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May 22nd, 2013
is writing ficlets! And she wrote one for me!
It's Alex Drake from Ashes to Ashes and Sammy Dunbar from Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you haven't seen Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays, Sammy is Holly Day from the first season of Slings & Arrows, as a book editor. All the ambition, amorality and manipulativeness in a much smaller arena.
Packing for Wiscon. Cannot fit all my Jo Walton books in my carryon even if I don't bring clothes. Should I check a bag? I don't think I own another.
Moderating Choice Feminism: Many people say that feminism is about providing more choices for people. There are people who, faced with this variety of choices, choose the same thing that the kyriarchy would have chosen for them. Can feminism support a variety of choices? How much variety? If there are choices feminism can't support, can it speak without massively disrespecting the women who make those choices? 10:00 PM - 11:15 PM Sunday, Conference 4. Competing for your attention with parties, Genderfloomp, and bed.
I have a five-hour layover in MSP on Monday, on the way back. What should I do?
Reading Reading Classes
and The Highest Frontier
for Wiscon. Think the last book I finished was State of Wonder
. Next will probably be a reread of one these I'm putting in my suitcase for Wiscon.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/220434.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
May 20th, 2013
Auralphilia, by Sprat
Podfic. RayK/Fraser. NSFW. Dirty talk. Rimming. So many false starts before I made it through the second sentence without cracking up. Note to self: close the windows before you start recording porn.
Text here: Auralphilia, by Sprat
All my podfic is on AO3 here
Podfic and other recordings are all here
now, but I'm going to take down Keeping Kowalski when I need space; it's the biggest, and has the fewest listens.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/220357.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: due south
May 18th, 2013
an interpersonal difficulty
There is someone who sometimes goes to Wiscon that I don't want to interact with. We have lots of friends in common, but this is not a problem: when they join a conversational group that I'm in, I leave. However. Last Wiscon, every time this person entered a party room or the consuite when I was already there, they immediately joined the conversational group that I was in. I don't know whether this was on purpose. I might just always have been talking to the most interesting people in the room. But if it was on purpose, it's a problem. I suppose I should talk to them about it, but (1) I don't want to interact with them; (2) if it was on purpose, I don't see any good outcome; (3) if it wasn't on purpose, I think a response of, "Now that you've pointed it out, I'll avoid it when it doesn't inconvenience me," is a million times less likely than, "Now that you've pointed it out, I will do this on purpose to teach you that you don't get to control who I talk to."
Advice?This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/219941.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
May 15th, 2013
five things make a post
Neal and Aiko and I hiked to Horsetooth Falls
to see spring ephemerals, which are coming to the end of their season but still filled my eyes up with beauty.
The falls are still full, though not as full, Neal tells me, as they were last week. Aiko balked at taking a drink from the pool at the bottom, so Neal went to the other side and coaxed him. Aiko ran back and forth several times, getting braver and wetter and muddier. Then Neal went behind the falls. Aiko very much wanted him to be rescued from the giant water-monster, but not by Aiko.
I ordered new glasses, which were sorely needed. My prescription has changed a lot in one eye. Also there is some coating delaminating off the lenses. The frames are fifteen years old. I've had the lenses replaced twice. I was hoping for a third round, but no.
It's not that I don't like change. It's that I don't like looking at my face. So mostly I don't, so when I have to, like to choose new glasses, first there's always that moment of, "Oh, God, that's my face, isn't it?" And then I would like to go home to recover, but I have to stay there and do it again and again until I have chosen some glasses. Bad enough if you could do it in private, like trying on swimsuits, but no.
The optician was doing her best to be professional and kind. It is not her fault that I am very uncomfortable with highly-groomed women looking me over and saying things like "You look like you don't want anything too fancy" and "Is this too much bling for you?"
Read Ann Patchett's State of Wonder
for book group. I have never read Heart of Darkness but I think this book is in conversation with that. Have you read both? Can you tell me anything about what Patchett is saying about colonialism?
The lilac at the southwest corner of my house, which I'd bet is older than I am, is starting to bloom.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/219761.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
May 8th, 2013
• What are you currently reading?Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
, for book group.
• What did you recently finish reading?The Charioteer
, by Mary Renault. This book is preoccupied with men's fear of being unmanly. This can make it hard for someone who thinks there's nothing unmanly about being gay and there's nothing wrong with being unmanly to read sympathetically. I do like watching people make their way through serious constraints. It is interesting to see how many things are charged with unmanliness. Ralph, Laurie, and Andrew are each working with two strikes already: Ralph and Laurie are gay and disabled, Andrew is gay and a conscientious objector. Will any of them incur the third strike of admitting their feelings or asking for help? Are they all doomed to sorry solitude?
• What do you think you’ll read next? State of wonder
, by Ann Patchett for the other book group.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/219389.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
One of those sentences that has probably never been written before.
"If none of us has ever done sex work, then I don't think we have what it would take to steer the discussion between the Scylla of judgey and the Charybdis of concern-trolling."
(From email discussion of the Choice Feminism panel, coming soon to a Wiscon near you.)This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/219061.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
April 30th, 2013
Custard the Dragon, by Ogden Nash
So national poetry month 2013 is over. This makes 16 poems I've posted, which is not bad. Newt is as brave as a barrel full of bears, and would totally have devoured that pirate. Today he picked a fight with Aiko over who got to eat the eggshells out of the compost bucket. (The correct answer is Nobody, which of course Aiko knows, but he came over to investigate what Newt was doing and Newt took it as a challenge. Fur flew.)This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/218332.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: dogs
, national poetry month 2013
For Darkness Shows the Stars, by Diana Peterfreund
I picked this up because of the blurb that said it was a post-apocalyptic Persuasion
. It is not.Persuasion
is about a romance between adults. Elliot and Kai, the characters who take the places of Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth, are eighteen. That is, eighteen when the book begins, after Kai has made his fortune, when he returns to his childhood home to discover that the woman who refused him is still his one true love. They were fourteen when Elliot reneged on her promise to run away with him.
At first I thought Peterfreund might have de-aged them because modern sensibilities cannot respect a woman who allows herself to be persuaded away from her true love, but might be able to sympathize with a child in that position; but, as it turned out, there was no persuasion. Elliot made the intelligent, responsible decision not to run away entirely on her own.
So this is a romance about teenagers, with secrets, and failures to communicate, and high drama, and wrist-grabbing in anger, and no sense of proportion. If you can imagine a Jane Austen novel with no sense of proportion and no sense of humor, it might be like For Darkness Shows the Stars
, but not at all like Jane Austen.
So, it isn't Jane Austen pastiche. It doesn't really work as science fiction either. It is not impossible to believe in a character who makes scientific breakthroughs with no training, no discovering a hundred ways that didn't work, and no standing on the shoulders of giants because the giants have all been razed. This book has three such characters, in three different fields. The world-building is more like set-dressing. Peterfreund's apocalypse has given her world plantation slavery without the guilt. The majority of the population, the Reduced, really are mentally inferior to the landowners, the Luddites: they can manage a few one-syllable words, some signs, and simple, repetitive tasks, and they are prone to self-harm when they are young, old, sick, or pregnant.
It is very well-written, for idfic.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/217919.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: books
April 29th, 2013
little dog psychology
I believe firecat
is right, Newt has no idea how big he isn't.
Newt needed a new home because he would not give up his conviction that it was his job to restrain Betsy's three-year-old son from moving quickly and unpredictably. Now Newt is doing the same thing to my son, but it is not the same thing, because my son is six feet tall. When Mungo jumps up and strides across the room, and Newt throws his tiny body at Mungo's giant feet, it reminds me of the little boy's attempt to turn a stampeding herd of cattle in Australia
. It's a miracle he doesn't get squished.
Newt also keeps reminding me of Beginners
. There's a Jack Russell in that movie who needs a new home, and gives a lot of soulful gazes. When Newt gazes at me that way, I always think he's thinking, "Thank you very much for having me. May I go home now?"This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/217810.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: dogs
April 27th, 2013
little dog physiology
Newt wants to sit in my lap all the time, but first thing in the morning, after his little feet have touched the cold damp ground, he needs
to sit in my lap. Because he cannot maintain his own body temperature.
However, he had no trouble walking all the way to the co-op and back, which Google maps tells me is 1.7 miles.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/217122.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: dogs
April 24th, 2013
I haz a Newt!
That is, I have adopted kalmn
's dog Newton. Aiko looooves him. Newt does not love Aiko back, not yet, and sometimes needs to tell him so. My German Shepherd accepting a rebuke from a dog the size of his head is hilarious.
I've never had a little dog before. He seems so vulnerable. Much more so than a cat.
He's smart, though. In the house and the back yard, he stays next to me, but when we went out the front door, he trotted out ahead, ears and tail high, to the sidewalk, then right, then, two doors down, into the street where the van that brought him here had been parked. His ears were flat to his head and his tail to his belly when I scooped him up. I don't think he was afraid of me, since he didn't back away; I think it was just the overwhelm of the situation, realizing that he couldn't retrace his steps any further and he had no idea how to get home.
He will get home though. He'll come home to Aiko and me. You were wearing the ruby slippers all along, Newt.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/216927.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: aiko
April 19th, 2013
The age meme
If you want to play, say so in a comment. I'll give you an age and you answer the following questions about you at that age.wild_irises
gave me 30.
I lived in: the house in Masonville, which was a nice little place with ten acres of pasture, with a creek in the middle.
I drove: a Chevy Nova, which served us well for many years.
I was in a relationship with: I had a husband and a toddler and the best dog ever and two cats and three horses. Life was good.
I feared: the death or serious illness of someone I loved. I had pretty much stopped fearing nuclear war and ecocatastrophe. I didn't think they were less likely, I just didn't have the energy to worry about them.
I worked at: I taught computer programming in the Continuing Ed department at CU-Boulder, which was the perfect job for me. I was really good at it, I worked a few Saturdays a semester, and it paid $70 an hour.
I wanted to be: a better teacher. A storyteller. A writer. Someone else's mother. Someone else's lover.
Today's poem is Turbulence, by Adrienne Rich.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/216200.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: national poetry month 2013
April 10th, 2013
Siren Song, by Margaret Atwood
• What are you currently reading?
Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood. I tried this once before and gave up because I was not in the mood for a terrible person in a terrible situation, whose memories of "happier times" are even worse, and whose future does not look promising. I am reading it now for book group but I am still not in that mood.
I have loved other things written by Margaret Atwood, so I don't know why this is so very not for me. Hypothesis: I do not like science fiction written by people who claim they don't write science fiction. Yeah, I didn't like The Handmaid's Tale much either. I would like to test this hypothesis. Can you suggest other works of science fiction whose authors claim they are not science fiction?
• What did you recently finish reading?
I've browsed through several poetry books, but have not read any cover-to-cover.
• What do you think you’ll read next?
Back to Multiplication is for White People.
this poem.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/214493.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: national poetry month 2013
April 8th, 2013
Rumplestiltskin, by Anne Sexton
This is from a book called Transformations
, which I read long long ago, when I was learning to tell stories myself, before the term "fanfiction" was invented. I learned two things from this book that I relearned when I discovered fanfiction: when you retell a story that I know, no matter how well I know it and no matter how well I love it, I'll learn something interesting about the story from your retelling; and when you retell a story that I know, I'll learn something really interesting about you.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/213723.html. Please comment there using OpenID.Tags: national poetry month 2013
April 4th, 2013
• What are you currently reading?Multiplication is for White People
, by Lisa Delpit. Recommended by jesse_the_k
• What did you recently finish reading?
The Ax, by Donald Westlake. It kept reminding me of Breaking Bad. The viewpoint character has worked hard and played by the rules, and he can't stand becoming unable to support his family as well as he thinks they are entitled to. He decides to stop playing by the rules. Like Walt, he won't change his plan even as he sees its terrible consequences, even as he realizes how his plan is changing him. Recommended.
• What do you think you’ll read next?
Maybe Oryx and Crake, for book group? Maybe The Highest Frontier, for Wiscon?
Sore throat. No poem today.This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/212746.html. Please comment there using OpenID.