Some of this is hinted at and foreshadowed in two recent blog posts over on my other blog:
Just 'doing it for attention' - some thoughts on reasons behind self harm
High Stakes Gambling - on turning into skid when hitting hypomania
I'm currently crawling out from under a few hangovers - actual one brought on by a near uninterrupted 1 month drinking binge (something which is increasingly doing me a concern and I may post later on how I feel about drinking and working through some stuff there) and financial one from hypomanic spending and associated costs of going on a bit of a bender.
Friendships are groaning at the seams and I need to put energy in there too.
I'm hopeful things are looking up, professionally, for me in September but there is still uncertainty and multiple factors at play there. I'm also giving dating another spin of the wheel after wedding of friend who met now-husband on OK Cupid, which I attended with another friend who has recently embarked on a positive-looking relationship with someone from Match.com. Realisation that my perfect "our eyes locked over the organic avocados" meet-cute moment ain't gonna happen and I need to put some energy in there.
In all: life.
Having cashflow problems, some of which are my fault, and some of which are other people's fault, and all of which are beyond my control and therefore incredibly frustrating.
Cashflow problems meaning I am having to cancel on commitments, which I hate doing.
Politics in general is full of arseholes who keep arsing.
Work is frustrating, because I can't do the things I need to do for various stupid reasons (also beyond my control).
Have had no sleep and lots of pointless arguments with members of household, which means I am dangerously low on spoons, grumpy and frazzled.
And to top it all, my right tit is a big scabby painful mess.
Here's hoping you lot are all a bit happier...
I want to talk about one of the exercises, which aims to shake out key bits of "how other people should change to make you feel valued". To do this, one is to quickly and without thinking much, complete the sentences:
* I wish other people were more ______.
* Why is it so hard for people to ______?
* For a change, I would love someone to treat me like ______.
* Maybe one of these days I'll find someone who will ______.
* In an ideal world with good people, other people would ______.
( Continued inside... )
Tomorrow night there is a storytelling event at a coffee house from 7 to 9. "The event will showcase a selection of community storytellers sharing stories on the theme of food and farm. We’ve invited six storytellers — writers, poets, performers, journalists, speakers — to prepare true, personal stories and share them in front of a live audience." I'd like to go. I am always interested in anything that could help me become a better storyteller.
I could skip rounds.
I could leave rounds 10 minutes early and go to both, but I hate getting up when everyone else is still sitting patiently, and also that would be a very long evening for me.
I could just stay home. Staying home is always good.
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go | Ballroom Blitz | Shut Up and Dance | It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) | Cum On Feel The Noize | We're Not Gonna Take It | I Wanna Be Sedated | Immigrant Song | Fat Bottomed Girls
...okay, maybe I do have a lot of options. Not as many as some of the others, but I'm not running out.
( I have no idea what show or movie this was made from, but it's awesome )
Aunt needed some space. Her mom is over there taking care of cousin. We'll see them tomorrow.
We hiked up to the top of the ridge, added stones to a cairn, and said a few words.
My aunt on my mom's side and one of her grown sons, my oldest cousin, met us for dinner at the lodge, and we talked.
The woods here are so lovely--
I'll try to hold out till this weekend to start another. Need to make them last.
Joy of joys a 4 day weekend coming up, because July4 is on Tues., due to some boss or town manipulations we will also be closed Mon. That's never happened before.
( 56. The House of Shattered Wings - Aliette de Bodard ) Ultimately too dark for me, and for the plot to work for me, but I'm not giving up on de Bodard. This series, maybe.
( 57. The Young Stepmother and 59. The Carbonels - Charlotte M Yonge ) The Carbonels is not great, but The Young Stepmother is solid (for values of Charlotte Yonge).
( 58. Mortal Engines - Philip Reeve ) I've read worse; SFF-minded children might enjoy it, and there's definitely worse out there.
( 60. A Closed and Common Orbit - Becky Chambers ) Like the first one; entertaining, sometimes interesting, would probably read more, but I was not blown away.
( 61. The Art of Deception - Nora Roberts ) An acceptable-enough Harlequin, if you can get past the standard "consent is UNMANLY" elements.
( 62. Green Rider - Kristen Britain ) A solid fantasy - I want to read the rest of the series, now.
( 63. Too Like the Lightning - Ada Palmer ) A nasty unpleasant piece of work, with some potentially interesting ideas and worldbuilding that couldn't sustain my enjoyment in the face of the rest of it.
( 64. All the Birds in the Sky - Charlie Jane Anders ) Ultimately a bit unmemorable, although I enjoyed it well enough in the reading.
( 65. Words are My Matter - Ursula Le Guin ) Somewhat insubstantial, unfortunately.
( 66. The Geek Feminist Revolution - Kameron Hurley ) A much better collection - I like Hurley's nonfic much more than her novels!
( 67. Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet - Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze ) Definitely not your typical superhero comic, even your typical thoughtful superhero comic; I'm interested to see where they take this.
( Four Mantlemass books - Barbara Willard ) Classic English children's books, and still well worth reading. I should make sure I get hold of the others.
Numbers 16:29-30If these men die the common death of all men, and be visited after the visitation of all men, then the LORD hath not sent Me. But if the LORD make a new thing, and the ground open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down alive into the pit, then ye shall understand that these men have despised the LORD.
'Make a new thing' is a doubled use of the same Hebrew root letters, and that root is the root used in Genesis 1 to describe God's Creation of the world, so trying to preserve some of the sense of the Hebrew we might render it 'Create a creation'. Which is terribly infelicitous, so.
There is a debate among the more philosophical commentators about the nature of miracles. Rambam holds that God set in motion the natural laws of the world- physics, in a nut shell, and then because God is the Unity at the center of creation, God is able to alter those natural laws to effectuate something outside of them. Ramban, instead, holds that all of creation is constantly and miraculously being instantiated by God and that what seem to be miraculous violations of the natural laws of physics are just naturally within God's power. Both Rambam and Ramban are incredibly subtle and complicated thinkers and it's hard to say what either meant. It's possible this is not a debate and that they're truly in agreement. I do not claim to understand their teachings, which is why this post. But let's assume this is a debate as at least a starting axiom.
There's a third position, one which is at the same time even more naturalistic than Rambam and less, or which may be what Rambam is actually saying, I'm not sure. And it derives from this moment in the story of Korach.
Pirkei Avot 5:6 : Ten things were created on the eve of the [first] Shabbat at twilight. And these are they: The mouth of the earth [that swallowed Korach in Numbers 16:32]; and the mouth of the well [that accompanied the Israelites in the wilderness in Numbers 21:17]; and the mouth of the donkey [that spoke to Bilaam in Numbers 22:28–30]; and the rainbow [that served as a covenant after the flood in Genesis 9:13]; and the manna [that God provided the Israelites in the wilderness in Exodus 16:4–21]; and the staff [of Moshe]; and the shamir (the worm that helped build the Temple without metal tools); and the letters; and the writing; and the tablets [all of the latter three, of the Ten Commandments]. And some say, also the destructive spirits, and the burial place of Moshe, our teacher, and the ram of Abraham, our father. And some say, also the [first human-made] tongs, made with [Divine] tongs.
This is a really complicated Mishna that I don't understand at all, but it seems clear from the fact that the first item on the list is the mouth of the Earth that it's the phrase "Create a creation" that is the source for this logic. (I don't have the sources for all of the other things in this Mishna. I think the fact that the other two mouths are mentioned sbusequently suggests that the Earth-mouth is the source for all three of those. And I'm pretty sure there's no Torah source for the bit at the end about tongs, which is why it's just part of the 'and some say'... all that is purely Midrash Aggada) The Mishna is saying that Moses asked God to invoke a miracle of creation and this mouth that had been created at Creation and set up to swallow Korach swallowed up Korach. And it raises a lot of questions. It seems to be a response to this question of the nature of miracles, and its answer is in one sense more naturalistic than the Rambam: Not only is the world run according to natural laws set in motion at creation, but even things that apparently work outside of the laws of nature are actually naturally set in motion at creation as part of a special step in creation that took place Bein Hashmashot of Erev Shabbat.
Yet this is a hugely problematic theory for Jews because it seems to propose a completely deterministic universe where an intervention like the Earth swallowing up Korach for sinning against Moses and God can be preprogrammed as part of creation. If this is the case, where is free will? Where is Korach's ability to choose on his own whether or not to sin, if this preprogrammed miracle Earth-mouth was created as part of the Creation of the World?
(I think we may contest the term 'hoarders' for people with lotsaboox, hmmmm?)
In most of those cases I think we do see a real love of books, though I'm not sure about Hearst and whether 'ostentation' was not on his mind rather than use?
In some cases those appear to be the personal libraries that have fetched up in public collections, and one wonders whether there was a certain amount of weeding and selection at the point of accession. (I'm not saying that Houdini or Arendt also had vast collections of pulp westerns or school stories or whatever, but I'm not ruling out that choices were made at some point.)
And indeed, while calling your private collection 'the Library of the History of Human Imagination' is indeed quite a long way along the pretentiousness scale, I look at that picture: 'It has three levels, a glass bridge, floating platforms' and feel a certain covetousness.
And even if it's ponceyness turned up to 11, it's not as cringe-making as this, which crossed my radar pretty much on the same day: Meet The App That Revolutionized Book Reading For 2 Million People
We sort through the approximately 2,200,000 books published worldwide to find the best nonfiction books out there. Then, our subject specialists, writers, and editors identify the key ideas from each of these hand-selected books and transform them into smart, useful summaries of insights we lovingly polish and refine until they are nothing but the absolute most essential elements of the writer’s main ideas. We do the filtering for you, then we share those ideas with you the way your dream-friend would.Tonstant Weader called for a stiff drink.
*'Twenty-two acknowledged concubines, and a library of sixty-two thousand volumes, attested the variety of his [Gordian II's] inclinations; and from the productions which he left behind him, it appears that the former as well as the latter were designed for use rather than for ostentation.' Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol I.
If you’re a science fiction fan, you’ve probably heard of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. If you’re not, here’s the cheat sheet straight from the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas:
“The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction of the year was established in 1987 by James Gunn, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at KU, and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon, including his partner Jayne Engelhart Tannehill and Sturgeon’s children, as an appropriate memorial to one of the great short-story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction.”
The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award is a juried award as well, with this year’s jury including Elizabeth Bear, Andy Duncan, James Gunn, Kij Johnson, and Nöel Sturgeon (one of Sturgeon’s children and trustee of the Theodore Sturgeon Literary Estate).
It’s kind of a big deal for the science fiction field. And Cat Valente is it’s latest recipient.
That’s right: Cat’s short story “The Future is Blue,” published in Drowned Worlds (edited by Jonathan Strahan) took the prize! As you may have already seen on Twitter, Cat is incredibly excited, chuffed, and all-around honored to be awarded the Sturgeon Award.
Learn more about the award and past winners at the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award’s site.
So I'm stuck trying to figure out... are there songs I associate with the racist sexist step-uncle in Arkansas? With the kids who harassed me for being terrible at sports? With the teacher who gave me detention for reading in class? (I wasn't reading what everyone else was, because I'd finished it.) With the evil ex?
Wait, yes! There's a song that I like very much, that is so tangled with the evil ex (it was on one of his mix tapes) that I can't listen to it without unpleasant memories. :( Which is as close as I get to "a song that reminds you of someone you'd rather forget," I think.
( This song is far too mellow for the associations I have with it. )
We spent one week in Almaty and one week in Astana, with a day in Bishkek and a train journey across Kazakhstan. It was every bit as wonderful as I could have imagined, and we had an amazing time. The people are so lovely and the cities so beautiful.
Almost to the point where I wanted to give up and just pretend.
But I can't. Too many people are being/will be treated horribly so I have to do what I can to combat the evil.
At work I've done a trial run of citizenship classes. We had a few people inquire and I'd been working on learning how to teach them because it was something I thought I might be able to do. I just contacted 4 people, only 2 have made it, but it's enough to give me an idea of how to teach this stuff and how to structure the class etc. So, this week will be the last 2 classes for them. I will then start up again in August. This gives us time to advertise and for me to get better prepared.
The last class though I was tempted to ask them why they wanted to do this, after the way this country is going, I myself was ready to run.
This weekend I pulled back a lot and only checked online briefly, just to get an idea of what's going on. I really needed the break. I needed to get back to some of the things I've let slide, and take care of myself which I really haven't been doing. Yesterday I had lunch with an old boss/friend. We hadn't seen each other in quite some time, spent 3 hours at lunch and then went to Barnes & Noble which was nearby and spent almost another hour. I ended up buying a few puzzles, it's a really good way for me to wind down. I started on one today and it has been fun.
I've caught up on some cleaning and what not that has fallen by the wayside, and this weekend I'm going to a bicycle shop to look at purchasing.
I put that off too long. I was trying to research a bit to find out what I was looking for, but didn't get too far before feeling lost. I found a couple of bicycle shops in the area so I'm going to go check them out.
I've been watching White Collar. I hadn't finished the series, so went back to the beginning since I couldn't remember where I left off.
I have done some reading.
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. Mostly fun, but really it was reading a Midsomer Murders but with different detective, got a little bored/annoyed at times. Would recommend if you like cozy British mysteries. I wouldn't rave about it though, but it did kickstart my reading again.
Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish. Interesting story. It's a past and present story, takes place in London of mid1600s and present. An academic woman near the end of her career discovering some documents (well a former student found them in his house during some remodeling and after having her look at them sells them to her university). They are documents written by a rabbi about trying to grow/teach the Jewish community in London of the mid1600s. Turns out though that the scribe is a Jewish woman, who ends up writing to various philosophers of the time, and so the story covers how all of that came about and the research into trying to find out exactly who this woman is and what happened. There were some dull moments for me but mostly I enjoyed the book. I liked the idea.
I have to read about half of the Count of Monte Cristo in 2 weeks for book discussion. I read it a while ago but details are gone so it will be almost like a new story.
Apparently I wasn't supposed to like prog rock (puts on "Karn Evil 9," ha.) Also, I was amused after a fashion that though the Mellotron was mentioned twice, the Moody Blues (Days of Future Past, To Our Childrens Childrens Children et al.?) had been disappeared from the narrative. They're still touring last time I looked.
I do wish that people who would still be listening to Patti Page and singing along with Mitch Miller if not for rhythm, blues, jazz, and rock 'n' roll stop trying to claim rock 'n' roll as theirs.
During the week, baked a loaf of the Shipton Mill 3 Malts and Sunflower Organic Brown Flour.
Friday supper: Gujerati khichchari - absentmindedly used ground cumin rather than cumin seed but I don't think the effect was disastrous.
Saturday breakfast rolls: the adaptable soft rolls recipe, 2:2:1 strong white/wholemeal/dark rye flours with maple sugar and sour cherries.
Today's lunch: redfish fillets rubbed with Cajun seasoning, brushed with milk and egg and coated in panko crumbs, panfried in olive oil, served with steamed samphire tossed in butter and baby leeks healthy-grilled in avocado oil and splashed with gooseberry vinegar.
Tomorrow I am going up to Scotland to stay with my mother and be her chief assistant child-wrangler. I volunteered for this, I wanted to do it, but now I am really panicky about it.
It's partly child-related anxieties (small people! what do I do! aargh!) and partly just the prospect of my mother for a week unleavened by any other adult.
She will want to talk about politics. To give you a flavour, she's against wind-farms, believes that nationalisation improved the railways and thinks that Corbyn is the Anti-Christ.
I am also having packing panic, and trying to decide what I want to wear next week. It's Scotland. It will be cold. It will rain at some point. I want all the clothes and then some more.
Thank you for writing me a story! My childhood favorites are not sacred and I'm interested in seeing however you see fit to explore them.
Here were my prompts:
Cyber.kdz - Bruce Balan
Fandom tl;dr: Teenage adventures with dial-up modems!
I love this fandom so much. The idea of the Net as this unregulated frontier where kids could make a difference because only their actions, not their appearances, mattered. And the found family, who bickered with each other endlessly but ultimately stood up for each other when someone needed it.
The Grounding of Group Six - Julian F. Thompson
Fandom tl;dr: Just an ordinary story about ordinary kids at an alternative school involving lots of camping
My usual request for this fandom is pure trollfic: Write a fluffy school story with none of the darkness of the original canon and act like that's all that's there. To see if you can lure unsuspecting people into the ridiculousness that is this book. Basically write a fic as if the cover story from the end of the book, where Group Six was just overlooked and nobody remembered to recall them, were true.
I realize this is a deeply specific request and I am fine if you disregard it and write something that actually engages with the story as it actually exists.
Westing Game - Ellen Raskin
Fandom tl;dr: Chess and mystery and money and wordplay and family, complicated family
I love everything about the Westing Game and its twisty, emotionally complicated payoff, and would love to see more about any character.
I also have this theory... let me dig it up.
Sam Westing is involved in a car accident leading up to his disappearance which is an extremely mysterious event. It is apparently real- Sykes's limp is real, not faked, per Chris, and the only limp in the book not the result of a Turtle kick. And it results in facial disfiguration for Sam, but of a sort that is dramatic enough to render him unrecognizable to his ex-wife when he is Sandy, but not enough that he cannot mask it (presumably with makeup?) when he is in his Northrup or Eastman guise. I do not understand the import of the accident. If the accident is what changed his outlook on life, why wait 20 years after for his revenge/game/reparations?
...For Turtle to be Sam's rightful heir, she has to ultimately 'win' the game, which most straightforwardly means either a)finding the fourth or b)beating Sam at chess, which JJ and Theo never managed and nobody else in the game ever attempted. But Sam is not the kind of person who happily loses games. Sam's game is set up so that neither Turtle nor JJ nor anyone else has to win, but... what happens to Eastman's money in that scenario, if Turtle loses? Does he have to set up another Westing game with new heirs to manipulate? Is there the possiblity that this is not the first Westing game he has run? Is the quest for heirs the thing which has occupied the twenty years since Westing's disappearance?
So basically I would love to see a take on a different Westing Game, a different grasping and overly manipulative attempt for redemption from Sam Westing.
Sizzle & Splat Series - Ronald Kidder
Fandom tl;dr: Youth orchestra members, clarinetist and tubist, team up to fight crime.
Hans Kleiman is my favorite character in the series but I'll take anything with Sizzle and/or Splat. I love Kleiman's fusion of games and music, as a passionate enthusiast of both myself. I wish there were more of him, I wish he didn't have to die to impel the story's action, because his chemistry with Sizzle is wonderful.
Star Voyager Academy - William Forstchen
Fandom tl;dr: Book 1: Harry Potter at Starfleet Academy. Book 2: Harry Potter on his first mission for Starfleet. Book 3: Harry Potter is an alcoholic former Starfleet officer enlisted to make first contact with aliens
I think I'd like to actually see the war, you know? The part bizarrely skipped between books 2 and 3, where everything went to shit in utterly predictable but no less tragic ways.
i ship Matt/Justin, I ship Tanya/Justin, I ship Thor/Jason, I ship Tanya/Madison... Not so interested in Justin/Brian or Matt/Brian, I think. And I'd also love gen. Falcon fighting gen! Complicated morally ambiguous battle gen! Academy hijinks gen!
19.A song that makes you think about life
Rizzo's story is sadly overlooked in many productions of Grease, perhaps because this song is the only time that any of it is directly expressed (although it's very much there in the film, if one looks for it in her expressions and tones of voice) - but she's perhaps the only character who understands the whole game that everybody is playing, and conciously chooses how much to engage.