Wednesday Reading Meme

Nov. 26th, 2014 09:05 am
blueswan: girl reading book (book reading)
[personal profile] blueswan
What I'm Reading:

Scorned & Beloved: Dead of Winter Meetings with Canadian Eccentrics by Bill Richardson

A bit of a romp, backed up by moments of stream of consciousness writing when I lost patience and skipped over segments. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on Professor Charles Henry Danielle who took Newfoundland society by storm toward the end of the 19th century. A very industrious soul who came to the island as a teacher of dance and left this world as a hotelier of the Octagon Castle. He was quite the character indeed.

What I've Read:

When That Rough God Goes Riding:Listening to Van Morrison by Greil Marcus
I think the thing I enjoyed most about this book was being introduced to some of his music I didn't know. Listening to particular versions of his songs while reading about them was a great introduction. (Thank goodness he has avid fans on youtube who have uploaded a lot of his lesser known work.) It's not a particularly good introduction to Van Morrison, but it's an excellent intro to his music which means the book achieves it's goal. Great for fans.

What I'm going to read next:

Something with a plot I think.
alias_sqbr: (dagna)
[personal profile] alias_sqbr
It's not a real Bioware game unless you end up staring at your screen in horror thinking "What have I done?".

I try to go with the decision I feel in my gut that I'll regret least, balancing being in character, interesting plot, not feeling gross (eg I am ALWAYS anti slavery, even if it makes sense in the universe, unless I KNOW that choice is actually worse for the slave(*)), and gameplay advantage. And I have tried REALLY HARD not to go back to previous saves and change my mind unless I genuinely misunderstood what the question was asking, reminding myself that a character who screws up and is left traumatised is an interesting character.

Marijn Cadash is turning out to be more and more interesting.

SPOILERS )

(*)Yes the fact that I have had to make this choice multiple times does say something unfortunate about Bioware's writing decisions. See also: all the times I had to decide whether or not to commit genocide, and all the mercy killings of disabled people. Sigh.

Interesting Links for 26-11-2014

Nov. 26th, 2014 11:00 am
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
andrewducker: (lady face)
[personal profile] andrewducker
Boing Boing has a story - Youtube nukes 7 hours' worth of science symposium audio due to background music during lunch break.

a) Who puts up a 7 hour video unedited? Complete with the lunch break?
b) Yes, that music is owned by someone (probably several someones). Feel free to lobby for the law to change, but you don't get to use someone else's recent music without their permission. I think copyright overreaches a lot, and would limit it severely, but "I put someone else's recently-made music in my video" is definitely something copyright should cover.
c) For God's sake, edit the lunch-break out of the video and put it back up. And while you're at it, chop it into sensible chunks and put them up as separate videos - how hard can that be???

Daily Happiness

Nov. 25th, 2014 11:54 pm
torachan: aradia from homestuck (aradia)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I'm trying to cut back on soda again and I didn't have one tonight with dinner when I really wanted one, so go me! (I did have some earlier, but at least I had less than I have been drinking recently.)

2. I had some chocolate candy cane pretzels tonight and they were so good! (Chocolate dipped pretzels coated in crushed candy cane bits.)

3. I got a lot done at work today. And today wasn't just an anomaly. Generally I've been feeling a little more on top of things. Part of that is that the new stockers are starting to get the hang of things, but also the department I took over was in such bad shape and it's finally getting to the point where it's not.


By the way, I'm still taking suggestions for the December meme.

Ensembleness

Nov. 25th, 2014 03:43 pm
sholio: Cocoa in red cup with cinnamon stick (Christmas cocoa)
[personal profile] sholio
This month's submission theme at Crossed Genres is "ensemble", and I'd really like to submit something to it, although that means writing something before the 30th -- which I'm not sure is an achievable goal, but hey, worth a try, right?

So here's a question for you guys. What would you like to see more of in ensembles -- i.e. groups of characters, and stories focused on them? One of the posts on my reading list this morning talked about how rare it is to get the viewpoint of grumpy-mentor characters in fantasy, which made me go "hmmmm" and prod my creative brain a bit.

What are some of yours? Favorite tropes? Tropes you'd like to see subverted/avoided?

The orange cat...

Nov. 25th, 2014 03:19 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
...always knows when you're wearing black.

Read more... )

Silly thought of the day

Nov. 25th, 2014 09:12 am
jae: (Default)
[personal profile] jae
What word do people who refer to those who are in a country without official permission as 'illegals' reserve for actual, you know, illegals?

Admittedly, this may only be an issue for people who call those who are in a country without official permission 'illegals' and are fans of The Americans. But still, I wonder.
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Mondays, every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)

(no subject)

Nov. 25th, 2014 03:10 pm
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
A shitty thing happened at work today, as it sometimes does. A coworker made some derogatory comments about Russians in a meeting with a bunch of people in the department, including myself.

As sometimes happens, a different coworker later came up to me and said "Are you all right? I'm so sorry that happened. I was on the verge of saying something to [coworker who was speaking], but I didn't, but I wanted to apologize to you on behalf of all of us." These are quiet, private conversations, that of course go nowhere in terms of precluding such behavior in the future. In fact often the coworkers who express this sentiment are doing so more because they hate the offensive coworker, for whatever reason, that week, than out of genuine solidarity or sympathy, as evidenced by the fact that these "sympathetic" coworkers themselves occasionally make disparaging comments about Russians, mock Russian accents or Russian food, etc. (Last week we had a whole discussion at lunch about how gross Russian food was, obviously initiated by people who were not me, but I was present. It was great.)

It makes me think about a lot of things.

About how used to it I am, at this point. About how it's taken slightly less than 3 years of working in a place where I'm the only Russian speaker to be used to this. Where I'm no longer even offended or angry, just tired and scared. Where I just want to ignore everything I can, forget everything I can, pretend these people don't hold these opinions, pretend, in the most fantastical scenario, that they don't even know I'm Russian. That I can hide it from them somehow, make them forget. How well I've learned to navigate the battle of being visibly, outspokenly Russian with being prepared for the backlash. I know people will mock me, I know they won't understand my perspective, I know they think my parents are trash and their accents, their food, their fashion sense are horrible.

At least so far - so far, praise be - I haven't succumbed to actually wishing I wasn't Russian. I've always hoped that spending my adolescence in a 98% Russian speaking environment, among my fellow immigrants, has inoculated me against that, at least. A lot of my upbringing, both at home and at school, growing up, talked about people who were, essentially, "ethnic traitors". People who would change their names, change their clothes, pretend not to speak Russian, avoided Russian things at all costs, etc. These people - kids and adults - were despicable, pitiable, pathetic. My mother used to tell me, when I was 7, about my native-born classmates, who used to bully the fuck out of me, including stealing and destroying my things, beating me up and spitting on me: "don't try to fool people that you're one of them. They'll always know that you're not." I had asked to change my name to something less Russian sounding than Marina. Perhaps Miriam. My mother had laughed, a sort of kind, sad smile. Like she didn't know how to explain to me that nothing I did would ever be enough.

I used to hate myself a lot as a kid, for a lot of reasons, most of which had to do with immigration. When I was older, my hatred for people who tried to "pass" as non-Russian bordered on the irrational. It was not uncommon among my peers. There was literally nothing more pathetic, to us, than trying to suck up to the people who bullied you in grade school, who thought your heritage was garbage, who mocked your parents. It was too sad and disgusting to contemplate.

It took a long time, to learn to forgive. To accept that there are no good choices under duress. To learn not to judge my fellow immigrants for whatever they had to do to survive.

The other thing instances like this make me think about is - how privileged I am, and how utterly horrible it is that this is my experience considering how privileged I am. I'm not even on the outskirts of marginalized identities in Israel. Mine is a relatively light case.

It makes me sick and terrified to live in this country, drives home how incredibly, unspeakably worse it must be for others, who like me work and live here, in this, our most progressive city.

Lastly, it makes me think about how uncomfortable I am, still, in spaces occupied by the wealthy, educated, "liberal" elites of this country.

I, and most people from my community, come from areas of poverty, lack of access to resources, lack of education, working class neighborhoods. These were the people I grew up with, the people I was surrounded by. Ethnic tensions in these places looked entirely different. I grew up unused to the subtlety, the insidious nature of discrimination and prejudice when it's something one can't openly mention in polite company.

Among my coworkers, the educated liberals will only say derogatory things about Russians when caught off guard. When they're stressed or in the middle of a poorly thought out joke or are responding to a statement they didn't realize would touch on Russianness. They're not necessarily repentant, afterwards, but they feel as though they've transgressed.

Where I grew up, when people didn't like Russians they were very vocal about it. Everything about their manner, their speech, their attitude let you know they thought you were beneath them. No one was shy about using slurs or saying what they really thought. The refinement always makes me uneasy. Everything feels like hypocrisy. It's like I have to assume beforehand that everyone has these prejudices, or else I'll let myself get attached and only discover it at crunch time, when there's stress or drama or something major happens. It worries me, sets me on edge, being around people who think they're above ugly prejudice or discrimination. That they're too smart, too "good", too educated, too peace loving, too kind to fall prey to it.

I know I'm certainly not above prejudice, I know it's something I struggle with, in areas where it doesn't affect me and even in some areas where it does. I try to keep that in mind. Understanding how oppression works doesn't make you immune to perpetuating it. The air you breathe is always tinged with it, and the work of undoing its effects is continuous.

Anyway, it just always makes me think how odd that is, and how not-unusual. To work so hard to get to the "top", to live and work in the centers of social and material wealth, only to feel, after all your formal education, like you miss the open hostility and discrimination of the neighborhoods you worked so hard to escape.

Native-born Israelis: please consider whether your comments are appropriate on a post like this, and please don't speak for me or for groups you don't belong you re: what it's like living in Israel. In general, but especially here.

(no subject)

Nov. 25th, 2014 08:04 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
I am deeply upset (but not at all surprised) by the grand jury in Ferguson declining to indict Darren Wilson for shooting Mike Brown. (Everything I read about how the grand jury was convened and how the evidence was presented makes it absolutely crystal clear the prosecutor did not want the indictment. Which, again: heartbreaking, but not at all surprising.) I'm more upset by the fact that county prosecutor Robert McCulloch made the announcement at 9PM -- that was such a bone-headed move that even before I saw the announcement there was absolutely no doubt in my mind the timing was deliberate to provoke the very response that happened last night as protests erupted into violent confrontation. You don't announce news like that at 9PM unless you want an explosion -- every conflict gets escalated after dark -- and it's yet-a-fucking-nother example of how badly the whole thing was handled from the beginning.

I'm posting, however, to let people know about the Ferguson National Response Network, which has a coordinated list of protests being planned across the country, mostly for today. I don't know if I'm going to be physically capable of attending Baltimore's tonight, but there are planned protests in loads of locations and judging by my reading list I know a lot of you are just as upset as I am.

(And if you're looking for something you can give to people in your life who don't get it, I thought this article by Janee Woods, 12 Ways to Be a White Ally to Black People, was a really good attempt at being concise and clear about a very complicated subject.)

links

Nov. 25th, 2014 01:34 pm
selenak: (Breaking Bad by Wicked Signs)
[personal profile] selenak
The assigned Yuletide story is posted, now to see whether I can manage the treat I want to write. Meanwhile, here are other people being creative:

Torchwood/Doctor Who:


The mind is its own place The on-going adventures of Toshiko Sato, because Missy never spotted the little things.

Tosh in the Nethersphere, poetically written, quietly saving the world. Absolutely canon compatible with both shows, and heartbreaking in the best way. Also the Owen cameo is perfect. (Err, spoilers for the most recent season of DW, of course.)



Breaking Bad/Frozen:

Do you want to build a meth lab? : one of the most hilarious vids ever, which I found via [personal profile] ffutures. I dare you to keep a straight face.

Interesting Links for 25-11-2014

Nov. 25th, 2014 11:00 am

Daily Happiness

Nov. 24th, 2014 11:16 pm
torachan: ryu from kimi ni todoke eating ramen (ramen)
[personal profile] torachan
1. We went to see Big Hero 6 today and it was so awesome! I really loved everything about it. (Except the price. Over $8 for the bargain matinee!? Yikes! And that wasn't even 3D!)

2. We have been having a little heat spell, but thankfully it's not getting too hot and it's still cold at night. And it should be getting cooler again next week and also rain. I hope it really does rain!

3. I got some translating done today despite not feeling like doing much of anything. Hopefully I can wrap this chapter up tomorrow or Wednesday and send it off to the typesetter so I can get it posted before the end of the month.

4. Irene bought some ginger lemon Haribo gummies today and they are so good! Why have I never seen these before!?

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facetofcathy

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