Day 21 -- Russe and Veliko Tarnovo

2017-Jun-21, Wednesday 19:04
skreeky: (Default)
[personal profile] skreeky

The boat docked this morning in Russe, Bulgaria, which you will also see sometimes spelled "Ruse". We had a brief bus tour of Russe on our way out of town, but this was one of those days where our destination was a couple of hours away on the bus, so it was very brief indeed. Read more... )

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2017-Jul-21, Friday 10:46
vvalkyri: (Default)
[personal profile] vvalkyri
Gah. I decided not to go to Rockville to another evening of shiva last night because I really really needed to do something about my apartment and look at flights and such, for my own sanity. Going to the free fringe production of Shakespeare in the Pub then back home with K seemed like it would be a good compromise - how to turn down 11 women who've been drinking, a couple of whom I knew, doing a read through of Titus Andronicus with enough fake blood there were warnings re what clothes to wear? But the info had said 1.5 hrs. I hadn't expected 6:45 to end at 9:05, and I even more regret staying for Abortion Road Trip*.

Because really pathetically I don't trust myself to get anything done alone.

*everybody else seemed to enjoy it a lot more than I did. There were some strong performances, but I really hated the acting of one of the characters, and I was annoyed by the character with the most lines, and I was distracted by finding fault with the initial premise. Also? Neither K nor the guy on the other side of me had any memory of the character,"Mom."
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
1) sleeping in a hammock
2) watching kings of con
3) clif kid z bars

Middle Eastern food?

2017-Jul-20, Thursday 17:51
cos: (Default)
[personal profile] cos posting in [community profile] davis_square
We were in Davis Square a couple of evenings ago when someone said they wanted Middle Eastern food. Other than Amsterdam Falafel, I couldn't think of anywhere right there. I know Sabur in Teele Sq, which is kind of Middle Eastern (and pretty fancy). Googling around didn't turn up anything else in Davis Square, though I found a Lebanese place on Mass Ave nearby which I don't remember trying. Anyone know of any Middle Eastern food in Davis Square, or others a short walk away that you like?
drwex: (VNV)
[personal profile] drwex
Yes, I will be posting music entries Real Soon Now, I promise. Probably next week. But first I want to unload some of the stuff in the mental backlog.

I really appreciated all the commentary on the last post. If y'all want to chime in about this one I'd likewise appreciate it. The topic is "Music video WTF" - as in, should I link to videos if I like the song but not the video?

Here, let me give you an example that sits right on the borderline, two videos for "One On One" by Tujamo, with vocals by Sorana. Tujamo is a German producer and EDM spinner; Sorana is an eastern European singer (near as I can guess, Romanian) and this is her first big team-up with a "name" producer. So, OK, great. It's a fun tune and I like her voice, though as with a lot of these things I think it's over-tuned.

First up, the official video for the song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y19FzsqM1as

Minor warning: it's a PoV video done in the style of a lot of porn these days where you, the viewer, are invited to have the gaze of the (male) camera in intimate interactions with a small, very conventionally attractive woman through a series of scenes, including bedroom. There's nothing actually X-rated about this, but I was uncomfortable watching it. In case that gaze isn't intimate enough for you, there's even an official 3D-VR version - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lx6OeuZ-mLE

Plus side: she's smiling and active throughout. She appears to be not only enjoying the interactions but initiating things. But if voyeurism isn't your kink (it's not mine, at least not for strangers) then you may (like me) find yourself unable to watch this video and see if there are other alternatives. Here's one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gVZnnxvf38

At least that's just a static conventionally-attractive-skinny-chick-half-dressed-in-provocative-pose. You see that kind of thing selling pretty much any product under the sun everywhere in the industrialized world. But, seriously, what does this have to do with the music?

I usually try to link to SoundCloud for my music choices but lots of things aren't up there and are on YouTube or other visual media.

So, dear readers, what do you make of this? Would you rather I didn't blog video music that sets me off, or blog it with information so you can judge for yourselves?

on books

2017-Jul-20, Thursday 11:59
vvalkyri: (Default)
[personal profile] vvalkyri
crossposted:
when i got home last night there were a bunch of boxes of books by the recycling. They were in good condition and looked like anything from interesting to rare (there were some large Russian English dictionaries on top of one, and some Shostakovitch records on another) so I moved them to my parking space where nothing is supposed to live but I can probably get away with it a couple days, and pinged someone who is already handling getting other stuff to a charity he favors, and grabbed out Katherine Graham's autobiography for immediate reading.

My building has a building library; I'm not sure whether I should've given it first crack, but that would have required getting the boxes up a flight of stairs and through a couple doors at 3am, rather than just 50 feet to my space.

I'm not sure what sorting I should do before they go to support Fairfax Auxilliary. Probably start with grabbing out anything in Russian... .

I'm sad, because I'm pretty sure this is the collection of someone who died. And it also has me thinking of all the books Mom has, some of which are Old and Important, and many of which are outdated and random. And many of which Dad once wanted back.
That last paragraph may be a bit open for my usual friendsfriends security level over there on FB.

It seriously was sad, seeing things like that. I rescue stuff. It's so important to me that it has a home and not a landfill. And yet I do know that getting stuff to goodwill is yet another measure of cope, and even there one needs to be realistic about what they will and will not put out to sell. That's part of why I have so much grandma stuff that needs to be dumped on a "we sell it all on ebay and you get a cut." Because that Eastern Airlines tiny carryon that needs a zipper repair will be thrown out by goodwill, and treasured by the right person. When Allyson was over helping me through a large amount of momclothes she was overjoyed to take the Woodies and Garfinkles boxes from the closet. Cardboard boxes, but she wraps stuff in boxes from defunct stores and she especially loves local defunct stores.

A sweet little old man who lived a few doors down died a few years ago. As part of cleaning out the place, the family had put a box of mugs and glasses in the trash room. I'd looked through it, and seen a small mug, smaller than I usually use, emblazoned with [specific dc high school 50th reunion]. Kept it around to honor the guy, vaguely intending to contact said high school. A year or so later, Shira was over, and I showed it to her, and she took it with her! I don't think it was the high school she'd attended; I'd have to ask. But to her it was a sufficiently meaningful bit of DC history she wanted it.

This is all part of why it's so hard to sort. What is a life? This is part of why it's so hard to get rid of even things I don't really want. I guess I imbue things with a soul. Not just "does it give me joy" but "can I get it to someoen for whom it will?"

I have to stop typing; I decided to keep plans for today and need to leave soon.

Casting Call: The music biz

2017-Jul-20, Thursday 10:00
ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
[personal profile] ceciliatan

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

Character Overview

Not just a story about a talented musician navigating the music scene in the ’80’s while being gay – DGC shines a light on the biz itself.

This callout is for characters who work (or hang onto those who work) in the music biz.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Books: June 2017 (11 books)

2017-Jul-19, Wednesday 20:18
supercheesegirl: (books - cute reading)
[personal profile] supercheesegirl
Pippi in the South Seas (Pippi #3), by Astrid Lindgren: Finished 6/3/17. Found this on my shelf and read chapters at bedtime with Freya. She really loved it, especially the monkey and the parts where Pippi is exceptionally silly. This time around I was struck by the ending of the book - the last two pages are just completely lovely writing, an absolute gift from Lindgren - and I never noticed before. Glad to have read this with my girl.

Freya (Freya #1), by Matthew Laurence: Finished 6/5/17. I’m already a fan of mythologically based YA fiction, but with that title character? Of course I had to pick this up. :) The whole “gods are still alive” thing has been done a lot, and Lawrence does base his plot on the idea that these gods need worship for strength (which has been done by greats like Gaiman and Pratchett), but I did think there was some fun and interesting stuff here. The mental institution and the Disney tie-in were really smart. Is Lawrence trying to take advantage of the cultural wave going on with American Gods? Probably (although this is certainly closer to the Rick Riordan end of the mythological spectrum). Is it still a fun read? Yeah.

Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe, by Thomas Cahill: Finished 6/6/17. I was working on this for several months on and off. A fun look at the Middle Ages, and I learned a lot about several different areas (such as religious and scientific thought and art). I didn’t really understand why the last chapter or two digressed into the 20th century Catholic child abuse scandal, though; the book title really didn’t suggest to me that that’s where we were heading. Overall worth reading, a good challenge for myself, and I’d read something else by this author, as he made the historical info relatable and had some funny lines, but this has to lose a star on that ending.

Fairest, by Gail Carson Levine: Finished 6/9/17. Binge-read this very quickly late at night. Not my favorite by this author, but definitely worth reading.

Overwhelmed, by Brigid Schulte: Finished 6/12/17. Full title: Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time. Five stars. If I could give this book six stars, I would. It feels like a game changer to me. Brigid Schulte digs into not only the problems inherent in our current system of busyness, but examines how we got here, looking at how these ideals around workers and mothers and fathers grew in our society and set us up to fail no matter what we do. And knowing this stuff, I feel, gives me power to change how I react. I will probably read this book again before the end of the year. I highly recommend this book to people who are parents, people who work, people who feel too busy, and pretty much just people.

Ever, by Gail Carson Levine: Finished 6/14/17. A quick and easy read. I enjoyed the setting in an ancient culture you don’t see in fiction too often; on the supernatural end, I particularly liked the bird people in the underworld, and the god wrapped in linen). The plot felt a little contrived and, once set in motion, pretty predictable (it’s not as if the lovers aren’t going to find a way to be together), but even so, it was sweet and fun to read.

A Tale of Two Castles, by Gail Carson Levine: Finished 6/16/17. Really enjoyed this. The dragon and the ogre really did it for me.

The Four Hoods and Great Dog, by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer: Finished 6/22/17. I read this many, many times as a child, but just recently read it aloud to my daughter. She loved Great Dog and laughed a lot at Foudini.

The Collapsing Empire (The Interdependency #1), by John Scalzi: Finished 6/24/17. I wanted to read some Scalzi and so checked this out as an eBook from the library. I was so sad when I got to the end and found out it’s his latest book and the first of a series! Now I have to wait for the end! Which speaks well of the book, because the situation is interesting and the characters are compelling. The primary players are excellent - I particularly like the Empress, and Kiva may be the most entertainingly foul-mouthed character I’ve ever encountered - but even the minor characters are memorable and interesting. Highly recommended, darn it.

The Other Einstein, by Marie Benedict: Finished 6/27/17. I picked this up because it was the “Big Read” in Philly and so there were unlimited e-copies available. At first I enjoyed it, but ultimately this book made me really angry. Benedict created a compelling character, but all along I was wondering how much of this story was really true. Was Albert Einstein really as awful as she paints him? And in the author’s note at the end, she doesn’t really address that, stating that the novel was her way of exploring the “what-ifs” of Mileva’s life. I really wanted more answers than that, which I suppose the world of physics has been feeling for a few decades, but still, as a novel it left me wanting more and feeling pretty angry.

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up (Tales from Deckawoo Drive #1), by Kate DiCamillo: Finished 6/29/17. Read this to my little one at bedtime (twice). I kept getting preoccupied by where he’s going to keep this horse and whether he can afford to feed it, but if you stop being a grownup for a few minutes it’s a really enjoyable little read, especially for fans of hot toast with a great deal of butter. My daughter liked it a lot and definitely worried about the horse during the storm scene.
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
1) community wading pools
2) high spf long sleeve shirts
3) fresh fruit and almond butter biscuits
desireearmfeldt: (Default)
[personal profile] desireearmfeldt posting in [community profile] davis_square
Anyone else getting constant flyovers most days and (more annoying) 2-4 large, low, LOUD flyovers between 10:45 pm and midnight every night?

City of Somerville advises you to call Massport and also 311 to report your complaint: http://www.somervillema.gov/departments/programs/reporting-airplane-noise

Massport politely took my complaint and promised me a written report.  311 said "people should totally call us about issues, no one ever calls us!", politely took my complaint, and said that various elected officials (including Rosetti, Capuano and some third person I'm forgetting, possibly the mayor) have been trying to get this mitigated, but not necessarily to much effect.

vvalkyri: (Default)
[personal profile] vvalkyri
There's so very much to write. I didn't write about Baitcon. I didn't write much about MomYartzeit. I didn't write about New Story Leadership project (final event today at 630 at Archives). Or the various thought provoking plays I've seen at Fringe.

But I woke up this morning with I helped bury someone yesterday in my head.

I've known Sonya Schultz since her son Ben and I dated back in high school. Sophomore and Jr years. It was at their house I first was part of Havdalah. It was with them I first went to Simchas Torah - Ben and I went in all our Sadie Hawkins finery before going on to the dance. In the years that followed, she included me in her huge seders when I wasn't in Cleveland. In recent years other friends have offered invites first, or I've been in Cleveland. It's been a while since I've been to the house. My last sure memory of talking in person was shortly after Ben's now three year old was born. It was some years before that, in that apartment, when she said to me, "Marry one of my sons; I don't care which!" At the house last night, I was reminded by more than one of the family that she would have adopted me in, regardless.

I spent much of the day yesterday with Cathie and later Lauren. They would each occasionally run into Sonya and sometimes also David at Strathmore, or at Costco. I am envious.

It's kinda weird. In a certain way she and I were more regularly in touch the last couple years because she would respond in my facebook here and there. But I had no idea she was ill, because it had been so long since she and I had spoken in person. And tbh, I might not have known anyway -- people commented last night they'd just seen her at shul a week ago.

The funeral was long and full. Cathie and I were some of the few who ended up parking on the street because the parking lot was full. There were some beautiful stories and some heartbreak, and as is always the case for me, I learned more and was sad not to know it earlier. Bits about just how fiercely there she was for her kids, bits about her involvement with the shul, or defying being told "no woman can pass this econ test," or that they'd been on their most recent cruise only in May. Or that they'd planned to remodel the kitchen. I could so visualize that kitchen, the house. It wasn't the house they had when Ben and I dated; I don't remember that one, now.

At the gravesite, there was a traditional handwash station. One washes on leaving a graveyard. She and Ben had been at my grandmother's funeral at Arlington. Memories came flooding back of her coming up to me to give me wet wipes in the absence of the two handled cup. "al natitlat yadayim."

I've only been to a couple gravesites that weren't Jewish funerals*. Even so, there were things that were new to me. More traditional. That we all process together with the coffin but stop 7 times in reluctance. That one should add at least three shovelfulls of earth because 3 makes it not an accident or coincidence. That the first shovelful should be the back of the shovel, because we don't really want to be efficient in saying goodbye. That we shouldn't hand the shovel along to the next but instead put it back into the pile.

I've never before been to a funeral with real shovels adding the earth that had just been dug out, rather than symbolic trowelsful. After a while there was one person who went back and was shoveling more, for real, and Ben's younger brother for a while, and if there had been more than two shovels and I had been more clear whether it was okay or I was too far from the family I wanted to as well, despite the dress and shoes. It was hot, very hot. We said kaddish and we all went to the cars. Last night I learned that J had finished shoveling all the dirt for his grandparents, and would really have preferred to have done so here. And that the small bucket I'd wondered about that his girlfriend troweled from may have been Jerusalem dirt, but the part that was important to her was it also contained a vegan truffle she'd made for Sonya, but which Sonya had suggested bringing on Saturday but then not felt up to eating. This sounds so odd, written, but brought tears to my eyes in person.

I'd planned on going to a couple fringe plays last night, and I'm glad I hadn't preticketed. I spent the afternoon with Lauren, and then was in the right part of town to go over to shiva last night rather than trying to force getting there on Thursday. And the reason why shiva is traditionally in the deceased's house was so very apparent. So many memories in these rooms. A memory of a shiva, even. Sonya's mother.

I need to get moving. There's more to write and there isn't. There's contrasts with my mom's death, and after. Maybe later.


*One was Steve Devoney's dad, a couple months ago, after which everybody retired to the house and there were stories and video. One was a close friend, 8 years ago. The funeral itself had been a mass in latin at which there happened to be a coffin; the gravesite was in English and I think maybe mentioned her name. After everybody left her aunt started wedging flowers in any part of the coffin handles and hinges she could, and a couple of us joined in this until the coffin was covered in flowers, and then after the people came and lowered the coffin we dropped more flowers on top. And they put the concrete or whatever cover on and uncovered the dirt and I commented that in Jewish funerals we add the dirt. To make it final, real. And the four of us still there we each did add a handful. And that's when the aunt cried.

"You can't always get what you want"

2017-Jul-19, Wednesday 01:31
rosefox: A Victorian woman glares and says "Fuck's sake, what a cock"; someone out of the frame says "mm". (disapproval)
[personal profile] rosefox
Archiving some Twitter threads here regarding cons and congoing.

Thread 1: You are not entitled to be a panelist at a convention.  )

=====

Thread 2: Cis People Please Don't Do This. )

Comments are off because I'm on vacation and don't feel like moderating them. Feel free to share the link to this post.
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
1) camp nanowrimo
2) blueberries
3) national park quarters from the denver mint
drwex: (VNV)
[personal profile] drwex
Once upon a long ago I used to merrily blog music. Yay, it was fun. Sometimes people would leave comments telling me they liked this or that or otherwise indicating that I wasn't just blogging into the void. That's always nice.

Then [personal profile] mizarchivist pointed out that LJ has these things called "tags" and I could tag my music entries. This is helpful to know what's going on, and particularly helpful for back-reference and finding things that are particularly notable. Eventually I got enthusiastic enough to go back and tag my existing couple years' worth of music entries... at which point I promptly ran out of tags. This more than anything else prompted me to move to a paid LiveJournal account because I needed more tags. All is fine until the company owning LJ decides to move the servers into Russian airspace and I decide it's time to move over here to DreamWidth. Which, I shall not bore you with details, will not allow me to have unlimited tags, even if I do pay them.

For a while this has stymied me. I really like the convenience of being able to go back and revisit things I've blogged in the past, and I blog a lot of new artist/DJs in a given month so the list of tags grows with no obvious way to condense them. I'm tired of being stymied though and it finally penetrated my thick skull that this convenience I've grown used to is just that, a convenience. I don't actually have to tag music entries in order to write them. So I'm going to start blogging music again, only with erratic-to-nonexistent tagging. You've been warned.

I realized this because I have re-remembered (I keep forgetting, somehow) that music is important in my relationships. Intimate, certainly, and otherwise. If you and I don't share some musical taste or other, it's likely we're less close of friends than we would be if we did share. For example...

This morning Pygment and I responded to a wedding invitation that included a request to list something that would cause us to get up and dance. At first I snarked that my music tastes would appall most people and DJs wouldn't play it at weddings anyway. Pygment agreed and said something like, "Yeah but imagine if they would, we could get them to play..." and in two clicks I had the track linked below, which we put on the RSVP card. I'll let you know if it plays at the wedding because I will sure as shit be dancing if it does.

We Can Make the World Stop

I went to Gettysburg and had a good time

2017-Jul-18, Tuesday 14:00
drwex: (Troll)
[personal profile] drwex
Took Amtrak to/from Harrisburg and met up with the g/f to do a couple days of touristing in Gettysburg. Rode down Thursday, back Sunday. Overall good, but I am glad to be in my own bed again. If I'd had more knowledge I would have planned better, but given the knowledge I had at the start I think we planned very well.

Friday we took two pre-planned tours. A "History Nerds" tour that was mostly riding around in an air conditioned bus (quite useful when the temp AND humidity topped 85) and looking at sites with a guy who could firehose details about pretty much everything. We got a fairly complete set of visits and lots of facts. I would have liked it if the bus stopped more often, but it did provide info we used later.

That evening (once it had cooled off from "utterly beastly" to "merely summer sticky") we had a walking tour of the city itself with a hobbyist guide. That was interesting because most of the National Park-level focus is on the battlefield and kind of glosses over the fact that the battle swept through the town multiple times. Our guide had lots of interesting stories and trivia to help contextualize the facts and sites and since it was just the two of us on this walk we got extra time and it was much more conversational.

It was interesting to be reminded throughout just how much of a cultural bubble I live in; for example, the evening guide was explaining how the local Lutheran congregation continues to struggle with whether to do services in (traditional) German or (modern) English, how they vary some week-by-week and how they print variations on the prayer book in one or the other or both languages. I commented, "Yeah, sounds like every synagogue I've ever been to" and the guide admitted she had no idea Jews did that. I get the sense that she likely doesn't know any actual Jewish people.

Saturday we decided to revisit the battlefield in the morning, predicted to be the coolest and least humid hours of the day. Despite some navigation snafus we made it to several of the sites we'd wanted more time at and spent a lot of time wandering around getting a sense for things that's hard to achieve while in a bus.

After a few hours of that we declared a break for lunch at a period recreation inn in town that was OK and fortuitously was across the street from the local cidery that I'd been wanting to try. Between heat, exercise, post-food coma, and a flight of very tasty ciders we decided to ditch the previous plan of going back to the battlefield in favor of nappage. By the time we got up from that it was late and GF wanted to visit the official Gettysburg visitor center and cyclorama.

The visitor center was OK - we saw a short film narrated by Morgan Freeman that talked about some of the impact of the Civil War on slavery and economics. The Gettysburg Cyclorama is one of the last few surviving cycloramas anywhere. This version was originally displayed in the Boston Cyclorama building (who knew?) and moved to the park's visitor center in 2008 after restoration work. It's quite impressive; unfortunately we were the last group of the day and the museum needed to close promptly because there was a wedding using the site right after closing. I would have liked more time to soak it in but such is the nature of things.

After dinner and ice cream we detoured into what is locally marked as the "Soldier's National Cemetery" but Wikipedia calls Gettysburg National Cemetery. The place is a little eerie, particularly the rows of "unknown" markers for soldiers interred there who could not be identified. There's a commemorative marker for Abraham Lincoln as well, which people have placed numerous Lincoln pennies onto. Being my own contrarian self I found a pebble.

It was interesting to me to have a memorial marker there since it's not where he's buried (that's his hometown of Springfield at the Oak Ridge cemetery) nor is it where he gave(*) the Gettysburg Address - that spot is marked by a separate memorial stone. Humans are weird, what can I say.

We skipped doing one of the many "ghost" tours that take place in the evenings and I felt good about that in retrospect. They all seem to be popular but kind of commercial and largely beside the point. My interest is in authentic history, at least to the degree we can understand and experience it. I would have liked another half day on the battlefield - we got to see almost all of Cemetery Ridge (the Union side) and about 3/4 of Seminary Ridge (the Confederate side) but not really view Little Round Top or see the cemetery in detail.

(*) Actually there's some debate about where Lincoln actually stood. He was not the featured speaker of the day - that was the popular orator Edward Everett of MA - and in fact had not been expected to attend. His remarks were so brief that the photographers didn't even have time to set up properly; there is only one popular photo of the address and Lincoln isn't even easy to distinguish in the shot. The location is in dispute as contemporaneous accounts differ and really nobody paid much attention to his speech at the time. The New York Times printed Everertt's address in full but declined to reproduce Lincoln's remarks.

To make matters more confusing, at least five different versions of the Address were printed in other newspapers of the time and all differ in some details from written versions that have been authenticated as being in Lincoln's handwriting. Post-hoc analysis of Lincoln's condition ("ghastly color" and "haggard" were reported) indicate that he was likely feverish at the time of the speech and so may have said things different from what he had written.

Road to Nowhere

2017-Jul-18, Tuesday 09:00
ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
[personal profile] ceciliatan

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

(A couple of quick reminders!

  • Remember to have a look at last week’s Casting of Carynne, Colin, and a few other folks!
  • RSVP if you are coming to the August 20th meetup in Louisville, KY!
  • There are still a few slots open for Fanworks Thursdays!
    Love you all! -ctan)


  • I was more alert while getting on the plane this time. I still felt like a jerk for having other people carry pretty much everything for me, but at least I didn’t give myself a cramp in my hand, and we could proceed with my non-show-day medication regimen.

    This time I noticed that the different parts of the entourage were in different parts of the plane. The roadies and stagehands were all the way in the back. The band was in the section in front of them— behind the bulkhead galley and the overwing table section. The dancers were in front of the table section. Management had taken over business class. And what I guess I have to call Ziggy’s inner circle took first class and the upstairs lounge.

    Read the rest of this entry » )

    "R&R"

    2017-Jul-18, Tuesday 04:26
    rosefox: Me looking out a window, pensive. (relaxed)
    [personal profile] rosefox
    Once more unto the vacation to-do list/wishlist. A whole week of vacation when I'm not ill! Such luxury!

    Things with deadlines:

    * NONE AT ALL

    Things without deadlines (fun):

    * Watch Voltron: Legendary Defender and do some knitting
    * Stroll in the Botanic Gardens (needs to happen today if it's going to happen, because the weather's going to be too hot and unpleasant the rest of the week)
    * Maybe steal the baby from daycare early one day and get extra baby time
    * Read
    * Cook
    * Lunch with my mom
    * Sleeeeeeeep

    Things without deadlines (productive):

    * Shower and dress in real clothes every day
    * Tidy room enough for vacuuming
    * Unpack
    * Vacuum (or ask J to if my arms are sad)
    * Catch up on laundry
    * Celebrate the 1st anniversary of Story Hospital (!)
    * Call insurance company about that bill
    * Call doctor's office about that prior auth
    * Finish setting up Tinybeans
    * Remake OT appointment for next week
    * Do a family Readercon debrief/postmortem
    starandrea: (Default)
    [personal profile] starandrea
    1) writing lots of words
    2) finishing chores
    3) "light therapy"

    Immanentize the Book Reviews

    2017-Jul-17, Monday 20:37
    l33tminion: (Bookhead (Nagi))
    [personal profile] l33tminion
    I meant to get around to write a post on the reading I did at Sandy last week. But last week was exhausting, and the weekend was pretty busy. I didn't have nearly as much interrupted reading time as some years, but I did get in a good thousand pages:

    The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea: This conspiracy-weird-humor cult-classic novel has definitely left its mark on pop culture, and it's certainly one of the things I was making reference to way before I actually read it. A sensible read given how fond I am of RAW's humor re the Principia Discordia and the like, but to be honest I think the Principia is quite a lot funnier. Still, if you read that and decide you'd like more of the same but want something that's heavier on the narrative, a lot less G-rated, and about a kajillion times longer, Illuminatus! is pretty good.

    Class by Paul Fussell: Fussell's musings on the American status system are most interesting when he's relating other people's take on the subject (e.g. the idea that class politics might be divided among factions of "The Guilty" and "The Cross" certainly seems to have some present-day relevance). Most of the book is Fussell's extensive cataloging of differences between social classes in America. To put it another way, Fussell defines the middle class as being motivated largely by anxiety about their (in)ability to rise in the class hierarchy, and the bulk of the book by that view is mostly middle-class-baiting. Many of Fussell's observations seem to have stood the test of time pretty well. Some seem bizarre. (Is "vodka with water" really an upper-class drink, and was it ever? A little on that topic turns up this interview with "The Gronk", who is certainly rich and (semi?)famous, but would a pro-athelete be upper-class in Fussell's taxonomy? Fussell says that it's a middle-class mistake to focus too much on profession, but he also might have something to say about that nickname.) The book concludes with a chapter on the role of college in the status system, which is one of the more interesting bits given how the higher-education bubble has developed since. In Fussell's view, the problem is that college is advertised based on average increases in earning potential, but this conflates selective universities (which help) and non-selective colleges (which don't). That problem seems to have been "fixed".

    Minimalist Parenting by Christine K. Koh and Asha Dornfest: The book this most reminds me of is Bryan Caplan's Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids. It certainly has a similar philosophical bent. But Caplan's book had a pretty clear thrust of argument (people underestimate the benefits of parenting and overestimate the returns on certain kinds of parenting effort, therefore they underestimate the number of children they should have; instead of stressing out about the prospect of parenting, maybe consider having (more) children and just being lazier about it) and it backs up that argument in the sort of way you might expect an economist like Caplan to do. Minimalist Parenting, likewise, is what you'd expect from two bloggers, basically an organized collection of "lifehacks"; less in the way of numbers, more in the way of "try it and see".
    chanaleh: (breathe)
    [personal profile] chanaleh
    I came home one night (a Thursday) a few weeks ago and promptly had a meltdown over the fact that I constantly feel like I'm too tired to do anything useful. That is, I only have one or two half-hour scraps of baby-free time in a day (at least on weekdays), and even though there are surely small pending tasks I could fruitfully accomplish in that half-hour, all I want to do is sit down and stare at the ceiling. Same on weekends during baby naptime: I think all morning about the things I want to work on when she goes down, and then once it happens, all I do is sit and veg.

    thinky )

    Oh, and, technically I am taking a vacation next week, except that the occasion is a weeklong visit from my mom, so it's not exactly downtime even though it will be fun times! Hopefully some extra downtime for Etrace though, if he can chill at home while we take Aria and go run around/pay social calls.

    "The travel-model baby"

    2017-Jul-17, Monday 02:29
    rosefox: A zombie from a Nintendo game. (zombie)
    [personal profile] rosefox
    We are HOME. I have rarely in my life been so tired, and I have spent much of my life being tired. This is non-Euclidean tired that collapses in upon itself. I'm sort of impressed by it.

    As usual, Sam was thrilled to see me, Sophie was thrilled to see X, and Alex pretended to have entirely forgotten our names until we ordered pizza and he decided he wanted some. Tili took very good care of them. She also pointed out that our inexplicably huge basil plants grew enormous flower spikes during the three days we were gone. The leaves are yellowing a bit; might be time for more fertilizer.

    I cannot overstate how tremendously lucky we are to have such a good travel-bean. They were really clearly Done With Everything around 2 p.m. yesterday, and very polite about our inexplicable failure to take them home right then. They didn't nap much on the train today, though they did sleep on me for about half an hour—it's such a pleasure to be slept on by a baby, and we were all jockeying a bit to be the one that Kit napped on; I only won because J needed to get up to get something and I snagged the sleepy baby and the blanket—but they were generally cheerful and amenable to distraction nonetheless, and as soon as we got home they chugged a bottle and sacked out. They even signed "train" while we were waiting for the train, and they made friends with another toddler who was riding in our car, trading many high-fives and handshakes. They really liked the train trips; we should do more train travel with them.

    Next year, more and better planning. Definitely. But on the whole it was a very good con.

    also puppies on tumblr

    2017-Jul-17, Monday 00:06
    starandrea: (Default)
    [personal profile] starandrea
    1) cool nights
    2) cheerios
    3) kittens on tumblr

    screen things

    2017-Jul-16, Sunday 23:18
    pax_athena: (lotor)
    [personal profile] pax_athena
    I.
    I've finally seen "Wonder Woman" (it did come out later in the Netherlands and then I was travelling and had no time to breath). I left in love - it was a flawed movie (that boat trip was just hilariously wrong), but oh, did it do things right. I did stay out of the overall discussion, for various reasons, but two thoughts that I keep coming back to.
    1. Am I happy that they went for the "wrong war". I am so, so, so tired of American stories using WWII as a backdrop. I know that it is part of the history of the character, but well ... Sometimes, if we tell the stories anew, we need to change them.
    2. When writing this, I am sitting on a plane, the passengers boarding walking past me on the way to their seats: people flying from Munich to Amsterdam, from Germany to the Netherlands. And it brings it home once again: Gal Gadot would stand out among them - for being somewhat darker, somewhat different, foreign enough to be seen as "not one of us". Is it my own experience talking? Perhaps. I'm pretty sure they have not thought of this, making an American movie. But to me, with my experience of being the other in Western Europe, with the movie taking part in UK, Belgium and France, with Gal Gadot's own Israeli background, this is an Jewish woman, a woman representing an ethnic minority, a woman representing a certain Middle-Eastern look that would draw racism and discrimination, being powerful on screen. This gives me so freaking many feelings.

    II.
    American Gods. (Thanks, [personal profile] giallarhorn!) I'm two episodes in and I love it. I found the Bilquis sex scene less impressive than the online discussion let me to believe, but it *was* well done. The casting so far has been superb - different from what I thought (in my imagination, Shadow was rather Native American than black), but working in a way that is definitely overwriting my assumptions. The only thing I wish for were proper prononciation for the Zorya's names, especially among the Zoryas and Czernobog. But oh well.

    III.
    They did change Druckfrisch to a bi-monthly schedule, didn't they? I am so freaking sad about it, it still is perhaps the only German TV show worth watching D:

    IV.
    Also seen the two first seasons of Voltron. Meh. I will give it another try - in the end, the next season has Lotor. But so far it gives me zero feelings. It does certainly not help that even as a kid, I loved the vehicle Voltron version a lot more than the lion one. I'm kind of sad about this - I really wanted something else to be fannish about (not that I grow tired of Marvel/Loki but I have the distinct feeling that the whole universe goes into a direction I do not like). Oh well.
    (Both Wonder Woman and American Gods are too good. Fannish needs a story with enough holes to feel them up with imagination but at the same time not enough to totally throw me off. I'm strange like that, it's hard to get me there, only very few shows ever managed.)

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