neadods: (Default)
Actually, I went the morning of the demonstration to get my fair share of souvenirs. Because I'm a bit tacky that way.

Guess who was downtown DC Saturday morning! I was convinced that the metro would overload early, the same way it had for the 2009 Inauguration and the Stewart/Colbert rally, so I'd prepped everything the night before right to the point of not just laying out my clothes, but filling all the pockets. When the alarm went off at DearGod:30, all I had to do was feed the cats and get dressed & out.

So I felt a bit silly that there was almost no one there that early in the morning. There was no one there at the Starbucks I expected to be open on 7th either, so I ended up eating a muffin I'd brought right outside it and telling other disappointed marchers that rumor was that there were open Starbucks further north.

People passing were carrying beautiful art posters from The Amplifier Foundation(.org), and told me that said posters were being given out on G-St. So post-muffin I went to check it out, and then picked up a group of women from out of town - 2 from Phoenix and one from the Caribbean (!) I walked them down to the mall, past the cops who either ignored us or in one case, wished us well. Then they peeled off in search of food and I kept going down 7th to see what was happening on the other side of the mall.

From there the gathering crowds pulled me along back to the mall; most of the marchers wanted selfies or photos in front of the capitol with their pussy hats and signs. I was there very early, but at 4th street the crowd had already become a slow river, pulling us all down 4th to Independence. The block between 4th & 3rd was already impenetrable, and more people were flooding in from the Mall and up from L'Enfant Plaza, slowly filling in the area behind Air and Space.

Yes, I did go shopping. I have a Rosie the Riveter button with the march name, and a "Nasty Women Rise!" button in BLM colors, a t-shirt, and some of the art posters that were being handed out. Planned Parenthood was selling pussy hats and giving away scarves or shirts to people who signed up for their action list. (If you wanted a pussy hat, it seemed you had to score one on the way in, from marchers on a bus or plane.) Emily's List was giving out posters (my favorite: We Are The Noisy Majority) all the way back at New Carrollton metro.

There was somewhere I'd promised to be in the afternoon, so I left very early. Early enough that one could still walk the streets, although the crowd coming up from L'Enfant was already so thick I had to let it take me to the mall and then go north up to Archives where there was a little breathing room. A *little* breathing room -- I had to ask marchers to part to let me get to my train as they flooded the platform!

The station that had been so achingly empty had a line out the door and down the block when I got back. A 3-hour wait, I was told later. And at Benfest we kept losing track of conversations or the Fluxxlock game we were playing because we were all on social media, looking at crowd photos.

I'm glad I was there. I'm glad I got out before the crowd got crushing. At least while I was there I did some tiny bit of good, pointing people in the right direction and tweeting/facebooking about where the portapotties were open and where they were locked. (So Hufflepuff of me!)
neadods: (orange_line)
The quiet clinic isn't so quiet anymore. The arrival of the publicity-seeking Her Highness has nettled (or perhaps emboldened) Praying Mantis to become more pushy. Today, to my concern, he started pulling out a camera and taking photos into the parking lot.

At one point he was aiming at the 7-11 wrapper for god knows what, possibly because one of the clinic nurses kicked it on the ground and Her Highness is already spreading the lie that the clinic improperly disposes of medical waste. So I asked him, as he took the photo, if he thought it was medical waste.

"Yes."

So I marched over, grabbed the wrapper, spread it out and said "Here it is. This is what you wanted a photo of. You can have it, our compliments."

And he starts going "It's a 7-11 wrapper. I don't understand. Why all this hostility?" But he wasn't moving the camera - and I was holding the wrapper right near the lens - so I didn't move. Then he decided to meditate, but unfortunately closing his eyes didn't make me go away. (What am I, the monster under his bed?) Eventually he marched back to where he started, me following the entire time, holding out the wrapper until he put the camera down.

Then I noticed the other protester filming me on her phone. So I held the wrapper out to her in a way that should have covered the lens. "I'm not filming," she protested, but she didn't put her phone down so I said "That's okay. I've stood out here for 3 hours. I can stand here all day."

And for the next 10 minutes or so, that's exactly what happened. A Mexican standoff where she didn't move and I barely did (occasionally I adjusted my grip) until one of their signs fell over. She went to move it -- visibly turning off her video camera (what? I'm not supposed to know what that looks like? I take video on my iPhone too.)

And that was the end of that... for today. Praying Mantis and a camera are bad news and I'm already speculatively eyeing my closet for a very large, opaque fashion scarf I can put in my pocket and whip out next time he pulls the camera out. Worst case scenario, I myself am very large and opaque.

Apparently this amused the heck out of one of the other escorts, who ended up filming me being filmed and holding up the wrapper.
neadods: (wtf)
It's no good my discussing the election and trying to parse what the fuck just happened and what the fuck will happen. But what I can do and will do is suggest a course of action that can be taken by anyone in any country who is worried about things spinning out of control

1) Give yourself a holiday present of a subscription to a newspaper to support investigative journalism. Also give yourself 52+ sheets of professional looking stationery w/envelopes, a nice pen, 3 books of stamps.

2) Make this New Year's resolution: To sign up for the "take action" emails of at least one lobbying group that you support and to TAKE THE ACTION at least once a week. Make the call. Use the stationery.

First they came for the Muslims, and we said "Not this time, motherfuckers!"
neadods: (orange_line)
6:30- setting up post for quick edit on phone.

8:43 OMG, Eeyore's back! She's looking a lot healthier and is back to quietly praying. Can't say I miss being told I'm a demon.

9:00 Apparently we don't have to worry about the new protester yet because Her Highness likes to sleep in.

10:18 Still no Her Highness, but her presence in spirit has emboldened Praying Mantis to be much more pushy and aggressive.

11:20 Praying Mantis teaching his version of reality to college girl with a homemade sign about god loving women "and their babies."

11:39 And she's here. Pushing "It's not too late to stop the abortion" fliers and "post abortion care" fliers and shouting into the clinic.

11:47 Can't tell if she's doing an exorcism or baptizing the parking lot

11:57 The new girl asked us sincerely where our hearts were. Under the sternum, of course.
neadods: (orange_line)
I realize that the title could equally apply to the election, but apparently there's a new clinic protester in town who's really... special. But nobody's actually told me what to expect on Saturday.

I suppose y'all can expect a more interesting than usual liveblog.
neadods: (madmaninnabox)
The 2016 Jane Austen Society of North America's Annual General Meeting (technically "JASNA AGM," for which read "Austaramacon") started off with a bang last night.

Technically the main speaker was the always entertaining Ken Ludwig, who did have some very interesting things to say about how Austen was not known to have access to many comic novels (as opposed to novels she laughed at, like, say, the entire gothic genre) but had a wealth of great Shakespearean and Restoration comedies to draw on to develop her own humorous style. You could feel the Mansfield Park fans snap to attention when he pointed out that two of the great Shakespearean actresses she would have known about were Mrs. Crawford and Mrs. Yeats.

But The! Most! Entertaining! people, possibly of the entire weekend, were the Dr.s Janine Barchas and Kristina Straub, the two curators of Will and Jane: The Culture of Celebrity at the Folger. What could have been a dry and shy discussion of the artifacts was instead a rollicking rip through history, culture, and opinion. "We thought because there were so many of the gilt Hotspurs that they were important. No, the Folgers just collected EVERYTHING to do with Shakespeare" and "If it looks like a tacky duck and it flies like a tacky duck... it's tacky" and (my favorite) "We call them the vaginal Richards."

Click on the cut because you KNOW know you want to know more about that phrase! )
neadods: (sherdoc)
Conversations with my GPS:
Me: So, which route is worst off?

GPS: Oh, honey, NO. Do not take a main highway at Friday rush. Let me take you down the back roads. Turn left... now right... now le-

Me: Wait. We're going right past the secondhand store. What I'm hearing is that you want me to go buy more scarves.

GPS: What? No! Turn left!

Me: I'm turning right.

GPS: Get back on the route! (It really did say that)

Me, three scarves and a cardigan later: So, what's the next little road?

GPS: Fuck it. Take the parkway, that'll be fastest.

Parkway: *is backed up*

Me: You lied to me, GPS.

GPS: BECAUSE I HATE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW.
neadods: (csi_chicken)
In which I enthuse about a product which I have not yet seen or touched.

My interest in bentos, like my interest in cooking in general, has been on the back burner for a while. But it is, hopefully, about to roar back in style.

I was one of the backers of Prep'd, an integrated container/box/software system. With my customary caution and wariness *cough* I signed up for the "merchant" package (read: 10 boxes). I'm also beta-testing the initial software right now.

The intent - the goal, really - is to package a healthy breakfast and lunch for myself at work every day - hopefully in one fell swoop so that I don't have to stop in the middle of the week and go "damn. Forgot." The hope is to also actually start doing a little bento-pretty as well.
neadods: (busy)
I've been so wrapped up in the neverending "must be done"s and "ought to get done"s that I've long since written off the "enjoy doing"s... and that's not right.

So I'm making an effort to spend not just a little time doing the things I enjoy, but putting them on the schedule as a high priority. There is little in my life that HAS HAS HAS to be done on a schedule anymore - there's no cosmic difference in my life if, say, I set up the new laptop today, tomorrow, or Wednesday. I need to do it soon, yes (this one is dying of cat hair and entropy at a high rate) but I don't actually need to do it *now.*

So I'm making a point that on the weekends I take the time to:
- read a chapter of a book. A whole chapter, all at once... and that this feels dangerous and slothful is, frankly, appalling.
- Spend significant time crafting. This can be knitting, sewing, quilting (even mending will count, I think, just to get the mending done) but Accomplish Something With My Hands
- Listen to a podcast or Big Finish. I'm about 3 behind on my Big Finishes and my podcast backlog is in the hundreds (recs at the end of this post)

The other day one of my actual chores was to sew a Jane Austen logo onto a second-hand purse so I'd have something appropriate for the upcoming Janeite convention, and I was sitting there, podcast and sewing machine running, thinking "I'm happy. I like this. Whyyyyyyyyyy did I ever stop?"

So... I won't stop. There's no damn reason on the face of this earth why I can't give myself the same happy time at least once a week.

So, podcasts. My backlog is in the hundreds because I'm now listening to quite a few. If you have an iphone, I recommend PodCruncher as opposed to the native bullshit app, but there is a learning curve and they haven't updated it to properly fit the size of the screen past iphone 5. Still, once I got the hang of it, I really enjoy using it.

Podcasts I listen to always:
- Staggering Stories (fannish news & chatter. ~1 hour to 90 minutes; Doctor Who predominates)
- Welcome to Night Vale (fiction. 30 minutes; NPR from the Twilight Zone)
- Stuff You Missed in History Class (history all eras. ~30 minutes; The vast bulk of my backlog is downloads of the last 3 years of this one)
- Folger Shakespeare Library: Shakespeare Unlimited (nonfiction. ~30 minutes; a must-listen for theater, history, and Shakespeare nerds)
- Within the Wires (fiction. ~30 minutes; the Night Vale folks break out into relaxation tapes for medical prisoners)

Stuff I listen to if I like the topic(s) du jour:
- BBC Comedy of the Week (exactly what it says on the tin. ~30 minutes)
- BBC Drama of the Week (see above)
- Big Finish Podcast (Advertising for BF. ~30 minutes)
- the Holmesian trio: Baker Street Babes, Three Patch Podcast, I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere (all ~1 hour)
- Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast (nonfiction. ~20-40 minutes; theater interviews and Reduced Shakes news)

I'm off Great Detectives of Old Time Radio at the moment simply because Adam isn't running any of the shows I'm interested in. There are still some Ellery Queens and Philip Marlowes in my backlog, though.

And I'm waiting to catch up in Zombies, Run! before I start listening to Podcast Detected, although I know it's out there.

I'm about to test-listen to some food-related podcasts, such as The Salt, A Taste of the Past, Gastropod, Gravy, and Dinner Party Download (episode 356 of which apparently has Doyle at the dinner party).
neadods: (fandom_sane)
Actual phrases used during a facebook conversation about being offered membership in a group:

"17 years"
"maybe never"
"highest expectation to meet new people and give recommendations"
"cultural fit"

And when it was pointed out that attitudes like this are WHY the group is not seen as welcoming (much less membership being a goal these days), the phrases became:

"my tree house"
"complaints"
"stamping their feet"

And still, within that very conversation some folks just can't figure out whyyyyyyyyyyy their group isn't seen as welcoming or membership a goal.
neadods: (Default)
Archiving two newspaper links


Ruth Bader Ginsburg Presides Over the Divorce Proceedings of Claudio and Hero. (check my Shakespeare tag; I was there for that one.)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Presides Over Shylock's Appeal In Venice, yet!



The takeaway quote: After about two hours of arguments and about 20 minutes of deliberations, the judges issued a unanimous ruling: To remove the question of the pound of flesh — “We agreed it was a merry sport, and no court would enforce it,” Justice Ginsburg said — to restore Shylock’s property, to restore the 3,000 ducats that he had lent to Antonio, and to nullify the demand of his conversion.


“The conversion was sought by Antonio,” Justice Ginsburg said. “The defendant in the case was decreeing the sanction. I never heard of a defendant in any system turning into a judge as Antonio did.” She added, to laughter, “And finally, after four centuries of delay in seeking payment, we think that Shylock is out of time in asking for interest.”


The court was not unanimous in what to do with Portia. The judges ruled that because Portia was “an impostor,” a “hypocrite” and “a trickster,” she would be sanctioned by having to attend law school at the University of Padua, where one of the judges, Laura Picchio Forlati, taught. Then she would have to pursue a master of laws degree at Wake Forest University, where another of the judges, Richard Schneider, is a professor and dean.

(end quote)

Apparently this production of Merchant (complete with law case) is being held actually in the Jewish ghetto of Venice and once RGB found out about it they more or less would need crosses, garlic, and possibly a small, heavily armed army to keep her from participating. The director's response was basically "Of course, and you say your grandson is an actor? Let's audition him."


In related news, at an otherwise hellacious release party for Cursed Child, I also picked up a book about RGB and Sandra Day O'Connor called Sisters In Law.
neadods: (atentdead)
It has been a while since I posted, hasn't it? Thought it might be time for another state of the Nea. Or at least bullet points of the Nea.

New job with new company on new contract. It has a lot more work and a LOT more autonomy than I've had for a while -- so long that I actually freaked out internally when I realized that I was going to have to step up on my own rather than be micromanaged. Ye GODs it's a pleasure to actually write instead of being told what to cut and paste! Now I have to get better at the time management.

About to have a new couch because the old one is falling apart. I mean this literally. My new cream-colored Ikea Ektorp sofa is arriving Sunday and will be delivered, hauled in the door, and put together by someone who is NOT ME. Couldn't be more thrilled. Mind you, disassembling the old one more than it has disassembled itself is going to be up to me; it won't fit through the door in one piece and it, of course, has to be removed to make way for the new one. The couch is dead, long live the couch.

I've reached the age where health issues have crept up, particularly my blood pressure. It's amazing how much you can't have when you're eating low sodium. Losing weight, though. Cutting out salty processed foods also means eliminating the added sugar and fat...

Still doing virtual races, although I haven't signed up for as many this year - just Geek'd Out Run Club, Nerd Herd Running, and Hogwarts Running Club, plus the for-pay races in Zombies, Run! I'm badly behind in the ground I need to cover, but expect to make up for that as soon as the heat wave breaks.

Still getting a couple of subscription boxes, although I gave up on Blue Apron pretty rapidly. Now getting Fandom of the Month Club jewelry and the Beautiful Madness Book Crate box.

Also the Rancho Gordo bean club, which always makes people laugh to hear, but beans are a great low-cal, heart healthy food and the more options (and the more pressure to keep the pantry from filling up) the better.

That's... pretty much it, I think.
neadods: (disagree)
So I started to take a survey about Sherlock Holmes fans. By someone who claims to be in touch with the culture and who claims to be doing this under the aegis of a school for academic reasons.

I say "started" because halfway through, with no assurance that I'd get to speak my piece at any point, I quit in outrage. If there is any academic overlooking this project, they need to put down the crack pipe right this minute.

So. Sherlock Holmes survey. No distinguishing between versions of Sherlock Holmes, just "Sherlock Holmes." That's quite the range, considering the books, movies, TV adaptations, radio plays, cartoons, parodies, etc. No, I most certainly do not "feel what the characters are feeling" when I read the Victorian-era stories. In many cases, I feel several of the characters need a clue bat upside the head, is what I feel.

No distinguishing between passively consuming whatever media and fannish participation. I am not a different person because I read Sherlock Holmes or watch Doctor Who. I am a different person because I participate in fan culture overall and that's a MAJOR difference. The actual media drawing me into the culture is negligible and changeable.

No option for "I read the stories because they are entertaining." Seriously, not even an option. Nope, I was asked to choose between the stories making me think, making me meditate upon society, making me reflect on myself as a person and other gobsmacking bullshit. The. Man. Wrote. Potboilers. For. Money. In other bad news for the literary academic, Shakespeare *also* wrote for money and stuffed his work full of dick jokes. Including the tragedies.

When I reached the page that asked me how in touch I was with my feelings, how important I felt it was for me to be in touch with my feelings, whether I thought people in general would be better off in touch with their feelings... well, I thought it was long past time to bail on the bullshit and come vent my feelings instead.

linkdump

Jun. 5th, 2016 09:56 am
neadods: (sherdoc)
I'm posting this for myself because I have to restart the computer before having read them, but then I thought whatthehell, there's nothing personal and maybe someone will want the recipes.

Okay, there is one personal thing. Sorry, the 100 day project is a Hogwarts Running Club member-only challenge. But hey! You can become a member by joining our very latest race!



BBC - Shakespeare Lives - New Shakespeare Songbook
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/18Lt1XQbl8GmbP6wy8cnl08/new-shakespeare-songbook

Panzanella | The Pioneer Woman
http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/panzanella/

(128) HRC 100 Day Project
https://www.facebook.com/events/1691594474441417/

WTF Is A Bullet Journal And Why Should You Start One? An Explainer
https://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelwmiller/how-to-start-a-bullet-journal?utm_term=.kuqA5kagM#.vx5K5Nlrg

Creamy Tomato Soup: can the can – homemade is heavenly. - Flourish - King Arthur Flour
http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2012/02/04/creamy-tomato-soup-can-the-can-%e2%80%93-homemade-is-heavenly/

How to make the perfect tomato sauce | Life and style | The Guardian
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2013/aug/01/how-to-make-perfect-tomato-sauce
neadods: (angst)
M found termites in a stump and one of her raised plant beds. A stump and raised bed equidistant between the (wooden) house and the (wooden) garage.
neadods: (csi_chicken)
I did the math. If I stretch out the Blue Apron ingredients - and I'll have to, because they're very sloppy about sodium, so I need to sharply reduce some portions - and have the farm share, and buy only skyr and fresh fruit and milk and a once-a.week treat...

Then I can eat for about $15 a day, low sodium, well-rounded food. It's not going to be How To Eat on a Shoestring per se; not when I'm shopping at Wegmans and Penzys. But I like the idea of the challenge, and I'm very tempted to start blogging it here... or even to sign up for Wordpress and start a "hacking Blue Apron" blog.
neadods: (contemplative)
So, my doctor put me on a hypertension diet. Actually, she put me on "let's manage this with lifestyle changes" so now I'm also trying to exercise much more regularly (I'm woefully behind on both virtual races and Zombies, Run! missions), meditate and eat better.

Thing is, after lowering salt and adding more fresh fruit and greens, I've basically been sitting around going "Ummmm." And looking at my scary cookbook collection and going "Errrrr."

So I decided to join Blue Apron and have them throw food at me. This is in addition to being part of the Rancho Gordo bean club and halfsies in the farm share M has. As most of the Blue Apron recipes are far too high sodium for me to follow completely, expect a Blue Apron Hack tag to start showing up here.

I'm still going "um" a lot, but less so when my choices are being mostly made for me. When anything can be done, it's too much to focus on. When there's a specific set of food, then it's an interesting challenge to see what I can do.

In all the "figure out what to cook," and "figure out what to do with my career" (suffice it to say that I need to retrain ASAP), I wanted a nice, no stress surprise too.

So I signed up for a year of the Fandom of the Month Club. It's a small consortium of independent artists with gloriously nerdy names (Half Blood Prints; Geeky Cauldron) which provides a magnet, a drawstring baggie, and some jewelry/wearables for a random fandom per month. (They pick, not you)

Because they pick and not you, I was a little worried that I'd get something uninteresting and while statistically that is inevitable, my very first box was my very first fandom - Narnia! The bag had Reepicheep on it (my favorite character), and inside it was a lion magnet, lion earrings, a bracelet with details of each of the book covers (in Narnian chronological order) and a stunning bronze locket of the wardrobe door. When you open it, there's a tiny portrait of a lamppost in a snowy wood.

I couldn't be more delighted, especially as everything except the Reepicheep bag is subtle enough that I could wear it to work if I chose (and I do choose to wear the bracelet; you have to be very close to recognize what it is). It's perhaps 44 years too late for maximum over-the-moon squee, but overall an excellent omen for my relationship with the little cardboard box printed with an owl.

The teaser for next month's box is a black and white brocade headband with a bright yellow smiley face scrawled on it. I can't wait.
neadods: (sherdoc)
A friend of mine has told me about Never 10 (https://www.grc.com/never10.htm). Basically, it's a utility that adds a little GUI window to parts of the command line interface - you're not downloading software, you're downloading something that turns line after line of machine code hidden in Windows 7 & 8 into two buttons:
- Do you want to block the installation of Windows 10?
- (if necessary) Do you want to erase Windows 10 files already downloaded?

I've downloaded this onto all my computers - no more being nagged to set a date for an install I don't intend to perform!
neadods: (disagree)
WHY is it so hard just to get a list of foods recommended for the DASH diet? I can find plenty of fnur fnur fnur about how it's the Bestest Diet EVAR and also plenty of "here, eat from this rigid menu of premade choices you'd rather starve than eat" and even tons of "this recipe is totes DASH-friendly, I promise" but Not! One! Friggin! Word! about what foods I can make my own menus and recipes from.

Thanks, but I don't do artificial sweetner artificial flavored shit, and is olive oil on the okay list or not? Because I don't fucking roast my vegetables in salad dressing for fuck's sake, yet THAT is the fat I keep being reassured I can eat in small amounts. (What in buggery fuck is premade salad dressing even doing on a hypertension diet, has anyone writing the advice LOOKED at the sodium content?)

Bullshit like this is why my blood pressure is rocketing, I swear.
neadods: (orange_line)
8:07 My first Easter Saturday as an escort. My orders were to show up an hour earlier than usual. No other escorts yet (and here I was worried about being 7 minutes late) but 3 protesters I don't recognize and a poster of the Virgin Mary can keep me company.

9:00 four of us, three of them. The only one I recognize is Praying Mantis, who's pretty chill. Oh, and it's a poster of Jesus with the sacred heart. The two more experienced escorts are telling "once in the parking lot..." stories.

10:00 Now we're explaining American credit cards. Only two protesters and a handful of patients. Endorsing crocs as clinic shoes.

10:58 Right when we were thinking of packing it in, 10 teens and two adults showed up en masse, one with a dayglo yellow rosary that matches his sneakers. Silent prayer. No signs. C'mon, sing! I apparently missed a full church choir one Saturday.

11:03 Quiet singing!

11:07 that was the prologue. Now, praying the rosary. All the way around.

11:48 They're praying. We're packing it in.

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