I was reading a fic where one a character sarcastically thought “The Devil has a housemate.”
It’s amazing what how a simple line can dredge up a memory.
I once ran into an ex of my late-husband. We were just about to find out we have a mutual acquaintance in A. A who saw me coming, purposely mentioned Bill (my late-husband), knowing the ex would snark, giving me fair warning as I had never met B before. I began to see why she’s an ex as she spoke. B made a comment along the lines she heard the devil has a new mate just as I walked up. “She does,” I replied in a tone dripping with sweet poison, “He’s everything a consort of Mine could be and then some. We thrive and burn together beautifully. It’s refreshing to find one worthy, as neither of us are for the weak.” It was wonderful watching her blanch as we are introduced and at her realization that 1- I heard her and 2- I took on the mantle of being Lucifer, thus making the man she just disparaged my mate. So who was the evil one?
All of that to say that I’m exhausted and that’s all I have for you dear people. Stick a fork in me folks – I’m done for the day.
Someone had posted in a recent slice that one evening when they were too tired to work on the slice they wanted they used a random word generator that gave her several words. She then (not so?) simply gave short a memory or factoid invoked by said word. Easy peasy-ish. I liked that idea knowing as we wound down I would have at least one such “It’s after 11 I need to post a slice moment!” and here it is.
I have no idea where or what I clicked, but I wound up with this:
Well I’ve done it now. Never one to give up a word challenge, I played the hand I was dealt. And also because I am a self-flagellating glutton I was determined to use all three words.
Though I know this is not what you meant or the option you used on your slice, this is what I got and thus makes this partially your fault – you know who you are. Stop smiling!
So without further ado – I give you “Parentronustring”
Parentronustring – an extremely rare form of the Patronus spell. Users invoke the same Patronus spell of ???. However instead of a spirit animal appearing it is the spellcaster’s parents who are move beyond this earthly plane. Please note the use of plural here. Yes, the young witch or wizard first casting this spell is an orphan.
For reason no one has been able to explain, both parents will have died of causes other than magical or ill-intent. Usually it is from something medical such as an untreatable terminal illness. Or a random freak accident such as struck by lightning in a storm. It is always both parents that have died from such causes. The parents may not have died at the same time, but both have passed away at least a year before the young witch or wizard has received their invitation to wizarding school letter.
The shock of this is often so disturbing to the child they immediately reject it. Akin to the Sorting Hat, that sometimes takes the wants of the user into consideration, so does the Patronus spell. Once the student of the Parentronustring finds the courage to cast again, it will be of a figure, a spirit animal, more palatable to them.
A Parentonustring’s first casting invokes the parent who died first. The spell has the suffix of “string” because, unless a traumatic event of such magnitude cause a change – see ?? Snape’s Patronus change from ?? to Lily Potter’s ??, for the rest of the witch or wizard’s life one parent then the other will appear in a rotating string.
I saw the above comment on a blog post not to long ago. I understood that commenter was attempting to be sympatico to the blogger’s post by quoting the phrase. I understood what she was trying to say. Still, my mind record-scratched and went all Inigo Montoya: I do not think it means what you think it means.
The blogger used the phrase “navel gazing”. It was used in the modern sense – being unintentionally or narcissitically self-absorbed on a given matter to the near exclusion of others views. In the blogger’s case it was truly unintentional as it pertained to the post and made sense. It wasn’t the commenter’s use of the phrase of which I took umbrage, but the news example used to demonstrate the point.
Corona virus has become a common part of the American lexicon for the past three weeks. Even so, thanks to media misinformation, it made it sound like something that was only happening overseas. Sure some have heard of it before then, but it had not reached critical mass until recently. Let’s be real, most of us here in the US, likely did not give much credence to its dangers until last week when the direness of it touched our personal shores.
I had read the article mentioned. The rafters were on the Colorado River completely “off the grid.” If they were just returning from their three-week excursion this week, that means they started their trip before it became a major thing here. They had no communication with the outside world for three weeks. How could they know what was now happening here in the States? Who wouldn’t have a moment of utter disbelief upon hearing such news? That is not navel-gazing and thus my knee-jerk, The Princess Bride, response at what was more than likely the commenter’s knee-jerk response to the blog post however unfair it seemed to me to the river rafters.
And as my mind is wont to do – it then leaped from Inigo Montoya to semantics – or specifically semantic change. Semantic Change is the term for how some words or phrases change meaning over time. For example: the word awful was once used the way we now overuse the word awesome – something that fills one with awe – a very good thing. That certainly is not how we use awful now. An even better example is how we now use the word gay compared to its original use. That in turn circled my brain to Omphaloskepsis.
Omphaloskepsis. I knew there was a word for navel-gazing that did not have a medical prefix like ortho or optha. So yes, I did have to look that up. Navel-gazing‘s etymology was meditative-contemplative-almost religious in connotation originally. That type of self-absorption was not the bad thing being a navel gazer implies now.
And that is about the point I realized my own mind was navel gazing, in the bad way, to the point of being pedantic about the whole thing. I closed my mental Funk and Wagnalls and decided to slice about my insane mind and its internal wiki-walk. And if don’t know what look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls means – you may not want to, because depending on how you look at it, you bet your sweet bippy you’ll either grin in rememberance or groan in regret.
I have dozens of recipes saved from social media that caught my attention over time. Mind you, when I say I have dozens, I do mean DOZENS. Of those dozens of oh so tasty looking culinary concoctions, perhaps a grand total of five have come from faves to fruition in my kitchen. I just re-read the previous sentence – good good – between the alliteration and slat rhyme I know Muse is grimacing. Forgive me, girl. But I digress… Usually months (more like *cough* years *cough*), after the initial save, I get around to actually trying a recipe. This is not on of those times.
A friend shared a Facebook post about Dalgona or “Whipped Coffee.” Coffee lover that I am I was instantly drawn it. The end result truly looked like an upside down cappuccino. Just don’t ask my why after a surprisingly busy day of working by remote access and at the then 10:30-something at night when I knew I still had a slice to do that I felt I just had to this thing and do it NOW.
There was no recipe given in the video, but it seemed simple straight forward enough. Here is my take on it…
Unlike 11pm at night when I rushed it because I had a slice to write, I’ve since googled to get the proper recipe. I was right and had much more water than the 1:1:1 (1 part coffee, 1 part sugar and 1 part water), of the instructions. Mine was more foamy, than creamy, but I loved it. I am definitely want to do this again, with a few modifications.
This is a heart dump. I need to get this out before the rage I feel right now threatens to choke the humanity in me as much as I want to choke some of the beings that call themselves human right now.
A friend had the shit beat of her simply because she loves the same sex as her own. She is one of the the craziest, yet nicest people I know. She was beaten simply because of how she is wired to love and did not feel the need to hide it, to fear for it. She was beaten badly. Badly enough that we, her friends – fought to convince her, if she did not want to go to the police, to at least go to the hospital and have herself properly checked out.
“Live and let live is what they say right? She was lucky she was let live…” a now former…someone…(because I refuse to grant them the honorific of friend) of hers, quipped. It was said in such a way that we who heard it understood where their sympathies lay. It was not with the woman finally going to the ER.
*Seeing Red* did not begin to describe the backlash that occurred from the rest of us when that gem was dropped. There was almost another person headed to the ER.
Yes, “Live and let live” includes the words live. It does NOT include the carte blanche to whip someone’s arse because that someone will live through it.
We take take all these steps forward as humans and then shit like this happens and we are forced to acknowledge how many, many, many more steps there are to go.
Life is hard enough for us all right now. How the fuck is this still happening?
Every now and then an inspired soul will randomly graffiti a sidewalk, or wall; tack a note to a tree; stick a note in a flowerbed etc. with a message that resonates with me. I call them messages from the universe. I saw this lovely message graffitied on a landing of my train station on the way to work this morning and had to post it to my facebook page.
What I liked most about this simple message was its location. In order to see this you would have, presumably, paid your fare and be on the way up the stairs to the train platform level. That means the decision to get up, go through whatever your morning routine may be and then go where you have to go, to do what you have to do has already been made and put into motion.
That’s already a step in a good direction.
I mean no one purposely sets out to have a bad day. At least I hope not. I fully admit I am not a morning person. Yes, I get up bright and surly every weekday morning, but no, I do not get up with the thought that the day will be a lousy one and I am going to do everything I can to keep it so. I presume it is the same for most people.
That we do this out of habit, necessity, or boss’ orders is especially noteworthy in today’s climate where that decision to step outside your home means contact with others who have made that same decision. We are now hyper sensitive to what that can mean.
We have gone through mad cow, e-coli, bird flu and other medical scares. I am fully cognizant that this is a more virulent and wide spread strain of anything we’ve seen before, but as a species, we have survived and we will continue to. Some have sequestered or been quarantined in various levels before, but what we have not done is stop living.
COVID-19 has hit hard in Italy, among other places. Still, no one can deny the joie de vivre in the videos of Italians singing during quarantine. They are quarantined, not knowing what the next day will bring. Yet they sing. Why? Because they are alive, but above all they have not stopped living.
So yes, be safe. Take ALL the precautions: avoid unnecessary contact with others and yourself; sneeze and cough into a tissue or not partially above or partially under – but directly into the crook of your elbows; use sanitizers every where you can; and for God’s sake, please wash your hands!
Remember people that you are alive, so live! And in spite of it all…
Listening to my iTunes, Non-Stop from the Original Broadway Cast recording of “Hamilton” is playing. It’s fitting as I have been on my computer for the past couple of week writing “like you’re running out of time” either for work or personal projects.
Loving that I am writing voraciously. Muse has been nearly excessively generous of late and I hope that I, her obedient servant, am in fact serving her well. She is wicked when takes away her gifts for lack of or improper use. I do not want to incur her wrath again.
Drinking nearly a gallon of water a day on average. I have done so for the past few weeks and I have to admit, other than the increased bathroom runs, it has been beneficial. My complexion is clearer and I actually feel hydrated.
Thinking about Love in the Time of CoViD-19. I was preparing to attend my cousin’s wedding in Boston at the end of the month. As I started writing this slice the word came down that while the wedding/marriage itself, now shrunk down to immediate family only will still happen, the reception afterwards has been officially cancelled. I know it was a hard decision to come to and not made lightly as there are family members, especially the international ones who, like me, now have to scramble to cancel hotel and travel arrangements.
Wondering now whether my trip to Atlanta for 221BCon in April will happen with the Corona Virus scare. I check the event’s social media pages daily. As of this morning the event has not been, nor look like it’s going to be cancelled – yet…
Wanting to behave like an adult. I have plenty of clothes. I don’t need to buy anything for the convention should it happen. I really should choose among the plenty I already have, but I’m also a girl at times and I saw this fabulous outfit online… Le Sigh!
Needing a vacation. We’re in the long period between President’s Day in February and Memorial Day at the end of May, with no government holidays between them. The convention in Atlanta, if it happens, would be a nice break, but it is an extended weekend at best. I want a full out week of vacation at the minimum and no, being quarantined is not a vacation.
Worrying about various friends who are each facing a major surgery over the next few weeks. Two will be close where I can be of help. The others are far in a way that I can’t even pretend about it. All I can do is send good healing vibes, well wishes and prayers.
Procrastinating ironing clothes. I can’t stand ironing. I have clothes in a bag to be ironed from the last time I did laundry a month ago and it’s time to do laundry again, meaning the bag is going to have new additions. I like wrinkle-free clothing, I just don’t like the process of ironing itself. Had I the funds, I would happily pay to have someone come to my home just to iron. Did I mention I. Abhor. Ironing? Maybe later this evening…
Anticipating with much hope that my trip to London, England for my birthday will happen! I’m scheduled to be a panel speaker at the inaugural HolmesCon 2020 and I’m so looking forward to it. Just thinking about it makes me have a banana almost to my to ears.
Reading other slices and later on some fanfiction to take my mind off the above mentioned worry for friends and disappointment of the cancelled wedding. And yes, I’m still procrastinating on ironing clothes. Maybe tomorrow…
And Thanking aggiekesler for this cool format I have used for today’s slice. It’s one I am sure I will turn to again.
08:35: Okay Raivenne, shower, make breakfast, change your sheets, do your slice, get finish the Project B you had wanted done by Thursday evening. but was a much larger mess than anticipated and it’s now Saturday morning. Then review, before you start Project C.
09: 47: Okay Raivenne, you’re showered, the sheets are changed. You’ve responded to the necessary emails. Eat breakfast, do your slice, finish B, review, slice and start C.
14:06: (Two phone calls, a visit from my bestie, and unexpected company – later). Idiot! You have a headache because you have yet to have breakfast and it’s now lunch. Stop and eat.
15:22: (Received all system go response on Project A after email delivery the completed Project B.) 2nd review of Project A. Uh, who approved that addition to Project A – that was not what was agreed upon. Check the SLA.
16:57: Research issue with Project A, intersects with information for Project C, needed but could have waited – fell down rabbit hole.
18:18: Project A satisfied on all parties? Excellent! Now I can do my sli… Wait… WTF! (phone calls and emails ensue)
21:29: (phone calls and more emails later) Come on people! How is Project C missing entire sections? Did someone from 1-800-junk came by and someone accidentally pointed at the files? Is there something a pixel divining rod to find it? FML
22:04: Oh gee, thanks. You lost the day, you’ll get it Wednesday – maybe.
23:28: Guess what is finally being done now? Hell, I didn’t even get to comment on Pi Day! Well, I have now.
Yesterday afternoon, Calliope and Erato went missing.
I was on the main floor about to leave my office building when I realized the two were gone. My right- and left-hand girls were not there! That initial wave of panic set in at the discovery. I blinked looking around stupidly. Of course, they would not be right in front of me, dammit! The girls wouldn’t be lost anymore if they were!
Calliope is a prankster. This will be the second time she’s pulled a disappearing act on me. The first time was bad enough. I thought I was more vigilant, but this time she’s taken her sister with her as well.
Okay Raivenne, breathe, you know the drill.
Step one: retrace my steps. I immediately do an about face, head for the lifts and back to my office. I search the ladies room. They are big girls. Noise would have been made had I dropped them off them there, I innately know this, but still I look. Obviously, I am not surprised to see they are not there. I look to the carpeted floor knowing it for the fruitless labor it will be. Had the girls been seen alone someone would have told me. Pretty much everyone knows those are my girls or knows someone who does know they are mine.
I make my way back to my desk and my work-wife sees my face.
“Calliope and Erato are gone.” I say the words before she can even ask what’s wrong?, all the while hoping beyond hope that by saying them out loud I have not given them veracity.
Calliope has been with me for five over years, Erato has been mine for nearly a year and a half. The two have been near inseparable since Erato joined the family. They have been to Canada, Cuba, Dubai and even Antarctica with me. She understands how I feel.
“Have you dumped y…” She stops speaking seeing I have already begun to do just that as I methodically empty my purse of its contents. I check my trouser pockets, I check my coat pockets. The girls are not there. I know I did not drop them, they are heavy and make noise. Erato once slipped from my finger and I still heard her amidst the din of a crowded street in Manhattan.
“They are gone.” I say forlornly.
She looks at me knowingly, but not having the attachment I do, gives me clarity.
They are not gone, stop looking for the girls and they will appear.
I take a deep breath, put everything back in my bag and head for home.
Because I am the person who occasionally puts things down but does not always remember to pick them back up; especially when in a state. I am patting myself down to make sure I have my metro card and especially my house keys before I get on the subway. As I pat myself down I feel two familiar lumps under my wool coat.
Yes, I checked my purse. Yes, I checked my trousers. Yes, I checked my coat. What I did not check were the pockets of the jacket I wore under my coat.
THAT’S where you two miscreants went!
What? It was completely their fault! No one told them to wind up in the wrong pockets when I took them off as I went to the loo because they love to trap water.
Relieved, I put the girls back on my fingers where they belong, happily text my work-wife of their recovery and finally head home.
Yes, I named my raven head rings Calliope (pink eyes) and Erato (purple eyes) after two muses of poetry from Greek mythology. Calliope is the muse of epic poetry and Erato is the muse of – well, you can guess what kind given her name.
As usual I let my laundry pile up, so now I’m doing laundry at a public laundromat to just be done with it all at once. Like commuting, when you go to the same place around the same time on a semi-regular basis, you start seeing familiar faces. Faces that you at minimum will nod your head to in acknowledgement and/or greeting. So when I say male neighbor here, I only mean someone who lives in my neighborhood, but not in my building with whom the following conversation happened:
Male Neighbor (from a country in Africa): Where are you from?
Me: Born and raised American. My family has been American for several generations for obvious reasons.
MN: Yes, but do you know your family roots?
Me (because I knew where this was going): What does it matter?
MN: It matters.
Me: Really? Let’s say a family from Mozambique migrated to England in the late 1800s. However, the descendants of from that lineage never returned to Mozambique and because of assimilation or for whatever reason, didn’t kept up with their “roots”. Is the family living in the Britain here in this century Mozambican or English after so much time? So I know my family tree is from this particular people in this specific country and we separated in the year of our Lord whatever. I repeat: other than as a talking point of reference and a place to visit – what does it matter? I am American.
MN: A person should always know their roots.
Me: Okay? Which side?
MN: What do you mean which side?
Me: The black side or the white side? Until you, your lineage has never left the continent so it is all African. My lineage has been in this country at very least within a decade or two or more before the Emancipation Proclamation. And let’s be honest the quote-Black-unquote blood lines on this side of the ocean have been very muddled through our history here to put it lightly.
MN: Exactly, which is why you should research, you should know.
*There’s another fifteen or so minutes of semantics in which I mention how in a weird reverse “one-drop” determination, there are some countries in my presumed Motherland that won’t even claim most Black-Americans as African at all because our blood lines are no longer “pure” even if I did know exactly whom to call family, but I will shorten it to the following:
Me: I would agree except there’s a point no one acknowledges.
MN: And what point is that?
Me: Which side? When I am asked do I know my “roots” it is always about my African roots and the query almost never comes from someone Black or African-American. Why do some Africans become so upset on what I do know or do not know, or just to piss you off, do not care to know of my quote homeland unquote? Do YOU know for a certainty that my homeland is in fact Africa and not of East Indian descent that then mixed once over here? It intrigues me that no one Caucasian has ever asked if I know my roots in reference to that end of the spectrum. Am I not equally entitled to know their side if they are also of my blood line? Is their land not also equally and potentially my “homeland”? I was born here. My parents and several generations before them were born here. Whether you like or approve it or not, and frankly I don’t care. If one was born here or in one of our territories one was American – period. An immigrant was from whatever country – unless they chose to become a full citizen and once sworn in from that moment on they were American – period. I am American. My roots are American. Because until the Late 70s – early 80s there was none of this Blank-hyphenated-American nonsense. And to swing this all the way back around to how this conversation began: other than as a lovely talking point and a place for me to visit – what does it matter right here and now in this laundry that has you in such a huff?
He left the laundry twenty minutes later. I’m still waiting for an answer.