Jun. 21st, 2017 01:46 pm
halfshellvenus: (Psycho Penguin)
[personal profile] halfshellvenus
108o today and humid, and tomorrow is likely to be 111o. I suspect I will be biking in the garage again tomorrow. Today is a rest day, and I'd hoped to hit the pavement tomorrow. That dream may already be dead. :(

Monday, I went shopping with our daughter (IN the heat) to look for some work blouses for her internship in DC. I did not realize were were looking for a unicorn, for crying out loud. I thought she was struggling because she was being too picky. Her hatred of both buttons and adornment is really limiting, and while I understand the second one, I keep thinking she'll get over the first. Regardless, we were looking for simple short-sleeved blouses in rayon or polyester—like the kind I used to wear to work in my radio days. I have five of them right now that are exactly what she's looking for, except that they're too big. Basically, like this, except without the pockets. And yet, no one wants to sell those anymore! Not online, not even at places like Macy's, unless you want to pay about $60 for the single example of that style Macy's has. It's all t-shirt material, trampy cuts, split-shoulder stuff (why is that fashion so widespread?), other variants on really unsuitable clothing for professional women, and some really highly fitted button-down tops that might actually work except... buttons. We found three sleeveless tops that were acceptable (after giving up on short-sleeved ones!), and my online search was fruitless (that sample blouse above is for retailers to order, not individual customers). I think she's going to be mostly wearing dresses this summer, even though skirt/blouse separates are much more practical. Ten or more years ago... \o?

Okay, end of rant. How about a meme, a little stale around the edges but good for some croutons?

Give me a fandom and I'll tell you:

The character I least understand
Interactions I enjoyed the most
The character who scares me the most
The character who is most like me
The character with the hottest looks
One thing I dislike about my favorite character
One thing I like about my most hated character
A quote or scene that haunts me
A death that left me indifferent
A character I wish had died but didn't
My ship that never sailed

My fandoms include anything I've written or talked about, which are also in my profile interests. Fair warning that I've abandoned a few of them, so there might be a "cut-off date" for the content of my answers.

Hit me!

Welcome To My Hell-- Part 2

Jun. 20th, 2017 11:51 pm
halfshellvenus: (Default)
[personal profile] halfshellvenus
First, there's this. And? Last Friday hit 99o and every day since then has been 100o or hotter. Our first projected break is next Monday, when it may "only" be 96o. I biked outside Saturday morning, and an hour earlier on Sunday... still too hot. The last couple of days have been in the garage, and still a slog. If I were a morning person like HalfshellHusband, I'd be up and sunblocked by 6:30 or 7:30, and could go out really early. But my Sunday ride started at nine, and I pretty much crept back from the turnaround point.

Stupid weather! This is one of those horrific periods where anything you need to do outside or away from the house has to be finished by 10am, because you will not want to go out after thateven just to drive to somewhere air-conditioned. You'll be soaked in sweat just from riding in the car. Argh. Sacramento, home of summertime cabin fever!

I drove down to San Diego last Wednesday so I could move our daughter home from college. The drive down wasn't too bad, though I caught part of LA's rush hour and the beginning of San Diego's. AND, the hotel where I was staying... was last year's hotel that I had vowed not to return to! But the online picture is totally misleading. I frankly can't imagine from what angle they could photograph the hotel so that it looks like it's next to a sidewalk with the ocean behind it. In reality, it's wedged into a semi-industrial area on an oddly shaped lot, and there are cement walls surrounding it on all sides. Did they just photo-shop out the walls, and the surrounding buildings? This hotel is also six miles down the freeway from where the San Diego traffic really picks up, which is to say, about 40-60 minutes farther than you really want.

After driving all day, I went to the hot and badly appointed gym for about 40 minutes, then back to my room to shower, eat, and finish my Idol story. That had to be done Wednesday night, because I knew I'd be out and then on the road all day Thursday and would have no time to post. :(

Thursday morning, I got lost on the way to my daughter's part of the campus again (but recognized where she'd lived last year! Too late). The campus must be more than a mile across, with several roads through the middle. So, after arriving about 45 minutes later than intended, we set about the project of collecting and moving stuff into her next year's apartment. Fetching the desk, which was the sole reason I'd driven the SUV down (the desk top was almost as big as a door). Then waiting for the used dresser to be delivered, only to discover that the seller couldn't get it into her car and we would have to go pick it up. Plus, ferrying around heavy boxes containing lots of dishes, pots & pans, etc. that will just stay in San Diego over the summer. The new apartment is in a huge and really pretty complex that is fancier than it needs to be, and much farther from the campus than my daughter would like (she let her roommate do too much of the finding, and the roommate has some princess tendencies). The complex also doesn't allow you to park any closer than an illegal fire lane, from which you have to carry everything half a block, up some stairs and through a security door, and then up the elevator and to the apartment itself. /o\

Needless to say, all of this took hours. Hot, sweaty hours in which my daughter finally regretted that dresser (I hadn't been able to persuade her over the phone how heavy it would be, and she'll only be able to use it for about 1 1/2 years. Rolling plastic craft cartthat's the way to go! But noooOOOOOOOooooo...) When we finally left for home, it was after 2:30, so we knew things would not go well. You need to leave SD no later than 1pm to avoid the L.A. rush hour bottleneck, though we were not prepared for the traffic jam to start in San Diego and cover the next 30 miles. We stopped for an early dinner in Santa Ana, rather than sit on the freeway all that time. Her choice was a highly festooned Mexican restaurant ("That place is lit!"), where even the rear parking lot was decorated. Also, there were large Nutcracker figurines inside the restaurant. Sadly, the food was kind of bland.

Back on the freeway about 7pm, trading off driving because we were so tired. Some smelly stops in the lower central valley. Dead stereo about 3 hours from home, though at least it didn't die during my solo trip down there. \o?

Finally home at about 2am on Friday. *thud* Geez, what an ordeal. But we made it safely. And now we just have a couple of days left with her, as she flies out to D.C. early Thursday morning. *cries*

halfshellvenus: (Default)
[personal profile] halfshellvenus
Not With A Bang...
idol season ten | week 21 | 1035 words
Current Events


Why it started in the first place was a mystery, but it did. After just a few weeks, it became the law.

One stray limerick or even a haiku could cost you big. The message was clear: poetry was not for amateurs. It had nothing to do with talent, either. It was about regulation and control.

Or maybe it was about someone who had heard one Dr. Seuss parody too many.

It brought out the rebellious streak in some people, which was never the answer. They would infiltrate shopping malls and kick out random piece of hipster trash—mostly for the attention:
Sick, baby, sick,
You love to cry and cry and cry.
Your love is thick like a brick,
Makes me so high I wanna die.

Sick, baby, sick,
You love the pain, you love the hurt.
You want the slick of my di—

"All right, that's enough!" and boom—the cops would be all over them. "License, please."

"I don't need a license for art!"

"That wasn't art, and we don't make the laws—we just enforce them. So either you show us some credentials, or you pay the fine."

Just like that, the rebels and their greenbacks would be parted once again.

The restrictions did not apply to original poetry alone. The number of citations for unauthorized renderings of Auden's Funeral Blues could have funded several small nations, and preschools were going bankrupt over the use of nursery rhymes in books, games, and décor.

The people who did have licenses were often smug. They might commandeer a street corner, or even a stage:
We have known the good, the bad,
The everyday,
And come through it together.
Shoulder to shoulder we will stand
Today, tomorrow, forever.

I'll always have your back.

The cheers and groans from the crowd would compete as certain onlookers grumbled that the poet was a worthless hack.

"He's licensed, and he works for Hallmark!" someone would be sure to point out.

"So what? He has the soul of an accountant!"

Frustrated baristas and dog-walkers who didn't earn enough money to buy their way into the system tried to keep their artistry under wraps. They muttered free verse into their phones when they thought no one was listening, or wrote secret longhand odes in loose-leaf notebooks while hiding in closets.

Poetry circles cropped up in basements, protected by locked doors and ever-changing passwords. Would-be squealers knew they'd lose any hope of a free audience or helpful artistic discussion if they ratted out one of the groups, but it still happened:
—know the sins of ghosts
Who bear our faces.

And in those distant mornings
There are stories
Formed of broken words
And the lies of long-dead men.

They are the cruelest,
The hardest to forget.


"All right, hands up everyone, stay right where you are! We're the government, and this is a raid!"

The poets all had the same question about the laws, the fines, the arrests: "Who is unregulated poetry hurting?"

"That's not for us to say," the police would reply. "You don't like the law, talk to your council members."

Those who did were rarely satisfied with the answers. "Oh, I don't know," Councilman Buzz Haxell said. "Seems like a pretty good idea to me. Have you heard some of the crap people try to pass off as poetry?"

Before long, almost everyone had.

Some would-be poets talked about moving to other areas, where they could release their inner bard.

Several mayors of neighboring counties and states suggested such a move might tempt them to release their inner thug. "I don't want that kind of thing going on in my jurisdiction," one said, under condition of anonymity. "You let that kind of thing start up, and pretty soon you've got candle shops and goats' milk vendors on every corner."

"I don't get what the big deal is," another one said. "I mean, say you don't let all those Shakespeare-sniffing stiffs pen their little rhymes whenever the mood takes 'em, so what? Is all of that 'artistry' gonna back up inside 'em until they blow a gasket or something? I don't think so…"

A few unlicensed poets thought that was exactly what might happen, but what could they do? Pen a satirical ode to a friend for his birthday, and you might spend the next three years on a watch list. A few were forced to pick up extra work after-hours so they could afford to buy a license. It was definitely better than going crazy.

The licensing fad spread to other states and other countries. After a couple of years, worrisome side-effects became evident.

"Hey, that thing I just heard—"

"The one with Roses are red, Violets are blue?"

"Yeah, that one. Was it any good, or was it terrible?"

"I thought it was okay. Say, have you seen the latest from Morrie Moneymaker, the Greeting Card guy?"

"Oh, he's good!"

"The best. I totally 'get' his work, you know?"

"Yep. It's like what you meant to say, only better."

"Exactly! Say, can you change the radio to the Easy-Listening station? That one's my favorite."

Soon, real poetry went the way of classical music and ballet. Fading away into obscurity, it went too quickly for the general public to notice or mourn.

"So, like, my teacher wanted us to read these, like, sonnets or something, from like, a million years ago? I couldn't even. I mean, like, what was the guy trying to say? It was all so pretentious, and like, totally long. Ugh."

"Well, pumpkin, I guess it was a good idea to cut down on that stuff by licensing it. Who did all those people think they were, anyway?"

"I know, right? We got a homework assignment to write some of our own under the school's license, but that's okay. I’m ready."

"Really? That's amazing, Mindy! I didn't know you had that kind of talent."

"Oh, yeah, and it's not even that hard. Everyone makes such a big deal out of it."

"Well, of course, honey. It's art!"

"Yeah, art, right. Whatevs, Mom, it's cool. Just give me about ten minutes, you'll see—I've got this killer limerick forming in my head!"


One of the side-effects of aging eyes is misreading things, especially when just glancing at them. On the other hand, the results are often more entertaining than the actual version! The inspiration for this week's entry came from misreading the online headline for this news story and parsing it the same wrong way three different times. And yes, this was definitely more fun than the real point of that article. :D

Voting this week is a Gatekeeper round, so no poll. But all of the entries are posted here in the comments. Lots to read and enjoy. :)


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