eruthros: closeup on apples, text "fruit porn" (fruit porn - apples)
1. Sometimes I cook all fancy! I'm home visiting my folks, and my dad wanted to grill because he's been watching this grilling cooking show. But I basically don't eat meat except for fish, so we settled on tuna, because it doesn't stick to the grill. So this was yesterday's dinner:

grilled marinated tuna and mango salsa taco-ish things for the noms )

2. Speaking of California, I often find staying with my parents somewhat frustrating (and helping my mom out with her work can be exceptionally frustrating).

But! Here are some of the things that California has in addition to fruit: It's-Its. Blue Bottle Coffee (<3<3<3). Tacos. Breakfast pastries at the Ferry Building. Boogaloo's amazing grilled plantain cakes. Persimmons from the tree in the backyard. Some friends I haven't seen in a while. Fan peoples. Thrift stores. An ocean.

3. There is going to be another Avatar: The Last Airbender (and Avatar: Legend of Korra) fanwork exchange over at [community profile] white_lotus! I plan to ask for Korra/Chief Bei Fong, among other things, so it is basically guaranteed to include great things.

Anyway, if you are interested, there's a draft signup post to poke at (to make sure all your favorite characters are on the list!) and tomorrow there will be a draft rules post that take people's suggests from last year into account. And signups will start later this week!

As part of making it work this year, we've also made an AO3 collection for the challenge, so that people who want to play in an anon-slow-reveal challenge but also want to be able to edit their fanworks can play that way. People will still be able to just send us their fanworks and have them posted straight to the comm, but the AO3 thing should make it easier for people who are already using the AO3. (Plus we belatedly made a collection for last year, so if you want to you can submit your fanworks to the collection.)

4. Remember that top one hundred specfic works thing? I haven't forgotten it, I promise, I just got cranky when I organized everything for Condorcet voting on a website that said it would do it ... and then couldn't deal with 250 things in a list, Grr. And then I tried a bunch of other places, and they all would only do ten items or allow 50 voters or blahblah. I might end up just doing it in comments and uploading the data flat to a Condorcet calculator. (The short version of condorcet: it's sometimes called ranked-choice or instant-runnoff voting [though a lot of different methods end up being called these things, since the terms are used confusingly in news stories], and it's usually done for single-winner issues. It can be done for a multiple-winner issue, though, and I thought it would be fun because it would let people rank as many things as they wanted. It's a kind of neat alternative since it lets you rank things you hate low, and not have to do careful vote manipulation to make your vote "count." But APPARENTLY the javascript version of the Condorcet page crashes liek whoah.)

5. some stuff about the OTW )
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (BtVS Tara avatar avatar)
The good:

1. My folks are in Philadelphia! They are visiting for a conference, but they've got some free time and will be touristing around a bit.

2. Bartram's Garden on the Schuylkill. Bartram's Garden is the oldest (extant) botanical garden in the U.S., and, although it is very small, rather a lot of fun. Plus it's right on the river; John Bartram traveled by boat, so the house and gardens face the dock. Bartram's Garden is also the location of the Franklin tree, which the Bartrams saved from extinction, and of the oldest known gingko tree in the country. And it is free. And you can sit by the water. Altogether yay.

3. [livejournal.com profile] m_shell, who is the best girlfriend ever, brought me a chocolate cheesecake brownie from Metropolitan Bakery. Incredibly good stuff, that.

The bad:
1. Headache undefeated by painkillers.

2. Hot. World = too hot.

3. Problems with plumbing AGAIN. Toilet running AGAIN. Have to call landlord to call stupid handyman AGAIN. Maybe this time it will actually be fixed for good. (Ha.)

The ugly:

1. Very bad case of contact dermatitis on hands, and I don't know what new and different thing I've decided to be allergic to now. (Not that it would make a difference; I'm avoiding everything until it goes away, and it wouldn't go away any faster if I worked out that it was the hand soap in the bathroom versus the new sponges in the kitchen.) It's itchy and hot and makes my hands look alien and swollen and awful. As I told [livejournal.com profile] m_shell, if my hands are going to look like somebody else's hands, they could at least make the somebody else itch instead of me.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (BtVS cheeseman nonsense)
There's this, from Connecticut: man charged with lewd conduct involving a toy banana. Best line from the article, bar none: "'It was a yellow, plush, child's toy banana,' Petrone said. 'It had a smiley face on it.'" Apparently he was sorta ... flashing people with said banana. Eeesh.

And then there's this, from London: man's attempt to rob bookies foiled when they recognize that his gun is a banana. Yes. He wrapped a banana in a plastic bag and tried to pretend it was a gun. Best line from THIS article, bar none: "This did not produce the desired effect: assistant Peter Humphrey calmly turned to a colleague and said: 'He said he has a gun, but it might be a banana.'" (The attempted robber was then captured because his balaclava was too tight and he couldn't get it off. Aiiiya.)

In non-banana-themed news, today I plan to make it to Skein Lane, a yarn shop, on my way in to Berkeley. I will pet the Manos del Uruguay and pretend I can afford it. Alpaca! Whee! However, it is raining rather a lot, so I'm a bit dubious about the whole waltzing-around-the-Bay-Area plan.

The rain and sun here have balanced to make a perfect wildflower season, so my family and I are planning to go to three-cypress bluff off of four-mile beach in Wilder Ranch, home to one of the highest concentration of California native plants in the state. So many bushes that you can barely walk -- there's a tiny little path, and that's all. It's especially astonishing because the plants are all coastal natives, and the coastal natives have been especially threatened by things like iceplant. (Things along highway one have weird names -- four mile beach is four miles north of the SC city limits, and three-cypress bluff has, near as I recall, four cypresses, but whatever.)
eruthros: llamas! (llamas)
I am obsessively tracking a Christmas package containing a present for my dad -- not because I'm worried that it will be late, but because I like to see where it goes. "Hey, it's in Idaho!" "Whoa, it just inexplicably turned around and made a loop around Chicago!" "It's in the Florida Keys!"

I wish more tracking-package websites had maps with little lines. That would be fun. Little red lines showing your package making said inexplicable side trip where it looped Chicago. Whee!

Or I wish I shipped more packages. Because it's just so much fun!

Package tracking: the adult equivalent of the cardboard box the present came in.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
As many of you probably know, there are ANSWER peace demonstrations and marches in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. this Saturday. There are supposed to be similar protests in 23 countries. Here, it's timed for MLK Jr. weekend, reminding people about the history of nonviolent protest. Where I am now, in SC, there are fliers with bright red "No War in Iraq" slogans posted all over detailing the marches; when I went to the bookstore today, the gentleman at the counter handed me a flier. I mean, these are going to be big events.

So last week my mother phoned me. I couldn't talk long, and usually in that case she wants to know how I am, but this time she said "I only called to make sure you were going to do something January 18th." And I said yes, and that I might go home to go to SF. The upshot of this is that I will be going to the protest in SF with my folks and my sister, and possibly some of her friends.

Then, a few days ago, I was talking to a friend of mine. He has friends and relatives from Ohio crashing at his place so that they can make the protest. [livejournal.com profile] m_shell is going with her family. And today I was talking to another friend of mine, who asked if I was going. I said yes, with my family. He said his father and brother were going with him. We expressed amusement at the family-ness of it all, and he said "We're thinking of making it a family day out, you know, go to Reds and the labor monuments."

Anti-war protest is now a family outing. I think that says something about the kind of support the anti-war movement is getting; I mean, young people (men especially) have an enlightened self-interest thing going on, certainly, and some people my parents' age have been involved in protests since Vietnam. But to see them not only participating in the same protests and listening to the same speakers and poetry jammers but actually going together is astonishing to me. And wonderful.

Forget Disneyland; this year, take your kids to nonviolent protest! It's endorsed by GLBT groups, the AFL-CIO, Janeane Garofalo, the Communist Party of the USA, and the National Lawyers Guild! Or, for a longer vacation, check out the Presidents' Day peace week.

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eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
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