edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
A random nice thing the Red Cross sometimes does is tell you what happened to your blood donation.

For example, I recently received the following email:


Dear LIZ,

Thank you for giving blood with the American Red Cross on 3/16/2017. After first ensuring that local needs were met, your blood donation was sent to University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY to help a patient in need. Your donation is on its way to change lives!

Every day, patients receive blood for a variety of conditions including life-threatening illnesses, blood disorders and traumas. Your blood donations are critical to helping save patients' lives.

On behalf of the hospitals and patients we serve, thank you for being a Red Cross blood donor.



I think this is both a nice gesture of acknowledgement and a really effective way to make people want to donate again, because it puts a tangible result -- your blood went to this place to help an actual human being who needed a transfusion -- onto what is otherwise a very open-ended, giving-to-the-void sort of activity. So kudos to the Red Cross communications team members who came up with this idea. I will even forgive you for trying to make me sign up for a half-dozen blood drives while I am still in the ineligible eight weeks after my previous donation. *wry*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I spent last night sort of idly spinning ideas for a Daredevil A/B/O fic of the sudden-change-inflicted-on-a-previously-normal-world type (because A/B/O is one of my bingo card squares, and I think one of the best ways to get to grips with a trope is to try writing it) and...

Well. Occasionally it becomes really obvious that I'm asexual, because I drifted off into alien retroviruses transmitted via magic spells, three-caste social pack systems and their awkward overlay on human sexual dimorphism, varying development/exhibition of A/B/O traits based on the presence or absence of a more socially dominant member of one's caste (similar to arrested development of secondary sex characteristics in male orangutans, because that's always struck me as fascinating), and the whole porn aspect got almost completely lost along the way. I had to keep reminding myself that hey, there's supposed to be a sex thing here, right? This is a porn trope, right?

Apparently my hindbrain disagrees!

Possessive behavior, sure. Pheromones, sure. Marking bites, sure. People dealing with bodies gone strange and unfamiliar, sure. I am totally into that stuff. But bluntly, I don't often find sex especially sexy. Power and fangs and stuff like that are way the hell more of a turn-on, as is found family, pack bonding, and people renegotiating social relationships. Meanwhile, sex qua sex can go hang for all I care; I do not need to interrupt my delicious plot and character dynamics with random bedroom grunting. *wry*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Taped, sanded, and painted a fifth frame; touched up the two I painted on Thursday. Then I touched up the fifth on Saturday morning before packing them all into a laundry basket, carefully cushioned by towels, and took them down to NJ.

2. Made a packing list. Then packed.

3. Bought groceries.

more items under the cut )

10. Went to see Rogue One with Susan at 4pm. I liked it a lot!

cut for spoilers )

On the other hand, as Susan justly remarked, there wasn't very much of that ineffable sense of joy/wonder/boundless possibility that is the hallmark of Star Wars at its best and most inspiring. For me, the movie's virtues outweighed that flaw -- I am totally down with Star Wars attempting a gritty and morally gray war movie (the tragedy is not a departure; tragedy is a central theme of the franchise, just as much as hope) -- but judging by reviews a bunch of other people feel differently. And that's okay!

more items under the cut )

17. Responded to all the comments on my Yuletide fic and my Daredevil Secret Santa fic. \o/

ghosts!

Oct. 30th, 2016 06:43 pm
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
Ahhh, I just played Google's little Halloween ghost-fighting game (it's their logo image for the day) and it is so damn cute, I about died. ♥

(I am not sure exactly how the score gets calculated, but mine is apparently 103,940. I think I missed some double knockout chances, and also I was too slow and got 'scared' out of a life-heart a few times, which probably lowers it.)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (sun on the water)
When I went to NJ to dognap Dottie in September, I dropped by the pottery studio where my friend Susan works and made two rather awkward pinch pots for an event/project the studio was doing. My latest dognapping venture (this past weekend) happened to overlap the sale days for those pots (proceeds to benefit two local charities), so I figured I'd buy them if they were still available, which they were. And now here I am with two new pots and no clear idea what to do with them.

I'm toying with the idea of trying to propagate new jade plants from my big tentacle-y jade plant, and then maybe giving them to people as gifts next year...?

But anyway, two pots! Susan picked the glazes; the designs, however, are all me. The first is just a geometric thing that looked nice to me, with no deeper significance. The second is a simplified variant of one of the infinitely extendable border designs I used to doodle around my notebooks in high school and college. I have included an example (sketched really quick in MS Paint) of the full design for comparison purposes -- as you can see, I didn't try to put the bubbles or the indication of sand/seafloor onto the pot.


blue bowl, side view . blue bowl, top view



verdigris bowl, side view . verdigris bowl, top view . verdigris bowl, slightly different side view



stylized fish and seaweed sketch



[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
two very pink 'walking doll' greeting cards



Tonight I did a preliminary triage of the two enormous file folders of my life documents from 1985. I threw out a few things right away (cards, some of the more repetitive drawings), marked a few things to definitely save, and separated all the weekly daycare reports to return to my mom, but most of the art is still waiting for me to do a more thorough sorting.

However, there's one thing that snagged my attention and which I cannot figure out: namely, the two cards pictured above. The gimmick is that they each have four legs arranged like spokes on a wheel -- as illustrated by the apparently three-legged doll on the left -- and you can spin them to make the card 'walk'. But what is the point of them? You can't actually expect a three-year-old kid to have the manual dexterity to spin the legs without simultaneously squashing or tearing the card, and they're not very useful for any other kind of play, so...???

In summary, I am baffled.

(Also, these cards are a prime example of why, as soon as I was old enough to express an opinion and be taken seriously, I insisted for years that I LOATHED pink. I didn't actually hate pink, but if I hadn't taken that exaggerated stand, every present I ever received (okay, every present I ever received from anyone except my parents, who were very good about not pushing that bullshit) would have been pink. Because fucking gender roles.)

[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
cheap fake citrine ring on a handwritten note
the original message


cheap fake citrine ring on a handwritten note
and now with corrected grammar


I posted a month ago about the ring and note my parents found in one of their bookcases, while doing some water pipe repairs. Here are the items in question.

I am confused by my mom's description of the ring as an 'amethyst sort of ring,' because it's pretty clearly orange-brown rather than purple. (Citrine, I guess. Which is what happens to amethyst when you cook it, but since this is obviously colored glass and my mom is a librarian rather than a geologist or gemologist, that should not be relevant.) I mean, it's still not amber, but it is amber-colored, which makes the description in the note much less baffling.

I rewrote the note partly to prove that I can do less painfully wrong archaic grammar, and partly for comparative handwriting analysis. Now that I've seen the hard copy, I strongly doubt that I wrote it. The subtle quirks look a lot more like Vicky's writing -- particularly the joining of the capital O and T to the following lowercase letters, the inward curves on the capital W, the lack of tail on the lowercase E in 'person', and the relatively tidy crosses on the lowercase Ts.

Now, it is entirely possible that this was a collaborative effort -- we played a bunch of very loosely structured games that, in retrospect, verged on LARPing -- and this might have been part of one of those. We did jointly compose a jewelry-based song around the relevant time period. (Well, I did the tune and 75% of the words; Vicky provided suggestions and insisted I add a second verse to include her birthstone since I'd featured mine in the first verse.) But it's also possible this was Vicky's solo project.

Unfortunately she doesn't remember the ring and note either, so I guess the truth will remain a mystery...

[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]

two dreams

May. 26th, 2016 03:22 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I had a couple weird dreams last night, which I made a point of remembering after I woke up because I wanted to share them.

-----

1. The first dream was sort of a sci-fi action thriller thing, in which a group of people had the ability to 'abstract' themselves one layer away from normal reality, and then perform the same trick a second time (second-level abstraction), but while it was technically possible to keep going indefinitely, in practice if you went to a third-level abstraction, about half the time what came back (if anything came back at all) was not quite you.

Abstracted people, as viewed from normal reality, were invisible except when they were in motion, at which point they appeared sort of like a silvery column of heat distortion. The people who could abstract (which I think relied on gadgets) were on some kind of heist mission related to maybe overthrowing a dystopia of some sort, and were being chased by agents who could either not abstract at all or could only perform first-level abstractions, BUT they had guns whose bullets could, upon touching the after-image an abstracted person left in the lower reality level, explode in such a way as to send shockwaves through higher levels of abstraction and hopefully knock abstracted people back into normal reality where they'd either be arrested or shot for real.

Being abstracted was visually weird to experience, because it literally was abstraction -- the world went from three-dimensional reality to first being kind of flat color and drawn with heavy linework, and on a second-level abstraction, you started to get light shining through stained-glass color blocks and vaguely cubist distortion effects. Third-level abstractions got really trippy, and that's where the mental effects started to kick in because abstraction didn't erase the world around you, just your perception of it and its ability to interact with you, and in third-level abstractions you could, like, walk through walls if you wanted, or ignore gravity, and sort of see time-currents or something? And your mental processes went all weird, and I guess a bunch of people just didn't want to go back, and some who did couldn't readjust because brain chemistry is delicate, you know?

I might try to work that idea into a proper story someday.

-----

2. The second dream involved me trying to make a baby shower gift for some friends (who are not remotely romantically involved in real life, let alone expecting a child) and I settled on a knit wool hat of many colors which I was going to make via an automatic knitting machine. It was in my public library, over near the paperback fiction shelves, and what you did was enter a pattern into a computer and the machine would produce your design in whatever colors and fibers you wanted. It manufactured your chosen kind of yarn out of a pile of raw synthetic fibers, so I guess it was a bit like specialized 3D printing?

Anyway, I was sitting there trying to translate a set of knitting instructions into a sort of grid pattern, and all around me other people were entering their own programs... one of which was an actual baby. Literally, these two women programmed the machine (in the public library!) to knit a living child out of a pile of synthetic fibers. And it worked. They picked the crying baby up out of the basket of finished products, put on a diaper and a onesie, and took the kid off to get a birth certificate or whatever.

And nobody blinked twice.

I decided to make my friends' kid a blanket as well as the hat, because I felt slightly upstaged after that.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Potential spider-plant names include:

-Medusa, Rose [because tentacles], Nidus [nest of small animals], and Mint (courtesy [tumblr.com profile] gracefularchitect)

-Peter, Gwen, and Miles (courtesy [personal profile] musesfool)

-Arachne, Medusa, and Gladiola (courtesy [livejournal.com profile] cat_i_th_adage)

-Arachne, Penelope, Leto, Athena, Holda, and Arianrhod [weavers!] (courtesy [personal profile] krait)

-Ariadne and Asasara [Minoan snake goddess] (courtesy [tumblr.com profile] madamehardy)

-Julep [because it strikes me funny in context with Mint]

...

Thank you all! I will sleep on it and decide tomorrow. :)

-----

ETA: And [livejournal.com profile] rthstewart suggested Charlotte, which is also a great choice! Argh, this is such a hard decision...
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Quick, someone convince me not to name one of my spider-plants 'Vriska'.

...

Right, that probably requires some context. Basically, I name all my houseplants and have two spider-plants waiting for monikers. And I like the names to be at least vaguely thematic/relevant.

My current named spider-plants are, in no particular order, Damocles & Babylon (as in 'sword of' and 'hanging gardens of'; Damocles hangs right over an armchair while Babylon is over a shelf of other plants), Stheno & Euryale, Nefertiti, Castor (Pollux died, alas), HayJay (short for Herring Jr., long story), and Jessica & Natasha.

Previous spider-plants have included Strawberry, Herring, San-san, and Ankh, who all sadly perished of a weird parasite infection many years ago.

Anyway, what I am asking is for assistance in finding some names vaguely related to spiders or tentacles or long, narrow, pointy leaves that look a bit like very messy knots of grass and/or a nest of snakes, which aren't related to Homestuck because I would prefer not to bring the Serkets' particular brands of trouble into my home. Please help?

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Elizabeth Culmer

August 2017

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