Deuce of Gears
A cog in the machine. Pawn of powers beyond your control.
(Yes, Jedao was being snarkastic when he chose it for his emblem.)
Also, I love my catten but...she's not very bright? She likes to sit on the ping pong table and will remain sprawled on it when the Dragon and I start up a game. The ball hits her in the leg, she remains sprawled. It took the next ball hitting her in the snout for her to skitter-kitter off the table. *facepalm*
That's not the part where she's not very bright. The part where she's not very bright is that she was on the ping pong table during a game yesterday and got hit in the snout by a ball then, causing her to skitter-kitter off the table. You would think she'd figure out that ping pong game in progress = don't sprawl on the table waiting to be hit in the snout?
Back to work...
My recipient was iknowcommawrite aka Scioscribe, who wrote me two lovely Treats last Yuletide! FemslashEx allows prompts for original fiction, and this is the prompt I wrote for:
Class issues, identity porn, loyalty kink, and compromised principles: hell yeah. I think ideally I would like this one in a fantasy world, but I’m open to other possibilities. I’d love to see about any variation on this I could think of. Is the revolutionary undercover in the palace, getting ready to overthrow the monarchy while falling for the princess? Is the princess on the run from the revolution, disguising herself, and falling in amongst the rebels? Do either of them begin to rethink their principles or their policies? Is the revolutionary agitating in the open, and the princess is intrigued by her radical ideas? Other things I’m totally here for: wearing a crown while being thoroughly debauched by a revolutionary, hurt/comfort, kneeling, undressing from gowns and corsets, and virgin princess/experienced revolutionary.
Isn't that great? I found it very inspiring.
I wrote Burn, an epistolatory exercise in Ultimate Identity Porn. The revolutionary hides her face to conceal her identity. The princess silences her voice to preserve her purity. They know each other. And they don't...
The one advantage of having an interviewer stand me up, as I remarked even at the time, was that the employment agency that had set this up now owed me one.
This is probably at least PART of why I then got a DIFFERENT temp. job without having to do an interview for it.*
Anyway, it's basically filing. This company out in Waltham switched to electronic record-keeping for most purposes a couple of years ago, but they still do some paper filing; more to the point, they have umphteen years worth of paper records, and they need to figure out what to do with 'em. Part of the answer is that they employ some sort of off-site document storage firm; but the files still have to be packed up and sent off, and they now want to (a) inventory them, and (b) group them by expiration date, so that when the time comes to have 'em shredded, they can just have their storage people throw out the whole box, rather than pull individual files. Since everyone there is busy already, and since I guess one or two people are on medical leave or something, this is now my job. It's unexciting, but at worst will look decent on my résumé when I'm applying for future office-type stuff.
Plus there's free coffee. And the people are friendly and chill.
As such, the big question** is How long is this going to last? This is a mystery for two reasons:
1) As I said, I've mostly been hired to deal with a filing project. Thing is, I'm still not entirely sure of the scope of the project; and the last time I got hired to do filing, I finished it in about half the time expected, and then basically twiddled my thumbs while my superiors hunted frantically for something for me to do. There's been vague talk about maybe having me do other stuff after that, but it's been just that: vague. This is partly because
2) I've barely seen my notional supervisor. I started on Thursday,*** which unfortunately ALSO turned out to be the day she was going to be in a three-hour meeting that had been several years in the planning; and then she was playing catchup the rest of the day, and then wasn't in at all on Friday. So I guess I'll try to figure this stuff up at some point in the course of next week. Because as things stand, I don't know whether this gig is going to end next Friday, or next year.
* Have I mentioned I hate job interviews? Only about a hundred times, I guess.
** Well, in addition to "Can I manage NOT to throw out my back lugging around and/or bent over boxes of files?"
*** Despite my concern that I might need to start the job the day I got the offer, I was actually supposed to start on Wednesday. However, I also had to take my car in to the shop on Wednesday, especially if I was then going to haul myself out to Waltham. And I could have just arranged to start half an hour late (dropped the car off, and then caught a train to work), except that I would then have needed to repeat this performance on Thursday (to pick it back up), and I figured that it would be less disruptive to just start a day late--if they were ok with that, which fortunately they were. Plus I had a couple of other appointments scheduled for Wednesday.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 9
When a woman places her child up for adoption rather than raising the child herself, how is that predominantly viewed in your culture (not necessarily by you)?
Good! This is an excellent thing to do if she felt unable to raise the child herself.
Neutral, neither good nor bad.
Bad. She should have raised the child.
Adoption is extremely rare or nonexistent in my culture.
Other, which I may choose to elaborate on in the comments.
- Bloomberg notes that the people and businesses leaving London for the EU-27 will enjoy lower rents.
- DW reports on potential British interest in joining NAFTA, if Brexit talks with the EU collapse entirely.
- The remarkable Bombardier deal with Airbus may yet save the Canadian company from American tariffs. Global News reports.
- Global News takes a look at the provinces and economic sectors in Canada to be hit hardest by the end of NAFTA.
- The area of Humber River Bay may yet be radically transformed by the development of the vast Christie's site. The Globe and Mail reports.
- Torontoist notes how the City of Toronto is starting to let apartment dwellers know if they might die in a disastrous fire like Grenfell.
- Wired reports on the vast Google plan to make not just Quayside but the entire waterfront a high-tech prototype.
- TVO's John Michael McGrath argues that the city does not need Google to design good neighbourhoods.
- Apparently many people are escaping the Toronto affordable housing crisis by moving into vans. The Toronto Star reports.
Anyway, in the fourth episode of S1, ( mild spoilers )
I've started going through writing related artefacts from one of the Lund museums, and I hope I can start on the other one mid-November or so. They're in the middle of finalising a new permanent exhibition, so I doubt they can find the time for me right now.
Bone stylus with a metal end for writing. The smooth end on the other side is for erasing the wax tablet.
Another type of bone stylus. This one has never had a metal end, instead the bone shaft has been carved to a point. And it's tiny! Almost too small for my hands even.
Other than that, I keep writing the sections I can write, waiting for interlibrary loans to arrive, references to check and more books to order. Lund has a pretty good library, and thankfully the interlibrary loan system is easy to use when you need to find books they don't have.
I'm thinking of starting a PhD work diary again. I had good intentions at the beginning, but didn't keep it up when I got back from York. It's good to have one, so you can see what you've been doing - sometimes it feels like you've done absolutely nothing and are so far behind that you have to work 24/7 just to keep up. And that's a bad thing. Weekends are there for a reason (she said, who is planning to work on Sunday to make up for lost time mid-week). But that will be after my holiday next week. I'm off to London to see the Scythians exhibition at the British Museum, and do some research at various libraries there. Despite what I said about the interlibrary loan system, it's not perfect, and sometimes you have to pay for international loans. Worth it for a whole book, but not really for an article if you're not absolutely sure you'll need it.
Finally, a very unusual bone stylus: a hexagonal shaft and a triangular head. This one has a metal tip, but it's been broken off at the shaft and very little is remaining.
Scott commented that he hadn't realized that getting less that four hours of sleep would hit her that heavily and that he wouldn't have insisted that she go to school if he'd known. I gave him a look of utter disbelief because I find it weird that he'd think that she wouldn't feel it. Also, he leaves an hour before Cordelia does, and I was prepared to overrule him on that if I thought she couldn't do it. If it hadn't been Friday, I probably wouldn't have sent her. Knowing that she didn't have to be anywhere before 5 p.m. today was a major factor in my decision.
I took down and washed the shower curtain because it had gotten to the point of being really nasty. I think we need to replace the bath mat, too. I've wanted to do that for a very long time, but Scott paid a lot of money for-- of all things-- a memory foam bath mat. I have no idea why he wanted that. It's not as if anyone stands there for long enough that it matters. Mainly, what the memory foam means is that it sucks in water and takes forever to dry. At this point, it's starting to smell, so I think I can get away with pitching it. It's really not washable unless I want to do it by hand somehow. Given that I hate the dratted thing... Well, it's not happening.
I'm kind of surprised that it didn't get to this point sooner. I think we've had it about three years. I just loathe it because the area in front of the tub is also the area in front of the sink. I despise having the wet squish under my feet when I go to wash my hands or brush my teeth or do anything that requires the sink. I've asked Scott to dry off in the tub so that the mat doesn't get that soaked, but it's apparently not something he can remember to do.
I posted another story in the House of Sulfur and Mercury sequence yesterday. It's short, just something I kind of dashed off that's set about thirty years after the end of We Are Where We Began. It will make zero sense without reading the earlier stories in the arc.
I haven't been doing formal announcement posts for most stories in this arc because I figure there's not a lot of overlap between between people reading here and people following that story. Am I wrong? Then again, I'm not sure how big an overlap there is between people reading here and people interested in any of the fic that I do formally announce.
I wrote between 800 and 900 words yesterday, some of it was the Amber story I mentioned above and some of it was a Weiss Kreuz story that I'm really hoping is near done. It's a one shot smut thing that's been in progress for years. I just wasn't sufficiently motivated before to really look at it and get it done. I think that right now I'm going to focus as much as I can on finishing some of the shorter WIP that are sitting on my hard drive. Of course, some of them are sitting because I have a suspicion that they want to grow into novels or even more than that in length. Others are sitting because I know there's something broken in what I've written so far but can't quite tell what.
The three stories I still might finish for weissvsaiyuki all have their own difficulties. One needs massive amounts of description. One needs at least another 5000 words and has characterization problems in the parts already written. The third is the one I'm working on right now, and that... I'm concerned that the characterization is too far from canon. Then I remind myself that, working just from the anime, Schwarz doesn't actually have that much canon. There's a good bit pulled from other sources, but I can't always tell that from fanon, and, well, I tend toward divergent AUs anyway, so I probably shouldn't fuss about it. People don't read my WK fanfic for accuracy of canon voice and/or details. At least, I'd be very surprised if anyone does.
I try to be canon accurate when writing for exchanges but often play with backstory and characterization and such while writing for other purposes.
- Catrine Jarman notes how Easter Island's history has been badly misread. The island was sustainably run, after all.
- Dead Things notes how DNA studies of ancient Rapa Nui suggest there was no South American immigration. No contact?
- Will the new airport at St. Helena open up new potential for tourism for the South Atlantic island? Global News reports.
- Iceland is enthusiastically trying to restore its ancient forests, downed by Vikings, so far with not much success. The New York Times reports.
- Ottawa has been urged to give farm workers from Dominica, ravaged by hurricanes, extended work permits. The Toronto Star reports.
- The island of Vieques, already hit by American military testing, has been prostrated by Maria. VICE reports.
- CBC shares the story of Maxim Lapunov, a surviving victim of Chechnya's gay pogroms who escaped to Canada.
- Kristi Penderi writes about his LGBT activism in Albania made a difference, even though he had to eventually leave.
- Jessie Randall writes about her struggles to become an aspiring young mother as a coupled lesbian.
- Naveen Kumar at VICE shares stories of gay men who donated sperm to lesbians and helped create new families.
- Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at enormous, explosive Wolf-Rayet stars, and at WR 124 in particular.
- The Big Picture shares heart-rending photos of Rohingya refugees fleeing Burma.
- Centauri Dreams considers the potential of near-future robotic asteroid mining.
- D-Brief notes the discovery of vast cave systems on the Moon, potential homes for settlers.
- Hornet Stories exposes young children to Madonna's hit songs and videos of the 1980s. She still has it.
- Inkfish notes that a beluga raised in captivity among dolphins has picked up elements of their speech.
- Language Hat notes a dubious claim that a stelae containing Luwian hieroglyphic script, from ancient Anatolia, has been translated.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the question of preserving brutalist buildings.
- The LRB Blog considers how Brexit, intended to enhance British sovereignty and power, will weaken both.
- The Map Room Blog notes that the moons and planets of the solar system have been added to Google Maps.
- The NYR Daily considers how the Burmese government is carefully creating a case for Rohingya genocide.
- The Power and Money's Noel Maurer concludes, regretfully, that the market for suborbital travel is just not there.
- Visiting a shrimp festival in Louisiana, Roads and Kingdoms considers how the fisheries work with the oil industry (or not).
- Towleroad reports on the apparent abduction in Chechnya of singer Zelimkhan Bakayev, part of the anti-gay pogrom there.
- Window on Eurasia notes that rebuilding Kaliningrad as a Russian military outpost will be expensive.
Had tattoos: No. I have the same problem with tattoos as with people asking for my favourite book/music/whatever - I can't decide.
Had surgery: Nope
Broken any bones: None
Shot a gun: Surprisingly, yes: target shooting, with air rifles, at the university gun club
Quit a job: Yes
Flown on a plane: Yes, many times. First time was 1988, when we went to Crete on our very first foreign holiday. I think the highest number of planes on a single holiday was 11, when we went to Vietnam and Cambodia in 1996.
Driven 100+ miles in car: It's hard to imagine the answer being 'no', though these days the majority of my journeys are short local ones.
Gone zip lining: About 10 years ago. (I was rubbish. I was also rubbish at abseiling.)
Watched someone give birth: No. That's another thing I'd be rubbish at. I have passed out at the sight of blood - some of it on TV - multiple times.
Watched someone dying: My Father. For a while. It look five days, and I was only there for one.
Ridden in an ambulance: Not an emergency one.
... Canada: Once, for fannish reasons (due South & C6D)
... to Europe: Yes
... to Washington D.C: No
... to Florida: No
... to Colorado: No
... to Mexico: No
... to Las Vegas: No.
UK version, suggested by peasant
... Scotland: Yes
... North America: Once for fannish reasons (SF)
... London: Yes, for work, friends, culture, arts, shopping
... Cornwall: Yes, while I was at Uni, with my then boyfriend
... Wales: Pretty much every year of my childhood for family holidays, and then 3 of the last 4 years with abrinsky, my brother, niece and nephew
... France: Twice, just on a day trip both times
... Monte Carlo: No
Australian version, suggested by dalmeny
... Tasmania: No
... Melbourne: Once for fannish reasons (SF)
... Canberra: No
... Far North Queensland: No
... the Centre: Yes
... the Top End: No
Sung karaoke: Absolutely not. It's on a list entitled 'You Can't Make Me, And If You Try I'll Leave'. See also: dancing.
Had a pet: Yes. Nine cats: Holmes, Watson, Molly, Tabitha, Lucy, Mina, Urvashi aka daFoof, Jia aka The Princess, Orwell. In that order. Lucy, The Princess, and Orwell are still with us.
Been downhill skiing: No, I'd be rubbish and probably break something
Gone snowboarding: No, I'd be rubbish and probably break something
Been able to read music: Once upon a time - played recorder, piano, cello, clarinet at various times at school - but don't know if I can still do it
Ridden a motorcycle: round a field solo; on the road only as a passenger
Ridden a horse: My best friend at school was obsessed with horses and I sometimes went riding with her. I've probably been on at least as many elephant rides, though. And the longest ride I've been on was 3 days on a camel in the Sahara.
Stayed in a hospital: No
Ridden in police car: No
Driven a boat: No
Seen a UFO: No
Been on a cruise: Not the holiday-on-a-giant-boat-with-lots-of-
Run out of petrol: Once, while I was learning to drive, because I had a lousy instructor. Much more recently, I had to pull over and phone abrinsky to rescue me because otherwise I was going to run out before I reached a petrol station.
Eaten sushi: Yes; omonomnom
Seen a ghost: No
(Edited freely for grammar/consistency)
[If you don't know anything about Shadow Unit: (1) this stands on its own; (2) go check it out! Buckets of free fiction from me & Elizabeth Bear & Emma Bull & Amanda Downum & Leah Bobet & Will Shetterly & Steven Brust & Chelsea Polk.]
( Read more... )
Ex-KGB guy lecturing about subversion in 1983.
The beginning is ... amusing. He claims that the Soviet Union is immune to subversion because it's closed off from outside influences. It might also be amusing that he claims religion is the only thing which holds a society together, but fails to notice that the USSR tried to weaken religion.
However, his claims that it's possible to take a society down by amplifying its internal disruptive influences might be true.
The part that catches my attention is that cultivating no-compromise attitudes among people is very destructive. And that if you're looking to punish the other guy rather than get a good solution for the both of you, you're heading for trouble.
Unfortunately, it takes two to cooperate.
I'm wondering whether the world is worse than it needs to be, not so much because people are personally rotten as because there are organizations encouraging bad behavior for reasons which have nothing to do with the self-interest of the obvious culprits.
I suggest that malice is not adorable. Even if it's from people you agree with against people you don't trust. And that tear-it-all-downism might actually be bad for you.
There's a challenge here because hunting for negative foreign influence can also be a destructive force.
I'm not sure what the answer is. Look for people of good will. Don't make things worse.
2. Had braised meat rice for lunch, then got pastries from the Chinese bakery and pearl milk tea, yum. And the lunch place was playing Cpop and made me slightly homesick for Taiwan.
3. Watched The Snake Prince, a Shaw Brothers movie, with CB and jhameia and it is... quite a thing. Let's just say there was much more disco music and dancing than I had expected.
It's funny--I adore this show but declined to request it for Yuletide. Besides it being a highly jossable canon, what I really want is bona fide philosophy neepery, and I'm pretty sure 99% of the fandom wants to write about relationships. There's plenty of shipfic I would read for this fandom, but I really really want philosophy neepery. And, I mean, 2.5 was basically my Platonic ideal in terms of episode content.