jazzfish: Randall Munroe, xkcd180 ("If you die in Canada, you die in Real Life!") (Canada)
It will have been raining in Harvard Square for only half an hour when you give up hope.

On Monday I got laid off. I spent the next couple of days lazily rounding up personal documents and potential writing samples from the work laptop.

Today I transferred those to my home machine, cleared all personal touches from the work laptop, and shut it down for the last time. Then I went out and stood on the porch for a little while.

The Fraser River was mostly empty. In the distance, a barge full of dirt passed out of view behind Annacis Island.

You cannot know what will happen next.


Jul. 5th, 2011 07:34 am
jazzfish: an open bottle of ether, and George conked out (Ether George)
In addition to accomplishing a handful of things off my List, yesterday was a day for two major achievements.

First, I updated my computer-building credentials by successfully replacing the memory and hard drive in the work laptop. This involved popping the keyboard out and replacing it without breaking any of its flimsy plastic clips or losing any of the keys (except Home, but who uses that anyway?). My small hammer with several different screwdrivers built into the handle is now officially my go-to computer disassembly tool.

... excuse me, a little brown sparrow just landed on my open window, cheeped at me a few times, and flew away.

Where was I? Right. Secondly, and more importantly, I convinced/shanghaied/bullied [personal profile] uilos into going to the doctor for the persistent crud she's had since before Origins. Likely this only worked because she'd given it to me as of Satyrday morning, and by yesterday I was in pretty miserable shape. But we now have a regimen each of amoxycillin and an irritation at the need to submit claims to the insurance company. Just like home. (BC has a waiting period so we're safe from the dangers of socialized medicine for another couple of months.) The amoxy seems to be doing its job; I'm much more functional today.

Yesterday I also reread the first two ABC books[1] in reverse order, since B is technically a prequel to A, while C is a direct sequel to A that builds on backstory from B. I'm not sure whether I recommend this reading order or not. Probably not; it feels better to let the backstory fill in the gaps in the 'main' story. (In other non-news, if you believe in reading Magician's Nephew before LWW I have nothing to say to you.) Also, reading in pub order means you don't get "how Muire met Kasimir" twice in a row (it's the start of A, and also the last thing that happens in B).

Onward, with reinstalling a bunch of software for work. Yay fun.

[1] Also known as Elizabeth Bear's Edda of Burdens series: All The Windwracked Stars, By The Mountain Bound, The Seas Thy Mistress. A, B, Sea. What? Stop looking at me like that.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Best brain-breaky limerick I have ever seen. [via [livejournal.com profile] prog]

Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy, well, you know.

Bear explains Where the Wild Things Are. "We don't want to want to be scared and lonely, and when we are scared and lonely, it makes us feral and mean. Such a simple thing, and so hard, so very hard, to show, to accept, to explain." Yes. This.

Much music lately. Caught a small Girlyman show in Bellingham two weekends ago (about which trip there's more to say but I don't know that I have words), at a venue with the least comfortable seats ever. Good times. Not as much from the new album as I'd hoped or feared. (I love the new album and think it's the best thing they've done; songs like "Trees Still Bend" and "The House Song" are likely to make me more than a little sniffly.)

Then Wednesday was Richard Shindell at Jammin' Java, which has now been downgraded to having only the second least comfortable seats ever. Richard didn't play "Happy Now" but he did do the mule song, and several others that I recognised, and several that I didn't. He got progressively less grumpy as the night went on, which helped. Antje Duvekot, his opening act, has a lovely voice and a good way with lyrics, and may be the best opener I've ever seen, next to Girlyman opening for Indigo Girls a few years ago. I picked up one of her CDs after the show and regret not getting the other as well.

And finally Dar on Friday at the Birchmere, where the seats are reasonably comfortable. She played about half stuff off the latest album, which I'm pretty underwhelmed by, and half older stuff. I think this is a better ratio that last time. She also introduced "Spring Street" in a way that had [livejournal.com profile] jude and me worried that it was going to be "February," and gave a stunning performance of "Mercy of the Fallen." Nothing at all from her first two albums. Oh well. Perhaps someday I'll get to hear "Mark Rothko Song" or "Alleluia" or "The Great Unknown" live.

Antje and Natalia Zukerman (who opened for Richard the first time I saw him, two years ago) and two other people I've never heard of have put together a winter album, and will be at Jammin' Java in mid-December. Seems worth catching.
jazzfish: A small grey Totoro, turning around. (Totoro)
Is Executing an Innocent Man Enough?: "What I hope will emerge is death penalty advocates honest enough to admit that no system of state-sponsored execution can be infallible, because people are fallible. I want them to come out and say what's clear-- innocent people will be executed." To which one commenter responds "They won't make the argument b/c death advocates don't believe anyone is actually innocent. I've had this conversation before and the response is 'well, they must have been doing something wrong, otherwise they wouldn't have gotten caught/been in the wrong place/etc.'"

The Chains That You Refuse: I believe this story came about when someone in a chat room said "Not all combinations of person and voice will work: you can't write a story in, say, second person future," and eBear responded with "It will have been raining in Harvard Square for only half an hour when you give up hope."

If the Device forgets that it's supposed to be on shuffle, and instead starts playing all its songs in alphabetical order (starting at a random point), I won't realise it until I've heard two different versions of the same song twice.

Relatedly, I have an awful lot of songs that start with the letters "Si."

Words I am allergic to:
  • Should. In the context of "I should do X," it's guilt-inducing, and negative reinforcement is nobody's friend. Better: "I want to do $thing," or (in cases where that's clearly not true, like getting out of bed so I can go to work) "I want $result, and therefore I will do its prerequisite $thing even though I don't really want to." In the context of "You should do $thing," or "Life should be like $thing," it reflects a refusal to live in the world the way it is. Either do the dishes, or don't do the dishes.
  • But. It undercuts what I'm saying. It's a way to not have to stand behind my statements. In many situations it can be replaced with "and" to have the same effect. For example, "I'm going to $event but I don't know how long I can stay" comes across like apologising for not really going to $event. "I'm going to $event and I don't know how long I can stay" is true, and accurate, and confident.
  • Work, in context of things that are meant to be pleasurable, such as relationships, or living my life the way I want it to be. These are things to be enjoyed, not justified through back-breaking happiness-killing labor. I recognise that there are aspects of my psyche that require both healing and self-monitoring to prevent falling into old ruts. I treat these as they come up, I try to change aspects of my life that aren't making me happy. I don't look at that as work. I look at it as an investment.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Yes, You Are. Me, too.

The Creative Process, because (say it with me) Bear is awesome.

She also brings the smackdown to a manipulative jerk. (in particular, see the second link in that post.) Yeesh.

Jim Macdonald debunks a famous alien abduction, with such asides as "We used to say that there hadn’t been a bear-related fatality in New Hampshire in over 200 years. But, just recently, a guy saw a bear, ran, and had a heart attack."

RIP Jim "Robert Jordan" Rigney. Like Scott Lynch, I couldn't get through the prologue to book 2; that doesn't really matter, though. Enough people bought Jordan's books that Tor had enough money to, say, publish hardback collections of stories from authors like Ted Chiang or John M. Ford despite the fact that story collections never sell well. For that alone he has my gratitude.


Aug. 30th, 2007 09:01 pm
jazzfish: Barnaby from "Bone," text "Stupid, stupid rat meme!" (Rat Meme)
Okay, that's just cheating. (Specifically the "Members who have the book" section.)

Edward Gorey's Trouble with Tribbles. Oh, the awesome.

And inspired by Hobby Games: The 100 Best (a book I clearly need to acquire at some point), a meme from [livejournal.com profile] mytholder.

Because all lists are memes waiting to happen. )
jazzfish: Pig from "Pearls Before Swine" standing next to a Ball O'Splendid Isolation (Ball O'Splendid Isolation)
Primates: ". . . the death of Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiach, Primate of [All] Ireland. The newscaster asked some talking head whether he preferred to remember the Cardinal as a man or a primate."

Contact juggling: this guy's pretty good. [via [livejournal.com profile] sir_alf]

It's not so much that Pete Townshend has a blog, it's what he put in the "About Me" section of it.

I won a copy of [livejournal.com profile] matociquala's new short-story collection in a contest sponsored by AbeBooks. It should be on its way this weekend. And I read Megan Whalen Turner's The King of Attolia yesterday and I can only say "This is awesome" so many times before it loses all meaning, and I have finally started reading those books about the wizard kid that people gush so much about.

Other than that I'm . . . not exactly depressed, just numb. Tell me about something awesome that's happened to you lately.
jazzfish: Owly, reading (Owly)
"There's a balance to be struck between the rules of formal English and demotic conversational usage. As it happens, my particular balance is the correct one." --PNH, complaining about Bear's use of the construction "between she and I"

A post by [livejournal.com profile] truepenny on the practice of rereleasing bad fantasy as children's books with all the potentially offensive bits stripped out, which in the comments became a glorious free-for-all about the Green Dragonrider Problem. Followed up in [livejournal.com profile] matociquala's journal here, in which [livejournal.com profile] truepenny summarises the previous discussion: The way sex works in the weyrs is clearly institutionalized rape, and it doesn't matter whether you're a woman riding a gold dragon or a man riding a green. You're on the bottom, and you're going to like it.

And now I shall have to get the novel that sprang forth from those two discussions. Aggravatingly enough it isn't out yet. (Neither is Ha'Penny, the sequel to Farthing, so I can't give [livejournal.com profile] papersky any author-mojo for her part in the discussion either.)
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
Bear is awesome. That link is likely not safe for work, at least not if you're prone to any sort of empathy. Really, it's not safe for reading alone. It's good stuff, though. One of the commenters linked to Philip Larkin's This Be The Verse, which starts out "They fuck you up, your mum and dad / They may not mean to, but they do."

rambling cut to spare you )


Mar. 21st, 2007 10:43 am
jazzfish: a whole bunch of the aliens from Toy Story (Aliens)
"Not only do I date myself, I might be hoping to get lucky later." --[livejournal.com profile] matociquala


Mar. 12th, 2007 09:02 am
jazzfish: an open bottle of ether, and George conked out (Ether George)
Cat vs. Monkey and the sequel: only a small part of the intense daily amusement that is Bear.

A DST rant that counts the actual cost. Stupid bloody time change. I lost around half a day this year trying to sort everything out. (via [livejournal.com profile] skreidle)

This I Believe #21: "I recommend the tempura. When eating it, be sure to dip every individual tempus in the special sauce provided." (via [livejournal.com profile] pecunium)

Terry Karney also comments on Why it's going to be hard to rebuld the United States that was: "Because the primary belief required of the citizens of a democracy is that the general interest of all is pointed in the same direction. That those in political opposition aren't evil, merely mistaken, at worst misguided." And more: 'Lots of them get upset when David Geffen says something, or when a Ward Churchill gets used to drum up a furor... but those same people turn around and say, "Well "x" is just being funny, no one agrees with them."'

And finally, if you rely on Fox News as a major information source, this is why we have very little respect for your choice. Of particular note: "Former congressman Mark Foley (D-FL)." Please don't be an idiot. Thank you.


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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