We got to the area near Interlochen about an hour before we were to pick Cordelia up, so we got lunch at the only restaurant we could find. It wasn't terrible. It also wasn't great. I finished my meal still feeling hungry and without any options for more food.
The Interlochen campus is really nice. I'd have liked to look around more (and the unclaimed Ingress portals only had a little bit to do with it), but Cordelia was really eager to get out of there.
Scott's parents invited us to stop by on our way home, and we did. The timing worked out that we arrived a little after 6:00, so they fed us dinner-- chicken, asparagus, mashed potatoes, and salad.
I dropped my Ativan tablet last night and couldn't find it (those things are tiny!), so I slept without it. I was exhausted enough that I slept soundly until Scott's alarm. After he got up, I didn't get back to sleep until he left. That wasn't because of him. It was me feeling too warm then too cold then having my neck hurt then... Well, on and on.
My allergy trouble hasn't come back. I'm hoping it won't, but the cleaning lady coming today may set me off again because the various cleaning products cause me problems breathing (one of the big reasons we have her come in).
At last, I know what a childhood of X-Men reading prepared me for: coping with the severe cognitive dissonance when different components of/perspectives on a fictional world are staggeringly different from each other in tone.
Except that, where X-Men (and similar) comics have passed through countless creative teams over several decades (and are a big enough thing to have all kinds of quirky sideline projects), in this case, said staggeringly-different aspects are written by the same person.
I'm now mostly caught up on K.B. Spangler's work in the A Girl and Her Fed (AGAHF) universe, which consists of the ongoing A Girl and Her Fed webcomic and five novels (so far), one of which is Not Like The Others. Oh, and the first of a planned series of novellas cheerfully (and accurately) codenamed "Joshsmut".
I came at this world...out of order, I guess, in that I started with the novels. I'd heard of the AGAHF comic and had been meaning to read it, but I do better with novels...and I didn't really realize how intertwined the projects are. Here's an io9 review of Digital Divide, the first Rachel Peng novel. (Four of the five novels currently available focus on Rachel.)
(Note: I'd heard of A Girl and Her Fed off and on for at least a few years, and had it on my to-read list before I mentally connected it to the Rachel books, but I never really looked into what it is...even though I always tripped, and still trip, over the title because I always parse it wrong. My instinct is still to read the "fed" as a conjugation of "feed", not as "federal agent", which makes no sense at all. How am I STILL DOING THAT?)
So Rachel was my gateway. Rachel as we meet her is a smart, driven, ex-military federal employee who's working as the liaison between the D.C. police force and her own federal agency, OACET, which is made up entirely of a large group of cyborgs. More specifically, a large group of cyborgs created in a catastrophically flawed project that took some of the best and brightest young civil servants from across the federal government, put chips in their heads, and left them collectively traumatized and disturbingly overpowered.
Emphasis on the "collectively". The (functionally nonexistent) "So You're A Cyborg" manual didn't have a chapter for "Welcome to Your New Hivemind! (Please stop screaming! Everyone can hear you!)"
Rachel's books start several years after all that, and several months after she's joined the above-mentioned police force, for the express purpose of helping to ease the public into the idea that Cyborgs Are People Too!, and super-useful to boot! And guys, I love Rachel dearly, so she was a great gateway for me. I kept going with her books until I discovered that the sole (so far) Hope Blackwell novel is set before Rachel's fourth book, so I opted to both read that book and finally backtrack to read AGAHF...
And it turns out that my X-Men experience is only barely up to this whole experience. ( cut for length; there's about as much text under here as there is above )
Two things of note:
1) Spangler is in the process of redrawing the first chunk of AGAHF. I don't know when she started doing that, or how quickly it's progressing, but the result is that the first 90-100 strips or so have been redrawn (each one linking to its original version) and have had some dialogue tightened and some plot holes smoothed out, but then you run out of redrawn art and get dropped into the original art style for a while, and it's...well, it's pretty jarring. (Here is the current/redrawn first comic; here is the original version. So you see.)
2) I'm not great at picking up things that call for content notes/warnings, unless they're pretty obvious. But one thing that bothered me, and recurred often enough that I feel like I ought to mention it, is the frequent use of "psychopath" (plus some instances of "sociopath") as a descriptor. ( briefly expanding on that; not very spoilery )
I always feel like I need more content to really update over here... and usually when I'm working on a Handplates page, I want to get that done before I do anything else. So there's this period of a few days after the page is done and posted where I can do other things before I feel compelled to start work on the next page, and then I end up using those few days to draw OTHER things, and then before I know it, the cycle's started up again without me taking time to put something together over here. I guess it doesn't seem as pressing to write these up since it's a ghost town, although it's nice to know some people still hang around over here and read these, haha. You guys get the SPECIAL INSIDER INFO!! I actually HAVE posted some fairly spoilery stuff here before, I wonder how many people found it? I toss little bits and pieces of future events all over the place, haha.
Anyway, I thought I should probably catch up on the other shorter comics I've drawn since the last time, since it should hopefully be faster to do than typing up the Handplates pages, particularly since a major event just occurred. This will be a mix of Handplates stuff and other things, with some possible talk of Undertale spoilers within! But now you can get Undertale on the PS4, even more reason to play it! Hehehe.
OH heck, to open with, I totally forgot to post this here! I did a quick animatic Flash video for Handplates!
I'd tell you the song choice but I think it's better if you don't know it going in, hehehehe. When I first got this idea I was laughing so hard I had to stop what I was doing for a few minutes, haha. IT REALLY WORKS.
( With two variant branches of Mercy going on )
I think that should be everything! Gah that took too long.
“[Kevin Pratt-King] had asked McCain for help after being diagnosed with the same form of aggressive cancer, glioblastoma. Instead of offering aid, according to Roy’s tweet, McCain advised them to move to a different state.”
“Social workers began going door to door in San Juan housing projects, explaining that a pill could be taken daily to prevent pregnancy. Once women were told what the pill did, they signed up by the hundreds. However, these women were not informed that they were part of a clinical trial or that the treatment was experimental.”
“Side effects [of the vaginal implant] can range from chronic pain and loss of sexual function, to major complications like the implant protruding through the bladder, or bowels, even necessitating removal of organs ensnared in the mesh. It can shrink inside your body, slicing through nerve endings, tissue and organs.”
“If someone makes the effort of going to doctor after doctor, and all they are given is a pat on the head and told, ‘Oh, sweetie, you’ll be OK—you just need to smile more,’ that is a failure of the physicians.” Article covers both social biases (like doctors assuming a woman’s problems are psychosomatic instead of doing tests) and biological ones (like researchers only testing on male mice, leaving them with huge gaps in knowledge regarding biologically female humans).
“The Gay Men’s Chorus posed to illustrate the impact of AIDS. Those dressed in black, with their backs turned, represent those who had died.” This 1993 photo is a punch in the heart.
And for something more hopeful:
An experiment, recounted in comic form: If you put rats alone in cages, they’ll addict themselves to morphine. If you put them in an enriching environment with a bunch of other rats to hang out with, they’ll avoid it.
Gisella Perl, the “Angel of Auschwitz” — who got that title by providing abortions, so the Nazis wouldn’t have pregnant Jewish women to experiment on.
“As what was thought to be the largest referral service in the country, which referred an estimated half million women for abortions in its six years of existence, the [Clergy Consultation Service] had significant market power that it leveraged to reduce the going rate for an abortion.” The name isn’t a euphemism. It was literally a coalition of Protestant and Jewish religious leaders.
“Intersex advocates are rejoicing at a paper released by three former US Surgeons General. The surgeon-generals called for an end to forced medical surgeries on young intersex people.“
Filed under: News Roundup Tagged: feminism, health insurance, Politics
"Social workers began going door to door in San Juan housing projects, explaining that a pill could be taken daily to prevent pregnancy. Once women were told what the pill did, they signed up by the hundreds. However, these women were not informed that they were part of a clinical trial or that the treatment was experimental."
"Side effects [of the vaginal implant] can range from chronic pain and loss of sexual function, to major complications like the implant protruding through the bladder, or bowels, even necessitating removal of organs ensnared in the mesh. It can shrink inside your body, slicing through nerve endings, tissue and organs."
"If someone makes the effort of going to doctor after doctor, and all they are given is a pat on the head and told, 'Oh, sweetie, you'll be OK—you just need to smile more,' that is a failure of the physicians." Article covers both social biases (like doctors assuming a woman's problems are psychosomatic instead of doing tests) and biological ones (like researchers only testing on male mice, leaving them with huge gaps in knowledge regarding biologically female humans).
"The Gay Men’s Chorus posed to illustrate the impact of AIDS. Those dressed in black, with their backs turned, represent those who had died." This 1993 photo is a punch in the heart.
"The military spends five times as much on Viagra as it would on transgender troops’ medical care."
And for something more hopeful:
An experiment, recounted in comic form: If you put rats alone in cages, they'll addict themselves to morphine. If you put them in an enriching environment with a bunch of other rats to hang out with, they'll avoid it.
Gisella Perl, the "Angel of Auschwitz" -- who got that title by providing abortions, so the Nazis wouldn't have pregnant Jewish women to experiment on.
"As what was thought to be the largest referral service in the country, which referred an estimated half million women for abortions in its six years of existence, the [Clergy Consultation Service] had significant market power that it leveraged to reduce the going rate for an abortion." The name isn't a euphemism. It was literally a coalition of Protestant and Jewish religious leaders.
"Intersex advocates are rejoicing at a paper released by three former US Surgeons General. The surgeon-generals called for an end to forced medical surgeries on young intersex people."
I honestly have no clue if that's accidentally or "accidentally", and maybe he's trying to separate himself from the Charlottesville marchers by dismissing them as "losers" and posioning himself as more rational/reasonable than Trump on North Korea before he gets fired, or what the actual fuck. Especially given that he was reportedly delighted and "proud" about Trump's press conference statements.
Dear FemslashEx Writer or Artist,
Thank you so much for writing for me! This is my first time doing FemslashEx, so I'm really excited.
(I only requested art for one fandom; however, if anyone is moved to do an art treat for me in any of them, I would absolutely love that.)
Loves, DNWs, and notes/prompts for my fandoms (Aliens, Carrie, Original Work, Star Trek: Classic Timeline, and X/1999 below cut). ( Read more... )
Quick, quick, quick, 'cause I'm so far behind on commitments that it's really unfunny.
I brought along a virtual stack of stuff (mostly in my Kindle) on our vacation last week. I didn't get to a lot of it, but:
The Harbors of the Sun is the conclusion to Martha Wells' Books of the Raksura, and I'm really sad to leave her dragon/bee shapeshifters behind. I have to agree with muccamukk that the Pearl-Malachite show alone was worth the price of admission, and that "Everyone got something to do [and] we met all kinds of old friends again." I'm not sure that I believed in the Evil McGuffin, and I'll need to re-read the story to truly understand what happened to it, but I appreciated the effect that the incident had on Jade and therefore on Moon. And Wells didn't kill off Stone, which is something that I had somehow convinced myself would happen. *sighs with relief*
Monstress vol. 2 (Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda) continues the story of Maika Halfwolf, a very Liu antiheroine (I first encountered Liu through her Hunter Kiss series). A lot of the action takes place aboard a ship, and I enjoyed that a lot. The captain is a total badass. My heart is constantly in my throat with regard to Maika's Morality Pet, the adorable little foxgirl Kippa, but Liu does sometimes let the innocent survive her harrowing tales, so maybe Kippa is *not* marked for a dire end. I'm not sure what I think of the Power Maika is hosting, though.
I'm now reading Yoon Ha Lee's Raven Strategem. I'm enjoying the new characters and Lee's sly humor, but I miss Cheris right now.
I will keep updating but if our rally is happening, I'll still be there. I think it's important to show our solidarity and fire. Hey, just talking about showing up chased the Nazis out of LA before they even came - let's give them crowd photos to haunt their dreams and keep them out.
Note: this headline is an understatement. The morning briefing headline does not pull its punches:
Wednesday briefing: Trump's words of comfort for Nazis
Mic.com: 5 takeaways from Trump's off-the-rails presser on Charlottesville violence
la-belle-laide points out a hell of a tell:
ALSO? The moment after he asks to define “alt-right” and is told that John McCain said that alt-right were the Neo-Nazis involved, he said: “Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at us – excuse me – what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?“
The alt-right Neo Nazis is “US” to him.
I mean, we knew. I don't think anyone who's been paying attention is surprised that Trump thinks this. What terrifies me is that a) he's out-of-control enough to say this shit in public, and b) the Republicans might let him get away with it.
The Hill: WH sends GOP talking points saying Trump ‘entirely correct’ on Charlottesville
Anyone you see tomorrow saying that, well, you’ll know they’re ‘just following orders,’ and that they always will.
Also, fuck the Republicans who will oh-so-bravely-and-controversially Tweet that neo-Nazis are evil, but not criticize Trump by name.
In fact, fuck the Republicans who will daringly tut and shake their heads sadly at Trump by name over this, but do nothing to stop him or remove him from power.
Our current best guess as to the problem is a combination of dust, ragweed, and the c-PAP. The dust and ragweed wouldn't normally give me this much trouble, not at the levels they've been at. I think that my sinuses have been irritated by the c-PAP and so are more reactive to other things. I haven't had a summer this bad for allergies since I was in high school.
All of my plans for the week, such as they were, have been shot to hell. They mainly consisted of writing and watching DVDs that can't be renewed (I have about fifty hours of lectures on DVD that can't be renewed) and more writing.
We have a very long day ahead of us as we'll be heading up to Interlochen to bring Cordelia home. (There are reasons for this that I'm not willing to go into in a public post.) It's been a hard decision, and I still need to make some phone calls about it. Part of me wants to go back to bed and to send Scott on his own, but that would be unfair to him. He could do it. He would, too, if it was necessary, but I can go.
We plan to get on the road as soon as we're both dressed and both have had breakfast.
2. Not getting to bed as early tonight, but definitely earlier than I have been, so I'm still counting that as progress.
3. Jasper is a cuddly baby but he is such a mommy's boy and pretty much only wants to cuddle with Carla. He used to cuddle with me when we first got him, but he formed a preference pretty early and while he allows me to hug him now, it doesn't usually last long. But tonight he came over to me and cuddled for quite a while! With his pur on at full volume and everything.
I was busy petting him and did not get any pictures, but here is one of him tolerating a hug the other day.
But that notwithstanding, we got some erranding done and had dinner and saw Atomic Blonde with lawyer!friend, who we hadn't seen in...a month or two? (I can't even with time.) So the day wasn't a wash, just frazzling. ("Just". -_-)
(I didn't know until the opening credits that Atomic Blonde is adapted from Antony Johnston's graphic novel The Coldest City, which I'm wholly unfamiliar with, so I have no idea how faithful to it the movie is.)
Three Amazon-related things, weirdly (and very tangentially, in the third case):
--Question: if you have a trial Amazon Prime account and preorder something that won't come out until the trial ends, and you don't opt to keep Prime, do you then pay for shipping when the item is released and ships to you? Or is it still the free/quick Prime shipping because of when you ordered it?
--I don't know if I'm more confused by Amazon's insistence on sending a separate email for every order represented in a package when they bundle items from multiple orders together, or by the fact that the emails don't all come at once. Did I really need four email notifications about one package? And why did it take over ten minutes for them all to arrive, start to finish? (Don't try to answer the "why they don't all come at once" part; I'm sure there's a technical reason, but that doesn't/won't change my feeling that it's silly for them to not arrive all at once.)
--And finally, Sarah Rees Brennan's In Other Lands (the polished/expanded novel version of The Turn of the Story, which she serialized online and which I love fiercely) is out today! It's a BOOK! A book I'll be able to hold in my hands! With mermaids on the cover! It's been fleshed out/revised and edited, and we'll get the ending from Elliot's perspective! (The Turn of the Story is from Elliot's POV, but its original ending was actually written before TotS and is a story in the Monstrous Affections anthology, and is from Luke's POV.)
...and for whatever reason, at least on Amazon.ca and Chapters.ca, the hard copy of the book is still slated to release on August 25. >.< I have a preorder of it via Kas' Prime account, as does Ginny. But the ebook version is already available for both Kindle and Kobo, and the book is officially out today in general...so I think I'm going to cave and buy an ebook copy too, so I can read it.
Here's Sarah's release-day post! The book has received starred reviews from both Kirkus and Publishers’ Weekly, and Sarah says "Bullied due to his personality! Inability to keep his mouth shut! I love how the reviews so far have been like: the hero is a terrible pill, but we are willing to buy this pill and take him home."
And here is Small Beer Press' post about the book's release, which opens with "Five years ago Sarah Rees Brennan emailed Kelly her story, “Wings in the Morning,” for our anthology Monstrous Affections. It was long: 17,000+ words in that early draft — although Sarah told us the actual first draft had been 30,000 words".
So you see, I've both already read and not read this book. I already adore it; I also, unsurprisingly, have a corner of my heart saying "but...but this means the story I already love is changed...?" and worrying a bit. But mostly I'm thrilled about it finally being a BOOK I can HOLD. And did I mention the mermaids? (I did.) Elliot, for all his brattiness and lack of enchantment with the magical place in which he goes to school, is appropriately entranced by and appreciative of mermaids.
Serene! Luke! ELLIOT! My heart...!