25 September 2017 @ 12:53 am
1. I actually got to sleep in this morning and didn't have to go in to work until around noon! I was so worried I was going to get called in for something or other, but thankfully no.

2. I have jury duty tomorrow. Bleh. But on the plus side, I did the online orientation, so I don't have to be there until 9:30am instead of the usual 7:30 or something ridiculous.

3. It was supposed to get hot again this weekend and into the week, but although it did get a little warmer, it's not really hot, and the humidity is low, so it's pretty nice.

4. Such a pretty kitty!

 
 
24 September 2017 @ 06:37 pm
I'm rereading Gaudy Night by Dorothy L Sayers for the first time in maybe a year, since I just switched my Audible membership over to .ca instead of .com, and the Canadian website has the rights for the book when the American website has just been promising to have it for ages but never actually being able to sell it.

In that time I've read Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism, which very closely details the rise of anti-Semitism in Western Europe between the French Revolution and the Second World War. Sayers is an awkward novelist in that her writing in the 1920s and 30s is sparkling in many ways, but soured a few times a book by discordant notes whenever "those people" are mentioned--Sayers seems to think that she is being very liberal-minded by mentioning Jewish people at all, much less having her characters vaguely tolerate them and discuss how a Jew might be as moral as the next fellow. (She had an unhappy early affair with a Jewish writer that seems to have affected her strongly)

I can see no situation in which they might ever have met, but still, the whole thing solidifies mentally for me into a unified whole if I imagine them at some evening party full of urbane and witty literary people, drinking and smoking and sounding clever, where Sayers is holding forth and being pleased with herself and Hannah Arendt is smoking in silence and taking down extensive mental notes for an essay later. She smiles when Sayers passes her an ashtray, but she's already plotting her revenge.
 
 
24 September 2017 @ 12:55 pm
1) So as I mentioned in an earlier post, I re-read my dissertation. By coincidence it was almost exactly 8 years since I'd last looked at it. Although I'd been advised to publish it, I couldn't face the process after its already long journey. It would have meant going through further drastic revisions given that books on internet culture were gaining interest and it would have to be redone for a popular audience. Read more... )

2) This Stephen Colbert tweet and particularly the discussion following it was plenty funny. But it made me think about an issue I hadn't considered before. Do movies made elsewhere ever try to make up countries in North America? Read more... )

3) Boy does the Internet look weird when you're used to browsing without scripts and suddenly ADS! Clashing backgrounds! Video inserts! It's like being deaf and suddenly being blasted with sound. Yuck. (Makes me glad I rarely have the speakers on too...)

4) If only we had more of this kind of guy, who spends his time investigating corporate wrongdoing. "I can’t believe a year and a half after the financial crisis, no one is doing this stuff. I’m not talking about writing these massive, 10,000-word thumbsuckers about some crappy company that did something to a politically vulnerable population. I’m talking about companies that wake up every day and, using the imprimatur of the law, do things that are unconscionable and appalling."

5) Because of a cold snap at the start of September we brought in our hibiscus from the balcony -- the earliest we've had to do so.

Read more... )

I've also got some photos up at common_nature about hummingbirds.

 
 
 
 
 
24 September 2017 @ 12:00 pm
 
 
 
 
24 September 2017 @ 12:55 am
1. Welp, I ended up having to go in at 8:30 this morning, and I had to be there at night, too, because our weekend closing stocker is on vacation, and it was super busy, but thankfully I was able to come home for a couple hours mid-afternoon and have lunch and rest for a bit. I'm always glad to live so close to work, but at times like this, especially so.

2. Look at this sweetie baby!

 
 
I've been paying attention to the many attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)* and what's been really obvious in the last year is that the Republican majority don't actually want to repeal it.

There seem to be three different groups:
1) Republican Senators who can see that Obamacare is actually about as right-wing a way to have universal healthcare as you can get**, and don't actually want to get rid of it.
2) Republican Senators who may or may not be in favour of Obamacare, but can see that their constituents are now attached to their healthcare, will be furious if they lose it, and only have a slim majority which they are terrified of losing at the next election.
3) Republican Senators who really are against Obamacare.

The problem here is that all three groups need to pretend that they're in category (3), because they've spent the last decade telling their supporters how terrible Obamacare is, to the point where there are voters who support all of the individual parts of the bill, and even the "Affordable Care Act" but will be will be against Obamacare.

And the longer the ACA exists, and the more that voters understand about it (as is happening the more Republicans talk about it) the more popular it gets. To the point where a majority of the public are now in favour of it***. But the Republican Party now has a central point of belief that "Obamacare is bad".

Which means that in order to be against it, but not actually remove it, we're left with a few Republican Senators taking it in turns to vote against repeal, on various largely spurious grounds. Being very careful to say "Oh no, I hate Obamacare as much as the next person. But I can't vote to repeal it this time, because of a minor provision. Maybe next time." - and then the next time a _different_ Republican Senator can do exactly the same thing.

None of which means that Obamacare is safe. It's balanced on a bunch of senators believing that if they repeal it they'll lose their jobs. So every time a repeal bill is put forward they have to be persuaded _again_ that the public still cares. And I am very grateful for my US friends who are involved in getting people to phone their representatives every time it comes up.

But I am moderately hopeful that we'll make it through to the mid-terms without it being repealed. Because I don't think that a majority of the senate actually wants it to be.****


*There were over 50 of these between 2011 and 2014, goodness knows how many we're up to now
**Not surprising, as it's very similar to RomneyCare.
***But only 17% of registered Republicans. It's the swing voters who have moved.
****But don't trust me. This is just my impression from what I've read from, frankly, a long way away.
 
 
 
 
23 September 2017 @ 01:28 pm
I went looking for costume pieces. I'm aware that my chances of finding the kind of costume pieces I want are low, and it's likely to take more than a casual search to find the kind of things I want within my budget. But I wanted to at least get a sense of what's available.

One of the things I want, is a Victorian-esque high-neck long-sleeves full length dress. Doesn't need to be period-accurate at all; just needs to have roughly the right silhouette. So I went to Amazon and searched for a few things; "maxi" is the current term for long dresses, but that gets me a bunch of sleeveless evening gowns. I searched for "long sleeves," which got me a number of pajama-esque looking shirt dresses, which warned me that searching for anything with extra coverage on top was likely to mean they removed an equal amount of fabric from the bottom. And sure enough, searching for high-neck dresses gets a bunch of sheaths that stop at the garter belt line.

And this monstrosity, which I am inflicting on you, dear readers, because otherwise I will have to bear the pain of having seen it alone. I think the... shoes? leggings? tights? ... are a separate article of clothing, and apparently so is the collar. But the full ensemble is stunning.
 
 
 
 
23 September 2017 @ 01:22 am
1. Ridiculously hectic day today, almost twelve hours at work. But this weekend shouldn't be too bad. The worst today was mostly because there were a lot of big deliveries thanks to everyone not ordering stuff before inventory and ordering it all now.

2. We had grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. So tasty. It's probably been years since I had one, as I usually opt for quesadillas instead, but Carla brought home some sourdough yesterday and that turned out to be really just perfect for grilled cheese.

3. I love this picture of Molly. Spotted her through the front window and she's totally got this "caught in the act" look on her face.

 
 
I just went through a new Elizabeth Wein book in 24 hours flat. *glows* The Pearl Thief is set in 1938 and features a fifteen-year-old, bisexual-as-fuck Julie Beaufort-Stuart.
 
 
22 September 2017 @ 06:37 pm
Jane and I went up to Nethy Bridge, near Aviemore, and stayed at the Lazy Duck in one of their Eco-Lodges. Which is a cabin built for two, with electricity, gas cooking, and (distant, wobbly) wifi, right next to a large duck pond full of a variety of different species of ducks.
Loads of photos and four videos )
 
 
 
 
22 September 2017 @ 12:00 pm
 
 
 
 
22 September 2017 @ 12:48 am
1. Had a pretty relaxing day off. I wish I'd spent less of it practically falling asleep at my desk, but oh well.

2. We had chipotle tuna sandwiches for dinner tonight. (Mine also had avocado, sprouts, and cucumber on it, for extra tastiness.)

3. It's so chilly tonight I actually have on a sweater. (Though sadly we are in for some hot weather in a few days.)

4. I've never seen all three kitties on the living room shelves together before, so I'm really glad I was able to get a pic!

 
 
22 September 2017 @ 10:32 am
So, in about 20 minutes I'm going to be leaving my parents' place, so that we can all go to the airport and travel to the country where my family has lived for as many generations as we know about (at least 4) and left when I was 7.

I've never been to the capital. I don't speak the language that people mostly speak there. (Everyone else in my family does speak it, but at home we always spoke Russian, the de facto lingua franca of the USSR, and that's all I managed to pick up by 7.) Kiev is new to me, and not new because I grew up on stories about it. (My aunt grew up there.) Odessa is familiar, full of people who will be happy to see me, but foreign too, like just another random European city, with buildings and customs that don't conform to the West Asian norms I find familiar and standard.

Anyway, if I started describing my feelings in earnest we'd never be done with parentheses.

I expect this trip will be a mindfuck. I expect being stuck with my parents for two weeks straight will be... a challenge. I hope, intensely, that the next two weeks will be wonderful and healing as well, as going home usually is.

Take care, friends.
Tags:
 
 
 
 
21 September 2017 @ 06:14 pm
What are you currently reading?
I'm about a third of the way through on Satan: A Biography and enjoying it so far.

I've been finding it hard to make progress on Meddling Kids, though, as despite being really excited by the premise, the book itself is kind of disappointing so far. The writing itself is not great, and the story is not making up for it. I'm hoping it'll get better as it goes along, though.

I also started Beezus and Ramona and am about a third of the way through that, too. I downloaded all the Ramona ebooks a couple years ago to do a reread and then never did, but then iTunes was updated the other day to remove ebooks and apps from the interface, and when I finally figured out how to add ebooks to my phone the new way, I tested it with this book, and then since I wasn't feeling Meddling Kids, just started reading it.

What did you recently finish reading?
Volumes two through five of Giant Days, as well as a bunch of single issues after that (I still have a handful of issues to read before being completely caught up, and then I will be sad because I love this series so much).

What do you think you'll read next?
The rest of Giant Days, for sure, and also volume 10 of You Will Hear the Voice of the Dead came out the other day and I'd already preordered it so it's on my ipad awaiting me.
 
 
 
20 September 2017 @ 11:19 pm
1. I had to go in to work earlier than I'd hoped, which meant I didn't get much sleep, but I did manage to get out of there by midafternoon, so that was good. And I have tomorrow off.

2. Carla arrived back safe and sound tonight.

3. We watched last week's Rick and Morty, which I hadn't seen yet because Carla was out of town and I was too lazy to watch it on my own. It was pretty good, but not as awesome as the week before or Pickle Rick.

4. Jasper is such a cutie.

 
 
20 September 2017 @ 05:17 pm


Title: Musume no Iede
Original Title: 娘の家出 (Musume no Iede)
Author: Shimura Takako
Publisher: Jump X
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 6 volumes, complete
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations + muge
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: When Mayuko's mom announces she's getting remarried, Mayuko runs away to live with her dad and his boyfriend. This heartwarming slice-of-life series follows Mayuko and her family and friends as their stories interweave.

Chapter Summary: A girl named Ako has a crush on the single father of her little brother's preschool classmates. But after planning a birthday party for her brother just so she can see this guy, he ends up unable to make it due to work and sends his sister, Niina, instead.



Chapter 16: Love Me on the A-Side