Subject Line: [Bulk] Personal Assistant Needed (part time job)
Addressed to me: No
( Scam body under fold )
This is a scam.
Firstly: "Brook Construction Company" doesn't appear to exist - there's quite a few entries in Google for "Brooks Construction Company" in the USA (all in Indiana, according to the map on Google), and one entry for Brook Construction (no "company") in Canada (Newfoundland and Labrador regions).
Secondly: The role of PA is not usually a "work from home" role - or at least, not "work from your own home". "Work from the boss's home", yeah, sure I can see that happening, but it's more likely to be an in-office role. Which means even if this were legit, and even if this were a genuine offer, you'd need to know where the company is based in order to take on the job. (At the very least, you'd need to know the time zone the company is based in - if this were genuinely a US company, as someone in zone GMT+8, I'd need to be working some very unusual hours indeed in order to hold down the job).
Thirdly: If this were a legitimate job offer, it would be on a legitimate job search website. It would not be sent out as a bulk email to random people on a spam mailing list. As always, in situations where economies have contracted and unemployment is high, the power is on the side of the employer - candidates go looking for them, they don't come looking for you unless you have some VERY specialised skill sets, or unless they know you personally and are aware you'd be a good fit.
Legitimate offers of employment generally come from people who have interviewed you - legitimate employers want to make sure you'd be a good fit in their corporate culture, and for a job such as Personal Assistant, there's the need to ensure you're not going to be a poor fit with that particular boss, too.
Fourthly: For a job opportunity, there's remarkably little information about what you're going to be required to do, and how many hours a week you're going to be required to do it. The weekly salary of $350 translates to $8.75 per hour for a standard 40 hour work week (which is, I think, slightly above US minimum wage, but well below the minimum wage here in Australia). So you'd need to know how many hours per week you're expected to work for that $350.
They also don't ask for any skills, and don't ask you to send in a resume. Why, it's almost as though they aren't interested in your skills at all. Which means there must be something else they're after.
Finally: The email addresses don't match up to the offer. The email address this is apparently from is the domain for a psychologist in Germany (and I suspect she's more than a little annoyed about having her email hijacked by spammers). The reply-to address is an AOL throw-away address. If you're dealing with a company large enough for the CEO to need a personal assistant (and let's be honest - the CEO's personal assistant would be a full-time role, not a part-time one) then you'd also expect to be dealing with a company large enough to handle having its own web presence, internal email, and domain.
Don't respond, don't apply, and don't expect to be seeing that $350 per week, either.
(I find with these sorts of things it helps to think of any monetary amounts as the scammer's minimum goal).
Passenger: “Why is there nobody to inform me about the delay?! I came all the way from San Francisco and now that I’m here you tell me there is a delay!”
Me: “Sir, some people sign up for email alert from the airport or the airlines for possible delays.”
Passenger: “Who are those ‘some people’?! I talked to everyone here! Nobody knew about the delay before!”
Me: “Sir, those people who have signed up and received an alert wouldn’t even bother to come to the airport. People are here because they did not sign up and did not know there is a delay.”
⌈ Secret Post #3200 ⌋
Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.
( More! )
Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 009 secrets from Secret Submission Post #457.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 1 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
(I’m working the night shift at a convenience store. Every week, we have a different product to ‘upsell’ – that is, we have to ask customers if they’d like to purchase the item on our tills because it is on special offer. A middle-aged man comes to my till with some bread and milk. The transaction is fairly normal until…)
Me: “Would you like any of these doughnuts today, sir? They’re on offer at £1 a box.”
Customer: *still smiling* “Oh, no, dear. I couldn’t possibly. They’re for devil worshippers, you see.”
(I half laugh, unsure if he’s serious. He looks below my till at a display of egg-shaped chocolate.)
Customer: “And here’s your Easter eggs. All for devil worshippers, too.” *laughs* “Take care, sweetheart.”
(He left, and I spend the rest of the night wondering what is satanic about a jam doughnut.)
“It is total confusion — a banana republic,” said Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), a Boehner ally, as he recounted seeing a handful of House Republicans weeping Thursday over the downfall of McCarthy and the broader discord. “Any plan, anything you anticipate, who knows what’ll happen. People are crying. They don’t have any idea how this will unfold at all.”
Last weekend I attended Conflux, Canberra’s speculative fiction convention for writers and fans. The theme this year was Light, in line with the UN’s International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies. Special guests were Isobelle Carmody, author of the The Obernewtyn Chronicles, and Tehani Wessely of FableCroft Publishing. As is always the case, there was a lot of good programming to see, so I had to split my report into two parts. The second part will be posted next Wednesday.
The convention began on Friday, 2 October. Not everyone was able to get away from work to attend the first day, but there were still plenty of familiar faces around when the registration desk opened. I also met a few newcomers, including the representative for the 2017 Helsinki Worldcon, Little My. She really got into the spirit of the convention and ended up with an extensive album of photos.
As has been the custom for the last few years, Friday was mostly devoted to workshops. I attended Gillian Polack‘s workshop on creating magic systems. Being a historian, Gillian approached this topic by looking at the ways in which magic in the Middle Ages was less a system than a complex, messy worldview. Writers need to express this worldview through telling detail–those small things that may not look important on the surface but actually say a lot about the character or the world. Gillian used the example of Turkish Delight in C.S. Lewis’ book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, bringing along a sample of the delicacy to help inspire us.
After lunch, I attended Tara Ott’s demonstration of special effects makeup. Tara talked a bit about her experiences with the local zombie walks and the cosplaying community. She was dressed the part, complete with eerie white contact lenses and several scars drawn on her face. The demonstration included the use of both latex and wax, with Tara outlining the advantages and weaknesses of each. She did an impressive job of making up my knuckles to look bruised and she also demonstrated how to use latex to replicate burnt skin.
The Opening Ceremony took place in the evening. The Star Wars Imperial 501st Legion were in attendance, making the audience nervous. However, it turned out they may have been there for our protection, as MC Laura Goodin received several phone calls about the outbreak of a zombie apocalypse while she ran the ceremony (with great flair).
Saturday kicked off with Isobelle Carmody’s Guest of Honour interview. Interviewer Kaaron Warren made the clever move of focussing on Isobelle’s short stories rather than novels. This allowed Isobelle to talk about a broader range of topics, including time she spent in Paris while young. Isobelle said she believes that time spent a little bit hungry, tired and sad sharpens a writer. Airports are especially good for this and she expressed disappointment that modern technology doesn’t allow as much space for boredom as there used to be.
Isobelle also talked about the pressure placed on her by the big publishers to whom she has been contracted. She spoke warmly about small press, who have greater flexibility and passion for their projects. At the end of the interview, there was an impromptu launch of Evermore, a non-traditional graphic novel she collaborated on with artist Daniel Reed and published by Windy Hollow Books.
Later in the day I attended a discussion on editing between Guest of Honour Tehani Wessely and editor of Cosmos, Cat Sparks. The program item said that it was “not for the faint-hearted” and, indeed, it probably should have come with a language warning. However, it was hysterically funny and contained some good advice. Cat urged writers to really do their research and concentrate on making sure their fiction is authentic–this goes as much for eavesdropping on dialogue at the food court as making sure the physics used is plausible. Cat and Tehani also touched on the way in which rejection isn’t personal, but can simply be the wrong time and wrong book. It is important for writers to read work by the editor and publisher they’re submitting to. Cat also advocated following an editor on social media if you find one who does work you like and whose style suits your writing. It helps you to be aware of opportunities as they come up.
The pair reconvened on Sunday morning for Tehani’s Guest of Honour interview. Tehani mentioned that she used to write but gave it up, claiming she was no good at it, despite having won a Scarlet Stiletto Award for her unpublished crime novel. Her passion is for bringing books and people together. Juggling a full-time job and family, as well as running FableCroft Publishing and convening of the Aurealis Awards is no mean feat but she remains undaunted by obstacles. Tehani said that the key to her success has been having people around her that she can rely on and ask for help. That said, there are times when she has burnt out. Shortly after the launch of the Cranky Ladies of History anthology, she became discouraged and cancelled her next anthology, saying she was going to give up the business. She lasted a week before she found a new idea that was too enticing to let go. She said that Conflux had already given her a couple of exciting new ideas, so look out for those!
Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.
Pro: I would be likely to get something written; I would have a last gasp chance at not failing GYWO; and if I actually do some prep work in October I might manage to even get a novel out.
Con: I don't need more pressure on myself; November is always busy; doing NaNo would reduce my crochet output (which is already abysmal); I can't really type and don't have a good dictation setup yet so I'd be doing it entirely by ipad, which always makes writing slow.
I want to be a writer; I miss writing. But it's just way too awkward, and I don't know if it's how I want to spend my spoons right now.
(But otoh, if I get plot and characters set up, and break it down into 30 chapters, that's only one chapter per day; easy, right?)
One of the jokes in my first family is about how hard it is not to talk over/through all meetings. My mom and I both have this problem, and we used to laugh about out adaptations so we were not constantly interrupting SLOW people at session/presbytery/school work circles/classes.
And then I went to exactly that kind of environment, but this time on Adderall. It TURNS OUT that I can keep from dominating a conversation with a reasonable amount of effort, not something that I would describe as superhuman. I was still active and contributed slightly more than the average person, but not so much more that someone felt a need to come remind me to let other kids have their turn talking. Nor did I have to dig my nails into my hands to keep from interjecting, or count the number of other people who had spoken before I could go again. It was unsurprisingly a richer learning experience for me.
When they had me fill out a survey, they asked me if I had trouble with finishing sentences (yes) or verbal outbursts (no), but it hadn't occurred to me that Overcontribution was a symptom.
At my current dose, it doesn't seem to be affecting my appetite or sleep. It's subtle enough that I can't always tell when it wears off. I mean, who doesn't want to take a nap at the end of the workday?
I also feel like, in this time of crisis and conflicting priorities, being medicated has also helped me triage and prioritize. By 7, I don't have that ability as much, but I only worked a half day yesterday, and the medicated but not working half of the day was pretty awesomely productive. I even managed to find myself a counselor.
Do you track your wordcount? When you're doing nano, do you use their site exclusively, or do you keep your words somewhere else? A widget tracker? A spreadsheet? What about when you're not doing nano?
( Read more... )
(A customer comes up to my register with store brand mid-grade car battery.)
Customer: “This battery is no good. Can I upgrade to [high quality battery]?”
Me: “Sure thing. Let me grab that for you.” *I set up the exchange, and ring up to new battery* “All right, since you are moving up in batteries there is a price difference. Your total comes to $11.53.”
Customer: “Why? It should be free, because the old one was bad.”
Me: “Well, sir, if you want a free battery then we can do a defective exchange and you can have to the same battery that you already have… or you can pay the $12 and upgrade, but since you have made it clear that you wish to have the better product then I’m afraid you have to pay the 12 bucks. It’s just like going to a car dealership. They won’t just give you a BMW because the Toyota they sold you broke down.” *customer sulkily pays and leaves*
What if this is the wrong thing
The wrong word to put down
What if I choose the wrong way
Hold on a minute
Give me time
I want to make sure I'm getting it right
What if I hold the wrong minute
What if I give the wrong answer
Or one that is incomplete
Or too long
Or too simple
Or what if what I say is completely incomprehensible because I've overthought it
In my head I know what it ought to be
I can see
Give me a sec
Just a minute
I can get this if
If it's wrong what then
I put it down
That's almost right but not
Lookit me be TOTALLY unsure of this one. Argh. But it looks like after this I get a break from the various forms of "to go" and can take some time to cement the fuckers.
Also I am posting and running before my computer decides to BSOD again. This is NOT ALLOWED I need the damn thing for murderboarding and, y'know, sanity.
I will probably not be around much/responding much even in IM for the next few days. Including tomorrow, because with being gone all weekend I'm going to try and get in as much Havenblogging as possible so Jag's not doing it all on her own. Neither of us needs the RSI flareup.
I don't want the default images and text that shows up when you post a URL, as that takes up too much space. I want to control the link text and description myself, and don't want any images.
This FB help page says to enter the URL into the Share menu at the top of my Timeline or homepage, but I don't see any Share menu. The only place I see to enter anything is the Status box.
This page shows an icon for attaching a link, but my Status box doesn't have that icon.
Oh, and apparently you can only include one URL per post? Or at least only one URL gets updated with an image and text.
At least I got the important stuff done at work before I got called to come get Brent from the clinic, where they gave him a nice shot for nausea and pain. (On the plus side, I have some of those really good sick-up bags now.).
On the bright side, aside from making the cats really happy that they've had three days of a human pillow all day long, it's been an excellent excuse for me to loll around reading or rereading fluff. Mary Stewart's This Rough Magic? WELL IF YOU INSIST. MCA Hogarth's id-candy-for-me Mindhealers duology? OH SURE. The most ambitious I've been is in continuing to read the 18th century science fiction novella I got from Project Gutenberg, and that's easier going than you might think because it's HILARIOUS. At least to me.
It's called, marvelously, Relation d'un voyage du Pole Arctique au Pole Antarctique par le centre du monde, or The Account of a Voyage from the Arctic Pole to the Antarctic Pole Through the Center of the World. It's from 1723. The author is anonymous. The spelling is mostly the same, with occasional archaicisms -- "temps" is consistently "tems," but "savoir" is sometimes that and sometimes "sçavoir" and I have no idea if that's a typo or a period thing or what. Words are randomly Capitalized all over the place. Most of the chapters are only a handful of sentences long, by which I mean that the chapters are only a few pages long but the sentences are massive comma-spliced run-ons going on FOREVER. So far our narrator (nameless) and all of his companions (ditto) have set sail from Amsterdam, been blown astray in a storm, ended up sucked into the giant whirlpool that ALL OLD SAILORS KNOW spins perpetually under the Arctic ice cap, fainted dead away, found themselves in a becalmed mid-planet sea containing warm breezes and cold water and a mountainous island composed entirely of ice floes stuck together, and met giant birds and giant white bears and a giant poisonous toad. Apparently the theme of the center of the world is Giant. It has occasional illustrations, but they all look like flowers stuck together into abstract shapes and I'm not entirely sure what they're meant to signify. The whole thing is only 44 pages long, which means probably about 60 sentences long, the way this guy goes. I'm enjoying myself enormously.
This is an entry without much point, but I'm trying to get back in the habit of posting, uh, ever, instead of just thinking about all the posts I've been meaning to make and not making. What've you guys been reading recently?
And my attitude about the American revolution was fairly colored by the fact that Canada continues to be part of the British commonwealth and, you know, it's fine? I can't remember if I have any Loyalists in my family tree or not, but if you're an Anglophone from Quebec, it's fairly likely that you have ancestors who said "Revolution? Nah, let's not." I think I never learned a way of engaging with American history that wasn't based on a kind of unnuanced, unquestioning cheerleading of the revolution and the constitution and the founding fathers -- the most you could do was put in a little footnote there to say "Oh, yeah, slavery, that was bad."
So, I was joking before about listening to the Hamilton cast recording while filling out my citizenship application, but it was also kind of serious, because besides being some great music, I think it's actually provided me with a different way to engage with that history -- as rap battle, as soap opera, as the kind of thing where you care deeply about these people making TERRIBLE LIFE DECISIONS and it's not about passing judgment on these people as Good People or Bad People, but you can't help but be kind of impressed with all of them. It's total sincerity without the hagiography. And it's a story that feels suddenly really close -- Alexander Hamilton went to Columbia (as Kings College is now known)? I've been there! The Hamiltons are buried at Trinity Church downtown? I've walked past there! I kind of actually want to arrange a little American History Walking Tour for myself (which I might actually do because I have a 4-day weekend coming up?)
I still joke that I'm not actually a Shakespeare person, I'm just a Slings & Arrows fan -- well, I probably will continue to have lots of Complicated Feelings about the US and citizenship, but at least I can be a Hamilton fan?
* There is also some free speech stuff, but if I had been aware of that in ninth grade I definitely would not have wanted to write an essay on the right to hate speech and hardcore porn!
(We have a department that handles people on the Lifeline program, which gives a free phone and minutes to low-income people. Normally I handle the paid customers, but on occasion the free phone people end up in my queue. Shenanigans invariably ensue.)
Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. How can I help you?”
Customer: “I want to know if my [Store] Food Card can be used to pay for minutes?”
Me: “Pardon me, your what kind of card?”
Customer: “My [Store] FOOD Card. You know, you get it from the government to pay for food.”
Me: “Oh. Do you mean an EBT card?”
Customer: “Yeah! My EBT card! I just scan it at [Store] and it pays for my food. Can I get a plan with it?”
Me: “Um, no, sir.”
Customer: “Well, WHY NOT?! It’s a government phone. It’s a government card. Now, you let me pay for my plan!”
Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t. The EBT program is only for food and other edible products, not for telephone plans.”
Customer: “Well, just run it through and see. I bet it takes it.”
Me: “No sir, I can’t do that. Do you have an airtime card, a credit, or debit card? I can use those.”
Customer: “Well, this EBT is a card! Take it!”
SC DOT storm resources - includes a link to a KML file that can be opened with Google Earth to show road closings
Interactive map of road closings and dam failures in Richland County
Additional RC flood-related maps
SC DHEC list of statewide dam failures
SC DHEC twitter feed
Richland County website
Richland County twitter feed
City of Columbia website
WLTX News Facebook page
I set it up and it seems to be working, though for a while it was still so goddamn slow. And NBC Sports was pixelating, and so was DisneyHD and ugh, SO ANNOYING. So I was getting irritated as I checked on all the connections and I maybe yanked on the cable a little hard, and all of a sudden things started working properly again. I don't even know. *hands* So I got to watch the last period of the Rangers game without technical aggravation, and they won! I was especially glad they won last night, though their (lack of) defense was giving me agita.
Instead of hockey, I watched the season premiere of Arrow, which was titled "Green Arrow." FUCKING FINALLY.
( spoilers )
This was a good start after the somewhat messy season 3, and I am hopeful they'll be able to pull it off. Also, there was a Supergirl commercial during the episode, which ...airs on a different network. I know they're in the same universe, and CBS is a partner in the CW, but that doesn't usually happen. I hope Supergirl is great and I hope there's a crossover at some point! (though the fact that Clark exists and Bruce doesn't still rankles. IJS.)
Also also, HOW CUTE ARE DAVID RAMSEY AND CANDICE PATTON? OH MY GOSH, THAT GUITAR HERO COMMERCIAL. I'll say this for Berlanti et al. - they sure know how to leverage their very pretty assets.
Saudade is an interesting bird in that when I wrote the story she appears in, I did it from the point of view of someone else, so we only see her from another's point of view. In this story she's a programmer who's become a program tester of a virtual environment and the AI that the environment was built around. She also has something like a crush on the AI, though it's less a schoolgirl style crush and more a professional idealization that she can help the AI become a real live human, or as much as the physical limitations involved allow. This part is well known, as she's not all that skilled at concealing her emotional responses and her intentions.
The part that is less well known is the part where she's also very acute about people, even if she has a hard time communicating what she sees or knows. Her communication skills are the main problem, she has a hard time controlling her emotions down to something more acceptable for social interaction and a more difficult time finding the right words for what she's thinking is going on, what she feels or what she senses. She did, to be fair, try to warn people about what she suspected was happening with the AI, but she had no way of knowing what type of action it would take and then how that would affect all of them.
It's hard for her to be around people and to communicate with them on a more than surface level, although she didn't have much of a problem learning the social niceties and she was always thought of in school and growing up as very intense, but generally normal. That intensity and feeling, though, is what kept her from any kind of serious relationship. She dabbled with the idea, but not much happened after she was able to pry herself away from a couple of over amorous boyfriends. She always had help with this from her female friends though, of which she does have several, most of them understanding about her disappearing into her work periodically. She has never had any kind of psychiatric or medical help, though; she's never sought it or felt she needed it.
There are times when she sees herself as a tragic figure in her own life, and there are times when she sees herself as overcoming adversity, and there are times when she looks around and thinks about what she's doing, trying to give the world a better understanding of humanity and what defines it, and is very pleased and grateful to be where she is. Most of the book takes place around one of those times. Well, most of the beginning, afterwards everyone's too stressed to feel much pleased or grateful.
There is a poem by Phillip Larkin. You know the one: They fuck you up, your mum and dad/They may not mean to, but they do...
It is bleak, and it is resigned, and it is gentle, and it is true.
And every once in a while I see somebody praising Adrian Mitchell's saccharine, self-congratulatory rewrite, and the world drops out from under me. Because: how dare you. How dare you. How dare you take my truth and painstakingly paint over it. How dare you take this thing, this thing that is mine, and tell me that it couldn't really have happened like that. How dare you look to me, smiling, and say -- no, that didn't occur.
You should be horrified by what has been done to me. I will not fold myself smaller for your convenience and comfort, to ease your forgetting. I will not fucking smile for you. Tell your own stories, by all means, but if you cannot understand what profound insult it is to hear my truth (my bitter, compassionate, accepting truth) and to twist it, to sweeten it beyond bearing and beyond breaking, because you cannot stand to believe me -- if you cannot understand what profound insult it is to smiling silence me because you do not wish to hear -- if you would look away and smugly say: the world is not, is never like that; let me tell you how it really is--
-- then you bear the guilt for the children who, like me, are ignored and overlooked and inconvenient.
How dare you chiding, stifling, hush us. How dare you bid us pray be sweet and silent. How dare you -- how dare you -- make of us a sacrifice to your comfort.
Shame upon you.
Author's note: You may have heard that the OTW is doing a "drive" this week. We wanted to make sure everyone knew what this thing was all about, so if you're curious, you've come to the right place. Whatever your drive-related questions, we're here to answer them. Happy reading!
What a drive (a.k.a. a donation/membership campaign) IS:
- a semiannual, week-long fundraising event to raise money for the OTW
- a way to encourage people to become OTW members
- the time when the OTW generates about 85% of its income. (The other 15% comes from donations given during the rest of the year.)
- the reason why the OTW is able to keep working on projects like AO3, Fanlore, Open Doors, and Legal Advocacy
- the reason those projects can continue helping fans all over the world
What a drive is NOT:
- an evil plot to take over the world, one donation at a time
- a way to raise money for individual people. In fact, the OTW is a nonprofit, and every cent you donate goes directly to operations. The OTW doesn't pay any of its volunteers, staff, or Board members.
The elements that come together to create a drive:
- the OTW's Development and Membership, Translation, and Communications committees (the people writing, translating, and publishing these posts and answering your emails about donations and premiums)
- spreading the word (the posts and graphics you see, the emails you get, and the stuff we share on social media)
- premiums (the thank-you gifts you can get for donating)
- a theme. (This drive's theme is "Different Tropes for Different Folks".)
None of this would be possible without your support. Please help us meet our goal of US$175,000 by donating today!
I've decided to be a bit ambitious, and signed-up for 15,000 words this month. These words will include character posts, morning pages, magic and dream records, and/or other creative writing that occurs. It will not include anything work related, Tweets, Plurks, or FB posts. The focus is on the magical and creative aspects of writing, not the daily accountings or news posts.
The numbers thus far~
Week One (01-04 October): 799 words
Week Two (05-11 October): 1992 current words
Week Three (12-18 October):
Week Four (19-25 October):
Week Five (26-31 October):
I.e. reading books that I think really do fall into the category of obscure, neglected and forgotten.
I was given to think about this on reading this piece yesterday about Jilly Cooper, who is allegedly writing her first lesbian bonk-busting scenes at the ripe old age of 78 -
- to which I went, hang on! many years ago I read the collective novel I Knew Daisy Smuten (1970), which involved 17 Sunday Times journos and columnists writing a vaguely erotic 'consequences'-style tale of episodes in the life of the eponymous Daisy, narrated by various individuals who came into contact with her.
And one of the authors was Jilly Cooper, and as I recall, her tale involved a sapphic romp between a bored housewife and Daisy, and being discovered by her tedious husband.
Perhaps I misascribe this, but I think not.
It is a sad thing when you remember something the author herself doesn't, no?
Although it wasn't so nice this afternoon as it was this morning (started clouding over) it seemed nice enough (and possibility of clearing up) to undertake a walk.
I discover that, since my last visit, it costs £4 to visit Highgate Cemetery East (the newer bit) and that entrance is only via the Swains Lane gate. As I had hoped to walk across from the other side and then go to Waterlow Park, I decided to skip any meditation among the tombs and skip straight to the park.
Which is really rather a pleasant smallish park. Pond with ducks, moorhens and coots: one or other of the latter was making a noise, sort of a squawk, which I'd never heard before, but it didn't sound as though it was coming from the ducks.
Other wildlife spotted: HighgateMums in their native habitat.
Emerged in Highgate, did what bookshops remain (there used to be a wonderful secondhand one but that's long gone the way of the dodo), and in the Oxfam picked up a copy of a recent novel by somebody who was in the writing class I did at City Lit, many years gone by.
Then a bus down the hill home.
Something has been lost, recently. Call it innocence or naivete.
In ancient times, a national leader was a mythic figure. The average citizen never caught a glimpse of the sovereign, except maybe as a stylized sculpture or a face on a coin. This gulf between the commoner and ruler inspired reverence and fear. The leader was no mere mortal. In fact, often, the King or Emperor was a God. A lesser God, perhaps, but still a deity.
The American President is hardly a God, but the Executive Office yet holds an element of majesty. Our great leaders are enshrined as statues and on currency. Even when we disagree with a President's policies, we still pay great respect to the position (if not the person).
I think this is all about to change. Thanks to the miracle of television, the distance between the electorate and the President is negligible. Watching Senator Kennedy and Vice President Nixon spar in the second televised debate last night, I felt no sense of awe, no feeling that these were extraordinary people. I might as well have been watching two fellows compete for the mayorship or a seat on the school board.
Perhaps this is a good thing. After all, the President is a human being, and we want a human to represent us, don't we? Still, I can't help feeling a pang of regret at the close of a (rose-tinted) era.
(read the rest at Galactic Journey)
Hey there! I’m on a big, whizzing blog tour right now to support my new book The Flux, writing about twenty entries and interviews – and I still want more! If you have a Literary Blog Of Note or a podcast you’d like me to be on, let’s talk!
But as y’all know, I’m a big Star Wars fan, and when it came time to write the sequel to Flex, I cribbed from the best. Over at Sci Fi Bulletin, I wrote the Four Things I Learned About Sequels From The Empire Strikes Back (and how I applied them to writing The Flux). So if you want to know what Empire did right in following up Star Wars, go read!
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
The guy from the heating company just arrived. I'm glad they managed to get us in this week because I'd hate to try to schedule it for later. I'm just not entirely happy because I would like to be napping right now. I've not been sleeping well. I haven't gotten back to sleep after Scott's 5:10 alarm since last Friday. That means I've been getting about five hours of sleep a night. It's a wonder I'm not doing worse than I am.
I'm trying to fit in my various library DVDs today. I'm not sure I'll succeed because one of the ones I have left is multi-DVD set, an entire 24 episode season of an anime. Right at the moment I can renew it, but that would mean a mid-week return, and that's not desirable. Maybe when I try it, I won't care for it and can return it right away.
The radiation oncology people scheduled me a surprise appointment in December. The first I knew about it was the message I got telling me to check the patient portal. The appointments were for 12:45 and 1:00 on the 22nd. Cordelia's dental appointment is at 1:00 on the 22nd, and I'm not interested in rescheduling that again. For some reason, they didn't think it was important to give me a phone number to call if I had questions or needed to reschedule. I ended up having to call the hospital operator and get transferred. I would have thought that a contact number would be basic information. At any rate, I've rescheduled to a week later. This is apparently for some sort of research study, and I did say I was interested in doing those. I didn't expect to get tapped, though. I would like more information than that, so I hope the papers they send me contain something useful.
I started a new book last night. GoodReads recommended it to me as a comic mystery, but I'm not actually finding it funny. It's readable, but it's not fun in the way the blurb suggested it would be. I'm also more than 50 pages in with no sign of actual plot, just background and character stuff.
(Vancouver sees a lot of American tourists. Just like American businesses, we are concerned about counterfeit bills, so typically $50 and $100, US or Canadian, are rarely accepted and there are signs to this effect. This story takes place on a July 4. Exchange rates [generally quite unfavorable] are posted in case they use USD.)
Box Office Box Office Attendant: “Your total is $25 for 2 tickets.”
Customer: “Can you break this $100(USD)?”
Box Office Attendant: “I’m sorry; sir, but we cannot accept bills of that denomination. Do you have anything smaller?”
Customer: “No, and no one takes them. What can I do?”
Box Office Attendant: “You could take it to a bank and exchange it for Canadian.”
Customer: “How? Banks are closed today.”
Box Office Attendant: “Why would they be closed?”
Customer: “It’s a holiday!”
Box Office Attendant: “July 4th is not a holiday in Canada, sir. Today is a regular weekday.”
Customer: “I can’t believe you don’t celebrate Independence Day! Why don’t you?”
Box Office Attendant: “That’s your holiday; we have Canada Day on July 1. Banks are closed that day.”
Customer: “It would be lot easier if you followed our holidays.”
Box Office Attendant: “We’ll keep that in mind. Perhaps you have a credit card?”
So, for posterity, the prompts I came up with.
( Dido & Hannibal )
( Dido & Scipio )
( Dido & Tanith )
( Hannibal & Tanith )
( Scipio & tanith )
(Looking at those like this, it's pretty obvious I grew up on Stargate, what with all the people meeting gods (theirs or otherwise) and being, if not unfazed, then at least somewhat unimpressed. Idk.)
I understand the reasoning behind the yuletide decision, I'm just bummed.
I'm also bummed that I had to had the "OMG! I can READ BOOKS! On my PHONE!" epiphany again, because I can, in fact, read books on my phone. How many times I am going to have to have this epiphany before it sticks?
So I'm reading Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer (on my phone!), as a kind of birthday present to myself, and so far I haven't much to say about it, except that I enjoy it, Loki better not be the villain and I like what (very little) I've seen of Loki so far. "Tell the All-Father I said hello", indeed.
*Okay, fine, the fall of Carthago Nova does hinge on one very conveniently timed storm.