Wednesday reads, politics, woe

Jun. 28th, 2017 08:42 pm
cofax7: XKCD boom de yada (Boom de Yada)
[personal profile] cofax7
Oh, it's Reading Wednesday! Cool!

Just Finished: Jackalope Wives and Other Stories by Ursula Vernon ([personal profile] tkingfisher). A nice collection, of which I'd read most of the stories before, but not all of them. I do enjoy Vernon's attachment to women of a certain age as her protagonists; it's a pleasant change from much of the world of fantasy.

Prior to that I read the last Lady Trent novel, In the Sanctuary of Wings, which I enjoyed, and wished there were more.

I also picked up, and put down, Hugh Howey's Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue, because I found the characters intolerably irritating and his portrayal of an 18-year-old girl unpleasant. It was just ... off. Bah.

Currently Reading: Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters for book club. It's long, but I have more than a month, and it's a pleasant read so far.

Next Up: Erm. Probably Tremontaine Season One, although there are some new books coming out I'm interested in. Like City of Miracles, which I will drop everything to read once it comes in at the library.

*

Power in the Absence of Money: Why Trump hates bureaucrats so much. I love this article and the respect it shows to the civil service. [T]hat's what we're talking about when we talk about the federal workforce. We're talking about a whole bunch of people who go to work every day trying to keep us safe, whether they're carrying an M4 and wearing body armor over in Mosul, or manning a computer at the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Health and Human Services. The terrible "swamp" Trump has such contempt for sits there every day in drab offices they endured heavy traffic to get to, and they regulate the excesses of the vaunted "market" Trump and his billionaires are so worshipful of.

More on the plan to destroy the civil service. This is a smart, long, well-researched article.

And on that note, here is a report on what it's like inside the EPA right now. It's not good.

Masha Gessen on The Reichstag Fire Next Time: The coming crackdown. Argh, and eeps.

*

ETA: Let's end on a better note, with this ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY AMAZING video of "Immigrants" from the Hamilton Mixtape. So. Good.

doo doo doo do doooooooooooooooooo

Jun. 28th, 2017 11:24 am
quigonejinn: (Default)
[personal profile] quigonejinn
Spotify likes to do auto-generated playlists -- like, it'll pull tracks that you have on various playlists and group them into pop themed playlists and rock-themed playlists and classic music or whatever. But they've recently started doing ones based on tracks you've listend to a lot at various times, and uh.

GUESS WHAT I LISTENED TO THE PACIFIC RIM THEME A LOT FOUR SUMMERS AGO GUESS WHAT IT STILL MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I COULD STAB A KAIJU IN THE FACE WITH A 50 FOOT CHAIN SWORD GUESS WHAT I STILL LOVE MAKO GUESS WHAT

...

Recently worked my way through all three books of Diana Wynne John's "Howl's Moving Castle" series, and they're as charming as advertised -- magic cats! Sisterhood! Babies! Domestic housekeeping being valued and not denigrated! The intro to the first book is one of the most effective openings that I've ever read in the genre of updated fairytales, because it's clean and tight and shows such awareness of the form, while also making smart, focused tweaks.

On the other hand, who gives a fuck about Howl? As usual, I'm apparently in the minority on this, because there's a bit at the end of one of the books where Jones mentions how many girls show up at readings with crushes on Howl, whereas I'm just ????????????????????????? WHAT IS THERE TO LIKE ????????????? SOPHIE WHAT DO U SEE IN HIM??????????????

I told Mr. Rhod this, along with the bit from Wikipedia about Howl being an interpretation of the Byronic hero ideal, and he started to laugh at how I was surprised at not liking Howl. Because it's completely true -- Howl, and his flashy, dramatic ways and inability to commit and unwillingness to take responsibility are things that actively repel me. I'm too old for that shit, and like, there's a bit in Howl's Moving Castle about him throwing a temper tantrum in the course of days-long sulk, and causing the whole house to be covered in green goo that Sophie has to work herself to the bone cleaning up, right?

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooope.
tielan: SGA: Teyla and Elizabeth sitting on the bed (SGA - teyla/liz)
[personal profile] tielan
My achilles tendon stiffened up on Monday, to the point where merely walking from work to the station, from one station platform to the next, and walking home from the bus stop was awful.

So I worked a half-day from home yesterday and saw a physio, and I'm working from home again today because it's still twinging a little.

Down side: all the testing and over-the-shoulder help I could use right now is not available. And there's quite a lot of it.

Up side: I can pick up my Sydney Transport card which I dropped on a bus the other week and which someone kindly picked up and turned in.
neotoma: Loki from Thistil Mistil Kistil being a dingbat (Loki-Dingbat)
[personal profile] neotoma
Sour Cherry Jam -- from Food in Jars: Preserving Food in Small Batches Year-Round by Marisa McClellan

Ingredients )

Directions )

Yield: 3 pint jars -- or 2 pint jars, 2 half-pint jars, 2 quarter-pint jars.
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
[personal profile] neotoma
Batard of sourdough, cheddar scone, lemon bite, 2 quarts of sour cherries, 2 quarts of red sweet cherries, 1 pint of yellow sweet cherries, 3lbs of blueberries, 2 pints of black raspberries, 1.5 lb rhubarb bag of spring mixed greens, pint of fingerling potatoes, spring cheese, mixed milk morbier cheese, 2 hardneck garlic bulbs, pint of apricots,
tielan: (AVG - Natasha)
[personal profile] tielan
[personal profile] rydra_wong has a post that talks about fucking up when calling political reps. It's also about the current state of the attempt to pass TrumpCare.

Fandom Giftbox

Jun. 26th, 2017 11:30 am
tielan: Wonder Woman (Default)
[personal profile] tielan
[community profile] fandomgiftbox is running again in July-August. It works a little like Fandom Stocking, but is in the middle of the year, instead of the end when all the Yuletide/Santa exchanges take place.

You post a comment with the lists of your requests for fandoms/characters/prompts, and the type of gifts you'd like to receive, and the mods post your lists in a separate post which is temporarily screened. People may then gift you fic and art based on what you've posted.

You don't have to gift other people - it's not an exchange. However, it's hoped you'll go looking for someone who has interests that match yours and give them a little something.

Sign Ups at [community profile] fandomgiftbox run until the 7th July.

fandom things

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:27 am
tielan: (AVG - maria)
[personal profile] tielan
With two assignments and a pinch hit to get done in the next week, none of which are even close to completed, along with both the Porn Battle community ([community profile] pbam) and the Fan Flashworks community ([community profile] fan_flashworks) running amnesty weeks, it may not have been the wisest time to subscribe to Netflix.

But I do have Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, Sense8, and a number of movies lined up for watching...
neotoma: Loki from Thistil Mistil Kistil being a dingbat (Loki-Dingbat)
[personal profile] neotoma
Sweet Cherry Ketchup/BBQ Sauce -- from Saveur, 28 August 2013

Ingredients )


Instructions )

Yield 3 to 4 half-pint jars; I got 3 half-pint jars and 1 quarter-pint jar today. [personal profile] ellen_fremedon informs me that this is excellent on tofu as well as meat.
neotoma: Roadrunner fetish goes "beep beep!' (roadrunner)
[personal profile] neotoma
Spanakopita, roasted olive bun, mixed herb bread, beet confit, pita, fresh fettuccine, spinach & cheese ravioli, eggplant ragu, quart of Mocha Moo, pint of cheese curds, spinach empanada, bluefish empanada, 2 bottles of hickory vinegar (made from shagbark hickory, the same source for hickory syrup).

I'm going to make Sweet Cherry ketchup this afternoon; I've got a six-at-a-time cherry pitter to help with that. Hopefully, the hickory vinegar will give is a nice finish that will make it into an interesting barbecue sauce.

Bleh.

Jun. 23rd, 2017 11:03 am
aj: (quiet)
[personal profile] aj
Exhausted. Woke up in the middle of the night with abdominal cramps that a.) had nothing to do with my period and b.) lasted so long I fell asleep in the bathroom waiting for them to pass. Nearly hit my head on the vanity when I woke up and stumbled back to bed. Then got woken up in the middle of a REM cycle to get up and go to work.

Cheerfully, I did not kill myself or anyone else when I drove there. (Having a car is still weird.) And I drove because The Parents ended up having a SURPRISE! Grandma-estate issue that no one knew about until this last Tuesday and had to drive to Iowa to take care of it. And their terrible dog has bitten every other possible dog sitter, so I get to take off work early and go let him out. Sigh.

School chat. )

Sigh.

Jun. 22nd, 2017 03:56 pm
aj: (defeat)
[personal profile] aj
I wish I actually had the drive or interest to drink. Because I feel like I should really want a bucket of booze right now.

I do need a blood pressure pill though.

links for Friday

Jun. 22nd, 2017 10:41 pm
tielan: (books - shiny)
[personal profile] tielan
NPR: Why Honeybees Are The Wrong Problem To Solve

From what I understand, the problem is less that 'without bees we won't be able to pollinate anything' and more 'the way we agribusiness is a problem - and the way we use bees in agribusiness is part of that problem'.

--

NPR: The Astrobiology Of The Anthropocene (2016)

Basically, like the Jurassic, Triassic, and other '-cene' eras, we're now in the Anthropocene. A new way of looking at things.

--

The Establishment: Adoption Is A Feminist Issue (But Not For The Reasons You Think)

Ties in with abortion and childbearing, and (I think) points out the issue that if women weren't crowded into a place where they have no economic choices/advantages, then both adoption and abortion rates would drop.

Which is pretty much what this article I linked to (from a Christian minister in Sydney) points out - that having children economically disadvantages women, and if we as a society (or culture, or community) are not going to help a woman bear the burden of children, then even the ones who eventually want children are going to abort if they become pregnant at an inconvenient time.

--

The Atlantic: The Cheapest Generation

What do you do when an entire generation of society largely don't want or can't afford the products you're selling? What does that do to the model of economic growth?

--

Sydney Morning Herald: Three Women Who Regret Motherhood

Earlier this week, I asked if there was any socially acceptable way for a woman to indicate she regretted having children. The kick for that question was this article.

I think the most helpful thing I got was [personal profile] havocthecat saying that perhaps there needs to be some kind of 'mourning ceremony' for all the things that are going to be lost in having a child. A baby shower is supposed to be the joyful, hopeful, encouraging thing, but we don't talk about the negative side of changes to a woman's status when she becomes a mother.

--

Racked: The Politics of Pockets (2016)

How and why women's clothing has no pockets.

--

The New Yorker: China's Mistress Dispellers

The people who are hired to get rid of China's mistresses - chase them off, buy them out - whatever works. And the culture and sociology and reasoning behind the scenes of such a business, as well as an insight into a brief history of Chinese marriage.

--

The New Yorker: Power To The People (2015)

An article about solar power and the part that utility companies - and regulation - may have to play in that; to their advantage, but in the face of the old model. (Man, how does that sound familiar.)

There was an interesting article that popped up as a result of this (or which popped this up as a result) about solar power in Africa - that's a 2017 article, about startups in Africa selling cheap power to sub-Saharan Africans, the advantages, disadvantages, and moral questions. I don't know where that article is, though - I thought I saved it, but maybe not.

--

Modern Maker's Retreat: A New Perspective on Modern Quilting

The last few years have seen arguments over what defines modern quilting, and this woman has an interesting perspective on it all (and one which I've lightly touched on in quilting blogging). Quilting used to be a thrift task - done because there were scraps that needed to be used rather than wasted. Now, it's a creative work of art - done for the joy of it, and by people who have the resources to spend on function-specific tools and fabric. She thinks that's the difference between 'traditional' and 'modern' quilting for her. I can't entirely agree; I think colour and fabric and style comes into play as well.
tielan: Wonder Woman (WW - bracelets)
[personal profile] tielan
Dear Author,

Thank you so much for writing for me! I'm so glad you like Diana (you'd kind of have to because she's in all my options) and I hope that you enjoy the process of this exchange!

Please remember that pretty much everything but the Do Not Wants (DNWs) is optional.

dear author )

Ultimately, I love these characters and these dynamics and would really like to see stories about them, so if you can't do the specific scenarios I've given, then just write them how you see them and we'll be cake by the ocean!

Five Thursday Things

Jun. 22nd, 2017 08:45 am
tielan: (PacRim - Mako)
[personal profile] tielan
Taking a leaf out of [personal profile] kass' book:

1. Cats who love being petted. A friend came by last night, and her cat is an "I will allow you to caress me at arm's length" kitty, while mine are both "Oh, you have a LAP! We are FOREVER FRIENDS!" cats.

2. The realisation that Diana is all of us who want to make the world a better place: fierce anger, fierce sorrow, bitter defeat at the enormity of our failings, and loving hope at our ability to change the world.

3. #Throwback Thursday on Spotify - soundtrack hits. Currently listening to Seal's "Kiss From A Rose" - I have no idea what this song is about, but I love the harmonics of it, and the 'bridges' between chorus and verse.

4. At some point in the last couple of days, I hit 400 subscribers on AO3. That's 400 people who want to be notified when I post any fanfic, because they'll at least give it a chance.

5. Just how many wonderful people and opportunities and gifts I have in my life. Including the friends I've made on the internet. Thanks, ppls.

5 things make a post

Jun. 19th, 2017 08:03 pm
bedlamsbard: miscellaneous: woman pulling her pink corset tight (a woman's armor (ravenclawbest))
[personal profile] bedlamsbard
1. Oh good, the new school year doesn't start for another three months and I'm already in "I am a failure compared to other people I know" mode. (I'm not planning to move until early/mid August -- the term starts late August -- and several people I know who are also starting grad school moved to their new cities this past week. I am reminding myself there's no reason to be there that far in advance when I know I won't be doing anything productive, and I'll just be paying rent and making my own food two months early.)

2. I do, I think, have a place in Atlanta, with a friend of a friend who was looking for a new roommate. We've been e-mailing for a few months and had a video chat last week, and she seems nice and this should work out. I do keep worrying about furniture and stuff, but she said I could send things there so I might end up buying furniture online and shipping it there in advance of my arrival.

2a. I still have not made, like, concrete plans on how to get my belongings from point A to point B. I should...do that...eventually...I guess.

3. I feel terrible about the fact that my personal crisis and breakup coincided with, you know, the American political crisis, and they definitely fed off each other in ways that I don't really want to examine too closely -- I mean, my reactions to both did, I guess, obviously my personal life was not affecting American politics. But it definitely affected the way I reacted to it, and the emotional and mental energy I had (have) to deal with it. I don't know, there's not really a point to this.

4. I've been fighting a lot with my father lately, and it's exhausting and demeaning and awful. And it's not even fighting, per se, or maybe it is -- like, the other day he came up to my room because we're having an internet problem and he wanted to see how my connection is, then stayed in my room looking around at my art and figurine displays after I asked him to please get out of my room. "No, I want to see your things." "This is making me uncomfortable." (At this point he's walking around my room; also, I feel like I should add that I have a fair number of Star Wars pinups in my room, so like, my father looking at sexy ladies? V. uncomfortable.) "Why? I want to look at your little things. Obviously you want them to be looked or you wouldn't have put them up, don't be so sensitive." "They're here because I want to look at them and this is making me uncomfortable." "Don't be so sensitive or get out of my house." Etc.

And then yesterday I made a comment about having already done my exercise for the day and my dad said, "What, did you walk downstairs and then up again?" and I, well, overreacted and said, "This is why I don't do anything when you or mom are at home, because you always make fun of me!" "No one is making fun of you, don't be so sensitive." "You literally just did!" "I just made a comment, don't be so sensitive." And then I went upstairs and cried and tried to figure out if I really had overreacted.

So that's been happening a lot lately.

5. I am moving to Atlanta in August, so I'm trying to decide if I want to go to Dragon*Con or not. I've never go to a con besides Star Wars Celebration, and I'm not sue if I actually know anyone who's already going or not, so... *hands* Also, I can't figure out from the website if I can go for just one day or if I have to pay for the whole weekend? I am probably missing something obvious.

rarepairfest Dear Author letter

Jun. 20th, 2017 11:32 am
tielan: (AVG - maria)
[personal profile] tielan
Dear Author,

These are guidelines more than anything else (except the DNWs): please keep that in mind while reading!

requests )

These are all JUST IDEAS, by the way! Ultimately, write the characters and relationship we matched on in the way you see their relationship and we'll be fine.

Thanks so much for writing for me, dear Author!
neotoma: Loki from Thistil Mistil Kistil being a dingbat (Loki-Dingbat)
[personal profile] neotoma
I made Strawberry Vanilla Jam tonight, with limes instead of lemons... because the store didn't have organic lemons. If I'm going to put zest into a food, I prefer that there's no chance of pesticides going into the food.

Anyway, the yield was 2 pint jars, 2 half-pint jars, and 2 quarter-pint jars of strawberry vanilla jam... one of those pint jars will go to the Ag Fair, but the rest..? Will get distributed at whim, probably. I have promised [personal profile] texasgrandma that I will label anything else I send her, instead of sending mystery ketchup, but that's all.

the DCEU has a Wonder Woman problem

Jun. 20th, 2017 08:33 am
tielan: Wonder Woman (WW - bracelets)
[personal profile] tielan
Actually, I think it's the same problem that Marvel is facing now for me: heroic heroes vs. world weary Nietzchean ubermensch.

polygon.com: The DCEU has a problem — everybody likes Wonder Woman
With Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins has returned the focus to humanity writ large. She recognizes that superheroes resonate precisely because their stories are familiar. Yes, Diana is better than the rest of us. As a fictional character, she can do things we can’t, from both a moral and physical perspective. However, that doesn’t make her alien. In the film, her actions instill the allied forces with courage and resolve. The later heroics of Steve, Sameer & Co are less spectacular, but their contributions are no less meaningful and the audience is equally able to learn from that example. Diana inspires everyone around her to be better. That gives the film genuine warmth and makes Wonder Woman relevant to anyone watching in a theater.

But the quotation that I found particularly interesting in the context of my (rapidly dying) love of the MCU is this:
He [Snyder] wants to see Batman have a dustup with Superman, and he’s not overly concerned about how mere mortals relate to the personal struggles of gods.
Which is pretty much how I feel about CACW: the point that would have made for the most interesting movie regarding the nature of heroes - the Accords - was pretty much just a McGuffin so we could eventually see Iron Man fight Captain America (and the Winter Soldier).

(no subject)

Jun. 19th, 2017 12:49 pm
aj: (yeah right)
[personal profile] aj
I forgot how much reading school is. Which is kinda hilarious given what I do. Ah, well.

I did get the bulk of my weekly reading done yesterday. I just need to finish two articles (one of which would be super interesting if the author could just find the thesis and stop talking around it) and follow up with some of the in-class participation stuff. I think my Sundays and Tuesdays are reserved for school, while Monday/Wednesday/Friday are going to be assigned gym days.

Maybe I shouldn't get a cat. I am never going to be fucking home ever again.

My shoulder is also cranky because I did extra swimming. Which. Not fair.

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