What are you reading Wednesday?

Sep. 20th, 2017 12:14 am
zhelana: (Firefly - girls)
[personal profile] zhelana
What have you just finished reading?

The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler's U-boats by William Gerouxby - I don't understand why this book was called seven brothers, Mathews is a county, not a family, and the book was about a much larger segment of society than seven brothers. Nonetheless, it was a fascinating look at a mostly forgotten part of WWII, and men who had a higher mortality rate than every military branch except the marines.


What are you reading?

One Way or Another by Annette Laing - No progress this week

The Jews of Khazaria by Kevin Alan Brook - I wonder if part of the reason we have so little information about these people is that they competed with the Russians, and eventually, the Russians won? I'm only 28% of the way through this book, which is surprising because he never references the idea that he'll introduce more evidence after chapter 8 and I'm already on chapter 6.

2 Kings - There's a lot of murder and death going on. I think it's succession wars?

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink - This book is more oriented towards businesses than I was expecting. It's still interesting, because it talks about ways to motivate people and stuff, but I am not the intended audience.

Dream Date

Sep. 20th, 2017 12:03 am
zhelana: (original - aliens)
[personal profile] zhelana
What would your dream date be like?

I would go to a beach and talk and then go on a dinner cruise and see dolphins jumping while we ate good food.

the rest )

89F - 66F : Sunny

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:40 pm
zhelana: (potter - look)
[personal profile] zhelana
Today was not a very good day. I had a horrible nightmare last night, and woke up exhausted. I only stayed up for 30 minutes before deciding to go back to sleep. Then I woke up 2.5 hours later to the alarm. It was time to take the cats to the vet. I trapped them, and shoved them in carriers, which they were very vocal about expressing their hatred of. We drove to PetSmart for our 3:00 appointment. When I left, at 4:30, without having been seen, the 2:00 appointment was still there and hadn't been seen either. I had places to be so I set a new appointment, and left. Now I have to traumatize the cats again, next week, and I'm sure when I put them in carriers they think they're going to get dumped back at the pound because that happened to them several times before we got them, and more than half the times of their lives they've been in a pet carrier they've either ended up at the pound, or a new home. So I'm sure they're scared shitless of this whole process. Of course, I would never get rid of my kitties, but they don't know that.

So anyway, then I went to meet Klepto at Starbucks. I wrote about 500 words in an hour and a half, and then decided to come home and take a nap because my brain was not cooperating. I slept for about 2 hours, then woke up and read the internet for a bit.

Breakfast (and sometimes dinner) oats

Sep. 19th, 2017 09:54 pm
[personal profile] molniya

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup bran
  • 1 tbs peanut butter
  • 1 tsp strawberry jam
  • 2 tbs linseeds
  • 1/4 cup skim milk powder
  • Boiling water

Method

  1. Mix all dry ingredients in bowl.
  2. Add boiling water until dissolved.
  3. Eat whilst writing discharge summaries.

Tears

Sep. 19th, 2017 12:01 am
zhelana: (Marvel - Iron Man)
[personal profile] zhelana
Are you good at holding back your tears?

Nope

the rest )

A Friendzy

Sep. 18th, 2017 09:36 pm
zhelana: (Frozen - hug)
[personal profile] zhelana
My friend Ben is hosting a friendzy!

Click here

90F - 64F : Hot as hell

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:04 pm
zhelana: (Original - Forrest)
[personal profile] zhelana
Woke up at 8:30 this morning and read yesterday's LJ and DW entries. Then I had a chat with Frankie, Sarah, and Kali. That lasted until 1 when I went to golf. We had a different instructor today, and he paid some attention to me, although he still paid more attention to Lisa, even when it was just me and Lisa left (everyone better than us went to play a couple holes of golf, and the classroom dunces stayed behind on the driving range to practice). It was hot out. One of the hottest days of the year. Too hot to be September. It's only 4 days to fall. I demand hoodie weather. But instead it was 87F out. Bill and Kevin, the BlazeSports people, made sure everyone drank lots of water. I moved on to using the driver today, but still only hit the ball 25 yards or so. Although, it's hard to tell how far it went because there are no markers on this range. I have to say I prefer the range near my father's house, because it has markers to show how far you hit the ball. I'm assuming 25 yards because it was the same distance I managed with the sand wedge and that was measured at 25 yards at the range near my father's. Kevin said if I want the ball to go farther, I have to move faster, but when I try moving faster, I miss the ball altogether. At any rate, I'm beginning to doubt I'll ever be ready to go out and play golf. I am particularly downcast at being one of the two dunces left at the end of today's practice.

After practice, I went to meet Adie for bat mitzvah tutoring. She had printed out my Torah portion, and I read it through several times. Then we talked about different ways of learning the singing part - I can either try to learn it from her singing it, or through learning the cantillation marks. I think I'll probably try to learn from her singing because I remember songs I haven't heard in decades. I don't remember things I learned to read, like Cyrillic. We're not meeting next week because it's between the High Holy Days, so I have two weeks to learn to read my portion. Next week golf is going to be in Stone Mountain with some famous football player who is going to help teach us, and then take us out to dinner.

Came home and the trash people still hadn't come. I filled another bag of trash, and brought it up to the curb. Fed the dogs, and now I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself.

88F - 64F : Sunny

Sep. 18th, 2017 09:30 am
zhelana: (Rent - Light)
[personal profile] zhelana
Sorry I didn't write yesterday. I slept literally until 5:45, woke up, went on a walk with Donna, came home, ate dinner, and was back in bed by 8:30 and just woke up. Although I did wake up for a little bit around midnight, I fell back asleep within an hour. So apparently I needed sleep.

Music Monday

Sep. 18th, 2017 09:09 am
zhelana: (Firefly - defying gravity)
[personal profile] zhelana
19. A song that makes you think about life:



the rest )

Trust

Sep. 18th, 2017 12:23 am
zhelana: (Default)
[personal profile] zhelana
Do you have trust issues?

no

the rest )

Prove?

Sep. 17th, 2017 01:15 am
zhelana: (original - bandwagon)
[personal profile] zhelana
How can you prove your love to someone?

you cannot.

the rest )

86F - 64F : Sunny

Sep. 16th, 2017 11:12 pm
zhelana: (Firefly - close your eyes)
[personal profile] zhelana
I found some vodka and peach schnapps last night and asked Kevin to mix it for me because he usually makes it perfect for getting drunk and not getting too drunk or sick. It's usually 1/4th vodka and 3/4ths peach schnapps. Last night he mixed it the opposite and didn't warn me. I got very sick. But I woke up hangover free. I woke up a couple of times, once dying of thirst, so I got some water and went back to bed. Then I got up and got online but didn't stay up, then finally around 2 I got up for good.

I finally broke the wire for my computer, which had been threatening to break for months. I drove to the forum to replace it. It was expensive as shit to replace, but I mean if it's either replace this wire once a year or replace the whole computer once a year like I was doing when I had a PC (if I ever had one that lasted a year!) it's a no-brainer.

After that, we went to meet my parents at Lon U for my father's birthday. We had Thai food, which is really tasty but I think I'm allergic to (I think they add fish sauce to everything). We ate and Kevin told my parents about his new job.

Then I went to Temple for Selihot. First we went around the circle and introduced ourselves. Then we went around the circle and talked about a lesson we learned from our parents. I told the story I shared here recently about my friend in high school whose step-mother was arrested. There were a lot more people than expected there this year (about 30 compared to last year there were 2). I wound up talking to Lori and Rabbi Lebow for a while. We were talking about Star Trek and Lori told me that they're putting the show not on cable but on a pay network. So I guess I'm not going to watch it. I pay enough for cable and netflix. I don't need to be paying for anything else, especially just for one show.

I put on some music to get Avinu Malkeinu out of my head. I'm not sure it worked. I'll probably be humming that all night. :(

musing: my look

Sep. 16th, 2017 04:49 pm
[personal profile] tarobun
I've decided my "look" is black and pink, and some gray. Too bad I never go shopping!

I still need to get an ear piercing and have no idea what I would tattoo on myself. But I'd love to have some streetwear clothing. :x
drplacebo: (Default)
[personal profile] drplacebo
It's Forgotten Masterpiece Friday!

Ma Sicong (1912-1987) was China's earliest significant composer of music for Western instruments. He was best known as a violin virtuoso during his lifetime, often referred to in China as the "King of Violinists" from the 1930s through the 1950s. Although Ma did not grow up in a particularly musical family (his father was the finance minister of the province of Guangdong in the early years of the Republic of China), he and most of his siblings eventually became professional string players; his younger sister Ma Siju was probably China's leading cellist in the 1940s and 1950s. Ma Sicong himself was introduced to the violin when his older brother, who had gone to France to study music, brought him a violin on a visit home in the summer of 1923. He fell in love with the instrument, and before the end of the year, aged just eleven, he joined his brother in France. Except for a brief return to China in 1929, he remained in France until 1932 and studied violin and composition at the Paris Conservatoire.

After returning to Asia, Ma was active as a concert violinist and composer and held a series of faculty appointments, culminating in his appointment in 1949 as the first president of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. He frequently represented China in musical events throughout the Communist bloc; in 1958 he served on the jury for the first Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, which Van Cliburn famously won. But when the Cultural Revolution began in 1966, he and other leading music teachers in China were persecuted for teaching Western music. Upon his arrival at the Central Conservatory for the beginning of the 1966-67 academic year, he was arrested by the Red Guards and confined to a classroom for 103 days, and then brutally beaten before being released. In January 1967, he defected to the United States via Hong Kong, in a dramatic escape that involved him and his family being smuggled to Hong Kong aboard a fishing boat. He was briefly a celebrity in the West -- before the Cultural Revolution he had been China's single most prominent musician, and a friend of both Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, so his defection was seen as a major coup for the US -- and his music received a number of performances in the United States and Taiwan in 1967 and 1968. Meanwhile, after Life magazine published a first-person account by Ma titled "Cruelty and Insanity Made Me a Fugitive," he was tried and convicted of treason in absentia back in China, and all his music was banned. Ma Sicong spent the rest of his life in Philadelphia, composing only sporadically but continuing to perform as a violinist in the United States and Taiwan.

Eventually Ma Sicong was rehabilitated in China: his conviction for treason was rescinded in 1984, with Wu Zuqiang (then president of the Central Conservatory of Music) and Henry Kissinger traveling to Philadelphia to deliver him the news in person. On the Chinese New Year, 1985, more than a hundred Chinese newspapers ran front-page stories declaring that Ma Sicong was again welcome in China. In 1997, the tenth anniversary of his death was commemorated in Beijing with a concert of some of his best-known pieces, and in 2002 the Guangzhou Museum of Art opened a Ma Sicong Memorial Hall. In the United States, there was some renewed interest in his music beginning in 2012, as a number of musical organizations in the Philadelphia area commemorated the centennial of a Philadelphia resident famous in China yet largely unknown in his adopted hometown.

This week's forgotten masterpiece is Ma's second symphony, one of his few major works to be recorded. Composed in 1958-59, at the height of Ma's career in China, it was ostensibly based on Mao Zedong's poem "Loushan Pass" which commemorated the Red Army's first victory during the Long March, though the music is not explicitly programmatic in the sense of having any form of descriptive subtitles, and some of it draws more from 20th century trends in Western music such as use of medieval church modes. Although there are pauses between movements, the end of each movement and the beginning of the next are ingeniously written to form somewhat of a transition from one movement to the next. The first movement is short and in traditional sonata form, featuring a vigorous opening theme in Phrygian mode and a second theme based loosely on a Shaanxi folk song. The second movement is an anguished dirge that might represent the hardships of the long retreat, or mourning for fallen comrades. The third movement brings back the opening theme of the piece before transitioning into what might be a victory celebration featuring a number of folk dances.

Movements:
I. Allegro agitato
II. Adagio maestoso (5:27)
III. Allegro (16:58)

Kind?

Sep. 16th, 2017 12:04 am
zhelana: (LesMis - castle)
[personal profile] zhelana
What kind of person are you?

Kind? uhm. the factual kind I guess. I like facts. I kind of collect them. IDK. This is a weird question, but I've figured out that if I keep going with this meme and don't delete any more questions, I'll finish it on Oct 31, and then I can do a question meme for november and my yearly meme for December. Soo... IDK!

the rest )

85F - 60F : Sunny

Sep. 15th, 2017 10:52 pm
zhelana: (seaQuest - remember when)
[personal profile] zhelana
I woke up with a big dose of "don't wanna" today. Yves called and woke me up. I talked to him while he drove somewhere for work, and then got out of bed for about 15 minutes before I had to go.

I went to the aquarium today. First I was at otter, but the otters were off exhibit so I was just sitting there saying "nobody's home" - occasionally one of the otters would come on exhibit for a moment or two, including Cruz, giving himself a BJ and this lady was sitting next to me like "oh he's eating something, aw he's so cute" I was like "yup. That is exactly what is going on... lol"

I went from there to Aqua Lab with the sea stars. Literally no one came through. I might have seen 10 people the entire hour, and the half of it where the dolphin show was going on, I saw nobody. I even pulled out my own phone and started reading FB for a while. Nobody came through. It was kind of weird.

My final stop was OV Touch pool, which is no longer a touch pool, and instead just means sitting by the mermaid's purses and talking about those. It's not one of my favorite places to be anymore. After that they set me to rover, which I hate, so I just came home.

That's about it for the day. I thought about stopping at Tower and buying some alcohol, but I had already stopped at chick fil a, and I didn't want my food to get cold(er) while I went to get booze. I regret that now. :-/
jazzy_dave: (bookish)
[personal profile] jazzy_dave
Iain Banks "The Wasp Factory (Abacus)




Do not really know what to think of this book. It is very creative, but I somehow felt that it lacked something driving the story forward and I did not get drawn into the action, despite all the good things I have heard about it. Maybe another time.

Frank lives with his father on a small island in Scotland. He mounts animal skulls on poles, embeds wasps in candle wax, hunts rabbits with a flame thrower and keeps the skull of his enemy, Old Saul, in a bunker. The island is his domain and he rules it like a god. Now his brother, Eric, who sets dogs on fire, has escaped from his asylum and is on his way home.

Frank's a monster, a fledgling serial killer who capriciously decided on a different career track after his first three victims. His rituals and his ceremonies and his totemic objects make sense of the world and make sense of his own mind. His voice is sane, articulate, witty and intelligent. He uses it to describe his odd activities, makes them seem strange, unhealthy, perhaps, but essentially harmless. Then he seamlessly uses that same voice to describe catapulting small animals into river mud, the murder of his brother and two cousins or his attitude to women. One clings to the voice as a sign of potential redemption, but redemption is something you do, not something you are, and Frank is utterly aware of what he is and of what he has done. Or so he thinks.


The writing was very good, and the atmosphere was very engaging. I loved the way the suspense built as the story unfolded. I liked the descriptions of ceremony and obsession. It was intense at times and I found much of it to be disturbing. But the way the story fell apart at the end made it seem a little like a cheap slasher film. At first I was turned off by what I felt was shock tactics. Then I was convinced that it was justified, being part of a bigger meaning. By the end I'm not sure if it was just violence porn or not,much like I felt about "American Psycho".

I found the ending to be really unsatisfying. Mostly I thought "And?..." I understand what he was trying to do, and can somewhat appreciate it, but I would have liked it a lot more if it had been executed less clumsily. It almost felt like someone else had come in to finish the last part of the book and didn't really know how the story went. It's a weird combination of not tying up all the loose ends and over-explaining the thoughts and rationale of the main character that seemed out of step with the rest of the book.

So, in my final estimation, not a great read at all, and hence i will try and stick to his science fiction in the future.



Love, Again

Sep. 15th, 2017 12:07 am
zhelana: (House - say what?)
[personal profile] zhelana
Do you believe that first true love never dies?

What does this even mean? That you stay in love with the first person you ever loved? No, that's stupid.

Appropriate random icon is appropriate.

the rest )

78 - 64F : Sunny

Sep. 14th, 2017 10:45 pm
zhelana: (Potter - Hermione pissed)
[personal profile] zhelana
Today was one of those days. I didn't get out of bed until 4, although I woke up at 3 and from then was kind of cuddling my cats and kind of being depressed. Then I went to the write in from 5-7, but left early at 7 because my brain wasn't cooperating. I wound up falling back asleep until 8:30 and then getting up, but I still don't want to be up. At the write in I got to an ending point for my NaNo novel plotting, though I still need to put in some kind of subplot or something. I then wrote two more shorts for the 100_situations prompts. For a total of like 600 words, and then my brain just broke. I tried walking around the restaurant to see if that would jump start my brain, but it really didn't, and I went home shortly thereafter. I got home and read lj and dw. I'm still having a big old dose of "don't wanna" do anything. I'm clearly not earning any days off for next week, for only the second time this year. I did earn one from walking at the SCA event, so I'll still have one. But still. I think I need to treat the PSWC as bonus points as I really clearly am not willing to wake up early to do it. I don't have any really good reason to, though.

I just finished getting my ass reamed for over an hour because I dared give family money to charity. Apparently Kevin doesn't believe in charity. He claims family money can't go out unless we both agree to it, and we have to discuss what to do with it, but not giving to charity is 100% his decision, and I get no say in it.

Pop culture, feminism, etc.

Sep. 14th, 2017 08:22 pm
3v3y2k: (Default)
[personal profile] 3v3y2k posting in [community profile] addme
NAME: Eve
AGE: 25
INTERESTS & HOBBIES: Pop music, pop culture, trans-inclusive feminism, LGBTQIA issues, social justice, comedy
LOOKING FOR: People from ONTD, or other people interested in discussing pop culture, politics/feminism or our daily lives! (And of course the intersections of it all!) LGBTQIA-friendly people only!!
ANYTHING ELSE?: I'm trying to start up a pop culture/current events community, 
[community profile] howdareuCurrently looking for members/mods to help grow the community, so message me if you're interested! For those who care, my faves include Britney, Madonna, Kylie, Carly Rae Jepsen and Tove Lo. Fave shows include 30 Rock, Sex and the City, Will & Grace (SO excited for the revival!), Drop Dead Diva, and Parks and Rec.