copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
A few days ago, Mum found out that she may have a close blood relative she didn’t know about, who was the product of an affair and put up for adoption after he was born. Details are sketchy but we worked out from his birth year that it’s possible his birth parents met at a party my mother’s parents threw. 

I only know all this because she asked me to look into him and make sure it wasn’t a scam, and while it’s not a scam it’s also fucking uncanny how similar he and I are – not just physical appearance but hobbies and personality (as much as you can get personality from a facebook and a blog). He’s ten years older than me, but otherwise we’re pretty similar. 

I emailed her like “I think this guy’s on the level, he’s just looking for a missing piece of his family” and had to stifle a strong urge to be like “Also I want to hang out with him, so be nice.” 

I hope Mum likes him, I want to be his Facebook Friend. 

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oursin: Painting of Clio Muse of History by Artemisia Gentileschi (Clio)
[personal profile] oursin

I don't know if anyone else has been aware of the hoohah over the Chalke Valley History Festival, an event which has not been on my radar even though it has been going since 2011, though when I see that it is sponsored by A Certain Daily Rag of Which We Do Not Speak, unless we really have to, I would guess that it's NQOSD. Certainly no-one has come begging yr hedjog to address the crowds on ye syph in history (with or without my sidekick Sid, now available as a keyring), Dr Stopes, the inner meaning of the 1820s cartoons of Ladies Strachan and Warwick canoodling in a park or towsell-mowsell upon a sopha, wanking panic over the centuries etc etc.

But anyway, there has lately been a certain amount of OMG History of Dead White Males (and a few queens) and the fact that it is overwhelmingly DWM d'un certain age giving the fruits of their knowingz to the audience:
Historian pulls out of Chalke Valley festival over lack of diversity
(and, cynically, I wonder how many of the 32 women historians are Hott Young Thingz researching queens, aristo ladies, and so forth, though I may be doing them an injustice.)
The lack of women and non-white historians at this year’s Chalke Valley festival sends out a worrying message to Britain’s young

There have been defences made of the event by saying that you need to have Nazis and Tudors because that is what pulls in the punters, and maybe eventually get them onto something else not so overdone and ubiquitous.

However, only today there was a piece in The Guardian about the Bradford Literary Festival: Irna Qureshi and Syima Aslam have upended the traditional festival model to create a 10-day cultural jamboree that holds appeal across the city’s diverse communities

(Okay, does have the Brontes, and why not, but does not, alas, have ritual mud-wrestling by the Bronte Society...)

'They have upended the traditional literary festival model and attracted a demographic that is the dream of all forward-looking funders.'

So it can be done.

el_staplador: Yuri Plisetsky from 'Yuri!!! on Ice' sticking his tongue out; caption 'makes me wanna barf' (yuri on ice)
[personal profile] el_staplador
Pick any story I've written, or, in the case of my longer, chaptered works, any chapter from any story I've written, and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you the equivalent of a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what's going on in the character's heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the fic, lots of awful puns, and anything else that you’d expect to find on a DVD commentary track.

My fics are here.


Also, I note with some amusement that the only fic mentioned in this post that I haven't actually managed to finish is The Fall of Strelsau. Though it's now sitting at 6,833 words, and yes, includes a by-election.

Music meme: day 10 of 30

2017-06-27 12:43
liv: bacterial conjugation (attached)
[personal profile] liv
A song that makes you sad. It's hard to find anything sadder than one of my friends who posted a video of a scratch orchestra playing the European anthem Ode to Joy the day after the UK voted to leave the EU. But the song most likely to make me cry, personally, is the aria Voi che sapete from Mozart's The marriage of Figaro.

break-up sadness, plus video )

(no subject)

2017-06-27 11:32
askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
[personal profile] askygoneonfire
 It seems to have been an impossibly long time since I last posted.  Life is currently hectic and stressful (no change there) and has recently resulted in one of my most significant mood swings/extreme cycles in recent years.  Culminating in self harm, taking up smoking again, and a red-telephone-style phone call to BFF to ask to stay with her for a while as I just couldn't reliably stop myself coming to harm for a while there.

Some of this is hinted at and foreshadowed in two recent blog posts over on my other blog:
Just 'doing it for attention' - some thoughts on reasons behind self harm
High Stakes Gambling - on turning into skid when hitting hypomania

I'm currently crawling out from under a few hangovers - actual one brought on by a near uninterrupted 1 month drinking binge (something which is increasingly doing me a concern and I may post later on how I feel about drinking and working through some stuff there) and financial one from hypomanic spending and associated costs of going on a bit of a bender. 

Friendships are groaning at the seams and I need to put energy in there too.

I'm hopeful things are looking up, professionally, for me in September but there is still uncertainty and multiple factors at play there.  I'm also giving dating another spin of the wheel after wedding of friend who met now-husband on OK Cupid, which I attended with another friend who has recently embarked on a positive-looking relationship with someone from Match.com. Realisation that my perfect "our eyes locked over the organic avocados" meet-cute moment ain't gonna happen and I need to put some energy in there.

In all: life.


State of the SB

2017-06-27 11:22
miss_s_b: (Mood: Drama queen)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Hate everything.
Having cashflow problems, some of which are my fault, and some of which are other people's fault, and all of which are beyond my control and therefore incredibly frustrating.
Cashflow problems meaning I am having to cancel on commitments, which I hate doing.
Politics in general is full of arseholes who keep arsing.
Work is frustrating, because I can't do the things I need to do for various stupid reasons (also beyond my control).
Have had no sleep and lots of pointless arguments with members of household, which means I am dangerously low on spoons, grumpy and frazzled.
And to top it all, my right tit is a big scabby painful mess.

Here's hoping you lot are all a bit happier...

(no subject)

2017-06-27 09:45
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] coalescent!

decide for me

2017-06-26 23:44
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
I am supposed to go to rounds every Tuesday from 6 to 7 at the raptor rehab where I volunteer. It's good to be up-to-date on protocols, and to get the news about the cases. On the other hand, there is always a lot of information I don't need, and there are other ways to get the information I do need.

Tomorrow night there is a storytelling event at a coffee house from 7 to 9. "The event will showcase a selection of community storytellers sharing stories on the theme of food and farm. We’ve invited six storytellers — writers, poets, performers, journalists, speakers — to prepare true, personal stories and share them in front of a live audience." I'd like to go. I am always interested in anything that could help me become a better storyteller.

I could skip rounds.
I could leave rounds 10 minutes early and go to both, but I hate getting up when everyone else is still sitting patiently, and also that would be a very long evening for me.
I could just stay home. Staying home is always good.
metaphortunate: (Default)
[personal profile] metaphortunate
It's book talking time!

Coincidentally, I have recently read two separate books about French spy-courtesans in the 1920s 19th century. One was Alexander Chee's The Queen of the Night. The other - well, I call it a book, but it is an incomplete series, by Jo Graham, beginning with The General's Mistress and continuing in The Emperor's Agent and The Marshal's Lover.

Alexander Chee, award-winning author, is interviewed about TQOTN in Vogue and reviewed in the New York Times. Jo Graham is interviewed about her books in Amazing Stories and reviewed on, well, Goodreads. There is a great difference in the height at which your brow is meant to sit while reading these books.

Which just goes to show why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

The Queen of the Night is rapey-er than Game of Thrones, and you will not collect that from reading any of those interviews or reviews, but holy shit, it's grim and unrelenting. There is a lot of sex in this book - never let anyone tell you that Serious Authors don't write sex. What Serious Authors don't write is enjoyable sex, because that has the filthy female whiff of romance about it, and Chee will have nothing to do with that trap: enjoy 561 pages of bleak fucking, at best survival sex, at worst violent rape. But it's described like opera! So, you know: it's Art.

Whereas if on the other hand you like slumming, you could read a page-turner of a picaresque sex-and-war-and mysticism perspective on the Napoleonic Wars that is super, super interesting for someone who has tended to read about it from the English perspective! It reminds me very much of that Roger Ebert quote that's been floating around Twitter:
There's a learning process that moviegoers go through. They begin in childhood without sophistication or much taste, and for example, like "Gamera'' more than "Air Force One" because flying turtles are obviously more entertaining than United States presidents. Then they grow older and develop "taste,'' and prefer "Air Force One," which is better made and has big stars and a more plausible plot. (Isn't it more believable, after all, that a president could single-handedly wipe out a planeload of terrorists than that a giant turtle could spit gobs of flame?) Then, if they continue to grow older and wiser, they complete the circle and return to "Gamera'' again, realizing that while both movies are preposterous, the turtle movie has the charm of utter goofiness--and, in an age of flawless special effects, it is somehow more fun to watch flawed ones.
Both books are preposterous. But Jo Graham's books are cheerfully preposterous, with love at first sight being based on mystical reincarnation through the ages and a vow between Cleopatra's handmaidens or some such thing; and Alexander Chee's characters blankly drift through the ludicrous motions of a musicless opera plot because, as The Worst Bestsellers likes to say about characters in books like these, they are lizard people. Human motivations and actions are foreign to them! They hatched from eggs and now they are wearing human skin suits and that's why the author acts like their entirely, artificially plot-motivated behavior is normal and requires no explanation. It is normal, for lizards!

Whereas Jo Graham's books involve people having difficult but ultimately productive conversations about ambition and infidelity and polyamory - they don't have that vocabulary, but the ideas are definitely there - and people who aren't entirely good or bad, and an enby protagonist, and conflicted feelings about children, and the fear of aging and death, and politics that are rooted in the deep personal urge for freedom, and yes - magic, and sex, and fun! I got the third one as part of a StoryBundle, which was annoying as it spoiled the first two, obviously! But the moment I finished it I bought the other two anyway. Spoilers don't matter that much - they're not mystery novels, if you're writing about the Napoleonic Wars the interest of your story had better not depend on the reader not knowing how things turn out. The Queen of the Night I got from the library, and I tried to finish it, I really did. It just wasn't giving me anything to work with. It is the kind of book where spoilers matter - my loan of it ran out before I made it to the end, and I placed a hold on it to check it out again just because I did, honestly, want to know the answer to the mystery. But when my hold on it came due, I admitted that I did not want to know enough to drag myself through to the end of a very, very, very boring book, and I never checked it out the second time.

And, incidentally, between the grim, boring, rapey book, and the picaresque, sexy, fun book? The fun book is the one that's based on a real historical person. Maria Versfelt was a Dutch adventure star, as she is delightfully described in that Dutch website (thanks Google Translate), and her published memoirs are the basis for Graham's books. I think the reincarnation thing is invention, though.

Dear Brain (II)

2017-06-27 12:40
megpie71: Simplified bishie Rufus Shinra glares and says "The Look says it all" (glare)
[personal profile] megpie71
Dear Brain,

Yes, I know I wasn't able to do the laundry. However, I contend that having the fscking washing machine break down is an acceptable excuse for not doing it. I have called a repair person, they're coming out on Thursday, and it was Steve's decision (completely unprompted by me) to pick up all the existing laundry and wash all of it at the laundromat. I've checked: he wasn't doing it to say "You're Useless And Should Be Ashamed Of Yourself (And Also Dead)". So do you think maybe you could kindly shut the fsck up on the matter?

I swear, that icepick is starting to seem attractive. Steve is suggesting I see about taking you back to the shop for a refund.

Sincerely (and exasperatedly)

Meg

Dear Brain,

2017-06-27 08:03
megpie71: Animated "tea" icon popular after London bombing. (Default)
[personal profile] megpie71
Dear Brain,

Yes, I know I haven't Done All The Things and it's coming up for 8am. However, I have achieved far more than I would have this time two weeks ago, where I wouldn't have even got out of bed by this time. So how about you stop nagging me about stupid stuff, and I'll stop wanting to remove you with an icepick, okay?

Sincerely (oh, so sincerely)

Meg
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.

(no subject)

2017-06-26 18:21
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Today is our 24th anniversary. Scott took the day off so we could hang out together. We went into Ypsilanti to do some Ingress and got lunch at a diner called The Bomber.

Cordelia spent most of the afternoon with one of her friends downtown. She kept calling us and asking us to suggest things to do. I couldn't come up with anything she liked. They'd already gotten ice cream and didn't want any other type of food. They didn't want to window shop. They didn't want to actually shop. They didn't want to visit any museums. Pokemon Go and Ingress are too out of style to even be considered even if they had either on their phones.

Yesterday, Scott got the lawn mowed and cleaned out one of the two Time Capsule drives. The big problem we've got is that his hard drive is over a terabyte of family photos and videos. We may need to dedicate one of the drives to his machine and use the other for me and Cordelia, but that will require that Scott actually pay attention to what the program is doing and be willing to address the matter rapidly if one drive or the other stops working.

We watched two library DVDs last night and then returned them today (long, long waitlists). Both were amusing in different ways, and we even got Cordelia to join us in watching one of them.

Scott bewilders me by watching TV episodes on his laptop while he's also watching his brother playing games with active voices (and explosions). I think he flips back and forth in terms of the visuals. When I'm in the same room with him, I keep trying to follow what's going on just by listening, and... Yeah. Not working.

I used the c-PAP for a chunk of last night and didn't have any sneezing or runny nose today. Hopefully, that's done. I'm not sure how much the Ativan is actually helping and how much is just that I've got more time for sleeping to make up for the poor quality. I'm having trouble, when on my side, with getting adequate head support without dislodging the nasal pillows. I very much doubt that a different mask would help given that it seems to be the shape of my face changing depending on which bit the pillow is pressing against.

And now we're trying to come up with dinner ideas...
musesfool: art deco brandy ad (been drinking since half-past three)
[personal profile] musesfool
I was completely useless last night after several hours of day drinking. it was a lot of fun, but oy the headache that hit around 7 pm! Even though we definitely hydrated.

Now I have version 3 of some sort of bug bite balm cooling on the counter - it uses coconut oil, which I don't really like the smell of, so hopefully the tea tree oil, peppermint, lemongrass, and lavender essential oils will cover that up. Though I would bear the smell if it meant the itching stopped.

I know I said I was done with trying to make anti-itch cream - hot water, ice, and rubbing alcohol in conjunction with benadryl and zyrtec seem to work best, tbh - but I figured third time's the charm? And I had all the ingredients so...I guess we'll see. Or maybe I am just super itchy, since i am super allergic to bites and swell up and get all welty.

I guess that's all the exciting news from here.

***
wychwood: man reading a book and about to walk off a cliff (gen - the student)
[personal profile] wychwood
55. The Interior Life, Dorothy J Heydt - DON'T JUDGE


56. The House of Shattered Wings - Aliette de Bodard ) Ultimately too dark for me, and for the plot to work for me, but I'm not giving up on de Bodard. This series, maybe.


57. The Young Stepmother and 59. The Carbonels - Charlotte M Yonge ) The Carbonels is not great, but The Young Stepmother is solid (for values of Charlotte Yonge).


58. Mortal Engines - Philip Reeve ) I've read worse; SFF-minded children might enjoy it, and there's definitely worse out there.


60. A Closed and Common Orbit - Becky Chambers ) Like the first one; entertaining, sometimes interesting, would probably read more, but I was not blown away.


61. The Art of Deception - Nora Roberts ) An acceptable-enough Harlequin, if you can get past the standard "consent is UNMANLY" elements.


62. Green Rider - Kristen Britain ) A solid fantasy - I want to read the rest of the series, now.


63. Too Like the Lightning - Ada Palmer ) A nasty unpleasant piece of work, with some potentially interesting ideas and worldbuilding that couldn't sustain my enjoyment in the face of the rest of it.


64. All the Birds in the Sky - Charlie Jane Anders ) Ultimately a bit unmemorable, although I enjoyed it well enough in the reading.


65. Words are My Matter - Ursula Le Guin ) Somewhat insubstantial, unfortunately.


66. The Geek Feminist Revolution - Kameron Hurley ) A much better collection - I like Hurley's nonfic much more than her novels!


67. Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet - Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze ) Definitely not your typical superhero comic, even your typical thoughtful superhero comic; I'm interested to see where they take this.


Four Mantlemass books - Barbara Willard ) Classic English children's books, and still well worth reading. I should make sure I get hold of the others.
[syndicated profile] realsocialskills_feed

Some dehumanizing descriptions of autism are negative. For example, some people believe that we are incapable of love, or incapable of imagination, or incapable of understanding anything of importance.

Some dehumanizing descriptions of autism are positive. For instance, some people believe that we are incapable of lying, incapable of being manipulative, and that we always say exactly what we mean.

Autism doesn’t work that way. We are fully human, for better and for worse. We are fallible. We make communication mistakes. We don’t always know what we mean, and we don’t always express ourselves clearly. For instance, sometimes we say things that feel direct but that are actually very confusing. That’s human.

We are capable of treating others well, and we are capable of treating others badly. We are capable of caring about others, and we are capable of indifference. We are capable of being kind, and we are capable of being cruel.

Autism means having disabilities that can affect how we communicate, how we move, and how we understand things. Autism doesn’t make us better than other people, and it doesn’t make us worse. We’re not subhuman, and we’re not superhuman. We’re just people.

Music meme and gaming

2017-06-26 20:00
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
Day 9 of the (in my case very slow-running) music meme asks for a song that makes you happy. And I have quite a lot of those, making me happy is a big reason I have a music collection at all. I think I'm going to go for Complex person by The Pretenders. The lyrics are not all that cheerful in some ways, but I love the bouncy tune and I always hear this as a song about determination and not letting things get you down.

video embed, actually audio only )

Also I've had a good week for playing games: mostly list with short comments )

Murderbot and Gender

2017-06-26 10:14
muccamukk: Holmes examines a Santa hat. (SH: Christmas Hat)
[personal profile] muccamukk
One of the things I liked about Martha Wells' Murderbot Diaries series is that the title character is some sort of android/human clone hybrid and has neither a sexuality nor a gender. The books are written in first person, but all the outside characters refer to the Murderbot as "it," and frankly it's fine with that. Wells mentioned on a recent AMA: "I feel the core of the character is that while Murderbot is obviously a person, it isn't human and doesn't want to be human, so while other characters might give it pronouns, it's not going to want to pick any for itself."

I know at least one person who found the use of "it" over "they" for non-gendered pronouns uncomfortable, while Nenya liked it for reminding the reader of the profoundly non human nature of the SecUnit. Reading reviews, I noticed that people used a variety of approaches to deal with Murderbot's gender, and I did a quick tally of them.

214 Reviews on Goodreads as of this writing
  • 137 of them don't use pronouns for Murderbot (a few seemed to be deliberately avoiding doing so, but mostly these reviews just said something like "Good book, will read the next one.")

  • 5 of them are in a language I don't speak (I'm taking a Murderbot approach to this, and half-assing my research)

  • 44 (61%) of them used "it"

  • 12 (17%) of them used "he"

  • 8 (11%) of them used "they"

  • 8 (11%) of them used "she" (Ann Leckie's got them trained!)

Speaking of Leckie, she has recced this series as well. I feel like Murderbot and Breq could have a profitable conversation, really.
[syndicated profile] realsocialskills_feed

energysavingselfcare:

puta-tengo-chistes-locos:

realsocialskills:

flowersandeverythingelse:

realsocialskills:

I think that picture books with disabled characters are probably really important, but I don’t know of many.

I’m looking for books that are *not* disability awareness books, but books where disability is just part of the world.

Eg: I saw a picture book once that was about going to the doctor, and one of the people working in the office was an adult wheelchair user. She wasn’t sick, she was just at work working. 

Does anyone know what that book is called? Or other picture books where disabled characters exist but the story isn’t about disability awareness?

http://offbeathome.com/book-for-child-with-disability/

This is a link to the author’s piece about the children’s book they published, Meet Clarabelle Blue. In the author’s words, they tried to focus very much on the character’s life, as she happens to be disabled, and not on her disability. It might fit a bit of the kind of books you’re looking for.

Thank you!

An author came and worked with one of my students and he has a whole series of picture books The disability gang! I love them and so do my kids! Also the author has a disability himself.

I love Hannah Ensor’s picture books too - Welly Walks and Baking Biscuits both have wheelchair using characters whose disabilitiy is not specifically mentioned and is entirely incidental to the story. I have them on my bookshelf for visiting kids!

http://stickmancommunications.co.uk/Picture-book-bundle

[syndicated profile] realsocialskills_feed

andreashettle:

realsocialskills:

I think that picture books with disabled characters are probably really important, but I don’t know of many.

I’m looking for books that are *not* disability awareness books, but books where disability is just part of the world.

Eg: I saw a picture book once that was about going to the doctor, and one of the people working in the office was an adult wheelchair user. She wasn’t sick, she was just at work working. 

Does anyone know what that book is called? Or other picture books where disabled characters exist but the story isn’t about disability awareness?

Unfortunately, the one disability-focused blog about disability representation in the media that I know of ( @disabilityinkidlit) specializes in middle grade and young adult books (ages 8 or 9 through 18) and therefore does not include picture books.

But, there are blogs that attempt to cover all kinds of diverse representation–including disability representation as well as diverse racial representation, lgbtiqa+ representation, etc. Perhaps this master list of blogs about diverse representation in the media could help you find the right blogs that would have better leads for you:

https://ramblingjustice.wordpress.com/blogs-on-representation/

More specifically, check the section on disability representation, the section on all types of diverse representation, and the section on diverse representation specifically in books. Possibly also the section on diverse representation in all types of media, though anything here that might be relevant is probably already cross-listed in one of the other sections.

(no subject)

2017-06-26 08:25
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[personal profile] dreamwaffles linked to a fundraiser for Kaye, who has been researching Rat Lungworm, a disease that almost killed her son Graham, who is now disabled and uses a service dog for everyday life. Kaye was a crucial part of the University of Hawai'i's RLWD research team and also the team trying to get legislative support and grant funding, but she's fighting medical debt for Graham's treatment and ongoing needs. You can read more and help out here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is still struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and is now dealing with an eye infection they need to get treatment for before their roommate and her toddler come back from vacation, so they don't infect the baby. They're raising $50-$60 in the short term for medical treatment; they also have a long-term fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

[tumblr.com profile] anna-guth is a student from Germany who was recently accepted to Redroofs School for the Performing Arts in England, but her parents can't afford the full GBP24K tuition. She is raising E6.5K for tuition and school fees; you can read more and reblog here, or give directly to the fundraiser here.

[tumblr.com profile] echosiriusrumme is a student trying to buy her own clarinet; at present she doesn't have her own instrument to practice with but has a pressing need to practice before auditions and recitals for a Performance track next fall at her university. She has a few options lined up for between $800 and $1.3K, but needs to raise the funds to cover the cost; she is offering to repay over time any funds contributed to the purchase. You can read more and reblog here (plus find a ko-fi link) or give to her paypal 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: Books stacked on shelves, piled up on floor, rocking chair in foreground (books)
[personal profile] oursin

10 Famous Book Hoarders

(I think we may contest the term 'hoarders' for people with lotsaboox, hmmmm?)

In most of those cases I think we do see a real love of books, though I'm not sure about Hearst and whether 'ostentation' was not on his mind rather than use?

In some cases those appear to be the personal libraries that have fetched up in public collections, and one wonders whether there was a certain amount of weeding and selection at the point of accession. (I'm not saying that Houdini or Arendt also had vast collections of pulp westerns or school stories or whatever, but I'm not ruling out that choices were made at some point.)

And indeed, while calling your private collection 'the Library of the History of Human Imagination' is indeed quite a long way along the pretentiousness scale, I look at that picture: 'It has three levels, a glass bridge, floating platforms' and feel a certain covetousness.

And even if it's ponceyness turned up to 11, it's not as cringe-making as this, which crossed my radar pretty much on the same day: Meet The App That Revolutionized Book Reading For 2 Million People

We sort through the approximately 2,200,000 books published worldwide to find the best nonfiction books out there. Then, our subject specialists, writers, and editors identify the key ideas from each of these hand-selected books and transform them into smart, useful summaries of insights we lovingly polish and refine until they are nothing but the absolute most essential elements of the writer’s main ideas. We do the filtering for you, then we share those ideas with you the way your dream-friend would.
Tonstant Weader called for a stiff drink.

*'Twenty-two acknowledged concubines, and a library of sixty-two thousand volumes, attested the variety of his [Gordian II's] inclinations; and from the productions which he left behind him, it appears that the former as well as the latter were designed for use rather than for ostentation.' Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol I.

rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
[tumblr.com profile] sashayed: It’s Not That Bad to F— Up While Calling Your Senator About Something Important

To prove this point, she presents actual transcripts of messages she left on her senators' voicemail, with her reaction gifs.

Sample:

Hi, uh, Sen. [Name]. And staff. [Nervous laughter.] My name is [Rave Sashayed] and I’m a constituent from [place where I vote]. I just wanted to call to thank you for standing up against the AHCA in the Senate. I–it’s an incredibly cruel and stupid and – and vicious bill. You know? And I’m not, like – a person who used to call her Senators all the time! know? I’m, like, a normal person! [Nervous laughter] But this – it’s crazy to me that this bill could become legislation. It directly affects me, it directly affects the people I love. I mean, it kicks millions of people off of Medicare for a tax break for – I mean. You know this. You’re. Uh. A Senator. So. You’ve read the bill. Um.

I would like to remind people that I phoned my MP's office and actually stated (completely incorrectly and randomly) that I lived in a place which said MP does not represent, had this pointed out to me and had to correct myself. AND YET (like Sashayed) I LIVE.

Right now, it looks like the Senate is wavering. Republican Senators are saying they "just don't know" if they've got the votes to pass the AHCA.

If you can't do phoning, you can't do phoning (I am sometimes a person who can't do phoning). But if you can, now's the time. IT IS OKAY TO PHONE AND FUCK IT UP. As long as you can communicate that you are opposed to the AHCA, that's enough.

Also, have some MOTHERFUCKING ICONS (photos of the ADAPT protestors being arrested during their protest at Mitch McConnell's office).
[syndicated profile] realsocialskills_feed

moretufflesspuff said:  Miss Bindergarten has featured students with disabilities. Schools first Day of School by Adam Rex has children with disabilities (and the school itself deals with the bullies and being shy).

mrskaaay said:  Daniel Tiger is geared toward the really young, but Chrissy uses braces to walk. The books are based on episodes of the show but leave out bits so you’ll likely see Chrissy, not Chrissy The Handicapped.

goodnightmoonvale said:  There is a Curious George book about how he goes to the park to play with his friend who is in a wheelchair and she’s really good at basketball. It’s called “curious George joins the team”

[syndicated profile] realsocialskills_feed

puta-tengo-chistes-locos:

realsocialskills:

flowersandeverythingelse:

realsocialskills:

I think that picture books with disabled characters are probably really important, but I don’t know of many.

I’m looking for books that are *not* disability awareness books, but books where disability is just part of the world.

Eg: I saw a picture book once that was about going to the doctor, and one of the people working in the office was an adult wheelchair user. She wasn’t sick, she was just at work working. 

Does anyone know what that book is called? Or other picture books where disabled characters exist but the story isn’t about disability awareness?

http://offbeathome.com/book-for-child-with-disability/

This is a link to the author’s piece about the children’s book they published, Meet Clarabelle Blue. In the author’s words, they tried to focus very much on the character’s life, as she happens to be disabled, and not on her disability. It might fit a bit of the kind of books you’re looking for.

Thank you!

An author came and worked with one of my students and he has a whole series of picture books The disability gang! I love them and so do my kids! Also the author has a disability himself.

[syndicated profile] realsocialskills_feed

sappholococcus:

realsocialskills:

I think that picture books with disabled characters are probably really important, but I don’t know of many.

I’m looking for books that are *not* disability awareness books, but books where disability is just part of the world.

Eg: I saw a picture book once that was about going to the doctor, and one of the people working in the office was an adult wheelchair user. She wasn’t sick, she was just at work working. 

Does anyone know what that book is called? Or other picture books where disabled characters exist but the story isn’t about disability awareness?

I remember the Miss Bindergarten’s Kindergarten picture books had a student in the kindergarten class who used a wheelchair, but the books weren’t about disability.

We're back

2017-06-26 05:32
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Tomorrow)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
Two weeks of roses and playparks, museums and public art, wide open avenues, petunias and rolling hills. Two weeks of Tom and he has failed to notice that I am fundamentally unlikable. He, of course, is perfectly delightful.

We spent one week in Almaty and one week in Astana, with a day in Bishkek and a train journey across Kazakhstan. It was every bit as wonderful as I could have imagined, and we had an amazing time. The people are so lovely and the cities so beautiful.
kore: (Default)
[personal profile] kore
(and it's 87F past 9 PM, and the low's supposed to be 67F at 5 AM))

I'm mellllllllting

July 4th

2017-06-25 20:38
[syndicated profile] realsocialskills_feed

theexoticvet:

July 4th is almost here, please take the time to ensure you and your pets are prepared. Many pets have noise phobia and fireworks can be torturous to them. We see lots of hit by car cases and lost pets this time of year because pets get afraid and run away, sometimes even breaking through windows and doors because they are so scared.

  • Make sure your pets are microchipped AND that all the information is up to date. This is the best way to reunite you if the worst happens.
  • Keep pets inside during the holiday, even animals that seemed fine before can become scared and will bolt or injure themselves.
  • If you know your pet is scared, go to the vet now. There are lots of solutions ranging from Thundershirts to a really great medication for noise phobia called Sileo. Your vet can help you choose.
  • If having a BBQ or cookout, make sure guests know not to give food to your pets. Our ER’s are full of dogs with pancreatitis and other GI disorders the day after.
  • Clean up! Pets will eat trash, firework wrappers, wooden skewers, etc. Never underestimate what they will and won’t eat and play it safe and don’t leave anything around.
[syndicated profile] realsocialskills_feed

flowersandeverythingelse:

realsocialskills:

I think that picture books with disabled characters are probably really important, but I don’t know of many.

I’m looking for books that are *not* disability awareness books, but books where disability is just part of the world.

Eg: I saw a picture book once that was about going to the doctor, and one of the people working in the office was an adult wheelchair user. She wasn’t sick, she was just at work working. 

Does anyone know what that book is called? Or other picture books where disabled characters exist but the story isn’t about disability awareness?

http://offbeathome.com/book-for-child-with-disability/

This is a link to the author’s piece about the children’s book they published, Meet Clarabelle Blue. In the author’s words, they tried to focus very much on the character’s life, as she happens to be disabled, and not on her disability. It might fit a bit of the kind of books you’re looking for.

Thank you!

[syndicated profile] realsocialskills_feed

Ettina Kitten said:

I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard that So Don’t! & See What Happens by Sarah Leal is a picture book with a main character in a wheelchair who uses AAC and the plot isn’t about her disability.

realsocialskills said:

Thank you! It looks like it might be hard to get ahold of a copy, but it’s good to know it exists. 

Does anyone else know of books like that?

Fandom Giftbox

2017-06-26 11:30
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

2017-06-26 09:27
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...
morbane: Utena Shadow Girls Santa picture with text "absolute destiny apocalypse yuletide" (Utena)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide
In the last four weeks, there have been two works added to the New Year's Resolution collection. Enjoy!

Works in Back to the Future (Movies) and Killjoys (TV) )


Challenge information )
calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)
[personal profile] calissa

The Furthest Station, Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers of London, Peter Grant, Earl Grey Editing, books and tea, tea and books

Published: June 2017 by Subterranean Press
Format reviewed: E-book (mobi)
Series: Rivers of London/Peter Grant #7.5
Genres: Contemporary fantasy
Source: NetGalley
Available: Publisher (print and electronic) ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Book Depository ~ Booktopia ~Kobo

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

There have been ghosts on the London Underground, sad, harmless spectres whose presence does little more than give a frisson to travelling and boost tourism. But now there’s a rash of sightings on the Metropolitan Line and these ghosts are frightening, aggressive and seem to be looking for something.

Enter PC Peter Grant junior member of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Assessment unit a.k.a. The Folly a.k.a. the only police officers whose official duties include ghost hunting. Together with Jaget Kumar, his counterpart at the British Transport Police, he must brave the terrifying the crush of London’s rush hour to find the source of the ghosts.

Joined by Peter’s wannabe wizard cousin, a preschool river god and Toby the ghost hunting dog their investigation takes a darker tone as they realise that a real person’s life might just be on the line.

And time is running out to save them.

The Furthest Station is a quick novella that retains the spirit of the series but which remains unsatisfying.

Peter’s distinctive voice is present; even though the novella is short, there’s still space for his digressions and pop culture references. There’s even a few footnotes addressed to his American counterpart, though I found these a bit disruptive. They call into question the nature of the story, particularly as there is no framework set up to indicate Peter is addressing someone particular.

The story does a reasonable job of introducing who Peter is and what he does for a living. However, I’m not sure I’d recommend it as an entry point to the series. For example, the oddness of Molly is never explained for a new reader and the references to Beverley and her family are cursory. There’s a lot of background present which is likely to make it confusing.

I enjoyed seeing Peter spend more time with Abigail, though there’s never any real change in their relationship. Preserving the status quo for the novels in such a way leaves it ultimately feeling like filler.

The main plot held up fairly well until the ending. While it was nice to see an acknowledgement that not all police work ends tidily or in a dramatic fashion, the number of loose ends made it unsatisfying to me.

All in all, The Furthest Station was a pleasant read, but not one of Aaronovitch’s better works.

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

Culinary

2017-06-25 20:47
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
[personal profile] oursin

During the week, baked a loaf of the Shipton Mill 3 Malts and Sunflower Organic Brown Flour.

Friday supper: Gujerati khichchari - absentmindedly used ground cumin rather than cumin seed but I don't think the effect was disastrous.

Saturday breakfast rolls: the adaptable soft rolls recipe, 2:2:1 strong white/wholemeal/dark rye flours with maple sugar and sour cherries.

Today's lunch: redfish fillets rubbed with Cajun seasoning, brushed with milk and egg and coated in panko crumbs, panfried in olive oil, served with steamed samphire tossed in butter and baby leeks healthy-grilled in avocado oil and splashed with gooseberry vinegar.

(no subject)

2017-06-25 14:15
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (cosmia)
[personal profile] skygiants
I have never read Dhalgren or indeed any Samuel R. Delaney. However, as of yesterday I have at least had a Dhalgren Experience, thanks to [personal profile] aamcnamara, who turned up a local theatrical-dance-music-light-'architectural puppetry' performance of something called Dhalgren: Sunrise this weekend.

Dhalgren: Sunrise is comprised of bits of text from what I assume is Dhalgren the book, accompanied by dance, light, and music, almost all of it improvised. Also, some of the music was performed on imaginary instruments. "That must be a theremin!" I thought brightly to myself on seeing one of the instruments, mostly because I don't know what a theremin looks like and therefore I assume that any instrument I don't recognize is a theremin. But it turns out it was not a theremin, because there was a credit in the program for 'invented instruments,' though I don't know whether the one I saw was the Diddly Bow, the Bass Llamelophone, or the Autospring.

Anyway, so my new understanding of Dhalgren is that it is about a city in which Weird, Fraught and Inexplicable Things Are Happening. This is not a very thorough understanding, but it's still more of an understanding than I had before. The show is composed of seven scene-vignettes:

Prelude: A brief reading of [what I assume to be] the book's introduction.

Orchid: Three women dance on a bridge and a man acquires a prosthetic hand-weapon-implement. The director at the end gave special thanks to the dude who made it, understandably so, because it very effectively exuded Aura of Sinister!

Scorpions: Gang members dance and fight in front of a building? Alien gang members? Just aliens? Anyway, some entities wrapped in glowing lights have a dance fight in front of a building; the text is from the point of view of a worried inhabitant of the building who Has Concerns.

Moons: The moon has a new secondary moon friend named George. The dancing in this section was one of my favorite bits -- the Moon did some amazing things with her light-strung hula hoop. [personal profile] aamcnamara pointed out later that the narration in this bit, which featured a wry and dubious radio announcer, seemed like a perhaps-intentional echo of Welcome to Night Vale. I have never actually listened to Welcome to Night Vale, but from my cultural osmosis knowledge this seems about right.

Fire: The light show took front and center in this bit about everything being on fire and also, simultaneously, not on fire. The maintenance man doing the narration is very plaintive about all of this. There may also have been dancing in this bit but I don't remember what anyone was doing.

Sex: The guy with the sinister prosthesis has an intimate encounter with two other people inside a blanket fort. I always like the blanket-fort method of showing sex onstage, it hints appropriately while allowing actors not to have to do anything they're uncomfortable with. At some point in this process the sinister prosthesis is removed for the first time, which I expect symbolizes something about human connection.

Sunrise: The characters who have previously just had sex emerge from the building and now seem to have a difference of opinion about whether the sunrise is just normal, or whether the earth is actually falling into the sun. Eventually all the characters are onstage being distressed, along with the music and the lighting -- again, really cool light effects here, especially the final overwhelming projection of light followed by and darkness.

It's a one-hour show without intermission, which we all agreed afterwards was for the best; the deeply weird mood and atmosphere would have been difficult to slip back into if one could get up in the middle to go to the bathroom. For those of you who have actually read Dhalgren, I will leave you with [personal profile] aamcnamara's sum-up: "It was a strange experience, but honestly could have been stranger."
[syndicated profile] realsocialskills_feed

I think that picture books with disabled characters are probably really important, but I don’t know of many.

I’m looking for books that are *not* disability awareness books, but books where disability is just part of the world.

Eg: I saw a picture book once that was about going to the doctor, and one of the people working in the office was an adult wheelchair user. She wasn’t sick, she was just at work working. 

Does anyone know what that book is called? Or other picture books where disabled characters exist but the story isn’t about disability awareness?

musesfool: head!Six (and they have a plan)
[personal profile] musesfool
I went to bed last night around 1 am but couldn't sleep so I ended up getting up and writing about 2000 words of a sequel to Just a Little Bit of History Repeating. I am sure it's not the epic sequel some of the commenters asked me for, but it's the emotional conversations I am interested in. It's also multiple POV, which I generally don't like to do, but in order to capture everybody's !!!! responses, it seems like the way to go. I haven't reread what I wrote yet, though, so hopefully it makes sense. *snerk*

I finally took a benadryl at around 3 am and slept until 8:45 so I guess I'll call it a win. Then I stayed in bed and finally read 84, Charing Cross Road, which [personal profile] innie_darling lent me the other night as it doesn't come in an ebook yet. What a darling little book! I highly recommend it.

And I just finished watching this week's Orphan Black: Beneath Her Heart. Alison once again proves she's the stealth MVP of clone club, and also who knew it would ever be possible to love Donnie so much? What a great episode!

spoilers )

Now I am getting ready to meet L. for boozy brunch so I hope you all have a lovely Sunday.

***

(no subject)

2017-06-25 11:26
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I used the c-PAP for three and a half hours last night. Right now, I'm sniffling and sneezing. I fear the two are connected. I washed the reservoir and nasal pillows pretty thoroughly on Friday. I didn't want to try to wash out the hose, but I think I'm going to have to because this makes three occasions when I've had severe allergies starting the morning after using the c-PAP.

I finished two fics yesterday. Well, one is certainly done, barring a thorough proofread. It's gen, so that's not nearly as hard to arrange as it might otherwise be. The other needs a second opinion if I can find someone willing given the moderately obscure fandom and the explicit and potentially squicky content. I've got a couple of people I can ask, but I was a little too fried last night to do it.

We went out for frozen lemonade at Sweetwaters last night. Sweetwaters gives coupons to the middle schools to hand out to every child who gets at least three A's on their final report card, and the school put the coupons in the envelopes with the report cards. Cordelia got hers and got a cinnamon roll. I got a frozen lemonade and a chocolate croissant. Scott got a ginger tea.

We finished that up a little after 8:00, and as we were just across the street from Plum Market, we went over there for the half price bakery goods.

It's been very cool, in the low 70s, so Scott opened a lot of our windows early yesterday afternoon. They stayed open all night and are still open. I don't think this relates to my sneezing because that didn't start until the windows had been open for about twenty hours.

Cordelia has been doing movie marathons. She's currently got about a dozen DVDs from the library. Of course, mostly what she's been doing is listening to her Hamilton CDs over and over (those were a gift from Scott's brother and his family). We listened to a little of that in the car last night, on the way to and from Sweetwaters. I still can't say that it does anything for me, but I'm glad Cordelia has something she's really passionate about.

Both of our Time Capsule storage drives are insisting that they're too full to allow backups. The program is supposed to delete old backups as needed in order to keep making current backups, and we have backups going back at least two years. At this point, anything from 2015 can absolutely go. One of the drives has a terabyte of storage, and the other has three. We have no idea what's going on to make them say they only have a few megabytes of space left. Scott thinks that wiping them is probably going to be necessary. We'll start with just one in case we need the backups on the other before we have clean backups on the first. Scott keeps saying that he needs a lot of time to do this and then getting cranky with me when I mention that it needs to be done (and later today he will be more cranky because I didn't make him do it while he had time).

Maybe he can figure out how to get Cordelia's laptop to backup via Time Machine, too. We've never managed that, and at this point, she's actually got stuff she'd be devastated to lose. It wasn't so important when she was seven.

[community profile] drawesome

2017-06-25 11:00
goss: (Rainbow - Pencils)
[personal profile] goss posting in [site community profile] dw_community_promo
We are a Multi-fandom Drawing community for FanArtists. If you enjoy drawing fanart, using either traditional or digital media, we would love to have you join in the fun. :)

Drawesome on DW
[community profile] drawesome: A Drawing Community for Fan-Artists

Sunday post

2017-06-25 22:27
fred_mouse: blurry image of cast metal mouse shape in a fruit bowl (pear)
[personal profile] fred_mouse posting in [community profile] unclutter
I dropped the ball on Wednesday*, so starting my twice weekly posts today. Did you unclutter today? If so, what?

I spent an hour or so sorting the random piles of books in my bedroom. Lots are still there, but I binned 3 conference proceedings and some other booklets, put three books on the 'leaving the house' pile, and moved some others to locations where I can start to work out whether I need them or not (need to compare against what I have).

* I'm hoping to make Wednesday and Sunday posts, because those are days when I'm usually on the computer

Music meme

2017-06-25 13:28
[personal profile] swaldman
See here for explanation.

19.A song that makes you think about life


Rizzo's story is sadly overlooked in many productions of Grease, perhaps because this song is the only time that any of it is directly expressed (although it's very much there in the film, if one looks for it in her expressions and tones of voice) - but she's perhaps the only character who understands the whole game that everybody is playing, and conciously chooses how much to engage.

(no subject)

2017-06-25 12:34
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] shana!

Events of note

2017-06-25 10:04
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
Last weekend we made a family visit to the inlaws in High Wycombe, for some low-key hanging-out time together for the cousins to play together and the adults to gossip.  It was Too Hot, but at least every train on the way home had aircon, as did the taxi.  We experimentally departed from Cambridge North, as we are roughly equidistant from the two railway stations.  Advantage: not going through the centre of Cambridge. Disadvantages: only one direct train per hour to London on the weekend, no cafe or shops (yet), slightly more expensive by taxi.  But it was worth conducting the experiment to be sure.

We all struggled with the heat this week.  This house does a good cross-breeze when such a thing is worth doing - this week that was usually from approx 9pm to 7am, so a lot of opening and closing windows and doors according to temperature and people being awake.  We acquired a standing fan to help. I did a lot of waking up about 5am to open things and then droop back on my bed waiting for the breeze to help. I think I'd be a lot less resentful of the lost sleep if I'd been able to be productive with the time, but no.

I went out to a PARTY yesterday and enjoyed catching up with people, and being introduced to Subjective Guess Who?  This is played using the standard board game set, but you can only ask questions which have no objective answer - some memorable ones from last night included "Have they ever played World of Warcraft?" and "Are they a morning person?".  The kibbitzing from the audience is the best part.

Going to the party was utterly self-indulgent given the state of my studying since the election. Today will probably not include much studying either, as plans already include: taking C to see Transformers: The Last Knight, attempting to get some sandals beforehand, getting in my weekly call to my mother before she gets on a bus to San Francisco, and making the cheating version of Tudor costume for C's class trip to Kentwell this week.

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Rachel Coleman

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