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Balladry Notebook
Hold me fast and fear me not
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13th-Aug-2014 07:30 pm - Tam Lin Balladry is back!
wisdom
Tam Lin Balladry has returned! Only a few basic things back up so far: 41 versions of the ballad, 15 related tales, a little analysis. More will come, day by day. Let me know if any of it looks weird or doesn't work for you.

Search won't return any results for a few days yet, as the site is still shaking the wet off its pixels and google hasn't crawled it yet. Anything else wrong, please let me know.

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10th-Jan-2013 11:45 am - Signal Boost: Bat World Sanctuary
wisdom
Bat World Sanctuary needs help. They're in a fundraising challenge that only goes until midnight. They're only about half way to the goal.

If you can give, please do. If you can signal boost, please do.

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wisdom
Do you love Love and Hisses? Of course you do.

Do you support low cost spay/neuter programs? Of course you do!

Do you object to efforts by the state of Alabama to close down the clinics? Of course you do!

Will you sign the petition to help save the clinics? Of course you will!

Context: The Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners is trying to claim that these clinics 'aren't necessary' and have them shut down. Alabama put to sleep over a hundred thousand unwanted animals last year. The majority of animals who end up in kill shelters in Alabama are put to sleep for lack of homes. Spay/neuter programs help.

More information here.

(public, feel free to link/repost)

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18th-Sep-2012 10:35 am - Just a thought
wisdom
Having the privilege of not caring about the poor, writing off the poor, and stating that you don't have to care about the poor is a sign that the system is corrupt- not just because of the lack of compassion it displays, but because it indicates an underlying assumption that the poor are poor because they somehow deserve it and the security that it will never happen to you. If you can be absolutely certain that neither you nor any of your allies are at any risk of suffering the same want of basic needs and safety that the underprivileged around you face every day, it is an indication that the system is rigged in your favor. The risk of misfortune is unevenly distributed and opportunity is available only to the few, and moreover, the poor have no reasonable means of redress or access to power. If you can have the certainty that the poor live in a world that has no overlap with yours, it is an indication that your society has a divide that you are unwilling to repair and likely to not even see as a problem.

A lack of compassion is a love of corruption.

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wisdom
This year has had a good number of movies with female lead action characters. It has also, therefore, had a bad number of stupid criticisms about female lead action characters. Since I keep starting to write and rewrite my thoughts on the topic, I thought I'd just give up on making it coherent and drag you along on my experience. My thoughts on the topic, let me show them to you.

First, some sexism 101 for people who aren't familiar with the topic. You know, just in case you are new to the party:

a little 101 on how to dismiss the accomplishments of women in a male-dominated fieldCollapse )

So, now, having put down that groundwork, let's talk about female action movie stars.

So far this year*, I've seen three movies with strong female characters, two of which had the female character as the lead. There was Katniss in The Hunger Games, Black Widow in The Avengers, and Snow White in Snow White and the Huntsman. I'm looking forward to Merida in Brave later this summer. Yay! Four entire movies in less than a year where a female character gets to kick butt and defend herself and has agency and all that good stuff.

Except-

Well, except where I'm seeing all this really irritating backlash.

Katniss - contains spoilers for all three Hunger Games booksCollapse )

Black Widow- Spoilers for The AvengersCollapse )

Snow White- spoiler for Snow White and the HuntsmanCollapse )

***

So, I wish I could give you a great wrap-up to this very long and rambling post, but I sort of hope you've followed me on this journey without needing a great conclusion.

But here's a walk away message- equality isn't about achieving a particular goal in this or any other context- women aren't going to have 'made it' as female lead action characters because someone finally made a movie where one female character did X, Y, or Z (because the critics will dismiss it as not really counting), or because the critics can't find anything to complain about in particular female lead action character (because they can always find something, even if they have to make it up). We will have made it when women are portrayed with the complexity of any male character, allowed as many flaws and ways of being as anyone else, and the critics stop paying attention to the fact that a character is female as a justification for reducing her to a single trait that defines her moreso than any of their actions or choices, or for dismissing her entirely for failing to meet an unreasonable standard.

Which counts outside the world of entertainment as well.


* this is a fairly good year for movies with female lead action characters, but it's not in the least like these are the first. I grew up with Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley, for example. I may have hated the Kill Bill movies, but they sure as hell had a female lead action character. Heck, Elizabeth may not have had the virgin queen beheading anyone (I assume there will be a zombie reboot at some point that may change that), but the main character was certainly not waiting for a man to hand her a destiny or trying to get by on looks and a sweet demeanor. So it's not a new arguement, but I'm getting really annoyed by it this summer.

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wisdom
So, [dreamwidth.org profile] zillah975, I am assuming that you are an open-minded person who does not have rigid rules regarding conformity to gender or species stereotypes. At least, I hope this is true, because I have some shocking news for you:

Your new tomcat likes to wear women's skirts.

I have (shocking!) Proof!

So, this weekend I thought I would maybe try to make some progress on one of my crafting projects. Since Red and Scuse are currently occupying the room that used to be my crafting room, and since I usually try to spend at least some time in with them every day, I decided to try to do my crafting in the same room as them, despite having significant prior experience that this might not be a good idea (did you know Red is strong enough to carry off a set of pliers in his teeth? Now you do). This is what happened:

(direct link)

and about three minutes later:

(direct link)

To be fair, it really is a lovely color on him.

(bonus material available, clipped due to poor lighting and redundancy)

and as another bonus, but so cute I'm including it here, Scuse is getting very good at playing Throw*

(direct link)

*dogs play fetch.

So anyway, there's some more documentation on just what you're getting yourself into. You said you wanted cats who would keep each other company during the day but wanted to interact with you when you were home. Oh boy, are you going to get it.

(post is public in case you want to warn any of your friends. I also had a kitty manicure session later in the evening, so both boys now have trimmed claws. And I cleaned the room properly, as it isn't normally as much of a mess as in these images, but eh. Documentation is important.)

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6th-Apr-2012 10:32 am - Red And Scuse: The Adoption
wisdom
And now the reveal: Red and Scuse's new human will be: [dreamwidth.org profile] zillah975.

She contacted me shortly after the public post went up, to say it had been a few months since she'd lost a feline companion of many years, and she was ready to have a cat or cats present again. She's been patient as I asked about her pet ownership history, her expectations of her pets, and her ability to deal with cats who are still learning proper house manners (for example: Red's finger nomming habit). I had a few other wonderful folks contact me about adopting Red and Scuse, and there were several generous and kind homes to choose from (an unimaginable luxury in the world of rescue, for which I am profoundly grateful), but they can only have one true home at a time, and [dreamwidth.org profile] zillah975 will be it.

So next weekend I will be doing a bit of a road trip to get them to her- we'll see how a few hours in the car go. I suspect I may need to buy some audiobooks for the trip, or possibly some earplugs, seeing how vocal Red can get if distressed. But I hope their days of distress are over, and they will be happy and prosperous from here out.

(and I am looking forward to pictures of them with a place of their own to rule.)

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29th-Mar-2012 09:06 am - More Red and Scuse
wisdom
So, in the spirit of keeping everyone updated, here's some more Red and Scuse. I've had a few people express interest, but so far it's all been friend-of-a-friend who might want them, and I haven't yet spoken to any potential adopters. Last night we had a photo and video sessions, to get a few more images.


Did you know it's almost impossible to get good pictures of fuzzy black cats? Scuse just always looks a little out of focus. I'd suspect it's his personality leaking through, but I doubt that's the cause. He's a dust bunny with eyes. A very cute dust bunny, but a dust bunny nonetheless.

Of course, it doesn't help that most of his pictures look like this:


"Hey, what are you doing? Is that a toy? Can I eat that?"

(at the last exam, the vet was mildly amused to hear the string of nicknames he's earned, especially "SquirrelHead McMonkeyPants", but then she had to bring a tech in to help hold the squirmy little bugger still long enough to listen to his heart, and she totally understood. He's not the least bit aggressive, he's just made of slinkies and jumping beans. Might be part ferret.)


Red, in my lap (which is very nearly a redundant statement)

Some videos:

From before the surgery, but gives an idea of their typical interaction:


(direct link)

and last night, just because I was impressed with Scuse's level of eye glow:

(direct link)
(my phone is having trouble focusing in general, and the craft room is somewhat underlit, so Scuse was still a fuzzy black dust bunny. Excuse the mess, they'd had a running and chasing session a few minutes before.)

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27th-Mar-2012 12:41 pm - Red and Scuse Need a Home
wisdom
Red and Scuse Need a Home



As readers of my journal know, in December I took in Red and Scuse (short for 'excuse me'), a pair of cats who had been left behind by their owners and then attacked by dogs. Red came to me for surgery to remove his right eye, which was irreparably damaged in the attack. Both cats have recovered well, and are now healthy and in need of a permanent home.

Sadly, I cannot be that home. My permanent residents are territorial and curmudgeonly (they might get that from me), and have reacted poorly to the presence of the two young boys cats. Integrating them into my household is just not going to happen.

They are young cats, a little over two years of age, and very active. Their dynamic is very much of little and big brother*, with Scuse (black medium hair) as the little brother to Red (orange tabby short hair). This includes Scuse's love of biting Red's tail when Red is sleeping, and Red's retaliating by chasing Scuse around the room until he surrenders. They eat from each other's bowl, and they play with their toys together, and they curl up and sleep together in a pile of cat.



I have known many, many cats over the years, and these are two of the sweetest and most affectionate cats I have ever met. It breaks my heart that I can't keep them, but my goal in this is to make their lives better, and part of that is recognizing that I am not the best home for them.

Both boys are lap cats and cuddlers, and don't mind being picked up and carried around. Red will be in your lap as long as you let him stay there, although he may try to carry off anything else you are paying attention to (we're working on the idea that books are not for chewing). Scuse is slowly learning to teach the humans to play fetch with his favorite soft toys. They want to be near people and involved in what you are doing, and they will be so grateful for a home that is kind and affectionate. They need to have people of their own, who will keep them safe and secure for all of their lives. They will return that with a bounty of love and affection, and will make some lucky people the happiest cat owners in the world.

Given their history, they would do best in a home without dogs or other cats. Older children are okay, but very small children may need some supervision. Home must be indoor only and not declaw. Full vet records are available.

Both boys are neutered, vaccinated, FIV and FeLeuk negative. Red is missing his right eye and has a microchip, but has no special medical needs. Scuse will need a good grooming session with a professional groomer, and I will pay for that for his adoptive home (but I don't want to send him out into the world naked), but is otherwise healthy and full of beans.

They have been through so much together and must be placed together. They've kept each other safe through some very rough times, and I want them to enjoy a good life from here out.



I am in the Germantown, MD area. I will be glad to deliver them to any home within a day's drive, or make arrangements to deliver them further out if the right home comes along.

Please contact me (gmail, username tamnonlinear) if you or someone you know would be interested in adopting the pair of them.

Please feel free (please) to spread the link on this. Thank you.

*not actually related, but that has never mattered to them.

ETA 3/29: Still no home for the boys. Posted some more pics and videos to give you more of an idea of how ridiculously adorable they are.

ETA 4/5: WE HAVE A HOME! - details to come, while we work out the logistics of transport across a couple of states, but I've got a definite "Yes!" from someone I've been talking to for a bit about the finer points of becoming their person. I'll do a public post with the information I can share as we work it out.

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19th-Mar-2012 01:56 pm - Red's Recovery
wisdom
I haven't posted any pictures of Red and Scuse in a while, mostly because I've been waiting until he was healed up, so I can show the full progress of his recovery after the surgery. So here's my Red boy, from start to finish.

For anyone that has forgotten the specific details, Red and Scuse are a pair of young male cats who were left behind when their previously merely irresponsible owners because total idiots, got evicted, and left the cats behind, outdoors. Red was attacked by a dog, and sustained injuries that required the removal of his right eye. They came to me from Arizona, where he had the surgery done and has since recovered.

I'm now looking for permanent homes for both Red and Scuse, which will be a public post later, but here's the phot essay on how he's recovered from losing an eye.

A bunch of pictures. MILD warning- there's nothing terribly graphic, but it does show the healing surgery site before the fur grew back inCollapse )

More pics and adoption information to come.

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11th-Dec-2011 09:55 am - Scoots the cat
wisdom


This is Scoots, so named for his tendency to get underfoot while seeking attention. He is Red's brother from another mother. Isn't he a lovely boy? How could his owners have abandoned him? Doesn't he look like the perfect addition to a home for the holidays?

Red is doing well at his boarding facility, soaking up attention, and snuggling into blankets. Kind neighbors have stepped in to help with getting Scoots neutered and hopefully we will be reuniting the boys soon, and they will both be safe while try to find homes for them.

If you're in either the AZ or PA regions and could help find a home for either or both, please let us know.

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wisdom
I know some of you have reposted or tweeted or otherwise tried to help spread the word about Red, but I'm asking for more- If you haven't posted, please do. If you have, please do it again. We've had help from Love and Hisses (thank you!), but we need more.



Red the rescue cat needs a foster home.

Red, a dumped pet left behind by irresponsible owners, is recuperating from an attack by a dog in the neighborhood where he was living as a stray. We don't yet have a foster home for him- the kind person who had been feeding him after his abandonment and got him to the vet after his injuries had been keeping him at her house, but he's been making the resident cat sick with anxiety and the resident human's cat-sensitive allergies have re-emerged.

As a measure to try to preserve their sanity, we're moving Red to a vet to be boarded, but this isn't a long-term solution, and this poor loving cat needs a home where he can be safe. Ideally we would find him a place with his brother, Scoot, who is still outside and still in danger.

Please, help these cats find a home for the holidays, and hopefully for life.

(LJ is being picky about crossposting again, so this may end up as a duplicate post. My apologies, as always.)
5th-Dec-2011 10:12 am - Red Update
wisdom
(crossposting is still down, my apologies if this ends up being a duplicate)

Red Update: Thank you to everyone who has posted and tweeted about Red, the Arizona cat in need of rescue. Thanks to donations, his basic medical costs have been covered. We may need more help if he needs the further surgery, but the help that has been given has made a huge difference.
He's doing much better after treatment.

However, Red and Scoots still desperately need a foster home. They cannot stay where they are.

Red is inside, but he's making both his foster human and the resident cat sick. Scoots is still outside, and missing his brother. We need to find them foster or permanent homes as soon as possible.

Please, continue to spread the word. We need to make this a complete save. This isn't over until both cats have a safe harbor.
wisdom
apologies if this double posts, crossposting from DW is not up

Folks, I need your help.

Okay, not me so much, but Red needs your help. This Is Red:



Red had owners at one point, but not very good ones. He was never fixed, dumped outside when this resulted in problem behavior, and when the owners were eventually evicted, he was left behind, along with another cat, a black male, Scoots. Despite this poor treatment, Red and Scoots retained friendly and outgoing natures, and tried to make friends with other people in the area, desperate for affection.

One of the people they regularly asked for help is friends with my friend eilonwy . Although neither could take the cats in to their own homes, they provided food, shelter, and made arrangements to have the cats fixed while they tried to find foster or adoptive homes. This despite the fact that both women have fairly limited incomes (one is a grad student).

This weekend, Red was attacked by a dog. He was blinded in one eye and required medical attention his helpers could barely afford. He may need additional surgery to save his life if the antibiotics can't stem off infection in the damaged eye. They need help.

More than that, Red needs a safe place to recuperate. Both cats need foster or permanent homes to get them out of danger.

If you can donate, even just a few dollars, please consider it. If you know anyone in the Scotsdale, Arizona area who would be able to foster or adopt Red or Scoots, please contact Project Cat.

Please help us to give these cats a better deal in life than they've had so far. If all you can do is repost, please feel free to do that or post a link.

(personal addition: It would mean a great deal to me if we could save them. I have had a lot of losses recently and it would be good to show a kinder side to the world to these cats.)
12th-Oct-2011 11:44 am - Mississippi 'personhood' ammendment
wisdom
Originally posted by gabrielleabelle at Mississippi Personhood Amendment

Okay, so I don't usually do this, but this is an issue near and dear to me and this is getting very little no attention in the mainstream media.

Mississippi is voting on November 8th on whether to pass Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment". This amendment would grant fertilized eggs and fetuses personhood status.

Putting aside the contentious issue of abortion, this would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages. This is not a good thing.

Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only place women can get abortions in the entire state, and they are trying to launch a grassroots movement against this amendment. This doesn't just apply to Mississippi, though, as Personhood USA, the group that introduced this amendment, is trying to introduce identical amendments in all 50 states.

What's more, in Mississippi, this amendment is expected to pass. It even has Mississippi Democrats, including the Attorney General, Jim Hood, backing it.

The reason I'm posting this here is because I made a meager donation to the Jackson Women's Health Organization this morning, and I received a personal email back hours later - on a Sunday - thanking me and noting that I'm one of the first "outside" people to contribute.

So if you sometimes pass on political action because you figure that enough other people will do something to make a difference, make an exception on this one. My RSS reader is near silent on this amendment. I only found out about it through a feminist blog. The mainstream media is not reporting on it.

If there is ever a time to donate or send a letter in protest, this would be it.

What to do?

- Read up on it. Wake Up, Mississippi is the home of the grassroots effort to fight this amendment. Daily Kos also has a thorough story on it.

- If you can afford it, you can donate at the site's link.

- You can contact the Democratic National Committee to see why more of our representatives aren't speaking out against this.

- Like this Facebook page to help spread awareness.


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15th-Jun-2011 01:06 pm - Books 37-49
wisdom
The theme for this group of books seems to be "meta books" and "do I feel like I've read this before?". Just an observation.

37. Feiffer on Civil Rights by Jules Feiffer and Bayard Rustin reviewCollapse )
38. Brightsided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America by Barbara Ehrenreich reviewCollapse )
39. Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson reviewCollapse )
40. New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver reviewCollapse )
41. How to Live Safely in a Sciencefictional Universe by Charles Yu reviewCollapse )
42. The Raven: Soaring Through History, Legend, & Lore by Lynn Hassler reviewCollapse )
43. The Tell-Tale Brain by V. S. Ramachandran reviewCollapse )
44. The Road by Cormac McCarthy reviewCollapse )
45. Hexwood by Dianne Whynne Jones reviewCollapse )
46. Hangman's Holiday by Dorothy Sayers reviewCollapse )
47. Field Guide to the Apocalypse by Meghann Marco reviewCollapse )
48. Fire by Kristin Cashore reviewCollapse )
49. City of Bones by Martha Wells reviewCollapse )

pages this entry: 3570

total pages: 15367

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15th-Jun-2011 09:27 am - Poem: The Rabbit by Mary Oliver
wisdom
Mary Oliver's poems have easily become some of my favorites, for their feeling of gentle insights to their compassionate and detailed view of the world, and their patient observations of the life around her. I don't know that I could pick a favorite- different ones are wanted at different times- but the one below, from the most recent of her books I read, was like the proverbial hit in the chest, knocking something loose I'd had knotted up far too tight. I hope you like it as well.


The Rabbit

Scatterghost,
it can't float away.
And the rain, everybody's brother,
won't help. And the wind all these days
flying like ten crazy sisters everywhere
can't seem to do a thing. No one but me,
and my hands like fire,
to lift him to a last burrow. I wait

days, while the body opens and begins
to boil. I remember

the leaping in the moonlight, and can't touch it,
wanting it miraculously to heal
and spring up
joyful. But finally

I do. And the day after I've shoveled
the earth over, in a field nearby

I find a small bird's nest lined pale
and silvery and the chicks-

are you listening, death? - warm in the rabbit's fur.

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17th-May-2011 10:21 am - Books 26 - 36
wisdom
26: Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know by Alexandra Horowitz reviewCollapse )
27: The Story of Jane: The legendary underground feminist abortion service by Laura Kaplan reviewCollapse )
28: The Tenth Good Thing About Benny by Judith Viorst reviewCollapse )
29: The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett reviewCollapse )
30 What We Know by Mary Oliver reviewCollapse )
31: Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy Sayers reviewCollapse )
32: Lord Peter Views the Body by Dorothy Sayers reviewCollapse )
33: Agent of Change by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller reviewCollapse )
34 WWW: Wonder by Robert J Sawyer reviewCollapse )
35: The Disappearing Spoon and Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World From the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean reviewCollapse )
36: Graceling by Kristin Cashore reviewCollapse )

Pages this batch: 3352
Total pages: 11797

[As a end note, I've added page counts to this year's books, as a way to give a feel for how long each book is (this helps me deal with my guilt over listing children's books, which otherwise sometimes feels like cheating), although page count is only slightly meaningful- the same book may have widely different page counts between trade paperback, hardcover, and big print editions. In cases of books with sizeable bibliographies and indexes, I have given a page count up to the end of the main body or main body + end notes, where possible, so I'm not counting pages I didn't actually read.]

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wisdom
Project Cat, a TNR effort aimed at helping the feral cats at a small apartment complex in Arizona is having an emergency. The management company has decided to eliminate the cats, citing resident complaints that seeing the (neutered, managed) ferals around 'made people sad'.

You can help by contacting the management company and reminding them that a managed colony is a lot less sad than unfixed strays, which is what they'll have if they remove the managed cats, and that putting healthy but unadoptable cats to sleep is also pretty sad.

Trap-and-kill doesn't reduce unwanted cat problems, it makes them worse. New strays just move in to occupy the territory. The only thing that helps is Trap-Neuter-Return, which maintains a population of healthy, neutered, vaccinate animals, watched over by a human caretaker, and thereby maintains a population of animals that are unlikely to engage in nuisance behavior and live at a much lower population density than breeding populations.

From eilonwy,
In fact, if you'd like to call MEB and give them a piece of your mind about how they are KILLING cats, it's 602-279-5553. That's no the office of this complex, that's higher up to the corporation that has made the decree. (This is MEB's website.)

You can also write to them in Phoenix:1215 East Missouri Avenue; Phoenix, AZ 85014

Or email them at info@mebmgmt.com


Spread the word.

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19th-Apr-2011 09:57 am - Book 25: Gaudy Night
wisdom
This may be the longest review I've ever written, and the most thought and effort I've devoted to a single topic since I abandoned my website (I still play the bills, but really, it's abandoned). I have lately had need of a story to lose myself in for a while, the real world having proved somewhat difficult, and this happily coincided with me reaching the best and best loved of the Lord Peter Wimsey novels, Gaudy Night.

It's a bit hard to talk about this book, knowing that fair number of people reading this already know it and love it, and have done so longer and perhaps better than me. It's a bit like telling someone what you think about soft sunlight after a long night, or perhaps a soft rest after long day- the description cannot convey the simple pleasure and comfort of it unless one has experienced it for themselves, and the ease after a wearying time. It is a wonderful and wonderfully balanced book, one so well-written that I found myself rereading large portions of it before I could continue onward, both to savor the experience of the scenes again, unwilling to wait for a re-read, and to draw out the experience of reading it for the first time for as long as possible.

I am going to ramble a lot. Please feel free to point out places where I've stopped writing mid-sentence, I probably got distracted and wrote something else.

I'm hoping that most of the folks who read this review have read the book- it's such a glorious unfolding that it's a shame to not discuss spoilers, which I fully intend to do at length, and a story with such a lovely momentum all its own that it would be a pity to read it without that experience of having a first read (like many folks, I was spoiled for fairly important bits of this novel by Connie Willis, in To Say Nothing of the Dog, and though I quite enjoyed it anyway, I wish I'd had a first reading that was all my own. Sensitivity to spoilers may vary, but one can end up, as the joke goes, disliking Shakespeare for using too many cliches). So anyway, if you think you might like to read it some day (and I heartily recommend it), go away and come back to this review afterwards, I'll keep the electrons spinning for you. It can be read as a stand alone, though I think it benefits greatly from reading at least the two other Lord Peter and Harriet novels for context, and if mystery novels are really not your thing (and they weren't mine, before this series), you can skip all the rest. But read Gaudy Night.

So, past this point there be spoilers. You are warned.


25.Gaudy Night By Dorothy Sayers reviewCollapse )


A very good book, and as I still have quite a bit of Sayers on my to-be-read pile, not the end of the journey.

page count: 469
page total: 8445

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14th-Apr-2011 12:33 pm - Books 19-24
wisdom
18.: Hellspark by Janet Kagan reviewCollapse )
19.: The Nine Tailors by Dorothy SayersreviewCollapse )
20.: Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton reviewCollapse )
21.: Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution by Nick Lane review and a small rantCollapse )
22.: The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci lloyd reviewCollapse )
23: How to Marry an English Lord: How Angomania Really Got Started by by Gail MacColl and Carol McD. Wallace reviewCollapse )
24.: At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson reviewCollapse )

page count this entry: 2641
total page count: 7976

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14th-Mar-2011 11:46 am - Books 10-17
wisdom
10.Five Red Herrings by Dorothy Sayers reviewCollapse )
11.Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny reviewCollapse )
12.Have His Carcass by Dorothy Sayers reviewCollapse )
13.Sabriel by Garth Nix (reread) (311 pages)
14.Lireal by Garth Nix (reread) (464 pages)
15. Abhorsen by Garth Nix (reread) (340 pages)
16. Across the Wall by Garth Nix reviewCollapse )
17.Murder Must Advertise By Dorothy Sayers reviewCollapse )

total pages this entry: 2602
total pages this year: 5335

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25th-Feb-2011 01:11 pm - News: Alligator in the House
wisdom
Woman finds alligator behind the couch

Has anyone alerted s00j? This is relevant to her interests.

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15th-Feb-2011 04:04 pm - 2011 book list
wisdom
A bit long, since this is the first book post of the year. There were at least a few books between the last book post of 2010 and the first books of 2011, but I won't count them. Also skipping some rereads that I only reread my favorite bits (granted, some of this amounted to more than half the books in question, but still) and a lot of fanfic, as I've been on a kick lately. Also forgetting anything I can't find listed in my kindle, amazon list, or borrowed from my family.

1. Committed: A Love Story by Elizabeth Gilbert detailed reviewCollapse )
2. A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness: From Impostor Poodles to Purple Numbers by V. S. Ramachandran reviewCollapse )
3. Chalice by Robin McKinley reviewCollapse )
4. Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love by Larry Levin reviewCollapse )
5. Reflex (Jumper) by Stephen Gould reviewCollapse )
6. The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption by Jim Gorant reviewCollapse )
7. Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers review, with spoilers, even though the book was written in 1929Collapse )
8. Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life by Nick Lane reviewCollapse )
9. Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe by Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee detailed reviewCollapse )

total page count: 2733

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2nd-Feb-2011 09:48 am - Redefining murder
wisdom
You know what we need to redefine in this country? Murder.

Consider Angels of Death. These are people, often those working in the medical field, either as doctors, nurses, or other care providers, who intentionally kill their patients. They sometimes perform this when they view it as a 'mercy killing' of someone in suffering, but sometimes this escalates to include people who might have very well recovered, or were never seriously ill in the first place, but the Angel decides that the person is simply better off dead. They'll usually give the patient an overdose of medicines that will cause them to pass away quietly, looking like a natural death, and the Angel will take pleasure from the 'peace' they've given their patients.

Now, Angels of Death may very well amass victim counts in the hundreds, given that they are harder to detect, because they're doing it in a medical setting and deaths are non-violent. This is especially true if the patient was already ill or an isolated patient with no close family. They can sometimes act for years without their actions being detected. They are often quite careful in their choice of vulnerable patients, because unlike doctors who perform assisted suicides, they aren't truly interested in the patient's wishes and dignity, and they don't want to be caught.

They are killing people for the sense of power it gives them.

Some folks would call that murder.

But really, this isn't murder murder. I mean, they're medical professionals (mostly) and their 'patients' are usually passing away fairly quietly, and besides, many of them would have died anyway. Hell, all of them would have died anyway eventually, given a long enough time line. Surely this isn't really murder. Is it fair to treat these people, many of whom are respected professionals, as if they were common criminals?

Everyone knows that real murder, capital M- MURDER, is when a random crazy person -preferably a stranger- chases you down a dark alley and hacks you apart with an axe and there's blood everywhere and you scream and fight before you die and the CSI guys come and take pictures of the scene and there's lots of that yellow crime scene tape. I mean, that's a real murder. Everything else is probably just someone trying to get attention or causing a fuss.

I mean, just because you intentionally caused someone's death is it really murder?

If you're wondering if I've suddenly lost a few of the fries in my happy meal, I'd like you to try something- consider this sort of discussion in light of rape instead of murder. There are a lot of folks out there who are willing and happy to argue that if it isn't a violent act committed by a stranger, it isn't really rape.

If a 13 year old child accepts drinks and drugs at the house of a famous producer and then he had forcibly has intercourse with her, that's not "rape-rape".

If a person has had sex with a man consensually in the past and then on another occasion he waits until she's asleep and then holds her down and has forcible intercourse with her while she protests, that's not something anyone ought to recognize as rape.

And in the current news: If a woman's rape isn't violent, it isn't really rape and the victim shouldn't receive assistance with medical procedures she may need to recover.

(MoveOn has a petition, if you're interested in doing something about this.)

So, to conclude, for anyone having trouble with the math:

Intercourse with someone without their consent is rape. There is no additional requirement on the definition. If you need further clarification on all the other non-loopholes ('but they knew each other!', 'but she was wearing a short skirt!', 'but he's my friend and wouldn't do something like that!', 'but s/he was drunk!', 'but he's her husband!', 'but that can't happen to men!', 'but she looked older!', 'but she shouldn't have been there!'), then kindly start by clicking the 'remove friend' option over my icon and then dieing in a fire, thank you very much.

Get this through your heads, folks.

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