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megpie71

March 2017

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Saturday, March 25th, 2017 09:13 pm
Reread.

This is a collection volume, containing Komarr, A Civil Campaign and (actually in the "previously unread" category), the short A Winterfair Gift. The title for the collection volume is very descriptive, as that theme starts in Komarr, continues through the entirety of A Civil Campaign and comes to some sort of culmination in A Winterfair Night.

As is the custom, these are all eminently readable. It is also perhaps not the worst place to pick up the Vorkosigan Saga books (but, I should stress, it is also not the best), since I seem to recall that Komarr was actually the first one I read.
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Saturday, March 25th, 2017 09:09 pm
Previously unread.

It's been a while since I last read any of the Expanse novels. Don't really know why, maybe the whole "TV hype" has put me off. On the whole, they're eminently readable, although one of my distinct memories of "oh, no, not again!" from the first four is mercifully not as prominent in this one.

All in all a pleasant read, although I have a nagging feeling that the acceleration required to cover distance in this book may possibly require higher sustained acceleration than what seems to be happening.
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Saturday, March 25th, 2017 03:30 pm
Okay, recent experiment shows that if you edit, on DW, an imported-from-LJ post and turn on crossposting for it, you wind up with two versions on LJ, the original, and the edited-and-crossposted one.
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Friday, March 24th, 2017 11:42 pm
Tomorrow is my 30th birthday and I’m going to go to a friend’s wedding shower and pick up a balloon bouquet I got for myself and flowers that my girlfriend sent me and have dinner with my family incl. all my in-town nephews and I’m going to tie a balloon to the youngest one and watch him run around trying to charm the cats. (I forget if I mentioned, this week my sister in law sent us a video where she asks him, “Where do you want to go?” and he says “GAW-LA-GER. GRAMMA. KITTY!”)

When i was a little kid I used to dream of being in my 30s. I always wanted to grow up. Being an adult was when you got to choose where you lived, what you ate, who you spent time with, what you got to do. Even when I was eight, I dreamed so hard of being settled in my career with a spouse and family, able to right some of the wrongs I saw in the world and make art that mattered.

Getting here has been so hard--and between mental illness and the economy, I’m not nearly as settled, married, or fecund as I’d like to be--but you know the fuck what, I’m happy to be here anyway.
Friday, March 24th, 2017 11:23 pm
Earth Hour is a thing that is happening tomorrow – or today, by the time you get this. It's a light fast: no* illumination for one hour. It's a world-wide observance to demonstrate opposition to climate change and light polution.

It happens tomorrow (Saturday, March 25) from 8:30pm to 9:30pm in your local timezone. All you have to do is turn out your lights for that hour.

Please join the millions of people around the world doing this, if you can swing it.

Locals: the Cambridge Community Development Department is asking folks to participate, and will be giving out hot chocolate at the main library branch during Earth Hour to celebrate.

* There seems to be an understanding that candles, phosphorescence, and fireworks are okay? So this is Reform Earth Hour? Presumably Conservative Earth Hour is where you can have a candle or glow-stick, but only if it was lit before Earth Hour started, and an Orthodox Earth Hour where you will damn well sit there in the dark.

Oh, and for those who don't get the title of this post, the string to search is "how many Jewish mothers does it take to change a lightbulb?"
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Friday, March 24th, 2017 04:02 pm
CNN headline right now: GOP PULLS HEALTH CARE BILL AS DEMS CHANT, 'VOTE! VOTE!'

Let the finger-pointing commence!

*glee*
Friday, March 24th, 2017 04:49 pm
I love it when I’m researching a potential new donor and it turns out that not only do they have past felony convictions for financial crimes, they may have defrauded my own organization already. 

That’s what I call getting out ahead of the curve.

(Actually it’s kind of cool to be the one to uncover potential criminal malfeasance until I have to figure out who to report it to and probably give some kind of statement if it turns out to be true.) 

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Friday, March 24th, 2017 07:27 am
FKFicFest 2017 banner with 3 season cast photos

FKFicFest AO3 Collection | How to sign up | Where to sign up


Have you been waiting for the last minute to sign up? It's tonight (11:59 PM Pacific, Friday, March 24)! Come play with us?

Friday, March 24th, 2017 01:22 am
I just feel really discouraged with Tumblr this week.

Yes!!! I am aware that my viral post du jour does not adequately address the racial, class, and economic factors that make the concept inaccessible to other people!!! It also does not cite the geneaology of the concepts I used. I wrote it in half an hour before I collapsed with pain and fatigue. I don't actually find the concept accessible either; it's a vague sketch of "ideas I wish were not fundamentally poisoned for me." My apologies for failing to attain perfection in an endeavour that neither contributes to my livelihood nor furthers my career.
Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 11:44 pm
Just finished reading: Fair Play by Josh Lanyon

I read the first book in the series, Fair Game, not long after it came out in 2010. It's stuck in my head ever since then. The series is M/M romance and mystery thriller, and part of what amazed me is that the romance was written as intricately as the crime; I was amazed at how the entire tone of the novel shifted without anything being detectably different, and traced the shift back down to a single word in a sex scene that cause a cascading shift of perceptions of peoples' motives and reactions. It was impressive.

So this month Audible coughed up a recommendation for another Lanyon book and I checked it out, and behold! It was the further adventures of the two protagonists from Fair Game. Since romance novels almost always end just as the relationship gets truly underway, I was all up in that shit. After I finished Book 2, I immediately bought and began Book 3. I then took a break from Book 3 to make a cup of tea and play with my cat, and wanted to sit down and write this out while it was still fresh in my mind.

Fair Play is fascinating because it's all about CONFLICT in the relationship and it's glorious. (That is, there are a couple mystery plots, but while I'll read them I won't pretend they're important to me.) Elliot, the protagonist, left the FBI when he was injured in the line of duty; he now teaches university history. Tucker, his boyfriend, is still an active FBI agent. Elliot's an extremely logical guy doesn't understand his own emotions super well, who's used to the people in his life giving him a lot of autonomy and independence; Tucker's a former foster kid who's put a lot of work into understanding himself and is leaping aboard the emotional closeness train with alacrity, but he's very used to being either totally self-sufficient or taking care of other people--not to having a partner, much less someone who wants to take care of him. They love each other, but they start off not knowing very much about how to share their decision-making processes, how to argue productively, or how to show love and concern for each other without surrendering their autonomy or self-respect.

And you know what? They god-damn well figure it out. They love each other so much that rather than break up, they keep finding ways to introspect, express their feelings, advocate for their viewpoints, understand each other, and work it through. It's especially interesting to watch from Elliot's perspective. He's so very unlike me in a way that reminded me of my own special perspective and skills--when he's sitting there thinking, "Why am I angry? It doesn't make sense when you look at the logical situation" I'm screaming "ATTACHMENT THEORY!" but that's not how he operates. But at the same time, his emotional process was written in what felt like a very accurate and honest fashion--he does try, honestly and intelligently, and when he has an emotional breakthrough he faces it wholeheartedly and works it through with such dedication you can see why he tries not to have them too often.

There are occasional sour notes in the narration, especially around women or fat people, that make me a little uncomfortable because I can't quite tell whether it's Lanyon's opinion or just that Elliot is very like Dan Savage in that as a stoic fit white cis gay man from the Pacific Northwest, Elliot has internalized a set of prejudices he's never felt the need to question--he takes for granted that, for example, aging women who express alarm in response to others' misfortune and attempt to emotionally mother others are an alien, offputting, and unattractive species, from whom he would rather distance himself, and never thought more about the topic.

Still. I've finished my cup of tea, so I'm gonna go back to Book 3.
Friday, March 24th, 2017 12:52 am
Me two days ago:
You know what would be awesome, Medium Game, for the Blue Nation and Obamacare? If outraged Repealists started flipping out on Replacists on Twitter, accusing anybody who espouses Replacism of being a RINO/libtard/Democratic plant/etc and attacking them for being a lazy slob who mooches off the government like those damned Democrats.
[...]

Come the day that Republicans expect to be personally attacked by fellow Republicans for expressing any wish for government assistance in securing health insurance, a whole bunch of no-longer-insured Republicans will quietly cross the aisle.

I don't know that the Repealists have started doing this for us. Here's hoping.
Today, on CNN, emphasis mine:
The tug-of-war between the factions angered some other Republicans who are not part of either faction and resent their influence, like Alabama Rep. Bradley Byrne.

But Byrne predicted that when the bill finally came to the floor, political reality would kick in.

"If you are a Republican you have one choice. You're either going to vote with Donald Trump to repeal and replace Obamacare or you're going to vote with Nancy Pelosi to defeat the only bill that will repeal and replace Obamacare. And if you're a Republican, that's a pretty simple choice."
Now we just need Red Twitter to run with it. Oh please oh please oh please.
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Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 01:51 pm
As I alluded in my post Junk Insurance, while I correctly anticipated that the Republican mickey for the insurance industry would be to legalize junk insurance, I was surprised to find that the ACHA (Ryancare) merely targetted the ACA's (Obamacare's) 42 U.S.C. 18022 subsection d (which specifies the levels of coverage), instead of just directly attempting to gut subsection b, which is the part which defines the ten Essential Hea–
A key element of the negotiations between the Freedom Caucus and the White House revolves around the so-called Essential Health Benefits. The White House is working to possibly include the repeal of Obamacare requirements that certain benefits -- such as mental health coverage, drug addiction coverage and maternity care -- be required in insurance plans. [CNN.com one hour ago]

I still have it! \o/

That's it. That's the straight-up legalization of junk insurance, by the front door instead of coming in through the side.
Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 07:02 am
Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.


Read more... )
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 05:01 pm
I recently had a brainstorm and reserved the Tumblr URL [tumblr.com profile] saltine-canadian. A little while later I decided I didn't want it after all. Are there any other salty Canadians out there who might want it?

(I also later realized that properly "salty" would be saline-Canadian; on the other hand the definition of "saltine" is "a thin salted cracker" and that is... not wholly inaccurate)

Permanent Residents, refugees, expatriates, and long-term residents also welcome to apply.