nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
Mad Scientess ([personal profile] nanila) wrote2015-07-29 11:56 am

Smithsonians (1 of 2)

Keiki and I spent two part-days visiting Smithsonians in Washington DC whilst we were staying in Silver Spring, MD, for [livejournal.com profile] dizzykj’s wedding. I’ve wanted to go to a Smithsonian (any of them!) since I read about them as a child, and I was as thrilled to be able to go this May as I would have been thirty years ago.

On our first expedition, we rode the Red Line from Silver Spring to Judiciary Square, and walked from there to the Air and Space Museum. Judiciary Square was eerily deserted. I got the feeling it was a bit like being in the City (in London) at the weekend: places that are absolutely heaving Monday through Friday are completely empty on Saturday and Sunday.

+15, Air & Space Museum )

After all the tech, I wanted to spend a little time appreciating nature so we headed for the nearby Botanic Gardens. I was hoping to get a cup of tea there, but it turns out to be pretty much the only place on the Mall that doesn’t have a cafe. I had a quick spin through the glass houses and then went back to the Smithsonians.

+5, Botanic Gardens )

I chose to have my late lunch and very delayed cup of tea in the National Museum of the American Indian. I later discovered that I’d chosen one of the best of the overpriced Smithsonian cafes to eat in, according to the locals in the wedding party. I did think my enchiladas were pretty good at the time, but it was still nice to have my unintentional good judgment validated!


The very beautiful internal architecture of the mostly harrowing National Museum of the American Indian. I didn’t take any other photos inside, just experienced all the exhibits, which apart from the modern ones designed by Native Americans, were pretty unremittingly depressing. It’s kind of hard for them not to be when the treatment of native peoples by the US government was (is…) appalling for most of the US’s history.

Keiki sat with me and quietly watched a fifteen minute film about the tragic nineteenth century removals of native peoples from their land, so when he took a shine to a rattle in a Navajo design in the shop afterward, I got it for him. It’s now one of his favourite toys.
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
oursin ([personal profile] oursin) wrote2015-07-29 10:17 am

(no subject)

Happy birthday, [personal profile] opusculasedfera!
azurelunatic: Stone relief of Enki creating rivers. "Wank me a RIVER" (Enki)
Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz - bolt of blue - infovore) ([personal profile] azurelunatic) wrote2015-07-29 12:34 am

Door diagnosis, at last!

Purple did not in fact go skydiving as he'd thought he might over the weekend, because it was one of those "weather permitting" activities. The weather did not in fact permit.

By the time I got through the lines with my lunch, the little table that Purple and the guys were at outside was crammed with about 8 guys (it is a 4 person table). CTY memories aside, that didn't seem like it would be pleasant, so I opted for inside with Mr. Tux and his officemate.

The guy from the internal department responsible for my little database said he'd likely be able to have a .csv pack of my tables to me either Monday or Tuesday. Unfortunately, the host on which the new thing's VM is located, was the one that managed to die over the weekend.

The bbq station's thing was a roast half-chicken. I'd declined to try it, since chicken meat on the bone is not a thing I do (mainly texture aversion, with a side of fear of even slightly raw chicken). I was lucky in this case -- while the internals had slow-cooked very nicely, the skin had not rendered and Purple said it was revolting.

I caught the big door by my cube doing the thing where it locks open again. I called security so the latest guy could see it in action. He came over, and by that time it was no longer doing the thing. I indicated which one it was, and he called it in. As he was heading off, it started doing it again for no reason. I called him back. "It's doing it again!"

"Call Cesar," said the guy with the ladder from over where he was doing something unspecified to a fluorescent light fixture. Apparently this is the sign of a particular part in the door going bad, you could see right up there at the top where it was not doing something or other. I was very glad that I'd happened to say something about this in his presence, because otherwise we would have spent another six months going around on it.

I dropped some chocolate on the desk of the community manager type who had been namechecked so memorably in the comment thread referenced in Friday's all-hands. I reckoned he deserved it.

Purple's brain ran out of space early. I was amenable to wandering home early, so that's what I did as well. We stood in the parking lot a while, letting our cars cool off with doors open. Purple doesn't actually hate shoe shopping more than I do, it's just that it's hard for him to find shoes that actually fit comfortably.

Leaving early meant time and brain to do the potroast I'd got over the weekend (no particular feat for a regular cook, as it was Costco precooked, which meant microwave and leftovers, but that's the state of my brain vs. cooking these days) and to catch up on Friday's recap.

My calendar reminded me of the date, and I observed the last Tuesday in July quietly, telling [personal profile] silveradept the story.

I woke up before my alarm today (Tuesday), and meandered in happily. Today's bbq offering was pulled pork sandwiches, albeit somewhat more chopped than pulled. I mixed the peach and the firefighter-hot sauces, and got a very pleasing combination.

The problem with the host is the motherboard. I got the .csv files, though, so that's good.

My task now after the helldesk software meeting on Friday is to spread the good word that no, the team in charge of fixing the thing appears to hate the terrible front end more than I do. I shared this at my 1:1; that cheered my manager, especially when I explained the part where the fancy expert just dropped his pen and stared at us. Also, I am treating the need to express myself in the tickets about the thing without swearing as a writing exercise, with creative results. Also, I added cheerfully, it's amazing what you can slip under the radar with references to Sumerian gods. There are not many people who know what's in Sweet Enki's Pitcher...

It was good for both of us that my manager was not drinking anything at this juncture, as she would have sprayed both of us. Apparently she has at least some small familiarity with Sumerian mythology.

When I wandered past the cube of the Namechecked Community Manager, he was in. I introduced myself. He correctly identified me as the source of unexpected chocolate. I thanked him for his service in the Trenches of Upset Users. The worst part, we agreed, is when the users are upset for good reason and we can't just magically make their legitimate beefs better. We both have the Pebble, also. I never got used to a touchscreen, so I'm not feeling the lack, but he is.

Purple called time at a reasonable hour, so we wandered out to the parking lot as the sun was disappearing behind one of the buildings. A hawk-shaped something flew across the parking lot, and smaller birds scattered as it found a redwood to perch in. Purple recounted an interesting little comedy of manners involving a murder of crows and a line of redwoods: each tree was topped by a crow, with two somewhat disgruntled-looking crows flanking it lower in the tree.

A second hawk flew across the parking lot and landed in another tree. It started calling, its cries rising in pitch to what both of us thought was some sort of distress. The first hawk looked in its direction, but made no move to go any closer.

Purple has a weakness for good black cherry soda, but doesn't much care for orange, despite his love for orange juice.

Paging through some hawk sounds, it sounded rather like juvenile squeals #2: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/red-tailed-hawk
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
the_comfortable_courtesan ([personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan) wrote2015-07-29 08:58 am

The concerns of a woman of property

I receive a letter from Mr Q- saying that the tenants of the Surrey property that I inherited from dear General Y- intend to leave at the next quarter-day, having fallen heir to a very pretty property in another part of the country.

I consult my accounts, and determine that altho' I receive a pleasing sum from this property, in my present state (between the rest of General Y-'s bequest, Biffle's very kind provision, and Mr F-'s generosity and excellent advice on investment) the temporary loss will not greatly affect myself or the household. However, it is a matter I must give my mind to and I therefore send a little note by Titus to R- House desiring a meeting with Mr MacD-.

Arrives Sandy with more flowers from the R- House conservatory and conveying Lord G- R-'s regards. Should I ever desire a ride into the country, His Lordship has some new conveyance - Sandy sighs and says he knows nothing of these matters, but apparently it is very fine and will cause much envy among the set that appreciates these things? by which I understand that it is no mere utilitarian carriage - and would be most happy to put it through its paces with me.

I say that that would sure be very pleasant, and proceed to the matter of my property. You do not intend to live there yourself? asks Sandy.

What would I do in Surrey? say I. I daresay it is agreeable enough to those that like life out of Town but not too distant, and I hear that the place is very pretty.

You have never been there? O, say I, I did not think it prudent to call upon my tenants, but indeed, I should quite like to see it some time. I should also like to see if there are any of General Y-'s hunting trophies that I might bring here. Sir B- W- remembers seeing some very fine tiger skins when the General us'd to hold bachelor house-parties there.

Mr MacD- looks about my pretty parlour and remarks that he cannot suppose that a tiger skin, however fine, would really be in keeping. I smile and say that I should have to do over the entire scheme were I to introduce such an object to the parlour, but I was thinking that it might appear very fine in my boudoir. This produces a violent blush in him, because I can see that he marks what is in my mind concerning a pleasing conjunction of myself and the skin.

Anyhow, he says after a moment, to business (but that is business for me, I murmur gently): unless it is a matter of urgency to get in new tenants immediately, I think you should authorise an inspection of the property and the undertaking of any necessary repairs &C, before advertizing it. Perhaps you might even visit the place?

I might indeed, I agree. Perhaps we can put together a letter to Mr Q- to set forth these intentions. But I had another matter I wisht to discuss with you, which is perhaps a matter of female philosophy. He raises his eyebrows and invites me to speak on.

I daresay, I begin, that you are aware that there are many women in the world who, were they men, would be making some considerable mark, but because of their sex, do not have the opportunities to use their talents. Indeed, he agrees, and it is a sad waste of abilities. I suppose, he adds, you are not talking of some woman that has domestic cares to occupy her. Exactly, I say, I have a particular case in mind of a lady - whom, of course, I do not know but is known among my circle - that could cry fie upon this quiet life, I want occupation! but finds nothing to her hand except to interfere with those that can well manage their own business without her intervention.

Sandy snorts. She cannot have considered the very many philanthropic endeavours in which ladies are engaging in this age: I do not mean the going around with baskets of comforts for the poor as doubtless her grandmother did, but such valuable work as the Quaker Mrs Fry is about to relieve women and children that are in desperate condition in prisons. The Quakers indeed are oft an example to us all in action towards humane yet practical ends.

Providing she does not begin to go about rescuing fallen women, which is a thing I cannot like, that might well answer, I concede: sure it can be a very harsh life for those that have not had my good fortune in the trade but I cannot approve what I hear of Magdalene Asylums and do not think them any remedy. But did you provide me with some further intelligence upon such endeavours of other kinds I think I have the means to direct them to the right place.

He promises to do so, and we turn to to compose a letter for Mr Q-.

After he has departed - casting, I see from the window, many a backward glance, for there is a good deal of coming and going in the street at this hour - I turn to writing to Her Grace the Duchess of M- and bespeaking a discreet chamber at Madame Lisette's establishment (for although I do not go there to be dresst myself, Bessie Wilson owes me some favours for the business Docket and I have lately put her way).

I receive a most expeditious response from Her Grace, who says that Lady J- is already making a to-do about her own presentation at Court which sure cannot happen for many months yet, and if she hears much more about it she will become an entire sans-culotte and commit arson upon St James' Palace (perhaps, she adds, you could burn this letter when read - I feel it improper to complain overmuch to dear Biffle my husband His Grace about his sister, and if I do not sometimes express my feelings think I shall burst from holding 'em in: I do very much miss dear Lady W-, and envy her abilities in evading that dreadfull crocodile her mother-in-law. Unfortunately Lady J- is not in the least hypochondriackal but enjoys abounding health so there is no hope of sending her somewhere to take the waters.).

azurelunatic: Warning sign: "If there's a huge fuck-up call Todd"; (huge fuck-up)
Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz - bolt of blue - infovore) ([personal profile] azurelunatic) wrote2015-07-29 12:08 am
Entry tags:

Many great classics would be rendered dull by no-fault divorce.

I read Tess of the d'Urbervilles on Sunday.

I offer the following content notes:

Animal harm, relationship coercion, acquaintance rape, coerced birth, era-typical child death, religious guilt (Christian), patriarchal fuckery, marital cruelty, attempted murder, abandonment, religious evangelism (Christian), religious coercion, rampant hypocrisy, familial coercion, coercion by means of family, actual murder, execution. Plus a side dish of substance abuse and attempted suicide.

Tess needs, in this order:
* A comprehensive and livable benefits and employment assistance program
* Gap insurance for horses
* Healthcare for her dad
* A taser
* Public transportation
* A working knowledge of what date rape is Read more... )
* Plan B and a rape kit
* Legal aid
* Benefits for her family
* Substance abuse care for her dad
* A boyfriend who understands that a dirty weekend with a sex worker is not the same as rape
* No-fault divorce
* A large shipping box with an angry swan (as f_fa recommends)
* A job with modern safety and care standards
* Societal acceptance of atheism, paganism, and agnosticism
* A restraining order against Cousin Daterape
* A lawyer who has successfully defended self-defense vs. Mr. What Do You Mean, Restraining Order? manslaughter cases
* A younger sister who looks nothing like her
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
ysabetwordsmith ([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith) wrote2015-07-28 08:58 pm

"The Injury That Provokes It" is now complete!

Thanks to a donation from Anthony & Shirley Barrette, "The Injury That Provokes It" is now complete.  Find out some of the natural consequences  that come from Andy being a dick.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
ysabetwordsmith ([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith) wrote2015-07-28 05:33 pm

Native American Superheroes

Marvel is picking up Red Wolf again.  It's representation, but far from ideal.  I've listed my Native American superheroes here.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
james_davis_nicoll ([personal profile] james_davis_nicoll) wrote2015-07-28 04:00 pm

cops: never too busy to violate some civil liberties


Gwen Jacob was acquitted on December 9, 1996 by the Ontario Court of Appeal on the basis that the act of being topless is not in itself a sexual act or indecent.


And yet, a mere 19 years later:

Kitchener women say they were stopped by police for cycling topless

Thus (facebook warning)

On Saturday, August 1st, we invite all people of all genders to march with us revealing as much or as little of their torso as they feel comfortable (please wear sunscreen though) in solidarity to support women's right to be topless in public, and also to show support for desexualizing women's breasts. We encourage you to bring your children and friends and ask that men and allies allow women to lead the march by taking a step back toward the back of the train to show their support.

This event is a celebration of all body shapes and types. Individuals who are not supportive of all bare-chested folk will be asked to leave.
oursin: Photograph of James Miranda Barry, c. 1850 (James M Barry)
oursin ([personal profile] oursin) wrote2015-07-28 07:46 pm

Well, this is interesting (and apposite)

Do admit, this is of a certain relevance to things I'm doing elsewhere:

Queers, Homosexuals, and Activists in Early Nineteenth-Century Britain?

Fascinating stuff, as is the poem Don Leon itself and the notes thereunto as mentioned in that post.*

What particular intrigues me is that the notes to that poem specifically allude to the relationship depicted in this print as concerning a lesbian relationship, because I've never been sure what to make of it and whether it's actually about one or other of the husbands or both of them.

(Yes! some time I must do MOAR RESEARCH about those ladies.)

*Though a bit icked by the attacks on Lady Byron, though one knows that the disaster of their marriage was A Thing and had parties drawn up and embattled on both sides.

forthwritten: stained glass spiral (spiral)
forthwritten ([personal profile] forthwritten) wrote2015-07-28 06:32 pm
Entry tags:

Oktavist singing

To my considerable joy, I have recently discovered oktavists - bass singers who can sing an octave lower than usual basses. I do love a good bass rumble; when I sang in a choir, the director once had a massive go at the basses for singing a G rather than an F, and it was only when the choir stopped singing (and the basses were gazing at him in hurt dismay) that the director realised he'd actually been hearing an aeroplane passing overhead.

Oktavists can sing a good five and a half octaves lower than me! The human voice is pretty incredible. They seem to be a largely Russian phenomenon - the operatic equivalent is a basso profoundo - but I'm not sure that European music quite writes for this voice type.

Under the cut: two songs performed by Kovcheg (Down the Mother Volga and Song of the Volga Boatmen) and St. Petersburg State Academic Capella Choir performing Monotonously Rings the Bell.

cut for embedded videos )
kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
kaberett ([personal profile] kaberett) wrote2015-07-28 06:12 pm

Excerpts: emotional labour

So. That MetaFilter thread on emotional labour (currently at a whisker over 1500 comments, and I've read all of them). It's kind of an overwhelming job and I've spent most of the past few days reading it; ergo I am taking it upon myself to excerpt for you the comments I particularly adored against the eventuality that you don't actually feel up to reading the whole thing.

On describing this kind of discussion as "venting", and the dismissiveness thereof:
I think the thing that irks me about calling it venting is the implication that it won't change anything, which tacitly states that nothing NEEDS changing. Steam just builds up and needs to be let it off the system every now and then, nothing to see here.


+6 )
rachelmanija: (Default)
rachelmanija ([personal profile] rachelmanija) wrote2015-07-28 09:52 am

My Favorite Movie of the Year: Baahubali

I will write a real review later, but in brief, this is a south Indian historical fantasy that plays like a myth transferred straight to the screen. It's absolutely gorgeous to look at, is full of moments straight out of legend, has a fantastic score and amazing action sequences, and also has a number of surprising plot twists.

It's only playing in the US for about two more days, and should be seen on the big screen. I haven't enjoyed a movie this much in literally years.

Trailer. (Not subtitled, but the movie has English subs.)

One of my favorite songs.
noelfigart: (Default)
noelfigart ([personal profile] noelfigart) wrote2015-07-28 10:09 am

Is Housekeeping an Avoidance Technique?

Originally published at Noel Lynne Figart. You can comment here or there.

Last night I found myself getting annoyed with someone being Wrong on the Internet. Instead of focusing on it, I cleaned a couple of brass candlesticks I have.

I’m looking at these candlesticks now, shining brightly in the morning light, and I got to thinking about how often I use productivity as a distraction from negative emotion.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t consider this essentially a flaw. In fact, I consider it mostly a good thing, as it means when I am feeling something I don’t like, I can go do something else.

If, of course, there is nothing serious that needs to be done about the negative thing.

That’s the rub. There are a couple of extremes in dealing with stuff in life that I really try to avoid. The first is ruminating. I’m good at ruminating. In fact, I am so good at it that I don’t think a got a proper night’s sleep in my life until I developed the habit of listening to audiobooks to go do sleep to, and to lull me back to sleep when I wake at night.

Lest you think this is a crutch and smarm at me about what I’d do if I cannot have the audiobooks, I will point out that I did develop a non-technological solution that works just as well when needed.

I re-write the endings to books that ended in a way I didn’t like. Gone with the Wind, believe it or not, has given me endless fodder for plot points in which Scarlett gets a damn clue and grows up. This puts me back to sleep without ruminating.

Do I think that I have a tendency to pick books that have some sort of bearing on my Current Issue in some way and am actually solving a problem? Almost certainly. But the fiction gives me an emotional remove that allows me to go to sleep and let my subconscious deal with it and me to get some damn sleep.

So, I go through a lot to prevent ruminating. I’m okay with that. The alternative is pretty unpleasant.

Isn’t that sticking your head in the sand? What about Scarlett O’Hara thrusting away anything unpleasant with the whole, “I’ll think about that tomorrow” thing she did?

You do bring up a good point. This tool isn’t about ignoring problems. Notice that when I got annoyed last night and went to polish some candlesticks, that it was something I genuinely couldn’t do anything about. I’m not recommending this for things you can do something about. That would be irresponsible and it would be sticking your head in the sand about the issue.

I think the problem is at least in part our emotional makeup is very instantly reactive. In a living situation of low technology and high danger, it pretty much needs to be. That’s how we evolved, isn’t it? Being jumpy is a survival trait when you’re dealing with snakes crawling over you in your sleep and lions chasing you when you were just trying to catch dinner. Reacting with heavy emotion in a big and obvious way to the negative keeps you alive! Seeing as much of the negative as possible is likewise.

It’s not quite as useful in my air-conditioned office or upholstered living room and my full fridge.

We live in a more complex world now, and our survival trait of seeing and noticing the negative and having a serious need to do something about it RIGHT NOW just doesn’t serve as useful a purpose when problems need careful though an analysis. Nor is the emotional activation doing as much good when you’re not prepping your muscles to run away from a hippo.

That doesn’t mean that you should let things slide, though. If you have a problem, it’s fine to ask yourself, “Is this something I can do something about in this second?” Sometimes it is. And yes, the responsible thing is definitely to do something then. Do as much of the paperwork as you have the information for, make the appointment to get the car fixed, etc.

But after that? The responsible thing to do is to find something else you can do something about.

So, do I question whether or not I use chores as pseudo-productivity and an escape from something more difficult to deal with? You bet I question it!

Even so, I do think it is useful, because at least one of the problems I am dealing with isn’t unpleasant surroundings.

elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
elainegrey ([personal profile] elainegrey) wrote2015-07-27 10:03 pm

Written Monday night

I am marveling and delighting in how relaxed i am after this trip. I managed to keep that sense of being grounded throughout the work day. My evening goals were not met -- laundry has turned into a cold plate of yams[1] -- but i had a lovely time on the deck with Christine.

Christine was pretty elephant besieged since i have been back, so a lovely evening is also something to cherish.


[1] http://elainegrey.livejournal.com/1041377.html?thread=1116129#t1116129
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
ysabetwordsmith ([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith) wrote2015-07-28 12:13 am

Poem: "Hearing What Isn't Said"

This poem came out of the July 21, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] natasiakith, [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah, and Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "make new friends" square of my 5-20-15 card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series, and is a sequel to "Coloring In."

Warning: This poem contains some touchy material. Highlight to read the detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. It mentions uncontrolled use of a superpower, physical stress deriving from superpower overstrain, having to depend on a total stranger for help, nonsexual intimacy during a minor crisis, aftereffects of past head trauma, graphic description of disability coping skills, a close look at how superpowers can screw up your life, teen angst, and other sensitive material. But mostly it's a very positive look at Ansel being awesome again. If these are concerns for you, please consider your headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )
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the_comfortable_courtesan ([personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan) wrote2015-07-28 10:03 am

Town is becoming a desert

After entirely too short a visit, Mr F- departs for the W- estate and Sir B- W-'s house-party. He is in hopes of reaching a mutually beneficial arrangement to improve the workings of the quarry, for the management of the operation was let slide for many years. I advise him to consult with Lady W- on the matter, as he will receive no decision from Sir B- W- until he has done so, furthermore, Lady W-, that has had the command of her own fortune since she came of age, has a very good head for business. Though, I remark, I daresay at the moment she will be preoccupied by other matters. (For Mr H- says he has his bag packed and his instruments in order daily awaiting the call to her lying-in.)

I am rendered quite ridiculous melancholy at his departure. Anyone would think, I tell myself, that you had been left desolate like Dido among the flaming towers of Carthage (Mr G- D- has introduced Miss McK- to a most touching lament from an opera on the subject by Purcell). Whereas Major W- is still in Town though has hopes that the regiment may finally depart for Canada. He has not told me himself, but I have discovered roundabout, that he was close to fighting a duel with a fellow-officer who had seen Mr O'C-'s nasty squib and repeated it to him. But with the intervention of Sir B- W-, and the other fellow-officer who had spoke to me in the Park and seen my blooming health, it was brought to an apology at repeating scurrilous libel and the meeting was called off.

Furthermore, although many of the little notes desiring better acquaintance with antipodean Flora came from aspirants quite out of consideration, there are a few where I think I may at least proceed to a preliminary meeting.

Dear Admiral K-, however, has now been ordered still further away on a mission along the shores of the Southern Americas and I know not when I shall see him again.

I get occasional letters from Miss A- on tour, which are full of the trials and even catastrophes of such an enterprise (the rustick nature of provincial theatres, the cart with costumes and scenery going astray and getting bogged down in mud, &C), but nonetheless I can discern that the tour is being a roaring success. I also wonder do I discern, or am I being unduly suspicious, that she and Mr J- are finding consolation with one another in their separation from their dearer loves.

I do not of course open this possibility to Miss D- when she calls with her usual budget of gossip, and to collect the letters to herself from Mr J- which he prudently sends under cover to my address. She tells me that Mr N- has been persuaded that the business of the nation will survive his absence from the Home Office for a few weeks, and he is planning an excursion to Margate, which his own physician deems far more suited to his constitution than Brighton. It will probably be a dead bore, she says, but at least a change.

Mr H- tells me that pressure of business is like to keep him in Town for most of the summer, for a fine crop of babies is in prospect: but my dear, he says, should you wish to recruit by the seaside (though really, as he pinches my cheek, you are looking remarkably well) my little Sussex place is ever at your disposal and I have indeed instructed the servants to that effect. That is most kind, I respond, and I may well take your kind offer, for there is always some point in the summer at which London becomes a desert as far as one's circle is concerned. Sir Z- R-, I am given to understand, plans a sketching holiday in Wales, though I have no intelligence as to whether the wombatt will accompany him. Mr B- takes Miss McK- to Brighton as usual, and I hear that Signor V- has obtained some very excellent engagements in Bath for himself and Miss L-. Really, I say, our set will be quite scattered for a while.

I am therefore most exceeding chear'd to receive a note from Mrs F- to say that she has contrived a way to visit and if I can keep a certain afternoon clear of visitors, hopes to be able to call upon me, have a sight of Julius, obtain Seraphine's receipt for kedgeree, &C.

Thus we are all entirely happy when she arrives. She and I fly to one another's embrace. O, my dear Mrs F-, I say, however did you contrive this stratagem? I thought surely Lady J- would have you fastened up tight.

Ah, says Mrs F-, I was able to persuade her that it would not be at all fitting, indeed quite unsuitable, to interview governesses at M- House, which would give an entirely misleading impression of the standing of the household they will be entering. I also managed to reject her offer of, at least take one of the carriages, by saying I did not want to convey any suggestion that we were in fine society and raise their expectations. I have therefore, my dearest, managed, once my business was despatched, to come to Islington Green.

O, you wicked creature, I say, as Euphemia comes in with the tea-tray, to thus mislead Her Ladyship.

Mrs F- sits down and laughs. One does need to manage the lady, I find, for although she has a good heart and ever desires the best for others, she will always suppose that she knows best. I see His Grace leaning heavily upon his training in the Diplomatick, and Her Grace biting her lip.

But, she says eagerly, may we go and see Seraphine and Julius? So we proceed down to the kitchen, where Seraphine makes effusive thanks for the baby-clothes, and offers to let Mrs F- hold Julius.

Mrs F- takes him in a practised grasp (unlike myself, who always fears to drop him or do some other mischief) and looks down at him. What a fine boy, she says, and I see a kind of yearning in her face. She blinks several times as if to disperse tears. What a very fine boy, may I hold him for a little? My own dear little Quintus is now come to the toddling stage. Seraphine poses several questions to Mrs F- as from the new mother of a child to one that has borne and raised several.

They then proceed to an exchange of receipts, Mrs F- still holding Julius, until he stirs and begins to whimper, and she passes him back so that Seraphine may feed him. Mrs F- commends this practice very highly, saying that because she was left so weakly after little Quintus's birth they had been oblig'd to find a wet-nurse, which caus'd her some sadness for she had fed all the others herself. But they had found a good healthy country-girl, that now stays on as nursery maid.

We return to the parlour and Mrs F- remarks that it must be sadly tedious for me to hear all this discourse of babies. She hardly dares ask, but have I ever -? I miscarry'd once, I say, in a manner which I hope indicates that it is a matter I had rather not talk of, even to my dearest friend, adding, it was a very long time ago.

azurelunatic: Parental Advisory: I Say [animated changing curse word] A Lot (fuck)
Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz - bolt of blue - infovore) ([personal profile] azurelunatic) wrote2015-07-28 01:46 am

Game time with Guide Dog Aunt

Guide Dog Aunt threw a game night on Saturday. It took me a little longer to get ready than I'd hoped, but I did get over there. There was a Cards Against Humanity game in progress, and I was dealt in.

My aunt is all about the house rules that say that the purpose of the game is to have fun, so there were a few un-fun cards quietly put in with the used cards. Another common house rule is that if you don't know what it is (or don't admit to knowing what it is) you don't have to play it. Some people chose to ask things like "Who's Michael Bay? What's 'queefing'?" and many people were enlightened. "I didn't know there was a word for that!"

"What's Harry Potter erotica?"
"Well, when someone loves the Harry Potter books a lot, and writes little stories..."
"Oh! ... How do you know these things?"

One of the people who was new to the game was enticed in to play just one round, for the second go. By the second time we had got around the table, she was gleefully choosing a slightly weaker card, out of kindness to the current czar.

I won one hand by pairing "In this world there is nothing certain but death and ____" with "Soup that is too hot." Guide Dog Aunt agreed mightily.


It came time to cease partying, and everybody went home. I stuck around to help clean up all the fun, and with three people working at it, it was fairly quick. I caught up with my aunt, and then went home and went to bed.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
kaberett ([personal profile] kaberett) wrote2015-07-28 09:49 am
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