roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (John Bauer - Tyr and Fenrir)
[livejournal.com profile] tomax, a dear and old friend of mine, has died in his sleep. He was a grand fellow, and was always ready with bizarre and impractical advice. And now he's gone, and it's not bloody fair.

Shit.

Feb. 6th, 2008 03:16 pm
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (I am fucking broken.)
Sheldon Brown died.

He was the patron internet saint of bicycles, and his site taught me shitloads. Not having him around anymore is going to suck.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (galboy-akira)
Dear Jesus,

I know I'm kind of down on your dad all the time, and I'm not always very nice to your fandom. This is partly because some of them can be real dicks sometimes, and partly because I can be a real dick sometimes. So I just wanted to take this chance to let you know: you're all right by me. Happy early birthday. May we all have the strength to keep it together for another year.

—N
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Vast and solemn spaces)
So Time's author of the year just had a death in her family/menagerie. You can read it yourself; the reason I'm reposting this is the silent slideshow she made.

I almost called it the "unaccountably touching silent slideshow," but that was a lie, so I deleted it. It's perfectly accountable, and perfectly intentional. None of them were Cat Pictures, you know? They were just pictures that the cat wandered into. The cat was just there, and that, that is the absolute heart of the grief you or I feel at the death of a pet. Or the death of a friend, or family. There were the magical moments, sure, those fifteen minutes in your personal spotlight, and those are the ones you'll tell at the wake. But you know, most of the time, they were just around.

And now they're not.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Mischief brewin'!)
I have my new MacBook! And because I am me, there are fiascoes. None of them are filled with Chianti.

Fiasco 1! So to upgrade that RAM, I needed a very tiny phillips head screwdriver. Didn't have one. Neither did the first five hardware stores I went to. The only thing more I'll say about that is that the Ace on Bloomington and 24th is the proper one to go to.

Fiasco 2! Did you know that the OS X Migration Assistant can't warn you whether the things it's bringing over from that PowerPC Mac of yours are going to cause massive system conflicts? I sure didn't! Which is why I'm writing this post from the Variegated Albatross, while the [adjective pending] Crow is elsewhere on the desk doing an Archive + Reinstall. Man, speaking of Chianti, I think I'm gonna go grab some alcohol.




On the less humorous and infinitely less tolerable side of irritating: John M. Ford died last night. Haven't read his books yet; never met him personally. I just knew him as a Making Light commenter with a friendly manner, an unnaturally sharp wit, and a talent for parody the likes of which I've not seen before nor since. And a good poet, to boot.

Which is by way of saying: I've far less reason to miss him than practically any of the rest of that crew, and I still feel the burn something fierce. (He lived in the Cities; I'd held out hope of running into him sometime.) I join my fellow nerds in calling foul on the universe.

So don't get me wrong up above. I'm reveling in these hilarious computer hassles. They're MUCH more fun than anything else that happened today. My sincerest condolences to Ford's family and friends: I envy them the chance to have known him so well, and pity them for the loss of all that, having known it.

(I was debating using the other icon for this post, but honestly? It's probably as good a prescription for grief as it is for anything else.)
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Vast and solemn spaces)
Also: RIP Crocodile Hunter; adventurer, scholar, and artist.

To some supercilious students, in the 1940s, Shostakovich offered a different musical analogy: "The circus is the purest of art forms. And note that like any genuine art form it brooks no counterfeit. The director's tone-deaf wife, the committee chairman's aunt or somebody else may sing in opera. But only a person expertly trained can perform on the flying trapeze. It is inconceivable to enter the lion's cage simply by 'pulling strings.' "

—Fay, Laurel E. Shostakovich: A Life. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. p. 300, note 61.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Vast and solemn spaces)
The first "real" days of summer—Memorial Day weekend, a lot of the time—are always kind of uncomfortable for me. I dunno. It always feels like I "should" be out doing something archetypally summery, and the weight of that internal expectation makes it a kind of un-fun time.

Yes, it's neurotic and stupid. And it's only sillier given that I'm really not a very summery person in the first place. And that I don't handle heat very well. I'm a weak swimmer; I haven't played team sports for something like seven years; while I'm a fiend on my bike and a decent jogger, those are both activities that summer basically punishes you for. Oh yeah, and right now my two big projects are 1. find a job that'll send my income positive again without killing my soul and 2. write a book; summer actively hinders me on both of those. You know what I ought to be doing? I ought to be saying, "Ach! Summer! Fuggit!" Throwing up my hands, getting over it, moving on with my life.

And yet... something about this time of year. The things I want get all tangled up with the things I think I should want; a million slow tableaux simmer through my head, snippets of things I've only seen or felt briefly made indistinguishable from things made up completely or caught from someone else: dinner in a cramped duplex huddled against a sunset-lit hill, dusty roads pressed by truck tires, a million days on end with the same steadfast friends, outdoor city pools, skies of California, bare feet, hot pavement, stargazing, sleepwalking, grand plans, home.

It's like spring horniness, except not nearly so simple and pure. It's a desperate, grasping longing for something I've never been able to define, never touched for more than a moment, never known where to search for. It makes me feel alone and frustrated and weak and lost, like the world is receding out of my grasp at sixty miles an hour as I stumble along behind in the kicked up dirt, wailing wait! Don't leave me! Bring me with you!

The first blush of summer feels like it should be the best time of my life; would be, if I could only do it right. Everyone I know seems more alive than they've ever been, and I can't touch them, can't keep up with them. It's the time of year when I really do wonder just what in the hell is wrong with me.

Well, I'll get over it in a few days. In the meantime, this seems like as good a weekend as any to do Pepsi For The Dead, so I will see you all on the flipside of that.

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