HOWEVER, if you're used to finding me on gchat, you see the one serious problem, here. I can't reach any of you and it's awful.
If there is some other chat client you're on, or if you don't mind getting chatty texts from me, please leave your info here (all comments screened)
You wish to engage in criminal activity of a magical nature in Toronto. It is summer. Pick a location:
Other TTC station (specified in comments)
Elsewhere on Toronto Island
Nathan Phillips Square/City Hall
Regent Park Armory
Queen Street West
Queen Street East
Flatiron Building, Front Street East
Don Valley (specifics in comments)
Robarts Library/Majestic Turkey
Public Library (specify branch in comments)
On a streetcar
This other location:
Please speculate freely on tactical, logistical, and other considerations in comments.
No, I am not going to blow up the location in question. Not even if it's the extension on the ROM.
 South of Finch, East of Kipling, West of Kennedy. Amalgamation can bite me.
Stanford researcher Mark Jacobson likes to take current thinking about renewable energy and supersize it. Rather than aiming for 50 percent renewables, like California is, he has analyzed what it would take for each of the 50 states to go fully renewable. It would apparently involve so many offshore wind turbines that hurricanes headed toward the States would be suppressed.
I feel like that's an unalloyed good, am I missing something here?
I assume I'm looking at, like, five readers here, and I'll probably end up getting four of them to help beta, but the heart wants what the heart wants, which in this case seems to be Ed Lang attempting to grapple with the logistics of a situation involving fucking magic, seriously? while Peter Grant and Thomas Nightingale are stuck kibitzing via Skype and can't usefully do any actual spells.
IDEK YOU GUYS.
A handful of prunes, chopped smallish.
A scant handful of dried currants.
About 8 green peppercorns, cracked up in a mortar with two pieces of dried garlic (they were selling dried garlic at the Ukaranian festival this summer and you guys, it is amazeballs. Sharp and rich and just generally fun to play with.)
An enthusiastic glug of dry sherry
A slightly less enthusiastic glug of balsamic fruit vinegar.
A small glug of fruit juice to bring the liquid level up (I used cherry/cranberry, because it was sitting on the table when I was flailing about looking for ideas)
Cook it for several hours covered on very low heat (I have a tiny crockpot, which is what I used) wandering past and tasting it occasionally and when the vinegar starts to taste a bit sharp turn it off and add
One onion, carmelised.
Let it sit for a couple of hours while you do other things. Put it on stuff.
Mel and I took over the kitchen and did Interesting Things with food, ably supported by our long-suffering spouses, who variously drove us to two grocery stores, organised the table, did a million dishes, rescued the bread when the kitchen, being cold and dry, killed the first round of yeast dead, chopped things, reminded us of things, hugged us, tasted things, stirred things, consoled us when things did not go as planned and had to be rejigged on the fly, ate and praised our efforts, and did a million more dishes while we sat around dazed drinking port and high-fiving each other hysterically while exclaiming WE DID THE THING. As one does.
Mel's rabbit pilaf was the hit of the night and my savoury jam wasn't too bad either. There were two kinds of squash and fairestcat's amazing brussel sprouts and I did a slightly experimental pie that was nearly exactly right (condensing all the fruit worked well but I needed a fraction more liquid) and we ritually harvested the last kale from the bathtub and fajrdrako and reyl and his awesome daughter Em came and helped us eat it all and it was an excellent Thanksgiving/Harvest Festival meal.
Monday we had to take Mel and James to the airport, which was exceeding sad.
2) In other news we got a fancy dehumidifier with a HEPA filter, and the difference is shocking. I confirmed on this trip that no matter HOW clean a space is, if it's damp it WILL contain enough dust mites to make me ill, so when I got home to a week of rain we splurged. I'm rationalising it on the grounds that with the price of Advair what it is we'll save the 300 CDN back right quick, and honestly I think that's true, and that's before we compare the health effects of spending it on steroids versus spending it on not needing steroids.
My other big discovery of this year is that allergy attacks = inflammation and fluid retention/production which = increased pain. I have usually tended to have less pain and fatigue while out in the mountains and then collapse on arriving home but I guess I thought it was adrenalin followed by a crash. Nope.
When I walk into a place I react to, on what was a good pain day, I can reliably predict that my back and shoulders will start to hurt twenty to thirty minutes later. I now have a whole new theory of that whole "my knee tells me what the weather is going to do" thing.
I pass this on for what it's worth to folks with both allergies and chronic pain.
3) Pursuant to my policy that snow is not permitted before my birthday, I am snarling feebly at the extremely fluffy white rain outside today. Fortunately I have to do a bunch of cleaning, so am saved from actually going out to encounter it in person.
4) As of December 15 I will, for the first time in some time, no longer be married to a member of the OTW board. In the meantime, yes, I AM pointedly ignoring the current rash of posts on the topic, and intend to continue doing so.
I may at some point alter the policy I have had since fairestcat first joined the board back in whenever of publically having No Opinion Whatsoever about the OTW's workings, but frankly it's extremely restful so very likely not.
I'd like to continue to believe that you are all the kind of people who, upon reading that, will NOT feel compelled to leave me a comment designed to bait one of us into engaging. Please assist me in maintaining this innocence.
5) I have no original or useful thoughts about current world affairs, and if Afghanistan and Iraq taught me anything it's that there's really not a lot of point in arguing unless you can arrange to do so in front of policymakers anyway.
My immediate response and current plan is that I am going to call the local Red Cross and get myself back on the Disaster Relief roster and see what classes I can do. Because things are uncertain (things have always been uncertain) and when bad shit goes down in the world there is always room for more people who are willing to show up with tea and blankets and sandwiches, or organise the procurement and delivery of same, and freely give them to those in need, without qualification.
Refusing to buckle to the whims of the arsonists, community members of all creeds responded to the attack by launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for repairs. By Monday morning, $48,000 had already been raised to help with the estimated $80,000 in damages.
Given their commitment to being despicable cowards, the arson suspects could not be reached for comment. At press time it is assumed they are proud to be terrorists
ETA: yes, I know the Beaverton is a satirical site. Here is the CBC story on the arson.
Seriously, I was under the blithe impression that perimenopause caused your periods to get lighter.
Also I have a nasty cold. This has not been an overly productive week.
And shivered in his ghastly suit of grey,
Legless, sewn short at elbow. Through the park
Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn,
Voices of play and pleasure after day,
Till gathering sleep had mothered them from him.
* * * * *
About this time Town used to swing so gay
When glow-lamps budded in the light-blue trees,
And girls glanced lovelier as the air grew dim,—
In the old times, before he threw away his knees.
Now he will never feel again how slim
Girls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands,
All of them touch him like some queer disease.
* * * * *
There was an artist silly for his face,
For it was younger than his youth, last year.
Now, he is old; his back will never brace;
He's lost his colour very far from here,
Poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry,
And half his lifetime lapsed in the hot race
And leap of purple spurted from his thigh.
* * * * *
One time he liked a blood-smear down his leg,
After the matches carried shoulder-high.
It was after football, when he'd drunk a peg,
He thought he'd better join. He wonders why.
Someone had said he'd look a god in kilts.
That's why; and maybe, too, to please his Meg,
Aye, that was it, to please the giddy jilts,
He asked to join. He didn't have to beg;
Smiling they wrote his lie: aged nineteen years.
Germans he scarcely thought of, all their guilt,
And Austria's, did not move him. And no fears
Of Fear came yet. He thought of jewelled hilts
For daggers in plaid socks; of smart salutes;
And care of arms; and leave; and pay arrears;
Esprit de corps; and hints for young recruits.
And soon, he was drafted out with drums and cheers.
* * * * *
Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer Goal.
Only a solemn man who brought him fruits
Thanked him; and then inquired about his soul.
* * * * *
Now, he will spend a few sick years in institutes,
And do what things the rules consider wise,
And take whatever pity they may dole.
Tonight he noticed how the women's eyes
Passed from him to the strong men that were whole.
How cold and late it is! Why don't they come
And put him into bed? Why don't they come?
The kitchen staff, fearful of rioting, has just brought out another vast trayful.
Sometimes I am reminded that half of this room was in the war, is what I'm sayin'.
Am in Rossland spending time with my physically and mentally fragile mother.
Have developed vicious cold.
1) cannot go near Mom until no longer contagious.
2) spent 7 hours with her yesterday, developed symptoms overnight.
3) miserable and panicked.
Have notified RA so they can keep an eye on her and on the lovely woman - also on oxygen - she shares a table with at meals (I sat next to her last night).
Next step, tea and a small orgy of self-pity.
Have established contact with local NDP, will be scrutineering Monday.
And, you know, the misogynists of Canada are always going to have this one handy as their go-to "joke": just, you know, casually threaten to shoot up a classroom. I'm sure they're going to be righteously indignant when that knock comes on their door. Goddamn feminists, can't take a joke.
The Polytechnique murders is such a handy tender spot.
I have a lot of concerns about the security state and the industrial prison complex and right now to be truthful I'm having a lot of trouble caring. I have issues. I'm aware.
Kick their fucking doors in. Go on. And film it and put it on YouTube, I want to see it.
And then treat them with scrupulous fairness. I'm not that far gone. A wish for them to get justice is curse enough.
Meanwhile, I love you, Toronto. I'm proud of you. I'm proud of WiTopoli and the Hassle-Free and all the feminist and womanist and women's organisations and groups and individuals of Toronto. I'm proud of all the pro-feminist men on campus and I'm proud of CUPE 3902. I love you all and I wish I were there right now.
Here is some useful info if you study or work at U of T or need for whatever reason to be on-campus in the next few days:
CUPE 3902 STATEMENT ON ON-CAMPUS THREATS AND UNSAFE WORK
As many of you will know from the Provost’s earlier message, public threats have been received at the University of Toronto. We can add the detail that these were gendered threats made specifically toward women and feminists. We can also add that the threats specifically encourage violence and target our members in their workplaces. Specifically mentioned are those working in Sociology and Women’s Studies classrooms. The wording and content of the threats are beyond abhorrent and will not be reproduced here. All members, but especially those who identify as women and those who work in the named Departments, should be aware and careful, and of course all of us should look out for one another.
As your Union, it is our job to remind you that you have the legal right to refuse unsafe work. You do not have to enter a work situation in which you have reason to believe your safety or the safety of others may be at risk. Contact the Union if you intend to refuse work on the grounds that it is unsafe. You will have our full and unconditional support.
At times like these, the solidarity of sisters, brothers, comrades, friends and colleagues in the Union is essential. Let’s all recommit ourselves to each other’s safety and wellbeing and resist gendered violence in every form wherever we see it.
President's statement, with list of resources:
ETA: we are not presently at home to: minimising arguments, free speech arguments (threats are not protected speech), union-bashing, attempts to 'analyze' the seriousness of the situation, uses of this situation as an excuse to discuss US law or US gun control, or 'what about the men'.
Unconditional permission to link is granted.
Also, I voted last week, because I'm going to be travelling in October.
1) Because whatever your other political activities and options are, there is absolutely nothing about voting which is going to interfere with them. Really. You can vote on the 19th, write letters on the 20th, march in the streets on the 21st, and organise a program to assist children living in poverty on the 22nd. Maybe take the 23rd off, in that case.
If you feel like casting a secret ballot for a party you think will do a somewhat better job than the Conservatives at looking after the vulnerable and assisting the struggling, so that more Canadians can lead decent lives of reasonable comfort and basic dignity, is going to eternally stain your soul, I invite you to consider that it is perhaps not the business of a person to save the shining purity of their own soul at the expense of others' lives. You can go after dark, if you're really concerned.
2) Because First-Past-The-Post and Parliamentary Democracy may be broken, but they are presently the systems on which we have conferred legitimacy. You don't have to like it, but this is the deal. As a private citizen, this is one of the most important ways you can affect how Canada is run, and it is not an endorsement of how either presently work. Really. Operating realistically and sensibly under the current deal does not constitute giving up your right to fight for a better one, and in fact will probably improve your odds:
3) Because voting actually does make a difference. Why do you think the Conservatives have enacted legislation to make it harder while kneecapping Elections Canada? If voting were pointless, the Conservatives would be tryng to get their opponents to do more of it, not less.
4) Because low turnout favours the right. "It has been well established that a low voter turnout will benefit the Conservatives. Duncan Cameron writes, "The 25/60 rule says when only 60 per cent of Canadian citizens go out to vote, 25 per cent of the voters can deliver a majority government." Elections Canada says there were 24.2 million eligible voters in the last federal election. The Harper Conservatives received their majority with just 5.8 million of those votes. But more than 8.8 million Canadians voted for other parties and 9.4 million Canadians did not vote. 5.8 million Conservative votes from 24.2 million eligible voters is 23.9 per cent. Cameron says, "The disengagement from the electoral process is the key to the success of the Conservatives in Canada and of right-wing politics elsewhere."
And the right knows it. They get their vote out religiously. Whatever you think you're doing, if you don't vote you're improving the Conservatives' position, and I do not think you want to do that.
5) Because voting for a candidate does not constitute a ringing endorsement of their party's entire platform, nor an agreement to support them or refrain from putting pressure on them. Come October 20, we are going to have a government. They are going to need their asses kicked. The question is not, is there a leader whose ass won't need any kicking. The question is, which party do you think you have the best chance of persuading of the rightness of your cause?
6) Because political parties respond to their base. If you make it painfully clear that nothing on earth will compel you to vote, nobody is going to chase your vote. If you consistently vote for the candidate who comes closest to reflecting your views, you send a message. If you actually talk to that candidate, or their representative, about said views, you send a larger one.
I am sorry to tell you this, but if you feel like the NDP is chasing the middle too much? They are doing so because the middle is avaiable to be caught. Making it clear that the left is even more available to be caught - because currently underrepresented - is your best possible move. Hell, you don't even have to vote NDP, though if you're in a heavily-contested riding I strongly urge you to. Vote Green. Vote Communist. Vote Liberal, if it's obviously a Liberal-Conservative race in your riding. But make it clear that your vote is out there, available to be gained.
Just vote. It's important. Just get on the bus, or on your bike, or power up your chair, or get in your car, and vote.
I am also, as always, grateful to fairestcat who fixes my coding and my spelling and my punctuation and whose perspective informs pretty much everything I do, particularly when it comes to fandom.
I also want to acknowledge the fans and the academics I have learned from who were not consciously with me as I wrote this. This thing we do is always a communal production, and I've been reading, writing, and talking about these things for many many years now, the last fifteen of them as an active member of fandom. If you recognise your uncredited thoughts or influences here, or those of another, please let me know, with links if you wish, and I will find a way to credit you.
Permission to link/quote: granted. Anon comments are screened on dw, off on lj. Journal rules as laid out in my profiles will be applied here. Anon will not be unscreened unless signed in some fashion allowing me and readers to tell anons apart. Initials and nicks and so forth are just fine and need not be the one you normally use, nor known to me.
So one of the things we do in fandom is talk about writing about rape.
( no actual discussion of rape ensues, but much talk about survivors )