(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:53 am
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
So, I've had to tell local friends to stop sending me anti-fascist memes related to what's going on in the U.S. right now because I've just... reached the end of my cope? I've had to get off twitter for a while, because my mental health just can't keep up. But at the same time it feels like the world is burning and I desperately want to do something, and well.

I've decided what I'm going to do is just try to help people in whatever way I can, which always feels like a good course of action to me.

So, I have this Russian friend on twitter. She's fannish, her name is Sasha, her twitter account is locked. We met in Black Sails fandom earlier this year. She's very delightful and funny and lives in St. Petersburg.

This year she'd really like to get married. She and her girlfriend have been together for about 5 years. Needless to say, a marriage is not possible in Russia (or Ukraine, where her girlfriend is from). So, they've thought up a plan to travel to Denmark to get married later this year, and they've been raising money mostly through their Russian fandom friends, to make the trip possible. Russian fandom doesn't really do paypal (other money transfer methods are easier), so when I asked how I could help they basically opened an account with PP just for me.

There's no public post about this fundraiser, no kickstarter page. I honestly don't even want to link their account names on twitter to this public post, although I of course asked them what details I could share before writing about this on DW.

Anyway, if you're looking for the usual safeguards to make sure this isn't a scam - they're not really available in this case. I can only tell you that I know this person and trust them and I've helped their marriage fund and have no regrets.

So, if you'd like to throw some money their way, or signal boost this to your friends, their paypal address is: blindpilot at yandex dot ru

(Also, Sasha has pointed out that if you'd like more details about what the money is for, you're welcome to email her at that address.)
havocthecat: (mfmm phryne mac walking)
[personal profile] havocthecat
More 'Miss Fisher' Coming in 2018, As Movie Trilogy Gears Up For Filming

Here's to hoping that this is for real! Also that Dot and Mac are in it! Miss Fisher isn't the same without Dot and Mac (or Bert and Cec and Mr. Butler and Jane, but Dot and Mac are my favorites).
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
[personal profile] havocthecat
Like [personal profile] celli, who will be very understanding when she gets into work this morning and sees that saying "ground beef" and "spaghetti" in combination to me has prompted a 400+ word essay touching on the basics of on my personal theory of what goes into a good red sauce (the various types of meats or lack thereof), how and why why I learned to cook the way I do based on my mother and maternal grandmother's food and personal histories and theories of economizing, food history back into the Roman Empire, and food science. Which I don't go into depth on, because it's early and also it's work email, but still.

Also she has prompted my meal planning for a bastardized primavera sauce for later this week, which is an entirely different type of pasta sauce. Though it does have mushrooms in it, and parmesan, which will contribute nicely to the umami. (I really can't stop myself.)

(Also it might be time to try another run at that delicious fresh fava bean and parmesan salad, even though fresh fava beans are a gigantic pain to peel. But it was SO GOOD. I just need to remember to get a loaf of good sourdough or French bread to toast first to soak up the sauce.)

Also she will forgive me for not ending a nested parenthetical properly.

Though she will laugh at me. Probably a lot. (I will deserve it.)

But the nice thing about pasta sauce is that I can cook it gluten-free and she can still come over and eat it ANY TIME. We can have a GF pot and a gluten pot of pasta. Which she knows. This is the joy of pasta. The pots wash and the gluten comes off. It's not like flour, which gets in the nooks and crannies of the KitchenAid and stays EVERYWHERE.

Though I do have a nifty recipe for GF peanut butter cookies from Smitten Kitchen if we ever want to get together and bake something. I could use a hand mixer or a wooden spoon instead of the KitchenAid. Also you do the GF stuff first, before you get the flour in the air, so that you don't cross-contaminate.

returning with a bang

Aug. 15th, 2017 10:34 am
marina: (murder is the answer)
[personal profile] marina
So, London was wonderful (WONDERFUL) but obviously pretty busy. On the days I wasn't at Nine Worlds, I walked about 11 kilometers a day, on average, according to my phone (there was a day when I walked 17,500 steps). Consider I have herniated disks in my back and am still recovering - it was A Lot.

the last few days )

(no subject)

Aug. 14th, 2017 08:12 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon linked to a fundraiser for Mike "Mictlan" Marquez, one of the MCs in the rap co-op Doomtree (featured several times on Welcome to Night Vale's weather reports). He was recently diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes and like many artists is uninsured; he's expecting significant expenses for treatment he's already had (an ER visit and Diabetic Ketoacidosis) as well as ongoing treatment. You can read more and support his medical fundraiser here.

[profile] demond119 is raising funds with husband Jeremy to help with after-care costs of his heart transplant; he's currently on the waiting list at the Mayo Clinic, and once he has the transplant, he will need an extended stay at a transplant house (Gift of Life) for several months. You can read more and reblog here and support the fundraiser here.

[profile] emeraldonyxdragon is raising funds to support herself while studying in London this fall. She was accepted to a graduate program there but her savings have gone to help her parents with debts; in joining the program she would also be able to escape an abusive household. To help raise awareness, she is holding a contest -- reblogs and likes on her fundraising post could win you a fanfic of your choice. You can support the fundraiser directly here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

Activism

We're all aware of what happened in Charlottesville this weekend; there are some concrete ways to take action here and orgs to support here and just in case you need a little encouragement here is Asiatic Clam Man to remind you that you can do it.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

[tumblr.com profile] magpiesmiscellany has a selection of tree-of-life pendants in various shapes, colors, and sizes for sale, with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Doctors Without Borders, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, and the National Immigration Law Center. You can read more and purchase them here.

News To Know:

Leverage Big/Mini Bang signups are open! I ran RFM items letting people know about the Bang for a few weeks, and now you can register to participate. You can read more and sign up here (sign up links are at the bottom of the post -- at least on my screen they don't actually look like links but they are, I promise!)

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
Out of the billion posts I want to make about London, let's start with a somewhat random topic. Accents. And the weirdness of my brain.

accents )
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I am home! 

I broke camp around six this morning, and when I started the hike it was 6:35 exactly, because I for once had the presence of mind to log it. Just getting to the trailhead was a couple of miles, due to some unforeseen obstructions (I did not get lost, there were just two unexpected fences, and also a long stretch of “closed” road that was a weird little detour through a post-apocalyptic landscape), so while I had planned to do about six miles, I ended up doing a little over eight and a half in three and a half hours, which considering I was carrying a 40lb pack I think was pretty good. 

I missed the 9:49 train to Chicago by two minutes. I literally saw it pulling away from the station as I arrived. The next train was at 1:15, but it’s just as well I was delayed, since it meant I got to rest my feet for a while and also got to help at least a half dozen people figure out a) how the train worked, b) how much tickets were, and c) which train to get on. 

So, I think the trip was a success. I worked out how the camp-reservation system at Dunewood functions, I tested out all my equipment (all remarkably functional, though I think I need to work on sleeping comfort issues), and I measured my endurance limit for hiking with a weighted pack. 

It is about eight miles. That last half mile nearly killed me. 

Also I got to return the Diane Mott Davidson book to the donation rack so someone else can enjoy it, and I added a book or two as well, which is a good thing since someone just offloaded a shitload of Clive Barker and it’s nice to have a little variety. 

Now I am going to sit on the sofa, possibly order a pizza, and deliberately not empty out my pack until tomorrow. 

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all the stars in the sky

Aug. 12th, 2017 06:29 am
halfeatenmoon: Sketch of a cloud in black ink on white background. (Default)
[personal profile] halfeatenmoon
"NO MORE EXCHANGES UNTIL YULETIDE" I wail, as I peruse the [community profile] femslashex  tagset and want to write at least twenty of these pairings. If I get ahead on my schedule for other writing I will let myself write some treats, I suppose. I mean even if I signed up I wouldn't get assigned every single pairing I love in that tagset, so I would still have 19 other things I wished I was writing. Right?

Meanwhile I've been doing the thing I'm supposed to be doing and focusing on [community profile] iddyiddybangbang , and to my own surprise I'm making progress! I'll be past 5k by the first checkin for sure. I'm still not entirely convinced that I'll finish the fic by the posting deadline and it will be a bummer to drop out, but either way I'm getting a lot of words in on a project I've wanted to write for ages.


The Hugo Awards were announced this morning, while I was sleeping, and this year the results made me very happy. :D Despite having been into scifi since I was a teenager, I somehow managed to miss that anyone could vote in the Hugos (for a joining fee) until conservatives decided to game the nominations several years ago. This is despite knowing since high school that the Hugos use the Australian preferential ballot system! And I didn't realise it was publicly voted! What!!!

So I got into the Hugos because of the voting thing, because I'm a gigantic nerd for voting methods, and spent some time in 2014 having extremely strong feelings about voting systems and voter disenfranchisement, and started reading short form SF instead of just the occasional novel, and by 2016 I finally went "so... I love SF short fiction... and voting... and the Hugos combine these things..." and FINALLY FUCKING REALISED I COULD VOTE.

I don't think I cared all that much for the short fiction offerings in 2016, after all that - I think quite a lot of the ballot was taken up by the right wing anti-PC brigade, and I remember one nominated story was so apallingly racist that I didn't make it past the first page. But this year I had VERY STRONG FEELINGS and I'm over the moon that Seasons of Glass and Iron is the winner. It's a F/F fantasy story with a fairy tale tone, beautifully told, about women who suffer but save themselves. I didn't expect this! I thought Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies was going to win and I was v grumpy about it because I hated that story but my fave won. :D

I'm also pretty happy that Ada Palmer won the Campbell award for best new writer because I found her debut novel Too Like The Lighting a) incredibly niche and b) INCREDIBLY MY NICHE, MY GOD, IT HIT SO MANY OBSCURE CORNERS OF MY ID and c) incredibly ambitious in its scale and complexity and deserving of some kind of recognition, but d) not Best Novel, because, again, SO NICHE.

copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
So I got my new temporary crown put on my molar today.  

Me before the procedure: So are you taking off the old one and putting on a new one, or just like, remolding the old one?

Dentist: We’re putting on a new one. Unless we can somehow fit your head in an eight thousand degree oven.

Me: Don’t do that. I sunburn easily. 

At which point the dental assistant lost her shit and let out the loudest cackle I’ve ever heard in a dental office. 

They put the temporary crown on and told me to bite down to affix the glue, but when I bit down I cracked the damn crown in half. Apparently it was a defective crown, but many jokes were made about my jaw strength and how maybe I should fuckin’ relax a little if I can bite through a crown while off my face on nitrous. 

Even with insurance it ran me $400 for the temporary crown, the permanent crown, and a surcharge for nitrous (because fuck having dental procedures without nitrous). That hurt worse than my tooth does. Fortunately for my pocketbook I have a medical flex-spending card, but I used up the last of it today, so let’s all hope I don’t break any limbs between now and January. I’ve gone over a year without having to have surgery upon my insides or a cast affixed to my person, so I think we can keep the streak alive. Traditionally I only get seriously injured in the summer months at any rate, so there’s that at least. 

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copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I am going CAMPING this weekend, I am DETERMINED, and I take it as a sign that after having bought a whistle and promptly lost it, when repacking my backpack tonight I FOUND IT AGAIN. (It was, for some reason, in the very bottom of the bag. Why would I put it there? Nobody knows.) 

I have the third Diane Mott Davidson book from the library, ready for reading, and also I’ve packed the second book and an additional book to leave at the Dune Park train stop, to repay the world for the joy I had from reading Dying For Chocolate. 

I have spent all summer doing recon and building up my supply stash, and now I AM READY. 

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copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I stopped at Trader Joe’s on the way home tonight and bought a box of mushrooms, two chicken breasts, a bottle of General Tso’s sauce, and a ciabatta baguette. (Bet some of you didn’t even know you could get a ciabatta baguette, but you can! Delicious cultural blasphemy!) 

I came home, chopped up the chicken and mushroom, stir-fried them with some roasted garlic, added the sauce, and ate the results with avocado slices on the ciabatta baguette. I am telling you all this in the spirit of bragging because it was AMAZING. 

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(no subject)

Aug. 7th, 2017 08:05 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

[personal profile] spasticat has been unemployed since October of last year, and while she's been actively looking for work, her benefits and savings have run out; she's raising funds for utilities, medication, and rent. You can read more and support her YouCaring here.

Helen moved with her family to Reno in March, tranferring to a good job with a company she's been with for four years. However, the affordable housing crisis in Reno is so bad that she is forced to live out of a motel while on the waiting list for several apartment complexes. The cost of this housing is preventing her from saving enough to be able to pay for a place when one finally becomes available, so she's raising funds for first month, last month, and security deposit. You can read more and support her GoFundMe here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

[tumblr.com profile] we-are-valid has launched its Indiegogo pre-order campaign for their first piece of gender affirming shapeware in its new line, Post Secondary. This is "Alex", tucking panties designed by transfeminine people as a solution to a lot of the issue previous tucking shapeware had (expensive, non-breathable, chafing). You can read more, support the IndieGoGo without purchasing, or preorder a pair here. (there's also a super cool t-shirt you can get if you support at the $20 level.)

[tumblr.com profile] magpiesmiscellany has a selection of tree-of-life pendants in various shapes, colors, and sizes for sale, with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Doctors Without Borders, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, and the National Immigration Law Center. You can read more and purchase them here.

News To Know:

Carter let me know that the Leverage Big/Mini Bang signups are open! I ran RFM items letting people know about the Bang for a few weeks, and now you can register to participate. You can read more and sign up here (sign up links are at the bottom of the post -- at least on my screen they don't actually look like links but they are, I promise!)

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

[Real Life] Telephones

Aug. 5th, 2017 07:10 pm
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
[personal profile] thefourthvine
(Trying to get back into the habit of posting, so this is a random piece of personal telephonic history!)

Lately, I’ve been in a bemusing battle of wills with my phone, where I tell it to sync certain songs and only those songs, and it does grab the ones I tell it to, but also randomly adds other songs from my music library, often ones I’ve never listened to. When I told Best Beloved about this, her take was that I should just live with it. I questioned the Queen of Solving Problems Right Now, Immediately, Using a Hatchet as Necessary on her surprising stance and she pointed out that she knew me in college. When I had the Let Me Call You Sweetheart phone.

See, my college did not have voicemail for landlines in the dorm, and this was back when people still used landlines sometimes. My parents, who were sending a 15 year old off to college, thought they might like to leave messages for me at some point, and so they bought me a combined phone/answering machine to take with me. And for a while, it worked as advertised: people called, I did not answer, they were invited to leave a message, they did, I sometimes listened to the message, I very occasionally called them back. (This is as good as it ever gets with me and telephones. Our relationship can best be described as “mutual disdain.” That’s also why I didn’t have a cell phone back then; smartphones hadn’t happened yet, and I could think of exactly zero reasons why I might want to be MORE available for phone calls.)

At some point late in the first semester, though, people who left messages started to sound a little amused. And then, after a month or so, they began sounding more … annoyed. I checked my outgoing message to make sure no one had recorded weird stuff on it, because, you know, college, but it was still normal and fine. So I shrugged and accepted it, until one of my friends suggested I call my own phone.

I did. The outgoing message played, exactly as recorded. But after it, I was treated to an extremely tinny instrumental version of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” that sounded like it was played on the buttons of a phone, followed by the customary leave-a-message beep. Bewildered, I checked the box, which I had saved for moving convenience. No mention of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” No mention of it on the manufacturer’s website, either. My phone had apparently developed a musical mind of its own.

Huh, I thought, and went about my life.

A few weeks after that, people started sounding really annoyed in my messages. I called my phone again. It now sounded like this:

Me, in a recording: Hi! You’ve reached me, and you know what to do.
Phone: Let me CALL you SWEETheart/I’m in love with YOU/Let me hear you WHISper/That you love me too
[Pause, as though the phone is about to emit that life-giving leave-a-message beep]
Phone: Let me CALL you SWEETheart/I’m in love with YOU/Let me hear you WHISper/That you love me too
[Pause, which only serves to raise hopes that will soon be dashed]
Phone: Let me CALL you SWEETheart…
[Repeat a painful number of times]

Eventually, it broke off in the middle of a line and beeped.

Well. There are only so many times that you want to hear that song, that way, and my phone had begun exceeding people’s lifetime limits in the course of a single call. I apologized, but what could I do? You can’t reason with a phone.

The year ended. I packed the phone into its box and took it home with me for the summer, which it apparently spent plotting. Then I brought it back to school.

Shortly after the school year started, I discovered that my phone had developed a new glitch. If I did pick it up when it rang, I couldn’t hear the person on the other end. On the other hand, if I waited until the answering machine got it and then picked it up, I could hear them, but they couldn’t hear anything I said. However, after extensive experimentation, I discovered they could still hear the beeps if I pressed buttons on the phone. So, as any reasonable person would, I changed my outgoing message to:

“Hi! My phone is broken. If I pick up, I can hear you but you won’t hear me. I’ll beep to show I’m there. Ask yes or no questions and I’ll give one beep for yes and two beeps for no. Thanks!”

(If you are now going WHY DIDN’T YOU BUY A NEW PHONE? – it never even occurred to me. Technically, some communication was still possible with the phone, after all, and I inherited from my father a gene that makes me very anxious in the presence of new objects. This is why my family had a garage door that you could only make work by inserting a penny into the innards of the opener, and that often went up and down on its own, sometimes as many as 60 times in an evening. It’s why I kept, for over a year, a computer chair that would occasionally just collapse, dumping me on the floor, and why I’m sitting on a partially broken chair as I type this. It’s … just who my people are, I guess. We are not so much “make do and mend” as “it’s fine, everything is fine, please stop talking about buying new things because that is the worst thing in the world to do and I’d rather just sit on the floor in the dark forever.”)

This led to a period of my college career where, to call me, you had to:
  1. Sit through what was, by then, up to 15 minutes of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” (I know because people timed it, since there wasn’t a lot else to do, and then shared the times with me. I think maybe they were trying to suggest to me that I should buy a new phone, but that kind of subtlety was never going to work. I mean, I come from a family that could afford a new toaster and willingly chose to keep the old one, even though it caught fire from time to time, enlivening many a morning. “Let’s just get a new one” is not a phrase in my vocabulary.)
  2. Listen to my outgoing message.
  3. After the first beep, say, “Hello? Are you there? It’s me, please pick up.”
  4. Wait for the beep that would indicate that I had in fact picked up.
  5. Hold a séance-like session with me wherein you were restricted to yes or no questions or, in cases where that just would not work, you had to count beeps for each letter of the alphabet. (You know: A=1, B=2, etc. Let me tell you from grim experience: it takes a LONG time to beep out even a single word, and also you tend to forget where you are halfway through letters like M and T. I honestly take my hat off to the fraudulent mediums of old. They worked for their money, by gum.)
  6. Hope that the phone didn’t just cut out altogether in the middle of the séance, as it was known to do.
Basically, communicating with spirits was, overall, probably slightly easier than talking to me. I for real do not know why anyone bothered. They did, though, which shows you what excellent and patient friends and family I have had in my life.

If you’re wondering about the resolution of this odyssey of disintegrating telecommunications technology: eventually my parents got tired of only being able to communicate with their youngest child via beeps. My mother (who does not have the “hates new things” gene) suggested several times that I buy a new one, but I beeped twice for no each time, so she, in direct violation of our precious familial traditions, went out and bought a new one and sent it to me at school. I kept it in its box in my room and avoided looking directly at it for a week or so, but then word spread among my friends that I had a new phone and was still using Mr. Beepy, and they basically held a technological intervention until I installed the new phone. (It worked fine for a year and then developed a glitch where it clicked a lot and would only record the first 15 seconds of a message, and no one minded at all because at least it wasn’t playing “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” My life motto: I can always get over the bar, because I dug a hole in the ground and buried it.)

But times change! Humans age and progress and develop workarounds for their flaws! Which is why, when BB and I were attempting to explain this telephonic family history to our nine-year-old earthling (challenging, as he has never known an answering machine or a time when humans made phone calls to humans other than their senators), we had this conversation, which tells you everything you need to know about the people we’ve become:

Me, thinking back: You know, I probably should have just bought a new phone instead of beeping at people for months.
BB, also thinking back: I should have just broken your phone completely after it started playing “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” more than once per call. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that.

Anyway. That was the start of my long and complex adult relationship with phones. I wended my way through many glitches and minor disasters to arrive where I currently am: in possession of a phone that has its own opinions about music. And, upon reflection, I am prepared to be satisfied with that.

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October 2013

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