Recent blog entries for marnanel


One fine dark night with a fine dark sky
And fine-sliced moon so bright,
A Cat leapt forth with a fine black coat
And paws of moonlit white;
If I should ask you to say her name
I'm sure you'd tell me that
She's Yantantessera,
Tessera, Tessera,
Tessera Tessera, Cat.

She had no humans, she had no home,
She had no meals to eat,
But soon, by means of a friendly purr,
Adopted half a street,
Where twenty humans would serve her food:
They all had time to chat
With Yantantessera,
Tessera, Tessera,
Tessera Tessera, Cat.

The Cats' Home heard, and they swore to find
The Cat a Home, and thus
She started work as a Rescue Cat
Who came to rescue us.
And since that day, we belong to her;
We're proud to share a flat
With Yantantessera,
Tessera, Tessera,
Tessera Tessera, Cat!

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Syndicated 2016-10-26 16:35:43 from Monument

Please, talk about masturbation

[I commented this in a discussion about the "birds and the bees" talk. I think it's worth posting separately.] Please, talk about masturbation too, and don't wait until puberty. Here's a (very personal) story I've never told in full before. I discovered masturbation when I was about ten, before I started puberty. Nobody had talked about it, so I didn't know it was normal; I didn't even know there was a word for it. So I worried. About a year later I started puberty and of course I became able to ejaculate. And again, nobody had talked about that. They'd mentioned wet dreams, but never this. So I didn't know it was normal, and I worried. A few months later, I got what I now think was some kind of fungal skin infection. The skin where my pubic hair would soon be growing was alternately red and painful, or dry, cracked, and itchy. For all I knew, this was another weird side-effect of masturbation, like ejaculation. And since nobody had talked about the other stuff, I wasn't comfortable with asking anyone about it. So I put up with the discomfort for months. Even after my pubic hair grew, the rash was still visible and I remember deflecting questions in the changing-rooms after games lessons about whether it was a scar from an operation. All that worry and discomfort could have been avoided. Please, remember to talk about it. This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2016-10-19 18:15:13 (Updated 2016-10-19 18:16:14) from Monument

fan art: Dream meets Elemental

fan art: Dream of the Endless meets Professor Elemental This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2016-10-14 15:30:24 from Monument

Deaf/HoH symbol in Unicode

Question for [dD]eaf folk reading (forwarding is encouraged):

I’m working on a proposal to add the standard deaf/HoH symbol to Unicode. I’m looking particularly for examples of its use in running text as a character, as in this mocked-up text:

Can you help me find any? (All contributions used will be acknowledged in the submitted change request, of course.)

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Syndicated 2016-10-14 15:29:34 from Monument

leaked audio

"If audio of your private convo leaked, what would it say?"

things I have said in private conversations recently:

  • "You know elephants? I read that they sing. I wonder what they sing about. Next time I meet one I'll play it music. Elephants are cool."
  • "So yeah, when I go to planning meetings they talk about the low-hanging fruit, the easy stuff, but it wouldn't be easy if I was a giraffe."
  • "Oh hey, there's a town called Makasar in Turkey. If I took an antimacassar there, they would both vanish. You're probably not allowed to."
  • "What if I put helium balloons in the wheelie bin? I think it would be a nice surprise for the dustmen when they opened the lid."
  • "And actually I was going to find a bin saying LITTER on it in town, and fill it with glitter, and add a G in front, but then I didn't."
  • "People have fish tanks but they never have duck tanks, why not?"
  • "It would be awesome to have a pet elk. They have beautiful antlers. I think you would need a litter tray the size of the kitchen."
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Syndicated 2016-10-11 10:54:24 from Monument


New video, by me: In a 1973 BBC interview, Sir John Betjeman said, "I never can believe that I'm any good at all." He was poet laureate of the UK at the time.

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Syndicated 2016-10-08 14:03:46 (Updated 2016-10-08 14:04:43) from Monument

Miniver Cheevy

by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
He wept that he was ever born,
And he had reasons.

Miniver loved the days of old
When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
The vision of a warrior bold
Would set him dancing.

Miniver sighed for what was not,
And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
And Priam’s neighbors.

Miniver mourned the ripe renown
That made so many a name so fragrant;
He mourned Romance, now on the town,
And Art, a vagrant.

Miniver loved the Medici,
Albeit he had never seen one;
He would have sinned incessantly
Could he have been one.

Miniver cursed the commonplace
And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;
He missed the mediæval grace
Of iron clothing.

Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
But sore annoyed was he without it;
Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
And thought about it.

Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
And kept on drinking.

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Syndicated 2016-09-14 15:49:26 from Monument


[suicide mention]

In counselling today we started going over the timeline of my life I drew up. We only got up to the start of sixth form, and about my early suicidal ideation, and how I set myself free by giving up having ambitions. We'll carry on next time, which means we're five sessions in and still haven't finished talking about why I'm there!

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Syndicated 2016-09-13 20:43:38 from Monument

12 Sep 2016 (updated 12 Sep 2016 at 20:07 UTC) »

Alcoholic hat

In a waiting room. Marn is wandering around listening to music.

Woman in top hat: (something)
Marn (removes headphones) Sorry?
W: I said, hi!
M: Oh! Hi. Awesome hat, by the way.
W: Alcoholic.
M: Your hat is alcoholic?
W: No, me. I've been in jail. I have DTs.
M: Oh, I'm sorry.
W: Don't be. It's a self-inflicted injury.
M: (randomly) Well, what isn't, in the end?
(W smiles and wanders off while M is still considering whether all injuries are self-inflicted by virtue of the will to live)

UPDATE: W returned and started telling me her life story. She says I'm goodlooking and that she'd go out with me. She also showed me several of her tattoos. On enquiring as to whether I'm unattached, she looked crestfallen, and then said that if that ever changes I should contact her. She appears to be entirely serious. During part of the story about school bullying she abruptly got up and went outside to smoke, leaving me to look after her bag. When I had to leave, she hadn't returned, and I couldn't find her outside, so I handed in the bag at reception. Reception said yes, they knew her quite well.

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Syndicated 2016-09-12 17:37:00 (Updated 2016-09-12 19:37:55) from Monument

dentist talk

[teeth, dentistry, violence]

I have a wonderfully chatty dentist. Recently we have discussed:
1) the problems of being a dentist in Pakistan. Apparently some people's first resort for toothache is an amateur tooth puller. If you're his first patient of the day, you have to wait until the second patient turns up. Then the second patient holds the first patient down, while the tooth puller attaches string to your tooth and pulls very hard. When most of the tooth is removed, the first patient gets up and punches the second patient for holding him down. After all this, the dentist has to fix all the damage.

2) the political situation in Burma, and why the news here doesn't report it much, and how come westerners think Buddhists are never politically violent.

3) why Camden, New Jersey is such a terrifying place.

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Syndicated 2016-09-08 12:35:53 from Monument

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