Just One Thing (25 September 2017)

Sep. 25th, 2017 11:59 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.

Go!

(no subject)

Sep. 25th, 2017 03:16 pm
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
IF MY FUCKING PHONE IS IN ANOTHER FUCKING BOOT LOOP

ETA: OH GOOD

story recs

Sep. 25th, 2017 11:43 am
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
Thanks to a recommendation from [personal profile] vass, I read Suradanna and the Sea by Rebecca Fraimow. It's beautiful and bittersweet and queer; I wouldn't call it a romance, but I don't know that I'd say it's not, either.

If you're up to reading stories about institutionalized child abuse with happy endings, this by [tumblr.com profile] caffeinewitchcraft and this follow-up by [tumblr.com profile] kelincihutan are stellar.

No, really?

Sep. 25th, 2017 01:56 pm
oursin: The stylised map of the London Underground, overwritten with Tired of London? Tired of Life! (Tired of London? Tired of Life!)
[personal profile] oursin

Dept of, did you do any research?

That Uber vs TfL thing, with TfL refusing to renew their license - okay, I do not use Uber (I am probably not their target market) and everything I hear about it makes me deeply suspicious - but when I read various articles claiming that London black cab drivers are the trad white working class, I wonder how often, if ever, any of these people have ridden in a black cab. Because in my limited and anecdotal experience, finding a Trad London Cabbie who will give you his Salty Cockney Opinions whether you want him to or not, is not the default at all.

This article about Some Artist's exhibition on what he calls 'pseudo-Georgian architecture' in the UK and dates to the 1970s.

Marvel at a London Waitrose – “the pearl of Holloway Road”, according to Bronstein’s caption – with a cupola-crowned tower floating above its entrance. That oddly proportioned line of columns, running above the shopfront windows, suggest the architect once glimpsed a photograph of Vicenza, but not for long enough.
I know that Waitrose and shop there regularly and I am old enough to remember when it was Jones Brothers, by that time part of the John Lewis Partnership, but dating from an era when suburban department stores were built as retail palaces - as far as I can see, dates back to the 1890s.

***

Dept of, is that really the solution? PETA co-founder says we should stop wearing wool. I cannot help feeling that if there is no longer any economic reason for rearing, even if 'sheep are so gentle, they’re so dear!' they are likely to vanish from the face of the earth except in zoos (to which I imagine PETA are also opposed). Might not doing something about introducing legislation for more humane shearing practices be a better use of their time and energies?

the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Maurice took a detour on his way to Mamzelle Bridgette’s in order to visit the curio shop that dealt in jade bracelets, so that he might commission one suitable to MacDonald’s purpose. He therefore arrived a little after his usual hour to discover that he had an unexpected visitor.

Why, Uncle Hector! I hope there is no trouble in the family?

No, all well, Euphemia sent you a few almond cakes – and she says these are just for you, sent a further parcel for the workroom.

'Tis very good of her. Tea?

Thank you, I will.

While the tea was coming, Maurice waved Hector into the more comfortable chair and sat down himself, mentioning that he had Lady Trembourne coming shortly.

Very early in the day for that lady!

Maurice gave a small grim smile. Does she desire to be dressed by me, at such short notice, she must take what time I may spare. Hector returned his smile. But was there some particular matter you desired to open to me?

Why, Sophy was thinking that though Sam wishes keep Thomasina at school a little longer, since they are in no necessity to send her into service or put her to an apprenticeship –

Maurice, whose investments included a share in Sam Jupp’s exceedingly profitable livery stables and carriage-hire business, nodded.

- when there was that notion that 'twould provide an excuse for visiting here that she desired find her a place, put the idea into her head that though she would not wish Thomasina to earn her living by her needle –

'Tis indeed a hard life –

- you might bring her on into the business more generally. Is a good clever girl, excellent fine reports from the schoolmistresses, an eye for fashion, already goes quiz her aunt Tibby on matters of style.

Maurice pondered a little. Indeed he had wondered about matters of succession. Why, I daresay I shall see somewhat of her during the family yuletide gatherings, and mayhap Sophy might bring her along some day.

Hector nodded and said he would convey this invitation to Sophy. Also, Her Ladyship becomes most concerned over the plight of needlewomen –

I have heard somewhat of that from Lady Pockinford –

- and I confide she would be well-advized to convoke with you upon the practicalities of any philanthropic enterprize she purposes.

Well, now she may come visit me for fittings again I daresay we shall have opportunity to speak upon the business.

Hector cleared his throat, sat back in his chair, crossed one leg over the other. She also, he said at length, takes some concern over Mr MacDonald.

Maurice raised his eyebrows.

She thinks it entire beneficial that he has become a member of this club of yours, where he may be with fellows of like kind. But she comes to some apprehension that has already been beguiled by some fellow, and hopes that 'tis some fellow that will not do him hurt, and wonders had you observed anything that might illuminate the question.

(Well, that answered the question in his mind of whether MacDonald went home and quite immediate recounted what he had been about to Lady Bexbury.)

Why, said Maurice with a little considering frown, indeed he becomes quite the favourite and there are fellows make up to him, but I cannot think of any one in particular that he shows favour to himself –

Only, Hector went on, she takes the thought that those years of mutual devotion that he had with the late Viscount, can have been little preparation for any matters of fickleness and deceit -

(Really, Maurice thought, it was entire unreasonable to feel quite sick with jealousy over a dead man.)

Well, he said, I will look out for any signs, and hoist storm warnings if necessary.

Her Ladyship would be most displeased did he come to any harm. And I hope you demonstrate proper gratitude for the services he has done you.

Quite entirely: but I am sensible that there is little that I can offer such a fellow as any kind of recompense. Sure I have made contributions to Lady Bexbury’s philanthropies –

Hector nodded. But you have ladies coming, I must be away.

Maurice found himself left in some confusion. Was this a very indirect warning? But he had no time to linger brooding upon the matter, for, although he did not expect the Countess of Trembourne to arrive precise to the minute, nonetheless he confided that she would arrive before an entire hour had elapsed. He tidied up the fitting-room, laid out some fashion plates and some samples of stuffs, and minded to put the almond cakes out of sight. There were clients he would have been happy to share this treat with, but she was not among them.

In due course Lady Trembourne, followed by Lady Sarah Channery, was ushered in to the fitting-room. They were very much of that same high-bred English lady look: that fine straight fair hair that must have been an immense trial to any that had to dress it; the pale aristocratic features; the tall and slender, even skinny, figure. Lady Trembourne’s face was marked with its habitual expression of discontent. Lady Sarah, however, looked less than usual like a nervous mouse keeping company with a cat: perchance having a lover had conveyed her some confidence in herself.

They sat down and tea was brought and Lady Trembourne produced some fashion-plates that had given her a notion of how she should like her gowns made. Maurice was most greatly tempted to accede to her demands, for he could see that the styles chosen would not set her off to any advantage, but he had the reputation of Mamzelle Bridgette to maintain and that would do it no favours, so he began the delicate task of persuading her into somewhat that would do credit to all parties.

By this time this had been decided, and measurements taken, and Lady Sarah’s requirements also taken into consideration, several hours had passed. But at last Lady Trembourne declared that she had another engagement and swept out. Lady Sarah lingered, looked nervously towards the door, and asked in low and tremulous tones whether the establishment had some discreet chamber?

Maurice conceded that it did, and the terms upon which a lady might avail herself of it.

Lady Sarah was, of course, considerably younger than Sir Stockwell, and indeed than Lady Trembourne: but she was still of an age that was not suited by an air as of a naughty schoolgirl that has slyly deceived the mistress.

After she had gone – looking remarkable complacent for one that had but lately had remuneration demanded of her in return for silence – Maurice sighed, smoothed back his hair, and decided that he would go lunch at the club.

(Of course he had not the slightest expectation that he might encounter MacDonald there.)

At such a time of day there were few enough present, but Sir Stockwell had managed to escape his duties, whatever they were, at the Admiralty. Allard! he lowered his voice. Any news?

Maurice lowered his own voice. Has asked me about the discreet chamber, but indeed I do not know if that might be for a particular purpose, or whether 'tis just to be informed in anticipation. (He did not somehow feel inclined to reveal that yes, Lady Sarah had a lover. Since it was some friend of MacDonald, let him be the one to disclose it.)

Well, let me know do you discover more.

He moved away.

As Maurice deliberated between the cold beef and the ham, up came Tom Tressillian, looking extreme self-conscious. Maurice! Pray, assure me that I have not offended you –

Offended me?

Why, I know that you and Linsleigh have been friends this long time, and he was paying me some attention t’other e’en at the viewing of his painting, and you left most precipitate –

La, my dear Tom, you are entire welcome to enjoy Basil’s favours, sure we have not sworn some oath such as he was telling us at such great length did the members of the Theban Band: and I daresay 'twill come to some exceeding pretty picture - perchance all in black, gazing upon a skull?

O, providing you do not mind - !

Not in the least. But, my dear, figure to yourself my astonishment to see young Orlando Richardson in the company – does he follow in his great-uncle’s footsteps?

Tressillian sighed. Alas, I confide not, except that shows already a pretty talent for comedy.

Alas. For though 'tis by no means a pretty fellow, there is a certain, as they say, piquancy, to his looks, that I daresay his uncle had before he took to drink.

Come a Stranger (Voigt)

Sep. 24th, 2017 09:35 pm
cahn: (Default)
[personal profile] cahn
Come a Stranger is the most positive book in the Tillerman Cycle (which, in a series that takes on abandonment, death, failure, racism, and emotional abuse of a couple different kinds, is maybe not saying a whole lot, although the themes of all the books involve growth and compassion and optimism and healing so that I never really noticed until this read-through how relentless they are) — this is the book about a family that works from the very beginning, and with themes that involve an existing strength, and growth mediated by that strength (as opposed to, say, Dicey's Song and Solitary Blue, which are about fractured family that has to figure out how to work, and growth from what started as dysfunctionality).

This one, I think there are two major themes woven throughout the book. One is community: what does it mean to be part of a community? This is almost a background theme — if I were to tell you the major events that happened in the book, none of them would really shout out "Community!" And yet the strong, vibrant community Mina belongs to is so integral to this book that it wouldn't exist in the same way without it. The other books are about individuals; this one is about the individuals as part of a community where they all help one another, all lift one another up. There's no character like Miz Hunter in any of the other Tillerman books.

I mean, I've never read these books thematically before, and on this reading it jumped out to me that the first chapter is basically the thesis statement. In the first chapter we meet Miz Hunter, Kat, Kat's family, and the church where Mina sings in the choir. That's a lot of people that Mina is a part of — not just her family itself, though they're also a community unto themselves, but also friends, friends' families, a whole church community evoked — and a community that takes care of each other. The first chapter almost makes it explicit:

"People you don't know are strangers."
"Are you afraid of strangers?"
"There aren't any strangers I've noticed around here, are there?"
"No ma'am. My poppa, he doesn't let people stay strangers."

And —

Poppa's little church didn't have a fancy altar, just a heavy wooden table with a fresh cloth on iton which the ladies had embroidered words and pictures. A silver cross stood up on top of that. They didn't have proper choir stalls, nor pews, except for half a doen somebody had picked up at a flea market sale in Cambridge… What happened was, whenever they were having a drive, saving up money for something particular, like more pews so the whole room could be filled with them and not be part pews and mostly folding chairs, something always came up. There would always be some family that needed the help, or some one person in some kind of need. The deacons would empty the church pockets to help out. Like Miz Hunter, when the church took a mortgage on the little house she lived in and rented it to her for what she could afford. Nobody minded that, and nobody seemed to miss the fancy touches.


Which brings me to the other major theme of this book: love.

This book is a little bit the counterpoint of Solitary Blue, which was about finding a community one by one (and so is Dicey's Song, for that matter), and about the damage that love does, both knowingly and unknowingly, and how to get beyond that damage. This book is about the next step: the responsibilities to one another in a community; and the positive side of love, how love shows us the way to our truest selves; and how those things interact. Mina loves Tamer Shipp, and that love shows itself in no destructive way, but constructively, in the way she helps Tamer's wife, and in the way that she finds Samuel Tillerman for him as a gift — but the real, true gift is the interaction between Gram and Tamer — it's not about Shipp himself, really. I don't know, I don't think I am making a whole lot of sense here; I just feel really strongly about this, okay? :)

But there's a minor theme (though more explicit) too, a theme of race and racism — and it's so interesting and awesome what Voigt did here: Runner was all about what it looked like from Bullet's white, racist point of view, and that was a valuable discussion and viewpoint; well, here we see what it looks like from the other side. And I feel like Voigt just does it well — Mina thinking black everything is kind of lame, to the betrayal when Mina realizes how she's been set up as the token black at ballet camp (and, tangentially, she gets it so right how you can bounce around and then find the place where you belong — in my case also summer camp — and the relief and amazingness of it — and I didn't think about it until this time through, but just thinking about that memory being sullied by betrayal of some sort is just — my whole mind flinches from it), the swinging to considering racism in everything, including her of-course-I'm-not-racist-but-I-don't-like-uppity-blacks teacher and also Dicey's reaction to her which is clearly (from Dicey's perspective in Song) not race-related at all (that being said, when you look at it from Mina's point of view it looks pretty damning for Dicey for a while — I mean, what are you supposed to think when a person keeps ignoring your friendship overtures?). The conversations she has with Shipp and with her parents seem to get it right to me… the way her parents are just worried for her because it's hard to be a black woman. And I love the part where Shipp tells Mina that "colored" is a good word for what they are. ("They," in the end, meaning all humans.) Because, of course, it's the word Bullet used and Tamer rejected. And I side-eyed the part at ballet camp where Mina is cast as Tash, and then was surprised and pleased to find that (of course) Voigt was right there with us side-eyeing it too, with Kat calling it out explicitly.

I don't understand at all how Voigt is able to interweave all these themes among all the books and still find time to have things actually happen. I don't get it at all.

It's so interesting to me that the Tamer Shipp of this book is noticeably an older version of Tamer Shipp in Runner. That is to say, he's not at all identical, he's clearly been through a lot and learned a lot and matured a lot (and changed his mind about some things, like the word "colored"), but still you can see the Tamer-who-was in him.

More quotes. This one is on the community theme:


Charlie and Isadora started telling stories about old relatives of their parents who had gone into nursing homes, or retired to places where there were a lot of old people gathered together. Mina didn't say anything, because her one living set of grandparents lived with her mother's brother in Georgia, and the grandparents who had died when she was still a baby had lived just around the corner. She thought of Miz Hunter, but didn't mention her either.


I really like the treatment of Mina's friend Kat, though I wouldn't have appreciated it when I was a kid (good thing I didn't read these books until I was an adult) -- I like that she's presented as not liking Narnia, and that's OK!

"And trying to make me different too, make me read books and listen to your music. And they're boring and dumb — the Narnia books. It's just pretend, fairy-tale stuff, with magic, and if I don't like them, you look at me as if I'm stupid. I'm not stupid."


I could go on and on about this book, but I think I'm going to post it since it's already taken forever for me to get this far.

Oh, okay, one more thing: I have never liked what we're told about Tamer's sermon on Miss LaValle's suicide attempt -- it has always struck me as rather victim-blamey. But on the other hand we're seeing all this filtered through Mina's eyes, and she doesn't know about the suicide at the time; afterwards Mina's mom says she thinks the sermon was about helping Miss LaValle even though she isn't part of their church, and not gossiping about it, which is not at all what I got from Mina's POV, so it is very possible this is a case of incomplete-POV rather than being as victim-blamey as it seems.

No, two more things. This time around I kinda shipped Mina and Tamer's son Samuel, not right then of course, but sometime far in the future when they've both grown up — it seems like Samuel has inherited his father's propensity for thinking about things, and I could totally see Mina and Samuel, as grownups, understanding each other in the same way that Tamer and Mina do, but without the barriers to a romantic relationship. Speaking of fic ideas :) (Would that be weird? I feel like the way Voigt has structured it, it wouldn't be weird.)

Cried

Sep. 25th, 2017 12:03 am
zhelana: (Firefly - Stone)
[personal profile] zhelana
When was the last time you cried?

about 5 minutes ago, because my poor dog.

the rest )

Music Monday

Sep. 24th, 2017 11:59 pm
zhelana: (Original - Waiting)
[personal profile] zhelana
20. A song that has many meanings to you:



the rest )

87F - 65F : Sunny

Sep. 24th, 2017 09:45 pm
zhelana: (Nemo - found)
[personal profile] zhelana
Today animal control came to our house and told us that the delivery driver complained to them that our dog bit him. Although it was clear that he had not been bitten and had just sustained a minor scratch, because he claimed he had been bitten there was nothing anyone could do, and our dog has to go to quarantine, at our expense, for 10 days. This happened once to my mom's friend and it cost her $300. I don't have $300 lying around! I mean, yeah, things just got a bit better with Kevin's promotion, but not enough better to take a $300 hit our first half-month of it. We're still playing catch up. There are two trees down in our yard since the hurricane, and we can't pay to move those, we both needed new tires because of nails that had them completely flat, and we put that on a credit card we can't pay off, And I just don't know what to do.

Kevin is busy writing negative reviews of his employer. I wish I thought they'd get him fired.

I'm fighting off panic at the price tag, and anger that the animal control agent said he clearly wasn't bitten but there's still nothing they can do and anger that he is slandering my dog (but my dog probably does not have legal standing in a court to sue him - which Kevin won't let me consider doing anyway). And desperate sadness because my dog is going to be locked away with no one to love him, and he's not going to understand why he doesn't have even his sister with him for the first time in his life. And I'm afraid if he's in quarantine they won't be able to let him go outside throughout the day. And basically, my poor dog, who did nothing but try to make a friend he thought was playing with him.

Otherwise, I was supposed to go to the zoo today for gorilla day, to do arts and crafts activities with kids. I emailed two people to ask where to meet and neither of them got back to me, so I didn't go. I did wake up to check my email on time to have gone, but I didn't go. I'm really annoyed about this because it means I either need to spend more time in flamingo plaza as a greeter, or I have to find other events to sign up for. I should probably look in next month to see when these events might be. Yeah now I'm signed up for something called "Boo at the Zoo" on the 21st. If I don't get enough hours by then, I'll finish up then. It's by the orangutans which I actually know something about having studied them as an anthro major in college.

I don't remember if I mentioned this here or not, but 23andMe is doing a study of people who have been treated for either depression or bipolar disorder, and in exchange for your DNA they'll send you a free ancestry and health report. So I mailed off a vial of my spit to help with that study and find out whether I should be chasing this Polish guy or the English guy on ancestry.com. There are also rumors in my mother's family of some Native American ancestry, which it will be interesting to find out of that is true or not. If you've been treated for bipolar disorder, you can click here to get in on the same deal I did - but time is running out. The depression study is already closed.

I opened a loot pets box today to see if I'd get some kind of a toy I could send with Jack to quarantine, but Kevin wound up really liking the toy inside it (which was a borg cube), so we gave it to Rogue, who will not destroy it instead of Jack, who will.
fadedwings: (bird love)
[personal profile] fadedwings posting in [community profile] common_nature
I love these beautiful noisy birds. We have a few that come to the yard. It's hard to get pictures though because they're a bit shy. I had to take this between the railing on my porch.
Read more... )

the common or garden anti-semite

Sep. 24th, 2017 06:37 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
I'm rereading Gaudy Night by Dorothy L Sayers for the first time in maybe a year, since I just switched my Audible membership over to .ca instead of .com, and the Canadian website has the rights for the book when the American website has just been promising to have it for ages but never actually being able to sell it.

In that time I've read Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism, which very closely details the rise of anti-Semitism in Western Europe between the French Revolution and the Second World War. Sayers is an awkward novelist in that her writing in the 1920s and 30s is sparkling in many ways, but soured a few times a book by discordant notes whenever "those people" are mentioned--Sayers seems to think that she is being very liberal-minded by mentioning Jewish people at all, much less having her characters vaguely tolerate them and discuss how a Jew might be as moral as the next fellow. (She had an unhappy early affair with a Jewish writer that seems to have affected her strongly)

I can see no situation in which they might ever have met, but still, the whole thing solidifies mentally for me into a unified whole if I imagine them at some evening party full of urbane and witty literary people, drinking and smoking and sounding clever, where Sayers is holding forth and being pleased with herself and Hannah Arendt is smoking in silence and taking down extensive mental notes for an essay later. She smiles when Sayers passes her an ashtray, but she's already plotting her revenge.

Fanfics about Nuclear Waste Storage

Sep. 24th, 2017 06:55 pm
jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k

This is a 10,000-year rabbit hole!

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) was designed to store radioactive waste in Nevada. The storage area would not be safe to enter until 10,000 years had passed. Several groups of smart people came together to design warning messages that could outlive our civilization and protect future explorers. These designers knew they couldn't rely on any current language surviving that long, so they worked on landscape designs that project "this is toxic waste, don't mess!" audio/text background and four fanfics )

One of the forbidding-landscape proposals is incorporated into California, a meh dystopian novel published by a non-genre writer in 2014. If the WIPP project follows up on the experts' suggestions, elements of those proposal should be showing up in pop culture for millennia.

The WIPP-fic tag: http://archiveofourown.org/tags/Expert%20Judgment%20on%20Markers%20to%20Deter%20Inadvertent%20Human%20Intrusion*d*dd%20-%20Sandia%20Labs/works WIPP Discussions on Metafilter: )

The Grief Hole by Kaaron Warren

Sep. 25th, 2017 08:00 am
calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)
[personal profile] calissa

The Grief Hole, Kaaron Warren, Earl Grey Editing, books and tea, tea and books

Published: July 2016 by IFWG Publishing
Format reviewed: Trade paperback, 336 pages
Genres: Supernatural, psychological horror
Source: Library
Reading Challenges: Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017
Available: Publisher (print) ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Book Depository ~ Booktopia~ Kobo

There are many grief holes. There’s the grief hole you fall into when a loved one dies. There’s another grief hole in all of us; small or large, it determines how much we want to live. And there are the places, the physical grief holes, which attract suicides to their centre. Sol Evictus, a powerful, charismatic singer, sends a young artist into The Grief Hole to capture the faces of the teenagers dying there. When she inevitably dies herself, her cousin Theresa resolves to stop this man so many love. Theresa sees ghosts; she knows how you’ll die by the spirits haunting you. If you’ll drown, she’ll see drowned people. Most often she sees battered women, because she works to find emergency housing for abused women. She sees no ghosts around Sol Evictus but she doesn’t let that stop her. Her passion to help, to be a saint, drives her to find a way to destroy him.

Kaaron Warren is a multi-award-winning author and The Grief Hole shows why. I’ve held off reading her work for a while, since horror is really not my jam. However, when The Grief Hole was nominated for a Ditmar Award, I knew it was time for me to dive in.

At first glance, the book looks like supernatural horror. Theresa can, after all, see ghosts. These ghosts reflect the way a person is most likely to die.

However, the ghosts are not the scary part.

Although they’re keen to gather more of their number, they are ultimately powerless background noise. As the story progresses and Theresa comes to understand things better, they become somewhat more sympathetic.

Instead, what is clear from the start of the novel is that it’s about human monsters. The story is divided up into Interventions. These are times when the ghosts around someone are so numerous or otherwise strange that Theresa is prompted to act: to commit some deed that results in death or incarceration for the perpetrator. She’s very clear she acts out of a sense of justice, rather than revenge.

However, this doesn’t make Theresa a good person by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, we’re shown all the ways that Theresa herself is monstrous. She thrives on the suffering of others, often poking at emotional tender points and claiming it’s to help. She frames newspaper smeared with blood from her cousin’s suicide, looking on it as somehow inspirational. She keeps files of atrocities reported in the media. And she jumps to conclusions about what her ghosts are trying to tell her, acting on information that is sometimes incomplete or incorrect. She shows how good intentions are sometimes self-delusion.

While the ghosts aren’t exactly central to the story, I still refused to read this story after dark. The author does a fantastic job of creating an oppressive atmosphere that lingers over the reader as much as the characters. Towards the end, the story took on a dark fairytale resonance, somewhat reminiscent of the Brothers Grimm or the story of Bluebeard. This is enhanced by the characters, some of whom feel otherworldly. Theresa’s aunt Prudence is a prime example. Her association with the colour red and the way she always carries balloons with her gives her the feeling of a hallucination, only kept partially at bay by the fact she’s visible to people other than Theresa.

I can’t say I enjoyed The Grief Hole; it is not a book intended for comfort or enjoyment. However, it is a well-written and thoughtful examination of grief and altruism. It won three major Australian awards this year and most certainly deserves the accolades it has received.

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

Baaaaack

Sep. 24th, 2017 09:39 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

As our flight was not until after lunch, this morning after we'd packed and put our luggage in store we went to the Hipolit House: more historical domestic interiors, plus exhibition on the actress Antonina Hoffman and on theatre/acting more generally in C19th. Rather interesting.

Of the journey, not a great deal to be said except for the enormous distances walked within airports.

Anyway, ome agen.

isis: Write what you're told! (micah wright)
[personal profile] isis
Remix Revival authors have been revealed, at least for the main collection, so I can now post a link to my story!

To Paint a Symphony (Arrangement for Solo Piano) (1527 words) by Isis
Fandom: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street - Natasha Pulley
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Keita Mori/Thaniel Steepleton
Characters: Keita Mori, Thaniel Steepleton
Additional Tags: Synesthesia, Music, Established Relationship, Precognition, Remix
Summary: Possible futures, with musical accompaniment.
Remix of: to paint a symphony by [archiveofourown.org profile] Arzani

I actually matched on Black Sails, but none of [archiveofourown.org profile] Arzani's fics in that fandom gave me much of an idea, partly because I'm not a Flint/Silver shipper. But The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is such an interesting canon - I've written a couple of stories for it already - and when I read "to paint a symphony" I immediately wanted to tease out the thread in which Keita plays the different compositions Thaniel might make in the future based on what choices he makes about Grace, and Thaniel sees them in different colors, and write my version of that story. (If you haven't read the book, this won't make much sense. But it's been nominated for Yuletide again this year, if you're thinking about reading it. It has a m/m relationship and a mechanical octopus.)

Stuff and things

Sep. 24th, 2017 06:22 pm
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon

I seem to have been lacking in energy the last week or so, which is probably mostly down to travelling back from visiting my folks - a tiring journey, adjusting back to coping for myself, plus being away from family again and all wrapped up in the end of summer seems to leach the agency out of me. I've even been failing to keep up with DW reading, which is most unusual. Hopefully I can get back in gear this week.

I did get out to a quiz with friends on Thursday, which had quite a setting - the crypt at Rochester Cathedral. As crypts go it was very cosy, they've turned the oldest half (c1083) into a display area for the Textus Roffensis (c1122-24, which contains the only known copies of the codes of laws of Aethelberht, Alfred and Cnut, and minor fripperies like the coronation charter of Heny I), while the area we used , a brash newcomer, built in the 1180s, has just been reworked as an event space - I think we may have been one of the first events to use it. A crypt with a bar gets my vote! Fortunately the refurbishment included a wheelchair lift (doubly so as we had another wheelchair user on our team), though my friends who volunteer as cathedral guides tell me it isn't where initially intended,  when they excavated that area they found a completely unexpected Norman staircase and are still trying to figure out where it went to..

A picture of the bit we were in here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rochester_Cathedral#/media/File:Rochester_cathedral_011.JPG, for scale the capitals on the columns are probably about 5 feet off the ground. They comfortably fitted a table for 8 in each of the bays. We won, of course, though the prizes caused a raised eyebrow or two - 200ml cans of fizzy Hungarian pinot grigio. 'They seemed like fun' according to the organiser. Umm, yeah. At least the fish supper was reasonably good.

I went out yesterday for my usual Saturday lunch, which was a little disappointing. I had the duck confit flatbread and the duck had clearly been overcooked, it was tasty, but very, very dry, where normally it's quite moist. So dry I decided to stay and have another drink, which was actually fortuitous. Just as I was finally about to ask for the bill the friend I used to have lunch with every Saturday appeared.. It's the first time she's been out on a Saturday since spring last year, having spent the year nursing her son through terminal cancer. Hopefully it's a sign she's getting her life back to normal. She had her eldest daughter with her, plus her 7 month old granddaughter, who is a little cutie. So we talked babies and it turned out her daughter had just moved house earlier in the week. 'Where too?' I asked, lazily assuming they must simply have swapped from one London suburb to another, and was puzzled when she started with a street number, but then laughed when she completed the address - she's moved just opposite the end of the street her mum lives on, granny is obviously quite firmly on tap for babysittting!
 

Just One Thing (24 September 2017)

Sep. 24th, 2017 04:07 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.

Go!

letters, Johnson & DeVos

Sep. 24th, 2017 08:25 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
Dear Senator Johnson:

You have been saying terrible things about people with "pre-existing" conditions for all of 2017, comparing us to cars, saying that we should pay more for our healthcare, even though most "pre-existing" conditions are not caused by anything a person does or by bad choices they make. In fact, since pregnancy is a "pre-existing condition," you are actively punishing people for having families--which seems to run counter to the agenda the Republican Party has been pushing for years The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal, which callously strips all protections from people like me (and which makes it entirely possible that a premature baby will hit his or her lifetime cap before leaving the hospital for the first time), makes it clear that in fact you have no idea of what it's like not to be able to afford healthcare, or to have a chronic, incurable condition, and that you don't even have enough imagination to be able to empathize with the people whose lives you are destroying.

Moreover, given that there is astonishing unity among healthcare professionals, patients' interest groups, and major insurers (plus all fifty Medicaid administrators and a current count of eighteen governors), it is quite clear that you aren't doing this because it's a good idea. You don't care whether it will be good or bad for your constituents. All you care about--and more than one of your Republican colleagues have admitted as much--is repealing "Obamacare." You're doing this because you made a campaign promise, and you're too blindly self-centered to see that this is a promise that would be better honored in the breach than in the observance. You and your colleagues are behaving childishly, destroying something only because you hate the person who built it. The ACA is not failing, as you keep claiming it is, Senator. It is suffering mightily from obstructionism and deliberate sabotage from you and your colleagues, and, yes, it does need reform. But your proposal isn't reform. It's wanton demolition of legislation that is working, legislation that is succeeding in making the lives of Americans better, demolition which you are pushing without the slightest consideration of its effects on the people you claim you serve.

I'm not writing this letter because I expect you will change your mind--or, frankly, even read it. I'm writing this letter because I'm angry and scared and unbelievably frustrated with your deliberately cruel and blindly stupid determination to do something that no one in this country wants. You won't change your mind, but you can't say you didn't know there was opposition.

P.S. I'd still really like to see you denounce white supremacism, Senator. Because right now, I unwillingly believe you don't think there's anything wrong with it.

***

Dear Ms. DeVos:

I am appalled at your decision to roll back the protections given to sexual assault survivors by Title IX. I'm not surprised, because it's perfectly in line with the other cruel, short-sighted, and bigoted decisions you've made since being appointed Secretary of Education, but I honestly wonder (and I wonder this about a number of Trump appointees, so you needn't think you're alone) how you live with yourself. How do you justify, even if only to yourself, the damage you're doing? Do you believe the lies you tell?

I'm not going to quote statistics, because I'm sure they've been shown to you. I'm not going to try to change your mind with personal stories. I am going to ask, futilely, that you stop and truly think about the young women whose college careers, already catastrophically imperiled by the sexual assault they have survived, may be destroyed because of the policies you're implementing. And I'm going to ask how on earth you think this destruction is part of your mandate as Secretary of Education?

Everyone's civil rights need to be respected. I believe this strongly enough to belong to the ACLU. But victims' rights are historically ignored, trampled on, and outright broken, especially in cases of sexual assault, especially when the perpetrator is white and male. I also strongly believe that the purpose of government should be to ensure that privilege is not used to skew justice. It was already crushingly difficult for sexual assault survivors to report their assailants. You have made it that much harder, and that much more likely that they will simply remain silent. I cannot help thinking that that silence is your goal, and that, Ms. DeVos, is truly shameful.

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