(no subject)

July 24th, 2017 07:48 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon reminds us that the 2017-18 school year is coming, and [tumblr.com profile] positivelypt has a post up with links to wishlists for underserved classrooms. You can check out the list, give, and reblog here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.


Help For Free:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] globalsextrendsproject, who are working on an independent research projected aimed at establishing whether there are global trends in stimuli for sexual arousal and the content of sexual fantasies. You can read more and reblog here or fill out the form here. I took a quick breeze through the form and it's primarily short-answer rather than multiple choice, once you get past the demographic stuff.


Activism:

[tumblr.com profile] stabulous has a post up about Welcome Blanket, a project initiated by the Smart Museum of Art in Chicago and anti-Trump craftivists. They are asking people to send handmade blankets to be exhibited at the Smart and afterwards distributed to refugees and immigrants arriving in the US. The hope is to create 3200 blankets to equal the length of the wall Trump wants to build across the US-Mexico border. You can read more at the link above, and find out how to participate at the official site, which includes activism resources whether you want to actually send in a blanket or not.


News To Know:

[personal profile] brainwane linked to Creative Commons, which is offering grants of up to USD$1000 for small projects ("Salons, campaigns, translations, e-books, printing, collaborations, and more") which grow the global commons. They want help increasing discovery, collaboration, and advocacy towards their mission. You can read more and apply for a grant here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] dr-kara's new comic available on ComixOlogy, [Super]Natural Attraction! Kara is well-known to me as a groovy artist who does cool stuff so while I haven't read this yet I wholeheartedly recommend her work. She has a rebloggable post about it here and you can buy and read it here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

Overwatch Characters

July 23rd, 2017 10:56 pm
fixitpixie: (Default)
[personal profile] fixitpixie
 Overwatch; 
Solider 76 - Jack Morrison - 55
Ana Amari - 60 
Tracer - Lena Oxton - 26
McCree - Jesse McCree - 37
Genji Shimada - 35
Hanzo Shimada - 38
Pharah - Fareeha Amari - 32
Bastion - SST Laboratories Siege Automaton E54 - 30
Junkrat - Jamison Fawkes - 25
Roadhog - Mako Rutledge - 48
Mei - Mei-Ling Zhou - 31 (biological age)/41 (chronological age)
Torbjörn - Torbjörn Lindholm - 57
D.Va - Hana Song - 19 
Orisa - 1 month
Reinhardt - Reinhardt Wilhelm - 61 
Zarya - Aleksandra Zaryanova - 28
Winston - 29
Lucio - Lúcio Correia dos Santos - 26 
Mercy - Angela Ziegler - 37
Symmetra - Satya Vaswani - 28 
Zenyatta - Tekhartha Zenyatta - 20 
 
Talon; 
Reaper - Gabriel Reyes - 56 
Widowmaker - Amelie Lacroix - 33
Sombra - ░░░░░░ - 30
Doomfist - Akande Ogundimu - 45

Pragmatic

July 23rd, 2017 07:06 pm
reynardine: (solitude)
[personal profile] reynardine
I put my new tent up for sale. I'm first listing on my FB page and on the Calontir page (give locals first chance), but will post on SCA Yard Sale FB tomorrow. The tent is brand new and never used, so I think it will sell.

It was a heartbreaking decision. I feel like I've shut the door on a dream. But with my health issues, Bob's schedule (and lack of enthusiasm for camping), and now these house repairs, it makes more sense to sell the tent rather than devote more money towards camping (I would still need to get a few more items, the most expensive being a portable battery for the CPAP machine.)

Not camping will most probably kill my chance of ever getting a peerage, but I need to make peace with that, and enjoy the hobby just as it is. There is plenty going on locally, various indoor events, and two big Arts & Sciences events a year to look forward to. Lilies is still close enough to daytrip, and someday I will make it down to Gulf Wars, and stay at my cousin's house.

But yeah, my tent. I loved that tent. I loved the possibilities that I felt because I had such a wonderful tent. I had plans for banners that we would post outside, and ideas about painting it.

But life is full of choices, and I choose to be pragmatic.

Dammit.
musesfool: Nick/Cassie, Push (ours is a forbidden love)
[personal profile] musesfool
For [personal profile] grammarwoman for the DVD commentary meme.

Driving with the brakes on
Push (2009); Nick/Cassie (Nick/OFC); adult; 13,650 words
Nick discovers a way to help Cassie see more clearly. It's a little sketchier than he's comfortable with.

I don't actually remember the genesis of this idea, but there's a post in my LJ that says, So I said to [personal profile] angelgazing, "Tell me not to write the story where orgasms make Cassie's visions clearer" and she said, "you should TOTALLY write that story" and two weeks and 13k words later, I wrote the story. Which is basically how these things go when [tumblr.com profile] angelgazing wants me to write a thing, especially if I already kind of want to write it anyway.

content notes: Cassie's 16; one reference to offscreen sexual assault of non-canon characters

All through the writing of this story, Cassie was 15. Cassie was 15 right up until I actually posted. Then I had a conversation with [personal profile] snacky and decided to make her 16 instead. I don't think it makes it better? But maybe some people are slightly less squicked? Idk.

But unless the moon falls tonight, unless continents collide, / Nothing's gonna make me break from her side )

~*~

I hope that provided some insight on what was a 13K word exercise in id-fic. *hands*

~*~

When the Rain Came In

July 23rd, 2017 09:27 am
reynardine: (lighthouse_white)
[personal profile] reynardine
You know, I had so many snow icons from when we lived in Iowa. I need some storm icons for here in Kansas!

Huge, violent storm hit the KC metro last night. Thunder went on for hours, 70 to 90 mph winds, power outages (not here, thankfully), trees down, and flash flooding. Bob had to drive home through the deluge and had issues because there was so much water on the streets, the rain was coming down so fast.

And...our basement sprung a leak. Not a huge one, but bad enough. The idiot previous owner (who I am really growing to detest, as we keep stumbling on problems because she couldn't be bothered to take care of the house) put carpeting all through the basement. Carpet in the basement is never a good idea--even the best of basements get water in them.

Anyway, we're not sure yet of the source. There are foundation issues (need to get a specialist out here to figure out the extent), but this is not in the same area.

Bob has his desk in that corner, and loads of stuff stacked there, so we had to move a bunch of stuff. Some of his art prints were ruined, but luckily, he kept most of them in plastic sleeves, so only a couple had to be thrown out. But he's going to have to cut out a hunk of the carpet on Monday so that we don't get mold.

I don't remember if we took our dehumidifier with us when we left Dubuque. I think we left it at the house--that basement needed it! We need to buy one to help with the moisture issue. Bob has a ton of books down there.

My dad is loaning us money to help with the garage door, once I get estimates/bids in. So that's one less worry in a stack of trouble.

I had to back out of one of the things I'm doing for Feast of Eagles next weekend--it was a display about the Siege of Orleans. The organizer was never clear about what exactly she wanted from me. I'm already working gate in the morning, running the pre-print table in the afternoon, helping with the feast prep the day before, plus I've donated one of the prizes for the tournaments, and several items to the "Fish in a Barrel" raffle. NO ONE can say that I'm not doing my share of the work.
rydra_wong: Doonesbury, Watergate, two congressmen: "If only he'd knock over a bank or something ..." "By George, we'd have him them!" (bank -- watergate)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
So Sean Spicer's resigned (we all knew it was coming), Sessions discussed the Trump campaign and policy issues with Kisylak in 2016, and Trump looks like he's revving up to fire Mueller and Sessions and then pardon himself and his family for everything they've done ever.

And all I can focus on is this story that Sean Spicer stole a mini-fridge from junior White House staffers.

22 July 1997

July 22nd, 2017 11:02 pm
naye: Luffy holding his hat, looking happy, and the words "greatest story ever told" (one piece - the greatest story ever told)
[personal profile] naye
One Piece celebrates its 20th anniversary today. Two decades of the same story. Twenty years of writing and drawing a chapter a week very nearly all the year around.

Can you imagine? And it's still so good. It still makes me cry on the regular.

I've been following along for more than half the series' life - since 2004. I've shared lovely hours bonding with friends over One Piece and creating inspired by One Piece. And I met my wife through a LiveJournal post on One Piece.

I wish I were in Japan to celebrate, but alas.

At least I've already had I've of my wishes come true! I've gotten to tell Odacchi 'thank you for everything' along with hundreds of other fans. So until next time... HAPPY BIRTHDAY ONE PIECE!!

Donaldson, The Mirror of Her Dreams

July 22nd, 2017 05:43 pm
proustbot: (Default)
[personal profile] proustbot
Stephen R. Donaldson, The Mirror of Her Dreams (1986) -- Pulled into another dimension by the good-hearted oaf, a young woman tries to navigate court politics in a kingdom on the verge of dissolution.

Oh man, this book was my jam when I was thirteen or fourteen years old, and in retrospect, it's because I hadn't yet discovered romance novels (or Internet porn), so this represented the outer limits of literary Kink for me. The Mirror of Her Dreams was, to me, what Forever Amber or Clan of the Cave Bear or Flowers in the Attic were to other thirteen-year-old readers. Bonus: The Mirror of Her Dreams does not have any "actual" (i.e. penetrative) sex, so it managed to titillate and excite thirteen-year-old me without tipping me over into prudish outrage.

So, when I read this book now and note all the BDSM elements and eighties-romance-genre tropes, I'm willing to concede that my own youthful relationship with the novel may be coloring my interpretation. But, also, I'm inclined to think that Author Donaldson is engaging pretty deeply with his personal id. I've never read Lord Foul's Bane all the way through (I think I got to the Signature Rape Scene and then bailed) or his Gap books, but The Mirror of Her Dreams feels...well, on one hand, as if Donaldson is trying to do something somewhat light and commercial (in a mid-eighties publishing universe) but also as if he's way into the kind of genre books that get read by women (in a mid-eighties publishing universe). The Mirror of Her Dreams seems steeped in lady fiction -- big-haired bodice-rippers in particular. The protagonist Terisa is the POV character for most of the book; she's surrounded by women (princesses and serving maids) who have their own ambitions and motivations and who frequently function as Terisa's antagonists in various political maneuvers.

The Mirror of Her Dreams passes the Bechdel test. I just can't imagine that anyone would consider it (at least in today's climate) as a particularly feminist work.

The aspect of the novel that has aged the most poorly is the passivity of our heroine, who starts the novel as unloved and traumatized and then spends the entire novel self-consciously thinking about how passive she is: "As she studied his intent expression, Terisa caught a glimpse of what made him so accident-prone. He was too many things at once--a boy, a man, and everything in between -- and the differing parts of himself seldom came into balance. She found him attractive in that way. Yet the perception saddened her; she herself wasn't too many things, but too few" [52] and "If she wanted to live, she would have to do something to save herself -- shout for help, jump to her feet and flee into the secret passages of Orison, something. Yet she remained lost, unable to understand why anyone would attack her with such hate, unable to move" [97] and "The idea made her shiver. What did he mean? Something intimate and presumptuous -- but what? Her mind remained stubbornly blank on the question. How would he touch her? What emotions would he draw out of her? She was too ignorant: ignorant of men, of course, but also of herself" [169-170]

As that last quotation suggests, Terisa's passivity has a particularly sexual element: dudes want to bone her, and she blinks back at them in puzzlement, and that just inflames them further. This is the part of the novel that seems the most...indicative of the kind of ritualistic domination (and rape) that was part and parcel of romance novels in the eighties. (I.e. the Duke of Whatever vigorously rapes his governess, who obviously resists (because virtue and purity gotta go hand in hand), but after he takes consent off the table, she realizes that she likes sex and everyone lives happily ever after, rinse lather and repeat.) Reading The Mirror of Her Dreams, I kept wondering if Author Donaldson was mocking some of these tropes, because Terisa's relationship with the sexily villainous Master Eremis is asymmetrical to the point of absurdity: "He was tall, strongly built in spite of his leanness. His nose was too big; his cheekbones were too narrow, too flatly sloped toward his ears; his black hair formed an unruly thatch on the back of his skull, leaving his forehead bald. But the humor and intelligence in his pale eyes made him keenly attractive. He was wrapped in a jet cloak, which he wore with an air of insouciance. The ends of his chasuble hung as if he might start twirling them at any moment [29-30] and "When he was that close to him, his physical impact on her dominated everything else. He gave off a slight scent of perspiration and cloves, and she could feel muscle working over bone under his jet cloak." [190-191]

(Let us pause for a moment to savor that fucking image. The muscle over his bone under his cloak? How many layers of matter can Terisa feel? Does she just have a hand clamped down hard on the fabric as she purrs, "Yesssss, the muscle, the booooone, yes"? Dear Reader, I know we're supposed to be breathless at the idea of Eremis's corporeal dominance -- so many muscles, such bones! -- but I don't know how you can read a sentence like that without laughing.)

(Also a winner of a sentence: "Framed by her pale skin and the short crop of her bale blond hair, her violet eyes flashed vividly." [145])

Eremis spends a lot of time trying to have sex with Terisa. Most of these attempts involve a) licking her mouth and b) hardening her nipples:

"His tongue stroked her lips, giving her a taste of kisses she had never experienced." [195]

"His hand slipped inside her shirt. His fingers were cold, bringing her nipples erect at once, making her breasts ache for him." [379]

"A strong mouth covered hers. A tongue stroked her lips, probing delicately between them. She tasted cloves. Under the blankets, a hand caressed her belly, then moved up to her breasts. Its touch was just cool enough to make her nipples harden." [579]

Meanwhile, Terisa's maid Saddith has super-bountiful breasts:

"To hide a smirk, she glanced down at her unbuttoned blouse, the cloth stretched open by the pressure of her breasts." [164]

"...Saddith sailed grandly into the room like a yacht on show, the lower buttons of her blouse straining to contain her breasts." [339]

"Saddith glanced down at her tight bosom." [437]

"As usual, Terisa's eyes were drawn to Saddith's open blouse and bursting breasts. She made an effort to raise her head so that she felt less like she was talking to Saddith's chest." [547]

Admittedly, Saddith is also boning Eremis, so Terisa feels a lot of sexual envy and curiosity toward her, which explains some of the breast-heavy focus of the Saddith scenes -- but I also suspect that, you know, the gratuitous degree of breast-descriptions in this novel don't always have a lot of strictly literary motivations.

Rounding out this collection of id-tacular elements: the captain of the castle guard is simultaneously suspicious of and aroused by Terisa, and there's a fun interlude where he punches her and threatens her. (In the sequel, this escalates to rape threats, oh boy!)

So it's pretty obvious why Pubescent Me, who had not read a lot of literary depictions of fucking, would have eaten this novel up with a spoon. Two decades later, after having read a lot more literary depictions of fucking -- some written by actual women!!! -- I find The Mirror of Her Dreams to be rather weak gruel in that regard.

And yet. There's one male character who isn't forever creeping on Terisa, and that's Geraden, the puppy-ish young man who drags Terisa into Weird Narnia, where absolutely everyone despises him. Geraden is brave and virtuous and good-hearted; Geraden adores Terisa and puts absolutely no demands on her. And he's not an insufferable paragon either; his fuck-ups are what motivate most of the plot of the novel, which prevents him from tumbling down a Will-Ladislaw-from-Middlemarch hellhole. He's meant to be the third leg of the Terisa-Eremis-Geraden love triangle, and so while Eremis spends all his time twirling his chausable/mustache, his foil spends that time being nice to Terisa.

And this is the part that makes me wonder if Donaldson is maybe trying to do something subversive with Romance Novel Tropes -- because in that genre, Eremis -- powerful and virile and maybe keeping a mad wife in his attic -- would be the Romantic lead, while Geraden would be the red-herring runner-up, the Beta Male, the Duckie from Pretty in Pink. But in The Mirror of Her Dreams, Eremis is just sort of slimy and gross, and Geraden is charming and sweet. Thirteen-year-old me found him charming and sweet; Jaded Current Me still finds him charming and sweet -- even in a novel with zero subtlety and little nuance. I am hard-pressed to think of another literary character that I would rather invite to my birthday party. Geraden is just swell -- which is a weird thing to encounter in a novel with all these clunky, kinky elements.

my love i am the speed of sound

July 22nd, 2017 12:42 pm
musesfool: Peggy Carter is gunning for you (your heart is a weapon)
[personal profile] musesfool
L and I made a spur of the moment decision to see Dunkirk last night - well, as spur-of-the-moment as you can with purchasing reserved seats ahead of time *snerk* - and I have mixed feelings about it. It is beautifully shot and I could watch Tom Hardy spoiler ) all day, but mostly I feel like it took an amazing real life story and didn't deliver on the emotional impact of it. spoilers )

I liked that it was nearly dialogue free (and I didn't mind that I couldn't understand half the dialogue that there was), but I felt that the structure was overly fiddly and unnecessary and it kept me from full immersion (um, pun not intended?) emotionally. Also the music was too loud and there was too much of it.

It also suffers a little from Band of Brothers syndrome in that I couldn't tell the two young dudes apart for most of the story. Once they're both wet so you can't tell which one has curly hair and which one has straight hair, I couldn't tell them apart, and I honestly didn't care that much about them beyond the generic - I mean, I didn't want any of those guys to die, and I felt there was nothing specific about those two to make me care more. spoilers ) (Otoh, casting Harry Styles - who was good, I thought - was a smart move, because I always recognized him, even half-drowned.)

Mark Rylance and Kenneth Branagh (and James D'Arcy!) were great, as was Tom Hardy. I mean, I would have watched a whole movie where Tom Hardy spoiler ) But overall, it's a B to B+ kind of movie for me. I wouldn't see it again.

If you do see it, I can say it was definitely worth seeing in 70mm, if you have that option. Otoh, if you have a fear of drowning, I don't recommend it for you.

Both L and I had similar mixed feelings. We discussed it on the walk to the bus stop, and my god, I have never sweated as much as I sweated yesterday - it was not a day for walking but I did a lot of it. I was so overheated that I never once felt cold in the movie theater despite being sleeveless, which has never ever happened to me before.

Before the movie we were going to meet at a Mexican place that looked good, but it was so jam packed with people, we ended up at the Cafe Tallulah, where the cheeseburger is fantastic, but again, on a day as hot as yesterday, wtf were the front windows all doing open, so you couldn't feel the air conditioning hardly at all? I never sweated so much in my life while doing nothing.

***
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I still have to review Extra Virginity as well, but I actually liked that one, so it will take longer to compose….

One of the things I did get done yesterday between work, the ball game, and the Epic Sunburn, was finish a slim book of short stories called A City Equal to My Desire by James Sallis. This wasn’t a book that was recommended to me, which means I don’t have to feel bad about truly disliking it. I found it in a keyword search on the library website for books about ukuleles, and it has a short story called Ukulele And The World’s Pain, which admittedly was one of the better stories in the book despite still not being very good.

From what I can tell, he did pick the best story out of the book to develop into a novel, “Drive”, but it is very obviously unfinished in short-story form. Sallis has a couple of ongoing problems in the short story collection, one of which is that he tends to skip the vital information you need in order to know what the fuck is going on. And not in a “the blanks slowly get filled in” way, or in a “your imagination is more terrible” way (though there is a little of that) but just in a way where like…he says something that you understand to be vital to the story but which is missing context, then spends like a page describing the fucking diner someone’s sitting in, and by then any context forthcoming doesn’t get linked back. It’s like being in the middle of a paragraph when you hit the photo plates in an older book – yes the photos are very interesting thank you but I need to finish the thought you were sharing with me before I go back and look at them. I think maybe he thinks this is challenging the reader but it’s not, it’s just annoying and makes what are otherwise interesting premises totally opaque. I shouldn’t need to work this hard for a story about a hit man who decides not to kill a politician. 

If the book had a more cohesive theme in terms of the stories, it might be more readable – he clearly enjoys building worlds and then doesn’t quite know what to do with them once he’s built them, so if this was an entire book of “weird and different worlds” ala Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, I would buy in more fully and I think he would have put a little more elbow in. But it’s not. It’s mostly “here’s a really interesting world and a person living in squalor in it does something while being in it”. Also he appears to be fascinated by describing things that are shaped like pi. And a lot of times it feels like he read a wikipedia article on something and wanted to share some knowledge, so he just kind of built a half-assed story around his wikiwander. 

And all of this I would probably let go if say, it was something I was noticing in a fanfic writer, or someone who was just starting out, or someone I felt was genuinely trying to get a point across. But there’s this inexplicable sense of arrogance to the collection, a sort of smugness to it that in professional writers drives me up the goddamn wall. Stephen King sometimes falls into the same trap, where it feels like the author believes they don’t have to respect their readers because they are The Writer. 

The thing about volumes of short stories is that you keep reading it because sometimes there is a real gem. And there are one or two good stories in the volume, but I don’t know if they’re worth the rest of it. 

So my review I guess is mostly me being annoyed, but it boils down to “If you like short stories in the SFF Noir genre, give it a whirl, but if you’re bored with a story none of them get better, so feel free to skip to the next one.” 

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when the sun burst through the sky

July 21st, 2017 10:05 am
musesfool: Stephanie Brown as Batgirl (can't hardly wait)
[personal profile] musesfool
I spent last night reading fic where Jason and Cass turn out to be biological siblings, not just adopted siblings, and squee!, that is one of my favorite Batfamily tropes. Plus, there was some awesome Jason-Cass-Steph bonding which I feel canon has repeatedly cheated me out of, even though they would get along like a house on fire (literally, probably, given Jason's involvement and enjoyment in blowing things up). Plus there is some hilarious snark at poor Tim's expense that made me laugh out loud repeatedly. Oh Tim. (There will be recs at the end of the month as usual, but here and here for those of you who are impatient and also not following my pinboard.)

Also, yesterday, my consolation birthday present arrived - a beautiful red patent leather Love Moschino tote bag (wow, there were three left in stock when I ordered mine and now there are none! I'm glad I got there in time!). During the whole epic search for a new bag, I coveted a red patent leather bag, but couldn't find one (or, rather, couldn't find one that was less than, like, $800 and while I'm profligate, I'm not that profligate), since I guess they aren't in style right now? Except it's red patent leather so I can't imagine how it could go out of style? But whatever. On a whim on Wednesday, I checked Zappo's to see if there were any available, and lo and behold, there it was. It's beautiful. It's big and kind of unwieldy (and unpleasantly sticky against the bare skin of my arm in the heat), but I don't care, because it's gorgeous.

Bosses 1 & 3 both admired it as I unpacked it from the box, and they were like, "Are you going to save it for special occasions?" and I said, "Hell no!" (note: I did not actually say "Hell no!" I just said, "no! I bought it so I could use it! Because it is beautiful!") And I recommend to all of you to use your beautiful and special things rather than waiting for some mythical special occasion to crop up, because frequently, you will be waiting forever and never get to enjoy the beautiful thing you bought for yourself. Using a special bag/wearing your beautiful new shoes/opening that expensive bottle of wine - they can all make a regular occasion special, and I recommend you do that rather than wait for some occasion arbitrarily deemed "special" enough to break out the fancy lipstick or whatever. Live your best life whenever you can, people!

***

Enough

July 21st, 2017 07:57 am
reynardine: (xtra_fine)
[personal profile] reynardine
I've decided to start looking into bariatric surgery again. I tried for it seven years ago, even taking the nutrition course necessary, but the hospital (University of Iowa) turned me down as a candidate because I have bipolar disorder. Since that time, there have been more studies done that show that bipolar patients are just as likely to follow post-operative directions as anyone else.

I will have to get documents from my psych doc, but I think he will cooperate. I still have episodes (that doesn't go away) but I recognize them and deal accordingly.

I'll be talking with my primary doctor next week about this, and have an informational meeting set up the week after that with a surgeon to see what options are available locally and also to get a handle on what the costs might be.

My father, who had tried for the surgery some time ago, found out the hard way that most doctors have an upper age limit (usually 55 to 60 years old), so if I plan to do this, I only have a few years to act.

The fact is that I weigh almost 300 lbs. I've had some limited success with diets, but the weight always comes back, especially when I have to take seroquel. I look and feel extremely unattractive, my hips, knees, and ankles are badly stressed, and it's difficult to find clothing that fits anymore.

Enough is enough. I know the surgery can work--both my brother and his wife have had it. They still have to work at keeping weight off (that never ends), but the surgery gave them the running start they needed.
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
It's Friday. July is flying by. We've had 34 consecutive days without rain, which isn't a record, but would surprise some people about Seattle. We have to go at least 18 more days before we'll tie the existing record. After the wettest winter in the recorded weather history, it would be appropriate if we broke the rainless summer record, too.

This week has been another of very long hours at work, so the links round-up may be small.

Anyway, here are the links I found interesting this week, sorted into categories.

Links of the Week



Creation and consumption.

Why every office should scrap its clean desk policy.

This Week in Economic News



The Cost of a Hot Economy in California: A Severe Housing Crisis.

This week in awful people



Fact Check: Does Oregon CPS "Err" On Believing Kids Who Allege Abuse?

Parents Who “Gifted” Underage Daughters to “Prophet of God” Will Go To Prison.

News for queers and our allies:



"American Gods" Super-Producer Bryan Fuller Reveals How TV Studios Kept De-Gaying His Characters.

Queer Geek News Roundup: July 16, 2017.

Bosom Friends: The Gay Anne of Green Gables Scandal.

5 Canadian Queer Beach Reads.

Science!



Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years.

Dinosaur that looked like a massive bird discovered in Canada.

Science Fiction, Fantasy and Speculation!



One of the greatest science fiction magazines is now available for free online.

Sleeps With Monsters: Stop Erasing Women’s Presence in SFF .

Before 'Valerian,' 'The Fifth Element' Subverted Sci-Fi Movies.

This Week in History



Local Japanese Americans remember their imprisonment during WWII.

This Week in Tech



Apple previews new emoji coming later this year.

Apple’s risky balancing act with the next iPhone.

Culture war news:



Why I’m Leaving the Southern Baptist Convention .

Rev. Barber: An open letter to clergy who prayed with Donald Trump - The Scripture cautions us to lay hands on no man suddenly, lest we become a party to his sins.

This Week Regarding the Lying Liar:



The Late, Great Jimmy Breslin's columns on Donald Trump.

A breakdown of the latest New York Times Trump interview.

News about the Fascist Regime:



Pope’s Confidantes Pen Blistering Critique Of Steve Bannon’s View of Christianity.

Why did Don Jr.'s emails surface? Because Robert Mueller is already changing Washington's lying ways.

The GOP failure on health care is just a hint of what’s to come.

Vulnerable Republicans Just Showed Why Fighting For Trans Rights Is A Political Winner.

This week in Politics:



Colorado to require advanced post-election audits.

Why isn’t voter suppression considered political corruption?

Farewells:



Martin Landau Dead at 89: Oscar-Winning Actor in Ed Wood, Mission: Impossible.

George Romero, 'Night Of The Living Dead' Director, Dies At 77.

Things I wrote:



Being reactionary – bad rules and good expectations.

Definitions matter, except when they don’t — more adventures in dictionaries.

Videos!



Christopher Marlowe was a Gay Atheist Spy (Yes, really.):



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

Caught On Video: Bison On The Loose In Gilford, New Hampshire:

Can't embed, so, click here.

Thank god for sick leaves

July 21st, 2017 03:41 pm
meicdon13: (Default)
[personal profile] meicdon13
Day 2 of feeling like a disease-ridden lump x__x

Yesterday was the cough to end all coughs and a feverish, aching body. Today the cough has transitioned into a cold (with the occasional cough) and my back is one giant hurt (probably from sleeping so much yesterday).

Someone end my suffering ;__;
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
I’m a word nerd, obviously, and there have been many times that I have based an argument upon the definition of a word. Sometimes, though, that is a disingenuous tactic—the person citing the definition is choosing one that sidesteps or distracts from the main issue at hand, rather than to engage in a genuine discussion. The argument becomes a matter of nitpicking and source citing and burying your opponent in a flurry of trivialities. It is a way to appear to win when all you’ve really done is, in essence, shouted the other person down...

(This post that actually about a sex scandal, abusers, and similar topics is at FontFolly.Net.)

Cheaper Than Rent, Yeah

July 20th, 2017 03:42 pm
reynardine: (blink)
[personal profile] reynardine
This house--it's like it can hear us! Bob and I were chatting the other day about the garage door. It is original to the house, a double-sized wooden door with no insulation, which explains some of our cold problems in the winter (our bedroom is directly above the garage). We were making note of the wood rot/water damage on the lower part of the door.

Today, Bob somehow hit one of the side rails with my car mirror (Cue RAGE WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MY LITTLE RED CAR THAT I LOVE??!!!), and the door wouldn't close. He got out some tools and hammered the rail back into place, but it is badly rusted and the area around it has some significant wood rot OMGWTF. There are bolts that are, I kid you not, tied into place with bits of rope. We actually took some rope and tied another bolt down so that it would not slip out of the rail. This is a temporary fix.

So now I need to start calling around and getting bids/estimates to replace the door. This time, we want a good one, preferably insulated steel (although vinyl might do). I don't know if we'll have to replace the garage door opener, but odds are good we will since the door will be much heavier, and that thing looks like its on its last legs as well.

Poking around online, it looks like we'll be out $1,500 to $2,000 for the whole thing? Bah.

Granted, owning is still cheaper than rent, especially in this area where the rents are rather high, plus I know at least three people who are having to move because the house they live in is being sold out from under them. House ownership costs money, no getting around that. It's frustrating, though.

Let's see, since moving here 4 1/2 years ago, we have had to replace:

The front door
The back door
The back deck
The front window(s) (two regular windows plus an oval display)
The water heater
The washer and dryer (did that when we moved in)
The guest bathroom toilet
The garbage disposal
Some of the gutters

plus extensive repairs on:

the plumbing
the irrigation system (every freakin' year!!)
three closet doors
two bedroom doors

And we're saving up for:

Repairing the foundation on the south side of the house
Repairing/replacing the concrete work (front steps and driveway)
Repairing settling damage on the outside front, second story
Repairing wall cracks (from foundation settling plus incorrect installation of drywall)
Painting the entire interior
Replacing the upstairs carpet (with pergo-type flooring)
Replacing the basement carpet (with laminate over a basement-type base)
Replacing the backyard fence
Replacing the Master bathroom toilet and the basement toilet

If we decide to stay here after Bob retires:

Replacing the siding
Replacing most of the windows
Exterior painting
Solar panels, maybe?

We also have to consider usual wear and tear on things, so odds are good we will eventually also have to replace some other appliances, the furnace and air conditioning, and possibly the roof.

This is why we don't have money to do much travel!

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