Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky - The first 3/4ths of this book were fascinating. Then there was a chapter on Gandhi that was really good, but the last quarter of the book wasn't nearly as interesting as the first part. I don't think this is because I have a bias towards medieval history, although that may be true. It just went from a long narrative to little short stories, basically, and he wasn't as good at writing the little short stories. But overall I thought it was quite good, and I may pick up Milk by the same author if I ever get through all the history books I already own.
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller - The whole thing was meant to be humor by making everyone in the military look incompetent. I personally don't find that very funny. People like these characters get people killed, and that is decidedly unfunny.
The Ultimate Star Wars and Philosophy: You must Unlearn What You Have Learned by Jason T Eberl and Kevin S Decker - We finished with several chapters on fandom, including a chapter on why The Hero's Journey may be sexist and not the best thing to rely on for story telling. Although I'd argue that it is very possible to send a female character on the hero's journey and have her save the world. Suggesting otherwise seems sexist to me. The final chapter was on whether Lucas has the right to tell us what to consider Canon and what to no longer consider canon, and it concludes that he does not - that storytelling is a joint venture between the author and the audience and to just ignore one side of that isn't right. I'm not sure I agree, as a storyteller. I tell plenty of stories that get almost no audience. Are they any less stories?
Golden Child by Claire Adam - Alright here's what happened and why this is an awful book. The family had a set of twins, one very smart and the other they were told by the delivery doctor would be retarded because he lost oxygen as he was being born. Then their uncle dies, leaving them $250k for the smart twin to go to Harvard. Then the second uncle gets jealous that he didn't get any inheritance from the first uncle, and sets about getting the second twin kidnapped for $250k ransom. The twins' father decides he isn't going to pay the ransom because he'd rather have the smart twin go to Harvard rather than have the second twin alive. He does try to raise some money, and comes up with about $50k to pay the kidnappers. At the end of the book the sum total required for the first twin to go to Harvard is $30k. So why on earth didn't they just pay the $250k to the kidnappers, then sell the house for its full value years later when the smart twin needed $30k, and send him to Harvard on that money? They could easily have had both, but instead they just let the dumber twin get murdered. And also, why does the uncle survive the story? If that were my kid, the uncle would not have survived the kidnapping.
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah - This book ended rather predictably. Mama died (of lung cancer, which was a deserved death because she kept smoking even when the family had no money), then Leni went back to Alaska and started cooperating with the police until she got arrested, and got a gubernatorial pardon. Then she married her son's father, the love of her life, and they lived happily ever after. Except that the husband is brain damaged from a fall 7 years earlier. But basically, I saw the whole thing coming from the time they had to leave Alaska to run away from their crime.
What are you reading?
Canon EOS Rebel T6/1300D For Dummies by Julie Adair King (81%) - I skipped a chapter on recording videos, because I have no interest in using this camera to record videos when my phone camera records them and automagically uploads them to youtube. Now I have part 3 which is on all the things you can do with the camera after you take the picture. A lot of it is fiddly details, although Sarah reminds me that a lot of things that seem simple really come down to fiddly details.
The Jewish Book of Why by Alfred J. Kolatch (49%) - Their reasons for why for most things are just that god said so, and then giving the relevant bible passage. I feel like most of these things actually evolved from somewhere, and didn't come to us straight from the bible, and I'd like to know more about that evolution. Alas, this is probably not the book for me, but I'm kind of out of Jewish books, and I can't afford to buy a new one until the 27th, so I continue with this book. For some reason I thought I had bought a book about a Jew, a Christian, and a Muslim talking to one another, but I can't find any record of having bought it on amazon, and I'm pretty sure it didn't come from McKay's. Still, I have a history of God that is at least 1/3rd Jewish that I guess I could read as my Jewish book, as long as I was willing to accept that 2/3rds of the book will be about Christianity and Islam. I'd rather use that as a religion book, though, and stick specifically to Judaism for the Jewish book. I do have a giant 1000 page history of Israel that might qualify, I just feel so overwhelmed about that book. And it's not really what I meant about a Jewish book. I did mean to learn more about modern Judaism with this category.
A Year In The Life of a Shinto Shrine by John K Nelson (44%) - We've left spring for summer, which included a purification ritual, and also a chapter of things the author was told in confidence that he repeats without telling you who told him them. I'm a little uncomfortable with this as a social scientist. I feel like things said in confidence should be kept that way.
Super Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner (52%) - We started the current chapter talking about how in the 70s everyone believed in global cooling, but now we believe in global warming. Then he is talking about how our food consumption - specifically cows - is increasing methane levels faster than our transportation. Apparently rather than buy a prius you should eat more chicken. I'm sure he's going to throw a curveball in there soon, but I haven't gotten to it yet.
Magic in the Middle Ages by Richard Kieckhefer (63%) - The point of the current chapter seems to be that not everybody believed in magic. Also magicians tried to hide their magic spells by using cryptograms and writing in latin. The author tries to debate whether the magicians themselves believed in magic, or were simply trying to hide that their spells did nothing. This seems like a rather modern interpretation, and I suspect that the magicians did in fact believe in what they were doing.
The Illegal by Lawrence Hill (27%) - Freedomland seems to be what happens when republican policies are taken to an extreme. A lot of it sounds like modern America, but also, after they ended slavery, they deported all the Africans, which was one policy favored by a lot of people after the Civil War, here. I don't understand why the main character chose to run off in Freedomland instead of when he was in Boston, a week earlier. He knew he was going to run. So why not be in America where black people exist legally instead of running to Freedomland where 100% of the legal population is white? He has no one but himself to blame when he gets deported, or for the fact that he has to live in a shipping container in AfricTown.
Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah (43%) - We're getting a love story, but with a little alien kind of controlling it. Like, she keeps saying good things happen around her to earthlings she likes. So now the two adult characters are falling in love. But I'm kind of wondering if they're really in love, or if they just think they are because of the alien. Like are they going to survive her going back to her own galaxy?
How I Got My Shrunken Head (Goosebumps #39) by RL Stine - Apparently the kid has jungle magic and has to go find his aunt now. Because all the adults who matter bring a 10 year old boy to the jungle, and let him be in charge of a search and rescue.
Educated by Tara Westover (27%) - One by one her older siblings are leaving and going off to do real things like drive a truck. One of them even went to college, albeit the mormon college. Her father is pretending the children who leave don't exist, and now that Tara is 10 she's being forced to work in a junkyard sorting metal to decide what should be sold. Both she and her older brother have been seriously injured doing this, and neither of them were brought to a doctor.
Bully for Brontosaurus by Stephen J Gould (15%) - How is a QWERTY keyboard like evolution? Both of them have useless elements from the evolution of typing or animals that now seem impossible to get rid of. Of course, everyone knows that there are better keyboards out there, but no one switches because we've all learned where the keys are on a QWERTY keyboard. It came from the evolution of typewriters.
Watership Down by Richard Adams (4%) - The author claims this is not meant to be allegory, and is just a simple story about rabbits. That's good, at least. Chapters are short and I may expand to two chapters per day because I think they're fewer than 5 pages each. But maybe the chapters get longer as we go along? We're still not out of the original warren yet.
Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse 1970-2000 by Stephen Kotkin (12%) - The author claims that the startling thing is not that the USSR failed, but rather that it did so without starting a nuclear war, or any kind of war, to preserve itself. The leading elites at the time just quietly let it go, including letting countries that had long since belonged to the Russian Empire become independent without fighting for them. He starts by talking about OPEC and oil prices allowing the USSR to grow and expand in the 70s, but then they didn't innovate, so by the 90s, they had the world's largest stockpile of obsolete technology that all these new countries had to learn to expand from.
Early Riser by Jasper Fforde (1%) - I've only read one chapter so far, but it's about a future in which humans hibernate through winter, which has average temperatures of -40 and wind chills far below that. Only a few people are awake during winter, including our main character, who is about to spend his first winter not hibernating, and has volunteered for a dangerous job during this winter.
The Color of Our Sky by Amita Trasi (0%) - I haven't started yet, but it's about a temple prostitute child who is sent to live with a rich family, and the bond she forges with the richer child. When the poor child disappears, and is never found, years later the rich child goes to try to find her.
The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy: Hogwarts for Muggles by Gregory Bassham (1%) - Basically in the same vein as the Star Wars book, but Harry Potter. I've only read the introduction so far. It talks about how the books are not just meant for kids, which I think everyone knows by now?
Please feel free to head on over to this year's offerings blog, FTH2019Offerings and take a look around! Use the Tags page to find what you're looking for, and read the sticky post for advanced tag searching info.
Note that, as bidding does not open until February 26th, if you click through to a bidding form you find it is NOT functional. These will be opened on the 26th.
If there is a mistake in your post, the best way to let us know is via email, to email@example.com.
WHAT TIME IS THAT FOR ME? | COUNTDOWN
We're getting close!
Parade's End/Lord of the Rings Nominators
Do you prefer the tags formatted to books/tv/movies? I need all the LoTR nominators to chime in before I change it. If you don't get back to me by the time sign ups open on Feb 23, I will default to the tags for the books.
Black Jack (Anime & Manga)
Is Young Black Jack (2011) the same franchise? Is it distinct enough from the rest of the canon to be considered separate?
Fantasy VII Nominator/s
Did you intend to use the compilation tag, or do you want it limited to the video game? I will default to the video game tag if I don't hear from the other nominator re: their preference.
Dad's Army / Sector General - James White Nominator/s
The tags "George Mainwaring & Everyone" and "Conway & Everyone" are problematic - is "& Anyone" acceptable?
Star Trek - Various Authors
This canonical tag seems to include all Star Trek novels. Please limit your nomination to a more specific category, such as "Star Trek: The Original Series - Novels" or "Star Trek: Rihannsu."
Note to those wondering about rejected tags: most of the ones I've rejected are because the relationship is already in the tagset under a different format, so double check before you freak out! As always, get in touch if you have questions.
Pairing: James Sawyer/Alison Sawyer/John Cale
Fandom: White House Down
Category: Threesome, outsider POV
Characters: James Sawyer, John Cale, Alison Sawyer, Carol Finnerty
Summary: Carol learns more about her boss' relationships than she really wanted to know, and steps up to protect him.
Feedback: Is always adored.
Disclaimer: The boys belong to whoever made the movie.
Read on Archive of Our Own.
Pairing: James Sawyer/Alison Sawyer/John Cale
Fandom: White House Down
Category: PWP, threesome
Characters: James Sawyer, John Cale, Alison Sawyer
Summary: Alison's interested in what James has enjoyed. John's not so sure about this idea but he could be persuaded if the conditions were right.
Feedback: Is always adored.
Disclaimer: The boys belong to whoever made the movie.
Read on Archive of Our Own.
Beta Run, the 3000 words of gen Iron Fist A/B/O that literally no one asked for. (An AU retelling of seasons 1 & 2; it runs through the end of season 2.)
I guess I can check another item off my fanfic bucket list.
Dynamic joint mobility drills are an alternative to stretching that “massage with movement” - this is a follow up to the stretching article I posted the other day; same author. My take on this? My lay person definition of stretching includes the kinds of things that are being discussed here. ysabetwordsmith had some pointed comments to make about knowing that stretching before exercise prevents injury, and in fact this article points out that there is a benefit to something that I would call stretching, but is apparently outside the definition that the author is using. Here, what is good is 'mobilisations' and what is unhelpful is 'stretching'. Anyone else who had that same reaction may also have the same lack of matching across definitions problem. (also, because of hypermobility, I tend to 'active stretching' because I'm less likely to do myself a mischief that way. Also, my first* ballet teacher liked reach and relax stretches)
*technically, probably my second, but I remember nothing of my first attempt at ballet, except the week I discovered I didn't have to go.
Probably the most demoralizing thing to do is clearing off my desk.
It has finally dawned on me, like in the last 15 minutes, that my desk is where Important Things I Don't Know What To Do With go to die.
Uncluttering my desk in a more durable fashion will entail figuring out some other way to handle things I don't know where to put. Perhaps part of that will be getting better at figuring out where they should be put in the first place.
In some cases that is challenging due to form-factor. I have two plastic accordian files here, which I can't figure out what they can fit in, to store them, e.g. In other cases it is challenging because I do, nominally at least, have a place something belongs, but there's something wrong with it. For instance, it seems my volume of business cards has recently exceeded the volume of my business-card box; inversely, I used to have a box I kept on my desk into which I put mailing supplies like stamps and envelopes, but when I reorganized my apartment in 2016, it stopped fitting on my desk and got moved somewhere else, so mailing supplies have gotten backed up on my desk. (The answer turned out to be, "Yes. Yes, as a matter of fact, I had not so long ago bought a book of forever stamps.") A few things on my desk are things with newly developed homes that hadn't yet moved in, e.g. I have ephemera which belongs in the new ephemera box I bought a few months ago.
But then there's other stuff. For instance, I found the large manila envelope which was shipped to me, containing what are basically SASEs for disposing of unwanted medications. I expect that momentarily that will be super useful, but if that envelope was sitting there since 2016, or was circulating my place for years before that, I wouldn't be surprised. I don't remember when it was I got it; I do remember receiving it, and promptly putting a few to good use, but then I had some left over and thought they were likely useful in the future. I have no idea where to store such a thing.
Hilariously, I now have a new category of difficult to handle paperwork: things that I know perfectly well how and where to file, but belong in files that.... are now in storage, thanks to the book mover. I'm starting a "File Me When We Get There" folder.
We found out around 8:30 that the library will be closed tomorrow. Weather is supposed to be a MESS all day long, so I'm really glad they aren't making anyone go in. Plus Thursday it is supposed to go up in temperature so hopefully that will make clean up easier on the custodial staff.
Only downside is that tomorrow was going to be my first bilingual (Spanish/English) storytime all by myself, and I was all prepared. Now I'll have to wait until March to try it out.
Trying to finish the main quest for Witcher 3 because I need to have some closure. Kind of like Fallout: New Vegas, I want to complete the main quest and then I'll go dabble in the DLC later.
Anyway, I was running around, doing very serious monster hunting with Geralt and I knocked a bandit off of his horse. Apparently this rocked the horse's world and when I came back down the road a few minutes later, he was doing this:
UGH click through to see the video, for some reason Flickr won't/can't embed a video or maybe Dreamwidth can't handle it. It's probably not that funny but at 11:30 last night, my brain thought it was hilarious!
TMI but my period hit me with a vengeance today. I was a couple days late and it was like Mother Nature looked at her watch and was like "OH SHIT! SORRY!" and just BAM! ...luckily I am paranoid and always have emergency supplies in my work bag. So, another bonus for tomorrow is that I can just sleep because usually when this happens I am wiped the next day.
I'm going to do another post later and ramble about Fallout: New Vegas because a few of you were cool with that. And I think I might start the book cover meme that is going around because you all know I have access to plenty of books!
Assuming I want to provide them keys. Lawyer didn't answer my question about what happens if I don't provide the keys, and whether the landlord can break in.
The internet seems to be saying it would take a court order to–
Aaaaaand I literally just got a txt message from the agent asking if I would be there to let her in tomorrow at 6:30pm. Which I was planning on being, anyways, so fine. It's not 24hrs notice, but I'll take it. She didn't try to strong arm me into providing keys, so a point in her favor.
I came home and went back to sleep until 3. Then I got up and read the internets. Kevin called and said there was some complication with his student loan, and theoretically we shouldn't have to pay it for 2 months, but also they might take $400 tomorrow, which we can't afford, so I hope that doesn't happen. Something about they haven't gotten his paperwork for his income based payment so he asked for a 2 month deferral based on financial hardship which was approved, but then wasn't written anywhere in his account. So hopefully we won't have to pay that and this will give us the money I took out of savings to pay for the last $400 draft they did last month back in our savings account. Theoretically he qualifies for a 36 month deferment based on me being on social security, but we don't want to do that because we can only do it once, and if something were to happen to his income we want to have it available. And I don't have a deferral available on my loans nor even an interest only payment plan, because mine are private loans and his are federal.
An hour later Kevin called to say he was on his way home, but he didn't want to talk. It was thundering so Rogue was sitting with me and shaking, and generally feeling awful. Poor Rogue. She didn't used to be afraid of thunder, but some lightning hit our house, and ever since then she's been afraid of loud noises. Because of the rain, Kevin took an extra long time getting home, during which I continued with reading the internets and then read some of a book.
Kevin got home and the question of what to do about dinner came up. I wanted to cook a pizza, but he didn't want pepperoni. But everything on ubereats was like $20 delivery charge, which we're certainly not paying. We tried to order a pizza without pepperoni, but they said 3-4 hours for delivery. Then we wound up ordering off of doordash from Corner Bakery. This led to some debate about tipping because I'd heard the company doesn't pay the employees tips, but as it turns out it's more like the company guarantees at least $5 for a delivery. If you pay more than $5 it all goes to the driver. If you pay less than $5 the company subsidizes your tip and guarantees at least $5. Otherwise, the drivers pretty much drive for just tips.
The food got here and we ate. Kevin's soup didn't show up, so he was cranky but he decided not to call and complain about it for some reason.
After dinner, I read the first chapter of Early Riser and then 3 chapters of the philosophy book I'm reading, which I should be able to finish either tonight or tomorrow night as I have 2 chapters left of that.
I stopped reading because River came into the chatroom and Sarah started talking to her, so there was social interaction to be had. Then Glitterature came in, and I started on this entry after getting ready for bed, right around 9pm. I'm not quite sure why I get ready for bed every night around 9 when bedtime isn't until like 6 hours later but it's sort of the time to be winding down, I guess.
Thursday's rain has now been changed to AM rain, so it might stop to have fighter practice. But then again, with the way my hip is hurting right now, maybe I should skip it, and save my physical abilities for Friday night and Saturday to go to MCA? I guess it will depend on how much I hurt tomorrow. Otherwise, Monday looks to be the only day coming up without rain. I hope all this rain goes away before Gulf Wars. Hopefully Rick will be available to help me seal the tent on Monday.
The kingdom heralds are running a survey. I took the opportunity to bitch about their awards website. You can't tell which are intro level and which are advanced level awards unless you already know.
I'm trying to hire someone to help me take down my tent the last Saturday of war. I think I've managed to hire the son of the woman who lives on site. I had previously hired him to help me set up my tent and things the first day of war. He says he thinks he can arrange something to help me take down, too. I hope he can. I'm not sure I'll be up to loading my car by myself after a week of sleeping on a cot.
Pennsic 50 is coming up in 2021. I really want to get to it, and I suspect that if I want to do that I need to start saving money now because Pennsic is a lot more expensive than Gulf Wars. I think after this year I can start putting $25 towards Gulf and $25 towards Pennsic each month and after Gulf 2020 I may decide not to go to Gulf 2021 so I can put $50 towards it each month. Then I have to see if Kevin will let me go away for 2 weeks.
I am going to get SO MUCH done!†
Here, let's try this markdown list thing again, for accountability:
- read at least one (1) library book††
- write at least five hundred (500) words of a wip
- finish the post-septic-tank-issues bathroom clean
- tidy the animals and dolls
- sew my cloak pockets finally! and replace the buttons, and do cutting for next sewing project
- do one (1) load of laundry
- finish two (2) knitting projects†††
- reorganize my desk
- be ready to start nf book weeding
- catch up on podcasts††††
- write up a dreamwidth post with actual substance
That's totally reasonable, right? Right! Especially since Sunbeam on the Couch won't be luring me into spending the morning basking like a cat.
My options are:
Words Are My Matter by Ursula Le Guin
Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel Jose Older
†††they're both less than 30 minutes from done, so it's not as ambitious at it sounds - it's just what's left is the annoying fiddly bits and I keep putting it off
††††I have seven podcasts I'm behind on, and they're all at exactly nine episodes, so that's only about 63 hours, perfectly doable!
†††††Apparently DW markdown does not like footnotes at all. or polls.