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18 August 2012 @ 08:54 pm
why hello there, you're looking mighty fine this evening flist  
it's been hot in lalaland lately. and i know, most of you in the rest of the country/world live with summers filled with evil humidity - my favorite quote from Tom Robbins was something I thought was just fanciful imagination until I went to New Orleans and felt that humidity for myself.

The minute you land in New Orleans, something wet and dark leaps on you and starts humping you like a swamp dog in heat, and the only way to get the aspect of New Orleans off you is to eat it off. That means beignets and crayfish bisque and jambalaya, it means shrimp remoulade, pecan pie, and red beans with rice, it means elegant pompano au papillote, funky file z'herbes, and raw oysters by the dozen, it means grillades for breakfast, a po'boy with chowchow at bedtime, and tubs of gumbo in between. It is not unusual for a visitor to the city to gain fifteen pounds in a week - yet the alternative is a whole lot worse. If you don't eat day and night, if you don't constantly funnel the indigenous flavors in your bloodstream, then the mystery beast will go right on humping you, and you will feel its sordid presence rubbing against you long after you have left town. In fact, like any sex offender, it can leave permanent psychological scars.

Here's the thing - it's been in the high 90s every day for two weeks here in lalaland, two weeks of heat that isn't supposed to sidle up to us and grin in a lascivious kind of way, two weeks of more humidity than anyone is supposed to feel in the desert, and we're just not equipped to deal with it. I'm not equipped to deal with it. No air conditioner, no fan, no gumbo-type coping mechanisms.

Adding insult to injury three days this week the housemate came home and turned on the oven to cook dinner - effectively doubling the heat.

Basically I've felt like my brain is boiling with momentary fragments of fractured time spent breathing in relief as breezes come through the windows in the depths of the night. I haven't even been under a sheet in the evening.

Of course my brain is already a rat in a treadmill because in just about 13 days I am going to Japan for a year. A YEAR. And I can't grasp the enormity of the adventure - I keep seeing little flashes of what it will be like. Finding a grocery store in the neighborhood. Trying out local bars so I can hopefully speak to Japanese to actual natives, not just other grad students. Wondering how big my room is going to be, and looking at the outside of the apartment building and the neighborhood streets via google maps. Remembering the daily grind of last summer and hoping that I'll find some reserves of energy to do that again for the entire year.

But I'm having trouble planning for the weather. It snows in Yokohama in the winter (though I'm told it doesn't stick to the ground), and I can't even imagine Japan in the cold because I've always been there in the summer. To me Japan is a place where you take showers in the evening that cool you down before you sleep, where rain is mostly warm and makes you stickier, where it's often too hot to eat but the food is light enough that it seems refreshing (except for mugicha, which i hate, but that's ok, others can drink it).

oh well, i'll figure it out or be sending urgent messages home for more warm clothes.

and here, rewards for reading this far:

political link I wish my mother had aborted me. REALLY interesting pro-choice article posted at ONTD_political. I am amazed by the strength of the woman who posted her story, and it certainly is a counter-argument to those who claim abortion kills future productive members of our society (and seems to dismiss the affect it has on the current members)

fic rec Things That Haunt Us by [Bad username or site: emungere @ ao3]
Mal/Simon (Firefly) | NC-17 | 58,460 words
Mal’s brain is pleasantly fuzzy. His arm is slung around Zoe’s shoulders for support– his, not hers, since she of course is steady as a rock. It is summer on Greenleaf, or at least this particular part of Greenleaf, and the air is body-temperature warm and wet enough to swim through. His ears are buzzing gently, blocking out traffic noise and Zoe’s quiet complaints alike. He knows she is complaining because that is her accepted role at times like this. He is dizzy in that way you are when you’re drunk, when the world stands still but your brain is spinning slowly in your skull.
I don't often read Firefly fic, and am fairly standoffish about most of the pairings I find there, but I really liked this Mal/Simon - it's a great slow build that seems believable and yet really sweet. It takes place pre-Serenity, and should probably just be considered AU since it does its own thing, but could be considered case!fic too if you squint. Just read it, it's cool.

also posted to dreamwidth | you can reply here or there | um, but don't worry, i'm still an lj girl
seldomifeverseldomifever on August 19th, 2012 05:12 am (UTC)
Hrm. Not sure what I think about the abortion piece. My mother would have aborted me without a doubt if it had been legal. She's told me frequently - asked me "Could you imagine? Your father and I talk about it all the time - how much worse off we would have been without you in our lives."

Until I had my own kids, I always I wished she had. Life has not been mostly pleasurable for me. It is only when I imagine my own kids not being here that I am thankful she did not.

Having babies isn't for everyone. In fact, I am for abortion in many, many cases, including my mom's. I was a high risk pregnancy. She could have died. She should have aborted me - for her sake and for the sake of my siblings.

But, I also don't believe convenience - real convenience, like you're married and have kids and are in a stable relationship and just don't feel like spending this one year of your life pregnant - is a legitimate reason to have an abortion. I think believing a fetus is just a "bundle of cells" isn't entirely accurate, nor is that it's a full life form. It lies somewhere in between. I miscarried at 8 weeks and I saw that fetus three times before it died, and once after. Heart was beating since 6 weeks. Not not-alive. Not viable on its own, but still by the strictest definition alive. It was a very different thing once its heart had stopped beating.

On the other hand, if someone thinks convenience is a good reason, I'd prefer they weren't reproducing in the first place, and therein lies the crux. Children are an enormous responsibility and if you're a selfish dick, you're better off not having any.

But, listen, I feel guilty killing bugs and pulling weeds - who am I to decide what should live or die? - so maybe I'm not a good person to talk about this.
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on August 19th, 2012 01:08 pm (UTC)
This is why I'm pro choice - because as much as I have reservations about choices people make I still think we shouldn't make those choices on a societal scale. Every case is individual in some way. Like im very glad you are in the world. But I also don't think it is right to force someone with no resources - even if it is simply emotional resources - to raise another human being. I mean I think half the pet owners in the world aren't as responsible as the should or could be.... and that is not nearly as intensive a responsibility. I think having children should always be a choice not something someone else decides, you know?
seldomifeverseldomifever on August 19th, 2012 09:57 pm (UTC)
Well said!
Lostgirllostgirlslair on September 3rd, 2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
I am totally with you. Well, on everything but the going to Japan for a year thing because while that is *awesome* (and must also feel pretty enormous!!) I am not doing that. *G* But the heat? TOTALLY WITH YOU!! And I love the New Orleans quote, because it's so bizarrely true. While the power was out, every day someone in the apartment complex was down at the grill cooking. Usually two people, taking shifts and cooking whatever people brought them to make sure we all had a constant supply of food for when we wondered down there to attempt to catch a breeze. Food is a huge part of New Orleans life, and I honestly think that's at leas partially because you have to do something to distract yourself from the heat!

I hope you're cooler now, darlin'!

Also? OMG you're going to live in Japan for a year!! That is so fantastic, but I bet it's also some intimidating, and maybe also some strange. Have you been to the area you'll be living in before?

And woot for the Firefly rec! I am totally going to read it now, since I don't have the brain power for anything else!