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Crows in an area with a steady food supply are a menace. They're intelligent enough birds that they aren't content to sit around and be happy they're well-fed. Instead, a favorite way to spend an afternoon is 'harassing local wildlife'. My dear friend and I watched a handful of crows chase some poor hawk up and down the edges of the barley field behind La Purisima for nearly an hour. That reputation for mischief is well-earned, I tell you that.

I notice they didn't try to fuck around with the large egret/heron (not really sure which) at the furthest field, though. It stood alone in the dirt in the middle of the field, very patient and still, looking quite pretty and out of place, right up until a ground squirrel wandered too close and it skewered the damn thing right through the heart. Daaaamn. My dear friend quietly applauded its skill.

Thus started up another round of the Great Shrike Debate. I pointed out, yet again, that shrikes are devilishly adorable and it's not their fault they've developed incredible hunting and gathering skills for a bird that small and cute. My dear friend retorts that they are also named 'butcher birds' for a reason--she thinks their habit of keeping a 'larder' by impaling still-wriggling prey on thorns, twigs, and barbed wire is creepy. She's not squeamish--her mom keeps snakes, after all--she just thinks that slow death by stake through the heart is needlessly cruel. It's not the shrikes' fault they're too tiny and efficient to know that kind of thing is unmerciful, I tell her, but she's stubborn.

I'm easy to distract: just point out a bird, especially one in flight. I love the way they fly, how they all have a different pattern of wingbeats and gliding. Sometimes I'll read "The Windhover" just to recall the feeling of watching a raptor take flight. Birds are easy to love, easy to talk about.
killerkaleidoscope: close-up centered on a violet daisy on diagonally-cracked gray pavement (Default)
Today was the second time I've seen Thor. As much fun as I had curled up on the asphalt of the drive-in, I gotta say it's much prettier (and more comfortable!) to watch on a real TV while sitting on my bed. It's just such an incredibly shiny movie.

Forget the plot (pretty good), the writing (nearly perfect), the cast and acting (actually perfect, although I have some minor quibbles about Jane Foster). Asgard, Bifrost, the armor, and the Aesir's outfits are ridiculously pretty. Even Jotunheim and the frost giants are pleasing to the eye, although I have to say that the delicate blue of the frost giants really only works in the low blue-tinged lighting of the frost giants' realm or the Secret Doomsday Weapons room.

It seems the mellow goodness of my day has put me in a receptive mood to ~feelings~. Which sucks, because I hate feelings, but at least they're pretty good ones. Now, I've been following Gunnerkrigg Court for... a long time. Since shortly after it started, I think--before the art had evolved much, before any of the big plot points had been dropped, before the first chapter had even finished, if I remember right. I've loved these girls since they were tiny little first-years: solemn Antimony with her deep well of a heart, bright Kat with her enthusiasm and fierce intelligence. They've grown so much since then, realistically, with fights and bouts of immaturity and moments of real damned poor judgment. They're beautiful, flawed, genuine people, in an artistically and thematically gorgeous setting with well-plotted stories that have actually moved me to tears, something which almost never happens.

As the comic has progressed, there has been a lot of subtext between these two main characters. Really, deliciously queer subtext.

I didn't dare hope. Okay, I did, but every moment that I mentally underlined as being Relevant To My Lesbian Interests, I also privately acknowledged to myself that it's a heteronormative world out there and that subtext was all I was ever going to get.

And then... it kept happening. And things didn't contradict it, and more often than not even bolstered the possibility of them being a couple. And it started looking less like the queer fan-favorite ship that'd never happen and more like the thematically appropriate endgame of the whole damned comic. And right now I am all but certain that two girls who have had marvelous adventures together all their days in school are actually going to wind up as together, because what used to look like fan-created subtext and wild speculation is starting to feel a whole lot more like fucking text and honest-to-god foreshadowing.

It's a beautiful thing, and it's goddamn pathetic that one piddling webcomic hardly anyone has even heard of has me near tears.
killerkaleidoscope: close-up centered on a violet daisy on diagonally-cracked gray pavement (Default)

So, a few days back, my great-aunt sends my grandparents these two ugly pots of overpriced 'mixed kitchen herbs'. Must've been forty bucks each for these monstrosities, with their rose-patterned biodegradable pots and awful decorative moss and weird 'rustic' not-trellis of sticks randomly tied together like the meat-drying rack of a band of tiny evil wood elves.

I'm moderately affronted by their sharing the kitchen sink window with my burgeoning jade plant, which I brought with me when I moved. Not only am I deeply attached to my jade, thus far it is the only plant in the house that has ever lived for more than two weeks. But this house is a bare suburban cave and it's literally the only place in the house with enough sunlight, so whatever.

My jade's been growing like gangbusters this summer, though. It needs repotting anyway, so I put it in a bigger pot out on the back patio, and leave some cuttings in a jar to be replanted in a week or two. These cuttings rested innocently between the two ugly pots for two days.

Then I'm at the sink, looking at the mess these ugly pots and their fucking moss have scattered, when I notice that some of the mess is moving. My great-grandma's plant has some kind of black aphid infestation and it is not only investigating the kitchen but it has settled on my jade cuttings, which to me is a declaration of war.

I relocated the offending herbs to the back patio, spent half an hour cleaning that entire half of the kitchen bare of bugs, and then spent another ten or fifteen minutes washing and inspecting my poor baby cuttings and then checking over my big jade on the back patio. Now they're both fine (the cuttings could be washed easily, and the big jade was thankfully unmolested); however, the herbal ingrates have since been sentenced to the garbage can.

Since I moved, I don't have a whole lot of stuff anymore. I don't have the space for ornaments of sentimental value, and my grandparents won't get a pet. The nearest thing I've got to a dog right now is my jades. Do not mess with them. The only reason they haven't got names is because I would be too emotionally destroyed if my grandparents accidentally killed them.


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Karolina Keene

August 2012

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