snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
I dreamed about his new show that's basically just the dude being upset that women liked Madoka. A bunch of magical girls are at a magical girl boarding school, and each episode is about their vicious in-fighting, usually culminating in at least one death. Which is the purpose of the school - there can be only three magical girls at a time.

It takes a few episodes for the deaths to start. We're initially introduced to three specific girls as the protagonists, with one in particular, who's Robin Hood-themed and has invisibility powers, being set up as the heroine. A couple episodes in, Robin is thrown into conflict with one of the other two, panics, and kills her.

When she calms down, she immediately starts rationalizing what she did to herself and the two or three other kids who talk to her. Then, to drive home the point that this is not the first time Robin has killed another child, she finishes up the episode by killing three other girls.

There's a flashback episode about a girl with some sort of healing power, who we haven't seen at the school yet - we assume she's about to be recruited and will be the transfer student who becomes the new protagonist. She's trans and living with another trans girl, and it's pretty cute right until the other girl is horribly murdered. Then we move forward forty years and find out that healing-girl is the evil dean.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
I've hit my limit with Acronis's mysterious failures.

Needs to have incremental or differential backup options as well as automatic deletion of old versions.

Daily Happiness

Apr. 18th, 2015 12:50 am
torachan: sakaki from azumanga daioh holding a cat, with the text "I like cats" in Japanese (sakaki)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I got my inbox cleared out! There weren't many emails in there but there were some that had been sitting there for a while and I finally dealt with them so now there is nothing!

2. We had Shake and Bake pork chops for dinner and they were very tasty. It's been ages since I've had Shake and Bake.

3. The new cashier we hired is going to start training tomorrow. Now if we could just get some new stockers...

4. I didn't get nearly as much as I'd hoped to get done at work today (no surprise there, really), but I did get a lot done and made some good progress on an aisle that needs to be totally rearranged.

~The Art of War: 40 and loving it!!

Apr. 17th, 2015 09:38 pm
zarla: Alucard in the Library (interestedinthis)
[personal profile] zarla
Ultramega Ok! recording

Metroid - Vidboy - Chekhov's Beam
Steampianist - Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - Mechanical Steed
Zack Parrish (feat. Michaela Nachtigall) - Fire Emblem - Path of the Prestigious
Vomitron - F-Zero - Death Race
Stephan Wells & Erik Scerri (feat. Pontus Lundén & Benjamin Gatt) - Metal Gear - This is Snake
RoeTaKa - WinBack - S.C.A.T.

Random audio issues, bleh. Hopefully they aren't too noticable.


Anyway, I mentioned a recurring pattern I was looking into a while back, but I think I'm pretty sure of it now, so here are my findings!

I have nightmares pretty frequently, no big deal. There's a subset of them though where they get so bad they jerk or startle me awake with a sudden gasp. Gasp-awake nightmares are less common but suck more, as you'd probably guess. Anyway, back around last August, I was having a lot of nightmares and it felt like I was having them like every day, so I decided to start writing down every time I had a gasp awake nightmare (since normal nightmares are fairly common).

According to my notes, August actually WAS pretty crazy. I had gasp awake nightmares on the 5th, 7th, and 8th, bad dreams on the 9th, 12th, and 16th, and a sad dream that woke me up crying on the 14th.

Then, nothing. Until about one month later, where I had two nightmares and an upsetting dream from the 16th to the 22nd. Then nothing, until October and I had two more anxious dreams.

After keeping notes for a while, I noticed that the gasp awake nightmares come about once a month. Sometimes there was only one, or sometimes there'd be a cluster in a span of a few days, or sometimes there'd be random one-shots usually associated with life stress, and in November I actually didn't have any, but on the whole, they're always about a month apart.

And checking my period tracker, wouldn't you know it, it turns out that the gasp awake nightmares correlate almost exactly with the start of my period. Super weird!

This is totally something I never would have noticed otherwise, so I'm glad I kept these little notes for a while. Something about my body's chemistry must trigger particularly vivid dreams around that time of month. I actually had two nightmares recently, yesterday and the day before yesterday, and boom, period started today. Presumably a gasp awake is oncoming, but who knows! Believe it or not, keeping these notes doesn't fill me with any kind of dread for period nightmares or anything, it's just sort of a weird fact that I'm occasionally reminded of when it happens. Also I always forget this pattern until I have to note down a new nightmare, so it's not something normally on my mind. Weird though!

I should write down when I have normal nightmares too, I wonder if I have them as often as I think?


In other news, still picking away at that fic I AM SO SICK OF EDITING IT UGH. I just want to post it and be done with it. All the scenes are roughly in order now and most of my editing passes are catching minor details, so it's getting closer to being done I think now. I wonder if I can actually finish it before the end of the month?

Latest scrambles from Tumblr

Apr. 18th, 2015 12:47 am
sailorptah: Girlycard (hellsing)
[personal profile] sailorptah
Greasemonkey script to restore the Tumblr sidebar. It was a little bulky/long for my screen, so I downsized the font to 14pt and the line-heights to 16pt, and, look, now I can get to my sideblogs from the dashboard with a single click! Even better than before.

More various useful scripts for Tumblr users.

"Would you hang out with this person IRL if you two were in the same location? Would it be weird(mentally and physically) for you to hang out with this person? If the answer is yes, unfollow their blog and step away from the situation." How to let someone know they've screwed up online, especially a young someone.

"I’ve been on panels before where panelists and audience members were brave enough to share deeply personal stories of abuse and trauma and the whole room responded to their courage with respect and gratitude. I feel so deeply sorry for that panelist now, because that was not the reception she received." How NOT to act, online and off-. Not toward trauma survivors, not toward people who write fic you don't like, not toward ANYONE.

(no subject)

Apr. 17th, 2015 11:09 pm
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
I am definitely going to die in about an hour, two hours. Or eventually.

Weekend Roundup / Open Thread

Apr. 17th, 2015 08:30 pm
[syndicated profile] thehairpin_feed

Posted by Jaya Saxena

by Jaya Saxena

large_my_cousin_vinny_blu-ray11
Yesterday I spent a half hour trying to fax paperwork to the Brooklyn Courthouse to prove that I'm self employed so I don't have to do jury duty next week, AND IT WORKED. And of course they refused to let me scan and email all the documents to them, but emailed me that I no longer have to serve. I see you, Brooklyn Federal Courthouse, and your insistence on fax machines even though an easier alternative is clearly available. You don't scare me. I actually wrote about the last time I had jury duty here, and yes I am all for doing my civic duty but right now my duty is to the Hairpin! Also unless the trial is an exact recreation of My Cousin Vinny I'm not interested.

OK what happened this week? Haley fixed our eyeliner and it was Selena's birthday. We talked about losing hair, and self-care, and made some nachos. We are all Team Grover, we are all Beach Witches, and we are all definitely spending this weekend learning to breed fancy pigeons. Also let's listen to "American Oxygen" one to fifty more times.

If you have not read "Empathy, In Excess" yet, please do so now, and then come back because THIS LINE, YOU GUYS: "His fragility was his weapon. His helplessness was his weapon. His attempts to mirror whatever I said about him back onto me were his weapons, and all of it worked." Just, that's it! That's these relationships, distilled! Also great is Beejoli on being told cultural appropriation isn't a big deal, Chris Offutt on the coded class judgments of "trash food," and I wrote a piece on the TLC show Four Weddings and my husband did Moneyball to the statistics and I have no idea why he indulges me so.

What are you up to this weekend? You got friends coming over? Am I invited?

0 Comments
[syndicated profile] thehairpin_feed

Posted by Anna Fitzpatrick

by Anna Fitzpatrick

hockeymaskandchainsaw

A disembodied horse head

A Juggalo

The following Pokémon: Psyduck, Jigglypuff, Wigglypuff, Snorlax, Charmander (Charizard ok)

A book called "The Best Practical Jokes to Play While She's Asleep"

Three kids in a trench coat

Pizza the Hutt (the Jabba the Hutt parody from Spaceballs)

A cursed amulet

Anything cursed, really

An improv troupe

A portal to another world that seems idyllic at first but is actually quite sinister

What the article was actually about:
These sex dolls.

2 Comments

(no subject)

Apr. 17th, 2015 03:58 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
[community profile] metanews is finally posted for this week. It took a lot longer than usual because the post was too long for LJ. Splitting it meant re-doing the tag list for each half of the post, and that's the most time consuming part of things.

We've gotten a comment from someone who would really like us to type out the name of the source blog for all blog links. Right now, we just put in '[author's name] (blog)' and leave it at that. I suppose I can see wanting to know what blog the link goes to, but it would be a lot of extra work for those of us doing blog links (which is pretty much exclusively me right now. I'm hoping that will change, but...). We've previously had people wanting us to distinguish between blogs that pay contributors and blogs that don't, but we don't do that because we have no way to know which is which and because it would also be more work.

The blog feed is already a really big task. On a slow week, it takes me at least three hours (and often more), and we keep adding new blogs to our feed (I added five or six this week alone). I hesitate to change anything else that would make the whole thing harder.

ETA: I wrote this about three hours ago and thought I had posted it. Checking now, I see that I never did, so here it is.
[syndicated profile] loweringthebar_feed

Posted by Kevin

Although such items can certainly be terrifying, in this particular case an appellate court in New Jersey decided that throwing one at a corrections officer did not constitute "attempted assault with a weapon."

According to the report (thanks, Robert), Gerald Lovelace is currently serving a prison term in Bayside State Prison for some other sort of weapons charge. After his wife visited him in 2012, an officer noticed that he was wearing a wedding ring, an item that inmates are not allowed to wear (not sure why, but I can think of a few good reasons). The officer demanded that he turn it over, which he did—by taking it off and throwing it at her. A hearing officer ruled that this was "attempted assault with a weapon," and Lovelace appealed.

The appellate division found this to be a pretty easy case, given the administrative code's definition of "weapon," which is "anything readily capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodily injury." This includes (but is not limited to) firearms, knives, and "billies, blackjacks, bludgeons, metal knuckles, sandclubs, slingshots, cesti or similar leather bands studded with metal filings or razor blades imbedded in wood...." That part is based on New Jersey's statutory list of prohibited weapons, and I'm sure that like me you now have two main questions: (1) does this mean I can't bring my cesti into New Jersey, and (2) have I been using the wrong Latin plural form of "cestus" all this time?

The answers are (1) yes, unless you have an "explainable lawful purpose" for possessing one, and (2) how am I supposed to know what form you have been using? I have enough to do without following you around and checking on your noun declensions, pal. But I do think the state department of corrections got it wrong, and so has included girdles on its list of dangerous weapons.

crowdsourcing

Apr. 17th, 2015 02:58 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Did I have an entry here on formative Norton novels?

Patrolling the Queer Craigslist

Apr. 17th, 2015 05:30 pm
[syndicated profile] thehairpin_feed

Posted by Nicole Pasulka

by Nicole Pasulka

gasjhgk

Queer Exchange, a Facebook group that has been active since 2011, is an online market for NYC’s queer community. As the group has grown to more than seventeen thousand members, moderators Edgar Díaz and Ariel Speed Wagon have done their best to preserve the right balance between commerce and discourse—“Queer Exchange still wants you to trade coats and pots and pans and barbers…and isn’t really interested in talking it over”—and to stamp out the occasional thread that erupts in flames.

Though it was created to facilitate trades, not discussions, the group is queer and this is the internet, so arguments over racism, classism, ableism, and transphobia; how to pay library fees; what to charge for theater tickets; and whether it’s OK to re-home a cat are inevitable. The other day, we chatted about the demands of moderation, the limits of running a messaging board on Facebook, and how internet drama erupts in even in a group that rejects gender binaries, hierarchies, and heteronormativity.

How did you get involved with Queer Exchange?

Ariel: Robyn Overstreet started Queer Exchange. It was her baby. She’s this genius who wanted to make a space for her friends and her friends’ friends to exchange stuff and find queer-friendly housing and jobs. Little by little they needed more moderators. I had spent time on strapon.org, which was this legendary hard-ass, third-wave feminist message board that came out of the Chainsaw Records message boards. I wasn't a moderator there, but I spent a lot of time watching and fighting out incredibly heart-wrenching political things on the Internet. I was also a part of various BBSes and—this is embarrassing—on LiveJournal communities. So, at one point Robyn was like, you should just moderate Queer Exchange.

Edgar: Like Ariel, I'd moderated in contentious spaces online before too, mainly at r/Gaybros and r/Gaymers on reddit. I had a reputation for calling oppressive things out there. I'm pretty sure I joined Queer Exchange when it already had several thousand people in it and I would report posts to the mods. I wasn’t looking out for things that were oppressive, just posts that didn’t belong there. Because of my diligence flagging things, I was invited to moderate.

You published new guidelines earlier this year that specify that the group should be a place where “discussion does not overtake the exchanging.” Why minimize discussion in favor of exchange?

Ariel: It is not hard to find places on the Internet to talk about your political feelings or opinions. When we were writing these guidelines, I thought a lot about how to not allow subtle racism and subtle classism and subtle transphobia. I also didn’t want this be a space where people are constantly duking it out over those things. When that happens, you end up with a lot of people who are trying to prove how smart and aware they are and a lot of people trying to prove how stupid the other side is for being so sensitive. People who are having conversations, but don't actually care that much about each other. So, let's talk about these things in the context of trying to do something together, rather than just talking about them.

Do you think these conflicts are unique to Queer Exchange in some way? Or does it feel like typical Internet drama?

Edgar: Folks on places like Tumblr and Reddit tend to get into impassioned, heated arguments about social justice, combating oppression, and identity politics. On Reddit, a lot of the drama will be people coming out against being social justice warriors—there can be opposition to people who mean well and are trying to be anti-oppressive. That opposition is gone on Queer Exchange. If we were in real life and we talked about these issues we would mostly be on the same side. But there’s a lot of nuance, and so these conflicts can feel like infighting.

Ariel: The word “infighting” is so often used to mean, “Why are you fighting with me? I’m so close to being right!” But no one ever says, “Why are you being subtly racist? That’s infighting!” The word is used to shut down people who are trying to call things out. Not everything on the Internet can be a discussion group, but that doesn't mean everything on the Internet has to slide down to the most normative, everything's fine, oppressive place.

The guidelines make a point of banning racism, classism and not allowing defensive, sarcastic, or snarky comments that point out racism and classism but aren’t “helping.” Is it hard to draw that line?

Ariel: People always expect the moderators to be omniscient and protect their best interests, but those are specific to each person. We’re subject to our own biases and can’t possibly meet everybody’s needs. We can say "we hear you" but can’t always do that thing they’re asking us to do. We walk a funny line between exchanges and discussions and we do the best we can but we absolutely do not always get this right. With the guidelines we’re trying to be transparent; we’re explicitly getting it wrong in some places and we’re sometimes mis-moderating.

It’s pretty easy to see how racist or classist comments would destroy a thread, but what else derails conversations or exchanges?

Ariel: Something less politically charged that we deal with a lot is the cats. We have a small and very passionate group of people who will come down on pet owners who are in over their heads and trying to give away their cats. But it's not your job to save the cat! Robyn used to say, "If there was a sign on a bulletin board being like, 'cat free to a good home, I have a baby coming,' you most likely wouldn't write on that sign, 'How dare you?!'" At least not as readily as you would post on Facebook about it.

Do you have any reservations about the fact that Queer Exchange is on Facebook since the site was slow to provide non-binary gender descriptors and queer people are being kicked off for using chosen names and drag names?

Ariel: Facebook has turned into one of these things most people are willing to hold their noses and use. It is so intertwined in the fabric of so many queer communities. The people who are kicked off Facebook aren't like, “Fuck you, we're done.” They want to be let back on Facebook. My main frustration with it as a venue for something this large and complex is that the moderation tools suck. People invite us into threads expecting us to have a level of subtlety. You can delete a thread, you can ban a user, you can delete a comment, and that's all.

How often do you get invited into threads to moderate them?

Edgar: The group mostly runs itself, but sometimes there’s a flame thread that goes on for hundreds of comments and we get tagged and start getting messages from people. Those times become very visible. I have friends in real life who will be like, “Whoa, what was all that drama on Queer Exchange today?”

Ariel: Someone put an ad up looking for an anti-apartheid seltzer maker, or seltzer maker that doesn't support apartheid in Israel—SodaStreams are made in occupied Palestine—and, like, KaPow! It was on. There were over two hundred comments within two hours. I got a text from someone saying, “Queer Exchange is blowing up, please save us.”

But the only time I was ever really worried was when a person was legitimately having a mental breakdown in the group. People were being mean to her, she was posting that she was going to kill herself, and people were threatening to call 911 on her.

Edgar: I was on the subway and I had to get off and tell my friend, “I'm sorry something is happening on the Internet.”

Ariel: We were tag teaming back and forth—I’m trying to have a date, he’s trying to have dinner—and we’re not mental health professionals. We’re not God, or your dad.

I feel like I see these threads, they pop up in my feed and make it look like the whole group is melting down. Does it feel like that to you, too?

Edgar: At times I have been like, “OK let's just like close up shop. I can't deal with these people.”

What brings you back from the brink?

Edgar: I guess I sometimes empathize with people who get very, very riled up about things ‘cause I have been that person making grand pronouncements and taking a stand and getting on a soapbox on a fucking website. But when I walk away from the keyboard and go outside, that drama doesn't actually matter. I have other things to worry about in my life. We don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are just some people who are going to be problems.

Ariel: I think it's worth it to figure all these questions out and have these fights and let them play out provided they haven’t crossed the line. Where is that line? That’s a good question. One thing that helps is that the Internet has a short memory. Four hours with no posts and a thread falls out of the Queer Exchange memory. When things cool down, usually they stay cool.

Do you think what goes on in the group reflects conversations and challenges within the larger NYC queer community?

Ariel: This online community has absolutely made me realize that there's no such thing as a queer community. There are queer communities each of which has its own norms and language and political morals. They all talk about “the queer community” and they all mean themselves and not all the others, and that's where so much of the infighting comes from.

You see that every time people have any type of disagreement. It's not just race and it’s not just age and it’s not just geographic location. I think after the seltzer situation, someone started a queer and trans people of color queer exchange. There was a thread posting about that, which turned into a flame war between people of color. There were white people in there arguing for and against it, but mostly it was an inter-POC conflict.

Has being so involved with this online group changed how you feel about queer communities online or your own online lives?

Edgar: Occasionally there are thinly veiled posts looking for weed and sometimes people will ask for prescription medication. People will ask for hormones, and I'm waiting for the day when someone asks for Truvada. At first, I thought that shouldn't be here—the person should be searching out a doctor. But then I was like, It's not my place to take it down and wag my finger. Why do I think that's how this should go?

Ariel: What’s changed for me is that I’m now seen as part of this very large institution that people talk about. I’ve been at events where someone will make a Queer Exchange joke and people look at me. Even people I don’t know. People sometimes expect us to be a funny mix of dad and God. To create exactly their vision of what a queer group should be on the Internet. It’s surprising that people really and truly expect we can make the Internet safe and OK. We’re just trying to make something that’s useful and doesn’t suck and hopefully get people some coats and blenders and maybe even a cat.

This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

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How To Breed Fancy Pigeons

Apr. 17th, 2015 04:00 pm
[syndicated profile] thehairpin_feed

Posted by Sydney Parker

by Sydney Parker

White FrillbackSMALLYou don’t know it yet, but there is a Pigeon Fancier inside of you just cooing to get out. Sure, you think that your passion for books, roller derby, crafts, or S&M is what truly sets your heart ablaze, but that is only because you haven’t tried breeding your own Fancy Pigeons.

My passion for pigeons first ignited in New York City: while my college friends took in the breathtaking skyscrapers, bluegrass accordion acts, and breakdance battles in the cultural epicenter of the universe, I watched the city's pigeons do their funny pigeon dance and giggled like a woman in love. I was tickled by their little iridescent heads bobbing about on their chubby pigeon bodies as they casually weaved around frantic New Yorkers rushing to do all the important things important New Yorkers do. It brought me peace to know that while I was fretting about school, work and finding love, the pigeons were crapping at will, copulating on the Statue of Liberty, and eating leftover pizza.

When I finally found love with Sam, my now-husband, I kept room in my heart for my feathered friends. After a raucous night at Medieval Times, Sam and I had our first kiss at a bus stop on the side of the New Jersey highway as pigeons encircled us under the stars. When Sam and I moved in together, we awoke each morning to pigeons chortling their festive pigeon songs on the windowsill of our sixth floor walk-up. Sam was less than thrilled with this noisy start to the day, but I greeted the pigeons like a modern day Sleeping Beauty, trilling “Good morning Mildred! Good morning Edith!” as I made breakfast and dressed for work.

When Sam got a great job offer out in Los Angeles, we decided to take the plunge and make the move. Los Angeles was sunny, friendly, and full of kale, but I missed my friends, the seasons, the excitement, and of course, the pigeons. Seagulls are cool and all, but they’re not pigeons.

My pigeon nostalgia took on many whimsical and disturbing forms. I began painting pigeons and writing pigeon poetry. It was what I like to call my “Pigeon Renaissance.” This was a time of great creative flourishing where I painted pigeon masterpieces such as "Pigeon by Day" and "Starry Night Pigeon." The pigeons were all-consuming. I’d try to draw something else like a bowl of fruit or a self-portrait, but somehow it would still end up looking like a pigeon. Our apartment took on the aesthetic of John Nash’s office at the end of A Beautiful Mind—he too, was fascinated by pigeons. Sam was supportive of (and amused by) these creative endeavors, but also wanted to know what the fuck was going on and encouraged me to meet some new people, maybe join a club?

After some furious Googling, I discovered The Los Angeles Pigeon Club, a place for special pigeon lovers and their "fancy" pigeons. I met some of the kindest retired senior citizens in the world and learned about breeding fancy pigeons or what Leon Stephens, President of the Los Angeles Pigeon Club, likes to refer to as “bio-artistry”.

Unlike common city pigeons that mate for life, Fancy Pigeons are selectively bred by their owners to enhance desired traits such as enormous tails, unusual coloring, puffy chests, funny feet, or curly wings. For centuries, pigeon enthusiasts around the world have been breeding mutant pigeons to create exotic-looking birds for show. Thousands of pigeon breeders compete internationally to become the next Master Breeder.

I wanted to know more about Fancy Pigeons, so I reached out to LA Pigeon Club Master Breeders, Tally Mezzanatto and Frank Barrachina, for a tutorial. They took me under their wing and invited me to spend an afternoon in their backyard pigeon paradise learning the art of Fancy Pigeons. I have returned to share the wisdom of their experience.

Step One: Find Your Pigeon Soul Mate

IMG_2088So you’ve been looking for love on OKCupid and haven’t found a keeper. I’m not surprised. If you’re serious about finding true love, do yourself a favor and pick up a pigeon hobby magazine. Frank discovered the love of his life in a 1969 issue of American Pigeon Journal. Beautiful brown hair down to her waist and a prize-winning pigeon in hand, Frank knew Tally was the kind of girl he just had to meet. Not only was she a groovy babe and pigeon master, she was also top of her class at Berkeley in microbiology. He wrote her a love letter and they became pen pals; soon, Frank moved out to California to be with her full-time.

“Tally is really a great gal,” says Frank. “Our love of pigeons brought us together.” Forty-six years later, they are still madly in love, having raised over a thousand Fancy Pigeons together and traveled all over the world for competitions. Rather than His & Hers monogrammed bath towels, Tally and Frank cite His & Hers pigeon lofts as one of their secrets to a happy relationship. Sam and I can’t give pigeons the home they deserve in our small one bedroom, so for now we have a plain old dog and settle for lame activities like “conversation” and “kissing.”

Step Two: Choose Your Fancy

There are hundreds of gorgeous breeds to choose from. Fan Tails, Frill Backs, Croppers, and Dragons are a few of the most visually notable, but the standard variations are endless. If you want only the finest fancy pigeon, you might consider traveling to Germany, well known by fanciers as the “Mecca of the pigeon world." Tauben (German for "pigeon") competitions feature up to 35,000 birds and are held nearly every weekend.

Beware, though: fancy pigeons are pricey. “Some fanciers will pay over $3,000 for a pair of prize pigeons,” said Tally. If that seems like an extreme investment, don’t worry. Many breeders will sell you excellent fancy pigeons for a few dollars if you are genuinely interested in the craft. Pigeon fanciers are passionate about their hobby and eager to share it with newcomers.

Step Three: Join the Club

Joining your local pigeon club is a great way to make new friends while learning the ins and outs of the hobby. Birds of a feather stick together. The Los Angeles Pigeon Club boasts a loyal membership of fanciers, many of whom have been in the club together for over 50 years. The warmth of the welcome I received at my first pigeon club meeting rivaled the reception I enjoyed when I emerged from my mother’s womb. The club was still riding high from the success of their recent Grand National Championship and thick, generous slices of celebratory cake were consumed by all. Mike Tyson, a long-time pigeon enthusiast, kicked off the opening ceremony for the Grand National with the release of two hundred white pigeons into the sky. Tyson’s celebrity, combined with increased club marketing efforts, attracted an unprecedented number of local and international fanciers to the show.

Step Four: Two Pigeons, One Cage

Once you have selected a “James Dean, daydream” cock and classic, red lip hen with traits that you like, put them in a spacious cage together and they’ll never go out of style. Frank and Tally introduced me to what they jokingly refer to as their “Playboy Pigeon,” a bird with the largest chest I had ever seen. They also have an 18 year-old former “Cover Girl” pigeon, a rare beauty of her time. “You have to coo to the pigeons,”said Tally. “It relaxes them so they puff out their chests and impress their mate.”

Someday, when I get my own pigeons, I’m going to take creative liberties when it comes to getting the birds in the mood. Boyz II Men, Marvin Gaye, votive candles or a Shakespearean love sonnet are all sensual ways I intend to inspire them to do the Dirty Bird (these ideas are purely speculative on my part, but enticing prospects nonetheless).

When the hen lays her eggs, make sure that she actually sits on them. Fancy hens can be vain creatures, preferring to strut about the coop rather than tend to their unborn. “The prettiest birds aren’t always the smartest,” said Frank. If the Fancy Pigeon absolutely refuses to sit on her eggs, give them to a “common,” foster pigeon. The commoners, resigned to their lowly position in life, will dutifully assume the responsibility. When the eggs hatch, ta-da! Fancy Pigeon.

Step Five: Maybe She’s Born With It. Grooming Your Fancy Pigeon

IMG_2024SMALL
Before your pigeon’s first cotillion, ahem, I mean, competition, you want her to look her very best. Tally and Frank recommend feeding your pigeons a natural diet of oyster shell pigeon grit, mineral oils, and a little salt to keep her feathers shiny and healthy. Clip her pigeon toenails and trim her stray feathers. Your debutante should take her beauty rest in the same crate that you’ll be using to show her off at the pigeon pageant. This will give her a chance to get comfortable in her new accommodations so that nothing will ruffle her feathers on the big day.

The judges will determine if she makes the final cut, but it’s important you let your pigeon know you appreciate her unconditionally, win or lose. The glory of winning a pageant is only temporary, but the love of a good pigeon lasts forever.

Sydney Parker is a freelance journalist living in Los Angeles and blogging on Carnival of Souls. She's also written about Fancy Pigeons here.

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james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Lifted from Nick Mamatas : are there any aesthetically ambitious politically conservative SF/F writers younger than Tim Powers?

(no subject)

Apr. 17th, 2015 02:30 pm
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Posted by Jaya Saxena

by Jaya Saxena

I am constantly thinking about how, were I to be tested now the way I was in school, there is no way I'd get into any college or honors classes because I have completely lost my capacity for being tested. My main accomplishment in life is that I will never have to take a test again. Praise hands emoji.

2 Comments

Just a reminder

Apr. 17th, 2015 10:40 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Precedent exists for refusing to accept a Hugo after winning it. When the late Judy-Lynn del Rey won Best Editor some months after dying, Lester del Rey refused it in her name via intermediary Owen Lock.

(no subject)

Apr. 17th, 2015 01:00 pm
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Posted by Haley Mlotek

by Haley Mlotek

Arift in a sea of digital apps for every imaginable function, we often feel our needs are met better today than in any previous era. But consider the chatelaine, a device popularized in the 18th century that attached to the waist of a woman’s dress, bearing tiny useful accessories, from notebooks to knives.

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