G'day Changi.

2017-Aug-17, Thursday 12:24
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
Nice thunderstorm. Dunno if it'll affect the flight.

nk jemisin's fifth season has been

2017-Aug-17, Thursday 01:26
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
optioned by tnt Its gonna be a TV SERIES!!!

I am SO happy!

Medical, Shmedical.

2017-Aug-17, Thursday 14:33
splodgenoodles: (Default)
[personal profile] splodgenoodles
Details )

I've been contemplating the fact of next week's timetable: I have a sleep study overnight on Wednesday and this nerve block on the Friday. And two more medical appointments the week after that....and on it goes with more appointments.

I feel stretched by the simple fact of all these excursions, even without the unexpected back problem, and I am not sure how I'll react if/when something else pops up.

And every so often the implications of All This tend to weigh me down. A bunch of physical problems which rather ironically appear to be unconnected to each other, and unconnected to the thing that disables me for which there is no treatment and no obvious visual signs. My body is breaking down.

I'm shifting my attention away from this stuff as much as I can, but it is a hell of a juggling act.
shanaqui: Sora from Kingdom Hearts. Text: running out of time. ((Sora) Time)
[personal profile] shanaqui
Just removed access/subscriptions from a couple of people I haven't talked to in ages and who didn't subscribe back. Then I looked at my list and felt some despair, because I want to sort out more of that stuff and tidy up my userinfo, and it looks like effort.

Effort is hard.

So if I mistakenly removed you and you do drop by here, or you just like following what I'm up to, or I never gave you access when I said I would, or whatever, let me know.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

Third and most probably final volume of Kress' Probability series. Starts about, oh, 2-3 years after Probability Sun. Again, features and ensemble cast. Again, I can't say jack without spoiling the previous volumes.

And, possibly boringly, again eminently readable.

On the up-side, I am now caught up to "now", having carefully rationed up the last week-and-a-half's write-ups over two days. Go me!
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

The sequel of Probability Moon in what I have chosen to call (don't recall if there's a proper name) Kress' Probability series.

We continue the multi-viewpoint narrative, as a group of intrepid scientists (and military) return to World, where they expect to be solidly classed as "unreal". Things happen, science is done, setting the scene for the third book of the series.

I wish there was anything cogent I could say about this that would not simply be stomping all over the reading of #1 in the series, but that's pretty much it.

Still, a rather pleasant read, all things considered.

I am so very grumpy today.

2017-Aug-15, Tuesday 17:49
splodgenoodles: (Default)
[personal profile] splodgenoodles
No really. I am.

Far too much crap this week.

And oh, my left leg's going numb so I have to see an ortho next week. It's excruciatingly painful when I get up in the morning, and now I'm getting a big ol' numb area.

The cause is most likely the bulging disc I've had for a while. Which I couldn't get physio for because I couldn't get to a fucking physio. Now there's nerve involvement. On the plus side, numb is better than painful, although I don't think the medical profession see it that way.

The usual admonition to go to hospital if it gets worse.

Lol. No fucking way. Hospitals are for people who don't have ME/CFS.

~~~

I start Metformin tomorrow for prediabetes.

~~~

I am about to go and attend to my fish. Weekend carer who helps with this couldn't make it, friend who was coming by today to help (and say hi) also had to cancel. Then Eldest Brother, who was coming by to continue some work here, also had to cancel so I couldn't ask him.

I am taking this as a sign that I need to do it myself. It's okay, I'll do it in half buckets.

~~~

But I really do feel I could do with some better luck.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

It's been a few years since I read this, I think. All in all, eminently readable.

We're flipping between viewpoint characters, sometimes we're following Enli pek Brimmidin (I am now unsure if it's "pek" or "Pek"), a woman from World who's been declared temporarily unreal, for having done unreal things, thus violating Reality.

Sometimes, we're following one of a few Earth scientists, on World, trying to figure out things like "how does shared Reality work" and "that mountain over there is mighty strange, I wonder why". And we also have a bunch of Earth military going "that is not a moon, it's an artefact!"[*].

All in all, eminently readable, happy I decided it was the next to push into the queue.

[*] That may look like, but isn't, a spoiler. You're told this in the first 15-20 pages, IIRC.

What I saw at Worldcon 75

2017-Aug-14, Monday 18:05
ewx: (Default)
[personal profile] ewx
 

Things I attended included...

  • Appeal of the Bland Protagonist. I remember only that Robert Silverberg was fairly entertaining.
  • The Long Term Future of the Universe & How to Avoid It. I don’t think we got as far as proton decay. Entertaining but I don’t think I learned much.
  • Polyamorous Relationships in Fiction. I think a fair few examples given but I don’t really remember much about this.
  • What Science Can Tell Us About Alien Minds. This was largely a very well-pitched survey of what we know about minds and brains and their development here, with the implications for the alien underlined. Excellent.
  • New, More Diverse Superheroes. Something that’s been improving lately. Many of the examples were familiar. Slightly surprised that Vimanarama wasn’t mentioned, it can’t be that obscure?
  • How to Tell the Ducks from the Rabbits. This covered some unpublished research modelling some perceptual effects we find in human vision. Ian Stewart is a good speaker.
  • Cyberpunk and the Future. Fairly rambling but quite entertaining and IIRC avoided the trap of falling into a laundry list of recommendations which can sometimes happen.
  • New Publishing. A couple of models I didn’t know about (though ‘run publisher as a co-operative’ doesn’t seem conceptually new) but I didn’t get a sense that any particular model was about to set the world on fire. Apparently ebook sales are declining as a proportion of the total, which surprised me.
  • Supermassive Black Holes. A quick survey of how black holes work (which didn’t contain many surprises) followed by some new stuff: the GR-aware visualization of a black hole made for Interstellar, corrections to it involving red/blue shifting and the spin of the black hole, a further visualization of what you’d see as you flew into one (assuming you destroyed by any of the many hazards) and a project to radio image out galaxy’s central black hole. Another excellent science talk.
  • Hugo Awards. Very glad to see Monstress winning Best Graphic Story.
  • Beyond the Goldilocks Zone. Panel about the possibilities for exoplanets that sustain life. One point I’d not previously been aware of was that although Europa-style bodies might (hypothetically) have life in sub-ice oceans, there’s no realistic way of detecting this from a distance, meaning that more earth-like planets are a better bet for analysis. (The “goldilocks zone” is the range of distances from a given star in which planets can support liquid water on their surface, making them a good bet for life.)
  • Gender and “Realistic History”. The panel largely surveyed past examples of groups and behaviors sometimes thought to have been absent or rare in the past. Interesting listening.
  • Exoplanetary Zoo and The Search for Earth 2.0. Another excellent science talk, this time on the detection strategies for exoplanets and the results they’ve had so far. There are a lot of exoplanet discoveries awaiting confirmation.
  • Language Creation. David Peterson (famous for the conlangs from Game Of Thrones) described the basics of making a convincing sketch conlang. A very entertaining speaker.
  • The Singularity: Transhuman Intelligence in Fiction and Futurism. An opportunity for Charlie Stross to steal the show. Fun.
  • Bullets in Space. Basic orbital mechanics, done fairly well. The basic proposition is that ballistic projectiles are a terrible idea when fighting in an orbit; if they miss the target they are probably going to hit something you didn’t want them to.
  • Tomorrow’s Cool SF Physics. Enjoyed it but don’t remember anything else about it.
  • Designing Life. Fun discussion of biotechnological possibilities for modifying and creating life.
  • Ideas Crossing the World: Japanese Adaptations of Western Fantasy. In practice I think this mostly amounted to an opportunity for the panellists to entertain with their encyclopaedic knowledge of manga and anime.

...there were other things but I can’t remember enough to say anything about them.

theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

I asked folks what polyamory seminars they’d like me to teach – because I do teach seminars – and got a lot of good suggestions.

Mostly for classes I’m unqualified to teach.

I’m putting this list out here, because I think these are great topics that I’d like to see covered in-depth some day. If these topics are in your wheelhouse, please consider pitching this topic to your local conventions/training sources! And if you do teach them, feel free to leave comments (with dates/locations of your upcoming classes) to spread your wisdom around!

Raising Kids While You’re Polyamorous.
There was an excellent seminar on that at Beyond the Love a couple of years ago, but it was focused on raising kids in a poly commune. Never having raised kids while poly, I’d love to hear more tips and tricks about balancing privacy, childrens’ safety, and potential legal concerns.

Effective Polyamorous Communes.
I’ve seen a lot of poly groups move in together. Most of ’em fell apart shortly thereafter. I’d love to see a discussion of best practices on how to handle finances, romances, etc in a close-contact environment. Bonus if you’re not an extrovert and can tell us introverts how to survive.

Polyamorous Legal Concerns.
Wills and living arrangements and marriages, wow! I’m totally not a lawyer, but this would be a fascinating topic for a professional who’s specialized in these topics.  (I suspect this would only be useful on a state level, but hey.)

Scheduling.
You’d think I’d be good at scheduling, with my many partners, but the truth is that they’re good enough at scheduling to cover for my manifest weaknesses. I’d love to see someone(s) discuss how to schedule time effectively, how to handle conflict in events, how to reserve enough time for each partner who needs it (including you), etc.

Forging Better Bonds With Metamours.
Some of the most stressful situations in poly involve your partner’s partners – and all too often they’re seen as either your BEST FRIENDS EVER or alien beasts you beam communications through a third party to. I’d love to see a class from someone with a long history of effectively communicating with people on the other side of their lovers.

Now, if any of those classes seem like something you could cohere a 50-minute talk on, I’ll note that The Geeky Kink Event is taking applications for November, and though Beyond The Love’s presentation window has just closed, they do have lunchtime pop-up seminars and maybe you might wanna talk to them.

And if you have any questions on teaching, ask me! It’s both simpler and more complex than you think. But not enough qualified people do it.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

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

This is an entry out of sequence, but there's too much to clean up to make it worth sorting numbers out, sorry.

Where was I? Ah, yes, this is set in the same fictional universe as Seeing Red, but takes a completely different tack. We follow a young woman, who after a very mysterious aviation accident find herself not at ALL in her familiar Australia, but in a hilly, rain-foresty elsewhere. Adventure and perhaps a little romance happens, and so forth.

I suspect it's one of those that grow with repetitions, but even so I found it quite readable with a sense of "OK, now what?" when over and a "just a few more pages..." when reading.

Claims to be a first in the (sub?) series it's in, Return of the Aghyrians.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

Second book in Mckenna's Tales of Einarinn series. We continue the narrative style from installment #1, where we have a primary POV character using the first person and occasionally having other viewpoint characters, where the third person is used.

I am in a little bit of "catch-up" mode at the moment, but essentially this was pretty good reading. Perhaps not surprising, as I'm re-reading it. I would hesitantly recommend starting with the first book, but I think this would work just fine as an entry-point.

NK Jemisin won best novel at the Hugos

2017-Aug-13, Sunday 15:49
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
and I am here for it. Ava Duvernay is adapting one of Octavia Butler's books "Dawn" for tv and I am here for it. And "Black America" is coming from Aaron MacGruder and I am here for it. And there will be wine this evening and I am here for that too.

this week has been

2017-Aug-13, Sunday 15:44
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
pretty good on the personal front, if a bit busy. But on the world front there be nazis marching and that nitwit in the white house trying his best to fuck us over and a general ramp up of fear and loathing. I need to read hope in the dark again.  A big thank you and strength to all who are resisting the rise of fascism in our country. may those efforts prevent us from falling off the cliff. there has got to be a country that stopped this shit before the genocides right?

I did some writing this week. havent counted it yet, but  there were words. i need to learn to manage my time more effectively now so i will be getting the seven habits of effective teens workbook as soon as i have some cash.

One year of cycling, installment #2

2017-Aug-13, Sunday 13:25
rbarclay: (rad)
[personal profile] rbarclay
For background look here.

Anyway: 6,092.2km, €0.58/km.

Glacier

2017-Aug-12, Saturday 22:17
azurelunatic: The (old) Tacoma Narrows Bridge, intact but twisted. (disaster waiting to happen)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
I feel very much like I'm talking about the things that don't matter, but the things that matter very much are private and inward and delicate, and to share such things widely would not be the done thing.

So: life bits, in passing.

The freezer (the thinner, left, door of the two-doored refrigerator) has had ice on the bottom -- at first just a little bit, and a few cubes that had fallen out of the ice maker -- for a while. We've had "de-glacier the freezer" on the to-do list for a while.

This morning (I think?) it hit critical, while I was -- ah, yes, it was this morning, because I was retrieving the frozen vegetables that I'd use in lunch -- searching around for something that turned out to be in the bottom drawer.

The drawers in this freezer are wire baskets with snap-on (and fall-off) plastic fronts. The bottom drawer was blocked from pulling out because the ice on the bottom was too high.

I grumbled, laid down the kitchen utility towel (one of the old ones with fraying and maybe a hole or two) and grabbed a knife for ice-pick duty. (My partner was unavailable for help, on some other unspecifiable but definitely important mission of internet mercy. Godspeed, friend.) Anyway, it would probably not have benefitted from two people. So I whacked at the ice for a while, and got it mostly on the towel. I tugged at the drawer.

The drawer shot out with surprising ease, given the big chunk of ice still attached to the bottom. I had words. I went for the cooler-bag.

It turned out that the ice sheet was attached to the basket by only a few wires, and once I figured out how to get it in the sink at the right angle, I was able to use hot water to get the ice off those wires. I left the larger sheet in the sink to thaw and drop its inclusions all over the sink, like boulders on a cleanly carved valley.

The ice had come out in one piece. There was still a little coming down the slanted surface of the bottom back, and a little more below the vent that disperses cold air or something. I swiped it out with a different kitchen towel that was due to be washed soon anyway, and reported back to my partner (after they emerged from their task).

The stuff went back in, a little more organized than it had come out, with a few things put in the fridge to thaw.

A generous double handful of the frozen mixed vegetables went in the frying pan, along with some bacon and potato. It would be slowly cooked into glorious lunch with cheese. A proper weekend brunch sort of item.

I found the strawberries I'd put aside when I got the big thing of them, frozen into a sullen frisbee sort of shape in the bottom of the round container. I pondered, tried chopping into it with a not-big-enough knife, then the brainstorm hit. I retrieved the largest of the melamine bowls (the ones with the lids) and popped the disc in.

Then I shook it.

A whole bunch of frozen strawberries make some gawdawful noise, being rattled like rocks against a hard surface, but it does tend to break them apart quite handily. I liberated a few to chuck in the food processor (an attachment for my stick blender, which I finally found at some late point in the packing, so it went in my Bachelor Kitchen Box) to turn into dust to grace the top of the lemon jelly. (Lemon jello plus shreds of frozen strawberry? RECOMMENDED.)

I also got some mending done this morning. There are some shirts that need their necks re-hemmed, plus under-layer shorts that had started blowing out at the crotch but were still otherwise in good shape. I had found one of the dismangled (a typo, but I'm keeping it) pairs of shorts, and sacrificed it for patches.

I will need to either repair my sewing machine (I dropped it while trying to get it set up) or locate the Sidewinder. The sewing machine still lights up and stitches, but something is awry in the bobbin winder. This is the second sewing machine that I've jacked up such that it won't wind bobbins anymore. Additionally, something else is wrong with the actual bobbin nest -- I believe some plate fell out. So it's harder to load, but at least it does still sew.

Kitten has decided that I am an acceptable surface to sleep on/against, and has started doing just that. It's cute, until I need to move, at which point she meows accusingly. Sometimes she settles back against me, and sometimes she stalks off and sits in her accustomed place on Partner. (Partner sleeps on their back, face up, sometimes guarding their bladder area with their hands against kitten massage even as they sleep.)

Presentations, Gaming, Emotional States

2017-Aug-13, Sunday 12:27
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
The past couple of days have seen two of my proposed presentations accepted by two difference conferences. One is for eResearch Australasia on andragogical methods in teaching high performance computing, which I'll be helped by an HPC educator from Goethe University Frankfurt, and the second being the IEEE eScience conference in New Zealand on cluster-cloud architectures which I'll receive assistance from the HPC group at the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg. In addition, Friday was a particularly good workday as we held a workshop for about a dozen various HPC systadmins from around the university, as part of the massive upgrade to the Spartan system from being a relatively small and experimental system, to one of the most powerful in the world. I effectively have been given the coordinating role for this group and already several good ideas have come out the workshop for improvements and preparations as we integrate a six-rack GPU partition to our existing infrastructure. Apropos I am off to NCI in early September for their HPC course and will be taking the PRACE online supercomputing course to see how they do things.

Yesterday we visited [livejournal.com profile] hathhalla and [livejournal.com profile] ser_pounce for our irregular CheeseQuest and the next chapter of Mice and Mystics, which was not at all successful for the noble rodents. Afterwards played game of Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu, which we prevented the destruction of the world with one turn to spare - it's notably a very quick game. On returning home completed a review of Hunter Planet which will soon be going into RPG Review. I've just been in contact with the original author about my ideas for rules revisions (most of which I tested over 25 yeares ago) and a new scenario implementing Peter Jackson's Bad Taste. I'm also currently writing a version of GURPS Autoduel to fit with the Mad Max series, all of which are contributions to the now late issue of RPG Review.

It is good to able to return to a moderately normal set of topics in life. Previous posts of deaths, funerals, and loss of cognitive functions have been quietly uspetting, despite a calm personal exterior. About twenty years ago a person, who didn't know me that well, was engaged in conversation about motivation and emotions. He used the phrase 'Still waters run deep' to describe me. I appreciated the accurate encapsulation, and indeed have tried cultivate that part of my character (not always successfully). As an obvious variation, I am certainly not the silent type and express my considered views with some abandon. But it is the considered views that I express. I will either ask a question if I don't know something or I will make proposition if I am fairly certain of something. It is part of my recognition (and I do lay claim to coining this phrase) that deeply considered convictions are better than deeply ingrained prejudices, even if the emotional response is the same.

assigned a value that is never used

2017-Aug-12, Saturday 11:01
bens_dad: (Default)
[personal profile] bens_dad
Whilst writing some (C++) code, to parse a file that I only roughly know the contents of, I have been printing variables at various points in the code.

I realised that this printing was masking the fact that some variables are not being used, so I inserted some conditional code

#ifdef CODE_ANALYSIS
// Printing variables with CPLDebug can hide
// the fact that they are not otherwise used ...
#define CPLDebug(...)
#endif // CODE_ANALYSIS

so that compilers and other code analysers would not see the printing function, so correctly give warnings like:
[VRC.cpp:976]: (style) Variable 'nNotTIS' is assigned a value that is never used.


That was fine. Until I hit this block of code:

if ( this->nMapID == 8 ) {
int nNotTIS = VRReadInt(fp);
CPLDebug("Viewranger",
"Pay as you go; skipping value %d=x%08x before Tile Index",
nNotTIS, nNotTIS); // See * below
nTileIndexStart+=4;
}

The variable nNotTIS *is* only used in the print, but = VRReadInt(fp) has a side effect (moving the file pointer) that is intended. In a strong sense, I do never use value read from the file and the warning is correct.

I think I will add a comment like
// Expect a warning like
// Variable 'nNotTIS' is assigned a value that is never used.
but is there a better option ?


* Unfortunately CPLDebug() does not support %m$ in the format string, eg "... %1$d=x%1$08x ...", so I have to pass nNotTIS twice if I want to see the decimal and hex values.

"Whether the weather is sunshine or rain"

2017-Aug-12, Saturday 02:37
rosefox: a green and white highway sign that says THIS LANE FOR ROSE (driving)
[personal profile] rosefox
We are in the woods. Every summer J's mom comes to the U.S. and stays at her house upstate, and we always spend at least one weekend here with her.

Last year it was our first driving trip as a family and we stressed a lot trying to plan it. This year we had three ready-made shared checklist documents for packing (for the car), packing (for the stay), and prepping the house. I said I wanted to leave by 7:30; at 7:20 we were pulling away from the curb. Flawless. Bonus: we didn't have to bring a portable crib or changing table because we'd already brought them on previous trips.

Last year we drove through beautiful summer sunshine, but the trip took five hours because of wretched traffic. This year we left after dinner, so even though we drove through torrential rain (I very nearly pulled off the highway at a few points) and then amazing thick fog (through which we were guided by a ghost car) it only took abut three hours. I like night driving and I like cutting two hours off our travel time but whew, I-87 is pretty terrible in nighttime rain, with no streetlights and very faded lane markers and water sheeting across the road.

Last year Kit was a perfect travel bean. This year they were also a perfect travel bean. During our mid-drive break for sandwiches and stretching, we took them into a gas station convenience store that they examined with the same serious yet optimistic expression they brought to the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. Then J got them a bag of Goldfish crackers and they were so excited that they hugged it all the way out to the car. Everything is magical when you're a baby.

Last year we got here in the afternoon and Kit was astonished by the trees. TREES. SO MANY. SO TALL. This year we got here at night and a very sleepy Kit was astonished by Glory's collection of teddy bears and other stuffed animals. When they went to bed we had to stop them from pulling every bear within reach into the crib with them (in addition to Toronto and Hug Face, the bears we brought with us).

(One of Glory's bears has similar fur to Toronto's but is a bit bigger and has a snazzy black beret. "Toronto's uncle!" X said. "That must mean Toronto is French-Canadian," I said. The beret bear is now Uncle Georges and I suspect he'll be coming back to the city with us to meet Toronto's recently acquired identical twin [always have a spare of your child's favorite toy/blanket, always always always], whom I tried to name Ottawa but J and X call Toron-two. We are very silly with our bears.)

(Toronto actually has nothing to do with Canada; I call it that because of T.O. for "transitional object". I will never get tired of this joke. Hug Face is because Kit hugs it with their face. It has a fraternal twin named Face Hugs for the same reason. We are very silly with our bears.)

Last year I wrote, "I didn't mean to type so much; I should go do my OT exercises, ice my arms a bit more, and get some sleep. I'm just so glad that at least in our tiny little corner of the world, everything went okay today. I needed that." This year I say: yes, that.

Tomorrow the rain is supposed to ease off in the morning. I hope Kit gets to go out and romp a bit in the grass and be astonished by the trees all over again.

Struck by lightning

2017-Aug-11, Friday 19:18
rbarclay: (donald)
[personal profile] rbarclay
No, not me, but one of the trees in our garden. Interestingly enough, not one of the bigger trees around, maybe 3.5m where 30m further there are 20-25m high ones, and just ~7m from the houses lightning rod (6m high).
Fell on one of the in-laws cars, but no discernible damage. Just one electric garden lantern was knocked over.

https://youtu.be/AIvUQlC2Zsk
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

One of the worst moments in polyamory is the first date.

Not yours.

Theirs.

Your first poly date is usually this exciting squiggle of “Where is this going?” and flirtatious arm-touches and effervescent ZOMG I LIKE THEM and maybe even some hot smooching. And it’s great, ‘cuz it’s you.

But their first poly date, where you’re the one at home cooling your heels while you’re imagining their flirtatious arm-touches and trying not to break down in jealousy?

That can be a long night.

And I get asked, “How do you cope when your partner starts dating?” And the answer is threefold:

I Trust They’d Tell Me If Things Were Bad.
Sometimes I worry that they’re dating because I’m fucking up in some way. Then I remember how honest they’ve been with me. They’ve told me about any issues between us as soon as they figured out what it was.

I trust my partners to come to me when something is going wrong.

So I trust that if there was a problem, I’d know.

A lot of the jealousies swirling around new poly tend to be, “Is there something wrong with me? Is this a prelude to a breakup?” And honestly, if you’re going for the “Hail Mary” of “We’re not getting along but maybe fucking other people will bring us closer together,” it might well be.

But if this has been a studied expansion, where you’ve talked about dating other people and are now exploring it, hopefully you trust that your partner would tell you if they were seeking other lovers because you were failing them. But they’re not. Healthy polyamory’s not an attempt to replace a broken system, but to expand it to include others.

They’re not dating me because I’m failing them, but because we believe a) that having other emotionally-fulfilling relationships is good, and b) those relationships can include sex. (And often, c) we’re both a little slutty.)

It shouldn’t be a threat if my partner has good friends they talk to. Their desire to see a movie with someone else isn’t a refutal of who we are.

This is just an extension of that logic. And nothing has to be wrong with me, or us, for them to desire someone else.

(I mean, I desire other people and it doesn’t lessen my affection for my existing partners. But that’s easy to remember when I’m in the driver’s seat.)

I Trust In My Own Uniqueness.
The media frames a lot of sex as a competition – whoever’s got the bigger dick wins. And if your partner’s girlfriend is hotter than you are, girl, she will steal your man.

That’s not necessarily true, though.

An odd fact about polyamory is that your partners are often drawn to people totally unlike you. That’s often a source of friction – you’re organized and reliable, why are they dating this sloppy hedonist?

The answer is, dating you provides all the you they need. They’re stocked up on “neat” and “reliable” simply because you’re doing a great job! Now they’re unconsciously seeking people who have other traits they find desirable.

And if you’re not careful, you dismiss your own talents and focus on the things you don’t have. Oh, she’s really good at talking dirty, I can’t do that. She loves that country music I can’t stand. She’s a better cook.

When you do that, you forget the things your lover might say about you if they were forced, somehow, to evaluate you as a direct comparison. They’re a way better cuddler. They know how to make me feel better after a hard day at work. They love the movies I do.

You gotta trust in your own uniqueness. This isn’t a zero-sum game where the person who ticks off the most marks on the checklist walks away with the prize. Yes, your partner’s new lover may be a better kisser, but trust that your sexual skills have something to be desired even if you can’t see it right now.

Trust that there’s also reasons to want you.

I Trust That Some Relationships Need To Be Over.
This is the tough one. Because yeah, sometimes when people fling themselves into polyamory, they do find someone more suitable and they do leave the old partners behind and they don’t communicate their problems until it’s too late to do anything about them.

I trust it’s better to know that we’re not meant for each other.

And you’ll see plenty of couples tapdancing around some fundamental incompatibility – he wants kids/she doesn’t, she wants deep emotional relationships/he doesn’t, he wants to get married/he doesn’t – and rather than look squarely at the irreconcilable difference and walk away, they instead push it off for years, grinding agony the whole time.

And in the end, they often give in to something they never wanted to happen, or they break up after years of intimacy.

That’s a lot harder than acknowledging it early and breaking it off while it’s still nascent.

So I take the attitude with relationships that I do with medical tests: No, I don’t want this, but if I have some terminal condition, it’s better to know right away.

Maybe my lover will discover that they’re polyamorous and I’m not. That’s not great, but it’s good for us both to know who we are – and if that’s not compatible, let’s examine it.

I don’t want to lose anyone, but if there are problems in this relationship, let’s highlight what they are and see whether we can fix it. Or not.

And it’s a weirdly calm trust, because this is the one that brings me back to reality: Yes, I love her. But are we really as good for each other as we think we are? Maybe I’m putting this relationship on a pedestal.

And then the old prayer: It’ll work if it’s meant to be.

And honestly, it mostly has worked out. Dating mature partners who discuss things generally turns out to be stable. They can see other people and come back to me and be just as excited – sometimes more so, because I’m actually enabling them to have wonderful relationships and so they come to associate me as “That person I love who wants me to have so much beauty in my life.” And they date other people, as I do, but in the end the thing I have to offer is “I’m that person who really, demonstrably, wants the best for them.”

That’s a helluva strength to bring to the table.

It can be okay.

You just gotta trust.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

Friday

2017-Aug-11, Friday 11:03
17catherines: Amor Vincit Omnia (Default)
[personal profile] 17catherines
Less than six weeks to Europe!  This would be even better if the invoice I was sent on Tuesday had been the correct invoice.  Since said invoice is meant to be paid by Sunday, and they haven't actually managed to send me the correct one yet, I'm feeling a little concerned...

(I have been informed that the deadline will be extended for me.  But I still would like to know how much everything will cost.  Between deductions for home stay, additions for one more night in Prague, additions for single-share, but a deduction for three nights of twin-share, and an addition for a later flight back, I really have no clue how much my final bill will be.  But I do know that one more night in Prague can't possibly be costing $621, so the bill I was sent was definitely not mine...)

Anyway.  Europe will be good.  And I now have a YELLOW suitcase (it's definitely YELLOW and not just yellow), and have ordered walking socks, and bought power adaptors and a neck pillow of a design that looks like it might not give me bachache, and next pay I shall replace my boots, which are beginning to be holier than needed.  (Nobody really wants religious boots.)

The concert music is well-chosen, I must say.  Duruflé's requiem, plus a lot of shorter pieces by Bruckner, Rossini and Bach, and a sequence of very short pieces by a contemporary Australian composer.  It's good music, and there's not a lot I couldn't sing creditably after two rehearsals.  Quite a bit of it I have sung before.  After two rehearsals.  After the extreme difficulty of the last two conferences, I'm pleased to see that the music I will be singing while jetlagged is, indeed, music I can sing in my sleep.

In other news, our government continues to be a toxic embarrassment.  Their latest idea is a non-compulsory, non-binding, postal vote on marriage equality, to be run not by our electoral commission, but by the bureau of statistics, alongside Australia post, over a period of two months, with no bar on abusive or false campaigning because the Australian public can apparently be trusted to be respectful and polite.

Here are some of the ways Australian politicians have been respectful and polite on this subject in the last 24 hours.

It's frankly disgusting – a way for Malcolm to cling to his Prime Ministership for just a little longer, and also to distract from the refugee situation.

I have some opinions about this.

I'm also wondering whether it would be a good idea or a patronising one to try to counter some of the nastiness headed in the direction of my GLBTQI friends over the coming months by finding and sharing a positive news story about GLBTQI people each day. 

And that's about all.  My wrist still hates me typing, which is a pain.  I'm a little depressed and feeling burned out at work.  And my next story can't decide whether it will be about artichokes or the Jacobite rebellion (the station in question has chardon in its name, which means thistle).  If I can make it about both, that would be fun, but I don't think that's where it is going.  

theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

So for my birthday, I got myself an expensive gift I didn’t want:

A personal trainer.

I don’t want a personal trainer because I hate exercise and I hate going someplace else to exercise and I hate paying money to have strangers judge my body.  But I also recognize that my fitness has never been great, and perhaps I don’t know how to push myself properly (which is a real concern when you have both heart problems and a proven inability to recognize fatal pain), and so I signed up for a couple of months with a personal trainer as an experiment.  Just to see whether it would make a difference.

And this trainer seemed nice.  She told me she was not the ooh-rah trainer who says you’re not done until you’re barfing. She was a physical therapist who’d dealt with heart patients before, and could make long-term changes conducive to my benefit.

So as I went to the trainer yesterday, I was nervous.  I’m not a weightlifter.  Would she have me doing laps around the gym?  Would it be the medicine ball?  Would I be completely useless after the session, my every muscle quivering?

As it turned out, my job was to stand there while they critiqued.

I failed at standing.

“See how his hip is turned out?” she asked her fellow trainer, who was called in for a consultation.  “All his weight is on his left foot.”

“Dangerous to let a man like that exercise,” the other trainer agreed, and I was shuttled off to a massage room where she jammed the inside of my hip, telling me to relax as she rammed stiff fingers dangerously close to my crotch, reminding me to breathe.

“You’re very shielded,” she said, wrenching me aside.  “I can’t get this muscle to release.”  And then, five minutes later: “That’ll do.”

She didn’t get it to release, but apparently she’d given up on me.

Then she had me breathe.

I failed breathing.

Apparently, there’s a way you breathe from your diaphragm in a way that makes your crotch tighten, and if that sounds sexy I assure you it was not.  All my breath was in, apparently, my chest.  It’s supposed to be in my diaphragm, which is to say my belly, and I did that wrong.  She had me on my knees, palm on my stomach, urging me to do something with my belly button to bring it against my spine, and eventually she sighed and called out, “We’re putting him on his back.  He can’t do the APT.”

Even on my back, I didn’t breathe properly.  She said, encouragingly, that I’d learn, but it’s hard to feel good about yourself when you’ve just failed standing and breathing. I’m not sure what else there is to fail, but I’m sure I’ll find out.

So I have a sheet of exercises.  When I head towards the bathroom, I am instructed to take a moment in the hall to twist my leg and loosen the hip, or to stand with my back against the wall and press out.  My hip aches from where she pressed hard enough to bruise it.

I thought personal training would be gruelling – and to be fair, I was sweaty and tired at the end of it.  And I’m sure it’ll ramp up over time.

I just thought it would be more “You’re too weak to lift this weight” and less “You’re too incompetent to breathe,” you know?

 

 

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

(no subject)

2017-Aug-10, Thursday 13:30
splodgenoodles: (Default)
[personal profile] splodgenoodles
Today I am happy because my GP is sick.

I know this makes me look bad, which is why I use a pseudonym.

~~~

I'm not really happy that she's sick, I am happy that she has cancelled all today's appointments including mine. I was due to see her this afternoon and I really don't fancy heading out in this weather.

Too windy. I get windbrain. Bugger that.

Funerals of a Feather

2017-Aug-09, Wednesday 23:18
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
Last day in Perth was dedicated to spending at Erica W.'s funeral at the Fremantle Cemetery. It was, of course, an opportunity for the living to catch up and express their sorrow at the loss of this marvellous and talented woman. There was, of course, humorous anecdotes, sound advice from the departed, and genuine outpourings of grief. I particularly feel for Lucas, her husband of the past seventeen years, who was very close to her in both the personal and professional sense. A sensitive soul in his own right, these must be very difficult days for him. The celebrant also mentioned that in several locations around the world smaller services were being held in her honour, a tribute to her scope and talent, and finished with a recommendation from the departed: Get weird!.

The day after my arrival in Melbourne was Lachlan's funeral at the Renowden Chapel at the Springvale Cemetery and Botanical Gardens (whoever thought of that combination had their head screwed on right). The inclusion of Lachlan's top-hat on the coffin was a particularly beautiful and sad feature. Again, almost in mirror form, included some frankly hilarious stories and reflection on those deeply honourable features of his personality. As Lachlan was in the habit of calling for birthday drinks, due in around a month, [livejournal.com profile] damien_wise and myself have stepped up to the task of organising one more celebration for this great individual.

It is a curious twist of the tyranny of distance and time that Erica W., and Lachlan S., never met each other. If they did, I am certain that they would have gotten along famously. With similar sensibilities, and quite clearly similar tastes in fashion, I have a mental image of Erica taking great delight in designing an outfit for Lachlan who, true to his style, would have worn it everywhere. I know there is a handful of people who knew both of them (including [livejournal.com profile] caseopaya). But I was the only one who was present at both departures. I feel like a curious trans-Nullabor bridge, a gregarious nature that has been blessed with the opportunity to know the spirits of two kindred individuals who should have met in life but never did.

Hacker-Kitty

2017-Aug-08, Tuesday 13:47
azurelunatic: Monkey King swings his cudgel  (monkey king)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
My partner got one cat in the breakup, the cat who trailed them through the shelter while they were looking at different cats, and who lap-kittied at them the first chance she got. (I suspect that my partner got this cat by dint of having made sure to pack her along with the other important things when they fled the household of abuse. The ex took all the other pets, including the second cat who adored my partner.)

Miss Air Raid Siren had two types of notable damage when she was adopted: first, she had been front-declawed, and second, she is quite food-insecure. She cannot just be left to free-feed, and I gathered that it was a bit of a production to feed all the cats in such a way that everyone got their fair share. (Another of the cats had been a bit of a vacuum-cleaner himself, so it wasn't just her.)

When the ex's regimented schedule had demanded that my partner be home at the appointed hour every day to feed "the kids", all was well ... at the expense of my partner's labor, and my partner's ability to have an actual social life and do things with friends.

Now, this cat does appreciate being fed. She's earned a few names on account of her increasingly vocal demands to be fed, typically starting about an hour before feeding time. (Most of them are even printable.) And if the feeding is late -- oh, my. (Everyone has come to the understanding that while an hour late is no big deal ultimately, it's probably better for whoever is present to feed her, if it's anything beyond that or if she appears to be in any actual distress. And then tell the Human In Charge, because she will cheerfully make as though she's Never Been Fed, Ever when a food-giver returns home. Even when she's already eaten.)

So when my partner was living with Host Family #2, they borrowed some wet/dry automatic feeders (with ice pack) in service of being able to be out & about and spend the night away, without overly distressing the cat. This worked reasonably well.

Then they returned the feeders. They then tried to replace them.

Friends, do you know how very goddamn many nearly identical compartment feeders with a rotating lid exist on places like Amazon? A very bloody lot, as it turns out. And not all of them are up to the challenge of being worked at by a determined and highly food-motivated hacker-kitten.

Candidate Feeders 1 and 2 had a spring-loaded lid. Hacker-Kitten dug at it with her little blunt pussywillow-paws until the lid crept back, then held it there (somehow) and stuck her little face in, and ate extra portions.

Candidate Feeder 3 looked like the loaner feeder, but Hacker-Kitten batted at the protective plastic cover on the brain/engine core, and broke the manual advance button by standing on it, then dug it open despite the lack of springs and claws. Subsequently the thing didn't work at all.

Candidate Feeder 4 was the same model as 3, but I'd taped down the core's cover in a way that defeated the attempts to open it that way. After the evening meal, I put it up out of harm's way for the night, and put it down again in the morning. She ate her breakfast on schedule, but come 5:30pm or so and she'd dug the top around to the next meal, early.

This morning when my partner put it out again (only dry food, this time) loaded with today and tomorrow's meals, a little past breakfast I saw she'd opened the dinner compartment just a little. So I put it up, and sent my partner the link to the (not cheap) feeder I found that will do 1/8 cup increments of dry food and uses an entirely different mechanism. I'll put it down when I leave for my event this evening, then see what she's done to it by the time I return...

We're hoping that Feeder 5 will do the trick.

It would be ideal to be able to give her both wet and dry food on a timer (and keep the wet food refrigerated, naturally) for 2-3 days. But failing that, just dry food will keep her fed well enough that she won't be yowling and desperate if an evening out goes longer than planned. (Usually we feed her early if we think we'll be out significantly past her dinner. But that doesn't always work.) Provided she doesn't eat it all early...
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
 Can I keep up the posts? Might not be best to be doing the drawing and the writing both last thing at night. plus.google.com/+AliciaSmith-leece/posts/LX5qgR5tbSn



crazyjane: (Default)
[personal profile] crazyjane
Why we must vote in the Marriage Equality plebiscite
by Marian Weaver


Any way you slice it, the postal plebiscite is a nasty, but effective, piece of political maneuvring. Let’s leave aside the idea of the direct plebiscite - the Parliament won’t pass that legislation. This is, of course, precisely why the government has fallen back on the postal option.

It’s a win-win situation for the Coalition, albeit an expensive one ($122 million). The postal plebiscite is voluntary, which means many people just won’t bother sending back their ballots. You only have to look at other countries who use voluntary voting to see that only those who are particularly motivated tend to show up on polling day, or send in their postal votes. At the last US presidential election, less than half of registered voters turned out (46.1%), and that was considered relatively high. Assuming a similar turnout for the postal plebiscite (and this is by no means guaranteed), less than half of Australia’s eligible voter population would be sending in their ballots. These would tend to be organised groups with an agenda to push, rather than individuals - and while some of these would be extremely pro-Marriage Equality, there are also numerous, influential groups who are already involved in mounting campaigns of shrill misinformation and scaremongering to convince people that a positive outcome would threaten all sorts of social disasters.

A postal plebiscite will, the government promises us, trigger a bill to bring about Marriage Equality (which they persistently mischaracterise as ‘same-sex marriage’, completely ignoring the needs and rights of trans and intersex folks). Voting on that bill would be a conscience vote - again, mischaracterised as a ‘free’ vote. No matter what the result of the plebiscite, no one will be ‘forced’ to vote for Marriage Equality if they are really set against it.

Now, this is a bit of a furphy. A government can’t force a conscience vote on the Parliament. They can call for one, they can even declare one. The decision, however, is a matter for the party room (or, in the case of the ALP, the national conference). The ALP have already declared that their national policy is to pass Marriage Equality, as have the Greens. Unless one of their members chooses to cross the floor and defy the party, that means all of them will vote for Marriage Equality. Several minor party members have also already called for a bill to be presented (and to drop this absurd idea of a plebiscite, postal or not). There’s also no guarantee that the National Party (the Liberal Party’s Coalition partners) will allow a conscience vote. Their antipathy towards the mere idea of Marriage Equality is well-known. That means, then, that only the Liberals will vote as each MP or Senator sees fit.

This might seem encouraging. With 7 Liberal members already calling for a Marriage Equality bill, the chances are good it would pass the House. They’re even better that it would pass the Senate, and be signed into law. So why is the postal plebiscite such a problem?

It all comes down to participation. Many people in favour of Marriage Equality have already called for people not to fill in their ballots (even going so far as to suggest a public protest including burning the papers). The ‘no participation until full equality’ idea is taking root. It is completely understandable. The idea of a plebiscite to ask people 'if they mind letting the gays marry' is offensive in the extreme. Prime Minister John Howard didn’t bother asking people in 2004 if they wanted him to change the Marriage Act to narrowly define marriage as being a union between a man and a woman. He simply went ahead and did it. No plebiscite, no referendum, nothing. Just an amendment passed through the Parliament. (Apparently, though, that’s not good enough for our current government.)

There is a huge problem, however, in non-participation, either through protest or simple laziness - and this is where the really nasty thing about this postal plebiscite resides.

You can just bet that those groups who are vehemently anti-Marriage Equality - most vocally, the Australian Christian Lobby - will be voting. In fact, given their past record, these groups will already be organising ‘get out the vote’ initiatives. Their disgusting campaign of misinformation is ramping up - accusations that gay people are all paedophiles, that children from same-sex relationships are abused by simple virtue of the fact they don’t have a ‘mum’ or ‘dad’, and the revolting nonsense that LGBTI people are unnatural, dangerous, and just plain perverted. If you need proof, go take a look at their campaign against the Safe Schools program. But have a strong stomach. I recommend not eating beforehand.

If they are the only voices exhorting people to vote a certain way in this plebiscite (or, indeed, voting at all), there will be no voices standing up to them. No groups or people pointing out how bigoted and wrong these ideas are. And that means some people may well decide to vote based on this terrible vendetta, ‘just to be safe’.

Don’t get me wrong, the postal plebiscite is awful. It’s insulting, and it’s predicated on the idea that LGBTI people are in some way second-class citizens. It took a referendum before indigenous people were recognised as human beings - but a referendum is binding. A plebiscite is not. It implies that the government sees queer people as even less worthy of being treated as human, with all the rights to which they are entitled.

But - and this is where is gets horrible for those of us (queer, allies, or just plain decent people) who support that idea of Marriage Equality. Participation gives tacit approval to this ridiculous waste of money and time. Participation means that our argument that we deserve the same rights as others can be undermined.

If we don’t participate, though, there is a very good chance that the plebiscite will fail. And if that happens, the government has the justification it needs to keep doing what is has done so far - nothing. It will even have justification - after all, they asked the people, and the people said no. Even if that’s only 20% of the people. Even if that’s only those groups motivated by such entrenched opposition to the idea of Marriage Equality that they will literally say anything to push their point. What will matter to the government is nothing more than figures - because figures can be twisted to mean whatever they wish them to mean. And you can just bet the government will use a low turn-out to argue that, ‘clearly’, this issue is a low priority to the Australian people.

We need to participate in this dreadful plebiscite, as much as we might hate every moment of it. The government has put us in the position where we don’t have the luxury of refusing. By simply holding a plebiscite - direct or postal - they can say they’ve kept their promise. If the result is negative, they are excused from having to bring a bill before the Parliament. They can argue that there are important issues that are more deserving of the government’s attention than re-litigating an issue that they’ve already ‘resolved’.

The only way to break even in this situation is to participate, and to do so with as many voices as possible. We need to meet the anti-Marriage Equality groups on their own ground - the public arena. We need to be talking to media, talking to our groups and our friends, telling people that they need to vote - and why they need to vote. We need to acknowledge that it’s a terrible situation (as one friend put it, a ‘shit sandwich’), but it’s the only one we have right now. Otherwise, we are gambling on the prospect that Labor will win next year’s election, and be able to form a government that would bring on a Marriage Equality bill. And yes, there’s more chance that Labor will keep its promise, but we can’t say when that would happen, or even if it would pass.

By participating, we put pressure on the government. It’s done a deal with the devil by coming up with this postal plebiscite. The Prime Minister knows he has the beginnings of a back-bench revolt on his hands, and this is the best stopgap measure he can devise. He’s hoping the plebiscite will fail, and can therefore try to get away from this issue.

Don’t let him.



(This article is licensed under Creative Commons. It may be shared in whole or in part, with author attribution. Please share widely.)

[ bookmonth ] 2017-07

2017-Aug-06, Sunday 06:11
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Book list )

I am starting to think I am getting a pile-up of entries to write, again. Anyway, if we take linear extrapolation to year's end, we get just shy of 132 books, which is what June's extrapolation pointed to. This sounds plausible, but...

One year

2017-Aug-05, Saturday 00:46
azurelunatic: The Wizards' Oath from Diane Duane's books, labeled "RTFM" (RTFM)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
One year ago Wednesday, I went in to the hospital to get my uterus out. The biopsy was a bit weird, and the standard of care said to just take the damn thing out. They didn't think it was cancer yet, but still out.

On the way there, Teshi and I got behind a landscape truck of some kind. I can't remember the exact name but it was something like Lone Mountain, and the plate said LONE1.

I was raised on the Young Wizards books, and I know as well as anyone what you do when you meet the Lone Power. "Greetings and defiance," I said, then told Steph.

I knew that as a warning, and I was not fully surprised when the uterus was full of cancer.

It's out. I've been irradiated.

I am here beside my partner in their bed, safe and warm and secure in the knowledge that if something weird happens, they or I will notice.

Last Day in Perth

2017-Aug-05, Saturday 11:01
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
With an extended stay of three more days I've mostly been working remotely in hours that are not terribly out-of-sync with the rest of the team. Nevertheless, the extra time in Western Australia has afforded me the opportunity to catch up with a number of other people. The stay in the newly renvoated home of [livejournal.com profile] doctor_k_ and [livejournal.com profile] strangedave has been great, and I've had the opportunity to explore a bit of the Mount Hawthorn region which I lived in a for a while way back in 1986. It also has been the opportunity to catch up with several other Murdoch people from that era. Yesterday, I had a late lunch with Fabian U., and former Senator Brian G.. Apart from reminiscing on past times, a portion of the conversation turned to real estate. Fabian was looking for a place to purchase for his son, whereas Brian had worked for many years in the Real Estate Industry of WA. My own contributions to that discussion were mostly on the virtues of land tax and the problems of negative gearing. Afterwards, on a whim, Fabian and I went down to Fremantle to end the day. Fremantle is the harbour side town to Perth the city, and is a much more beautiful and welcoming place with its Victorian-era limestone buildings. We had a great chat about the relationship with deep learning and language. Likewise, the previous day I had caught up with another former Murdoch University colleague, Murray W., and discussed matters such as the state of various RPG clubs in comparison between Victoria and WA, and especially the political landscape, both on an Australian scale and with international comparisons.

Although there is not much that draws me to Perth in terms of style or culture, there are many old friends and memories here. In that regard, this has been quite a great trip. Apart from the aforementioned I have had the great opportunity to catch up with many and have spent extended time in the company of Bruce T., and [livejournal.com profile] thefon, Andrei N., and Arnold H., in particular. The journey hasn't really caused any great loss in productivity either, as I've been able to beaver away on various projects in early mornings and evenings, in addition to the time spent at the HPC Advisory Council conference. I am rather looking forward however to getting home to normal life back in Melbourne with [livejournal.com profile] caseopaya and Mac the Cat. Nevertheless, there is one most important thing to do here - and that's attend Erica W.'s funeral - and with Lachlan S.,'s on Monday, one can tell in advance what my next journal entry will be.

Reading, 2017.

2017-Aug-04, Friday 18:27
splodgenoodles: (Default)
[personal profile] splodgenoodles
17. Peter Carey, True History Of The Kelly Gang, available in any secondhand bookshop.

I'm still thinking about this, for all the right reasons.

He talks about towns and places not far to the north of me.

And the places he describes are so different now. Fenced off farmland and non-existent settlements. With a few national parks here and there. Kelly country is very tame.

The story describes a generational shift: Ned Kelly's father is transported for his role in an Irish rebellion. Once freed, he is silent about his past. But the poor Irish settlers of Victoria continue to experience colonial repression, and so the native sons both take on what remnants of the old world they can learn about, and Ned Kelly himself starts to spin this into an Australian political context.

Ned Kelly is a charismatic and smart boy, who lives the life available to him (petty crime, which leads up to outlawry and murder), but then starts to think in broader political terms.

In this, his fictional memoir, he talks of the support he has from the people he talks to, while the author, Peter Carey, lets us quietly contemplate the fact that these people are often his hostages.

Kelly Country was already empty of Aboriginal people: there are a few trackers with the troopers, but they don't rate a mention otherwise. Even when people go bush, when you'd surely expect interaction, there is none. And the bush is infested with blackberry and dandelion and dock. And to keep your selection (parcel of land) you have to clear trees, and turn the Australian landscape into something approaching the lands of Britain and Ireland.

I really hope I can pull myself together to come back and note some of the stuff about the meaning of cross-dressing. It's a part of the Kelly myth that appears to be glossed over and misinterpreted.

~~~

April 2015

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