Friday, August 18th, 2017 11:00 am
Thursday, August 17th, 2017 08:24 pm
I went to Corfu! I was introduced to Corfiot bean stew! I was a fan. I am also struggling to track down a recipe that will let me recreate the But That's Amazing Though that I experienced there, because it's generally made with fish and there are relatively few recipes online, which means my ability to take the average of multiple recipes is limited. Nonetheless!

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... which I served up with The Rice Of My People, which I'd apparently somehow not made for A before; he is a Fan. It turns out. Read more... )
Thursday, August 17th, 2017 07:23 pm
Monday is my birthday, and to celebrate Jane is going to show me around Paris for a long weekend. We're off tomorrow morning, and arriving back on my actual Birthday (Monday), which is _also_ the anniversary of the first time she hugged me (after she came to the airport to meet me off the plane back from my trip around the Southlands).

I arrived home to discover that she had made this wonder in the living room:


And I am looking forward to being allowed to open any of the things underneath it!

(Jim is being left with strict instructions that he is not allowed to eat any of the boxes. Or the tree. Or be sick on any of them. Or peek inside.)
Thursday, August 17th, 2017 06:54 pm
Did YOU know there's a right and a wrong way to sit on a sofa? No, nor did I till I started this cat-sitting gig. Now, Caz's mogs are obviously either less or more classy, because they don't much care as long as you're providing a warm lap. Horizontal/lengthwise is probably top-notch for them - more room to stretch out on, and an easily-reachable face to purr in. Zanda & Janet's cats are much the same, though sometimes they barely wait for you to sit down - they're there, waiting imperiously. Also, once ensconced, you're not allowed to get up without due care and attention, and will be immediately cat-lapped again once you've sat back down.

Smokey, however, is having none of that. When Ruth sits on the sofa, Smokey will get on with her, walk across her, sit next to her (if not quite ON her). When I do it? I get this look of horror and disgust. "UR DOIN IT RONG!" it shrieks. I've tried using the footrest, not using the footrest, knitting, not knitting, reading, watching TV ... nope. I'm sure part of the problem is that I'm a different shape from Ruth, and not as tall, so I'm inclined to slide. But still - "UR DOIN IT RONG!"
No, I don't know either.

Today she has been also disgusted that I didn't have steak, I had smoked haddock risotto, and didn't offer her any, and Felix Tuna flavour cat food with dentibits is no fit substitute. Hard cheddar, Smokey, my lass. She'll get a few more bits of *whisper* Thrive if she comes and asks nicely.

In other Far East news, I arrived this morning, dumped my bags, got my breath back, set the laptop up (for some arcane reason it had forgotten this wifi - probably something to do with the software upgrade earlier this year...), had coffee & a snack, and then went out to Westfield. I returned, somewhat knackered from stairs and a bit infuriated that the signs direct you to Central Line - Eastbound, and not till you GET there do they say 'step-free access via the other corridor' by which time you'd have to turn round and walk twice as far as you already have. So I struggled slowly up the steps, and by the time I'd got down the ones at Leytonstone, my knees were killing me. Also now my right ankle is sulking. However, I got what I went for - another backpack from Claire's, this time in plain beige fabric, a slightly different construction; it's got a stiffened top opening with free ends to the zip, and the front pocket is a full U-shaped opening rather than just a rounded-corner straight-across; also, no detachable pocket inside, just a padded internal pocket. £15, reduced from £35, which is OK. I've transferred everything over, and as far as I can tell, all the pockets are a bit larger, which is good - means I may be able to fit three knitting projects in instead of two! Also I got a bag of soft brown sugar, which is what I like on my morning cereal - I'd been meaning to bring a small jar of it from home, but forgot. That's OK, I'll open this carefully, seal it back into a ziplock bag to go home next week, and it can go off the shopping list for a while longer.
Thursday, August 17th, 2017 06:42 pm
On Saturday 12th, I loaded the car and set course for Leeds, as I'd volunteered to do a DJ set for BiCon 2017. Arrival, loadout, help set up the venue, shower, change, back down in time for the ball (with thanks for Fred for feeding me, as I'd missed a step in my plans!), enjoy sets by Katy and Lucy of DJ Frabjous, and then onto the decks. The venue was, to say the least, quite warm. OK, it was baking up there on the stage, and I was dripping by about half an hour into my set. Although that may also have had something to do with the stage being large enough to dance properly behind the decks.

The ball's theme was 'A Beach Ball', resulting in some varied decorations (and some remote-controlled helium fish), and some inspired costumes (which included the first time I'd seen a beach hut waltz to 'The Impossible Dream').

With the planned end of my set coming up, the organiser re-arranged the schedule so I could keep going for another half hour. And then the bar staff announced that they'd be open for longer than we'd thought they would be, and I could add another half hour (which explains the slight false stop and the sudden grab for any CD to keep things going).

So, what did I play for two, no, two-and-a-half, no, three hours? (Some of the tracks were drawn from, or in other cases, vaguely influenced by, the extensive crowd-sourced Spotify request list that attendees had added to in advance - although quite a few of those might have got played anyway. Others were entirely my fault.)

2200-0100 )

And thank you to the dancefloor, for trusting their DJ, and keeping going to tracks they'd probably not encountered before, like Heartsrevolution or Ferocious Dog.
Thursday, August 17th, 2017 02:28 pm

Mirrored from Juliet Kemp.

Here is a list of the recs I picked up from various panels I attended at Worldcon. (These are likely not complete, but they’re the ones that I wrote down.)


In Defense of the Unlikeable Heroine:


  • We Who Are About To – Joanna Russ


Non-Binary Representation In Fiction:


  • Transcendent: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction – ed K M Szpara (anthology)

  • The Black Tides of Heaven / The Red Threads of Fortune – JY Yang (forthcoming in Sept)

  • Provenance – Ann Leckie (forthcoming, but read some on her website)

  • Jacob’s Ladder – Elizabeth Bear

  • River of Teeth – Sarah Gailey

  • Pantomime – Laura Lam

  • Killing Gravity – Corey J White

  • Interactive fiction Craft phone games (Choice of Deathless/City’s Thirst) – Max Gladstone (you can play an nb character)

  • “Masculinity is an Anxiety Disorder” (essay) – David J Schwartz

  • Rose Lemberg

  • Foz Meadows

  • A Merc Rustad


Beyond the Dystopia


(This one should be complete as I moderated the panel and made a point of writing them down to tweet afterwards.)


  • Two Faces of Tomorrow – James P Hogan

  • Culture series – Iain M Banks

  • Dragonlance

  • Too Like the Lightning and Seven Surrenders – Ada Palmer

  • The Postman – David Brin

  • A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and A Closed And Common Orbit – Becky Chambers

  • Hospital Station – James White

  • Malhutan Chronicles – Tom D Wright (panelist)

  • Orbital Cloud – Taiyo Fuji (panelist)

  • The Goblin Emperor – Katherine Addison


Older Women in Genre Fiction:


  • All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses An Eye – Christopher Brookmyre

  • Blood Songs series – Anthony Ryan

  • Remnant Population – Elizabeth Moon

  • Barbara Hambly


Also, Catherine Lundoff keeps a bibliography of books with older women protagonists.


Colonialism and the Space Opera:


  • Praxis – John Williams


Moving Beyond Orientalism in SFF:


  • Black Wolves – Kate Elliot

  • Vixen and The Waves – Hoa Pham

  • Isabelle Yap

  • Ken Liu

  • Stephanie Lai

  • Zen Cho


(Plus one from Nine Worlds in which the MC has Borderline Personality Disorder: Borderline – Mishell Baker)

Thursday, August 17th, 2017 12:00 pm
Thursday, August 17th, 2017 11:25 am
Includes current politics + mental illness, HURRAH.

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OKAY THAT WILL DO FOR NOW.
Thursday, August 17th, 2017 11:00 am
Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 11:43 am
I've been sick. I was traveling and offline, and then I came home and was sick with a nasty cold I picked up while gone, and then I glanced at the headlines of what had been happening and was promptly sick with horror and grief.

So far I've thrown money at the SPLC.

As so many other people have been saying: if you've ever wondered what you would have done in 1936, when the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei was seizing control of the German government, or in 1965, as Dr. King was marching on Selma, now you know. It's what you're doing now.
Tags:
Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 12:00 pm
Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 11:00 am
Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 08:34 pm
It's been a while since we had a new Gromit in the house :)

IMG_5610

IMG_5616
Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 03:24 pm
I remember enjoying making these up as a child, so I tried a few new ones.
  • "We're going to have to dispose of the body" he said gravely.
  • "What's for pudding?" he asked sweetly.
  • "I've cut my nails too short" he said quickly.
The canonical example handed down by the ancients is:
"Get to the back of the boat" he said sternly.
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Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 12:00 pm
Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 09:40 am
On Sunday I conned Adam into going blackberry picking with me (it's a bit more complicated than that, but the short version is he hadn't realised how much more tedious and unpleasant it is to pick wild blackberries than it is to pick pick-your-own strawberries), so we've got a large tub of blackberries that I'm gradually turning into beverages/desserts/etc. We also had the end of a pound-a-bowl bag of blueberries from the market, and I have been meaning to try clafoutis for years, so! Lightly adapted from River Cottage.

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Monday, August 14th, 2017 08:00 pm
If there's anything you want to say to me after BiCon, feel free to do so here. Comments are screened and will remain so.
Monday, August 14th, 2017 06:27 pm
1. HOUSE HOUSE HOUSE HOUSE HOUSE. CONTRACT SIGNED. START DATE FIRST OF SEPTEMBER. \o/

2. [tumblr.com profile] kaberett continues explicitly Things That Make Me Happy, all the time, no politics. [tumblr.com profile] kaberabbits continues... all the rabbits, all the time. In case this is relevant to your interests. (Anything political would go on [tumblr.com profile] kaberants, but I just... Haven't Been.)