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Oh Gee, Oh Gosh, Oh Golly I'm in Pain

^1920s pop song reference, I'm hip to the times

On the one hand, I'm having my period back-cramps. On the other, yesterday and the day before were HIIT days in the yoga shred - and while Friday was legs/butt and Saturday was arms/core, both really felt like legs. Then today I did my errands on foot (3 miles in total) because it's still relatively warm and dry. While I've done some ball gown work, I spent a lot of time resting up on the couch.

Sooooo many tabs open in Chrome again ... but seven of them are recipes or recipe-related, so I should be able to close them after I use them. But then I'm probably going to look up new recipes on the same sites, so I don't see this ending well. (Veg Recipes of India, Whisk Affair, My Tasty Curry, he Kitchn.)

I can't believe The Handmaid's Tale isn't dropping until late April. We need it now.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/935941.html - comment wherever you please.

Jan. 21st, 2017

I decided to clarify butter into ghee this evening because I want to get back into Indian cooking, although I never actually used it when I used to cook Indian food. OMG, that smells so good. I'm doing it for authenticity and to have a more shelf-stable butter, but it's worth it just for the scent.

Another week, another non-ringing phone. :( Another week void of emails from NYSM, BMFA, or Bunka Gakuen. :( I'm so stressed out right now, with the job hanging over my head (it's still not relisted anywhere and thus probably still open ... it must get filled soon, right? They want someone to start in the second week of February!) and my self-esteem's riding on the book thing, and of course there's politics - though I have to say that following all the protests on Twitter today did make me feel a lot better on that score. But still, the stress is just gnawing at me constantly.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/935889.html - comment wherever you please.


Because of Magnificent Century, I've been reading Leslie Pierce's The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire, (it can be found on LibGen) and it is fascinating. The reality of the situation in the 14th and 15th centuries, at least, is so far from how Western royalty has historically worked, and also from the romanticized/sexualized Western ideas of harem life. (Right from the get-go - the harem was just the women's quarters, and then eventually the sultan's household, not a stable of nubile girls. And most of the women in it were doing administrative work.)

One of the most interesting things (to me) is that it became an almost legalized tradition during that period for the sultan to never sleep with his legal wife/wives, and only father children with concubines, who were all(?) slaves taken from outside of Ottoman lands. Children essentially derived all of their status from the fathers, without being "tarnished" by their mothers' low status or ethnicity. Since all of the sons were expected to compete for the throne, it wasn't seen as fair for some to have the advantage of powerful relatives and others not. And concubines were restricted to having one son, as mothers essentially became heads of their sons' households, and it would again create an unbalanced situation if the mother went with one son and the other was left out in the cold.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/935421.html - comment wherever you please.
Sherlock: Sherlock S4Collapse )

You have to watch Magnificent Century! It is a Turkish historical soap opera on Netflix, and it is bonkers. Set in the court of Suleyman the Magnificent, it mostly centers on Hürrem Sultan as she goes from Alexandra the Ruthenian slave girl to Hürrem the favorite concubine to Hürrem Sultan, mother of a prince. It will make you shout things like "NO, HURREM! You're just making things worse for yourself!" and "GTFO, Mahidevran, you are the worst."

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/934966.html - comment wherever you please.



I just made an filter on LJ for everyone/everything that's not crossposting from here, because I normally read only my LJ flist but I want to start reading and communicating on DW with the people who are also using it. Basically, I made an "only on LJ" filter, added everything, then went through and pulled out the handful that are here as well. And it was actually pretty sad, because there are sooooo many people I'm still friended to who ... just aren't here anymore. 165 friends, and 139 communities! And only one or two comms are still active, and a handful of friends. ;_;

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/934062.html - comment wherever you please.
Redrew the bodice/belt/butt-bow page of the pattern today - it looks MUCH better, and has some more information on it (like full-scale drawings of the trim). The added info didn't really make much of a dent in the description, which is a page long, but some of the more awkward sentences were able to be excised.

I knew I'd won Best Of 2016 in something from BadHistory via PM, but I finally went and checked it out (I can't read it as often because modding at AskHistorians makes me unable to deal with not being able to delete stupid comments elsewhere) and I won a mod's choice, basically, for people that didn't get nominated but the mods felt deserved recognition.

/u/chocolatepot for her posts on clothing throughout history. Always well researched, written, and sourced, it's been a pleasure to get an insight into this, often overlooked, part of history. We found out that Jane Austen travelled through time to pose for a painting, wet-chemise contests in Regency times (I might not remember that one correctly), corsets that allow people to breathe, Mediaeval POC not understanding clothing, etc. If you ever find King Edward's Time Machine, this is the woman to contact to make sure you don't stand out like a sore thumb.

Sherlock, so far. I like itCollapse )

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/933853.html - comment wherever you please.


I criticized the moderation at r/AskFeminists (nicely) and was asked to be a mod, so I estimate about a month before I burn out.

My right foot is so cold. It's like a block of ice. But I don't want to turn up the heat because then I won't sleep well.

Seeds are sprouting! I'm going to pack some for lunch tomorrow. They are tasty.

I started to write a blog post, but it turned into just excuses for why I haven't been posting, so I'm going to scrap that and try to write the kind of post I used to, where I'd investigate a style or a term or a painting.

Sent a query to Bunka Gakuen a couple of days ago, because it seemed a bit silly to send one to the MFA, sit around a wait a month, then send another out. At least this way it will all happen faster.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/933305.html - comment wherever you please.
Thanks to some timely prodding by [profile] zaftig46, I finally wrote a query letter to the Boston MFA about publishing a translation of the GdM. I'm hoping like hell that they take me up on it, because if they won't I can only try Bunka Gakuen and that's literally the last option, as far as I can tell, unless anybody knows of a third collection that has the GdM. So now I have two (2) pending acceptances/rejections to obsess over and eventually condemn myself for failing at.

Wrote someone a fantastic answer about gendered children's clothing that got no attention at all, please read it so I at least know that someone did.

I find it interesting that LJ is seeing another backlash, like Strikethrough in 2009, but this time more people seem to be migrating to DW? Potentially enough to make reading one's flist primarily on DW feasible? That'd be pretty cool. As you may have stopped noticing it, I post on DW and crosspost here, so there's a link at the bottom of each post if you're looking for me there.

On [profile] an_english_girl's advice, I've gotten a sprouting jar and a bag of radish, clover, and fenugreek seeds, mainly because I LOVE fenugreek. We're on day 2! By the end of the week I should be able to have sprouts'n'cheese for lunch.

I need to get back on track blogging and sewing. I have been working on the plain version of the Pingat pattern for the people who bought the scale pattern, and yesterday I super-cleaned my dining table and coffee table. So at least I am not a totally lazy slattern.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/933029.html - comment wherever you please.
Me yesterday: Now that I realize I've gone up a dress size, everything about me looks fat in the mirror. I am going to put serious effort into curbing my cookie/pasta impulses and start doing home cardio exercises.

Me today: They made a Moana breakfast cereal with "island marshmallows"? Shut up and take my money!


I cannot recommend to-do lists enough for people with anxiety. All the little things that need to get done have been weighing me down, even though nothing is *that* big of a deal. So the other day at work I decided to make a list of all the things I needed to do just at work that day, and - wow, I found myself actually getting things done instead of feeling paralyzed by a vague sense of having a lot to do. (Though it has to be said that modding on AskHistorians has also helped a ton, because I spend 30 seconds doing that and then go back to work, rather than two minutes browsing aimlessly.) So I branched into more general to-do stuff for outside of work, and found myself getting ready to work on things earlier today than I normally would on a Sunday, and not having the feeling of doom hanging over me.


One of those articles with 19th century rules about what not to wear.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/931893.html - comment wherever you please.
Bam! Comment removed. Bam! Thread approved. Bam bam bam bam! THREAD NUKED. I am mad with power.

(I think I just, as usual, really want the people who didn't vote for me to be a mod the first time to be like, wow! She's amazing! I was so wrong!)

Just filled up my newly-restored Esterbrook with red and forgot to wipe off the grip before writing. Now it looks like my right middle finger is exploding.

It's kind of ridiculous to have Jennifer Hudson play a character who sings about flaunting her plus-size body, tbh.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/931588.html - comment wherever you please.
I didn't post about this yet - I'm one of the newest mods at r/AskHistorians! And one of the least wanted - I only got in on a runoff because they didn't elect enough people (I'm going to assume it's because few of the other mods recognized my screenname, and not that they actively dislike my postings), but as we all know, you can lose an election and still be a winner! I get to delete bad comments, and also get "FUCK THE MODS" pms (unrelated, as far as I know). I just posted my first macro response this evening to tell someone not to just drop links.

On the other hand, yesterday I got my foot caught in the computer cord, hopped several times to try to free myself, but instead of getting loose I just swung the computer around and knocked nearly everything off the table and splashed cocoa on my keyboard, and now the 1 and 2 keys are kind of sticky. :/

Watching You're the Worst lately. For a show about people diametrically opposed to me in almost every way, I really like it! Sometimes I think of it as a modern, edgy, no-magic Draco/Ginny AU. It works pretty well.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/931395.html - comment wherever you please.
Ahhh, back home from Thanksgiving. As you could see from last post, it was a bit rough.Collapse )

In other news, Owen's kind of spoiled Westworld by coming up with a theory that seems to be exceptionally correct. spoilers, probablyCollapse ) ETA: I'd like to note that he told me this over the weekend, before the most recent episode, which pretty much confirms it.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/930827.html - comment wherever you please.

what a day it has been

The blue check dress is going nowhere. :/ 75% done and it transpires that the fabric is just too stiff to work with the pattern. I plan to keep the skirt, anyway. I wish I could stop doing this but ... I can't.

To make up for how infuriating all that was, I worked on things I'm reasonably good at: re-sac'd two of my vintage pens (the third turned out not to have a J-bar - I don't know if I'll take one from the pen I don't like or wait for a really crappy one to come along) and worked on a short piece for the November r/fantasywriters challenge, gaslamp fantasy.

Still haven't totally decided what I'm doing on Thanksgiving, but right now, with all this snow, getting a plane in Ogdensburg seems the most likely. But parking at the airport will be $40 ... (We have taxis, but they cost as much or more.)

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/930409.html - comment wherever you please.


It's been forever! I normally don't go to things on opening weekend, but I've gradually come to realize that the matinees on opening weekend for non-children's movies are practically empty, so why not?

I"m just going to cut all my thoughtsCollapse )

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/930235.html - comment wherever you please.
Did you know that Hitler was wealthy enough that he didn't need his salary, so he turned it down as a propaganda move so he could look selfless? TIL.

I ordered Chinese tonight because I haven't had the time to get some real food together. Not that what I eat on most nights is really "real food". It's lots of pasta, no wonder I'm getting bigger. I'm just constantly in low-level "aaaaaaaaaaaaa" mode over work and life deadlines and that makes me procrastinate. I have to sit down with recipes and make some lists for food to buy. I need a plan. Plans are good.

Spent much of the evening cleaning my three repair pens - heating them and getting the last of the rubber bits off the sections, and then rinsing out the nibs. The WearEver's nib won't flush, so I'm guessing there's some dried ink clogging it up and it's going to soak for a while. Either the WearEver Deluxe(?) or the Esterbrook J is going to be Owen's Christmas present with some ink (green ink, it is objectively the most fun): they're both red, his favorite color. It all depends on how the nibs test after I have the pens put back together. I'd like to give Mom one as well, but none of the ones I have right now speak to me as presents for her.

BREAKING NEWS: Merriam-Webster reported Sunday evening that “fascism” is currently the top look-up on its site. According to the dictionary, searches for “misogyny,” “bigot,” “xenophobe,” “racism” and “xenophobia” also spiked after Tuesday’s election. I wonder why. I am pretty sure I literally said last Wednesday or Thursday that I was eagerly awaiting the announcement that people were suddenly searching for things they should have looked up weeks ago. Glad not to be disappointed, I guess.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/929870.html - comment wherever you please.
I did it, I called Elise Stefanik's office to urge her to oppose Steve Bannon's appointment! Now, I did it after hours and left a voicemail, but this is a step in the right direction. (I doubt she will care, tbh, her district being what it is. But maybe if enough people do call her ...)

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/929722.html - comment wherever you please.
I definitely recommend following ApparentlyEverything on Tumblr. I'm going to try to stop talking about the recent election and how I disagree with all the narratives on FB/LJ*, but he is happy to do so and to argue with people, so it's cathartic.

* I reserve my right to reblog anything and everything on Tumblr, and to respond to people who are blatantly wrong on at least r/AskFeminists

Mom came up to see my Requiem concert on Saturday, and then yesterday she drove me down to Owen's apartment in Albany, and Owen took me the rest of the way to Dad's. We went out to an Indian restaurant in Albany that was very good - sadly, it was interrupted at the end by a homeless(?) woman who came in to use the bathroom, was asked to leave, and started shouting abuse at the waitress (who was roughly 1/3 her size). It was pretty awful, and I feel bad for not getting involved but after she told them to "go back to India" Dad did, which was great considering she was also much bigger than him. She left roughly thirty seconds before the police got there. I hope she wandered off completely, because she was threatening to beat up the waitress when she got off her shift.

Then today Dad took me to the car dealership, we did the paperwork, went to the Troy DMV (much more stereotypical DMV than the one in Canton), and got the car! It's a dream. A ~4 hour car ride is so much more tolerable when you have an iPod on rather than listening to the same CD over and over and over, and you can hear the music over the engine. Also it got about 30mpg averaged over the whole trip.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/929483.html - comment wherever you please.

Nov. 12th, 2016


I've gone from being in shock to being depressed to being angry to being passionate. I've spilled a lot of digital ink getting into arguments with leftists, and while I could probably vent some more if I felt like it right now, I am officially putting that behind me (no more engaging with people who think "Clinton would definitely have won if she'd engaged more with the Rust Belt", just thoughtful discussions) and concentrating on the future. Some of the concentrating on the future is also angry and passionate because it looks like a lot of terrible things are coming down the tracks, but instead of just sharing articles and thoughts on social media, I really want to get properly involved. I set a monthly $5 donation to Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the ACLU, and sent my info to the national, state, and local Democratic organizations for volunteering ... but it doesn't feel like enough.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/929244.html - comment wherever you please.
Well, today things kind of are bouncing between "maybe things won't be so bad" and "no, things are just starting to gear up". I'm still pretty annoyed that few people are taking away the lesson that WE REALLY ALL DO NEED TO VOTE, AND FOR REAL CANDIDATES, but ... we have two years to try to convince them that less interesting elections are actually something you should vote in, and in the meantime it's more important to try to help the people that are in danger right now.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/928931.html - comment wherever you please.

All the things I'm upset about right now

There's been this narrative going around for months that Trump voters are mainly rural, white, and working-class, and Clinton voters are urban, white, and upper-middle class. It's been super obnoxious to me the whole time because OBVIOUSLY there are many more demographics than that. There were plenty of middle class ruralites supporting Trump because they're close-minded bigots and certainly plenty of poor people in cities supporting Clinton because liberal/progressive policies help them. I've been rural my whole life, apart from the two years I lived in NYC, but my experience doesn't count? Whatever. And just going by numbers, there aren't enough rural, white, working-class voters for this election to be mainly about them.

But the thing that really gets to me about this narrative is that it goes along with a proscription of blaming said conservative voters for their choices. I saw it with Brexit and I've been seeing it for the past few months in the US. The assumption is that

a) you are criticizing because you live a comfortable, affluent urban or suburban existence and cannot comprehend what it's like to live in a vast rural hinterland


b) there is legitimately no way for this demographic to make their problems known except to rear up and ruin everyone else's lives every so often

and these are so obnoxious to me because a) they obviously don't apply to everyone and certainly don't apply to me, and b) they're false. It's false because it ignores the influence of wealthy conservatives who induce them to fear things they don't need to fear and to associate their legitimate grievances away from actual attempts at solutions put forth by liberals (e.g. UNIONS, raising the minimum wage, increasing social programs, helping local businesses and entrepreneurs instead of national chains that outsource production), and it ignores the fact that a bunch of their grievances are really just that they're not the main consideration anymore, that the privileges they counted on to keep them on top despite being poor and living in the middle of nowhere - being white and straight - are being discussed rather than accepted as the default or moral high ground. Also, c) the implication is that this one specific disadvantaged group is allowed to be cruel and lash out, but the others are obliged to be endlessly forgiving and not comment on that.

I've been annoyed with the way both the news media and the non-news media handled the general election. The former obviously deserves a lot of blame for focusing on her ~scandals and holding off with their true opinions on Trump's danger/lying until it had already become clear that he could win, but the latter isn't that much better for treating Trump like a funny joke and Hillary like a bad candidate until the same point.

There's more I'm upset about obviously, but I just have to get this out of my head.

EDIT: Some more things that have been upsetting me.

- The people (who I'm assuming are third-party voters) defending third-party voters by saying that they wouldn't have voted for Hillary anyway: that's not an excuse! It still makes you pretty awful, that you fetishized the idea of voting just to stick it to the man/held such bad views that Johnson or Stein was actually more in line with your thinking. It's still your fault, as it is Trump voters. We're not talking about pirating Game of Thrones here - the logic is not the same.

- I didn't realize how many people stayed home until this afternoon. LITERALLY BREXIT. I can't wait to hear from Google that people were searching "what is donald trump's platform" yesterday evening after the polls closed. And the interviews on the news from people who say they didn't vote/voted for Trump because they didn't think this would happen.

- Knowing that Trump's RWW-C voters are still going to get screwed over, and are not going to make a change in their voting habits later on. Because they are mainly attracted by the idea that the problem is that we're giving too much to those who aren't straight, white, and Christian (see: this place, last week), and it's always going to be their fault when things go bad.

- The narrative that the problem is that we didn't have a candidate who's a showman. WTF? For one thing, this is the one place you let practicality beat idealism? For another, this seems like a way to weasel out of responsibility for not making healthy choices.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/928756.html - comment wherever you please.

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