I didn't take Ativan last night. I don't know if using the c-PAP without it contributed to the migraine or not.
I did a little writing last night, but I feel like I'm groping in fog to find the characters. I'm firmly in one POV, and that character can only guess at who the other character is which isn't helpful because it means I haven't defined him clearly in my own head. I'm also flip-flopping on what the POV character is willing to do to achieve her goals, and I feel like the story is already too long.
I don't think I'm going to finish the treat I started for Captive Audience by the exchange deadline. I expect the recipient would still want it if I finish it later on. It's a tiny fandom, so not many people were likely to read it anyway.
I'm looking at my holds list at the library and trying to figure out how I ended up with four movies and a season of anime all to pick up on Sunday. There's a waitlist on the anime series and on one of the movies, so I guess I give those top priority. At least the anime is only twelve episodes.
1. What are you anal about?
2. Why that and not something else?
3. Are you more or less anal than you were as a young person?
4. When you are suddenly confronted by a situation over which you have no control, what do you do first?
5. Do you wish you could be more or less attentive these days?
Copy and paste to your own journal, then reply to this post with a link to your answers. If your journal is private or friends-only, you can post your full answers in the comments below.
If you'd like to suggest questions for a future Friday Five, then do so on DW or LJ. Old sets that were used have been deleted, so please feel free to suggest some more!
**Remember that we rely on you, our members, to help keep the community going. Also, please remember to play nice. We are all here to answer the questions and have fun each week. We repost the questions exactly as the original posters submitted them and request that all questions be checked for spelling and grammatical errors before they're submitted. Comments re: the spelling and grammatical nature of the questions are not necessary. Honestly, any hostile, rude, petty, or unnecessary comments need not be posted, either.**
Was lately reading something about (male) travellers and those Amazingly Beautiful Women they saw somewhere a long way away after arduous journeying, which might be partly about Exoticising the Other, but also, I think, about there being some place (or time) which is not boring old Here, where things are amazing.
On the, Not Like The Women I Have To Deal With Here And Now In The Present, a friend of mine has a piece somewhere or other (actually I think it's in a volume in which I too am represented) about certain late C19th French (male) intellectuals complaining that women of their day were by no means comparable to the HOTT witty libertine ladies of the Ancien Regime in their salons.
And this led me to the thought that maybe if you are living in it no time is Perfect and Ideal: some may be better than others, for more people, maybe. Just as there were people who found, for them, good lives in times/places that are not usually thought of as utopian eras and most time-travellers would not put on their bucket lists.
Anything close-up and quotidien is, I depose, something the flaws in which you are going to apprehend fairly acutely. Though possibly the upside of that is, that they are the flaws and hindrances that one has developed work-arounds for (see Katharine Whitehorn on the little niggles about one's house that one hardly notices any more but has to warn visitors about).
2. I made chocolate chip cookies. Haven't done any baking in ages since it's been such warm weather, but it really hasn't been bad the last week or so and it really didn't heat up the house too much to make these.
3. I finished another book today, which puts me at fifty books so far for the year. I can't believe it! My goal was originally twenty! It's at sixty now, but I think I'm going to have to end up upping it again at this rate.
4. Molly was sleeping with her paw over her face, and when I went to take her picture, she moved her head but still kept her paw in the same place, which was super cute.
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by Ben Aaronovitch
February 1, 2011 · Del Rey
Science Fiction/FantasyMystery/ThrillerUrban Fantasy
First, a note: this is more of a review of the series, but the books therein need to be read in order so I shall start here. Second, I will avoid spoilers as much as possible, focusing mostly on what I like, what I find bothersome, and whether I recommend the book and the series. The grade above is both for this book and the series as a whole – lucky for me they line up, which doesn’t always happen.
As I mentioned in a recent Whatcha Reading post, both my husband Adam and I are reading these books one after the other.
Well, he’s reading one after the other. I take breaks every two to read another book in a different series. If I don’t, the pattern of the writing becomes to distracting. I think because my brain loves to pick out a pattern, glomming one author or one series for too long is detrimental to my enjoyment. I notice the writerly tics and they smother some of my interest. I also read very quickly, so even with reading other novels in between, we are keeping about the same pace as far as plot twists and character developments. A number of our dinner conversations have begun with, “Where are you in…?”
In Midnight Riot, London police officer Peter Grant is working when a ghost starts talking to him. As you do. This leads to his involvement in The Folly, a somewhat secretive and very old branch of the police department specializing in magic, or, as it’s referred to in the series, “weird bollocks.” Peter becomes the first apprentice wizard in a long ass time, working with Nightingale, the last remaining wizard/police officer.
Each successive book after Midnight Riot (the UK title is Rivers of London) builds on the larger magical world and the (many) problems therein, while also solving an individual case. There are mystery elements, various relationships and characters that appear and recede, and a whole bunch of different individuals, including goddesses, fae, wildlife that may be more conversant with humanity than one would suspect, and more weird bollocks.
I’m immensely enjoying this series, even though there are a number of things I find a little frustrating.
Also, I have skipped the graphic novels because I’ve discovered that the illustrated version of the characters was so at odds with my own mental image, I was irritated when I tried to read them. (I know, my brain can be very diva-like.)
What I like about this series:
- Language is a character – I couldn’t ask for a more enjoyable piece of catnip for my nerdery interests. Just as in some books the setting can be a character, in this series, the slang and colloquial language define individual people, signal a multitude of elements about each person (among them class because whoadamn do multiple systems of class play a role in this world), and create a linguistic environment that’s almost as much of a puzzle as the plot. It’s a good thing I’m reading this on my Kindle because I stop and look things up constantly. (I’ve also heard that the audiobooks are terrific for the same reason, so I might start listening to them after I’m done.) The language is so much fun for me.
- Women have to explain things to Peter All The Time – Peter is intelligent, and has a scientific way of looking at the magical world he’s learning about, but there are several secondary characters, Lesley May and Sahra Guleed among them, who have to explain things to Peter that he missed entirely. Peter is not the most special of all the wizards, and is pretty regularly undone by his own bad habits (which can be frustrating and satisfying).
- Random delightful references to all manner of fun stuff – I don’t think there has been a narrative from which Adam and I have texted one another more quotes. There was a Phineas and Ferb reference that delighted me for days. The random pop culture bits are delightful, and ground the world in a contemporary reality that makes the magical “weird bollocks” (yup, I really like saying that) seem plausible as well. And I feel pretty pleased with myself when I catch one. I also enjoy Peter’s internal nerdy monologues about architecture, which is one of his secret passions, one he’s deeply opinionated about.
- Casual inclusion, casual prejudice – Peter is a character of mixed race, and the stories are told from his point of view. This means that he mentions the race of every character, partly because he’s a police officer who by training learns to catalog such things, and partly because he’s not operating in a worldview of white default. There are characters of different classes and backgrounds, all casually inclusive in a way that makes this world seem very, very real. (Reality! It’s awesome.) There are also so many moments of casual racism directed at or around Peter, and there’s a repeated, powerful contrast between his mental tally of who said what and at which time, and his outward absence of reaction.
- Women’s power is relentlessly underestimated – I’m just at a point in the series where the fact that the power of the women around Peter and Nightingale has been misunderstood and dismissed might be about to rise up and chomp them both in the butt, and I’m pretty excited about that. It’s past due.
Things that bug me:
- Plot, plot, procedural development, plot, OH MY GOD IT IS THE END WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED – The development of the story takes place bit by bit, which I like because instead of getting information in heaping teaspoon-sized helpings, sometimes I get 1/8th of a teaspoon, and sometimes it’s one grain of salt at a time. But when the Solid Waste Connects With the Air Circulating Device my gosh does it splatter everywhere fast. When there is action of any kind, it mostly happens in the last few chapters, sometimes the last few pages, and I have to go back and re-read. And you can count on all sorts of shit going down in the last few chapters as much as you could count on a purple prose sex scene within 10 pages of the cardboard insert in an old Zebra romance. To quote Horse eBooks, everything happens so much. And each time, at the end, it can be too much, especially when several books in a row follow this pattern.
- Women have to explain things to Peter All The Time – There are times when I’d much rather follow characters like Guleed or Beverley or Abigail much more than I would Peter. His character can become so boring and repetitive, while they are interesting and complex in ways he isn’t. This perspective may be because I am so used to romance that having interesting women not at the center of the story can make me surly and impatient, and because Peter is narrating the story so of course I get overly-familiar with his POV. I suspect there are millions of bytes worth of fanfic focused on Beverley, Molly, and every other character – Toby! Toby fanfic! – because I can’t be the only reader who wants to follow them home.
- Peter can be obtuse to screamingly obvious degrees – There are a few incidents where something weird happens, and despite weird being his literal business, Peter shrugs and is like, “Oh, well, whatever.” It’s not just Chekhov’s gun he’s walking past. He ambles blithely by Chekhov’s howitzer mounted on a Gustav spray painted hot pink. Maybe it’s a thing that the women both in the story and reading the story are sometimes more aware than Peter?
- Women sometimes rest on the fringes of the fridge – Bad shit happens to some of the women closest to Peter, which is boring and predictable. How those women respond (if they aren’t dead) is fascinating, but it’s still a giant let down for women to be constantly harmed while the multitude of dudes Peter counts as allies and colleagues seem to end up perfectly fine.
This series has been a terrific brain reset for me. Jumping back and forth between this series and Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series has been fascinating as an exercise in comparison and contrast in terms of world building, romantic plot elements, and character development. I haven’t finished either series, but the way in which the respective magical worlds are built and power is managed mean I have a lot to think about while I read. Thinky brain is happy brain.
As for whether I recommend this series for romance fans, I do, though obviously you have to suspend all genre expectations at the door. As a reader who loves immersive deep dives into different aspects of various cultures, and who loves puzzles and language, this is a lot of my catnip. Reading it concurrently with Adam is also part of what makes it fun on a personal level, but it’s a series and world that comes with a lot to talk about, too. If you’re looking for a blend of mystery and magic and like snarky deadpan narration, there’s a lot here you’ll enjoy, too.
Have you read this series? What do you think? Are you keeping up with it?
I was pretty sure that I was going to both enjoy and be enlightened by Trevor Noah's Born a Crime from the first few pages, which were fill of witty, pithy, yet accurate and often poignant observations such as these:
"The genius of apartheid was convincing people who were the overwhelming majority to turn on each other. Apart hate, is what it was. You separate people into groups and make them hate one another so you can run them all."
"The Zulu went to war with the white man. The Xhosa played chess with the white man. For a long time neither was particularly successful, and each blamed the other for a problem neither had created. Bitterness festered. For decades those feelings were held in check by a common enemy. Then apartheid fell, Mandela walked free, and black South Africa went to war with itself."
"Like indigenous peoples around the world, black South Africans adopted the religion of our colonizers. By “adopt” I mean it was forced on us. The white man was quite stern with the native. 'You need to pray to Jesus,' he said. "Jesus will save you.' To which the native replied, 'Well, we do need to be saved—saved from you, but that’s beside the point. So let’s give this Jesus thing a shot.' "
"For a long time I didn’t understand why so many black people had abandoned their indigenous faith for Christianity. But the more we went to church and the longer I sat in those pews the more I learned about how Christianity works: If you’re Native American and you pray to the wolves, you’re a savage. If you’re African and you pray to your ancestors, you’re a primitive. But when white people pray to a guy who turns water into wine, well, that’s just common sense."
Noah's book is part autobiography, part South African history, and part social and political commentary, wrapped up in just enough wit and comedic structure and timing to make it flow smoothly and swiftly, until all of a sudden you're brought up short with a 'wtf?' feeling as you realise the full meaning of what you've just read.
I've had a lot of respect for Noah's presence on TV as a successor to Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. I now also have a lot of respect for him as an author - and as a man who lived through South Africa's troubled post-apartheid times and saw truths so clearly.
His account of his childhood, growing up as a child of mixed race, is lightly told, but horrifying. Under the segregation laws of South Africa, it was illegal for white people to have sex with non-white people; as a child of such a union, Noah was, as the title of the book says, 'born a crime.' His parents were not married - that would have been impossible - nor did they live together. Though his mother lived - quietly, secretly, illegally - in Johannesburg near his father's apartment, Noah could only spend time with his father in private.
"Where most children are proof of their parents’ love, I was the proof of their criminality. The only time I could be with my father was indoors. If we left the house, he’d have to walk across the street from us. My mom and I used to go to Joubert Park all the time. It’s the Central Park of Johannesburg—beautiful gardens, a zoo, a giant chessboard with human-sized pieces that people would play. My mother tells me that once, when I was a toddler, my dad tried to go with us. We were in the park, he was walking a good bit away from us, and I ran after him, screaming, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” People started looking. He panicked and ran away. I thought it was a game and kept chasing him."
But it wasn't just his father who could not acknowledge him publicly. His mother, a dark-skinned Xhosa woman, could not be seen with a 'coloured' - the South African classification for person of mixed race - child without everyone knowing she had committed the crime of sleeping with a white man.
"It was illegal to be mixed (to have a black parent and a white parent), but it was not illegal to be colored (to have two parents who were both colored). So my mom moved me around the world as a colored child. She found a crèche in a colored area where she could leave me while she was at work. There was a colored woman named Queen who lived in our block of flats. When we wanted to go out to the park, my mom would invite her to go with us. Queen would walk next to me and act like she was my mother, and my mother would walk a few steps behind, like she was the maid working for the colored woman. I’ve got dozens of pictures of me walking with this woman who looks like me but who isn’t my mother. And the black woman standing behind us who looks like she’s photobombing the picture, that’s my mom. When we didn’t have a colored woman to walk with us, my mom would risk walking me on her own. She would hold my hand or carry me, but if the police showed up she would have to drop me and pretend I wasn’t hers, like I was a bag of weed."
It was just as much a problem when his mother took him to visit his black relatives in Soweto. A coloured child in a black township was just as much a threat to his family as a coloured child in a white city.
"My gran still tells the story of when I was three years old and, fed up with being a prisoner, I dug a hole under the gate in the driveway, wriggled through, and ran off. Everyone panicked. A search party went out and tracked me down. I had no idea how much danger I was putting everyone in. The family could have been deported, my gran could have been arrested, my mom might have gone to prison, and I probably would have been packed off to a home for colored kids. So I was kept inside."
Noah's memories of his childhood make one thing perfectly clear - that he attributes much of his own character to his mother's independence and choices to live as far as she could outside the legal and social limitations imposed by South African apartheid.
"My mom raised me as if there were no limitations on where I could go or what I could do. When I look back I realize she raised me like a white kid—not white culturally, but in the sense of believing that the world was my oyster, that I should speak up for myself, that my ideas and thoughts and decisions mattered.
We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited. Growing up in Soweto, our dream was to put another room on our house. Maybe have a driveway. Maybe, someday, a cast-iron gate at the end of the driveway. Because that is all we knew. But the highest rung of what’s possible is far beyond the world you can see. My mother showed me what was possible. The thing that always amazed me about her life was that no one showed her. No one chose her. She did it on her own. She found her way through sheer force of will."
Noah completed the book prior to his becoming an American TV host, and the book itself contains very little about his professional life, or how he made the transition from a teenaged boy hustling pirated CDs to get by, to a well-known and admired comedian and TV personality. Perhaps that's for another book.
This one is the narrative of a mixed race child growing up in one of the most oppressive and racist societies in the world, and surviving. And it's well worth reading.
I interview author Santino Hassell about his new series with Berkley, starting with Illegal Contact, which just went on sale on August 15th. We discuss his inspiration for football romance since he’s a baseball fan, and we talk about his being one of few men writing romance. We cover how he got started as a writer, what writers inspired him to start and keep going, and how he addresses stereotypes of bisexuality in his writing, We also discuss his writing projects with Megan Erickson, and, a special note for all of who who are fans of his work: we describe the perfect bait to trap him, should you wish to do so. (Kidding! That would be creepy.)
I also have a giveaway to go with this episode! I have a very, very cool pair of Barons athletic socks, and a copy of Illegal Contact for one of you. There will be a giveaway widget in the show notes for this entry at SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.com/podcast, and you can enter to win.
Standard disclaimers apply: void where prohibited. I am not being compensated for this giveaway. Open to international residents were permitted by applicable law. Must be over 18 and prepared to wear some very nifty socks. Whereas, upon participation in the contest as aforesaid, said participant shall nonetheless deliver hereunto all such paraphernalia as reasonably necessary and appropriate. Notwithstanding anything hereinafter to the contrary, the contest shall nonetheless be conducted as heretofore described thereupon. Do not taunt happy fun ball.Listen to the podcast →
Here are the books we discuss in this podcast:
Giveaway! You can enter the giveaway right here:
And if the widget doesn’t work for you, this link should work as an alternate. If you’re having trouble, please email me, k?
Standard disclaimers apply: void where prohibited. I am not being compensated for this giveaway. Open to international residents were permitted by applicable law. Must be over 18 and prepared to wear some very nifty socks. Whereas, upon participation in the contest as aforesaid, said participant shall nonetheless deliver hereunto all such paraphernalia as reasonably necessary and appropriate. Notwithstanding anything hereinafter to the contrary, the contest shall nonetheless be conducted as heretofore described thereupon. Do not taunt happy fun ball. Winner will be chosen at random and announced on 25 August 2017.
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This Episode's Music
Our music is provided each week by Sassy Outwater, whom you can find on Twitter @SassyOutwater.
This is from Caravan Palace, and the track is called “Panic.”
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I read about a chapter more on Attack of the Theater People, but that's it. I think I've only managed to read before bed one time this last week, and every other night I stayed up too late and went straight to sleep. (Even the nights I went to bed early I was too tired to read.)
What did you recently finish reading?
I finally finished The History of Forgetting. This book was kind of a mish-mash of the history of LA, LA in fiction, and some actual fiction about LA. The latter is the weakest part of the book and I think dropping it would have made it a better book overall. A random sixty-page novella dropped in the middle of a work of non-fiction could possibly be made to work, but it didn't here, at least not for me.
I did like the parts that were actual history of LA and a look at how LA has been portrayed in books and movies over the years. This was published about twenty years ago and a lot has changed downtown since then, and I'd be interested to see the author's thoughts on those changes. It looks like an updated version of the book was released about ten years ago, but even that was before the real downtown revival.
What do you think you'll read next?
Well, I have three books marked "currently reading" on Goodreads that I haven't actually started on, so hopefully one or more of those! People in Trouble by Sarah Schulman is what I just added to GR tonight as my current physical book. I read several books by her a few years ago and really liked them, but for some reason never read the last two I had bought at that time, and when looking for a new book to read tonight after finishing A History of Forgetting, I spotted them and decided to go with that. I've also still got Hollow City, though since I'm also reading Attack of the Theater People, idk if I will actually make any progress on this until I finish that, since I don't like switching between ebooks. Then finally I've got The Big Picture: Murals of Los Angeles, which I found in a pile of books on the curb the other day while out on our evening walk.
Netflix, ABC Portrayals Of Autism Still Fall Short, Critics Say
You can read or listen to this piece, which is about "The Good Doctor" and "Atypical".
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 18, 2017 is:
waif \WAYF\ noun
1 a : a piece of property found (as washed up by the sea) but unclaimed
b : (plural) stolen goods thrown away by a thief in flight
2 a : something found without an owner and especially by chance
b : a stray person or animal; especially : a homeless child
3 : an extremely thin and usually young woman
At the center of the novel is a parentless waif who is befriended by the first mate of a ship she is hiding aboard.
"Parker, playing a souped-up version of her trademark crazy-eyed waif, reprises her role as Georgie Burns, a character whose lack of a filter suggests a personality disorder in search of a diagnosis." — Charles McNulty, The Los Angeles Times, 7 July 2017
Did you know?
Waif itself is a stray, if we consider its first meaning the home from which it came. Tracing back to an Anglo-French adjective waif meaning "stray, unclaimed," the English noun waif referred in its earliest 14th century uses to unclaimed found items, such as those gone astray (think cattle) and those washed ashore (think jetsam), as well as to the king's (or lord's) right to such property. Stolen goods abandoned by a thief in flight eventually came to be referred to as waifs as well, as later did anything found without an owner and especially by chance. (It's interesting to note that the verb waive, used in modern English in phrases like "waive a fee" or "waive one's rights" comes from the same Anglo-French source as waif and was at one time used to mean "to throw away (stolen goods).") The emphasis on being found faded as waif came to be applied to any stray animal or person, and especially to a homeless child, and in the late 20th century the current most common meaning of "an extremely thin and usually young woman" developed.
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Frank Iero & Gerard Way
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: digital drawing with embedded tweets
Artist on DW/LJ: N/A
Artist Website/Gallery: witchboyiero
Why this piece is awesome: Expert cartoon-style drawing in this series of illustrations for a twitter account about MCR badfic. I also like how the inspirational tweets are placed to balance out the drawn portion. Any day now I'll stop reccing Frank/Gerard fancomics, but this one is hilarious. Features circa-2005 Revenge-era Gerard and Frank and Gerard's snake tongue going in one of Frank's ears and out the other.
Link: drawing tweets from badmcrfics tweets aka my biggest artistic regret yet
RainbowCon 2.1 (our second convention, in our third year, thanks to a brief hiatus for moving) will be held on May 4-6, 2018! North American Guest of Honor is Cat Faber; Overseas Guest of Honor is Gwen Knighton Raftery. We are hoping there will be a toastmaster, but we don't have a name to announce for that yet.
Location is 4414 Skyline Drive, Freeland WA (on beautiful Whidbey Island), and there is information about local hotel options for people who want them. The new location has two acres of outdoor space in which we can spread out, hold our traditional maypole dance, and have outdoor song circles around the fire pit. Keep your eyes open for our neighborhood deer, who like to browse on the lawn.
We're still doing free membership but accepting donations to offset the out-of-pocket expenses of bringing our guests here and running this thing, for those who are able and willing to contribute. We welcome members who want to run events -- workshops, games, theme circles, or whatever. RainbowCon is a participatory event... everyone's welcome to take a turn at leading if they want to, but nobody is required to do more than show up and have fun!
Please contact email@example.com with membership requests, or questions about the convention. Ditto if you want to be part of the programming. It will be really helpful to us if we can get early memberships, because then we'll be able to block out hotel space nearby.
We look forward to seeing you here!
Like many of us, I’ve been struggling to process what happened in Charlottesville over the weekend, and what’s been happening in this country for a while now. The racism and hatred and violence didn’t magically appear out of nowhere. It’s been building up for a long time…in fact, much of it has always been there. It’s just boiling over into the open right now, making it harder (but obviously not impossible) to look away and pretend it’s not happening.
Part of the argument I’ve seen centers around free speech and the First Amendment. Free speech is a right, an important one, and rights apply to everyone. Even people you dislike and disagree with.
But freedom of speech in this country is not and has never been limitless. From the U.S. Federal Courts, here are a few examples of actions not legally protected by freedom of speech:
- Students making an obscene speech at a school-sponsored event.
- Making/distributing obscene materials.
- Inciting actions that would harm others (e.g., Shouting “fire” in a crowded theater.)
Now, here are some of the “alt-right” protesters who gathered in Charlottesville.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
Pairing/Character Focus: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
What makes this a gem: This fic is... something. It's from Ron's point of view and how he sees Harry and Draco's developing relationship. I don't know how else to describe it other than having a quiet sadness - it's not angst completely, but Ron, Hermione and Harry hd a more than friends relationship, and it has now... ended for lack of a better term, and it's Ron describing having to let Harry go is heart-wrenching in it's own way. This fic does have its funny moments, and the way the author writes all of their interactions make them see natural and organic - they could be your friends which you see down the pub every other week. I love this fic, and I would love for you to read this and also love this fic!
And I am posting to mark for posterity and with great happiness that tomorrow evening my cousin is getting married, and it's a combination of strange and exciting and emotional. This is my cousin from my mom's side of the family, which is the side we grew up close with, in neighboring towns. My cousins from my dad's side are all older than me and have been married for a while now, and my sisters and I have always had a more distant relationship to them due to age differences and geography. (This is the part where you guys are allowed to laugh, since the ones who live farthest away are still less than a two-hour drive away from my hometown; just over an hour with the new roads, really. But my mom's side live ten minutes away! So. An hour drive is far okay everyone [here] knows this.)
Anyway - O, the bride, is a few years younger than me, the fifth youngest of us six cousins, and the first on this side to get married, which means my 86-year-old grandmother gets to be in at least one of her grandchildren's weddings, which just by default makes me happy, that she'll get to experience that. I don't think she's ever put pressure on any of us to get married - certainly not on me, and I'm the oldest - but I'm really glad she'll get to have that experience anyway.
Weirdly, I guess I'm kind of used to the fact that my cousin's not a baby anymore - I guess at some point you just get used to all these milestones in people's lives happening. The last time I mentioned her was in this post from almost ten years ago where I was clearly shocked she was, like, almost a grown up or something, but it has since sunk in.
It's going to be a Friday night wedding, which already tells you it's not very religious here (and not, technically, legally binding; they'll fly to Cyprus to get married over the weekend for the legal part), and it's going to be at a music club and involve some kind of concert. Which means two concerts for me this weekend, since sisters and I are also taking my dad to Regina Spektor for his birthday, a day later.
And that, I believe, will cap my August of, uh, Things Happening.
MEANWHILE, I've been spending the past few weeks on and off (mostly on) listening to The West Wing Weekly podcast and I am 1) in love with it, 2) specifically in love with Hrishi Hirway's voice and entire being, and 3) highly recommend any West Wing fans (and esp if you were in the fandom) to listen because it will give you feelings, man. Starting at the beginning is pretty great, but you can also listen to episode 1.6 (Mr Willis of Ohio) for Josh/Donna feels, episode 1.10 (In Excelsis Deo) for Richard Schiff crying feels, and episode 2.22 part II (Two Cathedrals) for a little bit of Sorkin talking about the Passover Sports Night episode which I know is of interest to some of you :-) Anyway, it is a lovely podcast with great banter and both love and criticism of the show and I just want Hrishi to narrate my entire life basically.
Also I filled some prompts yesterday for a meme! It was basically 'send me a ship and a line and I'll write the next five' meme, but more importantly it was the first writing prompts I've actually filled since, I want to say, 2015 or something, so yay for that. Writing something at least! Fills are here (MCU, DCU, GK). Now if only I could translate that to actual decently sized fic hmmmmmmmmm.
I've read more enjoyable ones. In terms of sheer enjoyment levels, Vulcan's Heart probably still comes out on top, but Vulcan's Heart has Spock/Saavik, pon farr, Romulans, Tasha Yar, and Sarek. I cannot be objective about that book because it is plugged directly into my id. The Entropy Effect is better written. This is hardly surprising given that McIntyre won a Hugo a few years before she penned it. Clearly the woman knows her craft. But I was frankly disappointed in Enterprise: The First Adventure and didn't know what to expect with The Entropy Effect. Having read it, I suspect that McIntyre may have phoned it in a bit with The First Adventure. Entropy Effect feels more polished, and more...weighty. In a good way.
Also, the cover art with a mustachioed, long-haired Sulu is a sight to see.
So now I'm reading Vulcan's Soul, which is a trilogy written by Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz, the same authors who wrote Vulcan's Heart. The Vulcan's Forge/Heart/Soul books is basically the canon of the Spock/Saavik fandom, which is a tiny little corner of fandom that I'm inordinately fond of despite not being especially active in it.
I'm meh on Vulcan's Forge, love Vulcan's Heart for the aforementioned reasons, and don't yet know how I feel about Vulcan's Soul. Based on the first little bit, I suspect I'm going to land closer to Forge than Heart, but we'll see.
I.e., this week has been mostly getting the new computer to do those things which it ought to do, and leave undone those things which it ought not do -
Among which the most disturbing was the discovery this morning that Thunderbird was marking ALL, yes ALL, incoming mail as Junk and also as Read, fortunately I did discover that this was happening.
There has also been wrestling with getting to be able to talk to the MyCloud as part of my home network rather than via a remote interface connection.
There was the oops, I needed to do a backup of This Thing, That Thing and The Other Thing from the old computer, and having to sort that out.
There is all the finding the passwords and activation codes for things for which I entered a password when I first activated the thing, and never since.
There is also the loss of some things - don't seem to be able to have the little slide-show widget thing of photos on my desktop, chiz - and finding that the new versions of things are Not What We Expect - the new Kobo Desktop App is quite horrid.
But on the whole, we are reasonably satisfied with the New System - its speed in particular is commendable.
However, I am annoyed with Opera, which I was intending using as my secondary browser to avoid Microsoft and Google, but the main thing I wanted a secondary browser for was so that I can log into The Other DW Journal without logging out of this one, but Opera, for some reason I wot not of, insists on autofilling the login screen with the details for this account rather than the other - la, 'tis tedious vexatious.
In my case, this is usually a book or three, a journal, peppermint oil, and my ear buds so that I can listen to ASMR videos and soothing music on my phone.
That's the travel pack. At home, it also includes the heating pad, and hot showers.
What, dear DW, is in your emotional first aid kit?
- Deleted my insanejournal account. I never read the flist there, and there was no way to mass lock old posts.
- Speaking of which, mass locked all my Livejournal posts. Paid for a month on Dreamwidth to do the same.
- Yeah that breaks links on fanlore, boohoo. When they change their policies to not put site growth before fen's wishes or even safety, I'll reconsider unlocking the relevant posts.
- If you wanted to read something you can't access (or even use something in a presentation, essay, book, whatever) that is now locked, and your account appears legit, message me.
We got to the area near Interlochen about an hour before we were to pick Cordelia up, so we got lunch at the only restaurant we could find. It wasn't terrible. It also wasn't great. I finished my meal still feeling hungry and without any options for more food.
The Interlochen campus is really nice. I'd have liked to look around more (and the unclaimed Ingress portals only had a little bit to do with it), but Cordelia was really eager to get out of there.
Scott's parents invited us to stop by on our way home, and we did. The timing worked out that we arrived a little after 6:00, so they fed us dinner-- chicken, asparagus, mashed potatoes, and salad.
I dropped my Ativan tablet last night and couldn't find it (those things are tiny!), so I slept without it. I was exhausted enough that I slept soundly until Scott's alarm. After he got up, I didn't get back to sleep until he left. That wasn't because of him. It was me feeling too warm then too cold then having my neck hurt then... Well, on and on.
My allergy trouble hasn't come back. I'm hoping it won't, but the cleaning lady coming today may set me off again because the various cleaning products cause me problems breathing (one of the big reasons we have her come in).
"Just seven months into his presidency, Trump appears to have achieved a status usually reserved for the final months of a term."
It points out the features of a lame-duck presidency, which is usually reserved for the final handful of months, especially in a second term. (Hey, guess what! POTUS45 has accomplished in 7 months what it took Bush 7 years to do!)
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