Reading Post, 7/31/14

Jul. 31st, 2014 09:43 pm
likeadeuce: (writer)
[personal profile] likeadeuce
It's not Wednesday but it's the end of the month so I figured I should get another of these updates in. I also have some memes to answer and a lovely (last) weekend to update about, but one thing at a time.

• What are you currently reading?

I was a bit bogged down in multiple good but long-and-dense books so I asked for some fun/fast rec to get me out of a rut. A friend suggested the Bartimaeus trilogy, a middle grade (I think? I'm not very good at these categories) series by Jonathan Stroud, which turned out to be just the thing. Right now I'm in the middle of the second book, The Golem's Eye, which improves on the first book (which I quite enjoyed) by adding a smart, streetwise female protagonist to the mix (who is named Kitty but who I'm having fun picturing as Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones). The premise is a pretty severely AU version of modern England, where wizards run the government, by forcing djinn and other spirits to do their bidding. It feels like sort of a mashup of Harry Potter with Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, with a touch of modern dystopia, and one of the main POV characters is a djinni who has been summoned against his will and is not very happy about it. So this is a lot of fun as well as being very smart and subversive in an interesting way. (The first book in the series is The Amulet of Samarkand).

I've also started While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth Blackwell, for my book club. This is a reimagining of Sleeping Beauty as a sort of historical romance (in the old fashioned sense, not the 'love story' sense of the term.) The narrator is a ladies' maid in the royal household and while the start is pretty grim (miserable childhood and plague and deaths in the family), the narrator has now made it to the royal court, and I'm enjoying it. I'm not sure how the fairy tale elements will be incorporated but I'm interested to find out.

Also, I bought a month's trial of the Marvel Unlimited app, which gives access to a lot of back issues and it doesn't work great on my laptop, but it's pretty good on my phone. So I've been scrolling around looking at various things, and have settled into the Lee/Kirby Captain America run (which starts in 1968 at issue 100 although issues 1-99 are NOT the cap solo title). So I'm not really READING these per se, but looking at the pages and reading the speech bubbles that look interesting (so far mostly when Steve talks to Fury or to Sharon; I mostly skip the dialogue on the villain-only pages altogether.) So I'm not sure which parts of this I'm going to cover but this is fun so far. If there are any back runs you think I should check out, let me know; there's a lot of stuff missing (like I was hoping for the issues I'm missing in the Simonson run on X-Factor, but no luck). Cap seems to be pretty well covered, though, which is nice.

• What did you recently finish reading?

As I mentioned above, The Amulet of Samarkand kept me entertained during my road trip last weekend.

On the other hand, I picked up Children of the Revolution by Peter Robinson and...you know when there's a series author whose work you remember enjoying 10 or 15 years ago, and then you happen on a description of his most recent book and think, "Oh that sounds interesting," and you pick it up even though you've missed the last 6 or 7 books in the series. Only now it's 2014, and the author is trying to act like he knows stuff about the Internet and having appallingly inaccurate and outdated views about sexual harassment on college campuses and you keep reading against your better judgment in the hopes that it will get better and...yeah, not so much. This book was really bad, and it mostly made me want to reread Reginald Hill, who covered a lot of the same ground (Yorkshire cops and what happens to campus radicals when they grow up, not inaccurate opinion about campus harasment, thank God; I can't even imagine what Ellie Pascoe would have to say about that) and did it with a lot more nuance and humanity.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

I'll try to get back to finishing some of those thick, complicated books (like Hild and A Stranger in Olondria). Plus I'm about ready to tackle Vanity Fair. And of course the third Bartimaeus book. And comic.
wiscon_posts: (Default)
[personal profile] wiscon_posts posting in [community profile] wiscon
The WisCon concom has begun the voting process in its appeal of the subcommittee's decision on Jim Frenkel. In addition to reviewing the subcommittee's decision, the concom is also considering information that has been brought to its attention in the weeks since the July 18th announcement from the subcommittee.

Voting will close over the weekend. The concom's decision will be announced Monday afternoon (Seattle time).

(no subject)

Jul. 30th, 2014 04:48 pm
copperbadge: (butler did it)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Hello from Las Vegas!

Apparently I forgot to tell everyone I was going to Las Vegas. So! I'm going to Las Vegas.

Actually I have gone to Las Vegas. I am currently there. My hotel room could easily host a dinner party with orgy to follow, not that I'm planning on it. Although it is Vegas. You never know. (I have a balcony with a view of the Bellagio fountain, it's basically amazing. And kind of horrifying.

I'm here on a work-sponsored trip to a professional conference, which I think is really the way to do Vegas, because for all the talk of what a giant entertainment complex it is, unless you really love slots or drinking, it's not the place for you. So this way I go to the conference all day, and I have limited time at night so i don't feel bad if I don't get the full Vegas experience.

On the other hand there's a lot of anxiety tacked on to attending this conference; it's my first, plus it's being paid for by work, and while I know I don't HAVE TO PROVE MYSELF, I still have to prove myself. Feeling in over one's head is a frequent sensation when you're striving for high-achievement while suffering low self-esteem. The upshot is that I have to do well at this conference, be a credit to my team, and learn new things. I've given myself a pass on networking because I'm still so new, and as a team we're pretty well-networked, and it's not like I'm going to be looking for a job in the next two years at least (oh god I hope). But there's still a lot of pressure and anxiety wrapped up in this.

I just have to remember that it's basically grad school lite. You go to the sessions, you take notes, you eat, you rest. Everything else will fall into place.

(no subject)

Jul. 28th, 2014 08:56 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[personal profile] ofearthandstars linked to a fundraiser for a friend whose children were recently diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder which requires specific treatment often not covered by insurance. You can read more and help support their medical expenses and transportation costs here.

[tumblr.com profile] scifigrl47 linked to [tumblr.com profile] dr-kara, who has opened emergency commissions to raise funds for a flight home for her grandmother's funeral. You can read more and find links to commission her here.

[livejournal.com profile] piperki linked to a fundraiser for [livejournal.com profile] sophiahagia and her guide dog Rusti. Rusti ate a non-food item and had to have emergency surgery; he's now recovering, but they are facing large bills for his treatment. You can read more and help Rusti out here.

[tumblr.com profile] fira211 is leaving a terrible tech support job for the sake of her sanity, but is concerned about bills and new glasses while she hunts for a new job. She is offering to sing and draw in return for paypal donations to blefever at outlook.com. You can read more, including links to her art and music, here.

The Detroit Water Project is a new website that matches up people in need of aid with their water bills and people who'd like to help. You are given all the information necessary to pay a water bill directly (account number and past due amount) and then instructed in how to pay using the DWSD website. This is a genius site; you can read more and help out a Detroit resident in need here.

Sbarras linked to a fundraiser for "Pad Heaven", a company working to convert banana-harvest waste into affordabe menstrual pads for local young girls, who would otherwise miss school during menses. The founder, a student at UT Austin, is trying to get the company off the grounds and needs funding to do so. You can read more and support her efforts here.

[livejournal.com profile] ovrthinxit linked to UndocuL and the Immigrant Youth Justice League, which are working for recognition and rights for all immigrants. They're raising funds to travel to Washington DC as part of a massive rally on August 2nd to put pressure on the Obama administration to help rework the current (dysfunctional) immigration system in the US. You can read more and donate to UndocuL here and read more about the IYJL and how to support its efforts here.

[personal profile] fairestcat is working to trap-chip-and-neuter feral cats in the local area, and is facing some ongoing expenses for their own cats as well. You can read more and find their paypal donation address here.

[tumblr.com profile] capeandcowl linked to Riding Star Ranch, a horse rescue that has recently moved to Pierson, Florida. They have been able to adpot out most of their herd, but they still need financial support for the horses they have left, which are rescues and retired racehorses, some of whom are used for therapy for veterans and the disabled. You can read more and support the ranch here.


Help For Free:

[profile] digitaldiscipline is donating bone marrow today, after being a registered donor with Be The Match, a national bone marrow registry. He wanted to let people know about the registry and that bone marrow donation has changed a lot (ie, is a lot less painful) in the past few years.

[profile] vladadog linked to Heather, a canine behaviorist and volunteer with the National English Shepherd Rescue who is trying to win $2K worth of flooring for her elderly farmhouse. You can read more here and vote for the striped kitty on the red floor here.

[tumblr.com profile] amemait linked to [tumblr.com profile] bodacasims, who is looking for someone to foster her cats in Illinois or the surrounding states so that she can study in Ireland knowing they're safe. I'm not 100% sure if she's found someone yet, but her post from earlier in the month is here.

[personal profile] krait linked to Fandom Then/Now, the PhD project of Katherine Morrissey, who conducted a fandom study in 2008 for her Masters degree before the release of AO3 and fandom's slow migration away from LJ. You can check out her research data and share your thoughts here (or here on Dreamwidth); if you'd like to participate without your fannish pseud being used you can read here to find out more.


Just For Fun:

Anon linked to a video called "Interactions" about the various interactions of a pair of people living together.

Anon (a different anon) linked to the five winning entries for the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story contest, reflecting a wide diversity of writers and points of view.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!).

Concom update for July 26th

Jul. 26th, 2014 07:10 pm
wiscon_posts: (Default)
[personal profile] wiscon_posts posting in [community profile] wiscon
We have several announcements to make as updates to our previous post:

1) In light of the intense community response to the Frenkel subcommittee's decision, and the concom's own concern about the "provisional ban," the WisCon concom is itself currently appealing the subcommittee's decision and will vote on the matter this week.

2) Debbie Notkin has resigned as Member Advocate, effective immediately.

3) The Bergmann subcommittee is assessing if they can continue given the valid concerns about Wiscon's existing process.

4) Regarding refunds of registrations for WisCon 39, we received this question via Twitter: "Will there be a policy for refunds for those of us who are against the con's current harassment actions?"

WisCon has traditionally had a fairly free refund policy for any registered members who are unable to attend. Anyone who has registered for WisCon 39 and would like a refund for any reason can request one by emailing registration@wiscon.info.

(no subject)

Jul. 26th, 2014 03:24 pm
copperbadge: (bad day)
[personal profile] copperbadge
 Well, I've clogged the toilet so badly that I had to ask our building manager to call a plumber.

I think that means I've officially moved in! 

I seem to recall someone telling me, the last time I moved, that you had to christen the apartment by peeing in the sink. This may become a reality depending on how long the toilet's out of commission.

forthcoming update

Jul. 26th, 2014 12:14 am
wiscon_posts: (Default)
[personal profile] wiscon_posts posting in [community profile] wiscon
A few notes before the weekend:

1) This account will be used from now on for official WisCon announcements (as you've probably guessed).

2) The update I promised in our previous update will be posted tomorrow (Saturday late afternoon / early evening Seattle time). While I hate posting on a Friday or over the weekend, I didn't quite have all the information I needed to post yesterday. Apologies!

3) On a purely administrative note, social media postings are currently being handled by Chris / [twitter.com profile] wordnerdlabs.

On con running

Jul. 25th, 2014 10:18 pm
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
[personal profile] feuervogel
With the DashCon fiasco fresh in people's minds, I made a tumblr post on what you need to think about before you decide to run a convention.

Some of it I learned the hard way, but I didn't tell them that.

meme

Jul. 25th, 2014 03:06 pm
likeadeuce: (carrie brownstein)
[personal profile] likeadeuce
I'm going to be be AFK all weekend (probably even AF-smartphone for most of it) but if anybody wants to reply to this meme, I'll answer when I get home. :)

In any case, see you on the flip side!

Pick any paragraph or any passage less than 500 words [or more if you really feel like it] from any fanfic I've written and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you a DVD commentary on that snippet of what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it, what's going on in the characters' heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the fic, and anything else you'd expect to find on a DVD commentary track. [Link to AO3 account here]

Fish or Bookshelves?

Jul. 25th, 2014 10:39 am
damselfish: photo by rling (Default)
[personal profile] damselfish

I am at a crossroads of fish and books.

My 75 gallon has given me a lot of trouble over the years--failure to manage live plants, long battles with algae, and most notably, a murder mystery to baffle even Nancy Drew.

Something was wrong with the water. I knew that, because the last angelfish standing (swimming) was severely stunted. But, curiously, the water parameters all turned out fine no matter how many tests I threw at it except for an overall hardness that rocked the charts. Not just that, but the fish didn't die in the order they should have: if it's a disease or poor water quality, the most delicate die first, if it's a bully, the weeniest die first. There was no rhyme or reason. Once a month, like clockwork, one fish would die. Maybe it was a ram (delicate, invites bullying), maybe it was a cory (hardy, ignored by tankmates). For the past half year it settled into equilibrium with one angelfish and three cories. In a vast 75 gallon.

The angelfish died last week, which leaves me with a question.

Take the tank apart, put the cories into the 20 gallon with one of my bettas, and put up book shelves? I do need book shelves, I'm running out of space for books and knick-knacks.

Or... try again with very different kinds of fish and plastic plants? I know that my ability to care for fish is fine, given that the only aquarium that's ever given me trouble has been the 75 gallon, which is why I am not quite ready to throw in the towel yet.

For a while I'd been thinking about trying Malawi cichlids since they thrive in hard water, but a cichlid tank would be pretty expensive to start out. If I try again it'll probably be mostly livebearers. With plastic plants.

I'm doing good with live plants in my betta tanks, but that's because I can actually reach the bottom to do maintenance. ...And they survive with the ambient sunlight in my living room orz so much light so much algae. But in the 75? Eff live plants. Eff them.

darth_snarky: Hobbes (the tiger, not the human) is happy (Happy Hobbes)
[personal profile] darth_snarky posting in [community profile] wiscon
Tiptree Founding Mother Karen Joy Fowler has made the longlist for the Booker Prize with her novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.

She is one of the first four Americans to ever make the longlist for the award (until this year, writers from the US weren't eligible).

Congratulations to Karen Joy Fowler on her wonderful--and historic--acheivement!

(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2014 07:18 am
copperbadge: (bombpetence)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Last night was the first night I spent without company in the new place. It was...strange.

I grew up relatively poor, and I'm not exactly wealthy now, but I can afford a standard of living that I haven't had in a long time, in terms of the size and quality of my home. This apartment is so nice and in such a good place and has so many cool little features that it makes me really nervous. I'm afraid that there's some hidden flaw in the place, or (realistically; it's at the upper end of my rent window) that I won't be able to afford it long term, that I'll be fired and won't be able to afford it at all (unrealistic; I'm good at my job, I haven't done anything to deserve it) or that something terrible will happen as a sort of supernatural retribution. I suspect some of this has to do with undergoing a major personal upheaval in my family when I was eleven -- going from safety to instability in more or less a heartbeat -- but some of it is brain chemistry.

It's terrible to live with mental illness sometimes, of course, but for me some of the terrible is the amount of superstition that goes into my life. If I do X or Y, I'll get result Z, at least I believe, even if X and Y AND Z are unrelated. When you live like that, if something goes wrong, even if it realistically wasn't in your control, it still feels as though it's your fault. I try to break as much of the habit as I can, but I still free-floating worry that because I feel secure and stable (and because I talk about it) something awful is about to happen to make up for it.

I spent a significant portion of yesterday afternoon reading Crowded House, one of the Top 25 New Yorker Free Articles from Longform.org. It's about a disastrous attempt by a hundred different people to sublet one apartment from a scam artist, and what they went through trying to get their money back. Then I had to stop, because I was working myself up into some kind of state.

Everything will be fine. The appliances work, the apartment is price-appropriate, and if something breaks I'm capable of fixing it (I've already fixed the showerhead). I have earned what I have, and while luck may have helped, I put in the work so that it could. I'm just going to keep telling myself that until I believe it.

Update from the Concom

Jul. 21st, 2014 08:02 pm
wiscon_posts: (Default)
[personal profile] wiscon_posts posting in [community profile] wiscon
Over the weekend, the WisCon Concom has spent much time reading and discussing the responses to the Friday announcement of the subcommittee's decision on Jim Frenkel. We heartily thank the community for all of your insightful commentary and critique. We are grateful to you for holding us accountable to our feminist principles.

Currently, the concom is looking at all aspects of this process and decision. You have brought us your questions; we have questions of our own. We are actively working on answers to them. Answers may not come immediately, but we will keep you updated. If possible, we'll post again before the end of the week with information about where our discussion is taking us.

We apologize again to Elise and Lauren. Not only were you hurt by harassment at WisCon, but you have been hurt again and again by this process over the past year. We are deeply sorry for our repeated failures.

We apologize to Mikki Kendall, whose information on a previous incident was not made properly significant in the process.

We apologize to the WisCon community. You have been hurt by this process as well and left feeling unsafe at WisCon. Thank you for your anger and criticism -- it's informing our discussion and moving us forward.

Moving WisCon forward from these repeated failures is hard work. We on the concom are willing and determined to be engaged in this, although as individuals engaged in such hard work it can prove extremely difficult to not add to the ongoing harm. We apologize for our part in causing harm, and thank you for patience that is not always so well deserved.

The concom continues to invite and value your feedback. Comments made on this post (as well as tweets made using either @WisCon39 or #WisCon) will be sent to the entire concom.
jamiam: (Default)
[personal profile] jamiam posting in [community profile] wiscon
I originally posted this as a reply to Antarcticlust's previous post. Since it was buried 150+ commments in, I'm reposting it on my personal journals:

http://jamiam.livejournal.com/343141.html

http://jamiam.dreamwidth.org/468.html

(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2014 02:44 pm
antarcticlust: Silhouette of a reclining figure in front of the moon. (Default)
[personal profile] antarcticlust posting in [community profile] wiscon
 I have just posted an apology to Elise Matthesen, Lauren Jankowski, and the broader Wiscon community. You can read it here.

(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2014 08:04 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

I had a few submissions this week that didn't seem urgent but did require some research, so I left them out because time was a little limited during the move. Never fear, I have them marked for next week!

Ways To Give:

[livejournal.com profile] nancylebov linked to a fundraiser for medical bills and expenses for Wendi, a friend whose cancer was in remission and came back; she has very little savings because it was spent beating the cancer the first time around. You can read more and donate here.

[tumblr.com profile] treesahquiche's friend Matt Grote, [tumblr.com profile] loserbeam, is offering comedic writing pieces to raise money for housing and living expenses at grad school until his scholarship money arrives in late September. You can read more, commission, or donate here.

[tumblr.com profile] historytravellers (aka [livejournal.com profile] bittervillager) is seeking assistance in paying for her final college credit hour. Her university requires she stay enrolled while writing her dissertation on history and temporal tourism, and if her credit hour is not paid for by 15 August, she will be unenrolled from her research hours course. You can read more and donate here.

[personal profile] waldo is raising funds through donorschoose to get more iPads for her inner-city 5th graders; the new standardized tests are all-computer and they need the practice. You can read more and donate here.


Help For Free:

[personal profile] aunty_marion is asking for good wishes and healing thoughts for her mother, who is in the hospital with several ailments that make it unlikely she'll be able to come home again. They'd like to take her out for her 90th birthday in August, and while they don't think it'll happen, they'd love people to keep her mother in their thoughts. You can read more in the last few entries of her Dreamwidth account.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!).

meme

Jul. 20th, 2014 08:40 pm
likeadeuce: (writer)
[personal profile] likeadeuce
Yesterday was really lovely and I did shopping and laundry and learned how to make eggplant parmesan and it actually turned out pretty tasty and I bought stuff to try a couple more good recipes and I played with the birds that I am babysitting for Nick & Ginger & watched season 1 of In the Flesh and was feeling good about things.

Today I have sort of been reduced to staring straight ahead and not remembering how to put words together and playing a monthly game of "Is this depression or PMS or straight up laziness" and reminding myself that if my friends judged me on my ability to get things done when I said I would get them done I would have already lost all of my friends. So.

A meme:

Ask me a question about one of my fics or series. It can be absolutely anything in any project and I will tell you the honest-to-goodness answer. Don’t hold back. Whatever you ask, I’ll answer as truthfully and as completely as possible. You can also ask about my writing as a whole, if you like.

That is if there's anybody hanging out in journalspace who remembers when I used to write stuff enough to have something to ask me? Stories are here anyway.

If that meme is too complicated then ... tell me what I should learn to cook next or tell me something you associate with me or what you did this weekend or validate my existence in some way, I'm not really picky right now.

(no subject)

Jul. 20th, 2014 01:17 pm
antarcticlust: Silhouette of a reclining figure in front of the moon. (Default)
[personal profile] antarcticlust posting in [community profile] wiscon
I have just posted a public statement regarding my participation on the ConCom in general and the Harassment Policy Committee and Frenkel Subcommittees in particular. You may read it here
lotesse: (sorrow)
[personal profile] lotesse
It weirds me out when media doing fine arts heist plots show real famous paintings in their various fictional private collections - I always have a moment of "that belongs in a museum!" and then am driven to go and check where the pieces actually are, to affirm that they remain visible to the public. I'm watching Leverage, and the first season finale two-parter just showed Vermeer's Girl With A Pearl Earring in the baddie's locked-down private gallery, when it's been in the Hague for more than a century - I know, because I checked.

It's like these shows take place in some horrible alternate universe where art is totally non-democratized. Vermeer in private collections, and - what was it, Picasso? Monet? - lost on James Cameron's Titanic.

(Am enjoying Leverage, but I wish it would play a bit harder. Watched Hannibal over the last few weeks, and wow it plays so hard. Whither happy mediums?)

request for clarification re Frenkel

Jul. 19th, 2014 09:37 am
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
[personal profile] redbird posting in [community profile] wiscon
In the discussion of the decision about Jim Frenkel, a lot of people are interpreting this as "he is definitely banned for 2015, after that we'll see, and he can come back in 2019 unless something else happens." At least one person I know is interpreting it as "he is definitely banned until 2018, and then we'll decide whether he can come back in 2019 or later."

Separately from what would constitute good evidence: if nothing changes, and you don't hear from Jim Frenkel in any way, shape, or form between now and April 2016, would he be allowed to attend Wiscon in May 2016?

If he presented no evidence in his favor, and nobody else presented any further evidence against him, would he be welcome at the end of those four years?

Profile

anthimeria: unicorn rampant, first line of Kipling's "The Thousandth Man" (Default)
Lauren K. Moody

Positive Obsession

There is hope in error, but none at all in perfection.
--Ursula K. Le Guin

The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.
--Muriel Rukeyser

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags