monanotlisa: (justin! - ub)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
Y'all who recommended Rivers of London (aka as Midnight Riot in the US for some unfathomable reason) by Ben Aaronovitch to me, I LOVE YOU! ♥ The first book is exactly what I was looking for to keep me entertained during long drives and rides -- it's snarky! It's suspenseful! It's got mystery and magic and a marvelous protagonist; I'm seriously into Peter Grant and his deadpan humor.

I laughed out loud several times, and I'm not even deep into the novel. Here's some choice quotations! )
oursin: Photograph of Stella Gibbons, overwritten IM IN UR WOODSHED SEEING SOMETHIN NASTY (woodshed)
[personal profile] oursin

Mixed martial arts is the fastest-growing sport on Earth.... what does this bloody spectacle say about the world we live in?

I don't know what, if anything, it says about the world we live in, but that article suggests to me someone who does not know a great deal about the history of sport/popular entertainment - I am like, o tempora, o mores, what are these days when somebody can write an article on fighting as spectacle and not name-check gladiators in the Coliseum? Infamy, infamy, etc.

I am totally given to wonder what a person knows about the history of sport if they can write this:

Victorian rules of football and rugby codified an attitude towards team play that made sense in the factory and on the battlefield.
Victorian rules were the imposition of a disciplinary structure (where is Michel Foucault when you need him?) on the rather more freeform sports constituting various kinds of football: which pretty much combined the football and the hooliganism in one package.

See also, boxing before Queensbury: not that boxing in its present form doesn't have significant risks, even if they're long term ones about brain damage rather than blood on the floor.

I suspect that there is a significant history of sports starting as something close to a brawl and gradually developing rules, rather than the rules coming first.

On a somewhat less extreme level, beach volleyball has that pattern of informality to codification.

I am also, why is he not, if not doing historical analogies, linking this woezery to a loooong tradition of dystopian fiction? - because the concept was not a new one in The Hunger Games.

The Blahs

Mar. 27th, 2017 08:46 am
cafeshree: woman sitting on chair reading a book (Default)
[personal profile] cafeshree
 This past week has been tough. Partly all the grey weather, partly stressful work situations, with added politics stress. 

I've been making some calls. I forget how easy it is and am surprised each time by how easy it is and how pleasant the staffers are to talk to. Mostly I've been using Resistbot which I love, and using Twitter. My Representative is now following me!

Had family night with just my Dad and we watched 2 episodes of a show called Striking Out, takes place in Dublin, and we were both undecided about it. Has potential but was a bit too soap opera-y for us. 

My reading has been suffering, I think mostly due to the politics thing, too stressed or feel blah about everything I try.

And now I've spent too much time online this morning and am running late for work! 

Organisation fail

Mar. 27th, 2017 12:10 pm
rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
I realised yesterday that it was the last of Nicholas's swimming lessons for the term and we hadn't been given a re-enrolment form at any point.  On further checking, we've completely missed his re-enrolment window, and the class he was in is completely full now.   These lessons are always oversubscribed, and the idea is that once you're in the system you get priority to stay in and progress up the classes, but that doesn't help if no-one (me) checks when the deadlines are. 

So I think by default I have to make a note to check for enrolment day at the end of next term, in hopes of getting him back into classes in the autumn term.  That seems ages away.  I suppose I can also look at the holiday "crash courses": four or five daily 30 minute lessons on weekday mornings.  Great for learning but a bit of a logistical challenge for us.

Almonds

Mar. 26th, 2017 10:48 pm
steorra: Part of Saturn in the shade of its rings (Default)
[personal profile] steorra
As of this evening, I am officially okay with eating almond products from a source that I trust not to be cross-contaminated.

Early in my time in Ohio, about 10 years ago by now, I had some allergy testing done which matched the testing I had done as a child and said that I was only allergic to peanuts and walnuts, not other nuts. The allergist recommended that I continue to avoid other nuts because of the risk of cross-contamination. Since then, I have not minded being around other nuts, or eating products that "may have traces" of them, but have avoided actually eating them.

Once when I was a child I accidentally ate something that contained almonds and I had no reaction.

So I've had good reason for some time to think that almonds are actually safe for me.

Recently I've been thinking that it would be really convenient if I could have almond products for various reasons. I decided to cautiously try almond milk some time when I could call emergency if I did turn out to have a reaction. (The almond milk is from a source that seems to be safe from cross-contamination.)

I followed through on that plan this evening. I cautiously tried progressively larger amounts of almond milk (starting with touching my tongue to the back of a spoon that had been dipped in a glass of almond milk, and progressing to drinking a few tablespoons of it - and then after the official experiment was over, I had some in my tea). I had no reaction, so almonds are now officially okay.

I will be extremely cautious about the source of any almond products, though. No almonds or almond products unless I can read the ingredients and they don't give any indication of possible cross-contamination.

-------

I would also really like to find a source of non-cross-contaminated pine nuts. I've eaten pine nuts all along (initially under the impression that they did not qualify as tree nuts), but it's hard to find ones that aren't processed with other nuts. I think the last source I had for them was in Ohio.

(no subject)

Mar. 26th, 2017 08:59 pm
ruthi: a photograph of a dormouse eating a berry (Default)
[personal profile] ruthi
Last Saturday I went to see taming of the shrew at the globe and I felt faint half-way through.
I sat down so as not to fall down, and a kind usher directed me outside to a bench. I sat for a while bt energy to get back up did not appear. Then I was taken to the first-aid room, where I had some water and a lie-down with feet up. So I had a nap, and some more water. I missed the rest of the play. Part of me was curious as to how they had done it and part of me was glad I'd missed the part after the wedding where it gets more abusive. I don't know why they still do this play.

As the play was about to end I got enough energy to stand up and go back to my friends and be active.
I realised I had failed at sleep - I stayed awake all night and fell asleep at seven in the morning, I had not eaten or drank anything before I left the house, and while I had meant to do the 'food as a substitute for sleep' thing, all I had actually eaten was about three bites of cheese at Neil's Yard Dairy in Borough Market on the way to the Globe.
I did have some fruit juice, but it was not enough.

So that was half a play. I liked the actors and I liked the blinged-up moblity scooter the old suitor was using.


After, I walked with friends across millennium bridge - it was v. windy and gulls were riding the wind, and pigeons were flap-flap-flapping about and not coping with the wind well. Friend G told how he had got a pigeon to the face earlier, delivered by that wind.

I went with friends to a pub, had a couple of soft drinks, sat down a bit, and then went home.

On the way home I bought a small bunch of narcissus flowers, and they smelled lovely, and they have lasted a full week. They are wilting now.

*

On wednesday and thursday and friday I celebrated my birthday. A robot reminded some friends it was my birthday, and they sent me greetings.

The beloved brought me a bouquet. I did not have a vase of a fitting size, so I put them in a Kwak glass instead.

Family sent greetings from afar (which is where I like to keep family).

I went out for an evening meal with the beloved and had delicious food, with chips. The chips were not as good as the best chips I have ever had, so I felt a little sorry for them.

I was brought delicious doughnuts from Crosstown Doughnuts,
descriptions from their website )
because I'd mis-ordered myself cake for next week by mistake.

Also friend D has bought us tickets for a cinema screening of the NT production of Angels in America - Millennium Approaches, which we both want to see, and it is a present and it is in the future.
nancylebov: blue moon (Default)
[personal profile] nancylebov
I've come up with a non-dairy comfort food.

1 medium butternut squash
4 medium small sweet potatoes
1 medium onion and a shallot
1/2 pound bacon
4 assorted somewhat hot peppers and a little hot sauce
garlic (Auntie Arwen's dried garlic mix)
salt
some maple syrup, maybe a couple of tablespoons

I steamed the squash (20 minutes). I found that the skin was edible, which was convenient-- some people don't like the texture, but it's a pain to remove the skin. (Second thought, maybe it's worth the trouble to pick the skin out.)

Microwaved the potatoes.

Fried the bacon, then fried the chopped peppers and onions in the bacon grease.

Mashed the squash, potatoes, bacon, peppers, and onions together. That was when I decided it needed more heat and salt, and added a little hot sauce and the maple syrup.

This is pretty comforting as it is, but would be more comforting without the hot peppers. My original plan included collard greens, but I don't think they were necessary.

The hot peppers (one light orange and wrinkly, one good-sized dark green and with an oval cross section, a smaller dark green pepper which wasn't quit as oval, and a medium-sized dark red spherical pepper) were from a mixed bag from Whole Foods. They had an interesting variety ot flavors, but I'm not sure what to do with them-- I'm not bad at improvised cooking but they were beyond my level of subtlety.

I made this

Mar. 26th, 2017 11:00 pm
ceb: (I made this)
[personal profile] ceb
This weekend I have made a thing! Which is neither for Worldcon nor the BSFA, unlike everything else I've been doing in the past 6 months.

moon box

Sustain, persist, ascend.

Mar. 26th, 2017 02:17 pm
azurelunatic: "catch me if I fall", shooting star (R.E.M.)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
One brave green shoot pushes through the muck;
more will soon follow.
There will still be storytime at the library next week.
The librarian will still be found wearing a plush ladybug.
Somewhere, a child will move from baby to toddler
in pursuit of that bubble, just out of reach.


(Mostly written in early February.)

Culinary

Mar. 26th, 2017 07:21 pm
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
[personal profile] oursin

Friday night supper: Gujerati khicchari.

Saturday breakfast rolls: the adaptable soft rolls: 2:2:1 strong white/wholemeal/dark rye flour, maple sugar, sour cherries.

Today's lunch: the gratin provencale thing, with sweet potatoes (I grossly overestimated the quantity of sweet potato I would need) and tapenade: with okra roasted in pumpkin seed oil and splashed with raspberry vinegar, cos lettuce dressed with lime juice, avocado oil, salt and pepper, and padron peppers.

Bread: Len Deighton's Mixed Wholemeal loaf from the Sunday Times Book of Bread: 3:1:1 wholemeal/strong white flour/mixture of medium oatmeal, medium cornmeal and bran, a little molasses, a dash of oil - v tasty.

(no subject)

Mar. 26th, 2017 12:30 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] robling_t!

It's a lot of family

Mar. 26th, 2017 09:55 am
hunningham: (Default)
[personal profile] hunningham
For the past five weekends we have had:

1) Visit to H's father
2) Visit from H's sister & her partner
3) Weekend away in Bristol (not family)
4) Visit from my mother
5) Visit from my father

It's a lot of family.

My father left about an hour ago, and I suddenly feel very tired and very relieved. Love them all, but oh, it's nice when people go. H. is making noises about having champagne to celebrate having home to ourselves.

And my father ... listening to him just makes me so glad that I have a quiet mundane uncomplicated personal life. No relationship drama, no exes phoning me up and crying, no one saying me or them. He's seventy-five and he really needs to sort his life out.

Old telephone weirdness

Mar. 25th, 2017 09:36 pm
steorra: Rabbit with a pancake on its head (random weirdness)
[personal profile] steorra
Something jogged my memory today of a weird telephone incident that happened when I lived at the Menno Simons Centre during my first two years of university (so, 2000–2002).

There was a communal phone line which I made a habit of answering. Many people there also had their own phones (I think some landlines and some cellphones, but it's long enough ago that I'm not certain about that.)

The communal phone line rang and I answered it, on the downstairs phone. I said "Hello", and the person on the other end said "Hello", and we had a few confusing exchanges until we realized that the phone had rung on both ends - neither of us had called the other.

We then established that he was the father of one of the other residents, and had (I think) just been talking to her - but on her own phone line, not the communal line. (I can't recall if she had a cellphone or a landline.)

There was no obvious explanation for how the glitch could have happened, or how the phone system could have made a connection between her phone line and the communal phone line. (I'm half inclined to think that she had a cellphone precisely because it makes it even more inexplicable - if it was a landline, perhaps some physical connection had a glitch, and I feel like I had mentally ruled out that possibility back when the incident was fresher in memory.)

snippets

Mar. 25th, 2017 10:03 pm
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
[personal profile] kaberett
  1. The English sofa is a loan from Turkish. The Turkish for the English sofa, however, is kanape, as a loan from the French canapé, which has the original meaning of English sofa and, by figurative extension, the meaning of English canapé, because you've got a little piece of bread or pastry or something that looks like a sofa with the topping perched on top of it. ([personal profile] sebastienne conjectured this etymology when I was grumbling about the Turkish last week; they were surprised and delighted to be correct.)
  2. Fox/vixen is the solitary surviving example in modern English of the Germanic feminine suffix -en, -in: Fuchs/Füchsin.
  3. The English/French foyer is rendered, in Swedish orthography, foajé. It is pronounced the way one might reasonably expect foyer to be pronounced. See also: restaurang.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

This is a collection volume, containing Komarr, A Civil Campaign and (actually in the "previously unread" category), the short A Winterfair Gift. The title for the collection volume is very descriptive, as that theme starts in Komarr, continues through the entirety of A Civil Campaign and comes to some sort of culmination in A Winterfair Night.

As is the custom, these are all eminently readable. It is also perhaps not the worst place to pick up the Vorkosigan Saga books (but, I should stress, it is also not the best), since I seem to recall that Komarr was actually the first one I read.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

It's been a while since I last read any of the Expanse novels. Don't really know why, maybe the whole "TV hype" has put me off. On the whole, they're eminently readable, although one of my distinct memories of "oh, no, not again!" from the first four is mercifully not as prominent in this one.

All in all a pleasant read, although I have a nagging feeling that the acceleration required to cover distance in this book may possibly require higher sustained acceleration than what seems to be happening.

Fish Pie

Mar. 25th, 2017 07:20 pm
angelofthenorth: (Hedgehog)
[personal profile] angelofthenorth
This is tasty.

1kg bag of baby spuds
3 small carrots
1 large leek
Odds and ends of fish from the reduced section. In this case:
2 fillets of salmon
3 smoked cod loins
1 haddock fillet
most of a bag of prawns
half a bag of mussels
1 pint boiling fish stock
1 large tub Quark
2 tbsp cornflour
Cracked black pepper and salt

Heat oven to 200C
Put the potatoes to boil until nice and crushable.
Cook the leeks - slice them, fry them till soft, then add a little water and evaporate that off. Put in the large pyrex that I hope you're using for this dish. Small one won't cut it.
Meanwhile put the boiling fish stock in a pan with the odds and ends of fish and chopped carrots, and cook them through. With a slotted spoon, lift out the fish, and put in the pyrex with the leek.
Put the prawns and mussels in for a couple of minutes into the hot stock and fish them out as before.
Now, make up the cornflour with some cold liquid, and then add to the hot stock, along with half a tub of the quark. Pour over the fish mixture.
Drain the potatoes and crush with the rest of the quark, and some salt and pepper.
Place over the top of the fish mixture, and put in the oven for 35 minutes till golden.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Okay, recent experiment shows that if you edit, on DW, an imported-from-LJ post and turn on crossposting for it, you wind up with two versions on LJ, the original, and the edited-and-crossposted one.

Some Short Fiction Recs

Mar. 25th, 2017 11:36 am
forestofglory: Glasses and books (books)
[personal profile] forestofglory
"Extracurricular Activities" by Yoon Ha Lee A fun twisty story with spies and secret missions. It's set in the same world as Ninefox Gambit, but stands alone. I just love how the author sketches characters and societies with a few key details.

"And In Our Daughters, We Find a Voice" by Cassandra Khaw creepy dark little mermaid re-telling (content note: a human character with ambiguous gender traits is referred to as "it")
oursin: Books stacked on shelves, piled up on floor, rocking chair in foreground (books)
[personal profile] oursin

Scarlett Thomas: Why I was wrong about children’s fiction.

I do see that she has come to realise that 'children's books: not the easy option',from trying to write one, because have we not, my dearios, seen an awful lot of celebs who think any fule can can write a kiddybook?

But, might we not also see in that article that she seems also to be coming round to the notion that fantasy is Not A Bad (or at least, a lesser, genre) Thing?

The two categories do seem to be somewhat assimilated, even conflated.

And I really don't think you get very far just by replacing one binary with another binary:

Instead of thinking there’s “literary fiction” and “everything else”, or even adult fiction and children’s fiction, I now believe that there are books with magic and without.

I don't think it's that simple, even if she's using 'magic' in its broader sense?

I think there are still some unexamined assumptions around canon and literary value going on there.

Hippo, Birdie, Two Ewes

Mar. 25th, 2017 08:53 am
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 to [personal profile] staranise !  Have a wonderful day!

(no subject)

Mar. 25th, 2017 11:19 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] staranise!

(no subject)

Mar. 24th, 2017 11:42 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
Tomorrow is my 30th birthday and I’m going to go to a friend’s wedding shower and pick up a balloon bouquet I got for myself and flowers that my girlfriend sent me and have dinner with my family incl. all my in-town nephews and I’m going to tie a balloon to the youngest one and watch him run around trying to charm the cats. (I forget if I mentioned, this week my sister in law sent us a video where she asks him, “Where do you want to go?” and he says “GAW-LA-GER. GRAMMA. KITTY!”)

When i was a little kid I used to dream of being in my 30s. I always wanted to grow up. Being an adult was when you got to choose where you lived, what you ate, who you spent time with, what you got to do. Even when I was eight, I dreamed so hard of being settled in my career with a spouse and family, able to right some of the wrongs I saw in the world and make art that mattered.

Getting here has been so hard--and between mental illness and the economy, I’m not nearly as settled, married, or fecund as I’d like to be--but you know the fuck what, I’m happy to be here anyway.

stuff and things and a mek!

Mar. 25th, 2017 12:28 am
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
[personal profile] sorcyress
I still have under 600 unread emails, but it was a close thing. I got an email from my friend nagging me about a thing I need nagging on (this is a good thing) but it made me freak out and want to avoid my entire email inbox because like...I cannot get my daily for that unless I make sure to do all my emails for the day and soooo.

But I've recently come back and the last two days I've at least looked at everything. Which is good.

I still don't have health insurance (I found out a week ago that it's been terminated). I really need to work on going through mail and calling mass health and figuring out why it was turned off and how I turn it on again, but boyyyy that is just...not...happening right now. Maybe having mek around will make it easier, and maybe I will just not have health insurance or meds until mid-April, because that's an awesome thing for me innit?

Diiiiid I mention I have a mek? I am pretty pleased I have a mek. It was a sudden surprise of "so, I can actually visit you in like three weeks if that works for you" thing, and I said yes and so he rode a train cross country to come see me, look, I'm not saying my boyfriends are better than yours but have any of yours hung out on a train for four days just to bring you a dead spider in a snow globe I think NOT!

Highland Ball stuff is continuing apace. I'm actually in a weird gentle space where I'm a lot less behind on everything and feel a lot less stressed about it all. Really, right now I'm a lot less anxious and a lot more depressed, and so that's pretty good, except for the part where I'm a lot more depressed. I'm working on it, they lied.

On the plus side, I did clear off most of my bed. Granted, this was a lot of pileating, but it was a noble attempt.

Wheeeee, I finished my words before mek came back from brushing his teef! Gold star for me!

((I know this entry is crap and disconnected, but I haven't written anything in here for over two weeks.))

How's you?

~Sor
MOOP!
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Earth Hour is a thing that is happening tomorrow – or today, by the time you get this. It's a light fast: no* illumination for one hour. It's a world-wide observance to demonstrate opposition to climate change and light polution.

It happens tomorrow (Saturday, March 25) from 8:30pm to 9:30pm in your local timezone. All you have to do is turn out your lights for that hour.

Please join the millions of people around the world doing this, if you can swing it.

Locals: the Cambridge Community Development Department is asking folks to participate, and will be giving out hot chocolate at the main library branch during Earth Hour to celebrate.

* There seems to be an understanding that candles, phosphorescence, and fireworks are okay? So this is Reform Earth Hour? Presumably Conservative Earth Hour is where you can have a candle or glow-stick, but only if it was lit before Earth Hour started, and an Orthodox Earth Hour where you will damn well sit there in the dark.

Oh, and for those who don't get the title of this post, the string to search is "how many Jewish mothers does it take to change a lightbulb?"

Winning, Wan Nil

Mar. 25th, 2017 12:49 am
hairyears: (Default)
[personal profile] hairyears
This is not, I think, an occasion for modesty:
https://twitmericks.com/2017/03/24/prize-limerick-competition-results/

...See if you can guess which one of the winning entries is mine.

You don't have the votes!

Mar. 24th, 2017 10:33 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
I've been quiet (...too quiet) lately, but it'd be remiss of me to let a day when Paul Ryan said "Obamacare is the law of the land.… We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future" go by without comment.

I was terrified of the vote. Sick with it. When the friend I was visiting on Wednesday excused himself for a phone call, I typed this out on my phone and sent it to my representatives in an e-mail the ACLU mailing list had suggested I sent to my congresspeople:
I'm disabled. My parents are aging seniors, my mom particularly with longstanding health problems. My friends are poor, disabled themselves, or people of color -- sometimes all at once because that's how these things
work.

So if the ACA is repealed, I'm certain that someone I know and love will die who would not die if we keep it. If the ACA is repealed, I know that everybody I know will live in fear, suffering and misery that they won't have if we keep it.

People are kept alive by the ACA, they're kept in their homes, they're kept from that needless worry, fear and misery.

Ive lived in the UK for several years. I've enjoyed the services of a single-payer health care system there for me when I've needed it. I know this is possible. I know there's no reason for the US to be moving further away from that. It's cheaper, better care and my friends here boggle at the country I'm from being so far from having it ourselves. Please don'ttake us further still from that eminently reachable goal. Please don't make people suffer so unnecessarily.
They're all Democrats, and I was pretty confident they'd do the right thing anyway (Franken's been heart-warmingly awesome again in hearings for another awful appointee this week, which always makes me proud I get to vote for him) but I couldn't let it go uncommented-upon.

Today when I saw the vote had been pulled at the last minute, once I'd convinced myself it was for real (too scared to google in case it wasn't, I made Andrew confirm it for me) and that it wouldn't come back immediately (Trump saying he expects Democrats to seek a deal with him in a year when the ACA has "exploded" is what finally convinced me) I started crying.

I hate crying, but this was different. I've heard of crying happy tears before, and maybe this was that, but it felt more like an enormous version of the feeling I'd had on Saturday night when I thought I'd lost the keys to our B&B room so I couldn't go out because I wouldn't be able to get back in again and that this was going to be a costly and disappointing mistake to admit to our lovely hosts but then Andrew found the keys had fallen behind a table -- this on a much bigger scale, of course, but the same kind of relief. The same kind of "now I'm not being held together entirely by stress, my body must perforce collapse."

I thought of all the people being relieved and crying and screaming and hugging their loved ones and celebrating and getting drunk and remembering the people Obamacare didn't get here in time for, or the people still outside its help.

I was so fragile; Andrew had to put a frozen pizza in the oven for my dinner and my evening ended up being much less ambitious than I hoped for (I basically curled up on the couch with the dog, retweeting things until my phone's battery was just about dead and now I've come to bed but I'm writing this). My body seemed to react, after the tears, exactly like it did on Saturday and after other anxiety attacks: I couldn't get warm, my muscles were almost too weak to support me, I was having all kinds of emotions at once and had the attention span of a mayfly on speed.

Of the many, many RTs, from schadenfreude at Ryan and the other writers of this hideous bill, to the insistence that this is the best time in American history for the Democrats to push for single-payer healthcare (at least, that's what it's been called there; it looks like "Medicare for all" might be the epithet that persuades people), to the acknowledgements that we know the battle isn't over but we deserve this celebration to other badass political shit going on at the same time like a Democrat winning a state legislature seat where she had to be written in to the ballots and just more women wanting to run for office generally...I'd say it's been a good night.

It hasn't been one-dimensional celebration. It hasn't glossed over the limitations of the ACA and the people who live precarious lives even with it. It hasn't made us take for granted the sterling performances of congresspeople speaking on our side before the planned vote. It hasn't made us forget about the need to investigate the horrific numbers of black teenage girls who've disappeared recently in Washington D.C. who never get the care and attention of missing white girls. It hasn't stopped cleverly-named bills cracking down on Trump's corruption as it endangers us all. It hasn't made people stop talking about Trump/Russia or the need to impeach him.

But of all the tweets I've (html willing!) shared with you here, the one I think is most important is this:

Scoff if you must, but this is why I'm involved in politics. This is why I say that I'm proud of my Lib Dem friends, who when something angers or upsets us have a kind of instinctive reaction: let's write a policy motion about this. This is why I've been so much more active in politics (partisan or not) the last few months: it's just to cope with the increasing number of things that make me fearful, anxious and sad.

I stuck with the Lib Dems when they were adding to the things that made me angry and frustrated during points in the coalition because I knew I'd feel just as angry and frustrated but with no political outlet otherwise as I don't feel there's any other UK party that sufficiently aligns with my values for me to want to support it.* But even in things like the WI, which is scrupulously non-partisan (and, being a geographically-based way of organizing people, I'm not surprised mine is full of lefties), I feel like I'm doing the same kind of work: making the world less scary, anxiety-inducing, and saddening.

And if this kind of political event, or whatever you have in the countries you live in and love people from, makes you sad, anxious or fearful, I'd really suggest getting involved in something like this. It's heady stuff: be warned, it's easy to get addicted. Most of my Lib Dem friends have stories about joining where they didn't think much of it and ended up on federal committees, standing for parliament, or whatever. I swear Tim Farron has taken some of my lines when he talks about immigration. I have friends who've helped write policies that have ended up being the law for this country. It's pretty awesome.


* It seems to have been worth sticking around for: my pessimistic husband came away from last weekend's federal conference feeling reassured that our party's membership having doubled in the last few years hasn't made it what he feared it'd be: "There was a real, real, danger that we’d have got a lot of people who thought they were joining the Coalition And Liking Europe Party" he says, but as you can read there it's clear that the Lib Dems are still existing to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

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Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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