(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
The offer is low. It’s realistically what I can afford and the unit isn’t SO nice that I’m willing to pay more than I can afford for it. But I’m aware that it’s ridiculously low. We’ll see if they take it, and if they do I will definitely know it is haunted.
I won’t be heartbroken if I don’t get it, but wish me luck anyway. I’m ready for this damn hunt to END.
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2c0LMv7
brainwane was in my dream last night. I had just launched another beta of Firefox (which i am actually in the middle of twice a week in real life, thanks, literal dreams). We were hanging out in her driveway overlooking a canal with little boats in it, talking deeply about things. She had the same scooter as me for some reason. I suddenly realized my beta release had a giant crash caused by a mixed content policy bug I had just uplifted before the build. So in the dream I was going "hang on brainwane I want to hear this story but I just have to email (*specific person who actually exists and works on that project*) about the bug and turn off updates. Typing behaved in the wonky way it does in dreams but I managed to read the bug and send the email!! I think it is hilarious that I dreamed about the feelings of regret of having accepted a patch for uplift without requiring enough testing beforehand in late beta. ok, my brain.... !
Then we went inside to cook dinner together and I folded some loads of her laundry on the couch as we kept talking. It was very cozy and domestic. Can't remember what we were rambling about though.
The Daily Report
Well, August is almost over. At several points before, during, and after WorldCon, I considered making a post explaining that it had been a difficult month (seasonal heat, plus scrambling for/being at/recovering from WorldCon) and that I’m basically giving myself a mulligan on it, but I never actually found the wherewithal to do so.
My plan to start my year of awesome was like most of my plans: spur of the moment and hatched in the spring, when days are getting longer and brighter but the summer heat hasn’t hatched. The timing meant that July and August were months 2 and 3 of my plan. This was such a terrible idea that it wasn’t even August before I decided that next year I’m officially scheduling and announcing light duty/sabbatical during those hottest two months, but I also felt like I needed to power through and do it anyway.
So here we are at the end of August and I have not clearly articulated my situations or intentions, and for that, I apologize. I am back in the saddle after a solid week off, post-con. I may yet cross a few more items off my to-do list in the next three days. But I may not hit all of my monthly writing goals for August.
I will certainly not hit my personal zine/newsletter goals, and in fact, it may be time to re-evaluate those because my initial vision is just not coming together at all. One theme that got hammered at the writerly panels I visited at WorldCon was something that I struggle with, even as an self-declared experimental writer and publisher: if something’s not working, stop doing it.
So I’m going to be re-evaluating that. Honestly, I think August might have gone better if I hadn’t spent so much time spinning my wheels on this and trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Anyway, I don’t want to dwell too long on what’s been going wrong when I have been having such an objectively awesome time.
A little strained. Our transportation and food costs for the con went over the few hundred dollars I had allotted from the fundraiser; something I definitely saw coming but was too stressed to really do anything about. Our generally improved and improving financial outlooks gave us some padding to eat into, but the padding’s awfully thin and needs replacing, and we need to buy groceries in the meantime. If you’ve enjoyed my (Alfie Award-winning!) writing and commentary over the years, now’s a good time to chip in through PayPal or Square Cash.
The State of the Me
Navigating the convention and traveling left me with a lot of phsyical problems that exacerbate my fatigue (heat exhaustion, dehydration, borked sleep schedule and nutritional regimen, etc.), as well as some genuine injuries to my feet and lower legs, the least of which were blisters on each heel right at the tendon. After a solid week of rest, including a day and a half of actual bed rest, the still painful remnants of the blisters are all that remains of these issues.
Plans For Today
Back to work day. I’m basically going to open up a window and start writing whatever wants to be written. Even if I’m taking a pass on my goals for the month, I’m still going to try to fulfill as much of them as I can, ending this month well in order to start the next one with a head of steam.
Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.
Ways to Give:
jedilora linked to a fundraiser for Virginia, an artist and storyteller active in the SCA and local Pagan circles, who has been in and out of the hospital for the last week and sick for the month before. Being self-employed, she has no health insurance, and needs to raise cash for her medical bills. You can read more and help out here.
justice_turtle is currently living homeless and, while they have just landed a full-time job, won't be paid until mid-September. They need funds for housing application fees and security deposit, plus extra for bills, gas, and laundry. You can read more here, including where you can paypal money to help out.
rilee16 is still struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and hasn't been cleared to return to work, thus can't earn money to cover basic living costs, let alone the bills they've received. You can read more and help out here.
editrx has been struggling to keep her indy bookstore afloat for this past year, and on top of her troubles there, she's now been the subject of a violent assault by her housemate. She's dealing with mounting medical bills and trauma from the assault and needs a lawyer to ensure her attacker is charged properly and convicted. You can read more and give here, or support Starcat Books by purchasing here.
Support Small Business:
discursivetacenda wanted to get the word out about her Etsy site, where she sells handmade glass and metaphysical crystal jewelery. You can check out the shop here; she's got some really nice pieces up and also does custom orders.
flywithturtles is a 34 year old woman looking for a flatmate in Kristiansand, Norway, preferably near UiA in the 3K-5K nok/month range; she's looking for someone relatively quiet and preferably nerdy, with no preference for gender/sexuality/age; you can get in touch at her tumblr or via greenetno at gmail.com.
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 or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. 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.
New playlist! I’ve now got a playlist where I start with a .75 mile run every time. Bold is songs I run to, normal font is songs I walk during.
Fiona Apple - Good Defense
Smash Mouth - Then The Morning ComesTom Lehrer - Werner von BraunWalk the Moon - Anna Sun
Steve Miller Band - Take The Money and RunVan Vuuren Bros - ActivewearWalk The Moon - Shut Up and Dance
Big Boi - Backup Plan * Toren Atkinson - Too High Up HereViva La Vida - Coldplay
The Kinks - Catch Me Now I’m Falling * Tom Lehrer - The Vatican RagThe Killers - Mr Brightside
Bad City - Fight as OneTom Lehrer - National Brotherhood WeekHall & Oates - Rich Girl
Michael Penn - Walter ReedBlood What True - Say Wat It Do
Asterisked songs were edited down for time, so they run only 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
I actually need to replace Say Wat It Do with a shorter song, it’s too long an interval between running.
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2c2M2cl
( Health issues / gut health )
So what are my recommendations for people who have eosinophilic gastroenteritis (EG) or think they might have it?
- Talk to your doctor before changing anything. Be persistent.
- Consider IBD/IBS as part of a differential diagnosis, but don't be satisfied with a pure IBS diagnosis, especially if the symptoms involve the upper GI tract (esophagus, stomach) as they did for me. IBS by definition doesn't involve the upper GI tract.
- Try a six-food elimination diet. Perhaps elimination of a few common allergy-inducing foods will help improve your condition. Get help from your local hospital in completing this successfully if you need to.
- Look into stem cell stabilizer medications and their kin such as sodium cromoglycate, montelukast and ketotifen. These are not cheap but, at least in my case, one has proven incredibly effective.
No, I do not want to change the policy - 30%
Yes, I would like to change the policy - 41%
Yes, I would like to change the policy, but only for one meeting a month - 18%
Yes, I would like to change the policy, but retain the current policy once a month - 27%
These poll results were described as "The community was fairly evenly split about this idea" and the decision of the committee was "For the time being we will not be making changes."
These figures add up to more than 100%, so it's hard to gauge, but it seems to me that the membership is not in fact "fairly evenly split" at all. What I see is that at least 70% of the votes are in favor of changing the policy.
However, I'm strongly in favor of changing the policy, so I am biased. What do you think?
-The shift in tone is very gradual, and then all of a sudden the Typhoon hits and you are in the endgame. The atmospherics change completely to this dark, somber, foreboding tone that of course Melville is constantly subverting to hilarious effect. Every other chapter ends with a line foreshadowing Ahab's death. Ten or fifteen chapters from the end, Melville ends a chapter with "In his fiery eyes of scorn and triumph, you then saw Ahab in all his fatal pride." and all I could think was "Way to spoil the ending, Herman!"
-But it's actually really important, since I've spent so much time in these notes snickering at Melville, to note just how brilliant the last twenty chapters of Moby Dick are. Seriously, if you're not interested in reading the whole damn tome, I totally understand it. Parts of it are pretty much unreadable. But do yourself a favor and read from chapter 115 to the end. You won't understand everything- the hundreds of pages before really do matter, Melville actually does spend that time setting up plot points and building character arcs and he pays off way more of them than I'd remembered in the ending, but even without understanding all of those details, those last twenty chapters are a thrill ride from a master of action suspense who is also a literary technician par excellence. For once, Melville does pacing remotely conventionally, except it turns out that when Melville tries to do pacing normally, he fails because he just does pacing better than everyone ever. He matches short chapters against long chapters, quick chapters against quicker chapters, then slows you down with a gripping monologue from the troubled Starbuck, then speeds back up again. The ending is just as unconventional as the rest of the novel, truly, but it's so skillfully done that it feels like there's no artistry to it.
-And holy shit the scene with Starbuck and the musket is a fucking masterpiece of slow-built character development. "The very tube he pointed at me!—the very one; this one—I hold it here; he would have killed me with the very thing I handle now." That scene could have been so tedious, but it's the opposite of tedious. After "Cetology" I think it's my favorite chapter in the reread, because Starbuck's dilemma is so morally difficult- and it is so specific. Nobody else in the crew could have struggled with it in the same fashion, but Melville somehow gets you to this scene and you just, with every bone in your body, ache for Starbuck, because you know that no matter what choice he makes, he will regret it for the rest of his life, and he knows it too, knows there is no choice he can make that is truly a moral choice.
-All of a sudden at the end we get Ahab as a real person. He monologues for page after page after being this inscrutable mystery to Ishmael for the whole book. We learn about his first whaling trip, his feelings about his wife, his feelings about his son. We know more about Captain Ahab's backstory than we do about Ishmael's backstory! And what really struck me this time around is that the change only comes after the musket scene, because something changes at the musket scene, or really I suppose after the typhoon scene that immediately precedes it, but the musket scene lays it bare: Before, there was something heroic about Captain Ahab's pursuit of the White Whale. After the typhoon, after the first time when Ahab deliberately risks the lives of the crew to keep his pursuit hot, Ahab is no longer the hero of the novel. And Starbuck considers becoming the hero, but he too declines. By the end of the book, there is no hero, just a collection of madmen following a spectral whale to their doom.
-"There she blows!—there she blows! A hump like a snow-hill! It is Moby Dick!" And then we get the three days of the chase sequence, three days that Melville compares to Jesus's resurrection, because nothing in Moby Dick is a metaphor or a symbol, right? The chase is operating at so many levels of symbolism and character drama, but it is fundamentally an action sequence and a brilliant one, albeit a scene that would make little sense at all without all of the exposition that preceded it. Melville doesn't do exposition in the chase, he doesn't explain how harpoons work or when boats are set out, he doesn't explain who crews the boats and what their rowing tactics are. He's done all that already and finally we get to enjoy the fruits of that labor, a totally unadulerated action sequence that rings with incredible clarity because of how hard Melville has worked to get you there.
-I did want to address one of the levels, a level that is oddly absent from the ending. No mention is made whatsoever in any direct fashion of Bildad and Peleg, but there are hints: Ishmael writes that Ahab seemed to especially value the Pagan members of his crew, whereas he didn't trust the Christians. After the compass demagnetizes, he goes to extra effort to magnetize a new compass needle to appease the Pagans of their superstitions, and perhaps this special trust for the non-Christians comes from his knowledge of Bildad and Peleg's devout Christianity, a piety that extends only so far as to make as much money as possible, as quickly as possible. They have no room for vengeance on the seas, not because charity is Christian but because vengeance is expensive. Ahab knows that there is more to life than money, though, and because of this he is drawn to his non-Christian crew as natural allies against the Christians. Of course, in the end, Ahab is monstrous for this. There is a safety in working only for money, a righteousness. That is a strange form of true Christianity, but it's what seems to emerge.
-And then somehow fucking Ishmael escapes, floating away on Queequeg's casket life buoy. As if in some way he never really belonged in the story at all, as if Moby Dick somehow wasn't his story but that of Ahab and Starbuck. What the fuck, Ishmael?
Anyway, the rest of my generally-unrelated things:
– School officially started on the 25th, but my first on-campus class is the 29th. I work from 8-4, which requires leaving my house at 6:30, and then have to be on campus by 5. Which means walking over and taking the 3 train, which usually takes about half an hour, and hoping I have time to change out of my scrubs and am not late for my first class of the program ever.
– Hanging out in the hospice, where there's one specific tension-y thing going on but is otherwise okay. My mom just suddenly got the flu (?! though we've seen a couple of cases at work, I guess it's just early this year) so I'm here instead of working. Dad has been unresponsive for about a week, I think. I can't remember the last conversation we had, and I'm actually glad of that because I don't want to focus on it. His blood pressure right now is 79/47. His birthday is tomorrow, so we're hoping he dies tomorrow, because we're horrid people who like symmetry (also he's turning 66) and we also want him to stop hurting.
– I didn't have the flu, but I did have pleurisy and a sinus infection. Now I have this really horrid, disgusting remnant cough but am not actually sick anymore. No symptoms and I feel completely fine ... except that I'm always coughing in front of patients and having to apologize to them and explain I'm not sick.
– Sideline of speaking-of-dad, this happened. We're completely floored. So many people are coming together, and now that is definitely happening.
– Painted my nails for my co-worker's birthday party tonight (also, I have co-workers who invite me to birthday parties? it's a chef's table, very fancy sort of deal, and I'm missing my best eyeshadow brush) and one of my fingernails just broke right off. Like, the entire thing. It's broken past the quick. Poor ugly pinky.
– ... and this post was abruptly interrupted because someone came in the room and brought in a box! And inside the box was a gift from my dad's two closest co-workers, containing a flower arrangement that looks just like the banana creme birthday cake with raspberry frosting they gave him a few years ago. Complete with real rose to mimic the icing rose!
I got myself a year from nanila, who even gave me a year I can mostly recall. I added a question back in that I've seen other people do, though.
Age then: mostly fifteen, turned sixteen toward the end of the year
Age now: twenty-seven, turning twenty-eight relatively soon
Relationship then: fifteen? I was surrounded by high schoolers with crushes they would not shut up about. To this day I've still never experienced a crush; I don't so much understand them, but man was everyone who had one annoying about it. Therefore, I steered super clear of relationships in high school, though I did actually meet the person I'm now with in 2004, I think. It may have been '05. We weren't together for a while after meeting, and if we knew each other in 2004, it wasn't well.
Relationship now: With long-term partner of I think it's going to be ten years this year wow.
Where I lived then: Where I live now, actually, in a Bronx-area house. There have just been a lot of years in between ... I lived there then with both of my parents, two birds who had free reign of the house, a tortoise who never left the living room except to go in the backyard, and a dog who was the master of all couches (there were about five to be master of).
Where I live now: Where I lived then, in a Bronx-area house! I returned in December of 2015. I now live there with my partner and my mother, and the house is always too quiet.
What my job was then: High school student, dog-walker.
What my job is now: Urgent care jack-of-all-trades (patient interviews, basic tests and procedures, clinical documentation maven, also sends prescriptions and fights with pharmacies over the phone, plus being the brunt of angry people's days), graduate student.
Was I happy then: Mostly, no. High school was terrible in every way except that it wasn't quite as bad as middle school (aka the years that I legitimately won't remember if you ask: there's a reason). As always, all of my abuse came from outside the home and there was far too much of it. This wasn't "bullying," this was systematic emotional harassment, physical assault, and also coming from teachers as well as students. My OCD and depression had been diagnosed and were being treated, but the environment was too dangerous.
Am I happy now: Parts of me are. I have a job that I really care about even if it is at times exhausting, thankless and doesn't pay anywhere near enough (whose jobs are not those things). I'm in my dream graduate school. I have a safe living situation and it turns out that my mom is actually a pretty baller housemate as an adult. But of course the center of my universe is dying, just as I've finally broken into his career field, and we were supposed to do things together. That death is at any-minute-now stage. His birthday is tomorrow. He is in a coma, I am watching him breathe. I am not happy for this.
I'm stealing the phrasing also from the person I got the meme from: Ask for a year in comments if you'd like one. If I happen to pick one you're not comfortable writing about, please let me know and I'll choose a different one. Also, if you'd like to give me another year, please do, I find this fun! Though there are a few years I may not remember enough, and I obviously wouldn't fill in the 'now's again.
The plan this morning was to leave around quarter to six, do three and a half miles on the bridges, and end up at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park for Saturday morning Tai Chi In The Park. It was wet out but I thought the rain had just ended.
OH NO MY FRIENDS. IT HAD ONLY JUST BEGUN.
But by the time it was raining hard enough for me to decide I should turn back I was already a mile and a quarter out, so I just turned around and ran back, but it just kept raining harder. By the time I hit my block again it was the kind of hard rain where you wouldn’t want to be out in it even if you had an umbrella and rain boots.
Coming into the building, dripping everywhere, I ran into a family going out for an early morning walk and the look of horror that crossed their faces was hilarious. The dad actually went “Ahhhhhhhhh is it still raining” and I said, “Little bit, yeah.”
So, no Tai Chi for me this morning, I’m going to stay inside and have a hot breakfast instead.
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2c3PV3C
This was even more racist than I expected. I mean I think the movie makers were *trying* to make a story about an "ordinary" guy who keeps a cool head in a tough situation. But what I saw was that there is a huge mobilization of the American military (a Navy ship, helicopters, SEALS, etc) to save this one white dude from people who are in a desperate struggle. I would have liked to see some more de-escalation techniques, more nuance when it came to the pirates and their reasoning, more contextualization of their lives. Instead we see wealthy white heroes and poor black antagonists... sigh.
I loved this to pieces. The story of 6 journalists from the Boston Globe who broke the story of the Catholic abuse scandal in 2001-2002. This film handles a tough subject in a sensitive and intelligent way. It's empowering in that it makes you believe in jouralism and the free press-- although the journalists struggle and encounter barriers, the first amendment is on their side and they are able to succeed. This film is chilling, subtle; highly recommended.
content note: detailed discussions of child sex abuse (not portrayed on screen)
Cradle will rock
Loved this ensemble film about the federal theater company in the 1930s. A playwright creates a musical about a union struggle in a steel town. Meanwhile Rockefeller hires Diego Rivera to paint a mural in his lobby. Congress investigates the theater company regarding concerns of communism. Orson Welles dreams up production designs. Super fun and inspiring.
Content note: brief scene of police violence against protestors