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April 2019

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Friday, April 19th, 2019 09:00 pm
Maggid
By Marge Piercy

The courage to let go of the door, the handle.
The courage to shed the familiar walls whose very
stains and leaks are comfortable as the little moles
of the upper arm; stains that recall a feast,
a child’s naughtiness, a loud blattering storm
that slapped the roof hard, pouring through.

The courage to abandon the graves dug into the hill,
the small bones of children and the brittle bones
of the old whose marrow hunger had stolen;
the courage to desert the tree planted and only
begun to bear; the riverside where promises were
shaped; the street where their empty pots were broken.

The courage to leave the place whose language you learned
as early as your own, whose customs however dan-
gerous or demeaning, bind you like a halter
you have learned to pull inside, to move your load;
the land fertile with the blood spilled on it;
the roads mapped and annotated for survival.

The courage to walk out of the pain that is known
into the pain that cannot be imagined,
mapless, walking into the wilderness, going
barefoot with a canteen into the desert;
stuffed in the stinking hold of a rotting ship
sailing off the map into dragons’ mouths,

Cathay, India, Siberia, goldeneh medina*
leaving bodies by the way like abandoned treasure.
So they walked out of Egypt. So they bribed their way
out of Russia under loads of straw; so they steamed
out of the bloody smoking charnelhouse of Europe
on overloaded freighters forbidden all ports—

out of pain into death or freedom or a different
painful dignity, into squalor and politics.
We Jews are all born of wanderers, with shoes
under our pillows and a memory of blood that is ours
raining down. We honor only those Jews who changed
tonight, those who chose the desert over bondage,

who walked into the strange and became strangers
and gave birth to children who could look down
on them standing on their shoulders for having
been slaves. We honor those who let go of every-
thing but freedom, who ran, who revolted, who fought,
who became other by saving themselves.


* "Goldeneh medina", Yiddish, literally "Golden Land", idiomatically America
Friday, April 19th, 2019 03:11 pm
Learning how to fold things so they are in horizontal rows rather than vertical stacks is definitely the point where this tipped over into "hobby." However, it does make stuff WAY easier to find.

These are before-and-after aerial shots of my T-shirt drawer:



Friday, April 19th, 2019 01:04 pm
10 years of Dreamwidth?! I always forget my LJ/DW anniversaries (I also nuked my early LJs and DW, whoops. First LJ was 2000, no, 1999 maybe.....). Here's to many more!


The vi'lets from her lap, and lillies fall:
She misses 'em, poor heart!
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Created on 2009-04-11 18:06:46 (#37579), last updated 2019-04-19 (2 hours ago)
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....WHOOPS, I apparently missed my own 10-year anniversary on this DW about a week ago. (I forgot my mom's birthday. Twice. I never forgot T's birthday, but for years I thought it was two days later than it really is.)
Friday, April 19th, 2019 10:01 am
A delightful middle-grade novel about a girl who acquires a flock of chickens with superpowers.

I feel like that’s really all that needs to be said. Either this is something you immediately want to read, or not. But a few more things I liked about it…

- It’s epistolatory, told completely in the form of letters, chicken quizzes and pamphlets, to-do lists, etc.

- There are a lot of completely accurate chicken facts.

- The superpowers are used the way that actual chickens would use superpowers if they had them. They’re not superintelligent chickens, just regular chickens with unusual abilities.

- The heroine, Sophie, is biracial (white father, Mexican-American mother) and while this is relevant to the story, it’s not what the story is about. Are you or do you know a Latina girl who wants a book where someone like them is the heroine and it’s not about Issues? Do they like chickens and/or The X-Men? Then they are the perfect reader for this book.

- Honestly though anyone is the perfect reader for this book. I guess unless they hate and fear chickens.

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

Thursday, April 18th, 2019 07:30 pm
I know it's hard to find anything on Tumblr, so I found some of it for you. Five things make a post, right?

Discourse
This is where we are in the current fannish drama about "underage characters":
"aging up a character and continuing to say/commission/draw/write nsfw with them in it isn't okay, because you still looked at a MINOR, an ACTUAL CHILD, and found them attractive, and made them an adult to try and justify your attraction to them..."
(It continues. Gets worse. Is followed by comments from other people, with screencaps of other... fascinating perspectives on relationships between characters of different ages.)

Fic Rec
Family Feud by codenamed-queenie, Batfamily, short and hilarious. Gen, no warnings.

Teacher Shenanigans
How scantron tests are made

Tech Tips
How To Track Anonymous Asks on Tumblr, using "view selection source" and "view page source" to find out who sent them.

Writing Tips (also tabletop RPG tips)
Estimating walking travel time (In good circumstances, "an adult can do about 30 miles (approximately 48km) in a day.")
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Thursday, April 18th, 2019 05:43 pm



sigh.
Thursday, April 18th, 2019 05:42 pm
This is for something I'm writing. The character uses a manual wheelchair. She's visiting an office and is impressed by how accessible it is, unlike pretty much the entire rest of the world. What features can it have that she'd notice?

It's a New York security agency which she's visiting as a client, but she can also notice ways in which it's accessible for anyone who works there as well. None of the current employees are physically disabled, so she'd be seeing the potential rather than noticing someone else navigating it in a wheelchair.
Thursday, April 18th, 2019 05:22 pm
//just watches the Graun feed slack-jawed


President Trump has been tweeting about the Mueller report for almost 12 hours now.

Donald J. Trump
(@realDonaldTrump)
Anything the Russians did concerning the 2016 Election was done while Obama was President. He was told about it and did nothing! Most importantly, the vote was not affected.

April 18, 2019


I mean

I had the right to end the whole Witch Hunt if I wanted. I could have fired everyone, including Mueller, if I wanted. I chose not to. I had the RIGHT to use Executive Privilege. I didn’t!

April 18, 2019


What? Just fucking what? How is this guy still in office? How is he not IN JAIL?

and



what even is this bullshit
Tags:
Thursday, April 18th, 2019 04:53 pm
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. For more links and commentary you can follow us on Twitter, Tumblr. You can also support us on Patreon.


Read more... )
Thursday, April 18th, 2019 04:48 pm
which is a great music comm and you should check it out. This felt very....appropriate, post-Magicians season finale. Comforting, anyway.

Thursday, April 18th, 2019 11:43 am
Being on crutches, in an apartment up a flight of stairs, has certainly made decluttering more challenging. I cannot take anything to trash/recycling, but have to get someone else to do it for me (and I live alone). Also, it's a lot more difficult to carry things from room to room.

Nevertheless, I persisted!

KonMari has completely changed a lot of household chores for me, from things I hate and avoid to things I actively want to do as a combination of relaxation/meditative activity and geeky hobby. (I still hate washing dishes though). Sherwood and Layla, who have both seen my apartment in various stages, can attest to how much this has changed how it looks.

Here is a set of shelves in my kitchen which had not been decluttered in twelve years. There's a huge space in the back of them which is very hard to reach into. Consequently, when I stash anything there, it tends to drift toward the back, where I can then neither see nor reach it. Otherwise I only opened it to grab a tool from the tool box.



The other day, having hired someone to run some errands for me and also take out the trash, I parked myself on the floor and pulled everything out, a task which at times involved lying flat on my stomach and using a tool to sweep things toward me. I really wish I'd photographed the floor once everything was out, because it was a hair-raising mound of trash and weird junk. I found a half-drunk bottle of Kahlua which had probably been there for twelve years. I found paper towels so old that they shattered like glass. I found a bag of birdseed that was at least ten years old, dating back from when I thought birds would come if I put out food. (They wouldn't.)

I dumped the trash in trash bags and sorted the rest. Here is the end result:

Thursday, April 18th, 2019 10:39 am
Ben and Rose have just gotten married when they receive a letter from Hannibal saying that he's being held prisoner in a Gothic mansion in Mexico where he's forced to play the violin for the delusional owner of the mansion who has regular hallucinatory conversations with Aztec Gods; he can't flee because, among other obstacles, the police want to hang him as the believe he poisoned the owner's son. Ben and Rose to the rescue!

This had a lot of very thought-provoking and sensitive stuff on the historical treatment of mental illness, legal slavery vs slavery in all but name, religion, and Ben's dilemma of never having a place where he can both feel at home and not have to deal with racism. This was all neatly married to a solid murder mystery, a family drama, and tons of adventure and bonding. Hambly is really good at writing established couples who are still madly in love, and I really enjoyed all the Ben/Rose moments as well as the Ben/Rose & Hannibal. The supporting characters were vivid and interesting, as was the new setting.

The climax didn't rise to quite the batshit heights of the last one, but not for want of trying.

Read more... )

Grimness quotient: Low, all things considered. There's a visit to an asylum which is awful and tragic, but the man running it is compassionate; it's mostly about how people just had no idea what to do about mental illness then. Some people stuck in miserable nunneries. Poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, but also lots of people just living their lives and managing to make pretty good ones despite it all.

Days of the Dead (Benjamin January, Book 7)

Thursday, April 18th, 2019 08:02 am
So in an effort to reinvent goodreads/booklikes tagging since I'm off goodreads and keep forgetting booklikes exists, I made a tag for books with what I consider to be significant queer content (This is a somewhat wobbly definition, more wobbly still because I'm back tagging based on memory). Which is this: fandom: queer books.

I've gone back to about 2014 and may tag the rest at some point (ETA: I've gone back to 2006, which is when the book tag overloads. Turns out you can only do up to skip=500. I'm not sure I had any useful opinions before that anyway). My book review format wasn't as... organised back then, and got less so as I go back. (I've also blanket-flocked my DW on posts older than 2016, which I might selectively deal with at some point. I have to and manually strip out too-specific location data on a lot of it. Argh, past self! Why?)

I know everyone keeps telling me I should post reviews individually, but I don't. I like Reading Wednesday. So if there's more than one book review in a post with that tag, I put in a little rainbow heart sticker on the one that's indicated (Rainbow heart sticker) which will hopefully make finding things easier, visually anyway. For screen readers, at least it'll say "rainbow heart sticker"? I've only done this about two years back. It's a work in progress. (ETA: Which is now completed back to 2006. That was totally a good use of my time, right?)

Anyway, thoughts? Helpful? Twee? Something more useful I could do?
Thursday, April 18th, 2019 09:13 pm
You step off the boat in Devonport, and lots of enterprising salesmen are standing right there, waving "Breakfast at our Cafe!" signs and gesturing to their joint down the street.

You step off the boat in Melbourne, and no-one cares. You want breakfast? Eh, so does everyone else. You got off a boat? Congratulations. People do that sometimes.

Melbourne: the city where nobody gives a damn. (And, for the first time in three weeks, I felt right at home.)


Our holiday can be neatly divided into a few different topics.
the old stuff )

the oops factor )

the natural stuff )

the kidlets )

the verdict )