theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

1) Pokemon Nails!
It’s been a couple of months since I updated my Pretty Pretty Princess Nail Gallery, where you can see a visual history of my fabulous nail designs – but this week Ashley damn near killed herself to do Pokemon nails for me.  She had to redraw Jigglypuff like four times, and now hates Jigglypuff. But the nails came out great!

Pokémon nails!

Pokémon nails!

2) Fix On Audiobook!
For you fine audiophiles, the final book in my ‘Mancer series is finally available as an audiobook on Audible! For a mere $14.99, you can listen to weaponized paperwork magic, a battle at the heart of a dying Europe, the struggle of a brainwashed daughter, and also – as always – testimonies to the goodness of donuts!

(EDIT: And apparently, if you bought Fix through Amazon, you can get the audio upgrade for a mere $3.49. Nice.)

Also, I hesitate to mention again, but my upcoming book The Uploaded is available for pre-order, and pre-ordering super-helps authors. I’m also stoked about it because for the first time, the copyeditor made an alphabetized list of all the proper names and terms used in the book to keep everything consistent, and the lists make this book sound even weirder than it is.

3)  Me In A Story!
So I was complaining to my friend Alex Shvartsman (a name old Magic fans may recognize as a former pro from Magic’s Grand Prix circuit) that nobody tuckerizes a guy with a name like “Ferrett.” I mean, my books are rife with names of real-life people I’ve slipped into there as minor characters, ranging from Ken Liu to an appropriately gender-swapped Ann Leckie to Sean Patrick Kelly and other buddies… but it’s hard to put in a guy with a name like “Ferrett” and not have it stand out.

“I’ll do it,” Alex said. “I like a challenge.”

So he wrote me into a science-fiction golfing story. Seriously.

And I thought, “Wow, that’s great,” but then Alex had to sell the story. And who would buy a story about science-fiction golfing with a guy named Ferrett as a side character?

The question I should have been asking is, “Can Alex sell that story?” And you bet your buns he can! He even sold it at pro rates, damn his talented soul! And so if you want to read that tale – and why wouldn’t you? – it’s currently free to read for the next five weeks or so.

Thank you, Alex. Seriously. It’s nice to see my name in print.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

Grr

2017-Mar-28, Tuesday 11:53
rbarclay: (Default)
[personal profile] rbarclay
Going home yesterday, I just missed a new record time - 1:42:43 with 1:42:30 to beat (cycling time, not counting being stopped at traffic lights etc.). And all because of two busses standing in the way (@~28:15 in the video).
Other than that, spring is here, and thus the idiot BMW-drivers^Wracing-bike cyclists are out on the streets again (example @~31:40 in the video).

(no subject)

2017-Mar-28, Tuesday 16:43
splodgenoodles: (Default)
[personal profile] splodgenoodles
Sometimes I wonder how I would feel if all those things on the current to-do list were suddenly done.

Sustain, persist, ascend.

2017-Mar-26, Sunday 14:17
azurelunatic: "catch me if I fall", shooting star (R.E.M.)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
One brave green shoot pushes through the muck;
more will soon follow.
There will still be storytime at the library next week.
The librarian will still be found wearing a plush ladybug.
Somewhere, a child will move from baby to toddler
in pursuit of that bubble, just out of reach.


(Mostly written in early February.)

Stories and hair, and a book or two

2017-Mar-26, Sunday 19:08
17catherines: Amor Vincit Omnia (Default)
[personal profile] 17catherines
Oh, thank goodness, I managed to write another story.

I know that sounds a little excessively relieved, but there's nothing like going through a four-week dry patch where you can't seem to finish everything and every word you write is dull and derivative and like writing through glue to make you wonder if you've just run out of stories...

Anyway, it's for Boissière, and it's called The Last Wish, and it's about that woman who got a sausage stuck to her nose in Perrault.  Who is, incidentally, infuriatingly chauvinistic at every opportunity.  Consider, for example, this gem:

“Fanny’s mind was soon made up: although she had dreamt of a crown and sceptre, yet a woman’s first wish is always to please. To this great desire all else must yield, and Fanny would rather be fair in drugget than be a Queen with an ugly face.”

ORLY?

(and I'm not talking about the airport in Paris, either).

Three guesses what decision my heroine made...

Life without hair )

I've been reading some good books recently, and I keep forgetting to mention them here, but I need to draw your attention to two extremely fun romances by Lucy Parker - Act Like It and Pretty Face.  They are both set in the London West End and in and around theatre companies and productions, and they are absolutely marvellous.  They remind me strongly of old musicals like Singing in the Rain, or maybe of the better bits of Much Ado About Nothing - the banter between hero and heroine is just fabulous, there is a lot of self-awareness (particularly with regard to power differentials), and one feels at all times that hero and heroine are a match for each other.  Another nice aspect of it is that Parker uses the intensity of tabloid coverage and the importance of professional reputation in ways that parallel the kinds of dilemmas faced by characters in historicals, which is a very neat trick
.  I think these will become some of my favourite sad day books - I just find myself smiling in delight and laughing all the way through them.

I'm also really enjoying Alison Stuart's English Civil War-set romances, which are nicely meaty and remind me of Rosemary Sutcliffe or DK Broster, but with romance. 

I know there was more I wanted to write, but that will do for now.  I have dinner to finish organising and Bach to practice.

What have you been reading recently?

(I can't tell you how relieved I am that I can write again, though.)

vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

This is a collection volume, containing Komarr, A Civil Campaign and (actually in the "previously unread" category), the short A Winterfair Gift. The title for the collection volume is very descriptive, as that theme starts in Komarr, continues through the entirety of A Civil Campaign and comes to some sort of culmination in A Winterfair Night.

As is the custom, these are all eminently readable. It is also perhaps not the worst place to pick up the Vorkosigan Saga books (but, I should stress, it is also not the best), since I seem to recall that Komarr was actually the first one I read.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

It's been a while since I last read any of the Expanse novels. Don't really know why, maybe the whole "TV hype" has put me off. On the whole, they're eminently readable, although one of my distinct memories of "oh, no, not again!" from the first four is mercifully not as prominent in this one.

All in all a pleasant read, although I have a nagging feeling that the acceleration required to cover distance in this book may possibly require higher sustained acceleration than what seems to be happening.

"It's been a long month this week"

2017-Mar-25, Saturday 03:51
rosefox: A person in a gas mask. (illness)
[personal profile] rosefox
That cold virus has gone through our house like wildfire. Kit was slightly warm for a day and then fine, but it knocked the rest of us out for a week or two each. Apparently this is just going to be our new normal, according to other parents of daycare-age kids. It hit me first and hardest; I managed to keep my bout of it from turning into a sinus infection, but only barely, and my voice was impressively low for a while. J got over it fairly quickly, and X is mostly past the worst but still pretty soggy.

The February-like weather has helped nothing. We've had to keep the heat on pretty high, and that dries the air out, and that plus mouth-breathing because of stuffy noses has been just dreadful. We're cranking all our humidifiers and drinking gallons of water. I even got a bout of February-like depression, which totally missed me (and I did not miss) in actual February. But this weekend looks to be the start of a warmer, wetter stretch, so hopefully that will make everything better. I am putting considerable effort into planning a Brooklyn Botanic Gardens trip in mid-April with [twitter.com profile] saraeileen and maybe [livejournal.com profile] vschanoes and their babies, because all I want right now is to be sprawled on the grass under the cherry trees and if I can't have it right at this moment then I will make very sure I get it as soon as possible. Spriiiiiiing, I neeeeeeed it.

I went up to Hunter today to do live-action Story Hospital with a group of teens I hadn't met before. It was amazing and great and emotionally exhausting. I came home so wiped out that after dinner I took a 90-minute nap on the couch—from 10:30 to midnight, not exactly prime napping time—because I was genuinely too tired to get up and go to bed. That is absurd. Of course then the nap wired me up, so I took the trash out and started laundry and did the dishes and took a shower and now it's 4 a.m. and I ought to go to bed for real. I hope writing this entry will help wind me down.

My day job workload is going to be decreasing after next week (YAY), and I plan to put all those hours toward sleep. That will help.

Kit's body continues to think it's older than it is. In addition to being the height and weight of a two-year-old, they've got the teeth of a two-year-old. All eight incisors and three of the four first molars are in, and their lower canines just cut through, which apparently hurts a whole lot. Poor sad bean. :( But ideally this accelerated teething schedule will mean they get all their teeth in quickly and then they can just enjoy having them.

I got new glasses and they keep feeling like they don't sit on my face quite right, even though I've had them adjusted several times at different shops. Maybe I just need to get used to them. They've got plastic frames and I think the last time I wore glasses with plastic frames was close to 20 years ago. I do really like the way they look. The neighborhood eyeglass shop where I got them completely messed up my beloved prescription sunglasses, so sometime this weekend or next week I need to go shake them down for not only a refund of the lenses (which make my eyes physically hurt, and made me dizzy when I switched back to my regular glasses) but the cost of replacing the frames, which they managed to warp while trying to fit the lenses in. So much for patronizing my little local business.

When I was sick I missed my regular manicure appointment and went a full 2.5 weeks without a manicure, but I didn't bite or break my nails; I was very proud. This week I had them done up in H&M's Wildwood polish, which is my perfect green, and have been wearing green clothes that match them exactly and feeling excessively stylish. Alas, the polish has already been discontinued, so I will cherish this bottle of it and try to find the right balance between not using it all up right away and not letting it sit so long that it becomes unusable.

I think I have wound down, finally. Time to refill the humidifier and get a great deal of sleep.
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

I can see where it’s getting the “meh” reviews.

Because I love the backstory of the new Mass Effect.  It’s a great sci-fi story with a lot of room to maneuver, classic space opera – and it feels big.

I just don’t see how I connect with it.

Like, as an example: an early mission has you scanning walls to find enough evidence to stop a saboteur – your standard “Find the foozle” quest, wrapped in a story to make it compelling.  And you scan enough evidence, and the trail leads you to your saboteur.

Except the game says, “Wait!  That’s not the saboteur!  The real saboteur is trying to frame these two people!”

Which is a great twist, if I the player had any decision in that process.  If there had been some evidence I could have overlooked where I might have accidentally jailed an innocent person, thus having to make the hard decision of putting away someone who claims they didn’t do it, that would be dramatic!  Maybe I could do the wrong thing by mistake!  But literally your AI buddy kicks in to go “WHOAH, NOPE, YOU GOT MORE WORK TO DO.”

And so the tension is defanged.

Then you find the real saboteur, who is mildly angry about how the previous administration did his family wrong.  But again, the game doesn’t ask you to take sides – the guy doesn’t even tell you what the new administration did except in really abstract terms.  And you don’t even get a chance to let him go, or try to talk him out of his deadly saboteur nature, as far as I can tell from the dialogue options – either way, he’s meekly caught, even though you’re just one dude and you didn’t bring any security and I guess the game didn’t feel like ending this mission with a chase or a battle or a dramatic emotional decision or anything.

So my reaction at the end is, “Uh, well, I guess some people are angry at the government.”  But I don’t feel it.  I’m not invested in any of these schmucks because while it’s a great story, Mass Effect seems to have forgotten to add the decision points that get me involved.

I could have jailed the wrong person, thus getting mad at those fiendish saboteurs.

I could have been asked to side with the saboteur thanks to the righteousness of his cause.

I could have been presented with a chase sequence to stop some suicidal madman.

But instead, I got railroaded along a series of decisions that weren’t actually decisions.  And if Mark Rosewater has taught me anything, games are about interesting choices.  If I ask you, “So do you want this magical wand of destruction at to fight with, or this stubby pencil?”, that decision is automatic for everyone but the people who want to make it purposely hard.

“Do you want to continue this quest or not?” is not an interesting decision.

The decisions in Mass Effect thus far aren’t interesting.  The story is interesting, on a meta level.  But I am not given an access point so I personally am invested in what happens.

I mean, it’s still fun.  I like levelling up.  But if these guys want me to care more, they need to have less people telling me, “Oh, here’s a gout of backstory” and more of me making emotional decisions based on that backstory.  And until now, there’s a whole lot of people telling me how they feel and very little of me deciding how I should feel.

 

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
Gaming sessions have returned back to normal with the return of Andrew D., from his Malaysia and UK holiday. Sunday was the regular session of Eclipse Phase. As is often the case, the first session sets the scene and this time it included the hatching of an Iktomi egg and contact by The Factors in Uranus. Wednesday was a session of Laundry Files which continued the explosive problem of a person in China being a nexus point between this world and fire vampires. Apropos have still be working on Papers & Paychecks with positive responses to the draft, perhaps the best being from NinjaDan, "this is looking like a real RPG sourcebook". Well, yes, that's the plan of course.

In other news items, there have been several mainstream news articles advocating land tax, following investigation by the Parliamentary Budget Office, as the Australian property market is in a bubble, with the proposed replacement of stamp duty with a broad land tax a fundamental and sensible policy. In related news there has several new 'blog posts on the Isocracy Network site, as well as a new article by Joe Toscano, The Four Horsemen of the 21st Century Apocalypse.

Finally, this afternoon gave a guest lecture at the University of Melbourne, for the course COMP90024 Cluster and Cloud Computing, on The Spartan HPC System at the University of Melbourne. Lectures like these are a tough gig; the four to six hour workshops and tutorials are at a slower pace with more direct involvement with the smaller number of participants. This is a much larger lecture, around two hundred postgraduate students, and with a lecture slot that lasts well over an hour there is a need to pack in as much information as possible. I am still not used to what I much presume is a millennial norm of applauding lecturers a the end of the class. This is normal now, right?

People Have A Right To Be Stupid.

2017-Mar-22, Wednesday 10:38
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

One of the running responses to yesterday’s discussion of female attraction was that women frequently fall for handsome assholes. I can’t really debate that. Those of y’all who remember The Wolf’s abuse will recall that he was propelled into the spotlight in part based on Hot Abs and in part based on a cadre of women who really wanted to get Wolfucked. (And yes, unbelievably, that was an actual term.)

However, I will also note that men frequently fall for women who are also completely wrong for them. They see a pretty girl, they sand off all the potentially-conflicting bits of their personalities to try to masquerade as what this pretty girl wants, idolizing away all her manifest flaws because she’s got a curvaceous figure – and then wind up miserable because “OH MY GOD I WAS SUCH A NICE GUY AND WOMEN DON’T LIKE NICE GUYS.”

Turns out “making riotously bad decisions” isn’t confined to one gender. Whoops.

Look, there are people making terrible decisions all over the damn world. And the sad thing is, you gotta let them make those awful decisions.

People have a right to ruin their own lives.

Part of that is because often, the people who want to “rescue” people from bad decisions actually just want them to make equally bad decisions that benefit them. The guys who are lamenting about womens’ bad decisions are, quite predictably, hoping that these broken women will take a deep and meaningful consolation from their penis. You’ll see spouses and family members shouting, “You can’t leave me? Where would you go!” when what they really mean is “I’m dependent on you and you abandoning my abuse would inconvenience me!”

Part of that is because often, the “bad decisions” people make are only bad from an outside perspective – the born-again Christian mother who’s convinced her daughter living in sin must be miserable because she would be miserable. The cis dudebro who’s convinced his trans friend must be transitioning out of a need for attention. The vanilla girlfriend who’s convinced her boyfriend’s need to be beaten bloody means they’re on the path to suicide. You know, people who just don’t get it.

But the main reason is simple: the people who bear the brunt of the consequences for their awful decisions are the only folks who should get to make them.

(It gets a little more complicated in interdependent situations, of course, particularly if your 50/50 rent roommate decides to quit her job to become a professional sparrow-raiser, but in the end you’re the one who can probably scrounge up a new place to live when her broke ass cannot.)

I am a fan of disseminating information. I’ve spoken at length of the known dangers of the one-penis policy. I’ve talked about the myriad ways in which polyamory enables abusers. I’ve discussed how men can be bad to women, and women to men, and people to people.

But in the end, if someone’s making a bad decision, that’s on them.

Maybe it’ll work out. Sometimes things do – because other people didn’t understand what you needed, or because of dumb luck. (I had unsafe sex with better than 50 women in my slutty 20s, and every test I’ve taken indicates I picked up no known STIs from it. I took a really insanely dumb risk, and yet I wouldn’t advise you to play the STI lottery and hope the odds are ever in your favor.)

But you gotta let ’em go.

Yeah. People make staggeringly dumb decisions all the time. It’s a truth of life. But the question has to be, “Why are you so attracted to these people who make staggeringly dumb decisions?” Why are you spending your time chasing stupid people who aren’t interested in you in the hopes that one day they’ll change their mind?

Isn’t that a pretty staggeringly bad decision on your own?

I can’t stop you from making that decision, of course. Not my tempo. But I can at least raise the question that maybe you could be looking for partners who aren’t looking to date people you despise.

Just a suggestion.

You are free, of course, to ignore it.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

“The fact that a behavior is considered harassment or not based solely on how attractive {the women} find you is bullshit.”

This is a comment I hear often, usually from dudes with ugly personalities. Because they’re awful at knowing when and how to approach women for a date, they instead decide that “picking up women” is entirely about looks that they don’t have, and not about a personality that they could potentially cultivate.

The truth is this: knowing when a woman doesn’t want to talk to you is, in fact, part of the process.

The fact that dudes are whining, “Well, you’d probably like me if I’d spoken to you when you actually wanted to be spoken to!” as though it’s some grievously unfair principle of the universe is proof that they’re missing the fundamental point of the discussion.

Look, I am a catastrophic nerd. I have original RPG art framed on the wall of my living room. I go to RPG conventions specifically to geek out about roleplaying….

And still there are annoying people who bug the crap out of me by yammering on about their anime campaign when I’m just in line trying to get a sandwich, man.

These are people who don’t read the signs that I’m not interested right now. They don’t talk with me so much as they open up a fire hydrant of their interests, drenching me in overexplanations about things I’ve told them I already understand, blithely assuming that I know the fine details of the Dark Sun setting when I’ve said I’ve never played, cornering me wherever they can trap me and blathering on.

And a fundamental truth is this: knowing when and where to open up a discussion is part of why people will or will not like you. I love RPGs, I love nerds, I’m at a place specifically to find fellow RPG nerds, and yet even with all those advantages there are still wrong approaches.

As such, attractive women sitting in public are not quest-givers in a World of Warcraft game, signaling the start of mission “GET INTO THEIR PANTS” – some do want to be talked to, others do not, and still others only want to be talked to about certain things. Figuring out which ones are amenable to which conversations is the actual mission if you’re out to find someone to smooch.

Reading body language to know when someone has zero interest in talking to you is part of the process of dating women. If you’re not a Herculean specimen of bohunk physicality (and note that I am not), then discovering those levers and working them to the best of your ability should be your primary focus.

(And for the record, “Being a Herculean specimen of bohunk physicality” is not a universal access point when it comes to picking up a woman, either. The guys who bitch endlessly about how “it’s all about looks” generally settle on “a buff movie-star look” as the sole thing that All Women Would Never Call Harassment. But some women prioritize skinny paper-pale geeks, and other women long for pudgy biker dudes, and some women are, you know, gay. So maybe calm down on the idea that all you have to do is look like Ryan Gosling and nobody will ever call you on your shit? Because looking like Ryan Gosling would help your odds, but it ain’t a guarantee either.)

Anyway. Acting as though every communication should be identically well-reacted to is the inane logic of someone who doesn’t realize they’re arguing that you should be flattered by every robocall, should be thrilled rather than annoyed by spam, should be overjoyed when your boss tells you they want you to work an extra three hours tonight because ZOMG IT’S SO UNFAIR THAT YOUR BOSS HAS TO BRING YOU GOOD NEWS BEFORE YOU LIKE THEM.

And if it strikes you as burningly unfair that a woman is happy to talk with someone who approaches them with things they feel they might enjoy, and is unhappy when someone they don’t like forces an interaction upon them, then I’m gonna suggest that the real unfairness here is you. Because what you’re actually saying is, “It is unfair that I can’t do what I like and have everybody love me.”

Top tip: if the message you’re quietly putting out to everyone is “I wish you’d all stop wanting things so I can get some sex,” don’t be surprised when people don’t want to date you. Because if you’re expressing outrage when someone asks “What’s in it for me?”, you’re actually telling them there’s really not much there.

(EDIT: And because people keep sailing past the point I was trying to make, the point is not that “Handsome men don’t get more slack,” because of course they often do, but rather “The fact that women want to talk to people they find attractive is not unfair.”

(Unless these guys would find it somehow “fairer” for everyone – including them – to be forced to date people they personally find unattractive, what’s actually being said when once you dig underneath that cry of “That’s not fair!” is a version of “It’s unfair that women can’t be forced to tolerate people they don’t actually want to interact with so I can fuck them.” And yeah. Zero surprise that this approach is not met with positive feedback by women.)

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

Been a while since I read this one. Weirdly, i think it might be the Vorkosigan Saga book I've read the rest times.

Anyhow. It is shock fill of young Miles, in his second outing, i believe. Pretty much what you would expect from one of these books. It might be a good introductory point, come to think about it. All in all, a most pleasant read.

How not to deliver flowers

2017-Mar-21, Tuesday 17:01
17catherines: Amor Vincit Omnia (Default)
[personal profile] 17catherines
One of my postdocs is in hospital for a minor operation, and SoccerProfessor asked me to send her flowers.  She is, apparently, at St Vincent's, so I picked a suitable florist and a pretty arrangement, and arranged the floral offering.

At 4:20 pm, I get a call from the florist.  There is nobody of that name at St Vincent's Hospital.  Might she be under another name?

Said postdoc is married, so after some consultation with SoccerProfessor, we unearthed her husband's name.  And also postdoc's phone number, because we figured that she is just out of surgery, her husband will answer, it will all be good.

At 4:30 pm I get a call from the florist.  Postdoc answered her own phone in a somewhat groggy state (scientists, what can you do) and confirmed that she was in hospital under the husband's name.  But St Vincent's is apparently very convinced that she isn't there.  And the florist really doesn't want to ring and disturb her again.  Are we sure she is at this campus?

We are not sure.  We are not sure at all.  After some consultation, we unearth the phone number of the husband.  Florist goes to ring the husband.

At 4:45 pm, I get a call from the florist.  By this time, I recognise the number and am feeling trepidacious.  Florist informs me that postdoc is indeed not at this campus.  This is because Postdoc is at the Epworth.  Which is not St Vincent's, or any campus thereof.  Thank you, SoccerProfessor! 

Florist is very friendly and helpful and courier is happy to deliver to the Epworth.  Assuming she is at the nearby Epworth.  Because, you see, the Epworth has 12 campuses, and the husband didn't mention which campus postdoc was at.  And some of those campuses are outside the delivery range.  And the florist, helpful though she is, really doesn't want to bother poor Postdoc or her husband again.

Do I happen to know...?

I do not.  In fact, I've got nothing.

Florist suggests that they give the nearest campus a try and hope for the best.  Florist promises to ring me and let me know, either way.  She warns me that if it's the wrong campus, we may have to rethink our whole strategy.

At 5:00pm, I get a call from the florist.  "Hi Georgie!" I say enthusiastically, because by this time we are almost like old friends.  Georgie laughs *far more hysterically than this warrants* which is alarming in and of itself.  I brace myself for the worst.

But no - Postdoc has been successfully located at the Epworth!  Flowers will be delivered!  No extra charge will be applied!  Everything is fine and everyone can go home with a sense of satisfaction at a job well done.

I just hope Postdoc likes the flowers.



In other news, I shaved my head today, to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation.  I think I've really badgered enough people for sponsorship, but I'll just do one last little badger (mushroom! mushroom!) - if you would like to sponsor me, my page is here.  There is even photographic evidence of my shaved head!  To my surprise and relief, I still look like me, and far less ugly than I feared.  From the photo angle, I actually look quite good (I'm less convinced of the profile view).  And given the horribly humid, hot weather we've been having recently, it's very nice not to have hair sitting on the back of my neck.
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

I’m in the final stages of editing a complex book which prominently features two disabled characters, and I’d like to hire someone who is wheelchair-enabled who can tell me whether I’m making any obvious insults and/or errors to wheelchair-enabled users.   It’s a 95,000 word manuscript, and the pay isn’t magnificent but it’s about 6% of what I got paid for the book after agent’s cut, et al.  If you can give me actual feedback on the book itself, all the better.  Turnaround time would be 4-6 weeks, preferably for someone who’s done professional critiquing/sensitivity reading before.

If interested, please email me at theferrett@theferrett.com with the header “Sensitivity Reader,” so you don’t get lost in spam, with your qualifications.

(And yes, I am aware of Writing In The Margins’ Sensitivity Reader index, which is an excellent resource I’d recommend to those looking to ensure that they’re not accidentally elbowing people in the face with hoary cliches and/or botched details on the life of marginalized people.  I’m just seeing if there’s anyone who I know/knows me who’d want the job first.)

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

(no subject)

2017-Mar-20, Monday 17:36
splodgenoodles: (Default)
[personal profile] splodgenoodles
So here I am, sleepy as all get out, trying to get my act together.

Wait, I'm sure I've done this before.

The trying, that is. Not necessarily the achievement. Except occasionally.

I want to hang a bunch of pictures. I've got some lovely stuff but the actual business of putting it on the wall? Tricky. I have a drill, I have (discreetly) marked where the studs are, I have hooks and I have a brilliantly safe and sturdy ladder. What I don't have is someone to help me work out exactly where each picture should go before I start having at the plasterboard. I really need Eldest Brother for this. Not just for the physical side (because it's easier for him than me) but because he didn't get a degree in art without developing a very good eye for eye based things and is very helpful when it comes to deciding where things should go for best effect.

That last paragraph made perfect sense, I'm sure. I'm not going back to check for fear I might get lost.

Sociable weekend

2017-Mar-19, Sunday 15:01
azurelunatic: (Pacifica)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Friday: I woke up at a sensible hour, and did housework. Purple emailed me about the afternoon's beer bash, and I collected myself to go to that. I was running a little late, but made it at last, just before Purple arrived himself. I ran into a few people, and saw people from my old team sitting around the fire pit.

I collected with them there, and Purple soon joined me.

One of my old team had been going through some significant personal changes; she talked a little about that. I gave her reciprocal information, and my card with my real name, and the information to join the tech-slack. (Later, I would ping a former colleague who had done some pioneering work on that process in this workplace, and thank her, since it sounded like my old teammate had gone through a much better experience with the workplace bureaucracy than the former colleague had.)

She and Purple proceeded to talk synthesizer projects until she left to catch her train.

I will need to email my old manager about when to visit in the next few weeks.

The food offerings were surprisingly edible for the context. It was corned beef and cabbage sandwiches with slightly inexplicably rubbery rolls, some under-fried potato-and-cabbage fried things (tasty, but with the consistency of glue), various very green vegetables (cucumber, peas, broccoli, asparagus, and possibly more), cheese soup, and ... green hummus. No green beer, though.

It was a gorgeous evening, not quite too warm. We were joined by the Scruffy Canadian briefly. Someone who I thought might be the Cute Receptionist wandered by. Since I'd missed connecting with her the last time I thought I saw her, when she got close enough I called the name. In case it was her.

It was her. We caught up a bit. Purple teased me.

We hailed lb as he was headed out of the office with his deep dish pizza leftovers. There was a good chat, including some wtf-ery over a github thread that a new arrival in channel had shared (and participated in). There are some statements, such as "An SJW's work is never done", which have radically different meanings based on the context of the person who said it, and since we don't know them that well yet, we are uncertain whether this person is working for the greater good, or complaining about people working for the greater good.

There were dinner plans. I nearly accidentally left my phone in Purple's office until it tweeted.

Dinner was nice. We really should go to the Thai restaurant near the Trader Joe's more often, since it's delicious, close, and reasonably priced. Despite the bell peppers, prawns, and peanuts in nearly everything. (I am attempting to figure out whether peanuts take the surface of my mouth off the way walnuts do, because that would just be ... perfect.)

The Signal app has resolved some of its issues for voice calls, and my partner and I were able to talk nearly all the way home. It only cut out at the place that still gets me a lot on regular network calls, where 35 joins 280 by San Andreas Lake.

It's lovely to say a sleepy goodnight to my partner as we both settle into our beds, and go to sleep with the connection open, knowing that the other is there. I swapped my old Douchebag Headphone (the around-the-neck model with the earbuds) for one that purportedly connects to two devices automatically (it did not, but it wasn't a downgrade) and thus my partner got my old one. (It so happens that I'm the one who digs leading-edge tech, and they like to squeeze every last drop of usefulness out of old tech, so we are an excellent pair there.) They are enjoying it. I was delighted when I saw them in it, because the colors are accidentally representative of both of our favorites.


Saturday started out quietly, with various audio and video chat. One of the video chat things was marred by no helpful audio coming through from the other end; I should have reset when I noticed that it wasn't doing so well.

A friend just had some technically-minor surgery, and I had made plans to go over and say hello and congratulate this weekend. There was a little bit of plan-changing, but in the end I went over there in the afternoon and said hello and such. My aunt had stopped by with some fabric for me and some cashew butter for them. Due to the placement of the surgery, we kept ourselves to heartfelt arm-clasps and some back-patting.

When I got back down to the street, I discovered that a Very Large Pickup Truck had pulled up alongside me with its hazard lights on. Unfortunately, the driver was nowhere in sight, and I wasn't sure if I had enough room to pull out. (I was parallel parked, with a sedan nearly touching my bumper in the back, and a Prius a good distance in front of me, and less than a car length of space on the diagonal to get out.) I decided that I would make one try at it, and if I didn't have clearance that I was comfortable with, I would stop and wait for the driver to return.

It turned out that even though I think there was only one foot of clearance on each side, I was able to get out. (My partner cheered me on.)

I wound up picking up dinner on my way home. They did manage to get my order wrong, although in a different way to what I thought: I thought they'd gotten the wrong thing to the right receipt entry; they had in fact gotten the order entirely wrong from the receipt on down. The replacement was also subtly wrong, but I was not going to argue at that point. (My partner, who had been on the phone the entire time, heard my order and was able to verify that if it was a hallucination that I'd said that, it was a shared hallucination.)


The calendar sharing is going well so far.

There had been an incident. (My partner and I arranged a date; it hadn't gone in their calendar because they thought they'd remember it. Unfortunately, three people managed to step square in each other's complicated traumas, and it took a while to recover. With a lot of communication and crying.) After that, I shared my social calendar with my partner (not the full-on calendar with the specifics on the doctor appointments and such). I also shared the "shadow calendar" I'd made for them, the one that has their work schedule and all the stuff that they tell me about when we're planning our weeks. It's not yet time for us to share a single social calendar.

My partner has shared that calendar on with the friends they're staying with until the situation with the ex gets cleared up. They're not quite comfortable sharing it with others ... just yet. That may change, as the weeks go on.

Today, I'm setting up the week to come, and doing the various communication that goes with it. It's not sexy or glamorous, but it's the little bits of caring contact that helps sustain a relationship. I have to remember to translate the four to five calendar entries that make up one doctor-type appointment into a single block in the social time, ideally when entering it, but at minimum when setting up the week to come.

My attention deficit disorder was diagnosed in the fall of 2015. For a while, I'm not sure exactly how long, I've had to start with the actual time of the actual event I'm going to, and schedule backwards and forwards from that, in order to make sure I have a fair chance of getting there on time and in good order.

First I enter the event, with its actual duration.

Then I figure out where I'm going to be before the event, and figure out how long it takes me to get to that place from the place I am going to be before that. (It usually takes me an hour or so to get from home to any given place in the city of San Francisco; 45 minutes to get to old-work; an hour to get further down-peninsula; anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour to get across the Bay.) I make a separate calendar entry for the transit time, with a little wiggle room.

I figure out where the next place I need to be is, and I do the same thing for that side.

I then give myself an hour's notice to start getting ready, even if I'm scheduled for something else at that time.

If it looks like it's close to my likely sleep time, I count back an hour further and allocate that as wake-up time. (If I haven't slept enough, I will use the wake-up time for an extra hour of sleep, and try to do any complicated prep the night before. Using a checklist, if possible. Sometimes this warrants an entry of its own.)

If it's early enough, I will count back eight hours from the wake time, and schedule that as sleep.
When it's a scheduled sleep time, I will have to schedule myself a bedtime reminder, which is an hour before sleep.

Sometimes, there's a chance that events will run long. In the case of my regular dentist, they've been known to run an hour late. So for them, I schedule in that buffer time. Just in case.

If it's a doctor appointment, the actual appointment goes in my bright red non-negotiable deadlines calendar, and all the ancillary things get in my main calendar. If it's not a doctor or similar, the main event goes directly in my personal calendar.

When it's something that's going to affect my social calendar, the fore and aft transit times and the event itself get globbed into one block of time that I'm unavailable for other events. Since my social calendar can be shared with people who don't need any personal details, unless it's a public(-ish) event, it gets described in vague terms. Dr. X at this address on this floor for this purpose gets vague-ed into "Doctor Appointment."

Stuff in my partner's shadow calendar get vague-ed up the same way. Why yes, my partner is going to X event at Y venue, there is a topic, and they're going with Z. That is "With Z at [vague description]." Or "Date with Z." Before my partner shared the calendar with their hosts, I scrubbed back through and edited a few items that I'd put on there, which had a little too much detail for general consumption. Even so, their hosts were clearly reading through past events, because I overheard Ms. Documentation read out the title of one (with some questions), and I promptly collapsed in giggles. Oh, dear.


There are two current crocheting projects, one of them started a while back. The older one is the penis-based sex ed hat, a sequel to the vagina-based one. So far I have urethra, bladder, glans, some ductwork, and I need to stuff the first testicle before I can close it up. (The testicle is blue, naturally.) I will probably put a drawstring or something on the scrotum so the testes can be examined easily.

The other one is a lace nightgown out of black #10 crochet-cotton thread. I'm putting #6 clear blue-green iris beads on it here and there. We'll see how long I take to finish that one. The beads are in a narrow prescription bottle that fits nicely inside the ball of thread.

I have been going back to paper to-do lists for daily use, and attempting to scan them into my image archives. I've started dating them so I have a better idea of how things went. It's been a fairly reasonable system for reminding me of what I need to get done, and I can move things forward in a helpful way. Sometimes I start pages ahead of time for stuff that needs to be done on a specific date.


After a week and a half of the new meds, I am encouraged at what they're doing with my sleep. That may wind up being a separate entry.

RPG developments, Work developments

2017-Mar-19, Sunday 00:02
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
After having added another six thousand words this week, I have released a very rough draft of Papers & Paychecks, and posted an update for the project. The book is now 18 days overdue, and whilst I know that Kickstarters do have an almost assumed lateness in them, my inner project manager is screaming at me about being on-time. Still, I have completed pretty much all the core components and what really needs to be done is equipment lists, sample NPCs etc. In addition this I have made a solid start on the next issue of RPG Review with several thousand words done there as well. Friday night played Eclipse Phase with our international group with Think Before Asking; a superb ending of dramatic action with all the sort of paranoia that environment engenders. Tonight took some time out to visit Brendan E., for our regular dose of good popular culture; this time it was several episodes of Ash vs Evil Dead : Season 2 (look at that, 100% on the Tomatometer).

Whilst these activities have pretty much taken all my evening time, the days has been equally busy. There has been some preparations for the annual assignment and HPC lecture for Cluster and Cloud Computing. In addition there is an HPC for Economists course that is being prepared, a new round of general HPC courses, and preparations for ISC Frankfurt. In addition to that there was a steady flurry of interesting software installs this week, including a new version of ORCA which does ab initio quantum chemistry (finally, new MPI bindings!), and the Biopython suite. There has also been reports for the technical working groups on the upcoming upgrades for research compute facilities at the University. All in all, it's been quite the week.

(no subject)

2017-Mar-17, Friday 09:24
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Doc thinks the abdominal pain/bloody urine is due to a UTI (not a bladder/kidney stone) and is sending me over to pee in a cup at the lab! Whee.

Cats!

2017-Mar-16, Thursday 23:24
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
I also realized I had not introduced you all to the new feline occupant of the house!

Meet Thea:

Thea lounging on the vet counter, fresh out of fucks to give

So, [personal profile] without_me retweeted a tweet a friend of hers had made, looking for a new home for a friendly former-feral whose human had died and who was living on the streets being intermittently fed by the neighbor. [twitter.com profile] detachment_red hadn't been involved in that, but was looking for a new home for her, since the neighbor apparently wanted to stop feeding the cat and was going to just leave her roaming the neighborhood. (Special place in hell, etc.) Alas, she already had a cat who needs to be an only! So, to Twitter she turned.

Sarah and I had agreed that after losing our three boys in the space of a year, and since Ginny, Ruth, and Naomi had settled down into a comfortable balance, we weren't looking for another cat, but fortunately, Sarah understands that sometimes Twitter just hands you a cat. ([personal profile] without_me has confirmed that she specifically RT'd it because she knew I'd see it. It's like I'm a well known sucker or something.) We picked up the cat the next day and took her straight up to the vet's, where she promptly (and accurately) identified us as suckers and got a head start on the snuggles:

Thea crawls into my lap during her first vet visit

This is less than an hour after we met her, btw. I'm just saying. It's important that you allow a new cat to acclimate to you in her own time and don't force your attentions on them. entirely too many cat pictures )

We're not yet seriously going to start worrying about her inability to get along with Ginny/Ruth/Naomi (who have all been curious but very well behaved about the strange cat in the house) or her tendency to charge at the door whenever she sees/hears one of the others on the other side of it. Our current hope is that the pain from the teeth fuckery is affecting her temperament and she'll mellow the fuck out once we get the teeth treated. She's sweet as hell to humans (occasional nip aside, and we've got that mostly trained out of her by now), at least, barring the time she was charging at Ginny and Sarah got in the way and got clawed to shit for it. ("I swear I'm not self-harming," she had to tell the new doctor she was seeing this week. "We just adopted a new cat. Which can be kind of like a form of self harm, if you think about it...wait, it was my wife's idea, I guess that makes it domestic abuse.") All she wants to do is be in your lap! Until she gets tired of being petted and bites you instead of jumping down and walking away, heh.

Her name with her last human was Missy, but we didn't think it suited; after a week or so of trying everything under the sun, we settled on Thea.

I really, really hope we can mellow her out enough to keep her, and that it's not a case of "must be the only cat in the household"! I mean, come on, look at this fucking adorable sweetheart of a face:

Thea, sacked out in my lap (and snoring)

(If she does turn out to need to be an only, I'm going to try to talk my mom into taking her -- Mom's been missing having a cat lately since their last one died last year -- but if I can't convince her, I may put out the call to see if anyone can give this precious baby a home where she'd be the only cat. But that's borrowing trouble at this point! There was sniffing through the cracked door today and only a little attempted murder...)

Cottesloe Sculpture by the Sea 2017

2017-Mar-17, Friday 11:48
leecetheartist: A lime green dragon head, with twin horns, and red trim. Very gentle looking, with a couple spirals of smoke from nose. (Default)
[personal profile] leecetheartist
Some fine pieces this year. It's on until Sunday if you want to catch it. Amberjack's does very nice gluten free grilled Spanish Mackeral and Chips.

Lei Huan - Narration of the Sea. A Stained Glass Nautilus. 

Lei Huan's lovely Narration of the Sea got a lot of attention.

Top of the morning to you.

2017-Mar-17, Friday 11:40
leecetheartist: A lime green dragon head, with twin horns, and red trim. Very gentle looking, with a couple spirals of smoke from nose. (Default)
[personal profile] leecetheartist
 Happy St Patrick's Day, Dad.

mutter mutter mutter

2017-Mar-16, Thursday 22:16
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
"Fucking bodies" TMI muttering behind the cut )

Oh, and for those who follow me on Twitter ([twitter.com profile] rahaeli) and saw me marveling about how my e-chart showed a call to my specialist Friday morning post-surgery, after which I suddenly got better pain meds (read: actual pain meds, not "barely the level of pain meds I take on a daily basis"): I had the monthly visit with the specialist yesterday, and asked about it! Turns out they did not actually call down to verify with her that I wasn't a drugseeking addict, after all: the call was actually Thursday afternoon, not Friday morning when I was happening to the nurse over pain management.

What it actually was, though, is not necessarily more reassuring: it was the anesthesiologist calling her to find out what CYP2D6 ultra-rapid metabolism was. (The call notes apparently included the phrase "when we called back, he said he had already found information on Google".) CYP2D6, for those who don't know, is the liver enzyme that processes a large number of the drugs we use in modern medicine; it's produced by a cytochrome in the liver that has high variability in populations, and some people produce none of the enzyme and some people produce a whole lot of it. (I produce a whole lot of it.) My particular mutation means that I process most drugs very fucking quickly, and require very high dosages of anything that's metabolized by CYP2D6 and weird dose schedules for anything where it's the metabolite that actually has an effect, rather than the substance itself.

Something like 25% of the drugs we use in modern medicine are processed by CYP2D6, including pretty much every drug used in anesthesia, and while there's very wide phenotypical variation among populations and racial groups, estimates range anywhere from 20% to 40% of the population has some non-standard expression of the genes that code for it. It is the sort of thing an anesthesiologist ought to consider basic fucking fundamental knowledge, basically, and this dude had no fucking clue what I was talking about. Like, the last time I went for surgery, I specifically asked the anesthesiologist (who'd also done the surgery before that and managed to get it perfect) what I should tell future anesthesiologists to make sure that shit got handled, and she said "oh, just tell them you're a 2D6 ultra-rapid metabolizer, that'll be enough for anyone."

(No, it's not just that I was using the wrong vocabulary. I tried a few different ways of explaining it.)

But hey, I didn't wake up on the table and I did wake up once I was in recovery, so I guess it all worked out in the end. (Definitely asking for a different anesthesiologist if I have surgery at that hospital again, though, oi.)

Meh

2017-Mar-16, Thursday 21:51
rbarclay: (Default)
[personal profile] rbarclay
Week before last, my back acted up again. Had to stay home for a day, practically immobile and get painkillers. Cycling was out of the question.
Then I catched a serious cold. Went to the doc again, and got antibiotics&anti-inflammatory drugs because of a possible accompanying lung infection. The latter of which instantly cured the back-ache. Yay. Was still living on the couch under a load of blanketsfor a week.

Anyway, the returning back trouble made me think of better suspension for the bicycle again. After much deliberation and asking around d.r.f, I've now ordered a Thudbuster LT seatpost. On the basis of "it's probably best-of-breed, and at least shoudn't make anything worse".

2017 - #28, "Revenger", Alastair Reynolds

2017-Mar-16, Thursday 19:23
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

This is an odd one. Eminently readable, but odd. Definitely "far future", realistic (at least of sorts) space travel, aliens (mostly, but not completely, off-stage) and Deep History.

I quite enjoyed it on a first read-through. I wouldn't mind reading more in the same setting. But I can't really say what it reminds me of. Possibly Terminal World, maybe.

2017 - #27, "Project Elfhome", Wen Spencer

2017-Mar-16, Thursday 19:20
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

This is another in Spencer's Elfhome (or possibly Tinker) series. It's basically a collection of character sketches, shorts, a novella or two and a couple of what-ifs, mostly spanning the time passed in the first three volumes of the series, but with a few "well into the past" segments.

definitely readable, if you've liked previous works in the series. Probably does not stand alone, at all.
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

Humans want absolute certainty, and they will fold, spindle, and mutilate other human beings to get that illusion of perfect consistency.

The easiest example of that is politeness.

Politeness is, on the surface, an awesome idea. People get stressed because they have a terror of offending people – what if you say the wrong thing and make them mad at you? Suddenly, every meeting with a new person is this wild gamble – what conversational topics will offend them? What level of bodily contact will they find acceptable, whether that’s a hug or a handshake or a stiff nod? When is it okay to introduce yourself?

Every time you meet someone new, it’s a roll of the dice. You might insult someone. You might actually make the wrong decision and have someone loathe you – which is scary! (And if you have social anxiety, you probably feel those odds keener than other people do.)

Enter politeness – a social construct where we all agree on weird things like, “When you meet people, you should shake hands and say ‘hello,’ and then talk about neutral topics like the weather.”

Basically, politeness is a way of reducing the uncertainty in social interactions. If everyone around you knows the standards of politeness, then “Doing what’s expected” will lead to positive reactions more often than not.

And if you run into someone who’s germaphobic and thus doesn’t shake hands, they should – in theory – understand that you meant no harm by offering the handshake, it’s just customary. At which point, in an ideal and sane world, you can override the generic standards of politeness with that person’s personal stated preferences.

Which is a sane, wonderful thing to do! Basically, every around you quietly agrees on a set number of actions you undertake until you know someone better, at which point you quietly switch from the I-don’t-know-you-that-well mode default behavior and into the oh-yes-we’ve-met behaviors.

(It gets a little awkward if someone doesn’t know the local rules of politeness, but there’s no universal fix for these sorts of issues.)

Politeness changes the odds. Maybe once there was like a 40% chance of total awkwardness if you talked to a stranger, but shared conventions reduced that chance to 5%.

Which is awesome. I am totally in favor of reducing awkwardness wherever possible.

Yet here’s the folding, spindling, and mutilating bit: people will get so attached to the reduction of uncertainty that politeness brings them that they’ll start to prioritize the rules over people.

The easiest example of that is “Merry Christmas.”

Time was that saying “Merry Christmas” was a social construct that provided an illusion of consistency. When the snow was falling and the Christmas trees were up, you could say “Merry Christmas!” to anyone while you were out shopping and people were socially obligated to smile back at you.

Now, keep in mind that not everyone wanted to smile back at you. People who were Jewish may have felt understandably pissy that saying “Merry Christmas!” meant that non-believers were required to translate your holiday greeting into a generic sentiment of “Good wishes!” – but if you said “Happy Hanukkah!” to someone instead, suddenly some significant percentage of Christians would get furious because they were not obligated to translate Jewish sentiments into generic good wishes. (And God forbid a black man said something to an unsuspecting white person about Kwanzaa.)

Likewise, there’s people who don’t think of Christmas as a positive event, and so to them wishing people Merry Christmas is akin to affirming other people’s
sick habits of spending themselves into bankruptcy for no good reason. Yet the social constructs of politeness required them to say it back, or they were the dick.

And yet, over the years, that definition of politeness has quietly changed. A significant number of people have come to realize that whoah, actually, this whole “Merry Christmas” thing can be a little unfair and obscuring of non-Christmas-having faiths. So “Happy Holidays!” became the default.

And people

lost

their

shit.

And the interesting thing is that most of these folks probably aren’t really upset about “Merry Christmas” as such. What they’re actually upset about is that at one point the odds of offending someone with a jaunty “Merry Christmas!” were so low that they never even had to think about it, and suddenly those odds have changed.

Now there’s some 10% chance that saying “Merry Christmas!” might be met with an implication that they’re the dick. They’re fretting all the time because their formerly sure-fire greeting has a chance of misfire… and they fucking hate that.

And rather than saying, “Oh, wow, every social interaction (no matter how minor) has some percentage of going awry, and circumstances have changed so that people are free to express a distress they’ve always actually held and yet were constrained by social constructs until now, so maybe I should alter my behavior to lower my risk of offense in the future”….

These people weaponize politeness by saying, “ANYONE WHO DOESN’T FOLLOW THE RULES I GREW UP LEARNING IS AN OVERLY-SENSITIVE ASSHOLE.”

In other words, they’re willing to fold, spindle, and mutilate other human beings’ emotions so long as they get to hold on to this precious idea that “following this rule means nobody can be mean to me ever.”

But the truth is this: there’s no interaction you can have that doesn’t risk offending someone somewhere. Every time you speak is a gamble – you can minimize that risk with politeness, and clarity of speaking, and knowing who you’re speaking to, but every time you open your mouth you might hurt someone’s feelings.

And the proper answer to that is not “Well, fuck all those people” or “Please shut the hell up for my convenience” but to accept that communication is not a certainty, and to accept that risk of accidental injury, and to look at every situation individually to decide whether that person is justified in being hurt or whether you think they’re being unreasonable. (Because sometimes, yes, they’re being unreasonable.)

And you see that certainty everywhere – here’s the young guys getting furious because they followed the rules their older friends taught them to pick up women at a bar, and the women who that patter doesn’t work on are “bitches.” Here’s the people who are furious because the terms for trans people and black people keep transforming (in part because people keep turning the mere names for these states of being into an insult, but that’s another essay for another time), and they’re furious because dammit they should be able to learn one term always and never have to change it ever again. Here’s the Baby Boomers who are furious because they got taught to say “You’re welcome” and the Millennials say “No problem” instead and that makes them feel awkward even if the Millennials don’t mean it as awkward so you Millennials stop saying that right now it’s rude.

But here’s the trick: Prioritize people over rules whenever possible. You can’t do it all the time, because “people” are not a uniform mass and someone risks getting offended whatever you do. (I keep seeing various minorities standing up and speaking for all their fellow minorities as if they were a hive mind, only to be snarled up by debates from very visible and very dissenting other members of that minority culture.)

But you know, realize that any idea you have of “If I do this, I’ll never offend anyone” is a lie that you’re telling yourself in order to make you feel comfortable. Recognize that this lie suppresses people in order to perpetuate an illusion that does not, in fact, exist.

Recognize that you’re always risking discomfort when you talk to people. And that’s okay. You shouldn’t need certainty to thrive, because it doesn’t really exist anyway.

Be comfortable with percentages instead of certainty.

Well, be as comfortable as you can.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

Inversions

2017-Mar-16, Thursday 07:05
pvaneynd: (Default)
[personal profile] pvaneynd
Yesterday I was watching 'an historic' event (the results of the Dutch elections) on a 'Facebook live' feed from the local state television station on my smart phone, while our son was watching youtube on the big TV in the living room...

Opticians

2017-Mar-15, Wednesday 17:02
damerell: NetHack. (normal)
[personal profile] damerell
Dear Lazyweb, if you live in Cambridge and go to an optician, who is it and are they annoying? Thanks.
rosefox: Me laughing joyfully. (joyous)
[personal profile] rosefox
Five things make a post.

1) First, the ending. Long Hidden goes out of print on May 9th. *sob* The last copies are being sold at a steep discount, with proceeds partially benefiting We Need Diverse Books. You can get discounted copies of Hidden Youth while you're there. Go help Bart and Kay clean out their warehouse while they're still allowed to sell the books! All details at that link.

2) Now, the beginnings. J has a new job! He got laid off at the end of last year and the last few months have been challenging. We are all very super excited that his nonstop hustle has landed him an excellent gig doing work he enjoys at a company he likes for good money.

3) X got a bonus and a raise! They inch ever closer to being paid what they deserve.

4) I joined a Slack for queer writers (if you want to join, let me know! All I need is your email address and i can add you) and it's been amaaaaazing for my productivity. People do 20-minute productivity sprints and then share snippets of their work and praise/critique one another in very supportive ways. Sometimes I use the sprints for day job work and sometimes for writing. I've outlined both my novels and passed the 10k mark on Valour Advances the Man (though a good chunk of that is in scenes that probably won't make it into the book but shhhhh), which is my current focus project. I haven't forgotten the Persuasion retelling but it's on the back burner right now. They'll inevitably swap at some point. I'm just so pleased to be writing! And it feels so good!

5) I reworked my Story Hospital Patreon tiers and got more people into Story Hospital Slack, hooray! Now to figure out how to keep conversations going in there. For some reason they just don't catch fire. I will probably be better at that once I'm over this rotten stinking head cold.

6) Bonus sixth thing: the DST changeover happened and I didn't hate it nearly as much as I usually do, probably because I slept 11 hours that night to try to shake the cold. (Didn't work, alas.) Kit's body clock is on the same schedule, of course, so now they're going to sleep at 9 and waking up at 7 and it's WONDERFUL. They have dinner with us! J gets to sleep in instead of waking up at 5! Not sure what we'll do in the fall when the clocks go back but for now we're just enjoying this.

Hugo Nominees

2017-Mar-15, Wednesday 10:38
leecetheartist: A lime green dragon head, with twin horns, and red trim. Very gentle looking, with a couple spirals of smoke from nose. (Default)
[personal profile] leecetheartist
So I've got a few days until the nominations are finalised. I'm impressed by the way they get you to submit them - excellent for last minute discoveries and changes of mind.

rattfan on Dreamwidth lent me Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman - damn fine read so that's one of the ones I'm putting up.

The Liaden books, both series and the most recent novel and some other series I've been enjoying. I'm delighted to have found the Raksura series available on Overdrive through the library online system.

Stranger Things which while on the edge of bearable watching for me - just so tense - I've put up too. This is a gem. I've got some others but this one is really good to my mind.

What would you nominate? There's probably stuff I've forgotten, maybe you'll remind me. I've no idea for the new author - I read so many...

 

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