I wrote 13 stories. My assignment was in Diana Wynn Jones' Fire and Hemlock 'verse for Minnabird: Gaudeamus Igitur.
The pinch hits were:
Dinner at Eight for the TV version of the Phryne Fisher stories.
End of the Vacation for Midsommer Murders
The Other Side of the Door in Hail, Caesar
Celebration at the Mill for the UK North and South series
Enter/Return for Tron, Legacy
Serial for Forever Knight
A Listening Ear in Robin of Sherwood
A Tale for a Cold Summer Night in Lois McMaster Bujold's Chalion universe
Sparkling in the Now You See Me fandom
Wollaston Beach in The Departed fandom
Memory for the movie Amazing Grace
On This 'Ane Night which is a Tiffany Aching/Discworld story
In my life there's Elle, who, to use a cliche, will be late to her own funeral. The only time I ever got furious with her was when, for once in her life, she was on time, and left before I arrived, ten minutes late. The next time I saw her I reminded her of 2 hour waits in the rain or cold on my part, just knowing that she was on her way, but, once again, late. (The one real advantage I can see to cell phones is that Elle can now let me know, often before I've left the house, how late she foresees being. She's usually at least 15 minutes later than that, but at least I know I can leave later or bring a longer book to read while waiting.) Elle is also unique among my friends in that I have never, not even when sharing a hotel room with her, seen her with her make-up off.
But what of me? How many times have I been that one friend who wails my lamentations in someone's ear before asking how s/he's doing or what's happening in their lives? How many moments of selfishness have I had within friendship without even realizing that I had something for which to apologize?
That then led me to that one friend in a positive way. That one friend who said I could stay with her for a couple of weeks and let me stay for a couple of years. Or Elle, again, who volunteered to look after me after foot surgery before I could even ask. The friend who made certain I was all right after my concussion and went with me to urgent care was another "that one friend." All the friends in many cities, who have helped me clean when my depression has decompensated my apartment into a mess that needs a shovel to get from the door to the bedroom, are "one friends" and godsends.
And in that aspect, what can I take pride in as a friend? In high school, I saw the movie Auntie Mame with my best friend at the time. After it was over, she turned to me and said, "You're my Auntie Mame." Five years ago, at a high school reunion (different high school), someone came up to me and said, "I should have appreciated you more. You were the only one of us out having adventures." He then thanked me for introducing him to the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan, a lifelong love that he was looking forward to sharing with his son.
I don't know that there's much I do right in this world. I try, but as Hamlet says, "I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me." I think I'm sometimes -- I hope not often -- a terrible friend. But I have adventures and I do my best to share them and share my love for testing limits.
Maybe I'm not the best person in the world, but at least I've been someone's Auntie Mame.
eta: a missing comma and a missing word
eta2 (12/8/2016 3:00 EST): I just got off the phone with the friend I'm calling Elle. Her husband went in for routine surgery yesterday and, in her words, "I'm probably going to walk out of this hospital a widow." Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
What does this mean for me? Well, first of all, no matter what, I can't move to Quebec for at least two years. I mean, I hadn't planned to, but with our current President-elect, it was a possibility.
( The struggle is under the cut. )
For the next two years, I'll have to worry about these 2000 people -- that they'll lose the little political autonomy they have, that they'll end up being forced to register on someone's list. And I'll have to fight. Mostly in small ways via forcing developers to adhere to zoning plans and pollution regulations, but I'm very aware that it may also be in big ways -- and that I'll need to be vigilant every day.
At that point, I said something along the lines of, "This is why you'll lose. You're not willing to find out why they aren't voting in their economic interests." More discussion.
Finally, I made my point, which is that the Democratic Party had a chance to reverse people's belief that it was made up entirely of elitists who didn't care about the middle of the country. What they needed to do was go out at a very grassroots level and talk to people door to door, set a spell on a front porch drinking the sweet tea that would be offered and ask about what's going wrong in America or in the neighborhood and take notes. Then go to the next front porch and do the same thing. At that point, we, and I'm counting myself there as an East coast elitist who is traditionally Liberal, had up to three years to figure out how to reach middle America and drop our elitist language.
We didn't. Obama won. And we forgot that this project still needed to be done.
Make no mistake, this is about class and privilege in the United States. While white privilege exists (hoo boy, does it exist), people who are in extreme poverty, without work, and with drugs devastating their communities don't see themselves as privileged.
Until and unless we build this bridge, we will lose the hearts and minds of the middle of the country and their kids. Seeing that Grandma's medicare doesn't get her the help she needs or that his children are more likely to find meth than a job, alienates people and they are told by the ministers they listen to that a thrice married sociopath is better than a God-fearing Methodist who's stayed with her husband because the "values" shared aren't tangible. It doesn't matter that Hillary Clinton isn't warm and fuzzy, that can be overcome. It matters that the Democratic Party is bad at pointing to the concrete actions they have done to help. It matters that the Liberals don't deplore abortion, for instance, while explaining why it needs to remain legal with human and relatable anecdotes.
I work with numbers. I've learned to respect statistics. But I'm also southern culturally, and nothing is really understood within my culture without a story to explain it.
In a Guardian comment, I once said: In my jurisdiction, most of the women who choose to abort already have two or more children. They are making the choice, in part, to make certain the children they already have will be fed, schooled, and reared with fewer financial constraints. This is not the choice for toys. This is a choice for children to have the essentials of life.
You want to end abortion? Then make certain there are programs which provide safe havens for abused women. Make certain that every child who is already here has a safe place to sleep and sufficient to eat. I promise you, the abortion rate will go down drastically.
That's a strategy that has a story to be told. Sharing that story could get middle America supporting the right to choose if it's framed right (I admit, I picked a tough one as an example.).
But Liberals can't tell these stories until we've set on a porch and listened to their stories.
When my cousin who was more like a grandmother to me was in her late 80s, I said something inadvertently which led her to ask me about "the gays." I approached my answer through the bible using the ten commandments, the New testament superceding the Old, and 1 Corinthians 13 to buttress my argument. She listened because I was family, in part, but also because I was educated, because I approached it through the book she loved and the religion she practiced, and because I listened to her whole question.
I don't know how we can do this, but I know that we must.
Your result for The Golden Compass Daemon Test...
In a way, you are a truly balanced person. You have a good sense of self, but you have periods of worry and self doubt. You don't like to be alone a lot, but you don't like being constantly surrounded, either. You can be shy in some situations and bold in others. You can tell people how you feel, but you don't wear your heart on your sleeve. You aren't "TOO" anything: You aren't too shy, you aren't too aggressive, you aren't too extroverted, you aren't too introverted. However at any one time you can be any combination of these things.
You tend to adapt yourself to match the situations in which you find yourself. You may be quiet and sensitive with some people, or joking and loud with others. These are all facets of your personality. People tend to perceive you as they want to perceive you. They may even tend to idealize you a bit. Then, when you do something that doesn't fit their concept of who you are (like have an outburst of anger, or a fit of shyness, or make an insensitive joke)they can be shocked and surprised. Does anyone know the real you?
Your daemon would represent your multi-faceted and ever-changing personality, as well as people's tendency to idealize you. He or she would get angry when you did not, be calm and poised when you felt ruffled and anxious, and always be the voice of emotion and reason in your ear.
Swan, Elephant, Koala, Panda, Chameleon, Wolf.
Kaine: Even Richard Nixon released his taxes
Richard Nixon did not release his tax returns while running for president in 1960 or in 1968 – he released them in 1973, after his second term began. In 1968 Nixon only gave a limited glimpse of his a magazine writer, and only released the returns under pressure from the Watergate inquiry. He released the returns despite an audit by the IRS, which Trump had repeatedly claimed was his reason for not releasing returns.
You can look at Nixon’s returns at the Presidential Tax History Project. You can look at Trump’s 1995 returns at the New York Times. If you can somehow see Trump’s later returns, feel free to send copies along to our offices at 222 Broadway, New York. (emphasis mine)
In general, I'm thrilled that you're writing for me and I'm thrilled to be taking part in another Yuletide.
I've put any fandom specific limitations in the prompts, but there are some things I just really love or hate.
General nos: Extreme violence. Rape or Dubcon. There are certain acts which just don't turn me on: scat, blood play, golden showers.
All BDSM must be safe, sane, and consensual.
General yeses: Exploration of emotions and the consequences of actions. I'm fine with explicit slash, het, or threesomes (or moresomes).
The fandoms are :
Legion of Extraordinary Dancers
Hellspark! by Janet Kagan
Kingdom of Heaven
( The detailed requests )
Dear, dear author -- thank you so much for writing for me. I can't wait to read it.
Anyway, the Patronus gives you a very short time to pick a word, sometimes with a question, but not always. It kept saying, "You have a very rare one. Just one more question." Seriously, I had about five "one more questions." I ended up with Fire Salamander.
( If anyone doesn't like salamanders or lizards, please don't click here. There's a picture of the thing. )
It's my fantasy; I can dream big.
I also have an abiding love for the first car I ever picked out rather than inherited from my parents: the Deux Chevaux, also by Citroën. I adored that car. It didn't matter that it was made out of tin foil -- seriously the air-conditioning was a flap over a chicken wire screen -- it had a great ride, was comfortable for 4 people, and could hit 70 mph (~120 kph) on a flat road. Uphill was another matter, but it was still a fascinating car to drive with a fantastic suspension system. It was designed to drive across a furrowed field with a basket of eggs in the passenger seat without breaking any. It had a very smooth ride, and I'm probably one of the few Americans who can handle a Duesenberg shift.
The Citroën CX managed to look so futuristic, that a group of Californians in 2007 were wondering if it was a prototype for a Prius competitor. The car they were discussing in the grocery store parking lot was made in 1982.
All of this is in aid of the new Citroën CXperience prototype which I read about at the BBC site this morning. OMG! I think I'm in love. Even the logo is elegant.
I can haz one, pliz? Seriously, I haven't driven more than a few miles in years, but I want this car to drive across country and back. Maybe drive it across Canada, too, or try from DC to Montevideo. It's gorgeous.
I was never lucky enough to see him live. He had a club in Brussels, but we seemed only to hear about his appearances after they happened. He lived and played well into his 90s. It's not a common jazz instrument, but he did wonderful things with it.
His obituary in The Guardian
When I volunteered at the Smithsonian's Seafood Sustainability event during my unemployment, I was tasked to look after him for the evening book signings. The line for Alton Brown was vast. Maybe three people came up to Chef Richard's table and only one bought a book (I was too broke, sadly). For 45 minutes we talked about his time in Belgium and what it had taught him about food. We discussed restaurants we'd both eaten at and what made the Belgian approach different from the French approach and I don't know what all. We went back and forth on language spoken as one or the other of us groped for a word a reverted to our own tongue, but I just remember that fairly brief meeting as one of genuine kindness.
With my first paycheck, several months later, I took myself and a friend to Central for dinner. It was lovely.
Here are his books:
Happy in the Kitchen,
Home Cooking with a French Accent which is only available second hand.
Keep your fingers crossed.
Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com
This is how I see it going with no states in play. The shade indicates whether I think it will be close in a state (paler means closer and I had the option of three shades for each). As an example, Louisiana is paler red because I think the gay and black populations will weaken the Republican base, but, ultimately, this is the state which gave us David Duke.
I picked up my petitions to get on the ballot for ANC, and I already have 12 valid signatures (and 7 invalid ones). I need 25 valid signatures total before 5 pm on Wednesday (which, by the way, is 90 days to the election).
Wish me luck.
( Read more... )
Here's my call to arms. If you can vote early without a crowd, please do it. If that's not possible, and you have a job which will allow it, take election day off, especially if you're in a "boots on the ground" state.
I'm going to leave this as is and revisit it on November 9 to see if I was prescient about anything.