The interview starts at about 1 minute in, and runs about 30 minutes.
This was recorded on Day 4 of ConVergence, earlier this month. (Which seems longer ago than that, already.)
posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on July, 24
I finished The Railway Children! asakiyume had acquired a copy of the most recent movie for us to watch, which gave me extra impetus, but it was a real pleasure to read so I probably would have galloped through it anyway. Highly recommended if you like early twentieth-century children’s books.
Also highly recommended: the 2000 film version of The Railway Children, which is quite faithful to the book - it cuts a couple of scenes (and one of the cut scenes is the one tragically sexist scene in the book, which is otherwise so good about letting the girls be just as heroic as their brother) but doesn’t add much, which IMO is generally where adaptations go wrong, adding in scenes that don’t suit at all. The biggest addition, I think, is that the film draws out some of the stuff about class relations which is latent in the book - but it doesn’t become overbearing or anything; it’s still quite secondary to the fun adventures.
Also Jerry, by Jean Webster - who is most famous for writing Daddy-Long-Legs - and this is definitely a case where I can see why that’s the book she’s remembered for, although Jerry is not without charms. A young American man - and, as a side note, his name is Jerymn, which I have never seen before and would be inclined to take as a misspelling of Jermyn except Webster spells it that way every single time. Has anyone else run across this name? How do you pronounce it?
Anyway, Jerry - to give him his easily pronounceable nickname - Jerry is vacationing in a dull Italian country town when he meets a beautiful American girl. To get closer to her (and enliven his dull days), he masquerades as an Italian tour guide. She sees through him at once, but doesn’t let on, and the rest of the book consists of the two of them gleefully upping the ante of the masquerade.
What I’m Reading Now
I’m almost done with Jane Langton’s The Astonishing Stereoscope, which sadly I think is not nearly as good as either The Fragile Flag or The Fledgling, although also not nearly as bad as The Time Bike. A good middling Langton! And I will continue to search for The Swing in the Summerhouse, which is about, I think, a magical swing, which I think is just perfect and delightful and I hope the book lives up to it.
There are also a couple of post-Time Bike books in this series, but I am a little leery about reading them. Still, if I do run across them…
What I Plan to Read Next
My next reading challenge is coming up! It is “a book published before you were born,” and the only challenging part of this will be fixing on just one. The library has kindly purchased Kate Seredy’s The Chestry Oak for me (this is the first time I have made a purchase request at a library! I feel so powerful!), so perhaps that; but there is also the possibility of reading more Nesbit...
We swam everyday, and stood on a sandbar over a hundred yards out in the water and looked at rainstorms out in the gulf. The water was warm in the afternoon, like a giant saltwater spa. We ate a lot of seafood and had margaritas and went out in the harbor in a little boat. It was awesome.
Then yesterday I had jury duty for traffic court, got picked, and everyone there got to tell a mean, angry, scary old white guy clearly used to controlling everything around him that yes, he did have to pay his fine just like everyone else. I don't even know how someone could be this confident in his belief that he can get away with anything, but watching him change his story and lie, and have the woman DA point out the body cam and dash cam video showing he was lying, and Judge Navarro being completely fair yet also bored and unimpressed, and effortlessly cutting off the guy's attempt to rant and swear on the stand. The Judge also made the DA skip over what was probably 20 minutes of video that didn't show anything except that the guy was a terrible person, but believe me, the jury already knew that.
I'm going to try to catch up on book rec posts, and I need to do another Raksura story for my Patreon this month. (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=
Maybe he ate something while he was out at his doctor appointments yesterday? We only talked for about two minutes this morning between me and Cordelia getting up and him going to bed. He said he didn't know what was causing the problem, and I didn't want to keep him just to ask more questions.
Cordelia decided to stay home today in order to see her grandparents and uncle who will be arriving around 11:30 to take us to lunch. The main complication of this is that I now don't have anywhere to put the junk that I need to move out of the living room so that people can sit down. Scott's asleep in our room, and Cordelia's asleep in her room. That pretty much leaves the basement.
Scott won't join us for lunch. We decided that it made more sense for him to keep sleeping. We have our biweekly game session tonight, and he's supposed to GM. I kind of think it might be better for us to play board games, but I guess it will depend on he's doing at 7 tonight. We'll also need to stop a bit early because he needs to leave shortly after 10 in order to get to work by 10:45.
I got a lot of chores done yesterday-- Five loads of laundry; filling, running, and emptying the dishwasher; making dinner; cooking two packages of breakfast sausages; breaking down some boxes for recycling; getting the recycling and trash to the curb for pick up; changing the sheets on our bed; rearranging and dusting my bedroom bookshelves; and moving two shopping bags of books from our bedroom down to the basement plus shelving about a third of them.
Oh, and I sprayed a set of clothing for Cordelia to wear at camp. We bought some prometherin (sp?) which is a spray on tick repellent that's specifically for clothing. She's only wearing a t-shirt and long shorts plus underwear and footie socks, so it only helps a very little bit, but a little bit is better than nothing. We're not spraying her underwear or socks (footie socks don't come up past the top of the shoe). The spray bottle doesn't work very well. The only way to get anything out is to hold it sideways, and the stuff is very bad to breathe, so the spraying has to be done outside and then the clothes left hanging outside to dry for a few hours (how long depends on the humidity).
Needless to say, I was ready to sleep pretty early. I didn't end up doing so, but I should have, could have. Part of not going to bed early was that I had trouble making myself stand up to deal with getting ready to sleep.
Scott sleeping during the day really disrupts my routine because I can't really listen to music or watch anything due to noise. I dug up some earbuds, but they turned out not to work well because one gave no sound at all. We'd had them for years without ever opening the package, so either they were defective when we bought them or they deteriorated in storage. I can watch things with the sound off if there's captioning, but I like to be able to hear the dialogue, too.
I also have to be sure that I have all of the things I need out of the bedroom before Scott goes to bed. If I go in there for something, it will wake him. Tomorrow, when the cleaning lady comes, will be interesting.
I'm thinking that I might move the bags of stuff we want to get rid of to the garage. If that stuff gets stolen, well, at that point, we wouldn't have to haul it anywhere to donate it. But I kind of think that someone looking for quick cash isn't going to dig through garbage bags full of old clothing, not when there are things like the snowblower and Cordelia's bike. I'll shut the door, but Scott tends to forget, and he's the one who mostly opens the door (lawn mowing, grilling, etc.).
Both links go to the first chapter of the story in question. Neither story is anywhere near complete.
And I've gotten a comment on Auguries of Innocence that labels is as (good) crackfic. Are long, plotty darkfic AUs generally considered crackfic? I've always found the term a bit slippery in that I know when I read something that I would call crackfic but couldn't define the term apart from pointing at examples. I usually expect short and humorous, though.
* "UN delegation visits Yemen amid cholera outbreak:" http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/07/
* "Rome hit by water rationing as Italy struggles with drought:" http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-
* "Wind-driven fires hopscotch through south of France, Corsica:" https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/
* <.< >.> http://gwydionmisha.tumblr.com/post/
* "New facts uncovered about Trump FBI pick, confirmation vote looms:"
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* "Trump considering replacing Sessions: reports:"
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* "Senate Republicans heedless of Obamacare repeal consequences:"
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* Time to ramp protests up! "Republicans vote to move ahead on Obamacare repeal:" http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/
This App phones your rep for you: http://takeastance.us/
Here is one that will send your reps a fax: https://resistbot.io/
* "Truck-driving is a modern form of indentured slavery:" https://boingboing.net/2017/06/21/
* "In Victory for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Court Finds That Approval of Dakota Access Pipeline Violated the Law:" http://www.theindigenousamericans.com/
* "Chechnya: Dozens of men slaughtered and buried in one night as gay purge continues:" http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/07/11/
Here is a petition: http://petitions.pinknews.co.uk/
Places to Donate:
* The Evolution of Bipedalism: http://seananmcguire.tumblr.com/post/
* It's not helping if you didn't ask first. This is true on the small, personal scale, on the activism scale, and the Geo-political scale. Questions like, "What do you need", "Would you like me to help with that?", "What would you like me to do?", "What would be most useful for me to do?", and "How can I help you?" are magically because they not only are a subset of consent, but also let you target help when and where it is actually needed instead of just making things worse by barging into a situation without listen to the person or people you are trying to help.
On the personal scale, it is things like asking a person in mourning what they actually need instead of drowning them in food they can't store for the first two days than disappearing. Maybe what they actually need is respite child care or help with the dishes. How will you know I you didn't ask? Similarly, just grabbing someone's arm or wheelchair handles without asking is invasive and the absolute opposite of helping. Odds are you are about to knock someone off balance, make them lose step count, impede rather than facilitate, etc.. Not asking means it's about your ego or how you feel or what you want. Asking if you can help sincerely and listening to the answer, including no, is actually helping. Odds are I do want help cleaning up after the wake or carrying that stack of packages, but you don't know if you didn't ask me.
It's the same with allyship. Educate yourself. Listen to the discourse. Interrogate your biases and privilege. Listen to the people in the community you are wanting to stand with, and pay attention to what they say they need from allies. Signal boost their messages. Give the help that is asked for instead of imposing your ideas of what is best, because the people in that community have thought longer and harder on what needs to happen than even the most well meaning person can.
It's the same on the big scale too. When we invaded Afghanistan there was all this high minded rhetoric about helping women. Government programs, NGOs, and private charities all turned up with big ideas about how to "help," but it's not helping if you don't ask. Very little attempt was made to ask Afghan women what they needed, or enlist them in planning and decision making. The women we claimed to want to help were infantilized by paternalistic outsiders who never once considered that the people they were pretending to help might have their own, superior ideas as to what would actually improve things. When Jenny Nordberg came through much later and actually *gasp* asked, women said that they wanted things like full scholarships for young women from rural areas to go to school to become doctors, nurses, teachers, etc., so they could afford to train and then return where they were most needed, but that wasn't the sort of thing westerners convinced they know best would think of, because they don't know conditions on the intimate level that the women born and raised there did. I use this example, because it is on my mond lately, but there are other things in the world news this applies to.
It's not helping if you didn't ask first and you didn't listen to the answers.
* "Treasury of historic clothing revealed at Westminster Abbey:" https://www.theguardian.com/education/
* "Profiles in Tremendousness - White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci:"
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* ...And I'm out. "The Mist, Season One, Episode Five: The Waiting Room:" http://www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/
* "Mansplaining, Offensive Representation, and...a Well-Written Sex Scene! Thrones Does the Impossible! :" https://www.thefandomentals.com/
* "32 Things We Learned from Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak Commentary
* TNG Rewatch, Season 6:
- a Fist Full of Datas. So in the Scotty episode they used the holodeck without anything going wrong. I think that may be a record, one whole episode with holodeck bu no injuries or dangerous malfunctions. I've been recently rewatching the HBO Deadwood, which is rather a stark contrast, as you can imagine. This version ought to be cleaned up and a little silly, as it's a child's let's pretend. Of course, TOS Tombstone (and the Hartnell Doctor Who Tombstone) haven't that excuse. Anyway, Worf is bad at pretend and also still struggling with the parent thing, and very, very Worf. I am really uncomfortable with the cartoony Mexican bandito stereotype, and I could have done without the man in dress based punchline. has anything good ever come of tampering with Data's brain? Amusing call back to the infamous data cat poem. Brent Spiner is delightful in this and it is good to see them give Marina Sirtis something worth doing. I do enjoy the conflicting value systems here as Worf struggles to deal with something entirely alien. It was good Worf actually does the riht thing with Alexander for once. Is this episode the start of Diana/Worf?
- The Quality of Life. The Beard debate... I have no idea how to feel about it. The opposition set up between feminist discourse and self expression is messy in a very Star trek sort of way and does wend us back towards the personhood theme fundamental to Data in particular and Star trek as a whole. Even though Data isn't in this particular scene, this is a Data episode and does deal with artificial life and personhood. Seriously, the season six writing is noticeably better and I appreciate the little bits of continuity like Geordi's beard. The bickering is understandable given the stress, but exhausting to watch. This episode is full of big questions: What is life? What happens in the moment between being and not being? What constitutes slavery when it comes to AI? What are the ethics around testing for sapience? Is one intelligent lifeform more valuable than another?I do like that thesolution came dp
* Full list of Resistance and charity links has been migrated to my profile as it was getting out of hand.
* "What can I do to help Syria?:" http://gwydionmisha.tumblr.com/post/
* This App phones your rep for you: http://takeastance.us/
* Here is one that will send your reps a fax: https://resistbot.io/
* Want to fight Climate Change? "Ready to Mobilize? Start Here!:" http://www.theclimatemobilization.org/
* Distressed by the anti-gay genocide in Chechnya and the anti-gay laws in Russia? Donate here:
* The Rainbow Road and other ways to help Gay Refugees: http://gwydionmisha.tumblr.com/post/
* This is a Real Life friend of mine. They do very much need the money and a number of people and beasts depend on him and his husband. They have been incredibly helpful and supportive of me. If you can kick in, it is a kindness.: https://www.youcaring.com/tod-788345
* This is my oldest continuous Real Life friend. She is disabled and really needs the money for herself and beasts. To buy jewelry from her: https://www.etsy.com/shop/karjack
* Help pay for cat food, litter, meds, medical copays: Paypal Lethran@gmail.com
* Want Game of Thrones without the creepy? We need new players. We are very inclusive. "Game of Bones MUSH:" gobmush.wikidot.com
( Works in Pandemic Legacy: Season One, A Ladies' Guide to Collecting Mermaid Love Songs - Aimee Picchi, and Aliens (1986) / Alien (1979) / Alien Series )
( Challenge information )
The final volume of the AMacD commonplace books ends abruptly halfway through. Between two pages are inserted a large number of loose cuttings from assorted periodicals, reporting the death of Gervase Reveley, Viscount Raxdell, in a street accident which only his own skills as a whip prevented from being a far worse disaster, but leading to his being thrown clear of his own curricle and fatally injured. There are also a number of obituary notices. On the following page is written three times I must be philosophical with a heavy line drawn underneath.
Alexander MacDonald, MA, locks the volume away with the others in the secure press, and looks down at his hand. The effects of grief upon the physical body are surely a topic suited to the philosopher, he murmurs as he observes its faint persistent trembling.
But, he thinks, no-one will imagine it to be anything but the natural effects of his efforts over these past few days: no-one will suppose that the signs of lack of sleep upon his face due to anything but the business of organising the funeral, arranging for the succession of the new viscount, writing or causing to be written the vast number of letters that have been necessary, and having all in order for this present morning’s reading of the will.
At least he had been there to the last: it had been considered not in the least remarkable that Gervase desired to communicate last wishes to his dedicated secretary, when they brought in his broken body.
He bites his lip. The new viscount, a fellow of nearly Gervase’s own years that had never expected to inherit, any anticipations in the matter falling upon his son, shows considerable signs of wanting him to stay and steer an obscure country squire through the new paths he suddenly finds himself set upon. But to stay at Raxdell House, when there is no Gervase –
But first, the reading of the will. The servants were well instructed beforehand, but he should be there with His new Lordship to greet the lawyers as they arrive.
The relatives and the household have assembled. Jerome, Seraphine and Roberts all sit together. Old Fosticue – demonstrating respect for the ancient association of the firm with the Reveley family, it is Old Fosticue comes creaking about this ceremony – picks up the document.
There is a little – not quite a gasp, more the sounds of breaths being drawn in among the assembled company – and Old Fosticue looks up as the drawing-room door can be heard opening. A late-comer to the reading? He cannot think of anyone who should be there and isn’t - mayhap some family black sheep in hopes of some small legacy –
A rustle of silk. He turns to look.
Still able to glide like a swan into a room, though in this instance, a black swan, Clorinda, Dowager Marchioness of Bexbury, advances down the rows of chairs, clad in the deepest of mourning, and, gracefully resisting any efforts to direct her anywhere else, comes to sit beside him.
How could he have not known she would come? One must play the comedy out to the last act and the final bow, she has said in respect of so many stratagems and contrivances over the years. Of course she would be here. Under concealment of the full skirt, she takes and squeezes his hand.
A deal of the property is entailed but there was still a considerable amount entirely within Gervase’s disposal. In the will he has carefully detailed numerous minor bequests to various members of the household, distant relatives, and friends. Jerome is well-provided for, as he should be. His dear friend, the Dowager Marchioness of Bexbury, comes in for several pieces of his mother’s jewellery, a valuable snuff-box, and a painting by Raoul de Clérault: doubtless everyone will speculate that Gervase made some settlement upon her years ago, and guess that these are merely sentimental tokens of his esteem. And after all, she is known a well-left widow with no need to hang out for legacies
And to my devoted secretary, who has served me so well and so faithfully - of course, he had expected some remembrance –
- but not that it would be what could only be described as a generous independence, along with something about enabling him to devote his abilities to philosophy -
- at which he finds himself feeling quite the reverse of philosophical, but Clorinda grips his hand again and he does not faint or fall into a fit of weeping.
Afterwards, His new Lordship says all that is proper, but looks as though he is about to lead to the possibility of Sandy's remaining; but a weight leans upon his arm, a voice says in die-away tones, o, Mr MacDonald, I feel quite overset - no-one can apply a dainty handkerchief to her eyes as Clorinda can – might you see is my smelling-bottle in my reticule, sure I thought I had put it in – o, Your Lordship, I am indeed sorry to break in upon your conversation, but I find myself so exceeding faint I would prevail upon Mr MacDonald's kindness to escort me home.
Clorinda’s hair under the cap may be silver-gilt rather than golden these days, she is no longer a young woman, but she still has only to enter a room to draw a bevy of men, old and young, to her side. The new viscount swallows and says, indeed, he would not wish to detain Lady Bexbury here –
O, thank you, breathes Clorinda, and they leave the room quite as if he is rescuing her from the press rather than the reverse.
Once they are in her carriage, and driving away, she says, really! solicit you at such a time to remain about Raxdell House! shocking ton.
But -, he begins.
O, but me no buts, Sandy dear. Are there not young men among your connexion would jump at such a place? You need only say to Lord Raxdell that you have become so entire used to Milord’s particular ways that you confide you would find it hard, at your time of life, to have to change to suit his, but that you will ever be entire at his disposal and that of any secretary he appoints to give advice.
It is entirely true, utterly sensible, quite proper: and something that he had not even managed to begin to think in his frozen state.
My dear, she says, I confide that these past days you have barely slept, have been about all matter of arrangements and perform’d them all exceeding well, and 'tis entirely that consideration should prevent Lord Raxdell from approaching you until you have had time to think of what you will do now. In particular as you do not need to be hanging out for preference.
No… he says, wondering if having something to put his hand to would at least be a distraction, keep him from thinking, from remembering –
They arrive at Clorinda’s pretty house, where they have hatched so many plots and sounded so many mysteries. Hector makes exceeding civil condolences to him, and shows them into the pretty parlour. He goes sit in his accustomed chair.
Vaguely, he hears Clorinda give some instructions to Hector, then turn and say, and Hector, when you have spoke to Euphemia, send up someone with more coals to stir up the fire.
He thinks it might be one of Hector and Euphemia’s offspring that comes lay more coals and stir up the fire into a fine blaze.
Why, dearest C-, do we need a great fire? (For the weather has of a sudden become a deal milder than that cold snap, with ice upon the ground that contributed to the accident.)
Because, dear Sandy, you are shivering.
So he is.
Quite shortly afterwards comes Euphemia herself with a mug in her hand. He had been expecting coffee, has not coffee ever been almost immediately served whenever he comes here?
'Tis a posset, says Clorinda, a most sustaining thing. I daresay you have not eat a thing these several days. You cannot live upon coffee.
He wrinkles his nose but indeed, he cannot remember eating anything, though surely Seraphine must have been leaving food for him.
A little while later comes some excellent soup.
And then he remembers nothing more except for some faint remembrance of being conveyed upstairs by Hector.
(Feel free to click the thumbnail.)
Also, y'all, I love this show, especially this season: ( Killjoys up to & including 3x04 ''The Lion, The Witch, and the Warlords'' )
1. spatch met me after my doctor's appointment this afternoon; we walked up the Esplanade to Back Bay (willows, cormorants, a blue reflected hollow in the overcast rippling in the river's wind-waves; I climbed a tree and developed a hole in my sock) and had dinner at the Cornish Pasty Co., where the chicken tikka masala pasty was approximately half the size of a human head and the toffee pudding with crème anglais arrived in a crucible. These are both endorsements. We had not planned on a book-gathering trip, but first there were the book sale carts at the West End Branch of the BPL and then there was Rodney's. I now appear to own Jack Weatherford's The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire (2010), Jean Potts' Home Is the Prisoner (1960), Derek Jarman: A Portrait (1996) edited by Roger Wollen, and Cicely Mary Barker's The Lord of the Rushie River (1938), which I freely admit I bought because "Traveller's Joy" appears in the text as a folk song. The clouds had broken up by the time we were walking back over the Harvard Bridge and the Charles was full of white and pink sails, including a small flotilla circling one another and then crocodiling back to the MIT boathouse. Rob took a couple of pictures of me on the Esplanade. I am not all right with photographs of myself right now, so I am trying to make a point of them.
( And the gunner we had was apparently mad. )
2. yhlee and telophase have developed a hexarchate Tarot. Specifically, a jeng-zai deck of the era of Machineries of Empire. You can ask it things. There are no illustrations as yet, but I ran two spreads from different factions and even allowing for the pattern-making capacity of the human brain it gave me scarily decent readings both times. Fair warning: it comes from a dystopia. I'm not sure it knows how to advise on light matters.
3. Courtesy of Michael Matheson: from the archives of Robot Hugs, Gender Rolls. I'm not sure why we don't seem to own any dice, but fortunately the internet provides. I got non-binary femme-type dandy. I . . . can really live with that, actually.
We bought food for the cats. We bought ice cream for ourselves. I guess tomorrow I make a lot more calls.