WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:57 am
rydra_wong: Doonesbury: Mark announcing into a microphone, "That's guilty! Guilty, guilty, guilty!!" (during the Watergate scandal) (guilty)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I just woke up to find that somehow Steve Bannon accidentally(?) gave an interview to a left-wing political magazine and I can't cope with these things before multiple cups of coffee.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/17/steve-bannon-calls-far-right-losers-trump-warns-china-trade-war-american-prospect
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/17/us/politics/bannon-alt-right-trump-north-korea.html

I honestly have no clue if that's accidentally or "accidentally", and maybe he's trying to separate himself from the Charlottesville marchers by dismissing them as "losers" and posioning himself as more rational/reasonable than Trump on North Korea before he gets fired, or what the actual fuck. Especially given that he was reportedly delighted and "proud" about Trump's press conference statements.

seriously wtf

Nonfiction

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:46 pm
rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (Default)
[personal profile] rivkat
Peter Weisz, Puzzle Tov!: Short book of Jewish-themed brainteasers, some of them based on pretty old jokes and some requiring mathematical cleverness. I enjoyed it and was stumped by more than a few, but had the appropriate head-slapping reaction when I read the answers. For a puzzle-loving kid (or even adult) in your life.

Alan Dugatkin & Lyudmila Trut, How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog): Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution: Short but fun book about the Soviet/Russian project to breed tame foxes. Wolves and foxes are related enough to make the attempt plausible, but zebras and horses are also closely related enough to breed, and zebras haven’t been successfully domesticated despite numerous attempts, nor have deer except reindeer (even though they live near humans and aren’t usually aggressive towards us, not to mention being important food animals, all of which suggests domestication would be favored if it were feasible). The Soviets picked the least reactive and aggressive foxes and bred them; calmer foxes appeared within three breeding seasons. And slightly greater tameness also shortened their breeding cycle and raised fertility a bit higher, bolstering the theory that in-bred tameness had complex effects on the whole animal. (Unfortunately, these shorter mating cycles didn’t allow multiple fox generations within the same year—although the scientists had sold the project to the Soviet government on the promise of increasing fur production, the shorter cycles meant that the mothers didn’t produce enough milk for their pups, whom they ignored. The scientists hypothesized that a longer transition might have let milk production catch up with increased fertility, as with dogs and cats and pigs and cows.)

Later generations began to exhibit tail-wagging, whining, licking hands, and rolling over for belly rubs—still later, some of the tame foxes’ tails curled, again like dogs. Tamer foxes retained juvenile behaviors longer than wild foxes—wild fox pups are “curious, playful, and relatively carefree when they are very young,” but that changes at around 45 days, when they become more cautious and anxious. After only a decade of breeding, tamer pups stayed curious and playful twice as long.

Tame foxes began gazing into humans’ eyes, which for wild animals is a challenge that can start an attack. Humans themselves, though they weren’t supposed to interact differently with the foxes, couldn’t resist talking to them, petting them, and loving them. When dogs and owners gaze at one another, both see increased oxytocin, leading to increased interactions/petting, “a chemical lovefest.” Adult foxes began to engage in object play—extended play with objects that are known—which wild animals don’t do. (Birds, chimps, and even ants play (with mock fights), but play is usually skill practice.) The tamest fox one year lived with the main researcher for a while, like a dog, and when she returned to her group, she began seeking out caretakers when other foxes were being aggressive toward her. Tame foxes began to demonstrate loyalty to particular caretakers (unlike simply being calm around humans) and jealousy of other foxes who might take their favorites’ attention. They began to bark like guard dogs when strangers appeared. They learned social intelligence: tame fox pups were as smart as dog pups in interpreting human behavior, and smarter than wild fox pups. So selection acting on tameness brought social intelligence along with it, suggesting that there was no need for humans to have bred dogs to be smarter: it could just happen.

The Soviets also tested their work by creating a line of incredibly aggressive foxes using the same selection procedures. Workers were terrified of the new line. When aggressive fox pups were swapped with tame fox pups and raised by mothers from the other line, the pups behaved like their genetic mothers. Genes clearly played vital roles, though tame foxes’ bonds with individual people also showed the role of learned behaviors. The genetic changes worked by changing production of hormones and neurochemicals, like oxytocin. These chemical pathways might help explain why the changes could happen so fast. Tame foxes had higher levels of serotonin than their wild cousins, as dogs have more than wolves.

The evidence supports a theory of destabilizing selection—genes may be similar, but the activity of those genes is very different as between wolves and dogs, chimps and humans. The dramatic changes of domestication seemed to come not primarily from new genetic mutations that were then favored by selection, though that played a role, but from changes in the expression of existing genes that led to very different results. For example, tame foxes started being born with white stars on their foreheads, which happened because the embryonic cells responsible for coloring hair had been delayed in migrating to their places by two days, causing an error in the production of hair color. The expression of the relevant gene was affected by the other changes caused by selecting for tameness. We may even have selected ourselves for tameness using similar mechanisms—we have lower levels of stress hormones in groups than our chimp cousins, we can breed all year round, and our kids stay juvenile longer, like those of other domestic species. And the bonobo may be in the process of doing the same thing, though I’m not sure they’ll have a planet to inherit when their brains get as big as ours.

Speaking of which, the collapse of the Russian economy nearly led to the fox project’s demise. Many foxes starved or nearly starved; others were selected for sale for fur to keep the project alive, a process that also deeply traumatized their caretakers. In 1999, however, a popular science article about the project came out in the US, and they received enough donations to stay afloat, because humans are sentimental. Maybe someday you’ll be able to get your own tame fox pup.

Duncan Green, How Change Happens: Green works in international anti-poverty programs, and argues for a systems approach in which one iteratively works with groups at different levels of the system, leveraging elite points of entry while taking direction from people on the ground. I thought the concept of “positive deviance” was useful—find people in the group you’re trying to help who’ve overcome the problem you’re trying to solve, and see if you can help other people do the same thing, using the positive deviants as the model.

Sunspots

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:05 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I was testing the solar filter for the camera, in preparation for Monday’s eclipse. We won’t be seeing the total eclipse, but I’m hoping to get some good shots of the partial.

As I was processing the results, I realized I’d captured sunspots!  (Those dark spots in the upper left.)

Sun with sunspots

Click to embiggen.

For those who wonder about such things, this was taken on the 100-400mm lens, fully zoomed to 400mm. ISO 640, f/10, with a 1/3200 shutter speed. I had to set everything manually, because the camera overexposed the shot if left to its own devices.

I think next time I’ll try to reduce the ISO down to about 100 and see if that gets rid of the minor graininess.

Processing involved cropping the shot, noise reduction, and an orange overlay.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

meme, etc

Aug. 16th, 2017 09:44 am
splix: (Default)
[personal profile] splix
My therapist disagrees with the other shrink's diagnosis of bipolar disorder. She doesn't think I have nearly enough manic indicators. That said, she doesn't think a mood stabilizer is necessarily a bad idea. She's going to consult with him, talk to him about my dissociation [I was so gobsmacked by his quick diagnosis I didn't even mention it] maybe they can come to a consensus.

*

I just finished the entire "Crazy Rich Asians" trilogy by Kevin Kwan. Total beach reads, designer porn, fluffy and fun, zippy writing style, and the characterizations were spiced enough to keep me clipping right along.

I continue to have a fuckton of other things to read. I'm taking my time. It's nice to be spoiled for choice when it comes to books.

*

The semester starts next week. I *think* I'm ready. Looking forward to more activity in the office for a change anyway. Things are getting kind of crazy with IT with setup [we share space] and everyone is kind of punchy, but at least they're in good moods, in that dizzy way. We all had a political bitchfest this morning, got the blood going. Thank fuck we're all bleeding heart snowflake liberals.

*

Semi-related to the last point, I find myself increasingly intolerant of Trump apologists of any stripe. Their rhetoric nauseates me, and their complicit silence nauseates me more. I have distanced myself from family and friends who are open Trump supporters, and I will not apologize for it. It is no longer a difference of political opinion; it is now a question of morality. This country is headed for a serious crisis, and we're going to have to choose sides. Those who scoffed at early comparisons to Germany in the thirties would do well to pay closer attention to the news now.

*


Meme I stole from [personal profile] magnetic_pole. I haven't done a meme in ages!

5 things you’ll find in my bag:

- sunglasses
- makeup bag
- phone
- keys
- wallet. Wow, that's exciting.


5 things you’ll find in my bedroom:

- a fuckton of jewelry.
- my battle station [aka my vanity, where I do my face]
- a fuckton of perfume.
- my Kindle, or whatever book I'm reading at the moment. And usually I'm reading three or four at a time, plus magazines, so there's usually a jumble of reading material on my night table at all times.
- Often, Nina.

5 things I’ve always wanted to do:

- publish a book. [done! :D]
- world tour. So many places, I can't name just a few. The only place I've been abroad is Ireland. Mexico and Canada don't count.
- drive a race car on a track, I don't care what kind. As long as I can go really, really, REALLY fast.
- get an inside tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.
- walk in high heels. [Total pipe dream. Never going to happen :)]

5 things that make me happy:

- friends
- fandom, much of the time
- books
- fashion
- Nina <3

5 things I’m currently into:

- Sherlock
- The makeup boards on Reddit and Makeupalley
- corn on the cob
- golden pear tomatoes
- inviting cancer to go fuck itself


5 things on my to-do list:

- finish cleaning house for Artemis' visit
- do a tumblr meme that [personal profile] ancientreader invited me to do
- give myself a serious pedicure
- evaluate summer wardrobe for downsizing; accordingly, evaluate fall wardrobe [yay fall!]
- get back into a regular exercise routine. Poor Nina is gaining weight, and I'm weak and flabby. :(



I would love to see everyone do this, of course! Have a swell day and night. :)

i'm not saying you're not on my mind

Aug. 16th, 2017 02:02 pm
musesfool: darth vader saying "He said what about his sister? Gross." (he said what about his sister?)
[personal profile] musesfool
I don't generally play games on my phone - I have a sordid history with computer games going back to the days of Police Quest and the Indiana Jones game, where I would stay up all night playing and then be unable to get up for class. So I've made a conscious choice to just not go there again, though I have been known to waste some time playing solitaire or bubble spinner or Tetris of an evening.

And then I discovered 1010! Which is like Tetris but without the blocks dropping - instead you place them wherever you like/they'll fit to make complete rows etc. And I have spent the past few days enthralled and exhausted because I've stayed up way too late doing this. I even paid $1.99 so I could have it ad free!

And then last night when I looked up from my phone after many, many games, and it was 12:45 am, I deleted it, because I can't be having with that. I was seeing it behind my eyelids while awake, and dreaming about it when I was asleep. Ugh. It was so nice and soothing too. But since I can't control myself, I had to get rid of it. Sigh.

Anyway, Wednesday means books, so buckle up!

What I've just finished
Babylon's Ashes, the last currently available Expanse novel, which I liked a lot. Are these books perfect? No. There's still too much Holden, though I did like that spoilers ) Avasarala, Bobbie, Naomi, and Amos are still my faves, and Alex makes a good showing here, too. This and Nemesis Games are really one long arc, and should probably be read together.

Buried Heart by Kate Elliott, the conclusion of the Court of Fives trilogy. I enjoyed it, though I still think maybe Jessamy made some assumptions that she had no real basis for which turned out to be true (this happened in the first book too), which is a downside of first person POV, because I kept waiting for her to be wrong about some things and she wasn't (well, she was wrong about a bunch of things, but not some of the things I thought she might be wrong about). Anyway, I found it a satisfying if slightly pat conclusion, and as with the Cold Magic trilogy, I found the revolution a lot more interesting than the romance.

Bombshells vol 3: Uprising - after Recent Events, I decided to go back to this and finish it, and the titular uprising made me tear up on the subway. Also, MIRI MARVEL!!! I don't know if I knew about that? But I LOVE IT. ♥♥♥ I can't wait to pick up volume 4.

Star Wars: Kanan: The Last Padawan volumes 1 & 2. These were fine. I enjoyed them, but they were somewhat repetitive when read in trade - there was a lot of catching up in the narration, which is good for a monthly comic but less good when reading it all in one go. Also, every other page, he's like, "Don't call me kid!" which got a little old. Mostly interesting to me for sad Jedi details, like Caleb saying Styles was his first friend even though we see him with Tai and Sammo - were they not friends? That's so depressing. Unless he meant first non-Jedi friend, which is better. I'm just going to pretend that's what he meant so I can be slightly less sad.

Also notable for explicitly referencing the "Jedi code" which I hear a lot about in fic but am not sure I'd ever seen in any currently canon material, and it was "emotion, yet peace; chaos, yet serenity; death, yet the Force" which is interesting to me because it makes so much more sense than the other formulation I see in fic a lot: "there is no chaos, there is serenity" etc. I mean, you know me and my "take what I like and ignore the rest" approach to canon, so it's nice to have it there as needed, but as always I find the way things get flattened in fanon so interesting.

Because I mean, yeah, the Jedi were certainly culpable in both Anakin's fall and their own demise, because they were hidebound and corrupt the way any millennia-old organization made of people would be, and they definitely had some blindspots about a variety of things (providing therapy to members who needed it, using a slave army, being co-opted by the Senate, etc.), but they didn't deserve what happened to them. Let's not ever actually grace Anakin's horrific dumbassery ("from my POV, the Jedi are evil!") with any validity. Like, sure, Yoda gave him some poor advice, and Mace Windu was critical sometimes, and they made some compromised decisions, but that doesn't justify slaughtering anyone.

Anyway, it was also nice to see Rae Sloane, despite her poor life choices.

I also read Star Wars #34 this morning, which is mostly a standalone issue featuring Sana Starros swindling everyone in the galaxy from pirates to Hutts to Imperials and back. I would watch a whole movie about her. She might be Han Solo's fake (ex?)wife, but she's also Aphra's ex-girlfriend, so that would be amazing to see on screen. You could cast Nicole Beharie as Sana and Arden Cho as Aphra, and let them go be con artists together and I would line up multiple times to give Disney my money. Especially if Hondo showed up, too.

What I'm reading now
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, the third book of the Broken Earth trilogy. But I'm only a few pages in and it's taking me a little while to get back up to speed, especially since my brain isn't working so well today because of my lack of sleep. *g*

What I'm reading next
The next Craft Sequence book comes out in a couple of weeks, but before that, I dunno.

***
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Trump reverts to blaming both sides in Charlottesville including 'violent alt-left'

Note: this headline is an understatement. The morning briefing headline does not pull its punches:

Wednesday briefing: Trump's words of comfort for Nazis

Mic.com: 5 takeaways from Trump's off-the-rails presser on Charlottesville violence

[tumblr.com profile] la-belle-laide points out a hell of a tell:

ALSO? The moment after he asks to define “alt-right” and is told that John McCain said that alt-right were the Neo-Nazis involved, he said: “Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at us – excuse me – what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?“

US.

The alt-right Neo Nazis is “US” to him.


I mean, we knew. I don't think anyone who's been paying attention is surprised that Trump thinks this. What terrifies me is that a) he's out-of-control enough to say this shit in public, and b) the Republicans might let him get away with it.

The Hill: WH sends GOP talking points saying Trump ‘entirely correct’ on Charlottesville

[tumblr.com profile] plaidadder comments:

Anyone you see tomorrow saying that, well, you’ll know they’re ‘just following orders,’ and that they always will.

Also, fuck the Republicans who will oh-so-bravely-and-controversially Tweet that neo-Nazis are evil, but not criticize Trump by name.

In fact, fuck the Republicans who will daringly tut and shake their heads sadly at Trump by name over this, but do nothing to stop him or remove him from power.
spiralsheep: Death to the fascist oppressors (present company excepted) (chronographia Death Fascist Oppressors)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." - Maya Angelou

Yesterday infamous fraudster and US white suPresident Donald Trump retweeted a message calling himself a fascist. Later in the day at an on-the-record press conference he referred to white supremacists as "us" ("Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at us – excuse me." ETA: now being claimed as an indistinct word despite all the initial reports and transcripts in which he is recorded as saying "us". My points in this post still stand, alas). The white supremacist who killed Heather Heyer by driving his car into her at speed on a crowded street was dressed as Donald Trump. His mother claims she believed he was attending a pro-Trump event. The white supremacist who killed Heather Heyer told the world he is a Trump supporter in words, dress, and deeds. We now know that white suPresident Donald Trump has publicly specifically supported the Trump Youth fascists in Charlottesville in addition to the many white supremacist policies his administration has already enforced. Apart from the murder of Heather Heyer and injuries caused to 19 other people (including another woman with a broken skull), the next most serious set of injuries resulted from about half a dozen white supremacists assaulting Deandre Harris (eight staples in his split head and a broken wrist) and again at least one of those men was dressed as Trump Youth while attacking alongside men self-identifying as Nazis and literally wearing Nazi insignia.




"Mr. Trump probably has trouble condemning white supremacists and neo-Nazis because he hired people with those affiliations to work for him. His chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has been accused of anti-Semitism, famed for running the racist website Breitbart. Other prominent staffers include Seb Gorka, whose family has ties to a Nazi group in Hungary, and Stephen Miller who worked with white supremacist Richard Spencer at Duke University. Mr. Trump’s Attorney-General, Jeff Sessions, is one of the most reviled civil rights antagonists in modern American history, denounced over three decades ago by Coretta Scott King, wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

For six months, this team has translated their long-standing racist rhetoric into policy: banning Muslims from travel and immigration, targeting voter rights through a 'voter fraud' commission based entirely on a xenophobic myth, refusing to mention Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day, renaming the 'Countering Violent Extremism' program 'Countering Radical Islamic Extremism' and proclaiming that white supremacist terrorist groups would no longer be targeted by the government, cutting funding for groups that help white supremacists leave the fold – and that’s to name but a few initiatives." - Sarah Kendzior

(Source: Globe and Mail article August 13 2017, i.e. after Heather Heyer's murder but before yesterday's press conference.)




If we fail to learn from history we are condemned to repeat it. Fascists attempting to seize power invariably deputise fascist militias. The only successful armed coup in USian history involved white supremacist militias.

"How The Only Coup D'Etat In U.S. History Unfolded

Think of a coup d'etat and images of a far-flung banana republic* likely come to mind. So it might come as a surprise that it happened here in the United States - just once, in 1898.

A mob of white supremacists armed with rifles and pistols marched on City Hall in Wilmington, N.C., on Nov. 10 and overthrew the elected local government, forcing both black and white officials to resign and running many out of town. The coup was the culmination of a race riot in which whites torched the offices of a black newspaper and killed a number of black residents. No one is sure how many African-Americans died that day, but some estimates say as many as 90 were killed.

Especially chilling was the fact that the insurgency had been carefully planned - a conspiracy by powerful white Democrats.

Southern Democrats lost their grip on power in North Carolina in 1894 and plotted to wrest control from the biracial Republican Party in 1898 elections. They campaigned on a platform of white supremacy and protecting their women from black men.

As the Nov. 8, 1898, vote approached, whites in Wilmington mobilized. They held supremacist rallies and parades and organized militias of 'Red Shirts' to intimidate blacks from voting. The statewide election restored Democrats to power, and two days later, the white supremacists descended on Wilmington's City Hall.

Their leader, Col. Alfred Moore Waddell, had publicly threatened in a pre-election speech to 'choke the current of the Cape Fear River' with black bodies, according to a 2006 report chronicling the events by the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission. After the coup, Waddell was elected mayor of Wilmington."

* spiralsheep's note: please remember that "banana republic" = fascist dictatorships historically sponsored wholly by the US.

(Source: NPR, August 17, 2008, but I've cut the paragraphs specifically about their radio programme.)




P.S. Yes, the some of the most celebrated founding fathers of the US, including George Washington, were slave owners and personally committed genocide against Native Americans. Acknowledging reality-based history is necessary to prevent fascist propaganda from taking root in culture. Live with it.
heresluck: (vidding: freaking out)
[personal profile] heresluck
I am currently in the process of transferring the biggest, best-quality versions I have of all my vids to an archive on a portable hard drive (which means pulling the really old files off DVDs) and OH MY LORD I had forgotten how many of these are terrible quality and tiny frame size. Like, I remember what a big deal it was to work with shiny DVD source when I made "Come On" and "Superstar" (though I also remember how stressful it was because my computer could JUST BARELY handle those files and kept crashing all the time), but I had forgotten just HOW bad the horrible downloads I was using before were. Squinty-vision! Tiny pixellated frames! It's good that I no longer care very much about those early vids. I am kind of tempted to delete them, but on days when I feel like a hack who will never make anything interesting again, it's good to have them out there to remind me that a) I have gotten better at this stupid hobby, and b) I got better mostly by showing up and doing it; making what amounts to the same vid five times may seem ridiculous now, even to me, but it was an important part of that showing-up-and-doing-it process.

In other not-very-surprising news, I kind of want to remake "Cat Scan Hist'ry" with Bluray source. I don't need to, but I want to. It was my watershed vid! It should be shiny! I think I am too lazy to actually do it, though, which is probably a good thing.

In conclusion, YAY FOR ACCESS TO SHINY SOURCE. My last four vids have all been made with fantastic high-def source, and my computer has never once choked on it. We're living in the future and I LOVE IT.

Money Magic

Aug. 15th, 2017 06:55 pm
elf: Smiling South Park-style witch with big blue floppy hat and inverted pentacle (Witchy)
[personal profile] elf
Reblog from tumblr, only DW doesn't do tumblr-style reblogs. This is one of those "please share widely" things, and since it touches on both religion and spellcraft, and I haven't yet seen it here, I thought I'd port it over:
A friendly reminder to my gentile friends re: Charlottesville

There are a bunch of posts going around about donating to local Charlottesville charities in the face of the hate march, and I think this is a great idea.

Do you wanna know an even better idea?

Donate in multiples of $18.

Here, I’ll explain!

Hebrew is a numeric language. That is, all of its words have a numeric value. Importance of the number 18 in Hebrew )

Fight the 1488 with the 18.

Fight hate with life.

(Non-Jews, feel free to reblog and share this to other platforms. In fact I genuinely and unironically hope you do, because I’d love to see this take off among gentile donators who want a great, nonviolent way to offer a one-two punch.)

Woe is me

Aug. 15th, 2017 05:14 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Just noticed the book I was going to read tonight won't be out until November, so I shouldn't review it any time soon.

salt water meets with the skies, dear

Aug. 15th, 2017 02:02 pm
musesfool: text icon: somewhere in this building is our talent (somewhere in this building is our talent)
[personal profile] musesfool
Yesterday, I saw a t-shirt that read, "I don't trust atoms. They make up everything." and I grinned for the rest of my walk home. I love terrible puns.

Anyway. There's a meme going around somewhere? where you post the first lines of some of your works in progress? so I thought, why not? I sure have enough of them. So here are the first lines from a few of my wsip:

Half-Truths and Hyperbole (Star Wars; Obi-Wan/Satine Regency AU)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a planetary ruler being targeted by assassins must be in need of a Jedi bodyguard.

how strangely my life is curved (Star Wars, Ahsoka unfrozen in the TFA-era)
"There's a message from Lando," Leia says.

How Soon Is Now (Star Wars, sequel to Sing a New Song)
Time moves differently on Malachor.

nobody move, nobody get hurt (Star Wars, Anakin/lady!Obi-Wan au)
Obi-Wan learns two things in the immediate aftermath of the disaster that is the mission to Naboo: one, it's harder to be a master than she ever thought, and two, she cannot--will not--replace Anakin's mother, and the boy won't settle down and learn until he's assured of his mother's safety.

the movement and the spin (Star Wars, Anakin/lady!Obi-Wan au, companion piece to nobody move, nobody get hurt)
Maybe one day he'll look back on this and laugh, but right now, Anakin hates being fourteen.

The Bonds That We Save (Peggy Carter & Etta Candy crossover)
A secretary leads Peggy through a bewildering series of corridors that are clearly meant to confuse the unobservant; even she might have a difficult time finding her way back out.

Drive It Like You Stole It (Star Wars, Han/Leia)
Leia's back hits the mattress, Han's body a warm weight above her, and she thinks, I don't deserve this.

That seems like enough to be going on with.

***
heresluck: (gardening)
[personal profile] heresluck
This poem is my reminder to myself that when there is so much to push against we need the little victories too.


I Have This Way of Being

I have this, and this isn’t a mouth
          full of the names of odd flowers

I’ve grown in secret.
          I know none of these by name

but have this garden now,
          and pastel somethings bloom

near the others and others.
          I have this trowel, these overalls,

this ridiculous hat now.
          This isn’t a lung full of air.

Not a fist full of weeds that rise
          yellow then white then windswept.

This is little more than a way
          to kneel and fill gloves with sweat,

so that the trowel in my hand
          will have something to push against,

rather, something to push
          against that it knows will bend

and give and return as sprout
          and petal and sepal and bloom.


— Jamaal May
Found via poets.org

Gratitudes

Aug. 14th, 2017 08:32 pm
kass: glasses of pink wine (rose)
[personal profile] kass
1. Sitting on my mirpesset listening to a chorus of late-summer crickets and cicadas.

2. Watching the sky change colors. Right now the far horizon has a tinge of pale orange, and then it's a gorgeous ombre of light blue to French blue to darker blue overhead.

3. Glass of rosé.

4. The experiment in Kid Trimming His Own Fingernails was a success. No more fighting over fingernails!

5. This morning on a phone call with [personal profile] samtheeagle we wound up in a Muppets Singing High Holiday Liturgy place and I laughed until there were tears in my eyes. Wow, I needed that. :-)

i'm gonna drink that sun

Aug. 14th, 2017 02:22 pm
musesfool: sexy redheaded topless pinup with stripy stockings, captioned "victoria" (me)
[personal profile] musesfool
Miscellaneous Monday:

= thank you to everyone who commented on my post about the offer being accepted! I'm still working on replying, but your cautious yays are much appreciated. *g*

= One of my co-workers recently left for another job, and upon her departure, she gifted a number of us with tiny succulent plants in tiny plant pots. I dutifully looked up how to care for a succulent, because I have a black thumb and have never succeeded in keeping any plant alive (my mother was so good at plants, you guys! and I have always been terrible at them), so last week I watered it as directed, and this morning when I got to my cube, it looked like it had given up on life. It was all slumped and faded. Boss3 was out on vacation last week, so her little plant got no water, but lots of light. It had actually grown by a visible amount! So I just gave her mine to put on her windowsill. *hands* We'll see if it survives, or if my black thumb has claimed another hapless victim.

= I have been in contact with my new loan officer (the one referred by my broker), and she seems very on the ball. She sent me a list of required documents and I diligently attached all of them to my response. She also asked for two forms of ID, and since I have a valid in-state driver's license, according to the instructions, I could use my work ID as the second form. Alas, when I went to scan it, I discovered that my last name had been spelled incorrectly. I've had this ID card for 8 1/2 years, and never noticed that before. Not even last summer when I lost it and found it and had it replaced. (I knew my name was spelled wrong in ADP, but since it's right on my pay stubs, and my money gets deposited every two weeks, I don't really care. Of course, it's spelled wrong in a different way. idek.) So I couldn't use it. I thought I might have to wait until tomorrow, because my passport is at home, but they say they'll also take a utility bill, so I downloaded the latest one from ConEd and sent that along.

= My attorney received the new contract, so hopefully one day later this week I'll be able to sign it and get the ball rolling in earnest on this whole process. The contract lists a closing date of 'on or about' October 14, which would be amazing if it actually happened that quickly. I can be hopeful but I don't really expect it to happen like that. (Of course, after closing, I would still have to have some painting done and also the floors, but that shouldn't take too much time, right? *meep*)

= Last night, I was looking to watch something easy and comforting, and I remembered The Toast's recent take on The Hunt for Red October, and it's available streaming via Amazon Prime, so I put it on. I have a fondness for submarine movies in general, and this one in particular - my dad and I saw it together, as we did many other movies over the years. For a while in my teens and twenties, we had a standing Sunday movie date (in the 80s he was even okay with going to movies on opening weekend, and occasionally even on opening night - I'm pretty sure I saw ESB and ROTJ as well as Temple of Doom and Last Crusade with him the weekend they opened), and even in later years I could sometimes chivvy him out of his recliner to go to the movies - especially once reserved seating with in-theater recliners started being available. The last movie we saw together was CATWS, which seems right to me.

= And now, lunch.

***
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

I asked folks what polyamory seminars they’d like me to teach – because I do teach seminars – and got a lot of good suggestions.

Mostly for classes I’m unqualified to teach.

I’m putting this list out here, because I think these are great topics that I’d like to see covered in-depth some day. If these topics are in your wheelhouse, please consider pitching this topic to your local conventions/training sources! And if you do teach them, feel free to leave comments (with dates/locations of your upcoming classes) to spread your wisdom around!

Raising Kids While You’re Polyamorous.
There was an excellent seminar on that at Beyond the Love a couple of years ago, but it was focused on raising kids in a poly commune. Never having raised kids while poly, I’d love to hear more tips and tricks about balancing privacy, childrens’ safety, and potential legal concerns.

Effective Polyamorous Communes.
I’ve seen a lot of poly groups move in together. Most of ’em fell apart shortly thereafter. I’d love to see a discussion of best practices on how to handle finances, romances, etc in a close-contact environment. Bonus if you’re not an extrovert and can tell us introverts how to survive.

Polyamorous Legal Concerns.
Wills and living arrangements and marriages, wow! I’m totally not a lawyer, but this would be a fascinating topic for a professional who’s specialized in these topics.  (I suspect this would only be useful on a state level, but hey.)

Scheduling.
You’d think I’d be good at scheduling, with my many partners, but the truth is that they’re good enough at scheduling to cover for my manifest weaknesses. I’d love to see someone(s) discuss how to schedule time effectively, how to handle conflict in events, how to reserve enough time for each partner who needs it (including you), etc.

Forging Better Bonds With Metamours.
Some of the most stressful situations in poly involve your partner’s partners – and all too often they’re seen as either your BEST FRIENDS EVER or alien beasts you beam communications through a third party to. I’d love to see a class from someone with a long history of effectively communicating with people on the other side of their lovers.

Now, if any of those classes seem like something you could cohere a 50-minute talk on, I’ll note that The Geeky Kink Event is taking applications for November, and though Beyond The Love’s presentation window has just closed, they do have lunchtime pop-up seminars and maybe you might wanna talk to them.

And if you have any questions on teaching, ask me! It’s both simpler and more complex than you think. But not enough qualified people do it.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

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