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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Weekend Retrospective in Unordered List with Minimal Nesting

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Weekend Retrospective in Unordered List with Minimal Nesting

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  • Every now and then, I have one of those social butterfly weekends. This was one of those weekends. Bobby and I met our friends Tristan and Don for Indian food on Friday night. On Saturday, we hosted a Burns supper for six of our friends in the SCA. It was so, so much fun. The food, prepared by Bobby (except vanilla ice cream by moi), was fabulous and plentiful. We had some big eaters at the party and still put away leftovers. There was beer and Scotch. Lots of empty bottles, and four different kinds of Scotch to pass around. (I indulged in my favorite, Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban, and ended up quite happy.)

  • Sunday was less good. Bobby was at Ski Patrol training, taking the sled down a double black diamond run with moguls (apparently the most challenging run to do with the sled on a snowboard) when some ass on skis cut in front of him. To avoid hitting the guy, Bobby put on the brakes hard and ended up wiping out and reinjuring the shoulder he separated last year. So he's back in the sling. It's not as bad as the injury last year, thankfully. Two of the senior patrolers took off after the guy who caused the accident and gave him a piece of their minds at the bottom of the hill.

  • It's been ridiculously cold now for over a week. It is presently 12F/-11C. Yesterday, it got above freezing here for the first time since last week. When I woke up in the morning, it was 33F/1C and actually felt warm outside when I went out to care for the chickens. It was short-lived, though, and by going-home time that afternoon, was back down below freezing again.

  • I am almost done with my current grad school class. The class is on the Enlightenment and is the one where I am the only student in the class. It has been ... okay. It is just not the time period that I am most interested in, and the reading has been lengthy and intense, with a paper due for each work.

    • The Memoirs of Princess Dashkova

    • The Confessions of J.J. Rousseau (this guy is fucking crazy and the book is about as long as Don Quixote*)

    • Pride and Prejudice (this week felt like vacation!!)

    • the major works of Thomas Paine (totaling to DQ length again)

    • The Journals of Lewis and Clark (not the whole thing thank god)

    It has been hard to motivate myself. I have my final paper left and a multimedia presentation of my abstract, and that's it. I finished the Lewis and Clark paper this weekend. I think the final paper is going to be on idealistic depictions of Nature in Rousseau and Paine and how each author uses the concept of the "natural man" in developing his ideas of the ideal government and civilization. Doesn't that sound exciting? The good thing is that I have most of my sources already from the papers I already had to write on these authors.

    *Don Quixote has long been my standard for what counts as a long book, ever since middle-school Spanish class when the length of DQ was the subject of hushed awe by my teacher. I had to read DQ for my last class on the Renaissance so it is on my Kindle now, and it is easy to compare its length to that of other books by the number of little dots below it on the listing.

  • I am taking March off from school. I can do crazy things like that now that I'm no longer on financial aid.

  • The Goldens got into a fight yesterday. I had taken some overcooked, stale wontons out to the chickens. The wind caught them and blew a few of them and a lot of crumbs past the fence and onto the snow. Phil gobbled up the whole wontons right away. I didn't think much of it. Bobby and I were eating breakfast when we heard one of the Goldens start crying outside. We both ran to the door since there is a possum living in the shed, and we were afraid one of them had gotten to it. But no ... Phil had his jaws closed on Alex's head and was pinning him to the ground while Alex screamed. Alex has a small puncture over his right eye. As far as we can tell, they were fighting over the wonton crumbs, as though they don't have ample meat-based food constantly available in the house.

  • And I think that's all.

This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

  • Poor Alex! I hope they settled it themselves and that you/Bobby didn't have to break it up.

    I almost wish it would simply remain cold here. Almost. I'm quite over winter weather, but just when it starts to feel nice, the temperature will plummet 50 degrees in 24 hours. o.O
    • Bobby had to break it up! With one arm! D^:

      I do have some measure of appreciation for the fact that it's been steadily cold. My internal thermostat has actually had a chance to adjust. It was in the 40s on Monday and felt like spring. It only lasted a few hours, but if we had had several days of that, then the plunge back to 15F (the current temp) would have been even worse.
  • Poor Alex. He's the youngest, right? I'm glad he seems to be recovering (and yes, my dog gives us pleading hey-I'm-ravenous-please-feed-me! looks after an ample breakfast, so food is definitely their raison d'etre). How frustrating for Bobby to be injured again, when it wasn't his fault!

    I'm glad you're taking a break from teaching: one less thing to be stressed about (and, hint hint, more time to write for B2MEM!).
    When you say you're the only person in class... does everyone else stream their lectures online?

    As per usual, I'm not sure how you juggle so much, but more power to you!

    We're in the midst of summer here. It's times like these that I'm grateful to.live in Sydney, because being on the coast we're spared the worst of the heat inland. Adelaide in particular has been scorching.

    Edited at 2014-01-29 04:16 am (UTC)
    • Alex is the older, actually! And he's significantly larger than Lancelot too. Alex is 80lb/36kg, and Lance is 68lb/31kg. Alex is a big pansy, though! :D

      When you say you're the only person in class... does everyone else stream their lectures online?

      It's an online class, so I am literally the only person enrolled in the class! :D My professor and I discuss each work online and then I turn in my work, and that's about it. (It's been nice in that the usual hours each week I'd have to devote to online discussions have been drastically reduced, since I'm only communicating with my professor.)

      As per usual, I'm not sure how you juggle so much, but more power to you!

      A ridiculous obsession with efficiency, mostly, coupled with the almost complete sacrifice of free time. ;)

      I am so looking forward to some of the latter back ...

      We're in the midst of summer here.

      Oh my, and it's even reached our news here (which seems to often forget that there are countries outside the U.S., unless we're at war with them) how ridiculous your summers have been lately. My sympathies--extreme heat is in many ways even worse to cope with than the extreme cold!

      ETA ... oh, and I got that hint! I've claimed a prompt for writing and for art and, once I've gotten something done for those, would definitely consider more. ;)

      Edited at 2014-01-29 11:09 pm (UTC)
  • Ack! Dog fights are the worst! Sugar and Sissy used to have some doozies--more than once requiring a vet visit. But when we would separate them by putting them in different rooms with a child gate, they'd sit there gazing at one another mournfully. (And they didn't even need crumbs to fight over, either.)

    Umm...who is Princess Dashkova, and why are her memoirs significant?

    I'm so glad that Bobby was not more seriously injured--that had to be dreadfully scary.

    I miss the SCA. *sigh*
    • But when we would separate them by putting them in different rooms with a child gate, they'd sit there gazing at one another mournfully.

      Alex and Lance would probably do the same! They adore each other. Bobby and I often joke that they like each other more than they like either of us!

      (And they didn't even need crumbs to fight over, either.)

      Lol. My neighbor's dogs are that way. (He has two Boston terriers and a Yorkie.) We'll hear screeching and carrying on and my neighbor yelling, "Lily! Joey! LILY!! JOEY!! Goddamn it!" :D

      Alex and Lance only ever fight over food. We still laugh over the time, at a cookout we had around Lancelot's first birthday, that we got each of them one of those Frosty Paws dog ice creams, and they got in a fight because I guess Alex was standing too close to Lance while he was just trying to enjoy his ice cream. We still call Lance "Ice Cream Fighter" sometimes.

      Umm...who is Princess Dashkova, and why are her memoirs significant?

      She was the best friend of Catherine the Great. She participated in the revolution that put Catherine on the throne, then served as her lady in waiting. She was an intellectual, and Catherine appointed her first to the Academy of Science and then put her in charge of compiling the first Russian dictionary. When Catherine died, Dashkova was exiled, and almost no one knows her now. (I didn't until I had to take this class.)

      Her memoirs are fascinating in that they show how such an obviously intelligent and competent woman negotiates that success and her position of power in a society that still valued submissiveness in women. (To give fair warning, there are also extremely boring stretches that are Silmarillion-like catalogues of the various important people she met in her travels.) She is also very obviously trying to manage her legacy and that of Catherine, which makes her a fascinating real-life example of the unreliable narrator.

      I miss the SCA. *sigh*

      We are not officially involved at the moment, but we have so many good friends in the SCA that it is impossible to separate entirely. Our friends have coaxed us into attending Kingdom A&S this weekend (co-hosted by our barony and the next barony over) and starting to get involved in demos again.
      • If we'd stayed in Mississippi, I'd still be involved. I had only just taken over the office of Herald when we found out we were going to move.

        I miss it dreadfully, but it's just not the same here.
        • Things changed in our barony, at least from where Bobby and I were sitting. We had a series of negative experiences that soured us both. We just weren't having fun.

          We've decided to play more on our terms. We have some great friends, so we'll hang with them and do the things we love. We both enjoy demos, so we're going to start there.

          We're not going to make the mistake of being officers or too deeply involved as volunteers again; that was just too cutthroat last time, and recognition is not why I do things, so it seemed weird to be the subject of vitriol for doing a job that needed doing.
          • Our Barony was, well, special. I won't say there were never disagreements or personality clashes, because that wouldn't be realistic. But there was a feeling that pervaded the group, that all that had to take a back seat in order to do what was good for Seleone. When an event or a demo came around, everyone pulled together, and everyone pulled their own weight.

            Our founding Baron and Baroness were/are amazing folks, and most of those who started the group are still core members, and yet new people were/are always made welcome. I still follow the groups' e-list on Yahoo! and often "watch" them preparing for events and such, so I know that the best things have not changed.

            The closest group here--well, I went to one or two meetings, and just did not feel included. I don't mean I was unwelcome, but there wasn't a lot of effort to draw me in, either. Plus, here the distances are a lot more as well.

  • Did you actually read the whole of Don Quijote? I don't knbow what's the standard in Spain (*waves to Russandol*) but few people here outside of the literature majors are expected to have more than a superficial read of the most famous parts (the windmills and so on) and move on.I'm truying to remember what the expectations for average high school courses are but I think there's more reading of plays (mostly everybody has read or knows the plot of Fuenteovejuna!)

    The 18th century isn't my favourite either but the topic of your paper sounds very interesting to me.

    Dog fights: never ended at the vet but Benito seems to be always looking for an excuse to start some pack-climbing event (not that there are many dogs to elbow out to the top :D)!

    The weather is one of the top topics of this month: you've been freezing and we've been boiling: Thursday last week, the real feel got to 48°C!
    • I did read all of DQ for my Renaissance class last semester (in English translation). Bobby had taken the same class a couple of years ago, and he only had to read excerpts in an anthology. Well, the university is switching to trying to provide as many texts online as possible (versus making us buy books), so I didn't have to buy the anthology and, therefore, had to read the whole thing.

      I didn't mind, though ... I loved it. I regretted that I only had two weeks to read it in and so had to push through parts that I really would have preferred to spend more time with. It is top of my list to reread as soon as I have fun-reading time again, and once I get my Spanish back up to an acceptable level, I'd like to read it again in Spanish.

      At age 12, I had to read the play Man of La Mancha, which is based on DQ and which I was obsessed with for most of that year. :D

      Thursday last week, the real feel got to 48°C!

      Ye gods. I think I'd prefer the deep cold. :(
  • Oh, no! Poor Bobby.

    Yeah, the cold is ridiculous. We got up to 53 a couple of days ago and it felt wonderful. We're back in the teens now.

    Reading Thomas Paine sounds interesting. But the rest of it… Uh-uh. (I got lucky; I never had to read Don Quixote. Actually, I don't think I had to read anything from Spanish literature in any of my classes, college included. The only "books" we read-- in high school-- were specifically written for Spanish learners.)
    • We got into the 40s on Monday, and Bobby opened the window in the car when he went out to lunch. (Which I thought was pushing it, personally, but it did feel nice for, oh, about six hours! :D)

      Now it is 14F and was 6F when we woke up this morning (at 8 AM, because we had enough light snow to warrant a two-hour school delay).

      I enjoyed Thomas Paine. Parts were tedious (he does a lot of economic breakdowns and spends quite a bit of time arguing with this member of the English House of Commons named Mr. Burke) but it was fascinating to see these ideas that were so radical in their day and that we now either take for granted or that have somehow been forgotten by those who like to carry on about how such-and-such was wanted by the Founding Fathers. (Chief of that the idea that it is itself a form of tyranny to impose the laws of a previous generation on the current generation, similar to Jefferson's notion that there should be a revolution in every generation.)

      The Paine writings are available for free online and on Kindle (I'm sure Nook too). I paid something like $1.99 to download them to my Kindle with a table of contents and other features that make navigating a work of that length easier.

      I actually loved Don Quixote; my chief regret was that I only had two weeks with it and so had to push through it rather fast. I plan to reread it when I have time to read it more for enjoyment than the culling of quotes for discussion boards and term papers! :^P

      I had to read literature once in Spanish class: La Gitanilla, also by Cervantes, in my Spanish IV class in the tenth grade. I remember it being so challenging at first and then getting easier! I read DQ in the English translation; my Spanish is no longer up to par for that! :)
      • I think it was 3 when I woke up this morning. But it'll be warmer for the next couple of days before it gets cold again. (I like cold weather. This is too much!)

        I'll look on Gutenburg for Paine's stuff. I've heard enough about it to know I'd find it intriuging. I know I've read excerpts, but I don't remember them. (I have access to my Dad's iPad, but it's work-owned, so I don't put much of anything on it.)

        DQ is one of those books that I think I should read just because it is what it is, but given that my to-read list is 43 books long (and those are just the ones I own, not the library books)… I don't think it'll be anytime soon. And definitely in the translation; I barely remember any Spanish.
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