(no subject)

Apr. 20th, 2019 10:35 am
nestra: (Default)
[personal profile] nestra
And then I got distracted again and never posted the second poem on yesterday, so I'm still one behind, so I'm posting two right now.

Everyone Sang
by Siegfried Sassoon

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on—on—and out of sight.

Everyone's voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away ... O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be
      done.

"Everyone Sang" by Siegfried Sassoon, from Collected Poems: 1908-1956.



Thunderstorm in Dorset, Vermont
by John Updike

It needs green hills to host a thunderstorm;
this grumbling giant needs a place to hide
and break his kindling into splinters,
one stick at a time, and then in bundles,
compacted threats that issue forth from where
an oily darkness reigns beyond the ridge.
The sizzle in our brains is overruled
by such triumphant voltage overload.

We witness vast concussions; something falls
down sets of stairs the bottom step of which
cracks open wide enough to show a strip,
a vein of naked light. All goes soft—
the rain unfurls in supple gusts, the leaves
flash pale, then limply steep themselves in green.

"Thunderstorm in Dorset, Vermont" by John Updike, from Endpoint. © Knopf, 2009.

OMG ESC 2019

Apr. 20th, 2019 12:11 am
chantefable: ([fisher] train of thought)
[personal profile] chantefable
Where did the time go? Eurovision Song Contest is upon us, with all the national representatives selected, both semi-final concerts planned and the madness is imminent, hurray! Is it me or are the two semi-finals pretty unequal? The rundown of the line-up seems more vibrant for the first one, the second felt like it dragged (in preview). Of course, it may prove the exact opposite live.

I only gave everything a quick listen so far, but my favourite, perhaps unsurprisingly, is Italy, because they take things very seriously at the Sanremo festival and have great concept songs, with modern sound and excellent poetry. I loved it:

Italy: Mahmood - Soldi

Australia is a precious glitter roll too good for this world, too pure. Note the teetering & flying background acrobat:
Australia: Kate Miller-Heidke - Zero Gravity

The Dutch had a tasteful and emotional entry:
Netherlands: Duncan Laurence - Arcade

Spain has an incredibly vivacious and upbeat anthem about integrity, values, and not being a sellout. Love the parkour and the dance moves:
Spain: Miki - La Venda

Sweden has an extremely nice pop-soul-gospel entry:
Sweden: John Lundvik - Too Late For Love

This year's most epic power ballad is also this year's most feminist entry, from North Macedonia (the Country Formerly Known as the Former Yougaslavian Republic of Macedonia):
North Macedonia: Tamara Todevska - Proud

Cyprus is too on trend (remember, "In real life this is 30 years old, but in Eurovision it will give your number a contemporary feel!") but catchy:
Cyprus: Tamta - Replay

Azerbaijan is also on trend, but crazier! That's more like Eurovision:
Azerbaijan: Chingiz - Truth

This year's inevitable quasi-American-country music entry is Switzerland, again (compared to last year's Zibbz, I guess this is more reggaeton?):
Switzerland: Luca Hänni - She Got Me

Actually, the déjà vu is strong as always: last year's Madame Monsieur co-wrote this year's French entry, and you can kind of feel it:
France: Bilal Hassani - Roi

Belgian entry is exactly what you expect, practically a genre in itself:
Belgium: Eliot - Wake Up

However, I believe Slovenia might have outhipstered Belgium this time:
Slovenia: Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl - Sebi

San Marino should unironically get a special award for nailing the quintessential Eurovision lyrics:
San Marino: Serhat - Say Na Na Na

Eurovision has also graciously delivered on things that may be underrepresented yet sought for by the listening masses, such as:

- frozen disco furries (thank you, Norway);
- cages and BDSM fetish gear (thank you, Iceland);
- adult man in a white leather jacket and giant fluffy angel wings singing about love (thank you, Croatia);
- scissor claws and techno-sorcery ballet fantasy in feathers (thanks, Portugal);
- nude men floating underwater (thanks, Azerbaijan and the Netherlands).

Do you have any Eurovision favourites this year? What interests you the most?

#beaherobetherainbow #wearetechnicolourwatchusgo #icouldbethesunthatlightsyourdark

Mood theme of the day: Michela - Chameleon (ESC 2019 Malta)

(no subject)

Apr. 19th, 2019 09:19 am
nestra: (Default)
[personal profile] nestra
Whoops, got distracted by fandom yesterday and missed the daily poem.

Dark Charms
by Dorianne Laux

Eventually the future shows up everywhere:
those burly summers and unslept nights in deep
lines and dark splotches, thinning skin.
Here's the corner store grown to a condo,
the bike reduced to one spinning wheel,
the ghost of a dog that used to be, her trail
no longer trodden, just a dip in the weeds.
The clear water we drank as thirsty children
still runs through our veins. Stars we saw then
we still see now, only fewer, dimmer, less often.
The old tunes play and continue to move us
in spite of our learning, the wraith of romance,
lost innocence, literature, the death of the poets.
We continue to speak, if only in whispers,
to something inside us that longs to be named.
We name it the past and drag it behind us,
bag like a lung filled with shadow and song,
dreams of running, the keys to lost names.

"Dark Charms" by Dorianne Laux, from The Book of Men. © Norton, 2011.

L-O-L, Yakitate!!

Apr. 17th, 2019 11:43 pm
coprime: Sam giving a dubious side eye (Sam Sparks ¬_¬)
[personal profile] coprime
I've been watching Yakitate!! Japan recently and am finally on the home stretch (Nine episodes left!), and I love it in all its ridiculous glory--Bring on the Iron Chef references! Bring on the extended Detective Conan reference and the episode that's just a twenty-five minute Naruto parody! Bring on the puns that I don't really get! Bring on every appearance of Kid, the most American of Americans!

I am here for the second ending, a.k.a. the best ending ever. I am here for Pierrot, the bestest clown ever and spoilers for the end of Pierrot's story. ) I am here for Kazuma calling Kuroyanagi and Pierrot "old ma--er, old pal!" every. single. time. he addresses them. I am here for Monica and Kuwabara's who-will-flinch-first, nearly naked romance. I am here for the surprise yakuza subplot!

But I am not sure I can buy that Austria is super famous for its jams and that most Austrian of jam doughnuts, the Berliner.

Reading Wednesday

Apr. 17th, 2019 06:19 pm
cinaed: I improve on misquotation (Default)
[personal profile] cinaed
Recently Finished
 
Still chipping away at my pile of library books, but I worked this weekend and didn't have a chance to read, so nothing new to report this week!
 
Currently Reading
 
I'm about one-third of the way through Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story by Mollie Gregory, which is a history of stuntwomen in Hollywood from the silent era until now. I have put that one temporarily on hold since my library ebook of Alyssa Cole's A Duke By Default, the second in the Reluctant Royals modern romance series, is expiring in three days. I'm about halfway through it and it's definitely much stronger than the first. I like the relationship much more, and I like that we get to know Tav and Portia's families.   
 
What's Next
 
Well, The edge of anarchy : the railroad barons, the Gilded Age, and the greatest labor uprising in America has a hold on it and it's due this week, so I guess I'm reading that one next so the person waiting for it doesn't wait longer! After that, the Marie Kondo book I have checked out to help me tidy up my room. 

Hip Hop is Life

Apr. 17th, 2019 03:44 pm
used_songs: (Default)
[personal profile] used_songs
For [personal profile] sjnt
This playlist is an amalgam of mainstream hip hop that I like, some less well-known stuff that people have introduced me to, and some hip hop from other countries that I learned about after watching a documentary on netflix and reading about hip hop worldwide. The title comes from the idea that hip hop is a genre that is always evolving; it has a vitality that keeps it fresh and new.
Read more... )

(no subject)

Apr. 17th, 2019 01:39 pm
lycomingst: (Default)
[personal profile] lycomingst
I found my lost glasses. At the bottom of the dirty clothes basket. Yeah.

(no subject)

Apr. 17th, 2019 02:31 pm
nestra: (Default)
[personal profile] nestra
I need other people who watch Roswell, New Mexico, to come commiserate in the comments with me. Like, seriously, I need to share my feelings.

I also have thoughts about character archetypes and Clams and certain characters who put up a front of sarcasm and damage and carelessness and other characters who see right through them.

(no subject)

Apr. 17th, 2019 12:30 pm
nestra: (Default)
[personal profile] nestra
The Land of Beginning Again
by Louisa Fletcher

I wish that there were some wonderful place
In the Land of Beginning Again.
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches
And all of our poor selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door
and never put on again.
I wish we could come on it all unaware,
Like the hunter who finds a lost trail;
And I wish that the one whom our blindness had done
The greatest injustice of all
Could be there at the gates
like an old friend that waits
For the comrade he's gladdest to hail.
We would find all the things we intended to do
But forgot, and remembered too late,
Little praises unspoken, little promises broken,
And all the thousand and one
Little duties neglected that might have perfected
The day for one less fortunate.
It wouldn't be possible not to be kind
In the Land of Beginning Again,
And the ones we misjudged
and the ones whom we grudged
their moments of victory here,
Would find in the grasp of our loving hand-clasp
More than penitent lips could explain...
So I wish that there were some wonderful place
Called the Land of Beginning Again,
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches,
And all of our poor selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door
And never put on again.

"The Land of Beginning Again" by Louisa Fletcher, from The Land of Beginning Again. © Nabu Press, 2011.
kyburg: (Default)
[personal profile] kyburg
harry-and-ginny-potter:

It is international language week at my school. This morning a girl who is fluent recited the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic. Everyone freaked out. Some people loved it, but more hated it. Saying that the pledge should only be spoken in English because “this is America not the Middle East” and now our principal just announced that we are no longer allowed to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in anything besides English at our high school. In the hallway I passed the girl who spoke the pledge. She was sobbing. This is to anyone who says that America is a post-racism world. Reblog the shit out of this. Get this known

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(no subject)

Apr. 16th, 2019 08:06 pm
lycomingst: (Default)
[personal profile] lycomingst
Netflix movie Tampopo )

I went to the local farmers’ market on Saturday but it’s too early in the season. There were only about six booths. They were selling eggs and meat and Jesus (in different booths). I’m hoping some fruit shows up soon.

My cats broke my glasses last week during their midnight revelry. And I put down a pair somewhere in the house and now can’t find them. Then I broke the ear piece on the ones I still had. No wonder I buy them cheap on the internet. I had to buy another pair but just one because I don’t know what my eyes are going to be like after cataract removal.

The trees here have leaved out but they also dropped a carpet of seed pods shaped like small caterpillars. The place I used to live in had lots and lots of doves, coo, coo, coo all the time. No doves here but a bird that trills that I haven’t been able to see yet.

Inarticulate Wonder

Apr. 16th, 2019 06:49 pm
used_songs: (Default)
[personal profile] used_songs
For [personal profile] sylvaine
I'm glad you picked this one because it's one of my newer ones and reflects what I'm listening to a lot right now. This started with the Coil, Mount Shrine, and Portishead songs and grew from there. The theme is really trying to describe these things about life that are truly indescribable. We give them names, we make metaphors about them (roads, devils, light), but we somehow can't really define them. I wanted a playlist that would make me think about things as I listened. It's a mix of loud and contemplative.

The tracks:
Read more... )


(no subject)

Apr. 16th, 2019 07:06 pm
nestra: (Default)
[personal profile] nestra
Leaving
by Richard Wilbur

As we left the garden-party
By the far gate,
There were many loitering on
Who had come late

And a few arriving still,
Though the lawn lay
Like a fast-draining shoal
Of ochre day.

Curt shadows in the grass
Hatched every blade,
And now on pedestals
Of mounting shade

Stood all our friends—iconic,
Now, in mien,
Half-lost in dignities
Till now unseen.

There were the hostess' hands
Held out to greet
The scholar's limp, his wife's
Quick-pecking feet,

And there was wit's cocked head,
And there the sleek
And gaze-enameled look
Of beauty's cheek.

We saw now, loitering there
Knee-deep in night,
How even the wheeling children
Moved in a rite

Or masque, or long charade
Where we, like these,
Had blundered into grand
Identities,

Filling our selves as sculpture
Fills the stone.
We had not played so surely,
Had we known.

"Leaving" by Richard Wilbur, from Collected Poems. © Harcourt, 2004.

Good adulting day

Apr. 16th, 2019 07:34 pm
ceitfianna: (Dean time rambles on)
[personal profile] ceitfianna
I think I found a good doctor and have all my prescriptions refilled. One big adulting thing that I’ve been trying to do for a while done.

Thankfully the doctor wasn't too awful about how long its been since I had a primary care doctor but quickly understood what I needed. I ended up being a little emotional about my sister which kind of smoothed things out. I always worry about a doctor making me feel bad for not getting myself taken care of, even though I've had few doctors who actually did. Since my biggest medical stuff is asthma and allergy, I've always been much better about getting to specialists than having a primary care doctor.

The only annoying part was my pharmacy didn't have one of my inhalers so I had to walk to another one to get it, but now I'm settled.

Work looks like its going to keep me busy until my week off, which in some ways is good, but its prepping stuff for summer and next year and that still feels weird.

eye doctor P.S.

Apr. 16th, 2019 07:24 pm
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
[personal profile] redbird
Dr. Lazzara told me something today, as an "if this happens, we can deal with it easily, but you need to know about it." cut for people who don't want to read about cataract surgery )

Eye doctor, and GP

Apr. 16th, 2019 05:42 pm
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
[personal profile] redbird
I saw Dr. Lazzara this afternoon, for the last post-surgery check-up. He is happy with how my eyes look generally, as well as specifically with the eye pressure and my corneas. I have an eyeglass prescription, and he suggested I could get either progressive lenses or bifocal computer glasses. I can in fact see without my glasses; what I can't do is read without them, and it's annoying to have to pull out reading glasses to do things on my cell phone. Meanwhile the non-prescription reading glasses don't work well for distance, and I can't use the same ones to read a book and look at the computer screen.

I will go to the optician in Arlington Center in a couple of days and talk about eyeglass options and prices. (I may also consider going online for reading glasses that correct for the astigmatism; I had poor results in the past trying to mail-order my complicated bifocal/progressive prescription.)

That was the second medical appointment of the day.

I've had an annoying cough for more than a week; over the weekend I decided that since it wasn't getting any better, I should talk to a doctor, make sure it's not pneumonia, and find out if I need an antibiotic. I called Davis Square Family Practice first thing this morning, and they gave me a 1:30 appointment. After asking me some questions, and listening to my lungs very carefully, the doctor said that this is in fact just a lingering cough left from an otherwise-gone respiratory infection. I have a prescription cough suppressant, and an okay to go back to my regular exercises, including walking—"just don't run a marathon." This is disappointing in the sense that she couldn't say "take these, you'll feel a lot better in 48 hours," but it also means that no, calling the doctor Friday would not have been better: I had to remind myself a few time yesterday and Sunday that any plan involving a time machine can be safely disregarded.

I saw a lot of forsythias in bloom today, as well as a few cherry trees, the first maple flowers, and many daffodils; I'd stayed close to home the last few days, and saw a nice variety of bulbs and one dandelion, but no flowering trees.

(no subject)

Apr. 15th, 2019 02:34 pm
nestra: (Default)
[personal profile] nestra
Things
by Lisel Mueller

What happened is, we grew lonely
living among the things,
so we gave the clock a face,
the chair a back,
the table four stout legs
which will never suffer fatigue.

We fitted our shoes with tongues
as smooth as our own
and hung tongues inside bells
so we could listen
to their emotional language,

and because we loved graceful profiles
the pitcher received a lip,
the bottle a long, slender neck.

Even what was beyond us
was recast in our image;
we gave the country a heart,
the storm an eye,
the cave a mouth
so we could pass into safety.

"Things" by Lisel Mueller, from Alive Together. © Louisiana State University Press, 1996

(no subject)

Apr. 14th, 2019 09:47 pm
used_songs: (Default)
[personal profile] used_songs
Also I cut my hair with E’s nail scissors. So not an adult after all.

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