August 23rd, 2017
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 11:49am on 23/08/2017
Why I don't use automated checkout machines -- they cost jobs. Millions of jobs.

Where statues go to retire.

Is America finally ready for the bidet?

The Congressional Black Caucus is talking impeachment.

With all the weirdness, we might need some Help!

***

There is a lot of coverage of Trump's speech in Phoenix yesterday, ranging from "he's deranged" to "he made it all up" to "he plans to pardon that racist Joe Arpaio" and more. And there were 3000+ peaceful demonstrators outside -- at least, it appears, until police threw pepper bombs into the crowd. I do not have the oomph to chase all of this, but if you go to news.google.com, you'll find a ton of links. Sorry. I am having vision problems (eta: because the frame of my glasses is bent and one lens is closer than the other, and I have ordered new ones that aren't in yet) and need to take care of my eyes today, ok? Thanks for understanding.
musesfool: Superboy, arms crossed over his chest (no retreat baby no surrender)
Oy, the subway this morning, I can't even. One of the great joys of vacation, even if I'm staying home, as I am this time around, is not having to get on the subway unless I want to, and certainly not during a really screwed up morning rush.

I keep checking FedEx to see if the package with the contracts/check was delivered. By 10:30 they said! But at 11 am, it's still in transit. Sigh. eta: And delivered as of 11:20 am. Whew./eta

Anyway. It's time for what I'm reading Wednesday:

What I've just finished
nothing yet.

What I'm currently reading
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, the third book of the Broken Earth trilogy. I'm not finding it quite as compelling as the first two books. spoilers ) I'm about 60% through, so I imagine more terrible things are coming.

What I'm reading next
As always, it's a mystery. I have many things on my iPad, so we'll see what catches my fancy.

***
Music:: i broke in and demanded that somebody free it
Mood:: 'tired' tired
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)

What I read

Finished The Private Patient, which was readable enough, I suppose, but felt not exactly as if PDJ was phoning it in, just proceeding along well-worn ruts. Found it hard to believe in the characters. Also, while PDJ does have a sense that there is Modern Life, and makes a nod to it in Miskin, she still feels in a bit of a time-warp (unlike Rendell/Vine)

Read Ginger Frost's Illegitimacy in English Law and Society, 1860-1930 (2016), which was a freebie for reading a book proposal and I have been trying to get to for months, because Frost's work is always good and going into areas very under-explored. This one looks at illegitimacy from the angle of the illegitimate children (rather than the fallen mother) and is densely researched. Also more than a little depressing - illegitimate children had a very high mortality rate, if they weren't the victims of infanticide by desperate mothers they were subject to neglect or the general problems of poverty. Also the cruelty of the laws took so very long to change. But Frost does get the ambivalances: courts and local officials being sympathetic to the plight of unwed mothers and thus giving merciful judgments in infanticide cases, giving mothers out-relief rather than obliging them to go into the workhouse, demonstrating a certain flexibility; while thinking actually changing the rules would lead to the downfall of morality.

Also finished one of two books I have for a joint review, which also deal with a rather depressing topic.

On the go

Tanith Lee, Nightshades: Thirteen Journeys into Shadow (1993, and collecting some much earlier material). Some of these have been in other collections of hers I've read recently. Very good, if creepy.

Also, have started second book for the joint review.

Up next

If it ever arrives, the new Barbara Hambly Benjamin January mystery.

oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 09:20am on 23/08/2017
Happy birthday, [personal profile] natlyn!
August 22nd, 2017
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 07:33pm on 22/08/2017
I was looking at a catalog today and found the most frightening t-shirt I've seen in a while.

The design was meant to be patriotic and comforting -- a kitten looking out from under a draped American flag. I can't fault the idea, though it's not to my taste.

However-- on a shirt? The kitten is all head and it's huge -- the size of a small leopard. And with the shading, it appears to be emerging from the wearer's chest, confidently searching for more food...

Facebook Kittens/Alien.

Not for the win. ewwww.
musesfool: close up of the Chrysler Building (home)
posted by [personal profile] musesfool at 04:10pm on 22/08/2017 under
This morning I signed and initialed four copies of a contract, wrote a deposit check, and shoved it all into a FedEx envelope so it can arrive at the seller's attorney's office tomorrow morning. Keep your fingers crossed that it goes better this time than it did the last.

L keeps saying she has a good feeling about this, but I had a good feeling about the other one right up until I didn't, so I am not doing any premature celebrating at this point. I mean, I think last time everything went so smoothly and I was basically carried along feeling incredulous and lucky and we saw how that worked out so. Back to cautious optimism and trying to manage expectations. And looking at potential furniture and paint colors, of course.

Gosh, the carpeting is so bad. I mean, first of all, I don't like carpeting but secondly, why white shag? why brown? These are not appealing (to me, and given that the apartment was still available when I got to it, to a lot of other people). If you are trying to sell your apartment, maybe make better aesthetic choices! Don't even get me started on the number of really terrible photos I've seen. I realize that taking pictures is a skill, so if you don't have it, find someone who does to take your pictures and then - protip! - upload them in the right orientation. I closed out of so many potential listings because the photos were a. terrible and b. rotated 90° counterclockwise, making them impossible to parse without a lot of neck craning. Don't do that!

I mean, re: the ugly carpeting: I'll have money left to rip it up and sand/polish/seal the wood floors beneath, but I've seen apartments in the same neighborhood and price range that already had that done, and they look so much nicer. *hands*

Anyway, now the seller just has to sign and we can officially be "in contract" and move on to the next step in the process.

*yawns*

I'm so sleepy. I want to go home. All day I've thought it was Wednesday and that I would be off work for 6 days (I'm taking Thurs/Fri/Mon/Tues off), but no, it's only Tuesday. Stupid Tuesday. Always the worst.

***
Music:: So honey last night I met this guy and I'm gonna do a little favor for him
Mood:: 'sleepy' sleepy
oursin: image of hedgehogs having sex (bonking hedgehogs)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 06:38pm on 22/08/2017 under , ,

Spotted this the other day and then forgot to mention it:

Sex Festival in Tunbridge Wells.

Actually, not in Tunbridge Wells, which evokes images of orgiastic goings on in the Pantiles amidst a crowd of the local denizens being Disgusted.

In fact, in a wood nearby.

'People living in the area have expressed concern over noise, parking and decency': which is almost in the fine tradition of the inhabitants of Hampstead not minding so much about the actual cruising taking place at the famed gay cruising grounds of the Heath, but that they were leaving litter.

A local farmer reported 'Locals that hadn't bought tickets posed the biggest problem for event organisers, with hundreds of people trying to get in on the action'.

A man was found dead and a woman unconscious at the campsite this morning: while all the reports namecheck the festival, it sounds as if it was over by then. The report in the Telegraph suggests that it is possible that fumes from a barbecue were to blame, and the death is so far described as unexplained. But obviously, all reports are going to mention the kinky sex party.

twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 11:28am on 22/08/2017
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 10:35am on 22/08/2017
Some Confederate statues are being removed, some covered, some may be moved, and some won't go anywhere.

I have no problem with the Confederate monuments at Gettysburg National Battlefield Park. They mark the locations where people stood or died when stuff happened; they are largely markers saying this unit was here, sometimes with names, sometimes not. They assist with understanding what happened in the battle. I don't recall offhand that there was anything glorifying the South there, in the way that there is elsewhere; but it's been a few years since I walked the entire battlefield, tracking troop movements.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
I'm rereading Georgette Heyer's 'These Old Shades' and I just came to the place where it mentions, in a phrase in one sentence, Justin Alastair's secret efforts to put Charles Edward Stuart on the throne instead of George I. And that made me imagine a fanfic crossover that I have brain enough to write, though I'd love to read it. The other source would be Outlander, specifically the second volume where Jamie and Claire are in France attempting, subtly, to stop the Stuart uprising because Claire knows its outcome and wants to save the lives that would have been lost at Culloden, not to mention the destruction of the Highlands. The main problem in writing it would be viewpoint and style -- These Old Shades is written in a very mannered style, and the Outlanders, which are mostly from Claire's viewpoint, are a modern view of a past era. If it were from Justin's viewpoint -- he would not be quite the cynical onlooker that he is in 'Shades', at 45. He'd be a bit more like young Rupert, and I'm not sure how to do that. If it were from Claire's viewpoint, he might come out looking like a younger version of St. Germaine, which would not do. But what I would love to see is Justin's reaction to one of Claire's famous set-downs, whether aimed at him or at someone else. I suspect they would end up good friends, though I have no idea what Jamie would think of that.

Unfortunately, Leonie would not be able to be there in 1745 -- and her next appearance is in 'Devil's Cub', which I think dates to something like 1775 or 1780. By that time Jamie and Claire are in the Colonies, and I don't think they visit Paris together again for a while, though Jamie is there before that with his print shop. So the dates don't line up for a confrontation between Dominic, Leonie and Justin's son, and Bree, Claire and Jamie's tall, outspoken, red-haired daughter who wears breeches (Leonie would like that, though.)
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 09:13am on 22/08/2017
Happy birthday, [personal profile] elisem!
August 21st, 2017
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 03:58pm on 21/08/2017
We had an 85% eclipse, which means it got a little darker and the birds weren't singing though the insects were -- nothing shuts up a cricket. I have some phone photos of the light coming through the leaves in crescents on the sidewalks. And then it poured rain for ... 10 minutes? And the sun came out again, starting to strengthen. So, not the biggest deal -- but we were out on the front steps with our homemade cereal box viewers and so on, and the neighbors on either side came over and hung out and watched it with us, which was very cool.
musesfool: Batman + A BABY driving a BUS (just like driving a really big pinto)
You know, if I had known that viewing the eclipse via the selfie camera was okay, I might have done that rather than watched it via the NASA livestream on youtube, but I only just found that out. Boss3 got a cool picture that way.

Anyway, we had it set up on a screen here in the conference room, so people could wander in and out, rather than having 400 people trying to stream it individually. I was outside in the beginning of it, but it didn't seem to be getting darker or anything (we didn't get the totality here), and I had no glasses or pinhole viewer, so I just came back inside and ate my bagel.

The only real downside is that I have had "Total Eclipse of the Heart" in my head for at least a week. Even listening it to a few times hasn't cured the damn earworm. That video remains super creepy.

In other news, last night, I finally watched Lego Batman, which I enjoyed quite a bit. I'm always a sucker for Bruce learning to be a good Batdad to his Batkid(s). The one thing I didn't care for was the Bruce/Babs insinuations, but at least she didn't seem into it, so that was fine. (Also, yay for Rosario Dawson, bridging that MCU/DCU divide!)

***
Mood:: 'hot' hot
Music:: we're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks
oursin: George Beresford photograph of Marie of Roumania, overwritten 'And I AM Marie of Roumania' (Marie of Roumania)

Actually it was yesterday, rather than today, that I spotted this work recently made available through the good offices of Project Gutenberg:

William Carpenter, One Hundred Proofs that the Earth is Not a Globe (1885) -

- and I can't see that he entirely manages to give a plausible explanation for eclipses, but then he does think that the sun is a lot smaller than those there astronomers declare, and goes round the earth...

We do feel that Alfred Russel Wallace would have been better employed than debating with members of the Zetetic Society.

One is - a little - intrigued at what was published in Flat Earth journals (o, say, do, that it was Flat Earth hymns such as feature in Kipling's The Village That Voted the Earth Was Flat...)

But I was fascinated by this, in that Wikipedia article on Flat Earth Societies:

In 1969, Shenton persuaded Ellis Hillman, a Polytechnic of East London lecturer, to become president of the Flat Earth Society; but there is little evidence of any activity on his part until after Shenton's death, when he added most of Shenton's library to the archives of the Science Fiction Foundation he helped to establish.
The lengths to which librarians will go to add some particularly rare and choice material to their collection.

copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
posted by [personal profile] copperbadge at 05:22am on 21/08/2017 under
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Sarah is raising funds to help save her family's house, where they are facing eviction. They are dealing with her mother's illness and recent unemployment, and they are trying to raise $100K to cover hospital bills and mortgage payments. You can read more and support the fundraiser here.

Anon linked to a fundraiser for the legal fees for protestors in Durham, who pulled down the Confederate statue. You can read more and support their legal defense here.

[personal profile] spasticat has been unemployed since October of last year, and while she's been actively looking for work, her benefits and savings have run out; she's raising funds for utilities, medication, and rent. At the end of September she is also moving back home, and needs funds to cover the move. You can read more and support her YouCaring here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

[tumblr.com profile] magpiesmiscellany has a selection of tree-of-life pendants in various shapes, colors, and sizes for sale, with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Doctors Without Borders, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, and the National Immigration Law Center. You can read more and purchase them here.

Housing:

[personal profile] in_the_bottle is looking for a new housemate in London, in Fulham SW6, bordering Hammersmith. Two professional females, at least one fandom friendly. You can read more and get in touch here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 09:20am on 21/08/2017
Happy birthday, [personal profile] kerrypolka!
August 20th, 2017
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
posted by [personal profile] resonant at 07:35pm on 20/08/2017
The spouse reconnected with his former therapist via Facebook instant messaging this weekend. They got to talking about current events.

"I counseled a member of a neo-Nazi group once," the therapist said.

"Did you learn anything useful about the movement?"

"This particular fellow was a victim of childhood sexual abuse. I think that was the root of his rage," the therapist said.

It makes me wonder how things would be different if American mental health care were in better shape.
musesfool: Huntress being awesome (don't think cause i understand i care)
I ended up marathoning all 8 episodes of Defenders last night. I enjoyed it. It doesn't have the same thematic cohesiveness that Jessica Jones does and the fights aren't as good as they were in the first season of Daredevil, but it's a fun ride if you enjoy the characters, and it helps that everyone else finds Danny Rand as annoying as the audience does. *hands*

spoilers )

So it was a good way to spend 7-ish hours, and it didn't leave me in a state of existential dread the way JJ did.

the other day, in anticipation of this show, I was making a list of ladies with robot arms, and I couldn't come up with many - Misty Knight, Nina Sharp, Lirael, Furiosa... who else is there?

***
Music:: To the Bone - Thea Gilmore
Mood:: 'sleepy' sleepy
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 08:44pm on 20/08/2017 under ,

Bread: on Monday, Greenstein's 100% Wholewheat Loaf, made up of ordinary strong wholemeal/wholemeal spelt/einkorn flours. Tasty but a bit crumbly for some reason.

Saturday breakfast rolls: the adaptable soft roll recipe, 4:1 strong white/buckwheat flour, dried blueberries, maple sugar.

Today's lunch: quails, which I cooked yesterday as they were well pushing their use-by date, according to a recipe from Clarissa Dickson Wright. The Game Cookbook, only that used fruit chutney, which I did not have, so used damson jelly instead, roasted in foil at Mark 3 for 30 minutes: not bad. Served with sticky rice in coconut milk with lime leaves, buttered spinach, and asparagus healthy-grilled in olive oil and splashed with aged organic balsamic vinegar.

Have started the overnight rising version of the bread recipe in Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking, which I haven't made for ages.