In the middle of all that, though, I adopted a new German Shepherd. Meet Jetta:
( Read more... )
She's a rescue. Which means that she's overweight, hardly trained, barely housebroken, tennis-ball obsessed, and suffers from separation anxiety. On the other hand, she loves people, is very snuggly, and has figured out pretty quickly that every time she goes in her crate she gets a treat, so we're learning to get along.
It will take a bit longer to get her used to having her nails clipped, though...
Oh, and the name is not for the car: it's a nickname for Bridget, except the original spelling was Gette, and it would be impossible to get anyone to pronounce it right. And since she's jet black, it seemed to work.
The first episode is available to watch in its entirety for free on YouTube. The series, which is independent and fan-funded, takes place in the original universe approximately ten years after the events of Nemesis.
You can back the Kickstarter at a variety of levels and help make the next phase of Star Trek happen!
The lack of sleep probably contributed to my near breakdown when I discovered that Scott hadn’t brought the clean washcloths upstairs last night. I very specifically told him that I needed him to, and he stayed up well past when the dryer buzzed. Nevertheless, when I got up, everything was still in the basement. First thing in the morning is when everything hurts most, so bending over repeatedly to sort out the washcloths from everything else brought me near tears from the pain.
My breast looks really thoroughly terrible. I think most of it is the antibiotic cream having dried in place (it’s not meant to be absorbed), so I’m hoping things will look better when I remove the astringent soaked washcloths in another ten minutes.
I have concluded that superhero comics don’t currently work for me. None of the ones I’ve tried recently— No, I’m forgetting Tiny Titans. Those were okay. I just can’t seem to read anything more serious or longer. Maybe in a few months or years. Maybe not.
Scott and I watched two library DVDS last night, Into the Woods (2014) and Justice League: Throne of Atlantis. I can’t say that I was disappointed by Into the Woods because my expectations were very, very low, but I didn’t really enjoy it. Throne of Atlantis had only the barest threads of plot. I think the only reason we didn’t turn it off was inertia, that and we were waiting for the laundry to finish up.
Original Title: ヒメゴト～十九歳の制服～ (Himegoto~Juukyuu Sai no Seifuku~)
Author: Minenami Ryou
Publisher: Big Comics
Status in Japan: 8 volumes, complete
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Migeru
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates
Summary: This is the story of three college freshmen with secrets: Yuki, aka Yoshiki, a boyish girl who gets off on wearing her old high school uniform skirt; Mikako, who acts innocent around her classmates, but at night pretends to be a 15-year-old and has sex for money; and finally there's Kaito, who's obsessed with Mikako to the point of dressing up like her.
Chapter Summary: Yuki is desperate to keep Mikako and Kaito from spending time alone with each other because she's afraid Kaito will confess his feelings. Kaito doesn't want Yuki spending time with Mikako because he's afraid Mikako will be a corrupting influence. Meanwhile, Mikako wants to keep Kaito and Yoshiki apart because she wants Yoshiki for herself. But not everyone can get what they want...
Chapter 51: Deadlock
Chapter 52: Alike
It happened, though.
Close Quarters (1467 words) by inkstone
Fandom: One Piece
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Monkey D. Luffy/Nami/Trafalgar Law
Characters: Monkey D. Luffy, Nami (One Piece), Trafalgar Law
Additional Tags: Cuddling & Snuggling, Canon-Typical Violence, Fluff
Summary: Law is done with the Strawhats. Except for when he's not.
Except maybe when it's not. That's the premise of health psychologist Kelly McGonigal's new book, The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You and How to Get Good at It. McGonigal is a public health professional and she spent many years spreading the message that stress is toxic and horrible. That's why she was dismayed when she saw a study that suggested that the health impact of stress is instead tied to stress beliefs. When people believe stress is bad, stress is indeed toxic and harmful in their lives, associated with an increased death rates, etc. However, when people don't believe stress is harmful, those increased risks disappear. In fact, people who had positive mindsets about stress and high leels of stress had better health outcomes than people who had negative mindsets about stress and low levels of stress.
In this book, McGonigal presents the scientific research on stress for laypeople and then offers practical exercises, mostly mindset interventions, that readers can try in their own lives. In some ways, it all sounds too good to be true, but McGonigal addresses that elephant int he room. She notes there are studies that suggest that mindset interventions can be effective even when they are done openly--the equivalent of an open-label placebo. The first half of the book talks about reframing stress and what a positive mindset about stress looks like. The second half the book focuses on how to change your reactions to stress. Your options aren't limited to fight-or-flight. You can also choose a challenge response (Instead of "I wish I didn't have to do this" to "I can do this")*, a caring/social response (what McGonigal calls "tend-and-befriend"), or even a growth response. McGonigal is careful not to say that trauma or suffering is good, but rather than individuals aren't just doomed to be damaged by adversity.
Though I was initially very skeptical (and okay, still am, to a certain degree) of the power that McGonigal attributes to mindset interventions, there were many points of the book that resonated with me. For example, there have been points in my life where I've had challenge and growth responses to stress and seen what a difference that it's made in my life. And ultimately, one of McGonigal's key messages, which also happens to be one of the last things she says in her TED talk, is that "chasing meaning is better for your health than trying to avoid discomfort." I believe that's true, even if I haven't always done that. And if that's true, it sure can't hurt to give the rest of it a shot.
Overall, a very accessible work of popular nonfiction. Recommended.
*Quotes from Hamilton kept popping into my head during this section. "Let's go!"
Venue Reviews Reviewers R/R James Nicoll Reviews ('15) 299 1. 299 Locus 296 11. 26.9 Tor.com 271 33. 8.2 SFX 199 30. 6.6 James Nicoll Reviews ('14) 150 1. 150 Romantic Times 127 21. 6.0 Strange Horizons 115 46. 2.5 Interzone 79 21. 3.8 io9 74 12. 6.2 F&SF 59 5. 11.8 Vector 59 25. 2.4 Analog 58 1. 58 Asimov's 47 3. 15.7 NYRSF 45 23. 1.4 Science Fiction Studies 43 36. 1.2 Foundation 29 19. 1.5 CSZ 22 18. 1.2 LARB. 17 14. 1.2
By the end of high school, I was active in the Diplomacy Club (we played the strategy board game Diplomacy), the Science Fiction Club, the school literary magazine, and Stage Crew, where I held the lofty position of Assistant Electrician and got to help order costume supplies from New York, from a real Broadway costume outfit.
On the other hand, inviting friends home was almost impossible (mom needed enough lead time to make everything spotless, and we were always on tenterhooks for her to have a meltdown).
But I had *friends* with whom to share books and music. And a regular babysitting gig. I was able to by record albums and concert tickets. During this period, acts I saw included Rick Wakeman, Paul McCartney and Wings, Seals & Crofts, and David Bowie. But my favorite act was Queen, recommended by my friend Charles' younger brother. I barely knew the word "androgyny," but there was something very special about Freddie Mercury. A Night at the Opera was *the* album at that point, but "Killer Queen" pretty much sums up what drew me to the band:
Like everyone else in DC (it seemed), I was a fan of "Bohemian Rhapsody," but other favorites from Opera included guitarist Brian May's science fiction ballad "'39," the sweet love song "You're My Best Friend," and the music hall-inspired "Seaside Rendezvous." And Brian May had a university degree in astrophysics! It just didn't get any cooler than that for me at 17.
Scott’s family has started exchanging Christmas wishlists. I’m thinking of making a secondary list that’s shorter than my main list. I’ve got about 250 items on my long list, and some of them are there more because I want to remember that I want them than because I expect anyone to buy them for me just now. The big list is overwhelming, and it’s hard to tell which things I want most.
I’ve been listening to podcasts this morning. I’m hopeful that I’ve got the volume low enough that I haven’t woken Scott (though I think he’s probably up by now and just cruising the internet on his laptop).
Scott’s mother sent home a box with a small serving of pretty much everything from the dinner she served. She didn’t send containers of the stuff Scott particularly likes which seems an odd omission and something that Scott will regret. I suppose he could make some of this stuff for himself this weekend if he wants to.
I’ve been browsing the online catalog at our public library, and I found that the library has board book copies of Les Miserables and War and Peace. That boggles me. I have no idea how one can abridge either book quite that much, and they’re not things that I would have thought of as toddler appropriate.
I also spent time browsing the list of book giveaways on GoodReads. There was a book of short stories labeled as ’solarpunk.’ That’s not a term I’ve previously heard of. I don’t feel sufficiently motivated to research it to see if it’s common. I was rather astonished by the number of giveaways that don’t actually give information about the book and/or author but that just say something like "I’m giving away ten copies of my wonderful new book!" That’s fine, but why would I want to win a copy if you don’t tell me anything interesting about the book? It’s possible to get away with that for, say, The Annotated Little Women, but 95% of those books are by people I’ve never heard of and so have no investment in. There were some blurbs and titles made me laugh, but I can’t remember specifics now.
Cordelia’s school is doing the Scholastic book fair next week. I could order books online right now, but Cordelia says she doesn’t want any because she’s only interested in owning books she’s already read. So I guess I won’t be buying much this year. None of the teachers have put up wishlists online, either. I keep checking for that because I’d like to donate that way. It’s also really strange not to be volunteering at the book fair. I’ve volunteered every year since Cordelia started school.
I really, really want to go out to eat and have restaurant pancakes. The ones Scott makes aren’t anything like the same. But I’m not willing to deal with wearing a shirt long enough to go out for that, and it’s not precisely the sort of thing one can get carryout.
I keep starting books and then deciding that they’re not worth the effort. I think that has more to do with me than with the books because they’re books I was looking forward to and because putting them down seems to have more to do with me being tired and/or unable to focus than with there being something wrong with the book.
2. We had delicious turkey, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin cheesecake.
3. Molly cuddled with me on the sofa this evening and was just super sweet.
At Tor.com, "(Almost) Every SFF Adaptation Coming to Television and Movie Theaters!"
"20+ Gifts For Miyazaki Lovers That Will Spirit You Away".
A Kickstarter: "Hatoful Boyfriend Official Plush Project".
A couple weeks old, but io9 posted "Behold The Awesome Origins Of Spider-Gwen's New Female Captain America".
A first round of Jessica Jones links:
Spoiler-free, timestamped list of possible triggers related to rape/sexual assault in Jessica Jones; includes a link to a similar post re: scenes of domestic/familial abuse.
"Jessica Jones Showrunner Melissa Rosenberg on Season 2 and Women in Hollywood". [The Mary Sue]
An interesting read on the history of Patsy Walker in comics, with some minor spoilers for the first few episodes of Jessica Jones. [Polygon]
"Why Krysten Ritter Hated the Idea of Jessica Jones". [Slate interview]
"'Jessica Jones' showrunner Melissa Rosenberg talks rape, adaptation, and female sexuality". [LA Times]
"What Goth Culture Looks Like Around The World". [slideshow, annoyingly]
"An Ancient Chinese Ginkgo Tree Drops an Ocean of Golden Leaves".
"After 6 Years And 720,000 Attempts, Photographer Finally Takes Perfect Shot Of Kingfisher".
"20+ Reasons Why Being A Nature Photographer Is The Best Job In The World".
Unsorted (all via Facebook)
"How Contemporary Hairstyles Affect Historical Costume Movies: The 1920s".
"Ever Wondered Why Americans of the 1930s and 40s Spoke with an Accent?" [links to a short Brainstuff video]
"Why living with friends doesn’t make you a bad adult". [The National Post]
"Why I Never Tell Anyone My Age".
"22 Times The Dedication Page Was The Best Part Of The Book". (Amusing read, but the headline is definitely inaccurate in terms of Hyperbole and a Half, and doubtless so in the case of many of the other books. Dear headline writer: yes, it's a clever, but not clever enough to keep me from rolling my eyes.)
"Cats Experience Less Stress When They Have Access To Boxes: Study".
I napped for about three hours after Scott and Cordelia left this afternoon. I had anxiety dreams involving getting lost in a huge house I’d never been in before and being completely unable to find my meds. It was pain that woke me.
I have figured out that the key to getting out of bed without absolute agony is to put my hand under my breast so that I don’t end up with all of the weight of my breast suddenly pulling on the burned skin. It still hurts, but I kind of ease into it, spreading the pain across more time. Of course, getting out of bed without both arms free is a bit more challenging.
The last I knew (Scott’s mother emailed me half an hour ago), Scott and Cordelia were still at his parents’ place. That’s one of the drawbacks of me not going— Scott doesn’t want to leave because that would involve admitting that he has to get up tomorrow. It’s an hour’s drive home from there, and he’s been up since 2 a.m., so he’s exhausted. The drive home is not going to be a wonderful thing, no matter when it happens, but earlier would be better so that he can actually get a full night’s sleep.