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Aug. 23rd, 2017 04:30 pm
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
Achieved today
  • version 2 of CV finished and sent to person who requested it
  • sudden realisation as to what the next paragraph of my report has to say. Written it, stalled at n+1.
  • Piano tuner came, tuned piano. I had remembered to organise cash.
  • moving all the crap out of the music room, so the piano tuner had space to move. Sadly, now there is too much Stuff in my bedroom
  • ironing!
  • progress on block a day quilt, finishing Feb 12 & 13.

Not achieved today
  • data analysis. Must find data first.
  • driving lessons for either of middlest or eldest (although as I've just made an arrangement with middlest, that might still happen)
  • World Peace


Right Now, I'm going to get up off the couch, and work out what I need to cut for the next few blocks.

Fa'afafine video

Aug. 22nd, 2017 08:38 am
fred_mouse: brass mouse brooch on green striped carpet, at quite a distance (rug)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
Not sure if the first link is going to work for people outside Australia, because it is from on-demand TV from a public broadcaster, so I've included the Facebook link as well.

Interesting short documentary interviewing three fa'afafines and how they experienced being raised that way. Of the three, two have positive things to say, while the third was badly bullied and discusses their resultant substance abuse. This is a very honest bit of media, and mostly focuses on the social aspects--one of the people interviewed comments that it is really common that explorations of what it means to be fa'afafine focus on [paraphrase] 'what they have in their pants, and who they have sex with'.

The SBS/direct link.

the Facebook link

edited to get rid of a very poorly used phrase

Dreaming my family issues

Aug. 22nd, 2017 07:33 am
fred_mouse: crystal mouse, looking straight out at the viewer (crystal)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
This morning, the alarm went off in the middle of a dream where I had been called up to speak at my father's funeral, despite the fact that I had said I didn't want to. At that point, I hadn't said anything yet, but I think my first thought after 'argh, alarm' was 'what do I have to say that won't mess this up for other people'.

Basically, all I could think about when half asleep was either angry or bitchy. And there might be large swathes of my family I'm not keen on, but I'm sure that they will be genuinely grieving, and my whole 'never emotionally available, despite being the only person I have/had a hope of getting closure on some of the shit my mother did' issue is my issue and I shouldn't be venting it on them.

...at least I don't have funeral/dealing with the death dreams about my mother or my ex-husband any more..

Friday's outbox/inbox a day late...

Aug. 19th, 2017 09:49 am
writerlibrarian: (Adidas Sid in Pink)
[personal profile] writerlibrarian
Second week of summer break. My body has realized it is not expected to go to work. Hence Thursday and Friday were difficult. Still, Sunday, on the last day of 1001 pots, I went and got a really nice ceramic cup. Wednesday, I had a friend come over and we wrote, ate and mostly caught up. We are doing it again next Wednesday.

I also read. Slowly but I read. I watched the Food network. And renovation shows aka Master of Flip to distract my mind from the pain. It worked. It's a good, cheap mind-numbing drug.


Outbox

La mort et un peu d'amour. Alexandra Marinina. This was more interesting for the progression of the characters. The mystery and the culprit were predictable. To me at least. I knew who it was midway through. Also there are two scenes of excessive violence against women that just make me a bit mad. It was gratuitous and not necessary. I didn't expect it. So trigger warning. On the positive side, Anastasia is still wonderful and her Liocha is also wonderful.

Inbox

The Radium Girls. Kate Moore. WW1 history, Women history. Comes highly recommended.

Two Filipino romances. To read more diverse authors. Smartbitches always bring new novels to discover. For more Filipino romances in English.

Loveless. Childless. Clueless. Miren B Flores.

Interim Goddess of Love : the complete trilogy Mina V. Esguerra


Also to cure the withdrawal and stop asking myself "Is it October Yet?

The vids were taken down aka they were plagiats of [archiveofourown.org profile] pollyrepeat  great vid Confident. Go watch. It's pretty amazing.
sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
[personal profile] sqbr
(this started out as a reply to this tumblr post)

When I first started posting about social justice online, on my fannish livejournal, I posted about racism a LOT, with lots of self righteous LET ME EXPLAIN A THING. And then two of my non-white(*) friends said it was ruining my blog for them: one because she felt like I was speaking over her experiences, which didn’t match the monolithic How POC Feel Narrative I was ‘explaining’, the other because it was causing my clueless white friends to say racist crap in the comments. I had to fight back a defensive “But DON’T YOU WANT ME TO FIGHT RACISM??” reaction.

Ten years later and I’m still trying to figure out how to discuss racism in ways that actually help fight racism, and make the spaces I control supportive of POC/non-white people, rather than simply making the loudest possible noise about how it’s REALLY BAD YOU GUYS.
Read more... )

Recent Reading

Aug. 15th, 2017 02:45 pm
fred_mouse: line drawing of mouse sitting on its butt reading a large blue book (review)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
Note: some potentially spoilery reviews, but mostly for books that are decades old...

Some rather abbreviated reviews of books I've finished reading in the last few weeks (some of these have been on the 'in progress' pile for some time -- one of them nearly 2 years, I think). For some reason, some of my reviews (I'm mostly paraphrasing longer reviews posted in Goodreads) have completely ignored the details of the stories, and just looked at my response to them.

In no particular order:

Beyond the Labyrinth by Gillian Rubenstein. What starts out as an all too tedious story of sibling rivalry and uncomfortable family dynamics into which an additional teenager is dropped becomes a gripping commentary on the paranoia of the 1980s and the nature of reality, all wrapped in a time travel and first contact narrative. 5/5

Dark Labyrinth by Lawrence Durrell. I picked this one up at the second hand bookshop, because I was aware of Durrell from reading his brother's semi-autobiographical stories, but didn't know anything more. I found this story of rather random characters who meet on a cruise and then end up in a Greek cave system/labyrinth uninteresting, and it was hard to motivate myself to keep reading. Having said that, it is well written, with a host of interesting characters. It just wasn't for me. [The copy of this book is free to a good home; happy to pay postage for someone who actually likes Durrell's writing] 3/5

Jackalope Wives by Ursula Vernon (novelette? short story?) An interesting take on the trope of animals shedding their outer skins to show beautiful young women underneath. I particularly loved the old woman character that holds the story together, and her rugged practicality. 4/5

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater [book 1, 'The Raven Cycle']. I love the way Stiefvater has woven together the various threads of this story, the subtle way that things are worked towards and foreshadowed. I also was fascinated that such a small section of the story was resolved - some of the details that I expected to be central to the plot are possibly going to be relevant to the later books, which makes me hopeful that the next book will be as strong. 5/5

Giant Trouble by Ursula Vernon [book 4, 'Hamster Princess'] I am particularly fond of the Harriet Hamster series, and this story did not disappoint in any way. The quirky extra details are often the things that really make the stories for me -- the rescue of the harp/hamster hybrid character who is all about the heavy rock/metal music, and the basic genderqueer nature of battle quails are the ones that come to mind here. As with the previous three books, fairy tales aimed squarely at pre-teen girls which are about heroism without the requisite romance sub-plot are a delight to read, and I'm so happy that Vernon is continuing to write for this market.5/5

The Legend of the Phoenix Dragon by Brenton E McKenna [graphic novel](book 1, Ubby's Underdogs). This is an amazingly intricate story, with a wide cast of characters and multiple plots running together. I love the detail that the two 'competitions' between the rival gangs are narrated as if by a sports commentator -- it gives an added dimension to something that might otherwise come off as a rule-less brawl. Ends on quite the cliffhanger. 5/5

The Homeward Bounders by Diana Wynne Jones. This is a book that I very much loved as a kid, and rereading as an adult, I still find the plot (and the twists), the shout-outs to mythology, and the twisty nature of reality as presented in this story to be completely gripping. The characters were a little less interesting than I remember, but there is certainly an identifiable amount of diversity, which is somewhat atypical of (what I remember of) kids books of the time. The plot is detailed, the world-building spectacular (as one would expect from Jones), and the writing romps along at a great rate. 5/5

The Seventh Bride by T Kingfisher. Adored it. The ending is well suited to the fairy tale genre, with the sorcerer getting their comeuppance and most everyone getting their happily ever after. 5/5

Eight Days of Luke by Diana Wynne Jones. While this is one of my four (or so) favourite books written by Jones', I don't actually think it is one of her stronger ones. The worldbuilding, including the incorporation of Norse mythology, is good, but sometimes patchy. The characterisation is mostly fine, but sometimes a bit wooden. The writing is mostly smooth, but aspects of both the worldbuilding and the characterisation kept throwing me out of the story -- I was sometimes too busy wondering what it was that I was missing in a particular scene to actually read it properly the first time through, and thus ended up rereading multiple pages. 4/5

The Body at the Tower by Y S Lee (book 2, The Mary Quinn Mysteries). This is a great murder mystery aimed at late primary aged kids (or possibly older) set in Victorian London. Lee really knows her stuff with the feel and pacing of the story, although I found that there were sections that dragged a little. 4/5

Link(s)

Aug. 15th, 2017 08:55 am
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (blanket)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
Mr J Says - on representation of Asians other than Asian-Americans in the current cultural commentary

For the record, I'll be voting 'yes' -- Amanda Vanstone on why the marriage equality vote is about religious freedom as much as anything. Also, she gets out the toasting fork for Tony Abbott. Now, I don't necessarily agree with Vanstone on a lot of topics, but I do listen to her on the radio a lot, and I appreciate the way that she approaches topics, even as I shout at the radio.

Blind Reading is in Braille or Large Print (Elsa Sjunneson-Henry) -- This is a topic that I've been ranting on for years, the misuse of 'blind' when the speaker means 'anonymous' or 'ignorant of'.

Progress!

Aug. 14th, 2017 01:15 pm
fred_mouse: brass mouse brooch on green striped carpet, at quite a distance (rug)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
'Tis now lunch-ish time, so I'm cooking mushrooms and egg and toast, and taking a moment away from that to note where I'm up to.

Cooking: the chicken and cauliflower soup has been in the slow cooker for some time, but hasn't started to noticeably smell yet; spinach is cooked and chopped, and the next step for the gnocchi is mashing potatoes when they are cooled; roast veggies are all set up to go in the oven when the gnocchi goes in.

Physical stuff: the stove and island have been cleared and cleaned and then made use of, the dishwasher has been emptied and all the dirty dishes gone in there; the egg shells are ground; shopping is partly away; have not made it to the 'tidy one square metre' approach, because still working on the kitchen/cooking; the rest are time dependent.

On the computer: haven't touched it since the plan was written this morning.

I've listened to three (or possibly four) downloaded Health Report podcasts (starting at the oldest and working forwards), and watched about half an hour of the Sound of Music. I done 5-10 minutes at the piano working on a new piece where I can't get one of the hand shifts right (and it repeats in every single repeated phrase). And now I'm at the 'please let me lie down in the dark' point, with minor headache and ow and blah. But I have at least managed to keep working solidly for 2 hours. Which implies that I'm still improving, because I overdid things yesterday, and yet I'm still functional today.

Plan

Aug. 14th, 2017 10:28 am
fred_mouse: brass mouse brooch on green striped carpet, at quite a distance (rug)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
Last night, I arranged with middlest that I would let them drive to school, so that they could get more driving practice. This conveniently puts me at the shopping centre with the good greengrocer, and so the plan was to nip in, do a set of shopping, and come home.
This got rather rambling... )
sqbr: pretty purple pi (I like pi!)
[personal profile] sqbr
I feel weird making a post about this as a super pale white person, but I keep seeing other artists draw dark characters really badly in the sort of flat colouring used in animation and comics etc, and don't know of any better guides. So here's what I've figured out. If people know of better techniques or guides, or if I've inadvertently said something wrong or offensive, please let me know.
Read more... )

Reading List

Aug. 13th, 2017 08:38 am
fred_mouse: line drawing of mouse sitting on its butt reading a large blue book (book)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
If I'd thought of writing an exact list last week, when I decided that in August I wanted to get through the pile of books that I moved to the beside table, either by finishing them or by declaring them abandoned, I'd be reliably able to track how many books I actually read, and how many of the original 13 were read when. In theory, I can do this in Goodreads, but hmm.

Original 13 - finished
1. The Dark Labyrinth
2. Beyond the Labyrinth

Original 13 - progressed
3. Three Men in a Boat (Jerome K Jerome)
4. Three Men on the Bummel (Jerome K Jerome)
5. In Favour of the Sensitive Man (Anaïs Nin)
6. Too Like the Lightening (Ada Palmer)

Original 13 - not touched
7. History and Fiction (Gillian Polack)
8. Speed Cleaning (Shannon Lush and Jennifer Fleming)
9. The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England (Ian Mortimer)
10. Zen and th Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Robert M Pirsig)
11. The Even more complete book of Australian Verse (John Clarke)
12. Die for me (Amy Plum)
13. Woman on the Edge of Time (Marge Piercy)

Added - finished
14. Homeward Bounders (Diana Wynne Jones)

Added - not yet finished
15. Rough Weather (Robert B Parker)
16. Brilliant CV (Jim Bright)
17. Rosewater and Soda Bread (Marshar Mehran) [This is technically and 'I was already reading', but it was in my travel basket]
18. Rosemary and Rue (Seanan Maguire)

Also in my Goodreads 'currently reading'
19. The Moon Pool (Abraham Merritt) [This is in Serial Reader app, so I'm reading it in small gaps while waiting for people]
20. Design and analysis of cross-over trials (Byron Jones)
21. Coming out under fire (Alan Bérubé)

....plus a couple of others where I have no intention of reading them this month.

So, gone from 13 active books, to 18 active books (plus two more from the library) and three finished. Basically, my brain has decided that picking up a book I'm already partway through is harder work than picking up a new book.
fred_mouse: blurry image of cast metal mouse shape in a fruit bowl (pear)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
One of the local bottleos has a relatively large gluten free beer section, and last I was in there I picked up one of these and one of those and one of the others. Tonight, I grabbed the Bard's out of the cupboard, because I figure it has been cold enough that I wasn't going to notice the temperature difference. I'm thinking that this might actually be a beer that needs to be chilled, because it is really foamy - came over the top of the bottle when I took the cap off, and foams in each mouthful.

Having said that, this is a very tasty beer. Bit light on hops, and a bit light in general (I'm a stout drinker by preference), but very tasty, so I'm not caring much. And very smooth to drink (this is not a thing I would have thought I would say about a beer). Would absolutely drink this one again.

Inbox/Outbox summer break edition

Aug. 11th, 2017 09:49 am
writerlibrarian: Oriental calligraphy in red (Default)
[personal profile] writerlibrarian
One week done. I did get lots of rest, had a wonderful lunch with friends, talked technology, books, knitting. Did burgers on the grill.
Cross-stitched, read. Definitely read more than I have in a while.

Outbox

La mort pour la mort. Alexandra Marinina. This plot is like a Matryoshka doll. One thing is hidden inside another and so on and so on. It's really well plotted and all the strings of the mystery tie together eventually. The reader is not left in the dark, one step ahead of Anastasia since we get parts of the culprit's side. Marinina does it quite well and keeps the reader guessing as to who is the villain of the tale.

I like Marinina's Moscow police procedural mysteries. Not a ton of violence and mostly never seen. They are a psychological, historical (90s Russia) mysteries well worth checking out. Her books are not translated in English. They are available in French, German, Spanish and of course Russian.


Inbox

Love, Loss and what We ate : A Memoir. Padma Lakshmi. Looking forward to this one. 

Babylon : Mesopotamia and the birth of a Civilization. Paul Kriwaczek. For research purposes.


In the Queue

La mort et un peu d'amour. Alexandra Marinina. I am reading in French in August like I did in July. This is the next one in the series. They are addictive. In a good way.




Work

Aug. 10th, 2017 08:26 am
cafeshree: woman sitting on chair reading a book (Default)
[personal profile] cafeshree
Held my first citizenship class the other night. 11 people signed up and 9 showed up, well 10, but the 10th came an hour early and didn't stay. It went well I think and it's rewarding to help.

Unlike other parts of work that just get annoying. I have some regulars who come to use our computers and they always need help with something, but it seems like they whine when asking, that may be my perception because it's always something small, and something I've helped them with before, but the tone of voice just gets too me and it makes me not want to help.

I have 4 new pages to train, and while they are good kids and picking up quickly, but having 4 of them to check on and keep track of is a little tiring. But soon they will know what to do and I won't have to worry.

The circ co-workers are as horrible as ever and I really wish them ill, they are hateful women who cause drama and chaos and think they are the wronged parties.

The boss always seems to be out of the building, I suspect she's taking part in lots of things to the end of moving on and up which is fine, but she never seems to be around when needed most, like electricians coming to fix something and none of us know what, or patrons complaining about noise or wifi or computers not up to snuff. I purposefully have not applied for director job because I didn't want to deal with all that but I'm doing it anyway without the acknowledgement or money.

Majority of things would be better if the circ people would leave.

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