Next verse, same as the last...

Feb. 20th, 2017 09:26 am
graculus: (Default)
[personal profile] graculus
I'm currently in my 4th trip around academia, having started a teaching qualification last September which is (alas) going to continue for another 18 months because it's technically 'part-time'. Which would be fine if I wasn't already bored out of my gourd by pretty much everything to date. I managed to get a student loan to pay for this course, since I'd never had one before, which pretty much means that it's free since the chances of me ever earning enough in the future to start paying it off aren't great.

Anyway, the course is run by a local college in conjunction with a local university (so at least the piece of paper I'll get at the end has a nice header!) and the first part of it at least seems to be serving as subsidised in-house training for their teachers who've been employed cheaply to teach a variety of (mostly) non-academic subjects. Most of it has been deeply mind-numbing, except for one exceptional session where I ended up being that gobby student who corrected the person up front because he'd come out with such utter BS I just couldn't not say something. And I know, yes, this is in character for me but I'd been trying so hard not to keep my trap shut and I couldn't help it. *sigh*

At least there's only an 80% attendance requirement, so that means if I get really hacked off (see last Monday) I can stay at home and binge-watch TV instead, thus using my time much more productively. As long as I pass the assignments and get a decent grade on my observations, neither of which should be a problem, it's just a case of doing my time. I'm reduced to crossing off sessions, like a prisoner scratching lines on a cell wall...

I have a tutorial today - another example of make-work sessions that actually don't really do anything productive but can count as 'face time' or whatever inane term is in vogue this year - and have had to fill in ridiculous amounts of paperwork in preparation for 20 minutes of a lecturer's time. I wonder if she will ask me what I was doing the other week instead of coming to class? I wonder if I will tell her the truth? ;)

I cannot demo today because brain

Feb. 20th, 2017 09:19 am
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
but for London people, the big demo today: Facebook event page: Defend migrants, stop Trump

There's also Families Against Reckless Trump (FART), a "family-friendly" demo from 11am to 1pm designed for people who can't attend the evening demo for childcare or other reasons.

And associated Stop Trump and/or Day Without Us events all over the place: https://www.stoptrump.org.uk/map/ , searchable by postcode -- for example, the Tates are running guided tours "celebrating the artworks which have been created or influenced by migrants".
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
So this morning Buttercup has confirmed the guesses that (rather that confusing Sehwan and Sweden, the other top speculation) by "happening in Sweden last night" he meant that on Friday night he saw a Fox news segment claiming that there's a crime wave in Sweden caused by immigrants but being covered up by Teh Libruls.

(According to Swedish data, crime rates have changed little in the past decade. COVER-UP.)

There's an important logical implication of this which the article doesn't address, namely that if "happening last night = "he saw a TV report on it last night", Buttercup apparently believes that when a thing happens is when he sees it on TV.

It's already been noted that people in his team are leaking like sieves partly because the only way to get him to register information is to have it on TV, but this seems like a new insight into the terrifying solipsistic void of his inner life.

(Really, I could have gone through life happily without ever having to think about Buttercup's inner life, but such are the times; we are not to be spared these things.)

#WE AREALLBOWLINGGREEN

Feb. 19th, 2017 05:34 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: 'Sweden, who would believe this?': Trump cites non-existent terror attack

Sub-sub-header: At Florida rally president refers to attack in Sweden that did not happen, possibly confusing it with Sehwan in Pakistan.

(I would be interested to know if that's going to be the official White House explanation, particularly because Buttercup's speech makes it clear that he's referring to a European country which "took in large numbers" -- presumably of Muslim immigrants, because obviously, who else would be responsible for such an unspeakable imaginary attack? "Slip of the tongue, he meant Pakistan" won't cover it.)

Attempting to cover what actually happened in Sweden, a Swedish news agency reported a story about a bull moose that took a fancy to a wooden moose, but admitted that this story took place in the autumn and they just thought we would like it.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Swedes and their moose in this tragic time.

I laugh because it's an alternative to screaming. For a grimly-credible analysis of what's going on with this sort of shit, see this piece from a few days ago: Europe's biggest paper ran a bogus refugee 'sex mob' story. What now?

Terrifyingly, the comments (never read the comments) feature multiple occurrences of exactly the line of thought the article analyses: okay, maybe this didn't actually happen, but other things like it probably did, and it would totally have been Muslim immigrants who did them.

From the article:

If the lie sticks, that’s great. If it does not stick, that’s no loss. The point was always to add another rhetorical layer of doubt and suspicion to the sediment of our national bigotry. There was no Bowling Green massacre? Well, OK, but there could have been one, and it would have been a Muslim who did it. In the flexible world of bigotry, we can even condemn people for crimes committed in our minds.

(no subject)

Feb. 19th, 2017 10:56 am
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
The local school district issues one large book that lists the classes at all the high schools rather than separate books for each school. My guess is that this is because students can take classes at other schools if they can figure out how to get there and back in the time they have. The instructions as to what is necessary to graduate aren’t nearly as clear as I’d like and don’t deal with the fact that the school Cordelia will likely attend, Skyline, does trimesters while all of the other schools do semesters. That’s got to change credit requirements for graduation and make taking classes at other schools really challenging.

We ended up leaving for the used book store about 3:00 and getting there about 3:40. We stayed about an hour which wasn’t nearly long enough for me to get through all of the sections I wanted to look at even though there really wasn’t all that much in any of those sections. I looked at children’s books, paperback mysteries, and general fiction paperbacks. Before I got through that last section, Cordelia was urging me to hurry up so that we could go home.

I had a ten page list of authors and titles I wanted to look for. I found four books from it. I wasn’t helped by the fact that I was mostly looking for fiction and the store skews very, very heavily to non-fiction. One of the other two stores specializes in paperback fiction, but it’s in the process of closing down, doing a clearance sale, so Scott thought going there might not be worthwhile. I think Cordelia might find that more interesting since it might actually have more than fifty books aimed at teens.

I poked around on BookMooch a bit last night. I haven’t sent anything out there in about eight years, but I had about ninety points left. Books from folks in the US cost one point. I went through my ten page list and found about fifteen things. I’m trying to decide whether or not I want to offer some of the books I want to get rid of that aren’t worth selling there. Mailing things is a serious PITA, though, and things I really want don’t tend to come up. But it would mean that, if the books went out, they’d go to someone who actually wanted them.

I couldn’t get Ingress to open at all during the time we were out of the house. Scott got in, but I never managed to. I could still get at everything else associated with that Gmail address, so I’m pretty sure it was an Ingress problem. The app kept telling me that that address couldn’t be used and that I should use a different address, but it would then kick me out without giving me the option to do anything at all.

Naturally, as soon as we got home, it opened just fine.

A Right and Proper Lay

Feb. 18th, 2017 11:47 pm
lokifan: black Converse against a black background (Default)
[personal profile] lokifan
Title: A Right and Proper Lay
Characters/pairings: Charlie Weasley/Lucy Weasley, Lucy/her husband (background)
Word count: ~2200
Rating: Explicit
Content: incest, highly dub-con, manipulation, adultery, Charlie’s crude POV
Summary: Uncle Charlie got Lucy for Secret Santa, and he’s given her a scandalous present. Everyone knows the best part about giving presents is getting to see the recipient enjoying them.
Author’s Notes: This was my January DD fic. I fulfilled an unused Kinky Kristmas wish, number #36. The wish was for Dirty Uncle Charlie with dub-con, and the prompt was “Secret Santa”.

This is a sequel to an earlier Daily Deviant fic of mine, The Right and Proper Way (on AO3 here). You don’t need it for the plot but if you’re enticed by this bit of perversion you’ll like that one too!

on AO3

A Right and Proper Lay )
neotoma: Bunny likes oatmeal cookies [foodie icon] (foodie-bunny)
[personal profile] neotoma
Melomakarona, tiropita, regular pita, fruit & nut bread, kabocha squash, and pink lady and nittany apples.

*squints*

Feb. 18th, 2017 07:15 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: McCain attacks Trump administration and inability to 'separate truth from lies'

“The president, I think, makes statements [and] on other occasions contradicts himself. So we’ve learned to watch what the president does as opposed to what he says,” he said.

Without mentioning the president’s name, McCain lamented a shift in the US and Europe away from the “universal values” that forged the Nato alliance seven decades ago. McCain also said the alliance’s founders would be “alarmed by the growing inability, and even unwillingness, to separate truth from lies.”


He's not, is he?

ABC News: McCain slams Trump in Munich speech without using his name

... is he?

Is this just an odd coincidence, or is McCain joining in with the un-naming? It seems exceptionally unlikely, but ...

Also, while I am quite taken with "Buttercup", I also like this thought from [tumblr.com profile] doitninetimes:

Look, I am about as petty as it gets and The Current State Of Affairs have only been pushing me toward my Worst Self. I love! a petty asshole nickname, especially for one so worthy of mockery and distain. But let’s pin this one where it belongs. He is our current Republican President, and you fucking bet I’m going to take every opportunity to bring up that little fact.

"The Current Republican President" (I've also heard suggestions of "the Republican administration"). Because until/unless they impeach him, they fucking own him.

And of course one could always split the difference and go for "Buttercup [or appellation of one's choosing, whether his legal name or not], the current Republican president". So many fun options!

(no subject)

Feb. 18th, 2017 11:44 am
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I slept badly last night. Well, not exactly. I just wasn’t able to lie down and sleep until about 3 a.m. I slept soundly after that. The problem is that Scott and I got carry out from Zoup, loaded baked potato soup. That had enough fat and such in it (which I really should have anticipated) that I had issues hours later (up to nine hours later). I got about seven hours of sleep. I’d have really liked more, but that wasn’t to be.

I want to spend about half an hour in the basement, figuring out which books I own by certain authors. That list is relatively short, fortunately, so it shouldn’t take very long.

The used book store we’re planning to visit has three locations, and none of us know enough about the different locations to guess which would interest us most (the store website isn’t helpful at all in that regard). Scott hasn’t looked at the locations to figure out how long/difficult the drive would be to each, and I think that may end up being the deciding factor. He says it doesn’t actually matter, but I think it might.

I’m thinking about signing up for another fic exchange. I’m not sure, though, because I’m actually making progress on other projects and don’t feel hugely enthusiastic about any of the fandoms I might write for any of these exchanges. Then again, exchanges always lead me to write things I wouldn’t have otherwise, and I’m pretty much never sorry to have done so.

I wrote 400 words last night while I was sitting up and waiting for the reflux to calm.

I finished three library books yesterday, all of them due tomorrow. I’m hoping that I can finish one or two more before the library trip, but I’m not sure there will be time. We’re going to need to go to the library quite early because we’re supposed to go up to Scott’s sister’s place as soon as our appointment is done. I have six books due tomorrow that I haven’t even started. They can all be renewed, but one I’ve renewed three times already, two I’ve renewed twice, and two I’ve renewed once.
rydra_wong: Doonesbury: Mark announcing into a microphone, "That's guilty! Guilty, guilty, guilty!!" (during the Watergate scandal) (guilty)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
And can highly recommend this to anyone as a fun and interesting way to kill some time (assuming it was sufficently Before Your Time that you didn't watch it all go down live). Even if you know the rough outline of what happened, it's still fascinating getting into the details (Chapstick microphones!).

Also, of course, it's important that we all learn how to impeach a President.

And I was reminded that if a President can be proved to have colluded in a break-in at the DNC headquarters, there is extremely specific form for impeaching them (I'd somehow not consciously made this connection before, and I don't feel it makes a terrific difference if the break-in is cyber rather than "tape over the latches" ...).

Educational and uplifting!

I'm still down the hole (and plotting a viewing of All The President's Men and re-read of contemporaneous Doonesbury, because hey, might as well go for the full mini-fest here), but here are some links for anyone who wishes to join me in partying like it's 1974:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watergate_scandal ("The Administration and its supporters accused the media of making "wild accusations," putting too much emphasis on the story, and of having a liberal bias against the Administration.")
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watergate_timeline
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_process_against_Richard_Nixon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_Watergate_Committee
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_for_the_Re-Election_of_the_President (Note: Buttercup has already announced his candidacy for 2020, which means he is now open for donations to fund his re-election campaign -- given his track record with charity donations, anyone want to bet on how much of that money will be used for other purposes?)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturday_Night_Massacre
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixon_White_House_tapes
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixon%27s_Enemies_List
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_the_President%27s_Men
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martha_Mitchell_effect

Because I am apparently not the only one feeling retro: The NYT: What Did Trump Know, and When Did He Know It? and Tom Brokaw: The Offer From Nixon I Refused

Also, can we offer a prize to the first journalist/interviewer/Twitterer who can get Buttercup to say (or Tweet) "I'm not a crook"? It's got to be possible to goad him into it. Got to.

(Or amusingly impossible: "Mr. President, are you a crook?" would probably get a ten-minute ramble about the electoral college and "fake news", interspersed with shouted orders to sit down.)

For my hypermobile peeps

Feb. 17th, 2017 08:33 pm
rydra_wong: Text: "Your body is a battleground" over photo of 19th-C strongwoman. (body -- battleground)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Because although I am not one of you, I seem to know a lot of you. I mentioned the following currently-useless bit of psychiatric trivia in comments, then thought it might be worth sharing more widely.

Because sometimes it's nice to know this shit, even if it doesn't (yet) have any practical implications for how to deal with stuff.

DID YOU KNOW that there's a very well-documented correlation between joint hypermobility and anxiety (and also autonomic and "somatic" problems -- stuff like fibromyalgia, IBS, migraines, etc.)? As in, if you are hypermobile you are way more likely to have the others? Trufax:

http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/03/relationship-between-anxiety-disorders-and-joint-hypermobility-syndrome-al
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/people-who-are-double-jointed-are-more-likely-to-be-anxious/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3365276/
http://web.mit.edu/y_lin/Public/fulltext.pdf

It's to the point where one group of researchers have even proposed giving it a name, the "neuroconnective phenotype":

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25832520

Researchers don't have a clue why there's this connection; it's just one of those weird but strong correlations where they know that if they figured it out, they might know a lot more about what's going on in both conditions. But (at present) they don't. Also, collagen is weird.

So if you're dealing with this cluster of stuff, it's probably not just random coincidence: there is a reason. We just have no idea what the reason is yet.

At any rate, it's yet another reminder that the brain is part of the body, and that even the stuff that's in your head isn't "all in your head".
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
My sleep debt is uncountable so this is not particularly coherent.

SPOILERS )

Books read, January

Feb. 18th, 2017 01:46 pm
cyphomandra: boats in Auckland Harbour. Blue, blocky, cheerful (boats)
[personal profile] cyphomandra
Rather than keep getting further behind I will post all this behind a cut: this is all of January except for four books by Robin Stevens that I loved and which will get their own entry. Someday.

Sarah Dressen, Dreamland
Yoon Ha Lee, Ninefox Gambit
Yoon Ha Lee, Raven Stratagem
Yoon Ha Lee, Revenant Gun (x2)
Sherry Thomas, Not Quite a Husband
Jenny Lawson, Furiously Happy
Stephen King, Riding the Bullet
KJ Charles, Wanted, a Gentleman
Jenny Lawson, Let's Pretend This Never Happened
Naomi Alderman, The Power
Megan Abbot, You Will Know Me
Elin Gregory, The Eleventh Hour
Emma Newman, Between Two Thorns (the Split Worlds, book 1)


Books read, January. )

Episodes meme

Feb. 18th, 2017 12:43 am
lokifan: black Converse against a black background (Default)
[personal profile] lokifan
I've been doing absolutely nothing productive in the last two weeks, out of a combination of bad sleep, lots of work, seeing friends and the Sims 3. (I only install the Sims when I'm giving myself permission to not be very productive; I hadn't written anything for a week or two beforehand anyway.) I miss you guys and don't have many plans this weekend. Let's do a meme.

Relevant fandoms: Buffy, Angel, Orphan Black, Steven Universe, Jessica Jones, Agent Carter, Dark Angel, Korra, Last Airbender, Supergirl, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, No 6, Black Butler, Pretty Little Liars, Being Human, White Collar. I'll give Luke Cage, Glee or Dollhouse a go if you like, too.

Gacked from EVERYONE:

Name an episode (or episodes, as many as you like) from one of the following shows [or perhaps books from series?] and I will tell you the following about it.

What I like about it.

What I don't like about it.

Favorite line.

Best performance.

A scene/idea from it that's particularly interesting to me.

Something I would have changed to make the episode better.

(no subject)

Feb. 17th, 2017 10:05 am
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I keep thinking today is Thursday. I think it’s my brain’s way of denying that yesterday happened at all.

I’m feeling better, physically, today, but I’m worried about Cordelia. I guess we’ll see how the day goes for her.

I wrote maybe thirty words yesterday (I haven’t counted yet) across two different projects. It was mostly the headache that did me in on that front. At this point, I have nine WIP that I think I could make good progress (and another half dozen that I’d like to go back to but don’t actually know what to do with). I also have nine plotbunnies and/or sequels that I haven’t started and really want to.

Scott has suggested that, if he’s not working tomorrow, we try a trip to the big used book store in Detroit. Cordelia’s enthusiastic, and I’ve wanted to go for years. My main hesitation is that it’s going to hurt like hell to do the necessary walking. I’m working on a list of things I specifically want to look for. Not knowing how the place is organized (the website doesn’t give any indication, just says that they give out maps), I’m not sure how to divide up the list.

And working on the list has brought it to my attention that I have somehow deleted the document where I was tracking manga series I was reading from the library so that I knew what volumes I’d read already. That document also had a long list of books that I wanted to read but that the library didn’t own. I’m cranky about that because reconstructing it really isn’t possible. I can probably manage the manga part, but the other part… not so much.

I need to buy a new water bottle. Scott’s sister gave me one in the fall of 2015, and it’s been slowly failing for months in terms of leaking. I can’t figure out how it can be half full and upright and still wick water up to cover the top of the bottle with a layer of water. I muddled along by putting it in a large ziploc when I needed to carry it with me in a backpack or totebag. Then, last week, I dropped the water bottle. I’d done that before, but this time, the outer case came off entirely. I couldn’t figure out a reasonable way to put things back together. The lid still attaches to the inner cylinder, so I can still use it, but it’s no longer attractive or insulated.

I want to shower today and to take out the recycling. I need to make a grocery list. If I can change our sheets, that would be very, very nice. I feel like there are more things that ought to be on my chore list, but I can’t think of them right now.

Because I keep meaning to link this

Feb. 17th, 2017 12:47 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
and then failing to get round to it, and also it's where I got "Buttercup" from:

[tumblr.com profile] plaidadder: Buttercup vs. the U. S. Constitution

Sample:

Conclusion: there are some grown-ups somewhere in the chain of command who have tried to put the handbrake on this constitutional-crisis train. These grown-ups don’t want another national story about Buttercup’s administration violating the law. They are therefore trying to make it look, at least, as if Buttercup is running a normal presidency that will try to promote its agenda through normal channels and challenge court decisions they don’t like IN COURT, as the Constitution demands, as opposed to just ordering people not to comply with them.

And then here’s Buttercup on Twitter:

“The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”

Buttercup is not on message. Buttercup is not a grownup. Buttercup thinks checks and balances are ridiculous. Buttercup thinks that if he says something it should come true. Buttercup thinks that the executive is “our country” whereas the judiciary is…what, exactly? Buttercup isn’t sure, but he does know that the “so-called” judiciary has no right to tell him what to do. They’re not even his real dad.

Buttercup is spoiling for a constitutional crisis. And of these days, Buttercup is gonna get himself a big one.

This, that and the other thing

Feb. 17th, 2017 12:38 am
fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
[personal profile] fairestcat
I am so mean to my cat you guys. Seriously, the meanest. Tonight ten minutes AFTER his dinner time I got up off the couch to go feed him. But then, not only did I stop to go to the bathroom (first rule: always pee before medding the cat), I went into Marna's room and talked to her for a WHOLE FIVE MINUTES. All while Dreadful was forced, FORCED to sit in the hall meowing his head off about my terrible behaviour.

Then I went to give him insulin and discovered that the vet ordered the wrong needles for us, so I have to take the box back tomorrow. The new needles are bigger than the old ones and only have full-unit markings. Which, since Dreadful gets 1/2 a unit if he needs insulin in the morning and a 1/4 unit if he needs insulin at night, kind of doesn't work.


In other news, today I spent several hours in chat with [personal profile] brownbetty, [personal profile] staranise and [personal profile] stultiloquentia in a wide-ranging meta conversation that started as a discussion of different modes of shipping/engaging with canon (set off by brownbetty's poll on what people mean by "I ship it" and some of the comments thereon), and then veered off into a discussion of the differences between the way fans ship characters and the way canon creators write romantic relationships.

It's probably at least two posts worth of discussion, but I'm too tired to write any of it up tonight. Hopefully I'll be able to get to some of it tomorrow.


Meanwhile, I'm reading a bunch of Chocolate Box fic. I suspect that'll be my next recs post. It's all fairly short, so I might even get through a bunch of it before creator reveals.

health insurance dammit

Feb. 16th, 2017 08:53 pm
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
I'm not going to put a 'politics' label on this, because this exact thing has been happening to me for 30 years, and I don't expect it to stop in my lifetime. This thing is: I have health insurance. I see a health care provider. I hand over my insurance card and my payment. A month later I get a bill from the health care provider. I call the health care provider. I talk to a phone-answerer; she doesn't know anything about anything, except that her screen says I still owe $X. I confirm that they have my insurance information, that they billed my insurance, that the services they billed were the services I received, which are covered by my insurance. I call the insurance company. They assure me that the health care provider's bill has been paid in full, and that I do not owe them any more money. I call the health care provider back. The phone-answerer says they'll look into it. Thirty days later I get another bill for the same charge, in pink, with threats to send it to a collections agency. Most often, another round of phone calls will settle it, though the health care provider never admits that they got anything wrong; they promise again to look into it, and this time I don't get another bill.

I'm so angry right now. I hate the phone and I hate arguing with people and my blood pressure reacts very very badly to threats, and there's nothing I can do except stew about it until tomorrow, because I picked up the mail when I came back in from walking the dog, which was just after 5:00.

I wonder how many people who are more phone-averse or less good with paperwork or just too damn busy or not as entitled to fairness as I think I am just cough up the double payment.

I wonder whether these things would happen to me so often if I had changed my name when I got married. They don't seem to happen to my non-Hispanic husband.

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