c is for cat

Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Many Things Make a Post
urban anchorite
catvalente
I have all these essays I want to write, and yet, while sitting in a warm bed waiting for the hot water to come back so I can have a shower, I find the energy for any of them is just not there. So I say fragmented things instead, by way of Day in the Lifeing.

The first snow of the season came on Saturday. I firmly believe that it came--so very late--because we were down by the sea singing carols and lighting the tree with the rest of the island, and singing about snow. We then went home and queued up the Hogfather audiobook on the stereo system, and the first snowflakes immediately appeared. The sun rises; snow falls. Sympathetic magic. Behave as though it's winter, and winter comes.

On Christmas Eve, I'm making pork pies and sherry.

So by midnight or so we had several inches of perfect building snow--that kind that so rarely falls in the northern parts of the country, where cold and dry makes for crumbly, squeaky snow. I grabbed babymonkey and we dashed out in furry hats (mine a Soviet ushanka--what can I say?) and gloves and built ourselves a snowman. the first I'd made in years. It all went up fine, though we didn't rally have traditional materials for face and buttons. I found some marzipan balls in the house, and used them for eyes and clothes, blackcurrants for a mouth, and a big mandarin orange for the nose.

He needed a hat, obviously. So I brought out my grey fedora that I bought in St. Louis (my formal gypsy family will know its significance) and set it on his head. He was clearly Don Draper the snowman.

We made snow angels and threw snowballs for Grimm to catch--they exploded when she snapped her jaws down on them and she licked up all the snow on her muzzle. All in the dark, with snow gently falling still.

On Sunday, thanks to an unexpected rush of income, contract being up, and growing resentment and hatred of my old phone, I broke down and got an iPhone, which means I am officially One of Those, as my computer is also a mac--though I gave justbeast my ipod, so I don't have the full trifecta. Oh my god, the iPhone is magical. It's the first time in a long while that I've held a piece of tech in my hand and thought: wow, this changes everything, and also this technology is magic, and is way better than Star Trek.

Also, it hit me how much I live in the future. It's better than a jet pack, really.

I'm still playing with it and discovering the many ways in which it makes my life easier--if anyone has apps suggestions, preferably the free kind, leave them in the comments. That thesaurus.com shows beautifully on it makes me so happy--it was unusable on my old Centro. This means that I can work in a cafe and still have research and materiel on hand. I can photograph book pages in resolution good enough to actually read. Not to mention Shazam and Simplify Media and all the other really amazing leaps in tech this device provides. Not to mention Minority Report-esque gesture commands. And it's a nice phone, too. Wow. I haven't been so pleased with a purchase in ages. (I always try to buy something for myself with a novel advance check, and then the rest goes into savings. So that I can look at it and remember the work that earned it, and feel like I'm a bit patted on the back for all the long hours.)

We also got our Christmas tree--we drove to a tree farm out in the country and rode the horse-drawn sleigh and everything...and then couldn't find a tree of the right size or type in their forest, so ended up getting it at Lowe's. Sort of MaineFail, there. But the horses were huge and gorgeous. Someday, I really want to have a horse. My ex-husband's family had Appaloosas, and I loved them, and miss them. Someday, with enough time and land. Like everything else.

This morning I have mainly been tending to poor Grimm, upon whom justbeast stepped the other day, so she is poor and still limping some. Though she still chases the mailman along the fence just fine, so I suspect she just wants up on the bed. And I've been thinking about Rosie the Riveter, after whom I named my iPhone, because I name all my tech and because seriously, we can do it.

She's a personal icon for me. Hard work and that gorgeous image of her with her big, strong arms. But I had no idea until today that she was originally a song, that the woman she was modeled after eventually went on to be a pilot. I love her even more. I wish I were better with GarageBand, because there needs to be an industrial/techno remix of that song. And I still want a Byzantine-esque icon of her, parrish_relics -style. I put this wishes out into the ether, like playing Hogfather to a snowless December. To me she's a Kami, one of the many million gods, a female Hephaestus, and she makes me want to work harder, to be better, stronger, more awesome.

To that end, I have a story to finish today, and another to start. And a shower in my very near future. Here's hoping your winter is crisp and icy and pale and bright, like ours, out here on the edge of the world.

Yes.

I put up a tin sign repro of Rosie in our house when we began rehabbing it and it looked like a hovel, as encouragement propaganda. I have a Rosie tee and 2 Rosie icons. I'm half-tempted to get her as a tattoo. She *is* a found Goddess, just like Asphalta the Parking Goddess and Java, Our Lady of Caffeine. Did you see this story?

http://www.feministing.com/archives/019218.html

Oh! Java, Goddess of Caffeine. Love it. I think I may call her Arabica, though. She totally deserves to be worshipped.

The goddess Brigid is my female Hephaestus, personally, with the added benefit of her healing and bardic aspects as well as her smith aspect.

It's so cold here, and not slated to get above freezing for a few days. Brr. I have a fleece throw around my shoulders while I sit here at my desk at work.

I've never felt close to Brigid, oddly for all I should, given her aspects. Whenever I have tried to honor her or engage, I've always felt more empty. I am not one of hers, I suppose.

I'd be interested to know, besides Persephone and Brigid, who you do feel close to.

Hekate. Inari. Hephaestus. Dionysus. Fox, Coyote, Crow, Raven, and other Tricksters. Grandmother Spider.

Rosie the Riveter the SONG! Thank you!

iPhones really are magical. I think the Complete Works of Shakespeare might be free, as well as a few folktale compilations? And Sushi Chain has a free version and is the best game ever. *_*

And get Stanza. That's what I'm reading my ebooks with.

Me too. Stanza rocks my world.

Apologies for neglecting the rest of your lovely post, but thank you, thank you! for the Rosie love. My grandma Eunice left the farm to work at Douglas Aircraft in Chicago during the war, and she was a truly a female Hephaestus. Like her mother, she could wrangle #10 skillets with ease and throw hot coals back into the fire without being burnt. I wish I could tell them what you said.

God, I love that image, of your grandmother! I think, as modern feminists, we so long for foremothers, for our own icons and goddesses, and Rosie is one, is surely one.

Welcome to the Pod people.

We play a lot with our phones. In public. We kiss and caress them. We swipe across the screen because we love how the screen feels. So, welcome. :)

(Or: you won't regret it. It's the coolest toy since whatever iPod you started with)


Dude, my old ipod doesn't even begin to touch this.

And yes, the screen is awesome. And the Minority Report gesture commands!

Yes! I stroke and fondle and sometimes just hold it in my hand while walking. The Apple designers deserve a monument.

Saturday was magick for me too--first snow here as well and V and I brewed our winter homebrew with the energies of Saturnalia in the evening hours of Saturn. It's a porter brewed with alligator juniper berries we gathered with my family in New Mexico. Lovely to hear you had an enchanted evening as well.

Rosie the Riveter is an icon for me too; her image is on a magnet stuck to my power rack in the gym downstairs. Thanks for pointing the way to the song; I didn't know there was one.

That sounds amazing. I really want to learn how to brew beer.

I brew. If you are coming into town, we can arrange to brew while you are here. Another option is that if I come out to help you plan your garden, we can brew then too. I also make mead :)

N.

yaaay! I do totally want you to come in spring.

Brewing beer is easy. I just started in the summer and I'm already drinking several of my own tasty brews. Two book recommendations: The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian and Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers by Stephen Harrod Buhner. Also, for free, How to Brew by John Palmer. Mead is even easier to brew. I'll make the same offer as nex0s--come visit me and we can brew together or we can brew when I visit you in February.

Yay iPhone! I am an addict. I could not live without mine. I actually use mostly the apps that came with the phone - the mapping/locator app is my dear dear friend. Type in "cafe" next time you are in a city you don't know and watch what appears. Fantastic. I use it all the time and I know NYC pretty well :) I use the directions too on there.

When I first had Jaeger, I used a breastfeeding app they have to track his feeds and diapers. Awesome.

I use Twitterriffic. Free. And the free Kindle App that turns your iPhone into a Kindle. OH YES. Love it!

If you hear of any good options for reading PDFs on your iPhone, let me know. I still haven't read The Grass Cutting Sword and it's sitting on my desktop....

I hear goodreader is...good.

I agree with catvalente. My wife needed a PDF reader and after my search, it is probably the best I could find and is/was at a pretty good price last I checked a couple of weeks ago.

Just wanted to say that I am very fond of these sorts of posts..

ginskye

2009-12-08 08:46 pm (UTC)

..and Husband says the same about the future a lot these days, though for me the magic is all the open access to the past. I live a cobbled-together life with tech and home and love scrounged and scavenged from the unlikeliest of sources, most of them second-hand.

And Yes to Rosie and all the other divine iconography in unlikely places. Reminds me of your latest Omikuji story, which I dearly loved.

Oh gods yes, Rosie. &hearts:

Welcome to the Borg. Stanza has already been recommended. I like TweetDeck for my twittering needs. I'm quite fond of IChing for random randomness and obscure wisdom. Fnorder is a Discordian equivalent. I've used the LJ app occasionally, though it's usually just as easy to go online and post from there.

I love the maps app beyond measure. It has helped me many times.

Make sure to grab the LiveJournal app, Wikipanion, the free Weather Channel app, the Amazon app, and the Pandora app.

I only got my iPhone about a month ago and I feel much the same way about living in the future. :) most of my fave apps have already been recommended, but I would also point out Balance (budget tracking), Evernote (stores notes online and will let you upload pdfs & has that image text recognition stuff I can never remember the name of) and Shopper (shopping lists, saves prices if you enter when you buy so you can compare stores). Also, I play a LOT of Catan on my iphone.

Edited at 2009-12-08 11:15 pm (UTC)

A while ago, a group of iPhone-bearing women at Knitter's Breakfast pulled out their favorite knitting apps. Needle size checkers, gauge calculators, what-to-knit-next shuffle things, all useful.

I love living in the future!

I find AccuWeather a better weather app than the default one (hour-by-hour weather predictions, warnings for heavy weather ahead, etc.). I also like "Dictionary!" for my quick dictionary look-up; it's no OED, but it provides tidy and rapid info on words. "Urbanspoon" lets me figure out where the heck to go for dinner, since it'll randomly pick a location nearby based on my stated preferences (or lack thereof).

I also find the ability to plan bus trips, watch my progress along the bus route via the GPS tracking on the Google Maps so that I know where the stop is, and then get walking directions to my final destination, the Best Use Of Technology Ever. But that's just standard stuff you can do with Google Maps alone as comes preinstalled.

I sadly know nothing about the Iphone, and cannot offer any wisdom there.
However, I just wanted to let you know that the winter is coming on here as well, and we just had our first snow a few days ago.
I love reading your posts, they are always so (hmmmm....) you!

Woo Rosie! My family all loves her, as my mother and grandmother were both Rosies, and my sister and I barely escaped the name by the skins of our teeth. (Middle names, yeah, but I couldn't have my first name and then Rose... even I am not that goth.)

*smile*

Welcome to the shiny side!

The post after this on my LJFriends Default view is from jscalziwhatever:

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2009/12/08/gone-to-the-dark-side-have-i/
http://whatever.scalzi.com/?p=9313

There must be something in the air!

Also, you live in both a fairy tale and the future. So very urban fantasy's and science fiction's love-child.

Wow. Thanks for the link back to your commentary on "awesome". I was not a reader at the time, but I too use the word just as you described. It's interesting to see it fleshed out like that, so thank you. Both for the original thoughts and for the link because I'd have never known it was there.

I'm so glad you're "back," by the way. I really missed your lj when you were so caught up with your other writing pursuits. I especially love it when I've been offline for a week, and then I get to read everything all at once on Saturday morning.