Update

Sep. 24th, 2017 11:32 am
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[personal profile] stevenpiziks
I'm in stasis. The stent comes out on Thursday at the doctor's office.  They insert a scope with local anesthetic and pull it out.  I get panicky every time I think about it.  My hands were shaking as I typed those words, in fact.  The medications I'm on dry my mouth out.  The stent drags at me.  Constant pain in the bathroom, more blood.  I have zero energy, and I'm often light-headed.  I can't be on my feet for more than a few minutes at a time.  I honestly don't know how I'm going to cope this week at work. 

Every teacher at Wherever has to chaperone at least one after-school event as part of the contract.  Before the kidney stones slammed me, I had signed up to chaperone the freshman fall dance, which was last Friday.  I thought about backing out, but it was only two hours in the evening, so I went.  It was a mistake.  I got through the event (Darwin came, too), but I was exhausted when I got home, and all the next day too.

I'm not sleeping well.  My mind goes back to everything that happened at the hospital and everything that's coming up--the stent coming out, more lithotripsy for my other kidney (which means more general anesthetic), probably another stent on the other side afterward.  I panic, and I don't know how to stop.  Darwin is here with me, but doesn't know what to do other than reassure me that it'll get better.

I've done a lot of reading on stents, the related medications, and the side-effects, and the symptoms I'm having aren't outside the norm, though they're on the outer edge.  I'm not in danger.  But my body tells me I am, and it makes me panic easily.  I'm trying to tell myself that I could be in Houston or Puerto Rico, and after a day there, I'd be glad to return to my current problem.  It doesn't help much.

I finally called around and found a counselor. I have an appointment with him on Tuesday, two days before the stent comes out (and there my hands are shaking again).  I don't know how I'll cope through Thursday, but I don't have much choice.

letters, Johnson & DeVos

Sep. 24th, 2017 08:25 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
Dear Senator Johnson:

You have been saying terrible things about people with "pre-existing" conditions for all of 2017, comparing us to cars, saying that we should pay more for our healthcare, even though most "pre-existing" conditions are not caused by anything a person does or by bad choices they make. In fact, since pregnancy is a "pre-existing condition," you are actively punishing people for having families--which seems to run counter to the agenda the Republican Party has been pushing for years The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal, which callously strips all protections from people like me (and which makes it entirely possible that a premature baby will hit his or her lifetime cap before leaving the hospital for the first time), makes it clear that in fact you have no idea of what it's like not to be able to afford healthcare, or to have a chronic, incurable condition, and that you don't even have enough imagination to be able to empathize with the people whose lives you are destroying.

Moreover, given that there is astonishing unity among healthcare professionals, patients' interest groups, and major insurers (plus all fifty Medicaid administrators and a current count of eighteen governors), it is quite clear that you aren't doing this because it's a good idea. You don't care whether it will be good or bad for your constituents. All you care about--and more than one of your Republican colleagues have admitted as much--is repealing "Obamacare." You're doing this because you made a campaign promise, and you're too blindly self-centered to see that this is a promise that would be better honored in the breach than in the observance. You and your colleagues are behaving childishly, destroying something only because you hate the person who built it. The ACA is not failing, as you keep claiming it is, Senator. It is suffering mightily from obstructionism and deliberate sabotage from you and your colleagues, and, yes, it does need reform. But your proposal isn't reform. It's wanton demolition of legislation that is working, legislation that is succeeding in making the lives of Americans better, demolition which you are pushing without the slightest consideration of its effects on the people you claim you serve.

I'm not writing this letter because I expect you will change your mind--or, frankly, even read it. I'm writing this letter because I'm angry and scared and unbelievably frustrated with your deliberately cruel and blindly stupid determination to do something that no one in this country wants. You won't change your mind, but you can't say you didn't know there was opposition.

P.S. I'd still really like to see you denounce white supremacism, Senator. Because right now, I unwillingly believe you don't think there's anything wrong with it.

***

Dear Ms. DeVos:

I am appalled at your decision to roll back the protections given to sexual assault survivors by Title IX. I'm not surprised, because it's perfectly in line with the other cruel, short-sighted, and bigoted decisions you've made since being appointed Secretary of Education, but I honestly wonder (and I wonder this about a number of Trump appointees, so you needn't think you're alone) how you live with yourself. How do you justify, even if only to yourself, the damage you're doing? Do you believe the lies you tell?

I'm not going to quote statistics, because I'm sure they've been shown to you. I'm not going to try to change your mind with personal stories. I am going to ask, futilely, that you stop and truly think about the young women whose college careers, already catastrophically imperiled by the sexual assault they have survived, may be destroyed because of the policies you're implementing. And I'm going to ask how on earth you think this destruction is part of your mandate as Secretary of Education?

Everyone's civil rights need to be respected. I believe this strongly enough to belong to the ACLU. But victims' rights are historically ignored, trampled on, and outright broken, especially in cases of sexual assault, especially when the perpetrator is white and male. I also strongly believe that the purpose of government should be to ensure that privilege is not used to skew justice. It was already crushingly difficult for sexual assault survivors to report their assailants. You have made it that much harder, and that much more likely that they will simply remain silent. I cannot help thinking that that silence is your goal, and that, Ms. DeVos, is truly shameful.

Nominations Queries Post Four

Sep. 25th, 2017 02:07 am
morbane: uletide mod image of guinea pig among daisies (mod)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide_admin
We have been working on the tag set for 195 hours, and the number of individual fandom nominations has gone down from 5058 to 43. (Many of which 43 are mentioned below.) There are 3171 approved fandoms now in the tag set. We’re nearly there! Please note, though - the tag set won’t open the moment we hit zero. We’ll need a break to catch a breath & some of our own mistakes.


Please help us with the following issues:

Barcelona (album) - this is nominated only with characters Boy and Girl. Could the nominator please confirm what album they mean (the one by Freddie Mercury?) and what is meant by the characters? It seems like they might appear in just one song, The Golden Boy. Please clarify.

Battle: Los Angeles (2011) - By fandom name, this appears to be a nomination for the movie, but one character, Lee Imlay, appeas to be specific to the tie-in game. Could the nominator please confirm that all characters appear in the same canon, and confirm which canon they mean?

Carly Rae Jepsen (Musician) - This is nominated with the characters Alana Haim and Carly Rae Jepsen. We’re not really sure what the connection between the two is - could the nominator please clarify or suggest another fandom label?

CNN Pundits RPF - It’s not clear to us that The Magic Wall (anthropomorphic) belongs in an RPF nomination. Could the nominator please explain their reasoning?

Chronicles of the Raven - James Barclay - Ry Darrick only seems to appear in the sequel trilogy; is that incorrect, or does this fandom label cover both trilogies? We’d also appreciate a little more information on the Unknown Warrior.

Devil’s Cub - Georgette Heyer and These Old Shades - Georgette Heyer - these have been approved separately, with characters Dominic Alastair, Justin Alastair, Léonie de Saint-Vire, and Mary Challoner, and Hugh Davenant, Justin Alastair, Leonie, and Rupert Alastair, respectively. However, it’s been pointed out that they form a series. If (and only if) both nominators are willing, we will merge the nominations as the Alistair-Audley series. Nominators, how do you feel about that?

The Katering Show - We’re a bit confused by the nomination of The Thermomix as a character. Could the nominator please give their reasoning?

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) - This fandom has already been approved, but we’d like to hear from anyone who nominated the tag The Mage | Guinevere. This is the canonical tag on AO3 (and Yuletide’s use of it is unlikely to change that; if you have strong opinions please refer them to Support). However, one person who nominated The Mage has argued that they are separate. Would the other nominator also be OK with changing The Mage | Guinevere to just The Mage? If so, we will change it; if not, we will leave it as The Mage | Guinevere.

NaPolA | Before the Fall (2004) - Two characters, Albrecht Stein and Friedrich Weimer, are characters in the film; the other two, Florian Stetter and Martin Goeres, are actors. Nominator, could you please confirm whether you wanted to nominate the movie, or to nominate an RPF canon of the movie’s actors?

Nemocnice na kraji města | The Hospital on the Outskirts of the City (TV) - This title seems to refer to several different versions & reboots of a show. The character Eliška Králová seems to only appear in the 2003 sequel show, Nemocnice na kraji města po dvaceti letech | Hospital at the End of the City Twenty Years On, while the other nominated character Ina Blažejová is in both the 1978 and 2003 shows. Could the nominator please clarify what canon is covered by the title they’ve nominated?

Never Too Wanted - The Composed Faucet Collection (Commercial) - We can’t figure out which character you’ve identified as the US Marshall - pointers, please?

No Game No Life - Kamiya Yuu - we're a little confused by the character 『 』| Kuuhaku | Blank. Could the nominator please give their reasoning for nominating this character separately?

The Scarlet Pimpernel - Takarazuka Revue - The nominated characters Chauvelin (Ryuu Masaki) and Chauvelin (Yuzuki Reon) appear to come from separate runs of this production, in 2008 and 2010. Nominator, could you please share your reasoning on nominating them together?

Smosh - the characters nominated are Keith Leak Jr., Noah Grossman, Olivia Sui, and Shayne Topp. Could the nominator please clarify if this is a nomination for RPF, or for fictionalized characters that share the names of the real people?

Southpaw Regional Wrestling - we can’t find confirmation that a “Swamp Monster” appeared in this canon. Could the nominator please clarify and confirm?

Star Wars Legends: X-wing Series - Aaron Allston & Michael Stackpole - We have approved this nomination. However, we have also approved a nomination for Star Wars Legends: X-wing Series - All Media Types, with characters Derek "Hobbie" Klivian (X-Wing), Plourr Ilo (X-Wing), Rial Pernon (X-Wing), and Wes Janson (X-Wing). Could the nominator of the Allston & Stackpole series please confirm if it is okay to combine their nomination with the All Media Types nomination?

Trial and Error (TV 2017) - We can't find the character Anne Cox. Could the nominator please confirm and give us pointers to when she appeared? (Did you mean Dan Cox?)

决对争锋 | Duì Jué Zhēn Fēng | Beloved Enemy - We can't tell if this refers to the audio drama, the web series, or both, and if both, we'd appreciate a further comment on why they should be grouped together, please. This was nominated with the characters Gu Qing Pei, Peng Fang, Wang Jin, and Yuan Yang.


All Media Types fandoms
We need clarification from the person (or people) who nominated the following fandoms. Please specify a single version of the canon and provide a link to your nominations page so we can confirm the nomination. If these aren't answered, the fandoms will be rejected:

  • Kino no Tabi | Kino's Journey - All Media Types, characters: Kino (Kino no Tabi)

  • Kizoku Tantei, characters: unnamed main character (Kizoku Tantei)

  • Kurosagi - All Media Types, characters: Kashina Masaru, Katsuragi Toshio, Kurosaki (Kurosagi), Yoshikawa Tsurara

  • A Room With a View - All Media Types, characters: Charlotte Bartlett, Eleanor Lavish




If you are commenting about your own nomination to say what you would like done with characters or fandoms, please link your nominations page! It is the page you get by clicking ‘My Nominations’ from the tag set.

If you notice any problems with your nominations - mis-spellings, etc - feel free to comment on this post.

Interesting Links for 24-09-2017

Sep. 24th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Sandy stroked the lovely back at present turned towards him, body out-flung in relaxation after pleasurable exertions. If Geoff was dog-like, Maurice Allard was more like a cat, and he never knew whether the claws would be out or whether it would be curling up and purring.

Maurice rolled over and looked at him. Is it not time you were leaving?

What, have I over-stayed my welcome?

Maurice glowered. All I may offer now is my company: even if you are not, I am by now entire done.

I am wont to consider myself a somewhat prickly fellow: but you are entire porcupine. Am I supposed to hurry into my clothes and pretend this did not happen?

Maurice sat up and clasped his arms around his knees. Why, are fellows enough will try to pretend 'tis not happening even when 'tis.

That cannot conduce to much felicity in the act. But might I not enjoy your company?

Maurice looked at him in astonishment. How could you so?

Why not?

Oh come, here you are a fellow of learning, that Chumbell will admit even did you never attend Oxford, and very widely accepted in Society, how could you find my company agreeable?

My dearest friend is a former courtesan that had no education but what she gleaned as a child of the theatre, and is quite the wisest person of either sex that I know. You are a fellow that appears entire accepted and respected at the club –

Maurice snorted. I first entered the club by that discreet back door that admits young fellows that will oblige members for a guinea or so –

Also, while I daresay ladies will go cry up your eye for style and fashion, 'tis also given out that you are a fine businessman, that you manage your money very prudent, have sound investments

How do you know all this?

Sandy sat up. Because, my dear fellow, I had your relatives coming to me, one by one, to inform me that indeed you were not one to fall into hysterical panic, that were you worried about some matter to do with your establishment there was surely something behind even did you not see clearly what it was, that I should not be put off by your manner, that is entire what is expected in your profession, that you have quite made something of yourself -

Maurice groaned.

My dear, said Sandy, taking him by the shoulders, I fancy that you will feel a deal better once you have dined – is there anywhere nearby we might go do so?

You cannot wish to be seen dining with me! He threw himself off the bed and began looking for the clothes he had quite recklessly discarded.

Do you suppose that must be quite obvious that we have been about committing a capital offence, do we go dine?

Why else would you be in my company?

I might wish to give Lady Bexbury some present – say a fine fan, or a decoration for her hair, or a bracelet – and wish to be assured that 'twill sort with her wardrobe; I might be going to write some piece in a newspaper or even a pamphlet, upon the business of fashion and the sufferings of needlewomen; or, since 'tis given out that I am very clandestine and under a false name a writer of novels, seeking information for some fine tale of the silver fork school now that the Gothic strain is no longer in fashion.

Maurice stared at him.

Sandy slid off the bed and began to gather up his own scattered garments and to remember where he had left his spectacles. He observed Maurice moving about the room and was reminded of Josh Ferraby describing a panther: Josh was wont to enact whatever animal he was talking of, in private conversation, if not when he addressed scientific meetings. Undoubtedly something feline.

Well, said Maurice, when they were both dressed, do you care to dine at a common chop-house there is one in the next street.

So they went around the corner and into the next street and found a comfortable booth in the chop-house and ordered beef-steak and ale, and while it might not be as finely-cooked as anything that came out of Euphemia’s kitchen, it was perfectly wholesome and very welcome. Even did they sit in entire silence.

Eventually, when hunger was satiated, Sandy pushed away his plate and said, why do you stare so at me?

Maurice shook his head. You – surprize me. He fell silent again.

Indeed, said Sandy, in order to do something that looked like making conversation, I fancy that 'twould be a pretty gesture to buy some present for Clorinda that would be somewhat unexpected. Sure I have given her a deal of books over the years –

Jade bracelet, said Maurice. She lately saw some lady wearing one and wondered would it suit her.

I have no experience whatsoever in buying jewellery for ladies –

Say you so! (Well, that had evoked a smile.) I have a fair notion of the kind of thing she meant, and know where I may acquire one: I am also well-acquainted with the dimensions of Her Ladyship’s wrist. I will be about the matter and send it to you.

Or, said Sandy, I might come and collect it.

So you might, had you no more pressing business.

They looked at one another. 'Tis exceeding good of you to take the trouble, said Sandy.

Sure I owe you some favour.

They fell silent again, drank up their ale, and left. The rain had stopped. I can walk from here, said Sandy. Shall, I daresay, see you at the club if not before.

Maurice nodded and turned in the other direction.

Sandy shrugged mentally, and walked off towards Clorinda’s house.

Where he found her, seated at her desk and scribbling away with great ardour.

My dear, surely you have not been all this while at that immense bore Linsleigh’s party for his painting, that I daresay includes a deal of fellows in dishabille.

No, had opportunity to pursue this investigation –

That minds me, I am a sad forgetful Clorinda when I have been burying myself with abbots and monks and priors &C – came a note for you from Geoffrey Merrett, the boy was hoping for a reply but we sent him away. But do you write a reply, we might send William.

Sandy looked up from the note. He writes that something very troubling has occurred and would desire dine with me at his club at my earliest convenience. But I think we may spare William until the morn: I will write something now and he can take it then.

Clorinda got up from the desk and waved him towards it. Be about the matter and we can give it to Hector. Sure I hope 'tis not that he has got the lady with child. And, now I am come back from the Middle Ages, I mind that there was another troubling matter I wished open to you.

After the note had been given to Hector with instruction that he need not dispatch it immediately, and he had brought in port and madeira, Clorinda pushed the book in which she had been writing into a drawer of the desk and went to sit down by the fire.

May be nothing at all, she said, but Lucy Lowndes came call, saying that she had been to call upon Gretchen Paffenrath, and found her in a very great taking, saying that she thinks she saw her husband lately while she was shopping in Oxford Street. But did not want to go too close and did not get a clear view, but ‘twas very like indeed.

Hmm, said Sandy, I am surprized that he did not immediately go call upon her.

He may not know that she was left so very well-provided by Mr Knowles: oh! I hope he tied up any settlement carefully against any claim by that dreadful fellow.

I fancy Sebastian Knowles might know somewhat of the matter: I will go call upon him as soon as maybe.

Sandy suddenly sneezed.

My dear! I hope you do not go take a chill. You had better go to bed at once, I will send Prue up with a warming pan.

andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
I've been paying attention to the many attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)* and what's been really obvious in the last year is that the Republican majority don't actually want to repeal it.

There seem to be three different groups:
1) Republican Senators who can see that Obamacare is actually about as right-wing a way to have universal healthcare as you can get**, and don't actually want to get rid of it.
2) Republican Senators who may or may not be in favour of Obamacare, but can see that their constituents are now attached to their healthcare, will be furious if they lose it, and only have a slim majority which they are terrified of losing at the next election.
3) Republican Senators who really are against Obamacare.

The problem here is that all three groups need to pretend that they're in category (3), because they've spent the last decade telling their supporters how terrible Obamacare is, to the point where there are voters who support all of the individual parts of the bill, and even the "Affordable Care Act" but will be will be against Obamacare.

And the longer the ACA exists, and the more that voters understand about it (as is happening the more Republicans talk about it) the more popular it gets. To the point where a majority of the public are now in favour of it***. But the Republican Party now has a central point of belief that "Obamacare is bad".

Which means that in order to be against it, but not actually remove it, we're left with a few Republican Senators taking it in turns to vote against repeal, on various largely spurious grounds. Being very careful to say "Oh no, I hate Obamacare as much as the next person. But I can't vote to repeal it this time, because of a minor provision. Maybe next time." - and then the next time a _different_ Republican Senator can do exactly the same thing.

None of which means that Obamacare is safe. It's balanced on a bunch of senators believing that if they repeal it they'll lose their jobs. So every time a repeal bill is put forward they have to be persuaded _again_ that the public still cares. And I am very grateful for my US friends who are involved in getting people to phone their representatives every time it comes up.

But I am moderately hopeful that we'll make it through to the mid-terms without it being repealed. Because I don't think that a majority of the senate actually wants it to be.****


*There were over 50 of these between 2011 and 2014, goodness knows how many we're up to now
**Not surprising, as it's very similar to RomneyCare.
***But only 17% of registered Republicans. It's the swing voters who have moved.
****But don't trust me. This is just my impression from what I've read from, frankly, a long way away.

Out For the Weekend

Sep. 23rd, 2017 03:54 pm

The rain hath rainedeth every day

Sep. 23rd, 2017 05:03 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

But nonetheless there has been sightseeing.

I already mentioned Rynek Underground.

The Mehoffer House, which is an artist's house, pehaps more interesting for the interiors than the art, but with an ace cafe, the Meho Cafe.

The National Museum - there are lots of branches, we went to the main building, which seemed mostly arts and crafts + the Lady with the Ermine.

There is probably more to see than we saw at Wawel Hill, but we did the State Rooms and the Royal Private Apartments of the Royal Palace, and the cathedral. Must remark that dwelling in marble halls, or at least spending several hours walking/standing on floors of that substance, does my lower back thing no favours.

We did an organised tour to the Wieliczka Salt Mine: very impressive. (Much more spectacular than the one in Cheshire which is now an archive store.)

Today we went to Kazimierz, which on reflection, was not, being Saturday, the ideal day to do so - had intended going earlier in the week but ran out of time/energy.

There have also been visits to a number of churches, which after a while tend to run together - lotsa baroque.

james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Which is creating the Amazon and Chapters links for the book being review, I know one particular book is $19.19 if you buy it from Kobo and $11.71 from Kindle....

Review: A Crime to Remember

Sep. 23rd, 2017 08:46 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
Not about books, but definitely a review.

Hulu has episodes from 3 seasons of A Crime to Remember, which is an Investigation Discovery show. In my ongoing love/hate relationship with true crime media, ID stands out for their high production values and for about as unexploitative an attitude as you can have. (I wonder, perhaps unworthily, if part of what makes ACtR seem thoughtful rather than vulture-like is that the executive producer and a bunch of the writers & directors are women.) I have also been very fond of Homicide Hunter, partly because the show does not try to sugarcoat Lt. Joe Kenda at all. He's very good at his job, and he is a ruthless avenging angel, but he is not a nice man. I kind of adore him. (I'm pretty sure he'd hate me, but that's okay.)

But ACtR. All the episodes are period pieces. (I joked to my therapist that they must have come up with the idea because they wanted everyone to be able to smoke on camera.) I'm not super fond of the gimmick, in which every episode has a narrator who is a minor fictional character in the real crime being portrayed, but most of the time it works okay. (It works extremely well--give credit where it's due--in "The 28th Floor" (2.4).) The actors--"character" actors all--are excellent, and most of the time they even get the accents matched up to the region. (There are exceptions.) And the producers have interview clips with true crime writers who have written about the cases; with people who investigated the cases (when those people are still alive); with Mary Ellen O'Toole and other experts in various fields; with friends and family of murderers and victims alike. They frequently featured Michelle MacNamara before her death in April 2016--pretty obviously because she was very good at conveying information clearly but without sounding scripted. And, again, because they seem to look for women. They also have gotten Catherine Pelonero more than once. (I actually haven't been able to bring myself to watch the episode about Kitty Genovese, but Pelonero does a great job in the other episodes I have watched her in.)

My true, serious beef with ACtR is its insistent trope of the loss of American innocence. Almost every case is framed as something that destroyed a piece of American innocence, and this is infuriating to me for several reasons:

1. America has never been innocent.

2. The idea of the Golden Age, the before time just out of reach in which everything was perfect, is a very, very old fallacy. (The Romans were all over it.) I think it is pernicious, because it validates reactionary attempts to return to "the good old days," which are "good" (in 20th century America) only if you are white, middle-class or above, and it helps if you're male. ACtR does deal with racism, sexism, and classism, but it doesn't seem to recognize the contradictory position it puts itself in thereby.

3. Casting these crimes as destroyers of American innocence erases crimes that went before. I can give one very specific example: "Baby Come Home" (2.8) about the 1953 kidnapping and murder of Bobby Greenlease, who was murdered before his kidnappers ever tried to extort ransom from his parents. Now I am not at all denying that what happened to Bobby Greenlease is vile and horrible and an expression of the worst part of human nature, but claiming that Carl Austin Hall and Bonnie Heady somehow invented kidnapping children for ransom--or even just the worst and most cruel of bad faith negotiations after the child was already dead--erases what happened to, for one example, Charles Lindbergh, Jr. Or, for another example, Charley Ross. If there was any innocence to be lost in this particular genre of crime, it was lost in 1874, 79 years before Bobby Greenlease's death.

So, yeah. That's the one thing that I really think they get wrong. Otherwise, they do a lovely job, and they have taught me about murders I'd never heard of but I think should not be forgotten: the terrible deaths of Judge Curtis Chillingworth and his wife Marjorie in West Palm Beach in 1955; Charles Whitman's sniper assault on the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Texas in 1966 (which I knew about, but knew kind of wrongly); the bizarre murder of Betty Williams in Odessa, Texas, in 1961; the murder of Veronica Gedeon in New York in 1937, and how the case was largely solved by the editors of the true crime magazines she was a cover model for; the murder of Roseann Quinn in New York in 1973, which was the inspiration for Looking for Mr. Goodbar, and I deeply appreciate the way ACtR questions the LfMG myth and suggests that Theresa Dunn is a cruel travesty of the real Roseann Quinn and the reality of her death. If you are interested in criminology or American history (because nothing tells you more about a culture than its cause celebre murders), I commend this series to your attention.
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[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Maurice was in some puzzlement as to how, having courteously regretted he could not receive Lady Trembourne back into his establishment, he might bring her back without having to humble himself and ask her. The solution to the problem was, fortunately, put into his hands by her sister-in-law.

The Countess of Pockinford was a long-cherished patron: still a pretty little dumpling after a fruitful marriage bearing a fine thriving family. Alas, she still posed the problem of how to dress her in the crack of style without offending the Earl’s Evangelical strictures upon the necessity for womanly modesty in dress – that meant that she was more modestly dressed even than her sister, a clergyman’s wife: but the Reverend Mr Lucas did not think that a low-cut neckline in keeping with the dictates of fashion was the debauchery that led to the fall of the Roman Empire. But Maurice contrived, and no-one considered the Countess a dowd.

Maurice was busy about checking that her measurements were still the same when she said, nervously, O, Maurice, I know you must have a deal on hand, so many clients and coming up so near to the Season, but Lady Trembourne has been in a most exceeding taking over the shocking business with Madame Francine.

Oh?

Could you fit her – o, and Lady Sarah – I should be most exceeding grateful.

Well – Maurice began, and saw the famed trembling of the Countess’s lower lip and the air of impending tearfulness, that could cause the most disagreeable of ladies in the philanthropic set – if not her sister-in-law – to fall in with her wishes. Do you ask it, Lady Pockinford, I will see can I make a little time when I might undertake the two of 'em. I daresay I shall be able to find enough hands - sure the seamstresses at Madame Francine’s found themselves cast out and, I hear, wages unpaid.

O, 'tis quite shocking! cried Lady Pockinford. Is not the lot of a seamstress hard enough already? Lady Bexbury and I were discussing the matter only lately. I am sure you treat your needlewomen well, but I daresay that you are obliged to turn the majority of them off for a good part of the year?

Indeed 'tis so – worked to rags during the Season, alas, and then having to make do on piece-work at home –

Or indeed, said Lady Pockinford, falling into vice.

So 'tis given out. If you would just turn around a little and raise your arms?

So we are thinking about a plan, for there is a matter about making clothes for the orphans, and ladies say, would it not be a fine thing to have a working-party? but then there is ever some reason why they may not come work, and Lady Bexbury said, sure there are women that need such employment, did we get up a fund for a work-room, where they might come and be in good conditions and be paid, and mayhap get a meal, and their moral character would be preserved –

Why, 'tis a most excellent plan, and I daresay Lady Bexbury is already about writing some pamphlet upon the matter, I will certainly take a few to lay about the receiving-room so that the ladies that come here may learn of this enterprize.

O, cried Lady Pockinford with her pretty dimpling smile, O, that is so very kind.

He smiled and shook his head after she had left. One would say she deserved better than a husband with such narrow views, but 'twas entirely known within Society that they doated upon one another.

He made the final notes for her gowns, including the need to make some alterations to her mannequin, tidied everything away, looked about the room, put on his hat and coat and picked up his cane, and with a slight sigh departed for Basil’s studio.

For Basil had been most pressing among their set for a party to come see the unveiling of his latest large painting – the Theban Band at the Battle of Chaeronea – and seemed in a somewhat touchy mood at present. Mayhap – if there was no re-opening of this foolish suggestion that he should come act as Basil’s factotum – he might even remain behind when the company had departed.

Or maybe he would not, he thought, when he observed Basil making up to Tom Tressillian, even if 'twas only so that Tom would commission a painting of himself in some telling character. And – good heavens – was that young Orlando Richardson? Sure he bore a considerable resemblance to his late great-uncle Elias Winch. Had his doting mama not complained to Maurice at her fittings that in spite of being educated up a gentleman by her doting all-but-husband Danvers Dalrymple, nothing would do for her son but to go on stage? – in the tones of one that felt she should make some complaint but was rather pleased than otherwise.

Maurice went over to desire an introduction and discovered that the person obscured behind an easel with a half-finished canvas upon it was MacDonald. They exchanged civil nods. Do you know Mr Richardson? Permit me to introduce you.

O, indeed I have heard of you! said the young man. Mama will ever sing your praises.

I see, said MacDonald, that our host neglects his duties. Let me get you a glass of wine.

Maurice took the wine and wondered, could it be that Basil was deliberately snubbing him, rather than merely momentarily dazzled by the handsome young actor?

Indeed, Basil’s manner to him seemed unwonted brusque, compared to his attentions to the rest of the company. If he was going to behave thus, Maurice was not going to linger. He took his outer garments from Basil’s man, and went out into an evening that had turned to pelting sleety rain.

Here – a hand grabbed his arm – I have just managed to wave down a hansom, get in before you are drenched.

Maurice allowed himself to be thrust into the cab and sat down. He relished the prospect of getting thoroughly soaked even less than sharing the narrow space with MacDonald.

MacDonald remarked that he now apprehended why Lady Bexbury called Linsleigh that great bore - while he will never rival Mr Nixon of the Home Office, he is still a very tedious fellow. But, he went on, I fancy he is a friend of yours – perchance he may show better in different company?

Instead of saying in waspish tones that doubtless Basil was not up to Mr MacDonald’s most exceeding exacting standards, Maurice replied that indeed, Basil was wont to run on without noting whether his listeners were interested or not.

(Damn. He did not want to find himself agreeing with MacDonald over such a matter.)

Where should you like to be dropped?

Maurice gave the direction for his lodgings – I hope 'tis not out of your way?

Not in the least. But – since we are met thus – I mind that there was a matter I have been commissioned to investigate, that you may have some intelligence concerning. He looked about for a moment and said, I do not suppose the cab-driver goes spy, but yet I had rather it were a little more private. Is there some time we might –

Maurice, who was already feeling those sensations that he had become accustomed to experience in close proximity to MacDonald, bit his lip and then said, why do you not step up to my lodgings, have you no engagement to be at –

Why, should only take a moment or so, but is very gracious of you.

Of course he was only going to ask whatever question it was, and then go away again. He would not stay.

They ascended the stairs in silence, and Maurice unlocked the door. Latching it behind him, he turned to where MacDonald was looking about him with interest, entirely intending – no, only that – to ask what his investigation was, and found himself going lean up against him.

A hand stroked down his back and then MacDonald said thoughtfully, we are both standing here with our hats still on in rain-splashed coats that we should take off. That is, if you have any desire for me to linger beyond the five minutes I think my question like to take.

You must know I do. Do you wish to stay?

In answer, MacDonald began to remove his coat.

Maurice swallowed. I will just go and light the fire, he said.

He was still kneeling by the hearth when MacDonald came in. He stood up and said, I only have gin, would you care for anything to drink.

Not in particular, but do you do as you would like.

Maurice went and poured himself a glass of gin. So, he said, what did you wish to ask me?

Firstly, do you dress Lady Sarah Channery?

Maurice turned around. I used to, she then followed Lady Trembourne to Madame Francine’s, and I have been beguiled into saying I will go dress the two of 'em again. Why?

Did she ever make use of your discreet chamber?

Maurice snorted. Lady Sarah? Why do you ask? – O, I apprehend what this is about. Sir Stockwell thinks she has took a lover: if she has, must be very recent.

Oh, she has, I have it on the very best authority. But I thought it possibly material to discover whether she was in the habit.

I confide not. But has she admitted to you - ?

Not she; the gentleman that has been enjoying her favours.

There is some fellow going around boasting upon the matter?

Not in the least, I am sure he is entire discreet and would not at all desire to have a crim. con action brought against him: but is a good friend of mine, and disclosed it to me because the lady had received a note demanding recompense for silence. The danger is probably passed, now Mrs Fanny has disappeared, but I wonder if ‘twas an accustomed practice with Lady Sarah to enter upon such liaisons; also whether any ladies that have returned to you have said aught of similar demands?

Not so far. But – at least, as he has given it out – Sir Stockwell is not in any jealous passion in the matter, merely wishes ascertain whether there will be any scandal –

But does Lady Sarah apprehend that?

Perchance not! I fancy 'tis not such a case as the Zellens, where they have come to a mutual understanding.

He gulped down the last of the gin and walked across the room to where MacDonald was sitting. I should say that now these questions are asked and answered, you should go.

Yes, of course you should. And do you ask me to, I will.

Maurice straddled the outstretched legs and stooped to kiss that mouth that was so very lovely when it smiled as it was doing now.

Smooch Update AGAIN

Sep. 22nd, 2017 10:54 pm
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
[personal profile] naamah_darling
Talked to the vet again, at much greater length, and I have my feet under me, I think.

Here's what we are looking at:

EXPENSES 6-12 MONTHS
$120 for the next round of bloodwork, either in 12 months or if he starts declining again, whichever comes first.
$100 for in-office euthanasia if necessary (I always want to have this amount on hand, even if he seems totally okay)
$60 for tending to his body respectfully.
$120 for what I think should be 3 months' worth of dry AND wet foods, and kidney-safe treats. (I'm having trouble with this math, since I don't know exactly how many servings are in this bag, or how much he will eat.)
$70 for his regular anxiety meds and lysine treats.

= $470 as a cushion against the most likely expenses over the next year or so, plus the non-negotiable meds and food, and the mercy fund in case he needs to be put to sleep.


PLUS OPTIONAL
$230 for an "optional" X-ray, which I very much want to get so we can check for other things like tumors. I REALLY want this quite badly, but it IS optional.
$400 for a full-body clean at Skulls Unlimited, like I did for Tazendra. This is genuinely optional. I'm not expecting this. Just the skull is $60.

= $630 extra, for stuff that would be good or cool to have.

TOTAL, that would be $1,100.

That is doable with a head start and help from y'all.

If you are comfortable donating a few bucks outright, I take paypal at naamah@gmail.com.

If you want something concrete, I will be posting some art stuff, listing some ponies on eBay, and maybe taking some small art commissions. I will try to get that stuff up on Monday, as well as bumping this post.

I am very optimistic after my talk with our vet today. I have a lot of hope, and overall this isn't looking too bad right now. I just want to build up a cushion so that we can keep him safe.

Thank you all for your kind words of support, which have been worth my stupid cat's weight in gold. It's good to see that there's hope. <3

Thank you for having my back, and his.

Here he is being stinky and beautiful:


Smooch is so pretty!

He says thank you.  <3

Underground again

Sep. 22nd, 2017 09:51 pm
oursin: Sleeping hedgehog (sleepy hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

Which, given the weather - today was persistent drizzle rather than yesterday's chucking it relentlessly down - was a good idea. Salt mine, to be precise.

However, has been a long day - only just in from a Mahler concert - so any more detailed reports on touristic activities may follow at some later season.

New Books and ARCs, 9/22/17

Sep. 22nd, 2017 06:52 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Just in time for the weekend, a new batch of books and ARCs at the Scalzi Compound for you to peruse. Which would you want to give a place in your own “to be read” stack? Tell us in the comments.


andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
Jane and I went up to Nethy Bridge, near Aviemore, and stayed at the Lazy Duck in one of their Eco-Lodges. Which is a cabin built for two, with electricity, gas cooking, and (distant, wobbly) wifi, right next to a large duck pond full of a variety of different species of ducks.
Loads of photos and four videos )

New Worlds discusses rites of passage

Sep. 22nd, 2017 09:00 am
swan_tower: (Default)
[personal profile] swan_tower

The general theme for this month has been stages of life, and we close that out with rites of passage. Next week, because the Patreon passed one of its funding goals a while ago, will be a fifth (bonus) essay, on the more theory-side aspects of worldbuilding!

Comment over there.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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catlinyemaker

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