(no subject)

Aug. 22nd, 2017 01:21 pm
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
The blood bank emailed me: A+ donors needed. (Guess my blood type.) It has in fact been over eight weeks since I donated last.

Problem: I am fucking moving. I do not have enough physical cope as it is. Blood donation knocks me the fuck over!

Auuuuugh.

(no subject)

Aug. 22nd, 2017 11:57 am
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
I need extra hands around here. Preferably attached to strong arms, steely spines, and sturdy legs, with a head on those shoulders that can intuit what I need to happen better than I can either intuit or explain the things.

In lieu of this (because TELEPORTER!!! *shakes fist*, and also all my immediate family are Occupied Elsewhere today):

Would any y'all who believe in and understand how to accomplish the "sending healing energy over a distance" thing please do the thing for me? Not necessarily healing, though I wouldn't exactly say no to that; strength, resilience, anything that you have to spare at the moment and that you think I could use in order to get all my stuff moving-ready and the apartment sparkly clean. Protective and cleansing energies would also be welcome.

If you want to do a trade, drop me a comment with a prompt: a single word, a brief phrase, a song lyric, an evocative image. After I'm all moved, I'll stitch all the prompts into a story and post it for all y'all to see. :)

Support new Jewish poetry in 5778

Aug. 22nd, 2017 06:30 am
[syndicated profile] velveteenrabbi_feed

Posted by rbarenblat@gmail.com (Velveteen Rabbi)

I'm a longtime admirer of Ben Yehuda Press. They published Rabbi Jay Michaelson's The Gate of Tears, and Sue Swartz's we who desire, and Rabbi Shefa Gold's Torah Journeys, and they've recently brought out Jews Vs. Zombies. (No, really.) They also published my most recent volume of poetry, Open My Lips -- and will be publishing my next one, Texts to the Holy. And I've had the opportunity to read a couple of the other poetry volumes they'll be bringing out in the coming year, and oh, wow, are they fantastic. 

They're doing a Kickstarter to support the publication of six volumes of new Jewish poetry in the year 5778 (that's 2017-2018, for those of you on the Gregorian calendar). Here's some of what they have to say about that:

People need poetry. Jewish people need Jewish poetry. Not only Jewish poetry, God forbid — we would never part with our Robert Frost or Wendell Berry or Mary Oliver or the rest of our shelf — but we also need poetry that expresses our specific culture and language. "Poetry," Frost wrote, "is what gets lost in translation." So too, translated yiddishkeit isn't quite the same. Hence, Jewish poetry. At Ben Yehuda Press, we publish poems (and other genres) whose Jewishness is integral.

Our Jewish umbrella casts a very wide shadow. Some of the poets we publish are intoxicated by God. Others look for spirituality in a world without God. Some allude to the Bible, others to Jewish experience. Ben Yehuda Press believes there is no one true Judaism, no one authentic Jewish voice. It is the multiplicity that defines our community, and our Judaism, and, optionally, our God.

With this Kickstarter campaign, Ben Yehuda Press is launching its poetry volumes for the Jewish year 5778. Immediately after Rosh Hashanah, we hope to publish three books of poetry. Three more volumes will be published in the spring.   

These six titles come on the heels of the four we already published, starting with one volume in 2007, then three more in 2015. Now, with our ambitious line-up for 5778, we hope to begin a regular commitment to publishing Jewish poetry. But we need your help, to prove that there is a community of readers open to these new Jewish voices, and to help us grow that community.

I've donated toward this project, because as far as I'm concerned this is holy work that the world needs. (In the words of William Carlos Williams, "It is difficult to get the news from poems yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.")

Take a look at their Kickstarter, and if you can throw a few bucks toward the project, please do. Support the bringing of new Jewish poetry into the world!

alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
*waves to somebody who may not wish to be named* So many coffees! Thank you!

Can someone—who has got more brain to think of google terms than I have presently got—point me at moving-out checklists? Apartment-departing–specific if possible?

(no subject)

Aug. 21st, 2017 11:13 am
kittydesade: (eh?)
[personal profile] kittydesade
I just need one long day of primal scream therapy, seriously.

I did not get half the crap I wanted to done over the weekend. First there was a sinus cold after I woke up from capoeira coma, ended up chasing cats all around the house to try and keep them from fighting and get them into separate corners. The next day wasn't bad, got some laundry done and dishes and some basic tidying started, and then my goddamn phone fell into the goddamn toilet because the goddamn cat jumped up onto the sink while I was picking stuff up. So now I definitely need a new phone. I spent most of Sunday trying to get mine to work, it kind of does? But the home button is massively non-responsive or non-functional and I think the only thing I've seen online that I haven't tried to fix it is rubbing alcohol and. Urk. Plus it's a three year old phone minimum anyway, I've been expecting it to be slowly dying. I just. This is not the time, phone.

Plus my bill for web hosting came due, which is every three years so as far as expenses go it's not an awful one? But the timing, universe. The goddamn timing. Plus the need to get a case for the new p hone and since of all things they're sending the new phone to Mom's place because she's the account holder, it'll take a while till I can get the phone and I can't be entirely sure the case will fit and. And.

Mostly I'm just very ready to go to DragonCon and not fucking worry about this for a while. And if I'm tired and stressed it'll be easily fixed with sitting in place for an hour and having a bananan. Argh.

I was bemoaning that I hadn't brought anything to work to charge up with happy happy eclipse power and then I remembered I had the fucking Badali Jewelry replica of Nenya in my fucking purse. Just walking around with that in my purse, la. We had a relatively cloud-free sky for the first part, then the clouds rolled in, then as if a divine presence commanded it there was a hole in the clouds just big enough at just the right spot for just long enough to see the thing as wholly as we were going to see. So that was very nice, very fun.

I have no comment on the Whedon thing except UGH on him. And UGH also on the people who didn't believe the women involved, or still act as though they don't. But UGH on them all the time anyway, no matter the accuser or the victim.

... we interrupt this post because apparently an elevator motor caught fire when it burnt out, so the fire department came and we had to evacuate the building and everything. So, um, that happened, and what did I just say, Universe, about dramatic stressful shit happening before DragonCon? What did I just say?

Fucksake I'm going to go home, bury myself in fake people problems and Black Sails, and I don't know what. Drink a lot of cranberry cider maybe. I have three novel projects to work on, I have Black Sails to watch, and I think that's everything and I might just put a moratorium on languages except reviewing vocab and pronunciation until after DragonCon. It's about that time of year anyway. I just. What the fuck everything.

ETA: Of course after posting this I got a call from the boy saying the car had been broken into sometime between when I left (I'd walked around the car to throw something in the trash bin) and when he got home. Because that's just what this fucking day needed.
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
I am still raising money for auto repairs. More urgently, I would very much like to be able to buy pizza and coffee to keep me operating all week while I'm frantically packing and cleaning for moving, instead of making coffee and assorted meals.

All fiction requests will be delayed until Tue Aug 29 at the earliest. Please say how urgent all divination requests are; if they are not urgent, they will be similarly delayed. Etsy orders I'll get out the door promptly. If you want to commission jewelry or artwork, we can talk, but the same delay applies. Redbubble orders are on Redbubble's schedule.

If you signal-boost this and let me know you've done it, I'll do 100 words of fiction to your request, one small art to your request, or one divination card-equivalent—no earlier than Tue Aug 29.

Fiction to Buyer's Prompt
Divination
Current Etsy will be put on vacation Thursday
Older Etsy will be put on vacation Thursday
Redbubble
Patreon
Ko.fi
Paypal.me
Cash.me
lireavue: A woman looking out over the water. (ailein duinn)
[personal profile] lireavue
Is that Kai Cole's description of her marriage is AWFULLY FUCKING FAMILIAR and I'm going to take a xanax at bedtime tonight because I was ALREADY super fucking edgy and now I'm having great technicolor fucking flashbacks it's AWESOME.

So you know. Maybe don't bring it up with me in ANY WAY other than believing the victim right now, because my overidentification will decide that means you wouldn't/didn't believe ME. And that was honestly the longer term trauma in a lot of respects.

checking in

Aug. 20th, 2017 02:48 pm
syntaxofthings: A boiling planet of fire, the text "Starfire" ([Planetary] Starfire)
[personal profile] syntaxofthings
Thursday: 12-hour day at school.
Friday: in bed most of the day recovering.
Saturday: 3 hours of intense class (lots of discussion and a professor acting intimidating), then baseball game!!1!, then a midnight movie.
Today: may need some gentle self-care, despite desperately needing to do homework, study, etc. because tomorrow I have a meeting in the morning, physical therapy in the afternoon, and possibly receiving whatever the eclipse needs to awaken in me. It already feels harsh, because I'm so tired from doing so many things and my body hurting so much. And yet my "so many things" is most people's normal. I'm so tired of not being able to do nearly as much as most people my age.

Oh yes, and I need to do some planning today, and my head feels like mush. Need to make sure I have enough to eat this week. Keeping myself alive and able to do things takes soooo much energy. I get so down about it.

Meh. I'm never sure what to write or how I want to present myself. Survival, and my current priorities school & some social engagement, just takes too much out of me to be much more than that.
[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

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As thousands of viewers watched via live webcam on August 10, Izala the Southern White Rhinoceros gave birth to a healthy female calf at Burgers’ Zoo.

Zoo staff members were anxious about the birth because Izala’s first calf was stillborn in January 2016. It is not uncommon for a White Rhino’s first pregnancy to be unsuccessful. Fortunately, this calf appears healthy and strong, and she was walking and nursing within just hours of birth.

The lively calf, named Wiesje, runs and plays in her large exhibit, with Izala usually trotting close behind.

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Seven Rhinos have been born at Burgers’ Zoo in the past 17 years, and around 12 are born each year in European zoos. Last year, 22 Rhino births occurred in European zoos, due in part to increased cooperation among zoos. This cooperation resulted in more Rhinos being transferred among zoos into more favorable breeding situations.

While other Rhino species live mostly solitary lives, White Rhinos live in small social groups which typically include adult females and their young.  Males’ territories overlap those of females. Researchers have learned that the hormonal cycles of lower-ranking females in these groups are suppressed, resulting in only higher-ranking females being bred.

In zoos, this research has a practical application: moving a young female to a new environment increase the odds that her hormonal cycle will be restored, which improves the odds that she will breed. Thus Izala, who lived at the Kolmarden Zoo with her mother, was brought to Burgers’ Zoo so she could successfully breed and rear her own baby.

Southern White Rhinos are the largest of all five Rhino species, and are also the most numerous in the wild, with about 20,000 individuals found mainly in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Kenya. 

Southern White Rhinos are listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The main threat remains poaching for the illegal Rhino horn trade. As prices for Rhino horn increase, hunting increases as well. Rhino horn, which is used for ornamental purposes and in Traditional Asian Medicine, is made of solid keratin, the same material in human fingernails.  It has no proven medical benefits, yet has driven some Rhino species to the brink of extinction: only about 60 Javan Rhinos and 200 Sumatran Rhinos remain in Asia.

See more photos of Wiesje and Izala below.

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On pizza

Aug. 19th, 2017 06:21 pm
gracedpalmer: (Default)
[personal profile] gracedpalmer
It's been a rocky few days in the Spoon Department, but I did manage to get the bed raised up. Just have been too sick to actually do any of the unpacking that needs to follow that.

In semi-related news, I have ordered a pizza today. I am not a person who believes in the One True Pizza or anything, but I can safely say that Seattle pizza falls short of exciting. Not unpleasant by any means, and reasonably tasty, but I'd be just as happy with frozen or chain-restaurant fare.

Perhaps this winter I will be able to experiment with homemade pizzas again. Or just eat a lot of Vietnamese food.

Meet Nala the Serval Kitten

Aug. 19th, 2017 05:23 am
[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

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On July 1, Colchester Zoo welcomed a baby Serval named Nala. The kitten currently lives behind the scenes, where she is under the expert care of zoo keepers.

Like most kittens, Nala is playful, as you can see in the video below. During play, she exhibits the amazing skill that Servals are known for: leaping into the air to pounce on top of their prey.

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IMG_9662Photo Credit: Colchester Zoo

Servals live in much of Africa south of the Sahara Desert. Weighing 20-40 pounds as adults, these medium-sized Cats have the longest legs relative to body size of any feline. Their super-sized ears help them locate prey. Because Servals favor habitats with tall brush, long legs give them an advantage when tracking small mammals, birds, frogs, and reptiles through the grass. Once prey is within reach, Servals can leap more than six feet upward and ten feet forward to forcefully pounce on prey with their forepaws. A quick bite to the prey animal’s head or neck delivers the fatal blow.

Much of Africa’s Serval population lives on protected land and hunting of Servals is prohibited in many, but not all, countries. Though Servals are currently listed as a Species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, continued degradation of habitats, especially wetlands and grasslands, could pose a threat in the future.

See more photos of Nala below.

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[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Chris Eastland

1_Naima Hani Kalila 2

For the first time in Dallas Zoo’s 129-year history, they are proud to announce the birth of two extremely rare Somali Wild Ass foals. Born ten days apart, the little girls and their moms are doing great and have been bonding beautifully behind-the-scenes.

The first foal, named Kalila (“dearly loved” in Arabic), was born on July 9 to 13-year-old mom Liberty. This is dad, Abai, and Liberty’s third foal together; the pair previously welcomed two offspring at their former home, the St. Louis Zoo.

The second foal, named Naima (“calm” in Arabic), was born July 19 to the same dad, Abai, and first-time mom, five-year-old Hani. Just like her older half-sister, little Naima was standing, walking and nursing within minutes after birth.

“This is a big moment for our hoof stock team. Somali Wild Asses are critically endangered, with less than 600 left in the wild,” mammal curator John Fried said. “Only nine institutions in the U.S. care for this rare species, and to be able to welcome two babies is truly one of the highlights of my career.”

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4_IMG_9502Photo Credits: Dallas Zoo

The Somali Wild Ass (Equus africanus somaliensis) is a subspecies of the African Wild Ass. Native to the arid regions of the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea), there are many reasons the Somali Wild Asses’ numbers have dropped drastically in the wild. Locals hunt this species for food and traditional medicine. Some believe their fat treats tuberculosis. Somali Wild Asses also directly compete with livestock for limited land and water sources. Additionally, wild assess are crossbreeding with domestic asses, hurting the genetics of this species.

With unique zebra-striped legs, a soft gray upper body, a white belly, and a spikey black-and-gray mane, Somali Wild Asses are the smallest of the wild equids (horses, asses, and zebras). Standing about four feet at the shoulder and weighing roughly 600 pounds, these animals also have the smallest hooves of any equid, which help them navigate rocky slopes.

The Dallas Zoo is working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Somali Wild Ass Species Survival Plan (SSP) to increase their numbers in human care and keep the North American gene pool genetically sound. In 2005, father Abai arrived from the Basel Zoo in Switzerland to bring a new bloodline to the U.S. Since then, he’s sired multiple foals.

“These little girls have brought so much excitement to our hoof stock barn,” mammal supervisor Christine Rickel said. “Although they were born 10 days apart, they look vastly different. We joke that Liberty has super milk because Kalila’s already a big girl. She was born weighing 65 pounds – 14 pounds heavier than Naima.”

Liberty, Hani and their foals were introduced to each other last week behind-the-scenes, but the protective mothers are hesitant to allow the little ones to play together, who just want to run in circles to their hearts’ content.

The babies will soon venture into the arid habitat off the Wilds of Africa Adventure Safari monorail exhibit. And, in time, they’ll meet the Gemsbok, Addax and Ostriches, with whom they’ll eventually share the habitat.

The foals are not on exhibit just yet. Check with Dallas Zoo’s social media for more updates: www.dallaszoo.com

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(no subject)

Aug. 18th, 2017 10:52 am
kittydesade: a bright red queen chess piece at the head of a diagonal line of white pawns on a white background (red queen running)
[personal profile] kittydesade
I am all over the place today. First the day was starting out all right, I didn't get my exercise in but that's fine, then I get in and shortly after I finish doing various crap I check Twitter and find out there's not one but two Nazi/KKK rallies scheduled for my state's capitol later today oh fun. Then I dealt with copy-pasting the text of Turing Shrugged into Scriv for formatting, okay fine, then I dithered at the very patient [personal profile] lireavue for a while over whether or not I should find advance readers, then I did, which was a much better cause for nerves than the fucking Klan but still very nervewracking!

Then I stress ate a shitton of fried food and stress-bought some makeup brushes because the cheaper ones I got are, well, one's fine and okay and that's dandy, but one that I thought was perfect for the purpose turned out after using it a couple times to be sharp and prickly and stabby and that is not what I want near my eye so, back to the drawing board. So to speak. I think I've got my full brush regiment sorted, though. It's just vaguely annoying and dithery and I probably would have put it off and just worked with the (admitted shitton of) brushes I had but a) eye poking, b) it's a very specific function, c) apparently I ported over my mini painting particularity of brushes (don't ask how many mini painting brushes I have okay) into makeup and d) eye poking.

Heh. My makeup brush kit though. Cobbled together from EcoTools, Sigma, Morphe, Ardell, um. The blue and gold ones I can never remember. It looks a mess, no aesthetics whatsoever, but look, Ecotools gives me everything except the specific size eye brushes, and they're good quality and cheap, so I'll take it for as much as I can and go ahead and cobble the rest together.

Also my makeup game today is on fucking point.

So stressed. I was going to get all kinds of shit done and then I stressed myself out, and then I wore myself out, and I did manage to get the formatting done but none of the other writing I could have done since day jobligations were light today and ARGH. I need to breathe. To be easier on myself and to remember to step away when I have to, when it gets to be too much or too close but still far enough away that I can't do anything about it. And. And and and.

I need to breathe and do capoeira exercises every time I wind myself up like this is what I need to do. Physicality helps me and right now I'm healthy enough to take advantage of that. I should remember this.

Plus side, I do have advance readers still, I'm mostly on track with both writing and con prep (barring today's working up and coming down), and everything else at least is going well. I can do this. I just need to stop freaking the fuck out over, oh, everything.

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:25 pm
kittydesade: (morning ugh)
[personal profile] kittydesade
It's been a long damn two days. Between capoeira and then working a normalish day but having come home and done a bunch of household chores after and basically I haven't stopped moving since yesterday morning and didn't get enough sleep and I am so damn tired. I almost fell asleep over my desk. Which would have been bad since I was labeling a bunch of pointy stabby clay tools.

But at this point I'm running on boxes of nerds to stay awake long enough to finish things and get to sleep and do the nightly reminders and ugh. I should buy things off and go to bed early if I can't.

I'm also having one of those moments where I look at Turing Shrugged and think, how arrogant am I that I can decide this novel is ready for publication when a small press publishing house didn't want it? It's a stupid weasel. I had already pushed to get it to the point where I felt comfortable giving it to someone as here-it-is-a-novel whether for submission or publication or whatever. And I have a second run-through in the works just to make sure Editrix and I aren't wrong. And I have vague plans to share it around with a circle of beta readers too? So yes, self, you are not passing off a half-assed product as a finished novel, you have done your duty. So that weasel can just go piss up a rope.

I bet I know where it comes from, is I'm reading over Long Road and cringing at large chunks of it and wondering where the hell all this pretentious writing came from, especially in this book. And if I could misjudge that so hard etc etc. But I already did feel dubious about Long Road, have for every damn draft, and this one is starting off promising so I'm hopeful that it won't end up being another draft for the bin (draft four! heh) so this is not an arrogance problem. This is the luck of Turing Shrugged came out, inexplicably, mostly right. So there.

Besides, Starlight is finishing up with its second draft and I can already tell it's going to need either heavy editing so it might as well be a third draft or an entire third draft. Blergh.

Oh well. I'm still mostly on course with all my writing crap, and I can work on THAT tomorrow. After, I hope, a good night's sleep.

Zoo Hatches First Horned Puffin Chick

Aug. 17th, 2017 05:16 pm
[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

1_Puffin chick 3

A tiny Horned Puffin is doing well at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The chick hatched in July at the Rocky Shores habitat for sea birds.

This is the first Horned Puffin ever hatched at the zoo, which has been home to four adult members of this species since October 2014.

The chick will be visible, periodically. However, zoo guests are likely to only catch glimpses of its tiny beak as it ventures to the front of its nesting area.

“The chick’s parents take turns feeding it, and visitors can see them going to and fro with food, or watching over the nest box,” said staff biologist, Cindy Roberts.

2_Horned puffin chick

3_Horned puffin chick 2

4_Puffin 4Photo Credits: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (1-4) / Ingrid Barrentine (5-7)

Earlier this year, zookeepers took the initiative to build nest boxes for the Horned Puffins. They consulted with experts at the Alaska Sea Life Center to build boxes for the mating pair.

Zookeepers at Point Defiance Zoo give daily feeding presentations and talk to visitors about Horned Puffins, Tufted Puffins and Common Murres.

“Staff won’t know whether the chick is male or female, until it’s old enough for staff to collect a small blood sample from which gender and general health status can be determined,” Roberts continued.

A “well-chick-check-up” from a zoo veterinarian recently found the baby Puffin to be in good health.

The Horned Puffin (Fratercula corniculata) is an auk, similar in appearance to the Atlantic Puffin. It is a seabird that feeds primarily by diving for fish, and it nests in colonies, often with other auks.

They are found on the coasts of Japan, Russia, British Columbia and Alaska. They spend winters in the ocean, as far south as the Washington coast.

Like all sea birds, Horned Puffins face a number of threats in the wild, including predators, oil spills, plastic pollution, over fishing and entanglement in fishing nets.

The incubation period for a Horned Puffin is about 40 days. After hatching, the chick spends 40 more days in the burrow until it fledges and has gained the necessary strength and feathers to go out on its own.

At its current stage, the zoo’s new puffin chick looks like a black-and-gray ball of fluff with a dark gray beak. However, as it grows, it will take on the full black-and-white body of a Horned Puffin, and its beak will turn a distinctive yellowish-orange with a red tip.

Adult Horned Puffins also have bright orange feet and legs. During breeding season, they have characteristic “cheeks” with a “horn” above the eyes.

In addition to its Horned Puffin colony, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has a complement of 21 Tufted Puffins and seven Common Murres living in the Rocky Shores sea bird habitat.

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(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 12:48 am
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
hi does someone want to explain why in #dreamwidth
(12:42:01 AM) AlexSeanchai left the room (quit: K-Lined).
because if I did something wrong someone needs to fucking inform me, and if something else is wrong (I notice rodgort got the same treatment one second sooner) then let me flag it up for y'all who #dreamwidth IRC

ETA: I'm back in

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