Statman is a klezmer clarinetist and bluegrass mandolinist and sometimes a jewgrass mandolinist/clarinetist. He plays both instruments with prodigious speed and fluency, and more importantly, with tremendous soul and spirit. He was a student of the great klezmer clarinetist Dave Tarras and became one of the great proponents of the '70s klezmer revival.
I came across one of his albums in the library last week and said "Hey, I wonder if he's still playing at Charles Street" and I checked and he was, so I went in to the City to see the show.
The concerts are in the tiny and cramped basement of the shul, with Hebrew school posters of the Alef Bes on the walls. There was a bottle of vodka and some pareve cookies on a table, apparently for anybody who wanted to take. They didn't take admission, but at intermission the shul president asked everyone who could afford it for a fifteen dollar donation. When a woman tried to give him a twenty, he forced her to take change. It was, in short, one of the most heimishe concerts I've ever been at.
And the music was splendid, an opening set of klezmer with Statman blowing beautiful strings of notes on his clarinet along with his trio of bassist Jim Whitney and drummer Larry Eagle (Highlighted by 'the Lobster song', supposed a song played by Romanian Jewish lobstermen in early 20th century Maine while they gathered their treif bounty), followed by an instrumental bluegrass set. They were later joined by visiting guitarist and bluegrass singer Gene Yellin for a handful of songs. They made up the setlist as they want along, sometimes just strumming a chord or a simple melody to get the rest of the band on the same page. Yellin wanted to play a couple of songs that Whitney and Eagle didn't know- Whitney told Yellin and Statman- "You two get started, we'll either figure it out and catch up or we won't." Spoiler alert: They figured it out.
The whole experience was a blast, getting to hear such great music in such a low key setting. I need to go back again when I get a chance.
Meanwhile I've discovered that the 'no remarriage' New York divorce clause came to an end in 1879, so it's just as well I wasn't planning to rely on it... (Raoul hasn't remarried, but then it wouldn't have been a New York divorce in the first place, so I'm not sure how much any of that would be relevant -- not a good idea to make it a pivotal plot point!)
* My husband made short bread from scratch, and it was so delicious. Store bought shortbread is going to taste like cereal from now on.
* I cleaned out the guestroom closet and a friend took the debris away for her school's garage sale. Now you can walk into the closet and see all the stuff like sheets, coats, blankets, dining room table leaves, Xmas boxes, etc that needs to be in there. (One of the reasons we bought this old, comfortable, shitshow of a house is that it has closets in almost every room and they're huge. The downside of that is stuff gets put in them and you forget it's there and just put stuff in on top of it.)
* I also cleaned out and did some rearrangement of my office, mainly getting rid of the desk which wasn't being used since I don't have a desktop computer anymore. A lot of old publishing letters and paperwork went to my archive at Cushing Library, freeing up filing cabinet drawers for things to go into and I gave away some more stuff to the school garage sale. We're going to put a chair in there so people can actually go in, sit down, and read. (The process started with the realization that we didn't actually have to keep the door closed to keep the cats out since Jack and Tasha don't eat paper, plastic, and string like Harry did.)
* I love the new mattress. I'm actually having longer more detailed dreams, or at least remembering longer more detailed dreams, because I'm not constantly waking up trying to find a position that's not painful.
* I lucked into a half-price frame sale and got some prints we bought at Comicpalooza framed and hung up in the hallway.
* I've been gradually trying to get the choking vines out of the front flower bed, and it's sort of almost starting to look better.
* Doctor Who has been awesome. God, I love Bill as much as Donna. I want Donna to get her memory back and she and Bill have to find the Tardis and go off to rescue the Doctor.
Stuff I need to do today:
* Finish off the Raksura Patreon story (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=
* Pull more vines out of flower bed.
Stuff I need to do this week:
* Re-paint the trim in the stairwell.
* Make some serious progress on Murderbot 4.
* more vines
Things I have coming up:
* I'm doing a signing with Rachel Caine at Murder by the Book in Houston, TX, on Saturday July 15, at 4:30
If you can't come in person, you can order signed copies of The Harbors of the Sun and The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red and Rachel's Ash and Quill, the latest in her Great Library series, and Stillhouse Lake. Plus whichever of our other books the store can order.
( Hidden Figures )
- Discussion, Reactions, Reviews and News -
- The official BBC website has put up its Official Pyramid microsite with the usual clips, factfiles and quiz etc.
- Pyramid at the End of the World Reaction posts and Discussion
- jjpor has posted who_at_50's, here.
- nostalgia reacts more to the next time trailer than the episode (discussion in the comments is worth reading, as always).
- The Gallifrey Times hosts a discussion and poll.
- beccaelizabeth is mildly disappointed.
- Blogtor Who rounds up some fan reactions.
- I posted doctorwho's Reactipoll here.
- Pyramid at the End of the World Reviews
- The Grauniad says that in a dark week, the show went to dark places.
- Blogtor Who thinks it is an exciting, idea-driven story that plays with high stakes.
- Den of Geek says an impressive episode, with caveats.
- Cultbox thought it was another solid and rewarding episode in a season that’s been nothing but consistent.
- Doctor Who News thought it isn’t the best [episode] of the season, but it definitely isn’t the worst.
- lizbee wasn't thrilled.
- I hated it. Really, really hated it. With lots of swearing.
- Pyramid at the End of the World Extras
- The Gallifrey Times has the covers for Doctor Who Magazine #513 and the final result of their poll on Extremis.
- purplecat reviews Oxygen, and thinks she like it less than it deserves to be liked; she also has a random pic from City of Death.
- Whovian Feminism reviews Extremis.
- Blogtor Who has some Who-related updates from London Comic Con.
- Cultbox reveals who will be directing Moffat's final ever Who.
- Podcasts and Audiovisual Discussion -
- The Official BBC Doctor Who YouTube channel has the Next Time trailer for The Lie of the Land and a clip therefrom.
- The Eleventh Hour (audio podcast) review Extremis.
- Roy's Rocket Radio (audio podcast) discusses Extremis, among other things.
- Whocast.de (autoplaying German audio podcast) Episode 345 discusses Extremis too.
- Arrow Of Time (audio podcast) Episode 134 also discusses Extremis.
- Discussing Who (audio podcast) Episode 49 discusses Extremis as well.
- The Doctor Who Show has dropped three episodes: (audio podcast) Episode 9 of their You and Who strand, a May roundup, and a review of Pyramid.
- Doctor Who Time and Space (autoplaying audio podcast) Episode 213 discusses Extremis as well.
- Tim's Take On... (audio podcast) Episode 385 reviews Pyramid.
- Doctor Who Fifty Years Ago (audio podcast) Episode 37 reviews The Evil of the Daleks Episode 1.
- Doctor Who: The Sonic Toolbox (audio podcast) Episode 236 covers Extremis AND Pyramid.
- Who Back When (audio podcast) Episode 56 reviews The Next Doctor.
- The Who Addicts (YouTube channel) have two reviews of Pyramid.
- Doctor Who: The Fan Show (YouTube channel) has their usual aftershow discussion, this week with Rachel Denning and Jamie Hill.
- Challenges, Prompts and Announcements relating to Fanworks -
- primsong has This week's challenge - "vegetable" in dw100.
- ratcreature announces that fanart_recs are looking for contributors.
GT aims to cover Doctor Who Universe news and fan activity on Dreamwidth and beyond. If you'd like to be added to our watch list, please leave a comment here. Questions? If you can't find the answer on our profile, you can contact the editors by commenting on any edition of the newsletter.
That's how she seems to see it, anyhow. It's big and red and will suck a cat down its gulllet and go back for more.
Thinking of dragons brought to mind a question I'd had before but never looked it up. For the voice of Smaug the dragon in The Hobbit films, why was Benedict Cumberbatch chosen instead of Tim Curry? Okay okay, nothing against Cumberbatch at all, but Curry's voice has been shown to terrify the piss out of people, especially childr-- oh. Ah, right, that must be it. Cinema chairs don't need anyone pissing into them. So, I'll just back away from that topic, putting my hands into my pockets as I glide away.
1. Iced coffee. Turkey bacon. Challah french toast.
2. Cuddling with my kid yesterday and marathoning a bunch of Sword Art Online, which I enjoy as much as he does.
3. My kid is seven and a half today! On his suggestion, we're going to the grocery store later today to get cupcakes to share with friends later this afternoon.
4. Watching wee birds at my bird feeder, supping on seeds.
5. Friends. Including all of you.
An Otter pup whose life was saved by an emergency Caesarean section is out of the nest at Taronga Zoo.
When a female Oriental Small-clawed Otter named Pia went into labor on February 28, keepers noticed that she was having difficulty delivering her babies. They called on the veterinary staff, who performed an emergency Caesarean section on Pia. Unfortunately, all three of Pia’s cubs were unresponsive when they were delivered.
The staff tried to resuscitate the cubs, and amazingly, one survived. That pup, a male named Intan, which means ‘diamond’ in Indonesian, has spent the last 10 weeks in the nest box with Pia and her mate, Ketut. Intan has just begun exploring outdoors and tasting solid food alongside mom and dad.
“They’ve been perfect parents. They’re both extremely attentive and occasionally even battle over who gets to look after the pup,” said Keeper Ben Haynes. “Ketut is a first-time dad, but he grew up with younger siblings so he has experience collecting fish and caring for younger otters.”
The pup is the first successful Otter birth at Taronga in more than 15 years.
“He’s very curious, but still very much reliant on mum and dad for everything. They’ve started encouraging him into the water, swimming alongside him and teaching him to dive underwater,” said Ben.
The smallest of the world’s 13 Otter species, weighing less than 12 pounds as adults, Oriental Small-clawed Otters are found in the streams, rivers, marshes, and wetlands of southern India, southern China, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Classified as a Vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, populations continue to be threatened by habitat loss, water pollution and poaching for the fur trade.
See more photos of Intan below.
In 'Girl power: How the fans whose tastes we’ve been most dismissive of may prove the most resilient,' National Post's Sadaf Ahsan wrote Their taste is – more often than not – dismissed as hysterical. They populate Twitter, blogs and online forums. They hit up Ticketmaster on the dot. They write fan-fiction pairing their favourite singers together. They form fanclubs and fansites. And they scream louder than just about anyone else. They are young girls, and as such, the things that they love are open to ridicule, merely because they love them so boldly and with such eager abandon.
For the Duluth News Tribune, Christa Lawler wrote, of the Franconia Sculpture Park, The horizon is a post-apocalyptic fan-fiction fodder: a collection of wooden houses — one sunken, one seemingly airborne, one roofless, one dog-shaped — all alongside animals taken out of context, LEGO-like structures, geometrics, human figures and singled-out body parts.
( Margaret Atwood on Wattpad, Game of Thrones, Chinese lit, Trudeau/Macron, Baywatch, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Sherlock Holmes )
For The Atlantic, Robinson Meyer noted Trump’s budget remains a kind of fiduciary fan fiction for Freedom Caucus conservatives, who can fantasize about a skinnier government without ever living with the political consequences. So even if it never come to pass, it’s worth noting: This is what they want.
In an interesting New York Times piece on censorship, Balli Kaur Jaswal admitted there was a lot of “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” fan fiction in my early career.
In a NewStatesman review of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Pauline Bock wrote It is a story of sons and daughters – Turner’s son Henry is following in the family tradition, trying to save his father from a curse – usually the sign that a series is dangerously lurking into fan fiction (here's looking at you, Harry Potter’s Cursed Child).
For New Republic, Jeet Heer wrote [Louise] Mensch often veers into surrealistic fan fiction, saying she believes Russian President Vladimir Putin “murdered” Andrew Breitbart in 2012, “funded riots in Ferguson” against police violence, and entrapped Anthony Weiner in a sexting scandal with a 15-year-old girl.
Finally, for Shepherd Express, Russ Bickerstaff wrote Robots and burlesque go together like...robots and burlesque. And really, what could possibly be more sexy than a Dalek? The first weekend of June finds Dainty Rogues asking that very question as the locally-based group presents an all-original Dr. Who fan fiction for the stage.
Also, despite having an account, I did not even get an email from them about this. Though I think I may have disabled even import site update messages when I clicked "unsubscribe" back in April on the mails I got back to back about free plushies and pizza parties or some such crap, even though I had been fairly sure in my account creation that I didn't want promo messages.
But frankly the way site messaging was handled there was one of the problems that made the site unusable for me. Even now when I log in I do not see any closing message prominently in my notice box, just a whole bunch of "recommended for you" stuff. I had to click on the Imzy group to see their announcement from May 24th, and only learned about it now by accident after seeing talk elsewhere.
Apparently the final closing date is June 23rd. But I don't have any content there, so I'm not bothered.
And - guess what? I have those tickets.
So I hunkered down and watched Batman vs. Superman. It was exactly as joyless, miserable, boring, and generally intolerable as I expected - with, of course, the exception of the Wonder Woman bits.
But I did it - and now my appetite is whet for more Wonder Woman!!
2. TV: Two of my shows had their season finales this week:
Elementary's finale title was very apt: ( Hurt Me, Hurt You )
Supergirl's finale: ( Nevertheless, She Persisted )
So that leaves only Doctor Who to keep up with currently. Therefore I started watching Voyager from the beginning (not entirely sure I'll stick with it) and rewatching the first two seasons of Deep Space Nine, because I actually began missing the show and was curious to see how these would look to me now, since I rushed through them the first time around. Some notes to follow probably.
3. DW business: LJ's shenanigans last month made me wonder if I should claim my OpenID on DW or not. Hm. Still undecided.
But what did you guys think?
The Pyramid at the End of the World?
Other; please specify
Other; please specify
Are you looking forward to next week?
Other; please specify
Here's the link!
And here's a selection of the stuff I have up there! Just a bunch of fun, pretty things.
Pretty pastel crystals!
This bear drawn by my girlfriend! That's right! A bear drawn by a bear!
Do you like that Owl City Fireflies song as much as I do? Here you go. I've done several of these on the firefly theme and I just love them.
This is a cute rabbit. What more do I need to say?
There's more at the shop!
There is a tumblr post you can boost here!
Please share the link if you have friends that you think will be interested!
What kind of ( cut for spoilers and lots of swearing ). And that's without even getting into the fact that ( more spoilers ).
So yeah, I am angry. I am especially angry given how good the first few episodes this series were. If it had all been crap I could have just shrugged and carried on. But this is... ugh. It feels like such a waste. A waste of Bill, and a waste of Erica, who was an awesome new character.
2. We have had no trash pick up at work for a week, for unknown reasons (calling the trash company did not get us anything except promises to come the next day, which were inevitably broken), and our bin outside is jam packed and has been for days, so we just have a huge pile of trash bags building in our back storage area. I've been trying to get someone from corporate to help with this and finally today they called me and said they talked to the manager at the Gardena store and said we could send two pallets of trash per day to them and they would put it in their trash compactor. So a huge chunk of my day today was spent getting pallets of trash made up, which was not fun, but this will help alleviate the situation until we can actually get trash pick-up again, which will probably be Tuesday at the earliest (Monday is a holiday).
3. We got pizza for dinner. :D I texted Carla asking if she would be down with that and she had literally just been about to text me and ask me the same thing.
4. I love how Chloe looks like "ugh, stop taking my picture all the time, Dad!"
"... your – how shall I put it? – your panache, your disregard for convention, your remarkable talent for criminal investigation –"
"I prefer the term 'panache'," I interrupted. [loc 624]
The only novel in the series to be set wholly in London, Deeds of the Disturber opens with a mysterious death at the British Museum. With remarkable alacrity, the popular press start on about curses, ( not significantly spoilery )
Вчера, в очередной раз очищая подъезд и вход в него от агиток (весьма недешёвых кстати, плотная мелованная бумага, полноцвет) с физиономиями кандидатов, подумал, а мож сходить, сделать им сюрприз, вычеркнуть в бюллютне все фамилии граждан, желающих коррумпироваться, а сверху написать что-то для них страшное, типа "навальный", "мальцев", "домик для уточки"...
Однако, вспомнил, что ведь там попросят "паспорт либо документ, его замеящий", а потом внесут в списки какие-нить
В общем, пусть сидят скучают, сегодня день такой летний жаркий, что даже торговые центры опустели, к ним врят ли кто вообще пойдёт...
In the evening I met rushthatspeaks for a sold-out showing of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) at the Brattle Theatre: I thought it was great. It's more overtly supernatural than the series overall—it's focused on the most overtly supernatural strand—but it's also decisively grounded by Sheryl Lee's performance, with Laura Palmer's very realistic anger, damage, and agency (it was not clear in the show that her final status was a choice rather than an inevitable consequence or a weird side effect of the manner of her death; the film offers her no good options, but she absolutely opts for the best of them, which makes it strangely difficult for me to classify the film as horror, even though content-wise I don't know what else it should be) interlocking across registers with the characters who live in the soapier layers of the plot. I was glad to see Harry Dean Stanton turn up in the supporting cast, because he feels existentially like someone who should inhabit a David Lynch universe. Now we just need to finish watching the remaining half of Season Two and figure out what to do about the third-season revival.
A later interlude of placidly watching candymaking videos by Public Displays of Confection with spatch was interrupted by Autolycus violently throwing up all over a box of hardcover Le Guin and Tanith Lee, but fortunately the box had a lid on it, the books have been transplanted to a high shelf, and a very shaken small cat was comforted after we emergency-mopped the floor. (There was much anxious purring. We reassured him that we know he does not throw up maliciously. He never looks like he enjoys it.)
Unless it gets a National Theatre-style broadcast, I don't have a hope of seeing the Crucible's Julius Caesar on account of it being in Sheffield and me being on the other side of an ocean, but it's being done with a diverse, gender-equal cast and I wish I could see it, because Zoë Waites has a hell of a lean and hungry look:
We are talking about seeing Jacques Tati's Playtime (1967) tomorrow. I haven't seen the movie since 2010, when it was also on film at the Brattle and I loved it. I should get to bed.
I'm not ruling out getting married again, but it's not something I'm ready to do right now. I seem to be good at picking spouses so it would probably go well if I did. I'm eager to not organise another wedding, though, and would rather go for 'turn up, say our vows, maybe go to the pub' than anything more formal or organised. This (pdf) is the current text of our vows, Colin and I didn't promise to forsake all others, but we had a lot of long conversations about what it would mean if we did. I think whether we left that line out or how it affected our life would be part of the discussions around how any new marriage would work.
Anyway, I'm not sure whether it means literally the actual wedding ceremony (in which case, we had I the Lord of Sea and Sky, Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens Adore Him, Love Divine and Tell Out My Soul first time around) or for the reception (in which case, we had The Nearness of You by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong and I made sure I danced the whole song with Colin because I figured it would be about all I saw him all day. I figured we were looking at something secular, ideally, though, and I don't know that there would be space for that in the sort of ceremony I'm likely to agree to.
Putting reality aside for a moment, imagining the world in which I want a wedding with songs, I'd probably choose this waltz:
Reflecting Light by Sam Phillips
"Just a reminder that NaNoDownUnder starts on June first (for winter New Zealand time). Want to kick-start your writing? Set your own goals -- this doesn't have to be a full 50K-word endeavour, just whatever you want to aim for. Pick a WIP to finish, or set a daily time or wordcount goal. Or just wing it, if you prefer. Daily check-in posts. Locked comm so we can chat/cheer/commiserate in semi-privacy (ie, you have to join to play, but membership isn't moderated)."
A skipper who looked 25 or 26 placed tobacco in “a suspicious looking object, sucked and then breathed out smoke”.
He had a “scarlet woollen coat” with “cuffs embroidered with gold thread and the buttons were silver-plated”, which was “a thing of great beauty, but as clothing it was gaudy”.
The skipper gave instructions to a crew that “in accordance with what appeared to be some mark of respect” followed orders to remove their hats “to the man, most of them revealing balding heads”.
They “exchanged words amongst themselves like birds twittering”.
A dog on the ship “did not look like food. It looked like a pet.”
Another samurai chronicler called Hirota noted the crew offered gifts including an object he later drew, which looks like a boomerang.
One sailor bared his chest to the disguised samurai to reveal a tattoo of “the upper body of a beautiful woman”, Hamaguchi wrote.
Another produced “a big glass of what appeared to be an alcoholic beverage and indicated that we should drink”.“We declined by waving our hands, upon which they passed the glass around themselves, one by one tapping their heads as they drank to indicate the good feeling it brought them, and finished the lot.”
Originally from the Peace, Love and Low Carb blog. I have, as usual, changed it:
3lb ground Italian sausage (used Johnsonville)
2 + 2 Tbsp butter
2 + 1 Tbsp olive oil
2 C spinach, packed (baby, and all of a 5oz package)
1 C carrots, diced
1 leek, not so small, cleaned and sliced
1 box (6oz) minced onion and celery
~5 C chicken stock
1.5 C lentils (green)
1 C heavy cream
1/2 C Parmesian cheese, grated
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Original instructions: Heat slow cooker on low setting. Thoroughly rinse lentils, and add to slow cooker with chicken stock.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown sausage in olive oil and butter.
Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage from pan, reserving drippings. Add the cooked sausage to the slow cooker.
Add spinach, carrots, onions, garlic, leek, celery and a little salt and black pepper to the pan. Sauté vegetables over medium heat until tender. About 10 minutes.
Add sauteed vegetables to the slow cooker and mix in.
Stir in heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar. Cover and allow to cook on low 6-8 hours.
What I'm doing:
Brown sausage in olive oil and butter. Sauté veggies + salt & pepper in drippings. Package everything up and put in the fridge.
Do everything else tomorrow.
The original had one sautéing 1.5lb ground sausage in 2 Tbsp each of olive oil and butter. I wound up buying 3 1lb packs, and running low on oil in the pan about half way through and sloshed more olive oil in there. Then when sautéing the veggies (which were, like 2x the original) in the drippings, it looked too dry, so I added 2 more Tbsp of butter.
Right now I have the sausage browned and the veggies sautéd; I'm pretty much ready to combine everything when I wake up tomorrow so it can cook through the day.
sent to beta
had a cheeky break
dealt with life
Discussion: what are you working on this week? any deadlines looming?
Want to kick-start your writing?
Set your own goals -- this doesn't have to be a full 50K-word endeavour, just whatever you want to aim for. Pick a WIP to finish, or set a daily time- or wordcount-goal. Or just wing it, if you prefer.
Daily check-in posts. Locked comm so we can chat/cheer/commiserate in semi-privacy (ie, you have to join to play, but membership isn't moderated). Come one, come all...
We followed that up with a taco lunch, and then I had to run back for my first panel of the day: It's OK Not to Like Stuff, where we talked about the delicate art of having unpopular opinions on the Internet, particularly as a critic. Although there were only three of us, we developed a great rapport, and afterward, the mod (crosberg) expressed sadness that I live too far away to come replicate the panel at C2E2 next year. The hashtag for that one didn't get too much action, sadly, because it was a fun discussion of how to navigate negative reviews, how we communicate differently when we're being a critic as opposed to when we're being a fan, and how to tactfully disengage when someone insist that you must be wrong not to love the thing they love.
My next stops were a panel on the ever-evolving SF/F canon (hashtag), which may become the fodder for arguments and discussion at a later time, and an entertaining group reading featuring Charlie Jane Anders, Mark Oshiro, and more robot sex than expected. After dinner, I dropped by the Tiptree Auction; branewane was in top form as auctioneer, just as she was last year, but the highlight of my time there BY FAR was the auction for a bottle of lube autographed by Zoe Quinn on behalf of Chuck Tingle (final sale price: $125).
My last event of the day was my third panel, about fanfic. The description was a little broad, so in our pre-con email discussions we decided to make it a conversation about the connections between fanfic and historical fiction (using Hamilton as a jumping off point), and about older canons like Sherlock Holmes, Shakespeare, and Jane Austen that still have transformative works being made about them. It was a pretty lose panel with lots of audience participation (and a fun, active hashtag, where afranklinhudson helpfully posted links to many of the fics and other works mentioned). Also during that time period was the panel I was saddest to miss, on the joys of Leverage, so I am very glad that it was live-tweeted by a number of people.
It was a good day but also a long day, so after a quick nightcap at Michelangelo's followed by a pass by the Floomp, we are back in our room, typing away on our computers and recovering from a day of talking and sociability (at least I am). Looking forward to tomorrow, but for now I am happy to relax for a bit.
This past month, I've been continuing to go to different Dem caucus meetings and events. It's been great to hear about what's going on in local politics and issues that the different caucuses have, and how people are fighting to make things right in our state.
My House (Dem) rep (or at the very least, her office in DC) is on fire with responses. I've been using resistbot to send her my concerns and thanks, and her office has been mailing me letters thanking me and telling me what my rep has been doing in regards to said issue. I'm surprised because I don't need responses, but it's really nice to know that her office are getting my messages.
My recent impulse buy was a magnet from Michaels which read 'My cat is a Democrat' :D I thought it was funny and took a picture of it to send to my best friend before I realize, "Oh wait, I should buy this!" and I did. It's now on my fridge and I get a kick out of it every time I'm in the kitchen.
WisCon proper kicked off this afternoon. We had a very lazy morning, sleeping in and then getting breakfast at Michelangelo's, followed by a trip to A Room of One's Own for some actual book shopping (we decided not to deal with the lines after the reading on Thursday). I got the second volume of Bitch Planet and Rainbow Rowell's Carry On. Then it was time to check out the Gathering, followed by my very first WisCon panel!
The panel was about women who play video games, and it went very well. To get a flavor of the discussion, I suggest checking out the Twitter hashtag, #WomenGameWriters. Of the five panelists, two are professional video game developers, and the moderator, tanyad, is the founder of #INeedDiverseGames; myself and the fifth panelist are gamers with no industry connections. So we brought a nice mix of professional and non-professional, outsider and insider viewpoints to the conversation. We talked about the perception of women gamers -- women don't play shooters, women only play casual games, casual gamers aren't "real" gamers, and so on -- and also about the perception that the people who make and sell games are all cis white dudes (a stereotype with some truth to it, but there have always been women and people of color in the industry, and their numbers are growing all the time, especially in the indie game space). I felt like we had a good conversation and that I made some worthwhile contributions. I was also very glad to have a microphone, because although I'm feeling a little better today, my voice is not in any shape to project.
The next panel block was Mark Oshiro's "Queer Eye for Sci-Fi", which I was very happy to attend for a second year in a row. Similar to last time, the panelists discussed their experiences as queer people of color who are fans of sci-fi and fantasy media, in all its glory and with all its problems. The hashtag for that one is pretty great, too.
Afterwards was dinner; we headed to a local brewpub for some burgers and fried things, where I introduced justira and renay to the wonders of deep fried cheese curds, and then we dropped by the Opening Ceremonies. Just like last year, Katherine Cross gave a stirring speech, this time on the subject of the importance of WisCon and the safer space it provides for marginalized fans, and why it's vital to keep it going in Trump's America. Our next stop was the game tables, to play a long-planned game of Slash hosted by Jed. Slash is a card game in the style of Apples to Apples, except instead of adjectives and nouns, the cards each have the name of a fictional or historical character, and the objective is to make the best pairing. Some of our better results included Gandhi/Hannibal Lecter, Veronica Mars/Marge Simpson, and a whole harem (including Rasputin and Andre the Giant) for the cast of the Golden Girls. Then I dropped by the annual vid party, which was an excellent set list as always. I left after the first half, which ended with a funny and moving tribute to Carrie Fisher that left half the audience literally in tears. I'll post the complete set list when it's available.
I plan to type up today's con experience now, but it might not go out into the world until tomorrow, depending on how long it takes. It's going well, and I'm having fun with Ira and Renay, but I so wish this cold hadn't decided to come along. It's kind of getting better, but the amount that I'm talking is probably not helping matters. Stupid cold. But it's not getting me down too much. I just have to take it a little easier than I would prefer, which overall is maybe not a bad thing.
Just before Maker Faire Donald and I went up to Ukiah to finish up the drip irrigation on Howell Creek and Red Barn Creek. Donald was my hero, digging way more than his half of the 75 feet of ditch for the new faucet at the Red Barn. We did get it done, but only because Donald cancelled his usual Tuesday night class. It felt really good to get the drip established on the Red Barn Creek. Maybe the little plants will make it through the summer this year! The next day Maker Faire started.
When we arrived at Maker Faire the boss announced that we were all "hand picked and requested" which is a very nice compliment. The Faire was its usual zany self. To my vast relief I was assigned to the "Homegrown Barn", the space I was in last year for the first day. It was really hot this year, but in general it was great. The steward on the call mentioned to me that I am absolutely certain to be on the crew as long as I wanted the job. Very nice to hear.
The garden is still lovely with late spring/early summer flowers.
Donald and I went to Ukiah just before
Anyway, this documentary is SO FULL OF GOODIES.
- He talks to his sticks! If things aren't going well, he says you have to tell the stick to score.
- He goes on for quite a while about how he doesn't like people manhandling his stick. /cough
- His house in Pittsburgh is cool. He has a POND. I am definitely working that into a fic somewhere.
- There was a lot of neat stuff about his pre-game routine, cutting and taping his sticks, that kind of thing. I hadn't seen some of that stuff in that much detail before.
- His wife Anna calls him 'Tiger,' possibly because of his sign in the Chinese astrological calendar. She told him her sign was a mouse, so he started calling her Jerry.
- A lot of stuff about how private he is, and how he doesn't go out much and spends most of his off time at home.
- Shots of the players' parking and the door they use to get in, via keycard
- Geno talking about how shy and lonely and awkward he felt the first couple of years in Pittsburgh, because of the language barrier
- Geno talking about how serious concussions are, and how he thinks the real issue is people coming back from them too soon. I am not at all used to seeing the average hockey player talking frankly about this stuff.
- He used to cry after every game he lost, whether it was an important one or not.
- He had some stuff to say about how important he feels sports are for unifying a country. Not sure I agree with him, but it's certainly the most philosophical I've ever heard a hockey player get about it.
Once your assignment is finished, you might consider making a treat if you happen to see anything appealing in the list of requests. This is definitely not required, but it's an option if you are inspired.
Speaking of inspiration, there are tons of screencaps and historical info sites in the resource post, and there's also the prompt post if you're stuck for ideas and want to peruse the prompts. (I added a few that were contributed since the post was last updated.) And don't forget the beta thread if you are in need of a beta or would like to offer your services.
Out of curiosity, does anyone have any suggestions for inspiration/encouragement/cheerleading type posts that might be useful as we head into the final stretch? I meant to do more of that kind of thing this year and the deadline got away from me, as deadlines often do; I'm not sure if it would still be useful this late. But if some commiseration and cheerleading threads would be helpful to anyone, then by all means let me know and I'll put some up.
Author: Hakoishi Toru
Publisher: Young Jump
Genre: Humor, Sports
Status in Japan: 1 volume, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations + Anima Regia
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates
Summary: Hino is obsessed with playing sports in high school, but not because he loves sports (he doesn't), or is any good at them (he's really not). He's doing it because that's the way to get a girlfriend (or so he thinks). After getting kicked out of half his school's sports clubs, he's still convinced he just hasn't found the sport he's truly destined for. When he (literally) runs into Noborito Ayako, manager of the rubgy club, it's love at first sight (for him), but all she's looking for is another warm body for the struggling rugby club. Could this be the chance he's been waiting for?
Chapter Summary: Nobody thinks Hino can stand up against Asakura, not even Hino himself. But Noborito still hasn't given up hope...
Chapter 3: Take Back the Honor