lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
(Note. At the bottom, I ask for suggestions. I'm not kidding.)

Once upon a time, in a job interview (Not this recent one - this was years ago), I was asked the dread question of where I wanted to be in five years. I gave what I thought was a reasonable answer; I'd like to still be working within that same business, at a higher eschelon from where I began - then I added the caveat. Not too high. Not a position like controller, or vice president. I wouldn't expect, or want, to have that much control over other employees that soon.

The woman taking the interview wrote, flatly, "No ambition."

I knew I didn't have the job in that moment; if she could that drastically misunderstand my intent, I didn't really regret it. And I've tried to find other accurate ways to answer that which circumvent the question of how much command I want to have over other people.

Should I have said I wanted to be in charge of all of accounting in a mere five years? Not in five years - I think that fast a rise to that high either implies full specialized training or high-level experience elsewhere, not starting as an AP/administrative assistant. I thought I was showing realism.

I was sincere, too, that if I liked the business, I *would* want to keep at the same place for years. After three years being driven crazy there, I would go back to RCC, in any department, in a shot.

I was also sincere that staying there only in the bottom rung for forever would have been a problem. Had I continued at RCC, I would have wanted to start pressing for full-time work, different work with more training, a permanent contract. Something like J was doing, where the low end of her job was similar to mine, but the high end included far more complex work. Or, someday, replacing the person who was my official manager -- a job which K, the former front-end receptionist, took over partway through my stay.

But it's also true that I wouldn't feel need to *ever* be on the BoD. It wasn't my ambition. It never will be.

I've been thinking about ambition lately.

Mostly when I realised I don't know what Ketan's ultimate ambition in life is, or would be, if he didn't have X, Y, and Z to cope with meantime.

It hardly matters, in one sense: by the time Ketan gets to catch his breath, look around and decide what he wants to *do* with his life, I'll be done with the plot of four whole books. And certain obligations left from all that plot will force certain things from him, enough to have some kind of denouement. For instance, he's married, a state which carries a lot of its own obligations. For another, he's trained in two main things; Kinging, and soldiery, with other talents and possibilities coming apparent around the edges.

But by the end of the Serpent Prince, what he doesn't want is to be King, the job he was raised to. And through Soldier of the Road, Poisoned Tongue, and onwards, his chequered experience convinces him he was right. Even if it's a job he can do, and might take up for sheer need.

Except that it highlighted something for me. My characters tend to have modest ambitions. Even the ones born or pushed kicking and screaming to greatness.

Carl would like to be the archipelago's equivalent of a tavern singer, well enough known to draw local crowds, and a lover at his side - all unattainable objectives, once he's on the path the goddess asked of him. Gaitann wanted to be a composer/historian -- although he was pleased to find he also had the skill to make a decent ambassador. Patar would like to settle down with a nice family and a farm.

Finno wants to have enough money not to be worrying week to week. And he wants his friends to be happy. Jen wants to be an actress, but she's okay with modest roles; she just likes playing out stories. And she wants Finno to be okay.

Francesca, one of the few who actually wants glory, wants her family's approval, and to be known as someone who saves small children and fights blackguard villains (Saving a few scantily-clad young men would do nicely as an occasional change. There weren't enough scantily-clad men in peril in the adventure, dammit.) I think her ultimate goal is to have her grandchildren stare at her in open-mouthed awe.

But nobody wants to be President, or King. Nobody wants to be a General, or a rock star, or a CEO, or Bishop, or any other variants of rich and famous and powerful.

Heck, most of my D&D characters even only care for treasure as a means to get the equipment needed to defeat the enemy.

Some of this is that I don't write epic save-the-world fantasy. The most people seem to need or want to save is a country - and usually, they do so in the process of a smaller goal - save this person or these people, uphold this ideal against all pressure to yield. And those cases seem to be based around the littlest countries, in the corners of the world I invented. (Except in the Apocalyptic novels. But there, they're too late to save the world).

But another part is that somewhere along the way, I learned that done right, the jobs that most obviously bring wealth and glory and power really involve crushing responsibility and tedious effort and thanklessness. That done right, they should be the place where the buck stops; that in good times, the thanks should go to everyone working for them, but in bad times, they should take the burden of the blame. But also that, of necessity, they distance one from normalcy. That rock stardom dazzles, but exhausts, surrounds one with fakery, distances one from everyday pleasures, and from the ability to tell real friends from flatterers and entourage. That the rewards aren't actually so appealing as the cost, and so anyone who wants to be there for the rewards is at best mad.

Done wrong, of course, they each lead to vice, to indifference to others who have none. To excess reward for minimal real endeavour. To excess of profit or fame at the outright expense of others. Seeing ordinary people only as a mob to be manipulated, tools to be used and discarded. The separation from normalcy becomes permission to do all the things, violent of psychopathic, self-indulgent or self-destructive, that regular laws aim to prevent. Seeing one's own short term gain over long term annihilation.

I also learned that even in cases which are the exception, to people who hang onto their roots, who "keep it real" (A term I have issues with in its own way, but which seems most apt here), who took that level of fame and power but didn't forget their ideals, who do the job right for the right reason, the million-to-one chance really is million-to-one. Narrativium aside.

That in, say, the writing business, the majority of reasonably successful writers don't make enough to quit their day job. That the thousands of aspiring writers are blinded by the story of J. K. Rowling making enough to shame the Queen, and miss the stories of, say, Jim C. Hines' likely-permanent inability to quit his day job and its attendant health insurance. Of writers trying to make it without a day job working themselves to exhaustion and ceasing to have fun with writing. That this leaves them unable to take to correct pragmatic steps. Leads to cursing out editors for daring to stop their precious vision from reaching eyes. Leads them to believe the flattery of scamsters. Honing the craft takes time. Worse, publishing itself is a glacial business - most first novelists are in their 30s, and some in their 40s. And of course, there's all the things the writer has no control over; editorial or publishing trends and tastes, manuscripts lost to mail or e-mail vagaries. Changes in the business model that really are shaking the whole scene right now. The fading midlist and the rise of modest-selling e-books.

To learn how to navigate the business, a matter I have studied in some detail, I needed to have realistic aspirations.

But I feel like somewhere in the last while, being aware that the business is slow and that I should be modest has meant that I have slipped form even modest aspiration to no actual plan or expectation. To no actual ambition. That I want to be more published but lost grasp on the actual motions that need to be made to get there.

To that end.

My ambitions as of this moment:

- Within six months, I should be either working at least 30 hours/week steady, or have a damn good reason why not (such as pregnancy). At a place that I anticipate staying for a while.

- Within the next two years, I should acquire an agent, or else obtain a minimum of 50 rejections from agencies on various works, proving I tried. (Since I can try to sell Bird of Dusk and Serpent Prince, and possibly others as I go.)

- Within five years, I should have an offer on a novel, whether through an agency or otherwise, from a legitimate press.

- Within those same five years, I should have sold at least three more short stories (considering the number I don't write, this is a tougher goal than it sounds).

- Within three years, if physically possible*, I should have at least one child. While this and work goals might have trouble working together, I genuinely think this and writing goals should not.

Should I be considering other goals? Throw me suggestions.

*After two miscarriages, the caveat is very real.
lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
(Note. At the bottom, I ask for suggestions. I'm not kidding.)

Once upon a time, in a job interview (Not this recent one - this was years ago), I was asked the dread question of where I wanted to be in five years. I gave what I thought was a reasonable answer; I'd like to still be working within that same business, at a higher eschelon from where I began - then I added the caveat. Not too high. Not a position like controller, or vice president. I wouldn't expect, or want, to have that much control over other employees that soon.

The woman taking the interview wrote, flatly, "No ambition."

I knew I didn't have the job in that moment; if she could that drastically misunderstand my intent, I didn't really regret it. And I've tried to find other accurate ways to answer that which circumvent the question of how much command I want to have over other people.

Should I have said I wanted to be in charge of all of accounting in a mere five years? Not in five years - I think that fast a rise to that high either implies full specialized training or high-level experience elsewhere, not starting as an AP/administrative assistant. I thought I was showing realism.

I was sincere, too, that if I liked the business, I *would* want to keep at the same place for years. After three years being driven crazy there, I would go back to RCC, in any department, in a shot.

I was also sincere that staying there only in the bottom rung for forever would have been a problem. Had I continued at RCC, I would have wanted to start pressing for full-time work, different work with more training, a permanent contract. Something like J was doing, where the low end of her job was similar to mine, but the high end included far more complex work. Or, someday, replacing the person who was my official manager -- a job which K, the former front-end receptionist, took over partway through my stay.

But it's also true that I wouldn't feel need to *ever* be on the BoD. It wasn't my ambition. It never will be.

I've been thinking about ambition lately.

Mostly when I realised I don't know what Ketan's ultimate ambition in life is, or would be, if he didn't have X, Y, and Z to cope with meantime.

It hardly matters, in one sense: by the time Ketan gets to catch his breath, look around and decide what he wants to *do* with his life, I'll be done with the plot of four whole books. And certain obligations left from all that plot will force certain things from him, enough to have some kind of denouement. For instance, he's married, a state which carries a lot of its own obligations. For another, he's trained in two main things; Kinging, and soldiery, with other talents and possibilities coming apparent around the edges.

But by the end of the Serpent Prince, what he doesn't want is to be King, the job he was raised to. And through Soldier of the Road, Poisoned Tongue, and onwards, his chequered experience convinces him he was right. Even if it's a job he can do, and might take up for sheer need.

Except that it highlighted something for me. My characters tend to have modest ambitions. Even the ones born or pushed kicking and screaming to greatness.

Carl would like to be the archipelago's equivalent of a tavern singer, well enough known to draw local crowds, and a lover at his side - all unattainable objectives, once he's on the path the goddess asked of him. Gaitann wanted to be a composer/historian -- although he was pleased to find he also had the skill to make a decent ambassador. Patar would like to settle down with a nice family and a farm.

Finno wants to have enough money not to be worrying week to week. And he wants his friends to be happy. Jen wants to be an actress, but she's okay with modest roles; she just likes playing out stories. And she wants Finno to be okay.

Francesca, one of the few who actually wants glory, wants her family's approval, and to be known as someone who saves small children and fights blackguard villains (Saving a few scantily-clad young men would do nicely as an occasional change. There weren't enough scantily-clad men in peril in the adventure, dammit.) I think her ultimate goal is to have her grandchildren stare at her in open-mouthed awe.

But nobody wants to be President, or King. Nobody wants to be a General, or a rock star, or a CEO, or Bishop, or any other variants of rich and famous and powerful.

Heck, most of my D&D characters even only care for treasure as a means to get the equipment needed to defeat the enemy.

Some of this is that I don't write epic save-the-world fantasy. The most people seem to need or want to save is a country - and usually, they do so in the process of a smaller goal - save this person or these people, uphold this ideal against all pressure to yield. And those cases seem to be based around the littlest countries, in the corners of the world I invented. (Except in the Apocalyptic novels. But there, they're too late to save the world).

But another part is that somewhere along the way, I learned that done right, the jobs that most obviously bring wealth and glory and power really involve crushing responsibility and tedious effort and thanklessness. That done right, they should be the place where the buck stops; that in good times, the thanks should go to everyone working for them, but in bad times, they should take the burden of the blame. But also that, of necessity, they distance one from normalcy. That rock stardom dazzles, but exhausts, surrounds one with fakery, distances one from everyday pleasures, and from the ability to tell real friends from flatterers and entourage. That the rewards aren't actually so appealing as the cost, and so anyone who wants to be there for the rewards is at best mad.

Done wrong, of course, they each lead to vice, to indifference to others who have none. To excess reward for minimal real endeavour. To excess of profit or fame at the outright expense of others. Seeing ordinary people only as a mob to be manipulated, tools to be used and discarded. The separation from normalcy becomes permission to do all the things, violent of psychopathic, self-indulgent or self-destructive, that regular laws aim to prevent. Seeing one's own short term gain over long term annihilation.

I also learned that even in cases which are the exception, to people who hang onto their roots, who "keep it real" (A term I have issues with in its own way, but which seems most apt here), who took that level of fame and power but didn't forget their ideals, who do the job right for the right reason, the million-to-one chance really is million-to-one. Narrativium aside.

That in, say, the writing business, the majority of reasonably successful writers don't make enough to quit their day job. That the thousands of aspiring writers are blinded by the story of J. K. Rowling making enough to shame the Queen, and miss the stories of, say, Jim C. Hines' likely-permanent inability to quit his day job and its attendant health insurance. Of writers trying to make it without a day job working themselves to exhaustion and ceasing to have fun with writing. That this leaves them unable to take to correct pragmatic steps. Leads to cursing out editors for daring to stop their precious vision from reaching eyes. Leads them to believe the flattery of scamsters. Honing the craft takes time. Worse, publishing itself is a glacial business - most first novelists are in their 30s, and some in their 40s. And of course, there's all the things the writer has no control over; editorial or publishing trends and tastes, manuscripts lost to mail or e-mail vagaries. Changes in the business model that really are shaking the whole scene right now. The fading midlist and the rise of modest-selling e-books.

To learn how to navigate the business, a matter I have studied in some detail, I needed to have realistic aspirations.

But I feel like somewhere in the last while, being aware that the business is slow and that I should be modest has meant that I have slipped form even modest aspiration to no actual plan or expectation. To no actual ambition. That I want to be more published but lost grasp on the actual motions that need to be made to get there.

To that end.

My ambitions as of this moment:

- Within six months, I should be either working at least 30 hours/week steady, or have a damn good reason why not (such as pregnancy). At a place that I anticipate staying for a while.

- Within the next two years, I should acquire an agent, or else obtain a minimum of 50 rejections from agencies on various works, proving I tried. (Since I can try to sell Bird of Dusk and Serpent Prince, and possibly others as I go.)

- Within five years, I should have an offer on a novel, whether through an agency or otherwise, from a legitimate press.

- Within those same five years, I should have sold at least three more short stories (considering the number I don't write, this is a tougher goal than it sounds).

- Within three years, if physically possible*, I should have at least one child. While this and work goals might have trouble working together, I genuinely think this and writing goals should not.

Should I be considering other goals? Throw me suggestions.

*After two miscarriages, the caveat is very real.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Periodically, I get these navel-gazing bits. This was actually word for word my comment on a recent Jim Hines post.

Before you read a word of mine, go read his post:

Rapists and Abusers (If I have to warn people it might be triggery, you didn't read the title.)

Shorter him: People prefer to talk about rapists as if they were a whole other species of human, not potentially normal. And this can be very bad when the rapist doesn't fit the profile of evil, when he looks like any other guy. And he talks about the bell curve, the possible slope connecting people who commit abuse with other people.

And the very first comment he got was from someone who pretty much tried to argue that ebcause she can't imagine committing that behaviour, and because of statistics about how many people are mentally ill, rapists, or at least horrible gang-rapists of fifteen-year-old girls, *are* a different species.

Her justifications rang false to me. Partly because of the Milgram Experiment and its ilk already suggesting some aspects of that slope. But also.... because I am normal. (I've discussed being normal before. It's a state to treasure, but not a compliment to myself, because I didn't earn it. It's one of those things earned for me.)

And by her logic, if I'm normal... I'm not capable of violence.

And thus, though I didn't answer her directly, I wrote this:

_________________
Seriously. Read Jim first, then click. )
lenora_rose: (Default)
Periodically, I get these navel-gazing bits. This was actually word for word my comment on a recent Jim Hines post.

Before you read a word of mine, go read his post:

Rapists and Abusers (If I have to warn people it might be triggery, you didn't read the title.)

Shorter him: People prefer to talk about rapists as if they were a whole other species of human, not potentially normal. And this can be very bad when the rapist doesn't fit the profile of evil, when he looks like any other guy. And he talks about the bell curve, the possible slope connecting people who commit abuse with other people.

And the very first comment he got was from someone who pretty much tried to argue that ebcause she can't imagine committing that behaviour, and because of statistics about how many people are mentally ill, rapists, or at least horrible gang-rapists of fifteen-year-old girls, *are* a different species.

Her justifications rang false to me. Partly because of the Milgram Experiment and its ilk already suggesting some aspects of that slope. But also.... because I am normal. (I've discussed being normal before. It's a state to treasure, but not a compliment to myself, because I didn't earn it. It's one of those things earned for me.)

And by her logic, if I'm normal... I'm not capable of violence.

And thus, though I didn't answer her directly, I wrote this:

_________________
Seriously. Read Jim first, then click. )

Scattershot

Oct. 5th, 2009 03:34 pm
lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
It seems we are not getting our floors done this fall. My mother-in-law broke her foot a bit over a month ago, and is wheelchair-bound, though otherwise in good spirits. My father-in-law was originally going to be coming over alone, since the flooring was going to be his big job, not hers. But her foot isn't healing - she's going in to have her foot bolted together this week, as the bones were separating. So he's staying with her, at least until he heads to the Ukraine in November. (That last sentence... is not atypical. Colin tells a story of noticing one day that he hasn't seen his dad in a while, and asking his mom where he was. IIRC, the answer was "China.")

Hoping she gets well. She seems too irrepressible not to, but sometimes, the body stops being able to keep up with the mind... and my in-laws are about halfway in age between my grandmothers and my parents.
_______________________

On a lighter note, we went to the fundraising dinner for our church, and we are so going to end up fat.

They had two money-raising efforts happening. One was a "bag auction", aka a silent auction, or actually a raffle draw. The other was an actual auction of goods and services. I put most of my tickets in the prize with the McNally Robinson gift certificate, but a few in a few other prizes, as you do.

But the actual auction happened first, or we might have done things a little differently... Colin bid very strongly, and won, the auction for one home-made pie a month delivered to our home (The first went home with us, the rest we get to pick the kind). because Colin loves pie. (I haven't tried it yet. But it looked good.)

He also bid on the 12 dozen home-made perogies (And 12 knitted dischcloths and 12 "potscrubbers", knitted things of a fabric rough enough to use instead of steel wool). And won those.

And then I won the other 8 dozen perogies from the bag auction. And another 12 potscrubbers (Someone else at our table bought the second dozen off me for $9.50. I'd have given them free, but he insisted.)

They take up less room in the freezer than we feared, and they last well. But at an average of 4-6 per person per meal, that's at least 20 meals, and possibly as much as 30, if we *don't* invite friends.

We are SO going to be stuffed.

And Colin won an espresso maker.
________________________

I don't like it when I feel the urge to shout, "Hey, you, get out of my religion" at conservative fundamentalists. I don't like it because that would be their approach to me, and I want to be better than that.

But, really (via [livejournal.com profile] karnythia, whose tag for these sorts of things is "if I have to suffer, so do you"):

Conservative Bible Project

Shorter: "We don't like what the Bible actually says, so we're going to change it to suit us."

I'm pretty sure that the correct reaction if the holy book of your religion and your personal beliefs differ, is to find another religion (or to compromise, by following what you can, and sometimes doing things you don't prefer, and picking your battles). I'm pretty sure if the tenets of your faith and your own behaviour disagree, the thing to reexamine is your own behaviour.

I'm not exactly unfamiliar with the complexity of actual Biblical translation, but I'm also pretty sure this:

"Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning"

is a bit beyond the ways the meaning of words, passages or culture has shifted over time, so that words don't mean what we think they mean.

I'm also pretty sure that this method:

"In the United States and much of the world, the immensely popular and respected King James Version (KJV) is freely available and in the public domain. It could be used as the baseline for developing a conservative translation without requiring a license or any fees. Where the KJV is known to be deficient due to discovery of more authentic sources, exceptions can be made that use either more modern public domain translations as a baseline, or by using the original Greek or Hebrew. "

isn't how most scholars go about crafting a real translation. "or by using the original Greek or Hebrew" seems almost an afterthought.


Also, how on earth do you claim "Volunteer" is a Conservative word?

__________________________

Finished the Fionavar Tapestry again. The books are justifiably a fantasy classic. The first one starts weak, and a bit unconvincing: Five people from our world have been invited to another magical world to help with anniversary celebrations. Before they even leave our world, one evil creature has attempted to follow and kill them, and the instant they arrive, they discover that the political situation isn't nearly as clean and welcoming as it sounded, and the danger is much much worse, yet only one balks, and even the one who we're told is frightened gets over her fear within sentences or moments. Big issues are brought up in front of them, yet it's seen as a sign of abnormal wisdom to catch on to the dark side of this, and they all stand passively listening for at least one major issue.

However, it doesn't take too long to convince the reader that they Have now thrown in their lot with the people they meet, genuinely, and not much longer to sketch the characters of the world in high terms and still give them eventual dimension. My favourite example of this is Tegid: Huge, fat, boistrous, rowdy, heavy drinking, a classic example of the bar-thumping jolly guardsman. Except. When he sees someone hurt, he protects them. He appreciates beauty. He's competent at fighting. He plays a killer game of chess. He may scratch his hind in the middle of formal negotiations, but he takes the part of his duties that matter seriously. And he's a thoroughly minor character.

The writing is glorious, I love the people, the choices, the powers and the poetry. I still cry at certain tragedies along the way, at certain acts of courage and defiance. it's an amazing piece of storytelling, and again, a rightful classic.

I also find the Arthur-Lancelot-Guinevere love triangle even less convincing than ever. Because it really seems to me that the saddest of all the sad stories shouldn't be one where one of the three characters can't say, "You know what? I'm not actually married to you this time, and there's no law against it here and now to make it a betrayal. Why can't I have two boyfriends?"

(And before you argue that that's too much modern thinking, consider that even Paint Your Wagon bloody did it.)

Even granting that Fionavar is a world of high romance and highly tradition-bound, *several* of the characters have casual sex or premarital sex (Outside of the religious festival, which I would grant as a whole nother ball game). It's Not a world where the social rules make that choice impossible. Kay seems to be trying too hard to have it both ways; to have a place where the prince's men can carouse with barmaids, where the women of the plains culture can visit any man they want before they're married, where people from our world won't feel too alien, and still have the high tragedy of "Oh, noes, I love two people!"

It's actually a relatively minor thread in the multiple plots, but it's one that failed to sing for me, and caused a nagging distraction.

Another oddity, this is the first time I really noticed how *small* Fionavar is. It seems like the whole of the place from top to bottom would take a week to cross on horseback, tops. (And it does have the "horses" of DWJ fame, that don't resemble real animals, don't founder after two days of gallopping, and don't balk at fighting things that even warhorses might say, "Bugger this!" to. And probably pollinate.) It's internally consistent, except that I found myself wondering how a plain that small could support herds of animals big enough that the plains people taking seventeen of them for a feast doesn't noticeably shrink the herd.

I'm also slightly inclined to take the sheer smallness of the world as explanation why it seems like almost everyone is blond, and even the dark-haired Cathalian people sound more like Mediterrainean Caucasians in looks, not people from further away.

If Kay weren't so firmly declaring Fionavar to be the world from which all other worlds spring, too, I'd just nod at the strong Celtic roots of it all and let the latter be, too. But because he does, I have to say it doesn't seem nearly large enough, geographically or culturally.

(Seriously, if I were making films of this series, I'd be as true to the books as I could in very way but casting.)

___________________

OH, and something [livejournal.com profile] matociquala chose to unveil (With help and suggestions for friends) for all those who've talked about it in the past but seemed unclear on what it really included:

The Homosexual Agenda

Scattershot

Oct. 5th, 2009 03:34 pm
lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
It seems we are not getting our floors done this fall. My mother-in-law broke her foot a bit over a month ago, and is wheelchair-bound, though otherwise in good spirits. My father-in-law was originally going to be coming over alone, since the flooring was going to be his big job, not hers. But her foot isn't healing - she's going in to have her foot bolted together this week, as the bones were separating. So he's staying with her, at least until he heads to the Ukraine in November. (That last sentence... is not atypical. Colin tells a story of noticing one day that he hasn't seen his dad in a while, and asking his mom where he was. IIRC, the answer was "China.")

Hoping she gets well. She seems too irrepressible not to, but sometimes, the body stops being able to keep up with the mind... and my in-laws are about halfway in age between my grandmothers and my parents.
_______________________

On a lighter note, we went to the fundraising dinner for our church, and we are so going to end up fat.

They had two money-raising efforts happening. One was a "bag auction", aka a silent auction, or actually a raffle draw. The other was an actual auction of goods and services. I put most of my tickets in the prize with the McNally Robinson gift certificate, but a few in a few other prizes, as you do.

But the actual auction happened first, or we might have done things a little differently... Colin bid very strongly, and won, the auction for one home-made pie a month delivered to our home (The first went home with us, the rest we get to pick the kind). because Colin loves pie. (I haven't tried it yet. But it looked good.)

He also bid on the 12 dozen home-made perogies (And 12 knitted dischcloths and 12 "potscrubbers", knitted things of a fabric rough enough to use instead of steel wool). And won those.

And then I won the other 8 dozen perogies from the bag auction. And another 12 potscrubbers (Someone else at our table bought the second dozen off me for $9.50. I'd have given them free, but he insisted.)

They take up less room in the freezer than we feared, and they last well. But at an average of 4-6 per person per meal, that's at least 20 meals, and possibly as much as 30, if we *don't* invite friends.

We are SO going to be stuffed.

And Colin won an espresso maker.
________________________

I don't like it when I feel the urge to shout, "Hey, you, get out of my religion" at conservative fundamentalists. I don't like it because that would be their approach to me, and I want to be better than that.

But, really (via [livejournal.com profile] karnythia, whose tag for these sorts of things is "if I have to suffer, so do you"):

Conservative Bible Project

Shorter: "We don't like what the Bible actually says, so we're going to change it to suit us."

I'm pretty sure that the correct reaction if the holy book of your religion and your personal beliefs differ, is to find another religion (or to compromise, by following what you can, and sometimes doing things you don't prefer, and picking your battles). I'm pretty sure if the tenets of your faith and your own behaviour disagree, the thing to reexamine is your own behaviour.

I'm not exactly unfamiliar with the complexity of actual Biblical translation, but I'm also pretty sure this:

"Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning"

is a bit beyond the ways the meaning of words, passages or culture has shifted over time, so that words don't mean what we think they mean.

I'm also pretty sure that this method:

"In the United States and much of the world, the immensely popular and respected King James Version (KJV) is freely available and in the public domain. It could be used as the baseline for developing a conservative translation without requiring a license or any fees. Where the KJV is known to be deficient due to discovery of more authentic sources, exceptions can be made that use either more modern public domain translations as a baseline, or by using the original Greek or Hebrew. "

isn't how most scholars go about crafting a real translation. "or by using the original Greek or Hebrew" seems almost an afterthought.


Also, how on earth do you claim "Volunteer" is a Conservative word?

__________________________

Finished the Fionavar Tapestry again. The books are justifiably a fantasy classic. The first one starts weak, and a bit unconvincing: Five people from our world have been invited to another magical world to help with anniversary celebrations. Before they even leave our world, one evil creature has attempted to follow and kill them, and the instant they arrive, they discover that the political situation isn't nearly as clean and welcoming as it sounded, and the danger is much much worse, yet only one balks, and even the one who we're told is frightened gets over her fear within sentences or moments. Big issues are brought up in front of them, yet it's seen as a sign of abnormal wisdom to catch on to the dark side of this, and they all stand passively listening for at least one major issue.

However, it doesn't take too long to convince the reader that they Have now thrown in their lot with the people they meet, genuinely, and not much longer to sketch the characters of the world in high terms and still give them eventual dimension. My favourite example of this is Tegid: Huge, fat, boistrous, rowdy, heavy drinking, a classic example of the bar-thumping jolly guardsman. Except. When he sees someone hurt, he protects them. He appreciates beauty. He's competent at fighting. He plays a killer game of chess. He may scratch his hind in the middle of formal negotiations, but he takes the part of his duties that matter seriously. And he's a thoroughly minor character.

The writing is glorious, I love the people, the choices, the powers and the poetry. I still cry at certain tragedies along the way, at certain acts of courage and defiance. it's an amazing piece of storytelling, and again, a rightful classic.

I also find the Arthur-Lancelot-Guinevere love triangle even less convincing than ever. Because it really seems to me that the saddest of all the sad stories shouldn't be one where one of the three characters can't say, "You know what? I'm not actually married to you this time, and there's no law against it here and now to make it a betrayal. Why can't I have two boyfriends?"

(And before you argue that that's too much modern thinking, consider that even Paint Your Wagon bloody did it.)

Even granting that Fionavar is a world of high romance and highly tradition-bound, *several* of the characters have casual sex or premarital sex (Outside of the religious festival, which I would grant as a whole nother ball game). It's Not a world where the social rules make that choice impossible. Kay seems to be trying too hard to have it both ways; to have a place where the prince's men can carouse with barmaids, where the women of the plains culture can visit any man they want before they're married, where people from our world won't feel too alien, and still have the high tragedy of "Oh, noes, I love two people!"

It's actually a relatively minor thread in the multiple plots, but it's one that failed to sing for me, and caused a nagging distraction.

Another oddity, this is the first time I really noticed how *small* Fionavar is. It seems like the whole of the place from top to bottom would take a week to cross on horseback, tops. (And it does have the "horses" of DWJ fame, that don't resemble real animals, don't founder after two days of gallopping, and don't balk at fighting things that even warhorses might say, "Bugger this!" to. And probably pollinate.) It's internally consistent, except that I found myself wondering how a plain that small could support herds of animals big enough that the plains people taking seventeen of them for a feast doesn't noticeably shrink the herd.

I'm also slightly inclined to take the sheer smallness of the world as explanation why it seems like almost everyone is blond, and even the dark-haired Cathalian people sound more like Mediterrainean Caucasians in looks, not people from further away.

If Kay weren't so firmly declaring Fionavar to be the world from which all other worlds spring, too, I'd just nod at the strong Celtic roots of it all and let the latter be, too. But because he does, I have to say it doesn't seem nearly large enough, geographically or culturally.

(Seriously, if I were making films of this series, I'd be as true to the books as I could in very way but casting.)

___________________

OH, and something [livejournal.com profile] matociquala chose to unveil (With help and suggestions for friends) for all those who've talked about it in the past but seemed unclear on what it really included:

The Homosexual Agenda
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
This is going to deal with some sensitive personal areas. But I have a reason for making it a public post.

At least one of the people mentioned besides my brother reads this journal, and... read to the end before you say a word.

__________________________

Once I had a friend. Call him PT. (The only legitimate initials in this whole thing will be my brother's. Most people who matter will know why I picked the ones I picked for the others.)

This friend was dating another friend of mine (Call her BB.)

They broke up, as people do. partly because after a few months, he felt ready to commit and clingy and mentioned the M word. Please note we are talking about people around 20 at the time.

She was not ready to commit to anything.

A month later, and much to their sincere surprise (Especially as, less than a week before, he'd been telling me something that strongly implied that he didn't expect it to happen), my brother, JH, started Dating BB.

I was asked by BB to break it to PT. Cowardice on BB's part? Maybe. But we both knew he was still hoping to get back together.

That was a painful conversation, and yes, it involved weeping on my shoulder. Or near enough as makes no difference.

But after a few days/weeks, PT got it into his head that my brother (Who had been crushing on BB, yes, but said nothing, as he knows not to do these things) had been the reason he and BB broke up; had somehow "Stolen" her by making himself a more attractive option. (Trust me. BB has agency and knows what to do with it.)

So at that year's Fringe Festival, PT spent a day following BB around the various parks and squares (BB could not listen to the Police's "Every Breath You Take" for a long time after without a shiver or five.), and culminated it in stomping up to my brother and threatening to beat his face in. (I should mention here that PT is about 6"1' and broad even when unfit. JH is about 5'9", and built like a long-distance runner. Or was then...)

PT told me later that he'd actually intended to just walk up and swing... and discovered that he hasn't got the violence in him to do it.

Here's the thing: LATER.

I was on the phone with PT for about two hours that night telling him what a Fuck-up he'd been.

And again when I got together with him later that week to figure out how he'd got himself into a mental state where stalking seemed like a remotely good idea. I thought at the time that it was better for him than losing all his friends at once. And maybe it was, in some ways, and decidedly it wasn't, in others.

PT was not cured; he never to my knowledge stalked anyone again, and I don't think he threatened anyone either. But he didn't fix the underlying possessive streak (NAme a thing what it is.) I broke up with him twice AS A FRIEND, because he was growing romantically attached and clingy, convinced we should be a couple regardless of what I said about the matter, jealous if I talked about liking anyone else. (This was not helped by the fact that I flirt with my friends without thinking about it; and I didn't *want* to have to be on my guard with someone who was legitimately a close friend, and with whom I could hash problems or life - as long as it wasn't romantic. So I would absentmindedly flirt. I confess my culpability that far.) In both cases we got together again, at first warily, because he showed sincere effort to mend his ways. Heeven pursued another couple of vague romantic lines (Some of which required the same clue stick dropped on his head of him making bad choices, longing for commitment too early, getting attached any time a female friend showed friendship... turning possessive about any woman about). For a while, he even tried to encourage me in a (vain) romantic pursuit I was following - except he *showed* me the effort, which meant he was acting the same jealous role with a veneer overtop.

And years later, when I thought he was over the worst tendencies to see (almost) any female friend as a romance, I did date him. (Weirdly, I think this was the time his behaviour was the *least* manipulative and borderline.) We both decided it didn't work, then. The most painless and mutual break-up of the four.

Yup. Four. The last one was when I started dating Colin, and KNOWING we had tried it as a couple and failed, he STILL threw a jealous fit. (Well, jealous sulk.)

And talking to someone else a little later, at least one more relationship with one more female friend went sour the same way.

But this isn't a story about the lie that a good woman or a good friend can change a person. This is a story about forgiveness of fuck-ups.

I talked to him again last year. Nothing too personal or intimate, but you know something? It felt nice to not have to fear running into him in those places our social circles overlap. It felt nice to know we might actually sit down and blather sometime at a con. Not in private, and I'm not sure I trust to get remotely close to him again. Forgiveness doesn't mean failing to recognize signs, or letting yourself get into a position which could become that of a victim. But it does mean forgiving.

I should also say, because it matters here, too. JH put pressure on me to break off the friendship. Quite justified on his part, I'd say. So did mom, for that matter (And BB, though I didn't live in the same house as her.) But both of them let me make the choice, and while they let their opinion stand, they eased off the pressure.

Had JH ever declared, "Us or him. really." I would have dropped PT. I would ahve told him why, but I would have done it. And tried to make it stick.

And it would have hurt worse than the years of breaking apart, trying to patch it, up, breaking apart again. Worse. I still don't doubt that, actually, any more than I doubt that I would have caved. Forgiving PT enough to keep talking to him wasn't easy, either internally in the doing, or externally, in the pressure.

____________________________

I have another friend. Call him RAF.

RAF is stubborn. RAF is by his own comment, "The most stubborn person you will ever meet."

I have dealt with RAF through *more* nasty social altercations than anyone else, some small, some bigger, some very very big indeed. I've watched him rewrite the facts of an event (Once within the same evening) to suit his side of the story. (He does it to books, too, but books don't get hurt by it. However, reading Left Hand of Darkness after hearing his version was... telling.) I've watched him fail to notice clues and warnings given with everything but a club, then profess surprise when everything came together and hit at once. Hurt him, yes, but he hit back at least as hard, and hurt a lot more people, including me, in the process.

That could be a description of two different events. Ouch. Both times, I stopped talking to him for a while; once for weeks (Less, maybe, if you count some wary exchanges. Well, wary on my part.), once for months.

He approaches almost any situation with "My way or the highway" and then gets smacked with the highway... and always, always, declares it someone else's fault. (The time's he's right make it worse on all the other times, because they give him fuel to feel righteous.)

He admits culpability for minor things, and uses it as an excuse for refusing to move on major ones, even when facts are against him.

He still doesn't know how upset he made some people.

Important: In few altercations was he the only one at fault* (in one case, the "other people" don't know how upset they made some of his friends, either.)

Equally important: In at least one such altercation, my attempt to point out that both sides were at fault was taken as "If you aren't 100% with me, you're against me." And I was smacked down and hurt badly.

But you know something? I see him almost weekly. We talk a lot. We bicker cheerfully. I get exasperated by his bad habits (no doubt he does of mine), but I poke fun at him for them, more often than I actually berate him for them.

One of the advantages of stubbornness to that degree is... he's got your back, and he won't stop for anything short of you yourself telling him he's done enough.

And I'm sure there were other times I did something at least as egregious as any of his acts, and that he's had to find it in himself to cope.

We're not as close as we were before some of the problems went down. But that's not the same thing as saying I don't have his back if he's in real trouble.

_______________________


Once my mother wrote a letter to BB that I thought a mite excessive, but important and useful and even the right thing.

I was WRONG. In that letter, my mother detailed everything she felt was wrong with BB's relationship (Not with PT; this was years later.) Including some, as it turned out, entirely unfounded concerns.

BB still talks to my mother, although immediately afterward, she was spitting nails. She still talks to me. The other party in that relationship still does, too, actually. Even though they knew that while I had no part in writing it, I had seen the contents and okayed sending it.

________________________

When I mention in passing that I'm glad I was in my mom's custody, and JH ended up that way, I'm not talking about which house had the better accoutrements. (In fact, most years, that would be dad's.) I'm talking about not having to live in the same house as my stepmother.

The person I had panic-attack level breathing problems for having to deal with for two weeks when I was about twelve. That's as much as I can say without violating someone else's privacy in public. Somewhere, I still have my fifteen/sixteen year old histrionics during one of our other visits, and among the melodrama therein, I - I have a hard time reading that, and not for the "OMG was I ever a drama queen!" of the others.

She and children? Not a good combination. (At least, children not her own. And even then... But again, not violating privacy.)

Colin likes my stepmother. More to the point, dealing with her as an adult, *I* like my stepmother.

___________________________

One of my friends had me on hand to help him through the realization he was turning into an alcoholic. Though he'd hurt me and others, I was there, because that was a fragile point.

I didn't get to see the end of that route. I hope to God it kept on an upswing, or got back onto one. Based on some of the people he seems to have kept in touch with all along, I suspect he had more help.

I wish I were friends enough at this stage to at least be able to ask, even if I don't want to get close for other reasons.

___________________________

I mentioned before learning that NL, a friend I'd drifted apart from, and of whom I retain fond memories, had talked some truly nasty smack behind my back, something I learned while considering getting back together with her.

We haven't seen each other often since, but when we have, it's seemed like a good thing. I miss NL, sometimes a lot. I made some bad mistakes myself in our friendship. But it would be nice to have the chance to talk enough to really find out if she can accept an apology, and the things I've been wishing I could share with her.

__________________________


I once broke JH's nose. It wasn't a childhood accident. It was a willful swing of the hand (After a charge up the hall).

My brother is, and remains, one of my best friends in the world. I still don't know how he forgave me doing something so dreadful.

__________________________

Forgiveness isn't easy. It's not pretty.


PT read at least one draft of a book I wasn't then ready to show to anyone else short of family. Which meant opening up parts of me I was a little scared to show in public, trusting him to accept those dark bits of me. I wrote a story only for him, one of my better short stories (Still unpublished. I should consider sending it back out). The story turned out not to be true in this world, but that's okay.

RAF - There have been a number of times he was the person who managed to welcome new people into our social circle, and to reach out and make connections. He used to accuse me of being the best person for finding things that didn't look like they'd suit him, but did after all (Like the movie Ever After, and a pile of books. I guess he forgot the near-misses.)

NL and I got each other through high school. WE collaborated on writing, shared art marathons, played together in RPGs, introduced each other to music. Created dragons and worlds.

The alcoholic - I can't say, not without cracking open a privacy. But I don't wish him ill. I hope in in a better place than he was then. With good people he can count on to tell him if he's fucking up again.

Do I have to say what my mom and brother and dad mean to me?

Heck, mom: "The song of my live will still be sung, by the light of the moon you hung."

JH is ALWAYS going to be one of my best friends. I don't like him being so far away we can't blather about whatever, whenever (At least since neither of us ever remembers to call the other.)

Dad: Dad is far away, a long narrow cord that has never broken. The classic family: "If you have to go there, they have to take you in."

My stepmother has grown calmer and wiser as well as older. She has never gone so far as to admit or talk about her mistakes. But she's given me advice on my own future family that was so obviously grounded in painful experience and awareness of how much she went wrong that I could admit some of my own worst fears in that area.

Forgiveness is hard.

But we're all humans. We're more than a flawed species. We're all broken and messed up.

And sometimes the best and least painful of the painful choices (though because it hurts in itself, we're leery of it, and can hide in the thing whose pain is more familiar) is to reach out again. Sometimes it has to wait until you're in a position of strength, or at least a position where you cannot be convinced that forgiveness means allowing yourself to become a victim. Sometimes it takes distance enough to look at your own failures, and know that their forgiveness is even more precious.
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
This is going to deal with some sensitive personal areas. But I have a reason for making it a public post.

At least one of the people mentioned besides my brother reads this journal, and... read to the end before you say a word.

__________________________

Once I had a friend. Call him PT. (The only legitimate initials in this whole thing will be my brother's. Most people who matter will know why I picked the ones I picked for the others.)

This friend was dating another friend of mine (Call her BB.)

They broke up, as people do. partly because after a few months, he felt ready to commit and clingy and mentioned the M word. Please note we are talking about people around 20 at the time.

She was not ready to commit to anything.

A month later, and much to their sincere surprise (Especially as, less than a week before, he'd been telling me something that strongly implied that he didn't expect it to happen), my brother, JH, started Dating BB.

I was asked by BB to break it to PT. Cowardice on BB's part? Maybe. But we both knew he was still hoping to get back together.

That was a painful conversation, and yes, it involved weeping on my shoulder. Or near enough as makes no difference.

But after a few days/weeks, PT got it into his head that my brother (Who had been crushing on BB, yes, but said nothing, as he knows not to do these things) had been the reason he and BB broke up; had somehow "Stolen" her by making himself a more attractive option. (Trust me. BB has agency and knows what to do with it.)

So at that year's Fringe Festival, PT spent a day following BB around the various parks and squares (BB could not listen to the Police's "Every Breath You Take" for a long time after without a shiver or five.), and culminated it in stomping up to my brother and threatening to beat his face in. (I should mention here that PT is about 6"1' and broad even when unfit. JH is about 5'9", and built like a long-distance runner. Or was then...)

PT told me later that he'd actually intended to just walk up and swing... and discovered that he hasn't got the violence in him to do it.

Here's the thing: LATER.

I was on the phone with PT for about two hours that night telling him what a Fuck-up he'd been.

And again when I got together with him later that week to figure out how he'd got himself into a mental state where stalking seemed like a remotely good idea. I thought at the time that it was better for him than losing all his friends at once. And maybe it was, in some ways, and decidedly it wasn't, in others.

PT was not cured; he never to my knowledge stalked anyone again, and I don't think he threatened anyone either. But he didn't fix the underlying possessive streak (NAme a thing what it is.) I broke up with him twice AS A FRIEND, because he was growing romantically attached and clingy, convinced we should be a couple regardless of what I said about the matter, jealous if I talked about liking anyone else. (This was not helped by the fact that I flirt with my friends without thinking about it; and I didn't *want* to have to be on my guard with someone who was legitimately a close friend, and with whom I could hash problems or life - as long as it wasn't romantic. So I would absentmindedly flirt. I confess my culpability that far.) In both cases we got together again, at first warily, because he showed sincere effort to mend his ways. Heeven pursued another couple of vague romantic lines (Some of which required the same clue stick dropped on his head of him making bad choices, longing for commitment too early, getting attached any time a female friend showed friendship... turning possessive about any woman about). For a while, he even tried to encourage me in a (vain) romantic pursuit I was following - except he *showed* me the effort, which meant he was acting the same jealous role with a veneer overtop.

And years later, when I thought he was over the worst tendencies to see (almost) any female friend as a romance, I did date him. (Weirdly, I think this was the time his behaviour was the *least* manipulative and borderline.) We both decided it didn't work, then. The most painless and mutual break-up of the four.

Yup. Four. The last one was when I started dating Colin, and KNOWING we had tried it as a couple and failed, he STILL threw a jealous fit. (Well, jealous sulk.)

And talking to someone else a little later, at least one more relationship with one more female friend went sour the same way.

But this isn't a story about the lie that a good woman or a good friend can change a person. This is a story about forgiveness of fuck-ups.

I talked to him again last year. Nothing too personal or intimate, but you know something? It felt nice to not have to fear running into him in those places our social circles overlap. It felt nice to know we might actually sit down and blather sometime at a con. Not in private, and I'm not sure I trust to get remotely close to him again. Forgiveness doesn't mean failing to recognize signs, or letting yourself get into a position which could become that of a victim. But it does mean forgiving.

I should also say, because it matters here, too. JH put pressure on me to break off the friendship. Quite justified on his part, I'd say. So did mom, for that matter (And BB, though I didn't live in the same house as her.) But both of them let me make the choice, and while they let their opinion stand, they eased off the pressure.

Had JH ever declared, "Us or him. really." I would have dropped PT. I would ahve told him why, but I would have done it. And tried to make it stick.

And it would have hurt worse than the years of breaking apart, trying to patch it, up, breaking apart again. Worse. I still don't doubt that, actually, any more than I doubt that I would have caved. Forgiving PT enough to keep talking to him wasn't easy, either internally in the doing, or externally, in the pressure.

____________________________

I have another friend. Call him RAF.

RAF is stubborn. RAF is by his own comment, "The most stubborn person you will ever meet."

I have dealt with RAF through *more* nasty social altercations than anyone else, some small, some bigger, some very very big indeed. I've watched him rewrite the facts of an event (Once within the same evening) to suit his side of the story. (He does it to books, too, but books don't get hurt by it. However, reading Left Hand of Darkness after hearing his version was... telling.) I've watched him fail to notice clues and warnings given with everything but a club, then profess surprise when everything came together and hit at once. Hurt him, yes, but he hit back at least as hard, and hurt a lot more people, including me, in the process.

That could be a description of two different events. Ouch. Both times, I stopped talking to him for a while; once for weeks (Less, maybe, if you count some wary exchanges. Well, wary on my part.), once for months.

He approaches almost any situation with "My way or the highway" and then gets smacked with the highway... and always, always, declares it someone else's fault. (The time's he's right make it worse on all the other times, because they give him fuel to feel righteous.)

He admits culpability for minor things, and uses it as an excuse for refusing to move on major ones, even when facts are against him.

He still doesn't know how upset he made some people.

Important: In few altercations was he the only one at fault* (in one case, the "other people" don't know how upset they made some of his friends, either.)

Equally important: In at least one such altercation, my attempt to point out that both sides were at fault was taken as "If you aren't 100% with me, you're against me." And I was smacked down and hurt badly.

But you know something? I see him almost weekly. We talk a lot. We bicker cheerfully. I get exasperated by his bad habits (no doubt he does of mine), but I poke fun at him for them, more often than I actually berate him for them.

One of the advantages of stubbornness to that degree is... he's got your back, and he won't stop for anything short of you yourself telling him he's done enough.

And I'm sure there were other times I did something at least as egregious as any of his acts, and that he's had to find it in himself to cope.

We're not as close as we were before some of the problems went down. But that's not the same thing as saying I don't have his back if he's in real trouble.

_______________________


Once my mother wrote a letter to BB that I thought a mite excessive, but important and useful and even the right thing.

I was WRONG. In that letter, my mother detailed everything she felt was wrong with BB's relationship (Not with PT; this was years later.) Including some, as it turned out, entirely unfounded concerns.

BB still talks to my mother, although immediately afterward, she was spitting nails. She still talks to me. The other party in that relationship still does, too, actually. Even though they knew that while I had no part in writing it, I had seen the contents and okayed sending it.

________________________

When I mention in passing that I'm glad I was in my mom's custody, and JH ended up that way, I'm not talking about which house had the better accoutrements. (In fact, most years, that would be dad's.) I'm talking about not having to live in the same house as my stepmother.

The person I had panic-attack level breathing problems for having to deal with for two weeks when I was about twelve. That's as much as I can say without violating someone else's privacy in public. Somewhere, I still have my fifteen/sixteen year old histrionics during one of our other visits, and among the melodrama therein, I - I have a hard time reading that, and not for the "OMG was I ever a drama queen!" of the others.

She and children? Not a good combination. (At least, children not her own. And even then... But again, not violating privacy.)

Colin likes my stepmother. More to the point, dealing with her as an adult, *I* like my stepmother.

___________________________

One of my friends had me on hand to help him through the realization he was turning into an alcoholic. Though he'd hurt me and others, I was there, because that was a fragile point.

I didn't get to see the end of that route. I hope to God it kept on an upswing, or got back onto one. Based on some of the people he seems to have kept in touch with all along, I suspect he had more help.

I wish I were friends enough at this stage to at least be able to ask, even if I don't want to get close for other reasons.

___________________________

I mentioned before learning that NL, a friend I'd drifted apart from, and of whom I retain fond memories, had talked some truly nasty smack behind my back, something I learned while considering getting back together with her.

We haven't seen each other often since, but when we have, it's seemed like a good thing. I miss NL, sometimes a lot. I made some bad mistakes myself in our friendship. But it would be nice to have the chance to talk enough to really find out if she can accept an apology, and the things I've been wishing I could share with her.

__________________________


I once broke JH's nose. It wasn't a childhood accident. It was a willful swing of the hand (After a charge up the hall).

My brother is, and remains, one of my best friends in the world. I still don't know how he forgave me doing something so dreadful.

__________________________

Forgiveness isn't easy. It's not pretty.


PT read at least one draft of a book I wasn't then ready to show to anyone else short of family. Which meant opening up parts of me I was a little scared to show in public, trusting him to accept those dark bits of me. I wrote a story only for him, one of my better short stories (Still unpublished. I should consider sending it back out). The story turned out not to be true in this world, but that's okay.

RAF - There have been a number of times he was the person who managed to welcome new people into our social circle, and to reach out and make connections. He used to accuse me of being the best person for finding things that didn't look like they'd suit him, but did after all (Like the movie Ever After, and a pile of books. I guess he forgot the near-misses.)

NL and I got each other through high school. WE collaborated on writing, shared art marathons, played together in RPGs, introduced each other to music. Created dragons and worlds.

The alcoholic - I can't say, not without cracking open a privacy. But I don't wish him ill. I hope in in a better place than he was then. With good people he can count on to tell him if he's fucking up again.

Do I have to say what my mom and brother and dad mean to me?

Heck, mom: "The song of my live will still be sung, by the light of the moon you hung."

JH is ALWAYS going to be one of my best friends. I don't like him being so far away we can't blather about whatever, whenever (At least since neither of us ever remembers to call the other.)

Dad: Dad is far away, a long narrow cord that has never broken. The classic family: "If you have to go there, they have to take you in."

My stepmother has grown calmer and wiser as well as older. She has never gone so far as to admit or talk about her mistakes. But she's given me advice on my own future family that was so obviously grounded in painful experience and awareness of how much she went wrong that I could admit some of my own worst fears in that area.

Forgiveness is hard.

But we're all humans. We're more than a flawed species. We're all broken and messed up.

And sometimes the best and least painful of the painful choices (though because it hurts in itself, we're leery of it, and can hide in the thing whose pain is more familiar) is to reach out again. Sometimes it has to wait until you're in a position of strength, or at least a position where you cannot be convinced that forgiveness means allowing yourself to become a victim. Sometimes it takes distance enough to look at your own failures, and know that their forgiveness is even more precious.
lenora_rose: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] cristalia just articulated something about the latest imbroglio (Apparantly continuing in some places even now, but which I've been shunning for a while) Here>

I've been trying to articulate my response to certain aspects of the explosion of viciousness.

Several of my particular racial type (Clueless White person) after being exposed to the whole vicious circle, declared, "After seeing this nastiness, I'm more afraid to write PoC than I was. And I wanted to help, until now."

This reaction made *no* sense to me. Less than no sense. Because, while it started with a critique of a writer's book which left in a racist trope by carelessness, that part of the discussion didn't last long. The nastiness was almost none of it on that aspect, comparatively. Indeed, watching Bear's initial gracious response, and truepenny's initial, gracious response, I felt inclined to follow their example if I should get a similar critique.

I'm no more afraid to write what I write, or whom I write. (Glances ruefully at the stack of books on the Ojibwa or Cree beside her).

But I'm a lot more leery of trying to engage people in an internet imbroglio. Because picking out the wheat from the chaff - and when I left, there was still plenty of wheat in view - stopped being worth it in spite of the visible presence of worthwhile comment.

The other one is harder to say, because ... because I look at my reaction, and I think it's not from a position of privilege, but I could be wrong.

First, people were occasionally asked to back off for a while and take a break, and come at it fresh.

Virtually nobody actually took this advice, of course, when it was given. (Plenty of people backed off, but usually those with, or trying to keep, cool heads, not the people asked to do so because their behaviour was getting a bit out of hand.)

The excuses given were many, and some vile (If you ever see darkerblogistan show up on your blog, save yourself time trying to reason with him and ban ban ban. Racist sexist scum.) But one bothered me; various people of colour challenged this with "We live with ongoing racism every day. You think we can get away from it? Take a break from racism?"

And this bugged me. Because, on one hand, it's true. A person dealing with ongoing societal racism probably DOES see it every day they don't spend curled up alone in their room/apartment/house. In small things I can be blind to because, as a white woman, they don't happen to me.

But. this means they cannot consciously choose not to engage an increasingly nasty and inhospitable part of the internet? or even not read or post for ONE DAY?

I live in a sexist world. Our culture is full of instances of sexism, and I face them many days of my life. But I still feel that there are times I can step back and say, "This is not the time or place to fight." Or even, "I need to calm down or I can't contribute." And I can go pet my cat. Buy groceries. Read a book (Alas, as demonstrated, hardly a guarantee of escape from the ongoing experience of racism or sexism, but at least not part of the chunk of it pissing me off.) Clean house. Read a different online discussion. And go back when, as I described it before, my present anger isn't so overwhelming it clouds my attempts to express my ongoing grievance.


___________________


So I was bad and bought myself two more books (And a CD, Blackmore's Night's Ghost of a Rose), both of which i have been wanting muchly to read. Diana Wynne Jones' House of Many Ways (Another story based in the same world, and with a related cast, to Howl's Moving Castle) and Jim C. Hines' the Stepsister Scheme.

Alas, i also decided I had to read three research books before I read the Jones, and three more before I get to Hines (The latter made easier because I loaned it to my mom first). And the first one is a mite dry.

Speaking of Books, I seem to have ended up in a YA kick:

Michael Marshall Smith - The Servants: Nominated for the World Fantasy Award, and in the Convention's book bag. Not bad, but... it was obvious in several ways, and unbelievable in others. It was very obvious that this would be a case where the "evil stepdad who took the place of my real dad" is not the sort of sinister person he's first portrayed as. The solution was a happy kid's book solution of exactly the kind taken apart in Diane Duane's A Wizard's Dilemma (Which, alas, might give away exactly what kind of YA story this is, a classic Problem Book of a particular kind, except with ghosts. I was never convinced it could be that easy; a strange comes in, shouts at people, and sets all to rights is a trope that is too problematic even when the people, or whatever the "ghosts" are, are pretty much the same kind. But most of all, I couldn't believe the major revelation partway through. More accurately, I couldn't believe this was something NOT KNOWN already. Because my immediate thought was, "What kind of mother doesn't explain this to her teenaged son long before this point?" If he were three, maybe even five, maybe I could see it being kind of shut away. But fourteen?

Ssdly, my favourite moment, the only one, was where our clumsy skateboarder finally manages to do what he's been trying all along. Because it rings more true than most of the rest. I also like bits of the prose in the "Footman" sequence, as it grows more and more abstract, more and more like a dance. But those I came away with still thinking, "too easy."

Final verdict, well written, but not worth it. Even though it's short and has some handsome prose.

Sherman Alexie - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Illustrations by Ellen Fornay)

This book is, in short, as good as everyone was telling me. Yup. Love. [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija has a fabulous review which I'll point to and say "What she said.".

Sherwood Smith - Wren's Quest

Fun, touching, adventuresome; not much to say. The characters are lightly drawn but not static. I enjoyed it too much to have that little to say, but.
lenora_rose: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] cristalia just articulated something about the latest imbroglio (Apparantly continuing in some places even now, but which I've been shunning for a while) Here>

I've been trying to articulate my response to certain aspects of the explosion of viciousness.

Several of my particular racial type (Clueless White person) after being exposed to the whole vicious circle, declared, "After seeing this nastiness, I'm more afraid to write PoC than I was. And I wanted to help, until now."

This reaction made *no* sense to me. Less than no sense. Because, while it started with a critique of a writer's book which left in a racist trope by carelessness, that part of the discussion didn't last long. The nastiness was almost none of it on that aspect, comparatively. Indeed, watching Bear's initial gracious response, and truepenny's initial, gracious response, I felt inclined to follow their example if I should get a similar critique.

I'm no more afraid to write what I write, or whom I write. (Glances ruefully at the stack of books on the Ojibwa or Cree beside her).

But I'm a lot more leery of trying to engage people in an internet imbroglio. Because picking out the wheat from the chaff - and when I left, there was still plenty of wheat in view - stopped being worth it in spite of the visible presence of worthwhile comment.

The other one is harder to say, because ... because I look at my reaction, and I think it's not from a position of privilege, but I could be wrong.

First, people were occasionally asked to back off for a while and take a break, and come at it fresh.

Virtually nobody actually took this advice, of course, when it was given. (Plenty of people backed off, but usually those with, or trying to keep, cool heads, not the people asked to do so because their behaviour was getting a bit out of hand.)

The excuses given were many, and some vile (If you ever see darkerblogistan show up on your blog, save yourself time trying to reason with him and ban ban ban. Racist sexist scum.) But one bothered me; various people of colour challenged this with "We live with ongoing racism every day. You think we can get away from it? Take a break from racism?"

And this bugged me. Because, on one hand, it's true. A person dealing with ongoing societal racism probably DOES see it every day they don't spend curled up alone in their room/apartment/house. In small things I can be blind to because, as a white woman, they don't happen to me.

But. this means they cannot consciously choose not to engage an increasingly nasty and inhospitable part of the internet? or even not read or post for ONE DAY?

I live in a sexist world. Our culture is full of instances of sexism, and I face them many days of my life. But I still feel that there are times I can step back and say, "This is not the time or place to fight." Or even, "I need to calm down or I can't contribute." And I can go pet my cat. Buy groceries. Read a book (Alas, as demonstrated, hardly a guarantee of escape from the ongoing experience of racism or sexism, but at least not part of the chunk of it pissing me off.) Clean house. Read a different online discussion. And go back when, as I described it before, my present anger isn't so overwhelming it clouds my attempts to express my ongoing grievance.


___________________


So I was bad and bought myself two more books (And a CD, Blackmore's Night's Ghost of a Rose), both of which i have been wanting muchly to read. Diana Wynne Jones' House of Many Ways (Another story based in the same world, and with a related cast, to Howl's Moving Castle) and Jim C. Hines' the Stepsister Scheme.

Alas, i also decided I had to read three research books before I read the Jones, and three more before I get to Hines (The latter made easier because I loaned it to my mom first). And the first one is a mite dry.

Speaking of Books, I seem to have ended up in a YA kick:

Michael Marshall Smith - The Servants: Nominated for the World Fantasy Award, and in the Convention's book bag. Not bad, but... it was obvious in several ways, and unbelievable in others. It was very obvious that this would be a case where the "evil stepdad who took the place of my real dad" is not the sort of sinister person he's first portrayed as. The solution was a happy kid's book solution of exactly the kind taken apart in Diane Duane's A Wizard's Dilemma (Which, alas, might give away exactly what kind of YA story this is, a classic Problem Book of a particular kind, except with ghosts. I was never convinced it could be that easy; a strange comes in, shouts at people, and sets all to rights is a trope that is too problematic even when the people, or whatever the "ghosts" are, are pretty much the same kind. But most of all, I couldn't believe the major revelation partway through. More accurately, I couldn't believe this was something NOT KNOWN already. Because my immediate thought was, "What kind of mother doesn't explain this to her teenaged son long before this point?" If he were three, maybe even five, maybe I could see it being kind of shut away. But fourteen?

Ssdly, my favourite moment, the only one, was where our clumsy skateboarder finally manages to do what he's been trying all along. Because it rings more true than most of the rest. I also like bits of the prose in the "Footman" sequence, as it grows more and more abstract, more and more like a dance. But those I came away with still thinking, "too easy."

Final verdict, well written, but not worth it. Even though it's short and has some handsome prose.

Sherman Alexie - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Illustrations by Ellen Fornay)

This book is, in short, as good as everyone was telling me. Yup. Love. [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija has a fabulous review which I'll point to and say "What she said.".

Sherwood Smith - Wren's Quest

Fun, touching, adventuresome; not much to say. The characters are lightly drawn but not static. I enjoyed it too much to have that little to say, but.
lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
Some days, you just can't keep up with the world.

Short version of this last week and weekend:

The event went well. Colin's feast got everything from praise to raves, with the minor exception that some of the duck didn't get all the way around the tables. The servers were fabulous.

Court was much fun - certain local powers that be decided to give Evil Erec an inauguration into the Order of the Sith as a combination tease and tribute, followed by a more serious gift from our Baron, as he's leaving for Afghanistan next month.

The floors were not perfectly swept for the post-revel - I did a super-fast job even after people had already arrived. Nobody particularly noticed. i think our house had about 40 people in it at peak, and things seemed to go well. One of the other out-of-town guests, Hrodir, was probably the life of the late part of the party. Scary man. But a good guy. I think. :)

Our guests were all wonderful, as guests and as people -- this included the four royalty/retainers and one extra friend who biked over the day before the event.

Anybody want a cabbage? I think we have three left (And a bit over a half - I misjudged earlier and thought it a bit less.)

___________________

I am making teapots. I am having fun. I wish the prof had not included an absolute requirement that we do casting, especially as my next project will involve same, and frankly, even the silly parts I was thinking about casting, I could more-than-probably do better just making by hand. Also, making casting slip out of already extant clay is apparently less than easy - unless the clay is dried out entirely first. no time now, thanks.

I understand that she at least half wants to evaluate what we already know how to do. But I'm Doing casting in the next project. Can't she just *wait*?

I need about two more lidded buckets.

___________________

I wish people would remember these things about online interactions:
- a lot of tone is absent. We say this over and over, but it's amazing how easy it is to see only the words on the page as the whole story, and never realise how *different* a person comes across talking, when you can see body language, pitch, volume, inflection, etc. Even with close to identical wording. We do forgive more foot in mouth turns of phrase when we can see the person is trying.
- Reading generously and assuming best motives, is better. Sometimes the best motives possible are still those of an asshole, but if you try and see past foot-in-mouth, you may see there is neither malice nor denial.
- Things happen faster than in real time. What this means, mainly, is that online, it's too easy NOT to step back and cool down when it's urgently necessary to do so. (And this is not saying people have no right to be angry. People have every damn right in the world to be angry, and to express that anger, and I sure as hell don't have any right to give or deny permission. But there are two types of anger. The long-term "Here's a problem that pisses me off" anger, and the immediate fury that comes when someone is provoking, intentionally or not. In the real world, when I'm at my most immediate-furious, I usually can't react coherently enough to express my real grievance. It's BETTER, not for my opponent, but for me, to pause, and breathe, and do something else, and come back to say, "I'm still angry, but now I can explain WHY."
- Having a good cause or a legitimate comment does not prevent you from expressing yourself badly; either by classic foot-in-mouth inability to say it right, or by sheer nastiness. Being abusive while trying to make an otherwise good point is a classic case of the road to hell.
- The circumstances under which it is okay to snub an apology are few, and never when the apology is sincere. Demanding more penitence is a form of snubbing an apology.
- In group collisions, there can be individuals on both "sides" who are either stirring up the pot with malice, or being reasonable every time they talk. There are also people in the middle trying to point out the good in both or the legitimate complaints in both. Lumping all who aren't with you together is a blunder which leads to even more of a mess than otherwise.
- The perfect is the enemy of the good.
- References to the fact that humans have variable levels of intelligence are invariably easier ways to devolve the conversation into incoherent fury and insults than actual curse words. They are never useful.
- All of these are general advice, and though derived from recent debate, are not meant to apply to a single individual or side in any recent activity. Even those that people might guess are inspired by one person are not; they're inspired by two or three at minimum, even if there are instances recently that have been cited more than others.
lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
Some days, you just can't keep up with the world.

Short version of this last week and weekend:

The event went well. Colin's feast got everything from praise to raves, with the minor exception that some of the duck didn't get all the way around the tables. The servers were fabulous.

Court was much fun - certain local powers that be decided to give Evil Erec an inauguration into the Order of the Sith as a combination tease and tribute, followed by a more serious gift from our Baron, as he's leaving for Afghanistan next month.

The floors were not perfectly swept for the post-revel - I did a super-fast job even after people had already arrived. Nobody particularly noticed. i think our house had about 40 people in it at peak, and things seemed to go well. One of the other out-of-town guests, Hrodir, was probably the life of the late part of the party. Scary man. But a good guy. I think. :)

Our guests were all wonderful, as guests and as people -- this included the four royalty/retainers and one extra friend who biked over the day before the event.

Anybody want a cabbage? I think we have three left (And a bit over a half - I misjudged earlier and thought it a bit less.)

___________________

I am making teapots. I am having fun. I wish the prof had not included an absolute requirement that we do casting, especially as my next project will involve same, and frankly, even the silly parts I was thinking about casting, I could more-than-probably do better just making by hand. Also, making casting slip out of already extant clay is apparently less than easy - unless the clay is dried out entirely first. no time now, thanks.

I understand that she at least half wants to evaluate what we already know how to do. But I'm Doing casting in the next project. Can't she just *wait*?

I need about two more lidded buckets.

___________________

I wish people would remember these things about online interactions:
- a lot of tone is absent. We say this over and over, but it's amazing how easy it is to see only the words on the page as the whole story, and never realise how *different* a person comes across talking, when you can see body language, pitch, volume, inflection, etc. Even with close to identical wording. We do forgive more foot in mouth turns of phrase when we can see the person is trying.
- Reading generously and assuming best motives, is better. Sometimes the best motives possible are still those of an asshole, but if you try and see past foot-in-mouth, you may see there is neither malice nor denial.
- Things happen faster than in real time. What this means, mainly, is that online, it's too easy NOT to step back and cool down when it's urgently necessary to do so. (And this is not saying people have no right to be angry. People have every damn right in the world to be angry, and to express that anger, and I sure as hell don't have any right to give or deny permission. But there are two types of anger. The long-term "Here's a problem that pisses me off" anger, and the immediate fury that comes when someone is provoking, intentionally or not. In the real world, when I'm at my most immediate-furious, I usually can't react coherently enough to express my real grievance. It's BETTER, not for my opponent, but for me, to pause, and breathe, and do something else, and come back to say, "I'm still angry, but now I can explain WHY."
- Having a good cause or a legitimate comment does not prevent you from expressing yourself badly; either by classic foot-in-mouth inability to say it right, or by sheer nastiness. Being abusive while trying to make an otherwise good point is a classic case of the road to hell.
- The circumstances under which it is okay to snub an apology are few, and never when the apology is sincere. Demanding more penitence is a form of snubbing an apology.
- In group collisions, there can be individuals on both "sides" who are either stirring up the pot with malice, or being reasonable every time they talk. There are also people in the middle trying to point out the good in both or the legitimate complaints in both. Lumping all who aren't with you together is a blunder which leads to even more of a mess than otherwise.
- The perfect is the enemy of the good.
- References to the fact that humans have variable levels of intelligence are invariably easier ways to devolve the conversation into incoherent fury and insults than actual curse words. They are never useful.
- All of these are general advice, and though derived from recent debate, are not meant to apply to a single individual or side in any recent activity. Even those that people might guess are inspired by one person are not; they're inspired by two or three at minimum, even if there are instances recently that have been cited more than others.
lenora_rose: (Default)
And in most parts of my life.

In the school: This term's professor will NOT be continuing into next year. We've known for a while that they were looking for a candidate for next term to take over THREE classes (Majors, Advanced, and the first year class for a professor heading to East Asia - I can't recall it it's Cambodia again, or Beijing.), but his name was in and we were hopeful. It also looks like it will be the woman whose class I almost took first term, whom I believe to be a perfectly good teacher (So long as I get to throw more.) I was told at one point she wasn't even standing as a candidate, but I've heard several other unreliable speculations as time goes on.

Our current prof has another class, and will be staying on in the building, but it sounds like they gave him that ahead of time, partly because they didn't expect, or intend, him to get the full-time spot.

What annoys a lot of people is that a reasonably popular prof who's been teaching first-year ceramics for a while also didn't even get interviewed. I'm not sure what i think, as I wasn't in on the discussions. I think I'd be happy with any of the above, and likely many of the outsiders they have also interviewed; ceramics has been batting pretty high on good and accessible teachers.

BUt it is going to require a bit of a change in gears.

____________________

Our current Baron and Baroness are stepping down for personal reasons. They don't want to discuss what the personal reasons are -- We have reliable information that they and their families are physically healthy. I have probably reliable information on the details, but will respect their wishes in not elaborating.

I will also, since [livejournal.com profile] frisky_turtle sometimes reads this, say I wish them both well, and send my love.

The short version, though, is that we will likely have a Vicar for Twelfth Night (Probably our current Seneschal, Berengaria, who is stepping down then anyhow), and be having a new Baron and Baroness step up in June. Nominations are open until the week before Twelfth Night. So far, I know for a fact of one couple and one singleton nominated.

Colin asked me if we wanted to let our names stand. (Later, someone else asked him the same).

In spite of my fascination with the process (I asked the most questions at the Folkmoot, albeit partly because I suspected our crop of new people might not know enough to know what to ask.) I was uncertain about this. True, it would kick in *after* the currently insane business of my life is done. True that the demands aren't actually *That* high. (We'd have to travel more -- but not necessarily much further, or at great expense. The oaths of fealty aren't problematic in themselves, although they force some of the travel. I already do quarterly reports.)

Also true that there are other plans in our lives which could make our lives even busier sometime in the unknown future. And other complications. And a lot of the things that fall to the Baron and Baroness that are unspoken would add to the muddle: I'd want to hold myself to a higher standard of garb. I'd probably want to get myself a name and personal device I can actually register, which likely means having to change my whole name. It would also mean finessing a number of politics - supporting activities in the Barony is relatively easy, but that's far from the end of it. I'm reasonably good at politics, and inclined to forge straight into them, not hide from them, but that doesn't mean I enjoy them.

(ETA: Of course, I am fully aware that Colin and I have a pretty low chance of being voted in even if we stand - there's a pretty obvious set considered Most Likely to get it if they stand - but if we do, I won't do it just so there's some appearance of competition, I want to think through all potential consequences, and put earnest thought into it. it's a long-term position, after all.)

_____________________

And as for actual politics in the real world? I just hope the budget fails when it comes up again (Unless so much of it is changed that it is no longer the same budget), and the coalition can keep its ass together long enough to kick Harper out.
lenora_rose: (Default)
And in most parts of my life.

In the school: This term's professor will NOT be continuing into next year. We've known for a while that they were looking for a candidate for next term to take over THREE classes (Majors, Advanced, and the first year class for a professor heading to East Asia - I can't recall it it's Cambodia again, or Beijing.), but his name was in and we were hopeful. It also looks like it will be the woman whose class I almost took first term, whom I believe to be a perfectly good teacher (So long as I get to throw more.) I was told at one point she wasn't even standing as a candidate, but I've heard several other unreliable speculations as time goes on.

Our current prof has another class, and will be staying on in the building, but it sounds like they gave him that ahead of time, partly because they didn't expect, or intend, him to get the full-time spot.

What annoys a lot of people is that a reasonably popular prof who's been teaching first-year ceramics for a while also didn't even get interviewed. I'm not sure what i think, as I wasn't in on the discussions. I think I'd be happy with any of the above, and likely many of the outsiders they have also interviewed; ceramics has been batting pretty high on good and accessible teachers.

BUt it is going to require a bit of a change in gears.

____________________

Our current Baron and Baroness are stepping down for personal reasons. They don't want to discuss what the personal reasons are -- We have reliable information that they and their families are physically healthy. I have probably reliable information on the details, but will respect their wishes in not elaborating.

I will also, since [livejournal.com profile] frisky_turtle sometimes reads this, say I wish them both well, and send my love.

The short version, though, is that we will likely have a Vicar for Twelfth Night (Probably our current Seneschal, Berengaria, who is stepping down then anyhow), and be having a new Baron and Baroness step up in June. Nominations are open until the week before Twelfth Night. So far, I know for a fact of one couple and one singleton nominated.

Colin asked me if we wanted to let our names stand. (Later, someone else asked him the same).

In spite of my fascination with the process (I asked the most questions at the Folkmoot, albeit partly because I suspected our crop of new people might not know enough to know what to ask.) I was uncertain about this. True, it would kick in *after* the currently insane business of my life is done. True that the demands aren't actually *That* high. (We'd have to travel more -- but not necessarily much further, or at great expense. The oaths of fealty aren't problematic in themselves, although they force some of the travel. I already do quarterly reports.)

Also true that there are other plans in our lives which could make our lives even busier sometime in the unknown future. And other complications. And a lot of the things that fall to the Baron and Baroness that are unspoken would add to the muddle: I'd want to hold myself to a higher standard of garb. I'd probably want to get myself a name and personal device I can actually register, which likely means having to change my whole name. It would also mean finessing a number of politics - supporting activities in the Barony is relatively easy, but that's far from the end of it. I'm reasonably good at politics, and inclined to forge straight into them, not hide from them, but that doesn't mean I enjoy them.

(ETA: Of course, I am fully aware that Colin and I have a pretty low chance of being voted in even if we stand - there's a pretty obvious set considered Most Likely to get it if they stand - but if we do, I won't do it just so there's some appearance of competition, I want to think through all potential consequences, and put earnest thought into it. it's a long-term position, after all.)

_____________________

And as for actual politics in the real world? I just hope the budget fails when it comes up again (Unless so much of it is changed that it is no longer the same budget), and the coalition can keep its ass together long enough to kick Harper out.
lenora_rose: (Roman gossips)
Started the second new job (SMD) Monday; got a good impression of the work, and I'm in a small office where I can play my music and not horrify anyone.

Then, today, went to a workplace conference there, which actually proved a reasonable way to learn a lot about the people I'll be working with -- almost all positively -- and also to re-learn that I cannot keep my mouth closed if someone's interpretation of a remark or an event is too simplistic; I have to be devil's advocate for a greyer, more nuanced reading. Well, I guess I convinced them I'm not shy. Even though I sometimes am.

Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette: A Companion to Wolves

I've read far too many long and discerning reviews of this book, and general discussions of what it's trying to do, to feel like I have anything new to add vis-a-vis my reaction. Except I'm definitely on the side of "This Book is Full of Win."

The main cool ingredients are:
Really amazing wolves, as non-human but solid characters. Viredechtis is most definitely one of the best. Ditto the trolls, even if only through the eyes of their enemies. But the hints are hella cool. (I wonder what would happen if you locked this and The Prodigal Troll in a room together for too long?) And the (semi-spoiler).
Serious re-examination of the "Green-Dragonrider problem", aka deconstruction of the very Companion-Animal fantasy it includes. OH, hell, yeah.
Serious consideration of sexual roles, sexuality, and what happens when they don't match (albeit slightly disguised by the fact that there is indeed much buttsex, not all of it exactly what we would consider entirely consensual, and not written remotely to titillate even when the characters have fun. Thank Dog.)
A noteable feminist undercurrent because of, not in spite of, the overwhelming majority of human characters being male. And consideration of the female role in a warrior society. As inhabited by male and female characters.
Massive quantities of war, battles, confrontations, and confusions, and all that action for those who think the above all sounds dry for the page count.

My single favourite moment was the whole "conversation" between Isolfr and Viradechtis that starts with Isolfr dropping the axe handle. Communicating across a barrier that has to be there in spite of their unreserved love. And all the other moments of culture and species clash turning to comprehension, really. Although drawing the complicated mess that is sex that well is a respectable gift on the part of both authors, it's not even in the running by comparison.
lenora_rose: (Roman gossips)
Started the second new job (SMD) Monday; got a good impression of the work, and I'm in a small office where I can play my music and not horrify anyone.

Then, today, went to a workplace conference there, which actually proved a reasonable way to learn a lot about the people I'll be working with -- almost all positively -- and also to re-learn that I cannot keep my mouth closed if someone's interpretation of a remark or an event is too simplistic; I have to be devil's advocate for a greyer, more nuanced reading. Well, I guess I convinced them I'm not shy. Even though I sometimes am.

Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette: A Companion to Wolves

I've read far too many long and discerning reviews of this book, and general discussions of what it's trying to do, to feel like I have anything new to add vis-a-vis my reaction. Except I'm definitely on the side of "This Book is Full of Win."

The main cool ingredients are:
Really amazing wolves, as non-human but solid characters. Viredechtis is most definitely one of the best. Ditto the trolls, even if only through the eyes of their enemies. But the hints are hella cool. (I wonder what would happen if you locked this and The Prodigal Troll in a room together for too long?) And the (semi-spoiler).
Serious re-examination of the "Green-Dragonrider problem", aka deconstruction of the very Companion-Animal fantasy it includes. OH, hell, yeah.
Serious consideration of sexual roles, sexuality, and what happens when they don't match (albeit slightly disguised by the fact that there is indeed much buttsex, not all of it exactly what we would consider entirely consensual, and not written remotely to titillate even when the characters have fun. Thank Dog.)
A noteable feminist undercurrent because of, not in spite of, the overwhelming majority of human characters being male. And consideration of the female role in a warrior society. As inhabited by male and female characters.
Massive quantities of war, battles, confrontations, and confusions, and all that action for those who think the above all sounds dry for the page count.

My single favourite moment was the whole "conversation" between Isolfr and Viradechtis that starts with Isolfr dropping the axe handle. Communicating across a barrier that has to be there in spite of their unreserved love. And all the other moments of culture and species clash turning to comprehension, really. Although drawing the complicated mess that is sex that well is a respectable gift on the part of both authors, it's not even in the running by comparison.

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