May 7th, 2018


Poverty and Systems

Here's a thoughtful piece about poverty, government systems, and storytelling

When I think about how I portray characters in poverty, the first thing that comes to mind is messy -- not in the sense of an unkept room, but rather the jumble of problems and attempted solutions underfoot.  While there are poor people who just give up, in my observation most are embroiled in an unending struggle for survival.  They might be doing well or badly at any given moment, but it's largely about trying to cobble together enough resources to keep their nose above water.  It's not like the narratives of extreme failure or success despite the odds.  It's the murk in the middle, more often than not. 

The narratives I present are colored with family stories, personal experience, and observations of people around me.   I do research if I'm dealing with a specific group, such as youth aging out of foster care.  What I look for then is not just statistics, but personal stories -- the stuff that often gets edited out of "official" articles.  This is one of the best I have found on decision tunneling.  We need these stories. We need more than just the official narratives.

Monday Update 5-7-18

These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Recipe: "Mole Dry Rub"
Poem: "Sparrows and Penguins"
Sunday Yardening
Poem: "New and Useful Stims"
Saturday Yardening
Friday Yardening
Poem: "A Brief History of Stimming"
Today's Adventures
Emotional Intimacy Question: Your Life Story
Wednesday Yardening
Cuddle Party

The Poetry Fishbowl went well last week. Lots of prompts and comments! :D

Poetry in Microfunding:

"Marks of Devotion" belongs to Kande's Quest. Kande ventures into the underworld in search of her brother.

"Energy, Made Visible" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Shiv. Dr. G thinks of a way to make it worth Shiv's effort to answer some introductory therapy questions. Shiv is warily intrigued.

"Only If It Is Embraced" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Damask. Damask and Farce find out what's up with the Scream.

The weather has been warm here, intermittently sunny and gray, but no rain. Seen at the birdfeeders this week: a flock of sparrows, a flock of mourning doves, several cardinals, some brown-headed cowbirds, several blackbirds, and a rabbit. Robins, red-winged blackbirds, and brown thrashers have been out combing the grass for insects.  The first monarch butterflies have arrived, too.  Daffodils, crabapples, and cherries are fading.  In bloom: violets, blue grape hyacinths, gold currant, late black tulips, lilacs, honeysuckles, jack-in-the-pulpit, and sundry others.  Budding: alliums, raspberries, white spirea.  I have finished planting the native plants from Earth Day.  I still have several things to plant from the Michigan Bulb Company box.

Monday Yardening

Today is sunny and warm with a little breeze.  The air smells intensely of lilacs.

I planted a Carolina allspice in the forest garden and a Kiowa blackberry in the blackberry patch. 

EDIT 5/7/18: We picked up sticks from the house through part of the south lot.  Then Doug mowed the cleared area.

EDIT 5/7/18: I planted two lilacs between the forest yard and the south lot.  That's the last of the stuff from Michigan Bulb Company.  \o/

EDIT 5/7/18: I trimmed grass around the telephone pole and its support wire.  The lilies are coming up around the pole again, which I didn't really expect.  I also planted more morning glories and some moonflowers around the wire.

Pink chives are blooming in the septic garden.  The first of the alliums in the purple-and-white garden are opening, pretty purple flowers.  The columbine in the rain garden has buds.

In Which My Inhumanity Is Validated by a Bird

Today a wren landed on my head.  Instead of flying away, it stayed and sang a song.

Then it moved down to my braid and sang another  song. 

Finally it flew to a nearby branch and sang some more.

Understand, I haven't spent weeks scattering birdseed and trying to coax birds within reach.  I was just walking out to plant some morning glories by the telephone pole.  Apparently I am so much a part of the world, or still so Entish, that to a wren I seem like a bush.


I can't make this shit up.  Nobody would believe me.

Poem: "Dreaming Idiots and Trusting Fools"

This poem came out of the May 1, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] torc87, [personal profile] ng_moonmoth, [personal profile] librarygeek, [personal profile] alatefeline, and [personal profile] bairnsidhe. It also fills the "family" square in my 5-1-18 General card for the Pro Wrestling Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family.

Warning: This poem contains some controversial topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features historic ideas of disability, some harsh language about same, summary removal of a teen from an abusive family, possible autism or similar minimally-verbal condition, Igor's baggage from past abuse, hygiene issues, Bertolf is still pretty much a wild thing, Adam jumps in a pond without knowing how to swim, because his body is stiff, roughhousing, an absent-minded but accommodating teacher, discussions of normality, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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Poem: "To Think What Nobody Has Thought"

This poem came out of the May 1, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] curiosity. It also fills the "what if" square in my 5-1-8 General card for the Pro Wrestling Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the Aquariana, Granny Whammy, and Kraken threads of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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Review: Alter Eco Dark Velvet Organic Chocolate

Alter Eco Dark Velvet Organic Chocolate is a sizable 2.82 oz bar.  It claims "a touch of milk, melty smooth" with 47% cocoa.  this is a good middle ground between milk and dark chocolate, definitely leaning toward dark.  It has the silky texture of milk chocolate, rather than the more crumbly texture of dark chocolate.  The flavor has the sour and bitter notes more typical of dark chocolate, though.  This is a good choice if you're sharing between people who like milk and dark chocolate, if you're working your way from one end of the scale to the other, or if you want to lay out samples along that range.  It's not a favorite, but I wouldn't mind eating it if it's available.