(no subject)

Apr. 19th, 2019 09:14 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
I was stuck in a car for six hours today, since I'm joining Pat on his monthly trip to see his kids. I spent most of that time writing up a post on history and culture explaining why white people smile awkwardly and say nothing when someone commits a social faux pas. I've gotten some pushback on how I'm only describing the behaviour of a small subset of all white people, whose experiences get generalized to everyone in the same ethnic group, but that's... kind of a feature, IMO, not a bug. The sooner we can demonstrate that racial constructs are artificial bullshit, the better.

I feel so tired though. I worked the two days before this, and did other important stuff like decluttering my stuff in preparation for packing and applying to a job I really want.

The newspaper headlines in southern Alberta are all jubilant. The UCP won the election and the Flames are in playoffs; what more felicity could be demanded from the world, this early in the year?

(no subject)

Apr. 17th, 2019 06:53 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
I just watched this video on the basic task of costume designers in movies and am smiling kind of wryly. Those are all things I did not get when I was a teenager, making costumes for high school drama.

It's funny, to see the limits of my own perspective. Back then, I saw the goal of art as faithfully portraying an alternate reality. Someone didn't wear a red shirt because the movie needed a way to set them apart visually--they wore it because it's what they would have worn. When it came to costume, I felt it was the audience's job to adjust to the odd silhouettes and fashion quirks of the past, and learn to read them; altering historical fashions to be more easily read by a modern audience was heresy.

I remember how much my mind was blown when I took Psychology of Aesthetics in undergrad, when I learned to interpret abstract art and understand the concept of art purely as the means to evoke a certain reaction in its audience. It was like my entire world turned upside down. A whole lot of art I'd previously derided as being trashy or inaccurate or bad just made sense, suddenly.

I remember this was around the time [personal profile] sartorias was writing about the "silver fork" novel, things looking back on the English Regency as a time of extreme social refinement and politeness when that was not the way the era saw itself. Learning how to read novels as a product of their era, and not just an inaccurate lens onto a different one, felt like my third eye was being opened.

I'm 32 now, and my sense of how to perceive visual art, of what it's for, keeps developing in entirely new ways. I remember when I was in elementary school, I always wanted to draw, but art books made no sense to me. I remember the feeling of my brain bouncing off the diagrams, off the idea of creating an impression of a thing that bore no resemblance to the actual structure of the thing itself.

It's like... now I'd be ready to begin studying costume design. I just wasn't ready for it before. I've spent all these years focusing on the inner mechanisms of garment construction because that's what I understood, but after decades of a rusty machine stubbornly refusing to work, the gears have started to budge.

Tiny Adventures

Apr. 17th, 2019 03:56 pm
stultiloquentia: Campbells condensed primordial soup (Default)
[personal profile] stultiloquentia
A birthday )

A bun )

Pygmalion and Photograph 51 )

Physiotherapy )

Baseball )

Burlesque Dracula )

Upcoming tiny adventures: river clean-up and barbecue on the 27th, and Black Odyssey at Central Square Theater on the 28th—locals, let me know if you want to join either one.

(no subject)

Apr. 16th, 2019 11:54 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
Soooo tonight in Alberta the socialists lost to the (expletive redacted) Conservatives. A little bit of me is heartbroken that we didn’t get our miracle a second time.

I volunteered, a little bit, over the campaign; found out I can only do phone banking on the most pristine of mental health days, turned out to be the only volunteer they could scavenge up with power tools and a big truck (I borrowed Dad's), brought in a pot roast, and did dishes. Tonight I was the NDP's observer for the ballot count, which is mostly only a vague formality unless and until some kind of election fraud goes down, but I detected none. Afterward I went to the NDP party, where many people were depressed over losing the general majority, and others were still cheerful over what we did win; the NDP held on to most of Edmonton, and some of Calgary, Lethbridge, and possibly Banff. A lot of people have to get to serious work tomorrow.

And I went back and looked at the numbers, and in Alberta:

25 out of 87 seats is still the second-best the NDP has ever done in an election

It’s the FIRST time the NDP has held onto more than two seats over an election.

And it’s the largest Opposition party the Conservatives have had to sit across from in 25 years.

2015 wasn’t a fluke. Alberta won’t accept Conservatism the way it used to.

Running as a Conservative in Alberta used to be the closest you could get to a sure thing. But now? They can’t take that for granted anymore.


Apr. 16th, 2019 10:36 am
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[personal profile] marthawells
Yesterday was a particularly rough day, all around.

Three things:

* The rebuilding of Notre Dame will be funded, but here's a fundraiser for the three historical African-American churches in Lousiana that were burned in a racist arson attack:


* Sandstone has a free post on her Patreon about Tanith Lee: https://www.patreon.com/posts/22363913

I can't recommend Sandstone's Patreon enough. She says:

I am a queer science fiction and fantasy fan in St. Louis, Missouri. I grew up reading my mom's fantasy paperbacks and wandering through used bookstores and book sales in the late 90s and 00s, slowly expanding my little hoard of books from then or a little earlier with a special focus on space opera and secondary world fantasy by women and queer authors.

The period from 1980 through 2000 was one of increasing diversity in SFF, with an increasing number of women, queer authors, and authors of color in the genre, but it's one we don't talk about too much today and I've been curious why. Your support through Patreon will help me raise awareness of backlist titles from this era and explore the history of the genre as I read and share what I learn from nonfiction about the genre!

These are the books I grew up reading, the ones so many people nowadays want to say never existed.

* Author Gene Wolfe passed away on Sunday. I only met Gene Wolfe a few times, but he was always really nice to me. I was on a panel with him at the Texas Book Festival sometime around 98-2000. I told the story about the copyeditor who tried to rewrite The Death of the Necromancer and take out Reynard, and he and Neal Barrett Jr. became so angry on my behalf that they pounded on the table and yelled. Neither one of them had read the book, it was just the principle of it.

I did the thing

Apr. 15th, 2019 01:43 pm
sebenikela: (Default)
[personal profile] sebenikela
The thing is done.

I am officially Dr. Mo

Time to collapse for 2 hours and then go give a seminar talk and have a big group dinner...


Apr. 13th, 2019 07:44 pm
stultiloquentia: Campbells condensed primordial soup (Default)
[personal profile] stultiloquentia
Inspired by Captain Awkward's tweet, "That feeling when someone asks for a specific kind of book or movie—genre-wise, or chasing a particular mood—and you're like 'maybe try this one' 'cause you don't want to oversell it but inside you know 'THIS IS THE ONE' and then they read it and are like 'THAT WAS THE ONE'... I've matchmade friends into happy marriages and felt less pleasure tbh"

Here is a list of five things I crave in fiction (not necessarily all at the same time). Do you have a book for me? If you meme this with your own list, I will try to find a book for you!
  • Smart people being smart. Bonus if collaboratively.
  • People joyously geeking out about science or art or whatever niche interest.
  • Romances with a big focus on talking. People falling in love over interesting conversations that I actually get to see on the page.
  • Certain flavours of cosiness that avoid being twee. Groups of friends sitting around after dinner, shooting the breeze.
  • A baseline of hope.

I like most genres, fiction and nonfiction, excluding horror and true crime. Some books and movies that have nailed certain elements listed above:

Possession by A.S. Byatt
The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Aubreyad by Patrick O'Brian
Les invasions barbares (2003)
Pride (2014)
Persuasion (1995)
Slings and Arrows (2003)

a very tired update

Apr. 10th, 2019 05:29 pm
sebenikela: (Default)
[personal profile] sebenikela

I am in University Town. I went to a friend's thesis defense this afternoon to remind myself of the protocol for these things and talked to some people afterwards. I got a lot of "I didn't recognize you at first!" which feels somewhat odd, but whatever, I guess it has been since December 2016. Everyone has been friendly.

My defense is on Monday, and there's a bunch of stuff I need to get ready before then. Mostly logistics, but also two presentations, both mostly recycled but still, it's work. My advisor has apparently planned Events for Monday, which suggests that he doesn't hate me for being a disaster human fuckup for the past two years. So that's nice. But also: defense, reception, lunch, seminar, dinner, all in one day? I am going to be wildly overdrawn on social interaction brainpoints.

I did get to watch Free Solo on the flight (cc: [personal profile] rydra_wong) and it was quite good. I would like my amygdala to take just a FEW cues from Alex Honnold's--like, i don't need to free climb anything let alone fucking El Cap, but it would be nice if "I should go over and say hi to some people at a social thing in an hour" didn't make my hindbrain think it's about to be eaten by tigers. (I probably have more thoughts but I've slept about 2 hours in the last 30 so my brain is not really working)

The movie also reminded me about the odd grace really good rock climbers have, and now I'm wondering how feasible it is to go periodically to the climbing gym that's an hour and a bit away from home. Rock climbing is one of those things I've done off and on and always really enjoyed, but I haven't ever had consistent enough access to a place to train to actually get good at it. Alas.

Anyway. I should go say hi to some people, probably, but I may just go to the grocery store and then rest instead.


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Laura E. Price

January 2019

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