"[I]n late 2015, I came across a set of pictures with no identifying text. They appeared to show a gigantic apartment in what looked, from the windows, very much like New York. But I know Manhattan and its sophisticated style pretty well, and at first glance, you would think the place didn't belong to an American but to a Russian oligarch, or possibly a Saudi prince with a second home in the United States. There were overscaled rooms, and obviously incorrect-looking historical detailing and proportions. The home had lots of gilded French furniture and the strange impersonal look of a hotel lobby, with chairs and sofas placed uncomfortably far from one another. There were masses of gold; there were the usual huge chandeliers, branded relics of famous sportsmen like Muhammad Ali, and mushroom-colored marble floors. There was relatively little in the way of paintings, but otherwise, the place reeked of dictator chic. As it turned out, this familiar yet unfamiliar apartment -- a familiar style to me by then, but in an unlikely location -- belonged to Donald Trump, who by then was running for president. This was the penthouse of the potential leader of the free world." -- Peter York, "Trump's Dictator Chic," Politico [thanks to b>realinterrobang for quoting this earlier]
Well, I'm delighted.
(I have to thank Cine Outsider for the tip-off; I had no idea until I was scrolling down as I do about every month or so and then what? I still have dreams of seeing an actual print someday. The film was shot in Technicolor. It may have been chopped to pieces by Columbia, but what's left should still look good. Besides, I have always had the sneaking suspicion that even the most faithful digital transfer cannot properly reproduce the full effect of Dr. Terwilliker's hat.)
I was watching Kit play on their own and glumly thinking that happy Kit is independent and only wants parents when they're sad. Then they toddled over and handed me a stuffed fox, just because. So I know that what I'm feeling is just a feeling and has very little to do with reality. But it's still a big feeling.
Relatedly, having a tantruming toddler scream directly into your ear for several minutes is really quite challenging.
"Kit is so chill," I thought, once upon a time. "Maybe they won't really get toddler tantrums." I was so wrong. Soooo wrong. Tantrums aren't about personality. They're about cognitive and emotional overload. A scream into the void.
(My right ear is the void, apparently.)
(But was I going to stop cuddling my screaming child? Of course not. My ear can cope.)
And now I feel like the worst parent in the world because I couldn't really help my kid, even when they were bottomlessly miserable. There is no cure for the tantrum because it's an existential crisis. You just hold on and say "I'm here" like it means anything. And eventually they stop crying long enough for you to get some calories into them, which almost always helps. It turns out that kids are always basically one minute away from a massive hunger crash, and that rather exacerbates the existential angst.
You could not pay me enough to be a child again. No way. It's genuinely a wonder that kids are ever happy at all. Their bodies do weird things, the world is baffling, everything is too big, they have no control, safety is elusive and fleeting. It's like a fucking horror movie, 24/7. And yet my child comes over and smiles at me and puts their head on my knee for sheer love.
I guess maybe they wanted to say "I'm here" like it means anything.
I guess maybe it does.
My doctor also had good news for me today: my blood sugar level, which had been at 7.5, way at the top of the Type 2 diabetes range, has scaled down to 5.7. My doctor is very impressed; he's never seen such a fast turnover before. If there ever was a moment for the Glow of Virtue, this was totally it. My bad cholesterol level is on the high end, but it's balanced out by the good cholesterol, so yay I guess. I'm hoping to knock the 5.7 down to 5 by the time I see him again in September. My insurance is until the 24th, so that's enough time for one more blood test.
I am considering buying weights, just a couple of dumbbells, for building arm strength. I'm going to sit on this for a while and see how I feel in a couple of weeks. I'm going to dig out some unused sheets and try using those as exercise mats, though. My brother uses a folded old blanket.
Not swimming today; the sky's too cloudy and I don't like swimming in a cold pool. I guess I SHOULD get used to that, though. It's so nice, so I lament not taking advantage of the cloudy sky to go for a morning hike. Maybe I can do that tomorrow!
Sex and love, lies and truth, shades in between. Happy endings and might-have-beens. Nine tales of these things between men.
( D&D )
I recently found a book again that I'd searched for for years: "Bloodrights" by N. Lee Wood. I was prepared to be disappointed, but to my happy surprise I still like it a lot. It's harsher than I remembered, especially in regards to the cost of striving for power. The surprising reveal at the end made me look at much of it in a different way and made me like it even more. Yay trope subversion. ( Spoiler )
I liked Antonya and many of the other characters, and rereading the book now there are several scenes that I now much better understand the id buttons they pushed (esp. Kerrick & Morgan.) Also, something I'd forgotten about which was a nice surprise, queer people exist and are, while not completely normal, not a big deal.
Politics, because it's unavoidable: The current situation in Poland is scary, it shows how easily things like that can happen. That the protests appear to have had some success is encouraging but not more than a silver lining.
There are so many countries were democracy is under attack…
In Austria I'm trying to focus on the push-back against the surveillance program, but I'm scared about the new government after the next election. The outcome seems almost certain and it would be a bad one imo, but as we've recently seen in the UK a lot can change during an election campaign, so we'll see.
Adult now, the audacity and flippancy of youth left behind, he stared at the unfathomable vastness stretched before him – of land, of time, of thought, and of choices yet unmade – and remembered those he’d lost to time, missing his dear old brier-patch.
Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.