I'm supposed to avoid eating foods rich in oxilates. These include:
spinach (and other dark, leafy greens)
Another dietary recommendation: avoid the following:
In other words, eat a low-protein diet. In fact, I was advised against eating a low-carb diet because it can cause kidney stones in people predisposed to them.
However, I'm also diabetic. My nutritionist said I should eat plenty of:
In fact, if it has carbs in it, I should avoid it. Kidney stones say avoid protein, diabetes says avoid carbs.
So what the fuck am I supposed to eat?
1. For Locus, to read:
Walter Jon Williams, QUILLIFER
EJ Swift, PARIS ADRIFT
2. For Locus, to review:
Jim Hines, TERMINAL ALLIANCE
Liz Ziemska, MANDELBROT THE MAGNIFICENT
Walter Jon Williams, QUILLIFER
EJ Swift, PARIS ADRIFT
3. For Patreon, to read:
4. For Patreon, to review:
Steven Brust, VALLISTA
Helen S. Wright, A MATTER OF OATHS
5. For Tor.com, to read:
Ada Palmer, THE WILL TO BATTLE
Spencer Ellsworth, SHADOW SUN SEVEN
6. For Tor.com, to review:
Ada Palmer, THE WILL TO BATTLE
Spencer Ellsworth, SHADOW SUN SEVEN
7. Social outings:
- meet gf Tuesday lunch
- meet C. Tuesday @1700
- meet gf Wednesday lunch
- gym Tuesday if not sick
- gym Wednesday if not sick
- email CT
- email JB, FN, KS
I began learning all this at lunch, which began sometime after three PM. And soon I'll have to get ready for tonight's inaugural dinner and party. I have no appetite . . . .
Because of the theater performance of the translated Slave Coast text with Donald Harrison and his group doing the music, I am in with those classified by the festival as "artist." So far it seems I am the only woman! Anyway, I was the only woman sitting at lunch. (In Xalapa I am not only taller than everyone else, I am the only blonde I've seen.)
As mentioned this part of Mexico feels more like Spain than some other places. Yesterday, duh! ya, figured out why, duh!
Veracruz is where Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro Altamirano, Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca, set up the first Spanish shop in New Spain - Mexico. He'd already helped do so for Cuba back in 1519, but he and the Cuban governor didn't get along, so into the Gulf of Mexico and to the mainland he sailed, despite the Cuban governor telling him to stay put.
|Rio Huitzilapan (Hummingbird River) down a bit from Cortés's compound.|
|Horses are honored here, at the spot where they were landed to conquer the Aztec Empire for Spain.|
|Ceiba trees and their roots are everywhere in Cortés's palace compound ruins.|
|Coral from the Gulf was used with the basalt and mortar to make the walls of Cortés's compound, as well as the walls of fortification at San Juan de Ulúa.|
It was in la Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz where Hernán Cortés first landed his armaments and men via the small barcos from his ships anchored in the Veracruz bay, up the Rio Huitzilapan. We saw it! and the ruins of his personal palace compound.
The official administrative and military center was at what became the port of Veracruz -- begun 498 years ago at San Juan de Ulúa, a small island in the Gulf there. We toured that fortress as well, which compound is enormous -- and now entirely surrounded by the present day port facilities (petroleum and petroleum products from the fields here, as well as many many other goods manufactured in this state including automobiles) and contemporary Mexico's naval yards and other military facilities. It's so extensive and complex that it is impossible to show it in an entire spread with any kind of camera. Keep in mind, it was from this fortress that the Spanish beat the butts of Hawkins and Drake in the 1568 Battle of San Juan de Ulúa -- much to their shock and surprise.
So this is why the state of Veracruz feels so intensely Spanish-Spanish -- there's even Arabic language elements in signage and naming of places and things and people here. This is where the conquistadores came first to the southern hemisphere mainland, which soon they'd claim all of for Spain. This is part of the great colonial territory that made the Spanish Empire an empire. So many of the men who did this had little prospect of advancement, riches and prestige back in Spain, particularly since the conclusion of the Reconquista -- so to the New World they came, searching for fame and particularly fortune. And it is the Caribbean and Mexico where they first found both. Cortés died happy and rich, at home, in Spain, with a Spanish wife and children -- while historians continue to debate what happened to Malinche, his Azteca translator-concubine and the son he had by her, in his palace compound by the Hummingbird River.
As the festival begins now, maybe the sightseeing is over.
I have had this letter at the top of my to-do list for weeks, but when I finally sat down to write it, I couldn't really think of any reason to do it. You have years and years of this tag and so many previous letters if you're the sort of person who wants to dig really deep, and if you're not, you can stop reading now and go back to just my sign-up.
I could go into great detail about where to find the fandoms I requested and so on, but let's be honest, that would be almost entirely for people who might want to write me treats, not for you.
(Although super-quick: all the links you need for Mr. Trash Wheel are in this entry downtag; Njal's Saga is a medieval Icelandic saga which you could probably get a doctorate in but didn't so all I can suggest is gutenberg or a good modern annotated edition of which there are several in many languages, or if you're really ambitious, you can listen to all 12 Njal's Saga episodes of the SagaThing podcast, which is what motivated me to request it. But also I think of stories as old as Njal's saga as living stories rather than a fixed canon so if you want to just find a good summary and work from that, that would be a-ok with me; Murderbot Diaries is so far just one novella, All Systems Red by Martha Wells that came out this year and is probably available at your local library; Girl With The Silver Eyes is a kids' novel from the '80s that is probably not still at your local library but is definitely on Amazon for cheap, at least in the US; and the Barbara Hambly are both many-volume historical mystery series that are still being published, although I would be ok with side-character fic based on characters that only appear in the first volume of either.)
I could also go into great detail about why I like these canons, but you don't actually need thousands of words of rambling about the fundamental essence of Baltimore and urban solarpunk; or about the parallel roles of Hannibal and Simon in re: the construction of Whiteness and classical monsters as racial metaphors; or the performance of gender and honor in medieval Scandinavia; or about the portrayal of neurodivergence mediated through otherness in SF/F stories; and anyway if I did all that it would be totally misleading because really my reaction to these stories is more GIANT GOOGLY EYES and CHEESE CSI and TALKING CATS and SANCTUARY MOON and I read all the Hambly in a month straight while ill last year so really mostly I just LOVE IT ALL on a very shallow and inarticulate level.
I could go into more about my DNWs but honestly my DNWs are usually more about the spirit of the story than the details so it would be just as likely to make you worry about things you don't need to worry about.
(but real quick: please no environmentalism doomy doom for Trash Wheel- post-apocalyptic would be fine but make it hopeful and optimistic no matter how unrealistic that seems sometimes these days; please no doomy doom for Njal either, like, we all know how it ends, it's in the damn title, but he lived to old age which is pretty much a happy ending given the odds for a saga hero and a lot of other stuff happened before that; for Murderbot I think I covered it pretty well in the letter; Silver Eyes and Hambly I'm pretty much good with whatever as long as it's in the spirit of canon more or less and you're careful with the more sensitive bits of the history in Hambly.)
I could give you more prompts but you read my sign-up; do you actually need more prompts? I mean, let me know, I have plenty, but I kind of suspect you are begging me for fewer prompts at this point.
(Crossovers always good, setting-swap AUs also good, the weirder the better, outsider POVs and background characters always good, worldbuilding and setting always good, basically anything in these canons is fine?)
Anyway here is a link to my previous post of my sign-up just for convenience, it is slightly cleaned up with a few more prompts at this point: Yuletide signup
Most importantly, have fun! I promise nothing you write can ruin yuletide for me.*
*That's not a dare. But you would have to try pretty hard to manage it. Truly.
Going home in a few minutes and I have one call planned and a couple more I can make if I need to. I'm also going to try and write my indulgence fic for Yuletide and watch my Coursera class videos so I can continue to get these assignments done - NaNo is coming, I need these out of the way.
Note to self: a) don't spend too much time on Twitter except in your mentions, you don't have the emotional strength for the world on fire right now. b) don't call your dad, he means well but has no idea how to help. c) NO RACHEL. sorry, boo.
Eh, for now, let’s just look at the next bit. Which is Atobe’s arc! And Atobe is /always/ fun to write, especially when he gets into it with Sanada.
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But the other day I tried out a new recipe for a side dish of onions and bell peppers with marjoram, and had some left over. When I went to put it in the fridge, I saw I also had some leftover kielbasa. And I know that one of the recipes I’ve made several times, a kielbasa stew, includes marjoram.
So, by the transitive property of marjoram: I can combine these things, right?
And lo, I have Invented a Dish. Fried the kielbasa for a couple of minutes, tossed the onions and bell peppers in to warm them up, dumped the result over rice, hey presto, it worked. In the future I can make this on purpose, as its own thing, rather than just as a way to use up leftovers (though it can be that, too). I’m still not knowledgeable enough to go tossing marjoram into things without precedent to guide me . . . but I can pay attention to which recipes use which flavorings, and start absorbing the underlying principles there.
Baby steps, yo.
During my discussion with neotoma and another discussion with Gileswench, I've been reflecting on some of the ways I've been harassed. There are small things which roll off my back, like guys curb crawling if I'm out walking late at night. 99% of the time, they'll go away if I shake my head, and the worst of it happened when I was living near known areas of prostitution. (In Mannheim, my large and comfortable apartment was affordable for two reasons: it was two blocks from 50-mark strasse, and it was on the boundary between the Greek and Turkish neighborhoods. In London, Ladbroke Grove has never been upscale.) I can handle the catcalls from construction sites, mostly because I've never had any epithets that were horrible yelled my way.
Then there are the ones that years later still have an impact. The professor who kept making passes at me and tried to make my grade contingent on sleeping with him who then attempted to follow me from London to Brussels. Fortunately, we'd already moved back to the U.S., and our former concierge refused to give out our information. My family wouldn't let me answer the phone for three months.
There are two, though, that still infuriate me.
One was while I was living in Boston, in my late 30s. I was walking from the T stop to the grocery store on my way home and a man, my then age or a little older, was walking in the opposite direction with his son who looked to be about 10. The man made a remark about my breasts and then said to his son, "You should grab a handful of that." The ten year old grabbed my breast and squeezed. Other than a yelp, I said nothing. I don't know what I could have said that wouldn't have ended up worse for me.
The other was around the same time as the sleazy professor. It was a year abroad program, though in my case the "abroad" was only from Brussels to London. A group of us on the same program were heading to class at Central London Poly. We crossed Oxford Street at Oxford Circus. There's an island in the middle and pedestrians weren't expected to make it all the way across the street on a single light. While we were standing on the island, traffic going by around us, one of my male classmates grabbed me from behind (arm under my legs and one around my shoulder) and threw me in the air.
I was livid. It was dangerous. I was wearing a dress, so my underwear was visible to at least some of the cars. And when I yelled at the guy who did it, everyone -- including all but one of the other women in the group -- took his side. It was a joke. A prank. Why couldn't I lighten up? He caught me so it wasn't that dangerous. I was overreacting.
It's been over thirty years since it happened, and I still feel helpless and a bit frightened -- and livid -- about the incident.
She was perched on one of those molded-plastic chairs that have depressions for your bottom and your back. She had her legs drawn up to her chest and was concentrated fixedly on her phone. She was pretty, but nervous seeming, someone I'd expect to express themselves in waves of rapid speech.
She was having a Prius fixed. Unrelated to whatever its troubles were, it was missing its rear hubcaps. Before it had been missing one, but now it was missing both. "Oh well--now it's symmetrical," the woman said.
One of the mechanics chatted with her as she was paying, from which he (and I) learned that she'd moved to this area from California, which she'd left because of the--what do you guess? Guess anything! I was thinking she'd say wildfires. (Answer is below the picture.)
She said traffic. Which I know is bad, based on what friends have told me. But so bad that you move state? And not just to a different state, but 3,000 miles away? There's more to this story than meets the eye. Or ear. It's none of my business, but I do wonder.
So what with the rise in neo-nazis and alt-right all over the western world, we've had another local outbreak and they've been holding rallys at City Hall. In the interest of keeping them a small vocal minority and not something worse, some of the local folks have been holding counter-rallys. I finally managed to drag myself out of the house and attend one this weekend.
There were maybe 30 of them? It was kind of hard to get a head-count because they were boxed inside a wall of bicycle cops the whole time. It was a weird mix. Mostly they looked to be Soldiers of Odin (most of whom showed up late, apparently they took the bus in from Peterborough) and some Proud Boys. There were also a cluster of evangelical Christians who were there because gays. And a couple of middle-aged suburban housewives of the type who get the vapours when they see a hijab.
The cops pretty much kept the two groups seperated but didn't stop people from arguing across the barrier. Mostly it was an effort to drown them out, although as the day dragged on that got harder. I now fully appreciate the value of of the air horns and vuvuzelas that some people brought, they are a lot easier on the throat. On the plus side they didn't get to march unless you count crossing the square inside a wall of police.
Of course the press was there and of course they interviewed both sides and of course they printed the Nazi's explanation they they were just there to protest Trudeau's economic policies without any caveats. At least the photo on the CBC website actually showed some of the white supremacist flags.
Favourite moment: One of the bicycle cops had a Punisher water bottle. I pointed it out to Axe and he in turn tried to point it out to one of the press cameras. She saw him though, and hid it.
Second favourite moment: The Japanese tourists taking selfies in front of the line of mounted riot cops.
 There were easily more cops than protesters.
2. Having sufficient supplies on hand to make food without having to go to a grocery store. (Slow cooker chicken curry with potatoes and carrots; later I will make my favorite baked rice with cinnamon and curry leaves and lemon peel.)
3. Laundry, clean and folded and put away.
4. My cat, curled up on my desk beside the laptop.
5. Autumn sunshine and leaves spiraling lazily down through the air.
How are y'all?
This happens every Sunday night in Xalapa, to the pounding of Rock, techno and other energetic forms of music. It's a kind of martial arts ballet-acrobatic thing, intensely energetic and theatrical. It's a family affair, with mothers as enthusiastic about verbally abusing and killing the opponent they don't like as their little boys -- who are in heaven, wearing their own masks, of course, whether painted or pulled on. A little later little girls joined in the antics of the luchador boys! Lots of cerveza is sold and drunk.
By the way, the number of emporiums in Xalapa selling comix, old and new, and that particularly advertise the availability of superhero books, is very high.
|el Luchador Vaquero|