violsva: The words HATPIN TIME, over a pearl topped pin, a reference to The Comfortable Courtesan (hatpin)
[personal profile] violsva
Anthony Comstock was such a deeply unpleasant person that near the end of the first chapter I checked the index to see how much longer I’d have to put up with him. But it turns out that the next chapter was full of judges and prosecutors and other officials who also thought he was an asshole (and refused to convict or harshly punish people under his law), so that was nice.

Lots and lots of anti-abortion free love proponents. (And some anti-”unnatural” contraception ones, too, which. IDEK.)

The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice included lots of prominent and wealthy citizens, some of whom happened to own contraceptive-selling businesses which for some strange reason never got raided or shut down. “Freethinkers dubbed the NYSSV the “Society for the Manufacture and Suppression of Vice” and boycotted [its President] Colgate’s products for years.” (29) Most of the people prosecuted for selling birth control were women, immigrants, and/or Jewish.

Today in Awesome Historical Women You Probably Haven’t Heard of, Sarah Chase.

Comstock was so well known that people sold birth control devices under the name “Comstock Syringes”, which meant they could avoid prosecution by not actually saying they were for birth control. A+.

At least from the 1860s, and probably before, a man in New York City who wanted birth control could walk into a pharmacy or a “rubber shop” and walk out with a package of condoms, even though after 1873 the US had the most restrictive contraception laws in the west. A woman who wanted birth control could get it by mail order anywhere in the country. (Though it was mostly only advertised in publications aimed at the working class.) This was almost certainly even more true in most of Europe (definitely in London).

However, condoms seem to have had about a 50% failure rate (note that that’s the % of pregnancies after one year of use, not the breakage rate). Douching was extremely popular and also basically useless. “Womb veils” (diaphragms and/or cervical caps) were probably more effective, but it’s hard to tell because so much depends on sizing and details. IUDs worked and were available but generally needed doctors to insert them and also were deeply unsafe.

I wonder how many women had major gynecological issues in this period and just ... dealt with them, lived through them, spent days in bed sometimes, did all the housework while in unspeakable pain because that was just their life and no one could do anything about it. (I mean, throughout history, but in this period specifically so much of “women’s medicine” seems to have been just making things worse.)

The 19th century understanding of ovulation was that it probably happened around menstruation, which means that lots of doctors recommended only having sex during what they thought was the “safe period” and lots of couples followed their advice and immediately got pregnant. (Timing of ovulation discovered in the 1920s; modern rhythm method described in 1930.)

On the other hand, “Doctors’ remonstrations against withdrawal, which linked it to insanity, impotence, blindness, and a host of other ailments, may have persuaded some men not to try it and others to “change their minds” at the last minute. Although modern science has invalidated such prophecies of doom, they may well have had a placebo effect on Americans in an earlier era. In 1895, one woman complained that her husband, a physician, had practiced withdrawal only to complain of being entirely “worn out [the] next day.”” (72) Men.

Evidence that some mothers told their daughters about birth control, at least in the pre-wedding Talk: I did not expect this.

1924 study found that 2/3 of respondents had used some form of birth control. Also mentions “one woman from a small Midwestern town whose determination [to gain information] led her to the doorsteps of the community member she believed possessed the most expertise: the “keeper of a brothel.”” (78)

The Adventure Zone

Oct. 21st, 2017 02:04 am
schneefink: (FF Kaylee excited)
[personal profile] schneefink
I just finished listening to "The Adventure Zone" (and by that I mean I literally finished it ten minutes ago, I was typing this up during the last two episodes) and it was amazing and I need to ramble about it. I started it and it didn't really draw me in, I only kept listening because I saw so many people recommending it. Eventually it got better, then around The Eleventh Hour I started to actually enjoy it (finally some character stuff), The Suffering Game wasn't my favorite but that arc's end and the following Lunar Interlude is where the overarching arc got really interesting, and then The Lost Century was really great, and Story and Song was fantastic. It took a long time, but in the end it was worth it. So many feelings. Especially about Taako and [spoiler] *flails*

Spoilers )

I bet it would be fascinating to listen to the whole story again, see how it all looks different now that I know the background, especially because I listened to most of it at work and definitely missed some details. (Not sure I will, at least not right away, because there's a lot of other stuff I want to listen too (live session and Q&As from TAZ alone), but I'll see.)

Spam spam spammity-spam

Oct. 20th, 2017 07:39 pm
oursin: Painting of a pollock with text, overwritten Not wasting a cod on this (pollock)
[personal profile] oursin

Or, I have just been followed on Twitter by 3 people who are the same person, and I do not think there is anything holy about having 3 Twitter identities which are all touting your book/s.

I am also mildly beset by people who, having by some means or other found my website, and discovering something there moderately pertinent to their interests (sometimes, I swear, it is Just One Word in the middle of text), email me offering to 'contribute' or begging me to link to their pages, or add in their link collections, without actually considering what the various bits of my site are doing.

E.g. on my - not even this year's, several years back - listing of my Quotations of the Week, is one which alludes to [problem] - which I probably posted originally because it was neatly turned and complete in itself and not because I have an overwhelming interest in [problem]. This is really not an appropriate venue for a link to somebody's site which is All About [Problem]. Point Thahr Misst.

Indeed, more or less equivalent to, if I had the famous quote attrib Mrs Patrick Campbell re the hurly-burly of the chaise-longue, sending me their list of links to custom makers of high quality chaises longues.

And they do not give up: there is one person who has been positively badgering me, even though I have ignored their email except to mark it as junk, because, for extremely personal reasons, I have a link to a UK charity dealing with [condition], to add in their set of links relating to [condition] which seem entirely US-related, several of them dealing with issues around healthcare which are still - so far - irrelevant in the UK context.

My site is a small, personal, and carefully curated site dealing with various interests of my own and not exactly inundated with hits, except when some media outlet links to certain pages.

Y O Y?

Fight

Oct. 20th, 2017 10:52 am
elizilla: (Default)
[personal profile] elizilla
In other street news, another event happened yesterday out there.

There's a guy who spends hours in the library, when he isn't circling around town on a bicycle. Seems to make a full time job out of wandering around chatting people up. He considers himself an informal ambassador for the bicycle trail system, when he's not sharing TMI about his mental problems, or how he is being unfairly accused of hoarding. He is one of our local characters and I am on perfectly good terms with him, though I do my best to avoid getting caught up in his various dramas.

Yesterday I heard shouting and I looked up to see the bicycle ambassador rolling around on the grass in front of the library, having a fistfight with a guy I didn't recognize. One of them was yelling but I couldn't tell which of them it was. But the words I could understand were about his no contact order. I guess one of them is supposed to be leaving the other alone. There were a half dozen teens and adults stopped on their way in or out of the library, staring with a sort of OMG look but no one was breaking up the fight; people were just frozen in shock. I was about to call the police when the stranger disengaged, dusted himself off, and went off to the parking lot.

I have no idea what that was all about. I'm dying to ask but I think I will let it go. The bicycle ambassador would no doubt tell me every gory detail.

Fire hydrant maintenance

Oct. 20th, 2017 10:22 am
elizilla: (Default)
[personal profile] elizilla
A red city pickup has pulled up in the street out front and stopped. It has a yellow device mounted on the trailer hitch, that looks like the top of a fire hydrant. A guy jumped out and hooked up a big yellow hose between his trailer hitch and an actual fire hydrant. Another similar red truck with a similar hydrant thing on the hitch, pulled up and a much bigger guy jumped out and gave a karate kick to the wrench the first guy had put on the hydrant. Water gushed forth from the trailer hitch at a rate that turned the street into a roaring stream bed. The big guy in the second truck left.

Bicyclists kept going by, carefully riding through the roaring torrent. They probably wished they had fenders.

The guy from the first truck watched the water flow for about five minutes, then turned it off. He disconnected the hose, then attached some kind of portable pump to the hydrant, and pumped out some more water. I guess the actual tap is down below the frost line and they pump out this bit to empty the portion that is susceptible to freezing.

Looks like the trailer hitch thing lets them route the water over the grass and into the street. The weight of the truck is important there too. One guy couldn't hold a hose to direct it so neatly, even if it was the big karate kicking guy from truck #2.

I suppose they will spend all day doing this to every hydrant in town. Maybe more than a day - there are a lot of hydrants and I don't know if these are the only two trucks or if there are more. They probably pick the day carefully, to do it when the storm drains are not under any load from actual weather, and after it cools off enough that people have stopped watering their lawns so they have the water tower plenty full.

Trivial I know, but I find it interesting to keep track of what's going on out there.

Goodies

Oct. 20th, 2017 09:35 am
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
[personal profile] stoutfellow
I've been a subscriber to the Library of America for many years. I've been pleased with their output, over the years; in addition to the usual suspects - several of the Founding Fathers, big-name authors like Hawthorne, Melville, and Twain, and so on - they've also published Grant's memoirs, a two-volume set of SF novels from the '50s (and they chose well), a volume of fantastic fiction from Washington Irving to August Derleth, and so forth.

I just opened the latest offering. The shipping box was unmarked, so I didn't know its contents until I saw the actual volume. It's the letters of Abigail Adams. That's going to be fun - if nothing else, the letters she exchanged with Jefferson during his long estrangement from her husband should be worth reading. (John didn't know about it, of course, until after she finally reconciled them.)

:rubs hands:
havocthecat: shego facepalms at stupid people, and everything else (kim possible shego facepalm)
[personal profile] havocthecat
Thousands of Bats Slaughtered Annually in Asia End up on Ebay and Etsy for Artsy Americans

Oh, of course they're not "ethically sourced," because why would they be when profit is involved?

(You see skeletal art at local craft shows too.)

(I really wasn't creeped out by dead thing art before.)

(Not that I don't understand "killing lots of shit for profit," but also PASSENGER PIGEONS, enough said there.)

(Damn it.)

Julian Clare May (1931 - 2017)

Oct. 20th, 2017 10:03 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Angry Robot Books reports the death of Julian May.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
So, it used to be that we hadn’t upgraded to Windows 10 because our IT department hadn’t cleared it as “secure” enough (it’s not that it wasn’t secure, it just hadn’t gone through the security affirmation process). Now apparently it is, since they upgraded me to 10. I’ve never really had 10; I decided not to upgrade my personal laptop, though for a while the laptop I used for travel had it. 

I know this is just me getting older, but I am weirdly suspicious not of Windows 10 as a system but of the Windows 10 aesthetic. Everything is too smooth and square. Things that should be rounded are pointy and things that should be pointy are rounded. Everything is well-animated and in soothing pastel greys. 

I come from an era where computers weren’t even MEANT to be soothing, where it was just accepted that they would challenge you visually as well as implicitly. And I’m not saying we should go back to a Windows 3.0 aesthetic or anything, I don’t want computers to be difficult, I’m just saying. It’s…

It’s quiet. Too quiet. 

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2xU8suD
via IFTTT

Ever-fixed mark (Part 1)

Oct. 20th, 2017 09:02 am
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Raxdell House was positively humming with excited anticipation.

Hannah Clorinda Roberts looked beyond the flowers she was arranging in a vase on the windowsill, out of the window. It was a lovely late spring day. Her father and her brother Julius were about the gardens – as if anything needed doing to improve upon their perfection.

She stepped back, looked at the flowers, and stepped forward again to make a slight adjustment to one of the lilies.

There were footsteps coming down the stairs.

Why, Hannah, do you have fresh flowers at every landing? Excellent fine they are too.

Gervase Reveley, Viscount Raxdell, her parent’s employer, smiled down at her. You must be glad at Flora’s return, he said.

Hannah bobbed and smiled and nodded, although she was not sure – was she glad? Flora had been away so very many months, must have had so many experiences during her Grand Tour: could it be the same between them? Flora had wanted Hannah to accompany her, but there had been – difficulties.

Lord Raxdell proceeded down the next flight, still an athletic figure although his dark hair was now lightly frosted, as Hannah watched him go.

She knew how very – out of the common – her situation was. The child of servants, even were they not merely upper servants, but the renowned cook Seraphine and the greatly esteemed horticulturalist Elisha Roberts. A sufficient degree of African ancestry to be counted, she reckoned, as quadroon and the same proportion of less-marked French ancestry. Yet her place in this household – more like some dependent relative held in great affection. Educated alongside the Ferraby children, the dear companion of their beloved cherished youngest, Flora.

Hannah made a final scrutiny of the flowers, shrugged, and went to the place that would always calm and soothe her spirits, the library. She did not need to take out a book and read: just being there made her feel – in the right place. Which was, she thought, somewhat incongruous. And yet, it was her place. It was the place where she undertook the useful task of making sure the books were where they were supposed to be, of keeping the volumes of the catalogue up to date: and where she had learnt the skills of finding things out, where to look things up, and writing things down.

Mr MacDonald was already there: he looked up, his habitually severe expression softening at the sight of her. Hannah – you look quite the calmest creature in this house today.

She sighed. 'Tis a delusion, she said. I am as agitated as any, that is why I come here to address myself to work.

I am in much the same state, he confessed, and also find it answers to be out from underfoot, while there is a deal of domestic activity in train.

Indeed there is, as if all was not already in order. But I daresay 'tis even worse at Lady Bexbury’s own house.

Oh, indubitably. Anyone would suppose she was one of those sticklers that will most immediate note the one speck of dust or the single spot that is not properly polished.

Hannah frowned. Is it not – not for her, or rather, 'tis done not because she would in the least complain but to provide the appropriate setting? (She had spent quite a lot of time in the past months considering over the phenomenon that was Lady Bexbury and her effect upon her intimates and her wider circles.)

Mr MacDonald broke into one of his rare and delightful grins and said, Sure you hit it off! We all undertake things to express our welcome, in our own particular fashion – for my part, I have a deal of books and journals that I have kept by for her, Gervase – His Lordship – has made sure that that Melusine has been given exercize as well as being well-groomed, Mrs Ferraby makes sure all is swept and garnished, your mother prepares her favourite dishes, your father and Julius ensure the gardens look their best – how else may all show how very pleased they are to have her back?

But, he said, I daresay your own particular feeling is for Flora’s return?

She sat down, and clasped her hands before her upon the library table, and swallowed against the lump in her throat. I daresay, she said at length, she will have changed.

There was a moment’s silence. And have you yourself stayed entire the same? asked Mr MacDonald.

Oh, said Hannah. Of course she had changed. Just because she had stayed in the same place did not mean she had remained frozen as Flora had left her. There had been these hours in the library, the conversations and arguments – she had been acquiring an education that, did she consider upon the matter, and think of what she had been told of Oxford and Cambridge, was very likely superior to that acquired by many that could write BA after their names.

He cleared his throat, removed and polished his spectacles, replaced them, and said, I shall greatly miss our convocations – sure you have an excellent mind and the finest apprehension.

Hannah felt tears come to her eyes. Why, she said, must they cease? There is still so much I have to learn.

'Tis the like case with all: happy are those that know it. Sure I do not think you will give up study – but you and Flora were ever the inseparables. It must make some difference.

Hannah wrinkled her nose. O, Flora will be going about in Society, and being presented, and there will be suitors, I doubt not, both for her own merits and as a daughter of a wealthy and influential family. 'Tis a world where I may not follow her. I am sure I shall still have many hours to give to the library. But mayhap I should be thinking about finding a place - though indeed I am educated beyond my station. Oh, I daresay I might go out as a governess, though there must be few families would want one of my dark complexion –

Are there not, said Mr MacDonald, families of a like heritage that have gone prosper in the world and would desire educate their daughters to their own new station –

Oh, belike! Yet I do not feel in myself any desire to be a governess – sure one hears it may be a hard and miserable life, I confide that few are in that happy condition Mrs Lowndes enjoyed, but also I do not have that paedogogic inclination that she manifests.

Have you never thought that you might earn a living by your pen?

What!

Have you not already published articles and criticism in The Intelligencer? I assure you, Mr Lowndes does not make space in his pages out of charity.

Oh, but –

He smiled and said, For if our virtues did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike, as if we had them not.

I mind, said Hannah, that the gentleman to whom that exhortation was expressed showed one of very corrupted virtue.

Does not mean that the sentiment itself is wrong.

Well, said Hannah at length, I will think on’t. For sure I would rather teach through words in print than before a classroom.

Entire my own sentiment!

But indeed, she went on, there is a deal of different 'twixt placing an occasional piece in The Intelligencer, and earning a living by one’s pen.

Mr MacDonald looked thoughtful. I daresay you will have heard of that very enlightened course of action that Mr – I mean, Sir Josiah, as we must now style him – undertook, concerning settling an allowance on his daughters as well as his sons, rather than laying the money by to swell some husband’s purse –

Even, said Hannah with a little quirk of her lips, did Bess and Meg go marry almost precipitate!

Even so, they were not obliged to do so, and in their matrimonial ventures, were able to follow their hearts. But what I come at, and mayhap 'tis entire interfering of me, is that besides the very fine places your parents have here, they have that interest in the factory that makes pickles and preserves from Seraphine and Euphemia’s receipts, were able send Julius about that Grand Tour with his friends, pay the premium to apprentice Joseph to an apothecary, I apprehend that there is some likelihood that Daniel will be educated for the ministry –

Hannah wrinkled her nose. May be just some boyish notion, she said.

- why should they not provide you with a competence that might support you while you went build up a connexion for your writing? I am sure they would do the like were you a boy.

But I am not a boy.

(She doubted that her brothers received anything like the exhortations and warnings about beguilement that her mother had addressed to her, ever since she came to womanhood. She was suddenly not to go help Josh Ferraby in his menagerie, must not do this or that. It was exceeding tiresome, and she had supposed that some fear of foreign seducers lay behind Seraphine’s determined refusal of Flora’s pleas to Hannah to accompany her upon her Grand Tour.)

She could see that Mr MacDonald was about to begin perorate upon the topic of the inequitable treatment of women, but at that moment one of the footmen entered to say, Lady Bexbury and Miss Ferraby’s carriage just comes in to the stableyard.

Oh! cried Hannah, I daresay all are drawn up ready to greet 'em; let us go at once.

Indeed let us go most expeditious.

All were already greeting the arrivals as they emerged from the carriage: Flora embracing her parents, followed by Lady Bexbury embracing Lady Ferraby and shaking hands with Sir Josiah, taking both of His Lordship’s hands and smiling up into his face.

As Flora moved to make her curtesy to His Lordship, and then to embrace Mrs Lowndes, she was looking around her with a little frown.

O, she cried, picking her skirts and quite running across the yard, Hannah, Hannah, o, I have missed you so, I thought mayhap you were away.

Merely lingering in the library, said Hannah, feeling her spectacles misting. Oh, Flora, you are looking exceeding well.

Sure I am glad to hear it, for we had quite the horridest Channel crossing.

And so fine dressed!

Why, am I in company with Lady Bexbury, do not wish to look like a poor relation or hired companion. But, o, Hannah, I have such a deal to tell you.

What, more than was in those fat letters you sent me?

Indeed there were matters I did not wish to put into letters, but to tell you to your face.

Hannah looked at Flora. She minded that Julius had remarked that when he and his friends had run into Lady Bexbury and Flora upon their travels, Lord Sallington had seemed considerable taken with Flora. Was a fine match in prospect, with the likelihood of some day being a Duchess?

Flora looked around. Lady Ferraby was already beginning to urge them indoors where a collation had been laid. Why, must go do the dutiful first, but might we not foregather in the old secret place upon the roof, later?

Hannah nodded. So, whatever it was, was not yet something that Flora wished to announce publicly.

I still won't tank in dungeons

Oct. 20th, 2017 01:58 am
dragovianknight: (WoW - lion)
[personal profile] dragovianknight
But the Headless Horseman? Oh, yes, I will take those instantly-popping queues tanks get, thank you VERY much.

20 minutes for Team Hunter (aka DPSx2) to get in to kill the Horseman. Instant for Team Monk (aka tank+healer) and Team Baby Monk (aka level 107 tank and 105 healer).

And then I keybound my insta-cast flying mount and took my max level tank out to Undercity, prepared to die for the honor of the Alliance as I doused the Horde wickerman while PVP flagged...and there was no one there. I can't remember another Hallow's End where the Horde weren't lying in wait for people who came to douse the wickerman. Most years, it's been a matter of creeping around as a ghost trying to find a spot where I wouldn't be noticed until dousing fluid was thrown and then corpse running my way out, but this year...nothing.

Guess everyone is on Argus.

Today's ambiguity

Oct. 19th, 2017 10:47 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
"Resent" is both how one might feel about being told an email never arrived and also what one might do in response.

Wait

Oct. 19th, 2017 10:47 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The month was only half over last weekend. How can it be almost three quarters over only a week later?

(no subject)

Oct. 19th, 2017 07:28 pm
raincitygirl: (Default)
[personal profile] raincitygirl
I have had the kind of day where you stagger home, you lie on the couch for a while, think about ordering take-out for dinner, and then decide, "Fuck it, I already took my bra off. I'm not so desperately hungry that I have the energy to put it back on."

Only one more sleep until the weekend, thank heavens!

New Soulcollage cards

Oct. 19th, 2017 07:58 pm
pegkerr: (Default)
[personal profile] pegkerr
I have been at a bit of a loss because my photos are hosted over at LiveJournal, but I don't want to upload photos there anymore. Haven't quite learned the ropes here, but here goes. Anyway, made these a bit ago, but just posting them now.

Grandparent - Council Suit
I am the One who rejoices in the company of the child of my own child. I am a mentor and a teacher, a parental figure and a friend all in one. Spending time with my grandchild reintroduces me to joys which may have slipped from my own life. Our bond tightens the generations together.

I am the One who rejoices in the company of the child of my own child. I am a mentor and a teacher, a parental figure and a friend all in one. Spending time with my grandchild reintroduces me to joys which may have slipped from my own life. Our bond tightens the generations together.

Fear - Committee/Council Suit
I am the One who freezes in primal terror, trapped between the horror ahead and the threat behind.

I am the One who freezes in primal terror, trapped between the horror ahead and the threat behind.

This one is a lot about the truly difficult times I was having when I was unemployed and Rob was failing. I really don't want to go back to this mental state.

The Magical Child - Council Suit
I am the One whose holy, mystical innocence will save the world.

I am the One whose holy, mystical innocence will save the world.

The Mythopoeic Reader - Committee/Fairytale Suit
I am the One who delights in reading stories of adventure in fantastic imaginary worlds.

I am the One who delights in reading stories of adventure in fantastic imaginary worlds.

Plugin Problems

Oct. 19th, 2017 07:06 pm
jimhines: (Shego - Facepalm)
[personal profile] jimhines
My Journalpress plugin is no longer posting things to Dreamwidth. I've seen reports that this is due to a change Dreamwidth made in their site security or configuration, but I'm not sure.

I'll be looking for solutions, but in the meantime, you can always find everything on the website at http://www.jimchines.com/blog/

Tor.com giveaway of Winter Tide

Oct. 19th, 2017 04:13 pm
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
Tor.com is giving away the ebook of Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys until midnight October 20.

It is a response to Lovecraft, but Kirkus describes it as "essentially a story about identity, found families, wrapped in a cozy mystery. With magic. And monsters. Except the monsters are not exactly who you expect them to be."

https://giveaway.tor.com/

fantasy casting

Oct. 19th, 2017 09:28 pm
philomytha: girl in woods with a shaft of sunlight falling on her (Default)
[personal profile] philomytha
I've only watched two episodes of the show so far, but the guy playing Richard Garland in The Halcyon is very close to my mental model of Illyan. He's got the self-effacing slightly puppyish face, he's got the whole spymaster cunning and fighting dirty thing going too, he's a loyal but independent-minded subordinate and generally he's not far off my mental image of him, both in the actor and the character. Tempting to reshape Lady Hamilton as Alys now and see if I can ship them, but Alys even right after Padma died wasn't quite as crazy as Lady Hamilton, though Lady Hamilton does have good reason.

Anyway, it's a good show so far. It's about the fortunes of a grand hotel in London just before the Blitz begins, a bit Upstairs Downstairs/Downton Abbey kind of vibe, but in the 40s. And googling it now to find out the name of the actor (Steven Mackintosh) I discover that it's been cancelled after one season, because this always happens with new series I like the look of. Oh well.
oursin: Drawing of hedgehog in a cave, writing in a book with a quill pen (Writing hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

And I suspect that it is Very Much Not Done to yell 'Speak up' or 'Use the Mike' when someone is giving an important formal lecture signifying professional advancement.

Maybe my hearing is getting even worse than I thought? Or maybe that lecture theatre has really crap acoustics.

(Speaker is a lovely person who does lovely work, and I bought the book that was also being launched and had it signed, but I was really rather frustrated by the actual lecture.)

But at least there were some really lovely visuals which were entirely relevant to the topic on hand.

Also put in a bit of a strop by the young person who checked my name off the list, and said 'join the queue', waving in the opposite direction to where it turned out the relevant queue was forming.

But I did see two people I knew (besides speaker) and did a little bit of catch-up with them, so I have socialed more than I recently have.

copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
So, I think someone high up in management at my institution got hacked last year or something, since in the past year we have developed some serious paranoia regarding data security. Not to say that data security isn’t important or that I dislike the changes, I think they are for the most part sensible, but we went from like, zero to Steranko-System-in-Leverage in the course of a month or two. 

The latest development is a mysterious edict that we all have to leave our computers at work but logged out tonight so that they can “encrypt” our computers somehow – I assume it’s some kind of software they’re going to install, but there’s been a dearth of information over what exactly this Encryption Of Computers entails. Furthermore, I was told that my computer is incompatible with encryption (loose lips sink ships, laptop!) so it will have to be wiped completely and upgraded. Which I’m fine with, all my work is on a network drive anyway and I just had to remember to move a few files. 

But my laptop apparently heard them and knows it’s being wiped. Yesterday the flash stopped working and today my Outlook has decided to neither send nor receive any email. Additionally, a retail clothing website just broke Firefox so hard it no longer allows me to log into anything. 

What I’m saying is that this laptop is going down swinging, and I kind of admire its fighting spirit, but goddamn, could it not have waited until the end of the workday so I wouldn’t have to use Microsoft Webmail to do the last two hours of business today. 

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2zlNMYG
via IFTTT
white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
I suspect everyone reading this review here is already familiar with this, but for anyone who hasn't come across it before, The Comfortable Courtesan is a serial story set in Regency London, mostly narrated by Madame C-, a very exclusive courtesan, in which we hear of her exploits and those of her circle of friends and acquaintances, which includes artists, actors, political radicals and her upper-class clients. It began as a one-off response to a "post three sentences from a nonexistent novel" challenge in May 2015 and has now grown to more than 700 individual posts, with twelve ebook compendiums of the main story (which is now complete) as well as a number of side-pieces and two novella-length stories taking place some years after the majority of the action. I've been following the blog from the start, but I was browsing through my Kindle in search of comfort reading and when I came across the ebooks I decided it was time to revisit the very early days.

It's an absolutely delightful read. It's written in a pastiche of the style of the period, and as the author is a historian of gender and sexuality it's historically accurate although the subject-matter would never have seen the light of day then. Unsurprisingly, given Madame C-'s profession, it's unabashedly sex-positive, and features numerous LGBTQ+ characters, both male and female, as well as multiple characters of colour. The first volume features intrigue, scandal, matchmaking, female solidarity, epistolary mathematical flirtations and a wombatt, and it really is one of the most charming things I've ever read.

My long-delayed trip

Oct. 19th, 2017 11:12 am
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Two years ago, I meant to go to Japan in November. And then I had the most horrible two years of my entire life, and the trip was shelved.

I'm going to Japan in November! I'll be there for two weeks, divided between Tokyo, Kyoto, and Fukuoka. The last is a city further south than I've been before, with some very pretty day trips.

I'm going to use AirBnb, which I also haven't used before, but it looks pretty great. I have two lovely apartments all to myself for cheaper than a hotel room would be, and one room in a house with a lady who cooks breakfast, has a friendly toy poodle named Piccolo, and says understatedly, "I am a former hotelier who worked in the five star hotel. I think I can assist you well during your stay."

Any of you done anything fun in Japan?

Five Years

Oct. 19th, 2017 12:42 pm

No excuses every day

Oct. 19th, 2017 09:37 am
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Cannot quite work up the oomph to fix my various Wordpress problems.
Yesterday was a nice office day, tho my face still hurt I had a good afternoon there.
The smoke blew away from here over night and now it's foggy and rainy. I can't find my face mask.

I'm on 100mg neurontin at night for the face nerve pain from shingles. Taking it at 7pm isn't quite early enough (i am still groggy and weird feeling now) I'd like to go off it by the end of next week or decrease the dosage. My face really hurts..... and is cold sensitive. I need one of those microwaveable pillows.... my old one got moldy I think. the actual heating pad is huge (the size of my entire back) and rough textured. My eye is twitching.... it feels tired. I guess all the muscles around my painful face are tensing up. The skin is not too bad now but the pain has moved to a deep ache in my jaw like a toothache.

Working in little fits & starts on my new writing project (a novel)

Actual work still looming though right now I have a little bit of a break. (mid cycle, no dot release so far for 56, the lull before a big push to release 57)

Nazi rally in Gainesville is pissing me off. Hundreds of cops mobilized for this bullshit. It just helps militarize the situation even more.

Reading - Squirrel Girl novel, which was beautiful! Last night read The Lucky Stiff by Craig Rice and this morning The Fourth Postman. Hardboiled detective. But also funny! Craig Rice is Georgiana Craig.
radiantfracture: (Default)
[personal profile] radiantfracture
Circa 1930s London: Katrine, the actor sister of a trio (journalist, actor, student) has her end-of-term show at Dramatic School. The narrator is her older sister, Deirdre.

Ahem.

* * *

The end-of-term shows at the Dramatic School were so funny that my nose began to bleed, and I had to grope my way out and yell it off in the cloak-rooms. But mother, shuddering with giggles, sat it all out so as to be able to say what there was to say to Katrine. Her roles included Polonius, and she'd just got to "costly thy habit" when her beard came half off and swung like a pendulum for the rest of the scene, and in The Professor's Love Story (Oh! what a bad play!) the gate stuck, and pinned that whimsical recluse to his own fence.

And later on, mother told me, one of the girls (as a farmer) had to fill a pipe and smoke it, and she stuffed the bowl so full that a man in the audience said "Christ" out loud, and of course it wouldn't draw, and the girl pulled nearly all of it out again, and mother said "The stage was knee-deep in shag. That girl ought to get on."

* * *

Reading it, I barked helplessly like a hoarse hound.

{rf}

Put down that phone!

Oct. 19th, 2017 10:25 am
thnidu: road sign: diamond-shaped black on yellow. Animated silhouette of user banging head on keyboard over & over (headbang)
[personal profile] thnidu
Intensive smartphone use may be harmful to our cognitive capabilities, study suggests

ERIC W. DOLAN  October 10, 2017

A new study published in the journal PLOS One provides preliminary evidence that smartphones are linked to reduced cognitive abilities. The researchers found intensive smartphone use was associated with reduced math performance in particular.

Click title for story.

(Of course, you know how I'm posting this.)

reading wednesday

Oct. 19th, 2017 02:19 am
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
[This is actually from last Wednesday but I'm just going to post it now anyway]
• What are you reading?

Notes from a Feminist Killjoy, by Erin Wunker. It's a bits-and-pieces book, but all the bits are in conversation with other writers, and with reality; even its bittyness recalls how Tillie Olsen would carry a sentence in her mind, polishing it in scraps of time between interruptions, through a day of women's work, a day of no peace, no privacy, no silence, no solitude.
When I started this book, I wanted to write something unimpeachable. Something so clear and objective, it could be a little dictionary or translation phrase book for how to speak a feminist language and live a feminist life. I wanted what many other writers -- the many-gendered mothers of my heart -- had already written. I wanted A Room of One's Own, Sister Outsider, Willful Subjects, Islands of Decolonial Love. I wanted Feminism is for Everybody and The Dream of a Common Language. I wanted No Language is Neutral.

I wanted books that had already been written by people whose experiences of moving through the world are different -- often radically so -- from mine.

*

I got stuck.
*
I read some more.
*
I remembered that I tell my students that reading and writing are attempts at joining conversations, making new ones, and, sometimes, shifting the direction of discourse.
*
I sat down at my typewriter again.


• What did you recently finish reading?

George & Lizzie, by Nancy Pearl.

Lizzie agreed. "I remember reading a novel in which one of the characters, a college professor, was writing a book on the influence of Emily Dickinson on Shakespeare and how his colleagues always misheard it and thought it was the other way around. I wish I could remember the title, because talking about it now makes me want to read it again. It's so interesting to think about. Do you think we read Shakespeare differently because of Dickinson's poems?"


I remember reading that too! It was by David Lodge, I think Changing Places? I read it about the same age Lizzie did. Not at the same time: I'm maybe ten years older than Lizzie. But, like Lizzie, I grew up in Michigan and went to UM and struggled with depression most of my life and, as a young woman, tried to claim my sexuality in ways that were bad for me and for the people I interacted with. Lizzie feels real to me, is what I'm saying, and I'm okay with the fact that the people around her are kind of one-note because the problem this book is about is: if you can't stop being sad about your shitty childhood even though your life is no longer shitty, if you can't stop punishing yourself for bad choices that you made long ago, if you can't stop trying to change something that happened long ago and wasn't in your control even then. . . then how do you stop?
[Lizzie says] "They're your thoughts, right? How can you not think them?"
Marla struggled to answer. "I don't know, but people do it. I think I let go of things, or at least try to. You have to, really, otherwise you're weighted down with all those cumulative bad memories. James and I used to talk about that baby missing from our lives, whether it was a boy or a girl, whether we could find out who adopted it, whether we'd ever forgive our parents, why we didn't just say 'Screw you' to them back then and get married after I got pregnant. I mean, you know, it was so present. It was always there in our lives. But if we kept that up there'd be no place for anything else. And now we just acknowledge all that awful stuff happened, that maybe we made the wrong decision, that we were just kids. We were just kids. You have to forgive yourself eventually, right?"

Lizzie's husband George got famous by explaining that, while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional, but his explanation doesn't work for Lizzie. George doesn't seem to understand that, for some people, that's liberating, but for others, it says that your suffering was your choice and therefore your fault. I'd offer Lizzie Season of Mists, because "you don't have to stay anywhere forever" worked for me, but how a story works depends as much on the reader as on the story.

Which is not to say that we shouldn't do our best to write good stories. This one has a stupid editing oversight that dumped me right out:
[Marla:]"I love you Lizzie, and always will. And I will always, always, keep your secrets. But this, what this means to you and George, is an important secret. It's not the equivalent of a little white lie. It'd be like me not telling James about the abortion."
[Lizzie:]"But James knew about the abortion, he was with you when you had it."
"Don't be deliberately naive, it doesn't become you. You know what I mean: some other James I was involved with."


What abortion, I wondered? Was there an abortion as well as a baby given up for adoption? When?

No, it must have been changed from an abortion to an adoption at some point. Which was a good change: it's believable that Marla would find it harder to move on with her life after carrying the baby for nine months, while knowing that there was a person out there that she felt responsible for but had no ability to protect. But leaving evidence of the change in the story made me notice how flat all the other characters are, how they are the way they are in order to serve Lizzie's story.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, by H.P. Lovecraft.

I thought I might share this

Oct. 18th, 2017 09:56 pm
mmegaera: (Default)
[personal profile] mmegaera
Since chances of me doing anything more with it at this point are slim.

http://mmjustus.com/a-bit/

Ryan Kennedy - Home Fires

Oct. 19th, 2017 12:46 am
diaspora: (Default)
[personal profile] diaspora
If anyone knows where I can purchase a physical copy of this album (or a high-quality digital copy that doesn't require me to run ITunes), please let me know! It would most likely be somewhere in Quebec. He does do a lot of singing in English but I've never heard him on English radio.

Reading Wednesday

Oct. 18th, 2017 09:35 pm
muccamukk: Jeff standing in the dark, face half shadowed. (B5: All Alone in the Night)
[personal profile] muccamukk
What I Just Finished Reading
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton, narrated by Caroline Lee
Very enjoyable mystery/gothic history novel largely set in the 1920s. (I feel like Julien Fallows probably owes Morton money). I liked how the storylines intertwined and how each person's interest in the history changed how they saw it. The love triangle at the centre was probably the least interesting aspect, and I wish the story had had more focus on Grace, as the sections without her dragged a bit. Will read more by this author, in any case.

Bearista by Zoe Chant
Does what it says on the tin, though I could have used more coffeeshop UST, as those scenes were a highlight. However the main couple had great chemistry, and I liked how the heroine was strong, interesting and useful in a fight without being an action girl. Zoe is really good at heroines that feel real.
(I hope there's a sequel about Keegan and maybe a carpenter lady.)

A Long Day in Lychford (Lychford #3) by Paul Cornell
I really liked the emotion in this book, and how the characters were at odds for good reason. The feelings were very well conveyed, especially Lizzie's inability to connect with the other two. However, it felt a bit short to deal with all the themes it was trying to get in, and a lot of plot threads didn't feel resolved at all. Presumably they will be in the next one, but I wasn't left feeling like I'd read a whole story as I was with the first two. (Unless the fragmentation was itself a meta point.)

The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Susan Bernofsky
I mean, it's a book in which the main character (and most of the other characters) dies repeatedly and often horribly, but it's just really pretty okay! I don't know what to say past wow, shiny about the writing and the structure and the themes, and it's just really meaningful! I want to learn German so I can read it in German.

What I'm Reading Now
Audio: In the middle of a Station Eleven reread, as I've been thinking about it recently. Still really good!

Paper: Theoretically, Beren and Lúthien, practically, not much.

What I'm Reading Next
Library book, probably Black Apple as it's due next.
newredshoes: I am so hot for Bucky Barnes in his dress uniform. (cap | shipping out tomorrow)
[personal profile] newredshoes
I'm here! I'm intact! I'm in my new place! I'm about 90% moved in, but, lololol, the things that are still at the old place are, for some reason, things like all my regular clothes and my blankets and sheets. Betta Barnes will probably come with me tomorrow, and a friend with access to a creepy van (for setting up races) maaaaaay be able to help me collect everything that's left (mostly kitchen and random stuff). Five amazing Russian men completely disassembled my apartment in 90 minutes yesterday, four flights of stairs and all, and the whole move was done in just over three hours. As I was standing on the sidewalk with my bike, talking to the guys about how to get to the new place, who but Terrible Neighbor comes sauntering by, with her two kids right there. "Bye, bitch," she says, like she's ~got me (or something???). I thought up all this clever shit I could have said later, but... no more. It's almost over.

So now I'm picking out paint colors and trying to find where I packed things like my remote controls. I am determined to have at least one small corner plastered with flamingo wallpaper. An awesome Puerto Rican guy from the Bronx set up my internet tonight; we traded pet photos and stories, and he told me all about his brother, a retired Marine, who lives on the island with a service pig named Cleopatra. (He also told me that he thought I was an autoresponse robot when I picked up his call, because my voice was so "creamy," which is a freaking delightful compliment.)

I kind of don't have much more to say at the moment. Therapy was good today. Things are just... looking up, and that's great. ♥

GODDAMMIT.

Oct. 18th, 2017 03:24 pm
kore: (Default)
[personal profile] kore
It's been coming for a long while now, but....still. Damn.



I have a narrative "thing"

Oct. 18th, 2017 06:02 pm
dragovianknight: (WoW - lion)
[personal profile] dragovianknight
For tank/DPS combos*. This grows more obvious the more I try to brainstorm this years NaNoWriMo project.

Also, if I didn't hate the mechanics/stats side of it, I would totally write litRPG. But even in my gaming, I want less fussing with stats, not MORE.



*I blame [personal profile] darthneko and I swapping to monk mains this expac. One brewmaster plus one windwalker will rip through anything, including heroic dungeons. Sadly, we can't yet duo current-content raids, or the bullshit quests that keep sending me to Emerald Nightmare would be done already.

Wednesday

Oct. 18th, 2017 11:07 pm
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
[personal profile] schneefink
On the one hand there's a ton I want to post about, but on the other hand it's mostly unfinished thoughts, so I haven't posted anything, which seems very reflective of my current state of mind. But I'll get better! I also have flatmates who bake me stuff.

There are many things I read/watched that I want to write about but then somehow I don't get around to it (books, Critical Role, Bright Sessions, The Good Place etc.) and other stuff that I can't mention right now because it's for Yuletide. Yuletide will be fun! DD signed up for the first time and we'll do writing sessions together. We started today, writing stuff we should finish before we get started on our Yuletide stories. Quote by DD: "Instead of cannibalistic torture they're now going to drink a glass of wine and I'm very confused what happened." Meanwhile I'm writing awkward hugs. We balance each other so well. And Sunday all three of us are planning a day of baking/cooking/eating/studying/writing/playing boardgames together, it'll be fun.

Fandom Loves Puerto Rico

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:02 pm
violsva: Jack Layton in a Star Trek uniform, facing left (Layton)
[personal profile] violsva
[community profile] fandomlovespuertorico is a fandom auction to raise money for ConPRmetidos in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

My auction is HERE. Bid by replying to that comment. Auction closes at 6pm EST, Monday October 23rd.

I am offering: Fic, <10k words
Quantity: 1
Minimum bid: $20
What fandoms I create for: ACD Sherlock Holmes
Would love to do: Any rating, case fic, female characters, backstory, Holmes/Watson/Mary (but I will happily do other ships as well)
Will not do: Moriarty, kidfic, incest, noncon, infidelity, unrelieved fluff, pregnancy
Additional Info: Expect fic delivery early in 2018. If you want something very specific contact me before bidding. You can also ask if you’re interested in any of the other fandoms I’ve written before.
How I can be contacted: DW messages, Tumblr asks, email available on AO3 profile.

Simply the most...

Oct. 18th, 2017 03:14 pm
thnidu: A shield-shaped hunk of watermelon rind, with bits carved away to make 2 staring eyes and a mouth. By bensanaz (melonhead)
[personal profile] thnidu
... jaw-dropping "Anywhere's Got Talent" performance I've ever seen.

And another pretty darn amazing one.

Wednesday Reading Meme

Oct. 18th, 2017 08:26 pm
oneiriad: (Default)
[personal profile] oneiriad
I still haven't caught a Suicune - I partly blame spending time in Paris on many things that weren't legendary raiding. If this keeps up, certain inviduals are getting shanghai'ed the last weekend of the month.

What I've recently finished reading

Lucien Soulban: Lockdown
Well - supervillain prison? Fun enough.

Robert Venditti & Van Jensen: The Flash: Zoom
I enjoyed reading about Henry Allen making friends with supervillains and breaking out of jail to save his son from the evil speedster.

Thit Jensen: Stygge Krumpen vol. 2.
Question: Thit Jensen was a major feminist, as far as I understand - but between this and the Valdemar novels, I'm beginning to wonder what her problem with women in positions of power was. I mean, she has a hate-on for Mother Sigbrit, and the Valdemar books hate Birgitta with a passion. Seriously, what is up with this? (And should I read "Af blod er du kommet" eller "Jørgen Lykke" next? Or a biography on Thit herself?)

Holger Philipsen: Dan Frisk
My inner historian is offended at the weird chronology of this and the horned helmets.

Geoff Johns: Justice League: Injustice League
I just read this for Captain Cold interacting with Wonder Woman and being on the Justice League for a bit.

What I'm reading now

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland, which starts well, and Hennes ögan blå by Lisa Hågensen, which I suspect of not entirely knowing what work at a small library actually involves (I doubt librarians in Sweden at a library with a staff of four people are personally calling publishers to discuss e-books... though what do I know about Sweden? Maybe it is that de-centralized there, though I doubt it.)

What I'm reading next

Well, that depends - the Hågensen book will last one or two more days of train rides, so - I've got the choice between the first of Inge Eriksen's science fiction novels or a the second of the Chanur books.

Wednesday says Happy Diwali

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:21 pm
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Ingested two David Wishart Corvinus mysteries, Trade Secrets (2016) and Foreign Bodies (2016) - Severn House having finally decided, it seems, to come down at some point to a price for their ebooks that is more or less comparable with mass market paperbacks rather than hardcover. These were pretty much the mixture as usual - combination of what seems to me pretty solid knowledge of what Rome and its Empire was like at the period, with upper-crust Roman sleuth cracking wise and somewhat anachronistic as the bodies pile up. There is probably a rule with extended series like this that if you haven't given up somewhere along the line, you will as a matter of habit pick up succeeding episodes as they come along.

Tremontaine Series 3, Episode 1. Interested to see where this is going to go.

Discovered by entire chance that there is an ebook of short stories about Rosemary Edghill's Bast, Failure of Moonlight: The Collected Bast Shorter Works (2012), which I had not known about and gulped down. This led me to a binge re-read of the 3 Bast mysteries - set in the world of contemporary Wicca/Paganism of the 1990s - :Speak Daggers to Her (1995), Book of Moons (1995) and The Bowl of Night (1996). I thought these held up pretty well, though possibly more for their evocation of a particular time, place and subculture, and Bast's own moral ambivalence, than for the mystery plots. In an essay appended to the shorter works she wonders if these will be what she is remembered for, eventually: she's written quite a lot in various genres under various names. I see that when I reread the space-opera trilogy Butterfly and Hellflower, written as eluki bes shahar, I felt it had rather lost its shiny. There were also, I think, some rather generic fantasy works and collaborations with Mercedes Lackey which have pretty much faded from memory, and I'm not sure I ever read any of her romances.

On the go

Only Sexual Forensics which got a bit back-burnered lately.

Up Next

The next episode of Tremontaine Season 3. Maybe Ruthanne Emrys, Winter Tide, which I have heard good things about, and is at present very briefly a giveaway from Tor. Also, have received some more v srs books from An Academic Publisher for reviewing a proposal (when offered this, I specifically look for books which are hideously expensive destined for university library editions that I would not buy for myself).

LoT reaction post: Freakshow

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:15 pm
oneiriad: (Default)
[personal profile] oneiriad
Okay, I can see how Nate would be upset about Amaya returning to 1942 if that was how she went about it. And it's not like she didn't know about Mari at the end of season 2. She could at least have left a note.

Someone's been watching Iron Man and Avengers...

Methinks Mick's watched IT.

Awww, they remembered that Ray is an eagle scout. And allergic to cats.

While Nate is the idiot to end all idiots. Who the hell just walks into the cage of a live, unsedated big carnivore? ... And they just screwed up their nice, easy anachronism. Of course they did.

Too much Nate!drama this episode. And frankly, Ray and Jax? You really think it's a good idea to follow Barnum right now? After Nate spilled all your secrets?

Awww, Mick is kind to sabertooth kittens. Inadvisably so, but still.

This episode is just one long list of Nate being by turns an idiot and useless. Except when he's both.

Apparently there's a Global Treaty on Time Travel? With the UN? How???? That's not how anything works.

And apparently Amaya's totem is out of control? Amaya - stop saying sorry to Barnum, he's a kidnapping asshole.

Ray? You are a bad person. Shame on you.

Hello Kuasa.

Profile

commodorified: a capital m, in fancy type, on a coloured background (Default)
commodorified

July 2017

S M T W T F S
       1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     

Most Popular Tags

Page Summary

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 21st, 2017 03:03 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios