I got several chapters of Blood Red pulled apart. I think by the weekend I'll have it seemed back together. Once I get that part done, the rest should be a mere matter of editing the later chapters and working on the passivity and giving Arrigo his goal, ditto Luc. After this, unless I've fucked up where I put all the scenes, this is probably as good as this gets. I just hope I haven't messed up the sequence of action too badly or put something out of order.
I'm feeling pretty damn anxious right now though, too much hanging over my head. THe hiring of faculty, that new class (for 3 students), getting Blood Red done not to mention getting back to the stories I'm trying to write. I've done nothing to work on Splinters or either of the two novellas I have sitting around. Even though I still have nearly 2 months off it feels like my vacation is over because almost every day is plotted out.
Speaking of which hell Rhode Island is SO expensive. My hotel will double, not on the weekend but on Thursday (the new weekend). I might look into other options. I'd prefer not to pay a month's rent for o ne day in a hotel.
I will not be able to, as I'll be seeing the doctor about my ankle. For those that came in late I came off my bike* a couple of weeks ago. The scrapes, grazes and bruises have mostly healed, but my ankle, which wasn't bleeding and not particularly sore at the time was strained in the footholder. The bleeding bits got all the attention. After the long photowalk a week or two later my ankle got very sore. It now gets swollen when I walk more than a klick or two and has a hard lump which hurts if I poke it, and sometimes if I don't. Refraining from poking hasn't resulted in any difference, I hasten to add to all of you who are saying "Don't poke it!"
It's annoying because I'd really like to get some proper excercise, and with Finland in less than a month I want to be fighting fit!
So a visit to the doctor tonight puts paid to my ISS viewing, but you lot, those of you in Perth, anyway, and some of you in other Australian cities check out Ian Musgrave's blog and see if you get a look too. Adelaide and Melbourne are looking good for it.
*Me-Mover Fit, not really a bike.
( From a farmboy to a commander )
Just Finished: Jackalope Wives and Other Stories by Ursula Vernon (tkingfisher). A nice collection, of which I'd read most of the stories before, but not all of them. I do enjoy Vernon's attachment to women of a certain age as her protagonists; it's a pleasant change from much of the world of fantasy.
Prior to that I read the last Lady Trent novel, In the Sanctuary of Wings, which I enjoyed, and wished there were more.
I also picked up, and put down, Hugh Howey's Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue, because I found the characters intolerably irritating and his portrayal of an 18-year-old girl unpleasant. It was just ... off. Bah.
Currently Reading: Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters for book club. It's long, but I have more than a month, and it's a pleasant read so far.
Next Up: Erm. Probably Tremontaine Season One, although there are some new books coming out I'm interested in. Like City of Miracles, which I will drop everything to read once it comes in at the library.
Power in the Absence of Money: Why Trump hates bureaucrats so much. I love this article and the respect it shows to the civil service. [T]hat's what we're talking about when we talk about the federal workforce. We're talking about a whole bunch of people who go to work every day trying to keep us safe, whether they're carrying an M4 and wearing body armor over in Mosul, or manning a computer at the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Health and Human Services. The terrible "swamp" Trump has such contempt for sits there every day in drab offices they endured heavy traffic to get to, and they regulate the excesses of the vaunted "market" Trump and his billionaires are so worshipful of.
More on the plan to destroy the civil service. This is a smart, long, well-researched article.
And on that note, here is a report on what it's like inside the EPA right now. It's not good.
Masha Gessen on The Reichstag Fire Next Time: The coming crackdown. Argh, and eeps.
ETA: Let's end on a better note, with this ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY AMAZING video of "Immigrants" from the Hamilton Mixtape. So. Good.
We’d love to include some before and after photos.
In addition, I left two comments:
The first comment asked if they were planning on paying contributors. The answer was an equivocal "If there's any way to do this, yes." My second comment said that Mechefske ought to include information about the fact of payment (or non-payment) in the submissions guidelines so that people would know what they were getting into; that comment has been deleted. There was at least one other comment asking about payment, which has been deleted.
In conclusion: stay the hell away from this project. It smells rotten.
I've cut most or all of each section, separately so as to list their headers. Even within the cuts I've skipped some, but to read it all just click on the title line.
From Science-Based Medicine
“The Truth About Cancer” Series Is Untruthful About Cancer
Ty Bollinger has produced a video series he calls The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest. It’s about as huge a misnomer as can be imagined.
Harriet Hall on November 17, 2015
Ty Bollinger started his quest because several of his family members had died of cancer despite conventional cancer treatment. He believed they had died not of the cancer but of the cancer’s “so-called treatments” and “false treatments.” He doesn’t explain which cancers they had, what the treatments were, or why he calls them “false.” He was angry, and he wanted his relatives’ lives to matter; he thought he could give their deaths meaning by seeking out alternative treatments that would have saved them and could save others. He was an accountant and bodybuilder, untrained in science or medicine. He started out with the conviction that conventional cancer treatment was a fraud, and confirmation bias had a field day. Instead of learning about cancer from reliable sources, he avoided mainstream cancer experts and researchers and only interviewed alternative practitioners from all over the world who agreed with his premise. He eagerly swallowed everything they told him.
He says, “You are about to learn the best treatments and preventions to cancer, protocols that won’t harm your body, from the world leading doctors across the globe.” He promises to show viewers science and documented evidence. He promises to expose the lies of conventional cancer treatment. He thinks he has information that will eradicate cancer once and for all. He couldn’t be more wrong.
( A hopelessly biased sample )
( False claims )
( Lies about chemotherapy )
( The natural fallacy )
( War on nonconventional doctors? )
( Cancer survivor testimonials )
( The myths )
( Episode 2 )
( Dangerous misinformation )
Bollinger’s approach is as unfair as a trial where the prosecution is given carte blanche and no defense is allowed. This is a very unfortunate series, filled with misinformation but produced slickly, effectively appealing to emotion, and likely to mislead scientifically-naïve viewers and probably even some scientists who ought to know better. I predict that Bollinger will have blood on his hands: people will suffer and die unnecessarily because they believed this was “the truth about cancer” and were persuaded to reject lifesaving treatment.
Last week, I was interviewed by author Heather Rose Jones for her Lesbian Talk Show podcast. we had a fund discussion about my work and historical inspiration. That should go live in August. In the meantime, check out her blog and her show.
Last night, I read with a bunch of other authors at the annual Queer Voices Pride Month reading at the Minneapolis Central Library, sponsored by Intermedia Arts, the Hennepin County Library and Augsburg College. This year, there was a resource and book fair, along with the reading. The traffic and mass transit deities conspired to keep our crowd smallish, but the readings were very good, I sold a few books and I got interviewed for the KFAI Radio show Fresh Fruit (airing soon). I made the evening for one of my editors by reading from the magazine he edited (Raymond Luczak, Callisto), which was fun. I also got some nice feedback on the story I read from the audience and the ASL interpreters, which was very cool. One of the great things about last night's reading was the diversity of voices: over half the authors were authors of color, several authors were trans or genderqueer and at least one publicly identified as having a disability. More than one author identified as Muslim American. And the singing was lovely. I also got to see some friends, so I would definitely count the event as a success.
In upcoming events, Rachel Gold and I will be reading together at Boneshaker Books in Minneapolis in September and I'm talking to Quatrefoil Library and DreamHaven about possible events later on this year. Speaking of DreamHaven, I just typed up my first Queen of Swords Press invoice for them: they'll be carrying Silver Moon (new edition) and Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories as of tomorrow evening! If you know an indie bookstore that might be interested, please send them our way. I'll be posting a bookstore contact to the web page in the next day or two here.
I've also got some new writing projects in the offing. And there's still time to pledge my Patreon for this month (proceeds going to the Southern Poverty Law Center).
And on a more fun note, I'll be at the Twin Cities Antiquarian Bookfair on Friday, shopping for books. Book dealer (and all around swell guy) David Christenson will be selling from books from the Lundoff Collection as well as some of Jana's fine bindings and boxes so be sure and stop by the Fairgrounds to check things out. I'm also hoping to do a Lark Toys run with friends, to be followed by 2 days of writing, with only minimal editing and other tasks. Fingers crossed that works out!
Article by Zeng Yuli in Sixth Tone (6/27/17):
As the economy slows and social expectations rise, youngsters are rejecting traditional notions of success and embracing a culture known as ‘sang.’"
Before reading this article, I was only vaguely familiar with "sang" culture. So that those who do not know Chinese pronounce the word more or less correctly instead of making it sound like the past tense of "sing", read it as "sawng" or "sahng".
The article begins:
In recent years, an increasing number of urban, middle-class Chinese young people have begun to identify with sang culture. Simply put, sang refers to a reduced work ethic, a lack of self-motivation, and an apathetic demeanor. “I’m just a waste of space,” “I don’t care all that much for life,” and “I’m listless to the point of despair” are typical phrases uttered by sang youths.
Meanwhile, memes such as the “Ge You Slouch,” the recently deceased Pepe the Frog, and “Gudetama” or “lazy egg” have become the beloved mascots of sang youngsters. American series such as “Bojack Horseman” and sang dramas from Japan reflect the same mentality.
The emphasis on gudetama (which I suppose comes from gudenguden ぐでんぐでん · gudegude ぐでぐで ["dead drunk; in a drunken stupor"] + tama たま ["ball; sphere; globe; orb" > "egg"], though I'm by no means an expert on this), the mention of "sang dramas from Japan", and the overall Japanese esthetic made me suppose that, like so much other East Asian youth culture, sang probably had a Japanese origin. So far, however, I haven't been able to discover precisely what that might be. Rather, sang seems to be something that is developing within the Sinosphere, but under the impact of Japanese cultural trends.
Though initially I didn't know for sure what character sang transcribed, from the context I quickly deduced that it was 喪. Native speakers are somewhat ambivalent about whether to read this in 1st tone as sāng ("mourning; mourn; funeral") or in 4th tone as sàng ("to lose something abstract but important [courage, authority, one's life, etc.'; to be bereaved of [one's spouse]; to die; disappointed; discouraged"), though in the end most opt for sàng.
It's obvious from the meanings given that sàng is primarily verbal. One correspondent explained why she feels that sàng is the appropriate reading in this instance:
Though I'm not completely sure, if I were to read the phrase, I would choose to read it as sàng wénhuà. For me, perhaps "lack" more accurately captures the sense of emptiness / aimlessness the popular usage of this verb now expresses. My personal understanding of this word is that it describes a status, an emotional state of lacking intention to work or study, or even to actively have fun in the extreme case. I've seen people state, "Wǒ zuìjìn hǎo sàng a 我最近好丧啊!" ("I've been feeling really dispirited lately!"). In this situation, the term seems to be more like an adjective than a verb or noun.
Another correspondent stated that a sàng 丧 person is like a zombie, a walking dead.
Whether in the first tone or in the second tone, a third correspondent pointed out, "Basically 丧 is always used in a negative way (death, loss, failure)."
Whatever its deeper origins, sàng wénhuà 喪文化 is clearly something that is developing within Chinese culture. It's certainly prevalent in Mainland China. Does anyone know if it's also in Taiwan?
Sàng 丧 is used to refer to lack of motivation, absence of productivity, or simply dearth of energy to engage in work or study. Here's a link to a website where people discuss sàng wénhuà 丧文化 ("sang culture") and their own interpretations of it.
Still and all, though sāng 喪 may be authentically developing within China, it fits well with Japanese fictional figures such as Rilakkuma (Rirakkuma リラックマ ["Relax Bear"]), who has been around since 2003. In Chinese Rilakkuma is called Sōngchí xióng 鬆弛熊 (lit., "relaxed / loose / flaccid / flabby bear"). He has a fèiqīng 廢青 ("wasted youth") kind of temperament and is often urged on by his baby bird friend to "go outside once in a while". Rilakkuma has been in existence for a decade longer than Gudetama (2013).
For an investigation of otaku and related Japanese and Sinitic (diverse topolects) terms for introverted individuals who stay at home and are often characterized by extreme lassitude, see:
[Thanks to Maiheng Dietrich, Jinyi Cai, Mandy Chan, and Tianran Hang]
Highway to Hell | Louie Louie | Blitzkrieg Bop | All Revved Up with No Place to Go | Down Under | Rebel Rebel | Trigger Happy | Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) | Footloose | Sister Christian
( Wayne's World gave us the definitive driving song )
AUTHOR LINK: DeLiz
WIP?/WORD COUNT: Complete | 3,000
MAIN CHARACTERS: Pikachu, Meowth, Ash
Meowth and Pikachu got locked in a cupboard. Pikachu is unimpressed by this, but he's currently unimpressed by a lot of things, so that's normal. Meowth, being the wonderful friendly nemesis he is, decides this is a fact worth exploring.
You know, just for kicks.
RECCER'S NOTES: After a few hiccups, my laptop decided to keep on living after all. Hurray! (This was the monthly reminder to BACK UP YOUR SHIT, kids, brought you by CloseShaveINC.) Let's see if I can't catch up.
A cat, a cupboard, a very angry electric mouse. Meowth works well as the narrator; while essentially a decent person, he's also enough of an arsehole to thoroughly enjoy Pikachu's frustration. (And Meowth's narration means we don't need to hear Pikachu's words, because that would be... weird.)
Update re beds: D has decided she wants her full bed in there, at least to start, so it looks like we're not getting a temporary or new bed at this time. Thanks everyone for your suggestions! They were very helpful! Also, she has a week to change her mind about this plan.
After the signing, which was a 2+ hour process, we went out for lunch, then adjourned to her place and measured furniture.
Due to dealing with her move, I'm going to be somewhat hosed over the next two weeks. (If you have a favorite moving company that does small moves on the North Shore, feel free to mention in the comments. I have two recs already, but I could stand to get quotes from one or two more. Also, I feel nervous about trying to book movers in 14 days or less, so want a pool of leads at hand.)
I was hoping to get at least one post out this month, but right now I'm so exhausted I can't see straight, and I have lots of patients tomorrow and part of Friday, which is the last day of the month. We'll see.
The good news is that in the middle of July, whatever my availability had been, it (knock on wood) should be substantially improved. Not only will we be getting D settled, I have a bunch of patients all going on protracted vacations, so my clinical caseload will be temporarily lightened.
Once D is moved, we'll need to start worrying about what to do with her house, but there's no urgency on that. I think that while there's some minimal stuff that we'll get out of the way, G and I are planning on taking a nice break from Dealing With Things And Evacuating Houses for a little while.
Of course, all that goes out the window if D's health takes a turn for the worse – or for that matter if any other emergencies emerge. But right now I'm hopeful that later this coming month I'll be able to be around more and be shoving more posts out the door. Here's hoping.
The Exchange at Fic Corner is a gift exchange for fic based on children's and YA books and short stories from picture books to edgy teen novels. The FAQ can be found on Dreamwidth (and I think on LJ still).
June 18th - June 27th - Sign-Ups
June 28th - Assignments Sent Out
August 21st - Deadline for Stories
August 28th - Collection Goes Live
Tag Set (on AO3)
Sign Up Form (on AO3)
Interruption in Cantata story. The reverse mortgage is progressing. I have an appointment with an appraiser on Wednesday 7-5. If all goes as expected, Contata will be the last time I take a flight I don't like to save money. Today I began making plans for my next 3 cons by making hotel reservations, and I made them for Thursday through Monday for OVFF and GAFilk. Reasons. 1. So I can enjoy the Friday activities and have a day to adjust. 2. So maybe I can do some touristy stuff, or go to Thursday night circles if there are any. 3. So I can volunteer to get bumped if I have the opportunity, although that one's iffy, because the Thursday night hotel reservation would be within 24 hours, and I'd lose that. They'd have to offer a bribe worth $5-600 for it to work out. Still, it's a possibility.
I made hotel reservations for those two plus MileHiCon today.
I'll have more to say about all that later. Back to Contata. Saturday, I went to lunch with a friend. The Chinese restaurant across the street was slightly above average. Later I went to dinner with 2 other friends, who were so kind as to buy me dinner. I had a truly wonderful lamb shank with rice. I attended most of the GoH concert, which was great. I bought a couple of CDs of Glen Raphael, whose Friday concert was a riot. I did a little playing in the evening, thanks to loan of a guitar and, later, a uke. I really didn't feel like doing a large amount of playing. I felt more like listening. And there was plenty to listen to.
Sunday is kind of a blur in my mind. I sold all the filk CDs I brought to one of the dealers. I think I went to one of the concerts. I was up until 4 AM Saturday night, so the concerts started just a bit early for me. I went to eat with 3 friends, at a place called The Famished Frog. It was very nice. I went to the dead dog with a mind to just listen, and that's what I did. There were some wonderful people there I don't get to hear as often as I'd like to.
At future filk cons, my plan is to have instruments and money to spend.
That will be nice.
More on my plans: people have been very kind to me. In return, I'm hoping to use some of the extra money I'll have for things like kickstarters, just generally being kind to people, and so on. For one, I'm REALLY hoping to help my housemates find a way to get their own place. I'm hoping they can, with 3 jobs between them now, begin to save some money. It's not going to be easy, because they have an eviction on their record. Still, I remain optimistic.
Monday after the con I took a train into Penn Station. On the train, I researched restaurants, and discovered the Carnegie Deli, where I went just last year, is gone. The Stage Deli, which I remember from 1993, has been gone for years. However, the 2nd Ave. Deli, a favorite since '78, is back from the dead. On my way, I stopped at a self-serve post office and got a large Priority box. There was no tape, so I kept walking. A FedEx store across the street had tape for $8. I kept walking. A Staples had small rolls of tape for $2. Bought that, got to a real post ofice a short distance away, and mailed a box of stuff (mostly laundry) to myself. Lunch at 2nd ave. deli was fantastic. I took a long walk towards the MOMA, but my feet were hurting, so I got on the subway instead, and went to LGA a few hours early. Got home about 2 AM Tuesday morning.
Almost caught up on sleep. Sort of napping now. Went to dentist today. Tomorrow going to a house concert. Then spending a few days getting ready for my own house concert on Monday.