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.

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.
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.

motherhood and not wanting it

Jun. 19th, 2017 11:16 am
tielan: Leia, RotJ, concerned (SW - Leia concern)
[personal profile] tielan
I'm trying to think of whether there's any societally acceptable way (offline, outside of the kind of circles that we encounter here in online fandom) for a woman who's already had kids to express the sentiment that she wishes she'd never had them and I'm coming up blank.

The ones I can think of would mostly get waved away as "selfishness" - ie. career interruption, limitations on lifestyle - or "that's part of the role" - ie. emotional/physical/mental struggle, dealing with the children 90% of the time.

Can you think of one?

linkspam on a hot Sunday

Jun. 18th, 2017 05:40 pm
cofax7: D'Argo: there is always time for beer (FS - Beer Time - Saava)
[personal profile] cofax7
Courtesy of MetaFilter: some brilliant G&S political filk.

I really enjoyed this set of post-series Harry Potter snippets.

Gotta love Rebecca Solnit.

This site has a great detailed overview of the Trump-Russia scandal.

Oh, this is hella cute.

This story about refugees in Dallas gave me some hope.

This story took some of that hope away. :-(

This article discusses how the federal flood insurance program cannot withstand global sea level rise.

This Outside Magazine article about pre-existing conditions has politics showing up in usual circumstances.

Sophie Gilbert on toxic masculinity, in The Atlantic.

The more studies I read, the more I learn that no single food or diet affects everyone the same way. It's fascinating.

Holy crap this is fantastic. In 2013, Ward and a colleague bought an old lobster boat and anchored it in the path of a 40,000-ton coal freighter at Brayton Point in Massachusetts. The state brought charges, and on the day of the trial-with climate scientist Dr. James Hansen and activist Bill McKibben standing ready to testify-Bristol County district attorney Sam Sutter stunned the court by dropping the charges and announcing that the protesters were right. Standing in front of the courthouse, waving an essay by McKibben, DA Sutter called climate change one of the gravest crises our planet has ever faced and declared that the political leadership was failing the people. He then joined Ward in a climate march in New York, in Central Park. From this article about the folks who closed the valves on the DAPL.

*

In other news, I reached the end of Marie Brennan's Lady Trent novels this week. In the Sanctuary of Wings was very enjoyable, and my only complaint is that the series is over. :-(

*

In other news, it's the hottest day of the year, but I had a head of home-grown garlic from my brother's MIL, so I had to use it to make roasted garlic bread. Roasted garlic bread )
neotoma: "Squee!" goes the bunny (SqueeBunny)
[personal profile] neotoma
BeauSoleil will be performing at the Millennium Stage on Tuesday, June 27. I'd love to meet up with other fans for the show and have dinner afterward, probably at BeefSteak (vegetarian friendly). They are performing at Millenium Stage as a collaboration between the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Speaking of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival -- June 29-July4 and July 6-9 -- this year is the 50th anniversary and they're focusing on Circus Arts! Also 'On the Move' and '50 Years, 50 objects'. But I'm definitely going for the circus!

Let me know if you're interested in either event (or both!) and we can arrange to meet up.
neotoma: Loki from Thistil Mistil Kistil being a dingbat (Loki-Dingbat)
[personal profile] neotoma
Batard of sourdough, chicken empanada, tamale del elote, 2 quarts sour cherries, 1 quart yellow sweet cherries, 1 quart strawberries, 1 pint apricots, 1 pint blueberries, 1 pint snap peas, and a pork tenderloin (aka pork fish).

Yesterday, there were peaches (!!!) at the market, and today there were apricots. I think everything is going to be weeks early this summer.

Currently, I'm macerating strawberries to make jam tomorrow -- I'll need to go shopping for organic lemons as I'm going to zest them, and pick up ginger for the cherry ketchup. I'll marinate and cook the pork later; I might make a sweet potato to go with it, especially if I'm going to eat if for lunch at work tomorrow.
neotoma: Loki from Thistil Mistil Kistil being a dingbat (Loki-Dingbat)
[personal profile] neotoma
Quart of mocha moo, pint of cheese curds, 3 dry quarts of red sweet cherries. They had some of the yellow sweet cherries, but no pie cherries -- either they're not in yet or they sold out before I got in.

I'm planning on making sweet cherry ketchup and some other sauces and entering them in the county fair this year -- I've already got jam that I could enter, so it'll be fun. I could do a 'selection of five pickles, relishes, or sauces' or 'selection of five jams/jellies' for the Home Arts -- Department 41, Food Preservation division.

I also might enter the Kraken Knuckles I am making for [personal profile] fabrisse in the Adult Gloves, Colorwork division, and either the orange gloves I made for myself, or the purple gloves I made for [personal profile] greenygal for Adult Gloves, One Color or Yarn, if I can find the buttons that were supposed to go with them and actually sew them on...

And in the very unlikely event I get my Fox Paws done, I am damn well entering it into competition because that pattern is ridiculous... gorgeous, but ridiculous.

(no subject)

Jun. 18th, 2017 09:22 am
tielan: (mr president)
[personal profile] tielan
It used to be that my LJ flist would move through 40 posts in a day or two, while my DW readlist would struggle.

These days, it's quite the opposite.

--

I've had a busy week and a pretty busy weekend, and came home to a little sister (B2 - she comes and stays over weekends, as compared to B1 who lives with me) who's really more like having a male partner - you have to ask her to do any housework, and be pretty specific about how it should be done and when, or else she assumes that it doesn't need doing, or that it's not her responsibility.

She had five hours from the time she got home last night until the time she went to bed to wash some dishes, and now she's reluctantly saying that "she'll stay overnight to get the dishes washed if necessary". It wouldn't have been necessary IF SHE HAD DONE IT LAST NIGHT. Thirty minutes. Maybe an hour (she takes forever to wash dishes, honestly). But, no.

I had a little dummy spit. Told her to do one thing that needs doing - and no, hanging out the washing (one of the functional reasons she comes around and stays) doesn't count.

So today - as much of a day off as I have - I get to spend cleaning the house and washing the dishes which have sat there for several days already.

Meh.

Jun. 16th, 2017 12:08 pm
aj: (curious)
[personal profile] aj
Generally crappy Friday today. Lots of work that feels like I'm vaguely treading water. Plus I am having a super low-energy day. And my weekend's pretty much spoken for. Nothing terrible, I just have places to be and things to do that I can't put off or get out of. Which is fine, but I tend to work better if I have SOME wiggle room. Ah, well.

I'm also exhausted and have a bit of a headache. Which makes it weird that the only thing I want to listen to is Imagine Dragons. They're basically percussionists dressed up as a band and are great at percussion. It's why I tend to love their live performances. They've usually got a full percussion section and large drums on stage. Remember the Kendrick Lamar&IG performance at the Grammy's? I want to hug those drums. That said, I'm very confused why my poor headache-ridden brain is all "PAIN. BUT KEEP THE DRUMS COMING."

*shrug*

I'll admit that I very much admire the lead singer's torso. He's so tall! There's just something really cool about the way he moves through space. His reach is insane. Plus, he's a big dude and you can kinda see the power in the way he moves. It's neat!

Class went fine. There are apparently a ton of us in Chicago, so possible meetup. Which I think I'd be ok with? Meh. Tons of reading to do next week. And I need to start working on my first response paper. *SIGH* Ugh, writing.

thank gifsets it's friday!

Jun. 16th, 2017 03:26 pm
tielan: (LOL)
[personal profile] tielan
Except I have no gifsets. So here, have some links instead!

buzzfeed: Australians Are Using Turnbull's Leaked Trump Impression To Troll Stupid Americans: Remember that woman who planned to move to Australia after Obama was elected, because the PM was a Christian, and it turned out that our PM was a redheaded female in a defacto relationship and we had gun control?

Well, this is kind of the same thing. Although in this case, the Aussie PM made fun of Trump at a media dinner and someone leaked the footage. And, of course, a lot of Americans got mouth-frothy at the disrespect. Of course, us being Australians, we can't resist sallying back - with extra mockage. Because we're Australians: we'll laugh at just about anything...

--

Why Are Republicans So Cruel To The Poor:
The myth of meritocracy and its cousin, the myth of individualism, exert a powerful hold over many Americans. Social scientists and others have repeatedly demonstrated that American society is not a true meritocracy. Other research has shown that intergenerational income and class mobility are also relatively uncommon in the United States.


--

everydayfeminism: Equality vs. equity.

There was a really good article about equality vs fairness that I read linked off FB, but thanks to my FB app reverting back to the most recent post in my feed when I back out of an article, I can't find it anymore. It had a good explanation of the question of fairness - the idea of deserving and undeserving.

I think that's something worth considering when discussing things with conservatives: their idea of 'fairness' doesn't match the ones that liberals tend to hold - "all men are born equal" they say, even as liberals cry out in the voice of Meg Murry: "equal does not mean the same!"

--

the guardian: Indian Muslims are setting up a system whereby they negotiate for their daughters to marry without dowries

“We travelled to different Muslim areas and held seminars and meetings and explained to people how the practice of dowry goes against the teachings of Islam. We have involved imams, qazis and community leaders in all Muslim villages in the three districts,” Ali said.

--

the guardian: The Universal Basic Income, arguments for and against.

including this comment which I have reproduced in its entirety )

--

Tumblr: Wonder Woman: "I believe in love." The argument that it doesn't have to be romantic love that changes the way Diana looks at humanity - their capacity for great good and not just great evil.

SBS.com: The Supper Clubs that are quietly fighting racism. I think the last time one of these was anywhere near me, it was already booked out.

--

the guardian: the donut model of economics by George Monbiot. I need to read this more closely - may have linked this here before, but I don't remember anymore.

--

Finally, here: have Handel's "Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheba In Solomon's Court" - WITH BRASS.

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra performed this at the last concert my sister and I went to at the start of June and it was BEAUTIFUL in person.

Thoughts on books.

Jun. 15th, 2017 11:43 am
aj: (quiet)
[personal profile] aj
Well, it looks like I won't probably get through my summer reading project before my class starts. Under a recommendation from havocthecat's request for book recs post, I picked up "The Craft Sequence" by Max Gladstone. Which is basically an omnibus of his first five novels. They are not short novels.

I've finished two and a half of them (Three Parts Dead, Two Serpents Rise, and Full Fathom Five, for reference) and I think I kind of need a bit of a break? On the one hand, they are well written. There's also some pretty conscientious work on the part of the author to make the varying lead tertiary characters something other than white and straight. In the three books, there hasn't been a traditional hero's journey or arc. The closest to that was probably in 2SR, but spoiler ) And even the Rookie Wins The Day trope spoiler. )

All that said, I'm having a bit of a hard time with FF5. I think the whole thing got answered for me a few minutes ago when I read a review calling it Fantasy Noire. Which, that seems really apt? But I fucking hate noire? It - as a genre - is just kind of incompatible with how I see the world and how I want to enjoy my fiction? But the characters are awesome. It makes me a bit sad that this is the first published work I've read wherespoiler ). I need to work on that harder. And Kai is awesome! But I am having a really hard time connecting to her as a person. A lot of that, though, rests on the author?

On the one hand, it's really nice to have an author just toss you into the world and let you sink or swim with hints at cultural differentiation. But these books only kind of build on cultural knowledge gained from book to book? So unlike, for example, the Peter Grant novels where you see more and more of PETER'S London, this series bumps you from continent to continent for each book, and while some base stuff stays the same, the cultural component varies wildly. For example, 3PD is set in a kind of Not!Berlin/Maybe Not!New York City, while 2SR feels a lot more like Not!São Paulo/maybe Not!Mexico City. Last we have FF5 which is Not!Hawaii. Think about how NOT THE SAME the people in those places are?

To be fair, I think I wouldn't be having the same issue in terms of cultural whiplash if it wasn't also the same world with inter-related characters? And that the culture is a lot of the point in the book? Because there IS build from book to book.

Basically, I'm feeling a little lost in this series. It's not a bad thing, just different and a bit frustrating. With Kai, I'm not sure how much of my disconnect with her is my general disinterest in spirituality, my frustration with just not knowing what the fuck is going on in her head despite being in her head as a pov character, or the fact that I kinda got tricked in to reading a mystery novel where I just don't know what the damn mystery is supposed to be?

Sigh.

It's a good book, but Jiminey Cricket, I kind of just want the ~flowering narrative~ moment to COME already. I hate James Joyce as a writer for everything this book chooses to be. And while I am going to finish it (probably), cripes.

Have any of you read these books? Super curious!

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