Some are picked because they are good examples from other countries, some show details of a move that is almost impossible to understand from a written description, some are old traditional dances and some are excellent modern ones.
This month sociologist Matthew Desmond won the Pulitzer Prize for his book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Desmond’s book documents, in rich and depressing detail, what it’s like to try to pay rent as a low income earner and how easy it is to end up on the street. Eviction is not caused by personal “irresponsibility,” Desmond insists, it’s essentially “inevitable.”
Eviction is psychologically scarring, but it also throws families further into poverty, destabilizing their work and family lives, often stripping them of their few possessions, and costing money — all while enriching landlords.
Here’s 7 minutes from Desmond about his experience living among low income families and the lessons he learned:Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
I've had a hard time with writing the past few years, where every word is like blood from a stone and every paragraph I look back and decide it's garbage and need to walk away for a bit lest I just delete it all. So it's nice to look back and go "hey, actually, I do know how to do this." It's also gratifying to realize that a lot of the stuff I'm most pleased with, that I most felt at the time like no one but me really cared about but that was enough, is also some of my most popular. Like, oh, hey, this self-indulgent little id trip of mine wasn't just me talking into a vacuum, other people enjoy these weird crossovers and rarepairs and polyships!
Anyway, I've also stuck with this space opera romance novel thing for months now, and am only partly through outlining it, and even at such a slow pace I'm still pretty excited about it. It's nice to feel enthusiastic about something I'm making again, even if it's much slower going than it's been in the past.
For some documentation and discussion of the New Yorker magazine's curious aversion to quotative inversion, see "Quotative inversion again", 10/29/2009. And against that background, consider this sentence from E.B. White's 1957 piece "Letter from the East", quoted in my earlier post:
"Omit needless words!" cries the author on page 21, and into that imperative Will Strunk really put his heart and soul.
A careless slip of the red pencil? Or was E.B. White exempt from the dictum? Or was the no-quotative-inversion diktat imposed by a post-1957 New Yorker style maven? Perhaps someone who knows more about the history of that publication's quirks can tell us.
Yesterday I was skimmed randomly-selected sentences from a collection of English-language novels, and happened on this one from George Orwell's 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four: "It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words." This brought to mind two things I had never put together before, Orwell on Newspeak and Strunk on style.
'How is the Dictionary getting on?' said Winston, raising his voice to overcome the noise.
'Slowly,' said Syme. 'I'm on the adjectives. It's fascinating.'
He had brightened up immediately at the mention of Newspeak. He pushed his pannikin aside, took up his hunk of bread in one delicate hand and his cheese in the other, and leaned across the table so as to be able to speak without shouting.
'The Eleventh Edition is the definitive edition,' he said. 'We're getting the language into its final shape–the shape it's going to have when nobody speaks anything else. When we've finished with it, people like you will have to learn it all over again. You think, I dare say, that our chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it! We're destroying words–scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We're cutting the language down to the bone. The Eleventh Edition won't contain a single word that will become obsolete before the year 2050.'
He bit hungrily into his bread and swallowed a couple of mouthfuls, then continued speaking, with a sort of pedant's passion. His thin dark face had become animated, his eyes had lost their mocking expression and grown almost dreamy.
'It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well."
And here's Strunk, as described by E.B. White ("Letter from the East", The New Yorker, 7/27/1957):
Every so often I make an attempt to simplify my life, burning my books behind me, selling the occasional chair, discarding the accumulated miscellany. […]
A book I have decided not to burn is a small one that arrived in the mail not long ago, a gift from a friend in Ithaca. It is "The Elements of Style," by the late William Strunk, Jr., and it was known in the Cornell campus in my day as "the little book," with the stress on the word "little." I must have once owned a copy, for I took English 8 under Professor Strunk in 1919 and the book was required reading, but my copy presumably failed to survive an early purge. I'd not had eyes on it in thirty-eight years. Am now delighted to study it again and rediscover its rich deposits of gold. […]
From every line there peers out at me the puckish face of my professor, his short hair parted neatly in the middle and combed down over his forehead, his eyes blinking incessantly behind steel-rimmed spectacles as though he had just emerged into strong light, his lips nibbling each other like nervous horses, his smile shuttling to and fro in a carefully edged mustache.
"Omit needless words!" cries the author on page 21, and into that imperative Will Strunk really put his heart and soul. In the day when I was sitting in his class, he omitted so many nedless words, and omitted them so forcibly and with such eagerness and obvious relish, that he often seemed in the position of having short-changed himself, a man left with nothing more to say yet with time to fill, a radio prophet who had outdistanced the clock. Will Struck got out of this predicament by a simple trick: he uttered every sentence three times. When he delivered his oration on brevity to the class, he leaned forward over his desk, grasped his coat lapels in his hands, and in a husky, conspiratorial voice said "Rule Thirteen. Omit needless words! Omit needless words! Omit needless words!"
Book burning, mid-century horror-movie vibe, removal of undesirable words, ruling-class ideas of appropriate language, …
For added irony, this was the advertisement on the magazine page facing the passage just quoted:
See also "Modification as social anxiety", 5/16/20014.
Southern Star Longsword dancing 'Yorkshire Pudding' at Wimborne Model Town. this was the first public performance for many of the side, and only the second time out for the rest of us. This is a dance I wrote for the days when we only have four dancers. (We had six on this occasion, but I didn't keep the video of the six man dance as it had several mistakes in it!)
Today I'm teaching maypole and longsword dancing at a local school. I do this every year on Wednesday afternoons in the run up to Wimborne Minster Folk Festival. The children will perform on Saturday at the festival and they always do me proud.
Saturday, I'm calling maypole at the Dorset Venison Fair for two half hour sessions.
Sunday, I'm calling maypole at a private event at Rockley Park and teaching a longsword workshop as well.
May bank holiday weekend is always a busy time. We turned down a request for May 1st as we knew we'd be knackered by then. (We being Anonymous Morris, who will be dancing at the two weekend events)
The catch is that calling for dances, even using a mike, always leaves me with a rough voice. Time to get out the glycerine!
Drabble: Death and Taxes. (100 words) by Lanna Michaels
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Admiral Naismith
Additional Tags: Drabble, Inspired By Tumblr, Mistaken Identity, Shenanigans, Based on a Tumblr Post, Taxes, The IRS Will Find You, Flash Fic
The one thing that Miles Naismith is not is his own grandfather. But on the other hand...
Tumblr post for posterity:
so does no one in the Vorkosigan saga ever type in ‘Miles Naismith’ into their google-equivalent and come up with a wikipedia-equivalent article about the Barrayaran Prime Minister with mention of his family?
because. like. when you’re the son of a major, galactically-renowned public figure, using your mother’s maiden name should not be the kind of secret identity you rely on! against ordinary people, let alone actual enemy intelligence agents!
Isn’t this concept basically what underlies the plot of Brothers in Arms, though?
I mean, Miles Naismith is, publicly, one of Miles Naismith Vorkosigan’s multiple badly-behaved clones.
okay but like
Miles was named for Cordelia’s father, right?
so googling “Miles Naismith” is gonna get you info on some Betan dude who randomly died in a random accient. And is totally the right age for ~secret Betan reverse aging process~ , plus plastic surgery, etc. It’s probably not the most well known thing what the milddle name is of Aral The Butcher Vorkosigan’s son is, and you might end up with family tree stuff showing Cordelia’s ancestry if you look for Naismith + Vorkosigan or Naismith + Barrayar.
That, plus the Security Through Audacity of who would think that a mercenary admiral is the same dude as a 20 year old kid who needed an Imperial Favor to get into the military and is clearly just still there for nepotism?
Concept: everyone thinks Miles Naismith is his grandfather. No, not that grandfather. THE OTHER ONE.
On an entirely different note, I received a letter from UC Davis Veterinary School's Companion Animal Fund that Morgoth's vet made an donation in his honor to said fund. While it cannot be anything but upsetting to spend a couple thousand dollars in the process of losing a big, furry, weirdo cat, I don't begrudge the vet or the clinic, so I find this donation, however small it may be, surprisingly touching.
⌈ Secret Post #3765 ⌋
Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.
( More! )
Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 32 secrets from Secret Submission Post #538.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
The secret hole in the wall the REAL elite go to, featuring such haute couture pieces as:
Your Favorite Flannel Shirt That You Refuse To Admit Should Be Thrown Out: It's held together with safety pins and love, and the elbow holes finally expanded to the point the sleeves fell off. Let all the ladies know how single you are and how long you've been that way with your xtreme spinster life fashion statement.
New Rule updates:
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Also watched The Handmaiden on Amazon. I wanted to see this one in the cinema. It's based on Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. I've never read the book though I do actually own it. I've read Tipping the Velvet and The Night Watch and am not really a fan of hers. Her prose is...elegant, often, but her characters can be dull and interchangeable and her dialogue tends to flabbiness. I suppose I'll read it now, though I suspect that the film was a far more vivid interpretation of the book.
It was set in Korea in the late 1910s, about a con man and a young woman conspiring to swindle a young woman of her fortune by acting as suitor and maid, respectively. It's a lot more complicated than that, with numerous twists and turns, but it's dark and romantic and savage and intensely erotic. The sex is almost entirely f/f, in fact, which was refreshing, but it is based on Sarah Waters, so not surprising if you know her stuff. The only thing that made me uncomfortable was that it was a little male gazey after a while and went on and on and on. I was like, okay, I get it.... I don't know. Maybe if it didn't feel male gazey I would have felt differently about it, but there it is. Otherwise I really liked it, and it was beautifully filmed, no question.
Finished Feud about Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. Overall, I truly enjoyed it. I thought it could have been compressed into maybe six episodes instead of eight, but otherwise no real complaints. Lange and Sarandon crushed it.
I plan to start Fargo, because Ewan is playing a dual role. One of his characters is decidedly unhot, but yknow.
OH. Also saw Last Days in the Desert where Ewan plays Christ and the Devil, and Ciaran Hinds was in it too. Sounds awesome, right? Ugh it was so boring. It started really promisingly. It was filmed in California, and it was GORGEOUS. Totally believed it could have been the middle Eastern desert. And Ewan did a nice job, and he looked stunning, holy shit, I am so down for hot Jesus, but the movie itself, what a fucking snore. Essentially, it was Christ and the Devil make a bargain over the fate of a desert dwelling family, which, again, sounds cool, but it so wasn't. I think the filmmakers were going for a Terence Malick sort of vibe of quiet contemplation, but I damn near fell asleep every ten minutes. Disappointing. :( But if you can get past that and just enjoy Ewan looking really hot and angsty, then by all means, ENJOY.
I'm about 80% through Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty. It's an excellent read, about a young gay man, an Oxford graduate and Henry James scholar in 80s London. He's not rich, but he's attached himself to an upper-class family [renting a room from them - the son was a uni friend] whose patriarch is an MP and who worships Margaret Thatcher [he and his cronies all call her The Lady], and he keeps company with other rich [but, yknow, vulgar] people like the scion of a grocery-store chain, with whom he does blow in the scion's glossy new Egyptian-themed bathroom and fucks in the upper-class family's French summer-holiday house.
So I haven't read enough Henry James to know whether the book is a deliberate aping of James' work [Turn of the Screw and Portrait of a Lady and I honestly can't remember enough about the latter to tell] but it certainly skewers the upper class, as well as social climbers. Nick, the protagonist, is a climber, desperately glad to be parasitically clinging to the upper classes, but at the same time superciliously observing their antics and uneasily aware that he's not really one of them. It's a sort of pathetic state to be in. The novel's rich with detail and I'm moving through it pretty slowly, for me, because there's a lot to take in and even the minor characters are all worth a close look. Highly recommend.
I also read Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, upon which the miniseries was based. It was okay - actually I thought the TV show was better. The book was set in Australia, and it was a quick read. Watch the show instead, it feels way more textured.
I have a shitload of books to read and have no idea what I'm going to pick up next. Maybe Fingersmith - if I'm bored with it I'll have no compunction about chucking it.
I saw a Tumblr post about Marvel's new promotion of a comic series featuring Captain America as a Hydra agent, apparently? I don't know much about it and haven't researched it, but that sounds putrid and vile. Evidently the head of Marvel is a Trump supporter and so this is not a coincidence. Again, I haven't researched this so I don't know if this is true. If it is, that's ugly, and I don't blame people for being upset, because Hydra is a Nazi analogue and always has been, and Captain America is anything but a goddamn Nazi, thank you very much.
Anyway, in the body of the post I saw a criticism of The Man in the High Castle as a glorification of Nazism, and it really upset me.
Now, I thought the show sucked, to be quite honest, and didn't make it past three episodes. The look of it was kind of cheesy to me, and I felt with the exception of Rufus Sewell, the acting was amateurish. But the point of the show - and the originating story - is that the greater evil of fascism is populated by perfectly ordinary people, not leering cartoon villains. If you're upset that Nazis are men and women with families and children and friends, people who laugh and smile and are capable of human emotions like love and affection, then you are dangerously foolish.
Fascism has faces - all kinds of faces, and blind purity politics aren't going to change that for a single moment.
I'm not going to write that on Tumblr because I don't need someone with almost zero life experience telling me what I should be thinking, saying, or doing, but I had to say it somewhere.
I had to get new summer trousers because my weight finally went down again [after last year's goddamn mental health downward spiral and subsequent binge fest] and so I took myself to Good Buys, which is Goodwill's 99 cent store. Everything is 99 cents, which is pretty awesome, and they have a ton of stuff, but you have to dig through all the racks because nothing is separated by size, only color. So it's a slog. I did find a few pairs, so yay. BUT. I also found a gorgeous pair of shoes and a cool handbag. The shoes are a brand called Shoe the Bear and were in perfect condition and are unbelievably comfortable. ( here's a pic )
I looked them up online, and they were originally priced at $200. Why on earth anyone would get rid of them is beyond me. Anyway, I love them, and they make me feel like Freddy Honeychurch. I always want to dress like Freddy Honeychurch in the summertime. :)
The bag I got is a Margolin Globetrotter. The lines are SO clean. Lambertson Truex still makes bags that look like this. You can see one exactly like it HERE.
Thank Christ for Good Buys, because they are just the shit for trousers and shirts for me any more.
Oh! I got my Sherlock/Ziggy stripe We Can Be Heroes shirt, art by Fox Estacado. It fits great. I'll probably wear it to see U2, maybe to Con*Strict, though I tend not to want to wear t-shirts to Con*Strict because the rooms are just too goddamn cold. Maybe under a blazer.
Yesterday was beautiful on campus, so I took some photos. I'm too lazy to upload to Photobucket though, so you can see some of them [and a gpoy of me] on my tumblr post.
That's one thing I don't care for re. DW - no photo hosting. I'd be willing to pay for that. Also for quick tag links.
I suppose that's it! Heck of a long entry. Have a swell day and night!
I got the idea because REI has this program where for $250 they take you backpacking for a weekend, and I looked at that and thought, I’m a cheap asshole but I bet between what I’ve already got and a $250 budget, I can almost completely kit myself out for an entire month of weekends of camping if I so desired.
$210 to go. Fortunately I have most of the activewear I need, and since I’m only looking at overnighting right now, I won’t need cooking supplies just yet. And my stepdad’s giving me his sleeping bag, so there’s a chunk I won’t have to spend.
The tent will almost certainly be the only other significant expense, and I can wait a while on that – I have several recon trips planned to the campground before I’ll even be overnighting it. If I get that far this summer, my weekends are filling at an alarming rate.
But I have my backpack! Now I get to fill it.
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2phZodm
* Black Rider Down.
* The Man From M. O. R. D. O. R.
* Sleepless in Minas Ithil.
* Hunt for the Ringbearers.
* North by North-East (featuring Legolas).
* Romancing the Orthanc Stone.
* Eternal Sunshine of the Flaming Eye.
* Dude, Where’s My Ring?
* 10 Things I Hate About Eowyn’s Stew.
Decided I needed the break partly because it's all so frustrating and infuriating, but also because I had a dream that #45 was swimming in a pool that I was in and he may or may not have been naked. So icky.
A week or so ago my Dad had some people come to clean out our attic, they just take everything away and do whatever with it. So much stuff up there they are doing it in two trips. So I got to look at the trunk I've had and see what was in it. I vaguely remembered some books about the Beatles from my young fangirl phase, but couldn't remember what else was in there. Well, I found those book and scrapbooks of Beates and Bruce Springsteen articles. Backstreet fanzine about Bruce. Also my college diploma, some family history info and college textbooks. A few stuffed animals and an unused puzzle. So I kept the diploma and family history stuff a few pictures and the puzzle. Everything else will go. It was kind of fun to see that stuff but beyond wanting to keep it for anything.
Work has been stressful, nothing new there, mostly the 2 colleagues that will not shut up. Last week I was ready to give up my week vacation for one day of silence from them. But I didn't so I will be leaving shortly for an almost week getaway. I hope I can get back into reading books on this trip, I've not been able to concentrate much and I miss curling up with a good read.
God is good!
Every Wednesday a new theme is posted. It might be an ingredient or a cuisine or something else. You then post your recipes inspired by the theme. We welcome vegetarians and other people with restricted diets. Come and join us!
ETA: I should not have constructed the title like that. Now my brain won't stop replaying the Cheezy Peaz sketch from the Fast Show... -_-"
Hello, internet! I'm Thea. Here I am in my favorite spot (somebody's lap):
I'm a female dilute calico, and the vet and the vet dentist think I'm about five years old. I grew up on the streets of Baltimore, but it's cold and lonely out there and I like people too much, so now I need a forever home! I'm an absolute sweetheart who'll be in your lap or draped over your shoulder the minute I meet you, but there's one catch: I need to be an only cat.
( More about me! And more pictures! )
Does it sound like you could be my human? If so, leave a comment with your email address, and the humans will get in touch with you. (Or, you can email synecdochic at firstname.lastname@example.org.) Anonymous comments are allowed; you don't need a Dreamwidth account. I'm in Baltimore right now, and the humans would prefer somebody within a few hours' drive or somebody who's willing to come pick me up themselves, but if you're the absolute right person to take me in, they're willing to talk about flying me to you, especially if you can pay for some or all of the costs. (Having all my teeth pulled wasn't cheap!) [EDIT: The humans have a friend who might be able to put a flight on frequent flyer miles for me, so they're willing to escort me outside the immediate area for the right home!]
I'm looking forward to finding someone I can help with everything, drape on top of, and sleep on!
(Please share this with your friends! For the first round of looking we'd prefer not much further than friends-of-friends, because we'd like to know the people she's going to or know someone who knows them, but if the first efforts don't pan out, we'll try again with a wider reach. We also already know the rescue organization we'll turn to if we can't find her a home through word of mouth, so you don't need to research rescue options for us!)
But first, happy birthday Lebannen! I don't think she's on LJ anymore, so I'll just throw my good wishes out into the world.
So many people not on LJ anymore, nor on DW that I know of. Makes me quite sad.
Anyway, today. Big remodel day and tomorrow it will be even bigger. It's both good and bad news that the timeline is getting tighter -- good because it'll be done quicker, but bad because of the tension. We've never done anything like this before so each step is new and sometimes a shocker. And tomorrow I spend with Mother so poor Webster will have to handle any questions by himself.
Which reminds me of a new-to-me online gratitude site, Gratefulness. It's designed to use on your phone but I hate trying to type on my phone so I changed the settings to email. Every night at 6 I receive an email asking me what am I grateful for? I hit reply and write something like: That Webster is handling so much of the remodeling despite the tension, or That Mother still remembers me. That's all. But it's a like a little meditation when the email comes, to sit for a few minutes and think about what I'm grateful for. It's all private, though you can share individual posts, anonymously, if you choose.
Oh, I have some links I want to share!
Found via Tumblr, "A Nasty Name for a Nasty Thing": A History of Cunt, which asks the question Why is the word "cunt" so forbidden? Lots of NSFW images of vulvas, in case that's a concern. But, here is what we do know; it is the oldest word for female genitals in the English language (possibly the oldest in Europe).
Via Ryan Holiday's reading list email, an old review of a biography of John Stewart Mill by Adam Gopnik, Right Again: The passions of John Stuart Mill. I though I knew who Mill was, of course, but actually I didn't. He's fascinating and wonderful and I kind of fell in love with him. When Mill said that his rights were worthless unless everyone else had them, too, he really meant it.
I think I found this via Kottke.org, and the two podcasts are really worth listening to. Part 1, The Russian Passenger, and Part 2, Beware All. A mystery about somebody's Uber account being used in Russia, and how, and why it should scare us.
No idea how I bumped into this but it led to a lot of googling and an interesting discussion with Webster: Some fairy tales may be 6000 years old: [T]he successful fairy tales may persist because they're "minimally counterintuitive narratives." That means they all contain some cognitively dissonant elements -- like fantastic creatures or magic -- but are mostly easy to comprehend.
Mindfulness in Plain English: 20th Anniversary Edition by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. Every forum I ever read recommends this so I thought I should read it. It's very good. Bhante G is a Sri Lankan monk.
Journey to Mindfulness: The Autobiography of Bhante G.
Christopher Alderton saw this flyer on his way to work a few days ago:
The big, bold characters at the top exhort:
Qiǎng fáng la 抢房啦! ("Grab a house!")
What's most arresting is this line:
nín yǐjīng refinance le ma?
"Have you already refinanced?
Christopher rightly points out that the meaning of the construction "已refinance了" is sufficiently clear, but it is striking that the English word is not inflected, and the inflection is instead conveyed by the aspect marker of completed action, -le 了.
It's hard to tell exactly why the person responsible for this advertisement decided to use an English word in the middle of a Chinese sentence. To more readily catch the attention of potential customers? Because there's not a precise equivalent available in Mandarin?
The next line reads:
hái zài chí bì děngdài zuì jiā jīyù?
"Are you holding cash waiting for the best opportunity?"
Whatever the reason for inserting that English word in the middle of a Chinese sentence, one thing is certain: Àoliàn tóuzī 澳链投资 ("AUSCHAIN") wants you to snap up one of their houses pronto!
We've looked at examples of multiscriptalism and / or multilingualism involving many languages and scripts. Here are some posts specifically involving Chinese:
- "Biscriptal juxtaposition in Chinese, part 2" (10/15/14)
- "Biscriptal juxtaposition in Chinese" (8/17/14)
- "A New Morpheme in Mandarin" (4/26/11)
- "Zhao C: a Man Who Lost His Name" (2/27/09)
- "Creeping Romanization in Chinese" (8/30/12)
- "A trilingual, biscriptal note (with emoji)" (2/5/17)
- "Digraphia and intentional miswriting" (3/12/15)
- "Character amnesia and the emergence of digraphia" (9/25/13)
And there are many others.
[Thanks to Melvin Lee, Fangyi Cheng, Yixue Yang, and Jinyi Cai]
Top 10 by hit count:
- The Pornography Is For Science. (Les Miserables) - 14,492
- You Get Me Closer To God. (Les Miserables) - 13,414
- Scenes From An Inconvenient Espionage Love Story. (Les Miserables/Bond) - 11,909
- Handjobs and Hand Grenades. (Les Miserables) - 12,490
- Polish Your Boots. (Les Miserables) - 11,972
- Make You Come Undone. (Les Miserables) - 11,590
- Let Them Eat Pancakes. (Les Miserables) - 10,341
- Dance Me Through The Panic. (Les Miserables) - 7,937
- I'm In The Details With The Devil. (Les Miserables) - 7,886
- You Put The Spike In My Heart. (Les Miserables) - 7,379
Omg so boring. Overall top 10 the same as last year, but there's some movement! Les Mis spy shenanigans moved up to 3. (This year was also the year where I read a fic by someone who had kudosed on the fic that was *blatantly* inspired by my fic, to the point where there were some dialoug in common, and I did say to myself, if they did the crayon thing, I was going to bring it up to the author, but they didn't do the crayon thing. But that fic was like 50K and my fic is teeny-tiny, so I figured it wasn't worth bringing up with the author, because it was clearly not intentional that they did that).
Also, in the "off the top 10" list, Barrayar Expects has dropped to 14. The unexpected 12th place is Earthlings Gonna Earth. OMG SOMETHING MORE "RECENT" BROKE THROUGH (fic is dated Aug 2015, so it's 1 year and 8 months old; everything else is over 3 years). I don't know if I'd've picked that one, of all the Martian fics, to be the highest, but I checked and it was the second one I posted, so maybe that has something to do with it? idek, the ways of hit count are mysterious to me.)
okay and to go with a list that is DIFFERENT from the last three years...
Top 5 by kudos:
- Scenes From An Inconvenient Espionage Love Story. (Les Mis/Bond) - 1423
- Earthlings Gonna Earth. (The Martian) - 1018
- Things To Do In New York City When You're No Longer Brainwashed. (Avengers) - 998
- We Walk The Plank With Our Eyes Wide Open. (Star Wars) - 728
- Interstitial. (The Martian) - 618
I'm not spreadsheething this one, but #1 is absolutely no surprise. It is a little surprising how the other ones work out. And zomg, something posted in 2016 made a list! o.O That is excellent. :D
⌈ Secret Post #3764 ⌋
Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.
( More! )
Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 40 secrets from Secret Submission Post #538.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
Work first, then love -- work is good, I'm getting heavy praise for honestly not that much effort?? I met with an old family friend who works on freshwater conservation this afternoon, I guess he needs a writer in a hurry? So maybe this summer will be MBA work and writing for them, and perhaps I won't do any academic/literary writing at all, or not so much. I'm really okay with that -- it's been good for me, transitionally, but the industry that runs parallel to the academic humanities seems infected with the same sickness that's imo overrunning academia -- the pay is shit, the treatment is shit, there's no stability, and it's acceptable to work your people hard without having their backs on anything. Two years ago, it felt important to keep my hand in, keep up on scholarship. Now? Fuckem.
Love. Love is good. Not effortless, and not perfect -- but it's kind of an amazing feeling, learning how to trust someone to have my back like this. I was never this vulnerable with my ex, never as open about my needs, and my god, it's really something, innit, this mutual support gig?
I'm feeling comfortable moving on milestones that I never wanted to share with my ex, even though it hasn't been so very long -- discussed sharing the main body of finances today, getting a joint acct together, and lord but that's something I never ever ever wanted to do with S. I'm not worried in the same way about D. spending out my money selfishly, because seeing me provided for is genuinely important to him -- in fact, I think he's going to be able to help me learn to spend money on myself, which is something I've never got the hang off. I've a pair of new shoes and two new dresses this spring, and am going out in pursuit of a new swimsuit as soon as my period's over -- and it's lovely nice to have new things as needed, really it is.
April was scary for me, because I was medically and financially -- and emotionally -- in a needier place than I had been over the winter, and it was frightening to subject the relationship to the test that S. failed so abjectly -- could I still have worth when not able to play Lady Bountiful? But I needn't have worried.
We're going camping this weekend, for the 1st -- it's just starting to be warm enough to sleep out, here, and he's been asking for a chance to convince me that his method will render sleeping out comfortable enough to make it nice to do. I'm willing to take it on faith.
(On this basis, my soul left Singapore four days ago and is currently slouching towards Bethlehem. Onwards, onwards.)
Australia was wonderful, I really enjoyed it. I (mostly) enjoyed New Zealand; I was in Christchurch, Wellington (briefly), Lake Tekapo and Hanmer Springs. I do tend to feel uneasy in NZ though. The first time I went to Hanmer, a pack of white teenagers stared at me with hostile fascination until I cracked and left. It wasn't particularly pleasant and was replicated elsewhere in the rural South Island. So partly it was that, and partly it was the place in itself, but I really enjoyed Singapore. It's not my favourite place for various reasons - not least, I was travelling without my drugs because they're controlled substances there - but, well. I went on about this elsewhere but in Singapore people look like me. People on the street, popstars on TV. Adverts for make-up, adverts for wedding venues, adverts for law school - they all had girls like me in them. I wonder how much less utterly neurotic I'd be if I lived in an environment like that all the time, because there is a psychological pressure you don't notice until it's gone - until you spend a day thinking, oh, hey, I look pretty today, oh, hey, I said something funny and people laughed, and all those casual quotidian thoughts aren't followed with "Despite..." and a giant asterisk.
I read a fair bit while I was away, which is what I originally opened this tab to talk about I've been meaning to read the Moore graphic novels for years, and finally got around to it on the long flights. Watchmen - I wanted to like it more than I did. It's a critical darling, yep, I get it, and even on a visceral level, I get it, it's rich and complex and fascinating, I was swept up in it. But in the end I just found it distasteful and unsatisfying, which is a bit tragic. The women in the story exist to be raped or denied agency. And I loathe Rorschach - I loathe being placed in the mind of misogynist, homophobic, racist, anti-Semitic, tragic-childhood-waaaah men, and I particularly loathe ~narrative ambivalence~ in respect of them. Rorschach is not an anti-hero. I do not admire his integrity. It's a virtue in itself, but I don't admire it in bricks. And ultimately I don't know what the text is trying to tell me. Is it that being a superhero is possible, that being a hero is possible? Or is it 300 pages of nihilism? Either way, by the end I didn't care.
I liked V for Vendetta much better. I thought it was interesting and clever and hit a lot of the narrative tropes I adore. And then I had this thought, which I share with you because it's a sad, pathetic little thought and I'm sort of ashamed of it. Here it is. V for Vendetta is set in a near-future dystopian Britain, where the fascists are in charge and totalitarianism has seeped into the public's skin. It's richly and devastatingly imagined. It's a world in which there are explicitly no brown people and no queers - they've been destroyed by the regime. And I - the brown queer reader - am being placed in the position, as reader, of feeling empathy and concern for those who are left. For a now wholly white and non-queer society. For the story to work, I must be invested in what becomes of it. And I'm capable of it - this is the task of the brown queer reader, to find empathy and commonality of self, in that distant human for whom existence and interiority is permitted - and capable of it to the deeply ingrained, deeply socialised extent that it took me 200 pages to have this thought at all.
But I had it. And then I didn't enjoy the rest so much - but I did enjoy it a bit. Because, as I said, I've had the practice. In some ways, I'm wondering why I participate less and less in media fandom, and in other ways I know the answer: it's that I no longer want to encourage this tendency in myself. To queer the text, or run the fic challenge focusing on the browns, or whatever, is work. Unpaid female labour, in fact, which in my non-fannish life I yell about all the time. And I know I'm missing the point deliberately - fandom was never about the labour-for-capital economy, quite the reverse - but it's also emotional labour, isn't it. It's emotional labour to centre the brown or queer experience in stories that were not written about those things. It's emotional labour to just write or consume the white dude pairing du jour while carefully Not Thinking about the other thing - and as I get older I get crankier and less willing to do this. For me, the way through the Gordian knot is to write my own stories. It'd be different for someone else, perhaps, but that's it for me.
I also read Marbles, by Ellen Forney, which is a graphic memoir about living as a writer and artist with badly medicated bipolar disorder. I was both interested and nervous about this book, because it focuses on something I'm worrying about a lot lately: the relationship between creativity, medication and mental illness. It's a lovely book, actually. It's all grounded in a single experience, melodramatic and abrasive, without purporting to generalise. Forney decides that to be medicated is better for her, even if she does worry about its effect on her creativity, and makes significant effort to emphasise it wouldn't be the same for every mentally ill creator. It wasn't reassuring, but it wasn't meant to be. I liked it.
I read other things, but they'll have to wait for the next post. The drive-by rec though is for Tansy Rayner Roberts' Castle Charming novellas, which are sweet and colourful and queer fairy tale parodies. And the first one is free!
(Urgh. My soul is still plodding across the Middle East. It's taking in the sights. It's ordering olives and shakshuka. HURRY THE FUCK UP oh my god.)