The Grey Man and the Pit

"Of course I know the pit," she said.  "Doesn’t everyone?"

The grey man looked down at her, skeptically.

Some days you wake up and see nothing but green trees, and you can’t even remember why your fingernails are bloody.  Other days, you wake up in the pit, and every thought’s another boulder that you drop on your own head.”

"Sometimes whole days go by while you’re stuck down there.  Whole chunks of time, just… gone.”

He nodded slowly.  

She couldn’t say exactly why she thought of him as grey.  Everything about the man seemed faded, as if somebody had left him out for too long in the sun.

"I don’t think everybody knows the pit," he said, swiping his finger through an amber bead of rum.

"No?"

"No."  He shook his head.  "I think it’s just a particularly unblessed few."  He sized her up, almost like he was looking for a fight.  "People like us.  You and me, we know the pit.  Normal, happy people don’t ever wake up there."

"I can’t imagine."  She shook her head, too.  "Even when I can see the stars, I know that the pit is always there, calling me back.  I can’t remember the last time my ears weren’t ringing with it."  

She took a drink.  Lifted her vodka to his rum.

"I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t bruised and battered by it," she said.  "I can’t remember the last time my vision wasn’t blurred."

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The Essential Deep Space Nine: Season 2

In honor of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s 20th anniversary, I’ve decided to compile a list of the most essential episodes from every season.  The entire series is available on Netflix, so I thought that a guide like this might be helpful for old fans who want to relive the show’s highlights, as well as new watchers who don’t want to waste their time with filler episodes.  I’ve tried to include episodes that are integral to the show’s overall plot arc (and sub-arcs), as well as episodes that stand out in their own right.

I had a really, really hard time picking out 10 episodes from Season 2.  It’s a really solid season, and it’s also a longer season, clocking in at 26 episodes overall.  Although the series’ main arc is still just barely getting started, there were a lot of really strong standalone episodes focused on individual characters and the development of various relationships between them. 

See “honorable mentions” below for a few choices that I couldn’t include, but didn’t want to entirely leave out.

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The Essential Deep Space Nine: Season 1

So 2013 is the 20th anniversary of my favorite Star Trek series, Deep Space Nine.  In honor of the occasion, and in light of the fact that the full series is available on Netflix, I’ve decided to compile a list of my nominees for the most essential episodes from every season.  I thought that a guide like this might be helpful for old fans who want to relive the show’s highlights, as well as new watchers who don’t want to waste their time with filler episodes.

I’ve tried to include episodes that are integral to the show’s overall plot arc and my favorite sub-arcs, as well as episodes that stand out in their own right.  I’m going to try really hard to keep to exactly 10 essential episodes from every season; with 7 seasons, that should result in a list of 70 really solid, entertaining/thought-provoking episodes

Without further ado, here are my 10 essential episodes from Season 1.  My recommendations for this season tend to be clustered around the beginning and the end; the middle episodes tended to be a little meandering, with one or two notable exceptions…

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Sculptural detail featuring a monk, from the White Temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

A Buddha statue with gold-painted fingernails.

denilance:

Self Portrait I did on photoshop, so far its one of my favorites of all the digital paintings i’ve done.

Art from my cousin Deni.

(Reblogged from denilance)

The head of the Buddha embedded in the roots of a tree.  Ayutthaya Historical Site, Thailand.

Detail of a traditional, 4-layer Thai temple roof.

Cocktail Recipe: Spring Equinox

Take a lowball glass.

Add 1 shot of Brennivín (soon to be available in the US!).

Muddle 2 sweet basil leaves into the liquor.

Fill the rest with DRY Cucumber Soda.

Add ice if desired.

The resulting cocktail is deceptively light in flavor (though decently strong in alcohol content, so be aware).  It has a mild sweetness, with fresh vegetable and herb flavors.  I find it very “green” tasting, in a good way. 

It was, in fact, invented on the Spring Equinox.  The inspiration came when I was trying to figure out something to do with the bottle of Brennivín that I’ve had sitting around since I visited Iceland several years ago. :) 

A family of crab-eating macaques at the “Monkey Temple” in Lop Buri, Thailand.