(no subject)

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:48 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon reminds us that the 2017-18 school year is coming, and [tumblr.com profile] positivelypt has a post up with links to wishlists for underserved classrooms. You can check out the list, give, and reblog here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.


Help For Free:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] globalsextrendsproject, who are working on an independent research projected aimed at establishing whether there are global trends in stimuli for sexual arousal and the content of sexual fantasies. You can read more and reblog here or fill out the form here. I took a quick breeze through the form and it's primarily short-answer rather than multiple choice, once you get past the demographic stuff.


Activism:

[tumblr.com profile] stabulous has a post up about Welcome Blanket, a project initiated by the Smart Museum of Art in Chicago and anti-Trump craftivists. They are asking people to send handmade blankets to be exhibited at the Smart and afterwards distributed to refugees and immigrants arriving in the US. The hope is to create 3200 blankets to equal the length of the wall Trump wants to build across the US-Mexico border. You can read more at the link above, and find out how to participate at the official site, which includes activism resources whether you want to actually send in a blanket or not.


News To Know:

[personal profile] brainwane linked to Creative Commons, which is offering grants of up to USD$1000 for small projects ("Salons, campaigns, translations, e-books, printing, collaborations, and more") which grow the global commons. They want help increasing discovery, collaboration, and advocacy towards their mission. You can read more and apply for a grant here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] dr-kara's new comic available on ComixOlogy, [Super]Natural Attraction! Kara is well-known to me as a groovy artist who does cool stuff so while I haven't read this yet I wholeheartedly recommend her work. She has a rebloggable post about it here and you can buy and read it here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
neotoma: "Squee!" goes the bunny (SqueeBunny)
[personal profile] neotoma
I went with [personal profile] fabrisse, [personal profile] greenygal, and A Person Without A Psuedonym to see Dunkirk today.

I highly recommend it, especially if you can see it in a dedicated 70mm screen. There are deaths -- it's a war movie -- but gore is actually fairly minimal. The tension, otoh, is intense. Hans Zimmer scored the movie with the recurring motif of a ticking watch, and even when you can hear the watch, there's a relentless rhythm under the score. And when there's no score, it's usually because the music is replaced with something awful, like the screaming of a Stuka bomber.

The movie is surprisingly short -- just 106 minutes -- and has three intertwining sections: The Mole, about the soldiers on the beach and the mole which is the only way of loading soldiers onto the big ships, as there is no harbor they have access to and loading from the beach would require ships with a draft of three feet or less; The Sea, about one of the Little Ships of Dunkirk; and The Air, about an RAF pilot.

I do suggest you go with someone whose hand you can grab, because as I said, the movie is intense.
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
[personal profile] neotoma
Pita, spanakopita, mixed tomato-cheese handpie, olive bread, melomakarona, mango donut peaches, regular peaches, shiro plums, blueberries, yellow sweet cherries, a half-gallon of Mocha Moo, cheese curds, 3 lb of ivory and purple bell peppers , and spicebush (now called 'sorghum', because no one knew was 'spicebush' was) vinegar.

I made blackberry preserves and cut up the fruit for mixed stone fruit jam -- about half sour cherries, the rest plums, nectarines, and donut peaches -- to cook up tomorrow.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I still have to review Extra Virginity as well, but I actually liked that one, so it will take longer to compose….

One of the things I did get done yesterday between work, the ball game, and the Epic Sunburn, was finish a slim book of short stories called A City Equal to My Desire by James Sallis. This wasn’t a book that was recommended to me, which means I don’t have to feel bad about truly disliking it. I found it in a keyword search on the library website for books about ukuleles, and it has a short story called Ukulele And The World’s Pain, which admittedly was one of the better stories in the book despite still not being very good.

From what I can tell, he did pick the best story out of the book to develop into a novel, “Drive”, but it is very obviously unfinished in short-story form. Sallis has a couple of ongoing problems in the short story collection, one of which is that he tends to skip the vital information you need in order to know what the fuck is going on. And not in a “the blanks slowly get filled in” way, or in a “your imagination is more terrible” way (though there is a little of that) but just in a way where like…he says something that you understand to be vital to the story but which is missing context, then spends like a page describing the fucking diner someone’s sitting in, and by then any context forthcoming doesn’t get linked back. It’s like being in the middle of a paragraph when you hit the photo plates in an older book – yes the photos are very interesting thank you but I need to finish the thought you were sharing with me before I go back and look at them. I think maybe he thinks this is challenging the reader but it’s not, it’s just annoying and makes what are otherwise interesting premises totally opaque. I shouldn’t need to work this hard for a story about a hit man who decides not to kill a politician. 

If the book had a more cohesive theme in terms of the stories, it might be more readable – he clearly enjoys building worlds and then doesn’t quite know what to do with them once he’s built them, so if this was an entire book of “weird and different worlds” ala Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, I would buy in more fully and I think he would have put a little more elbow in. But it’s not. It’s mostly “here’s a really interesting world and a person living in squalor in it does something while being in it”. Also he appears to be fascinated by describing things that are shaped like pi. And a lot of times it feels like he read a wikipedia article on something and wanted to share some knowledge, so he just kind of built a half-assed story around his wikiwander. 

And all of this I would probably let go if say, it was something I was noticing in a fanfic writer, or someone who was just starting out, or someone I felt was genuinely trying to get a point across. But there’s this inexplicable sense of arrogance to the collection, a sort of smugness to it that in professional writers drives me up the goddamn wall. Stephen King sometimes falls into the same trap, where it feels like the author believes they don’t have to respect their readers because they are The Writer. 

The thing about volumes of short stories is that you keep reading it because sometimes there is a real gem. And there are one or two good stories in the volume, but I don’t know if they’re worth the rest of it. 

So my review I guess is mostly me being annoyed, but it boils down to “If you like short stories in the SFF Noir genre, give it a whirl, but if you’re bored with a story none of them get better, so feel free to skip to the next one.” 

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neotoma: My Glitch Avatar, with brown skin, purple hair, and cat ears (Glitch)
[personal profile] neotoma
Anyone interested in seeing Dunkirk at the AFI on Sunday, a group of us are going to see it at 12:30. Drop me a comment here, and show up at the theater at noon, and we can eat and discuss the movie afterwards at one of Silver Spring's eateries.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I am like….90% sure I’m going camping this Friday. 

It depends a bit on the weather, but I’m mostly packed, I’ve cooked food that’s currently waiting in the freezer, and I have acquired the third Diane Mott Davidson book to read. 

The plan is to leave work early, catch the train to the campground, camp overnight, and in the morning hike out to a different train station further down the line, about a seven-mile trek, to do a longer endurance test than last weekend’s. Then I’ll catch the train home around noon on Saturday.

If something goes wrong, I can catch an evening train home on Friday until eight o’clock, or starting in the morning at 5:30, with little to no exertion. It’s pretty low-risk and I’m well stocked. I don’t have a sleeping pad, but my backpack has a partial one built-in, and I have one arriving tomorrow (though it might be too bulky, we’ll see). And honestly in this heat, I might just sleep on top of my sleeping bag in any case. 

Worst case scenario, the campground has heated, lockable shower cubicles with nice big floors. I’ve slept on worse. 

Caaaaaaamping! *jazz hands*

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Movies & TV, Jan-Jun

Jul. 19th, 2017 12:55 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[personal profile] bironic
Might as well post the movie & TV lists while we're here. Last year I did them by month; this year I collected them for longer in part for Festivids reasons and in part because I was embarrassed for a while at the proportion of sources that weren't for the auction vid. But that is chugging along now.

Averaging a little less than two movies per week, and more TV shows than usual, for vidding reasons )

As with the book list, happy to talk about any of these.

Books read, Jan-Jun 2017

Jul. 17th, 2017 09:52 pm
bironic: Fred reading a book,looking adorable (fred reading)
[personal profile] bironic
Readercon was good -- better than expected. I'm hanging out with [personal profile] deelaundry & family on part of their summer vacation. The DS9 vidlet is 9/10 of the way done; still cranking along on the auction vid. Next week is my birthday. This coming weekend [personal profile] disgruntled_owl and I are at long last realizing plans to enjoy an internet-free writer's retreat.

This post is about none of those things, because it's nearly 10 p.m.

For now, it's time to post the mid-year reading roundup!

7 novels, 2 novellas, 8 graphic novels, 6 short story or essay collections, 3 nonfiction, 1 novel-length fanfic )

Right now I'm reading The Grapes of Wrath and the last Assassin book. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire came in at the library, but I was disappointed to discover it's about Jack and Jill, not the Land of the Dead; given that it's due in two days, it's probably going back unread, for now.

Between regular curiosity and Readercon acquisitions & recommendations, the "check out next" list has grown quite long. Currently of greatest interest are:

- Roadside Picnic - Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
- So You Want to Be a Robot - A. Merc Rustad
- Technologies of the Self - Haris Durrani
- Stories of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang
(have all of those in hand)

- Hundred Thousand Kingdoms trilogy - N.K. Jemisin
- Culture series - Ian M Banks (should start before October, for reasons)
- Something by Nisi Shawl, more stuff by Sofia Samatar
- Kindred, Parable of the Sower - Octavia Butler (Parable musical is coming back in October)
- Brown Girl in the Ring - Nalo Hopkinton
- The Smoking Mirror - David Bowles
- Kushiel's Dart - Jacqueline Carey, since it was this month's free Tor e-book and people in fandom seem to love it, although I'm not sure it's my style
- Any of the stack of 7 Nebula awards compilations I picked up for free at Readercon

etc etc etc

(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:48 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] readera's partner, J, has been in the ER multiple times in the past three months, and their finances are very strained because of it. They're raising $300-$500 for transportation costs and medicine; you can read more and reblog here or give directly here.

[tumblr.com profile] sleepyheathen needs to make next month's rent and is selling items, offering commissions, accepting donations, and has an Amazon wishlist up. You can read more, purchase, or reblog here, or donate via paypal here.

[tumblr.com profile] tony-in-distress is trying to escape an abusive situation and hoping to take her siblings with her. She needs to raise enough money for a deposit on a safe house for her and her siblings to live in. You can read more and help out here.

Anon is raising funds to help a friend cover debt and pay for legal bills after her abusive husband took custody of their youngest son. You can read more and give here; unfortunately due to Australian law apparently they can't provide much information.

Sarah Sadat had to leave her job recently due to stress and is facing mounting medical bills for a failing kidney and previous hospitalization; she has surgery scheduled for next month, and is fundraising to help cover medical and other bills. You can read more and give to the fundraiser here.

[tumblr.com profile] ohstephyy was let go from a job three months ago and hasn't been able to get another one; there are also other costs coming up to cover. You can read more and reblog here; a paypal address is available at the post.

[personal profile] laurashapiro linked to a fundraiser for [personal profile] kuwdora, a talented vidder who is trying to become a professional editor. She has an opportunity for professional coaching from the editor of Burn Notice and Empire, but can't afford the expenses on her own. You can read more and help out here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] tiarasnteakettles who is looking for work as a harpist, including attempting to purchase a harp that would be a massive upgrade from her current instrument and allow her more freedom in performance. You can read more about her situation and reblog here, including links to her Patreon and online store and Paypal donation address.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

News To Know:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] wanderlust-anthology, an upcoming anthology of reimagined myths, legends, and folklore based on the theme Quests and Journeys. They are looking for creators for this anthology, which will be a full-color printed book with stories, comics, and artwork. You can read more at their tumblr or at the FAQ here; sign-ups close July 30th.

Housing:

Riel is looking for a roommate in Austin, TX to share a townhouse; she and the other roommate (male) are both grad students, and they do have a cat. Riel is very fandom-friendly. Lease starts in August. You can check out the townhouse here and get in touch at ariellayendler at gmail.com.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

This week in writing, 7/16

Jul. 17th, 2017 01:39 am
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
Still not great, but better than last week! 

WIPs currently active: 5

Words written this week: 3,259

WIPs that got no words this week: 0

WIPs that did get words this week:

Codename: Aluminum Bastard (aka broken dick epic): 104, still inching along. I probably just need to hit a scene break soon, but then I’m going to have to figure out what happens next, so…?

Born in the Blood: 821, and it is distinctly possible that every one of them is terrible, but I haven’t figured out how to make them less terrible so for now I’m just going with it.

Dragon!Bucky/tribute!Steve and Learning to Be a Good Citizen: 490, including realizing that I needed to insert an entire chapter before where I initially started writing. 

All Eternals Deck #2: 598, possibly all getting deleted when I redo the beginning because i figured out that I was doing it wrong…

Slavefic #6: 1,246, DIRELY in need of a POV change. Soon. Yes. 

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neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
[personal profile] neotoma
I went with [livejournal.com profile] ipleasance and [personal profile] greenygal to IKEA today, and finally used the gift card my sister gave me for Christmas 2015. I got two KALLAX units, which I now have to put together, but which will give me a whole lot more shelf space when I'm done.

The last hour or so there I just hit a wall of 'too many people, too hot, here too long', so I'm going to finish eating a round of the Greek bakery's pita and go sleep. I have to be on point tomorrow, since I'm the only person working in my sub-department, now that the permanent employee has gone on her month-long vacation overseas...
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
[personal profile] neotoma
A pint of blackberries, a pint of blueberries, a pint of shiro plums, a quart of mango doughnut peaches (my favorite!), a pint of shishito peppers, garlic cheese curds, dill & garlic quark, herb roasted beets, olives in honey, pita bread, tiropita, seasonal Greek stuffed bread, batard of whole wheat bread.

I've finished up the peach butter I started last night -- I was so tired I had to put it in the fridge and finish this morning -- and I'm planning on making blackberry jam this week. I'll probably make kimchi stew to take for lunch this week, as it's pretty easy and I do have fresh shishito peppers...
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
A mango mixed jelly freeze from Chinatown is the best decision I have made all week.

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neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
[personal profile] neotoma
There's a catered picnic at work tomorrow, with an invite to bring a desert. I'm making clafoutis with the leftover cherries I have because it's an easy dish to make and it would be an alternative to the 'everything is chocolate' that seemed to be characteristic of the desert sign-up sheet.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
My parents signed me up for Nextdoor, which is like some kind of community-based mini facebook, and I am signed up in their neighborhood, which is (as we have established) The Boondocks.

I don’t mind belonging to their Nextdoor, it means that I will be kept abreast of local news, but also the local news is hilarious. 

The latest messages concern a HEATED DISCUSSION about hoof trimming because someone posted asking if anyone knows a farrier who will trim miniature horse hooves, which apparently most farriers have some kind of BASELESS PREJUDICE against according to this poster. Battle lines are quickly being drawn between the various camps including:

Miniature horses don’t need hoof maintenance the way regular horses do
Miniature horses ABSOLUTELY need hoof maintenance you monsters
Farriers who won’t do miniature horse hooves ain’t shit
Farriers who won’t do miniature horse hooves have their reasons
Miniature horses are some bullshit
Everybody shut up about miniature horses
I Have A Miniature Horse For Sale

I can’t wait to see who wins. I suspect it will be me. 

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neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
[personal profile] neotoma
I got two more peanut plants a week ago and planted them. When I checked them today, the leaves had been eaten all the way to the stems -- something in the area really likes peanut leaves.

I'm not sure if I suspect the bunnies or not -- we definitely have rabbits here, little cottontails that are about the size of guinea pigs -- but caterpillars are also a possibility.

There's a cookout with potluck deserts at work on Friday. I'm debating bringing honey cupcakes or cherry clafoutis -- either way, a non-chocolate desert would probably be a welcome alternative.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I just got home and the apartment REEKS of burnt toast. Which is weird since a) nothing is on fire (I checked), b) I haven’t even MADE toast in like a week, c) it didn’t smell like that this morning when I got home from running, and d) the smell is most intense when standing on my welcome mat just inside the door. 

I think Ghost is mad at me. They often express themselves with smells near the doorway. But I haven’t even done anything! The designated Ghost Drawer in the card catalogue shelf (under G, for Ghost) is open and everything, I checked. 

I cannot order you a pizza tonight, Ghost, I already have grocery delivery coming and I don’t want the Domino’s guy and the Peapod guy to make it awkward. We’ll have pizza on Thursday. 

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