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the beautiful sex flush on her chest last night.

The Good Wife really gets female desire. I mean, I don't feel any attraction to any of the men on that show, but I believe that the women do.
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The card not shown but at the center of the cross, represents the atmosphere surrounding the central issue. Judgement: A swift and conclusive decision. The resolution of a matter long unanswered. A change in point of view, most frequently towards greater enlightenment. Final balancing of karma.

The card visible at the center of the cross represents the obstacle that stands in your way - it may even be something that sounds good but is not actually to your benefit. Four of Swords (Truce), when reversed: Restlessness and mental disharmony. Deserting a struggle in progress. A temporary retreat from stress that turns into a permanent rout. A lack of vigilance that could lead to disaster.

The card at the top of the cross represents your goal, or the best you can achieve without a dramatic change of priorities. Two of Swords (Peace), when reversed: Indecision due to contradictory characteristics brought together. Tension in the aftermath of a quarrel that has been resolved. Scheming, abuse of trust, and agreements made in bad faith. Allowing the mind to block off the emotions. Self deception as a means of justifying cruel acts.

The card at the bottom of the cross represents the foundation on which the situation is based. Death, when reversed: Stagnation or petrifaction. The refusal to let go of the past. Resistance to change because of fear.

The card at the left of the cross represents a passing influence or something to be released. The High Priestess: A pure, exalted and gracious influence. Education, knowledge, wisdom, and esoteric teachings. The forces of nature. Intuition, foresight, and spiritual revelation of the most mysterious and arcane sort.

The card at the right of the cross represents an approaching influence or something to be embraced. Two of Wands (Dominion): Established power and influence over others. Setting goals and a vision for the future. Coming to grips with the impact of past decisions, considering the current state of affairs, and developing a plan of action. Responsible leadership.

The card at the base of the staff represents your role or attitude. The Fool, when reversed: Apathy, negligence, and dangerous carelessness. Unquenchable wanderlust. Obsession with someone or something. Losing all sense of proportion. Foolhardy adventuring and lack of interest in critical matters. Immature or unrealistic ideals. Strange impulses and desires coming from unexpected sources. Vanity, delirium, folly, and oblivion.

The card second from the bottom of the staff represents your environment and the people you are interacting with. Nine of Swords (Cruelty), when reversed: Mental anguish or ill health endured and overcome. Refusal to be dragged down by the dishonor of others. Attempting to avert a shameful or regrettable act. Faithfulness, patience and unselfishness. May indicate the narrow avoidance of a death or other catastrophic loss.

The card second from the top of the staff represents your hopes, fears, or an unexpected element that will come into play. Four of Cups (Luxury): Being surrounded by love and devotion but taking it for granted. Ignoring the real and longing for the indefinable. Apathy and disengagement from the world. Dissatisfaction with the condition and direction of affairs, but the inability to accept new opportunities.

The card at the top of the staff represents the ultimate outcome should you continue on this course. Three of Swords (Sorrow), when reversed: Unsettling news that helps you to distance yourself from a destructive relationship. Painfully honest communication that needs to take place. Not letting yourself be dragged by your emotions into a negative situation. A trust or confidence betrayed in an attempt to help someone in need. The revelation of a painful truth.
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Sleep schedule keeps drifting further out of alignment with the people I live among. I need to do a morning treatment to finish my traineeship at the raptor center, but they start at 7:30 and I can't. I pry myself out of bed, nauseated, at 9, and sit up drinking tea, hoping that not having had enough sleep will make it easier to go to bed the next night.

Having a lot of bad dreams. Like, I'm living with wolves instead of dogs, and my baby has disappeared. He isn't a baby-baby, more like two or three, and there isn't any blood or screaming, but he's gone, and I'm searching, yelling, "Simon! Where are you? Make some noise!" and wondering why I thought it was okay to let these wolves live in my house.

(My baby has in fact gone, but in a good way. And he skyped me for help with physics just before the wolf dream, so I have recent reassurance that he is safe.)


My local art cinema has posted:
The Lyric is very excited to announce that in November we will be hosting our very first Story Swap event. Story Swap is a time to gather together and share life experiences with each other. Each event (which we hope to hold every-other month) we will choose a theme for you to come prepared for. If you bring a story and submit your name to share, you just might be one of the names called! Story sharers will receive a special prize for being open and willing to share.


Our first theme is simple: Good Times, Bad Times. Maybe you have a story of complete joy and hilarity, or maybe your story is about the most difficult period of your life. As long as it is centered on the theme, we want you to bring it! Please make sure your story is under 10 minutes.
I think I should do this.
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Today I did a shift at the raptor center without Neal. My inability to ask a stranger for what I need is pathetic.

There's a computer where volunteers have to check in and out. When I got there, someone was sitting at that computer, entering data from a stack of papers. I waited politely. She looked up at me at one point, with a why are you standing at my elbow? face, but then picked up the next sheet and went back to typing in the data. So I gave up. I never checked in.

This is the first shift I've done with the E1 crew, who take care of some of the educational birds. (Educational birds are too damaged to ever be released, but tolerant enough of humans and of captivity to have a good quality of life attracting people and money to the raptor center.) There were two trainees on this shift. Trainees have to be supervised at all times, and of course we do everything slower than people who know what they're doing, but you have to give the trainees the chance to practice even when you're a bit behind and you could do it in a quarter of the time, so this shift ran really long. Towards the end, I finished writing up case notes while Leah, who had been supervising me, went off to get something else done. I waited politely for Heidi, who had also been supervising me earlier, to finish writing up her case notes, to ask if there was anything else I should do. She told me to read back the EASO (Eastern Screech Owl) and clean its cage. (You read the treatment plan and the previous seven days' case notes before you interact with a bird.) Then the other trainee came in and Heidi told her she could leave if she wanted. My feet and back hurt a lot; I had already cleaned an American Kestrel, a Peregrine Falcon, a Great Horned Owl, and a Barn Owl; I wanted to turn the EASO over to the other trainee and go home to eat dinner and watch Orphan Black with Neal, but I couldn't ask, even though the other trainee was not jumping at the chance to leave.

So I cleaned the EASO. Writing up the case notes I discovered that I was so tired I couldn't remember anything about how the bird had acted while I was in the cage. Then I just sat. I couldn't leave until I got Leah or Heidi to check off that I had done an E1 shift, but I couldn't bring myself to interrupt them. Carrie saw me and asked, "Are you okay? You look--"

"Tired," I said. "I'm just waiting for Leah to sign my handbook." And this hurt even more than my feet and my back: the humiliation of being too tired to do any work but too... shy or whatever to ask for what I needed in order to leave.

"Okay," said Carrie. "If you need anything, you can always ask me."


That osprey I mentioned last time got released. May it be many years before we see its leg band again.

the cut

Sep. 17th, 2014 02:35 am
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Just sent mail to my daughter:
Cut almost 100 words. Mostly adverbs. Sorry, adverbs.

Young women use a lot of adverbs.

Context is that Nixie is applying for a grant for next year. Her project proposal and personal statement must be no more than 500 words each. They are 700-800 words each. She is too stressed by writing them to be able to see where to cut.

I used to have an image from the endnotes of a scanlation of the first volume of Kaoru Mori's Emma: Kaoru Mori's editor keeps pointing out things that could be cut, and she keeps exclaiming, "But that's the most important part!" I loved that! In the translation that got published in English, she says instead, "But that's very important!" Maybe that is a more accurate translation but it isn't as good.
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I went out to dinner tonight, which I don't usually do on Fridays because it is busy, and it was busy, so I sat at the bar. I usually read at dinner, but the bar was not well lit. There was no one to my left, fortunately (that's my deaf ear). To my right was a child and her mother. When my food came the woman asked what I had ordered, since it smelled so good. We talked about food, theirs and mine. She said she was just telling her daughter how important presentation was; the daughter had turned in a report that was just a mess! I asked the child what grade she was in and agreed that in fourth grade, teachers' expectations really level up.

The child asked the waiter whether he liked crystals, and showed him a crystal she found on the playground. I asked if I could see it too. From that point on the three of us were chatting. I had told the waiter that my son had left for college, since that is what I say these days when people ask how I am, so the woman asked where, and we talked about where we had lived and what we liked about their climates. We talked about math, and educational philosophy, and what we were reading. And when I left, the woman asked me my name, gave me hers, and her phone number, and urged me to call if I was bored or wanted to get a coffee. She said she was really interested in talking to me again.

I can do being charming for a short time -- obviously, since I just did it -- but it is exhausting. I enjoy this kind of conversation while I'm having it, but afterwards, I never want to talk to anyone again. And I certainly can't call her: I feel like such a faker. Not that I said anything that isn't true, but-- that was as much as I usually talk in a week. I am too embarrassed to tell you how high my blood pressure was.

Do you ever feel like this? How do you cope?
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There's an osprey at the raptor center. It is eating, which is a very good sign, since most injured ospreys just don't. They have to be tease-fed or force-fed. It came in with a spinal injury, so its prospects for release are not great.

Do you say ospree or ospray? I have always heard ospree, but everyone at the raptor center says ospray. I wonder whether they are influenced by the 'prey' in Birds of Prey.

As I was cleaning a Great Horned Owl (GHOW) cage, I kept referring to the bird as "she" even though I don't know her sex. I couldn't figure it out from her case file, either. I did figure out that the gender neutral pronoun people use for birds is "bird". They'll often leave out the pronoun and write sentences like, "Bird was on A-frame when I entered the cage. Watched calmly while I cleaned," but when they need a pronoun they usually don't use "it" or "he" or "she", they write, "When I moved too close, bird flew to SE corner, missed the perch, stayed on the ground the rest of the time I was in the cage."

postcard

Sep. 3rd, 2014 09:19 pm
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I got a postcard from [personal profile] seascribe today! It is from Montreal, a view of the Old Port and downtown, from her recent trip to Canada. I think the fall colors in the background must be the Mont Royal Park, but I am not familiar enough with Montreal to identify images. Mungo says his dorm backs up to Mont Royal. The house feels empty, emptier and stranger than I had thought. I don't know how to shop! I buy delicious foods and three days later they are still here! Mungo and I were in Montreal for only a short time last fall, and ate many delicious foods but not poutine. According to Ray Kowalski, in this epistolary fic which is also from [personal profile] scribe and [personal profile] seascribe's trip to Canada, that was a mistake.

I am still attempting to post every day in September, even though my first day spilled over into the second. I thought I had lots of ideas but I keep blanking. Got any suggestions?
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This evening I went to hear Peter Sokolowski talk at the library:
Join us at Old Town Library from 7:00-8:00pm on August 19th for one part sociology, one part word nerdery. Peter Sokolowski, Editor at Large at Merriam-Webster, will present "The Dictionary as Data: What the Online Dictionary Tells Us About English". He'll discuss how dictionary use changes over time, and how it reflects the politics and culture of the world around us.

He's a delight to listen to. He talks really fast, which is useful, because he has a lot to say. He gave brief highlights of dictionary history, and talked about his job, and why the M-W Collegiate Dictionary is free online, and why the M-W Unabridged is no longer printed (it's too big.) Mostly he talked about interesting things he learns from monitoring which words are most frequently looked-up: http://www.merriam-webster.com/popular-words/index.htm
He can tell when people are watching Bill O'Reilly. He can tell when people are playing Scrabble. He showed us graphs of how particular words' look-ups jumped immediately after particular events. Immediately after 9/11, the most frequent words were "rubble" and "triage". Later, they were "jingoism" and "terrorism". A few days later, they were "surreal" and "succumb". He said that a tragedy always causes a jump in "surreal".

That part ended at 7:30 on the dot. Then he started taking questions: more dictionary history, more about his day-to-day job, what it means to be a radical descriptivist. That stretched fifteen minutes past the hour, even though he talks really fast. He reminded me of [livejournal.com profile] randomdreams in that I got the feeling I could literally ask him anything, and he would have something fascinating to say about it.

I don't know how often he does things like this: he's on vacation, and one of our librarians is an old friend of his from college. But if you like word nerdery, and you get the chance to listen to him, take it!
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Thank you to everyone who offered advice on my previous post. It was helpful to me to take a step back and look at the problem from several points of view. What I decided to reply was
At this point, I'm only going to the Raptor Center when Neal goes. As I mentioned in our interview, I will have my own car again in September, and I will be able to come more often, but, as I also mentioned in our interview, I have an anxiety disorder. If you want me there twice a week or not at all, it's going to have to be not at all.


So, we'll see.
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I've been working on the slowest traineeship in the history of the Raptor Center. Yesterday I got mail from the Volunteer Coordinator:
Hi Susan,

I am checking in to see how things are going with you. I notice that you have been working on a shift about every other week. Are you able to do a shift weekly? This is the best way to learn. Also, please attend the rounds meeting on Tuesday evenings.


How are you progressing through your training? Are you getting the sign offs and the experience you need? Please let me know if their is anything I can do to help you along.


Looking forward to hearing from you.

I can tell that she means this to be encouraging, but it just makes me want to say no, sorry, I can't go any faster, good bye and good luck.

I have a long and varied history of volunteer work. Naturally, I also have opinions. Mostly on the subject of how to make good use of the stone the builder has discarded, or at least how to make good use of this particular stone the builder has discarded. I don't disagree with her that committing to once a week is the best way to learn. I'm just saying that I can't do that.

I did tell her that I was a very anxious person, in the initial interview when she asked what my weaknesses were. She asked how my anxiety expresses itself and I said, "For one thing, I'm unemployed." I don't know whether I want to try to explain that this is what I meant. I am anxious. I deal with it as best I can. Sometimes that is not very well. If I could deal with it better, I would have a job and a lover and probably no time for the Raptor Center.

Some people who don't experience anxiety take my anxiety as an insult. If that's the way the conversation goes, I will definitely wish I had skipped it. Other people seem to think that my anxiety is a problem for them to solve, by asking me what erroneous beliefs are causing the anxiety, and then explaining to me that the erroneous beliefs are erroneous. Ta-da! I'd rather not ever have that conversation again either.

I am open to advice.
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We are having some exciting weather. My husband's girlfriend R and I are taking turns going up to his place to feed the horses and water the garden while Neal and Mungo are in Yellowstone. Today was her turn, but I was worried about the possibility of flash floods, or lightning, or the horses getting spooked and doing something dangerous, so I--

--if you've been reading here for a while, you might remember that my husband maximized the uncomfortable of our getting acquainted, mostly by treating every potential meeting as terribly fraught. R and I would both rather be friendly acquaintances, but we're both painfully shy and much better at avoiding uncomfortable interactions than making them less uncomfortable. We're working on it. I've had her phone number for a while but never used it. Making phone calls is hard. But today, I really was worried about the weather, so--

I called! And offered to go with her. And it went fine! It wasn't necessary: the horses were up by the barn, not down on the flood plain. But I'm glad I did.
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[personal profile] telophase also linked to http://www.playbuzz.com/gregs/can-we-guess-who-you-are-in-only-20-questions

Answering truthfully, I got
Here is our best guess at who you are:
1. You are male.
2. You are still a teenager, but won't be one for very much longer.
3. You're in college and are already worried about finding the perfect job that will be both fulfilling and will pay well. Your future worries you more than you'd like to admit.
4. You have beautiful, silky brown hair and big eyes.
5. You know that if you'd only believe in yourself more, things would be much easier for you. Yet you still doubt your instincts more than you should, instead of trusting them every time.

So, how did we do? How many of these did we get right? Tell us in the comments!

Half of one. Almost. I used to have beautiful, silky brown hair. And small eyes.

They offered me Pixar characters, I picked Merida! They offered me food, I picked salad! A lot of my demographic never wears makeup!

ETA: Oh, I got Mungo's results! Except he has nooooooooooo trouble believing in himself. None.

blackstone

Jul. 28th, 2014 08:51 pm
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[personal profile] telophase pointed to this short interesting article: The experience of hearing voices is complex and varies from person to person, according to Luhrmann. The new research suggests that the voice-hearing experiences are influenced by one's particular social and cultural environment – and this may have consequences for treatment.

It's interesting to think about the culturally-mediated experience of hearing voices in Blackstone, the Canadian TV show set in a First Nations reservation. Two of the characters see and hear someone no one else does. In both cases, it's a close family member who is dead, and the experience is distressing. Neither character thinks of the experience as mental illness, though one does ask a doctor for sleeping pills to avoid seeing the dead family member in dreams.

The second season of Blackstone is streaming on Hulu now. Have any of you watched it?
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When I was little, maybe five or six, I knew that a cheetah was an ape. I also knew that a cheetah was a spotted cat, the fastest land animal. For a long time, both facts existed without collision, because one of them was true at home, and the other was true at school. Eventually I noticed the contradiction and figured out that the incorrect fact came from the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies.

I tried to tell my dad, who was the one who liked the Tarzan movies. (My dad is not a native speaker of English, but I didn't realize that that was relevant. I knew his first language was Spanish, but I didn't really understand that. I remember not being able to understand why he hadn't been teased about his name, which was Joaquín.
"Didn't kids call you Joaquín Walking Down The Street?"
"No, because where I grew up, that would have been said, 'Joaquín, caminando por la calle'. It isn't funny."
Did not compute.)

Anyway, I tried to tell him that a cheetah was a cat, and he said no, a cheetah was a monkey, and I said I used to think that, because Tarzan called his friend Cheetah, but "Cheetah" was just Cheetah's name. The kind of animal he was was a chimpanzee. And my dad said no, a chimpanzee was a different kind of monkey, bigger than a cheetah, almost as big as a man. And I went away and thought. How did I know that a cheetah was a cat, given that some people said one thing and some said the other? Books! I realized. All the books said that a cheetah was a cat. So I got Volume C of the World Book Encyclopedia and brought it to my dad. He looked at it, and-- and this was not all that many minutes after our first conversation-- and said, "You see, I was right, a cheetah is a cat."
"No, daddy, I said a cheetah was a cat. You said a cheetah was a monkey."
"No, you thought a cheetah was a monkey. You said you learned that from the Tarzan movies."
I argued, he yelled at me for being arrogant, for always needing to be right. I ran away crying. He yelled after me that I was crying because I couldn't stand being wrong.

My mother said that what really happened didn't matter: what mattered was that I should have known better than to correct him. Ever. And even if I was sure that I was thinking that a cheetah was a cat when I went to get the book, I couldn't be sure that I hadn't said it the wrong way around. And if I was so smart, why couldn't I learn not to say things to Dad that made him angry?

Well, my dad was always a little bit angry (except when he was very angry) and I was always a little bit afraid (except et cetera), but I have always been stupid about feelings and I never did learn how to avoid setting him off.

I was reminded of this by [livejournal.com profile] amaebi's observations on conversational rules of correction. Rules are helpful. Rules I can learn.

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