And I suspect that it is Very Much Not Done to yell 'Speak up' or 'Use the Mike' when someone is giving an important formal lecture signifying professional advancement.
Maybe my hearing is getting even worse than I thought? Or maybe that lecture theatre has really crap acoustics.
(Speaker is a lovely person who does lovely work, and I bought the book that was also being launched and had it signed, but I was really rather frustrated by the actual lecture.)
But at least there were some really lovely visuals which were entirely relevant to the topic on hand.
Also put in a bit of a strop by the young person who checked my name off the list, and said 'join the queue', waving in the opposite direction to where it turned out the relevant queue was forming.
But I did see two people I knew (besides speaker) and did a little bit of catch-up with them, so I have socialed more than I recently have.
Excessive force: A judge has ruled in favor of children who were handcuffed in school.
For being at Standing Rock to cover what was happening, Amy Goodman was charged with "participating in a riot." The judge in the case has thrown it out for lack of probable cause.
Museum visitors who match the artwork.
Remember the case of the girl who was raped at 12, had the child, and then a judge was giving her rapist custody? The judge in the case has reversed his order and will not do it now. And there are apologies from the DA's office. Apparently nobody told the judge until afterward about the guy's two previous "sexual offense" trials, one of which resulted in jail time?
Tearing the fabric of patriarchy -- looking at Weinstein and others through the precise wording of law, not victim-blaming.
The power of shamanic art.
What is left of America as we knew it is disintegrating.
And, copied from Facebook:
From a friend's page:
Distracted by taking a knee, the imminent nuclear war with North Korea, the loss of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty with Iran, the elimination of federal civil rights for Trans people, and Russiagate?
The GOP has slipped in some new bills.
The following bills have been introduced (Sept-Oct):
1. HR 861 Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency...
2. HR 610 Vouchers for Public Education
3. HR 899 Terminate the Department of Education
4. HJR 69 Repeal Rule Protecting Wildlife
5. HR 370 Another attempt to Repeal Affordable Care Act
6. HR 354 Defund Planned Parenthood
7. HR 785 National Right to Work (this one is devastating to the working class ... it ALSO applies to Union members)
8. HR 83 Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Bill
9. HR 147 Criminalizing Abortion (“Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act”)
10. HR 808 Sanctions against Iran
Renew your resistance.
Contact your House Representative.
COPY. PASTE. SHARE. Don't let your guard down; the GOP is utterly without morals or simple human decency.
And then I couldn't stop thinking about it, and started writing a follow-up, and now I'm 17.800 words into the story and on chapter 12. I do know where it's heading, but it's a bit harder to get time to write now I'm back at work, with a new client, and also well enough to go riding again. But the train rides to and from work are prime writing time.
So that's the kind of fun I'm having right now - thinking up jokes for Nanny Ogg to tell Our Heroes. It's a lot of fun, actually.
( Week 2 )
( Week 3 )
Three classes done, five to go. My feeling at this point is that this was probably unrealistically ambitious for someone who hasn't taken any physical classes in a long, long time or really done any focused exercise since I stopped climbing several years ago, but despite almost none of it coming naturally, I'm mostly enjoying it. I'm kinda hoping it'll give me a push to taking some kind of class after this (like barre!) that's more suited to where I currently am physically.
It's also probably just as well, in one sense, that (so far) I'm not in love with silks, much as I think they're incredibly cool. The sad reality is that evening classes are rarely feasible around Casual Job, so finding a level 2 (or beyond) timeslot for something as specific as silks that'd actually work for me logistically seems...unlikely. But we'll see. And meanwhile, "enjoying it well enough" is not a bad place to be.
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, which is the sequel to Six of Crows, but really it's the second half of the brick it would have been if published together. I loved the additional character revelations and development, but I think that unlike nearly everyone else, I liked the first book a bit more. This book felt as though there was too much shoved into it, particularly in the last third; I found myself getting bored and wanting it to just be over, already, which is not how you want to feel while reading something you otherwise enjoy a lot! Also, it seemed to me that the narrative depended, even more than the first, on holding back information from the reader (as opposed to from the characters), which is fine once or twice but gets tiresome when repeated constantly, especially when there's an air of "look how clever the characters are! Look how clever the author is!" and I got a bit annoyed with this device.
There are some interesting and appealing relationships, both m/f and m/m, but as I mentioned last week, I also ship the noncanonical but subtextual Nina/Inej. But in general I really liked all the main characters, and I liked all the canonical relationships to some degree. Also I am in need of a crossover with Gentleman Bastards or Old Theradane.
What I'm reading now:
The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3) by Rick Riordan, YAY! And it's delightful. Though a little odd to be reading with my eyeballs, since I listened to the others as audiobook, especially with Norse terms that are spelled a bit differently than they are pronounced. I was pleased to see my favorite crackship finally making an appearance (skip) Riptide's a babe, apparently! And Jack, true to form, is smitten! Pen/Pendant is best sword ship!! Also, having a Norse name misheard as "Bigly" made me choke laughing.
I read another couple of chapters of Fly By Night but it's mostly on hold until I finish the Magnus Chase.
I'm still listening to Airborn by Kenneth Oppel while pool-running, and I think I might be getting close to the Thrilling Climax, though the waterproof mp3 player I have makes it impossible to tell how far I am into the book. It's very much Boys' Own Adventure (with plucky heroine friend) in Alternate Steampunkish World, a little silly, but entertaining.
What I'm reading next:
Might try to get hold of Provenance by Ann Leckie. I just looked at my to-read list and, gah. So much to read! I still haven't read the currently-last Expanse book.
What I'm watching now:
We have two episodes left of Westworld, which for Reasons we will likely watch tonight and tomorrow night. It's a weird and unsettling show, and I hope that the threads will start tying themselves together next season, because there are so many fascinating ideas and I will be disappointed if they don't GO somewhere.
What I'm watching next:
I am going to be on my own for up to 10 days beginning Friday afternoon, so maybe I should watch something that B wouldn't care for. If you've got a rec for something on Amazon Prime or Crunchyroll (or other free method) that I might get fannish about, I'm open to suggestions. Though...
What I'm playing now:
Still Dragon Age: Origins. I'm a bit put out because I apparently started my romance too late to trigger a necessary conversation in order to make it work right. Also I'm always too full up with inventory. I got bored for a while and only picked at the game. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the quest involving escaping prison, so I'm more excited now, and since as I said I'm going to have a lot of free time next week, I will probably play a lot.
What I'm playing next:
If I lose interest in DA and all the DLC quests I have available, I might fire up Witcher 2 and see how that goes. At least I'll finally be able to understand the half of the fandom that's based on characters from it!
What I read
Ingested two David Wishart Corvinus mysteries, Trade Secrets (2016) and Foreign Bodies (2016) - Severn House having finally decided, it seems, to come down at some point to a price for their ebooks that is more or less comparable with mass market paperbacks rather than hardcover. These were pretty much the mixture as usual - combination of what seems to me pretty solid knowledge of what Rome and its Empire was like at the period, with upper-crust Roman sleuth cracking wise and somewhat anachronistic as the bodies pile up. There is probably a rule with extended series like this that if you haven't given up somewhere along the line, you will as a matter of habit pick up succeeding episodes as they come along.
Tremontaine Series 3, Episode 1. Interested to see where this is going to go.
Discovered by entire chance that there is an ebook of short stories about Rosemary Edghill's Bast, Failure of Moonlight: The Collected Bast Shorter Works (2012), which I had not known about and gulped down. This led me to a binge re-read of the 3 Bast mysteries - set in the world of contemporary Wicca/Paganism of the 1990s - :Speak Daggers to Her (1995), Book of Moons (1995) and The Bowl of Night (1996). I thought these held up pretty well, though possibly more for their evocation of a particular time, place and subculture, and Bast's own moral ambivalence, than for the mystery plots. In an essay appended to the shorter works she wonders if these will be what she is remembered for, eventually: she's written quite a lot in various genres under various names. I see that when I reread the space-opera trilogy Butterfly and Hellflower, written as eluki bes shahar, I felt it had rather lost its shiny. There were also, I think, some rather generic fantasy works and collaborations with Mercedes Lackey which have pretty much faded from memory, and I'm not sure I ever read any of her romances.
On the go
Only Sexual Forensics which got a bit back-burnered lately.
The next episode of Tremontaine Season 3. Maybe Ruthanne Emrys, Winter Tide, which I have heard good things about, and is at present very briefly a giveaway from Tor. Also, have received some more v srs books from An Academic Publisher for reviewing a proposal (when offered this, I specifically look for books which are hideously expensive destined for university library editions that I would not buy for myself).
So I'm not doing links again until I feel competent. I used all my competence for today in posting my Stage of Fools story.
But I am reading whatever y'all write, and glad of it.
In Crossovering, I want to mention that sovay said that my gift fic Frank & the Phoenix is perfectly readable without knowing David Blaize (it's a crossover with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Frank Maddox/Newt Scamander) and actually, I think that as long as you are familiar with the Harry Potter-verse, it should be fine. Other Crossovering stories I particularly liked:
And Bide the Danger (6764 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling, Chronicles of Narnia - C. S. Lewis
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Amelia Bones/Susan Pevensie, Amelia Bones & Edgar Bones, Aslan & Susan Pevensie, Amelia Bones & Alastor Moody, Edgar Bones/Original Female Character(s)
Additional Tags: Crossovers & Fandom Fusions, The Problem of Susan, Temporal Paradox, Department of Mysteries, Dark Character, Deus Ex Machina, Investigations
Summary: Susan Pevensie: former Unspeakable, legendary beauty, possible Dark witch. A young Amelia Bones, eager to make her mark on MLE, has just been assigned to track her down. But the further Amelia proceeds with her investigation, the more questions she uncovers - especially once she meets Susan herself.
The Start of a Long Summer (1676 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender, Chronicles of Narnia - C. S. Lewis
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Azula (Avatar), Tumnus
Additional Tags: Crossover, Attempted Kidnapping
Summary: Azula steps through a wardrobe to find a kidnapping faun and a wintry kingdom ripe for regime change.
There are also two lovely artworks for due South/Lost Girl, and although I'm not familiar with Lost Girl I certainly can recognize the dS characters in Bob Pays a Visit to the Travelers and Kenzi Meets Diefenbaker. ETA Lost Girl, not Lost! Shows how much I know about either canon...
In the Femslashex collection, I particularly liked these:
The Part of Her Hair (10596 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Mary Bennet/Original Female Character
Characters: Mary Bennet, Original Female Character, Lydia Bennet, Kitty Bennet
Additional Tags: Falling In Love, Family Bonding
Summary: Miss Gibson said, “In the spirit of truthful admission, Miss Bennet, I intend to spend some time devising the right question for you. If I may see you again?”
Why did that sound strange? But she always sounded strange to people herself. And it was a familiar kind of strangeness, as if it were something she had heard before, only not like this.
Mary, constrained by the principles of truth, could only admit that she would enjoy that very much.
A Golden Thread Between Hearts (1633 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Seasons of Glass and Iron - Amal El-Mohtar
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Tabitha (Seasons of Glass and Iron), Amira (Seasons of Glass and Iron)
Additional Tags: Post-Canon, First Kiss
Summary: Tabitha and Amira travel, and grow, and love.
(The canon for the second is a freely-available short story I recced before: Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar, which is f/f fairytale fantasy with an edge of grimdark.)
There are actually many other excellent stories in both collections, and I encourage you to browse!
Last week I had the pneumococcal vaccine, courtesy of what is still, mostly, a beneficient National Health Service.
Unlike the flu shot, it is a one-off and should, as they say, See Me Out.
However, while I tend not to have any repercussions from the flu shot, this one gave me a sore arm, like, really sore for 2-3 days and still quite tender after that, as well a day or two feeling Vaguely Crap, that well-known unspecific medical condition.
Thought this was All Over, but this morning, discovered I had a Sore Armpit. Don't know whether this is a final repercussion, a muscle I pulled and didn't realise, or, since partner had something yesterday that might have been a virus and involved various aches and pains, whether it is that, though on the whole I would say I feel a good deal less Vaguely Crap than a few days ago.
A general condition of Slob-Out was declared and has not yet quite terminated.
Please please ask yourself whether, knowing that, you really want to read the rest of this entry (which will contain mostly snark). Also know: if this entry isn't for you, I still love you and would never judge you (or anyone) for a single second for liking the things you like.
( General thoughts on Star Trek )
( Star Trek: Discovery 1x05 - Choose Your Pain )
I also think that can't be as true as it feels, because I also finally finished reading K.B. Spangler's Stoneskin (which was wonderful, and I'm really excited for the [as-yet-unwritten, AFAIK] trilogy it's a prequel to), and scruloose and I finally saw the first two episodes of Star Trek: Disco last night.
OTOH, I read most of what I had left of Stoneskin yesterday morning while doing the aforementioned waiting for an appointment, most of which was my own fault. Last month's appointment used up the last of the injectable B12, so I got a new prescription from Dr. Awesome and dropped it off at the pharmacy to be put on file, but then I forgot about it until I was on my way out the door to yesterday's appointment. Fortunately the pharmacy is right next door to Dr. Awesome's office, and I called in to get the new B12 as I started walking, and they got it ready as fast as they could, but it still meant I was late to my appointment (although at least I was able to pop in and say "I'm here! Sort of...").
--I've got a small heap of ST:D reaction posts from all of you tucked away in Memories and was finally able to start sifting through the early ones late last night. I doubt I'm going to do much (if any) commenting on weeks-old posts, but reading them is fun. ^_^
--I'm blanking on another detail about Yuletide logistics. I feel like in previous year's there's been a page (on AO3?) showing all the names of who requested what fandoms (but I think not connected at all to people's optional Dear Yulegoat letters?). Is that right? Am I simply missing it?
--My third year of "only read books (novels, anyway) from my bookcase of purchased TBR or things I've purchased in ebook" is almost up, and the status of the physical bookcase is...dire. I'm not literally out of room to put any more books on it (especially since the bottom shelf has binders of CDs and stuff on it, so the TBR only ["only"] takes up four shelves), but it's not good.
Between that and my wallet, I truly need to buy fewer books. (And relearn the habit of making purchase suggestions for novels with the library, not just anthologies and graphic novels, without getting back into putting tons of things on hold there. No going back to the days of juggling a 300 or 400-item holds list, self. *stern*) Emphasis on the "and my wallet" part, which means not simply switching to buying a higher percentage of things in ebook. (Even if ebooks are usually enough cheaper that doing that also technically means spending less money.)
As is usually the way, I feel like there were other things I meant to mention, but I now have about an hour before I have to throw on proper clothes and head off to Casual Job, and I need to use that hour to proofread some prose. Yes.
( But. (Spoilers, particularly after the first three paragraphs.) )
"Hero-Princess-General Carrie Fisher Once Delivered a Cow Tongue to a Predatory Hollywood Exec". [The Mary Sue]
"Carrie Fisher Insisted That Leia’s Last Jedi Arc Honor All The “Girls Who Grew up Watching Star Wars”". [The Mary Sue]
"Who are Tessa Thompson’s LADY LIBERATORS?" "The Marvel Cinematic Universe has realigned how Hollywood thinks of blockbusters, franchises, and comic book movies. Though the films have been groundbreaking at the box office, it’s been nine years since Marvel Studios began the MCU and they’re still two years away from having a solo female led movie on our screens.
But if Thor: Ragnarok’s Tessa Thompson has anything to do with it, that’s not going to stand. During a recent press conference for Taika Waititi’s much anticipated Thor film, Thompson regaled us with a rad story about confronting Kevin Feige with the possibility of an all-female Marvel movie."
A discussion on N.K. Jemisin's Facebook about the "magic system" (scare quotes hers) in the Broken Earth books. Spoilers!
Abigail Nussbaum on N.K. Jemisin's The Stone Sky.
"If You Ever Feel Sad, These 10+ Highland Cattle Calves Will Make You Smile".
September LaPerm pics from naye. These posts are always great, but I think this one is even better than usual.
"We Don't Do That Here". "I have a handful of “magic” phrases that have made my professional career easier. Things like “you are not your code” and my preferred way to say no: “that doesn’t work for me.” These are tools in my interpersonal skills toolbox. I find myself uttering phrases like, “right or effective, choose one” at least once a week. This week I realized I had another magic phrase, “we don’t do that here.”"
Brian Fies' "A Fire Story" is a short comic about him and his wife being burned out of their home in the wildfires.
"Art Inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities". (I haven't read the book, but the art is really neat.)
"Photographer Gets Bitten By A Deadly Black Mamba, Still Manages To Finish The Photoshoot". (Many beautiful snake photos!)
"Native-Land.ca: Our home on native land". Searchable map of North America's First Nations territories and pre-colonial histories. "There are over 630 different First Nations in Canada (and many more in the USA) and I am not sure of the right process to map territories, languages, and treaties respectfully - and I'm not even sure if it is possible to do respectfully. I am not at all sure about the right way to go about this project, so I would very much appreciate your input."
"Creating Gender Liberatory Singing Spaces: A Transgender Voice Teacher’s Recommendations for Working with Transgender Singers".
Via dine, "Pumpkin Spice and Needles: Bookish Autumn Cross Stitch Patterns".
"Video game developers confess their hidden tricks at last".
Via alisanne, "Why Do We Cook So Many Foods at 350 Degrees?" [Mental Floss]