reading wednesday

19 Oct 2017 02:19 am
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
[This is actually from last Wednesday but I'm just going to post it now anyway]
• What are you reading?

Notes from a Feminist Killjoy, by Erin Wunker. It's a bits-and-pieces book, but all the bits are in conversation with other writers, and with reality; even its bittyness recalls how Tillie Olsen would carry a sentence in her mind, polishing it in scraps of time between interruptions, through a day of women's work, a day of no peace, no privacy, no silence, no solitude.
When I started this book, I wanted to write something unimpeachable. Something so clear and objective, it could be a little dictionary or translation phrase book for how to speak a feminist language and live a feminist life. I wanted what many other writers -- the many-gendered mothers of my heart -- had already written. I wanted A Room of One's Own, Sister Outsider, Willful Subjects, Islands of Decolonial Love. I wanted Feminism is for Everybody and The Dream of a Common Language. I wanted No Language is Neutral.

I wanted books that had already been written by people whose experiences of moving through the world are different -- often radically so -- from mine.

*

I got stuck.
*
I read some more.
*
I remembered that I tell my students that reading and writing are attempts at joining conversations, making new ones, and, sometimes, shifting the direction of discourse.
*
I sat down at my typewriter again.


• What did you recently finish reading?

George & Lizzie, by Nancy Pearl.

Lizzie agreed. "I remember reading a novel in which one of the characters, a college professor, was writing a book on the influence of Emily Dickinson on Shakespeare and how his colleagues always misheard it and thought it was the other way around. I wish I could remember the title, because talking about it now makes me want to read it again. It's so interesting to think about. Do you think we read Shakespeare differently because of Dickinson's poems?"


I remember reading that too! It was by David Lodge, I think Changing Places? I read it about the same age Lizzie did. Not at the same time: I'm maybe ten years older than Lizzie. But, like Lizzie, I grew up in Michigan and went to UM and struggled with depression most of my life and, as a young woman, tried to claim my sexuality in ways that were bad for me and for the people I interacted with. Lizzie feels real to me, is what I'm saying, and I'm okay with the fact that the people around her are kind of one-note because the problem this book is about is: if you can't stop being sad about your shitty childhood even though your life is no longer shitty, if you can't stop punishing yourself for bad choices that you made long ago, if you can't stop trying to change something that happened long ago and wasn't in your control even then. . . then how do you stop?
[Lizzie says] "They're your thoughts, right? How can you not think them?"
Marla struggled to answer. "I don't know, but people do it. I think I let go of things, or at least try to. You have to, really, otherwise you're weighted down with all those cumulative bad memories. James and I used to talk about that baby missing from our lives, whether it was a boy or a girl, whether we could find out who adopted it, whether we'd ever forgive our parents, why we didn't just say 'Screw you' to them back then and get married after I got pregnant. I mean, you know, it was so present. It was always there in our lives. But if we kept that up there'd be no place for anything else. And now we just acknowledge all that awful stuff happened, that maybe we made the wrong decision, that we were just kids. We were just kids. You have to forgive yourself eventually, right?"

Lizzie's husband George got famous by explaining that, while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional, but his explanation doesn't work for Lizzie. George doesn't seem to understand that, for some people, that's liberating, but for others, it says that your suffering was your choice and therefore your fault. I'd offer Lizzie Season of Mists, because "you don't have to stay anywhere forever" worked for me, but how a story works depends as much on the reader as on the story.

Which is not to say that we shouldn't do our best to write good stories. This one has a stupid editing oversight that dumped me right out:
[Marla:]"I love you Lizzie, and always will. And I will always, always, keep your secrets. But this, what this means to you and George, is an important secret. It's not the equivalent of a little white lie. It'd be like me not telling James about the abortion."
[Lizzie:]"But James knew about the abortion, he was with you when you had it."
"Don't be deliberately naive, it doesn't become you. You know what I mean: some other James I was involved with."


What abortion, I wondered? Was there an abortion as well as a baby given up for adoption? When?

No, it must have been changed from an abortion to an adoption at some point. Which was a good change: it's believable that Marla would find it harder to move on with her life after carrying the baby for nine months, while knowing that there was a person out there that she felt responsible for but had no ability to protect. But leaving evidence of the change in the story made me notice how flat all the other characters are, how they are the way they are in order to serve Lizzie's story.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, by H.P. Lovecraft.
umadoshi: (purple hair)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Silks class #4 is the day after tomorrow, so I guess if I'm gonna muster up any semblance of a post about weeks 2 and 3 I'd better do that.

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.

a day of less argh :)

18 Oct 2017 07:47 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
I triumphed over the never-ending stack of leases, after which it was a slow-ish day. I showed two apartments and I think some of the people who went on the tour will come in tomorrow to rent an apartment, so that's nice.

I also got a raise! Only a small one, but even so. And what's nicer is that it's retroactive to June 1 (because our owner is an organized human being, really, I swear...) so I have a paper check I get to cash tomorrow. Yay unexpected extra money!

In news from my other job, today I finished one of my two tax update courses, and have registered for three live in-person continuing education classes, one of which is tomorrow night. The other two are next week, and I need to ask Miss Cactus whether she's willing to swap my Tuesday shift for her shift on either Monday or Friday, since the courses all start at 6pm and I work until 7pm on Tuesdays. (Failing that, I will ask Mom Boss if I can leave early that day.)

Continuing education requirements for tax preparers are 18 credit hours per year, allocated as follows: 13 federal tax law, 2 ethics, and 3 tax updates. You can, of course, take more than the minimum. I have currently finished 2 credits of tax law and 2 credits of tax updates. The three live courses will knock off another 9 credits of tax law, I have the second 2 credit tax update course ready to do whenever (probably Friday or Saturday), and the ethics and another 2 credits of tax law won't be too hard to knock off.

Then, of course, there are the New York state requirements, but I will deal with those in November. :)

I have a narrative "thing"

18 Oct 2017 06:02 pm
dragovianknight: (WoW - lion)
[personal profile] dragovianknight
For tank/DPS combos*. This grows more obvious the more I try to brainstorm this years NaNoWriMo project.

Also, if I didn't hate the mechanics/stats side of it, I would totally write litRPG. But even in my gaming, I want less fussing with stats, not MORE.



*I blame [personal profile] darthneko and I swapping to monk mains this expac. One brewmaster plus one windwalker will rip through anything, including heroic dungeons. Sadly, we can't yet duo current-content raids, or the bullshit quests that keep sending me to Emerald Nightmare would be done already.

(no subject)

18 Oct 2017 08:02 am
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Today is going to be kind of stressful. I have to meet Cordelia at school when the school day ends because the choir fundraiser stuff is coming in. I didn't see any way for her to be able to carry it home on the bus, so the best option seems to be me going there and then us getting a cab back.

Some of her teachers have requested Kleenex donations, so I can take those at the same time.

Cordelia has an appointment at 5:45, so we won't have time to waste on the way home. I wish the bus website was actually reliable about the bus that goes between Skyline and downtown. There are two or three different route variants (I've seen the A and C. I'm assuming there must be a B).

We'll get home from the appointment just in time to have friends over at 7:00.

I need to figure out a way to get myself to bed earlier in the evening. Scott and Cordelia really, really want me to watch TV with them which pushes getting ready for bed to 9:00 at which point, Cordelia generally wants to shower. I think that what I need to do is to get a second tube of toothpaste and to keep that and my toothbrush and bite splint in the kitchen so that I don't have to wait for her to get to done to be able to deal with that bit of my routine.

I still have the problem that 8:00 or 9:00 is the point when my writing brain suddenly turns itself on with great enthusiasm. Given that I can't get my body to nap, I have a choice between sleep and writing that's pretty frustrating.

wherein Liz has a day of argh

17 Oct 2017 10:43 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
So my work day started with two tenants coming in to say they'd locked themselves out of their bathroom, continued through twenty million leases to process, and ended with another tenant coming in literally one minute before closing to say they thought they had to fill out a form, maybe...? which was actually three forms, one of which I had to generate specially and then highlight the relevant sections because nobody ever fills it out correctly otherwise. *headdesk*

I mean, at least I will get paid for the extra twenty minutes I stayed? But holy gods, argh argh and above all, argh.

(The bathroom, incidentally, was an easy fix. All it takes is a judiciously applied paperclip! But I had to go apply the fix in person because apparently tenants are bad at comprehending verbal explanations at 9am when they really need to pee. (To be fair, I probably would be as well.))

...

On the bright side, I got a two-hour tax continuing education course finished before Mom Boss dumped the never-ending leases on me, so that's something.

(no subject)

17 Oct 2017 12:18 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I must have done something yesterday, but I can't for the life of me remember anything. Somehow, time is getting away from me.

I posted a story for [community profile] weissvsaiyuki today. I still have four WIP that I would love to complete for the challenge, but I don't know if I'll manage any of them.

Title: One More Folded Sunset
Fandom: Weiss Kreuz
Rating: T
Pairing: Crawford/Schuldig, background Crawford/Manx
Tags: Implied/referenced rape/non-con, Implied/referenced torture, Alternate universe - canon divergence, Alternate universe - dark, Ambiguous/open ending, Amnesia

//Brad, where the fuck are we?// Once he was sure he had a connection to Brad’s mind, he opened his eyes. He felt safer that way.

//Schuldig? I wasn’t— No. That’s not true.// Brad sounded uncertain, fragmented even, in a way that scared Schuldig even more than the odd landscape and his inability to stop walking. //The hill doesn’t look that big, but it will probably take you another half an hour to get here. Things… stretch. Sort of. You’re being watched. She can’t hear when we talk like this, but she’s watching, and she’ll hear if you speak out loud. I’d come to meet you, but… I can’t. I’ll explain when you get here.//

Schuldig knew Brad well enough to know when he was lying. You’re not going to explain anything. Well, we’ve been there before. I’ll get it one way or another. He rubbed his face with one hand. Why don’t I remember anything to explain this?

The story at AO3.
umadoshi: (read fast (bisty_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
I rewrote SO MUCH MANGA this weekend (counting yesterday as part of "the weekend"). Other than a) the amount of time I spent waiting for my GP appointment yesterday morning and b) going out for ramen and having some social time afterwards on Sunday evening, I feel like rewriting is all I did over the past three days.

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 [dreamwidth.org profile] 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.
umadoshi: text: "Aw Rachel, don't be scared of ghosts! They're only dead people." + "I know people. That's not helping." (AGAHF - ghosts)
[personal profile] umadoshi
[dreamwidth.org profile] mini_wrimo is open for signups until October 30!


Fannish/Geeky Things/SFF

"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.


Cute Stuff

"If You Ever Feel Sad, These 10+ Highland Cattle Calves Will Make You Smile".

September LaPerm pics from [dreamwidth.org profile] naye. These posts are always great, but I think this one is even better than usual.


Miscellaneous

"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 [dreamwidth.org profile] dine, "Pumpkin Spice and Needles: Bookish Autumn Cross Stitch Patterns".

"Video game developers confess their hidden tricks at last".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] alisanne, "Why Do We Cook So Many Foods at 350 Degrees?" [Mental Floss]

(no subject)

16 Oct 2017 08:34 am
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I did eventually get to sleep last night. I ended up taking a second Halcion. I probably got about four hours of sleep. I'm going to have to find a way to nap today, or I'll end up too tired to manage anything myself by the time I need to eat dinner.

I'm not sure why my body wasn't willing to sleep. Scott and I took a moderately long walk, a bit more than an hour, around north campus yesterday. It would have been longer, but it started to pour, and we had to run for the car. I need to hack ten more new to me Ingress portals in order to get the silver badge for that. I'm entirely sure that I can find those on north campus. I just need to drag myself out there for it.

Maybe later today if I manage a nap.

Scott and Cordelia are both having trouble getting their phones to charge. Scott has to wiggle the connection until the charging starts and then not jostle it at all or it will stop. Cordelia's just having problems with the cord in the living room. Scott really needs to replace his phone, but we can't afford it.

(no subject)

15 Oct 2017 11:32 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
In spite of taking Halcion fully two hours ago, I haven't gotten anywhere near sleep so far tonight. I feel physically wide awake, so for once it's not my brain running in circles to keep me awake. I have no idea what to do. If it wasn't almost midnight and rainy, I'd go for a walk or something. There isn't really anything I can do with physical energy while everyone else sleeps.

I think I do have to get out of bed. It's a terrible idea, but it's better than lying here, looking at the ceiling.
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
by that lady who did the really trash "Eat Pray Love"? I did. I tried it because the cover was so bloody gorgeous, all that purple! And I have been reading creativity books for inspiration. And you know what? This was a good one. No really. Now, as per usual with white folks, she manages to find inspiration in an mostly white canon of creatives; and as per usual the greeks and the romans are invoked as the beginning of creative history (insert eyeroll. And there is a story about Bali priests at the end that reads to me like she is defending cultural appropriation (its the way she talks as if there isn't a valid reason for concern in the situation that eveolved, even if in that case, it didn't work out the way it usually does when poc have something white folks are interested in). And I really dont agree with her that art is essentially useless and not that important to our survival. (She basically thinks that physical stuff like doctors nurses etc are important to our survival, while art is something that we choose to do but can live without. I find that her dismissal of art's catering to our mind's needs to be really weird for someone who is deep into spirituality. For me, art is just as necessary as the physical stuff. Not just bread but roses too, ya'll or in this case not just bread but art.

But the rest of it? Spot on. She takes the myth of having to suffer to create art to the woodshed. She talks about making creative work a devotion in a way that really synced with me. She addresses the idea of genius, and success and how if you are lucky to have one of your ideas take off, how to deal with the fact that nothing else you make is likely to be be as successful as that one idea (the answer: face that, acknowlege it and work anyway. Try to stay away from the idea of working towards success and try to embrace the actual creative process itself. She talked about working to support your art and how that helps to not put so much pressure on you to perform. (Though I started thinking about the many ways in which capitalism emands that you work so much that many folkd can't even get a minute to practice art at all and that's why a dream of many folks is to be able to make art that sells, cause they'll have some goddamn time to do so! ) And she talks about the fact that whatever path you choose, there will be associated shit that you will have to deal with. So pick the path. if you can, that has jewels that shine so brightly for you that you will dig thru the shit to get at them.

Her writing was lovely, light and casual and inviting. I really do rec this book!
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
cause iam gonna attempt nanowrimo this year!

(no subject)

15 Oct 2017 01:45 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I ended up going with Scott to take Cordelia and her friend to the restaurant. The plan was that I'd wait wherever he and I ended up for dinner until after he took the 3-4 kids to the dance. We had trouble finding a restaurant and ended up at Seva, a vegetarian place. We tend not to go there because my food options are severely limited by needing to avoid tomatoes and peppers and walnuts and peanuts and eggs.

I ended up ordering a cup of soup and two sides, asparagus and sweet potato fries. The soup wasn't edible by me, and Scott didn't care for it either. The menu said 'butternut-apple bisque,' and I couldn't taste either apples or butternut squash. It went more toward the savory end of flavor, and I couldn't place the herbs, so I didn't force myself to eat more than a couple of spoonfuls. I was concerned that the soup contained something that would make me sick. The restaurant ended up removing the soup from our bill. We hadn't asked them to. I'd have been cranky about spending $4 on a cup of inedible soup, but I did order it, so...

I also got dessert, banana cheesecake. It was recognizably cheesecake, but even though I could see banana chunks, I couldn't taste the banana at all. Scott tried it and also couldn't taste the banana, so I'm again puzzled. I think that, when something with a particular flavor is in the name, it's weird not to be able to taste even a trace of that in the food.

Cordelia's only comment about the dance was that it was loud and that the music was terrible. I'm not sure if the latter refers to sound quality or to song choice.

Scott's parents have reserved a house for a family vacation next summer. They didn't consult with us about potential conflicts first but did consult Scott's brother and sister, so we're a bit puzzled. We won't know for at least another month whether or not Scott can get that time off, and I'm pretty sure that the timing will mean that Cordelia couldn't do choir camp even if she wanted to. (Though Scott thinks the location of the house is actually kind of near Interlochen.) Scott's parents have promised to 'help' us with the costs but want us to tell them how much we can afford to pay. Which is both reasonable and burdensome because Scott finds it shaming.

To be honest, I'm not sure we can afford anything but gas money and our share of the groceries. I'm not convinced that Scott will be able to tell his parents that. He was able to say, months ago, that we couldn't go because we couldn't afford it. Now, we can't just not do it. We have to figure out what we can scrape together and ask for the rest. I understand why Scott's parents want everyone there. They're both 75 (and will be 76 next summer), and their oldest grandchild is 18 and in college. The odds of getting him to come to future family vacations aren't really all that great. The odds of Scott's parents being up to such a vacation in three years, five years, ten years... Yeah.

Is it weird that I feel that 'tell us what you can afford, and we'll cover the rest' is more embarrassing than 'because you can't afford it, we'll cover the expenses'?

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

October 2016

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