Now that the sun has slid past the equinox and the sky has filled with rain, it's time to turn our attention indoors. I'm therefore declaring this Saturday, September 30th, my first game day of fall. And hey, it's just a couple days after my birthday, so that's fitting.
As usual, bring games, friends, food, kids, drinks, and other things that might be fun. I've accumulated a few games over the last year or so that haven't gotten much play, so I'd love to give them another whirl. I've got a bunch of recently-brewed maple ginger spruce ale, so if you're not a fan of hops, you might enjoy this beer. I'll also have some kind of food going. RSVPs help me know how to plan accordingly.
My house is in the usual place. If you don't know where that is, send me an email (and join my games mailing list, where I include more details).
A very merry unbirthday to you!
To get some good AC I went to the cheap seat movie theater tonight and saw "Step." This is a documentary about a Step dance team at a girls' high school in Baltimore. The film focuses entirely on black girls and women. Recommended.
Warning: This poem contains some touchy topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features multiple references to past child abuse and neglect, social anxiety, financial anxiety, extreme body modesty, jealousy, shame, sex/gender diversity, creepy mannequins, visible scars from past abuse, unwelcome attention from Dr. G who quickly extrapolates the origin of Shiv's scars, unwelcome touching of Shiv by Edison who is too young to have learned better, lingering awkwardness from Halley's prior violation of Shiv's boundaries, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. However, this is the beginning of the whole beach thread, so you need it to make sense of the later poems and the story "Family Stories" by dialecticdreamer.
( Read more... )
Me? I spent most of my weekend at an ice-skating competition (apart from my kid competing, I'm also in training to be the set up person for the new judging tech). So my decluttering was limited to a bit of paperwork here and there. ...which actually, has been the theme of my week, although the amount of paperwork dealt with each day has varied from 'a couple of pieces of paper' to 'filled the inside bin three times over'.
In that time I've read Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism, which very closely details the rise of anti-Semitism in Western Europe between the French Revolution and the Second World War. Sayers is an awkward novelist in that her writing in the 1920s and 30s is sparkling in many ways, but soured a few times a book by discordant notes whenever "those people" are mentioned--Sayers seems to think that she is being very liberal-minded by mentioning Jewish people at all, much less having her characters vaguely tolerate them and discuss how a Jew might be as moral as the next fellow. (She had an unhappy early affair with a Jewish writer that seems to have affected her strongly)
I can see no situation in which they might ever have met, but still, the whole thing solidifies mentally for me into a unified whole if I imagine them at some evening party full of urbane and witty literary people, drinking and smoking and sounding clever, where Sayers is holding forth and being pleased with herself and Hannah Arendt is smoking in silence and taking down extensive mental notes for an essay later. She smiles when Sayers passes her an ashtray, but she's already plotting her revenge.
2) I have managed to complete the AV presentation which was driving me bats, and now I have to concentrate on getting my poetry portfolio done. Which means I have to settle down and actually get into a poetry mindspace, which is somewhat akin to having an unstructured dose of therapy. Poetry involves rummaging around in the subconscious, and the problem with doing this for me is I keep finding things in there I don't remember putting there. Like discovering the reason I'm so keen on Final Fantasy VII as a fandom is because I actually empathise strongly with Cloud Strife's memory problems (because they're rather akin to the ones I have as a result of chronic depression).
3) I've done my vote in the Marriage Equality survey, and I think Steve dropped both of them off in the post-box on Friday. I voted "yes", of course, because quite frankly I cannot for the life of me see how allowing people who aren't heterosexual to marry is going to "damage marriage". The arguments of the "No" campaign appear to be mainly based around "think of the children" (I don't have any myself, and I'm thinking of the non-heterosexual and non-gender-binary children who might want to get married when they grow up); "it's against our religion" (well, nobody's saying you have to go out and get married to anyone); "marriage is about having children" (oh, does that mean my infertile friend is damaging the institution of marriage? How about my mother, who's past the age of reproduction and still married to my father?) and so on. None of their arguments really appear to be based on anything sensible, because let's face it, we can't point to a sensible argument against extending marriage to non-heterosexual people.
(Also, on the whole "freeze peach" side of things: if anyone who is busy screaming about how it's going to result in priests being forced to perform gay weddings against their wills and against religious canon can actually point to a single case of this having occurred anywhere in the world where non-heterosexual marriage is already permitted, then I'll start paying attention to this particular argument. But until then... it's a stupid argument).
4) I have a bunch of seedlings from my mother that I picked up on Saturday - Mum buys a bunch of seedlings every year to plant out in her vegetable garden, but the vege patch isn't really all that big, so she's usually got some over. So now she's giving them to me, and I'm going to be planting them out in my vegetable garden space. If the rain ever lets up for long enough for me to get it done. I will also be surrounding them with enough snail bait to hopefully keep the troops of snails we currently have decimating everything in the garden well away for a while.
5) We have received an invitation to come over for dinner tonight from my parents. My brother, in a fit of enthusiasm (and in the grip of a high-protein diet) decided since today is a public holiday (and he thus doesn't have to go in to work) he was going to barbecue an entire beef brisket. So he went and bought himself what looks like half a cow - seriously, the thing occupied about half the width of my parents' chest freezer. So they've invited myself and Steve over to help consume the wretched thing. I may wind up being given some leftovers to take home with me, which means cottage pie for dinner some time this week.
Well, it's done now. Thankfully, I expected errors and bought a lot of extra felt.
The funny thing is that all his classmates, their families just drew on the bags with Sharpies. His mom asked me to do it due to lack of time, but I can't draw! I even had somebody else do the stencils for me! So now it looks like I put in way more effort than anybody else (despite the fact that I can see all the errors glaring out at me), but really, I just can't draw. Cutting and sewing is a LOT easier for me.
This is a 10,000-year rabbit hole!
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) was designed to store radioactive waste in Nevada. The storage area would not be safe to enter until 10,000 years had passed. Several groups of smart people came together to design warning messages that could outlive our civilization and protect future explorers. These designers knew they couldn't rely on any current language surviving that long, so they worked on landscape designs that project "this is toxic waste, don't mess!" ( audio/text background and four fanfics )
One of the forbidding-landscape proposals is incorporated into California, a meh dystopian novel published by a non-genre writer in 2014. If the WIPP project follows up on the experts' suggestions, elements of those proposal should be showing up in pop culture for millennia.
Sam: You should go to the thrift store and find something cool to replace it with! That’s how you get a really unique chess set.
R: So you’re saying his mistake became….a mistakapportunity?
Sam: Of the millions of words that I thought you might say when you paused, mistakapportunity didn’t even make the list.
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2y0YuXL
As our flight was not until after lunch, this morning after we'd packed and put our luggage in store we went to the Hipolit House: more historical domestic interiors, plus exhibition on the actress Antonina Hoffman and on theatre/acting more generally in C19th. Rather interesting.
Of the journey, not a great deal to be said except for the enormous distances walked within airports.
Anyway, ome agen.
I am willing to extend the quarter-price option for "Branded in His Memory" beyond the sale proper if people have confirmed their intent to sponsor it. These mega-epics are so big, they rarely sell at full price, so it's to everyone's benefit to catch them in a sale. If you're looking to shop in the sale but have not yet done so, here's a great opportunity to get the most bang for your buck. The one person who's seen this piece so far is raving about it.
I seem to have been lacking in energy the last week or so, which is probably mostly down to travelling back from visiting my folks - a tiring journey, adjusting back to coping for myself, plus being away from family again and all wrapped up in the end of summer seems to leach the agency out of me. I've even been failing to keep up with DW reading, which is most unusual. Hopefully I can get back in gear this week.
I did get out to a quiz with friends on Thursday, which had quite a setting - the crypt at Rochester Cathedral. As crypts go it was very cosy, they've turned the oldest half (c1083) into a display area for the Textus Roffensis (c1122-24, which contains the only known copies of the codes of laws of Aethelberht, Alfred and Cnut, and minor fripperies like the coronation charter of Heny I), while the area we used , a brash newcomer, built in the 1180s, has just been reworked as an event space - I think we may have been one of the first events to use it. A crypt with a bar gets my vote! Fortunately the refurbishment included a wheelchair lift (doubly so as we had another wheelchair user on our team), though my friends who volunteer as cathedral guides tell me it isn't where initially intended, when they excavated that area they found a completely unexpected Norman staircase and are still trying to figure out where it went to..
A picture of the bit we were in here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
I went out yesterday for my usual Saturday lunch, which was a little disappointing. I had the duck confit flatbread and the duck had clearly been overcooked, it was tasty, but very, very dry, where normally it's quite moist. So dry I decided to stay and have another drink, which was actually fortuitous. Just as I was finally about to ask for the bill the friend I used to have lunch with every Saturday appeared.. It's the first time she's been out on a Saturday since spring last year, having spent the year nursing her son through terminal cancer. Hopefully it's a sign she's getting her life back to normal. She had her eldest daughter with her, plus her 7 month old granddaughter, who is a little cutie. So we talked babies and it turned out her daughter had just moved house earlier in the week. 'Where too?' I asked, lazily assuming they must simply have swapped from one London suburb to another, and was puzzled when she started with a street number, but then laughed when she completed the address - she's moved just opposite the end of the street her mum lives on, granny is obviously quite firmly on tap for babysittting!
Vanity Fair: Mike Flynn’s Nuclear Side-Hustle Gets Even Shadier
Vanity Fair: Did Jared Kushner’s Data Operation Help Select Facebook Targets for the Russians?
Talking Points Memo: Report: Trump Using RNC, Campaign Funds For Russia Probe Legal Bills
Huffington Post: The blow-it-all-up billionaires
Mother Jones: How Donald Trump Lied to Conceal His Moscow Business Partner
Salon: How Trump followed a Russian map straight to Paul Manafort
Deadspin: Teresa Kaepernick On Trump Calling Injustice Protesters Sons Of Bitches: “It’s What Most Of Us Have Come To Expect From Him” (her magnificent Twitter response: "Guess that makes me a proud bitch!")
Vanity Fair: Has Milo Yiannopoulos’s Berkeley Troll Circus Become a Fyre Festival for the Right? (answer: looks like it, and it's glorious)
And of course the FFBE showing at Tokyo Game Show, which drove home a few different things:
- There is another artbook coming asdhasdjksfksddfgjkfgkkl I hope I manage to finangle this one also
- That special Rain in conjunction with said book + the Akibahara Festa just totally destroyed me
- I now have disgustingly cute chibis from the site for said Festa ~
- Damnit people stop teasing me with a release of Nichol's S2 render and a grainy picture showing one for Lid and Citra (and while we're at it, goddamn that new Amano art give me renders for all the Veritas plz) just give me more renders
- Oh jeezus that new key art ...
Welp, I have stuff to chew on anyway?
It's challenge time!
Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.
Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!
Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!
Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.
On a related note, if you are an author with published books and stories, make a will and designate someone or preferably, an institution likely to outlive you to handle things when you're gone. I have a current archive of my work at the University of Minnesota Tretter Collection, as well as donating to several other libraries, which takes care of what's out right now, but not what happens down the road. Some folks designate friends or the literary agencies they work with, for example. Have faith that someone will want to read your work down the road apiece and do some planning.
2. I am very slowly beginning to tackle the backlog of Stuff I Kept Putting Off While Studying; this week has been all about the clothes / fabric. I have assorted piles of worn-out clothes and out-grown clothes accumulating around my room. I pulled out all the actually worn-out stuff, and bagged that up to go to recycling. I bagged up two sets of bedding we never use for the charity shop. I bought myself some underwear that doesn't have holes in, and added all the ones that did to the recycling bags, along with my oldest & least useful bras. I sorted through my socks, and chucked a good few pairs in the recycling bags, and a few others into the charity bag. Finally I ended up sorting through my stash of pretty scarves and wraps and kept only the ones that I really love and may actually wear more than once a year. (I sort of aspire to be someone who routinely wears pretty scarves etc but in practice I am never that put-together very often.)
3. I took the charity bag to the EACH shop, and came back with a very shiny pair of not!DMs and a metallic blue stripey hat. (Amusingly, I had been whinging this week about needing new shoes for winter, and hating shoe shopping, so that was very well timed.)
4. Last Saturday I watched Robocop with fanf . He was inspired by this post (linked by andrewducker ), and I'd never previously watched it - not on purpose, just never got round to it. It's very very Paul Verhoeven isn't it? Gratuitious mixed-sex shower scene, gory violence, horrible-future-media & horrible-future-adverts. Although my reaction to the project manager with the huge glasses was a. love those glasses b. you are really enjoying imagining watsisface having his hand broken c. please tell me watsisface dies horribly after forcing a kiss on you and taking credit for your work (spoiler - he does). Watsisface really is a walking example of the unwarranted confidence of the mediocre white man.
5. Nicholas saw Trolls at holiday/after school clubs and asked for his own copy. It's not awful, and I like the music, but after sitting through it with him three times in less than a week, I think I have had enough of it for now. The trailers on it include Home (based on The True Meaning of Smekday) which I've been meaning to watch, and Nicholas is keen to do so too, so hopefully I'll enjoy that more.
It seems like a tradition that every time someone moves into this block of buildings, the water fails. Last summer, the main pump broke not long after I moved in. A new person is moving into the unit right next to mine. I haven't met her yet, but yesterday I talked a bit with her mother, who was helping with the move. The unit also doesn't have electricity, due to a miscommunication. She didn't know who the local electrical company was. (I had to do research to find out too.) At least I was able to give her a list of the utilities her daughter would have to deal with, so she may figure it out with less effort than I did.
I'm not clear on why the water failed. Last year we had a drought, but this year had plenty of rain. I was told one unit had a dripping faucet, but can that be enough to exhaust the water supply?
Sandy stroked the lovely back at present turned towards him, body out-flung in relaxation after pleasurable exertions. If Geoff was dog-like, Maurice Allard was more like a cat, and he never knew whether the claws would be out or whether it would be curling up and purring.
Maurice rolled over and looked at him. Is it not time you were leaving?
What, have I over-stayed my welcome?
Maurice glowered. All I may offer now is my company: even if you are not, I am by now entire done.
I am wont to consider myself a somewhat prickly fellow: but you are entire porcupine. Am I supposed to hurry into my clothes and pretend this did not happen?
Maurice sat up and clasped his arms around his knees. Why, are fellows enough will try to pretend 'tis not happening even when 'tis.
That cannot conduce to much felicity in the act. But might I not enjoy your company?
Maurice looked at him in astonishment. How could you so?
Oh come, here you are a fellow of learning, that Chumbell will admit even did you never attend Oxford, and very widely accepted in Society, how could you find my company agreeable?
My dearest friend is a former courtesan that had no education but what she gleaned as a child of the theatre, and is quite the wisest person of either sex that I know. You are a fellow that appears entire accepted and respected at the club –
Maurice snorted. I first entered the club by that discreet back door that admits young fellows that will oblige members for a guinea or so –
Also, while I daresay ladies will go cry up your eye for style and fashion, 'tis also given out that you are a fine businessman, that you manage your money very prudent, have sound investments –
How do you know all this?
Sandy sat up. Because, my dear fellow, I had your relatives coming to me, one by one, to inform me that indeed you were not one to fall into hysterical panic, that were you worried about some matter to do with your establishment there was surely something behind even did you not see clearly what it was, that I should not be put off by your manner, that is entire what is expected in your profession, that you have quite made something of yourself -
My dear, said Sandy, taking him by the shoulders, I fancy that you will feel a deal better once you have dined – is there anywhere nearby we might go do so?
You cannot wish to be seen dining with me! He threw himself off the bed and began looking for the clothes he had quite recklessly discarded.
Do you suppose that must be quite obvious that we have been about committing a capital offence, do we go dine?
Why else would you be in my company?
I might wish to give Lady Bexbury some present – say a fine fan, or a decoration for her hair, or a bracelet – and wish to be assured that 'twill sort with her wardrobe; I might be going to write some piece in a newspaper or even a pamphlet, upon the business of fashion and the sufferings of needlewomen; or, since 'tis given out that I am very clandestine and under a false name a writer of novels, seeking information for some fine tale of the silver fork school now that the Gothic strain is no longer in fashion.
Maurice stared at him.
Sandy slid off the bed and began to gather up his own scattered garments and to remember where he had left his spectacles. He observed Maurice moving about the room and was reminded of Josh Ferraby describing a panther: Josh was wont to enact whatever animal he was talking of, in private conversation, if not when he addressed scientific meetings. Undoubtedly something feline.
Well, said Maurice, when they were both dressed, do you care to dine at a common chop-house there is one in the next street.
So they went around the corner and into the next street and found a comfortable booth in the chop-house and ordered beef-steak and ale, and while it might not be as finely-cooked as anything that came out of Euphemia’s kitchen, it was perfectly wholesome and very welcome. Even did they sit in entire silence.
Eventually, when hunger was satiated, Sandy pushed away his plate and said, why do you stare so at me?
Maurice shook his head. You – surprize me. He fell silent again.
Indeed, said Sandy, in order to do something that looked like making conversation, I fancy that 'twould be a pretty gesture to buy some present for Clorinda that would be somewhat unexpected. Sure I have given her a deal of books over the years –
Jade bracelet, said Maurice. She lately saw some lady wearing one and wondered would it suit her.
I have no experience whatsoever in buying jewellery for ladies –
Say you so! (Well, that had evoked a smile.) I have a fair notion of the kind of thing she meant, and know where I may acquire one: I am also well-acquainted with the dimensions of Her Ladyship’s wrist. I will be about the matter and send it to you.
Or, said Sandy, I might come and collect it.
So you might, had you no more pressing business.
They looked at one another. 'Tis exceeding good of you to take the trouble, said Sandy.
Sure I owe you some favour.
They fell silent again, drank up their ale, and left. The rain had stopped. I can walk from here, said Sandy. Shall, I daresay, see you at the club if not before.
Maurice nodded and turned in the other direction.
Sandy shrugged mentally, and walked off towards Clorinda’s house.
Where he found her, seated at her desk and scribbling away with great ardour.
My dear, surely you have not been all this while at that immense bore Linsleigh’s party for his painting, that I daresay includes a deal of fellows in dishabille.
No, had opportunity to pursue this investigation –
That minds me, I am a sad forgetful Clorinda when I have been burying myself with abbots and monks and priors &C – came a note for you from Geoffrey Merrett, the boy was hoping for a reply but we sent him away. But do you write a reply, we might send William.
Sandy looked up from the note. He writes that something very troubling has occurred and would desire dine with me at his club at my earliest convenience. But I think we may spare William until the morn: I will write something now and he can take it then.
Clorinda got up from the desk and waved him towards it. Be about the matter and we can give it to Hector. Sure I hope 'tis not that he has got the lady with child. And, now I am come back from the Middle Ages, I mind that there was another troubling matter I wished open to you.
After the note had been given to Hector with instruction that he need not dispatch it immediately, and he had brought in port and madeira, Clorinda pushed the book in which she had been writing into a drawer of the desk and went to sit down by the fire.
May be nothing at all, she said, but Lucy Lowndes came call, saying that she had been to call upon Gretchen Paffenrath, and found her in a very great taking, saying that she thinks she saw her husband lately while she was shopping in Oxford Street. But did not want to go too close and did not get a clear view, but ‘twas very like indeed.
Hmm, said Sandy, I am surprized that he did not immediately go call upon her.
He may not know that she was left so very well-provided by Mr Knowles: oh! I hope he tied up any settlement carefully against any claim by that dreadful fellow.
I fancy Sebastian Knowles might know somewhat of the matter: I will go call upon him as soon as maybe.
Sandy suddenly sneezed.
My dear! I hope you do not go take a chill. You had better go to bed at once, I will send Prue up with a warming pan.