"There is a thread of cultural reality in the U.S. that I think most Europeans don't see: the rural/urban split is not just about farmland and sidewalk, or even about the simple economic issues involved in the same split in, say, England.
"When it comes to social issues, different parts of America are living at different points in history. You can almost literally engage in time travel by moving around the country."
-- Elliott Mason, March 2017
"It's not about any actual trans people, or their safety. It's about fighting over whose vision of America should win: a remembered prosperity we must strain to reach anew, or a step forward from existing problems into an ever-more-just and ever-stronger future." -- ibid.
|@StripeyCaptain:||"Oddly, they never seem to want testing for anyone who gets more than a couple of grand a month from the state."|
|@tjathurman:||"I think they're worried about a mythical beast called The Undeserving Poor."|
|@StripeyCaptain:||"No one deserves to be poor. Oh right, that's not what they meant..."|
-- Tigerfort and tja thurman (@StripeyCaptain and @tjathurman), 2017-03-20
"Saying that health coverage is a consumer choice makes health care a commodity, something that can be traded, bartered or sold on the open market. Catholic social teaching is clear that health care is not a commodity; it is not a bundle of services available to the highest bidder. Health care is a fundamental human right -- Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI used those very words -- alongside water, food and education. Providing health care is among those rights that the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church says 'every nation is required in duty to make towards a true worldwide cooperation for the common good of the whole of humanity and for future generations.'
"Providing health care to our citizens isnât a matter of choice, it is a duty, an obligation. [...]"
-- editorial, National Catholic Reporter, 2017-03-18
[Spring (technically) is almost here -- about an hour after the cron daemon posts this for me. A happy equinox to everyone marking it, especially to folks celebrating it as a religious holiday! For the rest of us, hopes and good weather to come.]
1) Red-winged blackbird on March 14, arrived in the middle of the snowstorm.
2) Eastern bluebirds, three of them, today and yesterday!
3) Red-tailed hawk out for a soar yesterday.
4) Two crows making an unusual melodic sound while flying today.
Clever of me to delete the one-minute timer preset from Insight Timer. Now when I'm too tired to do anything, like push more than one button, I default to a three-minute meditation instead of one. I see what you did there, self.
I have to admit that my initial reaction to hearing about his death was, "I didn't realize he was still alive." I seem to have thought he was at least 10 years older than his actual age. And I was never more than a casual fan of his music, but nobody with any interest in popular music at all could fail to be aware of his influence. He made a difference.
Fly with the sparks, Mr. Berry. You will be missed.
- Summer in Orcus; T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon)
- Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen; Lois McMaster Bujold
- Every Heart a Doorway; Seanan McGuire
- The Raven and the Reindeer; T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon)
- Polyglossia; Tamara Vardomskaya; Gigantosaurus
- The Tomato Thief; Ursula Vernon; Apex Magazine
- .SUBROUTINE:ALL///END; Rachel Acks; Shimmerzine
- Razorback; Ursula Vernon; Apex
- The Jaws that Bite, the Claws that Catch; Seanan McGuire; Lightspeed
- The Evaluators; N. K. Jemisin; Wired
- Seasons of Glass and Iron; Amal El-Mohtar; Uncanny
- Making Conversation; Teresa Nielsen Hayden
- The Geek Feminist Revolution; Kameron Hurley
- Archive Of Our Own; fan-run fanfiction site; archiveofourown.org
- Lady Business; discussion/recommendation blog; ladybusiness.dreamwidth.org
- The Fifty Year Mission: The First Twenty-Five Years & The Next
Twenty-Five Years (1 work in 2 volumes); Mark A. Altman & Edward
- Monstress Vol. 1; Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
- Ms. Marvel Vol. 5; G. Willow Wilson
- Arrival; Paramount
- Hidden Figures; 20th Century Fox
- Ghostbusters; Columbia Studios
- Rogue One; Walt Disney Studios
- Zootopia; Walt Disney Studios
- Julie Dillon
- Adam Tredowski
- Aaron Lovett
- Stephan Martiniere
- Sung Choi
- Galactic Journey (galacticjourney.org)
- Emberverse; S. M. Stirling; Prince of Outcasts
- October Daye; Seanan McGuire; Once Broken Faith
- Tales of the Raksura; Martha Wells; The Edge of Worlds
- Vorkosigan Saga; Lois McMaster Bujold; Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen
- Young Wizards; Diane Duane; Games Wizards Play
There were a bunch of categories that I didn't feel knowledgeable enough to nominate in and didn't have time to research. I wouldn't have had anything for Pro Artist if Rocket Stack Rank hadn't set up a display site of eligible artists that I could scan thru easily and then narrow down from my rough cut. Also, a shout-out to JJ from File 770 for putting up a post collating all the eligible series she could find, from which (again) it was fairly easy to pick my top favorites.
You may notice that only one of the eligible books from my favorite series made my Best Novel list. That's because in many cases, the latest book in a series may not stand out as particularly awesome without having the series background in your head. I think Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen does work well as a stand-alone story specifically because of its exploration of the dynamics of making choices, which is a universal theme. Conversely, Prince of Outcasts, while it's a ripping good story, is also an incomplete one -- it ends on a cliffhanger, which IMO disqualifies it for Best Novel consideration. The other three entries fall into "you really have to have read the whole thing to appreciate them properly" territory.
So now it's just a matter of seeing whether any of my entries make it to the final ballot.
I may have identified the problem.
In other news, 750 words says I'm feeling mostly "affectionate" and concerned mostly about "relationships." (Ziggy in the alternate/our dimension meeting "Danny.") All of my words this week seem to center on pairs of people. I wonder if that's significant, or just a result of my tendency to write about people A) talking to each other, and B) observing each other.
"that guy in the windshield looking back looks just like me
but there's a crack in the reflection
I hope he's moving in the right direction"
--florida georiga line, "confession"
ETA: Mimi has literally left me to go to bed. I will take her not-very-subtle suggestion.
(The code was just posted this week: I had already reserved our room when I saw it, and I thought the rate for a suite was the same as what I paid with a AAA discount. I checked tonight to make sure, and lo! It was $10 less, so I canceled my AAA reservation and reserved with the group instead. In so doing, the site let me know, "Only 3 rooms left!" And only suites. But suites are awesome, especially if your traveling group has different bedtimes ♥)
If you're wondering why you should consider Rangerstop 5, may I just say:
( The group photo ops are awesome. )
And if photo ops aren't your thing (there's a whole long story about how I almost missed the Time Force photo ops because I was too nervous to admit I wanted one, and they shoehorned me in at the last minute and everyone was so, so nice about it) the convention hotel is literally within walking distance of Universal Studios. marcicat and I walked over to City Walk for dinner two nights in a row (although I think the second night ended up being make-your-own frozen yogurt because it was so busy). There are also free shuttles to Disney World and to Seaworld!
As someone who had never been to any of those places, the location of the convention alone was worth the trip ♥
Here is how it thinks I've been feeling this week, based on the stories I've been writing:
Tuesday ~ feeling mostly happy, concerned mostly about death* (Rayan and Jaise reading)
Wednesday ~ feeling mostly affectionate, concerned mostly about eating/drinking (Kerone and Kae journaling)
Thursday ~ feeling mostly upset, concerned mostly about eating/drinking (Casey and RJ traveling to Ecuador)
Friday ~ feeling mostly affectionate, concerned mostly about religion (Dean and Janie discussing the kids)
Oh, and it rates your writing for you! I just noticed that!
(I assume I used to know something about this site. When I logged in for the "first" time, I had seven badges, so I guess I used to use it fairly regularly. It's lower stress than write or die, but I find it has a similar benefit for me. Plus it saves my words! I could, hypothetically, go back and read whatever I wrote… seven years ago? It looks like my last entry before this week was May of 2010.
But I'm not going to.)
*I was like, "Death? What did this have to do with death in any way? It was a cozy little curl-up-at-night-and-read story while they argued over whether or not to visit Earth." Then after I thought about it I remembered that they might have discussed the difference between "safety" and "relative safety" when Jaise accused her of making life too exciting ("there must be a happy medium between being bored and almost dying"), which is probably what the analysis latched onto.
ETA: What! I might have to go back and read the old entries after all, because according to dreamwidth, this is not the first time I've used 750 words to write baby angel stories! It's like everything in my life is just the same thing happening over and over again.
The original subject line of this post was actually, "and I even have a meditation cushion. amazing. it's like I've done this before" because when I was meditating this week I literally found a meditation cushion from the local Buddhist sangha and I was like, "Oh yeah! I totally used to do this!"
"and if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing's changed at all
and if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like we've been here before?"
"We live in interesting times. That's not a good thing. I like to read adventure stories, but I don't like to live them. ObFandom: The most enjoyable cons are the ones where nothing went horribly wrong. The most enjoyable cons *to talk about* are the ones where everything went horribly wrong. -- Keith F. Lynch, 2017-01-22
Subject: Re: DJT vs reality?
"We didn't exist in the other papers. We were neither born, we didn't get married, we didn't die, we didn't fight in any wars, we never participated in anything of a scientific achievement. We were truly invisible unless we committed a crime. And in the black press, the negro press, we did get married. They showed us our babies when born. They showed us graduating. They showed our PhDs." -- Vernon Jarrett (b. 1917-06-19, d. 2004-05-23), in The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords (1999)
[Today is Black Press Day, commemorating the publication of Freedom's Journal on this date in 1827.]
"If people cared AT ALL about security in bathrooms, if that were even a blip on anybody's radar, we wouldn't even be talking about the minority population of transgender people. We'd be discussing things like... oh, I don't know... doors that lock properly. We'd have people advocating for stall dividers that extend all the way to the damn floor. Y'know those emergency call buttons they have in some handicapped stalls? We'd be advocating for those to be standard everywhere. Or hey, how about legislation to ban people from bringing goddamn weapons into the bathroom, or to ban them from bringing in cellphones that can take pictures, or to ban them from going to the john in groups larger than three? How about extra jail time for any assault that took place in a bathroom, or a requirement for security cameras at the entrances and exits?
"Just... can we all stop pretending that the trans-bathroom debate is about anything other than making a big public statement about how you believe gender works? If you cared at all about security in bathrooms, you'd be advocating security in bathrooms."
-- Tailsteak, 2017-03-13, Leftover Soup (author's note underneath comic)
It turns out there are many, many apps exactly like that.
In related news, did not know that 750 words went to a subscription model! Apparently if you created your account prior to 2013, you have a lifetime free account. Somehow that makes me want to use it more.
In yet more related news, I have now used Insight Timer twice since… December. Baby steps.
(You see why I want a personalized tracker to-do list. I've now gotten through one day of to-doing* (not like, Accomplishments or anything, just habits I'd like to develop on a daily basis: stretching, meditating, that sort of thing) and I've pretty much half-assed my way through all of them. But I did them! My goal is to have goals that are accomplishable, because doing something that's not perfect is better than doing nothing that is.)
*Except for the 750 words. I love how writing is the hardest thing.