.4%)

Do you seriously use brain cells thinking about this?
1 (14.3%)

Mm, Christmas. Cookies, that is.
3 (42.9%)

starlady: (heaven's day)
It's that season of the year again (namely the season to be overly generous to ourselves, our loved ones, and yea, the entire world), and I am posting a wishlist for the first time ever.[personal profile] fish_echo explains the guidelines better than I ever could on this entry (which is also her wishlist).

Wishlist! )
starlady: (always)
It's Thanksgiving in the States, and a very Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it.

We have a tradition in our family of going around the table, before digging in, and saying what we're thankful for. We didn't do it this year, because of who was present (two children ages six and two) and who was absent (my sister, in Portland, and my mother, permanently), but I did spend a good deal of time earlier this week thinking seriously about what I am thankful for. It took more effort to articulate this year, because this year has unquestionably been the most difficult I have had in a long while, perhaps ever, but there is a lot I have for which to be thankful.

So, first of all, I am thankful each and every day to be alive, and glad about the same. I am thankful for my health, and for the fact that, despite my own shaky situation w/r/t income, I have a roof over my head and food on the table every day. I am more thankful than I can say for my dad, my sister, and my bird, and for their unstinting love, and I am grateful beyond measure to have had my mother in my life for as long as I did, though it was of course far too short a time.

I am thankful for my family, and especially for all my friends, around the world and on the internet, and for all the people who share their thoughts on their journals and who entertain my comments, from whom I have learned more than I ever even knew I didn't know, and from whom I continue to learn. I am thankful to be applying to graduate school, and thankful that I have a reasonable expectation of being able to pursue my academic passions and eventually earn a living wage doing it. I am thankful for DreamWidth and all the people I've met there, and thankful especially for the Organization for Transformative Works and the Archive of Our Own, which have challenged me as a translator, as a fan and as a scholar since I became a volunteer in March, and which--along with the people I've met through them--have become far more important to me than I ever imagined. I am thankful too for the opportunity to translate manga and to be able to fill a niche, however small, in fandom, and thankful for the people who read, and comment, and nitpick my translations.

And I'm thankful for cranberry sauce.

Every year at Thanksgiving or Christmas I try out a new recipe. This year it was Ruth Reichl's pomegranate gravy. Like all recipes related to the now-defunct Gourmet magazine, it's slightly complicated for complication's sake, but oh, is it tasty. I will say, though, that you have to watch your sugar like a hawk, and stir in the juice as soon as all the sugar is melted, particularly if you're not using refined sugar (like me--I wound up ditching the first attempt, when I let the sugar go too long and accidentally made hard candy). Since I just bought pomegranate juice rather than juicing six pomegranates, I think next time I may try to concentrate the pomegranate juice beforehand (thus adding another pot to the process), but I think that will make it even better.

My dad and I ran a cross country 5K Turkey Trot this morning, and given that it rained for the past two days, it was easily the wettest, muddiest run I've ever had in my life--my shoes soaked completely through within about ten feet of the starting line, and let me tell you, by the end of the race we looked epic. Despite that, though, I managed to shave a good four minutes off my last 5K time (roughly 35:30, down from 39:40 on the Fourth of July), which just confirms the awesome.

And because I think everyone should read this book, I'm going to finish by quoting Charles Mann's description of the first Thanksgiving in 1491:
By fall the settlers' situation was secure enough that they held a feast of thanksgiving. Massasoit showed up with ninety people, most of them young men with weapons. The Pilgrim militia responded by marching around and firing their guns in the air in a manner intended to convey menace. Gratified, both sides sat down, ate a lot of food, and complained about the Narragansett. Ecce Thanksgiving.
starlady: (remember remember)
Guy Fawkes Day: not Halloween.

I think it was Game 3 of the World Series when Andy Pettite got a base hit like it was the most normal thing in the world (as a pitcher, any hits he makes are gravy) and the TV commentators made the comment that "there's no justice in hitting." I immediately shouted back at the TV that there's no justice, period. Upon reflection, I don't think I was quite right. There is justice in the world, but it's what we make ourselves, and make sure is done to and for others, and it's only as strong as people are willing to make sure that it is. One of the courts in Philadelphia reads JUSTICE THE GUARDIAN OF LIBERTY on the face of the building. That's true, but it seems to me that the people are, must be, the ultimate guardians of justice. And I hold to my conviction that without justice there can be no peace.

Anyway, have an awesome Darker Than BLACK video (it's done to the V for Vendetta trailer and is awesome). And remember the 5th of November on every other day of the year. Blowing up representative government ≠ justice.

starlady: (impending)
Must the youngest open the oldest hills,
Through the door of the birds, where the breeze breaks.
There fire shall fly from the raven boy,
And the silver eyes that see the wind,
And the Light shall have the harp of gold.
–Susan Cooper, The Grey King

I used to have most of the poetry from that series (and a fair bit of Tolkienana too) memorized, roundabouts middle school. Yes, I was an unreconstructed geek, why do you ask? At least these days I can see at least some of the problems with both sets of books (cough! female agency! cough!).

Anyway, Happy Halloween to those who feel so inclined to celebrate this most secular of the formerly Christian holidays. [livejournal.com profile] zahrawithaz has some thoughts on the holiday that should be required reading.

I am completely open to considering today a new year's eve, if only because this year, however it is defined, has been so unrelentingly difficult. There have been some good parts, unquestionably, but overall, 2009 is nowhere near my top 10. At least there's nowhere to go but up.

I went with the young literary man-friend to see The Damned United this afternoon, because I balked at Antichrist and because Damned United is by the same team of people that did The Queen. I know precisely zilch about English football and precious little about football in general, but the movie tells you enough of what you need to know to be accessible even to noobs like me and the YLMF, and anyway it's not really about football so much as it is a study of ambition and male rivalry and friendship (yes, the movie fails the Bechdel test abysmally. I had to explain the Bechdel test to the YLMF). Based on a true story, Brian Clough (rhymes with "enough"), after five hugely successful years as the manager of Derby County, parts ways with his assistant manager Peter Taylor and takes over the managership of Leeds United, which his arch-nemesis Don Revey has just vacated in order to manage England. The reunion scene at the end between Clough and Taylor goes way beyond the suggestive into real RPS territory, which says more about the different ways of expressing masculine affection in 1974 and 2009 than it does anything else. But I'd recommend it on a number of levels, neither the most nor the least of which is that Martin Sheen is pretty to look at.

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