The last few days have been like days of recovery from illness -- not soreness or fatigue so much as a sort of muzzy-headedness I dislike much more than pain.
Therefore, I have not done much writing or reading.
I did manage to read Insomniac City, Bill Hayes' memoir of his relationship with Oliver Sacks. It's a lovely, gentle book, a kind of idyll of daily life in New York -- lots of drinking wine on rooftops and talking to strangers in the park. Hayes invokes the sensory detail of their life together with the attention you'd expect of someone who could properly appreciate Oliver Sacks.
I'd read Hayes' description of a piece of music -- Beethoven's Op. 133, say (The Great Big Fugue) -- then cue it up on YouTube and listen -- or look up a meal they ate or an artist Hayes admired. In this way, the book became a delightful multi-sensory experience.
Reading or writing for work and other projects, though, did not seem to be on.
When writing is too difficult, I draw. One of my comfort activities is attempting loose copies of the exquisitely strange radial creatures from Haeckel's Art Forms in Nature. Listening to Beethoven' bright, angular notes, I thought -- why not try to draw this as well?1
Under the cut are a few creatures drawn out of the music, though they are not perfect synaesthetic renderings of these pieces or anything -- more a fusion of what I was looking at, what I was hearing, and what I could actually draw.
( Musical Drawings )
1. (I do see a little colour to music, but it's a very limited palette, shading from blue-white through golden brown to dark brown, and probably has more to do with the colour of the piano whereon I failed to learn to play music as a child, rather than any intricacy of brain connections.)
The quality of the video isn't good, I know. I had to use zoom to take this, because if I go too near to the vultures or if they even notice I'm watching them, that usually scares them away.
( Here are some notes, cut for spoilers and lack of interest: )
There are various encore presentations going to be happening, if you missed this and are interested.
And while I do not consider landscape photography to be a strength, I clearly can make salable images, possibly because I was mostly shooting with an eye to using things in my own composites so maybe they are adaptable to graphic designers uses better than the spectacular "frame and put on your wall" landscape photography I only rarely achieve.
I have three rush and two normal album clients right now (!) after having almost none for months which is both nice and really ill-timed. At least I'm done with big shows for a couple of months, because one of the rush jobs is only in rush now because I didn't have enough brain while in 5 shows in 6 weeks mode and messed a bunch of stuff up. (Okay, technically Confluence is next weekend, but I had to mail it out over a week ago, so it counts as "done" from my perspective.)
Of course, finding time to actually process is not easy, but during the times where I start having a panic attack in front the computer and get trapped in obsessively refreshing twitter and LJ, if I can make myself do that instead it would be an improvement.
This is NOT one I co-edited with Gargy (people keep getting that wrong), so I haven't read any of the other stories yet, but it looks to have a helluva lineup, with originals by Lavie Tidhar, Daniel Abraham, Scott Lynch, C.J. Cherryh, Robin Hobb, Ken Liu, Cecelia Holland, Walter Jon Williams, and many more. And of course it also includes "Sons of the Dragon," a chronicle of the reigns of Aegon the Conquerer's two sons, Aenys I Targaryen and Maegor the Cruel, for those who cannot get enough of my entirely fake histories of Westeros. That one has never been published before in any form, though I did read it at a couple of cons.
Speaking of fake history... regulars here may recall our plan to assemble an entire book of my fake histories of the Targaryen kings, a volume we called (in jest) the GRRMarillion or (more seriously) FIRE AND BLOOD. We have so much material that it's been decided to publish the book in two volumes. The first of those will cover the history of Westeros from Aegon's Conquest up to and through the regency of the boy king Aegon III (the Dragonbane). That one is largely written, and will include (for the first time) a complete detailed history of the Targaryen civil war, the Dance of the Dragons. My stories in DANGEROUS WOMEN ("The Princess and the Queen") and ROGUES ("The Rogue Prince") were abridged versions of the same histories.
No publication date has been set yet, but it's likely that we will get the first volume of FIRE AND BLOOD out in late 2018 or early 2019. The second volume, which will carry the history from Aegon III up to Robert's Rebellion, is largely unwritten, so that one will be a few more years in coming.
And, yes, I know you all want to know about THE WINDS OF WINTER too. I've seen some truly weird reports about WOW on the internet of late, by 'journalists' who make their stories up out of whole cloth. I don't know which story is more absurd, the one that says the book is finished and I've been sitting on it for some nefarious reason, or the one that says I have no pages. Both 'reports' are equally false and equally moronic. I am still working on it, I am still months away (how many? good question), I still have good days and bad days, and that's all I care to say. Whether WINDS or the first volume of FIRE AND BLOOD will be the first to hit the bookstores is hard to say at this juncture, but I do think you will have a Westeros book from me in 2018... and who knows, maybe two. A boy can dream...
Meanwhile, you'll have Gardner's anthology to fill the time. Keep your swords sharp!
Mukherjee is a cancer physician and researcher, and where his description of cancer is a front line soldier's portrait of a respected nemesis, The Gene is more of a flyover survey of an emerging science. I learned a great deal about the origins of Genentech and Celera and the genetic underpinnings of sex and orientation. That said, the passages about his family - his paternal uncles and their mental illnesses, played out against the backdrop of Partition; the relationship between his mother and her identical twin - are as wise and lyrical as anything Mukherjee has written.
It's a long book. As is my habit with formidable non-fiction, I listened to it on Audible. Shoutout to narrator Dennis Boutsikaris for bringing this complex material to life.
I have spent at least three decades low-key convinced that bobby pins (aka hair grips) are a scam. It turns out that all this time I've just been attempting to use them upside down.
I've signed up for remixrevival, which is open for sign-ups through the 30th. Both art and fic are eligible.
Back when I first encountered remixing, I wanted SO BADLY to participate in one someday, but at the time I was only writing one-offs and could barely conceive of a future when I'd have enough work in a single fandom to qualify. Nowadays my catalog qualifies (and has for several years, although not in as many fandoms as my AO3 dash might first suggest), but the last time I signed up for a remix exchange I got snagged in some headgames about remixing itself, ugh. I'm hoping everything goes much more smoothly this time.
(And I also hope that lots more people sign up, so there's more cool stuff on offer to remix!)
As part of my continuing effort to justify the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription I have, I’ve been playing with my Audition audio software and learning how to use it. Today I learned how to make a multitrack file! Go me. I also played with the various filters in the software to distort and shape sounds.
All of which is to say I recorded a song today and it is very very noisy indeed. It’s “Here Comes the Rain Again,” which is my favorite song from the Eurythmics. Here it is (and no, it’s not actually nine minutes long, I don’t know why the media player says that. It’s, like, five):
Yes, that’s me singing. No, Annie Lennox doesn’t have a thing to worry about.
In case you’re curious, every noise on that track either comes out of me, or out of an acoustic tenor guitar. Audio filters are fun! Let’s just say I let my Thurston out to play, and if you get that reference, congratulations, you’re old too.
No, I’m not giving up my day job. Relax. But I do enjoy playing with sounds. This is fun for me.
In any event: Enjoy the noise.
( Read more... )
Spoilers for all versions of Fullmetal Alchemist.
( FMA 3, 'Mother' )
( FMA:B 2, 'The First Day' )
( FMA 5, 'The Man with the Mechanical Arm' )
( FMA 6, 'The Alchemy Exam' )
( FMA 7, 'Night of the Chimera's Cry' )
( FMA:B 4, 'An Alchemist's Anguish' )
I've also had 2-3 admissions, which is unusual for the area of emergency in which I work. They try to send the lower acuity folks over to the Annex (where I work) because there are fewer infrastructure type resources (heart monitors, vital sign machines, only a Omnicell & supply Pyxis), so most of what I see are simple laceration repairs, twisted ankles, sore throats, chronic low back pain that magically became an emergency at 6pm on a random Tuesday, krunny noses, & the occasional N/V/D (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). Every so often, a VERY high acuity patient sneaks in because they simply don't look bad to the naked eye--it takes some digging to find the real problem. In the last year I've admitted a major heart attack who came in because of a cold, a hip fracture (bad enough to need next-morning surgery) that walked in, a pneumonia patient who had no fever, no cough, and just a little shortness of breath, and a back pain that turned out to be a ruptured kidney! My admissions this week were along those lines: walk in looking not bad at all--run a white blood cell count or get an x-ray or two and OH hey, why don't you come in & stay for a night?
Of course it hasn't helped that I was sick this week. Bryan went to a teacher training last week in the exotic far away lands of Arkadelphia and he brought home this upper respiratory virus which he then thoughtfully gave to me. Booooo. I was okay on Tuesday, sick on Wednesday, and then yesterday was REALLY bad. Fortunately I didn't have anyone who checked in with cold symptoms, because I probably would've stomped on their foot. When you're rocking pseudoephedrine, prednisone, acetaminophen/ibuprofen combo, and oxymetazoline nasal spray just to function enough to come to work, and someone comes in with a runny nose wanting a work excuse? Breeds just a touch of resentment.
I do believe things are about to change a bit though. We recently hired several more nurse practitioners. It's enough that M, the physician owner of the staffing agency for whom I work, has decided to start staffing the Main ER with 4 NPs per day: 2 from 09:00-17:00, and 2 from 17:00-03:00. This is in addition to the Annex, staffed by 1 NP from 09:00-21:00 and one from 11:00-23:00 (usually me). As the 2nd most senior employee, I get to state a preference for more shifts in Main or Annex, and I'm going to go for Main for sure. Not only am I specifically trained for that, I'm almost a year into my practice. I'm comfortable with my work flow and my processes, and once that happens it's only a matter of time until boredom strikes. UNLESS I'm learning new things, that is--which is what happens over in the Main ER with the very ill patients who come in. Lots more experiences interpreting labs, which is something I'd like to get better at.
My RV really wants to go somewhere! Ganon's birthday is Monday, and between that & my work schedule, there's no time for us to take the RV anywhere before school starts back. I'm going to plan us a trip to northwest Arkansas anyway, though. That can be done in just a couple of days. We can stay at an RV park over in Bentonville or Bella Vista and see the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Amazeum. A trip like that might even be MORE fun on a random weekend during the fall, when the heat is less unbearable. Even later in the fall would give us the gorgeous foliage of the Ozarks.
We're going to our first Dragon*Con over Labor Day weekend! I'm so excited! My mom is working on a costume for Ganon to dress as Link from BotW. I can't wait for...
Ganon: I'm Ganon.
Fan: Don't you mean Link?
Ganon: No, I'm cosplaying as Link. My NAME is Ganon. :D
I'm taking one cosplay outfit: my Pokémon professor costume from last Halloween. It's incredibly easy. It's just one of my old lab coats to which I sewed a Pokéball patch on the front. Put that on over one of my cute dresses, and *poof*! Pokémon professor! I already have a bit of an animated look, with my colorful hair and my professor-type glasses and my stand out makeup. When I wore it last Halloween, people knew instantly--even the parents at houses we went trick or treating at. Other than that, I think I'm going to stick with my geeky shirts & skirts from Her Universe & Tee Fury.
Right now, however--I am craving pizza with mushrooms, and I just found that Lost Pizza now supports online ordering. It's go time!
Party #1: My employer's annual marketing conference always ends with a big party. And marketers are notorious, at least among engineers, for how much alcohol they put away. Such social. Very booze. Wow. I spent much of the evening with a devastatingly attractive & stylish straight woman with cute queer hair from NYC; she was that cool.
Strippers, etc.: I'd kind of felt guilty about not going to any of the Tickler's burlesque shows, so without really being invited I met her at the Debauchery night at neighbors. It was to be the last one after six years of monthly nights of queer, non-profit "stripping", as the MC and producer put it. She was verklempt pretty often. The tickler had performed at that night and knew everyone, but she was in the audience with me that night.
Maybe my attitude toward it was colored by running on four hours' sleep from the previous night, but as expected, it didn't knock my socks off. There were a couple of performers that I really liked - one of them reminded me of Opium, serial "winner" of Bang for the Buck - but the rest I could have happily missed. And yes, super queer, super gender-fucky, and body positive. The good news for fans is that a new night, Queers Queers Queers, will start up next month with a different producer.
After the show, the tickler & I hit Molly Moon's for ice cream for her approximate birthday. Then she drove me home, for which I sincerely promised to give her endless head. On the way home around 2330, I got a text from Ex saying that my ex-stepmother K had broken her foot and was in a hospital in Redmond. Since I was the only one with a car, could I please take her home?
Le sigh. So I drive out, still in my red satin party dress and killer 'Vogs, and get K around 0100. She's dizzy & nauseated from the drugs they gave her, and narrowly missed my car with her barf. If you'll recall, she's a bit of a hoarder, which meant I couldn't find the walker she insisted was in her garage full of junk, just crutches. I must have taken half an hour to get her the forty feet from my car to her house. I made it home just after 0200. Ex, Exbrother (who had to fly up from CA again), and Mr. Right Now (who's married to somebody else and therefore eligible for serious karma) took over from there. K's own kids are out of state, but I think they're getting in on the action, too.
I took yesterday off because zombie, except for the monthly queer lunch at work for which I'm the organizatrix. Then party #2 at Diminutive's* charmingly 1950s house way up in the north end. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of pretty, Goth AF, and maybe kinda sorta queer women - I'm never really sure about Diminutive & her friends - many of whom remembered me better than I remembered them. Do they remember me because I'm trans or do I fail to remember them because Diminutive & friends can be relied upon for quantity & quality alcohol?
Enough wacky hijinks for a while, I think.
*Diminutive's name is the diminutive form of mine. Also, she's tiny and I'm not. I love that.