To-do lists are rather over-rated

Jan. 18th, 2017 09:39 pm
hunningham: (Default)
[personal profile] hunningham
Things I have done recently

1) Walking

This Saturday just gone I took myself off for a long walk on my own. Walking across muddy fields is hard work - you slip with every step. The only thing I can compare it to is walking in loose sand. I was tired afterwards, it was Tuesday before my legs stopped aching. So not as fit as I would like.

2) Green party

Went out to met up with local Greens in pub. This was a thing I’ve been meaning to do for the longest time. It’s now a done thing. I think I’ve agreed to help deliver leaflets / update websites / sort out excel files. I blame the Belgian beer.

3) Taken cat to vet

He has an ear infection and I have to give him ear drops. First he gets ear drops from bottle number one (cleans the ear, softens ear wax) and then an hour later he gets drops from bottle number two. Repeat twice a day. This really isn't working very well. I can manage the first set of drops (sneak up on sleeping cat, squirt stuff in his ear) but when the time comes for drops from bottle number two I seldom have a cat to hand.

Things have been achieved. My cat hates me.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I've been using the "Tab Grenade" add-on for Firefox, and it's just not cutting it. I'm currently wading through the "Tabs" category on which has 2,741 entries.

What I want is a button on my toolbar that when I press it, it prompts me for a directory name and location, and then saves the contents of each tab in the present window into that directory (creating it if necessary), and creates an index.html file with a little list of links to the saved tabs, that shows the page title, the original URL and the timestamp of saving. (Maybe it also prompts me to title this HTML page.)

Then, whenever I want, I can use the "Open" function in Firefox to open the HTML file as a web page, and see a list of the tabs, and navigate to my now permanently cached versions of those pages.

Crucial functionalities here are:

• It's actually saving copies of the pages in the tabs. Right now, when I have, say, 10 tabs open on a project, I can save the links through Tab Grenade, but the actual web pages aren't saved to disk. To save the pages, I have to manually go through and apple-S each one and oh god this is why we have computers, to do repetative things like this for us.

• It's saving pages in tabs to disk without my having to switch to the tabs and make my poor computer attempt to paint those pages to screen. Since I'm often trying to clear out tabs because I have brought my machine to its knees by opening a bunch of large PDFs, having to switch between tabs to save them to disk makes this vastly more tedious and miserable.

• It's saving the list of the tabs and their original urls into something other than a "resource:" in Firefox, which lamentably is what Tab Grenade does. That is so not a helpful place to store large amounts of information on many different projects.

• It lets me specify where to put this new directory of cached tabs and their associated index.html page. I have different directories for different projects, and I so want to store my lists of links right in those directories so I know where to find them.

Does this already exist?

Also, can I rail a moment against how apparently in the add-ons ecology, when the topic is "tabs", "save" nigh-universally means something other than "save to disk"? That is, in the context of tab management add-ons, "saving" means "making a list of" – saving only the URL, the pointer to the page, not the actual page itself. This usage makes it really hard to search for things that save the contents of all tabs in a window.

Star Wars: Rogue One.

Jan. 18th, 2017 09:16 pm
nanila: (me: walk softly and carry big stick)
[personal profile] nanila
This is not a review.

[This post contains spoilers for Star Wars: Rogue One. Do not click the cut if you haven’t watched the film and are sensitive to spoilers.]

I saw Rogue One last week and I'm still dealing with the emotional fallout.

Actually, before I get into this: If you think the film was terrible, want to pick apart plot points, lecture me about how the story isn't deep or meaningful, argue that a having female lead is a pointless gesture in the direction of political correctness, tell me I’m not a “real” fan, or claim that casting a significant proportion of characters of colour is tokenism or that representation doesn’t matter, I have a request. Please, hold your tongue. This post is not for you.

Because the film drew me in completely. Not just because it was, in many ways, the Star Wars film I always wanted. The Force Awakens was good, centering the female lead, providing a nuanced character of colour, connecting beautifully with the characters in the original films (Episodes IV-VI). Rogue One does those things too but I got involved with this story on the level I used to when I was a kid and I'd lose myself completely in a narrative, to the point where I'd have visceral nightmares about it (as I am with Rogue One). This story felt true.

Here be spoilers. )

Dinner and work

Jan. 18th, 2017 07:49 pm
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
[personal profile] cesy
Present!Cesy is very grateful to Past!Cesy for getting the pigs-in-blankets out of the freezer yesterday.

Dinner so far consists of mocktails, pigs-in-blankets, chocolate brownies, and a few carrot sticks as a nod to health. I might need to add something. It's been one of those days at work and I have more to do. But I'm still smiling, even if at times it verges on a grimace. It's satisfying work in between bouts of frustration.

real life updates

Jan. 18th, 2017 11:27 am
wychwood: Sinclair in the light (B5 - Sinclair light)
[personal profile] wychwood
I keep not posting because I don't have anything particular to talk about, and then not talking about things because I'm out of the habit and busy dealing with them instead of talking.

So I realised that I hadn't actually mentioned one of the biggest things going on right now, which is that my parents are in the process of "downsizing"* and therefore selling my living space. In some ways it's not too bad, because I have finally saved enough to start looking for my own place, although so far I am having virtually zero luck (everything in my price-range and area is either a retirement community, an investment opportunity or a "only for people in key professions" deal). On the other hand, both my parents have a million tons of crap, my mother at least is borderline hoarder in her unwillingness to ever let anything go, and I've spent the last month sorting through leftovers from my siblings because apparently that's my responsibility somehow. Also, it's going to be really sad because this house is amazing and beautiful.

* in quotes because the house they are presently hoping to buy is a seven-bedroom three-storey Victorian which, while having significantly less floor-space than the current enormous mansion, is not by any stretch of the imagination small.

The other kind of "worthy of notification" thing is that sad family news )

So those are the big things that I feel weird about not having mentioned. Maybe now I will get around to talking about some of the ordinary things.

A double dose of Wednesday

Jan. 18th, 2017 03:17 pm
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Barbara Hambly, Pale Guardian - I don't know why it is that I do not like these as much as some of her other series, they are well-written, etc, and will do to be getting on with while we wait for e.g. the next Benjamin January.

Christmas at High Rising - short stories, slight, if quite agreeable.

2 episodes of Tremontaine Season 2.

Simon Brett, The Tomb in Turkey (2015), or, a good deal further from Fethering than usual. One of the better in the series I thought.

Elizabeth Bear, Shattered Pillars (2013), which somehow I had not yet got round to. Even though it's ages since I read the first in the trilogy, got up to speed pretty quickly. V good, was going to go more or less straight on to next, but life things happened and I was more about the comfort reading.

Sharon Lee and Steven Miller, Sleeping with the Enemy (2016 but I think both novellas were published earlier separately). Agreeable enough.

Angela Thirkell, Peace Breaks Out (1946) - took a bit of a risk on this because coming up to the WOEZ WOEZ CLEM ATLEE! NYE BEVAN! post-war whingery, but in fact at the beginning the war isn't even over though peace is in prospect, not that the inhabitants of Barsetshire with whom the narrative is concerned look forward to it with glad anticipation because - they are such status-quo-ites - CHANGE just as they have got used to its being wartime. However peace does break out and there is a general election and Churchill is booted, but if one skims the jeremiads, this was still not bad and hit the spot.

Also hitting the spot, a new KJ Charles I didn't know was in prospect - I know there's a Victorian one coming shortly - Wanted, A Gentleman (2017). Short but v readable.

Laurie R King, The Murder of Mary Russell (2016) - well, that was different. But although opinions on Goodreads seem divided between best/worst in the sequence, I thought this was middling. Unexpected, readable, okay.

And discussed elsewhere, Jack Saul, Sins of the Cities of the Plain(1881).

On the go

Still trying to read that bio of Dorothy Wrinch, I Died for Beauty and sliding off it, which is annoying, because there is a lot about her and her circles I'd like to know.

Up next

Maybe the biography of Elizabeth Inchbald? or another David Wishart that's in my tbr pile.


Jan. 18th, 2017 11:37 am
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
I've kicked this idea around before as a possibility, but I've been thinking more about it since.

People have a great tendency to expect to find underlying truths. Introverts and extroverts are *really* like this underneath. Men and women have blah blah bullshit different brains. Etc.

But my idea of introversion is almost the reverse. I speculate that it's best understood as a catch-all for people who are less social for whatever reason. Two axes I think of (I don't know if this makes sense for other people) is "how much you NEED interaction with other people" and "how EASY you find interaction with other people".

And some of that is who you are, and some of that is circumstance: lots of external factors can make socialising easier or harder, which forms a self-reinforcing feedback loop in how easy you find it. This would predict that some people who aren't that interested, some people who naturally find it difficult, and some people who are prevented by circumstance, are similar in many ways.

And it also ties into the "extroverts gain energy from interaction, introverts spend energy on it" idea which many people endorse. In my way of thinking, that's more of a consequence than a root cause, that you need it a certain amount, and it takes a certain amount of effort to do, and if it refreshes you more than it costs, it leaves you net positive on energy and if it's the other way round, you need a reserve of energy to spend on it.

For instance, I notice with Liv and I, when we're interacting with each other, we need quite similar amounts of time. We can spend a *lot* of time just interacting, but we both need a certain, not that large, amount of time having a break from it too. But it seems to me, Liv is like that with *more* people. Whereas the number of people I can interact with basically indefinitely is quite small.

So my theory is, some people don't *need* that much social interaction, whether or not they find it easy when they need to do it. And other people find it difficult to varying degrees, but act quite similarly when they're with people they *can* interact easily with, but vary in how often they are.

But I don't know if that sounds like it applies to other people, or just how it helped me to think of it.

Gig on Sunday

Jan. 18th, 2017 10:31 am
bugshaw: (Default)
[personal profile] bugshaw
This might go humorously wrong. I signed up again to a social meetup group, and one of the events is a Sofar Secret gig!

You buy a ticket for a city+date, it could be anyone and anywhere - a pub, a gym, a living room - they email the day before with the address.

8 people signed up to the meetup so it looked like a nice event to go to, for some new music and new people. But... I'm the only one who's been successful in buying a ticket, even the meetup organiser is just on the pending list. They have an unusual ticketing mechanism though, a guarantee with your first ticket that you can get 1-2 more (so you can take friends your first time) so I've got 2 more tickets for group members (and one definite taker) but...

EDIT: Two takers, both very pleased to have tickets.

(no subject)

Jan. 18th, 2017 09:16 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] pameladean!

Apple Crumble Cider

Jan. 18th, 2017 07:08 pm
soon_lee: Image of yeast (Saccharomyces) cells (Default)
[personal profile] soon_lee
This Apple Crumble Cider from Zeffer is rather good.
jjhunter: Drawing of human J.J. in red and brown inks with steampunk goggle glasses (red J.J. inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Atul Gawande @ the New Yorker: The Heroism of Incremental Care
Success, therefore, is not about the episodic, momentary victories, though they do play a role. It is about the longer view of incremental steps that produce sustained progress. That, such clinicians argue, is what making a difference really looks like.

[personal profile] siderea: [pols] "hardened against crisis through social programs"
Manufacturing (and exploiting extant) crisis is a way of destabilizing polities and shifting the balance of power. Hardening a society against that line of attack is a matter of civil defense.

Ta-Nehisi Coates @ the Atlantic: My President Was Black
It was birtherism—not trade, not jobs, not isolationism—that launched Trump’s foray into electoral politics.“
It is a quintessentially Obama program—conservative in scope, with impacts that are measurable.


Jan. 17th, 2017 04:09 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Some soothing links since I'm sure we all need them:



Kitten Academy Livestream:
ETA: Ooooooooh KITTANS SO SMOL SO SOFT YAY. Purr squeak bounce wobble nap nap.

Purring Lynx:
Video & Audio:

Purr Yoga:
I'm so pleased this exists. I've been to the cat cafe and I've done (Westernized) yoga; I have not yet done yoga *with* cats BUT I WANT TO.

Cats 'Helping':
Humans carefully remove opossums, alive and well, from their barn. The barn cats watch ... and lend a paw, even ... or do they?
(PS: Please be aware that Chicken Soup for the Soul is a franchise with some questionable corporate choices and lots of failure to warn. This story was OK for me; it features outdoor/semi-indoor cats, other domestic and wild farm animals, and humans trying to cope with that interface by clumsy tactics such as improvised live traps.)

Relaxation Soundtracks:

Binaural Beats for Gamma Brainwaves: (audio in video format)
(I don't know if it *works* exactly, but it puts *me* in a bit of a trance esp. when I can feel the vibration.)

Crickets: (audio in video format)

(may contain R-rated fanfic, adult beverages, and complaining about the weather): Read more... )

Oooh, did I mention blankets? Are you chilly at all? Do you have access to a soft blanket? *pets silky-fuzzy blue microfiber* Thaaaat's right. Nice blankets.
sonia: Quilted wall-hanging (Default)
[personal profile] sonia
what resembles the grave but isn’t by Anne Boyer. What it feels like to resist, and resist, and resist.

Next Steps. I went to an amazingly well-organized and supportive gathering of Jews for Resistance, and this is a website they (already!) made offering next steps in Portland and online.

Safety Pin Box from @RissaoftheWay and @LeslieMac. Women of Color say, if you're going to wear a safety pin, support us financially and with your actions.

Resistance Manual, a project by StayWoke. Open Source list of ways to resist.

ConFusion Schedule

Jan. 17th, 2017 03:15 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I’ll be at ConFusion in Detroit this weekend. It’s one of my favorite cons, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing everyone. (Even though I know I won’t get to see everyone, and I’ll come away on Sunday being frustrated that I didn’t have time to chat with Person X, and only saw Person Y in passing, and hoping they all know it wasn’t a deliberate slight or anything…)

They’ve posted the programming schedule in several formats. If you’re looking for me (or looking to avoid me), here’s where I’ll be.


  • Nothing! I’ll just be hanging out and socializing LIKE A BUM!!!


  • 10 a.m. – Social Media Tips & Tricks for Authors
  • 11 a.m. – Steven Universe discussion with me and Amal El-Mohtar!
  • 5 p.m. – Autograph Session
  • 7 p.m. – Reading with me, Mishell Baker, and Janet Harriett


  • Noon – Here’s What They Did to My Baby! (I think Baby = Book, but you never know…)

Who else is going to be there?

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


Jan. 17th, 2017 12:51 pm
elisem: (Default)
[personal profile] elisem
In another venue, someone asked what kept me going in difficult conversations about stuff that is hurting people and needs changing. Looking at my response to her, I realized I had just written a kind of thank you note. So here, this is for all the people who challenged me to do better.

"What helps me do that is remembering all the times I've been wrong on something and how long it took sometimes for people to get through to me. The ones who changed me profoundly were the ones who did not just pat me on the head for meaning well and give me all sorts of unearned slack, but who instead challenged me to think, to listen, to ponder what other people contributed and why they might think and feel that way, and to look at whether my reflex defense of a particular status quo was costing us in ways we rarely acknowledged. They made me uncomfortable and sometimes I got mad and thrashed around a lot and behaved in ways I wince about now, but their honesty and their insistence that if I applied myself, I could get up to speed on dealing with this stuff and start participating at a much deeper level, changed my life. I am forever grateful to them. Even the ones I was "chewing up nails and spitting out tacks" about back then. Maybe especially them, in fact. It's not the ones who put up with me who taught me. It's the ones who expected better of me, and left the invitation open for me to do the work and join the larger conversation."


Jan. 17th, 2017 06:15 pm
ruthi: a photograph of a dormouse eating a berry (Default)
[personal profile] ruthi
I read two Harry Potter fanfic stories.
(Reparatio, and House Proud, both by Astolat)
It's nice to have people writing stories to share.
And places to share them.
I really like the Archive of Our Own,
the way it is searchable, the way that once I am logged in it remembers,so if I opened a story in a tab then it is in my History, and I can go find and read it.
The way I can bookmark stories. And download stories.

Last night I wished for cross-searchability by oh, relationship tag + bookmarked by user. Or fandom + bookmarked by user. Or more fine-grained searches than that. I wonder if that can already be done. I wonder if it's easy or hard or impossible.

I have two! bookmarks on my Harry Potter fanfic there. The story I wrote, I mean. It gives me a thrill every time someone leaves kudos it, but the bookmarks are an even bigger thrill.

There's a bit in House Proud, where Professor Slughorn is talking to a post-Hogwarts Harry Potter, and it felt creepy to me, because of my Professor Slughorn headcanon. I creeped myself out. Hee.

A thing I did!

Jan. 17th, 2017 01:09 pm
lizcommotion: a hand drawn/colored happy cane (disability cane happy)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
I did a thing! A local activist-y thing, even!

I have been calling so many representatives lately that it has become (slightly) less terrifying and so I decided to contact my local board of representatives about a thing that has been bothering me For Awhile. Namely, that it's really unaffordable to use the local rec centers if you're on, say, disability benefits and yet while there is a very wonderful and deserving senior discount there is no discount for "disabled and poor af". (Another thing that bothers me: only one doctor has ever really acknowledged "I would love to get pool exercise, but it's too expensive" as a real thing.)

I got a response as well! Which is excite. The response was (translated from politics-speak) "huh this sounds like an idea that we would like the photo-ops and political capital from, we never thought of that. we're sending it to the correct department to see if it's in the budget and we'll blame them if we can't make it happen. but thanks for the idea!"

So, we'll see?

If you're interested in sending a similar letter to your own reps, here what I sent with space for specifics for your jurisdiction. It's US-focused since it's based on the US benefits system, but could be adapted for other countries. Places for specifics are marked with [[[parentheses]]] so you can find/replace.

text of letter for your editing pleasure )

Brief Health Update

Jan. 17th, 2017 10:20 am
monanotlisa: Finn looking at Rey the way you want your person to look at you (rey/finn - the force awakens)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
So I hear Unfortunate Eyelid is the name of [personal profile] elfin's post-rock violin trio.

But, I am doing better )

Days 5 & 6: Active relaxing

Jan. 17th, 2017 10:55 am
jesse_the_k: Flannery Lake is a mirror reflecting reds violets and blues at sunset (Rosy Rhinelander sunset)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
We're finally into the vacation spirit, doing almost nothing and feeling the bliss.

Sunday I rolled to the Gulf Coast YMCA branch. The water was deliciously warm at 85°. I neglected to bring my flippers, so only swam 8 lengths in my allotted time, but that's why I exercise to time, not distance.

The pool may be filled with filtered sea water: it's certainly soft enough.

I streamed the first half hour of the final Sherlock to my massive disappointment. As always, [ profile] plaidadder nails it

begin quote
I think that I may fairly make two postulata:
  • 1) Whatever about series 5, this episode was designed to be the last episode of Sherlock that Moffat and Gatiss would make.
  • 2) It should be.
end quote

We walked over Mississippi Sound on the 2 mile bridge connecting Biloxi and Ocean Springs. The view, the sun, the breeze, were exhilarating. My traditional direct attention to the water photo memorializes one stop:

Sitting on the walkway, framed by intense blue sky, woman in powerchair points to Mississippi Sound )

Home to nap, and finish The Final Problem. Wow, that was terrible. (As with most Sherlock canon, there were a handful of wonderful moments, but...thank god for fanfic. I heartily recommend all of [ profile] plaidadder's.)

We then drove back to Biloxi to assess what was where. The beachside road is furnished with a wide array of architecture: brick Waffle Houses; massive casinos; 1940s apartment buildings; humble 900 sq ft shotgun houses, Frank Gehry's typically bizarre Ohr-O'Keefe Museum, and the Biloxi Visitor's Center, a majestic three-story former mansion.

In my brief time here, I've seen scores of historical markers, displays, websites, pamphlets. Based solely on the ones I've seen, the only people on the Gulf Coast have been the immigrant waves of French, English, Spanish, and "Americans." Africans aren't mentioned anywhere. This is what it looks like to be written out of the narrative.

The third Monday in January has officially been "Robert E Lee's Birthday" in Mississippi, until this year. Twitter shaming played a part in the Biloxi City Council voting unanimously to bring the holiday in line with the Federal designation of Martin Luther King's Birthday.

We finished our day with a promising but ultimately dull meal at Mosaic. MyGuy liked his pulled-pork quesadilla. My ceviche & rice-stuffed portobello was tasty, but not enough to write home about, although I seem to have done so.

Time to swim!

oursin: Photograph of Queen Victoria, overwritten with Not Amused (queen victoria is not amused)
[personal profile] oursin

Have been reading - it's pretty short - THE SINS OF THE CITIES of the PLAIN, OR THE RECOLLECTIONS OF A MARY-ANN WITH SHORT ESSAYS ON SODOMY and TRIBADISM by Jack Saul (privately printed in London, 1881, now available courtesy of Project Gutenberg), famous work of Victorian gay (though not exclusively) porn, featuring a certain amount of RPF in that Boulton and Park feature among the characters. However, I think that may be to convey a sense of verisimilitude and reportage to the narrative, and had it been written c. 1890 our narrator would be having been hanging out with Podge Somerset and telegraph boys in Cleveland Street...

One can quite see why it was considered an obscene work by the Victorians, given that sexual relations between men were criminal at the time.

However, the present day content warnings would be for problematic consent (there's a consistent trope that's applied across the board where there's a shift from 'aaaargh stop' to 'ooooh don't stop' from initiating a virgin to fladge), child sexual abuse, and what I suspect are undesirable lubrication practices, if this happens at all. Also some episodes that are not fun fladge but serious sadism.

It includes a number of scenarios that seem pretty stock Vict-porn - brother-sister incest (adults, consensual, and in fact incest wasn't a crime until 1908), birching, voyeurism, young men cross-dressed as girls (though voluntarily and not forced feminisation) and group sex in sandwiches and daisy-chains. Several of these had me going, would that be even possible?

Also enormous erections. And reference to the narrator's membrum virile as 'Mr Pego'.

Mostly about male-male sex, with some m-f activity (in and out of orgies), but although there is an appendix on 'Tribadism': ' a vice which every man in his heart looks on with kindly eyes' not much to offer in the f-f line.

LJ/Dreamwidth backup

Jan. 17th, 2017 03:33 pm
bugshaw: (Default)
[personal profile] bugshaw
I've just imported my LJ into Dreamwidth, it all seemed to go quickly and smoothly. This is a crosspost test.

Not being sarcastic

Jan. 17th, 2017 03:18 pm
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
There's a title I didn't expect to use :)

I've always enjoyed sarcasm: not as a put-down, but as crafting just the perfect thing to say. And I still do, when I'm not arguing with the person I'm talking to. If I'm expressing frustration, or ranting, or humorously exaggerating, or doing anything where I don't expect someone to disagree, I often express things sarcastically if I find it funny.

But inspired by ciphergoth, I've recently been noticing that I often have an impulse to be sarcastic when someone says something I massively disagree with, but it usually means that I'm very certain, but I *don't* have any facts to hand which will be convincing to *someone else*. (It may be effective to onlookers who aren't already entrenched against what I think, but not at persuading someone who disagrees.)

If I think, "how would I phrase the basic point I'm making in a non-sarcastic way", it's generally something like, "I think that's really wrong", but without much specifics. And I've been making an effort to say nothing, or say the straight-forward version.

Resistance Manual launches today

Jan. 17th, 2017 07:08 am
serene: mailbox (Default)
[personal profile] serene
I just got this email from Deray McKesson, and I have found my new project. I hope some of you will join, too.

Today, we launch the Resistance Manual -- an open-source platform to collect information/resources to resist Trump's agenda & to continue making progress towards equity and justice in America.

Explore the manual to learn about the policies the incoming administration plans to pursue, how they'll impact our communities, and what you can do to stop them through federal, state, and local advocacy.

You can also find and contribute essential readings in resistance, learn and contribute information about policy issues in your state, and view a growing list of tools and organizations that can help to strengthen your advocacy efforts.

The manual will grow over time as more and more people contribute updates, facts and resources to it. As such, we encourage you to contribute important information for others to read.

If you would like to assist us in growing the content within the Resistance Manual, please reply to this e-mail directly. [The email came from deray at thisisthemovement dot org, but the wiki recommends as a contact address.]

We also urge you to dial (844)-6-RESIST to tell Congress to support the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and to vote against Jeff Sessions.

Get educated. Get organized. Take Action.

// DeRay, Netta, Brittany, & Sam

P.S. Shout-out to Chi/Donahoe for assisting with Design.

# of American adults who support the Black Lives Matter movement: 104 million
# of American adults who voted for Donald Trump: 63 million
# of reported incidents of hate since the election: 1094+
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

Four years ago this weekend, I went in for triple-bypass surgery to fix three clogged arteries. I wrote one final entry in my blog, “How I Pray To God” – which I wrote as though it were the last thing I might ever get to say – and then the doctors put me under.

The recovery from the triple-bypass was bad. Very bad. Life-changingly bad. I’ve not been officially diagnosed, but I do have some form of flashbacks and emotional trauma whenever someone goes through heart problems.

Last week, I went in for my four-year checkup – a radiation stress test on the treadmill.

Which I failed.

The stress test showed two arteries with partial blockage. Which… might or not be a problem. If I have a problem, the perfusion stress test is literally the most efficient tool at seeking it out – it’s 92% likely to pick up any serious issues.

Unfortunately, if you don’t have a serious issue, the test has a 30% chance of delivering a false positive.

What’s happening next is that I have to go in for a catheterization where they run a tube up the artery in my leg to look directly at my heart. If it’s a false positive (as my doctor believes), then we laugh and say “Well, weren’t you lucky!” If not, they put in stents to wedge my arteries open, which is a minor procedure and can be done outpatient (but they prefer an overnight stay).

Worse, the doctor who does these catheterizations is on vacation for two weeks, and so I have to wait to make an appointment at his office to make a reservation at the hospital to do all this, which means probably a month minimum of stress and concern.

The doctor calls this “minor course corrections.” Clearly, he’s okay waiting two weeks to do anything; I’ve seen the pictures of my arteries and yeah, it looks really minor.

But it also has a feeling of inevitability. I’ve been exercising more, eating better, trying my best to keep myself healthy, and it’s still back. This feels very much like creeping death – my first blockage was largely the result of a genetic disorder that floods my system with small-particle cholesterol, and at the age of 47 I’m feeling very very mortal. I’m genuinely wondering if I’ll make it to 50, which is a shitty overreaction because this is probably fine, but damn, what happened to me during the bypass seriously fucked me up.

And I think of Hamilton:

*Why do you write like you’re running out of time?*

I am. I very much am. Even if I’m healthy, I am. I hear the clock tick with each heart beat, knowing that each one is no longer guaranteed. And I should be telling more friends directly, but honestly, I can barely bring myself to text about this, so if you’re hearing about this indirectly it’s not that I don’t love you it’s that, well, this is about the bets I can do right now.

And I think of that final post I made; the one where I thought I was going to die. It’s still a good post. If I do die, well, remember me for that.

In the meantime, I am most likely going to be fine, even if I have to get stents. “Course correction,” the doctor says. And it is.

Yet when you’re sitting in a darkened bedroom, trying to get to sleep, and all you can hear is the erratic rhythm of your heart, wondering whether each pulse will be your last – or whether you’ll wind back in the powerless hell of the ventilator – it’s hard to see the good in life.

The joy will come back. It generally does. But for right now, I’m going to curl up into a ball and recover as best I can.

Message ends.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

(no subject)

Jan. 17th, 2017 09:54 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] ranunculus!

Baking: Nadiya’s Kitchen

Jan. 17th, 2017 08:34 am
nanila: little and wicked (naughty)
[personal profile] nanila
I've used baking as a form of stress relief - and to keep myself away from back-lit screens - off and on for years.

I received Nadiya’s Kitchen, the cookbook by 2015’s Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussein, as a birthday present last year. Apart from admiring the photos of her, her food and her adorable children making and eating the food, I hadn’t really done much with it. So I’ve decided to, you know, spend some time making the recipes. Since she won GBBO for cooking fancy desserts, I’m starting with the easiest baked goods recipes. Here’s what I’ve attempted thus far.

Biscotti: Oh man, these turned out really well. Better than Paul Hollywood's. (His “Bread” book is typically the one we turn to when making, er, bread.) I didn’t have everything in her recipe, so instead of cranberries there were sultanas and instead of currants there were chopped dried apricots. It didn’t matter in the slightest. They are delicious and are being yummed up by the family at an alarming rate.

Grapefruit cat’s tongues: These are a sort of madeleine-like biscuit, except thinner. Butter, icing sugar, egg whites, flour and a bit of salt. No bicarb - all the fluff comes from the egg whites. The biscuits are supposed to be piped onto the baking paper, which I couldn’t be bothered with, so I just treated the dough like I would for a drop-cookie and made little blobs that spread out into circles. Delicious, melt-in the mouth circles. Again, I didn’t have a grapefruit handy so I zested a lemon instead. I suspect any citrus flavouring, or vanilla, could be substituted into this recipe.

Honeycomb: This was my first failure. Honeycomb should be ridiculously easy to make. It is, after all, simply sugar, honey and bicarb. Somehow mine fell flat. I heated the sugar and honey and stirred until it all went golden, but my two teaspoons of bicarb produced only dispirited fizzing and not the vigorous bubbling it ought to have done. The bloke and I puzzled over this and tested the bicarb in some lemon juice, whereupon it behaved as normal. We concluded that perhaps our local Worcestershire honey was simply not acidic enough, and that next time I should add a splash of balsamic or lemon juice to produce the desired air bubbles. What I made is more like very chewy toffee. It still tastes good though.

(no subject)

Jan. 16th, 2017 09:44 pm
serene: mailbox (Default)
[personal profile] serene
I wish I could bottle whatever's getting me to actually write every day and submit my work. I would be a kajillionaire.


Jan. 16th, 2017 07:11 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Tried to be awake. Succeeded only comparatively briefly. Am concerned.

Tried to find food that sounded edible. Succeeded partially.

Went for a short walk. Got cold. Came home.

Worried about work. And other things.

Wrote 761 words in my currently-working-on setting, counting heavily personal meta parenthetical asides that are probably less than a third of the total. Declined to delete them as they seemed integral to the piece as it currently stands, although I will be yanking out tidbits if I want to turn this into any sort of scene in the current main story. Wasn't there supposed to be one short story that made narrative sense, and introduced characters and key aspects of the setting, and had a conclusion that left a sequel hook? Why is it all coming out prose-poem and world-building? But I *have* been writing more. I have. The number one goal right now is to set that habit. I need to keep going.

(When the going is tough-)

you want it cheaper

Jan. 16th, 2017 04:59 pm
metaphortunate: (Default)
[personal profile] metaphortunate
In "Steer Your Way", the second to last song on Leonard Cohen's last album You Want It Darker, Cohen (the Jewish king of Christian allusions, always reminding me of Asher Lev) sings "As he died to make men holy/ let us die to make things cheap". Which, yes, irony, This Modern World, etc., but I also think about this statement which has been floating unattributed, yes I looked, around the internet:
If it’s inaccessible to the poor it’s neither radical nor revolutionary.
In my experience, the only real way to make things accessible to other than elites is to make them cheap. I'm not here to say that people should die to make things cheap, I find myself unqualified to say what people should die for, this is not a pro-Foxconn post, but it does seem to me that making the good things in life cheap is, in itself, a good thing. Worth pursuing, anyway.

Incidentally, I'd been worried that I had been losing some of my enjoyment in music, I'm sick of everything I've heard recently, and then I thought to pull up You Want It Darker on Spotify. It's wonderful. It's all I've wanted to listen to recently. The Junebug made me turn it off in the car because "It's too scary for me!"


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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