-Jingrui is like, the obligatory precious cinnamon roll too good for this sinful world, too pure.
-I can't think of the last time I watched something live-action where men were allowed to show this dynamic range of feelings, both physically and verbally. And even in anime, dudes crying is usually only at the emotional climax of stuff, so it's really nice to have a range of sorrow and regret and longing and joy regularly shown from a variety of characters.
-Likewise, it's really great to have a huge variety of women of various roles and backgrounds and motivation who get plenty of screentime - there's definitely a sense that even if their positions are different than those of the men, they still have a great deal of power of various forms
-By which I mean I would let Nihaung use me as a doormat, what a fucking badass.
-Commander Meng does not have an ounce of guile in his body, and it's sort of adorable, particularly after he was introduced as such a serious badass.
-Basically every interaction between Lin Shu and his household is wonderful and precious. It's really clear how much they all care about him, even if they don't know how to keep him from literally working himself to death.
-EVERYTHING IS SO PRETTY. Comes with the 'historical drama' territory, I guess, but god, some of the hair ornaments are to die for.
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.”
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2gQid4Q
A song that you would love played at your wedding.
As you probably know, I'm already married, and I had my wedding five years ago. ( wedding reminiscences plus video )
I have no intention of having any more weddings to choose music for. I'm already married, as are all my partners. And maybe poly people aren't supposed to say this, but I really think I've found my people and hope not to end or change my current relationships. Friends who have looked into these things in more detail think it's not actually illegal to have weddings, in the sense of ceremonies indicating lifelong romantic commitment, to more than one partner, as long as you don't try to register the relationship as a marriage for legal purposes. But I am not really sure of the details and anyway at the moment we don't have any desire to be married to more people than our existing spouses, even if it is (or became) legally ok.
It is fair to say that I never intended to get married the first time either, so maybe I'm wrong. I suppose we've vaguely talked about the possibility that those of us who are EU citizens may need to marry those who are not for immigration reasons and safety, but I really really really hope it doesn't come to that and if we were in that situation there wouldn't be any singing and dancing, just whatever paperwork we needed for survival. And hypothetically my current relationships might come to an end and then I might find a new person who really wanted to get married to me. But then the song I would choose would depend so much on the person and the circumstances that I can't really speculate what it would be, and I don't really want to because it involves imagining the ends of relationships I really want to keep.
I'm not in general a fan of the wedding tradition of the First Dance to a romantic song. Partly because I'm not much of a dancer, and partly because I think there are better ways to do symbolic consummation. And then finding a song which is lyrically appropriate is surprisingly hard; a lot of songs in the style that's appropriate to slow-dance to are really breakup songs, or at best they're hugely monogamy-assuming and heteronormative. As elf pointed out in this meme, a lot of poly-friendly songs are about casual
hey we're just doing this as long as we both like itrelationships, which is kind of wrong for a wedding.
I think it was ghoti_mhic_uait who pointed out that the most inappropriate possible song for a wedding is She moves through the fair, since it mentions
our wedding daybut primarily as a euphemism for death. I am very fond of it, mind you. And I have attended a wedding where the big romantic moment Song was Hey, that's no way to say goodbye by Leonard Cohen, which is a gorgeous song but way depressing if you go past the opening lines:
I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm,
Your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm,
Yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new,
In city and in forest they smiled like me and you
I never daydreamed about my ideal wedding when I was single, so I never had a concept in my mind of what song I
would love played. If I happened to be in a relationship where we had a song that was meaningful to us as a couple, then perhaps I'd choose that, but I can't help myself thinking about the detailed interpretation of the words. So, just out of interest, do any of you know any songs which are good for weddings, talking about serious relationships but not about possessiveness? Or songs that are good for non-religious communal singing?
I had no idea who Ed Sheeran was or why there was this giant kerfluffle over him being in Game of Thrones. Now I know who he is and what he looks like and y'know? Those are some adorably round cheeks and cute red hair. He can be eye-candy in Game of Thrones all season long. (No spoilers please, I actually haven't seen season seven yet, I'm just catching up on season six.)
Wow it's been since 29 May when I saw the nutria crossing the road that I last posted. I guess I did dream about posting about KWHSS! I SAW tatterpixie there!!!!! IT WAS AWESOME AND SHE HAD THE BESTEST SCRIBAL SET UP AND NOW I NEED ONE for heraldry, not scribery, because yeah, my art's pretty rough, but I can do straight lines for heraldry. HOWEVER I did get not too bad at painting pre-prints. And I can probably work on making a scroll out of the Mamman embroidery. I'm not a scribe. I'm a herald (even with a H!) but I can learn some stuff! (It will probably take a light board. My drawing skills are not really all that great, mostly because my brain-hand coordination isn't wonderful. Thanks, brain damage!)
KWHSS was SUPER. I got to see a lot of people that I'd wanted to see (and some that I'd only been able to talk to online). I CREATED A SERVICE AMOEBA. IT OOZES AGAIN IN THE DEBATABLE LANDS. AMUCK!
I also went up to Sneferu and told him that he was right and Bruce was wrong. Which yes, it's a big thing. But we do need a ruling on something from Cormac Wreath. Can pantheons be tertiary charges?
I have become the Heraldic Webminister for Gleann Abhann's CoH. I am looking forward to teaching my Ruby deputy all about transferring letters in OSCAR because that means she'll be super ready! We even have figured out a screen-sharing software for that.
Bloodstone Herald has been suggested for Webminister job. Probably because it's like trying to get blood out of a stone to get stuff turned in for that sort of thing. I think I'm going to make a pendant or something with glitter. Glitter vinyl, not actual pouring glitter.
I am considering making myself bookplates for my gaming hardbacks. Brent bought me a new one - 'Horror Adventures'. He also picked up the last part of 'Strange Aeons'. I have all six of them! YAY! But I need to stick nameplates in mine. I have a sticker maker and a lot of time. :D
MASTER CONALL MADE ME A BEAUTIFUL RENDITION OF MY NAME IN CYRILLIC. I can't wait to turn it into an SCA business card. I told a friend that I was looking forward to being one of those 'one name people', like Cher, Bono, those sort of people. I will be Skaia, Herald.
One of your favourite 70's songs. I'm not very good at knowing which songs come from which decade, and most of the music on my computer has really inaccurate metadata. But one song which I know is from the 70s, and which is definitely one of my favourites, is Go to Hell by Alice Cooper. I'm not sure if it's actually my favourite 70s song, but I really ought to have something by Alice Cooper in the meme.
I'm really very fond of Alice Cooper goes to Hell; it was my first encounter with the idea of a concept album. I especially love this opening track because it's a bit of (darkly) humorous intro, with the bathos of ridiculously specific examples of depravity:
You'd gift-wrap a leper and mail him to your aunt Jane
You'd even force feed a diabetic a candy cane
I often tell the story of how when I went to university I gained a certain amount of respect among the alternative crowd by explaining that Alice Cooper was in fact a ouijia board chosen stage name for a definitely male singer. Despite not looking like the sort of person who would know rock music trivia. But I love Alice Cooper for being so gloriously terrible, and occasionally coming out with works of sheer genius like Poison (not from the 70s) in among all the McGonagall stuff.
( video embed (borderline NSFW) )
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*
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2uB78KA
Kinfolk still offers a one-size-fits-all-who-seek-it lifestyle solution with little tolerance for mess. The increasingly rarified image of luxurious simplicity that it projects is far from possible, desirable, or even recognizable for everyone.
-- Kyle Chayka, "The Last Lifestyle Magazine"
It’s hard to identify with something so empty at its core.
-- Also Kyle Chayka, "Welcome to Airspace"
Simplicity, for me, is less of a goal to aspire to, and more like the Tao Te Ching's uncarved block. It's the most useful thing in the world, because you can make anything out of it. And like the air in a tire, or the space in between the spokes of a wooden wheel, sometimes you need it in order to function.
( my opinions )
That's brief notes on my voting choices (well, I'm not great at brief)! I'm more than happy to discuss in more detail if anyone's interested, I just wanted to get this posted rather than being intimidated by it.
Most importantly, congratulations to illusive_shelle and her newly-minted husband! The wedding which formed the excuse for a small summer holiday for me and jack was absolutely perfect and amazing.
( mostly diary )
I have lots of reading I want to talk about, partly because I've been trying to get through at least some of the Hugo material, and partly because of going on a short vacation, and partly because I had a horrendous 11 hour train journey at the start of not quite having time to post. I'll talk more about that hopefully soon, and go back to the music meme and so on. I am reading, as usual, just a bit behind with posting.
Ways to Give:
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.
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.
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.
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.
laurashapiro linked to a fundraiser for 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 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.
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 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.
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.
Fandom: MCU (The Avengers / Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Characters: Steve Rogers
Spoilers: Minor spoilers for Spider-Man: Homecoming (no plot spoilers). Set about two months after The Avengers.
Notes: My inspiration for this story is a bit spoilery for Homecoming, so I'll put my notes behind the cut.
( Here are the spoilers )
Summary: Next time, Steve Rogers will be more careful when he agrees to lend his name and likeness to a project.
Also on AO3
( Several hours into filming, Steve Rogers had to admit that this job wasn't the worst he'd ever done. )
During a call with our manager, H started to complain that we had a lot of work to get done, and was cut off by the manager, who asked if we thought if teams in the other divisions (notably, he referred to what used to be his only team, in South). We were both put off by this, and we weren't trying to compare our workload in relation to other divisions, only to the other two regions in our division.
While there is a restructure in progress on a national level, it's not expected to be done until sometime in the first quarter of 2018. In fact ,the last divisional team to incorporate into the national restructure will be ours.
We looked at active directory and tried to get an idea of how many users each regional team in our division had. H and I make up two thirds of field IT in the Mountain region, with contractor C in Salt Lake City being the other.
Mountain has 370 users and three field techs across three states.
California has 260 users and three field techs and a supervisor. Somewhat obviously, it is only one state.
Northwest has 168 users and three field techs and a supervisor across two states.
Apparently, back before H had a horrible car accident and missed a year of work, there were three field techs, a supervisor, and the divisional manager in Mountain. There was not a supervisor when I started in May 2016. The divisional manager left in march 2017 and his position was eliminated as part of the restructure.
The math we did was users per tech. We did the math two ways, as the supervisors do pick up tickets in addition to escalations.
Mountain: 123 users per tech.
California 65 per tech (87 if you ignore the supervisor).
Northwest has 42 users per tech (56 if you ignore the supervisor.)
That math alone validates our frustrations in our opinion, and I kind of wish we'd gone into the call with the manager with this knowledge.
Now here's the iffy math. Mountain is 3 states: Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. H and I are the primary support for all but 2 (extremely remote) users in Colorado. C, based from Salt Lake City, handles those 2, as well as all of Utah and New Mexico as his primary users.
C has maybe 70 users for whom he is primary support. I'm guessing half of those are in Salt Lake City. Our AD doesn't break users down that far in OUs, and we didn't really want to count.
Colorado has 4 outlying offices with maybe 30 people between them, and it might be as low as 20. The downtown Denver office has 70, half of whom will be moving to the largest office in the state at the end of August. That office hosts all of operations for the division, and serves as the base for several national teams.
Now you get the idea of just how stressed and frustrated H and I are.
And I can safely say that the stress is impacting my personal life as well. I rarely spend time in front of any sort of computer system anymore to relax. Guild Wars 2 I log in to for mostly missions. I didn't touch the Wii U for probably 2 months, having spent 6-8 hours a weekend playing Breath of the Wild since it launched. I don't even play the games on my phone often, other than to occasionally distract me from work when there's a moment or two to do so.
Once again, I'm burning out, and I don't know how much longer I can last. I've been a contractor ever since I moved to Colorado, and that will be 3 years in August. I started my first job here on October 20, 2014.
I'm looking forward not only to the Disney world trip in October, but the convention in December as well. And I'm barely two weeks back from the last one.