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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

magic window


cropI'm really trying to be more upbeat, here. —I keep this lists of links to slot into the intros, and suppose I chose this one about insomnia because it's getting late (as I write this) & I'm getting tired; one commenter over at BB ‘wouldn't wish it (insomnia) on anyone’ (nor would I, though I suffer it only sporadically, usually when I'm ‘excited’ (a sort of low-grade, subclinical mania, perhaps?); another says people often dream of being awake. That's also happened to me.

Perhaps the most encouraging thing I ever read was that people, on average, wake up 10x every night. My spouse has repeated reported my falling asleep, and I know, if there's any break whatsoever in my train of thought, it means I slipped into sleep. I gather insomnia has something-something to do with melanin production (also the reason for the hamster-wheel of things to do, which never seem as clear cut or vital in the morning), and there have indeed been times when I've lain awake for hours. —It's easier to ignore in the winter, when there's more darkness to sleep in, and when mid-day light is still relatively pretty; in the warm months I especially hate sleeping through the early light, which is most beautiful.



cropMuch has been made of the differing approaches of men and women in the latest Star Wars film (including yours truly) but this video essay (via the Mary Sue) lays out a convincing case that not even the underlying philosophy of the original (six) films, as embodied by the Jedi, fails to avoid our cultural toxic masculinity —toxic, because it fails to give men a way to be both manly and emotional (especially if those emotions are sadness, grief, or loneliness).

While I get that sometimes intuition and flow can take people (me, frex) to wonderful places, both are almost always built on hours and hours of practice and picking away, step by step, at problems. I'm not one of those who ‘gets it on the first try’; so ‘trust your intuition & trust in the Force hope for the best’ always annoyed me.



crop“Christmas” ends for me on Epiphany, which means I have another six five days to feature stocking and the like. (Yes, I'm very fortunate to be able to skip out on 90% or more of the pre-holiday xmas frenzy, and for the past few years have relied heavily upon the efforts of the f2 generation to get into the season at all.)

f2tE has been helping me tidy up my life, which includes posting some of the old stuff that's been sitting around—this dates back from the end of 2016, which makes it only about a year old, pretty good for me:)

Wishing you a fantastic 2018.


cropWishing you a beautiful Winter Solstice. For many years I'd get up to watch the sunrise, but it's been universally cloudy and this year looks to be no different. Apologies for no posting yesterday and likely none tomorrow, but I'm on the home stretch for holiday preparations and still have a lot of gifts to make/assemble/wrap (& photograph, of course, to feed the maw that is this website...)

Our local theatre has half-price Wednesday, and I wanted to see The Last Jedi before it became hopelessly spoilered for me. Of the latest batch of films, this one is my favourite, for several reasons that I hope won't be too spoilery—

Though if you're worried, I'll try and hide all that behind the cut, and will say that I think Scalzi's non-spoilerish review is a good summary; I found some rather more specific comments which led to some other reviews with which I also mostly agreed.



cropYet another post scheduled for 2feb16, that never went live, so I'm sticking it in now that we're into December:) —Chelsea Manning is one of the bravest persons I know (of). A podcast that speaks more to her personal experience as a trans woman than particularly her politics is still available; I'm so happy that, in the interval, she's been freed.

I get that many people feel she's a traitor. Well, of course, all our Founding Fathers were traitors, so far as King George III was concerned; and frankly, given the awful lack of transparency our government—even at its most liberal—displays, I don't think there are really any better options than the admittedly imperfect, yet I believe sincere, efforts of people like Chelsea Manning & Edward Snowdon.



cropThis was supposed to go up at the beginning of February, in 2016, but for some reason—perhaps its being so out of season—I never finished it. However, I was delighted to discover the link—making do with less, photographically—that I chose to go with this intro is still perfectly good..

Really, it's amazing what you can do with a cell-phone camera and a piece of white paper.

Or you can check out this stocking featuring water in its varied forms.

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