elf: John Egbert with a rocketpack, captioned "THIS IS STUPID" in all caps. (This is stupid)
[personal profile] elf
I'm behind again. This time it's not because I forgot or got too busy. Who MAKES these damn lists, anyway? Don't answer that. I know who. Teenagers, or maybe college students. People who think, "reliving heartbreak is a poignant moment, an interlude of quiet sadness in the midst of your hectic day," and not "reliving heartbreak is like walking naked into fire, so of course I'd want to share that with all my friends and casual acquaintances who knows how many strangers on the internet."

So I've spent a couple days trying to nudge the question from the side, trying to consider songs that I think of as heartbreaky without sending myself into a downward spiral that could take weeks to recover from.

Today doesn't get a list, and it doesn't get a video. [personal profile] mdlbear posted that Jordin Kare has died.

I remember one filksong from my first year at BayCon - Leslie Fish's "Banned from Argo," sung in the back corner of a party room by four people sharing a copy of Westerfilk. The next year, I went looking. I remember one song from my second year - Jordin Kare singing "The Bride of Saint-Germain."

I wrote about this before. Bride of Saint-Germain has, as far as I know, never been recorded. It's certainly never been publicly released. And now, no matter how well the OTW does in its struggles to get fanworks accepted as fair use, no matter what kind of precedents vidders win from congress... he's never going to record even one of the fannish concert versions that sometimes make their way to Youtube.

I loved Jordin's music; I have both Fire in the Sky and Parody Violation and I can sing along with all of them, even if I don't quite know all the words. The song that breaks my heart is the one I'll never hear again.

Meme list
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Can somebody update me on the present legal status in the US of graphical user interfaces as intellectual property? Am I correct in believing they can't be patented (though the code can be copyrighted)?

What I really want to know: Can I rip off GVoice's old/retired web interface legally? Or more accurately, can I pay somebody else to do it for me with reasonable ability to assure them they won't go to jail or get sued into oblivion for doing it?

To be clear, there are some nifty functional subtleties I'd want to make off with, which I wouldn't even want to bother pretending I came up with on my own. For instance, there's some interesting algorithm for how texts are batched into threads which I haven't entirely reversed engineered, but make a huge difference in readability.

fountain pen sale

Jul. 19th, 2017 03:31 pm
yhlee: wax seal (hxx Deuce of Gears)
[personal profile] yhlee
The time has come to find new homes for some of the vintage fountain pens in my collection.

These are all great pens, but the truth is I have a fair number of great pens and these are ones that simply aren't making it into my rotation. I'd rather someone else get some enjoyment out of them!

All prices include shipping within the continental USA. Elsewhere, please inquire--I will probably have to charge you shipping at cost. I accept payment via Paypal.

If interested, either leave a comment or email me (yoon at yoonhalee dot com).





From left to right:

1. Wahl-Eversharp Doric in Kashmir (a sort of dark swirly marbled green). Lever filler. The great thing about this pen is that it has a #3 adjustable nib. It goes from Fine to Broad on the flexiest setting. The only reason I'm letting this go is that I have a Wahl-Eversharp Doric in black with a #7 adjustable nib, and I honestly don't need two adjustable Dorics.

Please note that the #3 Doric is a petite pen--unless you have very small hands, you will probably want to use this posted.

Price: $225. SOLD

NOTE: [personal profile] troisroyaumes gets first call on this one. If she doesn't want it, then someone else can have it!

2. Waterman Lady Patricia that I bought from Mauricio Aguilar of Vintage Fountain Pens. He graded it a superflex, and it's a pleasurable and absolutely reliable writer; I've always had great experiences with the pens I've bought from Mauricio. Lever filler. Again, this is a lovely pen that I simply don't use--in this case because I'm busy using a different pen that I bought from Mauricio, a Waterman 52V (for which Jedao's Patterner 52 was named :p). Like the #3 Doric, this is a petite pen, and probably best used posted unless you have very small hands.

This is a handsome pen with green and brown swirls, and I love looking at it, but I really prefer for all my pens to be working pens that get used. Maybe you can have fun with it!

Price: $410.

3. Conklin Crescent Filler--the crescent filling mechanism is not that different from lever filling and is very simple to use, and really neat if you love geeking out about different filling mechanisms. This is a wet noodle that does hairlines, if you're into flex writing or copperplate; I probably wouldn't recommend it for sketching because of the fineness of the nib, but it would make a great fountain pen for non-sketch-speed line art.

Price: $320.

4. Osmia 34 in gray candy. This is a very flexy nib that goes from Fine to Broad, and unusually, it's in a piston filler. Please note that the material is discolored along about half the barrel (ambering)--this doesn't affect the pen's functionality, although if you care more about aesthetics this is not the pen for you. This nib has an almost painterly feel to it that is very pleasurable for writing.

Price: $240. [Going to [personal profile] rushthatspeaks for a trial run!]

5. The last two are a Sheaffer Balance in Marine Green, fountain pen and mechanical pencil set. The fountain pen is a lever filler and has a flex nib; I'm not sure what width graphite the pencil takes, although it comes loaded with one. The set is very handsome; please note that the fountain pen has a chip near the lever. This doesn't affect function but may be an aesthetic concern.

Price: $210.

NOTE: [personal profile] troisroyaumes gets first call on this one. If she doesn't want it, then someone else can have it! (She decided to get the Wahl-Eversharp Doric instead, so this pen and pencil set is available!)

Chicks Dig Gaming

Jul. 19th, 2017 12:25 pm
yhlee: Avatar: The Last Airbender: "fight like a girl" (A:tLA fight like a girl)
[personal profile] yhlee
Chicks Dig Gaming, ed. Jennifer Brozek, Robert Smith? [this appears to be part of the author name, as it's listed with the interrogation point in multiple places], and Lars Pearson is one of the books I picked up at Pandemonium Books & Games in Boston. It's an absolutely delightful collection of essays about gaming by women, ranging the gamut from board games to video games to one anthropologist non-gamer who decided to play Portal to study the phenomenon of gaming and explore her reasons for not being a gamer. :p

A few of the essays didn't speak to me personally, but that's fine--for example, there was one about adventure games through the lens of the Monkey Island games, which I did play, but I didn't imprint on the genre. It's not that it was a bad essay, but rather that it was a type of gaming experience I just wasn't as interested in. And that's fine; for some other reader that could be entirely their thing.

Here's a rundown:

cut for length )

To sum up: highly recommended.
elf: Rainbow sparkly fairy (Rainbow Fairy)
[personal profile] elf
I'm not sure what I'll come up with for this. I've recently gotten pretty cynical about the whole idea of falling in love, after the emotional labor thread at Metafilter. It covered a whole lot of ground (like, near half a million words of ground) about how relationships often work, and how it's usually assumed to be the woman's job to keep track of everyone's feelings and steer those feelings in directions that make the relationship stronger. Since then, I'm not sure if I've been in a state where I wanted to feel compelled to set my own interests aside for the purpose of strengthening a relationship, even one that makes me happy.

I went looking for songlists, as I've been doing, to spark my memories. There are no song lists for "strong women in love." There are countless love song lists, and there are "female empowerment" lists (there is, apparently, basically no such thing as "male empowerment"), but nobody combines those ideas. There's a lot of love songs I like, but very few that make me "want to fall in love." Even these, I'm not sure are correct, but at least they don't carry any "nope nope nope; I am so done with that game" vibes for me.

It Must Be Love (Rickie Lee Jones) | Circles (Captain and Tennille) | Innocent Man (Billy Joel) | In a Big Country (Big Country) | Like a Prayer (Madonna) | Country Bumpkin (Loretta Lynn)

And the only one that actually brings me happy thoughts about a hypothetical relationship )

Meme list

squee!

Jul. 17th, 2017 09:46 pm
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
[personal profile] yhlee
You guys, among many many other works, Ninefox Gambit is listed as one of the inspirations for Paizo's forthcoming RPG Starfinder! Tons of other authors and media there too.

I'm also chuffed to see I'm not the only one who has found Jack L. Chalker inspirational for sf purposes (although in my case it was Soul Rider and one that's not mentioned in the list, Rings of the Master).

My husband has preordered Starfinder but does this mean I now have to fight him over the hardcopy? LOL.

[tech, domesticity] Oy, Verizon

Jul. 17th, 2017 06:28 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
The one logistical thing that has not gone swimmingly with D's move to assisted living has been moving her landline.

The extent to which Verizon has screwed this up has been epic. [personal profile] tn3270 referred to it as a Russian novel.

Penultimately, I had a conversation with billing that went approximately thus:
Billing: Hello, Verizon Billing, this is [NAME]. How can I help you today?

Me: You can waive this month's bill because Verizon has screwed up two move orders so far, and the 90 year old account holder hasn't had access to her phone line for five days and counting. It's still not on at her new place, but I understand there's an expedited technician order for today. But who knows? You're the seventh Verizon employee I've talked to so far, and I've been told a variety of wrong and contradictory things every step of the way. This has been the worst corporate fiasco I've been involved with in years.

Billing: ...yes, we will totally credit the account for the month.

I had originally thought that we might have trouble because Verizon had security and stuff, and I wasn't the account holder (D) and I wasn't the contact on the account ([personal profile] tn3270). But no. I text chatted with Verizon in advance of putting in the order (CSR #1), and they told me what authentication tokens I needed to authorize the move order, I got them, and they worked fine when I put the order in.

No, everything went to hell apparently due to galloping incompetence on Verizon's (staff's) part(s).

Initially, I was told we didn't need a technician to come out for the line move, unless we wanted help plugging the phone into the wall; they could do it on their end. For the record, this is a good ol' fashioned POTS line, and moving within the same town. Fine. Once we'd nailed down the move date and booked movers – June 30th, to be precise – I got back in touch – btw, I was using the Verizon website realtime customer service chat, because I couldn't find a damn customer service phone number. It's 1800VERIZON, btw. So I fired up the chat thingy, and talked to a customer serv rep (CSR#2), who said they'd be happy to do the move order for me. Somewhere in the middle of the process, he apologized to me and said that the system was saying that a technician is required for that address; that there were no available technicians on the move in date, but could do the day after (7/13) between 1pm and 5pm, and it wouldn't cost anything to have the technician. I said to make it so, so he put the move order in. I asked him to confirm the service and he quotes me a price that I later find out is almost twice D's usual bill. I ask him whether he needs the account contact there to meet the technician, and he doesn't know, so he transfers me to another cust serv rep (CSR#3), who says, no, any adult who can let the tech in is fine, and who confirms the order is all complete, and (he specifically said this) the previous CSR did everything necessary.

Subsequently, [personal profile] tn3270 got a phone call from Verizon confirming the incipient move.

On Thursday, 7/13, 6pm no Verizon tech, and D's landline still has no dial tone at the new place, and is still working at her old place.

I am working until 9pm, so when I get home around 10pm, I get back on the text chat, and ask what happened. I'm informed they can find no move order on the account. The cust serv rep (CSR#4) asks if I have an ID number for the move order, and I don't have one. But they're happy to submit a new move order. Grrrrr. I say, yes, do it. After a long pause, the cust serv rep apologizes and says they can't do the move. Because it's a landline. The text-chat customer serv reps can't do landline moves. For that you have to call in. 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM EST Monday through Friday or 9:00AM to 5:00PM on Saturday. Also, he tells me, I might need to present paperwork in person at a local Verizon office.

It's after 10pm on Thursday, so I have to wait until the phone is staffed again. Why they can have 24/7 text chat CSRs but not 24/7 phone CSRs, I don't know.

Other stuff comes up, that has priority Friday, so I don't get to call Verizon until Saturday, 7/15. The rep I speak to (CSR#5) tells me she sees no record of the move order for Thursday, but she can totally put in a move order for right now immediately. I say the guy I talked to on Thursday said I needed a technician and special documentation; she said she had no idea what he was on about, no technician was needed, and no, they didn't need any special documentation. She said it would be done by "5 today, though maybe really more like by midnight". I make her give me the order number for this move order.

Sunday, 7/16, still no dialtone at her new place, dialtone at the old place. Verizon is closed for phone calls.

Today, Monday, 7/17, I call Verizon and ask WTELF. The CSR (CSR#6) calls up the account and says, "Oh, I see you had a move order for last Thursday." "WAIT. WUT. You can see that order? I was told you guys had no record of that order!" I make him read me the order number; so now I have the order numbers for both move orders that failed to happen. He then apologizes on Verizon's behalf and tells me they over-booked technicians, and that is why no technician came out. "BUT, BUT, WAIT. NOBODY EVER CALLED OR EMAILED. I WAS TOLD THERE WAS NO ORDER. THE LAST PERSON TOLD ME WE DIDN'T NEED A TECHNICIAN AT ALL." The CSR apologized again, and said he'd put the order in, and expedite it, and a technician would be by today.

Then I explained that I wanted the bill credited, and he referred me to billing (CSR#7), who both credited the bill ([personal profile] tn3270 has already got the confirmation email) and confirmed her service level and price, contra CSR#2.

Miraculously, a Verizon technician actually showed up at the assisted living facility today. He did a bunch of stuff, including something in the network closet and sticking some sort of probe in her wall socket, and assured us everything in the building is all set.

She still doesn't have dialtone, though; the technician confidently told [personal profile] tn3270 that the problem was on the pole outside. They'll have a lineman deal with that tomorrow (Tuesday, 7/18).

Next up, contacting the Mass DTC to see about filing an official complaint.

Knightriders

Jul. 17th, 2017 10:30 am
jducoeur: (Default)
[personal profile] jducoeur

In the news today are a bunch of obits for director George Romero. Pretty much all of them focus on Night of the Living Dead, and to be fair, it's the work he is best known for.

But let's pause a moment and remember his movie Knightriders -- the closest thing the SCA has to its own motion picture. Legend (maybe true, maybe not; I honestly don't know) has it that Romero happened to attend a particular SCA Crown Tournament, and was swept up by the drama he saw there; his producers weren't thrilled by the idea, and said, "Enh -- maybe if you add motorcycles and a good soundtrack, we'll think about it". So he did.

Knightriders has always been on my personal list of Movies Every SCAdian should see. Not because the club portrayed is the SCA, mind. It very much isn't: it's essentially a traveling RenFaire where they joust on motorcycles. But the feel of the group, I've always thought, reflects the SCA beautifully. You have the folks who are dead-serious about The Dream, who see something better in the ideals of their club. You have the stick-jocks who are here for the sport and the babes. You have the craftsmen who are making it all possible, and, yes, you have the folks who are just here to party. (There's even poor Patricia Tallman, better known for Babylon 5, in her first major role as the token mundane who is enamored by the whole thing but doesn't quite seem to get it.)

The movie gets a bit full of itself at times, and some people mock it mercilessly, but I love it -- not least for Ed Harris (in my favorite of his roles) as King Billy, who is trying desperately to keep his people both safe and united, and to pursue his dreams while everything around him is falling apart. He is a wonderful study in obsession, illustrating both the advantages and problems of having a strong leader.

If you haven't seen it, check it out. It's not the most brilliant movie ever, but it's wonderfully human. For pretty much every character in it, I can say, "Yeah, I know folks just like that". That's one of the higher compliments I can pay a director...

elf: Emily the Strange: Misery loves company (Misery Loves Company)
[personal profile] elf
Oh wow; this is an iiiinteresting category. Lemme share some of the contents of my "DUMPSTER FIRE 2016" playlist, which is a set of songs by artists who died last year. (I have a whole playlist of songs by artists who died the year we got POTUS45. The only reason it's not longer is that some of them aren't on Spotify. In the future, I wouldn't be surprised if we blot 2016 out of calendars.)

The Heat is On | Little Red Corvette | You Want It Darker | September | Rebel Rebel | Lucky Man | Big City | Faith

2016 was a horrible year to be a celebrity. )

Meme list

la! sewing hopes

Jul. 16th, 2017 10:12 pm
yhlee: rose in a hexagon (hxx emblem Andan)
[personal profile] yhlee
I have just ordered Gillian Conahan's The Hero's Closet: Sewing for Cosplay and Costuming [Amazon] and am looking forward to it. :D Conahan is the editor-in-chief of Vogue Patterns (!).

A couple reasons:
- I have toyed with the idea of getting into cosplay but need to learn to sew.
- I would love to learn to do basic sewing things and maybe work up to fancier sewing things. Like, it would be great to be able to shorten pants legs on my own, or shorten sleeves! That would expand my wardrobe options tremendously. (I know tailors do this stuff, but we are too disorganized to get to the tailor.) Not-so-secretly I want to be able to make slightly fancier outfits for dancing in or cosplay, BUT I know that would be a long way away and I should start with easy basic stuff, like pillowcases. =)

One of the book's reviews indicates that it's good for beginners and talking you through pattern alterations. I might try to swing a beginning sewing class eventually, but first I'm going to try Youtube and check this book.

I have also ordered a couple of Japanese pattern books for menswear and unisex (is that still the preferred term?) military jackets. I have a military surplus military jacket that I love dearly, but for half the year in Baton Rouge it is too damn hot to wear comfortably. I crave a military-jacket-alike done in very lightweight fabric that I can wear most of the rest of the year. But I will have to learn to read and alter patterns for this, so this is more in the nature of motivational hoarding.

Also, if I learned to sew cosplay outfits, I could deck out family members and pose them and take photos of them for art photo reference purposes. =D

Right now the big obstacle is that my sewing machine, which I had only played with a little, was one of the flood casualties. I was not really happy with the bobbin-loading whatever, which seemed to come out really lopsided no matter how I did it, so I might go with a different model this time.

So the subgoal to that is to scrape up the money for a sewing machine. I think a budget of $300 will probably get me a machine that is both friendly to beginners and capable enough to last me as I *knock wood* learn to use it and grow more skilled. (This is based on casually Googling for "best sewing machine for beginners 2017.")

Probably the fastest way of raising the money is selling off the stash of older BPAL LE bottles that my mother-in-law uncovered [1] and also trying to sell off some of my spare fountain pens. Is anyone here in the market for vintage fountain pens? FPN Classifieds or asking a seller I have bought from before for an appraisal is probably the likelier bet...? Let's be real, I have a number of lovely vintage pens that are just not making it into the rotation, e.g. a Waterman Lady Patricia with a superflex nib and a wet noodle Sheaffer Balance and another wet noodle Conklin Crescent and a wet noodle Wahl-Eversharp Doric with #3 adjustable nib, are you sensing a theme? [2] Since they're on the somewhat spendy end, the appraisal might be best, but if anyone here has been in the market for a wet noodle/superflex fountain pen, THIS COULD BE YOUR CHANCE.

[1] I don't have a list right now; I'm recovering from a migraine (yay Excedrin) and I made Joe take the perfumes into another room because something in there (the cinnamon AT MINIMUM) was setting off the migraine like whoa.

[2] I have basically settled into my Waterman 52V and Wahl-Eversharp Doric #7 adjustable nib as the two wet noodle pens that will do me for the rest of my life. The rest have become kind of redundant.
yhlee: Shuos Jedao (Hellspin Fortress) (hxx Jedao 1x10^6)
[personal profile] yhlee
PREAMBLE: I had a conversation with someone at Readercon whom I'm not going to name to save them the embarrassment. They will undoubtedly recognize themselves if they stop by. You're not a bad person, but you're human and you messed up, and I need to explain why and maybe reduce the odds of something like this happening to me again. Please don't ~FEELINGS~ at me here, even if you're tempted to; I don't need or want an apology; just go think about it in your own space, with your own people.

So. I was chatting with someone who knew of my writing but whom I did not know personally (we were meeting for the first time in any venue), and as the topic meandered, they asked me if they could ask me a personal question.

Fine, I said. (How bad could it be?)

They asked me about living in Louisiana, and whether my marriage to my husband Joe was considered valid.

Well, I said, Louisiana doesn't do gay marriage. [EDIT: 0] However, I haven't transitioned legally (or physically) [1]. On all my legal documentation I'm a woman. So as far as the state of Louisiana is concerned, my marriage to Joe is a marriage between a man and a woman, and I'm legally in the clear. (Please refrain from telling me about how terrible this situation is. Rest assured that I'm in Louisiana, I'm not stupid, I have my own thoughts.)

[0] Huh--it was banned the last time I looked it up several years ago, but the ban apparently has since been struck down. So I said this in error; on the other hand, I would personally have serious reservations about visibly going around as half of a m/m couple in my daily life.

[1] I have reasons for this that are none of your business, and I will not be discussing them here.

Point the first, before I recount more of this conversation. I feel rather strongly that asking a complete stranger about the validity of their marriage is something that you should refrain from doing, even if you have taken the precaution of asking if you can ask a personal question. I answered the question, but I was honestly kind of taken aback and I was in "I must show my public face as an author interacting politely with a reader" mode. The blunter version is that the question was rude.

Anyway, my interlocutor blurted out (in response to my explanation about being listed as a woman on all my legal documentation), "They just MISGENDER YOU???" (with about that emphasis).

Let me explain to you why this form of performative pearl-clutching is deeply unhelpful. The misgendering is a consequence of decisions I have made about my own life. As y'all have figured out, I live in Louisiana; I'm in a more or less conservative part of the country. In addition to choosing not to pursue legal or physical transition, part of not attempting to present as male in my daily life in Baton Rouge (besides the fact that I can't reliably pass, absent transition) involves my calculations regarding personal safety.

Again: I made this choice because it's my life and I have to live it. There are a lot of complicated factors involved that I do not feel the need to explain to the world at large. Who the hell are you, a complete stranger, to judge my life choices? Because that's what that was. Judgment.

What happened next was that my interlocutor was extremely performatively upset "on my behalf" to the point that I had to spend the next ten minutes calming them down and reassuring them that I was all right. This was exhausting for me. Look, I live this shit every day, and I have coping mechanisms, but it's deeply unhelpful to have to come up with extra coping for a complete stranger. If you find the whole situation viscerally horrible or whatever, fine, but that's your damage, not mine; I have my own. Deal with your damage on your own time. For my part, I can't sit here clutching my pearls about my own life situation 24/7 or I'd be paralyzed to the point of uselessness.

Dear reader, next time you're tempted to open your mouth and ask a complete stranger about the status of their marriage, or force them to perform emotional labor reassuring you about the details of their own life, maybe consider shutting your mouth, going away, and working through whatever issues you have on your own time. You're not evil; but you're not helping, either.

Readercon bookspoils

Jul. 16th, 2017 06:22 pm
yhlee: chessmaster (chess pieces) (chessmaster)
[personal profile] yhlee
*shifty eyes*

From Pandemonium Books & Games:
- Chicks Dig Games, ed. Jennifer Brozek, Robert Smith?, and Lars Pearson. I'm only a little way into this but really enjoying it, and looking forward to passing it on to my daughter (a girl gamer!) to read.
- Kingdom by Ben Robbins. This is "a role playing game about communities," recommended to me by [personal profile] maga ages ago. I'm glad to have a chance to pick it up in hardcopy (I prefer hardcopy for games).

- David Weber's The Shadow of Saganami (recommended by [personal profile] davidgillon [1])

[1] I ordinarily do not take book recommendations UNLESS I ask for them. I asked David for a specific reason. Please no book recs; it's not you, it's me.

- Seth Dickinson's The Traitor Baru Cormorant, which he gave to me since he was toting around a copy and was pondering giving it away, and I said, "Give it to me! The ARC you gave me drowned in last year's flood." So he did. =D I love this book so much, and I'm excited for the sequel, parts of which I've read in draft.
- C.J Cherryh's The Faded Sun trilogy, the three-volume SFBC hardcovers with the not very good cover art. I love this trilogy and my omnibus with the lovely Michael Whelan cover art (originally from Kutath, I believe) drowned. This was in the "free books" area at Readercon--some astonishingly good stuff got dropped off there, although of course it got picked over within minutes. I decided this was enough of a lucky find and then took it and ran rather than being greedy and looking for more. ^_^
- William Barton's Dark Sky Legion, which I grabbed last-minute from the free table because, although it looked like no one else wanted it, flipping open to a random page suggested that it might have SURPRISE CLONES. =D Also, it has a cover that honestly looks like...look. The smoldering (figuratively, not literally! with sf/f you have to specify XD) white man appears to be buck-naked, is holding a bunch of wires or something that conveniently, along with some smoke, conceal his crotch area, and also he is ripped. =D I mean, this book could be COMPLETELY TERRIBLE, but who knows? It might live down to its cover in wonderfully cracktastic ways! Especially if there are SURPRISE CLONES!

And then I fell prey to the used books available for sale in the Bookshop at Readercon--mainly because a lot of these I am not sure are even available as ebooks and if they're cheap, why not? (We're going to need another bookcase though...)

- David Feintuch's Fisherman's Hope. I've read the Seafort Saga before; this is vol. 4, my favorite one, and later this week I should probably talk about why.
- Cordwainer Smith's Norstrilia. I pounced on this when I spotted it--I had previously owned but not actually yet read a copy of this novel, and then flood. So this time I'm going to read it, dammit.
- Walter Jon Williams' The Praxis, The Sundering, and Conventions of War, first three books of the Dread Empire's Fall space opera series. I have read something short by Williams somewhere and remember being intrigued, so I figure this might be worth a try? Joe might like it?
- Steve Jackson's Sorcery! Book Four, Crown of Kings. =D =D =D I used to own this in hardcopy and flood, so being able to replace it = A++.
elf: Grateful Dead Steal Your Face with sun & moon (Steal Your Face)
[personal profile] elf
I think it'd be cheating if I included bands that only "broke up" because somebody died, so... no Queen, no Grateful Dead. But I'm not limiting myself to bands whose original members are all still alive, because I am at least bordering on "old," and most of the bands I loved are missing at least one original member. (And because I went looking for lists of "great bands that broke up" because I don't keep track of these things, and I've never heard of most of the bands on the lists.) However, I think it'd be extra-cheating to list anything by the Beatles because I can't honestly say I wish they were together as they are know; I've seen too many zombie AU fanfics already.

Also I went looking for the details about several bands I thought had broken up and discovered that many of them had gotten back together in some way, and several of them are still recording. (Supertramp is still active. Huh.)

White Rabbit | Gimme Gimme Gimme | Vacation | Peaceful Easy Feeling | Come Dancing | Anarchy in the UK

One of the few bands I've seen in concert - well, I've seen the abridged version of the band. )

Meme list
elf: Stained glass interlocking pentagons (Law of Fives)
[personal profile] elf
Ooh, that's a bold claim. Hrm. I am tempted to rattle off half the songs on the "Firestorm" album, on the grounds that everyone should know some survivalist teaching songs. I'm also trying to remember songs I dragged out for my kids and said, "you will listen to this; it is important to your education and understanding the culture of your people and I am not raising antisocial numb-witted jerks here, so you are going to hear this song and whether or not you like it, you are going to damn well be ENRICHED by it."

There aren't actually a lot of those. And most of them are at least somewhat in the filk genre.

Old Time Religion (the filk version) | Little Fuzzy Animals | Velveteen | Badger Badger Badger Badger | Black Powder and Alcohol | Cranes over Hiroshima

I really wanted Black Powder to be the video, but then I remembered this one. )

Meme list
elf: Sydney Scoville, looking very determined, saying, "Let's do this." (Let's do this.)
[personal profile] elf
Sigh; I'm behind again. Yesterday at noon, my internet died. Called AT&T. Got told they can't figure anything out; they'll send a technician Saturday. (They offered for today but I wouldn't be home at the only timeslot they had.) At about 7:30 pm, internet started working again - we suspect the router had overheated. If a similar thing happens today, I'll call them to cancel the techie visit.

That threw off my working schedule and I didn't get back to post here. Which is fine, because after a day of fighting with tech I wasn't up to sorting out the intended meaning of "song that moves you forward"... what, like a sea shanty that helps you row? Erm, probably not.

Here, have some songs from my "UFYH" playlist:

Shock Treatment | No New Tale to Tell | Make a Circuit with Me | Kyrie | March of Cambreadh | Psych (Theme from Psych) | Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades | Invincible | Rapper's Delight | Love Somebody

A terrific clean-the-house song )

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elf: Rainbow sparkly fairy (Default)
[personal profile] elf
Oh good; we're back to the fun topics. There are SO MANY yay!

Come on Eileen | Jesse | Delta Dawn | Lucille | Shilo | Jack & Diane | Danny's Song | Angry Johnny | Billy, Don't Be a Hero | Angie Babie | Mack the Knife | Rhiannon | Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner | You Can Call Me Al | Sloop John B | Lay Down Sally

One I've always liked, and hey, now I have the perfect visuals to go with it! )

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[me] Update on MiALFM

Jul. 13th, 2017 01:10 am
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
D moved in to her room at her chosen assisted living facility today.

Despite her being resolutely and bravely determined to do this, despite the movers being wonderful, despite all the staff being lovely, despite all the residents being super friendly and even outgoing, despite her room turning out to have rather more space in it when her furniture was in it that we expected, despite everything being about as optimal as one could possibly dream of...

It was still utterly wrenching and distressing for D. At one point I was reassuring her that this was normal, and said not to underestimate the challenge this was for her. "It's probably the hardest thing you've done in forty years," I said, thinking of her divorce. "Ninety," she corrected me.

I fully expect for her to adjust substantially in a day or two, but right now it's all terrifying, anguishing, infuriating, and all-round overwhelming.

[personal profile] tn3270 took yesterday, today, and tomorrow off from work to be with her. He spent the day before the move over her house, helping her pack and generally being an emotionally stabilizing presence. He slept over, and ran the move; I traveled up to meet them a little before noon. I helped with the unpacking and setting up the space, and being emotional support; we had lunch there with her. Then he and I went back to her house to get some things they forgot (her cane!). Then we spent more time hanging with her in her room, being supportive. Then she dismissed us, and said she was all set, and we could go home. I informed her that we'd leave, but we'd be in the area (North Shore) for some time, and to call if she needed us back. She insisted she wouldn't. She did, about three hours later. We didn't leave until around 7:45pm.

[personal profile] tn3270 will be there tomorrow morning to spend the day with her. Friday will be her first day there without us. I think [personal profile] tn3270 is planning on being there on Saturday and we'll both go up to visit Sunday afternoon. Hopefully by that point everything will be much more familiar and she will be more confident in her ability to navigate it all, and in the staff's kindness and availability to help her.

ETA, Thursday 2:15pm, just got off the phone with [personal profile] tn3270: Last night when D was freaking out a la I CAN'T LIVE HERE IF THIS IS HOW THE PLACE MAKES ME FEEL O GOD SIDEREA WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME WHY DO I FEEL THIS WAY, I reassured her it was temporary and she would feel 80% better tomorrow. This morning she felt 80% better. \o/

[personal profile] tn3270, however, is not unexpectedly something of a wreck. He had been planning on spending the whole day, but later in the morning D announced that she had to learn to handle the place on her own, and he clearly needed some rest, so she ordered him home to bed. So he's home taking a nap now.

I am beginning to wonder if we've found the best assisted living facility on earth. They've, top to bottom, been incredibly helpful and easy to work with, and they are so understanding and considerate and cooperative. Like, usually there's a fee for room service, but we told them that she needs to hermit a bit in her room to adjust and they're waiving the fee. Like, one of the staff had me literally coach him how to approach her for her maximal comfort. The staff are following our instructions about how to handle encountering her in her room, and it's apparently going really well. Staff are dropping by one at a time to introduce themselves, so she's learning who people are at a steady slow drip, on her own turf, rather than all at once in busy congregate areas.

D continues to impress me with her determination and guts. There's three options for breakfast at this place: the dining room (restaurant-style service), room service, and a continental breakfast set out in a "kitchen"-style lounge on each floor. This morning, she decided to go check out the continental breakfast, even though she could have had room service, and she's terrified she'll get lost in the hallways. Apparently she loved it, and met another resident who is a regular at the continental breakfast. Crucially, she discovered that the continental breakfast has better coffee than she can make herself, and promptly did something that was tantamount to deciding never to make coffee for herself again: she told [personal profile] tn3270 to take away her coffee maker.

Note, she had asked us yesterday to fetch her her coffee maker from home on our trip to pick up the cane. [personal profile] tn3270 assured me it was safe and she could leave it on for days without it burning down the building, aeb the fact her home was still standing. So we brought it to her; and now she's decided she doesn't need it after all. Transitional objects come in many forms, yall.

I think, ironically, one of the things exacerbating this transition for D has been that D has been pushing herself too hard, and not allowing for her own emotional limits. For instance, she broadsided [personal profile] tn3270 and I with the announcement at the intake assessment on move-in day, that she wanted the medication-administration service after all, which has a variety of emotional challenges for her, which suddenly got dumped on top of her move-in stresses. Now, we think having her meds administered to her is great, we're all in favor of this, I had asked them about the service weeks ago anticipating it might become necessary. But D didn't talk to either of us first, and just up and did this on the one day she really, really didn't need additional stressors. I wasn't there for that meeting; when I arrived, she was already fully into OH GOD SIDEREA DID I MAKE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE ASKING THEM TO DO MY MEDS?!

Had I been at that meeting and had I known how badly it would throw her for a loop on a day that was already looking like a serving of cheerios, I would have put my foot down and insisted that she was going to self-administer for now, and we could discuss it again in a week. Because, ironically, the facility can't immediately start administering her meds, anyways. So all she got herself was the stress of knowing this was coming, without any of the relief of someone taking that chore off her hands. She's still stuck self-administering her meds anyways, for the time being. This is seriously worst-of-both-worlds. Oh, D.

With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had known to have a conversation with her in advance about make no changes to the plan for the first week. And also that I had realized just how much her best character features can set her up for failure, and that she needed someone to tell her to take her move as easy as she can. Me, I in her situation would have been like NOPE, WHATEVER IT IS CAN WAIT UNTIL AFTER MY MOVE IN, ALL MY COPE IS BOOKED – hell, it is how I've handled her move, and I'm not even the one moving. It never occurred to me that she would multiply her own stressors like that out of a sense of "should".

So she's been making decisions on "it would be good for me" basis in blithe disregard for her own human limitations. Thus she exceeds her limits of cope, and melts down. Then she starts catastrophizing like she's trying to make the US Olympic catastrophizing team.

Things we've successfully done that were super helpful:

1) Not believing her when she airily declares that she'll be fine, and have plans in place for when she is (inevitably) not fine after all.

2) [personal profile] tn3270 taking those three days off. There was a point late on Wednesday, the move-in day, when D was freaking out and the following approximate dialog happened:

D: OH GOD WHAT AM I GOING TO DO TOMORROW WHEN YOU'RE NOT HERE AND I'M ALL ALONE!

[personal profile] tn3270: Mom, I'm going to be here tomorrow and you won't be all alone.

D: OH GOD WHAT AM I GOING TO DO TOMORROW WHEN YOU'RE NOT HERE AND I'M ALL ALONE!

[personal profile] tn3270: MOM, I'M GOING TO BE HERE TOMORROW. I'VE TAKEN THE DAY OFF WORK.

D: ... you're coming after work?

[personal profile] tn3270: No, in the morning.

D: What about your job?!

[personal profile] tn3270: MOM, I'VE TAKEN THE DAY OFF. I'LL BE HERE ALL DAY.

D: You'll be here tomorrow?

[personal profile] tn3270: YES, MA.

(Of course, he had gone over this plan with her numerous times in previously. But when when she gets going into a freakout, it doesn't matter what she has been told. If she's afraid of being alone, that becomes the cognition I WILL BE ALONE, which overwrites any less emphatic contradictory information in her memory. We're just lucky that it didn't manifest in the delusional certainty that [personal profile] tn3270 would be in a car accident on the way up.)

3) We quite deliberately established a pattern of "go away and come back". For instance, there were some things she needed today from her house: rather than go to her house first to pick them up and then go visit her, [personal profile] tn3270 first went to see her, then made a round trip to the house to pick up the things and brought them to her. This manufactured for her a span of time when she was alone in her room, but knew her son was coming right back. We did this on move-in day, too, at several removes – leaving her in her room to go talk to staff about things but still being on-site, leaving the facility to go pick things up for her with a plan of returning soon, and leaving the facility but staying the local area (with no scheduled return) for her to be able to call us back; and of course the go-away-come-back of finally our going home and [personal profile] tn3270 coming back the next day.

This seems to be really working for her. It's giving her some control over how alone she's being, which allows her to balance her independence and need for solitude with her anxiety about being abandoned and neglected, and provide her adequate scaffolding for learning to tolerate that separation. Attachment theory FTW!

4) Lots of doting on her: I brought her flowers; [personal profile] tn3270 got her some nice new sheets for her bed; lots of hugs and kisses and back rubs and literal handholding.

5) I helped her do some moving in things that were familiar domestic tasks (making the bed, organizing her kitchenette, etc) which were re-skilling, and marvelously distracting and organizing for her. I got her to give me orders about how she wanted things in her room, which she found soothing and calming.

100 Demon Dialogues

Jul. 12th, 2017 01:19 pm
jducoeur: (Default)
[personal profile] jducoeur

For the past several months, Lucy Bellwood (author of the delightful nautical graphic novel Baggywrinkles: A Lubber's Guide to Life at Sea) has been posting a series of single-panel comics titled 100 Demon Dialogues. You can find the full series here.

They are little vignettes of conversation between herself and her inner demon, a personification of all the insecurities and doubts that any creative person (really, any person) is prone to. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, frequently thought-provoking, they're one of the better reflections of basic inner life that I've seen.

The series ended today, and the much-demanded Kickstarter opened at the same time. She's collecting the cartoons into a book (both soft and hardcover), and producing a plushie little demon.

There's a fun little cartoon on the Kickstarter page that introduces the project. I'm getting both the book and plushie -- frankly, I had decided that I wanted the collected book even before she announced that she was going to do a Kickstarter for it. I want it for my own personal reflection, but I suspect it may also be an good book for helping kids work through their feelings and understand that grown-ups aren't as secure as all that, so parents may particularly want to give it a look.

Check it out, and spread the word: it looks like it's going to be a great result, from a fine artist who is really hitting her stride...

jducoeur: (Default)
[personal profile] jducoeur

Okay, yes -- complaining about how creepy Facebook can be is shooting fish in a barrel.

Still, I was taken aback by the notification I just got there. Un-asked-for, it popped up with, "You last updated your profile 2 weeks ago." Which, on the one hand, is just a statement of fact. But it's a statement loaded with connotation.

Seriously -- why is Facebook telling me this? When I have something I care to say on my Profile, I say it. I don't need reminders -- I certainly don't need automatic, non-opt-in reminders after only two weeks of profile inactivity. And mind you, this isn't saying "you haven't posted" -- I post to FB moderately often. This is saying that I haven't revealed new and updated information about myself.

There's a weird sense that FB is trying to guilt-trip me for not being sufficiently naked: that the system and the audience have the right to know everything that happens in my life, and that if a whole two weeks have gone by without updating my profile, something is clearly wrong.

Yes, it's a little thing. But it's the combination of all those little things that remind me of why I dislike and distrust Facebook...

elf: Red & blue faces (Face Off)
[personal profile] elf
The hard part here is picking songs that I haven't already mentioned. These include songs that are pinned to several memories, songs where I interpret the content multiple ways, and songs where the filk of them always overlaps the original in my head. Basically, any song where someone might ask, "what does that mean to you?" and I'd have to answer, "it's complicated."

Uncle John's Band | Breakin' Out | It Must Be Love | No Myth | Star | Norwegian Wood | Knights in White Satin | Woodstock | The Joker | King of Pain | Mercedes Benz

And one that had multiple meanings before I saw the fanvid )

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