Music meme

May. 30th, 2017 08:01 am
[personal profile] swaldman
See here for explanation.

2.A song you like with a number in the title

huh. Could have used Red Balloons for that as well. Lots of options here, but in the interests of Something Completely Different we'll go with Take Five. I'm not sure it needs any expanation, being so famous, but it's something I've played in my university-bands days, and I think is a bit of a rite of passage for anybody doing jazz. No, my head still can't get around 5/4 very well.

siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Canonical link:

One of the things that became clear when I asked for suggestions as to questions to ask assisted living facilities is that a lot of people have no idea what an assisted living facility is, and were answering thinking of nursing homes. This confusion is endemic. Neither [personal profile] tn3270 nor I understood the distinctions before we started looking into it; even his mother, D – who had been the person who asked us to find her a place – didn't understand how different an assisted living facility is from a nursing home. Not until she first set foot in one, a few weeks ago.

As those following this journal know, [personal profile] tn3270 and I have been shopping assisted living facilities for D for most of the last two months. I started writing this four hours after returning from the first "short list" tour of an assisted living residence – the first time we returned to one and brought D with us to check it out for herself. Over lunch – a complementary lunch visit is a typical second-step of the assisted living shopping experience – I asked D if it was like what she had imagined. No. Not even a little bit. She thought it would be like the rehab she had been in after breaking her hip, or the nursing homes her sisters were in. Her mind was (favorably) blown.

So I thought I would do a public service and try to share that experience with my readers, to edify you as to the differences.

At least in Massachusetts. Readers, be cautioned: I literally have no idea how universal these terms are, or whether they mean the same thing everywhere. This is how things are here. How they are where you are, if you are not here, I do not know.

Since apparently more people have far more experience with nursing homes and rehabs (for reasons that will become apparent below) – and since a lot of people don't necessarily know whether facilities they've visited or been nursing homes or something else (they were probably nursing homes) – I thought I'd start there.

Read More [4,980 Words] )

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Teenagers, hamsters

May. 29th, 2017 06:27 pm
enismirdal: (Bee!13)
[personal profile] enismirdal
I hang out on a couple of hamster groups as they're a useful source of tips, advice and ideas about making Lupanine's life as interesting and fun as possible.

One thing that has been really irritating me lately, however, is some of the teenagers on them. Typical scenario would be a 16 year old, keeping a hamster they legitimately do adore and want to do the best for. But then they come up against either the hamster getting sick at 10pm on a Saturday night. "Mum refuses to let me take it to the vet and I can't get there on my own!" Alternatively, it's pointed out that the cage is not suitable (too small, or wrong design for that type of hamster). "I can't afford the big cage!" or "Mum won't let me have something that big!"

I realise finances are tight for lots of people, and that circumstances can change, but I am firmly in the camp of, if you get a hamster knowing you cannot afford an emergency vet's trip out of hours for your hamster, you cannot afford to have a hamster and need to not have hamsters. And if your only way to get an animal to an out of hours vet is to be driven by your parents who don't believe it's necessary, you're basically accepting that you're prepared to let your pet suffer if it's unlucky enough to get sick between 5pm on a Friday and 8am on a Monday.

The number of teenagers recently who have been in tears on the group because their hamster has wet tail or their parents are threatening to take an accidental litter to an indiscriminate pet shop, and when you ask, "Well, can't you get a taxi? How much trouble are you willing to put yourself to in order to sort this - will you organise a pet taxi yourself?" and realise they can't (or don't have the maturity to) do it themselves... It just seems so unfair on the hamster in such a situation.

I wish there was some sort of pet savings account where people had to show it had a balance of £300 in before they'd be allowed to buy/adopt a pet. That still wouldn't go far in the case of something like a cat hit by a car or a dog with cancer, but it would cover short-term hamster emergencies.

It makes me frustrated because there's nothing I can do about it. You can't really have a go at these teenagers as that doesn't improve the situation and just makes them feel more guilty. But I really wish people would think pets through properly and consider the worst case scenario as well as the fluffy cuddles.

(Yes, I realise this might be controversial and there are complex situations, but still... I don't think there are really any excuses for messing with pets' welfare.)

It's a classic

May. 29th, 2017 09:03 am
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
the list )

Good morning, have some cheese. Blest Pair of Sirens by Parry.


May. 29th, 2017 08:11 am
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
In two weeks, I'm going to Kazakhstan, a trip I've had in mind for about three years. I remember looking at expo sites and thinking, not Milan, the children are not so interested in food as I am, I'll go to Astana in 2017, because they'll love a power focus, and I'll take [personal profile] fivemack because he's probably going anyway, he'll enjoy travelling with us and he speaks Russian. I think I even mentioned this idea to him at the time, but he doesn't remember. Then Tom and I started dating, and I figured we'd have split up by then but we'd probably be amicable because mostly my experience is that we run our course and then decide we're done as a couple but can remain friends, and I figured my idea was still a good one. And here we are, three years later, getting ready to leave, most definitely still together, and super excited.

So I panicked and was all 'we should go away for the weekend' because honestly a three day lead time is more my style, but we did not because everyone around me is less inclined to panic than I am, so here I am waiting for the groceries like any other Monday. I'll do that some other time. And Judith has already decided she wants to go to Patagonia in 2020 ("can we go the next time Tom goes on holiday to see an eclipse?") so maybe I just have to get used to the idea that Tom does more forward planning than I do.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
This is brilliantly put:


I know you want to, and you are constantly being told that you must, excel at and be committed to, for example:

1. earning a living wage
2. healing from and/or dealing with injury, illness, emotional trauma, disability
3. basic self-care and adulting (laundry, financial management, etc.)
[... nine more categories elided... ] enough downtime to keep you functional.

But excelling at each of those is equivalent to a full-time job and you cannot physically do them all. In fact, our society considers basic competence at two of them to be a passing grade. ONLY TWO.[...]
Read the whole thing. Recommended.

ETA: I would spin yet a thirteenth category off from #2. Distinct from health is recovering from catastrophe – I had to deal with both The Evacuation and exciting health issues in the past year, and they were quite distinct, though intersecting. Dealing with moving out of my home, having it remediated, and then moving back in, on no notice, was a full-time job. Heck, I'm not even done. TODAY I moved one of my large garment bags (full of summer clothes, natch) home from [personal profile] tn3270's place. I still have [personal profile] jducoeur's handcart. My house is still full of boxes (though, admittedly, that's its default state.) I still don't know where everything goes. Meanwhile along the way I was also trying to do physical therapy appointments and seeing an escalating chain of medical specialists. Whee.

An extra bit of music

May. 28th, 2017 11:15 pm
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
the list )

This is the first single I ever bought, a cover of a song which was a hit for Roberta Flack in 1973. Flack won two Grammys for it; best female pop vocals and record of the year.

Killing Me Softly With His Song by the Fugees.

Music meme

May. 28th, 2017 07:00 pm
swaldman: A sparkly bauble. (pretty)
[personal profile] swaldman
Stolen from somebody who posted it locked (and thus shall not be named):
There's a list of prompts for music choices. I'll aim at one a day, but will actually post them on a strict "when I get around to it" schedule. Maybe some will enjoy.

Here's the list, and the first pick:

1.A song you like with a colour in the title
2.A song you like with a number in the title
3.A song that reminds you of summer
4.A song that reminds you of someone you'd rather forget about
5.A song that needs to be played LOUD
6.A song that makes you want to dance
7.A song to drive to
8.A song about drugs or alcohol
9.A song that makes you happy
10.A song that makes you sad
11.A song that you never get tired of
12.A song from your pre-teen years
13.One of your favourite 70's songs
14.A song that you would love played at your wedding
15.A song that is a cover by another artist
16.One of your favourite classical songs
17.A song that you would sing as a duet on karaoke
18.A song from the year you were born
19.A song that makes you think about life
20.A song that has many meanings for you
21.A favourite song with a person's name in the title
22.A song that moves you forward
23.A song you think everybody should listen to
24.A song by a band you wish were still together
25.A song by an artist no longer living
26.A song that makes you want to fall in love
27.A song that breaks your heart
28.A song by an artist with a voice you love
29.A song you remember from your childhood
30.A song that reminds you of yourself

1.A song you like with a colour in the title

99 Red Balloons. It's a good song, and it manages that weird mix of happy music about a sad topic that I often enjoy. And while I'm a little young to be sure, I'm guessing it nicely encapsulates the feeling of being in one's late teens or twenties in the last decade of the Cold War.

kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
[personal profile] kaberett
The Red Turtle is a collaboration between Studio Ghibli and Oscar-winning British-Dutch animator Michaël Dudok de Wit. Having premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, it's had a general release in the UK this week. [personal profile] me_and spotted a poster in one of our local stations; I've just started showing him the Studio Ghibli back catalogue; he suggested going. (It's Ghibli! It's turtles! These seemed like good things.)

The Guardian, in one of many rapturous reviews, says:
Suffice to say that the official one-line synopsis of The Red Turtle – "the milestones in the life of a human being" – rings entirely true; the cycle of birth, death and rebirth is expressed with piercing clarity.

... which is sort of accurate, but very telling about expected audiences, and reviewers, and... everyone involved in the thing.

'ware spoilers! )

To be clear, I'm glad that I saw it: I loved the animals and the textures and the ways in which one got to know the small island; I loved the atmosphere and the great sweeping shots of tiny people against a vast expanse of sea and sky; I loved the detail of the glass bottle that washed up on the shore, echoing a much earlier barrel.

I just really wish that it didn't, in framing itself as universal, once again write the experiences of anyone who's not a factory-default man completely out of the story.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
Prompted by having received an utterly anodyne response from the party that completely ignored all of the actual issues I raised.

So, with content notes for transmisogyny and transmisogynist violence, here's the very brief summary of why -- regardless of party leadership's opinion on that matter -- that poster is Not Okay. (Yes, I have explained this in painstaking detail in reply to the e-mail from the party.)

Read more... )

30 Day Music Meme day 14

May. 28th, 2017 07:54 am
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Rings)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
the list )

I'm not ruling out getting married again, but it's not something I'm ready to do right now. I seem to be good at picking spouses so it would probably go well if I did. I'm eager to not organise another wedding, though, and would rather go for 'turn up, say our vows, maybe go to the pub' than anything more formal or organised. This (pdf) is the current text of our vows, Colin and I didn't promise to forsake all others, but we had a lot of long conversations about what it would mean if we did. I think whether we left that line out or how it affected our life would be part of the discussions around how any new marriage would work.

Anyway, I'm not sure whether it means literally the actual wedding ceremony (in which case, we had I the Lord of Sea and Sky, Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens Adore Him, Love Divine and Tell Out My Soul first time around) or for the reception (in which case, we had The Nearness of You by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong and I made sure I danced the whole song with Colin because I figured it would be about all I saw him all day. I figured we were looking at something secular, ideally, though, and I don't know that there would be space for that in the sort of ceremony I'm likely to agree to.

Putting reality aside for a moment, imagining the world in which I want a wedding with songs, I'd probably choose this waltz:

Reflecting Light by Sam Phillips
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
This had better be awesome. I'd forgotten how much work sautéing ground sausage is. Ow.

Originally from the Peace, Love and Low Carb blog. I have, as usual, changed it:

3lb ground Italian sausage (used Johnsonville)
2 + 2 Tbsp butter
2 + 1 Tbsp olive oil
2 C spinach, packed (baby, and all of a 5oz package)
1 C carrots, diced
1 leek, not so small, cleaned and sliced
1 box (6oz) minced onion and celery
~5 C chicken stock
1.5 C lentils (green)
1 C heavy cream
1/2 C Parmesian cheese, grated
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Original instructions: Heat slow cooker on low setting. Thoroughly rinse lentils, and add to slow cooker with chicken stock.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown sausage in olive oil and butter.
Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage from pan, reserving drippings. Add the cooked sausage to the slow cooker.
Add spinach, carrots, onions, garlic, leek, celery and a little salt and black pepper to the pan. Sauté vegetables over medium heat until tender. About 10 minutes.
Add sauteed vegetables to the slow cooker and mix in.
Stir in heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar. Cover and allow to cook on low 6-8 hours.

What I'm doing:
Brown sausage in olive oil and butter. Sauté veggies + salt & pepper in drippings. Package everything up and put in the fridge.
Do everything else tomorrow.

The original had one sautéing 1.5lb ground sausage in 2 Tbsp each of olive oil and butter. I wound up buying 3 1lb packs, and running low on oil in the pan about half way through and sloshed more olive oil in there. Then when sautéing the veggies (which were, like 2x the original) in the drippings, it looked too dry, so I added 2 more Tbsp of butter.

Right now I have the sausage browned and the veggies sautéd; I'm pretty much ready to combine everything when I wake up tomorrow so it can cook through the day.

ETA, 5/28 17:54:

Goddamn, this is good. After having a few tastes, with steely resolve [personal profile] tn3270 and I portioned it into individual servings – seven of them – and packed them into the fridge for later. And then scraped the liner and licked the spoon. My apartment smells amazing.

I put it to cook at 11:30am, and came home to it being done with the lentils just past al dente at 5:30pm. So 6 hours was fine.

The crockpot was about half full, i.e. I could have doubled the overall quantity (again) and it still would have fit. And that's having doubled the sausage and veggies already (the amounts listed above are about 2x the original). I probably should have doubled the lentils, too; the photos were not at all representative and the lentils are now a footnote among the sausage.

So I could have done 6lbs of sausage, etc; 6lbs of meat is pretty standard for when I cook meat in the crockpot.

The problem with that plan is that I already had to sauté the sausage in three batches, in series, and then the veggies completely filled the pan, to the point I had to feed in the spinach gradually to get it all in there and it was so full had trouble stirring the veggies without sending them everywhere. Doubling the veggies again means two batches of veggie sauté. And I think my wrist would snap before I got through the fourth (of six!) batch of sausage; I was hurting pretty bad after the second one. (Hey, ! About a year ago you were looking for recs for slowcooker recipes with elaborate prep. Found you one!)

This is frustrating, because it seems pretty delicious, and I prefer to cook at scale; I generally want 10 to 16 servings of something. It's my first time cooking with leeks for myself, and oh god I had forgotten how much I love leeks. (Everybody, please rec leek recipes.)

Okay, the other problem is that this is not cheap. The ground sausage was on sale for about $4.50/lb. At six lbs, that's $27 just in meat. It's normally $5.50/lb. Leeks were also on sale; I got that one for about $1.50, but normally it would be a shade under $2. I bought pre-chopped celery+onion, for $2.50; chopping my own is a non-starter for a recipe already this hard on my arms. The small package of spinach was on sale for $2.79, normally $3.50. The one cup of cream was $1.99. I alread had the chicken stock in the house: one had been $2 on sale, regularly $2.50, the other $3.50. Call it $5 for the stock. Double all those item's regular prices, and that's another $30. Plus nominal amounts of lentils (like $1.50 for twice what I needed), carrots ($2 for twice as much as I needed), garlic, mustard, vinegar, butter, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Doubling this recipe would push the price over $60 – way over $60 if the sausage isn't on sale – for 14 servings. Which is between $4 and $5 per modest sized serving. Ouch. At that price, and with this amount of work, it had damned well better be fabulous.

You look better already

May. 27th, 2017 04:05 pm
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
the list )

This song was written in 1975 for Hawkwing by the bass player of that band. He left the band later that year, and formed a new band, using the title of the song as a name for the band, who in 1977 recorded the song.

Motorhead by Motörhead

(no subject)

May. 27th, 2017 10:42 am
ludy: a painting i did looking in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] ludy
So this last week has been quite fluffy but i've been floompy. Mum is still in Respite and Dad came back (quite exhausted but happy) from his cycling holiday on tuesday evening.

Saturday was [profile] lolliepopp and N's wedding which was absolutely lovely (they had a Lego cake!). I've not seen so much of N since he moved to the London but it's lovely to have seen him flourishing since we went to our first BiCon together (way, way back in 2003!). And there were lots of awesome other guests to catch up with.
I stayed over with [personal profile] oilrig
in an extremely hidden but pleasant hotel in Croydon - which meant negotiating tram tracks in the dark. I'm a bit scared of how trams silently creep up on you. It was lovely to have concentrated [personal profile] oilrig time because Life keeps getting in the way of that. We went to Boxpark on the sunday and ate way too many waffle-bites..

On Tuesday I visited Mum in Respite and fibally got into a QI recording with [personal profile] oilrig after having gotten turned away the last 2 times when they were oversubscribed. It was the last episode in the O series. It was shiny

On Thursday I had my first session of the "Prescription for Health" exercise scheme and got talked through using the machines and other equipment in a ludy-safe way. I've not used a medicine ball (these ones had handles but i've not used the handless kind either) before and that was quite fun but the cross trainer broke my brain a bit (even though it was the seated kind so I didn't have to worry too much about balance at the same time as cross-lateral movement and coordination. In general i'm very wobbly. But the newish gym is lovely with lots of natural light and sea-views out of the window by the stationary bikes.


May. 26th, 2017 04:30 pm
ruthi: a photograph of a dormouse eating a berry (Default)
[personal profile] ruthi
I want to write Harry Potter and the Sleepover of Plausible Deniability, but what seems to e happening is that I am turning into Pierre Menard, author of chapter four of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Read more... )
But how much of the original can I quote verbatim and still have it be an story that I wrote?

I am realising I can use the words of the chapter to build the story - to get the structure in place - and then once it is built, once it is all story-shaped, change it enough that it is more mine. But grmbl. why is writing hard.

Well that's an obnoxious form of SEO

May. 26th, 2017 03:23 pm
[personal profile] swaldman
It looks as though the creator of this site has trawled through the source for MATLAB's built-in functions and created an empty forum topic for each error message, so as to snare people who search for the error....

Music meme: day 1 of 30

May. 26th, 2017 01:01 pm
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait and a bunch of other people are doing a 30 day music meme, and it's really interesting to see people's choices! In some ways music isn't a big part of my life, so I might struggle with this one, and anyway I'm not going to commit to posting every day for 30 consecutive days, but I thought I'd give it a go.

The first is A song you like with a colour in the title, so I went for White winter hymnal by Fleet Foxes. I don't always love the kind of very blurry musical style that Fleet Foxes go for, but I got really fond of this song a few years back and it's one that always raises a smile when it comes on shuffle.

People are generally linking to YouTube, and I'd never actually seen the accompanying video for this one before. It's kind of a cool claymation thing, so I'm glad I searched it up.

Embedded video )

30 Day Music Meme day 12

May. 26th, 2017 09:26 am
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
the list )

When I was 12, Everything I do (I do it for you) was number one for 16 weeks. Everyone was talking about Bryan Adams. So I listened to everything he'd released at that point, and that's why even though I was wee at the time it was released, it's going into the pre-teen slot. Imagine a lonely, depressed 12 year old in a 3 bed semi in a small town. Then I heard this, and it was like all the hope in the world wrapped up in one small Canadian.

The Best Was Yet To Come by Bryan Adams.

(no subject)

May. 26th, 2017 02:19 am
ruthi: a photograph of a dormouse eating a berry (Default)
[personal profile] ruthi
Monday I went and posted back a couple of dresses that I thought I'd buy from the internet. I ordered three, sent back two. The one I kept I have already worn several times. (I also kept a pair of multicoloured palazzo trousers - a skirt for each leg! Yess!- but I need to get them taken up because they are too long).

Tuesday I was outdoors because I went to visit [personal profile] morwen, in her new flat. It was good to see her again, it had been a while.

Wednesday was the first time the air-conditioner was on this year. It was a hot and humid day.

Thursday I went out to King's Cross to meet Derek and Muffy, and there were food stalls outside, so I bought myself a Crosstown™ gin-and-lemon doughnut. We sat in the sun and talked, then took ourselves indoors, away from evil daystar, and talked more. It was good.

Later Derek and I went to a delayed NT Live screening of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, the Old Vic production, with Daniel Radcliffe at a cinema inside King's College. I enjoyed it, I laughed, and then I was sad. Because Rosencrantz and Guildenstern die. Hamlet in it was very cool. There was David Haig as The Player, and he was good. Funny and attention-capturing and that.

[psych] Define Empathy?

May. 25th, 2017 04:31 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I am thinking about writing a thing, or several things, about empathy. I come from a perspective of generally being appalled about how the concept is bandied about, not just in the popular press, but pretty much everywhere, including among the pros.

Part of my appall is how there seem to be a vast profusion of definitions, many mutually exclusive, loose out there. Like, I'm pretty sure two of my grad school classes promulgated precisely opposite empathy vs sympathy distinctions.

So, for kicks and giggles, what's your personal definition of empathy? Assuming, of course, you have one. (If you don't, you can say that too.)

All comments will be screened, and I may or may not be unscreening some or all of them at my personal discretion. If you don't want your definition of empathy being tied to you, comment anonymously.
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