(no subject)

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:48 am
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[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.

Belated Memery

Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:48 pm
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
The Kindly Ones for [personal profile] carbonel

Story here

This is an ambitious story. Its theme, basically, is "Snobbery with Violence." It's set in the place where I learned to sail, and I wanted it to have a ferocious sense of place; I'm not sure how successful that was.

Read more... )
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[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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(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2017 12:43 pm
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
Happy Birthday [personal profile] coughingbear
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I am like….90% sure I’m going camping this Friday. 

It depends a bit on the weather, but I’m mostly packed, I’ve cooked food that’s currently waiting in the freezer, and I have acquired the third Diane Mott Davidson book to read. 

The plan is to leave work early, catch the train to the campground, camp overnight, and in the morning hike out to a different train station further down the line, about a seven-mile trek, to do a longer endurance test than last weekend’s. Then I’ll catch the train home around noon on Saturday.

If something goes wrong, I can catch an evening train home on Friday until eight o’clock, or starting in the morning at 5:30, with little to no exertion. It’s pretty low-risk and I’m well stocked. I don’t have a sleeping pad, but my backpack has a partial one built-in, and I have one arriving tomorrow (though it might be too bulky, we’ll see). And honestly in this heat, I might just sleep on top of my sleeping bag in any case. 

Worst case scenario, the campground has heated, lockable shower cubicles with nice big floors. I’ve slept on worse. 

Caaaaaaamping! *jazz hands*

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(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:48 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] readera's partner, J, has been in the ER multiple times in the past three months, and their finances are very strained because of it. They're raising $300-$500 for transportation costs and medicine; you can read more and reblog here or give directly here.

[tumblr.com profile] sleepyheathen needs to make next month's rent and is selling items, offering commissions, accepting donations, and has an Amazon wishlist up. You can read more, purchase, or reblog here, or donate via paypal here.

[tumblr.com profile] tony-in-distress is trying to escape an abusive situation and hoping to take her siblings with her. She needs to raise enough money for a deposit on a safe house for her and her siblings to live in. You can read more and help out here.

Anon is raising funds to help a friend cover debt and pay for legal bills after her abusive husband took custody of their youngest son. You can read more and give here; unfortunately due to Australian law apparently they can't provide much information.

Sarah Sadat had to leave her job recently due to stress and is facing mounting medical bills for a failing kidney and previous hospitalization; she has surgery scheduled for next month, and is fundraising to help cover medical and other bills. You can read more and give to the fundraiser here.

[tumblr.com profile] ohstephyy was let go from a job three months ago and hasn't been able to get another one; there are also other costs coming up to cover. You can read more and reblog here; a paypal address is available at the post.

[personal profile] laurashapiro linked to a fundraiser for [personal profile] kuwdora, a talented vidder who is trying to become a professional editor. She has an opportunity for professional coaching from the editor of Burn Notice and Empire, but can't afford the expenses on her own. You can read more and help out here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] tiarasnteakettles who is looking for work as a harpist, including attempting to purchase a harp that would be a massive upgrade from her current instrument and allow her more freedom in performance. You can read more about her situation and reblog here, including links to her Patreon and online store and Paypal donation address.

[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.

News To Know:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] wanderlust-anthology, an upcoming anthology of reimagined myths, legends, and folklore based on the theme Quests and Journeys. They are looking for creators for this anthology, which will be a full-color printed book with stories, comics, and artwork. You can read more at their tumblr or at the FAQ here; sign-ups close July 30th.

Housing:

Riel is looking for a roommate in Austin, TX to share a townhouse; she and the other roommate (male) are both grad students, and they do have a cat. Riel is very fandom-friendly. Lease starts in August. You can check out the townhouse here and get in touch at ariellayendler 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. 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.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
A mango mixed jelly freeze from Chinatown is the best decision I have made all week.

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My parents signed me up for Nextdoor, which is like some kind of community-based mini facebook, and I am signed up in their neighborhood, which is (as we have established) The Boondocks.

I don’t mind belonging to their Nextdoor, it means that I will be kept abreast of local news, but also the local news is hilarious. 

The latest messages concern a HEATED DISCUSSION about hoof trimming because someone posted asking if anyone knows a farrier who will trim miniature horse hooves, which apparently most farriers have some kind of BASELESS PREJUDICE against according to this poster. Battle lines are quickly being drawn between the various camps including:

Miniature horses don’t need hoof maintenance the way regular horses do
Miniature horses ABSOLUTELY need hoof maintenance you monsters
Farriers who won’t do miniature horse hooves ain’t shit
Farriers who won’t do miniature horse hooves have their reasons
Miniature horses are some bullshit
Everybody shut up about miniature horses
I Have A Miniature Horse For Sale

I can’t wait to see who wins. I suspect it will be me. 

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I am supposed to be asleep, but instead Ellie and I have been accidentally planning out a future-fic sequel to Jill Murphy's The Worst Witch children's book series where Mildred and Maud are grown up and married. It's called The Worst Wife. They have a very loving and happy and catastrophe-filled marriage and are so cute at each other that their friends are all sickened, while being occasionally guilt-stricken and sure that they are The Worst.

Highlights include:

- They invite literally everyone from school to their wedding. Including Miss Hardbroom, whom they are still rather scared of, but obviously it is The Right Thing To Do. HB is completely baffled by being invited and continues being baffled at the Most Chaotic Wedding of the century. All the food gets mixed up, there is loud and cheerful family everywhere, both sets of grannies think they've been chosen to make the wedding cake because neither Mildred nor Maud were capable of saying no to them.

- Miss Cackle drinks sherry through the entire wedding, has a wonderful time, and keeps a framed photo of M&M on her office wall. Surrounded by decorative bats.

- M&M are very dedicated Old Girls and go to all the school events and tell all the current girls about the splendid times they had. HB continues to be confused by this remembrance of events.

- Their house is a complete chaotic mess all the time. Both M&M feel very guilty about this. They are both sure that they are dreadful and not sure at all why their wife puts up with them.

- Whenever friends come over M&M rush around trying to make it sort of habitable and desperately explaining that it doesn't usually look this bad, they've just been really busy lately and they really meant to clear away that magical accident detritus and they can actually be organised and their friends are just like ...No.

- Adventures in married life include When We Were Stuck Outside For Hours Because Our Key Turned Into A Fish. And the fish seemed happy as a fish and they feel bad about wanting to turn it back into a key, and can't bring themselves to do this, and after some convoluted method of Mildred climbing through the second-floor window they keep the fish in a tank and are forever anxious about the cats trying to eat it.

- Adventures also include Let's Make A Lovely Meal And Have A Romantic Evening Together Oh No.

- And also Maud Takes Up Knitting And Encodes Dangerous Sigils Into Her Blankets (before the day is saved by the cats ripping it all up)

- "If you were a bat you'd be the prettiest bat ever," Mildred coos to Maud, right before all their friends try and force them to drink Silencing Potions.

- Adventures In DIY Spells also feature heavily. Mildred especially has big ideas for home decoration.


...None of this is based at all on me and Ellie, why would you think that.
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
Yesterday, what was a dull and muggy July was enlivened for many of us by the news of David Brook's sandwich gaffe spreading across the internet as the twinkling points of fire spread from Eddystone to Berwick bounds.

Brook decided to write an Opinion for the NYT under the headline How We Are Ruining America . Surprisingly, this didn't mention fracking, withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords, electing Donald Trump, disbelieving in evolution and vaccination or deciding to take meetings with dodgy Russian lawyers promoted by even dodgier "music PR" people from Bury*. It didn't even touch on the US workplace culture as depicted in AAM, which goes more Hieronymous Bosch daily .

No: Brook has apparently just woken up and noticed:

Over the past generation, members of the college-educated class have become amazingly good at making sure their children retain their privileged status. They have also become devastatingly good at making sure the children of other classes have limited chances to join their ranks.


No shit, Sherlock. "Middle Classes Have Sharp Elbows And A Propensity For Drawing Up The Ladder Behind Them: News At Eleven."

Anyway, it appears that Brook was flabbergasted to realise this (why did he think Emily Post's works were bestsellers from the 1920s onwards, and that Judith Martin took on her mantle as "Miss Manners"?) and penned an opinion piece, which included this immortal paragraph:

Recently I took a friend with only a high school degree to lunch. Insensitively, I led her into a gourmet sandwich shop. Suddenly I saw her face freeze up as she was confronted with sandwiches named “Padrino” and “Pomodoro” and ingredients like soppressata, capicollo and a striata baguette. I quickly asked her if she wanted to go somewhere else and she anxiously nodded yes and we ate Mexican.


The phrase "Insensitively, I led her into a gourmet sandwich shop" has a rare beauty. It's like "I flicked my thong at him in a small, subtle, flirtatious gesture."

Fascinatingly, Brook had no hesitation in attributing his friend's horror to her class-based unease at the concept of Italian words applied to food, rather than her flabbergasted horror that somewhere, even in NYC, had the cheek to charge that for a tomato sandwich. Nor does it occur to him to do a quick translation for the benefit of his friend, along the lines of "That one's salami, that one's salami with slightly bigger bits of fat in it, that one's tomato, and that one's the house special." "Which is?" "Salami with tomato."

Anyway, Twitter reacted as one might expected, and various other upper middle class New Yorkers leapt athletically (it's all that yoga and Pilates) to his defence. Among them, my own particular favourite was Megan McArdle who came out with the classic


Holy assumptions about your audience, Batman!

Anyway, class in America. It's all about the Italian ham, apparently.

*Anyone wanting to know anything about Rob Goldstone, ask the M.E.N., apparently.

ETA And talking about the M.E.N, I was led serendipitously to this oldie but goodie Shock of Salford's 'bus pass matador' after £500k cannabis farm is discovered in the loft of his woodland mansion . I particularly liked the summary at the bottom of the article (which was mainly about the need for a "root and branch" approach to cannabis farming):
Frank has been flourishing his cape in the ring for around 50 years and is set to compete in Mijas and Seville in the coming weeks, despite turning 70 in 2012.

He retired with a dodgy knee at the age of 65 and has undergone a quadruple heart bypass operation, but made an unlikely return in 2009.

As well as fighting under the name of El Ingles - The Englishman - Frank was a winger with Sale rugby union club for eight years.
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[personal profile] copperbadge
I just got home and the apartment REEKS of burnt toast. Which is weird since a) nothing is on fire (I checked), b) I haven’t even MADE toast in like a week, c) it didn’t smell like that this morning when I got home from running, and d) the smell is most intense when standing on my welcome mat just inside the door. 

I think Ghost is mad at me. They often express themselves with smells near the doorway. But I haven’t even done anything! The designated Ghost Drawer in the card catalogue shelf (under G, for Ghost) is open and everything, I checked. 

I cannot order you a pizza tonight, Ghost, I already have grocery delivery coming and I don’t want the Domino’s guy and the Peapod guy to make it awkward. We’ll have pizza on Thursday. 

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[personal profile] legionseagle
Brought to you by the revelation that (in their eagerness to prove that "Corbynistas"are the devil incarnate)

(1) the LibDems are falling back on Reds Under the Beds




Shinydan Howell‏ @shinydan 5h5 hours ago

It's suspected that British PM ('64-'70, '74-'76) Harold Wilson was a Soviet asset. link


and

(2)the Tories, of course, are going "Hur, hur, if Anne-Marie Morris had only been in Labour and said the "K" word instead of the "N" word she'd have been in the Shadow Cabinet by now" (except that the one I saw spelled the relevant alternative slur out in full.)

On the whole, I'm more pissed off with the LibDems, on the grounds that one expects nothing less of the Tories. But telling me my entire family (parents, grandparents, great aunts and uncles) were either traitors or dupes really hurts. Especially since "It's suspected that" during the relevant decades one C.Smith MP was abusing kids in childrens' homes like blazes, and probably the key reason no-one stopped him was not so much that he knew where the bodies were buried, but that he knew where his party leader would have buried the body had he employed slightly more competent assassins.
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