Sunday in South Florida
ashs
julia_reynolds
 Today while driving to brunch I had to stop and let a bicyclist cross through the intersection.  

He was a middle aged guy carefully cycling on a red mountain bike.   Balanced on the handlebars was a large parrot with its wings a little outstretched for balance.  







Off to RWV tomorrow, very excited!
ashs
julia_reynolds
Departing tomorrow EARLY for Rainforest Writers Retreat, where it is currently 50 degrees colder than here in south Florida.  

Got my outline, sharp pencils, powerful sense of purpose, and I packed some emergency granola bars just in case.  I'm ready to write!  See ya'll in a week...

Get thee gone, repo man!
ashs
julia_reynolds
 I was just awakened from a sound sleep by the friendly local repo man here in South Florida.  No, he wasn't after my stuff!  

We bought our home this past summer, a foreclosure like most other houses for sale in Florida. It was a good deal for a pretty nice corner house, even though it needed a little work here and there.  For example, the former occupants took off with the stove - easily remedied at Home Depot.

But for the third time now, counting this evening, we've been visited by a repo man seeking a gold Range Rover from the poor fellow who previously owned the house. Before we lived here I had only seen repo men on television or the movies.  Now I can identify them just by the distinctive way they have of pounding on ones door in the middle of the night. In the past we were congenial enough with these 'retrieval professionals', but now it's really getting old.

In time-honored redneck tradition, Hubby went out front in his underwear.  He vigorously made the point that, "As you can see, there is no goddamned gold Range Rover in this driveway."  In rather blunt and forceful terms, he further encouraged the repossession agent to depart and never return.  He's so adorable.


Romance as commodity
ashs
julia_reynolds
We are about a half hour in-land from Ft. Lauderdale and the beach here at my office in South Florida.  This morning on my way to work  a perfectly executed formation of 3 small planes flew overhead.  They were headed for the beach in a staggered line, each dragging a long banner with messages like "Happy Valentine's Day Debbie from Mark will you marry me?"

Economic bottom line:  rich dude's heartfelt emotion is helping pay working guy's plane loan and fuel bill.  Capitalism loves Valentine's Day!

How about that!
ashs
julia_reynolds
I converted to vegetarianism over the past few months, for a couple of reasons.  Health and general asthetics, and I read "The China Study".  Also, watching my dad pass away contributed.  I'd like to avoid hospice myself if possible, etc.

One thing I've discovered, to my surprise and that of the family - I'm actually not such a bad vegan cook.  I'm just passable as a carnivorous cook, but now I can make a hella good black bean stew and a lovely green tofu curry.  Today I unboxed my new food processor and made some powerful good oil-free humus (fresh lemon and garlic, OMG ya'll).  And then, feeling adventurous, I roasted some bell peppers (all by myself) and marinated them in balsamic and fresh herbs.  Seriously, seriously good.  So I can cook now, how about that!

Also, sidenote:  gingerale with pomegranate vodka is pretty tasty.

RWV in 19 days!
ashs
julia_reynolds
Just 19 days until I depart for the Rainforest Writers Village and four solid days of writing writing writing.  I'm getting there a day early, too, so I am estimating that I could, if I go prepared with a sturdy outline for my perpetual WIP, get in at least 12,000 words.

As a new South Floridian, I don't have any Pacific Northwest clothing so I hit up L.L. Bean for a raincoat and fleecies. I'm ready to go, now I'm just clock-watching until March 1st.

I hope I get a glimpse of Sasquatch while I'm there.

Native South Floridian versus vile interloper.
ashs
julia_reynolds
So the dog and I just popped out onto the patio for a game of fetch and Maggie comes face to face with one of the teensy lizards that own South Florida. They are all over everything everywhere.

Immediately Maggie bops this poor fellow with her nose and knocks it into our little swimming pool. So the poor reptile is wriggling like mad to get up out of the water, but she can't get any purchase on the pool wall. Then I, just as oafish as my dog, apparently, stick my hand under the poor thing to hoist it up onto the patio and save it from drowning, and because the lizard is struggling of course its tail breaks off and floats away.

Thoroughly disgusted and feeling even more guilty about this poor creature, I make another rescue attempt and get hold of it and pull it out of the water. Then the lizard and I stand together for like a whole minute, watching a convulsing disembodied lizard tail swish out into the middle of the swimming pool.

South Florida can be a strange place sometimes. The whole incident could be symbolic of why people shouldn't even be living here in the Everglades in the first place, but I guess that's for another blog post.

Sorry about that, Miss Lizard.




"It was getting harder to hide the pink plumage."
ashs
julia_reynolds
Here's a story by one of my V-Peeps, L.K. Herndon.  It has were-flamingos!

Showoff

By L.K. Herndon


Cops have the best weed and librarians have the best....
ashs
julia_reynolds
Books!  Librarians have the best books, of course.

Here is an LJ  librarian who is trying to sell some books so she can afford to attend a library convention in March.  It's a good cause and you get books for helping!

Please pop over and have a look: 
http://thesilentpoet.livejournal.com/326918.html

I miss you, Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
ashs
julia_reynolds
 I'm suffering the melancholy that happens when you finish a really good novel. I'm sure everyone knows what I mean, that sense of loss because you've been evicted from the author's universe by "The End". In this case it's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemison. Really a lovely book, and the fact that it's a debut fills me both with awe and seething envy. I seethe at you, N.K. Jemison, as I order book two on Amazon.

In her acknowledgements Jemison cites Octavia Butler as an influence, which in my opinion is quite right-minded of her. I too am a Butlerite, heart and soul.

As I'm considering "Kingdoms", I find myself comparing Jemison's Yeine Darr to Butler's Anyanwu from Wild Seed.  Butler's legacy is clear in the composition of "Kingdoms", although Jemison certainly hasn't just mimicked our shared idol. Both main characters have been bred as goddesses, in effect. But Yeine's future is so divergent from the more sober ending for Anyanwu at the close of the Patternist series, I wonder if it isn't both a reflection not only of the natural differences between the two stories, but also a function of the times that shaped the authors?

Jemison is a great new writer, although I'm not saying she's Butler's equal. That is probably an impossibility for anyone. But what better tribute to Octavia Butler than that her influence is so beautifully represented in Jemison's novel?  What higher praise can I give Jemison except to say, "Yes, you did Octavia justice - she would be proud of you."

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