He's gotten a lot better at being in the same room as the cats without freaking out, and even a little better at not barking and lunging at the familiar cats we see on our walks. (Not as good as with his own roommate cats, but you can't have everything.)
This is great because, with winter coming, Callie wants to go back to being an indoor-outdoor cat, emphasis on indoor - she doesn't like cold weather!
2. Recently my Dreamwidth pages have stopped defaulting to https, which means sometimes I get a log-in screen instead of the post, and if I get the post, I'm not logged in. I have HTTPS Everywhere for FireFox, and the Dreamwidth HTTPS beta option turned on. What is happening?
It may have started when FireFox updated last, or it might be part of my general computer woes, idk.
Over the weekend I read Sarah Gailey's novella River of Teeth, an alt-US-history Western with hippos, which I've seen mentioned around the place. It spent a lot of time on character introductions, and the ending felt rather TBC, and I'm not sure I'll read the next one. I think I would have preferred a stand-alone novel to what felt like the first instalment in a longer story, or perhaps I'm just not in the mood for Americana (though it reminded me enough of Richard Brautigan's The Hawkline Monster that I dug that out and may read it sometime soon).
In the meantime, I've started Moon Over Soho, the second Rivers of London book. I read the first some years ago (when I bought my Kindle and went back to occasionally consuming things other than fanfic) and found it too gruesome for my fluffy-fanfic-reading palette, but I've been encouraged to persevere. Not gripped yet, but it's early days.
I just finished Another Oh Hae Young, like, in the last half hour.
Huh. It started promisingly. I liked the convoluted set-up and was intrigued to see how they were going to get Do Kyung out of the enormous hole he'd dug himself into, but in the end... they didn't really bother. ( Rambling. Spoilers. ) Also, overall, this might be the drama I've watched with the highest alcohol consumption and the worst communication (and that's really saying something, on both counts!). Not one I'll be rewatching or would particularly recommend.
I haven't planned what I'll solo-watch next, but I think it'll be something very different.
Pru and I finished Moonlight Drawn by Clouds yesterday, and next week we're starting Mystery Queen, a Sherlock Holmes AU where Sherlock is a housewife.
J and I have one more week (three episodes) of Goblin to go, and then I suspect it's a Hong sisters drama, either My Girl (which I haven't seen) or Master's Sun (which I have).
My teacher and I are still in the middle of Chief Kim.
Parks & Recreation season 5.
We watched Rogue One over the weekend. I think I enjoyed it more this time, having read some fanfic.
Not a word.
Election this weekend. My sister and I nearly went and advance voted yesterday lunchtime, but during the trudge up Featherston St to the polling place, I talked myself out of it on the grounds that if I vote on Saturday, if the outcome initially seems close or unfavourable, I can tell myself they haven't counted my vote yet and it will make all the difference. /dork
Also, I was supposed to go sign-waving this morning (and got up early specially), but the other person cancelled and then the forecasted rain arrived, so I finished Another Oh Hae Young instead.
I am trying SO HARD not to get unhealthily invested in the election outcome; I can't afford to get sick over this. *crosses all my fingers and toes, while still trying to maintain emotional detachment, ha*
Because yesterday I got to hang out a bit with Alison Moyet, who if you didn’t know is one of my absolute favorite singers, both in Yaz, and with her solo work. We’d become Twitter buddies in the last couple of years and when I mentioned to her Krissy and I would be at her Chicago show she suggested we have a real-life meet. And we did! And it was lovely! And brief, as she had to prepare to entertain a sold-out show (and she did; the concert was excellent), but long enough to confirm that she’s as fabulous in the flesh as she is in her music. Which was not surprising to me, but nice regardless.
(Alison has also blogged about our meet-up as part of her tour journal, which you can find here. Read the entire tour journal, as she’s funny as hell.)
I noted to some friends that I was likely to meet Alison this week and some of them wondered how it would go, on the principle that meeting one’s idols rarely goes as one expects (more bluntly, the saying is “never meet your idols.”) I certainly understand the concept, but I have to say I’ve had pretty good luck meeting people whom I have admired (or whose work I admired). I chalk a lot of that up to the fact that while I was working as a film critic, I met and interviewed literally hundreds of famous people, some of whose work was very important to me. In the experience I got to have the first-hand realization that famous and/or wonderfully creative people are also just people, and have the same range of personalities and quirks as anyone else.
If you remember that when you meet the people whose work or actions you admire, you give them space just to be themselves. And themselves are often lovely. And when they’re not, well, that’s fine too. Alison Moyet, it turns out, is fabulous, and I’m glad we got to meet.
(Which is not to say I didn’t geek out. Oh, my, I did. But I also kept that mostly inside. Krissy found it all amusing.)
Anyway: Great Tuesday. A+++, would Tuesday again.
Characters: Diana, Berkeley Rose.
Challenge: #55: After All This Time.
Spoilers/Setting: Like Like Love.
Summary: Diana decides it’s time to move on with her life, but she’s in for a surprise.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
A/N: This one’s a double drabble.
“I’m not up for sex,” she told me. “I’ve had a lot of medical issues lately. It’s more painful than not to even try.”
“Cool,” I said, and we spent the day going to a street festival.
I woulda liked sex. But life happens.
“I’m in the middle of my seasonal affective disorder,” I told her. “You show up, I might not be able to leave the house. I might just curl up and cry all day.”
“Cool,” she said, and I was pretty morose but we cuddled a lot and eventually managed to go out to dinner.
I woulda liked to have a working brain. But life happens.
“I’m not sure I can make it through this convention,” they told me. “My flare-ups have been really bad this season. I might not be able to go out with you in the evenings.”
“Cool,” I said, and I went out for little hour-long jaunts before heading back to the room to cuddle them, then charging out again to circulate.
I woulda liked to have them by my side when I hit the room parties. But life happens.
I’m a massively flawed human with a mental illness. I need to have poly relationships that include for the possibility of breakdowns. Because if I need to have a perfect day before I allow anyone to see me, I might wait for weeks. Months. Years. And then what the fuck is left by the time I get to see them?
I know there are people who need perfect visits. They have to have the makeup on when you visit them, and they’ll never fall asleep when they had a night of Big Sexy planned, and if they get out the toys there’s gonna be a scene no matter how raw anyone’s feeling.
But I can’t do that.
My relationships aren’t, can’t be, some idealized projection of who I want to be. If I’m not feeling secure that day, I can’t be with a partner who needs me to be their rock so the weekend proceeds unabated. And if they’re feeling broken, I can’t be with someone who needs to pretend everything is fine because their time with me is their way of proving what a good life they have.
Sometimes, me and my lovers hoped for a weekend retreat of pure passion and what we get is curling up with someone under tear-stained covers, holding them and letting them know they will not be alone come the darkness.
We cry. We collapse. We stumble. We don’t always get what we want, not immediately.
But we also heal. We nurture. We accept.
And in the long run, God, we get so much more.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
Today, award-winning author Fran Wilde has a shocking confession to make! About something she said! Here! And yes, it involves her new novel, Horizon. What will this confession be? Will there be regret involved? Are you prepared for what happens next?!?
Dear readers of John Scalzi’s blog, for the past three years, I’ve been keeping secrets.
I’m not sorry.
Trilogies are a delicate thing. They are a community of books unto themselves. They inform and support one another; their themes and actions ripple and impact one another. They have their own set of rules. Among them: Write down the main character’s eye color or favorite food so you don’t forget it. You’ll regret using that hard-to-spell naming convention by the middle of your second book. Destroy something in book one, you’re not going to magically have it to rely on in book three — at least not without some major effort. Everything gathers — each choice, each voice.
Trilogies are, by intent, more than the sum of their parts.
And, when brought together, a trilogy’s largest ideas sometimes appear in the gathered shadows of what seemed like big ideas at the time.
In Updraft, book one of the Bone Universe trilogy, what began to crumble was the system that upheld the community of the bone towers. It didn’t look like it then. So I didn’t tell you when I wrote my first Big Idea.
Instead, the first time I visited this blog, I wrote: “At its heart, Updraft is about speaking and being heard and — in turn — about hearing others…”
That was true – especially in the ways Updraft explored song as memory and singing and voice. But it was also kind of a fib. I knew where the series was headed, and voice was only the tip of the spear.
I planned to return here a year later to write about leadership, and I did — and, I wrote about demagoguery too, and abut having a book come out during a charged political season. That was September 2016, Cloudbound, the second book in the series was just out, and wow, that post seems somewhat innocent and naive now. But not any less important.
Again, saying the big idea in Cloudbound was leadership was true on its face, but it was also a an act of omission. And again, singing came into play — in that songs in Cloudbound were being adjusted and changed, as were messages between leaders.
With Horizon, I’m going to lay it all out there for you. Horizon is about community.
Structurally, Horizon is narrated by several different first person voices — including Kirit, Nat, and Macal, a magister and the brother of a missing Singer. These three voices come from different places in the Bone Universe’s geography, and they weave together to form a greater picture of the world, and its threats. A fourth voice appears only through a song — a new song — that is written during the course of Horizon, primarily by one character but with the help of their community. That song is the thread that ties the voices together, and, one hopes, the new community as well.
And, like Horizon, for me, the big idea for the Bone Universe series is also community. How to defend one, how to lead one, how to salvage as much as you can of one and move forward towards rebuilding it.
In my defense, I did leave some clues along the way. I shifted narrators between Updraft and Cloudbound in order to broaden the point of view and reveal more about the lead characters and the world, both between the books (how Nat and Kirit are seen each by the other vs. how they see themselves), and within them. I shared with readers the history of the bone towers and how that community, and the towers themselves, formed. I showed you the community’s [something] – that their means of keeping records and remembering was based on systems that could be used to both control messages and redefine them. I made the names of older laws and towers much more complicated to pronounce (and, yes, spell SIGH), versus the simpler names for newer things. This community had come together, then grown into something new.
The evolution of singing in the Bone Universe is, much like the idea of community, something that can be seen in pieces, but that resolves more when looked at from the perspective of all three books together.
Remember that solo voice — Kirit’s — singing quite badly that first book? In the second book, Nat’s voice joins Kirit’s — a solo, again, but because we can still hear Kirit, and because we know her, it becomes a kind of duet. In the third book, three voices present separate parts of the story, and when they all come together, that forms a connected whole.
When you listen to a group of people sing, sometimes one voice stands out, then another. Then, when multiple voices join in for the chorus, the sound becomes a different kind of voice. One with additional depth and resonance.
That’s the voice of a community. That drawing together of a group into something that is more than the sum of its parts. It is an opportunity, a way forward, out of a crumbling system and into something new and better.
That’s the big idea.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 20, 2017 is:
holus-bolus \hoh-lus-BOH-lus\ adverb
: all at once
If you shout your questions at me holus-bolus, instead of asking them one at a time, then I won't be able to hear any of them.
"Grasses are a conundrum. If you plant too many, you end up with a hayfield—not a great look in a garden…. Lazy landscapers shove them in holus-bolus because they will survive just about anything." — Marjorie Harris, The Globe and Mail (Toronto), 30 May 2017
Did you know?
The story of holus-bolus is not a hard one to swallow. Holus-bolus originated in English dialect in the mid-19th century and is believed to be a waggish reduplication of the word bolus. Bolus is from the Greek word bōlos, meaning "lump," and has retained that Greek meaning. In English, bolus has additionally come to mean "a large pill," "a mass of chewed food," or "a dose of a drug given intravenously." Considering this "lumpish" history, it's not hard to see how holus-bolus, a word meaning "all at once" or "all in a lump," came about.
The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler's U-boats by William Gerouxby - I don't understand why this book was called seven brothers, Mathews is a county, not a family, and the book was about a much larger segment of society than seven brothers. Nonetheless, it was a fascinating look at a mostly forgotten part of WWII, and men who had a higher mortality rate than every military branch except the marines.
What are you reading?
One Way or Another by Annette Laing - No progress this week
The Jews of Khazaria by Kevin Alan Brook - I wonder if part of the reason we have so little information about these people is that they competed with the Russians, and eventually, the Russians won? I'm only 28% of the way through this book, which is surprising because he never references the idea that he'll introduce more evidence after chapter 8 and I'm already on chapter 6.
2 Kings - There's a lot of murder and death going on. I think it's succession wars?
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink - This book is more oriented towards businesses than I was expecting. It's still interesting, because it talks about ways to motivate people and stuff, but I am not the intended audience.