lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
([personal profile] lagilman Oct. 20th, 2017 04:46 pm)

Today has been an interesting mix of moments of satisfaction and panic, with occasional flurries of competence, and ending on a sharp spike of exasperated rage that left me with a faint aching need to hit something, except I'm too tired.

And the hound puppy down the hall is singing the song of his doleful people. I hear you, little one, I hear you. Now hush. Your people will be home soon.

Weekend at the Tasting Room, and it's club release weekend, so I expect to be busy (hope so, anyway!).  Busy is always better than not-busy, unless not-busy brings with it a nap....

 
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 We were supposed to head to Indiana this weekend, but we were derailed by Shawn's bad back. (She re-injured herself helping with the air-conditioning.  Ironically, I did ALL the heavy lifting, but last minute she decided to give the bed a tug... and that was all she wrote, as they say.)

Mason and I had  been itching for a road trip, regardless, so we pulled out our handy guide to random Minnesota Road Trips, Oddball Minnesota: A Guide to Some Really Strange Places.I picked something at random, an entry called: "Hitler's Handkerchief."  Apparently, in the Military Museum at Camp Ripley, there is, on display, a handkerchief supposedly once belonging to Hitler that was brought back as a war souvenir by a Minnesota soldier after World War II.  

Google maps led me to believe that Camp Ripley was only about an hour and a half or so out of town, so it sounded like a lark.  

It took us FOREVER to get there.  

Getting punchy, Mason took pictures out of the car window:

Central Minnesota landscape

You can see, at least, that it's a beautiful day.  Today, temps were up in the 70s F/ 21s C.  We stopped in Coon Rapids (a Saint Paul suburb/exo-suburb) at a Panera Breads for a spot of brunch and extra caffeine fortification for me. Turns out? I'm kind of cranky without enough caffeine. WHO KNEW? This is where I think we lost time, honestly. I wouldn't have thought it took us that long to find the Panera, but we were driving up and down Main Street a LOT.

At any rate, it was almost 1:00 pm by the time we finally hit Camp Ripley.  Camp Ripley is military base/training center and the museum was inside, so we had to drive through a checkpoint and show ID.  Shawn had warned us of this before we left, so I actually grabbed our passports. It's really the only picture ID Mason has, but, it turns out they didn't really care THAT much.  They just took my drivers license in and swiped it and waved Mason and I through.

We were issued a pass:

the pass that got us into Camp Ripley. Not very official looking, honestly.

Not very official looking, but there it is.  I also forgot to drop it into the box on the way out, so I guess I went rogue with this....

The guard told us to turn left at the tanks. For some reason, I wasn't entirely expecting THESE kinds of tanks:

military tank

The museum... well, was it worth the long drive?  The hanky was there, so I guess there was THAT. I did take a picture of it, but I decided against posting it on Facebook because: Nazis, you know?  I did take some pictures of the interior:

military uniform and museum display

There were a lot of displays like this one of the Viking Division of the Minnesota National Guard, with uniforms and other memorabilia.  It might have been more interesting if I had someone other than an Already-Bored-of-It teenager.  Mason was far more amused by the sign we saw on the way to the museum which read:

A sign proclaiming "You Can't Beat Rickey's Meat."

"You Can't Beat Rickey's Meat"---ah, teenagers.

On the way back, we saw a sign for 'pick your own' pumpkins and a Corn Maze.  Corn Mazes are such iconically Midwestern thing that we decided we HAD to stop.  It was actually quite a lot of fun.  I mean, really we just wandered around on dirt paths that had been trampled in the dry corn stalks, but... I dunno. It was a THING.  Kind of made the whole ridiculous road trip worthwhile.

enter sign at beginning of corn maze

Mason taller than the corn stalks

The funny part is that I *think* corn mazes are supposed to have the reputation of being scary.  This one wasn't.  I mean, it was BROAD daylight, so that was probably part of it. I suspect this could have been a little more spooky in the twilight, but also, as you can see from this picture--Mason is almost taller than the corn stalks. So, there was no real way we'd get lost.  Also, we're not two, so I suspect that's a big part of it.

We also picked our own pumpkin.

pumpkin patch

Still, all and all, this was a fun trip.  We didn't really do much except drive A LOT, but we always say: it's not the destination, it's the JOURNEY. Mason and I had a blast listening to crap country music, chatting, and giggling at various oddities along the road. Good times.

Though... I do think I will cross off "Hilter's Hanky" from my bucket list.  I may also attempt a lot more research before randomly choosing another site from the Oddball book.

Maybe.
jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Oct. 20th, 2017 12:58 pm)

Note to the flag fetishists (repeat):

A tattered, stained, and faded flag does not indicate respect.

jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Oct. 20th, 2017 12:30 pm)

Had a mockingbird poking around our rowan tree this morning. We'll see whether it decides to defend this valuable resource.

jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Oct. 20th, 2017 08:24 am)

Air temperature 50 F, dew point 41, clear, west wind about 5 mph. Continued dry, no rain forecast until next week.

The Yankees may yet lose.

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([personal profile] pegkerr Oct. 19th, 2017 07:58 pm)
I have been at a bit of a loss because my photos are hosted over at LiveJournal, but I don't want to upload photos there anymore. Haven't quite learned the ropes here, but here goes. Anyway, made these a bit ago, but just posting them now.

Grandparent - Council Suit
I am the One who rejoices in the company of the child of my own child. I am a mentor and a teacher, a parental figure and a friend all in one. Spending time with my grandchild reintroduces me to joys which may have slipped from my own life. Our bond tightens the generations together.

I am the One who rejoices in the company of the child of my own child. I am a mentor and a teacher, a parental figure and a friend all in one. Spending time with my grandchild reintroduces me to joys which may have slipped from my own life. Our bond tightens the generations together.

Fear - Committee/Council Suit
I am the One who freezes in primal terror, trapped between the horror ahead and the threat behind.

I am the One who freezes in primal terror, trapped between the horror ahead and the threat behind.

This one is a lot about the truly difficult times I was having when I was unemployed and Rob was failing. I really don't want to go back to this mental state.

The Magical Child - Council Suit
I am the One whose holy, mystical innocence will save the world.

I am the One whose holy, mystical innocence will save the world.

The Mythopoeic Reader - Committee/Fairytale Suit
I am the One who delights in reading stories of adventure in fantastic imaginary worlds.

I am the One who delights in reading stories of adventure in fantastic imaginary worlds.
jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Oct. 19th, 2017 12:58 pm)

Some maples still making a bit of show, ash trees mostly bare, oaks beginning to turn reddish brown. The birches, aspens, and poplars are mostly just dumping leaves.

Even the asters have quit blooming. Milkweed pods turning some unmowed fields into cotton plantations.

No roadkill to report. Some ducks in the cemetery pond, but no sign of any heron. May have been a wayfaring stranger, headed south.

Windy enough that I gave up on my plan to bike at the national park. Temperature vaulted into the upper 50s F, so I grabbed my chance for a ride. Did not die.

15.27 miles, 1:15:20

 
  1. You Have to Follow the Rules

Where I come from, you can rock or cover your ears or run away from people and no one will tell you that you're bad.

This story was my first full-length pro sale (though I had a pro flash sale or two before it). That, and the neurodiversity themes, and the hopeful tone, make it a wonderful opener. It's also an opener that you can read for free online - like a free appetizer for the full book. It's here in Strange Horizons.

"You Have to Follow the Rules" is the tale of Annalee, an autistic child at a science fiction convention, who discovers doors to an alternate dimension full of strange, fey-like children - children who are, she suspects, like her.

The inspiration for the story came from an exchange that A. Merc Rustad and Ursula Vernon had on Twitter. Merc had had a dream which framed itself as an Ursula Vernon story, called "Children of the Con", in which strange, white-eyed children lived year-round in a convention center. They told Ursula Vernon that she should write the story; Vernon replied that Merc should do it themselves. I asked Merc if I could yoink the story idea, and they said yes. (Merc and I borrow from each other a lot.) Then I threw in the autism angle because, well, at that point, why not.

The editors at Strange Horizons, particularly An Owomoyela, helped me deepen and polish the story in several respects - most notably, giving the mother character a little bit more depth than she had in the first draft (though she's still awful), and developing a more playful and allusive narrative voice for Annalee.

"You Have to Follow the Rules" was long-listed for a BSFA award.

Song Pairing: I don't write to music the way many authors do, but I do make playlists and form associations between songs and things very easily. Each full-length or flash story from MONSTERS IN MY MIND (but not poetry or micro-fic) will be paired with a song that I associate with it.

The song for "You Have to Follow the Rules" is Mike Scott's "Sensitive Children" - one of the few song pairings here that's obscure enough I can't link you to it on YouTube. It's not perfect - for one thing, it's from a bystander's perspective, not Annalee's - but the association stuck, so here it is.

2. Self-Portrait as Bilbo Baggins

Over casserole you explain
that hobbits are three feet tall, like me.
I want to stay this size forever.

This is a poem about my father, told through the lens of the classic fantasy he read to me. (The scene in the first three stanzas, in which I act out "The Hobbit" with a horde of teddy bears and so on, are things that actually happened.) Autism runs in families, and mine comes mostly from my father's side - as, very likely, do risk factors for other mental illness.

"Self-Portrait as Bilbo Baggins" is available for free online, in the first issue of Liminality. It and "You Have to Follow the Rules" are also what you'll see if you use the Look Inside feature on Amazon: a childhood-themed preview for the rest of the book.

In the next post, we'll get into a couple of stories about young adults.

MONSTERS IN MY MIND is available for purchase on Amazon, Kobo, Indigo, and Barnes and Noble.


  1. You Have to Follow the Rules


Where I come from, you can rock or cover your ears or run away from people and no one will tell you that you’re bad.


This story was my first full-length pro sale (though I had a pro flash sale or two before it). That, and the neurodiversity themes, and the hopeful tone, make it a wonderful opener. It’s also an opener that you can read for free online – like a free appetizer for the full book. It’s here in Strange Horizons.


“You Have to Follow the Rules” is the tale of Annalee, an autistic child at a science fiction convention, who discovers doors to an alternate dimension full of strange, fey-like children – children who are, she suspects, like her.


The inspiration for the story came from an exchange that A. Merc Rustad and Ursula Vernon had on Twitter. Merc had had a dream which framed itself as an Ursula Vernon story, called “Children of the Con”, in which strange, white-eyed children lived year-round in a convention center. They told Ursula Vernon that she should write the story; Vernon replied that Merc should do it themselves. I asked Merc if I could yoink the story idea, and they said yes. (Merc and I borrow from each other a lot.) Then I threw in the autism angle because, well, at that point, why not.


The editors at Strange Horizons, particularly An Owomoyela, helped me deepen and polish the story in several respects – most notably, giving the mother character a little bit more depth than she had in the first draft (though she’s still awful), and developing a more playful and allusive narrative voice for Annalee.


“You Have to Follow the Rules” was long-listed for a BSFA award.


Song Pairing: I don’t write to music the way many authors do, but I do make playlists and form associations between songs and things very easily. Each full-length or flash story from MONSTERS IN MY MIND (but not poetry or micro-fic) will be paired with a song that I associate with it.


The song for “You Have to Follow the Rules” is Mike Scott’s “Sensitive Children” – one of the few song pairings here that’s obscure enough I can’t link you to it on YouTube. It’s not perfect – for one thing, it’s from a bystander’s perspective, not Annalee’s – but the association stuck, so here it is.


2. Self-Portrait as Bilbo Baggins


Over casserole you explain

that hobbits are three feet tall, like me.

I want to stay this size forever.


This is a poem about my father, told through the lens of the classic fantasy he read to me. (The scene in the first three stanzas, in which I act out “The Hobbit” with a horde of teddy bears and so on, are things that actually happened.) Autism runs in families, and mine comes mostly from my father’s side – as, very likely, do risk factors for other mental illness.


“Self-Portrait as Bilbo Baggins” is available for free online, in the first issue of Liminality. It and “You Have to Follow the Rules” are also what you’ll see if you use the Look Inside feature on Amazon: a childhood-themed preview for the rest of the book.


In the next post, we’ll get into a couple of stories about young adults.


MONSTERS IN MY MIND is available for purchase on Amazon, Kobo, Indigo, and Barnes and Noble.

jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Oct. 19th, 2017 09:11 am)
I could get along fine without having antisemitism tucked into the Weinstein uproar.
jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Oct. 19th, 2017 08:22 am)

Air temperature 39 F and dew point the same, scattered clouds, light SSE wind for the newspaper walk. May get up into bike ride territory today.

jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Oct. 18th, 2017 08:18 pm)
People keep reporting deaths of important Names that I've never heard of . . .
lagilman: (dissent)
([personal profile] lagilman Oct. 18th, 2017 09:42 am)
 
So, noted white supremacist and general PoS Richard Spencer is giving a speech at the University of Florida, in Gainesville. And the University, in a rather amazing show of WTFkery, has allowed Spencer's camp to screen journalists, only allowing "approved" ones press access. Their excuse "they rented the hall, it's their event."

Apparently, University of Florida is disclaiming any responsibility for anything that happens within a rented hall on their property. That can only end well, don't you think? I wonder what their journalism department has to say about freedom of the press, these days? (feel free to ask them)

But! There is a bright light in Gainesville (actually, quite a few, but one I'm showcasing in particular). Alligator Brewing Co.

If you bring in a (free) ticket to the abovementioned event, before the event, you can exchange it for a beer, thereby a) getting a free beer and b) leaving an empty seat in the hall, as they will dispose of said ticket.

Alligator, in the name of decent folk, beer drinking or otherwise, everywhere, we salute you. 
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([personal profile] lydamorehouse Oct. 18th, 2017 08:44 am)
 I had the coolest dream last night.  Or, rather, in the way of dreams, I had the coolest snippet of a dream that I remember.  

Do you ever have dreams where you're suddenly much more agile or strong, physically, than you are in real life?  I have these occasionally, and they're always incredibly memorable.  A lot of times I'm a thief, escaping somewhere or breaking into some upper story apartment, and I have this ability to be super agile and climb ANYTHING, almost like Spider-Man.  But, every once and a while I have super-strength. I still remember one about being a vampire at a DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles, for my non-American friends, a genuinely frustratingly slow place) and just tossing furniture around, because I could.  

Last night I dreamed I was an anime character (Renji Abarai) who was challenged by some other guy (Ichigo? Dream set piece villain? ??) and I was maybe drunk, but I get up and go into this stance, and punch the guy hard enough to stagger him back with my right, and then left hook him hard enough he goes THROUGH THE WALL.

It was AWESOME.

I love dreams like that. They're so empowering. And, while they're technically violent, they're usually not... angry or scary?  You know? This one very much felt like a demonstration of my abilities, rather than me responding to a threat.  One of the things good dream interpreters will ask you is: "Well, what was the main feeling of this dream?" The main feeling was: DAMN, IT IS GOOD TO BE BIG AND STRONG.

Then I woke up all small and fat and... ah well.

How about you? Any dreams like this?
jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Oct. 18th, 2017 07:54 am)

Air temperature 46 F and dew point 33, broken clouds, wind SSW about 5 mph. Still haven't had a hard freeze here.

pegkerr: (candle)
([personal profile] pegkerr Oct. 17th, 2017 10:11 pm)
We had a PET scan report today, and it wasn't good. Rob's remission lasted five months, about as long as the one he had two years ago did.

Read more at CaringBridge here.
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([personal profile] jhetley Oct. 17th, 2017 09:00 pm)
And *that* sure as hell was a weird "Jeopardy" finish.
Project 1: I was told my objection to manure was a relic of my, and I quote, ‘soft city life.” I told them to spend a summer riding the subway and get back to me on smells.


Project 2: "Only in the corner, in a small box, was there notice of unrest between several “anxious young men” over “matters political.” But it did not say what those matters had been, nor how it had been resolved."
.

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