• But also... WOO NO WORK FOR A FEW WEEKS!
• But also packing. Which is really awful.
• Hmm books. I finished Ilona Andrews' newest, Magic Binds, and it was fun. And, considering that there was a wedding being planned and orchestrated in it, it was actually useful for me personally. So there's that. I'm currently reading Kendare Blake's newest, Three Dark Crowns which is really interesting. I'm curious how they're going to resolve the conflict, which is that two of the three main characters are basically slated for death.
• Made an appointment to look at a venue for the wedding. This is exciting! Also a little terrifying. I'm thinking about Saves the Dates and then invitations, and my dress, and whether or not I want a full bar or if I want centerpieces. It's a lot to think about, and I'm trying not to get overwhelmed, haha. But it's exciting!
Not a whole lot to say, but at least I'm updating?
Me: So late. Trying so hard to make myself get up and go to bed.
Me: So today I open my laptop, and what I've typed into my Google search field is: "How is John Legend so handsome?"
Kidlet: That late, huh?
2) So "Zombies, Run!" takes place in the UK somewhere, England, maybe? But I only remember hearing two distances given during missions, and both times they were in miles. Today's was particularly useful: Evan told Maggie it was "quite a run" to the airfield at 18 miles. If that's a long run, it implies that everyone else's runs were shorter, despite Simon and Jody both leaving (headset) transmitter range, which no one seems to do on a regular non-scouting run.
Since Maggie wasn't expected to run back, that would put most supply runs within approximately a 10-mile radius of Abel Township (unless 18 miles was considered long on top of what she'd already done, which is entirely possible given that she was part of the group running interference for Five on the way to New Canton). Unlike decoy runs, though, supply runners would be carrying packs, presumably reducing their range even farther.
We know New Canton and Brunswick are both out of range of the headset transmitters, though New Canton not by much, and Abel loses camera coverage at about the same distance. So if Simon and Jody went out of transmitter range at some distance less than 18 miles, then a distance of, say, 17 miles would be the absolute max for New Canton (given that Sam could still hear Sara when she and Five were getting shot at by New Canton guards).
I forget sometimes that the runners aren't necessarily trained athletes. They're not ultra marathoners. They may not have even been runners before Abel. They're just the only people "fast enough and crazy enough" (as Jack and Eugene put it) to repeatedly risk their lives alone in the countryside. Or the city.
My point is that Janine must live much closer to civilization than I sometimes picture her, if runners are regularly hitting stores and hospitals and schools for supplies.
3) Why is Sara running with us at the end of Mission 22? If the point is to splinter the horde and run decoy in as many directions as possible, why would she stick with Five? Even for purposes of storytelling, as long as Five could overhear her reports to Sam, there's no reason she couldn't be headed somewhere other than the gorge.
(Or the pavilion, or the steps, or the old mill. Huh. Okay, see, I really do picture them running in the countryside a lot, but they're not, are they. Those are all non-natural destinations. And I suppose it explains how zombies keep surprising them: it's more like urban warfare than a literal "battlefield." Runners rarely see them coming across the open plains; they're ambushed on corners and inside buildings.)
⌈ Secret Post #3555 ⌋
Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.
( More! )
Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 27 secrets from Secret Submission Post #508.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
Sway With Me (2673 words) by gwyneth rhys
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Characters: Steve Rogers, James "Bucky" Barnes, Sam Wilson, Natasha Romanov
Additional Tags: Dreamsharing, Dreams, Reunions, Non-Linear Narrative
Series: Part 1 of Still Let Me Sleep
Steve loved nights like this most of all, where they went to sleep together yet met within their dreams. And he woke up to Bucky’s face here, too: light breaking on water.
Here's hoping everyone is doing well, it's been great to see a few posts from people about their own progress - Well done (and my apologies for not staying on top of checking my pages and having time to comment individually and on time!)
So does anyone need a prompt for the day? Hmmmmm, now let me think .... How about checking out your purse/wallet/bag and removing out of date receipts, notes etc and re-organising it to make you life easier.
What's a Word Worth is a new column by justira about the mechanics of writing. In this column, I examine the actual writing of every single book I read, focusing on how it conveys meaning and whether the writing works for me as an editor, reader, and fellow writer. My analysis will be based on the Peircian semiotic framework, explained in the first few posts of the column.
"There is difference and there is power. And who holds the power decides the meaning of the difference."
So! New column! And I thought I'd start things off by digging into how words mean.
What exactly do I mean by that? What does it have to do with evaluating writing? Well, when I write the word "cat", how do you know what I mean? What kind of cat do you imagine? What would an alien imagine? Or, when I say "this is blue, that is red", how do you know what "this" and "that" refer to? (Or what "blue" and "red" are, for that matter!) When a writer writes, "this surgeon is a butcher," how do you get the idea that this surgeon is really bad at their job, rather than actually being someone who cuts up animal meat for food on the side? Metaphor is a powerful writing tool, and I can tell you how it works.
Language can also be used to signify belonging to a group and draw group boundaries — think of the boundaries drawn by use of the word "queer". Who's allowed to use that word? To refer to themselves? To others? Who objects to the term? Are they part of the same groups? Language is a key resource for asserting and realizing group identities to achieve social and political goals(1). Similar mechanics in turn can be used by authors to signify belonging to a certain school of SFF, or by characters in dialogue to show they belong to specific groups or classes.
My degree is in linguistics, and I wrote my undergraduate thesis on semiotics(2), which, put plainly, is the study of how words mean; this background informs all of my thinking as a writer, reader, and editor. I plan to use this column to analyze writing, and I wanted to let you into my process and background. Plus, I think this stuff is fascinating. So! The first few posts in this column will rehash the first chapter of my thesis for a general audience, and I will refer back to the concepts and terminology when I finally dig into analyzing authors' writing.
Just to be clear, you don't have to read through all this semiotics stuff to understand my breakdowns of other people's writing. However! I want to share this stuff because (a) it's my passion and I find it fascinating and (b) I find it to be a useful framework for analysis. So if you're curious, read on!
First, some housecleaning: some of you may have heard of semiotics before, or semiology. This was almost certainly the dyadic framework of Saussure. The semiotics I'll be covering here is the — in my ever so humble and biased opinion — much more interesting and accurate triadic framework of Peirce. I'll explain the differences later, but just wanted to be clear up front: this isn't the signifier/signified Saussure stuff you may have seen before.
Now we're ready to go!
Signs and Meaning
Semiotics is the study of how signs mean, how sign processes work, and how signification and communication happens. But what's up with that definition? First of all, what is a "sign"?
Well, that depends on who you ask. For our purposes: A sign is anything that stands for something else to someone, somewhere, in some capacity. If you think that definition is broad, then good! It is! Words are a type of sign. Actual literal signs, like bathroom signs or road signs, are a type of sign. Emoji are signs. A footprint can be a sign, because someone can read it to mean that someone stepped foot there, and perhaps make guesses about the characteristics of that person, like their weight and shoe size. Signs are a very broad category!
So how can we have any idea how signs mean if they're such a broad category? Don't all those different types of signs mean what they do in completely different ways?
There is actually a very sensible system underlying the chaos. In the Peircian semiotic framework, there are basically three ways signs mean what they do. Peircian semiotics provides a powerful, articulate vocabulary and framework for understanding and analyzing how meaning is made and understood(3).
Peirce vs. Saussure on the Sign
Saussure and Peirce had very different conceptions of the sign, and before we go forward I want to make sure we're properly oriented.
Saussure's sign is dyadic, consisting of the signifier — such as the sound of the word "dog" — and the signified — the idea of dog triggered upon exposure to the signifier. But why, when hearing "dog," do I think of dogs, or a particular dog? The link between signifier and signified is arbitrary: that is, it is due to a social convention rather than any "natural" connection. Saussure made much of the arbitrariness of the signifier-signified relationship, because, come on, isn't it kind of weird that we all think of more or less the same sort of thing when we hear a certain collection of sounds or see a certain collection of written shapes? So far, so good, but Saussure dismissed as uninteresting any other modes of signification. So remember how I said road signs, emoji, and footprints are all signs? We can interpret emoji, for example; could an alien? Well, Saussure thinks they're not something linguistics should study; he finds them boring(4).
Peirce doesn't. And seeing as those kinds of meaning are part of how powerful things like metaphors work, I think Peirce is right.
Saussure's approach to signs and signification emphasizes autonomous, arbitrary systems and takes language as the primary and ideal model of such system. Peirce thinks there's more to it.
Peirce defines a sign in the broadest and most flexible terms as something that stands for something else to somebody in some capacity (CP 2.228)(5)(6). As such, anything can and does function as a sign as soon as someone takes it to mean or refer to something. There is no inherent meaning to a sign: it only functions as a sign once someone is there to interpret it. Moreover, for Peirce, the sign itself is not a self-evident idea or entity but a catalyst for an effect(7), such as the alarm I feel when I hear a police siren or the certain idea that springs up in my mind when I hear the word "cat". Both of those are signs; both are catalysts for effects. A fundamental premise here is that the sign has to create an effect, called the interpretant, within the living being who is the recipient of the sign: nothing is a sign unless it is interpreted as a sign by someone. This premise precludes the abstract assigning of meanings as in Saussure; there is no inherent meaning in a sign, only meaning in context.
This immediately raises questions about sentience, sapience, aliens, what have you! (I told you this would be interesting from an SFF perspective.) So who can interpret a sign, giving it its essential sign-ness? Now, if any of you are getting shades of quantum mechanics, well! You are quite right!
For those unfamiliar, there is a famous quantum mechanics experiment called the double-slit experiment or the two-slit experiment. You shoot particles, like photons or electrons, at a screen with two slits in it, and observe what pattern forms on the detector on the other side of the screen. If the electrons act as matter, they should go through one slit or the other and form two bars on the detector, corresponding to the two slits. If the electrons act like waves, they'll go through both slits and form an interference pattern of many light and dark bars. Now, if you only look at the detector on the other side of the screen, you'll see an interference pattern, meaning the electrons are acting like waves. Which is weird! Electrons are matter! However, if you set up some way to observe the electrons and detect which slit they go through, you will get the two-bar pattern. Whether the electron acted like a particle or a wave depended on whether it was being observed. This is known as collapsing the wave function. So who counts as an observer? There is actually a pretty cool book about exactly that question: The Flicker Men by Ted Kosmatka. If the weirdness of quantum mechanics interests you, I recommend that book. I'll probably also cover the writing in it in this very series.
So in quantum mechanics, everything is about potential: an electron has the potential to act as a wave or as a particle, depending on whether it is observed or not. Similarly, according to Peirce, something can have the potential to act as a sign, and only becomes concretely a sign if it is observed and interpreted. We'll return to the question of how exactly this process happens — how the wave function of a sign is collapsed by the act of signification — in a later installment in this series.
Peirce's framework will provide us with a way of classifying signs according to how and why they mean or signify, but it is important to remember that the categorization of any given sign is not inherent, but is instead dependent on the context and the interpreter. Peirce's theory of signs was meant to illuminate how people experience the world, and make concrete the very process of thought. That's right: semiotics describes not just how words mean, but how thought occurs. Such is the process (note that this is an activity, not an idea per Saussure) of semiosis, where one sign effects an idea that in turn becomes a sign for a different idea, and so on. This is semiotic chaining, which models, among other things, the process of thought. It also models writing and reading.
The Main Trichotomies: The Three Modes of Being
First up: everything with Peirce is about threes, triadic relations, trichotomies. So expect lots of groups of three coming up!
Peirce's semiotic framework depends on the central categorization of all phenomena into three modes of being. This basic trichotomy is the organizing principle by which the rest of Peirce's semiotics framework is structured. I'm going to outline it briefly here, then come back to it after the other posts in this Peirce series, once we have a lot more examples to work from.
There are, then, three modes of being: Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness. Firstness is the realm of pure quality and possibility. Firstness exists in and of itself, without relation to and independent of any second entity or particular instance of those things — just the idea or quality of them. Firstnesses are simplex and immediate, and we also never meet true Firstness in our mundane world. Examples might be blueness or Americanness or fear independent of any particular instantiation. It is highly significant to note that Firstnesses are not necessarily "natural" or themselves non-semiotic: Americanness, for example, is socially constructed and socially relative. Blueness, for that matter, is socially constructed, too: there is a whole body of work on colour relativity and the idea that how we not only name but perceive colour is culturally influenced. In fact, there's evidence that humans didn't even see the colour blue until relatively recently, and even things we're used to thinking of as blue, like the sky, are culturally influenced.
There is a very powerful corollary to this: who is it that determines these categories? Who says something is "the same" enough to be part of the same general idea? We're having debates right at this moment about "Americanness": who can count as an "American" and what "being an American" means. For this, I refer to the quote at the top of this post: "There is difference and there is power. And who holds the power decides the meaning of the difference." The power to determine membership in a Firstness is great indeed, and it belongs both to everyone and to specific individuals like lawmakers, politicians, tastemakers, and other influential people. This is power.
But that's Firstness. There is also Secondness. Secondness is the realm of existent objects, the experience of actual fact, of pure reaction. Secondness is a relation between two entities, unmediated by any third entity. Tables, chairs, roses, spoken words, and everyday objects also partake of Secondness, being instantiations of Firstnesses, and necessarily include and embody Firstness, as a red rose embodies the quality of redness. An instinctive reaction of pure startelement is Secondness. If I were to react to something large and dark with pure, thoughtless fear, I would be experiencing Secondness.
However, if I stopped to think about it (thus mediating my response), I might be able to consider why I am afraid and what exactly it is that I'm afraid of. This is touching upon the realm of Thirdness Thirdness involves the mediational capabilities of a thinking entity to form general, law-like relationships between two other things. This is the domain of habit, reflection, and, indeed, representation — as we will see, representation necessarily involves mediation between an object and what the sign stands for. When we habitually associate, by convention, one thing with another, we partake of Thirdness. So for example associating the word "dog" with the idea of dog is Thirdness. I will explain this in further detail in future posts, where I can give more examples. So, coming back to our example: Although earlier I experienced Secondness in the form of unreasoning fear at seeing a strange, large, dark shape approach, when I realized it was my faithful dog, whom I associate with safety and protection, this association and its effect of calming my fear was due to Thirdness.
This foundational trichotomy underlies and informs the rest of Peirce's semiotic. Don't worry if it seems a bit vague right now: future posts will give further examples. Equipped with this basic categorization, we can move on to another central trichotomy: that of the sign-relation itself.
The Main Trichotomies: The Sign-Relation
A sign-relation is composed of three basic semiotic elements(8): the representamen, the object, and the interpretant. (Fig 1.1). The representamen is what we commonly call the sign. If we look at a weathervane and assume it indicates the direction of the wind, then the weathervane itself is the representamen. Likewise, if I were to say the word "dog", referring to a certain type of domesticated mammal, and it brought to mind for you the idea of a dog, then the word "dog", my particular use of it in that instance, is here the representamen. Representamena are a kind of Firstness, as they exist in and of themselves. Though a representamen only functions as a sign in the full context of representamen-object-interpretant, its existence as a thing with the potential to mean something is independent of any other element.
The object is the entity stood for by the sign, the thing to which the representamen refers, or the thing that caused the shape of the sign. It can be a concrete object, such as a particular dog, or an abstract idea, such as the idea of dog in general. When I say "dog", do you think of a particular dog, or of dogs in general? This is a question we'll come back to later. For the weathervane we discussed earlier, the object is the wind that caused it to turn in a particular direction. Notice that objects cannot be accessed directly, but must be referred to by a representamen. Even the act of seeing something, which we might think of as a natural and non-relational act, does not directly access the observed object. When I look at a horse, I do not see the horse itself, but rather the light that has bounced off the horse's form and into my eyes. This light-image is my representamen for the object, the horse itself. We will return later to this dyadic relationship between sign and object in great detail, but for now it is only necessary to observe that, because this relation is dyadic, it is Secondness.
The interpretant is the effect of the sign in/on the observer, what we might call the "sense" or meaning made from the sign. This can be a feeling (a Firstness), a physical reaction (a Secondness), or a complex idea articulated in linguistic terms (a Thirdness). If we take "The Star-Spangled Banner" as a whole as a sign, then it might create in us feelings of pride or hatred; cause us to cry or smile or feel anger; or bring to mind complex ideas like "home", "country", nationalism, patriotism, or imperialism(9). The interpretant involves a triadic, mediated relationship with the sign and object; it is a type of Thirdness.
This is the fundamental structure of the sign-relation. There are further categories for types of signs and the kinds of relationships that exists between representamena, objects, and interpretants. We'll get to these in the next posts, and this will allow us to talk about exactly what goes on when something acts as a sign.
For now, here is a review:
- Anything that stands for something else to someone in some capacity. Words, bathroom signs, and weathervanes are all signs.
- The process by which a sign creates the effect of an idea in the mind of an interpreter.
- Something that exists in and of itself; a quality or possibility. Redness and Americanness are Firstnesses.
- A relation between two entities, unmediated by any third entity. An existent object, experience of actual fact, or pure reaction are all Secondnesses. Concrete examples would be a table or a reaction of startlement. Secondesses embody and instantiate Firstnesses, as a red rose embodies the quality of redness.
- A mediated, law-like relation formed by a thinking entity between two other objects. Associating the idea of dog with the word "dog" is a Thirdness. Most linguistic relations are a type of Thirdness.
- What we commonly call the sign. It has the potential to refer to something, but does not actually act as a sign until it is interpreted.
- The entity or idea to which the representamen refers.
- The effect created by the representamen in the interpreter (the thinking individual observing the sign).
Thanks for reading!
- See, for example:
- Bucholtz, M. (2001). "The Whiteness of Nerds: Superstandard English and Racial Markedness." Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 11(1): 84-100.
- Eckert, P. (1989). Jocks and Burnouts: Social Categories and Identity in the High School. New York, Teachers College Press.
- Eckert, P. and S. McConnell-Ginet (1992). "Think Practically and Look Locally: Language and Gender as Community-Based Practice." Annual Review of Anthropology 21: 461-488.
- Specifically, my thesis was a semiotic analysis of rape in the legal system. It looked at how language related to law and gender, and how rape was spoken about in the law and in the courtroom. It was called In Her Image: Iconic Modalities Driving Law, Gender, and Cultural Perceptions of Rape, and it's available here if you want to read it. (back to text)
- Unfortunately, it has also yielded a terminological complexity that has limited the degree to which distinctly Peircian semiotics have penetrated into linguistics at large and the general audience. Some of Peirce's terms and ideas have leaked into the general vocabulary of anthropology and linguistics. But of these few, most are used with gross imprecision and lack of understanding ("icon", "index", "symbol"), or, when they are used correctly, without the benefit of the framework in which they are rightly embedded ("type"/"token"). The type/token distinction, for example, leaves out the third term ("tone") that forms the trichotomy. This is a significant error because Peircian semiotics is grounded in triadic, rather than dyadic, relations. (back to text)
- Saussure, F. d. ( 1983). Course in General Linguistics. London, Duckworth (back to text)
- By scholarly convention, references to Peirce's Collected Writings (1931-58) are formatted as: CP volume.paragraph. (back to text)
- Peirce, C. S. (1931-58). Collected Papers (8 vols). Cambridge, Harvard University Press. (back to text)
- Turino, T. (1999). "Signs of Imagination, Identity, and Experience: A Peircian Semiotic Theory of Music." Ethnomusicology 42(2): 221-255.
Take note that Peircian semiotics can be applied to music! How cool! (back to text)
- Sign-relations are, of course, not the only examples of triadic relations. Peirce uses acceleration as another example of a genuine, irreducibly triadic relationship: "Now an acceleration, instead of being like a velocity a relation between two successive positions, is a relation between three." (CP 1.359). (back to text)
- Or, if you know the rest of the verses, racism. (back to text)
I knew I had a few life-admin/domestic things this week: dental hygienist appointment, parcel to pick up from the depot because they put a card through the door last week, go and look for new sitting room chairs -
And I thought, why not, now that booking is opened and I am doing all this life-admin business, schedule my flu-jab -
And I thought, post office depot is not 100 miles from network provider's most local store, I could go there and buy myself a new phone since I am doing no good at all at their website.
So: I have lovely shiny toofypegs.
I have picked up my parcel.
I have a shiiiiny new smartphone that turned out to be cheaper if bought in-store, and has ported over my number without trouble, though I am still getting to grips with it more generally.
I got in and thought, that's funny, it's that sound as if the tank is refilling -
And then I looked out of the kitchen window and saw a stream of water spouting out from under the gutter from the cold-water tank in the not very accessible loft.
So I rang partner, and then contacted British Gas Homecare (with which our policy also covers plumbing) and booked someone to come tomorrow as it didn't seem urgent-urgent though something that needed attending to fairly soon -
And then went to meet partner so we could go and look at furniture (we think we have spotted some chairs that Will Fit The Bill, though a bit dearer than we had anticipated) -
And when we got in, partner went up into the loft to see if he could at least do something temporary, and it is no longer gushing out but it is coming in at great speed -
So partner is currently sitting up there like the little Dutch boy and we are waiting for an emergency plumber within the next few hours.
The situation is complicated in that the stopcock for the house appears to be in the downstairs flat, the occupants of which are currently out. There is a mains stopcock outside in the pavement, but that is for us and next door, and also, I think one needs some special thing to turn it off?
And in connection with domestic concerns, saw this article about the rise of the inept motherhood trope, which of course, my dearios, is by no means a new motif, come on down, Provincial Lady and a vast number of jolly columns in women's magazines, and Jill Tweedie's Fainthearted Feminist, and probably several more that I have forgotten.
When you sign up to Yuletide (on AO3, beginning 1 October), you will pick between 3 and 6 fandoms to request. On the sign-up form, you can also enter prompts for each of these fandoms. Many people stick to that, and don’t write a letter. Many people choose to also write a letter, and put the link in the sign-up form. Writing a Yuletide letter makes your prompts more visible. It gives people some idea of what’s being requested in a fandom before they offer to write it, and it gives you space to talk at length about your likes and dislikes.
If you want tips on how to write a letter, try Yuletide IRC chat, or perhaps browse other people’s letters and think about whether they would be helpful to you as a writer.
To announce your letter to the Yuletide community at large, please comment to this Dreamwidth post or to the parallel post on LiveJournal, in the following format:
Link to your letter
Another link if your letter is in more than one place
That is, please write it like:
Sucker Punch (2011)
Soon I Will Be Invincible - Austin Grossman
Jorinde and Joringel (Fairy Tale)
AO3 name: Morbane
Link to your letter: http://morbane.livejournal.com/201664.h
Fandom name: Sucker Punch (2011)
Fandom name: Soon I Will Be Invincible - Austin Grossman
Fandom name: Jorinde and Joringel (Fairy Tale)
Faster for you, and faster for me copying it to the spreadsheet. ^!^
If you want to add your requested characters in your comment, please feel free! Just please write them below your AO3 name, letter link, and fandom names.
You can have 3, 4, 5, or 6 fandom names - that is the number of possible requests this year.
Please use the 2016 tag set as a guide to formatting each fandom name.
Please do NOT link an placeholder or a locked letter. We won’t tabulate those until they’re available.
If you need to correct your details, please reply to or edit your comment, AND post a reply to the correction comment, one of the first under the post.
The google spreadsheet is HERE.
If your letter isn’t done yet, don’t panic. We will keep adding letters to the spreadsheet whenever you comment. I strongly recommend finishing your letter before 16 October, because otherwise, your writer will be waiting to see it instead of starting on their story for you.
However, that’s only if you’re writing a letter. If you don't want to, you don't have to.
This post is also on LiveJournal.
I'm incitata. I'd link but I don't think there's a web rendering of the app the same way there is for IG. Follow me! And share your usernames if you're a user!
A reader writes:
In my recent one-one one with my boss, we discussed my career path. I am currently in a graduate program that is only vaguely related to my current role, because what I do now is not something I wish to do long-term. It’s a career path I fell into, and while I do a good job, I will never be great at it or enjoy what I do.
He asked me what kind of role I wanted to do, and I expressed that I quite hadn’t figured it out yet, but I was starting to identify a few areas I would like to explore. With his blessing, he suggested I contact our HR business partner to go over what internal paths there might be and any suggestions she had, which is about what I expected. It is a very large company that does encourage moving around to explore others areas of interest. What he said next, though, is what I am concerned about.
He asked that after I meet with her, we establish a timeline for me transitioning. I responded that I felt that was a bit premature, since even if I do meet with her, I have no idea if a position in an area of interest would be available or that I would be hired into that role. His response to that was that he “can’t keep investing in me indefinitely knowing I eventually I will leave and that he would need more than two weeks notice” since I have a large volume of work that is time critical on a weekly basis. I left the meeting saying that I would contact HR and let him know what was discussed. My performance is adequate, so it’s not an issue with me under-performing, more that involving me in long-term projects and training would be wasted resources.
I’m afraid now if I don’t find something sooner than later, they are just going to hire a replacement and let me go. And while I hope that eventually I will find something more suited to my interests and skill, I feel it is unrealistic to put a timeline on it at this stage. I understand him wanting to prepare as much as possible, but I find it concerning that he’s already asking for a timeline. I’ve only had two jobs post-college, this one for the past 16 months, and my prior one for eight years, so I am not sure if this is a usual request.
I am also looking outside my company, but again, there is no guarantee that I will find something soon. I guess I am feeling like I am being shoved out the door before I am ready. I have no intention of giving notice until I have accepted an offer, because at the end of the day I have bills to pay. How do I approach this when he asks for a timeline again?
I know from the employee side, this seems patently unfair. From the manager side, there are really are times where, after an employee expresses interest in leaving, it can make sense to say, “Okay, let’s nail down what a timeline for that would look like so that we can both plan.” (It particularly can make sense to say that when the employee isn’t performing at a high level — especially if the alternative would be going through all the work of a performance improvement plan and possibly letting them go.) But that shouldn’t be the default position; the default position should be open, honest conversation that doesn’t include forcing the person out early. (More on how managers should navigate this here.)
And I’m sure you didn’t go have that career discussion with him intending it to serve as some kind of unofficial notice.
So it might make sense to go back to your boss now and say this: “I’ve had some time to digest our conversation, and I want to make it clear that I have no plans to leave in the near future. While I appreciated your suggestion to talk to HR about longer-term prospects, I enjoy my work here and don’t have current plans to look for other roles.”
However, this gets a little trickier depending on exactly what you said to him in the earlier conversation. If you told him that you don’t enjoy the work, it’s not totally unreasonable for him to want to start making moves toward resolving the situation because he of course wants to have someone in your job who’s enthusiastic about the work.
So if you did tell him something like that, you need to be prepared for him to say something like, “Hey, I appreciate that, but given that you know this work isn’t for you long-term, I do need to get someone in here who’s excited about what we’re doing and committed to being here longer-term.”
If that happens, then you could try saying this: “I really didn’t intend to give you the impression that I wanted to move on right away. I’m committed to this work and I would hate to be pushed out just because we talked about very long-term career goals the other day. It was never my intention to start making plans to leave.”
Worst case scenario, if he doesn’t change his stance here, you could just call the question and say, “Are you telling me that you’re going to let me go if I’m still here after a certain number of months?” and/or “How long are you willing to let me stay in this job?” He might not be willing to go as far as actually letting you go and instead is just aiming for some kind of mutual agreement — and if you won’t do that, he may back off (and your company might have policies or practices that make that more likely — which is also something you could ask HR when you talk to them). Or he might just say he’s going to set a date. If it’s the latter, you can at least try to negotiate for a longer transition period.
But go back and talk to him and see if you can work this out.
my boss wants a timeline for me leaving and I haven’t even given notice was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.
Short version: Holy wow, am I impressed with Colbert's kindness, enthusiasm and consummate professionalism.
Even shorter version (kind of): theladyscribe and I got home around 2 a.m. (she couch-crashed, because ugh, public transit), I didn't fall asleep for another hour, I was up briefly when she left for work and then I woke up for real at noon. I still haven't... taken a shower, whoops?
But yes. What a very good evening!
This HaBO comes from Amanda (not me!) and is in search of a contemporary romance set in Texas:
I can’t remember the name of this book for the life of me. It’s a contemporary that takes place in Texas, I think.
The heroine lives and works on a farm after leaving her fundamentalist Christian dad and community. She meets the hero by bidding for him in an auction fundraiser, and they go on a date. He’s a cop, I think, and works on a SWAT team. His father is a rancher and he’s estranged from his family because his twin brother is gay and was basically kicked out of the house when they were teenagers. The brother lived on the streets for years and was a heroin addict (I think), but is now clean and living with his partner and they’re in the process of adopting a foster kid.
The hero and heroine have a series of hot hookups over a period of weeks, but she eventually breaks it off with him because he’s in denial about their emotional connection and she is tired of being hurt. Then he comes to his senses and works hard to win her back.
Does this ring any bells for the Bitchery?
It's challenge time!
Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.
Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!
Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!
Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.
Let's hope I did ANY of those declensions right.
With nest migration has come many riches. MANY RICHES DEAR LORD. I'm hoping that Jag's abrupt spawns in her neighborhood last beyond the commons, because we always HAD the commons and... now we have rares. Like I just ran out front to nab a Kabuto kind of rares. Like if a fucking Snorlax pops I will no longer be surprised. Ecstatic! But not surprised, because fucking hell. The old Bulbasaur nest seems to be an... Abra nest now. Which is honestly more weird to me than anything, but sure, fuck knows the things could USE having a nest, they poof away often enough.
Slept about the worst I have in an age last night, I don't know if it was the whole not moving a ton because cramps + headache or just my body being awful, but at least it didn't come with nightmares. Just this barely dozing, uncomfortable hot flash thing. Like look, body, I know we can get those early but we're AT LEAST five years early for menopause. And the silver hairs don't make up for it if I don't get a skunk stripe dammit.
(I have like two silver hairs in amongst the sun-bleached blond bits. They give me glee. And yes, I'm one of those lucky-depending-on-the-fashion people who gets sunstreaks of basically every shade of dirty blond through to auburn that you can get on a brunette.) (Still miss hennaing, though.)
My next textbook arrived yesterday and all I want to do is crack it open and find out what new grammatical horrors await. I am being so good and finishing out the review sections first.
Um. No, I got nothin else, I need to finish practice, get lunch, and get a nap early enough that I'm hopefully NOT up until all hours again. Blech.
"Don't worry." Samantha had been saying that a lot in the last few days. "My family plans for this sort of thing."
The first time, Bella had asked "What sort of thing?" because she couldn't quite imagine anyone planning for being stuck in a basement that had sealed itself on some computer malfunction.
Samantha's answer, cool as anything, hadn't helped one bit. "End-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenarios. Here, take this."
The second time she'd asked again, because she couldn't see how "I don't have anything to wear" counted as any sort of apocalyptic scenario and she didn't want to think about what was going on outside.
Samantha had smirked, playful this time. "Scarcity situations. We'll be here for a few days, at least. Here, take this."
The third time, Bella just asked "is there anything your family doesn't plan for?" They were playing Scrabble by the light of a very nice LED lantern, in a bunker bedroom nicer than her first-year dorm.
Samantha smiled playfully. "Well, I suppose we didn't really have a plan for me getting stuck down here alone... but, then again, I didn't."
"You could've gotten stuck down here with Dane, though, if you'd planned it better." Dane was Samantha's boyfriend of three years, although Bella found him a little unpleasant.
Samantha smiled, which wasn't really what Bella had expected. "Well, who would you rather be stuck down here with?"
"You or Dane? You. I like girls, remember?"
Samantha waggled an eyebrow. "And who's saying I didn't plan for this? My family plans for this sort of thing."
Bella found herself without any answer but a blush. That was all right; Samantha clearly had plans for her tongue that didn't involve talking.
( Case Closed 24-27 )
( Castle, Jayne. Illusion Town )
( Doner, Michele Oka. Into the Mysterium )
( New Teen Titans Archives 1 )
( The New Teen Titans: Games )
( Rose’s Are Red, Violet’s Are Blue and Other Silly Poems )
( Steam Park )
( Sweaterweather & Other Short Stories )
( Teen Titans, Go! Party, Party! )
( Yoko Tsuno: The Curious Trio )
Started but not finished:
( Balogh, Mary. Only Beloved )
( Grossman, Anne Chotzinoff and Lisa Grossman Thomas. Lobscouse & Spotted Dog )
( Kirkwood, James. P.S. Your Cat Is Dead )
( The Sculptor )
( Shawl, Nisi. Filter House )
( Templar )
( Vowell, Sarah. LaFayette in the Somewhat United States )
( The Woods 1 )
( Wright, Susan. To Serve and Submit )
I gasped out loud when I received this letter, and so will you.
A reader writes:
An employee, “Sally,” started at our workplace about a year and a half ago. She’s not my subordinate, but is the subordinate to a peer of mine, and works frequently with my subordinates. A few months later she got a new boyfriend, “Peter.” (I found out about this through normal water cooler-type conversation.)
After she’d been with the company a few more months, at Christmas time of 2015, she invited her boyfriend to our holiday party. (This is totally normal in our workplace; people are welcome to bring any family or friends they like to the party as long as they RSVP.) Everything there seemed fine as well, although at one point Peter asked Sally to get him a drink, to which she replied “Yes, master!” in a very “I Dream of Jeannie” kind of way. We all laughed it off as a joke, and it didn’t come up again.
…until it did. We had an early summer party in late May at which Sally and Peter both attended (again, bringing SOs and friends was totally acceptable, so that was not in itself a problem). At this party, there was a good deal more of Peter ordering Sally around and Sally calling him “master”: he sent her to fetch drinks and hot dogs, he told her to find a place for them to sit, etc., to which she replied consistently with “Yes, master.” It made a number of people, myself included, clearly uncomfortable, but there was nothing objectively abusive about it (he never yelled at her or threatened her), and her immediate supervisor and her supervisor’s supervisor weren’t there, and so no one said anything (perhaps incorrectly?).
After the party, at the office, I overheard a conversation in which one of her coworker-friends was like, “so uh, what’s up with the master thing?” and she explained that she was in a 24/7 dominant/submissive relationship, and he wasn’t her boyfriend or her SO or her partner, he was her “master,” and needed to be referred to as such. Her coworker was clearly flummoxed and didn’t have much response to that.
Later, I heard her correct someone who referred to her boyfriend as her boyfriend/partner, saying that he wasn’t her partner, he was her master, and should be referred to using his appropriate title. She compared it to gay rights, saying that if she was a man, they wouldn’t erase her relationship by referring to “Peter” as “Patricia,” and so they shouldn’t erase the D/s relationship by calling him a partner instead of a master. It’s pretty clear that her coworkers aren’t comfortable asking her “will your master be at the end-of-summer barbecue?” or “did you and your master do anything fun this weekend?, though, and thus have just stopped referring to Peter at all.
Her direct boss, my colleague, is baffled as to how to sensitively address this issue. My instinct is that there’s a very big difference between insisting that colleagues acknowledge that you’re in a gay relationship and insisting that they refer to your partner as “your master,” and that it borders on involving other non-consenting parties into your relationship … but I can’t really articulate why. For what it’s worth, I am a bisexual woman, and our office has a number of gay/lesbian, trans, and poly individuals, so it’s not an issue of being against nontraditional relationships. It just seems to be that it seems very important to Sally that Peter be referred to as “her master,” and it seems equally clear that her coworkers find this intensely uncomfortable.
Help? How can I advise my colleague? What’s reasonable in this situation?
You can read my answer to this (amazing) letter at New York Magazine today. Head over there to read it.
my coworker wants us to call her boyfriend her “master” was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.
It wasn't just me who had issues with the wording of the questions, and the professor corrected the test (probably giving those two questions to everyone).
Apparently the question I was most furious about getting wrong, I got right, because he slipped and marked the wrong answer as the correct answer. Sheesh.
It’s in the 50s F right now, so I might go out for a walk before lunch if I can get myself out the door. I need to walk more. It’s just so damned hard to open the door and walk out. I don’t know. I have to take out the trash some time today. Maybe I can use that to get myself outside and then just not come back inside for a while?
We chose not to watch the debate last night. We agreed that there wasn’t going to be anything there that would make either of us change our minds about how we’re going to vote. Of course, Scott’s father watched and emailed Scott to encourage him to turn it on and see how presidential Trump was. I am not at all sure what Scott’s father might have been smoking. I suppose it may have been some form of vast wishful thinking because Scott’s parents are really terrified that socialists, brown people, non-Christians, and queer people are going to come and kill them and take all of their stuff.
They’re in their mid-70s. I don’t think that anything anyone could say to them would help at all. I know that all three of their children disagree with them and that everybody tends to go out of their way not to talk about politics/social justice in their vicinity. I remember Scott’s father giving us all on-your-heads-be-it warnings about voting for Obama, but mostly he doesn’t talk about such things with us, especially not in front of his grandchildren.
I have four library DVDs I want to watch this week if I can manage it. I just have a hard time starting and then end up pausing the dratted things repeatedly. I also have six library CDs that I want to listen to and a lot of audiobooks on my laptop.
Scott wants to transition to using our bread machine for bread for sandwiches now that it’s getting cooler. I’m hesitant because I really don’t like slicing bread. I’m the one making all the sandwiches right now, so I’d be the one slicing the bread. I’m also the one who would make the bread and clean the pan and all of that. It seems a pity to have the bread machine and not use it, and it would be less expensive, but… It’s a lot more work. With sliced bread, I can make both sandwiches in under five minutes. Needing to slice the bread might well turn the sandwich making into a two step process that requires a rest in the middle. Maybe it would help if I slice the entire loaf all at once?
Scott’s work called at 10:30 last night to ask him to come in early this morning. He said no, and they didn’t insist. He’d have been trying to work twelve hours on three hours of sleep.
A reader writes:
I am not sure I should complaint to my HR department on this, but the situation is making me very uncomfortable at work.
My manager got married about a year ago to a man with a child the same age as her own. The child was diagnosed as suffering from PTSD as a result of being abandoned by his mother several years ago. They have gone to therapy but do not seem to be making enough progress for her. She constantly berates this child for every small infraction and the father does not step in to intervene. She forced him to sit on the floor with the dogs for over a week because she wasn’t sure he was clean enough to sit on her furniture. She tells everyone in the department these stories like she is proud of herself. She came into work this past week saying how “horrified and ashamed” she was by what she said to the child the previous night (because he bought candy and tried to hide it), and told the department that she screamed at him for 20 minutes and threatened to send him away to boarding school. She did not sound ashamed at all. Truly if she had been ashamed she wouldn’t have repeated this story more than once that day. She also loves to tell us how “nasty” she is to her step-dogs, screaming at them for barking and kicking them if they get in her way. She unfairly compares the two kids and yells at the stepchild for putting her child in the “awful situation” of having to tattle on him.
I have just about made up my mind that I need to make some sort of complaint about this to HR. This talk has gotten meaner and nastier over the last couple of months, I am genuinely worried about that child’s well-being. She has even bragged about this behavior to our department VP, who did nothing to shut it down or otherwise say it is inappropriate for the workplace. Her work has also suffered tremendously as a result of this horrible home life and everyone in my department is on the verge of quitting.
I work closely with HR, and I know they would take me seriously. But do I have a good cause for complaint? I have no idea what the fallout might be and I doubt that I could do this anonymously.
Well, the issue isn’t so much that she’s talking about it at work (although that’s certainly disturbing); the issue is that she’s verbally and emotionally abusing her stepchild, and that’s not something your HR department can do anything about.
This is an issue for Child Protective Services, although unfortunately in many jurisdictions, they have their hands so full with physical abuse and neglect cases that they might not take any action on this. I think it would be right to report it anyway though and let them decide.
In addition, I would recommend speaking up when she tells you these stories, because there is value in people saying “this isn’t right.” So when she next tells you one of these horror stories, I hope you will say, “That’s awful — no child deserves that.” (Same thing about the poor dogs, too.)
HR could potentially be helpful in telling her to stop these comments at work (although again, the comments are a smaller problem than her actual actions) and/or in protecting you from retaliation if she finds out you called CPS. You certainly have reasonable grounds to bring this to their attention. That said, how well they handle it will depend on your particular HR department, and if they’re not very good, it’s possible that there could be fall-out for you and you’d need to be prepared for that.
But there are kids and animals being abused — the two categories of beings who are the most voiceless in our world — so I’m going to argue that it’s the right thing to do regardless.
my boss brags about being verbally abusive to her step-child was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.
Flowers from the Storm
RECOMMENDED: Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale is $1.99! This is one of those romances that is frequently talked about and in a previous Whatcha Reading, several of the Smart Bitches talked about the level of feels this book gives them. Have you read it? And, if so, do you have fond memories of it?
The Duke of Jervaulx was brilliant – and dangerous. Considered dissolute, reckless, and extravagant, he was transparently referred to as the “D of J” in scandal sheets. But sometimes the most womanizing rakehell can be irresistible, and even his most causal attentions fascinated the sheltered Maddy Timms.
Then one fateful day she receives the shocking news – the duke is lost to the world. And Maddy knows it is her destiny to help him and her only chance to find the true man behind the wicked facade.
But she never dreamed her gentle, healing touch would alter his life and her own so completely – and bind them together in need, desire…and love.
Feel the Burn
Feel the Burn by G.A. Aiken is $1.99! This is the eighth book in the Dragon Kin series and features a one-eyed dragon king and a barbarian heroine. Many readers loved the hero and have been waiting for his book for ages, while others said it took a while to warm up to the heroine. Any Dragon Kin fans in the Bitchery?
War makes strange bedfellows.
I, Gaius Domitus, one-eyed rebel dragon king of the Provinces, know that better than most, since I have to fight off half my ungrateful family on a regular basis to keep law and order here in my lands. But I never expected to have to consort with a barbarian human woman.
Kachka is beautiful, if you like them fierce—and of course I do. But she keeps complaining about how spoiled and decadent I am, and how a feared Daughter of the Steppes has no time for foolish dragons. I think she likes my eye patch, though. It is quite dashing. With death always at our tails, we take our passion like we take our allies. As they say, love the barbarian you’re with…
An American in Scotland
An American in Scotland by Karen Ranney is $1.99! This is the third book in the MacIain Scottish historical romance series. Elyse loves Ranney’s Scottish historicals and picked it for February 2016’s Hide Your Wallet post. However, some readers wanted more romance from the book. It has a 3.7-star rating on Goodreads.
New York Times bestselling author Karen Ranney returns with the third heart-stirring novel in her latest series, a tale of deceit, desperate measures, and delirious desire
Rose MacIain is a beautiful woman with a secret. Desperate and at her wits’ end, she crafts a fake identity for herself, one that Duncan MacIain will be unable to resist. But she doesn’t realize that posing as the widow of the handsome Scotsman’s cousin is more dangerous than she knew. And when a simmering attraction rises up between them, she begins to regret the whole charade.
Duncan is determined to resist the tempting Rose, no matter how much he admires her arresting beauty and headstrong spirit. When he agrees to accompany her on her quest, their desire for each other only burns hotter. The journey tests his resolve as their close quarters fuel the fire that crackles between them.
When the truth comes to light, these two stubborn people must put away their pride and along the way discover that their dreams of love are all they need.
Boomerang by Noelle August is $1.99! This is a new adult romance that begins with a one-night stand. The morning after, the hero and heroine share a taxi to work…only to find out that they’re both interns at the same company. Some readers mentioned that the romance drags around the middle, but others applauded how different it was from the typical NA romances they’ve read.
The first book in a sensational New Adult trilogy from Noelle August
Welcome to Boomerang.com, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments matchups, and where work is steamier than any random hook-up
Mia Galliano is an aspiring filmmaker. Ethan Vance has just played his last game as a collegiate soccer star. They’re sharp, hungry for success, and they share a secret.
Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.
What began as a powerful connection between them is treated to a cold shower courtesy of two major complications. First, Boomerang has a strict policy against co-worker dating. And second, they’re now competitors for only one job at the end of summer.
As their internships come to an end, will they manage to keep their eyes on the future and their hands off each other, or will the pull of attraction put them right back where they started?
This HaBO request is from Jeni and she’s after a book from the early 90s:
I read this book probably in the early 90s. It was a mass market format with flowers and a yellow-y background (I think). I remember mostly the mystery elements, but I believe there was a romance between former high school sweethearts.
After the death of a beloved teacher, a group of his former students gather together. They’d all worked on the student newspaper together. After graduation, the heroine went to college for journalism, but realized there that writing wasn’t really her thing, so she went onto things. (Maybe lawyering?)
I don’t remember any of the other characters, except there was a classmate who withdrew from everyone and people were pissed/annoyed/disappointed with him. Also, the heroine was a runner and talked often about her breathing while running.
The part that sticks out the most to me is that this former teacher turned out to be not so great after all. The heroine finds a bunch of her pieces from the high school paper and realizes the teacher rewrote so much of her work, that it might as well have been his work. The classmates also discover what alienated their friend and why he particularly disliked this teacher.
It doesn’t sound exactly like a full-blown romance novel. Maybe more women’s or literary fiction?
- More Dartmouth Castle ferry caps.
163. Sappho, translated by Mary Barnard, 1958, and as fresh as the day it was published, which is an outstanding feat of translation and longevity. (5/5)
Where will you
go when I lose
Although my previous review is better: "I honestly don't know why people read self-help books when they could be reading Mary Barnard's translation of Sappho instead"...
If you are squeamish
Don't prod the
In better news, I have Crooked Kingdom in my hot little hands, and now I am desperate to read it so I can finish writing my yuletide letter. *snerk* I guess there'll be more on that tomorrow in the Wednesday book post.
History has never been inevitable.
There’s this apocryphal story that Francis Bacon, one of the trailblazers of Western scientific thinking, died in the 1600s of pneumonia after trying investigate the application of snow to preserve flesh, namely that of a dead goose on the side of the road in a snowstorm. I’ve always thought this story was particularly charming, an example of a kind of ferocity of focus that results in amazing scientific and creative discoveries but also losing oneself in the strange corners of video game landscapes.
Here’s the Big Idea. What IF Bacon hadn’t died? What IF he had discovered a way to harness a kind of internal mojo, bend the laws of chemistry, and then convert the solid snow to gaseous vapor, forestalling the pneumonia and discovering in the process that the arcane science of alchemy could be used for all sorts of cool applications and moreover, was REAL?
There would have been ripples.
This new arcane science might have thrust technology forward. Humans using this alchemical magic to perform actual miracles might have had a profound impact on the religious Great Awakening of the 1730s and 40s. They might have also created clocklock pistols and astonishing sources of energy and terrifying gearbeasts and cool-as-hell alchemical automatons.
The world of A Riddle in Ruby is one that attempts to weave the pluck and gumption of the early 1700s American Colonies with the anything-is-possible spirit of the beginning of the industrial revolution. Well, with awesome magic. One of the core Big Ideas of the Ruby series is to propose this:
Just because history says things happened one way doesn’t necessarily mean that they had to.
What IF tall tales of the ferocious ball-tailed cats of the western forests were true? What IF there were powerful secret societies that primed the pump of revolution? What IF an audacious, ferocious, precocious kid carried a secret that could change the face of the world?
I tried to weave this question into the characters of A Riddle in Ruby, as well. Ruby Teach is an apprentice thief and daughter of a fake pirate, but her life is not the sum of her chosen discipline or where she comes from. The choices she makes—to try to rescue her father, to preserve her friends, to carve the path of her life—have profound and lasting effects on the world around her.
The thing I love about the intersection of alternate history and kids’ books is that it offers us the possibility that the shape of the world we live in wasn’t inevitable. That the choices that people and societies made in the past have brought them to where they are now. More importantly, that the choices we make do matter, and that what you choose to do now, as a ten year-old on the playground or as a forty year-old at the ballot box (just saying), could have a profound impact on the shape of our world in years to come.
Book 2 of the A Riddle in Ruby series, The Changer’s Key, comes out today. Choose wisely.
So my friend S., who teaches my Skills and Drills class, is living it up in Morocco for the next 2-3 weeks. I am both thrilled for her and deeply jealous. Our sub is my old teacher, C., who has definitely improved a lot since I took my break. (I've seen her perform a few times recently, and her articulation is amazing.) I, on the other hand, feel like Buck Rogers, because she's up on all the new techniques and mine are not only rusty, they're five or so years out of date. Also C. remembers all my flaws and bad habits and is still calling me on all of them. This isn't a bad thing (I like an honest critique and won't improve without one), but it was also one of those sharp reminders of how much I need to work on my dance skills. I mean, she remembered flaws that I'd forgotten!
Also my shimmy is so tiny right now. So small. It used to be really big! I used to be able to layer it on top of just about any other move! But if I start making it bigger, I won't be doing it right, so I guess I have to have patience. (Patience is overrated. But a good shimmy is not, so I guess I'm stuck.)
I can still kind of layer a shimmy over a few things still, so I am glad of that. I was even practicing layering before last night's class, so let's hear it for practice.
On the plus side, I think I wasn't as rusty as I thought. I was talking to C., and lamenting that I signed up for Skills and Drills instead of a nice, easy level one class, and she pointed out that I'd have been bored with a level one class. (C. was not privy to the massive case of nerves I had about signing up for anything again, or the terrible perturbation that I felt when attending my first hafla - just as audience - after such a long break. But she's still right.) Mr. Havoc agreed with C. and also pointed out that I'm not actually one to take it easy on myself. Like, ever.
So at the end of the week, I'm going to sign up for a level two choreography class in Tribal Fusion belly dance. I still love ATS, but I don't know that I want to sign up for an improv class yet. I want to have all my technique broken down. There is someone who does a drop-in ATS class on Saturday afternoons in the same city as my LARP, so I might just go and explore it on a low-pressure level there.
Because ATS (and ITS, which is just the non-trademarked ATS with additional moves, which I prefer, but isn't available in my local area) requires a group that's thoroughly in sync, and because I still feel uncertain of my skills, I want to take it slowly. (No I don't. I don't want to take anything slowly. I just have to.)
I still miss performing. So much. I'm kind of nervous about it too. On the plus side, level two has performance opportunities. So hopefully I'll
• In addition to nests changing, new nests have appeared.
• Unfortunately, some nests have also disappeared.
• Higher evolutions can now be found at nests! Previously, only base evolutions could be found at nests. So now, you might find Wigglytuff at a Jigglypuff nest, for example.
• There are also new spawning locations. My neighborhood added 4-5!
• But...some spawning locations have also vanished.
• Spawning times have also changed. If you're used to mon spawning at certain times, you might need to readjust. I know I'm having to figure out the new schedule in my neighborhood!
What are things looking like around you?
- I HATCHED A LICKITUNG! From a 5k egg I picked up in the USA, I think.
- I also hatched another Vulpix. I’m still not in reasonable candy number/walking distance to a Ninetails, especially with several other candidates that are 5 candies or less from their first evolution.
- I popped a Lucky Egg and deployed the Spreadsheet of Evolve. I now have: Kadabra, Abrok, Machoke, Primeape, Gloom, Parasect, Graveler and Rapidash.
- I didn’t even get to the 16 Pidgey evolutions before the Egg ran out, but did them afterward and reached Level 24.
- I maxed out the Kanto medal with the latest set of evolutions. 102 registered in the Pokédex.
- Very close to maxing out the Collector (2000 Pokémon caught!), Scientist and Backpacker medals.
- I now have two Gyarados. So many Magikarp. But it’s worth it because the end result is another beautiful blue dragon. My new dragon is CP1800+ and over 400 kg. Ginormous.
- Most of the way to silver medals in the following, but assume achieving gold is probably not a sustainable goal: Fisherman, Ruin Maniac, Hiker and Hex Maniac.
- That said, every time my interest begins to wane, I have a trip to London and I get hooked all over again.
- I walked my Ponyta for 27 km until I earned a fire unicorn. O gorgeous Rapidash. Such a shame that to stroke your mane and tail is to set one’s hand alight. <333
- Currently walking my Omanyte. Three candies to Oma-something-or-other!
- This past weekend I was walking with Keiki in a Poké-rich location. I came across a gym headed by a CP400-ish Pidgeotto and thought, aha, I can take this before Keiki gets bored in his pushchair, so I’ll just have a quick play. No sooner had I installed my Rainer (Vaporeon) atop the gym than a door nearby opened and a boy rushed out. “Was that you?” he demanded. “Er, yes,” I replied, taken aback. “That was my best Pokémon,” he replied, crestfallen. “Oh, um, sorry,” I said. There was a pause. “Tell you what, I’ll drop a lure on that Pokéstop and maybe you can catch something even better.” I did, and he pootled happily back inside, thereby hopefully mitigating the Adult Woman Accidentally Ruins Child’s Day scenario. WHOOPS
(PS I made a thread on littlebutfierce’s A Wild Love Meme Appears. I don’t normally do these things but I could use it right now so if you feel like saying a Nice Thing or two I’d appreciate it, thank you.)
The figure itself is pretty clumsy, but it really needed more space to diagram it as well. There’s three steps per step, which is at least one too many, especially since we’re going to be looking to, say, step seven to see what we should have done in step six, but step seven is COVERED IN LINES.
Also I am dying laughing at “sink chest” in step nine. There have been zero sink folds in this entire calendar, and all of a sudden J Cole’s just like “Oh yeah bro sink the chest, it’s super easy, you only need to UNFOLD THE ENTIRE FIGURE to sink it. No problemo.”
I decided it’s not a buck (especially since the antlers are literally just a narrow piece of paper folded and stuck in the head). It’s a Saluki dog.
(DW/LJ users, if you want to see the actual diagram, follow the link at the end of the post to the Tumblr, where I always post the diagrams.)
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2dgLSkJ
Read Ursula Vernon's Dragonbreath #8: Nightmare of the Iguana. Wendell's mother just took a leap from "your friend's annoying health food and science ed mother" into "your friend's seriously dysfunctional health food and science ed mother who is doing him real harm with her food issues."
Also Dragonbreath #9: The Case of the Toxic Mutants, in which I enjoyed Danny's grandfather and his neighbour more than most of the other characters.
Started Max Gladstone's Last First Snow. Hi Elayne!
Still reading Les Mis sporadically, having fallen off the every day thing again.
Splurged on Kate Bornstein's My New Gender Workbook (I already own the original edition, but this one's ten years newer and vastly updated) which was heavily discounted at the Book Depository, because with Various Stuff that's been going on, I really needed a trans auncy to come tell me my gender identity is valid. (Kate signs hirself as Aunty Kate on Twitter, but I typed auncy above because the fact that ze's genderqueer is relevant here to why I needed hir book right now.)
(Side note: auncy or aunky? "uncle" doesn't have a K in it, but I know some people use "ankle" rather than "auncle" for a non-binary parent's sibling or affectionate title of respect for someone a generation older than one. And I feel like aunky is more fun to spell and easier to figure out how to pronounce. But it's easier to guess what auncy means, so...?) (Another side note: I am so grateful to hir for being Aunt Kate to whoever wants hir to. And the same to George Takei re Uncle George.)
Anyway, that arrived, and I'm flipping through it gratefully.
Reading T. Kingfisher's serial, Summer in Orcus, as it arrives.
Read Courtney Milan's Year of the Crocodile, a short story (10K words) set after Trade Me, in which Tina's parents tag-team Blake's dad. I will just leave that out of context, shall I? So, I read this, then I read the two short stories Milan linked to in the back of the ebook, then I read the spoiler page on her website, then I went !!!!! and now I cannot wait for the rest of it.
I've been really excited about Hold Me (the sequel to Trade Me, about Tina's best friend Maria, who is trans and Latina) since I finished Trade Me, and have been low-key pissed off that apparently AFR bit the author's brain so hard she couldn't finish that one before haring off to write his story. After reading Year of the Crocodile and then those short stories and then the spoilers? I understand now. And I CANNOT WAIT for AFR's story, omg. (I guessed one key element of it when I read Trade Me, which was confirmed in Year of the Crocodile. But there's more.)
Comics and Manga
Read Lumberjanes vol 1. It's not what I expected (a lot more supernatural weirdness) but I like it. Poor Jen.
You know that game where you make a fake album cover? Using a random Wikipedia page for the band name, the last 3-5 words of a random quote from Wikiquote for the album name, and the fifth image from the 'Last 7 Days' page on Flickr as the cover art? (I used a random image from Wikimedia Commons instead of Flickr) And put the band name and album title on the image and post the result? I did that. (Description text is in the alt tag.) I may have overdone it a little with the effects, but the random image I got was a crappy diagram, and I kind of haven't gotten around to installing any fonts that GIMP has access to (the font shown is standard Sans with an Oilify filter run over it.) It's been a while since I did any photoshopping. So that was fun.
Does anyone know how to stop growing broccoli? Like, when the season's over and I'm pretty sure it's too warm for it to produce anything other than flowers. Do I dig it up, or?
Dug up the carrots. All of them. I planted them as seedlings, three months ago. The largest turned out to be the size of my thumb, and most of them were more like toe length, and pencil girth. I chopped them up and cooked them in a chilli situation, with red kidney beans, tomatoes, rice, and spinach. The spinach was also from my garden, and was rather bitten (I suspect snails -- I saw two of the fuckers fucking on the side of my parsley pot a week ago) but otherwise fine.
The kale and spinach are still going. My lunch today involved a kale and chickpea and bacon situation. :D My summer garden plans involve tomatoes and basil.
Since my last update, there have been 9 works added to the New Year's Resolution collection!
( Works in Lego - All Media Types, Lego modular buildings, LEGO Detective's Office, Wild Kratts, Kyouryuu Sentai Zyuranger, Football RPF, German National Football Team RPF, Mean Girls (2004), Joe Biden as written by The Onion, Political RPF - US 21st c., Emelan - Tamora Pierce, Chess (Board Game), Beauty and the Beast (1991) )
( Challenge information )
If you need to write a NYR story to re-qualify for Yuletide this year, you have 4 days left to do it. Sign-ups start on October 1, and your story must be in by then if you want to sign up.