This is weird. Good, but weird

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:53 pm
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[personal profile] cupcake_goth
Today was the Botox injections day. A total of six injections, one on each side in the muscles at the base of my skull, temple, and jaw. My headache (which had come back sometime last night) started lessening after the first two injections. Now? Now it is COMPLETELY gone. No trace.

Being completely headache-free is WEIRD. Awesome, absolutely! But weird. It's been a very, very long time since I've had that. (Like, years. I don't actually know how long.)

Nothing in my face feels odd or frozen, and I can move it like normal. (So, like a cartoon character, really.) Dr. Ryan the awesome dentist said that I should give him updates over the next couple of weeks, whenever I feel like it over on FB, and OMG we need to go makeup shopping together.)

(He also correctly identified which bunny I brought with me for emotional support. (Merricat.)) I LOVE DR. RYAN WITH A PURE AND UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.

No headache. NO HEADACHE.

The next step is to talk to my doctor and get her help in convincing the insurance company to pay for this treatment every four months. If they won't, then I am seriously considering squeezing the household budget to pay the over-thousand-dollars ourselves, because this feeling is worth it.

---

In Shallow Fashion Craving news, I showed the Stroppy One that skirt from Amazon that I posted here the other night. He Did Not Approve of the graphic design. He liked the idea in theory, but felt the actually quality of the rose print was lacking. This is part of the fun of being married to an artist - they will give you useful feedback when you're looking at fashion.

Advantages of a two-house household

Jul. 21st, 2017 12:36 am
fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
[personal profile] fairestcat
For those who don't know, we live in an up/down duplex. Marna, Ian and I live upstairs and Lorayne has the downstairs, with two spare rooms for any guests of upstairs or downstairs.

Lorayne also has two window AC units. One of which is in her big spare bedroom. We do not have any AC upstairs, just a lot of fans.

It's been hot and humid as fuck in Ottawa for the last week. It's finally starting to cool down, but the heat is really lingering upstairs. Last night I couldn't fall asleep because of it.

So, I said fuck it and am sleeping downstairs tonight.

Dreadful followed me downstairs and was staring forlornly out the screen door, so we invited him in. So, Dreadful's sleeping downstairs too tonight.

Rayne's cats, Kina and Chakra, are less than impressed.

They've met Dreadful before, and even lived with him for a week when we stripped the wainscotting in the kitchen several years ago, so we're not worried it'll come to blows overnight or anything. They'll cope. And I think Dreadful is enjoying the change of scenery.

Also, the lack of dog.

Oh yeah, we got a dog. We've had him for about a month. Our intent was to foster him, but Marna fell in love, so now he's ours.

His name is Bogart, we think he's some sort of pointer cross, but he was rescued from the Everglades, so we can't be sure. He's about 18 months old and weighs about 40 pounds. He's a sweetheart, but he has some behavioral issues we're working on.

And Dreadful has NOT reconciled himself to this new family member yet. He's never lived with a dog before, and he's not sure he wants to now. They're cohabiting relatively peacefully, but Dreadful is still keeping his distance.

ETA: and then Kina and Dreadful got in a fight in the hallway. So much for not coming to blows. So, now they're locked on opposite sides of the dog gate for the night.

*sigh*
[syndicated profile] balloon_juice_feed

Posted by Anne Laurie

Today….

Progress?

A bag containing traces of moon dust sold for $1.8 million at an auction on Thursday following a galactic court battle.

The collection bag, used by astronaut Neil Armstrong during the first manned mission to the moon in 1969, was sold at a Sotheby’s auction of items related to space voyages. The buyer declined to be identified. The pre-sale estimate was $2 million to $4 million.

The artifact from the Apollo 11 mission had been misidentified and sold at an online government auction, and NASA had fought to get it back. But in December a federal judge ruled that it legally belonged to a Chicago-area woman who bought it in 2015 for $995…

Also getting out-of-this-world interest at the auction was the Flown Apollo 13 Flight Plan, with handwritten notations by all three crew members. It sold to an online bidder for $275,000, well above its pre-sale estimate high of $40,000.

ETA:

The story of Planetes follows the crew of the DS-12 “Toy Box” of the Space Debris Section, a unit of Technora Corporation. Debris Section’s purpose is to prevent the damage or destruction of satellites, space stations and spacecraft from collision with debris in Earth’s and the Moon’s orbits. They use a number of methods to dispose of the debris (mainly by burning it via atmospheric reentry or through salvage), accomplished through the use of EVA suits…

IMO, a pretty good series, until it collapsed completely in the last couple of episodes.

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Essayist and media critic Chris Lehmann at The Baffler writes—More Mush from the Taste Police:

AMID THE GENERAL COLLAPSE of liberal governance, it remains an unshakable article of faith among our pundit class that liberal sensibilities possess a vicelike stranglehold on our cultural life. This fanciful belief may be, at bottom, a kind of wish-fulfillment fantasy: since political commentators must, as a matter of professional pride, hold that their studiously branded mode of thought leadership sternly guides our republic through its many travails and challenges, the attitudes and taste preferences of our opinion makers are a matter of great political moment.

owls

It is, at any rate, a cinch that the prescription of first resort for professional prognosticators of our national politics is this peculiar pundit brand of mind-cure. In this backward-spooling cosmology of our public life, the more stubborn and deep-seated challenges of structural reform, painstaking political organizing, and demanding long-term strategizing yield magisterially to the modulations of attitude, taste, and Zeitgeist fealty that the Vox Populi supposedly demands from its pundit class and the allied liberal cognoscenti. The penalty for noncompliance is severe: a land rush of taste monitors will deem you fatally out-of-touch with the tenor of daily life in these United States.

The first noteworthy paradox in the taste-policing racket is that it’s a singularly lucrative and prestigious one—one that frequently elevates its adepts into the very cultural elite they profess to scorn as they deliver their camera-ready talking points. Charles Murray crafted a stupendously useless book from it, David Brooks has made a career of it, and pollsters lovingly dote over it.

The shortcoming of these prim re-education sermons is that even their hypothetical purchase on the public weal is plainly well past the sell-by date. We have, after all, endured a devastating recession, followed in short order by an austerity-driven upward distribution of wealth, and a white-nationalist uprising on the American right, all within the past decade. On what imaginable planet should the question of how and where liberals feed, entertain, and irksomely congratulate themselves for their reading habits be a subject that any sane person gives a shit about?

Yet, there the pointless, tail-chasing sport of liberal-taste-baiting hulks, smack dab in the center of our approved political discourse. A mere fortnight ago, the tirelessly chastising Pastor Brooks took to his New York Times column to relate the harrowing saga of how the less educated yeoman citizens of the working-class republic are menaced by the specter of Italian cold cuts. (Yes, really.) 

And now, in a sort of clickbaity apotheosis of the genre, comes Business Insider columnist Josh Barro, fretting over a point made by National Review editor Rich Lowry, about how liberals never win credibility among the horny-handed sons and daughters of toil because their cultural preferences are so resolutely foppish. As Barro argues, “Liberal moralizing tends to read as college-educated people in cities arguing that everyone should behave more like them. Usually, that’s the substance of the moralizing, too.”

And this substantive elite moralizing is just about everywhere, by Barro’s account. Meddlesome cultural Stalinists on the left want you to stop eating hamburgers at home, since meat-intensive agribusiness makes climate change worse (and because every pundit on earth has evidently staked out a position on meat sandwiches). They want you to refrain from watching football, since the sport is retrograde, racist, and dangerous. And the worst part is that they’re just getting started! [...]

If you’re condemned, as I am, to engage in the thankless scut work of media criticism, you’ll discover that the damning hyperlinks Barro supplies to document his case against “a movement” consist of a fashion-glossy advice column, a CNN explainer video, and a pair of click-bait offerings from British dailies. If this is what constitutes a PC police state in the making, then the HGTV channel must be broadcasting wall-to-wall North Korean agitprop. [...]

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QUOTATION

“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”
                              ~Stanisław Jerzy Lec, Polish poet and aphorist (1909-1966)


TWEET OF THE DAY

x

BLAST FROM THE PAST

At Daily Kos on this date in 2006Bush and African Americans:

Headline: "Bush laments poor Republican relations with blacks."

"I consider it a tragedy that the party of Abraham Lincoln let go of its historic ties to the African American community," Bush said. "For too long my party wrote off the African American vote and many African Americans wrote off the Republican Party."

Republicans didn't "write off" blacks, they used them as a demonizable prop to bring the Dixiecrat vote into their fold.

And who is Bush to talk, given the disaster he ignored in New Orleans? He could rush to DC on a midnight flight to sign the "let's meddle in the Schiavo family's affairs" bill, but couldn't be bothered to cut his six-week vacation short when Katrina hit.

Abraham Lincoln would be no more a modern-day Republican than Strom Thurmond or Jesse Helms would be modern-day Democrats.

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

You would think this sort of thing had been stamped out, in the futuristic-sounding year of 2017, but apparently we're quite determined to roll back the national clock a few more decades: If you find yourself arrested on drug charges in White County, Tennessee, a judge may reduce your jail time if you agree to have a vasectomy or get a birth control implant so that you do not reproduce.

Judge Benningfield told NewsChannel 5 that he was trying to break a vicious cycle of repeat offenders who constantly come into his courtroom on drug related charges, subsequently can’t afford child support and have trouble finding jobs. [...]

“I understand it won’t be entirely successful but if you reach two or three people, maybe that’s two or three kids not being born under the influence of drugs. I see it as a win, win,” he added.

So if you come into Judge Benningfield's courtroom on drug charges that you can't afford to fight or facing jail time you cannot stomach, you may instead choose to be sterilized so that you cannot have children in the future.

If this sounds to you to be coercive—an offer to get out of an extremely bad situation if you agree to have a medical procedure done on your person—the ACLU agrees with you. The county District Attorney sounds none too happy about it either, so the policy may be reversed rather quickly, now that the national press has gotten wind of it.

Tonight’s News Dump

Jul. 21st, 2017 01:33 am
[syndicated profile] balloon_juice_feed

Posted by Cheryl Rofer

Trump’s legal team is looking for ways to discredit Mueller’s investigation. Both the New York Times and the Washington Post released stories with that theme. The WaPo story has more juicy detail:

Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.

Trump’s legal team declined to comment on the issue. But one adviser said the president has simply expressed a curiosity in understanding the reach of his pardoning authority, as well as the limits of Mueller’s investigation.

“This is not in the context of, ‘I can’t wait to pardon myself,” a close adviser said.

Just checking to make sure of all the legal ramifications in the same way Trump has been so careful throughout his career.

The lawyers are also looking for conflicts of interest. From Trump’s interview with the New York Times yesterday, I think he doesn’t understand what conflict of interest is. He seems to think that it means conflicts with HIS interests. Perhaps his lawyers understand the term.

[syndicated profile] balloon_juice_feed

Posted by Anne Laurie

Yeah, as the CBC phrases it: “‘Sounds stupid as hell'”.

I am not and probably never will be an HBO subscriber (I explicitly subscribed to Netflix, back when it was just a disc-rental service, to watch cable shows without having to deal with cable companies), so the HBO suits won’t care what I think, but still. Yeah, the pseudo-historical intersection between “But what if the monster… isn’t actually dead?” and “Our chivalric dream shall never die!” can always start an argument, but how many people want to pay money to watch a cosplay version of the one we’re living all too vividly right now?

My prediction is that a Confederate “win,” 150 years after the original arguments, would’ve resulted in a continuing breakdown of the United States — bad ideas have consequences, too, and if one region “escapes” than a lot more states get fractious. Most of New England would’ve departed by the 1870s, possibly ending up as a Canadian province. The breadbasket area from Minnesota to the Rockies would be a bunch of possibly-allied semi-Calvinist networks (immigrant Scandinavian Protestant & Russian Orthodox farmers, Mormons, and versions of all the other fringe cults of the Second Great Awakening). Mexico would’ve successfully reclaimed parts of Aztlan, including most of Texas. Big chunks of the Rockies-adjacent areas would be just as underpopulated as they are today, but there would be more Native American tribal units, not to mention feral refugees from all the adjacent regions. Goddess only knows what northern California/Oregon/Washington would’ve come to, but I suspect the lingua franca would be either Russian or Mandarin. New Orleans would be the center of an ever-fluid “Black Free State”, probably doing better financially than its ‘Confederate’ neighbors. There would be dozens of tiny “free” baronies dotting the Appalachians, with more scattered in the adjacent fringes, wherever a handful of ‘Scots-Irish’ hillbillies or other malcontents felt called to resist the big gubmint encroachment of war-depleted, tax-starved state authorities. And the Mason-Dixon DMZ between the remaining United States (Connecticut through Indiana, approximately) and the Confederation would make the one now separating the Koreas look like a holiday resort.

***********
Stupid popcult ideas or otherwise, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

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Posted by Will Shetterly

There are two narratives that annoy me because I see no evidence for them. The first is the Clinton camp's insistence that Sanders hurt her chances of winning. The second is the authoritarian socialist insistence that Sanders helped the Democrats by running.

I followed the polls at RealClearPolitics. So far as I can tell, Sanders had no effect on Clinton—the only effect he had was to make
[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

President Donald Trump examines a fire truck from Wisconsin-based manufacturer Pierce on the South Lawn during a "Made in America" product showcase event at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 17, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / Olivier Douliery        (Photo credit should read OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, on his way to a four-alarm incompetency fire 

It is “Made in America” week at the White House and Donald Trump had a field day playing on the American-made equipment on display at the White House. He once again boasted of his plan (a slogan really, not a plan) of bringing manufacturing back to the United States. 

But, after he climbed down out of the cab of that fire truck, he must’ve left that “Made in America” spirit right there on the lawn of the White House. Back in Florida, his company has quietly requested permission to hire a whole new batch of workers for his favorite destination: Mar-a-Lago. You cannot make this up. Apparently everyone in South Florida is gainfully employed and they simply have to bring in low-wage foreign workers. From Buzzfeed:

Mar-A-Lago, Donald Trump’s private club that he calls the Winter White House, is asking the government for permission to hire 70 temporary foreign workers as cooks, servers, and housekeepers, according to records posted by the Department of Labor on Thursday. The nearby Trump National Golf Club, Jupiter, has requested permission to hire an additional six foreign cooks.

Trump has frequently urged US companies to hire American workers — a theme highlighted this week in what the Trump administration has dubbed “Made in America” week. But for his own Mar-A-Lago club, he has also defended hiring foreign workers by saying that it is “very, very hard to get help” during the Florida tourist season.

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Donald Trump’s recent history with banks has been … not good.

By the 2000s, the property developer and casino owner with ready access to the capital markets and the biggest New York banks was no more. A series of corporate bankruptcies had limited his financing options. 

That was also the period in which Eric Trump said:

“Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”

But that’s not quite true. There was one bank out there which was still willing to extend massive loans to Donald Trump, in spite of his extremely checkered financial history. The big question is: Why?

Banking regulators are reviewing hundreds of millions of dollars in loans made to Mr. Trump’s businesses through Deutsche Bank’s private wealth management unit, which caters to an ultrarich clientele, according to three people briefed on the review who were not authorized to speak publicly. 

Those loans exposed Deutsche Bank to some extreme risks. That is, unless someone was underwriting the loans and limiting their potential loss.

making space to be creative

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:32 pm
[syndicated profile] wwdn_feed

Posted by Wil

One week and about ten hours ago, I decided to step away from Twitter for a little bit. The specific details aren’t important, and I suspect that many of you reading this now are already nodding in agreement because you grok why. But I took it off my phone, and I haven’t been to the website on my desktop since. For the first 48 hours, I spent a lot of time wondering if I was making a choice that mattered, and thinking about how I wasn’t habitually looking at Twitter every few minutes to see if I’d missed anything funny, or to see the latest bullshit spewing forth from President Fuckface’s mouthanus. I was, ironically, spending more time thinking about Twitter since I wasn’t using it than I spent thinking about it when I was.

It started out as a 24 hour break, then it was a 48 hour break, then it was the weekend, and here we are one week later and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything important. I feel like I’ve given myself more time to be quiet and alone, more time to reflect on things, and I’ve created space in my life to let my mind wander and get creative.

I’m not creating as much as I want to, and I’m starting to feel like maybe I’ll never be able to create as much as I want to, but I’ve gotten some stuff done this week that probably wouldn’t have gotten done if Twitter had been filling up the space that I needed.

Here’s a little bit from my blog post that became a short story that grew into a novella that is now a novel, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything:

My mother was leaning against her car, talking with one of the other moms, when we arrived. My sister was throwing a Strawberry Shortcake doll into the air and catching it while they watched. I walked out of the bus and across the blazing hot blacktop to meet her.

Willow, catch!” My sister cried, sending Strawberry Shortcake in a low arc toward me. I caught her without enthusiasm and handed her back. “You’re supposed to throw her to me!” Amanda said, demonstrating. Her doll floated in a lazy circle, arms and legs pinwheeling, before falling back down into my sister’s waiting arms. The writer in me wants to make a clever reference to how I was feeling at that moment, about how I could relate to Strawberry Fucking Shortcake, spinning out of control in the air above us, but it feels hacky, so I’ll just talk about how I wanted to make the reference without actually making the reference, thereby giving myself permission to do a hacky writer’s trick without actually doing it. See, there’s nothing tricky about writing, it’s just a little trick!

It’s still in the first draft, and I may not keep all or even any of it, but after putting it aside for months while I was depressed about too many things to look at it, it feels so good to be back into this story.

Oh, speaking of writing, I got notes back from the editors on my Star Wars 40th anthology submission. I thought that, for sure, they’d want me to rework a ton of it, but all they asked me to do is change a name! And they told me it was beautiful! So I’ve been feeling like a Capital-W Writer for a few days.

And speaking of feeling happy for a change, Hasbro and Machinima announced that I’m a voice in the next installment of the Transformers animated series, Titans Return. And it feels silly to care about this particular thing, but Daily Variety put my name in the headline, which made me feel really, really good.I’ve always felt like the only thing that should matter is the work, and that the work should be able to stand on its own … but that’s not the reality even a little bit. Daily Variety is the industry’s paper of record, so when it chooses to put you in the headline of a story, people pay attention and it matters in the way that can make the difference between getting called for a meeting, or the last ten years of my life as an actor.

It’s also a good reminder that, even if I’m not getting the opportunities I want to be an on-camera actor, it is entirely within my power to create the space I need to be a writer.

 

The Republican Conundrum

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:08 pm
[syndicated profile] balloon_juice_feed

Posted by John Cole

Amusing piece in the Hill about how the infrastructure bill is stuck:

The timing and fate of President Trump’s infrastructure plan may depend on whether the GOP enacts major tax reform — a task that could prove challenging amid the struggle to pass a healthcare bill.

Republicans are signaling that a massive rebuilding package, which has long been one of Trump’s top priorities, will most likely have to wait on the sidelines until lawmakers overhaul the tax code.

But with that process likely to be just as time-consuming and daunting as healthcare, infrastructure could be pushed to the back burner.

“I’d like to see infrastructure get done,” Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the Senate’s No. 3 Republican and chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, told reporters Wednesday. “But I’ve always said, that in terms of how things are sequenced, it’s more likely that they would do tax reform first. And that might push infrastructure into sometime next year.”

First, let’s point out that infrastructure week was June 6th, six weeks ago, replete with all the pomp and circumstance including an official signing ceremony:

Two problems- he had no plan or bill, congress had passed nothing, and he was actually just signing a potemkin bill. Adding to that minor detail was the fact that Comey was testifying and it sucked all the oxygen out of the week.

Second, let’s note that the Republicans don’t really care about infrastructure. They just don’t. All they care about is cutting taxes for their rich buddies. That and winning elections. That’s ALL THEY CARE ABOUT. So the infrastructure bill simply is not a priority and won’t be. Ever.

The only reason they are still going on about health care is because Trump wants to replace Obama’s signature legislation and health care is where the money is at for tax cuts. That is it. They want to “reform” health care so they can get down to what they really like, which is cutting taxes for rich people. And if they can gut ACA and get a couple trillion for tax cuts, they can pretend to fiscally conservative because they are not “adding” to the deficit and debt.

But even if they don’t gut the ACA, they are going to try to cut taxes for their rich buddies. Because that is WHAT THEY DO and the ONLY THING THEY CARE ABOUT. Even if it raises the deficit and debt. They’ll just lie that growth will lead more tax revenues mumble babble Reagan laffer blah blah blah. It’s a fucking lie, of course, but lies don’t matter anymore because their base is a bunch of clueless numpties who just repeat what they are told.

So iffin’ they even actually get around to writing an honest to god infrastructure bill, it won’t amount to jack and shit because all of a sudden they will become fiscal conservatives and deficit hawks and we can’t add to the deficit even if it keeps bridges from crashing down. Because an infrastructure bill benefits everyone, and not just their rich buddies in the form a tax cut.

If Republicans wanted to really do something about infrastructure, there was a really good time to do that. When we were in the middle of an unemployment crisis and interest rates were almost negative. We could have borrowed trillions on the cheap, rebuilt our roads and airports and power grid and maybe even had enough left over to make sure the people of Flint, MI don’t have to drink bottled fucking water for the rest of their god damned lives. That actually might have led to a robust recovery, because you would be putting money into the hands of people who would spend it instead of addled old billionaires stashing it in whatever fucking derivatives the Wall Street boys are creating a bubble with right now.

The end.

Question of the Day

Jul. 20th, 2017 06:00 pm
[syndicated profile] shakespearessister_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

Suggested by Shaker DesertRose: "If you enjoy reading, do you have a 'comfort book' or several? What is it/are they? One of mine is Pamela Dean's Tam Lin, which got me through my degree, because the main character is an English major as I was, and re-reading it helped lift my spirits and remind me why I was doing what I was doing."

Mrs Freeman & Mrs Morley

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:51 pm
morganmuffle: (merchant femslash)
[personal profile] morganmuffle
Today at work was Raising Autism Awareness which was a much shorter thing than some of our other training because it was very introductory but it was given by two teachers from a local college and it was really interesting to hear them talk about their students who tend to be at the more severe end of the spectrum and some of whom may be coming to do some sessions or volunteer with us.

And then I tried desperately to concentrate on an exhibition brief I need to finish writing but the world kept conspiring to distract me. I'm taking headphones in tomorrow.

Then this evening I met up with N for a meal & the theatre which was nice because it's been a while since we've done that and it was good to catch up. Though I was HUGELY disappointed when I trie dto order truffle arancini only to be told they were finished :-(

Queen Anne (RSC @ Theatre Royal Haymarket) )

Well that ended up being half about the play and half about my feelings on these two fascinating women.

Throwback Thursdays

Jul. 20th, 2017 05:30 pm
[syndicated profile] shakespearessister_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

image of me standing in a road, holding a CD, on an Edinburgh street
Edinburgh, 2001.

In the photo, I'm holding a Clann an Drumma CD, which I'd just purchased after seeing the band perform at the Scott Monument. I'm standing on the street leading into the housing estate at which Iain lived at the time.

[Please share your own throwback pix in comments. Just make sure the pix are just of you and/or you have consent to post from other living people in the pic. And please note that they don't have to be pictures from childhood, especially since childhood pix might be difficult for people who come from abusive backgrounds or have transitioned or lots of other reasons. It can be a picture from last week, if that's what works for you. And of course no one should feel obliged to share a picture at all! Only if it's fun!]

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