I'm very much considering selling my collection off, and before I spend the time posting them here on DW/LJ (versus going straight to Amazon/eBay) I wanted to see if anyone would possibly be interested. Mainly because it's going to take awhile to type up a post, and I don't want to bother if nobody is even remotely interested in them.
For the record, this isn't because "holy crap, Lynn needs money!" like some of my previous virtual yard sales. This is more along the lines of "Lynn is getting older and things that she was once willing to spend a shit-ton of money on aren't nearly as important to her - especially when she considers how much money said action figures are worth, when they're simply gathering dust on her computer desk."
(Translation: Lynn did the math, and she probably has close to $500 worth of action figures sitting on her computer desk. Gathering dust and attracting cats who want to chew on them. And $500 could very much be put to good use in a variety of ways. Hell, her car probably isn't even worth that much money. Literally.)
I'll be fine if I don't sell them. I'm just considering the possibility.
So... would anyone be interested? Or would I be better off just posting them directly to Amazon/eBay? If I even decide to sell them in the first place?
It was not the sort of event you’d expect to find on the agenda of a family reunion, even a reunion of the Douse family, one of Prince Edward Island’s less predictable genealogical entanglements.
Certainly, there was no hint of such doings on any other days of the week-long reunion schedule. On the day prior, August 11, the main event was an “all-day lobster beach party” — hardly exceptional on an island where the Minister of Hospitality is a lobster and the provincial playground is a hundred kilometres of ocean beach the colour of Montmorency cherries.
Events on August 13, the day after the showstopper, were, again, unexceptional for a reunion of islanders: a walking tour of “Douse Charlottetown”; a visit to Province House; a lecture on the political career of William Douse, the family’s most notorious and indomitable ancestor.
It was William who had brought the clan to P.E.I. from Wiltshire, England, in 1822 and who until his death in 1864 had laid down an inarguable blueprint for family wit and tenacity. “And pigheadedness,” submits Lou Douse, William’s great-great-grandson and something of an island original himself. “And testiness,” he adds with a wink, noting that one of his sisters once remarked that she’d “rather be a Douse than be married to a Douse.”
Among the reunion’s programmed walks and talks — and oyster feeds and parties and beach bonfires — it was the event scheduled for August 12, the second full day of the gathering, that inspired you to pause, gather your thoughts, and re-read what you had read, and then read it again, perhaps thinking you had not understood.
And possibly you had not. For on that day, beginning at 9 a.m., the 40-odd members of the Douse family, some from as far away as Zimbabwe, others from Ohio and Michigan and central Ontario, were scheduled to meet in the Old Protestant Burying Ground on University Avenue in Charlottetown. They had been told to bring whatever tools might help in opening and excavating the crypt in which the aforementioned William Douse, or at least his remains, had lain undisturbed for 150 years.
Today I read this.
My inner 15-year-old is crying and burning her VHSes, because even with her extremely conservative, republican, black-and-white-morality worldview upbringing*, she knew better than that.
*Family gatherings are a political/worldview nightmare for adult Me, folks, let me tell you...
(This article is the first in a series. There's more stuff coming.)
I grew up in a time and place—the Los Angeles suburbs of the 1980s—where LGBTQ culture was pretty much invisible in everyday life. The first out people I met were online. In fact, LGBTQ culture played a significant, though underreported, part in shaping the overall online culture. Since the early 1980s, there have been many LGBTQ spaces on the Net: newsgroups, bulletin board systems, or BBSs, mailing lists, social networks, chat rooms, and websites. But the very first LGBTQ Internet space, as far as I’ve been able to find, was the soc.motss newsgroup. And it hosted conversations that had never been seen before online—and that arguably remain in too short supply even today. (I’ll be frequently using “LGBTQ” as the best available catchall term, with the awareness that categories and nomenclature have gone through many evolutions since the early 1980s.)
In 1983 programmer Steve Dyer started a discussion forum called net.motss (later soc.motss) on the Usenet newsgroup system. Built in 1980 atop pre-Internet networks such as ARPANET and BITNET, Usenet allowed for creation of hierarchical categories of interest groups (comp.lang.java.help, rec.arts.books, etc.) and public threaded discussions within each group, in much the same way forums and comments work today. The abbreviation “motss” stood for “members of the same sex,” an unflashy acronym that would make it less of a potential target for censorship. University of Colorado–Boulder professor Amy Goodloe, who went on to start many lesbian Usenet groups as well as found and run lesbian.org in 1995, calls soc.motss the first explicitly LGBTQ newsgroup—and possibly the first explicitly LGBTQ international space of any kind.
And it was a prominent space: By the early 1990s, motss member and software engineer Brian Reid estimated that about 3 percent of all Usenet readers were reading soc.motss, which was an audience of about 83,000 people. (For comparison, 8 percent were reading the perennially popular alt.sex.)
Dyer, who died in 2010, was a Unix hacker who worked at BBN before becoming a private consultant. In the very first motss post on Oct. 7, 1983, Dyer set out the newsgroup’s aims: “to foster discussion on a wide variety of topics, such as health problems, parenting, relationships, clearances, job security and many others.” Dyer stressed that the forum would provide “a supportive environment” for gay USENET members: “Net.motss is emphatically NOT a newsgroup for the discussion of whether homosexuality is good or bad, natural or unnatural. Nor is it a place where conduct unsuitable for the net will be allowed or condoned.”
According to engineer Nelson Minar, who was active on soc.motss in the early 1990s, newsgroups of the 1980s and ’90s tended to have a slower pace of discussion. A day could pass before someone replied to a thread, and responses were frequently closer to mini-essays than short comments. That sort of belles-lettristic group dialogue allowed for a deeply nuanced and intellectual discussion of gay and lesbian issues.
It all feels unreal and strange. I've been thinking about selling this house and moving out of here for two years. Now that it's happening, I'm somewhat alarmed, mainly because I don't know where I'm going to go next. I can't commit to renting anywhere else until this house is sold because I simply cannot afford to pay rent and the mortgage for even one month. Just pulling together the cash for the security deposit, first month's rent, and pet deposits is going to be impossible without the cash from the house sale. It's going to be a tricky and somewhat nerve wracking few weeks for me. Jittery. That's me.
Give me a letter & I'll answer!
A. Describe your comfort zone—a typical you-fic.
B. Is there a trope you’ve yet to try your hand at, but really want to?
C. Is there a trope you wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole?
D. How many fic ideas are you nurturing right now? Care to share one of them?
E. Share one of your strengths.
F. Share one of your weaknesses.
G. Share a snippet from one of your favorite pieces of prose you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it.
H. Share a snippet from one of your favorite dialogue scenes you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it.
I. Which fic has been the hardest to write?
J. Which fic has been the easiest to write?
K. Is writing your passion or just a fun hobby?
L. Is there an episode section of canon above all others that inspires you just a little bit more?
M. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever come across?
N. What’s the worst writing advice you’ve ever come across?
O. If you could choose one of your fics to be filmed, which would you choose?
P. If you only could write one pairing for the rest of your life, which pairing would it be?
Q. Do you write your story from start to finish, or do you write the scenes out of order?
R. Do you use any tools, like worksheets or outlines?
S. Stephen King once said that his muse is a man who lives in the basement. Do you have a muse?
T. Describe your perfect writing conditions.
U. How many times do you usually revise your fic/chapter before posting?
V. Choose a passage from one of your earlier fics and edit it into your current writing style. (Person sending the ask is free to make suggestions).
W. If you were to revise one of your older fics from start to finish, which would it be and why?
X. Have you ever deleted one of your published fics?
Y. What do you look for in a beta?
Z. Do you beta yourself? If so, what kind of beta are you?
AA. How do you feel about collaborations?
AB. Share three of your favorite fic writers and why you like them so much.
AC. If you could write the sequel (or prequel) to any fic out there not written by yourself, which would you choose?
AD. Do you accept prompts?
AE. Do you take liberties with canon or are you very strict about your fic being canon compliant?
AF. How do you feel about smut?
AG. How do you feel about crack?
AH. What are your thoughts on non-con and dub-con?
AI. Would you ever kill off a canon character?
AJ. Which is your favorite site to post fic?
AK. Talk about your current wips.
AL. Talk about a review that made your day.
AM. Do you ever get rude reviews and how do you deal with them?
AN. Write an alternative ending to a fic you've written (specify by title, link or general description].
(Myself, I think Greenpeace should have stayed consistent and not made exceptions.)
“Our young men started committing suicide in the 1970s because people couldn’t feed their families anymore,” said Rosemarie Kuptana, a former president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, an international organization representing the world’s 160,000 Inuit.
Greenpeace, she said, has never acknowledged “that there’s a whole generation of young people today who grew up without fathers.”
Only a few years after its 1971 founding in Vancouver, Greenpeace was at the forefront of efforts to condemn the Canadian seal hunt. By 1976, Greenpeacers were venturing out onto ice to physically push seals out of the way of East Coast sealing ships. Later, they would graduate to spraying the animals with non-toxic dye to make their coats unusable.
[. . .]
Driven by public pressure, Europe banned the import of whitecoat harp seal pups in 1983. Although the Inuit could still hunt, the ban demolished the market for seal skins. In some Northern communities, annual seal hunting revenue reportedly dropped from $50,000 to as low as $1,000.
“You could not find a more thoroughly discredited brand, from one end of the Arctic to the other, than Greenpeace,” said Madeleine Redfern, a former mayor of Iqaluit, writing in an email to the National Post.
It has laid waste to the tribal chiefdoms of Sierra Leone, leaving hundreds dead, but the Ebola crisis began with just one healer's claims to special powers.
The outbreak need never have spread from Guinea, health officials revealed to AFP, except for a herbalist in the remote eastern border village of Sokoma.
"She was claiming to have powers to heal Ebola. Cases from Guinea were crossing into Sierra Leone for treatment," Mohamed Vandi, the top medical official in the hard-hit district of Kenema, told AFP.
"She got infected and died. During her funeral, women around the other towns got infected."
[. . .]
The herbalist's mourners fanned out across the rolling hills of the Kissi tribal chiefdoms, starting a chain reaction of infections, deaths, funerals and more infections.
A worrying outbreak turned into a major epidemic when the virus finally hit Kenema city on June 17.
It might be comforting to think that the tragic shooting of Michael Brown—an 18-year-old unarmed black man—by a white police officer on August 9 and the resulting chaos in Ferguson, Missouri, are distinctly American phenomena. The history of racial tensions, the heavy-handed policing tactics, the disproportionate criminalization of young black men—these are issues that have long plagued the United States, a country so obsessed with law and order that it has the highest incarceration rate in the world.
But look a little closer, and the lines between Ferguson and Toronto begin to blur. The photos of police officers in full riot gear brandishing body shields and tear gas canisters at protesters start to look a lot like the images from the G20 summit in 2010. The Ferguson police’s racial profiling mirrors the Toronto Police Service’s (TPS) practice of disproportionately carding and documenting young men of colour. And the six shots fired against the unarmed Brown while he attempted to flee echo the tragic killing of Sammy Yatim, who was shot repeatedly on an empty Toronto streetcar, or Michael Eligon, who was killed after walking toward police officers while brandishing two pairs of scissors.
Much of the discussion surrounding the events in Ferguson has focused on the discrepancy between Ferguson’s majority African-American population and the nearly all-white police force. Only 20 years ago, Toronto also had a police service that was 94 per cent white. While outgoing police chief Bill Blair has received many accolades for attempting to diversify the police force during his tenure, by 2010 only 18 per cent of the force was female, while less than 20 per cent belonged to a visible minority—a small step for a city where women make up half the population and half of all residents are non-white.
Toronto has a police force that still does not accurately reflect the communities it is meant to protect. A particular case in point is the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS), a unit born out of 2005’s “summer of the gun.” TAVIS officers are not stationed in a specific neighbourhood, but are instead deployed to different parts of the city depending on criminal activity. Described as a “racial profiling unit” by community members, TAVIS is notorious in low-income neighbourhoods for conducting public strip searches, assaulting individuals, and pointing guns at unarmed teenagers—just like the Ferguson police. It’s not surprising that TAVIS has the highest rate of stopping and documenting black individuals of all TPS units.
After days of conspicuous campaign silence, Karen Stintz (Ward 16, Eglinton-Lawrence) announced this morning her decision to exit the mayoral race.
“I knew more than anyone that I was in for a difficult race,” Stintz said during an 11 a.m. press conference at City Hall. She added, “I’m disappointed my vision and ideas did not gain the traction I had hoped.” Stintz also declared she will not run for city council: “After three terms I am proud of my accomplishments, and I believe I have served my city well.”
There was plenty of speculation this week that Stintz had been eyeing the exits. She’s been considered a non-factor in the race for some time, consistently polling in the single digits (earlier this month, Forum Research had Stintz at 4 per cent).
Stintz served as TTC chair before announcing her mayoral candidacy in February. During her tenure, the TTC introduced free wireless internet at subway stations, a new customer service charter, and the Crisis Link suicide prevention program. But Stintz was also criticized for changing her mind on the Scarborough subway-LRT debate, and throughout her mayoral campaign she struggled to differentiate herself from frontrunner John Tory.
See also blogTO's brief item.
The Toronto Star goes into greater detail, suggesting that this will benefit the campaign of ideological similar John Tory.
Stintz said she was proud of her campaign and her three terms as councillor for Ward 16 (Eglinton-Lawrence), but said she will not jump back into the council race.
“It’s time to start a new chapter,” after 11 years in politics, said Stintz who first ran for council after answering a candidate-recruitment ad from a midtown ratepayers’ association. “My immediate plans are to get through the next council meeting and then to get my kids (Jackson, 9, and Hailey, 7) ready to go back to school.”
She took no questions and did not endorse any of her mayoral challengers. Her former assistant J.P. Boutros is now running to replace her in Ward 16.
[. . .]
Stintz had gained a high profile, first as TTC chair and then for her bruising battles over transit with Mayor Rob Ford (Open Rob Ford’s policard). However, she has consistently polled below five per cent support in the mayoral race, more than 25 points behind the leader and tied for fourth or fifth place.
Her campaign had been the quietest of the five leading contenders, and once-key operatives appear to have reduced their involvement in her team.
Stintz’s centre-right, business-friendly platform appealed to the same pool of voters, donors, volunteers and organizers as that of John Tory, the radio host and former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader who recent polls say has a narrow lead over former NDP MP Olivia Chow.
Sofia Samatar, A Stranger in Olondria (2013) - I was talking to jhameia about this book, and about how the writing reminded me a lot of The Secret Service, and she said, "It's so sad." Which it is. And it's also, to my mind, much less about reading than other people had led me to believe. It's about travel, and being a traveler in a strange land, and yes about the power of books but also about how books aren't everything and about how they can and can't save you. It's melancholy and gorgeously written and wonderful, you should read it.
Yangsze Choo, The Ghost Bride (2013) - I enjoyed this book about a young woman who receives an offer to marry a dead man in turn of the C20th Malaya, although I am sympathetic to those reviews who complained that Choo's prose is somewhat more telling than showing at times, and the conceit that the narrator's father educated her sometimes stretches a bit thin in the face of facts about Malaya that she supplies the reader. But the narrator and her personality, and the vivid country of the dead to which she journeys, are more than enough to carry the story through. I am ambivalent about the ultimate denouement, but only because I saw someone else on DW compare the choice the protagonist faces to Aeryn's at the end of The Blue Sword. All that having been said, I really liked the book and very much will read Choo's future books.
Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (2013) - Being spoiled for the essential conceit of this book did not make it any less awesome in the reading; at times while I was on the train reading it I had to laugh out loud. I've never read any of Fowler's work before, but this was awesome, and well deserving of all success. The narrator and her perspective are a treasure.
Kate Elliott, Spirit Gate (2007) - I started reading this, the first in the Crossroads trilogy, because one of Elliott's forthcoming 2015 books is set in the same world many decades later. I did not regret it. There are GIANT JUSTICE EAGLES and also, with two notable exceptions, all of the men are at best incompetent and all the women are badass in different ways. The setting is also entirely Asian-inspired, and the entire cast POC. I'm already 1/4 of the way into the next book.
Zen Cho, Spirits Abroad (2014) - This book was published in Malaysia, and I arranged with the author to purchase a paper copy for Loncon. I read it on the plane to Turkey and loved every second of it; I've previously read and quite enjoyed Cho's romance novella, but her short stories are also a true delight, particularly "Prudence and the Dragon" and "The Four Generations of Chang E" and…all of them, really. Many of Cho's characters speak Manglish, and having attended a few of the author's events at Worldcon, it was interesting to note bits of her personal experience reconfigured and reused throughout her work. I very much hope that her novel is picked up and published soon!
Kate Elliott, Shadow Gate (2008) - Second in the Crossroads trilogy. Has more of [spoilers] but also more of a character who I honestly wished had been killed at the end of the last book. I think I get the point of his plotline, but he's still damn annoying.
The rakugo manga - still
Book-shaped space for acquisitions
Various, Kaleidoscope (2014) - I downloaded my ecopy of this anthology, which I supported in Kickstarter, and can't wait to read it.
Hagio Moto & Komatsu Sakyo, Away vol. 1 (2014) - new manga by Hagio Moto from a Komatsu Sakyo story!!!!!
I acquired an excellent badge ribbon emblazoned with the phrase "All power corrupts, but we need electricity" at Worldcon, which makes me want to read the book it's from, namely Diana Wynne Jones' Archer's Goon. Also probably Michelle Sagara, since I'm behind on the Cast books. Also Kameron Hurley because she won Hugos. Also Seanan McGuire because I am WAY behind on her books. Also…you get the picture.
"DREAMGIRLS" (2006) Review
When I first learned that "DREAMGIRLS"’ eight Academy Award nominations did not include one for Best Picture and a Best Director nod for Bill Condon, it seemed pretty odd to me. The movie, based upon the 1981 Broadway musical, had already won plenty of accolades – including a Best Musical/Comedy Picture and two other Golden Globe awards. Was it possible that "DREAMGIRLS" had failed to live up to its hype? ( Read more... )
Anybody have the words they can't spell?
Maybe you know how it's spelled, you just can't type it out.
I'm finally getting around to writing up a retelling of "Prince Lindworm" I mentioned back in December, where I wondered how you get two sons from eating a red rose that'll give you a son and a white rose that'll give you a daughter. Sure, I can see getting a monster out of the mix, but this magical math is not adding up for me.
Turns out, I cannot for the life of me type "shepherdess." It's always sehpherdness.
This is a problem in a story where I decided nobody should have a name and the main character is "the shepherdess."
"Fanfiction is what literature might look like if it were reinvented from scratch after a nuclear...Aug. 21st, 2014 05:44 pm
“"Fanfiction is what literature might look like if it were reinvented from scratch after a nuclear apocalypse by a band of brilliant pop-culture junkies trapped in a sealed bunker. They don’t do it for money. That’s not what it’s about. The writers write it and put it up online just for the satisfaction. They’re fans, but they’re not silent, couchbound consumers of media. The culture talks to them, and they talk back to the culture in its own language."”
—Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians and The Magician King, TIME, July 18, 2011 (via fuckyeahbrakebills)
I should let that judgmental broad at my job with this… Heffa…
- blogTO lists five classic Toronto signs at risk of disappearing.
- Centauri Dreams discusses plans for really, really big telescope arrays.
- The Dragon's Gaze notes that young star HD 169142 appears to be forming both a brown dwarf and its own planetary system.
- The Dragon's Tales reports on the use of a laser by the US Navy to accelerate a projectile to speeds of one thousand kilometres a second.
- Far Outliers' Joel reports on the last major uprising of the Ainu against the Japanese, in 1789.
- Joe. My. God. notes a report from some American homophobes claiming that lesbians, owing to their left-wing ideological commitments, are a big threat than gay men.
- Language Log examines a sign blending Mandarin and Cantonese.
- Marginal Revolution links to a news report suggesting readers absorb less from online reading than they do from paper.
- Peter Rukavina maps his travels over the summer.
- Spacing Toronto notes concerns over the cost of the high-speed rail connection to Pearson airport.
- Torontoist notes Rob Ford's newest conflict of interest allegations.
- Towleroad talks about Luxembourg's openly gay prime minister, set to marry his partner.
- The Volokh Conspiracy notes problems regarding the protection of eagles and religious freedom issues regarding holding eagle feathers for religious reasons.
- Window on Eurasia reports on claims by activists that Russia must federalize or disintegrate.
The cultural consequences of Bill Watterson’s refusal to license Calvin and Hobbes have been immense.
I don’t know if they’re good or bad, unless you’re Bill Watterson, then they’re definitely good. The rest of us have had to/gotten to see Calvin and Hobbes slowly retire from the scene, to become a dimly remembered childhood memory like Bambi.
And I’m not saying that’s bad.
OK, I am saying that’s bad. At the very least it’s not good.
At the end of the day, artists do not own the things they create. These things come from all of us, go to all of us. It’s okay if a businessman doesn’t know this, but an artist should.
And I’m sure that Watterson thought that waiting until the end of his life is soon enough. Culturally speaking, they can wait another fifty years or less before the only person stopping the licensing gets done and moves on, and then we can begin to interact with the symbols directly and personally again. Maybe it’s even good to have a myth/product that has a break in it.
It just so happens that we live in the lee of that break, the one moment between the 1980s and the end of time in which there is no Calvin & Hobbes.
So right now the full force of Western law and jurisprudence is bent to the impossible task of making sure now Calvin & Hobbes merch slips through. But it can’t be done, and it has broken through at the weakest point of its particular myth.
These things could not be stopped. The symbol of defiance that resides in Calvin demanded a cultural expression, and it could only occur within another, separate symbol of defiance. Peeing; marking territory, yes. Also a symbol of harmless fun, of pranks, of the irrepressible nature of little boys. And this is not new. There have been statues and pictures of little boys mischievously peeing for millennia.
What’s it mean? It means that Calvin is related to mischievous peeing statues in the subconscious zeitgeist, that’s what it means. What’s that mean? I dunno.