To get some good AC I went to the cheap seat movie theater tonight and saw "Step." This is a documentary about a Step dance team at a girls' high school in Baltimore. The film focuses entirely on black girls and women. Recommended.
It is so rare that I like a sitcom, but this one is smart and funny, and the actors terrific.
Getting a horse for Christmas when I was 11. Penny and I were soul-friends and I had so many good times with her. Here is a photo of us the next summer: https://flic.kr/p/63nL6f
2. What's the saddest thing to ever happen to you?
Maybe when my 2 best friends broke up with me when we were 11-ish (6th grade). In therapy, I determined this to be a watershed event for learning to shut down my emotions; and also the ringleader probably sensed something gay about me, and that is why she decided to stop talking to me. Also, the way they did it! They just stopped talking to me one day. I was bewildered more than anything.
3. What's the thing that got you the most angry in your life?
Probably at a therapist. I was about a day or two into a hypo-manic episode (?) after coming out and I thought she could help me. She didn't. I did write about it at the time http://sasha-feather.dreamwidth.org/
I got so angry about the Vivid Con ableism stuff in 2010 that I made myself ill. But, that anger has faded. I don't really feel it anymore.
I didn't get angry a lot before I came out; and then I was angry *all the time*; it seems better now a few years on.
4. What's the most frightening thing to ever happen to you?
Scary situations don't really "happen to me" so much as arise from my anxiety. I have gotten super anxious in totally mundane situations. It seemed like the only way out of the problem was to speak, and I was so anxious I could not speak, so I was stuck and frozen. Also, I didn't know why this was happening. Everyone else seemed to have no problem in these ordinary situations, like speaking to a teacher or knocking on a door. Then having random panic attacks sent me to therapy.
In a more traditional sense of frightening-- there was some scary-to-outsiders stuff with the horses, like getting bucked off. But it never seemed scary to me. Animals are easier than people, and that basic fear is easier to deal with than anxiety.
5. What's the most unbelievable thing to happen to you in your life?
a. Getting scholarships that paid for my college education
b. Getting a horse for Christmas!!!11!1!!!
c. Not realizing I was queer until age mumblety
d. getting facial pain that has no real diagnosis
e. Being on the State Champion poutlry quiz bowl team!
Trouble was, the subleaser wanted in on 1 October, and I was scheduled to leave Thursday evening and not get back 'til next Sunday. The first. Panic ... did not exactly set in, though stress certainly did.
Over the course of Wednesday I:
- Got a couple of friends to hang out with me Wednesday night and help finish packing, which otherwise would have been a) slow, b) frustrating, and c) generally sad-inducing.
- Acquired a small storage unit on short notice.
- Decided to just call in exhausted on Thursday due to not sleeping well (this is not a lie), and just go in for my early-morning meetings.
After all that I made it back to my basement apartment about an hour before I'd expected, with plenty of time to pack for ten days up north. Indeed, I managed to leave about an hour early to get to the airport, so I'd have plenty of time to grab a leisurely dinner before my flight.
Except that when I got to the airport I realised I'd forgotten my viola, which would make it difficult to a) practise and b) have a Skype lesson on Tuesday. So, half an hour transit back out to the apartment and half an hour back to the airport, and there went all the extra time I'd built in for dinner. I did manage to grab something to eat anyhow but it was a close thing.
I then discovered, once I got here, that I'd left my glasses at home as well. This is deeply frustrating, as it rather limits my late-evening options. It's also gonna make things interesting if my contacts self-destruct again.
(I briefly thought I had lost my Nexus card, but it turned up again. Still not sure what happened there. I'd blame my lack of glasses except that I generally find things by touch and not by sight, so.)
But the weekend was pretty good: reconnected with Erin, went out to a couple of events to start trying to make connections in the local kink community, generally got a little more sociable and a little less stuck in my own head.
And today's the equinox, so maybe the horrificness has just been the fault of summer and it'll start to settle out now. I can hope, anyway.
There was a glorious tunic dress I got at the thrift store with hand embroidered petroglyph-style fabric, which I passed on to my mother since it fits her without alterations. Pinterest and now the craft stores are full of ideas & paint markers for drawing on rocks. There was the paleoart take on what we can learn about the woolly rhinoceros from looking at art by its contemporaries. And then this glorious article came across twitter the other day: What the Caves are trying to tell us, and I don't remember hearing about the liner scratch marks before either, but they remind me of the reindeer birthing goddesses & the various stone-age petroglyphs that still carry the old gods through into modern central European cross stitch patterns.
Also, I want more fiction weird edge-of-the-imagination speculative stone age cultures and a world where every rock & maybe tree used to be covered with herds of ice age large mammals and the ones in the deep caves are just the only ones we have left.
I am restraining myself from finishing up getting rid of the wallpaper on the stairs (a noble goal, but not today's priority) so I can paint cave art all over those walls. I *might* have to use that as a theme for another pair of painted jeans, tho. Except that then I'd need to make a string skirt to wear with them... (We'll see how long this lasts; so far I'm just at the stage of google image searches & requesting library books.)
This is one of my very favorite exchanges of the year, and I'm so delighted to have a gift from you! Please, aside from my few hard content notes, choose a fic you love and have a great time.
If you're interested in checking them out, here are my AO3 bookmarks which I haphazardly update. I'm also on Twitter were_duck if you want to check me out there.
General Likes: I love fic about women and queers, especially poly relationships, f/f or pairings involving trans people of any orientation, or really kinked out het pairings are good too. I also love and read a lot of m/m so if that's your thing, please go for it! I love poly fic, kink fic (and I will read any kink, really), gen friendship fic and character studies, werewolf AUs, stories set in space, domestic fic, adventure stories, family and relationship stories. I like long fic and short fic. In terms of podfic, I like straightforward readings, I like voices, and I also like when podficcers tackle something interesting, like voicing emojis or playing with an effect or similar.
General Dislikes: I'm not super into fic where jealousy plays a major role in the romantic relationship. It's ok if it's present, I just don't tend to like when it's the main conflict between characters. I also would prefer no on-screen suicide attempts or self-harm (references to these things off-screen are fine).
Hard limits (things I really would prefer not to have present in a story): pregnancy loss or on-screen child death. If there's a canon pregnancy loss or child death that gets referred to in passing, that's ok, but in general this is a thing I can't deal with lately.
Comments about my requested fandoms:
Wonder Woman: Diana femslash please! Or Diana gen! Or if it's Diana/Steve, can we explore how much Steve loves being on his knees? I enjoyed the hell out of this movie and I'm especially here for stories about Diana's youth on Themyscira or else post-movie Diana managing her grief and continually adjusting to the changing world.
Black Sails: My new fandom love! I am here for the canon poly ships, basically, (Max/Anne/Jack and Flint/Thomas/Miranda) and I'm a sucker for the fucked upness of Max/Eleanor. I'm not very into Flint/Silver but I am willing to be convinced if you think the story is good.
Rivers of London: I am a Peter/Thomas fan, but also poly Peter/Bev or gen featuring Peter. I love pretty much all of the supporting cast in this fandom and there's some delightful fic out there.
MCU (movies): I love the Marvel ladies (Natasha! Pepper! Maria! Wanda!), Sam/Steve is my JAM, and I have a soft spot for Bucky/Steve. Team hijinks and feelings all the way down in this fandom.
Dragon Age: Inquisition: Oh my god, basically any combination of Dorian, Bull, and/or Cullen. There is some great f/f fic in this fandom, too! I tend not to find fic centering the inquisitor to be very interesting, personally, but if you know a fic in the fandom you really love about an inquisitor, please go for it.
The Adventure Zone: I have been listening to this podcast nonstop for weeks and I will definitely be caught up by the time #ITPE happens, so don't worry about spoilers. I haven't read any fic yet so I don't know what the fandom is like, but basically humor and hijinks are my jam for these guys, and I've loved pretty much all of the side characters so anything goes.
ST:Reboot: Kirk/Spock, Spock/Uhura, Kirk/Uhura/Spock, Bones/Spock... I will love it all. I'm very into the Vulcan stuff these days, and the stories that resonate between original timeline and new reboot.
ST:TOS: Amanda/Sarek, Kirk/Spock, Kirk/Spock/Bones, the Diane Duane tie-in novels... Fandom of my heart.
ST:DS9: I'm super into Jadzia Dax, Kira Nerys, (is there any Dax/Kira fic???) and my main ship on this show is Bashir/Garak because... yes. I love their banter.
ST:DIS: Anything! I enjoyed the first ep, find the characters intriguing, and want to know more about Michael and Sarek and also femslash between Michael and her captain!
Hannibal: Will/Hannibal all the way. I'm actually okay with the canon level of cannibalism so most of the fic is on the table.
Young Avengers (America & Kate only): This is such a great pairing and I'd be DELIGHTED by any podfic at all starring them!
Star Wars: TFA: REY REY REY REY! Poe/Finn! Poe/Rey/Finn! GENERAL LEIA! Leia/Poe! backstories, future fic, Finn figuring out how to be a person and not a stormtrooper, Rey moving toward her ~destiny~, Leia being worldweary... all of it is good.
I emailed Grad Div about whether I'd have to re-petition to be on filing fee status should it come down to that, and also texted the prof about it. She called me, and we talked it over, and she seems keen to keep me as her TA. She's emailed the department chair, the dean of Grad Div, and some other admin people, and I guess going to look for a way to get my tuition waivered regardless because it's just not a well-known thing. I don't have a lot of hope for that but I'm holding out SOME optimism because I would love to TA for this class. But if it comes down to it, I can't justifying paying $10,000 to TA for a 10-week class, when I'm defending in Week 2. And that includes health insurance too, which was another solid reason to accept the TAship and get the fee waiver.
=/ Very unhappy with how this is shaking out. Fingers crossed that it works out.
It starts in London with Mary Jekyll, mixes in mysteries (is Dr. Jekyll still alive?), suitably dismal nuns (caring for Mary's half-sister, Diana Hyde), adds in a bit of Holmes and Watson (on their way to another gruesome murder scene), further explores what Dr. Jekyll was trying to do (oh, and he was an alchemist, and they had this alchemist's society), and goes on from there.
It's not just one girl's quest for anything, though: there's the mystery of whether Mary & Diana's father is still alive. Mary tries to hire Sherlock Holmes for the task. There are other interesting people that they meet, especially the women. There is some science involved, and sexism (c'mon, it's the Victorians). A bunch of nuns trying to teach poor women some work skills to save them from sin, in suitably dreary conditions. And a couple of ghastly murders occur, too.
If this sounds anything like your cup of tea, READ THIS BOOK. Like Jae said: Theodora Goss is a fucking genius.
A heist movie about Southern, redneck-type folks who plan and carry out a complicated robbery. Very little violence (one bar fight), little in the way of bad language, no explicit material. Pretty light, fun, and clever. Channing Tatum is the mastermind of the heist; his brother is played by Adam Driver. Daniel Craig cleary had a lot of fun playing a bomb expert with a thick Southern accent. This movie didn't have a lot of substance, but it was fun. My main irritation is that Adam Driver plays a guy with a partial arm amputation from a war wound. How much money did they spend on CGI for this, and also he took away a great opportunity for an actual disabled person to play this part. There are a couple of jokes involving the prostetic that didn't feel mean to me, but might feel mean to someone else.
Silver Linings Playbook
I loved the beginning and middle of this movie. Bradley Cooper is tremendous in it-- he takes a character that could be (and sometime is) creepy and unlikeable, and makes that character sympathetic. I liked that they showed some of the realities of mental illness. I liked the friendship between his character and Jennifer Lawrence's character. I did not like the ending, which seemed to wrap everything up in too neat of a bow-- a happily ever after sort of ending, when you know it isn't going to be so easy for anyone.
What Happened to Monday - Netflix
A dystopian film set in the near future, in an unnamed European city. People live under an oppressive government, the main crux being a strict one-child policy. Seven identical sisters live in secret, sharing one legit identity as Karen Settman. They each get to go out one day a week, the day they are named after. At the end of the day, each catches the others up on what they need to know to keep up at their high-powered job. One evening, Monday doesn't come home, and the others must find out what has happened. Noomi Rapace plays all of the sisters. It's fun to watch them being badass and fighting, but there is quite a lot of violence and mayhem. Content notes for child harm and death; violence; gore. I enjoyed this film quite a lot.
A video of a Nazi in Seattle getting punched and knocked out has been making the rounds. Responses range from satisfaction and celebration to the predictable cries of “So much for the tolerant left” and the related “Violence makes us as bad as them and plays right into their hands.”
A few things to consider…
1. According to one witness, the punch happened after the Nazi called a man an “ape” and threw a banana at him. With the disclaimer that I’m not a lawyer, that sounds like assault to me. I’m guessing Assault in the Fourth Degree. In other words, the punching was a response to an assault by the Nazi.
The witness who talks about the banana-throwing also says he was high on THC. I haven’t seen anyone disputing his account, but I haven’t seen corroboration, either.
2.Remember when George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin, and people like Geraldo Rivera said it was because Martin was wearing a hoodie, and that made Martin a potentially dangerous “suspicious character”? Utter bullshit, I know. But if our legal system let Zimmerman plead self-defense, saying he was afraid because Martin was wearing a hoodie, doesn’t that same argument apply against someone wearing a fucking swastika?
We’re talking about a symbol that announces, “I support genocide of those who aren’t white, aren’t straight, aren’t able-bodied…”
3. Buzzfeed presents this as anti-fascists tracking a Neo-Nazi to beat him up. While antifa Twitter appears to have been talking about this guy, there’s no evidence that the punch was thrown by someone who’s part of that movement. And even if he was, the guy didn’t throw a punch until after the Nazi committed assault (see point #1).
Those Tweets quoted on Buzzfeed also suggest the Nazi was armed, which could add to the self-defense argument in point #2.
Is Nazi-punching right? Is it legal? As any role-player will tell you, there’s a difference between whether something is lawful and whether it’s good.
The “victim” has every right to press charges. But for some reason, he didn’t want to talk to police about the incident.
Was punching this guy a good thing? I mean, there’s a difference between comic books and real life. The Nazi was standing in front of some sort of tile wall. He could have struck his head on the corner after being punched, or when he fell to the ground. In other words, there’s a chance–albeit probably a slim one–that this could have killed him.
My country and culture glorify violence. I’d much rather avoid violence when possible. I think most rational people would. But there are times it’s necessary to fight, to choose to defend yourself and others. I think it’s important to understand the potential consequences of that choice.
Multiple accounts agree this man was harassing people on the bus, and later on the street. He was a self-proclaimed Nazi. Police say they received calls that he was instigating fights, and it sounds like he escalated from verbal harassment to physical assault … at which point another man put him down, halting any further escalation.
I don’t know exactly what I would have done in that situation, but I see nothing to make me condemn or second-guess this man’s choice in the face of a dangerous Nazi.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
Had a bit of a scare with a notice from the Registrar's office stating that because I didn't pay my fees (I did, but it was filing fee status stuff) I was de-registered. I had to get myself registered again and make sure I got my contract for my TAship, and that'll process my fee remission. I am hoping that this will also include non-resident tuition, because that would be $10000 and it would suck. Once that is done I can apply for program extension for my I-20 and then get down to the business of applying for OPT.
I DID get a dissertation defense date: October 11, 3pm - 5pm. The same day as a department party. Hoo boy. I also got comments from Dr. Brevik-Zender, so tomorrow I feel pretty confident about starting a bit more revisions. I'd like to incorporate the comments about including neoliberalism as a framework which informs the discourse of steampunk, although that involves... learning how to talk about neoliberalism. I sort of understand how to talk about it as an overarching ideology but most of what I read about it tends to get wrapped up in talking about economics and government, whereas I need to gear my discussion of it towards how it affects discourses of individual choices and masks institutional frameworks as freedom. I also need to tighten some of my analysis to make sure I'm not doing a lot of summary.
I have stomach issues again. The only culprit I can think of is the rice I ate, and the cookies I got from the store. I've eaten these cookies before with no issue, but that was WAY before the Metformin, so....... maybe my body just hates certain kinds of sugars now?? I may never return to eating cookies with impunity??
Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit more productive??
So, the Megatherium is enjoying 5 mornings of pre-school a week, but wants to go off & play with her friends afterwards, which would be great if she weren't inviting herself places or trying to invite everyone else here (including kids met 2 minutes ago at the library) without any concept of cleaning up first.
Pennsic was nice except for the thing where it rained here the whole time so the house molded & mice got into the silverware drawer & left their little mousy droppings all over everything and I am *still* finding things that are unexpectedly moused or molded, ugh. :( I am terrible about this kind of clean-up, too; it makes my brain hurt.
Grauwulf is less ill than previous (mostly), but came back from vacation to work Drama, part of which involves working from home at the dining room table a bunch, which doesn't help anyone, so ugh, things. He's also currently asleep on the couch next to me because the couch is the eternal sleeping place, I guess.
I started craftster swapping again over the summer to get random care packages in the mail that I didn't have to buy (& it's nice to have deadlines for getting into the craft room) and so far that's been fairly good. We're also working on a craft day in the newly set up "parent lounge" at school for during school time, but my e-mail is being stupid so of course I just ended up sending out the invite 4 times for reasons known only to my computer (& it's not telling.)
Finally bought Tansy Raynor Roberts's Musketeer Space (because bother e-books) & am enjoying her gender-swapped-except-Athos futuristic 3 Musketeers with spaceships. In the class of SF rendition of a classic where the world building makes the story work rather than the story pulling the world building into eye-rolling contortions. (well, some of the planet & station names are a little weird)
I think I want more low-stakes interesting speculative books about grown-ups, tho. Like, older than 20-something at least, if not older than me. Not dystopic, probably not modern world. Major female characters, limited number of POVs. Is this even a thing? Maybe I should just read Middlemarch like everyone else seems to be doing.
Also, did anyone else notice that apparently
So, here I am in St Louis and if you saw yesterday’s blog post you might have noticed there are no St Louis dates on the tour.
Thanks to Left Bank Books, there’ll be an event in the Central West End called BookFest St. Louis. There will be lots of writers there, and the vast majority of panels and whatnot are free! (I think there are, like, two exceptions.)
There’s going to be a Science Fiction panel at 5pm on Saturday, September 23, with Charlie Jane Anders, Annalee Newitz, Mark Tiedemann….and me!
If you are in St Louis this weekend, come to BookFest! Left Bank Books is a lovely store with a very nice SF section and worth visiting on its own, but just look at all the folks who are going to be here! Do come to the CWE this weekend if you can!
Mirrored from Ann Leckie.
I was pretty pooped afterwards though. I meant to go back out to do a raid after lunch, but thought I'd lay down for a twenty minute nap which turned into two and a half hours. Ooops.
What I did get started on which was semi-productive was fixing up my jeans. The smallest pair of jeans from several years ago (probably when I first moved here) fit, but it had gaping holes in the inner thigh area (as one does). It was really comfy and I didn't feel like giving it up, so I basically double-patched it: inside and outside. That's some reinforcement in the places which get the most friction, and hopefully this will hold up. I think it'll work out well.
Today I spent puzzling out how to alter my jacket sleeves. I think I undid my stitches on the left sleeve about 8 times trying to make it lay down right. Finally I gave up on the idea of it looking perfect, since it's not going to be visible anyway, and having it so the outer layer lay down okay. I think I did all right. I'm actually not entirely sure where the sleeve should end, but when my arm is relaxed at the side, the sleeve comes up to the wrist, which I think looks professional.
I got frustrated about halfway through, and went out for lunch to Pho Vinam. I think I ate too much, though. I probably didn't need to eat half the meat on the plate, and should have just tried for a third instead. I was yawning the rest of the day, and had to lay down for a while, but I otherwise persevered, and I now have proper jacket sleeves. The right sleeve took about 5 tries. SIGH. On the bright side, I think I can say that my slip stitch is improving.
I dug around my fabric stash looking for jeans material, which I could have SWORN I had somewhere, because I wanted to patch the other two pairs of old jeans (they don't fit well, but they can't be easily pulled off my hips either). I decided to use some fancy embroidered scrap to patch the inner thighs of one of my jeans instead. I feel they're fairly visible to anybody staring at my butt, but maybe this will give me manic pixie dream girl vibes.
I'm still not caught up with Night Vale (which I can only listen to when my hands are otherwise occupied by crafts) and frankly I should really vacuum my bedroom.
Tomorrow if I wake up early enough, I'll definitely try for another 5k walk. The mornings have been amazingly foggy so I don't want to lose that opportunity.
I did, however, find the book in which I had started re-writing my steampunk romance novel, so I'm gonna see what I can puzzle out of it tomorrow. Maybe I'll go downtown and do some writing? At least least get re-acquainted with this second draft of the novel.
Then, a few minutes ago, I took the dog out for a walk, and the neighbor came out, and said, look at the trunk of your pine. Whoa!
Here's from the side. click and embiggen, to see how far around the trunk they go.
And this below is from the sidewalk. Look in the upper portion of the trunk--that is a zillion bees tightly packed together.
That looks so . . . weird.
If they're still there in a couple of days, I'll have to find beekeepers to move them. My son's biological family on the female side has a deadly bee allergy running through them--his bio uncle has to carry an epipen everywhere, and my patio is about the size of two bedsheets put together. In fact, when I dry my laundry outside, I can only get one set of bedding out there at a time.
EDITED TO ADD: Between one check and the next ten minutes later, they suddenly vanished. I would have loved to see them swarm! But they are gone, and I hope they find a good, safe home.
So, starting next week I’ll be traveling! And here’s where I’ll be:
Tuesday September 26
Wednesday September 27
Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA at 7:30 PM
5943 Balboa Ave. Suite #100
San Diego, CA 92111
Thursday September 28
Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA at 7 PM
1520 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Friday September 29
Borderlands Books, San Francisco, CA at 6 PM
866 Valencia St.
San Francisco CA 94110
Saturday September 30
Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO at 7 PM
2526 East Colfax Avenue
Denver CO 80206
Sunday October 1
BookPeople, Austin TX at 5pm
603 N. Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78703
Monday October 2
Uncle Hugo’s, Minneapolis MN at 4pm.
2864 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Tuesday October 3
A Room of One’s Own, Madison WI at 6pm
315 W. Gorham St.
Madison, WI 53703
Wednesday October 4
Joseph-Beth, Lexington KY at 7pm
161 Lexington Green Circle
Lexington, KY 40503
Thursday October 5
Pandemonium Books and Games at 7pm
4 Pleasant Street
Cambridge MA 02139
Saturday October 7
Autographing at 4:00 (Autographing Table 24)
The New Classics of SF (With N.K. Jemisin) in 1A18 at 5:15
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone! Come say hi if you can!
Mirrored from Ann Leckie.