lydamorehouse: (crazy eyed Renji)
 We dropped Mason off at the airport just a little over an hour ago.  He's on his way to compete in the KidWind National Competition.  ( with his team.  A lot of my friends contributed to the team's fundraiser, so A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE. YOU MADE THIS POSSIBLE!! 

If you want to read more about what is actually happening at the National competition:

mason leaving for Anaheim

Mason will be back on Friday, and, until then, Shawn and I have the place to ourselves.  I suspect we'll get up to all sorts of mischief, including maybe going hog wild and cleaning the house. Books will be read with abandon!  We might even have DORITOS AND CHEESE FOR DINNER.


Yesterday, it was sunny, so I spent much of the day outside. I'm really proud of how my faux Japanese garden is looking this year, and I'm working very slowly on getting other parts of the yard in decent shape. (I should really take some pictures before the ENORMOUS bleeding heart stops blooming).  I don't think we'll ever be a showcase garden, but it would be nice if I could look out and feel happy instead of thinking, "OMG what a mess." I definitely think we're well on our way to that.  Especially since several bulbs showed up for stuff I don't remember ordering. I planted them in a couple of different places--a few near the little free library (which is my one remaining "problem" area) and a bunch in the front of the Japanese garden.  I think they're going to be irises...?  We'll have to see what blooms next year, if the squirrels don't eat them all and/or replant them for me.

I got a couple of letters from my international pen friends yesterday.  I love all my pen friends, but I have a couple that I adore. My friend in Canada is AWESOME. Of course, I didn't get her from IPF.  She's actually someone I know from Bleach fandom who volunteered last time I put out a request for pen pals. Her letters always make me happy.

The other letter came from an IPF friend from the Netherlands. I like this particular woman because in her very first letter back to me she talked about her daughter and her daughter's partner (female.) This meant that I felt free to be my honest/authentic self, which is something that I've been sloooooowly revealing to my other IPFers.  I mean I had that one German lady quit me because I told her I wasn't Christian.  Can you imagine if I'd said that I was a big ol' lesbian?  Probably we could have heard her head exploding from across the ocean, eh? But, my Netherlander is great. She got me following the recent election there--another country that held tight against the rise of fascism.  She always closes her letters with "Ah! That Trump of yours!" in various iterations.    

A sign of our times. 
lydamorehouse: (Default)
It's good to be back home after the long haul there and back again to visit grandma in Indiana. Yesterday, however, I did suffer from something akin to jetlag, only without the jet or the time zone changes. Drive exhaustion? I ended up bailing early from my usual Wendesday Women of Wyrdsmiths, thanks in part to a raging headache brought on by too much driving the day before, AND the fact that our coffee shop had scheduled a reading of a local author. The author was fairly dreadful. I mean, maybe not, but I'm not at all a fan of memoirs, and it's nearly impossible to write one's own words while listening to those of another. I stayed long enough to chat with Eleanor and [ profile] naomikritzer before bailing.

On the drive home I did get a chance to listen to some podcasts. I got through most of the ones I'd chosen from Escape Pod as well as those from PodCastle. I ended up very much enjoying T. L. Morganfield's "Night Bird Soaring." It's actually quite epic, and the ending nearly brought a tear to my eye.

Mur Lafferty's "Boxed In" intregued me, but the ending left me wondering what happened. I should probably listen to it again, because just as it was ending my family started arguing about where we should stop for food, so I may have missed something critical. A caveat: I have a strange love for stories about prostitutes and hustlers.

On PodCastle I pulled down Patricia Russo's "The Landowners No Longer Carry Swords," which was very powerful. It's was one of those stories, like a couple of other that I pulled down, that made wonder about short stories in general. When do you stop telling the tale? What is an acceptable/satisfying ending? Though this story ends, in effect, when things really start hitting the fan, I actually found the ending very satisfying (though I could see how some might not.)

Laura Anne Gilman's "Site Fourteen" (back on Escape Pod) had a totally awesome and unique setting -- deep sea station in the twilight zone, and an ending that struck me initally as AWESOME, but then I wondered about. When I explained it to Shawn, she said it sounded like the ending of a classic horror story. She's probably right, and I'll go with my inital impression.

On Lightspeed, I listened to a bunch that were sort of out of what I might normally think I'd like, but ended up really enjoying. I don't have a lot of tolerance, usually, for tongue in cheek science fiction (mostly because it always ends up sounding to me like a rip off of Douglas Adams), BUT I ended up quite amused by "Transcript of the Interaction Between Astronaut Mike Scudderman and the OnStar Hands-Free A.I. Crash Advisor" by Grady Hendrix. I'm seriously considering attaching a link to this podcast for any students who sign up for my Loft on-line class for the day we talk about science fiction cliches.

Adam-Troy Castro's "Her Husband's Hands" should have been silly, but it was actually one of the most moving stories I listened to on the trip.

Speaking of should have been silly that turned out cool, "How Maartje and Uppinder Terraformed Mars (Marsmen Trad.)" by Lisa Noheallandi Morton ended up reminding me a bit of Eleanor Arnason's Big Mama stories -- something that skates the line between myth and science fiction. Surprisingly good stuff.

I still have a few left on my .mp3 player to listen to and perhaps I'll remember to tune in when I'm doing various chores. I ended up listening to music this morning, however, when I was raking leaves. While we were away our big maple decided to dump all its leaves all over the front. Our nearness to University meant there was also a lot of garbage tangled up in it, so I was disgusted enough to spend almost an hour and a half this morning picking up trash and bagging leaves. I think now I can hold my head up high when we pull up to the house.

Mason is home for Intersession, and we've been pretty lazy. His big discovery on the trip was Garth Nix. He LOVED the "The Keys to the Kingdom" series (the Monday..., Tuesday... ones.)

Oh, and Shawn's Christmas present arrived last night. The Kindle FIRE!!!

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