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12 October 2016 @ 02:02 pm
Kathryn Lynn Yule (nee Barbara) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to William and Marilynn Yule and died of brain cancer at her home in Portland, Oregon at the age of 55. She attended Kennewick High School and Lewis and Clark College, where she majored in foreign languages and spent a year abroad in Munich. After working for the Red Cross as an administrative assistant and then for some years as a clerical temp, she retired early and spent her time knitting, traveling, square dancing, and attending science fiction conventions with her husband, science fiction writer David D. Levine. They were together for thirty-two years and married for twenty-five.

Kate was passionate about travel, languages, and reading. An accomplished speaker of German, French, and Spanish, she also studied Japanese, Italian, Dutch, Czech, Gaelic, Catalan, and American Sign Language. Countries visited included England, Scotland, Germany, France, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic, Spain, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Thailand, Australia, and Singapore. She wrote and edited the science fiction fan magazine Bento with her husband, and several square dance publications with her friend Allan Hurst. Although glioblastoma cruelly stole her ability to speak and write, she kept reading in multiple languages to the end.

Kate was also active in the knitting, gay square dance, and science fiction communities. She founded a neighborhood science fiction book group and the weekly stitch-and-bitch at Happy Knits, and served in various capacities in the Portland Science Fiction Society and Rosetown Ramblers square dance club.

Kate is survived by her husband David D. Levine, sister Susan Yule, nieces Isobel and Alexandra Wright, brother William A. Yule, and parents William D. and Marilynn Yule. Funeral services will be held on Sunday October 16 at 1:00 pm at Wilhelm's Portland Memorial Chapel in Portland, Oregon (wilhelmportlandmemorial.com). Contributions in her name may be sent to the Multnomah County Library Foundation (libraryfoundation.org). She will be greatly missed.

Kate with Wombat
04 May 2016 @ 09:52 pm
My darling has pointed out that in two weeks it will be our 25th anniversary.

Mutual cries of "Ack!"

What do you think we should do?
21 April 2016 @ 02:23 pm
We went to see Newsies this week. Previous shows in the same series were Beauty and the Beast and The Wiz. No, Wizard of Oz, that's right. Anyway. I practically slept through them.

BB was just so very damn familiar in terms of sex roles. And I was about to say that "It was their time, but I still didn't like it" when I realized that no, it was not "their time". Not since the seventies at least has it been "their time".

Newsies doesn't even have that going for it. Twelve or thirteen newsies and not one girl, not one? And there was one black actor, and he was FABULOUS, and you know they just cast him to do some really stupendous jumps and otherwise stay in the background, thankyouverymuch. Because we all know that blacks were never newsies either.

Pfui on them and the horse they rode in on.
06 April 2016 @ 03:52 pm
We've got a new toaster. The old one had not been in our hands since college; only 10 or 15 years? The second time we used it, lights went blaring (it has multiple lights), LEDs flashed (it has multiple LEDs), all silently of course so when I went to see what was going on it was [flash flash blink shhh don't tell mom]. We unplugged it and let it consider the error of its ways.

The neighbors have a new cat. Kipper? Kipling? Zipper, that's it. It's over staring at a maple-with-squirrel. Wonder how long it will take before it realizes the squirrel can get to various cable lines and from there to other trees.

No, Thea's not gone. A little elderly, perhaps. Or just hiding from Zipper.
27 March 2016 @ 10:56 am
I don't know what to say.
14 March 2016 @ 08:41 pm
• President of the United States Barack Obama said today that....
• The President of the United States, Barack Obama, said today that...

These are both correct. One comma? Wrong.

I'm trying to find some examples of other wrong ones, but just when you need them most you can't find them, you know?
07 March 2016 @ 07:12 pm
I have given up on The Traitor Baru Cormorant. It seemed that (after the original stuff) the Universe—or the Throne, or the Writer—just went "Wham!" Thought you were clever about X? "Wham!" Thought you had a workaround? "Wham!" What about—Wham!"

Now, I know that the writer's job is to get her characters into trouble. But this seemed egregious. I read the last few chapters to participate more in our book group. It was going where I thought it was.

I have finished off The Girl in Grey with its evocatively named chapter titles, and picked up a thirty-one year old book by Ellen Goodwin titled Close To Home. It's a collection of newspaper columns. Remember the ERA, Bella Abzug, Herbert Humphrey?

I'm also partway through Kameron Hurley's The Geek Feminist Revolution.
05 March 2016 @ 09:26 pm
Wow! Yeah. Um. Twenty-two comments! I know David gets many more from Facebook but I don't do FB, so there. If I just went around with these twenty-two people I'd be happy as a clam. That's IF YOU'LL WRITE TO ME, not that I've got any qualifications prognostications oh whatever.

We had breakfast today with Calendulawitch and Scarlettina and Mark Ferrari, and lunch with Kris J. and her in-laws. We had cereal for dinner. Mmmm: cereal.

Current reading: The Traitor Baru Cormorant. Also The Case of the Girl In Grey, which features chapter titles such as "Leeches", "Muddle Ducks", and "Jam Butty".
04 March 2016 @ 09:31 pm
This is me saying Hello.

The cancer is gone. Or at least battened below hatches. You know what I mean, yes? The aphasia, that's still there, you see. Also memory loss. And lack of ability to do math. I can add two numbers but not three, and subtracting, multiplying, dividing--they're just not there. There are some more manifestations but I can't think of them. (See: memory loss.)

Some of these may come back to me. Others may not. I'm trying to get off the steroids--one steroid actually, dexamethazone. I wonder which is worse, getting off the steroids or keeping the aphasia. Losing the aphasia? I have trouble parsing things.

But I'm here.

Oh yeah. PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO HELP BY SAYING "OH, I'M JUST LIKE THAT." It doesn't help. Really. Don't.

Over the next two months we have my sister Sue and (former) square dancers Will, Allan, and Cynthia coming at various times. Woo hoo!
David says I should be writing blogs--even though it's hard. I should be writing email, calling, texting. He says I'm awake enough now to know I'm stupid. Well. Not his words, mine. But I guess he's got a point. I'm up against my limits, and it just makes me weepy.

We're going to St. Louis in eight days. Square dance convention. I've got some things lined up to do. If nothing else I'm going to make sure people know I'm alive, right?

And I need to be walking more. I got scared away from it about two weeks ago. Went to go to the store on my own and got about 2 houses down when WHAM I was flat on my face.

I did not go to the store that day.
17 February 2015 @ 09:48 pm
Still here! I had two days' worth of a cold last week; my massage therapist points out that this means my immune system continues to be ready to best all comers. Yay me!

My sister and two young'uns went home today after a brief visit. We went to Slappy Cakes, where one orders pancake batter by the squeeze bottle, and toppings to put on them. Yes, you cook the pancakes right there! (More ordinary offerings are also available for the fun-impaired.) I had chorizo and goat cheese this time but next time it's back to something sweet. I know, this doesn't go with the heart-healthy diet I'm supposed to be living. Does it count when I get it on whole-grain batter?

Before Sue and the kids we had Tom Whitmore and Karen Anderson for a while, and a handful of local folks in and out. David's more and more comfortable leaving me alone while he's out. I do get tired of only leaving the house with a watch-dog, though. Woof.
29 January 2015 @ 08:07 am
THE NIGHT CIRCUS, Erin Morgenstern. Evocative, descriptive, lavish.

THE ROOK, Daniel O'Malley. I got into this book once I'd recognized the humor in it. Unfortunately that was after I'd finished it.

Horror that I didn't like: NOS4A2. When I started skimming I realized I was less than a third of the way through. THE LOST DISTRICT, Joel Lane. BLEAK HISTORY, John Shirley. EXTRAS, Michael Shea. These latter were from an old box in the attic from the "world horror convention for writers with expense accounts", as David sometimes calls it.

Horror that I did like: THE OTHER, by Thomas Tryon. Maybe because it was mostly descriptive, of a fairly pleasant time?

HOMAGE TO BARCELONA. About Barcelona! A lightweight history.

GETTING RID OF BRADLEY and ANYONE BUT YOU, by Jennifer Crusie. Because I like them.

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE PIANO by Stuart Isacoff. History of the piano, and of pianists. Very interesting.

SACRé BLEU! by Christopher Moore. Nope.
27 January 2015 @ 10:51 pm
David says I should post. as is often true, David is right.

Hiya. But what should I say? I'm kind of drifting this month--two months I guess. I'm reading about a book a day. That does pall a bit. I get out with David to a play or a movie sometimes: after all, doesn't take much walking! I have radiation appointments M-F that take less time than driving there. That ends next Monday. Maybe I can try to pick up my normal life a bit, but I'm not quite sure what that is....

David's ready to leave me alone more and more often. The freezer of food will continue to be a good thing, as David is low on spoons and me: I can't be trusted with the stove. I has the stupids a bit too often.

Not going to Potlatch. Too much history of con crud there.
29 December 2014 @ 01:27 pm
She has landed in a country she never intended to visit, on a flight she does not even remember having boarded.

She is an experienced traveler. Frequent flyer, passport full of stamps, culinarily adventurous, multilingual. Learning foreign languages is what she does for fun. She is not ready to be here.

It was a rough landing. She is still trembling.

She has not done her research -- places to stay, things to do, people to see. This is very much unlike her. But the computers here are strange, incomprehensible. The keyboard is subtly different; it looks the same, but when she places her fingers on the keys she cannot even type her name. Her Google searches are redirected to a localized version.

The language barrier is the worst part. She can understand the people and the signage, mostly, but none of them seem to comprehend English. Instead, she must try to speak a language she has never studied -- a language with strange grammar and inexplicable lacunae, lacking words for many common things. How could you not have a word for -- ?

Her husband, her flying partner, is with her, which is a comfort. But though he is patient and helpful, he too must be addressed in the local language. Their friends sometimes travel here for a visit, but they share the same communication barrier and they depart far too soon.

This is an expensive place to visit, she knows. Fortunately this is not a problem for her. She is keenly aware that many others would be financially destroyed by this journey. They stay in the nicest hotels. The food is sometimes terrible.

They visit the American consulate every day. The staff are friendly, considerate, polite, helpful... but they cannot give her what she needs, which is a visa to return home. So sorry. Sign this form, sit here, take this pill. Maybe in a few weeks. The local government is difficult, fickle, intractable. Many travelers do not return.

She comes back again the next day, and the next.

She works to learn the language.

There is yet hope.

-- davidlevine
14 December 2014 @ 09:01 pm
Forever young. Hey, i can say "i can say... Um." And It's all this hetero softie.

And I can say "What time are the neighbors coming? Seven? I think I'll take a nap until then but do wake me up."

Either one is as likely as the other. The second one is a litte less likely as the other.

10 December 2014 @ 07:01 am
I'm trying to get my hands on a song from, oh, the last three to ten years? They just fly by.

You know it. We all know it. It has an indigenous guy quelling. It has a ¿white guy? singing, or vocalizing, or otherwise chanting himself... probably... I just can't get hold of it! There was a ruckus when someone heard "oh hey, that's great-grandad singing there, wonder if they gave him any credit?"

Please tell me what this is.

It might might be the key to getting this damn earworm out of my head. Six days and counting.
06 December 2014 @ 04:41 pm
...and other stories.

seriously, she'd have to tell you.

just clutching this little phone gives me a little power. there's going to be lots and lots more of it so DON'T be shy come in for just a minute or um. lot's and lots of um. AND THAT DAMN EARWORM CAN GET OUT OF MY HEAD NOW six days now no that's enough only two but you get the idea.

I sound like Sockington.

please know that I'm pulling as hard in this direction as you are. please know that I want that to be so. I'm not as batshit in here as I sound really but argh, who can tell!! keep those cards and letters coming. --kate
30 November 2014 @ 07:48 pm
I'm going into the hospital for surgery tomorrow morning. Please follow davidlevine for updates.
09 November 2014 @ 12:08 am
Would have liked to be sociable tonight, yes, but not at con-bar noise levels. Settled in on the couch in our room with A Corner of White off the book-swap table. Charming, madcap, like a YA Jasper Fforde. Pleased to see there will be more: this is Book One of The Colors of Madeleine.

Crikey, no wonder I was confused all through about which Cambridge it was set in. There's clotted cream, and star jumps (jumping jacks) and glandular fever (mono) and mould, but they've Americanized the crucial word Colour to Color throughout. Result, mishmash.
08 November 2014 @ 08:39 am
Just one person can make the difference between "pathetically eating dinner alone" and "convivial convention meal experience". Last night was rescued by Susan from Calgary, who has now eaten Ethiopian food and told us about motorcycling in Brazil.