siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
So there I was, about half-past midnight, when I get a text from an unknown phone number. It's a double length message from my next door neighbor (I guess he changed his number, but saved mine) asking to borrow a cup of wifi, explaining that he (and his gf) was moving out at the end of the month, and Comcast had prematurely cut off his internet, and he was trying to get things done for school.

I asked him to stick his head out the door, so I could confirm it was indeed him. We had a bit of a chat. He hadn't known (no reason to) that I was moving too. So this was all very serendipitous.

I am now going to be gnawing my finger nails to the elbow practicing radical acceptance of what comes reminding myself I can tether my computer to my cell phone and have an unlimited data plan, if it comes to that.

Bells and friends

Feb. 20th, 2019 11:30 pm
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
[personal profile] sorcyress
Today I skieved off from Highland in order to go to Wednesday bells! Yayyyy for Wednesday bells!

(Wednesday bells are not particularly different from Saturday bells in terms of culture, since it's largely the same batch of people, but they are technically in a different church. Of course, since we ring at both places on Sunday for services, it's not like I'm not getting rope time at Advent, but it is nice to get more general practice time there)

Specifically, I skieved off since my friend Leah was in town and coming ringing, and I wanted to get to see her. This is an acceptable (to me) reason to miss Highland --friends being at bells-- as is "being legitimately sick or injured". Still though, I try not to miss Highland *too* often since it is both physically and mentally good for me.

A couple weeks ago, I had a really bad bells weekend, and I had to sit my brain down and make some decisions about how I was going to be moving forward (helped along by both therapist and Austin and talking about "do you actually like this? it seems to stress you out like a lot".) I still find the hobby to be incurably stressful at some of the times, but I think I've also been able to be more mellow recently. One of the specific good things I've done for myself is not allow myself to write self-hating notes in my bells diary.

Yes, it does seem like a way lower level of self-care than I should be on to explicitly say "you're not allowed to call yourself a useless piece of shit in your diary", but that's how self-care works sometimes, I guess. Can't always be at the good levels all the time.

So I've been forcing not-negativity, and I've had a really good couple of weekends, and that's been nice. Tonight started out _really_ rough, but the nice thing about Leah is that she's crazy in damn near the same ways I am, and the two of us decided within hour of having known each other that we are Definitely Friends and I was able to pull my brain back together in order to interact with her. Then once I had a social anchor, I was able to get things unbad and rang reasonably well for the rest of the evening.

Leah was not ringing (for her own "bells are complicated" reasons) so I was alternating trying to ring things sanely and well and hanging out and chatting with her. This included a Very Sneaky Adventure down to the kitchen to steal cookies1, where we spent a bunch of time discussing books and boys, and also her accidentally finding a quiet out-of-the-way spot to be alone which happened to be exactly my usual out-of-the-way spot to be alone at Advent.

So it was a good night, and good social. Getting to ring Plain Bob Minor on two new stages2 was really keen too, and yes, I did it with Danielle standing behind me to help keep me in the right place, but she wasn't constantly talking or anything, so like...I dunno. Maybe I am gradually learning a thing?

(There is a really significant point in bellringing where one can consistently handle well enough that they can stop focusing on the handling as the big difficulty and start seriously learning methods and compositions. Think of it like the point in Scottish dancing where you know the footwork well enough that you can trust it to just carry you through unfamiliar figures. Anyways, I think I'm close, and I think I might be a *lot* closer than I would've thought I was a month ago.)


1: Talking about how she had been exploring the church and I made a dumb joke about had she found "the forbidden kitchen" and we were sorta riffing on that when [personal profile] choco_frosh was all "so did you find the cookies?" and then indicated that we could, in fact, go steal cookies from the church and that would not be tragic.

2: This is a piece of jargon I *constantly* forget and relearn, and someone used it tonight so I'm trying to get it into my brain. The stage is how many bells you're ringing for the method (which is a specific pattern or order you change the bells around). Some methods can only be rung on even stages, some only on odd, some (like Plain Bob, which is probably the easiest actual method) on both. So, I'd rung Plain Bob Doubles a bunch this past weekend (Doubles is five) but the was my first time ringing Plain Bob Minor (6) and Triples (7).

((Singles, Minimus, Doubles, Minor, Triples, Major, Caters, Royal, Cinques, Maximus, 15, 16, 17, 18...))

Reading Meme

Feb. 20th, 2019 09:47 pm
shadowkat: (work/reading)
[personal profile] shadowkat
1. Politics?

Me: I won't vote for anyone over the age of 65.
GT: I'll extend that I won't vote for anyone over the age of 30, including me.

Hmmm...Maybe no one over the age of 45.

Enuf said. If I say more on this won't end well.

2. Reading Meme...

Just finished Un-Canny X-men #12 - 2018-2019 by Matthew Rosenberg and Salvadore Larroca...and they are kicking this out of the park. I'm loving this series. The art, the writing, the story, everything.
spoilers )
I can't wait for the next issue, which will drop in another two weeks. They come out every two weeks.

And I've renewed my long expired library card and discovered the pleasures of borrowing electronic books from the library. If I don't like it, I can return it without the guilt. YAY! Also it takes up no space. Plus so much cheaper.

Since I'm buying comics again -- they aren't really available at the library, although comixcology unlimited does provide free ones to borrow here and there.
I need to reduce costs somewhere.

Latest? Laura Kinsale's The Hidden Heart -- which isn't nearly as good as the sequel Shadow and the Heart which I bought and just finished. (I borrowed The Hidden Heart from the Library. It has a very small selection of Kinsale novels, however. I wonder if I can donate electronic books to the library? Probably not.)

Shadow and the Heart -- Read more... )

3. Preferred Tropes in Stories

by no means all inclusive list )
yhlee: Animated icon of sporkiness. (sporks (rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
As some of you already know, I was a Guest of Honor at ConDFW in Fort Worth, Texas from Feb. 15 to Feb. 18; I then stayed with my friends [personal profile] telophase and [personal profile] myrialux until today, Feb. 20.

I flew from BTR (Baton Rouge) to DFW (Dallas-Ft. Worth) on AA 3180 on Feb. 15 in the morning. The original departure gate was B2. They switched it to B7. This is significant because that morning at B7, the computers were down. The gate agent did not have any way of scanning boarding passes and for all I know she didn't take any record of passengers at all, who knows.

Today I showed up at DFW for my return flight home, which was to have been AA 3185 departing DFW at 4:55 p.m. for BTR.

The kiosk couldn't find my flight.

I went to the desk agent.

Two desk agents and one American customer service person on the phone ALL told me that because I was a no-show on the flight from BTR to DFW (they are telling me this as I am standing in the airport at DFW), American automatically dropped my return flight, without telling me. The only way I could get home was now to REBUY a ticket either for that flight or a later one.

Dear reader, I did not fucking teleport from Baton Rouge to Dallas-Ft. Worth. I was on AA 3180 on Feb. 15. It was not my fault that American's fucking incompetent recordkeeping listed me as a no-show. The desk agent asked if I'd kept my boarding pass. I had not, but hell, I remember some people on that plane boarded with electronic boarding passes on their smartphones, so what does that even prove?

As a result, I had to spend $341.30 of my own money to get back onto a flight that American had kicked me off of BECAUSE THEY ARE INCOMPETENT and listed me as a no-show for a flight I WAS ON.

I Tweeted about this in an attempt to get American's attention [1], basically reiterating what I have told you here.

@AmericanAir's response:

There were only two flights in the itinerary, BTR to DFW then return flight DFW to BTR. I was ON flight #1. I should not have been dropped from flight #2. The issue was that they had INCORRECTLY recorded me as a no-show on AA 3180 from BTR to DFW. I should not be penalized for their failure! At the LEAST I want a refund of the ticket I shouldn't have had to buy thanks to American's incompetence.

I have a smartphone that I leave on until I'm physically on the plane, and turn back on once the plane lands. Google's creepy tracking will show that I was in BTR and DFW at the appropriate times. Moreover, my friends [personal profile] telophase and [personal profile] myrialux physically picked me up from DFW when AA 3180 landed and I got off. I have a hotel receipt showing I was in DFW.


Yes, I have emailed American Airlines with a complaint, since whoever runs their Twitter is incapable of basic reading comprehension. However, I expect that I am never flying American again unless the alternative is getting drawn and quartered by locomotives.

[tech] Comcast: huh

Feb. 20th, 2019 08:29 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I just got the email confirming my move from Comcast, and it says my new bill will be substantially more than my old one.

I pull out the old bill to compare, and the difference is that "limited basic TV" was $8, but will be $21. :[

The only reason I have limited basic TV is because the discount on my internet is more than its price. I will have to have speaks with them. Not amused.
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa

This is the latest in a recurring series! For more about the series, please read the original post on Marta Randall, or subsequent posts on Dorothy Heydt, Barbara Hambly, Jane Yolen, Suzy McKee Charnas, Sherwood Smith, Nisi Shawl, and Pamela Dean.

The more I do of this series of posts, the more I discover that one of the commonalities of writers I want to feature here is that they write with great variety--both on a range of topics and for a range of audiences. The first Gwyneth Jones books I fell in love with were the series that starts with Bold As Love--all rock, all political, all relationships, all the time. Focused on the near future, the environment, and how people handle it as people--at basically every scale. Healthy dollop of weird science fiction mysticism.

But then I ran around trying to find as many others of her books as I could--a harder feat than it should be in the US, alas--there were very different things. Weird alien SF! Creepy kids' books! Riffs on classics with heart and humanity! There are authors of whom you can say, "Well, it's a one of those again, if you want that," and...Gwyneth Jones doesn't do that. Even the last book of the Bold As Love cycle departs strongly from the patterns and concerns of the rest of it. (The Grasshopper's Child, and I love that one too.) There's a lot of her back catalog for me to pore through bookstores to find, and I'm eager for it.

[law] Paging Anon Commentor K

Feb. 20th, 2019 05:18 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Paging Anonymous Commentor K! You have email (two actually) from me. If you
don't see them, check your spam filter - Gmail hates me/my domain.

[domesticity] More Moving

Feb. 20th, 2019 05:06 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Called both FedEx and UPS.

FedEx gave me a time window the driver was likely to deliver the rugs tomorrow, and is passing along my request to try to deliver between 1pm and 3pm (which is a subset of the likely time, anyway). The do not need a signature and volunteered to just leave the package, but I explained I needed them to bring the 50lb package all the way up to my apartment, for which I needed to be there to buzz them in. (Not strictly true, but I want to be there so they don't get abandoned in the mail room, leaving me to schlep them.)

UPS's agent was unable to add special delivery instructions to the order until the package was more or less here, and told me to call back tomorrow morning. I politely explained that was not possible, and was incredulous that that was how things were. She apologized that it was so. So I'll try to post a sign tonight.

In other news, I called Comcast to set up my move, and they were completely reasonable. I can change my plans with them at any time, I am eligible to self-move (so it's free), and the internet will be on in both places on the move day, so I can carry the router from one apartment to the other and everything should be fine. Fingers crossed.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Adventurer! Many talented designers of tabletop roleplaying games have joined to celebrate the Bundle of Holding's sixth birthday with this 2019 Birthday Bundle charity benefit. You can find all these terrific RPGs free elsewhere around the web (links below). But, for just a small donation, you get convenient access to them here on your Wizard's Cabinet download page -- and your entire donation (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, the RPG Creators Relief Fund. The RCRF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity founded to provide financial assistance to tabletop roleplaying creators suffering hardship due to medical emergencies, natural disasters, and other catastrophic situations.

More details here.

Nebula Award Nominee!!

Feb. 20th, 2019 11:28 am
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
[personal profile] marthawells
The Murderbot Diaries: Artificial Condition is a Nebula Award nominee for Best Novella!! Congrats to all the other nominees!!!


The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager US; Harper Voyager UK)
Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller (Ecco; Orbit UK)
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (Del Rey; Macmillan)
Witchmark by C.L. Polk ( Publishing)
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)


Fire Ant by Jonathan P. Brazee (Semper Fi)
The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark ( Publishing)
The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean)
Alice Payne Arrives by Kate Heartfield ( Publishing)
Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson ( Publishing)
Artificial Condition by Martha Wells ( Publishing)


The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander ( Publishing)
The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections by Tina Connolly ( 7/11/18)
An Agent of Utopia by Andy Duncan (An Agent of Utopia)
The Substance of My Lives, the Accidents of Our Births by José Pablo Iriarte (Lightspeed 1/18)
The Rule of Three by Lawrence M. Schoen (Future Science Fiction Digest 12/18)
Messenger by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne and R.R. Virdi (Expanding Universe, Volume 4)

Short Story

Interview for the End of the World by Rhett C. Bruno (Bridge Across the Stars)
The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington by Phenderson Djèlí Clark (Fireside 2/18)
Going Dark by Richard Fox (Backblast Area Clear)
And Yet by A.T. Greenblatt (Uncanny 3-4/18)
A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies by Alix E. Harrow (Apex 2/6/18)
The Court Magician by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed 1/18)

Game Writing

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch by Charlie Brooker (House of Tomorrow & Netflix)
The Road to Canterbury by Kate Heartfield (Choice of Games)
God of War by Matt Sophos, Richard Zangrande Gaubert, Cory Barlog, Orion Walker, and Adam Dolin (Santa Monica Studio/Sony/Interactive Entertainment)
Rent-A-Vice by Natalia Theodoridou (Choice of Games)
The Martian Job by M. Darusha Wehm (Choice of Games)

The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

The Good Place: “Jeremy Bearimy,” written by Megan Amram
Black Panther, written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole
A Quiet Place, screenplay by John Krasinski, Bryan Woods, and Scott Beck
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman
Dirty Computer, written by Janelle Monáe and Chuck Lightning
Sorry to Bother You, written by Boots Riley

The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt; Macmillan)
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi (Rick Riordan Presents)
A Light in the Dark by A.K. DuBoff (BDL)
Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman (Random House)
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)
Peasprout Chen: Future Legend of Skate and Sword by Henry Lien (Henry Holt)


Feb. 20th, 2019 09:21 am
rydra_wong: Fragment of a Tube map, with stations renamed Piero della Francesca, Harpo, Socrates and Seneca. (walking -- the great bear)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
To: ,

Dear Home Secretary,

Apparently you have decided that the British citizenship of a young woman born in Bethnal Green -- and that of her week-old child -- can be revoked because the fact that her parents are of Bangladeshi heritage means she could theoretically apply for citizenship in Bangladesh, a country she has never been to.

Whether one regards Shamima Begum as a groomed child, a criminal, or both, it is profoundly abhorrent to adopt a policy wherein people with immigrant parents have a literal second-class citizenship, which can be revoked where that of others can't.

I have enough Jewish ancestry that I could apply to emigrate to Israel, if I had any desire to do so. Does that mean my British citizenship can be revoked?

yours sincerely,


siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Today, a kind of wave of emotional exhaustion hit me. I'm not physically tired – I slept really well last night, though I've not yet burned down my sleep debt – but I just feel demoralized by the overwhelming scope of Things To Do To Move.

Probably the most demoralizing thing to do is clearing off my desk.

It has finally dawned on me, like in the last 15 minutes, that my desk is where Important Things I Don't Know What To Do With go to die.

Uncluttering my desk in a more durable fashion will entail figuring out some other way to handle things I don't know where to put. Perhaps part of that will be getting better at figuring out where they should be put in the first place.

In some cases that is challenging due to form-factor. I have two plastic accordian files here, which I can't figure out what they can fit in, to store them, e.g. In other cases it is challenging because I do, nominally at least, have a place something belongs, but there's something wrong with it. For instance, it seems my volume of business cards has recently exceeded the volume of my business-card box; inversely, I used to have a box I kept on my desk into which I put mailing supplies like stamps and envelopes, but when I reorganized my apartment in 2016, it stopped fitting on my desk and got moved somewhere else, so mailing supplies have gotten backed up on my desk. (The answer turned out to be, "Yes. Yes, as a matter of fact, I had not so long ago bought a book of forever stamps.") A few things on my desk are things with newly developed homes that hadn't yet moved in, e.g. I have ephemera which belongs in the new ephemera box I bought a few months ago.

But then there's other stuff. For instance, I found the large manila envelope which was shipped to me, containing what are basically SASEs for disposing of unwanted medications. I expect that momentarily that will be super useful, but if that envelope was sitting there since 2016, or was circulating my place for years before that, I wouldn't be surprised. I don't remember when it was I got it; I do remember receiving it, and promptly putting a few to good use, but then I had some left over and thought they were likely useful in the future. I have no idea where to store such a thing.

Hilariously, I now have a new category of difficult to handle paperwork: things that I know perfectly well how and where to file, but belong in files that.... are now in storage, thanks to the book mover. I'm starting a "File Me When We Get There" folder.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
The lawyer interestingly did not say that it's not a trick. Rather the lawyer said that legally handing over keys does not constitute surrendering the apartment, but (perhaps recognizing the possibility for he-said/she-said shenanigans) suggested that I write up a document to give with the keys stating that handing over the keys does not constitute my surrendering the apartment, which I think is a brilliant solution, if I tack on the bit where I demand that either the landlord or the agent sign the thing and keep it myself, while giving them a copy.

Assuming I want to provide them keys. Lawyer didn't answer my question about what happens if I don't provide the keys, and whether the landlord can break in.

The internet seems to be saying it would take a court order to–

Aaaaaand I literally just got a txt message from the agent asking if I would be there to let her in tomorrow at 6:30pm. Which I was planning on being, anyways, so fine. It's not 24hrs notice, but I'll take it. She didn't try to strong arm me into providing keys, so a point in her favor.

Eh stuff...and plagiarism

Feb. 19th, 2019 07:50 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
1. ganked from maia -- The History of the World in Admin -- as someone who has spent most of her working life in the administrative and operations departments of various businesses of varying sizes, this is fascinating, and most likely true. Evil Marketing people have ruled the world for too long now -- fire their butts and hire a good public administrator.
Read more... )
I think this relates to the US and Brexit. Although, it should be stated that one of our Administrative Assistants/Clerk Typist is a heretrosexual male.

2. Netflix finally got around to cancelling The Punisher and Jessica Jones.. Hardly surprising.

3. What is it with "Indiana Jones" and DW today? Smartbitches had a question about an Indiana Jones like romance novel and someone else had a post about an Indiana Joney style sci-fi novel. Is something in the water? I remember writing a really bad novel about an heroine fashioned after Indiana Jones during WWII back when I was a teenager. Think a female Indiana Jones with a male damsel and male fatal. I flipped the genders.

4. ah... Another Plagiarism Allegation against another romance novelist -- why is it always genre novelists who get either targeted or reported for doing this? Most infamously it was Janet Daily who was accused and later confessed to plagiarizing Nora Roberts novels -- she overcame it before she died at 69.
(Honestly I don't think it would be that hard -- Roberts is a paint-by-numbers writer, it's not like her style is distinctive or anything. Be like plagiarizing James Patterson.) Then of course there was the The Cassandra Clare debacle -- where the writer allegedly plagiarized a Draco fanfic and got banned from as a result (not to worry -- she went on to write a best selling series "Shadowhunters" based on that plagiarized fanfic. LMAO.)

The latest culprit is Cristiane Serruya. And she's copying from Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan and Lisa Keyplas, among others. And fans found it. Apparently there's a CopyPaste app that can search a book and find phrases that are lifted from another one? Folks in the digital age -- don't plagiarize, people can catch you and humiliate you on the internet for kicks.

Again, I ask, why is it always women and in the fantasy and romance genres?

Hmmm..curious to see if there are any other cases -- I did a search.

* What Are Famous Examples of Plagiarism

Note some will surprised you. And they aren't all women, and none of them appear to be romance novelists. Huzzah! I sort of knew about Alex Haley, but thought that had been resolved in his favor...guess not?

* Still More High Profile Cases as chronicled in the Boston Globe

Talks about James Frey, among others -- more modern examples.

* Literary Plagiarism Scandals - goes into literary scandals, some of which got disproved.

Per the last link? Plagiarism isn't that easy to prove.

Read more... )
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Le sigh.

Sorry, I just now heard about this. From CNBC, Jan 23, 2019: Patreon CEO says the company's generous business model is not sustainable as it sees rapid growth.
Patreon CEO Jack Conte said in an interview with CNBC that the platform will soon be facing the challenge of maintaining a profitable model as the company continues its growth.
Okay, so, this is kind of disturbing, not just for the obvious reason that, hey, I use Patreon to make a living, but because, you know, the way business models are supposed to work, when you have more customers, your profits are supposed to go up.

I am alarmed to be reminded of the old joke, from back around the turn of the millennium, in the boom, we told about the most half-assed web ventures: "We're losing money on every sale, but don't worry – we'll make it up in volume."

Now, this is not a huge surprise, because the Patreon fish swallowed the venture capital fish-hook. I suspect that what is not sustainable is the sort of growth their investor-predators want to see. Because I have trouble imagining that serving as a payment processor that's getting 5% is not actually quite lucrative and sustainable. Like, Paypal only gets $0.30+2.90% of transations it handles, and they're not crying about being in mortal peril. Patreon is not obviously providing more service, tech-wise, than Paypal, to explain why basically getting 2% more than Paypal does is insufficient to its operational needs and profitability wishes. And if Patreon's operational costs are half-again as much as Paypal's, well, presumably that's because Paypal has economies of scale on Patreon, and if that's the difference, Patreon's growth (in terms of customers) should solve the problem, not worsen it.

If the problem is that the investors are bleeding the company, then, well, it's not clear how doom could be averted. This is what happened in the 80s, the whole leveraged by-out craze: investors bought companies – profitable, successful companies – to eat them.
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong

[personal profile] sciatrix: Biology friending meme?

It occurs to me that I have an awful lot of subscribers and friends who have varying interests and expertises in biology, psychology, and all sorts of related topics and ideas. 'Related' being read broadly here--if it touches on natural or social sciences and you want to share, please do.


jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Tucker McKinnon

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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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