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Stickie introductory post

Characters frequently appearing in this drama:

  • I - your humble narrator, sometime writer and poet (preferred pronoun: he/him/his)

  • Janni - spouse and writer (preferred pronoun: she/her/her)

  • TBD - nom de internet of our child, not yet a writer (preferred pronoun: they/them/their)

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/632515.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

A few personal items:

I've long envied my father's bushy eyebrows, even before they grew into impressive grandfatherly decorations. Recently, my own thin ones sprouted a few long strands that, if more follow, will become brows that are at least visible. Welcome, middle age, have a seat -- ah, I see you've already taken one.

What is up with the sudden current fashion in car colors for flat, unsaturated earth tones -- greys, tans, and muddy browns? And it's all the manufacturers, too -- I've even seen a battleship-grey Tesla.

Has anybody seen Spike Milligan's The Great McGonagall (IMDB)? Is it worth tracking down?


Subject quote from L'Allegro, John Milton.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/708410.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.


Science, science, engineering:

This Elephant-Sized Relative of Mammals Lived Alongside the Dinosaurs. “This” being a Triassic-era dicynodont, a type of therapsid that were the dominant terrestrial herbivores through the early and middle Triassic, until changing climates (per Wikipedia: a more arid world) allowed saurians to take over. (via)

Simulations of all 10 (!!) black hole mergers observed by LIGO through their gravitational waves. (via)

Despite the title, “Get with the Times: You’re Driving All Wrong” is actually only talking about how you hold the steering wheel. (via)


Subject quote from Jet Pack, Jill Sobule.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/708293.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

It's been over a month since I posted for Reading Wednesday? That would explain why I looks like I've read a lot, despite being wrapped up in book production.


Hilda and the Black Hound, #4 of the series, story and art Luke Pearson -- Read aloud to TBD. I think it's symptomatic that several small elements were expanded into separate episodes of the Netflix adaptation, with about 2/3 of it becoming the final two episodes with very little expansion. #5 handles a similarly ambitious story with better aplomb, even with a series of one-off adventures shown in fragments over a couple pages. Still quite enjoyed -- and we then reread all the volumes in order twice through and some a few times more. More like this please!

Any recs?

Zita the Space Girl, Legends of Zita the Space Girl, and Return of Zita the Space Girl, story and art by Ben Hatke, being the complete trilogy -- Read aloud to TBD a couple times through. This is awesomesauce all-ages adventure.

More like this too?

Search for Atlantis, #7 of DC Super Hero Girls -- Read aloud to TBD. A pretty good installment (yay Raven with full-throttle snark finally entering Super Hero High School, which sets up a running gag about the name of the Teen Titans) but I think not having seen the Legends of Atlantis movie, which this is set immediately after, meant we stumbled on a few gaps.

Monkey King, adaptation by Wei Dong Chen, art by Chao Peng, volume 7 -- Read aloud to TBD. This covers the episode where Wukong is expelled from the party for the first time. Good job by the adaptors making it clear how poorly Wukong hides that he jumps at the chance to return. Volume 8 should arrive soon.

Pogo volume 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder, Walt Kelly -- “What yo’ doin’, Uncle Albert?” “Packin’ a lunch in the mandolin like any sensible explorer.” Natural. Not that sensible describes any of the characters here. I've started volume 2, Bone Fide Balderdash, covering the next two years of the original syndicated strip, but haven't gotten far.

(That … is a lot of comics.)

In progress:

When a Snail Falls in Love (如果蜗牛有爱情), Ding Mo (丁墨) -- Contemporary police procedural/romance. I'm enjoying this a lot, but by way of content warning, it has not just a workplace romance but specifically mentor/intern romance. Xu Xu is ♥. Up to chapter 39 (of 70 long-for-web-serial chapters).

I also read a handful of chapters of
Way of Choices to ch745, and the openings of a couple other Chinese fantasies which I seem to have not jotted down. So it goes.


Subject quote from Stanzas—April, 1814, Percy Shelley.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/707908.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.


Poetry Monday, something that's slightly longer than 50 lines, but so be it:

To Jane: The Invitation, Percy Shelley

Best and brightest, come away!
Fairer far than this fair Day,
Which, like thee to those in sorrow,
Comes to bid a sweet good-morrow
To the rough Year just awake
In its cradle on the brake.
The Brightest hour of unborn Spring,
Through the winter wandering,
Found, it seems, the halcyon Morn
To hoar February born.
Bending from Heaven, in azure mirth,
It kissed the forehead of the Earth,
And smiled upon the silent sea,
And bade the frozen streams be free,
And waked to music all their fountains,
And breathed upon the frozen mountains,
And like a prophetess of May
Strewed flowers upon the barren way,
Making the wintry world appear
Like one on whom thou smilest, dear.
Away, away, from men and towns,
To the wild wood and the downs—
To the silent wilderness
Where the soul need not repress
Its music lest it should not find
An echo in another’s mind.
While the touch of Nature’s art
Harmonizes heart to heart.
I leave this notice on my door
For each accustomed visitor:—
“I am gone into the fields
To take what this sweet hour yields;—
Reflection, you may come tomorrow,
Sit by the fireside with Sorrow.—
You with the unpaid bill, Despair,—
You, tiresome verse-reciter, Care,—
I will pay you in the grave,—
Death will listen to your stave.
Expectation too, be off!
Today is for itself enough;
Hope, in pity mock not Woe
With smiles, nor follow where I go;
Long having lived on thy sweet food,
At length I find one moment’s good
After long pain—with all your love,
This you never told me of.”

Radiant Sister of the Day,
Awake! arise! And come away!
To the wild woods and the plains,
And the pools where winter rains
Image all their roof of leaves,
Where the pine its garland weaves
Of sapless green, and ivy dun
Round stems that never kiss the sun:
Where the lawns and pastures be,
And the sandhills of the sea:—
Where the melting hoar-frost wets
The daisy-star that never sets,
And wind-flowers, and violets,
Which yet join not scent to hue,
Crown the pale year weak and new;
When the night is left behind
In the deep east, dun and blind,
And the blue noon is over us,
And the multitudinous
Billows murmur at our feet,
Where the earth and ocean meet,
And all things seem only one
In the universal sun.

The Jane being Jane Williams, a neighbor and friend whose husband drowned with Shelley in a boating accident. Some of his best poems were written to her.


Subject quote from The Question———, Percy Shelley.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/707779.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.



A link that deserves a post of its own, because it packs a really hard punch:

Mad Magazine updates Edward Gorey in The Ghastlygun Tinies. (via)


Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/707439.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

A bit here, a piece here, and pretty soon it starts adding up to real linkage.

Photograph portraits of Star Wars characters and superheroes as 16th-century Flemish paintings.

A gallery of wet and generally grumpy about it owls. (via?)

On acceptable spellings of Hanukkah from a linguistics standpoint. (via)


Subject quote from The Earthly Paradise, Bellerophon in Lycia, William Morris.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/707147.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

For Poetry Monday, another missed sea poem:

“Exultation is the going,” Emily Dickinson

Exultation is the going
Of an inland soul to sea,
Past the houses—past the headlands—
Into deep Eternity—

Bred as we, among the mountains,
Can the sailor understand
The divine intoxication
Of the first league out from land?

Of course, this could just be a symbolic sea ...


Subject quote from I Used to Be a Sailor, Tracy Chapman.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/706825.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.


TBD is five years and seven months old.

Achievements unlocked in the past two months: changing paper orientation to make coloring to boundaries easier, drawing extra details on a coloring page (such as adding spots to a blank animal), drawing stars, shooting hoops at the park’s lowest basket, leapfrogging the bollards in front of Target, overhand knots, snapping

Achievements leveled up: addition by succession of any one-digit number to an arbitrary higher number (with decreasing accuracy for larger one-digit numbers), sounding out word spellings, LEGO assembly, yo-yoing, frequency of complaints about travel times (“When are we there yet?”)

I have far fewer notes than I thought I had -- or I wasn’t jotting them down. The one concrete developmental observation (aside from the short takes above) was from the start of last month: TBD glanced at 7 objects and count them in under a second because could see groups of 3+3+1 and knew that was 7. Subitizing is expanding!

I’ve lost count of the number of Christmas wish-lists that have been written out over the last five (!) months.

I also have only a few talking, talking bits, none as excellent as the woman who married a cheese:

Me: (reading) “... he joined the Space Canine Patrol.”
TBD: “dum da-da DUM!”

(4-page book written and illustrated on a trimmed manila folder, with grown-up spelling assistance; all pictures have two smiling humans the same size)
“The Camping Book | $realname //
They set up a tent. They find a trail. //
A tree was cut down on the trail. //
While walking on the trail for a long time they find a bear and a cat eating berries together.”

“Twinkle, twinkle, little smash
How I wonder what you mash”

“I read scary stories, but just when it’s day or I get scary dreams.”
(breathtaking level of self-awareness, offered unprompted)

“I don’t know how to wash myself. I just came to this town.”

To which last -- Uh huh. Nice try, kid. We’re still doing bathtime.


Subject quote from I Would Die 4 U, Prince.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/706772.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.


Pictures of early airplanes with lots of wings. (via)

Persuasive Maps. (via)

And related to the subject line, why walking on LEGOs hurts more than walking on fire. (via)


Subject quote from Edinburgh, Alfred Noyes.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/706432.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

Senses of spaces:

Time-lapse of a rocket launch as seen from the ISS. (via)

An excellent explainer about the mole* that NASA just landed on Mars from The Oatmeal. (via)

A drone tour of China’s Mount Fanjingshan. (via)

* NB: It's a robot mole.


Subject quote from Hymn before Sunrise, Samuel Coleridge.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/706279.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

For Poetry Monday, after a holiday in the frozen mountains, something a bit brisk:

Winter, William Campbell

Over these wastes, these endless wastes of white,
    Rounding about far, lonely regions of sky,
Winter the wild-tongued cometh with clamorous might;
    Deep-sounding and surgent, his armies of storm sweep by,
    Wracking the skeleton woods and opens that lie
Far to the seaward reaches that thunder and moan,
Where barrens and mists and beaches forever are lone.

Morning shrinks closer to night, and nebulous noon
    Hangs, a dull lanthorn, over the windings of snows;
And like a pale beech-leaf fluttering upward, the moon
    Out of the short day, wakens and blossoms and grows,
    And builds her wan beauty like to the ghost of a rose
Over the soundless silences, shrunken, that dream
Their prisoned deathliness under the gold of her beam.

Wide is the arch of the night, blue spangled with fire,
    From wizened edge to edge of the shrivelled-up earth,
Where the chords of the dark are as tense as the strings of a lyre
    Strung by the fingers of silence ere sound had birth,
    With far-off, alien echoes of morning and mirth,
That reach the tuned ear of the spirit, beaten upon
By the soundless tides of the wonder and glory of dawn.

The stars have faded and blurred in the spaces of night,
    And over the snow-fringed edges wakens the morn,
Pallid and heatless, lifting its lustreless light
    Over the skeleton woodlands and stretches forlorn,
    Touching with pallor the forests, storm-haggard and torn;
Till out of the earth’s edge the winter-god rises acold,
And strikes on the iron of the month with finger of gold.

Then down the whole harp of the morning a vibration rings,
    Thrilling the heart of the dull earth with throbbings and dreams
Of far-blown odours and music of long-vanished Springs;
    Till the lean, stalled cattle low for the lapping of streams,
    And the clamorous cock, to the south, where his dung-hill steams,
Looks the sun in the eye, and prophesies, hopeful and clear,
The stir in the breast of the wrinkled, bleak rime of the year.

Campbell was, if you can't tell, a Canadian--a very Keatsian one.


Subject quote from Ode to a Nightingale, John Keats.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/705937.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.


... a place for posting bits of fluff caught in my filters. Warning: I list "very bad poetry" among my interests.

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