jadelennox: A flasher gnome with a concealing oak leaf (gnome)
[personal profile] jadelennox
I performed a completely unrelated wikipedia search, and the very first result was this, clearly the best U. S. District Court case name ever:

United States v. One Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton.

Raaaaar!
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon

I bought it at Asda, and stuck it between a couple of pizzas to keep it from getting bent on the way home. And you can guess the rest....

It seems to have survived the experience.

kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
[personal profile] kaberett
The Red Turtle is a collaboration between Studio Ghibli and Oscar-winning British-Dutch animator Michaël Dudok de Wit. Having premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, it's had a general release in the UK this week. [personal profile] me_and spotted a poster in one of our local stations; I've just started showing him the Studio Ghibli back catalogue; he suggested going. (It's Ghibli! It's turtles! These seemed like good things.)

The Guardian, in one of many rapturous reviews, says:
Suffice to say that the official one-line synopsis of The Red Turtle – "the milestones in the life of a human being" – rings entirely true; the cycle of birth, death and rebirth is expressed with piercing clarity.


... which is sort of accurate, but very telling about expected audiences, and reviewers, and... everyone involved in the thing.

'ware spoilers! )

To be clear, I'm glad that I saw it: I loved the animals and the textures and the ways in which one got to know the small island; I loved the atmosphere and the great sweeping shots of tiny people against a vast expanse of sea and sky; I loved the detail of the glass bottle that washed up on the shore, echoing a much earlier barrel.

I just really wish that it didn't, in framing itself as universal, once again write the experiences of anyone who's not a factory-default man completely out of the story.

Be what you wish for the world

May. 28th, 2017 10:01 am
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
[personal profile] kyrielle
Today, I re-shared on Facebook something I also shared three years ago - an image of someone giving a cup of coffee to a homeless person, with the statement, "The world is full of nice people. If you can't find one, be one." I added, as I shared it, "This. And if you can find one, be one anyway. The world is full of nice people, and that's something we want to keep going, please."

Yesterday, I needed to go get potting mix. Which meant I was at Home Depot on Memorial Day weekend, which is really not when I would prefer to go there. The parking lot was a zoo. I saw someone start backing up then look THEN stop...just before he would have collided with the woman who had been walking behind his car before he put it in reverse. He DID stop and wait until she wasn't behind him. She was about to return her cart to the corral; I was returning mine and offered to walk hers over, after that incident. She thanked me...and was partway across the same space when she had to backpedal hastily to avoid being hit by the flaming idiot who came into the aisle (it was about the fourth space in) and headed for the space at a decent clip, slowing only a little when they realized SOMEONE WAS WALKING THERE.

When I left the parking lot, I had trouble getting out because of the lines of cars, and someone cut me off when they could visibly see I'd been waiting longer.

All this is to say that I was grumpy, agitated, and very nervous about people in general as I left. And I made a conscious, deliberate decision to let people in. It's too easy when we're grumpy to just go auto-pilot through our day and not delay it any further. After all, I'd already been delayed and worried and bothered! It felt good to be kind instead.

This is not I'm a saint. I'm pretty cruddy at this, actually. But I still do it. Because that's the kind of world I want to live in. Because it feels good.

I'm not saying that being nice or kind or standing up is always easy. Nor that it's always safe; in some circumstances there may be objective risks that outweigh being nice in your circumstance.

Side note about a good-samaritan case where two of them died, recently in the news )

...but often it _is_ simpler than that. What if you let someone turn out of a driveway during heavy traffic? Let someone with only a couple items go ahead of you in a grocery store? It's a small thing. Maybe all it does is brighten their day. Maybe it actually makes their life much easier than you realize. But if "all" it does is brighten their day, and _they_ go on to interact with the world more kindly....

Well. Many big things are built of lots and lots of small things. Not all. But many.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
Prompted by having received an utterly anodyne response from the party that completely ignored all of the actual issues I raised.

So, with content notes for transmisogyny and transmisogynist violence, here's the very brief summary of why -- regardless of party leadership's opinion on that matter -- that poster is Not Okay. (Yes, I have explained this in painstaking detail in reply to the e-mail from the party.)

Read more... )

Summer sucks

May. 28th, 2017 04:05 am
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
[personal profile] fayanora
Well, this summer is shaping up to be as hot as the last. It's getting very difficult to find a time to garden without wanting to die from the heat. I need an air conditioner to survive this summer. And I think a certain friend who lives in an upstairs apartment needs a new AC, too. Her place is always at least 15 or 20 degrees hotter than mine, and I can barely tolerate the heat in my own place.

Neato

May. 28th, 2017 12:50 am
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
[personal profile] fayanora
My current state of mind and the vibe of my current energy makes me feel like I'm channeling Luna Lovegood. It's like a placid river of peace is flowing through me.
sami: (Default)
[personal profile] sami
It goes like this:

One of the native truths about Being A Woman is that a woman's body is, at times, a thing of hateful betrayal.

It just is.

For most of us, that betrayal is made manifest at or after puberty.

For some women, that betrayal is made manifest in utero with the production of unnecessary dicks, but it still basically fits the pattern.

Meanwhile, trans men are caught in a different form of the same trap, in that the default configuration of the human body is female. If the surge of testosterone to trigger the alternate development comes after the hateful betrayal happens, then the gentleman in question doesn't get the alternate configuration.

Too bad, so sad, should've been born... not a mammal? Possibly vertebrate? I'm not sure how widespread the default-development-configuration-is-female thing.

SO BASICALLY

Transgender people are a result of the female body's natural tendency to hateful betrayal.

All women should understand this and accept trans women as our sisters in suffering.

All men should understand this and be terrified to question it, because smart men do not question the issue of women's bodies and their treachery.

And accept trans men as their brothers in suffering, because most men have been Brung Low by a woman at some point.

and now I need to stop typing, because I accidentally overstrained my wrist a couple of days ago.

Am I more aware, or more jaded?

May. 27th, 2017 10:11 am
starwatcher: Western windmill, clouds in background, trees around base. (Default)
[personal profile] starwatcher
.
Y'know, I've seen various posts complaining about fanfic authors' competence (or lack of) in crafting a "suitable" blurb to draw readers into their story; such post float around in various corners of the 'net.

My reaction has always been, "But - but - but... the blurbs for profic aren't much better. And that got me to analyzing them with my beta eyes. Does the blurb contain a breathless question? The answer will always be 'yes'. (Can she escape...? Will he find...?) We know that; we're reading to find out how it occurs, so why ask?

If the blurb doesn't ask unnecessary questions, it exclaims over simple, mater-of-fact statements. Samples from recent Book-Bub offerings: "Thus begins a rip-roaring tale of mishaps and misunderstandings!" and "A complete trilogy of spellbinding epic fantasies!" Sorry, blurb-writers; adding an ! does not make a simple statement exciting! (See what I did there? <g>)

But I growl my biggest growl when the main characters are either "hot" (if male) or "gorgeous" (if female). What earthly difference does that make to the worthiness (or not) of the story to be read? Consider the following --

Sizzling-hot FBI agent Jake Carlisle is in trouble and on the run. To save himself and an injured child, he kidnaps nurse Samantha Edgars. Can he keep her safe… and gain her trust?

Why does it matter that this agent is "hot"? Trick question; it doesn't. Would the story be less worthy if he was an ordinary-looking guy? Trick question; it wouldn't. It's just... I have long objected to covers with scantily-clad women; now I am developing equal objections to covers with bare-chested men. And there are quite a few of both types that show up on Book-Bub; I'm quite likely to pass on the book without even checking it out. Bad Linda! And I know that authors often don't have much input when the book-cover design is chosen. Still... there are plenty of books to read that don't offend me at first glance.

As for the blurb above, I'd write it this way -- "FBI agent Jake Carlisle is in trouble and on the run. To save himself and an injured child, he kidnaps nurse Samantha Edgars. Now he must keep her safe… and gain her trust to save them all."

But the cover doesn't offend, and I can set aside the "hot" and the question. Checked out the book; it looks good, has good reviews, and is free, so I grabbed it. I'll probably enjoy it... when I read it sometime in the next few years or so. So much fanfic, so little time; my fic-to-book ratio is still about 10:1, despite the ease of books-on-iPad.
.

Culture Consumed Saturday

May. 27th, 2017 09:04 pm
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
[personal profile] vass
OKAY, SO. My brain has been doing things, and not good things, so it's been 7 weeks since I last updated this, and I'm getting into one of those ruts where I can't talk about new stuff because I haven't talked about the old stuff, and it's all getting confusing. SO, I'm just going to make a list, and if you guys want to talk about one of the things, you can comment.

Books

Finished Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon's Gender Failure. (memoir/book version of a show by two non-binary performers, about being non-binary.)

Finished Martha Wells' All Systems Red. (science fiction novella. MURDERBOT.)

Finished Rose Lemberg et al's Alphabet of Embers (anthology of SFF short stories with illustrations)

Finished Kate Elliot's Black Wolves. (fantasy novel)

Started Kameron Hurley's The Stars Are Legion. (science fiction. living ships, body horror, pregnancy, cannibalism, women (principally defined here as "people who menstruate and give birth",) very good if you can cope with etc)

Started Audre Lord's Sister Outsider, have so far just read the Russia chapter. (feminism and anti-racism and memoir, essays.)

Started Carl Sandburg's Chicago Poems. (poetry, some of it very good and some of it well-intentioned but INCREDIBLY ill-considered.)

Comics

Started reading Arthur Horner's Colonel Pewter (1950s Australian serialised comic about the adventures of an eccentric retired military gentleman and his grand-nephew and cat. And aliens. The edition I'm reading is a Lever Arch folder of strips my father cut out from the newspaper as they came out and stickytaped to the paper and filed.)

TV and Movies

Saw The Eagle Huntress in the cinema (documentary, sports, a girl and her giant eagle, highly recommended if you can cope with animal harm etc)

Watched DVD of Saving General Yang (2013 historical action film directed by Ronny Yu, based on the Generals of the Yang Family. Now have the terrible urge to dive further down this rabbithole and read/watch ALL THE THINGS about the Yang family. Am resisting.)

A few more B99 episodes. Met Kevin!

Started watching this BBC Watergate documentary (hattip to [personal profile] rydra_wong), am halfway through and enthralled

Music

Played David Teie's Music for Cats for Beatrice and Dorian. (album, music composed for the benefit of cats.) Dorian seemed uninterested. Beatrice sometimes turned her ears around slightly, and might have breathed a bit faster at some points. It made me sleepy, though.

Listened to Janelle Monáe's The Electric Lady. (album, science fiction, third installment of the Metropolis series. Yes, good, love.)

Re-listening to Rhapsody's Dawn of Victory. (album, Italian symphonic metal.) Love the music, would like to listen to some symphonic metal that is a) less of a cishet white nerdboy power fantasy, and b) specifically less rapey now please.

Games

Agreed to join a play-by-post Legend of the Five Rings game, because I haven't RPed in too long and a friend was starting one up.. Realised belatedly that I had NO IDEA what I was getting into, this is some graduate level roleplaying right here, there's over (in meta terms) over ten years of setting, and (in game terms) two millennia of setting, with complicated etiquette etc. Asked for and received GM's permission to join in later once I've disambiguated my arse and my elbow a little more. Am sloooowly reading the handbook and trying to find my bearings.

Have mostly kicked the Stardew Valley habit. Dipped into the Kittens Game briefly for the first time in over a year, then returned to my senses.

Podcasts

Caught up on The Strange Case of Starship Iris (SF series) and The Hidden Almanac (fantasy series) and listening as they come out now.

Listened to a few episodes of Glittership (audio versions of queer SFF short stories)

Really enjoying One From The Vaults at the moment (trans history), still listening in order and not caught up yet.

Re-listening to a lot of old Jay and Miles X-Plain The X-Men (comics recaps) and Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap (drunken reviews of convenience foods) for comfort while falling asleep.

Crafts

Made a dinosaur toothbrush-holder, as seen in a lot of different crafts and/or autism pinterests and blogs. This just involves buying a $3 plastic dinosaur from KMart, and cutting a hole in its back, just large enough to poke the end of a toothbrush into. That's it, that's all that's involved. Tried making a harness for the dinosaur to hold the toothpaste as well, but this just looked sloppy, so I ended up cutting another hole for the toothpaste. This looks less neat than the toothbrush hole, but is at least functional.

Make a notebook.

Garden

Basil everywhere. Capsicums growing. I should be planting kale and daffodil bulbs right the fuck now, but have not gotten up the energy yet.

Other

I made breakfast for tumblr. You're welcome?

Cats

The Douchecat Combined Armed Forces chiefs of staff have moved into their winter headquarters, the chair with the heating pad on it. It's nice to have a warm base on which to smack each other.

Also tried out the toilet paper tube method of cat enrichment. It does seem to be making them eat slower, and may or may not be enhancing their enjoyment of dinner.

Worn Out

May. 26th, 2017 07:39 pm
rebelsheart: a wolf, laying down (laying down)
[personal profile] rebelsheart
My manager's last day was St. Patrick's Day - this was planned, though there was only a week's notice. The departure of my fellow contractor that day was not planned, nor his idea.

I spent the next week being solo primary coverage for roughly 250-300 users.

I got a new coworker (contractor) on March 27. At the end of that week, the rumor mill indicated the woman I'd been brought on board to cover for in May 2016 while she was out for an unknown period of time due to a medical issue related to a car accident would be returning. She did so on June 5, as our director - the only full-time IT person left in the state - was travelling for work until then. The returning FTE worked 2 hours aday for her first two weeks, adding two hours a day every two weeks, until returning to 8 hour days last week.

Upon her return, there was understandable concern about the longevity of employment of the new contractor - the job had been done by two field agents and their manager for years without issue. There was also a general consensus that had we had warning of the FTE's return, another contractor would probably have not been brought in.

We are currently very grateful to have 3 of us. Since the FTE's return (back when she was on limited hours), there have only been 3 weeks where I did not work OT and those were due to an illness, an interview, and weather. Had I not lost time those weeks, I would have likely had OT then as well. I had 43 hours this week, and I left 2 hours early today thanks to the holiday weekend.

I'm okay with occasional overtime, but right now three of us can't keep up and we're all wearing thin. Worse, I feel like the FTE and I are wearing thin with the other contractor because he's not where I was after 2 months.

Work is wearing me out, and it's eating into my already limited social life. I've been tempted to go to bed for 30 minutes now... and it's not quite 7:45 PM.

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