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Melange - Laura Wise

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June 9th, 2011


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12:48 pm - Melange
Melange, n. A varied mixture. [definition courtesy of the Concise OED]

This week has been varied indeed for me, with air-conditioner breakdowns (and then repair), work ramping up in unexpected ways, etc etc. So let us proceed to a mixed post to honor the jumble:

*In today's Guardian, Tom Cox talks about gardening with his parents. Hilarity and a bit of wisdom ensue.

*Community showrunner/head writer Dan Harmon is discussing Season Two of the show, episode by episode, at the AV Club. I'm linking to Part Three, which begins with links to the earlier parts. Fascinating discussion of writing processes, the need for women in the writer's room, and the ways attention is and is not paid to fan communities.

*Because of the Original Project, I've been listening to some Stevie Nicks these days, including the new album, entitled In My Dreams. Uneven as is usually the case with La Nicks (I roll my eyes forever at "Wide Sargasso Sea," for instance), but when she hits on a song, she HITS.

*In my HGTV-induced trance this past weekend, I watched several episodes of the new season of Curb Appeal: The Block. The formula is a familiar one: designer and team come to the aid of desperate homeowners (I believe HGTV pays the substantial cost of the redesign and implementation of the design), in this case folks who have crappy front yards/facades, ie. curb appeal. As a woman with a crappy front yard, I yearn just a bit when I watch -- but only just a bit. ("Too rich for my blood" is my general impression.) "The Block" part of the title comes when the team also spruces up a couple of nearby houses or establishments in a less... grandiose way.

What's interesting is that the show has previously been based in Atlanta, but this season they've relocated to San Francisco. (I wonder about the rationale here -- but note that the original incarnation of Curb Appeal was based in SF.) This change has really emphasized the underlying structure of the show, which is that the designer/architect John Gidding (warm, former-romance-novel-model handsome) shows up, scatters quite genuine charm, and is filmed swanning off doing v. glamourous things like driving convertibles to visit with suppliers, whilst Chip Wade the contractor/site manager (funny, down-to-earth, competent without making a fuss about it) and Kimberly Lacy the project manager (bubbly, extroverted, also competent without making a fuss) do all the real work onsite. Can you tell I am pro-Chip and Kimberly? I knew you could.

*Lastly, for several excellent reasons I'm backing way off the Diet Coke consumption and switching to tea, iced. (My shipment of Fortnum & Mason goodness arrived today, hurrah!) This has necessitated my getting used to tea leaves in my iced tea. And that has led to this... just a short bit....



The wind curls around the arbor on this weekend afternoon, teases down to ruffle a drowsing Morgan's grey hair, drifts down a leaf to tickle Alice's bare feet. She looks up from her book (a strangely wrought treasure from their time across the sea), sighs, and then reaches for the pitcher of iced tea Morgan made for her. There's but a glass left.

When she pours it into her crystal goblet, the tea leaves swirl around like a whip wielded by a Guild-man -- a dance, and then pain.

"Morgan," she says, quietly, because she's not sure she wants him to see.

His eyes don't open, but his own bare feet leave the empty chair next to her and unerringly find her lap. A wicked flex of his toes against sensitive places, her own soft slap against his ankle underneath his jeans, and only then does he murmur, "My heart?"

She kisses her fingers before drifting them over the skin she'd struck. "If it please you... there are tea leaves to be read."

"You've finished the whole pitcher? Where have I been?" he says groggily, while struggling to sit up.

"In Nod," she says on a swallowed laugh. "The glass isn't finished. That's why I ask you to read."

His eyes flash open at that. "It is not the usual way of things, Alice."

"I know." But she looks once more at the goblet, at the line of tea leaves still dancing into pain.

He leans forward to inspect, and then smiles. "Oh, that." Smile becomes loving grin. "Did I not tell you? I used some dragon's tongue in the brew, and those leaves are, er, lively."

She looks again. Yes, now that she sees through his eyes, the movement isn't a whip-crack but the lash of a branch, much like a dragon's tail. Morgan does like his odd mixes, and he husbands the plants from the seeds he carried from the old grove with the same spirit he husbands her.

"Ah. Thank you. You may go back to sleep, then."

But when her hand goes to the goblet, his covers hers. "I regret to say, my heart," he says with a conspicuous lack of any such emotion, "you've woken the dragon, and now you must pay."

She smiles. "Well. That seems only fair."

The book slips to the stone underneath their chairs, and the wind teases its pages open and passes on, passes on.
................


May your melange today be a merry one!

(30 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:cindergal
Date:June 9th, 2011 05:25 pm (UTC)
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You mean, there are other people on that show besides John Gidding? ::puzzled::

I AM SHALLOW, L. V.V. SHALLOW! ;-)

I wish you a lovely, lively glass of iced tea!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:June 9th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
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Heee. I find John Gidding charming, but I don't think I quite share your love. :-))

Happy Thursday, C, with a glass of wine to finish. :-)
[User Picture]
From:mamculuna
Date:June 9th, 2011 05:35 pm (UTC)
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Stonewoods! and dragon's tongue. Wonder what that would taste like? and what else it would do...

Stonewoods!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:June 9th, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
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I'm so glad the quick visit with the Stonewoods (and Morgan's tea) pleases. :-)

Thanks you, and have a lovely day!
[User Picture]
From:anne_d
Date:June 9th, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC)
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Oooh, Stonewoods! Stonewoods make everything better!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:June 9th, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
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Morgan and Alice thank you, and I thank you. :-) Happy day, A!
[User Picture]
From:janus_74
Date:June 9th, 2011 06:00 pm (UTC)
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The Stonewoods have made my day!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:June 9th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, T, thank you from Morgan and Alice and me. :-)

Have a wonderful rest of the day!
[User Picture]
From:paratti
Date:June 9th, 2011 06:43 pm (UTC)
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Stonewoods:)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:June 9th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC)
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Morgan and Alice are irrepressible. :-)

Happy Thursday, L!
[User Picture]
From:heron_pose
Date:June 9th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
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A most excellent blend, in many ways. Except you can stop watching HGTV, because it is *meant* to make you yearn, and not in a good way. :-)

Whereas the Stonewoods' yearning is, in this case, entirely approved!

::HUGS::
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:June 9th, 2011 10:51 pm (UTC)
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You are so right about HGTV, so very right, and yet the design shows call me with their siren song... I must be stronger than that. I must. [is resolute]

Thank you for the intervention and for reading so kindly, H_P! Hugs and cheers sent your way!
[User Picture]
From:gwynnega
Date:June 9th, 2011 10:37 pm (UTC)
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I'm glad your air-conditioner has been repaired!

::wafts refreshing June gloom your way::

::hugs::
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:June 9th, 2011 10:49 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, Gwynne! We've actually had clouds today, which is a Good Thing -- but no rain. Oh, we need rain so much.

[hugs and a good Thursday evening]
[User Picture]
From:wildrider
Date:June 10th, 2011 02:30 am (UTC)
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I should cut back on the Diet Coke, myself, but I lack the willpower. I do try and make sure I have at least one cup of green tea a day! :)

Hugs and happy Friday!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:June 10th, 2011 12:13 pm (UTC)
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Well, cutting back for me is reducing to what anyone else would consider an insane level... We persevere, K!

Hugs and a happy Friday to you. :-)
[User Picture]
From:mobile_alh
Date:June 10th, 2011 03:14 am (UTC)
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I do adore a visit with the Stonewoods.

and I'm very pro-Chip and Kimberley myself (Me, I like the people who do actual WORK).

::Raises an iced mug of Earl Greyer Decaf in your honor::
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:June 10th, 2011 12:15 pm (UTC)
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I am v.v. fond of Twinings Lady Grey decaf myself -- that's what I drink after the caffeinated portion of the day has been completed. ;-)

Re CA:tB, yes. It's not that the designer doesn't do work, it's just that I like the people whose efforts are more hands-on. (This is because I'm awful at those things, I'm sure.)

And thank you for enjoying the Stonewoods, ALH! I send good thoughts and proper June weather your way. :-))
[User Picture]
From:nutterbudgie
Date:June 10th, 2011 04:01 am (UTC)
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hurrah the stonewoods! i yay, contentedly :)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:June 10th, 2011 12:19 pm (UTC)
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Bless you for kind words and contentment re the Stonewoods. :-)

Happy Friday to you!
[User Picture]
From:kathyh
Date:June 10th, 2011 09:31 am (UTC)
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Fortunately for me I don't like Diet Coke, though the Real Thing is sometimes useful to alleviate migraine and upset stomachs!

Lovely snippet of story. Tea leads to all things good ♥
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:June 10th, 2011 12:20 pm (UTC)
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Tea DOES lead to all things good, K -- thank you for delicious icon and kind words. :-)

Hugs and thanks!
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:June 10th, 2011 06:01 pm (UTC)
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Yay YOU, C! Hugs and cheers and a good weekend!
[User Picture]
From:stateless82
Date:June 10th, 2011 03:47 pm (UTC)
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The Stonewoods are a lovely way to start the day.

((hugs))
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:June 10th, 2011 06:00 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, S, thank you, plus hugs and good thoughts for your Friday. :-)
[User Picture]
From:stevie_carroll
Date:June 10th, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
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I've missed Alice and Morgan.

Also I spotted the title of a book yesterday that you may like. Shall let you know once I've tracked it down and managed to read it.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:June 10th, 2011 06:00 pm (UTC)
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Alice and Morgan thank you!

And any book recommendations will be welcome, Stevie -- thanks and a happy end of Friday to you!

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