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Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
09 August 2018 @ 09:03 pm
UPDATE:  IT FOUND THE FEEDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hopefully it liked it, and then I don't have to worry about the pitiful lack of blooms on the cigar plant. Today I just sat and watched it, but I will try to get pics/video another day.

SO EXCITING.

*****

This summer I had a series of work deadlines that all required me to program in the new language so I was working very hard, taking no vacation days, having to comp time on weekends if I wanted to take a day off. The work was hard but also a LOT of fun; it just left no time or brain space for LJ. So now I feel like writing, and randomly start with daphnep's prompts today.

August 4- Do you enjoy hunting for a bargain?

Hmmmm.... No. I try not to be taken advantage of, and will often say an outright no to doing something if it is too expensive or if I don't think it's necessary (which is why we drive old cars and do things like bring our own food when we go dirt biking and get an AirBnB and cook our own breakfast and lunch). But I don't enjoy the process of trying to find the best deal. I am also more interested in finding the best quality item, or getting excellent service, so I will pay more for things than other people might. When it comes to clothes, my sizes sell out quickly so if I really love something I can't wait for a sale. I do bring coupons with me when I shop though.

August 5 - Do you have any sisters? Tell us about them.

No sisters. My cousin Stacey was the closest I had to a sister growing up. I think our mothers got together once a week or more when we were small, and the highlight of our summer was when she and her brother would come stay at our house for a few days in the summer. We just took a girls weekend and stayed at an AirBnB on the Delaware and had a wonderful time. I think I am a little "weird" for her (she's more extroverted and less introspective) but there's a huge amount of affection and loyalty between us.

August 6 - Do you have any brothers? Tell us about them.

One brother, about three years younger. I love him a lot. He loves me too. In some ways we are complete opposites -- he's go-with-the-flow and I'm a planner, he's way more extroverted than me, and he's much more nostalgic and mushy and emotional (while still being extremely pragmatic -- he's comfortable coexisting with his emotions, whatever they are -- no toxic masculinity for Chandler). But we tend to agree on just about everything. How we view the world and the people in it, how we should handle family situations, life priorities, stuff like that. He has lived with us for a few months at a time and we're compatible that way too. I'm very lucky. I know there are a lot of people who really butt heads with their siblings. I don't even want my brother to move out of the neighborhood (he lived across the street for a while, and recently moved about 3 blocks away to a bigger place).
 
 
Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
08 August 2018 @ 04:29 pm
Poindexter recently reorganized the office (AGAIN) because he finally got rid of our 20+ year old couch that he bought for me back when we first started dating. Because on my first trip to visit him in California I wanted to have the option of sleeping on the couch. Just in case, you know. The option. It turned out to be a super comfy couch (for sitting and naps, although I did spend the night on it many years after we were married when he was sick) so we kept it even as the fake leather started peeling and coming off. I can't even remember what was the final straw, but we ended up moving the dining couch up there, which is a sectional, and we removed the wedge and put together a superlong couch that would only fit on one wall, so Poindexter rearranged.

In the process of this rearrangement we also moved my desk under a window that has a windowbox outside, and this year I put in a 4-foot-ish hibiscus tree (I cannot believe it fit) with blooms the colors of the sunset, plus some tall plants with little orange trumpet blooms. I have no idea what it is. There's no point because when I go back to the locally-owned nursery that I frequent next year I can't guarantee it'll be there. [EDIT: It's a cigar plant. With, sadly, very few blooms on it. Mostly just leaves.]

This entry is reminding me of how Poindexter pointed out that when I draw things in Pictionary, I will set up an elaborate context in the drawing and then actually draw the thing and point to it. "Why don't you just draw the thing first?" he wanted to know. Because I think you need the context to know immediately what the thing is, but maybe not.

ANYWAY.

One day last week I walked into the office (where I hadn't been sitting much, because I like sitting in the new bitchin' kitchen) and saw a hummingbird sipping at those little orange blooms. And I have LOST MY MIND. HUMMINGBIRDS! AT MY DESK! OMG!!!

I saw another one on Monday night so I made nectar and put out one of my parents' old feeders. Now my entire day revolves around hoping I see a hummingbird. Every time any bird (or a large insect) appears in my peripheral vision I freak out. I am disappointed a lot.

Yesterday, to Poindexter on IM:

Me: No hummingbirds today.
Me: They can probably feel my desperation and they're staying away.


This morning:

Me: There's a hummingbird here but it hasn't noticed the feeder!!
Me: I HAVE SO MUCH FOOD FOR YOU LITTLE BIRDIE
Me: BRING YOUR FRIENDS


This afternoon:

Me: "Hummingbirds are very smart and can remember every flower they have been to and how long it will take a flower to refill with nectar."
Me: But not smart enough to notice a hummingbird feeder right there in front of them?
Me: Maybe I should tie a few of those flower branches close to the feeder.
Me: CAN YOU FEEL THE DESPERATION

Poindexter: Yes.


Not long after that, a hummingbird showed up and failed to notice the feeder. *headdesk* COME ON GUYS!!!
 
 
Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
20 February 2018 @ 11:28 am
I had a sudden remembrance of a game I used to play with my cousins when we were all under the age of 10. We called it "New York Information Center". Stacey had a couple of bright pink Barbie phones and she and Billy also had an encyclopedia, so we would pretend we were getting phone calls on these pink phones from people who needed, you know, information. And we would look it up and give them the information.

I *wish* I could remember what sorts of questions we envisioned people might ask. Some of them were probably funny.

I also remember performing in a play Stacey wrote involving carrots from outer space. I'll have to ask her about that next time I see her.

Good times. Other people sometimes make fun of us when they hear about the ridiculous games we made up, but we always had so much fun.

Did anybody else ever play a game like this? Apparently everybody played "the floor is lava" so you never know.
 
 
Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
10 February 2018 @ 02:45 pm
So, before I can talk about the parade, I have to explain the Mummers as best I can, because otherwise you cannot properly appreciate how completely Jason Kelce stole the show.

Aqua_String_Band___2010_Performance.0.jpeg

I grew up about 30 miles from here, and I was always vaguely aware of the Mummers as a thing that happened. Buncha grown men dressed like old-timey Vegas showgirls with the gigantic fans made of feathers? Something like that. And I would see them on TV, bunches and bunches of them together, running around like lunatics or doing the strut I showed you in the previous post. But they were always on the periphery of my worldview. I hadn't thought about them much.

Not until I moved here and went out for an errand on New Year's Day and ran smack up against real, live Mummers post-parade. They were EVERYWHERE. Large grown men with that Philadelphia beer belly, in bright shiny satin and sequin costumes, and sneakers painted gold, just sort of ... walking through the neighborhood and mingling.

(To get an idea what Mummers are like, just search for the term on YouTube. To get an idea how utterly ridiculous they can sometimes be, look for the Mummers comics specifically.)

And then in the evening ... well. :) I wrote a filtered post about that complete with pictures and video, so I think you can get a good sense of the fun from that. I look forward to this every year, and now that Lynn and Christie are here, they go out to enjoy it with me too.

(There have been a number of incidents through history, even embarrassingly recent history, where Mummers have been grossly insensitive to women and certain minorities and ethnic groups, and there's a lot of binge drinking which causes problems, and I fully acknowledge that and hope they continue to improve. But that's not the point of this post. Also, they've started inviting minority groups to participate in their own particular celebratory fashion, and there are drag queens in the parade now, which is all kinds of awesome.)

What's also interesting to me is that Mummers are SERIOUS BUSINESS for the people involved. They practice for a good part of the fall -- you sometimes see groups of them practicing underneath I-95 -- and they are always really pumped when parade time comes. The woman who cut my hair for 15 years is from a Mummers family. They're in one of the Fancy Brigades, and her group actually made it several rounds into America's Got Talent. She was over the moon about it, and every time I got my hair cut before or after the the first of the year she was always super excited about the upcoming parade and festivities.

Her entire family (husband and two sons as well as herself) was involved in it. And if you watch the footage, you see nowadays that there a lot of children involved in the parades, from toddlers being held by strutting parents to children of all ages in costume and participating. It's really cool. And I like that we're the only city in the US who does this. It's uniquely Philadelphia. Since it originated in South Philly, it's primarily the blue-collar contingent that's involved in it, and I enjoy that aspect of it too. All the people who have lived here for multiple generations who have that Philly accent and the Philly atty-tood.
 
 
Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
07 February 2018 @ 12:19 pm
(My new userpic and the subject of the post are from this Tweet: https://twitter.com/12upSport/status/955281871323189248)

So, I don't follow sports, but I am a fan of the city of Philadelphia, warts and all, and I love the human interest of the tribal aspect of sports, so I wanted to note all this stuff to look back on. Plus my brother is like the King of Nostalgia so I can show this to him in five years and he'll probably love it. One of the awesome things about my brother is that he is Teflon to toxic masculinity. He is completely unashamed of showing his emotions. It's a very endearing trait. He's also very pragmatic about emotions (perhaps because he just feels them and lets them go) and thus not prone to interpersonal drama, and is one of the most laid-back people I know.

So, a little Chandler/Eagles background. When I was in third grade, the Eagles were in the Superbowl. It didn't go so well. Later that year, my class had to write a letter to someone famous, so I chose to write to Dick Vermeil (the head coach at the time). I told him that when the Eagles lost the Superbowl, "My brother stomped up to his room and cried."

He replied with some autographed photos of himself and the team, and responded sympathetically, "Tell your brother I felt like doing the same thing." That letter was framed and hung in the rec room of our house for probably 20 years.

Over the years I have watched my brother agonize over this team. I said it was like an abusive relationship and he could only ruefully agree. He would mope sometimes about how he would probably never see an Eagles championship in his lifetime. He always had his tongue in his cheek about it, but he does have a very strong emotional attachment to this team, he LOVES the game of football (knows all the technical crap and all the plays) , and really wanted to see them win.

The next closest thing to the Eagles winning the Super Bowl, for him, might be his first time seeing Soundgarden live when they first reunited. They were his favorite band but he discovered them late and didn't get to see them live before they originally disbanded. He couldn't eat all day due to nausea and was so overwhelmed he was unable to move during the performance.

Chandler was watching the game up in NJ, in the man cave at his friend Jon's house. He and Jon have been friends since high school, and Jon used to work for the Eagles organization at some point. They have a third friend from high school who is as big a fan as they are, and he was AT the Super Bowl. There was a house party going on upstairs, but like most of the serious Eagles fans I know, they wanted to be alone to focus wholly on the game.

So my love for my baby brother is why this game mattered so much to me, and I'm also a bit sentimental about all those people like him, of all generations, who have been waiting so long for this day. So I started crying a little when there were about 2 minutes left in the game and the Eagles were 8 points ahead and it was looking extremely unlikely the Patriots could close the gap. I said, "I can't imagine how my brother must feel right now." Poindexter said, "He's probably throwing up." (I texted him just now and asked. He says, "I was in agony." He couldn't relax until the clock hit 00 AND they ascertained that there were no flags.)

When it was official, I screamed, hugged Poindexter, put pants on, threw my coat and shoes on, and was so full of excitement that I ran WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOing down my block and around the corner with my arms up in the air. There was a group of people outside at a neighbor's house and the neighbor (a motorcycle enthusiast) said to Poindexter, "She's gone. You've lost her. Might as well go ride your [dirt] bike to track her down." Actually I was right around the corner waiting for Poindexter and texting Christie (my younger niece) that we were on our way.

It was pretty exciting right near our house, because I live near a lot of bars and people were jumping around and hugging in the street, but there was also a wave of movement in the direction of Broad Street and Christie wanted to go. Poindexter was less enthused (it was already 10:30; it would be a 25 minute walk there, plus the walk back, plus time spent spectating at Broad). We were standing in the parking lane, debating, as people streamed past us.

And then a young woman, in her 20s, saw us standing there and started yelling, "LET'S GO! WE'RE GOING TO BROAD STREET!!!" and she grabbed Poindexter's coat and started pulling him along. "LET'S GOOOOOO COME ON!!!" She pulled him a good quarter of the block while he laughed and complained about being kidnapped and I said, "Well, you have to go to Broad Street now!" Eventually she got distracted by another person who was not walking, but Poindexter had given in at that point so we kept going.

Every now and then someone would spontaneously start the chant -- "E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!!!!"

There were cops all along the route and apparently the rule about open containers of alcohol were relaxed last night -- we saw a police officer telling someone no glass, but "Cans are okay." People were high-fiving the cops, too. This is one of my favorite videos of that:

People trying to cross the street in cars full of people in Eagles gear would have their windows down, honking, yelling out the window, high-fiving the folks walking, and I saw more than one person standing up out of a sunroof and yelling.

At one point we were walking behind a medium brown-skinned man in his 20s or 30s (bearded; hard to tell) who had an older woman (possibly his mother) trailing behind him who had a large bindi and was wearing some kind of garb I have never seen before. It was nothing like a sari, like I often see on older women with bindis, and it had loose full pants cuffed tightly around the ankle, but it was white and green (Eagles colors). The guy looked a little confused, though amused, and I couldn't read the woman's face at all (she wasn't smiling or reacting) but people were trying to high-five them nonetheless.

When we got out to Broad Street, I could not believe how many people there were. They completely filled the street, which is about seven lanes wide (four driving lanes, two parking lanes, plus a median). And they were all walking in the direction of City Hall. There were girls on shoulders, people stopping to take group pictures, hugging, high-fiving, cheering, chanting, and one guy with a handheld thing shooting off fireworks. He was holding it like an umbrella and doing the Mummers Strut, which you non-locals can see helpfully demonstrated here by Anthony, who does a good job of it despite being from Cherry Hill:



The sheer volume of people was just incredible. We were there for maybe half an hour and they just kept coming, and coming, and coming. Poindexter said later it was like watching the marathon, because the crowd of people just goes on and on and on and doesn't seem like it will ever end. I stood up on a fire hydrant thingie with a flat top and got the crowd shot below, which you can click to embiggen and get a good sense of how dense the crowd is and how far it extends. I'm looking south on Broad Street, so those are the people who are still coming up. I've seen video of people dancing at the intersection a mile south of there with just as many people, and the crowd extends another half-mile behind me to City Hall.



Poindexter also remarked, "How do people know where to go?!" This wasn't PLANNED. Everybody just came out of the bars and out of their houses and everybody started making their way to Broad Street. Tens of thousands of people. I mean, the police obviously knew it was going to happen, but it's not like somebody got on Twitter and said "PARTY ON BROAD STREET!" I speculated that maybe people just go for the nearest major intersection -- I heard something about incidents at Frankford and Cottman, which are two major arteries in the Northeast.

Most of Poindexter's coworkers were already closer to Broad and walked over, as we did (we walked about half an hour). One of Poindexter's coworkers walked all the way from Fishtown to City Hall, which is more like 3 miles. Wow!

The only inappropriate behavior I saw was a drunk guy pounding on car hoods, but a huuuge security guy standing in front of his work wasn't having any of that and walked over to put a stop to it, followed by a much smaller police officer. Given the sheer volume of people, and the various states of inebriation, I'm honestly surprised (and pleased) that the damage was as minimal as it was.

I said to Poindexter on the walk, "Are there Superbowl babies? Like, is there a little baby boom nine months after the Superbowl in the city that won?" He laughed, and every time we saw a man and woman making out I'd point and say "Superbowl Baby!" On the way home, we saw a couple making out in a recessed doorway and "Superbo--- oops, never mind." It was two teenage boys. :)

(Apparently I am not the only one who wondered this.)

And when we were almost home, there was a young woman standing on the corner Facetiming with someone who looked like he was her dad, or grandfather, showing him the crowds, and then I saw her say "I love you!" to him, and saw him reply, "I love you!"

I'm a little verklempt.
 
 
 
Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
05 February 2018 @ 12:09 am
Quick selfie in the kitchen in my lucky Eagles plaid...



Before heading out to Broad Street to see the insane crowds.

 
 
Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
04 February 2018 @ 07:41 pm
I saw that one of the questions for February was "Are you superstitious?" In general, I would say a resounding no, but when it comes to sports, I become horribly, horribly superstitious.

A few days ago I noticed that my new plaid flannel shirt was Eagles colors, and from then on I was afraid to take it off, and have been wearing it for three or four days straight now, just changing out the t-shirt underneath. I don't want to watch the game, but maybe I should watch the game so I don't jinx it. I decided not to watch the game, and then I paused outside of a bar and was peeking inside and fretted that perhaps I was jinxing by watching. Now I'm home sitting next to Poindexter, who is watching, and the Patriots just intercepted and I worry that I shouldn't be watching.

It's bad. Good thing I don't like sports.

So, obviously, my answer to the February 4 question is that I am rooting for the Eagles. Mainly for my brother, who has been a die hard Eagles fan since he was small.

I'm afraid that since I've admitted that, I've jinxed it for him. GAH!
 
 
Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
28 January 2018 @ 04:06 pm
I was saying to Kittles the other day that my focus is so outwardly driven that I don't have much of an urge to talk about myself any more. When I get together with people I just want to listen. The part that's me-driven is that I want to be able to ask questions sometimes so I can hear about the stuff I am most interested in, or get people to expand on something they only touched on. I feel like I am a sponge soaking up information about people.

The two guys we were traveling with were very considerate people, and one of them would occasionally turn to me and say, "So what do you think about [topic we've been discussing]?" And for a few seconds I would just sit there with my tongue tied because usually I had gaps in my comprehension of the discussion (hearing) or else it was about a topic I had never thought about before in enough depth to be able to contribute.

So these prompts are really helpful.

January 6 - What was your least favourite class in high school?

Sophomore and senior English. I had a teacher who did NOT appear to be interested in listening to people (unlike the wonderful junior year teacher I mentioned) and seemed to just be going through the motions. I'm not sure how people like that get into teaching, if they don't like the process. I mean, we had some brilliant kids in that class who would come up with some interesting insights, and all he could say was "I'll buy that."

I also didn't like my freshman world history class. It started with Mesopotamia or whatever and made its way through to at least the Middle Ages, I forget, and it was just a blur of dates, places, wars, and governments. I basically slept through the class except for this one chapter about daily life in the Middle Ages which I freaking LOVED. This class led me to think I did not like history. In fact I think I like history just fine, but I like the history of everyday life, not wars and governments.

January 7 - What is your all-time favourite song?

I'm going to interpret this as "first song that pops to mind that I've listened to for decades and have not gotten tired of" and it's "Stayin' Alive", by the Bee Gees.

When you ask me this question in 30 years, it'll probably be Chris Cornell's "When Hope and Promise Fade," and I hope someday I can listen to that again with the same enjoyment I did before he killed himself. I hope. It's so hard to listen to his music now because there's so much pain in his lyrics. I used to think that he exorcised his pain through his lyrics, the way Poindexter exorcises and anger or aggression he feels through metal music. But now I'm not so sure, and it is very hard to hear the songs now and be reminded that the pain was probably very much with him all the time. I just hope that he did have long stretches when he wasn't in pain, that he just got caught at a bad time.

January 8 - Do you listen to audiobooks or podcasts, or just music?

SNORT! I don't listen to podcasts/books. I wish. I certainly would if I could. Especially when walking in boring places or driving.

January 9 - What would you / did you name your daughter/s?

She would have been Evelyn, if Poindexter would have agreed, but since we decided on no kids, I am Evelyn. Evelynne, because somebody else had that LJ name already.

January 10 - what would you / did you name your son/s?

This one I didn't have an opinion on. Something with at least three syllables, that they would probably shorten down to one if they wanted to, because apparently one-syllable names are more manly, but I could call them by all the syllables. Multi-syllable names are easier for me to hear.
 
 
Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
18 January 2018 @ 10:28 pm

I'm not doing a good job of keeping up here. In the last few days, that's been mainly because I keep wasting my free time reading different perspectives on the Aziz Ansari thing, picking it apart and thinking about how Aziz could have behaved better (I don't believe it was assault, but he was really annoyingly pushy) AND how the girl could have asserted her agency in ways she did not. 

Jesus Christ on a pogo stick, people, how do you have sex with someone you've just met and not actively talk about what you're doing? I've been having sex with one person for 20+ years now and he knows what I like and does that without bothering to ask but we STILL say stuff like "I'm not in the mood for that", "a little lower", "is this OK?", "are you comfortable?" "We're too old for this, let's move to the bed." Come ON. Does this have something to do with the puritanical heritage of the US? 

I'm starting to think, quite seriously, that we need instructional porn videos on how to communicate during sex. Hopefully the porn aspect will encourage people to actually watch it, especially if we can get famous porn stars to film it. 

The other thing that's been keeping me busy is that I decided to join my dad and some family friends in Paris at the beginning of April, and I discovered fluent-forever.com and the book by the same name, so I've been learning the IPA alphabet and using it to refine my French pronunciation, reading a short romance novel in French about a blind woman who hates winter and rants about it A LOT, and watching videos on Yabla, listening to a phrase over and over on slow until I think I've got it. That helps a lot with my ability to understand spoken French, which is cool. The reading is helping increase my vocabulary, since it's not possible for me to pick up new words by listening and I need to know as many words as I can to be able to recognize them when people speak them.



 
 
Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
07 January 2018 @ 09:46 pm

Dad and I drove an hour north into the PA boonies and had dinner with Alicia and Mike and the boys. Alicia and her family have been friends with my family since I was maybe two years old, and Alicia and Mike have 17-year-old twins (the ones who were fascinated with my dishwasher back in the Diaryland days around 16 years ago) and a 15-year-old boy. The girl twin was not there because she is spending a year in Germany, and I'm ridiculously excited for her. She seems to be having an amazing time. I wish I had done something like that when I was her age but I was too chicken.

I had told my dad about the video I saw on Facebook about how if you blow bubbles when it's 14 degrees, the bubbles will freeze. When he stopped for landjager at a general store near their house, he was lucky enough to find "bubble stuff" (is there a proper technical term for this substance?) and bought two bottles. After dinner we all bundled up and went outside and blew some bubbles, but nothing seemed any different. I speculated that perhaps we needed to cool off the bubble stuff, so we left it on the porch and trooped inside and de-bundled for dessert.

When we bundled up again, there was a thin layer of ice on top of the bubble stuff, and we started blowing bubbles and again, nothing seemed any different. But then we realize that when they popped, they were shattering. The pieces looked like when a glass Christmas ball falls and breaks into jagged pieces. It was pretty cool. SCIENCE! 

I would also kinda like to experience the thing where you throw boiling water into the air and it freezes, but I don't want to be out in weather that cold so I don't know if that will be happening.

We're driving home now and Dad just pointed out the rising half-moon on the horizon. It's orange-ish and it looks positively enormous. Wow. 


 
 
 
Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
05 January 2018 @ 06:59 pm
January 5 - What was your favourite class in high school?

High school? Good lord. I wish they'd asked about college, when I got to take the linguistics and anthropology courses I was so excited about taking, that weren't offered in high school. Also, I have no single "favorite" of anything except Poindexter, to whom I often say, "You're my favorite," so there are multiples:

The most fun class overall (that never felt like work) was probably Madrigal. I accompanied (piano) the "varsity" version of the singing groups in our school and I loved it. The teacher was an amazing person who treated students like young adults. Probably more akin to how a good manager treats his employees rather than an adult-child relationship.

In terms of more academic pursuits, oh my gosh I loved AP Calculus. I was completely jazzed about it, how it all worked, how you could use it for practical applications. It is probably the reason I ended up majoring in math. Up 'til that point I was good at math but didn't get excited about it like I did about calculus. I used to talk about it at the dinner table. When I retire I plan to find a good textbook and learn it all over again, but better. A lot of my learning in school was rote memorization and I'd like to have a fuller, deeper understanding of it.

My favorite teacher was my junior year honors English teacher, who was enthusiastic about the subject and clearly, obviously interested in what her students thought about the works. She would lean forward over her desk and listen with rapt attention during class discussions. She also had a dry sense of humor and referred to the end of a Shakesperean drama as "the pileup of dead bodies at the end of Act V." I suspect my sense of humor was too underdeveloped at the time for me to get all of her jokes, but I loved that one.
 
 
Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
04 January 2018 @ 09:54 pm
I got these prompts from daphnep, and am going to use them to help me when I get overwhelmed by how much backstory I need to give people to explain what's going on in my life. (Which, technically, isn't even about me, which makes it harder to write. I'm just normal and fine and the same as always. But it's hard and the words get stuck.)

January 1 - Thing you are most looking forward to this month

Seeing kittles, who invited me to share her hotel room at a conference. :) :) :)

January 2 - Do you have any new years resolutions?

Sigh. I don't feel motivated by turning the pages of a calendar, so no. But the top two things I want to do more of are posting on LJ and getting to bed by 11pm, even on weekends.

I've learned something since I read Better than Before and got a new dishwasher. Although I am unfortunately what Gretchen calls a rebel, and haaaaaaate routines, I decided to run it every night before bed and empty it first thing in the morning, rather than waiting for when it was full, since it hardly uses any water and doesn't require pre-rinsing like the old one did. I found that if I can just force myself past my hatred of routine and do it anyway, eventually the pleasure of getting the desired result (a neater kitchen) outweighs the icky I-don'-wanna rebellious reaction that I have to the routine itself. So I know that as much as I hate the idea doing the same thing every day at the same time, it WORKS. So I guess my resolution (though it isn't a New Year's one) is to force myself over that hump on bedtime and posting.

I would also like to be more disciplined about working so that I can finish work at 6pm instead of farting around on the internet half the morning and being stuck working into the evening. Sigh.

January 3 - Are you a part of any fandoms? What do you do in them?

Well, this is embarrassing. I am absolutely a part of the Ylvis fandom, and I, uh ... I have a presence in some social media groups where we talk ad nauseum about all things Ylvis. For a while with a few other girls I wrote a weekly analysis on of their sketches and videos. I traveled to Norway to see Ylvis live in concer and met those girls in person, which was amazing. I even wrote a short fanfic which is so stupid I'm embarrassed, especially because I'm not a writer, just somebody who makes up ridiculous contrived romance novel fantasy scenarios in my head when I'm stuck in boring situations, like church. I have different stories for different celebrity crushes. Timothy Olyphant is the latest, and that's Poindexter's fault for watching "Justified". I "watch" it when Timothy takes his shirt off.

January 4 - Where would you most like to travel?

Rural France. More Norway. More Wales. Ireland, for the green. The mountains in Switzerland. Cinque Terre, among other places in Italy. Greece. Morocco. Zanzibar, for the cinnamon and nutmeg. I mean, this is just the stuff that pops to mind first.

In the US I'd like to wander around and explore the topography of southwestern West Virginia a bit more. I love those little mountains. I still haven't seen New Orleans, or St. Augustine. I'd like to dirt bike in Utah. I'd like to see more of Vermont and upstate New York near where sweet_jane lives.

The rest of January's promptsCollapse )
 
 
Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
10 December 2017 @ 01:23 pm
eep.  
You guys, I think ... I'm now giving very serious consideration to getting a cochlear implant. And if I don't learn anything in my research that indicates that it wouldn't work the way I hope it would, I should probably do it pretty soon. Maybe in the spring. Before I chicken out.

[Aside to my Hens: if this seems sudden, it is. Something that was just kinda floating around in the back of my mind suddenly became OHSHIT MAYBE I SHOULD PROBABLY DO THIS AND THERE'S NO POINT IN DELAYING.]

I'd considered it briefly off and on over the years, but wasn't interested because apparently CIs can destroy the residual hearing and they are just crap for listening to music. They've tried to make it better, and it is for listening to certain types of music, but the melodies and tone and timbre that I enjoy so much (which are also qualities of people's speaking voices), those things are apparently extremely difficult to transmit electrically with a cochlear implant.

I use my residual hearing, all in the lower frequencies up to about the C above middle C on the piano, to hear tone and music -- I can differentiate between different types of musical instruments and recognize individual voices (spoken and in singing), and get a tremendous amount of pleasure out of that. Listening to Handel's Messiah requires a box of tissues.

My hearing was also very stable for a long time -- I've had some minor additional loss since I was 12, but it was more than made up for by the advancements in hearing aid technology. And I communicate extremely well one-on-one, there's Skype now for lipreading, and I am lucky enough to have a job where my hearing is not really an issue.

But then Poindexter's mom found out she had early stage glaucoma, like her mother, and it reminded me of something I'd thought of in the past -- if I lost my eyesight, I would be almost completely unable to communicate. I do great if I can lipread; otherwise I can barely understand anything. So why not get the implant NOW, while I'm relatively young and brain-flexible, and learn how to use it? Plus, you know, I mean, I might be able to actually communicate better NOW. :)

Also, I've been having trouble with my left ear being crotchety over the last six months (congestion from a cold that took two months to go away; subsequent unrelated inflammation in the Eustachian tube and then a disgusting fungal infection temporarily diminishing my hearing) so I was idly thinking, well, maybe I could sacrifice the hearing in that ear and keep the right ear for music.

On Friday my audiologist confirmed, as Poindexter and I suspected, that my interest in language, linguistics and phonetics will put me ahead on the learning curve for a CI. She says that if you don't already understand that stuff, they have to teach it to CI recipients. So that was reassuring to know.

I also found out that there's a type of hybrid CI with a shorter electrode that does NOT destroy the hair cells in the cochlea, so you can continue to amplify the lower frequencies you can still hear and use the CI for the higher frequencies. There may be problems with this (I heard something about a "lag", which some people struggle with and could make me batshit crazy, if they haven't improved it), so I won't get my hopes up, but we definitely need to investigate.

And I had this thought today that I'm afraid to think about because it's so bright and shiny and glorious -- I will NOT get my hopes up -- but if I had the CI ... is it possible that I might be able to pick up some French and Norwegian by listening to it!? I won't get my hopes up. That would just be an added bonus, not the reason to get it. But if it happened. Wow.

I've read some articles that say that a positive attitude is one of the key indicators for success with CI. I have that. I also have the patience I've been cultivating about learning: I can feel it getting harder for me to learn, as I get older, but I keep telling myself that I'll get it eventually, just keep trying. So I might be a bit cranky for a year or so as I learn, but I think I can do it.

Oh wow, this guy Charles Limb researches music and CIs, and he says that people with a musical background also do well with CIs because they have a different approach to processing sound:



I think I have a little crush. I want to have coffee with this guy and listen to him talk about science-y stuff.

So that all sounds very promising. But I'm also a little scared about going through all that, surgery, the money, and not really ending up much better than I am now, because I compensate so well. That would suck. There's also a possibility that I may not qualify for some reason. So I will go see some surgeons, and do more research, in particular for people finding the stories of people who are similar to me (postlingually deafened, but deaf from a young age and a long duration with hearing loss, with language and musical aptitude).

(If you have some kind of horror story or cautionary tale that you want me to know about, please put "HORROR STORY" in the subject line of your comment and I will refer it to trusted people who are a better judge of health-related risk than I am. I tend to catastrophize so I delegate risk-assessment to trusted others.)
 
 
Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
09 December 2017 @ 12:45 pm
Because of the snow, we're postponing an extended-family dinner that was scheduled for tonight. I was excited about the dinner, but I also just saw almost all of them at Thanksgiving, and I have a lot of stuff I want to do around the house this weekend plus I have to make up work I didn't do yesterday because I was running all my errands ahead of the snow. So I am a bit relieved.

Poindexter is planning to use up all the free time I now have on watching movies. "That's, like, SEVEN HOURS freed up!!!"

He doesn't get seven hours, but we will be sure to watch an episode and a movie today, for sure and I will have time to do some cooking and decorate my little tabletop tree.

Then I was staring into space and I said, half to myself, "I don't have to clean myself ... I can just be dirty today."

He burst out laughing next to me. I thought this was just a plain fact, I mean, neither one of us bothers to shower any day we don't need to see other people, and I feel like showering and fussing with my hair takes forever even though it can't actually be more than 45 minutes, including squeegeeing our giant shower. I asked what was so funny, and he said, "I'm sitting here reading the oven manual and you want to know what's funny." I said, "Your dirty wife?" and he said, "Yes, my dirty wife. Roasting in her own juices."
 
 
Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
08 December 2017 @ 06:00 pm
I wanted to record this because it's such a family classic:

My oldest niece, Kelly, came down with a cold on Saturday after Thanksgiving. Poindexter raised a big fuss, mock-yelling that she should go back to her mother's place and take her germs with her, but instead she chose to lie on our couch and breathe and cough and infect the office.

Kelly complained that we were making her feel like a leper. But later that evening she wanted to play cards with everyone downstairs and was kind enough to wear vinyl gloves to keep her germy fingertips off the cards. Poindexter reports that the gloves seemed to freak out my brother, who kept telling her to take them off.

HOWEVER.

The next morning, Poindexter came into the office and found that she had taken off her gloves and laid them carefully, inside out (germy side out), on his keyboard and mouse.

The best thing about this is that this is EXACTLY like something Poindexter would have done. And also like his mother's younger brother would have done. It amazes me how a trait like a diabolical sense of humor can run in families, and express itself so indirectly (not passed directly from parent to child).

EDIT for language geeks: She laid the gloves on the keyboard, right? But the gloves had lain on the keyboard overnight?
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Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
08 September 2017 @ 11:58 pm
So, I think I mentioned many months ago, probably a year, that I was thinking about cutting my hair off. Kind of a now or never thing, really, since I don't particularly want to be an old lady with short hair. Anyway,

I did it. LOTS OF PICSCollapse )

This was SUPER FUN. Although I enjoyed Maria's bob, and I hope to get to a midway stage where I can do something like it again, if I had it to do over again I would just go from super long to long pixie. I would probably go even shorter in back, though I would still leave it longish on top. But I feel like I got it Short Enough, and I have enjoyed every stage of it growing out, too, so it's been just a very fun experience.
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Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
06 September 2017 @ 07:57 pm
Last week I was in the architectural and gustatorial abomination that is Penn Station on my way back from visiting sweetjane and found the Starbucks (AND SHAKE SHACK HALLELUJAH) downstairs. I requested a tall iced latte with "one shot" (not the correct terminology) of mint. The cashier looked confused for a minute, said, "Oh, peppermint," and then I got my iced latte and it was PERFECT. A little bit of flavor and sweetness but not overhelmingly sweet.

While I was sitting there I decided to google "how many shots in a latte" and OH MY GOD YOU GUYS DID YOU KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CAN CUSTOMIZE AT STARBUCKS!?

The most pertinent info for me was knowing how many "pumps" (the correct terminology) of syrup are in each size, so I can request certain ratios (I'd like ot try 1 pump in a grande, for example) but I was especially excited to see that you could order the drink to be a certain TEMPERATURE!!! I'm very sensitive to heat and cold (which is why I drink water at room temperature) and I have to wait around 20 minutes to drink a hot latte, even if there is no lid. The article calls it "kids temperature", but the app just calls it "warm."

Speaking of the APP! If you use the Starbucks app, they have options for ALL OF THESE THINGS!! And more! Like what kind of milk you want, how many shots of espresso, if you want sprinkles or drizzles, what size CUP you want, all kinds of things. And you can ORDER AHEAD and you can have the most complicated order you like AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO TALK TO ANYBODY!!

WHY DIDN'T ANYBODY TELL ME ABOUT THIS!?!?! Now I just have to restrain myself from going to Starbucks every single day.
 
 
Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
18 August 2017 @ 10:13 pm

First the Google memo and now Charlottesville. I have been reading and reading and reading and absorbing and my brain hurts. 

Family is here again. It's my SIL's 50th birthday on Sunday so her parents are here and also my other niece who goes to Clemson (as opposed to her sister who lives here and introduced me to Hobby Lobby today and OH MY GOD WE ARE GOING TO BE MAKING A LOT OF TRIPS TO HOBBY LOBBY). And the two tiny dogs who hate each other. And I haven't slept enough in three days and I'm ready to crash.

I was in the grocery store the other day and I saw a special edition of Cheerios. Pumpkin Spice. I sent a picture to Poindexter and said, "They're probably no good." But they were good. They were good enough that I had to put them in the basement so I wouldn't constantly be sticking my hand into them. (I have to limit my carbs because of blood sugar spike/crash issues that feel absolutely wretched, which sucks because I love carbs and sugar and it would be nice to be able to just, I dunno, eat a box of Cheerios all at once, once a year at pumpkin spice time.) But all I want to do is eat the Cheerios. It's terrible. Papa's eating dinner plates covered with potato chips, a veritable carbohydrate feast, and I am jealous because he can eat a plate of carbs once in a while if he feels like it and suffer no ill effects. I am ranting to Poindexter.

I WANT TO EAT A BOX OF CHEERIOS

I SHOULD NEVER HAVE BOUGHT THOSE

GOD

THEY'RE CALLING TO ME FROM THE BASEMENT

I'm so tired I can't understand people when they speak to me so I'm going to bed now.


 
 
Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
30 July 2017 @ 05:56 pm
Someone on FB linked to an article with an interesting interpetation of what "you" really mean when "you" say "I like everything but country and rap."

(Don't get me started on the tone of articles that purport to tell me what I'm thinking, but I'll move past that and just tell you what I am actually thinking.)

I have no doubt that some people have racist or classist reasons for saying they dislike country or rap, but I wonder how prevalent it actually is, particularly among people who otherwise have wide-ranging tastes in music.

Until I read this article, I would have immediately assumed it was an actual music thing. People in comments talked about the specific elements of the two genres that can be irritating: the twang and simplistic chord progressions often found in country (those qualities alone make a lot of songs hard for me to listen to) and if you like your music to be musical, then rap is going to be frustrating because the focus is so often on the rapping itself and less on the background melody. I have similar issues with pop music that has a bass line that primarily keeps time and doesn't add much musically to the song.

There are rap songs I have enjoyed, but I wouldn't say I like the genre as a whole, despite having an intellectual appreciation for it as an art form. And I am constantly surprised at how much I like country music filtered through the Home Free guys (one of my current obsessions) but I can see it's because their arrangements add complexity and layers of sound to songs that aren't always there in the originals. With some exceptions, I vastly prefer their arrangements to the originals, and sometimes I can't deal with how twangy some of their songs are.

In addition, I thought the differing reactions to the Shania Twain album that she recorded in three different styles was extremely revealing about musical tastes -- if you prefer a particular "sound" based on the instruments used, then if you take pretty much any melody you're gonna prefer it if it's made with that "sound". Heck, I even like certain bands strictly because of the tone of their bass (any band Tim Commerford is in). Even death metalheads can enjoy a children's nursery song if it's done right:

When a gingerbread baker bakes gingerbread cake
he takes firstly a frying pan and a kilogram of margarine
in the pan melts the butter
and the next thing he must do
is to stir the butter together with a kilo of sugaaar!
And while butter and sugar is foaming he takes eight egg yolks
which he stirs into the pot with one kilogram of gasoliiiiine!!!! ... gasoliiiiine!!!
he puts... finally a kilogram of pepper!

...And then you stir it well and put the dough on a board!




I'd be curious to know what people who dislike rap think of blues, gospel or R&B (or even disco), or what people who dislike country think of metal (a somewhat marginalized mostly-white genre with a sound many people find harsh) or the soundtrack of "O Brother Where Art Thou?" -- remember how big that was when it came out? It seems like it was all over LJ at the time. I thought perhaps my dislike of rap was racist except that I don't like whites rapping either (I can appreciate the content but not the sound) and I adore gospel and blues, to the point that I don't even care who's singing as long as it's that genre. I like certain kinds of metal -- apparently Led Zeppelin is metal?! -- but not thrash metal, although I do like a little bit of Slayer now and then. But if you combine thrash metal with flamenco, well... I like that a lot.

 
 
Evelynne (EV-uh-lynne) Poindexter
Someone on Facebook that I follow asked that question but I didn't want to engage there, so here we go:

Absolute favorite is probably how it feels to snuggle with Poindexter. I remember randomly hugging him once, when I was nineteen (five years before I declared my romantic feelings for him). I was shocked at how "right" it felt, as though he had been specifically designed for me to hug. It still feels like that.

(The only other person who felt like that to hug was my mom. When she was dying, when she was so skinny and frail and so unlike how she had been -- someone described her once as a "hearty/hardy" woman -- she could still stroke my hair in a way that reminded me of being cared for as a child, of that instant comfort and security a mommy could offer back then. I told her that, at the time it was happening, and I'm glad I did. I told her at a time she was feeling frustrated with her inability to do things, so I think she liked knowing she was still "Mommy".)

So I do have a favorite, but it was fun thinking about the runners-up too:

- The feeling of stability/security/steadiness (in contrast to my episodes of anxiety which feel like irrational terror and a sense that nothing is quite "right").

- The way it feels to be fully engaged in conversation with my closest friends, when they're introducing ideas that are new to me, questioning something I've said so I look at it from a new perspective or with new information, or I'm learning more about them.

- The way it feels to be surrounded by multiple generations of my family, with the kids running around everywhere being noisy, dogs running from person to person for pets, intermittent conversation that I can participate in or not, occasional outbursts of mock-indignant yelling, people reminiscing or relaying family news.

- The feeling of a "twist." A not-unpleasant surprise. This happens most often in TV shows, when something happens that was unexpected, but it happens sometimes in real life too, when people surprise you by doing something you didn't expect. Something that makes your jaw drop.

- Similarly, and also common in both TV shows and real life: Continuity. When something that was referenced long ago suddenly becomes relevant and a puzzle piece drops into place.

- How it feels when I'm in France and using the language is a constant challenge, as well as finding my way around and discovering something new around every corner.