Daily Happiness

Aug. 1st, 2015 01:41 am
torachan: close-up of a sleepy kitten face (sleepy molly)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Friday means I get to sleep in for three days in a row!

2. We got this chocolate-coated lemon cake in at work and it's really tasty!

3. Thanks to [personal profile] lovepeaceohana I got hooked on this word game called Alphabear, so I've been playing that a bunch all evening.

4. I got a great picture of Molly tonight:

July in review

Jul. 31st, 2015 10:45 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
28 books reviewed. 17 by women, 11 by men. F/T = 61%


The entry goes on at length. I would like at this juncture to assure Strange Horizons that I bear them no ill will for snubbing me in 2014 or for their coming snub for the 2015 round up. I am, however, going to do my best to crush the numbers of everyone they do acknowledge. Crush utterly.

Although I think I might have trouble doing more than another 140 reviews this year for a total of 328. Not as wide a margin over Locus' 299 as I would like....
[syndicated profile] loweringthebar_feed

Posted by Kevin

Well, this seems to have happened in January but didn't receive the publicity it deserves until the WSJ's Law Blog covered it recently. Obviously I need better sources in Prairieville, Louisiana.

That's the home of the Dobra family, whose youngest member apparently watches a disturbing amount of daytime TV, because according to his family two-year-old Grayson is an enormous fan of plaintiffs' lawyer Morris Bart—or at least his TV ads:

“Before he could walk or talk, every time the Morris Bart commercial would come on, he was just fixated,” [Grayson's mom] says. “You couldn’t talk to him. You couldn’t do anything with him. He would just sit and stare at the TV. You could call his name, give him a toy. He didn’t care. He just wanted to watch the Bart commercial. He’s been that way ever since, and when he started talking he would say, ‘One call’ or ‘Bart, Bart, Bart, Morris Bart, Morris Bart.’

“They were not his first words, but they were a close second and third,” says Dobra.

Morris Bart (YouTube)
So as Grayson's second birthday approached, the family had a ready-made idea for a birthday-party theme.

His mom even contacted Bart's office, asking if he might be able to make an appearance. The local paper says the firm's marketing director initially didn't think the request was for real, which is not surprising because it absolutely seems like something you might see in The Onion. (It isn't. I checked.) But Ms. Dobra was able to convince them, and while Bart couldn't make it himself he sent the kid a signed picture, a T-shirt and a variety of other goodies. "They were so nice about the whole process," she said. "They never once said, 'You're crazy. Leave us alone' or anything like that."

BartcakeNeither did the bakery who made them this cake.

Grayson is said to have loved the party, although his mom admitted he was "kind of shocked" by the life-size cardboard cutout of Morris Bart when he unwrapped it. He seems to have gotten over that, although I don't think we'll know for sure unless we have a chance to talk to his therapist in a couple of decades. For now, though, he's fine.

“He still loves his Morris Bart shirt,” [his mom] says. “If you put it on him, you’d better not try to take it off. He will throw a fit. He has his two photos on the nightstand, and he likes to give Morris Bart a kiss goodnight sometimes. He is literally obsessed with Morris Bart.”

Well, he's probably fine.

Weekend Roundup/Open Thread

Jul. 31st, 2015 08:00 pm
[syndicated profile] thehairpin_feed

Posted by Haley Mlotek

Aaaaaah this song. Ah thiiiiiiiiiiis song. Ahhh this soooooonnnggggggggg!! This is a good song, is my point.

Well. What a…disgusting week! And I say that with all the love in my heart. Alex started off by talking about disgusting forms of intimacy and went on to rename bugs with some more appropriately disgusting titles, as well as rank the forms of disgusting scenes of horror happening all around us in the place some call “nature.” I catalogued the ways my body has been a disgusting mess this week, boys, you can line up here for a shot at this disgusting flesh prison. Naomi did some very important and very disgusting linguistics work for us and we are eternally grateful. And what’s more disgusting than lust? Nothing.

Some questions asked this week included: where did this image come from? Where can I poop while out and about? Why am I so insatiable? What misandrist television show can I watch with a male-gendered sex partner? What is eating pussy like for these five men?

We also ranked male fashion trends, investigated the teen fans of the world, and introduced a brand new product called Vocal Fries. We learned how to be our own life coach AND how to cook our own Tenderonis, which, if you think about it, is kind of the same thing.

This weekend, I plan on finding a dark cool cave where I will hide from the heat. What dry and cool burrow will you be nestling into?

Friday linkspam

Jul. 31st, 2015 04:30 pm
umadoshi: (Rin hair undone (selphie))
[personal profile] umadoshi
A couple more posts rounding up links and quotes from various comments in the Metafilter discussion on emotional labor: this post by [dreamwidth.org profile] elf, and a second post from [dreamwidth.org profile] kaberett, with a few more links to go with the ones singled out earlier.


Fandom

Via a Tumblr post, a neat interview with poet Richard Siken (whose work I discovered via [dreamwidth.org profile] musesfool, I believe): "The Poet Laureate of Fan Fiction / The internet mistook Richard Siken’s poetry for TV fan fiction—and then it consumed him". I was unaware that Siken has a second volume of poetry out this year! War of the Foxes, one day soon I will order you. ^_^

"How 'A Wrinkle in Time' Changed Sci-Fi Forever".


Writing

Zen Cho has a new "My Publishing Journey" post up: "Signing with a literary agent".

At The Dissolve: "We’re losing all our Strong Female Characters to Trinity Syndrome". "So maybe all the questions can boil down to this: Looking at a so-called Strong Female Character, would you—the writer, the director, the actor, the viewer—want to be her? Not want to prove you’re better than her, or to have her praise you or acknowledge your superiority. Action movies are all about wish-fulfillment. Does she fulfill any wishes for herself, rather than for other characters?"


Cute

Via [twitter.com profile] criacow, an adorable one-minute YouTube video of cows being petted and hugged.

"The Oddly Soothing Sound of 9 Cats and A Kitten Eating Dinner Together At The Same Time". The post has two videos: one in which all of the cats eat together, and one in which the new kitten is introduced to the nine cats already in residence. (You'll also be linked to this Japanese blog, 9 Cats, about the ten cats.)

"21 Cats Who Are Too Adorably Stupid For Their Own Good".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] alisanne, tremendously cute kittens and equally cute otters.


Unsorted

Vienna Teng's website has been updated with info on The Fourth Messenger album release. The Fourth Messenger is a musical Vienna wrote with Tanya Shaffer, and Vienna sings the lead role on the album.

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] boxofdelights, this slow-motion video of a goshawk maneuvering through a fairly dense forest.

Via Facebook:

--"Why Proof-Texting Is Not Like Other Sins". "Proof-texting is an intentionally deceptive practice that offers out of context proof while ignoring the greater witness of scripture and any other evidence that might refute the desired (and predetermined) theological conclusion. It’s the tool necessary to perpetuate the myth that the Bible is always perfectly clear about everything, when in fact that clarity often only exists when we proof-text our theology by ignoring the overarching themes of scripture in general and the message of Jesus in particular in order to condemn and exclude people we’ve deemed unworthy of salvation."

--"Hey, Internet: Stop Trying To Inspire Me" "I’m tired of people trying to inspire me to have a better, bigger, happier life. Let me exist. Let me fumble. Let me find the patch of light in the long tunnel of darkness. Let me figure out some shit on my own. I say we need less fake inspiration in this world and more realness. Less doomsday. Less fake happiness. More real shit. Less preaching. More storytelling. Less advice. More community."

--"Artist Celebrates Late Grandfather By Drawing Each Of The 100,000+ Items He Left In His Toolshed".

--This is only a couple of paragraphs, but sounds neat: "Let's visit the Cave of Hanging Snakes!" (Here's a slightly longer post about it.)

--"What A 47-Second Quick-Change Looks Like". "At the 2015 Tony Awards, Kelli O’Hara allowed the documentation of what a quick-change looks like backstage – and the army it takes to pull it off successfully."

--"Let Yourself Be the Change You Want to See in the World".

--"Living Bio-Concrete Can Heal Itself".
[syndicated profile] thehairpin_feed

Posted by Alexandra Molotkow

For many years I’ve had an issue, and my issue is this image. I first saw it on the back of a guy’s T-shirt: he was sitting in front of me on the streetcar, and he was really, really into whatever his earbuds were blasting, and he got more involved as the ride continued until he got out of his seat and started leaping in a circle with his hands in the air and an expression of terrifying ecstasy on his face.

I’ve only just sampled the music because, to be honest with you, I’m scared. I’ll get there, because it’s inside me now, and because I’m interested in art that demonstrates technical savvy and a total vision but has no relationship to what I’d consider good taste. This image is the most tasteless thing I have ever seen. And every time I look I get totally lost in whatever world it comes from.

The artist is one Tim Slowinski. From his gallery bio:

Slowinski’s work is self reflective, but not only for the sake of personal analysis. He uses personal psychological exploration as a tool to explore contemporary social and political issues. A lover of the comic and absurd, his humor presents messages with a humor that lends objectivity to both himself and the viewer.

Slowinski’s work has not been placed in a contemporary category. Completely self taught, he intentionally avoids all outside influence and works only from his imagination. He refuses to work from real objects because he believes, “every technique and style of painting has already been perfected, the only remaining frontier to be explored is the one inside the mind.”

I hear ya.

TSA: Terror Sorority Alert

Jul. 31st, 2015 11:04 am
[syndicated profile] loweringthebar_feed

Posted by Kevin

Seriously, I'm already way behind on other stuff—could the TSA stop doing stupid $&*# for maybe 48 hours? Is that possible?

Today's report (thanks, Erika) is that thousands of passengers were delayed for hours at Hobby Airport in Houston, many missing their flights entirely, because the TSA was befuddled by a sorority-convention souvenir booklet.

"We had a large group with a large number of bags to be checked and because of a certain item in those bags there was additional screening necessary," said Bill Begley with Hobby Airport.

A spokesman for the airport says the sorority members were apparently given thick booklets at the convention that could be mistaken for explosives when packed into checked bags. The booklets forced TSA officials to hand check most of the luggage.

"Our souvenir booklet, apparently it's too thick and because of all the colored photos in it, it appears to look like some sort of plastic explosive," [Cassandra] Tomes said.

Books can be dense (no pun intended) and so can look to an X-ray-machine operator like a block of something potentially scary. This happened to me once some time ago, back when I carried paper books, apparently not just because of the book but because I had also thrown some computer cords into the suitcase. So, okay—a big opaque block in some guy's suitcase, apparently with wires sticking out of it, that I understand. But if hundreds of people show up with the same book on the same day, once our Last Line of Defense gets a few dozen looks at it I'd assume they would, you know, communicate with each other and understand it's not a threat.

Of course, I suppose it's not impossible that ISIS coordinated an attack plan with the annual Delta Sigma Theta convention. But the chances of that are sufficiently close to zero that I'd feel safe waving these ladies through.

Oh—"In addition, a few TSA machines broke. That combined with the sheer volume of travelers created the perfect storm for delays." Yep, it was the perfect storm all right. Again we are subject to the whims of a capricious Universe. What can one do?

Sex, Drugs, and Fiddling Revisited

Jul. 31st, 2015 04:00 pm
[syndicated profile] thehairpin_feed

Posted by Alexandra Molotkow

What was your first concert? Mine was an easy-rock radio festival in the park down the street from my parents’ apartment. I was 12 years old, and that was the afternoon I inhaled an entire balloon thinking it was filled with helium, then lost the next several seconds to a strange daze of color and commotion. I thought this had just been a memory glitch until one high school friend got a job at a party supply store, and another high school friend asked if he could hook her up with a canister of nitrous.

Anyway. As I recall, Ashley MacIsaac played that day. Who is Ashley MacIsaac, you ask? Why, a Canadian fiddling legend! You may remember him from his appearance on Conan O’Brien, when he wore a kilt without underwear and flashed his basket to the audience:

(MacIsaac has said this was staged.)

If I am remembering correctly, this would have been right in the valley of his career during which his manager dropped him and he developed a crack habit. A couple of years earlier, he’d talked to Maclean’s magazine “about his underage boyfriend and his fondness for a particular sexual practice involving micturation,” as Rebecca Mead put it in a very enjoyable 1999 New Yorker profile, published when MacIsaac was 24. “The magazine ended up running a disapproving article that reprimanded MacIsaac for his ‘stunning recklessness about his image.'”

My childhood friends and I remember that well. It was Canada in the 1990s, and, in short, Ashley MacIsaac was an outspoken, bad-ass, gay punk-rock kid, who happened to be steeped in a tradition native to Cape Breton, a very special island off the east coast of Canada. In 1992, he was sighted at a square dance by New York theater director JoAnne Akalaitis, who had a home nearby; she brought him to New York to work on a show composed by Philip Glass, who compared MacIsaac to Ornette Coleman. MacIsaac said, of that time: “I went to the Limelight every night. I got laid a lot. I was considered a cute little boy.”

Rebecca Mead called him “a scruffy lord of misrule, somewhere between the Pied Piper and Pig Pen,” as well as “disturbingly sexy.” They walked together around Ottawa, notably one of the most boring cities in the world, where MacIsaac yelled “Death to Serbia!” at a group protesting the US bombing of Yugoslavia, gave $20 to a homeless man, and convinced a young couple to lend him their canoe. The following night, Mead watched him take acid before a performance and then smoke “a couple of joints,” followed by more acid, and more weed, once his band arrived. He killed it. By that time, he told her, his drug issues had “semi-cleared. Because if it was completely clear, it would be boring.”

The Ashley album I grew up with was his smash-hit Hi™ How Are You Today?, released 20 years ago. In hindsight, the ™ is a funny joke. The album mixed traditional Cape Breton fiddle music with rock and dance beats and if you’re cringing right now, whatever, express yourself, but this haunting nugget of my youth will never not give me goosebumps:

Ashley is alive and well and seems to take his music more seriously than ever. He is still outspoken and bad-ass but, I gather, more together. Gosh bless u, Ashley MacIsaac, and may you fiddle long.

So tired

Jul. 31st, 2015 11:47 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Fig and Ibid think hot weather is the best. And I think they have some means of drawing energy directly out of the ambient atmosphere. A process that involves jumping on me from the top of the book shelf, and clawing at me to get me to play. Or as it turns out, gently push them off the edge of the bed.

(Also, they wanted me to know they ran out of dry food just after all the stores closed. They don't actually like dry food but they didn't like not having the option to eat it....)

There's a certain chance they will be locked out of the bedroom tonight so I can get eight hours sleep.

Hot Man Tired of Being Objectified

Jul. 31st, 2015 02:30 pm
[syndicated profile] thehairpin_feed

Posted by Choire Sicha

Baltimore got me all excited like…

A photo posted by Steve Grand (@stevegrandmusic) on

Steve Grand is working social media full-steam ahead to further his recording and performing career, as one does now. He is probably also very hungry. And he’s had it.

Here’s the full rationale, posted on his Facebook. To be respectful, I’m not going to reproduce the photos in question, but they are pretty nude and good for him, he went to the gym really quite frequently.

But still, I’d take either party’s argument. “You don’t want people to treat you this way, so they shouldn’t” seems as reasonable as “You’re over 18 and you put pictures of yourself on the Internet.” Do I think this way because he’s a man? Maybe.

If you haven’t seen his recent video, which goes from being a pretty mediocre New Country jeans commercial to a sort of disturbing naked-swimming gay rejection incident before you know it, well here it is. Good LORD the body fat is low with these people. HAVE A SANDWICH.

(no subject)

Jul. 31st, 2015 09:43 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Scott and Cordelia went to the store last night and remembered to buy all of the extras, the it-would-be-nice-to-have-that things, but forgot the must have that they went for-- bread for Scott's lunch. He decided not to go back and simply to use a tortilla instead.

I'm having a lot of trouble with Google chat and docs right now. My mail inbox keeps updating, but everything else is giving me a continuous "We're having trouble connecting to Google." message. Everything but Gchat and Gdocs indicates that my internet connection has remained stable and continuous. It's very frustrating because I have a friend who's online who I'd love to chat with. Even before the official connection problem, I was having trouble. I'd type something in the chat window and hit return, and Gchat would tell me it was trying to send the message. It would continue 'trying' for fifteen to twenty minutes and never go through. I would still get what my friend sent, so there was some sort of connection there. Reloading the site helped for about five minutes and isn't really a good solution if it has to be repeated that frequently.

I think I am going to sign up for [community profile] iddyiddybangbang. I considered five different fics, but two were likely to be too long to finish in time (and I wasn't sure exactly what to do with either one) while two others might very well have ended up too short to meet the minimum word count without a lot of padding. The remaining story is already over the minimum and is, I think, about half done.

My foot and ankle are giving me trouble today. I spent twenty minutes to half an hour continuously on my feet yesterday as I made lunch and did the dishes. Most of that time was spent searching for the hamburger buns that I thought Scott bought on Saturday (I remember seeing them!). They were nowhere to be found. Cordelia looked, too, and couldn't find them. When I asked Scott later, he had no idea where they might be. I'd already looked three or four times in all of the places he could think of. So maybe he didn't buy them after all, and I'm just remembering seeing hamburger buns after some other shopping trip. I ended up giving the kids the last three slices of bread with their chicken patties in lieu of buns.

At any rate, my plan is to stay off my feet as much as I can manage today. I had to load the dishwasher and run it so that we'd have dishes for lunch, and I'll have to cook lunch (unless I can persuade the girls to do it. I suppose that's at least theoretically possible).

Scott is 95% certain that he's working 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow. He says it will take a miracle to get him out of it. He's going to have to grill tonight. There's no way around it. We finished off our leftovers last night, and I don't see doing carryout again so soon. Scott won't want to do it, but it's too warm for me to use the oven, so grilling is the only way we'll get meat for dinner for the next few days.

Our guests brought spring rolls and baklava. The kids have been eating the spring rolls, but they haven't offered me any (I haven't asked because I'm not sure their mother sent enough for me to have one, too). The girls are getting frustrated because the boy is refusing every option they offer for the three of them to play together. He's playing a Lego Wii game, solo, and won't even consider a three player Wii game instead. I'm not sure if I should intervene or not. The girls have gone off to Cordelia's room for the moment. I think they're reading Rick Riordan books.

I still haven't found that missing library CD, but I also still haven't gotten down on the floor to look under the couch. I need to find a flashlight for that, and all of ours seem to have wandered off.
[syndicated profile] thehairpin_feed

Posted by Haley Mlotek


KARR: I’d warned my mother and sister in advance that I wanted to cover the period of Mother’s psychotic break and her divorce from Daddy. She’d inherited a sum of cash that was vast by our standards, and she bought a bar and married the bartender—her sixth husband. She was an outlaw, and really didn’t give a rat’s ass what the neighbors thought. She drank hard and packed a pistol. When I tested the waters about doing a memoir of the period, she told me, Hell, go for it. She and my sister probably figured nobody’d read the book but me and whomever I was sleeping with. Also, my mother was a portrait painter. She understood point of view. My sister, who’s a very sophisticated reader, signed off too. For our people to do anything to generate income that won’t land you in prison, it’s a win.

I came across this 2009 Paris Review interview with Mary Karr this morning and spent some time with it; her thoughts on prayer and religion, in particular, were strong and clear, and I loved the way she openly discussed money as a motivation for her work, commerce being a completely underrated motivator, in my humble opinion.

The whole interview is full of her unique idioms (“Being a famous writer was a little like being a famous cocktail waitress—nobody dressed in diamonds,” for one, and when she says “Both books had minor characters out the wazoo” I lol-ed for real), but her point about which memories stay with you was my favorite:

Our little cracker box of a house could give you the adrenaline rush of fear, which means more frames of memory per second. Emotional memories are stored deep in the snake brain, which is probably why aphasics in nursing homes often cuss so much—that language doesn’t erode in a stroke.

“More frames of memory per second:” yes, that is exactly what a rush of fear feels like.

Read the interview here and report back with your own favorite idiom.

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