UK people

29 Sep 2016 09:56 pm
cyphomandra: boats in Auckland Harbour. Blue, blocky, cheerful (boats)
[personal profile] cyphomandra
Anyone in the UK reading this who would like a Thermapen? (i.e. the fancy thermometers they use on Bake Off) I ordered one from the UK outlet via a mail-forwarding service but didn't realise they won't forward goods with lithium batteries, and because I am disorganised it is now too late to get a refund even if they did one on sale items. I can, however, forward it to another UK address.. (I have written off the cost and will be getting my own local one as a Christmas present, I'd just like it to go somewhere it can be appreciated!)

reading wednesday

29 Sep 2016 01:30 am
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
On Wednesday! But not from this Wednesday. I opened the post window to write about something else and found this.

• What are you reading?

This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki. I love the art; everyone has their own face, so real and individual that if I met these people on the street I would recognize them. What it focuses on and what it looks away from feel appropriate to that one summer when you are coming to grips with the fact that boobs apply to you -- not some future you, who will have become a woman and understood all those things that you will understand when you're older, but the real you, the you that you are.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Audiobook of Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut, read by Stanley Tucci. I just wanted Stanley Tucci to read me a bedtime story. I was delighted to find Breakfast of Champions still good! Still sexist, yeah, but 70% less annoying than Even Cowgirls Get The Blues. Maybe because Vonnegut isn't kidding himself that he understands women? The biggest change it has undergone is that thirty years ago, "asshole" and the n-word were about equally shocking.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee, for SF book group.


Checked out from the library:

This one summer / Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki.
Deathless / Catherynne M. Valente.
Six-gun Snow White / Catherynne M. Valente ; with illustrations by Charlie Bowater.
The eyes of the dragon : a story / by Stephen King ; with illustrations by David Palladini.
A man called Ove : a novel / Fredrik Backman.
The grand Sophy / Georgette Heyer.

The hunger games [videorecording]
Man up [videorecording] /
Far from the madding crowd [videorecording] /
Fortitude [videorecording] /
Deadpool [videorecording] /
Orphan black. Season three /

Dogs : a startling new understanding of canine origin, behavior, and evolution / Raymond Coppinger and Lorna Coppinger.
Dog tricks : fun and games for your clever canine / Mary Ray, Justine Harding.
Detroit City is the place to be : the afterlife of an American metropolis / Mark Binelli.
Zombie spaceship wasteland : a book / by Patton Oswalt.
Second reading : notable and neglected books revisited / Jonathan Yardley
Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail / Cheryl Strayed.
When breath becomes air / Paul Kalanithi ; foreword by Abraham Verghese.
Being mortal : medicine and what matters in the end / Atul Gawande.

Eyes bigger than my... eyes, I guess?
umadoshi: (Jessica Jones 01 (bangparty))
[personal profile] umadoshi
There's nothing like working on two full volumes of Maid-sama! back-to-back to make me appreciate the massively lower wordcount of every other series I currently adapt. I'm determined to get through as much of it as I possibly can (while staying on top of my other deadlines) before Casual Job starts back up in a couple of weeks.

"As much as possible" has to account for a lot of media consumption over the next few days, though:

a) Luke Cage drops on Friday. I won't see it as quickly as some people will (I plan to sleep, for one thing), but I want to put the whole show in my eyeballs ASAP.

b) My copy of Crooked Kingdom (the sequel to Six of Crows) is in the mail with a Friday ETA (naturally), and I likewise want to read that ASAP. Whee! Everyone I know who's read it already seems to be pretty damn happy with it. (I originally bought Six of Crows in ebook, but when I saw how lovely the physical book is, I caved and re-bought it in that format. So I obviously want the equally-lovely Crooked Kingdom in hard copy too, but if I'd stuck to ebooks, I would've read it by now. [Life, so hard, etc.])

c) I need to at least skim my ARC of Feedback, since it's coming up on two months since I read it, and write a review, preferably before the book's release date this coming Tuesday.

Seanan mentioned on Tumblr that she's not currently contracted to write anything else Newsflesh-related, and whether Orbit asks her to do more novellas or something presumably depends a lot on how Feedback and Rise do; I have to figure they're the real test of how the "the trilogy went over really well, so let's see if other books in the same world do too!" theory. So I'm planning to write a proper review, and one of my book-blogger friends is willing to let me guest post it there, so that I can link it as widely as I want without linking straight back here. (It's very easy to link my DW/LJ to the rest of my online presence if anyone looks, but that doesn't mean I want to explicitly hand the link to, say, Facebook.)

nature, red in tooth and claw

28 Sep 2016 09:58 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
About twenty minutes ago I heard a funny clattery noise from the direction of my kitchen, and got up to see what had fallen over.

Not any of the dishes in the drying rack. Nothing on any of the counters. Not my poor pepper pots on the back porch.

And then I remembered that I do keep two mousetraps perpetually armed and baited (I use chunks of Snickers bars, because they don't rot) and they do sound a bit like falling dishes when they snap.

The one in the kitchen cupboard was untouched. The one under the bathroom sink, on the other hand... Bingo.

if animal injury and death bother you, stop reading here )

Tomorrow I'll buy a Snickers bar and bait two more traps.

Linkspam: fannish/geeky, misc.

28 Sep 2016 11:08 pm
umadoshi: (Rin light runs through her (flamika))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Fannish/Geeky Things

"Hayley Atwell Has a Message for Marvel Studios about Agent Carter: “Give Me a Movie!”". [The Mary Sue]

"Mike Colter, Luke Cage, and the 'Wu-Tang-ification' of the Marvel Universe".

"Food & Horror – The Art of Cooking: Haute Cuisine and Hannibal Lecter". [Octavia Cade at The Booksmugglers]

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] ladybusiness, Subterranean Press is doing a limited-edition release of Kushiel's Dart that looks lovely.

"The neglected history of videogames for the blind". [Note: written by an acquaintance.]

Foz Meadows recently posted "How To Suppress Female Characters".


Miscellaneous

"The Companions of My Heart: On making friends on the internet", AKA "The creation of the Toast and the power of internet friendship". [Mallory Ortberg at Slate]

"From Etch A Sketch to Oculus Rift: the evolution of play – in pictures". [The Guardian]

"The Museum of Imaginary Musical Instruments". (I haven't actually listened to the audio yet.)

"10 things you need to know about vaginas: From the science of the orgasm to cannabis tampons, there’s a lot to learn. Warning: explicit content". [The Guardian]

"THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID: The Motto(s)". [Anne T. Donahue] {Hashtag #LifeAdvice}

"15 Tattoos That Transformed Breast Cancer Scars Into Artwork".

"Artist Takes Tourists for a Ride with the Staten Island Ferry Octopus Disaster Memorial".

"When I Took My Daughter With Sensory Processing Disorder to the Blue Man Group". [The Mighty]

"The Exit Interview: I Spent 12 Years in the Blue Man Group". [Atlas Obscura]

"My Son, the Prince of Fashion: I took my son to Paris Fashion Week, and all I got was a profound understanding of who he is, what he wants to do with his life, and how it feels to watch a grown man stride down a runway wearing shaggy yellow Muppet pants". "When he started kindergarten, however, he found that the wearing of costumes to school was not merely discouraged, or permitted only on special days, as in preschool: It was forbidden. It would also, undoubtedly, have incurred an intolerable amount of mockery. Abe's response was to devise, instinctively and privately, what amounted to a kind of secret costume that would fall just within the bounds of “ordinary attire” and school policy. Over the next few years, with increasing frequency, he went to school dressed up as a man—a stylish man."

(no subject)

28 Sep 2016 12:49 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I had trouble falling asleep last night. I think I got up four times in two hours at the start of the night. I didn’t wake up this morning until after 10:00, and at that point, I had a very hard time waking up. I’m still kind of groggy now, hours later.

I need to go out to deliver some stuff to Cordelia’s school this afternoon. The teachers rely on parent donations for tissues, soap, hand sanitizer, etc. Scott picked up a package of six boxes of tissues and some sanitizing wipes on his way home last night. Cordelia couldn’t have carried those to school because of the other stuff she needed to carry.

I wore myself out yesterday by cleaning out the spoiled food in the fridge. That meant that I didn’t go for the walk I had hoped for in the afternoon. I did walk at about 9:00 p.m., but it was much harder than it should have been, physically, because of how much I had done earlier in the day.

Hulu is giving me problems when I try to watch it via our AppleTV. Basically, I can’t stream anything there and get sound (I can get sound there with Netflix, so it’s a problem with Hulu). I can stream and get sound if I do it on my laptop. I just don’t like doing that because I can’t easily write while watching things that way. Basically, I can write on Gdocs on my phone while watching, but I need to look at my phone more than I need to look at my laptop because I can’t touch type on the phone.

Reading Wednesday

28 Sep 2016 08:45 pm
cyphomandra: boats in Auckland Harbour. Blue, blocky, cheerful (boats)
[personal profile] cyphomandra
This is probably the last month or so.

Finished reading:

Tana French, Broken Harbour. A family living on a post-boom half-finished housing estate start to fall apart when the father becomes obsessed with animal noises in the attic; the view point in this, “Scorcher” Kennedy, has bitter family ties to the location (called Broken Harbour in his childhood, it now rejoices in the name of Brianstown). The bit where the lead detective has a family connection that they don’t disclose is growing thin here with repetition here,, as is the moment where the detective tells the reader that this is the moment when they could have stopped everything from falling apart but didn't. Kennedy is less likeable than Rob but more principled in the end, and the relationship with his rookie partner Richie slightly less dysfunctional than Rob and Cassie, and it’s all very readable and has a great sense of place, but I do want something a bit different. I am third out of ten holds for The Likeness and somewhere in the 30s for The Trespasser, and looking forward to both.

Victor LaValle, The Ballad of Black Tom. A black hustler, Charles Thomas Tester, takes a job playing music for a white man who turns out to be summoning the Elder Gods; this is inspired by and criticising Lovecraft, specifically his Horror at Red Hook story and LaValle dedicates the book to him with all his complicated feelings. The scene setting and Tom and his father are all great, and I would have happily read more of it, but the book switches to Malone's (he's the investigating detective who is the protagonist of Lovecraft's piece) pov and although I can see why LaValle did it it lost me as a reader. There are a number of revisionist Lovecraft pieces out or coming out at the moment, and I would particularly recommend Ruthanna Emry's The Litany of Earth.

Jilly Cooper, Jump! I started reading Mount!, which is just out, and realised less than a chapter in that I never finished Jump, which I think ran into earthquakes or something similar, as I stalled less than a hundred pages before the end. It’s still not up there with Appassionata and Polo, but I do admire Cooper having her romantic lead be a grandmother in her late 60s, with a secondary character being a Pakistani stable lad who is suspected of terrorism. I remember the flood as being more significant than it was on this re-read but I think mostly that was because that was where I stalled last time so it felt as if it went on for ever. I do find the way spoiling animals is totally approved of and done by all the best characters while spoiling children is terribly wrong a bit irritating. Some of this is due to having read Jilly Cooper’s The Common Years, a sort of personal diary of nature via dog-walking, in which not one but two of her dogs have to be put down (I think for both killing cats or else a child's small dog is the final offence) despite her doing everything possible to control their terrible behaviour except a) training them or b) having them neutered. I did cry at the end, because there's a bit that reminds me of my favourite moment in Riders and even though I have massive, massive issues with all the human characters involved I still love the horse.

Barbara Hambly, Fever Season. I started reading this and then everyone else in the household got sick (although not with yellow fever or cholera) so it ended up on hold for a bit. I think having not one but two mysteries running during an epidemic is a great idea, but the relentless death scenes as backdrop did make this a rather depressing read. I was also spoiled by history for a fairly key event. The characters are great, though, and even when bleak it’s still fascinating. The next two are available on Overdrive *if* I can actually work out how to use my library's digital subscription (my last attempt got me files readable on a laptop but I couldn't get them onto the ereader).

Matthew Reilly, The Great Zoo of China. A selected group of interested parties are invited to tour a not-yet-open top-secret zoo that turns out to be inhabited by DRAGONS! Much to everyone’s surprise things go horribly wrong. The usual Reilly fast pace and cinematic scenes, with a change to a female protagonist (CJ Cameron, an alligator expert), and there are some nice moments in here but it’s very, very obvious who is going to survive and how. The Four Legendary Kingdoms, the next one in his Indiana Jones-style world-ending conspiracy series, is out next month, and I think he’s probably better in series. I did pick up an ex-library copy of his The Tournament, which is historical and features a young QEI - must give that a go and see what on earth he's done with it.

Jan Mark, Trouble Half-way. Amy is a cautious child who is not wild about her new stepfather; when her mother has to take Amy's toddler sister and look after her suddenly unwell father, Amy ends up having to go on her stepdad's lorry delivery round. You are probably envisioning all sorts of Problem Novel occurrences, but this is Jan Mark and the mid 80s, and so it is a well-drawn believable story in which Amy learns that she can be a little more independent and people are not always threatening just because you don't know them. Mark as an author will always mean The Ennead to me, a stunningly brilliant YA one-volume fantasy that I am enthralled by and argued (in my head) with in equal measure since I first read it as a teenager.

I also skimmed through the Narnia series – the beginning of Prince Caspian, beginning and end of The Dawn Treader, most of The Silver Chair and The Last Battle for writing And All Points North. I am still never going to like The Last Battle, and I can still remember how betrayed and irritated I felt at reading the opening Shift & Puzzle section for the first time as a child. Reread a bit of Mike and Psmith and (mostly) resisted getting sucked into Josephine Tey's Miss Pym Disposes, all conveniently on Project Gutenberg.

In progress:

Jilly Cooper, Mount! Jump! was at least trying to extend the bounds of romantic protagonists. This has Gala, who is employed as a carer for Rupert's increasingly demented father and is a widow from a violence-riven country in Africa whose husband was murdered by possibly state-sanctioned agents of organised crime, and I would like her much more if she were a Sudanese refugee and not a white Zimbabewan who was putting off having children due to a court case over her farm and whose husband ("a true Rhodi") died in a hail of bullets while hugging a baby rhino to save it from poachers. I would also like her more if the description of the revenge attacks on her husband and her farm spent less time going on about how all the dogs were killed and clarified whether the farm workers were also all killed. So far this was mentioned only briefly in the second of three (so far) retellings, and I am unsure if this is the author's or Gala's oversight. It is also heavily about Rupert Campbell-Black, of whom I am not fond, and I am reading it rather grumpily.

Agatha Christie, Death on the Nile. The Peter Ustinov movie of this was one of the first films I remember seeing, but it’s been a long time since I read it. I can remember vividly how the murder was done, which means I know who, but it’s still fun watching it all fall into place.

Tim Powers, Medusa’s Web. I bought this on my last-but-one trip to Kinokuniya in Sydney and found it still in the suitcase on the most recent trip. I am about 60 pages in but was getting wistful fondness for what I consider to be Powers’ best books, so:

Tim Powers, Last Call. I actually borrowed this from the library despite owning it, because my copy is, like most of my other books with authors starting with “N” and after, in one of a large number of inaccurately labelled boxes either in an attic or jammed into a wardrobe somewhere. I can never decide which one of a handful of Powers I like best, but this is up there – it’s so believable and completely bizarre at the same time. I am possibly being unfair to Medusa's Web as I'm not that far in, but it does feel thin by comparison.

Rose Lerner, Sweet Disorder. Widow Phoebe Sparks can, by marrying again, generate a vote in the hotly contested district election and so, despite her lack of keenness, both the Whigs and Tories attempt to provide her with suitable candidates. Nick Dymond, crippled war veteran and brother of the Whig candidate, gets involved a little bit more than he should with Phoebe’s decision. This is holding my attention more than the last Lerner I tried, which I gave up on; it’s enjoyable and there’s enough history there to work for me, even while a fair bit of contemporary creeps in. It hasn’t really got me as involved as I would like, though, and it may be that I’m just not all that into contemporary het romances at the moment, unless they're also re-enacting National Velvet in the background.

Abandoned:

Louise Doughty, Black Water. I liked the idea of a book dealing with the Indonesian genocide, but this wasn’t working for me; as with Apple Tree Yard, there’s an early immediate sexual connection that didn’t feel believable, and flipping through to see if things picked up got me then not one but two past child deaths told in that particular literary styling where you know they’re going to die and it’s just being dragged out in nicely turned prose, so I bailed.

Mark Haddon, The Red House. I could probably have handled all the dialogue being in italics without quote marks if I could have been bothered remembering who any of the characters were.

Up next:

Finishing all this lot and then probably alternating Benjamin January with the My Friends series.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
I... kind of have a functional computer again?

The new battery and power cord arrived today, and after I fed the dog, walked the dog, and fed myself (because one shouldn't attempt laptop surgery when slightly loopy with hunger), I opened the laptop, did a final check to make sure I had the right battery type, replaced the sucker, and closed everything up again. Then I plugged in the new power cord.

Net result: Shadowfall is running fine on wall socket power, but the battery charge light is staying solid red and the system tells me it cannot detect any battery at all! Meanwhile, the little battery charger popup window thinks there IS a battery and it's 100% charged. *headdesk* And before you say anything, YES, I tried turning the machine off and on again. That changed nothing.

I will still try that again overnight, probably.

In slightly stranger news, Chrome updated itself at some point between last Monday and tonight, yet the new program still remembered all my open tabs from over a week ago. This was slightly counteracted by the way it made me clear all my cookies before it let me access Tumblr. Chrome is weird.

Anyway, if Shadowfall doesn't start recognizing (and charging) its battery by tomorrow night, I will try taking the machine in to Best Buy and telling them that I don't care if they say my service plan only covers software issues, because I have fixed the hardware problem and clearly the ball is now in their court, because it's software that lets the operating system talk to the battery.

...

In other news, my parents are safely home from Prague, and tomorrow Dad will drive to Ithaca to collect Dottie and take her home for a week and a half, until I drive down to NJ to kidnap her again. :)

(no subject)

27 Sep 2016 12:35 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I ended up taking a longish walk (by my standards) last night when I went out to hack the church portal. It was nice and cool out, so I felt like I could walk further without sweating to death. I was in shorts and a t-shirt. I had a windbreaker, but I ended up taking it off on my way home. Of course, when I got home, I looked at the weather online and discovered that it was in the mid-40s F. The only part of my body that thought things out there were cold last night was my lungs, and it wasn’t cold enough to set off my asthma.

It’s in the 50s F right now, so I might go out for a walk before lunch if I can get myself out the door. I need to walk more. It’s just so damned hard to open the door and walk out. I don’t know. I have to take out the trash some time today. Maybe I can use that to get myself outside and then just not come back inside for a while?

We chose not to watch the debate last night. We agreed that there wasn’t going to be anything there that would make either of us change our minds about how we’re going to vote. Of course, Scott’s father watched and emailed Scott to encourage him to turn it on and see how presidential Trump was. I am not at all sure what Scott’s father might have been smoking. I suppose it may have been some form of vast wishful thinking because Scott’s parents are really terrified that socialists, brown people, non-Christians, and queer people are going to come and kill them and take all of their stuff.

They’re in their mid-70s. I don’t think that anything anyone could say to them would help at all. I know that all three of their children disagree with them and that everybody tends to go out of their way not to talk about politics/social justice in their vicinity. I remember Scott’s father giving us all on-your-heads-be-it warnings about voting for Obama, but mostly he doesn’t talk about such things with us, especially not in front of his grandchildren.

I have four library DVDs I want to watch this week if I can manage it. I just have a hard time starting and then end up pausing the dratted things repeatedly. I also have six library CDs that I want to listen to and a lot of audiobooks on my laptop.

Scott wants to transition to using our bread machine for bread for sandwiches now that it’s getting cooler. I’m hesitant because I really don’t like slicing bread. I’m the one making all the sandwiches right now, so I’d be the one slicing the bread. I’m also the one who would make the bread and clean the pan and all of that. It seems a pity to have the bread machine and not use it, and it would be less expensive, but… It’s a lot more work. With sliced bread, I can make both sandwiches in under five minutes. Needing to slice the bread might well turn the sandwich making into a two step process that requires a rest in the middle. Maybe it would help if I slice the entire loaf all at once?

Scott’s work called at 10:30 last night to ask him to come in early this morning. He said no, and they didn’t insist. He’d have been trying to work twelve hours on three hours of sleep.

Birthday Girl!!!

27 Sep 2016 05:34 am
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

The first presidential debate.

You're not alive or well (or don't have cable or internet) if you don't at least know it was on tonight, and you haven't done your duty to democracy nor caught an historic moment if you missed it. I'm not going to go the fair and balanced route in discussing it because the media has done enough of that for us, elevating Trump to seem like someone he never was, namely, a serious candidate. Like I'm going to write about one serious candidate running against Archie Bunker after he gets an unexpected inheritance, so I'm going to say serious things, and expect people to take it seriously.

Haaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaa NO.

That's the only reason this debate was historic and why you really don't know what you were missing if you missed it. Feel the FOMO, because it's real. The proof of what we have on offer in November is neatly wrapped up in this one hour and some-odd minutes of verbal sparring (the some-odd mostly because Donald would not shut his mouth): on our right we have a strong, intelligent, poised, gracious woman who seems well-capable of leading; on our left, an asinine loose canon who speaks in more code than they could safely cram into that Da Vinci-something flick without moviewatcher's heads exploding.

While Trump didn't make some of his usual mistakes - like pointing out his sole African American supporter - he did hit all the typical buzzers for a Donald Trump appearance, debate personas be damned - including how he verbally ran over Hillary throughout, an immediately noticeable fact from the get-go. I have both praise for and wonder at her restraint, because I wouldn't have lasted two minutes being constantly interrupted. By at most the second or third time I would've brought the debate to an absolute standstill by a) asking Donald to stop interrupting, and when that likely failed, b) asking the moderator to warn him not to interrupt again.

I mean, seriously? We all learned when we were five unless we were spoiled brat bullies given no discipline, most likely because everyone was afraid of our rich, powerful daddy: you don't interrupt. You let people speak their turn. She's given two minutes, you're given two minutes. The rules are simple, clear, and as victimized as Donald has felt throughout the process of somehow stealing, killing or Russian-hacking his way to a win - none of which would raise an eyebrow over at Chateau MM, unfortunately - the rules apply to both of them, not just the person who doesn't happen to have a dick.

I don't know if she consciously thought of pointing out his interruptions but chose to grin and bear the many dozens, or if she simply didn't have the nerve to bring it up (perhaps she feared a "damsel-in-distress" look would not go over well with the mostly male, Hillary-hating faction) but the fact that the interruptions remained unaddressed by anyone, including the moderator, whose job it is to moderate, left me feeling sort of queasy. Did the moderator choose not to stop Donald's verbal barrage because he's a man and men interrupt, so to him Donald was displaying normal, typical male behavior? Did he choose not to comment because he was scared, or felt that he had to give Donald an extra-wide berth to rant on and on with to erase any notion that he was being "treated unfairly by the media"?

The lack of oversight against Donald's mouth took what would have been pure spectacle - Donald Duck vs. Hillary in a debate that people will want, but likely be unable to take seriously - and made it hard to endure. The verbal onslaught - the bullying, harassing, haranguing, "I win" nature of his interruptions was actually exhausting. I failed to hear the last five to 20 words of many of Hillary's sentences because Donald would jump in too soon. His cutoffs seemed not only timed to keep her from finishing but also to show her - and to show the world watching him interrupt her - blatant disrespect, a disregard for the thoughts she was forming as she spoke. It was a disgrace.

For all that I disagreed with how she handled his verbal warfare, Hillary was gracious and articulate; not wonky, boring nor dispassionate, as so many people seemed to expect. She seemed sincere in her desire to help everyday people get ahead, and said enough things I agreed with that the chorus of "Amen"s emanating from, of all people, me, was a surprise. Before I get into recounting Donald's Greatest Hateful Hits, I'll point out the one thing Hillary said that set me back, and the two areas where our known racist actually shined (he's either sincere or the greatest actor on earth, in which case we're in trouble, a topic which I'll address briefly at the end).

Firstly, that bit early on where Hillary said she wants to be our next president was unnecessary, at best. I don't need advertisements mixed in with my normal debate banter.

And I felt she lost me on the race question. She was quick to point out that things are not so bad for blacks (a view I strongly disagree with) and that they have their faith-based communities and churches. Which made me wince. A lot. It was the most racist thing anyone said, and this was one topic I thought Donald would fall on like a sword, while Hillary would shine. Instead of addressing how much minorities are hurting in very, very real ways (most of those stemming from clear, obvious lack of support from the whites who run everything) she dragged out tired old tropes and stereotypes in saying that well, they can lean on their churches and their faith during hard times (implied: so they'll be fine, OK? You can't kill them, they always go on somehow, so let's move on). That bit me. Hard.

You don't understand a life - not a brief time, not "cycling in and out of poverty" - but a life of deprivation until you've lived it. I haven't - not really - but I spent 28 years in a mostly black neighborhood where many people did. I watched, day by day, year by year, as things never changed, except to get worse (crack, gangs, guns). And the church, as heavily as they did or didn't lean on one? Wasn't doing a damn thing for them, especially not to lift them up so they'd never have to live that way again. When she said that, a half-lifetime of memories came flooding back and I winced, because she dismissed their pain, and used a tired old trope about blacks and churches to do it.

Donald, on the other hand - and this was one of only two moments in the debate where I give him credit - though he lacked any plan to help minorities, spoke rather feelingly about them. I connected with what he was saying. He does have an ability to tell it like it is that Hillary doesn't entirely lack - she simply failed to use it in this one crucial moment, which I felt was to her detriment. People are not going to judge who will do the most for them by finding and reading their position paper. Maybe she has a great, wonderful position paper, but as we know, half the things politicians say to get elected will never come to pass, anyhow. I'm still waiting for Obama to end the NSA and give us all free internet. It rankles, these broken promises.

People will judge who will do the most for them by how that person makes them feel. And in that moment, Donald sounded like the only one pushing the right buttons.

Hillary made no major slip-ups by most common standards. There were moments where she seemed - especially as she listened to Donald say certain things or after she responded to them by saying things that are obviously very central to what she believes - a bit smug or self-satisfied. I understand she has avid fans and supporters just like him, but I think she should act a bit more circumspect and not play into her crowd with so many facial expressions. I found it off-putting - I've seen other women make faces like that, and whether the reason they were gloating was good or bad, I found I wouldn't want to be friends with them. I'm a woman, and I can say as a woman that I think we all want to be friends with you, Hillary, so knock it off.

The only other thing Donald did right - and I have to point out that he did it in the act of again doing something wrong by interrupting Hillary for the umpteenth time - was to say that our infrastructure is crumbling. This was another great Obama promise that went nowhere, the great fixing of our infrastructure that tax dollars were supposed to pay for by putting Americans to work rebuilding everything after the Great Recession put so many of us out of jobs and homes. Still waiting, are we not? Hillary did nothing to address his completely off-topic mention of this mess, but granted, there was no reason to take it up at that moment. But it's a wedge he can use against her if she doesn't address the topic eventually.

With any serious points - which I said I wouldn't get into but did, anyhow - dealt with, the debate was mostly a compendium of Donald's Greatest Hateful Hits. A 400 pound hacker lying in bed taking down the DNC (hateful, ablesit, antifat)? Check. Blaming every hateful thing he's ever said about women on his archenemy Rosie O'Donell, who twisted his arm until he cried to make him? Check. Hillary not looking fine-assed enough to be our prezzy (he looks a hot mess himself, but whatevs - also, ableist, misogynist, and an outright lie)? Check. "Law and order" repeated so many times - even over the moderator's admonitions - you'd think he was trying to start a Make America White Again rally (which he almost did)? Check. "Inner cities" said on repeat as a dog whistle to the Ford F150/gun-toting/beer-swigging crowd? Check, check, and check!

Did we do "the cyber"? Check. It's like a strange dance where you sit still behind a computer screen and pretend you're doing ballet while in reality, you're actually joining ISIS. I wish Hillary had the wit to pounce on it for the bad idiom it is. Word salads? OMG, total wordslaw around the "supporting the Iraq war" question - which is not a question, but a matter of settled fact, except according to him, where facts are the best word salads that have ever done the cyber. Not wanting to release his tax returns unless 33,000 emails undelete themselves and cyber over to the next debate? Check. Bragging about his business acumen because the fact that he dodges tax bills proves he has it? Check. And there's so much more, but until I replay the whole thing on YouTube, this is the best my memory might serve me.

I don't think either of them won or lost - not in the traditional sense, because we didn't have a traditional pairing. We had one traditional candidate, and then we had Donald. The intelligence and experience mismatches between them are so glaring that Hillary might as well have debated herself.

Both have avid supporters, and both are mostly appealing to people who's minds are made up, who won't change their minds unless Hillary makes a major gaffe that people across the aisle can agree is Just No or else if Donald makes an obvious misstep, like finally thanking his vast army of racist supporters for being so racistly supportive (something I'm surprised he didn't do tonight). He will be, after all, riding into office - if he does get elected - on their backs, and don't kid yourselves - if he does win, they'll likely demand their agenda be put forth, and he knows it.

Either way, it looks like he won by his camp's standards and Hillary won by hers. And I think this election will be a mess.

Further reading: 19 WTF Moments From the First Presidential Debate, because we all have so many WTFs.

umadoshi: (Yotsuba&! teddy bear (ohsnap_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
In case anyone needs a ton of links to distract them from the debate, here, let me clear about my "miscellaneous" file for you. It's all going under a cut, and I'm afraid it's not really sorted at all. If you dive in, may you find entertaining and/or distracting things.

35 links under the cut )
edenfalling: golden flaming chalice in a double circle (gold chalice)
[personal profile] edenfalling
After about fifteen years of somehow avoiding any involvement in church governance (that is, I volunteer for a bunch of stuff but on the foot-soldier level rather than the officer level), I have been invited to join two committees in the past two days. O_o

I have tentatively said yes to both. This may not work out in practice -- there are some potential scheduling conflicts with my new job -- but hey, I am game to try. :)

-----

In completely unrelated news, my replacement laptop battery and power cord should arrive on Tuesday afternoon. I have duly watched a couple tutorials on how to open up my particular laptop model so assuming no unforeseen new issues arise, I should be able to get back online properly sometime tomorrow night.

(no subject)

26 Sep 2016 10:04 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
We finished that last episode of Star Wars: Rebels around noon yesterday. I really want to see season three now, but we don’t have Disney XD and can’t afford to get it.

Scott did the grocery shopping at about 2:00. We went to the library about 4:30 then finished cleaning up the portals at the science center. After that, Scott mowed the lawn and grilled some fish. I cooked some potatoes in the pressure cooker.

I have a pretty strong suspicion that I’m not going to be able to keep taking Zoloft. I’m getting bruises on my legs that I can’t remember sources for. I’m not absolutely sure that it’s connected as it’s only three so far, but bruising is one of those side effects that can be serious, so I’m going to pay attention and see if other bruises turn up.

I went into the bedroom at 8:00 because Scott and Cordelia wanted to watch Once Upon a Time. I gave up on that midway through season one, and, while I don’t mind it, I didn’t want to deal with Cordelia hassling me about how I shouldn’t watch until I catch up. I’m not likely to get around to it. I hit a point where I couldn’t deal with the things I could see were obviously coming in the flashbacks.

We have a mattress with adjustable pressure air bladders. I’m finding that the comfortable pressure for me to sleep on is absolutely not comfortable for sitting on. Basically, I need my mattress very soft for sleeping, but that leaves it so flabby that, when all of my weight is concentrated by sitting, my behind sinks far enough to hit the hard platform under the mattress. If I’m going to go in there regularly and sit, I think I’ll want to pump up the air bladder and then take it back down at bedtime.

I ended up not sleeping all that well last night. I slept okay up until about 4:00. After that, I think I had a few minutes here and there. I was awake from when Scott got up until Cordelia got up then drowsed while she got ready for school and then again after she left for about forty-five minutes. Most of this is related to needing the bathroom. Needing to pee every two to three hours makes for disrupted sleep, especially when the timing for my bladder doesn’t map onto the timing of other things that will wake me.

I’ve narrowed down my probable Yuletide offers to about fifteen things that I’d actually be thrilled to write. Three are things I’ve written before. I wouldn’t mind writing them again, but maybe I should just offer things I haven’t written? If I match on, say, the Chronicles of Amber, I might choke on having too much of that fandom since I’ve completed two fics in it this year and have two more I’m working on (plus, there’s the UCon game to write).

I also have two longish lists of things that I’d be interested in writing but that I’m not sure I can write well, either because of the voice of canon or because of the nominated characters, or that I don’t have ready access to or that are too long to review in the time I’ll have. At least one is something for which I’d love to write one of the nominated characters but don’t think I could offer any of the others. I always dither at this stage because I can see that it’s possible, in theory, that one of the fandoms I don’t offer might have a request that I’d adore writing. Experience tells me that I can’t/won’t write treats or NYR fics. I have old Yuletide requests from five or six years ago that pinged me enough for me to save them but not enough to actually, you know, write them.

More writing!

26 Sep 2016 09:34 pm
cyphomandra: boats in Auckland Harbour. Blue, blocky, cheerful (boats)
[personal profile] cyphomandra
I pounced on a pinch hit for [personal profile] lirin_lirilla in the [community profile] genex fic exchange because it had so many fabulous prompts that I could do (Oxford Time Travel! Mara Jade in the Star Wars EU! Psmith) and ended up writing for Narnia, a series which was probably my gateway into reading past picture book level, and certainly my gateway into fantasy. I have loved all of the books except The Last Battle (which I will never love) for different reasons at different times, but never thought of writing fic for them, so it was both a challenge and a process of discovery at working out what I wanted to say.

Which was about Edmund and trains.

And All Points North (2631 words) by Cyphomandra
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Chronicles of Narnia - C. S. Lewis
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Edmund Pevensie, Susan Pevensie, Lucy Pevensie, Peter Pevensie, Eustace Scrubb, Jill Pole
Additional Tags: England - Freeform, Trains, Stealth Crossover, Public Transportation
Summary:


"And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart,
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?"

W.H. Auden, Night Mail.




Brief story notes. )

[personal profile] sovay had posted recently about seeing the film of The Night Mail as part of a train film marathon, so that was still in my head when I was looking for titles/epigraphs, and she very kindly provided beta, along with [personal profile] china_shop and Orannia. [personal profile] sovay has also written a fabulously evocative piece of Calormene history and archeology off the back of my mention of the Assyrian lion hunt sculpted reliefs at the British Museum, and I strongly recommend it; Not a Tame Lion.

whois

kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

March 2015

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