capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
By the way: This is a different melody than the one you’re probably used to, but as I understand it, this is the tune that Burns had in mind when he wrote the words down in the eighteenth century (and in this performance, there are also a couple of verses sung in Gaelic. so if you all of a sudden don’t understand what they’re singing, don’t worry [probably]).



Lyrics behind here. )
capriuni: Text: Glad Yule; Image: A sprig of holly (yule)


(Consider this journal entry properly bedecked).

This "Christmas season" is hard on everyone -- even those who enjoy & celebrate it can find it exhausting. And for those of us who don't -- or can't -- celebrate it (for whatever reason) it can be especially isolating -- particularly for those of us whose primary social connections happen through these here Interwebs.

So:

I'm posting this entry as an open discussion/chat thread, so that we have a place to chat and commune through the comment threads.

Come sip a warm (or cool, depending on your season) spiced beverage of your choosing, and grab a plate full of virtual goodies.

I'll be checking back in frequently over the next 72 hours or so.

Welcome! Welcome!

Edited to add:

I also can't forget (or, rather, I can, but should not) that today is also the first day of Hanukkah. So have a video that [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith posted a couple of years ago:



Because I also know many are over saturated with Christmas songs, by now...
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
So -- there's a woman in my reading circle: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, who's pretty nifty. And every second Monday of the month, she hosts "Magpie Monday," and asks folks to give her prompts (like a magpie, she just wants to collect the ALL the shiny!). Then she spends the day, from wake-up to can't-keep-eyes-open, writing ALL THE THINGS.

So, this last Magpie Monday (the 8th), she posted a theme for the month: "Equal does not mean 'Identical'!"

I prompted her with my own retelling of the British folktale Sammle's Ghost. And she responded by writing this (in just a couple hours!! <3):

Rain of Sorrows )

*-*-*-*-END-*-*-*-*

Naturally, I wanted more, so for this most recent Crowdfunding creative jam, I prompted her again, and got this:

Rebuilding Home.

Life is good! :-)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Here: Words and Deeds Love Meme 3

Head on over there and nominate someone you love (including yourself, if you're needing a little love). Anonymity is welcome, and also optional. Anonymous folk can sign in using Open ID.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
[Breaking News: The "Folk Process" traced and documented! "Old Aesop Tale" a first or second generation Hybrid! Is this as big as documented proof of evolution? Maybe!]

[personal profile] trouble traced one parent: The Blind Man and the Lame Man. [livejournal.com profile] pedanther traced the other: The Man, His Son, and His Donkey.

Both stories were on the same site (i.e. a Web version of a single book): Aesop's Fables, by J. (Jenny) H. Stickney, originally published in 1915. There are only 21 stories listed between the one and the other -- so, in a paper-printed book, less than a dozen pages between them.

My mother was born in 1934. I bet Aesop's Fables was on her family bookshelf -- or perhaps even more likely, the local library (Schoolhouse or public) -- and mother, in her youth, wolfed down several stories in one sitting, the way you do, when the stories are short and witty and wry.

Years later, when I came along, she remembered both stories, but her memory mushed them together, and she couldn't go back to check the source.

Hee! Bonus glimpse into my mother's childhood! *\o/*

The Old News )
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (bunny)
A Gotham Holiday Moment from [personal profile] chronographia

Tom Smith sings his fannish re-working of "The Cat Went Fiddle-I-Fee", with running ASL interpretation by Judi Miller from [livejournal.com profile] pedanther. I laughed so hard I gave myself a headache. The laugh did more good than the headache did harm; it was a more than fair trade.
As Tom Smith himself said: "That was worth diamonds, man!"

The lai of Bisclavret's Wife from [livejournal.com profile] angevin2 (Rated T for violence; Marie de France Bisclavret). I'm actually re-gifting this one, as it's a Yuletide fic written for [livejournal.com profile] angevin2. This story gives a lot of (acurate) period detail (12th. C. Europe), and actually answers all the WTF?! questions the original left me with.




In other news, I really wish I had a digital camera, right now, so I could share the o_O scene out my window.

...

On the other hand, an ordinary camera would probably start flaily wildly in its little digital heart, trying to cope with the utter wierdness out there. A cyborg camera, linked directly to both my optic nerve and frontal cortex would probably work better; that way I could just look out the window, plug myself into my computer's usb port, and just upload what I'm seeing, directly.

I love you all, you know. I hope you know. Thank you so much for your friendship and patience.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
I actually intended to make this post [mumble]::two months ago::[/mumble], in honor of a nice, round, Tenth Anniversary. But then, I kind of forgot.

...And then, I got embarrassed that I forgot.

And then, I kinda forgot-some-more-on-purpose.

Last Night's scare about LJ purging inactive accounts reminded me that I'd wanted to do this pimp post for a while.

Anyway:

On May 24th, 2000, I started a thread on rec.arts.drwho that I hoped would be a fun distraction from the Pro-McCoy Troll vs. Pro-Pertwee Troll flamewars, called: "PRO-FUN TROLL HOEDOWN HERE, ALL WELCOME." A thread that I expected to last a week, at most, ended up lasting three weeks, and turned into a wild and woolly narrative with a dozen-and-a-quarter authors, called:

Chaos in Cyberspace (Warning: that title is descriptive in many ways; proceed with caution).

Three more such narratives followed, more or less annually, and getting longer and longer, in both time it took to physically write the story, and in terms of the storyline itself.

By January '06, the usenet usergroups were becoming ghost sites, and I moved the hoedown hub to a pair of LiveJournal comms: Tardis_Hoedown (for the actual writing of the story) and Pro_Fun (for author-to-author sidechats outside the story and idea-dumps).

[livejournal.com profile] pedanther, [livejournal.com profile] scarfman, [livejournal.com profile] dabhid_c and I are currently discussing Tardis_Hoedown's regeneration, so to speak. And I thought I'd take this oportunity to pimp, and invite newcomers, and open the floor to discussion on what sort of comm it should be.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (geek god)
Okay: I've been tinkering with my sticker design idea, and I've got two versions -- horizontal and vertical:

images, with description for the visually impaired, behind this cut )

CafePress will print these up as vinyl stickers with waterproof ink and sell them to me for $5 each if I order one, or $2.40 each if I order ten. The latter sounds like a better deal, but only if I can find 9 other people who'd like one. So: Would you like one? And if you would, would you prefer a horizontal one, or a vertical one? (Whichever gets the most votes is the one I'll upload to CafePress).

The vertical one has the advantage of being more unusual, and therefore eye-catching, but the horizontal one has the advantage of being a better fit on a car bumper (though that may not matter or count if you want to stick it on your wheelchair)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
I'm still working on this design ).

I'm still fiddling with fonts and layouts and colors.

The 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act becoming law is July 26th, and the more I think about it, the more I want to celebrate/advertise it.

If I get CafePress* to send me a packet of ten of these, would you like me to send one along to you? If so, pm your mailing addy.

P.S. (forgot the footnote) *or suggest a good competitor...
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
The real, hard-copy card / pressie-thingie that I'm doing for the New Year, this year, is still not done. I started it in August. I hope it will be done soon. If you had asked to receive it, I will send it to you. If you haven't asked and would still like it, pm your mailing address.

In the meantime, I was recently inspired to make a virtual holiday card, and upload it to my LiveJournal Scrapbook. If you'd like it click here to open the envelope, then right-click to save it. It may not be hand-signed or have your name on it. But the sentiment is sincere.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
These were taken from the Vatican Sayings -- a 14th C. manuscript collection of quotes attributed to Epicurus and his followers, and of the 81 total, these are the ones that brought the broadest smiles:



19. He has become an old man on the day on which he forgot his past blessings.

34. We do not so much need the assistance of our friends as we do the confidence of their assistance in need.

35. Don't spoil what you have by desiring what you don't have; but remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for.

41. At one and the same time we must philosophize, laugh, and manage our household and other business, while never ceasing to proclaim the words of true philosophy.

42. The same time produces both the beginning of the greatest good and the dissolution of the evil.

48. While we are on the road, we must try to make what is before us better than what is past; when we come to the road's end, we feel a smooth contentment.

52. Friendship dances around the world bidding us all to awaken to the recognition of happiness.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Eloise)
A couple of weeks ago, I caught an episode from Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness, and this one focused on Epicurus (the one whom "Epicurian delights") is named for. He's acquired a reputation through history of being a Hedonist, because he believed that if life was the means, pleasure and happiness was the end.

But really... his definition of "Happiness" was "calm contentment."

All we have to go on in life is what we feel through our senses, and that the Gods don't care if we're grateful to them or angry at them, so that if we want a pleasurable life, we have to create it for ourselves, in the here and now But part of seeking pleasure is to avoid trouble and pain and worry. So overindulging in that nine-layer chocolate cake with a cream-cheese rum frosting may give us a few minutes of intense pleasure, it will also give us hours of heartburn in the short term, and heart disease and illness in the long term. His favorite meal was: vegetables, whole-grain bread, a few olives, and water. Throw in some potted cheese, and you have a feast.

No, for him, happiness came from having three things:

Friendship (first, last, and always)
Freedom, and
Contemplation

As was pointed out in this episode, one of his maxims was never to eat alone: always think about who you will share your food with, before you give one second of thought about what that food will be.

Here's the middle part of the episode -- the bit where the lightbulb really clicked on for me:



That's where I realized that that's why I was happiest when I was in college and university, and why I'm not so happy now.

In America, by law (since the 1970s), if a college or university receives any money from the government for any of its services, the entire campus has to be barrier-free, more or less. So that while I was on campus, I had full Freedom.

Because my dorm rooms did not have a kitchen I could use, I had to go to a public area (cafeteria or the student union) for my meals. So, while I sometimes ate alone, I had company and companionship for most of my meals -- and the dodgy cafeteria food was more than compensated for by the three-hour conversations about life, the universe, and everything, and the laughter that went with that.

And the whole point of being there was contemplation and thought.

Now, I live in a neighborhood without (meaningful) accessible public transportation, and without even sidewalks, so I don't have anywhere safe to drive my wheelchair beyond the end of my driveway. So if I want to go anywhere, or do anything, I have to arrange it with my aide, first, and her schedule is locked into the schedules of her other clients. So that's Freedom crossed off the list.

And, because Freedom is crossed off the list, instead of eating most of my meals with companionship, I eat all of them alone. When Dad was alive, even though he was in New York, and I was here in Virginia, we at least kept more or less the same schedule, and I'd call him on the phone at right around dinnertime, so I at least have intellectual companionship, if not physical companionship, while I ate.

I still have time and the capacity for contemplation and self-analysis. And I have my friends (you guys -- I love you... you know that, right?), but there's a serious Space/Time-disconnect when our only interaction is through the Internet, and it doesn't feel like we're together.

Thinking through your troubles doesn't do you much good if you don't have the freedom to do anything about them, or friends to have at your back to help you, you know?

But yeah. I'm an Epicuran in the original sense of the word. Money can't buy me love. ...But if I had the money, I'd buy all my friends a videophone, and we could have a massive teleconference/party. Yeah!!
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
You all may think this a bore and spam. But really, Shakespeare, dead white dude that he is, is perhaps the closest thing to a hero that I have, behind my Mother, Father and Elenor Roosevelt, and... Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Junior, and... No... I think that's it. Anyway, he's definitely up there in the list of people who make my heart strings thrum a bit, and bring a lump to my throat.

Whatever Shakespeare's genius as a playwright and poet, I am often struck by the real reason we study his words in high school, and not those of his contemporaries, so much: His works got collected and printed and sold, so we can just get our hands on Shakespeare's plays.

And the reason his plays got printed? Two actors in his company, John Hemminge and Henry Condell, got the patronage for the plays to be printed, and did the work of editing them together into the single volume, by which the authenticity of all of Shakespeare's work is now judged by scholars.

They'd worked for and with him for years, interpreting the characters he'd written, rehearsing the plays, and suffering the drunken royals during the Christmas season, with him. And they wanted to make sure he was remembered through the centuries. This is a bit of what they wrote in their dedication to William, Earl of Pembroke (etc.) and Philip, Earl of Montgomery (etc.):
We have but collected them, and done an office to the dead, to procure his Orphanes, Guardians; without ambition either of selfe-profit, or fame: onely to keepe the memory of so worthy a Friend, & Fellow alive, as was our SHAKESPEARE, by humble offer of his playes, to your most noble patronage.

And this is a bit of what they wrote in the introduction addressed to the general public:
It had bene a thing, we confesse, worthie to have bene wished, that the Author himselfe had liv'd to have set forth, and overseen his owne writings ; But since it hath bin ordain'd otherwise, and he by death departed from that right, we pray you do not envie his Friends, the office of their care, and paine, to have collected & publish'd them
[...]


We have no similiar folios of George Chapman, or John Fletcher or Francis Beaumont. Hemminge's and Condell's "office of care and pain" was more than something expected of them, out of some politeness to the dead. Shakespeare, at least to them, was a great a friend as a writer. And that, in my not-so humble opinion, should count for at least 4/5ths of his miraculous genius.

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