Then I realized I can just pay for the labs, which is the only part I really want anyway, and that's a third the price and a one-day-a-week commitment.
She said she'll consider it.
It's not necessary for her to take a Regents in August (fully nine months earlier than any of her peers...), I'd just like her to.
Also, finally figured out what cake I'll bake tomorrow for her birthday. How does rosewater and ginger sound? If I ever find my rosewater, I mean. It's because I read this article, but anyway, it's a good idea. I've been rocking the rosewater lassi lately that I get at the supermarket.
The Microbes That Supercharge Termite Guts
For ornery shelter cats, 2nd chance is a job chasing mice
What Star Wars taught scientists about sperm
Inside The Weird Texas Tradition of Enormous Homecoming Corsages
Book's challenge: Can you do squats like Justice Ginsburg?
Why a New Zealand Library’s Books Kept Vanishing, Then Reappearing (Happy ending!)
How Domestication Ruined Dogs' Pack Instincts
Star Wars themes, but with the major and minor reversed. (This is like the Mirror version of the music, I guess? I can just picture evil Tom Paris on classic movie night in the Holodeck, rubbing his beard as he watches this version of the trilogy, the one in which the mighty emperor defeats the puny rebellion.)
Hero dog: 'Animal guardian' saves 8 pet goats, orphaned deer from wine country fires
Filling the early universe with knots can explain why the world is three-dimensional
Baba Yaga on the Ganges
Why Parents Make Flawed Choices About Their Kids' Schooling (My experience tells me it's close to impossible to explain to people that a school that starts with high-performing kids and ends with high-performing kids is not doing as much as a school that starts with low-performing kids and ends with kids that are in or approaching the middle. They just don't understand, or want to understand. Also, Stuy is overrated.)
Judge orders government to allow detained teen immigrant's abortion (Only read this second link if you want to be stunned and horrified by the world's most ridiculous anti-abortion argument ever.)
Understanding the coevolving web of life as a network
Fish Depression Is Not a Joke (Sad ending. Journalist should've rescued Fish Bruce Lee.)
After victory in Raqqa over IS, Kurds face tricky peace
Despite potential trade sanctions, Kurds continue with exports
China Is Quietly Reshaping the World
Lawsuit: Bighorn sheep threatened by domestic sheep grazing
As anti-drug push's toll grows in the Philippines, so does church's pushback
The true cost of a plate of food: $1 in New York, $320 in South Sudan (Sorta - the prices are adjusted in a weird way to account for different spending power)
Leaked ICE Guide Offers Unprecedented View of Agency’s Asset Forfeiture Tactics
Why Are Prosecutors Putting Innocent Witnesses in Jail?
The Crazy Flood of Tech Revelations in the Russia Investigation
The Russian Troll Farm That Weaponized Facebook Had American Boots on the Ground
No, US Didn’t ‘Stand By’ Indonesian Genocide—It Actively Participated
The Trump Administration Is Letting Americans Die in Puerto Rico, Nurses Say
Trump’s Dangerous Spin on Puerto Rico’s Suffering
Hurricanes Make the Need to Dismantle Colonial Economics in the Caribbean Increasingly Urgent
The Danger of President Pence
A Gun to His Head as a Child. In Prison as an Adult.
Chilling Photos of the Hundreds of Thousands of Rohingya Fleeing Burma
You know autumn is in full swing when the trampolines are full of leaves. Jumping into a pile of freshly raked leaves is awesome, but this video from Nicholas Port reveals the super awesomeness of an aerialist landing in a trampoline full of leaves, which seem to defy gravity as the net plummets beneath them:
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton, narrated by Caroline Lee
Very enjoyable mystery/gothic history novel largely set in the 1920s. (I feel like Julien Fallows probably owes Morton money). I liked how the storylines intertwined and how each person's interest in the history changed how they saw it. The love triangle at the centre was probably the least interesting aspect, and I wish the story had had more focus on Grace, as the sections without her dragged a bit. Will read more by this author, in any case.
Bearista by Zoe Chant
Does what it says on the tin, though I could have used more coffeeshop UST, as those scenes were a highlight. However the main couple had great chemistry, and I liked how the heroine was strong, interesting and useful in a fight without being an action girl. Zoe is really good at heroines that feel real.
(I hope there's a sequel about Keegan and maybe a carpenter lady.)
A Long Day in Lychford (Lychford #3) by Paul Cornell
I really liked the emotion in this book, and how the characters were at odds for good reason. The feelings were very well conveyed, especially Lizzie's inability to connect with the other two. However, it felt a bit short to deal with all the themes it was trying to get in, and a lot of plot threads didn't feel resolved at all. Presumably they will be in the next one, but I wasn't left feeling like I'd read a whole story as I was with the first two. (Unless the fragmentation was itself a meta point.)
The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Susan Bernofsky
I mean, it's a book in which the main character (and most of the other characters) dies repeatedly and often horribly, but it's just really pretty okay! I don't know what to say past wow, shiny about the writing and the structure and the themes, and it's just really meaningful! I want to learn German so I can read it in German.
What I'm Reading Now
Audio: In the middle of a Station Eleven reread, as I've been thinking about it recently. Still really good!
Paper: Theoretically, Beren and Lúthien, practically, not much.
What I'm Reading Next
Library book, probably Black Apple as it's due next.
I have signed up to be a creator for the Fandom Loves Puerto Rico auction. It’s a charity auction to benefit victims of the recent hurricane by donating directly to ConPRmetidos. The charity is a Puerto Rican-run organization and all the donations go directly to the victims in Puerto Rico. See the links for more information.
If you want to support the auction by bidding on fanfiction, go here. If you’re interested in a story from me in particular, here is my offering. You have until 6pm EST, Monday October 23rd to bid. ¡Buena suerte!
Tags:fandom loves puerto rico, fandom auction, hurricane relief, ptdw
( 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.
She left around 6, and I went to the SCA meeting. I was the first one there, and it was dark and locked up. Sooner or later (like half an hour later) people started to show up, and opened the room, and we had a business meeting about Castle Wars, and then just chatted for a while.
We went to Imperial afterwards, but they were out of my sandwich so I got falafel which might have even been better.
So now I'm picking out paint colors and trying to find where I packed things like my remote controls. I am determined to have at least one small corner plastered with flamingo wallpaper. An awesome Puerto Rican guy from the Bronx set up my internet tonight; we traded pet photos and stories, and he told me all about his brother, a retired Marine, who lives on the island with a service pig named Cleopatra. (He also told me that he thought I was an autoresponse robot when I picked up his call, because my voice was so "creamy," which is a freaking delightful compliment.)
I kind of don't have much more to say at the moment. Therapy was good today. Things are just... looking up, and that's great. ♥
Night driving attempt: Successful!
I did not die, I did not crash into anything, yadda yadda. The last time that I did any driving in the dark, there was snow on the ground, so... all things considered, I did pretty well.
Been a bundle of nerves all day at the very thought of practising, because I haven't been doing it much (honestly, I was so anxious, I kind of felt sick) but I really need to get better at all this, so....
One thing is for sure - holy shit, when it's dark and there's no snow, visibility is garbage. I should have considered that, but I hadn't. Man, it's so much easier to see everything when there's snow on the ground. Not sure if it's a good trade-off for how slippery everything gets, though. ;p
Guess I'll have to practice a little bit more and then try... driving on major roads... in the dark. [/puts face in hands] AUGHHHH.
Music: To reward myself for giving anxiety a kick in the ass, I treated myself to this recently-released EP by Riit. Give her music a listen if you like pretty vocals in Inuktitut backed with throat singing, or if you're a fan of The Jerry Cans - one of the tracks ("Kina") is a Riit + Jerry Cans collaboration, and it's excellent. And ahh there is a translation of that song in the lyric video over on youtube, which is great. I always appreciate it when translations are available somewhere. (It's not like I can throw Inuktitut lyrics into googletranslate, after all...)
If you do not want to wait for bags to be shipped to you, it is possible to make your own bags:Hang bag in room to be deodorized and, they claim, odours will vanish within a few hours. This I very much doubt. Vanish for others; not for me.
Go to PETCO and buy Clear the Air Cat Urine Odor Eliminator. It is in the cat section near the cat liter (sic). It is in a pink canister with a white cat on the front. Most PETCO stores carry this product. Buy at least three or four canisters. PETCO SKU # 1564420
Pour the contents of one canister into an old nylon or sock and tie it off. One 14 oz canister will make one bag that will cover approximately 75 square feet.
( Still Wednesday )
Because sometimes what you need most is to go on a vicarious camping trip with a completely kawaii hedgehog. His name is Azuki and the Coleman company, maker of outdoor products, kitted him out with a complete set of teeny-tiny camping gear.
“I am leaving for the first camp of Azuki from today! I want to make it fun camp. I asked Coleman to help me build a tent. The inside of the tent is comfortable…Lunch in nature feels better than usual. Camp food is so good….The camp was so much fun…The stars were very beautiful last night.”
Follow Azuki the hedgehog on Instagram to keep up with his latest impossibly cute adventures.
[via Laughing Squid]
In other media, I casually began to watch two shows, both streaming on Crunchyroll. My Hero Academia is ostensibly about superheroes, but it reminds me more of a sports anime (or a kung-fu movie) than anything else. I'm halfway through the first season, and I like it so far. All Might is an #inspiration and Midoriya is a fluffy-haired darling. Bakugo is an ass. Iida is hilarious. What is the school thinking, giving their students these costumes.
The other show is Poco Udon World, which is a cute but slight anime about 30 year protag who goes back to his hometown after the death of his father, and meets & then adopts a magical little boy. It's heartwarming, and also a blatant ad for Kagawa, Japan. Which I don't mind! It looks amazing. All that udon.
I was really hungry for a nice slice of life anime that didn't heavily feature high schoolers, and this delivered. A lot of reviews seemed to complain about the relative lack of udon in the show, but I like it. It's very soothing and cute.
Anyway, I'm off! I'm on a 1-day streak of getting 8 hours of sleep and I can't break it!!
The same is not true for Shortcuts. I signed up for that, and now have a wonderful assignment in hand!
Meanwhile, I’m counting down to the Highlander Worldwide convention this weekend. To make things even better, a surprise, retroactive raise at my second job meant I could afford to take Stan Kirsch’s Masterclass.
What are you up to?
The thing about the English Civil War and everything that surrounds it is that it's remarkably difficult to pick a team, from the modern perspective. On the one side, you've got Puritans and repressive morality and NO PLAYS OR GOOD TIMES FOR ANYONE, but also democracy and egalitarianism and a rejection of the divine right of kings and the aristocracy! On the other side, you've got GLORY IN THE DIVINELY ORDAINED KING AND THE PERFECTION OF THE ESTABLISHED SOCIAL ORDER, but also people can have a good time every once in a while and make sex jokes if they feel like it.
Anyway, one fact that seems pretty certain about Aphra Behn is that she grew up during the Interregnum and wrote during the Restoration, and was very much on Team Divine Kings Are Great. Would Puritans let a woman write saucy plays for the stage? NO SIRREE, NOT AT ALL, three cheers for the monarchy and the dissolute aristocracy!
There aren't all that many facts that are certain about Aphra Behn, especially her early years -- the first several chapters of this book involve a lot of posed hypotheticals about who she might have been, how she might have got her start, and who might have recruited her into the spying business. It does seem fairly certain she was a spy: code name Astrea, Agent 160. (Me, to aamcnamara, after seeing Or last month: "I don't know that I buy all that Agent 160 business, there's no way that was something they did in the 1660s!" I apologize for doubting you, Liz Duffy Adams.)
Admittedly she was the kind of spy who spent most of her spy mission stuck in a hotel in Antwerp writing irritated letters back to King Charles' intelligence bureaucracy, explaining that she would happily continue with her spying mission and do all the things they wished her to do if only they would send her enough money to PAY HER DANG HOTEL BILL. (They did not.)
Besides her unpaid expense reports, most of what is known about Aphra Behn comes from her context and her publications, and the things she wrote in them -- only some of which can absolutely definitively be traced to her at all; several of her short stories and novellas are disputed, including one of the ones I found most interesting, "Love-Letters Between A Nobleman And His Sister." This early three-volume novel is extremely thinly-veiled RPF about a wildly trashy historical trial involving King Charles' illegitimate son, his best friend, the best friend's wife, and the best friend's sister-in-law. All of these people then went on to be involved in a major rebellion, which the second and third volume of "Love-Letters" cheerfully fictionalizes basically as it was happening, in the real world.
One of the first English novels ever written by a woman [if it was indeed written by Aphra Behn], and arguably the first novel written EVER, and it's basically one of Chuck Tingle's political satires. This is kind of amazing to me.
OK, but back to things we think we're fairly sure we do know about Aphra Behn! She wrote a lot about herself talking, and about men judging her for how much she talked; she wrote a lot of things that were extremely homoerotic; she also wrote a lot about impotence; she was often short on money; she cheerfully stole other people's plots, then got mad when people accused her of stealing other people's plots; she rarely wrote anything that was traditionally romantic, and most of her work seems to have an extremely wicked bite to it. She did not read Latin, which did not stop her from contributing to volumes of translations of things from Latin. She was almost certainly not a member of the nobility, but she believed in divine right, and divine order, and divine King Charles, even though it seems likely from her writing that she did not believe personally in religion, or God, and the King probably never did pay her bills. An extremely interesting and contradictory person, living in an interesting and contradictory time.
And now I think I need to go find a good biography of Nell Gwyn - she's barely relevant to this biography (Aphra Behn dedicated a play to her, but there's no other information available about their relationship) and yet Janet Todd cannot resist throwing in a couple of her favorite historical Nell Gwyn one-liners and they're all SO GOOD.
Walking back to So 51st St I had an experience that reminded me of the butterfly migration a couple weeks ago. Gulls began appearing from the east southeast, evenly spaced over a wide area, uniformly not very high, and soared out over the Bay. I don't think they were landing on the spit opposite, although I admit I was so fascinated I didn't watch to see; they were definitely not landing anywhere short of there and I had the impression they just kept flying. They seemed to materialize out of the haze in front of the hills, and I have no idea where they came from. The reservoirs in Contra Costa? A pond this side of the hills? The Delta? Many of them were small gulls, possibly mews, but as the wave continued I saw the lots of ring-bills as well as Californias and westerns. More than a hundred, I'd guess.
So, I got down next to him and said something like, “I’m sorry that happened to you. It must have been scary very upsetting. But the thing is, those kids are not worth your time or your tears. Good, nice people, the people that we care about, do not yell at us for no reason and make us feel bad. The don’t try to make us think there’s something wrong with us. Because there isn’t. There isn’t anything wrong with you and you don’t deserve to be yelled at. You deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. So don’t worry about them. They aren’t worth it. Take a deep breath, let it out (because kids never let out the deep breath they took unless they’re told to) and forget them. Don’t let them ruin your day. You’ve got better things to do.”
And it seemed to work. He calmed down, stopped crying, and he started working. In a few minutes, he was smiling and laughing. Even better, when we started writing a few minutes later, he was actually eager to write. The prompt for this week is a fun time they had with a friend. I said they could sit near the friend they were writing about. This boy, who usually has to dictate his writing to me and then copy what I wrote, actually started writing. It was amazing!
It left me with a good feeling. I finally feel like I did something right.
I have been all right. Going to the gym 4+ days a week is not my natural inclination, and I still hurt in many places, but it is clear the activity is keeping my mood afloat, helping me sleep better and, yes, building strength and stamina. I took tonight off to browse the local library book sale -- $2 for Neil Clarke's Best Science Fiction of the Year vol. 1 and Whale Rider on DVD, yay -- and write a post.
My sister came to visit over Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day weekend. (Wow, it looks even worse to put those side by side than to use one alone. Wish we could just say Indigenous Peoples Day now, but it hasn't permeated the culture yet.) We went to a book event featuring chef Jacques Pépin, daughter Claudine and granddaughter Shorey. Having grown up watching Pépin, Julia Child and the Frugal Gourmet on PBS, it was a real treat -- especially since he came out twenty minutes early to do photo ops with anyone who wanted.
The discussion itself was quite funny. Claudine, the moderator, got teased by her dad, but she dished it right back. "Never work with family," she quipped at one point. They told stories about things like how PBS timed its filmings so if Claudine wasn't a fast enough learner at rolling out dough or whatever, Jacques would elbow her out of the way and do it himself. Whereas when he partnered with Julia Child, she just told the film crew, "We're going to make this dish and we'll tell you when we're done," meaning some poor editor had to trim 110 minutes down to 20-something. Nor did they work from recipes, so airings were delayed because the producers had to reverse engineer them.
We also went to the county fair in the rain, figuring the crowds would thin out. Incorrect! Nonetheless, we enjoyed many animals, vegetables and
Work has been work-y. We were urged to apply for some awards in our field, which took up most of the last three days. I've won a few in this job, so I'm a bit hopeful. Otherwise just trying to keep my head down and enjoy the aspects of this career that I enjoy while our office's overall stress rises and morale dips. Pretty sure [coworker] is about to quit.
Good news is we still get financial support for professional development. Next week I'm flying to San Francisco for a conference. If any of you have food recommendations in the Union Square/SoMa area, especially for breakfast and lunch, share away. I'm already set on returning to a couple of takeout places in Chinatown for tasty tasty dim sum. Still dreaming of the shrimp and leek dumplings from my first visit there a year and a half ago.
I'm revisiting Yuletide source, taking a lot of notes, & contemplating my reading challenge parameters for next year. This year I've focused on women authors again, but lately I've been thinking about literary awards. Maybe next year I'll try doing the Pulitzer lists or something.
Thanks for the good wishes re the cold. It's still lingering but I'm largely better. I'm still baffled that my body allowed a respiratory infection to happen at all. Maybe my allergic responses are relenting a little? *hopes*
dirt ( outside, inside )
neighbors ( squeaky wheels among so many other nice people )
healthcrap ( osteoarthritis + fibromyalgia )
Hope y'all are well! <3
⌈ Secret Post #3941 ⌋
Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.
( More! )
Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 18 secrets from Secret Submission Post #564.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.