(no subject)

Aug. 21st, 2017 11:03 pm
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[personal profile] the_rck
This isn't really a post. It's a notice that I am still alive and hope to post tomorrow. Today kind of wrecked me, and I must sleep.

Fa'afafine video

Aug. 22nd, 2017 08:38 am
fred_mouse: brass mouse brooch on green striped carpet, at quite a distance (rug)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
Not sure if the first link is going to work for people outside Australia, because it is from on-demand TV from a public broadcaster, so I've included the Facebook link as well.

Interesting short documentary interviewing three fa'afafines and how they experienced being raised that way. Of the three, two have positive things to say, while the third was badly bullied and discusses their resultant substance abuse. This is a very honest bit of media, and mostly focuses on the social aspects--one of the people interviewed comments that it is really common that explorations of what it means to be fa'afafine focus on [paraphrase] 'what they have in their pants, and who they have sex with'.

The SBS/direct link.

the Facebook link

edited to get rid of a very poorly used phrase

Dreaming my family issues

Aug. 22nd, 2017 07:33 am
fred_mouse: crystal mouse, looking straight out at the viewer (crystal)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
This morning, the alarm went off in the middle of a dream where I had been called up to speak at my father's funeral, despite the fact that I had said I didn't want to. At that point, I hadn't said anything yet, but I think my first thought after 'argh, alarm' was 'what do I have to say that won't mess this up for other people'.

Basically, all I could think about when half asleep was either angry or bitchy. And there might be large swathes of my family I'm not keen on, but I'm sure that they will be genuinely grieving, and my whole 'never emotionally available, despite being the only person I have/had a hope of getting closure on some of the shit my mother did' issue is my issue and I shouldn't be venting it on them.

...at least I don't have funeral/dealing with the death dreams about my mother or my ex-husband any more..

(no subject)

Aug. 20th, 2017 09:47 pm
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[personal profile] the_rck
I'm trying to remember what I did yesterday, and my mind is going blank. Let's see... We made a trip out to Plum Market in the evening because Cordelia really, really wanted to. Scott and Cordelia made turkey meatballs that came out reasonably well.

This morning, I woke up to find that I'd reached 90 days on holding a portal in Ingress. That's a badge increment. The next one is at 150 days and is highly unlikely. Of course, getting to 90 days surprised me. The Guardian badge is one of those that one can only hope will happen. I capture portals and keep recharging them as long as I still own them. Before this, the longest I'd held anything was 85 days (and I was cranky when that one went down because I'd started thinking it would last).

Scott had both days off this weekend. He's expecting to work next weekend but says he should be able to make sure he works Sunday. Saturday is a big Ingress event, called an Anomaly, here in Ann Arbor, and we've signed up for it as it's likely to be our only opportunity to participate in such a thing. I'm a little worried about my ability to participate fully since it's about four hours of constant walking. I specifically told them that I'm only good for an hour and that at a slow pace. I guess we'll see.

The hard part is trying to get the suggested in-game equipment for the Anomaly. A couple of local people who play a lot more than we do are helping us, but there's also the problem of what to do with the stuff we want to keep that we won't have room for.

Yesterday, our kitchen sink backed up. Scott spent a good bit of time getting it unclogged. He's a little freaked because he can't explain what he found which was a flaky, black build up rather than a wad of grease or something similar. He couldn't identify the substance at all. At least we can now run the dishwasher.

Tomorrow's going to be busy. Cordelia's high school registration will happen in the afternoon, and I need to make sure we get there on time. Cordelia's decidedly unenthusiastic about the whole thing.

One Last Drop by Nicole Field

Aug. 21st, 2017 08:00 am
calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)
[personal profile] calissa

One Last Drop, Nicole Field, Less Than Three Press, Earl Grey Editing, books and tea, tea and books

Published: August 2017 by Less Than Three Press
Format reviewed: E-book (mobi)
Genres: Romance, LGBTQIA
Source: NetGalley
Available: Publisher (electronic only)

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rory is a university student — and she’s just a little too fond of drinking and partying. But when she woke up with no memory of the evening, or the person beside her and what they did, that was the last straw.

Getting help seems the obvious first step, but it’s still hard to walk into the AA meeting, and harder still to stick to her goals.

But if she wants a chance to make things work with the beautiful Michelle, and further explore the submissive side she’s ignored, she’s going to have to commit to recovery and pull her life together, no matter how difficult that seems.

One Last Drop is a f/f romance that tackles some big issues but ultimately left me unsatisfied.

The primary focus of the story is Rory’s alcoholism and her ongoing recovery. It starts at Rory’s first AA meeting which gives a pretext for the skillful delivery of a traumatic backstory without making the reader experience it directly. As a teetotaler, I appreciated the way the story highlighted the alcoholic culture not only of university life but of society more generally. There were also some poignant moments examining shame and the way this manifests–particularly in Rory’s desire to keep her problem a secret and how this undermines her by depriving her of a support network.

However, the latter point was weakened somewhat by shallow characterisation. The close third-person perspective allows us to see what’s going on for Rory, but the characters around her felt flat. Michelle in particular came across as less of a character to connect to and more as a role: that of love interest and mature role-model for Rory to potentially grow into. When the trauma in Michelle’s background came up, it caught me by surprise, as there hadn’t been any foreshadowing. Perhaps this was by design–people don’t foreshadow their traumas in real life–but it left me feeling ambivalent.

The story takes a positive stance towards support groups and therapy, which I appreciated. I also liked the interplay between addiction and BDSM; Michelle is quite firm in not allowing Rory to avoid taking responsibility for her addiction by hiding in her new role as a submissive. Readers should not expect much in the way of onscreen sex. Instead, as is common for Field’s stories, the scene fades to black.

All in all, One Last Drop had some elements I liked, but I feel it ultimately failed to live up to its potential.

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

(no subject)

Aug. 19th, 2017 09:58 am
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We ended up eating out last night. I'm not convinced it was a great idea, but we realized relatively late in the day that we had nothing thawed. There's a whole chicken in the freezer in the basement, but thawing that is going to take a few days. We went to Evergreen again because Scott really wanted to (Cordelia and I have both eaten there twice in the last four weeks) and because we happened to be out that way to visit a bakery that Cordelia was interested in. We all ended up with enough leftovers for a second meal, so there's that.

I used the c-PAP for three and a half hours last night. I'm not entirely sure why I didn't put it back on after I got up to visit the bathroom, but I didn't. My dreams were semi-anxiety dreams with lots of circling back to redo things.

I woke with a headache this morning. Caffeine and food seems to have killed it (it wasn't quite bad enough for me to take an Amerge. I only have two left. I might be able to get more during the next week, but I might have to wait until I see my doctor on the 28th).

I think I'm going to be spending a lot of time in the bedroom this weekend. Scott's watching The Defenders, and I don't want to listen to it because that's not much better than having to watch all the violence.

Our cleaning lady moved around all of the stuff I'd put aside to get rid of. I'm sure she thought that putting all of the clothing together made sense, but some of that stuff is wearable, and some isn't. The stuff that isn't has to go to a completely different place. The stuff that is wearable can go to the same place as the non-clothing stuff, and that's how I had it all sorted.

Today's goal is to finish filling out the various forms that we need to take to high school registration on Monday. A number of them are things that I need to consult with Scott and Cordelia about because they involve spending money on things that Cordelia may or may not actually have any interest in or on things that I know we want (like the yearbook and school pictures) but that we need to decide which version to get.

(no subject)

Aug. 18th, 2017 03:39 pm
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[personal profile] the_rck
My left elbow is hurting a lot. It's been giving me trouble for a couple of months, but it's now hard to sleep because of it, and bending it and straightening it both hurt like hell. Clenching my fist hurts the elbow, too, as does lifting anything heavier than my cell phone. I'm seeing my doctor next week, so I'm going to talk to her about it then. The pain at night thing is the biggest problem. I can get by without using it to lift/carry most of the time, and I'm managing not to move it much even without wearing a sling.

Neither heat nor ice help, but Tylenol does help a bit. I suspect that being low on sleep isn't helping at all as I tend to hurt more when I'm tired.

This is pinpoint pain, so I'm assuming tendinitis.

Fic announcement

Aug. 18th, 2017 11:21 am
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[personal profile] the_rck
The first of my two stories for this year's [community profile] pod_together challenge has gone live today.

Title: The Last on Your Path
Fandom: The Pretender (TV)
Podfic by: [archiveofourown.org profile] fred_mouse
Podfic length: About twelve minutes
Word count: 1686
Rating: Teen and Up
Tags: Gen, Introspection, Pivot Point, Seeing Things
Notes: The challenge requires putting the text version of the story and the audio links in the same AO3 document.
Summary: Sydney's seeing things he knows can't be real. Eventually, he has to listen anyway.

The Last on Your Path at AO3.

(no subject)

Aug. 18th, 2017 07:51 am
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[personal profile] the_rck
I'm up early after not nearly enough sleep because I got smacked with a migraine overnight. Amerge and caffeine seem to be beating it back, but going back to bed won't work for a while yet. I haven't slept since about half an hour before Scott's alarm went off.

I didn't take Ativan last night. I don't know if using the c-PAP without it contributed to the migraine or not.

I did a little writing last night, but I feel like I'm groping in fog to find the characters. I'm firmly in one POV, and that character can only guess at who the other character is which isn't helpful because it means I haven't defined him clearly in my own head. I'm also flip-flopping on what the POV character is willing to do to achieve her goals, and I feel like the story is already too long.

I don't think I'm going to finish the treat I started for Captive Audience by the exchange deadline. I expect the recipient would still want it if I finish it later on. It's a tiny fandom, so not many people were likely to read it anyway.

I'm looking at my holds list at the library and trying to figure out how I ended up with four movies and a season of anime all to pick up on Sunday. There's a waitlist on the anime series and on one of the movies, so I guess I give those top priority. At least the anime is only twelve episodes.

Bout of Books 20 sign-up

Aug. 18th, 2017 08:00 am
calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)
[personal profile] calissa
Bout of Books

July and August have my Mt TBR looking in pretty good shape, but it could always use a little more help. One of the best ways to do that is through a reading challenge!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.– From the Bout of Books team

Being a low-pressure challenge, Bout of Books lets me set my own goals. As with the last few times, I’m aiming to get through a minimum of three books. My goal is to power through Glenda Larke’s Mirage Makers trilogy, which has been languishing on Mt TBR for entirely too long. It might be a bit ambitious to get through in a week, but I’ll be giving it my best shot!

Glenda Larke, Mirage Makers, Heart of the Mirage, the Shadow of Tyr, Song of the Shiver Barrens, Earl Grey Editing, books and tea, tea and books, Bout of Books, Mt TBR

If you’d like to join in, there’s still time to sign up!

What’s on your TBR pile this week?

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 03:13 pm
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[personal profile] the_rck
Scott and I set out about 9:30, and we got home with Cordelia a bit after 8:00. It was a really long drive. Scott and I listened to podcasts and an audiobook on the way up. The Hamilton soundtrack played the entire way back because Cordelia finds it soothing and because Scott and Cordelia both sing along with the whole thing.

We got to the area near Interlochen about an hour before we were to pick Cordelia up, so we got lunch at the only restaurant we could find. It wasn't terrible. It also wasn't great. I finished my meal still feeling hungry and without any options for more food.

The Interlochen campus is really nice. I'd have liked to look around more (and the unclaimed Ingress portals only had a little bit to do with it), but Cordelia was really eager to get out of there.

Scott's parents invited us to stop by on our way home, and we did. The timing worked out that we arrived a little after 6:00, so they fed us dinner-- chicken, asparagus, mashed potatoes, and salad.

I dropped my Ativan tablet last night and couldn't find it (those things are tiny!), so I slept without it. I was exhausted enough that I slept soundly until Scott's alarm. After he got up, I didn't get back to sleep until he left. That wasn't because of him. It was me feeling too warm then too cold then having my neck hurt then... Well, on and on.

My allergy trouble hasn't come back. I'm hoping it won't, but the cleaning lady coming today may set me off again because the various cleaning products cause me problems breathing (one of the big reasons we have her come in).

(no subject)

Aug. 16th, 2017 08:29 am
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[personal profile] the_rck
I slept pretty badly last night. I was still sneezing and all that, so I couldn't use the c-PAP. I seem to be doing better in that regard this morning, but I woke when the Benadryl wore off in the middle of the night.

Our current best guess as to the problem is a combination of dust, ragweed, and the c-PAP. The dust and ragweed wouldn't normally give me this much trouble, not at the levels they've been at. I think that my sinuses have been irritated by the c-PAP and so are more reactive to other things. I haven't had a summer this bad for allergies since I was in high school.

All of my plans for the week, such as they were, have been shot to hell. They mainly consisted of writing and watching DVDs that can't be renewed (I have about fifty hours of lectures on DVD that can't be renewed) and more writing.

We have a very long day ahead of us as we'll be heading up to Interlochen to bring Cordelia home. (There are reasons for this that I'm not willing to go into in a public post.) It's been a hard decision, and I still need to make some phone calls about it. Part of me wants to go back to bed and to send Scott on his own, but that would be unfair to him. He could do it. He would, too, if it was necessary, but I can go.

We plan to get on the road as soon as we're both dressed and both have had breakfast.

(no subject)

Aug. 15th, 2017 01:28 pm
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[personal profile] the_rck
I'll be going to Medequip tomorrow to try on some different masks. The idea is to find something that won't irritate my sinuses to the point of days of sneezing. The current one doesn't provoke that all of the time.

I want to nap, but my sinuses are still in rebellion. I'm not sure if it's the c-PAP or the ragweed or the dust from cleaning. It might be all three. I used my neti pot (I don't very often, just when I'm worried that something like dust or pollen might be setting me off).

The orientation session last night was a bit overwhelming. Too many people, no AC, and lots of stairs.

All of the staff members specified their pronouns. None of them used anything but the he set or the she set, but I'm glad they did it because it's entirely possible that there were kids in the audience who needed reassurance that their pronouns will be respected.

We found someone who wants the Legos that I washed/bleached on Sunday. Scott's sister's SIL's church can use them. She's willing to pick them up. We still have a few other things to give away/donate.

My mother has sent me a url for the parts we need to repair the love seat and chair in the basement. I just need to measure the pieces of the support straps we've still got to make sure we order the right things. I don't know how long it will be before Scott has time to do the work, but getting the parts is the first step.

I'm really done in. If you've sent me something in last few days that requires thought, I might manage it tomorrow, but it's not going to happen today.

(no subject)

Aug. 15th, 2017 07:22 am
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[personal profile] the_rck
Currently sitting at Skyline, waiting for Cordelia to board the bus to camp. It's raining so we're waiting inside while they load the luggage. Scott's still here. He doesn't have to be at work until 11. My main worry is that we forgot to pack something that Cordelia will actually need.

They misspelled Cordelia's name on her name tag-- Cordilia. She's got a new one now, but her name is wrong everywhere else. The application was online, so I have no idea how they got it wrong.
sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
[personal profile] sqbr
(this started out as a reply to this tumblr post)

When I first started posting about social justice online, on my fannish livejournal, I posted about racism a LOT, with lots of self righteous LET ME EXPLAIN A THING. And then two of my non-white(*) friends said it was ruining my blog for them: one because she felt like I was speaking over her experiences, which didn’t match the monolithic How POC Feel Narrative I was ‘explaining’, the other because it was causing my clueless white friends to say racist crap in the comments. I had to fight back a defensive “But DON’T YOU WANT ME TO FIGHT RACISM??” reaction.

Ten years later and I’m still trying to figure out how to discuss racism in ways that actually help fight racism, and make the spaces I control supportive of POC/non-white people, rather than simply making the loudest possible noise about how it’s REALLY BAD YOU GUYS.
Read more... )

Recent Reading

Aug. 15th, 2017 02:45 pm
fred_mouse: line drawing of mouse sitting on its butt reading a large blue book (review)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
Note: some potentially spoilery reviews, but mostly for books that are decades old...

Some rather abbreviated reviews of books I've finished reading in the last few weeks (some of these have been on the 'in progress' pile for some time -- one of them nearly 2 years, I think). For some reason, some of my reviews (I'm mostly paraphrasing longer reviews posted in Goodreads) have completely ignored the details of the stories, and just looked at my response to them.

In no particular order:

Beyond the Labyrinth by Gillian Rubenstein. What starts out as an all too tedious story of sibling rivalry and uncomfortable family dynamics into which an additional teenager is dropped becomes a gripping commentary on the paranoia of the 1980s and the nature of reality, all wrapped in a time travel and first contact narrative. 5/5

Dark Labyrinth by Lawrence Durrell. I picked this one up at the second hand bookshop, because I was aware of Durrell from reading his brother's semi-autobiographical stories, but didn't know anything more. I found this story of rather random characters who meet on a cruise and then end up in a Greek cave system/labyrinth uninteresting, and it was hard to motivate myself to keep reading. Having said that, it is well written, with a host of interesting characters. It just wasn't for me. [The copy of this book is free to a good home; happy to pay postage for someone who actually likes Durrell's writing] 3/5

Jackalope Wives by Ursula Vernon (novelette? short story?) An interesting take on the trope of animals shedding their outer skins to show beautiful young women underneath. I particularly loved the old woman character that holds the story together, and her rugged practicality. 4/5

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater [book 1, 'The Raven Cycle']. I love the way Stiefvater has woven together the various threads of this story, the subtle way that things are worked towards and foreshadowed. I also was fascinated that such a small section of the story was resolved - some of the details that I expected to be central to the plot are possibly going to be relevant to the later books, which makes me hopeful that the next book will be as strong. 5/5

Giant Trouble by Ursula Vernon [book 4, 'Hamster Princess'] I am particularly fond of the Harriet Hamster series, and this story did not disappoint in any way. The quirky extra details are often the things that really make the stories for me -- the rescue of the harp/hamster hybrid character who is all about the heavy rock/metal music, and the basic genderqueer nature of battle quails are the ones that come to mind here. As with the previous three books, fairy tales aimed squarely at pre-teen girls which are about heroism without the requisite romance sub-plot are a delight to read, and I'm so happy that Vernon is continuing to write for this market.5/5

The Legend of the Phoenix Dragon by Brenton E McKenna [graphic novel](book 1, Ubby's Underdogs). This is an amazingly intricate story, with a wide cast of characters and multiple plots running together. I love the detail that the two 'competitions' between the rival gangs are narrated as if by a sports commentator -- it gives an added dimension to something that might otherwise come off as a rule-less brawl. Ends on quite the cliffhanger. 5/5

The Homeward Bounders by Diana Wynne Jones. This is a book that I very much loved as a kid, and rereading as an adult, I still find the plot (and the twists), the shout-outs to mythology, and the twisty nature of reality as presented in this story to be completely gripping. The characters were a little less interesting than I remember, but there is certainly an identifiable amount of diversity, which is somewhat atypical of (what I remember of) kids books of the time. The plot is detailed, the world-building spectacular (as one would expect from Jones), and the writing romps along at a great rate. 5/5

The Seventh Bride by T Kingfisher. Adored it. The ending is well suited to the fairy tale genre, with the sorcerer getting their comeuppance and most everyone getting their happily ever after. 5/5

Eight Days of Luke by Diana Wynne Jones. While this is one of my four (or so) favourite books written by Jones', I don't actually think it is one of her stronger ones. The worldbuilding, including the incorporation of Norse mythology, is good, but sometimes patchy. The characterisation is mostly fine, but sometimes a bit wooden. The writing is mostly smooth, but aspects of both the worldbuilding and the characterisation kept throwing me out of the story -- I was sometimes too busy wondering what it was that I was missing in a particular scene to actually read it properly the first time through, and thus ended up rereading multiple pages. 4/5

The Body at the Tower by Y S Lee (book 2, The Mary Quinn Mysteries). This is a great murder mystery aimed at late primary aged kids (or possibly older) set in Victorian London. Lee really knows her stuff with the feel and pacing of the story, although I found that there were sections that dragged a little. 4/5

Link(s)

Aug. 15th, 2017 08:55 am
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (blanket)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
Mr J Says - on representation of Asians other than Asian-Americans in the current cultural commentary

For the record, I'll be voting 'yes' -- Amanda Vanstone on why the marriage equality vote is about religious freedom as much as anything. Also, she gets out the toasting fork for Tony Abbott. Now, I don't necessarily agree with Vanstone on a lot of topics, but I do listen to her on the radio a lot, and I appreciate the way that she approaches topics, even as I shout at the radio.

Blind Reading is in Braille or Large Print (Elsa Sjunneson-Henry) -- This is a topic that I've been ranting on for years, the misuse of 'blind' when the speaker means 'anonymous' or 'ignorant of'.

(no subject)

Aug. 14th, 2017 02:58 pm
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[personal profile] the_rck
I wore myself out completely yesterday, what with dealing with spraying Cordelia's clothes and sorting the crap from the basement. I had to ask Scott to go get me a Wendy's burger in order to be able to think and to stave off a headache that was heading migraine-wards. Two loads of laundry got done, too, but Scott and Cordelia did parts of that.

Scott went out to the Games Library Day in Ypsilanti. I had to ask him to leave early because I used up all of the anti-tick spray for Cordelia's clothing before I got the sweatshirt and the single pair of long pants she's taking. I got all of the t-shirts and shorts.

I started sneezing last night around 9 p.m. and haven't really stopped. I wasn't able to use the c-PAP because of it. I've got the AC cranked just in case it's a ragweed thing (which it might be because it's been cool enough recently for the AC not to run).

We have the meeting for Cordelia's camp orientation tonight at 6:00. I hope there will be signs because telling us to meet 'in the choir room' isn't actually much help with a building that size that none of us know. Cordelia and I have been searching desperately for a set of dress shoes that fit her. We have a single shoe from two different sets (one of which she swears had both shoes in her suitcase two days ago). The second available shoe is navy instead of the required black but will probably pass well enough if I can find the other.

I got a germ of an idea for my UCon game scenario last night, but I'm not sure yet what direction to take it. I'm going to call it a 'home rules' system, though, probably with a note that I'll be mostly using percentile dice.

I have my Darkest Night assignment. I'm going to have to think about it for a little while. I'm confident I can write the fandom and make it dark. I'm just not sure I can use more than one of the freeforms (this is a request that came in after I signed up and that I was sufficiently comfortable with not to run to change my sign up. If it had been there before, I might have tried to avoid it, but I also might not have). Strictly speaking, I only have to use one freeform, but... I like to do better than that.

Given that my Captive Audience story is stalled, I'll be focusing on getting that moving again before I do anything else. I was right that I did almost no writing last week while Scott was home. I think it came to 700 words, all on Saturday right at bedtime.

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