sidravitale: match lighting fuse icon by ithildyn (ithildyn matchlight icon)
Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf is just terrific. There's just something about the way he uses English that fits with the direct nature of the story. I love it.

Appalled

May. 1st, 2013 06:34 am
sidravitale: japanese lady2 LJ icon by musesrealm (japanese lady2 musesrealm)
Just appalled that the implicit (jeez, explicit!) conclusions being drawn about "race card project" program I just heard on NPR essentially approves of racism slowing a man down by summarizing their impression of this black man's story who sits down in the examining room (to stay purposefully non-'uppity') as one of how "pressure" (racism) forces so-n-so to be a better doctor in this age of health insurance companies obsession with the bottom line. This program was supposed to be about race, not about doctoring in the modern American capitalist age.

The fact this doctor does it because of racism makes it wrong. The fact that you approve, intellectually, of a doctor spending more time with each patient merely obscures the matter by throwing an "see, it's all OK, really, because we like the effect of this racism on us, therefore, racism's all right" cast on the entire proceeding.

Bad call, NPR. Bad call.
sidravitale: japanese lady LJ icon by musesrealm (japanese lady musesrealm)
Damn, this is a good book. Painful reading, in some ways, because it's the story of two girls and their mother, who fled the (literally) burning temple of their cult, ran as far as the mother could take them, and washed up somewhere in Oklahoma. Because the story is told from the inside - the education of the girls doesn't include reading, for example, or TV, or even other languages, so clearly their lives and backgrounds are dramatically different from that of the average reader - the story of the history of the cult, the polygamous family that it constituted, unfolds from their perspective, slowly. Painful, because they believe so hard, and that belief is fundamentally corrupted at its very heart, and you know it reading from the outside.

Anyway, damn. Good book. Very good book.
sidravitale: japanese lady2 LJ icon by musesrealm (japanese lady2 musesrealm)
This is the first of the Cobweb Bride Trilogy, by Vera Nazarian, published by Norilana Books. The book gets off to a slow start, I found I wasn't absorbed until over 100 pages in. On at least one occasion I found myself thinking I was reading something better suited to the screen than a novel - there wasn't enough meat to characters' thoughts. More depth would have helped.

Once closer to the climax of this story, things took off, and I felt like characters had depth, and individual meaning.

Very interesting concept, uneven execution. I will read the next in the trilogy, definitely - I do want to know what happens next.
sidravitale: japanese lady2 LJ icon by musesrealm (japanese lady2 musesrealm)
I have little to say. Two young men attacked others with explosives a week ago today. I don't want to use the word 'terrorist' because, one, the word itself is so fraught it appears to drive everyone, media and politicians in this country, into madness, and two, I'm not sure this attack on people at the Boston Marathon really qualifies. I expect the surviving suspect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

I do want to comment on some of the commentary re: the "lockdown". Some commentators have referred to the request of the governor and mayor to remain in our homes this past Friday as martial law, which it isn't, so far as I can tell. Some have expressed fears that requests from that level of leadership will be phrased as orders at street level (by individual police officers). Poppycock. Most if not all of the citizenry were listening to the radio and watching TV news, and heard these requests directly and clearly. We are not, generally speaking, fools.
sidravitale: the_dibbler's Labyrinth 'goblin in hat' LJ icon (Default)
Well, that was quick. I proposed an article to the New England Law Review's digital edition, and it's been accepted. They publish shorter pieces than the print review, and given the subject (about which I am deliberately saying nothing) it's going to be an extremely timely article.
sidravitale: Uhura "open your own damn hailing frequencies" LJ icon by taraljc (STTOS taraljc uhura)
My hours have dropped a little for the expert witness company I've been working for and I am THRILLED. Yes, the prospect of working 3 10-hour days per week for them, one 8-hour day per week for someone else, followed by three days OFF makes me thrilled because that many days in a row means writing time so long as I don't need to be in court for someone.

So, I've been limbering my fingers, editing District Court Station and looking for a market for it. I have some lawyerly things to do tomorrow but not really. So, I'll be thinking about writing projects, and hopefully starting on something.
sidravitale: match lighting fuse icon by ithildyn (ithildyn matchlight icon)
Love this:

Phillip II of Macedon to Sparta: "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army on your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people and raze your city."

Sparta's reply: "If."
sidravitale: audrey hepburn LJ icon by musesrealm (audrey hepburn musesrealm)
There's a Vanity Fair issue out right now w/Audrey Hepburn on the cover, and the article and photos are on her life in Rome. I always associate my aunt Joyce, who died in 1996 of breast cancer, with Audrey Hepburn: they both seemed ladies of great composure and kindness.

Socializing

Apr. 8th, 2013 09:26 am
sidravitale: japanese lady2 LJ icon by musesrealm (japanese lady2 musesrealm)
Good grief, I socialized last night. Practically unprecedented. Met some folks at a restaurant in Somerville. The bus was astonishingly cooperative (esp. for a Sunday).
sidravitale: Harry Potter LJ icon by fire_bad (Harry Potter trio icons)
I've been introducing P to the Harry Potter movies, as of last night we've finished Goblet of Fire. She is enjoying them a lot, occasionally I point out stuff because we've lived together long enough that I know I need to - she has a knack for looking away at the wrong moment - and she's enjoying watching this crowd of kids grow up on film.

P is the same woman who has gone her whole life without seeing the Star Wars films - without being SPOILED for them, which takes special skill, I guess. So we watched those - the original trilogy on VHS without all that damned 're-mastering', I don't know what I'll do when the tapes finally expire - and Episodes II, III, and then I - also known as Machete Order, http://static.nomachetejuggling.com/machete_order.html, and I am here to report that doing it in that order made perfect sense to her, especially treating Episode I as a stand-alone "kids movie" as Machete Order suggests. I enjoyed them very much in this order, too, btw.
sidravitale: golden girl apples advert LJ icon by musesrealm (golden girl apples musesrealm)
About environmental justice, food justice. Makes me want to forget immigration and go back to an area of law where people don't flee screaming from acronyms like 'ppm' (parts per million).
sidravitale: japanese lady2 LJ icon by musesrealm (japanese lady2 musesrealm)
Today's (well, this morning's tea, let's just say that): Assam Tea, from http://englishteastore.com.

And, to those who observe it, happy Ragnar Lodbrok Day!
sidravitale: japanese lady2 LJ icon by musesrealm (japanese lady2 musesrealm)
Wow, I haven't made chai in a long time, I've never made it w/soy milk instead of real milk, and I've never had a 'vanilla mint' chai.

Clearly, I've been missing something. This stuff's really good!
sidravitale: japanese lady2 LJ icon by musesrealm (japanese lady2 musesrealm)
Greetings, sunrise peeping over the hill!
sidravitale: japanese lady2 LJ icon by musesrealm (japanese lady2 musesrealm)
I love their sake face mask, and threw in a couple cosmetics as well (creme eyeshadows). J-list.com doesn't carry a lot of cosmetics but the skincare items they do carry are nice (sake face mask, skin milk). I also picked up some "paper soap", which are these little soap sheets for taking with you when you travel somewhere the public toilet doesn't have soap.

It's funny, I buy my face washes from j-list in Japan and Batty's Bath in Canada - my skin is international!

I'd love to try some korean skincare products but I haven't found the right thing/website to try yet, and now that I've gotten a couple Lavera NaturKosmetic products, I'm going to be sampling more of their products, or other German products.

NB: J-list is actually two sites, j-list, which includes adult items, and j-box, which doesn't, so, choose accordingly.
sidravitale: japanese lady2 LJ icon by musesrealm (japanese lady2 musesrealm)
Otona no Kagaku (Science for Adults) is a magazine + science project line popular in Japan. I just think it's so darn cool.

http://www.jbox.com/product/GAK036 - gramaphone project.
http://www.jbox.com/product/GAK035 - steam engine project.
http://www.jbox.com/product/GAK003 - robot project.

Sometimes I really wish I lived in Japan. Not because I'm dying to do one of these projects (although I think any of them would be way cool fun to do), but because American attitudes toward science, math, and technology are so dismissive and generally hateful.

I always remember how dismissive someone was in one of my college math class "discussion" sections (as opposed to the actual lecture) when I jumped up to work a problem on the board, because I was excited to do it (I also had the wrong solution!), like it was wrong to be excited about math. It was my major, asshole! (Double major, physics w/a concentration in astrophysics and mathematics. And I shouldn't have been made to feel defensive about it, dammit.)

20 years later and I'm still angered by that moment, whether it was shut-me-up b/c math isn't supposed to be cool, or shut-me-up people aren't supposed to be passionate and engaged, or shut-me-up because I am female. (Not that America has a lock on the latter, to be sure. I'd sure hate to be pigeonholed as an "office lady" in a Japanese company.)

Anyways, popular science is a wonderful thing.
sidravitale: japanese lady2 LJ icon by musesrealm (japanese lady2 musesrealm)
Today's (morning) tea: Scottish Breakfast Tea from http://englishteastore.com. I drink a lot of their teas. (And, eat a lot of their mince pies at Christmastime and mini Battenbergs at any time. Delish.) For green teas I go more (online, at least) to Adagio teas.
sidravitale: firefly kaylee "cheerfulgirl" LJ icon by counterglow (firefly cheerfulgirl kaylee)
Have finally tried White Monkey Paw from http://www.englishteastore.com, which I bought a month or so ago on a friend's recommendation. What a great tea!
sidravitale: japanese lady2 LJ icon by musesrealm (japanese lady2 musesrealm)
I got 4 Rishi teas in the mail from a Certain Someone:

Blueberry Rooiboos (decaf)
West Cape Chai (a rooiboos based blend) (decaf)
Vanilla Mint Chai (a pu-erh based blend)
Peppermint Rooiboos (decaf)

I've tried the blueberry (delish!) and am looking forward to trying the rest. It's so lovely having some flavorful teas to drink in the evening.

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