I don't think Essun destroyed any cities at all this book! I'm so proud!
( The rest is disconnected spoilery thoughts )
Gryffindor: Stephen Day, Archie Curtis, Richard Vane, Silas Mason, Nathaniel Roy, Jonah Pastern, Simon Feximal
Ravenclaw: Dominic Frey, Rowley Green, Crispin Tredarloe, Saul Lazenby
Hufflepuff: Harry Vane, Lord Gabriel "Ash" Ashleigh, Clement Talleyfer, Ned Hall, Ben Spenser, Martin St Vincent, Robert Caldwell
Slytherin: Lord Crane, David Cyprian, Daniel da Silva, Justin Lazarus, Julius Norreys, Francis Webster, Theodore Swann, Randolph Glyde
Which means we have:
Gryffindor/Slytherin x4, Gryffindor/Ravenclaw x2, Gryffindor/Hufflepuff x2, Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff x2, Ravenclaw/Slytherin x1, Hufflepuff/Slytherin x3
( We were dorks, albeit adventurous ones. W/pix. )
I am glad to be out of the land of $20 sandwiches and ubiquitous soundtracks, though. Whew.
Obviously this hurricane season is a nightmare and a lot of people fall somewhere between inconvenienced and in dire straits, and I'm doing what I can do help, but at the same time I was selfishly glad that our timing worked out so that we made it there and back between storms. I met some people on the flight down who were hoping to find their houses relatively undamaged and some families at the hotel who were waiting for power to be restored from Orlando and Tampa all the way down to Miami. Good luck to everyone.
( Me waffling about a super nice apartment )
All that said, as I was typing this entry, a friend I had lunch with checked in to see how the showing had gone. Between her reaction to the pictures and how excited I felt telling her about the place (and realizing that actually I do have places to put all my bookcases that make sense, and I could definitely work with those tiny bedrooms by painting an accent wall)... I'm leaning much more heavily yes. I should sleep on it! We'll see!
I finished a draft of that Equinox treat! Now I can't stop watching it. It is a really special feeling to have the time, energy and capability to make something that comes close to realizing the aesthetics and emotions of the initial conception.
So You Want to Be a Robot by A. Merc Rustad. I bought this at Readercon after being bowled over by How to Become a Robot in 12 Easy Steps. I was afraid the rest of the stories would pale in comparison to that one, which is placed at the end of the collection here, but almost every one so far has left a lump in my throat. Hardly any duds in the bunch. Compelling SF and fantasy concepts with a ton of agender, transgender, genderqueer, asexual and/or queer protagonists and supporting characters. Robots and merpeople and aliens and monsters and supervillains and plots that stand on their own even as they allegorize things like systemic oppression of homosexuality by the Church. Highly recommended.
After years of struggling to build a sustainable exercise program to help manage my PCOS and address chronic muscle tightness without hurting myself, I bit the bullet and rejiggered my budget to accommodate a package of sessions with a personal trainer. I dunno, it seemed like a thing reserved for athletes and wealthy people, but I'm really glad I admitted I needed help and went for it. After two sessions and three or four weeks, my hips are less screamy and I'm noticing slightly improved stamina, like when synn and I climbed a millionty stairs to go on the water slides at Universal. Although it's still early days, simply feeling like I am in knowledgeable hands and am doing something instead of worrying about it is helpful. As expected, the main issue so far has been balancing gym time and hobby time, especially with all this weekend travel. I'm trying to take it a week at a time.
The Vietnam War documentary on PBS. Star Trek reruns. (A channel called Heroes & Icons started coming in over the digital antenna, so now there's TOS + TNG + DS9 every weeknight, and VOY & ENT after I go to bed.) Soon, Star Trek: Discovery. Auction vid sources continue on. Let's see: I skimmed the first seasons of The Magicians and Powers, both darker than expected; BrainDead, too close to reality to enjoy; and Supergirl, a welcome shift in tone. James Olson is a cutie. Penny from The Magicians wasn't hard on the eyes, either, although the showrunners' reluctance to let him wear shirts started to make me feel manipulated.
Sometimes crummy and sometimes happy. There's the world, as you know, and on a personal level, alongside the gym stuff, my doctor and I are switching around a couple of things and seeing how they go; I'm still in the adjustment period. If the above sounds unusually upbeat, it's because I waited for a time when I didn't want to complain or sigh or strangle everyone at the office to write this post. Having 10 of the last 11 days off work helped as well. More on that in the next entry.
And I have been watching Top of the Lake (literally all the trigger warnings you can think of related to sexual assault ever), but for me that is basically what that show is except there is no TARDIS.
( TW rape culture and sexual assault, no spoilers )
Ran into temve and ell finally -- they shop much later than I do usually, but I had an early eye doctor appointment. I need to start planning autumn outings, as the Noir City DC film fest is coming up, as well as VelocityDC Dance, the new Synetic Theater season, the Takoma Park Street Festival and probably a dozen other things...
But nonetheless there has been sightseeing.
I already mentioned Rynek Underground.
There is probably more to see than we saw at Wawel Hill, but we did the State Rooms and the Royal Private Apartments of the Royal Palace, and the cathedral. Must remark that dwelling in marble halls, or at least spending several hours walking/standing on floors of that substance, does my lower back thing no favours.
Today we went to Kazimierz, which on reflection, was not, being Saturday, the ideal day to do so - had intended going earlier in the week but ran out of time/energy.
There have also been visits to a number of churches, which after a while tend to run together - lotsa baroque.
( Videos behind the cut for tidiness... )
How much this helps me learn the language is anyone's guess. My comprehension even of sung English is pretty pathetic; I've been listening to non-English songs as long as I can remember, enjoying them for their musicality without the pressure of processing the words, so they're in one ear and out the other. And while learning to sing songs in another language might be a good practice generally, whoever suggests that has little experience with how many syllables a French Canadian can cram into one line holy cow.
(On the other hand, it might give a genetic excuse for my speech being excessively fast and inarticulate? Can't help it, I've got 400 years of Joual to overcome ...)
Devastation in the US and British Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma and How to Help
NYT: How to Help Victims of Hurricane Maria
Hispanic Federation: Donate (choose "Hurricane Relief Effort" from the dropdown menu)
We are coming to the United States because we have to. In our increasingly interconnected world, what happens here impacts on Europe. What happens in Europe has an impact on what happens in the United States.
Last year Britain voted to leave the European Union (commonly known as Brexit). This would not have been possible without the intervention of Breitbart and Cambridge Analytica. Likewise, Brexit gave Donald Trump a huge boast and convinced him and his supporters that anything was possible.
One of the main protagonists behind the Hillary Clinton conspiracy stories was Paul Joseph Watson, a 32-year-old man who lives in a flat in London. More recently, the ship charted by far right activists from across Europe in the Mediterranean was funded primarily by Americans.
From last year -- here's a Guardian piece on a Hope Not Hate workshop:
The Guardian: What does Hope not Hate actually do?
In November, I went to a Hope not Hate event at a mosque in Cardiff – a three-hour workshop on how to challenge and discuss anti-migrant and prejudiced sentiments. It drew a crowd of around 20, one or two of them local muslims and a few with migrant backgrounds, but the majority were white Welsh, many of whom had not previously been in a mosque. The organiser, Jonathan, began the session by asking what had prompted people to attend. Many described feeling worried, frustrated and in need of a toolkit for discussing race and immigration with family, friends and colleagues.
Their undercover reporter patrik_h -- looks like a cinnamon roll, will secretly infiltrate your international white supremacist network:
Dagens Nyheter: The Swede who infiltrated American Nazis
”He offered me to speak at the opening about my thesis topic: how the left has infiltrated the right. I spoke in front of 75 armed white supremacists.”
The Local.se: Meet the Swede who went undercover for a whole year with the alt-right in the US and UK
Of course, then I was scared. I mean, there was this combination of a group of young men with guns and a violent ideology. That's not a great combination.
K.B. Spangler has a new book out this week--one that's not connected to A Girl and Her Fed. (Digital only right now, but a print version is coming.) seananmcguire wrote a short Twitter thread in response when Spangler announced the new book's availability; the key takeaway about the actual writing is "If you want some of the most elegantly written, internally consistent, funny, touching, TRUE science fiction coming out today, you should take a look at @KBSpangler. She's the real deal, y'all. She's writing shit that breaks every rule, and still works."
In related news, I just spent a vile amount on US-to-Canada shipping* to get a print copy of Rise Up Swearing (so far the only compiled volume of AGAHF) and a little pin of Bubbles, the Fed's digital clownfish...avatar? (I'm blanking on the correct word. "Avatar" is applied to something else in that 'verse, though, IIRC. Hmm.)
I was spared having to decide, in this time of "yes, I swear, I'm trying to cut back on spending", whether I was going to get a "Literalists do it with their genitals!" shirt; the shirt is currently unavailable (as in, no longer showing up on the site at all, not just out of stock). My wallet is grateful.
*Ordered directly from the AGAHF store, and she was as appalled as I was at the shipping cost. It wasn't surprising, though.
The first week at Casual Job is over--all two days of it! (Four hours yesterday and eight today.) I'm having some tech frustration at the office that would take ages to type up and is not terribly interesting, but I'll say that I really, really hope the person who sometimes does on-site IT support for us is around on Monday, because WOW, calling the help desk was useless. -_-
So far at Hal-Con I've seen several people wearing geeky shirts from stories I know, and things like a Sailor Saturn costume down in the mall food court. (A moment of respectful silence for the food court workers this weekend, who'll be slammed.) But the best was when Ginny and I were running down from work to get lunch and ran into someone in Tohru cosplay! The cosplayer mentioned that she was off to get her Yuki and Kyo, but Ginny and I were then unsure if she'd meant plushies of the boys in their cursed forms or fellow cosplayers.
Sunday Dinner: Melissa (2312 words) by Tassos
Fandom: Teen Wolf (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Sheriff Stilinski, Melissa McCall
Additional Tags: Werewolf Sheriff Stilinski, Dinner, Friendship, Male-Female Friendship, Conversations, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence
Series: Part 6 of Lycanthropic Optics: Werewolf!Sheriff AU
John bumps into Melissa at the hospital. They have a long overdue chat.