Page Summary

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

Where in the World is Catherine?

Nov. 24th, 2015 03:10 pm
catherineldf: (Default)
[personal profile] catherineldf
Sadly, nowhere that interesting at present.
The week in review:
  • Had to skip TeslaCon due to work purgatory/Mom-funding issues/related fun
  • Had multiple exciting convos with DHS and the nursing home about Mom funding and their schedule for providing proof of no assets. The short version: one more document and I can send this round in, then twiddle my thumbs until things hopefully get approved. Takeaways: 1. system for dealing with the aged is ghastly and I don't know how anyone navigates it without help, 2. I'm glad that I live in a state that does have funding because otherwise $6500 a month would get...problematic, 3. Minions in the system can be very, very helpful so be nice to them. It's like a fairytale: be nice to the billing office assistant, the receptionist at the credit union and the dude stuck answering the phones at giant government bureaucracy and they help you find the magical artifacts. Or in this case, answer a bunch of questions and find key documents that had gone walkabout. I really, really hope this is the last of this because it's already horrible and stressful and this just piles it on.
  • Work is work The frequent emails from HR urging us all to "breathe" and "relax" are making me want to burn things to the ground.
  • Queen of Swords Press has passed the trademark research stage. Now on to other fun!
  • Set up everything in the house to convert to wireless from DSL; going well so far and will be much cheaper after set up costs are dealt with.
  • Older car = expensive repairs, house on the brink of expensive repairs, etc.
  • Am I down at the BLM 4th precinct protests? No. Do I feel somewhat guilty about that? Yes. What am I doing instead? Helping out where I can - just paid a chunk of a coworker's costs for taking a carload of supplies up there and plan on doing more of same. 
  • Otherwise, spending rest of week relaxing, ungluing from the ceiling and working on stuff. Also, time with long-neglected friends. All of it so very much needed.

2015 Express Media Awards

Nov. 25th, 2015 08:00 am
calissa: Photo of Swarovski crystal & gold figurine of inkpot and quill sitting on a page that says 'create every day' (Writing)
[personal profile] calissa


If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably already heard this news but I thought I would record it here for posterity.

Yesterday, I received an email informing me I’d been nominated for the 2015 Express Media Awards. My review of (I Hate You) For Sentimental Reasons was selected for the category of Best Piece Published in Buzzcuts. The awards will be presented in Melbourne on 3 December.

(I Hate You) For Sentimental Reasons was one of three events I reviewed in March as part of the You Are Here arts festival and its literary branch, Noted. I attended as a volunteer reviewer for Scissor Paper Pen and my review appeared on their blog as well as in Buzzcuts.

It’s funny the way things work out. When I first saw the call for reviewers in the ACT Writers Centre newsletter I didn’t pay it much attention. After all, I wasn’t an event reviewer and I was almost too old to meet their age requirement. Then I got an email from Leife Shallcross encouraging me to give it a go. It was way outside my comfort zone… but if there was one thing I’ve learned it was that getting out of my comfort zone was vital if I wanted to learn and improve.

So, I sent off my application and was astonished to find it accepted.

As expected, the experience was out of my comfort zone. However, I did learn–or relearn–a lot. I learned I can handle a 24-hour deadline when necessary; I can even handle successive 24-hour deadlines. I relearned that I am awesome at writing to word counts. I learned that I am capable of writing event reviews as well as book reviews. And I relearned that Canberra has an amazing arts community. At the time, I had to focus on meeting my deadlines and was disappointed I didn’t manage to attend some of the other events. I plan to make up for that next year, when Noted will be running on 16-20 March.

The award nomination caught me by surprise. Last March seems like a lifetime ago and a lot has happened in the intervening months. Nevertheless, I’m thrilled. Not only is it an honour, but it has been a wonderful reminder that good things can happen when I step outside my comfort zone to make space for growing and learning.

I plan to do more of that next year.


Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

Gratitude Practice Fulfilled

Nov. 24th, 2015 01:50 pm
jesse_the_k: White girl with braids grinning under large Russian beaver hat (JK 10 happy hat)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
A few months back I began posting gratitudes. I'm still grateful a lot of the time; in fact I believe that I'm able to see the good all around me, even in the dimmest of days.

Which means I have hundreds of gratitudinal moments, not three. I don't want to let go of the hundreds, so I'm going to focus on other topics in my posts here.

Thank you for taking the trip with me. Knowing you were there improved the journey.

I'll leave you with an art object that's a continuing home for gratitude, MyGuy's birthday gift:

Five inch tall glass egg with one-fifth vertical slice cut to reveal a clear interior with one perfect bubble. Outside has peacock tail colors and pattern with matte AB surface )

(no subject)

Nov. 24th, 2015 02:20 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I’ve got a bunch of actual blisters on the top of my breast now. I have no idea if there are any underneath. No wonder the stupid thing hurts so much. I’m not looking forward to wearing a shirt to get to and from my appointment tomorrow, and we’ll be at Scott’s parent’s place for about six hours on Thursday (plus an hour there and an hour back). I’ll have to wear a shirt during that time. I’m not at all looking forward to it. Maybe it’s not worth going… Scott’s mother would be hurt, though, so I don’t know.

I’m working on answering the three fic related question sets I’ve gotten on that meme. One set, I’ve just barely started, one set, I’ve finished, and the third, I’m kind of stuck on one of the questions because I’m not sure I have an answer. I’ll post those answers here when I’m done.

Cordelia is really looking forward to having so much time off from school. I suspect she’ll get bored by the end, but who knows? Normally, I’d try to have friends come by to play with her, but, what with me sitting around topless, that’s not happening this year.

I’m surprisingly energetic today. I actually did the dishes. Which may be just as well since, if I don’t do them, nobody bothers.

I want to try Into the Badlands, but only the second episode is available on demand. Is that an okay place to start? Anybody know? My suspicion is that it will be too dark and violent for me (most things are), but I want to try it.

I’ve almost finished sampling all of the artists Amazon has been recommending to me. My next step is to listen to more by the folks that I’ve marked as 'maybe' so that I can figure out if I like them enough to spend money on. Listening to more by the folks I’ve marked as 'yes' seems like a good idea, too, because some of them, when I’ve gotten CDs from the library, haven’t proved as much to my taste as I thought they were. Of course, about half of them have nothing available from the library.
[syndicated profile] askamanager_feed

Posted by Ask a Manager

A reader writes:

I’m a firm believer in following up with every single applicant, interviewed or not. When would you say is ideal time to send out a rejection letter?

The thing with rejections is that if you send them really quickly, people often feel stung — like you couldn’t possibly have given them sufficient consideration or you thought they were such a terrible candidate that you barely needed to think about them in order to know they would suck in the job.

This is really faulty thinking, though. You often know pretty quickly whether to move a candidate forward in your process or not. Sometimes you can tell in 30 seconds from looking over a person’s application materials (not necessarily because they’re terrible, but just because they don’t have the background you’re looking for, or they’re okay but not great compared to other candidates, or other things that don’t take days of pondering to figure out). Often you know by the time you hang up from a phone interview that the person isn’t going to move forward (again, not necessarily because they’re terrible, but because they’re just not quite what you’re looking for or they’re not competitive with stronger candidates).

I think candidates sometimes think there should be days of thoughtful reflection first, but that’s just not the reality of how hiring usually works. You know pretty quickly if someone is a “no.” (You do not know quickly if someone is a definite “yes” — or at least you shouldn’t, if you want to hire carefully — but do you usually know if you want to move them forward in your process or not.) But candidates tend to see super quick rejections as thoughtless or insulting. They tend to a be recipe for bad feelings of the “they barely considered me!” variety.

So because of that, I think you should avoid instant rejections — the sort someone gets the day after applying, or the afternoon after their interview. I think you want a seemly amount of time to go by, which to me is about a week if you’re rejecting them after the initial application, or at least a few days after an interview. Obviously, you’d give someone a faster answer if they’ve told you that they have time constraints, such as needing to make a decision about another offer.

That said, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with waiting longer if it makes for a more efficient system for you (but not too long — I’d strive to respond within a few weeks or at most a month when you rejecting someone after an initial application, and within a few weeks at most if you’re rejecting after an interview).

what’s the best timing for rejection letters? was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Well, that was annoying

Nov. 24th, 2015 06:49 pm
oursin: a hedgehog lying in the middle of cacti (hedgehog and cactus)
[personal profile] oursin

Making a trip down to the library I have been doing research at and finding that it is closed this week.

Okay, you may say, you should have checked their website.

Except that last week I handed back my books and said I would likely be in again this week.

Did they say, don't forget, we're closed next week?

Did they heck.


This was particularly annoying because I had carefully organised myself so that I was only carrying my laptop bag and not my handbag: had I had my handbag with me, it would have had the card-holder thingummy with my British Library expired reader's card in it, and I could have hiked along the Euston Road and renewed it, chiz, chiz.

(Though I was planning on going tomorrow to do that thing anyway, after meeting of council of Learned Society I Have The (somewhat dubious) Honour To Be On.)

Also annoying: card through door from postman saying tried to deliver signed-for mail package, you may collect it from the sorting office (which is way in the back of beyond, or at least, not helpfully located in relation to public transport). For some while now deliveries have been habitually going to next door, including that time when they did that but didn't leave a card with the information. Maybe no-one was in next door.

And while I'm in this frame of mind, is it just me, or does it annoy other people, that thing where you sign an online petition for a Good Cause and a) get endless updates b) solicitations to spread the message (particularly irksome if one has already posted on FaceBook and Twitter) c) have them bugging you about other Good Causes?

On a related matter, I looked at that thing on the NHS and was overcome with existential despair, because this was really not something I felt I could usefully respond to within the framework provided.

And a further question in my mind about political matters: these various good cause sites tend to send me exhortations to email my MP about this that and the other. Living in the constituency I do, I tend to ignore these because I am pretty sure that Jezza is already for/against (delete as applicable) the matter. However, it occurs to me that maybe MPs like to say they have had X no of emails from their constituents?

OTW Fannews: Improve Your Life

Nov. 24th, 2015 06:13 pm
[syndicated profile] otw_news_feed

Posted by Kiri Van Santen


banner by SoyAlex of a bicycle with the OTW logo as the wheels

  • The American Library's Association's Center for the Future of Libraries has a mission which involves identifying "emerging trends relevant to libraries and the communities they serve." Included in their trends is an entry on fandom. In the "Why It Matters" section, they write "As cultural institutions that preserve and provide access to books, video, music, and an increasing array of media, fandoms may be obvious partners in promoting literacy, engagement with culture, and media creation. Fandom increasingly assumes active creation – writing, recording, drawing, remixing, role-playing – rather than just passive consumption of media. This could make it an important space for libraries to design programming and instruction around, especially in ways that promote Connected Learning that is highly social, interest-driven, hands-on, and production oriented."
  • Two different sites promoted fandom involvement as a way to stay healthy. The University of Utah's Health Feed focused on sports fandom while Inverse expanded it to include media fandom. The fandom benefits cited were a sense of belonging, greater happiness, and an increase in critical thinking.
  • Bringing your fandom into the workplace can be problematic, though, depending on your profession. Gawker was among those criticizing a BuzzFeed reporter for a lack of objectivity. "[T]he Buzzfeed Brand is built in large part on explicit and outspoken fandom. But the News side at BuzzFeed works as seriously as as traditional newsroom, and has put into place ethical guidelines to cement that... It’s hard to imagine how these guidelines jibe with teary-eyed fandom for the Pope, an elected political entity with a broad swath of deeply political views that include (a longstanding opposition to) women’s rights and LGBT equality." They concluded by noting that "pure, uncritical adoration goes beyond the usual biases, and makes a reporter seem incapable of grappling with the complexity of her subject... This isn’t a Foo Fighters fan interviewing Dave Grohl."
  • Death and Taxes revealed that Dave Grohl is equally likely to have his fandom on display if Jonathan Davis is any example. "Probably the biggest thing Davis and I have in common is an all-consuming love for Duran Duran. The big difference being that Davis got to actually connect with his musical idol Simon Le Bon... 'I was shaking, because I’m the hugest fan. He was like, 'How old are you? Name some songs.' And I was like '"The Chauffeur" is my shit. I love that song.' We just hit it off and started hanging out that night. And then a couple years later my agent brought him out. He came to the Korn show, and then we went out to this pizza place in London, and we hung out all night and it was the greatest night of my life.'"

What was the greatest fandom day of your life? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.


OTW Fannews: Improve Your Life

Nov. 24th, 2015 10:33 am
otw_staff: Kiri, OTW Communications Co-Chair (Kiri OTW Communications Co-Chair)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
banner by SoyAlex of a bicycle with the OTW logo as the wheels

Want to stay healthy, do hands-on learning, or have the greatest day of your life? Fandom can get you there!

Feeling A Bit More Refugee Than Usual

Nov. 24th, 2015 10:12 am
herlander_refugee: My tattoo'd back to the world (Default)
[personal profile] herlander_refugee
It is snowing outside, wet flakes like wet feathers. Appropriate as I feel a bit like a wet hen.

I turned the timers for my Yule tree and fireplace lights to stay on all day long -- it seems so dark in ways both physical and metaphysical that I need all the light I can get.

I am crushed to continue reading about cops shooting citizens, especially citizens of color.

I am horrified at the fear flogged response of America to the refugee crisis from Syria and Afghanistan. This is the warm up for when the real water wars start, and this is the way we are going to manage it? With racist fear mongering and hate?

I am furious that Americans keep hailing Donald Trump as if he is Santa Claus -- or Benito Mussolini. HE is a profiteering egotistical racist ASSHAT, WTF, America? He wraps himself in the flag and all he needs is the white horse to lead America to where we have made movies proclaim that ONLY those nasty Germans go -- how do you NOT see that?

I am terrified that Putin will sabre-rattle us all the way to World War III over one of his planes taking shortcuts across a wee bit of Turkey and getting shot down for it.

For pity's sake, I grew up listening to "The Age of Aquarius" sung by the Fifth Dimension -- really unsure what the hell that meant, but it sounded great. I begin to think, as the world "recessions" its way 'round the sun, that that "age" will begin in ashes....
[syndicated profile] askamanager_feed

Posted by Ask a Manager

If you’re a manager who’s gearing up for year-end performance reviews (and perhaps dreading them), you’re probably thinking a lot about what to say. But what not to say is just as important.

At Intuit QuickBase’s Fast Track blog today, I talk about four common mistakes to avoid. You can read it here.

don’t say these four things in a performance review was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

(no subject)

Nov. 24th, 2015 04:36 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1426 aged 63 Elizabeth of Lancaster (my toy,wikipedia). Daughter of John of Gaunt (son of Edward III). Her mother was John's first wife Blanche, his future-third-wife Katheryn Swynford was her governess. She married three times - the first time she was 17 but the groom was only 8, she seems to have gotten bored waiting for him to grow up and had an affair which left her pregnant; her un-consumated first marriage was annulled and she married the father of the baby... later her second husband was executed for treason and she married a third time (without permission from her brother! shocking! but they got over it eventually).

Born on this day in 1394 to Louis Valois I, Duke of Orleans and Valentina Visconti, Charles Valois , Duke of Orleans (my toy,wikipedia). Husband of Isabella the widow of Richard II. Charles is remembered mostly as a poet.

Batman: Year One - Part 3

Nov. 24th, 2015 06:03 pm
[personal profile] history79 posting in [community profile] scans_daily

The A.V. Club: Is it true that you originally wanted to do crime comics when you started your career, but you were pushed toward superheroes as the only legitimate form of commercial comics?

Frank Miller: Absolutely. Color me stupid, but I came in with a bunch of samples of guys in trenchcoats and old cars and stuff, and they looked at me like I was crazy. I had to learn to draw the muscles.

Read more... )

Music is hard.

Nov. 24th, 2015 04:27 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
I am equally bad at about half the carols in the christmas carols book.
... I should probably practice the reading the music books before I try that again, I'm kind of guessing what the notes are quite a lot.

Earlier me crossed one of them out and wrote 'NO GOOD' on it. I played it to find out why and agree with earlier me. That's not a carol. That's a bit rubbish. No good.

It's a bit fun though.

But my neighbour made walking around noises whenever I forgot to keep my foot on the quiet pedal, so probably I should stick to daylight hours, which are not exactly in abundant supply of late.

I definitely want the space more than I want the piano.

But I might get a little keyboard and play little musics.

Women and the making of holidays

Nov. 24th, 2015 03:33 pm
[syndicated profile] sociological_images_feed

Posted by Lisa Wade, PhD

I don’t know for sure what holidays are like at your house, but if they resemble holidays at my house, and most houses in the US, women do almost all of the holiday preparation: decorating, gift buying and wrapping, invitations, neighborhood and church activities, cooking, cooking, more cooking, and cleaning.

Holidays are moments in the year when women, specifically, have extra responsibilities. I distinctly remember my own beloved stepmother telling me — stress making her voice taut — that she just wanted everyone to have a nice Thanksgiving. She would work herself silly to do and have all the right things so that everyone else would have a good time. Multiple this by 10 at Christmas.

This Bed, Bath, & Beyond ad, sent in by Jessica E. and Jessica S., reminded me of the crazy workload that accompanies holidays for women:

Picture_1Alone with the responsibility of making a holiday for everyone else, the woman manages to mobilize technology and goods from BB&B to make it happen. Ironically, the text reads: “When you need a hand with holiday entertaining,” but actual human help in the form of hands is absent. Apparently it’s easier for women to grow five extra arms than it is to get kids and adult men to pitch in.

Anyhoo, be a peach and give your mom a hand this holiday season.

Originally published in 2009.

Lisa Wade is a professor at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. Find her on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

(View original at

[syndicated profile] askamanager_feed

Posted by Ask a Manager

A reader writes:

A member of my team is in charge of managing relationships with companies that we provide sponsorships to. She does an excellent job and is a top performer on the team. Recently, she’s been receiving some unwanted attention from one of the point of contacts at a partner company. She’s mentioned that this person has repeatedly asked her to get drinks or have dinner outside of working hours. It seems like the point of contact wants to make more of a personal connection with her and it’s making her uncomfortable. I can understand that she is in somewhat of an awkward situation, since her job duties include maintaining the relationship with this person, but this person is taking advantage of that and trying to make a personal, rather than a professional relationship.

As her manager, any recommendation on how I can handle the situation? She hasn’t asked me specifically to take any action but I feel like it’s my duty to make sure that all of my employees feel like they work in a safe space where they don’t have to deal with this kind of unwanted attention.

In a nutshell: Give her some guidance on how she can shut the behavior down, make it clear that you’ll back her up and she doesn’t need to worry about repercussions to her job for doing that, and tell her that if it doesn’t stop and/or she wants you to step in at any point, to let you know immediately and you will.

As for what guidance to give her to shut it down, I’d suggest that she clearly and firmly say to the contact (if she hasn’t already), “I’d like to keep our relationship professional and stick to work-related meetings.” I wouldn’t advise such an aggressive shut-down on the first or second invitation, but at this point, when he’s asked multiple times? It’s warranted because he’s already ignored her attempts to shut it down more politely. If it continues even after that, she should say, “Please stop asking me to meet outside of work. Now, about (work-related topic)…”

As for where to go from there if more ends up being necessary: What exactly is the relationship here? He doesn’t sound like he’s a client, and it sounds like your company may even provide something to him that he needs (the sponsorships you mentioned). If the latter is the case, that makes it even easier to tell him to cut this crap out, but even if that’s not the case, if it continues after she’s clearly told him to stop, either of these next steps would be reasonable:

1. You call him and tell him to cut it out. You’d say something like this: “Jane has told me that she’s repeatedly asked you to stop asking her out and it’s continued. I can’t let you continue to do that to one of our employees and I need you to stop.”

2. You or your staff member calls his boss and tells his boss put a stop to this (and potentially asks them to give you a different rep to work with). The message here would be, “Your employee is being gross with one of our employees and has ignored requests to stop. We need you to fix this.”

But the key thing here is to make it clear to her that she’s not expected to put up with this, and that you’ll back her up in getting it to stop.

what to do when an employee is being repeatedly hit on by an outside contact was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

(no subject)

Nov. 24th, 2015 10:49 am
twistedchick: sunshine artwork: 'here comes the sun' (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Not all the gods are big. The small gods know
Things that big gods miss: how coffee can taste
On a cold morning, with good cream but no
Sugar; slither in grass, a snake making haste
For an unknown goal; memories in things
At a tag sale, lying under the counter
Waiting to tell someone stories; the wings
Of a hummingbird in an encounter
With honeysuckle. The big gods know
Thunderstorms, floods, famine, fire, and the big one,
Resurrection, but the little gods can show
Where you left the thing you forgot. The sun
Shines for all. And every god waits to see
Who will answer this time -- who will it be.
havocthecat: amy pond of doctor who with a magnifying glass (dw amy pond investigates)
[personal profile] havocthecat
To be fair, it was because I was catching up on The Librarians, which is a neverendingly DELIGHTFUL show, and which continually pleases me, because cut for Arthurian mythos, spoilers and Leverage actor casting )

I don't have much other than that. I'm still watching Gotham, but I don't particularly like it very much. Mr. Havoc wants to keep on with it, though, so I watch it for him. I'm also still watching Arrow, because Laurel and Thea (and Felicity!) are getting amazing plot that does not revolve around Oliver, not to mention spoilers ) Plus Lyla keeps showing back up, and I wish she were there more, but she's always been pretty tertiary anyway, so I'm OK with women who are there and populating the background just proving that women exist.

I'm enjoying The Flash more, though I haven't seen the last episode, because it's just one of those shows where Barry is so damn glad to be helping people for the sake of helping them. Plus Iris is getting her own plot and emotional arc this season. (I realize not everyone is pleased with Iris' arc, but I also feel like the perfect is getting in the way of the good in this case. Your opinion may obviously vary.) I'm enjoying that Iris is coming into her own as a reporter, and that she's developed a friendship and a professional rapport with Linda Park that demonstrates that her life does not revolve around the men in her life, and also that she's shown as the one making her own decisions with regard to family. Her dad clearly Learned A Lesson about how to behave with an adult daughter and has stopped trying to be That Guy and has started being honest - and admitting to being wrong.

What I am kind of frustrated with is Caitlin's side plots being all about romance. Seriously, what? Caitlin Snow, an accomplished doctor, is basically all about the tragic love? Really? I do like that they introduced Patty Spivot, but I'm not sure where they're going with her yet.

Speaking of Linda Park, I love her, but can Malese Jow please finally be cast as a CW regular? She's so great! She's been on multiple CW shows in recurring roles! I'm sure she can handle the demands of a series regular and/or lead.

I'm watching Supergirl and adoring it, but I'm not at the point where I want to talk about it very much. I don't know that I ever will, mostly for reasons of not wanting to deal with the people who "read the comics back in the day" and who therefore "know what the real character is like." Even though Supergirl has been reinvented probably half a dozen times in the comics too.

Still behind on Doctor Who. SO FAR BEHIND. But soon!

week of gratitude - day 2

Nov. 24th, 2015 09:15 am
seimaisin: (warden beth)
[personal profile] seimaisin
I'm grateful to have my creativity back.

A couple of months ago, I started to cut back on my Effexor, with my doctor's blessing. I'm now down to 37.5mg per day (along side my daily Wellbutrin), and the difference has been astonishing. I knew I'd been a little cloudy, especially in creative terms - and I figured it wasn't a coincidence that the last substantial thing I wrote was finished right before I started the Effexor, back in 2013. But I didn't quite get how much my mental processes were muted until I scaled back on the Effexor.

I have stories in my head now, stories I feel are actually worth writing, for the first time in what feels like forever. And better, I've actually started putting words down on a couple of them.

The Effexor probably got me through the end of my old job without feeling suicidal, so I can't regret being on it. But FUCK, I'm glad it's mostly gone now. I don't know when I'll go off it completely - I'm at least waiting until after the holidays, because there'll be some ridiculous withdrawal symptoms - but right now, I feel like I'm at a good place. Thank all the gods.

The Big Idea: Michael Livingston

Nov. 24th, 2015 01:46 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

In his debut novel The Shards of Heaven, author Michael Livingston is hunting some big game indeed. And possibly changing the course of history — and myth — in the bargain.


My Big Idea in The Shards of Heaven was to make mythic artifacts real — and that meant killing God.

Hold up! Put the pitchforks and torches down, folks. Let me explain.

No. As Inigo Montoya said, there is too much. Let me sum up.

I was one of the many millions who were enthralled by the call of Middle-earth as children, and as an adult I’ve followed Tolkien’s footsteps in becoming a professor of medieval studies. As such, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how Tolkien designed his Middle-earth legendarium to function as a kind of mythic past to our myths — how The Hobbit, for instance, exists “behind” Beowulf.

It’s fascinating stuff. At the same time, it always bothered me how loosely Tolkien’s “mythology behind mythologies” fit into the real world. I can’t actually go to Minas Tirith, and that’s profoundly not cool.

So I set out, in the series that begins with The Shards of Heaven, to create a myth behind myths that would more closely tie to history. In so doing, I hoped I could also collapse the distinction between fantasy and history, which has always been too sharply drawn for my tastes anyway.

There are many twists and turns in the story that I put together for Shards — from the death of Caesar to the rise of his heirs, from the love of Antony and Cleopatra to the horrors of the battle of Actium — but that’s all plot and characters at the surface of the tale. The big stuff, what I like to think is the really juicy stuff, exists underneath all that. The big stuff is that mythology I built out of mythologies in order to explain those very mythologies, and the fantasy I wove into history to explain it all.

And the key to all that, it turned out, was killing God.

I mean, not that I really killed God. Not personally, anyway. That would be inconceivable. Deicide is decidedly above my pay grade. But it’s nevertheless true that within the mythology of the Shards my characters have declared Him, Her, or It to be dead, and that’s probably close enough to pulling the trigger in this case. (Whether or not my characters are actually correct in that declaration, of course, is something that awaits more books!)

Anyway, the plot premise of the series is this: everything history says about the rise of the Roman Empire is true … except it doesn’t tell us everything there is to say. Legendary artifacts of the ancient world — like the Trident of Poseidon and the Ark of the Covenant — are real, and they played a secret role in the shaping of the history we know. Fantasy is thus subsumed into “real” history (or vice versa, I suppose). And along the way, to make it all work — historically, philosophically, even existentially — God had to be real, and God had to die.

Why this is, how this is, and what this means … well, that’s a matter for some serious spoilers in The Shards of Heaven and in its sequels (book two comes out next year).

What I can say for certain is this: I really don’t think there’s any need for you to be gathering all that wood along with your torches. And all that gasoline … nope, I don’t think that’s necessary at all. Unless, well, if you’re going to burn books, please do start rolling the cameras. And call in the media, because that could be positively marvelous for sales.

Now that is a Big Idea.


The Shards of Heaven: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Powell’s

Read an excerpt from the book. Visit the author’s website. Follow him on Twitter.

Going pretty good

Nov. 24th, 2015 02:12 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Today was cleaner day and things are now clean. Yaay.
I phoned the landlord to report the front door was stuck because the cleaner said so. Now I'm fussing I should maybe have gone myself and checked it. But I can hear other people getting annoyed at its stuckness so that's probably not necessary.

I sorted through the music in the piano stool, found some things that are not music and some work that belonged to me or my brother, and dug out the Christmas Carols book. I can now play four carols! Badly. Super badly. I think I was better age 8. Actually I'm sure I was, on account of rolled up newspapers. But the point is, I made the music thing make music with my hands and my brain. I can't exactly read the music very good, but earlier me wrote the names of the notes on some of them so that was very helpful.

I'm not thinking I actually want to play the piano for funs. I still want to send it away because my front room has no space and I want the space back. But if I had an extra room to just leave the piano in I'd probably do that and then play something once a year and think hmmm maybe.

Even if I want to play music though I should get something that can use headphones. They can be quite impressively musical now. And my neighbours would like it much better.

Also, history suggests I do not want to play music.

Also also, the piano stool that was perfectly reasonable when I was 8 is no longer the right size, obviously, and my back doesn't quite like it.

I shall have to sort the piano stool contents into things to keep and things to send with the piano. Some of it is music for clarinet or guitar, which obviously doesn't go with the piano but I don't need no more neither. Some of what is in there is guitar strings from at least the 80s and possibly the 60s. There's music for how to play Beatles songs. Dad music. It's weird.

Also there's a newspaper with a picture of me on it. Teenager me looked like me only different. That's weird too.

Time. Go figure.

I mean we take it as normal but normal is never being quite the same as you were yesterday which just seems pretty strange to me.

I still need to do the vacuum cleaning (and actually still intend to this week) but I might see if I can mangle some more christmas carols first.

2040 / Supergirl, 1.05

Nov. 24th, 2015 08:06 am
siria: (Default)
[personal profile] siria
My parents have come to spend the week with me, and are currently sleeping off jetlag in my bedroom while I'm camped out on my living room sofa. I'm simultaneously very glad to see them and feeling like this is going to be a long week—people in my space! having to arrange entertainment! when will I get to work on my dissertation!

ETA: And they've woken up and in the space of time that it takes for us to wait for my mam to shower and get dressed, my dad and I have had our first fight about politics. (Does the fact that the local state-run hospital no longer display crucifixes or put up a Christmas tree herald the end of civilisation as we know it? No, says I. Yes, says my dad. Argh.)

Supergirl, 1.05, How Does She Do It? )

Best of What I Got

Nov. 24th, 2015 09:00 am
ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
[personal profile] ceciliatan

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

Okay. I fully admit that bullshit ideas about how to “be a man” are what turned my father into a toxic waste dump of a human being–probably what fucked up my grandfather, too, now that I think about it–and were very instrumental in all the ways I tore myself apart like a Cuisinart blade spinning inside my skin when I was growing up. I was aware of that on that night. That didn’t mean I could stop myself from flipping open the guitar case like it had a tommy gun inside or feeling like while I was tuning it I was priming a shotgun.

Thing is, when your bullets are notes and riffs, there’s really no compelling reason not to let them rip.

Read the rest of this entry » )

[Secret Wars] 1872 #4

Nov. 24th, 2015 09:28 pm
superboyprime: (Default)
[personal profile] superboyprime posting in [community profile] scans_daily

"This is not an exaggeration: I had close to 60 pages of notes and ideas on what this version of Marvel’s history contains before I began wrenching on an outline for the first arc." - Gerry Duggan

Read more... )

(no subject)

Nov. 24th, 2015 06:07 am
sraun: birthday cake (cake birthday)
[personal profile] sraun
Happy Birthday [ profile] muskrat_john

Off-Topic Tuesday!

Nov. 24th, 2015 10:08 am
icon_uk: Mod Squad icon (Mod Squad)
[personal profile] icon_uk posting in [community profile] scans_daily
It's "Off-Topic Tuesday" time!

In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like.

Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

So the Jessica Jones TV series has hit Netflix and, though somewhat harrowing and uncompromising to say the least (which is at it should be considering the subject matter) it's got rave reviews.

Belgium has a rather unique response to it's ongoing security clampdown Cute cat tweets

One of Judy Garland's legendary gingham outfit from "The Wizard of Oz" sells for $1,500,000!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Look I don't need to add a link or anything, just type Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Oh okay, if you insist; Crew of USS Eisenhower do a rather impressive spoof

I won't wax lyrical again about the Doctor Who Lego Dimensions, but I do keep finding more easter eggs!

Oh, and a Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it. For those who want to know more about how it all started and the context of it all, here is a very informative video!


Nov. 24th, 2015 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"That's the threat of pseudo-fascism generally -- not that it is actually fascist itself, but that it creates the ground conditions for the real thing to break out. Which is bad news for liberals and conservatives alike." -- David Neiwert (Orcinus), "If conservatives really, really hate being called fascists ...", part five, 2008-02-06


Nov. 24th, 2015 12:29 am
azurelunatic: Black and white picture of comedy duo Laurel & Hardy (Laurel & Hardy)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Purple got snagged by lb and Mr. Netflix for lunch today, since lb and Mr. Netflix were the only representatives of the department actually in the department for lunch. Thus it was that I did not see Purple in person until it was time to go home.

I managed to wait until we were outside to apologetically point out that I would be having a worse time than expected for the next couple weeks because I'd trained pretty hard on Bearded Purple, so Beardless Purple was essentially a stranger (with, for bonus points, a smile a hell of a lot like Figment's).

It's going to be a super weird couple weeks. I'm going to be double-taking a lot.

lb had immediately given him shit upon seeing it. Purple did mention his reason for doing it, and it's a reason I fully endorse beyond the "dude, it's ... your beard? and you're the boss of your beard?" position ... but dang, I still have a hard time recognizing him without it. Despite having known him for quite some time without it, I still learned his face with it due to his directory picture.

<lb> I think we should give him some beard products
<lb> beard products are a hint to beard harder

(no subject)

Nov. 24th, 2015 08:47 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] claudine/[ profile] claudine_c and [personal profile] littlered2!

Automated Parsing Fun

Nov. 24th, 2015 12:03 am
emceeaich: A close-up of a pair of cats-eye glasses (Default)
[personal profile] emceeaich

Facebook's news parser got a little confused today. switched the front end code from PHP to JavaScript, not the other way around.

Screenshot of a Facebook news page. The upper section is content generated by Facebook that states moved from JavaScript to PHP. The lower section is a post from announcing the switch from PHP to JavaScript.

lynnoconnacht: A brown-haired girl in a gingham dress looking at the viewer over her shoulder. (!Me blue default)
[personal profile] lynnoconnacht

Pretty Guardian Sailormoon: Act 26Plot Recap: Kunzite, having suspicions, teams up with Jadeite and set a trap for the senshi and tried to kill Sailormoon. Jadeite’s youma froze all the senshi except for Sailormoon and Kunzite was very intent on killing her. Tuxedo Mask got in the way of Kunzite’s blade, however, and died. This greatly upset Sailormoon because she watched her true love die (again) and awakened her senshi powers. Surprise! She’s actually the Moon Princess!

Also we’ve found the ginzuishou in one of her tears and all the magical energy restored Mamoru back to life and unfroze all the other senshi.

And that’s pretty much where we’re at, so let’s get on with the spoilers!

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from Little Lion Lynnet's.

Book Log

Nov. 24th, 2015 03:53 pm
scaramouche: Anna from Supernatural in cartoon form (spn: anna cartoon)
[personal profile] scaramouche
I actually started reading Henriette Leyser's Medieval Women: Social History Of Women In England (450-1500) almost a year ago, but was struggling to get through the earlier chapters about the Anglo-Saxon period, so I put it aside for the moment and moved to other books. I picked it up again recently, after having read a bit more about the Anglo-Saxon era in other books, and this time it smooth sailing and really interesting all the way to the end.

Blather behind the cut. )
juliet316: (DW: Eight: regeneration)
[personal profile] juliet316 posting in [community profile] fic_promptly
As we leave one day and move on to the next day, our theme is transitions. Whether it's a going through a major change or just going from one day to the next, that is what prompts and fills have to relate to.

Rules are as follows:

- Six prompts each per fandom per day. Author's choice prompts are unlimited.
- One prompt per comment.
- Warn for spoilers in the subject line of your comment and leave three lines of spoiler space.

Please prompt using the following format:

Fandom, character or pairing, prompt
Or, for crossovers: Fandom 1/Fandom 2, character or pairing, prompt


Doctor Who, any!Doctor, regeneration
Author's choice. author's choice, moving through the days.
Torchwood/Agents of SHIELD, author's choice, crossing dimensions.

If nothing today appeals to you, you can look through the lonely prompts on Pinboard, or leave new ones on any of the previous themes.
[syndicated profile] askamanager_feed

Posted by Ask a Manager

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. My wife is modeling jeans for her boss

My wife works for a very small company, and it is only her and her boss in the small building. I will also add that his apartment is connected to the office. He takes her to lunch almost every day. Last week, I get a pic sent to me by a friend that showed the two of them drinking wine with lunch. A little troubling to say the least. Yesterday they went to a convention in a neighboring town. They had some downtime, so they went to a store. She was seen trying on jeans, and he was right there looking on as she modeled them. Should I be worried about this? I don’t want to be a jealous jerk.

Unfortunately, I can’t really tell you if you should be worried; that depends on things I don’t know, like what your relationship is like, whether she’s given you reason not to trust her, how the two of you communicate, etc. And also, I don’t know who’s reporting this to you and what their motivation is, and whether there’s anything that would make their decision to report to you less strange than it seems on its face.

However … Going to lunch with a colleague isn’t a big deal, and I don’t think the presence of wine changes that. Lots of people dine and have wine with coworkers. The friend who sent you a photo of that is stirring up drama and should be told to stop.

The jeans modeling does seem a little … unusual. That doesn’t mean anything inappropriate is going on, though (and you might not be getting a fully accurate picture of what happened there).

Really, I think the thing to do here is to pay attention to your relationship, reflect on the source of the info (and at a minimum tell the lunch photographer to knock it off), and consider laying this all out for your wife (in a collaborative, “help me understand” way, not an accusatory way) and talking it through.

2. Old owner keeps dropping in

I run a branch location for an equipment dealer in the Midwest. This location was a single dealership and was sold to a multi-location dealer about two years ago. They brought in a manager from another location to run this one until a permanent manager was hired (which is me).

Here’s the dilemma I have now. The previous owner will not go away. Except for times when he is gone on multi-week vacations, he will come by the dealership 2-3 times a week. Every time I feel like I’m making progress with employees, he comes in and knocks us back to the “good old days.” It’s very disruptive, and he’s even gone so far as to have hats made for employees and customers with the old dealer’s logo on it. Is it wrong for me to tell him he’s no longer welcome here and ask him to leave?

Nope, it would be reasonable to ask him to stay away. I wouldn’t frame it as “you’re no longer welcome here” though; that’s pretty adversarial. Instead, I’d say something like, “Having you come by so frequently when we’re moving forward with new ownership is creating a distraction and making it harder to rally the employees around our new management. I’m sorry about this, but I need to ask you to stop coming by. I appreciate you understanding.”

3. What to say when I hear someone has been laid off

My field is experiencing layoffs right now. How do I respond to folks when I get the email saying “I’ve been laid off, but let’s stay in touch. Here’s my personal address…” Of course I’m going to stay in touch, but it’s the condolences part I’m having trouble with. What do I say? “My sincere condolences!” “I’m so sorry” “That really sucks and I’m so sorry that you’re going through that.” Or, do you have an opening to suggest?

I’d go with “so sorry to hear that — I’ve really enjoyed working with you.” (You could also add specifics about what was great about their work if it would be genuine.) I don’t think you need to lean too heavily on the condolences beyond something like that; most people really aren’t looking for much of that and want to focus on what comes next.

4. Time off around the holidays when starting a new job

I’m starting my very first full-time job on December 1! I know it’s typically frowned upon to take time off in the first months of employment, but do you have any suggestions on how to navigate this with Christmas and New Year’s coming up? The hiring manager mentioned that typically employees take most of their vacation time at the end of the year. Is this something I can address before day 1?

Time off around the holidays is often — but not always — the exception to the “don’t ask for time off when you’ve just started a new job” rule. (Also, note that rule has an exception for time oft that you already negotiated as part of accepting the offer, which is always the best way to handle this, but it’s too late for that now.)

It’s possible that it’ll be a slow time so not a problem to take a few days or a full week off. It’s also possible that they won’t want you taking off this soon. But it’s reasonable to ask. You could send your new manager an email before you start saying something like, “I wanted to check with you about how you normally handle time off around the holidays, especially for a new employee who won’t have accumulated vacation time yet. Should I plan to work through the holidays, or would it work for me to take off, say, the day before and after Christmas? I can make it work either way but wasn’t sure what would make the most sense.”

Also, as you get more senior in your career, this will be less something you need to ask for and more something you can just arrange.

5. Applying for a job with a company that’s a potential client of my current employer

I am looking to switch jobs very soon. I’ve been with my current company for quite a while and want to make a change for many different reasons.

I went to a meeting with a potential client of ours to discuss the results of a pilot program of our services we ran with them. Our contact there happened to mention an opening within their organization and asked my colleagues and me to send along anyone we knew who may be a good fit. Well, I think that person is me! The role is similar enough to what I’m currently doing, just a little more senior. There are so many positives to this job – a step up from what I’m currently doing, it’s a company I am passionate about, and it cuts my commute down significantly. I’m really excited and want to apply soon.

If I did get the job, I would have no intention of jeopardizing my current company’s relationship with this client. In fact, I would welcome them and if they did decide to pursue a partnership, I would have a lot of knowledge about what we do and how to make it work for this client. However, I just don’t know the “politics” of applying – do I send my resume through their application system or try to get our contact’s email and apply through him directly? Will it look bad to this client if I express my interest in leaving my current role? If I *don’t* get the job, the client will know I want to leave and may not end up pursuing a future relationship with my current company (if they have a negative impression of “the company must not be good if their employees want to leave”). I know that’s a little unlikely since people leave jobs all the time, but I would like to figure out the best way to approach this to not hurt my current employer for this deal (it will likely hurt them a lot if I leave, but that’s an entirely separate issue).

Is there any chance that it will feel like a conflict of interest to the client since they’re currently considering working with your company? If so, I’d call your contact there first and say, “That job posting you shared with me was so in line with what I’d like to do that I’d love to throw my hat in the ring. Will that cause any conflict of interest on your end?” Then, assuming your contact tells you to go for it, apply through the regular channel.

If you’re positive that won’t be an issue, I’d apply first, then give your contact a heads-up (saying something like, “That job posting you shared with me was so in line with what I’d like to do that I couldn’t resist throwing my hat in the ring and just sent in an application — but either way, best of luck filling it”).

I wouldn’t worry at all that they’ll assume your company must suck just because you’re applying for a single job somewhere else; people do that all time without it meaning anything about their current company.

my wife is modeling jeans for her boss, old owner keeps showing up, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Poem for Tuesday and Huntley Meadows

Nov. 24th, 2015 12:16 am
littlereview: (Default)
[personal profile] littlereview
The Banjo Player )

It should be obvious by now that for a couple of weeks this journal is mostly going to be family and kittens -- less family this year, since my sister's family isn't coming from New York for Thanksgiving because her daughters haven't been home since they left for college and Israel respectively at the end of the summer, but I have Daniel here now and Adam arriving in two days. Daniel is working remotely this week, so I went to Bagel City to get food for him and to CVS to get another blanket for kittens who like curling up on fuzzy fleece and we all had lunch together, including Paul who worked from home as well.

We watched two more episodes of The Man in the High Castle, which is terrific -- different from the book, which I don't remember in that much detail, but I often find Dick pretentious and misogynistic so I wasn't likely to be upset about changes anyway, and the characters are mostly complicated and interesting while the plot is really chilling (more interesting to me than Philip Roth's version). Tonight we got the Supergirl and Legends postponed because of the events in Paris, plus Minority Report which is building its arc wonderfully and it's so sad that the season finale will be the end! Summer at Huntley Meadows:

Summer Wetlands )

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Page generated Nov. 24th, 2015 10:08 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios