I've nearly finished recharging the rechargeable batteries, snuck out a handful of papers and a coloring book to the recycling, and sent 3 birthday cards that have been lingering on my desk for the last week. At least sending the cards makes me feel like I'm decluttering.
How are your efforts going?
It's very good at what it does.
It's very shivery when they realise how far the horrible grey mist on the universe has spread.
It sets up a very convincing backdrop of angels and other beings fighting against badness with human help, in ways where this is how the universe works, and what people stumble upon is the same stuff that scientists like the childrens' parents are just starting to discover.
The characters of the children (well, mostly Meg and precious Charles Wallace at this point) are very good.
I stumbled on the narrative convention of mentor figures swooping in and saying "hey children, only you can do this, you need to go through this set of trials, when this happens, do this, you don't need to know about X, good luck". Like, that's a common narrative convention that works very well: you just don't question too hard the mentor figures have some special insight into how quests turn out. It's especially useful in childrens books because you can explain what needs to happen directly to the main character and reader. (Think of all the stories of stumbling onto the first person you meet in a secondary world who says, you need to do X, Y and Z.) But eventually you read too many books where it doesn't work like that that you start to question. Even if you don't ask if they might be lying, you wonder, could they really not spare twenty minutes to summarise the biggest risks and how to avoid them? How do they know what's going to happen? If this is all preordained, they why are they providing even this much help, and if not, and the fate of the world hangs on it, can they really not provide any more help?
This is partly me having been spoiled for some simple narrative conventions by being exposed to too many variants, and possibly (?) me not understanding theology well enough (I'm not sure how much this is something that is supposed to actually happen for real, and how mcuh it's just a book thing?) It doesn't always fail me, this is basically how Gandalf acts all the way through LOTR "OK, now we're going to do this because, um, fate" and I'm happy to accept it all at face value, even when other people quibble, but in some books it bothers me.
- Captains Gabriel Lorca and Matthew Gideon: "obstinate, difficult, independent, not prone to following orders from home, not politically astute...but he'll get the job done" (quote via Wikipedia).
- Michael Burnham and John Matheson: not trusted by all of their crewmates.
- "Discovery" and "Excalibur": experimental ships running on a blend of technologies.
- The tension between conflict and exploration: the intended rôles for the ships and how we see them, and the series in question considered against its progenitor.
When people say they are against something because it didn't work somewhere else, I'm pretty sure that is fallacious thinking. I've seen it with both communism and capitalism. Perhaps the system in question could work, but they did something wrong. Perhaps the country's failure was due to something entirely different. You can't just make such a claim without giving a compelling argument or reason to back it up.
( Read more... )
It was so achingly beautiful and achingly slow, and I could never have lead to a song that slow and with that little of an obvious beat, but I was lucky and got a dance with an awesome lead from Philly.
It's not often played; John Joven (who also dj'd and who was one of the instructors for the weekend) talked with whomever was djing -- they talked about how they've only found times for it once or twice. I was lucky enough to have the last dance of the evening with John.
Sunday one of the classes I went to was Slow Blues, with John and Kara. Only 9 of us in the class - Bambloozled was not well promoted and it was a gorgeous day so those on the cusp probably chose what was in Bumper Cars. I asked if we'd be working on songs like that one last night. John had it. We worked with it. It was difficult, but marvelous, working on the weight shifts.
I'm also glad I hadn't been listening to the words the night before, because they nearly made me cry:
Tall trees in Georgia they grow so high they shade me soIf you've talked with me enough, you probably know why.
And sadly walking through the thicket I go
The sweetest love I ever had I left aside
Because I did not want to be any man's bride
But now I'm older and married I would be
I found my sweetheart but he would not marry me
When I was younger the boys all came around
But now I'm older and they've all settled down
Control your mind my girl and give your heart to one
For if you love all men you'll be surely left with none
Tall trees in Georgia they grow so high they shade me so
And sadly walking through the thicket I go
But really, go listen to the song. It's beautiful.
54. Madam, Will You Talk?, Mary Stewart (e) (re-read)
53. Princess Holy Aura, Ryk E. Spoor (e)
52. Epitaph, Mary Doria Russell
51. Shield of Winter, Nalini Singh (e)
50. Heart of Obsidian, Nalini Singh (e)
49. The Cat Who Played Brahms, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
48. Where the Dead Lie, C.S. Harris
47. Going Postal, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
46. Just One Damned Thing After Another, Jodi Taylor (e)
45. Wildfire, Ilona Andrews (e)
44. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle (e) (re-read)
43. The Rose and the Dagger, Renée Ahdieh
42. Blaze of Memory, Nalini Singh (read aloud w/Steve)
41. The Wrath and the Dawn, Renée Ahdieh
40. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir, Mark Vonnegut MD (e)
39. The Rule of Luck, Catherine Cerveny (e) (arc)
38. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
37. The Girl with Ghost Eyes, M.H. Boroson (e)
36. Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
35. White Hot, Ilona Andrews (e)
34. The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life, Tom Reiss (e)
33. Mouse and Dragon, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
32. Caszandra, Andrea K. Host (e)
31. Lab Rat One, Andrea K. Host (e)
30. Stray, Andrea K. Host (e)
29. The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
28. Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb (e/l)
27. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
26. The Face in the Frost, John Bellairs (e)
25. Hanged for a Sheep, Frances and Richard Lockridge (e)
24. Xamnesia, Lizzie Harwood (e)
23. Convergence, C. J. Cherryh, (read aloud with Steve)
22. Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh (e)
21. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13. Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12. Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9. Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8. Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7. White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6. The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5. Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4. The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2. Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)
When I looked on my phone, he'd sent SMS messages aroudn 6:48-6:52. My phone history doesn't list all calls from the same number. Same timing on my hangouts message log.
Having the ability to sleep through anything is very useful. Sometimes, it's not.
As a general rule, I don't beat myself up over things. I don't really see the use of guilt, especially as most people use it as a self-flaggellation tool without ever doing anything different. As far as I can tell, I don't feel it; I acknowledge that I did something wrong, apologize, and do what I can to make it better. Sometimes that's not possible. Life sucks, then.
I don't know what I could have done, if I'd seen the messages/woke to the calls; what I did was ask questions about when he took meds, and how/if things were different than the last time he described things to me. I'm not sure it would have been any better if I'd texted the doctor earlier than 7:35, since he told me to call the office at 9 to set up tests. I sat on the bed with him till then, and a bit longer till it was time to leave for the tests.
I have this silent scream echoing in the back of my head, underlaid with fervent non-stop cursing, that hasn't yet gone away.
Me: I don't want to take away dog owners' rights. But we need to do something about Rottweilers.
You: So what do you propose?
Me: I just think that there should be some sort of training or restrictions on owning an attack dog.
You: Wait. What's an "attack dog?"
Me: You know what I mean. Like military dogs.
You: Huh? Rottweilers aren't military dogs. In fact "military dogs" isn't a thing. You mean like German Shepherds?
Me: Don't be ridiculous. Nobody's trying to take away your German Shepherds. But civilians shouldn't own fighting dogs.
You: I have no idea what dogs you're talking about now.
Me: You're being both picky and obtuse. You know I mean hounds.
You: What the fuck.
Me: OK, maybe not actually ::air quotes:: hounds ::air quotes::. Maybe I have the terminology wrong. I'm not obsessed with vicious dogs like you. But we can identify kinds of dogs that civilians just don't need to own.
You: Can we?
The Box from LL Bean arrived. The slippers are already on my feet, and the fleece-lined flannel shirt? Baby, this garment is never coming off of my body.
Today's regular mail brought royalties -- that's statements and checks -- for electronic sales made through Baen.com. So, yay! money in the mail.
Yesterday, we turned in "Block Party," the requested seasonal story in support of Neogenesis. This one was something of a challenge, because the request was for "seasonal," and one naturally doesn't like to disappoint one's editor. However, neither Liadens nor Surebleakeans can possibly celebrate "Christmas;" nor were we persuaded that they would celebrate any of the other winter holidays native to our own Earth. What that meant was that we had to figure out the "notes" for a seasonal story, and try to construct an in-world story that hit those notes. Not really sure we did it right, but our editor promises a quick reading.
Today, it's back to
the salt mines Fifth of Five. But first? Lunch, and perhaps even a nap.
Everybody have a good day.
re #metoo. I thought I was a woman without a story, but then I thought a lot more and realized they simply weren't filed that way. Finding the files . . . isn't comfy.
Looking back with a "I wonder if that counts" and a realization that "yeah, that probably counts as harassment" or "oh, yeah, that was actually kinda scary" or "oh I forgot how upsetting/confusing that encounter was despite my realization that $otherparty was probably sure I was good with it.*"
I don't have anything big to share. I get catcalls and honks rarely enough that they usually make me smile (as long as the car keeps right on going). I've never had people stop me on the street and tell me to smile (and it brightened my day immensely the time someone - who kept right on walking - said something like "you're beautiful don't look down!") So on the street harassment side of things either I'm a mutant or oblivious or invisible.
What I wrote in one comment was "Yeah, if I were to post 'me too' I'd have to reach all the way to "well, one of the times when I was walking down the street in FL in a skirted tankini it was a bit freaky because a pickup slowed down a lot and I moved farther from the street, and there was that time I dressed differently for work and one of the guys in Test /thanked/ me not once but twice for wearing that outfit and oh yeah there was that time I made a flasher run away and okay it was uncomfortable when a former coworked loomed over me, hands on the arms of my chair, to suddenly declare his love.**"
Thing is, the more I think on this all the more I notice. The more I notice in the moment as well, that it'd be nice if this guy weren't trying to push for a kiss on the cheek or randomly rub my shoulders.
The more I notice that damn it's awkward when $otherparty posts an ihave and I had decided it wasn't worth trying to hash out what was weirdness before.
The more I'm surprised that I've only seen a couple people bail from FB a few days because it's triggering to them.
The more I watch some of the countermemes and countercounter memes and people trying to assert that saying one has accidentally done harm is not taking responsibility and I want to scream because this Saint Or Unsalvageable culture isn't doing anyone any favors, because damn straight one can realize after the fact that that thing wasn't cool, or was harmful. And even concepts of consent were way different in past decades. And person B can be traumatized while person A thinks there's consent. If everybody keeps insisting only pariahs ever violate consent, then I'm A Good Person So The Things I Do Are Good comes in. If it's recognized that everyone is capable of screwing up then there's way more ability to figure out when one needs to do better.
And there are meme variations I applaud. I applaud that a lot of folks have moved to "If every person who has experienced. . . ." instead of "If every woman," because words matter, and there's very little cost there to being more inclusive***.
I applaud that there's an #ihave meme. That there's a bunch of guys and sometimes gals saying that yeah, there's stuff in their past they're not proud of. That there's stuff they should have known better about, and they talk about what they're doing to make a difference.
I applaud that this #metoo deluge has done exactly what it said it wanted -- to highlight that boyhowdy it's universal****.
I applaud that this #metoo deluge has started a conversation about harassment. About bystander intervention. About saying "hey that's not cool" when someone says something that bolsters thinking it's okay to treat women as objects. Or when someone makes a woman lesser in the workplace. Or jokes about doing something terrible.
I applaud that it looks like this #metoo deluge has helped it feel more safe to speak about things many of us want to hide. Because there is often shame in thinking oneself victim. And there is also shame in realizing one has caused harm.
I'm still not sure how it feels that the #metoo means that stuff that didn't bother me is kinda bothering me ;-/
And yeah, I also get that there's a level of notcool in putting the onus on those on the receiving end. Partly for that reason.
I've been typing too long. This isn't polished. And maybe it's too all-over-the-place. It might be unclever to post this -- I can't spend too much time on the computer today. But it's a bunch of stuff I've been thinking about for several days now.
* and yes I recognize that despite what I said I wrote in that one comment I could indeed declare more than just the bits of 'yeah I guess that qualifies' I mention. Thing is, I'm really not keen on claiming the mantle of victim and I certainly don't want to throw the other title on someone for whom it's flat out not accurate. (because people seem incapable of grokking that one can violate consent without that being something one would ever intentionally do.)
**that was 20 years ago. we'd been watching TV in his basement; I'd been surprised his wife wasn't home. He saw how frightened I was and backed away and we had an awkward moment and I left and we had no further contact. He'd been one of my favorite work friends and work travel partners.
*** honestly, it really made me angry that when I suggested "rather than silencing/erasing those who have experienced harassment, assault, or rape and are not women, can we popularize instead the wording of "If all those who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote "Me too" as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem" that was seen as undue catering to the menz. From some of the same folks who criticized women's marches having slogans about vaginas 'because not all women have vaginas' and Joss Whedon for saying he wrote strong female characters by writing a strong character without dick and balls, 'because some women have them.' I get that it sucks to feel erased in those latter situations, but maybe also some empathy for those who are getting a message of 'you're not a woman so your rape doesn't matter?'
**** And I hate that I watched someone get slammed for expressing surprise at just how much of his feed was filled. Especially since it's really based on social circles and what FB thinks you want to see. I know people who are seeing /nothing/ but posts related to this and others who've barely seen any. My feed has included men posting #metoo, and others have seen no men at all.
I need to get off the computer.
Sounds like science fiction, to be sure. Imagine humankind sending two huge cargo space ships to Mars as soon as 2022. Just 5 years from now. And 24 months later, another 4 ships that would bring the first colonists to the red planet. Sounds preposterous, right? Well, billionaire dreamer Elon Musk thinks otherwise. The guy who turned electric cars into a mass transport and founded the SpaceX company, which created the first private rockets.
( Read more... )
It's been showing signs of distress for a few days now, doing that thing it does of not draining properly. We flush the toilet or run water in the sink, and the bath goes GLUG GLUG GLUG. Not good. However, yesterday when I flushed the toilet, some of the er, effluent ended up in the bath. Which is about as delightful as it sounds.
Richard did a full day at work then stayed up quite literally all night clearing the downpipe with a high pressure hose, and only went to bed at 7.30 am. He is my hero! The poor bugger couldn't eat anything until 6.30 am because he was too nauseated, and I have left Emergency Laundry running overnight else he wouldn't have any trousers to wear to work (and it's too cold to go in shorts).
The problem is not completely fixed since although the downpipe is now cleared, water running through it is not reaching the sewer. As the problem occurs on our property, Thames Water won't help, so we will have to find a professional and (probably) claim on our insurance. Does anyone have the faintest idea how to do this? I mean, regarding claiming on the insurance, we probably just have to find the policy document and ring the insurers with the policy number and details of the work which needs to be done. But where on earth do we find a good professional plumber who handles drains and sewers? Do we ask the insurance company to recommend someone?
To add further complication, our back garden will probably have to be dug up, and it is currently a jungle. I'm hoping my parents might be available in the next few days to get it cleared, although that involves Dealing With My Parents.